Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December Block for Adinkra Quilt

Here is our last block in the 2016 Adinkra Block of the Month quilt. I hope you've enjoyed the ride.

This is WO NSA DA MU A: "If your hands are in the dish"
This is a symbol of democracy and pluralism. "If your hands are in the dish, people do not eat everything and leave you nothing."

Wo Nsa Da Mu A
I will not be offering a block of the month for 2017. I will be offering occasional patterns and tutorials as it fits in with my busy schedule. A lot of work and I've enjoyed it. I've only heard from a small handful of you as to your interest and progress (out of at least 900 followers on this theme). But if you finish your quilt top and even the quilt itself, I'd love to see a picture and celebrate with you!

If you've not already done it, sign up to follow my blog so you don't miss any of my tutorials or free patterns. I don't keep track of you (honest - I just don't have the time for those details) and would NEVER, EVER pass on your name to a 3rd party!

See you in 2017!

Friday, December 2, 2016

2016 Calendar Girls December Block

Here is is: the last of the 2016 Calendar Girls blocks and projects. It is called the Star and Berry Wreath. It's a perfect size for either a wall banner or a table runner. The blocks are 12" finished.

Star and Berry Wreath: 22" x 48"
I've included the 3 page pdf on how to sew this: Star and Berry Wreath

as well as the one page pdf on tips for the bias technique used for the wreath: A Touch of Applique

I hope you've enjoyed this series of my Block/Project of the Month. I am not planning one for 2017. I will have the occasional "Quilt of the Moment" (to use a phrase of quilter Judy Martin's). I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year. May it be filled with fulfilling quilting, happy times with family and friends and good health!

I hope you'll consider my 2017 Quilter's Block and Pattern Calendar should you wish for more quilt inspiration. I know it is offered on Amazon. Check with your local quilt shop also.

2017 Block and Pattern a Day Calendar

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Windham Wednesdays with the Hand Maker Collection

Natalie Barnes has created an awesome, modern collection for Windham Fabrics called Hand Maker. With 23 skus in this group, I hardly knew where to begin. But, they whispered loudly and I grabbed a handful of the colors, setting aside the black and white prints for the time being.

The Hand Maker Collection by Natalie Barnes for Windham Fabrics

I grabbed a tried and true pattern of mine and resized it. It's my Easy Winding Ways applique block and you will see how easy this is to make. I wanted to get the most out of a fat quarter, so I cut 8-1/2" background squares that will work with my applique. (You can find this same Winding Ways pattern in a larger, 10" finished block size in my Craftsy Store.)

I began with my template cut from freezer paper. I ironed it to the right side of an 8" square of my chosen fabric, with the fusible interfacing underneath (the applique can be cut from a smaller piece of fabric than the background square). Then I cut it out.
Freezer paper template, fabric and fusible interfacing
I auditioned it on the background fabric I selected. Yep! That's the background I want for this beautiful teal.

Applique paired with a background square.
Then I cut out a total of 6 Winding Ways applique units

6 fabrics: 3 dark and 3 light
I paired and cut out background squares to coordinate with my patches. I then pulled threads for the raw edge applique.

Getting ready for machine raw edge applique
And how did you line up the patch, Debby? I finger pressed vertical and horizontal creases, as you can see. Notice that there is a 1/4" around the 4 sides.

Centering the patch
And can we see one closeup after the applique? I used a small, narrow zigzag stitch around the raw edges.

Zig Zag machine stitch
And from the back? Oh, now you understand why I used fusible interfacing and not fusible webbing. This way you can trim away the background fabric. This is VERY important when you have a dark background fabric and a light patch. If it is fused, the dark will affect the light colored applique patch. Ask me how I know!

Trim background fabric from behind the applique
I want to make more of these blocks, so I haven't sewn them together yet. But I think they look lovely spread out on my work table, don't you? Notice how I will arrange them, light to dark

Blocks auditioning before sewing, lights and darks
 And the finished blocks:
6 EZ Winding Ways blocks
Go visit my Craftsy shop to see my black and white Winding Ways quilt and pattern. It is constructed exactly like this. It is a wonderful way to get the movement in this traditional, vintage block without all the curved piecing!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Updated Double Wedding Ring featured in Modern by the Yard and FREE pattern

The new magazine is out today: Modern by the Yard (Benartex).

You can also preview it at the Sew in Love with Fabric blog site

You will find inspiration and updated traditional blocks for today's quilter. My feature is about an updated Double Wedding Ring (DWR).

DWR melon shapes ready to create something modern

No, I didn't sew these all together. What a lump and sewing challenge that would have been in that center!

