Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Getting Ready for the Solar Eclipse and FREE pattern

Are you ready? I won't be in the direct path, but I'm going to buy a pair of those funky sunglasses so I don't burn my eyeballs out.

Thinking about this event on August 21 made me realize that I have quite a few celestial quilts, four (yes 4) have the same name: Blast Off! What's with that? Can I share a few of those with you?

This quilt was made for Benartex Fabrics in 2009, to appear in a Fons and Porter magazine. I'll wait while you check your magazine stacks for this one. Are you back?

Blast Off! - 66" x 90"
This makes the most of the fabrics as they're centered in those Cobblestone Blocks. The alternating blocks are a traditional Job's Tears which I converted to paper piecing. The blocks are 12" x 12". I had fun making this and it's been gifted to some very happy child.

An earlier quilt that appeared in Miniature Quilt Ideas (2005) and also on the cover, I called (wait for it) - Blast Off! This has 8" Job's Tears blocks and is about 33" x 33". I gave this to my son in law's cousin in Spain in 2007. He loved it!

Blast Off, 2005
Now, let's see some more. This next quilt is the traditional Diadem block which I converted to paper piecing. The center squares are rotary cut 10" squares and the corners are paper pieced. The block measures 14". Four of them make an awesome child's quilt.

Now that I look at this, I wonder why I didn't alternate those blue and gold blocks!! Duh!!

Outer Space Kid's Quilt using the Diadem block

Let's see those blocks up close:

Blue pointed Diadem block

Gold pointed Diadem block
Now let me show you a digital quilt that first appeared in my 2010 Block a Day Calendar. The rocket ship dates from even before then (2004). It also is paper pieced:

Blast Off Quilt from my 2010 Block a Day Calendar
Hey! I thought this was supposed to be about the Solar Eclipse. The sun, right?

Last December I posted a happy little block I called the Winter Solstice. That has to do with the sun! I like December 20/21. That's because the days get longer by one minute from then on.

Winter Solstice Block
Click the links above and you can see my steps for making this block.

I have a FREE solar system themed pattern at the Windham Fabrics web site and - can you believe it - it's not called Blast Off! It uses their current Aliens Collection. I call the quilt My Outer Space Buddy. It uses simple raw edge applique and the pattern includes the full size templates.

This pattern hasn't been loaded yet at the Windham site as they are waiting for the fabric to ship to shops. Just hold onto that link, OK?

My Outer Space Buddy
Wherever you are in the path of the solar eclipse, I hope you take precautions with your eyeballs! You need them to see your seam allowances, pick out new fabrics and sew your next quilt!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 33

I'm so glad you're still with me as I reveal seven new blocks each week that Patricia Bryant of Australia has made using my Block a Day Calendar.

August 13: Grandmother's Dream
August 13: Grandmother's Dream, 18"
 August 14: Hopscotch
August 14: Hopscotch, 6"
 August 15: Lady of the Lake

August 15: Lady of the Lake, 8"
 August 16: London Roads

August 16: London Roads, 9"
 August 17: Mill Wheel

August 17: Mill Wheel, 12"
 August 18: Monk Fish

August 18: Monk Fish, 6"
August 19: Ocean Waves

August 19: Ocean Waves, 12"

Monday, August 7, 2017

Upcoming Classes at the Fredericksburg Expo

This is my 10th year with the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo! I enjoy teaching with them and creating new classes each year. Here is my lineup for the October 2017 show.

(BTW - These are the same classes I'm offering at the Minneapolis Sewing Expo in November. Check out the tab above for those.)

Click on the links to get more information and the supply list.

Thursday, October 5: Orange Crush (8:30 - 11:30 am)

Orange Crush
Choose your favorites for this two-color quilt, no paper piecing involved. Instead, use a super-sized 18-degree ruler (Dresden Plate shape), 12-1/2” tall and with 60 degree cutting angles (ruler included in the kit fee). And...Debby's unique cutting and piecing process leaves NO fabric waste. Nor worries about curved edges either, as you experience machine applique with a simple machine zigzag stitch. Easy, and satisfyingly dramatic. Bring your own fabric; see supply list for details.

Thursday, October 5: Rose Star (1 - 4 pm)


Rose Star
Traditionally sewn by hand, this vintage block can be created entirely by machine, too. Using quick rotary cut kite shapes, learn how easy it is to sew three together using a simple (and doable) y-seam. Twenty-four units are then stitched into the Rose Star Block with ONLY straight seams. The supply list comes with a coloring chart so you can plan your fabrics before you finalize them…. and you can make it in a variety of sizes. Make one, and it’s a large table topper. Make several and you have the beginnings of an amazing full-sized quilt. Debby will discuss how to “square up” the blocks to work them into a larger quilt, and discuss adding borders to the hexagon shape (to make it larger). Finished size of ‘one’ is 30 x 34 inches. Bring your own fabric; see supply list for details.

Friday, October 6: Machine Quilting: Basics and Beyond (8:30 - 11:30 am)


Machine Quilting

Using Debby's KISS Method (Keep It Small & Simple), discover how liberating free-motion machine quilting can be. Discuss appropriate threads, various batting choices and basting your layers, then use your time for lots of PRACTICE. Play with doodles, swirls, curves and other simple shapes, as you are coached and gently guided into this exciting world. A perennial favorite at the Expo, this workshop is perfect for both beginning and intermediate level free-motion quilters.

Friday, October 6: The Gretchen Quilt (1 - 4 pm)


The Gretchen Quilt
It’s hard to believe this traditional block, Gretchen, can be sewn without a single template. Everything is cut from two sizes of simple squares; the magic arrives with a quick rotary cutting trick. Debby chose a bright collection of florals and deep hued blenders for this quilt, but you can choose any of your own colors with good contrast to show off the lines of the block. As always, Debby’s classes provide all the hints and helpful tips that make them so much better than a simple pattern or kit. And they’re fun, too! Bring your own fabric; see supply list for details.

