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Summer Sampler 2016 – Quilt Along With Us This Summer!


Five years ago (could it really have been so long?), Katie, Faith, and I hosted a quilt-along called The Summer Sampler Series. Hopefully a few of you have been around here long enough to remember it. : )

Our goal back then was pretty simple: Teach modern quilters how to make traditional blocks. Crazy though it seems now, at the time, there wasn’t a lot online with that specific focus. There were traditional block tutorials online, using traditional fabric—and then there was modern quilting. Only infrequently did the two mix and mingle.

To our delight, we found that people were very interested in combining those two quilt genres. The Summer Sampler Series was more popular than we ever expected! It eventually led to the three of us authoring our book, Vintage Quilt Revival, in which we tried to take modern-traditionalism to a new level. These days, I’m happy to say that modern traditionalism is everywhere—it even has its own category at QuiltCon. I like to think (hope) that the three of us played a role in that.

And what better time, on the 5-year anniversary of the original Summer Sampler Series, to bring it back? We are so excited to announce Summer Sampler 2016

One block a week, starting May 16, running through September 26. Ten designers (Katie, Faith, me, and seven of our blogger friends.) Twenty blocks total. Quilt along with us all summer long!

This time around, we’re offering the Summer Sampler as a block-of-the-week subscription program. Click here to pre-order Summer Sampler 2016 for $19.99. That’s just $1 per block—for a limited time, ending May 15. After May 15, the price goes up to $24.99, so don’t miss out on the chance to save! (European Union customers: You can purchase the Summer Sampler 2016—and now all my other patterns!—through my Etsy shop. Click here to purchase.)

Each Monday, starting May 16, you’ll get a link to download that week’s block pattern. The last block will be delivered on September 26, and instructions for three sampler layout options will be delivered on Oct. 2.

The Summer Sampler 2016 subscription includes:
• fully-tested instructions for each weekly block, with step-by-step diagrams
• three sampler layouts and full instructions for each, delivered at the end of the subscription
• digital mock-ups of ways to use each block in its own quilt layout, for future inspiration
• coloring pages for planning purposes
• access to a private, subscribers-only Facebook group, where you can interact with the designers and other quilters

More about the Summer Sampler 2016 skill level and techniques:
• The different blocks vary in skill level, with some being simpler, while others are more advanced. I would say the overall skill level of all 20 blocks is intermediate—but if that’s not you, don’t be afraid to try it! We’ll include lots of links to tutorials for the techniques involved, so it’s a great skill-builder!
• Several are paper-pieced, while others use traditional piecing. There are four blocks with curved piecing, so it’s a great opportunity to learn more about that technique!

The Summer Sampler 2016 designers are:
Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt
Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts
AnneMarie Chany of Gen X Quilters
Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely
Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s Quilts
Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew
Karen Lewis of Karen Lewis Textiles
Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter

We can’t wait to quilt along with you this summer!


