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LOG CABIN QUILTING IDEAS Posted on 20 Feb 13:48 , 0 comments

Have fun thinking about the possibilities as you mix-and-match with the point-to-point triangles or you make it simple and drop block designs in each block of the quilt top. It's fun to dream and scheme and play with the possibilities.


QUILT TOP PLAY TIME: LOG CABIN BLOCKS Posted on 16 Feb 09:49 , 0 comments

Design time fun playing with blocks as they come ... or tweaking, mix-and-match, or use them in a different way than intended ... the idea: have fun while creating and learning. 

What's my favorite ... playing with the triangles and mixing and matching to create a whole new look ... because ... what a great way to get double-duty or more value from the quilting designs in the pattern library. That's the best! 

 


WHOLECLOTH: INSPIRATION & EYE CANDY Posted on 13 Feb 10:55 , 0 comments

... you could be sleeping under this ...
ELEGANT WHOLECLOTH QUILT TONIGHT!
  1. the price is right
  2. the design is beautiful
  3. the layout is easily executed

All you have to do is ...

  1.  get your longarm machine warming up
  2. cut the fabric for the front and back
  3. unwrap the batting
  4. load everything up (fabric and design set up)
  5. start quilting

And while the blocks are stitching out you could sneak in some time to prepare the binding, so you're all set to catch up on your latest TV favorites or Netflix movies while finishing up the edges.

... CLICK to see all of the DAILY DEALS ...

TIMELESS TRADITIONAL HEART QUILTING BLOCK Posted on 11 Feb 18:48 , 0 comments

Here it is just 3 days until Valentine's Day. That's enough time to whip out a quick little Valentine love-themed-snuggle-on-the-couch quilt.                                                                                                                                                                                       There are several versions of simple heart block patterns patterns and different layouts for quilt blocks for free (or for purchase) on several different locations on the internet. I did an image search and found a full range of beautiful blocks with as many different variations as one could ever imagine.

 

 

 

 

As usual, so many ideas, so many possibilities ... so little time. GRRRR ...

Isn't the heart tied up in a bow with the LeMoyne star in the middle just the most precious block ever!

One of my favorite things to do is to use a heart block as a filler when I'm putting together a sampler made of orphan blocks and exchange blocks.  See my little heart sandwiched in between 4 patches, a little hexie flower, and some bigger star blocks. Just the thing I needed to make all the different sized blocks come out as neat and tidy rows and strips.                                                                                                                                                        This means I need to be able to create heart blocks in a variety of different sizes as I try to make all of my strips and rows come out with even edges. I found a great tutorial on the internet with Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew. She has a chart with cutting instructions for heart blocks sized from 4" to as large as 10" AND she has a very easy to understand picture tutorial for assembling a heart block.

Way to go Allison for helping us out with our projects!

You may have noticed (if you've been poking around the store a bit this week and last) that heart blocks and heart edge-to-edge quilting designs have been on sale! And sale prices are always a good thing. So hop on over to the HEARTS CATEGORY and check it out. New designs have been uploaded just so you can keep your pattern library fresh and up-to-date.

 

 And ... as a special thank you for stopping by and following along on my blog I have a special freebie for you this month: a redwork pattern featuring ribbons and flowers in a heart shaped wreath. I used an outline stitch and french knots for embroidery stitches and then used my completed block as the center of my wall-hanging surrounded by ... of course ... heart blocks!

 

And, if that wasn't enough I found this cute table-topper on McCalls Quilting website that seemed to be calling my name. I love the little heart chain in the center and the way the heart blocks are flush to the edge without the distraction of a binding.

 Have a wonderful love-day-holiday with all who are special in your life, and thanks for stopping by.


HEXIE DESIGNS ON A PRISMATIC QUILT Posted on 8 Feb 22:47 , 0 comments

I knew, the minute I saw this quilt pattern I would have to make this pattern. Let me start by telling you this is a free project pattern that can be found at Make It Sew home of Cloud 9 Fabrics. The strips are wide and the blocks are large so this quilt top will go together really quickly. And the best part ... its a scrappy stash buster.                                                                                                                                                                                                           And so, while I'm waiting to get the time for some cutting and sewing I find myself at the computer design screen playing with curves and shapes and making marks. Do you see that hexie hiding in there among all those triangles? I am a HUGE fan of hexie. I always have a (or several) hexie projects going all at once using the English Paper Piecing method. My project tins, baskets, and bags make great "take-alongs" when I know I'll have time where I need to be responsible for entertaining myself. 

Soooo ... I was really hooked ... my fingers were itching and my mouse was twitching ... when those hexies popped out on the top for me. Here's what I came up with:

I designed the Diamond Kiss patterns years ago when I was working with a 4-patch 60 degree diamond patchwork pattern. When I saw the 60 degree diamonds again here with this pattern I knew what I had to do. And, 1694 KISSES came to life. I love the swirly motion in the hexie block and the curvy lines lead your eye back and forth across this quilt top as you are led to discover something new every time you stop for a minute and just "enjoy the view."

Here's what my quilt will look like ... except I will most likely be working down my 30's reproduction stash ...

