Little Ruby Quilt Along - Part 3

Welcome back to the Little Ruby Quilt Along!   

You’re expecting a parade of beautiful pictures of my finished “Little Ruby” quilt(s), right?  I know that’s what today is supposed to be all about but instead I’m taking you back behind the seams and showing you my continued work in progress . . . Quilt Assembly . . .  also known as Part 3.

In my previous post, I mentioned not being too keen on the “light” version of Little Ruby but I had a “plan” or idea on what I could do to change my opinion.  Initially it did NOT involve ripping blocks apart but like my very first quilt teacher said to me . . . “if you sew, you will rip.”  And that’s what I did.

I ripped my light blocks apart and resewed them so each block contained the same print; I like it so much better.  

Don’t worry, I was only 10 blocks in when I made this decision; definitely worth the time and effort don’t you think?

I liked the plan and started working the plan . . . . . sewing the quilt top!

As my “light” Little Ruby started taking shape, I contemplated leaving the “rick rack” sides on . . . .

. . . . but decided to stay true to the plan and add a floral strip mitered border instead.

Well, what do you think?  Was it a good plan?  Don’t worry; I will have a Part 4 to show you my finished quilt(s) so stay tuned!  

In the meantime, let’s get you to that eye candy parade you were looking for to begin with.   Start your tour from the top or shuffle around but enjoy the show!

Melissa from Happy Quilting
Angie from Gnome Angel
Erin Cox from Why Not Sew
Andy from A Bright Corner
Heidi from Buttons & Butterflies
Pat from Pat Sloan
Peta from She Quilts a Lot
Heather from Quilt Story
Megan from Quilt Story
Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Sherri from A Quilting Life
Rebecca from Bryan House Quilts
Sherri from This & That Patterns
Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts
Stephanie from Modern Sewciety
Brooke from Silly Mama Quilts
Carrie from Moda's United Notions

Tapestry and a GIVEAWAY!!

I’m a guest blogger today over at McCall’s Quilting Blog where I’m talking about my newest design, Tapestry, featured in the current issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts Magazine (Feb/March 2016).

The design looks complicated, but trust me; the fabric is doing all the work here.  Half Square Triangles randomly sewn together and framed by, what appears to be a double mitered border, but it’s not.

The black inner floral border is part of the large ivory border, with 4 “combo” stripes across the width of the fabric.  Nice, right?

Head on over to McCall’s Quilting Blog and read more about Tapestry and the GIVEAWAY; it’s a good one!

Sew Solid: Monkey Business

First work week of the New Year and I’m still “monkeying” around; trying desperately to get back into a normal routine - maybe next week!

Are you familiar with Fat Quarter Shop’s Sew Solid video series?  They created such “PANDA-Monium” with their first release they had no choice but to follow it up with a little Monkey Business

Instead of the traditional Bella Solid, I chose Mochi Linen Solids by Moda.  LOVE this Linen!  It’s 70% Cotton/30% Linen and a dream to cut and sew with AND available at the Fat Quarter Shop here!

I normally don’t press my seams open but with the little added bulk of linen, I did. 

Do you see what I see?  Are you a Star Wars fan?  If not, this will go right over your head but if you are . . . do you see a Stormtrooper?  Hmmm . . . I wonder if Stormtroopers are monkeys in disguise!  See, I told you I was still monkeying around this week.

I wasn’t the only one monkeying around, check out the other bloggers and see what kind of Monkey Business they created for themselves:

Melissa of Oh How Sweet
Jane of Quilt Jane
Afton of Quilting Mod
Anorina of Samelia’s Mum
Gerri of Planted Seed Designs
Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl

If you’re looking for a fun, quick, easy and FREE pattern, click on the video below then head on over to the Fat Quarter Shop and download your pattern.  Yep, its ALL FREE!!!

Free Pattern Friday!

Have you seen the signs? Big sunflower heads nodding under the weight of their seeds, the angle of the sun changing ever so slightly, bees rushing to finish their work before all the blossoms are gone. It’s the end of summer, and the cool morning air lets us know autumn isn’t far off.

If you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to long, sunny days, keep the spirit of summer alive with a bright, cheerful new quilt. Today, in a special feature we’re calling “Free-Pattern Friday,” we’re offering you this charming quilt pattern free for you to download.

