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Places to go, quilt shops to see…

6 Jun

bannerFellow Quilters,

Greetings from the happening city of Pigeon Forge TN!  What is happening, you ask?  “A Mountain Quiltfest” of course 😊  Yesterday was the first of 4 days of classes, and my students did an a-MAZE-ing job with their offset flying geese for their Panel Pizzazz quilts.  Yay students!!!  They all received gold stars.  The equally amazing quilt show opens today, with so many spectacular quilts – I pity the judges.  The show runs until Thursday and it’s free – yes, free!  There are 47 vendors and many demonstrations each day – so much to see.  If you are within 2-3 hours of here, I highly recommend a road trip with a quilting bestie or two.  Pigeon Forge is nestled in the foothills of the popular Smoky Mountains National Park.  The scenery is truly inspiring.

Mountains seem to be a recurring theme in my life these days.  Hubby and I just returned from an epic cruise through the jaw-dropping fjords of Norway above the Arctic Circle.  My photos cannot capture the impact of sailing through these narrow passages of towering snow-capped cliffs.


Geiranger Norway

IMG_7331The best ones were in the Geirangerfjord.  I had booked a kayak excursion that was unfortunately cancelled due to inclement weather (quite cool and rainy), so I memorialized my missed adventure in this month’s entry for Quilt Block Mania.  The theme this month is places and, of the 35 or so ports of call on our cruise, the Geirangerfjord topped my list.

Patti Carey - Geirangerfjord

My Geirangerfjord paper-pieced block

My block is a departure from my usual style – it is paper-pieced, with 11 sections.  No worries, though, if you find paper-piecing daunting – these sections are fairly simple, and I included a link to an online tutorial that I found quite helpful.  I completed the block by adding a canoe, though I contemplated trying to draw a cruise ship (my drawing skills are too rudimentary☹).  You can find my Geirangerfjord (pronounced GUY-rang-er-fyord) pattern here.

Click on these links below to find the blocks from the 16 other participating designers this month, and thanks to Carolina at Always Expect Moore for hosting this fun monthly event:

Cruise Ship Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Beach by Inquiring Quilter
Rose Garden by Inflorescence
Glimpse of Home
Rainbow’s End by Sugar Sand Quilt Co.
Cabin in the Woods by QuiltFabricaion
Geirangerfjord by Patti’s Patchwork
New Mexico by Paleofish Designs
Lighthouse by Appliques Quilts and More
On the Lake by Crafty Staci
Welcome to Sunshine Village
Blue Hole by Sallys Sewing Circle
Welsh Castle at Flowerdog+Co
Are We There Yet? at Purple Moose Designs
Going to Ohio at Epida Studio
Beach Scene by Patchwork Breeze
House on the Hill by Robin Kinley Designs, Etc
Coffee Shop Quilt Block by Happy Hippie Studio

For 3 days, as we visited Honningsvag and Hammerfest, we were above the Arctic Circle, where the sun didn’t set.  Here’s a photo from my balcony at 1am.


The land of the midnight sun


Of course, I was always on the lookout for local quilt shops and I found a must-visit shop in Trondheim. Quiltegarden shop owner Siw Elisabeth By gave me a tour of her lovely shop, chock full of pretty quilts and fabrics to entice quilters near and far.  Her creative displays were fresh and inspiring, featuring everything from Japanese taupes to homespun yarn-dyes and linens to some FIGO basics and True Kisses! IMG_7295


Shop owner Siw and I in Quiltegarden in Trondheim

IMG_7301IMG_7298IMG_7303IMG_7304Hubby patiently poked around while Siw and I talked shop.

Do you search out quilt shops on your vacations?  Have you found a must-see shop?  Drop a line in the comments to share your find.  I’ll randomly draw a name from all those who leave a comment by midnight June 15th for a prize pack of FIGO fabrics.  Good luck to you 😊



Friendship connections

2 May


Do you have leisure activities other than quilting?  For me, quilting is all-consuming – I live, breathe and dream quilting (lol – sad but true!).  Hubby is an avid reader, and I used to read stacks of books when I was a kid.  I think university cured me of any reading habit, at least for many years – chemistry and economics textbooks are so boring!!!  Lately, though, I’ve been working through a pile of easy-read novels by Nora Roberts and her crime sleuth alter-ego J. D. Robb, that my friend loaned me.  I must admit that, once I start one, I can’t put it down until it’s finished.

