Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads

by Shayla Wolf, QM Associate Editor

Headshot Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads It is that time of year again! Time to sit on a beach, on a patio at a lake house or in a foldable chair at a peewee soccer game. Summer is full of long car rides and other events that are perfect for some light reading. If you are like me, you grab the newest quilting book or magazine before you get on an airplane to make the ride fly by! I have compiled 20 sizzling quilting books for you to dive into this summer to keep the creativity flowing even when you are away from your machine.

ReadingListTitle Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads

country girl modern Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Country Girl Modern
by Jo Kramer & Kelli Hanken

This book is full of beautiful traditional quilts with a modern flair. In addition to great quilt patterns, Country Girl Modern has a little peek behind the scenes of what it is like to be a mother-daughter duo and the inspiration behind each quilt. Another fun treat is the stunning and unique photography. The bright and bold quilts are draped over farming equipment, fences, hay bails and more!

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AQuiltersPracticalGuideToColor 231x300 Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads

The Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color
by Becky Goldsmith

This book is exactly what the title claims! Becky takes you step-by-step through color theory. The Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color covers the color wheel, color schemes, value, contrast, clarity, texture, scale, designing, auditioning and so much more! In addition to all the invaluable knowledge, there are 10 unique and fun projects! Becky takes the fear out of fabric selection with tip and tricks specifically geared towards quilters.

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ModernMedallionWorkbook 240x300 Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads The Modern Medallion Workbook
by Janice Zeller Ryan and Beth Vassalo

Medallion quilts are all the rage right now! Janice and Beth brought 9 other modern quilt designers together to create this fun workbook full of ideas and tips. There are 11 patterns with different centers and borders that can be mixed and matched to create your very own medallion quilt. Detailed instructions cover bias tape making, the use of negative space, fabric auditioning and more. Plus, there are coloring pages in the back of the book to experiment with!

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61EBYBU0RZL. SX258 BO1204203200  Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Quilt Lovely
by Jen Kingwell

Quilt Lovely is filled to the brim with bright and beautiful scrap quilt patterns. Jen Kingwell is an Australian designer with a playful and colorful approach to quilting. Her unique style shines through in these 15 appliqué and pieced projects. In addition to detailed instructions and illustrations, the book contains great tips for working with templates, keeping your projects organized, multiple appliqué techniques and color direction.

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CivilWarRemembered Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Civil War Remembered
by Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene

Love reproductions fabrics? Then this is the book for you! Mary and Connie compiled 19 stunning traditional quilts into one book. Beautiful photography, amazing colors, multiple quilt sizes and breath-taking patchwork fill these pages. Learn from the experts how to achieve both scrappy and plan looks while creating these classic blocks. These distinctive designs will have you wishing for time in your sewing room. I know I am already picturing these quilt in my favorite colors!

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FabricPrintingAtHome Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Fabric Printing at Home
by Julie B. Booth

I picked up this book and immediately thought, “What a perfect summer project to do with kids!”  This book shows you how to create wonderful designs with everyday objects, kitchen supplies, fruits and veggies! Detailed instructions, bright photos and fun tips will lead you through multiple family-friendly printing techniques.

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SewStitch Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Sew & Stitch Embroidery
by Alyssa Thomas

Looking for some fun handwork to keep your hands busy during a long road trip this summer? Alyssa, of Penguin & Fish, has compiled an amazing assortment of simple sewing projects with hand embroidery designs. Each project is unique and has a touch of whimsy! From owls adorning wall art to a whale covered shower curtain and octopus bedding to dinosaur finger puppets – this book will have you itching to stitch in no time! The book also includes the iron-on transfer sheet and a stitch library to aid those of us who are handwork beginners.

Divider Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads ImprovHandbook Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters
by Sherri Lynn Wood

If you are like me, improv quilting is a little intimidating. I love the look, but am nervous to let go! The Improv Handbook slowly takes you through approaches and methods to improv sewing and teaches you to set your own goals and limits. Instead of a book full of patterns to replicate, Sherri helps  you discover your own style! Clean and bright photography on each page will keep you inspired!

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By the Block Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads By the Block
by Sioban Rogers

This book is perfect for what Siobaun calls “time poor quilters.” These are the quilters (and I am one of them!) who want to make large beautiful quilts that look complex but are simple to make because of time constraints. By the Block contains 18 beautiful and surprisingly simple quilts that can be made over a weekend. Fabulous quilts and unique fabric choices will keep you flipping from one page to the next in this great book.

