Wishful Healing Hearts

By Tricia Patterson, Associate Editor, Quiltmaker and McCall’s Quilting

1 Full size quilt Wishful Healing Hearts

I have a very special quilt to share with you. I’m calling it Wishful Healing Hearts and I made it for my youngest sister. Janet was diagnosed with a rare form of colon cancer late last year and finished as many chemotherapy treatments she could handle. Early tests indicated the chemo had worked its wonder on the cancer. She returned for a three-month check-up to discover a large mass growing in her liver and now she’s facing a stronger round of chemo.

I’m the oldest sibling and took care of Janet from her birth. I was a second mom to her when we were kids and she’s probably the first person I sewed for, making clothes for her and her dolls. She is one of the most amazing and positive people I know. With a happy, smiling and witty personality, she wears bright colorful clothes and red shoes well. Janet has dedicated her work life to teaching 5th and 6th grade kids from the inner city regions of northern Indiana, a tough neighborhood. She’s one of those many teachers you hear about, bringing joy, love and hope to the classroom. She is taking this setback with the same approach she has always taken with life. Keep your head up, stay focused and positive, and move forward (with your happy face and brilliant clothing). She told me about being really cold through the chemo, and that she wore her red shoes to every session. I live in Colorado and Janet lives in Kentucky, separating us by over a 1,000 miles. It’s been really hard for me to be so far away. I know she’s dealing with a lot physically, but the mental anguish of cancer must be worse. I want to join the family to help her through this, to be there for her, to give comfort in any way I can.

I was assigned to make a color option for a Brenda Plaster pattern which will be in the McCall’s Quilting January/February 2017 issue. I selected Bouffants & Broken Hearts, a collection from Robert Kaufman, for the project. A couple days after finishing the project I walked by the table with the extra fabric and looked at it thinking, “This fabric is so not me. What will I ever do with the rest of it?” The light bulb came on, I thought of Janet and a quilt for her. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Quilters have given comfort through their quilt-giving for generations. I started planning right then to make the perfect Janet quilt. I was ready to cut out the patches when I got home from work on Friday, and I sewed through the weekend. I began the project wanting to give her something of comfort from me because I want her to always know I’m there with her. It’s ended up that Janet’s quilt has actually given me more than any other quilt I’ve ever made.

 Wishful Healing Hearts

The pieces stitched into this quilt go way beyond the fabric. I had help from other quilters. I enlarged a heart block from Paula Stoddard’s Little Bitty Love pattern published in Quiltmaker Row Quilts, Summer 2016. I also used parts of her block pattern that you’ll see in the upcoming issue of Quiltmaker, November/December 2016, although I placed the blocks randomly in my quilt. (Paula’s the Managing Editor, and my manager at work.) I used Denise Stark’s Shoe Boxes pattern that I found in volume #2 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Winter 2010. (Denise is our Art Director.)

 Wishful Healing Hearts

The story doesn’t end here. I showed the gals at work Janet’s quilt top when I finished it and told them I had plans to take it to someone for the quilting (I wanted to get the quilt to Janet before her next chemo session and I’m a pre-beginner machine quilter; it would take forever for me to finish with my hand quilting.) Then, Paula spoke up and volunteered to quilt it for me in the studio at work. I met Paula for the first time seven months ago. I was so touched, and speechless, from her offer.

 Wishful Healing Hearts

 Wishful Healing Hearts

While Paula quilted the center of the top on the Handi Quilter Avanté and the border on the HQ Sweet Sixteen I received a quilting lesson, and all the women I work with (also quilters) checked in to see the progress and chat as she quilted. It felt almost like an old-time quilting bee, a sisterhood at work. In a short time we shared stories about family, quilting and the wonder of machines. I was able to air my worry about Janet and my purpose for the quilt, which was very therapeutic for me. And, I only met these women a very short time ago; I feel so blessed to have so much caring around me. That’s a quilter for you.