“Summer Cottage” is an easy patchwork pattern made up in my Summer Cottage fabric line. It reminds me of flowers and fireworks and little paper pinwheels spinning in the breeze. I think it will be just the thing to wrap up in when winter winds are howling.

We hope you enjoy this free quilt pattern!

Check back in next week when you show you a quick and efficient way to make half square triangles and flying geese with one ruler!!! Stay tuned!

Back to School with a Gentle Reminder

Are you sending a son or daughter off to school or back to school this fall? Tired of reminding him to call you? Here’s an idea: send along a pillowcase made from this fun Text Me/Call Me fabric from The Steel Collection. One side is covered with telephone area codes and the other features text message abbreviations. You’ll be sending your kid a subliminal message while he sleeps. (Well, maybe not, but you can hope he gets the idea—and you’ve already tried everything else!)

Pillowcases are easy and fun to make, and they make great gifts. You don’t need much fabric—a 9”-wide cuff, a 3”-wide accent strip, and a 27”-wide (3/4 yard) main fabric. I designed this yardage with 20” of Text Me print and 20” of Call Me print, with a 1” white space between them, which is just right for a two-sided standard pillowcase.

The fabric features common texting terms on one half and telephone area codes on the other.

If you don’t know how to make a pillowcase, there are lots of free patterns available online. Many of them use the tube pillowcase pattern, sometimes called the Magic Tube. It’s fast and easy and the result is terrific. I used the Shabby Fabrics tutorial, which also teaches you how to make a pillowcase with French seams for a clean finish inside.

Don’t have a student of your own who needs a pillowcase? How about making one or two to donate to a local homeless shelter or foster care program? Kids love to have a special pillowcase to call their own; it’s a small token that can make a big difference. If you donate a pillowcase, be sure to register your donation at American Patchwork and Quilting is challenging quilters and sewers to donate one million pillowcases to local charities. Join the fun!

What’s your favorite pillowcase technique? Tell us in the comments!

X Marks the Spot

Let’s hear it for X-blocks! Their bold, graphic lines allow fabrics to shine, especially when paired with white. “X-Box,” my latest X-block quilt, appears in the September/October issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting. This original design reminds me a little of the traditional Jacob’s ladder block, one of those easy quilt blocks that looks more complex than it is. The elements are simple: half-square triangle units and four-patch units. (I just can’t stop making half-square triangle quilts; I love them!)

I think this design absolutely sparkles in the clear colors of the Summer Cottage collection, don’t you?

The magazine, with complete pattern instructions, is on newsstands or coming to your mailbox now.

All you need is a bundle of fat quarters and a white background fabric to create this 56” x 72” quilt.

Here’s another X-block design that also features the Summer Cottage collection. “X-ceptional” is in my book, Quilted Living.

There are loads of variations on the X shape. It’s fun to play with lines and shading to see how many different blocks I can come up with.

“Basketweave”, also from Quilted Living, isn’t an X-block, originally, but check out what Kathy Brown from The Teachers Pet did to make it an X-block. We took her lead and updated Basketweave. I absolutely love the new design!

How about you: have you made an X-block quilt? Tell us in the comments!

Shopping is Easy with Shopify

Are you familiar with Shopify? It’s a cloud-based shopping app that makes it super easy to shop and buy online. Now, please don’t ask me to explain anything about the cloud—that’s for someone else to tackle. But I can explain how the Shopify app allows you to purchase my books and patterns right from my Facebook page. No more clicking around to different sites!

Here’s how it works. As you can see in the photo below, there are two ways to get to the shop pages from Facebook: click on “shop” at the top of the page, or click on the Shopify symbol on the side of the page.

Either of those will take you to my shop’s main page. In the upper right-hand corner is a pull-down menu where you can choose “All Products,” “Books,” or “PDF Patterns.” This screen shot shows the “All Products” page.

If you want to shop for books only, use the pull-down menu to go to the Books page. Click on a book cover to go to that book’s page.

Here’s what the page looks like for A Cut Above. At a glance, you can see all the projects in the book. How cool is that? Click on one of the photos to enlarge it. Click again to see it even larger. It’s a great way to preview a book!

If you’re shopping for a pattern download rather than a book, you can shop from the All Products page or go back to the pull-down menu and select PDF Patterns. For every pattern you’ll see a photo of the quilt, a materials list, and—here’s the exciting part—swatches for all the fabrics used in the quilt along with item numbers and yardage. Imagine how easy it will be to simply print out that page and take it to your local quilt shop or favorite online store!

