Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bridal Roses Quilt

Bridal Roses Quilt -  2013 Block a Day Calendar
Believe it or not, I am currently finishing up the 2015 Block a Day Calendar files and my brain is so empty. We work two years in advance of when the calendar is published and I tend to forget to stop and smell the roses - or even pay attention to the projects I created for TODAY's reveal. I actually checked my 2013 calendar and this Bridal Roses project appeared this week. I especially like the block for today, Topeka Rose, which is a 12" applique block.

Topeka Rose
12" Topeka Rose Applique Block for June 29, 2013
I don't even have the copies of my 2014 calendar yet, but they should be here REAL soon. When they come, I promise - I will have one as a giveaway!

Coming soon, my 2014 Block and Quilt a Day Calendar
Hope you have a fabulous weekend. I spent yesterday straightening my very messy fabric shelves. Found things I forgot about. Come back on Monday for my Stamp on It Blog Post!

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Beauty of Black, Red & White

The Tanglewood Collection by Blank Quilting
A few months ago I featured this collection of fabrics and gave an extensive tutorial on paper piecing.

I gave away a fat quarter bundle of these to a lucky winner
 I used the Shimmering Waterwheels pattern from my new book (Paper Piecing Perfect Points) and went from greens to red and black. A very classic look, I must say. If you missed the post, you can see everything here: Paper Piecing Monday.

I put 4 of the units together with sashing, but didn't like it. I don't know why, but something wasn't right. What do you think?
4 Waterwheel units with sashing. Something's not right!
So, what do you do when a quilting item isn't right? That's right - pull out the seam ripper and take it apart. It's always wise to listen to the voices in your head (my voices quilt!)

I just finished putting together 16 of these units (that's all the fabric I had) and used NO SASHING, but instead put them block to block in my Four-Blocks-Look-Like-Five-Blocks setting. I've used this with several other quilts. I really like the trick-the-eye assembly.

16 Spinning Waterwheels Units (sorry for the poor photo quality)
8" units; 32" x 32" center. Waiting for borders
Now, what is the original quilt I was referring to? The one with greens?
Green Spinning Waterwheels: 54" x 76"
I had the original quilt (not this green one, but one from 2003) stolen from a parked, locked car in California along with 29 other quilts. I made it with Fossil Ferns by Benartex Fabrics. Here it is:

The original Spinning Waterwheels, stolen in 2005
Hope you enjoyed my trip through 3 different color renditions of the same pattern! I like to think that those 30 quilts are hanging on the Giant Quilt Rack in the sky. They are making the angels smile, huh?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Windham Wednesdays - The Birds are Back and a Giveaway

The Collage Collection by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics
 Collection is available August 1
These birds dance along the bottom of the dotted fabric in my birdhouse

 Well, no birds yet because I cut up that fabric to make my project. This is such a delightful group of fabrics and it makes me smile just to look at the color drenched pieces. I wanted to feature both a bird (or birds) and a birdhouse, and so I did BOTH!

Up-sized a paper pieced birdhouse, pulled out a 20 year old applique and re-purposed an alphabet
Birdhouse: 11-1/2" x 18-1/2"; Panel: 23-1/2" x 28-1/2"
Aren't these colors just awesome? See the dots around the birdhouse? They are part of a larger panel which has these sassy birds prancing about. I added them to the bottom of this quilt and I call it . . .

Pecking Order - one of my happy quilts!

Looks like the big bird on the birdhouse is top-dog!

Needs to be quilted, but first have to applique the letters and other patches. Just ran out of time. Take a visit to the Windham web site to see all the fabrics in this line. And go to their Facebook page to see what else is going on. I'm hoping to pattern this and when I do I'll let you know.

What's the GIVEAWAY? Fabric! A selection of 6 long quarters (9" x wof) - I hate cutting fat quarters and it's my giveaway and so be it. Leave me a comment about the style and personality of your type of happy quilt. The contest is over Sunday, June 30th (because I have an awesome blog post on the Stamp On It Blog Hop on Monday).

We have a winner: Maureen of Canada! Congratulations!

Six long quarters from the Collage Collection

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Windham Wednesdays, a Large Mariner's Compass and Fabric Giveaway

The Gabrielle Collection by Mary Koval for Windham Fabrics
Visit their Facebook Page to see the latest collections and contests
I don't typically work with reproduction fabrics, but this collection caught my eye when Windham asked me what I wanted to work with next. The prints are lovely with plenty of flowers and dots, stripes and ditsy prints. I like to stay true to the historic period (1870) that the fabrics represent when I select a pattern, and I thought of Mariner's Compasses (I wonder why?).