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SimplyStrings Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Simply Strings
by Rana Heredia

This book is just what the title states! Rana took classic quilt blocks and add a fun flair – string piecing! Simply Strings contains 12 quilt patterns that will excite everyone from novice to experienced quilters and modern to traditional sewers and step-by-step directions on the technique of string-piecing. Bright quilts and clear instructions make this a must-have for summer sewing. I mean… just look at those adorable houses

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StepByStep Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Step-by-Step Free-Motion Quilting
by Christina Cameli

Get inspired to finish some of those quilt tops this summer. Christina Cameli’s hand drawn how-to directions for free-motion quilting makes even the non-quilting sewers out there want to give it a whirl! Great illustrations break down 80 different quilting designs into manageable pieces that we can follow and replicate. With fun fills, unique scallops, twisty twirls, funky florals, leafy vines and more, you will surely find the inspiration to finish your next quilt.

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1000 Quilt Inspirations1000QuiltInspirations Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads
by Sandra Sider

Looking for inspiration? Look no further! This perfect coffee table book contain 1000 beautiful quilts that are broken down into 4 categories: Traditional Designs, Modern Designs, Pictorial Art Quilt Designs and Abstract & Conceptual Art Quilt Designs. Each category is individually inspiring and could lift us from our creative slumps.

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When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters Cover Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters
by Joan Ford

This relatable book will make you giggle in agreement. We have all been there and had something silly happen to us or a project and it is nice to hear we are not alone. Joan has created a humorous survival guide for fixing unfortunate mishaps and finishing even the most stubborn of quilting projects. This book is a great resource to have on hand just in case something unforeseen happens to our treasures quilts.

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SmashYourPrecutStash Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Smash Your Precut Stash
by Kate Carlson Colleran and Elizabeth Veit Balderrama

Get inspired to finally cut into those precious precuts you’ve been saving up! Kate and Elizabeth have created 13 fantastic quilt designs tailored for Jelly Rolls, Charm Squares and Fat Quarters with yardage. Not only are the quilts gorgeous, the tips and tricks will help you make a stunning quilt from the fabric you have stashed, resize quilts, adding and subtracting borders and create a special focus on color, print or scale.

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paper pieced home 1 Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads The Paper-Pieced Home
by Penny Layman

This charming book is full of clever and creative paper-pieced blocks. Penny shares a step-by-step lesson on the technique and loads of tips for those who are a little nervous about paper-piecing. The Paper-Pieced Home includes blocks featuring retro televisions, fruit bowls, cast-iron skillets, men’s and women’s shoes, a claw-foot bathtub, a stack of books, paper clips, a viewfinder, lions, bulldozers, watering cans and so much more!

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50 quilts cover Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads 50 Quilts from Quiltmaker
by the editors of QM

You caught me! This is a little bit of a plug, but I find this book inspiring and think you might too! We compiled 50 of our favorites quilts patterns from the 100 Blocks series into one large book. Dividing the quilts into 5 sections makes the quilts easy to find when seeking out something special. We have appliqué quilts, pieced quilts, foundation-pieced quilts, mixed technique quilts and quilts with fun borders. See how we turned 12″ blocks into 50 fabulous quilt designs!

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WherePoppiesGrowFrontCov Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Where Poppies Grow
by Denniele Bohannon and Janice Britz

Where Poppies Grow is a block-of-the-month made to honor those who served in World War I. Denniele and Janice teamed up to create the beautiful book and remember Almo O’Kell, Denniele’s grandfather. Along with each stunning block pattern, you get a little peek into Almo’s life as a solider. This unique quilt book offers 7 additional projects to accompany the BOM quilt: 3 quilt striking quilts, two table runners, a poppy pin and a poppy pin cushion.

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IrishChainQuilts Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Irish Chain Quilts
by Melissa Corry

Melissa combined a little bit of everything into this enchanting book: Traditional Quilts with a Twist, Modern Patchwork, Improvisational Piecing and Appliqué! Each quilt is new and interesting take on the classic Irish Chain. It is amazing to see all the unique ways to make 1 design, each with their own style and flair. Irish Chain Quilts contain directions for 15 different quilts that are the perfect combination of color and movement.

