Thursday, July 30, 2020

Christmas in July with Benartex, Day 4

Today is the last day of 11 in the Christmas in July Blog Hop. Our last designer is:
Tammy Silvers, Snow Village & Rustic Village Christmas https://www.tamarinis.com/

Today I want to share several projects I made using Festive Season, a past collection designed by Jackie Robinson.

Here is a table topper that was featured in 2017 on the Benartex blog. Click that link to see my steps to this beautiful table topper.

Festive Season Table Topper

I even show how to fussy cut that center hexagon:

Steps to fussy cutting the center hexagon

Then I kept playing with these gorgeous fabrics. Who could resist?

Dozens of half hexagons cut but they sat for a few years
I used a few to make a large Twisted Hexagon wall banner. I was able to fussy cut some more of those awesome cardinals. I loved using the cardinal vertical printed panels for the sides. The colors are SO rich in this beauty!

Twisted Hexagon Wall banner
I also was able to use the remaining half hexagons in a braid quilt. You've seen this technique here before many times. You can find my patterns in my Etsy shop (some come with an acrylic half-hexagon template or you can buy the pdf, too).

I was able to use the last two vertical panels with 3 vertical rows of half-hexagons. I had to get creative with my borders. All the fabrics work so well with each other.

Festive Season Half Hexagon Braid quilt

Remember the greeting cards I made?

Dollar Store greeting card with cutout window
And another one:
Greeting Card #2
 One more using the black background print:
Greeting Card #3

And one last thing (though it's not the last, but I'm tired!) This is English Paper Pieced using 3" diamonds. First, from the back. After I hand stitched all the diamonds together I carefully placed it on a fat quarter of Bedrock (by Windham Fabrics) and appliquéd it by machine. Then I clipped away the Bedrock fabric from behind (this reduces the weight and bulk).

Christmas Wreath from back
And I added borders and quilted it. What do you think?

Festive Season Wreath of Diamonds
OK. If you've come this far, you are probably rolling your eyes into the back of your head! But, as you can see, I have truly loved working with this group of fabrics. And the 60 degree shape (hexagon, diamond, triangle, half-hexagon) was my inspiration for everything.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Christmas in July with Benartex, Day 3

The Christmas in July designer for today's Benartex Blog Hop is Kate Colleran. She is featuring the Joy collection by Cherry Guidry. Go check it out!

I looked in my own Benartex Christmas vault and pulled out Mistletoe. Can I show you? I did a fun blog post about these (just click that link).

Fabric postcards using Mistletoe
I have been a huge fan of Benartex fabrics since the early days of my Quilt Magazine job. I just counted the Benartex folders on my computer: 99! I'm not kidding; just one short of 100 in these past 20+ years. And I loved it all! Especially when I can make something other than a quilt. Like this vest for my granddaughter. The blog post has a lot of steps for making these fabric postcards.

Child's vest using these sweet panels
Do you remember Nordic Holiday? I made a very large (29" center) Lone Star quilt. You can see the steps by clicking on the link. You can find the pattern in my Etsy store.

Holiday Lone Star quilt: 29" block, 41" x 41" quilt

I made a few blocks using my Double Hexie Star pattern (soon to be published). Here are 2 blocks with - you guessed it - no y-seams!!

Nordic Double Hexie Star #1
 The center hexagon features one of those reindeer.
Nordic Double Hexie Star #2
I chopped up every single piece of fabric. I was able to capture 5 hexagons from the red print.

Nordic Holiday reindeer
That's it for today. You can see my blog posts about these collections by clicking those links. More Christmas quilts from my Benartex vault tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Christmas in July with Benartex, Day 2

Today's featured designer is Sandra Walker using the Better Not Pout Collection by Benartex. It's a delightful set of fabrics by Nancy Halvorsen. Check it out!

My Benartex Christmas vault quilts for today are from Season's Greetings and  Christmas Spectacular. The first is Season's Greetings that had these awesome panels with beautiful pictures and holiday well wishes printed on them. I made several items. The first if my Big Block Lone Star with a 29" center!

