Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Christmas 2020 (part 2)

As Christmas approaches, we wish you good health and peace of mind.  Here is a quilt embroidered with snowmen, bringing to mind this quote by Pietro Aretino:

Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.

p.s. Check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on books, magazines, and collectible items (more listings are coming soon !) For free quilt inspiration, please visit us on Twitter.

I Believe in Snowmen by Rod Ohmart, 56 x 64,  quilted by Debbie Stanton

This very pretty quilt pattern, from  Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, caught our eye at the 2020 Quilt Arizona ! show. For those readers who may be interested, this redwork embroidery and applique pattern is available for purchase at this shop on etsy.com

(Please note that this reference does not constitute an endorsement; nor do we receive any compensation for this link. We are simply providing a potential source in case any readers inquire).

Quiltmaker Rod Ohmart explains, "This was the first quilt I have made from beginning to end. I enjoyed embroidering the designs and piecing the quilt." 

I Believe In Snowmen contains log cabin blocks set en pointe, along with appliques of houses, a Christmas tree, and a reindeer. Interspersed with the patchwork are blocks of whimsical snowmen in various poses, designed in folk-art style. For an interesting free video tutorial on how to do the embroidery on this quilt, check out  designer Anne Sutton's instructional video here.

Longarm quilter Debbie Stanton did a lovely and creative job on this quilt. This pattern of spirals reminds us of wind blown clouds of snow drifting through the sky, ready to softly drop fresh powder, ready to be formed into new batches of snow people. 


 Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2020 Quilt Arizona show.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Christmas 2020

As Christmas approaches, we wish you good health and peace of mind.  Here is a quilt with sparkling snowflakes, bringing to mind the serenity of a crisp winter's day. Thoughts of winter bring to mind this quote by John Geddes:

I pray this winter be gentle and kind--a season of rest from the wheel of the mind.

p.s. Check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on books, magazines, and collectible items (more listings are coming soon !) For free quilt inspiration, please visit us on Twitter

Winter Joy by Peggy Morris

Beautifully pieced and quilted by Peggy Morris, Winter Joy was exhibited at the 2020 Quilt Arizona show.  Peggy says, "Shimmering snowflakes [were done] in the middle of the desert"!  

The snowflakes are set atop an intricate pieced background with double Sawtooth Star blocks, surrounded by several borders.  The neutral taupe and gray color scheme in the background blocks provides the perfect setting for the darker snowflakes.

The snowflakes appear to be pieced, but they are actually raw-edge appliqued on top of the quilt, which was finished with computer guided quilting designs resembling swirling snow.

The snowflake pieces were quilted with metallic thread and embellished with tiny sapphire blue rhinestones for extra sparkle. Note: The Winter Joy quilt design is by Border Creek Station

Image credits: Photo were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2020 Quilt Arizona show.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Autumn Baltimore

November is here, and we thought we'd revisit a favorite quilt photo from years past. We hope that quilting - and the enjoyment of nature - provide you with inspiration, peace, and a respite from these difficult times. 

Autumn Baltimore, 71 x 71", by Sue Green, California


Sue writes, " A friend and I purchased this Baltimore Autumn pattern by Pearl Pereira together at PIQF in October 2013 from one of the many wonderful vendors. I love needle-turn applique and prefer working with batiks, as they don't fray when trimming and clipping."

Close-up, Autumn Baltimore by Sue Green


Sue continues, "This was my first ever Baltimore album style quilt and a real challenge to get it completed for this year. It hangs in my dining room from September through Thanksgiving. " We can only imagine the hours of loving work that went into this stunning quilt, a true heirloom. Color saturated batiks fabrics work perfectly to convey the intensity of autumn hues.  Sue's work here is hand-appliqued, machine pieced, and long arm machine quilted.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2015 Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween sneaks in

While we were busy with other things, Halloween crept in!  The holiday isn't quite the same this year, but we still enjoy Halloween themes: pumpkins, black cats, and witches' hats.  Here's a fun quilt we admired at the 2020 Quilt Arizona quilt show.

