Guest Blogger for Fons and Porter

5 12 2016

I’m excited to say that I’m the guest blogger today for Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting blog! The blog post is both promotional and educational in nature, advertising Craft U.

Have you heard of Craft U? The URL for this internet learning center is Check out diverse course offerings by world class instructors for a variety of popular arts and crafts.  If you follow Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville blog, you’ll recognize Craft U as the site that offers her online scrap quilting courses.


I was invited to select and blog about a Craft U course. Gudrun Erla’s Stripology course seemed a natural choice for me since I’m intrigued by rotary cutting and strip-piecing short-cuts. Click here to link to the Fons and Porter’s blog. You’ll read my review of Stripology and learn about the inspiration for my rendition of “Steamy Windows” shown above.

I hope you’ll check out Craft University ( and select a course or two that interest you!

November FQ Challenge – Blog Readers Share

27 11 2016

This past year I challenged myself to make something each month with fat quarters I’ve collected. And I’ve challenged blog readers to join the creative fun! I recently received pictures of a couple of projects to share with you.

Maridee used 7 print fat quarters plus yardage for the white alternate squares and blue border. (“I’ve had the fabric for a few years.”) The pattern is a variation of “Little Dominoes” by Mary Hickey.


Doesn’t it feel rewarding to use some hoarded fat quarters in a pretty project?

Stacy designed a fat quarter friendly Christmas tree mini quilt. Click here to link to her blog for the tutorial.


What a great decoration; the perfect size for gift-giving!

What about you, have you been sewing up some of your fat quarters? Please send me a digital picture (

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 14 Blog Tour – Day 1

14 11 2016


Welcome to Day 1 of the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 14 blog hop and welcome to abyquilts. My block is #1339 on page 31.

img_20160521_143111_985-1We all love “Saw Tooth Star” for its simplicity in construction and for its charming appeal. The 6″ center square of a 12″ Saw Tooth Star provides a sizable space for incorporating an interesting print fabric or an additional design. For example you could insert a 6″ star, Pinwheel, Maple Leaf, patch of 16 squares, or applique motif. The process for creating “Celebration Star” was experimental; I wanted to see if I could morph the star into a wreath. By using green fabrics and adding quarter circles in the light background triangles and squares, I achieved a more circular effect. I colored 2 adjacent triangles red for the wreath’s bow. Set on-point as a diamond with 4 setting triangles, the block (or 5) will make a charming Christmas wall quilt.


img_20160521_132051_142-1While my initial design was prompted by thoughts of Christmas, I wondered how the block would look made with patriotic prints. I chose three fabrics from the Colors of Freedom line designed by Jennifer Pugh for Wilmington Prints. (Quiltmaker chose to print this coloration.) Wouldn’t multiples of this block combine for a striking Quilt of Valor or gift for a patriotic friend?

Construction tip:  I used light weight fusible webbing to adhere the entire quarter circle to the background square or triangle. However, you could decrease stiffness by using arcs of webbing 1/2″ wide only along the curves of the quarter circles.

Leave a comment below if you would like to win a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 14. To be eligible, your comment must include your ideas for coloring “Celebration Star.” Would you make a Christmas star, a patriotic star, or use another color scheme?

Click here to link to the Quiltmaker blog, Quilty Pleasures. Check out the other designers and blocks which are on today’s blog tour.

Quiltmaker Blog Tour Coming Up

11 11 2016

Next week is an exciting week in the blog-o-sphere! Volume 14 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers will hit the newsstands, and over 50 of the designers will blog about their block contributions to the magazine. Both designers and the Quiltmaker blog will offer free copies of the magazine as well as other quilty prizes.


I will show my block, “Celebration Star” on Monday.

I hope you’ll join me and the other designers for the blog tour!

Fat Quarter Challenge – November

7 11 2016

Each month of 2016 I’ve challenged myself (and blog readers) to use Fat Quarters to make a project. I promised to show my quilt ideas by the 15th of each month, and I invite you to send pictures of your projects for subsequent blog posts.

