Posted tagged ‘quilt patterns’

A Fresh Round of Embroidery and Quilting Books

May 5, 2017

I saw a couple of embroidery and sewing books that seemed to have a fresh approach so bought three of them for my collection.


1) Modern Folk Embroidery: 30 Contemporary Projects for Folk Art Inspired Designs by Nancy Nicholson

I have often admired Nancy’s patterns on Etsy, but thought I’d get more patterns in her book so was pleased to finally buy it when it was published. It’s so nice to see books on hand embroidery coming out for new generations who want to pick up the craft.

2) Tilda Homemade & Happy by Tone Finnanger

She is quite prolific and I’ve seen lots of her designs around, but I liked some of her reindeer and pigs and sheep in this.

3) Zakka Embroidery: Simple One- and Two-Color Embroidery Motifs and Small Crafts by Yumiko Higuchi

These are tiny motifs and I was interested in her ideas for small purses using purse frames and embroidery. I have several purse frames on hand so want to use them up. There are lots of small cross-stitch motifs around but not many for hand embroidery, so this looked good for my library.

I was able to buy a new sewing machine, the Janome 9400, and I’m hoping it will enable me to quilt about 12 to 14 quilt tops that are languishing here. I took all the quilts and quilt tops out of the Rubbermaid trunk they’d been stored in for two years while we were selling our old house and moving and they reeked of plastic.

I spent some weeks washing and airing them and bought a nice wooden blanket box to store them. As I was confronted with the old tops, some dating back to the 1980s and 1990s, I felt the imperative to finish them. I cleaned up and reorganized my sewing area and now I have the fabric cupboard to deal with.


There is another Rubbermaid container in there, so I’ll have another round of airing fabric, but I particularly wanted to get my fabrics and scraps organized by colour and sew up some simpler quilt patterns. I have been quilting since 1984 so I have many magazines and books on the subject, and I’ve given away many more but I liked the fresh look of these publications and many of the designs.


1) Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects – Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison

2) No Scrap Left Behind: 16 Quilt Projects That Celebrate Scraps of All Sizes by Amanda Jean Nyberg

3) Scraps, Inc. Vol. 1: 15 Block-Based Designs for the Modern Quilter Compiled by Susanne Woods

4) Scraps, Inc. Vol. 2: 15 Block-Based Designs for the Modern Quilter Compiled by Susanne Woods

I am not in good health but things are improving, so I want ideas and projects and happier creative endeavours to look forward to. That should sort me out (pun)!


Kim Mclean’s Lollypop Trees Quilt Pattern

October 30, 2015

Many of the current books on appliqué use fancy batiks and prints to emulate a watercolour painting for appliqué flowers. I prefer blobby flowers done from scraps. The last time I tackled a floral appliqué quilt was a Baltimore Album style, but in my own freeform design, 23 years ago for a 50th anniversary gift.

I have liked this Kim Mclean pattern called Lollypop Trees for years. Kim sells her patterns through Kaffe Fassett’s Glorious Color web site. I looked in Canada for the pattern and there is one seller offering it for $40 CAD plus shipping and tax. This pattern would cost me $51 CAD. Whoa, that’s quite a price for a pattern. However, it would take me hours of work to draw this up myself, so after thinking about it I used some upcoming Christmas money to buy it.


I’ve done conventional flower appliqués several times but I like to do flower blocks and this seemed charmingly different, plus the size is huge. There is nothing better than huge blobby flowers.

I have so many neat little scraps of fabric that would look great in this. The original quilt and most of the quilts worked up from the pattern use Kaffe Fassett fabric, which is great if you have the money, but I don’t. Upon telling my sister about this, she sent me a bundle of ten Liberty of London fabrics she bought on a recent trip. They are perfect for mixing into this, and I bought four different white on white fabrics for the backgrounds.


A good project for winter, and not too hard on the hands and chronic pain in my arms and back.



Baby Quilt in Disappearing 9-Patch Pattern

December 17, 2013

There’s nothing like starting early on projects. No one in my family is having a baby, but by the time I get this done they might be and I will be ready for gift-giving action!

I enjoyed making a doll quilt last December for my Maplelea doll Saila using the Disappearing 9-Patch pattern and a 2.5-inch square. For this bigger quilt I used a 4.5-inch square and cut 90 squares, then sewed ten regular 9-Patch blocks together with those squares.

They look okay but nothing special.


The magic happens when you cut them apart down the centre both horizontally and vertically, thus making the 9-patch you started with “disappear,” and I also find it adds some interest and movement generally.


I have to juggle the smaller blocks a bit to get the fabrics balanced, but basically this is the way I am going to rotate them. It’s a good gender-neutral colour scheme, but bright and attractive for a child to enjoy. The leftover bits will go toward piecing the backing, which I always find fun.

I have a 21 year-old 6150 Pfaff machine, which is one of the last models they made in Germany. I understand from reading reviews that the newer Pfaff machines have problems with quality control, so while tempted to buy a new machine I think I’ll keep on using this workhorse.


I notice though that Pfaff has a new Free-motion Echo Quilting Foot that might fit my older machine. After talking to a quilt shop that is a Pfaff dealer, they said I should bring my machine in to see if the foot works with my machine. According to one web site it should fit as it’s a low shank, yet it is not an electronic machine, so it’s best to check first as they are about $30 to buy.


To screw it in you remove the ankle that attaches the sewing feet, which takes away a lot of the visual blockage I get even with my current see-through Pfaff free motion foot. It’s worth exploring anyway as I haven’t been able to do much free motion quilting because of my knee, and if I can get a newer attachment I’ve got several small projects and about 14 quilt tops to quilt, so if I can manage a better setup that would be good.

The year 2014 will be my 30th anniversary of quilting and it still lights me up. I realized when I was cutting squares out how happy it makes me. With my leg problems quilting has gone down somewhat on my priority list and I think I’d be happier if I was able to chip away more at it.