Monday, October 29, 2012

doing the Texas 9 patch with Roscoe

here I am in Southlake Texas visiting my daughter's family. The most important member of the family is Roscoe. He really loves my quilts, especially when the weather gets a little cold. He likes to sleep under a quilt to keep warm. Here is Roscoe with my Double Nine Patch flannel quilt I made my son-in-law a few years ago. Don't tell Roscoe the quilt isn't really his. Roscoe is a rescue dog from the Humane Society but he believes he is king of the house and entitled to the best of everything...especially my quilts.

Your dog (or other family member) might like a nice warm double nine patch quilt too, so here are the instructions.

1. Cut (12) 2-1/2" x wof strips from red and blue fabrics
2. Cut (6) 2-1/2" x wof strips from gold fabric
3. Cut (24) 2-1/2" x wof strips from light beige fabrics.
4. Sew fourteen strip sets with 1 red, 1 blue and 1 beige strip. Recut the strips into 2-1/2" sections. 
5. Sew seven strip sets with 1 gold and 2 beige strips. Recut the strips into 2-1/2" sections.
6. Sew two red-beige-blue sections to each side of one beige-gold-beige section to make a Nine Patch block. Make 30 single 9 patch blocks for the six Double Nine Patch blocks and make 12 single nine patch blocks for the sashings. Cut (24) 6-1/2" squares to construct the Double Nine Patch blocks as shown in the illustration. 

7. Cut 17 6-1/2" x 18-1/2" sashing strips. Make 4 rows of 2 sashing strips and 3 nine patch setting squares.
Make 3 rows with 3 sashings and 2 blocks in each row. Alternate the sashing rows and the double nine patch rows to complete the quilt center. Add borders, then quilt as desired.

Quilt size without borders 54" x 78". Add 6" borders all around for a 66" x 90" quilt - great for a single bed or a winter nap on the sofa. Roscoe the rescue dog may be a miniature dachshund but he loves a really big soft and fuzzy quilt to roll up in.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I spent the last week teaching at the Georgia Quilt Show in metro Atlanta. It is sponsored by the Sewing Expo It is a very professionally run show and more than that, it was lots of fun. There is most likely a Sewing Expo event coming to a location near you, so check out their website and treat yourself to shopping the vendors, viewing the spectacular quilts on exhibit, and taking  great workshops by a variety of nationally known teachers.

For about two years I have been needing a new sewing machine. I have been checking out various brands and features. At the Georgia Quilt Show I taught in rooms with 3 different sewing machine brands. They were all great machines, but there was one that stood out because it was offering the particular features that I wanted the most. The Atlanta dealer, Discover Sewing offered a great deal that included a serger. I also wanted a serger but wasn't sure I would use it enough to justify the expense. The machine was a deal and the serger clinched the sale. 

I bought and brought both machines home with me. I decided I couldn't put them in the corner of my office where I am currently crunched in to sew so I started moving furniture from my den to the office and the sewing equipment to the den. I have been planning to repurpose these rooms for several months and decided it was time to do it! Some of the den furniture is also going into my living room. Right now only the dog uses the living room which is kind of silly. I am going to get a wall mount TV for the living room and rearrange the furniture so I can use it too. Move over Chloe, you are soon going to be sharing your space.

Every quilter needs a quilting studio. This is the beginning space for my new studio. There is still lots to do but until I start it will never get done. See my new Brother sewing machine in pride of place. Enough of this blogging...I am off to test drive my new machine while making log cabin demo steps for Quilt Market and Festival. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek of one of the quilts in my new book, Log Cabin Quilts, the Basics and Beyond. It is a traditional, but little known setting, called the Echo Setting. I think the photo is beautiful and it is just one of many "glamour" shots in the book. All of the quilts in the book (20 plus) are patterned. There are also photo lessons showing how to make a log cabin block the traditional way and using my new log cabin trim tool. You can pre-order the book from my website: I have been told the projected shipping month is December 2012.

