Friday, June 30, 2017

FREE Pattern Friday with P & B

One of my four patterns designed for P & B (and Red Rooster) is up at their site. My Floating Circles quilt designed using the Printemps Collection works well with just about anything in your stash.

Floating Circles Quilt: 52" x 52"
These are 12" blocks with raw edge applique circles (templates included in the pattern). Let me show you how easy it is to create these blocks with one page from the pattern.

You can also see three other quilts that will be available later in the summer and fall:

Pecking Order made with the Bird Watchers Collection (coming in August). I absolutely love this quilt and made a similar version using a Windham Fabrics Collection. P & B didn't want the letters, so I added flowers.

Pecking Order, coming in August
Here is my first quilt, made several years ago using the Collage Collection for Windham. It was NEVER published. I had hoped that Modern Patchwork or McCall's Quilting would pick it up. Sigh. They sure missed out. P & B jumped on this and their Bird Watcher's Collection is perfect for this!

Pecking Order: 34" x 38"
This is one of my very favorite quilts and hangs in my foyer. That bird print at the bottom was perfect for use with the bird house and my very large "bossy" bird at the top. Hence, the title of my quilt!

I let the fabrics tell me what they wanted to be. That's how I design. The center bird house is all rotary cut and stitched. I only had enough fabric for the side borders. And if I had added a top border, it wouldn't have that "organic" feel, now would it?

Where the Wild Things Are made with the Wild Things Collection (coming in September). Yes, this is a REAL quilt which P & B asked me to make for Spring Quilt Market. Aren't those animal motifs awesome?!!

Where the Wild Things Are (pattern coming in September)
And my Game Board quilt made using the Sweet Land of Liberty Collection (coming in October):

Sweet Land of Liberty Game Board Quilt
I will alert you to when these FREE patterns are available online. But, for now, go check out the Floating Circles quilt.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 26

Can you believe that 2017 is half way over this week? Where did all those days go? Here are 7 more blocks to entertain you with their beauty and clever photography, all done by Patricia Bryant of Australia. (She still doesn't have any plans on what to do with all of them!)

June 25: Steps to the Altar
June 25: Steps to the Altar, 6"
June 26: Tic-Tac-Toe
June 26: Tic-Tac-Toe, 12"
 June 27: Tulip Lady Finger
June 27: Tulip Lady Finger, 12"
 June 28: Water Mill
June 28: Water Mill, 10"
 June 29: Woven Star
June 29: Woven Star, 12"
 June 30: Wreath of Hearts

June 30: Wreath of Hearts, 12"
July 1: Old Glory Star. You can find this and 2 other BIG blocks (18") in my Hey, Hey USA pattern on Craftsy. 
July 1: Old Glory Star 12"
Pattern for my Old Glory Star block and two others available on Craftsy. Check it out. Here is a picture of it:

18" Old Glory Star
Hope to see you back here next week! BTW - I do read every single comment left here. Unfortunately, 90% of the comments don't have a working email (they come through as "no-reply comment.") I will have more free patterns to share in the coming weeks!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Technology and Quilt Magazines: How Far We've Come

WARNING: This is word heavy! But, there are a lot of pics, too.

As many of you know, I was an editor with Quilt Magazine for 14 years and enjoyed seeing hundreds of my quilts and close to 1,000 articles on "how to make . . ." published in those years. My editor, Jean Ann Wright, was the editor for 20 years and we both "got the boot" in 2007 with the publisher's quest to try (in vain) to become relevant in a fast paced technology/internet fickle world.

Harris Publications published Quilt Magazine and several other quilting titles for 25 years. They also had a few dozen hobby magazines. At one point, we were churning out 17 quilt magazines A YEAR! That's one every 3 weeks! I was like a hamster on a wheel, but the more I published the more I got a check. And the beauty of working with Stanley Harris was that he was NOT stingy. I even got a $250 bonus for every single magazine cover I had (and I had 24 covers in those 14 years). Yes, I learned to sew for the camera. They paid well, on time, and it put my oldest 2 daughters through college.

Here are a few of the magazine covers I graced:

My Carpenter's Wheel on the cover of Big Block Quilts
My Tasty Leftovers on the cover of Small Quilts
My Hearts on Fire and Asian Kamon on the cover of Quilt Almanac
My Girl Friends Quilt using RJR fabrics in Quilt Magazine
Now, why am I writing this blog post? I got a very interesting email from Jean Ann the other day when I discovered that there was NO MORE online. Zero. Zip. Nada. The magazine/publisher closed the doors last August and 75 full time support staff got the boot. But the web site was still online until recently.

That web site was secret for the first two years in 1995-1997. Jean Ann and I decided that it was IMPORTANT to have a quilting presence online and we put up the first quilt magazine site! She billed Stanley Harris for 2 years under a different line item before he decided he wanted a web site! We knew it was important and I was the web master for those 2 years. We enjoyed a decade of awesome activity after that.

