Visiting Anita plus Giveaway

It’s always a pleasure working with Anita Grossman Solomon.

Solomon Anita Grossman Classroom photo 300x300 Visiting Anita plus Giveaway

Anita Grossman Solomon at The City Quilter - "Cut It, Sew It, Love It" Class

I love her simplified techniques for making blocks. I’ve made all 3 of her patterns that we’ve published in the last few years, Super-Sized Nine Patch in May/June ’06, Anita’s Arrowhead in Nov/Dec ’10 (digital issue available)

12909 pattern img Visiting Anita plus Giveaway

Anita's Arrowhead

and most recently Super-Sized Square-on-Point in Sept/Oct ’11.

QMMP 111000 SQUARE 350 258x300 Visiting Anita plus Giveaway

Super-Sized Square-on-Point

I thought it might be fun to ask Anita a few questions about her techniques and “stuff” in general.

You have such a knack for simplifying traditional patterns. How did that come to be? When I taught quiltmaking at New York State’s Riverbank Park Cultural Center, I created techniques to make quilt block construction more manageable for students with limited eyesight or hand coordination.

How do you determine which blocks can be simplified? They all have been classic pieced blocks that have held my interest for years. Some ideas, such as Make It Simpler Paper Piecing, were instantaneous while others took years. Anita’s Arrowhead is an example of one that took years! I had to eliminate the paper-pieced version from my Perfect Blocks in Minutes book due to space. I kept that block in view for years. One day I looked at it, did a double-take and Anita’s Arrowhead came into being.

What is your process? Sometimes ideas just seem to happen. Twice I did deliberately set out to simplify blocks—the Square-on-Point and Pineapple are 2 such blocks. Other blocks evolve over time. I had collected over one thousand 6″ charm squares from online swaps and wanted to make a Square-on-Point without wasting any parts of the charm squares. I worked with paper samples I generated from Electric Quilt software to finally come up with the formula.

I like the fact that quilts constructed using my methods don’t look like “Anita” quilts. I only supply a tool, not the “look.”

Have you tried to simplify any blocks that just didn’t work? There is a triangle thing that I worked on years ago that continues to haunt me. It lives in a box in my studio. Its outside is all bias. It’s fun to sew, but I can’t accept the bias. I hope the day will come when I’ll look at it and resolve it to my satisfaction.

What do you like best about living in New York City? It pulsates; I feed off its energy. I’m inspired with every step I take. I don’t find inspiration; it just hits me over the head!

What’s next on your quilting horizon? While I have no expectation of ever using up all of my fabric, I do want to put a dent into the ideas and projects I’ve stored away. So, I’m unearthing them between teaching jobs.

What else would you like to share with our readers? I have a new product I’d love for them to try—Make It Simpler Fusible Interfacing. It will remedy stretchy edges of a quilt as well as stabilize blocks, such as a Super-Sized Square-on-Point, for off-grain cuts. It’s handy to store because it comes on a roll.

Leave a comment by noon mountain time on Friday, 8/26. I’ll randomly select one person to receive a giveaway of leftover blocks and fabric squares from one of my color options for Anita’s Super-Sized Square-on-Point.

Congratulations to Heather for her comment. An email has been sent to her for her address.



About Carolyn

I'm the Content Director for Quiltmaker magazine. I'm married with three grown sons and one adorable grandson.I've been quilting for over 30 years. I'm an avid quilter, but I also enjoy photography, scrapbooking, knitting, reading and hanging out with friends and family.
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153 Responses to Visiting Anita plus Giveaway

  1. Bev C says:

    Oh I am pleased to read the interview and to learn that we all have similar problems with bias edges. Thanks.
    Happy days.

  2. Colleen says:

    I just found Anita’s Arrowhead quilt block. I can’t wait to try it. Enjoyed the interview with Anita.

  3. Mush says:

    If you like Anita’s arrow head wait until you try her pineapple rotory cutting revolution way of doing it. Anita’s Books are one of the few that you can actually make a quilt from her instructions in the book without the teacher. I hope to be in her class at Houston!

  4. Madeline says:

    I just found your arrowhead pattern and super sized 9 patch pattern on Quiltmaker online. I have an eye injury that isnt getting fixed anytime soon, so I have been looking for patterns that will allow me to still quilt without having to be so hard on the eyes. Thank you for sharing. I’d love to have any leftovers. I love scraps, too!

  5. Kelly B says:

    I love the Arrowhead quilt! It is both striking and beautiful.

