Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the Blocks

I’d like to show you a few more designs appearing in Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Spring ’14.

QMMS 140042 cover 500 Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the Blocks

With 23 exclusive quilts, it’s not possible to show them all in one post. You can catch the first group in yesterday’s post.

One of my favorites in this issue is Sonoran Sands by Eileen Fowler. She used two blocks of her own design.

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Navajo Nights by Eileen Fowler for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 1

Navajo Nights appeared in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 1.

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Santa Fe Star by Eileen Fowler for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 7

Santa Fe Star appeared in Volume 7.

QF SonoranSands Kaufman Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the BlocksThey come together in Sonoran Sands, made even more lovely thanks to Artisan Batiks by Lunn Studios for Robert Kaufman.

I like the next quilt, too, which also uses two block designs.

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Waffle by AnneMarie Chany for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8

AnneMarie Chany used her Waffle block from Volume 8.

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Whirly Zig by Heidi Foltz for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 7

She combined it with enlarged Whirly Zig blocks by Heidi Foltz for Volume 7.

QFSpr14 Chany Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the BlocksThe result is Honeycomb Kisses, made in fabrics from Benartex. Isn’t this a breath of fresh air? So spring-like and happy. It’s not immediately apparent but this is a huge quilt: 92″ x 92″, queen size. Now don’t you love it even more?!

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Meadow Glory by Jo Moury for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 7

Jo Moury designed Spring Dreams for this issue. She began with her Meadow Glory block from Volume 7, above.

QF SpringDreams Northcott Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the BlocksThe fabrics are all from Northcott. This quilt really does announce spring, doesn’t it? It’s a perfect wall size at about 43″ x 43″.

QF SeasonsChange Hoff Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the Blocks

Another nice wall quilt in this issue is June Dudley’s Seasons Change.

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Apple Tree by June Dudley for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 7

She used her clever 3-D Apple Tree block from Volume 7 to depict the annual evolution of an orchard. Here’s a closer look:

QMMS 140042 june 450 Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the BlocksAll the fabrics are from Hoffman California Fabrics. They add so much to this piece.

Many of you know Judy Laquidara from her popular Patchwork Times blog. She’s come up with a stunner for this issue.

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Sailing Pinwheel by Judy Laquidara for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 7

Judy took her Sailing Pinwheel block from Volume 7…

QF Flywheel QT Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the Blocks

…and designed Flywheel in deep, masculine colors. Wouldn’t this be a great guy quilt? The tiny Pinwheels in the white border are amazing!! It’s a throw size at 66″ x 81″.

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Simple Life by Martha Walker for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 7

One of my favorite blocks from all 800 that we’ve published so far is Martha Walker’s Simple Life from Volume 7. Aren’t her fabric choices perfect?

QF HouseonaHill Moda Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the Blocks
Martha took this design and created House on a Hill. Does it get any sweeter? All of the fabrics are from Moda Fabrics.

QF Firelights Clothworks Still More Quilts: QM Rocks the Blocks

And if you want something a little hot and a little modern, how about Firelights designed by Shayla Wolf? This twin-size quilt is 72″ x 88″ and would be perfect as a college quilt. What a way to warm up a dorm room!

This issue is just $6.99 and includes 23 patterns plus many color options. That comes out to about 30 cents per pattern. Sweet!

I hope I’ve given you reason enough to pick up this issue while it’s on newsstands. It’s a keeper and we think you’ll love it.

*     *     *     *     *

Win one of the 25 copies we’re giving away during our QM Rocks the Blocks event.

Posted in 100 Blocks, QM Issues | Tagged | 7 Comments

QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

Today’s the day!

Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Spring ’14 edition officially appears today at quilt shops and newsstands. We are going to give away 25 copies of the issue to celebrate. And we have great prize bundles of fabric and other goods, too!

QMMS 140042 cover 500 QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

This is the issue where…

QM Rocks the Blocks!

Get it locally if you can. If that’s not possible, you’ll find it at our shop site, quiltandsewshop.com. Or maybe you’ll win it, so please keep reading.

 

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23 Exclusive Quilts…

…all designed using blocks published in the first eight volumes of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks.

A few highlights—

Denise Starck (QM’s Graphic Designer and the source of the clever Patch Pals series) took Jumbo Fun by Alyssa Thomas from Volume 5…

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Jumbo Fun by Alyssa Thomas for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 5

…and made Follow the Leader in bright happy Stonehenge Kids fabrics from Northcott.

QF FollowtheLeader Northcott QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

Peg Spradlin, longtime sewer for Quiltmaker and Quilters Newsletter, took her Spring Blossom block from Volume 1…

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Spring Blossom by Peg Spradlin for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 1

…and went to town with trapunto for an absolute stunner. If you need a breath of spring (and who doesn’t?), how about Peg’s Batik Blossom?

QFSpr14 Spradlin QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!Here’s a closer look.

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Peg Spradlin’s exquisite trapunto graces Batik Blossom.

