Thursday, June 22, 2017

Patriotic Palette Blog Hop: Day 1

We're continuing to embrace everything red, white and blue! 
We sent 8 designers a bundle of red, white and blue Painter's Palette Solids to play with. 

The colors? White, Claret, Crimson, Tomato, Patriot, French Blue and River.
 Between now and July 4th, we'll be sharing a variety of inspiring fabric art made by them--tutorials, show-and-tell with a peek into the design process, and more! Come back tomorrow for another red, white and blue design!

We've used 7 fat quarters (3 red, 3 blue and 1 white) to create this fun little fireworks mini. Have fun! 

Let's get started!
You'll Need: 
1 fat quarter each: White, Patriot, French Blue, River, Claret, Crimson, and Tomato
Fusible web
1/2 yard backing fabric
12" x 27" piece of batting
How's this for a patriotic bundle?!
(from left: 121-000 White, 121-111 Patriot, 121-131 French Blue, 121-025 River, 121-051 Claret, 121-002 Crimson, and 121-134 Tomato)

From the white:
(3) 7" squares
(4) 2" x 6-1/2" pieces (reserve remaining piece of strip for piecing the long borders)
(2) 2" x 21" strips

From each of the 3 blues and 3 reds:
(1) 2-1/4" x 21" strip for binding
(1) 7" square

From the fusible web:
(6) 7" squares

Make the Quilt: 
Step 1: Adhere a 7" square of fusible web to a 7" Tomato square. Using a thread spool or other small round object, trace a circle slightly off center on the paper side of the fusible web.

Step 2: Using a ruler, draw lines radiating out from the center circle as shown. Note: We marked the rays that would be red with a pencil squiggle to help visualize the negative space the lines will create. Create as many or as few rays as you like, varying widths and angles. 

Step 3: Cut out the negative areas to create a fireworks shape that looks like this: 

Step 4: Repeat with the 7" Patriot square--your center circle and rays will be slightly different from the Tomato shape, and that's good! 

Here's what both your fireworks shapes will look like:

Step 5: Position both fireworks shapes on a 7" white square. Try with both the Patriot and Tomato fireworks shape on top (see photos below), and experiment with rotating one of the shapes until you find the look you like. 

Step 6: When you are satisfied with your block, remove the paper and fuse the fireworks shapes onto the white square. 

Step 7: Trim block to measure 6-1/2" square.

Step 8: In the same way, make 2 additional blocks, pairing the River square with the Claret square and the Crimson square with the French Blue square.

Step 9: Lay out the 3 blocks alternating with (4) 2" x 6-1/2" white pieces. 

Step 10: Sew the blocks and white pieces together. Sew the (2) 2" x 21" white strips and remaining 2" x 14" white strip short ends together into a long strip. Cut (2) 24-1/2" lengths. Sew to the long sides of the quilt. 

Step 11: Layer the backing right side down, batting, and quilt top right side up. Baste layers together and quilt as desired. Use short sections of the (6) 2-1/4" x 21" red and blue strips to bind the quilt. 

Block close-ups: 

Would you like to win a bundle of these seven patriotic solids? Leave a comment below letting us know your favorite kind of fireworks. Giveaway is open through Sunday, June 25th at 11:59 pm CDT. 

See all 168 of our Painter's Palette Solids collection here
Find a list of shops carrying the solids here

Follow along with our Summer of Sewing Series! 
Click here to see all the tutorials. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Quilts of Valor

If we're talking patriotic quilts, we have to mention Quilts of Valor! If you're not familiar with the organization, it began with Catherine Roberts' dream in 2003. In the ensuing 14 years, this dream has grown into a huge, ongoing undertaking, taking the concepts of "quilts=healing" and presenting patriotic quilts to service members--161,000 quilts have been given to date.

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

Back in February, the Quilt Lovers' Hangout in North Fort Myers, Florida, hosted a National Sew Day Event for Quilts of Valor. They used patriotic fabrics we donated from the Valor and American Pride collections to create quilts for veterans. What a great team effort! 

According to shop owner Andrea Sensecqua, approximately 20 people participated in the sew day. Andrea had bought the shop the previous year, and customers asked if there would be an event for National Sew Day. After investigating, Andrea said "absolutely" began choosing patterns from around the shop. "We had an overwhelming response and sat in our classroom, sewing all day," Andrea says. Completed quilt tops are quilted free of charge by students learning to machine quilt. The Quilt Lovers' Hangout is now an official Quilts of Valor shop.

"It was really meaningful for both customers and staff to be part of such an important event, allowing us to use our passions and skills to award recipients with quilts," Andrea says. "This even kicked off our relationship with QOV and allowed us to bring a national event to a local level."

Quilt blocks laid out, ready to be assembled:

The shop also participated in its first wrapping ceremony. Quilter Sue Styn is presenting, and wrapping, her husband, Bill in a Quilts of Valor quilt in the shop. 

