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Showing posts from May, 2015

Butterfly Blues

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Looking ahead in my Block a Day Calendar to see what's coming up for June, I discovered my tried-and-true Butterfly Block in a simple quilt. You mean you didn't remember what you designed for 2015, Debby? That's right! I create these calendars 1-1/2 years ahead (I'm 2/3 of the way finished for the 2017 calendar). And 2015 is the 10th year I've produced these things! So, you will have to forgive me. Butterfly Blues Block - 12" I originally designed some projects for Blank Fabrics using their Inspiration Collection and my butterflies. This is actually a traditional block from about a hundred years ago! Here is the four block digital rendition that appears on Monday: Butterfly Blues Quilt - 33" x 33" Now, you may be thinking: why didn't she wait until Monday to share this? Think about it. Think about it. What happens on the first of every month? GALAXY OF STARS Block of the Month! Come back Monday for the June block. It's awesome.

New Quilt My Way

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Sometimes I think it's wise to listen to the voices in my head. They advise me about my quilts and usually are not wrong. Well meaning friends gave me their input on this new quilt that I've been working on for a few years. I would start; stop; pick it back up, and so on. I first made this one block quilt . . . One block Ezekiel's Crown quilt I was just test driving making those pointy curved arcs. They remind me of a Pickledish unit. I liked them. Ran out of fabric so I began again with a new group. But I found I was running out of the green fabric and had to substitute some similar print (but same hue). Can you find the substitute? Four Block Ezekiel's Crown Quilt Now back to what those friends advised: Make more blocks because you need unity that runs along the diagonal. It should be a 5 x 5 block quilt because the opposing corners should have the same ending colors. Say what? I don't make quilts to show a design or to be artsy. I look for contrast,

Revisting Butterflies

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First, let me say CONGRATULATIONS to Annie R. of Michigan, who won the fat quarter bundle of Burlap Brights from the Blog Hop last week. I hope you've been able to visit each of the bloggers and enter to win for each post. Today I was reminded of my tried-and-true Butterfly Block using dresden plate blades. This dates back to the early 2000s when I accidentally made these butterfly wings from a dresden plate block I oversized and then took apart incorrectly (don't ask!) Here is the first quilt I made using authentic feedsacks: Feedsack Butterflies Quilt And then I remade the pattern for my book, Bold Black & Beautiful Quilts: Butterflies at Night from Bold, Black & Beautiful Quilts And now I'm working on a pattern for Windham Fabrics and Keepsake Quilting. Here is my prototype butterfly, using an older collection of their Storybook Collection: Vintage looking butterfly All ready for me to stitch down. No handwork! Not sure what angle this dres

Sunbonnet Sue for Baby

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I received a lovely email from Vicki, who purchased a copy of my Sunbonnet Sue pattern from my Craftsy site. Sunbonnet Sue bed quilt She showed me a six block quilt she made for a friend's baby using the Sunbonnet Sue applique. She did this in less than 2 month's time. When I saw it I immediately had itchy fingers, wanting to make a few blocks myself. What? Wasn't it enough to make that big bed quilt? Here is Vicki's quilt (with her permission, of course!) Isn't it fabulous? So scrappy with so much color and texture that any child will spend hours just exploring the different fabrics. The blocks in this pattern are 14" square. Vicki's Six Block Sunbonnet Sue Quilt I did make a single block quilt several years ago. I used scraps and gave Sue a darker skin color. That's all the skin you can see because she hides her face under that big bonnet! I call it " Amish Sunbonnet Sue ", but there's nothing Amish about her clothes. Have

Burlap Brights and Blog Hop GIVEAWAY! - Day 4

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I love bright colors and Benartex's blog ( Sew in Love With Fabric ) sent me 6 colors from this fabulous collection. And they said, "Go sew! And share what you made in a tutorial." What fun! OK, Debby. What did you make? FOUR of these together . . . Burlap Fabrics in a Palm/Hosannah block And what's the GIVEAWAY? Fat quarter bundle of these fabrics are the prize A chance to win a fat quarter bundle of these six colors. EVERYONE WILL GET THIS PALM PATTERN FREE, of course. It's available at the Sew in Love with Fabric blog . OK? What do I need to do? For a chance to win a Fat Quarter bundle of the six Burlap Brights I used in my block, head over to Sew in Love With Fabric site and sign up to follow their blog by email or blog reader. Then leave me a comment letting me know that you did so. (If you already follow them, it counts) For a second chance to win, follow Benartex on Facebook   and leave a comment letting me know. The giveaway will