And you can have fun dreaming and playing as you think about making your own prismatic quilt. Just grab your markers or your crayons and go here for a free download of the Kisses Coloring Sheet.

PS: Hey, if you do decided to play with the hexies on a Prismatic (or any other quilt) send me photos or tag me on instagram. (@kayoft) I always love checking out your projects and seeing what's on your sewing table today.

 


 


A MORNING ROUTINE Posted on 14 Dec 19:50 , 1 comment

Getting the morning off to a good start happens more frequently if I follow a routine. It doesn't have to be stressful or fast paced. But my easily-distracted self just functions better if the "possibilities" have limits.

And to that end mornings for me are usually coffee, crossword and cruising the Pinterest boards to see what's new since yesterday. Sounds silly, but each one of these routines has a purpose:   

  • COFFEE: gets my brain awake and "juiced" up while helping me feel cozy - especially on these cold snowy mornings. I don't drink morning coffee near as much in the summer, so I guess it's more cozy and stoked - kinda helps me ease into my morning.
  • CROSSWORD: my left-brain creativity ... which that in itself sounds like an oxymoron. I feel like this is a very structured and yet creative activity helping me to look at "stuff" differently and think outside the box and improve my problem-solving skills.Plus I love mental challenges.

CRUISING: Pinterest is just the best. It has replaced all those magazine pictures and bits of paper I would have here and there in my someday piles. It's so cool to see what other people are doing - all the amazing ideas and color combinations people come up with. This is one that gets my right-brain juices really going and then I'm ready to start my day.

Today I share some of my favs from my someday Christmas quilting board.

 

I've always been a fan of Pam Bono's patterns.This is a FREE pattern available on the American Quilters Society website. I don't have need of another tree skirt but  love the trees.

 There are all kinds of Christmas wreath patterns floating around out there on the internet but this one from Martingale by Mary Hickey really grabbed my attention. I love the simplicity of the piecing, the flowy ribbon, but especially, I love the ribbon/stitched border.

You will find this "peaky and spike" unit showing up in several of my quilts and quilt patterns. I've pieced it just about every way there is to piece it ... paper piecing, tri-recs rulers, and my new favorite ... Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Designs V Block ruler which allows for the last-step-precision-piecing-trim-to-size last step. This runner made by sewcialstash.blogspot.com is just perfect for dressing up the holiday table. The pattern for this runner can be found in this BOOK.

I have a real thing for Santas and think this little hanging by BobKat Quilts is just the cutest thing ever. Great straight line quilting to really enhance the patchwork units. I couldn't find a link to this pattern anywhere in my searches ... but ... do you recognize the same triangle shapes again. 

Chevron patterns are all the rage these days and I don't usually visualize this patchwork unit as making a chevron pattern, but here it is ... my long-time quilting friend Vickie called this her favorite block because it is so easy to create so many different repeating patterns and blocks depending on the layout. I like how Ryan Walsh Quilts has created a great zigzag pattern to use as a border as quilt top rows. You'll find a great tutorial HERE to see how it's all done.

Don't you just love this fun spin on a pineapple block ... another Christmas cactus flower! Amazing patchwork by quilter_Lindae on flikr. But I do have to be honest ... this one will most-likely stay in my someday pile for a long time.  

 

... sigh ...

... snowflakes falling ...

... dreaming ...


SOUTHWEST INSPIRATION Posted on 14 Oct 02:00 , 0 comments

Too much fun looking through my resource books, cruising through Pinterest, and browsing image searches for inspiration ... SOUTHWEST DESIGN INSPIRATION getting ready for Regina's quilt.

This quilt, a Block of the Month offered by Stitchin' Heaven in Texas called Fiesta de Talavera in White features some graceful traditionally southwestern shapes to contrast nicely with the typical angular hard-edged southwestern piecing shapes. 

And so ... designs began to ooze out from my mouse cursor ... I love being in the "flow zone" but it's also scary because I feel like I have to work really fast to get all of the ideas down so I don't forget. My cad work-space becomes a crazy creative disorganized pile of possibilities. It always takes me a bit to sort through everything editing down to the best and then getting all of the files in order ready for testing and publication/uploading to the store.

These are some of my favorites featuring the blossom shape from the quilt.

 

... click on the image to link to all of the Southwestern designs in the store ... 


GOOD COOKIN" 19: MANGO SALSA Posted on 30 Sep 00:00 , 0 comments

 

Black Bean and Mango Salsa

Chop and mix the following ingredients together in a bowl. Chill one hour before serving.

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 mango
  • 1 cup seeded, chopped tomato
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1  jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1  juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

And another favorite recipe

Mango Salsa

  • 1 mango
  • 1/2 peeled and sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions
  • 1/4 c. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro and 1/8 tsp chili powder (optional)

Mix: Marinate overnight in a glass container with a lid. Don't use plastic or the marinade will pick up a little extra flavor you don't want. Serve cold with seafood, chicken or by itself as a summer salad.

