Saturday, February 29, 2020

Fleur de Lis: Last Block in the Cookie Cutter Sampler

Just in time for Mardi Gras. This is Block #10 in my Cookie Cutter Sampler BOM. You can find the other 9 by clicking that link. ALL patterns will be removed at the end of March, so if you don't have all of them, as they say: THE TIME IS NOW!

Here are the two halves together, ready for me to stitch them down (always by machine; that's my style).
Fleur de Lis: 10" finished
Here is cutting out one half using the freezer paper template:
Freezer paper template ironed onto the applique fabric
Here is the block in the quilt (last row, 3rd one down).

Cookie Cutter Sampler Quilt
Here is the link for the 9 previous blocks. I put it on the Pear page. My quilt is still un-quilted. It's calling to me from the closet, but I'm ignoring it. I'm getting ready to go on the road to teach for the Sewing Expo and there's still a lot to do.

I began the series in June 2019 and you can see a lot of details there: Cookie Cutter Sampler Intro.

Hope you've enjoyed this Block of the Month. If you've got some pics to share, send them to me. There is no capability on the blog for you to upload. Maybe next month I'll have a blog post dedicated to quilts and blocks made by YOU!

Friday, February 28, 2020

FREE Pattern Friday - The French Connection

Mardi Gras. Lent. Fleur de Lis. How about a pattern that pulls all of those together, whether you observe Easter and the 6 weeks working up to that Holy Day? I created this quilt for Blank Fabrics in 2012 and I have the pattern as a 5 page pdf to share with you today.

The French Connection with Fleur de Lis block
The appliqué Fleur de Lis block is 12" x 12". The quilt size is 52" x 52". It was made with the Savoy collection, but any beautiful fabrics with good contrast will do.

I made a few other things from those fabrics. Here is an apron (I used some commercial pattern and have since given this to one of my daughters.)
A few little items (tissue holders are quick and easy)
Edged tablecloth and other small items using the Savoy Collection
 And I even added a ruffle to a pre-made canvas tote!
Ruffled Tote
You can have the pattern for the quilt above. I call it The French Connection. There are NO y-seams; making those pieced sashings is easy with the full size templates I include. And cutting out the appliqué Fleur de Lis uses my easy template (1/4 size that you trace onto freezer paper) backed with fusible webbing. Or those of you who enjoy hand appliqué, that's an option, too!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Windham Wednesdays with Pop Dots

Well, this is just a sneak peek  because I didn't finish my project. What? That's never happened to you?!

On my way to a fun project with Pop Dots
Pop Dots is a . . . well, let's just let the web description do the telling!


by Another Point of View

Pop Dots - a geometric optical illusion! Available in an array of bright colors including rainbow ombre options with black and white backgrounds. Pieced quilts with simple quilting will create stunning results. Rainbow quilts are all the rage and Pop Dots wont disappoint!

16 PRINTS / SHIPS: January 2020

Here is a sneak peek of all the fabrics. I was sent fat quarters, so you know this won't be a king sized quilt. I love a good challenge and I'm on my way to success. You just have to wait and see!

16 fat quarters of Pop Dots
In case you're new to my blog, I have been using my EZ Double Wedding Ring template set. I've been making DWR quilts with this shape for 20 years. My first one was the "Shotgun Wedding Ring" in my first book: Bold, Black and Beautiful. I created this template set for some workshops early 2011.

Double Wedding Ring template set
Come back next week for my reveal. Until then, take a look at this FREE pattern at the Windham site, created by the talented Wendy Sheppard: Leaf Peepers. The shape is similar to mine and quite a bit larger.

FREE pattern by Wendy Sheppard

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Technique Tuesday: Keep it Reel

Here's a fun novelty print that isn't girlie and will appeal to anyone (male or female) who enjoys fishing. Keep it Reel from Benartex has some awesome fishing images: fish, reels, fishing gear, and great colors.

I decided to make two pillowcases (and not a quilt!). But I was sent a stack of 1/3 yard cuts so I had to improvise. I can do that. I love a good challenge.

Pillowcase #1 using Keep it Reel fabrics
And one more:
Pillowcase #2
I selected two prints with the same background color, seamed and topstitched the seams, and went on to make the pillowcases. The pillowcase pattern I typically use calls for a 27" x wof piece of the main print. I used two!