May Is For Makers

You all know I don’t get up on any soapboxes very often—only when it’s something extremely important to me. Today is one of those days. So grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or other beverage of your choice, and settle in. : )
I love blogging. I may get busy and disappear from time to time, but trust me, I’ll always be back, because my need to write is second only to my need to create visually. But no matter how many pins you see on Pinterest screaming about making $20,000 a month blogging, ain’t nobody making a living wage with a sewing blog, believe me. And yet, where would our modern quilting world be without the tutorials and free projects that are out there online? How many of us would never even have taken up sewing (or come back to it) if it weren’t for bloggers? I don’t think I would have.
But here’s the thing. At some point, in some way, the people creating this content need to be paid for their efforts. Anything less is not sustainable. Free patterns are great, and they may sometimes serve a purpose for both the designer and the customer. But not every pattern can or should be free. And very few designers can afford to put in the work to self-publish a pattern without getting something in return. No matter how much they may love what they are doing. In my opinion, free content should be a fun, unexpected bonus from time to time—it shouldn’t be automatically expected.
So that’s why my friend Lindsey from LR Stitched has created the May Is for Makers campaign. To support the independent designers and content-creators who add creativity, beauty, and knowledge to our world. Lindsey is pledging to buy a pattern from a different independent designer every week in May, and I’m going to join her. I hope you’ll consider joining in as well!
Here’s how it works:
– Each week in May, I’ll purchase a pattern from another pattern-maker. There are five Mondays in May, so that’s five independent designers that will get my support over the course of the month!
– Every Monday, starting May 2, I’ll share my pattern purchase on social media with the hashtag #mayisformakers.
– Hopefully, in the process, we’ll send support and appreciation to independent designers all over the world.
Just to be clear, this is not about guilting people into buying my patterns (though if you want to buy from me, I won’t argue! LOL.) This is about supporting all the innovators and creators of the quilting and sewing worlds. I am just one of thousands of independent designers trying to make a go of it in this business, and we all need your support. Consider buying a pattern as a way of saying thank you for a free tutorial you learned from, or a free pattern that you especially loved—after all, that free tutorial or pattern was probably only made possible by that designer’s paid patterns.
Let’s join together to support all the Makers this May! I can’t wait to see what (and who) you choose to support!
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A Scrappy Take On My Picnic Plaid Pattern

Color gradients. Remember when I said I wasn’t going to go there anymore?
Yeah, I went there. Again. I couldn’t help it, you guys! Gradients: So colorful. So orderly. So appealing to both the left and right sides of my brain. : )
So this is my latest addition to my always expanding collection of color-gradient quilts. : ) This is a scrappy version of my Picnic Plaid pattern (available here).
Here’s a shot of the original Picnic Plaid quilt. The original is strip-pieced in a narrower color palette, but I’ve had the urge to make it scrappier for some time now. So when Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter asked me if I would want to contribute a pattern to her 2016 Quilter’s Planner, it was the perfect opportunity to create modified instructions for a scrappier version of that design. (Sadly, the 2016 Quilter’s Planner is now sold out! Sorry!)


Of course, Steph was nice enough to quilt this one for me, and worked her usual magic on it. I’ve always loved this loopy quilting pattern, and now I finally have a quilt that makes use of it!

This quilt has what might be my favorite print ever for a quilt back: Zen Chic’s “Notes” print in Charcoal on Fog. You can find it here at the Fat Quarter Shop and elsewhere. The binding is an older Zen Chic print called Barcelona. You can see a chunk of that print in the piecing above as well. I was really feeling the Zen Chic that day, I guess. : )

Regardless of which version of Picnic Plaid you prefer, it’s yet another great demonstration of how much print and color can change the look of any given design. Fun!

New and Improved Pattern Shop!

Happy Cyber Monday! In honor of this great holiday (LOL), I’ve unveiled a new and improved pattern shopping experience for you all! Click here to visit the new shop!

The improvements include:
• I’m now accepting payments via all major credit cards (previously I had only accepted Paypal).

• PDF patterns now download automatically, right on your check-out page, as soon as your payment clears. No more waiting for an email to arrive! (Although you will also still receive an email with a download link, for those of you who prefer to download the pattern at a later time.)

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE PURCHASED PDF PATTERNS FROM ME IN THE PAST: If you purchased a PDF pattern from me prior to today (Nov. 30), you MUST download your patterns and save them to your computer by December 18. After December 18, all downloadable links from my previous system will become inactive. In the next week or so, I will be emailing links to ALL of my previous pattern purchasers giving you one last chance to download your patterns before the system goes down. I apologize for any inconvenience, but this is a necessary step to allow me to move to this better new PDF delivery system. I appreciate your understanding in this! 

Now, happy shopping, whether it’s in my new shop or anywhere else!

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Moroccan Lanterns Quilt


My newest pattern is here! Yay!

