Abandon Your Fear of Free Motion Quilting

Lori Kennedy, a renowned free motion quilter is hosting a webinar on March 18th titled, Meander No More: Learn to Free Motion Quilt. The title says it all– push yourself past the meandering quilt motif and learn beautiful free motion quilt designs with Lori.

I had a chance to virtually “chat” with Lori about her life as a quilter and what she has planned for her free motion quilting webinar. Take the time to get to know Lori and then sign up to learn oh-so-many free motion quilting tips.

How did you start quilting?

“More than twenty years ago, I was put on bed rest while expecting twins.  On the way home from the doctor’s appointment, I picked up the book, Quilts! Quilts! Quilts!  and some fabric.  That was the beginning of my quilting career.  From that time onward, I have always had at least five quilts in various stages of progress in my sewing room.”

What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

BrickWall.LKennedy0051 300x282 Abandon Your Fear of Free Motion Quilting

A sample of Lori’s work

“Buying the threads and fabric (of course), but  free motion quilting is a close second. There is nothing I’d rather do than sit at my sewing machine and doodle with thread!  I can spend hours and not even be aware that time has marched on.  I love to see how the stitches can add texture and design to the flat quilt.  I also love to play with different threads to create different effects.”

What style of quilting are you drawn to?

“I can not choose between modern and traditional quilting.  I really love them both.  When it comes to quilting, I suffer from the “Recency Principle”-whichever quilt I saw last is my favorite.  Right now, I am drawn to the simple lines of modern quilting.  It provides a great backdrop to free motion quilting!”

How did you master free motion quilting?

Owl.Sampler.LKennedy004 300x200 Abandon Your Fear of Free Motion Quilting

Lori is a talented photographer and quilter!

“I learned to free motion quilt by hours and hours of practice.  I volunteered to quilt group quilts whenever I could, and I even bought a few quilt tops on Ebay to use as practice.  I worked very hard to master traditional motifs like wreaths and feathers, and then one day I started quilting my doodles.  Soon, I realized that quilted doodles added more personality to my quilts and were more fun for the recipient.  I still love feathers, but they are only a small part of my free motion quilting repertoire.”

What do you hope quilters will glean from this free motion quilting webinar?

“The webinar combines my two hobbies, photography and quilting to encourage both the beginner and the more advanced quilter to become more confident free motion quilters.  It seems that many quilters, while confident in their ability to create complex quilt tops, are afraid to learn free motion quilting.  By breaking the process down into four separate skills, I think free motion quilting becomes more manageable.  My goal is that all quilters look beyond “meandering” as a quilt motif and find other fun and easy quilt motifs to add joy and personality to their quilts.”

Doesn’t Lori sound amazing? This is just a snippet, though. Check out Lori’s blog where she shares everything from her photographs to her family life and, of course, her quilting adventures.

Next on your checklist: join us for her free motion quilting webinar on March 18th. With Lori as the presenter, it’s sure to be a hit!

Happy Quilting,

Rachel

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Carolyn’s Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

I’ve seen lots of different chevron quilt designs with many unique variations. When I was looking for a quilt pattern to use for my grandson’s quilt, I decided I liked the simplicity of a chevron quilt using rectangles. The one thing I didn’t like about designs that I saw was that many had the design chopped off on the top and bottom. I like the crisp points in the complete chevrons. So I came up with my own quilt pattern, filling in the top and bottom with triangles so points aren’t cut off.

My original chevron quilt was made using an older fabric collection from Moda Fabrics called Pure by Sweetwater.

Parkers quilt Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

Parker’s quilt

For my remake, I found an adorable fabric collection from Timeless Treasures called Sea Babes and then added one of their sketch basics in orange, so I was working with 9 fabrics. I used 1/3–1/2 yard cuts from each of the 9 fabrics for a crib-size quilt. That’s enough for the strips in the chevrons and for a scrappy binding. The nice thing about this free quilt pattern is that it really doesn’t matter how many fabrics you start with. You can just keep repeating the fabrics until your quilt is the size you want. Keep in mind that using more or less fabrics or adjusting the quilt size will change your yardage requirements.

