SHINE: The Circles Quilt • Collaboration with QuiltMania

SHINE: the Circles Quilt

First I’m going to tell you the short version.

Shine is going back out into the world again, this time in collaboration with QuiltMania Magazine. If you are a subscriber to their newsletter, you’ll receive access to the newly revised patterns, free, as a thank you for subscribing.

Block One: Swirlygig

Now the long version.

When Covid-19 hit the proverbial fan, one April morning in my mailbox was a heartfelt letter from Carol, writing in her regular QuiltMania Newsletter about some of the difficulties magazines like hers were facing.  I contacted them, offering my help in any way (you know I’m a fangirl).

Block Two: Sunshine

After some correspondence, it was decided that they would release SHINE: The Circles Quilt out into the world, bit by bit on their blog, and after further developments, as a thank you for subscribing to their newsletter.  I was happy with this, and thinking it would be released quickly, revised all the formerly free patterns on this blog into a new format.  I sent them to back to QuiltMania where they were translated into French.  

Block Three: Ljublana

Wondering if they’d be out by July, I started work on another set of the circles, this time in Red, White, and Blue.  You may have seen them here, here, and here.  I am still working on them, but am borrowing an idea from my friend Carol, who is also working on a Red, White and Blue quilt.  We hope to get these quilts finished in time for the Inauguration in January.  That gives me a little more time.

So here we go on a new journey with SHINE! Underneath each block is the name, and a link to where it lives on this blog. Each of these posts has detailed instructions and photos, which may prove helpful in your sewing. The full set is up above, in my header, under SHINE: The Circles Quilt.

This is how it looked on their blog this morning. 

Above is the teaser in their newsletter, which you’ll want to subscribe to.  

Here’s the scheduled release dates of the free quilt blocks from QuiltMania:
September: Blocks 1, 2 and 3
October: Blocks 4, 5 and 6
November:  Blocks 7, 8 and 9
December: Blocks 10, 11 and 12

In case you can’t wait, the complete pattern is coming soon to my PayHip shop.  Currently up up on PayHip are the last four blocks of SHINE (13 through 16) and the quilt’s finishing directions, which are written in Hobbit Elvish.  Just kidding (sort of), but certainly they are from my earliest days as a pattern writer and will soon be revised to my current format and standards. (When the new patterns drop, if you have purchased either of these, you’ll be able to download the new ones without additional cost.)

I used fabric from the Minick and Simpson recent lines of red, white, and blue, as well as other Moda and Riley Blake fabrics for the backgrounds.

Happy Labor Day this weekend. Here is a less-than-happy version of Work (Le Travail), by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (c. 1863) from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. I am happy that they worked in a woman in “travail” down in the lower right corner. I am beyond happy that my current work of quilting doesn’t resemble anything in this picture. (Okay, maybe sometimes.)

Keep stitching!

Triad Harmony • Quilt Finish

Triad Harmony, quilt number 234
33″ wide by 29″ high

Annularity now has a little sister, and her name is Triad Harmony.

Triads that harmonize are found in color wheels and in music. The Oxford Dictionary of Music notes that “Zarlino was the first theorist to accept the triad as a full-fledged consonance. Not only did he accept it, he dubbed it the harmonia perfetta—the ‘perfect harmony.’ He rationalized giving the triad this suggestive name not only on the basis of the sensory pleasure that triadic harmony evoked” but also because of reason and mathematical theory.

But that’s not why I named it that. I don’t really know why I named it this, other than my triad block is the basis of the design. Sometimes names just drift in out of the heavens, and there they are.

I was asked to speak to the Coastal Quilters Guild about a year ago, and my friend Susan wanted to make Annularity. When we all were switching to Zoom, I thought I should try to create a smaller version of that quilt, as small quilts are more easily created in a workshop setting. And I promised her I’d try it in Kaffe fabrics, her first love. So here it is, but it’s so hot off the press, that I haven’t had a chance to quilt this version. (Coming soon, and with a different name, I promise.)

The pattern is finished and can be purchased on PayHip, my pattern site.

