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This month’s block is made fast and easy thanks to some time saving techniques. We’re making more half square triangles. You all should be experts at making them by now.
Then we’re going to use strip piecing to make the four patch units. It works by sewing long strips together first and then cutting them apart instead of cutting dozens of tiny little squares and then sewing them together. Strip piecing is a big time saver and it produces very accurate piecing.
As always I’m making the quilt in two colorways. The difference is really very different this month between the batiks and traditional prints.
Click here or on the photo below to download the pattern from Craftsy. Happy quilting!
The Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press features 25 books, each by a different author and written across multiple genres. The two things they have in common are each story has a quilt is woven through each tale, and they are faith-based.
Abingdon Press is giving away three of its latest releases. To enter, leave a comment with the last good book you read by midnight on Wednesday, September 10 for a chance to win all three books. Entrants are limited to U.S. residents only.
A Grand Design by Amber Stockton
A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs—if only she can let go of her past.
When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.
As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?
Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?
Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests. Can girly‑girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he‑said, she‑said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?
A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson
A quilt becomes a labor of love for a lonely wife mysteriously separated from her young husband.
After her fiancé returns from the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms sets about building a new life in her new marriage—even though the lingering effects of illness have left her weak and vulnerable. She and her young husband, Will, work tirelessly to clear the land around their Northwest cabin, content with their modest life. But then a stranger comes knocking and Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will’s spirit that she had never seen before. When he leaves her with only a note that tells her he will return before their baby’s birth, she is devastated, and the illness that stiffened her joints returns.
Counting the days until Will walks back through her door, Florence busies herself with a Tree of Life quilt displaying a map of the farm they call home. Doubts claw at her heart as Florence struggles to believe Will’s promise to return to her. Will her labor of love—and faith in God—sustain her as she waits to see her beloved once again?
Following a brutal attack that killed her mother and stole her voice, Sophia Montgomery begins to unravel a mystery about her mother’s past and a discovers a quilt that holds the key to catching her mother’s killers before they return for her.
“Hidden in the Stars” by Robin Caroll opens with Sophia waking up in the hospital after her mother’s killers left her for dead. Recovering from near strangulation, she is unable to speak. With the help of a lip reader she is able to communicate her memories of the attack with detective Julian Frazier. At first her memories are sparse, just two men speaking Russian, asking her mother where it was, and torturing her in an attempt to get the information.
Julian takes the case personally, not just because he believes the killers will come back for Sophia if he doesn’t catch them first, but also because he has an undeniable attraction to Sophia. An attraction she reciprocates, but is too afraid to show because she believes his kindness is just part of the job.
As Julian investigates the case and Sophia’s memories return, it becomes clear that a quilted wall hanging made from costumes Sophia’s mother wore as a prima ballerina in the Russian Ballet, are the key to solving the murder.
“Hidden in he Stars,” has a little bit of everything: crime, blackmail, a love story, a strong female lead character, a faith element and of course quilting. You won’t find anything too deep about the novel, but it is a fast, fun read that is perfect for a lazy weekend or a trip to the beach.
The book is part of the Quilts of Love series, a collection of 25 novels from Abingdon Press. The books cover multiple genres and are all written by different authors with the only common threads being a quilt at the center of the story line and Christian values interlaced through the plot line.
A copy of “Hidden in the Stars” by Robin Caroll was provided for review by Abingdon Press.
Quilters yearning for a good story about their craft have a new series to line their bookshelves with. The Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press features 25 books, each by a different author and written across multiple genres. The two things they have in common are each story has a quilt is woven through each tale, and they are faith-based.
The idea for the series came from Abingdon Press Managing Editor Ramona Richard, who received several family quilts that had been passed down through generations, each with a story to go with it.
“She really came to this idea that there is a story behind every quilt,” said Cat Hoort, marketing and publicity manager or Abingdon. “Some of the stories she was hearing from her mom were about relationships and why the quilt was developed to symbolize unity between a husband and wife, so we thought romance works in as a story. Some of them were Christmas presents, so the holiday theme worked itself in. We really felt like the stories came from so many different areas of life that it couldn’t be just one genre.”
