Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Ready, Set…

18 Dec

Fellow Quilters,

I am so excited that I can hardly contain myself!  My second quilt-along, the Cottage Sampler QAL, is starting in just 11 days.  I had so much fun hosting the Hexie Crush QAL earlier this year, and this one is going to be WAAAY bigger and better.  Sign-ups have been brisk the past few weeks and if you haven’t joined yet, here’s why you’ll want to.FB group banner cropped

The Cottage Sampler QAL is based on my new Cottage Sampler quilt pattern. I designed the pattern with the stellar Canoe Lake fabric collection – my second collection for Banyan Batiks, the batik division of Northcott.  It is one of THE best-selling Banyan collections (she says modestly) and has just shipped to quilt shops – well – everywhere!  You can use the awesome Product Finder on the Canoe Lake page of Northcott’s website to find shops in your area that have received their shipment.

So, I am a panel-and-border-stripe gal.  If a collection has one or both, you can be sure I’m going to use them in a quilt or project.  Naturally, when I designed Canoe Lake, I included a 9″ square mini panel and a coordinating lengthwise border stripe.  The panel features a classic lakeside scene of a canoe beached on the cattail-lined shore of a tree-rimmed lake as the sun rises/sets over the hills.  I have very fond memories of paddling on such a lake as a kid.

My new Canoe Lake fabric collection - Autumn Blaze, Lakeside, and Misty Morn

My new Canoe Lake fabric collection – Autumn Blaze, Lakeside, and Misty Morn

The fir tree border stripe is cleverly designed to be not-so-directional – the trees go both ways.  And with 5 repeats across the width of fabric there is enough to border a quilt AND use for bands on matching pillowcases – who doesn’t love batik pillowcases?!?  So luxurious!

The collection has 3 fabulous colorways from cottage country:

  • Autumn Blaze mixes golds, rust and burgundy – the resplendent colors of maples in the Fall
  • Lakeside has forest greens and sandy-beach tans
  • Misty Morning includes soft smoky blue/sage/gray accented with berry (this one just might be my favorite)

I knew from Day 1 that I wanted to host a QAL with Canoe Lake, so the Cottage Sampler pattern was born.  Half of the blocks feature the mini panel with a pieced frame.  The remaining 6 different blocks are pieced using the coordinates from the collection.  The pattern includes 2 sizes – a 55″ x 70″ throw-size, with 1 each of the 6 pieced blocks, and a 96″ x 96″ wow-factor queen-size that has 2 each of the pieced blocks.

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti's Patchwork

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti’s Patchwork

What will we be making in the Cottage Sampler QAL? You choose!!  Simply pick your preferred size and color option and quilt along with me.  I’ll be making all 3 colorways, and making the throw AND queen-size options. Yup, busy gal!

Here’s what’s included:

  • I’ll be doing weekly posts from Dec 29 to March 16 through the Cottage Sampler QAL newsletter (sign up here)
  • Posts will include lots of tips and tricks to help you successfully make each block (or pair of blocks if you’re making the queen-size)
  • Video how-to’s included in weekly posts (as needed)
  • We’ll share our photos and comments in the Cottage Sampler Facebook group.
  • Weekly prizes to randomly-selected active QAL’ers – those who actively participate (post pics/ask questions/provide feedback)
  • I’ll answer any questions you may have as we go along – I love questions!!
  • Cost to participate:  FREE!  You will need a copy of the pattern to follow along though.  You can purchase one at your local quilt shop or from me here.Cottage Sampler panel block

Speaking of local shops, a few of my favorite shops have kits available:

You can also find shops that have purchased the fabrics and patterns on Northcott’s site by using the Product Finder here.

This is the perfect project to work on together as we spend some quality quilty time in our sewing space this winter.  If all goes well, we’ll have a cozy new quilt ready for the cottage, cabin or retreat by summer.  It also makes a fab guy quilt – just saying.  Please sign up now – I can’t wait to quilt-along with you!

See you in 11 days 🙂


Fun and Games with QBM

7 Dec Option #2 - same size but so different!

Fellow Quilters,toy themed quilt blocks

Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to the December issue of Quilt Block Mania. Wait – did someone say December?!?  What happened to the previous 11 months?!?  I don’t know about you but this year has been a blur for me.  If, like me, you’re north of the 49th parallel, masks and social distancing are still the norm, along with virtual gatherings.  Hubby and I just spent the past 3 glorious weeks on a long-overdue and much-needed Caribbean cruise where masks were required except when dining/drinking – I must say that I felt safe as a church mouse.  Kudos to Holland America for a very successful cruise. It was SOOO good to finally get away and I am really looking forward to the Quilt Bee at Sea to Hawaii in February for 19 fantastic days of perfect weather, breath-taking scenery and quilt-till-you-wilt.

Last night Hubby and I were invited to dinner by a couple we met on our cruise – they live 4 blocks away – small world!!  Their lovely home was decked out for the holidays, including resplendent poinsettias at the front door and a majestic Christmas tree in the foyer – so festive!

