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

Second Star to the Right and Straight on ‘Till Morning

When my grandmother got confused and frustrated sometimes she would say, “It’s so convoluted!!”. Usually things went downhill from there into more colorful language, but I still understood the sentiment. Something that should be straightforward in design and application was twisted instead. Quilts often fall into this category. In an effort to make a better quilt, we just make a more convoluted one instead.

Here is a pattern that is new yet seems very familiar in it’s design. It’s a simple patchwork quilt, updated to work well with precut fabric in a “fat quarter” size.

 

 

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The pattern is called “Easy Peasy Fat Quarter Baby Quilt” and it is available in the shop here. The quilts in the picture are also available for sale here.

 

The Devil is in the Details

Details, details, details.  How many details to include is always a challenge to me when I write a pattern. One of the first steps in many of my patterns goes something like this: 1. Cut 5 –  4  inch squares from the border fabric.  This is a very clear step. It also assumes lots of background knowledge and steps that were done before the measuring and cutting.

For instance, maybe the fabric needed to be prewashed. Most fabric doesn’t require prewashing, but I always test solid reds for color bleeding. Another missing step — cut off the selvedges before cutting your fabric, or at the very least not include the selvedges in your quilt. Don’t forget this one – always iron your fabric before measuring and cutting. I rarely include any of these details in my patterns. I assume that the sewer knows them.

It’s tricky sometimes to decide, especially in this age of short tweets, how close to trim the directions. Too short and important steps are misunderstood. Too long and the reader becomes confused and lost.

I published 2 new patterns last week; I tried to make the directions not too long, not too short, but just right.

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The quilts, bunting, coasters and patterns 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.

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.

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