Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour! TwT Cover 500 235x300 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2We’re celebrating the release of this brand new issue full of original quilt patterns by visiting the online homes of some of the designers and giving away prizes. The best way to give a traditional quilt a twist is to put your own personal stamp on it. Each pattern in our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 issue has a section talking about the twist used in that quilt, hopefully to give you ideas on how you might use the same twist with a different traditional quilting block or style. If you don’t already have your copy of the issue, be sure to get one at your local quilt shop, bookstore, newsstand or online at Quilt and Sew Shop. And in the meanwhile, let’s continue with our tour, learning about two more of the talented designers whose quilts are featured in the issue:

The traditional nine-patch block gets a modern makeover with different-than-usual sized blocks in Cornflower Crossing by the first designer on our blog tour today, Jen Daly. Make yours in a two color scheme as Jen did, or use multiple colors or make it scrappy to put your own touch of individuality on your version of this spirally-quilted creation. CornflowerCrossing 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

Be sure to leave a comment on Jen’s Blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of True Blue from P&B Textiles.
True Blue Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

Careful planning and improvisational piecing both go into Rossie Hutchinson‘s Emily’s Nonsense. The pops of bright blue energize the layout, making it an intriguing quilt.EmilysNonsense 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

Be sure to leave a comment on Rossie’s Blog for your chance to win a fat eighth bundle of Lakeside Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings from ModaLakeside Gatherings Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 2

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 Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour will receive an email from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with the subject line “Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour giveaway.” Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.

And see Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. Be sure to check out more Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Day 1

The concept of Tradition with a Twist Quilts is one that’s both fairly simple and very complex.TwT Cover 500 235x300 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1 It’s equal parts traditional quilting and modern quilting. It’s taking the old and making it new again. Our designers for Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 took the idea to mean something just a little bit different to each of them. Some of our designers played with non-traditional colors and altered blocks to suit their personal tastes while others played with non-traditional fabrics and techniques. To celebrate the release of this wonderful issue, we’re holding a blog tour this week. Each day, today through Friday, we’ll introduce you to two or three of our talented designers and give you the opportunity to win a bundle of fabric for each of their blogs you visit! If you don’t already have a copy of Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015, you can find one on newsstands, at bookstores, fabric shops, and online at Quilt and Sew Shop. Plus, check out the promo video we made for the issue:

To start us off with our blog tour, please visit the online home of our first designer, Brenda Miller, who designed and made Skip a Beat for our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 issue. This lovely table runner could be a perfect Valentine’s Day decoration, but it could also celebrate warmth and love all year round.SkipaBeat 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1

Be sure to leave a comment on Brenda’s blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Just Color from Studio E Fabrics.Just Color Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1

Our second designer today on our blog tour is Janet Jo Smith, who designed and made Lady in Red using her own hand-dyed fabrics. The gradations in the hand-dyes really make the two colors of this variation on a traditional lady of the lake block quilt pop.LadyinRed 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1

Be sure to leave a comment on Janet’s blog for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Penelope by Sue Beevers from Northcott.Penelope Bundle Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Day 1

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 Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour will receive an email from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with the subject line “Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour giveaway.” Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.

Don’t forget to visit us here at the QN Blog again tomorrow for chances to win two new bundles of fabric by visiting two more designers’ blogs!

And see Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. Be sure to check out more Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Jackpot

If there is a quilt lottery, I feel like I have won the big one – the grand prize.

We went to see my mom and stepdad this weekend. The weather had been nasty enough that they weren’t able to come to my house for our family holiday get-together, so one of the things we did during this visit was exchange Christmas gifts.

Mom gave us two quilts. This one is one that she made from start to finish. It’s very pretty and beautifully done. I like it a lot.

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Mom’s House Quilt

But now look at this quilt. This is the second quilt she gave us. It’s amazing.

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Grandma Brown’s Quilt. It’s rectangular, the camera angle makes it appear otherwise.

Mom told us this is the last quilt top her mom (my Grandma Brown) pieced. Grandma died in 1976 so I know the newest of the fabrics in this top are from the mid-1970s. Grandma was a scrap quilter in the truest sense of the word. Some of her fabrics were collected from the leftovers of her sewing and her daughters’ sewing. Other fabrics were gleaned from worn clothing. She would cut up the clothing and use the least worn parts for quiltmaking.

Grandma didn’t have a rotary cutter and ruler. She cut her patches with a pair of scissors, using cardboard templates. The cardboard was frequently from a cereal box or something similar. I don’t know how she did the designing part of her quilts. Did she make the blocks and then lay them out and arrange colors or did she have a plan for color arrangement in mind when she pieced the blocks? I don’t remember ever being in on that part of the process.

