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United Colors

A flag motif is a favorite of mine. This  Scott Hansen designed quilt is fun and lends itself to solids or patterns (I used mostly solids, but sprinkled a few stripes and geometric patterns in there). His original design was more varied, but I did what I often do and didn't read the instructions all the way through before I started cutting and sewing, cutting and sewing . . . It wasn't until I was laying it out on the design board that I realized that all my flags were the same. So this is definitely my own take on Scott's United Colors quilt. The simplicity of this quilt allows for having tons of fun mixing colors. I used my favorite solids in this. The more mixy-matchy, the more I liked the block. Scott's pattern calls for a rhyme and reason for placement of bold colors and pale colors, but I interspersed some pale blocks randomly. The pale gray blocks reminded me of newsprint.  The bold colors make this quilt perfect for an eclectic room. Quilting by Long-armed and
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Quilts and Pets: A Match Made in Heaven

I need to make more pet quilts. They're small, quick and easy, and our furry friends are very forgiving about mistakes. And while they may not ooh and ahh over your choice of $12/yard designer fabric, they'll love it because it was made by you. I discovered Tacy Gray , a quilt designer, who had eight tips for making a quilt for a pet. In essence, she suggests keeping it simple, skipping the binding, and pretty much just steaming through it. I like her style. I've made a few quilts for the pets in my life, in fact pet quilts were part of the prescription cocktail that got me through the pandemic in 2020. They were all inspired by a quilt that my friend Judy made for my dog Abby when we first brought her home from the rescue.  Apparently, Judy was making these patchwork quilts for anyone who adopts a rescue dog. When she found out we were getting Abby, she called me and asked, "What's her favorite color?" "Um, green?"  Ten years later and this quilt is

A Bookshelf Quilt

I've seen so many bookshelf quilts lately, I thought it would be a good time to show you mine. I made this before I knew how to paper-piece, so it's a little rough around the edges (and the middle), but I had such fun putting this together. I used all scraps and saved selvage strips, and I didn't purchase any fabric except for the backing and binding. This project is where I learned to make my own pattern and improvise on-the-go.  In addition to selvage strips, which are so perfect for book bindings in a quilt, I used any fabric that had words; and the order print strip from some Spoonflower fabric I had made with a recipe in my mom's handwriting.  I love the haphazardness of the books - all colors, sizes and patterns. No fabric was left behind! Every bookshelf needs a tiny Kent State mug. :) What's inside the box? Treasure! And, of course, Elvis makes an appearance in a little picture frame.  I made a little bookmark. 💛 Words on the binding. My bookshelf quilt ha

The Joy of Quilt Gifting

Before I was a quilter, I was convinced I had been switched at birth. In a family of talented, creative, accomplished quilt-makers, I needed help hemming a pair of pants.  So my first experience with quilt gifting was being on the receiving end: My three sisters made me a quilt for my 25th wedding anniversary.  Isn't this gorgeous? It includes stars from all of the states we had lived in (six, at that point) and a beautiful signature panel on the back. It was such a touching gift. I was overwhelmed with that thought that my sisters would put so much time, effort and love into something just for me. So when I started quilting in 2020, I wanted to pay it forward. I made quilts as gifts, starting with a very simple quilt for my mother-in-law, and when the pandemic hit, the quilts got more complicated, my skills got better, my fabric stash grew, and by Christmas I had made 15 quilts for friends and family -- including two cats and a French bulldog.  I've said it before and I'll

Wall Hangings: Showy Little Quilts

Here's what I love about making a quilted wall hanging: 1. They're small enough that I can whip one up in a weekend. 2. I can do the quilting myself, instead of sending it out to the long-arm. 3. When hung, everyone can see the quilty wonderfulness. Wall hangings are a great use for that little bit of fabric that you have . . . not enough for a full-sized quilt, but pretty enough that you want to use it. And backing fabric is no problem for two reasons: You don't need much, and it won't be seen until one of your discerning quilter friends decides to do an inspection. :) I have finished three wall hangings in the past year, and have two more waiting for me to quilt (quilting is not my strong suit, so I have to gear up!). This large anchor quilt wall hanging I made with blue batiks on a white background. The pattern is "Anchors Away" by Denise K. Bane. She is nice enough to share her pattern for free on her website, I Am a Quilter . She shows how to make this q

ABC Quilts: Not Just for Kids Anymore

  Leave it to Marcia Derse to make an alphabet quilt panel that is so full of detail that you can actually spend time reading it.  The panel, part of Marcia Derse's Studio Alphabet fabric line, features colored block letters, vintage photographs and old journal entries. Each letter block is numbered and the whole thing is just full of interesting detail. When I saw this panel at Polka Dot Pincushion , one of my favorite quilt shops in Greater Cleveland, I knew I had to buy it . . . and some other stunning Marcia Derse fabrics for a border . . . and an amazing fabric for the backing. I made it with my dear friends George and Arlene in mind, and gave it to them this past weekend. They are both the most young-at-heart people I know and super creative people; I knew they would appreciate the uniqueness of this quilt. The colors are grungy, hand-dyed, rustic and batik in both bright and muted colors. Pick your favorite letter! Captivating! The backing is Marcia Derse's Art History