  6. Annette Barron says:

    I’ve always loved leftovers, whether it be food or fabric! lol

  7. Nancy Brodeur says:

    Thank you for the interview. I have Anita’s book; it gave me a whole new perspective on cutting. I would love to win.

  8. Karla Caldwell says:

    I just LOVE Anita’s methods, am collecting her books and so far have made her “No Waste Windmill” pattern for my most recent grandbaby. That quilt gets MORE compliments!!! I’m looking forward to trying out “Anita’s Arrowhead” pattern next. Thanks Anita for the generous giveaway and all you’ve done for us!!

    I’m one of those folks with limited use of my hands and Anita’s patterns and methods have made quiltmaking much more enjoyable to me now. :-)

  9. Bev Gunn says:

    Like many others, I have more fabric than I will ever use up, but can’t seem to part with it “just in case I need it for a special project!” I collect the small scraps off our guild’s free table and trim them up to make scrap quilts which are donated to any charity that is asking when the quilt top is done! I even take the orphan blocks and make them into quilts using small scraps to sash them together. Have been getting Quiltmaker for too many years to count and have made numerous quilts from the magazine. So, while I really don’t “need” any more fabric, I would love to win and then can work them into the next batch of fun.

  10. Loretta says:

    Wow…what a great chance for a give-away!! Love her ideas.

  11. Kaye M. says:

    I tried Anita’s method for the Arrowhead block and it worked really well. I wish my mind worked liked hers does!! Thanks for the great interview.

  12. Kynomi says:

    Anita’s patterns are new to me, but some I may just have to try soon!

  13. Dorothy McPhail says:

    How wonderful to get each of these patterns, the super sized nine patch and the arrowhead. At our guild 30 quilters meet on 5 Saturdays of the guild year and make cuddle quilts for the community. These patterns would be ideal to make with the fabrics donated to us. I loved Anita’s statement “I have no expectation of ever using up all of my fabric, I do want to put a dent into the ideas and projects I’ve stored away” I agree!

  14. deb m says:

    I’ve owned one of Anita’s books for a long time. I bought it after seeing her on tv. I was a beginner quilter and very concerned about those bias edges, eek! Her super size square on point is perfect for a donation quilt because it looks quick to make. It also seems it would be good to practice free motion quilting.
    Put my name in for the give away! Thanks :o )

  15. Marsha says:

    I loved Anita’s Arrowheads from the moment I spray-starched my squares and it only increased as I pieced together the blocks. Love, love, love Anita’s techniques. After reading your interview, I just have to wonder what it looks like inside her brain to make it easy to come up with these simplified instructions. I’d love to win. Thanks.

  16. Chris says:

    You have made so much of my sewing easier over the years Anita. Thanks for all your patterns.

  17. Rita Goshorn says:

    big blox! my new fave thing to do ……. and i sure like anita’s! so, it would be a pleasure to win your leftovers!

  18. Kathy Mullin says:

    Love the patterns. I have made maybe 15 super sized 9 patches. I plan on doing an arrowhead quilt using my African fabrics. Won’t that look great??? This is my birthday week and I’d love to win the giveaway.

  19. Gina says:

    Anita’s Arrowhead looks like one I must do. I love the way it only takes 2 fabrics per block and has such a unique look. I can see it in 2 different batiks, reversed in each block. Thank you for the pattern that looks complicated, but is really simple.

  20. Rachell Reilly says:

    I love hearing about other people’s creative processes and how they come up with their ideas.
    These super-sized baby quilt patterns are so cute, and would be super-simple to make for baby showers….I’m gonna have to keep these in mind for quick gifts!
    I do really like Arrowheads…I love geometric patterns with balance. It’s a fun mix of balance, plus positive and negative-type spaces.

  21. OHSue says:

    I love Anita’s ideas, have her books and have used her ideas often.
    She really is such a giving person with her ideas.
    I can see using this new supersized block with some fun novelty prints for my charity quilts in my guild.

  22. Barbara says:

    Those quilts look great. I already flagged them in the magazine to keep handy for a quick gift.

  23. VickiT says:

    What a great interview. I LOVE the look of on point blocks so I’ll be looking forward to getting that issue in my mailbox soon. Being new to Quiltmaker, I have not see her patterns before as I’m also new to quilting as well. I will definitely be looking for more on her way of quilting with this super sized patterns. Thanks for the heads up and advanced info for this in my next issue. Can’t wait now.

  24. I enjoyed using Arrowhead for blocks that were donated to Quilts for Valor. Nifty block to make and looks so complicated!

