Friday December 13, 2013
Barbara Bracken's Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns lists at least 17 variations of quilt blocks labeled Snowball, some with curved patches and some with straight edges pieces.
Most quilters are familiar with the Snowball quilt block that's often used as an adjacent block within quilt designs. Its open center section and variable-sized corner triangles help the block link nicely with its neighbors to create a diagonal flow of color within the quilt. Snowball Frame's layout is quite a bit different, with lots of extra patchwork. It doesn't work quite as well as an alternate block, but works nicely in scrap quilts and can be repeated throughout the quilt. Vary at least some of the fabric positions from block-to-block to make best use of Snowball Frame's design potential.
12" Snowball Frame Quilt Block Pattern
Wednesday December 11, 2013
Quilting isn't new in Gee's Bend, Alabama, but the community's quilters have become well known over the past decade or so for their unique use of color and 'freehand' patterns.
Over the decades, quilters drew inspiration from both their African American heritage and traditional quilt patterns. But it's the Folk Art appeal of Gee's Bend quilts that made the community famous, and resulted in the traveling exhibits that have been displayed in many museums since the turn of this century.
The U.S. Postal Service issued a group of stamps that depicts Gee's Bend quilts and a quilt mural trail was established in the town to duplicate the designs chosen for stamps. Some of the quilters are now instructors who reach out to teach their methods to others.
Learn a bit more about Gee's Bend, browse the photos and find links to more information.
The Quilts of Gee's Bend
Photo by Carole Highsmith
Tuesday December 10, 2013
You'll see a different image when you land on this pattern's first page, because the tutorial is actually three patterns in one... a table runner and placemats, plus a coordinating 30-inch square quilt that can be used as a wallhanging or in any other decorative way.
The quilt block used for all three projects is a variation of Bear's Paw and Maple Leaf. The block is easy to assemble, but do take care when creating smaller versions of the half square triangle units. They're quick-pieced, which removes the need to work with stretchy bias edges.
It's very simple to lengthen or shorten the table runner to suit your needs, and to make the projects suitable for any season or occasion by simply altering fabrics.
Sew Coordinating Table Runner, Placemats & Quilt
Monday December 9, 2013
Choose a color scheme or make a scrap table runner from this easy pattern that's made from four quilt blocks placed on point. Repeating the fabric used for setting and corner triangles in two patches of each quilt block lets those areas 'drop out' of the layout, allowing the bow ties to emerge. Replacing the same two patches with a contrasting fabric will dramatically alter the block's appearance -- choose that option if it best suits your needs.
Neckties can be used to make the table runner if, once pressed open, each allows you to cut a couple of 5" squares and two smaller squares. Be sure to stabilize the backs of neckties with fusible interfacing to help reduce stretch, and plan fabric placement for directional fabrics.
Easy Table Runner Pattern with a Bow Tie Look