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Fair Isle Christmas Quilt

Are you ready to get started on your holiday sewing? If so, I’ve got a fun new Christmas pattern for you! And it’s even on sale, so you can kick off the season with a bargain.

This quilt was inspired by cozy Nordic sweaters—I saw some Fair Isle knitting patterns on Pinterest a few months back, and I just knew that look had to make its way into a quilt! At first I was just playing around with the design, but eventually I decided it was so cute that it had to get the full pattern treatment. : )

I think this quilt is especially fun to make because it has several different blocks in it—including the pixelated reindeer! But the really nice thing is that it’s almost entirely strip-pieced, which makes it come together so much more quickly than you might think for something this elaborate. It’s all pretty basic piecing. However, I will warn you that there is a lot of cutting and a lot of different pieced units that come together in the end, so it does require some organization. : )

Of course, as is my tradition, this week I’m offering the PDF pattern at its lowest price ever. Pick it up now while it’s a bargain, and get that holiday sewing started! I’m currently offering this pattern as a PDF only, but the hard-copy version will be coming in the next 2-3 weeks.

Oh, and one more fun thing: I have a coordinating bonus pillow tutorial now available on weallsew.com, Bernina USA’s blog. This free tutorial shows you how to make a variation on the Poinsettia block from this quilt—which means the pillow also happens to coordinate very nicely with the quilt! Head over to Bernina’s blog to learn how to make the pillow.


Fair Isle Quilt Pattern
72″ x 77″
$7.99
Purchase via my shop
Purchase via Craftsy

 

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Gridlock Quilt

Happy Monday! It’s a happy one for me indeed, because I’ve got another pattern to release to you all! And as usual, I’m offering Gridlock as a PDF download on sale for just $4.99 for a limited time (that’s almost 40% off the normal price).

This is the third in my continuing series of simple, beginner-friendly paper-piecing patterns (Cartwheels and Wavelength are perfect for beginning paper-piecers as well). So if you’ve tried paper-piecing, but don’t feel quite up to the really intricate patterns yet, you can definitely handle this one! Gridlock is basically a string quilt, although it’s a bit more of a modern, geometric take on that concept.

I did my version of Gridlock in Jungle Ave. by Sara Lawson for Art Gallery Fabrics—and Jungle Ave. is hitting stores in the next week, so you can get exactly what you need to make it! (You can still pre-order Jungle Ave. here, and be sure to visit Sara’s blog, Sew Sweetness, here.)

This quilt would also be amazeballs in solids. Can somebody make this quilt in solids, please? : ) I think it has so much potential for fun color schemes. Other print choices could make a huge impact too.

My version was quilted by the amazing and talented Lisa Sipes—she did a slightly different design in each of the rows, and it turned out really fun. The back is just a solid—Art Gallery Pure Elements in Cozumel Blue, to be exact—but I’m so happy that it is, because it really shows Lisa’s quilting to great advantage. It’s gorgeous!

I can’t wait to see what you all do with this pattern! But grab yours now while it’s on sale. Click here to purchase it in my pattern shop, or click here to purchase it on Craftsy. I don’t put my patterns on sale often, so the first week of a pattern’s release is always your best chance to save! (Follow my blog or my Instagram feed so that you’ll always know about pattern releases when they happen.) Gridlock is also available as a hard-copy pattern, and shop owners can make wholesale purchases through CheckerBrewer, or directly from me. Happy sewing!

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Wavelength Quilt

This has been a long time coming, so I’m pleased to tell you that I have a new pattern available today! Wavelength is my twist on the classic Grandmother’s Two-Patch block.

I think Wavelength is my best pattern to date. Here’s why I love it:

You can paper-piece this quilt, or piece it the “regular” way, using templates. I know not everyone shares my love for paper-piecing (although I’m determined to convert all of you eventually!) So this pattern includes both paper-piecing templates and traditional-piecing templates. Choose whichever method you prefer.
You can paper-piece this quilt even if you have zero previous paper-piecing experience. Complete, step-by-step instructions for paper-piecing this very simple block are included, with how-to photos for every step. Just follow the instructions, duplicate what you see in the photos, and you’ll be able to do it! I think it’s pretty foolproof.
The pattern includes two design variations (the “Exploding” version and the “Traditional” version shown below), plus two sizes for each design variation, crib size and lap size. So you can get two very different quilts out of one pattern. Choices are good, right?

