PatternLite · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Pillows

Mister Pumpkin

Sometimes I really don’t like our season-less world. I walked through Target last week, looking for some orange Halloween lights. Okay, I know some of you are laughing hysterically out there. Halloween Lights? They were gone by the 4th of July! Swimsuits come in February, and it used to be a rule not to put out Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Used to be.

And this year, with the Great Supply Chain Disruption working its pandemic magic (would we expect any less?), good luck. The lady at Target told me they “weren’t getting much Christmas” so if I saw “something you like, buy it.” The section was pretty empty, as they were doing the switchover from witches to elves.

One of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving, I now call the Invisible Holiday: so desperately needed, yet nearly imperceptible. But if you aren’t yet hanging the Christmas garlands and putting up the Santas, here’s one more little fun thing for you to stitch up in an afternoon: Mister Pumpkin.

It all started because my monthly Riley Blake pillow arrived and I was just sort of meh about the design of it. I’d done some shapes for my daughter’s Fall Tag Tip Sheet, and made the pumpkin, and remembered the photo on the lower left, a detail of a quilt I’d seen at a quilt show. I had purchased the little ornament on our trip to Utah last month. I loved them all and combined them to make my 20″ pillow. Which I have now made up into a PatternLite Pattern, but because it’s like…the middle of the month…I’m giving you a coupon to get it for a deal of 25% off:

Since PatternLite patterns only cost a tiny amount, you are getting a Mister Pumpkin Pattern Lite for less than a large Coke and fries at McDonald’s. Or a slice of pizza at the mall. And WAY less than a bag of Halloween candy. Coupon good until (when else?)…Halloween night.

He’s now resting comfortably on our bed, and I may keep him there for the first part of November, too. So have fun–enjoy your grinning 20″ Mister Pumpkin pillow before you have to nestle it under the Christmas tree. And he doesn’t get made this year, well, there’s always next year! (That old baseball phrase is meant for consolation for the Giants, who lost their pennant race to the LA Dodgers; if you are a sports watcher, you know about this.)

Happy Quilting!

300 Quilts · PatternLite · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt Finish

Hanagasaku: Flowering Rings • Quilt Finish

Hanagasaku: Flowering Rings
Quilt #255
23″ square

What’s that word that describes that feeling of when you finally get it, that gradual understanding, the skill opening up before you and the lights going on? We often use the word “blossom” to describe this but in a more long-term sense of the word, of working hard at something and all of sudden (or so it seems) it’s gone from a tight little bud of mysterious possibilities to a bloom in gorgeous bouquet.

The Olympics are like that. These athletes spend hours out of sight, working hard until all of a sudden they blossom out on the world stage, touching the wall after a 1500 meter swim, or sticking a landing.

We blossom into our quilting, beginning with learning how to make a proper cut, then a proper seam, and then all of sudden we are flowering into patches and designs and colors and quilts.

So this is Hanagasaku: Flowering Rings, in honor of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (held in 2021), partly inspired by Barb’s quilt of the Beijing Olympics (and others).

But here’s also to you: a quilter, whose creations grace our world with as much beauty as a whole garden of blossoms.

While I started this from my Flowering Snowball Pattern Lite series, the intention was a new sample for the class I’m teaching in September for the Santa Clarita Quilt Guild. And in a couple of weeks, this Pattern Lite — whose concept is just a few pieces and general guidelines — will grow into a full-fledged pattern which is better for teaching, with more instructions and yardage guidelines.

UPDATE: In other words…it blossomed into Blossom!

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for the Painter’s Palette swatch pack. I actually found more than one set, so there are winners (plural)! Emails will be going out tomorrow to alert the winners.

And if you were a winner of the book giveaway, I mailed them all off this morning. Look for them in about a week (depending on where you live).

Thank you, mostly, to you! (all my readers). I appreciate the conversations, the stories you share, the coaching you give and the gold medal hearts you all have.

Happy August!

Behind the Curtain · PatternLite · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

The Flowering Snowball Block Grows Up

Now where were we?

I think we left the Flowering Snowball block here:

Don’t get me wrong…that was a good place to leave it, and I still might try to make this version of it, but the idea that I should do one in Anna Maria Horner fabrics just wouldn’t leave me alone. Thanks to Patti, I just had to give it a go.

First draft, using 12″ blocks from the PatternLite Flowering Snowball pattern:

The finished quilt center:

For some time I was stumped on what to do for a border. I try to subscribe to the Ruth McDowell school of sneaking in a border if you can, that is, having it be integral to your quilt, but not the same as the quilt.

I tried to do that with Summer Snowcone.

As well as a version of it with Sawtoothmania.

I looked at the center section for a long time, and was bothered that the tips of the petals were cut off. So I had the idea to extend the petals, re-draw a new border piece and see where that took me.

First draft of border, using the petals I’d originally cut for the center (but in the end, chose the warm yellow-green instead):

This is still an AMH fabric, called One Mile Radiant, a lovely design with Queen Anne’s lace all over it. I’d show you what it looks like, but I cut it all up.

