Friday, January 19, 2018

Pages of inspiration...a new issue of Modern by the Yard

That's right! Our e-zine is back with a new issue and we can't wait for you to see it! The issue features four projects, a revamped Modern with a Twist feature, a fabric gallery, and more, so get ready to be inspired.

Remember, you can click on the marked links throughout the issue, and you can even download the pdf and save it to your computer. (To download, look for the downward pointing arrow in the lower right corner of your browser page.)

Simply click on the button below to start paging through this new issue.

Here's a sneak peek of the projects inside: 
"Confetti" designed by Sarah Goer; featuring the Modern Marks collection by Christa Watson

"Plus Playtime" designed by Sandra Walker featuring the Dot Crazy collection by Modern Quilt Studio

"Icicles" by Chris Dodsley featuring the Color Weave collection

"Frosty Cabins" designed by Alison Vermilya featuring Winter Games by Amanda Murphy

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wildflower Garden

Jackie's Hydrangea Blue collection may just be hitting your local quilt shop now, but if you need a fast flower fix, check out the Wildflower Garden quilt she designed for the latest issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine. The quilt is packed with beautiful flowers and features her A Wildflower Meadow collection. 
Wildflower Garden designed by Jackie Robinson; pieced and quilted by Sheri Butkowski;
featured in Love of Quilting January/February 2018

Tell us about this quilt.
Well, it looks like it’s made on point, but it isn’t. It’s made up of a bunch of tiny nine-patches sewn together. It’s an Irish Chain variation—the nine-patches create the diagonal lines running across the quilt.

How did you decide which prints to feature in the big blocks?
I designed the pattern intending to use the medium florals. They show up really well, and the outer floral stripe ties everything together.

What does this quilt remind you of?

The quilt was recently returned to me (after the magazine photoshoot). When I unfolded it, I realized it reminded me of a garden I’d seen on a recent trip to Slovakia. We were at a castle up on a hill, and the gardens were pretty spent because it was the end of October, but the layout looked very much like this quilt. There are formal gardens like this—patchs among areas of different kinds of flowers—at the Bellingrath Gardens in Alabama, or The Butchart Gardens on Victoria Island in British Columbia. That’s what I like most about this quilt—how it reminds me of formal gardens.

Butchart Gardens

Click here to find the quilt pattern.
Click here to find the kit for Wildflower Garden.
Click here to see Jackie's other quilt patterns featuring A Wildflower Meadow.
Click here to find Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hydrangea Blue Virtual Trunk Show

If seeing Jackie Robinson's Hydrangea Blue collection has put you in a spring kind of mood, you'll enjoy her virtual trunk show today. Jackie is featuring her fabric in five quilt patterns and has also designed a free quilt pattern available on our website. 

"Easy Trip Around the World"
This quilt is made up of nine-patch blocks--what we used to call fancy nine-patch blocks. It works really well to make a Trip Around the World quilt. And the stripe border just finishes is nicely. 
Click here to purchase the Easy Trip Around the World pattern.

"Midnight Sky"
This is avariation of a Colorado Log Cabin, with stars in some of the corners. The different values of blues show up really well in this quilt. The center of each block features a fussy-cut hydrangea.
Click here to purchase the Midnight Sky pattern.

"Song Sung Blue" 
This is a Block of the Month quilt. It has five different kinds of blocks, so with assembly, it becomes a six-step BOM. It's a medallion-style quilt that is assembled in an on-point setting. There are little star flowers in the center and near the outside. I like this one alot.
Click here to purchase the Song Sung Blue pattern

"Weaver Four-ver"
This quilt is one of the reasons I like to have four values in my fabric collections. It's one of my favorite quilts. It's made from strip sets, sort of a bargello technique.
Click here to purchase the Weaver Four-ver pattern

"Woven Garden"
This quilt is so simple; it's a stripe flanked by two tonal strips. It looks more complex than it is.
Click here to purchase the Woven Garden pattern.

"Spinning Hydrangeas"

This is a unique quilt block made using snowball corners and half-square triangles. The yellow four-patches create a subtle secondary pattern in the background. There's a lot of spin in this quilt!
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Click here to see the entire Hydrangea Blue collection.

