Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quilters Newsletter's Best Scrap Quilts Blog Tour

Welcome to Day 2 of Quilters Newsletter's Best Scrap Quilts Blog Tour!!

Ahhh, scrap quilts.  I love scrap quilts.  It's actually my favorite way to quilt -- the more fabrics, the better.  And no, it's not just an excuse to add to my stash!  (Well, not entirely!)  I find that using a variety of colors, patterns, and textures gives scrap quilts instant warmth and incomparable charm.

You'll agree when you check out Quilters Newsletter's latest special issue, Best Scrap Quilts 2014.  The pages of Best Scrap Quilts are filled with lots of scrappy eye candy -- 28 patterns for bed quilts, throws, and home decor projects and, as a bonus, there's a beautiful and inspiring article on scrappy reverse applique. Best Scrap Quilts is available now on newsstands and in bookstores and in quilt shops.  It's also available online at Quilt and Sew shop in both hardcopy and digital editions.

Here's a sample of what you'll find in Best Scrap Quilts:

It's my Welcome Fall table runner and it's on page 21of Best Scrap Quilts. With flying geese and maple leaf blocks in warm, spicy shades of red, rust, and plum (with a bit of blue and green thrown in for good measure), this quilt is my ode to fall. 

And Welcome Fall is a true "scrap quilt".  With the exception of the border/backing fabric, the fabrics for this quilt came entirely from my stash. I like to think this speaks to my "use up/make do" mentality rather than the size of my stash.

Not that there is anything wrong with having a big stash!  In fact, thanks to the amazing people at Quilters Newsletter, here's your opportunity to grow your own stash with this beautiful Signature Scrap Bundle assembled by Susan Geddes, Art Director at QN.

For your chance to win Susan's bundle, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. MDT tonight (4/30/2014) by clicking on the word "comments" below.  You'll be redirected to a "Post a Comment" window.  Once there, either scroll to the bottom of the window or click "Jump to Comment Form" and follow the directions to leave your comment.  I'll draw one name at random, so please make sure I have your email address.  Only one comment per person, please, and the contest is only open to those who haven't won something from Quilters Newsletter in the last 90 days.

Enjoy the rest of the blog tour and good luck!

***This contest is now closed.  Thank you for all of your comments and don't forget to check out QN's blog every day this week for links to other designers' blogs and more chances to win fabulous prizes!***

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Welcome Home" Contest Winner!

And the winner is..... Katherine!  Thank you for your comment and congratulations!  You are the lucky winner of a subscription to Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine.  I'll email you shortly with the details.  

If you're not Katherine, thank you too, for commenting and don't despair.  I've got good news and some more good news.  

First the good news:  if you're interested in having your own copy of Primitive Quilts and Projects, the magazine will be available for purchase over the next couple of months in quilt shops, bookstores and news stands.  Or you can visit Primitive Quilts and Projects' website to purchase the current issue (either in print or digitally) or subscribe to this delectable magazine.

And now the other good news:  check back here during the week of April 29th for another chance to win -- this time some fabric!  Quilters Newsletter will be hosting a blog tour to promote their latest special issue, Best Scrap Quilts 2014, and 9 bloggers will be participating.  That's 9 chances to win!  I'll be posting on April 30th, but make sure to check out the Quilters Newsletter blog on the 29th for links to the other participants' blogs.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Welcome Home" Quilt and Contest

It's here!  Finally, it's here!!

At long last, my Summer 2014 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine has arrived and I'm so excited!  If you don't already subscribe to this magazine, you should definitely give it a chance.  Every issue of PQP is full of inspiring ideas and photographs.  It's a beautifully done magazine and it's one of my favorites.

But why, you may ask, am I sooo excited about this particular issue of PQP?!  It's because one of my projects, Welcome Home, is featured on page 56 of the magazine!  This is my first time having a pattern in PQP and I feel as giddy as a schoolgirl!  Tee-hee!

Welcome Home is a fun, scrappy project that I originally designed for my sister, Vicki.  The simple patchwork and super speedy wool appliqué  make it perfect for a beginner and fast enough to give as a gift.  This narrow quilt is meant to be hung above a doorway, but it would be darling anywhere in your home.

I made the quilt in three colorways for PQP because I wanted to give readers a sense of the possibilities (and because it's that much fun to make).

Here is my patriotic version in blues, reds and creams:

This is my scrappier, more muted interpretation:

And finally, here is my primitive version (and to be honest, I think it's my favorite -- third time's a charm!):

And yes, you're right, I do seem to recall having mentioned a contest in the title of this post!  The editors of PQP have generously offered a free subscription to their beautiful magazine for one of my lucky readers!  If you'd like a chance to win this amazing prize, leave a comment on this post by clicking on the word "comments" in the blue box below.  I'll draw one name at random, so please make sure I have your email address.  This contest will be open until 8:00 pm Friday, April 18th and I'll announce the winner by Saturday, April 19th.

Good luck and happy quilting!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How To: Half Square Triangles

Once upon a time I made an Ocean Waves quilt.  You know the one, made up almost entirely of half square triangles.  At the time I was new to quilting and I dutifully cut out thousands of triangles and pieced them together, bias edges and all.  I did know about chain piecing at the time, so that helped a bit, but the mile long chain was unruly to say the least.

But a few years have passed, and I may be a bit older, but I'm also a lot wiser, and I have a new way of making half square triangles that I love!  And since I've been churning them out this week for a project I'm working on, I thought it might be a good time to share my favorite method for making HSTs.  (note the use of quilter's jargon.  Cool, aren't I?!)

And away we go...

You'll need two 6" squares of fabric.  Lay the squares one on top of the other with right sides together.

Using a quilting ruler, lightly mark a diagonal line a scant 1/4" on either side of both actual diagonals.  Keep reading to see a photo of the marked lines.

In order to the get the scant 1/4", I like to line the corners up in between the 1/4" and 3/16" lines on my ruler.

The marked lines should look like this:

Now sew along each marked line.

After pressing the seams, use a quilting ruler and rotary cutter to cut horizontally through the middle of the unit.  Each resulting unit should measure 3" x 6".

Now cut each unit in half vertically.  

The resulting units should each measure 3" x 3".  Almost there!

Press each unit open.  I usually like to press towards the dark fabric unless it interferes with block construction.

Now align the 45° line on a square quilting ruler with the diagonal of your HST.  Trim along the right and top sides of your ruler, then turn the block 180° and do it again.  This is the worst part of the process, especially if you're making a lot of HSTs.  It may require a good background movie and possibly a glass of wine.  BUT, it's worth the time because the HSTs end up perfectly sized which really helps your blocks to come together nicely.

The final HSTs should measure 2 1/2" x 2 1/2".  Repeat with the remaining seven HSTs.  Two 6" squares yield 8 HSTs that finish at 2" x 2" in a quilt block.

 If you only need four HSTs, start with two 3" x 6" rectangles, draw your lines as follows, and follow the same process.

For two HSTs, start with 3" x 3" squares, draw your lines as follows, and, well, you know the drill!

In case you're wondering:

two 5" squares yield eight 1 1/2" finished HSTs 
two 6 1/2" squares yield eight 2 1/4" finished HSTs 
two 7" squares yield eight 2 1/2" finished HSTs

Happy Quilting!