This is just my story. There are so many similar ones out there, with a quilt wrapped in love and hope, from its conception through it’s giving. Its making ended up as a healing experience for me, troubled because my sister is seriously ill. It’s also about an amazing community–quilters. I can only hope to have the opportunity to give as much as I have received in the future. I’ll treasure this memory always.

 Wishful Healing Hearts

Paula quilted hearts all over the quilt top, and added the word “sister” in the corner of one border. Special.

This is my lovely sister Janet with her Wishful Healing Hearts Quilt…

 Wishful Healing Hearts

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Di-RECT-ional: A Visit with Carla Alexiuk

Carla Alexiuk Di RECT ional: A Visit with Carla AlexiukToday we’re welcoming quilt designer Carla Alexiuk as a guest blogger on Quilty Pleasures! Carla designed the Di-RECT-ional quilt featured in our September/October ’16 issue, and she’s going to tell us all about designing this incredible quilt:

Hello Friends,

Back in high school, if someone had told me that later in life I would enjoy geometry so much that I would study it and use it everyday, I would have rolled my eyes and groaned.  But, I suppose the jokes on me – I have been teaching quilting/geometry for nearly 20 years.

qm1610040 directional 450flat Di RECT ional: A Visit with Carla Alexiuk

Di-RECT-ional quilt

Traditional quilting excites me.  I get a thrill out of seeing shapes fit together and begin to dance just by changing the colour and value of a piece.  What’s making me excited lately?  Using angle seams to make straight likes look like curves.

The interaction of quilt block units caught my attention early on. The more intriguing and intertwined a quilt, the more it drew me in. The mystery would take hold and I couldn’t rest until I had deciphered the constituent blocks and units of the quilt. Before there were fancy phones to take pictures of quilts in a shops or shows, I carried a notebook. The notebook came everywhere with me so that at any time, I could sketch out blocks and units that caught my eye. The notebook would eventually become my quilting journal. Recording blocks, units, and quilts I encountered through my travels has become an important source of inspiration, motivation, and creativity in my quilting today.

Today, I visit my journal to help inspire new variations on earlier sketches. Di-RECT-ional is one of those quilt blocks.

Carla Alexiuk sketchbook block Di RECT ional: A Visit with Carla Alexiuk

sketchbook block

When designing a quilt, I’m still old fashioned. I design either with fabric or pen and pencil on graph paper. After I have an idea of what I want to create, I begin by going into my unit box. My unit box contains a variety of commonly found units used in traditional quilting, for example: half square triangles, hour glass units, an assortment of different triangles, 4-patch, and 9-patch units. These units all work off the same common numerical measurements – 2”, 4”, 6”, 8” or 3”, 6”, 9” and so on. Once I’ve pulled out what I need from my unit box, the pieces start to come together like a puzzle. Working from the sketch in my journal, I use the units to map out the block. Or, if it’s the right kind of day, I just invent a new one! I will turn units around, swap them out, and try new combinations until they finally merge together into a pleasing visual image. 

Carla Alexiuk Unit play Di RECT ional: A Visit with Carla Alexiuk

unit play

Then, I’ll make three or four more of the same block to see if it works together at scale, playing with colour and value at the same time.

Carla Alexiuk playing with blocks Di RECT ional: A Visit with Carla Alexiuk

playing with blocks

Di-RECT-ional presented a unique visual effect when I began to play with the half square triangles and the long right-angle triangles. Placing the triangles in mirror image gave the illusion of a curve! By mirror imaging the half square triangles in the corners the curve effect was enhanced. Wanting to give a distinct vertical flow to the quilt, I placed the block on point. The four patch in the centre of the block was added to give a secondary directional design.

Carla Alexiuk designing a setting Di RECT ional: A Visit with Carla Alexiuk

designing a setting

My design process also takes into account quilt construction. Different quilters prefer different methods and so I’m always on the lookout to find innovative ways to strip piece block units, just in case the conventional methods don’t work for my students (or for me!). As a certified Studio 180 instructor, my preferred method to make the right angle triangle units in Di-RECT-ional are with the Split Rects” tool by Studio 180 designs instead of the paper piecing method detailed in Quiltmaker magazine.

