Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour: Day 2

Welcome back to Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour. This is Day 2 to celebrate the release of Volume 12, the dark green issue.

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Find it on newsstands, at quilt shops or on our website today in print and digital versions. Be sure to get your copy before they run out.

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Love You by Janet Maurer for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 12

Lots more exciting content today, beginning with the…

Tour Tip

You may have noticed that thread comes loaded onto spools in two different fashions. Viewed from the side, if the threads run horizontally and lie right next to each other, the thread is stacked.

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Stacked on the left, cross-wound on the right

If the thread runs diagonally and crosses itself, the spool is crosswound. In the photo above, the thread on the right is crosswound. You can see that it’s different from the stacked spool on the left.

Why does this matter? Because you want the thread to feed differently from the spool depending on how it is wound. Stacked thread is intended to feed off the side of the spool. For the best results, use a vertical spoolpin (points upward) for stacked threads. The spool should rotate freely on the spoolpin. The small piece of wool or flannel that slips over the spoolpin and sits beneath the thread helps to accomplish this.

Crosswound thread is intended to feed off the top of the spool. A horizontal spoolpin (spool on its side) works well for crosswound threads. The thread slips off the top of the spool; there is generally no “pull” involved and the spool is stationary (it does not rotate). Learn more and see photos!

 

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We have another new free QM Bitty Block today. I designed this 3″ block especially for the blog tour. I love giving away free quilt block patterns!

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Bitty Spools, a 3″ #qmbittyblock designed especially for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks blog tour

I’m enamored with this one. It’s so small and so cute. And really, it’s no harder to sew across a 1-1/4″ square than it is to sew across a larger 4″ square. You’ll see! Get the complete free quilt pattern for Bitty Spools.

QM1550 WRIG Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Blog Tour: Day 2

Mobile Apts. by Kathryn Wagar Wright for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 12

Let’s get you rolling on to the designer blogs, where there are many chances to win yourself a copy of Volume 12. Be sure to follow their instructions, and read to the bottom for a chance to win here, too.

Today’s Featured Designers

  1. Lorna McMahon
  2. Sherri Noel
  3. Pam Vieira-McGinnis
  4. Robin Koehler
  5. Jacquelynne Steves
  6. Wendy Kruskie
  7. Jennifer Ofenstein
  8. Sandi Irish

So many wonderful ideas. So much inspiration. I hope you’re enjoying the blog tour.

Giveaway time! Leave a comment by midnight Wednesday, Nov. 18 and tell us about your level of quilting experience. Beginner? Expert? Somewhere in the middle? We’d love to know! Don’t be shy about giving yourself credit for your skills. We’ll choose five lucky winners for copies of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 12.

Winner’s of the Day 2 Giveaway are: Carol, Beth T., Ritainalaska, Diane S., and Kathy E. Winner’s have been notified by email.

Two Bonus winner’s have been chosen, they will receive a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks vol.12 and a couple quilty books! The Day 2 Bonus Winners are: Jamie and Renata. The winner’s have been notified by email.

QM1550 HANS Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Blog Tour: Day 2

Snow Dance by Vicki Hansen for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 12

Be sure to pick up your copy of this issue when you see it on newsstands, or get it from our website. Free shipping on US orders over $50.

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Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 12, on newsstands Tuesday, 11/17

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Blog Tour Bitty Blocks: Anne’s Morning Star

As part of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour for Volume 12, we’re giving away new #qmbittyblocks each day.

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Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 12, on newsstands Tuesday, 11/17

Some of the Bitty Blocks will be designed by people who have blocks in this great new issue, like Anne Wiens, who designed today’s Morning Star.

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Morning Star by Anne Wiens for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour, #qmbittyblocks

This little darling finishes at just 3″. Its effect is smashing!

Here are instructions for one Morning Star Bitty Block. Anne cut her half- and quarter-square triangles oversized and then trimmed then down for perfect accuracy on these small patches. If you prefer to make them to the exact size, use the dimensions in parentheses. Our instructions guide you to use the oversized patches and then trim them down.

