Thursday, May 24, 2018

Two Quilts in One Issue -- McCall's Quilting July/August 2018

Who would have thought it possible? I have not one, but two quilts in the same issue of a quilting magazine. The current issue of McCall's Quilting -- July/August 2018 -- to be exact.


And here's the proof in the table of contents. My quilts are featured on pages 32 and 62!

The first quilt is called Parade of Stars. (I originally named it Stars, Stripes, and Geese, but that name didn't fly with the editors. Oh well.)

The request was for a quilt featuring stars and stripes, and there are 15 stars in this patriotic quilt. But, as you can see, two rows of small red flying geese replace two rows of stripes in my homage to the US flag. And a column of larger  blue flying geese represent the field of stars. In all that's 208 small flying geese and 114 blue flying geese. I chose to paper piece them as a connected row of units, rather than sew them individually and then sew the geese together. I think this also makes them more precise.

 I was excited to use Basic Grey's Grunge fabrics for this quilt. It's unusual for me to make a quilt that uses only four fabrics, but I didn't think this would work the same with scrappy fabrics, even if they were in similar colors.

This would be a great quilt of valor.

So, quilt number two is named Whirlygig (which I originally named Pinwheels All Around). In this case, I definitely like the name the editors came up with better than the name I had picked.

I originally designed this block for Quiltmaker Magazine's 100 Blocks Vol. 15. You can see my blog post about the block and see other quilt ideas using this block HERE.

I was especially thrilled to be able to use the handcrafted batik fabric line Chroma by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics. When I was originally asked to turn this block into a quilt (in fall of 2017), Chroma was just about ready to be released and there was quite a buzz about the fabric collection. I think it was the perfect choice for this quilt.

And, yes, there are a lot of pinwheels -- 70 black pinwheels and 20 blocks comprising 80 offset pinwheels.

In addition to these two quilts in the July/August issue McCall's quilting, I had a quilt in the July/August issue of Quiltmaker (blog post is HERE).  And I have a quilt that is in the July/August issue of Fons and Porter Quilting Quickly. It should be released any day now. So four quilts in three current issues of quilting magazines. Yes, I was busy during the winter months working on these quilts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Triple Exposure -- July/August 2018 Quiltmaker Magazine

The first of four original quilts I designed and made this year for magazines is in the July/August 2018 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.

This issue is now available online at The Quilting Company, and will be available in stores at the end of May.

The request that came from the magazine was to design a quilt that had some "hidden" surprises -- such as an alternate block that emerges where the blocks come together. In my case, I designed the quilt with three hidden surprises.

First, by using a white fabric with small black dots in the corners, in combination with a simple sashing and and black cornerstone, a shoo-fly block emerges where the blocks come together.

Second, by using three values of fabrics in each block and a somewhat busy quilting pattern, it almost seems to me that the pinwheels are spinning.

And, third, if you look closely, the center of each block also has a small pinwheel in the same black and white pin-dot fabric.

This was a fun project that is paper foundation pieced. When it is all said and done, each block has 57 pieces -- 14 paper-pieced pieces in each quadrant of the block, and a black square appliqued to the center of the block. It wasn't difficult, but it probably took longer than any other quilt I've made in recent years.

A tip is to avoid using a large-scale print in the blocks. Since the the pinwheel sections are broken up due to paper piecing, you need fabrics that don't emphasize the fact that they are made from smaller pieces sewn together to look like a triangle.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Better Late Than Never: Finish #14 in 2018

Not quite a baby quilt since the recipient, Temple, is nearly 2-1/2 years old.


He was so eager to be born that he arrived three months sooner than expected, weighing less than three pounds.

I've always thought this photo was so amazing since it shows his dad's wedding ring on his little wrist like a bracelet.

But here he is now: healthy and strong, and a typical two-year old.

I actually made a different quilt for him originally, but then realized the quilt needed to feature a train since his dad works for the railroad. I started with the train, and it kind of evolved from there. And this was the result:

And except for the lime green minkey on the back, all of the other fabrics came from my stash and scraps.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Poster Child for Make-do Scrappy Quilts

Finish #13 for 2018. And only seven years in the making.

In 2011 I did a block swap for Bonnie Hunter's (Quiltville) Chunky Churn Dash block. I blogged about it here on March 1, 2011. I decided to set it with alternate blocks inspired by a Kim Diehl quilt. I've had the top made (except for the outer piano-key border) since April 2011.

In fact, I had misplaced the top and found it a week or so ago while sorting through a pile in my sewing room.

