Saturday, April 30, 2016

May is for Makers

I am busy getting ready to launch the 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt along next week, but I stumbled across something today that I want to share. Lindsey Rhodes from LRStitched has a post about purchasing patterns from independant designers. There are so many patterns available free on the
internet, and I so often design my own. I don't support other designers beyond following their blogs. I am going to commit to what Lindsey is suggesting and purchase one pattern every week for the month of May from an independent designer. There are so many wonderful people doing fabulous work with unlimited creativity.

As a beginning designer I only have two patterns for sale, at, and carried by one wholesale distributor, Checker Distributors. Some months I have no sales, others a dozen or more. I have several more patterns in the works but it takes a lot for a design to go from an Electric Quilt drawing, to instructions, test sewing, making a sample and writing the pattern. And whatever fabric you make the cover photo sample with is no longer available by the time the pattern is published. Anyway, pardon the preaching but I just wanted to say we should support independent designers and bloggers, and don't copy and share patterns.

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

End of the Art Deco Monogram

This is the last installment of Ruby Short McKim’s Art Deco Monogram Font. It was published the October 30th. Ruby says that X, Y and Z are quite lacking in popularity but that many collect the whole series. That way when a gift is needed you have any combination of initials possible. I have known people with a last name starting with Y and Z, but never X!

Click here to download a pdf version

For the complete font here is a list of links:
               A – D
               E – H
               I – L
               M – P
               Q – T
               U – W
Also, the posts are all tagged as Art Deco Font. 

The 101 Patchwork Blocks quilt that will start next Wednesday. I will share a couple layout options and an overview of the blocks between now and then. I am going to do mostly rotary cut blocks but will offer a choice of some of the applique blocks that can be included. I'm also planning on one or two pieced final borders. I expect this quilt will be queen sized if you make all the blocks. I'm having fun deciding which ones to start with!

Talk to you soon,


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Art Deco Monogram U-W

This installment of Ruby Short McKim’s Art Deco Monogram Font is U to W. There is only one more week to go for the full alphabet. Oddly, this one was published out of order in the original newspaper so I had to hunt for it. The paragraph is hard to read but it talks of painting a coffee can and decorating it with a monogram and maybe stripes for a Christmas gift. It was published the 25th of October.

Click here to download a pdf version.

I’m working on the 101 Patchwork Patterns blocks and a layout for the quilt. The schedule is one block per week, usually on Wednesday, from May through December. I plan to use traditional thirties fabrics for my sample but it would look great in anything. It will be a medallion style with narrow solid borders between rounds to make the measurements fit. I’ve also varied the size of the blocks in the rounds so that we aren’t cutting wonky sized pieces as much as possible.

I have an original catalog from McKim Studios from 1931-32. It is fascinating to look though it and see the quilt patterns, embroidery designs, and general sewing projects. Everything from stuffed toys to aprons and other clothing is included. Here is a page of pre-cut quilt kits – check out the prices!

Thanks for visiting,


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Presidential Quilts in Paducah

This is QuiltWeek in Paducah, Kentucky, sponsored by the American Quilter’s Society. The main AQS show is open Wednesday, April 20 thru Saturday, April 23 at the Paducah Convention Center. I have always wanted to go, and I will attend some year.

My friend and quilt historian, Sue Reich, has an exhibit of antique quilts titled Patriotic & Presidential Quilts at the Robert Cherry Civic Center in Paducah. Also on display is the Presidential Quilt Project, consisting of 43 wall quilts depicting our presidents. Each was made by a volunteer using fabrics and patterns appropriate to the time period of the president. I made George H. W. Bush. This is as close as I’ll ever be to having a quilt hanging at Paducah! For more information visit the Paducah Rotary Club.

The collection is traveling to local museums and historical societies around the county until December 2017. They will be on display at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, from May 17 thru September 4. Sue has written a book, Quilts Presidential and Patriotic, that is available from Sue directly or through other booksellers. I highly recommend it.

This is my George H. W. Bush quilt, made for the Presidential Quilt Project. I used photos of things important to him, rather than strictly applicable to his time as president. During his acceptance speech for the presidential nomination in 1988 he compared America's clubs and volunteer organizations to "a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky." The thousand points of light became a regular theme during his presidency and is represented by the stars containing the seals of Yale University, Vice President, President and Director of the CIA.

I'll be posting the next part of the Ruby Short McKim monogram font tomorrow. Have a great day.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Art Deco Monogram Q – T

This installment of Ruby Short McKim’s Art Deco Monogram Font is Q to T. The column shows a couple sample uses of the font this time. There is an odd lady in the center with a monogram on her shoulder, and a shirt at the bottom that uses the monogram on a pocket. I checked Wikipedia for the definition of a monogram and it says: “A monogram is a motif made by combining two or more letters to form one symbol.” They are used for individuals, companies, corporations, and even royalty. I found an interesting article from a fashion historian about the use of monograms in the 1920s. And there is even a seller on Etsy who will design a custom wedding monogram.

To download a pdf version click here.

