Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Sew a Little Valentine's Day Quilt

Over the weekend, I had an idea for a sweet little Valentine's Day quilt. I kept telling myself I had too many other projects to finish but I just could not resist doing one more. You're all invited to join me in making another little project beginning on Wednesday, February1. Some of you sewed along with me last year for something similar and it was a lot of fun. Small scraps, simple pieces and before you know it you have a little quilt finished. 

We'll be making this quilt in three steps beginning on Feb 1 when I'll post the first step. Second step will be on Friday or Saturday of this week. Then the third and final step next week. This will be a quick and easy little quilt for you to display around the house, on a table or doll bed or to hang on a wall. It won't take much time at all.


                                  Valentine's Day quilts are a lot of fun to make. Here are a few of my favorites -   

                      Bring out your red, pink and light fabrics or scraps and join me on Feb 1!  

Friday, January 20, 2023

Shoo Fly Blocks

My little shoo-fly runner, quilted and bound. Quick and easy. Hope you're also making something cute with the shoo fly blocks! See my website or FB group files for the little shoo-fly pattern. (Links are on the right sidebar.)


 I'll never get tired of making cute little things . . . . 

I'm still making more of these little blocks. It's hard to stop. Maybe I'll start a collection and save for a rainy day?

Combing through my scraps is the most fun. I cleaned up my sewing room a little bit and spent half an hour just sitting there, looking for more space to store everything. What if I put the table there? How about shelves? Can I consolidate anything? It's a tiny space and I make the most of it but it's beginning to feel cramped rather than "cozy."  Still, cleaning up always gives me a little motivation. 


One more handle to sew on my little red baskets. Not sure if I'll stop at four -  or make a few more.

Have a good weekend -  Take some time to sew a little something. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Small Quilt Sew Along 2023

We're kicking off the 2023 Small Quilt Sew Along today, sewing little 3" x 3" Shoo-fly blocks to make a quilt of your choice. Directions for the block and suggestions for how to set them are in my Facebook group files. (I've also uploaded a file on my website under Shoo Fly Sew Along for those of you not on FB.)


I've always loved little shoo-fly quilts and have made a few using slightly larger blocks. 

If you have my book The Civil War Sewing Circle you may have made the pink and brown quilt. The red and blue one is from my first book, American Doll Quilts. Either would look cute with 3" blocks. They're such happy little blocks!

After making 10 blocks last week I couldn't wait to set them. Yesterday, as I was finishing writing up the directions, I had to stop and make a quick little runner using three of the blocks. You have to admit - these are just too sweet, aren't they? I don't think you can stop at just one. They're such happy little blocks!

So, jump in, download the pattern, then make some blocks in your favorite colors and have a little bit of fun. Look through the examples I included in the file to decide how to set your blocks. 



Some of you have asked me to do the sew along here or on Instagram, instead of Facebook. Sorry to disappoint but FB is the only place to conduct something like this where you can share files, interact and allow others to post photos of their progress and quilts. This is the only reason I do Facebook. I simple cannot do any of that on a blog. And you cannot upload files or post others' photos on Instagram. However, if you are on Instagram, feel free to post photos of your own shoo fly quilts using the hashtags #kathleentracysmallquiltsewalong or  #shooflysewalong.  I would love to see them.

Also, beginning tomorrow, some in my group will be sewing along and making the Soldier's Cot quilt from my book The Civil War Sewing Circle. (See my previous blog post from last week.) If you'd like to join in and have the book, we'll be doing this ONLY in my Facebook group where members can ask questions and share photos.  There's a pattern available in my Etsy shop. for the version I recently made.

If you don't have the book, you can purchase an e-book from Martingale. But only for a short time. Many of  you may have heard that my publisher Martingale/That Patchwork Place is closing soon. This means that they will no longer be publishing or selling books. There will be a huge hole in the quilting industry and we will all miss the wonderful inspiration they provided us for so many years. If you don't have some of my books that are still in print you might want to purchase them while they are still available, and some of the others in e-book format.  I still have copies available of  Schoolgirl Sampler, Small & Scrappy and A Prairie Journey. But once they're gone, they're gone. Even the e-books will no longer be available.  Definitely the end of an era . . . . 

Enjoy your small sewing!

Monday, January 2, 2023

2023 Sew Alongs

Happy New Year! Ring in the new as well as the old. I'm wishing you a year filled with lots of stitching and many new projects. And perhaps some time or motivation to work on a few old ones too. 

We'll be doing a few new sew alongs in my Facebook group beginning on January 11. One will involve a small, simple, scrappy quilt. TBD (to be determined). And the other will be a sew along for a quilt in one of my older books -  the Soldier's Cot Quilt from my book The Civil War Sewing Circle. This one is exciting. Some of you might remember this one from years ago. Definitely an oldie (2011). I revived it and started making another one last year for my son and finished it just in time for Christmas. Whew. 

This one is slightly larger than the original (I added a row) but it's basically same pattern as in the book. The quilt was inspired by one of the surviving Civil War quilts that was made for and distributed to Union soldiers during the war and is displayed at the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands, California. Here's a link to the story behind that quilt.

My original quilt. Never been a fan of  the colors but it fits the theme of the book. 

It's a fun quilt. I love this pattern and always regretted that I didn't use better fabrics or colors my my quilt in the book. I like this new one so much better and made sure I used less browns and more blues. 

More than a few quilters asked me about the quilt and I thought it might make a good a sew along this year. The pattern is in the Civil War Sewing Circle book but if you don't have it or don't want to buy it I will create a single pattern that will be available for purchase in my Etsy shop. Probably by next week. The book is out of print now but you can usually find good used copies on Amazon, eBay or places like Thrift Books. Martingale also has ebooks available for instant download.  If you're interested in sewing along with some of my FB members, jump in any time. We'll be doing this as a casual sew along where everyone works at their own pace for however long it takes. Only took me about 8 months, LOL. Pieced it together a little at a time in between everything else going on last year.

*  *  *

The 2023 small quilt sew along will begin on January 11. It will be very simple and perfect for using up your reproduction scraps and playing around with your favorite colors. I'll post directions in my group then. And I'll also put them up on a new page on my website around then so check there if you're not on FB. 

Here are a few other projects I need to work on this year - 

Dear Jane, of course.  Finish sewing on those triangle borders. It occurred to me I might be having a hard time letting it go, LOL. 

Simple 2 1/2" squares set in diagonal rows, inspired by a quilt made by Linda Collins from Quilts in the Barn fame. This one is made with all Judie Rothermel fabrics. I repeated many of my favorite Judie fabrics, so no, it's not a charm quilt. 

I have another section just like this one but need to make a few more rows then sew them together to finish it into a lap quilt. Start with one square and build rows, alternating lights and dark or medium prints. Fun and easy. Linda has told me she might want to publish this as a pattern someday so I am not giving out specific directions for it. 

                                        Scrappy Stars anyone?? Waaay behind on this one . . . .

I also started making some little red baskets last week, on a whim, LOL. To add to my growing pile of other baskets . . . .  The inspiration and urge to create something new and fresh never ends it seems. Someone is going to have a fun time going through all of my unfinished projects someday . . . . 

So, if you have the time and inclination, tidy up your sewing room, clean off the cutting table and join me in making some new projects as we head into the new year. Buy some new needles or thread or bits of pretty fabric to get yourself inspired. 

Happy Sewing!