QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

I hope you’ve started making or at least thinking about your Bow Tie blocks for QM’s Bitty Blocks in January.

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider
I wanted to share a few things for you to think about. Here’s the Bow Tie quilt block we’re making.

bittyblocks10 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

QM Bitty Block #1 is a simple Bow Tie block.

1. You’ll want to consider your backgrounds carefully. I was surprised when I put my first batch up on the design wall. The background was really busy!

bittyblocks19 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Consider backgrounds carefully.

You can see that I was able to calm it down by adding another background fabric that was less busy.

bittyblocks110 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Add some background fabrics which are less busy.

2. Another thing to consider is the scale of the fabric. These are tiny blocks, just 3″ x 3″, so small to medium scale is best. Here are examples of good fabrics to use. You’ll want small to medium scale prints and tone-on-tones.

bittyblocks122 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Good fabrics to use include small to medium scale prints and tone-on-tones.

These large scale fabrics wouldn’t be as good for these small blocks.

bittyblocks123 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Large scale prints won’t work as well in Bitty Blocks.

3. Another option to think about: You can use a dark fabric for the A patches, and use something lighter for the Bow Tie (B patches), like this.

bittyblocks111 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

I used dark for the A patches and something lighter for the B’s.

Whether you go with light Bow Ties or dark Bow Ties, you’ll probably want to keep the values in the same places for all of them. They look a little weird if you mix them up.

bittyblocks120 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Things get a little weird when you combine blocks with the values reversed.

You could certainly make two rows of Bow Ties, using light backgrounds for one row and dark backgrounds for the other.

4. Another lesson I want to help you learn is that value is relative. In the block below, I’ve used the turquoise fabric as the dark.

bittyblocks112 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Turquoise used as the dark fabric

And below, I’ve used the turquoise fabric as the light.

bittyblocks118 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Turquoise used as the light fabric

Here are the two blocks side by side.

bittyblocks113 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Blocks side by side: turquoise is the light or is the dark, depending on what you pair it with.

The turquoise can function as the dark or as the light. It all depends on what you pair it with.

bittyblocks119 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

A few renegade blocks will add vibrance to your quilt.

In the row above, I added the “renegade” block with the turquoise background. A few of these can be sprinkled into your rows with great effect. Be brave and give it a try. I promise your quilts will be more lively.

5. You might consider making some of your Bow Ties scrappy.

bittyblocks115 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Make your Bow Ties scrappy. Just keep the values fairly close so the Bow Tie shows up.

This is a sure-fire way to make more interesting quilts. In the block above, I kept the red values fairly close. One is hot pink and one is very orange, but they all work together because they read as one value. The background A patches are two different pale greens. Once you put it into the row…

bittyblocks116 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

The scrappy red block fits right in!

…it fits right in!

Really good news:

It took me all of 15 minutes to make my first six Bow Tie blocks.

They sew up in a snap! I couldn’t resist seeing what they looked like in a ring.

bittyblocks117 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

Oh my! I feel a scrap quilt coming on!

Oh my! I feel a scrap quilt coming on!

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Help us spread the word: #qmbittyblocks

Find the complete instructions for January’s Bitty Blocks.

Look for a new Bitty Block on the first Monday of each month!

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: Things to Consider

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If You Love Antique Quilts…If You Need Quilt Ideas…

If you love antique quilts like I do, you may want to take advantage of our upcoming web seminar from veteran quilt collector Bill Volckening of New York Beauty fame.

Quilt Collecting 101: 250 Years of American Quilts is for anyone who has ever wondered about collecting quilts, and for anyone who’d enjoy an hour of stunning quilty eye candy with a history lesson to boot.

willywonky If You Love Antique Quilts...If You Need Quilt Ideas...

Please join us for this web seminar, Quilt Collecting 101: 250 Years of American Quilts.

I discovered Bill, a teddy bear of a man, quite by accident several years ago. His blog address (Willy Wonky Quilts) piqued my interest, and after just a few clicks I could see that he was up to very very interesting work—collecting New York Beauty quilts, among others.

 If You Love Antique Quilts...If You Need Quilt Ideas...

A pieced quilt from South Carolina, made around 1870 by Florence Shealy of Saluda County, is part of Bill’s collection.

Bill has been collecting quilts for 25 years, and his collection includes more than 250 quilts made between 1760 and the present day. Many of the New York Beauty quilts are of stunning intricacy. I’ve seen some of them on exhibit, and they take your breath away.

