Quilt shops everywhere are opening boxes of Hoffman California’s beautiful “Meet Me in Paradise” fabric used to make the Tropical Sunset quilt pattern!
Before I started designing patterns, I had no idea how short the window is for designing and making quilts for fabric companies. To get the fabric produced and shipped takes much longer!
Sometimes I’ve had less than a week to open a box of fabric, design and make a quilt, write the pattern, photograph the quilt and ship the quilt from Missouri to California. Whew!
Of course, many quilt designers use digital software to “build” their quilts. Fabric companies have digital swatches to download for designing. They can plan the quilt and insert the fabric without taking a stitch. However, fabric companies don’t make swatches of the REVERSE side. Enter the need for real fabric!
For this design, I used my Ipad and the app called Procreate. This is a great drawing and painting app that’s easy to learn and fun to use. In Procreate, you can also make clippings masks of objects (in this case, the photo of the fabric). That’s how I “drew” the bouquet. Here’s the sketch I send to my representative to “pitch” my quilt idea:
As you can see, there’s quite a difference from the sketch to the actual quilt. Things don’t always work like you picture them in your head, right? Sometimes, they are much better in real life and real fabric!
I love that the “wallpaper” border made from the reverse of one coordinating fabric. If you’ve made a #usebothsides quilt pattern before, you know it’s important to audition both sides of fabric with itself (focus) and with surrounding (background, border) fabrics to know if they will actually have enough contrast. That “wildcard” is what makes getting a box of fabric a whole lot exciting and a little bit scary! This is one line that is PERFECT for using both sides!
See more about Tropical Sunset Quilt Pattern HERE.
As orders for patterns come in, I’ll be sharing links to the shops so you can do some online paradise shopping!
You’ll likely enjoy the first article in this issue is called, “Give Your Quilt a Bath”! It gives you step by step guidance on how to bathe a quilt that just can’t go into a washing machine. I found the specific instructions (with illustrations) from how to submerse to how to remove the quilt very helpful.
Inside AQ Magazine, you’ll also find seven “irresistible” quilt patterns, some “how-to” articles, and features by contributors. The seven quilt patterns include three “easy”, three “intermediate”, and one “challenging”.
American Quilter is a perk of membership with AQS (American Quilter Society), but is also available on the newsstand. This March 2021 newsstand issue is $6.99.
You’ll find a feature display of MJ Kinman’s “Bourbon Diamonds” which is as interesting as the quilts are beautiful. You might recall the exhibit featured at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky in 2020.
One regular contributor, Gail Garber, discusses the use of color versus contrast with many photo examples.
I hope you find this review of AQ Magazine helpful. Because I’ve found American Quilter to be a high-quality publication, I started with this issue. I can say from a personal standpoint, the company is delightful to work with. I’ll leave a few pics of Merle’s Bouquet here. It was a lot of fun to have her featured in this quality magazine!
Look for more reviews and new patterns coming soon!
Add sparkling borders to turn beautiful Kate into…Dazzling Kate!
First, a short history of how Dazzling Kate came to be: A short four years ago, I began designing quilts using both sides of fabric. Many of the new patterns were based on a 36-inch size wall hanging. The first phase were of a bee, butterfly and dragonfly. The next series of three were bouquets and vases. All of the first six patterns were made using a combination of fusible applique and broderie perse. Click here to learn more about Broderie Perse.
Basically, you take one focus fabric and use both sides of it to gain a difference in value. Sometimes that difference is subtle; sometimes it is stark. It all depends on the style of your quilt and what you are trying to achieve.
For instance, take a look at both sides of this fabric. While the front is very bright, the reverse also has movement and interest. It has a lighter value than the front but still catches your eye.
What makes Dazzling Kate sparkle is the use of both sides of this one focus fabric!
While the center section remains the same as the original Kate, the borders sparkle around the center with half-square triangles.
Add a “stop” flange to surround the center section using the RIGHT side of the focus fabric. Connect the borders with cornerstones. Even the binding is made with the focus fabric!
Overall, this makes planning this large quilt so easy! Just add interesting “neutrals” and fun accent strips. There’s even a tiny flange attached to the outer edge of the quilt. Dazzling Kate finishes at 60 x 60 inches.
