Monday, September 28, 2020

Rose Star Week: Day One

Another week, another theme. I probably won't do a full 7 days, but I know you'll be entertained with some lovely projects featuring the Rose Star. "What's a Rose Star," you ask? It's a vintage block that uses a patch shape called the "kite." And you all know what a kite it, right? Here are a few dozen kite shaped fabrics waiting for a quilty home.

Kite shaped Kaffe Fassett fabrics

Are you nervous? Are you thinking: Y-SEAM! Well, if you have a driver's license, you know how to make a y-seam, only it's called a "y-turn" in driving school. That's what I tell my students in my Rose Star classes.

Here is the project I made using these patches. It's one of my favorite quilts. I'll show you a few steps, too.

Rose Star Table Topper

I realized I needed a dependable kite shaped template and had one made for me. (It comes with the pattern in my Etsy shop along with 3 fabric kites for practice!) While it cuts only one size, it's very easy to do without a lot of weird twists and turns. I also realized that the several multi-sized Kite Rulers on the market are not easy to work with (ask me how I know).

My Kite template used to make the topper above

Creative Grids ruler is great (I have one). Price tag is a bit steep: $28.99 (with no patterns). It is multi-sized for a lot of options, of course. But I digress.

The Rose Star topper above has 24 sets of 3-kite units. After you've sewn those 24 y-seams, everything else gets stitched together as though you're just using 60 degree triangles: NO y-seams.

What does the 3-patch unit look like, front and back?


3 patch unit from the front

3 patch unit from the back

And here's my class sample top (no quilting). I keep it as a top so my students can see what's going on "behind the scenes" and how the units are stitched together.

Rose Star Topper using Aria fabrics from Windham

I sell the Rose Star Topper pattern with acrylic template in my Etsy shop (and it comes with a 3-kite fabric patch set so you can practice). $13.99 plus $2 postage. I only have 10 left.

I also sell the same pattern (minus the template) as a DIGITAL pdf. ($7.99). Of course, there is a full size paper template! (there is no limit to these, of course).

Come back tomorrow for more ideas using this very simple Kite shaped patch. More ideas!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Butterfly Week: Day 7

Last day with one of my first Butterfly quilts. This was made about 18 years ago and published in Quilt Magazine. This is a simple Drunkard's Path inspired block. And those fabrics are wonderful, too.

Sunshine Butterflies. 6" block. 28" x 37" quilt

This little quilt brought some child a few smiles, I'm sure. It also gave me the idea for the next quilt, but the technique is quite different. This time I used a Curvy Log Cabin ruler (Jean Ann Wright for Creative Grids). Here's a closeup of the block:

Three curvy 12" log cabin blocks joined with a plain square

The logs are two different sizes (thick and thin). The "head" is a prairie point.

And here's the quilt finished:

Sunshine Butterflies: 47-1/2" x 47-1/2"

The hard copy pattern in my Etsy shop assumes you have the Curvy Log Cabin ruler.

Here is a second quilt made by a quilt shop in Wisconsin.

Sunshine Butterflies by the Quilting Divas Sewing Boutique

I actually found another piece of butterfly print by Windham (called Wonder). Here are the butterfly prints. I only have the cream one. Aren't they lovely?






I hope you enjoyed my Butterfly Week. These quilts were so happy that you came to visit!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Butterfly Week: Day 6 and Windham Wednesdays

If it's Wednesday, many times I like to feature fabrics by Windham (Windham Wednesdays)! Today is no different. In my search for butterflies in fabric and block patterns, I realized that a new collection I shared last week (Meadow Whispers) has BUTTERFLIES on several skus. No kidding! Let's see them again.

The butterflies of Meadow Whispers

Here is the fabric collection with those lovely butterflies on the left (3 colors):


Another collection by Windham that I shared here before is Butterfly Dance. This was released in 2018. Let's see the amazing fabrics.

Butterfly Dance fabrics

Do you remember what I made with it? Well, let me remind you! This is from my Metropolitan Home Star pattern. Each of those "star" blocks is 21". The paper pieced points units are 7". I staggered the stars for more movement. This is ready for me to quilt. No more borders (because I was only working with fat quarters and when I'm done, I'm done!)

