November 20, 2018

Cotton, Wool, and Giving Thanks

My sister Miriam is visiting me from Brazil! We are enjoying this precious (and short) time together so I have been working (and blogging) part-time only. She was last in the US 6 years ago - crazy, huh? All of you who live close to your siblings are so lucky!

We spent a few days in Las Vegas, Nevada, and went to see Cher. What a fantastic show! Back in Utah, we have settled into a routine - working in the morning, going out in the afternoon. It is wonderful having her company and laughing with her.

She is in for a surprise today. She loves wool embroidery and everything primitive, and I have a stack of books for her to peruse - she just had hand surgery and perusing is all she can do at the moment. The very top book is The Best of Buttermilk Basin - A Bevy of Cotton and Wool Quilted Projects by Stacy West, published by Martingale. Have you seen it? OMGoodness!

All photographs by Brent Kane and Adam Albright for Martingale. Used with permission.
Stacy's love for wool and cotton shows through her beautiful work as she pairs it with simple embroidery stitches and trims. Just as I grew up surrounded by grandmas, aunts, and my mom who loved to cook and do handwork, Stacy was blessed with a great-grandmother, a grandmother, and a mom who loved crafts. Inspired by generations of creative women and with the help of her Graphic Design background, Stacy designs wool applique' and quilted projects which invite us to share in her passion and create beauty.

The projects in The Best of Buttermilk Basin will add warmth, whimsy, and a touch of seasonal cheer to your (or a friend's) home decor. Approachable in size and ease of execution, the small quilts and pillows, mug rugs, penny mats, and wall hangings benefit both the maker with hours of relaxation and the receiver who gets a handmade-with-love gift.

I did love to read all the tips Stacy gives us with each project, as well as the "Wool Applique', Embroidery, and More" section where I got the skinny on her favorite tools and working methods. Learning from the pros is the best!

This is the season to be thankful for all our blessings. The Best of Buttermilk Basin has 14+ projects to help us do just that: as we interpret its projects with our own fabrics and stitches, we remember some of the things in our lives which mean the most to us - nature, friendships, home, and family.

Speaking of family, Miriam will wake up soon. We will have breakfast together, get a little bit of work done, and then have fun together the rest of the day.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and thank you for being in my life, too.

November 12, 2018

The Splendid Sampler 2

Oooh! I am so excited about the release of the book The Splendid Sampler 2 by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, published by Martingale! The first book had such terrific blocks and inspired many quilters to join in and sew along (view their beautiful quilts here).  Wait until you see book 2! 

All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used with permission.
For The Splendid Sampler 2, Pat and Jane asked 80 designers to contribute blocks which answered the question: "I'm living my best quilting life when...". The resulting 100 blocks are fantastic! The blocks still measure 6" so you can mix blocks from both books to create your own masterpiece, or make all the blocks from The Splendid Sampler 2 and have another gorgeous Sampler quilt.

The blocks in this book cover many piecing techniques (patchwork, paper piecing, machine and needle-turn applique', English paper piecing, curved piecing) while working on small blocks instead of an entire quilt. This is a great opportunity to master each one with an easy-to-manage block size.

The designers prefaced their blocks with interesting insights about their creative process, their quilting journey, what inspired the blocks, and other tidbits. Each block has detailed instructions and diagrams, and the book includes a section on Quilting Basics as well as pull-out templates.

The Splendid Sampler 2 is a celebration of our love for quilting. Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson are strengthening the bonds between quilters all over the world, shortening the miles between us as they bring us together on their Facebook group (check out the amazing work displayed on, Instagram (#TheSplendidSampler), and on quilt groups.

The Splendid Sampler 2 book would make a great Christmas gift as beginners and veteran quilters alike will enjoy the new blocks. On their own, many of the blocks would make beautiful mug rugs or small wall hangings - fun ideas for gifts for the office or the family. Is the light bulb going off already? :-)

Have a great Monday,

November 1, 2018

Victorian Fans quilt pattern

Hi, everyone! 'Victorian Fans' is my newest pattern. The quilt measures 54-1/4" x 65-1/2" and the blocks finish at 8". The fans are paper pieced and the pattern includes the step-by-step tutorial I published here. I had had the idea for the 'Victorian Fans' pattern for quite a while but had not designed it as I was waiting for the right fabric collection for it. Ta-Da!

