Easy as a Charm Quilt

We live in exciting times. For many of us, the daily rhythms of our lives are subtly changing almost daily. How often do you go shopping in the mall today versus a year ago? 5 years ago?  One of the big changes in my life over the last few years is buying fabric online. What a world of possibilities! It’s not just the variety of fabric that I can find, but also the way I can explore what is out there, find styles that appeal to me, learn about the designers, study the trends, make new connections with shops far away in physical distance but close to me in aesthetics.

I’m also thrilled to explore the new precut fabric available. My current love is charm packs. I love the way you can get 42 pieces of a complete design collection, cut in perfect 5 inch squares for under $10.00.  Here are a couple of the quilts I’ve made lately from charm packs. They may look different. but the pattern is the same.

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The quilts are for sale in my shop here The pattern, Easy as a Charm Quilt,  I’m still working on, but it should be available in the shop by August.

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Have Some Red, White and Blue Sewing Fun!

Celebrate Independence Day with a red, white and blue pinwheel quilt. The pinwheel is made with a unique 3 dimensional pattern that is both striking in appearance and easy to create, even for a beginner. What I love best about this quilt is the texture– the pinwheel seems to pop out of the quilt– maybe it wants to be a real pinwheel.

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The quilt and pattern are available in the shop, here

The Three Most Important Design Elements in a Quilt Pattern

I believe that all great quilt designs should be clear, easy to follow, and efficient in both use of material and use of time. I want everyone who buys one of my patterns to actually make the quilt, start to finish, in a short period of time. So all my patterns have complete directions all the way to “wrap quilt around recipient”. The pattern never ends with “layer, quilt as desired and bind” — to me that means you will have an unfinished quilt top to leave to your heirs.

Every pattern also has to be clear. If you stop because you don’t understand the next step, your project may be gathering dust for years. So numbered, detailed instructions with lots of photos and email support free from me is included with every pattern.

Another important ingredient to a great pattern is efficient use of materials. And that brings me to this week’s project. I had some fat quarters in this great pattern called Indian Summer. There were teepees on one of the prints and their triangle shape inspired me to make a saw toothed edged baby quilt. When I finished the quilt, I had lots of leftover triangles, so in the interest of efficient use of materials, I designed a bunting to use the triangles. Then, because I was on a roll of inspiration and had 4 corners of leftover fabric, I designed coasters to match.

Here is the result:

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The completed set is available in the shop here, the pattern is in the works.

Simple Pleasures

Sometimes the small pleasures in life are the most satisfying. Watching a butterfly skim past your window, feeling the sun on your face, returning a wave from a neighbor, all tiny bits of a happy life. Here is another sweet bit of happiness: a perfect pair of pot holders. One for each hand, soft yet sturdy, with a simple applique design or just a bit of quilting. Brand new ones to replace those old worn out ones, and yes, you have to throw the old ones out. Then when you open the drawer and see those pretty new pot holders waiting for you, a bit of pleasant satisfaction comes along, too.

Here are some of the perfect pot holders available in my shop, handmade, patterned from perfect pot holders my mom made me years ago:

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These pot holders and lots more are available in my shop here.

If you want a larger dose of pleasure, most of the pot holders have matching tea towels available, too 🙂

Fabric I love you, but you are overflowing your bins.

Ahhhh, fabric. Cotton, flannel, silk, bumpy corduroy, you are all loved. Purple, blue, green, prints or solids, I want you. Browns not so much, but still.. for that special accent…. Fabric,  I love you, but you are overflowing your bins, somehow reproducing? Maybe I should separate the pinks and blues?  You orphan fabric, leftover from quilts past, need a new, more useful home. So I will iron and trim you and wrap you in ribbon and send you off to a new happy home.

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Want to adopt some fabric? Only $5.00 for each bundle. Find them at Maryland Quilter’s Etsy shop here.

How About a Trip to a Coral Reef?

Are you thinking of summer? How about the beach? How about a tropical coral reef? I bet you can guess where my dreams were on vacation this week:

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This quilt is called “Fish in School”. The background fabric is by Art_On_Fabric.  It is the first experiment I’ve done ordering and using Spoonflower fabric. I really like the quality of the cotton weave. I also like that the fabric pattern will always be available. Often after buying a pattern, people  will contact me trying to get the exact same fabric I’ve used in the original  to make their quilt. Sometimes the fabric is discontinued and no longer available. Spoonflower prints the fabric on demand. No waste, no shortage. How cool is that!

The pattern for “Fish in School” is available here. The quilt is available here.

Moonlight on the Weeping Willow Tree

One mile down the road from my house is a ford. It is a throwback from an earlier age and scares the city drivers. The stream crosses the road and if you want to continue forward, you have to be brave and drive through the water. Most days, I walk to the ford and back for a bit of exercise. Today the autumn weather was glorious and I took this picture of the creek from the ford:

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This week I also designed a new quilt. I like it so much, I want to keep it for myself.  But for now, it is available in the shop along with the pattern, so you can make your own version of  Moonlight on the Weeping Willow Tree:

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There’s a Monster at the End of This Blog Post.

Last week I got serious about using up some of my huge inventory of flannel fabric. It had grown out of control. (Don’t you love how I made it sound like I had no responsibility for this. haha) I have one large wall of shelving devoted to flannel fabric and it was bursting at the seams. So last week most of the stash was measured and cut. This week and next will be sewing and listing. Hopefully the completed baby blankets will be swaddling  happy babies in the near future.

Here’s the fabric in nice cut stacks waiting to be made into the most useful, comfy baby blankets ever:

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And here is the monster I promised, handmade for Ms.Duffy’s second grade science class by Evelyn Haney and Mom (me):

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Can’t get enough of Fulham Road

Alexander Henry fabric company has an amazing new line called Fulham Road. It is so so beautiful I want to just make quilts and quilts and quilts.. Well, you get the picture, I’m a little out of control. Part of the problem is that they double whammied me with a combo of fabric and books, my two favorite things in the world. So I bought just 1 yard of Somerville Study in Tawny Plum and made this quilt:

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