Monday, November 30, 2020

Quilt Twins Week: Day One

This week I am featuring twins, quilt twins, that is! I often make more than one of my designs in different fabric collections. And I'm going to show Christmas and Hanukkah fabrics in the mix as we get ready to celebrate these holidays.

The first quilt is Diadem. It is a vintage pattern that is traditionally pieced with templates. Not me! I converted those corner points to simple Paper Piecing.

Diadem Quilt: 53" x 53". 14" blocks

This appears in my second book, Supersize 'Em Quilts. The center patch showcases a beautiful motif that we would otherwise be reluctant to take a rotary cutter to. They are cut 10-3/8".

This was a popular workshop for a few years. I tested the pattern using a variety of fabrics. Here's one made with a collection called Lola by Blank Quilting.

Diadem Block from 2013

Here is one with an outer space theme. It was one of my workshop class samples. It has since been donated to a kids' charity locally. Some kid is going to love this, right? And he/she won't mind that I didn't stagger the gold and blue blocks.

Diadem quilt using an outer space theme

So, now I have a third quilt. That means triplets! This was finished recently using some Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Diadem using some Kaffe Fassett prints

Here is another Kaffe Fassett single block that I added borders to. Now you can really see what I mean about being reluctant to chop up that fabulous center large scale floral! It needs to be seen!

Single Diadem block with simple borders

Yes, I just remembered ANOTHER quilt (are we up to quintuplets?). This also was a workshop sample.

Diadem quilt using pinks and browns

And let me end with one more holiday themed block. These paper pieced corners are very easy to stitch and you get a 14" block quickly. The fabric does all the work!

Single Diadem block from 2013

Hope you enjoyed seeing how one pattern can look different when wearing different fabrics! See you tomorrow with another set of twins (or triplets or quints!) Go check out the 12 page pdf digital file in my Etsy store.


Friday, November 27, 2020

Sewing for the Hanukkah Holiday

December 10th is the first day of Hannukah (begins at sunset). You still have time to make some small gifts for your Jewish friends and relatives. I have made several quilt-y items over the years that feature Hanukkah fabric. First, the greeting cards:

Snowflake window greeting card with Hanukkah fabrics

Here is an English Paper Pieced block from Katja Marek's calendar. I'm going to make it into a coaster. This Hanukkah fabric is at least 15 years old!


Now for some recent items. You've seen these before. This is my Star of David Hanukkah Star.

Star of David table topper. NO y-seams! 24" x 28"

And my dreidel blocks made from the same collection:

Single Dreidel Block: 10" finished

And 3 blocks together. They may become a table runner or 3 little gift bags.

Raw edge appliqué

Here are my paper pieced dreidels, featured in Modern Patchwork Magazine, Holiday edition a few years ago:

Paper Pieced Dreidel gift bags

That's enough for today. I still have more ideas, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Sewing for the Holiday Table and Tree

I enjoy English Paper Piecing and I remembered some ornaments I made almost 20 years ago for a demo I did in a local quilt shop. I had some extra Sunburst motifs leftover from a few quilts and discovered they work with 1-3/4" hexagons. I used one for the front, one for the back (that means two papers, for those of you who know how to EPP). Put them together back to back, inserted some ribbon, and stitched around the edges by machine. Magic! Ornaments!

Sunburst ornaments, Side 1

Sunburst ornaments, Side2

I made these cards in May for my lovely mother in law (Jane), who was locked down in her retirement home in New York. She loves to write to her friends and ran out of stationery. She asked me to help. Of course! Again, I used those Sunburst motifs and some companion fabrics; cut out hearts and fused them right to the card stock. Paired them with envelopes and made her SO HAPPY! These can be holiday cards, too. Dig out your Christmas (and Hanukkah) fabrics.

Happy heart cards

I had some window cards from years ago that begged to feature some pretty fabric. These are generic - can be Christmas or Hanukkah - right? Snowflakes are universal. Stitched fabric to batting, inserted in window and then taped it shut. SO EASY!

Holiday window cards

And how about your table? These "Let it Snow" motifs (from a Windham Fabrics 2015 collection) were left over from my EPP classes. These are 2" hexagons. I zigzag stitched them to a 5-1/2" square, layered with batting and backing, stitched around and then bound them. Sent one to each of my 4 grandkids and have 5 leftover that I'm giving to a neighbor's 5 little kids (all under the age of 6 - yikes!)

Coasters made using 2" hexagons

And one last item: a placemat made for my grandkids. Here's one with Frosty the Snowman (from my own daughters' youth).

Placemat #1

These are 2" hexies and make for a very large placemat!

Placemat #2

Hope I've given you some ideas. I'll be back with some Hanukkah ideas!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Princess Feathers for Autumn Quilts

Here in America we are getting ready to celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Most of us are not traveling and will just have to stay at home with our quilts. This is one I put together over several years and even took apart and re-arranged the blocks! I quilted this a few months ago and I pulled it out to grace my dining room.

Dancing Leaves: 35" x 42"

 I shared these Princess Feather leaves in 2015. Maybe you remember?

6 Princess Feather leaves with fusible webbing on back

I cut a few more and began to plan.


