Category Archives: Quilt Pattern

Quilt Inspiration in a Bathroom

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Bathroom floor quilt inspirationThis weekend I attended an business event at the Hotel W at 201 Park Avenue South in New York City. It is a refurbished life insurance building and an absolutely beautiful hotel.

In my non-quilting life, I teach female small business owners how to be more visible online — which includes helping them find ideas for their blogs. I regularly suggest blogging about what they see — no matter how mundane they think it is.

To prove the point, I took a photo of the floor tiles in the hotel restroom. Aren’t they beautiful? Wouldn’t they make a great quilt design? And isn’t it even cooler that the image came from a bathroom floor? Inspiration is everywhere!

I apologize for the quality of the photo. I was a little self-conscious snapping photos in a bathroom stall while my business associates were washing their hands!

For those of you who are interested in my “real” business, you can check out my website.  I’d love to have you sign up for my free weekly newsletter that contains blog ideas, book reviews, and tips on writing.

Christmas Tree Quilt

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Christmas tree quilt 1My 20-year-old son was hosting a Christmas party yesterday. That meant two things — my house was clean AND I had to stay out of his way! While the day began with good intentions for me to clean my office and get caught up on my accounting, by dinner time I was done. I needed to sew!

I pulled out some greens from my stash and my Tri Recs ruler set. I used the maximum size (6.5″) to make the trees. For the next step, I will add 1″ by 1″ trunks.

I’m not sure where this project will go next. I’m thinking it will be a wall hanging for above our bed, which means I’ll probably use 8 trees for the width and 4 trees for the height. This will be a fun project for over the holidays and shouldn’t take me too long to finish.

Christmas tree quilt 2

Chevron Quilt (PS: I Designed It Myself!)

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I have been wanting to make a chevron quilt for quite awhile. I had some black fabric and a great pack of Kaufman fat quarters that were perfect for the project. A bonus was that I didn’t have to purchase any new fabric, which carries on my theme from last week of actually making something from my stash. (Don’t worry, those days are passed. I broke down and ordered some new fabric yesterday.)

This quilt is made of finished 5″ squares. I began by cutting 7″ squares and using them to make half-square triangles. The resulting square was trimmed down to 5.5 inches. Each row consists of a light and dark color that were fairly close together in color. (The second row was VERY close in color … they are slightly different shades but it’s hard to see that from the photo.)

Although I’ve done some original quilts, this is my first time creating a pattern that was somewhat complex. It made me appreciate the challenges faced by pattern designers. My major screw-up was pressing all of the seams toward the dark side, and then having to re-press half of them to the other side.

My other screw-up was forgetting to bring the 7th row back to my sewing room. I sewed the strips together and ended with a row that had a big transition between colors. After some ripping and re-stitching, that problem was also fixed.

At first I was really disappointed in the quilt. I felt like the black portion was very overpowering. However, the more I look at it, the more I like it. I’ve got a great idea for the quilting and will share the final result when it’s done.

Chevron1

Chevron closeup

Free Halloween Quilt Patterns

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There is just over a week until Halloween. If you’re looking for a way to keep your hands out of the Halloween candy, ’tis the season to  keep your hands busy by quilting. This site offers some great free patterns for Halloween quilts. Just try to keep the chocolate off of the fabric!

Free Halloween quilt patterns

My First Civil War Fabrics

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Last week, I was asked to make a block using civil war fabrics. No big deal, except that my huge stash of fabric did not contain a single fat quarter of reproduction fabrics. I wasn’t even sure where the civil war fabrics were displayed in my local quilt shop! My friend Sharon, a civil war fabric lover, helped me pick the fabrics for this block.

Civil War Fabrics

I must admit that I prefer modern colors and designs to the sedate colors and small patterns that characterize civil war fabrics. However I do think that this fabric combination is quite attractive.

Directions for this Friendship Star quilt block can be found at:

http://quilting.about.com/od/blockofthemonth/ss/friend_star.htm

You can learn more about civil war reproduction fabrics at:

http://www.reproductionfabrics.com/htm-popups/civil_war_text.html

“Oh Canada” Wall Hanging

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As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my husband and I spent the first half of our lives in Canada. When my son was born in the United States almost 18 years ago, one of my goals was to immediately apply for his Canadian citizenship. Sixteen years and one more child later, I finally aapplied for both citizenships last summer.

Last fall, I visited several Canadian quilt shops looking for Canadian fabric to honor their citizenship. Nope. None was available. However I did find a pattern for a Canadian wall hanging. I sewed and quilted it over the last week.

