Make Way for Ducklets — Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour

Cover BestKids15 200 Make Way for Ducklets    Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog TourWelcome to my stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour! As the special issue managing editor for the past couple of years, I always feel a great deal of pride when these issues finally get into the hands of quilters (up until that point, I feel a great deal of anxiety to make sure everything is accurate!). On behalf of the entire QN team, I want to say that we really enjoyed putting this issue together and hope you enjoy making the projects we included.

 

The project of mine in Best Kids Quilts is a toddler quilt I named Ducklets.

Ducklets set up shot copy Make Way for Ducklets    Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour

Ducklets, 44″ x 44″, by Mary Kate Karr-Petras

I made it last summer as an experiment of sorts. Because my younger daughter was heading toward her third birthday, I had been getting rid of the baby items we didn’t need any longer. I admit I experienced a pang of nostalgia when the hooded baby bath towels went into the “Donate” bag, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the flannel receiving blankets. It didn’t matter that we weren’t using them anymore; they were no longer blankets in my eyes — they were fabric. So into my stash they went.

I designed Ducklets by enlarging a block pattern I’d used once before to make a block for our regular Staff Picks section called whirling square. It’s not a block you see very often, which is a bit of a shame.

whirling square Make Way for Ducklets    Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour

whirling square block

With only half-square triangle units, squares and rectangles, not only is it an easy block to make but it’s full of design potential, including altering the size of some patches in relation to the others to completely change the look. All I did was enlarge the block to 36″ for the toddler quilt. With the addition of three sets of borders — two solid, one strip pieced — the pattern design was done.

I chose coordinating gender-neutral receiving blankets that we’d received before our first daughter was born (we didn’t find out her sex prior to her birth, so we had a lot of green and yellow infant items). Some of the blankets had received more use than others, so they all got a good washing and machine drying to try to shrink them up equally.

The thing I like about this quilt is there’s no time to get bored with any one step: there’s not a lot of cutting required; the piecing goes quickly; it’s easy to baste because it’s small; and even if you hand quilt part of it as I did, it doesn’t take long at all.

You may notice I called this a toddler quilt and not a baby quilt. As someone who’s had two babies in the past few years, I know that it’s likely most “baby” quilts don’t get much use that first year due to official recommendations not to put any bedding into an infant’s crib for fear of suffocation. So if you’ve made a baby quilt for someone and are afraid it’s not getting used, it’s very possible the parents are just waiting until the child is old enough to crawl, sit up or even stand with no problems before they put the quilt into the crib.

Going back to the quilting: I did most of the quilting on Ducklets by machine but, inspired by the sweet ducks on one of the blankets I used, I found the perfect duck motif in my copy of Quiltmaker’s Quilting Motifs Volume 2 that I used for the large panels along the sides. I big stitch hand quilted them using various colors of size 8 perle cotton threads. Even with two layers of flannel (I pieced the backing from leftover blankets) and Warm & Natural cotton batting, I found hand quilting in this style to go smoothly once I figured out the best tools to use. Give it a try sometime!

big stitch duck 1024x767 Make Way for Ducklets    Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour

close-up of big stitch hand quilting on Ducklets

Be sure to check out Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community starting Friday, May 15, to watch an episode in which I talk in more detail about things to look out for when working with flannel.

Speaking of which, I have a great prize for you. Of course you could make Ducklets with your own selection of receiving blankets, but with the great variety of juvenile flannel fabrics out there I wouldn’t blame you at all if you headed straight for your local quilt shop to get the fabric you need, such as The Wild Bunch collection from Robert Kaufman Fabrics (which actually hasn’t even shipped to stores yet — this is a sneak peek!).

T0810297 Make Way for Ducklets    Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour

The Wild Bunch Flannel by Pink Light Design, Park colorstory, for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

There are three other prints in the pack in addition to the one you can see in the photo above, as well as solid squares in aqua and dark brown:

 Make Way for Ducklets    Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour

 Make Way for Ducklets    Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour

 Make Way for Ducklets    Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour

 

 

 

 

Adorable, am I right?