Christmas is without a doubt my favorite time of the year.  In my area we are almost guaranteed to have enough snow to go tobogganing.  I absolutely adore Christmas baking, from my mom’s Christmas fruitcake (unlike the much maligned store-bought version, it’s so moist and rich that my sons actually request it) to traditional shortbread, rum balls, mincemeat mini-tarts and several others that have become must-have additions to the requisite list.  My family and friends manage to devour 12 batches of goodies over the holidays.  Christmas dinner would not be complete without the classic plum pudding, a recipe handed down 3 generations from my friend’s husband’s great-grandmother – we set it aflame with brandy and serve it with rum sauce!  Mmmmm!

Flaming Christmas plum pudding

Flaming Christmas plum pudding

Speaking of classics, I had great fun designing my block for the December edition of Quilt Block Mania, coordinated by Carolina at  Twenty designers participated this month, and you can find the links to their blocks here:

Puzzle Cube Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Swirlybirds by Scrapdash
Rocking Horse by Appliques Quilts and More
Old-fashioned toy by
Wooden Toy Blocks by Penny Spool Quilts
Xylophone by QuiltFabrication
Stacked Rings at Patti’s Patchwork
Toy Truck at Blue Bear Quilts
Bullseye at Pretty Piney Quilts
Toy Plane by Mom and Me Quilting Co
Nutcracker by Inquiring Quilter
Water Colors at Perkins Dry Goods
How to Theread a Book by Craft Towards Joy
Sling Shot by Faith and Fabric
Candyland at EvaPaige Quilt Designs
Shape Sorter Block at Patchwork Breeze
Colorku at Love to Color My World
Toy Wagon by Cristy Fincher
Baboushka dolls by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Baseball by Masterpiece Quilting

This month’s theme is “toys” and the color palette reminded me of a classic toy that every child seems to receive around age 1 or so.

Fisher Price Rock-a-Stack

Fisher Price Rock-a-Stack

That’s right, it’s the iconic Stack of Donuts (find my pattern here).  I dutifully adhered to the chosen palette, using a selection of Northcott’s Toscana textures, leaving out the orange ring, but I must admit it still looks remarkably similar to the toy my boys played with as they developed their fine motor skills and learned their colors.

It makes me wonder how many millions of stacked donuts have been gifted to babies everywhere.  Did you know that there have been several color combinations of stacked donuts over the years?

I decided to play with the blocks to make a baby quilt.  Here is option #1 with 12 blocks.

Option #1 38" x 51"

Option #1 38″ x 51″

But wait!  Here is option #2 with half of the blocks flipped upside down – so cool!!

Option #2 - same size but so different!

Option #2 – same size but so different!

Did you know that most quilters take up quilting to make a baby quilt?  How about you?  Tell me about the first quilt you made – who was it made for and what was the occasion?  Post your story in the comments below by midnight December 14 for a chance to win a packet of my new Canoe Lake fabrics for Banyan Batiks – I’ll give away 2 prizes! 

My new Canoe Lake fabric collection - Autumn Blaze, Lakeside, and Misty Morn

My new Canoe Lake fabric collection – Autumn Blaze, Lakeside, and Misty Morn

And join me in the Cottage Sampler Quilt-along starting December 29 here to make a throw or queen-size sampler featuring 7 unique blocks. Each week I’ll share tips and tricks to easily piece your blocks with expert precision.

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti's Patchwork

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti’s Patchwork

Speaking of sharing, I’ll pop back into your Inbox in a couple of weeks to share one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Until then,



Lemons or Limes?

2 Nov
November's QBM blocks

November’s QBM blocks

Fellow Quilters,

It’s the first Tuesday of the month and that means Quilt Block Mania, and time for another round of free blocks from some generous designers.  Many of you have commented that you are really enjoying this monthly event.  I’m glad, as I am too.

This month’s theme is food – yum!  Here is the tasty palette presented to us by organizer Carolina at Always Expect Moore.

This month's chosen color palette from the Seeds website

This month’s chosen color palette from the Seeds website

And here is a list of the other 15 participating bloggers.

Hot Dog Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Corn off the Cob Quilt Block at Scrapdash
Pumpkin Pie by Appliques Quilts and More
Ice Cream Cones by QuiltFabrication
Citrus Wedges by Patti’s Patchwork
Peppers at Blue Bear Quilts
Pineapple at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Strawberry by Mom and Me Quilting Co.
Home for the Holidays by Inquiring Quilter
Red Delicious at Perkins Dry Goods
Pumpkin Quilt Block
Little Lemons by Love Sew Modern
Sew the Carrots Go Round Block at Patchwork Breeze
Cake Quilt Block at Masterpiece Quilting
Avocado at EvaPaige Quilt Designs

Even though the picture shows veggies, I’m thinking fruit.

For my 12” block I selected a variety of Toscana and Canvas textures from Northcott along with some fun new Glam blenders from Patrick Lose Studio.  When I mixed them together I saw citrus wedges – lemons, limes, oranges and – my favorite – ruby red grapefruit.

