Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Log Cabin Squared

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If you’ve got a fat quarter collection that’s in need of a quilt pattern, look no further than this week’s Friday FREE quilt pattern: Log Cabin Squared designed by Beth Hayes.

This stunning Log Cabin-style pattern uses 25 fat quarters to make a picnic-sized quilt. Each of the 25 fabrics appears in up to 3 blocks, which gives the quilt a scrappy look even from a coordinated pack of fat quarters. The finished quilt measures 60 1/2″ square.

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Click here for the free downloadable Log Cabin Squared quilt pattern.

This Friday FREEbie is part of our free Fat Quarter Quilts ebook – in addition to Log Cabin Squared, you’ll also get two more quilt patterns. NOTE: You will need to enter your email address at the link to get the ebook.

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all!

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Stamp Pad: A Visit with Wendy Sheppard

 Stamp Pad: A Visit with Wendy Sheppard

Wendy Sheppard

Welcome back guest blogger, quilt designer, and author Wendy Sheppard. Wendy’s new quilt, Stamp Pad, features a clever block design is a modern interpretation of a postage stamp. The large block patches are great for showing off large prints in any color or style; this design is versatile and can suit any design personality. The easy patchwork sews up quickly and the unique design will please everyone! You’ll find this quilt in the McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2017 issue. We’re happy to have Wendy here to talk about her quilt!

Hello to McCall’s Quilting blog readers! It’s good to be back again. Last time I was here, I shared about my quilt ”I’m Blue For You.” That was in the middle of winter. Now that we are inching toward spring, I am happy to be back again to share my throw/lap quilt pattern, designed with floral fabrics, called “Stamp Pad.”

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Stamp Pad

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By Wendy Sheppard

“Stamp Pad” is considered a one-block quilt, meaning the quilt is made with only one quilt block repeated throughout, using different colored fabrics. I used RJR’s Garden Gate fabric collection, design by Robyn Pandolph. The florals in Garden Gate give an elegant, and not overly froufrou, shabby chic, home décor feel to this quilt. I imagine this throw quilt on an easy chair in a great room. However, the design is versatile in such a way that you can substitute the florals with any novelty fabrics you prefer. The size of this quilt, 61″ x 71″, also works easily on a child’s bed if children-themed fabrics are used.

Again, I don’t really design projects that are difficult to make. They only look deceivingly hard at times. “Stamp Pad” is no exception. This quilt comprises patch blocks and Flying Geese units. I always tell my quilting friends, when they find themselves making repeating units for a quilt, “This is your chance to perfect your skills when replicating units!” If you haven’t tried the no-waste method of making Flying Geese units yet, this quilt presents the perfect opportunity.

Thank you for letting me share about “Stamp Pad”! I hope you make your own versions of this quilt and share about your experiences in the comments below. Happy Quilting!

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Recreating Antique Quilts by Wendy Sheppard

Thanks so much, Wendy! Wendy would like to give away her book, Recreating Antique Quilts! Leave a comment below before midnight March 30, 2017 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing to win Wendy’s book. The winner will be notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.

This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec. 

If you’d like to make your own version of the Stamp Pad quilt, and don’t yet have a copy of the McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2017 issue, you can order print and digital versions in our online shop. The Stamp Pad quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.  

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Cross & Crown

Our Friday FREE quilt pattern this week is Cross & Crown designed by Sandra Clemons. This fat-quarter friendly design is a piecer’s dream — and isn’t it a beauty?

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This charming design combines modern and traditional elements that complement nearly any decor. Our pattern is written for fat quarters. Each print is featured in 3 blocks; you’ll have 1 block left over to use as a quilt label or to use in another project, such as a coordinating throw pillow. We’ve also included step-by-step photos in the pattern to guide you through making the block corner units without marking any match points.

The quilt is shown here in retro prints from the Hadley collection designed by Denyse Schmidt for FreeSpirit Fabrics. The quilt finishes at 73 1/2″ x 83 1/2″.

cross crown free quilt pattern 2 300 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Cross & CrownClick here for the free downloadable Cross and Crown quilt pattern.

This free quilt pattern is a web extra for our new May/June 2017 issue of McCall’s. Be sure to check out this new edition for more great quilt patterns and inspiration.

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all!

