Sunday, December 27, 2020

Survey on Live 2021 Quilting Events

As you are probably aware, I am a quilt workshop classroom teacher and I enjoy it a lot! Unfortunately, I haven't been inside one of those classrooms since March 13 in Atlanta. The Sewing Expo is gearing up with a full calendar of 10 events across the USA, beginning in March 2021. I have been teaching for them since 2007 and it's the major part of my income source! What do you think about this bold move?

The SURVEY is short with 6 questions and there's room for you to add extra thoughts. Big Block Hexagons was on the 2020 schedule. I was only able to teach it in Atlanta. I'm bringing it back this year. 

Big Block Hexagons Class

Then there's my Folded Hexagon Flowers class. I made up kits for 3 cities and was only able to teach it in Atlanta!

Folded Hexagon Flowers

Flying Swallows was the Saturday class cancelled in Atlanta. Students had their fabric cut out and were ready to sew! Alas, we all had to empty the convention center by midnight Friday.

Flying Swallows

Cloisonné Diamonds is another class that I got to teach in one city. All other cities were cancelled. Again, students from several cities had purchased tickets, bought and cut their fabric ahead of time and were ready to start stitching!

Cloisonné Diamonds

I would be SO appreciative to have you answer my 6 question SURVEY. I'm somewhat conflicted about all this travel with the vaccine availability being somewhat questionable. What really matters to you?

Do you think we have shifted into a new paradigm of online classes? I would love your thoughts on that, too! Many thanks for any and all that you share!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Week Blocks

My Block a Day perpetual calendar was first published in 2007. It remained a favorite for 10 years. I still sell the CD with all 366 blocks in 2 sizes and 12 quilts. To say it was a lot of work would be an understatement! I worked on it for the better part of a year (and other things, too). Here are the blocks for December 21 (Winter Solstice and first day of Winter) through the day after Christmas.

I want to thank Patricia Bryant of Australia for these photos. She made every single block for the entire year!

Garrett Window - December 21 block. 6"

Alpine Cross is the December 22 block. 10"

Market Square is the December 23 block. 8"

Market Square

Holiday Leaves is the December 24 block. 12". Hey! What's with those bugs, Patricia?!!

Holiday Leaves

Christmas Star is the December 25 block. 15".

Shooting Star is the December 26 block. 8". Santa's waving bye-bye until next year.

Here are some of my vintage Christmas decorations from at least 35 years ago!

I hope your holidays are special. We all know we have to work with Plan B because Plan A during this Covid stuff won't work this year. We are hopeful next year will let us celebrate with our families the way we would like. Stay safe!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Winter Solstice 2020

 It happens at 5 am here on the East Coast of the USA. Now we can have more sunshine each day!

I will share just a few quilts today. Yesterday's quilts were my true Winter Solstice quilts - all stars and double stars. You have probably noticed that several of my quilts this week have used the same fabrics. Like this one, which uses Festive Season and Season's Greetings (Benartex). Those diamonds are 3" English Paper Pieced. What a fun wreath! 

Star Wreath

I blogged about this amazing Cardinal Table Topper a few years ago. It also uses fabrics from that collection. Click the link below the picture and it will take you to a page with a LOT of process photos!

Festive Season Table Topper

I took a lovely photo of the fabrics in this collection. They certainly will keep my mind off of the short day!

Fabrics from the Festive Season Collection

I even used some of those ornament prints to make some greeting cards:

Well, that should do it for Winter Solstice! Winter is here for 3 months. Cold, sometimes dreary, sometimes snow. But, hey - it's Nature and that's the way we get ready for Spring! Hope you enjoy your day, wherever you are.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Day 4 of Winter Solstice Week

Today is Sunday, the 20th of December. Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year (up here in the Northern Hemisphere). One or two more quilts in honor of that day.

This is my Double Hexie Star in Kaffe Fassett fabrics. This is 16" high. All rotary cut. No y-seams. I stitched this in 2017. I wanted to feature a gorgeous motif in the center hexagon, which is 8" high.

Double Hexie Star block

I can tell you don't believe me about NO y-seams. Here are the parts of the companion block. Now can you see it?
The piecing sequence of the Double Hexie Star

This is only possible using a 60 degree triangle ruler to cut the center hexagon and the surrounding triangles. No need for a special size of templates!

Here is the runner. The center hexagons are 8" high.

Two block Double Hexie Star

Here are two more blocks I found in my Double Hexie Star teaching box. They are my teaching samples.

Center motif is from the Kismet Collection by Paula Nadelstern

And here's the two star runner (or wall banner) that I use as my class sample:

One more quilt, this time using 4 blocks. They're not quite as large as the ones above.

Double Hexie Star quilt with 4 blocks

Here's a closeup of the blocks. The Double Hexie Star pattern REQUIRES a multi-sized 60 degree triangle ruler. I bet you have one in your sewing room!

One of the 4 blocks

Love that reindeer!

Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year. Some people (including my dear husband) think I'm nuts. All I can say is that I love the sunshine! No more of this getting dark at 5pm!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Day 3 of Winter Solstice Week

OK. Just two more days. Today is Saturday and the dark days are coming to a close. Here is my Winter Solstice Quilt from last year. Do you remember it? First a block with little rays of sunshine surrounding an awesome kaleidoscope print by Paula Nadelstern. I pieced this in 2015.

Winter Solstice Block #1

I added some borders last year and quilted it. I love using stripes in borders and bindings.

Winter Solstice Quilt from 2019

I made another block into a quilt. It also uses one of these amazing motifs by Paula. I call this my Double Hexie Star. It's a fun workshop. No y-seams, by the way!

Double Hexie Star

I also made this in other Winter themed fabrics called Nordic Holiday. Same Double Hexie Star.

Double Hexie Star

So, as you can see, my stars are shining bright! Be back tomorrow with more Winter Solstice blocks and quilts! One day closer to more daylight.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Day 2 of Winter Solstice Week

Winter Solstice is on Monday. I'm so excited! My husband thinks I'm nuts, but I really can tell the difference in the days (well; it takes about 2-3 weeks, but you get the picture!)

Here is another quilt that reminds me of Winter and how there is a lot of beauty in it, even if there isn't a lot of sunshine! I shared this several months ago. It uses my Twisted Hexagon pattern. Don't you LOVE these Cardinals?!!

Twisted Hexagons featuring Cardinals

I fussy cut one more cardinal and put it in the center of a double twisted hexagon. I think I've shared this before. I have it displayed in my small dining room. First the block:

Double Twisted Hexagon block

Then I straightened up the sides to make it a rectangle. I could have finished it as a hexagon, but wanted to showcase that lovely green and gold print.

Double Twisted Hexagon Topper

Even though there's snow on the ground, there are birds still out there. I love hearing them tweet and I can imagine them saying: "Hey, humans. It's not so bad out here! Just a few months of Winter and then Spring will be here. Yay!!"

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Gearing up for Winter Solstice Week

Just a few more days and then we get to swing back and gather a minute of sunshine each day again! I really shouldn't complain because we've had a lot of sunshine so far in December (except for the snow yesterday!)

I made this block 3 years ago. It's based on a design from Katja Marek's Hexagon calendar. But I didn't want to English Paper Piece it. I upsized it and rotary cut the patches. Katja's block is 6" high (sort of). My block is 12" high and was pieced very quickly!

Hexagon block

I added some borders and here she is! I quilted it on my Handi Quilter Sweet 16. So nice to work on something small.

Happy Hexagon Table Topper

Here is the schematic I drew up. All patches can be cut using normal rulers; you don't need a specialty template.

I have a few more happy Christmas themed projects to share. I have them strategically placed around my house to remind me that the dark days will soon be past.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Holiday Gifts Straight from the Heart

I love making gifts for others. Many times it's a quilt. Sometimes it can be mug rugs or table runners. I came across one of my "oldie goldie" patterns the other day and thought: "Hmmm. I think I'll make a few more to give to some special folks who seem to have everything." Do you remember this? Check out the blog post to see some of the steps.

Woven Danish Heart

I pulled some other colors of the Paper Fans fabrics by Kaffe Fassett and combined them with some bold yellow Marble fabrics from Michael Miller. My pattern is very simple with several color photos of process steps and a full-size template.

First steps in Woven Danish Hearts

This time I wanted them to be truly heat resistant and make a reliable hot pad. I pulled my last bit of Insul-Bright for this.

Woven heart ready to be layered with Insul-Bright Batting

I layered it and then wanted to make sure my straight lines didn't get all wobbly, so I used some painter's tape to keep me on the straight and narrow!

Using painter's tape to keep my lines straight

Here are the two new ones, along with the first pink one:

Woven Danish Heart Trivets: 12" x 12"

I made both of these yesterday afternoon and bound them this morning. Now I have to decide who gets them! Which of the 3 do you like? Here are my 2 new ones up close:

Blue and Yellow Woven Danish Heart

White/Gray print with Yellow

And it does make a difference which side is which! I didn't notice it until I finished them. These two hearts are mirror images of each other!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Free Pattern Friday (and some twins!)

I don't think I've shared this here before. It is from the Horse and Rider Collection by Michael Miller. I designed the digital quilt based on a pattern I taught in several workshops. This is my Arrowheads pattern which is made using a 60 degree triangle ruler (paper template included).

Horse and Rider Quilt: 66" x 66"

Let me show you several I made before this one. This is my latest, made with some Kaffe Fassett prints. I have since quilted it (but I can't find that photo).

Arrowheads Quilt

Some of the quilts as my class samples. This one uses a Tri-Recs ruler (NOT the same angle as a 60 degree).

And one in blues:

Here is another one using the 60 degree ruler. It's my Arrowheads in Red and was a pattern for Creative Grids (Cut Loose Press).

Arrowheads in Red

Now one in multi, awaiting quilting.

I think I have a few more, but I need to get on with my day. Check out the FREE pattern on the Michael Miller web site: Horse and Rider.