Materials and Cutting

(Printer-friendly instructions here)

For one 3″ finished block:

One 1-1/2″ square for center; shown as owl print
Two 2″ squares background (1-7/8″); shown white
Two 2-1/2″ squares for star points (2-1/4″); shown orange
Two 2″ squares and one 2-1/2″ square for star background (1-7/8″ & 2-1/4″); shown teal
One 2-1/2″ square for diamond around center (2-1/4″); shown green

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Patches needed for Morning Star quilt block

 Use the 2″ squares of white and teal to make 4 half-square triangles as follows.

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Mark the diagonal on the wrong side of one square.

Mark the diagonal on the wrong side of one square. Layer the squares with right sides together.

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Sew 1/4″ out on both sides of the marked diagonal line.

Sew 1/4″ out on both sides of the marked diagonal line as indicted by the blue lines. Cut between the lines of stitching to yield 2 triangle-squares. Repeat for a total of 4 triangle-squares. Trim the units to 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ as needed.

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Anne uses the Tucker Trimmer to trim her oversized patchwork down to size. The left photo above shows the first cuts you would make along the tip and right side of the ruler. The right photo shows the second cuts you would make.

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Layer the green, teal and orange patches together and cut diagonally in both directions as shown.

Layer the 2-1/2″ green, teal and orange patches together and cut diagonally in both directions as shown.

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Arrange the patches as shown.

Arrange the patches as shown above. Sew the patches together to create a quarter-square triangle. Make 4 matching quarter-square triangles. Trim each one to 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ as needed.

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Anne uses the Tucker Trimmer for this task as well. The left photo above shows where you’d make the first trim. The right photo shows the second trim.

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Sew the patches into rows as shown.

Sew the patches into three rows as shown. Sew the rows together to complete the block.

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Morning Star by Anne Wiens for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour, #qmbittyblocks

These 3″ darlings are so sweet! I know you’ll want to make a whole pile of them!

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Some of Anne’s finished Morning Star blocks

Be sure to get your copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 12 when it appears on newsstands and our website tomorrow, 11/17/15.

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Help us spread the word! Share your Bitty Blocks online using #qmbittyblocks.

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Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour: Day 1

Welcome to Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour!

This is Day 1 and I’m so glad you’re here. We have totally freshened up the tour so I have a lot to share with you this week! I hope you’ll have fun and learn something and be especially inspired by all the creativity in Volume 12, which appears on newsstands and our website tomorrow, 11/17. Be sure to get your copy soon.

Vol12 blog tour this week socialmedia Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Blog Tour: Day 1

Each day of this week’s tour, I’ll be sharing one of my best tips from more than four decades of sewing experience. Here is today’s…

Tour Tip

The optimum stitch length for piecing is 2.0 mm or about 12 to 13 stitches per inch. The default setting on most machines is much longer than this.

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Shorten your stitch length and see if your piecing doesn’t improve significantly! (The reason? Feeding less fabric under the needle between stitches reduces the fabric’s chance to “wiggle.”)

 

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The other surprise is that we are giving away special Blog Tour Bitty Blocks all week long! You may be familiar with the QM Bitty Blocks we’ve been posting for free all year. They are adorable!

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Morning Star by Anne Wiens for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour, #qmbittyblocks

We asked a few 100 Blocks designers to come up with special Blog Tour Bitties! Today’s Bitty Block is this 3″ Morning Star block by Anne Wiens of Sweetgrass Creative Designs and Seams Like a Plan. Get complete instructions for this free quilt block pattern.

 

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Spring in Bloom by Cheryl Almgren Taylor for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 12, on newsstands tomorrow 11/17/15

 

 

Hoffman prize Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Blog Tour: Day 1We want to recognize today’s fabric sponsor, Hoffman California Fabrics. They have contributed wonderful prizes for giveaway: Me+You Bali Pops!

