Still Staying at home and hopping – Dips, Tips and Sips

30 Mar

Fellow Quilters,



Congratulations!  We made it to the 4th and final post of the #stayathomeandhop virtual hop.  I hope you have enjoyed this event as much as I have as we isolate ourselves in our homes.  It’s been great chatting with you and getting your feedback on a variety of quilting topics – thanks to each of you who have taken the time to post a comment.  PS.  If you haven’t done so yet, it’s not too late – simply leave a comment on Saturday’s blog, Tuesday’s blog and Friday’s blog (on each day I asked for feedback on a particular topic) and your name will go into the pot for some fab free stuff.  If you’ve just popped over from another blog, welcome!  Go ahead and check out those earlier posts – I’ll wait. 😊  While you’re at it, why not sign up for my blog (over on the right) and my newsletter (scroll to the bottom), and follow me on Facebook.  My regulars will confirm I post once in a blue moon, though the plan going forward is to post once a month.  There – I’ve put it in writing so now I’m committed.

Did you find some creative new pattern designers?  I have the names and websites of the last 9 designers to share with you, including the designer who organized this event –  hats off to Linda Sullivan of Colourwerx.  I quilted Linda’s Mod TV and Spikey patterns for Northcott’s Quiltcon booth 2 years ago.  If you have enjoyed this blog tour please hop over to Linda’s blog and leave a comment letting her know.  Also a shout-out to my friend Kate Colleran of Seams Like a Dream, who mentored me when I set up my website. Kate’s Braid template is the bomb!

DaySpring Quilt Company

Ms P Designs, USA

Stitchin’ at Home

Sew Joy Creations

Ships & Violins

Your Sewing Friend

The Geeky Bobbin

Colourwerx Designs

Kate Colleran Designs

Alrighty, let’s get to the 4 things I’m sharing with you during the #stayathomeandhop tour – a newsy item, a quilting tip, an easy tasty recipe from my personal collection and a chance for free stuff.

Today’s newsy item is my newest pattern, Arctic Adventures, just added to my website today.

Working on piecing Arctic Adventures

Working on piecing Arctic Adventures

I spent the past few days testing the pattern and getting as far as I could with the bits of fabric that I “borrowed” from Northcott’s sample room.

Just missing the outer border

Just missing the outer border

The collection is Arctic Wonders designed by the inimitable Barbara Lavallee, an Alaskan artist with a fabulous sense of humor.  I met Barbara at a quilt shop in Juneau several years ago and have been a fan ever since.

PC192 Snow Much Fun & PC240 Quilting with Mama

PC192 Snow Much Fun & PC240 Quilting with Mama

I have designed patterns with 2 previous collections by Barbara (PC192 Snow Much Fun and PC240 Quilting with Mama) and I jumped at the opportunity to work with Arctic Wonders.  Since the fabric has polar bears on it, I included some Bear’s Paw blocks and selectively placed them around the fantastic center panel.  Alternate snowball blocks use the pre-printed 10” cameo motifs.

PC251 Arctic Adventures

PC251 Arctic Adventures

By alternating these 2 blocks I reduced the number of Bears Paw blocks required, making this quilt faster and easier.

Arctic Adventures twin size

Arctic Adventures twin size

On the largest size option in the pattern I placed Bears Paw blocks in the outer corners of the border.  In these 4 blocks I replaced half the background with the border fabric – what a difference it makes!

outer corner Bear Paw blocks

outer corner Bear Paw blocks

It adds so much interest to these blocks and to the quilt – the splash of light in the corners keeps the viewer’s eye travelling around the quilt instead of focusing on the center.

Today’s quilting tip relates to the inner border on this quilt, included on the throw and twin sizes.  Instead of using single strips of fabric for this border I made narrow blocks and added sew-and-flip dark triangles to pair up with the snowball corners of the pre-printed 10” blocks.  It completes these elements of the quilt.  The other reason I didn’t do single strips in this border is because the fabric used in this border is directional.  To have the bears in the design correctly aligned I would have to cut lengthwise strips approximately 65” long and use only a portion of the width-of-fabric.

Cutting the directional polar bear fabric

Cutting the directional polar bear fabric

By using blocks instead, I could cut several shorter lengthwise pieces from the width of fabric.  As a result, I need only 1⅛yds of fabric instead of 2yds.  So, long story short, if you have a fabric that is directional and you want to use it in a border, make that border a pieced border instead of a plain border.

Have you had a chance to try any of the recipes I’ve shared so far?  I asked Hubby to choose today’s recipe and he suggested I select one from my A Taste of Napa Valley quilt book I wrote several years ago.

Napa cover and index

Napa cover and index

This book includes patterns for 14 quilt projects based on wines from the Napa region and a recipe to go with each wine.  The index of the book lists the quilts and the recipes.  My copy of my book lives with my cookbooks and is well-used.

Feta Cheese Dip (it’s almost addictive)

Feta Cheese Dip

Feta Cheese Dip

8 oz. (250g) cream cheese, softened

4tbsp. plain yogurt or sour cream

6 oz (200g) feta cheese, crumbled

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Dash of Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients.  Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed.  Great with thin crackers (Crispers, Wheat Thins, etc.) or raw veggies.

Now for the free stuff. Let’s all participate in this 😊.  I want to know your favorite sewing/quilting tip.  Leave a comment below sharing your tip.  Your name will be entered to win a copy of A Taste of Napa Valley and a bundle of my Vino fabric collection, designed for Banyan Batiks.  In your comment please tell me which of the 3 colorways you would like should your name be selected.  I will randomly draw 1 winner.  Please pop back in a day or so to see the comments left by everyone.  I will draw for the prizes for all 4 blog posts on April 4th so please post all comments by April 3rd.

