Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Quilted. Bound. Finished!

It's a good feeling to finish a quilt - all the way to the binding. I quilted these 3 quilts in January and prepared the binding. They were staring at me from the studio closet and I finally finished them (two yesterday).

The first one was from a tutorial I had here on my blog: Benartex's Matthew's Monsters in the Machine. You can see my steps. Here is the front:

Matthew's Monsters in the Machine
 And I used the story panel for the back.

Story panel works well for the back
Here is a quilt I designed and made in 2008 - yes, I did! I finally put those blue borders on, quilted and finished it. The block is 18", and though it's a small quilt, it will serve as a workshop sample. I'm motivated to make a 4 block quilt. This is paper pieced in four sections and then is set into the curved background.

Divided Diamonds
I love to piece my quilt backs. It helps me use up various leftovers.

Divided Diamonds back
And the third quilt is a variation of a quilt I had published in my 3rd book (Paper Piecing Perfect Points, Martingale, 2013). I have made this at least 4 times. I am teaching it again at the Quilt Odyssey this summer (July 19-21). I will have more on that later, as well as share the other quilts.

Here is My Geese Have the Blues, based on my book pattern. I split the center circle. This is a pattern on Craftsy. But I have made several more of these.

My Geese Have the Blues
I used up some novelty prints from several years ago. I put the binding on this yesterday. Can you say "finished"?  This Circle of Geese quilt is also paper pieced.

Circle of Geese
Here is the somber quilt from my book. I used some toile fabrics from Windham. I think I like the happy colors better.
Toile Garden
And using the same assembly (with the center circle split with sashing), I have another happy quilt.

Circle of Geese
I'll share the other 2 (maybe 3?) later, but I just wanted to share some of my recent finishes. Hope you enjoyed the show!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Revisiting My Sunbonnet Sue Quilts

I have shared the following quilts in the past here on my blog. I wanted to revisit them and show them all in one place!

I have a Pfaff embroidery machine that is able to stitch out some Sunbonnet Sue blocks. I made these almost 20 years ago. I used reproduction 1930s fabrics to go with the blocks and then the border is an authentic feedsack print from the 30s. This was published in one of our quilting magazines.

These are machine embroidered Sunbonnets. A LOT OF THREAD!
The quilt above uses authentic feedsack in the border. The blocks are embroidered with a bazillion stitches each (maybe 14,000). But I truly love this little quilt.

I used to work for Quilt Magazine (1993-2007) as the Special Projects Editor. I came across all sorts of patterns. We loved featuring Sunbonnet Sue quilts. Here's a bed quilt I made for publication using a public domain pattern. All the Sues are the same; just dressed differently. I wish I owned this, but alas not. I'm sure someone is enjoying it. It's a queen size quilt! This is available in my Craftsy store.

Sunbonnet Sue bed quilt. 14" Block. 104 x 114" quilt

Then I designed a single block that I shared with my students in Atlanta back in 2005 or so. I have this pattern in my Craftsy store.

Sunbonnet Sue. 10" block
My editor gave me two little, tiny blocks I have had here for at least 20 years. I decided to make one into a tiny pillow for my granddaughter (back in 2014). These were hand stitched, as you can see! I featured this in a blog hop that was supposed to include ruffles.

Tiny Sunbonnet Sue block, 3-1/2" square!
I wanted a ruffle on the pillow. I cut some strips from a 1930s reproduction print in lavender. I had to stitch them together to get the length I needed. See the pic below.

Cut two strips about 2-1/2" wide and joined them along the diagonal
Trim away the excess. The diagonal line makes for less bulk when it's folded

Note that I pressed this seam open
See how the diagonal seam makes for less bulk
Time to gather this double-fold strip. Love those 1930s prints!

Long basting stitch by machine
Now I ease the ruffle onto the four sides of the pillow front.

Yes, this is messy, but it will be covered by a backing and stuffed with polyfil
And now you can see how she looks from the front. So sweet!

Isn't she the cutest? Please don't look at the corners. I really struggled with this tiny thing!
 And how does she look stuffed?

Tiny little Sunbonnet Sue pillow
Then I put the single block Sue with the pillow!
Appliqué Sunbonnet Sue from at least 15 years ago
And my last Sunbonnet Sue includes Overall Sam. I made this quilt two years ago and it was featured as a kit in the Keepsake Quilting catalog. I incorporated some log cabin blocks I had been making with no plan in mind. Windham Fabrics asked me to work with them (their 1930s reproduction fabrics) and I pulled out all my Sue and Sam patterns from those years working with Quilt Magazine. What do you think of this newer Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilt? I now have it as a pattern with full size templates and all instructions for making those log cabin blocks. I think it's at least 15 pages long.

Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilt. Block Size: 16". Quilt Size (no borders): 48" x 48"
Hope you enjoyed seeing all of these. I have the quilt in the above picture hanging in my living room. I'm surprised my oldest daughter hasn't claimed it for her daughter (my only granddaughter) yet. I know she will!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Windham Wednesdays with Lemmikki by Lotta Jansdotter

I'm not one to be partial to one designer over another, but Lotta Jansdotter has captured my attention for several years with her clean lines, modern colors and happy patterns. Her latest, Lemmikki, is no exception.

Windham sent me a fat quarter bundle of Lemmikki and I decided to revisit a previous post and change it up a bit.

Lemmikki Collection by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics
I separated the grays from the colors:
Colors for my project today
 I'm saving the grays for a future project. Not sure what, but the fabrics will tell me what they want!

Grays for a future project
I had a sense that these colors were similar to two previous collections from Windham: Aria by Kelly Ventura and Hand Maker by Natalie Barnes. I pulled out the fabrics and did a quick perusal and decided I was right. I even emailed the Marketing Director for Windham and asked if these 3 designers had chosen the same "paint chips." No. Just that they must be partial to the same colors!

Not all "match" but I was able to select a few of the fabrics from Aria to work with my Lemikki project. I only had fat quarters and I needed a bit more fabric.

Aria Collection by Kelly Ventura
I used Hand Maker and Aria to make a class sample for my Rose Star class. What do you think?

Rose Star quilt using a few combined collections

And how about Hand Maker (released in 2016)?

Hand Maker Collection
I made this 6 block Winding Ways quilt WHICH I'M GOING TO TAKE APART for my next steps. Yes, I am! If you want to see the post I wrote with a lot of pictures, go see it: Winding Ways with Hand Maker. You will see how I made the blocks.

Winding Ways quilt made using Hand Maker
I decided to combine the 3 collections so Lemmikki would have some buddies to work with. First, here are the six blocks before I put them into this little quilt above:

Six Winding Ways blocks using Hand Maker
You may be asking: why did I take the six block quilt apart? Well, it's small. The blocks are 8" and the entire thing will only be fit for a wall hanging. I thought I would expand it. I cut out my 8-1/2" background squares and then my "cheater's" Winding Ways units (see that blog post above for the steps). Aren't these lovely colors?

Lemmikki, Hand Maker and Aria - all playing nice together
I stitched until I got a total of 16 blocks. I wanted 25 but I pooped out. When you are given ONLY fat quarters to work with, you have to get creative with the borders. As you can see in the 6 block quilt above, I used strips next to the blocks that reflect the fabric in the appliqué patch. I did the same thing in the 16 block quilt.
16 Block Winding Ways quilt
These are 8" blocks. The outside borders are cut 3-1/2" for a 38" x 38" quilt.

You can see my pattern for 10" blocks at my Craftsy store: Winding Ways. The technique is the same as is used here. I appliquéd the patches instead of piecing. Very quick and easy!

Check out the Lemmikki Collection which is available in quilt shops right now. Stay tuned for what I come up with for those grays. They're beginning to whisper to me from the shelves . . .

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Paper Pieced Shark's Teeth

I've blogged about this pattern before and wanted to give an update. Also, I have quite a lot of new followers who may not be aware of this amazing pattern.

I designed this Shark's Teeth pattern in early 2003. I bundled it on my popular Building Blocks and Borders CD with 39 other foundation patterns, all in 4 sizes each.

Here is just one of the pages. In all those sizes, the CD contains 240 blocks for foundation piecing! Each of the 40 patterns has a variety of ways to be used in borders.

One page from the CD
Here are a few blocks:

10" Shark's Teeth Block from the front
The beauty of paper piecing, when trimming BEFORE you add the next patch, is that the resulting wrong side of the block is nice and tidy as though you sewed with templates.
10" Shark's Teeth Block from the back
Can we see what this looks like with the paper still on? Of course!

Two units pieced from #1 - #12 without stopping
And a few other blocks:
Two halves of the 10" block with the center seam ready to be sewn
 Center seam sewn.
Block completed
Now, how about a quilt? First, a single block. This is VERY scrap friendly. Perfect for 2-1/2" Jelly Roll strips. You can get six strips from each 2-1/2" strip. Of course, each of my blocks uses a variety of prints. I tried to keep each of the four sections using one print each and the constant background solid.

A single Shark's Teeth block using Kaffe Fassett scraps
Here is my quilt on the design wall last year. I was really winging this as I only had a certain amount of each of the 3 shot cotton solids. I rearranged those orange center blocks as you can see in the last picture.

Planning my Shark's Teeth quilt using 10" blocks
I finally took the plunge and even though a few of the blocks are pointing in the wrong direction (you figure it out!), I added my four corner blocks and finished it up with borders. What do you think?

Shark's Teeth Quilt: 53" x 53"
I have this pattern on my Craftsy site. The 12 page pdf includes the pattern for the quilt and then foundations for 3", 4", 5", 6" and 10" blocks, including the reverse - in case you want these teeth to point in the opposite direction! The 10" block is perfect for all those 2-1/2" strips you have; scrap friendly with some solid reading fabrics for good contrast.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Tea Pot for the 2018 Tea Party BOM

I know you've waited anxiously for the Tea Pot in our Block of the Month. After all, you have tea cups but you can't drink any tea until you have something to brew it in, right?