 

Hoffman has sent five of their new Me+You Bali Pops made with Indah Solids and Indah Batiks. Each Bali Pop has 40 different fabrics of Hoffman’s hand-dyed solids and coordinating accent batiks in color 636-Simple.

 

Details for how to enter at the end of this post. Who wouldn’t love to get Bali Pops in the mailbox?! Our sincere thanks to Hoffman California Fabrics for their partnership.

Visit Hoffman’s blog for lots of inspiration and another chance to win!

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Now…

Let’s send you to some great blog posts by designers for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 12.

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Follow the instructions on each post for your chance to win a copy of this issue. And leave a comment on this post for more chances to win!

Today’s Featured Designers

  1. Kelli Fannin
  2. Cheryl Brickey
  3. Melissa Corry
  4. Anne Wiens
  5. Jessie Kurtz
  6. Jennifer Schifano Thomas
  7. Belinda Karls-Nace
  8. Dodi Poulsen
QM1550 GENT Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Blog Tour: Day 1

Spotlight by Kay Gentry for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 12, on newsstands tomorrow, 11/17/15

Now it’s giveaway time! Leave a comment here before midnight on Tuesday, 11/17/15 for your chance to win this issue and other quilty surprises including the Hoffman fabric mentioned above. In your comment, tell us what you enjoyed on today’s blog tour. We’ll choose five winners and announce them here.

The winner’s of the Day 1 Giveaway are: Mary, Lu Wilmot, Karyn, Nancy D. and Linda Webster. Winners have been notified by email.

Two Bonus winner’s have been chosen, they will receive a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks vol.12 and a couple quilty books! The Day 1 Bonus Winners are: JoAnne T. and Loris Mills. The winner’s have been notified by email.

See you tomorrow for Day 2 and eight more talented block designers plus five more giveaways!

QM1550 COVER 200px Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Blog Tour: Day 1

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Join Quiltmaker’s Treasure Hunt: Part 3

TH15 logo Join Quiltmakers Treasure Hunt: Part 3Quiltmaker’s 2015 Treasure Hunt contest is in full swing! We’re giving away more than $17,000 in quilting prizes to 27 different winners during this year’s contest. To enter, you’ll need to find this Treasure Hunt button on the websites of contest sponsors. Start with a copy of Quiltmaker’s Nov/Dec ’15 issue. The advertisements from our Treasure Hunt sponsors contain clues to help you find the buttons. Each button found will take you to a new entry form in the contest. You can enter a total of 17 times – once on each sponsor’s website and once here on Quiltmaker.com. You can learn more about the Treasure Hunt and the prizes up for grabs on our main Treasure Hunt page.

We’re spotlighting our Treasure Hunt sponsors and their products here on Quilty Pleasures throughout the contest – and offering a few Treasure Hunt clues for you along the way. (Missed any of these posts so far? Catch up on them here.) Today we’ll highlight Quilting Treasures, Superior Threads, Red Rooster and The Grace Company.

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Sassy

First up today, we’re featuring Quilting Treasures. You are going to love their new fabric line Sassy by Studio 8! Featuring shades of gold and blue, this sunny collection of prints is both bright and playful. And, on Quilting Treasures’ site you can download a free quilt pattern to make this lively lap-size Sassy quilt pattern designed by Wendy Sheppard.

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FREE Sassy quilt pattern

Be sure to also check out Quilting Treasures’ Project Sheets page to discover lots more free quilt patterns (including a bonus table runner pattern made with the Sassy fabric line).


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King Tut and MasterPiece by Alex Anderson

Our friends at Superior Threads offer a great variety of high-quality notions, needles and threads, including the “kings of cotton”: King Tut and MasterPiece by Alex Anderson. Check out their new & featured products page to stay up-to-date on their favorite products - including must-have staff favorites, best sellers, new arrivals and all-around good buys.

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While you’re on Superior Threads’ website, stop by their video page to find a variety of educational tutorials, like this video on how to adjust long arm bobbin tension.