Mom said some of the seams in this quilt top were not very good so she quilted with a feather stitch on the seam lines with her sewing machine to reinforce them.

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Mom quilted on the ditch with a decorative stitch.

As you can see, the piecing is not precise like Mom’s piecing. There are places where there is excess fabric so the fabric bubbles a bit. But that doesn’t bother me in the least.

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Some of the blocks aren’t quite flat.

The brown fabric for the background is a number of different shades; some is cotton, some is polyester (maybe the lining from a coat). I think the different colors of brown are part of the charm of this quilt.

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Aren’t the lavender polka dots delightful?

This lavender polka dot is the print that Grandma used the most often. It’s in six of the star blocks and is paired with a spruce green solid in three of the blocks. Orange, lavender and turquoise are the solids in the other three. I love Grandma’s color sense. It breaks some of the rules but the end result is so attractive.

I absolutely love this quilt. I plan to add a sleeve so I can hang it on the living room wall. It is such a treasure.

I was thinking about Grandma’s quilt this morning; thinking that Bill Volckening would appreciate it. Bill wrote a wonderful feature about 1970s quilts in the February/March 2015 issue of Quilters Newsletter. There are photos of eight quilts from his collection. Bill is also going to be presenting a web seminar at 1:00 pm (Eastern time) on February 27, 2015, titled Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s. He’ll talk about how to recognize a quilt as being from the 1970s, fabrics (including polyester double knits) and construction methods used, how quilts have evolved and the relevance of 1970s quilts today. There is more information at QuiltandSewShop.com. Put it on your calendar; it promises to be very interesting.

And see Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. Be sure to check out more Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

 

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Zigzag to the Finish!

I have a quilt finish to share! You might remember when I talked about making the quilt top and designing and doing the quilting for the Rectangular Prisms pattern. The pattern was designed by Marcia Harmening and it’s available in Quilters Newsletter‘s special issue, Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014. You can get a copy, digital or physical, at the Quilt & Sew Shop if you are interested. There are 24 great patterns in the issue aside from this one.

This finish was a little more involved, because the top and bottom of the quilt are shaped kind of like zigzags. That means the binding technique and process was new to me and so I had to go pretty slow and make sure I was doing it right. And, since I am stubborn and refuse to hand-stitch the binding down to the back, I had to work out the best way to machine-stitch the entire binding. It went pretty well, though slow. I’m not sure that it was any faster than hand-sewing, ultimately, but I was determined.

In the magazine, there’s a Designer Tip to go along with the pattern that explains how to best work with shaped binding. I followed the instructions and they worked well, but I tweaked a few things to suit my sewing style. The main difference is that you don’t use a double fold binding, to minimize bulk in the corners.

The pattern recommends backstitching at each corner, and I did that. But rather than take the quilt all the way out from under the presser foot to reposition, I just pulled it to the side a bit to fold and reposition the binding at the outer corners. I don’t do this with regular binding, but there are so many little points to tackle on this quilt that I thought it would save some time.

zigzag2 Zigzag to the Finish!

Try not to laugh at my poor, beat-up presser foot. I didn’t make it that way, it was like that when I got it! I think in its previous life, my sewing machine was used by many people who maybe weren’t very familiar with a sewing machine and how to care for it, like at a school or something.

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Here I am repositioning so the binding can go over the corner. I don’t use a walking foot for binding because my walking foot doesn’t do well with uneven surfaces. Plus I like having the 1/4″ guide.

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Boom! Back under the presser foot. No wasted thread and not much wasted time.

Then I folded the binding to the back and started to stitch the other side down, stitching in the ditch from the front to catch the fold on the back. This is how I always do my bindings, double fold or not. I may be the only quilter who does it this way. It’s how I learned to do bias binding for garment sewing, and it’s been one of my favorite finishing techniques for years (facings on garments drive me nuts, whether sewing or wearing them) so when I started making quilts I just did the same thing.

I use about three pins at a time and pin as I go, making sure to catch the fold on the back with my pins. It’s a little more labor intensive than clipping or pinning all at once, but it works for me and I’m less likely to get poked by some pin I can’t see. I took my time, especially on the corners, in order to catch the fold on the back, but I did manage to finally finish it. Maybe you want to see the finished quilt? Here you go!

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Finished Quilt! I don’t know yet what I should call it.

