Thankful for Fabric Giveaway

Here at Quilters Newsletter, we’re thankful for a great many things, greatest among them being our subscribers, our followers, our fellow quilters, and our friends and families. We’re also grateful for fabric, thread, needles and the quilting craft which brings us together, and today we’d like to share some of those material things we’re thankful for with some of those people we’re thankful for. Two lucky winners will each receive one of the two fabric bundles pictured below, both from collections which were featured in our Staff Picks section in our October/November 2014 issue. If you missed the issue while it was still on newsstands, you can still get your copy online at Quilt and Sew Shop, and if you’re more interested in the current issue, December/January 2015, it’s available on newsstands, at bookstores, quilt shops, and also online at Quilt and Sew Shop.

Kahuna Batiks by Fresh Water Designs for EE Schenck:KahunaBatiks Thankful for Fabric Giveaway

Somerset by Fig Tree & Co. for Moda:Somerset Thankful for Fabric Giveaway

To enter for your chance to win one of these two lovely fat quarter bundles, leave a comment on this post below by 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time Sunday November 30, 2014, telling us which of the two bundles you would prefer and what your favorite article or pattern you’ve found in any issue of Quilters Newsletter was. As winners are randomly selected, it’s not guaranteed you’ll win your favorite bundle, but we’ll do our best! Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as the winner, the email will come from with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

If you’re looking for more inspiration and news about the quilting world, make sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramGoogle+Youtube and our website!

Posted in Contests | Tagged , , , , , | 258 Comments

Four-Spool Weekend

My sewing mess just creeps up on me sometimes, getting bigger and bigger until one day, I look at it and can’t do anything else until I have tackled it, wrestled it to the ground and tied it into neat and tidy bundles. I have a bedroom in the apartment that is supposed to be the sewing room but the lighting is not wonderful so I sew on the table in the dining area. That means I have sewing spread over both areas most of the time.

We knew we had company coming on Sunday and there will be more company on Thanksgiving Day so this weekend, I took on the sewing mess. Part of it was easy, just folding and putting away pieces and parts from projects I’ve finished in the last couple of weeks. But as I was nearing the end, I needed space in the closet for one more box and there simply wasn’t any space. So I started evaluating what I had in there.

Several years ago, I read someone’s organizational idea of sorting scraps and cutting 2½” strips and squares, as well as  3”, 4” and 5” squares and storing them separately. So I had small boxes with patches of those sizes. I also had a box of 9½” squares. The idea didn’t work for me. Pretty much I had four boxes of squares and strips but I never remember to look in the four boxes. I cut the 9½” squares into 4” and 5” squares. There went one box.

Then I pieced a handful of 4-patch blocks with the 5” squares. It didn’t make a dent in the three boxes that I was trying to use up. I put the blocks on the design wall but somehow, it didn’t inspire me. I was just thinking of a throw for when we’re watching TV or reading but this is just too boring.

002 Four Spool Weekend

Four-Patch Failure

Looking at the photo, I can see that maybe if I work at the arrangement of the blocks it will be better. It’s supposed to be a quick quilt, a utility quilt but I’m just not impressed so far. On second thought, I’m going to look at Devoted to Scraps to see if I can find a way to rescue it. Devoted to Scraps is a super book by Quiltmaker, our sister publication, with lots of nice scrappy patterns.

But check this out. Here is the reason I wind up with so many PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks). I didn’t work at making those 4-patch blocks into something I liked. I left them on the design wall and moved on to something else. I justified it by saying I was trying to use up the scraps in those boxes.

I made 42 blocks by simply string piecing strips of different widths onto a paper foundation and sewed the blocks together and I had a quilt top.

003 Four Spool Weekend

String-pieced Top

Then I took a length of fabric for the back and cut it so it was in two unequal sections. I pieced one long strip and put it in between the two sections and voila, I had a back to the quilt.

006 Four Spool Weekend

Simple Pieced Back

I removed the paper foundations from the front of the quilt; spray basted the three layers together and started quilting. I’m just doing one big spiral. I’m not thrilled with the quilting but it will work for a watching-TV, snuggly quilt.