I was inspired by Lynn Lister’s “Cozy Cabins” published by McCall’s Quilting magazine. Click here to see a picture. You can download an e-book which contains the pattern from the McCall’s blog (Friday Freebie, Oct. 7, 2016). The muted fabrics Lynn chose say “fall” to me, and I have plenty of those hues in my stash! I cut strips from these fat quarters as well as from stash yardage and scraps.


At daughter Trinity’s suggestion, I cut the center black squares 3 1/2″ and strips 2″ wide. This yields a 12 1/2″ unfinished block, so I can easily use my 12 1/2″ acrylic ruler to square up the blocks prior to assembling the quilt top. I plan to make 30 blocks total. I’m off to a great start with 18 on my design wall!


At first, I cut long strips and sewed successive rounds, cutting the strips to the correct length after sewing and pressing. But I found it saved time if I cut all the strips needed for one block and pinned them together as a “kit.” The strip lengths my blocks require are 3 1/2,” 6 1/2,” 9 1/2,” and 12 1/2.”


By scrutinizing Lynn’s quilt, Trinity and I noticed that darks, mediums, and lights were used. And blocks set side by side needed to contrast in value. In other words, since the block in the top left of the quilt has a dark outer round, the adjacent blocks need to have a light or bright outer round. Noticing the value placement guided my planning; I need 15 blocks with a dark outer strips and 15 blocks with light or bright outer strips.

Would you like to Quilt Along, making “Cozy Cabins” blocks this month? Perhaps you’d like to change the size or the color palette.

McCall’s Guest Blogger

3 11 2016


“Bow Tie Wreath,” published in the Dec./Jan. 2017 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts, is the subject of my guest blog post for McCall’s today. (Click here to travel to the blog.) You’ll read all about my inspiration for this festive wall quilt.

McCall’s generously donated two copies of the magazine for my blog readers. Additionally, I am offering poinsettia border fabric for one lucky winner of the drawing to be held on 10 November. To be eligible, leave a comment below stating if you’d like to win the magazine, the fabric, or both. I’d also be interested to know if you have recently been inspired by a traditional quilt block or vintage quilt.

Blog Readers Share – September and October FQ Challenge

31 10 2016

I’d like to thank Patti, Stephanie, and Maridee for sharing pictures of projects that incorporate fat quarters. You, too, are invited to participate in the year-long challenge of turning some of your fat quarters into quilts. Please send a digital picture to

Patti sent a picture of four projects made from a bundle of fat quarters procured several years ago. She found some coordinating batiks and made a wall quilt as well as three table toppers. They will be Christmas gifts for her son-in-law’s mother and three sisters. Way to go, Patti! You creatively used your FQs and have a head start on making Christmas gifts.


Stephanie wrote, “Quilters attending the Loving Stitches Retreat last month received an index card sized agenda every morning.  It outlined the demos, meal times, etc., that would occur that day.  I loved it.”

“I took that idea to my teaching at QSC (Quilters of South Carolina) Pieceable Retreat last week.  Using a Hallmark card software program, I printed cards for each day that included the ‘agenda.’  I went a little further than Loving Stitches by including a sewing themed fat quarter in the envelopes I prepared for my students.  As a student, you love receiving little gifts, like a fat quarter.  This was no exception.”


“Some of my fat quarters were yardage in a previous life, and I cut yardage down to make some of the fat quarters. In October I used 21 fat quarters by giving them away!”

Maridee made this quilt from a pack of FQs acquired from Web Fabrics in Purcellville, Va. It was a “Special of the Day” that she couldn’t resist. All are coffee related prints. The design is a combination of several blocks/techniques she’s seen over the years. Check out the scrappy binding!


November is just one day away, and I am busy planning and sewing a FQ project to share with you on the 15th. How about using a few FQs in your own cache? Make a table topper, baby quilt, tote bag, pillow, or holiday gift!