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on books, magazines, and collectible items ! For free quilt inspiration, please visit us on Twitter

Scaredy Cats by Lexi Burg

Lexi Burg created her own design to showcase this adorable cat fabric.  In the center nine-patch, the cat blocks alternate with pinwheels.  Many of the cats are wearing Halloween outfits and standing on pumpkins.  (We're still searching for the source of this cute fabric!)  Lexi quilted this herself using a variety of motifs.  Here are a few closeups of the blocks:



Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2020 Quilt Arizona show.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Halloween Friends Table Runner: A Tutorial

Look at the adorable dogs and cats in this Halloween table runner! Today, we'll show you how we made our newest table runner with a combination of rotary strip cutting and fussy cutting.  Fussy cutting makes any sewing project look very professional, designer-inspired, and custom-made. We'll explain below.

Halloween Friends, 16 ½" x 44 ½" by Quilt Inspiration


Many thanks to our good friend at the Guild Of Quilters of Contra Costa County for the quilting!

 

Of course, you can also sew a table runner for any holiday or  season of the year, using any fabric motif that you wish.  To get you started, we will list tools needed, plus the fabric amounts and cutting directions. 

Tools needed:

Rotary cutter, cutting mat, 24" ruler, and 4" square ruler or 4" square plastic template for fussy cutting. 

Fabric Requirements:

We made our runner 11 squares across and 3 squares down, for a total of 33 squares, each one cut 4", which will be a finished size of 3 ½" square.  

Cutting the squares: We chose high-contrast fabrics, as we wanted lots of bright colors.

Fabric A:  Choose a dark background fabric with a large print for fussy cutting. (Our fabric has a purple background).  You'll need about 1 yard or a little more of fabric, depending on how large the print motif is.  Fussy cut 9 pieces, each one 4" square.

Fabric B:  Choose a large print fabric with a light background for fussy cutting.  (Our fabric has an off-white background). You'll need about 1 yard of fabric, or a little more, depending on how large the print motif is.  Fussy cut 8 pieces, each one 4" square. 

Fabric C:  ( We chose the black cats with the pumpkins) Choose 1/4 yard of a medium or small print This fabric will be rotary cut into 4" strips, then 4" squares. Cut 8 squares.

Fabric D:  ( We chose the orange fabric with the lighter orange flying bats).   This fabric will also be rotary cut into 4" strips, then 4" squares. Use 1/4 yard of a solid or tone-on-tone print of a background fabric. Cut 8 squares.

Cutting the border, backing, and binding


Fabric E:  Border fabric. Cut 3 strips 3 ½" wide on the cross grain of your fabric, from selvedge to selvedge. They should be 36" long or more, depending on your fabric.  Then cut one of those strips in half, to form the two short sides of the borders.

Fabric F:   Binding and backing fabric. 

Binding requires 1/3 yard of fabric. Cut 4 binding strips 2 ½" on the cross grain of your fabric, from selvedge to selvedge. 

The backing requires a piece of fabric that is at least 50" long by 22" wide. You can use fabric remnants to piece your backing together, or you can cut one solid piece of backing fabric, as we did. 

Cutting and Sewing Instructions:

Fabrics A & B are large print fabrics, so we will fussy cut those with the 4" square ruler or plastic template.

 In fussy cutting, select a certain area of the fabric where we want to cut out just that specific printed motif. Cut in a square around that motif or design, rather than just cutting the fabric into random strips. 

Make sure that the square template is positioned directly over the center of the motif you want to cut. Remember that you will be sewing a 1/4" seam, which will take up the outer edges of the fabric square, so the design on those edges will not show in your finished table runner. 

In our case, Fabric A is the purple background fabric with the large print puppy dogs. We need to cut 9 squares, so we are going to place the square template directly over the specific motifs that we wish to display.  Then we will cut around that square. 


 In the photo above, you can see the fabric after fussy cutting. Because we targeted the specific large print motifs, the fussy cutting results in a more custom-made look for the fabric square, much like a framed photograph, with the subject in the foreground. 

After fussy cutting, your large print fabric will have empty spaces where you targeted a specific motif .


 Your big piece of fabric will look like the photo above. There will be holes in the fabric where you cut around the square temple in order to extract one or more of the large print motifs. 

Now you'll do the same with Fabric B. Select the large-print motifs you like, then fussy cut 8 squares of Fabric B, using the 4" square ruler or plastic template.


Fabric B is our large print fabric with the off-white background. Above, here are the 8 fussy cut large print motifs for this fabric. 