Citrus-flavored fruit jelly slices

Citrus-flavored fruit jelly slices

The wedges made with Glam remind me of the sugar-coated citrus jellies I had as a kid – my Nana would buy them from iconic candy maker Laura Secord as a special treat for us grands.  Here is my Citrus Wedges pattern.  Pucker up!

Citrus Wedges block by Patti Carey

Citrus Wedges block by Patti Carey

In the instructions I recommend that you press seams toward the wedges, even though it adds a bit of bulk.  Why would I do this?  Because when I quilt this, I want to stitch in the ditch in the dark green background and those fruit slices will pop off the quilt, ripe for the picking.

I also press all the seams in a counter-clockwise direction to “spin” the seams at the center of the block – this helps distribute the bulk of those 8 seams coming together.

Press seams counter-clockwise to minimize the bulk

Press seams counter-clockwise to minimize the bulk

If you’re visiting from another blogger’s site and are not familiar with me, welcome!  In addition to blogging (you can subscribe up there on the right), I design patterns at Patti’s Patchwork and the tips above are the type of thing I like to include in my extensive range of popular quilt patterns.  When I host quilt-alongs I even include videos showing many of the steps in creating our blocks and assembling our quilt.  My Cottage Sampler QAL is starting December 29, running through until March 16, and you can sign up here to join the fun and learn a trick or two along the way while you make a fabulous throw or queen-size quilt using my Cottage Sampler pattern.

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti's Patchwork

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti’s Patchwork

This pattern showcases my Canoe Lake fabric collection and I’ll be making blocks in all 3 colorways during the QAL.

Speaking of QAL-type events, I participated in the Seaside Adventures Row-along in September – it ran from early September to last week, and the wrap-up week is this week.  Visit Quilting Room with Mel to see the quilts made with many of the seaside-themed rows.  My tropical fish row is still available for free – find the link in my blog post here.

That’s all for now!

Chat soon,


How do I love thee, let me count the ways…

26 Oct

Fellow Quilters,

Pop the champagne!  This is a week of anniversaries for me.  Yesterday was my 35th wedding anniversary – woohoo!

My 35th wedding anniversary - a night to celebrate!

My 35th wedding anniversary – a night to celebrate!

Hubby and I celebrated this auspicious occasion by cooking our own romantic dinner for two (pan-seared scallops – my fave!) and savoring them with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.  While this may not sound so romantic to some, we both love to cook, especially together, and sipping on some bubbly while creating our gastronomic delight added to the fun.  Did you know that the traditional gift for a 35th anniversary is coral?

The traditional gift for a 30th anniversary is pearl, and today I am part of Electric Quilt’s 30th anniversary celebration through their Pearls of Wisdom weekly blog series. Pearls of Wisdom PC-headshot Congratulations to Electric Quilt! Each week, EQ features a quilt designer and shares the designer’s favorite tip – “pearl of wisdom” – for using the EQ quilt designing software.  I have gleaned some nuggets from these posts!  You can follow along through the EQ blog here and read my pearls of wisdom.

As a prolific quilt designer, I use the EQ software weekly, if not daily.  I can navigate through the program easily.  So, here’s the thing.  Like most software programs, EQ can do so much more that what I do with it (how many of us are actually using or even know all the features of some everyday software programs such as Word?).  I thought I knew the in’s and out’s of the program until I subscribed to the blog.  Through the Behind the Mouse blog, I receive mini lessons in my Inbox every week – the EQ8 Lessons with Yvonne, EQ8 Lessons with Lori, the EQ8 Block Spotlight, and more.  Did I mention that they’re free?!?  This continuing education is delivered directly to me – no effort on my part.  How awesome is that?  I used Lori’s tip from last week when I was designing a quilt the other day and it made my life easier – perfect!  If I ever have a situation where I don’t know how to do something in the program, I use the interactive Help.  More often than not, I find the answer there.  And if I can’t find the solution to my design dilemma, I can email EQ through the website and the personable team will respond promptly, almost always with an easy solution.  They are the best!  A shout-out to everyone on the EQ team 😊

Here are some of the unique ways I used the EQ program in the last week:

I published my new Cottage Sampler pattern, which I designed in EQ, and I did the diagrams in EQ.

My Cottage Sampler pattern includes throw and queen-size options

My Cottage Sampler pattern includes throw and queen-size options

This quilt features my Canoe Lake fabric collection by Banyan Batiks, shipping to quilt shops this week (woo-hoo!!).  Since there are 3 colorways in the collection, I wanted to use gray-scale fabrics in the diagrams.  For the 9” square mini panel fabric, I imported the line drawing of my design (the one that was sent to the mill to print the fabric) an used this line drawing as a “fabric”.

The diagram for the mini panel block uses the line drawing of the panel fabric image

The diagram for the mini panel block uses the line drawing of the panel fabric image

How cool is that?!?  PS.  I am super-excited to be hosting the Cottage Sampler Quilt-along starting December 29 – the sign-up is on the main page at Patti’s Patchwork and it’s free to join.  All you need is a copy of the pattern.