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Travel Plans: A Visit with Abigail Dolinger

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Abigail Dolinger

Welcome guest blogger and quilt designer, Abigail Dolinger. Aby’s new quilt pattern, Travel Plans, uses an elongated version of the classic Trip Around the World quilt block. Her easy-to-piece table runner quilt pattern is refreshing. Whether you choose coordinating prints like Abigail did, or use your favorite scrappy prints, you’ll have a lovely, versatile centerpiece for entertaining family and friends. It’s a wonderful design that comes together quickly! You’ll find this quilt in the McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2017 issue. We’re happy to have Aby here to talk about her quilt!

Hello, Quilters. I am excited to share behind-the-scenes info with you about my “Travel Plans” table runner!

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Travel Plans Table Runner

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Designed by Abigail Dolinger

When designing this table runner quilt, I experimented with elongating a Trip Around the World design, working with rectangles instead of squares. I also had in mind a link-up connection of the three motifs. Using my Electric Quilt computer program, I tried out various colorations of the design. McCall’s Quilting editors selected a red, white, and blue palette, but I think the design would be equally pretty with Easter/spring, fall, or Christmas themed fabrics.

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“Travel Plans” fabrics are from Gerri Robinson’s American Beauty line for Red Rooster fabrics. Aren’t they gorgeous? I appreciate the vintage motifs paired with saturated country red and blue. I can envision decorating an entire room around this fabric. Curtains or valances sewn from the large scale Jacobean print would beautifully complement the “Travel Plans” runner. I truly enjoyed creating the table runner quilt with this red, tan, and blue collection.

Construction Tip:  If you press the seams of the first and third motifs (Picture A), and press the seams of the center motif (Picture B), the seam allowances will mesh nicely when connecting the three motifs together.

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Picture A

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Picture B

On my domestic machine, I quilted the runner diagonally through all the rectangles, continuing the quilting lines throughout the background and border. This created a classic cross-hatch design. Four types of sewing guides were used:  blue water soluble marker, chalk, masking tape, and the quilting guide (pictured below). In retrospect, the marker and the chalk helped me achieve straighter lines.

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“Travel Plans,” measuring at 18″ x 67″, is suitable for a sizeable table, and it would be equally pretty as a bed runner atop a tan, red, or blue bedspread. McCall’s Quick Quilts printed a bonus idea—placemats made of just one “Travel Plans” motif each. I suggest decreasing the size of the rectangles, cutting them 2″ x 2¾” for this project.

What are your plans for traveling this spring? Although you might not take a “trip around the world,” I hope a trip to a quilt shop will find you hunting fabric for this quick and easy runner, “Travel Plans.” I’d love to see a picture of your project; email a digital photo to aby.quilts@gmail.com.

Thank you, Aby!

If you’d like to make a Travel Plans quilt — table runner — and don’t already have a copy of the McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2017 issue, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The Travel Plans quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.

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Chalkboard: A Visit with Gigi Khalsa

Gigi 225px Chalkboard: A Visit with Gigi KhalsaWelcome resident blogger, quilt designer and McCall’s Quilting and McCall’s Quick Quilts Associate Editor, Gigi Khalsa! Gigi‘s quilt, Chalkboard, is featured in the McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2017 issue. Gigi used novelty prints for this adorable baby quilt, which she paired with coordinating prints to create eye-catching quilt block frames. She also used a technique that gives the look of mitered corners without all the work! This wonderful technique is included with the quilt pattern. Read on, and don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Hi there! Thanks for joining us on the McCall’s Quilting Blog! Today, I’d like to talk a bit about my quilt Chalkboard, featured in the McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2017 issue. I don’t know about you, but opportunities to make baby quilts are coming thick and fast for me these days! When I hear that a friend or family member is expecting, I immediately start thinking of what kind of quilt to make for them. It’s really fun, but sometimes the quilt needs to be made really quickly, which limits the kinds of patterns and techniques I can use.

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Chalkboard Baby Quilt

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Designed by Gigi Khalsa

Once I got the general idea for Chalkboard sketched out and planned, it was very quick to sew. I credit that to the way I decided to sew it. The quilt block combines the idea of a Log Cabin block with the look of mitered borders. The way I constructed it was to stitch strips to a half-square triangle, then trim the strips so that there are basically two diagonal halves of a block which are then joined. There are multiple ways to make this block, which I’ll share below, but there are a few good reasons I went this easy trimming route.

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Mitered corners look great, but they’re a little fussy when you’re trying to make something quickly. So, to make things easier, one could replace the miters with triangle-squares as shown below. It’s more cutting and piecing to do it this way, but could be considered easier by some. Remember to add ⅞” to the short finished side of the triangle-square to get the cut size, if you want to go this route.

