Sneak Peek

27 10 2016

Do you like these fabrics? Gray shades and textures with batik pops of color?


If so, then you’ll LOVE a modern quilt I designed for McCall’s Quick Quilts. I don’t yet know the publication date, but I’ll keep you posted!

As you know, all this year I’ve challenged myself to make a quilt each month with hoarded fat quarters. And I’ve challenged you to join me in the quest to actually use some of our pretties. I need pictures of your current FQ projects for a September/October “blog readers share” post. Please email a digital picture to:

“Bow Tie Wreath” Published!

25 10 2016

cover-500Look what is hot off the press:  the December/January 2017 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts! You’ll find thirteen fun, colorful, doable projects in the magazine. But, naturally, the one I’m most excited about is my “Bow Tie Wreath” cover quilt! You’ll enjoy making and decorating with the 49″ x 49″ wall quilt.

Click here to see an additional picture of the quilt and/or order a digital pattern. If you aren’t yet a subscriber of McCall’s Quick Quilts and you don’t see this issue at the newsstand you frequent, you may order a copy at the Quilt and Sew Shop.

On November 3, I am the guest blogger for McCall’s. I will remind you to travel to the McCall’s blog on November 3 and read about my inspiration for the quilt.

Knowing some of you enjoy quilting motif details, here’s a close-up of the holly and loop all over design I quilted with a gold polyester thread.


If you make “Bow Tie Wreath,” I’d love to see a picture of your quilt!


Drying Out After Hurricane Matthew

19 10 2016


Many of you have contacted me in response to the news that Fayetteville, NC was slammed with lots of high winds and rain about two weeks ago. Thankfully, the three properties hubby and I are responsible for suffered no damage. However, our former neighbors own a farm on the banks of the Little River. With torrential downpour all day Saturday and dam breakage up river, the water overflowed the banks and inched to higher ground, invading the buildings on their property.

Last week, hubby and I helped them sort, throw away what wasn’t salvageable, and clean what was worth keeping. Soaked textiles were hung on the line to dry out until the washing machine was free to run another load.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for the victims of the flood!

Quilting T-shirt Quilts

17 10 2016

In response to a recent post about the T-shirt quilts made by Linda, Cheryl commented that she would like more information on quilting T-shirt quilts. Here are my thoughts and tips:

I recommend quilting T-shirt quilts with a longarm quilting machine. The knit fabric, heavier and thicker than quilting cottons, is cumbersome to push under the needle of a home sewing machine. Even if the T-shirts have been stabilized with light weight fusible interfacing, they are still a bit wiggly, shifty, and give-y. Loading the quilt top on the longarm helps the quilt to remain “square” instead of being stretched out of shape during the quilting process.

I recommend a simple, freehand quilting design. Meandering, meandering with loops and/or stars, or wavy watery designs will soften the edges of the square blocks and integrate the knit shirts with the woven sashing/borders. The logos of less used shirts may be more difficult to quilt through due to the thicker “plastic” paint. I do like to quilt all over the logos, but sometimes this causes undesirable tension issues like loops on the back or thread breakage. If I anticipate a problem, I’ll meander in the background of the T-shirt block, dip into the edge of the logo, and slip back out to the background, repeatedly. By choosing a freehand design rather than a pantograph, I can adjust for problem areas like thickly painted logos.

I recommend thread that blends well with the shirts as well as the sashing and border fabrics. Consider a shade of gray; unspool several yards and lay it, in loops and arcs, across various colored areas in the quilt. A variegated thread may also work well. If your shirts are very light, and your sashing/borders are very dark, consider changing thread color for each area.

Can you think of other tips or questions about quilting T-shirt quilts?

“Movers and Shakers” Baby Quilt

15 10 2016

One of the easiest baby quilts EV-ER! And it’s fat quarter friendly, too!

Here’s a basic tutorial:  Choose a multi-colored theme print. I only had 25″ of the construction equipment fabric, but I recommend purchasing 1 yard. Cut 2 strips 8 1/2″ by width of fabric. Sub-cut into eight 8 1/2″ squares.

Choose 4 tone-on-tone fat quarters that coordinate with the theme print; I chose red tone-on-tone, yellow swirl, blue tone-on-tone, and green polka dot. From each color cut three 2 1/2″ x 21″ strips. Sub-cut into four 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles and four 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles.

fullsizerenderCut eight 4 1/2″ squares from a black and white print.

Sew the colored tone-on-tones to the black and white print 4 1/2″ squares. Press seam allowances toward the colored fabric. Make eight framed squares, two of each color. These blocks should measure 8 1/2″ square.

On worktable, lay out the blocks, alternating the framed squares with the 8 1/2″ theme print squares. Sew together in rows, pressing seam allowances toward the theme print squares. Pin and sew the rows together.

For an inner border, cut four 2″ x 40″ strips of black and white polka dot fabric. Measure, pin and sew to quilt, pressing seams toward border.

My theme print was directional and I only had 25″ initially to work with. As you can see from the photo below, I had enough print for 3 3/4″ wide top and bottom borders, but I had to piece the side borders with leftover tone-on-tone strips.


From a design standpoint, the pieced side borders with plain top an bottom borders looked like an accident. To make the composition more cohesive, I cut the top and bottom borders and inserted strips of tone-on-tone fabrics.


“Movers and Shakers,” at 42″ square, is perfect for tummy time!

T-Shirt Quilts

13 10 2016

My friend and customer, Linda, sent me two quilt tops made from T-shirts to longarm for her. Her friend asked her to make them as a gift for an athletic daughter. In addition to giving permission to share them on the blog, Linda wrote her thoughts and tips about using T-shirts to make quilts.

straight-set-t-shirt-quiltThe idea book Linda used was T-shirt Quilts Made Easy by Martha Deleonardis. “In her book, Martha describes the Grid Method quilts. All of my T-shirts had 12 inch prints. After stabilizing the T-shirts with a non-woven fusible interfacing (I used Pellon 911FW) so the T-shirts would not stretch when sewn, I cut each T-shirt print to 12.5 inches square.  I used the grid size of 4 inches for the template of the quilt design and surrounded each T-shirt with 4 inch (4.5 unfinished) squares of beautiful purple/blue batik fabric. I collected approximately 24 different batiks for this project. I wanted to infuse a different size print into the quilt design since just having 12 inch prints was rather boring. I decided to cut out the small logos that some of the T-shirts had. I cut them to 4.5 inches square and wanted to sew 3 together vertically to sew in between each 12″ T-shirt square. Since I did not have enough small logos, I inserted a baseball print in the middle of each one. As a result, this created a much more interesting T-shirt quilt design.”

Linda created a second T-shirt quilt using the Twistin’ Fun method as explained in Martha’s book. Tilting the blocks adds visual interest to the quilt, don’t you think? Linda embroidered a square with the quilt recipient’s name and graduation details. (Click on the picture to zoom in.) Both of these T-shirt quilts will call up fun memories for years to come!


Have you made a T-shirt quilt, or is there one on your quilting horizon?


Kathy’s Quilts

10 10 2016

In early summer, Kathy H. sent me four quilt tops to longarm for her. Each was so fun and unique, I thought you’d like to see them.


“Vintage Tulips” by Thimble Blossoms –took 32 2 1/2″ strips plus background and tulip fabrics


“Corona Lanterns” by Amelie Scott Designs—took 40 2 1/2″ strips plus background


“Jacob’s Ladder” by Daniela Stout  (Cozy Quilt Designs)–took 14 2 1/2″ strips plus background


“Blooming Butterflies”- by Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics– Kathy bought the pre-cut kit

Thanks for sharing such beautiful quilts, Kathy!