2014 January | AllPeopleQuilt.com Staff Blog - Part 2

January 2014

9 posts.

Make It Tonight: Simple Coasters

Coasters are so simple and fun to make! You can ues scraps of your favorite fabric to coordinate with your decor or add color to an office! Plus, they make perfect gifts for all coffee and tea lovers! This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.


Fabrics: Mixed Bag collection by Studio M for Moda Fabrics


Materials for One Coaster:

  • 2—41/2″ squares

Finished coaster: 4″ square





Assemble Coaster:

1. Layer the squares with right sides together. Pin in place.



2. Sew around the squares using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a 3″ opening on one side for turning.


3. Clip the corners. Make sure not to clip the stitches.



4. Turn coaster right side out. Push the corners of the coaster out using a eraser end of a pencil. Press  flat.



5. Fold the opening inside the coaster 1/4″. Pin in place.

6. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the open edges together and continue around the other three sides.

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2014 Quilting To-Do List

Happy New Year! January 1 is one of my favorite days of the year. There’s just something I love about taking time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for a better one ahead. It’s a cleansing process and something I find completely motivating. One of my resolutions in 2014 is to make more time to be creative. This past year got so busy that I definitely picked catching up with a favorite TV show or taking a quick nap over sewing. This year, I want to carve out time in my schedule to be creative–whether that means quilting, designing, choosing fabrics, or even browsing through books and magazines to get my thoughts flowing. I don’t want to let another year go by without taking time to create something for myself.


This morning I woke up and made my 2014 quilting to-do list. I wrote down a list of projects I wanted to complete (let me say that again: complete) this year. Some have been on my list for awhile, some just sound fun, and some are uncompleted quilts that I just want off my design wall. I’m going to hang my list where I can see it every day as extra motivation to stay productive and make time for the creative process.



On my to-do list this year:


Want to make your own quilting to-do list? Here are some tips:


1. Don’t make it too big. My list is only 5 quilts long. That way, I won’t get overwhelmed or feel under pressure to sew every day. It also allows me some time to be thinking about the projects, to take time to choose the perfect fabric, and to enjoy the experience. I don’t want my list to feel like work. And I want to be able to complete everything by the end of the year.

2. Choose a variety of projects. My list includes a Block of the Month, a quilt along, a City Sampler, a series of applique wall hangings, and finishing an old quilt. I don’t want to get bored while working on my projects. Making sure my list includes a variety of different size quilts that cover a variety of techniques will keep me interested in what I’m doing and allow me to work on more than one project at a time.

3. Get social. I love connecting with quilting blogs and social media sites. I purposely chose a quilt along and a Block of the Month for the social components. I can see the process of other bloggers and quilters and post my own progress to keep me accountable and on track.


Happy quilting in 2014! Share your own quilting to-do list in the comments and make sure to check back to  see my progress.


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Round Robin: Nancy

This is my first Round Robin! I am so inspired by the idea of creating these shared projects with my team. This will be so much fun!


I’ve gone through my stash and selected a scrappy palette of neutrals, grey, gold and teal. I want to do something improvisational with a folk art twist. I sketch out my flower block and get started.

I made the flower petals from the scrappy strips randomly sewn together in two color palettes. The background  for the flowers is a tone-on-tone cream.

I debated the flower centers, they could add more dimension with yo-yo centers. I went with a simple button for now.

This could develop in a strip as a table runner or be a fun pillow top. I’m passing my flower block on to Jill with my stash of fabrics and some embroidery thread. I think it would be fun to add some embroidery stitches for texture. I can’t wait to see what this turns into!

Quilt-Along: Oh! No Contrast? (or) OH NO! Contrast!


I’m blaming it on too many Christmas cookies, or maybe it was the egg nog, or the chocolate rum cake. Whatever the cause, it wasn’t my fault! I lost my way. That said, it took me two blocks to remember what it was I was supposed to be doing here. It was a low-contrast exercise, right? I get that it’s self-imposed, but I think I have a problem…a contrast problem. I’m addicted to contrast! Unbeknownst to me (until now), it’s a hard habit to break.


Left to my own devices and with little memory, apparently, I dove into my project and made these two beautiful blocks.


I was on a roll and feeling good about my progress, until I pinned them up on the wall next to my other blocks.

Yikes! What is that I see? Contrast!!! It’s oozing out all over the place. What was I thinking? The first four blocks I made are starkly different from the last three…what should I do? Well, here’s what I did.


  1. Had a good laugh. Seriously, I learned something about myself as a quilter. Old habits are hard to break. After years of looking for contrast in quilts, both personally (I like it) and professionally (because it is easier to see in photographs)—when relaxed and quilting, contrast is my natural go-to. To make myself get outside the contrast box, so to speak, I need to buckle down and really pay attention and remember what I’m trying to do.
  2. Thought about how to get back to form—or whether I should. You’ll have to wait until the next post to see what comes next.



Moving on, I do want to share one tip I have for working with more loosely woven fabrics like the ones I’ve chosen. It’s a tip that Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings shared with me a few years ago. Here’s the secret weapon:

Magic Sizing—I generously spray it on the fabrics when I press them before cutting, and use it again when I press the finished block. It really gives some stability to fabrics that might otherwise tend to ravel or curl. I’m a steam junkie, too, when it comes to pressing. So the combination of steam and sizing leaves me happy with the shape both give to my blocks.



Until next week,

Jennifer Keltner,

Executive Editor


P. S. I hope you’re having fun quilting along too. Please share your successes (and foibles) with the group by using the hashtag #APQquiltalong on any uploaded photos to your social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.



Now, check out these other Quilt Along participant’s blogs:

  •  Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side, amyscreativeside.com. Amy’s planning to make a guy-worthy quilt, with a scrappy mix of blue, green, and gray fabrics.
  • Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, bunnyhillblog.com. A rich, vintage look in hues of beige, purple, and rusty brown is what Anne is seeking.
  • Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms, camilleroskelley.typepad.com. A scrappy, cheerful assortment of Bonnie and Camille prints ups the contrast.
  • Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co., lavieenrosie.typepad.com. Carrie adds a French twist, working in a scrappy three-color palette of French General fabrics.
  • Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane, quiltjane.blogspot.com. Jane’s version is all about text-ure—text prints mixed with solid-color wovens.
  • Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter Shop, fatquartershop.blogspot.com. The big blocks pop when separated by colorful sashing on Kimberly’s quilt.
  • Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, lisabongean.com. Lisa turns up the volume with black backgrounds and cream and tan print patchwork.
  • Lissa Alexander, modalissa.blogspot.com. Lissa shares her experience and tips about the process of making the featured version of Tone It Down.
  • Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, www.aquiltinglife.com A fan of primary colors and American Jane prints? Sherri’s version might be just what inspires you!