I also drew up a bit larger version and I loved seeing some of the drafting details, so I took a screen shot. It is also when I found a significant error in my first quilt, but I doubt you’ll find it so I’m not going to tell you where it is. Humbling moments come at me from every direction.

It’s been an intense two weeks filled with smoke from fires in my lovely California, watching most of the Democratic convention and parts of the Republican convention, worrying about people I love, dealing with asthma and a reaction to a Shingles vaccination, writing up this pattern, quilting the first quilt, cutting and sewing the Kaffe version, moving my in-person Guild Visits to Zoom visits, trying not to be cranky when we had ten days of 100+ temperatures, along with the usual.

I didn’t have to deal with sending children back to school in masks, a stressful essential job where I had to risk the covid-19 virus, money troubles (thinking about my early days when I didn’t have two quarters to rub together in my pocket), locating a good fabric shop, teenagers, car or computer troubles.

I have some observations about the conventions, a thought or two about some of the other things, but today I am tired, so I’ll close it out here.

Take care, everyone. Keep quilting. Keep bringing the beautiful into your lives, one stitch at a time.

Criss-Cross Autumn Quilt Top

I’m getting ready to do a live-online presentation and teaching at Glendale Quilt Guild next week, and a deadline always sends my I-should-try-this into overdrive. So while I have the Criss-Cross pattern up online, and I thought I was pretty settled, a little voice in the back of my head said I should try some autumn colors in the largest size block in the pattern.

Okey-dokey. So I pulled a group of red-orange, purple, gold, orange, yellow fabrics and I was cooking along, pretty happy with the choices I’d made, but when I was looking for another darkish to put into what was up on the design wall…

…this fell out of a bin. It was Jennifer Sampou’s Chalk and Charcoal fat quarter stack, purchased some years ago. I used to have it out on a surface, just because I liked the colors so much, but had never opened it. (I’m sure you have never done this.)

So, in a flash, all the previous choices were down from the wall, and I had cut and was arranging all the new choices up there. The last image is adding in the strips.

So here is Criss-Cross Autumn, a 35″ square wall hanging. And since we don’t live in a climate that has a lot of rusts, golds, purples, reds in the tree canopies, but we do live in a climate that at the end of summer has a lot of golds, browns and yellows, my husband and I took a drive out in the countryside to shoot some photographs.

We were out in Hemet, by the golden San Jacinto mountains (shown above). One writer once compared the California hills to a tawny mountain lion. I grew up in the Bay Area, where in autumn, the golden grassy hills are interspersed by giant spreading oaks. What we have mostly now is not native, as I discovered when reading this essay, but like the author, I do love the colors.

Now, what to do with that other almost-quilt? How about I give it away? I’ll send you the almost-quilt (already cut!) and its strips (also, already cut, although I have to tell you that once you get adding and subtracting, you may find yourself adding more). There are also a few extra pieces in there, in case you have a different vision. I will also include a hard copy of this new pattern, with multiples sizes and variations.

Leave me a comment at the end, tell me about what colors are in your landscape around you right now, and how you feel about those colors. I’ll pick a winner using the husband-draw-a-paper-out-of-hat method, and let the winner know by email. Here are some image/photos of Criss-Cross Quilt, done in Christmas fabrics:

I’m looking forward to live-online teaching this quilt at the Glendale Quilt Guild next Saturday!

Criss-Cross Autumn, Quilt Index No. 232

UPDATE: Just thought I’d add this to the post. I finished the quilt a few days later, using a simple straight-line quilting pattern, varying the directions. It will be perfect for hanging up during September, when autumn arrives.

UPDATE: Comments are now closed. Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, August 10, 2020.

P.S. There’s a coupon code for the pattern, good for 25% off Criss-Cross Quilt through the end of August. The code is listed on the PayHip page.

Betsy’s Creation • Quilt Finish

Betsyscreation_1Betsyscreation_2

I found this 1920s vintage park with a grandstand in a small town just to the north of me and took my husband and my most recent finished quilt there, so we could do some photographing.  And some reminiscing.