I realized I had used a giant 20" coffee filter to draft a compass several years ago and I dug it out. No! I'm not smoking anything! Here it is:
20" diameter coffee filter
I do NOT drink that much coffee each day. This is from a coffee shop that my daughter Valery worked in. This is for the 100 cup makers. She sent me a few.

20" Coffee Filters, folded in half. Just convenient circles, that's all.
I have been drafting circular blocks for years. This is what our quilting ancestors  did. First you draft, then you cut out the templates . . . NOT! (Well, not ME!)

I cut the coffee filter apart and paper pieced 8 units. Well, what do they look like?

Two units together. Yes, the coffee filter is still on there so you can see it.
And from the front, please?
Two of the 8 units, from the front
And then I super-sized my ever useful ring of Flying Geese. So glad I can do this in my graphics program (Adobe Illustrator).

Adding this Geese Ring takes the Compass to a 28" diameter. Yikes!
I printed out the two ring sections and had to draw my own background piece
This background piece is 16-1/2" square. I can't print that. So, I took two of the geese units, taped them together and drew my curve; added seam allowance to the background piece and cut out 4 of them using freezer paper as my template material.

We are talking BIG PIECES here! Even my wide format printer wouldn't print this.
Now for the reveal!
32" Mariner's Compass, pieced on a coffee filter!
I have a giveaway of 6 fat quarters from this collection.
6 fat quarters of the Gabrielle Collection
Leave a comment telling me if you've ever made a Mariner's Compass (templates or paper piecing). And then go dig out your coffee filters and try my simple Drafting a Mariner's Compass pdf. You can find it FREE at my web site: Draft a Mariner's Compass

Of course, any circle will do if you do not have a circular coffee filter.
This looks better as a pdf: Draft a Mariner's Compass

Contest is over Sunday night, June 23 at midnight (Eastern USA time).

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pink Slip Quilts and Giveaway

Blazing Autumn draft block and quilt
Pink Slip? Doesn't that mean "reject" or discard? What do I mean by this title? Well, I want to show you that I have PLENTY of projects that have flowed from my fertile, creative mind that were rejected by more than one publisher or fabric company. I am not a total success story, by any means!

When I worked for Quilt Magazine we had a lot of fabric companies asking us to work with their fabric collections, both for publication and for display at Quilt Market. Bali had asked me to make something with the above collection, something organic and out-doorsy. Hence, my Blazing Autumn quilt. They said, "Nice. But not this time." I liked it and to tell you the truth, I can't find it anymore. It disappeared in one of my recent moves. Yikes! But I think I stayed with their theme, right?

Moda Kansas Troubles Jelly Roll quilt
 Can you believe it? I made the above quilt using ONLY 2-1/2" strips. I mean every single thing on this quilt, including the ruffle and the binding is a 2-1/2" strip. Never was picked up and I tried really hard to pitch it to several magazine editors. This now hangs in my bedroom where it enjoys peace and quiet and my adoring gaze.

Magic Triangles Table Runner
Bits and pieces of leftovers
This table runner (above) and quilt (below) use a magnificent collection by Blank Quilting called Holiday Splendor. The Lone Star quilt came first and we (Blank and I) really tried to get a magazine to pick it up. None. No way. But, in a way, I'm glad. I have been able to use it to teach an all day class called One Day Lone Star over 10 times, so she has had a lot of exposure to adoring fans. The leftover fabrics were used to make the runner. It is an awesome technique, but no one wanted it. I WANT IT! And it hangs on my living room wall where I gaze on it every morning while I drink my coffee.
One Day Lone Star Quilt and Workshop: Free Pattern here
You can find a similar quilt at the Blank Quilting web site, free patterns
Zig Zag Safari - now in the home of my daughter's friends for their baby boy
Zig Zag Safari Collection by Benartex
I thought this was a really cute quilt made with some Benartex fabrics. I trimmed some pillow cases and made some baby throw pillows. Well . . . cute enough for a real baby, not cute enough to grace the pages of a magazine. Sigh!

I have PLENTY of other quilts that languish in my closets. Remember, I sew for the camera. This is how I pay my bills, keep the heat and AC going, and when something is not published I don't get paid! I give a LOT of quilts away (because I sew a LOT). But I always sew with publishing in mind.

