Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tessellating Stars - Free Pattern

Four Block Tessellating Stars
(For those who receive this via email only, CLICK HERE to find out how to get your FREE PATTERN)

I have made several versions of this awesome and intriguing design. Tessellating means interlocking; the edge of one block forms the edge of the other block. You can see 4 red stars and a gold one in the center.

This quilt had to be created one block at a time using a design wall. I had to make sure that I placed each of the 4 quarters of the block in the right place. Very tricky, but I loved working with so many different fabrics. I gave this away some time ago (can't even remember to whom, if you really must know!)
My first Tessellating Stars quilt - all scrappy
 This Autumn Tessellating Stars quilt was so much fun because I limited myself to just two fabrics for the center: a floral print and black. Sometimes you see a black star and sometimes you see the floral star. Don't you love the way they interlock? This was in my first book, "Bold, Black and Beautiful Quilts", AQS 2004. I own all rights and just feel like making it a free pattern. What do you think about that?

You can see all 16 of my quilts in that book here: Bold, Black and Beautiful Quilts

Autumn Tessellating Stars: 58" x 58". Block Size: 12"
I hope you enjoy this quilt pattern. I think I'm feeling the urge to make another one (well, maybe not today, but soon).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hexagon Stars - More Joys of Hex

(Fabric) Diamonds are this girl's best friend
What have I been up to lately? Well, snow is on the ground and the sun is shining. I rediscovered a box of precut diamonds and had an idea for some new blocks.

My friend Nancy Bills used her AccuCut and sliced up these diamonds for me last year. I played around with making some Baby Blocks, but I got discouraged with sewing y-seams.

Baby Block using three 60 degree diamonds
What does this Baby Block look like on the back? (Well, it's not the exact block, but you get my drift)
Wrong side of a Baby Block. Notice that y-seam
Two Baby Blocks. Now I'm sweating bullets!
Two Baby Blocks
This is where my insides started to turn to jello . . .
Diamonds with WAY too many y-seams
I started over using the diamonds and began cutting triangles for the outside diamonds. Two triangles equal one diamond. So what if I have a seam? It's all about saving my sanity!

Add a triangle to two sides of each diamond as seen above
Notice that I will have ONLY STRAIGHT SEAMS. What's an extra seam if it saves my sanity? Please tell me that it's OK to look out for my sanity.

12" Hexagon Star block
 And can we see the back side (not THAT back side)?
Yes, I press a lot of seams open. It's my block and I can do what I want. There are no quilt police!
And here is another block. I have enough to make a total of 6 blocks. Don't ask me what I intend on making with them. I haven't gotten that memo yet!
Another Hexagon Star block with different fabric for the setting triangles
So, I hope you like what I shared today. I have run out of fabric to make any more than these 6 blocks. I will have to use a similar one to set these together. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Magical Mitering Illustrated for Blocks and Borders

Attic Windows; Mitered Borders
The Savannah Collection, English Garden type panels
The Maker's Experience (Original Sewing and Quilting Expo) is featuring my step by step tutorial today on Magical Mitering. I did this for Benartex Fabrics this past summer and many of you may not have seen it. You can also see links to my classes which I begin teaching in March.

Take a visit and learn how truly easy it is to miter blocks or borders without using those pesky y-seams.

Friday, January 17, 2014

1000 Pyramids of Color and a Giveaway

Welcome to my Kona Solids Hop post. Many thanks to Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt and Carol of Just Let Me Quilt for keeping us in line. These hops are ONLY possible because of the partnership of our fearless leaders. And a big shout-out to my friend Jeannine (which you will see why at the bottom of the post).

I tried to limit myself to just a little bit of fabric to force my brain to get creative. I have way too many large quilts; something small is easy to start - and finish.

(I was just notified that my little quilt made for this hop was picked up by a magazine for their summer issue, so there won't be a tutorial. Sorry!)

Just a little color, that's all I wanted. While I love the sunrise, it's the sunsets that have my favorite hues!

A set of  Kona charm squares in the Sunset Colorway
Sliced off a strip from each 5" square. (I do hate those pinked edges, don't you? I know why they do this - prevents raveling, but hey - is it the peak or the valley for measuring a 1/4" seam?)
Ordered from Quilt Taffy again - she had exactly what I needed
Now, why did I slice a piece off? Hmmm. Check out the finished quilt below . .

I used a 60 degree ruler to cut these triangles and combined them with Kona Snow fabric.
Did I ever tell you I was a high school math teacher? I have no aversion to math; in fact, I love it all. Give me a formula - ask me to divide and multiply. Figure out angles. I'm in heaven. On to my story..
And, how does it all look together? Remember those cutaways? They are my border.

Facets of Color - my way (yes, not 1,000 pyramids, but close?)
 I took the little bits of leftovers from cutting the triangles and made this:
Combined the little cutaways from the Thousand Pyramids triangles

Added some more Snow and Color triangles
Don't you love how even little bits of fabric can become something awesome?!!