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And the back! I had to piece part of the back, as you can see. Look at all those cute ziggy zaggies, though!

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Here’s a closeup of the front and back of the binding on the corners. You can see that my weird binding technique actually does work!

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And just for fun, here are all the edges folded up together.

In retrospect, hand-stitching the binding to the back might have been less hassle and time in the end, but I guess I can find out about that another day.

Speaking of finding things out, I hope you’ve been enjoying the assortment of webinars that we’ve been offering recently. It’s nice to get different people’s perspective, thoughts, ideas and techniques and the classes give you a chance to do that with a really interesting, wide variety of topics. Click here if you want to know more about the web seminars currently on offer.

I’m feeling pretty good that January’s not over yet and I already have two finished quilts to enjoy! Sure, I didn’t make them start to finish in January, but they’re done! How’s your quilt finishing going so far this year? If you take a little break from sewing, come visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and our website to share what you’ve been up to. Have an accomplished weekend!

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Meadowlark Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS DEANNA and ALLISON!

It’s coming to that time of year where many people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. QNDJ15 Cover 200 Meadowlark Giveaway As quilters, however, we know that we have the entire year to complete those UFOs we made plans to finish in 2015, and it doesn’t really matter if the sewing room isn’t organized yet as long as it’s usable for sewing in. Each moment we spend on our hobby is a moment spent doing what we love, and it’s that enjoyment of the craft that brings us all together. The December/January 2015 issue of Quilters Newsletter features moments in quilting history as well as tips, techniques and quilt patterns to help enhance those future moments. It also features a wonderful Staff Picks section and Quilters Wish List section that list all sorts of items for quilters to love. This week’s giveaway features one of the fabric bundles from that Staff Picks section as well as notions from both sections.

Prize 1 includes a fat quarter bundle of Meadowlark by Melanie Testa from Windham Fabrics, two assorted packs of Tulip Hiroshima Hand Needles  from United Notions and a finger pincushion from Oodles of Pincushions.
Meadowlark Prize1 Meadowlark Giveaway

Prize 2 includes a pack of 10″ precuts of Meadowlark by Melanie Testa from Windham Fabrics, two assorted packs of Tulip Hiroshima Hand Needles  from United Notions and a Round Off Nested Template Set from Winner Designs. Meadowlark Prize2 Meadowlark Giveaway

Just in case you need some inspiration on what to do with those wonderful fabrics, here’s a quilt block made from pieces in the Meadowlark collection: Meadowlark Block Meadowlark Giveaway

To enter for your chance to win one of the two prizes, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday January 25, 2015 telling us what quilting tool or notion you couldn’t live without. If you have a preference between the two prizes, please let us know that in your comment as well. As winners are randomly selected, we don’t guarantee you’ll win your preferred prize if chosen, 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 a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about more giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website.

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Hints, Hints and More Hints

Today I’m going to critique some machine quilting and a pieced back. I’m going to be pretty hard on the quiltmaker but that’s okay because it’s me. I did some things wrong and I should have known better. Now they are going to be a part this pretty little quilt forever. It’s definitely one of those slap-my-forehead-and-shake-my-head-in-disgust times.

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Here’s the quilt top.

First, let me tell you a little of this quilt’s story. We cleaned lots of spaces at the office this past year. Excess items, including several unfinished quilt tops, were put on a table to give away. This was one of those unfinished tops. I loved the block and the way the different colors in adjoining blocks create a secondary pattern. The piecing is beautifully done. The red, green and brown are not colors I typically use but I just couldn’t resist. Thank you to whoever made the quilt top.

My husband and I are in the process of buying a new home and the living room has two cocoa brown walls. I’ve been telling everyone that I don’t have any quilts the right color to use in that room. (That might not actually be true, but it gives me an excuse to make another quilt or two.) This wonderful little quilt top fits exactly into the color scheme I have in mind.

So it came out of the PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks). I wanted the back to go together in a hurry so I selected two large-sized pieces of green fabric, two medium-sized pieces of red and one medium-sized piece of green. I sewed them together, cut them in strips, sewed them together again and the result was just plain ho-hum. I got one more small piece of red fabric and put the narrow strips of that red in the dark green strips. I added a one more medium-size piece of green to make the strips all the same length and sewed them together again. It was so much better. At this point, I was thinking I had the start of a great reversible wall hanging.