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YouInspireMeToQuilt Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads You Inspire Me to Quilt
by Cheryl Arkison

10 beautiful projects, tips from top designers and stunning photography fill the pages of You Inspire Me to Quilt and boy does it make me want to get back in front of my machine! Designs from Jen Carlton-Bailly, Cynthia Frenette, Carolyn Friedlander, Andrea Harris, Rossie Hutchinson, Heather Jones, Amanda Jean Nyberg, Blair Stocker and Cheryl Arkison are inspired by everyday life. This book encourages you to spend a few minutes a day finding creative inspiration around you.

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EveryLastPiece Stay Inspired this Summer with Quilty Reads Every Last Piece
by Lynn Harris

Lynn takes you through her experience with scrap quilting and gives you permission to play in this thoughtful book. We all have scraps. It is a part of quilting. Every Last Piece covers every step of using leftover fabric pieces, from organization to string-piecing and more. Get inspired to dig through your scrap bins while flipping through the pages of Lynn’s personal scrap quilt collection.

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Whew! That was a pretty long list. I hope something caught your eye! For more summer inspiration, be sure to pick up or new special issue: Quiltmaker Reader Favorites!

Happy Reading!

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QM Bitty Blocks: July Bitty Boats and a Giveaway!

It’s time for another Bitty Block! QM Bitty Blocks are small quilt blocks that we’re presenting monthly during 2015. Each of these free quilt blocks is 3″ or 4″ finished and works up nicely in quilt scraps. We’ve had so much fun with them. You’ll want to check out all the past quilt block designs and patchwork ideas on our Bitty Blocks page.

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: July Bitty Boats and a Giveaway!
July’s Bitty Block is a tiny little 3″ sailboat—utterly adorable! I played around with a lot of different options because there are many ways to piece a sailboat. Ultimately I settled on a version that’s pretty simple and I hope you’ll love it.

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The July QM Bitty Block is a 3″ Sailboat.

You can cut up fresh fabric for these, but it’s a lot of fun to get out your scrap basket and work from there. Most of my patches were cut from wrinkly pieces in my big messy laundry basket full of scraps.

Printer-friendly pdf for Bitty Boats!

For one block, here are the patches you’ll need.

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These are the patches needed for one sailboat.


3 rectangles, 1.5″ x 2.5″
2 squares, 1.5″ x 1.5″




2 squares, 1.5″ x 1.5″


1 rectangle, 1.5″ x 3.5″



The shapes are made using Stitch-and-Flip. I used to dread this technique but I learned some things to make it work.

These patches are tiny so I recommend shortening your stitch length to a maximum of 2.0mm or 13 stitches per inch. It’s a good rule of thumb that the shorter the seam you’re sewing, the shorter your stitches need to be. Read more about understanding stitch length.

First let’s make some sails so our little boats can catch the wind! Align a sail patch on a background rectangle as shown, right sides together. Sew from corner to corner as shown. It’s important to orient them just like this (ahem, yes I totally messed up the first set).

boats2 QM Bitty Blocks: July Bitty Boats and a Giveaway!

Align the patches as shown. Sew across the sail patch from the bottom right corner to the top left corner.

Trim away the sail patch as shown in the middle of the photo above, leaving the bottom patch in place for a benchmark. Open out the sail patch and press. Make two sails.

Now let’s make the boat!

boats3 QM Bitty Blocks: July Bitty Boats and a Giveaway!

Use stitch-and-flip to make the boat.

Align the background squares on each end of the boat rectangle as shown. Sew from corner to corner as shown.

Trim away the background patch, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Open out the background patches and press. You’ve got yourself a boat!

Now let’s put it all together into a little 3″ finished sailboat.

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These parts and pieces go together to form the Bitty Blocks sailboat.

Sew the two sail sections together. Add the remaining background rectangle to the left side. Sew this section to the boat section. Give yourself a round of applause!

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I made a little row of Bitty Boats.

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These are my Bitty Boats. Aren’t they cute?!

I think it really helps if all of your background fabrics are not cream, white and tan. It’s more interesting to have some color in there! As long as there is plenty of contrast between the boat and sail patches and the background, you’ll be fine.

How many Bitty Boats you should make depends on the size of quilt you’re making. See our post called QM Bitty Blocks: The Row Quilts for details.

Now I’m going to throw you a little curve ball. Don’t worry, it’s totally optional, but it’s something different to try. I enjoyed it!

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Make a few Bitty Boats that have a single rectangular sail.