Butterfly Dance: 49" x 54"

Here's one of the blocks up close. Dragonflies in the corners. I think Dragonflies and Butterflies are cousins, right?

Butterfly Dance block from Metropolitan Home Star pattern

Day 6 means I have ONE more day to inspire you with butterflies. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Butterfly Week: Day 5

 How about some dresden plate wedges that disguise themselves as butterfly wings? This was the happy result of a mistake I made when I lived in Atlanta and was involved in a block swap with my quilt guild almost 20 years ago. Our task was to make a 10" block of our choosing and I figured I could make a simple Dresden Plate. You know - 12 wedges in a circle. This Amish inspired quilt has been shown here before.



What happened is that I used a bigger template and the 12 wedges in the circle wouldn't fit onto a 10" square. They were meant for a 12" square - it was too big! I began to take them apart, thinking I was dividing the block into fourths. Instead, I ended up with three sets of four wedges (I used to teach high school math, so I should be able to do simple division). Then I got angry with myself and tossed the wedges onto the 10" square and they landed so that I saw butterfly wings! I just needed a body!

Dresden plate wedges disguised as butterfly wings

Here is the first quilt I made with this pattern. I used real vintage feed sacks. This is all sewing machine work; no needle turn for those wedge tips. This was published in Quilt Magazine soon after.


Then I made another one for my first book. This is Butterflies at Night. It was one of those quilts stolen in 2005 and so I remade it.

Butterflies at Night

I remade the quilt and have since donated it to charity. Fun colors, right?


And then Windham Fabrics wanted someone to design something using a 1930s reproduction collection for making kits in Keepsake Catalog. And what did I design? You're right! This was such a best seller. There are still quilters who enjoy working with these sweet reproduction prints.

Storybook Butterflies

One of my blog readers named Audrey shared her Butterfly quilt with me.  She tilted the blocks and added the antennae. You can find the pattern in my Etsy shop. Very easy to make those wedges (no needle turn anywhere). Machine appliquéd to those 10" squares.

Audrey's Butterfly quilt

You never know how a quilt block can morph through a mistake. This was a fun discovery and I hope you enjoyed seeing these butterflies today.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Butterfly Week: Day Four

 I'm back and so are more butterflies! I came upon this lovely vintage dresser scarf that I made for my lovelier oldest daughter using a large block of appliquéd butterflies. I found it in an antiques market about 10 years ago and then decided to square it up, add a lining (no batting) and then bound it with real feed sacks. Lovely, right? And they are a bit sassy, too!

Vintage butterflies

Here are some fabrics that show some butterflies. The collection is called Bird Song by Windham.

Bird Song fabrics

I centered the fabrics in a simple Cobblestone block. And they also are the main part of the paper pieced birdhouse.

Here's one more small block that I finished off with simple sashing and borders. The block was part of a contest for Quilt Magazine and my editor gave it to me to finish off. See that lovely blue butterfly in the top corner?

That's it for today. I'll see you tomorrow for Day 5.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

How to Make Any Size Circle for Quilt Appliqué

I've seen all sorts of tools and gadgets for making all sorts of shapes in quilting. But, making circles does not involve buying those new, expensive sets of metal donut shapes. I've been using my technique for over 30 years; that's because I HATE needle turn appliqué.

Here's my design created for P and B Fabrics a few years ago. Two different sizes of circles. I've gone between raw edge appliqué and sewing with interfacing and turning. These can be made with either technique. Floating Circles is FREE online. Check it out!

Floating Circles FREE Pattern

Here's my Facets of Color Holiday Tree which uses this technique. I used a plastic margarine lid for the circle shape. No kidding! Do you know how many DIFFERENT sizes of circles you have around your house? I'll wait a few minutes while you go look around.

Facets of Color Tree

Are you back? Are you ready to see those steps? When I first thought this up (though I'm sure I'm not the first), I used my background in garment sewing and thought: interfacing! But, I didn't have any in the house. BUT - I had some used fabric dryer sheets (no kidding!). I can still see myself standing in my laundry room with those dryer sheets in my hand - 30 years ago! It helped me finish a Block of the Month appliqué quilt I was working on.

I am a butter girl, but my husband had bought this margarine tub at the store and we worked our way through it. So, the lid became the size I wanted for this quilt I created. I traced the circle onto a square of medium weight interfacing (sold by the yard at your local Michael's or Joanns, etc).


Then I placed it onto the fabric I chose. I sewed around the drawn circle. Then trimmed it to about 1/8"


Turned it right side out and have 1 circle; 2 circles; all the circles. I attached them with machine zigzag.

This worked for my Dori quilt (2013). I fussy cut this motif in the center of the size of circle I wanted. Interfaced it, turned, clipped and it's ready to be appliquéd to the center.


Here's the quilt (from 2013).


I did the same thing with the centers in all of my mariner's compass patterns. This is Katie's Garden (from my last book). Yes, I did this with the half and quarter circles, too.

Katie's Garden from Paper Piecing Perfect Points

OK. I think you got the idea. ANY size circle will do for this. Dash into your kitchen and look at those Tupperware lids, yogurt tops, plates. You get the picture! And if you don't have any interfacing, go do a load of laundry, dry it and then use one of those dryer sheets (they're a bit flimsy these days, but they will work in a pinch.) You're welcome!

See you tomorrow for Butterfly Week: Day Four.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Butterfly Week: Day Three

How about a little embroidery? I made this quilt for my first book (Bold, Black and Beautiful Quilts). It was one of those 20+ quilts that were stolen in 2005. I embroidered the butterflies (and wreaths) on my Pfaff sewing machine.


Here's a pillow sham I designed for Blank Quilting back in 2008. I never got to sew it, but this also uses a vintage appliqué butterfly block. I may just have to make this. I still have some of these lovely Inspiration fabrics in my stash.

22" x 28" center

And one more that lets the fabric do the work. This is the Sakura collection from a few years ago by Benartex. I fussy cut the butterflies and then used interfacing to turn the edges under. Quick and easy!


I had the collection with both the cream and black backgrounds. Here's one of the quilts I made. I simply appliquéd those circles to squares using a machine zigzag stitch.


And then I clipped away the fabric from behind the circles. Wanna see? This quilt was also quilted and then donated to a local children's charity. I still have more of those interfaced butterfly circles. I can feel another quilt begging to be made. I'll let you know!


I used another butterfly print for the border on this Garden Maze quilt. I did a tutorial on making this block several years ago. If you wait a minute, I'll go look for it!

        Got it: First published in 1999 for Quilt Magazine. I put it on my blog in 2012 and then updated it last year. Don't Be Dazed by the Garden Maze. Aren't these browns and pinks lovely?

Butterflies in border print

Hope you've enjoyed Day 3 of Butterfly Week. Yes, I have a few more days to go. I may skip tomorrow (Sunday). But, I will have 7 full days of butterflies for you!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Butterfly Week: Day Two

 I shared this Romantic Butterflies quilt before, but since I was using raw edge appliqué in my quilt yesterday, I figured today was a good day to feature another one! I made this in 2006 using some Ana Griffin fabrics. It was published in Appliqué Quilts magazine.


This quilt is living in someone's home today; not in mine! I hope it continues to bring someone smiles.

Here's one of the blocks in process (from another quilt):

Here's another quilt I made a few years ago for Windham Fabrics and their Gardening Collection. This was published in Keepsake Quilting Catalog. There's another vintage appliqué butterfly.

Audrey's Garden Quilt

Let's see some of those blocks up close.


My 13 page pattern also includes the directions for the flanged pillow. All templates are full size. And the birdhouse is paper pieced.


I made it in another color. They both live with my oldest daughter Audrey.


And here's the one on the cover of the Flanged Pillow pattern (so; I guess I made it THREE times!)


So, those little butterflies have some company with a watering can, flowers and a birdhouse. That makes them so happy!

Hope you enjoyed Butterfly Week, Day Two. Yes, I still have close to 10 more Butterfly quilts, so stay tuned!