The first thing you need to do is arrange the fabrics in the order you want them to appear in your chevron quilt—number them to keep the order straight. You’ll want to have some contrast between the fabrics—play around with your arrangement until you find one you like. Keep in mind that the last fabric and the first fabric will be next to each other when the fabrics repeat. Here’s my arrangement. For my quilt, I repeated the fabrics in this order: 1–9, 1–9, 1–4—so 22 chevrons total.

chevron 1 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

Fabrics in order 1–9

Cut two 2″ wide strips from each fabric to start (if you have 9 fabrics with the same arrangement as mine, you’ll need five strips from fabric #’s 1 and 4, six from #’s 2 and 3 and four from #’s 5–9). Sew a fabric #1 and fabric #2 strip together. Cut this strip set in     3 1/2″ increments—you’ll get 12 from each strip set. Arrange the 12 sections on your design wall like this:

chevron 2 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

1st row–fabric #’s 1 and 2

Repeat with a #2 and #3 strip and arrange them in the opposite direction. See how the first chevron with the stripes is formed?

chevron 3 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

row 2–fabric #’s 2 and 3

Next is #3 and #4 and so on. When you get through #9 (or whatever your last fabric is), then start with #1 again. Keep going until your quilt is the size you want.

chevron 4 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

row 3–fabric #’s 3 and 4

 

chevron 5 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

More rows are added.

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All the sections laid out in rows.

Now it’s time to fill in the triangles on the top and bottom. The triangles start with a 5 1/4″ square that’s cut in half diagonally twice. You’ll need three 5 1/4″ squares (12 triangles) of fabric #1 for the top and 3 of fabric #4 for the bottom. Fill those in on your design wall after you cut them.

chevron 7 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

Orange triangles on the top.

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Triangles filled in on the top and bottom.

Notice how the sides are jagged? That’s ok—they’ll be fixed later. Sew all of the sections/triangles together in diagonal rows.

chevron 9 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

Sew the sections and triangles into diagonal rows.

And then sew the rows together.

chevron 10 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

chevron 11 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

Closer view of the jagged sides.

Now it’s time to trim the sides. Line your ruler up with the inside points and trim. The finished top will look like this:

chevron 12 Carolyns Chevron Quilt—Free Pattern

Finished quilt top.

The quilt top measures approximately 50″ wide and 48″ tall. If you want yours longer, keep adding chevrons until it’s the length you want.

There are many different ways that you can quilt this chevron quilt. Quilt straight lines that follow the chevrons or a simple all-over design. Or you can refer to our regular issues and use one of the techniques that Leah Day is sharing in 2015.

For a fun colorful binding, cut 2 1/4″ wide strips from the leftover fabric. Cut them in half so they measure 2 1/4″ x 20″. Randomly sew these together to use as your binding.

This is a fun design to try in different fabrics—think Christmas, Halloween, batiks, etc. The main thing to keep in mind is to have contrast between your rows of chevrons. Enjoy!

 

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Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

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

QM scrap squadB3 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

Today’s quilt is from Quiltmaker’s March/April issue, on newsstands now. You can also get it directly from us in print or digital format.

QMMP 150200 cover 5001 231x300 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and FragmentsThis design by Janice Averill is called Fragments. It’s pre-cut friendly! If you like the original quilt shown below, we have convenient kits for the 88″ x 96″ double-size featuring Forest Frolic from Timeless Treasures.

QMMP 150400 FRAGMENTS 5061 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

Fragments by Janice Averill. Fabric: Forest Frolic from Timeless Treasures. Batting: The Warm Company.

But if you’re thinking you want a different color scheme or a scrappy version, maybe the story of Donna Hanna will inspire you. Donna is the featured Scrap Squad member today. She’s from Bangor, Pennsylvania.

donnacropped1 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

Donna Hanna from Bangor, Pennsylvania

You’ll hear from Donna in her own words below.

*     *     *     *     *

For my first Scrap Squad quilt I made a variation of Fragments. I used a combination of purple fabric and orange quilt fabric just because I love how they look together.

DSC00666 opt 2 300x165 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

These are some of the fabrics I wanted to use. I kept the values (lightness or darkness) pretty close in all of them. This is one of the secrets to making successful scrap quilts.