You can change things up just a little and have a boat that looks quite different. I used a Tri Recs ruler to make the sail above. The sail finishes at 1.5″ x 2.5″. The background patches on each side are also 1.5″ x 2.5″. The boat itself is exactly the same as before.

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I cut scraps into 2.5″ widths and used the Tri Recs ruler to cut the triangles I needed for the sail.

I cut scraps into 2.5″ widths. Then I placed this Tri Recs ruler on them to cut the triangles I needed for the sail. (You’ll only use the tall skinny ruler; they come two in a set.)

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That very tiny little triangle is very important—be sure to cut it off as shown.

This is how you’d cut the triangles. See the very very tiny little triangles just off the left top corner of the ruler? They’re small but mighty! Be sure to cut them off because they help you line things up.

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One sail triangle and one background triangle.

Put them right sides together and use that funky shape to line up them perfectly.

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The triangles will line up perfectly.

Sew the triangles together and just like that, you have a nice tall sail for your boat!

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Patches needed for the tall sail boat

Add a 1.5″ x 2.5″ background rectangle to each side of the tall sail.

Use stitch-and-flip to make the boat bottom just as you did before. Sew everything together as shown below to make the tall sail boat.

boats11 QM Bitty Blocks: July Bitty Boats and a Giveaway!

Make a few Bitty Boats that have a single rectangular sail.

You can see above that on the bottom right, my background patch is a little off and it doesn’t cover the boat fabric completely. This is why you leave the bottom fabric in place when you trim. I’ll use the bottom fabric as my benchmark and the block will still be accurate when it’s sewn into the quilt top.

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: July Bitty Boats and a Giveaway!

Today’s giveaway is very special! The winner will get some Bitty Boats made by QM staff members. We’ll send you at least six and maybe more! You can incorporate them into your own scrappy Bitty Blocks quilt if you like. For your chance to win, leave a comment before midnight Tuesday, July 7 MST. We’ll choose a random winner and announce it here.

Have fun making your Bitty Blocks and remember to visit our Bitty Blocks homepage for all the patterns and more ideas.


Posted in Freebies, Giveaways & Contests | Tagged , , , , , , , | 111 Comments

Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emily’s Round of Nines

Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a small select group of readers who make scrap quilts from QM patterns. We share their creations on Quilty Pleasures to inspire you to make scrappy quilts from the quilting fabrics you already own.

QM scrap squadB3 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Round of NinesToday’s quilts are from the July/August issue, on newsstands now. Print or digital issues are also available from

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Quiltmaker July/August ’15 issue

Today’s featured quilt is Round of Nines designed and made by Natalia Bonner in fabrics from Moda Fabrics. Convenient kits are available at

QMMP 150800 NINE 506flat Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Round of Nines

The original Round of Nines quilt, designed and made by Natalia Bonner in fabrics from Moda Fabrics. Time-saving kits available at

The beautiful scrap quilt we have today was made by Emily Klaczak from Pittsburgh. You’ll hear from Emily in her own words below.

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Emily Klaczak

About ten years ago, my quilt guild sponsored a workshop with Pat Speth, author of the Nickel Quilts books. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only attendee who went home and started cutting scraps into squares and sorting them by size. So although the Nine Patches in Round of Nines were designed for strip piecing, I looked at the pattern and thought “Yay! I already have half of the squares pre-cut and ready to go.” I needed 324 three-inch squares. So I dove into my three-inch squares bin:

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I made a small dent in this collection … a very small dent!

I set up some rules before I started. No predominantly black or gray fabrics, no whites or very light pastels that would be lost against the unbleached muslin I planned to use as the secondary color, and no solids, tone-on-tones or small prints that read as solids. And as much variety as possible.

While going through my squares, I saw that I had fussy cut some of my novelty fabrics. So my quilt would be populated with cats, birds, cowboys, and mermaids, with a guest appearance by the King of Rock and Roll.

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Elvis sighting!

Sometimes we piece quilt squares to challenge ourselves—LeMoyne Stars and Drunkards Paths. And sometimes we just feed squares through our machines while watching TV. At the end of an Ancient Aliens marathon on the History Channel, I had all of my Nine Patch squares pieced.

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When it came to the corner triangles, I was reluctant to cut 6-1/8″ squares from my fat quarters and yardage.  I thought it would be faster and more economical to cut strips the width of the fabrics. So I did the math and determined that sewing 2-1/2″ strips of the print and background fabrics together and cutting  triangles from the strips would give me my corners. Each strip yielded an equal number of triangles with the prints and background alternating at the top and bottom.