This is where I started to go wrong. I spray basted the three layers together. The unfinished top is 35” square so in a perfect world, I should have been able to get by with spray basting. But given the straight lines on the pieced back, I should have taken a lot more care with putting the layers together. So here is hint #1. If you have a pieced back with obvious straight lines, you should pin baste carefully making sure you maintain those straight lines in relationship to the quilt top.

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The Upper Left Quarter

I started quilting the straight lines in the center, quilting in the ditch around the four-pointed star. Then I moved my needle position to the left and with the edge of the presser foot right next to the previous row of stitching, I quilted all those rows of echo stitching. That’s hint #2. An easy way to echo quilt is to change needle position and use the edge of the presser foot as a guide. But following right on the heels of that, I have to tell you hint #3. Do mark occasionally when you are making many rows. I didn’t check until row 15 and the angles weren’t quite right anymore. If you are looking closely at the quilt, you can see the uneven spacing where I made the corrections.

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Closeup of Quilting

I quilted the straight lines in one continuous line until I got to the light green border. Then I finished quilting one quarter at a time. I’m not sure, but that may have been a mistake or it may have just added to the mistake of the poor basting job. Anyway, you can see on the back of the quilt that the straight seam lines are not straight. Notice on the left side that the distortion is very noticeable. There are a few tiny tucks right along the edge of the quilting. If I were to do this again, I’d keep quilting one line in each quarter of the quilt at a time, in an effort to keep things square.

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I love the modern look of the pieced back.

The next mistake is the one that makes me the craziest. I usually do my quilting with a minimum of stops and starts. I do that on purpose so I don’t have many knots to bury. But on this quilt with this quilting design, I didn’t see a way to do that. So once I got to the light green border, I had to start and stop each row of stitching at the border. That means two knots for each row. The rows are about ¼” apart. I’m estimating about 400 knots. The only hand sewing needles in my sewing room had very small eyes. I was impatient. It was late enough that the sewing stores would no longer be open. I cut off the threads. And of course, now I’m mad at myself for doing that. Those 400 or so knots are now noticeable bumps on my quilt. Hint #4. Buy yourself a self-threading needle, sit down in front of the TV and go to the effort of burying the knots. You’ll be so glad you did.

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Just look at all the knots.

I quilted in the ditch on both sides of the light green border and then added another row of quilting down the center. It looks fine on the front of the quilt but on the back it just draws my eye to the crookedness of the seam lines. Susan, QN’s art director, suggested removing those straight lines and quilting the outside two borders with something with curving lines instead. Hint #5. When there is something less than perfect on your quilt, you can do something wonderful nearby to draw the viewer’s eye away from the part that is not as wonderful. I’ll be unsewing tonight so I can take Susan’s advice. I’ll be sure to show you the finished project so you can see the difference. I can hardly wait for the end of the day so I can “work” on it again.

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The vertical quilting lines are noticeably not straight with the seam lines.

On another subject, I wanted to tell you about an upcoming web seminar. We frequently get questions about how to do the binding on quilts. On Tuesday, February 17th, Jenny Kae is going to be presenting a seminar on binding quilts by machine. She’ll take you through the whole process, from squaring up your quilt to cutting, piecing and pressing your binding strips and on to attaching the binding and hiding the ends. She’ll even talk about making perfect corners. Just one beautifully bound quilt will be worth the $19.99 price and you’ll forever be able to bind your quilts in a way that will make you proud. Check it out at QuiltandSewShop.com.

And remember to visit Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. Be sure to check out more Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Until next time, happy quilting!

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Coming Soon!

In an email newsletter last week, we erroneously printed that the blog tour for our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 issue would start today. TwT Cover 500 235x300 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Coming Soon! It will actually start next Tuesday, January 27, 2015, but to ease the pain of our typo just a little bit, I’d like to give you a preview of what’s in the issue. There are 21 gorgeous patterns which each feature a twist on a traditional quilt block or idea. Each pattern describes the twist in hopes of inspiring your next original quilt design.

For example, Vivian Ritter combined a traditional log cabin block with an also traditional idea of stained glass quilting in Stained Glass Cabins. Her simple folded flap technique gives the look of stained glass without additional piecing.

StainedGlassCabins 500 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour    Coming Soon!

Stained Glass Cabins by Vivian Ritter

And speaking of erroneous printing, we accidentally listed the kit price of Stephanie Sheridan’s Piece of Cake in our Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 issue as the price that included the price of the backing. It’s actually $59.99 for the kit and $44.99 separately for the backing. You can purchase the kit and/or backing online at Quilt and Sew Shop if you’re interested.