DSC00665 opt 2 300x186 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

I chose the yellow so that it would pop against the purples.

DSC00667 opt 2 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

DSC00664 opt 2 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

I constructed only “section” blocks, which you’ll understand when you look at the pattern in Quiltmaker. I drafted the block in EQ7 quilt design software to figure out my layout.

I changed the construction of half of the blocks slightly to achieve a diagonal stripe down the quilt.

Here is an example of my blocks:

DSC00663 opt 2 e1424393296779 217x300 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

Fragments quilt blocks

And here is how they look in the finished project:

DSC00674 opt 2 e1424393335454 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

The blocks create diagonal strips of dark.

To complete the quilt I did a large loop-de-loop freehand quilting design in black.

I love piecing the backs of my quilts for added interest. I used the leftover scraps from the front and since the color combination was screaming Halloween to me, I added some Halloween prints to complete the look.

cropped back Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

The quilt back includes Halloween prints.

And here’s my finished Fragments quilt.

Quilt DSC00671 opt 2 210x300 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

*     *     *     *     *

Get the March/April ’15 issue of Quiltmaker

Get just the digital pattern for Fragments

Get a kit for the original quilt

QMMP 150400 FRAGMENTS 5061 150x150 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Donna Hanna and Fragments

Fragments by Janice Averill. Fabric: Forest Frolic from Timeless Treasures. Batting: The Warm Company.

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Crafter Spotlight: Lavonna

If you aren’t aware, March in National Craft Month. In an effort to celebrate our loyal crafters, we are spotlighting a quilter each Thursday of March. Our first quilter is Lavonna. This is the story she shared with us:

“My favorite quilt of late was one I completed in July for my now 17- year-old son, Jonas. IMG 1967 768x1024 Crafter Spotlight: Lavonna

The quilt is an original design, started in 2001 from charm squares. The funny thing is that even though I started it when my son was 4 years old, I always pictured it would eventually be a quilt for him.
I have always loved being a creative person since I was a wee-little-kid. My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 12 years old, and I have been hooked on fabric ever since. I began quilting many years ago – I can’t really remember when I really began.  I do know that my first projects were very sad indeed. I couldn’t even cut straight with scissors  in the years before rotary cutters and using rulers to get a straight cut.  I tried to challenge myself throughout the years to improve upon my quilting skills, and I am proud to say that all my hard work paid off. I had the privilege of being one of the nine quilters chosen for Quiltmaker’s Back to School Party in 2013. It was an incredible experience and such an honor to participate in.
IMG 1970 300x225 Crafter Spotlight: Lavonna
I had a very rough year in 2014 where my health went downhill and managing everyday life became very difficult. After going from doctor to doctor, trying to find solutions and healing, I finally found a Chiropractic Neurologist who knew what to do. We needed to re-connect new brain pathways so we could re-train my Nervous System to allow my body to function properly. Part of my healing process? Sewing and quilting. I know, how lucky could I be? The wonderful part of it all? It has worked. My health has improved thanks to the healing power of quilting, believe it or not.

Lavonna has a blog where she talks about her quilting. More photos of her quilt can be found there.
Do you have an awesome and inspiring quilt story to share with us? Email us at quiltmakermag@gmail.com and you could be featured in our blog this month!
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Quilty Baskets Block of the Month

The Quiltmaker team is so excited to announce their new Block of the Month quilt. This quilt, appropriately named Quilty Baskets, is an online only, exclusive block of the month quilt. The materials for this quilted throw will begin to be mailed out in April.

                                                 What are the quilt specs?

QMK151 Quilty Baskets Block of the Month

  • A two-block quilt using basket blocks and string pieced quilt blocks
  • The finished size is 59.5″ x 79.5″
  • Skills needed: string piecing and good ole’ patchwork piecing

Why should you start another quilt project?

  • Block of the month quilts are convenient! The fabric is already picked out, the instructions are made. Everything is literally delivered to your doorstep every month.
  • You can work on small chunks at a time. Since each month’s delivery consists of a quilt pattern for a basket block and a string pieced block, you only have to work on two quilt blocks during the month. That’s manageable.
  • Block of the month quilts encourage you to keep going. Each month a new delivery will come. Mark that date on your calendar. Make that as a deadline to complete your two previous quilt blocks.

