Monday, November 26, 2018

Black Friday Quilts on Cyber Monday

Whoa! Do I have my days mixed up? Or was I just slow about posting? Neither. I am in the process of a local move and I'm up to my eyeballs in boxes and packing and all the stuff you have to do to move in America. And I'm totally exhausted. Scotty - beam me up!!

Now, what do I have for you today, Cyber Monday? A few quilts that incorporate black - some with a little and some with a lot.

First out of the box is one you've seen here before. But it remains one of my favorite quilts and was the start of my Cookie Cutter Bonanza workshops.

Hearts on Fire: 46" x 63"
Hearts on Fire is 46" x 63". The hearts are raw edge appliqué and I used batiks throughout. The background black sets off each of the half-hearts in the border. The 10" x 11" blocks are created in halves (rectangles) and when you trim away the fabric from behind each heart, you get the bonus half-hearts that I used in the border (both big and little). Pretty clever, huh? Absolutely no waste. Easy. Quick. Fun.

Stained Glass Pickup Sticks uses batiks and a little black in those diagonal fabric inserts. 52" x 62"

Stained Glass Pickup Sticks

Begin with a stack of 10" squares. Make two gentle diagonal cuts. Shuffle the squares for four unique sets of patches. Insert some black strips and you now have an amazing - and easy - quilt with a lot of drama. I used batiks, but many of my students used regular quilting cottons.

Click on the link and you will see three other quilts I made using this technique. This was a workshop for a few years and I loved seeing all the fabric choices made by my students!

Classic Amish Shadows : 52" x 63"

Classic Amish Shadows Quilt
 My inspiration came from a vintage Amish quilt. I used solids throughout. This is pieced in diagonal rows. Very eye-popping! Of course, when one of my daughters saw it, she immediately asked for it. Now it lives in her home. I think this is a perfect quilt for that man in your life who isn't very comfortable with all the girlie prints that are prevalent in fabrics today. Sometimes it's just hard to find a pattern that is universal in its appeal. Most of the Amish quilts seem to meet that bill.

EZ Winding Ways is one you've seen here before. 55" x 55" with 10" blocks. 

EZ Winding Ways

There is NO curved piecing, only two units per block: a 10-1/2" background square and a single Winding Ways appliqué patch! I simplified this vintage block years ago and have made several quilts like this (you can see them at my Craftsy site). I added the four colored blocks in a diagonal row to break up the monotony of plain black and white. A colored inner border and then black and white for the border. Sure to impress - and very quick. 

Check out these earlier posts where I show you how the block is constructed!
Well, back to packing and cleaning and moving and all that stuff. I can't wait until I am on the other side (about 18 miles away) so I can get back to sewing. My sewing room is the FIRST I set up (after the kitchen) and after 12 of these moves in 41 years, I've got this down to a science. I'll be sewing within a week - I promise. And sharing some new things with you.

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it's Cyber Monday but there is no way I'm shopping. I don't need any more "stuff."



Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm in the process of a house move. Local, but still stressful! Emptying my linen closet I came upon a set of counted cross stitch pictures that my sister Janet made a few decades ago! The masking tape on the edges (to keep them from unraveling) were so brittle that I could peel it off easily.

I want to share the one that is relevant for today! Just in time for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving counted cross stitch picture by my sister Janet
I can envision this as the center of a small quilt. Or maybe I'll take ALL of them and incorporate them into a sampler. What do you think?

I used to do counted cross stitch and still have several beloved samples. I framed some and made others into pillows. Whatever I have are in some box and I'll see them in another week when I start unpacking.

What's for dinner tonight? Probably some sort of leftovers. My husband Phil and I are so exhausted. We are not hosting a dinner nor going to anyones'. We're fine with that. We'll make up the family time at Christmas. We try to be thankful every day; just not having any turkey!

Stay tuned for an awesome Hanukkah post coming up December 3. This is part of a blog hop sponsored by Michael Miller.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A Few More Log Cabins!

My sister Janet lives in California and has been bitten by the quilting bug. She calls me several times a week (usually FaceTime) with all sorts of questions and conundrums. I convinced her to buy a new Bernina sewing machine so she could get her 1/4" seams right and have the experience of sewing with a decent machine!

She loves quilting and spends as much on fabric and patterns monthly as I do in one year! And she loves it. Never seems to get enough.

Here is a log cabin quilt center she just finished. The recipient requested a "white" quilt. Using some soft gray makes this very lovely.

The blocks are 10". There's a LOT of piecing going on here. She was exhausted after that and is convinced she won't make another log cabin in awhile. Me? I keep making them.

Janet's Log Cabin quilt center
I found a postcard I made about 10 years ago and decided it was time to send it off. This time to my little grandkids who live in Maryland. This definitely is an off-center log cabin. I used a small panel as the center.

