Book Review – Mountain Mist Historical Quilts + giveaway

188I90576  419705 20 Book Review   Mountain Mist Historical Quilts + giveawayI have always been intrigued with antique quilts and am fortunate to own two of them that have been passed down through my family. Each one has a story to tell, and while I never had the opportunity to meet my ancestors who made them, I feel a connection to them through these quilts.

Looking through the Mountain Mist Historical Quilts: 14 mid-century quilts made new book by Linda Pumphrey connects us with quilts from another generation and brings them into the present with a modern remake. Each of the 14 quilts included was each selected for its charming history and appeal to both traditional and modern quilters. The designs are perfect for all skill levels and come with PDF templates to print and reprint from a CD-rom. Continue reading

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How To Resize Quilt Block Patterns to Make Small or Big Blocks

CraftU Review

How to Resize Quilt Block Patterns
with Debra Finan

mnvgubduavsgge0svpcs 300x144 How To Resize Quilt Block Patterns to Make Small or Big BlocksReviewed By: Tricia Patterson,
Managing Editor, Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting and Quick Quilts

LorisBlock1 150x150 How To Resize Quilt Block Patterns to Make Small or Big Blocks

Created by Lori Baker, Acquisitions Editor for McCall’s Quilting, Quick Quilts and Quiltmaker

I’ve learned a lot since I began working with the Quilting group at F+W Media. I’ve been quilting for a number of years, so didn’t realize how much I’d learn just from working with the quilters here, applying a proven process for calculating yardages and using a writing style for the technical instructions for other quilters based on proven techniques. We receive images of quilt designs or quilts from our designers. One of the first questions we ask is how was the quilt constructed, which includes identifying the block patches and techniques used. For me, it’s become automatic, (after the “Wow, that quilt is awesome!” response), to think about the approach used to make it. Continue reading

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From the Bookshelf: Quilt with Tula & Angela

QuiltWithTulaAngela From the Bookshelf: Quilt with Tula & AngelaQuilt with Tula & Angela:
A start-to-finish guide to piecing and quilting using color and shape.

Reviewed by: Tricia Patterson,
Managing Editor, Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting and Quick Quilts

I love books. And, I love books about quilting the most. Sometimes a title or cover design attracts my interest; sometimes it’s the author. In the case of Quilt with Tula & Angela, it was the authors that caught my attention immediately. I’ve admired Tula Pink’s design aesthetic for a long time. The brightness of her colors is always stunning, inviting and fun, and the patterns of her fabrics and designs of her quilts are brilliant (and I mean that as a creative descriptor). Angela Walters, also a designer, is a phenomenal quilter, well known for longarm and domestic machine quilting designs, and for teaching beginner through advance quilting techniques, tips—for sharing advice.  Just the names of these two modern legends drew me to want to open the book. Let’s see what I found inside… Continue reading

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Quilted placemat: Punkin’ Time

punkin time finished pumpkins Quilted placemat: Punkin’ Time

punkin time scraps 150x150 Quilted placemat: Punkin’ Time


When I saw Bonnie Hunter’s Punkin’ Patch (Quiltmaker September/October ’17) I knew I had finally found a place for my collection of yummy orange scraps. I love to decorate around the house with small quilt projects. We have been having a slight cold spell here and even though it’s August, I’m thinking of Fall. Bonnie’s blocks look great sitting on a row of 2” squares with a 2” strip of background fabric at the top. I can’t wait to make more of these placemats.

punkin time pumpkins 300x200 Quilted placemat: Punkin’ Time

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6 Things Happening at Quiltmaker This Week

6 Things Happening at Quiltmaker This Week

Here’s what we are doing at Quiltmaker this week. We hope you will join us!

#1. An obituary for a beloved quilting companion
I bet this blog teaser has you wondering about the topic. Check in Monday to find out what it’s about!

#2. A twist on one of Bonnie’s Hunter’s latest quilt designs
Erin Russek is taking a closer look at the blocks in Punkin’ Patch, Bonnie Hunter‘s design Punkin Patch 150x150 6 Things Happening at Quiltmaker This Weekfeatured in the latest issue of Quiltmaker, September/October. She’s found an idea for creating fun holiday decor. Continue reading

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Welcome to Your Saturday Morning Quilt Break!

