I’m going to resurrect Terry Atkinson’s Lucky Stars quilt pattern as a Christmas or baby quilt class for October at Studio Stitch in Greensboro, so I’ve just made two new shop samples. This is a great pattern because it is quick and easy to make and almost any mistake made during construction can be fixed without much difficulty. Therefore, I thought people might enjoy making it as a gift quilt or Christmas quilt.
This is an older pattern, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it for various recipients. Here are my latest versions::
Quilt Name: Baby Stars
Size: 48” x 48”
Fabrics: assorted batiks left from other projects
Made by: me
Quilted by: me
Pattern: Lucky Stars by Atkinson Designs
Quilt Name: Christmas Stars
Size: 64″ x 81″
Fabrics: Assorted Christmas yardage bought because I liked it
Made by: me
Quilted by: Julia Madison
Have you made a Christmas quilt yet this year? It’s not too soon to start 😉
Just as there are lots of great free bag patterns, there are many excellent patterns for sale on the internet. Here are 3 of my favorites.
1. Divided Basket. This is another pattern from Noodlehead, who also designed one of my favorite free patterns. The instructions are excellent and the divided basket is cute. It was just right for a diaper basket for the changing table for my grandson. It is available here.
Divided basket made from pattern by Noodlehead
2. Clothesline bag/basket. This pattern is from Indygo Junction and was much easier to do than I had anticipated. You can read my review of it here, or buy it here.
3. Sweetpea Pods, by Lazy Girl Designs.. This little bag was so.much.fun that I made more than a few! Once you learn the zipper trick it is easy, quick, and so satisfying. I’ve given away many of them and I keep a couple on hand for when I need a little gift for someone. (Of course it should contain chocolate!). I even gave one to a male friend, and rather than ask “what the heck” he said he’d use it to carry his guitar picks! The pattern is available here.
And so you know I’m not just blowing sunshine, here’s one I thought was more trouble than it was worth, even though it is very, very cute (and was all over the internet for a while):
There are so many free patterns on the internet that it can be overwhelming. Therefore, I’m here to tell you about 3 of my favorite free bag patterns.
1. Pyramid bag, I adore this pattern, and it is so easy that I’ve made a few many. Available with an excellent tutorial at Loganberry Handmade. After you’ve made one per her instructions, experiment with different sizes. So cute and so fun!
2. Tote bag. The instructions for this “market tote bag” at Bijou Lovely are very clear, with great photos. I’ve made several of these because they are an excellent, practical size. Of course, I’ve modified this pattern, but it is great just the way it is on her site.
3. Noodlehead’s Open Wide Zippered Pouch. Anna Graham is the queen of bags of all kinds, and there are some great free tutorials on her site, Noodlehead. Of course, she has excellent patterns for sale, and I’ve bought some of those, too. Anyway, go try her free zippered pouch tutorial if you’ve had doubts about zippers. Her instructions and illustrations are clear and easy, and you CAN do that zipper!
I made a series of these little zippered pouches, and they have been useful.
I’ve made a bunch of these in different sizes, as well.
Please tell me if there are free online patterns or tutorials that you love!
It’s been over a year since I purchased the Indygo Junction pattern for a basket made of covered clothesline, so I expect everybody else in America has tried this already. Anyway, it was fun.
The pattern gives basic instructions for starting the basket, shaping the bottom, and then shaping the sides. Instructions are given for two types of handles, and for making the lining. The basket itself was easier than I expected, then the lining was a little tricky. Probably my fault because I changed the instructions 😀
My husband sometimes asks, “What is this one for?” The answer is, “For making something I’ve never made before.” Which means I have no idea of a use for this basket, but I do want to make at least one of (almost) everything just for the experience! (Bonus: this used a lot of scraps!)
What about you? Do you have a plan for everything you make?
Twinkle is an attractive and easy quilt by Swirly Girls Design, and I taught it recently at Studio Stitch in Greensboro. We used the Tucker Trimmer for the half square triangles (HSTs) and everyone seemed to have a good time.
First, here’s my shop sample in a glamour shot:
Twinkle, a pattern by Swirly Girls Design, was made because I had some fabulous leftover fabric
Then, here are some of the wonderful blocks made by the people in class. I’m sure I took more pictures, but apparently my camera quit part way through!
This one was two-color instead of scrappy and it worked quite well
BJ got several blocks made. Look closely and you can see the astronaut near the upper right corner
Arranging the stars on a design wall before sewing them together was very helpful–I don’t think anybody made a mistake!
And a few more for good measure!
Isn’t it fun to see everyone’s individual choices!
My next class at Studio Stitch is basic binding on March 14.
I love triangles and I love log cabin quilts, so what could be better than triangle log cabins?
This was made using Moda’s pattern for Wild Waves Batiks, available free here.
I used a 60 degree triangle ruler rather than the template provided, and it was not at all difficult.
I wanted to try my hand at getting a quilt to come out completely “squared up” for a change. I don’t usually worry about it–after all, most of my quilts are intended to keep people warm rather than hang on a wall, so what difference does it make? However, just for a challenge…
I used Susan Cleveland‘s instructions for squaring and stabilizing a quilt while applying tiny piping around the edge.
I took a binding class with Susan years ago, and I highly recommend it. I used her Piping Hot Binding tool and binding instructions, which I also recommend. The whole process was well organized (Susan could have been an engineer!) and her directions were easy to follow.
Here is a detail of the binding. My quilt came out nice and square (OK, it’s a rectangle, but you know what I mean!).
The quilting was done by Julia Madison, and you can see in the photo here that she used a triangle motif to go with the quilt.
The quilt finished 50″ x 53″. The pattern finished larger, but I quit when I got done making triangles 🙂
My friend Melanie mentioned recently how much inspiration comes from travel, and I agree. While travelling in New England last summer, I came across this book in a quilt shop.
I enjoy making landscape quilts and made quite a few at one time, but donated them almost all of them to the free clinic where I worked for a while. It’s time now to make some more! I have been saving this project as a reward for getting some other things done!
My First Tiny Landscape
Karen gives very, very detailed step-by-step instructions and I must say that’s a good thing! The book is well illustrated and I had no trouble making this little village on my first attempt. Because I already had the materials, it is postcard size (4″ x 6″)! As you can see in the picture, her directions involve finishing the piece with tulle over everything to be sure none of the tiny pieces comes loose.
I enjoyed this project and like the way it came out. I must note, however, that it took all day to make one postcard 😀
One of the classes I took at Quiltfest last month was a little bag from a pattern by Penny Sturges. It was taught by Carrie Licatovich of Tennessee Quilts, who did an excellent job.
Carrie had made numerous modifications to the instructions for the bag, and it was one time I was really glad to be making something in class rather than on my own. Her changes were improvements in the construction process, and I would not have wanted to make the bag without them. Carrie was a warm and encouraging teacher and the class seemed to go well for everyone, even relatively new sewists.
Here’s my bag:
I enjoyed the class and I like the bag. Next time I want a cute little bag, I think I’ll buy one!
Finished the smallest size (41″ x 35″) Lombard Street pattern and I’m about to send it to Studio Stitch, where I’ll be teaching the class. The triangles are all dots, though not polka dots!
I quilted this on my home machine, just following the zigzags in the background, and it worked just fine.
And the backing is a fun fabric I found on the sale rack at Studio Stitch last time I taught there! Win!
I’m teaching this as an introduction to modern paper piecing, of which it’s a great example. Paper piecing makes it easy to get all those nice sharp points, and the arrangement of blocks makes people wonder, “How did she DO that???” It’s always fun to keep people guessing 🙂