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A little math led me to an alternate technique for my corners.

The triangles have bias edges now but with careful pressing and handling, I didn’t expect any problems when sewing the squares together. And I had none.

After adding the corners I laid out all the blocks.  My only concern was that two similar colors would not be touching.

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The design floor. Because sometimes the design wall isn’t big enough.

Because I was planning to free-motion quilt this large project on my home sewing machine, I sewed the blocks together into nine- and 18-square sections and backed them with one and two yard lengths of  fabric.

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Part of my mom’s stash — she collected small floral prints to make doll clothes and I’m glad to find another use for them.

I free motioned the sections in a loopy-loop meander, and even though I had to finish the seams on the back of the quilt by hand, the quilted sections went together very quickly. I then loopy-loop quilted over the seams; if you didn’t look at the back, you would think that the quilting was completed after all 81 blocks were sewn together.

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OK – here’s a look at the back.

And here is the finished quilt:

 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Round of Nines

The finished quilt

I used quite a few novelty prints in this quilt, in addition to the cats, cowboys and mermaids—if you look closely at the picture of the finished quilt, you’ll also see rubber ducks, sushi and a Disney princess. This design would make a fabulous “I Spy” quilt.  So I’ve named it “Where’s Elvis?”

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Elvis is still in the house!

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Meet Alexis!

Hey ya,

I am Alexis T., the new graphic designer here at Quiltmaker. I would like to share a few things about myself.

 Meet Alexis!

Aurora on the left, Me and Ditty on the right


-I have lived the majority of my life in Kansas.

-I have two dogs:

+Natasha (a.k.a. Ditty) a 15-year-old Shih Tzu, Dachshund, Toy Poodle mix

+Aurora, who is a little over one and is a pug and miniature Aussie mix but looks a lot like a Chiahuahua

-I love movies!

-I read comic books (Boom! Studio is my current favorite publisher)

-I listen to hours and hours of audiobooks.

  •             Alexander McCall Smith
  •             Mary Kay Andrews
  •             Carl Hiaasen
  •             a lot more

When it comes to quilting I am total fan girl. I love following fabric designers, buying fabric, drooling over fabric, reading about the history of quilt blocks and even reading quilting fiction. Due to my love of fabric I tend to lean towards larger prints. I still feel very much like a novice quilter but being surrounded by all the amazing quilters here at Quiltmaker, that is par for the course. I know I will learn so much here.

Nice to meet you!

Type ya later!

Alexis T.

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Quiltmaker Reader Favorites – Giveaway

Have you heard? Quiltmaker has a brand new, never before seen issue that goes onsale today, and we are really excited about it! Quiltmaker Reader Favorites is the very first issue with some of  YOUR favorite quilt patterns that have been published in Quiltmaker over our 33 year history. We combed through pictures and letters that our readers have sent in and picked out 22 patterns in four different categories—traditional, scrappy, kids and holidays. And, we’re remade many of these quilts in new fabric and kits are available for some of them. “Rolling Triangles” shown on the cover was remade in beautiful purple and teal batiks.

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Quiltmaker Reader Favorites

Let’s take a look at some of the quilts inside. We know our readers like scrappy quilts and are also big fans our Bonnie Hunter. Here’s Bonnie’s “Lady of Lake Erie.”

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Lady of Lake Erie

One of my favorite scrappy quilts in this issue is “Wyoming Whirligig.” This one was remade in Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell for Moda Fabrics. You can find the kit for this beauty here. Jen also has a new book Quilt Lovely showcasing her wonderful scrappy style.

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Wyoming Whirligig

“Cat Nap” has long been a QM reader favorite. We’ve freshened it up with new fabric from Me & My Sister Designs for Moda Fabrics. You can find the kit for “Cat Nap”  here.

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Cat Nap

A couple other definite kid pleasers are “My Crayon Box” (kit) in twin size and “Sheep Shape” (kit) in crib size.

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My Crayon Box

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Sheep Shape

Moving on to a couple of traditional quilts, “Pineapple Patch” features piecing with an appliqued border.

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Pineapple Patch

“Triple Link Chain” was originally published as a drawn pattern—before quilts were sewn for Quiltmaker.