What’s special about this Block of the month?

  • We know no quilter is alike, and that is why we’ve created this quilted throw in three different color ways. Decide between blue, a red and brown combination or green. Match your decor, match your personality, match your hair!
QMMP 150400 BOM 43504 Quilty Baskets Block of the Month

A basket block from the red & brown color way.

  • It’s from your trusted quilting source, Quiltmaker. We’ve made this quilt ourselves, and we must say, we approve! But we don’t want to stop there. We will be behind you 100% through the BOM. Ask us questions, share pictures and rejoice with other quilters as everyone’s block of the month comes together, one block at a time.
  • There’s more than piecing the quilt. You can learn to string piece. Your quilt guild will ohh and ahhh over your spectacular string piecing skills.

Grab one quilty friend; grab ten quilty friends, sign up for the Quilty Baskets BOM and wait patiently for April to arrive with your first fabric and pattern shipment.

My suggestion to take up the month of March? Get those UFO’s done! I know they’re piling up!

All my best,

Rachel

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QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

Twice a year, the staff at Quiltmaker pour their souls into the newest edition of Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. I am pleased to announce that the time is here to reveal the spring 2015 edition with 19 new, creative quilt designs from our original Quiltmaker quilt blocks.

 QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

This issue is on news stands today. You can also grab a copy from quiltandsewshop.com. But just for a teaser, read through the blog to see a snippet of these bright, modern, traditional, zany, calming, and all around ahhh-mazing quilts! Rumor has it, there is a giveaway at the end!

Without further ado, let’s rock these blocks!

Because I think this is just too cute, let’s start with the Ted Turtle Snuggler. This original block comes from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks vol. 1o. The pieced turtle blocks are accompanied by sashing and cute wonky blocks. It’s a crib sized quilt just perfect for a little nature boy! QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

Onward to the behemoth of a quilt, Glimmer & Glow. This is a queen sized quilt using a traditional Carpenter’s Wheel setting. The original quilt block, Shimmer is also found in volume 10 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. I would make my bed every morning if I had this quilt to behold.

 QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

What do I love most about Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks? There is literally a quilt for everyone. On the traditional side, a smattering of timeless quilt blocks made with classic fabric make up three of the quilt patterns found in this issue. For a visual feast: Returning Home.

 QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

This is a throw sized quilt utilizing the original quilt block, Sea Glitz. Designer Rebecca Silbaugh varied the sizes of this quilt block to make a throw sized marvel. I especially like the muted colors she chose for fabric. Nothing beats the red, brown and mauve combo.

Two more quilts round out the traditional size of this special issue, Around the North Star and Grandma’s Baskets. I’ll give you a hint about these, but you’ll have to pick up an issue to see the full quilt design. I bet you can’t guess which snippet goes with Grandma’s Baskets and which goes with Around the North Star!

Quilt A: Made from Grandma’s Favorite quilt block by Jacquelynne Steves. Quilt blocks arranged on point. Appliquéd flowers complete the big basket blocks. Screen Shot 2015 03 02 at 11.39.25 AM QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

Quilt B: This throw sized quilt uses 12″ and 6″ star blocks in a classic blue and white color palette.   Screen Shot 2015 03 02 at 11.40.44 AM QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

If either one of these quilt blocks strikes your fancy, be sure to pick up your copy of Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks straightaway!

Next on the docket: the more modern, bright and funky quilts for you modern, bright and funky quilters!

Spectrum is a small but mighty crib quilt. A fun fact, this quilt merely enlarged the block, Knot: My Block, and turned it into a bright quilt. If you have lots of charm squares sitting around, this quilt project is calling your name. It utilizes 56 assorted colored squares that blend into each other for a rainbow effect.

 QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

A bigger quilt, Illusion was sparked by the block, Glee. Shayla Wolf, one of our own, mirrored the block and then rotated the blocks to create this twin sized quilt. I’m a fan of geometric quilts. I love the clean lines of the quilt blocks and the simplicity of the design.

 QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

We can’t have a Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks without a quilted table runner! Cluckles takes the original quilt block, Chicken Hearted and turns it on point. Don’t stray away from this farm chic table runner just because it has appliqué! Our great instructions will guide you through every step.

 QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

And don’t forget the wall quilts! We have quilted wall hangings galore. My personal favorite is Pirouette. Perhaps I like it so much because it reminds me of my childhood dream to be a ballerina. Or maybe it’s the original quilt block, Starry Path Redux, I love so much. Just maybe it’s because this quilt uses foundation piecing, and that’s a quilt technique I’ve been yearning to learn.

 QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

Just one more glimpse at one of the quilts from this issue. Churn Dash Flash may be my absolute favorite quilt from this issue. Combining a star quilt block and the classic churn dash block is pure genius in my book. But those fabrics, Feed Company by Sweetwater for Moda, are simply amazing. Who doesn’t love a good text print?

 QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

This is only a sampling of what is in this issue. There are plenty more table runners, throw quilts, modern quilts, and traditional quilts. Be sure to pick up an issue, find it on our shop, or enter to win our giveaway…

QM RTBprize QM Rocks the Blocks has arrived!

25 lucky quilters will be receiving a prize pack from Quiltmaker. The process is simple. Comment below and tell us what quilt project from this issue you want to start on right away! Be sure to comment before midnight on Wednesday March 4th. We will be randomly selecting 25 winners and will announce the winners here.

Happy Quilting!

Rachel

***

This contest has closed. Winner’s of Quiltmaker’s Rock the Blocks giveaway are:

Shasta Matova, Greta, Susan Clarkson, Joyce Hayes, Rose Ober, Diannia McDonald, Cathy Melancon, Christine, Debby E, Lisa Marie, Wendy White, Carline Anthony, Eileen Tuss, Janell Stoeger, Kathy Hopkins, Maureen, Kay Hall, Loretta, JoyceLM, Linda Taylor, Christine Wiseman, Kathy S, Maryellen, Susan Yee and Liz Sumner.

All winner’s have been notified by email and must reply by Friday, March 13, 2015 to claim their prize.

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QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

I know you’re excited to see the next QM Bitty Block, and I’m excited to show you! These adorable small quilt blocks are freebies for quilters presented each month on Quilty Pleasures. They are so much fun.

BittyBlockLogo 300px QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home
Today I have a new quilt block for you, but we also decided we wanted to tell you more about the row quilts these blocks can become. Please read the related post so you don’t miss any of the important information.

marchpre1 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

March’s QM Bitty Block is a cute little 3″ house.

March’s QM Bitty Block is a little 3″ house block I’ve dubbed Home Sweet Home. It is so cute! I dreamed up the block one evening and shot the measurements to Paula in a text. Before the next morning, she had made a whole boatload of colorful house blocks!

march14 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Paula’s little houses

This block is easy like the Bow Ties were. We wanted to give you a break after the sweet but somewhat labor-intensive Bitty Baskets. You’ll enjoy the houses—they’re quick and easy.

Printer-friendly pdf for Home Sweet Home house quilt block.

march4 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Six patches are needed for each house quilt block.

For one house block, you’ll need:

Background (white):
2 squares 2″ x 2″
2 rectangles 1″ x 2″

House (red):
1 rectangle
2″ x 2-1/2″

Roof (teal):
1 rectangle
2″ x 3-1/2″

I started by cutting several 2″-wide strips from light fabrics for the backgrounds and medium to dark fabrics for the houses. Then I subcut all of the patches from these 2″ strips.

march15 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet HomeHere’s a little trick that Paula discovered. If you cut 6″ segments from the 2″ strips, you can get the four background patches, or one house patch and one roof patch, from every 2″ x 6″ segment. Handy to know if you’re using scraps!

 

march4 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Six patches are needed for each house quilt block.

Select the patches for one house block. You can make all four background patches the same, or you can mix them up.