Moroccan Lanterns was inspired by a Turkish rug that I saw online. As soon as I saw that rug, I thought, “That looks like a quilt.” Then I thought, “That needs to BE a quilt!” And now it is. : )

No paper-piecing on this one, you guys! Just regular ol’ piecing, with a quarter-inch seam and everything. I did my version in lots of bright, vibrant jewel tones. Most of the prints are from Allison Glass’s Sun Print collection, although I did throw in a few oddball prints here and there.

Once again, the stunning quilting was done by Stephanie from Late Night Quilter. Once again, Steph did it up. All I had to do was tell her the name of the quilt, and from there she came up with a perfect, Moroccan-inspired design that I loved! Everyone—and I do mean everyone—who stopped by my booth at Quilt Market a few weeks ago had to ask who did my quilting! Thank you, Stephanie! : )

And as always, I’m celebrating the release of my new pattern by putting it on sale! Now through Sunday, you can buy the PDF pattern for just $4.99! (ETA: This sale is now over.) Click here to purchase it from my pattern shop, or here to purchase from Craftsy.

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WIP Wednesday: Countdown to Summer

School ends for my kids in just over a week, so this week the countdown is on to get things done before they (and their various summer activities) dominate my days!

But first things first! My newest pattern, Moroccan Lanterns, is now available! I’ll have a full blog post with all the details about Moroccan Lanterns tomorrow, but for those of you who have been waiting for it, it is officially available for purchase today, and the PDF pattern is on sale through Sunday for just $4.99. So go grab it now from my pattern shop, and/or come back tomorrow for full details on this one!
As for WIPs, I’m still plugging away at my kaleidoscope baby quilt. I am determined to finish it ASAP! Also on my list before the kids get done with school: Organizing my pantry and finishing some trim painting. Not sewing-related, but fully necessary.
This week’s WIP Wednesday is brought to you by LimaSews! LimaSews offers fabric and custom long-arm quilting, so it’s truly a one-stop shop. Check out their Clearance/Remnant section for some super fab deals!
GIVEAWAY: This week, LimaSews is giving away a $30 gift certificate to one lucky reader! Yay!To enter the giveaway, do any or all of the following (each one gets you one chance to win):
1. Comment on this post
2. Post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #wipwednesday
3. Link up your own WIP Wednesday blog post or Instagram photo below

COUPON CODE: LimaSews is also giving my readers 20% off purchases in the fabric shop, this week only! Use code FRESH2015 at checkout.

So, what are you working on? Let’s see it!


1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the “Add Your Link” button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says “Link,” use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.

4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!


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WIP Wednesday: Reassessing

Good morning, and happy Wednesday! I’ve spent the past week and a half since returning home from Quilt Market feeling the weight of months of hard work finally lifting. In the last 8 months, I’ve released 5 new patterns, developed and taught two new full-day workshops, lectured at countless local guilds, and much more. It was often just way too much. So instead of sewing over the last week or so, I’ve been assessing where I want to go next.

And the answer is: Kinda nowhere. For the next few months at least, I’d really like to get back to what I used to do, which is just sewing what I want to sew, and blogging about it. I love designing patterns, but it’s amazing how the “industry” can change the way you do things, and even what you do. I feel like the cart has been driving the horse for me recently, if that makes any sense, and I’d like to turn that back around this summer, and get back to doing what I really love!

So this summer, my goal is to do some fun sewing, and blog about it. The end. I also have some non-sewing-related projects I’m going to tackle around the house—some organizing and minor remodeling. You might see a little of that on the blog as well, though I promise not to overdo it with the non-sewing-related content! (And of course there will be some sewing involved in the house projects too! How could there not be?)

And I’m starting with this project, a loooong overdue baby quilt. (It’s one of those cases where the baby might not even be a baby anymore by the time I finally get it to the recipient! Well, what can you do?)

One other thing of note: Don’t forget to check out my new quilt pattern, Chevron Star, which went on sale yesterday—it’s on sale for $3 off, today and tomorrow only! This sale is now done. Click here to purchase.

But enough about me! What are you working on? Let’s see it!


