Thursday, April 20, 2017

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Vol. 15 Blog Hop

Get ready for the next issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. They are about to release Volume 15! Wow, that's 1500 original blocks from lots of quilt designers.

I'm happy to have an original block in Volume 15 and to be part of the upcoming blog hop. Be sure to stop back by on May 1 to have the chance to win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 15.

This will be my fourth original block. I also had blocks in Vol. 8, Vol, 9 and Vol. 10.
See these blog posts about those blocks:

Also, I've provided Quiltmaker with a signed copy of my book, Triple-Play Scrap Quilting. By visiting the Quiltmaker blog ( you'll have a chance to win the copy of my book!

This is always such a fabulous special issue. You won't want to miss the blog tour!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Big Book of Strip Quilts (plus GIVEAWAY!)

I'm honored to have a quilt in Martingale/That Patchwork Place's new book The Big Book of Strip Quilts. All 60 of the quilts in the book can be made from 2-1/2 inch strips (aka jelly roll strips). Yes, that's 60 quilts for less than 50 cents per pattern!

You can learn more about this new book from Martingale/That Patchwork Place on their blog today. Just click the book image above to go to the blog. And you're gonna want to go over there because they are giving away a copy of the e-book.

And guess what? I'm also giving away a copy of the e-book. All you need to do is leave a comment below and tell us what your favorite pre-cut size is. I'll randomly pick a winner on Tuesday, April 25. So make sure your comment is added by midnight on the 24th.

My quilt in this great book is called Plaid and Pinwheels. 

It is from my book Triple-Play Scrap Quilting and is what I consider a "coordinated scrappy" quilt because it uses fabrics from a single fabric line. This quilt requires two jelly rolls, plus some yardage for borders, sashing, backing, and binding. 

The blocks are very quick to sew. In fact, it will probably take longer to do the pinwheel border than all of the blocks in the center of the quilt. I did the half-square triangles for the pinwheels using triangle paper, but one can use their favorite method.

I also did two other variations of this quilt.

This is the "planned scrappy" version which features a planned color scheme: pink and gray. I kept the blocks and sashing fairly subtle by using only medium and light fabrics, and I brought the darker fabrics into the borders to frame the quilt center.

And this is the "make-do scrappy" version. I emphasized the geometric nature of this quilt by piecing the sashing border and adding bold black inner borders. Although you could skip making the pinwheels entirely and use a single-fabric border, I still added pinwheels in only the upper left and lower right corners. It's a great way to use up scraps!

Good luck winning a copy of the e-book -- either from me or from Martingale's blog posting!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I'm a "Cover Girl" with Wizard's Chess

Or at least my quilt is.

I designed and made this quilt in December for McCall's Quick Quilts. I'm excited to see that it made the cover of the June/July 2017 issue!

On a shop hop last September I searched for black and white fabrics to use in a someday quilt. They seemed like the perfect fabrics to pair with Kaffe Fassett blue-toned fabrics for this quilt. It would look great using Kaffe Fassett reds as well. I even played around with traditional Civil War fabrics (scrappy) in combination with a black and cream checkerboard. 

You will be able to purchase the magazine in shops about May 1. Or it's available online now at McCall's Quick Quilts

I quilted it with my HQ Avante equipped with HQ Pro-Stitcher. Here are some close-ups of the quilting.

For those inclined to stitch up this quilt, a pdf of the pattern is also available from McCall's Quick Quilts. And, as the magazine name implies, it is a quick quilt to make. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Frivols Finish

A year ago at the Winter Quiltfest, I received a Moda Frivols collectible tin as a door prize.

It included 42 7-inch squares of Eliza's Indigo fabric by Betsy Chutchian, a pattern for a little quilt, and a couple quilty goodies -- a quote and a mini note pad. A couple weeks ago I decide to make up the quilt. 

It worked up very quickly -- just square-in-square locks that were made even easier by using the Fit to be Geese ruler to square up the blocks. The 7-inch square is a great pre-cut -- more versatile than a charm square, yet absolutely no waste except little slivers of fabric from squaring up the blocks. Here's the quilt draped over an easy chair in my living room.

The only tricky part -- not hard, just something you need to be careful with -- is matching the points of the blocks between rows. 

I used a brown fabric from my stash with black dots to back and bind the little quilt.

When it came time to quilt it, I chose a wave pattern with "pearls". I shrunk the pattern down from the original two inches to about a half inch -- suitable for a little quilt.

