Quilt Designer Insights: Part 1

We’ve been fascinated with Janice Averill’s Magic Stars design from Quiltmaker’s Sept/Oct issue. The Scrap Squad had a terrific time making different versions of it.

magicstars450opt Quilt Designer Insights: Part 1

Magic Stars, designed by Janice Averill. Fabric: Elementary by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics.

The block is not what you might be expecting from a quick glance at the quilt:

magicstarsblock Quilt Designer Insights: Part 1

The Magic Stars block

I wanted to know more about the block and the creative mind behind it, so I asked designer Janice Averill a few questions about her process.

Averill HeadShot Quilt Designer Insights: Part 1

Janice Averill

Q: Your Magic Stars design in the new Quiltmaker intrigues me. How did you come up with this block? What’s the trick behind the magic of the stars?

A: I’ve always been fascinated by the patterns found on ceramic tiles. The ones that fascinate me most have the line of symmetry along one diagonal. This can create a secondary design when the pattern is tiled with a 90 degree rotation for every other block. Translated into quilt design terms this looks like two different blocks.

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I decided try to mimic this with a traditional pieced block using value placement and piecing to create the asymmetrical effect. I used an uneven nine-patch grid for the block skeleton. This is really a 5 x 5 grid when you strip it down.

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I placed “broken dishes” or “hour glass” motifs, which are four-patch blocks, in the four corners.

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First one, then by cloning (above), three more (below).

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Here’s where the magic happens; by diagonally dividing the rectangles at the center of each side of the block, the design was given a diagonal orientation.

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It’s then reinforced with value placement by arranging the values in an asymmetric fashion on the diagonal.

Q: Do you work in color right away or do you begin with grayscale? How is each one useful?

A: Working in grayscale is a tool that I use to maintain optimal value placement in my designs.

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Magic Stars block in grayscale, version 1

I work with grayscale in my designs and then move on to the basic color wheel for fine tuning of the value placements.

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Magic Stars in grayscale, version 2

This is helpful because working with a large number of gray fabrics can be confusing.

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First version using the color wheel

I use color to help me see the design better as I develop it. I use yellow as my light value and violet as my darkest value, with the appropriate values of orange, red, blue and green needed to fill out between the two extremes. I also make use of the cool and warm properties of the orange, red, blue and green hues in my designs.

Jewel Box block primary v2opt Quilt Designer Insights: Part 1

Second version using the color wheel

If I use only warm and cool gray tones when I design, I can quickly become lost. After I’m satisfied with the outcome of the design using colors, I go back to grayscale. Then I’ll populate the fields with swatches of fabrics that are of equal value and temperature for each shade of gray.

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Coming soon: Part 2. See many interesting color and value variations of Magic Stars!

QMMP 141000 cover 2001 Quilt Designer Insights: Part 1

Quiltmaker Sept/Oct ’14

Magic Stars appears in the Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmaker, on newsstands now, or in print or digital versions from quiltandsewshop.com.

If you prefer, buy just the Magic Stars digital pattern.

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Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

A while back, I saw a picture of a quilt with elongated shapes in it and it piqued my interest. Could I take one of the blocks from the 900 we’ve published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vols. 1-9 and stretch it to give it an interesting twist for an upcoming Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks issue? I set out to find just the right block.

I wanted a block that would still be interesting if it was stretched, but not get too distorted and be unsewable. Here are a few that I tried:

Twin Star, block #672 by Susan Knapp and Mary Jane Mattingly from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 7.

QMMS 130033 KNAPP Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

I liked where this idea was heading, but it felt a little expected.

blog 1 Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

 

All Roads Lead Home, block #693 by Amy Smart from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 7.

QMMS 130033 SMART Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

 

Five blocks next to each other created an argyle looking pattern. This could be interesting.

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Sweet Peas, block #698 by Margie Ullery from Volume 7.