Here is a digital picture of a floral tea pot I made last year. Very traditional looking. I created this pattern about 20 years ago and have used it a variety of times for magazine projects.

Floral Tea Pot
Here is one set I made using my tea pot pattern - an entire ensemble! Hot pads, trivets, a Lone Star mat with a 3-D flower and, of course, a Tea Cozy! Published in Quilt Magazine about 15 years ago.

French Countryside Ensemble

And another set I created for Blank Fabrics: a tea cozy but no appliquéd tea pot. That's because the fabric has tea pots dancing all over it!

I made the Tea Pot appliqué in 2005 for the Kaffe Fassett Club that met at Intown Quilter's Shop in Atlanta. I love this Lille Collection of fabrics, don't you?

Tea Pot. Appliqué size: 6" x 9"
Because I didn't have a particular plan for my blocks, I didn't use uniform sizes of background fabrics. That will be an interesting challenge when I go to try to put them together!

Here is a picture of a tea cozy using that floral tea pot in the first picture:

Tea Cozy with appliquéd tea pot
Did you see the Tea Cup I made in February with one of my Laurel Wreath birds sitting atop? It's the Cedar Waxwing, one of five birds included in the pattern set of 25 wreath blocks. I thought he/she would look rather chirpy perched on the rim of the cut! (The Laurel Wreath pattern set is available at my Craftsy shop.)

Cedar Waxwing perched on the rim of my Tea Cup
Also, did you know I created a Facebook page for our 2018 Tea Party blocks? You can post the pictures of your blocks and get lots of warm welcomes from our members. Here's the link:

2018 Tea Party Facebook page. Make a request to join and I usually see it and approve before the end of the day (many times well before). We'd love to have you share your blocks with us!

Next month will be the Creamer and Sugar Bowl. You can see them here in my picture of scattered blocks that I've made so far.

Some of the Tea Party blocks I've made so far
If you missed the January Block, it's still available: The Cake Stand (and cake)
And the February Block is also available: The Tea Cup

Here is the link for the March Tea Pot. Remember, this pattern is FREE only for the month of March.

See you next month. And don't forget to consider joining the Facebook page for the Tea Party!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

March Calendar Blocks and TWO Quilt Patterns

It's March and I have another set of blocks from my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar. There are 31 blocks in TWO sizes, along with complete directions for TWO quilts!

See more about these two blocks below (as a FREE pattern included). I used the new Uncorked Collection by Windham Fabrics to make this in the 10" block size. Irish Cross and Chain.

Irish Cross and Chain Quilt: 28" x 28"
You can see ALL of the blocks in the calendar, in alphabetical order here: Block a Day Calendar. Be careful; you could spend some serious time there looking at all of those 366 blocks!

I've also included a list of all the blocks in the calendar (366) and the sizes. It's at the end of the March Blocks pdf. You can also link to it here: Quilter's Block a Day Calendar Blocks

This set of March blocks is a full 49 pages. Would you like to see one? How about a birthday cake?

Celebrate Block: March 7. Two sizes: 6" and 12"
Remember, you can see ALL of these blocks by doing a search in the right side bar for "Quilter's Block a Day Calendar." I featured 7 of them each week here. The blocks were made with real fabric (not just my digitals) by Patricia Bryant using my block patterns. She did such an awesome job!

One of the two quilts included is Patches and Leaves. The block size is 12". The quilt, as shown, is 56" x 68". I've also included a one page tip sheet for quick-stripping the center 16-Patch. The little leaves are appliquéd either raw edge by machine or by hand (your choice, of course)!

Patches and Leaves: 12" block from March 21
Here are 3 quilts, two from shop owners and one (the runner) made by me:

Beautiful Patches and Leaves in bold, happy colors
And a quilt done in lavender and cream:

Patches and Leaves in lavender
 And my simple runner:

The second quilt pattern I include is Irish Cross and Chain. These two 10" blocks from March 17 and 18 are a perfect way to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day!

Irish Cross and Chain: 64" x 74"
I had some of the new Uncorked Collection by Windham Fabrics to make two each of these blocks:

Double Irish Cross (10") is the March 17 block  (for St. Patrick's Day, right?)

March 17 block: Double Irish Cross - 10"
Double Irish Cross (10") is the March 18 block

March 18 block: Double Irish Patches - 10"
You can get your copy at my Craftsy store. If you missed the January and February sets, they are there, too!

January Calendar Blocks (31 blocks and 2 quilt patterns)

February Calendar Blocks (29 blocks and 2 quilt patterns)

March Calendar Blocks (31 blocks and 2 quilt patterns, along with list of ALL 366 blocks by size)

So many blocks, so little time . . .