Staff Blog - Part 2

Linda’s Quiltalong

I love all of the #APQquiltalong projects, so it was difficult to choose just one to make. (Confession, I didn’t choose just one—I’ll be blogging again soon about my other choice.)


While I wondered what the Quilts and More Easy Addition quilt would look like if I used just three colors, I ran across the perfect fabrics! I chose Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory for Studio e Fabrics in Pepper (31) for the background, Morning Glory (28) for the corners, and Midnight (82) for the plus sign. If you’re not familiar with Peppered Cottons, they’re considered a shot cotton. Shot cottons typically have one color of warp threads (lengthwise threads) and a different color of weft threads (crosswise threads). So the thread ends you see on the selvedges will be a different color than the threads ends you see along the cut edges. In the fabric drying photo below, you can see the threads along the selvedges and how different they are in color from the finished fabric. From bottom to top: Pepper has the tan weft threads and black warp threads, Morning Glory has aqua weft threads and magenta warp threads, and Midnight has black weft threads and blue warp threads.




Following the tips on the information sheet about Peppered Cotton, I prewashed my fabric (with my beloved Shout Color Catchers), dried it partly, and let it airdry the rest of the way. I’m not typically a prewasher, but felt it was wise to follow the tips from Pepper Cory and Studio e Fabrics on this one. Also, following the information sheet’s suggestions, I starched. I do feel that prewashing and starching helped to make the fabric easier to work with and less wiggly through the process and gave it a little more body.


Then it was on to cutting and arranging the sample block and the math. Why math? First, because I wanted to make the quilt wider by two rows of blocks (so basically, square). Second, I thought since I was using only three fabrics, I might be able to do some strip piecing to make the construction go faster. Third, I’ve worked with cross-woven taffeta before (woven like these cottons are) and I remembered that sometimes the fabric looks different depending on the directions of the warp and weft threads. That caution was also mentioned in the information sheet. So I had to rethink the cutting so that I was treating each piece as if it were a stripe and that I wanted the stripes to all be running in the same direction. In the end, I’m not sure this step was necessary, but that’s just the way I work.


Then it was on to the sewing! I did end up making strip sets for the centers and side pieces for the corners, as you can see.

With all the sections put together, I was ready to make the blocks.


And here’s one finished!


I’m still not sure if I’ll bind it in the Midnight color or the Pepper, but I can’t wait to have it all together and on the longarm! Now to dream about how to quilt it…


How’s your APQquiltalong project coming?


–Linda Augsburg, editorial content chief

Lindsay’s Quiltalong Quilt

I’m so excited to participate in this year’s APQ Quiltalong! This is my third year doing the quiltalong and every year I’m overwhelmed by my choices! This year has 4 (seriously!!!) amazing projects to choose from. I made the pillow project to start (you can get instructions here), then decided to tackle one of the quilts (get more quiltalong info + see the featured projects here.)


I pulled inspiration from Grand Total, the stunning Pat Bravo quilt on page 46 of the American Patchwork & Quilting April 2016 issue (shown above). Pat used a slash-and-sew technique to add strips to squares, then joined all the squares to create one mega plus sign! I fell in love with this quilt the first time I saw it, but knew I wanted it smaller than the original. The original quilt uses 729 squares total. My smaller version uses only 144.


This quilt gave me an excuse to play with my mini charm squares. The original quilt used 3″ squares, but I chose from my 2-1/2″ squares for a no-cutting quilt design! I separated my charms by color and decided on this rainbow palette. Then I narrowed down my selection to my favorite prints (trust me, it was hard to choose!). I decided to arrange the colors so they made a gradient across my quilt in a counterclockwise direction. It look my hours to find the right arrangement. I took a lot of photos with my phone, and used the photo to see which prints stood out too much and which ones didn’t look right in their placement.


After arranging the plus sign colors, I choose scrappy neutrals for my background. I pulled mostly from one white-and-gray polka dot print, but added a few tan squares and a few gray squares to add interest. I added a few pieced background squares in each background corner for a fun burst of color.


The squares were just begging for straight-line quilting, so I did a cross-hatch design in the white corners and a chevron design in the plus block. I finished the quilt off with black-and-white binding! The fabric is the fun Sketch Basic Whiteblack from Timeless Treasures. I think the binding really helps the colors pop for a standout look I love!


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 Mayland, multimedia editor

The Splendid Sampler Materials

Sunday is Valentine’s Day. While many women may be waiting for chocolates and flowers, I’m excited to start The Splendid Sampler! The first block is released that day and I’m in LOVE! If you’re like me then you’re definitely too excited to wait that long (I know it’s only four more days, but still…). There are a few things you can do to get prepared, though, and it’ll help you get off to a flawless start when The Splendid Sampler starts.


Step 1: Choose your fabrics. The fabrics I chose are above. They’re the Lizzie’s Legacy collection by Betsy Chutchian for Moda Fabrics (they’re being released in March, so if you want them, hold tight!). My favorite colors for quilts are blues and browns, so this palette (with its pops of yellow, pink, and red) is perfect for my traditional taste. The fabrics have a variety of creams (perfect for background prints), both light and dark fabrics so I can play with value, and a mix of large and small prints to add texture and interest. If you need more guidance picking fabrics, there is a great blog post on The Splendid Sampler site with tips for choosing fabrics + other supplies you should gather before the Sampler starts!


Step 2: Be prepared to learn. The 100 blocks include traditional piecing, but also paper-piecing, English paper-piecing, embroidery, and appliqué. I’m very much a traditional piecer and have never ventured into any type of paper piecing. I may be a little nervous, but I’m approaching this Sampler as an opportunity to learn new skills and practice them. It’s very easy to learn new skills when it’s on one 6″ quilt block. That way, I can take my time to learn and if I mess up, it’s not a large investment in time or fabric. If you need more encouragement, here’s a great blog about being open to learning AND where to find resources if you need help.