QMMS 130033 ULLERY Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

 

This one just didn’t float my boat – too flowery still and not my style.

blog 4 Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

Orion, block #794 by Celine Perkins from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8.

QMMS 130037 PERKINS Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

 

In this layout, I staggered the block placement to create some movement across the quilt. Better, but not the most interesting to me.

blog 2 Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

 

I finally settled on Quadrangle by Anita Grossman Solomon from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 7.

QMMS 130033 GROSSMAN Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

 

There are 5 stretched blocks in this design. Now this is more my style.

twinstar quilt1 Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

Here is the final version, Outstretched, that appears in Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Fall ’14. It’s a wonderful modern throw quilt based on a traditional block.

QMMS 140048 out 450 Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

I hope you’re inspired to stretch your own imagination when it comes to quilting!

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All volumes of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks remain available. Some are available in print and digital; some are digital only. Complete your collection today!

QM20414 Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure    DPQM21113 Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure    QM21012 Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure    DPQM20413 Outstretched: Quilt Design Adventure

Coming soon: Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 10 and a big celebration to commemorate 1000 blocks and counting!

 

 

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Printer-Friendly Back to School Pattern: Day 5

Welcome to Day 5 of Quiltmaker’s Back to School Party! I hope you’ve started your own version of Hip-Hopscotch. It’s been great fun to see all the versions of the quilt. Today we have a quilt label for your project.

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Printer Friendly Back to School Pattern: Day 5

First let’s take a quick look at all 0f the quilts. It’s helpful to see them together for the sake of comparison.

QM BTS TT 500opt 242x300 Printer Friendly Back to School Pattern: Day 5

Made by Lisa Dumais; fabrics are Splash from Timeless Treasures.

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Made by Nann Blaine Hilyard. Fabric: Home is in the Kitchen from Clothworks.

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Made by Julie Sanders. Fabric: Kaya from Hoffman California Fabrics.

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Made by Pam Snow; Hip-Hopscotch in Artisan Batiks from Lunn Studios for Robert Kaufman.

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Hip-Hopscotch in Rambling Rose by Sandy Gervais for Moda Fabrics; made by Kathleen Gilson.

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Made by Julie Belin; fabrics are Modern Elements and Toscana by Deborah Edwards for Northcott.

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Julie’s second version of Hip-Hopscotch. Fabrics: Northcott.

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Made by Laura Brozo; fabrics are Nomad by Jen Fox for P&B Textiles.

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Made by Laura Miller; fabrics are Learning is Fun by Kimberly’s Garden for Quilting Treasures.

Here’s the quilt in gray-scale.

BTS14 quilt Printer Friendly Back to School Pattern: Day 5

And here is a line drawing. This is where the magic really happens. With a line drawing, you can make a design do just about anything.

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All the magic happens when you start to use line drawings like this one.

We’ve created a custom label for the Back to School quilt.

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Download the free quilt label.

Get a printer-friendly version of the free Hip-Hopscotch Back to School pattern.

Thanks for joining me this week. I’ll have some helpful how-tos in the coming days. They’ll apply to this project but also to any quiltmaking you do! We’ll also hear from Janice Averill, designer of the quilt.

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Scrap quilt lovers will delight in Devoted to Scraps. It features 13 most-loved scrap quilts from the pages of Quiltmaker. Hard copy or ebook!

LA6046 Printer Friendly Back to School Pattern: Day 5

Devoted to Scraps

 

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Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party

A while back, Quiltmaker announced that we were looking for QM readers to work on a one-time project. We selected eight women as the Back to School Sewing Team. I’m happy to introduce them this week.

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party

Meet Lisa Dumais from Newington, Connecticut.

lisadumais Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party

Lisa Dumais from Newington, Connecticut

Lisa made her summery version of Hip-Hopscotch using Splash fabrics from Timeless Treasures.

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Made by Lisa Dubais; fabrics are Splash from Timeless Treasures.