Thanks to Andrea and the Quilt Lovers' Hangout for sharing the story and photos! Have you made a Quilts of Valor quilt? We'd love to hear about it.

Find out more about Quilts of Valor and how to participate here.
Find out more about the Quilt Lovers' Hangout here.
Read an article about QOV and Quilt Lovers' Hangout here.
Check out our patriotic-themed collections! See American Pride here and here and Valor by Ro Gregg here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Vintage Shirting & Dress Prints Goes Patriotic

When we saw Janie McCombs' pennant quilt on Instragram, we fell in love. She used Barbara J. Eikmeier's Vintage Shirting & Dress Prints collection to make this patriotic quilt--deep reds, light and dark blues, and creams, in rows of triangle pennants. Janie was kind enough to let us share her quilt here as well, so our Inspired by Fabric friends could see it too. 

Q. Tell us about the pattern.
JM: I chose a pennant pattern so I could show off each of the fabrics in the collection. A pennant quilt has triangles that require offset points when you piece them together. Offsetting points is not an easy task, even when you have been a quilter for more than 25 years. My seam ripper was within reach a lot during the piecing of this quilt!

Q. Why did you decide to use the Vintage Shirting and Dress Prints fabrics for this quilt?
JM: The Vintage Shirtings prints have deep colors and light colors that coordinate beautifully with each other. The subtle prints--flowers, swirls, paisleys, and circles—added interest to the pennant shapes. I have been trying to figure out what to do with the collection for a while, and as I was cutting the fabrics for my quilt I knew I had chosen a good pattern. I really had fun creating this quilt!

Q. How are you using this quilt?
JM: For now I have the quilt hanging in my home. I think it looks patriotic so I will leave it up through the 4th of July.

Q. Any advice you’d give other quilters after making this quilt?
JM: Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, try new patterns, and above all else enjoy the process. We are much harder on our work than we really need to be.

See the entire Vintage Shirting & Dress Prints collection by Barbara J. Eikmeier here and ask for it at your local quilt shop.
See more of Janie's work by following her on Instagram.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer of Sewing: Patriotic Star Quilt

During our Summer of Sewing series, we'll be featuring weekly tutorials using our new fabric collections (and giveaways, too!). Join us each week, sit back, relax, and then start sewing! 

We're in full-on 4th of July mood, and the patriotic fun starts here! We chose two prints from the American Pride collection to create this exploding star quilt, based on a tutorial from Sarah Craig of Confessions of a Fabric Addict. (Head over to see her 72" version using four of these star blocks--she stitched it in solids, and we think it would look fantastic in our Painter's Palette Solids!)
Quilt measures 30-1/2" square

Here are our fabric choices: 

Let's get started!
You'll Need:
1/2 yard of plaid print (includes binding)
3/4 yard of white solid
1/2 yard of blue star print
1 yard of backing fabric (we used Amy Calloway's allover patriotic print. See it here.)
36" square of batting

From the plain print: 
(1) 4-1/4" square
(4) 2-3/4" squares
(4) 2-1/4" x 42" strips for binding

From the white solid:
(4) 2-3/4" squares
(4) 4-3/4" squares
(4) 8-1/2" squares
(4) 8" squares

From the blue star print: 
(4) 8-1/2" squares
(4) 4-3/4" squares
(4) 4-1/4" squares

Make the Quilt:
Step 1: Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of a 2-3/4" white square. Layer right sides together with a 2-3/4" plaid square. 

Step 2: Stitch 1/4" on either side of the drawn line. Cut on the line. 

Step 3: Press both units open and trim to 2-3/8" square. Repeat to make a total of (8) HST units. 

Step 4: Lay out the (8) HST units, (1) 4-1/4" plaid square, and (4) 2-3/8" white squares as shown.

Step 5: Sew the HST units into pairs as shown. Sew white squares to both ends of two units. 

Step 6: Sew HST pairs to the sides of the center square. Sew the remaining units to the top and bottom to make the center star unit.

Step 7: Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of a 4-3/4" white square. Layer right sides together with a 4-3/4" plaid square. 

Step 8: Sew 1/4" on either side of the drawn line. Cut on the drawn line and press both units open. Trim to measure 4-1/4" square. Repeat to make a total of (8) HST units. 

Step 9: Lay out the (8) HST units, (4) 4-1/4" white squares and center star unit as shown.

Step 10: Sew the HST units into pairs, and add 4-1/4"blue star squares to both ends of (2) units.  Sew HST pairs to the sides of the center square. Sew the remaining units to the top and bottom to make the center star unit.

Step 11: Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of (1) 8-1/2" white square. Layer right sides together with an 8-1/2" blue star square. 

Step 9: Sew 1/4" on either side of the drawn line. Cut on the drawn line and press both units open. Trim to measure 8" square. Repeat to make a total of (8) HST units. 
Step 10: Lay out the (8) HST units, (4) 8" white squares and center star unit as shown.

