Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quilt Kits

The new Keepsake Quilting catalog came in the mail today. The centerfold subtitled – Autumn's Arrival – has some great quilt kits featured...and amongst them is one htat I designed for Marcus Fabrics. It is a Log Cabin made with Autumn Moon fabrics (bottom corner of page A3). You can tell I am totally addicted to Log Cabin quilts! Here is a picture of the quilt, it is offered as a kit with pattern and fabrics. I love those warm colors!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Twenty years ago my favorite aunt asked me to visit her in Florida. She had some things she wanted to "tidy up" as her heart was failing. She gave me a painting my father had painted and other small family keepsakes. There was a photo of my aunt and her sister, singing at a performance for the troops in the early 1940's. My aunt was born in 1906 and lived to be 95 years old. She taught piano lessons up to 2 weeks before she died suddenly of a heart attack in 2001. She is the person I most want to be like.

Her biggest worry, she didn't want my uncle Ronald Havers, killed in WWII, to be forgotten. I promised to do what I could to keep his memory alive. The first thing I did was to register his name at the National Cathedral The cathedral maintains a registry for American soldiers killed in the war. I filled out a one page form with his name and other information requested and it was easily done. Uncle Ronald, I remember you today and on many other days. Your 3 big sisters loved you and never forgot you. You were their favorite and remained so all their lives.

Then Gyleen Fitzgerald, asked me to edit a book for her, Quilts – Unfinished Stories with New Endings, available on Gyleen's website. Everyone working on the book sent photos from the 1930s - 40s to be featured with the vintage quilts in the book. A perfect way to remember Uncle Ronald! His picture and other family photos from the time period are in the book along with pictures of newly finished quilts from that era. Instructions to make the quilts are included.   

Friday, May 25, 2012

Marking Time

Debby Kratovil and I have been best quilting buddies for 25 years. When I was editor-in-chief at QUILT magazine. Debby was my best contributing editor designing and making several new quilts for each issue of the magazine. Debby has lots of energy and is always looking for new quilting opportunities. This led to designing all the quilts for the Quilt-A-Day calendar. The year Debby moved from Atlanta to Virginia I did the calendar for her, and since then we have been working on the calendar together. The 2013 Calendar is now available. Look for it on the internet or from your favorite bookstore. Some years I have seen it for sale at Costco. Amazon has offered the calendars for sale in past years, the most recent the 2012 edition. This is a boxed calendar with each day of the year having a separate page with a new quilt block or directions to sew the blocks into a quilt. The box is hard cardboard and folds back to use on the desk top.

In case you are curious, we are presently working on the 2014 Calendar. We offer hundreds of quilt blocks and the directions to sew them into quilts. Debby is figuring out how she can give away a copy on her blog...and I hope to follow her example. Any ideas?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wiggly Worms

When I was a child one of my nicknames was "wiggly worm" because I  just couldn't sit still. Here is a quilt I designed with shapes that just won't "sit still". The block pattern is on the sewwequilt blog -

Here is the scheme to put the quilt together. There are 4 rows of blocks with 5 blocks in each row.

Quilt Size: 60" x 72"
20 blocks: 12" x 12"

Fabric Requirements
1 yard turquoise blue
1-1/2 yards black
2-1/2 yards magenta
2 yards yellow


Black Vertical Borders                         2                                  1-1/2" x 60-1/2"
Black Horizontal Borders                    2                                  1-1/2" x 50-1/2"

Turquoise Vertical Borders                  2                                  1-1/2" x 62-1/2"
Turquoise Horizontal Borders             2                                  1-1/2" x 52-1/2"

Magenta Vertical Borders                    2                                  4-1/2" x 64-1/2"
Magenta Horizontal Borders                2                                  4-1/2" x 60-1/2"

Binding: Magenta                                 Enough 2-1/4" strips to equal 275" length

Monday, May 21, 2012

Quilt Market - Kansas City

Market was amazing, exhausting, rewarding, fulfilling, friendly, overwhelming and filled with into the future with quilting. It is always great to get a glimpse of what is coming to your neighborhood quilt shop in the next few months. You will be excited to see the new fabrics, tools, patterns, books, and gadgets and gizmos all designed to make quilting fun and easy.

I simply didn't have time to take pictures. I launched my new book, Sashings & Settings, the basics and beyond - I picked up 60 yards of fabrics, 3 yards of each sku of my new Charleston 1850 fabric collection,, and boy was it heavy to tote home in my oversize duffle with quilts I used for display. I had a meeting with the Log Cabin Trim Tool people and there is an upcoming announcement about the trim tool you are going to love, and I ate very little of the really awful food at the convention center. Lost 5 lbs, so it was not all bad for me personally. Sorry, I was too, too busy to take any photos as I had to rush home the first night for an important family occasion!

