Thursday, September 27, 2012

Free pattern day: Aprons

Have you thought about whipping up an apron for yourself, or for a personal gift for friends and family?  There are some fabulous free patterns and tutorials out there! Here are more than 30 ideas to whet your appetite: plain or fancy; ruffled or pleated; half, full, and chef's aprons. (Note:  this post has been updated; new patterns were added on July 1, 2013)


Tea 4 Two Apron, free pattern by Bethany Fuller for Windham Fabrics


Mostly Vintage Apron tutorial by Holly DeGroot at Bijou Lovely


Frilly Apron tutorial at Spotlight (Australia)(metric)


One-Yard "Use-it-all" Apron pattern and tutorial by Erika at Miss Sews It all


 Simple Apron tutorial by Bari J as seen at Vintage Image Madness


 Reversible café apron tutorial by Shelley Detton at 7 layer studio


Oh sew easy sassy apron, free pattern by Valori Wells and Carolyn Spencer, download at C&T Publishing 


Lined Apron Tutorial by Louise at Lululollylegs


Holiday apron how-to tutorial at Martha Stewart


Hostess Apron by Tammy Vasser for Windham Fabrics


Apron in an Hour, free pattern by Jona Giammalva of Stop Staring and Start Sewing


A Fabric Lover's Apron Tutorial at Maureen Cracknell Handmade


Berry Good cocktail apron, free pattern by Irene Berry for Windham Fabrics


One-yard, half-apron tutorial at My Byrd House


Four-fat-quarter apron tutorial at Maureen Cracknell Handmade


Christmas apron, free pattern by Phyllis Dobbs
 

Tea Time, pretty pockets half apron with applique, tutorial at Sew 4 Home

 
Dresden pocket half apron free pattern by Maureen Cracknell for Riley Blake Designs


Fushia (Fuchsia) Dot Apron tutorial at Amy Hearts It


Empire-waist apron tutorial by Shelley Detton at 7 layer studio 


Annabelle Apron, free pattern at Hoffman Fabrics, download the pattern here


Pumps and Pearls Apron tutorial by Delia Randall at Delia Creates


Romantic Cottage Style Apron tutorial, full or half apron, at Sew 4 Home



Spice It Up Apron, free pattern by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics,  free pattern download here


Krista Apron, free pattern by Elizabeth at Think Liz

 
Heirloom Apron tutorial, Free Spirit Artist Joel Dewberry, at Sew 4 Home

 
Moda's Vintage Modern, Pleated Apron tutorial at Sew 4 Home


Bakers Apron tutorial and downloadable template at Martha Stewart Living


Reversible summer apron, free pattern at Sew 4 Home


Marie Apron, free pattern by Elizabeth at Think Liz


Adjustable Unisex Apron tutorial at the Purl Bee


Chef's Apron, free pattern by Michael Fulkerson at Spool Sewing

Chef's Apron

Child's Reversible Fat Quarter Apron tutorial and pattern at Aesthetic Nest


Mini Me Apron Set, free pattern by Susan at Living With Punks


Valentine Appliqued Aprons for mother and daughter by Maureen Cracknell


Image credits: All images are copyrighted by their owners. Please respect their generosity in sharing their free patterns, and the restrictions they have placed on the use of these designs. Complete information can be found at the designers' websites provided in the links.  Some of these are tutorials while others have downloadable (.pdf) patterns; we have tried to note which is which in the title above each photo.  If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quilt Inspiration: Best of Halloween Quilts

As holidays go, it seems that Halloween gets bigger and better every year.  We love the images of the season: jack-o-lanterns, haunted houses, bats, ghosts and witches. We've even come to enjoy the wacky but iconic color scheme of orange, green and purple (!) Here's a recap of our Best of Halloween posts from the last two years.

Above, Row 1: Jack O Lantern Baskets by Kim Gaddy at Buttons and Bees; Pumpkin Hollow by Anne Sutton at Bunny Hill Designs; Fall Pumpkins by Kim Gaddy at Buttons and Bees. Row 2: Goofy Ghosts by Karen Eckmeier at The Quilted Lizard; Ichabod Hollow by Holly Oddson at Contra Costa County Quilt Guild (pattern by Joe Wood at Thimble Creek Quilt Shop); Rotogravure by Joe Wood at Thimble Creek Quilt Shop. Row 3: Sew Spooky by Arlene Stamper and Melissa Harris at The Quilt Company; Haunted House by Cynthia England at England Design. Row 4: Baltimore Halloween by Pearl P. Pereira at P3 Designs; Haunted Houses by Amber Johnson at A Little Bit Biased; If the Hat Fits pattern by The Buggy Barn™; a quilt kit is also available at The Buggy Barn. Row 5: If the Hat Fits block by The Buggy Barn™; Pumpkins by Frieda Anderson at Friestyle; Witch's Brew by Joan Jones at Seams Like Home; Don't Drink and Fly by Holly Mabutas at Eat Cake Graphics.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Best of Halloween 2012: Haunted House

Celebrate Halloween with this haunted house, complete with ghosts, goblin, a creepy haunted forest and a flying witch! This quilt is entirely picture-pieced, except for the shutters and flying ghosts, which are appliqued. A full-size template and fabric selection chart are included.

Haunted House, 31" x 28", by Cynthia England at England Design


Cynthia's hallmark is realistically detailed pictorial quilts. Using skills she developed as a commercial graphic artist, she creates quilts depicting some of her favorite subjects: flowers, nature, antiques and architecture. After using applique to get the realistic effect in her early quilts, Cynthia gradually devised a machine piecing technique she calls Picture Piecing. This technique breaks the design down into pieces that can all be sewn using straight seams and allows her to include intricate details and shading without a single set-in seam.

Haunted House, detail, by Cynthia England


The witches, trees and lattice images are included in the pattern and can be photocopied to photo transfer paper and transferred to your fabric. Or, you can download the Adobe Acrobat PDF files for these images and print your images directly to treated fabric or an iron-on transfer sheet.


Cynthia's stunning quilts have been winning 1st place ribbons at local and national quilting events since 1991 and have graced the pages of many quilting publications.  Essentially a self-taught quilter, she has made about 24 bed-sized quilts and over 70 wall quilts. After numerous requests to teach her technique to other quilters, Cynthia launched a line of Picture Piecing patterns and thus her business, England Design, was born. Her website shows all of Cynthia's prize winning quilts as well as the entire line of England Design patterns.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Best of Halloween 2012: Jack-O-Lantern Baskets

On Kim Gaddy's very enjoyable blog,  Sewing With Terriers, she writes about living and working in Texas as a quilt artist, pattern designer, and owner of Hennig House Quilts, just outside of Austin, the capital city. To inspire you for autumn sewing, here are two of many fun-to-make quilts designed by Kim.

Jack O Lantern Baskets, 38 x 38", by Kim Gaddy at Buttons and Bees


We love the wildly grinning faces on these Jack O' Lanterns, which are bursting with personality. They're fresh off the vine and ready to celebrate the season, surrounded by bats and candy corn. Kim designed this quilt in a versatile size to brighten up any room in the house. If you're out of space to display it on the wall,  consider draping it over your favorite armchair or sofa.  We can't help smiling when we see this lively quilt, as these Jack O' Lanterns look as if they are ready to party !

Fall Pumpkins by Kim Gaddy at Buttons and Bees


Fall Pumpkins is such a pretty pattern, with its graceful symmetry and swirling vines whose curves complement the round pumpkins. The soft red of the autumn leaves and the neutral background lends this quilt to many different decors. It's sophisticated enough to be shown in the living room or dining room, but also works well displayed as a bed topper or kitchen table topper. You'll have a great time practicing your applique skills, whether you choose solid color fabrics, traditional small calico prints, or contemporary tone-on-tone batiks.

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Kim Gaddy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Best of Halloween 2012: Goofy Ghosts

From Connecticut, multi-talented teacher, author, and artist Karen Eckmeier writes, "I am compelled to create; creating gives me energy, and I want to share that energy with others. Fabric is my medium of choice, because I love the feel and texture of it."  Here's Karen's very original Halloween- themed pattern,  "Goofy Ghosts", which can be purchased at her website, The Quilted Lizard.

Goofy Ghosts, 25 x 25", by Karen Eckmeier at The Quilted Lizard


We love "Goofy Ghosts", because we think that Karen's designs in the round are so innovative and interesting. This quilt reminds us of looking through a kaleidoscope at fun Halloween symbols. There are bats done in lively purple, exuberant jack o' lanterns,  and witches broomsticks which give this work an elegantly balanced "compass effect". Also, take notice of  the owls, candy corn, and the faces of the black cats in the center.  The joyous dancing ghosts with their happy faces and curved forms comprise the focal point of the quilt and reinforce the circular motif.  Eye-pleasing symmetry is displayed throughout this excellent design.

