Thursday, December 28, 2017

2018 BOM: Tea Party

I'm planning a Block of the Month (BOM) for 2018 based on my Tea Party blocks from 2005. Free! All made with Kaffe fabrics. Of course, you can choose any fabrics you want!

The one I can't offer the pattern for is by Hilde Aanerud Krohg (appears in Kaffe's Quilt Road book and also Quiltmaker Sept/Oct 2005). My students had to buy the magazine for the class, of course, if they didn't own the book. Here is that block from 2005.

Stay tuned for my post in January with the first of tea pots, coffee pots, cream & sugar, urns - you get the picture! Perfect way to use up those precious scraps you've been hoarding.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 52

This is truly home stretch! Last week of the Quilter's Block a Day Calendar blocks created by Patricia Bryant of Australia. She sewed these in 2016 and posted them every day on the Martingale Facebook page. Let's see the final blocks (there are 8 because we go into another Sunday).

If you would like to see ALL 366 blocks in one place, visit my Pinterest page: Patricia's Blocks from my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar! You can view every single one as I've displayed them here week by week.

And don't forget that you can see them in alphabetical order here: Quilter's Block a Day Calendar in two sizes! I'm planning on re-releasing the calendar with the two sizes. I'll have more on that in 2018.

December 24: Holiday Leaves

Holiday Leaves: 12"
 December 25 (Merry Christmas): Christmas Star

Christmas Star: 15"
 December 26: Shooting Star
Shooting Star: 8"
And another pic of Shooting Star

Shooting Star: 8"
  December 27: Star of Destiny
Star of Destiny: 8"
 December 28: Town Center Star

Town Center Star: 12"
 December 29: Z Cross
Z Cross: 10"
 December 30: Woven Ribbons

Woven Ribbons: 6"
 December 31: Star of Illusion

Star of Illusion is covering Patricia's head!
Thank you for staying with me for 52 weeks. Let's all give a hearty round of applause to Patricia for finishing well, for inspiring us and I'll let you know when she decides to put them together.

Remember, if you would like to see ALL 366 blocks in one place, visit my Pinterest page: Patricia's Blocks from my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar! You can view every single one as I've displayed them here week by week.

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year. I'm not sure if I plan a weekly themed post, but you do know that I will be posting a few times a week based on what happens in my sewing room! See you then.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Here Comes the Sun, Part Three

It's here! December 21 and that means that the days are getting longer. I am not nuts (though my husband says that I am for this crazy nit-picking of minutes of sunlight).

Did you see my previous posts? Winter Solstice post from 2015. And then from last year? Here Comes the Sun (2016).

Just a few of the blocks with borders. I have since removed the border from the top quilt - too crazy!

Winter Solstice block from my Double Hexie Star pattern
 And don't you just love these extra rays?

Winter Solstice block with extra rays
This is my Double Hexie Star (a current workshop) that has been made several times. I love using Paula Nadelstern's kaleidoscope motifs as the centers!

My youngest daughter Valery wanted a quilt with these blocks. She axed the border I chose and then asked for a green block. Not a problem (grrrr! rip, rip, rip)

Two block quilt with "crazy" border (my daughter's words)
I made a green block and replaced the orange and blue one. These blocks are 16" x 18". Love those center motifs!
Two block quilt finished and Valery loves it!
These are from the Kismet and Chromazone Collections by Paula Nadelstern for Benartex Fabrics.

Close up of the green and blue block
So, you can see that I'm happy when I'm sewing with beautiful fabrics. I love having that extra minute of daylight, even if my husband thinks I'm a bit whacky for it!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Titan and Isadora: A Love Story (sort of)

I teased you last week with these lovely fabrics. Remember? I began a love story between Isadora and Titan.

Isadora being adored by Titan
This all began innocently enough, though they did meet in quite an unusual place: a warehouse in Jersey City, New Jersey (I'm not making this up). She was an orphan, with her entire family gone to new homes throughout the world. These homes were disguised as quilt shops. Somehow, she was left behind and she was desperately lonely. Her name is Isadora.

A younger man arrived in the warehouse and while he wasn't flashy, he was solid and down to earth and had quite a colorful personality. Titan was his name and he was immediately besotted with Isadora. Yes, she was a bit older (and maybe wiser), but they were looking for companionship.

He began to woo her with diamonds . . .

Titan's diamonds

And other gem shapes . . .
Titan's gems
Isadora was outwardly shy, but she was secretly thrilled to get so much attention from such a handsome man. He offered her a tiara - no, two! He thought she was a beautiful princess and money was no object. Gold tiaras!

Isadora with TWO gold tiaras
Then, Titan couldn't contain himself. She looked so beautiful with those gold tiaras that he lavished her with the other jewels - diamonds and gems surrounded her.