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Triple Link Chain

Here’s a sample of a few of the holiday quilts. Just in time for the upcoming 4th of July holiday is “Uncle Sam.”

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Uncle Sam

If you love Halloween like I do, then you’ll love “Any Witch Way.” There’s a convenient kit for this quilt also.

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Any Witch Way

And this is just a small sample to whet your whistle! You don’t want to miss this issue—jam packed full of great quilts. You can see all of them here.

And did I mention Giveaway?? Leave me a comment with your favorite Quiltmaker pattern for a chance to win a copy of Quiltmaker Reader Favorites. I’ll choose 10 lucky winners on Monday, July 8th.


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Round of Nines Reinvented Times Two

Round of Nines is perfect for all those collected squares in your stash. Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville, also a regular contributor to Quiltmaker Magazine, was my inspiration.   I started sewing together all my random 2 1/2″ blocks after reading her blog post describing her method of taming her stash by using block pieces instead of fabric tags to start and end a row of stitching. You can find more Leaders and Enders inspiration by following the link here.

When the opportunity came to create my version of Round of Nines, I had a stash of 2 ½ “ squares ready to go. It was an easy decision to use these ready-made pairs to construct the center nine patch. The resulting blocks are the kitchen sink variety. I paired a light with any other square that came to hand. and stitched them together to form the 9 patch centers.

Kandy Kisses leadersenders 1024x576 Round of Nines Reinvented Times Two

My Leaders and Enders inspiration for Round of Nines

This quilt is a real stash buster made only from materials on hand. While playing with block options and layout, the secondary hour glass pattern jumped out to me.  I chose a piece of a brown polka dot that had been aging in my stash paired with random light color strips left from a jelly roll to emphasize the secondary pattern. The polka dots on brown remind me of scattered candy coated chocolate candies on chocolate frosting. (I know. I have a strong imagination.)

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Strip piecing the corner triangles made the best use of a limited amount of fabric.

I chose to strip piece the corner triangles to use every bit of fabric available. Using the EZ Angle Companion tool, I determined that I needed a 3 ½ inch strip set. I cut one 2 inch dark and one 2 inch light strip the width of fabric (WOF) for each set. Be precise with your quarter inch seams and press carefully to keep the strips straight. Align the ruler top to bottom then reverse along the length of the strip. I used a rotating mat to help in cutting the angles.

The next step – choosing the block layout. I chose option 1 with the dark touching the mostly light block and the light touching the mostly dark. In option 2, some of the colored blocks in the nine patch seemed to fade into the dark border.

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Block option 1

Kandy Kisses 2 block 1024x576 Round of Nines Reinvented Times Two

Block option 2

The top was finished with a narrow aqua border followed by more brown polka dot. Jody Gagnon of the local Quail Country Quilt Guild quilted the top using aqua blue thread in a cinnamon roll design which made the colors pop.

The binding is faux-piping top stitched with a decorative stitch built in my machine. The piping effect is accomplished by sewing together a 2 ½” strip (piping color) and a 1 ½” strip of the base color. Iron the seams open and press in half lengthwise. Sew the combined strip to the back of the quilt, turn to the front and top stitch either stitch in a ditch or using a decorative stitch as pictured above.

Kandy Kisses quilting close up1 1024x576 Round of Nines Reinvented Times Two

Quilting by Jody Gagnon in a Cinnamon Roll design using aqua blue thread.

When using a decorative stitch, be sure to start with a full spool and a full bobbin. Fortunately, I had another spool that was a close match to finish the last three inches. Lesson learned.

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Note to self – Always start with a full spool and bobbin!

I love the final result. Introducing Kandy Kisses.

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Kandy Kisses by Keri Blankenship quilted by Jody Gagnon

Part 2:

One stash buster wasn’t enough so I decided to go for two. Round of Nines is a fantastic pattern not only for nine patch blocks, but for any orphan blocks you may have sitting around. A friend gave me a stack of his mother’s orphan blocks years ago. They have been patiently waiting for the right project ever since.

Keri Time Original blocks 1024x576 Round of Nines Reinvented Times Two

Modified hour glass blocks pieced by Wilma Thompson

These modified hour glass blocks appear to have been cut using a template and are machine stitched. The fabrics span the years of her stash collecting from 1940s and 50s to the 1990s. It took some creative trimming to come close to square.

Keri Time Block Squaring 1024x576 Round of Nines Reinvented Times Two

Vintage blocks may need creative thinking to make them approximately square.