Two similar prints (color and scale) joined for the main case
Now let's see a few steps. You can visit a few other of my pillowcase posts for more detail. Again, I am using the prints from Keep it Reel (so I can keep it REAL!)
  1. Black print cut 10" x wof for the large hem.
  2. Red print cut 3" x wof for the flange
  3. White print (two pieces seamed) cut 27" x wof.

Layer as shown: Black print (10" x wof) right side up; Main print (27" x wof) wrong side down on black hem; 3" red print folded and pressed, wrong sides together. Pin all layers.
3 parts to my pillowcase
Roll up the main pillowcase. Now bring the other end of the black hem fabric around to capture all that inside. Pin well. This trick will hide all the seams with NO raw edges showing on the pillowcase inside!
Main fabric rolled up as a tube so it fits inside the hem
Stitch through all layers. You can see the white print tube peeking out on the left.
Stitch through layers
Now for the magic! Pull out the rolled up white print (you only caught one raw edge at the top, not the bottom edge). What you see below is the black print now at 5", with raw edges inside the seam.

Ready for last seams
I trimmed off the selvedges and stitched 1/4" seam with WRONG sides of pillowcase touching. I'm going to turn this and make a French seam (again so no raw edges show).
First step of a French seam
 Turned pillowcase inside out and stitched again, capturing those raw edges. Finished the bottom with a seam and zigzag overcast.
last seams
I also want to stitch with the little fishing motifs on the panel fabric. These are extra prints I didn't use in the pillowcases. They are calling me to make a quilt focusing on those panels.

More Keep it Reel fabrics
Check out the link at the top of the page to go to several places to see lots of variations on making these magic pillowcases. And check out all the fabrics in the Keep it Reel collection at the Benartex web site.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Little Hexagon Tote Bags

This is a repost from 2012! I discovered the photos on my computer and thought it would be fun to see these again. And I've updated the 7 page pattern to 17 pages because I decided to include the original quilt where the little hexie blocks came from. And I have a printable page of 1" hexagons so you can start stitching right away!

Two little CD bags using my leftover Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks
There's nothing quite like SCRAPS to make me feel cozy. These little CD bags were made in 2004/5 with some leftover grandmother's flower garden blocks from a quilt in my first book. I thought it would be nice to capture just one in a little bag just the right size for a CD. I made two and finally found the original photo that appeared in Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. And I included a lesson on English Paper Piecing.

Here is the quilt that gave me these leftovers. This was in my first book and I include this as a bonus pattern with the little CD Tote Bag.
Bright hexagons on black background
Why not little bags? Of course!
I think I gave these to my little granddaughter! (Or maybe not!)
One bag; note the bird novelty print. (There are chickens in the green bag!)
Let's see some other Grandmother's Flower Garden (GFG) blocks made with other fabrics. I used 1" hexagons. Aren't these sweet?

Floral GFG Blocks
Almost any fabrics work with these lovely hexagon shapes.
GFG blocks made with some awesome blenders
Click this link: CD mini bag to get the 17 page pdf pattern. It includes an illustrated lesson on English Paper Piecing (more than once!). Lots of good diagrams, too.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Gee's Bend Quilters and Black History Month

I've shared my adaptations of the 8 Gee's Bend quilts from several years ago. I have new blog followers all the time and thought I'd do it again with some quilts I made using my own improvisational stitching (at the bottom of this post). First, let's see my version of the Housetop Denim quilt.
My Housetop Denim: 51" x 62"

And the very improvisational one created by Rita Mae Pettway:

Rita Mae Pettway's Housetop Denim: 70" x 84"

You can read a LOT of background info on these talented quilters and see dozens more quilts. I discovered this last year and it's a gold mine! The site is called The Gee's Bend Quiltmakers.

As most of you know, I had a CONTRACTUAL agreement with Windham Fabrics to adapt these quilts, signed off on by the Gee's Bend Collective. I own all rights to my adaptations. There is no copyright theft here (as I've had someone accuse me of).

Now, back to this awesome web site. Since it's Black History month, getting some solid background info on these talented ladies is a good place to start. It lists each quilter and links to many (maybe all) of the quilts she has made. You will spend a LOT of time here, I promise, so go get another cup of coffee.