Click here to read an interview with Jackie about Hydrangea Blue.
Click here to visit Jackie's website and find her patterns.
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Monday, January 15, 2018

Hydrangea Blue

We're kicking off another January week with more spring inspiration. Jackie Robinson's new collection, Hydrangea Blue, is arriving in quilt shops now. Warm and fresh golds and blues, beautiful hydrangea balls, and a wide variety of tonal prints. Take a peek:

We asked Jackie to talk about Hydrangea Blue:
Did the hydrangea idea come from your garden?
Nope. We have too many deer to have things blooming. I think I have one tulip two daffodils. But hydrangeas are such a pretty flower with nice shape.

Let’s talk about the palette.
I’ve done a couple blue and yellow collections, and it was time for another really good blue and yellow story. It’s a popular color combination. The blues are pure and clean, as are the yellows. The greens have a tad bit of yellow in it—it’s a green that I can work with almost anything. The navy functions as the “black” in the collection. And because I like to do so many log cabin quilts, there are multiple shades of each color. I need those values.

Do you have a favorite print?
The big allover print with the dark blue background. I love how the flowers pop. Typically, the large focal print gets designed first, and then the stripe, because it uses the flowers from the large focal and makes it vertical.

Can you tell us about a few of the other prints?
The fresco petals have such a nice, soft texture.

The wave print is still a favorite of mine—it has such wonderful non-directional texture. There’s an entire line of different colored wave prints coming out later this spring, so watch for it.

I do like the tonal butterflies too. They have a nice flow and they’re a natural pairing with floral prints.

Click here to see the entire Hydrangea Blue collection.
Watch for a virtual trunk show featuring Jackie's prints this week!
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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Love those scrappy brights!

We've got another quilt to chase away those dreary winter days! This fun scrappy quilt by Joanie Holton and Melanie Greseth uses Nancy Halvorsen's Bree collection and was featured in Quilting Quickly magazine. 
"Brianne" designed by Joanie Holton and Melanie Greseth;
featured in the November/December 2017 issue of Quilting Quickly magazine.
We asked Joanie to tell us about the Brianne quilt. 

Do you love Nancy Halvorsen’s Bree collection as much as we do?
Yes! It’s so bright and cheery; it was really fun to play with.

Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
I am most drawn to the two-color fan print. I like the effect it has.

Tell us about this quilt.
We went for a scrappy look with hourglass blocks. With Nancy’s line, there are so many great prints to use, and they all go together. We paired fabrics and made sets of colors. We wanted the hourglasses to play nicely together, and we wanted each block to have one print that was a little heavier to create contrast.

The stripes look great in the hourglass block.
They do! People are often afraid to chop up stripes, but it can make a really cool effect if you just go for it.

How did you choose border fabrics?
We chose not to use a focal print and instead went with a three border treatment. With such a scrappy quilt, it’s easy to pick out almost any color for the border—the quilt center is such a smorgasboard of color! I’m always drawn to greens and blues, and that makes it a little more gender neutral as well. I think the borders bring all the colors together.

What do you like best about this quilt?

It’s a nostalgic quilt that makes me remember my grandma. I love that about it.

Click here to see the entire Bree collection.
Click here to purchase the quilt pattern.
Click here to find November/December 2017 issue of Quilting Quickly magazine.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sun Burst of Color!

We've got another boost of sunshine to brighten these wintry days! The new Sun Burst collection from Kanvas is packed with color. Cheery dots, flowers, stripes, and a cool diagonal print, available in pinks/oranges/yellows or greens/blues/aquas.

Choose warm or cool colors to make the Little Ray of Sunshine quilt:
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Click here to see the entire fabric collection.
Click here to find the free quilt pattern.
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Technique Tuesday: Transforming 10x10s into Hexagons!

It's Technique Tuesday here on the blog! Debby Kratovil from
Debby Kratovil Quilts will show you how to turn a stack of
10x10s into an easy (yes, we said easy!) hexagon quilt.

