2015 January | AllPeopleQuilt.com Staff Blog

January 2015

8 posts.

Black & White Blog Hop

In her new fabric collection, designer Jennifer Sampou takes a classic color combination and makes it new again. In the beautiful Black & White collection by Jennifer for Robert Kaufman (see the fabrics here), Jennifer explores a timeless palette and expands it with trending motifs, such as feathers and ombre. By pairing the black-and-white prints with rich grays and taupes, she gives us the freedom to make this color work for both modern and traditional designs.


We’re so happy we had the chance to work with this fabric for the Black & White Blog Hop. As you can see in the picture below, Jennifer’s fabric mixes both large-scale prints, small-scale prints, tone-on-tones, and pretty ombre prints. With such a variety of fabrics to work with, we wanted to choose a quilt pattern that featured them all!

We decided on the Quilts and More Winter 2014 cover quilt, On the Plus Side by Pat Bravo. The original quilt, shown below, used solid backgrounds and scrappy squares in both light and dark to make fun plus signs. (Buy the original pattern here.) We thought this quilt would be perfect for showing off all the prints in this fabric collection, as well as allow us to play with the three color ways easily.


We first sorted our fabrics in order from darkest to lightest, then pulled the polka dot prints to use as the background of the plus signs. The darkest fabrics were featured in the top and bottom of the plus signs. The grays were featured on the left and right sides, and the lightest taupes were showcased in the middle. Although the color placement of all the squares was the same, different parts of the ombre or the larger prints were featured for a scrappier look!


The result was a beautiful classic with a modern twist. The fabric provides amazing depth and interest! We loved working with this fabric line and have loved seeing all the different ways people have used it on this blog hop. Check out all the blogs below and see details on how to win your own fat quarter bundle of this collection!





January 23: JenniferSampou.com, Robert Kaufman Blog

January 24: Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson-Sew Kind of Wonderful blog

January 25: Teresa Coates- Fabric Depot

January 26: Amy Gibson- Stitchery Dickory Dock

January 27: AnneMarie Chany- Gen X Quilters

January 28: Casey York- The Studiolo

January 29: C&T Publishing – Stash Books

January 30: APQ- All People Quilt

January 31: Angela Pingel

February 1: Angela Walters / Janice Zeller Ryan

February 2: Sarah Sharp

February 3: Dritz- Make Something

February 4: Nicole Daksiewicz- Modern Handcraft

February 5: Liesel Gibson- Oliver + S

February 6: Christopher Thompson / Natalie Barnes

February 7: Jennifer Sampou Wrap-Up

February 9: Jennifer Sampou Announce Winner. Must have comment in by February 9th on my 1/23 opening blog post.


GRAND PRIZE: Sign up for Jennifer’s mailing list AND leave a comment on her page by February 8th about which projects inspire you and what you would make if you won fabric. See her blog and more details here. Drawing for a fat quarter bundle is February 9th.


INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY: Taquito FQ rollup and Elephant and I Pattern giveaway on Jan 30 and Feb 6. Enter to win by re-posting any blog hop projects and hashtag #blackandwhitefabrics and #jennifersampou in your post.


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Piece & Play: April

In the April 2015 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, designer Jean Wells teaches us how to expand our piecing horizons with a new technique — itty bitty piecing — and shows us how to play with color. The editors were so excited to learn this technique and create their own projects. See what they made below and share your own creations inspired by Piece & Play using the hashtag #apqlearnalong on Facebook and Instagam. And follow along with new projects and inspiration at www.allpeoplequilt.com/learnalong.


Elizabeth Tisinger Beese, editor of American Patchwork & Quilting


Elizabeth says: “I used more of the intense colors from my palette box in the February Piece & Play pillow I made, so this issue, I decided to go with some of the more subtle fabrics and include just a few pops of more intense color. I did the Itty Bitty Piecing in Log Cabin style for my pincushion and used greens, corals/oranges, pinks, and browns/tans for the four sides of the Log Cabin.”


Jill Abeloe Mead, editor

Jill says: “The Kaffe Fassett stripe used in the first round of the Log Cabin-style block inspired the palette for my pincushion. Four of the solids used in the block are shot cottons. (FYI: Shot cottons are fabrics woven of two slightly different colors. The subtle contrast in colors of warp and weft add light play and depth to the fabric.) To make these more loosely woven, lightweight fabrics easier to work with, I spray each with a light coat of sizing while pressing the yardage before cutting and sewing pieces.”