Off center log cabin postcard using a little panel
As I'm in the midst of a local move (which still entails packing a zillion boxes), I came upon some blue and silver 6" curvy log cabin blocks that I think I began as a Hanukkah project (don't ask me; I don't keep notes). But I packed my Curvy Log Cabin ruler the other day, so I'll have to wait until I get settled and find the box with it.

Blue and Silver log cabin blocks (6")
These blocks are made with the ruler. The strips are cut oversized and then trimmed after each round to a perfect size. No need to worry about a true 1/4" seam. Can I show you one of the other quilts I made using the Curvy Log Cabin ruler? This is a ruler designed by my friend and former Quilt Magazine editor, Jean Ann Wright. I know I shared this last month, but here it is again!

Sunshine Butterflies: 48" x 48"
Sunshine Butterflies was patterned for Creative Grids ruler a few years ago. They no longer offer it; you can only buy it from me.

Here is a single block. That head is a prairie point. I actually designed this pattern about 20 years ago and had a similar quilt published in Quilt Magazine. Nothing new under the sun, right?

Three 6" Curvy Log Cabin blocks and a single 6-1/2" square
The antennae are stitched on using a sewing machine satin stitch.

Here is one done by a quilt shop in Green Bay, Wisconsin:

Quilting Divas Quilt Shop Sunshine Butterflies
The pattern is available in my Craftsy shop, but you MUST have a Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool (at least 6" size) to be able to stitch this. Check out the Sunshine Butterflies pattern!

And yes, I will probably be sharing more Log Cabin blocks and quilts in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!


Thursday, November 15, 2018

No-Tricky Card Trick - and FREE Pattern

I came upon a VERY old article I published in Quilt Magazine almost 25 years ago (yes, you read that right). I called it my No-Tricky Card Trick because it's a bit unorthodox in the approach.

The traditional way to make it is as I have it in my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar. Patricia Bryant of Australia made the block which we shared here in 2017.

Traditional Card Trick Block
This is made using ALL triangles. It works and I'm not bashing it. But I think you may like to see my No-Tricky approach. It uses squares and rectangles for ease of construction. What do you think?

The size won't be "normal" due to setting those squares and rectangles on point, but when making a quilt with this block only, who cares? The finished size of my pattern is 12-3/4".

No-Trickey Card Trick
Here is the free pattern in png format. There are no templates; just diagrams and cutting info, so you shouldn't have trouble following the directions.


Hope you enjoy this simpler way to an otherwise "triangle heavy" block.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veteran's Day Salute - and Two Free Patterns!

This is a post I made about 3 years ago and I think it should run again. Today is a sobering day as we remember what happened so many years ago!

Thank you to all the United States veterans and their families for your service. Freedom is NOT free; it always costs someone and we must never take it for granted. I love this country and all it stands for. We just have to overlook the warts and change the things that can be changed. We're human, after all, and even our founders realized that. So, thanks to all of you veterans!

Today I want to highlight as many of the Americana posts as I can remember.

Stitched and hand quilted about 25 years ago
One of those was in the first year I was blogging. I share a quilt I made and then gifted to a family that lost their precious son in Iraq. While I shared it on Memorial Day, the quilt is still appropriate. This is an easy quilt to reproduce. While you may not have that "wavy" red and white stripe, any red and white stripe will do. Easy appliqué. The pattern appeared in Quilt Magazine several years ago.

Americana Quilt with Hearts
I love fabrics that remind me of historic prints. Coverlets do that and I've created some quilts using reproduction coverlets. A FREE pattern for this quilt is available at the Windham Fabrics site.

Reproduction USA flag using coverlets from Windham Fabrics
And how about a real patriotic quilt with a regal eagle in the center? I designed this for Windham Fabrics, it appeared in my 2014 Wall Calendar of Quilts and my nephew Blair saw it and said, "That's so cool, Aunt Debby." I said, "Would you like it?" You know what his answer was, don't you? Of course! And you can have the pattern for this, too! Click the link to go to the blog page and follow the link to Windham Fabrics. FREE PATTERN FOR REGAL EAGLE!

Regal Eagle in the Patriot's Day Quilt
While this next one isn't exactly Americana, the colors are. This appears in my 2nd book, Supersize 'Em Quilts. Yes, they are all rotary cut stars; no templates!
Farmhouse West Stars. 19" rotary cut blocks; 92" x 92" quilt
Another fabric collection was U.S.A. by Windham and I used three blocks from my Block a Day Calendar (Martingale), super-sized them to 18" and made a banner for the Fourth of July. Do you remember this?

