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A Nanaimo bar by any other name…

3 Jan My Banyan Batik Ketan version with a plate of butter dominoes

1 - Dessert Quilt Blocks Pinnable imageFellow Quilters,

Happy New Year!  I’m excited to have a fresh new year full of opportunities opening up in front of my eyes.  Tomorrow I embark on the first of 2 quilting cruises this month – talk about adventure!  I’m teaching 4 fun classes on an 11-day Panama cruise with K&A Quilt Studio of Ingersoll, ON.  And at the end of the month, I set sail to Hawaii with World of Quilts Travel, teaching 8 tip-filled classes.  I was in Hawaii briefly in October and can’t wait to get back – the quilt shops are soooo deliciously inspiring!  I’ll post photos on my Facebook page.

Speaking of delicious, the theme for this month’s Quilt Block Mania is dessert – yum!  It’s my favorite course.  So many options!  I pondered the possibilities – pie was already taken (an obvious choice for a dessert quilt block), so I asked Hubby for some suggestions.  He looked at the stacks of containers filled with Christmas baking and said, “How about butter dominoes?”  Perfect!

I know, you’re thinking “What are butter dominoes?”  I’m glad you asked!  They’re a super yummy, always-requested, no-bake layered square that my mom (and her mom before her) has been making for 60 years.

Classic butter dominoes

Classic butter dominoes

I googled butter dominoes – nothing, other than pizza references, came up.  Apparently, my family is the only one that refers to these tasty Canadian-born treats as butter dominoes.  The more common name is Nanaimo bars.  Interestingly, they have also been called prayer bar, London Fog bar and New York slice.

mint nanaimo bars

Mint Nanaimo bars

What’s more, they now come in a variety of flavours such as mint, cappuccino, peanut butter, and more in addition to the original vanilla.

Butter Dominoes quilt block by Patti Carey

Butter Dominoes block by Patti Carey

Here’s my Butter Dominoes block, with 4 butter dominoes on it – ‘cause you can’t have just one!  I used Northcott’s Toscana suede-look texture for the pattern (download it here), but I was fresh out of it in my sewing room so I used some fab Ketan colors from Banyan Batiks.


My Banyan Batik Ketan version with a plate of butter dominoes

I especially like the lighter brown fabric that makes up the base of the squares – you can almost see the chopped walnuts and shredded coconut in the fabric – haha.

You can find the other 20 participating bloggers’ blocks at the links below:

Jelly Roll Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Birthday Layer Cake by Crafty Staci
Ice Cream by Inquiring Quilter
Thumbprint Cookie at Inflorescence
Cupcake Block by BoBerry Design Co.
Cakestand by Scrapdash
Rocket Pop at Sugar Sand Quilt Co.
Banana Split by QuiltFabrication
Guava Empanadas by Paleofish Designs
Butter Dominoes at Patti’s Patchwork
Cupcake by Penny Spool Quilts
Macarons at Lovingly, Lissa
Ice Cream Cone at The (not so) Dramatic Life
Rainbow Gelatin by Patchwork Breeze
Sherbet Pop by The Quilting Room with Mel
Peppermint by Katie Mae Quilts
Smarties By Sally’s Sewing Circle
Rainbow Sprinkles
Cake on Stand
Cherry Pie by Flowerdog Designs
Raspberry Cheesecake block by Blue Bear Quilts

Now, I usually share a baking recipe around Christmas time, so this month’s theme is the perfect chance to share my mom’s butter domino recipe with you (the recipe looks lengthy but it whips up in 15-20 minutes.  Feel free to leave out the nuts if you have allergies to them.