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Classic Elegance

Red Rooster always has great floral prints, and their new line Classic Elegance is absolutely gorgeous. Designed by Gerri Robinson of Planted Seed Designs, the master print features red roses with trailing vines and leaves on a black or cream ground. The coordinates include medium and small-scale bouquets and sprigs, a tonal dot and more. Download a free pattern to create this lovely star quilt Gerri designed for this collection!

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Check out Red Rooster’s current patterns page to find more great quilt patterns, many of which have a free download available.


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TH GraceCompany Qnique Join Quiltmakers Treasure Hunt: Part 3

Have you seen The Grace Company‘s new Grace Q’Nique Quilter 14+? This mid-arm quilting machine fills that spot between a domestic sewing machine and a long-arm quilter. It provides everything you’d expect from a mid-arm, plus many functions that until now had been the exclusive hallmarks of larger, more expensive machines.

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Click here to learn more and watch a video of the Grace Q’Nique Quilter 14+ in action.

We gratefully acknowledge Quilting Treasures, Superior Threads, Red Rooster and The Grace Company for their generous sponsorship during the Treasure Hunt. We appreciate their partnership.

Visit our Treasure Hunt homepage to learn more about the contest! The contest closes on Dec. 1, so you still have plenty of time to find the buttons. We hope you’ll enjoy the process while you discover all the fun products, patterns and more on our sponsors’ sites.

Happy Treasure Hunting,
Natalie

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Simple Quilt Patterns eBook – FREE!

Whether you’re a beginning quilter just learning the ropes or a seasoned sewist looking for a quick weekend project, everyone loves a nice easy quilt pattern. That’s why we’ve compiled three of our most popular simple quilt patterns into a brand new eBook for our free eBook library. No matter your skill level, we think you’ll love these free quilt patterns. The three quilts represent a variety of sizes and styles, so there’s something for everyone.

QMSimpleQuilts Simple Quilt Patterns eBook   FREE!

Designs include Be a Star,  a crib quilt that’s perfect for learning the basics of quiltmaking. The pieced design is made up of simple star blocks. Rambling Vine is a gorgeous quilt that showcases strip piecing and casually placed appliqué in an easy-to-construct design. Directions are given in the eBook for both throw and twin sizes. And, sewn entirely from strips, Woven Ribbons is a quick throw quilt you can whip up in a weekend’s time.

Download your free copy of the Simple Quilt Patterns eBook today to add to your personal quilt pattern library. With your free download of Simple Quilt Patterns, you’ll become a part of the Quiltmaker community – this includes Quilty News, our free biweekly e-newsletter that’s full of extra projects, free quilt patterns and special offers.

If this is your first Quiltmaker free eBook download, be sure to check out the rest of our free eBooks here. We hope you all enjoy this new collection of free quilt patterns!

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

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Strip Quilting with Gudrun Erla

Do you want to take your strip quilting techniques to the next level? Veteran quilting teacher Gudrun Erla of GE Quilt Designs is a master at making strip quilts, and she’s sharing all her expertise in our upcoming Stripology course on Craft University.

stripology Strip Quilting with Gudrun Erla

Gudrun Erla

In this online course, Gudrun will teach you how to make successful strip-pieced quilts using her Stripology ruler. She’ll share her helpful tips and tricks for cutting strips, rectangles and squares of various sizes while you create four unique quilt designs: the Steamy Windows quilt (throw-size), the Strip Lash quilt (mini, ribbon and crib size), the Strip Ribbons Quilt (mini, ribbon and crib size) and the Strip Twist Quilt (mini, ribbon and crib size). Note: These quilts can easily be made larger by making more blocks.

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Steamy Windows quilt

 You’ll discover how to cut your strips and pieces accurately without constantly realigning your ruler and straightening your fabric, and how to easily cut strips for any pattern that calls for pre-cut strips. The online course includes a total of six hours of instruction.

