June 13, 2018

Black and White quilt

Happy Wednesday! A perfect day for you to receive a free pattern, wouldn't you say so?

"Shades in Between" is the quilt I designed for Michael Miller Fabrics beautiful Black & White fabric collection, with fantastic prints and textures. The PDF instructions are easy to follow, so download the pattern and go get the fabrics which are already in stores. The line's array of shades was just begging to be used in a simple but dramatic design. Check out some (there are over 30!) of my favorite prints:

That cat print!!! The one above it is called Dalmatian - and you know I have used it on another quilt for this line - Ying and Yang - which you can also download from Michael Miller by clicking here.

The bright color is courtesy of Michael Miller's Cotton Couture Lipstick, which completes the ensemble well. If you prefer a different color for the border, look through the Cotton Couture page to find just the right one.

I forgot to take a photograph of the quilt after it was quilted! Dang!

Shades in Between measures 60" x 69" and the blocks finish at 4.5", making it a cool lap quilt for your college-bound son or daughter (wait, my middle son is going to college this fall...), a fast gift for a friend, or a great addition to the guest room. The fun prints and textures, accented with their favorite color, will sure make this quilt a treasured gift. Plus, the pattern is free.

Your Wednesday just got better, right? Enjoy the rest of your day,

June 8, 2018

A Cottage Garden

This is about the time of the year when I begin my Christmas list, a list of people to whom I would like to handmake a small project. It is so fun to rest my feet up in the evening with needle and thread and a good audiobook playing, deadening the sounds of my 18-year-old playing video games with virtual friends in the basement (although, I do enjoy his belly laughs!).

A Cottage Garden - Stitch and Enjoy a Bounty of Beautiful Blossoms by Kathy Cardiff, published by Martingale, has 11 wool applique' ideas and is at the top of my stack of inspirational books for this year's gift-making journey. All of Kathy's designs in this book feature flowers, a welcoming sight when you open a package in the middle of winter.

All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used with permission.
What magic Kathy performs with a little bit of wool and thread! The sewing clutch above is darling (you should see the plaid wool she used inside, a fun contrast to the clean lines of the outside of the clutch), and can be made in no time at all using simple stitches and construction.

Speaking of construction, the "Working with Wool" section at the beginning of the book ensures the 'work' with proceed without a hitch as it walks the reader through background fabric choices (she mixes cotton and linen with wool, my favorite combinations!), how to select, felt, and store wool, how to prepare wool shapes for applique', etc.

Kathy's expertly chosen background fabrics allow for the applique' to pop, providing the perfect canvas for her floral designs. I love her finishes: just the right balance between simplicity and detail, neutrals and color, smoothness and texture.

All the photos in the book were taken in Kathy's garden, her love and the inspiration for all her projects. If we do not have a beautiful garden around us, we can still be graced by its beauty as we stitch our own version of colorful blooms and potted plants using her ideas.

I adore For the Bees above! The taupe textured pieces of cotton Kathy used for the background added dimension, warmth, and interest to the composition. IN LOVE!

Oh... when you get to the end of the book you spy "My Cottage Garden", showcasing Anemones, Black-eyed Susans, Echinaceas, English Daisies, Forget-me-nots, Marigolds, Peonies, Sweet Peas, and Zinnias. Need I say anything more?

A Cottage Garden - Stitch and Enjoy a Bounty of Beautiful Blossoms would also make a wonderful gift for stitching friends, perhaps presented with the Sewing Clutch as the motivation to begin a gift-making journey of their own.

As for me, my Christmas list may be put on hold as I make one of these for myself!

Have a wonderful weekend,

June 4, 2018

Samba Quilt pattern

Free pattern alert! This is Samba, the pattern I designed for Timeless Treasures' amazing batik collection called "Tonga Rio". When I think of Rio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), the first thing that comes to mind is Carnival: lots of dancing, fast music with meaningful lyrics, bright and colorful costumes... so I wanted to come up with a quilt that featured as many fabrics from the collection as possible - all the colors we see during the Carnival parade - and had a design with lots of movement to it.

The quilt measures 72.5" x 86.5" and the blocks finish at 12". Tonga Rio has beautiful colors and textures and this design shows them very well. Check out some of the fabrics I used:

I love designing quilts for batiks and making quilts with them, too. This one-block quilt has a secondary design which is pretty cool. The instructions are very detailed, with lots of diagrams and a template for the middle of the block. You will love making it!

Remember, Samba is a free pattern which you can download from Timeless Treasures' website. A fun way to begin the week, huh?

Enjoy your day,

May 30, 2018

Hidden Blocks quilt

This is "Now You See Me", my quilt just published in the July/August 2018 edition of Quiltmaker Magazine. Our challenge was to design a quilt with hidden blocks. As I was designing this quilt I was wondering what was hidden in it, when I suddenly saw the stars...