Butter Dominoes

Combine… ½ cup melted butter or margarine
¼ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or vanilla wafer crumbs)
1 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts
Press into a 9” x 9” pan that has been lined with waxed or parchment paper (for easy removal)
Cream… ¼ cup butter
Blend in…  2 tbsp. vanilla instant pudding mix or custard powder (I used Bird’s custard)
3 tbsp milk
2 cups icing or powdered sugar
Spread over crumb mixture and chill.
Melt…   3oz. (3 squares) semi-sweet chocolate
1 tbsp butter
Spread quickly on chilled mixture.  Chill and cut into bars or squares. (I score the chocolate layer before it gets too firm)

I hope your 2023 is off to a sweet start!

Chat soon,


Barn Quilt Trail-blazing

6 Dec J & J Borland's barn with the Celtic Knot barn quilt

Fellow Quilters,

1 - Barn Quilt Blocks - December 2022Today is the first Tuesday of the month, prompting my monthly post in the Quilt Block Mania blog tour.  This post is going to be a bit different, however, as I take you on a journey and whet your creative appetite.  You see, the theme this month is Barn Quilts, a topic that is near and dear to me.  Let me explain…

I live in rural Ontario, in Simcoe County.  It is a farming community with livestock farms raising cattle, sheep and horses, as well as crop farms growing corn, soy, hay and canola.  In 2017 the county decided to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial by creating a barn quilt trail of 150 “quilts” and invited farm owners to participate.  These “quilts” are 8ft x 8ft, depicting a quilt block (traditional or custom-designed by/for the farm), painted on sheets of durable metal and typically hung on old barns.  With the generous support of local businesses and community groups there are now 154 barn quilts on the Simcoe County barn quilt trail.  On my commute into the office, I pass no less than 8 barn quilts celebrating the heritage of that farm or the history of the barn on which the quilt is hung.

Star and Arrows block

The Star & Arrows block in Nottawa, ON

The barn quilt trail draws visitors to our county and certainly adds interest to my commute.  The coordinator of the trail recently spoke to my local quilt guild, sharing fascinating details of the process, so that guild members can better appreciate the trail and its significance.

At another meeting a barn quilt artist also shared her work with the guild – not only does she design and paint full-size quilts, but she also makes small replicas for consumers to display in and on their own homes.  These weatherproof blocks are a sure sign that a quilter or quilt-lover resides there.  Barn quilt trails are not unique to my area – they have sprung up across North America to highlight local barns and farms.  Our artist speaker is kept busy with several trails.

Wanda's book1

Wanda Milankov’s Barn Blocks book

After running a monthly program through local quilt shop Thimbles & Things, quilter/teacher/designer Wanda Milankov selected 34 blocks from the trail, patterned them and wrote a book with instructions for making the blocks and some quilt options using combinations of the blocks.  The Barn Quilts of Simcoe County book is available from area quilt shops.

But wait – there’s more!  As the Block-of-the-month coordinator for my guild, I drew inspiration from our trail to choose monthly blocks and encouraged guild members to interpret them.  The year-end results were stellar!  Here are some of the completed quilt tops.

Some members replicated the blocks, while others changed the color, scale or layout as desired.  What fun!

Back to this month’s Quilt Block Mania block.  I selected the Celtic Knot block featured on the barn of J & J Borland of Egbert, ON.  Here is a photo of the Borland barn.

Borland barn

J & J Borland’s barn with the Celtic Knot barn quilt

And here is my Celtic Knot block.

Patti Carey Celtic Knot

My Celtic Knot barn quilt block

You can download the pattern here.

Now, in my QBM posts I usually show you a quilt layout or two where I have used my block on its own.  This month however I encourage you to make a sampler quilt with a variety of blocks from the other QBM designers as well – simply choose your own combination of blocks to create your very own barn quilt sampler just as my fellow guild members did.  So many possibilities!  You can access links to the other QBM designers here:

Barn Star Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Barn by QuiltFabrication
Independence Block
Sunflower Barn Block by Sugar Sand Quilts
Prairie Winds Block by Martha Jane Creations
Amish Star Block at Fab Fabric Girl
Squash Blossom Block by Paleofish Designs
Celtic Knot at Patti’s Patchwork
Maple Leaves by Inquiring Quilter
Goose in the Pond by Tamarinis
Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block at Bonjour Quilts
Corner Star Block
Star of Hope Barn Block by Quiltblox
Meadow Flower by Inflorescence
Bright Star by Blue Bear Quilts
Bear Paw Block by BoBerry Design Co.
June’s Pinwheel Block and Quilt by Sew Worthy Mama
Tudor Rose block by Flowerdog Designs
Lucky Clover Block by Patchwork Breeze

My simple "barn quilt" block made with Color Play pre-printed blocks

My simple “barn quilt” block made with Color Play pre-printed blocks

Here is one final idea for “barn quilt” blocks, since some of the QBM designers’ blocks show an actual barn.  I showcased the 5” printed blocks fabric from my new Color Play fabric collection in a barn block – super simple, colorful and fun!

Here is a quick 5-block runner idea that I designed in Electric Quilt.

Color Play barn quilt trail runner

A 5-block “barn quilt” runner

What about you?  Do you live on or near a barn quilt trail?  Have you seen one on your travels?  If so, where is it?  Let’s share the barn quilt trail love and another way to enjoy our quilting “journey”.

Last month I asked you to share your comments about camping.  Thanks to all who took the time to comment – I enjoyed reading them.  The winner of a packet of Northcott fabric is Glenda T – congratulations!

Happy Trails!


Campsite Visitors

1 Nov

Fellow Quilters,

As I write this, I am looking out at a seemingly endless deep blue sea while sailing from French Polynesia to the Cook Islands.  The depth of color is indicative of the ocean’s depth –  5500m or 3 1/2 miles.  It contrasts sharply with the pale clear blue of the sky, dotted with puffy white clouds.  Interestingly, it is the same blue sky that I often see on glorious summer days at home and it has me recalling camping trips to the lake.

It is this that inspired me to design this month’s block for the Quilt Block Mania blog tour organized by Carolina at Always Expect Moore.  The theme is camping, and it brought back memories of paddling across the lake to pitch our tent on a suitable camp site.  If there was chance of attracting bears with our food supplies, the food was bundled up from an overhanging tree branch and suspended out of reach of any furry friends.

For my Canoe Lake block I used the lakeside colorway of my Canoe Lake collection  for Banyan Batiks.  The preprinted 9” lake-scene block is perfect for the block center, framed with a narrow border.

Patti Carey - Canoe Lake

My free Canoe Lake block for the November Quilt Block Mania blog tour

Around the perimeter there are lots of small Bear’s Paws footprints – time to hoist our cache of food out of baby bear’s reach!  You can find the free pattern for my Canoe Lake block here.  You can also find the free blocks by the other participating bloggers at the links below.

Bug Jar Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Tent for Two by QuiltFabrication
Forest Tree by Scrapdash
Canoe Lady by Sugar Sand Quilt Co.
Campfire Nights Block by Belle of Seams Sew Me
Gone Fishing by Paleofish Designs
Canoe Lake by Patti’s Patchwork
Vintage Camper by Inquiring Quilter
Sleeping Bags by Appliques Quilts and More
Camp Sign at Patchwork Breeze
Blooming Meadow Quilt Block
S’mores by Quiltblox
Marshmallows by Inflorescence
Billy Tea by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Compass by Blue Bear Quilts
Scout Badge by BoBerry Design Co.
Looking for honey by Martha Jane Creations
Night Camper by Jessica of Blue Sky Modern Craft

I spent a few moments playing with my Canoe Lake block in Electric Quilt and came up with a couple of quilt designs.

Option #1 is 44” square with 9 blocks and has more small Bear’s Paw blocks in the pieced cornerstones.  That baby bear gets around!

9-block 44x44

A 44″ square quilt with more 1 1/2″ Bear’s Paw blocks in the cornerstones

Option #2 is 58” x 73” with 12 blocks and has mama-bear-sized blocks in the cornerstones.

12-block 58x73

A 12-block version with twice-as-wide sashing is 58″ x 73″

What about you?  Do you like camping? If so, tent or trailer?  Or do you prefer the pampered elegance of a cruise?  It is a treat to have someone else make my bed, prepare my gourmet meals AND wash the dishes while I go to the evening show.  If you’d like to treat yourself to a lovely 11-day Panama quilting cruise just after the holiday rush, please consider joining me and the K&A Quilt Studio team January 4-15, 2023.  With 4 days of quilting and 6 ports of call in the sunny Caribbean, it’s a delightful way to escape the January blah’s and enjoy some quilting therapy with your quilting besties or some new-found friends.  Contact Kate at K&A Quilt Studio or click here for further details to start 2023 with a splash!  Apparently the depth of the Caribbean Sea is much shallower than the Pacific Ocean, resulting in an incredible turquoise color.

If you’ve made it this far you deserve a chance at a prize.  Please leave a comment below telling me your favorite type of vacay for a chance to win a fat ¼ pack of Banyan Batiks.  All comments received by midnight November 7 are eligible for the draw.



A Little Horse Play

4 Oct

Fellow Quilters,

Autumn is in the air in my region.  The leaves are turning colors and falling like leaves – haha!  Thankfully I got my window frames painted before the temperatures dropped.  It’s the perfect time of year for invigorating walks in the fresh air, crunching dried leaves underfoot and munching on crisp apples from the farm down the road.

The view from my back fence

The view from my back fence

Our house backs onto a horse farm and there are paddocks along our fence line.  There are horses in them most days, and we hear them neighing to each other regularly.  Sometimes they engage in playfulness, chasing each other, jumping around and rolling on the ground when their blankets make them itchy.  It is funny to watch them!

I used this as inspiration for this month’s Quilt Block Mania design.  The theme for October is “farm” so my block is a horse poking his head over the fence our out of his paddock.  I call it Horse Play.

My Horse Play block for Quilt Block Mania October edition

My Horse Play block for Quilt Block Mania October edition

It’s a fairly easy block, and you can replace the pieced eyes with appliqued circles if you wish.  You can download the free pattern here.  Here is a small wall quilt with several horses of different colors poking their heads out of the stable.  Of course, the stable is red, just like the one at the farm behind my house.  I have used mostly Toscana fabrics, with some Patrick Lose Glam tossed in.

Horse Play wall quilt 30x58

A stable of horses

You can check out the other farm-themed free blocks from the participating designers using these links:banner

Tulip Farm Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Rooster Sunrise by QuiltFabrication
Farmers Daughter Quilt Block
This Little Piggy by Sugar Sand Quilts
Duck Duck Goose
Horse Play at Patti’s Patchwork
How I Roll by Inquiring Quilter
Sunshine by Tamarinis
The Quilting Room
Windmill at Patchwork Breeze
Guinea Pig Quilt Block by Cristy Fincher
My Red Barn by Quiltblox
Summer Peach by Inflorescence
Red Beets by Blue Bear Quilts
Cow Block by BoBerry Design Co.
Scarecrow quilt block by Flowerdog Designs

What about you?  Do you live on a farm?  Or in farm country? Or are you a city slicker and have never been to a farm?    What’s your favorite farm story or memory?  One of today’s blocks is corn so here’s a fun farm fact:  every kernel in a cob of corn has a (piece of) silk.  Please leave a comment below sharing your story, memory or farm fact.  And thanks for stopping by if you’re on the Quilt Block Mania blog tour today.  If you like, you can subscribe by clicking on the button on the right.



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 😊



Monkey Business and More

2 Aug

Fellow Quilters,

How is your summer going?  For many in my area, this is the first summer in 3 years that we are allowed to gather in groups larger than 5.  Hubs and I have 2 events this weekend that involve larger groups, however they are likely going to be outdoors where we can enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having.  Our summer is too short to be indoors.