Split Rects Di RECT ional: A Visit with Carla Alexiuk

I find that by making the units larger and squaring them up using the Split Rects ruler, you can achieve greater accuracy and pointier points when stitching the blocks. With so many tools, methods, and approaches available to quilters today, being open to trying new construction techniques to find what works best for you will result in more precise quilts and less time with your seam ripper!

Carla Alexiuk Tabletopper Di RECT ional: A Visit with Carla Alexiuk

table topper

Finally, a funny story from when I was first designing Di-RECT-ional. When I had first finished the quilt top, I imagined the quilt blocks representing water flowing around rocks in a stream or river. However, when I asked my husband about it, he saw the four patches as eyes and said it reminded him of alien faces. Oh dear! What did you see when you first looked at Di-RECT-ional?

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Thank you for joining us today, Carla!

If you’d like to make Di-RECT-ional and don’t have a copy of our September/October ’16 issue, print and digital copies are available in our online store. 

digital pattern is also available for Di-RECT-ional.

Posted in QM Issues, Quilty Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Sew Long!

dianeharris Sew Long!

Diane Harris

After more than 11 years, tomorrow is my last day with Quiltmaker. It was my privilege to be the public voice of Quiltmaker for a number of years, so I wanted to take a few minutes to say good-bye to you, the readers who regularly visit Quilty Pleasures for entertainment and education. I will really miss you!

It has been a great run here at QM. When Editor-in-Chief Brenda Groelz (now Director of Marketing and Education for Handi Quilter) offered me the job in 2005, I had been a stay-at-home mom for two decades. I had a degree in communications and I’d been quilting for 20 years, but nobody was more surprised than I was to be starting a career at age 45. It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time with the right skills. It has truly been a dream job for me.

100blockspeeking Sew Long!

I’ve written many of the patterns for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks.

Most of my days were filled with writing patterns for regular issues, and most recently, for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. This newsstand-only issue continues to be one of QM’s greatest success stories. We’ve just finished the patterns for Volume 14 which you’ll find on newsstands Nov. 15.

I spent several years as QM’s Interactive Editor, which meant that I interacted with readers online. During that time I did most of the blogging here and most of the social media on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. My posts will live on so you can still catch the most popular ones if you like:

sewingmachine Sew Long! Understanding Stitch Length (more important than you think!)

Machine Quilting: Practice, Practice, Practice (you’ll be inspired)

A Quick Quilt Label Method (who knew it was so easy?!)

label11 Sew Long!

A Quick Quilt Label Method

Managing the QM Scrap Squad was one of my favorite tasks. I got to choose a small team of readers annually and work with them over the course of a year to make scrappy versions of Quiltmaker designs. We had so much fun! I loved getting to know each year’s team, and a few times I got to meet some of them in person.

Dianes SS Quilt Collage Sew Long!

They surprised me with a quilt!

The first ever Scrap Squad surprised me with a sampler quilt at the end of their term. It was the first and only time anyone ever made a quilt for me. What a treasure! The Stars and Bars quilt is part of my “Make Extraordinary Scrap Quilts” guild program these days. It always gets a great response.

I’ve managed teams of sewers for QM’s Back to School parties and for the testing of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks—delightful women all!

I learned how to be comfortable in front of a camera while shooting many how-to videos for Quiltmaker. My Dresden Plate video has been the most watched. Take a peek:

We always had such a good time when we shot these. There were plenty of outtakes and lots of laughs.

Quiltmaker published a number of my quilt designs. Giddy-Up Go was an early pattern that is still available as a freebie, so grab it if you like.

82 pattern img Sew Long!

Get the free pattern for Giddy-Up Go

 All Drezzed Up started my love affair with Dresden plate quilts and led to a guild program called “Let’s Play Drezzup.” It appears in the March/April ’10 issue, still available as a digital issue (and it’s on sale for just $2.50).

All Drezzed up Sew Long!

Get the pattern for All Drezzed Up on sale for just $2.50.

You can’t imagine the fun I’m having creating more Dresden plate quilts all the time. They’ll supplement the program nicely.