The pattern is by Patch-Abilities and it is very easy to follow. My only warning is that this wall hanging is small. The pattern says that it is a mini-quilt and only 6″ by 22″ — but, when you see it, you’ll be amazed at how small that looks.

You can find this pattern at: http://www.merrysstitchins.com/shop/Patch-Abilities-Patterns-Kits–ButtonsRibbon-Packs/Patriotic/p/MM307C–Oh-Canada-sku-MM307C.htm

Yesterday Canadians celebrated Canada Day — their version of 4th of July. Happy Birthday Canada!

(If you can’t see the photos, please visit my blog at quiltnotes.wordpress.com)

“Oh Canada” mini wall hanging

“Cat Parade” Wall Hanging

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I picked up this pattern when I was in Canada last week. They had it made up in the shop and I loved it’s simplicity, not to mention that I have a huge stash of black and white fabric. This was a quick and easy project and will be a gift for my physical therapist, whose child-cats are the love of her life.

I wanted to keep the quilting on this very minimal. The first pass through, I did not quilt the cats at all. However, when I unzipped the project from the longarm, the lack of quilting in such a large area meant that it didn’t hang correctly. I went back and quilted the tails, as well as some fur in the bodies.

I also chose a cream color thread for the middle of the quilt. Although it appeared to be a slightly different color than the polka dot fabric, it actually blended in so well that I couldn’t see my quilting lines. I’ve made this mistake before, and I’ll probably make it again.

You can find this pattern at: http://www.designstoshare.com/patterns/viewpattern.php5?id=116

(If you can’t see the photo, please check my blog at quiltnotes.wordpress.com.)

“Cats on Parade” Wallhanging

Charity Quilt #1

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It’s time for a true confession —  I’ve belonged to my guild for three years and never made a charity quilt. I’ve done some other items for charity (animal beds and Christmas stockings) but I have yet to contribute a quilt. And I’ve felt pretty darn guilty about it.

This Spring, my goal is to donate three nice charity quilts to our guild. So far, I’ve done one.

When I started longarming, I bought several quilt tops on eBay. I used some of them initially to practice my skills, but I still have several unquilted tops in my studio. These are becoming the tops for my charity quilts.

I always admire people who donate lovely quilts to charity. I know that, for the sake of making lots of quilts, guilds often tie their quilts and use pillow case bindings. But I love the idea that people will receive lovely designs, beautifully quilted, with proper binding. And I think I’ve done that.

This quilt is stitched with a pantograph pattern called “Deb’s Feathers” by Deb Geissler.

One charity quilt done; two to go before our last meeting on June 9th. Stay tuned!

(If you cannot see the photos, please visit my blog at quiltnotes.wordpress.com.)

Paper Bag Quilting

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Over the weekend, I attended a quilt retreat at the Southampton Inn on Long Island. The group project was a scrap quilt. Because I’m not a big scrap quilt fan, and because I had a lot of my own projects that I wanted to work on, I decided to bring my own quilt kits and pass on the group project. However I certainly enjoyed the scrap quilts that were brought for Show and Tell.

As we were looking at the quilts, people started talking about the “brown bag method” of selecting fabric. It works like this: Throw all of your scraps into a paper bag. Pick out a scrap. It’s the next piece to be used on your quilt. Don’t match it to the previous piece, move it to another location, or fixate on the color in any way. Just sew it and repeat with the next piece. When the quilt is complete, the fabrics do work together.

If you’re working on a quilt that requires light and dark pieces (such as a log cabin), use two bags. Choose from the light, then the dark, and repeat. If I were to do this, I would pre-screen the fabrics so that they were similar — such as using a Thimbleberry-type line of fabric rather than a mixture of novelty prints, bright florals, and Civil War fabrics.

However the scrap quilt project  at the retreat used all different scraps. They ran the gamut of colors and prints. The resulting quilts were beautiful. I’m not sure how such different fabrics could work together, but they did.

I decided to try the process with this quilt top.  I had to make 4 patches using a total of 14 different fabrics from my kit. I’d already sewn the 2-patches, but decided to just randomly pair them. I followed the same random process with the border (although I’ll admit I did a bit of fudging to make sure the same fabrics weren’t beside each other.) Overall, it worked very well.

As I was cutting out the kit fabric, the light green bothered me. It did not seem to be the same value as the rest of the fabrics. If I were to make this quilt again, I would definitely leave out the light green, or throw in another couple of fabrics that were a lighter value.

I will definitely use the “paper bag” method again in the future. It is quick and the results are very satisfactory.

(If you cannot see the picture, please go directly to quiltnotes.wordpress.com)

"Stars and Strips" by Atkinson Designs