Use Stitch & Flip to create the roof section. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 2″ x 2″ background patch. Align the background patch on one end of the roof patch, right sides together. Sew on the marked line.

march5 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Sew on the diagonal line.

Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ as shown below.

march6 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″.

Flip the background patch open and press.

march7 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Flip the background patch open and press.

Repeat with the other 2″ x 2″ background patch on the other end.

march8 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Repeat for the other end of the roof.

This completes the roof section.

march9 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

You’ve just made a roof!

Sew the small background rectangles to each side of the house patch as shown below. This completes the house section.

march10 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Sew the background rectangles to each side of the house patch as shown.

Join the roof section and the house section to complete the house block. Its unfinished size is 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ for a finished size of 3″ x 3″.

marchpre1 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Completed house quilt block is 3.5″ x 3.5″ unfinished, to finish at 3″ square.

Wasn’t that fun?!

march12 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

It’s easy to make them quickly.

It’s easy to make them quickly, and it’s easy to get carried away.

march13 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Six of my little Bitty Houses.

Just ask Paula!

march16 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

Paula has many, many Bitty Blocks hanging in her office.

I used the smudge tool so as not to give away the upcoming Bitty Blocks. We want to surprise you!

Here’s a printer-friendly pdf for the Home Sweet Home house quilt block.

DPQM10914 231x300 QM Bitty Blocks: Home Sweet Home

This Home Sweet Home Bitty Block had us recalling a past issue of Quiltmaker. We thought back, way back, to the September/October issue last year. This issue focused on house blocks and house quilts. The cover alone is too cute for words. We couldn’t help but flip through and find our favorites. Perhaps you should get a digital copy and do the same!

• Please see my separate post which tells about the various sizes of row quilts you can make with your #qmbittyblocks.

• Please help us spread the word by Pinning any of the images in this post. We’d appreciate any sharing you’d like to do by using the social media icons below this post. Use the hashtag #qmbittyblocks.

• Please email us photos of your own Bitty Blocks! Use editor@quiltmaker.com.

 

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QM Bitty Blocks: The Row Quilts

QM Bitty Blocks are sweet little 3″ or 4″ quilt block patterns given monthly on Quilty Pleasures. We’re having so much fun with them! If you make Bitty Blocks each month, you’ll have enough to make a row quilt by the end of the year.

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: The Row Quilts
If you need to catch up, see all of the Bitty Blocks patterns and posts.

We wanted to show you the various row quilt sizes and options now. QM’s Creative Editor Paula Stoddard came up with several possibilities. Choose the one that suits you best and make quilt blocks in the appropriate numbers. Here’s a printer-friendly pdf of these layouts.

30x37 QM Bitty Blocks: The Row Quilts

The smallest version is 30″ x 37″.

Shown above is the smallest version at 30″ x 37″. For the 3″ blocks such as the House and the Bow Tie, you’ll make 8 blocks for a row. For the 4″ blocks such as the Basket, you’ll make 6 blocks for a row. There are 6 rows of blocks.

And yes, we’re giving you a little hint of what’s to come: Flying Geese! Stay tuned for the instructions.

54x66 QM Bitty Blocks: The Row Quilts

This quilt is throw size at 54″ x 66″.

A larger throw-size quilt comes in at 54″ x 66″, above. For the 3″ blocks, make 16 per row. For the 4″ blocks, make 12 per row. There are 12 rows of blocks.

66x75 QM Bitty Blocks: The Row Quilts

For a larger throw, make this version at 66″ x 75″.

For a larger throw, make the version above at 66″ x 75″. There are 14 rows of blocks. For 3″ blocks, you’ll make 20 blocks per row. For 4″ blocks, you’ll make 15 blocks per row.

66x85 QM Bitty Blocks: The Row Quilts

This version is even larger at 66″ x 85″.

Perhaps you want a longer quilt. Paula created this 66″ x 85″ version to fit the bill. There are 16 rows of blocks. The numbers are the same as the quilt layout above it: 20 blocks per row for the 3″ blocks, and 15 blocks per row for the 4″ blocks.

78x85 QM Bitty Blocks: The Row Quilts

For seriously addicted Bitty Blocks makers, we have this 78″ x 85″ whopper.