SewfulThings Sew Long! When I made Sewful Things, above, I learned a trick that made me a better and more efficient piecer. I shared it in Better Piecing: A Perfect Match. Check it out because it’s a really useful tip.

13917 pattern img Sew Long!

Up, Up and Away was the 2012 Project Linus free quilt pattern from Quiltmaker, designed by Diane Harris

In 2012 I designed the annual Project Linus pattern for Quiltmaker. Up, Up and Away is one of 16 free patterns that are perfect for charity quilts or quick baby gifts. There are many others and they’re all winners.

About seven years ago, I answered customer emails for a time when we were without administrative support after a company downsize. I will always remember a customer’s complaint after we published the latest Patch Pal, designed by Denise Starck.

ruffpatch Sew Long!

Ruff Patch, designed by Denise Starck

Her exact words were, “I JUST HATE SEWING ALL THESE LITTLE PIECES TOGETHER!” I replied politely but what I wanted to say was, “Gosh lady, then why are you a quilter?!”

Diane Sew Long!

Quiltmaker’s Block Party events were great chances to get to know our readers.

I had the pleasure of teaching at Quiltmaker’s Block Party Williamsburg, and again in Portland, and on a cruise to Alaska. So much of our work is done away from our customers, and it was delightful to meet some of them and just hang out during these events.

qm1604 everybunny flat450 Sew Long!

Everybunny, designed and made by Diane Harris for Quiltmaker

Like they say, “It was a rough job, but somebody had to do it.” There’s a certain sadness for me as I move on to new adventures, but I wish Quiltmaker and my colleagues there only the best. I know those of you reading will continue to see good things in the pages of QM as well as online, where so much business resides these days.

QMMP 140200 DIANE 450 Sew Long!

Scarlet Spin by Diane Harris for Quiltmaker, Jan/Feb ’14

I’ll continue to speak, teach, write and design, using all that I’ve learned over the years. Those plans are still taking shape, but I hope that your path and mine will cross again as I move in a new direction.

I wish you well. Sew long!

Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments

New Special Issue: Quilts From Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Fall ’16

qf100 cover 500 New Special Issue: Quilts From Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Fall 16

A brand new issue of Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks hits newsstands this week! This fall ’16 edition includes 17 new quilt patterns (plus four small easy-to-sew bonus projects), all inspired by some of our favorite original blocks featured in our past 100 Blocks issues. From modern and trendy to sophisticated and traditional, there’s something for everyone.

Here’s a peek at some of the quilt patterns you’ll find inside this issue:

qf100 leaf 350style New Special Issue: Quilts From Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Fall 16

Leaf Play

Leaf Play: This design from Lerlene Nevaril is based on her nine-patch maple leaf block, Leaf in Glorious Color (#1288) from 100 Blocks Vol. 13. Lerlene used rich red, green and gold batiks set against a dark background to bring fall’s colors together.

qf100 mistletoe 350style New Special Issue: Quilts From Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Fall 16

Illuminating Mistletoe

Illuminating Mistletoe: Get a head start on your holiday quilting with this dazzling throw quilt designed by Nancy Mahoney. It uses her Pinwheel Star block (#1222) from 100 Blocks Vol. 13. Do you see the multiple stars that emerge from the three-dimensional design? This effect is created using just one foundation template. Kits are available!

qf100 focal 350style New Special Issue: Quilts From Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Fall 16

Focal Point

Focal Point: Anne Wiens used her Wheel Around block (#1226) from 100 Blocks Vol. 13 to design this twin-sized quilt. A take on the traditional card trick block, the design bridges the divide between modern and traditional foundation piecing. The addition of piecing washings creates a great secondary design, too.

qf100 sweet 450flat New Special Issue: Quilts From Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Fall 16

Sweet Hearts

Sweet Hearts: This sweet baby quilt made by QM managing editor Paula Stoddard uses four of Jenifer Dick’s Four of Kind blocks (#1217) from 100 Blocks Vol. 13 in the center.

qf100 stellar 350style New Special Issue: Quilts From Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Fall 16