Then, as you are aware, magazines (and a lot of print media) would come to a crashing halt because advertisers would take their business to the internet and not the expensive printed page.

Back to my story. is gone. And here is what Jean Ann said to me that I found fascinating. Technology is both our friend and a potential enemy. Depends on what side of the aisle you are on.

"The internet is definitely devastating the magazine industry in America. The truth is, more jobs are lost to technology than to moving them overseas. Just think that when I first became editor I printed out all of the text, sent it to NY via FEDEX and they sent it out to typesetting shops that were located all over lower New York City. Hundreds of people did the old fashioned typesetting for magazines, books and newspaper. Also the messengers that took copy and text back and forth between typesetting shops and publishing companies were out of work. 

When text came back, art directors laid it out and pasted it up on big boards, those big boards were sent to printers via FEDEX.

Now everything is laid out on a computer, text, art the works. And don't forget the color photographs. To have color they used to do a process of separation with 4 glass plates required for each color photograph. These were sent to printers. Now this is done on a computer. FEDEX also loses out because everything is sent via email. I used to send a FEDEX to NY almost every day. That ended with the internet.

So while people are complaining jobs are going overseas, the truth is, most jobs are being lost to technology. But we complain about jobs going overseas because we don't dare point out it is both the internet and jobs going overseas. 

It is the technology revolution taking over in our time just like the manufacturing ended so much cottage industry 200 years ago. We won't be around to see what replaces the technology revolution."

So, what do you think? In some ways, I am very glad I was let go from the magazine staff in 2007 instead of 2017. I had to "reinvent" myself. I'm very good at technology. I mean, I used to build web sites using RAW html code!

Here are a few of my favorite quilts published in Quilt over the years. Jean Ann was very good to me. She published just about everything I made once I learned to sew for the camera (good contrast). Stanley Harris paid me well and all this began by me answering an AOL bulletin board ad back in 1993 asking for someone to sew quilt tops for publication. Big WOW!

I developed a technique I labeled Cookie Cutter Applique in early 2003. Here are a few of those designs:
Cookie Cutter Trees in a holiday issue of Quilt Magazine

Bread Quilt using my Cookie Cutter appliques

Cookie Cutter Butterflies
Cloissone Diamonds, also included in my book: Supersize 'Em Quilts
Hexagon Bullseye
I have hundreds of photos and of course, lessons and patterns from those days. The beauty of working with Harris Publications was that they were never interested in buying all my rights. They just paid me for "first North American publishing rights" and after that, the copyright belongs to me. That was an incredible gift they gave me as I went to other publishers who tried to sign me for "all rights" for a pittance. And NO ONE ever offered me a bonus for having my quilt on the cover. Fons and Porter offered me 2 copies of the magazine, though (ha ha). McCall's did the same thing. I was the FIRST book author with both American Quilter's Society (2004)and Martingale (2007) who even asked for digital rights once the book went out of print. No one had ever asked for that. I had to write that into the contracts. It was a mystery to them. I own ALL RIGHTS TO EVERY SINGLE THING I HAVE EVER PUBLISHED. Whew!

Back to technology and quilting. Those of us over 50 still have a love for a printed magazine. But, those days are fast coming to a close. We can pull up Pinterest and Instagram and Facebook, etc and look at beautiful quilts. And get free patterns. And never leave our home. Why bother with a magazine (even though they're very cheap).

OK. If I haven't lost you here, I hope you found what Jean Ann wrote fascinating. The world changes whether we want it to or not. I'm old and not interested in reinventing myself anymore. I like what I do and now am trying to figure out a way to protect everything I've ever created from being stolen and used after I'm go to that great quilt shop in the sky.

I think I'll show more of the quilts I've had published over the past 25 years. I think it would be fun to see the variety and maybe help me catalog things!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 25 and FREE Pattern

Are you still with me? These blocks seem to get better with each passing week. Thank you, Patricia Bryant, for not only sewing them but beautifully staging them with such creative props. (Bunnies, ants, beaches, you name it!)

June 18: Lover's Knot

June 18: Lover's Knot, 9"
 June 19: Santa Fe Trail

June 19: Santa Fe Trail, 9"
 June 20: Pansy Block
June 20: Pansy Block, 6"

June 21: Picket Fence
June 21: Picket Fence, 8"
I think the Picket Fence block can have so many possibilities in a wide variety of quilts. So, this is my FREE PATTERN this week for both the 8" and the 12" blocks. Here are 4 blocks together:

Picket Fence (4 blocks)
June 22: Reflections of Love

June 22: Reflections of Love, 12"

June 23: Ruins of Jericho
June 23: Ruins of Jericho. 12"

June 24: Star Flower
June 24: Star Flower, 8"

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Metropolitan Home Star Updated

Metropolitan Home Star? Is that related to the Metropolitan Home magazine? BINGO!

