Sunday, July 1, 2018

Geometric Gems

Hello friends - happy July! It's a hot and humid Iowa afternoon - the calm after the storm and flash flooding. I am just about ready to settle into my sewing nest for a marathon project bag session (the piles are overwhelming)...but before I get started, I thought I would quickly stop by and share some of my quilting designs. These six AccuQuilt patterns/projects were created as companion patterns for six cutting dies. For those of you unfamiliar with the AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutting System, every cutting die includes a free pattern in the packaging to help you get started. Each of my quilt designs shown below accompanies a corresponding AccuQuilt GO! Cutting Die...not only did I design each pattern, but I also created each sample. Today, I am sharing the projects I created for the GO! Circle-6", the GO! Circle-8", the GO! Strip Cutter-5" (4 1/2" Finished), the GO! Strip Cutter-3" (2 1/2" Finished), the GO! Strip Cutter-4" (3 1/2" Finished), and the GO! Rectangle-4 1/2" x 8 1/2" (4" x 8" Finished).

If you purchase the GO! Circle-6", inside the packaging, you will find a free pattern for the GO! Circle in the Square Wall Hanging. This unique, modern quilt uses basic patchwork and machine appliqué...and the sample uses lovely fabrics from the Mix Bag 2017 Collection by Studio M for Moda. It finishes at 40" x 40".

The GO! Circle-8" includes a free pattern for the GO! Petal Power Table Topper (which also works well as a wall hanging). Measuring 32" x 32", this cheerful project sample was created with Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids. Blocks are created by sub-cutting the circles into quarters and using machine appliqué to apply them to basic patchwork - this design may look complicated, but it is actually obtainable for a beginner!

Inside packaging for the GO! Strip Cutter-5" (4 1/2" Finished), you will find a free pattern for the GO! X Marks the Spot Baby Quilt. This quick and easy baby quilt is the perfect gift for an expectant mother and would look great in a variety of fabric prints! For the sample, I used the Sew Cherry 2 Collection by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet for Riley Blake Designs. With a finished size of 40.5" x 40.5", using basic strips and squares, this baby quilt can be put together in just a day or two...

If you add the GO! Strip Cutter-3" (2 1/2" Finished) die to your collection, you will find the free pattern for the GO! Mind Over Matter Table Runner inside the packaging. This is the perfect summertime table runner when using the same red, white, and blue color scheme as the sample (I used Andover Fabrics for the model). I can see this runner in a variety of holiday and seasonal fabrics. It measures 16" x 45", but could easily be adjusted to fit just about any length!

One of my favorites is the GO! Chains of Love Bed Runner that I designed for the  GO! Strip Cutter-4" (3 1/2" Finished). This comfy bed runner finishes at 42" x 84" and the sample was worked up with soothing Island Batiks. Rows could be added to make this a bed quilt...or subtracted to make this a table runner...and it would look lovely in solids or prints....

Finally, here is the GO! Give it a Whirl Throw Quilt that I designed for the GO! Rectangle-4 1/2" x 8 1/2" (4" x 8" Finished). This sunny lap quilt finishes at 48" x 64" and the sample was created with Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids. You could easily add more blocks to this quilt to increase the size...and it would look great using a variety of fabrics. Although it may look complicated, it is quite easy to create with this large rectangle and can be pieced rather quickly...

All six of these AccuQuilt GO! Cutting Dies are quite versatile and would be nice additions to any collection. For more information on the GO! Fabric Cutter, GO! Cutting Dies, or other AccuQuilt products, visit their website: 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Spectacular Sixteen

Hello creative friends! I just placed Garin on his after-breakfast timeout...that gives me about an hour to catch up on some pressing work. Orders are packaged and important correspondence is I thought I would stop by for a quick visit and share some needlework finishing, before the day gets away from me (and I get started on a large AccuQuilt project that I need to complete in a very short amount of time). These pieces were all stitched by the same incredible needleworker (and dear friend) and I simply completed the finishing. I will put designer names/titles in the photo captions (if I have the information), just in case you are interested (special thanks to Robin who sent me the details on one that stumped me!). This fabulous grouping was quite enjoyable to put together and several pieces definitely challenged me. One project was a limited edition kit that included finishing materials (Swirly Birds and Flowers from SamSarah Design Studio)...and one had a pre-finished Winter Thread Pal provided (Winter Wonderland by Little House Needleworks)...for the others, I chose the supplies, doing my best to make the pieces resemble the model images. I am really happy with how each and every piece turned out...and I think (I hope) the stitcher was quite pleased too! I still have well over fifty needlework pieces to finish for clients, so I will have more fun photos to show you soon. For now, enjoy these images...and I hope you will be inspired to pull out your most recent cross stitch piece(s) and do a little needlework finishing yourself...