And the giveaway? Some fabric! Another collection by Blank Quilting. 3 fat quarters from the Mariko Collection below. Leave a comment as to which of the above "pink slip" projects is your favorite. Contest over MIDNIGHT JUNE 16, 2013 (so I can mail it out before my next road trip).

Mariko Collection by Blank Quilting

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Awesome: 52 Quilting Tutorials!

Yes, it's true! 52 quilting tutorials from Martingale
First, the disclaimer: Martingale is my publisher (books, calendar). But, with that said, I have to share some awesome information about a resource they have posted at their blog. (No one is twisting my arm or paying me to pass this along, btw). I follow their blog, which is updated every day by Jenny Wilding Cardon, and this one caught my eye like none other. Jenny took 52 of their best posts and captured them for a phenomenal resource in one place. Jenny does an awesome job of featuring new books and author interviews. There are a LOT of pictures there and they have giveaways and contests and free patterns (did someone say FREE?)

And this week they have a LOT of books at 40% off!

So, what do they have? Quite a few categories - and here are a few of them:

How to choose fabrics

How to machine applique. Also links to hand applique.

How to sew not only flying geese, but other piecing techniques.

Quilt scraps and also tips on using those pre-cuts.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Can you believe it? Awesome flowers.

Yes, tips for precuts (squares and strips)
And this is just the tip of the quilting iceberg. There are little eBooks of free patterns. You may need to pace yourself because there is so much here!

I think you would really like to follow this blog. Jenny always has something new and exciting to share. She even has items on their craft books, knitting and crochet. And did I say deals on books?

So, in case you missed it, the link is: Martingale Publishers Blog. Enjoy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Fabrics, Fun Patterns - a Mini Blog Hop and Giveaway

The new Lola Collection by Blank Quilting
We have a winner, Therese from Georgia. Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments!

Today I am joined AGAIN by two blog buddies. We've never met but I discovered their blogs this past year and I follow them because of their obvious joy in playing with lovely fabric and making happy projects. This is our THIRD challenge, aided by fabrics from Blank Quilting.  For this Lola Collection we each got 1/4 to 1/3 yard of each print. Sometimes "small" works wonders.

Who are my partners in this challenge?

Amy of A Quilting Sheep
I invite you to visit their blog sites today, see what they have come up with, and then go to Blank's Facebook page and see what new things they may have. Come back and tell me you've been to Blank's site and I will enter your name in a giveaway of fabrics. None of us have enough to offer these exact fabrics, so I've pulled together some other luscious Blank Quilting fabrics (see bottom of this post for fabrics).

I started a few different times (and abandoned one completely), but here is the first try. It's a traditional block from my book "Supersize 'Em Quilts". This traditional block is called The Diadem.

The Diadem Block: 12" x 12". Paper pieced corners
 The Diadem Quilt from my book
Diadem blocks: 14" x 14". A great way to showcase a large scale print

Then I re-discovered a pattern I had drafted over 10 years ago I call "Shark's Teeth" (I wonder why).

10" Paper Pieced Shark's Teeth before final seam
I used two fabrics (don't you love that leaf print?). How does it look on the under side?

 The paper side of the Shark's Teeth units
Two 5-1/2" x 10-1/2" Shark's Teeth units from the paper side
And the Shark's Teeth block after the final seam:
Shark's Teeth. Finished size will be 10" x 10"
Shark's Teeth block with really strong contrast. How do you like this one?

Shark's Teeth with a stronger fabric contrast
I have taken the Shark's Teeth paper piecing patterns from my CD, Building Blocks and Borders, (3", 4", 5" and 6") and added this 10" size. It is a 12 page pdf and is available at my Craftsy Store. These patterns also include the reverse/mirror image patterns so that the angles go the other way. These patterns assume knowledge of how to paper piece.

Well, what do all those 40 patterns from the CD look like, huh? Here are the first 20.

20 of the 40 foundation blocks for borders (or just fun blocks!)
And here are the second set of 20. There are helpful tips and how-tos for foundation piecing. And for EACH block there is a full page of assembly and border options to give you creative ideas. Remember, you can mix and match these because ALL 40 of the blocks are in the same sizes.

What's the giveaway (USA and Canada only, unless an international winner is willing to pay the postage):

A copy of the CD with all these patterns! As you can see, Shark's Teeth is in there, too!

Contest is over Friday, June 14 at midnight (East Coast time USA). Just leave me a comment on which of these 40 blocks you like and, if you care to tell me - what you think of paper piecing (keep it clean, those of you who hate it!)