 Fabric C is a medium to small print fabric, which can be rotary cut in a strip. Rotary cut one long 4" width of fabric of Fabric C, then slice that into 8 individual squares of 4" apiece.

Above, is our medium-print Fabric C of kitty cats after we rotary cut it into 8 pieces of 4 inch squares.

Fabric D is a solid color or tone-on-tone background fabric, meant to give contrast to the other prints. Rotary cut 1 long 4" wide width of fabric strip of Fabric D, then slice that into 8 individual squares of 4" apiece. 

Above, you can see our Fabric D, which was rotary cut into 8 squares of 4" each. 

Now it's time to do the fun part !  Lay out your 4" squares in whatever arrangement you like, as long as you have 3 long rows of 11 squares each. 


In the photo above, you can see that we arranged our squares in diagonal rows, running downward from the top right.  

Please note: You can also arrange your squares vertically in order to create a banner to hang on the wall:

Above, this is how a vertical layout might look. You still have 33 squares, arranged in 3 long rows of 11 squares each.    

Use your favorite chain-piecing method to sew your squares together, using 1/4" seams. 

 

The finished size of your 4" squares will be 3 ½".

Next, it's time to add the borders, which are cut into two long strips of 3 ½" by the width of the fabric, and two short strips, which are cut 3 ½" x approximately 21"  (half the width of most fabric, as you previously cut those strips in half). 

 

Very Important:  For BOTH horizontal and vertical layouts, add the border strips to the long side first, then add the strips to the short sides. That way, you will have enough fabric for the long sides.  

Cut 4 binding strips that are 2 ½" wide x the fabric width. Cut one solid piece of backing fabric that is  at least 50" long x 22" wide. Or, you can make a pieced backing out of fabric remnants

This cheerful polka dot fabric makes the perfect backing and matching binding.

Finish sewing the binding, and enjoy your new runner !  We wish you a very happy and safe Halloween!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Autumn Splendor

 It's time to start crunching leaves and adding pumpkin spice to everything. Autumn is just around the corner !  We're featuring some of our favorite quilts that celebrate this time of year.

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, books, and collectible items ! For more free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter

My California Dreamer by Barbara Wiseman (Athens, Pennsylvania). Quilted by Barbara Wiseman and  Lynette Schulz

This glorious original design quilt was exhibited at the Road to California quilt show in January, 2020.  (Note: the black chain was part of the display stanchions, which were placed in order to keep people away from the quilt... it's not part of the quilt itself!)

The image is nearly life sized, giving the viewer the impression of standing under the tree and admiring the colorful leaves from below. Barbara Wiseman says she made this quilt for her son, who lives in California but loves the trees at home in Pennsylvania.  She says, "I spent years studying photos, art, and quilt techniques to make this for him."

We're hoping to attend some live quilt shows again in 2021.... how about you?!

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2020 Road to California show.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Autumn Approaches

It's just about time to start crunching leaves and adding pumpkin spice to everything. Autumn is just around the corner !  In the next few weeks, we'll feature some of our favorite quilts that celebrate this time of year.

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, books, and collectible items ! For more free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter

Faithful Companion by Charlotte Freeman (California)

This stunning art quilt, resplendent with fall colors, was exhibited at the 2020 Road to California quilt show.  Designer and maker Charlotte Freeman says, "This quilt is an original design from a personal photo of my husband's favorite hunting companion.  I appropriately distorted the Hunters Star block for the background, and appliqued California Quail in the grass and fussy cut them for the square-in-square border blocks."

Charlotte Freeman has perfectly captured the dog's watchful pose, as seen in this closeup photo.  She explains that the dog's head was partially ink painted on a hand dyed fabric, as is the shading on her body.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2020 Road to California show.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Blessings of Autumn

It's just about time to start crunching leaves and adding pumpkin spice to everything. Fall coming up soon !  In the next few weeks, we'll feature some of our favorite quilts that celebrate this time of year.

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, books, and collectible items !
For more free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter.

Blessings of Autumn- Second Harvest by Theresa Foster, Arizona. Quilted by Donna Goldbeck


Theresa explains, "When a quilter passes on, someone needs to step in, open her crate, and finish her work of art. I have had the privilege of completing this colorful autumn applique in her honor. "
This charming quilt is from a pattern by Shabby Fabrics, but the pattern appears to be no longer available. It works because the high color contrast of the fabrics ( bright yellow, dark green, burgundy, and white) makes it easy to see the pretty details of each individual block.