Big Block Lone Star using Season's Greetings
I captured two of those panels with the black background in my candle mat. I also made some greeting cards. Check out the lengthy blog post and get the FREE pattern.

Candle mat and greeting cards tutorial
I also made a much larger Lone Star quilt using my "When 4 Blocks Become 5".

Lone Star with 19-1/2" blocks

Now for Christmas Spectacular. And I discovered that I made yet ANOTHER Twisted Hexagons quilt. Are you getting tired of me sharing these? I made a LOT of class samples and this is one using larger blocks. You can see the blog post by clicking on the Christmas Spectacular link.

Twisted Hexagon using a dark center
And this block shows the parts before sewing.
Twisted Hexagon using a light center
These are such beautiful fabrics, don't you agree? Come back tomorrow for a few more quilts from my Benartex Christmas vault and I'll have the direct link to Wednesday's designer. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Christmas in July with Benartex, Day 1

I hope you've been following along on the Christmas in July Blog Hop for Benartex with 11 designers. We still have 4 days left and I want to stay with the theme (and share their links each day).

Today's designer is Charisma Horton  http://charismascorner.com/ and she shares her project using Deer FestivalOOOHHH! I want those fabrics. They are red and white and designed by Jackie Robinson. Classic! Go check out what Charisma has done with Deer Festival.

I checked my files and see that I've featured about 13 Benartex Christmas Collections over the years. I'll share those with you this week. All have some great tutorials and even a few free patterns! The first one is Catitude from 2019. Check out the post and the Magical Mitering tutorial.

Here are some of the sassy kitties.

Sassy kitty getting ready to trim the tree
With one of his/her buddies:
Another sassy kitty distracted by the beads!
Check out my Magical Mitering lesson on the blog post.

Catitude by Ann Lauer
While you're at it, check out her dog themed fabrics: Dog On It Christmas. I was sent a stack of them but haven't gotten around to cutting into them. I think my grandsons and I will do that in August when I visit them. After all, they have a dog named Zelda!

Dog On It by Ann Lauer
If you missed any of last week's posts in the Christmas in July Hop, just click the link for the first day and you will see the complete list. A lot of fantastic collections and designs you don't want to miss!

See you tomorrow with another link to another designer. (And something else from my Benartex Christmas vault).


Friday, July 24, 2020

Christmas in July with Festive Chickadees

I shared this awesome collection back in April. Check out the post and the cute quilt I made using the panels. I was invited to blog about these fabrics again in our Christmas in July blog hop for Benartex. I have had such fun with these Chickadees. They are a continuation of the original Chickadee fabrics by the very talented Jackie Robinson.

First the fabrics:
Festive Chickadees by Jackie Robinson
And the quilt I made using several of the panels and my own birdhouse patterns (upsized). You can see the steps for this by clicking the link, with lots of photos close up of these beautiful fabrics.

Festive Chickadees Quilt: 43" x 48"
I used 10 of the 14 panels and have 4 left to play with. They are rectangles! Each one features a special Chickadee on black with holly berries. Chirp, chirp!

Now for my next project, made especially for this blog hop. I am revisiting my Twisted Hexagons block because I wanted to fussy cut some of these chickadees in the center of my blocks.

10" Twisted Hexagon Block
I cut a freezer paper template that captures the motif I want to feature. Of course, it helps to have a multi-sized 60 degree triangle which can cut ANY SIZE whole hexagon (and half hexagon and even a triangle - no kidding!)

Cutting my freezer paper template using my 60 degree triangle ruler
I cut out the center leaving about 1/2" border and used it to isolate a Chickadee motif.

Fussy cutting the center hexagon
I cut half-hexagons from my companion fabrics, again using my 60 degree triangle ruler. I have demonstrated this many times here on my blog. (Instructions on how to do this come with my ruler.)

