Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Christmas Vault - Day 1

Some of my mini quilts which I bring out each Christmas
Email followers click here to see blog post online: Debby Kratovil Quilts

Today is the first day of the Ho Ho Ho Blog Hop. I wanted to make sure that my followers got to see all of the fabulous creations made by today's Hop bloggers. I will be posting a quilt or two from my own Christmas vault each day.

July 31
I hope you take a few minutes to visit these folks. Enjoy the ride. Come back tomorrow to see a new list - and a new quilt from my Christmas vault! And be sure to see what I will have on Tuesday, August 6.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Please Don't Pick on My Strawberries!

Did he really have to count them?
Imagine my horror after dinner the other night as I watched my dear husband Phil walk into the hallway, stop in front of this mini quilt and begin counting the strawberries by POKING EACH ONE WITH HIS FINGER! Poke - one; poke - two, up to 8 plump strawberries. I gasped: "What are you doing? You're not supposed to TOUCH quilts. You KNOW that, right?"

He looked chagrined - and grinned like a Cheshire cat (or like a junior high boy caught in the act). He IS a keeper and like I always say: I'm still married to my first husband after 36+ years. Never found anyone better. But where did I go wrong about teaching him how to treat quilts? It was the lure, I guess, of those plump strawberries. His own strawberry garden didn't yield any this first year, so maybe he was just getting out his frustrations.

I found my pattern for this quilt which appeared in Applique Quilts in 2004. I didn't make the center block (it was an orphan I came upon), but I did design and execute the layout and quilted it. I love the asymmetry of the borders and prairie points, don't you?

You can have this pattern FREE, yes I said FREE. Simply visit my Craftsy store and look for it at the top of the list. The link for my Craftsy pattern store is on the right sidebar. Thanks so much for your continued interest in my patterns and stories about my quilts. They each have a unique tale. This one about my husband poking all 8 of those strawberries is one of the craziest!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Christmas in July Sneak Peek & Giveaway

Christmas Spectacular Collection by Kitty Yoshida for Benartex Fabrics

Today I am featured on the Benartex blog - Sew in Love with Fabric - and I share a tutorial for making that awesome Twisted Hexagon block using this holiday collection. As you can see in the picture above, I am fussy cutting hexagons using freezer paper to isolate the motif I want.

You can see how I make that Twisted Hexagon block using these hexagons and also half-hexagons. I square up the hexagons (well, not actually squares, more like rectangles) and then combine them to make a beautiful table runner.

I talk about where I get my ideas, whether I make "mistakes" (yes, of course I do!) and my process for sewing. Take a visit because there are prizes EVERY DAY! I am one of five designers who are featured and so you have several chances to win.

I've also been asked to share a favorite cookie recipe. My 3 daughters are grown, but they still ask for the same cookies when they come home for Christmas. So, beat the heat with our Christmas Spectacular, Twisted Hexagons and other yummy things to take our minds off this summer heat!

What are you waiting for?

Sew in Love with Fabric - see a tutorial for the Twisted Hexagon block and runner

Come back here to leave a comment to enter to win some of these awesome fabrics!

Don't forget to sign up for notifications of the upcoming TWO blog hops I'm in:
My day for sharing is Tuesday, August 6
My day for sharing is August 20th (yes, we added another day)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Lion Sleeps Tonight - But What About the Elephant?

No, those are not wrinkles in the fabric - just the elephant hide!

I lived in Africa for 3 years and I have wonderful memories. I met and married my Texan husband there and we visited a few game parks where we saw elephants, lions, cheetah, zebras, and many other dangerous animals. I designed this elephant appliqué several years ago for a Windham fabric collection and still had the freezer paper template. I dug it out, asked for a small piece of the elephant hide fabric and stitched this yesterday. (You can have this applique; more later).

 Can you believe all these wild animals?
The colors are so vivid in this fabric!
I plan on making an elephant pillow or small quilt with other animal motifs for my grandsons. But I wanted to do that one applique. I have to say that my memory of this elephant (and the monkey and giraffe) was triggered by the current issue of Stitch magazine (one of my absolute favorites!). There is an elephant applique pillow (my applique predates theirs by about 5 years) and some wonderful wild animal motifs.

Take a look at the other skin prints (I didn't say skin FLINTS) that Windham has. I think they're awesome.
Now, here is the link to the pattern for a different quilt using different fabrics. But there are 3 applique shapes: an elephant, a monkey, and a giraffe. Safari Adventures

Safari Adventures Quilt
Hope you enjoyed your African Safari visit today!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

More Joys of Hex

Hexagon Bullseye Quilt
Yes, those are 3 different sizes of hexagons using a raw edge applique technique. This quilt is OLD and has since gone to live in someone else's home. Remember when raw edge applique was so IN? This was simple to make: Stack 3 different sizes of hexagons, one at a time, stitching them onto a large background square. Make several. Cut into fourths and then swap the units:

Now for some 60 degree triangles. This is another OLD quilt that has gone on to stay with some young child. I have made this pattern many times using a 60 degree triangle template.

Simple rows of 60 degree triangles with a dragonfly novelty print border
Now back to those hexagons (which, btw, are made of 6 equal sized triangles, if you want to know):

OK. Stop looking at the cute bunny! Can you see all those hexagons?
I was given some leftover Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks and I made a few placemats with them. Just appliqued them to a background and added some simple squares and pieced strips to make them into rectangles. I have a green one and a burgundy one. Wonder where they are?