Donna Benham designed another of the traditional beauties in this issue. She took her Autumn Ways block…

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Autumn Ways by Donna Benham for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8

…and created Star Melody, below.

QFSpr14 Benham QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

How about some easy sewing but on a smaller scale? Carolyn Beam took Patched Geese, a block by Karrie Winters for Volume 3…

QM WINTERS QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

Patched Geese by Karrie Winters for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 3

…and revamped and reduced it for Geese Go Round, below.

QFSpr14 Beam QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

Fabric: Red Rooster Fabrics.

This quilt measures just 39″ x 39″. It’s small enough to be adorable but the piecing is still very doable because it’s simple. This is definitely one to try!

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Magazine Beads by Victoria Eapen for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 5

Perhaps you’ve been thinking of making something with a “modern” bent. Paula Stoddard, Associate Editor for QM, took Magazine Beads by Victoria Eapen, above, and created Here a Scrap, There a Scrap.

QF HereAScrap PB QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!
Wouldn’t this be a fun quilt to make?! The fabrics are all from P&B Textiles.

QF NightLights HQ QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!
Night Lights is another Denise Starck design exuding quilt modernism. Denise took Summer Heat, a block by Elizabeth Balderrama and Kate Colleran for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8, and reduced it.

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Summer Heat by Elizabeth Balderrama and Kate Colleran for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8

Then she played around with the two block sizes and a scattered setting to come up with this galaxy of fun.

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Night Lights was quilted on a Handi Quilter. Fabric: Westminster Fibers, Inc.

The quilt above was quilted on a Handi Quilter!

Nancy Mahoney contributed a gorgeous quilt to this issue.

QMMS 130037 MAHONEY QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

Dancing Dahlias by Nancy Mahoney for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8

She used her Dancing Dahlias block from Volume 8, above, to create Garden Waltz.

QFSpr14 Mahoney QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!Here’s a closer look. The wide white border with applique corners is magical! And those scallops give the quilt amazing elegance.

QMMS 140042 garden 450 QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!This is a gorgeous quilt! Sometimes photos can’t do justice for a softly-colored quilt, and I think that’s the case here.

QMMS 130037 MURKIN QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

Spring Action by Scott Murkin for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8

We have a great “guy quilt” in this issue, designed and made by Scott Murkin. He took his Spring Action block, above, and created Spring Loaded, below.

QFSpr14 Murkin QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!I love all of the action in this piece. It’s perfectly named!

And truly these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are 15 (count ‘em, FIFTEEN!) more smashing quilts in the pages of Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Spring ’14. And there are many color options to further inspire you. What a breath of fresh air.

We want to put this issue into as many hands as possible, so we’re having some major giveaways.

prizes1reduced QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

Three prize bundles will contain a variety of these items from our preferred partners.

We have three wonderfully amazing prize bundles to give away, and each one includes a copy of this issue. And we have 22 additional copies of the issue to give away!

QMMS 140042 cover 500 QM Rocks the Blocks: Giveaways!

For your chance to win, please leave a comment below describing your quilting style before midnight Friday, March 7, 2014. We’ll choose the 25 winners and post them here next week.

This giveaway is open to anyone worldwide. Please comment only once.

Quiltmaker Rocks the Blocks Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the Prize Bundle Winners:

  • Kelita Gehres
  • Konnie Osborne
  • Marylou Wahl

Congratulations to the Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Spring ’14 issue Winners:

  • Pat French
  • Elizabeth Brown
  • Nancy Green
  • Margaret Terry
  • Melissa S.H.
  • Elaine Phillips
  • Robin Johnson
  • Darlene B
  • Betty Edwards
  • Connie Schmaltz
  • Mindy Borer
  • Becky Thomason
  • Christine M
  • Centella Tucker
  • Linda Beyerle
  • Tracy Strauch
  • Barbara Winfree
  • Brenda Grable
  • Helene
  • Tanya Stevens
  • Melody Lutz
  • Sandy A
  • Sally Stedman
  • Janice Longworth
  • Karen W
Posted in 100 Blocks, Giveaways & Contests, QM Issues | Tagged , | 1,914 Comments

Machine Quilting: Practice, Practice, Practice

This is Quiltmaker‘s

Year of Machine Quilting!

YOMQ button 450 Machine Quilting: Practice, Practice, Practice

I want to share something inspiring with you today—a bit of encouragement on your journey to becoming an excellent machine quilter.

As I’ve started interacting with readers learning to machine quilt, I have noticed that they’re not cutting themselves any slack as beginners.

I hear them say, “I tried machine quilting but it didn’t look very good.”

“I can’t keep the curves smooth. I go all over the place.”

badquilting222 Machine Quilting: Practice, Practice, Practice

Early machine quilting is always rough!

“I machine quilted a wall hanging but it looked sloppy.”

“It looks awful—I hate machine quilting!”