Sometimes a little quilt is a nice diversion from the larger ones. I started it on a Saturday and finished it on a Monday, leaving my mom a day to bind it. (Thanks Mom!)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pony Express Quilt

Several years ago I ran across Pony Express themed fabric by Jodi Barrows. I purchased the fabric to one day use in a quilt honoring the Pony Express.

You might wonder why I would want to do a Pony Express quilt. It's because my great-grandfather's two older brothers and one brother-in-law were Pony Express riders. I previously memorialized these great uncles in my family history cross-stitch sampler (stitching is still a work in progress). They are represented in the lower-right corner. These are all on my mother's father's line.

Now they are memorialized in a quilt, named "Stations". I finished the quilt top in about 2013 and it sat around needing to be quilted. Well, last week I decided to finally put it on the frame and quilt it. 

The four center buildings represent the stations John and Billy (William) Fisher and Erastas Egan were assigned to. The smaller buildings in the outside border represent more of the 157 stations that extended from Missouri to California.

John and Billy had immigrated as teenagers from England with their parents in 1854. I've always thought it kind of funny that these two young men -- with British accents -- were part of the Pony Express, one of the iconic enterprises of the American West. They also carried the news of Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

My father told me after seeing the quilt that another of my ancestors (this time on my father's line) had a Pony Express connection. The home of my great-great grandfather, Absalom Wamsley Smith, served as a Pony Express station in Draper, Utah. That station was called "Traveler's Rest". 

A few close-up photos of the quilt:

Here is more information about these Pony Express riders (click to read):

Billy Fisher history by his son: Includes the story of when he was caught in a blinding blizzard.

John Fisher history by his daughter: Includes stories of encounters with Indians.

Some amazing people in my family tree!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

My Version of the Gardenvale Quilt

Just finished the top for my version of the Gardenvale quilt...although technically it should be called the Lollies quilt since mine uses Lollies by Jen Kingwell rather than her Gardenvale fabric line.

Unlike the original, I used the new double-wide Dresden plate ruler. So it has only 10 wedges rather than 20 -- which means it was much quicker to make. Just ordered backing, so not quilted yet.

I went to QuiltCon in Savannah. While I was in the Atlanta airport returning home on Monday, I checked Facebook and was excited to see this in my feed:

The quilt on the left is an original design I did for McCall's Quick Quilts for the June/July issue. They are running a contest/survey to decide which quilt to put on the cover. I'm hoping that my cover wins so I can be a "cover girl". After all, I'm already a "calendar girl" when one of my quilts was in the 2015 That Patchwork Place calendar. 

Here are some better photos of the quilt (which I named "Log Chain") but that McCall's Quick Qults named "Wizard's Chess".. 

Spent the day quilting my Pony Express Quilt. I'll do a separate blog post about it -- and explain why it's called "Pony Express Stations".

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Zeke's Quilt

I finally finished the quilt for Zeke, my nephew's son. Both of his older sisters have quilts, but this one definitely is the cutest. I saw the design on Pinterest and knew I could replicate it myself.

I printed the numbers and letters large on my printer, laminated them, cut them out, and used them as the templates for tracing and cutting from fabric. I had ironed Misty Fuse to the back of the solid fabrics before cutting them out and adhering to the gray background fabric. I then stitched around the letters and numbers with invisible thread, sashed the blocks, added borders -- and TA DA! Quilt top was done. Very quick project. And except for the outer border and backing, all the other fabrics came from my stash.

Here's nearly 18-month-old Zeke with his quilt. I actually finished the top last fall and quilted it. After taking it off the frame, I discovered about a square foot of loops on the back. ARGH! I procrastinated picking out the stitching and getting it back on the frame to requilt that section. But, a couple weeks ago Zeke's dad, Ian, accepted a job in Southern California, so they are moving in a week. So, the deadline was looming and I had to get it done!

I backed it with Minkee and quilted it with a digital design by Wasatch Quilting with the numbers 1, 2, and 3, letters A, B, and C, amid lots of pebbles/bubbles.

I should have scooted the rows closer together, but hindsight is 20/20. Still love this quilt -- and I hope that Zeke does too!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Second Finish of the Year

Unfortunately, I can't show my first finish of the year yet. It is a quilt that will be published in McCall's Quick Quilts later this year -- and I figure I shouldn't scoop the magazine. (I'll share it after the magazine comes out in a few months.)

That quilt was started in December 2016 and finished in January 2017. But I started AND finished this one in January 2017.

