Monday, September 27, 2021

Big Book of Quilts

Two of my previously published scrappy quilts were included in the new Martingale/That Patchwork Place Big Book of Quick to finish Quilts that was released this month - 

I love these Martingale Big Book compilations. This one has 54 patterns! What would we do without quilting book inspiration? Buying books, even before I became a quilter, has always been the one thing that lifts me up. After I finished college and started a job in Chicago at a publishing company, my very first credit card was for Kroch's & Brentano's, the largest book store in Chicago and a branch of Brentano's in NY.  I would take the train downtown and spend hours browsing through the fiction as well as nonfiction books. I needed my books! Now, I'm also inspired by quilting and other craft books to feed my soul. 

If you're looking for something easy to stitch, you'll find quite a few by some of your favorite designers. See pics of some of the other quilts in this book here. So many patterns to choose from.


These two quilts were first published in my book Small & Scrappy. Here are a few other little quilts from that book. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Wool Applique

This month was kicked off with a sew along in my Facebook group for the Window Box quilt from my book A Prairie Journey.  I posted some info about it here a few weeks ago.

It's an easy and fun quilt. The adorable needle case was a gift from a friend, Jennifer M.  It's a Wagon's West design by Martha Walker.  You might be able to find it here. She's got lots of cute wool patterns. 

We've had a lot of fun working with wool. Here's what I've done on mine so far. It's slightly different from the one in the book that Marian made. I decided to try a dark background.

Fuse the shapes down on the background.

Then stitch around the shapes. Doesn't take long at all.

I hadn't done any wool projects for a few years and had some trouble keeping my stitches straight and even. But I found this tip - using masking tape to keep the stitches aligned. Worked for me. I do much better when I have a line to follow.  I'm going to try to put the flying geese borders on it this weekend. 

If  you have the Prairie Journey book, there are a couple of other wool quilts in that book you may want to try. 

The wool applique on this one was done by Karen Schultz.

The wool on this one was done by Sue Bennett.

The sew along just started in September, so if you have the book try a little wool applique and join us! 

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There are also some simple wool patterns available on my Etsy site. It's been fun making this sew along quilt and I think I'll be doing a few more soon if time permits. 

My Wool Penny rug looks cute on a prim doll bed. 

A couple of wool ornaments  (they make cute pincushions too)

Wool Scissors cases

Tree skirt for a mini Christmas tree.


Gather Together table mat.

Have a great weekend. If you haven't tried working with wool yet, go buy some pretty pieces and get started on a project for fall. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Small Quilt for September

These are all the little quilts in the Schoolgirl Sampler book that we've been working on since June.

For those of you who are following along in the Schoolgirl Sampler sew along this year, the little quilt for September is the Whirlybird quilt on page 33. It's a simple block and one of my favorites. Marian Edwards, who made the quilt in the book, used the same block with matching fabrics throughout.  You can make it the same way or scrappy if you like. It's fun to play around with different fabrics and see what happens. 

I took one Whirlybird block left over from my Sampler quilt and decided to make a little coaster/mug mat. This seems to be an obsession for me lately.

They're so simple and easy. Take an orphan (leftover) block or make a fresh new one. (The Schoolgirl Sampler book has directions for 72 little blocks!) Add a tiny border if you feel like it.  Layer with batting and backing. Quilt a few simple stitches and add a binding.

Or no binding. The little log cabin mat above does not have a binding. I simply cut a piece of fabric the same size as the block for the backing, then layered the front and back (right sides together) with a piece of batting the same size on the bottom. Sew all around with a 1/4" seam. Leave a 2" space for turning the piece right side out. Then slip stitch it shut after turning, press and stitch inside the logs and an X through the middle. Stitch 1/8" away from the edge. 

Also no binding on the little Whirlybird one above. I tried something similar but a little different. I sewed a 3/4"-wide pink border on the sides of the block and then the top and bottom of the block. Then I layered it with a backing fabric cut the same size, right sides together. Place a piece of batting (also cut the same size) on the bottom. If you do it this way, the batting will come out in the middle, like when you're making a pincushion. I stitched the three layers together, leaving a 2" hole for turning. After sewing, I turned it right side out (through the hole), slip stitched the opening closed and pressed the border so it just looks like a binding. Simple and easy. 


I love making these little things. The pink mat below was made last year.  A few weeks ago I decided I needed a matching one in blue to go with a blue mug. Too cute, don't you think? These took a little longer because I sewed a 1 1/4" binding all around.

Sometimes a pretty little thing that's simple and quick is just what you need to perk up your day. And they're great for gifts too. If you start now, you'll have time to make some before the holidays. Add some cocoa packets or tea and/or a mug or cookies and you're all set with a pretty homemade gift that anyone would love to receive.