Hey, Hey USA Banner
 Let's see each of the blocks, huh? The first is Old Glory Star, 18" square. Can you see my quilting? I had fun with those free form stars in the white triangles!

Old Glory Star
 This block is called New York. I love making this block. Easy rotary cut and stitch.

New York
 And the bottom block is Yankee Charm.

Yankee Charm

My Hey, Hey USA is a pattern at my Craftsy site. It includes a picture of the entire banner and then 3 pdf pages for the blocks. These are large, 18" blocks and are fairly simple to stitch.

And how about some awesome projects made by my friend Jeannine who is a 20 year Army vet. She is my walking buddy and also does some amazing sewing.

Not one, but TWO wall banners. These are really beautiful in person.

Two wall banners she made using the same collection as I did for my banner
 Basket liner and mug rug . . .
Beautiful basket liner and mug rug
 Pouch with key fob . . .
Look at the detail on this zippered pouch with key ring! In my dreams!
 Mug rug . . .
And another mug rug
Thanks to Jeannine for seeing that not every piece of fabric needs to be a quilt!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Festival of Lights by Michael Miller

I was invited to participate in a holiday blog hop using Michael Miller fabrics. I could choose the collection I wanted and when I saw the Festival of Lights, I KNEW I had to work with them. Hanukkah fabrics aren't that often printed and I've just about used up my little bits saved from 10 years ago. While I'm not Jewish, I know that most of us have friends and neighbors who celebrate the Jewish holidays and we want to give them something meaningful. I mean, do they really want Santa and the reindeer?

Here is a sneak peek at these gorgeous prints. I am so excited to work with them. I even have a project or two in mind. I also received a few of their Fairy Frost blenders and this will give me lots of possibilities. You know how I get my inspiration from the fabrics themselves. They whisper to me . . .

Festival of Lights by Michael Miller
We launch the first part of December. Then I will reveal what I have planned. I think you will like it and I may even have a free pattern or two!

Can I show you what I've done in the past with my leftover scraps? Fussy cut some motifs for a bookmark and a gift tag.

Book mark and gift tag
And my favorite, which I've made multiple times - a paper pieced Dreidel made into a gift bag. Maybe I'll make up a few of these. Wait and see!


Paper pieced dreidel made into a gift bag
I even had a few of these published in Modern Patchwork's holiday issue:

Dreidel gift bag
Come back in December and see what I've made. I have enough fabric to also make a small quilt and I have the perfect project in mind. Think "Star of David" with 6 points and you're almost there!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Hexagon Wreath and Stars

A friend is having knee replacement next week and I knew I needed to give her a quilt. I showed her pictures of 6 and she chose my Hexagon Wreath and Stars. Though it's not big enough to snuggle under, she likes it because it is in the colors of her living room! I put a hanging pocket on the back, so Sally has the option of putting it on her wall after she puts it on her lap while convalescing.

Hexagon Wreath and Stars: 39" x 43"
I patterned this for Creative Grids a few years ago. And, believe it or not, there are NO y-seams. Can I show you a few process shots?

One of the six large hexagons
As you can see, everything radiates out of the center. Again, no y-seams! 3 each of the units above are stitched into a VERY LARGE half hexagon. Then the two halves are stitched together and the outside pieced setting triangles are added.

Six large hexagons with diamonds and triangles
I also made this using a novelty Christmas collection by Benartex (very old, but very cute with mice!)

Hexagon Wreath and Stars with novelty prints
I think I may quilt this one soon so it's around when my grandkids come to visit for the holidays.

This is a pattern in my Craftsy shop. It does require that you have a multi-sized, 60 degree ruler (you know you have one!) The 7 page pdf pattern has a line drawing chart for you to plan your fabrics. And very clear piecing directions on the sequence of how to put the units together. And how to use your 60 degree ruler to cut: hexagons, half hexagons, and the 30 degree side triangles. You cut the 60 degree diamonds with your regular acrylic ruler using those mysterious 60 degree diagonal lines (NOW you know what they're there for). There is no need for templates!

I still have a box with the leftover parts from the Christmas quilt. They are calling me today. It will be fun to play around and see if I can come up with something else. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November Candy Dish for 2018 Tea Party BOM

Here is the block for November, the Candy Dish. As you can see, I haven't decided which fabric I like best. It is not a large appliqué, so you may wish to make two as shown here!

November Candy Dish
You can find it FREE for the month of November in my Craftsy store: Candy Dish.

I have one more block to share and hopefully, I can begin to put all these together. Not sure.

I'm already thinking about the 2019 BOM and am almost decided. It will be appliqué again, I think. But the background blocks will be pieced. I've shared the quilt already on these pages, and I hope to share it with you soon. I think you will like it!

Until later, enjoy!