Isadora surrounded with beautiful gems
Titan lavished gems in other colors, just in case Isadora didn't like his first colors.

Isadora with blue tiaras and gold diamonds
Ah, what a story, huh? It could have happened, right? I mean, we all still believe just a little bit in fairy tales of true love. Let me tell you about these lovely shapes and how I came to make them with JUST fat quarters.

  • One fat quarter of Isadora became my focus fabric, from which I cut nine 5-1/2" high hexagons (I have shared in other posts how to do this with your 60 degree ruler. (Check out my Storybook Christmas post from last year to see how to cut these 5-1/2" hexagons and the setting triangles.)
  • Four 3" high half-hexagons for EACH block (20 blue and 16 cream) using Titan
  • Two blue "tiara" triangles for each of 5 blocks; two gold triangles for each of 4 blocks (Titan)
  • Two 3" diamonds for EACH block (10 gold and 8 green from Titan)
Let's see the completed first block:

Isadora with gold tiaras and green diamonds
You can see my November post about this block made using English Paper Piecing.  The inspiration for this block came from Katja Marek's Hexagon Block a Day Calendar: November 27.

I made a total of 9 blocks (you have to stop sewing when you run out of fabric - that's my rule!)

Now I played around with an assembly. I thought of a ring, but then I would have to make something to go in the middle.

I thought of a table runner, but I have too many table runners! But when I put the 9 blocks in a simple 3 x 3 setting, it was too boring! Back to the table runner!!

Setting blocks into an elongated diamond: see my Storybook Christmas post for more detail
When I put all 9 blocks into this assembly, it just seemed TOO LONG (as in 50"). If I added a triangle to the top and bottom, it would be 60". I left the blocks on my design wall overnight.  When I woke up in the morning, those nagging voices in my head told me that this is not that great. Voices in my head? Of course! And my New Year's resolution last January was to listen more to the voices in my head.

I went off to church and knew the answer would come to me when I got back home. Maybe it was a little heavenly inspiration?

9 Blocks with a few setting triangles
What did I do when I got home? Are you sitting down? I took the whole thing apart (I had done a good bit of sewing)! What! You've never done that? Do you think if you don't like it when it's half sewn you're going to love it when it's complete?

Here are 8 of the 9 blocks (I may keep that top section for Plan B).

8 Titan and Isadora blocks
They will have to wait until after Christmas, because time is of the essence.

"Twas the week before Christmas and all through my house,
Were so many activities and a very needy spouse.
My sewing for others has me gasping for air,
But Titan and Isadora will still be a pair!"

I'm going to let these blocks percolate in my head. I will shuffle them around on my design wall. Titan and Isadora will tell me how they wish to be joined. I think it's a match made in heaven, don't you?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 51

Last two weeks of these fabulous blocks. Thank you, again, Patricia Bryant!

December 17: Rocky Mountain Puzzle
Rocky Mountain Puzzle: 8"
 December 18: Double Hearts

Double Hearts: 12"
 December 19: Arkansas Traveler

Arkansas Traveler: 12"
Oooooh! I have some of these stacking dolls. My grandkids love to play with them when they come over. My husband bought them 25 years ago when he took a trip to Russia after the "wall" fell. Here is one set (I have several) that makes me chuckle every time I see it. Can you name them?

Russian leaders stacking dolls
December 20: Tiny Dancer
Tiny Dancer: 7-1/2"
 December 21: Garrett Window

Garrett Window: 6"
 December 22: Alpine Cross

Alpine Cross: 10"
 December 23: Market Square

Market Square: 8"
One more week to go. Seven more blocks!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Titan and Isadora: A Sneak Peek

No, this is not a story about two medieval lovers (though it sounds like it, right?) This is about a fabric collection (Titan) that I had no idea what to do with and then a lonely fat quarter appeared in the box of fabrics that Windham sent to me. Her name is Isadora and she is so lovely!

She is a bit older than Titan (2016 release), but then again, we all enjoy those "older woman, younger man" stories at times.

The Titan Collection is a wonderful group of "blenders." You know: those fabrics that aren't solids but can be used as solids. They have a small mini print that doesn't take away from their main color. But I did not feel inspired to make something with just these blenders!

Titan fabrics surrounding the Isadora fat quarter.

Fat quarters of Titan with the single Isadora fat quarter
Next week I will share some delightful blocks made with these fabrics. I am so excited because it's as though these were made for each other. Sort of like a Titan and Isadora love story. Stay tuned for a post for Windham Wednesdays!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Technique Tuesday with Matthew's Mini Monsters

Today we feature a collection by Matthew Pridemore, husband of the famous quilter, Heidi Pridemore. Matthew's Mini Monsters is the name of this fun collection of boy prints. Of course, girls would love these, too!