Screen%2BShot%2B2014 08 20%2Bat%2B8.32.45%2BAM If You Love Antique Quilts...If You Need Quilt Ideas...

There are other quilts, too, and I’m sure we’ll be treated to some of those during the web seminar. I’m so anxious to learn from Bill and his quilts. (See more quilts on The Volckening Collection Facebook page.)

Many old quilts are surprisingly modern. They can be rich with ideas and inspiration for today’s quilters. Bill will share some of the most outstanding and unusual examples from his collection, and will talk about what today’s quilters can glean from quilt history.

 If You Love Antique Quilts...If You Need Quilt Ideas...

This is one of Bill’s polyester quilts from the 1970s.

Get a taste of what Bill Volckening is about on his blog entitled Wonkyworld. One of his other interesting collections is 1970′s quilts, many of which are made from polyester double knit. Take time to browse his blog and get inspired.

Have I aroused your interest? I hope so. Register for the web seminar now, just $19.99. (If you can’t make the live event, watch any time afterwards at your convenience.)

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New Year’s Mystery Quilt: Answering Your Questions

I wanted to take a minute to answer some of the questions that are popping up regarding Auld Lang Stitches, QM’s New Year’s Mystery Quilt.

NewYearsMystery 300 New Years Mystery Quilt: Answering Your Questions
1. Yardage: The yardage has been checked, double checked and checked again. It is correct. This is a quilt with lots of pieces and lots of piecing, so it takes a lot of fabric.

2. Alternate sizes: At this time we are giving the quilt in one size only (72″ x 96″, which under QM guidelines, makes it a twin). After the complete quilt is revealed, we’ll offer yardage and the number of blocks to make for other sizes.

3. Skill level: This quilt is rated E for easy.

4. Frequency: The clues are given weekly Jan. 1 to Feb. 19. That means eight parts.

5. Online location: The clues are given here on Quilty Pleasures. We promote the mystery on Facebook but nothing else happens there. You’re here, so you’re good.

6: Assorted complaints: I’m always puzzled when people have a little breakdown saying they don’t want to participate because of X, Y or Z. We know that this project will appeal to some people and not to others. That’s totally okay. If you don’t care to make this quilt, it’s fine not to make it. There are so many designs available—you’re sure to find one that you love. How about checking out our free Project Linus patterns?

We wish you Happy Quilting Always!

*     *     *     *     *

Need to play catch-up on the New Year’s Mystery Quilt?
Introductory post
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 posts at 00:01 AM on Thursday, 1/15/15

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Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Margaretcropped copy 150x150 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret KennedyBy Margaret Kennedy

So here we are, with the reveal of my final quilt as a member of QM’s Scrap Squad for 2014. And what a busy year it has been!

My quilt, Butterfly Trellis, is based on Silver Lining by Tammy Silvers from QM’s Jan/Feb issue. I liked this pattern because of the large open snowball block centers, which offer the ability to showcase a large scale print. One could also showcase special blocks (perhaps like a sampler), machine or hand embroidery, or applique.

Because I wanted to showcase these blocks, I changed the pattern to have complete snowball blocks rather than halves on the sides:

MK6 01 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Revised layout of Silver Lining quilt for full Snowball blocks

One of my favorite finds at the Houston International Quilt Festival this year was some stencils by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket quilts.

MK6 02 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Butterfly stencils by Laundry Basket Quilts

Of course, I decided to put butterfly appliques on my snowball blocks using the larger stencil. I made a paper mock-up to see how it would fit on the blocks. It overlapped the corners, which I decided was okay. Oh, and did I mention, I wanted COLOR in my quilt?

MK6 03 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Checking fit on the quilt block

And so I proceeded to make the snowball blocks, and cut and fuse the butterfly appliques.  I used Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics and a few batiks. I did a little fussy cutting as well! The butterflies have yellow upper wings, and pink-red lower wings, except for one renegade that is reversed.

MK6 04 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Snowball blocks with butterfly appliques

I stitched the edges of the applique down with a narrow zigzag using invisible thread.

MK6 05 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Stitching the edge of the fused appliques with invisible thread

The antennae were added with a Pigma Micron pen using the stencil:

MK6 06 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Adding details with Pigma Micron pen

I cut the pieces for the alternate blocks using my Accuquilt die-cutting system. Here they are, along with my work plan for the quilt.

MK6 07 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Die cut pieces for alternate blocks

I made all the blocks and sewed them in the diagonal setting. I added a blue inner border, a green middle border, and a pink outer border.