The books don’t need to be read in order and can be enjoyed individually without reading the entire series. The genres include contemporary and historical romances, Amish fiction, mystery, crime and holiday.
“We really tried to create something for everyone,” Hoort said. “We really worked hard at developing a line that has depth as well as appeal to quilters.”
Some of the authors are prolific quilters, some had a rich tradition of quilting in their family heritage and others learned to quilt as part of the research for the books.
Robin Caroll, the author of “Hidden in the Stars” which was released this month, learned to quilt from her mother in their rural Louisiana home.
“We lived in the country and that was one of our winter activities,” said Caroll.
She started out helping her mother sew and eventually made a quilt on her own, a double wedding ring for her first pattern. Caroll still remembers her mother making sure her stitches were even and properly placed.
The quilt in Caroll’s book is a wall hanging made of ballet costumes once worn by a Russian prima ballerina and is the key to solving a brutal murder and catching the killer before he claims the next victim. The book is filled with mystery, suspense and romance.
“The quilt was the part that I envisioned first,” Caroll said. “I wanted it to be the central part of the story.”
A veteran author of 23 mystery and suspense books, Caroll had never incorporated quilting into her writing before.
“This was one o my easiest stories to write,” said Caroll. “It just kind of all fit where I wanted it to be. It just flowed.”
The Quilts of Love series is nearing the end of its run, releasing one book a month through January 2015. But the response from quilters reading the novels has prompted the Abingdon to create quilt patterns to go with each of the novels so readers can make their own versions of the quilts featured in the story line.
“We’re excited about what we’re going to post on the website in terms of the patterns,” said Hoort. “It is another way to implement the story is through the creation of the quilt.”
To learn more about the Quilts of Love series, visit www.quiltsoflovebooks.com.
When I was a little girl my American Girl doll and I both had matching dresses. That outfit was my absolute favorite, mostly because with thick bangs and dark brown hair, the Samantha doll looked like a mini me.
So when I saw this pattern and fabric during a trip to Hancock Fabrics for cloth diaper supplies last spring, I knew I had to make a pair of matching dresses for my niece and her American Girl doll.
The dress was a labor of love. I pulled out all the professional finishing touches I know for garment sewing. I used French seams to conceal raw edges in the skirt, sewed the lining to the bodice by hand and used an invisible zipper with a hook and eye for the back closure.
Over the weekend I got a chance to see my niece and her doll modeling the matching outfits at a family gathering. Before the get together my niece insisted the doll sit next to her while eating lunch and that the doll be buckled in next to her in the car.
As seamstresses we always hope your handmade gifts are appreciated and it was so fun to see my niece truly enjoying her outfit. I have a few more patterns of dresses with matching doll clothes, and I can’t wait to make some for Angela someday to play dress up with. I just love sewing for little girls and their dolls.
Have any of you ventured outside of quilting to make fun outfits for the little girls and dolls in your life?
I’ve been sewing more garments since I had Angela and finishing seams is always a challenge. I don’t have a serger to bind off the edges and keep the fabric from fraying. But to be honest, even though serging is the fastest way to finish a seam, I don’t really like the look of serged seams. That’s the way pretty much every cheap store-bought garment is finished, and I prefer a more polished look.
I’ve been experimenting with French seams, seam binding and I even tried a Hong Kong finish. But I have just discovered what I think is my favorite seam finish, covering the raw edge with single fold bias tape.
I discovered the new method while making a sun hat for Angela. The pattern called for sewing a ribbon over the raw edges that connect the brim to the hat. I didn’t have a ribbon that was wide enough, but I did have single fold bias tape left over from another project.
The single fold bias tape is folded in thirds. I lined one fold up with the seam line and sewed along the fold through the seam line.
The I folded the single fold bias tape up to cover the raw edges of the seam line. Then I used a whip stitch to secure the folded edge to the lining of the hat.
Then the raw edges are completely covered so they won’t fray with wear and washing. Plus it looks a lot better than serged edges. This is going to be my go-to seam finish from now on.
When I teach quilting classes the biggest problem my students encounter is figuring out which fabrics will look best with their pattern. The difficulties range from picking a palette of busy prints with no neutral fabric, having trouble putting prints together when they don’t come in a neatly packaged fabric line, to just not being confident when it comes to putting fabrics together.
