Friday, August 29, 2008

Road To California Quilt Show 2009

I get to teach two classes at the Road To California Quilt Show in 2009! Can you believe it? I'm soooo excited!! The two quilts are Pinwheels on Point and Quilt as You Roll.

Pinwheels on Point is the all day class I'm teaching on Wednesday, January 14, the day before the show actually opens.
This quilt features a Layer Cake (those 10" square packs) and additional yardage. I decided to use a Layer Cake because they are fairly new and, goodness sakes, what do you do with them?
I hope you agree that this quilt is a good way to do something with them.
Because Layer Cakes feature the fabrics from a specific line, they are all different. Pairing the different colors and designs with a single fabric in pinwheels is a good way to unify them for a quilt.
Deciding on a layout was fun and (lucky you), I have included a layout sheet in the pattern. That way you can customize the quilt with the colors in the Layer Cake you choose.
Speaking of colors and fabric choices, you can select a Cake Layer or use yardage. Both options are given in the materials list. The fabric line I used was Hemming House by Moda but there are many, many, many !!! other beautiful collections that will work.
Patterns will be available from The Calico Horse in Redlands ( after September 15, 2008.
If you have questions about Pinwheels on Point please contact me through this blog, the Calico Horse, or my e-mail

Road To California Quilt

The Quilt as You Roll class is offered Thursday evening, January 15, 2009. Go to to sign up for the class.
This is the second of the two quilts I will be teaching at the 2009 Road to California Quilt Show. I named it Quilt as You Roll because it features a jelly roll and when its done, it is already quilted.

Quilt as You Roll is a simple looking quilt but offers several techniques you may want to learn. They include quilt-as-you-go (no further quilting needed), free motion (around the flowers) and raw edge binding. Plus the whole quilt is raw edged and has a comfy, cozy look.

Patterns and materials are available through the Calico Horse Quilt Shop in Redlands, CA (http://www.thecalicohorse/). The patterns will be available after September 15, 2008. If you have any questions you can reach me through this blog, the Calico Horse, or my e-mail:

Can't wait until Road to teach this cozy, raggy, snuggly quilt!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Big Combo: Piecing AND Applique

NO, the Big Combo is not a gigantic dinner plate at your favorite Mexican restraunt!!!

YES, it is the winning combination of piecing and applique!!

Here are some examples of Big Combos, my favorite type of quilting. Ya gotta admit, it does have it all!

This quilt is the combo of all combos. Its a sampler called 'Birds and the Bees' by Quilt Soup. I taught it as a class at the Calico Horse and did we have fun...pieced blocks, hand and machine applique blocks, hand piecing, we did it ALL!

The fabric line is Dandelion Girl by Moda and is the fabric used on the pattern picture itself. The other quilts were done in pinks and reds, one in blues, greens and yellows; and one in deep civil war reproduction fabrics. Pictures of those quilts are predicted for future blog entries.

Don't you just love these pears??!! This is an oldie but goodie from Blueberry Hill Quilt Designs called 'Pears & Pinwheels'. It's done in indigo fabrics (One of my favorites!) and hangs over my guest bed. The piecing is pretty straight forward and the applique pears are fused and just top stitched around the edges. Perfect combo!!
'Entangled' by Simple Pleasures was really a pleasure to make. Fun crazy quilt background blocks are made from light batiks. Then the hearts and vines are appliqued over the top of each block. I used a feather stitch and lots of machine applique on each block before I assembled the rest of the top. I love the angled pieces in the border. As long as you keep the same angle, you can do as many pieces as you want. What fun! What a combo!

Monday, July 21, 2008


Peaceful piecing, what could be better or more true? Piecing is a true love of mine (although applique is pushing in somewhat). It is so satisfying to see those bits and pieces of cut fabric come together and make a beautiful block, then go on to make a complete quilt.

The 'Crow's Foot' quilt from Wednesday's Best (Indygo Junction) was truly a piecing pleasure. I guess adding applique crows turns a bear paw into a crow's foot, huh?

This is a tiny ( 18" x 22") quilt I made in a Jo Mortin class (not with Jo Mortin, just a class). There was this fabric with the 2" x 2" printed quilt motifs on it. I just knew there was the perfect use for it and there it was! The centers for the log cabin blocks.

Hot Stars and Cool Nights or was it Cool Nights and Hot Stars? I named this quilt one of those two titles. Either one works, though, doesnt it? This is my color interpretation of Monterrey Medallions by Atkinson Designs. Her pattern is scrappy and most of the ones students made in class were scrappy too. Of course, I had to be different. This one will hang in the 'Teacher' section at Road To California in January of '09.