Do you have a Summer To Do list?  In addition to working on my golf game, my list also includes repainting some window frames, designing some new quilt projects, and writing 4 patterns for Color Play, my new fabric collection for Northcott, shipping to stores in a few short weeks.

Color Play patterns available late Summer

Color Play patterns available late Summer

I am super-excited about this collection because it is a “learn to free-motion quilt” collection, and I’ll also be working on some YouTube how-to-videos using the various motifs in the collection.  If learning to free-motion quilt (or practicing free-motion quilting) is on your bucket list, be sure to check out my YouTube channel and your local shop for the videos and fabric.

Color Play is a learn-to-machine-quilt fabric collection available in August

Color Play is a learn-to-machine-quilt fabric collection available in August

QBM August JungleSo today is another great round of blocks in the monthly Quilt Block Mania blog tour, and the theme this month is Jungle.  My first three block ideas – snakes, leaves, tropical flowers – were already taken by other designers.  You can find them in the links here:

Hippo Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Emerald Tree Boa from Inflorescence
Tiger at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Snakes, Slugs and Snails at Scrapdash
Stacked jungle animals by Appliques Quilts and More
Palm Leaf by QuiltFabrication
Margaritaville by Inquiring Quilter
Chameleon Block by BoBerry Design Co.
Monkey Business at Patti’s Patckwork
Tropical Bloom
Jungle Vines
Toucan Quilt Block by Purple Daisies Quilting
Teal Gorilla by Blue Bear Quilts

So I brain-stormed with Hubs and came up with a fun block that makes me smile.  My Monkey Business block has a bit of applique along with piecing and includes a couple of partial seams.  No worries though – partial seams are not hard!  I have demonstrated partial seams in the last 2 blocks for the For the Brave/With Glowing Hearts Quilt-along event – you can watch the YouTube videos for Month 5 and Month 6 to see how I transform partial seams into “im-partial” seams – haha.  Download the Monkey Business pattern here.

My Monkey Business block for August '22 Quilt Block Mania's Jungle theme

My Monkey Business block for August ’22 Quilt Block Mania’s Jungle theme

It would make a terrific cushion for a young child and reminds me of the Curious George story books from when I was a kid.  Hands up if you read them too!

Speaking of Jungle-themed quilting stuff, I hear tell there are a handful of spots that have opened up on next February’s Hawaiian cruise with World of Quilts Travel.  Organizer Deb Roberts was able to secure additional sewing machines so there are a dozen extra spaces now available if you’d like to join us.  You can find the details here.

Until next time,


Hawaiian Vibes – Music to my Ears

5 Jul

Fellow Quilters,

Long time no talk 😊.  I took a bit of a break from my blog, as Hubby and I took a much-needed vacay.  We were without internet for a few weeks, making it challenging to participate in the monthly Quilt Block Mania event that I so enjoy (and I hope you do too!).  In fact, my May post that I pre-scheduled to go live apparently didn’t – yikes!! Quilt Block Mania Music banner At that point I abandoned any thought of participating in the June event and skipped straight to July – that’s today!

The theme for July’s QBM is music.  So many options!  Once upon a time I played a couple of musical instruments – clarinet and baritone (like a small tuba, and totally unlike a clarinet!) – and I like to sing, albeit in the shower.   I always have the radio on in my sewing room tuned to my favorite country music station.  I prefer the radio to a tv – it’s less distracting for me.  And I crank up the tunes in the car when I’m driving by myself.  Doesn’t everyone?!?