Cutting Half-Hexagons
I made 9 blocks, trying to capture as many of the prints as possible. I had some Chickadees from Jackie's earlier collection (My Little Chickadee) and used some of those, too.
Arranging my Twisted Hexagon blocks
And here she is finished! Check out the 8 page pdf pattern in my Etsy store.

Twisted Hexagon Quilt with Festive Chickadees: 40" x 42"
Now, those Chickadees were still chirping and singing and begging me to make some other things. I like to English Paper Piece, so I decided to make some of my Pentagon Flower blocks (you saw those last week). First, I fussy cut a 2" hexagon for the centers. Here is my freezer paper again.


And also cutting from the light blue print using a pentagon shape:

Cutting 2" pentagons

I surrounded the center HEXAGON with 6 pentagons.
Pentagon Flower Block with Hexagon Center (and 6 pentagons)
Then I thought about using a Pentagon for the center. This uses 5 pentagons. These are NOT the same block.

Pentagon Flower Block with Pentagon Center
Have I confused you? I made 5 using the Pentagon centers and 5 using the Hexagon centers. Here is my little quilt using the pentagon centers. I don't have enough of any one fabric to work for a border, so these birdies are just chirping on my wall. A very pleasant sound (except they want to start at 4:30 in the morning!)

Chickadee Pentagon Flowers
For this quilt I used a layer cake (10" squares) for all pieces except the green outer strips. I was able to get 5 pentagons from each 10" square. I used an oversized freezer paper pentagon which works with my 2" pentagon papers.


I'll share the other blocks I made (with the hexagon centers) later in the Summer.

Well, I think this is enough for now! Check out the other bloggers in this 11 day Benartex Hop and enjoy the show.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Jack's Chain Updated

I posted about the Jack's Chain block and quilts a few years ago. I made two blocks and pooped out. But they were calling to me from my closet and I decided to put the rest of the units together and found I had FOUR blocks! Here she is!

Jack's Chain 4 Block Quilt: 64" x 64"
These are BIG blocks (22-1/2" x 22-1/2" finished). But, hey: 4 blocks makes a nice sized quilt!

I was an editor with Quilt Magazine from 1993 to 2007. We featured many, many traditional patterns. Jack's Chain was published many times. This is one of the images which shows the basic structure of the block. As you can see, to put other blocks together with this one, there will be those DREADED y-seams!

Jack's Chain is made using a center hexagon, six equilateral (60 degree) triangles and simple 9 Patch blocks. I made my 9 Patch blocks first.

6" finished 9 Patch blocks using 2-1/2" strips
We all look for blocks and quilts that use up our Jelly Roll bundles, right? Well, this will do it!

My first block was sewn by the seat of my pants (and my sewing machine, btw). I created the center hexagon template and figured out what size to cut the surrounding triangles. (Remember, I design with Adobe Illustrator and can create just about any block once I know a few of the dimensions.)

Marking the intersection of the 1/4" seams at the tip of the triangle
This Jack's Chain Block requires marking the 1/4" intersections. Did I say MUST?. This way you can make sure that the seams are totally accurate. If you don't want to take this step, stop right now and abandon this project (did I really say that?)


Mark the 1/4" seams on the Nine Patch (see bottom left in photo)
Use a pin to align the 9 Patch with the triangle as shown below:
Using a pin to align the triangle with the 9 Patch block
Sew the 6 triangles and 6 Nine Patch blocks together into a "ring." What you see below is the "ring" and the center hexagon fabric being auditioned underneath. It is NOT sewn yet. The pattern has lots of photos showing how to create the outer ring and then add the interfaced center hexagon (you didn't think I was going to sew all those y-seams, too, did you?!)

Ring of 9 Patch blocks and triangles, awaiting the center hexagon
Now, back to that 6" center hexagon. This is 6" measured along the straight side (the way those who English Paper Piece measure these things). You can use an acrylic ruler to draft this, as most have a 60 degree line for orientation.

I made a 6-pointed star and auditioned that. No. I'm going to stick to a single fabric.

