Posts

Showing posts from 2021

By the Sea Sail Boats

Image
I began designing sailboats for foundation paper piecing in the late 1990s when I was Special Projects Editor for Quilt Magazine. We made them tiny (can you say 3")! I remember Carol Doak's blocks were a mere 4" in size, but even that seemed small. After making a few of these tiny things, I upsized them to a larger 6" size. Then when I received a collection of fabrics from Benartex that seemed to speak "sea and boats", I knew what to do with them. I created this By the Sea mini quilt in the early 2000s. By the Sea : 21" x 21" I actually designed well over a dozen of these small blocks and they sold very well. We also published them in various magazines. Then I upsized them last week to as large as I could get on a single piece of paper (8-1/2" x 11") and here are a few. The blocks are 7-1/2" finished size and then I added a strip of "water" to make it 7-1/2" x 9" (finished). This is pieced in one section (no sec

Blue and Gray Sampler: Block Four

Image
This is the 4th block in our 6 block sampler. Lincoln's Platform is a simple block to cut and stitch. Let's look at the one in my original sampler quilt, which first appeared in the Keepsake Quilting Catalog in 2016. Lincoln's Platform block: 12" x 12" Three colors: red center surrounded by green with an ivory background. Here are the 3 colors I chose for my sample blocks for this Sampler. These are some of my absolute favorite blenders! Uncorked Fabrics by Windham. How did I cut them? More details are in the one page pdf pattern. The 4-7/8" squares will become the pieced triangle squares. This is what happens when you don't pay attention. That's why I always tell my students to audition the block parts on the table in front of them! Many a set of patches has been hastily picked up and stitched, only to discover they weren't arranged the right way. Uh, oh! Better switch those patches around! Here is the Blue and Gray Sampler as I stitched it the f

Tree of Life Quilts

Image
Most Westerners know about the Garden of Eden and what happened there because of the fruit of a tree! But, did you realize that there wasn't just one tree in that Garden, but two?! It's said that Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But, God was really concerned that she (or Adam) might also eat from the Tree of Life and then live forever (and wreak havoc over the earth). That's why He kicked them out of the Garden and put angel sentries at the entrance. But, I digress. This isn't about the Bible, but about the vintage block called the Tree of Life. Many of our quilt blocks have a connection with Bible stories and characters and this is no exception. Here is my tiny Tree of Life quilt made in 1998! Yes, I have that date correct. Can you believe it? Tree of Life Quilt: 12-1/2" x 12-1/2" Block size in quilt above is 9" x 9". Those pieced triangles are 1-1/4"! That was when I didn't know any better! I don't like wor

Michael Miller Mondays

Image
I love the timeless beauty of gingham (otherwise known as "Buffalo Plaid"). Michael Miller has the collection Gingham Play in beautiful colors that you've seen here before. Allow me to remind you of them! Gingham Play fabrics I combined them with another fabulous blender which Michael Miller has had for several years: Fairy Frost . Gingham Play and Fairy Frost I made about a dozen Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks using the Gingham (and some Cotton Coutoure ) and then some hearts out of the Fairy Frost. I used 2" paper hexagons. Of course, I had to rethink the colors of the threads I used because a standard white (which I use without thinking) was peeking through to the front. I have all sorts of bits and pieces of spools of thread that were perfect for these fabric colors. Hexagons and matching threads I've been playing with these off and on for over a year. Here is what I was able to pull together yesterday and photograph. Yes, I do have a turquoise Garde

Recent Charity Quilt Finishes

Image
I have been stitching a few dozen quilt tops into finished quilts and then donating them to my local quilt guild (Reston Quilter's Unlimited). To be honest, because I sew for a living, it's not hard to do. I take a lot of my class samples and put the teaching blocks together (when I retire a class) and then my friend Jeannie C. quilts them. I put the binding on and she adds them to the piles to go to various charities. This first quilt is from my Arrowheads workshop. Easy to make with NO funky templates! Fresh Catch Arrowheads: 48" x 48". Block Size: 12" I used some Windham Fabrics called Fresh Catch. And the back also has some fun motifs - perfect for that child who likes to go fishing with his/her dad or mom. Arrowheads quilt back The next quilt was made using some fishing motifs from Benartex: "Keep it Reel". Here is a closeup of some of the panels. I had a blog post last year on how I used these fabrics to make some simple pillowcases. Some fabrics

Halloween Quilts: Day 5

Image
 Owls. And cats. Who gives a hoot? Owl Be There. Two giant 18" blocks I fussy cut these hexagons so I could capture those awesome tree motifs with the hooty-owls perched up in the curly limbs. Isn't this the cutest fabric? It's an older one by Benartex: Owl Be There. One 18" block And here is a REALLY old quilt with some very cute motifs. I was working with fat quarters, so that's how I was able to give it a border. This appeared in my second book, Supersize 'em Quilts (2009, Martingale). Big Block Star And some really cute pillowcases from several years ago. I gave these to my little grandsons (who aren't very little anymore). Fun Halloween pillowcase (front) I had to piece the pillowcase because of the amounts of fabric I had. Not to worry. Kids don't mind! Back of pillowcase And the last pillowcase I'm sharing today. There's one of those owls captured in a smaller hexagon. But - oooooh - where did those spiders come from? I hope you've e

Halloween Quilts: Day 4

Image
This is one of my very oldest Halloween quilts that I still own. I distinctly remember buying this kitty fabric at Walmart for $1.00 a yard! I had just learned a new technique from a guild friend which I called Magic Stax. This was before Bethany Reynolds published her similar technique called Stack 'n Whack. I made this in 2002 and it was published in Quilt Magazine. Halloween Pinwheel Quilt Here is a photo of the fabric. Note that sweet kitty (who's about to be chopped into little triangles). Then when you cut seven more squares the EXACT size, cut them and then swap the piles, you get a kaleidoscope result! This is SO much simpler than cutting all those individual triangles. One stack of 8 triangles become one kaleidoscope block And then a second group of 8 triangles: I have made several quilts using this technique. Do a search for Pinwheel blocks and you will find them here. Here are two other quilts with black cats featured. This was made about 20 years ago and these block

Halloween Quilts: Day 3

Image
So many cute prints - and since I've been sewing for a few fabric companies for the past 25 years, I've had my share of these fabrics. These are from 2014, the Spooktacular Collection by Benartex. Spooktacular Collection I made some little bloomers for my granddaughter. And can you believe those ribbons of ghosts and pumpkins? I wish I still had some. I think I gave them to my grandsons. Then I wanted to capture some of those "harmless" looking spiders and feature them in - what else - a quilt! I cut out squares and then sewed corner triangles on them. You may remember this picture from 2014. Here's one of those snowballed blocks: a bottle of Hell Fire - can you believe it? And the finished quilt was perfect when I captured those border rows of bottles of witches' concoctions. I sent this to one of my little grandsons in Pennsylvania. Spooktacular Quilt And my grandsons were still little in 2014 (elementary age now), so I made them some pajama pants. Aren'