May 24, 2017

Applique' quilt

It is a gorgeous, sunny day in Utah, perfect for introducing you to a quilt I made last night (literally, during the night): "Easy to Please". I came up with this name as I was machine appliqueing the shapes: chocolate cupcakes, flowers, and hearts, which is simply all I need (Can you relate?). If you cannot give me sweets, BE sweet to me and I will be singing.

It measures about 26" x 26", a size suitable for a wall hanging or a table topper. It was pieced with Aurifil 50 wt white thread, and quilted with Aurifil monofilament/white thread. The design is of the 'design-as-you-go' type, with no planning whatsoever, so that in the end even I was surprised with how it looked!

The shapes were quickly traced onto fusible web with the help of a light box, and grouped by theme.

After cutting them and fusing them to the back of each scrap of fabric (I was glad to have used up lots of them!), I paired them with the background blocks, put my feet up, grabbed sharp scissors, and cut the shapes on the outline.

Machine applique' using blanket stitches is easy. I chose white thread so all fabrics would stand out. Speaking of fabrics, the background is by Riley Blake Designs - perfect for this project because it reminded me of picnic tables. Love how the blocks turned out!

Oh, yes. I got the blocks from the book The Splendid Sampler - 100 Spectacular Blocks from a Community of Quilters, by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. Two of them are featured on the cover: the heart (I chose to make the block without the corners) and the rose, both by Pat Sloan. The cupcake was contributed by Kim Christopherson, and can be found on page 76.
Photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used with permission.

The blocks are very unique and can be pieced, foundation pieced, embroidered, appliqued, or hand pieced as in the case of English Paper Piecing. Many of them show an alternate colorway, opening our eyes to all their possibilities. There is a gallery at the end of the book with beautiful quilts showcasing the blocks, although I think the usefulness of this book lies in the ideas that pop in our heads for combining them and creating our own masterpiece.

You can find tutorials for the techniques used by referring to the back of the book or by going to The Splendid Sampler website. On the website you will also be able to find out more about the 83 designers who contributed blocks for the book. The Splendid Sampler project lasted for over a year, [virtually] bringing together over 23,000 quilters worldwide to learn and experience the joy of making each block and turning them into amazing projects. What great fun!

I do not feel I am late to the party, though, because I get to enjoy all the blocks in the book published by Martingale, available on hard copy and as an eBook. When I sew during the wee hours of the night it is easier to choose blocks (not design them), choose fabrics (thus the need for a large stash, husbands!), and just sew. Flowers, cupcakes, and love are all icing on the cake!

Enjoy your day,

May 19, 2017

Final House Blocks

Yesterday, my girlfriends and I exchanged our last blocks for the quilts we are working on together. We have each made 8 house blocks for a total of 24 house blocks for our Dwell Quilt with Moda Fabrics (see my other blocks here). Above is my block # 6 and below is block # 7, putting scraps to good use!

For my last block (below) I changed a little bit the proportions of a block I really liked in the book The 4" x 5" Quilt-Block Anthology:

It was fun seeing all the blocks on the design wall and I am hoping to put them all together soon. My friends have made AWESOME blocks! Let me show you two of them which I received yesterday:

What a great idea to feature the first letter of our names on one of the blocks! I also like that she used the same fabric for the roof and front of the house.

How about this block? That embroidery is the best (and with buttons to boot!). Our small group will take a break for the summer, but I can't wait for our next joint project. It may have something to do with the Fall. Stay tuned!

For those of you who are at Quilt Market in St. Louis, be sure to stop by the Timeless Treasures both to see my Hunter's Den quilt in person!

Melissa from Sew Shabby Quilting did a great job quilting it. Awww... those gorgeous flannels! Don't forget that the free pattern for this quilt can be downloaded from the Timeless Treasures website!

Have a fantastic weekend!

May 15, 2017

Beach Blanket Quilt Pattern

Happy Monday, everyone! I am beginning this great week by introducing my newest pattern, Beach Blanket, designed for the Dear Stella Jetsetter line by Dear Stella. It is a free download from their site.

I love the Jetsetter line! Take a peek at some of the fabrics I used as I designed Beach Blanket:

Yes, think traveling, beach fun, and all things summer!  The pattern shows off these novelty Dear Stella fabrics with the Irish Chain design, taking your eyes from corner to corner of the quilt much as we do when we travel.

After you download the pattern, check out their fun fabric collections and the other quilts they have under the Projects tab. You will love them!

Here's to a great week for all of us!

May 9, 2017

Quilts in Blue and White

Martingale has just published the book Minick and Simpson Blue & White - Living with Textiles You Love by Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson. This gorgeous collection of quilts and rugs by sisters Polly and Laurie depicts quilts in their more contemporary function - house decor accessories.

To be sure, quilts are still made to provide warmth and comfort to family and friends. Yet, their artistic value is celebrated as we display them in our homes and places of business. Blue & White is at once inspiring and educational: as your eyes feast on both quilt and rug projects your brain engages in design mode, your fingers itch to sew, and you mentally go through your stash wondering if you have all the fabric, or wool, you may need. Then, you walk around the house discovering new places and ways to display your work as creatively as you learned in their book.