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti's Patchwork

Sign up for the quilt-along at Patti’s Patchwork

At my guild’s charity quilt virtual sew day last Saturday I had each participant snap a photo of their block and email it to me.  I imported each photo as a “fabric” into EQ and quickly created a quilt image that very closely represents what our finished quilt will look like.

A proposed layout for my guild's charity quilt, created in EQ with pictures of everyone's blocks

A proposed layout for my guild’s charity quilt, created in EQ with pictures of everyone’s blocks

I then shared my screen during the sew day to show everyone our “quilt”.  The members were fascinated.

I am using EQ to recreate my guild’s block-of-the-month program featuring barn quilts in our area.  I look at the block (this month’s block is Goose Tracks), search through my BlockBase+ program that is linked to EQ to find the block, resize the block to our 18” size that we’re doing and ask EQ what size to cut the pieces – done!

I use the BlockBase+ program from Barbara Brackman (linked to my EQ) to find the block

I use the BlockBase+ program from Barbara Brackman (linked to my EQ) to find the block

Then I can write the instructions for the participants quickly and easily.

I just designed my next fabric collection, Color Play, using EQ.  I did the layout for several fabrics in the program and designed several motifs in EQ as well.  This collection is intended to be a learning tool for free-motion machine quilting and I will be doing a series of YouTube videos showing techniques on each of the components in the various fabric designs. It will be shipping to quilt shops next August.  The collection hasn’t been released yet but here is a tiny taste of it.

A snippet of my design created in EQ

A snippet of my design created in EQ

A snippet of the actual fabric

A snippet of the actual fabric from Color Play

So, I want to know, do you EQ?  Have you used this amazing program?  If so, what is your favorite feature of the program?  Let me know!  Post a comment below by midnight November 1 for a chance to win a fat ¼ pack of my Canoe Lake collection (mention your favorite colorway so I know which one to send you😊).



A Flask from my Past

5 Oct Alchemy (Erlenmeyer flask) block by Patti Carey

Fellow Quilters,1 pinnable image October Quilt Block Mania

Oh what fun I had designing my block for this month’s Quilt Block Mania blog tour!  It took me back to my university days, working in the chemistry and pharmacy labs, conducting experiments to prove/disprove theories, and creating tinctures and creams for a variety of ailments.  During one lab session I even made Pepto-Bismol liquid from scratch, complete with strawberry flavoring, and it worked!

This month’s theme for QBM, organized by Carolina at Always Expect Moore, is “science”, and the color palette is acid green and yellow with smoke and hemlock – sounds like a true witch’s brew, ideal for Halloween.

True confession time here – I am a science geek.  Science & Nature is my go-to category in the Trivial Pursuit board game.  When I make homemade salad dressing I S-L-O-W-L-Y add the oil to the other liquid ingredients to create the perfect creamy emulsion instead of a layer of oil sitting atop

an Erlenmeyer flask

an Erlenmeyer flask

the layer of vinegar.  How, you ask, do you easily create this creamy deliciousness?  By swirling the liquids in an Erlenmeyer flask of course!  Its narrow neck, conical shape and wide base are perfect for incorporating and combining liquids.  Now, if you are fresh out of Erlenmeyer flasks, you can also use a blender or a whisk.

This flask was designed by German chemist Emil Erlenmeyer in 1860, whose work focussed on theoretical chemistry including early atomic theory.  You could say that he was ahead of his time, perhaps rather modern.  I like to think he would have enjoyed and appreciated having a quilt based on one of his inventions.  Without further ado, I present Alchemy, my Erlenmeyer flask quilt block 😊.

Alchemy (Erlenmeyer flask) block by Patti Carey

Alchemy (Erlenmeyer flask) block by Patti Carey

Don’t you just love those flasks half-filled with acid potions?

You can download the pattern here.

For fun, I popped this block into the table runner setting I used for July’s Kebab block.  How cool is this?!?  Uber modern!

Alchemy 4-block 12" x 48" runner

Alchemy 4-block 12″ x 48″ runner

And here’s how it looks in a 48” x 60” lap quilt – just perfect for all the modern chemistry geeks out there 😊 😊

Alchemy 48" x 60" lap quilt

Alchemy 48″ x 60″ lap quilt

Or combine my Alchemy block with one or more of the other 11 blocks included in this months QBM blog tour.  Here are the links to the other participating bloggers’ posts and blocks.

Rocket Ship Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Using Fibonacci in Quilts at Scrapdash
Microscope & Test Tubes by Appliques Quilts and More
Test Tubes FPP Block at Penny Spool Quilts
Benzene Ring from QuiltFabrication
Erlenmeyer flask at Patti’s Patchwork
Fall Prism at Blue Bear Quilts
Atomic at Pretty Piney Quilts
Test Tubes by Mom and Me Quilting Co
Discovery by Inquiring Quilter
Molecules at Perkins Dry Goods
Gravity at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting

Last month I had 2 giveaways in blog posts:  Congrats to Lisa England for winning a copy of Quilter’s World magazine and some Winter Frost fat ⅛’s by FIGO to get you started on your own Ski Village quilt.