Leave a comment before 11:59 p.m. MDT on Sunday, May 10, 2015, for a chance to win a Ten Square Pack (42 10″ squares) of The Wild Bunch collection in Flannel by Pink Light Design, Park colorstory, from Robert Kaufman. 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.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 98 Comments

Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 4

Maybe you’re looking for a fast-and-easy toddler quilt pattern, or maybe a more complicated quilt pattern for a kid going off to college. Cover BestKids15 200 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 4Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Quilts for Kids 2015 has both and more for kids of all ages and every level of difficulty. Have you enjoyed our blog tour for the issue so far? If this is the first post you’ve caught, be sure to check out Jenny Kae Parks’ blog and Joanne Hillestad’s blog from day one as well as  Karen Gibbs’ blog and Gigi Khalsa’s blog post from day two and  Susan Emory’s blog and Lori Baker’s blog post from day three, because there’s still time to enter for your chances to win one of the fabric bundles being given away at their stops on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour!

Day 4′s first wonderful designer is Jen Daly, who contributed both Under the Sea and Travel Checkers. After you’ve checked out Jen’s blog post, be sure available kits for Under the Sea.

UndertheSea Styled 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 4

Under the Sea by Jen Daly

TravelCheckers 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 4

Travel Checkers by Jen Daly

Visit Jen’s blog and leave a comment on her post for your chance to win a lovely fat quarter bundle:

Basics Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 4

A representation of the prize for Jen Daly’s stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — a fat quarter bundle from the Basics collection by Cotton + Steel

Our second featured designer today is Barb Cherniwchan, who contributed Game On to the issue. The large scale appliques really bring this quilt together.

GameOn 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 4

Game On by Barb Cherniwchan

Visit Barb’s blog and leave a comment on her post for your chance to win one of two prizes:

SimplyColorful 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 4

Prize #2 for Barb Cherniwchan’s stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — a bundle of 10″ squares from the Simply Colorful collection by V and Co. from Moda

Nocturne 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 4

Prize #1 for Barb Cherniwchan’s stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — a bundle of 10″ squares from the Nocturne collection by Janet Clare from Moda

Be sure you’ve visited both Jen Daly’s blog and Barb Cherniwchan’s blog to enter for your chances to win one of the fabric bundles being given away at their stops on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour! Then be sure to check back tomorrow for chances to win fabric on three more wonderful designers’ blogs!

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, Instagram, YouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 3

Kids are often a source of joy, and our quilting can bring them joy as well if you make quilts for them and/or teach them how to quilt.Cover BestKids15 200 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 3 Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Quilts for Kids 2015 can provide inspiration for both of those ideals. Welcome to Day 3 of our blog tour for the issue! If you missed the first two posts, be sure to visit Jenny Kae Parks’ blog and Joanne Hillestad’s blog from day one as well as  Karen Gibbs’ blog and Gigi Khalsa’s blog post from day two, because there’s still time to enter for your chances to win one of the fabric bundles being given away at their stops on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour!

Our first featured designer for today is Susan Emory from Swirly Girls Design. Susan designed and made both the Turtle Cove Quilt and Turtle Cove Quilted Pillow for the issue. Once you’ve checked out her blog post, be sure to also check out the available kits.

TurtleCove SetUp 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 3

Turtle Cove Quilt & Quilted Pillow by Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design

Visit Susan’s blog and leave a comment on her post for your chance to win a lovely fat quarter bundle:

SeaBuddies Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 3

A representation of the prize for Susan Emory’s stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — a fat quarter bundle from the collection used to make Turtle Cove, Sea Buddies by Michael Miller Fabrics

Day 3′s second wonderful designer is Lori Baker, who contributed Princess and the Pea to the issue. The appliqued mattresses are a great way to practice improvised quilting.

PrincessandthePea 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 3

Princess and the Pea by Lori Baker

Visit Lori’s blog post and leave a comment on her post for your chance to win one of two prizes:

Meadowbloom 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 3

Prize #1 for Lori Baker’s stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — a bundle of 10″ squares from the Meadowbloom collection by April Rosenthal from Moda

HiDeHo 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 3

Prize #2 for Lori Baker’s stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — a bundle of 10″ squares from the Hi-De-Ho collection by Me and My Sister Designs from Moda

Be sure you’ve visited both Susan Emory’s blog and Lori Baker’s blog post to enter for your chances to win one of the fabric bundles being given away at their stops on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour! Then be sure to check back tomorrow for chances to win fabric on two more wonderful designers’ blogs!

