January 15, 2019

Serpentine - Free quilt pattern

Happy Tuesday! How about a free quilt pattern for you today? I designed Serpentine with the Tonga Sky View batik collection by Daniela Stout for Timeless Treasures. It measures 61-1/2″ x 71-1/2″ and the blocks finish at 10". I love the colors in this collection - serene is the word that comes to mind:

I really need one bolt of each of these fabrics and then I should be all set! Maybe... It would be nice to have a whole set of drawers stuffed with batiks of every hue and texture.

The quilt blocks are very simple so the fabrics can shine. Serpentine's design is achieved by alternating the direction of the blocks every other row. There are other possibilities and by rotating the blocks you will come up with surprising designs.

This is a fast and fun project - and it is free. Three Fs :-). The Tonga Sky View batiks were perfect for it, yet you can choose other Timeless Treasures batiks for a more vibrant look (try Tonga Vivid).

Have a great sewing day!

January 8, 2019

Piecing and Applique'

Used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.
Our town is covered with a heavy white blanket as we had our first snow storm of the year in Utah this weekend. Although the skies have been gray I still need to wear sunglasses when I walk the dog because the white snow is blinding. White, gray, and leafless brown sticks reaching to the sky have their own beauty, yet I longed for spring as soon as I received this photograph of my quilt, Coneflower Chain, published in the Spring 2019 issue of Quilts & More magazine.

I used fabrics from the Follow the Sun and Impressions Moire II collections by Clothworks. The burst of flowers on the fabrics is matched by all the flowers on the 21 blocks, making it a very bright, happy, and colorful quilt.

I love the texture of the Clothworks' Impressions Moire II fabrics on the petals and, luckily for me, I found that nice green with white dots fabric (Riley Blake Designs) or I would have had to applique' the dots, too! I like it so much I bought a whole bolt!

If I have not yet convinced you that I like machine applique', here is another try! The blanket stitch is my all-time favorite and my Bernina delivers a flawless stitch. I always use Aurifil 40wt thread when appliqueing and no, I do not use stabilizers. Two months ago I replenished my stock of 40wt thread and I may now have almost every color that Aurifil makes.

The Spring 2019 issue of Quilts & More will hit the stands on January 11 so get ready because it is loaded with fun projects. Quilts & More is doing a Trunk Show video of all the projects from this issue on their Facebook page today at 1:30pm CST. Let's join in!

I hear the plows going through the snow and ice outside. I get to stay in and play with fabrics. Yeah!

Enjoy your day,

January 4, 2019

Small quilt projects

Happy New Year! Now that the festivities (and Flu!) are over, I have a chance to wish you a healthy and prosperous 2019. The last project I made in 2018 was my pattern "Grace". This wall hanging finishes at 26-1/2" x 30-1/2", uses machine applique', and can be made in one afternoon.

For this wall hanging I used fabrics from the Gingham Girls collection by Riley Blake Designs. The prints were perfect and cheerful. You know how it is: sometimes you want to sew a project from start to finish so you can feel you have done something! I have lots of blocks hanging on my design wall, but this one is complete. The butterfly antennas will be applied with a marker, and the simple quilting will not take long.

You can find this pattern in my Etsy Store Quilterly, download it, and begin (and finish) sewing it. The pattern is fat quarter friendly, or you can use fabrics from your favorite collections.

Speaking of projects you can do in one afternoon, have you seen the book Table-Runner Roundup - 13 Quilted Projects to Spice Up You Table, compiled by Amelia Johanson and published by Martingale? The featured table runners are fast to make (think of them as 13 opportunities to use your orphan blocks and leftover fabrics) and look so pretty!

All photographs by Brent Kane and Adam Albright for Martingale. Used with permission.
I have a 'thing' for pineapples and am loving Pineapple Parade by Deane Beesley. I am thinking this table runner can also be a skinny wall hanging if you place all pineapples right side up.

Oh... Farm Fresh by Sue Pfau is so fun!  The log-cabin-style blocks are ideal for those strips of fabric you've been saving. Here is an idea: Make lots of the star block centers, then grab your strips randomly to finish the scrappy blocks - you will be able to assemble MANY of these table runners, ready to be gifted throughout the year!

Most of the patterns in Table-Runner Roundup can easily be turned into bed runners, too. The instructions are very clear with step-by-step diagrams to help construction regardless of the technique required. Each project will inspire you whether you prefer traditional designs or more modern creations such as "Equinox" by Michelle Bartholomew which is shown above.

There is a table topper for every corner of your house! "Star-in-a-Star by Julie Taylor will fit accent tables or a dresser that needs a little bit of pizzaz.

With the cool ideas on this post, plus all that beautiful fabric I know you have in your stash, you are ready for a few hours of sewing relaxation, which is my wish for your weekend.

December 13, 2018

Lots of Pinwheels

Phew! It has been about three weeks since I last posted something here. My sister returned to Brazil and soon my grandsons will be coming to visit for a week (you know how much work will get done while the two little boys are here, right? Ah... but it will be fantastic!).

Anyway, above is my quilt "Pinwheel Pirouette" which has just been published in the January 2019 issue of Love of Quilting magazine. This is a fun quilt to make with only four 16" blocks and a bunch of pinwheels on the border. It was made with batiks from the Tonga Gecko fabric collection by Timeless Treasures - I love these fabrics!

I used a mix of techniques on the blocks. Their center is paper pieced with perfect points; the remainder of the block has easy machine pieced patches.

At 16", this block is super fast to make. I was curious to see what it would look like with other fabrics so I used these 1800s reproduction fabrics - I am totally smitten! I will turn this block into a wall hanging one of these days.

If you liked the quilt, grab your copy of Love of Quilting (I spy my block on the cover!). I know you will love this issue because it has amazing projects.

You must be just as busy as I am at this time of the year. Here is hoping you get everything done in time, with joy, and... with lots of chocolate or your favorite pick-me-up snack!

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 facebook.com/groups/TheSplendidSampler), 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,


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