It’s never been so easy to get instant gratification. See a quilt you love, buy the pattern, and download it—it’s just that simple.

We’re continually looking for ways to make your online experience fun. How are we doing? Tell us in the comments!

Jackets and Pillows and Bears, Oh My!

When I introduced my Attic Treasures line at Quilt Market a few years ago, I made a Teddy Bear using a Kwik Sew pattern. The sweet floral fabrics seemed to lend themselves to a cuddly, keepsake bear. Even though I liked him, I was still a little surprised by all the compliments I received on that bear. He was such a hit that I made bears to launch the next line, and the next, and now it’s become a tradition. So when it was time to launch The Steel Collection, naturally I had to include some bears. Aren’t they handsome?

Maybe these aren’t typical teddy bear fabrics, but who says a bear has to be sweet? By changing their fabrics you can completely change their personality, so you can make the perfect bear for everyone from toddlers to college-bound young adults. It’s easy to learn how to sew a teddy bear, especially with a good pattern, and they have nearly universal appeal. Make one for someone you love (or yourself!).

We’ve been talking about the versatility of The Steel Collection. We’ve shown you quilts, bags, and now bears, but there’s so much more you can do with these fabrics. Let’s start with pillows, one of my favorite ways to freshen a room. I love making pillows that coordinate with my quilts, and I make lots of different kinds—tufted, corded, boxed… But pillows don’t have to be complicated: the very simplest styles are fast and easy to make and they add instant “pop” to any room. Here’s a basic pillow we made for Quilt Market., jazzed up with a few giant grommets.  Aren’t they fun?

And how about handmade clothes? My sister Trish made this stunning dress for her daughter, Vicki, using the “Marilyn” pattern from Serendipity Studio. Vicki’s going to look gorgeous when she wears it to accept her Ph.D. this month.

Another place to showcase favorite fabrics is on a stylish jacket.

1) Morninglory Designs San Moritz Jacket  2) Morninglory Designs Saratoga Jacket  3) Morninglory Designs J'Walker Jacket

We found some great jacket designs at Morninglory Designs. You can use a single fabric or piece fabric together into a patchwork. Be creative!

Quilt fabrics are easy to sew, comfortable to wear, carry, or snuggle under, and too beautiful to use only in quilts. I hope you’ll be inspired to let your imagination soar and explore some other great uses for these beautiful fabrics.

Besides quilts, what’s your favorite way to use quilting cottons? Tell us in the comments!

Bags That Say "Carry Me".

Don’t you love the way a great bag adds the perfect finishing touch to an outfit? It’s the piece that makes you feel totally put together. Well, we have some bags that just might make people stop you on the street to ask about them. Imagine how fabulous you’ll feel when you say, “I made it myself.”

Last week, we told you our new Steel fabrics are versatile. Today we’re going to show you what fun we had seeing what we could do with them. We found some great handmade bag patterns and started playing with fabrics. The results are nothing short of stunning.

First up, two bags designed and made by Penny Sturges: Mega Bow Tucks and its matching wallet. It’s not easy to find a good fabric wallet pattern; this one nails it. And the bag is roomy enough to carry the wallet and a lot more.

Mega Bow Tucks and Matching Wallet by Quilts Illustrated.

Another source of terrific bag patterns is Swoon Patterns. From a tailored shoulder bag pattern (which is actually a clever convertible clutch) to simple tote bag patterns and duffle bags in several sizes, Swoon gave us lots to choose from. Check out the “Vivian” purse and traveler. Wouldn’t you love to carry those along on your next trip? By the way, my sister, Trisha Seppell, sewed all these Swoon bags for Spring Quilt Market. Thanks, Trish, I owe you one!

1) Swoon Dallas Vintage Duffel;  2) Swoon Dorothy Day Tripper;  3) Swoon Vivian Handbag;  4) Swoon Melody Expandable Tote;  5) Charlotte City Tote

Sewing your own bags is not only fun, it makes you the designer. And with fabrics like these, your bag can be tailored and elegant, casual and fun, or something in between!

What style of bags do you like to sew? Tell us in the comments!

A Bold New Direction: Introducing The Steel Collection + A Free Pattern!

If you know my work at all, you know I’m crazy about traditional fabrics inspired by the past: my designs feature lush florals, sweet dots, and lots of small-scale prints. But I’m the mother of three adult sons, and the day finally arrived when they asked me to design fabric for them. No flowers or leaves, please!

