Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
Britain’s Best Notebook Covers from Benartex
Made for Benartex by Svetlana from s.o.t.a.k handmade, this book cover features the cutest Britain-inspired fabric! The pattern only uses 2–1/2 yard pieces of fabric and some interfacing and instantly turns any book or notebook into something you love to display or something your kids won’t mind sticking in their backpacks!
Candy Toss Runner from GE Designs
Halloween is right around the corner! There are so many great novelty prints out that we’re begging to use in projects. This table runner from GE Designs features a bunch of coordinating prints AND highlights three adorable appliqued candy corn pieces in the center of the blocks. Our mouths are already drooling!
Black-and-White Pillow from Coats & Clark
Coats & Clark has discovered one of the easiest ways to do applique. Susan from Home Dec Gal demonstrates this in an easy tutorial for making a plain white pillow with an intricate black appliqued design. Instead of all the hard work of machine-stitching around the shapes, though, she uses the new product, phoomph, to permanently stick the applique on the pillow–no ironing required!
Jelly Roll Jam from Fat Quarter Shop
Who doesn’t have a bunch of jelly rolls in their stash? Now, there’s a perfect pattern for you to use them in! Fat Quarter Shop‘s quilt using 2-1/2″ strips is so easy to make and is so versatile. Plus, it only uses half a jelly roll, so you can make more than one project from your purchase! Get the free pattern, plus visit 17 other designers’ blogs to see their version of this quilt!
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
We’re obsessed with the color purple! And if you own the Fall/Winter issue of Quilt Sampler, you can tell how much we love it by the beautiful purple batik quilt we featured on the cover. (Buy the latest issue here.) Stumped at how to use this color in your quilts? We chose some of our favorite new fabric lines that play with purple. As you can see below, purples range from light to dark and some shades that even border on blue. Use a graphic purple floral as the star of your quilt or a eggplant print as a subtle background. There are so many ways to add purple to your quilts! These fabrics are sure to have you running to the store to grab some and start quilting!
Purple fabric for your shopping list:
- Eggplant Ogee from the Simply Style collection by V and Co. for Moda Fabrics (top left)
- Chevron Matilda Purple from the Apple of my Eye collection from Timeless Treasures (top right)
- Jewel from the Fancy Flight collection by Nancy Mims for Robert Kaufman Fabrics (middle left)
- Lavender from the Bungalow collection by Joel Dewberry for FreeSpirit Fabrics (middle right)
- Piper Scallop Punch from the Piper collection from Dear Stella (bottom left)
- Enchantment collection by Lonni Rossi for Andover Fabrics (bottom right)
And now that you have the inspiration, browse our collection of free quilt patterns that feature purple fabrics! See them here.
Each month, we highlight the books we’re reading in the office. You can tell we have autumn on our mind by our choices!
Bewitched Threads by Need’l Love
If you love Halloween, this is a must-have book! The seventeen projects featured in this book use fall colors, spooky motifs, and warm textures. Decorate a small space with just a ghoulish table topper or a pumpkin-theme pillow, or dress a bed with a black-and-orange quilt. Friends and family will love the tiny creature bean bags or pumpkin candy box toppers in their handmade trick-or-treat tote. Whether you like sticking to just sewing, are a fan of wool applique, or love venturing into rug hooking or punchneedle, this book has a variety of techniques that will keep you busy the whole season!
‘Tis the Autumn Season by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks for Martingale
Designers Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks showcase a charming collection of quilts and coordinating projects that evoke beautiful images of autumn. The 12 projects range from scrappy quilts to chunky applique. While some quilts are decidedly “fall” with their rich and dark colors and patterns, many projects can span the seasons or can be made in another color way for year-round decorating! This book also features great diagram and directions for piecing, using fusible applique, and working with wool. And as a bonus, a variety of scrumptious fall recipes are scattered throughout the book–snuggle up with your new quilt and enjoy the tastes of fall, as well!
Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Bumble Beans Inc. is am amazing quilt designer that has been featured in our magazines multiple times. She’s also an author and teacher, traveling the country to teach workshops. With an art background, her quilts are fresh, modern, and playful. Her blog (which she updates almost every day) is full of great tutorials, photos of her current projects, and pictures of her really cute dogs! Victoria has such an eye for color and design. Just looking at her quilts and they way she plans blocks is sure to be inspiring and thought-provoking!
This blog belongs to machine-quilting rockstar Angela Walters. For anyone who loves to drool over beautiful and intricate quilting designs, this blog is for you! Not only does Angela share photos of the quilts she’s quilted, but she also gives great tips and techniques for anyone looking to improve their own quilting. Plus, she has an amazing new fabric line with Art Gallery Fabrics that she’s using in new projects. Angela makes quilting seem easy, but also completely attainable for all those that want to take their quilts to the next level!
There’s one word that describes what Rachel Hauser’s Stitched In Color blog makes us feel: happy. Rachel has only been sewing for four years, but you can tell the passion and talent she has for quilting! The fabrics she uses are bright and colorful, and her designs range from classic blocks to improvisational piecing. Her blog has something for everyone! She features free tutorials for projects, sells her great patterns, and even hosts quilt-alongs and giveaways. And best of all, she’s using her talents to help others. Many of her quilts, like the one pictured above, are donated to charities.
Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished!
Hand piecing is a relaxing and sometimes more accurate way to piece blocks. See step-by-step photos for hand piecing below (we used a diamond star shape as an example!).
Lay out diamonds. Pick up diamond Nos. 1 and 2; layer them with right sides together.
Pin diamonds together with a pin exiting exactly at each pair of matching points. Sew from right-hand side to left-hand side (see picture above for starting and stopping points). Take tiny backstitch at the last stitch. Do not cut thread.
Open pieces and finger-press seam allowances to right.
Position diamond No. 3 on diamond No. 2 with right sides together and edges aligned. Pin at left-hand side.
Push thumbnail against seam allowance at the star center. Without catching the seam allowances in stitching, bring up needle at dot, right around thumbnail.
Take a tiny backstitch at starting point, then sew seam from the star center to the left-hand side, stopping at pin (see placement above).
Open pieces and finger-press seams away from center diamond, completing a half star.
In same manner, join diamond Nos. 4, 5, and 6 to make second star half. Pin star halves together with pins.
Sew from right-hand side toward star center. Pull seam allowances to the left. Stitch together and take a tiny backstitch. Do not clip thread.
Bring needle through to base of seam line. Push seam allowances to the right, take a tony backstitch, and continue stitching seam.
Stitch seam to outside to complete a six-pointed star. Finger-press seams.