Friday, November 25, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Sources for Quilt Block Patterns

A few weeks ago I shared my favorite free quilt block tutorials.  And this week I'm sharing another great resource - my favorite places to find new block patterns and tutorials!

Sources for quilt block patterns and tutorials

If you're doing a swap, belong to a bee, or need to contribute a block to a charity quilt, having a go-to list of sources is really helpful!  These are my top 5 resources when I'm searching for new blocks, or old favorite blocks!

#1:  Quilter's Cache

Quilter's Cache - a great resource for quilt block patterns

This site has been around for a long time and is a fantastic resource for finding quilt block ideas.  Years ago when I was involved in several online quilting bees, most of us would use Quilter's Cache as our resource for coming up with new ideas for the group.

The blocks are organized both alphabetically and also by size.  so the tricky thing is that if you're not sure what the name of a block is, then you could spend some time searching for just what you want.  But that's not always a bad thing, right?  As I'm searching for a certain block I inevitably find a few others to add to my 'must make' list!

#2:  Fave Quilts
Fave Quilts - a great resource for quilt block patterns

I like to peruse Fave Quilts both when I'm looking for quilt block tutorials AND when I'm looking for full quilt tutorials.  This is a great site to bookmark.  I love that there are actual photos of most blocks (not just diagrams) and the link on each block takes you to the blog where the tutorial can be found.  I've discovered some fantastic new-to-me blogs this way too!

#3:  McCall's Quilting

McCall's Quilting - a great resource for quilt block patterns

I recently discovered this site and quickly added a few of these blocks to my wish list.  For all of the blocks there's a way to download and print the instructions, or you can just view it on the site.  They have great diagrams to step you through making each block.  And some of the quilt blocks have links to the full quilt pattern!

#4:  Generations Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

Generations free quilt block patterns library

Yet another great resource!  All of the blocks in this collection are organized alphabetically and from I can tell from the ones I've done, they include the math for other block size variations.  So helpful!  

#5:  Pinterest

Pinterest - a great resource for finding new quilt block tutorials

I know.  I should have had Pinterest listed as #1, right?  It really is where I turn first when I'm searching for a block pattern or tutorial.  I have one Pinterest board dedicated just to quilt blocks that I like, and want to make some day.  The one down side to Pinterest is that occasionally I find a great block, click on the link and there's no link to a pattern or tutorial-- or even a name for the block.  It's just a photo.  That can be frustrating and then I have to spend more time hunting down the information.  It's still a good source of inspiration (and eye candy!)  

Do you have other sources for quilt block patterns?  I'd love to hear them!  Where do you go when you're needing a new quilt block idea?   

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stairway Baby Quilt - a free quilt pattern

Stairway baby quilt - a free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

A few months ago I shared the story of this quilt with you.  And since then I've gotten a lot of requests for details on how I made it.  So instead of a tutorial, I thought I'd write it up as a free downloadable & printable pattern.  

The quilt is a quick one to make - it's just one simple block, which is then rotated to make the stairsteps look.  

Stairway baby quilt - a free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

The finished quilt measures 48"x 48", and you can make it with either yardage, jelly roll strips, or scraps.  All info is right on the pattern. I love that if you're using jelly roll strips, it only needs 16 strips.  Often times I'll make another pattern (like this one) and have some JR strips leftover.  Usually I cut them up into 2.5" squares and save them for another purpose, but they'd be perfect for a quilt like this one!

Want more?  You might also like these!  Click on the photo to go to the free pattern.

Charming Lucy free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner
Charming Lucy free quilt pattern

Churn Dash free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner
Churn Dash free quilt pattern

Woodland free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner
Woodland free quilt pattern

Monday, November 21, 2016

French Market Tote Bags

Last week I pulled out one of my many tote bags to use on an errand.  I had grabbed one of the larger bags, and my youngest (who is 8) stopped and exclaimed "I LOVE that bag!"  His enthusiasm was a little startling - especially for something as mundane as a tote bag.  But then he began to tell me about the memories he had from when he was little, of the two of us going to the library and using that bag to carry our books home.  How sweet is that?  I had no idea.  A tote bag is just a tote bag.  But maybe it's not. 

French Market Tote Bag

I do love to make tote bags.  I just think they're fun to make.  They are a pretty quick project, and sure are handy to have around!  I use mine for all sorts of things - from carrying hand stitching projects, to sneaking treats into a movie theater.  

I also love to give tote bags as a gift.  In fact, these bags in the photos are headed to my Francophile MIL who recently traveled to Paris with her husband to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  I'm hoping that these will remind them of their anniversary trip, but I'm absolutely positive that they'll also be used to sneak extra treats into the movie theater.  

French Market Tote bag - made with Colette fabric

When I make tote bags, I really love when the lining fabric is just as pretty as the outer bag fabric.  So I designed this tote bag so that the liner fabric peeks out along the top edge of the bag, and matches with the handles.  It's not as tricky as it may look -- I'll be sharing my tutorial for these bags in a few days.    

All of the prints I used for the bags are from a line called Colette, designed by Brenda Walton for Blend Fabrics.

It has these two prints that are full of charming drawings and phrases in French-- 

Colette fabrics designed by Brenda Walton for Blend Fabrics

And there's also this print with adorable hand drawn scenes of Paris.  I'll be using these in a fussy-cut project for sure!

Colette fabrics designed by Brenda Walton for Blend Fabrics

There are also a couple of sweet macaroon prints to round out the line:

Colette fabrics designed by Brenda Walton for Blend Fabrics

But these two prints are my favorite!  And see that little girl on the bicycle with the balloons - down in the bottom right corner of the bag?  She's adorable.  And she's the one that gave me the idea to make these bags!  

French Market Tote Bag from A Bright Corner blog

French Market Tote Bag from A Bright Corner blog

See more of the Colette prints here.  They'll be arriving in stores later this month  -  you can purchase them here from Hawthorne Threads.

And now to announce the giveaway winner from last week's blog post.  Congrats to comment #25:  OhioLori!  Your copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol 14 will soon be on it's way to you.  
random number generator

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks + giveaway

I got a fun surprise in the mail last week - one of my quilt blocks was chosen to be in vol #14 of Quiltmaker magazine's 100 blocks!

  Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks volume 14

My block is # 1344, A Change of Heart

Change of Heart quilt block designed by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner

It can be found in the 'mixed technique' category because it uses traditional piecing and some applique.  

Change of Heart quilt block designed by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner

Issue 14 is available in stores now - so pick one up next time you're out.  I love each of the 100 Blocks issues because they're so full of great ideas.  Remember this quilt I finished earlier this year?  It was one of the blocks from vol 12!  [read more about the quilt here]

Little Miss Sunshine quilt

As of now there are about 9 blocks from this most recent issue that I can't wait to try  - starting with this one--

Ribbon Cross quilt block designed by Allison Jensen

I love this Ribbon Cross block from Allison Jensen (Woodberry Way) - totally my style don't you think?

Cross Ties quilt block designed by Diane Nagle

And this one called Cross Ties designed by Diane Nagle (Pedlecar Quilts).  Love her addition to the classic plus block.  I can imagine all of the cool secondary designs that would appear when this is used in a quilt!  

Circle Squared quilt block designed by Melissa Corry

And Melissa Corry (Happy Quilting) always has great blocks in every issue.  In fact, I think this is her 9th or 10th block to be published in a 100 Blocks magazine!  

And now I have some great news...I have two extra copies of the magazine to share!  To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment below (one per person please).  I will choose two winners Sunday November 20, and announce them on Monday Nov 21.  Please be sure to leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger!    Giveaway now closed - thank you!

Happy sewing!

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