“Tony Tugboat” by Joan Bassett

Hit your stash and pull out the perfect little boy prints for Joan’s latest, adorable project. Tony Tugboat is sure to put a smile on your face and make your favorite little guy very happy!

Use fusible webbing and fabric for the smoke and cloud, or just use the templates to trace the shapes and quilt the outlines into the background.

“Parasol Parade” by Isobel Meekins

Make this cheery quilt for your favorite little girl or in preparation for fun summer outings to the park or beach. Isobel Meekins’ Parasol Parade is the perfect canvas for showing off a treasured set of novelty prints or for using up a multitude of colorful scraps. To use up even more scraps, piece the binding from a variety of 2-1/2″ strips in colors similar to the parasol tops.

Quick half-square triangle techniques help you make accurate blocks quickly and easily. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

“William’s Mom’s Mug Mat” by Michele Hill

The Barr Smith family ordered more of  William Morris Hammersmith carpets than any other single customer. So with this in mind, I thought it most appropriate to design a William Morris Carpet as a mug mat!

The appliqué in this project could be completed by hand or machine.

All fabrics used in this project are from the Modern Solids range by Jason Yenter from In the Beginning Fabrics. I do not normally use solids in my applique but for this project, the solids are perfect. They have a high thread count and are not the usual dyed fabrics – In Jason’s words: “Modern Solids are more than a solid colored fabric. Each color of fabric – 40 new colors in the collection – is created by using 2 different colors of thread; one in the warp, and another in the weft. That means the solids are created by threads that are yarn dyed (rather than simply dying a piece of fabric). The result is a very subtle coloration which gives a glow not found in cloth-dyed solids.”

April Editorial

Are you experiencing Spring in your neck of the woods? Are there tulips blooming? Is there a little green tinge on the bare trees? If you drive in the country, do you see the new calves and little lambs? It’s time for all things new in nature, and it tends to get us stirred up too. It’s time for new things in the sewing room, or at least the look and feel of new things.

When I get that restless feeling, it means only one thing: Spring Cleaning. However, I’m not quite inclined to spring clean, I’d much rather make it look like I did. Tricky, eh? So, how do we do this? Here is my list. You can use it or let it inspire you to make your own list.

  • I will clean out my desk drawer, and/or my sewing desk drawers. Maybe both! Having them organized and cleaned up will give me some energy.
  • That pile of scraps has got to go! I will either sort through it, keep what I want and donate the rest, or I will put it all in a box labeled Scraps, and store it elsewhere.
  • I will push the dark-colored fabric, the wintery kind of fabrics, back on the shelf, and pull forward the pretty spring and summer colors. Some brighter fabrics, some pastels, some neutrals; they will all give my room a new look instantly!
  • I will clean off my cutting table. It tends to accumulate ‘stuff’. That stuff needs to go live somewhere, but not on my cutting table.
  • Give the room a good sweep, open the windows to let in some fresh air, and my sewing room is ready for a new season

If you want to do the same in the rest of the house, well, that’s up to you. But I spend most of my day in my office/sewing room, so it’s first! Doing those few little things will re-energize and open the windows of creativity. It’s amazing how that works.

Happy Spring!

Karen

April Issue

The Quilt Pattern Magazine April issue is posted!
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“Dual Purpose Quilt Storage Bag” by Maria Hrabovsky

Notice all those wonderful patches sewn on the front of Maria Hrabovsky’s Dual Purpose Quilt Storage Bag? They are scraps left over from the making of the quilt stored inside!

The bag itself is a wonderful storage bag for a precious quilt. Adding the patches makes it easy to identify the quilt inside and makes it a lovely gift bag as well, hence the dual purpose.

As an added bonus, if the recipient always washes the bag with the quilt, the patches on the outside of the bag will age and fade at the same rate as the quilt, making them a perfect match if they are ever needed for future repairs.

Maria’s directions show you how to measure your quilt to customize the size of your bag. Directions to add an optional handle are also included.

“Baby Bunting” by Tammy Harrison

If you are in need of a quick gift for a new baby, but want something a little more challenging than just squares, Tammy Harrison’s Baby Bunting is for you! Snappy half-square triangle blocks mix with solid, rail, and 4-patch blocks to form the center star. A nice inner border frames it nicely. Then, a border of multisized blocks finishes off this happy little quilt.

Strip-piecing is used for the rail and 4-patch blocks. If you chain-piece as you go, this quilt goes together very quickly!

Tammy recommends using fabrics that maintain a high contrast between light and dark to catch the baby’s attention.

“Mermaid Peonies” by Karen Gass

This month, Karen Gass brings us a breezy little project sure to put a smile on your face. Mermaid Peonies is an easy, fun-to-make wall decoration that’s a perfect done-in-an-afternoon project. This would also be a great project to do with children.

Karen used some luscious fabrics from iQcotton for her project. The exact fabrics Karen used are noted in the materials list. Use the same fabrics or choose others that match your decor or mood for the day.

Karen recommends a walk down the street to find the perfect gnarled stick to use for a hanging rod. Or take a walk on the beach and look for a pretty piece of faded drift wood. What a great way to spend the afternoon with the kids!

March Editorial

Depending on where you live, it might be a little early to look for signs of spring. You also may be looking for signs of fall, if you live south of the equator. But around here, those first signs of spring are so encouraging. Here in Idaho, we have long, cold winters. By the time March comes around, anything with green or a little color – such as the first crocus or hyacinth – is cause for celebration.

Sometimes, we have to find our dose of color elsewhere; in our home decor, maybe some new table linens in spring colors, around the house that really announce the arrival of spring.

Because our winters are so cold, I have winter drapes/curtains that are made from heavy fabric to keep as much cold out as possible. When the temps warm up, I take those down and put up my spring drapes/curtains made of lighter fabric, pretty colors, or simple white curtains that will blow in the breeze when I can open the windows.

I change the pillow covers from fall/winter colors (rich jewel tones, which I love) to ones that are lighter, spring colors, for instance, white and natural backgrounds with some appliqued flowers with simple shapes, some with raw edges, straight-stitched around the flower edges. I’ll put away the crocheted ‘blankies’ we keep on the couch to use on cold winter nights to snuggle in while watching a movie.

Another thing is putting away some of the decorative doo-dahs I have around. Clearing clutter can bring a fresh new look into a room. Not that I consider my favorite things clutter, mind you, but putting some away for the summer can give you a new look, and it’s all brand new again in the fall!

If you have quilts hanging on the walls as I do, switch them out. Taking down the wintery ones and putting up some more spring/summer-like quilts will definitely give your home a new look, and you haven’t spent a dime!

My final tip: this month’s issue is full of colorful projects, some of them quick and easy. Have fun bringing in spring, and if you’re south of the equator, just do the opposite and bring in some fall!

Happy March!

Karen

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