One last quilt using my stacking squares. This is sort of like Bethany Reynolds' Stack 'n Whack, but much easier. I featured this on my Halloween Quilt back in October. This purple quilt was my first attempt and I still own it.
8 squares using the same motif centered; cut into 6 equal parts
OK. Hope you had enough hex for one day. I'll feature a few more quilts as a buildup for the Hexie Queen Blog Hop which will begin on August 20th (we've added an extra day). We have over 75 bloggers who are so excited to share their hexie projects. You must come back and see us for that!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sometimes I Sew Things That Are Not Quilts

It's true. I didn't say it was easy, but when your oldest favorite daughter falls in love with a new fabric collection you have, insists that you buy another 3 yards and then buys a $17 dress pattern, you're in!

Audrey with dress she and I sewed with the Timber and Leaf Collection
Timber and Leaf Fabrics
 The gift bag I made Audrey for Christmas - from Stitch Magazine
Market bag with my own curved border and added binding on edges
 Pillow with flange and bow - my own go-to pattern
She was apoplectic about this fox face fabric. So began her quest for a dress pattern
 Yes, hexagons. Who can resist?
Quick hexagon spiderweb placemats
 You can have this apron pattern - see right side bar (blue ensemble)
My own apron pattern with that curved borer and another fox fabric
I hadn't made a dress in probably 20 years. We even put in a 20" zipper and faced the neckline. I still can't get over that $17 pattern price. When I began sewing, patterns were still under one dollar (I never claimed to be a spring chicken).

And Audrey's take on the whole day's experience? She loves her mother and she loves her new dress. Life is good. Oh, and the icing on the cake? She's going to give me my 3rd grandchild in 6 months, hence, we kept the darts out of the dress and bumped it up a few sizes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Joys of Hex - Windham Wednesdays

Hexie Hop is now CLOSED (as of Thursday morning) - we are FULL, FULL, FULL
Turning 60 and the Joys of Hex
My renewed interest in Grandmother's Flower Garden (GFG) blocks
The new "Let It Snow" collection by Windham Fabrics combined with a renewed interest in GFG blocks: English Paper Piecing with sturdy (card stock) papers wrapped with fabric. Makes for sharp points and uniform sizes of hexagons. Did I say hexagons? Isn't there  Hexie Queen Blog Hop coming up?
Different center motif; 6 identical cardinals fussy-cut to ring around those snowmen
And that brings me to a photo of the collection:
Let it Snow by Windham Fabrics
Where I live it's hot, swampy and hot (did I already say "hot"?). But there's always room for the holidays and visions of snow. Windham has a whimsical collection called "Let it Snow" and I am making several blocks using the EPP method. You can see the centers of 4 blocks already formed in the picture above. I have two blocks on their way to completion. Very fun and easy take-along hand sewing.

Throughout the month of July I will be featuring more hexagons and the Joys of Hex (don't go there; I didn't say that other word). And I am trying to feature Christmas and Hannukah fabrics. I have been asked to be the Cheerleader for this Queen of Hexie Blog Hop and I am taking that seriously. This hop will go from August 21 - 28 and you will be treated to an amazing array of creative projects. Please make sure you are connected and informed. I am so excited and I know you will be so inspired!

I'll keep you posted. Until then, May the Snowman Be With You!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Hexies Are Coming! The Hexies Are Coming!

Be a Hexie Queen in the Hexie Blog Hop
You will begin at the Sew We Quilt web site, where all great blog hops start!

Nothing to be worried about! Hexies are fun and can make your quilt life an awesome adventure. Stay tuned for a BIG announcement this week. I have some inside information that this is going to be a very creative HOP. I have been very busy rummaging through my closets and computer files for 20 years worth of 60 degree creations and boy! do I have a LOT of quilts. Maybe that's due to my history of being a math teacher in a former life.

Just some placeholders from previous posts from the past year (with links so you can see how easy hexies are:

 A two year old wearing his mom's goggles and swim cap! (He's NOT a hexie, btw)
What to give my favorite oldest grandson? Place mats!
 No binding, quick to make, finished with pinked edges
Twisted Hexagon Placemats
Click these two links to see how easy these are (no set in seams)
These have binding
 Yes, that is ribbon and stuff peeking out of those seams!
My psycho Hexagon Ring with some bling
 Love that interfacing!
All by machine, ready to machine applique
OK. It's appliqued. Now what?
 No templates, no set-ins, no sweat, no kidding.
Magic Triangles Quilt that no magazine wanted to publish
FREE pattern for this - click here!
Half-Hexagon chevron strippy quilt
 Lined paper inside for toddler doodles
A little Busy Book for that favorite oldest grandson
 No batting; self-faced with fabric; joined with zigzag stitches
Four block table runner using the Bella Collection by Windham
Fussy cut hexagons using Owl Be There by Benartex (fat quarter background fabric!)
Yes, those are 60 degree diamonds
One hexagon; 6 half-hexagons
 Any hexagon can be folded into a 3-D embellishment
Folded Hexagon flowers
Leftover Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks on mini kids' bags
All by machine - no kidding. Still waiting for some sort of assembly
My new interest: Twisted Hexagons
 Is that another Half-Hexagon Quilt?
Those half-hexagons again!
And another Twisted Hexagon. Is that Sockey?
 For my favorite second daughter.
Spiderweb Table Runner made with the Bella Collection
 Capture a scene inside a Twisted Hexagon - no set in seams
Is that a toile scene inside that Twisted Hexagon?
Very easy hexagon table runner. I've actually made two of these!
Hexagon Wreath - no set in seams, honest!
OK. I'm exhausted. And I have SO MANY more quilts. But this is just to show you how different a 60 degree angle can look. Please remember, I DO THIS FOR A LIVING and not just a hobby. So, don't be overwhelmed. I wanted to show you the enormous possibilities. And more are coming.