Patti’s Tan and Blue Quilt

15 04 2019

Have you ever admired a friend’s quilt and determined to make one “just like it”?

Patti recently asked me to longarm a scrappy tan and blue quilt to be used in her family’s vacation cabin. Notice that one side lacks a pieced border; I’m guessing that pillows will cover this side of the bed quilt. Patti asked for a swirling or paisley quilting design that would mimic the outer border print. We settled on “Abigail” pantograhp designed by Sarah Ann Myers and distributed by Urban Elementz. (Non affiliate link)

I loved the simple yet effective design, so I made several blocks with leftover 2 1/2” wide strips.

Although I also used scraps, the fabric placement in my blocks is planned rather than left to chance. I have enough coordinating strips to make two more blocks and perhaps a pieced border of squares.

So much for making a quilt “just like” Patti’s!

Have you ever used a quilt design as a springboard for your own creation?


Charming Baby Girl Quilt

5 04 2019

Raise your hand if you have a partial package of 5″ charm squares. Totally coordinated, but difficult to match with stash fabric, and certainly not enough to make a small quilt. This was my dilemma. I had “For You” charms left over from another project. (Click here to see portions of that quilt top.)

Blogger Katy came to my rescue when she posted pictures of a baby quilt she made for a Habitat for Humanity auction. Click here to see her quilt. The discerning among you will point out that my design is not exactly like Katy’s, but her quilt was my inspiration.

By adding white 5″ x 9 1/2″ rectangles and 5″ squares, I was able to stretch my partial charm pack into a fun quilt for a baby girl. In my stash I found a perky bird print in just the right colors to back the quilt. I added interest to all the “negative space” (white areas) by quilting a “Modern Squares” pantograph in light pink thread. A whimsical bright pink fabric for binding finishes the quilt perfectly.

What ideas do you have for using partial packages of pre-cuts? Please share your tips in a comment below.

“Around the Corner” Published!

30 03 2019

Have you seen the March/April issue of Pre-cut Patchwork magazine? It includes so many fun projects which can be quickly constructed because half the cutting has already been done for you. That’s the beauty of using pre-cuts like 5″ squares, 2 1/2″ wide strips, and 10″ squares.

My quilt, “Around the Corner,” is pictured on page 10. The pre-cuts I used were a package of 5″ squares and a roll of 2 1/2″ strips from the “Dot Crazy” line by Benartex. The overall design includes popular fabric elements:  bright textured prints, a fun gray print for alternate squares, and black and white check for patchwork, setting triangles and inner border.

I first placed the 5″ squares on my design wall, spreading colors and textures evenly throughout. Taking a picture of the arrangement at this juncture was crucial in keeping the blocks in order.

After I made the blocks, I joined them in diagonal rows alternating with squiggly gray print squares, beginning and ending each row with a black and white check triangle. I added a narrow flange of red print between the inner border of black and white check and the outer green print border.

Here’s a tip that will make your longarm quilter happy:  hand or machine baste the edge of the flange so that the machine’s hopping foot won’t be caught under the flap. Zoom in to see my basting with blue thread. The basting can be easily removed with a seam ripper after the quilting is complete.

This was a quick and easy quilt to make and looks quite perky on the back of my maroon sofa. The intense colors brighten my living room considerably. If you need a gift for a graduate or bride, consider making “Around the Corner.” I’d love to see your rendition of the design.

The editors graciously sent me several copies of the March/April issue of Pre-cut Patchwork to offer blog readers. Please comment below to be entered into the drawing on April 5. In your comment, tell me your favorite pre-cut: 2 1/2″ strips, 5″ squares, 10″ squares, fat quarters. Remember that I often reward the comment I find humorous or interesting!

National Quilting Day 2019

16 03 2019

Tomorrow, March 16, is National Quilting Day! What will you be sewing on?

I am working on “Liz’s Quilt” which was published in the January/February issue of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. This quilt of mini Nine Patches and Ohio Stars caught my eye as I thumbed through the magazine. I love the scrappiness; I love the sparkling bits of color that dance across the quilt. I’m using 1 1/2″ squares from my extensive collection for the mini Nine Patches. The 4 yds. of background shirting and the 1 1/2 yds. of blue micro print is from stash. Could this qualify as a “free quilt?”

Several quilting friends are joining me in an ad hoc quilt along for this quilt. Want to join us? We are encouraging each other as we put our scraps to good use in this gorgeous quilt. As published, “Liz’s Quilt” utilizes various colors for the Ohio Stars, but I’m modifying the design by using one print fabric.

Click here to link to The Quilting Company website where you can order a copy of the magazine.