It has been a pleasure hopping with you – thanks for following along with me as you practice social distancing.  Stay safe and healthy!

See you soon,


22 Responses to “Still Staying at home and hopping – Dips, Tips and Sips”

  1. Sharon Benner March 30, 2020 at 8:07 am #

    my tip (coming from a “beginner” style person ) is to always read a pattern through and get the sense of what you are doing before starting. My favourite colour way is the tempranillo, although they are all beautiful

    • Patti March 30, 2020 at 10:56 am #

      Oh so true Sharon – thanks for that tip.

  2. Cathy B. March 30, 2020 at 8:12 am #

    A game changer for me was having the ability to have my machine set into a cabinet so that the sewing surface is flush. Makes a huge difference being able to line up your fabrics a longer ways out. I sew on a vintage Singer 401A and was able to set it into an old cabinet that was a curbside find. Have really enjoyed the hop! My fav colourway is Tempranillo. Thanks for the chance!

    • Patti March 30, 2020 at 10:56 am #

      Thanks for sharing Cathy. The flush surface is also a game changer for machine quilting.

  3. Bonnie Larson March 30, 2020 at 10:00 am #

    One of the best tips I heard recently on a you tube video was BOB or Bias on the Bottom. ie. Keep your bias piece of fabric on the bottom when sewing 2 pieces together. It will help minimize the bias edges stretching. My mind just went WOW – sew simple!! haha. I love the blues and purpleyblues in the Tempranillo line. Thanks Patti

    • Patti March 30, 2020 at 10:55 am #

      Great tip Bonnie. A student in a class last year called this Baggy Bottoms – what a visual! Thanks for commenting.

  4. Bunnie Cleland March 30, 2020 at 10:14 am #

    My favorite tip is to learn how to use a stiletto in metal, plastic, or porcupine quill. My piecing has become more accurate when I can guide the fabric exactly where I want it to go. Mainly helpful with multiple layers.
    If I win, I would like the Tempranillo colorway. I have your Taste of Napa Valley book, and have made the Double Wedding Ring quilt, (well, actually a bed runner)
    Thank you for the tips, recipes, and insights into your designs. I love the tip of the pieced directional border!
    Thank you

    • Patti March 30, 2020 at 10:53 am #

      Great tip Bunnie – thanks for sharing. This is especially true on sewing machines with wider feed dogs.

  5. JUDITH March 30, 2020 at 10:58 am #

    Love how you incoporated the arctic design and your recipes are yummy. Thanks

  6. Diane Clarke March 30, 2020 at 11:12 am #

    My favorite idea goes back in history to Henry Ford- the assembly line. Sew as many of the same blocks or pieces as you can. All of your recipes look awesome, but in isolation you have fewer ingredients on hand. Love blue.

    • Patti March 30, 2020 at 12:09 pm #

      Yes – great idea Diane! I am idiosyncratic about chain-piecing, and efficiency in general. This probably comes from when I was still living at home and my mom and I sewed together using the same machine but worked on different projects. One would prep as much as possible while the other sewed. It worked surprisingly well.

  7. Delaine March 31, 2020 at 4:50 am #

    My tip is one that I read online. I put a heavy weight (12 lb) on the far end of my ruler when I am making long cuts with the rotary cutter. This keeps the ruler from slipping even the tiniest bit, making for accurate cuts. My favorite is the Tempranillo collection. Thanks!

    • Patti March 31, 2020 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks Delaine – that’s a good one.

  8. Shirley (Petunia Pinner) March 31, 2020 at 8:48 am #

    My tip – I release the pressure slightly on my pressure foot. If you are having problems with the top piece of fabric pushing slightly over the edge, this will definitely help this. No more pulling to make it fit and therefore cause ripples.

    • Patti March 31, 2020 at 9:55 am #

      Thanks Shirley – great tip!

  9. Jane Sanders April 2, 2020 at 12:48 am #

    To keep my rulers from slipping I put some medical tape on the back. The same stuff that they put on your arm when you have blood taken or after a shot.

    • Patti April 2, 2020 at 10:59 am #

      Thanks for that tip Jane. Good to know!

  10. janequilter54 April 2, 2020 at 12:50 am #

    forgot to pick colourway – Tempranillo

  11. Betsey Ryan April 2, 2020 at 8:44 am #

    I love the new B. Lavallee fabric!! I have made the “Snow Much Fun” quilt and it is waiting for me to come up with some great quilting inspiration. As with the “real thing” I like the Ice Wine collection, though it was really hard to choose!!!!!! … with the real thing. Although it takes longer I have found by squaring up blocks (even parts of blocks like HST) I have found the accuracy, flatness and the squareness of the final product has improved immensely.

    • Patti April 2, 2020 at 10:58 am #

      Hi Betsey, thanks for sharing your tip. I think a lot of quilters do likewise.


  1. Loose ends, free classes, Quilt Candy and a new Quilt-along | - April 5, 2020

    […] tips, and there were some great tips.  If you haven’t had a chance to read them, take a look here.  I take quilting classes every chance I get because there is always something new to learn, a […]

  2. A Great Hack for Block 4 | - April 11, 2020

    […] There are 2 caveats with this block:  #1 – the edges of the block are bias.  I will keep this in mind when I assemble the quilt and use the BOB (bias on bottom) or Baggy Bottom rule.  Thanks to Bonnie L for sharing the BOB tip on my March 30 blog post. […]

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