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!

Guild Visits · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Blossom Quilts • Santa Clarita Quilt Guild

I had a great visit to Santa Clarita Quilt Guild this past week, presenting a new lecture:  Exploration Through Modern, Art and Traditional Quilts. I then taught a Workshop on 9-11 (!) using my Blossom pattern. I’ve worked with this Guild before and they are delightful. I thought I would share (with their permission) some of the quilts they made for our Follow-Up meeting about a week later.

The pattern has three sizes of blocks, and some quilters chose the smallest size, and some chose the largest, but the impact is great with whichever size was used, as the basis — the Flowering Snowball block — is really adaptable to many different fabrics.

Carol C. used the smallest size, wanting to make a quilt in autumn colors. I think those oranges fairly glow against her dark border.

Jean C. chose dark tone-on-tone batiks for her petals, and backed them with brights. I love that grayed aqua border. While you can’t really see it here, she used a flanged binding, so outside the burnt orange is the dark color again.

I think Joan used the small block again, and I love how the bright cranberry background is balanced by the soft floral petals and the muted green border.

Kristeen D. started out with a white polka dot fabric at our workshop, but by the time we met again, she’d swapped all of that out for the black/white polka-dots. That was a really great choice, along with that border.

Melissa N had pieces of three different black florals, which she combined to great effect for the backgrounds and border. Several quilters finished their quilts completely and she was one of them.

Vickie R used the smallest block in a limited palette of yellows and blues. But she finished hers into a pillow–a great use for this mini-mini quilt.

Usually we have a full week in between, but we shortened the interval to five days. Sue B. was able to get her quilt pieces cut out and arranged on the wall — I am happy to see quilts in progress in our Slide Shows, as that reflects Real Life. I love that border she chose, and it’s a perfect foil to the bright colors in the center.

Robin T. was at the Guild Meeting and once she heard that I have several videos in the class materials, she realized she could sign up even though she couldn’t attend the Workshop. She used autumn tones again, and then brought the center petals forward with her bright pop of yellow. We all liked how she stepped down from that to the polka-dotted half-petals, then out again to another muted floral fabric.

And this is my mini-mini, made in the smallest size. I had decided I’d better try the quilt myself, in preparation for teaching. I loved using the subtle stripe in the border, and rotated the corners 45-degrees so the pattern would continue around the outside. I also demo-ed on this fabric, so this is the front and a large version of the block is the back. Note: the tiny lavender flowered fabric in the outer border is one of the oldest in my stash, as I think it’s about 25+ years old, and was used in a quilt for my then young daughter.

Thank you to the women in the Santa Clarita Quilt Guild for their creativity and imagination and quick work. Hope you enjoyed the Blossom Quilt Show!

300 Quilts · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Summer Snowcone • Quilt Finish

It’s mostly photos, today. Enjoy!

Summer Snowcone, variation of Sun and Sea Pattern
Quilt #251
48″ wide x 56″ high

Advent, previously shown but what a cool backdrop of flowers. It was in the women’s bathroom, but I couldn’t resist. (I propped open the door and we were in and out in under 60 seconds, and no one was there.) And yes, I have the best quilt-holding husband on the planet.

The drive to meet our son for lunch was about 90 minutes, and I wanted to finish sewing down the hanging sleeve on Advent and the binding on Summer Snowcone, so we had them along. When I saw that painted hallway, I grabbed the quilts out of the car for photographs.

Photographed in the hallway at City Tacos, Sorrento Valley near San Diego. Since my son’s a working man, we drive to see him and his girlfriend. A good day out.

Website of Interest: A project to make a kimono representing every nation was recently completed. The website groups the kimono by continent, and then you can navigate to the country you want to see. Of course I went to see America, then copied and pasted the text into Google Translate.

Their caption, translated:

The image of a country consisting of 50 states called "United States" is expressed by "state flowers". Designed with the national symbol "President" as "American Eagle". Baseball, American football, Hollywood movies, and the goddess of freedom, which Americans love, are studded in the state flowers, and the great presidents Lincoln and Kennedy are represented by statues and Apollo programs.

I love that Abraham Lincoln is right up there with the “goddess of freedom (which Americans love) as well as baseball and Hollywood. When they say “goddess of freedom” I think they mean the Statue of Liberty. But so cool that they included all the state flowers.

I’m now going to go waste a lot of time thinking about how I should get more stuff done. But hey! it’s Labor Day Weekend and we honor the concept of Labor by relaxing, barbecuing and not doing anything.

Happy Labor Day!

Samuel Gompers Memorial, Washington, D. C.

