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.

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.

Bet You Don’t Have One of These!

My grandmother made me a denim clothespin dress 20 years ago and I still use it. Over the years I’ve grown attached to my little dress. She gets tossed on top of the laundry basket and out to hang on the line a few times a week, and never complains:) Her dress is large enough to hold all the pins I need.

It’s so special to have a useful friend through the years, I made this clothespin dress after my grandmother’s pattern. I think it will last as long as mine. It’s made of heavy weight denim with a little apron from vintage fabric from an estate sale. A wooden hangar is included and 2 ribbons are attached to prevent the dress from sliding off the hangar.

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This clothespin dress and another are available in the shop here.

This is the clothespin dress my granny made me. I’ll use it for the rest of my life. If I need to, I’ll patch it. Some things get more treasured with time:)

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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.

Wee Wandering Some More

Okay, I’m officially on a Wee Wander, Sarah Jane, Michael Miller binge. I’m working on my third baby quilt from this fabric line. I have fabric for 2 more quilts impatiently waiting. Something about the sweetness in the designs just inspires me.

The quilt I’m sharing with you this week is called Fairy Tale Woods. The fabric is called Wander Woods. It has trees, children, deer, horses all in a humble presentation that is so enchanting. When I saw the fabric I wanted to somehow stay there, inside the story. It occurred to me that if one was going to stay in Wander Woods, one would need a house to live in. And then I thought, the only way to stay in Wander Woods forever would be to be a fairy. So I made the fairy houses so the fairies could stay in Wander Woods.

Here is the quilt:

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And a closeup:

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The quilt and the pattern are available in my shop here.

I’ll be linking up with these great blogs:

Do Tell Tuesday  at Mabey She Made It

Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story

Tuesdays with a Twist at Back to Basics

Looking for love? Here it is, Writ Large.

Looking for love? Here it is, writ large.  This quilt project started with a center panel design called  “Love”. It was created by Amy Biggers for Robert Kaufman. The panel is entirely pink, lightest pink to darker pink, pink, pink, pink. So my biggest challenge was what color to add to the quilt to not draw the eye away from the center motif. I finally settled on a mottled dark red for the borders, beautiful but restful. Then, to solve the quilt’s need for a bit of color contrast, I put a blue backing on the borders. I made it a rag quilt, so the frilly edges of the seams brought just a bit of blue into the quilt front.
Now I’ll show you the love:
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The Love quilt is available in my shop here.
Linking up to:
Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Hearts Quilts
Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story
Show and Tell Tuesday at I have to say….

Christmas at the Campground

I made this little quilt a couple years ago in the depths of the great recession. I tried to capture the possible simple joys of Christmas in the great outdoors. I love this quilt so much because it gives me peace. It hangs on a wall in my work shop.

Christmas at the Campground:

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The Hunger Games Inspired Quilt — Gotta See It!

Katniss and Peeta have just triumphantly returned to District 12 from their first Hunger Games. Some grateful residents donate fabric from dresses and clothing to make a quilt for the victorious survivors. Primrose designs the mockingjays to cavort on the top of the quilt. Her mother finds a beautiful rose print to adorn the sides. The finished design represents the rustic beauty of the people of District 12.

I imagined this part of the story and it inspired the design for ‘Katniss’. This quilt is fun and not too hard to make. It is completed in stages that make it easy to quilt as you go, first assembling the center panel, then the borders. Each part is quilted before it is assembled so that there are few bulky parts. When the top is done, the quilt is finished except for the binding.

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The quilt and the pattern are for sale in my shop, Maryland Quilter.

A Christmas Ornament with Every Purchase

Even though it’s Christmas, I’m still dreaming of the ocean. So this year I designed a swimming fish Christmas ornament. It is a Siamese Fighting Fish. I always admire them in the pet shops, with their flowing fins and bright colors. These are limited edition, with 2013 written on each one. They are free with any purchase from Maryland Quilter in the month of November.

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Eli’s Super Duper Amazing Animal Quilt

I have a new great nephew named Elijah, (Eli for short).  I just love the babies that are sprouting out in my extended family tree. I now have 3 great nieces and 3 great nephews.  You know I only want more so that I can make more baby quilts for them, right? I’ve decided to name some of these baby quilts after the babies that inspired me and they get the original quilt as a bonus.  So today, it’s Eli’s turn.

Here is Eli’s Super Duper Amazing Animal Quilt:

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And here is a detail of the fox block:

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The quilt pattern and each of the individual animal block patterns are available in my shop

Eli gets the quilt, of course:)

Linking up to a great blog this week: Stitch by Stitch

Had I not had children of my own, I would have never written books for children, nor would I have been capable of doing so.

Roald Dahl

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/roalddahl562488.html#xPoMBZhs7T0WKkrW.99