Staff Blog - Part 2

One Million Pillowcase Challenge Blog Hop


A few years ago, Michelle Kim, a nurse at the University of California Davis Medical Center, learned how to make pillowcases. She’s made enough now that every child coming to the hospital for surgery gets one. Medical professionals and patients’ parents agree: The pillowcases lessen anxiety, provide comfort, and make the kids feel special. To date, Michelle has donated 2,476 pillowcases. She keeps track, she says, so she can “see how many kids have been blessed in a small way on a day that can be full of fears.


To most of us a pillowcase may not be a big deal. It’s something we barely notice as we lay down to sleep each night. But for some (such as the patients Michelle treats in the story above), they can be a great source of comfort and joy during a time of stress and uncertainty. Whether it’s a piece of home in a sterile hospital room, a little return to normalcy for those in homeless shelters or women’s shelters, or just a reminder that someone else in the world cares, a pillowcase can make a huge difference in your community.


We started our One Million Pillowcase Challenge in 2010, and in just a few years quilters and sewers all over the world have donated more than 560,000 pillowcases to those in need! That’s 560,000 smiles and sighs of relief! We’ve heard countless stories of how this Challenge has changed lives in communities across the country, as well as given many quilters a community to share a great cause with.


With the holidays coming, we wanted to challenge our community even more! We’re hosting our first 24-hour sewing event for charity! From Friday, September 19 at 3pm to Saturday, September 20 at 3pm, we’re hosting the One Million Pillowcase 24-Hour Sewathon. We have an event planned at our offices in Des Moines, Iowa. But there are 44 events in 29 states and 2 countries already scheduled! Encourage your local quilt shop to host an event or find a shop in your area here. Many people are hosting their own private events with family and friends, too! Invite your sewing buddies over for some snacks and a few hours of sewing!


Want to stay up sewing all night with American Patchwork & Quilting? Mark this date on your calendar and follow us on Facebook! We’ll be posting pictures, videos, pillowcase count updates, and have fun giveaways from our sponsors! Post photos of your own events or pillowcases you’ve made to our Facebook page or hashtag them with #APQSewathon on Instagram and Twitter!


To celebrate this fun event, we’re hosting a blog hop! See pillowcases made by our our designer friends and sponsors:


Thanks to everyone who has donated over the years and our wonderful sponsors for helping us spread the word about this cause. And we can’t forget to thank the quilt shops across the nation that have collected pillowcases in the community and held pillowcase-making events in their stores. No matter how big or small your donation is it really does make a huge difference in another person’s life!


Learn more about the One Million Pillowcase Challenge.

Find a list of suggested charities.

Find shops in your area that collect pillowcases.

Get free patterns.

Add your pillowcases to our count!

100 Modern Quilt Blocks: Month 8


I’m done! I’m done! I’m done! (Almost…)


I finished the last 20 blocks in my Tula Pink‘s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks!  quilt! I now have 100 blocks in 5 different color ways: brown, teal, blue, light green, and dark green. You can see my dark greens above. (See my previous posts for my progress and tips for choosing color and patterns.)


I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t very careful with these last 20 blocks. I was so excited to finish and a little short on free time to sew, so I pulled a few late nights to work on them. There’s two blocks in the set above that don’t look like the ones in the book, because I sewed the parts together wrong. I could definitely go back and redo them, but I think it’s all part of the charm of a sampler quilt. It will be a little reminder to me about the process of making this quilt (and something that no one else will notice).


I’m going to let this one sit for awhile, so I can think about the design and what color sashing I want (post any suggestions you have in the comments!).


Buy Tula’s book here and play along with us!


Happy quilting,






Blogs We <3 This Month

Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!



The Cottage Mama

If you consider yourself the domestic type (or wish you were), this blog is perfect for you! Blog owner Lindsay is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (#4 is coming soon), a business owner, and still manages to get sewing projects done. Her blog is full of sewing and crafting tutorials, cute clothes patterns for kids, and even recipes and party inspiration! She also frequently does giveaways, so it’s worth it to make this blog part of your daily routine.

Read her blog here.


Jaybird Quilts

Julie Herman is a master of tutorials! Her step-by-step photos are so clear and she is always willing to share a tip for making it easier! (If you haven’t already, check out her rulers — they’re life-changing tools!) She also frequently posts pictures of her readers’ projects using her patterns and rulers making her blog a one-stop shop for quilt ideas and inspiration. On top of that, Julie is the cutest and we’ve been stalking her upcoming nuptials like the Royal Wedding.

Read her blog here.