“Flying Geese” Special Exhibit

13 03 2019

February 27 – March 2 saw the unveiling of the “Flying Geese” quilts made by The American Samplers at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, Virginia.

Two years ago, Lynne and Dwanna organized an exchange of 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Flying Geese blocks make with bright fabrics and Kona “Snow” for the background. The thirteen of us in the exchange each made 640 blocks, 4 of each fabric. (I contacted the Mancuso Quilt Festival special exhibit coordinator and explained our wish to display our quilts in 2019; we were accepted.) One year ago, we exchanged the blocks and began scouring Pinterest and quilt magazines for design ideas. We decided to keep our designs secret from one another. The secrecy made the unveiling this year at our retreat so much more exciting!

I drew inspiration from Linda Collins’ quilt made with Civil War reproduction fabrics, a picture of which I found on Pinterest. I separated my blocks into warm colors (red, orange, yellow) and cool colors (purple, blue, and green). In “Migration,” the warm colored geese are flying northwest to a cooler climate in the summertime, and the cool colored geese are flying southeast in the wintertime.

Ironically, Kathy was inspired by the same quilt. She made “Going Home” as a reference to her many journeys to Washington, her state of origin. Isn’t is interesting how different our quilts are although inspired by the same quilt design?

Pam made “Geese on the Farm,” inspired by the Canadian Geese that make migratory stops near her home in Maryland. In her write-up, Pam expressed thankfulness for her friends and family that flock together to help each other in the journey of life.

Lori made “Flying Geese Out the Ying Yang.” Granted, 640 is a lot of geese blocks to exchange! The black and white triangles reminded Lori of the Asian Yin and Yang symbol for balance. The quilt design reminds her to work at balancing all the changes and challenges in her life right now.

Alicia, the octogenarian in our group, loves birding and bird fabric. Zoom in to see the bird prints she fussy cut for the centers of each block, and note the goose square near the center. Alicia was inspired to make “Wild Geese and Water Birds” by a block designed by Bonnie K. Hunter for Quiltmaker magazine.

Patti arranged her geese in color families. “Flying Colors” is the perfect name for her quilt. Zoom in to see the awesome quilting designs executed by Lori.

Linda’s quilt, “Flying Geese, Fly Away,” is so much fun! Some viewers see houses, others see pencils. What does her design remind you of?

Trace the flight path of Dwanna’s geese with your finger. Isn’t her spiral ingenious? Dwanna calls her quilt “Friendly Flock.”

I am partial to Marie’s quilt, “Geese, Geese, and More Geese,” because I love the bright royal blue sashing.

Diane, bless her heart, used all 640 geese exchange blocks plus 6 more to make her color saturated quilt. It’s like a waterfall of color! “Birds of a Feather Flock Together.”

Do you have a favorite, or do you love them all? I was so proud of our group; our exhibit certainly provided a feast for the eyes of show attendees!


Blog Readers Share

25 02 2019

Your fellow blog readers have been just as busy have you have, creating lovely quilted projects!

Linda G. loves to make bags; in fact, she’s agreed to teach her favorite designs at a shop near Ramstein Germany.

Helga completed two Nine Patch quilts. I believe both are from the book Nine Patch Revolution:  20 Modern Quilt Projects by Jennifer Dick and Angela Walters.


Mary Ed followed my daughter Trinity’s instructions for making a quick and easy baby quilt. (Check out the Patterns page of this blog if you’d like to make one, too.)

Stephanie is working on two Americana string-pieced projects.


Thanks for sharing, ladies. You have inspired us!


TQG Raffle Quilt on the Design Wall

4 02 2019

I volunteered to coordinate the designing and making of the 2019 raffle quilt for my guild, the Tarheel Quilters Guild of Fayetteville, NC. After designing the quilt with Electric Quilt 8 software, I wrote instructions and asked several guild members to demo the construction of Wonky Stars at a guild meeting. We set up 4 or 5 identical demo stations around the meeting room so guild members could see and hear the instructions up close and personal. At the conclusion of the demo, all were encouraged to take home kits for 5″ or 9″ blocks. After the blocks were returned to me, Karlene and I trimmed the small blocks to 4 1/2″ and the large blocks to 8 1/2.”

Last Wednesday, Colleen helped me lay out the 113  4 1/2″ blocks with 112 alternate plain blue batik squares on my design wall. This weekend I sewed the 15 rows of 15 blocks each together. Hooray for progress!

You can find instructions for making Wonky Stars on the Patterns page of this blog.

Stay tuned, I will add several borders to this sparkling quilt.