“Rocket’s Red Glare” Published!

26 05 2016

COVER-500px McCall's July Aug 2016I am so excited! My quilt, “Rocket’s Red Glare,” is on the cover of the July/August 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting! Based on the “Road to Oklahoma” patchwork block and made with classic red, white, and blue, this quilt is a tribute to all things patriotic.

In 2016 McCall’s Quilting is including a Quilt of Valor pattern in each issue. And “Rocket’s Red Glare,” measuring 60″ x 80,” is this issue’s QOV feature. For the blocks and pieced border, I used pre-cut 2 1/2″ wide strips from Wilmington Prints.

This past weekend, Spring Quilt Market was held in Salt Lake City, Utah. F+W Media, the parent company of many of your favorite quilting magazines, included “Rocket’s Red Glare” in its display booth. I was thrilled to receive this picture from Deb on the McCall’s editorial staff!


IMG_3680Adding to the fun of being “the cover girl,” I am McCall’s guest blogger today. Click here to link to the McCall’s blog post; read more details about my inspiration for “Rocket’s Red Glare” and its sister quilt, “Summer Glare.” FYI McCall’s is offering a free pattern for “Summer Glare” on their website (McCallsQuilting.com). Click on the Bonuses tab, and then click on the picture of “Summer Glare.”

McCall’s generously sent me several magazine copies to give to blog readers. If you would like to be in the drawing on June 1, leave a comment below stating what you found interesting in McCall’s blog for 26 May.

One Quilt Leads to Another

25 05 2016

IMG_20160514_084032_899Remember this quilt? It’s my “Stair Step” baby quilt made with strip-pieced “Rail Fence” units. This is my Fat Quarter Challenge project for May. You can read the blog post about it by clicking here.

I had some leftovers from the project and promised to show you the quilt made from them. Ta da! I sewed “Four Patches” from the leftover strip-pieced units and then framed them with 2 1/2″ strips. In order to make nine 8″ blocks, I added a pink and white polka dot fabric. The sashing is also cut at 2 1/2,” and cornerstones of various fabrics used more of the remaining FQ scraps. A 4″ wide mottled hot pink border (gifted from my friend Deb) completes the project. The finished quilt measures 40″ square, the perfect size for a baby girl.


The quilt backing is a soft, white flannel with multi-colored polka dots. Using light yellow thread, I meandered with loops and double loops, softening the straight lines of the “Framed Four Patch” blocks. True confession: I don’t always wash my fabric prior to sewing, but I do wash flannel. Flannel is more loosely woven than quilting cotton and therefore shrinks more when washed.

Note:  This design is similar to “Pandora’s Box” found in the book Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. You can see many examples of the quilt by typing “Images of Pandora’s Box quilt” in your browser.

“Happy Endings” Mystery Quilt Workshop

23 05 2016

DSCN7814A little over a week ago, on May 14, brave Tarheel Quilters assembled for a Mystery Quilt Workshop. The introduction to the cutting instructions read as follows: Don’t you love it when a story has a happy ending? Be it a novel, a theater play, or a movie, there’s something satisfying about a plot that ties up all loose ends in a pleasant way for all the principal characters. Of course in every well-written story, there’s some conflict to resolve, some antagonism to overcome, some trials to persevere through, and some mystery to solve. So it will be with your quilt; persevere in solving mysterious clues to find that “All’s well that ends well!”

The quilters, with sewing machines in tow, arrived with cut fabric in re-closable bags labeled by clue number. I led them through three patchwork clues: Square in a Square units, Half Square Triangles, and Strip-Pieced Nine Patches. Seasoned mystery quilt makers were sure I had “the right answer,” THE way all units should fit together to make a baby or lap size quilt. To be sure, I did have my sample quilt on hand, but I urged them to play with the patchwork units before I revealed my solution.

The creative ladies developed some great designs!

DSCN7828     DSCN7827

DSCN7824     DSCN7822

DSCN7821     DSCN7820

DSCN7818     20160517_202510-1

Our workshop certainly validated Shakespeare’s maxim that “All’s well that ends well!”


Progress – Crawl Space Finished!

18 05 2016

Many of you know we are having a retirement home built. (Yes, with a LARGE sewing studio above the kitchen and garage!) I’d like to show you a picture which demonstrates the progress.