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, Instagram, YouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Princess and the Pea??? Or the Bowling Ball?

Happy day 3 of the Quilters Newsletter’s Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour. Here’s the cover; isn’t it pretty?

Cover BestKids15 200 The Princess and the Pea??? Or the Bowling Ball?

Best Kids Quilts 2015

You can find it on newsstands, at your local quilt shop or at QuiltandSewShop.com in digital or print editions.

PrincessandthePea 800 3 The Princess and the Pea??? Or the Bowling Ball?

The Princess and the Pea

Years ago, my sister told me she hated when her bed sheets got the little nubs on them. She had to replace the sheets because she couldn’t sleep on the lumpy sheets “just like the princess and the pea.” We laughed and had such a good time with the story that for Christmas that year, I made my sister a counted cross-stitch of the princess and the pea. The story became one of my favorite fairy tales.

When thinking of a quilt for Best Kids Quilts 2015, I immediately wanted to make my quilt about the princess and the pea.

I asked my youngest son to draw the princess and the pea for me. A few days later he sent a message on Facebook with this attached.

princess The Princess and the Pea??? Or the Bowling Ball?

Elije’s Art

I mostly loved his picture but I teased that he had changed the story to being about the princess and the bowling ball.

I traced his original art onto the back of the quilt with a fabric marker. And I made the ball much smaller on the quilt top.

I raided my stash for all the pink floral fabrics and I used fabrics from the Royal Tea collection by Connecting Threads for the ivory print and for the binding.

The only thing that remains now is to figure out what to do with the quilt. Do I give it to my son because he drew the original art, even though it is so very girly with all the pink flowered fabrics? Or should I give it to my sister because she is the one who inspired my love for that particular fairy tale? Or should I keep it for myself since I think it is a really fun quilt?

While you think about that, let me show you the fabric we have to give away today – a bundle of 10” squares by Moda for two lucky winners.

HiDeHo 550 The Princess and the Pea??? Or the Bowling Ball?

The Hi-De-Ho collection by Me and My Sister Designs from Moda

Meadowbloom 550 The Princess and the Pea??? Or the Bowling Ball?

The Meadowbloom collection by April Rosenthal from Moda

For your chance to be one of the two randomly selected prize winners, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time, Sunday May 10, 2015. 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.

Be sure to stay up-to-date with all the latest quilting news (and giveaways!) on FacebookTwitter, Google+Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 110 Comments

Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 2

Patterns for kids quilts can be both fast-and-easy and beautifully complex. Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Quilts for Kids 2015 has patterns that range to both ends of that spectrum. Cover BestKids15 200 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 2 The issue is available as of last week, and you can find it online at Quilt and Sew Shop. Here at QN we love to celebrate new special issues by doing blog tours to the online homes of some of our wonderful designers, and today is day two! If you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to visit both Jenny Kae Parks’ blog and Joanne Hillestad’s blog today because there’s still time to enter for your chances to win one of the fabric bundles being given away at their stops on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour!

The first designer we’d like to visit today is Karen Gibbs who made Dinosaur Footprints. After you’ve checked out her blog post, be sure to also check out the available kit!

DinosaurFootprints Styled 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 2

Dinosaur Footprints by Karen Gibbs

Visit Karen’s blog and leave a comment on her post for your chance to win one of two prizes:

Cockatiel 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 2

Prize #1 for Karen Gibbs’ stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — Bali Crackers (10″ squares) and Bali Pops (2.5″ strips) from the Cockatiel collection which was used to make Dinosaur Footprints from Hoffman California Fabrics

BustlingRhapsodyMix 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 2

Prize #2 for Karen Gibbs’ stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — a pack of 10″ squares from the Rustling Rhapsody collection by EBI Fabrics

Our second blog stop today is with Gigi Khalsa, who designed A Quilt for All Seasons.

AQuiltforAllSeasons 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 2

A Quilt for All Seasons by Gigi Khalsa

Visit Gigi’s blog post and leave a comment on her post for your chance to win one of these two identical fat quarter bundles:

Stonehenge2 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 2

The Prizes for Gigi Khalsa’s stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — bundles of Stonehenge Kids Little Girls from Northcott Fabrics

Be sure you’ve visited both Karen Gibbs’ blog and Gigi Khalsa’s blog post to enter for your chances to win one of the fabric bundles being given away at their stops on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour! Then be sure to check back tomorrow for chances to win fabric on two more wonderful designers’ blogs!

