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.
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.
REMINDER: Hooray for you making it all the way to the bottom of the newsletter. As a special note of appreciation for subscribing to my newsletter, I have a SUBSCRIBERS DISCOUNT CODE just for you ... the code: subscriberspecial_25 ... and can be used when you checkout any time on any order during the next two weeks.
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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.
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 withscrappiness. 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!
Isn't this just the most yummy collection of fabric from Northcott. The press release reads: Wellesley by Ro Gregg Designed by Ro Gregg for Northcott. A romantic cottage feel that fits perfectly in a shabby chic decor. The natural colorway features creamy tans, milk chocolate browns and soft pinks. Perfect for quilts, duvet covers, shams, pillows and curtains. Florals in a variety of sizes, a paisley, a floral stripe, small tonal stripes, and a geometric print make this collection very versatile.
Just wait until you see what I've come up with to show the collection off a t its best! Go HERE for more on TEA ROSES ... a patchwork pattern and featured quilting suggestions. Cut a strip here, sew a seam there, arrange a set of blocks into a row, apply a few borders and ... VOILA! And such was the tale with the yummy fabric bundle from Northcott. The collection is called Wellesley and includes a beautiful border stripe fabric. I use two historic traditional block designs for this pattern:
Coxey's Camp and Arkansas Snowflake. You will find I frequently surround the body of my quilts with a float border of the background fabric. This helps to highlight the blocks within their setting separate from the border. Using small repeating borders creates a dimensional frame for the quilt body and doesn't that gorgeous floral border stripe look like the most elegant ornate gold leaf frame you've ever seen.
This quilt would fit very nicely in a tea room or sun room done in the shabby chic style. I'll be using my quilt in my guest room done around a garden theme.
The pattern MQS 131E TEA ROSES comes with 3 different quilt sizes (throw, full, and queen) and features fully illustrated step-by-step instructions with alternate suggestions for border designs.
I also included a custom alternating block quilting design mock-up suggestion using 1372 Journey Block and 1279 Feather Block. Happy Accident:I love the way the tear drop design fits into the triangle of the Arkansas Snowflake block and the way motion is created with the spikey points of the quilting design in contrast with the smooth flow of the feather block. Border suggestion: think about using 1273 P2P FEATHER BORDER in the outer floral border and using a 1/4" echoing line of stitching to highlight the framing inner borders.
And, finally, don't you just love it when you can explore your options with my favorite design software Electric Quilt to see how a pattern might look using different fabrics ...
Have you gotten your copy of the September issue of American Quilter?
Did you see page 68?
Did you happen to notice the name of the designer for Dragonfly Blossoms? You're right if you guessed my name.
It was a long time in coming but finally the pattern made it to publication. The piecing techniques follow the same process as outlined in my book Curves That Connect. Minimal pinning and use of the stiletto to help in matching the curved edges of the patches make this difficult looking patchwork as easy as pie! You can see detail photo and written instruction on page 72.
When you take a second look at the cutting and piecing instructions for the pattern you will notice that it works very well as a technique sampler as you explore or refine your piecing skills. Full scale templates are included with the pattern. I like to use the extra thick template plastic when making templates for patchwork patterns. Many times I will cut two of the same template piece out the plastic and stick them together with strategically placed double sided sticky tape to make the template just a little more sturdy. I will also use the smallest rotary cutter (18mm) because the blade is so small I would have to work really really hard to shave off part of my template.
The pattern also includes photos of possible quilting designs to be used once the top is pieced. I took advantage of the secondary designs created from the patchwork to guide in the quilting design process helping to to create a look similar to a cathedral window. You have seen this collection in my catalog ... a collection of block patterns, a triangle pattern, and an E2E pattern. You can see more details about this collection HERE.
Every summer I host a retreat for my sewing group, The Scrappy Sisters. We meet on Friday night for a "Come One, Come All" BBQ Potluck. We bring, hang, and share quilts and quilt tops from retreats from previous retreats. We have the announcement and awarding of prizes to the winners of the Finishing Club for the year. And then we have the EXCHANGE!
Some years we trade strips of a chosen color sheme cut at 2 1/2" by width of fabric and 4 1/2" by width of fabric. Other years we trade bundles of fat quarters packaged up in a variety of themed containers like a picnic basket supper auction. And after our exchange we are ready to fondle our fabrics admiring our "new" stash before we start cutting and sewing. We stitch until the wee hours in the morning, grab a couple hours of sleep and then come back Saturday and Sunday for even more stitching.
This year Kathy chose fabrics that fall into the 1800's category and many of the gals decided they would like to make a pattern of mine called MQS 112E DIAMONDS ON THE DOUBLE. As a special treat for all the retreat-ers I decided to give them a couple of new layout possibilities and additional cutting instructions for a finished 3" block unit. I couldn't leave my loyal blog readers out of the fun, so I'm including those instructions for everyone here, too.
How did the retreat go, you ask? Postponed due to our record breaking HEAT WAVE from which we've been suffering over the last week! We came to consensus it would be best and most comfortable for all (since most of us here in the PNW do not have AC in our homes - me included) if we waited until September to get together. Just to keep things interesting, I added another twist to our little event.
Since everyone was all primed and ready to sew this weekend, I decided we need to go ahead and start cutting into those beautiful fabrics we've been collecting over the past year. Instead of exchanging fat quarter bundles in September everyone is to use their collection to create a set of thirty-six 3" block units for all who want to trade when we want to meet for our retreat. I've been sewing up a storm this weekend getting my units all squared up and together in stacks so I'm ready for September 11th. Can't wait to see what I get from the other gals and I know I'm going to absolutely love how scrappy my new quilt top will be!
Please note, you will need the original pattern for instructions on how to make the block unit.
Recently I taught a class at Pioneer Quilts based on my kaleidoscope quilt that is published as a pattern in Marti Michell's book Kaleidoscope ABC's. We had such a good time learning how to use Marti's Kaleido-Ruler making it much easier to complete the blocks.
Last week Darlene brought her quilt top in for me to finish for her. I thought you might enjoy seeing the "after class" tutorial I put together for the girls and how great Darlene's quilt looks. The "after class" tutorial is to serve as a reminder filled with those little class details, tips, and tricks we tend to forget the day after class ... but we still have more blocks to piece.
When I made my quilt, I used strips and scraps from a country red and blue exchange from a couple of summers ago. As you can see, this quilt works great as a scrappy stash buster and I love the circular motion created by the block units as your eye travels across the top of the quilt.