Category Archives: free patterns

patterns available at other sites at no cost

sewing for others

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Quilters are among the most generous people I know. Every quilt guild (I think?) has charitable efforts where quilts are made for others and given freely with no expectation of any return. Many individual quilters sew for others as well. Quilts for preemies, for seniors, for veterans, …, and the list goes on.

April is National Autism Awareness month. The diagnoses of autism have increased greatly from when I was young. I’m not sure if that’s due only to more awareness of the syndromes, or if it is occurring in the population in higher numbers than in the past. Probably a bit of both. Almost all of us know, or know of, a child who has been diagnosed to be somewhere along the autism spectrum.

This quilting project might be just the thing if someone you care about is autistic. This tutorial is for a weighted blanket, taught by Rob Appell who is now associated with Jenny Doan’s empire. Some babies who are hard to sooth, are comforted by a heavier blanket. Have a look at this and see what you think. Click here.

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…and another spring idea

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I have a bin into which I throw the selvedge trimmings as I’m sewing. It sits to the right of my sewing machine and is getting fuller and fuller. Seems kind of like the loaves and the fishes, if you get the drift. The more I use selvedges for projects, the more the bin fills up. Never seems to reduce in volume. In between the phases of projects I’m making for work, I’m working on a selvedge project which also uses the 60 degree triangle ruler-perhaps my favorite specialty ruler!

But I think I will be taking a break from that project because I ran across this one, which is too cute for words (play on the selvedge concept ladies!). I’ll now be looking for a pair of canvas slip on shoes so I can make myself a pair of these selvedge shoes. Yep, you heard me correctly, selvedge shoes. Also will be searching for fabric mod podge. I’m thinking that will be a perfect way to use a 40% off coupon!

Maybe a bunch of us from guild could start a new fashion trend in the quilter world. Have a look at these! click here

Does anyone know of a local store that sells those canvas shoes by Toms?

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Filed under 2015 gifting challenge, free patterns, garment sewing, guild activities

another spring quilt idea

Hi all, Mary Ellen again.

I spotted this one on my e-mail again this morning. Awhile back here on the blog we had some discussion going about the jelly roll 1600 quilts. (Look in side bar for a category link) This quilt was not made as a 1600, but certainly could be. That one strip that makes it more interesting, is just cut from the finished top, top and bottom ends reversed in orientation, sashing/border added to the cut strip and then inserted into the top. It’s a quick and easy way to take a 1600 quilt up a few notches. The reason I pulled this pattern idea out is that I came across a jelly roll I’d forgotten about, while looking through my UFO’s recently. This quilt would make a great gift for a niece’s birthday, since the jelly roll was chosen with her in mind originally.

Check out this pattern (click here) if you need a quick gift–baby shower, wedding shower, graduation, Mothers’ Day…–and the list goes on. ‘Tis the season, isn’t it? BTW how are you coming on our 2015 Gifting Challenge? Remember, one holiday gift completed each month is the goal. Even better if it is a UFO completed. I’ll give a report on my own progress soon.

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Filed under 2015 gifting challenge, free patterns, gift ideas, jelly roll 1600 ideas

Getting to know you…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I hope that most of you know our guild has decided to offer our fall seminars in alternate years, instead of annually as had been the tradition for 40+ years. Costs of sponsoring a national teacher continue to climb, and it seems interest from our members continues to decline. To give us some breathing space to raise some funds to offset cost increases and to work with our membership to reformat seminar to better fit current wants and schedules, we’ve decided to hold seminar in the same years as our quilt show. We’ll use the show as a publicity opportunity to both our own members and non-member visitors to the show.

That all said, I want to start making you aware of all that our next national teacher, Nancy Mahoney, is doing in the quilting world. Nancy has two quilts in the March/April 2015 issue of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. Ruby Sunrise on page 66 is a challenging quilt for those who love a complex piecing project. Electric Blue (pg 74) is more intermediate. Still lots of wonderful piecing in a classic blue and white color palette. Nancy is not just known for her piecing–applique is often featured as well in her designs. She doesn’t just design for the more advanced quilter either. Many of her books feature designs easily achievable by the newbie quilter.

