Free Quilt Pattern · PatternLite · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Spiders, Quilty-Style

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Beach Umbrellas made by Cindy Wiens of LiveAColorfulLife

Check out this gorgeous quilt from Cindy. It has a block that is a familiar patchwork pattern: and it’s a free patchwork pattern from a reworked patchwork pattern. Cindy of Liveacolorfullife and I chat back and forth occasionally and we happened to strike up a conversation about this block, from March 2015 Mid-Century Modern Bee:

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We were trying to remember how we made these blocks for Cindy’s turn as Queen Bee in the Mid-Century Modern back in 2014, but when we headed to the linked blog that had the instructions — it was No Longer in Service. She was trying to finish up her quilt, so we tried another place. No Longer in Service. Somehow I think of the internet as being eternal, like a good book, but obviously the joke is on me for that one.

So I started drafting things in my Affinity Designer, then I dug up an old handout for the small quilting group we had Before Covid, and combined them. So I have another free pattern for SpiderWeb for you, but since it’s under the PatternLite series, it will be found over in my Pattern Shop. I’ll have it on 100% FREE! until the end of the month, where it will be my usual PatternLite price: less than a fancy drink at Starbucks.

While it is for free, consider clicking on Follow as a thank you, and to keep up with my shenanigans. Cindy and I are doing this in tandem, so she’ll also have it on her blog, LiveAColorfulLife — so head over there and read about her goings on and follow her, too. Cindy is an amazing quilter, and has done the hard work and compiled a visual list of all her quilts. Number 219 is one of my current favorites, but there are others that have caught my eye.

To find the free pattern: click on link below.

Click! SpiderWeb block pattern in three sizes, on PayHip (my pattern shop).

But from Spiderwebs, we must move on to October’s beginnings, which includes these two motifs: black cats and pumpkins. These are pillow tops that I’m sending to another DIL, who loves Halloween. I hope she likes them. She has a nook in her upstairs bedroom that we would all covet: a large Palladian window with a loveseat, filled with cushions and pillows. I was thinking about those when I made these, two from my collection of Riley Blake Pillows from last year that I saved for her.

I included this homemade card. Download the blank and send some to people you love:

Lastly, we passed the Autumn Equinox on September 22, so the days are getting longer. So are the shadows of my silverware.

Happy October, everyone!

P.S. One year we lived in Alexandria, VA and the leaf colors that year were spectacular. I would bring home fistfuls of beautiful leaves, lay them out on my flatbed scanner to scan and save them. These are some my husband brought home one day. No–we don’t have gorgeous fall color here, but come January — we have a few trees that will turn red. All of you who live in fall color territory are so lucky!

BlockBase+ · Free Quilt Pattern · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Too Hot to Think • Blockchain Quiltblock Freebie

from here

It’s too hot to think, but here’s a fun sketch from a traditional block, originally called Boise (Brackman 2306). The periodical, Hearth and Home, which published this block, was in operation from 1885 to the 1930s.

The block, exploded.

The 7″ block, set on alternating verticals. All of these can be found in BlockBase+ which is software that is basically the Brackman Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. I modified this in my design software, Affinity Designer by Serif, a reasonable cost design software (NO, you don’t have to buy Illustrator. YES you should buy BlockBase+.)

And I think we should give the quilt a name. I know it’s the capitol of the state of Idaho, but I’d like to give it a more contemporary name: Blockchain. What does that mean? Since I just donated to Wikipedia (you should too), here’s their definition:

blockchain is a type of Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) that consists of growing list of records, called blocks, that are securely linked together using cryptography.

So couldn’t we define a quilt as “a growing list of blocks that are securely linked together with thread”? I think so. I was amused to see that a lot of the images used to depict the idea of blockchain are some of our traditional quilt blocks, like baby’s tumbling block, among others.

If you’d like the 8-inch version, I’ve got that for you here, as a free download. I didn’t monkey around with it too much, so it’s rather a no-frills set of templates (remember, it’s too hot), but you can see how nicely the templates are generated for you by Blockbase+. [Okay, I did do a bit of monkeying…]

Download the free PDF file for an 8″ block here:

Here’s the 12-inch version, which finishes at 52″ square, with those 2″ borders and cornerstones. To get this layout, I did four columns of the Blockchain block, doing half-blocks at the top and bottom of columns 2 and 4. I’m sorry I didn’t include the 12″ size block, but it’s hot, and we are about to head to our traditional Labor Day Cookout: a trip to In and Out Burger, where they do the grilling for me.

from here

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Free Quilt Pattern · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

New York Beauties, Block 4: Ocean Gleam

We should stop meeting like this.

