Archive | September, 2022

Do You Take Time to Play?

19 Sep You could win this - enter the September Design Challenge at Electric Quilt

Fellow Quilters,

Happy mid-September 😊  Did you miss my usual 1st-Tuesday-of-the-month post for Quilt Block Mania?  Me too ☹   The sign-up page filled up before I got a chance to add my name.  No worries – I’m down for next month, so that’ll get us back on schedule.

I had to chuckle to myself as I reread the last blog post sent August 2 and saw that painting my window frames was on my To Do list.  Guess what?!?  It’s STILL on the list.  And before Hubby left for his annual guys’ trip, he gently suggested that if I have some time could I please put a coat of paint on them.  Hi kindly cleaned them, which is half the battle, and painting is more my thing than his.  I am careful and neat, whereas he needs to apply rolls of painter’s tape and cover all surfaces with drop cloths.  I think tomorrow is going to be perfect for it.

Also on my list – the 4 patterns for my Color Play fabric collection. Check!  Not only are they written and tested but I also showed the quilts off at 2 quilt guild presentations this month to lots of ooohs and aaahs.  Between the 4 patterns, every fabric from this bright cheery collection was used.  As I mentioned in my last post, Northcott Creative Director Deborah Edwards has been encouraging me to design a learn-to-free-motion-quilt collection for quite some time.  It is one of my favorite classes to teach– I walk the students though 6 different techniques that they can then apply to their own quilts.  It’s easy, hands-on and approachable – they learn by doing.  The key is the fabrics – I scour the shelves sourcing a suitable fabric for each technique.

When Deborah approached me again last year with some early designs, I jumped right in.  How could I not, when she teased me with a rainbow dahlia medallion?!?  That was all it took to get my creative juices flowing.  I partnered Deborah’s designs with some quilt-block-type designs, each specifically chosen for a particular skill/technique.  My designs in a 7” scale complement Deborah’s dahlia medallion on the panel – think “Dream Big” but in a smaller-scale approachable size that is not the big investment in time.

Main Color Play panel with 24" dahlia medallion & 7" quilty motifs

Main Color Play panel with 24″ dahlia medallion & 7″ quilty motifs

These 7” block motifs are perfect for learning/practicing free-motion quilting – there is no investment in time to piece/applique the blocks.  Instead, get right to the quilting 😊.  There is plenty of space between the blocks for seam allowance so quilters can easily use them in quilts as “blocks”.

5" quilty blocks as running yardage in Color Play

5″ quilty blocks as running yardage in Color Play

In addition to the 7” quilt block motifs on the panel, there are smaller-scale 5” blocks in a running-yardage fabric.  Learning/practicing techniques in different scales is important, as is including different scale motifs in a quilt – it adds interest.  In the coming weeks I will be recording a “How I Quilt This” series of videos for my YouTube channel, showing the ins and outs of quilting each of the motifs in each scale.  If free-motion quilting is on your bucket list I encourage you to pick up some Color Play fabric at your local shop, then tune in and follow along with me.

Color Play, my newest fabric collection for Northcott

Color Play, my newest fabric collection for Northcott

But Color Play isn’t just for learners – seasoned quilters can use it too!  You can make quilts that look more complex than they are (for all those times when we are asked to make a quilt for a non-quilter who won’t realize you didn’t piece that 7” lone star!).  The quilt block motifs can be used for practice quilting (that 15-minute warm-up period before you start quilting your pieced/appliqued quilt), for craft and décor projects (such as retreat tote bags, sewing machine covers, etc) and garment embellishment.  How about a One Block Wonder with the wavy stripe panel?

other ideas

The stripe looks fabulous in Cosmic Wave and Chevrons

Or how about a bargello with the full-width rainbow stripe?  I tested this concept in my Cosmic Wave PC164 pattern.  Wow!!  I also used it in my Chevrons PC214/PC232 pattern – so very cool!

website bannerMy favorite use has to be in the breath-taking Starburst PC284 lone star/broken star pattern.  I combined it with the 5” blocks for a quicker-than-it-looks quilt.  Using an E-Z Miter/Lone Star tool made assembling this quilt easier.

In the Blooming Color PC285 pattern I used 2 panels, cutting one up for the center block corners – an innovative way to use this panel.  How fun!

The projects in the Color Play Trio PC286 pattern were designed as learn/practice machine quilting tools.  The piecing is quick and easy, allowing you to get to the quilting faster.  The 2 smaller projects use one panel between them, and the pattern includes a tutorial for sewing perfect matching striped mitered borders.

And that wavy stripe?  I turned this dynamic 24” x 42” panel into an eye-catching 50” x 70” quilt by by splicing and re-assembling it with a coordinate.  Choose a light or dark background to make the colors pop.  Bind your quilt with strips of panel for extra sizzle.  This free downloadable Color Shift pattern is available on my Patti’s Patchwork website.

Color Shift is a free download at Patti's

Color Shift is a free download at Patti’s

Color Play has just started shipping to stores.  You can use the Product Finder on the Color Play page on Northcott’s website to find the fabrics in a shop near you.

DesignChallenge-0922Did you know that Color Play is also Electric Quilt’s Fabric of the Month? If, like me, you are an Electric Quilt user, I invite you to hop onto their site and play with Color Play.  Submit your design by September 30 and comment on another participant’s entry for your chance at 1 of 2 generous Color Play prize packs.

You could win this - enter the September Design Challenge at Electric Quilt

You could win this – enter the September Design Challenge at Electric Quilt

Speaking of playing, I had a chance to play last weekend with my gal pals at our annual retreat.  Our usual activity was cancelled so I pitched the idea of guiding them through a sewing project.  Keep in mind that they are non-quilters, and 2 of them readily admitted to having their mother sew their home-ec projects.  The cottage was a beehive of activity as they cut and sewed covers for toss cushions.

Sherry and Jo cutting and sewing their pillow covers

Sherry and Jo cutting and sewing their pillow covers

Di fussy-cutting her fabric

Di fussy-cutting her fabric – she is an inspiration to all of us

Cathy and Elaine focusing on their sewing

Cathy and Elaine focusing on their sewing

Divas pillows (2)

Proudly showing off their finished projects – so special!

I am super-proud of this bunch – they accomplished more than they thought possible and had a great time in the process.  Playing can be so rewarding!

Here’s to Play time! It feeds our soul 😊