Congrats also to Cathy B for winning a bundle of Northcott’s Dublin linen-look fabric in the Seaside Adventures Row-along.  This fun free event continues until October 25, with 2-3 free row patterns each week.  Find the details at The Quilting Room with Mel.

Lastly, stay tuned for information on the sign-up for my Cottage Sampler Quilt-along, running from December 29 – March 16.  The sign-up starts October 15 – woo-hoo!



Something’s Fishy

20 Sep

Fellow Quilters,

Happy Monday!  If you’re popping over from another blog today, a warm welcome to you.  Are you ready for some fun? Today is my day to blog in the Seaside Adventures Row-along and I couldn’t be more excited.  Let me tell you about this popular event.Web-Seaside-Adventure-Row-Along-Square

The Row-along was started several years ago by the wonderful Marian Pena of Seams to be Sew.  Each year Marian enlisted the support of dozens of pattern designers to create a row to showcase a particular theme.  Some of the past themes include “winter”, “home”, “my happy place”, Christmas carols, and “garden party”.  The designers share their “free for a week” row instructions, with 3 different designers showcasing their row each week of the event.  Sadly, Marian passed away this year but not before the Seaside Adventures theme was selected.  To honour her memory the designers decided to go ahead with the row-along for this year, and Melissa of The Quilting Room with Mel graciously stepped forward to organize the event – thanks Mel!

Northcott once again offered to support the designers with fabric for their rows, so of course all the rows are gorgeous.  I chose to work with Northcott’s Dublin linen-look cotton blender because I needed a variety of bright tropical hues, and with 42 dee-lish colors, this collection delivers that and more.

A sizzling selection of Dublin hues

A sizzling selection of Dublin hues

So here’s something that you may not know about me – I like to scuba dive, particularly in warm tropical waters filled with colorful fish and interesting coral.  Sometimes the coral is even more interesting than the fish.

Photo courtesy Diving Kona Hawaii

Photo courtesy Diving Kona Hawaii

It is thrilling to slowly drift along 40ft below the water’s surface with a school of yellow/electric blue fish or watch a little orange clown fish darting in and out of an anemone.

One time a pair of dolphins swam right past me – they’re HUGE!  And snorkelling is a very close 2nd to diving – simply floating on the surface with a mask and snorkel, face down in the water, visually exploring the abundant sea life below me.  Some of my favorite locales include Negril (Jamaica), Hawaii, the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and Cancun.

Coming up with a design for my row was quick – colorful fish!

My Which Way to Class row

My Which Way to Class row

I chose to use large and small triangles to depict fish.  Then I changed the direction of some to reflect the darting schools of fish I’ve seen dashing in one direction then another.  Finally, I added some sea grass to help the fish hide from their predators.  You can download my Which Way to Class pattern here.

Tip:  Trimming the tips of the pieces with the blunt ends of the templates ensures that you align the patches correctly when piecing the columns.

Trim the tips of the patches along blunted ends of templates

Trim the tips of the patches along blunted ends of templates


Aligning the patches is now foolproof

This week 2 other bloggers are sharing their row patterns for free as well, after which time there may be a small fee for their patterns.  Hop on over to Elizabeth Coughlin’s site and Nancy Myers’ Patchwork Breeze site to get their free patterns this week as well.

There are not many prizes this year (Marian worked hard to solicit prizes) so I shall offer one to my readers.  For a chance to win a bundle of Dublin and a couple free digital patterns of your choice from Patti’s Patchwork please leave a comment below telling me your favorite tropical spot to dive/snorkel/play on the beach.  Comment by Sunday September 26 to be eligible.IMG_4764 lo-rez

To get the links to the upcoming designers’ blog posts and free blocks visit The Quilting Room with Mel each week.

Happy Sewing!!


Let’s Break with Tradition

7 Sep

September - Traditional with a TwistFellow Quilters,

It’s the first Tuesday of the month and that means another batch of blocks in the Quilt Block Mania blog tour.  A shout-out to Carolina at Always Expect Moore for organizing this event each month.  I really enjoy this monthly opportunity to stretch my creative muscle as I interpret the theme for the month and incorporate the chosen color palette.  Judging from the feedback, many of you enjoy this event as well.  Did you know that there is a Quilt Block Mania Facebook group?  Anyone can join and get in on the conversation.