Step 3: Mark your calendars! Blocks will be released every Sunday and Thursday from February 14, 2016 — February 2, 2017. (You can see what designers are posting each day here. Our day is April 7!) Block patterns will be available for free until March 2017, so make sure you’re downloading them and sewing along!


Step 4: Get to know the designers. There are 83 amazing designers participating! They have such talents and I’m so excited to be working beside them on this project. Make sure to visit their blogs, “like” them on social media, and follow them along the way. There are fun tips from each designer on The Splendid Sampler blog, so you can get to know them. You can read our tips here! Also, make sure to “meet” our fearless leaders Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.


BONUS! Want to start sewing right away? Jane and Pat designed this bonus project that’s also super useful for this Sampler! It’s a cute folding block station, which includes a design board, a pressing station, and a pocket for your 6-1/2″ square ruler. While this project is totally optional, it’ll be handy for keeping small pieces in place while making your blocks. Get the free pattern here.



How do I get involved?


We can’t wait to get started sewing and we hope you join us! Our editor Lindsay Mayland will be blogging frequently and posting pictures on her Instagram, so make sure you follow her at @lindsmayland and us at @allpeoplequilt to see her progress!

–Lindsay Mayland + American Patchwork & Quilting


The Splendid Sampler

We’re so excited to be participating in The Splendid Sampler Adventure! Sponsored by Aurifil, Martingale, and Moda Fabrics and lead by the absolutely wonderful Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, this adventure will be a blast for any quilter who loves a little mystery and lots of fun with quilters around the world!


Where did this idea come from?

Two friends sat down over a splendid cup of coffee and came up with the idea to do a project together. Two hours later a project is born. Pat writes: “At the end of that wonderful chat we decided that not only did we want to do a project together, we wanted to connect people. Jane lives in Australia, I live in the United States. We have designer and Industry friends around the world.”


What is The Splendid Sampler?

It’s a year-long, 100-block adventure of quilt making. A total of 83 talented quilt designers (included us!) have designed blocks to share. We’ll also be sewing along so you can see our progress and fabric choices!


What size are the blocks?

The blocks finish at 6″ square. They include a variety of techniques, from pieced to appliqué to embroidery to paper piecing.


When will the block patterns be released?

Starting February 14, 2016, two blocks will be released a week (exceptions are Christmas Day and New Years). The blocks will be posted on Sunday and Thursday of each week. The patterns will be free until March 2017, at which point the blocks will appear in a book from Martingale!


What fabrics do I need?

We’ll be showing quilts in two colorways (a traditional one and a brighter one). You’ll need approximately 30-35 fat quarters for the blocks. You can read more about fabric requirements here. We’re using a specific line of fabric for our blocks, but you can pull from your scraps or combine a few fabric lines.



How do I get involved?


We can’t wait to get started sewing and we hope you join us! Our editor Lindsay Mayland will be blogging frequently and posting pictures on her Instagram, so make sure you follow her at @lindsmayland and us at @allpeoplequilt to see her progress!

–American Patchwork & Quilting + Lindsay


Modern Elegance Blog Hop

As quilters, we love playing with color, fabric, pattern, and design, so it’s no wonder that coloring books for adults are something we LOVE! Not only does it give us a chance to unwind and de-stress, but it also opens our creative minds and allows us to experiment with color and designs that we might not normally use in our quilts.
The coloring book Modern Elegance: 45+ Romantic Designs to Color for Fun and Relaxation by designer, author, and quilter Amanda Murphy is a must-have book for anyone looking to explore color (and have tons of fun doing it!). The book, from C&T Publishing, features romantic florals, classical motifs, hypnotic watches and gears, and decorative patterns with a vintage vibe.

Some features about the book we love:

  • The illustrations are printed on high-quality, heavyweight paper, which means you can use colored pencils, fine tip markers, and even watercolors.
  • Amanda explores basic color theory, so you can easily create masterpieces and apply lessons to your quilting.
  • Perforated edges make it easy to pull out pages and display them for a fun gallery wall of 8×10″ frames.
  • The designs are based off of Amanda’s favorite fabric patterns (including her new Carina line for Benartex), so it’s like you’re coloring your own fabric.

Best of all?

Every day C&T Publishing will be giving away a copy of Modern Elegance!  (U.S. winners will be a hard copy of the book and international winners will get an eBook, but all are eligible to enter!) To enter for today, head on over to Amanda Murphy’s blog and leave a comment! Don’t forget to follow along with the other blogs for more changes to win!

Modern Elegance Coloring Book Blog Hop Schedule

Monday, November 30 
Tuesday, December 1st
Wednesday, December 2nd
Thursday, December 3rd
Friday, December 4th
Monday, December 7th
Tuesday, December 8th
Wednesday, December 9th
Thursday, December 10th
Friday, December 11th 

An Experiment in Coloring:


Just like quilts, a coloring page can take on a completely different look when you use different colors. (If you want to see something really cool, take a look at the video Amanda made showing coloring possibilities of one of her coloring pages.)


We played along in the office and made two versions of a finished coloring page showcased in the book.


Amanda’s design from the book:



Emily’s design (she couldn’t stop at just one and colored two pages!):


Amy’s design:

Play along with us! Post pics of your own coloring book pages from Modern Elegance on Instagram using #modernelegance so we can see!
Happy coloring!
–The Staff of American Patchwork & Quilting

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