If you’ve gotten seriously addicted to Bitty Blocks like some of us have, this super-sized 78″ x 85″ version might be for you. There are 16 rows of blocks. Make 24 blocks per row for any 3″ blocks. Make 18 blocks per row for any 4″ blocks.

Get a printer-friendly pdf of the row quilt layouts.

Stay tuned for instructions to make the adorable tiny Flying Geese quilt blocks—easier than you might think!

BB square1 300x300 QM Bitty Blocks: The Row Quilts

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QM Scrap Addicts Use Bonnie Hunter Quilt Blocks

Today I’m excited to announce a new project that fans of Bonnie Hunter and makers of scrap quilts will surely love. You may be familiar with the in-print column Bonnie writes for Quiltmaker’s regular issues called Addicted to Scraps.

ATSfunlogoidea QM Scrap Addicts Use Bonnie Hunter Quilt BlocksFor each Addicted column, Bonnie makes a scrappy quilt block and we create a pattern for it. The block images are posted online with setting ideas.

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We’ve decided it’s time to take it one step further and show you the amazing scrappy quilts that can be made from Bonnie’s Addicted to Scraps quilt blocks!

ATSfunlogoidea2 QM Scrap Addicts Use Bonnie Hunter Quilt Blocks We’ve gathered a team of enthusiastic reader-sewers who are going to take the blocks and make scrap quilts from them. These folks, called QM Scrap Addicts. will come up with their own color schemes, settings, borders, and so on, or they may decide to use our online setting ideas. They have a lot of creative license and we’re very excited to see what they come up with.

This is Twirl Around, Bonnie’s Addicted to Scraps block for the March/April issue of Quiltmaker. As you can see, the quit block features simple half square triangles and square units.

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I love the colors Bonnie used because they look like spring (which can’t be far away, can it?) But wait until you see what our Scrap Addicts did with it.

Doris Rice from Brownwood, Texas wanted to make a patriotic quilt from Twirl Around. But she was away from home, helping her parents move. She says, “I put out an SOS on Facebook to my hometown quilting friends and they came through like quilting friends do. I had a bunch of stash fabrics in red/white/blue in a matter of hours.”

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Doris Rice made quilt blocks using the Twirl Around pattern.

Doris made quilt blocks using the Twirl Around pattern. And incidentally, she says they saved her sanity during a stressful time.

doristwirl2 QM Scrap Addicts Use Bonnie Hunter Quilt BlocksThe blocks turned into a scrappy patriotic quilt top.

doristwirl3 QM Scrap Addicts Use Bonnie Hunter Quilt BlocksThe quilt top turned into a quilt with Doris’s amazing machine quilting once she returned home to Texas. Isn’t it absolutely smashing?!? Please help me give Doris a virtual round of applause by leaving a comment below. Lovely job!

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Get the Twirl Around block pattern in QM’s March/April issue.

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Jump-start your own patriotic quilt with 10″ squares in red, white and blue from Keepsake Quilting.

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Scrap Quilt Ideas: Kathy’s Pointed Prisms

Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of readers who make scrap quilts from Quiltmaker patterns. They share their scrappy quilt ideas here on Quilty Pleasures in order to inspire you. Read more about Scrap Squad and see slideshows of past scrap quilt projects on our Scrap Squad page.

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Today’s featured quilt is from the March/April issue of Quiltmaker, on newsstands now. Print or digital copies are also available on QuiltandSewShop.com.

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Quiltmaker March/April ’15

Pointed Prisms is a chevron quilt designed by Kari Ramsay and pieced by Hatty Brown. The fabrics are Bali Batiks from Hoffman California Fabrics.

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Pointed Prisms, designed by Kari Ramsay, shown in Bali Batiks by Hoffman California Fabrics

If you like our original version, convenient quilt kits are available.

Today’s featured quilter is Kathy Wagner from Cambridge, Ontario. We’re so happy to have a Canadian on the Scrap Squad to represent the thousands of readers we have there.

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Kathy Wagner

You’ll hear from Kathy in her own words below.

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It is so exciting to be sharing my first quilt as part of the Scrap Squad for 2015. This project was a real challenge for me, but I am delighted with the outcome.