Hubby and I did a Hawaiian cruise pre-Covid and were entertained each afternoon by a trio of Hawaiian singers/dancers who played ukuleles and hula danced.  They also gave ukulele and hula lessons.  Many of the cruisers even brought their own ukuleles for these lessons.  I am returning to Hawaii next February with World of Quilts Travel for a sold-out quilting cruise – I wonder if we’ll be serenaded by Polynesian musicians.  If I had a ukulele, I would like it to look like my Hawaiian Vibes for July’s QBM:

My Hawaiian Vibes block for July Quilt Block Mania

My Hawaiian Vibes block for July Quilt Block Mania

I chose some oh-so-tropical prints from the Aqua Coral colorway of Linda Hahn’s Island Vibes 2 collection for Banyan Batiks – perfect!  I tested my Hawaiian Vibes block with some similar batiks from my stash and some Razzle Dazzle sparkly gold thread from Superior Threads.  It is too heavy to go through the needle of a sewing machine (believe me, I’ve tried) so I couched it onto the block by zigzagging over the thread with clear Mono-poly, also be Superior Threads.

I couched the heavy Razzle Dazzle thread onto my block

I couched the heavy Razzle Dazzle thread onto my block

Instant guitar strings!  You can get the Hawaiian Vibes pattern here.  I like that this block looks like a ukulele or guitar even though we see only a portion of the instrument.  The power of suggestion.stylized shot

You can check out the 13 other participating designers’ blocks and patterns for July’s QBM at these links:

Headphones Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
iPod by Inflorescence
Happy birthday at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Player Piano by Scrapdash
I Love Rock’n’Roll by Appliques Quilts and More
Record Player by QuiltFabrication
In Treble at Sugar Sand Quilt Company
Bel Canto by Inquiring Quilter
Rock ‘N’ Roll Block by BoBerry Design Co.
Hawaiian Vibes by Patti’s Patchwork
Vintage Radio by Tamarinis
Quarter Note Block by Oh Kaye Quilting
Music Note by Powered By Quilting
Xylophone by Blue Bear Quilts

How about you?  Are you musically inclined?  Do you play an instrument, or sing in a choir/band?  Or do you prefer to enjoy the music of others?  What’s your favorite genre?  Best concert or performance you’ve seen?  Tell me your musical story.  Leave a comment below by July 12 for a chance to win a pack of Linda’s Island Vibes 2 fabrics – yum!



Where oh where has my internet gone?

3 May

Fellow Quilters,

Good Tuesday morning! Just a quick update on my post for Quilt Block Mania – it is stuck in my laptop so hoping I can post later today or once I have internet access .

How Do You Feel About Spiders?

3 May

Fellow Quilters,

Greetings from Guatemala, the land of heat, humidity and crawling creatures.  Hubby and I are on a wee vacation and I’m hoping my internet connection is now strong enough to allow me to post this – my apologies if you popped in earlier and read my jfkldjafk;h;af.

It is the first Tuesday of the month and that means another round of Quilt Block Mania.  I must admit that I was somewhat apprehensive about the theme for this month – bugs – since I am not a fan of bugs of any kind.  However, the color palette chosen by organizer Carolina of Always Expect Moore drew me in: lovely iridescent teals, greens and deep navy.  The trick for this piecing gal was trying to create a block that was not applique based.  My modern side stepped in and created a mostly-pieced block with a hint of applique – I hope you like it!  Here is my Arachnid block (you can find the pattern here).

Arachnid block by Patti’s Patchwork

Truth be told, I have arachnophobia.  Yup!  It is hard to believe that, when I was a kid, I frequented a hedge at the front of our house to capture spiders in a baby food jar.  I would collect several spiders during each session.  Where oh where did that girl go and where did my arachnophobia come from?!?  When I think of this block, I prefer to think of the Jim Stafford song that goes something like “I don’t like spiders and snakes but that’s not what it takes to love you, oooh whooo”.  Hands up if you know it!

This block looks somewhat spider-ish on its own and is quite easy to piece – simply slash the background and insert the “legs” strips before adding the appliqued circle.  But look what happens when we combine several blocks, and how the layout can affect the impact of the block.  In this first example I used a typical on-point layout that has ¼-square triangles in the corners.  The geometric effect isn’t quite what I had in mind for this block/quilt – I don’t really like what is happening at the edges.