I love the little whales on this quilt. Fussy cutting them for the center patches was a great idea. Check your stash for fabrics that could be used in a similar way—I’ll bet you have several!

There’s a lesson in Lisa’s quilt: A little yellow goes a long way. For some reason (art scholars could tell you why, but I can’t), yellow is very powerful. It only takes a sprinkle for a quilt to start feeling very yellow. There is no right or wrong to how much yellow is okay—it’s just something to be aware of so you can control yellow’s effect.

I think the yellow is this quilt makes it sing! You could substitute navy for the solid yellow and it would work, but the quilt would be less interesting, in my opinion.

I asked Lisa for the details of her quilting story, and you’ll hear them in her own words below.

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I have been sewing for over 50 years. My sister and I learned to sew from our mom. We made extensive wardrobes for our dolls, including a wedding gown from the shortened train of my mother’s dress.

In 1989 Mom suggested we take a quilting class. I made a pine tree quilt as a wedding gift for a friend. Unfortunately we lost her in 1991, but I have always felt she’s been there with me as I evolved into a true quilter. My mom’s advice, which I return to often, was simply, “Read the directions and do what they say”—simple really, but often overlooked!

The influence of the older women in my local quilt group has been invaluable, and friendships remain today as we younger members have become the “older group.” Our guild always had fantastic speakers who encouraged me to try things. A few years ago we hosted Bonnie Hunter.

bonnie Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party

Bonnie Hunter is one of Lisa’s quilting influences.

I sat with Bonnie’s books in my lap, and turned down pages as she showed her quilts. So far I’ve made five, and I follow her blog and Quiltmaker columns. She’s an influence in my current scrappy period of quilting. And after 20+ years of quilting, she’s the one who got my 1/4″ seam set perfectly!

In 2001 I entered a quilt in my local fall fair for the first time. My husband and I went to see the displays, and could not find my quilt. I lagged behind, looking at the entries, and he went ahead. He came back and said “I found your quilt!” and urged me to hurry up.

dumaisbestofshow Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party

Lisa’s row quilt won a Best of Show award in 2001.

Well, we got there, and my quilt was sporting a Best In Show ribbon! What a surprise! Validation of your work is a good thing. It wasn’t a big show, but having my family there to be proud of me was a really good feeling.

lisasbaltimore Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party

Lisa tried her hand at dimensional applique.

About 15 years ago some friends decided we should take Dimensional Applique classes and make Baltimore Album quilts. I struggled with the handwork and made sure everyone was aware of my hatred for the work, but I kept with it. My skills improved and I learned a ton of techniques that have been useful for other projects. The Baltimore Album remains an unfinished project but—surprise…!

lisasBOM Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party

Lisa’s Block of the Month designed by Edyta Sitar

Today I’m working on an Edyta Sitar block of the month with my local quilt shop. I’ve accepted my imperfections and have learned to just enjoy the process.

Right now, I’m focusing on machine quilting—a skill I need to work on. Quiltmaker’s focus on machine quilting this year has been very beneficial to me. I just need lots more practice!

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School PartyOur sincere thanks to Lisa Dumais for her work
on the Back to School Party.

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Our shop site carries patterns, books and fabric by Edyta Sitar.

5135 Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party  4054 Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party   3505 Meet Lisa Dumais: Back to School Party

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Meet Laura Miller: Back to School Party

A while back, Quiltmaker announced that we were looking for QM readers to work on a one-time project. We selected eight women as the Back to School Sewing Team. I’m happy to introduce them this week.

BTS14 logo 400opt Meet Laura Miller: Back to School Party

Meet Laura Miller from Liberty Lake, Washington.

lauramiller Meet Laura Miller: Back to School Party

Laura Miller from Liberty Lake, Washington

Laura had the pleasure of sewing with fabrics from Quilting Treasures that actually had a back-to-school theme.

quiltingtreasuresnewest logo Meet Laura Miller: Back to School Party

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Made by Laura Miller; fabrics are Learning is Fun by Kimberly’s Garden for Quilting Treasures.