Stellar Swirl

Stellar Swirl: Peg Spradlin eliminated some of the seams in her Star Wash block (#992) from 100 Blocks Vol. 10 to make this lovely bed quilt. Simple star blocks are surrounded with pieced sections, giving the illusion of circles. This would be perfect for scraps!

qf100 tulip 350style New Special Issue: Quilts From Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Fall 16

Tulip Time

Tulip Time: This wall quilt or table topper is great for springtime. Carol Steely used her pretty Spring Bloomers block (#1212) from 100 Blocks Vol. 13 as a medallion for this easy-to-piece design.

Other great quilts featured in this special edition include new designs from Karen Ackva, Melissa Corry, Margie Ullery, Shelley Cavanna, Carolyn McCormick, Cheryl Brickey, Jessie Kurtz and more of your favorite designers. Browse our online gallery to preview all the quilts featured in this new issue!

Look for the issue on newsstands now, or grab a print or digital issue from our online store. We also have a special issue auto ship program, which allows you to sign up to have all our special issues delivered straight to your mailbox as they are released.

Stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks to learn more about the quilts in this issue. Some of the designers will be joining us as guest bloggers to talk about their designs!

Happy Quilting,

Posted in 100 Blocks, QM Issues | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Georgie Giraffe: A Visit with Deb Grogan

12800236 10206057852751025 2971042215201080357 n Georgie Giraffe: A Visit with Deb GroganToday we’re welcoming quilt designer Deb Grogan as a guest blogger on Quilty Pleasures! Deb designed the adorable Georgie Giraffe quilt featured in our September/October ’16 issue, and today she’s going to tell us all about how this sweet design came to life:

Hello my fellow quilters!  My name is Deb Grogan and I am a quilt/pattern designer and CEO of The Quilt Factory, that stands for Chief Everything Officer!  I live in the midwest with my husband and two yellow labs, Bailey and Charlie.  My pups share my home studio with me during the day… mostly snoozing, but occasionally there is a rousing game of fetch and sometimes a rummage through the fabric scraps in my garbage can which then end up all over the floor!… lol.  Aside from being a quilter I am also an avid reader and vegetable gardener.  My husband and I are vegetarians, so dinner is always an interesting array of vegetables with beautiful color and texture, artistic in many ways… I am also an artist and paint with fluid acrylics that have a transparent watercolor-like look.

qm1610040 georgie 450flat Georgie Giraffe: A Visit with Deb Grogan

I have been an artist and product designer for major giftware companies for the better part of two decades. I have designed countless products for home and garden, from dishes to metal garden art, holiday ornaments, quilting fabric and more.  It is this rich past in design that has been my greatest treasure when it comes to designing quilts as it pushes me to think outside the boundaries of just sewing seams together.  When working in product development my task was always how can I take this object, make it better and make it different?  I use that same line of thinking when developing ideas for quilts.

Having quilted for almost 20 years, its was easy for me to put together various blocks and choose colors of fabrics that I found pleasing.  But I wanted to do more, I wanted to bring my art and experience as a product designer to my quilts.  I love to design using appliqué, as it is the best way to bring my art to life in fabric.  It’s easy then to add surprising or dimensional aspects to my quilts to give them a little personality.  Those simple little design elements have been added to Georgie Giraffe as well.  His little ears folded over and tucked in under his head when appliquéd, create a dimensional look that helps bring Georgie to life.

IMG 2046 copy 2 Georgie Giraffe: A Visit with Deb Grogan

So, where do I get my ideas and inspiration from?  This is probably the biggest question I get and my answer is always pretty much the same: from the world around me.  While that may sound rather simplified, as an artist I tend to find interest in little things.  The concept for several of my quilts with animals seemingly “peeking out” from the quilt came to me when I found my dog Charlie behind the fence in the vegetable garden, the side he wasn’t supposed to be on… lol.  The quizzical cock of his head when I asked him how he got in there made me laugh.  So placing Georgie’s head and neck to appear as of it is coming out from either behind or under something, made it fun.  The traditional quilt blocks I added to the quilt reminded me a bit of a garden fence.