1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the “Add Your Link” button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says “Link,” use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.

4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!


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Chevron Star Quilt

Today I’m super excited to release the first of my two new patterns: Chevron Star! And as always, I’m celebrating with a release-week sale! For a very limited time, you can pick up the Chevron Star PDF pattern for only $4.99.  This sale is now complete.
Show of hands: How many of you enjoy paper-piecing, but start feeling a little nauseous when a pattern asks you to make like 900 of the same block? If that sounds like you, I’d like you to meet Chevron Star. Chevron Star will make no such demands on you. Chevron Star wants you to piece a few blocks and then go outside to play. : )

The other thing that I love about this pattern is that it has negative space that is pieced. Think that’s a oxymoron? I don’t! Because of course we all love our negative space, but sometimes sewing with giant chunks of white fabric is just not all that … fun. I think of Chevron Star as my best-of-all-worlds quilt, and I hope you’ll think so too.

This quilt got a lot of attention while it was on display in my booth at Quilt Market a week ago, so I’m happy to get the pattern out to you all at last! Of course, I think a large portion of its show-stoppy-ness is due to the AMAZING quilting, done by Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter. Deciding how to quilt things has never been my forté, so I love a quilter who can add to my piecing design with her own creative ideas. And Stephanie knocked this one out of the park! Go visit her blog to see more of her amazing work.

I made Chevron Star mostly out of Cotton + Steel basics and solids. That includes Netorious in Cloud Metallic. It’s a subtle metallic that doesn’t come across in my photographs all that well, but trust me, this fabric glows in person, and I love the sheen it gives to the quilt!

And one week from today, I’ll be releasing my other newbie pattern, Moroccan Lanterns, so stop back by for that one as well! Now go sew something! : )
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WIP Wednesday: Obsessions

You might notice a theme in this week’s WIP Wednesday. That theme is red, white, and knitted. Or at least knitty looking. : )

Yes, my Fair Isle obsession continues, this week in the form of knitted Christmas stockings. Suddenly, I MUST have knitted Nordic Christmas stockings. There’s just one catch: Here in Milwaukee, everybody celebrates St. Nick’s Day by putting out their Christmas stockings on Dec. 6. Think I can finish at least two stockings by then? (Because, one for each girl. There must be either two, or none. One is not an option.)

And of course my other project is my red and white Fair Isle quilt. Zig-zag rows are up next on the Fair Isle Sew-Along! It doesn’t look like much right now, but come back tomorrow for this week’s installment in the sew-along, and I promise there will be more to see!

And just so this week’s post is not excessively one-note, here’s a reminder that today is the last day to save 40% on my new Picnic Plaid pattern. Grab the PDF version now and save!

This week’s WIP Wednesday has been brought to you by Shabby Fabrics. Shabby Fabrics has an uh-mazing clearance section right now—more than 150 items (including quilt kits!) are now 50% off! There are also 1,200 fabrics in their sale section right now—and the more you buy in that section, the more you save! Score!

Giveaway: Shabby Fabrics is generously offering a fat-quarter bundle of the “Striking Sunset” color way of the Spectrum line by Camelot Fabrics! This line was new to me, but I love it already, the colors are gorgeous! Link up below for one chance to win the bundle, and/or comment on this post for a second chance to win.

Exclusive coupon code: Shabby Fabrics is also offering 10% off to all Freshly Pieced readers! How awesome are they to do a coupon code AND a giveaway? Just enter FreshlyPieced10 now through Nov. 26. (One use per customer.) Say thank you for WIP Wednesday by showing them the love. : )


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
What are YOU working on this week? Here’s how to link up:

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!


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30 Quilts for 30 Years: My Picnic Plaid Quilt

Welcome to my stop on Robert Kaufman’s 30 Quilts for 30 Years Blog Hop! I’m so happy to be unveiling my Picnic Plaid quilt today—and the Picnic Plaid quilt pattern is on sale for a limited time!