Although I chose a traditional setting for my "Funtastic" quilt I used contemporary fabrics, a collection by Marcus Fabrics call Spintastic. I made half log cabin blocks for this setting to add movement and excitement to the setting that can also be made using a traditional log cabin block. This quilt was lots of fun to make especially using the log cabin trim tool. And that's what our new book is all about, having fun making log cabin quilts in both traditional and imaginative and innovative settings.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Butterfly Corners

Just to let you know....every quilt I have made in the last six months is not a log cabin quilt. I made this one small quilt to be featured in Gyleen Fitzgerald's new book, coming in 2013, titled The Queen's Court. The book will feature Gyleen's easy, innovative way to sew set-in patches. She calls her method "butterfly corners" which makes it sound like it will be fun to sew set-in corners...and it is. The set in corners are the big yellow squares adjacent to the narrow blue borders. I took the picture in front of my bookcase with all my sewing and quilting books with my iPhone.

Check out Gyleen's website She has a series of really great books that she self-publishes for quilters. My favorite is Quilts: Unfinished Stories with New Endings. I may have to change my favorite after The Queen's Court comes out. We will see.....

Monday, October 8, 2012

A busy October

October is going to be a very busy month. I am teaching at two large quilting events. The Georgia Quilt Show in my own backyard and the Houston Quilt Festival in Texas. I wish I could rest...but in November I have a weekend at my favorite place on earth, Kanuga and then off to Washington DC for Thanksgiving and my birthday - both on the same day this year. I will be visiting my youngest daughter and her family...can't wait to see 5 year old Cymia.

Waterfall by Jean Ann Wright

In the meantime I am sending an entry today for a juried show to be held this winter in Mapleton GA for modern quilts. Not wanting to leave my Log Cabin Trim Tool behind, I experimented with piecing geometric shapes together then cutting the strips so I have pieced strips with little slivers of color mixed amongst the white strips. Then I made the blocks with the trim tool. Here is what I made....what do you think? Could this be a workshop for the future? Would you like to try it?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Check Up

I went in for my annual check-up today. My health all checked out okay.  Then I spent the morning giving advice on sewing and quilting to the nurse and to the doctor.

The nurse had to fill out a long questionnaire about my daily activities, etc. She came to the conclusion that I was busy and happy. Could have told her that without all the questions! When she came to my occupation and I said quilt maker...she said I want to learn to quilt and I am going to the Georgia Quilt Show in 2 weeks. I said, "I am teaching!" After asking about my classes she decided to sign up for the Pretty Boxes workshop.

Two of my workshops, Lickety-Split Log Cabin and Pineapples are full. All that is left to fill up is Pretty Boxes and Jiggling Jelly Rolls, plus the machine quilting class. 

The the doctor came in, read my info and saw that I am a quiltmaker. He said, "My wife wants to learn how to sew and make quilts. So I told him about the Georgia Quilt Show and then recommeded she check out Ashby's Sewing Center in Kennesaw. It's the closest sewing studio to his home. He wrote down the information and said they would check it out this weekend.

I am healthy, and the doctor and nurse are interested in sewing. Life is beautiful. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Did I make that?

Taking a nostalgia trip through my computer files for quilts made years ago I discovered this quilt I made about 15 years know when country colors were queen of quilt-land. Way back then I was already playing with layouts for log cabin blocks and came up with this one. Could this have been a hint of books to come?

 I have made the quilt one more bright crayon colors with a snappy Kaffe Fassett fabric for the borders.The photo of the new quilt and the instructions to make this log cabin quilt are in our new book, Log Cabin Quilts, the Basics and Beyond.  The book is presently in production (on sale December 1) and can be ordered from my website:

I am teaching a log cabin workshop at the Georgia Quilt show in two weeks and at the Houston Quilt Festival the first weekend in November. There is only one spot left at the Georgia Quilt show and the Houston class is filling fast. Hope to see some of you in Georgia or Texas.