Strawberries and Cream: A Visit with Kathy Flowers

Flowers Kathy 225px Strawberries and Cream: A Visit with Kathy FlowersMeet guest blogger, quilt designer, and author Kathy Flowers of Pieces of Dreams Quilt Designs. Kathy’s Strawberries & Cream lap quilt is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine. Read on, and don’t miss the fabric giveaway at the bottom of the page!

 

My love of fabric started while I was in high school. I made many of my own dresses, skirts, and jackets and when my daughter was born, I began making her clothes too. I was introduced to quilting and made my first quilt, a small doll quilt for my daughter, in 1974. I began designing my own quilts in 2010 and sold my designs through a local quilt shop. My first design was published in McCall’s Quick Quilts in 2012.

I design using both quilting cottons and wool appliqué. Sometimes I mix the two. When starting a new design , I sometimes start with a block in mind and sometimes a fabric calls my name. EQ (Electric Quilt software) is my best friend when designing a traditional quilt. My wool appliqué quilts are sketched by hand.

Design wall 400px Strawberries and Cream: A Visit with Kathy Flowers

When designing Strawberries & Cream, I started with a simple block and used it in three sizes.  I used two block sizes in the center and a third smaller block in the border.

 

 

 

I love two-color quilts and turned to my fabric stash to see what I could find.  With red being the dominant color in my stash at that time, I began by auditioning many fabrics at once.  Two colors were chosen, with the  darker mottled red from a Christmas line and the small red/cream print fabric from a reproduction line.

Auditioning 225px Strawberries and Cream: A Visit with Kathy FlowersAuditioning B 225px Strawberries and Cream: A Visit with Kathy Flowers

 

Design wall detail 400px Strawberries and Cream: A Visit with Kathy FlowersI use my design wall to display the quilt blocks as I sew. Although I use EQ to design, it is not unusual for me to make changes to a pattern as I sew. I place all the blocks on the wall until I’m sure I’m satisfied with the layout.

 

Border option 400px Strawberries and Cream: A Visit with Kathy Flowers

 

 

Once the quilt center is sewn in rows, I audition border designs. I tend to play with border designs, sometimes for several days until I find the one that frames the quilt nicely.

I love designing my own quilts!  It’s a great feeling knowing my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will never be cold!

 

 

 

 

Strawberries and Cream 600px Strawberries and Cream: A Visit with Kathy FlowersMy first book, Oh Glory, will be released by Martingale in May 2016.  The book was created to honor the memory of my father, a WWII veteran.

Kathy

Thanks so much, Kathy! If you’d like to make the Strawberries & Cream lap quilt and don’t yet have a copy of the September/October 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting, you can purchase print and digital copies of the magazine here, or download the pattern separately  from our online shop.

giveaway 300px Strawberries and Cream: A Visit with Kathy Flowers

 

To celebrate the release of Strawberries & Cream, Kathy is giving away a pack of fat quarters from the Simply Colorful II collection by V and Co. for Moda over on her Facebook page. Follow this link to enter for a chance to win!

 

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Patriotic Quilts and Bonus Projects – FREE!

Patterson Kathy 225px 150x150 Patriotic Quilts and Bonus Projects   FREE!Patriotic quilts are among the most popular designs we publish! There’s something so refreshing about a red, white, and blue color palette. And familiar patriotic motifs like stars, stripes, and the good old USA make these patriotic quilt patterns true sentimental favorites. If you’re a fan of patriotic quilts as we are here at McCall’s Quilting, you’re going to LOVE this free eBook!

Cover 500px1 Patriotic Quilts and Bonus Projects   FREE!

July 4 cropped 400px Patriotic Quilts and Bonus Projects   FREE!

 

We’ve gathered patterns for every skill level here, so any quilter can add a pop of patriotic color to their quilt collection. If you’re just starting out in quilting, or in a bit of a hurry, the July 4th Gathering quilt pattern is a fast, easy way to showcase simple star blocks in a nice picnic-size throw. This pattern even includes bonus directions for making optional place mats, napkins, and napkin rings – a complete ensemble!

 

Nautically Nice FLAT 300px Patriotic Quilts and Bonus Projects   FREE!

 

Nautically Nice is a classic lap quilt pattern that will appeal to quilters with a bit more experience and time to invest in a project. The Flock of Birds Blocks require accurate  piecing, and will reward you with a lovely scrappy quilt that’s an instant heirloom. The
pieced border with its sassy stripes and adorable Checkerboard Blocks elevates this design from traditional to on-trend.

 

 

Born 300px Patriotic Quilts and Bonus Projects   FREE!

 

For quilters of any skill level looking for a fun quilt making romp, the Born in the USA wall quilt pattern is a perfect choice. With easy piecing and just a touch of fast fusible appliqué, you can have this cute quilt ready to hang in time for the Labor Day festivities. Plus you’ll make a dent in your red, white, and blue fabric scraps!

 

 

 

Red, white, and blue quilts are perfect to display on national holidays, make for someone serving in the military, take to a picnic in the park, or even  serve as the inspiration piece for an entire room’s decorating. We’re proud to present  these patriotic projects, and hope you’ll proudly display any you choose to make your own.

Download your free Patriotic Quilt Patterns eBook today…it’s a $9.99 value and signing up for the free download will automatically subscribe you to our free biweekly newsletter, McQ News. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time, but we hope you’ll stick around for all our magazine previews, contests and giveaways, free quilt patterns, and more.

Now let’s make some patriotic quilts!

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Tuesday Tutorials: Machine Quilting a Pretty Background Fill

Patterson Kathy 225px 150x150 Tuesday Tutorials: Machine Quilting a Pretty Background FillMachine quilting patterns for beginners don’t have to be just straight lines or meanders. In fact, simple, attractive free-motion “fill” patterns can be easier to stitch than trying to go in-the-ditch with a walking foot. There is less precision involved, and there are more options for getting out of tight spaces or correcting course in other ways as you go.

Most quilters want to know more about how to machine quilt…it’s one of the most-requested topics in every survey we conduct! Whether you want to improve your machine quilting skills on a domestic sewing machine, a dedicated sit-down quilting machine like the Handi-Quilter Sweet Sixteen, or a longarm machine, basic background fill patterns are always the same. Keeping the design simple and repetitive is the way to go in machine quilting for beginners.

In my opinion, there’s no better way to learn simple machine quilting than to watch someone skilled do it, and then practice, practice, practice on your own. Erin Russek taped a short video awhile back for us, demonstrating a paisley quilting design that anyone can master. The camera follows her carefully as she navigates in and out of small spaces and fills open areas with this pretty design.

Erin Tuesday Tutorials: Machine Quilting a Pretty Background FillWatch Erin’s free video now…it’s this week’s Tuesday Tutorial! And then layer yourself a sample quilt sandwich and practice. This design is so simple, you’ll be stitching it smoothly in no time!

If you’d like to make the London Roads Block as shown in the video, the cutting instructions for the patches, etc. are given on the Block Builders Workshop page in the July/August 2014 issue of McCall’s Quilting (available as an instant digital download).

Remember you can access any of our free how-to-quilt lessons any time day or night—click here to see the full selectionAnd don’t miss any of our Tuesday Tutorials—see them all right here.

 

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic Hearts

Patterson Kathy 225px 150x150 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic HeartsSometimes you look at a quilt and immediately know it’s from a scrap quilt pattern. Other times, a quilt’s scrappiness is not as apparent. The maker has grouped the scrappy assortment of fabrics by color or value and given the scrap quilt a more cohesive look. Such is the case in one of my favorite McCall’s Quilting scrap quilt patterns, Rustic Hearts by our associate editor Sherri Bain Driver.

Rustic Hearts 600px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic HeartsFans of country style will agree with me…this is an absolutely adorable quilt! Sherri’s use of scrappy assortments of red, cream/tan, black, and gold fabric groups takes what could have been a just-nice design to an entirely new level of interest and depth.

Rustic Hearts FLAT 600px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic HeartsThis free quilt pattern also lends itself well to different colorations. Imagine substituting assorted navy fabrics for the blacks and red/white/blue prints for the golds…instant quilt pattern for a gift for a veteran or member of the Armed Services! Or how about a pink, white, and red color scheme for a little girl’s quilt? The possibilities are endless.

Anyone you love will be thrilled to receive this sweet lap quilt as a gift. Download the FREE Rustic Hearts lap quilt pattern now…it’s a Friday FREEbie.

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

 

If you love hearts, you’ll enjoy these other heartfelt quilt designs:

DPMQP1410 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic HeartsDPMQP150411 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic HeartsDPMQP150415 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic Hearts

DPQQP141101 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic HeartsDPQQP150510 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic HeartsDPQQP150102 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Rustic Hearts

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Pressed Leaves: A Visit with Tonya Alexander

Alexander Tonya Pressed Leaves: A Visit with Tonya AlexanderMeet guest blogger, quilt designer, and author Tonya Alexander of  Eye Candy Quilts. Tonya’s table runner quilt, Pressed Leaves, is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.

Hi there! My name is Tonya Alexander and I have the pleasure of being a guest blogger today at McCall’s Quilting. Thanks for stopping by. One of my favorite projects is the “Pressed Leaves” table runner. It even makes a mini debut on the magazine cover! I was so excited to see that. Not only because I love the project itself, but because I love the scraps I was able to incorporate in it.

Cover 500px 221x300 Pressed Leaves: A Visit with Tonya AlexanderIf you’re anything like me, when you really love a fabric, you love to use it, and have a hard time throwing away even the smallest remaining scrap. I have a few (a-hem) of these laying around in my sewing room. This is a great project to pull together a variety of your favorite scraps in beautiful fall colors for a fun and easy project that you can enjoy on your table every day.  My stash is full of brights and I think they work well with a great neutral print (I chose a text print from the Story collection by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics).

text print Pressed Leaves: A Visit with Tonya Alexander

 

 

As a kid, did you ever bring in brightly colored fall leaves from outside and press them between sheets of newsprint or waxed paper to make them super-flat for art projects? I remember doing that! Not sure how my mom felt about it, but I hope the newsprint protected her iron. That was the original inspiration for this project as a Thanksgiving hostess gift for my sister. I loved it so much I ended up making three: one for her, one for my mom and one for me – I couldn’t resist!

Leaf Blocks Pressed Leaves: A Visit with Tonya AlexanderNow let’s talk quilting. The quilting I chose on my project is kind of a modern take on echo quilting. It’s easy and quick and can be done using the walking foot on your machine. The best part – you only have to make one mark! After that you just use the width of the machine foot and follow – or echo – the original curved line, back and forth across the whole quilting surface. Here’s a photo showing the single, gently curving line I marked on my finished top after basting.

Runner Pressed Leaves: A Visit with Tonya AlexanderThe first step after marking, is to stitch directly on the marked line, following the curve of the leaves as they go from end to end. On the next pass, go in the opposite direction and use the presser foot to roughly measure the distance to the next line. Keep alternating your stitching direction on each pass to avoid pulling or distorting your top. As you get closer to the edges, the lines will start to fall off the sides on the curves. Keep going, back and forth until the whole surface is covered. Easy, quick and fun – what can be better than that?!

 

 

Pressed Leaves 600px Pressed Leaves: A Visit with Tonya AlexanderI love summer but I am really looking forward to this fall.  I have my first book being published by Martingale in October 2015. It’s called Stash Lab: Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts. It features some of my “equations” for working with scraps in your stash to make great quilts that you will love – to make for someone special or keep for yourself. “Pressed Leaves” is a good example of one of these equations I like to use, which is: Neutrals + Scraps = Balance. No scary math here – just fun quilting projects!Book cover Pressed Leaves: A Visit with Tonya Alexander

So I hope you can make time for yourself, pull out some of your favorite scraps, and give my project a try. I would love to see a picture of your finished project. You can find me on Facebook @Tonya Alexander Quilts or on my blog, eyecandyquilts.blogspot.com.

Happy fall stash quilting!

Tonya

Thanks so much, Tonya! If you’d like to make the Pressed Leaves table runner quilt and don’t yet have a copy of the September/October 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting, you can purchase print and digital copies of the magazine here, or download the pattern separately  from our online shop. Quilt kits, which include backing fabric, are also available.

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Log Cabin Quilts: A Designer’s Dilemma

Patterson Kathy 225px 150x150 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers DilemmaLog Cabin quilts have been on my mind, as well as my design wall, lately. A year ago when I moved into my new-to-me house, I decided to furnish the guest room with a pair of twin beds. The theory is that this maximizes the options for who can comfortably stay with me…a couple could manage, but it would also work for my little niece and nephew, for example.

I’ve never made a PAIR of quilts before, but that’s what I set out to do. The room is painted a nice soft lavender, and I decided I wanted the quilts to coordinate with each other, but not be exactly the same (mostly because I figured I’d get very bored if I made 2 identical quilts).

I came up with a log cabin quilt pattern with a 6 x 8 block setting and started making blocks. Log cabin quilt patterns deserve their immense popularity for lots of reasons, but my main one was because I knew that identical sets of blocks could be arranged in many different ways for very different final looks. My two quilts would match in terms of blocks, which would help me make good time on the piecing, but be quite different in their layouts.

That’s all well and good, but now that my blocks are almost complete, it’s time to decide on which two of the possible unlimited number of layouts I’m going to use! Here’s where I need some help. I’ve been playing around in Electric Quilt 7 software and I’ve come up with versions of all the most common Log Cabin Quilt layouts, plus a few more from my own head. Will you help me decide on two to use? Just leave a comment below with the names of the two you prefer. Once my quilt tops are finished, I’ll add photos of them here so you can see how they turned out.

Thanks in advance…I can’t wait to see which layouts get the most votes!

Straight set 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Straight Set

Fields and Furrows 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Fields and Furrows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine and Shadows 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Sunshine and Shadows

Sunshine and Shadows Reversed 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Sunshine and Shadows Reversed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Streak of Lightening or Zigzag 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Streak of Lightning or Zigzag

Pinwheels 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Pinwheels

 

 

 

 

Around the Block 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Around the Block

 

Pyramids 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Pyramids

Medallion OOPS 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Medallion – see the mistake? Yikes!

Log Cabin Star 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Log Cabin Star

Escalators 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Escalators

Chevron 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Chevron

Broken Zigzag 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Broken Zigzag

Barn Raising 225x300 Log Cabin Quilts: A Designers Dilemma

Barn Raising

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Tuesday Tutorials: Fussy-Cutting Fabric Motifs

Patterson Kathy 225px 150x150 Tuesday Tutorials: Fussy Cutting Fabric MotifsSometimes a design printed on fabric is just so wonderful we don’t want to cut it up for our patchwork. In instances like this, fussy-cutting can be a very creative option for quilters.

 

 

Block Tuesday Tutorials: Fussy Cutting Fabric MotifsIn fussy-cutting, fabric patches are carefully cut to showcase a particular design element in the print. In the block at left, the center square features a pretty flower motif that was fussy-cut from an allover print.

 

block with temp plastic Tuesday Tutorials: Fussy Cutting Fabric MotifsFussy-cutting is an easy skill to master, and we’ve got a short, FREE video loaded with tips to get you started. Learn how to use template plastic to get well-placed fussy-cut motifs, and even ideas for how to use the inevitable fabric scraps left over from fussy-cutting.

Watch this fun video now…it’s a Tuesday Tutorial!

Remember you can access any of our free how-to-quilt lessons any time day or night—click here to see the full selectionAnd don’t miss any of our Tuesday Tutorials—see them all right here.

If you’d like to make the Shoo Fly Block as shown in the video, the cutting instructions for the patches, etc. are given on the Block Builders Workshop page in the October/November 2013 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts (available and ON SALE now as an instant digital download).

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Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Moon and Stars

Patterson Kathy 225px 150x150 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Moon and StarsAre you ready for the Blue Moon tonight? In honor of this rare celestial event, this week’s Friday Freebie is Moon and Stars, a unique antique quilt pattern originally featured in an issue of McCall’s Quilting Vintage Quilts. Even if you’re not planning to make your own version right now, this is a free quilt pattern you’ll want to download for your personal library if only for historical interest!

Moon and Stars FLAT 550px Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Moon and Stars

The Moon and Stars quilt pattern finishes 66 1/2″ x 88″

Moon and Stars was made by Harriet Ellen Cox of Basque County, Texas, in 1896. The information with the quilt credited “Grandpa Cox and Mrs. Bartec, a friend” with the hand quilting. Although the original quilt was meticulously hand-pieced from templates, our modern pattern has you appliqué the orange shapes to the navy background pieces, a real time-saver.

Download the FREE Moon and Stars vintage quilt pattern now…it’s a Friday FREEbie.

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

 

And just for fun, here are a few more moon-themed quilt projects. Enjoy!

MQK15065 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Moon and Stars      DPQMP1433 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Moon and Stars              DPMQ1441 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Moon and Stars

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Stripe Love: A Visit with Beth Shibley

Shibley Beth 200px Stripe Love: A Visit with Beth ShibleyWelcome guest blogger and quilt designer Beth Shibley of Love Laugh Quilt! Beth’s quilt, Stripe Love, is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine. Beth writes:

Stripe Love 300px Stripe Love: A Visit with Beth Shibley

 

I used the hour glass block (also called mitered boxes) with striped fabric to make this fun quilt. The photo at right is in the magazine, but I also snapped a shot of my finished quilt top before it was layered, quilted, or bound.

quilt on grass 550px Stripe Love: A Visit with Beth Shibley

The top is done and ready to quilt and bind!

Some blocks I used the same striped fabric and some I used TWO different fabrics. I used the same teal green solid fabric in each of the scrappy hour glass blocks around the outside of this quilt. I think it makes a great frame!

Stripe Love FLAT 500px Stripe Love: A Visit with Beth Shibley

The Stripe Love quilt pattern finishes 60 1/2″ x 80 1/2″, a generous lap size.

I have a big stash of striped fabrics that includes some recycled shirts. It’s fun to find cotton stripes hanging in the thrift store! icon wink Stripe Love: A Visit with Beth Shibley After a good wash and some dissection…..they are ready to be added into my quilts.

Beth

Thanks so much, Beth! If you’d like to make the Stripe Love quilt and don’t yet have a copy of the September/October 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting, you can purchase print and digital copies of the magazine here.

We will have fat quarter packs of striped fabrics perfect for this design available in our online shop in just a few days. Check here for availability.

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Tuesday Tutorials: Precision Piecing

Patterson Kathy 225px 150x150 Tuesday Tutorials: Precision PiecingPrecise piecing can be a tough sell in these days of fast, easy, really fast, simple, faster-than-fast quilt making. With our busy lives, we all love quick, basic quilt patterns that require no more precision than aiming for a 1/4″ seam allowance. But what about when you’re challenging yourself…when you’re ready to attempt a more complicated pieced quilt or block design?

Precision Pathways Block 300px 22235 Tuesday Tutorials: Precision Piecing

The Precision Pathways Block finishes 12″ square.

 

The January/February 2014 issue of McCall’s Quilting featured one such block, Precision Pathways, and it caused me to scour the quilting world for tips for precise piecing in order to get a handle on it. There are 160 patches in that 12″ block. The need for precision was obvious!

Some of the tips I found were what you’d expect, but some really taught me a something new and I tried to focus on those as I made my sample blocks.

Mark stitching lines carefully Tuesday Tutorials: Precision Piecing

Marking sewing lines, rather than relying on your 1/4″ sewing machine foot, can improve accuracy.

When you trim dog ears is as important as how Tuesday Tutorials: Precision Piecing

WHEN you trim dog ears can be just as important as how you do it!

Measure units as you go Tuesday Tutorials: Precision Piecing

Take measuring units for accuracy seriously and your precision will soar!

Trim after pressing Tuesday Tutorials: Precision Piecing

Pressing first and then trimming can improve your results.

I taped a short (less than 8 minutes) video demonstrating some of these tips and this week’s Tuesday Tutorial is that video, Precise Piecing Tips!

If you’d like to make the Precision Pathways Block as shown in the video, the cutting instructions for the patches, etc. are given on the Block Builders Workshop page in the January/February 2014 issue of McCall’s Quilting (available as an instant digital download).

And if you’d like to know more about precision piecing, I recommend any book, video, or workshop by Sally Collins. She is the guru of precision piecing, and I guarantee you’ll learn a LOT!

Remember you can access any of our free how-to-quilt lessons any time day or night—click here to see the full selectionAnd don’t miss any of our Tuesday Tutorials—see them all right here.

Quilters who care about accuracy will love the scissors featured in the video. Havel’s scissors have micro-serrated blades to prevent slipping and ensure accurate cuts. Check them out in our online shop!

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