I was thinking of a runner, but then decided to use all the blocks. Here are a few shots of how I envisioned the blocks.

Light block with strips on sides

Dark block - didn't like that!

I didn't fuse the leaves to the background rectangles (VERY good idea) as I was considering the assembly. I put them on my design wall and then I realized that if I didn't like one block, I would like several.

Playing with assembly and background fabrics

So, now you can see that my Dancing Leaves quilt with all plain backgrounds was what I enjoyed the most. This way I can see the leaves in good contrast.

I first made a Princess Feather quilt for Windham Fabrics in 2006. It was with the Regency Dandy collection, reproduction fabrics from about 1810. The quilting is DIVINE and was executed by Leslee Evans of Atlanta.
Regency Dandy Princess Feather

I also made it again for my second book (Supersize 'Em Quilts, 2009) using Kaffe Fassett fabrics. This still hangs in my home. The colors are very Autumn and harvest-y.

Princess Feather: 56" x 56" (30" block)

I still have a bag full of these feathers (small and large) that keep begging me to make another quilt or two. Yes, I have THAT many! Here is a table runner that is also out for Thanksgiving.

Dancing Feathers Table Runner


And just to show you the stack of Princess Feather Plumes I have . . . These date back to 2007 when I was working with the Red Rooster Rhapsody Collection. Aren't these beautiful?!

Stack of Princess Feather plumes with fusible webbing and ready to go

And I even made a two Machine Quilting Samples for a workshop I teach with the smaller plumes:

Single sample with the smaller plumes

And 4 blocks together:
Larger sample using 4 blocks

OK. I'm done. Hope you enjoyed seeing my Princess Feather quilts with a nod toward Autumn.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Circle Week: Day 5

I was pulling all my Christmas quilts out of the closet to begin decorating for the holiday and came upon this small treasure I made about 30 years ago. I think I bought this set of panels from a fabric chain store (no longer in business) and used my interfacing technique to turn the edges. Appliquéd them to a single background fabric (gold) and machine quilted it. But, as I looked closer, I saw that I had started to hand quilt it - and obviously gave up!

30 year old holiday baskets

Drunkard's Path is a vintage, traditional pattern that remains popular even today. It's been updated and modernized and looks fresh and clean in new fabrics. It is composed of quarter circles joined to curved patches. It always daunted me, so I decided to appliqué circles to squares and then cut them into 4 smaller units. The top of this basket was made from a single cream square with a blue print circle appliquéd to the center. Then cut into 4 smaller squares. The basket uses two of them for the top.

Basket Block: 4-1/2" unfinished

The bottom of the basket comes from a blue square with a cream circle appliquéd. Again, I only used 2 of those smaller squares. I stitched them using a buttonhole machine stitch.

Back of Basket block

Here are a few other traditional Drunkard's Path blocks and variations. All of the circles came from a grocery bag filled with pre-cut circles for yo-yos and they were vintage 1930s fabrics!

Variation of Chain Links block. 8-1/2" unfinished


Vintage chicken prints - I call this Chicken a la Ring!

And lavender with yellow. So pretty! Again, 8-1/2" unfinished.

Harvest Moon or Around the World

More lavender and yellow. This is the Baby Bunting block.
Baby Bunting

Snowy Windows (pattern name)

Can also be called Dirty Windows!

Each of these circle prints are authentic 1930s prints.
Puzzle Boxes

And one of my absolute treasured possessions: All the tiny 1/4 circles are from that bag of pre-cut yo-yos. I used a precious feed sack remnant for the border and binding. This is the traditional Love Ring taken out quick a few rounds!

Love Ring using authentic feed sacks and 1930s prints

And a closeup of these 1930 prints. Aren't they sweet?


That's it for Circle Week. I know I have more circle quilts in my Quilt Vault but if I can't think of the name, there's no way I can find them. Have a great weekend and I hope some quilting is in there for you.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Circle Week: Day Four

Welcome to Day Four with circles. The first quilt here is made entirely of CASHMERE! I used some salesman's samples of wool cashmere and made this 54" x 82" quilt for my husband. I cut quarter circles from one sample and squares from another and then raw edge appliquéd them on using a buttonhole stitch.


Wool Cashmere Quilt: 54" x 82"

NO fusibles were used. NO interfacing. Just wool to wool.

Yesterday, I forgot to show you how I trim from behind my appliquéd circles. I leave the interfacing in until they are stitched - it stabilizes the edges so they don't get wobbly.

Trimming away behind appliquéd circle

And we all are familiar with yo yos, right? These delightful little circles are fun to make and use as embellishments. These yo yos are made with authentic 1930s fabrics


I helped my daughter design this project using a large yo yo quilt that we selectively took apart and then mounted on a canvas. It hangs above her bed. We used a bazillion pins to anchor this!

Reconstructed yo-yo spread

And I took several of these yo yo groupings and connected them into this little quilt. Lovely circles, right?

Small quilt made of yo yos

And one more: This is a class sample for my Folded Hexagon Flowers workshop. It uses 3-D prairie points, yo yos and folded 3-D Hexagons.

Yo yos and other 3-D embellishments

And an updated sample you've seen here before.


That's it for circles today. I'm going to dig around in my files to see what else I can share tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!