I embroidered my label and pieced it into the quilt backing. That way I know it is secure and I don’t have any hand work after the quilting is done.

MK6 08 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Embroidered quilt label set into the quilt backing

 

For quilting, I used an overall leafy design in lime green.

MK6 09 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Quilting thread: Lime Green is a Neutral!

I did a “magic binding” in pink with a green accent. This technique is completely machine stitched.

MK6 10 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

“Magic Binding” ready to apply

Here’s the final product. Repeating the pinks I used in the alternate blocks in the border gave a sense of transparency and the feeling of a trellis. Hence, the quilt was christened “Butterfly Trellis”:

MK6 11 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

“Butterfly Trellis” by Margaret Kennedy, based on “Silver Lining” by Tammy Silvers for Quiltmaker

And my blog post would not be complete without a glamour shot:

MK6 12 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Butterfly Trellis in her glamour shot!

I have had a wonderful time being a member of Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad for 2014. Thanks for your interest and support throughout the year!

MK6 13 Butterfly Trellis by Margaret Kennedy

Margaret Kennedy – Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad 2014

 

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QM’s New Year’s Mystery Quilt: Part 2

Welcome back to Quiltmaker’s New Year’s Mystery Quilt. This is Part 2 of Auld Lang Stitches. If you missed them, find the introductory post with yardage, and Part 1.

NewYearsMystery 300 QMs New Years Mystery Quilt: Part 2

Part 2

(Get a printer-friendly version of Part 2.)

Cutting:

White Tone-on-Tone
144 squares (A) 2 3/8″ x 2 3/8″

Red Tone-on-Tone
144 squares (A) 2 3/8″ x 2 3/8″

Sewing:

• Refer to the “Triangle-Squares” technique.* Pair the white A’s and red A’s to make 288 unit 3’s. Be sure each unit 3 measures 2″ x 2″.

Unit3 QMs New Years Mystery Quilt: Part 2

• Sew 2 unit 3′s together as shown to make a unit 4. Make 96 unit 4′s. Be sure they are oriented as shown below.

Unit4 QMs New Years Mystery Quilt: Part 2

• Set the remaining unit 3′s aside.

*Triangle-Squares Technique

With the right sides together and the lighter fabric on top, pair one square of each color that makes the unit. On the lighter patch, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Stitch 1/4″ out from both sides of the line. Cut apart on the marked line. With the darker fabric up, open out the top patch and press the unit. A pair of squares will yield 2 units.

 QMs New Years Mystery Quilt: Part 2

We’ll post Clue #3 on Thursday, Jan. 15. You’re invited to post photos of your progress on our Facebook page, or email them to us using editor@quiltmaker.com.

I hope your new year is off to a great start!

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QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

#qmbittyblocks

A while back we brainstormed for an engaging, low stress project we could get QM’s readers on board with, and that’s how QM’s Bitty Blocks were born.

BittyBlockLogo 506px1 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs
We are so excited about this new free quilt blocks project! Here’s how it will work. On the first Monday of each month during 2015, we’ll present you with a Bitty Block. Most will be 3″ or 4″ square and all will be easy to make. They’ll be hashtagged as #qmbittyblocks.

bittyblocks121 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

QM Bitty Blocks: Free quilt block patterns monthly during 2015

The idea will be to make Bitty Blocks during the month and then sew them together into a row. We’ll give you more specific instructions as we go along, but the general idea will be to create an amazing throw-size row quilt made from lots of Bitty Blocks.

As far as fabric, you can do anything you’d like, but we highly recommend a scrappy approach. The more the merrier!

We’re also going to teach you many new tricks, especially if you’re an early quilter. We’ll have quilt video tutorials to help you with things like triangle-squares, pressing, fabric considerations and more during the year. We’ll have photo tutorials, too. I think you’ll learn a lot.

Now let’s get to our first QM Bitty Block. January’s block is a little 3″ Bow Tie. (Printer friendly version here.)

bittyblocks10 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

QM Bitty Block #1 is a simple Bow Tie block.

Each Bow Tie takes two fabrics. Just be sure there is enough contrast between them. In other words, you should be able to clearly see a difference in the two. One should be lighter and the other should be darker.

bittyblocks11 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

Each Bow Tie block uses these 6 patches.

