Tuesday, October 29, 2019

National Cat Day?

Yikes! I'm a dog person, but Keepsake Quilting just sent me an email announcing that today is National Cat Day. I'm not celebrating, but I do have some cat patterns.

This is the quilt in my 2019 Quilting Calendar that I call "Cats Under the Moon" quilt. The blocks are 6" with the two cats and Moon/Star blocks being appliqué and the pumpkin is paper pieced. I should make this a pattern, but at least I can show you the quilt.

Cats Under the Moon: 26" x 26"
Here's one of the cats:
Scaredy-Cat Block (6")
And the other . . .
Moon Gazing Cat Block (6")
I may make this a pattern in time for NEXT Halloween. But, thought you'd like to see my two cats.

I have made that paper pieced pumpkin several times. But I can't find a pic of any of them! Back to the drawing board (or sewing board) I guess.

This is as far as I go to celebrate National Cat Day.

If you need a FREE cat pattern fix, go to this link: Fat Cat in the City

Fat Cats in the City FREE pattern
And be inspired by the Catitude Fabric line by Benartex.

Catitude Fabrics, see my post

I hope you have a purrr-fect day!

Monday, October 28, 2019

My Tea Party Quilt Updated

Remember my 2018 Tea Party Block of the Month? I shared all the blocks I had made several years ago (and some new ones) and used for a workshop in Atlanta. These were free each month and are now available in my Etsy store. I especially had fun making several more tea cups!

Stacked Tea Cups
Do you remember this pic of the scattered blocks?
Various blocks in various sizes
As I was putting this quilt together with VERY simple sashing, I could NOT find the last block: the December crock. Actually, I had made two of them. Maybe that was because I had moved Thanksgiving weekend and they were hiding in a box somewhere! I since found them and promptly lost them again. Sigh.

December Crock Block #1
 And the second one (I think they are scheming somewhere deep in a closet):

December Crock Block #2
I went ahead and put the quilt together - minus the two Crock blocks. As you can see, I had an abundance of those tea cups! I quilted it last week on my HandiQuilter Sweet 16.

Tea Party Quilt: 49" x 56"
I can now see that the scale on those tea cups next to the coffee pot (on top row) is a bit off! But, it's done and that's that, right?

Here are a few blocks up close (as they sat under the HQ needle):

Tea Cup and Basket blocks side by side
 And one of the several tea cups:

One more tea cup
Yes, you can see that I used all Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I have a lot of these and some of them are "vintage." I love the combination of the solids with the prints.

One more block I would love to figure out what to do with is a Cedar Waxwing perched atop one of the tea cups. This bird is one of 5 in my Laurel Wreath quilt patterns (with 20 flower blocks). I'm going to feature this vintage set in the next few weeks.
Cedar Waxwing perched on my Tea Cup
You can still find the 25 page pdf of these Tea Party Blocks at my Etsy store. If you've made your blocks into a quilt, let me know! I'd love to see it.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Free Pattern Friday: Seminole Steps

I love blues, turquoise in particular. I designed a few dozen quilts for Blank Fabrics and came across this lovely one I called Seminole Steps. This features a bundle of 2-1/2" strips (a jelly roll). You have one (or a dozen), right?
Lovely set of 2-1/2" strips in turquoise
I made more than one quilt with this Inspiration Collection. Let me show them to you before I reveal the FREE pattern. Is that ok with you? These don't use 2-1/2" strips, but larger pieces from this collection.

First, a pincushion using a small scrap, some rick rack, stuffing and a tuna can (yes, it is!) A little hot glue keeps that stuffed top in the can. I made several of these.

Tuna can disguised as a pin cushion

Next is a quilt I've made several times using a widely published block pattern. I call it Delectable Mountains. I simplified the steps to fit the size I wanted.

Delectable Mountains
And one I designed in honor of a friend who died too early in life of Ovarian Cancer. This will be a future FREE pattern. It did run as a pattern on the Blank Quilting site, but they no longer have it. This quilt was auctioned a few years ago to support a local charity cause.

Memories of Janet: 48" x 48"
Now, if you're still with me, here is today's FREE pattern: Seminole Steps. I only have one picture of it and it's not very good, but the first page of the pattern has a better shot.

Seminole Steps: 57" x 61"
Hope you enjoyed my abundance of turquoise today! I still have a few small pieces of this lovely collection and may make one more project sometime. Of course, Seminole Steps will work with ANY colors, so pull out those jelly rolls you've been hoarding and waiting for the perfect pattern to stitch them into.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Housekeeping on Kansas City Star Giveaway

It's only been a few hours with over 20 comments and only 9 leaving a legitimate email. Most come through (to my email) as a "no reply" return address.