These “Learning is Fun” fabrics are by Kimberly’s Garden for Quilting Treasures. Laura plans to donate her quilt to Project Linus. She’s a staunch supporter of Project Linus and makes many quilts to comfort kids in need.

Quiltmaker has published an annual pattern for Project Linus since 2000. These patterns are perfect for good causes or baby gifts. See all of the QM patterns on our Project Linus page.

Laura works full-time as a medical transcriptionist and editor, but still makes time to quilt. She’s been sewing for about 50 years and quilting seriously for about 15. “Since I began making quilts for Project Linus, there are very few days in a week when I am not at the sewing machine,” says Laura.

“The most influential people on me have been the ‘Quilt Batts.’ This group of women welcomed me, a relative non-quilter, into their group and have embraced me through thick and thin—and they have each had an impact on my quilting journey in their own unique way. Without them and their support, I would not be the quilter—or the woman—I am today.

“For me, any time spent sewing is a good time. Some of my best moments are when orphan block tops just seem to fall into place, when the layout works itself out perfectly. Near the top of the list are the times I took completed quilts back into my kids’ classrooms to show them what had been made using the blocks they’d created. The excitement and joy on their faces—seeing their blocks sewn together into a quilt—was priceless. It brought joy to my soul.”

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Meet Laura Miller: Back to School PartyOur sincere thanks to Laura Miller for her work
on the Back to School Party.

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Is the Back to School Party inspiring you to sew? You’ll find loads of ideas in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks.

DPBLKSV2 Meet Laura Miller: Back to School Party   QM20414 Meet Laura Miller: Back to School Party   DPQM21111 Meet Laura Miller: Back to School Party   DQM21109 Meet Laura Miller: Back to School Party

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Quiltmaker’s Back to School Party: Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of Quiltmaker’s
Back to School Party!

We have a free quilt pattern, various color recipes for inspiration and reader-sewers just like yourself who have already made the quilt.

BTS14 logo 400opt Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 4

We’re down to the final stages already.

Quilting and Finishing

Layer and baste together the backing, batting and quilt top. Refer to the quilting placement diagram below.

BTS14 quilting Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 4

Quilt fabric #3 and #5 patches with straight lines and in the ditch as shown. Quilt the borders in the ditch.  Quilt petals in the blocks as shown. Quilt loops in the B’s between the blocks and in border #2 as shown.

Bind the quilt.

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We’re down to the last two quilts made by our reader-sewers in fabrics from Quilting Treasures and Timeless Treasures. They look completely different from each other.

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Laura Miller from Liberty Lake, Washington created this snappy version in Learning is Fun fabrics by Kimberly’s Garden for Quilting Treasures.

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Hip-Hopscotch made by Laura Miller; fabrics are Learning is Fun from Quilting Treasures.

The red/green/black combination makes for a lively quilt. Text prints are hot right now and we love these fabrics which play to that trend. You could switch these fabrics around for a completely different look; see how Julie Belin did just that.

We put Lisa Dumais to work with Splash fabrics from Timeless Treasures.

timeless Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 4
The fussy-cut motifs make this a favorite.

QM BTS TT 500opt Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 4

Made by Lisa Dumais; fabrics are Splash from Timeless Treasures.

Can you believe how cute those little whales are? And you’d hardly imagine this quilt was from the same pattern as the one above it. I’d love to wrap my new great-nephew Mack in this one!

We’ll be back tomorrow with a quilt label and final thoughts on your Back to School project.

Please scroll down to meet some of this year’s Back to School sewing team members.

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Getting inspired to sew this fall? Try our time-saving quilt kits.

QM141004 Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 4     QM141002 Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 4     QM141003 Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 4

 

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Meet Laura Brozo: Back to School Party

A while back, Quiltmaker announced that we were looking for QM readers to work on a one-time project. We selected eight women as the Back to School Sewing Team. I’m happy to introduce them this week.

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Meet Laura Brozo: Back to School Party

Meet Laura Brozo from Sweetser, Indiana.

laurabrozo Meet Laura Brozo: Back to School Party

Laura Brozo from Sweetser, Indiana

Laura sewed Hip-Hopscotch using Nomad by Jen Fox for P&B Textiles.

QMM BTS PB 500opt Meet Laura Brozo: Back to School Party

Made by Laura Brozo; fabrics are Nomad by Jen Fox for P&B Textiles.

This version is decidedly the most fall-like and the most masculine of all the Back to School quilts. It has a Southwest flair, don’t you think?

 Meet Laura Brozo: Back to School Party

Laura says, “I live in central Indiana in a very small town in the middle of the corn fields.” She works part-time at a small local library. I asked Laura to tell me about her quilting journey.

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I have fond memories of sitting on my great-grandmother’s porch swing when I was five years old. She taught me to embroider. I still have that tea towel with the little chicks on it!

laurabrozo3 Meet Laura Brozo: Back to School Party

Laura Brozo enjoys hand quilting.

That was 47 years ago and I have been stitching ever since! I remember quilting with another great-grandmother, helping her iron pieces of fabric when she could no longer stand at the ironing board. I pieced my first small project when I was about 10, using my grandmother’s treadle machine. I loved that machine! These are memories I will always treasure.

laurabrozo4 Meet Laura Brozo: Back to School Party

A recent project

I love to read and study quilting literature. Every quilter I meet or read about inspires and influences me. I love to get together with other quilters to share, teach and encourage.

laurabrozo1 Meet Laura Brozo: Back to School Party

Simple but effective

Quilting is an art form that comes from the heart. My advice for new quilters would be not to strive for perfection. Do it for the JOY of it! Let things evolve, go with the flow. You might be surprised at what happens!

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Meet Laura Brozo: Back to School Party
Our sincere thanks to Laura Brozo for her work
on the Back to School Party.

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 Stock up on eBooks during our 40% off Back to School Sale through 9/12.

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Meet Julie Belin: Back to School Party

A while back, Quiltmaker announced that we were looking for QM readers to work on a one-time project. We selected eight women as the Back to School Sewing Team. I’m happy to introduce them this week.

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Meet Julie Belin: Back to School Party
Meet Julie Belin from Potomac Falls, Virginia.

JulieBelin Meet Julie Belin: Back to School Party

Julie Belin from Potomac Falls, Virginia

Julie made not one but two quilts in fabrics from Northcott. She followed our instructions precisely for version #1.

QMM BTS NORTH1 500opt Meet Julie Belin: Back to School Party

Made by Julie Belin; fabrics are Modern Elements and Toscana by Deborah Edwards for Northcott.

She wondered if maybe the pinwheels were getting lost. She had plenty of fabric left so she tried a different layout. Rather than have two ‘print’ pinwheels in the same column next to two ‘solid’ pinwheels in the next column, she alternated the print and solid pinwheels.  Then she used one of the bold prints for the centers of the blocks, and the other for the sashing.

QMM BTS NORTH2 500opt Meet Julie Belin: Back to School Party

Julie’s second version of Hip-Hopscotch. Fabrics: Northcott.

You can see that just changing the placement of the exact same fabrics yields a totally different look. Amazing!

You’ll find Julie’s blog at The Thread Engineer. She came to quilting in a rather unusual way…

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I started sewing when I was about 12. I made my little sister a smock with lots of different pockets that she could put her craft supplies in. I don’t think I would call it sewing—more like engineering with fabric and a sewing machine. Later I would become an engineer.

I was into home dec and crafting, usually trying to figure out how to make something without a pattern. My college roommate made a beautiful pink log cabin quilt as a wedding present for my husband and me. Quilting was never on my radar before that.