This month 17 designers rose to Carolina’s challenge and came up with a free block using the theme of Traditional with a Twist.  You can find the links to their blocks here:

Starry Steps Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Log Cabin with a Twist by Appliques Quilts and More
Faux Log Cabin by PhoebeMoon Designs
Twisted Irish Chain by Inquiring Quilter
Pinwheel Pizzazz at Blue Bear Quilts
Rail Fence Roundabout at Perkins Dry Goods
Twirling Star by Mom and Me Quilting Co
Neon Churn Dash by Pretty Piney Quilts
Pinwheel Twist by QuiltFabrication
Quilt Block Exhibit
String of Stars by Orange Blossom Quilt Design Studio
log cabin twist by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Twisted Log Cabin at Penny Spool Quilts
Wonky Star by Patti’s Patchwork
Modern Churn Dash at The Quilting Room with Mel
Wonky Log Cabin by Love to Color My World
Shoo Two by Oh Kaye Quilting

When I saw the theme, my brain went into creative overdrive.  So many options!!  Several designers did variations of a log cabin block so instead I went in a different direction.  What if I played with a star block?  How can I add a twist or non-traditional slant to a classic Ohio Star block?  Well, allow me to show you!

I made the center “off-center”, then I altered the star tips to make them different sizes.  As my friend Nancy says “Kewl!”  My Wonky Star looks decidedly fresh and contemporary in the monthly palette of grape, mauve, periwinkle and citrus.  I used Northcott’s suede-look Toscana cotton blender.  You can download the pattern here.

So, a couple of tips when you are piecing this easy block.  The star tip units contain a piece that is a trimmed triangle.  We make this by sewing 2 triangles together, then trimming the resulting unit to size (see the pattern) – easy!

Trim the tip of the triangle pair to bring it to size

Trim the tip of the triangle pair to bring it to size

Then we add the 3rd triangle to the unit – it looks too big, but it is actually the correct size once you align the pieces.

The 3rd triangle looks too big however...

The 3rd triangle looks too big however… fits perfectly when correctly aligned

…it fits perfectly when correctly alignedDone!
So, the fun thing with an off-center block is what is does when placed into a quilt layout.  It sparkles!  Here is a 3×4 straight-set layout.

12 blocks in a straight-set layout for a 36" x 48" lap quilt

12 blocks in a straight-set layout for a 36″ x 48″ lap quilt

And here is a 3×3 on-point layout.

A 13 block on-point layout makes a 51" square

A 13 block on-point layout makes a 51″ square

In both versions I have rotated the blocks so that the stars are not aligned (haha).  How fun!

Speaking of fun, I blogged last week about my Ski Village quilt featured in the current issue of Quilter’s World.  There is a great giveaway that is open until September 9, so you might want to check out that post.

Ski Village quilt made with Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini for FIGO, featured in Quilter's World

Ski Village quilt made with Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini for FIGO, featured in Quilter’s World

Also high on the “fun” scale is the annual Row-along, hosted this year by The Quilting Room with Mel.  It started yesterday and runs until October 25, with 3 free rows per week.  I’ll be sharing my row on September 20, and if you hit that Subscribe button on the right, you’ll get the link delivered to your mailbox.

A sneak peek of my row in the Seaside Adventures Row-along September 6 - October 25

A sneak peek of my row in the Seaside Adventures Row-along September 6 – October 25

Enjoy this month’s offerings, and we’ll see you soon 😊


It takes a village…

2 Sep
Ski Village quilt

Ski Village quilt

Fellow Quilters,

The quilt I am about to share with you started so nonchalantly.

Quilter’s World editor Carolyn Beam sent out a call for quilts showcasing the theme “It takes a village” as a way to connect quilters during the pandemic.  I had just seen the sample yardage of FIGO Fabrics’ Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini – so fun with its quirky head shots and snow-peaked chalet village.

Swatches of Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini for FIGO Fabrics

Swatches of Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini for FIGO Fabrics

I quickly set about designing a simple throw-size quilt to snuggle under on a winter day après ski in front of a roaring fire.  The pieced rows of chalets have warm rust-colored doors to welcome inhabitants and visitors alike.  And I quilted “windows” and roof peaks on each home, set against a dark starry sky.  I called it Ski Village.  The quilt was shipped off to the magazine and was just delivered back to me, having been published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Quilter’s World, on newsstands now.

Ski Village quilt

Ski Village quilt

As I sit now, looking at it, I am reminded of the villages that I am part of.  I live in a ski community and this quilt depicts perfectly the winter months of the year for me.  Such fun I have with my fellow snowboarding buds – we’re a small minority on the slopes so we work hard to encourage and support each other – and the people I’ve met through our ski club.  Many of them have become dear friends.

I am also reminded of another “village”.  Last September, No. 1 Son started his 2nd cancer journey and lived with Hubby and I for 8 months while we cared for him and nursed him back to health.  This quilt was completed a week before his epic surgery, during which he had a world-class team of 14 specialists working on him.  He was so fortunate to have an incredible community of health care providers to treat and care for him.  We are indebted to his cancer village – the state-of-the-art facility and the skilled, compassionate staff that operate it.

IMG_4644 lo-rezThis evening brought to mind another village, and that is you, fellow quilters.  My quilting community has been the glue to hold me together this past year of isolation.  My local guild had their first meeting of the year tonight.  We have been meeting over Zoom for the past year and will continue this practice for the foreseeable future.  Still, how wonderful it was to see everyone after our summer break!  We freely chatted in breakout rooms and shared the projects we’d completed over the summer while camping or hosting the grands.  Quilting is indeed the thread that binds us.