All this self-deprecation started me thinking. I have a good friend named Diane Weston who is an accomplished pianist. She has an impressive resume of piano performance. On the spur of the moment, I asked if she’d do something for me, and she agreed.

Have a listen to this 21 seconds of my friend DW.

Now let me ask you: If a person you knew was a beginning piano student, and she played Row Row Row Your Boat for you, would you criticize her? Would you ask her why she can’t yet play a masterpiece? Would you point out that it’s hopeless and that she should just give up now?

Of course you wouldn’t. You’d say, “That’s terrific! Way to go! Good job!” You would understand that it takes a lot of practice, and a lot of learning, and a lot of experience, and much more practice to become better, to become really good, to become a master. Right? Makes complete sense, doesn’t it?

Now listen to Diane Weston play again. After the first 25 seconds, keep listening, but go ahead and scroll down and read the rest of the post.

How do you think she got from the first video to the second? Do you think it happened overnight?

By now you have gotten my point. Learning to machine quilt is a lot like playing piano. You start out as a beginner and things are rough. It’s the same for everyone.

It takes practice and a lot of it to become really good. Beautiful flowing curves don’t happen overnight, just as Diane Weston didn’t become an accomplished pianist overnight. She practiced her heart out, and you’ll need to do the same with machine quilting.

So please cut your beginner self some slack. Pat yourself on the back for getting started. Embrace your first efforts as the Row Row Row Your Boat of machine quilting. Know that it will take some time but that you will get it. And keep on practicing.

Practice, practice, practice.

YOMQ button 450 Machine Quilting: Practice, Practice, Practice

Posted in Machine Quilting, Quilting 101, Scrapbag | Tagged , | 38 Comments

QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilson’s “Butterfly Garden”

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilsons Butterfly Garden

Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of readers who take one predetermined pattern from each issue and make scrappy versions to inspire other readers. We feature a new Scrap Squad quilt almost every week.

QM created the Scrap Squad because we know our readers want to use fabric they already own to make lively one-of-a-kind creations from our patterns.

QMMP 140400 cover 200 QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilsons Butterfly GardenThe Scrap Squad quilt from the March/April issue is Summer Love, designed by Kimberly Jolly. It was made by Nancy Parkinson in fabrics from Marcus Fabrics.

QMMP 140400 summer 450 QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilsons Butterfly Garden

Today’s featured quilt is by Nadia Wilson from Port Hardy, British Columbia. You’ll notice that Nadia spells a few words differently, and we decided to leave them alone, because we have so very many Canadian readers and we thought it would make them feel right at home!

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Nadia tells the story of her project in her own words below.

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Sew much excitement…being accepted into the Scrap Squad, meeting new friends, feeling nervous yet excited, scared but confident!

We received our first assignment, Summer Love. Even though I own quilting software and other drafting programs, the best way to come up with a piecing plan is still by using my mind’s eye. Once I ‘see’ a picture in my head of what my quilt will look like…I go with my gut feeling and…I…just…do…it!

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Fabrics

The name Summer Love reminded me of soft winds blowing gently, peacefully and lazily on a warm summer day. If you stare long enough at the pattern—what was obvious to me were the butterflies!

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Stash of off-white fabrics

I could see butterflies in each of the blocks and I could see how they were fluttering in the breeze amongst the pretty flowers in a garden…a butterfly garden!! Thus my quilt began to take shape…butterflies set against soft, dainty and pretty flowers. Bright and glorious fluttering butterflies set against calm flowers in a garden!

I went to my 30’s stash and my old-fashioned calicoes and pulled out all the dainty flowered ones. I decided to set the flower fabrics and butterflies against off-white backgrounds. I fell in love with some of my teal and orange decorative threads and knew I wanted my butterflies to be in those colours.

 

blue block 300x284 QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilsons Butterfly Garden

Blue block layout

I used a variety of orange and teal prints in the butterflies, which is hard to see in the pictures. I wanted my butterflies to really stand out. I could see my quilt beginning to unfold…

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Pink block layout

I like to add my personal spin to the things I make. Instead of making all the flying geese units the pattern called for, I opted to rotary cut the shapes for each block.

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Rotary cutting

I cut quarter square triangles, which means I worked with bias edges. Extra care must be taken because they are easily pulled out of shape.

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Quarter-square triangles

As much as possible, chain piece the units to save time and thread!

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Chain piecing

Look! I finished another spool of my favorite piecing thread!

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Empty!

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Thread scraps…do you save yours??

Have a look at my thread scrap pile!

Along with accurate ¼” seams, it is important to press your seams while sewing…. pressing, not ironing.

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Units

See how the units are coming together?

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Units

Once my blocks were done, I added the embellishments. I couched on decorative thread for the antennae and I machine appliqued the body with a blanket stitch.

butterfly1 223x300 QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilsons Butterfly Garden

Couching over decorative thread

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Love the colours!

