Renovations Completed on the Haunted House Quilt

If you are considering a new renovation project, I highly recommend choosing a haunted house. Imagine the satisfaction of taking a sledgehammer to an old wall, and then not even having to rebuild it! So I was able to fling off roof shingles, bar up windows, post dilapidated warning signs, and bring in undesirable neighbors– and the house looks even better, even more haunted.

Here is the new haunted house:

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And a detail of my favorite part, the cemetery with an eerie tree:

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The quilt is available in the shop here

Want to build your own haunted house? The pattern is available, and it is detailed! 38 pages of instructions and full size pattern pieces, including an extra full page of optional Halloween appliques to customize your house. A beginner or experienced sewist will enjoy this project. Here is the link to the download pattern

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.

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

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

In My Best Dreams, I’m Flying

I am afraid of heights. Whenever I look over the edge of a balcony or a cliff I feel an incredible pull, so strong I think it may drag me over the edge. I back up quickly and look away. When I fly in my dreams, there is no downward pull. It is all joy.  I do flips and rolls and soar in the sky.  I like to imagine those dreams are a glimpse of heaven and when these ties are loosened I’ll know for sure.  For today, it is enough to watch the birds, dream and sew.

Here is a new mini quilt and pattern, Sunshine on Little Bird,  available in the shop.

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This post is linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday  

What is a Fussy Folk Quilt?

DSCF4051-003“Fussy” is a quilt term. It is the current vernacular for  “Broderie Perse” which in  french  means  “Persian Embroidery”. All of the different labels are for a way of cutting out fabric that focuses on a motif in the pattern rather than the entire fabric pattern.  So, if you find fabric with cute penguins and seals and you cut out the penguins and sew them on your t-shirt, you are sewing using the fussy cut  technique.  

My newest project, ” Wild Flowers” uses fussy cut flowers and stems to create appliques. Because the background of the quilt has a bold print, I put solid colored background flowers and leaves behind the appliques to help them stand out. The outer petals are rag cut to give texture and life to the flowers. All the appliques are sewn with raw edges to give a relaxed, folk style to the quilt. A red print border with a clipped edge finishes the composition.

The quilt and pattern are available in my shop

Killing Many Birds with One Stone

Have you ever read Cheaper by the Dozen? Not the movie, but the book. I love it because the father, Mr. Gilbreth, was obsessed with efficiency. He had all kinds of crazy schemes to use time better. The kids learned a foreign language from phonograph records played while they were brushing their teeth . He did motion studies on everyday tasks, trying to eliminate unnecessary movements.  Even though the dad was hilariously over the top in his efforts, his way of thinking resonates with me. I am constantly trying to streamline my life, my work, my schedule.

The motto for all my quilt patterns is:
Every step in this quilt was planned to create the most beautiful quilt possible in the most efficient way possible. There are numbered steps and photographs to guide you.

I’m really excited to share my newest patternDSCF3748 with you because it excels in efficiency!  Mr. Gilbreth would have been impressed.

DSCF3752The Radical T-Shirt Quilt is so efficient because the three layers of the quilt, the back, the batting and the top is layered first, then the shirts are placed overtop.

When the shirts are sewn to the quilt, the quilt is also being quilted, saving so much time!  Another efficiency added to the pattern is the binding. The binding is the backing of the quilt folded to the front. This gives a nice finished edge and contrast on the front of the quilt without having to cut and sew binding strips.

As icing on cake, this quilt reuses loved t-shirts and provides a useful way to remember a happy season in your life. This quilt is soooo satisfying!

You can make your own radical T-shirt quilt with the pattern available in my shop, here.

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Modern Summer Flowers Quilt

I finished the Summer Flowers Quilt. It seemed like a picture, so I hung it on a wall in Rebecca’s room to take the photo for the pattern. When I designed this quilt, I wanted to make flowers that were  not really flowers but suggested flowers. So the stems don’t quite meet the flower tops. The flower petals are stylized. The stem of one flower extends beyond the central panel and into the border, just to break out from the expected.

Here is the finished quilt:

ImageThe pattern and quilt are available in my shop, Maryland Quilter.

A New Series to Watch This Week

My computer is in my sewing room. During the day when I’m sewing, I listen to music or NPR or the radio. At night, I’m usually still sewing, but there may be a crowd in the sewing room. There’s a couple of boxes of toys my 7 year old likes playing with and often a couple of the older kids will be watching a TV series from Netflix with me while I sew. It is so much better watching a series in its entirety.

Sometimes I take the series approach when designing quilts. Spending an entire week exploring one type of quilt or one design helps me to focus and go in all the directions I’m drawn to while everything is fresh and exciting.

Recently I went on a southwest binge making Mexican tied quilts for a week This week is mini quilt week at Maryland Quilter. My goal is 10 unique patterns and quilts for small spaces, 18×21 inches. Here are the first 3 quilts:

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These quilts are available in the shop and the patterns, too.