You can choose just one fabric for all of the background patches, or you can mix it up. It’s more fun to mix it up! Each Bow Tie takes these patches:

Bow Tie fabric: 2 squares (A) 2″ x 2″ and 2 squares (B) 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″
Background fabric: 2 squares (A) 2″ x 2″

I know what you’re thinking. “Eeek! Those B patches are frighteningly small!” But I’m here to tell you that it’s no more difficult to sew across a tiny patch than it is to sew across a large patch. Trust me.

bittyblocks12 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

Place a B patch on the corner of an A patch, right sides together.

We’re going to use Stitch & Flip, and here’s how it’s done. Place a B patch on the corner of an A patch of background fabric as shown above. (I drew red lines at the edges of B because I wasn’t sure the B patch would show up.) You’re going to sew on that diagonal red line.

bittyblocks13 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

Sew on the diagonal as shown; you can mark the diagonal or you can just eyeball it.

You can either mark it as shown, or you can eyeball it without marking. I always mark but these patches are so tiny, I was able to eyeball it easily. Try it and see! I used dark thread for visibility in the photos, but you’ll want to use neutral thread.

bittyblocks14 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

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

Now trim away just the B patch as shown above, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

bittyblocks15 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

Press the B patches open as shown.

Press the B patches open as shown. Notice that on the top sample, the blue doesn’t totally cover the background. That is why you don’t cut the background away. It serves as a benchmark for you. When you sew the patches together going forward, use the edge of the background patch as your standard.

Please see this related post for tips on how to Stitch & Flip successfully. I hated Stitch & Flip until I learned how to make it work.

bittyblocks16 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

Arrange the patches like this.

Arrange the patches as shown above. Join them in pairs.

bittyblocks17 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

Join the patches in pairs.

Sew the pairs together as shown below.

bittyblocks18 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

Sew the pairs together.

Measure your block and be sure it is 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. If not, adjust accordingly.

During January (or whenever you get to it!), make 16 Bow Tie blocks. We’re shooting for a nice throw-size quilt, and you’ll be off to a great start! If you love making these, go ahead and make another row of them.

Printer friendly version of January’s Bow Tie block

Coming 1/12/15: QM Bitty Blocks, Things to Consider: Helpful tips on choosing fabrics and more.

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Please help us spread the word about #qmbittyblocks. Use the hashtag, share this post on social media and tell your friends. Maybe your small group would like to make Bitty Blocks together. Whatever you do, we’d love to hear about it: editor@quiltmaker.com.

February’s Bitty Block goes up Monday, Feb. 2. Ready, set, sew!

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: Adorable Small Designs

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Quiltmaker’s New Year’s Mystery Quilt: Part 1

Happy New Year!

And welcome to

Quiltmaker’s New Year’s Mystery Quilt

NewYearsMystery 300 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt: Part 1

If you haven’t already, please see our introductory post with yardage and color ideas. We’ve named this quilt Auld Lang Stitches (clever title courtesy of Creative Editor Paula Stoddard).

Today we begin with Part 1. We’ve sprinkled the cutting into several of the early steps, to make the whole process more fun. For a printable PDF of Part 1, click here.

Cutting:

White Tone-on-Tone
144 squares (A) 2 3/8″ x 2 3/8″
Blue Tone-on-Tone
144 squares (A) 2 3/8″ x 2 3/8″
96 squares (B) 2″ x 2″

Sewing:

• Refer to the “Triangle-Squares” technique.* Pair the white A’s and blue A’s to make 288 unit 1’s. Be sure each unit 1 measures 2″ x 2″.

Unit1 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt: Part 1

• Sew a blue B to a unit 1 as shown to make a unit 2. Make 96 unit 2’s. Be sure each unit 2 measures 2″ x 3 1/2″.

 

Unit2 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt: Part 1

• Set the remaining unit 1’s aside.

*     *     *     *     *

*Triangle-Squares Technique

 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt: Part 1

With the right sides together and the lighter fabric on top, pair one square of each color that makes the unit. On the lighter patch, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Stitch 1/4″ out from both sides of the line. Cut apart on the marked line. With the darker fabric up, open out the top patch and press the unit. A pair of squares will yield 2 units.

 *     *     *     *     *

I really hope you’ll have a good time making Auld Lang Stitches! I’m making a scrappy version using red-violets and yellow-greens, plus black prints in place of the white.

dianesmysteryfabrics Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt: Part 1

These are the fabrics I’ll be using for my version of Auld Lang Stitches.

You’re invited to post photos of your progress on our Facebook page, or email them to us using editor@quiltmaker.com. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

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Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals

Welcome to Block Friday at Quiltmaker.