That wedding quilt is what started my quilting journey.  My husband, Kelly, is who started my journey. “You could make a quilt like that.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that from Kelly. Our first quilt was made in 1988 – a double Irish chain machine pieced and quilted.

juliebelinlogcabin Meet Julie Belin: Back to School Party

Julie Belin and her husband Kelly made this quilt together—the first of many.

My most vivid memory of creating that quilt is Kelly sitting on the other side of the dining room table pulling the full-sized quilt through the sewing machine as I pushed from the other side! Kelly has been my partner in crime for many quilts, usually as my cheerleader and sounding board, but often as the presser.

I encourage all quilters to set up the ironing board in front of the TV and teach their husbands what an iron is.

kellybelin Meet Julie Belin: Back to School Party

Julie’s husband Kelly is the designated presser for her quiltmaking.

I realize how lucky I am!

The best quilting moments are when the recipient receives their quilt. You spend hours and hours on a quilt, thinking about them while you’re creating—anticipating how it will be received. The best quilting moments are the giving moments. It’s when your one-year old finally gets his baby quilt and wraps it around himself laughing. It’s when your sister opens her wedding quilt gift. It’s donating a charity quilt for someone in need. And, it’s finally finishing a quilt for yourself—not a gift for someone else—and putting it on your own bed.

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Meet Julie Belin: Back to School PartyOur sincere thanks to Julie Belin for her work
on the Back to School Party.

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Treat yourself to new scissors for Back to School sewing—these are my favorites:

FP7822 Meet Julie Belin: Back to School Party

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Quiltmaker’s Back to School Party: Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 of Quiltmaker’s Back to School Party

Today we have instructions for assembling the Hip-Hopscotch quilt. There are two new team members, two new quilts and two new fabric companies.

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 3

Day 3: Assembling the Quilt Top

Refer to the assembly diagram. Join the remaining patches and the blocks into vertical rows as shown. Sew the rows together.

quilt assembly1 Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 3

Join the border #1 strips end to end. Lay the quilt top flat on a large table or the floor. Lay the border #1 strip down the vertical center of the quilt top and smooth carefully into place. Slip a small cutting mat under the quilt top and use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim the border #1 side strip to the same length as the quilt top. Repeat to cut the second border #1 side strip.

Matching centers and ends, sew the border #1 side strips to the quilt.
Repeat the measuring and trimming process along the horizontal center of the quilt, including the newly added borders, for the border #1 top and bottom strips. Add the border #1 top and bottom strips in the same way as the border #1 side strips.
Join the border #2 strips end to end. Measure, trim and sew border #2 in the same way as border #1.

*     *     *     *     *

If you’re working on Hip-Hopscotch, please post your photos on our Facebook page with the hashtag #qmbacktoschool. We’d love to see what you’re making.

Let’s look at a few more Hip-Hopscotch quilts.

 

northcottnew Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 3
Julie Belin from Potomac Fall, Virginia made this happy edition using Modern Elements and Toscana, both by Deborah Edwards for Northcott.

QMM BTS NORTH1 500opt Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 3

Made by Julie Belin; fabrics are Modern Elements and Toscana by Deborah Edwards for Northcott.

Julie had plenty of fabric left over and wanted to emphasize the little pinwheels, so she made a second quilt:

QMM BTS NORTH2 500opt Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 3

Julie Belin’s second version of Hip-Hopscotch emphasizes the pinwheel shapes. Fabrics: Northcott.

Great lesson here: Even changing the placement of the exact same fabrics can make a huge difference. It’s not that one is good and the other bad—they’re just very different. Knowing how to make the fabric work for you gives you the power to create what pleases you!

*     *     *     *     *

Laura Brozo’s version of Hip-Hopscotch couldn’t be more different.

 Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 3

P&B Textiles fabrics are decidedly autumnal, and doesn’t this say “guy quilt”? The fabric line is Nomad by Jen Fox.