In this sample, I used the newest fabric collection by Maywood Studio called Burgundy Blush. I am a romantic at heart and these prints make me weak at the knees:

These are only a few of the prints! With 'Victorian Fans' you can display them all or just repeat the ones you like the most. I have released over 30 patterns this year alone (Say, what?) and this is right there at the top of my favorite ones as it is perfect to showcase favorite floral fabrics - you know, the ones we do not want to cut into tiny little pieces. You can find this pattern in my Etsy shop Quilterly or at your local quilt store.

In the meantime, I am off to Quilt Market in Houston. Enjoy your weekend (can you believe it is November already???),

October 30, 2018

Born To Be Free

Free pattern alert! I designed Born to be Free for Hoffman Fabrics beautiful Wide Open Spaces panel. The quilt design brings to mind everything related to horses: leather saddles, checkered shirts, riding on grassy fields... a perfect quilt for horse lovers or for anyone who wants to bring a bit of the 'wild' to their home decor.

Here is a different version of Born to be Free, this time featuring the Imagine This panel. I love the purples on the artwork! Hoffman Fabrics digital prints are so beautiful and I am delighted to work with them.

You know I have been on a quest to showcase here fun projects you can make as you get prepared for the gift-giving season which is right around the corner. The Born to be Free quilts might be just what you were looking for. Plus, the patterns are free courtesy of Hoffman Fabrics.

I am off to finish a quilt, then get ready to go to Quilt Market in Houston. Enjoy your Tuesday!

October 25, 2018

Curved Paper Piecing Tutorial

I love paper piecing. The repetition of the same steps is soothing instead of boring. The results are precise, crisp points which would be otherwise difficult to achieve with regular piecing. In an effort to spread the love, and as I was working on some test blocks for one of my upcoming patterns, I thought I would write a tutorial for the curved paper piecing. For those of us who are relatively new to paper piecing, curved paper piecing may look scary, and here I show you how easy it can be. For straight paper piecing, see my previous tutorial by clicking here.

The basic tools I use for paper piecing:
- Regular tracing paper (my favorite lately over all the others)
- Add-a-Quarter© ruler
- Greeting card, postcard, old credit card, or a hotel card key
- Small cutting mat next to the sewing machine
- Rotary cutter

1. With the reverse side of a fan edge foundation right side up, pair patches right sides together, layer the pair on the foundation so edges extend at least 1/4" beyond all lines of piece 1, and pin. Make sure the fabric which will go on piece 1 is the one touching the paper. Turn foundation over to its marked side and stitch on the line between pieces 1 and 2.

Notice that when I traced the foundation onto the tracing paper I was not too precise with my outside lines. I wasn't worried about it because I knew my inside lines would be perfect when I stitched them. I was tracing only four times. When you need to make a lot of copies, trace the shape onto the tracing paper three or four times, then stack tracing paper under each of your handmade templates and staple the stacks. Remove the thread from the needle and from the bobbin on your machine, and stitch on the lines. When done, remove staple and separate sheets. This is a fast way to make many copies if you can't print them over foundation paper.

2. Finger press patches open. Place a postcard or credit card edge against the next stitching line between pieces 2 and 3, fold foundation over the card, align the lip of the Add-a-Quarter© ruler with the edge of the card, and trim the fabrics.

3. Place the second patch over the trimmed fabrics and sew on the line between pieces 2 and 3. Finger press them open and trim the fabrics as before.

5. Continue adding patches till the end. Using sharp scissors, trim the fabrics even with the seam allowance line of the fan edges (the outermost line) and tear away the foundation from the unit.

Regarding tearing the paper, I usually tear the paper after the foundation pieced shape has been stitched to another fabric or block. However, stitching curves with paper is not going to work. You will notice below that I chose to tear away the paper along the edge I was going to stitch first, removing the remaining paper when I was ready to stitch the other edge, just to keep the edges stable.

6. Place a paper pieced fan edge over a fan bottom with right sides together. Pin at small intervals, picking up only a few threads each time (you can see I picked up a lot more than just a few threads! Still worked, though when sewing curves it is best to just pick up a few threads at a time.). Sew the pieces together.

7. Layer the top of the fan block right sides together on the fan edges, pin, and sew.

Here is the block again. I will release the pattern soon with the templates but, in the meantime, if you see a pattern with a similar curved paper piecing shape, you can refer to this tutorial to help you get it done.

Leave questions with your comments and I will answer them as soon as I see them. Yours can look just like mine if you follow these simple steps. 

Have a super Wednesday!


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