Free Motion (E-motion!) Quilts

If you're looking for some fun and a foolproof way to practice free motion quilting take a look at these quilts. The patterns are from Dog Gone Quilts (

They are free motion quilts, made with fusible applique. When the pieces are fused down, there is a small area between each piece which is left for you to free motion in. Basically, it is 'scribbling' with black thread and is a real FOOLPROOF way to learn to free motion quilt.

The best part is that when you are free motioning (!), if you think you make a mistake you just 'scribble' over it and continue on. Then at the end you go back and fix it...IF you can find it!!

What a patriotic pair of chickadees. I think they are debating the merits of our current presidential candidates.
Here we have my vibrant Easter Bunny. No doubt about the wow factor here. Who says Easter has to be pastel?

'Country Chicken' is the first one I did. I think he is more of a rooster, but 'chicken' works.
Check out those patterns and prepare for some real fun!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

June Quilters

Here we are....the jazzy June quilters....just finished with our beginning class. Yellow

Donna's dreamy dazzler! How could anyone resist?

Kim accepts appreciation and alocades for her adventure.

Barbara smiles serenely savoring the success of her finished beauty.

Julie joyfully holds perfect, perky polkadot and prepares to finish her fantasy.

Lucy beams broadly as bravos for her queen-sized quilt resound.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quilt Photos

Finally, photos!

The learning curve was steep, the physcological block was dense, and the willingness to seek help was buried behind the 'how hard can it be" door. BUT, the skill has finally arrived !!! (Just don't ever say the words "scroll down and hit open" if you expect a response to your comment.)
This quilt is named 'Button-up Buttercup' by FriendFolks. The flowers and centers are raw edged and double fabric so they really fray up. Tell me pinks and browns aren't wonderful together! The 'Button-up' part of the pattern included large buttons in the centers of the flowers, but the quilt looks great without them too. This quilt is not brand-new, BUT it is one of my favorites and has led to several successful classes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rulers Rule

Ready for some ruler rules??? Well, my words of wisdom really fall short of rules. Basically, I think your favorite and best ruler is the one you are used to! Sounds like a cop-out I know, but it is true. Some how we seem to like best whatever it is we know.

BUT, here are some general comments on the rulers I use lots and lots.

*6" x 24" (or 6 1/2" x 24 1/2") is a BASIC. You need it to cut from the fold to the selvage when you use yardage.

*9 1/2" square or a 12 1/2" square is a BASIC. They are used to square finished blocks and since most quilt blocks fall between 6" and 12" square, these two cover most needs. You can get square rulers in almost any size and can buy one to fit any block size imaginable but either of these will do you to start.

* 6 1/2" x 18" (or anything approaching that size) is NICE TO HAVE. A shorter ruler is great on fat quarters and smaller cuts. You don't have to fight lots of extra ruler length just to make a short cut.

* 16 1/2" square (or larger) is NICE TO HAVE. This giant one is great for squaring the finished quilt top but you can use the smaller squares too.

Other rulers come in millions of shapes and sizes...some you need for special cuts (flying geese, tri-recs, circles, etc) but they can be bought for a specific quilt rather than general use.

Ruler colors vary and my rule of thumb is to ask what works best with your eyes. Not the COLOR of your eyes!!!! How well you eyes see!!!

As I grow older (Oh no! not the 'as I grow older' excuse) I seem to have a harder time with the yellow or green lined rulers, but I did use them for years and years. Now I tend toward the black line rulers and if I need to mark a certain line I use the colored transparent tapes.

Sorry, no pearls of wisdom here, not even very funny stuff. If you're a beginner , though, I think this will help you.

This is a great place for me to take a survey. Comment on the ruler YOU like best. We may find we have an interesting piece to submit to Quilters Home. I promise to use you name (or alias) if we do get published.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yellow Brick Road Quilt

Yellow Brick Road is one of my favorite quilt patterns. The designer is Terry Atkinson of Atkinson Designs. She combines clear written directions, great diagrams AND the correct yardage amounts!! Those of us who look at the pictures first can always find clarification from the written parts and those of you who always read first can do the same from the drawings. Who could ask for anything more?......(sounds like a great song title!).

I have taught this quilt to beginning quilters many, many times, suggested it to others at the shop ( many, many times and made it myself in a variety of ways, many, many times. In fact, I should probably contact Terry Atkinson and ask for a commission.....anything to earn fabric money!!