What about you?  Who is your village?  I’d love to hear your story.  Please leave a note in the comments below.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win this bundle

Leave a comment below for a chance to win this bundle

I have a giveaway!  A copy of the Autumn issue of Quilter’s World was sent with my returned Ski Village quilt.  I also have some fat 1/8’s of Winter Frost, and one commenter will receive this magazine & fabric bundle.  Please leave a comment by midnight September 9 for a chance to win.

Coming up next:  Next week is the monthly Quilt Block Mania post, with links to 16 free blocks that incorporate the “traditional with a twist” theme.  I think you’ll really like my block!  Two weeks later is my turn to blog for the annual Seams to be Sew Row-along that runs from September 7 through October 25, with links to 20 terrific rows with a “Seaside” theme (see my website for details).  And if you’re starting your holiday/winter quilting, I have 4 new patterns to inspire you!  Visit my website for details.

Stay safe, villagers, and thanks for being there😊


Sizzling Summer Treats

3 Aug Kebabs block pattern by Patti's Patchwork

Fellow Quilters,Picnic Theme - August

Wow!  It is August already – the summer months are flying by, and it is time for another edition of Quilt Block Mania, organized by Carolina at Always Expect Moore.  Summers mean warmer weather and fun outdoor activities such as picnics and barbeques, and that just happens to be the theme of this month’s QBM.  Yay for easy breezy summer cooking!

The color palette this month is soft red, light peach, limeade, dark gunmetal blue and pale putty.  When you combine these shades with a picnic/bbq theme, what do you get?!?  Well, I thought of…

Shish Kebabs!  Yep, cubes of tasty pork, juicy orange peppers and zucchini, grilled to perfection.  Pass the tziktziki please!

Beef kebabs

Beef kebabs

Then I thought “Those beef kebabs are actually brown, not red, so let’s do veggie kebabs!”  I replaced the red beef cubes with red peppers and cherry tomatoes marinated in Greek salad dressing.  Great!

Veggie kebabs

Veggie kebabs

Then for a change, I thought “Can we do shrimp kebabs?”  Why not!  Salmon-colored shrimp with red and green peppers.  Shrimp on the barbie are dee-lish!  Brush them with garlic butter as they’re cooking.

Grilled shrimp kebabs

Grilled shrimp kebabs

But wait, there’s more… I saved the best for last.  You guessed it – fruit kebabs!  Watermelon or strawberries, combined with cantaloupe or peach or mango, and honeydew melon or green grapes.  So many options!  Yes, fruit kebabs are the perfect picnic take-along.

Fruit and cheese kebabs

Fruit and cheese kebabs

Whichever flavor you prefer, I’ve got the Kebabs pattern

Kebabs block pattern by Patti's Patchwork

Kebabs block pattern by Patti’s Patchwork

for you.  It is my modern abstract take on kebabs – fresh and fun!  This one is pretty quick and easy, just like summer cooking.  You can download it here. I used some tantalizing batiks from Banyan Batik’s Essentials, then threw in some peach-colored Carnivale by Linda Hahn, a bit of citrus Codes & Circuits and sizzling red Bouncing Balls.

It makes a terrific runner!

A 4-block 48" x 12" runner looks fun and fresh!

A 4-block 48″ x 12″ runner looks fun and fresh!

This month 14 other designers have also designed free blocks using this theme and palette.  You can find their blocks at the links here:

Hamburger Block at Always Expect Moore
Popsicle Picnic at Slice of Pi Quilts
Picnic in the Park
Let’s Fly a Kite at PhoebeMoon Designs
Picnic by Inquiring Quilter
Picnic Bouquet by Blue Bear Quilts
Kebabs at Patti’s Patchwork
BeeHive by Mom and Me Quilting Co.
Picnic Basket at The Quilting Room with Mel
Watermelon Wedge from QuiltFabrication
Labor Day Picnic
I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing
Picnic Fun at Perkins Dry Goods
“Cheers!” at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Lemonade FPP Block at Penny Spool Quilts

And here is a super-easy tasty recipe for a dip to go with fruit kebabs.

Fruit DipCool-Raspberry-Fruit-Dip-14937

Prepare one 4-serving box of instant pudding with only 1 cup of milk.  Add ¼ cup liquor and half of a large container of Cool Whip.  Chill until set, approx. 30 minutes.  Good combinations:  vanilla pudding with peach or raspberry schnapps, chocolate pudding with Kahlua or crème de cacao (ask me how I know).

If you missed my blog post on August 1, pop on over to it for more free block ideas and mushroom tips.  And please hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss news about a couple other cool things happening this month.