Most of the time, when I’m making a quilt, I struggle with the name. Not this time. This is Froggie Went A-Courting. There is lots of the one blue-and-green frog print in the quilt and I found myself humming the song as I was sewing.

004 Four Spool Weekend

Scrappy Memories

I love making scrap quilts. The frog fabric was supposed to be shirts for the three oldest grandsons; the black-and-red strawberry print was a dress for our oldest granddaughter; the smiley faces with the medical caps and equipment print was hospital scrubs for our son-in-law; the turquoise, lime and black print was a pair for shorts for our youngest son, all made in the early ’90s. So as I was sewing I was having fun remembering.

I did get the scraps that started the whole process stacked into two small boxes so everything fits in the closet again.

And when I am piecing scrap quilts, I just use whatever color of thread. I use good quality cotton or polyester thread. And because I have so much thread and I am trying to consolidate things, I take the spool with the least thread on it and sew until it is gone. My bobbin thread and my top thread don’t necessarily match. My machine is adjusted well enough that I can’t see the thread once the block is pressed and I am looking at the right side so I just use up spools. I emptied four spools this weekend. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t suppose that’s a lot. I have 400-500 spools of thread. I have so much thread that it’s crazy. But nevertheless, a four-spool weekend is a good thing.

Just for fun, I keep track of how much thread I use in a year by throwing the empty spools in a container, then I can count them at the end of the year. I should have used a larger container this year. I can’t wait to count at the end of December.

And this week, I should hit a BIG milestone. I keep track of all the quilts I make and I finished quilt number 199 last week. This simple little quilt I started this weekend should be quilt number 200 for me. I’m excited. Watch for my blog post next week and I’ll tell you more.

Until then, check out our pages on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and our website for quilting fun and inspiration.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Exploring the Castle

I hope you enjoyed the blog tour for Quilters Newsletter presents Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 last week! The issue is filled to the brim with all kinds of cool patterns, many of which you saw if you followed the tour. If you still haven’t gotten your hands on a copy, head over to the Quilt & Sew Shop to pick one up. Today I want to talk a little bit more about my contribution to the issue, Castle on a Cloud. The photo in the issue doesn’t show too much detail and I was pretty happy with the way my quilting turned out on it, so I thought I should share what I did in case someone else wanted to do something similar.

Here’s the photo of the quilt that you’ve already seen.

CastleonaCloud 550 Exploring the Castle

Castle on a Cloud by Gigi Khalsa

When it was time to start on the quilting, I knew I wanted to outline the castle somehow. You can see in the photo that it is outlined, but it’s pretty subtle and not overly heavy of an outline. The palette in this quilt is quite light and doesn’t have a whole lot of contrast, so I was looking for a way to distinguish the various elements without overpowering the softness of the quilt. Stitching in the ditch was out because you wouldn’t see the stitching at all. I considered a narrow satin stitch but thought the heavy outline might be a bit too much. The perfect compromise for me was to stitch a line on either side of the seams, so there is a double line of quilting outlining the castle, with the stitching lines being about 1/8″ apart.

castle1 Exploring the Castle

Welcome home! Approaching the castle.

The benefits of this became apparent while I was quilting. First, the double line is visible, but it maintains the lightness that the fabric required. The outline is not overpowering, but it is definite.

castle2 Exploring the Castle

Did you want a closer look? Here you go!

Second, it makes the darkened window sections look more deliberate. A single outline on the windows looked too sparse and like an afterthought, but the double lines give a nice weight and presence.

castle4 Exploring the Castle

Let’s go inside!

Third, the fact that my quilting lines aren’t perfectly straight is actually good. A single line that wobbles a bit looks like a mistake; double lines that wobble a bit and slightly vary the space in between them look interesting and full of character. (I had grand visions of doing a nice stone pattern to fill in the castle too, but I did not have the time to go through with it. Oh well.)

castle3 Exploring the Castle

Now let’s take a look at this section.

I highly recommend this double quilting line idea, not just if you make this quilt, but any quilt that wants a bit of definition between elements. Basically I did one outline around the entire castle shape, just on the outside edge of the seam. Then each section got a second line just on the inner side of the seam, so it becomes sort of interlocking jigsaw puzzle pieces in one big shape. I liked the double lines so much that I did the same for all the rest of the quilting, in the sky and foreground and all. You can see how the space between the lines changes quite a bit from castle to sky to ground, so each area kind of has its own texture.

