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
Four Centuries of Quilts: The Colonial Williamsburg
Revel in 400 years of quilt history through the pages of Four Centuries of Quilts: The Colonial Williamsburg by Linda Baumgarten and Kimberly Smith Ivey. Colonial Williamsburg’s collection includes roughly 250 quilts from around the world. The 360+ page hardcover book follows progression of quilting styles, trends, and the impact of quilts around the world. The chapters are split into locations throughout the world (Indian, European Calico, and Polynesian), technique (Early Appliquéd, Pieced 1840-1910, and Make), and specific blocks (Mariner’s Compass, Star, and Baltimore Album). The book’s historical references are supplemented with spectacular full-page photos as well as close-up detail photography.
Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000
In Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 author Roderick Kiracofe shares nearly 150 quilts from his personal collection that break from the general rules of traditional quiltmaking. The collection showcases utilitarian quilts made by everyday quiltmakers—often without the structure of a pattern. Contextual essays contributed by textile experts, including quilt designers, a museum curator, and a quilt historian, accompany photos of Kiracofe’s collection.
Handfuls of Scraps: Pieced into Amazing Quilts
Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts is known for her amazingly scrappy quilts that combine a wonderful mix of fabrics, including many fabrics that don’t seem like they would work together, including reproduction prints and batiks. Now, in Handfuls of Scraps: Pieced into Amazing Quilts, we get to see some of what inspires Edyta’s scrappy quilts. Three dozen antique quilts, most from Edyta’s collection, are eye candy for anyone who enjoys quilts with hundreds of fabrics and tons of tiny shapes. If you’re ready to try one of these quilts yourself, the second chapter includes patterns for 15 scrappy quilt patterns inspired by the antiques.