I’ve always been a fan of Tula Pink! And after reading the profile we published about her in American Patchwork & Quilting October 2013 (buy the issue here), I was both inspired and curious of her design process. Her new book City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks seemed to be the perfect introduction to her design process, but also a way for me to expand my own skills and creativity.
The book features blocks inspired by traditional work sewn together in a sampler quilt. The blocks, numbered 1–100, are organized into section by the simple shape they use to make up a more intricate design, such as rectangles or triangles. Tula also shows sketches of her quilt block designs, so you can see her use of color and prints in each block. As a beginning quilter, I’m so excited to use this book as a way to experiment with different shapes, as well as see how color and fabric can combine to form something beautiful.
I have an ulterior motive for starting Tula’s 100 block quilt, too. I’ve developed quite the fabric stash over the years and it’s starting to get out of hand. My taste in fabrics has changed, and I want to start a new stash with more recent fabrics. This 100 block challenge gives me the opportunity to clean house. Since there are so many blocks, I can use scraps of fabric I’ve been saving for too long. Even if it’s a fabric I’m not completely in love with, I can still say that it’s only one fabric from the hundreds I plan to use in my quilt. Plus, it’s so easy to just remake a block if it doesn’t turn out the way I expect.
Since Tula already did the work of choosing colors for each block, I’m sticking to her choices. I love the look of rainbows and look forward to showcasing a spectrum of colors and prints in my final quilt. I’ve dug through my stash and pulled out all my reds and pinks. I’ll be starting with those blocks. Here are my first three. Although these are three very different colors of reds, I plan on finding colors to bridge the gaps between them to form a nice flow of reds.
Block numbers 23, 56, 94:
Follow our blog to watch my progress! And follow us on Instagram at @allpeoplequilt to see (almost) daily pics of the blocks I’m making.
Buy Tula’s book here and play along with us!
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
Woodland creatures are the cutest! And if you own the Fall/Winter issue of Make It Yourself, you’ll have a little taste of the fabric and projects we’ve been enamored with this season. (Buy the latest issue here.) Woodland creatures can look everything from whimsical to elegant to graphic. Just look at the variety of fabrics below! From owls to foxes, these forest friends are popping up in patterns, designs, and projects. See how to add this hot trend to your quilting!
Woodland creature fabric for your shopping list:
- Owl Be Seeing You collection from Timeless Treasures (top left)
- Scamper collection from Birch Fabrics (top right)
- Norwegian Woods Too collection from Michael Miller Fabrics (middle left)
- Flirty Birdies Flannel collection by Michele Scott of The Pieceful Quilter for Northcott (middle right)
- Indian Summer collection by Sarah Watson for Art Gallery Fabrics (bottom left)
- The Birds & The Bees collection by Tula Pink for FreeSpirit Fabrics (bottom right)
- Stitched Whimsy: Playful Projects in Felt & Fabric by Heidi Boyd
- Sew a Backyard Adventure by Susan Maw and Sally Bell
And now that you have the inspiration, browse our collection of free quilt patterns that feature animals! See them here.
Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
Cider Row from Pat Sloan
Pat is on a mission to use her scraps! And this quilt is definitely the perfect pattern for that. Made of rows of 25-patch blocks, she pieces 2-1/2″ squares together and adds some creative cuts and rotations to get the interesting finished look. Sashing units and a white print background give some breathing room to the beautiful combination of prints and colors and really lets them shine!
Hexi Pouch by Lindsay Welkes from The Cottage Mama for Riley Blake Designs
We love hexagons and this little pouch not only is hexagon-shaped but also uses hexie fabric! The button embellishments add a whimsical touch. The best part? You can make it from three fat quarters, so it’s perfect for using those collections you just had to buy.
Playing the Scales from Happy Quilting
Melissa from Happy Quilting used Bijoux collection by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics to create a quilt that perfectly balances light and dark colors. She sewed 2-1/2″ wide strips together in rows of alternating prints to create jagged chevron look. Since this quilt uses chain piecing, you can get it down in no time!
Scrap Buster Fall Pillow from Cluck Cluck Sew
Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew used fall-motif scraps and colors in a cute pillow that will last the season. Adding fusible to each leaf shapes makes it easy to keep them in place while you sew. This pattern is perfect for cooler weather when you’re cuddled up inside watching a movie!
Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
Amy Smart, the blogger behind Diary of a Quilter, is the lady you’d like to quilt with! She has an eye for design and color, is a helpful teacher, and is just plain fun! Her blog showcases tons of free patterns (like the cute pumpkin table runner above), tutorials for beginners on topics ranging from rotary cutting to binding, and beautiful images of what she’s working on now! If you visit often enough, you’ll even notice some fun giveaways!
Betz White sees beauty in everything! The author of Sewing Green uses everything from old sweaters to organic cotton (she has her own collection with Robert Kaufman Fabrics) to make whimsical and happy projects. Her blog is filled with a mix of free and for-purchase patterns, sneak peeks into her design process, and tool reviews. She also does the cutest crafts with felt (see the ornament above)! We’re in love with felt for the holiday season and love seeing what warm and cozy decorations she’s making next.
We’ve been huge fans of Lindsay Conner since she did this awesome fabric bookmark tutorial for our sewing blog How To Sew (see it here). She’s an all-around crafty gal and even runs a blog for people with their own handmade businesses. Her quilts are modern and bright. Her new book Modern Bee: 13 Quilts to Make with Friends is a great intro to modern quilting and a fun idea to try with quilting buddies! Her blog is filled with amazing tutorials, sneak peeks into sewing events, and, we’re hoping in the near future, pictures of her on-the-way baby!
Each month, we highlight the books we’re reading in the office. We’re looking for ways to use up some of our scraps before the holiday season!
Triple-Play Scrap Quilting: Planned, Coordinated, and Make-Do Styles by Nancy Allen for Martingale
Designer Nancy Allen is a scrap expert. She makes scrappy quilt accessible to everyone, no matter their skill level, the size of their stash, or their style of quilting. Each of the nine quilt patterns in this book are shown in three colorways–”coordinated scrappy,” “planned scrappy,” and “make-do scrappy.” Coordinated scrappy uses fabrics from one fabric collection, which is perfect if you’re a precut collector. Planned scrappy uses fabrics in a particular color scheme, which is especially great if you need a quilt to match a particular decor. And a making do quilt uses the fabrics you have on hand to get a true scrappy look. Nancy also includes helpful tips on buying fabrics and planning your fabric placement.
Scraps Plus One!: New Patterns to Quilt Through Your Stash with Ease by Joan Ford
Inspired by the striking contrast of red-and-white quilts she saw on display, Joan created a book around the idea of pairing scraps with white. This idea expanded to include scraps paired with black, scraps paired with a technique, and scraps paired with an inspiration print. All 20 projects in this book incorporate your stash of leftover fabric into organized and beautiful quilts! Joan combines personal stories, large diagrams, easy-to-follow instructions, and inspiration to get your creative juices flowing. After reading this book, you’ll be inspired to use your scraps in a variety of projects!
Scrap Quilts Fit for a Queen or a Kind, Twin or Lap! by Sally Schneider for Martingale
It’s hard to alter quilt patterns for the size bed quilt you need already–but with a scrappy quilt, it’s even more difficult to figure out how much fabric you need. Designer Sally takes the guess work out of the 10 scrappy quilts in this book by doing the math for you! Each beautiful quilt comes in multiple sizes, from lap to King! Get the yardage, cutting instructions, and number of blocks in each size so you can spend more time at your sewing machine than at the calculator.