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, Instagram, YouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

All Aboard the Best Kids Quilts Blog Tour!

Hello and welcome to Day 2 of Quilters Newsletter‘s Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour! If you haven’t yet seen the issue, it’s packed with more than 20 really fun, cute, cool and awesome projects. The patterns range from small quilts for little tiny babies, to some wall quilts for decorating a kid’s room, to big bed quilts for older kids and teenagers. You can find print and digital editions of the magazine at the Quilt & Sew Shop.

Cover BestKids15 200 All Aboard the Best Kids Quilts Blog Tour!

Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Kids Quilts 2015

I love how bright and happy the cover is! The inside pages are pretty great too! My contribution to the issue is called A Quilt for All Seasons.

AQuiltforAllSeasons 800 786x1024 All Aboard the Best Kids Quilts Blog Tour!

A Quilt for All Seasons by Gigi Khalsa

I made this quilt using prints from the Follie and Glimma collections by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics. I love the big, bold prints that she designs, as well as the way the white, aqua, periwinkle and charcoal colors work with one another. That irregular stripe fabric is also one of my very favorite prints ever; it brings so much personality and interest wherever it’s used.

But it was pretty hard for me to decide on the fabrics initially, since this pattern is one that would work in so many different fabric and color combinations! I finally settled on these prints because (1) I did like those stripes so much and wanted to use them, and (2) each of the different prints reminded me of different seasons — the 2 white and aqua prints are very springy/summery, the charcoal print makes me think of colder, shorter days and leaves falling, and the periwinkle print looks just like falling snow. That’s what inspired the name of the quilt, plus I like the idea of making this quilt for a preteen (with their favorite colors/ themes/prints, etc.) and they’d be able to enjoy it for years and years and take it with them when they leave the nest.

But let’s talk about why you’re really here. There’s free fabric! And you want some! I know exactly how you feel. Two lucky winners will each receive one fat quarter bundle of Stonehenge Kids Little Girls from Northcott Fabrics.

Stonehenge1 550 All Aboard the Best Kids Quilts Blog Tour!

To enter for your chance to be one of the two randomly selected prize winners, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday May 10, 2015. 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.

Be sure to stay up-to-date with all the latest quilting news (and giveaways!) on FacebookTwitter, Google+Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 109 Comments

The Clock Keeps Ticking

Last week I told you about Leigha’s quilt. She is one of two of my grandchildren graduating high school this year. I have her quilt ready to put the binding on. I can get that done in an evening so I’m feeling good about her quilt.

Graduation is in two weeks so I am pretty focused on the two graduation quilts and have moved on to Tyler’s quilt. He requested black and purple and that makes me laugh. I love purple and this is the third purple quilt I’ve made for a grandchild for graduation. Do you suppose it’s something genetic?

009 The Clock Keeps Ticking

Tyler’s Quilt Top

When I make graduation quilts, I try to choose something easy to make. I don’t have any idea what kind of care these quilts will get because I’m giving them to young people just out on their own for the first time.  I don’t make something complicated so I’ll not feel bad if it gets handled a bit more roughly than you and I would treat it.

I decided to go with a Nine Patch quilt for Tyler but not a regular Nine Patch. I went with a disappearing Nine Patch. I’ve seen them, I’ve read about them and I figured I could make it work. I should have referred to one of the books or patterns on the subject.

001 The Clock Keeps Ticking

One of the Quilt Blocks

I was working mostly with fat quarters so I cut strips 6” wide by 18” long. I could get three strips out of each fat quarter. I made a handful of blocks and didn’t mix the strips as much as I should have. I should have used nine different fabrics for each block.

002 The Clock Keeps Ticking

Cut and Ready to Swap Parts

I cut the blocks apart and then shuffled the strips I’d cut off between all the centers. If I’d used nine different fabrics, that step wouldn’t have been necessary. So by not reading someone’s directions, I made the process more complicated than it really should have been. I sewed the blocks back together and from there just assembled the top as usual. I used leftovers to make the outer border.