I just read an older one from 2009 entitled Vision in White, about 4 joined-at-the-hip friends.  At the same time, I was also working on my design for the May Quilt Block Mania series.  This month’s theme is friendship, and the timing couldn’t have been better.  The novel clearly influenced by block design and got me thinking about friendships and how they are woven through the fabric of our life.  I’ve had the very good fortune to lecture and teach quilting in a variety of venues, from local and not-so-local guilds to national conferences and quilting cruises.  In all cases, I have met some of the nicest people on this planet and shared many memorable experiences, some of them involving jewelry (hello Betsey and Pam), or late-night wine (hello Michelle), and all of them involving quilting.  I wouldn’t trade them for the world, and they keep me coming back to these fabulous events/classes/cruises that take many hours of planning but are worth every minute.

In fact, next month I’ll be heading to Pigeon Forge TN for the annual Mountain Quiltfest conference June 5-8 to reconnect with the fabulous quilters from that area and to teach 4 classes including Panel Pizzazz, Rosebud Wreath, Starburst and Picture This

Rosebud Wreath quilt

Rosebud Wreath 24″ wall quilt

I am looking forward to sharing lots of tips and tricks as I guide the students through these fun quilt projects.  You can find out more here.  This conference and show is a hidden gem, tucked into the Great Smoky Mountains.

I’ll also be joining World of Quilts on another Quilt Bee at Sea, this time in the southern Caribbean aboard Holland America’s Eurodam from February 14-24, 2024 – I’m so excited!  Coordinator Deb Roberts does a terrific job organizing these events, and many of the participants are past cruisers.  This time around I’ll be teaching a deep dive on borders and binding, as well as a fun flying geese sampler and a pretty project with some curved piecing.  You can find more details here.

But I digress – let’s get back to this month’s Quilt Block Mania. 

My block is called Hearts Entwined, and it perfectly represents the 4 friends in the Nora Roberts novel – their lives have become woven together into one cloth as their strong friendship developed.

Patti Carey - Hearts Entwined

My Hearts Entwined block for the May edition of Quilt Block Mania

  You can find the pattern for Hearts Entwined here.

There are 17 other designers participating this month and you can find the links to their free blocks through their blog posts here:

Friendship Heart Circle by Carolina Moore
Best Friends by Inquiring Quilter
Friendship Butterfly by Inflorescence
Mans Best Friend by Scrapdash
Circle of Friends by Sugar Sand Quilt Co.
Friendship Bracelets by QuiltFabrication
Hearts Entwined at Patti’s Patchwork
Friendship Chain at The (not so) Dramatic Life
Tea Cup by Penny Spool Quilts
Dog Paw by Crafty Staci
Scrappy Friendship Star by Katie Mae Quilts
My Best Friend’s House by The Quilted Diary
Striped Friendship Block by Kaye Collins
Circle of Friends by Applliques Quilts and More
Loving Friends by Epida Studio
Friends by Patchwork Breeze
Intersections by Brown Bird Designs
Pineapple by Emerald Falls Quilts
Friendship Bracelets by A Piece of Quiet Quilts

Looking for something new?  I have added several new patterns to my Patti’s Patchwork website, including Fanfare PC288, Picture This PC289, Rooftops PC292 (it uses fat ¼’s) and Good Vibrations Too PC295 (the lap & throw-size companion to my original Good Vibrations PC231).

I’m doing the final edits on 3 more, so watch for those in the next few weeks.

Quilt on and do what you love,


Around the ‘hood

4 Apr

April Neighborhood Quilt BlocksFellow Quilters,

Today is the first Tuesday of the month, and that means another fun edition of Quilt Block Mania.  This post is short and sweet because I’m running behind (not my fault, I was born that way – just ask my mom).

This month’s theme is neighborhood, and there are lots of house blocks from the other 23 participating designers – you can find the links to their blog posts here:
Store Front Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Funky Town by Inquiring Quilter

Rail Fence by Scrapdash
Neighbors by QuiltFabrication
Neighborhood trees
House of Worship at Patti’s Patchwork

Jellybean Row by Penny Spool Quilts
Mr. Roger’s Sweater by Crafty Staci
Block Party at Lovingly, Lissa
Mid Modern Home
Home Sweet Home by the Quilte Diary
Bird House
Applique English cottage by Flowerdog+Co
Street Sign
Park Entrance at Patchwork Breeze
Good Fences by Kaye Collins
Down the street
Mr. Rogers Trolley Quilt Block by The Quilting Room
Log Cabin Garden by Epida Studio
Garden Flags by A Piece of Quiet Quilts
Charleston Palm Tree
House and Tree
A few years ago I fell in love with a neighborhood-type quilt, designed by my friend Susan-Claire of the Gourmet Quilter.  I started 2 versions of her That Town and Country quilt, and both are currently languishing in a box in my sewing room (I know exactly where).  Susan-Claire designed her quilt as a block-a-day, with 365 blocks, and you can find it on her website here.  She even wrote a book with the block patterns.