Anyway, just a few more comments before I actually give you the fabric requirements (for those of you taking my class or if you just want to check your stash for possible quilts).
* It is great for beginners, requiring you know only basic skills.
* It looks more complicated than it really is!!!!
* It shows off the fabrics, letting you choose any theme or style.
* It is great for 'fussy cutting' and inserting alternate blocks.
*Once you have made it a couple of times, you can HONESTLY make a lap quilt in a weekend! WOW!

Now, the quilt information:

Pattern: Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Designs
Materials: Lap size (See pattern for baby, twin,queen,king)
12 fat quarters for center of quilt
2 yards for outer border and binding
3 1/2 yards for backing
1 3/4 yards for batting (from a 90" wide roll)
1 twin packaged batting
Sewing machine (with new needle)
Thread and full bobbin
1/4" foot for your machine
Rotary cutter (45mm or 60mm, any style)
Rulers, 6 1/2" x 24" and a 9 1/2" square (or larger)
Cutting mat (for home, not for class)
Basic sewing supplies (scissors, straight pins, ripper, etc.)
Fabric preparation:
Today's quality quilting fabrics rarely shrink or have a problem with color fading or bleeding. You can confidently use the fabric right from the bolt.
Some quilters prefer to wash, dry and iron their fabric anyway. Washing removes the sizing and changes the way the fabric feels. Pre-washing does not affect the quality or workability of the fabric.
Flannels and homespun fabrics are the exception. These are loosely woven and will shrink a little. You should pre-wash and dry them. This is especially true if you are mixing them with regular quilting fabric. Not pre-washing them could cause different parts of your quilt to shrink or distort when the finished quilt is washed.

THERE!!! all the stuff and info needed for one of my favorite quilts. Even if you don't take a class with me, I guarantee you will love the results when you make it on your own! I'd like to stay and chat, but I have to go make a Winnie-the-Pooh Yellow Brick Road for my niece's new baby boy AND I only have two days before the shower!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Great new-ish Quilt Magazine

Thanks for the warm welcome from all you bloggers! It was a great surprise to find your comments so quickly. As you can tell I'm a quilter, quilter, quilter.....and as such want to share some tips, discoveries, new quilts and all the rest.... with as much humor as possible.

HUMOR! Have you seen the new-ish quilt magazine, Quilter's Home?? I got a copy at B&N and laughed my way through it. Now I am a charter subscriber with all the perks that entails (don't know if there are any...just thought it sounded good)!

Mark Lapinski is the editor and if there is anyone who thinks just this side of normal, Mark is the guy.

The magazine has quilts, of course, patterns, of course and the wildest range imaginable of everything else. A taste-test of chocolates, got it! High School pictures of well known quilters, got it! Paint and accessories to coordinate with the latest fabrics, got it. Weird sense of humor and tongue-in-cheek writing style, got it! AND he always puts a picture of himself on the cover!!!

Check it out...laugh out loud...try the drink of the month... and, NO!, I'm not being paid to say any of this. Can't wait to hear your take on this magazine.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A seam ripper named Jack

As quilters we all seam (oops, seem) to find ourselves facing that dreaded event: picking out, reverse quilting, un-sewing or ripping out the work we have just tried to do. Whatever the reason for undoing our work, we have to do it sometimes, and my comment on that topic is DO YOURSELF A FAVOR!!

Buy yourself several (as in 5 0r 6) long-handled, comfortable seam rippers.

There are several reasons for this recommendation.

A long handled ripper is easier to use. Your fingers/hands don't cramp and a ripper with a rounded or ball end fits comfortably in the palm of your hand (I like the red and white ergonomic rippers by Fons and Porter....OK, OK ....$o find a coupon or watch for a $ale).

Having several rippers means that they are all fairly sharp since you haven't dulled one by overuse. If you find one is dull and won't cut easily, Throw It Away! This tool uses the small muscles in your hand, and should not provide a major muscle workout.

Placing rippers in a variety of locations means you can find them easily and that they are available when needed. Try the side of your sewing machine, the ironing board, by the chair you sit in, in a workbasket or box and, my favorite, in front of the TV. The less time you spend searching, the quicker the job is done, the lower the frustration factor (as if it isn't high already) and you are back making forward progress on your project.

Finally, no matter how many rippers you have, they can all be named Jack, as in Jack the Ripper (Thank you Lisa Boyer!) The more seam rippers you have means the less time you will spend screaming "Jack!.....Jack!" as you search for your one and only (and the less time you will spend explaining to your family what, why or who "Jack" is).