010 The Clock Keeps Ticking

Finished Block

Here’s one of the completed blocks. Tyler is a talented musician and I love the black-and-white and black-and-gray music-themed fabric I found.

005 The Clock Keeps Ticking

The Left Side of the Back

Next I made the back. In my stash of orphan blocks I hit the jackpot. I found a strip of partial blocks and seven complete blocks from the back of the last purple graduation quilt.

Bailey 800 The Clock Keeps Ticking

Bailey’s Quilt

The leftovers are from Bailey’s quilt. It was in Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014. That issue is still available in the QuiltandSewShop in digital format.

007 The Clock Keeps Ticking

The Right Side of the Back

There were a few more bits and pieces in the orphan blocks. I don’t think the bit of color other than purple, black and white is a bad thing on the back of the quilt.

006 The Clock Keeps Ticking

A Not-So-Good Block

And this is an oops. I thought I’d make some disappearing nine patch blocks by cutting diagonally but as soon as I had cut this one, I realized I didn’t like what happened in the center. I cut right through where the patches met and then when I stitched it back together, there were no points. It was a slap-myself-in-the-forehead moment. But like the bit of color in the block in the previous photo, it’s fine for the back of the quilt.

003 The Clock Keeps Ticking

The Completed Back

I’ll baste and begin quilting tonight.

In case you want to do something a little easier with a Nine Patch, here’s another idea. I just used non-traditional color arrangement and no sashing.

011 The Clock Keeps Ticking

The Pin Quilt

This is a tiny quilt. The blocks are only 3¾” and it’s a great place to keep the souvenir pins from my sewing/quilting travels.

Here’s the block.

014 2 The Clock Keeps Ticking

One Block

For more ideas for quilts made with Nine Patch blocks, check out our ebook, Scrappy Nine Patch Quilts. Isn’t that just about the best thing? Scrappy and Nine Patch, it makes me want to go home and sew.

Don’t forget to visit Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. There are also Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com to check out.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1

We’ve asked several times in the last months on our giveaways about what inspired our readers’ latest quilting projects, and one of the most common answers is kids and grand-kids. Our newest special issue,Cover BestKids15 200 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1 on sale as of last week (and available online at Quilt and Sew Shop) is called Quilters Newsletter Presents Best Kids Quilts 2015, and it has projects for kids of all ages, and some you might even want to make for yourself. To celebrate this great new issue, we’re having a blog tour to visit some of the issue’s wonderful designers’ online homes. Be sure to leave a comment on every designers’ blog that you visit, because there’s a chance to win one or more prizes at each!

Our first designer on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour is Jenny Kae Parks, who designed Cuddly Kid. We liked this quilt so much, we made a second colorway. Once you’ve checked out her blog post, check out the kits available for this quilt in Fuchsia and Midnight Blue.

CuddlyKid Fuchsia Styled 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1

Cuddly Kid (Fuchsia) by Jenny Kae Parks

CuddlyKid Midnight Flat 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1

Cuddly Kid (Midnight Blue), designed by Jenny Kae Parks and made by Diane Merritt

Visit Jenny’s blog and leave a comment on her post for your chance to win one of two prizes:

CuddleCakeCharms 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1

Prize 1 for Jenny Kae Parks’ stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — packs of Cuddle Charms (5″ squares) and Cuddle Cakes (10″ squares) from the Zoologie collection from Shannon Fabrics

CuddleCharms 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1

Prize 2 for Jenny Kae Parks’ stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — two packs of Cuddle Charms (5″ squares), one from the Zoologie collection, and one from the Girly Girl collection, both from Shannon Fabrics

Our second wonderful designer today is Joanne Hillestad, who made her quilt House of Sweet Dreams in two colorways. Joanne also contributed Tubular to the Best Kids Quilts 2015 issue.

HouseofSweetDreams v1 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1

House of Sweet Dreams (Version 1) by Joanne Hillestad

HouseofSweetDreams v2 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1

House of Sweet Dreams (Version 2) by Joanne Hillestad

Tubular 800 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1

Tubular by Joanne Hillestad

Visit Joanne’s blog and leave a comment on her post for your chance to win this fat quarter bundle:

Dash 550 Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour Day 1

The Prize for Joanne Hillestad’s stop on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour — a fat quarter bundle of the Dash collection by P&B Textiles

Be sure you’ve visited both Jenny Kae Parks’ blog and Joanne Hillestad’s blog to enter for your chances to win one of the fabric bundles being given away at their stops on the Best Kids Quilts 2015 Blog Tour! Then be sure to check back tomorrow for chances to win fabric on two more wonderful designers’ blogs!