See you soon,


A Feather in your Mushroom Cap

1 Aug Creamy Tagliatelli with Bacon, Mushrooms and Truffle Oil by Vikalinka

Fellow Quilters,08 August logo

Today is August 1 and that means another free block in the Monthly Color Challenge!  If you’re hopping over from Jen Shaffer’s 2021 Monthly Color Challenge, a warm welcome to you!  Feel free to browse through earlier posts and pop back in on August 3 for my post that’s part of the Quilt Block Mania monthly blog tour (can you say “free quilt blocks”?!?). If you hit that Subscribe button on the right you’ll get my quilty tips and tricks automatically when I post.  You can also subscribe to my newsletter at for insider info on new patterns and subscriber-only specials – the link is at the bottom of the website main page.

So, fellow pattern designer Jen over at Patterns by Jen has been hosting a Monthly Color Challenge for a while now.  This year’s challenge is based on fruit and vegetable colors and includes a free block each month in both a 12” and 6” option – hop on over to Patterns by Jen to download the pattern and even watch the handy video on how to create the monthly block.  Each block pattern is free for that month, after which it can be downloaded from Jen’s site for a very small fee.

August’s theme is mushrooms, and the color palette is taupe-ish, just like cremini mushrooms.

August's 12" block in Stonehenge Gradations Onyx shades

August’s 12″ block in Stonehenge Gradations Onyx shades

Similar to mushrooms, it comes in a larger and smaller size – think “button” and “portabello”.  I put the block into my Electric Quilt EQ8 designing program – it was super quick to draw, with just 4 flying geese.  Then I downloaded some mushroom-colored Stonehenge Gradations fabrics from Northcott’s website and started playing.

To make my 6” block the same size as my 12” block I simply put four 6” blocks together.

Four of August's 6" blocks sewn together to make a 12" block

Four of August’s 6″ blocks sewn together to make a 12″ block

Initially I thought this block was ho-hum but boy, was I surprised when I put it into a 48” x 60” 20-block lap quilt!  It is a workhorse of a block!!  It is a “come from behind to win the race” type of block.  Let’s take a look at the 6 variations I made.

Version #1 has alternating large and small blocks.

Version #1 - alternating large and small blocks with one type of mushroom

Version #1 – alternating large and small blocks with one type of mushroom (one color)

In version #2 I tossed in more cremini mushrooms (added darker brown),

Version #2

Version #2

and in version #3 I rotated the small blocks.

Version #3

Version #3

In version #4 I used just the large blocks, rotating every other block – wow!  Look at those cool spinning stars that are created where the blocks meet!

Version #4 - all 12" blocks, with half of them rotated

Version #4 – all 12″ blocks, with half of them rotated

In version #5 I used just the large blocks, keeping all blocks vertically aligned.

Version #5, with the illusion of shading

Version #5, with the illusion of shading

This gives the effect of a vertical strip quilt and I am really liking the illusion of shading created by the light and dark triangles.

For my last version (#6) I replaced one column of large blocks with small blocks – the shading illusion is still there and the quilt has even more interest.

Version #6 with some 6" blocks included

Version #6 with some 6″ blocks included

So many good options!

Jen has rounded up some of her pattern-designing friends to show their version of the monthly block and also to share a tasty recipe using the monthly ingredient. Hop on over to the other blogger’s sites to see what they’ve done with this month’s block and to get their fave mushroom recipes:

Jen at Patterns by Jen
Andi at True Blue Quilts

Anja at Anja Quilts
Sandra at 
Utah Quilt Appraiser
Raylee at 
Sunflower Stitcheries
Crystal at 
Daybrook Designs
Ashli at 
Quilt 2 End ALZ
Kate at 
Katie Mae Quilts

And pop over to Patterns by Jen for your chance at one or more of these awesome prizes being offered this quarter – simply make a block and post a pic in the link-up by the end of the month to be eligible for these prizes:sponsor logos and prizes

So, let’s talk about mushrooms!  I fried some up last night to have with a BBQ’d steak dinner – so delicious! I’ll share my go-to mushroom tips with you.

1)  Don’t wash the mushrooms – they are like sponges and will absorb so much water.  To clean them, simply wipe them with a damp paper towel.

2)  Saute them without any butter until they release their liquid.  Then add some butter and minced fresh garlic for the last 3-5 minutes.

3) Add a splash of sherry at the very end and give them a quick stir.  This elevates sauteed mushrooms to the next level.

My other mushroom tip comes from a beyond-gourmet pasta dish that I had at a hole-in-the-wall trattoria 12 years ago in Gubbio, in the heart of Umbria Italy, renowned for truffles.  The dish was very simple – linguini in a mushroom sauce – but the flavor was out of this world!  In fact, I still salivate at the thought of that memorable meal.  The secret was truffles, and I  sought out truffle oil in the next town to add to my pantry.  Thankfully it is readily available in most grocery stores in my area, and I would recommend storing it in a cool area to preserve it.  It is quite pungent – just a bit will fully flavor your dish – but what a flavor!   A small bottle goes a long way.  Here is a recipe that most closely resembles the epic pasta I devoured that day.

Creamy Tagliatelli with Bacon, Mushrooms and Truffle Oil by Vikalinka

Creamy Tagliatelli with Bacon, Mushrooms and Truffle Oil by Vikalinka

Buon appetito!