Archive for Great Quilt Patterns

Old Quilts, New Life & Old Friends

::cough:: ::cough:: Pardon me while I blow some of the dust off the blog. You’ll probably know that this is important if I’m of a mind to post again. And this is!

I’m helping to celebrate the launch of Sarah Fielke’s new book, Old Quilts, New Life! First, congratulations, Miss Sarah, for a fabulous, fabulous book! Yours are always to be looked forward to because they are chock full of quilt goodness and they are lovely books to boot. In this one, Sarah chose nine quilts from The American Folk Art Museum collection and made two versions of each quilt for the book — one is a close interpretation and the second a more contemporary take. You will note with a deep breath, I hope, the tremendous amount of work that goes into such an endeavor. I am always in awe. Sarah always makes me want to be a better quilter. And not a slacker…ahem. So, yes, the book has all the instructions for 18 beautiful quilts.

I hope I am a known appreciator of antique quilts. I find lots of inspiration looking at quilt history books and photos of antique quilts. So, of course, I awaited Sarah’s latest book with great anticipation. I so greatly anticipated it that I pre-ordered two copies (one early on, one more recently — completely oblivious….).


See, gorgeous from the get-go! And I am a lucky, lucky girl because I was this close to Sarah just this past week:


See, there she is — the lime and gin on the left. She was able to autograph both of my books in person. Lucky, happy girl!

But on to quilt business. Sarah asked us to select an antique quilt we admired. I knew immediately which quilt to choose. I don’t know that it is my favorite block (I always say the churn dash), but it is a very fine example of the circles that I like. I also don’t know that it is truly antique but more of a vintage find via eBay. Yes, I acquired this and another treasure from a seller a few years back.


It is in great shape and is nice and big. The collection of fabrics in it is wonderful. I’m guessing it’s from maybe the 1950s based on the fabrics.

Oddly enough, when Sarah asked, I had just completed this Hot Wheels quilt from Kaffe Fassett’s latest book, Heritage Quilts.



And, so, history has repeated itself, and I’ve shown my continued affinity for all things circular. I hope you’ll have a look at Sarah’s new book and around you at quilt history — there is so much inspiration to be found whether you want to re-write it verbatim or edit it to suit your tastes. Our quilting forebears left us with lots of inspiration and so has Sarah!

Congrats on a spectacular new book, old friend, and cheers to revisiting history!

You can see more of Sarah’s latest:

Instagram: @sfielke (and be sure to search for the #oldquiltsnewlife posts of favorite antique quilts.

On her website:



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1718 Coverlet Quiltalong — Month 1

Hello! Hello! Care to join in? Sarah and I are embarking on a quiltalong for the most wonderful quilt, the 1718 Coverlet as described in Susan Briscoe’s book, The 1718 Coverlet: 69 Blocks from the Oldest Dated British Patchwork Coverlet.


Let’s face it, an “along” in which I am co-responsible for hostess duties is pretty likely the only way I will ACTUALLY FINISH such a quilt. I will not relate my history of such (Dear Jane, for example…) for you to for shame. Today is a new day and February begins the quiltalong.  Good intentions.

Sarah has posted in lovely detail many of the particulars which I will reiterate (steal and post) here. She has written it up so succinctly covering all the bases:

So with all that said, here is how I propose to run the Quiltalong, and some things you need to know.

*Instructions on which blocks we are making each month and pics of the blocks we have made, tips etc BUT NOT MEASUREMENTS will be on my blog and Sarah Fielke’s blog each month. Sarah and I will take turns to write the blog, month on, month off and we will both post on social media and our on blog when the new month’s block numbers are posted.

*Neither Sarah nor I wrote this book. We have no affiliation with it other than the desire to make this lovely quilt! As such we are not responsible if any of the measurements prove wrong or the instructions are hard to follow or any other issue like that! This is going to be fun, so everyone please leave their cranky at the door and embrace the project! 🙂

*Sharing is fun and thats what a QuiltAlong is all about! Please join the Facebook page Sarah has set up here:

to show what you’re up to, your colour choices and chat to other members. We are also using the Instagram hashtag


so please get involved, it’s great to see what others are doing and be inspired by it. Sarah and I are both happy to be your Facebook friends and your Instagram friends, so you can find us under our names on Facebook and as @sfielke and @alobsiger on Instagram.

