Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
Hexies are so trendy! Try sewing them all by machine applique. All you need is two templates and the cutest fabric! It makes a fresh and modern table topper and a perfect chance to practice your quilting skills!
Love You Dish Towels by Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
Perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift (but so cute for every day!), these dish towels use graphic prints paired with machine-embroidered messages.
Striped Starburst from Robert Kaufman Fabrics
We’re addicted to Kona solids! And they look amazing in a striking star quilt that measures only 12″ square. Since it’s small enough, it makes a great first paper-piecing project!
Just what we need in winter–a bright and happy quilt! Karin uncovered an amazing (we even had an a-ha moment) way to form the blocks that’s easier than foundation piecing.
Each month, we highlight the books we’re reading in the office. This month, we’re showcasing authors from our most recent issues of American Patchwork & Quilting June 2014 (see featured quilts here) and Quilts and More Spring 2014 (see featured projects here). We love that all our designers are so talented (and busy!).
From American Patchwork & Quilting June 2014
S is for Stitch: 52 Embroidered Alphabet Designs + Charming Projects for Little Ones
Embroider lots of adorable projects from A to Z for all the little ones in your life…to decorate their rooms, help them learn the alphabet, or just to make them smile. Kristyne’s designs are detailed and easy and include both a boy-theme and a girl-theme set of embroidery patterns. Projects include quilts, pillows, soft blocks, and wall art!
A Baker’s Dozen: 13 Kitchen Quilts from American Jane
If you’ve got quilts in every room of the house, it’s time to start on the kitchen! Sandy Klop of American Jane presents 13 designs — a Baker’s Dozen — to use throughout your kitchen: on the walls, and as tablerunners too. Many feature Sandy’s signature appliqué designs — several are pieced patterns. All are cheery, bright and just right for this favorite gathering place of every home.
Fresh Family Traditions: 18 Heirloom Quilts for a New Generation
This collection of 18 charming quilts and home accessories from Sherri McConnell brings together the best of the old and the new in quilting. Sherri’s new designs update traditional blocks (many handed down from her grandmothers) with fresh colors and fabrics from some of today’s top designers. You’ll also visit Sherri’s quilting room and learn her methods for finding inspiration as a quilter.
From Quilts and More Spring 2014
Quilty Fun: Lessons in Scrappy Patchwork
This book includes complete instructions for her incredibly popular Bee in My Bonnet Row Along quilt, along with 10 brand-new coordinating projects! This book is packed with over 100 pages of projects, tips, and inspiration to use all around your home!
Modern Bee: 13 Quilts to Make with Friends
Create. Grow. Connect. This how-to book features 13 projects for a virtual one-year quilting bee. Crafted with a modern aesthetic, the patterns are inspired by traditional quilt blocks. As you quilt along with this book from month to month, you’ll master sewing techniques of increasing difficulty—from easy to advanced. Each project includes instructions for assembling the block and for finishing a full-size quilt. You’ll also find a section on organizing your own virtual bee.
The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips
By Ebony Love for Love Bug Studios
This book contains almost everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how to die cut fabric successfully! Written especially for the quilter and sewist who love to die cut or want to try, you’ll refer to this book again and again as you learn the secrets of die-cutting fabric.
Get Addicted to Free-Motion Quilting: Go From Simple to Sensational
Give your quilts the fancy finish they deserve with more than 60 lively continuous-line quilting designs from quilting pro Sheila Sinclair Snyder. Learn to stitch free-form spirals, feathers, flowers, bubbles, leaves, cables, and much more. Sheila shows you how to combine individual motifs into fluid designs for quilting blocks, borders, sashing, and all over the quilt. All designs work equally well on home sewing machines, mid-arm, and long-arm quilting machines, or for hand quilting.
We know how busy quilt shop owners are! Now only are you the sales people, but you also handle accounting, marketing, paper work, and more! Social media (especially with how fast it changes), may be the last thing on your mind! But social media is an important part of connecting with your customers, showing off your products, and scoring more sales. Join us each month as we give you tips and tricks for making social media work for your store!
This week, we’ll show you how to start a Facebook for your store and what information you need to have.
To create a Facebook page, go to www.facebook.com/pages/create. Choose “local business or place.” A drop-down menu will appear.