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Alternate block construction #1

Or, one could strip piece and cut segments to the size of the center triangle-square, then add pieced units to each corner. Look at the pieced square, cut diagonally, that could substitute for the mitered corner! It’s a neat idea, and I like the idea conceptually, but it seems like this method would be quite a bit more work, ultimately, than the way I made it (and more math to figure out what size that pieced square should be).

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Alternate block construction #2

I’m discussing these theoretical construction methods simply to demonstrate that there is no set way to do most things in quilting. Once an idea is formed, that’s not the end of it—one still needs to figure out how to turn that idea into a reality.

The main reasons I went with my construction method are pretty simple and probably relatable. I really like the clean, uninterrupted seamless strip going directly into the miter, plus I didn’t have a whole lot of those green-and-white prints framing each block. The more seams that were in the block, the more patches I would have to cut, and the more fabric is hidden in those seams rather than sitting prettily on the quilt top.

As shown above, I could use different piecing techniques to achieve the same effect, but frankly, more piecing equals more time and more work, so that’s one big reason I like my construction method. Another reason was the amount of fabric I had. The pattern calls for ⅞ yard for each print, and I had a ½ yard each. I made a practice half-block with scrap fabric and determined the very shortest I could make those strips and still have enough to trim them diagonally. I don’t remember the exact lengths, but that is a tip if you have a little less than the recommended amount of fabric—make a practice block and decide what you might do differently, if anything.

The recommended yardage for Quick Quilts patterns tends to be forgiving, in case it shrinks during pre-washing, or if you make a cutting mistake or two, so it’s useful to read each pattern before starting and figure out where you can make adjustments that suit your particular needs. So, while I was able to get away with less fabric, there was zero room for error in cutting, and so that was another reason for my construction plan.

One traditional tool that helped with my less-than-traditional approach was using starch. I don’t always use it because it takes extra time, but since I sprayed my novelty print fabrics with starch before cutting them in half diagonally, I was able to control the bias a little better and prevent it from stretching out while I worked on my blocks. Try it if you make this pattern, it helps!

Even the simplest patterns provide lots of food for thought if you consider them beyond the surface. Though thinking of different ways to make the same block is just a thought exercise, and nothing more, it helps because it makes me pull on all of my previous quilting knowledge to solve a new quilting problem. It could even be a route to new ideas and new designs because of the different methods and ideas I had to access to come up with a single solution.

Well, that’s a lot to say about a cute, simple baby quilt that’s fast and fun to make! Fast and fun can spur serious thoughts on the nature of patchwork itself if you put your mind to it. I hope you’ll give this pattern a try, however you decide you’d like to make it!

Thanks so much, Gigi! As Associate Editor of McCall’s Quilting and McCall’s Quick Quilts, Gigi would like to give away the latest issue of each! Leave a comment below before midnight March 16, 2017 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing to win McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2017 (featuring Chalkboard) and McCall’s Quilting May/June 2017. The winner will be notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.

CONRATULATIONS TO KATHY! SHE WON GIGI’S GIVEAWAY OF McCALL’S QUILTING AND McCALL’S QUICK QUILTS MAGAZINES!

If you’d like to make your own version of the Chalkboard quilt, and don’t yet have a copy of the McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2017 issue, you can order print and digital versions in our online shop. The Chalkboard quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.  

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Caribbean Blue

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Gather up your batiks to create this week’s Friday FREE quilt pattern, Caribbean Blue. Inspired by the colors of the ocean off her favorite Caribbean beach, Jan Douglas used Log Cabin style piecing and a unique setting to design this stunning batik quilt.

The unique setting combines straight-set and diagonally-set blocks with a striking pieced border for a Log Cabin quilt like no other. The finished size is 64 1/2″ x 64 1/2″.

Click here for the free downloadable Caribbean Blue quilt pattern.

This Friday FREEbie is part of our free Log Cabin Quilts ebook – in addition to the Caribbean Blue pattern, you’ll also get two more free quilt patterns in the download. NOTE: You’ll need to enter your email address at the link to get the ebook.

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all!

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10 Days of Quilting & Textiles: Korea

Quilting has a history that spans the world. A culturally diverse art form, it has been approached in a variety of ways from different peoples across the globe. For those of us that appreciate and respect quilting for its history, multiplicity and beauty, we owe it to ourselves, and others in the quilting community, to expand our horizons and learn everything we can about this most special craft. It’s up to us to teach one another about quilting so that we may enjoy it to its fullest potential!