And to top it all off, the PDF version of the pattern is on sale, for a limited time, for just $4.99! I don’t put my patterns on sale very often, but I always put them on sale in the first week of release, so don’t miss your chance. Click here to buy it from my shop, or you can purchase it on Craftsy. A hard-copy version is also available, both retail and wholesale, and shop owners can purchase it through my distributors, Brewer and Checker, very soon.
My Wavelength was done in scrappy jewel tones, with an even scrappier black-and-white background. I spent months collecting all those black-and-white prints, and then used almost all of them up in one fell swoop for this quilt. But I can’t think of a better way to have used them! I absolutely love the completed quilt and I think it’s now my favorite. (This is the lap size, which finishes at 59″ x 77″.)
It took forever to decide how to quilt this puppy. I would have loved to do concentric circle quilting, radiating out from the orange star, but after my experience with this mini quilt from “Vintage Quilt Revival
,” I didn’t think I was up for it on something so large! And every free-motion quilting design that I considered seemed too soft and flowy for this design. So I finished it off with zig-zag line quilting, using my walking foot and the multi-stitch zig zag on my machine. Love it!

And then there’s the Traditional design variation of Wavelength. Isn’t it amazing how different the same unit can look in these two very different layouts? This version is done in Denyse Schmidt’s Florence fabric line for Free Spirit, with Kona Silver for the background. Silver is such a great light gray—perfect when you want something light, but not white. As you can see, I haven’t had time to quilt this one yet, but I have the perfect plan for it and will post it again as soon as I’m done!

And in the interest of keeping it real, there is an oops on my Wavelength quilt that I thought you all would enjoy. : ) This is what happens when your quilt back is about a half an inch too small! That gray polka-dot strip was added after the quilt was basted! It was a make-it-work moment. LOL.

As always, I can’t wait to see what you do with this pattern! If you Instagram it, hashtag #freshlypiecedpatterns or #wavelengthquilt. Enjoy, and have a wonderful springtime week!
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Twin Quilts for Twin Girls

The twin baby quilts that I was working on last week for my soon-to-arrive twin nieces were finished and gifted to the mom-to-be over the weekend. What a fun challenge to come up with baby quilts that were a matched pair, but not identical—just like their future little owners. : )

I found out at the baby shower that they’re leaning toward Rose as a name for one of the babies, so it’s a happy coincidence that I pieced one of these quilts in rosy pinks. In fact, this quilt features one of my recent favorite Kona colors, Pomegranate.
And the other quilt is all in “my” colors—aqua and lime green and teal. I thought it would be a nice touch to do one of the quilts in warm colors and the other in cool colors.
The blocks in both quilts are paper-pieced blocks from Vintage Quilt Revival (of course!). The pink quilt has the Geometric Star block (I guess I’m kind of addicted to doing this block in solids, since I used it in this quilt as well). The pink quilt got straight vertical-line quilting.
The teal quilt has the Exploding Star block, which has great dimensionality. I decided on angled straight-line quilting for that one. In case you’re curious how I do my quilting, in this case I marked the center quilting line with painter’s tape, using the 45-degree angle in the block and my longest ruler to guide me. I sewed right next to the painter’s tape for that first quilting line, then removed the tape and quilted outward on either side from there, lining up the previous line of stitches with the side of my walking foot. This kind of narrowly-spaced straight line quilting can take a while, but it’s so worth it!
I have to admit, the back on the teal quilt is a lot more fun. Yep, wood grain again—you know how I love my wood grains! This one is from Joel Dewberry’s True Colors collection from Free Spirit, supplemented by a Laura Gunn Painter’s Canvas print. Sadly, I didn’t have any good matching rosy pink prints for the back of the pink quilt, so that one got an Architectures Crosshatch instead.
And the best part of all: My sweet sister-in-law told me after she opened them, “I was hoping I would get a quilt from you! I didn’t even register for any blankets because I wanted a quilt!” I can’t think of a better compliment from a recipient of one of my quilts. : ) Can’t wait to meet these baby girls, and I hope everybody (mom and babies) enjoys their quilts!
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Spiced Chai Quilt

I guess it’s a good sign that I want to make a whole bunch of quilts from my own book, right? Here’s another recent finish—my version of Katie’s Spiced Chai quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival.