Hey, I had a hard enough time naming my three children, so naming my quilts was even harder. I found this picture of a vintage, one of a kind quilt, in a 1982 Metropolitan Home magazine (is this magazine still in print?). Here is the pic I ripped out and saved and carried with me through many household moves:

C. 1920. That's all that's known about this awesome design
I drafted it about 20 years ago and my daughter (15 at the time) saved it on my computer and called it "Spikey Thing" (she needed to get into my Adobe Illustrator program and wanted to close all the windows I had open at the time). That's what this is called in my 2nd book, Supersize 'Em Quilts:

Supersize 'Em Quilts book (2009)
And the full quilt:
Metropolitan Home Star quilt: 72" x 72"
These are not my favorite colors. But I was teaching a Kaffe Fassett Club at Intown Quilters in Atlanta at the time, and we chose some of those large scale prints. Here are a few other colorful versions of this quilt:

Batik Home Star with staggered stars
And a set of quilts from a cruise (that I cancelled due to sponsor "misbehavior", but she had already advertised this project and they had to get another teacher to step in . . .)

Metropolitan Home Star twin quilts
I wanted to update the block with some lush florals. Let's see a few of those "spikey" points in process (we are talking PAPER PIECING here).

Pre-cut fabrics for each patch and a printed foundation for those spikey points.

Print 4 foundations for each block. I like thin newsprint
 Step One: Trim light gray and then add purple strips for patches 2 and 3:

Patch #1 trimmed and then Patches 2 and 3 added
 Trim and get ready for Patches #4 and 5:
Trim Patches 2 and 3, leaving 1/4" seam for next patches
 Patches #4 and added:
Patches #4 and; 5 (light gray) added
 Trimming Patches #4 and 5:
Patches #4 and 5 added and then trimmed
 Last two patches added:
Last two patches added
 Pattern trimmed:
Pattern trimmed. Make 4 of these!

And combine these four points with five squares of a lush, large scale print. I also added 3" border strips for a 26" block. Love these blues!

Updated Metropolitan Star, single block
And using clothes pins to get a flat shot:

27" Metropolitan Star quilt (21" block)
I offer this four block quilt pattern on my Etsy pattern page for $8.00. You can print as many star point pages for any size quilt, actually. You can also see all the quilts from what I show here. It's a great way to showcase some very large scale prints: Metropolitan Star Quilt on Etsy.

Hope you enjoyed seeing all the steps!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Modern by the Yard, Issue #5 and FREE pattern

Benartex sent me some of their sun drenched Bali batiks and asked me to think of a way to make a traditional block modern. I thought of Log Cabins. They're traditional, very traditional, right? Here is a quilt I made last year with black, grays and red. Small blocks!

Log Cabin quilt with traditional red center
And my improv version (based on a pattern I created several years ago). I call this Fractured Jewels and it is patterned in the new Modern by the Yard eMagazine:

Improvisational Log Cabin quilt
This is a FREE eMagazine. And the cover is beautiful:

Modern by the Yard, Issue #5
Check it out via the Benartex blog website: Sew in Love with Fabrics. There are FIVE free patterns in this issue. What are you waiting for?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 24 and FREE pattern

Here we are again, back with seven more beautiful blocks by Patricia Bryant of Australia. And her staging of the blocks is even more beautiful, don't you think?

June 11: Goose Creek
June 11: Goose Creek, 12"

June 12: Hands All Around
June 12: Hands All Around, 10"
June 13: Honey Bee.

Did you know that our bee population is in distress? There's a reason why we have to save our bees! One word: Food. If they disappear, so does our food supply. Many thanks to all you bee keepers out there and those who are dedicated to saving our bees.
June 13: Honey Bee, 10"
 June 14: Salute

This is Flag Day here in the USA.
June 14: Salute, 8"
How about a free pattern for this block in two sizes? This is from my calendar companion CD and this has both the 8" block and 12" block cutting directions. This is what 4 of the blocks look like together. Pretty awesome, huh? FREE Salute pattern

Four Salute Blocks together
And for my international visitors, put your own colors in. My son in law is from Spain, so those colors are red and yellow. Here's my rendition of Bandera de Espana (certainly not true to the real flag, but I got the colors right, I think):

Bandera de Espana
And the real flag:
Flag of Spain
Which reminds me of the hot pads I made for Daniel a few years ago with the large bull Toro de Osborne:
Toro de Osborne hot pad for son in law
And both of the hot pads:

Dos hot pads!
Now back to the calendar blocks!

June 15: Kite

June 15: Kite, 9"
 June 16: Magic Box
June 16: Magic Box, 16"
 June 17: Idaho Beauty

June 17: Idaho Beauty, 20"
Hope you enjoyed the show. Can you tell me why there's a bunny in that Magic Box picture? Ha ha. I'm sure you can! (Patricia is SO clever, isn't she?)