Good morning and welcome to your Saturday!

This is one of my favorite times of the week, when the weekend is spread out before me and I feel like I can accomplish all the things I’m not able to get to during the work week, from cleaning to sewing to relaxing to spending time with my family.

Of course, real life still happens on the weekends and I’m never able to do everything I want to. By Sunday night, I consider myself successful if I’ve managed to do some sewing, if I’ve gotten my girls out of the house for a few hours, and if I’m leaving my house marginally cleaner than I found it on Friday evening.

But on Saturday morning, I enjoy feeling as if the weekend is my oyster. During summer vacation, my two daughters (who are about to start 3rd grade and kindergarten, respectively) get onto a late schedule and sometimes sleep in until 8:30 in the mornings. When that happens on the weekend, I try to take advantage of the peace and quiet by quickly getting a cup of coffee and heading downstairs to try to get some uninterrupted sewing done. Now mind you, this doesn’t happen all the time. I am by nature more of a night owl than an early bird, and usually take advantage of the peace and quiet after bedtime to do the bulk of my sewing.

saturday morning quilt break the view from my window Welcome to Your Saturday Morning Quilt Break!

The view from my window

But when the weather is warm and the sun comes up early, I really enjoy sewing first thing in the morning. My sewing space is in what was originally intended to be a guest room; it still serves that function when necessary but more often than not, my projects and supplies take over.

Our house is a split-level and the bottom floor is partially subterranean, meaning the windows in the guest room are both at eye level and just a few inches above the ground. If I’m lucky, I can catch the mingled scent of juniper and lavender when I open the window to let in some fresh air. We live on a fairly quiet residential street so at that hour I mostly only hear birds (in addition to the sound of my sewing machine) and can watch rabbits nibbling the grass from just a few feet away. It doesn’t take long before my daughters wake up and come find me to help get their Saturdays going. But for maybe an hour or so, I get to spend some time not as an editor, not as Mom, but simply as a quilter.

It’s that sense of identity we’ll be focusing on in these Saturday Morning Quilt Break blog posts, how what we do on a personal level is intertwined with other quilters and the world around us. I love to keep up with current events in the quilting world and will share stories I think are fun and interesting. I have a list of folks and museum exhibits I want to feature in this space as well, all with the goal of helping you feel that—whenever it happens—your free time is your oyster, too, and that the things you create matter.

Until next Saturday, I hope you’re able to carve out some time to make something you love, no matter what it is.

Mary Kate

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Charmed, I’m Sure! Let’s Get Started

I have a confession to make. I’m a charm square addict. There, I said it! I’m obsessed with them. Have you fallen in love with these little 5” squares of fabric? Or have you wondered what on earth you would do with these?

For one thing, I see them as a challenge. How many different quilt designs can I create with these squares? In this bi-weekly series, I’m going to explore different ways to cut them, store them, exchange them and use them to create wonderful quilts. I’ll be sharing my techniques and some free patterns for you to use as well.

Over time, I have amassed a nice collection of charm squares—some from purchases and some from my stash. Typically, a purchased pack of charm squares contains 40-42 squares. Unless you purchase more than one pack, 40 squares is not enough to make a decent-sized quilt. That’s where my stash comes in. I can always add from my stash to make the size quilt I want.

So, let’s start at the beginning to build your charm square stash. After finishing a quilt project, I find that I have various pieces of fabric left over. Unless my leftovers are ¼ yard or larger, they go into my scrap basket. When I have a little free time, I’ll take a pile from my scrap basket and cut them into shapes I find the most useful. First I cut all the 5” squares I can (cut a 5” strip and then subcut into 5” squares). What’s left over I cut into 2½” squares and then the random strips that are left (1½ ” or narrower), I save for future string-piecing projects.

IMG 1089 e1500388980453 225x300 Charmed, Im Sure! Lets Get Started

pile of scraps

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cut charm squares









I store my charm squares in plastic tubs. They’re easy to stack and keep organized.

IMG 1104 e1500388165549 225x300 Charmed, Im Sure! Lets Get Started

Plastic tub

OK, let’s get started! Here’s an easy design that works with any fabrics. It uses 5″ charm squares, 2 1/2″ squares and 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangles of background fabric. You can either dig into your 2 1/2″ square bin or cut 5″ charms into four – 2 1/2″ squares. I used novelty prints and made an I Spy quilt, but this design would also work for holiday prints, batiks, Patriotic, reproduction—any fabrics would look great.