We usually think of quilt blocks in terms of smallish sizes like 6″, 10″, 12″ or even 18″. But today, I’d you to think in terms of great big blocks—so large that they comprise the entire center of the quilt.

pokey12 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals

Pokey Patch, Quiltmaker Sept/Oct ’11 (No. 141)

Quiltmaker’s Patch Pals fall into this category. You’ll notice in Pokey Patch, above, that the quilt center is really just one big block.

Big blocks can do great things, something we affirmed when we created Big Block Baby Quilts in our 2013 issues. We took a block from a design in each issue and we super-sized it to make a baby quilt. Here are a few examples.

BBB 350 300x300 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals

Go Baby!

This is Go Baby! (40″ x 40″) from the Jan/Feb ’13 issue. This quilt has large patches and units and can easily be made in a weekend! This quilt uses one enlarged block from Lavender Bouquet.

zooparade 350 300x296 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals

Zoo Parade

This is Zoo Parade (48″ x 48″) from the March/April ’13 issue. This quilt uses four enlarged blocks from Majestic Garden and a fun border stripe.

QMMP 131000 BBB 350 296x300 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals

This is Space Place (48″ x 48″) from the Sept/Oct ’13 issue. This quilt uses one enlarged block from Scattered Leaves.

When you think about quilt blocks, remember to think BIG in order to expand the possibilities.

You can learn more about Big Block Baby Quilts in this short video.

You can learn more about Pokey Patch in the short video below.

If you have back issues of QM, you’ll find Pokey in the Sept/Oct ’11 issue. If not, you can get Pokey Patch as a stand-alone digital pattern, or as part of a convenient kit.

ppbook Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals

The Patch Pals Collection book is available in print and digital versions.

We published the first 12 Patch Pals in a book called The Patch Pals Collection. The book has these friendly critters: A dog, cat, teddy bear, duck, bunny, monkey, hedgehog, elephant, owl, turtle, penguin and reindeer. You’ll have hours of creative fun with the Patch Pals Collection. It’s available in print or digital versions.

Many Patch Pals quilts can be made from our handy kits. Or pull directly from your stash of quilting fabrics to make them totally unique!

QM120801 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals   QM140803 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals   QM140401 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals   QM120401 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals   QM120601 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals   QM121001 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals   QM110801 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals   QM130805 Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals

Our readers have so enjoyed making the Patch Pals. Here’s my friend Lucy with her Regal Patch during our semi-annual quilt retreat.

lucyregalpatch Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals

Lucy and her Regal Patch quilt block during our quilt retreat

Please see our Patch Pals homepage. If you make one, please share a photo with us by emailing editor@quiltmaker.com.

mysterypatchpal Block Friday at Quiltmaker: Patch Pals

Another Patch Pal coming in 2015. Can you guess what it will be?

And here’s a promise: We have another adorable Patch Pal design coming up in Quiltmaker! Any guesses as to what it will be?

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Quiltmaker’s New Year’s Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1

Happy Holidays!

And welcome to

Quiltmaker’s New Year’s Mystery Quilt

We’re excited to bring you Quiltmaker’s first New Year’s mystery quilt, Auld Lang Stitches—an online exclusive for our readers.

NewYearsMystery 300 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1Here you can find yardage requirements and color ideas for your quilt. Fabric selection is easy—you’ll need a background fabric and 2 contrasting fabrics. We’ve chosen a white tone-on-tone for the background along with red and blue tone-on-tones for the 2 contrasting fabrics.

Mystery1 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1

White with blue and red

Here’s what you’ll need for a 72″ x 96″ twin-sized quilt:

Finished Blocks: 12”

White Tone-on-Tone: 6 3/8 yards for blocks

Blue Tone-on-Tone: 3 1/2 yards for blocks and binding

Red Tone-on-Tone: 3 5/8 yards for blocks

Backing:  6 1/4 yards

Batting:  80″x 104″

Here are some other color palettes to tempt you:

Mystery2 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1

Light batik background with green and orange batiks

Mystery3 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1

Cream print background with red and black tone-on-tones

Mystery4 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1

Pale blue background with medium purple and dark purple

If you’d like to take a scrappy approach, decide on three contrasting colors and think in terms of value. Be sure that each color can be distinctly seen from the others. Keep the values within each color fairly close. I took this photo to check out my values.

dianesmysteryfabrics Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1

These are the fabrics I’ll be using for my version of Auld Lang Stitches. The black prints will take the place of the white tone-on-tone in the yardage.

I can see that I’ll need to eliminate the lightest yellow-greens from the stack above, and possibly the lightest red-violet, too. Standing back to view the fabrics helps you to see the values, too.

Pull fabrics from your stash or visit the quilt shop for a variety of prints and tone-on-tones in each color. Aim for variety in the size of the prints, but remember to keep the values (lightness or darkness) fairly close.

Here are some other color ideas:

Red and green plus a background like white or tanBlue and green plus light gray for the background
Reds and oranges plus pale yellows for the background
Blues and hot pinks plus pale purple for the background

I could go on and on!

NewYearsMystery 300 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1

I hope to see you on January 1st for Part 1 of Auld Lang Stitches. What a great way to start the new year!

*     *     *     *     *

Need fabric? Visit Keepsake Quilting for lots of options!

 Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1  Quiltmakers New Years Mystery Quilt Starts Jan. 1

 

 

 

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Duncan’s I Spy Quilt, Part 1

Over the weekend I finished up a quilt for my grandson Duncan. He’ll turn three just after Christmas, so I will take the quilt with me when I visit for the holidays.

duncaninboots Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1

I made a quilt for my grandson, who is a bit of a character.

I tried some new methods on this quilt and I learned some things, too. I used Bonnie Hunter’s free quilt pattern to make an I Spy quilt.

duncansquilt1 Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1

Duncan’s I Spy quilt from a Bonnie Hunter pattern

It’s a great quilt design because the patches are just the right size for “spying” and it goes together quickly once you’ve cut all the novelty patches.

It’s not the most beautiful quilt I’ve ever made, but it has the most love. If you have grandchildren, you know what I mean.

duncansquilt10 Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1

Some of my intersections were less than perfect.

I started the quilt while on retreat with friends in October. There was much talking, laughter and general hullaballoo-ing, so it’s no wonder that all my intersections were not perfect. I decided not to worry about it because I knew Duncan wouldn’t care.

duncansquilt8 Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1

The pieced quilt backing for Duncan’s quilt is funky and whimsical.

I pieced a back out of great boy fabrics of which I had only small amounts. It’s funky (and partly sideways) but I think it matches the mood of the quilt. And again, I thought the three-year-old would approve.

I basted the quilt on the floor using safety pins. I must have stuck myself mightily in the process because I managed to bleed on the quilt in a couple of places. They’re very small spots but I had to laugh—now he gets not only a quilt, but some of my DNA, too.

duncansquilt9 Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1

Yellow zigzags in one direction, purple in the other.

When it was time to quilt, I was a little under the gun because time had slipped away from me. I needed fast and easy but I wanted it to be adequately quilted because I think it will be washed aplenty.

I decided to try a zigzag with my walking foot. I quilted the vertical seams with purple thread and the horizontal seams with yellow. The zigzag helped to hide my wonky intersections. I used a stitch length of 2.3 and a width of 3.7.

duncansquilt11 Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1

I kept the seam in the middle of my walking foot so the zigzag stitches would be centered.

You can see here that I kept the seam centered within the presser foot as I zigzagged, so it was pretty easy to stay on track.

I didn’t think the zigzags made for quite enough quilting so I sewed diagonally across all of the patches. I switched to invisible thread for the I Spy patches so it wouldn’t detract from the images.

duncansquilt12 Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1I used bright turquoise thread in the bobbin and I love the way the back of the quilt looks because of it. It’s happy.

I wanted to do something special for the label. I had an adorable Christmas scene with a little boy and a train, so I incorporated that. I downloaded a free font and thought a lot about how to word the label. I settled on something simple. It says “This ‘I Spy’ quilt was made for my precious grandson Duncan Harris Wood as a gift for his third birthday (date) by Diane Patrice Volk Harris, Bladen, Nebraska USA.”

duncansquilt14 Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1

This is the label I made for Duncan’s quilt.

Because I’m an editor, I should have noticed that capital A at the beginning of the fourth line. I didn’t see it until the label was sewn to the quilt and I did not want to redo it, so I’m going with the theory that my grandson won’t love the quilt any less because of it.

Unless they’re for publication, I wash my quilts when they are finished. I like the way they crinkle up and feel time-worn and loved.

duncansquilt15 Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1

I made a list of the I Spy items on the quilt. We can use it to get our I Spy game going!

The very last step was to make a list of all the “I Spy” things on the quilt, so that when Duncan and I are together, we can look for all of them.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a December evening.

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Feeling inspired to label your next quilt? I love EQ Printables printer-ready fabric for inkjet printers.

QMEQS Duncans I Spy Quilt, Part 1

I use EQ Printables for my quilt labels.

 

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