StripLash Strip Quilting with Gudrun Erla

Strip Lash quilt

“Through the six lessons, we’re going to work on four different quilts either using 2-1/2″ strips or 1-1/2″ strips,” Gudrun said about the course. “I’m going to give you my best stripping techniques and tips. We’re going to learn how to cut efficiently and effectively using the ruler. We’re going to work on some 60 degree angles, and I’m also going to teach you how to work with partial seams. So I hope you join me for all the fun!”

StripRibbons Strip Quilting with Gudrun Erla

Strip Ribbons quilt

Interested in learning more about how Gudrun’s Stripology ruler works? Our content director Carolyn Beam has tried it and loved out – check out her blog about it here!

StripTwist Strip Quilting with Gudrun Erla

Strip Twist Quilt

The Stripology online course runs Nov. 13 – Dec. 24, 2015. Because the course is online, you can access the course content, watch the videos and quilt along at your convenience.

Learn more about Stripology with Gudrun Erla on Craft University!

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

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Scrap Quilt Ideas: Pam’s Moon Flower

Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of readers who make scrap quilts from the patterns in our regular issues. Their job is to experiment—to see what happens when they play with their stash and our designs.

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Today’s quilt is from the just-out Nov/Dec ’15 Quiltmaker, on newsstands now, or in our online store in print and digital versions.

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Today’s quilt is by Pam Snow from Mesa, Arizona. She made a version of the cover quilt above, Old World Christmas. You’ll hear from Pam in her own words below.

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Pam Snow

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I stepped outside my comfort zone when I selected Old World Christmas for my Scrap Squad project. I’m not a fan of foundation piecing—over the years I’ve completed a few small projects with this technique, but never a quilt.

You’ll find instructions for foundation piecing in Quiltmaker’s Basic Lessons section in every issue. Or try the on-demand web seminar: Paper Piecing Made Easy!

I decided to make a 42″ x 50″ crib size quilt. I selected scraps of 30’s reproductions and hand-dyed ombre pastels from my stash. Foundation piecing is a great way to use up those small pieces of fabric that you can’t bring yourself to throw away.

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30′s reproductions and ombres

This quilt takes 20 blocks and 40 paper copies of the foundation pattern. Make sure that your copies are always made from the original pattern. It’s helpful to use the same copier or printer for all of the copies.

You can purchase special foundation paper in quilt shops, or you can use the cheap copy paper from discount stores. It works and it’s inexpensive!

For this quilt, I made these color substitutions.

  • Cream is now 30′s reproduction print
  • Green is orange ombre
  • Dark red is purple ombre
  • Yellow is green ombre
  • Red is orange ombre

Make the following blocks.

  • 5 of Block T
  • 6 of Block U
  • 4 of Block W
  • 4 of Block Y
  • 1 of Block Z

I made templates a little larger than each piece and cut my fabric pieces prior to sewing. 

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Templates

Since there were many pieces and some similar in shape, I found a small organizer and placed each section of the pattern in a drawer.  I placed the organizer near my sewing machine. I put a small light box under the acrylic sewing table of my Janome 15000. This helped me place the fabrics before I stitched each foundation patch.

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Organizer

I put a small light box under the acrylic sewing table of my Janome 15000. This helped me place the fabrics before I stitched each foundation patch.

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Light box

I also organized my workspace. I put a small cutting mat and ironing surface near my machine. I had everything handy: rotary cutter, scissors, small ruler, Add-A-Quarter ruler, seam ripper and dry iron.

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Organized work space

As I made the blocks, I found the Add-A-Quarter ruler to be helpful with the trimming.

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The Add-A-Quarter ruler is invaluable for foundation piecing projects.

Here is the center of the quilt, after all 40 sections were complete. There are five rows of four blocks in each row.

quilt center Scrap Quilt Ideas: Pams Moon Flower

The quilt center

 

The medallion no longer resembles a Christmas ornament. It’s more circular and I think it looks like a flower. It’s because I replaced Block X with Block Y, and Block V with Block T.