AND NOW IT'S PARTY TIME!!!
Choose your color palette ... I’ve done one in hot salsa colors, all 30’s, Christmas themed fabrics, and scrappy.
Pull up your playlist up hot latin music.

Gather your girlfriends and great ready for a fun night out stitching and dancing the night away with chips, salsa and those yummy fruity drinks.

Click HERE for a PDF of the piecing instructions to make a SALSA QUILT.

... and a little inspiration ...


PURPLE PIXIE POUCHES AND FAIRIE DUST Posted on 12 Sep 15:43 , 0 comments

0912: together ...

Purple fairy dresses, purple pixie dust pouches, and now a purple fairy quilt. Those are the number one things in Luci's world other than snuggles and cuddles with Mama.

 

The purple fair quilt is almost ready for going on the machine. As soon as the backing is pieced the loading will begin. The quilt top is made using a fairy print panel by Michael Miller using illustrations from the book by Cicely Mary Barker called The Complete Book of The Flower Fairies. A new quilt and a new book ... what a perfect combination for a little girl, and a perfect combination of fun fabrics for the grandma to play with piecing a special quilt.

 

FIRST: I fussy cut the illustrations of the flower fairies from the panel a quarter of an inch larger than the dark blue trim line that surrounds each of the pictures. I then measured a sampling of the blocks to determine the size of the alternate blocks.

SECOND: I subtacted 1.5" from the finished size of the fairy panel blocks for the periwinkle fairy  frost sashing I used to surround the fairy print fabric blocks.

THIRD: I pieced the sashing strip set and crosscut the strips to add to the alternating fairy print blocks.

FOURTH: assemble the bocks into rows.

FIFTH: add borders; piece the backing and binding; and it's time for quilting!

 

 1550 FAIRY FLUTTERINGS seems like it might be the best choice for a quilting pattern. The quilting won't show up much on the front of the quilt, but the backing fabric is a tone on tone so Luci will have fun tracing over the fairy quilting pattern with her finger on the backside of the quilt.


SCRAPPY: PLANNED OR RANDOM Posted on 10 Sep 02:00 , 0 comments

0910: black and white ... and a little bit of red ...

Structured piano lessons are starting for Colin andLuci this month; no more free exploring (random pounding - oh, did KK say that LOL) No more free explorationsounds a little harsh, doesn't it. We all need time to be adventerous stepping out on our own and exploring. Maybe the concept should be rephrased to directed, more purposeful and thoughtful exploring ??? This I know for sure: Everyone needs time to play.

That's what you will notice with several of the quilts in these pictures. Taking time to  play with scrappiness. I like to choose a theme or color palette to work with when I do scrappy quilts. You would probably call mine more planned scrappy than true scrappy.

On occassion, I have pieced some quilts where I used the common trick of dropping all the patches in a paper back and pulling the next patch to be added to the block at random. I don't know about you, but I find it more difficult to go totally random with my scrappiness. Does that me I have control issues? LOL

I love the drama of black and white with a splash of red and have the quilts and fabric in my stash to satisfy that visual hunger. One of the most favorite quilts in booth displays at market was pieced with black and white with a splash of red ... especially appealing to the guys.

Some notes about the patterns featured here in the collage:

* a hand pieced red and white quilt top I found at a tag sale. I have always loved this pattern. It's a tricky one to keep all those bias edges square and straight. I will have to do some squaring and easing of fullness with this one before I can begin to think about how I would like to quilt it. I also need to decide if I want to try to find a coordinating fabric to finish out the borders or not. In the meantime, it's lovely to look at on the quilt rack just like it is.

* the quilt on the left is a pattern I developed for our anual December mystery quilt party using the stack and slash technique. The blocks and quilt were sized just to the right dimensions so the extra blocks could be used in the outer border.

* the quilt on the right is one made from a popular pattern/techniqe that we've seen lots of places in shops, classes and workshops, and across the internet ... STRIPS AND CURVES by Louisa Smith. I gathered my fabrics to fit my black and white color theme, added in the fussy-cut piano keyboard fabric here and there, and used a range of reds to round out the strip strata ... what a great way to play with color and practice piecing those curved edges.

And finally, the pattern for the quilt that was so popular in booth displays at market and quilt shows around the country ... MQS 126 QUEEN ANNES' LACE. This pattern was original included in the collection of designs in my book that is now out of print called Blocks That connect.

 

The book was written to be used as a manual for my beginning patchwork piecing classes and is chock-full of all kinds of tips and tricks to help you be a more successful quilter while having fun developing your skills and honing your craft.

I am in the process of re-releasing the patterns individually as e-patterns readily available for immediate download. You will find MQS 126E QUEEN ANNE'S LACE along with other e-patterns in the Mountaintop Quilting on-line store.

Queen Anne's Lace is designed to give a beginners quilt a more advanced look with the pieced border (which included secret fudge-factor tips making everything fit together perfectly.

Another feature is the optical illusion of the center appearing to be set on-point. But the best part: the patches used in the border are actually left-over scraps from piecing the blocks used in the center of the quilt.

Thanks for stopping by...  be brave and play scrappy today - well, at least, take time to play!