Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

PatBochey ProfilePic 294x300 Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia BocheyWelcome guest blogger, quilt designer, and longarm quilter, Patricia Bochey. Pat’s new quilt pattern, Hot Toddy, uses small, easy-to-piece quilt blocks that come together to create a vibrant, welcoming table decoration for your holiday entertaining. It’s a stunning design! You’ll find this quilt in the McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016 issue. We’re happy to have Pat here to talk about her journey from scraps to table runner quilt pattern!

Hello! My name is Pat Bochey, I am a quiltmaker, longarm quilter, and author of Lemon Tree Snippets (my blog). I am also an Island Batik Ambassador and love working with their bright batik fabrics. I’m very excited to be a guest blogger for McCall’s Quilting today! I’m going to share a little bit about my design process, the tools I use, and how I created the Hot Toddy quilt pattern that is featured in the McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016 issue.

HotToddy 1500s 300x300 Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

Hot Toddy Quilt

HotToddy 1500f 115x300 Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

Hot Toddy Quilt

How many of you have made quilts and found that you have units left over? I’m sure that all of us have these stashed away “to do something with later,” right? That’s good, because that is how Hot Toddy was designed. I had just finished another quilt, and was cleaning up, when I realized I had a few leftover segments.

The quilt blocks I was making were stars called Card Basket stars, and I had made a few too many center units. These leftover sections were lined up side-by-side on my pressing table, and I liked them that way!

CardBasket Block 292x300 Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

Card Basket Quilt Block

CardBasketUnit 300x231 Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

Card Basket Center Units

Segments 300x203 Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

I use Adobe design software for work and for play, so I opened up Adobe Illustrator and created a sketch to match the leftover segments. I drew each of the smaller units to a 4″ scale and filled them in with color. Soon, I had sketched what I needed to work with.

FirstDraft 113x300 Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

From here, I began to position them in different arrangements, until I found one that was just right. Sometimes, when designing a pattern, it takes several tries until you find you like what you see. In this case, my first draft was a little too complicated. I wanted to simplify the design, so I kept going.

After I found the right configuration, I found some holiday fabrics in my stash to work with. I created swatch files in Illustrator and recolored the draft so that I could get a better idea of how the design would look in different colors. For this first table topper, I used Ho! Ho! Ho! by Moda.

I created several different versions and the design was starting to come together in various sizes:

Screen1 600Cropped Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

The last step in creating a pattern is to make it! I enjoy the cutting and sewing as much as I enjoy using the Adobe Illustrator program. I gathered my supplies and got to work at the machine. And in just a few hours, I had finished my first Hot Toddy.

FirstCut 255x300 Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

TriplePlay 300x176 Hot Toddy: A Visit with Patricia Bochey

Triple Play (Right: Hot Toddy)

Thank you, Pat!

If you’d like to make a Hot Toddy table topper 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 Hot Toddy quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.

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Letter Blocks Are Wonderful – Even at Half-Size

Have you had a chance to check out the new December/January 2017 issue of Quick Quilts? If you haven’t, it’s available at Quilt & Sew Shop in digital or physical format. What a festive cover!

QQ11216 Letter Blocks Are Wonderful   Even at Half Size

McCall’s Quick Quilts December/January 2017

The reason I’m asking if you’ve seen it is because there is a pattern featured in the magazine that has really captured the imagination of everyone in the office here. It’s even mentioned on the cover! It’s called Best Day Ever, and here is a picture of it.

DPQQP170109 2 Letter Blocks Are Wonderful   Even at Half Size

Best Day Ever, designed by Kathryn Simel

We all thought this was such a cute and fun pattern, and we also thought it would be nice to provide patterns for the rest of the alphabet for free download, too. Because people might want to spell out all kinds of different things, and we are invested in facilitating quilters’ creativity. When the entire alphabet’s patterns were complete, we had an informal staff challenge to make our own letter quilts saying whatever we would like. For example, here’s Lori’s version. I wanted to make a quilt that could be relevant to anyone who looked at it – a message to everyone, everywhere. Here’s what I came up with.

wonderful Letter Blocks Are Wonderful   Even at Half Size

I made it for you!

It’s for you! It’s true!

What you may not be able to tell from the photo however, is that I reduced the size of the letters by half. The original blocks are relatively big—they finish at 6″ x 10.5″. Well, if I spelled out WONDERFUL at that size, it would be about 5 feet long and where the heck would i put that anyway? So, I decided to make the blocks half-size, to finish at 3″ x 5.25″, and I figured others might like to know how i went about it.

The main thing to remember about reducing or enlarging block size, whatever shapes are involved, is to SUBTRACT THE SEAM ALLOWANCE FIRST, before dividing or multiplying to change size. Then, when your re-sizing calculations are complete, ADD THE SEAM ALLOWANCE BACK ON AT THE VERY END. I’ll give you an example.

This is the letter B as provided in the pattern.

B pattern Letter Blocks Are Wonderful   Even at Half Size

The letter B

For the long rectangle on the left of the B, this is what to do. Subtract the seam allowance from the width and height of the rectangle (2.5 x 11) – (.5 each)=2″ x 10.5″. Then divide each dimension in half (2 x 10.5) / (2 each)=1″ x 5.25″. Then, add the seam allowance back (1 x 5.25) + (.5 each)=1.5″ x 5.75″, which will be the cutting size for the left rectangle. Then you do the same thing for each and every patch in the block. Let’s try another one.

The rectangle at the very top is cut at 2.5″ x 4.5″, with a 2.5″ square that is sewn on using the Stitch & Flip technique. So for the rectangle, we’ll subtract the seam allowance first, giving us 2 x 4. Then we’ll divide that in half, giving us 1 x 2. Then we add the seam allowance back, giving us 1.5″ x 2.5″ for the new cut size. For the square, subtract .5 seam allowance from 2.5 to get 2. Divide 2 in half to get 1. Add the seam allowance to get the new cut size, which will be 1.5″ square. And so on.

If you want to double the size, it’s the exact same idea just multiply the numbers by 2 (or 1.5, or 1.25, or 3, or whatever size you like, as long as it’s the same throughout the pattern) so the far left rectangle would be (2.5 x 11) – (.5 each)=2″ x 10.5″. Then (2 x 10.5) x (2 each)=4 x 21. Then add the seam allowance back to get the new double-size 4.5″ x 21.5″ cutting size.

An important point to remember is that for half square triangles, where the square will be cut once across the diagonal, the seam allowance is 7/8″ and for quarter square triangles, where the squares will be cut twice across each diagonal, the seam allowance is 1 1/4″. The letters have pretty much a 1/2″ seam allowance across the board, though, so I won’t expand upon that now (though I’m happy to at a later time if there is any interest. Let me know!)

So, it looks like there is a cool new pattern for you to try! And it’s really neat since it’s just a jumping off point—you really can make a quilt that says anything! Whether you make the original size, half-size, or even triple-size, I hope you do try it out and let us know how you liked it.

 

Posted in McCall's Quilting Issues, Quilting Community, Quilting Inspiration, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Cozy Cabins

Our Friday FREE quilt pattern this week is Cozy Cabins, a scrap quilt designed by Lynn Lister. This is one of those quilts that proves great design doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it may be one of the easiest quilts you’ll ever make – yet one of your favorites!

Cozy Cabins quilt Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Cozy Cabins

The quilt is made up of 56 White House Steps blocks, and the finished size is 63 3/4″ x 71 1/2″. There’s lots of opportunity to play with print, color and value combinations as you select sets of patches for each block — so dig into your scrap stash and get started.

Cozy Cabins quilt 2 bl Friday Free Quilt Patterns: Cozy Cabins

Download the free Cozy Cabins quilt pattern here. It’s a Friday FREEbie! And the download comes with two more bonus scrap quilt patterns – Girlie Girl and Stars in My Garden, both designed by Toby Preston — plus some helpful scrap management tips.

For more scrap quilt patterns and tips, be sure to check out our new online course with scrap quilt extraordinaire Bonnie Hunter.

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

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Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel

ProfilePic SharonParcel 150x150 Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon ParcelWelcome guest blogger and quilt designer, Sharon Parcel. Sharons’s new quilt pattern, Winter Migration, combines Flying Geese sashing strips and Martha Washington’s Star quilt blocks. It’s a stunning design! You’ll find this quilt in the McCall’s Quilting November/December 2016 issue. We’re happy to have Sharon here to talk about the method she used in her quilt to create 3-patch half-square units!

It’s always a treat to be asked by McCall’s to share a bit on their blog! After being under the heat and humidity for most of the summer, it was a wonderful to wake up to a nice, crisp cool morning here in Missouri! I don’t know about you, but it always gets my creative juices going.

PhotoA Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel

Usually, I have my trusty helper, Bella, guiding me along. All of you cat lovers know our little fur babies have to be right in the middle of what we are doing!

Today I would like to share a simple way to make a 3-patch half-square triangle unit, as seen in my quilt, Winter Migration.

wintermigration900s 300x300 Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel

Winter Migration

wintermigration900f 298x300 Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel

Winter Migration

Here’s a closeup of the 3-patch unit:

PhotoB 286x300 Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel

3-Patch Half-Square Unit

To make the half-square triangle you will need to cut your squares larger than the finished size of the quarter/triple triangle square. For example, if the finished size of the quarter triangle square is to be 2½”, cut the squares for your half-square triangle 3¾”. I like to cut my fabric pieces larger so that I have plenty of room to trim. I’m adding 1¼” to the finished size of my unit to get the size I will need.

Proceed to make half-square triangles from two contrasting 3¾” squares. Pay attention to which side you are sewing, it is best to line them up as shown below.

PhotoC 300x284 Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel PhotoD 300x300 Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel

Here are 5 simple steps for cutting your pieces for a 3-patch half-square unit:

1. To make a 2½” finished triple triangle square, cut three squares 3¾”. You will need to cut 2 background squares and one blue square. Layer a background square on top of a blue square. Cut on the diagonal twice. Make half-square triangles from the two of the fabrics as shown above.

2. On the wrong side of the remaining 3¾”" background square, cut in half on the diagonal.

PhotoE 300x221 Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel

Steps 2, 3, and 4

3. Center one of the half-square triangles on the one of the half-squares, right sides together.

4. Stitch a scant ¼” along the cut edge as shown below and press open. You will have two triple triangle-squares.

5. To trim, I love using the Deb Tucker. If you don’t have one, use a ruler with diagonal lines as well as straight lines. Carefully align the diagonal lines of the ruler with the stitched seams. Trim up the right side and across the top. (if you are left handed, do the opposite) You are trimming this unit to be a 3″ square. Rotate the unit and line up again. Be sure to position both the diagonal lines and the 3″ mark on the outside to get an accurate 3″ square. Now you are ready to piece your pinwheel block and it will measure 5″ plus seam allowance.

I hope you enjoy making this quilt. Breaking it up into units makes for easier sewing for me. If you start now, you will have a lovely quilt ready for the holiday season and into winter.

You can find Bella and me at www.yellowcatquiltdesigns.com or on Instagram @punkydoodle53. I hope you come visit us often!

Sharon Denney Parcel

Thank you, Sharon!

Leave a comment below before midnight October 12, 2016 and you’ll be entered into the random drawing for 2 free quilt patterns from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs. The winning name will be drawn on October 13, 2016 and notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.
This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec. 

Clementine QuiltPattern 231x300 Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel

Clementine

TweetThang QuiltPattern 226x300 Winter Migration: A Visit with Sharon Parcel

Tweet Thang

If you’d like to make a Winter Migration 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 Winter Migration quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.

Oh, yes! Don’t miss out! Download a FREE Winter Migration quilt block pattern for the Winter Migration quilt today!

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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
way.

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!
Deanne

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!

Posted in Book Review, Contests, Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , | 147 Comments

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 curlicuecreations.blogspot.com. 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!

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