Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Month 11 The Patchwork Barn

This is the FREE Block of the Month pattern "Patchwork Barn", designed by Edyta Sitar exclusively for The Quilt Show. You must be a Star member of this world-wide quilt guild/show/Internet community to receive the free patterns each month, beginning January 1, 2018. Join today and get started on this journey.

Previous Months can be found here.

NOTE: This is being posted one day early as I am headed to Houston today. The instructions for Month 11 post on November 1, 2018 on The Quilt Show.

We are getting down to the end of this year's Block of the Month. Now you have the Quilt Assembly Instructions. You can put your blocks in the exact place the cover quilt uses or move them around. I started with the cover quilt, put my blocks on the wall, then rearranged them to suit my fabric choices. It's your quilt, make it as you like.

I also used a different center and added sashing between the blocks  to add length to the quilt. Here is mine, with the Rolling Star center block I used for my quilt. This block has set-in pieces and lots of fiddly cutting and piecing so I chose not to try to "teach" that block here: :

In September I provided instructions for this alternate block for those who did not want to do the Barn. Here is the Twinkling Star pinned on top of the center of my quilt: 

If you interested in my setting, send me an email and I'll send my detailed instructions.. The document is  very long as it goes step by step through the process.

Next month the instructions discuss the Quilting and the Binding. As I'll be at Quilt Market and Quilt Festival for almost two weeks, it is not likely mine will even get basted. But my goal is to complete this quilt in 2019 so it does not become another quilt top waiting to be quilted.

Let's quilt.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tiny Stars for Block Swap

I made it!  Thirty  5" unfinished Tiny Stars for the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville block swap:

Recently, I discovered the tutorial for this cute star on Instagram and put a swap together for my guild. Find that info here: Tiny Stars Block Swap

Fourteen people jumped on board so I know they are busy sewing right now too. I chose to only have a month for this swap--the holiday season is just around the corner and if you drag it out, the early birds are done and ready to swap and those who wait until the last minute haven't started yet. Set a short deadline, everyone agrees and the swap is over quickly.

Here is how they will turn in their blocks at our November guild meeting. all 30 in a quart-size ZipLoc bag with their name on it:

At the guild meeting, I will sort them out and return each person's bag with new blocks.

Then it will be fun to see what we got and decide how to use them. They can be cut down to 4.5" unfinished or kept at 5" unfinished. I plan to leave them at 5" so they "float" in the quilt.

Block swaps can be a challenge but this is a good one since points don't have to meet and the sizing is "forgiving".

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Giveaway Time!

UPDATE: We have WINNERS! Congratulations to Susan T. And Denise--emails coming to you. Thanks you so much to all who shared this blog with friends.

As a gift, the Sunflower Quilts company sent a supply of their nifty Thread Cutters to my taping of The Quilt Show in August. These were given out as prizes to some of the lucky audience participants.

They also sent me a couple to use as giveaways--that means YOU might win one:

I have written about these cuties before: here. They are handy-dandy for separating all those chain-pieced units we sew together in long strings, much faster than using scissors. Remember my motto:

                                "I want the fastest method that gives me the result I want."

They don't slide around and you can easily slice apart lots of units in record time.

"My" episode of 'The Quilt Show will air February 24, 2019--that's four months from today. To celebrate that information. I'm going to give these two away now. To be eligible, leave a Comment below, telling us why you NEED this, which color you prefer, blue or orange, AND that you have shared this blog with at least one friend. One entry per email address--be sure your address appears for me---Unknowns cannot win.

Two winners will be selected Saturday October 27, 2018 so you only have 3 days to act. They will be mailed out October 29, before I leave for Houston. AND if you will be attending Houston, I will hand-deliver yours personally.

Good luck and share away!

Let's quilt.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Little Bit of This

and a little bit of that.

Here is a small class sample of Secret Stars, a class I'll be teaching for the Lakeview Quilters of Houston in March 2019. This sample top will be turned over to them at Quilt Festival in Houston so their members can see the real quilt design, not just photos:

The 6 month Long Time Gone class is coming along--we have now had 4 sessions. A few of the students are getting those sections together:

Sandra is going Christmas--Navy Grunge is the perfect sashing

Donna is using what she has on hand

More from Donna--she found the perfect sashing--Navy Grunge
Carol loves purple

Terri is using luscious colors and soft yellow Grunge for sashing

More Terri--Sections 1, 2 and 3
There is much excitement about Sizzle--the 2019 Block of the Month from The Quilt Show--read more about it here and here--the Fabric Introduction. While I am making the Cool Kit version, I just might have to use my own fabrics for the Warm version. Here is my quick fabric pull for that one:

 For local people I will be helping you select your own palette if you like at Huntsville Sew and Vac, Saturday December 1, 9:30-12:30--print the Fabric Introduction for either the Cool or Warm Kit---whichever is closest to the fabrics you want to use. Bring fabrics you already have if you want to use them, and I will help you round out your palette so you are ready to go January 1 when the first block pattern appears. It will be a great year of learning lots of techniques while we make this very dynamic quilt, designed by Becky Goldsmith.