“The Quilter’s Palette: A Workbook of Color & Pattern Ideas & Effects” by Katy Denny can help solve all those problems and more. This book is much more than color theory for quilters. The book addresses combining patterns, texture and prints to create beautiful combinations in your blocks and quilts.
There are six chapters dedicated to creating pleasing palettes of colors that play nice together and create stunning quilts. There are full color pictures, and multiple block design examples in each color palette from pastels and neutrals, to rich colors and contrasting prints.
Each chapter includes a project to make from the color palette, plus there are 50 block patterns and templates. The patterns are a combination of modern and traditional blocks, and are a great way to see the color palettes on a large scale.
When you’re done reading this book, you will understand how to create fabric and color combinations that make stunning quilts. I’d definitely recommend adding it to your quilting library, and taking it with you the next time you go to the quilt shop to buy fabric for a new project.
Creative Publishing International provided a complimentary copy of “The Quilter’s Palette: A Workbook of Color & Pattern Ideas & Effects” for review.
Olfa is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the rotary cutter by making a Anniversary Commemorative Quilt that will be displayed at the International Quilt Market in Houston this October.
I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute a block for the quilt. The only requirements were that the block measure 6 1/2 inches square and included yellow in the design. The rest of the design was up to each quilter.
I can’t imaging quilting without this essential tool. But I especially can’t imagine paper piecing without the rotary cutter. So I designed a block that is an abstract version of the rotary cutter.
The block design contains a whopping 28 pieces. I know, I may have gone a little overboard when designing it. But I think it speaks to the why having a rotary cutter for quilting is so wonderful. After all, would you want to trace 28 templates and then cut each one out with scissors?
I’m offering this design as a free pattern download so you too can celebrate the 35th anniversary of the rotary cutter. If you make the block, the official hashtag for the anniversary celebration is #Olfa35. I’d love to see your finished blocks on Twitter and Instagram.
Just click here or on the photo below to get your free download.
It’s an art quilt book giveaway! Schiffer Publishing has provided three of its latest releases for a giveaway. To enter, comment below on which book you’d like to win and why by midnight on Thursday. I’ll draw three random winners on Friday. Good luck!
Dance is a rhythmic movement of the human body, a form of expression that allows one to creatively experience a wide range of emotions. In this new art quilt book, see how 60 artists rose to the challenge and created an 18 x 30 inch quilt that reflected the theme, “Dare to Dance: An Artist’s Interpretation of Joy.”
Shannon Gingrich Shirley
Quilters are always looking for a reason to buy more fabric or use up some of their stash while enjoying one of their favorite things to do, and what better way is there than to celebrate a special day by making a quilt. Broken down by the month, fifty-three artists from seven states share 72 original wall-hangings that were made to celebrate some of the lesser-known “holidays” throughout the year
Truly exquisite designs, intricate details, and brilliant color schemes come together in this new DIY book on decorating eggs. This age-old craft is given new life through gemlike color dyes and beeswax. Design a simple two-color pattern, such as a snowflake or a Mexican stamp. Go traditional with a Ukrainian egg. You can even “quilt” on your eggs with a patchwork or appliqué design.
And the winners are…
Kim won Decorating Eggs: Exquisite Designs with Wax & Dye by Jane Pollak.
Heather won Celebrate the Day with Quilts: An Art Quilt Challenge by Shannon Gingrich Shirley.
Sue won Dare to Dance: An Art Quilt Challenge by Mary Kerr.
This month we’re making quarter square triangles, also known as hour glass units, from squares. It’s a new block for this quilt, but the technique is very similar to making the double pinwheels from squares, which we did in May and July. If you can handle those blocks, then this month will be a piece of cake.
And while it took me all week just to make two blocks, that’s because I could only get about 15 minutes of sewing in a night between making dinner, feeding the baby and singing all manner of silly songs when she was fighting going down for the night. Ah, the life of a working mother.
As always, I’m making the quilt in two colorways, so you can see how making the fabric choices your own can completely change the look of the quilt.
Click here or on the picture below to go to Craftsy and download this month’s free pattern. Happy quilting!