But it’s Wednesday, it’s June, and we’re ready for the fourth make in this series of New York Beauties. And the last in this foursome is Ocean Gleam, the dark dapples and glints that show up when you are lying on that proverbial beach and the ocean’s waves lull you into relaxation. Or something like that.

I dedicated a lot of digital real estate in the last New York Beauties Quilt post talking about how I work with FPP. Head over there if you need more info; scroll down as it is below Block Three. This block has two rows of rays and two bands, but you are up to this task, I know.

Q: How did I get here so fast? A: Read this. (Scroll down)

Checking for colors: bits of Block Four pinned up next her sisters.

Sew the parts together, and as usual I have the convex on top.

Yes. I am trying out colors again, but I have committed and am starting, judging by the sewn triangles on the upper arc. (The lower arc’s pieces are just laid out.)

Do you remember in the last post that I told you I figured out I didn’t need the paper on everything? It came from sewing this together. First I ripped off the seam allowances, like I’d learned. I was still wrestling with it under the needle, so I started ripping off the paper on the triangles. This photo was taken when I stopped to rip ALL the paper off. I had already pinned my four marked intervals together, so I didn’t need the paper for that.

Back view. You can see the press marks on the burgundy arc, and the pins on the upper arc, ready to be matched up.

Stitching, again without paper. I use those tweezers to help grab parts that need lining up. Tweezers are definitely recommended.

I just noticed they made a heart! These patterns come with a lot of love, so I shouldn’t be that surprised.

Time to sew them all together. Do your best, but really…remember that the perfect is the enemy of the good.

Magnifico Thread into action!!! (Kind of like a super hero or something.) I use either So Fine or Bottom Line from Superior Thread in the bobbin. Test, test, test.

I love a heavily quilted pillow, and I sketched out a lot of possibilities. But in the end, I decided not to have a Battle with the Beauties, and did a lot of outlining and stitching around the bits. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun:

New York Beauty Mini Quilt/Pillow • 20″ square • Quilt #266

Now I have some ideas for more blocks!

This all started when the pillow-of-the-month came from Riley Blake and I wanted something a little brighter. And yes, I know we have four, if not six blocks, and possibly a quilt hanging out there, waiting in the wings. Do you want to keep going? Do you want the whole family of Beauties, even if I charge for them? Leave me a comment below letting me know, if possible, what you think the ideal situation is. July is always busy, but maybe around August, when it’s too hot to go out and you need a jolt of fun? Like I said, let me know what you think.

Ocean Gleam (Block Four) is ready for download in my pattern shop.

Our hashtag on Instagram is #newyorkbeautiesquilt so please post and tag and share your beautiful blocks.  If you feel inclined and want to say a thank you, I’d appreciate a follow on either my blog where I post weekly (or occasionaly bi-weekly).  You can also follow me on my Instagram

Take a breath…and keep quilting!

Free Quilt Pattern · Heart's Garden · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Heart’s Garden Mystery QAL • Part 5

Heart’s Garden
57″ square• Quilt #264

Gardens can be mysterious. In our case we planted the melons and the round cucumbers and some nocturnal visitor came and dug it all up. Will those seeds pop up somewhere else? Were they get eaten? What’s in the heart can also be mysterious, even to those who might have some experience in the matter. Are we charitable? Are we passionate? Are we kind, snarky, tough or tender?

But in the case of the QAL for Heart’s Garden, the mystery is now solved!

This is the final free pattern for the 2022 Mystery Quilt-A-Long. I will have a Part 6 that will show some embellishments, but that will be a post, and not a pattern release. Heart’s Garden Part 5 will remain free until early June when all the patterns will be combined into one that can be purchased. So make sure you download Part 5 quickly.

I’m sure you’ve seen these images of Part Four on Instagram. Joan’s quilt is a brilliant range of hues from yellows to pinky purples. Lisa has used a wonderful selection of blues, pinky reds and tans to great effect. Linda’s quilt took a different turn when she used the borders from my Evergreen, Ever Life quilt, amending them to fit the center, and Susan (on Instagram or at her blog) has also made changes, using five flowers on two sides. I love them all! [As I receive updated photos, I will post them.]

Heart’s Garden finishes up with a row of heart blocks, like a happy picket fence around our garden. Generally I used medium-dark fabrics with a scrappy low-volume background. All fabrics are by Sherri and Chelsi, from their Sincerely Yours line. I love the brightly colored prints from peach to purple and think this makes a really happy quilt. Sherri is a friend of mine (we both taught English Composition classes) and I think this quilt would also be great in her newest line, Seashore. One reason I love showing all the quilts at the beginning of the post is for you to think of different colorways for your quilt than the one on the front of the pattern.