My friend Lori of  Humble Quilts did a quick, simple Quilt-a-long, Sajou, recently. Here is my top finished:

And the back, from a Layer Cake of French General's Rue Indienne fabrics from MODA:

And now finished:

Temecula Quilt Company just started one: Secret Santa Sew-A-Long--starting now and done by Thanksgiving. Here is my fabric pull for it:

Still a good bit to get done before I go to Houston--class supply lists for 2019 classes, locally and away from home, quite a few gifts to make, and planning for a brand new quilt.

Let's Quilt!


Saturday, October 20, 2018


I have hardly looked up the last few days: A new swap, a sew-a-long completed, another sew-a-long to start, a class sample to deliver, and I started quilting a top today that has been ready for almost two years. I guess I like being busy.

The New Swap: Yesterday I saw a tutorial on Instagram that I thought would make a great swap block--over-sized and points don't have to meet. Perfect. I checked on our guild Members Facebook page to see if anyone else wanted to play.

Very quickly there were at least a dozen interested so I came up with a plan. I am a natural-born organizer, I just can't help it.

First I wrote to the designer for permission to use her tutorial and to write this blog. She graciously granted permission. Here is the wonderful Tiny Star Block Tutorial by Lindsey Weight.  If you are not on Instagram here are photos:

NOTE: HQH  MEMBERS, if you want to join in and are not on Facebook, just send me an email.

Here are the "Rules" for the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville swap, feel free to create your own rules if you put together a swap:

1.Sign up to make 10, 20, or 30. (So far, everyone wants to make 30)

2. They are due at the November guild meeting--you will get the same number of blocks you turn in, 10, 20, or 30, none of your own.  (That is one month--don't drag it out, these are fast to make)

 3. First quality fabric only.

 4. Blocks are 4.5" finished, 5" unfinished. EASY blocks to make quickly. DO NOT TRIM DOWN FROM 5"--each person can trim their own IF they want to. Mine will "float" so I will not trim. .

 5. Use light fabric for the background, contrasting print for the star. You may choose to put a different fabric in the center, one that looks like it belongs with the star points. You can make several exactly the same but this is a great way to use small scraps vs. yardage.

6. Do your best work--turn in blocks you would be happy to receive.

7. See photos for two pressing options for outer seams. First pressing of block units: middle row in to the middle, top and bottom rows, out toward the outside--do this on ALL blocks.. The two ROWS can be pressed to the outer edges OR open, your choice. 

Rows pressed toward the outside 

Rows pressed open
Today I found these blocks are perfect as leader/enders, startie/stoppies--just have them cut out and sew the units as you sew other projects:

If you like to draw pencil lines as a sewing guide, it can be time-consuming to draw diagonal lines on those 8 small print squares. Here is a trick that makes it much faster.

Cut two 3" squares. Draw a line on both diagonals, from corner to corner, with a mechanical pencil:

Carefully cut the 3" squares into four 1.5" squares:

 There you have eight 1.5" squares with the pencil lines drawn:

NOTE: I tried 3 methods--drawing pencil lines  as above, pressing the 1.5" squares in half to create a crease I could see, and just winging it from corner to corner as I sewed. All three methods worked for me so try all three and decide which you prefer. I know some people use the Angler on the bed of their machine--that is yet another option.

My guild actually used this method a few years ago for swap blocks--those were 9" finished blocks. These tiny ones are just so cute! 

Since I am in the middle of several projects and my cutting table is piled high with fabrics, it will be easy to cut a bunch of these and get them made. I'll be in Houston for two weeks before our November meeting so these will be done before I leave.

If you like this, why not ask some friends to swap with you? It is fun and just like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get!

Let's Quilt!


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Journey #7 My Artsy Period

When I started making quilts more than 35 years ago there was a bit of divide between those who made "Traditional Quilts" and those who made "Art Quilts", similar to the Contemporary vs. Modern quilts of today.

While I am most known for traditional quilt designs, over the years I have played with more "artsy" designs. Here are a few of those:

Batik Log Cabin, 1997, an early foray into "artistic" design simply with the use of batik fabric, which were just starting to hit the market with a bang at this time. It was featured in McCall's Quilting, February 1998. Today it resides in the master bath where I see it every day:

 McCall's Quilting February 1998:

Off-Center Mariner's Compass, 2001, original design, machine quilted. I am not crazy about this one, there is something "off" about the design. I do love the batiks. Finished is better than perfect:

Oriental One-of-a-Kind, 2002, begun in a "design your own quilt" class. It has both new and antique oriental fabrics, the beading is the first I ever put on a quilt. This one I like a lot, I hand quilted it with large stitches, another first. Today it lives on a guest room wall where I see it often:

Snake Doctor in Motion, 2003, begun in a Beaded Dragonfly class with Nancy Eha, "Snake Doctor" is a slang term for Dragonfly, my favorite insect. The two rows of hand-made beaded fringe took far longer than I expected. Machine quilted with variegated thread. This hangs in my kitchen where I see it every day.

