Friday, February 28, 2014

Be a Star! (or just make one)

Here's a sneak peek at what's coming next week:

Like stars in the sky, there are almost too many star block varieties to count! Do you have a favorite? Want to try your hand at sewing multiple different stars?

Starting next week, we'll be hosting a Star Sampler Blog Hop here, where some of our designer friends will share tutorials for their favorite star blocks. After all the tutorials are all posted, we'll offer ideas on how to put the blocks together and complete your sampler! We hope you'll grab some fabric and play along!

The designers will be using the Marblehead Venetian Glass fabrics by Ro Gregg--vibrant pops of color in so many different textures! 

Stop back Monday for the details! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Planting a Seed

If the seed packets at garden centers are calling your name but the ground is still frozen in your neighborhood, might we suggest Ro Gregg's Block Party collection? These fabrics will warm your heart for spring!

Name your favorite flower; you'll likely find it on the panel of blocks, ready to be fussy-cut, or the all-over floral print with a textured, scrapbook-like layered background. 

If you love this collection, you'll be thrilled to know that Cathy Miles has created a free quilt pattern called "Block Party."

Don't you love how Cathy used the floral blocks as a fussy-cut border? 

Find the free pattern for Cathy's Block Party quilt here
See larger images of all the fabrics here.

Spring is right around the corner! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

10 Signs of Spring

March is around the corner, hopefully bringing some signs of spring with the flip of a calendar page. Just in case the new month doesn't cooperate, here's a top ten list to get ready for spring--some of our favorite warm-weather-inspired fabric!

1. Block Party by Ro Gregg

3. Hannah

7. Lagoon

10. Calypso Goldfish by Ro Gregg
**Watch for more on this brand new collection (available in stores in March) soon!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to add pop to a panel

1 focal panel + fussy-cut blocks + multiple borders = 
the Deep Sea Pals quilt by Heidi Pridemore!

"Deep Sea Pals" by Heidi Pridemore; featured in McCall's Quick Quilts Feb/March 2014

It's no secret that we love quick and easy kids' quilts, and McCall's Quick Quilts has a great one in the current issue. Heidi's Under the Sea prints shine in this ocean-themed quilt that little ones will love, complete with blocks reminiscent of submarine portholes. 

How do you add pizzazz to a panel? Borders! Heidi mixed simple strip borders with a wide pieced border to make this cheery quilt.

The look of applique without the work: Fussy-cut squares from this Under the Sea print create easy blocks full of favorite ocean-swimming friends.

See the Under the Sea collection here.
Find the kit for this project here.
Find McCall's Quick Quilts here

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top 10 Two-Color Designs

Two-color quilt designs face an extra challenge--with a monochromatic palette, the design really has to pop. But when it works, it works well. Here are 10 of our favorites (many of them free patterns!), including links for where to find them yourself. Enjoy!

#1: Junctures quilt by Tony Jacobson; featured as a Web Bonus project for Easy Quilts magazine, made using the Black & White collection

#2: Roses Are Red by Tammy Silvers; featured in the October-November 2013 issue of Quilt magazine, made using the Roses are Red collection

#3: Winter Blues free quilt pattern by Sue Harvey and Sandy Boobar; featuring the Winter Blues collection

#4: Seaquarium free quilt pattern by Terry Albers; featuring the Coral Sea collection

#5: Cool Blue by Dawn Stewart; featured in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting July/August 2013 issue, made using the Indigo Blues collection

 #6: Red Rose designed by Diane Arganbright and Patricia Sue Nelson; featured in February/March 2014 issue of The Quilter magazine, made using the Roses are Red collection

 #7: Indigo Blues free quilt pattern designed by Sue Harvey and Sandy Boobar; featuring the Indigo Blues collection

#8: Black Tie Affair by Cathy Miles; featured in Simple Quilts & Sewing Spring 2013, made using the Black Tie Affair collection

#9: Two-Color Quilt tutorial by Rebecca of Our Busy Little Bunch; featuring Lady in Red

#10: ...a sneak peek at a brand-new quilt, which we'll be featuring here on the blog soon: Pane by Pane by Tony Jacobson; featured in the March/April 2014 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting, made using the Marblehead Northern Woods collection
(Okay, you might have noticed a tiny hint of blue in this quilt...technically it's not quite a two-color quilt...but we loved it and had to include it in the list, perhaps with an asterisk?)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Irresistible Valentine Ideas

Somehow, Valentine's Day always sneaks up. So even if you don't have time to make a last-minute treat to celebrate cupid's holiday, we hope these ideas from our Pinterest board will put you in a chocolate-and-hearts frame of mind! 

(See our entire Valentine's Day Pinterest board here.)

Don't these cuties remind you of the feathered friends in Judy Hansen's Nite Owl fabrics?!

Pink hot chocolate?!?!

Here's an easy one you can still do for dinner tonight:

Mmm...can't go wrong with bacon!

Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

This will make you laugh!

Don't forget...follow us on Pinterest to see the rest of our Valentine pins and more!
Check out our post of great Valentine's Day project ideas here, and a tutorial for quick and easy cards here.
 Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quick & Easy Valentine's Day Cards

Can you believe how much store-bought greeting cards cost these days? Who needs 'em when you can make your own?

Grab some cardstock (or a package of plain cards and envelopes from your local craft shop) and follow these easy steps to make a simple Valentine card for someone special.


  • Cardstock or pre-folded card (ours measure 4.25" x 5.5", so the heart templates are sized accordingly)
  • Fabric scraps (we used Marblehead!)
  • Glue stick

Download the pdf of heart templates here.

Don't these Valentine-colored Marblehead prints just put you in a hearts-and-chocolate kind of mood?!

To make the 3-heart card:

Step 1: Cut out the paper heart shapes. Choose your desired fabrics, and pin a heart shape to each fabric.

Step 2: Cut out each heart shape. Position them on the card front in an arrangement you like.

Step 3: Remove the hearts from the card front and apply the glue stick to the card approximately where the first heart will go. Smooth the fabric heart down over the glue.

Step 4: Stitch the heart to the card (tip: don't forget to open the card before stitching!) close to the outer edge of the heart. 

Step 5: Repeat with the second and third hearts.

You're done!

To make the patchwork heart card:
Step 1: Cut three 1" x 5" red strips and three 1" x 5" pink strips. Sew them together, alternating colors, to make a pieced unit.

Step 2: Position the cut out heart template on top, pin in place, and cut the shape out.

Step 3: Apply the glue stick to the card front approximately where the heart will go. Smooth the heart into place. Stitch around the outer edge of the heart using a straight stitch, zig zag, or buttonhole stitch (we used a buttonhole here).

You're done!

Write a message on the inside of your card and deliver to your Valentine! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Even at the Olympics!

Are you watching the Olympics in Sochi?

It's been fun to see quilting play a role in this year's games, starting with the Olympic patchwork quilt, developed by the creative department of Bosco, a leading Russian sportswear company, and given to the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee. Their reason for choosing a quilt?
..."we settled on something familiar, warm and welcoming: the patchwork quilt."


The pattern appears on jackets the Russian volunteers are wearing at the Games, among other places.

The fabrics used in this quilt represent patterns and motifs from crafts in each of Russia's 89 regions. you can see swatches here.

See some of the traditional crafts these fabrics are based on here.

And don't forget the U.S. snowboarding team jackets, designed by Burton, and based on a quilt:

Where else have you seen quilt-inspired designs?