IMG 3432 Georgie Giraffe: A Visit with Deb Grogan

The Process….This is another question I am often asked and while each designer is different, many of us do similar things, just in different ways.  I always start with a sketch.  I can often be found perusing Pinterest looking for subject, color or textural inspiration, or as often is the case, while doing something totally unrelated an idea will come to me, so I scribble it off in one of many sketchbooks I keep handy.

IMG 3436 Georgie Giraffe: A Visit with Deb Grogan

Once I have decided on a design, I make a more technical drawing then take my ideas and start the quilt creation process in EQ7.  It is a great program to put down the bones of my design.  I often draw the elements for the appliqué design right in EQ and then use Adobe Illustrator to clean things up, make additional adjustments or add instructions within the appliqué templates.  In EQ7 I can audition different fabrics which can be downloaded from the fabric companies’ websites.  It helps me know how much yardage is needed of a particular fabric so I can work directly with the fabric companies to get yardage to make a sample quilt.  American Made Brand solid cottons were used to make Georgie along with the Impressions and Moire lines from their parent company, Clothworks.  This process is important as it is how I write my patterns.  The actual assembly of the quilt ensures I am writing instructions that any quilter can follow and that what I have given them for appliqué templates and instructions is accurate.

26059 pattern img Georgie Giraffe: A Visit with Deb Grogan

Once my quilt is pieced and appliquéd it heads out to my wonderful long arm quilter Charisma of Charisma’s Corner.  We make a wonderful team and she never disappoints with her amazing talent and ability to breath life into my quilts.  Once I bind it off it goes to the wonderful folks here at Quiltmaker who make it shine with the fabulous photography; they really showcase all the quilts they share with you readers, in the most delightful way.  Thank you ladies!

I hope you find as much joy in creating your own Georgie as I did.  Please share pictures with the lovely gals at Quiltmaker and myself (deb@thequiltfactory.com)  I love to see your beautiful creations!  Thank you for letting me share a bit of my day with you and for sharing your time with me!

Take time from your busy day, everyday even if its just a few minutes to be creative, push yourself to learn a new technique or try something our of your comfort zone.  Creating from your own two hands truly feeds the soul… xxx, Deb

* * *

Thank you for joining us today, Deb!

If you’d like to make Georgie Giraffe and don’t have a copy of our September/October ’16 issue, print and digital copies are available in our online store. 

Kits and a digital pattern are also available for Georgie Giraffe.

Posted in QM Issues, Quilty Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along – Block 24 + Giveaway

Hi Everyone! Can you believe this block marks the halfway point in our 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along?

100BLKS SAMP ALL 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 24 + Giveaway

three versions of the 100 Blocks Sampler

And, in honor of our halfway point, we’re having a giveaway—more about that later.

All the blocks in our 100 Blocks Sampler have come from different issues of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks and have been reduced to 6″. There are kits available in different colorways, as well as a digital pattern. You can catch up on our previous sew along posts here.

Today’s block is Climbing Squares, block #858 from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 9. This fun block was designed by Caroline Critchfield. Be sure to check our her blog as she sews along with us.

858 1 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 24 + GiveawayThis block is easily sewn with squares and rectangles.

858 2 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 24 + Giveaway

Climbing Squares assembly

And, here it is in three different colorways:

858 3 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 24 + Giveaway

three different colorways

This block looks great in any color!

Be sure to check out the other designers who are sewing along with us.

Follow the links below to visit their blogs:

Lynn Roddy Brown

Jessie Kurtz

Toby Lischko

And now for the giveaway! Leave a comment with what you’d like to see more of on the pages of Quiltmaker, and if there’s anything that you’d like to see less of, I’d like to know that too. I’ll randomly select one winner next Tuesday, 8/30 to win these quilty goodies: 2 books including some of our 100 Blocks designers, an exclusive Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks mousepad plus one of the Fat Quarter Shop’s new tins.