My quilt is 6 x 6 (41″ x 41″) and uses 36 charm squares, 49 – 2 1/2″ squares (can be cut from 13 charm squares) and 84 – 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangles (1 yard). With careful positioning, you’ll only need 1 1/4 yards of backing plus 1/2 yard for the binding. Sew 7 rows with          7 – 2 1/2″ squares and 6 rectangles each and 6 rows with 7 rectangles and 6 novelty charm squares each. Sew the rows together alternately.

FullSizeRender1 768x1024 Charmed, Im Sure! Lets Get Started

I Spy quilt

IMG 1119 e1501079737230 225x300 Charmed, Im Sure! Lets Get Started

I Spy quilted

I quilted my quilt with straight lines in both directions using my walking foot.

If you’re looking for a colorful pack of charm squares to add to your collection, be sure to check out these ColorWorks Concepts.

For a little something extra, here’s a video I made using charm squares to make a Dresden plate quilt.

use charm squares to make dresden plate blocks 1024x575 Charmed, Im Sure! Lets Get Started


I used the EZ Dresden Plate Tool to cut the blades for my block. Two blades can be cut from each charm square.

To get you started on your Charm Square journey, let’s have a little giveaway. Leave me a comment letting me know if you use charm squares and how you store them. I’ll randomly pick one winner on Monday, 8/14 for a pack of charm squares.

Marie is the winner of the Charm Square giveaway and has been notified by email.

Stop back next time. I’ll be sharing how to organize a charm square exchange with your quilty friends or guild along with another quilt pattern.

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Zentangle, Beginner Level Free-Motion Quilting and Tumbling Tiles

What’s a great way to learn to free-motion quilt?
Zentangles and patchwork with the
Tumbling Tiles pattern, that’s how!

TumblingTilesFlat 216x300 Zentangle, Beginner Level Free Motion Quilting and Tumbling Tiles

Tumbling Tiles, Designed by Katherine Jones, for Quiltmaker September/October

I am particularly excited about one of the patterns in the new issue of Quiltmaker, September/October ’17. For several years now I’ve been exercising a practice of “thinking outside the box” with my quilting. I’m trying to develop a more creative approach to the process, experimenting with new techniques, tools and design ideas. The Tumbling Tiles pattern, designed by Katherine Jones, fits right into an approach that is trending now for a multitude of disciplines, whether it’s product development team building, strategic planning or leisure arts—a technique to increase creative thinking. For the quilting community, Katherine’s pattern is a terrific example of improvisational piecing and extends free-motion quilting to a practice of free-form quilting. (Check out Joy of Zentangle: Drawing Your Way to Increased Creativity, Focus, and Well Being by contributing artists Suzanne McNeill, Sandy Steen Bartholomew and Marie Browning and Zen Quilting: Fabric Arts Inspired by Zentangle® by Pat Ferguson (both by Design Originals), and The Zentangle Untangled Workbook: A Tangle-a-Day to Draw Your Stress Away by Kass Hall (F+W Media).

TumblingTiles Zen 200x300 Zentangle, Beginner Level Free Motion Quilting and Tumbling Tiles

Patchwork pieced and Zentangle tiles

The Tumbling Tiles pattern has modern appeal with it’s open spaces, the density of pieced patchwork on one end of the quilt opening up to widely-spaced blocks on the other side and a variety of unique blocks made of stitched doodles. When I first saw it, I was reminded of the popularity of zentangles and coloring books that promote ways to increase creative thinking and a technique for stress management. I ask, what quilter doesn’t use quilting as a way to relieve stress some of the time?

The approach used to create the Tumbling Tiles design is a spot-on example of bringing Zen to quilters. I also think this pattern could be perfect for beginners. Piecing the blocks is a cinch; a good skill builder for joining strips to make blocks. The quilting-stitched blocks are a wonderful practice for start-up free-motion quilters. If you’ve followed my series in Quiltmaker (May/June ’17, July/August ’17, and September/October ‘17) you know I’m a novice at quilting on a domestic sewing machine. I’m ramping up for a future article on the topic of learning free-motion quilting. So, I’ve been practicing the movements required to free-motion quilt by drawing motifs on paper and stitching sample quilting motifs while handling multiple layers fabric—and now using a free-form zentangle approach. (See my samples below. Please don’t critique; remember, I’m a beginner.)