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Piece of Cake by Stephanie Sheridan

There are many more quilts where these two came from, and we’d be pleased if you joined us for the Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 Blog Tour next week. In the meantime, if you haven’t had a chance to enter our current giveaway celebrating the introduction of our two new kit of the month programs, you can still enter through 11:59 pm Mountain Time tonight, January 19, 2015.

You may also wish to visit us again for our giveaway which starts this Wednesday, January 21, 2015, where we’re giving away a bundle of lovely fat quarters, a 10″ precuts pack, a Round off Nested Templates Set and other notions from the Staff Picks and Gifts for Quilters sections of Quilters Newsletter December/January 2015!

Don’t want to miss any of those exciting future giveaways or lovely quilt pictures and news from around the quilt world? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website.

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Six of One

As part of my mission to finish up projects in progress, I had to deal with the little pile of black-and-white fabrics that I painted a while back. I didn’t have a plan for them when I tried the painting, I just wanted to test it out and see how it would look. It was pretty fun to add a bit of color to the black-and-white prints, but I don’t have time to paint a whole bunch of it for a big project so I sat down to think of something to do with the pieces that I had. Here are some of the fabrics, in case you missed them the first time around.

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On this one, I pretty much just colored in the leaves and flowers. The color bled a bit, but it’s not especially noticeable. Sort of.

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Another floral print. The washy look of the print works well with the washy color, I think.

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It’s not difficult to completely change the look of a print by adding color.

Realizing that I just had a little bit of each painted fabric to work with, it made sense to do something more scrappy. Which is one of my favorite quilt descriptors. The more, the merrier, is my philosophy when it comes to fabrics. It’s not only a preference, but practical too, since I have way more little bitty pieces of fabric than yardage. My idea just sort of came together inspired by those original pieces of painted fabrics – a quilt that’s mostly black and white, but with pops of color.

I’ve found that when I want to use larger prints (which I often do), it can be a waste of time, effort and fabric to cut the patches very small (in many cases but not always!). For that reason, and because I like to use my favorite 6 1/2″-wide ruler, I cut a bunch of 6 1/2″ squares from the painted fabrics.  I then cut more squares from black-and-white-and-a-bit-of-color prints from my stash. Finally, I gathered my favorite black-and-white-no-color prints and cut more 6 1/2″ squares and started making a simple checkerboard pattern on the design wall. Before I knew it, I was done! Here’s my latest quilt top.

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Black-and-white-and-a-bit-of-color! It will finish at 66″ square.

I fussy cut a few of the patches, but for this size and style of quilt, I think it’s more interesting to offset the print motifs and see how the squares interact with one another. I chose a lot of disparate and some might say clashing prints to put together, but it helps make a very simple pattern more engaging. It’s kind of like a grown-up or maybe just an unusual I-spy quilt.

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It’s fun to make up stories about adjacent squares. Like that little orange kitten in the white square is going to grow up to be the tiger in the black square.

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You can see several of the painted fabrics in this photo. That dotty print on black is one of the only fussy cuts in this quilt.

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A bit of this, a bit of that.

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Here’s a mostly black-and-white section.

The 6 1/2″ squares sew up so quickly. It was fun to figure out where my little pops of color were going to be in relation to the monochromatic prints. Making this quilt top reminded me of another quilt I made years ago using scrappy 6 1/2″ squares. In that case, I arranged the squares according to color rather than value, and it was a lot of fun.

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Lattice Dream by Gigi K., from 2010.

Coming up, I have yet another quilt top made with 6 1/2″ squares that needs finishing! I made a bunch of leaf-pounded fabric samples and arranged them with batiks. Another example of a very simple pattern being interesting and pretty.

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Leaf-pounded muslin with batiks.

Speaking of interesting and pretty, there are a couple of really great web seminars being offered in the coming weeks that will appeal to quilters of all stripes. Learn best practices for keeping active, fit and healthy despite long hours at your sewing machine with No More Backaches: An Ergonomic Approach to Quilting. I touch upon the next topic in this post a tiny bit, but there’s a lot more to say so Mary Fons will talk all about using white in your quilts in COLOR ME QUILTER: White. Click on the links if you are interested in knowing more!

Sometimes it’s the best thing in the world to cut some favorite fabrics into squares, arrange them just so, and sew them all back together. And then you’re halfway to an awesome quilt! If you do this, please share it with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website. Happy weekend!

Posted in Gigi, Inspiration, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Kits and a Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS DENISE!