*The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles (QGBI) has a Facebook page for the book which I suggest you “like”:

and the museum where the quilt is housed does too.

*Starting with February (i.e., right now!), the 1718 Quiltalong will run for 11 months. In February we are starting with only 9 blocks to give you an easy start (and seeing as February is already half gone!), and they are all pieced blocks not appliqued except for one. The other months will be broken down into groups of blocks (more at the end of this post). This is just how I’m proposing to do it. If you want to do it another way, slower or faster or anything else, that’s just fine and you can still quilt along with us and post your progress! All Sarah and I are doing is providing suggestions and a few tips, inspiration and encouragement.

*Everyone joining in MUST own their own copy of The 1718 Coverlet by Susan Briscoe. It isn’t OK to look on with your friend’s copy, or photocopy from their copy or from a library book. That’s a breach of copyright. You need your own copy, and trust me it’s well worth it because the book is lovely.

*Please feel free to chat about your blocks and your process and the quiltalong online or on your own blog – please link to my blog and/or to Sarah’s blog when you do. But PLEASE, don’t post tutorials or block measurements or any other kind of instruction other than little tips on what you found easiest or your colours, etc., because that’s a breach of Susan’s copyright too and that’s not OK.

Right! Now for the fun stuff! Sarah and I chatted about how to approach the quilt – it’s tempting to make it all in rows, or all the same block numbers first, but we felt that left us with months where EVERYTHING was going to be applique and no piecing, and vice versa. There’s a lot of blocks and a lot of applique so we wanted to break everything up a little more manageably.

If you don’t already own the book, there are loads of places online and in stores you can get it. There is a lovely shop in Sydney called Cottage Quiltworks who Sarah teaches for and she has picked out a starter bundle of pretty chambray solids and they are offering the book and the solid starter pack for 10% off normal retail for those interetesed, while stocks last. You can contact Chris or Jann on, they will post anywhere including overseas. Here is the pack they are offering:


and they also will do the pack or the book on its own, and they have some nice woven stripes, etc., like Sarah is going to use too. Drop them an email and they will sort you out.

Some words about method: Like Sarah, I am making the blocks following the modern method. Too, I will make blocks by hand and by machine. I’ll machine piece the February blocks that are pieced and hand appliqué the one appliqué block. I’ll figure out my approach with each block. I am not averse to hand piecing and will use that approach whenever needed.

With that, here’s what Sarah and I are doing for February:


For a friendly start in February we are going to start with the following blocks:

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

You will need to make two of block 2, two of block 3, two of block 4, two of block 5 and one block 6. The blocks sit here in the quilt:


Please remember that this is just our suggestion! If you want to start somewhere else or approach the quilt in a different way then by all means, go for it.

Here’s a bit about my (current) fabric selections:

I am sometimes a “top of the pile” girl. Oh, this lovely stack just arrived and is sitting on my sewing table. How about this (also noting that said new pile is very easy to get to without having to dig in the archive)? No, but really, I had one idea in mind and ordered some fabric. Then a small stack of Tokyo Train Ride arrived and it sat next to my coverlet book and looked like it fit right in. So I headed in that direction and came up with some additions:







So, I think I have a start here as far as fabric flavors go. It will be a mix-in-as-we-go thing, I suspect. But I will put this batch together in an easily accessible place and we will go from there. I’m already not positive about that light blue in the hourglass blocks. It was meant to be beige but I got a little over excited about the fact that is has an orange print….

In any event, we hope that you might jump on board with us in whatever manner you’d like. We’re doing it for fun and support. And fun.

With that, I’m taking my ginger tea and going back to the sewing room to make up block 5. It gets nice and toasty in there when the iron is on and I need that today.

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Hand Quilted with Love blog tour

My dear friend Sarah has written another book. Maybe you’ve heard of it — Hand Quilted with Love. I’ve horned in on her book blog tour to celebrate her talent and creativity, among her many other fine attributes.