Choose the category your shop fits under. We suggest “local business” or “shopping/retail.” This will help bring you up in a Facebook search. Type in your store name, your store address, and store photo number.
After pushing “get started,” Facebook will ask a series of questions to help set up your page. Be as specific as you can when picking a category and writing your shop description. For example, think of why people want to visit your shop. What types of fabric do you carry? Are you a sewing machine dealer? etc. Add your website if you have one. Choose your Facebook web address (usually the name of your business).
Next, choose your profile picture. This will be the main image that will show up in search and next to comments you leave with your store. Choose a pretty picture of the outside or the inside of your shop. Use your profile picture to give customers a quick look at your store and show them why they want to visit! You can change your profile picture at any time.
Once your page is created, you want to add as much information about your shop as you can. Not only will this be helpful to your customers, but it will also cut down on customer service calls and questions. On the top of your page, you will have an “edit page” button. Under this drop-down menu, you can update your page info, edit your settings, add other administrators to your page, schedule Facebook posts, ban users, and have an option of commenting on Facebook as your shop page. We’ll explain each of these in detail now:
Update page info. Here, you can add your e-mail address, hours of operation, parking information, public transport information. If you click the “edit” button next to your address, you can even add a Google map on your Facebook page so customers can locate you more easily.
Settings. Here, you can control the notifications your receive, your privacy settings, and other page restrictions.
Admin roles. Here, you can add other people you want to help manage your Facebook page. This can include shop employees and other managers. Once added, they can post, comment, and edit as your page.
Activity log. This page allows you to view all past content you posted and edit any posts you have scheduled.
Banned users. If you find your page constantly getting spammed by a certain someone or if someone is posting inappropriate content on your page, you can add them to the banned list.
Use Facebook as… When you click this, you will start using Facebook as your page. You will only be able to see posts from the pages your page follows; and when you comment, you will be liking and commenting as your page.
Make sure to add a cover photo (this is the photo behind your profile picture). It can be a photo of fabrics, of your staff, of quilts hanging in your store, etc. Just remember, that it’s a wide picture and will crop off the top and bottom of what you upload.
Once you have all info updated, click on your “build audience” button on the top of the page. You can invite people to like your page by e-mail (this is handy if you collect e-mails in your store), by asking your personal Facebook friends to like the page, and by sharing the page on your own Facebook page.
Please ask any questions in the comments below! In the following months, we’ll be discussing how to share content on your page, what to post and where to find it, and how to build your audience. We’ll also touch on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.
So I broke our few rules right from the get-go when I realized how hard it was to limit myself to only 20 fat quarters. I LOVE scrappy quilts, so this was probably the toughest part of the first round of the Round Robin. People who know my quilting style (and the colors I love to wear as well) will be completely unsurprised to read that I picked a brown, teal/turquoise, and green palette for my Round Robin. It’s my go-to color combo (even though I actually have nothing in my home that matches this!). For the design, I was inspired by a fabric that’s a cross between a stripe and curly parentheses.
I knew I wanted to make something that looked like this, and I thought the easiest way would be to do a bargello-style quilt. (I’m always in love with Mabeth Oxenreider’s bargello quilts, so she inspired this quilt, too!) See a slideshow of Mabeth’s bargello quilts here.
I sewed together 1-1/2″-wide strips to make a strip set…
…then chopped it into a few different widths of segments. I played around with the placement and width of the segments.
But eventually I came back to an arrangement that would most mimic the inspiration fabric.
I made the piece too wide and I didn’t want to lose any of my fabrics, so I broke another rule, this one about having a 12″-square quilt center. I reasoned that the width could be greater than 12″ if the height was less than 12″ (turns out other Round Robin participants had this same thinking!).
Finally, I packed my too-many fat quarters and my too-wide quilt center in a super-fancy shoe box and gave it to Nancy (three days past the due date). I’m SUCH a rule-follower!
Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn how to join rickrack ends when you’re using them in a quilt!
When adding rickrack to the pieced block, the goal is to make the scallop pattern of the rickrack appear continuous so the join is nearly invisible.
To achieve this look, ease in the loose rickrack tails at the beginning and end of stitching so they finish with perfectly overlapping scallops. Fold one rickrack tail back on itself in the middle of a outer-facing scallop.
Pull excess rickrack into seam allowance and pin.
Repeat with remaining rickrack tail. Stitch rickrack in place, then trim excess.