Thursday, October 19, 2017

Let the (Winter) Games Begin! (and Giveaway)

Today you get to see some awesome fabrics by Amanda Murphy for Benartex. I've sewn with Amanda's fabrics several times and I think her choice of colors and motifs is one of my favorites!

Winter Games is the latest collection. Did you see the tutorial for Day 1? Go on; I'll wait right here for you to come back. And how about Day 2 with Sandra of MMM Quilts? Check it out!

Well, fabric isn't as exciting as seeing something sewn with it, right? You know I had that in mind when I received 8 fat quarters.

8 fat quarters of Winter Games

We in the blog hop are making mug rugs, so fat quarters are perfect. I am revisiting a tried and true paper piecing pattern of mine called Coffee Cups. First, here's the original pattern as it appeared in the Kansas City Star in the 1930s:
Coffee Cups pattern using a lot of odd shaped templates
My pattern is for a 7" block. I created a freezer paper fussy cutting window to center my motifs in.

Freezer paper "window" to fussy cut my motifs
Here are two of motifs centered and ready to cut:

Fussy Cutting the skates and snow boards
 And an athlete, of course!

Fussy Cutting a snow boarder
I also cut an oversized square out of the hot cocoa mugs:

Cups of hot cocoa and coffee (and probably some tea, right?)
Here is the block finished:
7" foundation pieced coffee cup block
Now can we see some of the others? Here are the 3 blocks finished. I used my walking foot to stitch vertical lines (gray thread) and finished off with my quick and easy binding. I sew it on from the back and stitch it down by machine on the front.

Cocoa motif mug rug
 Gotta have skates!
Skates and snow boards mug rug
 And, an athlete!

Snow Boarder mug rug
And all three together. You can get this pattern at my Craftsy store. There are a lot of pictures and the foundations are easy to print, with lots of helpful tips.

The giveaway is a fat quarter bundle of these Winter Games fabrics from Benartex. Leave a comment letting me know which of the 3 mug rugs here you like the best. A winner will be randomly drawn on Sunday (contest is over at midnight Saturday). Open to USA residents only BUT, if I choose an international visitor, I will send you the Paper Pieced Coffee Cups pdf pattern via email! (I may choose someone state side AND an international visitor - this is open to everyone, now that I think of it). Then you can make your own set!

My set of 3 paper pieced mug rugs using the Winter Games Collection by Amanda Murphy

Go visit the Sew In Love with Fabric blog to see what's happening with the other bloggers who've used this collection.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

2018 Quilter's Block a Day Calendar

Yes, another calendar. I started this in 2006. It actually started in the Christmas of 2003 when my favorite youngest daughter bought the 2004 calendar for me as a gift. When I opened it I was horrified at the primitive approach to the patterns. There was NO cutting chart for ANY block! The graphics were created in the still primitive Electric Quilt (all pixelated) and the way you got the pattern was to use a copy machine to increase at percentages like: 136%, 122%, 223%, and so on.

First Block a Day calendar for Accord Publishing
The designs were lovely and very creative. But, since the author was not a quilter (I kid you not!), but assigned to design the calendar by the publishing company, she gave it her very best. It's just that she didn't have any tools or skill in writing patterns (and I do NOT fault her in any way).

It's what I did next that still surprises even me! I looked up the phone number of Accord Publishing, asked for the president, and then told him that I could do better. He could make more sales with something that actually patterned the quilt projects (and not just have a crude line drawing). By this time I had been publishing in Quilt Magazine for 11 years and I designed using Adobe Illustrator (the industry standard). I told him I would like to design the next calendar! And he took me up on it.

I sent some design files showing him my approach and then he said that I had 3 months to submit an entire year's worth of files! I gasped and then said, "OK."

Here is the cover of the 2018 calendar. This is the 12th one I've done (2009 was created by Jean Ann Wright). I would like to say that my brain is empty, but somehow every year when I begin designing (April, with an August deadline), I somehow find the hundreds of files I need. We work 1-1/2 years ahead and the 2018 calendar was "put to bed" in August of 2016. I am currently doing the final edits for the 2019 calendar (files submitted in August).

2018 Quilting Block and Pattern-a-Day Calendar
Let me show you a few of the projects inside:

January, Celebrate Snow!

Celebrate Snow!
February, Stepping Out

Stepping Out
April, Folk Art Sampler

Folk Art Sampler
May, Hoorah! USA

Hoorah! USA
And one more from July: Ocean Breezes

Ocean Breezes
You can find this calendar online at Amazon, also with Keepsake Quilting, and of course, at the web site of Andrews McMeel (the new publisher, which is the LARGEST publisher in the world for calendars).

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 42

Here we are at Week 41. That means there are only 11 weeks left in this year. How are your quilting projects going? Sometimes it's just fun to see other people's work, like Patricia's blocks, right?

For those looking for the corrected links to Wednesday's FREE patterns, please visit that blog post again to find the updates. Thanks for your patience (as I was out of town teaching for 4 days in Tucson without any way to fix this.)

Just a bit of information about my blocks: All of them are traditional blocks with their original names. There is historical info that goes with some of these, like with Mrs. Taft's choice (though I don't know what that is.) 95% of these blocks in my calendar are renditions of vintage blocks. No need to "reinvent the wheel."

October 15: Hand Weave

October 15: Hand Weave, 12"

October 16: Indian Mat
October 16: Indian Mat, 12"

October 17: Lindy's Airplane
October 17: Lindy's Airplane, 8"

October 18: Vines at the Window

October 18: Vines at the Window, 10"

October 19: Mrs. Taft's Choice

October 19: Mrs. Taft's Choice

October 20: Old Maid's Puzzle

October 20: Old Maid's Puzzle, 8"
 October 21: Ozark Maple Leaf

October 21: Ozark Maple Leaf, 12"
See you next week for the next 7 blocks!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Where the Wild Things Are - FREE Pattern

This page has now been edited to correct the link for the "Where the Wild Things Are" pattern.
Scroll down to the bottom of that page (on the P and B site), and click on the picture of the quilt. It will then ask you where you want to download the pattern to on your computer.

Also, the templates for the Mug Rugs made with the International Coffee Collection by Windham has now been added. See link below.

Thanks for your patience!

I have used this "tilt" technique with several quilts over the past 20 years. A few of them have appeared in my books and published in magazines. Here is the cast:

This appeared in my first book (Bold, Black and Beautiful, AQS 2004). I used one of the triangles of the Tri-Recs tool set.
Tilted Squares Kids' Quilt
Here are a few of the individual squares from some upcoming kids' charity quilts I'm making:
Tilt blocks using a wild animal print from Benartex

And a block using the Gardening Collection by Windham
And there's Dancing Pears from my Cookie Cutter series:
Dancing Pears Quilt
And how about the new pattern for Windham I designed using the International Coffee Collection? The pattern for these is also FREE! The link for the full size templates is available here:
Coffee Mugs Templates

International Coffee Mug Rugs
And here is the FREE pattern, created with the P and B Textiles Wild Things Collection. I sewed this a few months ago and wrote the pattern. It is now available on their site. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see the link to the pattern.

Where the Wild Things Are
These fabrics are really fun and the quilt goes together so quickly. You simply let the fabric do all the work!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 41

Here we are at Week 40, being wowed again by the blocks and settings that Patricia created for us.

October 8: Crossed Leaves

October 8: Crossed Leaves, 9"

October 9: Crow's Foot
October 9: Crow's Foot, 16"
 October 10: Empire State

October 10: Empire State, 12"

October 11: Flock of Birds

October 11: Flock of Birds, 12"

October 12: Geese in Flight

October 12: Geese in Flight, 16"
October 13: World's Fair Puzzle
October 13: World's Fair Puzzle, 8"

October 14: Hearth and Home

October 14: Hearth and Home, 10"
Thank you, Patricia, for such beautiful settings for your blocks. We all love this so much!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Two More Garden Inspired Coloring Books - and Giveaway!

Winner is chosen: Anne of Boulder, Colorado, chose the Winter coloring book. Congratulations, Anne!

I am not an artist. I raised one and she can draw just about anything. Me? Squares, triangles and stick figures! Quarter inch seams are so exciting; I like to have that sort of control!

Schiffer Books sent me two more review copies of these beautiful coloring books by Kristy Rice. Then I got nervous because they were beyond my squares, triangles and stick figures. Here is the cover of the Fall collection

Kristy Rice's Fall Cutting Garden Coloring Book

Just like her Spring and Summer books, this is also a 60 page book with 25 watercolor pages for coloring. (Click that link and you can read my review of those.)

There are tips and hints on how to use both watercolors and colored pencils. Lots of color illustrations.

Let's see a few of the pages:
Autumn Leaves with watercolors

And a few pages from the cutting garden:

A page from the Fall Cutting Garden
 and one more . . .

A lovely page asking for COLOR!

And how about an owl? (Or maybe he belongs in the Winter book?)

Owl in the Berries

Which takes me to the Winter book:
Winter Cutting Garden book by Kristy Rice
And a few of the awesome pages:
 And how about some animals, hum?

Winter Animals to Color!

What a beautiful fox!

Take a visit to Kristy's web site to see a lot of her work, be inspired by her gorgeous flowers and artistry and generally pretend you can do the same thing (by buying one of her books!)

The books are beautifully done with tri-fold covers to help keep your place and lots of sample pictures. If only I was the coloring kind . . . But if you are, YOU CAN WIN ONE OF THESE.

I have both the Autumn and Winter coloring books. Tell me if you like to color and if you do, let me know which one you would like. I will randomly draw a winner Sunday October 8th. Contest is over Saturday, October 7 at midnight.

Contest is open to USA residents only (it's the cost of postage; if you want to pay postage and live outside the USA, just let me know and I'll include you in the drawing.)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 40

Already October! Finally cooling off in my neck of the woods. Let's see what Patricia has done with this week's set of 7 blocks.

October 1: Crazy House (yes, that's the traditional name of this block; I'm not making this up!)

October 1: Crazy House, 10"
 October 2: Arrowhead
October 2: Arrowhead, 16"
 October 3: Autumn Bloom
October 3: Autumn Bloom, 10"
 Yes, I know that block's hard to see. Here it is:

Autumn Bloom
October 4: Beacon Light

October 4: Beacon Light, 10"
 October 5: Blazing Autumn Leaf

October 5: Blazing Autumn Leaf, 10"
 October 6: Carrie Nation Quilt
October 6: Carrie Nation Quilt, 12"
 October 7: Circle of Teardrops

October 7: Circle of Teardrops, 9"
Hope you enjoyed seeing all these beautiful blocks! See you next week.