Step 11: Sew the HST units into pairs, and add 8" white squares to both ends of (2) units. Sew HST pairs to the sides of the center square. Sew the remaining units to the top and bottom to complete the quilt top.

Step 12: Layer the backing right side down, batting and quilt top right side up. Quilt as desired. Trim batting and backing even with the quilt top. Use the (4) 2-1/4" x 42" plaid strips to bind the quilt. 

Would you like to win the fabrics used to make this quilt? Leave a comment below (or on IG) telling us your favorite July 4th tradition. Giveaway is open through Sunday, June 18th at 11:59 PM CDT. 

Find the entire American Pride collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop. 
Visit our Feeling Patriotic Pinterest board here for more red, white and blue ideas. 

Follow along with our Summer of Sewing Series! 
Click here to see all the tutorials. 

Last week's winner:
Congratulations to SliceofPiQuilts! We'll be contacting you for your mailing address.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

3 Reasons You'll Love the Grand Traditions quilt

The "Grand Traditions" quilt, featured in the August 2017 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, has it all: 

A quilt a guy would snuggle under (no frou frou flowers!)
Oversized blocks (goes together quickly!)
Fat quarter friendly (easy yardage requirements!)

We love this quilt and think you will too. Designer Roseann Meehan Kermes of Rosebud's Cottage used the Waddington Road collection by Barbara J. Eikmeier  to piece this quilt, destined for a couch, a bowl of popcorn, and a movie. (Bonus: Start it now, and it'll be ready by the time those cool fall days roll around!)

 Designed by Roseann Meehan Kermes of Rosebud’s Cottage.
Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine.
©2017 Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved. 

We asked Roseann to tell us about her design and sewing process. As a bonus, she included some links to her Instagram account from while she was sewing. 

Q. What attracted you to the Waddington Road prints?
RK: I loved the rich colors and the style of the prints ... especially the red and black ones. And the gold ones. And the blues, too!

Q. How did you choose what block to use?
RK: I've made this block in a 6" version. I came across a large version of it in my sketchbook and felt it would show off the prints in Waddington Road. Plus it's easy to sew ... any skill level should be able to make it.

Q. Tell us about the layout you came up with.
RK: The layout is actually a quilt block called Patience Corner. The blocks are placed a certain way within the layout to form the zigzag style sashing. Using this layout gave me the chance to show off the deep red fabric in the line. I love red, so it was a great choice! I've used the Patience Corner block to lay out many quilt tops ... it's a fun way to show off the blocks.

Q. Can you talk about how you combined prints for each block?
RK: I went through the fat quarter bundle and matched up color combinations, putting them in order of the background, contrast, and focus fabric. The first block was the hardest so I played it safe. It's in the second row on the right side. I laid the blocks on my floor as I completed them and then readjusted my combinations so that I didn't have too much of one color appearing stronger than the others. That's why some of the blocks appear to have less contrast than others.

Two things that helped ... after I chose the fabric combos, I labeled them A, B, and C. The other thing I did was create cutting charts. They're included in the article and are also labeled by letter. When you're using fat quarters, you want to make sure that you'll have enough fabric, especially if you miss-cut. Before I began, I decided which ways I needed to cut the fat quarters and did it the same way each time.  I always make the largest cut first because I can always subcut it into smaller segments. Also, I only made one block at a time so the cutting chart was helpful in remembering which way to cut each fabric.

Q. What do you like best about this quilt?
RK: I had a very short time frame when I made this quilt plus I had to get it quilted. I loved that it went together quickly.

The other reason I loved making this quilt is because I got to use my favorite tool ... the Folded Corner Clipper! I'm horrible at the technique of half-square triangles where you draw a line and sew next to it, creating a corner flip. My units never come out correctly. With this tool, you trim off the corner before you sew ... the seam allowance is included. I sewed those cut off triangle units together, too as I sewed the block units and have enough to make a couch pillow. It's fun to use up every last piece!

Q. Can you tell us about the quilting decisions?
RK: Haha ... here's my quilting decision ... I hand it off to Randi Helling at Jubilee Quilting and do what she suggests! I had sent her a photo before I got there so she had some ideas for me when I arrived. We discussed thread colors and I gave her a few choices. The rest was all her! Randi has quilted my professional and personal quilts for years. I trust her judgment.

Q. What do you envision this quilt being used for?
RK: I thought American Patchwork and Quilting read my mind about how this quilt would be used! I have a family full of 'boys' and imagined any one of them snuggling under this quilt. It's the perfect size for that.

Q. How else could this pattern be used?
RK: My daughter-in-law wanted to make a baby quilt so I sent her the directions to try out. She made four blocks and skipped the sashing so it wouldn't be too big. It was so cute! I'd do four blocks with the sashing to make a table topper or a picnic quilt.

Find the entire Waddington Road collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop. 
Learn more Waddington Road designer Barbara J. Eikmeier here.
Learn more about quilt designer Roseann Meehan Kermes here
Find American Patchwork & Quilting magazine here