Swirly Birds and Flowers from SamSarah Design Studio
Limited Kit from the Silver Needle’s A Little Help From Our
 Stitching Friends Stitching Circle

(additional angle)

Winter Wonderland by Little House Needleworks

The Sister Purse by JBW Designs

Twitter Blue by the Courtney Collection
from the 2009 Just CrossStitch Ornament Issue

Redbird Sampler by Heart in Hand

Mary's Work Sampler Bag by Stacy Nash Primitives

Hedgerow Birds Project Bag by Blackbird Designs (Loose Feathers Pattern 40)

Hedgerow Birds Project Bag by Blackbird Designs (Loose Feathers Pattern 40)

Various Mini Stockings by Blackbird Designs
...details in single images below...

Never Far Apart -by Blackbird Designs
(was a limited edition kit)

Love is in the Air : Three Stockings for February by Blackbird Designs

Crowning the Tree by Blackbird Designs

By the Chimney with Care: Three Stockings for January by Blackbird Designs

Winter Snow Stocking by Heartstring Samplery


Merry Noel Collection: Festive Redbird by Homespun Elegance
Christmas Blessings by Milady's Needle

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Peek Inside My Design Process

Sometimes the most bizarre things inspire unique design ideas...and that was definitely the case when working on a recent AccuQuilt project. Today, I thought I would share a bit of my design process for the Studio Quilter's Basket Table Runner Pattern that was created for the new Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter. This new strip cutter die has four sizes of small strips all on one die:  ¾", 1", 1½", 2" (¼", ½", ¾", 1½" Finished)...and the challenge was to use all four of these strip sizes in a single project. I didn't want the project to be long, boring strips...I wanted something that stood out a bit more...something that hadn't been seen a million times....something that had some oomph! I immediately started playing with some design ideas in EQ8 (Electric Quilt 8 Quilt Design Software)....but I just couldn't compose a design that stood out to me. I decided to let the project rest for a moment - pause and hit the reset button. I resolved to take our German Shepherd puppy for a walk and clear my head...and along the way, I found my inspiration...

While walking several blocks away from our home, I spied a couple vintage-looking webbed lawn chairs (which I hadn't seen since my childhood)...retro folding lawn chairs with woven bright colored webbing strips for the back and seat. At that moment, it became clear - I would use those lawn chairs as a base design for my current project. I grabbed my iPhone, snapped a few photos, and headed back to my studio to get my idea drawn up in EQ8. To my surprise, it translated really well! I got a single block designed....then reversed two colors for a second that moment, I knew I had it figured out...the Quilter's Basket Table Runner was born. Once I had the pattern written, I really wanted to name the design after those retro-looking webbed lawn chairs, but I thought it might get lost in translation...with the pattern having a "basketweave" look, Quilter's Basket seemed like a logical title...but you, my friends, now know the true story behind the design!

It was quite fun to create the sample...and I only used two cutting dies - the new Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter- ¾", 1", 1½", 2" (¼", ½", ¾", 1½" Finished) and the Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter-2½" (2" Finished) for binding. The blocks are easy to piece by creating strip sets and sub-cutting...

You can currently download the pattern for free by visiting:

There you have it - design inspiration found in an unlikely object. I hope this post will encourage you to look for creative ideas in unusual places! Take a little time this weekend to see the beauty that surrounds you...

Friday, June 15, 2018

Pretty Project Bags

It has been a needlework finishing frenzy in the studio this week (which I will share soon!), but I thought I would stop by for a very quick visit today and share a plethora of project bags I completed the last couple weeks. This is an assortment of my large and small project bags...and all the fabrics were provided by clients. I have almost two hundred zippered bags on order right now - an assortment of large project bags, small project bags, and tool bags...yes, I am sewing up a storm to catch up! Recently, I have had several questions on the patterns I use and the sizes of the I thought I would clear up any confusion - these are made from my own pattern that I designed specifically for cross stitch patterns and supplies
(it is currently not available for sale):

  • Large Project Bags
    Size: Approximately 14.25" W x 10.25" H
    Designed for full size patterns measuring 8.5" x 11" and supplies
  • Small Project Bags
     Approximately 10.75" W x 7.75" H
    Designed for half sheet patterns measuring 5.5" x 8.5" and supplies
  • Tool Bags
    Approximately 9.25" W x 7.25" H
    Designed for small projects and or tools/accessories.

My custom bags are made to order (usually my customers supply fabrics of their choice)...and when time allows, I make them for my Etsy Shop (with fabrics I choose). The three sizes listed above are my basic/most requested bags, but (for a small additional fee) I can make them to any size requested. Should you like more information (pricing and fabric size details), please e-mail me (link in profile). 

For now, I am off to the gym...then back to the cutting table and sewing machine. Thanks for stopping by for a visit today...and be sure to stop back soon to see my latest creations...