These scrappy blocks needed colors to meld them together into a cohesive unit. I pulled every option from my stash.

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These are true scrappy blocks. How would you set them?

After much testing, I made these choices. I loved the multi-colored pattern in this piece of Aurora by Robert Kaufman. The caramel yellows became my neutral. This quilt started with a vision of the vintage blocks circling the secondary hour glass, Time After Time.

Keri Time Blocks2 cropped 1024x1024 Round of Nines Reinvented Times Two

Can you see the large hour glass blocks moving around the smaller one?

However, this quilt kept evolving as many do. The secondary blocks become more dominate in the pieced top.

Keri Time close up 1024x576 Round of Nines Reinvented Times Two

Interesting patterns seem to pop as you study the quilt.

It finally settled into being Times Past, quilted by Jody Gagnon with an original feather pattern and finished with a wide binding matching the back of the quilt.

Keri Time Stairs Cropped Round of Nines Reinvented Times Two

Times Past by Keri Blankenship, vintage blocks by Wilma Thompson, quilted by Jody Gagnon

If you also have orphan blocks looking for a home, I highly recommend the Round of Nines pattern. The options are endless and your stash will thank you.

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Win a Gwen Marston Quilt!!!

If you’ve been quilting for long, you’ve no doubt heard of Gwen Marston. She’s one of quilting’s real treasures: creative, generous, wise, kind, funny and just plain all-around wonderful.

gwen3 300x225 Win a Gwen Marston Quilt!!!

Gwen Marston

If you Google for Gwen and her quilts, you’ll find a wealth of inspiration. Today I heard about a quilt that Gwen has donated for a cause that’s close to her heart.

gwenquiltopt 1024x768 Win a Gwen Marston Quilt!!!

Win this quilt and support a good cause, too!

Gwen has made this quilt  to help raise funds for the organization A Quilt of Dreams. Follow the link to learn how you can make a donation to an outdoor camping organization that works to support a safe, inclusive, interracial summer camping experience for children in need.

And I’d like to publicly thank Gwen for her generous donation. She’s a gem through and through.

Learn more about donating to A Quilt of Dreams.

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My Quilting Life: Paula

We quilters are a lucky bunch. We get to do something we love, hang out with people that love what we love, and make quilts for the people we love.

I love to see what quilters are working on, where they sew and learn what makes them happy. Since I spend a LOT of time in my sewing room I thought it might be fun to share a little bit about my quilting life with you. The rest of our staff will take turns sharing with you too – it will be fun!

I love my sewing room. It’s not fancy or big, but it has windows to let the light in, it’s on the main floor so I can stay in touch with my family and it’s my haven. It’s where I design, read, keep my stash of books and treasures and generally hang out a lot of the time. I go in there not only to sew, but to feed my soul.

sewing room My Quilting Life: Paula

And I have a little sewing buddy, Sami, always close by. He lays here:

sami basket My Quilting Life: Paula

And there:

Sami2 My Quilting Life: Paula

 This way:

sami3 My Quilting Life: Paula

And that way:

Sami4 My Quilting Life: Paula

I have my sewing machine and computer set up on a really big folding table so I have enough room for all my stuff.

table1 My Quilting Life: Paula

Room for my ipad and radio.

table2 My Quilting Life: Paula

And I’ve been know to have a big gulp and snacks close by.

movie My Quilting Life: Paula

Here’s the side that always gets messy. I always seem to have piles of projects and fabric.

shelves My Quilting Life: Paula

I’m also a runner, so I hang my medals and bibs in here too. I worked hard for those suckers, and I want to enjoy them!

medals My Quilting Life: Paula

bibs My Quilting Life: Paula

And here’s the other messy side of the room-my fabric closet. Every now and then I go through and pull it all out and organize it, but it doesn’t take me long to mess it up.

fabric My Quilting Life: Paula

My design wall is just a big piece of batting hung up. And I happen to be working on an upcoming QM Block of the Month. We can’t wait to show you and get it started – so watch for it!

wall My Quilting Life: Paula

I’m lucky that I get to work on projects for Quiltmaker. (Here’s a sneak peek for our Sept/Oct issue!minions My Quilting Life: PaulaAnd I got to make a couple of quilts for an upcoming Block of the Month. I love, love, LOVE this fabric!Christmas BOM My Quilting Life: Paula

I love being a quilter. And having quilting friends. People who speak my language and help feed my soul. We quilters are a lucky bunch.