And speaking of the front of the pattern, Part Five is ready for a free download at my PayHip shop. (Reminder: In case you didn’t get any of the other parts, they are there for sale as well.) But, again, in early June all the parts will disappear to be replaced with a complete Heart’s Garden Sew-A-Long pattern for sale. Now let’s talk construction.

I started with the corners, making a Log Cabin block with darker outside corners.
Then I discarded this block and made the ones you see in the quilt. That’s why I have a full box of orphan blocks!

I like to sew Log Cabin blocks from measurements, but in case you like paper piecing, that option exists for you as well in this pattern. In fact, I made up FPP options for all parts of this border: the log cabin corners, the heart block bottoms and heart block tops.

I ended up using the paper piecing for the heart block tops and was happy I did.

There is a slightly different proportion on these hearts than usual, as I wanted a certain look for the border. I cut out backgrounds and tips and triangles. Detailed instructions for how to do this accurately and carefully are in the pattern. (Tips to make wonky hearts are also there.)

I smoothed out the center onto my design wall, then as I made hearts, I arranged them around the quilt.

There’s always this moment that you wonder: was this quilt worth it? I had only seen it inside, in my room and a lot of time I was sewing at night during winter.

But when I took it outside and saw the natural light hitting all those fun hearts and flowers and birds and patchwork, I was really glad I persevered. And I love the stained-glass photo of the quilt from the back. Sigh. I was content.

When the top was finished, I sent it off to Krista of KristaStitched, who used the Bebop e2e panto at my request. I used a neutral backing and Soft and Bright polyester batting. She did a great job. I bound it with a narrow strip of the geranium color that was in the fabric line. I did have to send away for the half yard, as I’d pretty well used up all my fabrics.

I have one more post about this quilt, showing a few more bits in Part Six, but there won’t be a download for that one–it will live here on my blog. So head over to my pattern shop and get your free pattern. If you don’t have time to sew it now, feel free to save it for later. But please–do not share the patterns with your friends or families. I did this free sew-a-long as a thank you to all my blog readers, and do want you to download your patterns in my shop, not post or share them without permission. Thank you 🙂

For those who have been following along, I hope you’ve enjoyed this Heart’s Garden Mystery QAL. See you soon for Part Six!

Hope you can occasionally piece and quilt–

Free Quilt Pattern · Heart's Garden · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt-A-Long

Heart’s Garden Sew-A-Long

I received a stack of fat eighths as a gift from my friend Sherri last fall, from her new line of Sincerely Yours, and the question of what to do with this yummy range of fabrics has been percolating in my head ever since.

A Sew-A-Long? A Mystery? A Freebie Pattern? How about all three? So yes, this is a sew-a-long, mystery, free pattern that should run for several months. I thought it was only four, but then I had another idea, so I had to add an extra month. I will put the patterns up on my pattern site, one month at a time. The usual caveats apply: Don’t print them off for your mother or eighteen of your closest friends; instead send them to my pattern shop to download their own.

The first downloadable (free) pattern is found here.

Follow the directions and print off four pages of Page 4, then cut them apart on the lines. Prep them for English Paper Piecing {see this post (which uses thread basting) or this post (which uses glue basting) for some tips}, then start stitching them back together in the units.

I’ve placed small colorful dots to help guide you in getting the pieces sewn. Follow the guidelines on the pattern.

I like to sew it in two sections, as it is easier to hold it. I also like to take stitches across the seam points on the outside curved edge, for stability. For example, I join one G1 to the F point, then add the G2, taking an extra stitch at that outer point. It will make more sense as you sew it.

Once I’ve gotten this far, I sew those last two seams.

I always love the look of these from the back. One trick I use for the inner circle is that I don’t glue down the inner curve, instead leaving it flat. This helps when you go to stitch on the center circle.

I write about how I do the center circle in this post, and I will again express my undying love for Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles: both sizes. Sometimes I put the circle on first, then appliqué it the background. Other times I appliqué it to the background square, then sew on the center circle.

For this round, do the center circle first.

Then cut a large square the size mentioned in the pattern. I always iron creases: fold in half, iron; fold in half the other way; iron. You’ll have a giant cross so you get your circle centered. Pin it evenly around the circle while on a flat surface. Then start to sew it down.

I give you the tips in this post.

Yes, I’ve been doing the EPP-circle-bit a while now, and there are lots of tips and tricks under the tab SHINE: The Circle Quilt (found above). And yes, I’ve probably made millions of mistakes, but after sewing over three dozen EPP circles, I’m getting the hang of it.