After arriving home at midnight Friday night I got up at 6 AM to drive to Rome GA to attend the Saturday morning graduation of granddaughter #1 from Darlington School. Here she is as a sweet 4 year old and on Saturday singing in the chorus with her sister. The graduate is in a white sundress and her sister is in the purple choir robe. The girls wear traditional white graduation dresses and the boys school blazers and ties for graduation ceremonies. They process in and led by a bagpipe, cross and flags (the school has Methodist connections). It was all very moving and I am very proud and happy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Cream Photo

Here is the photo of the Chocolate, Cherry and Cream quilt. It was originally posed on this blog on February 2. It was published in Quilter's World magazine in 2005. The directions to make this quilt were posted on Monday of this week as a bonus free pattern for my blog members. Have fun sewing! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bonus Pattern

I promised you a bonus pattern for mid may and here it is. Of course there is always a bit of promo with a free pattern, so I will tell you up front that this log cabin quilt can be made with old fashioned methods of cutting every log to size – or you can make it the easy way with the new Log Cabin Trim Tool. With the trim tool you don't have to cut every log to size as they are trimmed perfectly to size after each round of logs is sewn in place. Watch the youtube video to see how the log cabin trim tool works – – then visit my website to order the tool.

Quilt Size: 54" x 72"

Four Squared Blocks: 8" x 8"
Applique borders: 8" wide

Fabric and Material Requirements
3/4 yd raspberry
1-1/2 yd cream
1-1/4 yd berry pink
1 yd 5324 chocolate
1 yd 5300 cocoa
1/4 yd 5300 chocolate
1 yd 5300 blueberry
1-1/4 yd 5321 cocoa
Steam-a-seam 2 1/2" wide fusible web
3/4 yd Steam-a-seam fusible web for leaves and berries

Here is the block image with the cutting measurements (for the old-fashined cut to size method), and an image of Log Cabin Trim Tool to go modern and make your block in half the time and effort.

Making The Quilt
1. Sew the strips around the center square as shown and make a total of 37 blocks as indicated.
2. Sew 24 of the blocks together for the top right section of the quilt as shown. 
3. Cut an applique strip 8-1/2" x 48-1/2"and sew to the side of the top right block assembly. Cut an applique strip 8-1/2" x 40-1/2" and sew to the bottom of the top right block assembly to reach across the first applique strip. 
4. Use a quarter as the template to cut the large pink berries and a nickel as the template to cut the smaller blue berries. Draw an oval with points at each end for the leaves using the nickle for the center width of the leaf to make your template. Cut the undulating stem 3/8" wide on the bias of the brown fabric. Use the steam-a-seam 2 strips to fuse the vine in place. Use steam a seam fusible web to back the berries and leaves. Fuse the stem, leaves and berries in place. Option, zig-zag stitch with matching color threads or invisible thread to secure the applique pieces.
5. Pay careful attention to the color placement and orientation of the blocks to sew 7 log cabin blocks in a vertical row and join to the right side of the applique strip. Repeat to join the remaining 5 log cabin blocks to the bottom of the quilt.
6. Layer the quilt top, batting and backing. Quilt the layers together. Cut 2-1/4" wide brown binding strips, sew together end-to-end, and fold in half lengthwise to bind the outside edges of the quilt.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Graduation Week

I have 3 grandchildren, 2 brothers and a younger sister, graduating this week. Robert, the oldest is graduation from Virginia Tech, Ryan from American University and Meredith from Darlington School. The boys have found jobs (YEAH) and Meredith is going to Presbyterian University in the fall. The boys are 2 years apart in age but are graduating at the same time because Ryan is graduating a year early and Robert changed majors and took an extra year to finish. Here is their "pre-graduation" photo. They were such lovely children and now they are adults to be proud of and I am claiming my grandmother bragging rights!

Monday, May 7, 2012

a traveling woman

Years ago when I was researching my family records in England, there was a curious phrase often associated with a death to the name (or sometimes no name) was written: "a traveling woman". This apparently indicated a woman unknown in the village where she died and was buried and the assumption is that she was a homeless woman going from village to village trying to find work.

For May I am going to be a traveling woman, but not because I am homeless, but because I am a quilter. Most professional quilters are "a traveling woman", going from guild to guild and convention to convention. We of course, are supported quite nicely by our sister quilters, often in their homes, and the hotels where we stay during conventions.

This past weekend I was at the Kanuga Episcopal Conference Center in NC sewing with friends. We lead a quilting workshop at Kanuga every January. It is loads of fun. Check it out and join us in 2013.

Next weekend I will be at Camp Mikell (another Episcopal camp) in the northeast Georgia mountains to quilt with friends all weekend long. Meals will be prepared for us, dishes washed and we will have nothing on our schedule but quilting, quilting, quilting. Here is a peek at our quilting work room.

In mid-May I will be in Kansas City for the spring Quilt Market to talk about my new book, my new fabric lines, and yes my new Log Cabin Trim Tool. Sorry, no pix for this one until I get home with my own photos.