I admit that I squeal every time I get to take a sneak peek into her latest work. Yes, I am lucky that way. So, she may have showed me some of the quilts from the book in advance. And I squealed like a little girl and once again decided that I wanted to make every quilt in the upcoming book. Seeing as I am still working on quilts from the last book….ahem…why not dive in and start a quilt from the new book too?! Frankly though, I see nothing wrong with that because, as the book’s subtitle says, “Patchwork projects inspired by a passion for quilting.” And who doesn’t get a little carried away by the passion for quilting? And I can feel Sarah’s passion for quilts in each of the designs in Hand Quilted with Love. And so I get carried away and squeal a little and decide that every one of the quilts speaks to me (and says “make me….”).

In the sewing room, you will find my copy of Hand Quilted with Love duly page marked on All That and the Hatter.


You will find a stack of light Kaffe Fassett shot cotton fat quarters and a stack of Liberty Lifestyle Stile fat quarters.


You will find me puttering around with background stripe combinations and cup and saucer combinations and teapot combinations.




You might also find me squealing like a little girl over the fun I’m having with Sarah’s lovely design. This one is VERY, VERY satisfying to undertake as well — put the thinking cap on on occasion, it’s a good thing.

Sarah’s new book also includes an incredibly special design. You might have seen it. Or been a part of it. Along with squealing, there was crying. Which is to be expected. Seeing it in print took my breath away. Not in a bad way. Just in the way that it is.


The version in the book is Anabel’s quilt.


At fall quilt market, I picked up my quilt. I have slept under it every night since Sarah presented it to me. In fact, she had it on the bed at the hotel. I am still overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity and caring for us. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Please know that not a day goes by when I don’t look at this quilt in amazement and appreciation. It is a great comfort to read your names and admire your fabric choices. Thank you.


In the future, I hope you will also find me making more of the quilts from Sarah’s wonderful new book. Congratulations, miss! I’m thrilled for you, I admire your talents and hard work and I’m so happy to call you a friend!

Be sure to visit the other stops on the blog tour:

SewTake a Hike – 4th May

Belinda Stitches – 5th May

True Up – 6th May

LilysQuilts (UK) – 7th May

Creative Dabbling (Australia) 8th May

Mrs Schmenkman Quilts (USA) 9th May  (you are here)

I’m A Ginger Monkey (UK) – 10th May

Petits Elefants -(Australia) 10th May

Prints Charming (Australia) – 11th May

RedPepper Quilts (Australia) – 12th May

HandMade by Alissa (USA) – 13th May

Meet Me at Mikes (Australia) – 14th May

Sew Mama Sew (USA) – 15th May

Since I have been away away away for so long, I’ll include some updates. I came back from quilt market in the fall to news of another serious health concern in my immediate family. It was jarring and once again scary and it set me back somewhat. But all is now well and we’ve been lucky to have had the best outcomes all the way along.

I have also been keeping up with the kid. Here are some recent action shots because it seems that she is all action and I am her personal assistant making sure she is where she needs to be and she is fed and garbed.




Good kid.

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Nearly lost in translation

Despite the quiet around this blog, I have been sewing. And sewing. And sewing. But I feel like I’ve been working on the same three quilts for a very long time. Which I have.

This is the last of three big buggers. Finally finished the top today. This is a wedding gift. I collected a very large pile of fabric first, including 13 yards of the Alexander Henry mustache fabric (most for the backing). I thought I would wing it, patternwise. When it came time to start, I thought better of the winging it approach and went hunting for a pattern. I settled on Emily Cier’s Discontinuity.

And then I decided to make it differently. Emily’s design uses her clever pixel piecing. I decided to translate it to be able to sew with bigger chunks.


First, print the schematic and don’t panic. Next, sew up a couple of sections. Third, ask what the heck am I doing? Fourth, head down, eyes on your own paper, cut, sew, cut, sew, do a little math, get out the seam ripper, work out some partial seams thanks to your “clever” translation, cut, sew, press. Until some time days later, the queen sized top is done, there are threads hatching from every seam that will need to be trimmed. It could really use a good re-pressing.


And now to do the quilting. Straight line. Straight-ish line. Wobbly line. I have a cone of thread ready for the task.

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But who’s counting?