Here it is, sewn to the background. Don’t trim this yet. If you are curious, your circle will probably measure about 12 1/4″ in diameter, largely due to the thickness of all those fabrics spreading it apart. We will deal with any variations in the next post, coming mid-month February.

I use several methods of construction: piecing, appliqué, English Paper Piecing for starters. While the theme is Heart’s Garden, there aren’t a billion hearts on this quilt, so you could make it in other palettes or groupings of fabric or from scraps. I started with one fat-eighth stack of Sincerely Yours, from Sherri and Chelsi, then purchased four one-yard lengths of the lights (always good for the stash, if I don’t use them all). I also bought two half-yards of the strongest colors; perhaps that is overkill, but I didn’t want to let this line get away from me. I am happy to have this great inspiration, so thank you Sherri and Chelsi!

So head over now to my pattern shop on PayHip, and download your free mystery pattern. At the end of this series, I will combine all the sections into one pattern, and will list it for sale in the same place. Feel free to stash the pattern until you see the end, or to just pick up a little piecing here and there as we go.

Happy Heart’s-Garden-ing!

Christmas Quilts · Free Quilt Pattern · Gridsters

Tannenbaum, in construction

Many years ago, my mother stayed up all night on the 24th of December, worried that the child she was carrying would actually come on the due date of Christmas Eve. Who would help the other three young girls? Who would get the ironing done? But I did not arrive on my due date. Nor on New Year’s Eve. But I came 12 days later on Twelfth Night, and dodged forever having my birthday on Christmas. (And she did get up early that morning to get the ironing done before she went to the hospital.) Now I share a birthday with Richard Nixon, the arrival of the Three Kings and the Storming of the Capital.

Why do I bring this up? Because Tannenbaum will most likely suffer the same fate, arriving somewhere around Twelfth Night. It’s because I wanted a longer drop on the sides, and didn’t have enough of the beige fabric (earlier version is seen here). So as long as I was playing around, what would the quilt look like with red? I quite liked it. Many iterations and consultations with my quilt gurus (I have a couple) and I ordered some red fabric from Laundry Basket Quilts. Like me, in my almost early days…this probably won’t be done by Christmas.

Trying it out for size; I like it!

This is where I am now, with the two borders attached (big smiles), the wrinkles that will need to be quilted out in the center, and sideways on my design wall, because it’s too big now to go vertically. (In other words, it looks like it needs its make-up put on, the lipstick applied, and good blow-out for the hair. You know, like all of us in the morning.)

I’m working on the pattern now, and that’s coming along too. But what has arrived?

This one’s mine…you’ve seen it before.

Several of my Piece Maker Quilt Ladies have arrived from the Gridster Bee, along with their cloth sewing treasures, like buttons and rotary cutters and topiary trees. You can read more about this project, written a few whiles ago, but basically I got the idea from Surfside Quilters, from their Blocks of the Month page. I’ve always wanted a Freddy Moran-style quilt, and now it looks like I’ll make one.

To help further this quilt along, I’ve been collecting black-and-white prints to go with other 400 black-and-white prints (dear, I’m kidding). I have discovered there’s a particular kind of black and white print that works with Freddy Moran style quilts, and I think I probably have enough now. Too much white? It bleaches it out. Too much black? A blot in the quilt. Black and white — that when you squint your eyes — turns into grey? Nyet. I think two of the prints above are perfect (on the outer edges) and we’ll see where the others may go.

In keeping with the red theme of today’s post, here’s a treat I want to try: Cranberry Lemon Bars, from New York Times Cooking.

And I’ll see this, next week. First airplane ride in over 20 months (better get it in before Omicron shows up).

But before that, we have to finish putting out my husband’s nutcrackers, arranging the lights on the mini-tree, switching out the quilts, and generally getting ready for the Christmas season. Another work in progress.

Merry Quilting!

In case you want something fun, here’s a free pattern to make this little tree on a frame, from my earlier days of pattern making; still good to go, but not quite as fancy.

And here’s the teeny tree:

More info is here.

And here’s a sneak peak of what I’m working on for 2022. I’m thinking a monthly quilt-a-long, sort of easy, no sign-ups, free patterns, work together, have fun, make a nice-sized wall hanging. And if you can’t deal with any more outside pressure to produce, it’s okay if you just want to grab the patterns and squirrel them away. That’s fine, I’m fine, you’re fine.

I also always make colorful quilts, and this one may go there yet, but I was gifted a little stack of Sherri and Chelsi’s newest line (thanks, Sherri!), and I’m starting there, because — oh my gosh — I do need a cool Valentine-y quilt. So that’s my starting line. I’ve got the first month’s pattern done, but I want to make samples, so you won’t see it until after the holidays. Maybe even by Twelfth Night!