And since you didn’t get a chance to see the back, here it is.

castle5 Exploring the Castle

The back is pieced from everything in the fat quarter bundle that didn’t make it on to the front.

All the fat quarters from the bundle that I didn’t use on the front got to be on that back, plus scraps from the fat quarters that were used minimally, so I didn’t waste a thing.

castle6 Exploring the Castle

Here’s the castle quilting from the back.

Many commenters pointed out that you could easily personalize this pattern with color and fabric choice, as well as with cool appliques or embellishments. I would be very interested to see what others do with this pattern, so if you or anyone you know makes it, please share!

If you take a break from sewing anytime, come say hi on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and our website. Have a magical weekend!

Posted in Gigi, Inspiration, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

17 Quilt Documentaries You Should See

 17 Quilt Documentaries You Should See

description of “A Crazy Quilt” from Vitagraph Films published in The Billboard, Nov. 16, 1907

Way back in 1907,  Vitagraph Films released a silent short called “A Crazy Quilt.” In it, a man goes to sleep under a crazy quilt made by his mother-in-law. Wacky dreams ensue, including phonographs, huge beasts and trousers that surround him and “move around mysteriously.” The man awakens, ditches the quilt in favor of his overcoat and goes to sleep peacefully.

If this wasn’t the first time a quilt was used so prominently and metaphorically in a film, it certainly was one of the earliest. Since then quilts have shown up in many films, usually as part of the set dressing but occasionally in more prominent positions, such as in How to Make an American Quilt.

Perhaps it’s because we just taped 12 new episodes of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community last week, in which we conducted interviews with quiltmakers as well as demonstrated techniques, but lately I’ve been interested in how filmmakers have told the stories of quilts through documentaries. I know this list I compiled isn’t complete, but I think it covers a comprehensive range over the past four decades of quilting, covering traditional quilters, art quilters, and those who use quilts as means of outreach or protest (or both). Simply put, there’s something here for every quilter.

I included short trailers for some films where I could, and included links to other websites where you can either view the entire film for free online or find out more about how to get ahold of a copy if you desire.

1) Women’s Work (early 1970s)

Actually, this first entry on my list is one that I doubt many have seen. In the July 1973 issue of Quilters Newsletter, founder and editor-in-chief Bonnie Leman closed her editor’s letter with the following paragraph:

Those of you who would like to show a quilt movie at your next club meeting might like this information. Available for rent from Leslie Hill … is a 16 mm color film about quilts called “Women’s Work.” I question Miss Hill’s choice for a title, but the film has been well received by numerous women’s groups across the country.

That’s about as much as I know about this film, but I would love to see it someday.

2) Kathleen Ware, Quiltmaker (1979)

Kathleen Ware, Quiltmaker (1920–2001), (dir. Sharon R. Sherman) captures both the folk art of quiltmaking and the personality of an individual folk artist. Located in the coast range of Oregon, the Ware home sits by the side of a well-traveled highway and attracts numerous quilt enthusiasts. The film shows Kathleen Ware’s daily life and includes interactions with customers and family members. The film covers the economic aspect of quiltmaking in addition to personal aesthetics, and shows Ware as she takes a commission for what turns into a large, beautiful lone star quilt. She chooses fabrics with her customer, then cuts the patches using a cardboard template and scissors and machine pieces them (seemingly without  pressing her seams, but maybe that happened off-camera). It was also interesting to see how she added mitered borders without measuring or pressing, how she loaded the quilt into a hand quilting frame suspended from the ceiling and then finished the binding entirely by machine, all the while surrounded by her family in her home. The entire half-hour film is available for streaming on the FolkStreams website.

3) Quilts in Women’s Lives (1981)

Quilts in Women’s Lives (dir. Pat Ferrero) is described as “a series of first person portraits of seven quilt makers, including a Mennonite, a Bulgarian immigrant, an African American, and two Midwestern sisters provide insights into the inspirations for their work and reveal their passion and love for an art form that reflects their values and philosophy of life.” It offers a wonderful view into quilting at the tail end of the 1970s, a decade when it soared in popularity both as an art and a craft. Visit the FolkStreams website to view a longer 15-minute excerpt from the documentary.

4) Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989)

This Academy Award-winning documentary (dir. Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman) is probably the best-known documentary concerning quilts. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, it tells the powerful story of the first decade of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. through the evolution of the now-iconic NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

5) Georgia Quilts: Stitches and Stories (1998)

Whether made from scraps and feed sacks, or from fine cottons and silks, every quilt tells a story about its maker and the times in which he or she lived. In Georgia Quilts: Stitches And Stories (prod. Carol Fisk), we see how quilting fashions have changed during the 19th and 20th centuries, families share the moving legends of their heirloom quilts, and we meet some of Georgia’s current traditional and contemporary quilters. Hand piecers and quilters in particular will be interested in the shots of quilters at work with needle and thread, and anyone with an interest in quilt history and/or U.S. history will appreciate the many stories told. The entire hour-long film is available for free viewing on the Georgia Public Broadcasting website; click here.

6) America Quilts (1999)

This PBS film (dir. Laurie A. Gorman) celebrates the artists, the quilts and the powerful stories woven into them. The program examines quilts from three perspectives — as historical records, symbols of family and community, and works of art.

7) A Century of Quilts: America in Cloth (2001)

In 1999, International Quilt Festival in Houston, in conjunction with The Quilt Alliance, the American Quilt Study Group and the National Quilting Association,  conducted the ultimate search to find 100 of the most acclaimed quilts of the 20th Century. That fall the selected quilts were together for the show of a lifetime, and PBS cameras were there to meet the quilters and to record the stories of a Century of Quilts. The documentary is a companion to the book The Twentieth Century’s Best American Quilts (Primedia, 1999), edited by Quilters Newsletter’s editor-in-chief at the time, Mary Leman Austin.

8) Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend (2005)

Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend (dir. Celia Carey) explores the extraordinary lives, inspirations, and history of these artists, and also follows them on a poignant and sometimes very comical bus journey to see their quilts exhibited at The Milwaukee Art Museum. The entire hour-long documentary is available for free viewing on the Alabama Public Television website.

9) The Great American Quilt Revival (2005)

In The Great American Quilt Revival, a cast of today’s well known quilters, including producer Georgia Bonesteel, plus historians, collectors and designers such as Barbara Brackman, Jean Ray Laury, Jinny Beyer, Yvonne Porcella, Jeffrey Gutcheon and Cuesta Benberry, discuss their art and role in the revolution of modern quilting. Tracking early quilting innovator Marie Webster, on to the influence of Amish and African American traditions, and finally to the outpouring of quilts in response to the 9/11 tragedies, The Great American Quilt Revival captures the story of this landmark movement.

10) The Quilts of Gee’s Bend (2006)

Originally produced as a companion to the book of the same name, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend (dir. Matt Arnett & Vanessa Vadim) accompanies the major 2002 exhibition of Gee’s Bend quilts. Set in the quiltmakers’ homes and yard, and told through the women’s voices, this music-filled, 28-minute documentary (available for viewing above) focuses on the quiltmakers themselves.

11) The Art of Quilting (2007)

pPBS3 3498961dt 17 Quilt Documentaries You Should See

The Art of Quilting is a journey of color and inspiration, a visual feast of imagination and expression. With highlights from Quilt National, Art Quilts Philadelphia and profiles of the Chicago School of Fusing members, The Art of Quilting allows viewers to discover how the boundaries of traditional American quiltmaking have expanded.

12) Stitching Together: 35 Years of Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (2010)

This documentary (dir. Kara McGinn) was made to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, now considered the largest outdoor quilt show in the world. The DVD was available at one time but appears to be out of print now.

13) Stitched (2011)

“Behind every stitch, there is a story.” Stitched (dir. Jenalia Moreno) is a fun-filled documentary following three quilters racing to complete their entries for International Quilt Festival, the largest quilt show in the nation. The Houston show draws more than 50,000 quilters including three artists who created some controversy with their work. Quilting legend Caryl Bryer Fallert was the first to win a major prize for her quilt made with a sewing machine. She mentored Hollis Chatelain who caused a stir when she won an award for a painted quilt. And Hollis mentored Randall Cook who sparked controversy with his quilt of a male nude. In this 72-minute documentary, these quilters create their pieces to compete in the 2010 quilt show.

14) Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics (2011)

This fascinating nine-part series from Shelly Zegart and the Kentucky Quilt Project explores quilts in fresh new ways by taking you behind the scenes to reveal the unique position of quilts at the center of American culture. You’ll go on an amazing quilt journey from function to art, to women’s empowerment, economic clout, American politics and beyond.

15) The Quilted Conscience (2011)

The Quilted Conscience (dir. John Sorensen) is the story of a group of 16 Sudanese-American girls – refugees from the genocide in their homeland – who are thrust into the disorienting new world of Grand Island, Nebraska; of a quilters guild of local women; and of a famed African American quiltmaker, Peggie Hartwell, who travels a thousand miles to bring the two groups together by means of a “culture-blend” fabric-art project: the creation of a wall-size mural, composed of dozens of small story-panels created by the Sudanese children with the help of the local women.

16) The Last One (2014)

Now more than 50 miles long were it to be laid out end to end, The AIDS Memorial Quilt is too large to display in any one location. Yet, even at this size, it does not begin to reflect the number of people who have succumbed to the pandemic. As the film (dir. Nadine Licostie) traces The Quilt’s history and continued growth — 25 years since Common Threads was released — it examines how stigma, discrimination, social status and the lack of access to care exacerbate a disease that has already claimed the lives of roughly 30 million people and currently infects another 34 million men, women and children around the globe — including 50,000 new infections a year in the U.S. alone. The film takes its name from a quilt panel that was donated anonymously and that Quilt organizers will not add to the full quilt until the last known death from AIDS has been recorded.

17) 1200 Quilts Across America

This documentary focusing on Quilts of Valor appears to exist so far only as a trailer, with the full-length film yet to be released.


So take some time to watch some of these films and perhaps learn something new about quilting. And when you’re done, you can check out current episodes of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community episodes, our own contribution to the ongoing video documentation of quilting, on Quilters, and on the Quilters Newsletter YouTube channel. New episodes are free to watch for one week; after one week the episodes are available as part of the membership package on Monthly and annual memberships are available.

Posted in Inspiration, Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So Many Books Giveaway Part 5!


If you’ve been out shopping lately, you’ve probably heard the Christmas music on the radio and seen the Pre-Black Friday sales. This time of year, we’re often focused on making or buying gifts, planning holiday celebrations and trying to think of the perfect things to give to others while balancing our normal priorities and workloads. All of that can lead to a bit of stress, requiring us to seek refuge in our hobbies. Which is why this week’s giveaway features books of quilt patterns that can be made and displayed year round, just for the enjoyment of the craft. Three randomly selected lucky winners will win three books each:

Giveaways 021 550 So Many Books Giveaway Part 5!   Giveaways 015 550 So Many Books Giveaway Part 5!   Giveaways 016 550 So Many Books Giveaway Part 5!

Set 1 for Winner 1 includes The Big Book of Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth with Charlene Thode from Martingale, Strip-Smart Quilts II by Kathy Brown from That Patchwork Place, and Great Granny Squared by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet from It’s Sew Emma Patterns.

Set 2 for Winner 2 includes Candy Store and More by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine from That Patchwork Place, Paper-Piecing Quilts of Praise by Jaynette Huff from That Patchwork Place, and A Paper-Pieced Garden by Maaike Bakker and Francoise Maarse from That Patchwork Place.

Set 3 for Winner 3 includes More Twist-and-Turn Bargello Quilts by Eileen Wright from That Patchwork Place, On-Point Patchwork by Donna Lynn Thomas from That Patchwork Place, and Big-Print Patchwork by Sandy Turner from That Patchwork Place.

To enter to win one of the three sets of three books, leave a comment on this post below telling us which of the three sets you would prefer to win or if you’d love them all. Since winners are randomly selected, it’s not guaranteed you’ll receive the set you prefer, but we’ll try our best! Comments must be entered by 11:59 PM Mountain Time, Sunday November 23, 2014. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

We would love to keep you informed of all the latest news and happenings at Quilters Newsletter and in the quilt world on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram,
YouTube and our website if you’d like to let us!

