Friday, May 25, 2018

2019 Block a Day Calendar is Coming!

This is my 13th year creating this calendar. It's hard to believe I still have ideas remaining in my head (I'm working on the 2020 calendar/contract right now)

Here is a sneak peek at the cover and one of the projects:

2019 Quilt Block a Day Calendar
The above link will take you to Amazon (I do NOT have any of those annoying affiliate links with $$). Just check it out.

Here is the back cover:
Back cover of calendar for 2019
And an October project that is featured on Amazon:

Autumn Colors Quilt
One of the blocks:
Autumn Blooms Block
And the cutting for making the block:
The back of the color page shows cutting
 This is where I tear my hair out: the fabric calculations for each project. I DO NOT work in Electric Quilt which would have you purchase WAY more fabric than needed. I do this the old fashioned way - with my brain and a calculator.
The yardage amounts and cutting for sashing and borders/binding

You can visit the publisher's web site and order it from there, too. Andrews McMeel is the world's largest calendar publisher, so I'm just a small fry in such a big skillet!

Visit AMM and you will find two other online links to purchase this calendar. Don't ask me why they don't aggressively market to quilt shops! I've stopped asking. If you are familiar with this calendar and buy it from your local quilt shop, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

I hope to share multiple pictures of the quilt projects in the coming weeks. I think you'll agree: they are pretty amazing. I even got some modern quilts in there (no kidding!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Seven Sisters Quilt for Today's Quilters

Just because you know how to - and can - sew a y-seam, doesn't mean you want to!

The traditional Seven Sisters block involves a LOT of y-seams. Did I say A LOT? Of course, there aren't any y-seams when you let the embroidery machine do all the stitching! This is over 20 years old!

Embroidered Seven Sisters
Now, what does one of those 6-Pointed Stars look like? Here is the beginning of my English Paper Pieced (EPP) Seven Sisters quilt. Each star is made using 12 diamonds. Yes, lots of y-seams.

English Paper Pieced 6-Pointed Stars
And here it is with the other "sisters."
Seven Sisters table topper (EPP)
 And here is what it looks like from the wrong side, before I removed the papers.

EPP Seven Sisters from the wrong side
I don't hand sew much. I wanted to make this quilt using my sewing machine. And NO y-seams! I took out the y-seams and created my workshop for making the Seven Sisters. Here are my classroom samples. This is made from rotary cut diamonds and two sizes of easy-to-cut triangles. Yes, some of the diamonds are made from triangles - and that's the SECRET to this pattern!

Seven Sisters in batiks
 And one that is quilted! You can get more details at my Craftsy site (where I sell the pattern).
Seven Sisters in warm browns and pinks
One of my students shared her Seven Sisters top with me. Thank you, Denese Rudolph. (Are you beginning to see my "secret" piecing?)

Seven Sisters by Denese Rudolph
I saved the best for last. One of my students in Arizona last October is also a teacher at the local junior college. She actually teaches quilting! Ann Marie Stegan ordered patterns and rulers for her students and they set out to make their own Seven Sisters quilts. A big WOW here!

Ann Marie's students with finished toppers
 And some close up:

Look at these beautiful quilts - and students!

Seven Sisters without y-seams!
 And one last pic:
Ann Marie Stegan's student quilts
Thank you, ladies. I love your work. I love your color choices. And I know you had a great time because everything was straight-seam sewing. Easy to cut; easy to stitch.

You can read more about the pattern by clicking the links above. You will need a multi-sized 60 degree triangle ruler for cutting the triangles. The diamonds are cut using a standard acrylic ruler.

Hope you enjoyed the show - and thanks for stopping by. (I read ALL your comments; my computer and browser won't let me comment on my own blog! So, if you include an email I will get back to you soon if I'm not traveling and teaching.)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Latest Issue of Modern by the Yard

Don't you just love all the color in this magazine cover? I know they chose hot pink because it's one of my favorite colors, right? Modern by the Yard is a FREE eMagazine published by Benartex and I have a block inside.

Modern by the Yard, Issue #6
You will find the link to this at the top of the SewInLoveWithFabric blog.

And what does my block look like? I was asked to create something modern using the traditional Flying Geese block. I had used this block in my 2017 Quilter's Block a Day calendar and just recolored it. I have a HUGE Flying Geese folder that includes all sorts of published blocks from my 25 years in this profession (14 years as Special Projects Editor).