Here at Quilters Newsletter, we’re introducing some new things for the new year. Two of those new things are kits-of-the-month, and we’re excited about both of them. The first is the QN Select: Editor’s Choice Kit. QNSelectKitJanuary 300x260 Kits and a GiveawayA new kit will be introduced each month, featuring items that we at Quilters Newsletter think are great for quilters. The kit for January includes items that we try to keep handy at all times in our sewing rooms, including a wonderful reference book, Quilts, Quilts, Quilts, The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes; glass head silk pins; Aurifil thread and a 12 1/2″ square Reverse-a-Rule ruler. Each of these items was chosen for a special reason. Learn more about it in our online store, Quilt and Sew Shop.

QNBatikClubJanuary 162x300 Kits and a GiveawayThe second kit-of-the-month is from the QN Batik Club. If you choose to sign up, you’ll automatically receive a selection of approximately 3 yards of batik fabrics in a variety of pre-cut sizes delivered to you every month. You’ll also receive two free batik-friendly quilt patterns just for signing up! Learn more about it in our online store, Quilt and Sew Shop.

We’ve also recently come out with a new special issue, Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015. TwT Cover 500 235x300 Kits and a GiveawayCheck out previews on our Pinterest Board or on our website, and stay tuned for an upcoming blog tour! You can also purchase the issue at Quilt and Sew Shop in either print or digital format if you haven’t already gotten a copy from your local book store, newsstand or quilt shop.

To celebrate the two new kits-of-the-month we’re introducing, our giveaway this week is also a kit of sorts. It includes the Starmaker 5, Starmaker 6 and Starmaker 8 Quilting Tools by Kay Wood; Wonder Clips (50 pieces) from Clover; a Thermal Thimbles set (3 pieces) from Dritz; a Fiskars Scissors and Seam Ripper in One with Multi-Purpose Organizer and Magnetic Pin Sweeper; The Quilter’s Collection of Needles with Quilter’s Threader by Collins; Pinmoor quilting anchors; the Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool updated 3rd edition by Joen Wolfrom from C&T Publishing and fat quarters from Westminster Fibers.

GiveawayPrizeJan14 Kits and a Giveaway

To enter for your chance to win the prize package, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Monday January 19, 2015 telling us about what inspired your latest quilting project. 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 QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

And if you’d like to help us choose which cover we should use for our upcoming April/May 2015 issue, take our survey! Completing the survey enters you for a chance to win a Clover Trace’n'Create Quilt Templates with Nancy Zieman E-Tablet and Paper Tablet Keepers Template Set.

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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2014′s Last Finished Project

002 2014s Last Finished Project

Front of the Quilt

I started this little wall hanging way back in September and blogged about it. Back then I previewed making a wide border of the deep rose. I didn’t like it but I do love the little narrow pop of deep rose with the binding.

For this wall hanging, I made just one block from the Quilters Newsletter August/September 2014 cover quilt. That issue is still available at QuiltandSewShop. In it we tell you the story of the cover quilt as well as providing the pattern.

AS14Cover 500 2014s Last Finished Project

I frequently make a block to test our patterns and instructions.  That’s what I did in this case. I made one block, added a pieced border and got it about half quilted. Then I put it away because I had deadlines looming.

The week before Christmas, I took some vacation time and was able to bring it out and finish it. I finished the quilting, added a label, sewed on a sleeve to hang it, then I bound my little wall hanging and it was done. Notice that the hanging sleeve is pieced. I like how that makes it blend in with the pieced back.

007 2014s Last Finished Project

The Pieced Back

I know exactly where I will hang this when I take it back home today.

When we were talking about the name, I told my husband that the original quilt is called Bonnie’s Rocky Mountain Star. He said the colors in my wall hanging made him think of the ocean. He said the swirls of the quilting made him think of the ocean waves. We laughed about what all the flowers were doing floating in the ocean but we decided to go with the ocean idea anyway.

0061 2014s Last Finished Project

A Closer Look at the Quilting

We batted around a lot of names – Pebble Beach Star, Maui Star, Pacific Star, Coral Reef and on and on. We finally settled on Coastal Star.

Regarding the label, most of the time I machine embroider my labels and attach the first two sides of the label as I am sewing on the binding. Then I only have to hand stitch the remaining two sides.

Now it’s on to 2015 projects. It’s cold and gloomy outside today. I think it would be a perfect day to work on a big bulky quilt just for the extra warmth. What are you working on? I hope it’s something exciting.

Be sure to visit Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. And please check out the Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Until next week, happy quilting and stay warm!

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments