May 15, 2019

Easy Baby Quilt

Here is a quilt pattern which is fun and fast, ideal for that baby gift you need to whip up: it is called "Color Happy" and was just published in the Summer 2019 issue of Quilter's World magazine. It measures 41" x 52-1/2" and can easily be customized for boys and girls.


I chose the Hand Picked fabric collection by Riley Blake Designs. Here are some of the fabrics I used - aren't they gorgeous?




Perfect for a baby girl... You can use novelty prints for little boys, too, as the rectangles are big enough to showcase your favorite ones. Pay attention to fabric placement and repetition so you can achieve the same look as I did in mine.

The quilting is simple so the fabrics can shine. The instructions are easy to follow and you will have this project finished in no time at all.

You can find the Summer 2019 issue of Quilter's World online or at a store near you. This issue is packed with cool projects so you do not want to miss it. You may also want to go to Annie's online catalog for other great patterns, online classes, and notions.

I have another project on this issue which I will show soon.  Until then!


May 13, 2019

Hybrid quilt block

Good morning, quilting friends! Today I am bringing to you this 'hybrid' flower block. I call it hybrid because the leaves are foundation pieced and the flower is made with regular piecing. This is a perfect block for those who want to try their hand at foundation piecing: a small part of the work is done with that technique, the foundation piecing requires only one stitched line, and the quilter practices the basics before plunging into a project solely involving foundation piecing.

This is the back of one leaf. Notice a couple things: 1. I wrote the color of the fabric which was going on each section on the paper - I only do this for patterns where the same fabrics are used in reversed positions, so I do not accidentally switch them; and 2. I wrote 'Stitch Here' on the stitching side even though the sections are labeled (A1, A2) - if I place the fabrics there I see the note and go 'Oops, I need to place fabrics on the other side'. This is because if you get a phone call or are interrupted by someone, you could easily place fabrics on this side and stitch on the other (ask me how I know!). Train yourself to stitch after you can read 'Stitch Here' and you will be safe.


The center is made up of half-square triangles. Notice that I repeated the fabrics on the flying geese, carefully placing them so as to match their counterparts on the HST and form the petals.

One of the leaves is stitched. I left the paper foundation attached and will not remove it until the finished block is attached to the other blocks.

When you are stitching fabric to foundation pieced patch, the foundation pieced patch needs to stay on top of the fabric-only patch. Why? If the foundation paper is touching the machine plate, it really does not move as well as fabric would (I am using tracing paper). Also, stitching moves slooowly. So, the above may happen where the fabric-only patch slides from the foundation pieced patch. I knew this but... you know how it goes. I ripped the stitches and fixed it.

Here is the skinny on this block:

For a 9" finished block:
A = (2)  2-3/4" x 2-3/4" white squares
B = (2) 2-3/4" x 5" white rectangles
C and D = (2) 3" x 8-1/4" rectangles of each white and green fabrics
E = (1) 3-1/8" x 3-1/8" square of each red fabric
F = (1) 2-3/4" x 2-3/4" square of each red fabric

Here is the link to the foundation template:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WTx9DmBCubuYPs3HaJv1dQV8KiEERJvZ/view?usp=sharing

The second white square is stitched to the remaining leaf and the strip attached to the bottom of the block. As I said, papers are removed from the back only after all the blocks are stitched together. Easy, right?

With this block, the beginner foundation piecer gets comfortable stitching with paper, learns to remove the paper and learns how to mix this technique with regular piecing in one block. I used this hybrid concept before - check out this post to see the block and published quilt.



On another note, if you missed the interview with Pat Sloan, I am the second guest on the May 6 program - check it out at http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/quilting-podcast.

This week I will be hiding in my studio to finish a very cool BOM which will be announced soon. Have a fantastic Monday!


May 6, 2019

I am a Guest on Pat Sloan's Podcast today!

Good morning everyone, from my new digs! I am all moved in and ready to roll! To celebrate, today I will be a guest on the American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast hosted by Pat Sloan. How cool is that? You have been reading my blog for all these years and now you have a chance to catch my Brazilian accent as Pat and I talk about all things quilty.

Show Time is Monday a 4pm Eastern, 3pm Central, 2pm Mountain, 1pm Pacific! Get ready because we always learn something new from our favorite quilters and designers, and get lots of great tips to improve our work.


Here is how to listen - I got these ideas from their site to help you: 

- Subscribe via iTunes
Use the search function in your iTunes store to search for "American Patchwork and Quilting Radio." Click on the podcast show, then on the "Subscribe" button. Each week, the new podcast will download automatically to your iTunes so you can listen any time you want.

- Use Your iPhone Podcasts App
Many newer iPhones come with a "Podcasts" app already installed (if not, you can download it from the App Store). Open the Podcasts app and search for "American Patchwork and Quilting Radio." Click on the podcast show, then on the "Subscribe" button. Each week, the new podcast will download automatically to your Podcasts app so you can listen any time you want.

- Use the Stitcher App for Android or iPhone
Download the "Stitcher" app from Google Play or the App Store. Open the Stitcher app and search for "American Patchwork and Quilting Radio." Click on the podcast show, then on the + button on the top of the screen to add it to your playlist. Each week, the new podcast will download automatically to your Stitcher app so you can listen any time you want.

Listen On Our Website
- Each week, they upload the new podcast along with quotes and pictures from each guest. Visit their website here to see an archive of all past shows. Click on the show you want to listen to, then click on "Listen to the podcast here" button at the top of the page.

Listen Live
- Pat's podcast airs live each week on Monday from 4-5pm EST. You can listen live at toginet.com. Go to their website, and click the "Live on Air" button at the top of the page.

This will be so much fun (said she while trembling...)! Until then,


April 22, 2019

Sunnyside Lane quilt


Photographs by Amerian Quilter. Used with permission.
Oh, how I wish my house looked just like this right now! Amidst the boxes and having packed all my quilts for the upcoming move, I am content flipping the pages of the May issue of American Quilter magazine and staring at Sunnyside Lane, the quilt I made with the Tonga Gecko batik collection by Timeless Treasures

The colors are so bright and happy, the blocks are easy to make, and the instructions are very detailed to help you make your own version in no time at all. This design would look great as a scrappy quilt, too. The batiks, though, add so much texture to the project...

... do you see what I mean? That is why I use them so much. The white background provides the perfect contrast and helps create a secondary design - can you see it?

If you haven't done so, grab a copy of the May issue of American Quilter - there are amazing articles and super cool quilt patterns you will not want to miss. I like having the magazine subscription because I don't even need to think about it - it shows up in my mailbox filled with fun patterns, award-winning quilts that make me ooh and aah, and how-to articles which ensure my next quilt will be much better. Take a look at that bird on the cover!!! 

The bird made me think of little tiny eggs. Chocolate eggs. Excuse me while I go have a snack before lunch, just as my mom taught me (right!).

Have a productive Monday,





April 12, 2019

Best Pinnies Ever!

Look at it! Last night I dropped everything and locked myself in my studio to make these pincushions - I could not help it after I saw them!

In no time at all, I found the fabrics I needed in my stash (that is THE reason we have such large fabric stashes - on a whim we can open those magic drawers and quickly choose the best fabrics for the project we MUST make now!). These are all by Riley Blake Designs - I am totally smitten by their Date Night collection!


From tiny pieces of fabrics, a neighborhood emerged very quickly. You know I am moving in a few weeks so this pincushion caught my eye for its cuteness and timely design.

Here it is with simple quilting and ready to be filled.

Crushed Walnut shells is an indispensable item in a quilter's studio. I left a big enough opening for the spoon to fit inside.