BB heart My Quilting Life: Paula

Where do you go and what do you do to feed your soul? Please share, I would love to hear about it.

Quilt happy,



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Quiltmaker July/August ’15

Quiltmaker July/August ’15

QMMP 150800 cover5001 Quiltmaker July/August 15Hello friends! We would like to share a preview of the great designs featured in Quiltmaker’s July/August ’15 issue with you. Click on the image below to view a slideshow of all the quilt designs featured in this issue.

1 1024x1024 Quiltmaker July/August 15

Quiltmaker’s July/August ’15 issue features three versatile log cabin quilts, a new Patch Pal, and a variety of wall, throw and bed quilts.JulyAug15 1024x1024 Quiltmaker July/August 15Round of Nines designed by Natalia Bonner is one of my favorite designs from this issue. The simplicity of the blocks construction makes it easily approachable for every level of quilter. This quilt is beautiful in the blue and orange hues and would be a great scrap buster with any color combination. If you are interested in the original color option, kits are available at

6 1024x1024 Quiltmaker July/August 15

Round of Nines quilt kit.

Quiltmaker Graphic Designer, Denise Starck is at it again. Welcome Paradise Patch to the Patch Pals animal family! This bright and playful flamingo would be great for a summer baby. So pull out your tropical scraps and get to it!

QM150806 F Quiltmaker July/August 15

We also now offer digital patterns of all the quilts featured in the current Quiltmaker issue. These can be found in our online store

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Contours, designed by Kate Colleran for Quiltmaker July/August ’15.

We hope you enjoy all of these new designs. You can view additional slideshows of the quilt kits offered from this issue on your YouTube channel!


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Jamie Fingal – Fabric and Design for Applique Quilts

Pattern surrounds “rebel” quilter Jamie Fingal. She is best known for her whimsical art quilts dancing with polka dots and swirls, often featuring fused raw-edge applique teacups, dresses, houses, or vintage campers.

 Jamie Fingal – Fabric and Design for Applique Quilts

As one who is always doodling and drawing on something—you should see the chairs and table in her studio—it’s no surprise that Jamie would be tapped by Hoffman to design fabrics. We did a little Q&A with Jamie to find out how she creates her designs and wanted to share her answers with you.

Where do you get your design ideas?

Most of my inspiration comes from my head, or something out there in the world sparks and gives me an idea. Perhaps a color that captures my attention, or a shape of a vase, or a pattern on the floor.

 Jamie Fingal – Fabric and Design for Applique Quilts
What was the creative process of the line ‘Autumn is for Birds?’

The house scenes were made using Hoffman Fabrics 1895 Hand Dyes, fused and arranged together with a blue batik background, which is meant to be collaged into a quilt with raw-edge applique. The scenes are perfect for centers of blocks. The leaf fabric was made the same way, only I made many two-toned leaves that were scattered onto a black background.  The small print with the leaves was drawn by hand. The birds in the trees, was made with the collage method.

How much say do you have in terms of color ways, patterns, etc.?

I am quite lucky that I do have a say in the colors and the colorways, which is pretty great. Nothing goes out that I don’t approve. We all agree on the patterns and colors ahead of time. I have to like it if I am going to work with it in creating quilts and decoupaged shoes.

fingal old town charm 300x293 Jamie Fingal – Fabric and Design for Applique Quilts

You sketch and doodle all the time; are there any designs that just don’t work—or work as well—for fabric? 

Some of my doodles can be re-drawn into patterns for fabric if they are drawn with a pattern in mind.  Not everything works, because some of my designs are just too complicated. My motto is: Draw like an artist, think like a quilter.

What is it like to have other people using “your” fabrics for their quilt and sewing projects?

I love this part!  People have emailed me with their creations, and that is just the greatest.  I hope they are enjoying working with it, as much as I had fun creating it.

What is the most unusual (or your favorite) way you’ve seen your fabric used?

One of my students last year gave me decoupaged bracelets that she made with my first line of fabric. It was so great!

A fat quarter bundle of Jamie’s Hoffman Fabrics ‘Autumn is for Birds’ line is part of our Christmas in July celebration prize package—enter now. And be sure to check out Jamie’s website to learn more about her fabrics, quilts, and more.

 Jamie Fingal – Fabric and Design for Applique Quilts

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