Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
Life Under Quilts
Jessica Alexandrakis of Life Under Quilts is a master of English paper-piecing and working with scraps! Be prepared to be inspired by her current sewing projects and learn great tips for quilting on the go.
Designer Wendy Sheppard loves antique quilts, China, and needlework, and regularly features these beautiful heirlooms on her blog. She also sometimes throws in a fun free pattern and machine quilting tips!
Designer Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams has such a fun quilting style and loves exploring and learning. She hosts a yearly Quilt Along to teach new skills and help readers discover more about your own quilting style!
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
This month, we’re loving quiltalongs! Yes, we are hosting our own, so this may be a selfish post, but quiltalongs are so fun! It’s a great way to expand your skills, meet new quilters, and get great inspiration from an online community! They’re also known as mystery quilts or block of the months. Some are already started, but you’re only a month behind! Find one (or more) and start sewing. Join the online community to see what other’s are making, too!
Find a quiltalong to start now (in order going clockwise):
- Our own Go Four It! Quilt Along
- Pat Sloan’s Vacation Time Mystery BOM for FreeQuiltPatterns.com
- Snapshots Quilt Along by Bonnie and Camille for Fat Quarter Shop
- Adventure Quilt Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman
- The Timber Quilt Along by Jamie Naughton and Alison Glass
- The Clambake Quilt-Along by Stitched in Color
Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web! Here’s a round-up of the cutest Valentine’s Day projects. They’re great as gifts and decor (and are so quick to make!).
Lovely Mug Rug by How To Sew
A few appliqué hearts are all you need for this super-quick addition to your Valentine’s Day table! Use it to hold a cup of coffee or a mimosa. Or display it all year round with a candle on top!
Making a Candy Heart by Pfaff
These large candy heart pillows are perfect for spreading love! Don’t have an embroidery machine? No problem! The instructions include easy alternatives!
Simple Heart Quilt by Cluck Cluck Sew
This quilt is so sweet! It would look perfect in a baby’s room or as wall decor for the season! Or make one heart block to give as a gift!
Say “I Love You!” with a quilt made of X and O blocks! The big heart in the corner is so cute!
Simple V-Day Sachet by Crafty Pod
Fill a sachet with lavender for a romantic (and relaxing) gift for family and friends! The hearts on top are perfect for using up your felt scraps!
I’m so excited to participate in this year’s APQ Quiltalong! Last year’s quiltalong was so fun. After seeing so many inspiring pictures on Instagram of what people were making, I started the Tone It Down quilt. I dragged my feet picking out fabrics and had so many other projects started, that it got pushed aside. Hey, it’s a big quilt (and I promise I’m getting close to being finished!). So when this Quiltalong came, I knew I wanted to choose a smaller project so I could finish it faster! Luckily, with this Quiltalong, there’s so much freedom! Not only can you choose from three beautiful quilt patterns in our April issue, but we also have free patterns for three smaller options online! (Get the patterns here.) Plus, we were encouraged to explore the Four-Patch and really make these quilts our own.
I pulled inspiration from Buried Treasure, the happy April Rosenthal quilt on page 44 of the April issue (shown above). She combines Four-Patch blocks with Floating Star units for a simple, but lovely design. But instead of the X pattern she gets with her block placement, I choose to just do 1/4 of the quilt, so my blocks were all facing the same direction. I ended up with a table topper that was 20-1/2×28-1/2″, which was perfect to display on my dresser.
I wanted a planned scrappy project, so I pulled from my stash. My bedroom has a beachy feel, so I wanted to pull sandy creams and water blues from my stash. The creams are from the Linen Closet collection by Renee Nanneman for Andover Fabrics. It’s an older collection that I’ve been hoarding, and I love the little flower and bee details. The blues were a mix of fabrics from Moda and Connecting Threads. I started by cutting my squares. I organized my squares by light and medium prints (the medium prints were the three in the bottom left corner). I randomly chose the squares for the Four-Patches, but made sure to include at least one of the medium prints in each block for some variation in my blocks and to give little pops of contrast across the quilt.
I finished the quilt off with coral binding from the Hearty Good Wishes collection by Janet Clare for Moda (a personal favorite fabric collection). I had leftover binding from a previous quilt I did with her collection–it fit so perfectly with this quilt, that I used up the binding on this table topper. I love the finished look!
Are you joining in our our Quilt Along? Share pictures of your progress with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the hashtag #apqquiltalong!
Lindsay, web editor
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!
BLOG HOP SCHEDULE:
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 2: Sarah Sharp
February 3: Dritz- Make Something
February 4: Nicole Daksiewicz- Modern Handcraft
February 5: Liesel Gibson- Oliver + S
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.