I decided it needed something more than the two inner borders, and remembered that I had lots of 4 to 5-inch long strip sets from my checkerboard quilt (blogged about here). I only had to make six extra segments and I had enough for the complete outer border. How's that for making do and using up scraps.

Each of the alternate blocks is made from prints that don't appear anywhere else in the blocks. None of the fabrics in the piano keys appear in the center of the quilt (although they are repeated in the border). 

To add to the scrappiness, about 60% of the chunky churn dash blocks came from the block swap and use fabrics I don't have in my stash. 

I estimate that there are between 130 and 150 different fabrics in this quilt! I think that's a record, even for me.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Modern Baby Quilt -- Finish #12

Twelfth finish for the year! This one is another baby quilt for the daughter to be born to my niece and her husband later this year. I had a different quilt planned for her, but while I was working on this quilt I decided it was perfect for them. It just seemed to fit the mom-to-be.

The Kaffe Fassett fabric combined with the black and white prints is such a classic combination, and one I used for my Wizard's Chess quilt that was on the cover of the June/July issue of McCall's Quick Quilts. 

And, in keeping with my goal to use up stash, the border fabric for this quilt was left over from the backing used on my Which Way To Go? quilt that I designed and made for the September/October issue of Quiltmaker magazine. It was technically also a UFO (unfinished object) because I had done the house blocks in September 2016. I have 15 more house blocks that are done, so I'll likely make another quilt pretty much like this one for a friend. (I had originally been working on this one for her when I decided to earmark it for the upcoming baby instead.)

Here are a couple more pics of the quilt:

Friday, April 6, 2018

Finish Number 11 for 2018

Last week as I tried to organize my sewing room and fabric stash, I ran across a stack of Jovial Christmas fabric by Basic Grey for Moda. As I took stock of the fabric, I realized I had 15 yards of it! Yikes! I must have had something specific in mind for the fabric, but I don't have any idea what my plans were.

According to the Moda United Notions website, this fabric came out in June 2011, which means it's been waiting to be put into a quilt for nearly seven years!

Since I've never made a Christmas quilt, and I'm focused on using fabrics I already have, it was time to get busy. After looking at Christmas quilts on Pinterest, I found a free pattern called Pinwheels and Patchwork, by Andy Knowlton, at

In the original pattern, the pinwheel blocks finish at 12 inches, but I decided to make blocks that finish at eight inches instead. Since I have the AccuQuilt die for the triangle-in-a-square unit in the pinwheel block, I made it easy on myself and cut the fabrics with my AccuQuilt Go! Baby rather than buy a Tri-Recs ruler.

This quilt is truly "a quilt in a day". I got it all done (except for the outer borders and quilting) in one day.

I did buy some black Minky for the backing rather than piece the backing. I had plenty of Jovial yardage, but most of it was 1-yard cuts.

I made a small dent in my Jovial fabric, but still have enough fabric for a couple more wall quilts. I'll probably make this same pattern again for a gift, and then use whatever remains for a different Christmas quilt.

I quilted it using a digital design from Wasatch Quilting called Waves and Pearls. Since I loaded the quilt sideways on my frame, the waves quilted out vertically -- a look I quite like for this quilt.

Year-to-date finishes -- 11 quilts and one quilt top
  • UFOs: 1 
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): 7 (includes three quilts for magazines not blogged about yet)
  • Finished quilt tops: 1

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Another Quick Stash Buster Quilt

Still on my mission to use my scraps and fabric stash.

I have a huge pile of Woolies Flannels by Maywood Studios and Wool and Needle Flannel by Moda. I've made three quilts using these thick and cushy flannels. As a result, I have plenty of scraps and even decent pieces of yardage left over from backing and borders.

While looking through a Keepsake Quilting catalog, I noticed a quilt designed by Villa Rosa Designs using Woolies Flannels. I decided to draft my own version of the quilt and hopefully make a dent in my flannel scraps. Here's the result:

It's a throw that's about 56 inches by 68 inches. I even had enough flannel in my stash to use for the backing. 

I love it when I'm able to make a quilt from start to finish without having to buy any additional fabric.

I still have a stack of these flannels, so I'll be on the search for another quick design that will be appropriate for these cozy fabrics.

I quilted it using a digital design from Wasatch Quilting called "Square Pegs in Round Holes".