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The medallion looks more like a flower now.

 

When choosing a quilting pattern for a foundation-pieced project, take into consideration that some of the seams are bulky—such as the center of the square below. I chose a quilting design that did not stitch through the center.

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I chose a quilting design that didn’t go through the bulky areas at the center.

I used variegated thread for the quilting, which is a design is from my Handi Quilter Avante Pro Stitcher. I extended the flower petal lines into the border, and I bound the quilt with 30′s reproduction fabric.

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Some of the border quilting; you can see the effect of the variegated thread.

I used four pastel ombre fabrics for the 5″ borders. I only had enough of each fabric for one side of the border, so that’s what I went with!

Moon Flower edited 1 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Pams Moon Flower

Moon Flower

I think the quilt has a “hippie” vibe. I named it Moon Flower—it’s an interesting mix of hand-dyed fabrics and 30′s reproductions!

*     *     *     *     *

Get the digital pattern for Old World Christmas and start making a quilt of your own right away!

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Old World Christmas designed by Emily Breclaw

Posted in Quilting 101, Scrap Squad | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Join Quiltmaker’s Treasure Hunt: Part 2

TH15 logo Join Quiltmakers Treasure Hunt: Part 2Quiltmaker’s 2015 Treasure Hunt contest is in full swing! We’re giving away more than $17,000 in quilting prizes to 27 different winners during this year’s contest. To enter, you’ll need to find this Treasure Hunt button on the websites of contest sponsors. Start with a copy of Quiltmaker’s Nov/Dec ’15 issue. The advertisements from our Treasure Hunt sponsors contain clues to help you find the buttons. Each button found will take you to a new entry form in the contest. You can enter a total of 17 times – once on each sponsor’s website and once here on Quiltmaker.com. You can learn more about the Treasure Hunt and the prizes up for grabs on our main Treasure Hunt page.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to highlight our Treasure Hunt sponsors and their products – and offer a few Treasure Hunt clues along the way. Catch up on our first post in this series here. Today, we’ll be featuring Timeless Treasures, Sulky and Hoffman Fabrics.

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TH TimelessTreasures Paris Join Quiltmakers Treasure Hunt: Part 2

Paris Rendezvous

Our first featured sponsor today is Timeless Treasures. They have a new fabric line named Paris Rendezvous that is absolutely gorgeous. The elegant collection includes the Eiffel Tower, scenic toile, paisley prints, butterflies and roses in soft shades of pink, tan, cream and brown. On the Timeless Treasures website, you can download a free pattern to make this beautiful Parisienne quilt designed by Raija Salomaa of Quilters’ Treasure Chest.

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FREE Broome Street pattern for the Parisienne quilt

While you’re checking out the Timeless Treasures site, be sure to visit their blog to stay up-to-date on new collections plus discover free patterns, tips, tutorials and much more!


Sulky Join Quiltmakers Treasure Hunt: Part 2

TH Sulky GoldenGate Join Quiltmakers Treasure Hunt: Part 2

Golden Gate art wall hanging by Carol Ingram

Have you heard about all the new products Sulky has to offer? They have been busy in their Education Department this year with new online classes for machine embroidery, appliqué and quilting taught by industry experts. One of the projects that participants in their Seasons with Sulky Online Teacher Certification Continuing Education Class will make is this gorgeous Golden Gate art wall hanging designed by Carol Ingram. Learn more about this course, and all of Sulky’s new upcoming online and live events here!

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FREE Spoolie Measuring Tape embroidery by Joyce Drexler

Of course, Sulky also has lots of great thread, stabilizers, books and more in their online store, and they’re offering a special discount code to Treasure Hunters to take 25 percent off your entire order! They also have lots of free project downloads, include this free Measuring Tape Spoolie machine embroidery design. Check out both of these offers here.


