Saturday, January 30, 2021

Lots of writing and frantic sewing

I started the new year feeling organized and in control.  One month in, not so much!  I have had a few more designs accepted by catalogs, but those come with pattern deadlines so I have hunkered down at the computer to write.  A couple of opportunities to submit designs elsewhere popped up, so I shifted into design mode.  All these are great "problems" to have from a business perspective, but it does mean I haven't had much time to share sewing here on the blog.

However, after all the designing and writing, I have to test things out.  The pattern isn't due to the catalog until March, but they need to order next fall's fabric for kits from the mills now, so they needed firm fabric requirements earlier.  I have confidence in my quilt math skills, but every now and then I forget to count a part.  I never feel 100% about my fabric math until I have made the quilt top.

Cue the frantic fabric cutting.

Doesn't that white stack look fabulous sitting on the red fabric?  I didn't get to admire it for long, as I had to get the red cut too.

There are all the pieces.  I'm not sure I should share the total number.  It makes the design sound daunting when it really isn't.

This pattern uses a lot of stitch-and-flip, AKA lost corners, so there is a bit a lot of marking.  I have tried different ways of sewing diagonal lines using a guide on the bed of the sewing machine, but I get better, more consistent results when I mark, so out came the pencil.  I'm not sure why I never before thought to lay out and mark several at a time.  I used to take one, mark it, stack it and reach for the next. Laying a few out a time is a small change, but it did seem to speed up the process.

I didn't plan to use a solid red.  I had a rich red Shadow Play in mind, but the shop didn't have any left when I needed it, so I settled for the solid.  I thought it might look too austere. Now that I have all the parts pieced, I think the solid is perfect. You can't see the white on white snowflakes in the photos, but they soften the look a bit, adding just a little interest to let the solids do their thing without making the whole quilt look stark.

With all the parts made, I'm pretty confident about what numbers to send the catalog, so I need to pivot to the other project with a deadline, but I'm really excited to share this one with you in the next little while.  If a classic red and white quilt is on your bucket list, or a quilt in any two colors, this design might be the one to tick it off the list.  If you'd like to test the pattern in the process, and have time to spare before the end of February, send me an email.  

As excited as I was to make this one (it's turning out just as I envisioned) I'm looking forward to something a little faster to put together. Next up is a 10" square precut friendly quick make, a  nice change from the many pieces of this red and white beauty.  The next one has fewer, bigger pieces, but it's just as pretty because it's going to be made in gorgeous jewel tone batiks...

Jewel Quest 10" stack by Island Batik, with yardage from their Basics lines

That's all I have to show until after I cut it all up and sew.  The presentation is so lovely though, it almost seems a shame to take it apart...

Meanwhile, I'd like to know:  have you ever made a two-color quilt?  I'd love to hear about it.  If you haven't, are you tempted?

Happy quilting,



  1. Never made a 2 color quilt. Been tempted to try one, and even bought a Hunters Star die from Accuquilt a few years ago. Your new pattern does look like it has a lot of pieces. But then I think back to all quilts- when I stacked up all the pieces, those looked pretty large too!

  2. I LOVE two color quilts. I have made several.(At least 4 that I still own.) I do not use all the same reds or blues though I generally have a consistent background. How much fabric is needed for testing your quilt? Our weather has been frightful so I’m not sure that I can get out to shop for what’s needed to test your quilt........

  3. Can't wait to see these new designs!! And Yes, I have made a 2 color quilt in 2010, I believe. In fact, I made 2 of the same quilt because it was based on a quilt made in the late 20s or early 30s commemorating the flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Two of my sons are pilots and I couldn't have made only one. You can see it in my blog post of 5/24/2017.

  4. Oh, I struggle making two color quilts. Several years ago I started a red/white mini Burgoyne Surrounded. I get so antsy for more color that I can't work on it for long, and I have never finished it.
    On my design wall is a Pam Buda design that was for two colors. I made most of it with three colors, but couldn't help myself from adding a fourth color in the border. I am a fan of two-color quilts, if I don't have to make them. LOL
    I am loving the look of those batiks for the second quilt!

  5. Congrats on all the upcomong publications! I do like a two colour quilt and the red and white looks great.

  6. I have never made a two color quilt but that red in white is absolutely beautiful. Might be a first coming up.

  7. Oh, I love those batiks! I love your stacks of fabrics.

  8. I love red and white quilts . Will there be a pattern available?

    1. Red and white quilts have a classic appeal. Yes, there will be a pattern. It is written and cirrently is in the hands of testers and a tech editor. Watch the blog for pattern release information, or sign up for the newsletter (see sidebar or scroll down for signup form)

  9. Made many two color quilts. A navy shot cotton contrasted with a muslin called Ecology Cloth. Irish chain, nine patches, sawtooth stars, half square triangles, and even plain squares on point. Denyse Schmidt published a shot cotton yellow/turquoise large scale kaleidoscope block years ago that worked up beautifully 60"x80". Sewed up a red print with muslin that became one of my favorites once it was quilted. It is hard to give them away when they come back from the longarmer so nicely finished in an imaginative way.


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