Monday, July 27, 2020

Inspiration...Mirror Ball

Inspiration for a quilt can come from many places. In Lake Park, Florida the old city hall had offices on the first floor and an assembly room on the second floor. Way up high in the assembly room was a mirror ball that lit up the room when community dances took place curing the mid 20th century. In the late 20th century I went there weekly to play bridge. I thought of that mirror ball when I was challenged to make a quilt using a collection from Free Spirit fabrics that featured shiny dots. 

Here is a similar ball and the quilt I made and named Mirror Ball Dots. It is a simple quilt using 4" Pinwheels and simple Square on Square blocks with appliqué circles. A four patch border with smaller circles randomly scattered frame the center. Little did I know that many years later I would design a Square on Square Trim Tool for Creative Grids that would make both blocks. I used water glasses as templates to make the appliqué circles. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020


This week is about fabric collections and Nostalgia. Several years ago I designed two fabric collections for a now defunct fabric company. I made two quilts from the first collection that I called Charleston. The second collection called New Orleans was barely out on shelves when the fabric company folded. Here re two quilts I made from the Charleston collection.
                            Log Cabin - Barn Raising version                              Album Quilt

And...3 more that I designed and cerated as virtual quilts...traditional quilts for a traditional fabric collection. It was fun, but a lot of work and research. I love equally vintage fabric collections and the new modern fabrics. Most of my quilts fall into one of these two categories. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

A Happy Accident

Remember that slogan, "Make lemonade out of lemons"? This is what happened in putting this quilt together. It is one of the last quilts I co-made as editor-in-chief of QUILT magazine 15 years ago. My original design called for 9 blocks set on point separated by rail fence blocks. Alternate blocks were to be plain muslin fabric. The flower designs were taken from the actual fabric (with permission). Somehow only 8 blocks were finished. I then sent the blocks home with my sewist, Jan Crandall, to be set into the quilt top. With only 8 blocks (the 9th block went missing) Jan crafted this original and unique setting that is a little like a puzzle. The setting happily eliminates the boring fabric only squares we often see in quilts that are set "on point".
The quilt uses a collection of fabrics by Kim Schaefer, one of my favorite fabric designers for Andover Fabrics. Kim has also authored quilt books published by C & T Publishing. Kim has her own company and website Little Quilt Company.
Another fabric collection by Kim is the Christmas fabric used in the Christmas quilt I featured last week. A reminder, while a pattern is not available, the actual quilt is available for sale in my Etsy shop. It appeared as a cover quilt on a long ago special issue by The Quilter magazine. 

Friday, July 17, 2020

My best bed quilt

Several years ago I made this bed quilt using a collection of fabrics by Amy Butler. The easy-to-make block in this quilt is the Comfort Block and the finished size is 20". It doesn't take many of these blocks to make a quilt. There are no triangles, only squares and rectangles in this block.
Amy Butler Comfort Quilt

I liked making this quilt so much that I made it a second time in colors for my bedroom. Yellow is sunshine and I like waking up to a happy environment. This time the quilt appears on the cover of The Quilter magazine. In this version of the quilt I alternated the Comfort Block with Pieced Star blocks. 

Sunshine and Stars Comfort Quilt

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Paper Piecing

Remember the days when paper-piecing was all the rage? It may no longer be "the rage" but it still has an important place in quilt making. There are some quilt projects that are simply better when paper pieced. Yesterday I was challenged to gather some info on offering downloadable PDF patterns on Etsy. I went deep diving into my vast inventory of quilts I designed while Editor-in-Chief of QUILT magazine. Sadly, QUILT has gone the way of many magazines and is now out of print. But I did save my files and patterns to use "someday". That day has arrived.
The Library Quilt
This is a miniature quilt, finished size is 26" x 26". The very small blocks are best when paper-pieced. The pattern is 8 pages long as each block is indeed a separate paper-pieced block. This is a great project to use up all those little scraps that you just can't bear to throw away. The piecing is perfect in each block due to the technique. The pattern is available in Etsy. You don't have to wait until the pattern arrives by USPS, you can simply pay, download, and start sewing today.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Christmas Nights

Here is a Christmas quilt I made several years ago with Andover fabrics for one of the popular quilting magazines. I forgot which magazine. The blocks are very simple with a triangle tree and a Sawtooth Star. There best thing about this quilt is that it brought one of my best friends from high school and myself back together again. We lost track as I stayed put in West Palm Beach and she moved frequently with her Coast Guard family and their four children. We remain good friends today.
Christmas Nights
I am putting this quilt for sale on Etsy later today. I am asking $75.00. It could be yours.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

If It's July...Thhink Christmas

Christmas in July is a popular promotion in quilt shops. Quilters need to get an early start if they want a quilted accent for their holiday decor. Quick and easy is the way to go for projects that will be displayed during a short holiday season. Here are two patterns, big and little, that  I designed and stitched for my own home. You can trim these trees with all kinds of findings like buttons and beads and glittering sew on charms or crystals. Let your children or grandchildren help by picking and placing the decorations for you to sew or glue in place.
Trim the Tree in miniature...wall hanging and table runner

Trim the Tree with 8" blocks...wall hanging
Of course, both patterns are available on my and my in Etsy shop. The miniature version uses the 4" Curvly Log Cabin and standard 4" Log Cabin. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

More Red White and Blue

Quilt blocks are fun decorating projects. Here is a pair of pillows I made in mostly blue, but with a punch of red. I used the 8" Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool to make the pillows. A quick and easy one-day project that has produced months of decorative pleasure.
A pattern for the pillows is in my Etsy shop.