  25. Diane says:

    I love the arrowhead – with my health issues it’s great to have quilts that work up quickly but don’t look like it. And the super-sizef 9-patch is just adorable. Talk about bang for your buck!!

  26. Debi T says:

    Great interview!

  27. Peggy says:

    I love Anita’s Arrowhead quilt! What a concept. I was going through my stash bucket list quilts last week and found the copy I had saved of Anita’s 9-patch. Now this one will be added to the bucket list a well!

    Thanks for interviewing Anita. I enjoyed hearing about the brains behind the beauty!

  28. Jessica says:

    Thank you for this interview with Anita! I love the colors in the arrowhead pattern. I’m always looking for ways to use a variety of colors while finding a way for them to create a cohesive quilt.

  29. Helen Morrison says:

    I’ve have shown at least 20 people to do your arrowhead simplfied pattern and both of my daughters and 5 of my granddaughters have all made it. My one daughter who has mever quilted before made 2 squares and was hooked. Now she is calling me from Florida and wants to plan what to make next.

    Thanks, thanks, thanks!!


  30. Carol C says:

    Thanks for interviewing Anita. I have been fascinated by her 3 patterns published in QM. Although I haven’t been able to make a quilt with them yet, I plan to one day when I have more time and an empty nest.

  31. Barb in MI says:

    Thansk for interviewing Anita. I made an Arrowhead quilt using her method and jsut love it. Have to try her new one as well. Thanks so much!

  32. I am getting back into quilting after years of being away, single mom, car accident, no job, no money blah, blah blah. Anyway we make shawls and quilts at my church for the sick, or relatives of those that have died, stillbirths etc. So I started quilting again!! I talked to a lady from the church about needing a sewing machine and things to get going again. Well she blessed me with an older sewing machine that works, a mat and a ruler that were extras of hers. So I am doing quilts and will finish things this time. I already have a pinwheel quilt put together waiting to be sewn. Have to get a stash though so I can make more things! Thanks for the great giveaway! Thanks to all the quilters out there that have helped people like me out, you are all very generous with your time and goods!

  33. Gloria says:

    I love the super-sized 9 patch and the arrowhead patterns . Both are on my next to
    do blocks. Have some stash in mind to use for both too.

  34. Susan Burns says:

    I come home from work tired and wore out. Thought I’d look at my e-mails and then vegitate. I read your article. I am now ready to get started on something. You have inspired me and energised me to get some quilting done yet tonight. I may only have a few minutes here and there to quilt but once inspired can get to quilting and then have a good nights rest. Thank you.

  35. Dawn Nelson says:

    Anita’s Arrowhead pattern might just become
    my next favorite pattern. I just found the pattern and
    already have started searching my stash because I think
    this will make a great scrap quilt. I doooo need to use
    up some of my stash!! :)

  36. Cecilia Young says:

    My quilting group and I have used Anita’s super sized nine patch for the childrens’ hospital that we send quilts to and it was very simple and easy to do. I would love to win some of the leftovers! It is so much fun to get fabric from other people. :)

  37. Kathie B says:

    You are amazing!! The arrowhead quilt is so beautiful :)

  38. Sharron Horn says:

    I make a lot of charity quilts and Anita’s patterns make the process simple, fun and the end result is something I am proud to give to someone in need.

  39. Robin says:

    I love all of your creations! May God continue to bless your work!

  40. Amanda Thompson says:

    The Arrowhead block will be one that I look forward to stitching. With the right fabrics I can see it in girly colors, masculine, and fun whimsy. Thanks for the interview and links to Anita’s other designs. Thanks for the chance to win free goodies.

  41. Kayrn Heald-Hinkley says:

    I love your big blocks & have tried many of your patterns & they are fun and easy
    it makes my arthitis not hurt so much. My quilt group is small (8) from a small town
    in the mountains of Eastern OR but we are busy 2 days a week & makes children’s quilts for hospitals; Quilts of Valor & Healing Waters for soldiers. We started using our own stashes & now accept any donations possible. We are all retired ladies & grandmothers. Thank you for what ever you can spare.

  42. Vickie says:

    I used Anita’s Arrowhead for some charity quits- stunning!

  43. carol d. says:

    I used the Super Sized 9 Patch came out great three times , giggles
    Thanks so much for offering THIS giveaway!!

  44. Paula says:

    Oops … “to meet Anita” … wishful thinking on my part.

  45. Paula says:

    I started following Anita, prior to her marriage, and love-love her paper piecing books. I’m starting to teach my granddaughter how to quilt and she likes Anita’s BIG Block patterns. My GD has chosen the Super sized 9-patch, and I’m going to start the Arrowhead pattern. We’d love to have more stash (not like I need it) and to meet Anita would be the icing on the cake! Thanks for all you do Anita, it’s greatly appreciated!!!

  46. Brenda Lopez says:

    Thank you for the interview. I would love to win your leftovers. I’ll put them to good work.

  47. Joyce Cloud says:

    I love your big block blankets and love your Arrowhead pattern.

  48. Donna says:

    Thanks for the interview. I really like the arrowhead quilt so that will be added to my quilts to do list. Simplifying blocks is helpful when you just need to make a quick quilt. Thanks for the giveaway, so much fun to get leftover fabric.

  49. Susan says:

    Thanks for the interview with Anita. I am glad to know that well-known quilters/designers have to “stew” over ideas before they come to fruition and that occasionally there are “failures”.

  50. Jennifer says:

    The Arrowhead pattern has become one of my all time favorites. No matter what fabrics you use, you always come up with a striking quilt.

  51. allgoodthings says:

    Oooh! Several years ago, I did the unthinkable, and gave away most of my fabric stash-as I was moving cross country. Now, I am wishing I had some of that fabric back. Anything to help build my stash would be appreciated.

  52. I love the Super-Sized Square-on-Point quilt. It’s a great way to showcase some fun kid prints.

  53. Danielle says:

    Her quilts are stunning but look easy to handle.

  54. I am half way thru 12 blocks for a Christmas exchange and the whole time I keep thinking… there must be a better way to make these!! I’m with you, simple, simple, simple!! Would love to win!

  55. Edit Takacs says:

    I want to play. I’m starting.

  56. Carol Nichols says:

    I love her patterns and would be thrilled to be a winner!

  57. Cindy Dahlgren says:

    I love quilts with simpler piecing as I’m a beginner. Thanks for the pattern!

  58. kathy h says:

    I am always interested in simplified piecing. Enjoyed the interview and pretty quilts.

  59. debbyk says:

    Love the Arrowhead quilt. Thank you for the pattern

  60. Jolene says:

    I am what I consider a beginner quilter. I find that I tend to try to make everything more complicated. I like to choose patterns with complex looks and/or small pieces. A “simple” pattern hasn’t been enough for me. That is until I actually get to making what I’ve chosen. Reading this interview, I’m trying to convince myself it’s ok to start off simple till I get more skilled! :) Thanks for the motivation.

  61. Patricia says:

    I love patterns that draw from my neverending fabric scraps. Anita has some great ideas that I will most definitely use. Thanks for the chance to win!

  62. Michelle Eacret says:

    I love how she simplifies some techniques…..that some times just baffle me otherwise. I liked hearing more about Anita and what got her started and what she’s working on next. Thanks!!!

  63. Linda says:

    Love the simplicity of the big blocks, really shows off the fabrics.

  64. Joan MH from NY says:

    As I get older, I have this crazy idea that I will use up a lot of my stash. If I stopped buying more fabric, that might help. Making simpler pieced patterns (instead of applique, which takes much longer) is looking very appealing. I’m going to use Anita’s patterns fairly soon, I hope.

  65. Colette says:

    I love Anita and her energy, and this energy is reflected into her quilts and her work. It would truly be a pleasure to meet her in person someday? Who knows? The fusible interface that was discussed would certainly come in handy. Any tool that simplifies the quilt making or crafting process is always welcome! Looking forward to more of Anita in the future.

  66. elizabeth says:

    how great to have patterns for quick baby quilts .. thank you

  67. Edith Turner says:

    I love that you had the imagination and time to come up with a simple way for us all to finish a quilt quicker so we can move on to the next one. I have downloaded these free patterns of yours and will be in quilting heaven in no time. Thank You So Much!!

  68. JoAn GODFREY says:

    arrowhead looks interesting. i need to go back and find my old copy of quitmaker. i am sure going to get her book, too.

  69. Lorri Ackland says:

    WOW! Great blog!

  70. Dawn Hollingsworth says:

    I wish my imagination would be as creative!! Anything to make my “slow-go” quilting faster and easier is always welcome! Thank you!

  71. Yvonne Hamilton says:

    I love the Arrowhead pattern that I saw in the magazine, which prompted me to buy Anita’s book–now I’m working on my own version of that quilt (and admiring all the other patterns in the book!!!) Thanks so much!!

  72. kaholly says:

    I was delighted to be able to download Anita’s new quilt design and can’t wait to give it a try!! You never know when you need a quick and easy quilt to whip up!! Thanks. ~karen

  73. Laura Valdez says:

    I love the Super Size Ninepatch. I had to make some quick baby quilts and this was perfect. And the magazine came just at the right time. Thanks.

  74. Linda Meyer says:

    This is the first time that I have seen Anita’s work & I’m really excited as I am the Chair for charity quilts at my guild. I see all sorts of potential for combining our odds & end of fabric into quilts. In 2 weeks I’ll be presenting the local Children’s Aid Society with nearly 50 quilts from our members.

  75. D. J. Thorndyke says:

    I haven’t tried any of your techniques before, but after seeing them, I do want to try them. I really love the arrowhead pattern and nine patch is fantastic. When I think of nine patch, I think of nine patches exactly the same size, yours is so cool. If your square on point is really easy, I am going to want to do that too. My method of square on point isn’t necessarily the easiest. Such great ideas you have Anita! Thank you!

  76. Susan Salo says:

    I love the arrowhead! It’s useful to see how some of the staff put together colors. I think it makes a fun Christmas quilt and will have to try it!

  77. judy gasseling says:

    I love Anita’s work and have several sets of her blocks started. So much fun.

  78. Cindy B says:

    If the name Anita Grossman on it, I buy it. I know I’m in for a treat.

  79. Maura Pinnavaia says:

    Great article about a super educator!

  80. Lisa Marie says:

    I think Anita has such clever ideas. I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to take one of her classes. But for now I’d be happy to give some of her scraps a home!

  81. BJ says:

    I have saved Anita’s patterns – but haven’t had a chance to try one yet. They always look intriguing and simple to do. She seems like a fun gal!

  82. Rita says:

    as I beginning quilter I needed something simple to try, this pattern looks just what I need to use up all the fat quarters I bought and just didn’t know what to do with them. thanks for the inspiration.

  83. Carrie P. says:

    Interesting read. The interfacing looks interesting. I use interfacing when I get ready to do an embroidery piece. I wonder how this will work?

  84. Nancy B from Many LA says:

    Interesting interview – and thanks for the great giveaway!

  85. Pat V. says:

    I will definitely by trying those arrowheads. The “leftovers” would be great for my charity quilts!

  86. Sunnybec says:

    Hi Anita, thanks for the interview, love the idea of simple blocks that look much harder, and thank you for the pattern too! Linda

  87. robin says:

    I love the Anita’s Arrowhead quilt – just love it.

  88. I can always use ideas for simplifying piecing. I want to do charity quilts so looking for ideas that I can use to make nice ones, but easy enough for me to do.


  89. Sharon Griffith says:

    Hi Anita it was so nice to meet you. Thank you for the super sized patterns I think I am going to try and make one. Now which one will be the question, I think the large square I would like the best….Wow so many people have lots of stash, I will be there someday…thanks again!

  90. Margi Borck says:

    I’ll never put a dent in my stash either but I’m thinking super sized blocks just might help out there. Am also intrigued by the simpler fusible interfacing! Very kewl interview and give away!

  91. Allison says:

    If you ever get the chance to take a class by Anita, I HIGHLY recommend it! Not only does she teach you the easy way to make her patterns, she has lots of great little tips to share as well! Plus, she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet!

  92. Joy says:

    I’m working on a quilt made with the Arrowhead Block now. It is wonderful!


  93. Sandy A says:

    I have one of her books but haven’t tried it yet. Makes me want to get it out and start on something~Thanks for the interview!
    Sandy A

  94. Regina says:

    :-) Looks like great fun. Love the supersized – and the arrowheads are great!!!

  95. DianeH says:

    It was lovely to ‘meet’ Anita. Absolutely love the Arrowhead quilt! Thanks.

  96. Donna says:

    Scraps are always welcome at my house! Thanks.

  97. Anita has a real knack for simplifying things. I’d love to give her interfacing a try. New scraps are always fun! Thanks for the giveaway!

  98. Thanks for this interesting interview with Anita G. Solomon. Great designer!

  99. Heather says:

    Did someone say “leftover fabric”? Anything to help this beginner quilter get underway is most appreciated. And, of course, SIMPLE is the only way for me … for now.

    We visited New York this past spring for the very first time. What a wonderful experience. It was much as my daughter described it … something about the energy you feel just walking down a street. LOVED it!

  100. Joanna says:

    Like Anita, I don’t think I’ll ever use up all of my fabric, but I do give it a try:) I will try her technique since I have two of the issues she is featured in. Thanks.

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