The winner of the giveaway is Bonnie Larson, the winner has been notified by email.

prize 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 24 + Giveaway

quilty prizes

Posted in 100 Blocks, Sampler Quilt | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 107 Comments

Win Fabric for Life from Keepsake Quilting!

 Enter daily through Dec. 31, 2016

banner ad FabricForLife Win Fabric for Life from Keepsake Quilting!

Keepsake Quilting’s Fabric for Life Contest is back! Enter every day, now through the end of this year, for a chance to win a 20-year supply of fabric. That’s 52 yards of fabric of your choice each year for 20 years, to be exact. Can you imagine how much fun that would be to win? And there are other wonderful prizes up for grabs too! Check out the full prize list:

Grand Prize – The Grand Prize winner will receive a 20-year supply of fabric from KeepsakeQuilting.com (valued at $11,440)

FabricForLife KQ Win Fabric for Life from Keepsake Quilting!

KeepsakeQuilting logo Win Fabric for Life from Keepsake Quilting!

First Place – One lucky winner will receive a 570 QE Sewing Machine from Bernina (valued at $4,399)

FabricForLife Bernina Win Fabric for Life from Keepsake Quilting!

LogoBernina Win Fabric for Life from Keepsake Quilting!

Second Place — One lucky winner will receive a Velocity 200IR iron, The Board 2-in-1 ironing table, and iron rest from Reliable Corporation (valued at $463)

FabricForLife Reliable Win Fabric for Life from Keepsake Quilting!reliable logo Win Fabric for Life from Keepsake Quilting!

Third Place — Five winners will receive a fabric bundle from each of these sponsors: Henry GlassBlankFabri-QuiltStudio e Fabrics, and Quilting Treasures (valued at $100-$200)

This contest is open to U.S. residents only. Learn more and read the official rules here.

Enter the contest now, and be sure to bookmark the page and check back daily to enter.

Good luck!

Posted in Giveaways & Contests | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Board Game: A Visit with Connie K. Campbell

ConnieCampbell Board Game: A Visit with Connie K. Campbell

Today we’re welcoming quilt designer Connie K. Campbell as a guest blogger on Quilty Pleasures!

Connie designed the Board Game quilt featured in our Sept/Oct ’16 issue. This striking wall quilt is made in purple, cream, green and gold batiks and features geometric shapes and striking angles.

My name is Connie Kresin Campbell and I blog at Freemotion by the River. I am an ambassador for Island Batik and really enjoy working with their beautiful fabrics. When I saw the Sea Canyon collection that came out this summer I knew I wanted to make a quilt that would use the neat leaf print batik for the large border. I like working with two different blocks in quilts and this layout made me think of board games from my childhood.

Board Game Quilt Wall Board Game: A Visit with Connie K. Campbell

I also do a monthly blog post for AccuQuilt where I share tutorials using their dies. Many times I will do a quilt with a mix of regular quilt fabrics and also batiks.

Sometimes batiks have a tendency to bleed so you should either prewash your fabrics or add a Shout Color Catcher in the wash machine. I normally go with the Color Catcher and have never had a problem with dyes bleeding, I also take my quilt out of the washer as soon as it is done and then put it in the dryer on a low heat.

BoardGame ConnieCampbell Board Game: A Visit with Connie K. Campbell

I have been quilting most of my life and a little over 20 years ago I bought a old Singer sewing machine at a estate sale and fell in love with old sewing machines. I continue using my 15-91 Singer sewing machine for all of my quilting. It is a single stitch machine so I use my darning foot for my free motion applique and quilting.

I am always sharing tutorials, patterns and other fun things on my blog. Please stop by for a visit! Freemotion by the River http://www.conniekresin.com/

BoardGameQuiltRiver Board Game: A Visit with Connie K. Campbell

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Thank you for joining us today, Connie!

If you’d like to make Board Game and don’t have a copy of our September/October ’16 issue, print and digital copies are available in our online store. 

digital pattern is also available for Board Game.

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100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along – Block 23

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve been enjoying your summer.  Welcome back to our sew along.