The Sewing Loft

Blog owner Heather should be your go-to gal for when you have a sewing question that you’re too afraid to ask. Her tutorials on sewing machine feet, binding and so much more take the guesswork out of the topics every sewer should know! And one of our personal faves is How To Hang A Mini Quilt (you think you know, but you don’t!). She’s never short on ideas, and her daily blogs are constantly creative, inspiring, and super helpful!

Read her blog here.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags:
No Comments

Perfect Your Skills: Mitered Borders

Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn to add mitered borders to your next project! This is a great technique for when you want a standout print to match up at the corners.



1. Determine the yardage and measurement for your border strips.The yardage needed depends on the pattern repeat of the border print across the width of the fabric, the pattern repeat of the border print along the length of the fabric, and where the border strips will join. Cut the two side border strips first from the same lengthwise repeat of the border print, selecting a motif to be at their centers.


2. Fold each side border strip in half crosswise and press lightly to mark the center. Fold the assembled quilt center in half and press lightly to mark the center of the side edges.To ensure accuracy when pinning border strips to the quilt top, measure the length of the quilt center on each side. Divide the quilt center’s length by 2, and measure this amount in both directions from the center crease on the border strip. Make a mark at each measured point, which should correspond to the quilt center corner. With right sides together and centers and corner marks aligned, pin a side border strip to one side edge of the quilt center, allowing the excess border strip to extend beyond the corner edges. Sew together, beginning and ending 1/4″ from the quilt center’s corners.


3. Fold the border strip corners back at 45º angles as if to miter.

4. Cut the top and bottom border strips from the same lengthwise repeat of the border print, selecting the same motif used at the center of the side border strips for the centers of the top and bottom border strips.


5. Lay the quilt center with its attached side border strips right side up on a work surface. Align the centers of the top border strip and upper edge of the quilt center, allowing the excess top border strip to extend under the side border strips.


6. Make a pleat at the center of the top border strip and pull the border strip fabric into the pleat until the desired motif appears at a corner. Pleat an equal amount of fabric from each side of center on the top border strip.


7. Fold the pleat to the wrong side of the top border strip and pin. The pleat should align with the marked midpoint on the top edge of the quilt center.


8. Pin the border strips with right sides together at the corners.


9. Sew the pleat along the fold lines. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and press open.


10.  NOTE: different fabric used to demonstrate for the next steps for easier viewing. With the wrong side up, overlap the border strips at one corner. Align the edge of a 90º right triangle with the raw edge of the top border strip so the long edge of the triangle intersects the seam in the corner. With a pencil, draw along the edge of the triangle between the border seam and the raw edge.


11. Place the bottom border strip on top and repeat the marking process.


12. With the right sides of adjacent border strips together, match the marked seam lines and pin.

13. Beginning with a backstitch at the inside corner, stitch exactly on the marked lines to the outside edges of the border strips. Check the right side of the corner to see that it lies flat.

14. Trim the excess fabric, leaving a 1/4” seam allowance.


15. Press the seam open.


16. Repeat steps 5–9 to add the bottom border strip.


17. Repeat steps 10–15 to mark and sew the remaining border corners in the same manner.


Fall Book Club Pick

Cut It, Sew It, Stow It

by Ebony Love

$12.95; Annie’s Sewing

Review by Lindsay Fullington, assistant multimedia editor


Need a professional organizer, storage products, and sewing lessons for only $12.95? Then this book is for you! Not only do you get instructions for 10 multi-use fabric storage containers, but author Ebony also gives clever organizing ideas for each container. It’s the perfect way to use your favorite fabrics to match your decor, but also store household items and sewing supplies smarter! And with the holiday season coming, cute organization is definitely on our wish list!


From hanging organizers, tote-like carriers, divided containers, and a pillow with pockets, these DIY storage projects are not only totally functional in any room, but also so stylish! Say good-bye to plastic containers or expensive organizers. These make-in-a-weekend projects are easy, quick, and perfect for showcasing beautiful fabric. On my to-do list are definitely the Entryway Mail & Key Trays that have cute button accents and the Plastic Bag Hamper to help corral my large supply of bags in the kitchen.


The photography in this book is beautiful and provides clever ideas for displaying and hanging each container. These ideas are perfect for me, since I frequently make things but then never know what to do with them! And the diagrams and detailed instructions take the guesswork out of some of the harder steps in making three-dimensional objects.


One of my favorite parts of this book (and one that I think really ups the value) is the “Make It Fancy! Embellishing” section in each project. It gives you an option for adding special details to each project. Although not required in the instructions, these ideas teach you a new technique and can really add a handmade touch if you have the extra time! From decorative stitches and machine quilting ideas to applique and pleats, these ideas not only add to the specific project they’re featured in, but also any project you’re working on!


Buy this book here.

Categories: Book Review | Tags:
No Comments