I’m very excited to announce that I will be participating in a blog hop in June. Each of the Opposites Attract participants will be offering a small project using three colors. The idea came from the wonderful two color quilts, like the red and white quilt exhibit in New York City a couple years ago. But designing with just two colors can be a challenge so the organizer, Marian at Seams to be Sew, chose to use three. I know what colors I am using but haven’t finalized a design yet. Maximum size is 35” x 50” so I’m thinking of a table topper/runner. The hop is being sponsored by The Fat Quarter Shop.

Have a great weekend,


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

ClubEQ Challenge

I decided to do the ClubEQ Challenge this month for the first time. The post reads:

April 2016 Challenge (
Design a quilt using a quilt layout from the Layout Library – Stars. Use only the Stars category of layouts, but you may choose any of the layout styles there. You can find the layouts in Libraries > Layout Library > Basics by Style > Stars. 

- Barb Vlack

So, I started with the Stars #47 layout (on a green square so you can see it). As inspiration, I used a plate from a book my husband found online. It is of Bulgarian embroidery, titled Bulgarski Narodni Shevitsi, and copyright 1928.

And here is what I came up with. This quilt measures 50” square. It is partially rotary cut and pieced, partially paper pieced and includes a little applique. It was a challenge to draw the blocks on the square drawing board and have them end up what I wanted in the diamond shaped holes of the layout template. The elephant's trunk is a good example. A little math and some trial and error and I’m happy with the results. I have submitted this for the April ClubEQ Challenge. All the entries can be seen at:

I am planning to do some Electric Quilt tutorials and the square into a diamond block drawing would be a good one. Let me know in the comments or by email if you’d like to start with the basics or see some intermediate to advanced techniques.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Art Deco Monogram M-P

Hope you are having a good week. I have been busy writing a block of the month pattern for my guild this week. The big finale is in June so I’ve got to finish the assembly directions. I’ll share my sample once the guild sees the quilt.

To download a pdf. version click here.

This installment of Ruby Short McKim’s Art Deco Monogram Font is M to P. We’ve reached the M so I’ve created my monogram, MF. I think I’ll digitize it and embroider it on a zippered bag or wallet. I make a lot of “In the Hoop” machine embroidery projects and have made several wallets . These are so easy to make and give you a really nice finished product. There are step by step photo instructions included with the embroidery files. I have a number of Embroidery Garden designs and love them all. A monogram on the front or the lower inside pocket would look great. This is the 8" x 12" version with an added wrist strap. There is room enough for cards, money and your phone!
Embroidery Garden

I'm off to do some sewing this afternoon. Please share this post with your friends who might like the monogram font.


Quilt Show coming up

MQX Quilt Festival - New England
Manchester, New Hampshire
April 6 – 9, 2016

Coming up next week is the MQX Quilt Festival – New England. This will take place at the Center of New Hampshire in Manchester, NH, April 6 – 9, 2016. There is an online brochure you can see, and class and event registration is still open. I have attended this show a number of times, and taken several classes. The quilts are top notch! Nationally known quilters share their beautiful quilts, and their talents in classes. And of course the vendors are great. If you are a thread collector there are always several dealers here. I love this show!

To download a pdf version click here

Here is the next four letters for the Ruby Short McKim monogram font. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with these letters but I’ll have mine drawn next time. I haven’t gotten to the “M” for Mary yet!

Have a great weekend,

Monday, April 4, 2016

Shop Hopping

A friend and I went out on Saturday to start the State of Maine Quilt Shop Hop. There is a passport that you download and print from their website. As you travel, each shop stamps their square on the passport. We received a charm square, some other small gifts and a door prize entry at each shop. We did stop at one shop along the way that wasn’t part of the hop. But we were driving by so we had to! We went to a total of five shops. I bought three really cute half yards while thinking about my two nieces.

Splash of Color by Sarah Vedeler

Next, I found the perfect focus fabric for a project that is on my “to do” list. Sarah Vedeler Designs has a series quilt in McCall’s Quilting magazine for 2016. It is called Splash of Color and features embroidered applique blocks that require multi-hooping. This is something I’ve never done but I love this quilt so it’s time to learn. My Bernina 830 has a jumbo hoop with about a 10” x 16” sewing area. So far that’s been big enough for anything I’ve wanted to do. Sarah has offered free webinars for each block as it is released so I've watched the process of multi-hooping several times. Now to try it!

The large circular motifs in the quilt photo are a print from Sarah Vedeler’s newest fabric line, Transformation, by Benartex. I don’t care for the large print, and the embroidered applique has so many details I think solids will be fine for that. I love the colors of a fat quarter bundle (right) I have so that was my starting point.

Here’s what I found:
The larger print will be good for the outside border and center square, with the smaller print as inside borders. Both were marked down (yay). Now I’m just waiting to receive my Brother Scan ‘n Cut (backordered three weeks) so I can cut the applique shapes and get started.

There are 36 shops listed on the State of Maine Shop Hop, and they give you the whole month of April to visit. I’m sure we’ll be exploring again soon. It’s snowing today so it’s a good day to stay in.

Happy sewing,