This might be my favorite quilt in Vintage Quilt Revival. It’s simple, it’s quick and fun to make, and I think it should be a poster quilt for modern-traditionalism, because it’s got it all going on. A beautiful traditional block, plus so much of what I love about modern quilts—asymmetry, unexpected block flips and rotations, strategic color placement that emphasizes the design, use of negative space. The list goes on.
So I knew I needed my own Spiced Chai. And this was one of those rare instances where I didn’t feel the need to make a lot of design tweaks, because Katie’s quilt is kind of perfect just the way it is.
The colors in my quilt are similar to those in Katie’s version, just a little more subdued. I even used Katie’s quilting methods—except that I swapped them by putting the squiggly lines into the leaves, while the swirlies were the background. The only significant change I made was to use woodgrain prints instead of solids for the neutral blocks. Because I do love me some woodgrains. (These are from Erin McMorris’s Lush Uptown line.)
And look: more swirly quilting! After stubbornly refusing to do any FMQ other than stippling for about three years, I’m kinda proud of myself for branching out recently, can you tell? : ) Remember what I said in my last post about burying knots? This quilt totally helped me get over my fear of knots. All the more reason to love it.
Definitely one of my new favorites.
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Freeflow Quilt

Somehow I’ve accumulated a pile of finished quilts that I haven’t yet shown you here! That’s got to be a first in the three-plus years I’ve been blogging. I blame the brutal winter weather, which is not conducive to quilt photography, and a broken camera. Fortunately I’ve taken steps to solve both problems, so you get to see some finishes, starting today! (Well, okay, I didn’t actually solve the problem of the winter weather, sorry. Just found a work-around.)

Anyway, let’s start with this one, which I’m now calling the Freeflow Quilt. It’s a variation on a quilt from my book, Vintage Quilt Revival.
One of the things I love love love about this quilt is that it demonstrates the flexibility of the patterns in the book. I used the Geometric Slide pattern—here is Faith’s original Geometric Slide quilt from the book. Faith’s quilt uses the Double Z block:
Photo from Vintage Quilt Revival
But as you can see, it’s really easy to mix-and-match blocks in many of the Vintage Quilt Revival patterns. Instead of using the Double Z block, I tried it with the Geometric Star. I love how it gives the design a whole different dynamic! I wouldn’t mind giving the pattern a whirl with some of the other blocks as well.
This quilt was beautifully quilted for me by Anne Books, who owns the Material Matters quilt shop in Thiensville, Wisconsin. I’m terrible when it comes to deciding how to quilt a quilt, so I gave Anne free range. She thought the blocks looked a little like box kites or even boats in the water, so she quilted it to give the effect of an object being pulled through water. I love the way it takes these blocks, which are all straight lines and angles, and gives it more of that flowy feel. And of course, she added some yummy bubbles and swirls throughout the negative space. Thank you, Anne, you did an amazing job!
I used all solids in this quilt, to highlight the complex piecing and keep the design crisp and clean. I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Orange, and the following Kona Solids by Robert Kaufman: Graphite, Azure, Ultra White, Valentine, Butter, and Cactus. The binding is Party Streamer in Dahlia by Alison Glass, from her Sun Print collection. It’s a great binding print!So if you have Vintage Quilt Revival, I encourage you to take a look at the book and see how you might want to mix and match some of the blocks and patterns. You could even swap in some other 12.5″ block that’s not in the book. So many possibilities! And if you come up with a great design from that, be sure to share it with the #vintagequiltrevival hashtag!

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Sampler Quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival

We’re winding down the “Meet the Vintage Quilt Revival” series—I hope you all have enjoyed the projects! Today I’m sharing my sampler quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival.

Photos from Vintage Quilt Revival

Along with one project for each of the 20 blocks in the book, the book features three sampler quilts that use all the blocks. Faith made her sampler blocks scrappy (you can see that quilt here), Katie did her blocks in solids (that’s the cover quilt, and I think she’ll be posting about it on Wednesday), and I made my sampler from a single fabric line—Madrona Road by Violet Craft. This was a nice call-back to our original Summer Sampler Series Quilt-Along, in which we also made samplers that were scrappy, solid, and from a single line.

But here’s what’s really interesting: Somewhere between the Summer Sampler Series and the release of this book, fabric choices like “scrappy” or “solids” or “single line” became far less important to all three of us authors. Clearly, what sets our three samplers apart from each other is not just the fabric, but the way we chose to set the blocks. I think it’s a great encapsulation of the quilting journeys all three of us authors have been on, and shows how our design priorities have shifted in the past two years.

Faith set her blocks on point, which gives them a whole different look and movement. Katie sashed hers. And I liked the controlled chaos of putting my blocks all together, without sashing. This layout essentially takes 20 different blocks and turns them into one design. I completed the design with a wide border that really acts more as a background than a border, and gives the design a little needed calmness. A colorful, scrappy binding finishes it all off.