ZenMotion 203x300 Zentangle, Beginner Level Free Motion Quilting and Tumbling Tiles

Free-Motion practice with hand-drawn Zentangles

ZenPractice 272x300 Zentangle, Beginner Level Free Motion Quilting and Tumbling Tiles

Free Motion Quilting – Zentangle Stitching Practice

I’m finding that taking this approach is helping to free my mind and tendency to “sew by the lines” that I feel is required to get an exact replica of a quilting motif. With zentangle coaching I do feel creative and it’s working to get a feel for free-motion quilting. I highly recommend it!

And, I recommend the Tumbling Tiles quilt pattern to get you started!!

TumblingTilesStyle 260x300 Zentangle, Beginner Level Free Motion Quilting and Tumbling Tiles

Tumbling Tiles, Quiltmaker September/October ’17

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T-Shirt Quilts: Pieces from the past and the comfort of home.

Send your kids to college with pieces from the past and the comfort of home; make a T-shirt quilt!

 by Tricia Patterson, Quiltmaker Managing Editor

OldT Shirts 150x150 T Shirt Quilts: Pieces from the past and the comfort of home.

Keepsake Memories

For several months now I’ve been seizing free time to diligently go through all our stuff to sort out things to keep and those to throw away.  A couple weekends ago, I rediscovered a number of T-shirts I’ve been keeping for my two sons. (Please note here, neither of my sons has lived with me in a very long time. Each of them have their own homes, are married and have children of their own who are producing lots of school and sports T-shirts to stash.) I kept all these shirts thinking that I would turn them into quilts one day. As I spent a few moments with the memories they brought back to me about my young men, I decided that the time to make those quilts is now.

I’ve only had one foray into T-shirt quilt making, and it was not what I would call a great success. This time, I decided to start with getting advice from the experts. I tuned in to watch DIY T-Shirt Quilts!, a class I found on Craft Online University. The class took me through making a T-shirt quilt step-by-step: how to best cut out the motif and to make the T-shirts even more interesting by adding sashing and borders. The greatest tip of all was to iron on a stabilizer before you cut out around the motif of the T-shirt to make the quilt patches.

DIYT ShirtQuilts 300x168 T Shirt Quilts: Pieces from the past and the comfort of home.

Craft U course: DIY T-Shirt Quilts!

JeanTaylorInterfacing 150x150 T Shirt Quilts: Pieces from the past and the comfort of home.

June Taylor T-Shirt Project Fusible Interfacing

I thought I’d start one quilt, just to make sure I could do it. I picked up a package of June Tailor T-Shirt Project Fusible Interfacing, a woven fabric that gave weight to the T-shirts, making them more manageable to sew together.  I pulled some inspiration from a 2015 September/October issue of Quiltmaker, Paula Stoddard’s Quilted Memories pattern. She designed a quilt that joined T-shirts with square patches of fabric. I chose lighter-weight denim (because it seemed to be another “constant” of my sons’ youth) and a couple of fabrics from the Northcott Toscana collection to pull all the different colors of the T-shirts together for my oldest son’s quilt. I chose the Toscana fabrics specifically because they have a really rich color texture.

T ShirtQuiltBlocks 273x300 T Shirt Quilts: Pieces from the past and the comfort of home.Last night, I thought I’d make a couple of sample blocks—just to get started. Before I knew it, the hour was quite late, and I had made blocks from all of the T-shirts. I still need to finalize the placement of the blocks, but it was such fun to revisit the shirts one more time, and I feel pretty good knowing that I am giving my son some cherished memories while he snuggles with his quilt this winter.

In many ways I wish I had made T-shirt quilts when my boys left for college. I guess time has its place. What a great idea to send them off to school with pieces from the past and a symbol of comfort from home.

Perhaps you are a collector of T-shirts too.  Here are a few resources from Quiltmaker that might help you make a T-shirt quilt.