Arachnid blocks on-point in a typical 3×4 layout

But look what happens when I use the not-so-common on-point layout that has two ½-square triangles in each corner.  Can you see the block?  The effect is mesmerizing!  Symmetry at its finest!!

Same block on-point with the alternate 3×4 layout – much better!

Of course, you can also combine it with any of the other insect-themed blocks from the other participating QBM designers – there are a few new ones this month so please click on the links below to check them out.

Ladybug Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Snail by Appliques Quilts and More
Dragonfly by Mom and Me Quilting Co.
Aragog by Inquiring Quilter
Bugs in a Jar Quilt Block by Julia of Inflorescence
Christmas Beetle by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Bug Jar Quilt Block
Butterfly by Penny Spool Quilts
Beetle Bug by Perkins Dry Goods
Caterpillar by QuiltFabrication
Jewel Beetle by Sugar Sand Quilt Company
Bumblebee Block by BoBerry Design Co.
Arachnid at Patti’s Patchwork
Butterfly Wreath by Jessica of Blue Sky Modern Craft
Marvelous Moth by Blue Bear Quilts

I’ve had my nose to the grindstone the past 2 months finalizing several new patterns using some of Northcott’s new releases.  Since country is near and dear to my heart (I have a dozen pair of western boots and counting – see note below about Pigeon Forge), I jumped at the chance to design with Howdy Christmas and did this down-home design called Hometown Holidays (you can find it here).

I also did a simple but very effective design taking full advantage of the selvage-to-selvage ombre print in Bliss – this one is called Stratify and includes 2 size options (find it here).

And my most popular release ever is Take Flight, using Northcott’s drop-dead-gorgeous Soar collection.  This pattern includes 3 size options (find it here), of which the throw size is available shortly from Keepsake Quilting or your local quilt shop.

Shortly after my vacay ends, I will be heading to Pigeon Forge TN for this year’s A Mountain Quiltfest June 6-9, where I will be teaching 4 classes alongside the inimitable Bonnie Hunter, Linda Hahn, Jocelyn de Jonge and more.  I hear tell there is still space in my Hexie Crush class and my Panel Pizzazz class.  I am thrilled to be back in TN for this fantastic event after 2 years of travel restrictions.  The selection of classes, vendor mall and amazing display of quilts make this a go-to event.  I highly recommend it!

Finally, this month is my birthday, and I will be celebrating by offering a newsworthy subscriber-only special for my newsletter peeps.  If you’re not yet a subscriber to my newsletter you can find the link at the bottom of the main page here.

Thanks for reading and for your patience this month, and we’ll chat again soon 😊



Not your Grandma’s Cup of Tea

5 Apr Time for tea and chocolate with a friend using the good stuff

Fellow Quilters,

How have you been?  The last time we chatted, it will still winter.  For the past few weeks I’ve been buried in an avalanche of paperwork and video editing for looming deadlines but there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m excited to be travelling to A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge TN June 6-9 to teach 4 classes, two of which are already sold out – woohoo!  If you’d like to take my Panel Pizzazz (#44) or Hexie Crush (#21) class don’t delay – they’re selling fast.

Mountain Quiltfest classes available June 7th and 9th

Mountain Quiltfest classes available June 7th and 9th

I did a Quilt-along with my Hexie Crush pattern a year ago, and I’m thrilled to be sharing all my tips for this lovely quilt with the MQF posse.  In the Panel Pizzazz class, we’ll talk fabulous flying geese and incorporating panels in our quilts.  There are so many great panels available, and I can’t wait to see what the students bring to class.

Speaking of panels, my Hometown Holidays pattern is hot off the press.  Featuring Northcott’s Howdy Christmas, it includes 3 size options and would work equally well with just about any standard 24” x 42” panel.

