“Allietare!” Mystery Quilt

29 11 2015

Have you noticed the “Allietare!” icon near the bottom of the right sidebar? Click the picture to link to Bonnie Hunter’s blog to find clue releases (quiltville.blogspot.com). Bonnie continues her tradition of publishing clues to a mystery quilt, one each Friday, between Thanksgiving weekend and New Year’s weekend.


Most years I look at my calendar for the holidays and sigh, “I just don’t have the time to commit to the mystery quilt this year.” However, on the years that I have eked out sewing time anyway, I’ve been so glad I did. Bonnie’s mystery quilts are stunning! Carving out a couple of hours to work on each clue is a gift I give to myself during the busy holiday season.

How about you? Are you following the “Allietare” clues this year?

Wintertime Mug Rugs

25 11 2015


Mug Rugs are a cross between coasters and placemats. They’re just big enough for a cup of hot cocoa and several cookies! During our November Quilting Circle, Karlene showed our group the basics of constructing a mug rug. Click here to read her blog post and to see a Dresden Plate mug rug design.

I decided my friend, Julia, who loves to sip tea each morning, could use a mug rug or six. Why six? Because her hubby and children also like to follow her tradition, and they love cookies! I used scraps of “Ho Ho Ho Let It Snow” fabric designed by Nancy Halvorsen to make the cheerful mini quilts. As Karlene instructed, I cut batting 6 1/2″ x 8 1/2.” And I cut backing 8 1/2″ x 10 1/2.” I cut rectangles and strips 6 1/2″ long of various widths and sewed them to the backing, quilt-as-you-go style. I turned the backing to the front and machine stitched in place as a simple “binding.” Then I added straight line quilting 3/8″ away from some of the seams.

I plan to send them to chilly Indiana soon with a box of hot chocolate, some mini marshmallows and a cookie mix. Won’t Julia and her family love the gift?


Workshop with Springfield Quilters Unlimited

23 11 2015

Last week I had the privilege of presenting a trunk show and workshop to the Springfield chapter of Quilters Unlimited of Northern Virginia. I was a member of the guild from 2005 to 2008, so it was a lot of fun to reconnect with “old” friends and make several new ones.

The trunk show, “Something Old, Something New,” followed the guild’s theme for the year and elicited many positive comments. I showed antique and vintage quilts made by my grandmothers and modern re-makes inspired by them. To be honest, some of the vintage quilts were made by me years ago – that’s amazing, isn’t it? I’m old enough to have made vintage quilts!


Carol and Donna sewing to their heart’s content

The workshop, “Get the Point?,” was held at The Quilters Studio in Fairfax and attended by 13 ladies. They had a great time learning how to use the Easy Angle ruler with 2 1/2″ wide strips to make the 6 1/2″ blocks. By the end of the day, we had a collection of blocks to arrange and re-arrange on the design wall.


The photo above shows just two of the many options for arranging the blocks. Note that Judy’s blocks on the left begin with a light central diamond while the conglomerate on the right begins with a dark colored diamond. I encouraged the workshop participants to play with their blocks before settling on a final layout.


We joked that these were giant Flying Geese with eyes! And everyone admired Nancy’s batik fabrics pictured below.


Thanks, SQU ladies for the wonderful opportunity to share my quilts with you! Best wishes on completing your projects; the quilts will be stunning!


Quiltmaker Blog Tour – “Inside Out”

18 11 2015

Welcome guests and followers to Day 3 of Quiltmaker’s blog tour for the latest Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers. As in the foregoing 11 volumes of this specialty magazine, vol. 12 contains awesome blocks from simple to challenging. The techniques vary from applique, to mixed technique, to foundation pieced and to pieced. You will want to add vol. 12 to your collection. It contains so many ingenious and colorful blocks to serve as inspiration for your future quilt projects. (Click the magazine cover below to link to a listing of all 100 Blocks publications.)