I was beginning to see how my quilt would look…I loved it!  I made about a dozen extra butterfly blocks which I will turn into a bed runner. How awesome will it be to wake up next to a bright and ‘springy’ quilt on the bed? I’m thinking Summer Love for sure!!

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Blanket stitching the applique

Once I finished making the blocks I started on my layout. Which way should I turn the butterflies? I’m working on the living room floor, testing out different layouts, when along comes my 7-year-old and says “Whatcha doing?” So I explain and he says, “Do this, Mom…” and he turns the blocks so the butterflies are all flying in different directions. Leave it to a 7-year-old! He was so proud of his work!

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Deciding on the layout

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Fun!!

Ever wonder what the backs of pieced tops look like? Here is a shot of mine.

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Backside

I finished the top and the next step was to longarm quilt it. I freehand quilted flowers and greenery in the setting triangles. I stitched meandering loop-de-loops in the blocks, and I outlined the butterflies because I did not want to stitch through them. I quilted piano keys in the checked border.

I used an off-white thread for the top and bobbin because I wanted the piecing and the butterflies to stand out more than the quilting. For the backing I used a natural-colour muslin. For the binding, I joined different colours of fabric strips, in keeping with the scrappy look.

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Freehand quilting

Here is my version of Summer Love. I’m calling it “Butterfly Garden.”

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Butterfly Garden

 

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Another view

It was pretty hard to capture the true coloring of the fabrics with my camera. It looks much brighter in real life.

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Displayed on a queen size bed

It was so much fun making this top, I can hardly wait to start my next assignment! I think this quilt turned out amazing. Do you think you’ll make one, too?

Happy Quilting,

Nadia

 

 

Posted in Scrap Squad | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

My First Quilt

Hello Quilty friends, I am Kelly Eisinger, editorial assistant and newest member of the Quiltmaker team. Here at Quiltmaker I am in charge of taking care of the many ins and outs of our production to keep everything running smoothly. If you have a question, I’ll do my best to thoroughly answer it. If you win a prize, I’ll ship it to you. And if you have any feedback for our team, please send it my way!

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Kelly Eisinger, Quiltmaker Editorial Assistant

I have been asked to share the making of my first quilt with all of you lovely quilters. Keep in mind–I’m a bit of beginner when it comes to quilting, so take my methods with a grain of salt. I have always had a bit of a “wing it” attitude when it comes to learning a new artistic skill. Usually with a little research and prep work, I can manage to round up supplies and tools (proper or makeshift) to start experimenting with.

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My first sewing machine, simple and to the point.

I received my first sewing machine as a Christmas gift in high school. With a few pointers from my super- savvy sewing aunt Teresa, my mom and some basic tools I was off to a fairly productive start. I made a lot of little projects and became pretty efficient in constructing bags, pillow covers and simple projects, yet I never embarked on a quilting project until recently.

Starting here at Quiltmaker was just the push I needed to take my quilting skills to the next level. I searched through all kinds of patterns and kept finding myself attracted to projects with bright, bold and diverse colors. However I wasn’t feeling too ambitious about cutting up a lot of little pieces and  making precisely sewn blocks. I really just had the itch to make something that would give a quick result.

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Star Splitter by Victoria Findlay Wolfe from Quiltmkaker’s March/April ’13 issue No.150.

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Square Roots by Peg Spradlin from Quiltmkaker’s March/April ’13 issue No.150.

 

WildThing My First Quilt

Wild Thing by Diane Harris from Quiltmaker’s March/April ’07 issue No.114.

My best friend Alissa’s birthday was around the corner. With so many quilt designs to choose from I decided to simplify the elements I appreciated in several and to create my own simple design. Also, in case I decided something wasn’t fitting or looking right, I could change it without having to mess with rest of a pattern.

Step 1: Choosing Fabrics

I gathered large pieces of diverse, bright and bold fabrics from my scrap stash that would fulfill the complex visual feel I enjoyed  from the complicated quilt designs.

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A goulash of scraps, mostly larger pieces.

Each fabric met one or more of the following qualities: large print, petite print, metallic or exceptionally bright and basic/neutral to coordinate with other colors easily.

Step 2: Prepping Fabric

I decided to use a strip sewing method: creating long strips, each containing six to seven smaller pieces. My plan was to make 9 strips total (even numbers are too symmetrical).

Once I was pleased with the fabric selection, I cut the scraps into roughly 6 1/2″ x 14″ and 6 1/2″x 17″ pieces. I was trying to make the quilt at least throw size, with no specific dimensions in mind.  I knew I had plenty of scraps and figured I could always cut more if needed.

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Some shorter pieces ready to be paired with longer pieces.

Step 3 Fabric Arrangement:

To achieve consistent diversity of value I used the following method to pair fabric pieces: 1 short piece + 1 long piece– with the two pieces sharing at least one color or value and each having opposite print scales. I then matched pieces to make pairs and sewed the short sides together. For each finished strip I joined three pairs.

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Short and long pieces paired together using my color matching rule.