So. Where were we? Or where was I? You thought I disappeared, didn’t you? It felt like it there for a while. Lest you think I’ve been lounging on a beach or resting on my laurels, I have some things to show for my time.

I’m especially excited to have a quilt in issue six of the most awesome Fat Quarterly. Against Traffic is a foundation pieced kaleidoscope-y quilt using two shades of grey and all of Marcia Derse’s prints from her Third in Line fabric collection. I grew extremely fond of these prints while I sewed. And we spent a considerable amount of time together, so I think it says A LOT for Marcia’s fabrics that I still love them after all that togetherness. 🙂

Love those fabrics!

I also wanted to show you the latest Dollies Online quilt for July called Mass Appeal:

I saw a vintage quilt with orange peel blocks on point in two colors and my head went boing.  Speaking of the Dollies Online, you can now purchase the downloadable patterns individually over at Sarah’s lovely web site. Mass Appeal will show up there shortly as well. I didn’t mind sacrificing that blue sewing themed Suzuko Koseki print for this quilt. It seemed a worthy use.

I’ve also been keeping up with the Farmer’s Wife blocks. Got a little behind when we lost power for three days. Here are some recents:

I’ve been digging through some of my old Kaffe fabrics and scraps of old projects. Going down fabric memory lane.

Last but not least, a step by step by step project, indeed… Sarah‘s Hanging Lanterns pattern. First, cut 800 (or more in case of goof ups…ahem), fan blades and sew them.

And turn them.

And press them.

And sew them together into arcs and get them ready for the next step.

As Sarah has reminded me, she did all of this already and I should not complain. No complaints. Just noting for posterity and recordkeeping and goal setting.

I’m also dabbling in the Japanese Boxes quilt from issue 81 of Quiltmania. I saw this quilt over at the gorgeous Facile Cecile blog. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. And then I re-drafted it ever so slightly so I didn’t have to cut anything in 1/16ths of an inch (sometimes my laziness instead makes my brain hurt a little more) and could use a rotary ruler. These are a little on the addictive side and very easy to sew on the machine.

So, that’s some of what’s going on here. I’ve missed you.

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Sighted in…


It has been an exciting time mail-wise of late, as you will see. I just can’t help it, this is the most exciting mail of the year so far! I would venture to say that this is the most exciting mail of all of 2011 even though we’re not halfway through.


Sarah’s new book, Quilting, From Little Things, arrived at my house. I will confess up front that I got a little weepy going through the book — I am SO happy for my friend AND this book is THAT gorgeous! It is a triumph. I know Sarah’s my friend and all but, honestly, this book is at the tippy top of the list of best quilting books. For creativity, for fun projects, for technical know-how and for beauty. The photography by Sue Stubbs is spectacular. I felt like I could reach out and touch the quilts in the photos. Beautiful!

I also think my weepiness came from the fact that the quilts capture the essence of Sarah somehow (So Very Sarah TM) — and that is in a combination of things from the fabric choices to the visual references to quilting’s past (and moving those references forward to the present) to the abundant perle quilting to the technical expertise (clear from those great photos). I can’t explain it sufficiently but these quilts have Sarah’s DNA (and not from the time that she poked herself with a needle and got blood followed by spit on a quilt….I don’t know that that happened but you know what I mean). These are awfully big things that have grown from little things.


And I’m not just saying that.

Like trying to pick a favorite child (well, I could since I only have one), I can’t pick a favorite quilt from the book. Maybe I will just call these “the ones I’d like to make first.”

Oh, dear, Hanging Lanterns quilt, you are  wonderful and beautiful…. I also like that we’ve seen snippets of the quilts on Sarah’s blog and now we get to see the full “reveal.”

Shining no less brightly is The Night Garden. ::sigh::

Oh dear, I really want to make them all first but I probably shouldn’t put a pic of every quilt here in my blog post. Bad form, no doubt. And I’m leaving out the eagles quilt that I love too. Shh, don’t tell the them.

And, oh, hello wall! I recognize those little quilts back there. How are you guys doing? You look happy in your Australian home! Toodle-oo from Mom!

In all seriousness, the book is a gem! Congratulations to Sarah and all the lovely people involved in putting it together! Bravo!!!