After viewing the other Quilt Block Mania blocks, and thinking of Susan-Claire’s quilt, I decided that the neighborhood should have a church or house of worship.  I even used the heart wreath block motif from my Color Play fabric collection as a mural on the side of the house – it’s a house of love 😊.  You can find my House of Worship block pattern here.

Patti Carey - house of worship

My House of Worship block

The cross is appliqued on after the block is pieced, so it can easily be left off if desired.

This month’s blocks would make a terrific neighborhood quilt when combined.  I especially like Lovingly Lissa’s Block Party block – haha – so clever.  And the 2 blocks that reference Mr. Rogers, a Canadian icon.

Please pop back here in a week or so – I’ll be posting again with an update on all the stuff going on (so much exciting news).  Better yet, if you click on that subscribe button you’ll get the next post automatically.

Chat very soon,


Shades of Spring

7 Mar This version of Crocuses looks more like tulips

Fellow Quilters,

I had a delightful taste of Spring last week alongside my colleagues in the FIGO booth at QuiltCon 2023.  We escaped Toronto just before a snowstorm and enjoyed the “light jacket” weather in Atlanta GA as a reprieve from winter.  Even our booth was Spring-like, particularly the section featuring Heather Bailey’s gorgeous Local Honey collection.  Heather spent 2 days at the booth chatting with her fans.  It was a thrill for me to have the opportunity to meet the designer behind 2 of my favorite collections, True Kisses and Local Honey.

Designer Heather Bailey delighted QuiltCon attendees in meet-&-greet sessions

Designer Heather Bailey delighted QuiltCon attendees in meet-&-greet sessions

March Floral Quilt Blocks BSpeaking of Spring, the theme for this month’s Quilt Block Mania is flowers.  Who doesn’t love flowers?!?  I almost picked up a bunch while grocery shopping yesterday – they instantly brighten the day 😊.  While there is still snow on the ground, I know that the first flashes of color will come from the crocuses as they pop their cheery purple blossoms through the snow. Crocuses are among the very first flowers to bloom each spring.  Crocus flowers come in Easter-egg colors of purple, yellow, lavender, cream and white.  With that in mind, I designed a delightful block featuring this harbinger of Spring.

Crocuses block by Patti's Patchwork

Crocuses block by Patti’s Patchwork

Here is my Crocuses block , made with 4 lovely lavender shades of Northcott’s Toscana.  You can find the pattern here.

To test my block, I used some handy scraps on my cutting table, left over from my Faster & Fabulous Bargello class on the Quilt Bee at Sea Hawaiian cruise last month (I still haven’t unpacked one suitcase!).  These scraps were from the peach/orange/red Dream Weaver ombre by Northcott and a few Patrick Lose Mixmaster blenders.  Once everything was cut, I was ready to press my ½-circle flower bases.

My Crocuses test pieces are cut and ready to go

My Crocuses test pieces are cut and ready to go

I trimmed my plastic template used to cut the bases, removing the seam allowance, and starch-&-pressed the curved edge around the template – a nice crisp edge!

A spritz of sizing helps set the crisp smooth curved edge

A spritz of sizing helps set the crisp smooth curved edge

Once the bases were stitched in place, the blooms went together quickly.


This version of Crocuses looks more like tulips

My test version of the Crocuses block looks like tulips, another Springtime favorite.  Choose your favorite palette and create your own bouquet.

You can also combine this block with one or more terrific blocks from the other participating designers this month – there are 26 blocks this month!  You can find the links here:

Chubby Daisy Quilt block by Carolina Moore
Violet by Inquiring Quilter
Dahlia by Inflorescence Designs
Poppy by Boberry Design Co
Summer Poppies
Coronation Bloomd
Rose of Sharon by QuiltFabrication
Irises by Paleofish Designs
Lavender by Palm Creations
Crocuses at Patti’s Patchwork
Tulip by Penny Spool Quilts
Improv Pansy at Lovingly, Lissa
Daisy by Appliques Quilts and More
Cone Flower
Summer Flower by Crafty Staci
Mother Nature’s Memos
Kaye Collins- Big Blossom
Flower Shop
Star Flower Quilt Block
FPP Flower at The (not so) Dramatic Life
Spring Tulip by Around the Bobbin
Pretty Pot
Happy Sunflowers by Blue Bear Quilts
Poppy by Sallys’ Sewing Circle
Reversible Flower Block | Happy Hippie Studio
Primrose Pinwheels by A Piece of Quiet Quilts
Flower power