The concrete footers were poured and cinder blocks were built on them. Then brick masons faced the block with brick. We selected the “Pinehurst” pattern of brick because we plan for dark green shutters which will blend with the darker bricks. The structure is chest high now, and cinder block pillars on which beams and flooring will rest are inside the walls. The baby quilts, current scrap projects, hang on the kitchen bay window area.

This is the view we’ll see from our kitchen bay window eating area. The building across the lake is a bath house hailing from the time the lake was a favorite swimming hole.


Once the foundation passes inspection, our contractor will hire framers to erect the walls. In the meantime, I need to quilt those baby quilts!

Fat Quarter Challenge – May

15 05 2016

Believe it or not, May is half over already! Have you been working on using up some fat quarters? I would love to see pictures of your projects, and blog readers would love to be inspired by your creativity! (aby dot quilts at gmail dot com)


Project #1:  A simple way to utilize fat quarters is including them in your guild’s Block of the Month design. I used a white-on-white FQ as the background for two “Tulip Lady Fingers” blocks. Nancy, the Tarheel Quilters Guild BOM coordinator, specified yellow for the half square triangles and any color for the squares. Won’t these blocks be a great addition to the Block of the Month winner’s pretty spring-time quilt?

In addition to making the design in 12″ size, I made a 6″ block with “Chocolat” fabrics for my Splendid Sampler.

Project #2:  My baby quilt design, “Summer Safari,” is published in the June/July 2016 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. Click here to see  a picture and to read my blog post about it. Click here to order a magazine. I discovered that I could use the same amount of units needed to make “Summer Safari” to make a “Stair Step” quilt instead.


I cut 2 1/2″ wide strips from 4 coordinating fat quarters, paired them with white strips, and cross-cut in 4 1/2″ increments. I made 16 “Rail Fence” units of each fabric combination. Instead of sewing 4 units into a “Simple Pinwheel” block, I laid out the units, stair-step fashion on my carpet. To organize the 64 units during the sewing stage, I stacked and sewed the quilt top in a web. If you zoom in on the picture below, you will see the threads connecting the rows. Click here to read Bonnie Hunter’s explanation of this technique.


A 4″ border completes the 40″ square quilt. I’m entering it into our guild’s challenge for baby quilts using bright fabric. (Stay tuned for how I’ll used the fat quarter leftovers in another baby quilt!)


“Sherbet” Projects

12 05 2016

I’m sure last week’s blog tour has whetted your appetite for a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 13. In it you will find lots of inspiration for current and future quilting projects.

Alison Dale designed the “Sherbet” block (#1263). I enlarged the block to 15″ and added borders for a table topper for my sister, Liz, using fabrics that coordinate with the kitchen curtains I made her last spring. Since her table is round, we decided a square quilt would fit better than a rectangular runner. (Happy belated birthday, Liz!)


After making the “biggie size” block, I decided to try the design as a mini – 6.” The “Chocolat” fabrics that I’m using for my “Splendid Sampler” worked nicely.

On these warm spring days, try the refreshing block, “Sherbet.” Click here to link with Allison’s blog about her design.


10 05 2016

This has been a month for contests on the blog!

SummerSafariFLAT600pxFirst, the drawing for fabric to make “Summer Safari” published in the June/July issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. Congratulations to Maridee for winning! (Remember to send me a picture of the completed quilt, Maridee.)

_CoverFULLNext, the drawing for a copy of the June/July issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. Congratulations to Liz Horgan and LuAnn Myers! Happy quilting, ladies. You are going to love all the fun quilts in this issue! (If your newsstand does not carry McCall’s QQ, click on the picture of the magazine. It’s a link to the Quilt and Sew Shop; you can order a digital or print copy.)

Vol13-COVER-125pxFinally, the drawing for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, Vol. 13. I am giving away 2 copies of the magazine, and Quiltmaker is giving 1 copy. The winners are: Martina, Tina, and Barbara Young. I will email each of you ladies asking for your USPS address. Congratulations! I know this magazine will serve as inspiration for your upcoming projects. (If you did not win and your newsstand does not carry Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, click on the picture of the magazine. It’s a link to the Quilt and Sew Shop; you can order a digital or print copy.)


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