“Chain of Hearts” Published

4 12 2017

Excitement is running high! “Chain of Hearts” has been published in the January/February 2018 issue of McCall’s Quilting. And the editors have donated two copies for me to give away to blog readers, so be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win.

I was inspired by Corey Yoder’s scrappy patchwork heart design, “Lovely” #1300, published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 13. Instead of using many spring colors on a dark gray background as she did, I selected color saturated reds and pinks from Wilmington Prints.  The project is pre-cut friendly; I used 2 packs of “Ruby Days” 2 1/2″ strips as well as minimal yardage of red and pink tone-on-tones. For background I selected a light gray with gray polka dots. Using medium gray thread, I quilted hearts and loops over all in the interior and outer border. The thin black border is an unquilted accent.

The pages following the “Chain of Hearts” instructions describe how to make a coordinating table, dresser, or bed runner. The Quilting Company is offering a kit for this runner. Click here to link to the online store. Why not order a kit and craft a beautiful table quilt for Valentine’s Day?

And now for your chance to win the Jan./Feb. 2018 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine. Leave a comment saying for whom you would make “Chain of Hearts.” The drawing will be on December 12.


QM 100 Blocks, vol. 16 Blog Tour

16 11 2017

Welcome to Day 4 of the Road Rally blog tour for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 16. The magazine issue includes 100 fantastic and unique blocks; you will want a copy for your quilt inspiration library. Today I am so excited to share my block, “Beacons in the Fog,” with you!

When designing this block, I wanted to create an illusion of movement, as of the light in a lighthouse turning interminably, cutting through the fog, warning the ships at sea as well as serving as navigation signposts along the shore. The saturated colors of batiks speak of clear direction in contrast with the foggy gray neutrals. (Thanks, Wilmington Prints, for these fabrics!)

Since my husband and I have made North Carolina our home, we have enjoyed exploring the state from the mountains in the west to the seashore in the east.  And we invite you to plan a road rally stop, whether real or virtual, to experience North Carolina and especially to see the lighthouses of the Outer Banks. Click here to see pictures of these majestic sentinels that serve as beacons in the fog.

What’s a road trip without some music? Tune your “radio” to you tube and  click here to hear “My Lighthouse,” as sung by Rend Collective. The praise band at our church led us in this song just this Sunday. What a comfort to know that the Lord will carry us “safe to shore.”

Using Electric Quilt software, I developed two quilt layout diagrams to give ideas for setting “Beacons in the Fog.” Twenty blocks set with narrow black sashing and red cornerstones would make a striking decorator statement on a white or gray sofa. The design of nearly solid fabrics would also suit as a young man’s quilt.

By setting blocks and half blocks in vertical strips, flanked by black strips, a contemporary effect is achieved.

Construction Tip:  Your block will be softer and less bulky if you use a minimal amount of fusible webbing for the machine applique and if you cut away the un-fused background fabric after stitching. As you can see from the photo on the left, I cut an arc of fusible webbing about 3/4″ wide and adhered it to the wrong sides of the quarter circles. After peeling off the paper, pressing the quarter circles to the background triangles, and machine appliqueing, I cut away the unfused parts of the background triangles as shown in the photo on the right.


If you make “Beacons in the Fog,” I’d love to see your block. Send a photo to aby.quilts@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting my stop on the road rally, and I’d love for you to “follow” my blog. We currently have a pre-cut challenge going through the end of December. (Use those 5″ charm squares!)

Enjoy the blog tour today; be sure to stop by the Quiltmaker blog, QuiltyPleasures, to register for prizes and to link to other blogs on the tour this week. Can’t find the magazine at your local newsstand? You can order a copy from the online The Quilt Company (Quiltmaker).


Leave a comment below to enter a drawing for a free magazine. The drawing will be 22 November.




Magazine Sneak Peek

1 11 2017

November greetings to all my faithful blog readers! Besides gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am looking forward to several quilt related happenings this month.

*I am making a quilt for publication by McCall’s Quick Quilts in late spring . . . but I can’t divulge the design yet.

*The Fourth Quarter Challenge – using Charm Packs of 5″ squares – is in full swing, and next week I will post some fantastic quilts made by blog readers. If you have a photo to share, email me:  aby.quilts@gmail.com.

*Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 16 will soon hit the newsstands. My block, “Beacons in the Fog,” was selected for inclusion! I am excited, to say the least! I will participate in the blog tour November 16-20, and I anticipate over 100 comments from those seeking to win a free magazine. While it is always fun to hear from “new” quilters during the blog tour, I would like to reward one of my regular readers with a copy of the magazine. Statistically, your chances of winning are better with fewer commenting participants. So leave a comment below if you’d like to win a copy of the magazine. The drawing will be 10 November.

