Friday Free Quilt Patterns: A String of Cheer

string of cheer Friday Free Quilt Patterns: A String of Cheer

Deck the halls with this week’s Friday FREE pattern: an adorable quilt-themed holiday banner! Designed by our managing editor Paula Stoddard, A String of Cheer features a collection of bitty quilt block tree and house ornaments. It’s a great way to you use up your stash of holiday fabrics, and it’s so quick and easy to make — the blocks are finished with a backing fabric, without batting, and the garland is made from a continuous bias strip.

StringofCheerWebBonus300 Friday Free Quilt Patterns: A String of Cheer

The finished size of each bitty quilt block is 3- 1/4″ x 3-1/4″. The banner is 61″ long.

Download the free A String of Cheer pattern here. It’s a Friday FREEbie!

Be sure to also check out the Nov/Dec 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting for more Bits of Cheer quilt block holiday ornaments.

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

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Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

DEANNE EISENMAN 0330 256x300 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne EisenmanWelcome guest blogger, quilt designer, and author, Deanne Eisenman. Deanne’s new lap quilt pattern, Pineapple Patch, combines piecing, appliqué, and Civil War reproduction prints to create a quilt with style. You’ll find this quilt in the McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016 issue. We’re happy to have Deanne here to talk about her lovely quilt and fill us in on her process! 

Hi Everyone! I am Deanne Eisenman, owner and designer for Snuggles Quilts Patterns. I design, write and market individual patterns, have written 3 books and I also lecture and teach.

I’m here as a guest blogger today to introduce you to my scrap quilt pattern, Pineapple Patch, featured in the McCall’s Quilting Nov/Dec 2016 issue. This quilt has a special place in my heart as it combines my love of scrap quilting with my other love …. needle-turn hand appliqué!

pineapplepatch600s 300x300 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

Pineapple Patch

pineapplepatch600f 297x300 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

Lap Quilt: 69½” x 69½”

The Pineapple quilt block in this quilt can be made with or without foundation piecing. In this issue, there are instructions for foundation piecing if you wish to make the blocks that

DeanneEisenman Blog1 150x150 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne EisenmanSince I did not use foundation piecing, here’s a few tips to make sure your completed quilt block measures the right size, like the quilt block shown to the right from Pineapple Patch.

This block uses a technique known as “folded-corners” or “stitch & flip.” Basically, you are laying smaller squares face down on a larger square or corner of a block, stitching diagonally, “flipping” open the small square and pressing. The key is not to alter the size
of the square you are working on once the stitch & flip is done. My rule is to measure
each unit as I go to make sure the size is correct.

We’ll start here with the completed center of the quilt block to demonstrate the folded corner:
DeanneEisenman Blog2 300x214 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the tan square:DeanneEisenman Blog3 300x213 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

Now, you will lay that square on the corner of the unit above:DeanneEisenman Blog4 300x244 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

Now, stitch on the line:
DeanneEisenman Blog5 300x216 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

The next step is usually to trim away the excess fabric in the seam allowance, but I add another step here:
I finger press the corner back as shown in the photo to make sure the corner created is in alignment with the original corner of the unit. To say it in simpler terms, with the corner pressed back, does the unit still look perfectly square and measures the same size as the original unit?
DeanneEisenman Blog6 300x175 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

If so, you can trim off the excess and press:
DeanneEisenman Blog7 300x225 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman
DeanneEisenman Blog8 300x189 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

If it doesn’t measure correctly, carefully “unsew” the seam, reposition your square and stitch. Be extra careful “unsewing” since the seam is on the bias and may distort your square.

So that’s how you make perfect “folded corner” or “stitch & flip” corners. Follow these instructions and you will end up with a perfect quilt block every time! Once you master this skill, you will fly through making all those Pineapple quilt blocks for this quilt.

Happy Quilting!

Thank you, Deanne!

Leave a comment below before midnight October 5, 2016 and you’ll be entered into the random drawing for one of two prizes: Blooming Patchwork book by Deanne Eisenman or 3 quilt patterns from Snuggles Quilts. The winning name will be drawn on October 6, 2016 and notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.
This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec. 

BloomingPatchwork 234x300 Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

GIVEAWAY 1: Blooming Patchwork Book

DeanneEisenman QuiltPatternGiveaways Pineapple Patch: A Visit with Deanne Eisenman

GIVEAWAY 2: 3 Suggles Quilts Patterns

If you’d like to make a Pineapple Patch quilt and don’t already have a copy of the McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016 issue, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The Pineapple Patch quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.

Oh, yes! Make sure to catch Deanne’s online education course on Craft University called Sew-on-the-Go with Needle-Turn Hand Appliqué. It’s a 6 lesson course that takes you through all the steps of creating a beautiful appliqué wall quilt called Bloomin’ Days. Take a closer look to learn more about it!

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“A New Spin on Drunkard’s Path” Blog Tour

 A New Spin on Drunkards Path Blog TourWelcome to Day 3 of the blog tour for John Kubiniec’s book A New Spin on Drunkard’s Path from C&T!

John has been a regular contributor to McCall’s for the past few years and we’re happy to help him celebrate the release of his beautiful new book.

In fact, we admit to feeling a little flutter of pride: we published the first in a series of John’s Drunkard’s Path quilt patterns. These quilt patterns were inspired by the 2011 “Infinite Variety” exhibit of red-and-white quilts in New York City, which he called Infinite Possibilities. (free quilt pattern for a lap-size version is available for download from our website.)  Thank you, John, for mentioning us in the Preface!

Infinite Possibilities 300px A New Spin on Drunkards Path Blog Tour

Infinite Possibilities by John Kubiniec, from McCall’s Quilting March/April 2013

You’re not alone if you notice a similarity between Infinite Possibilities and the quilt pictured on the cover of John’s book.  Although the quilt block and the use of color are the same, the quilt patterns are different. But it just goes to show, there’s an enduring appeal of that gorgeous combination that makes up two-color quilts!

In case some of you are asking, “What is a Drunkard’s Path pattern?” here is the basic quilt block or unit.

McCalls Drunkards Path unit A New Spin on Drunkards Path Blog Tour

And that’s pretty much it. Two pieces of fabric, one curved seam.

But as John shows in his book, the possibilities that lie within that basic block are pretty much infinite.

If you’re new to curved seams, it might help to see it in action. Fellow McCall’s Quilting associate editor Gigi Khalsa did this short video on sewing curved seams to demonstrate the technique used to make the Planet Block that was featured in McCall’s Quilting’s January/February 2016 Block Builders Workshop.

Blog DrunkardsPath Gigi YT A New Spin on Drunkards Path Blog Tour

I’m like Gigi — I pin a lot when I’m sewing curved seams. (I’m a firm believer that quilters should pin as much or as little as they feel they need to; there is no right or wrong way to approach it.)

But even though John only uses three pins (!) when sewing his Drunkard’s Path quilt blocks, he does use a stiletto and talks in the book about stopping to adjust the fabric and needle as necessary. This is not pedal-to-the-metal sewing here — there’s a reason you don’t see Drunkard’s Path Race quilts out there — but once you get the hang of letting the bias work for you instead of against you, I think you’ll find this type of sewing to be immensely satisfying. John’s technique instructions are excellent and accompanied by full-color photos of each step, making it a great book for quilters of all skill levels.

Here are a couple of the patterns included in the book that particularly caught my eye:

Kubiniec Nightfall 300x298 A New Spin on Drunkards Path Blog Tour

Nightfall by John Kubiniec

Isn’t Nightfall stunning? An Amish-inspired palette of mostly dark solids puts the focus on the elegant lines created by the block setting.

Kubiniec Bowties 282x300 A New Spin on Drunkards Path Blog Tour

Bowties by John Kubiniec

Meanwhile, Bowties goes full-on scrappy to an equally striking effect.

Both Nightfall and Bowties are made with the same basic block; it’s the choice of fabric and the setting of those blocks that makes for two completely different designs.

The fact that I gravitated toward two quilts made with the same technique tells me that this is a block I want to work with. When I get home I’m going to dig through my supplies — I’m pretty sure I have a set of Drunkard’s Path templates in there somewhere…

Speaking of templates, in the book John provides full-size patterns so you can make your own, although he recommends buying acrylic templates for their durability when cutting many patches for a full-size quilt pattern. He recommends Marti Michell’s 6″ template set, but notes that there are many available to choose from.

But, we want to make things easy for you, which is why we’re giving away a set of Marti Michell templates along with a copy of John’s book to one lucky reader.

 A New Spin on Drunkards Path Blog TourTo enter for your chance to win a free copy of A New Spin on Drunkard’s Path, as well as a set of Marti Michell Drunkard’s Path templates, leave a comment below by midnight MDT on Sunday, October 9, 2016.

The winning name will be drawn by October 10 and notified by email with a subject line beginning YOU WONOne entry per person, please. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec.  Winners in Canada will receive an electronic version of the book.

To follow the rest of the blog tour, visit John’s blog to view the full schedule. And thanks again, John, for inviting us to participate!

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Friday Free Quilt Pattern: Kinabalu

This week’s Friday FREEbie, Kinabalu, was selected by associate editor Gigi Khalsa for our I Love This Quilt page in the new Nov/Dec 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting. Designed by Jinny Beyer, this design lends itself well to experimentation. And just like the Malaysian mountain for which it’s named, the quilt has an unmistakable richness of color and form!

kinabalu quilt 600 Friday Free Quilt Pattern: Kinabalu

The fabrics shown here are from Jinny’s Pacific Rim collection for RJR Fabrics. In making the 36 blocks, you will first piece a complete log cabin square, then trim away the lower right-hand corner and replace it with a triangle fussy-cut from the border print.

The finished size of the lap quilt is 76-1/2″ x 76-1/2″.

Download the free Kinabalu quilt pattern here. It’s a Friday FREEbie!

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

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Gift Baskets: A Visit with Jennifer Thomas

 Gift Baskets: A Visit with Jennifer Thomas

Welcome guest blogger and quilt designer, Jennifer Thomas. Jennifer’s new quilt pattern, Gift Baskets, is a spin on the classic basket design, surrounded by a pieced border and appliquéd vines and flowers. Red quilts are fun, but why not make it a two-color quilt? Red and white quilts are always a hit and Gift Baskets is no exception. You’ll find this quilt in the McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016 issue. We’re happy to have Jennifer here to talk about her lovely quilt and fill us in on her process!

Hello there! My name is Jennifer S. Thomas and I’m so excited to be a guest blogger for McCall’s Quilting magazine today. Thank you so much for joining us. I’ll be talking about the making of my Gift Baskets quilt. The pattern for this quilt appears in the new McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016 issue.

My quilt design process often begins the old fashioned way, with graph paper and pencil. This is my original idea for the Gift Baskets quilt, still in my idea notebook, and dated May 3, 2008. Most of my quilts come into being a little faster than this one – eight years is a long time from idea to finished quilt!

JT DesignProcess 276x300 Gift Baskets: A Visit with Jennifer Thomas

Do you keep a quilt idea notebook? I’ve been doing this for the past twelve years. I use my idea notebook for sketches, written ideas, fabric swatches, an occasional photo of something that’s interesting to me, and I handwrite all my quilt patterns in my idea notebook, too. It’s fun, a history of what you’ve experienced, and a great reference tool.

As you can see, the original Gift Baskets design had many different colored baskets on a dark background, with multi-colored square sashing and borders. I made notes on my paper about alternate color schemes and border plans. Apparently, I was planning on incorporating yo-yo flowers in the outer border.

Eventually, I translated this design into EQ5 and redesigned it, playing with different design elements and color schemes. I came up with 90 different versions for the Gift Baskets quilt.

As you can see, the final design still has the same basic elements. The baskets are in the same positions, with the square sashing and border structure making up the center of the quilt.

JT QuiltAtHome Gift Baskets: A Visit with Jennifer Thomas

Gift Baskets became a two-color quilt, my first red and white quilt, something that’s been on my quilting bucket list for a long time. I used the Heritage Reds fabric line, by Paula Barnes, for Marcus Fabrics.

The baskets are sewn using the easy half square triangle method, and come together quite quickly. I used the fusible appliqué method to make the basket handles, with a tiny zigzag stitch to secure the fabric.

The appliqué outer border is my favorite part of this two-color quilt. It was my first time sewing an appliquéd border, and I was a little bit intimidated. I wasn’t completely confident and the pressures of everyday life and looming deadlines didn’t help. Sometimes the best thing to do when you are trying something new is to just begin, so I did. I did hand appliqué for the vines and stems and fusible appliqué for the flowers and leaves. I did all the appliqué for each border, attached them to the quilt, matching the vine as closely as I could, and then added one additional leaf at each vine’s join.

giftbaskets900s 300x300 Gift Baskets: A Visit with Jennifer Thomas giftbaskets900f 300x300 Gift Baskets: A Visit with Jennifer Thomas

To zigzag stitch around each fusible appliqué patch I set my machine stitch width at 2.0 and my length at 1.5. I also sewed around the edge of each patch with my machine set on the super slow “turtle” speed. It helped me to get a lovely and accurate edge finish.

I used The Warm Company’s Warm and Natural batting, plus Superior’s King Tut Sahara Desert color quilting thread to quilt the Gift Baskets quilt. I quilted a simple loopy meander over the center part of the quilt and did a single echo quilt around the appliquéd vine, leaves, and flowers in the outer border.

This quilt is so snuggly warm and perfect for winter. I’ll be sleeping underneath it as soon as the weather cools down. At 98″ x 98″, this red and white quilt’s wonderful for a king- or queen-size bed. And, who doesn’t love a bed-size quilt pattern?

I hope I’ve inspired you to sew a little today and let your creative ideas flow. It’s been fun giving you a little peek into the making of the Gift Baskets quilt. Thank you again, McCall’s Quilting, for having me as your guest today. You’re the best! To see more of my work, and keep up on what I’m doing, please visit my blog at Get Creative!

Thank you, Jennifer!

We’d love to hear from you, quilters! Leave a comment below about this lovely bed-size quilt pattern, stories of your own, or tips you have to share. It’s always fun to hear from the quilting community.

If you’d like to make this lovely two-color quilt, Gift Baskets, and don’t already have a copy of the McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016 issue, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The Good Cheer quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.

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20 Halloween Quilt Patterns

halloween quilt patterns blog 20 Halloween Quilt Patterns

Halloween is just around the corner! If you’re looking for some fun seasonal quilt patterns, McCall’s Quilting has you covered. We gathered together 20 of our all-time favorite Halloween-friendly projects in one place for you on our website — there are lots of free quilt patterns, some fabulous time-saving quilt kits and a few small fun quilty things you’ll love. You can check out a few highlights below, and click here to see the full list!

Ghoulies and Ghosties quilt 20 Halloween Quilt Patterns

Ghoulies and Ghosties

Here’s Ghoulies and Ghosties – a super fun Halloween lap quilt that is frightfully easy to make. Designed by Kelly Corbidge, the finished size of the design is 55-1/2′ x 71-1/2”. You can get the free quilt pattern here (including the full-size cat, ghost and bat templates)!

delightful spooks quilt 20 Halloween Quilt Patterns

Delightful Spooks

Designed by Debra Finan, this Delightful Spooks hexagon quilt is so cozy, and the design is perfect for 2-1/2”-wide pre-cut strips. Finished size is 60” x 72”. A kit is available!

trick and treat pillow 20 Halloween Quilt Patterns

Trick & Treat Boo Pillow

This free 12″ x 24″ Trick & Treat Boo pillow pattern designed by Nannette Holmberg will have your home Halloween-ready in no time. Download the free pattern here.

Check out the Halloween Quilt Patterns, Kits and More page on our website for more.

Happy Halloween Quilting!

Posted in Free Quilt Patterns, Quilting Inspiration | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Gather ‘Round

Gather ’round, quilting friends: you aren’t going to want to miss this week’s Friday FREEbie! This fun and festive Gather ‘Round ensemble includes a coordinating table runner, placemats and napkins. It’s cute and quick to make, and you’ll love displaying it in your home this holiday season — especially when your family and friends are gathered around the table. You could even use the pattern to make more as special holiday gifts.

Gather Round Quilt blog Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Gather Round

The ensemble was designed by Sarah Price of It’s Sew Emma, and our step-by-step instructions will guide you in making a table runner, four placemats and four napkins.

The table runner finishes at 14 1/2″ x 41 1/2″, while the placemats finish at 14 1/2″ x 21 1/2″ each and the napkins at 18″ x 18″ each. The festive prints used on the sample are from the Holiday Dreams collection designed by Debra Grogan for RJR Fabrics.

Download the FREE Gather ‘Round table ensemble pattern here.

By the way, this ensemble is featured in our November/December ’16 issue of McCall’s. Be sure to check out this brand new edition for more seasonal quilting inspiration!

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

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Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016!

MCA1612 Cover500 223x300 Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016!Hot off the press - it’s the McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016 issue! This is a fun one as we step into the chillier seasons and get ready for the holidays. It’s a busy time for quilters and, with outstanding quilt patterns and projects to choose from, starting on our quilts early is a must! Luckily, this issue hits newsstands on September 27 (although, digital copies are available now), so you’ll be able to pick your favorite projects and get started with time to spare.

Fall designs, appliqué quilts and Christmas stockings, quilted ornaments, and Flying Geese are just some of the offerings you’ll find in this issue. If you’re looking for easy quilts to make, you’ll find them here. Something a bit more challenging? We have those, too! Really, there’s something for everyone.

Mayberry Bough is a cheery holiday throw quilt that you can use to deck your halls this season. This quilt is perfect for all quilters: confident beginners and seasoned quilters alike. With red and green Hunter’s Star quilt blocks, this quilt was made to impress. Familiarity with paper piecing quilts is needed for this quilt pattern, so make sure to visit our website for a free quilting lesson download!

mayberrybough600s 300x300 Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016! mayberrybough600f 249x300 Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016!

Two of our favorite things combine to make Pineapple Patch, a gorgeous quilt using Civil War reproduction prints: piecing and appliqué! 25 Pineapple quilt blocks come together to make a striking design. Do you see the appliquéd flowers? They frame in the Pineapple blocks perfectly and a triple border brings it all together. Use the stitch-and-flip technique to put these quilt blocks together, if it suits you! Plus, designer Deanne Eisenman used foundation piecing for crisp edges and corners. Feel free to visit our website for a free quilting lesson download in paper piecing!

pineapplepatch600s 300x300 Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016! pineapplepatch600f 297x300 Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016!

How about an autumn quilt to warm us up during the cooler months? Leaves in fall colors flutter and fly across the surface of this quilt and it is stunning! A confident beginner will complete the Harvest Bounty quilt with pride and joy and seasoned quilters will approach this quilt pattern with a bit of whimsy. As you can see, these are traditional quilt blocks with a twist! Small-scale prints play well off of one another and the color palette is unmistakably seasonal. This bed-size project just might be your first choice — you’ll get plenty of ooohs and aaaahs from guests and visitors.

harvestbounty600s 300x300 Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016! harvestbounty600f 300x297 Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016!

It’s fun to have another project in the works in addition to throw and bed-size quilt patterns, like this adorable Christmas stocking. Stocking Blossoms features appliquéd Dresdens posing as festive flowers, which are the focus of this Christmas treat. One is fun, but one for everyone in the household is a party! Everyone is going to want their own, so get ready to quilt some stockings!

stockingblossoms600s 300x300 Hot Off The Press: McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016!

Are you as excited as we are about this issue? Order the print issue, instant download of the digital issue of this magazine, or better yet, subscribe to McCall’s Quilting and never miss an issue!

After spending time with this issue, we hope you’ll take our reader issue survey; your answers help fill future issues of McCall’s Quilting with the quilts and projects you love. And, when you complete your quilts from this issue, take some photos and share them with us on the McCall’s Quilting Facebook page. We love to see our readers’ work

Enjoy the upcoming seasons and have fun quilting!

Warm regards,
The McCall’s Quilting Staff




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I Love This Quilt! Kinabalu

Do you love this quilt too? Jinny Beyer’s design uses value, color and print in such an interesting way to make a unique quilt full of movement. I was curious to see how I could interpret this pattern in my own way, using the technical guidelines as written, but ending up with a quilt that looks totally different. Let’s see how I did! But first, here’s a reminder of what the original Kinabalu quilt looks like, which is available for download as a free quilt pattern.

Kinabalu 300px I Love This Quilt! Kinabalu

Kinabalu by Jinny Beyer


I started with fabric selection first, of course, deciding upon cream and tan prints for the lights and various shades of blue for the darks. The fun thing about making this quilt was deciding to use lots of prints with metallic accents. Many quilters (or at least many in this office) don’t care for the metallic prints very much, but I love the warmth and sparkle they have so I thought it would be fun to throw as many as possible in the mix. I briefly considered reversing the values for the block for a way different look, but I had way more light fabric than dark fabric, so that decided that for me and I went with a similar value placement to the original quilt. I pulled all the fabrics from my stash and got started cutting.

photo1 fabric selection I Love This Quilt! Kinabalu

Fabric selection. I’ve got creams, ivories, tans, golds and all shades of blue dusted with sparkly silver and gold. That dark fabric at the top is going to be a wide border.

I cut strips for the blocks exactly as written in the pattern, just substituting my scrappy fabrics for the planned prints in the pattern. The first major change I made to the blocks was to use a pale silver print for the center square (technically that square is not in the center but you know what I mean) instead of the contrasting dark square that Jinny used. This gives the block a more subtle effect since the silver acts as a step in the gradient from cream to light blue.

You’ll also notice in the original quilt that Jinny added a sage-colored triangle to one corner of her block. It’s hard to tell from the quilt photo above, but this triangle is fussy cut from a border print. I didn’t want to do that, but I was happy to do a simpler stitch-and-flip triangle on the corners. It would be a perfect place for a cool solid gold texture fabric that I just love. I drew a line intersecting the dark corner seam, then measured along the seam allowance to figure out what size to cut the squares for stitch-and-flip.

photo2 corner measurement I Love This Quilt! Kinabalu

Scrappy log cabin variation block. I figured out what size to cut squares for stitch-and-flip, rather than fussy cutting triangles for the block corners.

You can see in the photo above that the corner square should finish at 1 1/4″, so I cut the corner squares for stitch-and-flip at 1 3/4″. I had enough fabric to do another stitch-and-flip on the light block corner, so I cut those squares just a bit larger at 2 1/4″. I’ll show photos of the whole stitch-and-flip process—not because you don’t know how to do it, but because it’s an opportunity for me to show the variety of scrappy blocks. They’re similar to one another but also completely different.

photo3 corner squares I Love This Quilt! Kinabalu

Corner squares have been marked diagonally, then stitched to two of the blocks corners.

After the marked squares are stitched to the corners, the seam allowance is trimmed to 1/4″.

photo4 trimmed corners I Love This Quilt! Kinabalu

Trim the seam allowance!

Then the triangles are pressed! What a great technique. So easy, so fun and it looks really cool as you can see below!

photo5 corners pressed I Love This Quilt! Kinabalu

Solid gold corners! They blend into the background surface a bit in this photo, but just wait.

So once I got done with all the blocks, I got to arrange them on my design wall. I started the center of my quilt the same way that Jinny did.

photo6 center blocks I Love This Quilt! Kinabalu

Dark block corners in the center. I wish they were sewn together too.

But then! I arranged the rest of my blocks differently. It has a calm, almost serene look to it, very different from the original energetic design. I just have to sew the blocks and rows together and the quilt center will be done.

photo7 quilt top I Love This Quilt! Kinabalu

All the blocks arranged on the design wall. What a difference!

It’s a completely different quilt! I do plan to do a border or two, so after I sew to center together I can come back and show you what I plan to do next. I still love the original quilt, but this version is pretty lovable too, I think!

We get a lot of requests for scrappy quilt patterns. In making this quilt I was reminded how pretty much every quilt pattern can be made scrappy by creative interpretation of the patterns fabric requirements. There is no reason that “Specific red floral print” can’t become “Lots of assorted red prints, floral or otherwise” if that’s what you want to do. When I make patterns from other designers, I like to challenge myself to switch up the pattern in several ways so even though I’m making a quilt from someone else’s pattern, I still end up with an original, one-of-a-kind quilt. I’d encourage anyone to try the same approach, it can be so fun.

When selecting fabrics for scrappy quilts, the main thing to look at is value, instead of color or print. This sounds backwards, but it’s true! I had to think a lot about value for this quilt since there are five rounds of strips for each color, so I divided each color family of my fabrics into 5 groups, separated by value. But within each value of the blues, for example, I used greenish hues, grayish hues, purplish hues, and even black in the darker groups. Since they’re close in value, it works. But if you’re indiscriminate about value, then the final composition can lack cohesiveness since the eye keeps moving from light to dark areas. For the same reason it’s a good idea to keep the scale of prints similar, though I like to throw in a few larger scale prints here and there for fun.

One recommendation I have, specific to this pattern, is to chain piece everything! Cut out all patches beforehand, and sew all the blocks assembly style, without cutting thread in between blocks. For many quilters this might be second nature, but if it’s not your habit to work this way, try it for this pattern. It’s so much more efficient and this block, while easy, is pretty labor-intensive so it will make construction much more efficient. I’ve been chain piecing on evenings and weekends like a maniac for the past month and I just finished the blocks yesterday. This is not a quick finish, so every little bit of efficiency helps.

I hope you love this quilt as much as I do, and that you’ll try a version of your own! Stay tuned for an update about the borders soon, and thanks for joining us on the McCall’s editor’s blog!

Posted in Color Inspirations, Gigi Khalsa, McCall's Quilting Issues, Quilting Community, Quilting Inspiration, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Holly and Ivy (Sky Garden)

Happy Friday, quilters!

Your Friday FREEbie pattern this week is a beautiful baby quilt that was adapted from the Holly and Ivy quilt featured in our new November/December 2016 issue of McCalls.

Designed by Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton of Tailomade by Design, this smaller Sky Garden version of their original extra-long twin size quilt is simply delightful. It’s fun to piece and fast enough to have ready for the next baby shower.

SkyGarden Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Holly and Ivy (Sky Garden)

Holly and Ivy (Sky Garden) finishes at 47” x 47” and is ideal for advanced beginners. It is shown here in lovely fabric from the Desert Bloom collection by Riley Blake Designs.

Download the free Holly and Ivy (Sky Garden) quilt pattern here. It’s a Friday FREEbie!

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

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