And let’s not forget one final important element of this quilt—the spectacular quilting by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful. I’m a huge fan of Jenny’s work (she’s the woman who brought you the Quick Curve ruler and all the gorgeous patterns that go with it), and she knocked it out of the park on this quilt. Each block is quilted in a unique and beautiful way, and it brings so much to the design.

If you would like to see this quilt in person, it will be on display at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, as part of their “Modern Perspectives” exhibit, which opens Friday and runs through April 6. I have two other quilts in that exhibit as well (Spin It Again from Vintage Quilt Revival and my Diamond Tread quilt), and there are many other beautiful modern works there too. Some of Denyse Schmidt‘s quilts will be joining the exhibit in February. It’s not to be missed if you’re in the area!

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Dancing Squares Quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival

It’s time to meet another one of the quilts from Vintage Quilt Revival. Today let’s check out my Dancing Squares quilt.

Modern quilts often use huge expanses of negative space (a look I personally love!). But that’s not the only way to use negative space. This quilt is a great example of how to use small bits of negative space to bring a whole new twist to a classic block design.

It may not look like it, but Dancing Squares is entirely made up of a single traditional block—Rolling Squares, which is a variation on a Rolling Stones block. In every alternating block, I just dropped out the color in strategic places to change the way the blocks interact with each other. It’s a different approach to negative space than just adding large stretches of it to an asymmetrical design. But it’s a fun approach that can get you some really interesting results!

Shipping update: Amazon still isn’t shipping (I cannot imagine why), but you can easily get the book at Barnes and Noble and Walmart. It’s also available in my shop, as well as Katie’s and Faith’s. If you’re in a hurry or need the book by Christmas, I suggest any of those outlets over Amazon!

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Spin It Again Quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival

It’s time for a peek at another one of the quilts in Vintage Quilt Revival! This week I’m excited to share my “Spin It Again” quilt.

This quilt was one of the last ones I designed for the book. I just love the block that’s used here—a classic Wheel of Fortune block, which is found in so many beautiful antique quilts. But I struggled with ways to truly update it. When I eventually hit on the idea of just swapping the placement of the prints and solids, it promptly became one of my favorite pieces in the book.

I named it “Spin It Again,” because whenever I hear the block name “Wheel of Fortune,” I just can’t not think of Pat Sajak. Spin that big wheel again—come on, big money!

 

All photos from Vintage Quilt Revival

It’s a fun paper-pieced block, and using a print for the background, plus a coordinated solid (in this case, white) is also handy for helping disguise some, uh, slight piecing inaccuracies. : )

Books should be in stock any day now, on Amazon and at your local shops! Amazon still says it will be in stock on Dec. 31, but we anticipate U.S. pre-orders will be shipping very, very soon.

And one more reminder: I’ll be on American Patchwork and Quilting Radio this afternoon with Pat Sloan! You can listen in live at 4 p.m. Eastern time, 1 p.m. Pacific, or any time after that. Click here to listen.

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Meet the “Vintage Quilt Revival” Quilts: Sugar Snow

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Good morning! Let’s take a look at another one of my quilts from Vintage Quilt Revival, shall we? And it might just be my personal favorite from the book.

 

“Sugar Snow” is a sentimental quilt for me. For the past five years, my girls have gone to a wonderful preschool at a nature center. Every winter, the whole class traipses out to a stand of maple trees on the grounds to collect the sap and eventually make it into syrup. This quilt was inspired by my visit to the maple trees with my older daughter’s class. In the time that has passed since I designed it, my older daughter finished preschool and went on to all-day grade school, and my younger daughter not only started preschool there, but is already only months away from becoming a pre-K graduate herself. Time flies like snowflakes on a gust off of Lake Michigan—which, not coincidentally, is exactly what this quilt is designed to evoke.

 

There’s more in the book about how I found my inspiration for this quilt and how I interpreted it into the design you see here. Inspiration is such an important part of the process for myself and many other quilters (both modern and traditional alike). So I thought it was only right to include some details about that in the book.

One of the best things about this quilt, hands-down, is the quilting, done by the super-talented and delightful Krista Withers. One of Krista’s signature quilting styles is quilting “ghost blocks” into the negative space of a quilt, and I knew that was just the thing for Sugar Snow.

Thanks for checking out Sugar Snow! Katie is up next, on Wednesday, with another one of her quilts from Vintage Quilt Revival, and you can check out my Stardust quilt right here.