Here are a few links to visit to starting getting to know Nancy.

Nancy’s own website

Nancy’s books at amazon

 

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Filed under "modern" quilting, antique quilts, free patterns, guild activities, seminar, Uncategorized

In Dublin’s fair city, where the quilts are so pretty…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Apologies to all you Irish purists out there. I know those aren’t the right words but I hope you’ll allow me a bit of license.

Are you switching out your hearts and flowers and reds and pinks to greens today (or soon anyway)? I have only a few quilted pieces for St. Patrick’s Day and am thinking I should put together one or two small toppers for the special day. Here’s a link to some ideas, in case you have a similar dilemma. Click here.   I think I’m going to round up some green scraps and try out that shamrock with four patch leaves. It should be quick and easy.

What’s your favorite technique for 4 patches? When I only need a few, and I want them to be scrappy, I like to use the two from two technique I learned from Billie Lauder at a seminar of ours a few years ago. It’s easy to get a scrappy look without having to cut so many individual assorted squares. Click here for a quick explanation of this easy technique. It’s not written by Billie, but it’s her technique clearly explained. click here.

As I’m sitting here typing, I’m listening to the drip of a leak coming from some of the ice dams across my back roof. Anybody else having those issues? I guess I’ll be back out on the flat roof of the addition tomorrow whacking away at the gutters to see what I can knock loose. Oh the joys of home ownership!

TTFN.

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sewing by and for guys

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Nearly all of us have sewn a quilt for a male family member or friend. But…have you ever sewn with a male family member or friend? Not so many of us.

I have mentioned Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company here before. She and quilter Rob Appell are starting a new venture together: Man Sewing. I think it will be fun and I’ve already subscribed to get the first few videos. I have 2 grandsons turning 8 today. Maybe I’ll be able to get a quilter out of one of them. One of them is very interested in any type of machine, and I’ve got a machine with considerable bells and whistles that he might find to be “awesome”.

Have a look at Jenny and Rob’s skateboard quilt here. click here  Great idea for the boys in those “middle” years.

Here’s a link to Rob’s intro to his series “Man Sewing”. click here

If this is the first you’ve heard about Rob Appell and his quilts, go have a look at his designs and his other quilterly projects here. He is not just a quilter wannabe. I think his applique will blow you away. click here.

We’re at the end of the first month of 2015. How are you doing on your gift making challenge? I’ll be asking for reports in my next post, so get ready to fess up.

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Filed under "modern" quilting, 2015 gifting challenge, applique, free patterns, gift ideas, guy quilting, pre-cut bundles, Uncategorized

quilting the new year-2015 gifting challenge

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I’m hoping that tomorrow will begin a return to normalcy around here. The holiday goodies are all gone-either eaten or discarded. The plan to get rid of excess avoirdupois is in place. The holiday quilts and decorations are coming down and being laundered a few at a time. That chore should be complete by the end of the week.

I’m ready to begin my new quilting-for-fun projects. How about you? Quilting for holiday gifting loses its charm after the 10th project or so. Part of my plan for this year is to spread those “gifty” projects throughout the year. I say we set a challenge for ourselves. Let’s complete one gift project per month through the year and report back here. In that gift project, try to incorporate something that will make it fun for you. I’ll remind us at the end of each month. Since we’re just starting this we’ll give our goal for this month now. As the year goes on, when we report on the month’s completion (we hope), we’ll set the next month’s goal at the same time.  To keep this achievable make it just 1 project per month if you want to join in. If your potential recipient is also a reader, you can cloak your monthly report in whatever verbal disguise you need.