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Leftovers set the stage for this colourful quilt.

I started with two fabrics left over from a quilt I made last year (still a UFO!) to use as the two main fabrics for the large triangles. My background was white and I chose scraps for the small triangles based on the colors in the two main fabrics.

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Using the 60º marks on my ruler

Since I don’t enjoy using templates for cutting fabric, I cut all my pieces using my rotary cutter and the 60° markings on my rulers.

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Cutting 60º triangles from strips

I cut my fabric in strips as listed in the cutting instructions, and then cut the triangles from those strips.

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The ruler’s markings were very helpful.

The smaller scraps were cut and placed on the design wall. As I cut more fabrics, I made decisions about which colours could stay and which ones were voted off the quilt. Many of my original choices did not get to stay, and that’s the way it is when you make scrappy quilts.

The section 1 and section 2 blocks were sewn first, and I made a lot of them so I could play with colour and have fun with the final layout. I sewed the B, Br and A pieces for the ends of the rows.

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A bit of triangle piecing

I work on quilt layouts the way many people cook. I add a bit of this and a pinch of that, see if I like it and make revisions as I go along.

I liked the yellows, but not the pale scraps, so I cut more of the lemony fabrics. I decided that I liked the yellow (sunny skies) fabrics at the top, and the green (grass and gardens) fabrics at the bottom, so I made a few more of those blocks to make up a whole row. The orange and pink fabrics were my favorites, so I used a lot of those throughout the quilt.

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I make decisions about colors and fabrics as I go along.

Here are some of my layout tips:

- Take photos of the design wall as you work on the layout. I really liked the dark green fabric until I saw it on the computer screen. It stood out like a sore thumb, so it was removed from the quilt. Sometimes photographs show things in a different way than your eyes see them.

- Leave it on the design wall for a couple of days before you sew the rows together. Every time you walk by, ask yourself what would make you like the quilt more. Make any changes that your creative ideas suggest.

- When you like an arrangement, take another photo just in case the blocks fall down and you have to put them back on the design wall. (Ask me how I learned to do that!)

Once the layout was organized to my liking, I sewed the rows together. I really tried hard to sew slowly and carefully so as to not lose the triangle points in the seams. If the triangle tip was totally gone, I re-sewed the seam, but that didn’t happen too often, since I really detest unsewing!

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Unsewing as needed!

Here is the quilt top, which I finished while enjoying a sewing day with my quilting friends.

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I sewed the quilt top together during a sewing day with friends.

I machine quilt the majority of my quilts on my domestic sewing machine. I have as much fun picking out the threads as I do when selecting fabrics. Why pick one colour when you could use 10? I emptied four of these spools when quilting the brown floral patches on my quilt.

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A variety of colors were used up on this quilting.

 When I start, I like to quilt a few lines with my walking foot to stabilize the quilt.

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Stabilizing the quilt layers with some straight lines and the walking foot

Then I have a wonderful time playing with the free motion foot and making up the quilting design as I go along. On the brown fabric I outline stitched most of the flowers. On the yellow fabric I free motion quilted flowers and loops. And on the white fabric I made arcs using different colours of thread.

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I quilted Pointed Prisms on a domestic sewing machine.

I made my quilt two rows shorter than the original pattern since this quilt will be for my niece who has a double size Ikea loft bed.

Here is the quilt on my bed at quilt retreat. The sun is shining on it which created some shadows, but I hope you can see the quilting designs.

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Pointed Prisms on the bed at quilt retreat

I felt like spring was right around the corner the whole time I worked on this quilt, even though it was snowing and  -25 degrees every day (colder at night!). I finished it while at quilt retreat, and I convinced my friends to go outside for a photo shoot.

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Kathy’s finished Pointed Prisms quilt

They’re such good friends—to go outside to help me out with a photo shoot on a day like that. Believe me when I tell you that the wind was blowing hard and we were freezing. This is the best we could do!

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Brrrrrzy cold photo shoot!

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Get the March/April issue of Quiltmaker

Get the Pointed Prisms digital pattern (no shipping!)

Get a kit for the original Pointed Prisms quilt

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