Fleming Park

It’s a sweet little small-town-built-long-ago park that for some miracle has remained.  Named for an officer of the local cement company at the time, it’s known as the Thomas J. Fleming Memorial Park, built circa 1922-1925. Why is this important?

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I grew up in a small little town (not so little anymore), but it had that feeling of walking downtown on a hot summer’s evening, catching the fireworks on the 4th of July after seeing the parade that morning.  It had the feeling of being able to drop your school bag at the door, change in to your “play clothes,” and head over past the Muehlstein’s home to send this and that sailing down their irrigation canal until you knew it was time to go home for dinner.  (And did I mention that my childhood nickname was Betsy?)

Betsyscreation_8

We’d walk up to Heber’s house and offer to find the eggs in his chicken coop for him.  He’d let us.  We would wind crepe paper in our bicycle spokes and all show up for a local parade.  This was also a place where I was smallminded at times, like when I teased Marlene in fourth grade over something dumb, and then used up all her Scotch tape.  It’s a place where others can also be mean, like when I got beat up by the Mitchell boy, and cried all the way home.  (Later my mother saw him on the road, rolled down her car window and gave him a talking-to like I’d never heard.)

This small town in America was my place, where I learned to behave myself so no neighborhood mother would ever have to lean out her car window and give me a scolding.  And how I wish I could go back in time and find Marlene and tell her how sorry I am.  It was a place to be small, to grow up, and to leave behind.

Betsyscreation_9

But I catch glimpses of it when I think of it as a land of red, white and blue, where we love flags and fireworks and the Fourth of July.  It’s a land of learning to get along with your neighbor because you never know when that person with the different name would give you a lifetime memory.  Like when I needed to learn to ride a bike and Joan Muehlstein gripped the back of the seat, ran alongside me, and hollered, “Turn towards the wobble!”

Betsyscreation_7

It’s mountains and vast plains, it’s small towns and big cities.  And America is where I like to be the most, even though now I’ve traveled and love Berlin and Bologna and other different places with wonderful people who’ve gone themselves through nice and mean, dark and light, thick and thin.  It’s when I return from far away and see that flag on the  wall at the airport with a sign that says “Welcome to the United States,” well, I get a misty-eyed, just like in those movies from the 1940s.

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It’s my home, this America.  And to me, it’s a pretty great place.

American Flag

tiny-nine-patches

Betsy’s Creation • Quilt #225
Pieced by Elizabeth Eastmond • Quilted by Cathy Kreter
72″ wide x 86″ tall

Quilt began on Flag Day: June 14, 2019
Finished August 20, 2019
More info and a free worksheet for making this quilt can be found here.  I also made a companion smaller flag:

Flag for the Fourth_AFlag for the Fourth_B

Merrion Square • A New OPQuilt Pattern

Merrion Square, Version 2_OPQuilt

Merrion Square 26″ Mini Quilt

Merrion Square IG

First you saw this, way back in December of 2018.  I had this idea in my head and with a stack of Alison Glass fat quarters from Andover, I decided to try it out.

Merrion Square_v1_1

That idea led to this mini quilt, named for a square in Dublin that is known for its doors:

Merrion Square DublinMerrion Square_v1_3

At the center of the square is park, with interesting tributes to famous Irish poets and writers, so I had to include the bushes and trees.

Merrion Square version 1_OPQuilt

Then I changed it up a bit, making it a rainbow of scrappy and leaving off the border.

Merrion Square_v2_full

And then this version emerged from my late-night tinkering around.  Because of the (ahem) shoulder situation, I can’t quite quilt it yet, but I was able to sew it together.  (I think this is my favorite.)  I have since made three of these: one to send off for a sample for the Utah Valley Quilt Guild Workshop, another to head to the Valley of the Mist Quilt Guild, where I’ll be teaching it again in May, and one to hang around, just so I can look at it.

Merrion Square Quilts_1

I worked with my new Affinity Publisher Beta software and wrote it up, and now it’s available for sale in my PayHip shop.  Both versions are included — well, really, all three versions are included — if you go there, you can click on the little banner in the upper right corner and download a Preview, which includes a list of fabrics needed to make these.