Kaufman recently asked 30 quilt designers (including me!) to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of Kona Cotton Solids by designing a quilt. I’m a huge supporter of Kona solids—there’s no question that Kona offers one of the best color palettes out there, especially with the addition of 33 new colors for 2014. And I’m just crazy lucky enough to live near a quilt shop that carries all 300+ Kona colors. You heard me. Every. Single. Color. All right there in one little brick-and-mortar shop. (Thank you, Patched Works in Elm Grove!) This all means that Kona is definitely my go-to solids brand.

And so I give you Picnic Plaid! I’ve been loving the speed and ease of strip-piecing lately, and this quilt is ridiculously strip-pieced. Like practically every bit of it. You won’t find a more efficiently-made quilt anywhere, I don’t think. : ) So it comes together quickly.

I used many of my absolute favorite Kona shades in this quilt: Bluegrass, Aloe, Pomegranate, Azalea, Chartreuse, Cactus, Cerise, and White. These are colors that I tend to come back to over and over in my quilting—this quilt is like my own personal library of Kona faves.

Picnic Plaid comes in three sizes: Baby (40″ x 40″), Lap (60″ x 80″), and Twin (80″ x 100″). (Twin size instructions are available in the PDF only—the paper pattern includes only Baby and Lap sizes.) Overall, the piecing is pretty simple, and I think a confident beginner can be very successful with this one. (Shops can purchase my patterns wholesale from Checker, Brewer, or—hopefully within the next week or so—United Notions.)

As always when I release a pattern, I’m offering it on sale for just $4.99 (PDF version only) the first week of release. You can purchase the PDF on sale here, or the paper version of the pattern here. I rarely put my patterns on sale, so take advantage of the sale while it lasts!

And I’ve got a giveaway for you all as well! I’m giving away a charm pack of Kona’s new colors for 2014—so much yumminess in one little pack of squares. : ) Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. This giveaway will be open for one day only, so be quick about it! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

Keep following the 30 Quilts for 30 Years blog hop, since more designers will be unveiling more quilts in the days ahead! You can also see all 30 designs in Kaufman’s 30 Quilts for 30 Years Lookbook, viewable right here. Good luck in the giveaway!

Week 1:

Saturday, November 1st: Johanna Masko

Sunday, November 2nd: Alyssa of Aria Lane

Monday, November 3rd: Dorie of Tumblingblocks

Tuesday, November 4th: Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations

Wednesday, November 5th: Daniela of Cozy Quilt Designs

Thursday, November 6th: Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts

Friday, November 7th: Anita Grossman Solomon

Saturday, November 8th: Debbie of Esch House Quilts

Week 2:

Sunday, November 9th: Alex of Teaginny

Monday, November 10th: Darlene Zimmerman

Tuesday, November 11th: Nichole Ramirez with Aurifil

Wednesday, November 12th: Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts

Thursday, November 13th: Lee of Freshly Pieced

Friday, November 14th: Julie of Jaybird Quilts

Saturday, November 15th: Latifah of The Quilt Engineer

Week 3:

Sunday. November 16th: Elizabeth Hartman

Monday, November 17th: Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting

Tuesday, November 18th: Karrie of Freckled Whimsy

Wednesday, November 19th: Valori Wells

Thursday, November 20th: Marilyn of Quilt Moments

Friday, November 21st: Cortney Heimerl

Saturday, November 22nd: Shayla and Kristy of Sassafras Lane Designs

Week 4:

Sunday, November 23rd: Shea of Empty Bobbin Sewing

Monday, November 24th: Carrie Strine

Tuesday, November 25th: Rachel of Stitched in Color

Wednesday, November 26th: Liz of Lady Harvatine

Saturday, November 29th: Carolyn Friedlander

Week 5:

Sunday, November 30th: Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy

Monday, December 1st: Emily of Carolina Patchworks

Tuesday, December 2nd: Ken Kaufman

Wednesday, December 3rd: Grand Finale!