I have enough leftovers to make 6 of these blocks. They are 11-1/2" high. I'll keep you posted.

I agonized for 2 weeks about the quilting. I wanted something "modern". I told my friend Jeannine and she offered her Bernina walking foot, which fits my faithful Bernina 1230. What can I say? except THANK YOU, JEANNINE. This was truly amazing. No folds, no pleats, no wrinkles - and it lies flat. Yes, I teach free motion quilting (which I only do on my Pfaff 2144 and I get marvelous results), but this was a fun thing to do on my Bernina.

Facets of Color from the back of the quilt
Thousand Pyramids is a traditional pattern that I've made several times. That is the name of this Kona quilt. What do my other quilts look like?

Bright Triangles with Dragonflies Border
Zig Zag Safari baby quilt with matching pillows

What's my giveaway? A set of 3 half-yard cuts in a sunset color, a sunrise color and a neutral white background:

Just leave me a comment telling me whether you prefer sunrises or sunsets. That's all. If you're a no-reply blogger, make sure I have your email address (not a link to a web page or blog page). Contest is over January 22 (Wednesday) at midnight.

And now let's see what my fellow bloggers are up to today!
January 17

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Solids Vault - Day 8

Amish Triangles
 Based on an antique quilt I saw many years ago. Love it!
Antique Amish Triangles quilt

At the risk of losing my work because Blogger has been filled with gremlins lately, I will stop. Please visit today's bloggers . . .
January 16

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mi Casa y Su Casa

From the Dwellings Collection by Benartex
My House and Your House - visit the Benartex blog - Sew in Love with Fabric today for Technique Tuesday where I'm the guest designer. You will see an awesome collection of florals, stripes, geometrics (like the Box Trot panels you see above).

Here are a few of the prints . . .
Confetti print in 11 colorways
Bloom print - I absolutely love that orange!
Small Box Trot - what a fun geometric
Check out Sew in Love with Fabric to see the 3 projects I made with this fabulous collection. Lots of pictures that I know you'll enjoy!

Solids Vault - Day 6

Housetop Denim Quilt - Gee's Bend adaptation
This 70" x 84" quilt is an adaptation of the quilt made by Rita Mae Pettway from Gee's Bend, Alabama. As I've shared on previous posts, Windham Fabrics and the Gee's Bend quilters entered a partnership to adapt 8 of their quilts for today's quilters for quilt kits and individual patterns. I was asked to do the design work (and I sewed all 8 of the quilts, some more than once).

What does Rita Mae's original quilt look like and how close did I come to standardizing an improvisational quilt?

Housetop Denim quilt by Rita Mae Pettway
We brightened up the colors and kept that red fabric at the top. Cool, huh?

Now go visit the bloggers for today's Kona Hop:

January 14

Monday, January 13, 2014

Solids Vault - Day 5

Lazy Gal Quilt, adapted from a Gee's Bend quilt
I was commissioned by Windham Fabrics to adapt 8 quilts made by the Gee's Bend quilters a few years ago. It was a partnership between the two and I am really surprised that I was able to stay true to the original patterns. The key was to made a reproducible pattern for today's quilter with cutting and sewing instructions AND for the quilt to easily be recognizable as a Gee's Bend design.

Here is the original by Qunnie Pettway:
Original Lazy Gal by Qunnie Pettway
What do you think? Do they look the same? All solids, btw.

Now it's time to visit today's bloggers on the Kona Solids Hop.

January 13

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 4 From My Solids Vault

Amish Shadows
Here is another quilt that I made using the Windham Gee's Bend Solids. I based it on a traditional Amish quilt I saw in a book. Those colors are so drenched and pop out as they sit between the black squares. And seeing those squares set on point is so much more interesting than not, huh?

This quilt appeared in McCall's about 2 years ago and is also in my 2014 wall calendar. This is how it appeared in McCall's:

Classic Amish Shadows Quilt
Now it's time to see what today's Kona Solids Bloggers have been up to!

January 10

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 3 From My Solids Vault and Free Pattern

98 Dancing Squares
All solids in the center with bright yellow rayon thread for machine applique stitching. Yes, I know there is a print in the border! But I started with only solids. I remember visiting G Street Fabrics in Rockville, Maryland and buying 1/2 yard cuts of a dozen or more of these solids. That was an extravagant purchase for me when my daughters were young. I quilted it myself on a Handi Quilter (one of the first ones on the market in the mid 1990s). This quilt was stolen (along with almost 3 dozen others) back in 2005. I have tried to reproduce it, but I didn't use solids. Here is a picture of the newer quilt:
Dancing Squares made with Windham's Bright Basics Collection
This is a FREE PATTERN at the Windham Fabrics web site. Just click on the link and you will go to the page where you can download the pdf file. And don't forget to visit today's bloggers to see what they've done with their Kona Solids!

