Staff Blog - Part 4

Trend Talk: Kitchen Prints

Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!

With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up (we’ll call them the eating holidays), we’re highlighting cute kitchen- and food-theme fabrics! Make a oven mitt, pot holder, or apron from one of these collections for a fun gift or decoration for your table during the holidays!



Kitchen fabric for your shopping list (in order going clockwise):

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Blogs We <3 This Month

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



Modern Handcraft

If you believe quilting is in the details, than you’ll love this blog! Blogger Nicole plays with scary materials for some sewers, such as snaps, pleather, hexagons, fusible and more (and you won’t be afraid, either, after reading her easy tutorials). Her style is bold, but totally livable! And her projects are great for those looking to try new techniques on smaller projects.

Read her blog here.




Nancy Zieman

Nancy has been  the go-to gal for learning new techniques and simplified quilting processes for a long time. And her blog is no exception! Full of clear tutorials, easy projects, and reviews of must-try tools, her blog is perfect for beginners and advanced quilters alike. Plus, her round-ups (like the Top 5 Sewing Projects blog above) make it super easy to find her top tutorials.

Read her blog here.



Inspired by Antique Quilts

Designer Kathie Holland’s blog is one where you’ll become a better quilter just by looking at pictures of her quilts. She has a beautifully scrappy style, which makes for perfect lessons on color, contrast, and light. The best part is she’s always sewing something new and blogs daily about her projects!

Read her blog here.

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We Heart It, It’s Free

Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!




Patchwork Pumpkin Pillow + Table Runner from Diary of a Quilter

Blogger Amy Smart gives great step-by-step pictures to make a simple pumpkin block. You can make it into a pillow like above, but she also gives instructions for a seasonal table runner. Plus, this scrappy look is a must for fall!

Click here to get the free pattern.


Journal Cover for Composition Notebook from Snapdragon Studios for Dear Stella

We’re always looking for new ways to dress up our boring notebooks in our favorite fabric! It has an inside pocket for extra notes and an outside fabric pouch for your pen. It’s so cute and easy — and perfect for last-minute gifts.

Click here to get the free pattern.


Spooky Witch Hazel Halloween Quilt by Jedi Craft Girl for Riley Blake Designs

This quilt is the perfect way to use your favorite Halloween fabric! It has a vintage look and combines a variety of materials — cotton, lace, and pom-pons — for a textural and bright wall hanging.

Click here to get the free pattern.

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Perfect Your Skills: Curved Piecing

Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn to sew perfect curved seams. It’s the perfect way to add motion to your quilt!


1. Joining pieces with curved edges presents challenges. Cutting a small notch in the center of a curved edge makes it easier.



2. With right sides together, match the center notches of curved edges. Pin together at the center point, at seam ends, and liberally in between, gently easing the edges as needed to align.


3. Sew together the curved edges. Clip into the seam allowance of the edge that curves in (concave) as needed, but do not cut into or beyond the seam lines. Do not clip the convex edge.


TIP: Some quilters prefer not to clip curved seams. Instead they use a longer stitch length and sew slowly, which helps ease the fabric layers together (the center notch is still necessary).


4. Press the seam allowance toward the piece that has the inner (concave) curve.

Make It Tonight: Baby Toys

Fabric: Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Project design: Erica Jackman


Quick-to-sew soft little critters make perfect playmates for baby. These two softies (along with six others) are easy to make from a fabric panel. This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.

Here’s the whole panel. It’s about 22×44″.

The materials given are for eight animal softies. Instructions are for making one.



  • One panel (makes 8 animal softies)
  • 8—9″ squares assorted prints or 2–18×22″ pieces (fat quarters) for backing
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Water-soluble marking pen
  • Chopstick (optional)

Finished hippo: about 8×4″

Measurements include 1/4″ seam allowances.
Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.




Assemble the Softie:

1. Cut out animal print along printed border. With a water-soluble marking pen, draw a line around animal shape about 1/2″ from outer edges.


2. With wrong sides together, layer and pin marked animal print and 9″ backing square. Cut out layers on marked line.


3. Pin cut shapes with right sides together (printed sides). Using a water-soluble marker, mark a 2″ opening along one edge of animal shape.



4. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew around shape, leaving marked opening free.


5. Turn right side out. Stuff hippo shape with fiberfill, using a chopstick to pack filling into small areas.

TIP: Using small “tufts” of polyester makes a smoother finished stuffed softie.


6. Fold unstitched seam allowances to inside; pin in place. Using a needle and thread, stitch opening closed to complete animal softie.

(See how to sew a seam closed with invisible stitches here.)

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