After completing 9 full strips, I had a few areas I wanted to rearrange. Since the seams were only 6 1/2″, taking a few apart and reassembling went quickly.

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The complete set of 9 strips for the quilt top.

Step 4: Assembling the Top

Completing the top was simple. I staggered the strips to create a tiled effect, then sewed one strip to another, pressing seams open in between. Once all 9 strips were sewn together I trimmed the edges even.

I had absolutely no desire or intention to sew or hand stitch binding on the finished quilt, yet the strips needed a buffer around the edges. I decided to add 4″ wide silver satin strips (another random scrap item in my collection) to create a border and binding in one. I kept the corners simple, no mitering just straight strips on the length and then the width.

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By cutting multiple strips and combining them, I had enough satin to make a border for the quilt top.

Step 5: Batting, Backing and Quilting

I’m a big fan of cozy quilts, the fluffier and warmer the better, especially for Colorado winters. Taking this into consideration, I used a basic polyester batting to create thickness.

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Basic polyester batting.

According to my quilt book research it’s best to use the same consistency of fabric for the backing and quilt top to help prevent stretching and puckering. However I happened to have an extremely large piece of  heavier weight jersey knit (sweatshirt thickness) I’d impulsively purchased years ago due to its clearance price and cozy factor. Considering this quilt was a bit of an experiment anyway I decided to go for it.

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Turquoise jersey knit backing.

After cutting the backing and batting to be a few inches larger than the top, I used my bed to arrange the layers and create a quilt sandwich (backing face up, top face down, batting on top). I know you’re supposed to quilt the layers together before finishing the edges, however since I was avoiding the hand stitching/binding scenario this was my method. I pin basted a few strips length wise, only through the top and batting.

Then I pinned periodically around the edges, sewed 3/4 of the way around the quilt flipped it inside out, tucked the unfinished edges under and pined in place. Since the pins holding the top and batting were still in place I carefully repositioned them to now grab all three layers.

To finish things off I used a longer straight stitch to stitch in the ditch between each strip, the strips and border and lastly 1/2″ inside the edges of the quilt to help keep the layers intact and prevent stretching with use.

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I stitched in the ditch between each row and around the outer edge of the quilt.

SHAZZAM! I was done with only two minor puckers visible on the backing from stitching. The weight of the backing was a bit tricky to handle, however when going slowly the quilt layers held together quite easily. By breaking up the project into three evenings I was done before I knew it. Most importantly of all Alissa was quite excited about her quilt!

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The finished quilt.

Posted in Quilty Lifestyle, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!

Today it’s our privilege to take part in a blog tour celebrating The Modern Applique Workbook by Jenifer Dick, just out from our friends at Stash Books.

modappcover Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!

The Modern Applique Workbook by Jenifer Dick

But first I want to tell you about Jenifer’s connection to Quiltmaker: She designed Mod Posies for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8.

QMMS 130037 DICK Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!

Mod Posies by Jenifer Dick for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8

She even made the cover! Look right there in the center.

QMMS 130037 cover 3501 Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!

So it seemed only natural that we’d reciprocate and help to get the word out about The Modern Applique Workbook. This is the final day of the blog tour so perhaps you’ve heard the buzz about the book. It’s a keeper.

 Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!

Jenifer blogs at 42quilts.com.

It’s as if someone said, “Let’s introduce applique to a whole new batch of quilters,” and Jenifer answered the call. Her easy writing and brief, crystal-clear instructions will guide you to successful, enjoyable applique whether or not you consider yourself a “modern” quiltmaker.

jenifer1 Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!      jenifer2 Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!

And Jenifer isn’t married to only one applique method. In addition to invisible machine applique, she offers options for using different stitches and different thread to give your applique a one-of-a-kind look if that’s what you want. Two interesting variations are pictured above.

jenifer3 Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!

“Mod” by Jenifer Dick from The Modern Applique Workbook

The 11 projects come only after Jenifer has guided you to make a practice block. The projects are decidedly modern, i.e. their shapes are clean and simple, solids play a major role, and they have wide open negative space for lots of great quilting.

jenifer4 Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!

“Trees” by Jenifer Dick from The Modern Applique Workbook

The quilting itself is a reason to check out The Modern Applique Workbook. The well-known Angela Walters lent her quilting expertise to these designs and they’re richer for it. You’ll find plenty of fresh ideas for quilting in these pages.

Do check out these other great bloggers who were also part of this blog tour. You’ll find all sorts of interesting ideas.

Bonnie Hunter quiltville.blogspot.com
Amy Smart diaryofaquilter.com
Angela Walters quiltingismytherapy.com/my-blog
Debbie Grifka eschhousequilts.com
Tammie Schaffer craftytammie.com
Casey York studioloblog.wordpress.com
Deb Rowden debrowden.blogspot.com
Melissa Thompson Maher generationqmagazine.com/
Shea Henderson emptybobbinsewing.com

modappcover Applique, Blog Tour, Giveaway!

Purchase The Modern Applique Workbook signed by the author.