This is cute, but not traditional. I still have this center (it's interfaced).
Yes, there are a few y-seams in there. The corners of the blocks (to "square them up") are y-seams. You just have to put your Big Girl pants on and suck it up. I include templates for these 30 degree triangles.
Squaring up the block
I have always enjoyed "upsizing" traditionally small vintage blocks. This is no exception. You can find my Jack's Chain 4 Block Quilt in my Etsy store. It's a 10 page pdf with a LOT of photos and also includes the paper templates for the hexagon and two triangles if you don't have a 60 degree ruler.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

YouTube Video Teaser with Festive Chickadees!

Ha! Thousands of students in hundreds of classrooms and I just now am getting up the courage to share my quilts via video. After I got over how old I look (vanity, vanity), I realized that you don't follow my work because of me but because of how my QUILTS look, right?!!


Christmas in July with Benartex has me sharing my projects on Thursday. Take a peek at my teaser video on YouTube.

Festive Chickadees
Come back on Thursday to see the details. I have TWO projects (plus the one I made in May). You don't want to miss it.

Here's the entire list of 11 designers. Check them out! See you on Thursday!

Monday July 20th – Nancy Scott, Winterberry http://masterpiecequilting.blogspot.com/
Tuesday July 21st – Heidi Pridemore, Rejoice https://www.thewhimsicalworkshop.com/
Wednesday July 22nd – Laura Piland, First Frost http://www.sliceofpiquilts.com/
Thursday July 23rd – Lisa Ruble, Camp Joy https://lovetocolormyworld.blogspot.com/
Friday July 24th – Debby Kratovil, Festive Chickadees https://debbykratovilquilts.blogspot.com/
Saturday July 25th – Wendy Sheppard, Ode to Joy https://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/
Sunday July 26th – Debby Brown, River’s End https://www.debbybrownquilts.com/
Monday July 27th – Charisma Horton, Deer Festival http://charismascorner.com/
Tuesday July 28th – Sandra Walker, Better Not Pout https://www.mmmquilts.com/
Wednesday July 29th – Kate Colleran, Joy https://seamslikeadream.com/
Thursday July 30th – Tammy Silvers, Snow Village & Rustic Village Christmas https://www.tamarinis.com/

Monday, July 20, 2020

Christmas in July Blog Hop with Benartex

It is the middle of July … the sun is shining and flowers are blooming, so it is the perfect time to start thinking about Christmas! Join Benartex, Kanvas and Contempo fabrics and 11 talented pattern designers for a Christmas in July Project Hop from July 20th through the 31st

See 11 video snippets at the Facebook page - 11 Designers giving a sneak peek of what's coming!


Each day will bring an amazing new project and fabric collection feature – all the fabrics are in stores now so you can get started on your projects right away and beat the holiday rush! Hang your stockings, play your favorite Christmas carols, make yourself a mug of frozen hot chocolate and enjoy!

My day is FRIDAY (I can't wait!). Here is the full list for the 11 days:


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Christmas in July, Day 5

I want to feature a quilt that is an "oldie goldie." It's my Photo Corner Birds. You've seen this before. Let me show you again!

Christmas Photo Corners Quilt: 31" x 31"
I first made this pattern over 10 years ago! It was part of my Rainbow Strips and Curves workshop.

Rainbow Curves quilt
The "photo corners" are raw edge appliqué with fusible interfacing on the back to stabilize. Can I show you some of the steps?

Cut out the appliqué patches
 Next . . .
Align on fabric square that has the motif you want to feature

I also made one using a Benartex collection called Avignon:

Another Rainbow Curves/Photo Corners quilt
I bet you have some lovely fabrics with special motifs that you can feature inside these photo frames! I may decide to make another one myself!

Check out my Photo Corners Christmas quilt pattern for more pictures of the process.

Beginning Monday, I will have links to 11 days of Christmas with 11 special designers for the Christmas in July Blog Hop. See you then!