Okay then. I’ll start us off. Most, but not all, of the quilt appreciators in my family already own a holiday lap size quilt from me. I have 2 to go. So my first goal is to make one from my holiday fabric stash. No new purchase is necessary. I’ve taken 2 online classes recently about machine quilting with a walking foot. I’ll use this holiday quilt as a practice piece for another quilting technique I’d like to try. I’m going to use a disappearing pinwheel technique from Jenny Doan’s Missouri Star Quilts as the pattern. That’s another thing I’ve found online that I want to try. (Here’s a link to the block I’m going to use. Click here.)

Please join in on the challenge and share your first goal for the year in the comments section. We’ll give encouragement, and maybe I can come up with a prize or two as an incentive to keep sewing!!

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Where has the time gone?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I was quite surprised this morning when I looked at the date of my last post. Almost a month has gone by–where has the time gone? Anybody else running around like a chicken with no head trying to get everything done for the holidays? Yikes!

What have you been up to in the sewing room (if you’ve had time to get in there!)? I have made a few adult bibs for  elderly patients in a nursing home.  I copied the outline of the institutional one that is given out, and then make them with hand towels from the dollar store and novelty fabrics around the upper body and neck. They have been quite popular-I did pumpkins in October, wacky turkeys for November, and birds in Santa hats for this month. Those have been sent off so the patients can enjoy them for a bit before the Santa’s are out.

Also working on placemats for nieces’ apartments. They have finally grown beyond the stage where they didn’t want “homemade” stuff from auntie, and are often mentioning quilted things that they would like for their own homes. Holiday things are always mentioned so that’s what the placemats are. I may have to give IOU’s for the later holidays coming up after the new year. (Quick gift idea-when each of them was in college, I made pillowcases of the month for them which were a huge hit with them and the room mates. They would get them mailed in a package around the first of each month so there was the double fun of receiving a bit of snail mail. There are tons of free easy pillowcase patterns around on the internet, if you think this would work for someone on your list. Plus it pushes off the due date for your completion of the sewing project!)

Have you ever had the experience of giving a quilted item that you spent hours making falling flat on its face when the recipient opens the present? Or perhaps you got lots of enthusiastic thank you’s at the time of opening, but then you never see the quilt again or, worse yet,  see it being used as a dog bed or in the trunk of the car? Does that turn you off from making and giving quilts? There is a “hot” thread about this topic on one of the quilting boards that I read frequently. Apparently many quilters have decided not to give away quilts anymore because of lack of appreciation. Fortunately this hasn’t happened to me yet. Perhaps some of the charity quilts I’ve made have not been beloved, but I don’t have to know about that. How about you? What are your feelings or experiences with this?

HO! HO! HO! Off to teach a class today, and then shop for gift cards. After that it’s on to the baking! Making my list and checking it a million times!

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Filed under free patterns, gift ideas, sewing with/for kids, Uncategorized

What are your values?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

What a beautiful morning we have today! The first canine perambulation of the day was so refreshing! Both of us enjoyed meeting some of the neighbors out walking too, since many of them are working today due to the holiday.

I’ve been playing with a new computer program (EQ7 is new to me and my Mac) which makes it so easy to move the placement of values in a quilt block. I once heard a big name quilter (can’t recall exactly which one though!) say that “value does all the work, but color gets all the credit!”. Definitely is true.

Here’s a link to a short video (click here) which makes this point so well. I think a fun challenge for our guild might be to choose a block, give just a line drawing to participants, and see what everyone does with it. If we all got one of those dragonfly eye lens that multiply the image, we could have fun looking at all sorts of quilts without having to make them all ourself! Just a thought for whichever member is going to be the next challenge chair.

Heading outdoors now to enjoy our last bit of fall, before Old Man Winter comes to visit.

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folded fabric ornaments

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Title is self-explanatory so I won’t say anymore.

star 1: click here

pentagonal star: click here

Very easy–my personal favorite (can use 60 degree triangle ruler): click here

demo night ornament (I think it is anyway, I was giving a demo myself so I didn’t get to visit the others. I did see one of this type of ornament on the table though.: click here

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Filed under free patterns, gift ideas, stash reduction, tutorials, Uncategorized