If you're worried about leaving your email (so that you can be entered into my giveaway contest), then just EMAIL ME: kratovil@his.com

More blocks from the Kansas City Star. This is a series called "Quilting Patterns and Motifs" which features 27 quilting motifs from 1930 to 1938.

Remember, this is an orphan block that is included in the giveaway. The unknown maker decided to use it for embroidery. Lovely, huh?

Kansas City Star Motif: November 21, 1934

Contest is over Friday night. One digital copy to an international visitor (I must know this by you telling me; I have no idea what country you come from via your email!)

One CD copy AND this block will go to a USA visitor.

The reason for this post is BECAUSE . . .

The following comments from this morning's post have NO email:

#1, Gina
#3, Darlene
#5, Susie
#6, Unknown
#9, Nancy B.
#11, Sharon
#13, Ellen
#14, Linda
#17, Fran
#18, Tracey
#19, Kay
#20, Itteke

I suggest if you get this notification and would STILL like to be entered, you revisit the page and leave a comment and include your email.

I hope this doesn't sound grouchy. I really want everyone to have a chance!

Kansas City Star Stencils and a Giveaway

Contest is over and my two winners are:
Ellen M. from Spain (digital copy of the pattern)
Vivian O. from Pennsylvania (CD of pattern and this lovely, embroidered block)

Many thanks to ALL who commented!

More blocks from the Kansas City Star. This is a series called "Quilting Patterns and Motifs" which features 27 quilting motifs from 1930 to 1938. I redrew each of these stencils using Adobe Illustrator. They are NOT scans of the old newspaper clippings.

This is an orphan block I got about 20 years ago when I was an editor with Quilt Magazine. The unknown maker decided to use it for embroidery. Lovely, huh?

Kansas City Star Motif: November 21, 1934
 The pattern fits a 6" square, so you can center it on a larger 12" background fabric:

6" motif embroidered
These can be quilting stencils or embroidery patterns. Your choice. But, what do the other 26 motifs look like? I'm glad you asked.

Here is my pattern cover (front)
Designs #1-16
Here is a closeup of Design 4 (which fits a 10-12" square):


And pattern back:
Designs #17 - 27
Design 26a fits a 3" x 8" space and could easily work as a continuous line stencil for machine quilting.

Motif Design #26a

OK. If I'm going to show 26a then I have to show 26b, right? This also is perfect for a continuous line design. It fits into a 6" space, but could easily be resized (via your printer settings) to make it larger. This is like stitching feathers in a circle. And just think of what you can do in that circle!

Motif Design 26b
What's the GIVEAWAY? Just like last week: the real block as shown here and the CD of all the designs that runs on any computer. Just leave a comment here about this post and you'll be entered to win. And I will choose one international winner also.

Contest is over Friday, October 25 at midnight (EST).

USA residents: CD plus the block. International visitors: digital copy from my Etsy store. I will pick one USA resident and one International visitor.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Michael Miller Mondays with Tropical Batiks

I received this bundle of 25 fat quarters from the Michael Miller Tropical Batiks collection. I have had it for several weeks and didn't bother to open it until I was on the MM website and saw all the skus. Big WOW! I couldn't believe the motifs and the rich colors.

Fat quarter bundle of Tropical Batiks by Michael Miller
Oh. You want me to open it up and show you all the fabrics? I can do that!

Tropical Batiks in all their glory!
I'm still trying to figure out the best pattern to showcase their beauty. I have worked with batiks for about 20 years and find that the simpler the pattern, the more the fabric gets to do the work.

These are fat quarters and that challenges me to make the best use of the fabric. I developed a series of patterns in the early 2000s that I call Magic Stax. They all start with 10-1/2" squares and are stacked in a small pile and are cut at the same time (ie, stacks of 5 or 6 or 9). Then the patches are shuffled, swapped and stitched. I had several different quilts published in quilt magazines and decided to revisit one pattern called Pickup Sticks.

No templates. Just stacks of squares. Measure and cut - that's it.

Pickup Sticks was made in 2011 with a pile of bright batiks from a variety of vendors. I had some black and white no-name batik left from some workshops and decided to go with that.
Pickup Stix
Under that freezer paper is a stack of four 10-1/2" squares (this works with 10" squares, also). I measured in the same number (as listed in the pattern) on each side to get this uniform, slanted X.

Freezer paper ironed to a stack of 4 squares
 Four squares cut at the same time.
Peeled freezer paper away
Now we shuffle the patches. Note that the cut runs from top left to bottom right. I call this Block #1.
Same fabrics in each stack, but in different order
Time to add pre-cut strips. Looks similar to stained glass (to me). The slant on this stack goes from top right to bottom left. This is Block #2.