Don’t miss the Quilting, From Little Things blog tour going on now! Oh, and don’t forget to scroll down and read all about the book launch party. I was there in spirit and had to toast two days in a row just to make sure I covered the time change…all in a day’s work.

I would say don’t dawdle in getting yourself a copy of the book. I know that we in the U.S. won’t have the book in stores for some time to come, BUT, it looks like one can pre-order the book from the Book Depository in the UK.  The book is due in the UK early in May and the Book Depository has free worldwide shipping. I am a happy customer from previous orders.

Not to be overlooked, also in the package from Sarah was one of our Dollies Online quilts, Hugs and Kisses:

A is for adorable! I really need to get the number of that variegated thread Sarah’s been using too.

Thanks, Sarah!

Also not to be overlooked — see, didn’t I tell you the mail has been GREAT around here lately — I received my quilt from Doll Quilt Swap 10 from the ultra-talented and very angelic Carol (aka Mamacjt):

Isn’t it wonderful?! It’s called Colors Quartered and will be such a cheerful quilt on the sewing room wall! I can’t wait to hang it up. Those French knots slay me!

Thank you SO much, Carol!!

OK, I started a little organization project in said sewing room, so I’d better get back to it before we have to go to, let’s see, yes, the orthodontist today (back at that for a second round now that someone’s teeth are all in).

Happy stitching!

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Harvesting lemons

When life gives you lemons, distract yourself with lots of sewing, I say.

Like some 1″ squares.

Well, 1″ finished. I’m no hero. And you only get to see the back right now.

Oh, and maybe some new houses different than the new houses last week. Housing market’s up!

A new supply of yellow and green and white and black grunge arrived just as my sewing time was ending. I’ll have to add some color balance to the new housing development on another day.

I’m enjoying Cherri House’s House’s House pattern (say that three times fast!) as much as Pamela Goecke Dinndorf’s Domiciles (from, last week). I’m also enjoying the Moda Grunge (by Basic Grey). Lots of smudge-y nuance in the colors. Gee, that brown looks an awful lot like that other brown….no, no, different colored smudges! Genius! I actually used the brown with pink smudges for a chocolate bunny Easter basket way back when  =  two years ago, I think.

So, no linear paths to project completion here at the moment. We are still harvesting lemons to a certain extent here and I’m not getting out and about on the internets to visit everyone. I hope you will forgive if I have not replied to your wonderful comments. Please know that I appreciate every single one and they brighten my day. Especially on the days when I’m picking lemons. With that, I’m off for the weekend to pick some (vegetarian) cheesesteaks (oh, the heresy!) and hopefully visit the greater Spool/Loop complex. Is it water ice season yet?

Have fun!


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Domiciles in Habitat

I sort of veered off the to-do list here at the end of the week. Crazy from the snow, I guess.

After ogling it at market, I finally thought to get a copy of Pamela Goecke Dinndorf’s Domiciles pattern.

I really love the colors in her quilt, but I had the Habitat fabric and some friends gathered up for some purpose. So they met.

I’m thinking of combining the names. Habiciles? Domitats? No?

Oh, and a word of advice, these are as addictive as butterflies. You’ve been warned…

Have a properly sew-y weekend!

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Happiness and the single girl

Can you believe it? I’m keeping up! All arcs sewn and here’s a test block. Which also qualifies as block 1 because these aren’t test fabrics. Lazy… Hard to tell but that is the pastel grey Free Spirit solid in the background. I wouldn’t be doing this right now without the Single Girl Support Group — so thanks again to Katy, Nova and Megan! A little guidance, a little self-imposed peer pressure, a little ignoring of some directions. A day in the life of the Single Girl.

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Ready, begin

Some fabric and I slipped through a tiny window of opportunity today.

The Single Girl quilt along began today. So far I’m keeping up. ha! Check back next week. I could be behind. Never have I felt so organized. Look! A plan complete with alphabet letters, Post-it notes and pins! The pastel grey is the background winner. Quite a lovely shade, if I do say so myself. That grey is cool as a cucumber. It has to be completely confident to stand up to From Little Things.

Miss Katy is starting us off. Such precisely drawn lines.

I’d best get to tracing before the window slams shut on my hand…

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