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TH Hoffman Crystalia Join Quiltmakers Treasure Hunt: Part 2

Crystalia style #N4240

Have you ever participated in Hoffman’s annual Hoffman Challenge? They just kicked off their 2016 Challenge, and this year they are offering a digitally printed fabric as the Challenge Fabric in two versions – black and white (style #N4240 from the Crystalia collection pictured above). They’ve also aded a Home Decor category to the challenge for the first time this year. Detailed information about how to enter can be found here.

TH Hoffman BrightChristmas Join Quiltmakers Treasure Hunt: Part 2

FREE Bright Christmas quilt pattern

Be sure to also check out all the great free quilt patterns featured on Hoffman’s site! This festive beauty is Bright Christmas designed by Linda Ambrosini featuring fabrics from the Bright Christmas digital-print collection and selected Hoffman Bali Batiks & Hand-dyes.

We gratefully acknowledge Timeless Treasures, Sulky and Hoffman for their generous sponsorship during the Treasure Hunt. We appreciate their partnership.

Visit our Treasure Hunt homepage for more information about the contest! You’ve still got plenty of time to enter before the contest closes on Dec. 1, so take your time and enjoy the process. As you can see, there is much to discover on our sponsors’ sites along the way!

Happy Treasure Hunting,
Natalie

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QM Bitty Blocks: November’s Friendship Stars

Welcome back to QM Bitty Blocks!

I’m happy to share November’s Bitty Block with you—a 3″ Friendship Star. These are so cute! Just like all of the other Bitty Blocks we’ve given the patterns for, these are so addictive—I can’t stop making them.

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: November’s Friendship Stars

You’ll need 2 fabrics for this block: one for the background and one for the star. For my blocks, I used a lighter background and darker star. You could also reverse the values for your star. Another option is to use a third fabric for the star center—so many options!

Friendship Star QM Bitty Blocks: November’s Friendship Stars

Friendship Star

Printer-friendly instructions for November’s Bitty Friendship Star

Cutting:

Background Fabric (light print)

2 squares 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″
4 squares 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″

Star Fabric (red dot)

2 squares 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″
1 square 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″

First, let’s make the triangle-squares. The first thing you’ll need to do is draw a line from corner to corner on the wrong side of each background (light) 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″ square. Pair a background square with a star 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″ square, right sides together. Sew 1/4″ out from each side of the line. Cut on the drawn line and press the triangle-squares open. Make 4 triangle-squares.

triangle squares QM Bitty Blocks: November’s Friendship Stars

Triangle-squares

Arrange the triangle-squares and patches into 3 rows, paying attention to the orientation of the triangle-squares.

3 rows QM Bitty Blocks: November’s Friendship Stars

Sew the patches and triangle-squares into rows, pressing seams toward the patches (top and bottom row toward the outside, middle row toward the inside).

rows sewn QM Bitty Blocks: November’s Friendship Stars

Sew the three rows together and ta-da! You have a completed Friendship Star!

Friendship Star QM Bitty Blocks: November’s Friendship Stars

Friendship Star

You may notice that I used a directional print for my background. If you would like to keep a similar print oriented in the same direction, here’s a little tip when making your triangle-squares. When marking the diagonal line on the back, first arrange your squares so the print is oriented the same on both of them. On the wrong side, draw one diagonal line from top left to bottom right on one square. On the second square, draw the diagonal line from top right to bottom left.

Be sure to share pictures of your blocks—we love to see what you’re sewing. Use the hashtag #qmbittyblocks when sharing yours.

Friendship stars QM Bitty Blocks: November’s Friendship Stars

You’ll find all of the Bitty Blocks free quilt block patterns on our Bitty Blocks homepage, along with layouts for the row quilts in a variety of sizes.

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QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

The Quiltmaker Scrap Squad is a select group of readers who take patterns in our regular issues and make scrap quilts from them. The idea is to inspire you to make quilts from your stash, because what’s better than sewing with fabric you already own?!