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Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour — Wrap-Up

It seems like last week just flew by with all those beautiful quilts to look at and wonderful designers’ blogs to visit. I hope you enjoyed the Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour and that you found at least one quilt to think about making. BFQQ14Cover 200 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap UpPam Rocco, a regular contributor to Quilters Newsletter who does not have a blog, told me a couple of months ago, “Don’t think about making a quilt, do it!” and at the time I really took her advice to heart and started making a quilt I had been considering making for several months — and was glad I did!

Each of the prize winners from the tour have been notified via email from with the subject line “Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour giveaway.” Those winners are:

Day 1 – Amanda Murphy’s blog – Audrey
Day 1 – Marcia Harmening’s blog – Leah
Day 2 – Christina Cameli’s blog – Diane
Day 2 – Gigi Khalsa’s post – Norma
Day 3 – Karen Gibbs’ blog – Amy
Day 3 – Susan Emory’s blog – Trudy
Day 4 – Jen Daly’s blog – D
Day 4 – Fourth & Sixth Designs’ blog – Janie
Day 4 – Lori Baker’s post – Carol
Day 5 – Kim Hanson – Shari
Day 5 – Joanne Hillestad – Lee
Day 5 – Kathryn Wagar Wright’s post – Pat

There are two more designers from the Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 issue who have blogs but were not available for the tour and they are Janet Jo Smith, who contributed Playa Estrella, and Monique Dillard, who contributed Lights, Camera, Action!

PlayaEstrella 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

Playa Estrella by Janet Jo Smith

LightsCamera 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

Lights, Camera, Action! by Monique Dillard

Several of the wonderful designers from the Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 issue do not have blogs, but I would still like to share their beautiful creations:

EarlyBirds 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

Early Birds by ZJ Humbach

FanofNines 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

Fan of Nines by Bev Getschel, who also contributed Square Dance, pictured in Lori’s post from last week.

Windmills 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

Windmills by Vivian Ritter

CountyFair 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

County Fair by Chris Hoover

MidnightStars 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

Midnight Stars by Lerlene Nevaril

HittheBricks 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

Hit the Bricks by Ramona Sorensen

WinterFlowers 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

Winter Flowers by Ramona Sorensen

SummerBreeze 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Wrap Up

Summer Breezes by Carol Streif

Saw something you liked? The Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 issue is available from newsstands, bookstores, quilt shops and online at Quilt and Sew Shop. If you haven’t already, you might want to pick up your copy today, because it would be great inspiration for not just thinking about making a quilt but actually doing it.

We like to share inspiration, giveaways, news from the quilt world and more on each of our platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and our website!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

My Last Photos from Quilt Market 2014

I have just a few more photos from this fall’s International Quilt Market in Houston to share with you. The wonderful quilts at Market and Festival are divided into several different exhibits each year, and I always find at least one of those smaller exhibits fascinating. This year it was an exhibit called Frances Benton: Artistry in Applique. Benton passed away a few years ago and left a number of quilt tops to the International Quilt Association. Thirteen of the quilts were quilted this year by well-known longarm machine quilters and were on display. The information I’ve provided here was copied from the card displayed next to the quilt.

079 My Last Photos from Quilt Market 2014

Floral Basket Applique Medallion

Floral Basket Applique Medallion by France Benton, quilted by Angela McCorkle

Date: September 2014

Machine Pieced, hand appliqued, machine quilted

081 My Last Photos from Quilt Market 2014

Floral Medallion Applique

Floral Medallion Applique by Frances Benton, quilted by Angela McCorkle

Date: top 1980s, quilted September 2014

Machine pieced, hand appliqued, machine quilted

083 My Last Photos from Quilt Market 2014

Winter Applique

Winter Applique by Frances Benton, quilted by Paula Hughes

Date: September 2014

Machine pieced, hand appliqued, machine quilted

085 My Last Photos from Quilt Market 2014

Butterflies and Birds Applique

Butterflies and Birds Applique by Frances Benton, quilted by Angela Walters

Date: October 2014

Machine pieced, hand appliqued, machine quilted


Those are the quilts I have photos of. They were lovely, each and every one of them. As I was looking for more information, I found a blog by Margaret Solomon Gunn talking about quilting one of the Benton quilts. It’s a lovely basket quilt that I didn’t get a good photo of. The blog has lots of great photos of it.