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, Instagram, YouTube and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Weekend Workshop: Scrap Happy

DSCN3405 1024x768 Weekend Workshop: Scrap Happy

scrappy 1940s bow tie quilt

Maybe you’ve heard the saying “Color gets all the credit, but value does all the work,” meaning that when people respond strongly to a quilt, they may think they’re doing so because they love the colors, while in reality what they’re probably drawn to is the contrast between light, medium and dark. And nowhere do you see this maxim at work more than in a scrap quilt. When the quiltmaker places fabrics just right, you see the overall design with just enough visual dissonance that tells you you’re looking at a one-of-a-kind quilt, not a mass-produced comforter.

I offer the quilt in the photo above as Exhibit A. This is the quilt made from 1940s bow tie blocks that I found in a thrift shop over a year ago; read my original blog post about it to see more photos. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is not a showstopping quilt. As wonderful as all those vintage fabrics are up close, the quilt as a whole only really works in certain sections because of how the original piecer paired her fabrics. In places she used high contrast fabrics and the bow ties really pop, and in others the values are so close you almost can’t see the design. (I still love it, though.)

I have a lot of scraps that are currently stored willy-nilly in a few clear plastic boxes and one (or two) tote bags. When it comes time for me to make the awesome scrap quilt I keep telling myself is in my future, I know at the very least that I need to place less importance on the pretty colors and patterns and focus on value. If I start out with that mindset, I’ll have the best chance of ending up with a quilt that sparkles.

If you’re ready to turn your scraps into something spectacular, get a start this weekend with some of the resources below.

DPWOD032015 Weekend Workshop: Scrap HappyAlex Anderson (perhaps you’ve heard of her?) has a web seminar called “Scrap Crazy” that’s available on-demand. In it Alex teaches you: how to assess the health of your fabric collection and pick the right fabrics for the right purpose; about the color wheel and the value of value; how to push fabric boundaries and combinations within a single quilt block; and more, including how to incorporate the color she calls a secret weapon for a fabulous scrap quilt. Learn more about the Scrap Crazy with Alex Anderson web seminar here.

“Pairing Contrasting Scraps: A Lesson in Contrast” is a free episode of Quilty with Mary Fons on QNNtv.com in which she shows you what it means to pair high contrast scraps and why it matters. Click here to view the free video.

“Using Scraps Successfully” is another video on QNNtv.com from the Quiltmaker Block Network, hosted by Diane Harris. In it Diane shows you how to choose scraps with enough variety and contrast to make any block a smashing success; the video includes the pattern for the Bar None block. Click here to view the video on QNNtv.

QM20503 Weekend Workshop: Scrap HappyBonnie K. Hunter is known for her way with scraps, and she’s back to share more ideas with More Adventures with Leaders and Enders. In it, she shows you how to get your scraps organized into usable sizes – and save money, fabric, thread and time — with 12 scrap quilt patterns that can be pieced in between the lines of other sewing. Click here for more about More Adventure with Leaders and Enders.

 

There is no shortage of scrap quilt patterns out there; below are some we think will inspire you to dig deep into your scrap bag.

QN20414 Weekend Workshop: Scrap HappyFor a fantastic variety of patterns grouped into one place, check out Quilters Newsletter’s Best Scrap Quilts 2014 special issue, which contains projects of all sizes and styles and for all skill levels. We assembled what we think is a pretty terrific selection of quilt patterns, whether you like bright, anything-goes quilts; rainbows and color wheels; or more controlled, monochromatic scrappy looks. Click here for more about Best Scrap Quilts, available either in print or as a digital edition.

 

DPQNE1403 Weekend Workshop: Scrap HappyScrappy Nine Patch Quilts eBook contains three patterns that will let you make a scrappy quilt that is both unique and traditional. The nine patch is an easy block that lends itself readily to the scrappy look, but it is quite versatile. It may be considered a beginner block, but these quilts prove the nine-patch block can also be used in more challenging quilts. Click here for more about the Scrappy Nine Patch Quilts eBook.