For an earlier Quilt Block Mania post, I designed another floral block – a rosebud wreath

Rosebud Wreath by Patti's Patchwork

Rosebud Wreath by Patti’s Patchwork

– and this block was the inspiration for one of my upcoming classes at A Mountain Quiltfest June 5-8 in Pigeon Forge TN.  I am teaching 4 different classes this year, and am joined by some other world-class teachers, including keynote speaker Jacqueline de Jonge of Be Colourful.  You can find the full list of classes and show details here.

Speaking of colorful, I am filming my learn-to-free-motion-quilt tutorials next week using my Color Play learn-to-quilt panel and want to address issues that quilters have while learning to quilt.  If you have tried f-m quilting and are still not comfortable with it, or haven’t tried it because you are afraid to take that first step, I’d love to hear from you.  Please post a comment below and let me know what’s holding you back, or which technique/design/skill in f-m quilting you’d like to learn.  I’ll tailor the videos to your requests.  As a thank you, everyone who comments by March 20 will get a chance to win this month’s giveaway – a cheery fat ¼ pack of X’s and Oh’s by Northcott.


This month’s draw prize for those who leave a comment about free-motion quilting questions

Good luck to you!



Reaching out to say hello…

7 Feb Kapaia Stitchery shop owner Jean with roomie Michelle and me

Fellow Quilters,

Aloha!  Greetings from the beautiful islands of Hawaii, where I am spending 18 glorious days at sea on the Quilt Bee at Sea cruise aboard Holland America’s Koningsdam. Together with roomie Michelle of Watergirl Quilts and 71 other quilters, we are having a quilt retreat like no other.  After 5 days at sea with 5 days of classes, we took in the sights of Nawiliwili on the island of Kauai today.

Kapaia Stitchery shop owner Jean with roomie Michelle and me

Kapaia Stitchery shop owner Jean with roomie Michelle and me

Our stops included The Kapaia Stitchery where we chatted with owner Jean and her friendly staff.  Of course, we couldn’t leave empty-handed – fabric souvenirs are the best!

Today's "souvenirs" from Jean's shop

Today’s “souvenirs” from Jean’s shop

I am having sew much fun connecting with the quilters during my classes.  In fact, connecting is the theme of this month’s Quilt Block Mania.  The design in my modern block may not appear to be a connection unless you are familiar with one of the first methods of connecting.

Patti Carey - Hello

My “Hello” block for Quilt Block Mania

Yup, it’s Morse code for HELLO – how fun 😊.  You can find the pattern for Hello here.

And here’s a modern lap quilt using 4 different sizes of the Hello block.

Hello quilt

A modern lap quilt using the Hello block

I’m not the only blogger in the Quilt Block Mania blog tour that used an alternate language.  One of the other blocks is braille – very cool.  And most of the blocks feature Valentine colors or theme so you can use several of the 27 blocks for a seasonal sampler quilt.  You can find the links to the other bloggers’ blocks at the following sites:Connections Quilt Blocks image

Heart and Star
Woven Heart by Inquiring Quilter
Puzzle Block by Inflorescnece
Connected Hearts by BoBerry Design Co.
Mardi Gras Geese
Chain Link by Sugar Sand Quilt Co.
Linked by QuiltFabrication
Irish Chain
DNA by Palm Creations
Hello at Patti’s Patchwork
Lover’s Knot at Lovingly, Lissa
Double Hearts by Appliques Quilts and More
Key to my Heart
Connections by Penny Spool Quilts
WiFi Signal by Crafty Staci
With Love By Sew Cute And Quirky
Text Me!
Braided Love by Kaye Collins
Celtic Tree of Life By Sallys’ Sewing Circle
Hearts Together Block by Sew Worthy Mama
Sunshine Village Church by Sarah Marcina
Braille Block
Left and Right Block at The (not so) Dramatic Life
Love Encircled by Jessica of Blue Sky Modern Craft
Celtic Hearts by A Piece of Quiet Quilts
Half Friendship Star with Heart by Blue Bear Quilts

Speaking of connecting, if you’ll be in Atlanta GA for QuiltCon February 23-26, please stop by and say hi to me and the FIGO design and marketing team in the FIGO booth.  We’ll have some make & take items as well as some engaging games in which you could win some mag FIGO swag.  See you there!

Until next time,


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 😊