Margaret Solomon Gunn’s award-winning quilt Autumn Surrender is on the cover of our December/January 2015 issue which will be available November 18th on newsstands, at your local quilt store or at

On another note, this weekend I made two Christmas projects. I can’t show them to you just yet but I do want to tell you about two nice eBooks we have available: Quick Christmas Gifts. It has 5 fast projects; ornaments, mug rugs, potholders and a table topper. If you start now, you can still make a truckload of gifts for the people on your gift-giving list. And Quick Christmas Décor. It includes two wall hangings (one in three variations) and a Christmas pillow.

And do remember, for inspiration and more quilt fun, go to our pages on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and our website.

Until next week, happy quilting!

Posted in Events, Inspiration, Lori Baker | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three Tiny Trees

I hope you’ve been enjoying the blog tour for Quilters Newsletter presents Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014. We’ve featured some of the great patterns from the issue on the tour, but there are even more to see in the pages! Check it out at the Quilt & Sew Shop if you haven’t yet seen it.

For me, the issue comes out at a good time because guess what’s coming up? Yes, Thanksgiving is, and I am very grateful for that. But as those of us who like to make things to give away know, we have to start thinking about the gift-giving holiday season well before it arrives if we are to be prepared for it. Quilts made from fat quarters can make wonderful gifts. Or a bundle of fat quarters along with the BFQQ 2014 issue would be pretty special for someone to receive.

And speaking of being prepared, there’s a Quilters Wish List feature in our recently-released December/January 2015 issue, which is also available at the Quilt & Sew Shop. I did a lot of research to look for items that I, personally, would love to receive as gifts and my coworkers agreed with the selections I found. There’s items for every taste and price point, so take a look if you’d like a little gift-giving (or gift-receiving!) inspiration.

tree1 Three Tiny Trees

Completed ornament

One of the items featured is a little kit to make wool felt Christmas tree ornaments. This item is one that Lori found and brought to my attention, so join me in thanking her for that! They’re ornaments to put on a tree, but they’re also shaped like trees! The kit is made by Lumenaris and there are other designs available. I made one of the trees from the kit so it could be photographed for the magazine, but there are 2 more left in the kit. I just wanted to share a little more about the kit and how fun it is to put together.

tree2 Three Tiny Trees

All the provided pieces to make the tree ornament, some super-fun assembly required!

Every single thing needed to make the ornaments is in the little box. Everything. Even a needle. The wool felt pieces are precision-cut. Embroidery floss is on tiny little spools. The instructions illustrate how to do each of the stitches required – back stitch, blanket stitch and French knots. Even the batting is cut into the perfect size and shape. I guess what I’m getting at is that this kit is great to give to someone as is, and they can have fun making the ornaments (even if they have no sewing experience, really, so they’re also fun to make with kids); or you can make the ornaments themselves and give those as gifts. That’s what I plan to do, so I’d better get stitching on the others!

Christmas tree ornaments always make nice gifts, you can read about some of the others I’ve made here and here. Have you started on sewing any Christmas gifts yet? I feel as if I’m planning ahead this year but I’m sure I’ll still be scrambling to finish everything in time.

Enjoy the last day of the blog tour, I hope you win a bundle of fabric! After you post your comment to enter the giveaways, come hang out with us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and our website. I’ll be quilting all weekend, I hope you will be too!

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Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour — Day 5

On Monday of this week, our first featured designer in today’s part of the blog tour told me that it was so very snowy and cold where she lived and added, “All the better weather to sew in!” BFQQ14Cover 200 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Day 5While I’m still not ready for winter despite the snowy high temperature of 9 degrees Fahrenheit here at the Quilters Newsletter offices on Wednesday of this week, I do fully appreciate the sentiment of being excited to sew, no matter the weather. And the perfect thing to sew right now just happens to be one of the patterns from the Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 issue. If you don’t already have your copy, you can go pick one up from your local newsstand, bookshop, quilt store, or online at Quilt and Sew Shop. The issue is packed with inspirational quilt projects – twice as many projects, in fact, as we could showcase on the main part of the Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour. Welcome to Day 5! While today is the last day of the tour, it isn’t over yet because there are three more wonderful designers whose blogs we’re visiting and three more lovely prizes to be won.