QMM BTS PB 500opt Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 3

Made by Laura Brozo; fabrics are Nomad by Jen Fox for P&B Textiles

Our team of sewers has done a great job this year. It’s interesting to see all the different looks you can get from one simple quilt design. Please scroll down to meet some of the folks who made these quilts. Thanks for being with us for the Back to School Party!

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In the mood for more fall sewing? Our Fall Skinnie features the cutest wool owls ever!

QM130802 Quiltmakers Back to School Party: Day 3

Fall Skinnie: Kits make it easy!

 

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Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party

A while back, Quiltmaker announced that we were looking for QM readers to work on a one-time project. We selected eight women as the Back to School Sewing Team. I’m happy to introduce them this week.

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party
Meet Kathleen Gilson from Waterloo, Nebraska.

kathleengilson Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party

Kathleen Gilson from Waterloo, Nebraska

Kathleen sewed with prints from Moda Fabrics for her version of Hip-Hopscotch. (Love this look? Try our Moda Medley of the Month.)

QMM BTS MODA 500opt Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party

Made by Kathleen Gilson; Hip-Hopscotch in Rambling Rose by Sandy Gervais for Moda Fabrics

This one has a bit of shabby chic going on, don’t you think? The first thing I noticed is how the “bricks” that move diagonally across the quilts practically disappear on this one. It’s a nice change-up!

I had a nice conversation with Kathy via email, and she shared some photos of her early sewing. I got such a kick out of them and I think you will too.

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I started sewing by hand as a little girl, making sock dolls and doll clothing. One Christmas I was given a toy sewing machine, a pink KAYanEE Sew Master that sewed a chain stitch.  I still have it and it is displayed in my sewing room.

kathleendollknee Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party

Kathy still has the very first sock doll she made as a child, along with her treasured pink chain-stitch toy sewing machine.

I learned apparel sewing in Home Economics in junior high school. I got an A+ on my first dress and I was hooked on sewing! I made most of my clothing for many years after that, and I made shirts for my brother Terry who was 6′ 4″. I lengthened the tails and sleeves so he would finally have shirts that fit.

I began quilting when I saw a cute small cat quilt pattern in a store. I learned a lot on that first little quilt! I learned not to use stretchy fabrics and to cut on the straight of grain. It’s rather a lopsided little quilt, but it makes me smile as that is where it all began! I’ve been quilting for about 20 years.

kathleenfirstquilt Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party

Kathleen’s first quilt

Eleanor Burns was my beginning inspiration and my mentor, albeit by television. That is where I learned about fabrics, cutting, and throwing the scraps over my shoulder!!!

My saddest moment in quilting was presenting a Quilt of Valor to a young serviceman I’d come to know through my health care career. He had terminal cancer. I presented him with the quilt one day and he passed away the next. I was so proud of him.

kathleengilsonQOV Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party

Kathleen presented Starstruck as a Quilt of Valor to a young serviceman dying of cancer.

His parents now have a beautiful keepsake which honors their son and his service to our country. The quilt is Starstruck from Quiltmaker July/August ’10. (Editor’s note: This digital issue is on clearance for $3.)

I quilt to create something beautiful. Many times I start out thinking a quilt is for me, but along the way I think of somebody else that the quilt is perfect for and so I give it away.

kathleenredeye Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party

One of Kathleen’s refurbishing projects is a Singer “red-eye.”

In recent months, I have started refurbishing older sewing machines and donating them to a local homeless shelter. The Open Door Mission will soon be starting their own home economics course to teach sewing skills to others. For me, it’s a way to pass along a gift that started with my home ec teacher, Ella Cram.

kathleentreadle Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party

Kathy’s preferred sewing machine is currently a treadle.

Ella is no longer with us, but I always remember her encouragement to learn to sew! She would be so surprised to see me sewing away on a treadle, my new preferred way to piece!

BTS14 logo 400opt 287x300 Introducing Kathleen Gilson: Back to School Party
Our sincere thanks to Kathleen Gilson for her work
on the Back to School Party.

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