Let’s have a giveaway of The Modern Applique Workbook. For your chance to win, leave a comment before the end of Monday, February 24 CST telling us if you’ve tried applique and what your experience was. We’ll announce the winner here after notifying her by email.

Posted in Giveaways & Contests, Machine Quilting, Quilting 101 | Tagged , , , , | 161 Comments

QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Quiltmaker is pleased to begin a new series of Scrap Squad posts with a brand new Scrap Squad for 2014. Only six readers are on this year’s team, but already they are proving to be a top-notch group of quilters! One of the best parts of my job is getting to know the Scrap Squad each year. I always miss the group from the year just past, but I love meeting the new people, too.

If you’re not familiar with the Scrap Squad, they are a select group of readers chosen from applications submitted in December. For each regular issue, they take one predetermined pattern and make scrappy versions of it to help inspire other readers.

They’re invited to post on Quilty Pleasures about their quilts. We feature a new Scrap Squad quilt almost every week, usually on Friday. QM created the Scrap Squad because we know our readers want to use fabric they already own to make lively one-of-a-kind creations from our patterns.

QMMP 140400 cover 200 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret KennedyThe Scrap Squad quilt from the March/April issue is Summer Love, designed by Kimberly Jolly.

QMMP 140400 summer 450 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Summer Love designed by Kimberly Jolly, made by Nancy Parkinson. Fabric: Marcus Fabrics.

Today’s featured quilt is by Margaret Kennedy from Lake Frederick, Virginia.

scrapsquad margaret3 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

She tells the story in her own words below.

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I was so excited to be named a member of the 2014 Scrap Squad…and the anticipation to receive our first pattern was tremendous!

When I received the Summer Love pattern, I knew immediately that I wanted to go bright with Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics. I decided to make half my blocks warm (predominantly red/pink) and half cool (blue/purple).  When I looked at the pattern, I saw bright butterflies. I decided to use the opposite fabrics for the center triangles (cool for the warm blocks, and warm for the cool blocks) rather than a background fabric as originally shown.

I save leftover die-cut pieces from other projects, so I pulled out triangles of the right size in the right colors. I went to my scrap drawer and pulled out a few warm and cool fabrics to start with.

mk1 1 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Leftovers & Scraps!

I decided to go with only one background fabric, a white with little green dots. Normally I would have gone totally scrappy on the background, but I decided to add a little calm to the quilt.

Because I was only going to use one background fabric, I eliminated one seam on the top and bottom of the block. Instead of using two flying geese and having a seam right in the middle, I instead have three of the large quarter-square triangles in a row with two half-square triangles on the end. I was also very happy to see that I could cut all the triangles for the blocks with my Accuquilt fabric die-cutting system.

I cut some triangles of the warm, cool, and background fabrics and I was ready to begin.

When I work on blocks like this, I lay out each block as I go on a large square ruler which I use like a tray. For this block, I started by placing the background triangles. Then I filled in with the large triangles, and finally with the small triangles. Note the single large background triangle in the center of the top and bottom rows rather than two smaller triangles as in the original pattern.

mk1 2 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Steps in laying out a block

I carry this to my sewing machine and sew the block together in sections, finger pressing after each seam. I press when sub-units are ready and as the sub-units are assembled into larger units and finally into the finished block.

Here are my first two blocks:

mk1 3 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

First two blocks sewn.

I cut and arranged pieces for each of the 18 blocks as I went. And yes, I did cut some from yardage. I did not have enough true scraps. But I am happy with “scrappy,” where lots of fabrics are used in a quilt, even if they are not all left over from other projects.

By the way, here are my scraps from die cutting all the triangles:

mk1 4 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Die-cutting scraps

I arranged and rearranged all the blocks on my design wall. Uh-oh, not crazy about the blandness and sameness of the background fabric. Boring!

mk1 5 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Blocks on the design wall – boring!

I was not about to remake all these blocks so I needed to find a way to make the quilt sing. I decided to go with blue sashing. I cut strips and sub-cut to 12.5″ to fit the blocks. Going scrappy, I used eight different fabrics for the sashing. The colors are all similar, so they coordinate well. Since I made four blocks with yellow centers, I used yellow cornerstones to add some additional highlights. This is beginning to look a lot better to me!

mk1 6 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Blocks and sashing – looking better now!

Next, it was time for the setting triangles. Those are big pieces of fabric – and I like small piecing, so I considered making strip sets and cutting the setting triangles out of those. I think that would have been fabulous, but also a lot of work. I went to Plan B, finding
a fabric that would add complexity for me.

Yes—“cheater” fabric!  I auditioned a stripe, but then I found this fabric which definitely lent itself to the triangle shapes:

mk1 7 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Make the fabric work for you

I really liked what this added to the quilt! Unfortunately, I ran out of fabric part way through.

mk1 8 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Setting triangles…fun until the fabric runs out!

I had about a week’s delay in getting additional fabric, but then I was back in business.