Need a little fall stitching fun? How about a free wool applique pattern?
Take a little burlap, add a little lace…toss it with plaid, a pumpkin, and sunflowers to make yourself this little fall pillow! This free wool applique pattern pdf link is below.
This free wool applique pattern is just a little thank you for your support and friendship. Our creative world can get sidetracked by “life” and sometimes we need just a little something to do. (Or I do anyway.) These kind of projects are just little things I like to sneak into a day (when I’m supposed to be working on something…more serious).
Sometimes small is big.
We can’t always be making big things, right? And by “big”, I mean, time consuming! For instance, I have a very small hand stitching project that’s WAY to big to think about sometimes! I find comfort in a “get ‘er done” project from time to time. I hope you do, too!
This little accent pillow takes just a little fabric and wool, and a scrap of lace and burlap. So make a cup of tea, warm up your favorite fall scents and make yourself a little pillow!
Just find a bit of fall fabric. You’ll need a bit of lace and burlap (or use a coordinating fabric from your stash). Use wool scraps or make yours with fused fabric if you’d like. I use simple stitches (imperfect), but you can jazz yours up if you want – here’s one of my favorite stitching artists: Sue Spargo! Check it out!
I created this little pillow a few years ago (before I knew our cat was allergic to wool) but I still get it out each fall. I miss working with wool – and it’s not entirely the cat’s fault! These days, with more than 40 of my own pattern designs to keep up with, I find I cherish these little projects even more. They are a rare treat. I hope you have some special projects that give you a break from the “everyday”…just now and then.
Use digital downloads for quilt patterns and start auditioning BOTH sides of your fabric TODAY!
You probably know that many of my first designs used full-size paper templates. With more and more requests for digital downloads (especially from friends overseas and in Canada), I’ve started adding digital versions of my patterns to my Etsy shop. You can still get the paper versions, even for those patterns sans large templates. Therefore, if you need to avoid high shipping fees, you now have more options available to #usebothsides!
If you are like me, copying and pasting small papers together to make a large template (24 x 36 inches) is not something you crave. That’s why I decided early on to provide full-size paper templates whenever possible. However, paper templates do limit distribution. I also strive to keep the prices as low as possible without losing value.
But, I have to say, it pains me to fill orders for quilters who pay more for shipping than the patterns themselves (sometimes even double). So, digital downloads are a great option. You might choose one if you want to immediately “shop” your fabrics or have deadlines for your quilt projects.
As a result, I have five current digital downloads in my Etsy Shop and more on the way. Some in the future may require a small increase in the template size, but not more than you’d see in a magazine. One example of that will be forAria (the singer).
In conclusion, you have options! You can still purchase the full-color, full-size paper template patterns. Choose digital downloads for immediate “delivery” with the same high-quality you’ve come to expect.
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas (also known as Epiphany, Three Kings Day, Little Christmas), we recognize several things (in my understanding): the coming of the Magi (Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar), representing the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles (for all peoples); Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist; and the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ.
Since today we recognize the gifts brought by the Magi, gold (royal standing), frankincense (divine birth), and myrrh (mortality), I thought it appropriate to pass along a little gift of joy… as in a “little” JOY pdf pattern.
Download this FREE pdf pattern by clicking the link above. It’s just a little JOY, a miniature of the larger JOY quilt patterns. You can use it to decorate gift bags or other items using BOTH sides of a scrap of fabric and fusible…and if you have a scanning/cutting machine, you can have all the cutting done for you!
You can learn for FREE how easy it is to make any of the #usebothsides quilt patterns – the applique designs use the same basic technique.
Full #usebothsides patterns come with complete detailed instructions
AND guides for auditioning both sides of fabric
AND full-size paper templates (for applique or broderie perse designs).
There’s also a new quilt app for your phone you might want to join called Quilt Space – it’s only for quilters and it’s a simple newsfeed that show quilts or quilts in progress posted by quilters. Since I joined during the Twelve Days of Christmas, I decided to post Christmas themed quilts daily through today, Epiphany. Check it out – it’s free, just sign up with the usual info (email, password) for the app. Shout out to Anastasia for the heads up!
It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like red truck Christmas quilt season!