Saturday, October 7: The Modern Vortex Quilt (12:30 - 3:30 pm)


The Modern Vortex
You may wish to make this using multi-colored strips. This just requires a few more strips and a planning sheet. Email Debby for this addendum: kratovil@his.com


Modern Vortex by Jane Hauprich
And here is my own sample: 


Modern Vortex
Work with pre-cut strips to create this amazing two-color quilt using a simple acrylic template. Choose ANY COLOR! You’ll strip piece, then cut into wedges and stitch some more. If you’ve wanted to know how to set ANY block on point, this is the class, with the bonus of using two-color setting triangles. A true optical illusion quilt!  Bring your own fabric, see supply list info for details.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 32 and FREE pattern

Already the second week in August! Can you believe it? 

Just a little housekeeping first: my winner in last week's Christmas in July with the Nordic Holiday fabrics is Janie M. of Browning, Illinois. Congratulations, Janie! And many thanks to all of you for your comments about this beautiful collection. And isn't that a fabulous Lone Star pattern?

Our blocks for this week are:
August 6: Tea Leaf

August 6: Tea Leaf, 8"
 August 7: Coxey's Camp

August 7: Coxey's Camp, 10"
 August 8: Diagonal Paths (Hey! What's with that very large alligator with VERY large teeth?)

August 8: Diagonal Paths, 8"
 August 9: Double Pinwheel

August 9: Double Pinwheel, 8"
 August 10: Farmer's Daughter

August 10: Farmer's Daughter, 10"
 August 11: Flying Dutchman

August 11: Flying Dutchman, 12"
 August 12: Free Trade Block

August 12: Free Trade Block
And if you own a copy of the calendar, here's a FREE pattern for this quilt made using the Free Trade Block. I featured this in my Calendar Girls' Quilt Shop Only program in 2008.

Free Trade Stars Quilt: 36" x 36"
Hope you enjoyed the show. See you next week!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 31 and FREE pattern

How about this? Week 31 already! Thanks for still staying with me as I share Patricia's blocks made using my block a day calendar. 
Quilter's Block a Day Calendar
Some of you are thinking I made these myself. Ha! It makes me feel tired to think I did all that sewing. (I think Patricia is still on vacation after completing these.)

Remember her pile of blocks?

All 366 blocks that Patricia Bryant made from my calendar
Now for this week's show!

July 30: Thrifty

July 30: Thrifty, 6"
 July 31: Town House

July 31: Town House, 6"
 August 1: Angel Fish

August 1: Angel Fish, 6"
Here's my free pattern this week. I made the Angel Fish in the 12" size (as found on my Calendar CD). I pulled out my Kaffe Fassett scraps and my own Arrowhead rulers (which are the same angle as the Tri-Recs rulers) and made this. The paper templates are included for both 6" x 12" sizes.

12" Angel Fish in mostly Kaffe Fassett fabrics
 Here is the second one with some wild and crazy zig zags going on!

12" Angel Fish with some serious striped fins!
And the link to the FREE ANGEL FISH pattern.

August 2: Aztec Jewel

August 2: Aztec Jewel, 12"
 August 3: Beaming Star

August 3: Beaming Star, 12"
 August 4: Broken Dish

August 4: Broken Dish, 9"
 August 5: Broken Windows

August 5: Broken Windows, 12"
See you next week!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Christmas in July with Nordic Holiday and Fabric Giveaway

Amanda Murphy has done it again! Her latest collection, Nordic Holiday (by Benartex Fabrics) is refreshing, modern and appeals to just about any quilter. Snowflakes, reindeer, bears and a non-traditional holiday color palette combine to inspire all sorts of patterns.

The fabrics I was sent (no bears or stars, tho)
Amanda includes a lovely reindeer in her collection.

Nordic Holiday reindeer
I have a similar one I designed in 2004.

Reindeer from my Merry Merry quilt
I initially was going to bring out my Merry, Merry patterns from 2006. I shared this appliquéd reindeer here last year as a free pattern. What? You missed that? Click here for that quilt pattern (with a Christmas tree, angel and other blocks).

It didn't take long for me to decide on a pattern.
And what did the fabrics say to me? (You know I wait for them to talk to you before cutting!)

I was heading for a Lone Star block - very, very BIG! Here's one quarter:

One quarter of a VERY BIG Lone Star block
And the quilt, flying in the summer breeze:

Lone Star Block: 29" x 29". Then borders . . .

Take a hop on over to the Sew in Love with Fabric (Benartex) blog and see the steps for a beautiful Holiday Lone Star quilt. I show the steps for making the quilt WITHOUT Y-SEAMS (as you can see).

Two weeks of Christmas in July with fabric giveaways
Come back here and leave a comment for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Nordic Holiday fabrics. Contest is over at midnight Saturday July 29th. USA residents only (as per Benartex).

I also made some very quick, small projects using my new workshop pattern, Double Hexie Stars. Let me show you!

Double Hexie Star (16" x 18") using the Snowflake fabric for the center

I fussy cut this awesome reindeer for my next star
 And, after you see what's at the Sew in Love with Fabric blog post today, you will understand why I couldn't toss the remaining bits of the red reindeer print. Cut 5 hexagons, set with triangles and this will be a quick table topper for a housewarming gift come December!
Five hexagons featuring those reindeer
Now, get on over to the Sew in Love blog to see my tutorial. Come back here and leave a comment for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of these fabrics!