NOTE: When you click on the name of the quilt maker, it will take you to a page dedicated to her and the various quilts she has made. It's an awesome thing to see, believe me!

Let's see the rest of the quilts I adapted and the originals:

Mary Lee Bendolph gave her permission for me to pattern Strips and Strings. Holy cow! That was the hardest quilt. Why? Just look! How can you pattern something so, well, improvisational!

And here's my rendition. Pretty close, huh?
Strips and Strings: 50" x 75"
And I got it into my head to make Strips and Strings with some Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett fabrics. This is such a PINK quilt!
Strips and Strings with print fabrics
Mary Lee Bennett also made one of the Housetop quilts - Housetop 4 Block:

Housetop 4 Block by Mary L. Bennett

This was easier to pattern. What do you think?

Housetop 4 Block: 57" x 65"
My Housetop 4 Block is available at my Etsy shop. You can see a bio page on Mary L. Bennett there, too.

Bennett is a popular last name. Loretta P. Bennett made Blocks and Strips, which was the easiest to pattern of the 8 quilts. Here is hers:

Loretta Bennet's Blocks and Strips

And here is mine (with pattern available in my Etsy shop):

Blocks and Strips: 50" x 62"
Loretta Pettway Bennett created the Work Clothes Denim Quilt. This is a fun way to recycle old jeans. And let's make sure we include a few pockets here!

Loretta P. Bennett's Work Clothes quilt: 60" x 79"

And my version. Yes, four pockets!

Work-clothes Denim: 46" x 60"
Qunnie Pettway designed and made Lazy Gal. Don't you just love that quilt name?

Lazy Gal by Qunnie Pettway
This was also an easier quilt to pattern. No hair pulling here. My version of Lazy Gal.

Lazy Gal: 52" x 62"

Rita Mae Pettway made Housetop Denim. There were a LOT of "housetop" quilts (ie, log cabin variations). And they used a lot of denim - leftover jeans.

Rita Mae Pettway's Housetop Denim: 70" x 84"
My version is scaled at 3/4 (as we did with most of the others). Don't you love that renegade piece of red print up at the top?

My Housetop Denim: 51" x 62"
Louisiana P. Bendolf created this fantastic strippy quilt she called Medallion Variation. This was also a hair puller to pattern. Look at all those strips and strings! And, yes, that is a LOT of white around the center!
Louisiana Bendolf's Medallion Variation: 66" x 86"

Windham asked me to pattern just the center. Again, this was a real challenge, but I gave it my best shot. I actually made Medallion Variation two times. I gave the second one to my oldest daughter's best friend and she was delighted beyond words!

My Medallion Variation: 52" x 76"
Here is Meg and me with her special birthday gift a few years ago. I hung it in my kitchen with a big sign at the top: Happy Birthday, Meg. It took her about 20 minutes to finally look up and see that it was hers!

Medallion Variation gifted to Meg

And the last quilt in this series is Housetop 9 Block by Annie E. Pettway.

Housetop 9 Block by Annie E. Pettway: 71" x 77"
My version:

Housetop 9 Block: 66" x 73"
I have always been one to avoid improvisation in my quilting. But after working with these 8 quilts I decided to take a leap. What do you think? I turned this into a workshop (2010 - 2011) and filled brown lunch bags (stapled shut) full of these Gee's Bend strips, scraps, and fat eighths of fabric. Students had to put their hands into their bags and pull out two strips and sew them together. Then a 3rd one, all the while NO PEEKING. I called the class "No Sneaky Peeky."

No Sneaky Peeky #1
 And one more.
No Sneaky Peeky #2
Then the next year I developed my Improv Adventure (2011 - 2012). Again, bags of the Gee's Bend fabrics and several block options. Here is one small sample. I used this as a machine quilting sample, too, until one of my kids wanted it.

Improv Adventure #1
Improv Adventure #2
Here's a look at the 9 blocks the students could get inspiration from. This was the back of the pattern.

I hope you enjoyed seeing all of these amazing quilts. Perhaps you've been to an exhibit of Gee's Bend quilt or had the privilege to attend one of these quilters' workshops or lectures.

I hope you also take some time to visit the links I've shared above: The Gee's Bend Quilters. There are so many quilts made by so many Gee's Bend quilters. I personally have never seen so many in one place (and I've been at this for over 12 years).