In the meantime, I prepared a scrappy yellow first border, and a scrappy blue outer border (repeating fabrics used in the sashing). Here’s a hint: I cut my 2.5″ strips from yardage, but then I cut them in half so they were approximately 20″ long. This makes the color changes happen more frequently and the appearance scrappier than if I had used the 40″ strips. I elected to skip the third border.

I finished piecing the top, and then it was time to load it on the longarm for quilting.

mk1 9 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Loaded on the longarm, quilting in progress.

I selected a curvy, allover quilting design to give the quilt a lot of texture. Thread color?  Lime green—the perfect neutral!

mk1 10 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Lime green is a neutral!

Lime green coordinates with the background fabric which is white with lime polka dots, and it also shows up on both the warm and cool blocks and sashings without distracting.

I pieced a band into the quilt backing, and incorporated a machine embroidered label.  I like to piece the label into the backing because that saves hand sewing to attach it. When the quilting is done, the label is also done. The quilting stitches thoroughly secure the label, going over and through the embroidery.

mk1 11 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Label is pieced into the back.

The main backing fabric is the red Dianthus print you can see here. The binding matches this backing and was cut from the leftover backing fabric on the sides and bottom after the quilting was done.

And now the big reveal…

mk1 121 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

My finished version of Summer Love

I hope you have enjoyed my interpretation of this pattern and my version of Summer Love.

mk1 13 QM Scrap Squad: Summer Love by Margaret Kennedy

Summer Love styled on a bed

I look forward to my next Scrap Squad project…whatever it may be. You can find more scrappy projects on the Scrap Squad homepage.

 

Posted in Scrap Squad | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

Doing a Mother-Daughter Square Dance

QMMP 140400 cover 500 Doing a Mother Daughter Square Dance

Quiltmaker March/April ’14

The mother-daughter team of Jo and Kelli Kramer is responsible for Square Dance, a scrappy design that’s great for using up leftovers from other projects.

QMMP 140400 KRAMER 4501 Doing a Mother Daughter Square DanceI wanted to know more about the Kramers from Waucoma, Iowa, so I asked, and today I’m happy to share what I learned.

How did your mother-daughter team happen?

I’m someone who doesn’t sit still well. I love being busy all the time. Being married to a workaholic farmer left me with lots of hours to fill. I did that by crafting, and the kids always watched me. When they got older and came home to visit we typically ended up in the sewing room. Before we knew it we were joining forces on bigger projects.

jo3 Doing a Mother Daughter Square Dance

Kelli Kramer and Jo Kramer

Just recently my younger daughter Kayla has joined us. She is our tech savvy gal who teaches Family Consumer Science classes in Marion, Iowa. She doesn’t have much time to quilt but will be managing pattern writing and behind-the-scenes blog work.

What’s the best thing about working together?

We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I do most of the designing. I love studying quilts in antique malls, and using them as inspiration for a new project. I am not good at color selection.

LincolnSchnibble back Doing a Mother Daughter Square Dance

About 75% of what I design is in patriotic colors because I know red, white and blue go well together. Kelli will come in and say, “Really mom?? Pick some other colors!!” She is great at color selection.

LincolnSchnibble bench Doing a Mother Daughter Square Dance

Kelli does the yardage calculations and a good portion of the piecing. I hate math so that’s perfect. I do the quilting, binding and labeling. I also manage the email and our blog at Jo’s Country Junction.

What’s the worst thing about it?

We can get ourselves in trouble at family functions. It’s really easy to start talking about quilts when there are others who aren’t quite as interested in quilts as we are. Luckily, everyone tolerates us pretty well.

What’s your best advice for people who want to design quilts?

I design our quilts in Microsoft Word. It’s comfortable for me and I can easily do it without thinking. We have two tutorials on the blog that walk readers through it. (See tutorial #1; see tutorial #2.)

Computer 13 Doing a Mother Daughter Square Dance

Don’t be afraid to submit a design for publication. Just give it a try…if you are meant to do it, doors will open. And don’t be afraid of the word no. We were told no and occasionally still get a no. It doesn’t always mean your design is bad, it’s just not what the editor is looking for at that particular time. When submitting to a quilt magazine, editors are often looking for designs that will be published nine months to a year from now.

Getting back to Square Dance, what other color recipes might work in this quilt?

The original test blocks we made were in Civil War reproductions. We think it might be fun made in a less traditional way, with a gray background and all solids for the little squares.

jo2 Doing a Mother Daughter Square DanceWe like to use up fabrics in the “what were we thinking when we bought that?” category.

jo1 Doing a Mother Daughter Square Dance

Square Dance features many fabrics that were sent to us by blog readers. We lamented to our readers that we weren’t “very bright gals” as we didn’t have brightly colored scraps. Blog readers to the rescue!! Our mailbox was flooded with packages of bright scraps…many made their way into this quilt. 

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Read Jo and Kelli’s posts about Square Dance on their own blog!