So here's the update on 2018 projects:

Year-to-date finishes -- ten quilts and one quilt top
  • UFOs: 1 
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): 6 (includes three quilts for magazines not blogged about yet)
I also completed a quilt top for a wedding quilt that I'm not showing yet and needs to be quilted. So I'll add another category to my finishes.
  • Finished quilt tops: 1

Monday, April 2, 2018

Quick Baby Boy Quilt

I was doing some organizing in my sewing room and ran across a novelty panel and some yardage, intended for a quilt for a baby boy. Although baby Samuel was born yesterday, I had already made his quilt -- the Pony Express quilt I blogged about previously.

I decided to go ahead and make this boy quilt knowing that there will likely be another boy born into the family at some point in the future. (The next two births are girls -- one within the next couple of weeks and one in July. I'll share their quilts soon.) And except for backing fabric, everything else came from my stash!

This was a snap to make, since it includes a panel for the center of the quilt. I had yardage for the borders, binding, and corner four-patches. In fact, it took longer to fussy-cut the border print than to sew the entire quilt top.

Sometimes the right quilting choice IS a straightforward meander/stippling pattern. I think it actually complements the construction theme. And it also quilts up quickly.

To make it even quicker to finish, I bought 60-inch wide Minky for the back. Perfect for a baby quilt -- and no seams to stitch or cotton to iron. And I only needed to purchase the length of the quilt plus eight inches.

Loaded the selvages to my leaders -- which meant the stretch of the backing went across the frame. It also meant I needed to load the quilt top with the length of the quilt sideways. Luckily the meander quilting isn't directional, so that worked like a charm.

Now just need to wait until another baby boy joins the family!

Year-to-date finishes -- nine quilts
  • UFOs: 1 
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): 5 (includes three quilts for magazines not blogged about yet)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Oxford Star

I am making my version of a quilt my grandmother made. It is the Texas Star quilt -- a six-pointed star with a hexagon center. I've named it Oxford Star because my grandmother was born and lived her whole life in the town of Oxford, Idaho. This is one of the six quilts she gave to my mother.

Here's my grandma's quilt (made probably in the 1950s). 

She machine pieced the stars and hand quilted the quilt. 

I am making my version using Lollies fabric by Jen Kingwell for Moda. The fabrics I chose have eight prints in the width of fabric that all coordinate with each other and that are separated by the gray stripe. So it looks like I've combined multiple fabrics in each star -- but it is kind of a "cheater cloth". 

Some of the blocks use the same fabrics for all six points:

Some blocks use two fabric selections for the star points:

Like my grandmother, I'm also machine piecing the stars. I've completed 25 of the 46 full star blocks. There will also be six half-size blocks. I will be setting the stars with charcoal gray diamonds. 

Lots of Y-seams, but they have been pretty easy to do. I'll be an expert at them by the time this quilt is done.

My blocks are about an inch smaller than my grandma's stars, but that was because I'm using Perfect Patchwork Templates set H by Marti Michell to cut the hexagons, diamonds, and star points.

Over the past year or so this has been a popular quilt made using English Paper Piecing techniques. You can see a fabulous example at Red Pepper Quilts; her quilt is named Daisy Chain. Her finished stars are a bit smaller than mine.

My goal is to have this quilt finished, quilted, and bound by our family reunion at the beginning of July. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stash-Buster Quilt

2018 Quilting Goals:

  • Goal #1: Make a dent in my huge fabric stash.
  • Goal #2: Finish some UFOs (more than I want to admit)
  • Goal #3: Quilt more of my "flimsies" (better known as unquilted quilt tops -- I've got 27 of them!)

The checkerboard quilt I recently finished was a UFO, but to finish it I used some of my huge collection of traditional fabrics. Each 10-inch block uses two fat eighths: one neutral and one color. I also use yardage in my stash for the backing. And this quilt was only a flimsy for one day before I put it on the frame and quilted it.

It's not too big -- 50 inches by 60 inches. The perfect size for a throw and the perfect style for a utility quilt.

Here are some more photos:

This is the perfect advanced-beginner quilt who is ready to do some serious chain piecing, as well as strip piecing and sub-cutting into units to be reassembled.

Because the quilt has an old-fashioned look, I decided to wash it to give it a slightly worn feel. It will definitely get used, so hopefully future washings will add to the cozy look and feel.

Year-to-date finishes -- eight quilts

  • UFOs: 1 (the checkerboard quilt in this blog post)
  • Flimsies into quilts: 3 (see also A Couple Random Quilt Finishes and Pinwheels for Caroline)
  • Other quilts (started and finished in 2018): Another Pony Express Quilt and three quilts for magazines that will appear in the July/August issues of McCall's Quilts, Quiltmaker, and Quilting Quickly. (I'll blog about them after they appear in the magazines.)

Not too bad for the first ten weeks of the year!


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