Here's Debby!
Are you looking for a creative way to use a stack of 10" squares? 

Benartex sent me this beautiful Essence of Pearl 10x10 pack in the Purple colorway. I asked for a companion fabric to go with these,
1 yard of the light lavender Tossed Sprigs.

Essence of Pearl 10" Squares

I was aiming for hexagons (surprise, huh?)  Hexagons are wider than they are high, so I cut 2-1/2" strips from each of the 10" squares. This gives me 7-1/2" x 10" rectangles to work with for my next steps.
2-1/2" strips cut off each square
There were 42 squares in the pack, so I ended up with 42 strips 2-1/2" x 10". Trust me: I will use these later on. Nothing is EVER wasted in my quilting (even if I have no clue where I'm going!) You can see the Purple Tossed Sprigs fabric that I'm going to use to tie all this together.
Beautiful strips cut from the Essence of Pearl Purple pack

I'm going to cut hexagons from each of the squares. I used my Creative Grids 60 degree ruler to do this (this will NOT work with rulers that have a pointy tip; only those that simplify the cutting and have a blunted tip).

My 7-1/2" hexagon will finish to 7". Half of 7" is 3-1/2". I fold my 7-1/2" x 10" strip with the fold at the BOTTOM, align the 3-1/2" line on the ruler with the top cut edges as shown, and then slice on both sides of the ruler. GASP! Really?

Cutting my hexagons

I can tell you don't believe me. Sigh! Take a look, ok?

Perfect hexagon with remaining (and usable) triangles

I didn't use the 6 lightest fabrics, so I ended up with 36 hexagons (not all shown here):

Hexagons cut from the 10" squares

Now, what was my plan? First, I need triangles to set with the hexagons. These will enable me to sew straight seams (ie, no y-seams). Take a look:

I cut 4" strips. Why? These will finish to 3-1/2" (which is half the finished height of the hexagons). Flip flop the ruler up and down to get the needed triangles. The end patch I will use on the quilt rows. It is called a 30 degree triangle.

4" strips cut into triangles
 Triangles are joined in this manner:
Joining triangles to the hexagons
 Join the triangles to the hexagons as shown.
Join triangles to opposing ends of the hexagons
An end hexagon uses one of the 30 degree triangles at the far left. Notice that my seams will be diagonal, yet straight, when I join the hexagons into a horizontal row!

Partial horizontal row

 More triangles and hexagons. Notice the right hexagon, which will be the right end of my row. It also will have a 30 degree "straightening" triangle.
Another row

 Let's see the rows. It's always a good idea to lay out your hexagons to see where you want them to appear in the quilt. Then, identify the rows and then join the triangles (as in the pic above).

I decided to have rows of 5 hexagons alternate with rows of 4. Those large 30 degree triangles are cut from 11" strips (7" plus 3-1/2" plus 1/2" seams = 11")

11" strip is folded, wrong sides together. You are cutting mirror image triangles (one for each side of a row).

Side setting triangles
 Mirror image triangles.
Large 30 degree triangles
And here are my first 3 rows.

Three horizontal rows
Row 1 is sewn as follows:
Row 1 sewing

Row 2 is sewn as follows. It is then sewn to another Row 1 with the large 30 degree triangle.

Rows 2 & 3

Then they get repeated again, twice more.

Now, let's see the whole quilt center. It measures 40" wide and 50" high:
Essence of Pearl quilt center: 40" x 50"

Remember those large triangle pieces leftover from cutting the hexagons? I had a plan. I put them together with some of that light background fabric and created a traditional Whirling Hexagon.

These are the 30 degree triangles leftover from the hexagon cutting:

Each set has a left and right side angle

And here's my first Whirling Hexagon block (also called Spinning Star):

Spinning Star/Whirling Hexagon

And just for a variation, I can straighten up the sides using another pair of the triangles:

Spinning Star with side triangles
Hope you enjoyed seeing how easy it is to cut whole hexagons from a stack of 10" squares. I think I will use a single piece of border fabric in order to cut down on all that stitching!

Click here to see the entire Essence of Pearl collection.

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