DIY T-Shirt Quilts online course

DIYT ShirtQuilts T Shirt Quilts: Pieces from the past and the comfort of home.

T-Shirt Quilt Patterns eBook

QuiltPatternseBook T Shirt Quilts: Pieces from the past and the comfort of home.

Quilted Memories pattern

QMMP 1510 SHIRT Style 506 T Shirt Quilts: Pieces from the past and the comfort of home.

Let us know about the T-shirt quilts you have made or share some ideas for a quilt you’d like to make.

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Quiltmaker’s Patch Pals Collection

QMPatch large1 Quiltmakers Patch Pals Collection

Turn simple squares into adorable little quilts! This whimsical collection features a fun and diverse group of beginner friendly pieced animals. The Patch Pals series quilts are all the same size (40 1/4″ x 50 3/4″), with interchangeable borders that offer lots of variations. These scrappy color palettes are a great way to customize the designs to complement a child’s personality or theme of a nursery/bedroom.

Individual digital patterns are available for all of the Patch Pals critters and a limited number of  kits are available for select patterns. Let’s take a look at some of these cute animal friends!

RegalPatch Quiltmakers Patch Pals Collection

Regal Patch

Regal Patch: The king of the jungle stands tall and proud amongst the bright green grass. Try using a variety of tan and brown fabrics to create dimension in his mane, or frame the gentle king in the recipient’s favorite color for added contrast!

ParadisePatch Quiltmakers Patch Pals Collection

Paradise Patch

Paradise Patch: A poised flamingo gracefully poses in a cool lagoon. Paradise Patch is a breeze to assemble, using mostly square and half-square triangle units. Kits available.

HooPatch Quiltmakers Patch Pals Collection

Hoo Patch

Hoo Patch: Master your piecing skills while making this wise owl. Add an extra scrappy touch by using a variety of midnight blues and bright whites in the border to build depth between the crescent moons and night sky.

AussiePatch Quiltmakers Patch Pals Collection

Aussie Patch

Aussie Patch: Patch Pals takes a trip down under to visit their fuzzy koala friend Aussie Patch. With soft grays and sage greens, this charming koala is sure to be a comforting touch to a nursery. Kits available.

PurrPatch Quiltmakers Patch Pals Collection

Purr Patch

Purr Patch: Let your little one help create a sweet kitty of their own by playing with color and unit placement. Try adding a collar in the pieced units and stitching the kitties name on a tag for an extra personal touch. Kits available.

PondPatch Quiltmakers Patch Pals Collection

Pond Patch

Pond Patch: Hop around the pond and spend some time catching flies with Pond Patch. A lily pad border accents this playful and bright quilt. This quick to piece design will leave you extra time to adventure around together searching for tasty bugs! Kits available.

PatchPals1 Quiltmakers Patch Pals Collection

Best of Quiltmkaer | Patch Pals Collection

We have compiled the Patch Pals Collection into two eBooks. The first from Quiltmaker magazine brings together the first 12 quilts in the Patch Pals series. A Reader Gallery shows more variations to inspire you, plus Color Your Way diagrams let you experiment with your own fabric color ideas. These quilts will be great gifts for babies and kids, as well as fun lap quilts for all ages.

  • Twelve designs include: Ruff Patch (dog), Purr Patch (cat), Beary Patch (bear), Quack Patch (duck), Bunny Patch (rabbit), Banana Patch (monkey), Prickly Patch (hedgehog), Peanut Patch (elephant), Hoo Patch (owl), Pokey Patch (turtle), Polar Patch (penguin), and Jingle Patch (reindeer).
PatchPaleBook2 Quiltmakers Patch Pals Collection

Patch Pal Quilt Patterns eBook

The newest Patch Pals eBook compilation includes: Pokey Patch (turtle), Regal Patch (lion), Ruff Patch (dog), Peanut Patch (elephant), Rascal Patch (raccoon) and Paradise Patch (flamingo). Each of the six creative Patch Pals measures 40 1/4″ x 50 3/4″ and the borders are interchangeable with all prior patch pal patterns.

You can view all of the friendly critters we have previewed and more here. And, some of the Patch Pal quilt kits are currently on sale at the We hope you enjoy making your favorite little ones these playful Patch Pals.

Happy Quilting!

The Quiltmaker Team


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