Beaded Dragonfly Detail:

Fringe Detail:

Circle Play, 2004, based on quilts in a book by the same name by Reynola Pakusich. I used some of my beloved oriental and batik fabrics, learned to do machine applique' with decorative stitches, and played with pieced borders as a design element. I have taught this several times, students enjoy the freedom to "play" with their fabrics. One of my favorites and it has the honor spot above the mantel in the living room: 

Strips 'N Curves top that was started in the early 2000's in a class with Louisa Smith. It hasn't come out of the drawer for many years, some day I will finish this, it is about 42" square at the moment:

Black and White and Red All Over, 2007, this pattern was featured in McCall's Quilting June 2007, called High Definition by Beth Bruske. I knew it was the perfect quilt for my photographer/musician son, Joshua--who most often shoots in black and white. Many of the prints have musical notes. The back is deep red. Queen-size. Machine quilted by Lisa Marshall. Here it is at the HQH 2007 quilt show, with a ribbon:

 Color Play, 2011, the pattern was in McCall's Quilting, February 2006 where it was called Art Affair, designed by Jan Douglas. I made two of these, the first with 10" blocks (62" square) and the second with 5" blocks, (35" square) from the leftover fabrics. The large one was longarm quilted by Deanna Plotts:

The smaller one I quilted by machine myself. Both of these are favorites just for the big, bright, bold use of color:

That's about it for my "artsy" quilts. Today I focus on traditional quilt blocks and designs, using different types of fabrics. I still love batiks, Oriental designs, 1800's reproductions, and today's bright, happy prints.

I think having a granddaughter to quilt for made me look at contemporary fabrics in a new way. I am already planning a bed-size quilt for Sam--which he won't need for at least three years, of course. Good to plan ahead.

Let's Quilt!


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Class Progress

It's always fun to see how far students get on a class project. Recently, Spellbound was an all-day class. This is a great pattern from Calico Carriage Quilt Designs, home of Debbie Maddy.

A few shots from class, starting with their progress by the end of the day:

The morning was spent organizing, then cutting the various size strips in the proper order. After lunch it was time to sew. They all did great and will continue to sew until their top is done. I encouraged them to add borders if they want the quilt larger and I hope someone does.

In class progress:

Rhonda with her Featherweight

Marilyn has her first several rounds laid out 

Judy made fast progress
Here is mine, all done:

In another class, a student brought her finished Quiltmaking 101 quilt to show me. This is the beginning class I have taught locally for 30 years, this particular quilt has been the project for 10 years. I love it when a student makes changes, making the quilt her own. Nikki added additional wider borders:

Sunday was the monthly Sunday Sew and Sews class, focused this year on The Patchwork Barn from The Quilt Show. We are getting toward the end of this year-long Block of the  Month, designed by Edyta Sitar. It is not too late to get all the patterns for this quilt. They remain FREE for Star Members to The Quilt Show until December 31, 2018. In addition, this year, the 2017 Halo Star Medallion, designed by the late Sue Garman is still FREE for Star Members, until December 31, 2018. Download and/or print them before it's too late.

Three of the Sunday Sew and Sews show off their work:

Janet's before lovely  borders, still to come. She added sashing between the blocks.

Terri used the Crystal Farms fabric kit and she also added sashing between the blocks

Here is Donna's top, all finished. Don't you love how she made the center HER house?!:

My top is done. Now to figure out a quilting plan:

We are getting excited about the 2019 Block of the Month from The Quilt Show: SIZZLE, designed by Becky Goldsmith. Find more info here.

Yesterday, we had Session 5 of My Favorite Things--a 6 month lecture/demo class featuring the quilt I designed just for this class--it is made of my favorite blocks. Here are a few photos of the works in progress from some of the students:

Rhonda's is done--AND her husband loves it so it will be his Quilt of Valor

Holly got hers done too

Joan has a wonderful selection of fabrics--we all say OOOOHHH! when we see her blocks

More of  Joan's

Kathy has used a lot of Kim Diehl prints along with other lines

More of Kathy's blocks

Sally has a quiet reproduction palette--so lovely

Cyndi is wild, about Kaffe and Tula and lots of  everything

More of Cyndi's work 
It is so fun to see what each student comes up with and I love when they make the quilt their own. My Favorite Things ends in December, I hope to have more finishes to show. Here is mine:

Let's quilt!