Close-up, Blessing of Autumn- Second Harvest


The original quilter was unknown, but Theresa took up the job of finishing the piecing and assembling the blocks. Here's a close-up of the cute center of this quilt, which we photographed at the 2020 Quilt Arizona ! Arizona Quilters Guild Show in Mesa, Arizona.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Free Pattern Day ! Fish quilts

It's August, and a good time for some fun and FREE patterns for FISH-themed quilts ! (plus sharks, jellyfish, a mermaid, and fish pillows.) To go to a pattern: Scroll down the page until you see the quilt you like, then click on the words "CLICK for PDF download" (or the hyperlinked website name) in the title above the quilt.

Also check out our E-Bay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, books, and collectible items !
For more free quilt patterns, please visit us on Twitter.


Row by Row H2O pattern, 9 x 36”, free pattern at Stitchin Post (CLICK for PDF download)


Catch and Release quilt, 36 x 47”, free pattern by Linda Ambrosini for Hoffman Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Just Keep Swimming mini quilt, 16” square, free pattern by Jen Daly for Moda Bakeshop (CLICK for PDF download)


Fish Exotic Batik quilt, 29 x 31”, free pattern at Fabric Editions (CLICK for PDF download)


Fish Frenzy quilt, 40 x 52”, free pattern by Ellen Maxwell for Michael Miller Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Chomp quilt, ~57” square, free pattern by Stacey Day for Dear Stella Design (CLICK for PDF download)


Hook Line Sinker quilt, 60 x 72”, free pattern by Lisa Swenson Ruble for Windham Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Jellyfish Gardens quilt, 84 x 70”, free pattern by Natalie Crabtree for Anthology Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Ocean Oasis quilt, 60 x 72”, free pattern by Sue Harvey & Sandy Boobar for Quilting Treasures (CLICK for PDF download)


Rod and Reel throw quilt, 47 x 54”, free pattern by Wendy Sheppard for Quilting Treasures (CLICK for PDF download)


Sardine Quilt, free pattern by Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel (CLICK for PDF download)


Under The Sea quilt, 56 x 76”, free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Life in a Fishbowl quilt, 81 x 95”, free pattern by Wendy Sheppard for Michael Miller Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Fishing quilt block, 9” square, free pattern at Art Gallery Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Snorkel Quilt, 60” square, free pattern at Andover Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Swimming Sharks quilt, 56 x 58”, free pattern at Riley Blake Designs (CLICK for PDF download)


Alpha Fish quilt, 71 x 83", free pattern at Studio E Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Chasing Waves quilt, 56 x 66”, free pattern by Red Brolly for Marcus Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Keep Swimming quilt, free pattern by Denise Russell for Michael Miller Fabrics (CLICK for PDF download)


Lakeside Cozy quilt, 60 x 86”, free pattern by Andi Metz for Benartex (CLICK for PDF download)


Whimsical Mermaid wall quilt, 30 x 26”, free pattern at Yarnspirations (CLICK for PDF download)


Ocean Waves placemat, ~14 x 20”, free pattern by Benyapa Steinmetz for The Quilt Show (CLICK for PDF download)


Paradise Bubbles quilt, 48 x 42", free pattern by Rob Appell (CLICK for PDF download)


Miss Dottie fish applique block, free pattern by Erin Russek (CLICK for tutorial)


Nina & Neptune fish, free sewing pattern at Riley Blake Designs (CLICK for PDF download)


Pond Fish plushie tutorial, free pattern by Christina McKinney for Birch Fabrics (CLICK for tutorial)


Fishy Fishy pillow, free pattern at Yarnspirations (CLICK for PDF download)


Colorful Stuffed Fish, free pattern at Fabric Editions (CLICK for PDF download)


Drawstring Fish beach bag, free pattern at Cloud 9 Fabrics (CLICK for tutorial)


If you enjoyed today's fish quilt patterns, you might also like our Free Pattern Day for Beach and Ocean Quilts (CLICK to go to the post !)


Image credits: Individual 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. The photo montage shown on this page is a derivative work that is the property of Quilt Inspiration. If any links are broken, we'd love to know so we can fix it. Please email us at QuiltInspiration {at} gmail {dot} com.
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