Adding strips to the blocks that slant the other way
And let's revisit that first stack of Block #1. This only needs to be trimmed at the edges with the black strips. Careful stitching is required. The key is to match those horizontal strips when you add the center strip!
Block #1 before trimming the excess black strips.
I stitched 16 blocks into four horizontal rows, but haven't finished the stitching (as you can see). Since I only have fat quarters, I'm going make a pieced border using the remainder of the fat quarters. But I thought you might like to see what I have so far. These blocks finish to 10", so the center will be 40" x 40".

Bad lighting in my sewing studio. When I add the borders, I'll go outside and get a better pic. But here she is!

16 blocks in four rows of four
Take a visit to the Michael Miller Fabrics site to see these glorious Tropical Batiks up close. They truly are splendid.

You can find my pattern for Stained Glass Pickup Sticks at my Etsy shop, too!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Coffee Cups for Chilly Weather

My husband and I went to lunch at our friends' house on Sunday. I took a little housewarming gift. These were made in 2017 and were just waiting for that perfect occasion! Much of this blog post comes from when I stitched these in 2017. I thought you'd enjoy seeing it again.

Fabric isn't as exciting as seeing something sewn with it, right? You know I had that in mind when I received 8 fat quarters of Amanda Murphy's Winter Games.

8 fat quarters of Winter Games
I am revisiting a tried and true paper piecing pattern of mine called Coffee Cups. First, here's the original pattern as it appeared in the Kansas City Star in the 1930s:
Coffee Cups pattern using a lot of odd shaped templates
My pattern is for a 7" block. I created a freezer paper fussy cutting window to center my motifs in.

Freezer paper "window" to fussy cut my motifs
Here are two of motifs centered and ready to cut:

Fussy Cutting the skates and snow boards
 And an athlete, of course!

Fussy Cutting a snow boarder
I also cut an oversized square out of the hot cocoa mugs and began my paper piecing.

Cups of hot cocoa and coffee (and probably some tea, right?)
Here is the block finished:
7" foundation pieced coffee cup block
Now can we see some of the others? Here are the 3 blocks finished. I used my walking foot to stitch vertical lines (gray thread) and finished off with my quick and easy binding. I sew it on from the back and stitch it down by machine on the front.

Cocoa motif mug rug
 Gotta have skates!
Skates and snow boards mug rug
 And, an athlete!

Snow Boarder mug rug
And all three together. You can get this pattern at my Etsy store. There are a lot of pictures in color and the foundations are easy to print, with lots of helpful tips.

My set of 3 paper pieced mug rugs using the Winter Games Collection by Amanda Murphy
I also made these using some Kaffe Fassett prints. Wanna see? (Of course, you do)

Four paper pieced Coffee Cups using some large floral motifs
And I made several using an older Windham Fabrics collection called Mimosa:

Four Coffee Cup mug rugs
 And another one with a taste of orange!

Single Coffee Cup block
What? You don't drink coffee? That's ok. Tea is good. Chocolate milk, hot cocoa. And they are great to have on hand for a quick gift for someone special. Check out my Paper Pieced Coffee Cups pattern (6 pages in pdf) at my Etsy store.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Oak Leaf and Rose Wreath Quilt

I honestly don't think I have shared this quilt here before, yet it's one of my favorites. I made it at the end of 1996 and it was published in Quilt Magazine in 1997. My inspiration came from two vintage blocks: Oak Leaf and Rose Wreath!

Oak Leaf and Rose Wreath: 51" x 51"
A red and green quilt is a timeless color combination. The blocks are 14" square. I actually started this as a hand appliqué project and not too long into the first block, I threw the whole thing in the trash can and grabbed my fusible webbing and happily stitched the whole thing by machine using raw edge methods. I didn't like hand appliqué and haven't done it since.

Don't be shocked! To each his/her own.

Here is the Oak Leaf Block. The pattern calls for two.

Oak Leaf Block
 And the Rose Wreath (also, needing two):

Rose Wreath Block
Here's a flat shot of the quilt as it hung in a display of my quilts at a private club years ago:

Oak Leaf and Rose Wreath
That swag border is 7" wide. That was the first - and last - time I made this intricate (and very traditional) border! This is not a quilt you can make in a day, or even in a week (unless you have nothing else to do). But sometimes we get the urge to make something this lovely and enjoy every single moment. I certainly did!

You can find this pattern in my Etsy shop. You may find that you have other ideas for arranging the blocks or for making this larger. I hope you enjoyed my little stroll down memory lane!