Now You See Me measures 65" x 77" with 12" blocks. I chose fabrics com the Jinny Beyer Granite and Papyrus collections by RJR Fabrics and love how the colors came together so well. The design is very modern with lots of movement, texture, and contrast.

Melissa Kelly from Sew Shabby Quilting did the quilting for me - we have a great partnership going... I have this quilt right in front of my desk so I can see it all the time. The past few days have been mostly gray so it is fun to have this burst of colors in the house.

Quiltmaker has always been one of my favorite magazines for its innovative projects and precise instructions, so it is an honor to have one of my quilts featured in it.

Check out the magazine to see how the other designers interpreted this challenge - I think you will love the projects!


May 29, 2018

Quilted Wall Hanging

Saturday night I decided I was not leaving my quilt room until I had made a project with paper piecing. A few hours later, Objects of Desire sprung to life! It measures 10-3/4" x 18" and was quilted with two layers of Warm & Natural batting.

I used Aurifil monofilament for the quilting because I did not want anything to distract from the dress and shoes. The quilting is simple: stitch in the ditch everywhere, and loops around the bouquet of flowers on the yellow border.

Can you believe those shoes and the words "Objects of Desire"? They fit perfectly with the dress and I just had to fussy cut them.

I chose the floral and the gingham fabrics which I just got a few weeks ago from Riley Blake Designs (I got a bolt of each as I loved them so much). The shoes came from some scraps of a fabric by Moda, I think, and the blue sashings are by Moda for sure (April Rosenthal's Mama's Cottage) as I am using them for the Clementine Quilt Along but had to steal a little bit for this project.

The backing is also by Riley Blake Designs, and I had just enough leftover from another project for the backing. Phew! You can see the quilting - very simple.

I fell in love with this paper piecing dress pattern when I first saw it a few weeks ago. It reminded me of a dress my mom used to wear. I am so glad I finally turned it into a project. It will make a great gift except I am so tempted to hang it on my quilt room because I love how it turned out.

I got the pattern from the book Super Cute Paper Piecing - Designs for Everyday Delights by Charise Randell, published by Martingale. This book has been on my cutting table since I received it for review because I 'needed' to make a project (or more!) from it. Charise's paper piecing motifs are adorable, easy to make, and just the right size for a quick project.

The instructions for the paper piecing are given at the beginning of the book with lots of photographs so if you have never attempted paper piecing before this is where you want to start. Then, each project is explained well and has diagrams to ensure guess-free assembly.

All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used with permission.
Isn't the wall hanging above beautiful? Both the dress and the aprons kept saying "pick me" whenever I went back to this page. It was very late on Saturday so I opted for tracing only the dress from the pullout templates. I used tracing paper as I was out of foundation paper (I was so determined to make this project that I would have used cardboard if it had been my only option!).

OMGoodness! I absolutely love this pouch! It would make a perfect gift. I need to go get some zippers because I must make it! 

This butterfly would look wonderful on a baby quilt, too. I recognize that gingham! 

Charise's patterns are delicate and innovative, and her projects' simple designs are ideal to showcase them. You can keep the vintage look as she did or customize it so that your chosen project will look more traditional, feature novelty fabrics, or display your favorite 1800s reproduction fabrics.

These coasters, if you make six of them, would make a wonderful housewarming gift. In fact, any of the 10 gorgeous projects in Super Cute Paper Piecing - Designs for Everyday Delights will make a friend or family member very happy.

You do not have to do anything special to produce a dress as accurate as this - just follow Charise's easy instructions and enjoy the results. 

Have a fun day,

May 25, 2018

Clementine Quilt Along Month 5

Photograph by Fat Quarter Shop. Used with permission.
Welcome to Month 5 of the Clementine Quilt Along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop. The name of this month's block is Pineapples Puzzle, and here are my blocks:

I made lots of half square triangles, large and small, then put them together to make the 12-1/2" and the 20-1/2" blocks.

The seams can be a bit tricky to sew because the points get bulky when we nest them. For sure that is the reason why my blocks are coming out larger than they should as, try as I may, the presser foot goes: "There ain't no way I am climbing over that bump" and it swerves causing the seam to be less than 1/4". Dang. My seam ripper worked hard to no avail.

Still, I can't way to put them all together because the fabrics are so fun! Here are all the blocks I've made:

The pattern for this month's block is available today at Fat Quarter Shop's blog, along with the previous blocks. Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics are benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with this year’s quilt along. They are asking for a small donation in exchange for downloading each month’s pattern, and Fat Quarter Shop and Moda will match up to $20,000 of our donation.

You can find the full fabric requirements and all the patterns and videos posted so far on Fat Quarter Shop's blog Clementine Quilt Along page. The kit I got came with all I needed for this project, and I also got the backing.

Have a great weekend,


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