Merry is a red truck Christmas quilt that’s easy and fun to make! You can start your holiday decorating with a fun Christmas wall hanging OR make one for a favorite friend!
Use BOTH sides of one red Christmas fabric on a snowy bed of winter fabrics to make this quilted wall hanging.
This little red truck is dashing through a snowy lane. On a background of winter trees, various sizes of snowflake motifs, cardinals on lighted lines, and glitzy deer, this red truck Christmas quilt is made with both sides of one focus fabric. So toss a tree in the back, add the mirrors, tires, license plate, and reversed details to “trim out” your truck. Pull out your winter/Christmas stash and start auditioning your fabrics!
Shop the “Merry” quilt pattern in my Etsy shop: HERE
Below are the current Christmas quilt patterns available. For each you will use both sides of at least one fabric. With each #usebothsides pattern, you’ll discover the nuances of value as you learn to audition BOTH sides of fabric. I teach you HOW, like what to look for and how to use value to your advantage.
Look at each picture below and notice where the reverse side is used. Look carefully because you’ll see that the reverse is often used in the background as well. Chances are you have fabric in your stash that will work, with beautiful reverse sides. So pull out some stash and turn it over! Once you learn about what makes reverse sides work, you’ll never look at one side of fabric again! It’s almost like doubling your stash (without taking up any more room). Plus, it’s fun and makes choosing fabrics easy!
In the heart of Indiana is a bright yellow door. Open it to find a cute little quilt shop filled with fun, beautiful fabric!
It’s the Yellow Door Quilt Store!
Located in Nashville, Indiana, south of Indianapolis, the Yellow Door Quilt Store carries unique and mostly bright fabrics – maybe a bit of a modern flare, but something for everyone!
I met the owner, Mary Beth, when I popped in to her booth at the Paducah quilt show – I knew right away her fabrics would work beautifully with my patterns. We hit it off and she now carries many of my designs!
Mary Beth’s fabric lines/books/patterns include: Kaffe Fassett Collective, Marcia Derse, Kathy Doughty, Jane Sasseman, and Alexander Henry and many more.
Here is Flora made with BOTH beautiful sides of a QT Fabrics floral:
It was Mary Beth’s idea that I make a pattern of a sugar skull using both sides of one focus fabric. My first shipment of “Flora” patterns now reside (temporarily) at the Yellow Door Quilt Store! #usebothsides
Visit Mary Beth online HERE or in her quilt store!
Visit my Etsy SHOP to see more BRAND NEW patterns and all the favorites that #usebothsides of beautiful fabric!
Do you remember the quilt design of a vase and bouquet using Kaffe Fassett fabric? I mean it was only…(counting)…20 #usebothsides patterns ago!
“Kate” was made using both sides of Japanese Chrysanthemum by Philip Jacobs for Kaffe Fassett Collective. Kate’s Bouquet also uses the same fabric (different colorway) and only two other fabrics for this large, striking look!
Shop “Kate” HERE. Kate is a 36 x 36 inch quilt made using only one focus fabric for the vase (reversed), bouquet (broderie perse) and binding on a scrappy background.
Kate’s Bouquet finishes at 64″ x 64″, making her a lovely statement in a home. The negative space gives her a modern appeal. And the best part: you only need three fabrics to make this quilt! Use BOTH beautiful sides of the focus fabric and table fabric and get one fabulous fabric for the background!
Here’s a pic of my friend, Linda’s quilt, she calls “Rose”. Her version has a calm feel about it and goes perfectly in her newly decorated living room.
Just imagine, you could have a background that mimics wall paper or old plaster walls. So many options!
And, of course, there are always fabulous floral fabrics on the market for designing your own bouquet!
This week’s shout-out is to Margie, owner of Margie’s Sew Much Fun!
Located in the Florida panhandle, in Crestview, Margie has been serving her community since 1971.
Offering over 3500 bolts of fabulous fabric (awesome patterns, too – #usebothsides) and both Bernina and Janome machines, you can be sure Margie will show you a fun time!
Margie is a “repeat customer” of #usebothsides patterns and she is a delight to work with. You can tell from the name of her quilt shop and our delightful phone conversations, I can just tell she’s got a fun shop YOU really need to visit!