Best of all, the assembly of the quilt is a time-saving process. Karen notes that "Goofy Ghosts" uses simple straight-stitch applique, which is done as part of the quilting process, so you don't need to use a stabilizer.

For more of Karen Eckmeier's fascinating work, please stay tuned to Quilt Inspiration during the next few months. We're looking forward to featuring more intriguing patterns from this prolific artist !

Image credits:  The image of "Goofy Ghosts" is shown with the generous permission of Karen Eckmeier.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Best of Halloween 2012: Sew Spooky

Arlene Stamper and her daughter Melissa Harris, owners of The Quilt Company in San Diego, California,  introduced "Sew Spooky" at Spring Quilt Market 2012, where it was an immediate success ! Here's a quilt with some of the most cheerful and artistic haunted houses we've ever seen.

Every Witch Way, 20" x 13", Block 3 in Sew Spooky at The Quilt Company


Every Witch Way is one of 5 pieced houses in the "Sew Spooky" quilt. This enchanting design features a witch's hat for a roof, a jack o' lantern with a matching hat in one window and a jack o'lantern wearing a "cat hat" in the other window. Notice the broom parked upstairs and the witch's long legs on the front walk. We especially love the "trick or treat" fabric for the roof.

Jack's Patch, 20" x 13",  Block 4 in Sew Spooky at The Quilt Company


Here's "Jack's Patch", complete with rickety old fence, lighted windows for eyes, and even  a nose andsmiling mouth at the front door. There are even pumpkins done in matching fabric, swinging from the nearby tree. You can purchase each of these 5 charming house blocks one-by-one, plus the set of instructions for assembling the borders and the rest of the quilt, for a total of  6 patterns, or you can purchase the complete set at the same time.

Sew Spooky, 73 x 61", at The Quilt Company


Here all all of the houses assembled into the finished quilt ! In addition to the two blocks described above, you can see the "Spells and Stiches" house on the upper left, complete with a 3 dimensional quilt flap in the window and the "Haunted Barn" with a couple of  3-D spiders, an embroidered cobweb, and an owl button upstairs. On the lower right is the "Ghoul School" complete with a bell tower and mischievous dancing ghosts in the windows and overhead.  We especially love the festive inner border of orange and yellow candy corn.

 The designers note that all of "Sew Spooky" is done with easy piecing and fusible applique.  Arlene Stamper and Melissa Harris have even created a Sew Spooky Button Packet and a Sew Spooky Fabric Accessory Packet  as a finishing touch for this adorable quilt. You'll be proud to display this creation every autumn for years to come!

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Arlene Stamper.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Best of Halloween 2012: Pumpkinville

This week, we're featuring some of the cutest and most interesting Halloween quilts, to inspire you before Halloween arrives on October 31 !

Pumpkin Hollow, 58 x 66, by Bunny Hill Designs
 

Anne Sutton has created two versions of this BOM:  Pumpkin Hollow, above, is made in wool; and Pumpkinville is made in cottons. Before her career as a quilt designer and pattern maker, Anne Sutton had a career as an events planner for a 4-star hotel.  You can see Anne's expert eye for attention to meticulous and careful details in the blocks depicting this charming, fairy-tale town. There's a pumpkin pub, a pie shop, and of course, a quilt shop, all surrounded by cats, birds, dogs, and a delightful procession of pumpkin cars.Notice how the cars even travel around the border of the quilt to make the border extra cheerful. The soft taupes and natural or ecru shades of the background fabric provide a great contrast for these really clever applique designs.

Pumpkinville, close-up


Here's a pumpkin building in Pumpkinville standing under the watchful eye of a lively pumpkin tree ! Notice how the curves of the house and the tree provide a graceful continuity of design here. The soft sage green hue of the house windows is replicated in the hue of the tree trunk and leaves.  An embroidery floss and embellishment kit will soon be available for this quilt.


Who wouldn't want to live in this adorable pumpkin house done in analogous colors and delicate calico prints? Notice the whimsical heart attached to the roof,  just as it is in many Pumpkinville buildings. The Pumpkinville quilt uses Moda Fabrics, as shown in this guide at Bunny Hill Designs. In addition, please check out Anne's cheerful, colorful "Pumpkin Pie" quilt at Bunny Hill Designs.

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Anne Sutton.
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