 

DPQNP1415 Weekend Workshop: Scrap Happy

Mass Maples is an award-winning quilt designed and made by Timna Tarr. Essentially an easy one-block pattern, the key to success with Mass Maples is in an artist’s sense of color placement — you’ll definitely want to reserve your design wall for this project as you piece your blocks. The pattern includes a Designer Tip with insights into how Timna placed her fabrics according to color and value. Click here for more about Mass Maples.

 

detail Weekend Workshop: Scrap Happy

detail of A Study in Visual Perception by Mary Knapp

A Study in Visual Perception by Mary Knapp is based on the  illustrations of M.C. Escher, known for challenging the viewer’s perception of dimension and direction. Mary adapted the interlocking fish and bird shapes from Escher’s Sky and Water for her tessellating pattern. Click here for the free download of the two blocks needed to make A Study in Visual Perception, then assign your scraps carefully according to value to bring the pattern to life.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More Is More

I think I’m finally ready to start quilting this thing.

FQ quilt full 760x1024 More Is More

You may remember this quilt top; I blogged about it a few months ago after our Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 special issue was released. In my letter from the editor I had challenged myself (and the readers) to break into a hoarded stack of fat quarters and finally do something with them.

I’ve since added borders to the quilt top and spent a lot of time thinking about how to quilt it. I realized that I really like the secondary diamond-shaped pattern created by the solid background fabric where it surrounds the square-in-square units and the blocks meet the hourglass units. In my previous blog post I said I thought I might rely on my walking foot for the quilting, which means straight-line quilting. But the more I looked at the quilt top, the less I liked that option.

And then my husband and I took our young daughters to see the new “Cinderella” movie. You know, the one with Lady Rose playing Cinderella and Miss Lucy Honeychurch as the Fairy Godmother and Daisy-the-upwardly-mobile-kitchen-maid as one of the stepsisters and Queen Elizabeth I as the stepmother and Claudius as the king, all directed by Prince Hal? (Or maybe this is just how I view the actors through my Anglophilic glasses. Maybe someday I’ll tell you my Kenneth Branagh story.)

If you’ve seen the movie then you know that the costumes alone are worth the price of admission. They are gorgeous and sumptuous, completely anachronistic and over-the-top — basically, they’re perfect. But the specific costumes that made me think of this quilt top were not the absolutely fabulous ones worn by La Blanchett or Cinderella’s iconic ballgown; they were the pretty floral frocks worn in the beginning of the movie by young Ella and her mother. They reminded me of the floral prints from Windham Fabrics and FreeSpirit Fabrics I used in the quilt that had appealed to me in the first place.

FQ quilt close up 1024x767 More Is More

If there’s one thing the new version of “Cinderella” did well it was in proving that sometimes when it comes to design, more is more. Walking out of the movie theater, I was convinced. This quilt top — and my older daughter, for whom I’m making it — require more, not less.

To get started, I turned to two books of quilting motifs from our sister publication Quiltmaker. Someone here in the office did some cleaning out a couple of years ago and I was lucky enough to snag Volume 1 and Volume 2 for my personal library.

IMG 1032 1024x1024 More Is More

I cannot tell you how much I love these books. Even with just two volumes — there are eight in all — I had so much to choose from that narrowing down the motifs I thought would work took longer than picking them in the first place.

I’ve decided I’m going to use a few different flower motifs in the six full secondary “blocks” in the quilt’s center. Along the sides I’m going to intersperse flowers with other motifs such as bees, butterflies, clouds, suns, and maybe a bunny or two. As I said, more is more.

“But how are you going to accomplish this, Mary Kate,” you may be asking yourself, “when you claim not to be very good at free-motion machine quilting?” Well, I’ll tell you: I’m going to hand quilt it. I deliberated over that for a while, too. Hand quilting is slower than machine quilting, there’s no doubt about that. But the only way for me to do make this the quilt that I want is with quilting it by hand. I’m going to go the big stitch route, using perle cotton thread and a longer, more prominent stitch length (approximately 1/8″ long). I really enjoy big stitch quilting, both doing it and looking at it, and seeing those designs emerge will be very satisfying.

And besides, my daughter, with her sunny disposition and kind, courageous heart, is worth it.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments