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Friday, December 30, 2011

Shabby Lavender SUNSPRITE

A call for a lavender baby quilt prompted this SUNSPRITE from the Rachel Ashwell's Garden Rose Collection for Treasures by Shabby Chic.  The pattern is a traditional style that I thought suited the classic roses.  Plus with the colors all so very soft, using a pattern that places the fabrics in a line makes them stronger.  A more random pattern might just mush all together.  At least that is my theory, and I am sticking to it, because I think it works. 

I added two borders to make this quilt more of a crib size.  Got a bit carried away, but I like the look.  The first border is cut 1 1/2".  The second border is cut 7"--I really wanted that stripe to show.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

OPENING NIGHT Again and Again

OPENING NIGHT is still our go-to pattern when we have a great theme.  The six fat quarters are usually easy to coordinate, and we're off and running for about $40 and 4 hours of sewing (at most!)

Gallery Fiori from P&B Textiles has been our best seller this year, and this kit was no exception.
And then we have another P&B group, Tribute by Pat Sloan.  It's a great throw size for your Service Quilts.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Preview 40

Last one, I think.  I want to use 8 Fat Quarter bundles more, so I geared this quilt for that.  The block is one I have been playing with for months, mostly in a larger 5" size.  For a smaller Fat Quarter bundle, this 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" piece worked out better math-wise.  And for prints that are not super big, this looks better, too. 

The cutting left some remaining strips, so I added a pieced border to use these and add a little zip to the look of the quilt.  With the additional 1 3/8 yd for borders, the quilt finishes 46"x 55".

The cover girl is an Anna Griffin Christmas group.  I loved how the stripe cut up for the center of half of the blocks.  I had people begging for the kits and fabric when they saw it made up. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Preview 39

SNOW RUBY, take 3.  Yet another way to use the block/unit from this quilt.  I wanted to use a little 6 Fat Quarter bundle and make it as scrappy random looking as possible.

As it turns out, with only 6 Fabrics, you can't get too, too random.  But with a little layout plan, I was able to keep some of the same fabric pieces away from each other. Besides with a plan, I don't have to lay it out on the floor--just go and sew.  With only 6 half-strip sets, this little one is a blast to make.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Preview 37

It doesn't get much simpler than this--but with great fabrics, the results are lovely.  Our 1-2-3 Polka is 3  2 1/2" strips sew together with a wider background to create a Rail Fence pattern.  The cover girl is a blendy background to go with the blendy Sangria Bali Pop.   A high contrast or light background should also create a great effect.

The fabric requirements call for 36  2 1/2"Strips and 1 1/2 yd for the Background/Large Rail.  Any Jelly Roll-Bali Pop-Tonga Strips, etc will work.  It finishes 57"x 76".

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Preview 35

So we are not actually previews anymore, since Market has come and gone--but I still want to share the newest releases.

This is my personal favorite.  Partly because I love Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms, and partly because I thought this was so clever.  This pattern/block/unit is the same one as SNOW RUBY.  I was looking at the red in it, and thought--what if this was background and the rest scrappy?  Would the scrappy pieces kind of dance up and down?  And they did!

It uses 12 Fat Quarters and a yard of Background to make a 54"x 70" throw.  There are a few prints pieces left over, but it does use the fabric efficiently. 

For our cover girl, I wanted the white to contrast strongly with the prints and have a fresh, modern look.  I also made up this other model, with Soul Blossoms again, and a blendy apricot batik--it kind of melts in your mouth like sherbet. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Preview 34

Another "doubled" pattern--this time PERFECT MOMENT.   I wanted to double this one because it uses a Layer Cake or any bundle of 40  10" Squares or my favorite 20 Fat Sixths (12"x 22").  With the addition of just 2 yards of fabric, it makes a 63"x 79" quilt top.

I like to feature the fabrics from a group.   Our cover model uses Rachel Ashwell's Garden Rose Collection from her Treasures by Shabby Chic.  I chose to use the same snow white background solid for both the Spacers and Row Sashing to keep those lovely prints airy and floating.  The PERFECT MOMENT model has dots for Spacers and diagonal stripe for Row Sashing.

The first quilt I made using this pattern idea was done in Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms.   For this one I used 2 sets of 33 Sample Slices--my exclusive 5"x 9 1/2" cuts of the entire line.  It is one row shorter, because I had 66 instead of 77 Slices, so I cut the Spacers 1 1/2" instead of the 2".  I did not want this quilt to be too square. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Preview 33

SUNSPRITE doubled.  That's all this pattern is.  Still I like to have a write-up with the numbers handy--no thinking, just sewing.

It takes 1/2 yd each of 6 fabrics or 2 identical packs of 6 fat quarters.  From the halves, it is simply one whole strip set each, instead of a half strip set of each.  Same amount of thinking, just a little more sewing. 

Without borders it is 54"x 60".  This is a good size to cover an adult body on a sofa, but you could go bigger yet with borders. 

Our cover girl is Kaufman's La Scala.  We have done it in their Imperial Collection and Artisan Batiks. 

Like SUNSPRITE, at first glance this looks a little complicated to follow the numbers.  But then the light bulb goes on, and you see how easy it really is.  No crazy long strips, no laying it all out.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Preview 38

I am on a campaign to promote 3 1/2" strips.  They show off so much more of the prints than 2 1/2", and the projects go so much more quickly.

This simple jewel of a quilt is made with 30 3 1/2" strips.  It can also be cut from 20  Fat Sixths (12"x 22") or  15 Fat Quarters.  With the Fat Quarters, you would probably have enough left over to do a pieced binding or add a pieced border.

For my model, I liked pairing up 2 similar colors, so it looks like a shaded square.  I also made it in our Asian strips.  I have seen it in totally scrappy, too, and it just sparkled.

The patchwork finishes 54"x 60" for a throw.  And you can also just keep going with more patchwork or borders.

Preview 36

That song will keep playing in my head.  It's a good thing I love this pattern.

It uses exactly one set of 40  2 1/2" strips.  Mine here is Tonga Treats Gelato, but any Bali Pop, Jelly Roll, or other Roll-ups will do.  Then, to make it a better throw size, it uses an additional 1 yard for a 4 1/2" Border and finishes 56"x 72".  Similar to Cathedral, it sews faster, since the blocks are a bit longer, and there are just 40 instead of 60.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Preview 32

Eight fat quarters are used in this throw that you will make again and again for gifts and community service.  It finishes a nice 56"x 70".  A natural in patriotic fabrics and colors, it is also fun in theme prints, florals, flannels and moderns.

Additional fabric needed:  1 1/4 yd Background, 1 yd Border, 5/8 yd Binding.

Preview 31

Here they come.  I leave for Quilt Market in a week, so it is the usual crazies getting these off to press.

This first one is a little thing that happened when I was making do with some donated fabric for Community Service quilts.  I had just enough to cut 3  4 1/2" strips of one fabric,  3  5 1/2" strips of another, and  3  6 1/2" strips of another.  Three quick strip sets later, I had blocks to flip up and down for a fun little kid's quilt.

I wrote this pattern to use a 3 One-Yard bundle.  So with just one yard each of 3 fabrics, you have a 47"x 56" quilt top and binding.

And I have been having fun with this block ever since.  There are 2 more variations in this season's releases.  And more to come, I am sure.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I cut my complete lines of fabric into Sample Slices 5"x 9 1/2".  Rectangles are such a great shape and this size shows off so much more of the fabric than 5" charm squares. 

Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms is 33 pieces.  I figured that 2 sets should be good for one of the Slice and Spacer patterns.  I chose PERFECT MOMENT to get some length as well as airiness to the prints.
This may be a new card someday--it would work nicely with a Layer Cake.

Meanwhile, here are the altered measurements for this one.  Fabric for the Spacers and Row Sashing--1 1/2 yd.  Cut the Spacers 1 1/2" wide.  To offset the blocks, cut 2 3/4" off the right end of the odd rows, 2 3/4" off the left end of the even rows.  The top finishes 58"x 63".

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Millie P's Display

Millie P's in Anoka MN is a must-see shop--chock full of brilliant, colorful projects.  Here is an idea for displaying the cards that owner Becky Carlson made, customizing the size for our cards. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

RED ROSE in Anna Lena's

Karen Snyder of Anna Lena's just shared her photo of RED ROSE made in her fabric lines from Timeless Treasures fabrics.  She has a very reasonably priced kit available on her website, annalena.com.  Karen is the author of 2 fat quarter books, Bundles of Fun and Fat Quarter Fun--great stuff--along with her Quilts in my Garden and Big-Print Quilts.

In her latest newsletter, Karen recommends our RED ROSE pattern for college kid quilts.  It is fast and thrifty and you don't have to fret over the use or abuse it might get in a college kid's room.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rocky and Bullwinkle ANGEL FACE

Not just a pretty face, our ANGEL FACE can feature more than one fabric.  Rocky and Bullwinkle here are the perfect 3 to be featured here.  The pattern has 12 blocks, and one 10" strip from a third yard of fabric will yield 4 squares.  3 fabrics times 4 squares equals 12 blocks--I love it when the math works out to our advantage.

So the changes in ANGEL FACE to make this a great kid size or even big kid throw 48"x 60":
1/3 yd each of 3 Theme Fabrics
2/3 yd each of 2 Frame Fabrics
1 yd Border, cut 5 1/2"
1/2 yd Binding
....Less than 4 yards of fabric--nifty and thrifty.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


The SUNSPRITE pattern can easily be doubled.  Use either 1/2 yard cuts of all of the fabrics, or 2 identical 6 Fat Quarter packs.  Make 6 blocks each.  Lay it out 3x4.   The patchwork finishes 54"x 60", and would be nice bordered as well.

This first model is the Artisan Batiks from Kaufman.  I see many more in the future--in fact, another is on my machine as I write.  And the doubled size will probably be published as a new card.

Friday, July 22, 2011

EASY DOES IT with Gallery Fiori

Gallery Fiori--the fabulous new collection from P&B by Karen Tusinski.  Got fabric?--get out a RoseCard.  The prints are not too too big, so they look good in our 4x8 inch.  And there were several great choices for the spacer fabric.  We had originally picked the orange, but I switched to the brown.  I do like the subtle richness of the brown.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


For many years now we have been working with 3 1/2" strips of Asian fabrics, all with the gold highlights.  The pattern we have used most was called Madame Butterfly, later renamed by us as What Four, later published on a RoseCard as CHARITY.  I called it What Four because it is constructed using strip sets of four, made into a 4x4 sixteen patch--but you really can't see the 4 Patch in it.  This pattern uses 28 strips to make a throw size.

We've have always strip packs of 28  3 1/2" for the What Four.  And as luck would have it--GRANADA used 28  3 1/2" strips, too.  I was almost shocked how nifty the math worked.  For What Four or CHARITY we used all multi-colored prints--roughly divided 14 light-ish, 12 dark-ish.  For GRANADA, 6 strips are usually a single, tone on tone Asian print.  The remaining 22 are multicolored.  The solid strips are the centers, and it is always fun to pair them with the prints.

GRANADA gave new life to my Asian strips.  I was selling the packs before the quilt was bordered and before the pattern was published.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


A lovely new Roll-up from Robert Kaufman's Artisan Batik collection Rivoli is perfect for our CATHEDRAL pattern.  The design requires 2 each of 20 2 1/2" strips--Kaufman Roll-Ups are one of the packs that work.  Actually, this particular roll had 19 pairs, and 2 odd ones.  But, lucky for me--one block gets tossed in this pattern, so I was not forced to make and use a 2-color block. 

For the centers, I shopped through my Kaffe Collective yardage--I love the way their color works with some of the batiks.  I found this wonderful Variegated Leaves by Phillip Jacobs that had all of the colors.  It is big, with lots of variety cut up, but not overpowering.  I loved the look when I picked it out, and loved it when it was finished!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

GRANADA Rivoli Nightfall

GRANADA always looks good in batiks.  This very cool Nightfall group from Lunn Studios for Robert Kaufman could just about be made in a night--it's that easy.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Got a New Group?...Get Out the RoseCards

I just got in the new Gallery Fiori by Karen Tusinski/Lilla Rogers Studio for P&B Textiles.  Fabulous painting-style prints in a great mix of colors.  At first glance there were 3 distinct colorways.  Once Grandma Pam and I started playing with them, though, we found that these fabrics cross color lines. 

So I picked a few RoseCard pattern candidates, and set color queen Pam to work picking groups.  Here is what we are thinking about making up into bundles and/or models....

I need to replace my popular model made from Laura Gunn's Poppy--this will do nicely.

A very popular kit, OPENING NIGHT always goes well.  The main print here will look fine sideways for the top and bottom borders.  This also makes a good sized throw at very reasonable price, since we use fabric so efficiently.

This lovely and subtle coloring will be nice in a more tailored design like our SUNSPRITE.  I think I would double up--use 2 6 Fat Quarter packs.  It makes 12 blocks, finishing 54"x60".  Great in a contemporary setting.

This group of 6 was just because it is colorful.  Isn't this fun to play with a new line this way.  Now to get to work.....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

OPENING NIGHT in Magnolia Lane

Laura Gunn's Magnolia Lane collection of 8 prints is perfect for our OPENING NIGHT pattern.  The main magnolia print is strong, and looks fine on its side for the top and bottom borders.   Six fascinating prints for the patchwork have strength, but not enough to overpower the main magnolia.  A great brown texture print finishes it off for the binding. 

Laura's prints photograph so well for pattern covers.  People are drawn to them in my booths at the shows, too.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

FREEDOM Scramble

This quilt is made from one of the kits I made from our Community Service stash.  When I make these kits, the goal is usually to pick colors that go together.  It is always a pleasant surprise when the prints work well together, too.

The main thing I like about this version is that the quiltmaker scrambled the 4-patches more than I usually do.  My plan is to make 4-Patches out of 2 fabrics.  However, with only 6 fabrics and 6 blocks,  it happens that colors or lights and darks may clump up in the layout phase.  This quilt has 4 fabrics in each 4-Patch, which gives a scrambled, but more balanced look to the layout.

Variations are such an amazing part of quiltmaking--even something as simple as this pattern.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

RED...BLUE Community

RED ROSE and MIDNIGHT BLUE are great quilts for Community Service.  I put together loads of kits for my guilds using their donated fabrics, and this one is the easiest to cut and kit.  If I have a good border fabric, I kit RED ROSE with borders.  Otherwise, the 12 block quilt is still a nice size without borders.  And if I have enough colors that go together, I do the 20 block without border MIDNIGHT BLUE.   Also, 9 blocks makes a great quick baby quilt.

Working from a 5" strip or half strips or scraps is so easy for this quilt.  Usually I start with a center fabric to set the color theme.  A fat quarter will yield 12  5" squares for the centers.  Then it is whatever I like with that center.  One of my guilds has a huge closet full of fabric, which the members have sorted into laundry baskets by color--makes my job easy and fun!