And I said after I retired from 20 years as editor-in-chief of QUILT magazine that I was going to sit on my front porch in a rocking chair and just watch the world go by. Foolish me, what was I thinking! Here is my house in spring, no rocking chair but a lovely porch swing that does get occasional use. The house is a 100 year old mill-workers cottage in the historic neighborhood of Marietta, GA.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Week 5 Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery #2

This is the week we put the Summer Treats quilt l together. If you are new to this blog, you can back track to find the four previous steps to make the quilt. They have been posted once a week. Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery #3 will begin the first Saturday in June.

Cutting and Sewing

1. From the zig-zag stripe cut (5) 3-1/2" x wof strips, sew together end-to-end, then cut 2 side borders 3-1/2" x 60-1/2"and 2 top/bottom borders 3-1/2" x 48-1/2". Cut (4) 3-1/2" yellow mini-dot squares.

2. From the coral mini-dot cut (6) 1-1/2" x wof strips, sew together end-to-end then cut 2 side borders 1-1/2" x 66-1/2" and 2 top/bottom borders 1-1/2" x 54-1/2". Cut (7) 2-1/4"x wof strips, sew together end-to-end for binding.

3. From the large floral print cut (6) 5-1/2" x wof strips, sew together end-to-end then cut 2 side borders 5-1/2" x 68-1/2" and 2 top/bottom borders 5-1/2" x 66-1/2" borders.

4. Sew the blocks together in four rows of five blocks each, alternating the blocks as shown in the finished quilt below. Sew the rows together.

5. Join the zig-zag borders to opposite sides of the quilt top. Join the yellow mini-dot squares to each end of the top/bottom borders, then join these borders to the top and bottom of the quilt center.

6. Join the coral borders to opposite sides of the quilt top, then to the top and bottom of the quilt. Join the large floral print borders in the same manner.

7. Prepare quilt backing fabric 4" all around than the quilt top. Layer the quilt top, batting and backing. Quilt the layers together. Bind the outside edges to finish.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

blog connections

I started out today with one quilt design in mind for the blog.  As the day progressed I partnered with another blogger who wants to use some of my blocks, with directions to make the block, on her blog, with the directions to make the actual quilt on my blog. I like the idea of partnering blogs so here is our first dual-blog quilt project.

Quilt Size: 64" x 79"
Block Size: 12" x 12" finished
Block Count: 12

Fabric Requirements

Aqua – 2 yards: Lime – 2/3 yard: Pink – 2-3/4 yards: Cream – 1-1/2 yards

Sewing Directions

1. To find the block pattern and directions to make the individual Depression blocks go to:

2. Cut (11) aqua 3-1/2" x width of fabric (wof) strips, recut into (31) 3-1/2" x 12-1/2" sashings.

3. Cut (2) pink 3-1/2" x wof strips, recut into (20) 3-1/2" sashing squares. 

4. Sew the blocks together in 4 rows of 3 blocks each with an aqua sashing separating the blocks. Begin and end with a sashing.

5. Sew the remaining aqua sashings into rows with 3 sashings separated by 4 pink sashing squares. Make 5 rows. Alternate the 5 sashing rows and 4 block rows to make the quilt center. 

6. Cut (7) 3-1/2" x wof strips, sew together end-to-end then cut (2) 3-1/2" x 63-1/2" vertical borders and (2) 3-1/2" x 48-1/2" horizontal borders. Cut (4) lime 3-1/2" squares for cream border corners. Sew the vertical borders in place. Join the lime corner squares to the horizontal borders and sew to the top and bottom of the quilt center.

7. Cut (8) 5-1/2" x wof strips, sew together end-to-end then cut (2) 5-1/2" x 69-1/2" vertical borders and (2) 5-1/2" x 54-1/2" horizontal borders. Cut (4) aqua 5-1/2" border corner squares. Join the pink vertical borders to opposite sides of the quilt top. Join the aqua border corner squares to each end of the horizontal borders then sew the borders to the top/bottom of the quilt to complete the quilt top.

8. Layer the quilt top, batting and backing. Quilt layers together. Cut (8) 2-1/4" wide pink binding strips  and bind the outside edges.

A Teaser - Bonus Pattern for mid-May

This morning I got a request for a pattern for my Chocolate, Cherries and Cream Log Cabin Quilt (photo posted in February). I am working on the pattern and plan to post it by mid-May as a free bonus pattern for all of you. Naturally it features my new Log Cabin Trim Tool available on my website:

Here is how to use the tool for a finished 8" block:

1. Cut a precise 2-1/2" square for the block center.
2. Cut the logs any width as long as they are at least 1-1/2" wide. Logs must be rotary cut on one long edge for a straight cut. The ends and opposite side don't need to be rotary cut, they can be ripped, wavy or angled. They will be trimmed after sewing each round using the Log Cabin Trim Tool. Cut all longs slightly longer and slightly wider than needed if you are cutting them from yardage. You can finger press the logs as you sew each round, but take care to press each round with an iron before trimming with the tool. Look for the bonus pattern next week, after finishing the Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery.