Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fabric Challenge from Windham Fabrics

Broken Stripes Collection by Windham Fabrics
THEY SAID: Laura and I were just talking about you yesterday!  Do you remember all the mini quilts we had hanging in the booth at Spring Market?  We are hoping to do the same this for this fall
and wondered if you would be interested in sewing a mini quilt for us with one of the new collections? Rules are 18 x 18 inches, and be as IMAGINATIVE as you want!  :)

I SAID: Sure. Just send some companion fabrics.

Solids from the New Colonies Collection
See those samples in the first picture? About 1/8 yard each (maybe)! That meant that I had to make sure my cuts were intentional. No mistakes allowed. But I love a challenge!

What did I come up with? Tightknit Circles

Tight Knit Circles by Debby Kratovil

WOW!! I am amazed!  I thought for sure you couldn't do anything that would look good with all those fabrics together, and boy have you proved me wrong! 

Thanks Debby!  This is excellent!  :)

I had to laugh! It's like that cereal commercial where 3 little kids are sitting at the breakfast table with a bowl of new stuff and two of them argue back and forth as to which one should take the first taste.

"You eat it."

"No, you eat it."

"Let Mickey eat it!" and they push the bowl over to Mickey who takes the plunge.

I chose NOT TO USE those New Colonies solids and opted for a creamy white instead. Simple is the way to go.

I've been sewing for Windham Fabrics for about 8 years. Sometimes I create flops, but as long as they don't tell me WHAT to sew but just to put the fabrics together, I'm really able to let the fabrics dictate what they want to become.

The little quilt is in their New Jersey office ready to be shipped off to Fall Market to display in their booth. I'm offering no pattern here (yes, this is patterned - no loosey - goosey, free-wheeling cutting here) because I'm hoping a magazine will pick it up for publication. That's how I make my living, so I'm just showing it as eye candy.

But here is a free pattern made with the New Colonies Solids (I posted this before, but it's worth repeating).
Fractured Jewels Free Pattern
I had such a happy time making and quilting this. Hope you enjoyed seeing it! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Classes upcoming in Kansas and Texas

Twisted Hexagons
Yes, I'll be teaching two more classes of this popular technique. It only looks hard. There are no y-seams and the blocks are large. The table runner uses 12" blocks.


Twisted Hexagons Table Runner
The Table Topper uses 10" blocks (6 of them) and a large, interfaced center hexagon appliqued on last.
Twisted Hexagons Table Topper

 This fun wreath is a stencil . . .

Draw with a stencil; complete with free motion outside
 What a FAT CAT! Of course! That's his name. My own pattern that we trace the simple outline shape onto freezer paper, iron onto fabric, stitch around freezer paper, peel off freezer paper and then fill inside this very fat cat!

Fat Cat is a pattern I've had for a very long time


Buzz Saw using a multi-sized 12-1/2" Dresden Plate ruler (included in kit)
This is Dresden Plate blades on steroids! Easy and quick and dynamic.


Hosannah Quilt from my book, Paper Piecing Perfect Points
 Cupid's Arrows is a paper piecing project using just 3 of the Hosannah/Palm Blocks:

Cupid's Arrows
You can read more about the techniques taught, the supply lists, the class prep, etc at the Sewing Expo site - click the links for the projects above. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Joys of Hex with BenarTEX

The wheels on the bus go . . .

Round and round . . .
All the kiddies are back in school, including my dear youngest daughter Valery (last year of college). Would you like to see what fun things I did with the Head of the Class Collection by Benartex Fabrics?

Head of the Class Collection by Benartex Fabrics
I cut hexagons, but how did I do it? Visit the Sew in Love with Fabric blog (Benartex) to see a detailed tutorial on cutting hexagons with a simple ruler.

 Technique Tuesday with Benartex
5 hexagons from each of the strips I cut
And let me know if this was NEW to you. And how much you love your 60˚ ruler now!

Friday, September 19, 2014

New Classes at the Fredericksburg Sewing Expo

Four Classes: Fredericksburg (Virginia) Sewing Expo, October 2 - 4, 2014

Buzz Saw
BUZZ SAW is a variation of a Dresden Plate, but on steroids! It only looks complicated. You cut the 20 wedges from a multi-sized 12-1/2" dresden ruler (included in your kit), slice a bit of the top off and replace with a white triangle. Very easy applique to the background square. Fun and easy (did I already say that?) Click the link to see class info at the Sewing Expo site.

Besides classes, there are several awesome quilt exhibits. My favorite? Quilt as Desired, curated by Mary Kerr. You just can't imagine what happened to these humble antique quilt tops which Mary bought for no more than $50 each and then handed them off to longarm quilters to - you guessed it - QUILT AS DESIRED! Mary sells a CD of these quilts at her web site. But you've got to see them in person!

CUPID'S ARROWS is a three block quilt made with paper piecing (don't roll your eyes). The block is made in ONE piece (like an off-center log cabin). How else can you get those pointy, sharp points than accurate paper piecing, huh? Click the link to see class info at the Sewing Expo site

Cupid's Arrows

Cupid's Arrows #2
Mariner's Compass drafted on a 20" coffee filter!! Yes, you read that right! Add a paper pieced halo of Flying Geese and then the super-sized background for an awesome 32" block.

32" block - 20" compass
 And a Mariner's Compass in modern colors . . .

Using solids and grey, with a fabulous floral background

 Free Motion Quilting (class is sold out, unfortunately).

Free Motion Quilting
 Learn all sorts of fun techniques!

Can you say PEBBLES?
Join me for 3 days of quilting fun and education. Did I say fun?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Like Mother, Like Daughter!

"Mom. I just want to sew all day . . ."
Well, what can I say? That's how I feel. Can't always do it most days, but I WANT TO (sew: that is)! Never thought my oldest daughter (I have three of them) would ever get bit by this bug, but when you buy her a sewing machine (10 years ago) and then she has a baby girl - well, that's the combo-platter, as they say.

She raids my fabric stash. Then cruises all over Kingdom Come on the internet and finds an idea. Calls mom on FACETIME - can you believe it? Asks me to pan the camera over my stash so she can select fabrics (I'm not making this up!) Made quite a pile to mail to her (she only lives 50 miles away) because she needed them RIGHT NOW.

Asks a bazillion questions and you assure her that your directions are right (Hello? I've been sewing like this for 50+ years!!)

She cuts and stitches and ignores your SIMPLE directions for turning a skinny tube of fabric for those suspenders (she prefers to reference the blog she visited rather than your SIMPLE directions). But - hey! Look at the result . .

I think she raided my button box
And can you believe this mini sewing machine? She loves OLD things (whew! I have a chance to survive because I'm really OLD)

Simple skirt with suspenders. Gotta love it!
This fabric collection is one I have had for about 6 years. I love it! It's the Helena Collection from Windham Fabrics and I refused to part with it. She fell in love with it and took several pieces with her. Then asked me to mail most of the rest of it, which I did today.

To tell you the truth: I never would have imagined a little skirt for an 8 month baby using this fabric. My motto: All Quilts. Only Quilts. All the Time!

To a hammer everything is a nail. To a quilter every fabric is a quilt. I have been sewing since I was in junior highschool (can you say 4-H dirndal skirts and aprons?) Then for a few decades I saw fabric as potential clothes, so she's right on target. She'll be quilting soon . . .

Can we see a picture of you, Debby, when you were in junior high? Yes, the date is on the picture. Scary, huh?

OK. Enough. I think I'll go find a picture of her when she was in junior high!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Star Spangled Winners

America's Star-Spangled Story
Thanks to all of you who came and visited in my week long Star Spangled Banner Extravaganza. I just want to let you know that I DO have 7 winners (actually, 9) and they've all been contacted and they are very excited to get the fabrics and other goodies. Well, who are they? (No last names, of course). I am bundling everything for the post office this week.

If you missed any of the days, click the links below. There was a lot of American history and pictures and neat quilts to fill the pages. And the comments were fabulous!

Day 1 fabrics courtesy of Windham Fabrics:
Day 1: Kathy H. of Pennsylvania
 Day 2 fabrics courtesy of Windham Fabrics:

Day 2: Mary D. of Missouri
Day 3 fabrics courtesy of Benartex:
Day 3:Mary S. of California
Day 4 fabrics courtesy of Benartex:

Day 4: Jenelle B. of Kansas
Day 4 book courtesy of Jane Hampton Cook:

Day 4: Karen M. of Minnesota
Day 5 fabrics courtesy of Benartex; calendar courtesy of ME!
Day 5: Mary L. of Maryland
Day 5: Sally M. of Arizona
Day 6 fabrics courtesy of Benartex:
Day 6: Lisa E. of Kentucky
Day 7 fabrics courtesy of Benartex:

Day 7: Patty D. of North Carolina
Thanks to all of you for sharing your own stories about the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, your own quilt history and those who inspired you and yes - whether you knit or crochet! Many thanks to Benartex and Windham fabrics for sending me such wonderful collections so I could share them with you. I've got some great things coming up with their fabrics, so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Star Spangled Banner Day 7


Tomorrow is the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner and I hope you'll be able to catch some of the celebrations via the internet or television.

Constitution Oak by Debby Kratovil - 64" x 64"
Constitution Oak is another quilt I designed for Windham Fabrics. It uses reproduction coverlet fabrics which are some of my absolute favorite fabrics because of the motifs. You can easily make this in any colorway. This is our FREE PATTERN during my Star Spangled Banner Extravaganza this week.

Let me show you a few other quilts with the red, white and blue theme:

Farmhouse Stars (from Supersize 'em Quilts)

Another Free Pattern from Windham Fabrics:

Liberty Dance
Liberty Dance by Maria Tavy Umhey - 50" x 50"
Last day for FREE fabrics (I'm going 7 for 7!)

Fabrics courtesy of Benartex Fabrics

1. The contest is over at midnight tonight, September 13, 2014 (EST). No more contests. I'm out of fabric and out of town!

2. Fabrics  can only be mailed in the United States.

3. If I randomly select someone from outside the United States, you can have ANY of my patterns from my Craftsy site. I will email them to you (obviously, the ones that are for sale).

4. If I don't have your email, I can't notify you! Anonymous bloggers can't win!

Do you like working with reproduction fabrics, and if so, from what historic era?

THANK YOU for joining me for the entire week. I hope that you've enjoyed seeing the quilts, hearing from Jane Hampton Cook, getting a glimpse of what Mimi Dietrich and the Maryland Historical Society did in making a replica flag, and all the other bits and pieces of history.

I enjoyed giving away the fabric. If you're not  a follower, I hope you'll consider becoming one (via Bloglovin' or email) so you can get more free patterns, see more of my quilts (and those of other quilters) and join in on the occasional giveaways I have.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Star Spangled Banner Day 6

Stitching  History with the Maryland Historical Society
Welcome to Day 6 of the Star Spangled Banner Extravaganza. I came across a story on the Martingale blog that ANY quilter would enjoy. The famous Mimi Dietrich took part in the "Stitching History" project last year as part of the Maryland Historical Society. It is a FABULOUS read with a lot of pictures.

Visit the STITCH THIS site to read about it. Well, can we see some pictures here first? Of course!

Working on the Star Spangled replica

Such a beautiful sight, huh? I love the red, white and blue!

The Star Spangled replica
And, of course, they got to test it out at Ft. McHenry . . .

Long may She wave
How about a FREE pattern?

Stars of Valor
Stars of Valor by Betty New - 56" x 67"

And, we can't forget about the fabrics, right? These are from Benartex Fabrics and they have a British theme. See? We have kissed and made up with you Brits! After all, you gave us the Beatles.

London Bridge fabrics from Benartex

1. The contest is over at midnight tonight, September 12, 2014 (EST). I have ONE MORE contest tomorrow, so come back and bring your friends.

2. Fabrics can only be mailed in the United States.

3. If I randomly select someone from outside the United States, you can have ANY of my patterns from my Craftsy site. I will email them to you (obviously, the ones that are for sale).

4. If I don't have your email, I can't notify you! Anonymous bloggers can't win!

Have you ever participated in any historic re-enactment (other than grade school)? Or do you enjoy seeing special events that feature historic re-enactment.

And come back tomorrow for more quilt inspiration, free pattern and of course, free fabric!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Star Spangled Banner Day 5

I even crochet in patriotic colors!
Today is a somber day in America. It is the 13th anniversary of the fall of our Twin Towers in New York City. As we watched it unfold on our televisions all across the nation, we were so emotional. And then as the days went by, flags began to appear EVERYWHERE I looked: in the front of many houses on my street in Atlanta, in the front of stores, gas stations. Everywhere!

Here's my flag quilt again:

American flag quilt by Debby Kratovil
And here is a block I designed for my Block a Day Calendar with Martingale:

Star Spangled Banner block from from the Quilter's Block-A-Day Calendar (Martingale, 2007)
You can have the pattern for this 18" block FREE: Star Spangled Banner block

Would you like to see all the blocks? How about WINNING a copy of the companion CD? It has all 366 blocks in two sizes PLUS 12 quilts made from the blocks.

And then there's the FABRIC giveaway, right? How about 5 half-yard cuts of these from Benartex?

Five half-yard cuts of fabric is our prize today


1. The contest is over at midnight tonight, September 11, 2014 (EST). (I have another contest tomorrow, so come back and bring your friends).

2. Fabrics and Calendar CD can only be mailed in the United States.

3. If I randomly select someone from outside the United States, you can have ANY of my patterns from my Craftsy site. I will email them to you (obviously, the ones that are for sale).

4. If I don't have your email, I can't notify you! Anonymous bloggers can't win!

OK. This is different: do you knit or crochet? What colors and types of yarn do you like to work with.

And come back tomorrow for more quilt inspiration, free patterns and of course, free fabric!