100BLKS SAMP ALL 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 23

three versions of the 100 Blocks Sampler

All the blocks in our 100 Blocks Sampler have come from different issues of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks and have been reduced to 6″. There are kits available in different colorways, as well as a digital pattern. You can catch up on our previous sew along posts here.

Today we’re featuring a great block for this time of year – Summer Fun, block #169 from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, volume 2. This block was designed by the lovely sister team of Me and My Sister Designs, Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson. They design bright and colorful fabrics for Moda Fabrics.

169 1 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 23

Summer Fun, block #169 designed by Me and My Sister Designs

Quarter-square triangles along with some squares and rectangles are all you need to make this fun block.

169 2 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 23

quarter-square triangle unit

Block assembly:

169 3 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 23

block asembly

Three different colorways:

169 4 100 Blocks Sampler Sew Along   Block 23

three different colorways

Be sure to check out the other designers who are sewing along with us.

Follow the links below to visit their blogs:

Lynn Roddy Brown

Jessie Kurtz

Toby Lischko

Next week is our halfway point – block #24. Can you believe it? We’ll have a little celebration and a giveaway. Be sure to stop by! Until next week, happy sewing!

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Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

BeaLee3 Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

Today we’re welcoming quilt designer Bea Lee as a guest blogger on Quilty Pleasures! Bea designed the Ninja Stars quilt featured in our new September/October ’16 issue, and she’s going to tell us how this design came to life:

Ninja Star quilt (shurikens)

Hi, it’s Bea from beaquilter.com. I’m a stay-at-home mom of 4 children (1 boy and 3 girls from 14 years old down to 9 months old) I’m originally from Denmark but have lived in the US (now NC) for 20 years and have been married for almost 18 to my wonderful supportive husband. I’ve quilted for 12 years and long arm quilted for 8.

I’m here to show a little insight on this fast and fun kite quilt.

First, a little about how this quilt idea started. I’m an avid blogger and I love to join blog hops, challenges, or do tutorials, etc.

In 2015 another blog (soscrappy) had a challenge of doing a block or two or more of a specific color each month and the color would be announced each month (RSC16).

I had all intentions of joining, but never did, so I was happy when the challenge restarted in 2016! I joined right away and my challenge to myself was to use Accuquilt dies! (They are one of my sponsors on my blog so I have a LOT of dies.)

rsc16 Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

When January’s color was announced it was blue, and I made a bunch of test blocks with my dies.

DSCF5806 Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

DSCF5841 Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

Here is my 4” Kite die blocks.

55254 pkg Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

Then I also started playing in EQ7 with different quilt layouts. One sketch had a white background but I liked the black better.

kite go die rainbow2 Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee kite go die rainbow Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

I emailed this to Quiltmaker and they accepted it so then of course I had to make up the rest of the colors and with this one it uses 10 colors.

As I made the quilt center I came up with the idea of an inner border and thought a plain one-color was boring so I designed this.

accuquilt kite quilt Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

And my plan was to use the same scraps for the border. Then that also gave me the idea to continue the scrappy-ness in the binding, so I used any scraps I had for that as well and cut plenty extra!

Here’s the finished quilt. I quilted feathers and swirls all over it, which is a customer favorite. (I long arm quilt for customers too.)

DSCF6160 Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

DSCF6161 Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

I really like to use what I have on hand for backings, so here I added a stripe down the middle of a WOF and deliberately did it off center. Then embroidered a label too. icon smile Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

My husband named the quilt “shurikens” by the way.

DSCF6162 Ninja Stars: A Visit with Bea Lee

Hope you liked reading a bit about how this quilt came to life!

A special thanks to Accuquilt and Electric Quilt and of course Quiltmaker!

-A note to readers: If you are ever thinking about being published in a magazine, just email them! I had an idea and a sketch and they liked it. They are super nice to work with too, so try it out one day!-

Happy quilting,

* * *

Thank you for joining us today, Bea!

If you’d like to make Ninja Stars and don’t have a copy of our September/October ’16 issue, print and digital copies are available in our online store.

A digital pattern is also available for Ninja Stars.

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