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McCall’s Quilting Tour: Korea

McCall’s Quilting and Craftours are teaming up to provide a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Korea for a 10-day quilting and textiles tour from 9/22/17 – 10/1/17. Highlights of this trip include:

Visiting a Korean folk village (watch video) movie play 10 Days of Quilting & Textiles: Korea
The Five Royal Palaces of Seoul (watch video) movie play 10 Days of Quilting & Textiles: Korea
The Museum of Korean Embroidery (watch video) movie play 10 Days of Quilting & Textiles: Korea (embroidery from 1392-1910)
The 7-story Dongdaemun Fabric Market (watch video) movie play 10 Days of Quilting & Textiles: Korea
The Chojun Textile & Quilt Art Museum (watch video) movie play 10 Days of Quilting & Textiles: Korea
The premier shopping area known as the Myeong-Dong Market (watch video) movie play 10 Days of Quilting & Textiles: Korea

There is also an optional tour for those interested in current political, economical and geographical events in Korea: a visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (watch video) movie play 10 Days of Quilting & Textiles: Korea, the buffer zone between North and South Korea.

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McCall’s Quilting Tour: Korea

Here’s a closer look at what this travel package includes, in addition to the above:

Round-trip airfare from the U.S.
Daily breakfast & some dinners
First-class hotel accommodations
Professional guide and Craftours escort
Private deluxe motor coach & driver
Panoramic tour of Seoul
Traveling & learning with Alice Ridge

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McCall’s Quilting Tour: Korea

If you’d like to learn more about this tour, like what you can expect from the weather, currency exchange, workshops and making a reservation, hop on over to the Craftours website. It is definitely worth your while!

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Dressed to the Nines

dressed to the nines quilt flat2 bl Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Dressed to the Nines

Nine adorable dress quilt blocks are showcased on this week’s Friday FREE quilt pattern, Dressed to the Nines designed by Jereé McDade. This free baby quilt pattern is easy to fuse and piece together, and the template for each of the dress blocks is included in the pattern. Use vibrant floral fabrics to bring this darling quilt to life. The finished size is 46″ x 46″.

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Click here for the free downloadable Dressed to the Nines quilt pattern.

This Friday FREEbie is part of our free Baby Quilt Patterns ebook – in addition to the Dressed to the Nines pattern, you’ll also get two more free quilt patterns in the download. NOTE: You’ll need to enter your email address at the link to get the ebook.

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all!

 

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Buds ‘n Bow Ties

budsnbowties free quilt pattern Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Buds n Bow Ties

Stitch a lovely vintage-inspired lap quilt with this week’s Friday FREE quilt pattern: Buds ‘n Bow Ties designed by Toby Preston. The Bow Tie Blocks are super easy to piece, and folded flower buds and a bow in the outer border add nice dimensional touches.

Toby used a selection of reproduction prints for this cheerful design, but the pattern lends itself well to any scrappy collection. Dig into your stash; you may already have everything you need for this quilt right at your fingertips! The quilt finishes at 56 1/2″ x 84 1/2″.

budsnbowties2 free quilt pattern Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Buds n Bow Ties

Click here for the free downloadable Buds ‘n Bow Ties quilt pattern.

This Friday FREEbie is part of our free ebook, Repro Quilts – in addition to the Buds ‘n Bow Ties pattern, you’ll also get two more free quilt patterns in the download. NOTE: You’ll need to enter your email address at the link to get the ebook.

Have you missed any of our previous Friday Freebies? Click here to find them all!

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Jack in the Blocks: A Visit with Colleen Hall-Patton

Hall Patton Colleen 300x300 Jack in the Blocks: A Visit with Colleen Hall PattonWelcome guest blogger and quilt designer Colleen Hall-Patton! Colleen‘s quilt Jack in the Blocks is featured in the March/April 2017 issue of McCall’s Quilting. You can see more of Colleen’s work on her Facebook page. Read on, and don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

 

About 1970, I discovered Ruby McKim’s 101 Patchwork Patterns in the library. The Dover reprint in the 1960s of the 1931 original inspired many women to begin quilting, including me.  This was a time between the quilt revivals of the 1930s and 1970s that is often considered a low point in quilt interest.  Thinking I knew how to quilt because I knew how to sew, and starting with leftover clothing scraps,  I used the Sunbeam pattern to make a turquoise, hot pink, and white quilt.  Remember, it was the 1970s!

McKim Jack in the Blocks: A Visit with Colleen Hall Patton

The Jack in the Blocks square from the book would wait for another time.  McKim’s book is still worthwhile, and a free version is available at www.101patchworkpatterns.com.

Most layout patterns for squares in McKim’s book, including the Jack in the Box square, suggest alternating quilt squares with plain squares.  I looked at that pattern for 40 years before I began to figure out what to do with it.  I like really scrappy quilts, so I gathered the red and white prints for this quilt over several years, eventually deciding to limit my choices to red on white and white on red.  Many of the eliminated fabrics with cream, pink, or black accents ended up on the back of the quilt. The background is a variety of white on white prints, which invites further examination, a particular delight for this scrap lover.  Once I started piecing, it was clear the red on white squares didn’t show off the Jack in the Blocks pattern as well, so the quilt is mostly white on red fabrics.  The Jack in the Blocks corners and the pinwheels were my traveling hand piecing for several years because I’m a turtle rather than a hare quilter.  The rest of the quilt was machine pieced from there, a common construction style for many late 19th and early 20th century quilts. I felt like I could have been a ‘30s quilter.

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Jack in the Blocks finishes 88″ square, a nice queen size.

I can’t draw, nor do I use EQ7, but I do sketch out variations for quilts on paper.  I keep a notebook of these sketches which includes stapled-in scrap paper and design ideas from magazines and ads.  You can see some of my play sketches here:

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I like patterns that create secondary patterns and invite different levels of observation from the overall design to the individual fabrics.  The layout I decided on ties the squares together while the pinwheels replicate the “hidden” pinwheels in the center of the Jack in the Blocks block.

I had my quilt professionally quilted by Kim McAllister, who owns Stitching it Up quilt shop in Cedar City, UT.  I wanted a curvilinear, nature based pattern for the quilting as a contrast to the stark geometry of the quilt top.  Kim suggested looking at Anne Bright quilt patterns and we agreed on the Gala border-to-border design.

Gala b2b design Jack in the Blocks: A Visit with Colleen Hall Patton

jbox label Jack in the Blocks: A Visit with Colleen Hall PattonWe rejected red thread as detracting from the top’s pattern.  Without Kim, I would have chosen white thread, but by experimenting with puddles of thread on the top, a more creamy white thread was clearly a much better choice.  I appreciate how the collaboration made the quilt so much better. For the label on the back, I included a couple of patches from Jack in the Box, where I worked in high school and college.

I am not only a quilter but also a quilt researcher and a quilt collector. My interest in quilting began with family quilts like my baby quilt made by my grandmother of leftover 1930s blocks.  Though no one in my family quilted by the time I was interested in quilting, my interest eventually led to doing academic research on quilters.  My PhD dissertation is called “Quilting Between the Revivals:  The Cultural Context of Quilting 1945-1970.”  That Ruby McKim book reprint had a very long term effect!  In my dissertation, I looked at quilts in the Nevada Heritage Quilt Project, interviewed quilters who began quilting during that time, and analyzed 200 magazine articles about quilting published from 1940 to the early 1970s.

uncoverings 20160002 202x300 Jack in the Blocks: A Visit with Colleen Hall PattonOut of that research came an article published in Uncoverings 2016, the journal of the American Quilt Study Group. It’s called “Protofeminist thought in mid-twentieth century magazine articles,” and is one of six articles on quilting in that journal.  In my article, I looked at ideas about changes in women’s lives after World War II, even though those ideas weren’t explicitly identified as feminist and tied to quilting until the 1970s.  This is the book I’m offering for a giveaway contest, and I hope you’ll be interested in reading more about the ways quilt scholars have used quilts to understand women, art, and society.

-Colleen-


Thanks so much, Colleen. And thanks for providing this super prize! Leave a comment below before midnight March 5, 2017 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing. The winning name will be drawn on March 6 and notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.

WE HAVE A WINNER! CONGRATULATIONS ELIZABETH!

jackintheblocks style 300 Jack in the Blocks: A Visit with Colleen Hall PattonIf you’d like to make your own version of the Jack in the Blocks quilt, a limited number of quilt kits are available in our online shop.

If you’d prefer to use your own fabrics and don’t yet have a copy of the March/April 2017 issue of McCall’s Quilting, you can order print and digital versions in our online shop. The Jack in the Blocks quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.  

 

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