(Aren’t we supposed to do that with fabric?)

The white was ho-hum, just didn’t sing it for me. So I auditioned different colors of solids: medium purple, light periwinkle and deep pink.
But as I said to Carol, “That dark pink on the left just looks like freshly manicured fingernails to me.”
And then she said, “Once you see that, you just can’t un-see it.”

Reject.

The smart and handsome youngest son and his brilliant and lovely girlfriend came yesterday for an early Father’s Day lunch (which is why this post is late but that’s a good reason), and they graciously posed in front of Sunny Flowers just before Dave (DH) suggested they go up to the sewing room to help me with my conundrum of freshly painted fingernails. They were like, what?

But then I showed them the stack of AMH and started flipping through the bits, and one of these two said, What about that one? pointing to what is now front and center.
I think that might work, I said.
We all agreed (by now Dave had joined us) that the tips of those leaves were like an extension of the yellow-green and that the pink bits echoed the center of the larger flowers in the quilt.

So, after church today, we went out back to the pavilion and park and took a few pictures, before heading home to celebrate Father’s Day. As usual, Dave was my Quilt Holder Supreme. My newest pattern, Blossom, contains all the parts for this quilt, as well as three other sizes, including that original border block.

Happy Father’s Day to the man who married me and four children, all at once, and raised us all.

The day my husband became a father to four children. He’s a keeper.

I was also fortunate enough to have a magnificent father, who raised me, as well as being surrounded by many fine fathers: brothers, brothers-in-law, our sons, friends we know — all men who are doing their best to influence their families for good.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

Our grandchildren: a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.
Guild Visits · PatternLite · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Flowering Snowball Block • New PatternLite

One of the members of the Gridster Bee chose the Flowering Snowball for her block this month, and I was sort of: hmmm, nice block. But when I started playing around with the sewing of the curves, I became addicted to figuring out how to explain it. Then I drafted it up in my Affinity Designer software — nine blocks’ worth — and then it was oh, WOW! I love this block!

So here we go with a lot of things to help you, including a new PatternLite that has all the tips and tricks plus full-sized templates to make a 12″ block.

Kelley chose a range of colors for us to work with, but I also loved Patti’s idea to make them all up in Anna Maria Horner with low-volumes for the petals. So I got out my stashed fabric, some going back for years, and started playing. I chose a neutral for the “petals” but I think Kelley’s and Patti’s ideas of a rich color palette might work really well for this block. Stay tuned.

Laying it out. Kelley had warned us about getting the light-colored petals flipped around, so I figured out how to explain that. Then I just started sewing it together willy-nilly, which works okay. When I went to write up the PatternLite, though, I took a more systematic approach, which I think works better. You’ll see.

First up: here’s the video I made of sewing these curves without pins.

Caveat: I never went to film school. I am not 27 years old. I don’t live on my phone. Some parts are blurry, but the professor in me just kept on going and kept on explaining. Hey, it’s free, and it has some pretty good tips, and it’s under three minutes.

And I decided to get organized on an idea I had: some of us more experienced quilters don’t really want to buy a full pattern, but we either a) like the block/quilt, or b) want the templates. So I am trying to put together a series of what I call PatternLite publications, which often will have the templates, but sometimes will carry the idea forward and have some tips for construction and finishing.

My first two: Build Me A House, and Sunny Flowers Quilt were like this. Or as I say on the pattern: PatternLite: not all-of-a-full-size-pattern for not-all-of-the-price. I still write complete patterns when I have a bigger idea, or I think the pattern might appeal to a quilter who wants step-by-step patterns. Most of my regular patterns have between 20-40 full-color illustrations and are very thorough; however, not every quilt or every quilter needs that. And rather than having them all different prices, I’m also pricing them all at one low price, which is less than the cost of a double-scoop ice cream cone (I checked).

In case you want to get the Flowering Snowball PatternLite, you can find it in my PayHip Pattern Shop.

This week I spent a very lovely morning reading and thinking about all your summer experiences. Many of you have had similar ones to me, and others have been quite different; some were very poignant and some quiet and personal. But what they all had in common was a that feeling we all feel now (that we’ve been vaccinated) of freedom to do, to explore, to ignore the clock and to just immerse in the moment. I have contacted the winners; thank you all for entering my little giveaway.

Penultimate final note: This week I had fun learning how to make a sun filled with orange scribbles using Affinity Designer. They are a great replacement for Illustrator, if — like me — you hate subscription software; they are having a 50% off sale.

Absolutely final note: I am giving a lecture and teaching a workshop this week at Northern Star Quilt Guild. They let me know that if you want to join in this Criss-Cross Workshop, you are more than welcome to.

Head to their website and sign up, as they have made it very easy to do this through their website. My lecture, Abecedary of Quilts is Tuesday evening (East Coast Time) and the Workshop is Wednesday (beginning at 10 a.m., East Coast Time). As life moves on, it is probably the last time I will be teaching Criss-Cross, and really no prep is needed. So if you want to join in a fun workshop, go sign up and we’ll see you Wednesday.

May you have many more great summer memories!