I feel so honored that my pieced block, “Inside Out,” is included in vol. 12!  It is block #1173 on page 45. In designing this block, I experimented with reversing the coloration in the quadrants of the block. If you notice, the quadrants diagonally opposite each other are colored the same. To tone down the high contrast of red and white, I thought of adding the currently popular neutral – gray. However, I wasn’t totally pleased with the first block I made; the gray is too light.


Back to the fabric store I went and found a darker gray with some round textural elements. I like this coloration much better. The diamond formed by the triangles is more pronounced and adds visual interest.


Another idea for using this block is making the diamond element of the block a black and white print and replacing red with various bright colors.

I hope you enjoy making blocks from vol. 12, and if you try “Inside Out,” please send me a picture of your block or quilt.

If you’d like to win a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 12, leave a comment below. Tell me how you would (or did) use gray in a quilt block. I’ll select 3 winners and contact them by email on 30 November.

Clicking the green circular button links you to quiltypleasures.com, Quiltmaker’s blog, where you’ll find links to other designers on Day 3 of the blog tour. Remember to register for prizes on all the blogs you visit.


Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 12 Blog Tour Day 1

16 11 2015

QM1550-COVER-125pxDrum roll, please. What we’ve all been waiting for . . . vol. 12 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers. This magazine is published twice a year and will soon be on newsstands and in local quilt shops. If you can’t find it locally, you may order your copy from the magazines section of the Quilt and Sew Shop. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to visit the quiltypleasures.com blog and link to the designers’ blogs featured today. You are sure to be inspired!


Click the magazine cover to link to a listing of all the 100 Blocks publications.

Click the green circle button to link to the Quilty Pleasures blog. Don’t forget to comment for prizes on all the blogs you visit.

Check back here on Wednesday, my day on the blog tour.

“Snowflake” Finished!

13 11 2015

IMG_3710I’m so happy to show you pictures of my finished “Snowflake” quilt. As you know, I participated in the Quilt Along sponsored by Bernina and designed by Faith Jones who blogs at freshlemonsquilts.com. This QAL was a lot of fun; the blocks were easy to assemble, and the setting makes the quilt interesting to view. If you need a quick quilt gift this winter, I highly recommend this pattern!

For quilt backing, I rummaged in my box of Christmas fabrics and found a Christmas tree print purchased from JoAnn’s Fabric and Craft Store a couple of years ago. Alas, and alack, it was too short and too narrow. So I pieced a row of trees to add length and sewed bands of a polka dot print to both sides to gain width. Now the back is almost as interesting as the front of the quilt.


IMG_3712Selecting a quilting design was easy! In keeping with the name of the quilt, I chose “Winter White,” a snowflake pantograph designed by Dave Hudson. Normally I use the same color quilting thread as the background, but in this case I took a walk on the wild side. White thread would be invisible on the white background, and thus the snowflakes would not be readily seen. My next thread color choice was gray, but then I thought of lime green. Wow! What fun to have green tinged snowflakes dancing across the quilt top! A lime green binding finishes the quilt nicely. This quilt is a gift for my nephew and his new bride.

Click here for Faith’s “Snowflake” Quilt Along Page. Once there, you’ll see links to the three steps of the quilt.


Quiltmaker Blog Tour Coming Up

11 11 2015


Next week, November 16-20, is the debut blog tour of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 12. Mark your to-do list, and check out quiltypleasures.com each day. The Quiltmaker blog will publish links to about 10 quilting blogs each day. You can register for prizes on the Quiltmaker blog and also on the designers’ blogs. YOU could win a coveted copy of the vol. 12 magazine!


I’m so excited – my block “Inside Out” was accepted for publication, and my day on the blog tour is Wednesday. From past experience, I know that lots of visitors will read my blog and comment for the chance to win a magazine. I would like to give my blog followers better odds at winning, so if you are a follower and you’d like a copy of vol. 12, leave a comment on this blog post. I’ll draw for 2 winners on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Of course, you can comment on Wednesday as well, further increasing your chances of winning!


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