QM scrap squadB QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World ChristmasToday’s quilt is from the just-out Nov/Dec ’15 Quiltmaker, on newsstands now, or in our online store in print and digital versions.

QM1512 COVER 500 QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

Quiltmaker Nov/Dec ’15

Today’s quilter is Emily Klaczak from Pittsburgh. She made a version of the cover quilt which is Old World Christmas, a design by Emily Breclaw made in batiks from Hoffman California Fabrics.

QM1512 OLD 506 QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

Old World Christmas from Quiltmaker Nov/Dec ’15, designed and made by Emily Breclaw. Fabric: Bali Handpaints from Hoffman California Fabrics.

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

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emilycropped QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

Emily Klaczak

When I saw Old World Christmas I saw an Oriental rug. I think it’s because it contains the same design elements as the carpets which have been made in Turkey, Persia and the Middle East since the 13th century: a large motif called a medallion or “cartouche” in a rectangle, surrounded by a wide border.

antique rug QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

19th century rug made in Persia.

If I moved the ornament design to the center and kept the contrasting border, I would have a classic Oriental rug design. So I got out my graph paper and sketched out a design with the ornament moved to the middle. I wanted my finished quilt to be a wall hanging so I used the same number of blocks and kept them at the same size.

sketch QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

At this point I knew that the border would need to be made smaller; a border of 8″ squares would overwhelm the central design.

At this point I knew the border would need to be made smaller; a border of 8″ squares would overwhelm the central design.

The predominant colors of Oriental rugs are reds, blacks and beiges, and I decided to do the borders and the central motif in reds and blacks, with a beige background. I probably have more black fabric in my closet than in my stash, but I did have some black fat quarters and I selected ones with touches of red, or metallic prints. I also looked for creamy beiges, and reds that had touches of black, to harmonize with the black fabrics.

fabrics QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

Some of the reds from my previous Scrap Squad projects are making a return appearance.

After I printed out all of my paper piecing patterns, I noticed that they would finish to 7-3/4″, not 8″; I had forgotten that the copying process sometimes distorts the size of the printed pattern. This actually worked in my favor though, since I planned to make the border blocks 5″ blocks instead of 8″ blocks. Larger border blocks would have thrown the design off balance. I knew math would be involved…ugh…but I put that off for as long as I could.

It helped to code the blocks with the colors of the fabrics that I was using, and I made templates to expedite the cutting.

templates QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

Making templates that were about 1/2″ larger than the pattern pieces helped me cut my scraps quickly and without wasting fabric.

I sketched the templates for the smaller border blocks on graph paper, and paid careful attention to the copying process to ensure that they would finish to 5″. I also simplified the design by eliminating the triangles in the corners.

border QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

Four down and 30 to go!

After I pieced the center of the quilt and completed the border blocks I was faced with the problem of making the smaller blocks fit around the larger one. I took the easy way out: first I sewed the smaller blocks together for the border. Then I sewed a 2″ wide strip of the inner border fabric to the central block and then trimmed it to fit the dimensions of the completed outer border. Didn’t have to get out my calculator…whew!

bordersewn QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

One of the inner borders is 1/4″ wider than the other. But can you tell? I don’t think so.

After I completed the border I somehow ended up with four extra border blocks. I found a home for them on the back of the quilt.

back QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

The beige fabric was from my mother’s stash. It was the exact size needed to back the quilt. The small white motifs are stars and moons.

Oriental rugs usually include plant and floral patterns, so I chose free-motion quilt designs to follow this theme.

quilting QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

Meandering quilting enabled me to avoid the bulky spot at the center of each block where the points came together.

And here is my finished quilt:

finished QM Scrap Squad: Reinventing Old World Christmas

As you can see, I created a different star motif by changing the placement of the red and black pieces.

As you can see, I created a different star motif by changing the placement of the red and black pieces.

I named my quilt Kashmir after the Led Zeppelin song with its Middle Eastern modalities. Like its namesake song, it was inspired by mysterious lands, far far away.

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