Here's what I did create. A real modern twist on a traditional Double Wedding Ring (DWR).

Find this FREE pattern in the new eMagazine: Modern by the Yard
You may find that the link for the pdf containing the melon shape doesn't work. Just send me an email and I'll get that off to you: kratovil@his.com. Benartex is working to fix the glitch.

I hope you enjoy the other 4 patterns included, as well as the features on other quilters and a lot of eye candy for new fabric collections.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Modern by the Yard, Fall Edition, released tomorrow!

The newest edition of Modern by the Yard (by Benartex) is released on Monday, November 28. I was asked to update a traditional pattern and I chose the Double Wedding Ring. It's something I've been doing for almost 15 years and I think you'll like the quilt and the process.

Here's a little teaser:
Sew in Love with Fabric will reveal the pattern tomorrow!
You will also see one of my "oldie goldie" quilts from long ago, also made with Benartex fabrics. Published in Quick Quilts Magazine, early 2000s.

Tomorrow I'll reveal the quilt and a link to get the FREE pattern. Until then, enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Jack's Chain Tutorial

I've made two of these blocks and learned something new with each one. The most important thing for me was that I discovered I did NOT want to sew this by hand OR sew this with y-seams as it is traditionally made.

I found a digital file from 20 years ago when I was an editor with Quilt Magazine. This is one of the images:

This is made using a center hexagon, six equilateral (60 degree) triangles and simple 9 Patch blocks. I began with 2-1/2" strips for the 9 Patch blocks and worked my way out from there.

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 (6" hexagon along the straight sides), found that the triangles can be cut from a 5-3/4" strip and started cutting. (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
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.

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. My 8 page pdf pattern on Craftsy - for the Jack's Chain Table Topper - has the template for hexagon (as well as process photos, illustrated step by step diagrams and the template for the 60 degree triangles). Since I have bills to pay (as you do), it's not free, but is reasonable ($5.00)!

If you want a FREE PATTERN using 1-1/2" strips, I found a wonderful page by Marcia Hohn for making a Jack's Chain, with templates and very helpful steps, well illustrated, too. She shows steps for joining the 9 Patches with the triangles and then joining them (using y-seams) to the center hexagon. Marcia was a regular contributor to Quilt Magazine when I worked there. This is the link for Marcia's Jack's Chain.

My craftsy pattern is here: Jack's Chain Table Topper, 22-1/2" x 22-1/2"

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Windham Wednesdays on the Farm

Today I want to share two sweet projects made for my little granddaughter using the Farm Collection by Windham Fabrics. She is not yet 3 years old and still enjoys the simple things (ie, she's not a teenager, ok?)

Remember this main print I shared the other day?

Main print in the Farm Collection
 Here is the set of fat quarters Windham sent to me. Aren't they SO CUTE? That is one SAUCY rooster, don't you think?

Set of fat quarters from the Farm Collection
I struggled. Why? To a quilter, ALL fabric says "quilt!" But I knew that her mom (my daughter) wanted another pillowcase for Eva. She has several quilts already. I selected two fabrics to go with the main print. All I had was fat quarters so I needed to piece the main part of the pillowcase. One for the front and one for the back.

Happy little farm animals, smiling at me as they know they're going to get off my fabric shelf and go live with a little child!

See how happy these animals are to be on their way to a pillowcase!
 Happy rooster, cow and horse - they like the green thread I chose to topstitch the pillowcase hem.
Selecting the right color of green
Folding the green hem to hide the seam. Pinned and ready to topstitch with green thread.
Back side of the pillowcase

Hello? We can see you from the other side!
Zigzagged seems inside

This was made for a special size pillow: 13" x 18" x 4" deep
Finished pillowcase
Next, for a zipper pouch, I needed to shorten the zipper so it would fit the pouch size. A neat trick, don't you think? At first the pig and sassy rooster were worried I might get their "hair" tangled in it. But, see, they're still smiling?
Little Pig and Sassy Rooster are still smiling
I made a zipper pouch for Eva to put her little treasures in. Don't you love it?
Zippered pouch with batting and lining
And let's see the inside!

Zipper pouch on the inside
Where did I get the pattern for this? Certainly not from my head! I did a Google search and came up with a post from Melly Sews. She shares the neat trick for shortening the zipper, too.

I like the challenge of working with fat quarters. It forces me to be creative. Who says the pillowcase has to made from only one fabric? And I think my granddaughter will enjoy flipping the pillow over to see what's on the other side.

Now I'm off to the Dollar Store to find a few farm themed pre-school items to put inside that bag. She gets this on Thanksgiving!