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Jack's Chain Again

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I'm making this a new workshop offering and decided to offer my students the possibility of adding the center 6-pointed star. Do you remember this from 2016? I finally appliquéd that center hexagon star to the big opening. This is a BIG block - 22" x 22". Jack's Chain Center Alternate Star Block Sometimes I get lost in Pinterest when I'm doing a specific search. What - it doesn't happen to you? I found a beautiful crocheted Jack's Chain afghan. Isn't this just so lovely? I like to crochet, but I'm not sure I could do this and keep the patches from wobbling. My quilt guild friend Julia, has made a gorgeous Jack's Chain in red and white. She is the queen of hand piecing and quilting and this is truly a work of art. She used a commercial pattern called Ring Cycles by Jessa Siegele. Here is a closeup of her hand quilting in process. Closeup of Julia's hand quilting on her Ring Cycles pattern Those 9 Patches finish to 3"! She told me that

Let's Talk Creative Borders

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Sometimes you just don't have enough of one fabric to use for the border. But, you may have two pieces that are very "friendly" with each other. Maybe they're from the same collection, so the greens or reds or browns MATCH! Such is the case with many of the quilts I've been sewing lately. Look at this one from 2020.  Sunshine in My Garden using a block from my Katie's Garden quilt The two greens in the borders are from the same fabric collection, but the prints are different. The top and bottom are kitties and the sides are chickens. I think they're getting along! Then there are the quilts that I make from sets of fat quarters. The longest piece for a border I can get will be 22" - hardly enough for most any quilt. BUT . . . you can piece a border, right? That's what I did with this Birdsong quilt, recently gifted to a friend whose husband suddenly died. Forget the flowers - a quilt lasts a long time and reminds my friend of my love and prayers fo

How I Organize My Fabric Stash

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I have been a professional quilter (sewing for the camera) for 30 years. From my 14 years as an editor with Quilt Magazine, we had partnerships with all the major fabric companies. That meant that I have been showered with free fabric over that time. Bundle of fat quarters from Windham. The Foundation Collection I dug into these and made some EPP hearts. I used to save all my scraps and cut them into usable pieces (ie, 5” charm squares, 2-1/2” jelly roll strips, etc) but now I don’t save anything smaller than a fat quarter. I share all my leftovers with my local quilt guild. I do have a large tub of Kaffe Fasset strips and scraps for string piecing. Big plastic tub of Kaffe Fassett scraps Here's one scrap buster quilt I made from my KF scraps: String Pieced Scrap Buster : 49" x 59" I used to arrange my fabrics by color. Once I sewed with a coordinated collection and had the quilt published, I split up the leftover parts and put them on bookcase shelves according to color.

Thankful Tuesday with Twisted Hexagons

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A few weeks ago I got a distress email from a former student (Hillary) who was struggling with my pattern for Twisted Hexagons . She wasn't able to get her pieces to fit. Here's what my friend Julia of Fairfax, VA made several years ago using the same pattern. Twisted Hexagon runner by Julia (2014) I taught a workshop for our guild and Julia decided to make hers all by hand. Isn't this gorgeous?! Look at her hand quilting up close! Julia's hand quilting Now back to the distress email. It seems that something fishy was going on with the rooster fabric. Hillary sent this photo and asked me to help her figure it out. Make sure your patches are cut the right size! Once we determined she had printed out her templates at the wrong size, everything fit together so well she made this gorgeous quilt! Those are happy roosters now! Hillary's Twisted Hexagon quilt Here's the one she did from the workshop. Isn't it clever that she added those small hexagons on the black

Tell Me About Pre-Cuts: Day Six

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You knew this was coming - Fat Quarters! I can remember when they first came on the market and it honestly didn't make sense to me. But, they have to be one of the most popular of fabric cuts - and, they are quite the impulse buy, right? Quick - I'll wait. Go count your dozens of fat quarter bundles. Are you back? I counted mine and they're in the dozens. Then there are the ones that became quilts. A fat quarter is one quarter of a yard of fabric. A yard of fabric is 36" x 42/44". A typical quarter yard is 9" x 42". A fat quarter is when you take the 36 x 44 piece and cut it into equal quarters. Hence, a "fat" quarter! Let me show you some recent sets of fat quarters. The first is Gingham Play by Michael Miller. I keep coming back to them because their "print" is not only traditional but the colors are so fresh and bright and modern. Gingham Play fat quarters by Michael Miller I used these with Fairy Frost (again, just a set of fat qu

Tell Me About Pre-Cuts: Day Five

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Day Five and I'm talking about 5" squares. They're called "Charm" Packs. They are typically bundled as stacks of 40 or 42 squares. They've been around for a long time, too. Here are a few sets of charms that I've worked with in the past few years. Charm pack of Kona Solids I used these for a blog hop challenge in 2014 where we had to use some Kona solids. Since I wanted a variety of colors but didn't want to spend a lot of money, I bought a charm pack! Clever, huh? I made a Thousand Pyramids quilt and used the leftovers to make my Fractured Jewels quilt. They have been VERY popular workshops - we make the Pyramids in the morning and the Jewels in the afternoon. Both quilts were published in Modern Patchwork Magazine. Thousand Pyramids using the Kona Charm pack above Fractured Jewels as it appeared in Modern Patchwork Magazine Here's a sweet set from Windham Fabrics called Briar Rose. Charm Pack of Briar Rose I first made some Dresden plates with t

Tell Me About Pre-Cuts: Day Four

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I remember when Windham asked me to design a quilt (2009) using one of the first sets of 5" strips on the market. They called them "fat rolls." I said to the Marketing Director, Leslie Sonkin: "Are we talking about what's going on around my midriff?" We had a good laugh at that! Since that time, other fabric companies have marketed their own "Jolly Bar" rolls. These are as long as Jelly Rolls, but are twice the width. That makes them 5" x 42". Windham Basics  was an earth toned collection of browns and burgundies and had some stripes, checks and ginghams thrown in for good measure! I pulled out a tried and true pattern I had published a few times in Quilt Magazine and away we went! Hexagon Pinwheels Quilt : 44" x 48" You can see that roll of 5" strips in the photo above. Doesn't resemble my midriff (but it's close!) Let me show you my approach. The pattern includes paper templates, but you can adapt this using your