This quilt is for my brother who has a cattle ranch (although he currently isn't running it as a working cattle ranch). He also uses his 2000+ acres as recreation property. Last year I bought this cattle drive fabric on a whim -- some fat quarters and some yardage of the cream and brown prints to add to it. Figured I'd eventually turn it into a quilt for my brother when I figured out what pattern to use.

I was browsing some copies of Block magazine and ran across this Illusion quilt by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company. It was perfect. It would showcase the fabrics. It had a masculine feel to it. It would be quick and easy to make up. After all, I want this quilt to get used! And I think it definitely was the right choice.

I quilted it with HQ Pro-Stitcher on my HQ Avante using a simple spiral digital motif. I found lots of cute western motifs, but I felt they competed with the fabrics. The spiral all-over design kind of looks like lassos (to me, anyway). It adds texture and movement to the quilt, without distracting from the ranch fabric motifs.

I'll be giving the quilt to my brother later tonight. My mom gets my siblings, spouses, and me (and her) season tickets to the local community theater each year for Christmas. It means we get together about every six weeks, have dinner with my parents, and then go to the theater which is only a mile away. And tonight is the first show of the season.

I hope he likes it. I'm pretty sure he will. He is very generous to me and has even let me build a tiny house/cabin on his ranch property. And I've even hosted a quilting retreat for friends at the ranch. So, he deserves a quilt.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Two More Quilt Tops Quilted and Bound

I've quilted two more of the many quilt tops waiting patiently to be quilted.

The first quilt, made from an American Jane pattern called See Saw. It can be made from a jelly roll, although I used a fat-eighth pack for the main fabric in each block and a jelly roll for the centers.

I chose a simple edge-to-edge motif for the quilting.

I'm not sure who the lucky recipient will be, but with lots of grand nieces and nephews who have outgrown their baby quilt, I'm thinking it's time to start gifting them with a twin-size quilt.

I definitely know who the next quilt is for -- ME! It matches my living room furniture perfectly.

This fabric is Basic Gray's second Little Black Dress line for Moda. I loved using this fabric because it was designed by my cousin's daughter, Rachel, who owns Basic Gray.

Time to get another quilt on the frame. No time this week and traveling for work the beginning of next week. But having quilted seven quilts in the last month or so, I'm making good progress.

Update on the reunion quilts: They each garnered $400 towards the family fund for maintaining our grandparents' homestead property. Yay!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Quilting Catch-Up

After quilting three reunion quilts (see previous post), I was feeling good about my successes with quilting edge-to-edge designs with HQ Pro-Stitcher, the computerized quilting robotics that works with my HQ Avante.

Until now, it seemed like I had some major blooper (usually user error) with each quilt. But with more than a dozen quilts under my belt, I had figured out most of the tweaks I need to do to quilt without issues.

I've learned that I prefer Omni thread from Superior Threads for my top thread. It's 40-weight thread that is nice and strong, and shows up well when quilted. I've also found that I prefer So Fine (also from Superior Threads) in the bobbin. It's a slightly thinner thread (50-weight).

I also have the most success with my needle (size 18 rather than 16) rotated slightly to the 5:30 position. And, if I stitch at a speed just a bit slower than the HQ Avante's middle speed, I get the precision I like and no thread breaks or shredding. I've now finished four quilts with no thread breaks. Yay!

So, with my new-found confidence in computerized machine quilting, I've been finishing lots of quilts from my to-do pile.

The first quilt was from a class I took from Amy Smart at January's Winter Quiltfest. Easy quilt -- I could have made it without the pattern or class -- but I enjoy taking classes in hopes that I'll learn something new (even after several decades of making quilts). My Pfaff machine that I take to classes was acting finicky, so I did most of the piecing at home on my Baby Lock, which is too heavy to take to classes. And, ta da! It's done! (But can I just say how much I hate assembling on-point settings? I love they way they look, but don't like putting them together.)

So, I started looking for a quilt top for which I already had backing. (It's been an expensive month due to getting a new water heater and some costly car repairs, so I didn't want to buy backing if I didn't have to.) I decided on a quilt made from a Moda Bonnie and Camille line called April Showers.

I saw the block online and drafted it in Electric Quilt. I quilted it using an umbrella motif designed by Nancy Haacke, Wasatch Quilting.

It will be the perfect quilt for the next great niece born to one of my nieces or nieces-in-law. (Edited to add: I ended up giving it to Hadley (great niece) when she got baptized.)

I've since quilted two more quilts that have been waiting to be finished. They are with my mom, who thankfully hand-stitches down my binding. I'll share them when I get the quilts back from her. (Thanks Mom!)

All in all, it's been a productive past few weeks. Seven quilts quilted and bound!


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