I wasn’t sure at first that I was up to the challenge, but once I got to work the ideas began to flow. The result is Steel, my first collection of fabrics in gender-neutral colors. I got so excited after designing this line that I’m already planning more in the same style. We’ve even created a new division of Planted Seed Designs called PSD2: Pure and Simple Designs.

The response to the new line has been fabulous. They’ve been called “elegant,” “urban,” and “dramatic yet easy to live with.” I had no idea so many quilters were looking for black-and-white and gray-and-white patterns. It seems that black, gray, and tan fabrics and geometric patterns are not just for guys. The neutral tones fit easily into many decorating styles, and they’re perfect for teens and young adults who don’t want anything too fussy.

Here are two quilts made from the Steel Collection. Mixed Metals appeared in the May/June 2015 McCall's Quilting magazine; quilt kit available here.

"Gold Dust" was featured in the June/July 2015 issue of McCall's Quick Quilts magazine; quilt kit available here.

These fabrics are also versatile; they work beautifully in bags, pillows, jackets, and more. In future posts, we’ll feature some of the great pieces we’ve already stitched up. Be sure to check back for a look at some very stylish bags. In the meantime, here’s a link to a free quilt pattern.

"Steel" is a generous 76" square.

"Steel" is a generous 76" square.

As excited as I am about this new direction, rest assured it doesn’t mean I’m giving up on traditional prints and colors. No way! My newest collection, Classic Elegance, will be on its way to a shop near you soon.

What’s your favorite gender-neutral palette? Tell us in the comments!

I'm a Cover Girl!

 Have you seen the current issue of Love of Quilting? That’s my quilt, “Star Surround,” on the cover. It’s the first time I’ve made the cover of Love of Quilting and I’m very excited!

Fons & Porter Love of Quilting July/August 2015

The theme of the issue is traditional star designs, so my star block and pinwheel design fit right in. I designed this as a Quilt of Valor using the red, white, and blue fabrics from my Summer Cottage line. I like the way the stars sparkle against the white background, don’t you?

"Star Surround"

I’m proud to support the Quilts of Valor Foundation and encourage you to consider participating as well. These large quilt blocks come together easily and make a generous 68” x 88” quilt. You can find the full instructions in the magazine or order a kit here.

A couple more quilts you may want to consider as Quilts of Valor are

Stars & Stripes



Instructions for all 3 designs can be found in the Quilted Living book.

Have you made a Quilt of Valor, or do you think you might? Tell us in the comments!

Today’s a big day for us and we’re so excited to share it with you. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to update our website, making it easier than ever for you to find the information, patterns, and social connections you love.

Now all our patterns are available instantly as downloads—no more waiting for the mail. We hope you like the new site as much as we do!

Summer Blog Tour - Quilted Living

Welcome to Day 5 of the Quilted Living Summer Blog Tour brought to you by the Fat Quarter Shop!

Have you been following along and checking out how the other bloggers have made one of their favorite designs from my book, Quilted Living, their own?

Here's a quick highlight of the week so far:

Jennifer from kicked us off with a bang by creating not 1 but 2 FREEDOM quilts.  Check out her blog post to see who the lucky recipients are!

Chelsea from zeroed in on X-ceptional and truly made it a stand out.  Read about the assortment of fabrics she used to create her own quilt.

I LOVE the reason why Melissa chose Streamers for her design.  She writes about it in her blog   

That brings us to Day 5:

Planted Seed Designs - that's me!

Since I designed and made all the quilts in the Quilted Living book, I wanted to shake things up a bit and play around with different fabrics and fabric placement to see how such a simple adjustment can change the looks of the design. 

Basketweave, as it appears in the Quilted Living book, on a white background with fun, clean, clear bright prints for the blocks.

I took a very different approach and switched it up a bit by making each background block a different neutral print with a textured cream print for the blocks (fabric - the Steel Collection available NOW at the

Isn't it amazing what a simple change in focus can do to a design?  Do you love the original or the alternate better?  I'd love to hear your comments.

X-ceptional in its original colors and layout (above).

X-ceptional tweaked and dressed up a bit!

Just like Basketweave, I reversed the focus of the background and block prints, REMOVED the sashing strips and sashing stones and added a mitered outer border (fabric - Classic Elegance COMING SOON (Sept/Oct) to the

I love how a second and third design element emerges simply by removing the sashing strips and sashing stones; can you see them?