January 9

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 2 From My Solids Vault and Free Pattern

Fractured Jewels - Free Pattern
Here is the larger quilt I designed for Windham a few months ago based on my smaller version from yesterday. The fabric collection is called Colonies and the pattern's name is Fractured Jewels. The colors are awesome and all solids. I have made many quilts throughout the years using only solids and I have surprised myself as to how many there are in my Solids Vault!

I blogged about this quilt in May of 2013 and showed a few of the steps. While it appears to be improvisational, I had to pattern it so that the end user could cut and sew strips without freaking out!

Fractured Jewels, free pattern (click on the link)
Now go visit the bloggers to see what they've come up with today in the Kona Solids Hop!
January 8

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Kona Solids Hop - Day 1

Fractured Jewels - an improvisational quilt using solids
Today is the first day of the Kona Solids hop. You can see the link on the right sidebar with the words "Sunrise" and "Sunset." That's a hint on what my project will be on January 17, but that's all I'm saying.

I made the above quilt for a class proposal for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo a few years ago. They didn't select it as the main project for my Improvisational Adventure class, but I always took it with me so I could show it to my students.

Tomorrow I'll share the quilt I designed for Windham Fabrics using this same design. They love it and so do I. Until then, take a visit to the Bloggers who are featuring their own Solids projects today:

January 7

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I'm Bullish on Solids

Toro de Osborne - Olé
The Osborne bull (in Spanish: Toro de Osborne) is a ... bull in semi-profile, and is regarded as the unofficial national symbol of Spain.

Yes, I love solids and I love my son in law Dani from Spain. I drew his name for the Secret Santa gift exchange in our family this year and besides buying him another Amazon gift card, I really couldn't think of anything unique or interesting. Then I saw a Facebook photo of him cooking his famous (and yummy) paella for friends and he was wearing his red apron with the black Spanish bull on the front and - EUREKA! I realized he needed matching hot pads and even a table mat for his steaming paella pan (table mat is in above pic).

Can you say "unique?" Interesting? I downloaded a jpg image of Osborne, resized it, printed it and created a template. I even had the traditional red and yellow solids.

Two hot pads
 I couldn't wait to give these to him Christmas morning. I kept smiling to myself because I knew he would be smiling - BIG - when he opened them. And he did! Have you ever had so much fun giving a gift that you could hardly wait for the recipient to open it? That was me on Christmas!

I did sacrifice one thing in the process - a sewing machine needle when I inadvertently sewed through my finger when I was free motion quilting. Not a pretty site, but hey - the fabric is red and you can't see the stain!
Don't forget that the Kona Solids Blog Hop begins on Tuesday, January 7. I am bringing out all sorts of quilts made with solids from my Solids Vault. Please stop back by to see each day's bloggers. This is all hosted by our dear Madame Samm at the Sew We Quilt blog and Carol is our cheerleader at the Just Let Me Quilt blog.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Sweet, Sweet Roses and Free Pattern

Sweet, Sweet Roses Quilt - 55" x 55"
When my dear husband wants to give someone a gift, he first looks to me and asks: "Do you have a quilt I can give him/her?" Once I remind him that the quilt is not his to give, I usually relent and find what I assume is the perfect fit. I did decline him once when he asked for a quilt for a golfing buddy who was getting married - for the 5th time! I told him I DO NOT HONOR 5 marriages for one person.

He has a wonderful, patient assistant named Laurie who actually puts up with him (he's really a good guy, just sometimes asks for things the last minute). When he said he was probably going to buy her (another) Starbuck's gift card for Christmas, I offered the above quilt. The only image I have is the digital image, but the real quilt is awesome. (I wish I had taken a picture of it. Maybe Laurie can do that for me.)

 I made it for Blank Quilting a few years ago and it was sitting quietly on the closet shelf, probably crying to herself, wanting badly to go to a loving home. I also patterned it for Blank and you can get the pattern by clicking on the link below.

I taught this quilt as a workshop several times and I still have a little bit of the fabric left in both the blue and pink colorways. I will use it to make something girlie for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter (mid January). Finally a girl! But, I sure do love those little boys (3 and 1) who belong to my middle daughter.

The two blocks used are the Kansas Beauty Block and the Four Knaves Block.

Anyway, download the Sweet, Sweet Roses Pattern and enjoy!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Banner - 15-1/2" x 15-1/2"
I just opened my own copy of the 2014 desktop calendar. I have been creating these calendars since 2006 and am now getting ready to start on the 2016 (yes, that is correct) calendar. I have to work 6 months to a year ahead and my brain struggles at times. But I thought I'd share this happy balloon banner. The block is 10" x 10". It is the January 2-3 project.

I would assume that they are reduced for quick sale in local quilt shops and big box stores. There are so many ideas in here, with between 30 and 40 quilts. And no - I do not sew them all! But I have based many of the projects on real quilts.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year full of promise, prosperity, peace and loving family and friends. And make sure you put some serious quilting in there, too!