Lindsay Fullington, assistant multimedia editor


Lindsay says: “I fear little pieces, so this Log Cabin piecing project was a challenge. Instead of cutting pieces small, I pieced two or three fabrics together, then cut the fabric strip thinner or cut the ends off. This allowed me to get the look of small pieces without having to work with tiny fabric. I fussy-cut a beautiful flower for the center of the Log Cabin (fabrics from the Hadley collection from Dear Stella) and built out my colors from there, making sure to balance the prints and colors. Brown is my favorite color, so I love the unexpected look it gives against the bright colors.”

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Transforming Black-and-White Prints by Over-Dyeing

Over-dyeing black-and-white prints is a concept that has intrigued me for years. I was inspire by an article on the Marcus Fabrics website by Lisa Shepard Stewart and then discovered another article by Lisa on the RIT dye site where she overdyed zebra prints. I’ve wanted to experiment with this technique, so I finally did, making the Log Cabin block in Valerie Krueger’s Get Comfy quilt (American Patchwork & Quilting, April 2015, page 98). While Valerie’s quilt is very traditional in fabric colors, I made a version of the Log Cabin block using black-and-white prints for the “lights” of the block and the same prints overdyed for the strips for the “darks”.


Since I was only dyeing enough fabric for a few blocks, I used a disposable plastic container and the microwave technique outlined on the RIT studio website. I used powder dye, but only used a portion of the pouch as I wanted this light shade.


While I was thrilled with the results, I did learn several things, so here are some tips to ensure your success:


1. You may find that different fabrics, even if they’re 100% cotton, may take dye differently, resulting in a different hue of your color. As you can see below,  all of the fabrics dyed beautifully, but one came out a slightly different shade than the others.


2. Match the amount of fabric you’re dyeing to the technique you’re using, because if you want the same intensity of color for each piece, they should be put into the same bath for the same length of time. So if you’re doing yardage or multiple larger pieces, use the stovetop method, pail method, or washing machine method and follow the instructions on the packaging or website for those techniques.


3. If you’re using a partial pouch of powder dye, measure your powder dye, don’t just eyeball it. The chances that you’ll make the next dye bath the same exact color is slim if you’re guessing. When the one fabric came out a different color, I thought maybe I needed to make a new dye bath. The result was some beautiful more-darkly-dyed fabric, as I was guessing at how much powder to add. Unfortunately, neither piece came out the same color as the other cut strips shown.


4. If you’re dyeing fabric for piecing, dye the fabric before cutting, as you’re putting fabric into a hot-water bath which might cause shrinkage plus you can expect your fabric to ravel a bit as you handle it during the process.


5. Do as they say: wear gloves!! Teal fingers aren’t attractive (at least not on me!), though mine only lasted a day. There’s a phrase that says, “If you can’t be a good example, be a horrible reminder.” Let me be your horrible reminder.


Next up, I might have to try to dye white-on-white prints! I’ll keep you posted…


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Perfect Your Skills: Bias Binding


Quick-Cut Bias Binding

To quickly cut binding strips on the bias, start with a fabric square or rectangle. We used a stripe fabric, resulting in a barber pole effect.

Diagrams below show a 5/8-yard length of fabric. If your fabric piece is a different size, the folded fabric may look different, although the instructions will be the same.


1. Lay out the fabric so the selvage edges are in the upper right and lower left. Fold the lower selvage edge to the cut edge, creating a 45º angle.


2. Fold the bottom corner up on top of first fold.


3. Fold top corner down on top of first and second folds.

4. Using a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler, trim off left-hand folded edge.


5. Cutting from trimmed edge, cut the desired-width bias strips.


6. Strips will be a variety of lengths; piece strips to equal the desired length of binding strip.



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Make It Tonight: Square Pincushion

Fabric: Winter’s Kiss collection by Lonni Rossi for Andover Fabrics

Choose a favorite fabric and make this quick-to-sew pincushion. Stack two buttons to top of your cute creation for bright accents. Make a bunch for your sewing friends or keep one handy for on-the-go sewing. This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.



  • 2–4-1/2″ squares red print
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • 1–1-3/8″ diameter white button
  • 1–5/8″ diameter yellow button



Assemble the Pincushion:




1. Layer two red print 4-1/2″ squares with right sides together. Pin pieces together.





2. Beginning in the middle of one edge, sew together pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a 1-1/2″ opening along one edge for turning.



3. Turn right side out. Use a chopstick or knitting needle to push out corners; press.



4. Use a chopstick or knitting needle to gently push small tufts of fiberfill through the 1-1/2″ opening.



5. Using a needle and matching thread, sew the opening closed.

6. Stack and sew buttons through all layers to complete pincushion.

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