Burlap Brights Blog Hop Begins Today

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I love bright colors! They just speak to that happy part of me. Sew in Love With Fabric (Benartex Fabrics blog) is having a blog hop that begins today (Monday, May 11). My day is Thursday, May 14. What do the brights look like? Burlap Brights Blenders by Benartex Here is the schedule. Make sure you come back on Thursday to see what I've done. And there will be a tutorial with a lot of pictures on how to make my block. That's all I'm saying! Go and be inspired by these other bloggers. They post at 9:30 am (EST) on the Sew in Love with Fabric blog . Burlap Brights Block Hop Schedule: May 11: Chris from Made by ChrissieD May 12: Mary from Mary on Lake Pulaski May 13: Alison from Little Bunny Quilts May 14: Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts May 15: Kristen from KD Quilts May 16: Benartex design team May 17: Stephanie from Stitched Together Studios May 18: Julie from The Crafty Quilter May 19: Cynthia from Quilting Is More Fun than Housework May 20: Jessica

Nature's Message from My Azaleas

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I think I got a message from God this morning about my color choices. I looked out my kitchen window at my jungle of a yard (if we owned this house we would nuke the backyard and start over). My azaleas are blooming and they are all in pinks and whites. Against the lush green backdrop I feel like I got an IM (instant message): "I love these colors. Go use them." Unruly and beautiful azaleas in my backyard I replied: I do use them and want to use them even more! Thanks for the confirmation. I made a super sized Dresden Plate quilt a few months ago using a very old border print. A border print with a Dresden Plate ruler? Why, sure! 12-1/2" height Vortex Ruler This Free Spirit border print is at least 10 years old, but still so pretty: Very girlie, very pink border print  And here is my pink and green quilt made using that border print: 30" center (I think); I used the 10" line on the ruler When you use a Dresden ruler (any angle) with a

Sometimes I Revisit Old Blocks

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I have been sewing the Hosannah Palm Blocks for years. I even have one that has a seam down one center diagonal. Traditionally this block has been sewn using templates. What do those templates look like (from a vintage quilt pattern book)? Here's the pattern book cover: Bible Favorites Pattern Booklet And now for the templates. Yikes! How do you like these templates? About 15 years ago I took this pattern and drafted it for a single foundation pieced unit. I have made quite a few blocks and quilts. You can see some of them on my Palm Quilts Showing Off page. I put this up for the Vermont Quilt Guild that I am visiting TODAY and teaching the Hosannah Quilt to in a workshop. But to get myself up to speed, I pulled out some of my 10" foundations and some new shot cottons by Pepper Cory, I pieced 3 blocks in a new rendition using 3 colors for each palm frond. Want to see? Of course you do! I made these on Sunday afternoon. Gray, deep purple and very lime green

Homemade Machine Quilting Grippers

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I am a HandiQuilter Ambassador and now use an HQ Sweet 16 sit down model  to machine quilt my quilts. I have SO MANY quilt tops as the result of making samples for my classes. Let me show you my ingenious take on expensive MQ grippers. When a quilt is larger than a small table topper, it becomes quite a chore to push it around under any machine's needle. I have used gloves. I have used the tips of rubber gloves (these are my favorite). I regularly spit on my bare finger tips. But I needed something with a little weight, the right size and some serious gripping power. Here is my solution: I asked my husband for some scrap wood about the size of my hands. He cut off the ends of an old wooden fence post he had in the garage. They're a different shape, but who cares? That's what we came up with. Small pieces of scrap lumber Notice that blue stuff. I bought it as the Dollar Store for - wait for it - a dollar! It is the rubber gripper stuff you put under your carpets

Galaxy of Stars HELP PAGE

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I have received several comments about blocks that are not coming out true to size. Sometimes it's in the 1/4" seam allowance. That I can't fix! One comment came in that I can address and it has to do with making sure your printed pattern is coming out TRUE TO SIZE. I design and sew for publication and have for 23 years. I use Adobe Illustrator and not Electric Quilt or other non-vector based applications. While I readily admit having made errors in the past, my editors have caught most of them before publication. These Galaxy of Stars patterns have been published before and I want to assure my visitors that they can get perfect results by following just a few suggestions. One is your printer. When you go to print my pdf files, you should get a printer window like this: If you don't, then look for "printer preferences" somewhere on your computer. Many printers "naturally" or by default shrink the end result by as much as 3-5%. That is a NO

Galaxy of Stars: May Block is Here

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Yes, can you believe it? Already May! How are you doing with your Galaxy of Stars blocks so far? Do not panic! I was once in a Block of the Month where I waited until December to sew all 12 blocks - and they were applique! I just wanted to wait until I saw all of them before I committed to my fabrics. It was a lovely quilt and it won a ribbon at the county fair the following year. So, take it from me. There is no hurry. No one's keeping track! Now for the May block: Irregular Star Irregular Star This is very similar to last month's block, Grandma's Star. I have included both templates and foundations for paper piecing for those challenging points. Here are two blocks that I made that are just orphans: Irregular Star with plain center square  And how about just two colors for the star? And notice that the points are reversed. You can have the long point on the right or on the left; your choice! Irregular Star with a uniform color in the points Now, it'