Monday, August 18, 2014

Look What's Coming Up!

Making pillowcases is so much fun
Friday, August 22 is the GIANT blog hop for American Patchwork and Quilting to help reach their goal of 1,000,000 (that's one million) pillowcases for charity. I have partnered with Benartex and I have some fabulous fabrics to work with. I'll be making one for a boy and one for a girl. And I may even have a fabric giveaway . . .

Make sure you come back for an EASY tutorial on how to make these without any raw edges inside. I include a link to the APQ site for the pattern along with a few dozen others! See you on Friday, right?

The Star Spangled Banner USA stamp
The week preceding the 200th anniversary (September 14) of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner by Frances Scot Key, I will have lots of fun things to share. Windham Fabrics has donated some fabric bundles and I have other Americana, patriotic fabrics that you will love!

Giveaways are specifically for Americans (the giveaways will only be shipped stateside, sorry), but I will have several FREE pattern downloads available to everyone and a lot of historic information. The War of 1812 was not pretty, but the Battle of Ft. McHenry was a deciding factor in us winning the war (as in: leave us alone; we'll rule ourselves, thank you very much!)

I have a special giveaway from the famous author and speaker Jane Hampton Cook. Her latest book, "America's Star Spangled Story" is awesome and she is giving one away to a lucky visitor that week.

Stay tuned. Invite your friends. I hope to have something every day between September 7-14!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Redwork Butterfly and Wreath

Can you say "OLD"?!!!
I love digging through my old files to see what I was up to, say 10 or maybe 15 years ago. Yikes! I made this quilt (long ago gifted to someone) using my Pfaff embroidery machine with digitized patterns for the Butterfly and Wreath. I used the timeless red and white for a simple 9 block quilt. Borders and binding and - you guessed it - DONE!

Would you like the pattern for the little quilt (24" x 24") with 6" blocks? Of course you do! If you like redwork embroidery, this is for you. I don't have the Pfaff patterns, but I created my own for you to copy here.

Butterfly Redwork Pattern

Ignore the OLD links to my extinct website. This was many years ago. You know where I live today - right here or at my web site: Quilter By Design

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Designer Pillows from Buzzing and Bumbling

Pillows made by Linda Winters of Buzzing and Bumbling
Do you know Linda Winters? I do! Well, we've never actually met but I've admired her work and amazing creativity in the blogosphere for a few years. She lives in Texas (where my husband yearns to live) and has a special affinity for orange! Even the background of her blog pages is orange!

A few months ago I sent her some fabric from the Palm Springs Collection by Benartex and asked her to do something creative with it. I said I would do the same. She did; I didn't! But then I realized I could still show off her beautiful designer pillows here on my blog. Want to see them up close? Of course you do!

Happy Hexie Pillow with center button
Look at this fabulous hexagon pillow. She incorporated gray into the mix and cut and stitched the fabrics in such a wonderful pinwheel. I just love, love, love those dots!

Improvisational piecing using gray as her neutral
Isn't this a fabulous use of color? And can you see the quilting on the left side of the pillow? Go ahead and click on the pic to see it close up. And she used straight line quilting around it and on the right side. Do you think she couldn't make up her mind or is she really just as creative as I think she is? I can only dream of being this creative when I quilt a project. This is so modern looking!

Let's see the two pillows again, please?
Don't you just love those flowers - perfect!
 Take a visit to Linda's page to see what she's been up to lately. She is renovating her home and making it so Texan! This is a chair she just finished with this amazing upholstery. I don't dare show it to my Texan husband or he's going to ask for one for his birthday next month!

Linda's new cow print chair
In my part of the world, we think of this as Chik-fil-A. In Texas, it's a steer and mighty fancy, I have to say.

Now, did I actually make something using my Palm Springs Collection? Well, sort of . . .

Grandmother's Flower Garden block with Palm Springs fabrics
I made five of these blocks and am now auditioning my border fabrics. I'll share those sometime in the future. Linda was faster than me, I guess!