Hometown & Stratify

Two new patterns

And Stratify is a quick contemporary quilt that showcases a selvage-to-selvage ombre.  I used the gorgeous new Bliss Ombre and love how it looks in both the lap size and the queen-size.

QBM April 22Now that I’ve resurfaced, I see that the sun is shining, the tulips are popping up and the birds are twitterpated as Bambi would say.  Spring is here!!  Soon we’ll see the pale pastel colors of young buds and soft Spring grass – the colors that remind me of Easter.  So pretty!

Those same lovely delicate shades are also in this month’s Quilt Block Mania organized by Carolina at Always Expect Moore, and the theme is “Tea”.  The 16 participating designers went all out creating assorted cakes, baked goodies, stacks of cups and the like.  Here is a complete list of the designers’ blocks and links to their blog posts today:

Tea Time Mug by Carolina Moore
Afternoon Tea by Inquiring Quilter
Not Your Grandma’s Cup of Tea
Stacked Tea Cups by Appliques Quilts and More
Tea Time by Manon Hunt
Muffin Quilt Block by Julia of Inflorescence
Teapot by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
T is for Temperance by Scrapdash
You Can Brew It
French Macaron by Penny Spool Quilts
Tea Party at Perkins Dry Goods
Teatime Cakes by QuiltFabrication
Broken Sugar Bowl by Becca Fenstermaker
Cake Anyone? by Kaye Collins
Tea Time by Patchwork Breeze
3-Tiered Serving Tray by Nancy Scott of Masterpiece Quilting

Being a tea drinker, I went straight to the good stuff – tea leaves.  I like mine good and strong.  By the time my morning cuppa has steeped, it rivals most cups of coffee for caffeine levels.

So, the traditional Tea Leaf block is quite old, and has some unusual angles in it, resulting in bias edges on the block – no so quilter-friendly.

The original tea leaf block and my re-imagined block

The original tea leaf block and my re-imagined block

Examining the block, I re-imagined it without bias edges – much better for flat quilts.  I present to you my “Not Your Grandma’s Cup of Tea”.   You can find the pattern here.

Patti Carey - Not Your Grandma's Cup of Tea

Not Your Grandma’s Cup of Tea by Patti’s Patchwork

I’d like to share a couple of tips for cutting the pieces with the templates.  Tip #1:  Fold your fabric wrong sides together to cut mirror-image pairs of pieces using the asymmetrical T2 and T3 templates for the outside “leaves”.  It’s much faster than cutting single layer pieces and wondering if you have the correct number of each piece.

Tape the template to the underside of a ruler, aligning it with the ruler edges, then cut along edge of ruler

Tape the template to the underside of a ruler, aligning it with the ruler edges, then cut along edge of ruler

Tip #2:  Tape the paper template to the underside of a ruler to cut the pieces of T1, T2 and T3.  You won’t inadvertently trim your template each time you cut, and it’s faster.  Many of us have these assorted triangle rulers, and this is an excellent opportunity to get double duty from them.  Who doesn’t like a tool that does more than one thing?

runner without corners

Make a 38″ x 13″ runner with 3 on-point blocks and 4 quarter-blocks

This block would make a lovely table runner, perfect for afternoon tea – so pretty!  Just 3 blocks and 4 quarter-blocks and you’re done.  You could start it this morning and have it done by Tea Time.

Time for tea and chocolate with a friend using the good stuff

Time for tea and chocolate with a friend using the good stuff

For my photo, I pulled out my good china and silverware.  I quite like it but seldom use it, but I think that’s about to change.  You see, I lost a dear friend last week, taken much too soon.  I am reminded that life is unpredictable.  Laundry and cleaning will always be there.  Friends – not so much.  So let’s make a promise to use the good dishes, eat the chocolate, buy the fabric, and have tea (or wine) with our friends.