The flash from the camera is hitting the small aluminum pan serving as a base for my 'operation'. It is perfect to catch the little pieces of filling, and then I can just pour them back into the plastic bag. I pinned the opening and slip stitched it shut.

Ta-da! But, hey, I did not stop there. These are so addictive!

I pulled out fabrics from another one of Riley Blake's collections...

... and before I go on, this is what I use to draw perfect circles. I have had it for years.

Ah... I needed some green energy vibes and so I made a green flower. My machine will go to the shop while I am in my 'Pack the House' party because the tension needs adjusting. But, you can see the blanket stitch I used is still turning out fabulous. I use 40 wt thread for the machine applique'. Always. Well, unless I do not have the color I need.

I filled it to the very tippity-top with crushed walnut shells again.

And here it is, my boxy pincushion. The one on the background is from the book. Oh, yes, I need to tell you where I found these gorgeous patterns!

They are from Carrie Nelson's latest book "Pin Pals" published by Martingale. That I made these two pincushions in under, way under 2 hours tells you the instructions leave no room for doubt.  Carrie's pincushions and pinnies are so fun! Can you tell I had a blast last night?

They are unique and make perfect gifts for your quilty friends. They can also add a touch of whimsy to your home decor if you casually place them near your craft chair, on the coffee table atop your favorite books, or on the nightstand to remind you every morning of the one thing you need to find time for every day - quilting!

And so it is. I am a happy camper because I found time to delight my 'maker' soul by bringing to life these pincushions. Do you think Carrie was thinking of me when she designed these? I can dream, can't I?

Have a fantastic weekend,


April 2, 2019

Finished Embroidery Project

I have a finish to show you! A while ago I talked about Gail Pan's book "Patchwork Loves Embroidery Too" and my plan to make one of the amazing projects in her book. Well, here it is! This weekend I carved time away from moving preparations (yep, in a few weeks we will be moving) and finished it, albeit with a few changes from Gail's instructions.

I knew I would not have time to hand stitch anything so I reached for my trusted Heat 'n Bond Lite, traced the templates for the dark frame onto it, made them hollow for a softer hand, and bingo.

My stash of fabrics is amazing. I found the perfect background fabric for this project and began putting the pieces together. Notice that I pressed under the edges of the embroidery work but I had no intention (read 'time') to needle turn it. So...

... I cut four strips of the Heat 'n Bond and fused them to the folded edges. Then, I peeled off the fusible web, centered the embroidery work over the dark frame and machine appliqued using a blanket stitch.

For the life of me, I can't understand why my black hand stitches were so NOT straight. I have done much better work! I even ripped it all out and stitched again, only to make wavy lines one more time. It seemed it was 'supposed' to look that way, so here it is.

I switched threads and appliqued the frame.

This is what the back looked like when I was done. The black stitches going toward the center mark where I joined the frame pieces. More about that in a little bit.

My bees came alive and their trails became the quilting motif. I quilted with the same thread from the blanket stitch applique' on the edge of the embroidered center: Aurifil 40 wt. I did not quilt on the frame except very close to the edges of the embroidery work as I wanted it to puff. It does - remember: I removed the fusible web from most of it. Also, I quilted over the black embroidery lines only.

I found in my drawer a piece of leftover binding in the right length - this flannel. I did not plan on hand stitching the binding, so I secured it to the back of the work then flipped it to the front and machine stitched it. Notice how I use the walking foot to apply the binding onto the quilt.

Where the pieces of the frame came together I appliqued them then covered the edges of the fabric with this fabric marker so there would be no white peeking through.

And here it is. Because I did not needle turn the black frame, the finished work is a bit larger than Gail's, measuring 17-1/2" x 18-1/2". It will hang either in my new office or new studio, but it will be in full view forever because I love how it turned out.

Between looking for a new place and packing to move into it, you will hear from me now and then until we are settled. I have oodles of patterns to deliver so, yeah, I am going into hiding. Maybe.

Have a fantastic day!







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