Bali Dots was my designated fabric collection. Click that link to see these awesome batiks!

Day and Night Geese is my 12" block. I added the black line strokes so you could see the patches.

Day and Night Geese
And what do 4 of these look like together? Don't you love the spin?

4 Day and Night Geese taking a spin
Take a visit to the Benartex blog to see this beautiful magazine and get some free patterns and lots of eye-candy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My Baby Logs Have the Blues

You may remember my Sweet Baby Logs from a few years ago made with the Stella Collection from Windham Fabrics. Here she is:

Sweet Baby Logs. 10" blocks; 44" x 44" quilt
I remade it in some Kaffe Fassett fabrics using blues and white, with hints of green and lavender. I added wider border strips to this one. It was quilted by Lee Taylor of White Stone, VA. She is the owner of the Sew Lovelee Quilt shop.

My Baby Logs Have the Blues
This is an Off-Center Log Cabin using thick and thin strips. Am I a genius? Hardly. Take a look at this quilt from the 1920s and tell me "what's old is new again!" All I did was tweak the size of the logs so it really makes your eyes swing back and forth, right?

Vintage Log Cabin Quilt from the 1920s
I made this in grays:

Baby Logs in Grays
And just recently in black and white. My plan for this is to use a thin red inner border and then a black and white outer border.

One More Off Center Log Cabin Quilt
The pattern is available on my Craftsy site. Just click the links above to get more info. I'm sure you'll agree that the Log Cabin block is a real favorite - whether old or new. I've made many, many more in my 25 years of quilting. How about you?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hey, Hey! USA: Get Ready for Memorial Day

I created three large 18" blocks using an Americana collection by Windham Fabrics a few years ago.

U.S.A. Collection by Windham Fabrics
I created Stars and Stripes (the July BOM in my Galaxy of Stars quilt) two years ago.

12" Stars and Stripes block
 I invited my friend Jeannine to share these fabrics with me. We each took 4 fat quarters and then I split the remaining 4 fat quarters in halves. We went to our sewing rooms and came up with some fun things. Actually, Jeannine had the better ideas. To a professional quilter, EVERYTHING is a quilt. Jeannine is more broad minded and came up with some clever things. Let me show you.

Her first projects were banners, which created scraps and leftovers (banners shown further down. She also made a basket liner. She felt she needed to use up the scraps (silly girl; who uses up scraps? We just buy more fabric!)

Basket liner and star trivet by Jeannine
 Can you believe this awesome coin purse and key ring?

Scraps of the scraps from Jeannine's banner projects
She had more scraps and made a mug rug for her daughter's friend who loves all things patriotic. Jeannine paper pieced that "K."

Mug rug for a friend of Jeannine's daughter in college
Jeannine made not one, but two wall banners. Basic stars with elongated lower sections. Jeannine served in the US Army for 20 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Wall banners by Jeannine.
She tells me she still has scraps. What? Do you think you have to use up all your scraps? I would need 7 lives or take my sewing machine up to heaven with me!

Now, let's see what the (ho hum) professional quilter made. Surprise! A quilt!

I enlarged 3 of my blocks from my Block a Day Calendar. You can find blocks from my calendar these at my Craftsy store.

Old Glory Star is at the top of my 3 block banner. Can you see the "fireworks" quilting?

Old Glory Star: 18" x 18"
The middle block is Yankee Charm:

Yankee Charm: 18" x 18"
And, finally at the bottom, Star Spangled Banner. I longarm quilted these with swirls and stars that look like fireworks. I used my Handi Quilter Sweet 16 Sit Down machine.

Star Spangled Banner: 18" x 18"
Now for all 3 blocks together, making an 18" x 54" wall banner that is now in my kitchen for the weekend (and probably throughout July). I sewed them together, block to block, and just added binding (a blue and white stripe from Windham's Basics Collection).

Hey, Hey! USA wall banner
Take some time to try out these patterns. You will love making such big blocks!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Bubbles and Hexagons

Sometimes what's old is new again. I made this little quilt 22 years ago (1996) and it was published in Quilt Magazine in 1997. Nothing new to this even at that time.

Half Hexagon Jewel, 1996
The beauty of this is the vertical row piecing using a half-hexagon shape. This is a small quilt and my template was also small. It's one of my "oldie goldie" quilts and I treasure it.