We quilters have fabric stashes that are about 90% "girlie". Flowers, ribbons, bows, pink and sweetness all over the place. When you need to make a quilt for a boy or man, you have to look far and wide for masculine themed fabrics.

I asked Benartex to lead me to something that caters to boys and they sent me these called "Matthew's Mini Monsters." Many of us are familiar with the name Heidi Pridemore. She's been in the professional quilting industry as long as I have (25 years) and I have always like her playful, whimsical style. She is a natural artist and her quilt designs are always joyful.

This collection was designed by her husband! Now, that's a family affair, right?

Matthew's Mini Monsters
The collection includes a panel for a soft book AND this wonderful group of 8 monsters. The squares measure 7-1/2" and for a printed panel, they were very accurate both vertical and horizontal (which almost never happens). I knew I wanted to work with these.

I could have turned this panel into a quick quilt with a border, but that was too easy. Easy is for other quilters; me, I tend to torture myself with details (just kidding!)

Matthew's Mini Monsters panel
Head on over to the Sew in Love with Fabric page to see how I used this panel and the companion fabrics to make a fun boy's quilt. And, yes, I cut out those monster blocks!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Easy Matching Pillowcases for Your Quilts

I have made dozens of pillowcases using quilter's cottons and, to tell you the truth, it's EXPENSIVE! More than a yard of fabric to make a standard sized case. And at $10 - 13 a yard, that is pricey.

10 years ago I made a set of cases to match my Good Luck quilt and I used a set of purple cases I bought at Walmart for about $5.00. Let me show you what I did by using pics I took the other day making some for my two little grandsons.

First, the Good Luck quilt (a VERY popular workshop for a few years). It is a vintage pattern that I tweaked to eliminate funky templates and everything is done with strips and your rotary cutter and ruler with NO waste. This is a good sized quilt at 79" x 79". Take a good look at my border fabric!
The Good Luck Quilt (pattern available at my Craftsy store)
Here it is with the pillowcases:
Good Luck quilt with matching pillowcases
 Inside, to show there are no raw edges! (Tutorial below, so don't go away!)

Inside the pillow case
 I used the quilt's border print for the pillowcase hems.
Pillow case with matching fabric
Now, let me show you what I did (oh, clever person that I am). This only uses 6" x wof fabric for each case. A real bargain. Oh, and you do need two purchased standard sized pillowcases! I bought two sets at Marshall's for $5.99 each. (I also made some cases for my daughter).

Cut 6" x wof of contrasting fabric. Seam short ends so that the width is exactly the width of the pillowcase (about 40"). This part is important. You don't want any pleats or "ruffles" where they come together. The right side of dinosaur print is placed against the wrong side/inside of the pillowcase.

Yes, you are covering the hem of the purchased pillowcase.

Pillow case outside; right side of contrasting fabric against the INSIDE of the pillowcase
Seam the raw edge of the print with the finished edge of the pillowcase, using 1/4" seam. Press as shown, toward the 6" strip. Now you see the WRONG side of print and the RIGHT side (outside) of the pillowcase.
Seam with 1/4". Press as shown.
 Now fold the contrasting fabric over to the outside of the pillowcase. Press.
Press to outside as shown
This is what it looks like on the inside - a little 1/4" finished edge. No raw edges!

Now turn under the raw edges of the dinosaur fabrics and pin.

Pin turned under edges, ready to stitch.
 I used my serpentine, curvy stitch on my trusty Bernina 1230. A straight stitch will do.
Two pillowcases ready to gift to my grandsons!
Both fabrics (6" quilter's cottons and pillowcases) have NOT been pre-washed. I will now prewash these cases and probably throw in a Color Catcher for any renegade dyes.

These do not take a long time and are wonderful gifts for just about anyone on your holiday list.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 50

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words about these blocks. I also have thoroughly enjoyed what Patricia Bryant has done with my designs. We all are anxious to know how she will put them together. Remember her little pile?

Patricia's stack of all 366 blocks from my calendar
Let's see the next seven for Week #50.

December 10: Gentleman's Fancy
Gentleman's Fancy: 12"

December 11: Holiday Mosaic
Holiday Mosaic: 12"
Just added: Deanna commented below that she would like to see Holiday Mosaic in a 4 block setting. I have this from the Calendar CD version. The blocks are turned 90 degrees and make an interesting arrangement, don't you think?

Four Holiday Mosaic Blocks

December 12: Honey's Choice

Happy Chanukah to my Jewish bloggers!

Honey's Choice: 10"
 December 13: Around the Mountain

Around the Mountain: 9"
December 14: Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends: 12"
December 15: Slanted Diamonds
What a sweet little Nativity!

Slanted Diamonds: 6"
December 16: Pennsylvania (that's where I was born!)

Pennsylvania: 12"