Giveaway · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Last of Summer Daze • 2021

If you were a child in some parts of the county, you would recognize the significance of this week: it’s the last week before school starts. Of course, so many now start much earlier, but my internal clock is primed to think “school starts the day after Labor Day,” so I have no guilt stitching on my Summer Snowcone.

But first!

There were two winners of the tape, as you positively charmed me with all your descriptions of your first sewing machines. So many of you also wrote stories about how you got them, and the first winner, Nancy of Patchwork Breeze, was one of those:

The first machine that was truly mine was a Kenmore 1774 model (the last 2 numbers tell you the year). [To buy it] I worked 2 summers at the hardware store 3 miles away (many days walking to work) for the wage of $1.25 per hour. It still is a workhorse! I can clean it out all by myself (no technician is really needed). My daughters have sewn on it, the 12-year-old across the road has used it. It has CAMs that are placed in the top to sew decorative designs. It is still treasured by me.

Cathy M., our second winner, also mentioned how she came to hers:

My first sewing machine was a Kenmore from Sears that I bought for about $200 in 1974. I was 16 and had saved up my babysitting money to buy it. I still have it but mostly use the Bernina I bought about 20 years ago with a bonus from my adult job.

While I decided to give out the first roll of tape, Shelley of NanaKaboodle graciously matched my giveaway and is the sponsor of the second roll. I have always appreciated her quick service and clean and high quality fabrics. She’s one of my favorite shops on ETSY, if you should need anything.

Back to Summer Snowcone: As is my usual, I print out dimmed copies of my quilt and then start doodling. I keep a file on my IG of samples I’ve liked, and start scrolling through them for ideas. For this quilt, I wanted it loose, not heavily quilted with lines and angles, as I envision it as a quilt to throw in the car for picnics and outings. The last thing I doodled–those kind of cloud shapes on the lower right — I decided looked like the top of a snow cone, so I went with it. This is one version of my pattern Sun and Sea, and I’m quite partial to the RWB fabrics in this, as you can see below:

A rare photo of me in Regular-not-Posed Life: closet door open, bins of thread on the guest room bed (where I keep the Sweet Sixteen quilting machine), and yes, me in my dorky gloves. I go back and forth between those and that stuff secretaries use on their hands–that pink sticky stuff. My husband took it because I matched my quilt. One should always dress to match their quilting, right?

Here’s a bit. It’s loopy, and I mean that in both definitions of the word.

Marcia C. has been sending me such happy pieces of mail, all containing her versions of my free SHINE blocks (found here). I’m quite in love with the one at the upper right with the fussy cut girls and the striped outer edges. If you make one of my patterns, either free on this blog, or from my pattern shop, please do send me an email with a photo. It brings a big smile to my face!

Lastly, here’s your end-of-summer tip off: This week, if you show your vaccination card, you get TWO Krispy Kreme doughnuts: one a heart-shape and one a circle. We had to do some driving to find one, as there’s not one near us. They were delicious and yes, we sweetened their coffers by purchasing a couple more; they made us remember the fascination that Dublin, Ireland has with donuts.

from here

Truly last thing: Superior Threads is having a sale on my favorite FMQuilting thread. It makes me look good in my quilting. Thought you’d want to know.

Happy Summer, Happy Quilting and most of all: Happy Donut-ing!

300 Quilts · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt Finish

Merry Christmas in August: Advent • Quilt Finish

Mrs. Claus, from Berlin, Germany
133 days until Christmas
We always have nutcrackers around our house.

Advent
Quilt Number 256 • 35″ square
Blossom (pattern based on the Flowering Snowball block)

I’m teaching the Blossom pattern in a Workshop for the Santa Clarita Quilt Guild this coming month, and in celebration of finishing all three samples, shooting and uploading five videos for their workshop and figuring out how to make fancy-schmancy title cards for the videos, I’m celebrating by giving you a coupon for 20% this new pattern.

Right now. In the pattern shop.
Use the code: Blossom20 at checkout.
Expires at the end of the month, August 31st.

Blossom, version #1: Colorbright Blossom (47″)

Blossom, version #2: Advent (35″) (see above)

Blossom, version #3: Hanagasaku (23″)
They are made with different sizes of blocks, and the pattern has these three different sizes, plus three different (original) border patterns to fit.

Here’s the full line-up, available only through the workshop. Now, since I worked all day in a medium I’m not used to (video editing), and I think I don’t have any brain cells left to think, I’ll end here.

A version of the final end title on my videos, which I think might make a nice new logo.

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!