Friday Finish: Square Dance

Square Dance Questions Answered

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

Happy Valentine’s Day from Quiltmaker

Valentine’s Day seems like a good time to enjoy some heart quilts, doesn’t it? Each quilt is linked to where it appears online.

heart quilt 1024x1024 Happy Valentines Day from Quiltmaker

Amy Ellis created this design for Sew Red for Women.

This has to be one of the best heart quilt designs ever! It’s by Amy Ellis and was posted on Diary of a Quilter as part of the Sew Red for Women campaign. The Sew Red for Women initiative was to raise awareness of heart disease by way of creativity and camaraderie within the modern sewing community. This design is ingenious: just half-square triangles and squares, but it looks complex.

1902939 10152186614782349 1337479574 n Happy Valentines Day from Quiltmaker

Hearts Afloat, Quiltmaker Jan/Feb ’12

Hearts Afloat was the cover quilt for the Jan/Feb ’12 issue of Quiltmaker. The red and aqua combination is very pleasing and those scalloped edges are to die for. It was designed by Bev Getschel.

heartsquilting Happy Valentines Day from QuiltmakerHow about this heart quilting? It’s called Heart Flow and it was part of The Machine Quilting Project by Leah Day. You’ll find this and hundreds more quilting designs all free of charge on Leah’s website.

 Happy Valentines Day from Quiltmaker

Amy Ellis, author of Diary of a Quilter, designed this block.

And here’s another keeper, also by Amy Ellis for Sew Red for Women. What a great block!

1898020 10203051735524173 1100454844 n Happy Valentines Day from Quiltmaker

Improvisational heart block by Diane Harris

I improvised this heart block last week but I like the way it turned out, so I think there are more of these in my future.

1796486 10152175835222349 596600899 n Happy Valentines Day from Quiltmaker

LOVE Squared by Julie Comstock for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 6

This is LOVE Squared by Julie Comstock for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 6. A fitting way to end a Valentine blog post, don’t you think? I hope you get to spend time with the people you love today.

Posted in Scrapbag | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

New Quilts: Pretty, Happy, Scrappy!

Light, bright, airy—and full of fun!

QMMP 140400 cover 500 New Quilts: Pretty, Happy, Scrappy!

March/April ’14

The new March/April ’14 issue of Quiltmaker is all of these and more. Let’s look at some highlights.

QMMP 140400 sprinkles 450 New Quilts: Pretty, Happy, Scrappy!

Sprinkles by Bev Getschel. Fabric: Hoffman California Fabrics.

Need an easy baby quilt? Sprinkles fits the bill. This fat-quarter friendly pattern would also be perfect made scrappy with one unifying background. Shown in Hoffman California Fabrics.

25575 pattern img New Quilts: Pretty, Happy, Scrappy!

Sprinkles, modeled by Duncan Wood.

We had a very cooperative little guy model Sprinkles for us. He happens to be my grandson, age 2. (Insert smiley grandma face here.)

QMMP 140400 KRAMER 450 New Quilts: Pretty, Happy, Scrappy!

Square Dance by Jo and Kelli Kramer.

Jo and Kelli Kramer had some serious fun with Square Dance. This 81″ x 97″ twin is strip pieced, and the wide open white spaces can be filled with gorgeous quilting if you like.

QMMP 140400 LION 450 New Quilts: Pretty, Happy, Scrappy!

Regal Patch, designed by Denise Starck. Batting: The Warm Company. Thread: Golden Threads.

Another Patch Pal joins the QM menagerie. Regal Patch in the jungle grass is one of the best yet, don’t you agree? We have more Patch Pals up our sleeve so please watch upcoming issues.

QMMP 140400 pinwheels 450 New Quilts: Pretty, Happy, Scrappy!

Spinning Pinwheels, designed by Denise Russart. Fabric: Moda Fabrics.

Spinning Pinwheels fits into this issue’s theme of Quilting Full Circle. You might not guess it by looking, but it uses foundation piecing and fusible applique. Denise Russart is the designer. Fabrics by Moda.

QMMP 140400 PAT 450 New Quilts: Pretty, Happy, Scrappy!

Spot On by Pat Harrison. Fabric: Robert Kaufman. Batting: Quilter’s Dream. Thread: Superior Threads.

Spot On carries the Quilting Full Circle theme forward. Pat Harrison’s design appears to be difficult but is rated easy! Fabric is from Robert Kaufman.

QMMP 140400 PAULA 450 New Quilts: Pretty, Happy, Scrappy!

Round and Round by Paula Stoddard in fabrics from Timeless Treasures.

Our cover quilt was designed by QM Associate Editor Paula Stoddard and sewn by QM Graphic Designer Denise Starck. Round and Round is another example of a quilt that looks difficult but is oh-so-easy to make! You’ll love Paula’s ingenious technique. The cheerful fabrics are assorted Tonga batiks by Timeless Treasures.

And that’s just the beginning!

Posted in QM Issues | Tagged , | 8 Comments