Well, what do you think?  I'd love to hear your comments on this one as well.

The tour isn't done just yet, please stop by:

Paula of The Sassy Quilter
Jane of Quilt Jane

to see what they've done with their favorite design from the Quilted Living book!=

WAIT!! The most important stop is at the Fat Quarter Shop to register to win an amazing prize.  I hear 2 lucky winners will be rewarded!

Make sure you read carefully what and where you need to go to enter to win!

Good Luck!


"Making it Your Own"

I know you hear and read other fabric and pattern designers say the greatest joy they experience is when a quilter uses their fabric and/or pattern in a different way in which it was created.

I had a front row seat last week to see first hand the interpretation of 7 fellow quilters (some fabric and pattern designers themselves) make some of the designs in Quilted Living their own.

If you were unable to follow along last week, no worries, here's a quick recap:

Erica made "Bursting Star" her own with bright, cheerful, colorful prints and stuffed it with cotton poly batting to give it a more cushiony soft texture (see above).

Helen skipped right over the fabric covered cording and with careful fabric placement turned the center star into an "X".  "X" marks the spot for a great place to plop down and read a good book (see above)!

And here's the original "Bursting Star" pillow.  See how the simple changes in fabric, color and prints changes the look, feel and function?  Are you tempted to give it a try?

Gail chose a more muted palette of colors and prints for "Basketweave" and made the quilt a wee bit smaller than the original so it would work well with her home's décor (see above).

Kathy chose the same design as well, "Basketweave", but you can't tell can you?  That's what I call really making it your own (see above)!!!

The original "Basketweave".  I know, you're finding yourself looking back at Kathy's to make sure its the same design.  It truly is - its Kathy's interpretation of a very simple block rotated this way and that way until its just right for her!

Lisa gave the "Liberty Table Runner" a nice update.  Love the simplicity of the design!  She learned a new way to make stars too (see above)!

Thearica wanted to showcase a favorite print and made the necessary modifications to the "Liberty Table Runner".  I LOVE how both Lisa and Thearica made the Liberty table runner work for them and their homes; that's what it really is all about (see above)!

Yep, that's the original "Liberty Table Runner" right there above . . .  You're looking back at Lisa's and Thearica's version aren't you?  They did a great job didn't they?

Look what Linda did!!  She made "X-ceptional" into a table runner!!  Love the colors, love the idea!  Great job Linda!

The original "X-ceptional" as a quilt!  You know what other quilt design would make a wonderful table runner . . . . .

"Tumble"!  It's easy to already see it (see above)!

Ladies, thank you again for saying yes to our little adventure.  I truly appreciate the time you carved out of your already busy schedules to make this happen; it means a lot to me!

Want to get a jump start on making the projects in Quilted Living?  I have a limited supply ofSummer Cottage prints . . . . .

and a lot of AUTOGRAPHED copies of Quilted Living books!

If you're in the process of making any of the designs in Quilted Living, please send me a picture; I would LOVE to share it with the rest of my fellow quilting friends.


"Quilted Living" Blog Tour Wrap Up

What an exciting week to see other quilters' interpretation on some of the projects found in my new book, "Quilted Living" published by It's Sew Emma.

I LOVE to see how others use my pattern designs and truly make them their own.  Thank you ladies for saying yes to this little adventure and taking us inside your homes; it truly was a nice treat!

As promised, here's the inspiration behind Summer Cottage and Quilted Living.  I believe pictures can express the true feeling and emotion better than written words; enjoy the show!

A clean, fresh summery palette of sunshine yellows, sky blues, cherry tomato reds, grass greens and ocean blues! 

The fruits and tastes of summer captured in the blues, yellows, greens with a simple pop of red.

The celebration of one of our summer patriotic holidays!  The tried, the true, the red, white and blue!

The exceptional burst of summer's colors!

The freedom to enjoy it all!

Let's go fly a kite!

Stars and Stripes Forever!

Pack your picnic basket and meet me at the park or the beach!

Enjoy the explosion of fireworks overhead!

Feeling inspired?  A limited supply of Summer Cottage fabric is available HERE and lots of AUTOGRAPHED Quilted Living books are available HERE!

All Quilted Living books purchased through Friday, 11/21/14 will receive a COMPLIMENTARYQuilted Living bookmark!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting the other blogs too; I sure hope you enjoyed the time you shared with us!  We definitely did!