Table Topper Quilt

25 09 2017

Does your table décor need a fresh look? Or do you need a birthday or housewarming gift? Consider making a table topper by adding several borders to a patchwork block. The block design is “Cameo Appearance” which was published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, Vol. 15. This volume of the bi-annual magazine was published in May 2017. Click here to read my blog post about the block.

The fabrics are from Geri Robinson’s “American Beauty” line for Red Rooster. Aren’t they so gorgeous and homey? The first border was cut 2 1/2″ wide from ecru print background fabric with blue print corner squares. I cut the second border 3″ wide from a tan leaf print. For the binding, I debated between the red print and the blue print. Hubby suggested the red, and I think it pulls out the cheery color from the center of the quilt.

After quilting around the flower motif, I used continuous curves in most of the patchwork. Meandering in the first border adds texture, and leaves and loops continue the leafy idea of the outer border.

I am so pleased with this speedy yet pretty project, perhaps I should delve into my collection of orphan blocks and make a few more table toppers for holiday gifts!


Magazine Winner

18 09 2017

Thanks to those of you who commented on the previous post thereby dropping your name in the hat for a drawing for a free magazine. The winner of a copy of Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks is Kathryn L. Congratulations!

If your newsstand does not carry the magazine, you can click here, linking to the Quilt and Sew Shop. You will love the quilts in this Fall 2017 issue! Interestingly, two of my blocks are featured in the magazine. “Linked,” as pictured here, is based on block #1265 from Vol. 13 and is printed on page 45 and following. “Seeing Red,” on page 6, is based on “Inside Out,” block #1173 from Vol. 12. Denise Stark and Hatty Brown worked together to create this striking quilt.

“Linked” Published!

11 09 2017

Exciting news! My quilt, “Linked,” based on the “Everlasting Chains” quilt block was recently published in the bi-annual magazine Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Fall 2017. (My block design, “Everlasting Chains,” is in Vol. 13 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers published in May 2016. It is block #1265. Click here to read my blog post about the block.)

I drew a computer diagram of the quilt idea to demonstrate how multiple blocks of the unusual yet simple block would form horizontal and vertical interlocking chains. Using two saturated colors helps the horizontal and vertical chains show up equally on the light background fabric. I submitted this quilt idea to the Quiltmaker editors.


All well and good, but the editors wondered if I could make the links look “braided.” I used my Electric Quilt computer program to sketch several ideas for accentuating the interlocking design. To tell the truth, even though the editors approved, the designs were complicated and would be time consuming to construct. About a week later, a better, easier idea hit me. I could use two shades/prints each of aqua and purple and make a “Pinwheel” as the block center and color the basic block two different ways . . . and the links would look more braided or twisting.

From a distance the quilt looks like “Double Wedding Ring” and would make a wonderful wedding or anniversary gift for a modern couple. The bonus for you is skipping the curved piecing required by the traditional “Wedding Ring” design.

My friend Linda quilted “Linked” for me since my longarm was disassembled for moving during the construction of this quilt. Because I wanted the chain links to flow off the sides of the quilt, I faced the quilt rather than binding it. This was the first quilt I have faced, and I am pleased with the results. Click on the picture to zoom in. If you’d like to learn more about this modern finishing technique, click here or visit quiltmaker.com and click on articles, Quilt Techniques and “Let’s Face It’ under Lessons.

Would you like to win a copy of the magazine? Leave a comment below stating what two colors you would use to make “Linked.”

The drawing will be September 18.


More Ideas for Layer Cake Quilts

7 09 2017

Did you know that McCall’s Quilting has a blog? I “follow” the weekly posts and was pleasantly surprised to have two of my layer cake designs featured on Wednesday, August 23. Our 3rd quarter challenge is to make a layer cake quilt; if you need more pattern design ideas simply click here to travel to the blog.

The first quilt shown is “Aunt Lucy’s Baskets” which first appeared in the October/November 2009 issue of Quilters Newsletter. The McCall’s blog gives details on how to order a digital pattern. Following the picture of the basket quilt are links to several videos about using pre-cuts. The final quilt featured is “Berry Patch” which was published in the August/September 2013 issue of Quilters Newsletter. Similarly, details are given for ordering a digital pattern.

Are you working on a layer cake quilt? I’d love to see a picture of your project! (aby.quilts@gmail.com)