If you don’t love sewing in the snowy and cold weather as much as Kim Hanson does, you might want to start by sewing yourself a version of Charm & Whimsy. Its springtime daisy and tulip, kite and embellishments are sure to warm you up by reminding you of fun things to do when it’s nice outside. CharmnWhimsy 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Day 5

Leave a comment on the post on Kim’s blog for a chance to enter to win a fat quarter bundle from the Primitive Pennies collection by Country Essentials for Connecting ThreadsPrimitivePennies Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Day 5

If you happen to love gardening in addition to quilting, you may consider making yourself a version of Chopped with the same collection Joanne Hillestad used (Farmer’s Market by RJR Fabrics). This colorful quilt would also be a fantastic way to show off any of your other favorite large scale prints. Chopped 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Day 5

Leave a comment on the post on Joanne’s blog for a chance to enter to win a fat quarter bundle from the Homestead Gatherings collection by Primitive Gatherings for ModaHomestyleGatherings Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Day 5

Also a fantastic way to show off your large scale prints, Baby Bouquets is a hexie quilt with no set in seams. QN senior designer Kathryn Wagar Wright designed and made this splendid baby quilt, perfect for the newest member of the family. BabyBouquets 550 Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Day 5

Leave a comment on Kath’s blog post for a chance to enter to win a fat quarter bundle from the A is for Animal collection by Kathy Brown for Red Rooster FabricsAisforAnimal Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour    Day 5

Comments must be entered by Midnight Mountain Time tonight unless otherwise noted in the individual designer’s blog post to be eligible to win. Randomly selected winners from all blogs involved in the Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour will receive an email from with the subject line “Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour giveaway.” Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.

We also love to share quilting news and inspirations with you on FacebookTwitter,Google+PinterestInstagramYouTube and our website!

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A Quilt Gift

(Written by Kathryn Wagar Wright)

Welcome to my part of the Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 Blog Tour! You can get the issue at newsstands, bookstores, quilt shops and online at Quilt and Sew Shop if you don’t already have your copy, but let’s talk about quilts.

No Strings Attached – I don’t really understand why some quilters are disappointed with how a quilt gift is used by the recipient. The concept of ‘don’t sit on my quilt’, or ‘don’t use it as a dog blanket’ (I love dogs), or on a table, or as a picnic drop, just doesn’t resonate with me.

BabyBouquets 5501 A Quilt Gift

Baby Bouquets

I’ve spent most of my quilting life living at least three or four states away from my extended family. I’ve missed sharing many holidays, birthdays, and other special days with them and don’t often get to present my quilt gifts in person.

Last year we had two new additions to our family. I had made the Spots & Dots quilt shown in our Best Modern Quilts 2014 issue for my great-niece, Briony, and another of my nieces was expecting and due in the late fall.

SpotsDotsfromModern 550 A Quilt Gift

Spots & Dots

Hexagons seemed to be blooming everywhere I looked. I had a bunch of large scale reds, pinks and orange scraps in my stash so I started by drafting a large hexagon based on the size of my largest scraps. I wanted easy piecing, no set-in patches and straight edges without borders. I didn’t plan my finished size ahead of time, I just got busy cutting hexagons out of all of the scrap fabric. When it started looking like I might have enough fabric for a baby size quilt, I started hoping that the newest addition would be a baby girl! I was able to piece the entire top by the time Evangeline was born, and pieced the back together out of scraps from the front with yellow, orange and pink parts and pieces.

BabyBouquets Flat 550 A Quilt Gift

Baby Bouquets

Evangeline and her family live overseas so she was a few months old when she received her Baby Bouquets quilt. Since I often can’t present my quilt gifts in person there is a little string attached — I now ask for photos of the recipient with the quilt. Evangeline just turned one year old.

Evangeline 550 A Quilt Gift

My Great Niece with Baby Bouquets (pieced backing side up).

To enter to win a fat quarter bundle from the A is for Animal collection by Kathy Brown for Red Rooster Fabrics, leave a comment on this post below by Midnight Mountain Time tonight. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.

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