UVQuilt Guild 2019.png

Some of you may have seen this on Instagram today.  I’ll be teaching this for the first time at a workshop with the Utah Valley Quilt Guild.  I’m pretty excited about it.

Gridster Bee Blocks_Feb13

You may have also seen this: I asked my Gridsters Bee Mates to make me up a slew of little houses, taken from this pattern.  I want to make a lovely little quilt of houses:

Houses Quilt

Sketch of Little Houses Quilt

I’ve had this idea floating around just as long as the others, and am looking forward to putting this together, too.

Merrion Square Pattern_opquilt_illustration

front of pattern

The pattern is $10.00, has 13 pages of colorful illustrations with clearly written directions.  It is available for a PDF download, and you can have it immediately.  I hope you have fun making this!

Merrion Square Quilts_3Merrion Square Quilts_2

Mini Sew-Together Bag

Mini Sew Together Bag_1

Woohoo!!  It’s a Mini Sew Together Bag!
A Mini Sew Together Bag has two pockets and is smaller than its big sister.

Mini Sew Together Bag_2
Mini Sew Together Bag_3

(Two Regular Sew Together Bags and Four Mini Sew Together Bags)

While I love my regular-sized bag, I really wanted one that was just a bit smaller.  

UPDATE:  I have re-written the pattern completely into a stand-alone pattern.  It can be found on PayHip.   

Here are some photos of the bag in process…and completed! For more information, refer to this post.

Mini Sew Together Bag_4 open
Mini Sew Together Bag_4e1

I was able to crank out four Minis in about a day and half; I think it went so quickly because I had already made a couple of the bigger bags. Before I wrote the new pattern, I had to refer to The Quilt Barn’s Tutorial when I became stuck. 

Now everything is included in the pattern.

Mini Sew Together Bag_4h zipper end
mini-sew-together-bag_tab-end1a

For the tab ends, I didn’t necessarily slide them all the way to the end of the zipper before I sewed them on (and by the way, refer to the pattern for an easier way to make them, rather than the tutorial).  Instead I played with the tab ends a bit, sliding them up and down the zipper, seeing how big of a “handle” I wanted.  Most of the time I placed the zipper about halfway into the tab end.

Mini Sew Together Bag_5

And that shiny thing in front?  For adjunct teachers who use white board markers, you know what a mess the eraser makes in your tote bags. The Community College administrators where I teach give us the white board markers free at the beginning of the school year, but we buy our own erasers. If you leave yours in the classroom, you can kiss it goodbye, so we carry the erasers (and markers) back and forth to class.

Mini Sew Together Bag_5a

To keep my sew together bag clean, I made a clear vinyl pouch, sewing a self-binding fabric strip around the top to hold my eraser.  The dimensions were 7″ by 6 1/2″ of clear vinyl; sew two folded strips along the 7″ sides, then with WST, sew the side seams.  Yes, I did a tiny “boxing in” of the bottom corner to accommodate the eraser. 

Mini Sew Together Bag_5b stuffed

Mini Sew Together, fully loaded for school.  But this would also be great stacked with hexies, or other smaller hand-sewing projects.  Because the Mini is a smaller size, it will fit into…smaller places!

Mini Sew Together Bag_8

I also made a matching tote bag to go with this for a gift, as California will be phasing out our plastic grocery bags.  I used my Grocery Bag Tutorial, found *here.*  The usual request applies: don’t embed the pattern on your blog, refer your friends back to OPQuilt.com to download their own.  And if you Pin anything from this post, please use the correct post address. These little Minis are fun to make and fun to use, and sew up quickly for a cute and fun Christmas gift!

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Circles Block #6 duo

In case you are looking for the Circle EPP Quilt-A-Long, because I gave you two renditions of the block in November, we are taking a vacation in December.  Merry Christmas all you EPP-ers and we’ll see you in January.

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I get my zippers from ZipperStop in NYC.  There are other places to locate good quality, inexpensive zippers mentioned on other quilty blogs and in the comments (so check them out), but I can highly recommend Zipperstop, having placed several orders from them.  The zippers arrive quickly, and in the color range I like and I like the prices.

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