You've seen all the tutorials around on the internet hailing a "new" way to make whole hexagons with no y-seams. As you can see, there are whole hexagons in my little quilt; they're just made up of two half-hexagons!

Here's my latest quilt that I call Bubbles and Hexagons. The Bubbles part comes from all the circles in the fabrics! I used a jelly roll (2-1/2" strips) and cut them using my new 2-1/2" half-hexagon template. I added the squaring off of the top and bottom of the quilt center so I wouldn't chop off the points of those beautiful hexagons! And can you believe that awesome border print I've had hanging around in my stash for about 8 years?!

Bubbles and Hexagons: 41" x 51"
Trust me: this was pieced in vertical rows using only half-hexagons. Just compare it with my vintage little Half Hexagon Jewel at the top. Nothing new here!

I'm teaching my Half Hexagon Braid quilt this week to a Virginia guild and they wanted to make it using 2-1/2" strips. I started to make another Braid quilt and then realized I didn't want another one! I had shared my little Jewel quilt on my Facebook page last month and so decided to make these fabrics work for whole hexagons.

Here's my Half-Hexagon Braid quilt (I've made quite a few). I've taught this close to 2 dozen times. I'm hoping this is my last time. I want to turn my samples into a real quilt!

Half Hexagon Braid using my 3" half-hexagon template. 35" x 49"
And here's the one that was published in Fons and Porter several years ago. They still sell the pattern (and I get no royalties). This was made using a 2-1/2" half hex template. There is NO trimming of the vertical sides; the short sides of the half hexagons form the left and right sides of these rows! Look closely and you'll see what I mean.

Batik Braid Quilt: 49" x 54"
I'm just finishing up another Bubbles and Hexagons quilt using 4-1/2" (cut height) half-hexagons. Of course, I cut those using my multi-sized 60 degree triangle ruler. I don't have a half-hexagon template for that. This is PERFECT for Layer Cakes. You can get two of these half-hexagons from each 10" square.  Here is the quilt center: 48" x 51". I have to think about a border.

Batik Bubbles Quilt: 48" x 51"
This will be a new class/workshop that I will offer for the Fall. I will get the pattern up on my Craftsy site. You probably don't have a half-hexagon template, but you can cut ANY size half (and whole) hexagon with a multi-size 60 degree triangle. My pattern for these quilts will, of course, include a paper template and clear instructions for cutting these shapes with a triangle ruler. I've blogged about this technique many times here. Once you see the technique, you probably don't need the pattern!

Hope you enjoyed my show. Remember, there's almost nothing new under the sun, especially when it comes to quilting. I've seen it all in my 26 years in the profession and I never get tired of seeing updates with today's fabrics!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Cinco de Mayo and FREE pattern

This is a repeat of a blog post I made a few years ago and I thought it would be fun to revisit it. Enjoy!

A lot of talk of margaritas and Mexican food today. I can't handle a margarita (just ask my kids!), but I've always loved Mexican food. Raised in California and loved all things Mexican.

I was reminded of the block I designed for Quilt Magazine in 2007 which I called Olé. And I remembered the Benartex "What's in My Pantry" Collection which I featured here a few months ago. I was thinking CHILI PEPPERS and there are two fabrics in that collection with chili peppers on them.

What's in My Pantry?
Here are my steps to quickly cut and stitch these two blocks (which I made this morning in one hour's time). I used these two pepper fabrics as the center of my blocks. Aren't they yummy?

Chili pepper fabrics with black background

Chili pepper fabrics with yellow background

First I cut the parts (pattern follows at the end of this post):

Block parts for Olé
Then I began stitching:
Orange triangles at the top of the blocks

Green triangles at the top of the blocks
I decided to use a stripe to finish the sides. There really is a trick to cutting striped fabric so that the stripes all go in the same direction. Here is what you do:

Two squares with stripes oriented the same way; cut as shown

Stripes are horizontal in the yellow chili pepper block
I audition the stripes by folding and putting next to the block.
Stripes oriented horizontally are cut this way
And these corner squares go with the black pepper block:
Stripes are oriented vertically
The key is to cut two squares and put them side by side. Then cut in a "mountain" cut. You can't get the triangles to work if you cut both squares at the same angle.

Now here is the pattern: Olé for Cinco de Mayo

I hope you have a wonderful day!