Monday, January 18, 2021

34 Quilting Lessons from My Magazine Days

Back in 1997, when the internet was still an infant, we editors for Quilt Magazine were on the cutting edge of creating digital media for quilters. My own website is almost 25 years old! I took many of my published lessons and put them up for free to all those who visited my website.

Quilt Magazine


In fact, I was a "cover girl" 25 times in my 14 years with Quilt Magazine. The pink and green quilt below was one of them, along with that sweet little Sunbonnet Sue.

Appliqué Quilts with two of my quilts on the cover


You can find 32 of those lessons here: Quilting Lessons. You can see that on the tab at the top of this page.

What sorts of things are there?

Cathedral Window

Garden Maze block

Just a heads up: some of the links are broken and I'm in the process of fixing them. I've hired my daughter to revamp my website (since the code has far exceeded my ability after 25 years), but I think you'll find a lot of good reads there.

Enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Calendar Blocks: Birthday Cake

Today is January 15th. There are 3 famous people who have birthdays today. Martin Luther King, Jr. My favorite middle daughter named Hilary. And my favorite (and only) granddaughter named Eva. You could call this the perfect trifecta!

When I designed the Quilter's Block a Day Calendar for Martingale, I figured I would put a birthday cake block on this day (Eva wasn't born yet; it was 2007!)  Here is my own block, which I set on point and quilted. I use it as a teaching sample for Beginning Machine Quilting classes.

Birthday Cake block

This block was made by Patricia Bryant of Australia.

Birthday Cake block by Patricia Bryant of Australia

Here is what a real birthday cake looks like! My husband bought it for me and we devoured half of it (with friends, of course!) Yum, yum!


This is my digital block version.


Digging through my files I found this quilt version from 2011. And this is the FREE pattern (to those who own the calendar). I designed this with the Arianna Collection by Benartex.

Birthday Cake Quilt: 46" x 46"

You can find my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar CD at my Etsy store. All 366 blocks in two sizes and 12 quilt patterns!

Happy Birthday to Hilary and Eva. Birthday memories to Martin Luther King, Jr who taught us how to "give peace a chance!" 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Calendar Blocks: Duck and Ducklings

Today is January 9th and the block of the day is Duck and Ducklings. This is a traditional block that has been in the quilt world for a really long time! Here is my 10" block with a mitered, striped border. I searched for it the other day and I guess I gave it away!

Duck and Ducklings. 10" block

Here is a page from a vintage catalog that is dated May 8, 1929! What do you think of this?

Duck and Ducklings pattern by Ruby McKim.

For the Calendar CD I created each block in 2 sizes. The other size for Duck and Ducklings is 15". I also include a rendition of what 4 of the blocks look like together, end to end. What to see that? Of course you do! I think you'll like the secondary pattern they create.

Four Duck and Ducklings blocks

You can find Duck and Ducklings with 365 other blocks on my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar CD.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Calendar Blocks: Facets of Color

 I forgot to post yesterday's block, Facets of Color. I have made 2 quilts using that pattern (and they appeared in my second book, Supersize 'Em Quilts, 2009). Here they are. The blocks are 18" x 18"!

Facets of Color: 64" x 64"

Table Runner: 29" x 49"

This is also patterned in my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar CD. It is the same size as the blue one above. I colored it in browns.


The blocks are a combination of paper piecing and traditional piecing. Here is a 3rd quilt in process. I started this in 2009. My youngest daughter bought that print fabric when she was stationed in Guam, but I am pretty sure it's got an American fabric company listed on the selvedge!


The Facets of Color quilt pattern is one of 12 FREE quilts that are part of the Calendar CD. It was also the basis of a workshop I gave several years ago. Very fun to make such large blocks!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Calendar Blocks: Prairie Flower

Today I want to share with you Prairie Flower which is the block for January 6 in my calendar. For those who own the calendar (either desktop or CD), I will be giving you a pattern for a quilt which uses this block. This is a quilt I made 10 years ago using four Prairie Flower blocks. I love how those Fossil Fern fabrics play so nicely together! Prairie Flower is 8" in the desktop calendar and a 6" size is also included in the CD version.

Prairie Flower 4 Block Quilt

Here is a quilt that a student made. Isn't it lovely? She used four sets of four blocks following my 2016 Calendar Girls FREE pattern. The pattern only makes sense if you own the calendar!

16 Block Prairie Flower Quilt: 51" x 51"

This is the Calendar Girls quilt that is patterned for you who own the Calendar CD.

