Monday, November 14, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Block Blog Tour

Volume 14 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine is now available and I have a block inside! I am thrilled to be in the company of so many awesome quilt designers, including Bonnie Hunter, Carolyn McCormick, Nancy Mahoney, Sarah Maxwell, and more. Here's the pretty cover:

Order a magazine online

My block is called Chicken Foot, and it's not an original, unlike the other 99 blocks in the magazine. It's a traditional block, but one that has fallen so far under the radar that it's nearly impossible to find a reference to it or pattern for it anywhere. It was also my Mom's absolute favorite quilt block of all time. She loved to piece it by hand and made several quilts using it, as well as many "orphan" blocks.

For the magazine, I resized the block to 12" finished size and made up a sample using 1930s repro prints. I loved the opportunity to showcase these cute novelty fabrics in such a sophisticated setting. Take a look:

I recently finished a quilt featuring some of Mom's Chicken Foot blocks for my niece's wedding. I made appliqued blocks for the alternate spaces. The name of this quilt is From This Day Forward and the pattern will be available in an issue of McCall's Quilting magazine sometime in 2017:

But Chicken Foot blocks don't just have to be pastel! How about glorious red, white, and blue?

As you can see, when you do a bit of planned fabric placement, instead of a completely scrappy look, you can get all kinds of secondary designs going, which I love. Another great feature of this block is the large open center, perfect for showcasing a bit of applique, embroidery, or fancy quilting.

The Chicken Foot block is a bit challenging to make, but its versatility, uniqueness, and striking geometric qualities make it well worth the effort. I hope you'll give it a try and send me a photo of your version!

Now for a magazine giveaway. Leave a comment below with an idea for how you'd make this block by midnight, November 18, and you'll get a chance to win a copy of Volume 14 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. Good luck, everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Advent Calendar Wall Hanging Ready to Quilt

I've been having quilty adventures left and right the last few weeks, starting back to work with McCall's Quilting and Fons & Porter to cover a maternity leave, finding a super-nice group of women to quilt with on Wednesday evenings (shout out to The Bee!), making Christmas crafts with my sister and cousins, and more.

But the main thing on my menu has been the Advent Calendar wall hanging, which got layered for quilting just yesterday!

I'm overall very pleased with it. Ideas for machine quilting are starting to solidify and I hope to get it on my worktable today or tomorrow. 

The little pockets for treats came out well. I made each pocket just a tiny bit wider than the patch behind it so it would be a bit gathered, allowing bigger treats without distorting the whole wall hanging. Bigger treats = happy kids!

One small problem came up right at the end. I must have been more tired than I knew on the evening when I fused the tree shapes etc. to the finished top, because the trunk for that tree on the right was WAY off center, too far to the left. Solution: Add a Christmas gift to the design and obscure the offending portion of the trunk. I think it works!

That photo was before the shapes were stitched down. The bow looks more like a bow now that it's stitched.

So, that's what's on my to-do list this week. How about you?  :)