Thanks, Linda, for sharing those beautiful pictures. Don't forget to visit her blog, Buzzing and Bumbling.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Cowboys Have It - Technique Tuesday

These boots were made for walking!
Today is Tuesday and Benartex sent me an interesting collection called Wild West Saloon. There are cowboy boots, poker hands, guns (yikes!!) and bullet clips. When you think of the Wild West, that was how it was lived!

Here is a taste of the fabrics
Wild West Saloon by Kanvas for Benartex Fabrics
If you visit the Sew in Love with Fabric blog today, you can see my tutorial for making these awesome cowboy boots AND a cactus. I even share the full size pattern for them. What are you waiting for?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Princess and the Pea - Free Pattern

Princess and the Pea Improv quilt
Windham Fabrics had a fantastic quilt hanging in their booth at Spring Quilt Market. It uses the new Far, Far Away collection by the very creative Heather Ross. It was sewn by Anne Sullivan and I was asked to pattern it. Can you say "pull my hair out!" Pattern + improvisational piecing are oxymorons (go look up the word).

Nell Timmer and I worked really hard to get this pattern workable for the end user. But it still is an improv quilt. Here are my own set of fat quarters (no, this is not a fabric giveaway. My daughter Audrey has claimed these for a quilt for baby Eva.)

Far, Far Away Collection by Heather Ross
The pattern is FREE and you can get it at the Windham Fabrics website:
Princess and the Pea pattern

Hope you enjoy it. All templates are full size for making the ladder, princess, bed posts, etc.

Friday, August 8, 2014

2015 Calendar is here!

2015 Block and Pattern a day
I can't believe I am still producing this calendar. I began in 2006. A few days ago I submitted the last files for the 2016 calendar (yes, I did!) We work 1-1/2 years ahead.

A little story about how I got into this project. . . Christmas of 2003 and my youngest daughter Valery (then 17) bought the 2004 calendar for me. I have to say it was HORRIBLE in that there were no cutting directions (you had to use the resize mode, ie "scale at 163%") to get templates. The designer (who was very creative and had beautiful patterns) used Electric Quilt and the lines were so pixelated that it destroyed the beauty of her designs.

I got on the phone and called the publisher (yes, I did) and told him I could do a better job. I submitted some artwork and he took me up on my offer. I did it for 2 years at a very lowball fee and then quit because of that. They wooed me back within a year (at a much better fee) and I have just published my 9th calendar (with #10 in the hopper). I design in Adobe Illustrator and all my files are PRINT READY. It is a lot of work and I complain every day to my husband (poor man) about the intense work. Then it's done and I'm very proud!

I hope you can find it in your local quilt shop or big box store. These things are the equivalent of 5 quilt books as there are well over 70 projects! I don't sell them as they weigh so much that the postage has to be Priority Mail. I use my small supply of comp calendars to thank my business associates in the quilting world for hiring me. And then there are a few special friends who get one every year for Christmas (you know who you are!)

Anyway, thought I'd put in a plug for this. Maybe I'll highlight a few projects through the summer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Class, New Quilt

20" Mariner's Compass, paper pieced on a coffee filter
Remember this quilt? I made it last summer using a collection of reproduction prints by Mary Koval. You can see some of the details HERE. The center compass was drafted on a LARGE coffee filter (think: Starbuck's). Then I cut it apart and paper pieced the sections and stitched it back together. Added the geese halo. Now, we're talking BIG!

This is a new class that begins at the Quilting LIVE! Show in Atlanta, GA (September 11 - 13). I realized that not everyone enjoys these colors and felt I had to make another one using today's fabrics (can you say "solid"?) and so this is what I got . . .

Same compass, same geese ring, new fabrics
Yes, there is a slight difference in the grays. The compass gray is a little lighter than the gray in the geese halo. My friend Jean Ann Wright (my former editor at Quilt Magazine) helped me with the color choices and the local quilt shop owner, Kathye Gillette (Quilter's Studio in Fairfax) helped me find the right grays. Thanks to both!

I hope that if you're in any of the future cities where the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo visits in the next 12 months you'll consider taking this class.

You can read about the Atlanta class here: Coffee Filter Compass

Tell me which one of these two compasses you prefer (ie, the fabrics). This isn't a contest, but I don't assume everyone is a modern girl! And I really still love the first one!