All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used with permission.
I often hang quilts over the railings inside the house. Outdoor railings are a great option, too, particularly when we have company over, provided we are mindful of the sun and changes in the weather.

What a perfect corner and beautiful quilt! I love Laurie Simpson's choice of fabrics, keeping the more muted colors on the background as the dark blue emphasizes the Irish Chain design. Although no patterns are provided, the sisters give us valuable advice on fabric and wool selection, as well as home accessory purchase and placement to achieve the best decorative results.

Baskets, open armoires, and antique furnishings are ideal for showcasing rolled up quilts and rugs, with bits of fabric and wool, and quilting textures, making us wonder what beauty they are hiding in their folds. Polly Minick's wool rugs have awaken in me a long-held desire to experiment with that craft (let's hope my husband does not read this post!).

This is a perfect coffee table book. I doubt it will collect any dust as people will be drawn to its colors and photography. As Mother's Day is soon approaching, Blue & White would make a great gift. I am so glad I already have my own!

Dreaming in blue and white today,

May 5, 2017

More house blocks

This was the last house block I made for the Dwell Quilt (The Dwell pattern comes from the Simply Retro book by Camille Roskelley) Sew Along my friends and I are working on. It took me three and a half hours to make three blocks but, hey, they loved it!

The pattern for the topiary tree featured all green fabrics. I chose to use a bunch of fabrics from the Olive's Flower Market fabric collection by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics, which is the line we are using for this sew along. This tree can be found in the book Iris quilting by Maruscha Gaasenbeek. I reviewed it here and showed a project here.

So far I have made five blocks and will soon showcase the blocks my quilty friends made. When we are done, our quilts will have the same blocks with different settings, I am sure, but the three quilts will look fantastic. Can't wait! The Dwell Quilt will be a gift for me.

Speaking of gifts, Fat Quarter Shop has a cool promotion for Mother's Day:

TERMS: One promo code per customer, limit one gift certificate per order. Discount not available when paying with another gift certificate. Not combinable with other offers. We reserve the right to void gift certificates purchased or used fraudulently. Expires Expires Expires May 14 at midnight CST.

Also, Martingale's blog features a cool interview with Kathy Flowers talking about her book Oh Glory! (see my review and project here), as well as a giveaway: her book and a set of Aurifil designer thread box by Kathy. Check it out!

Have fun this weekend,

May 1, 2017

Bella Skill Builder

Welcome to month four of the Bella Solid Skill Builder Sew Along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop! We are working with flying geese this month, and these came together super fast because I used the Quilt-in-a-Day Flying Geese ruler (3" x 6").

I turned these squares (the white ones are two inches wider than the plum)...

... into these, which are then cut with the ruler and become well behaved flying geese!

Speaking of 'well behaved", have you ever tried to write a blog post on blogger from your cellular phone? That is the quickest way to spell DISASTER! The post ended up with an empty box in place of photographs and it was a nightmare to add links.

It was late to begin with because I made the blocks before I left town with full intention to write and schedule the post for today. Well, apparently when you take care of your 4-year-old and 1-year-old grandsons you tend to forget everything, have no energy to design quilts, and will sure remember a missed deadline as your son drops you off at the airport as your flight back home is boarding!

Anyway, it all worked out. Check out Fat Quarter Shop's blog to see how the other participating bloggers used their own color combinations to make this block.

See ya!

April 28, 2017

Modern Quilts

Let me introduce you to my newest patterns. First, Bejeweled, which was just published in the Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine, issue 19, as a Web Extra. You can download the free pattern from their site by clicking here. It measures 54-1/2" x 65-3/4", and it was quilted by Sew Shabby Quilting.

Only when I added the gray on that particular spot did I notice what a fun twist the corner triangles where adding to the pattern. 

Bejeweled was made with Hexagons from the Simple and Honest collection by Me + You by Hoffman Fabrics. I had that stack of hexagons for a while, waiting for an idea which would feature them in all their glory - I refused to cut them! One night I woke up around 3 am with this pattern on my mind, and the rest is history. I do provide a hexagon template with the instructions in case you want to use yardage of other fabrics.

Photograph by Kevin May for Modern Quilts Unlimited. Used with permission.

I absolutely love how this quilt turned out! It adds style and color to any room... 

Second, appearing in the magazine and not online: my wall hanging called "Dare!", although its name was changed by the editors of the magazine to "Setting Sail". The blue triangles are 'flying' in formation, and the yellow ones are daring to be different and to fly in a different direction. Thus the inspiration for the quilt's name.

The batiks are by Hoffman Fabrics, too. Aren't they beautiful? I quilted it with loops in my Bernina.

Photograph by Laurie Baker for Modern Quilts Unlimited. Used with permission. Notice the iguana to the left of the quilt!
I can't wait to get these quilts back so I can display them in my house. I hope these projects inspire you as you sew today.

Happy Creations!


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