Prairie Flower 16 Block Quilt: 51" x 51"

But, wait! There's a tip sheet for making this block. Do you want to see that, too? I will send it out to those in my database who own the CD calendar. If you have a copy of the desktop calendar, send me a photo of you with the calendar and I will take your word for it that you can now follow the directions in the tip sheet. Send that to kratovil@his.com.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Calendar Blocks: Happy New Year and FREE Pattern

If you have my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar (either desktop or CD), you know that today's block is Happy New Year! I hope to feature several blocks a month here on my blog throughout 2021. 

Block a Day Calendar CD


The CD offers the blocks in TWO sizes and I'm going to swing back and forth between them. I will also feature the 12 quilt patterns. Lots of eye candy for those who don't have the calendar; lots of tutorials for those who do have it. It's not too late to buy the CD.

January 1 Block: Happy New Year, 9"

This is what I call the "Tilt" block. I've made it many, many times. The angle for those outside triangles is achieved using any one of several rulers on the market: Tri-Recs, Fons and Porter, Creative Grids Half Rectangle or even my own Arrowheads ruler set. (I have 3 sets remaining and you can find them in my Etsy store with companion patterns).

Let's see the type of rulers. The set of 2 Arrowhead rulers is #5-6 below.

Here they are close up. Just like the Tri Recs rulers, only taller.

Arrowheads Ruler Set (which comes with 2 patterns and a tip sheet for more ideas!)

Now for a few other Tilt quilts. First is my Christmas table runner (which is still on my dining room table) and you can see several of those blocks tilting left and right. To make this design you only use the skinnier rulers (which is a half-rectangle) along with a square.


The next quilt was made using some novelty prints (frogs) with a dinosaur print border. I donated this to a local children's charity.



The next quilt (also given to a local charity) uses a garden theme set of prints. This has 12 blocks. I used my ruler set to make this one also. The rulers are multi-sized (up to 8" height of fabric strips).

Gardening Collection of fabrics by Windham

Here's one I recently gave to an elderly neighbor (yes, older than me!) who is bedridden. She and her husband love tea and he tells me that Jane keeps it with her all day! I added vertical sashing and pieced borders. Lots of cream and sugar, spoons and tea cups here!

Cream and Sugar fabrics by Windham

What does the pattern look like that comes with the set of rulers? It's my Arrowheads workshop set. These are 12" blocks. No, they don't tilt. But you can see that these blocks are very different and are cut using the rulers for a whole new design! Both rulers are used to create a triangle in a square and then I've streamlined the cutting for this 12" block.

Arrowheads quilt. 12" blocks

I will share more of these quilts another time. Go check out the Etsy listing. You better hurry - I only have 3 sets left and I'm not ordering any more to be laser cut!

And if you've come this far, the FREE pattern is one I designed for P and B Fabrics. It uses some specific animal panel motifs, but you can find something similar in your stash, right?

Where the Wild Things Are: 10" blocks, 42" x 42" quilt

I wish you a very Happy New Year! Check out my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar on CD in my Etsy shop. Free shipping (USA), too!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Survey on Live 2021 Quilting Events

As you are probably aware, I am a quilt workshop classroom teacher and I enjoy it a lot! Unfortunately, I haven't been inside one of those classrooms since March 13 in Atlanta. The Sewing Expo is gearing up with a full calendar of 10 events across the USA, beginning in March 2021. I have been teaching for them since 2007 and it's the major part of my income source! What do you think about this bold move?

The SURVEY is short with 6 questions and there's room for you to add extra thoughts. Big Block Hexagons was on the 2020 schedule. I was only able to teach it in Atlanta. I'm bringing it back this year. 

Big Block Hexagons Class

Then there's my Folded Hexagon Flowers class. I made up kits for 3 cities and was only able to teach it in Atlanta!

Folded Hexagon Flowers

Flying Swallows was the Saturday class cancelled in Atlanta. Students had their fabric cut out and were ready to sew! Alas, we all had to empty the convention center by midnight Friday.

Flying Swallows

Cloisonné Diamonds is another class that I got to teach in one city. All other cities were cancelled. Again, students from several cities had purchased tickets, bought and cut their fabric ahead of time and were ready to start stitching!

Cloisonné Diamonds

I would be SO appreciative to have you answer my 6 question SURVEY. I'm somewhat conflicted about all this travel with the vaccine availability being somewhat questionable. What really matters to you?

Do you think we have shifted into a new paradigm of online classes? I would love your thoughts on that, too! Many thanks for any and all that you share!