Déjà vu and the Unbiased Quilt Block

August 21, 2016

It's Sunday morning. I'm at my desk, never with a cup of coffee, absorbed in an Electric Quilt project when an email from Electric Quilt arrives. What a coincidence, I must grab a screenshot:

The message is: What's new and trending at DoYouEQ.com? Whoa! I see my name, I see my block, it's Déjà vu all over again!!

It's a complete surprise to me. EQ's message includes a Lesson with links to my video and free pattern  EQ uses the Unbiased block to demonstrate a rotation lesson. You must check out their post. It's a goldmine.
I've got a boxful of leftover Unbiased Blocks. Recently my friend Karen took a stack off my hands and put this top together. With sashing! With a Mitered border! No wonder she's smiling ...
but a few minutes earlier she was surprised as were we all at the City Quilter...
It was a close call
Hmmm. Coffee.
Make it Simpler,

Quick Techniques for Classic Blocks: Wrenches, Stars and Twists

March 2016
I give in. I'll use the word. AWESOME
I love to choose fabrics. I love to sew. And I get a kick from making it simpler. So...
I recorded a class for Craftsy which demonstrates my new methods. You can't tell what I do by looking at my work but if you watch the preview you'll see awesomeness. For starters, I did not sew triangles to the corners of the blocks below nor did I sew any Geese units for the stars above.. Have a PEEK. Enroll. Sew and skip all the steps that I skip.

Make it Simpler,

100 Quilt Blocks in 50 Days

A Story in Every Stitch a tale with
Fabric fit for a queen
Royal templates 
(The page from a book I wrote)
Download the Pattern PDF from Janome

The Secret Behind Anita's Hexagons

September 2015

C&T Publishing  encouraged its authors to mark this National Sewing Month and I got on board. My contribution is a very special Hexagon pattern that's been, unbelievably, under wraps for ten years.
How to Make the Best Use of Fabric
Use my line drawing to turn a 10" square of fabric into 7 hexagons (and 4 half-hexagons) in 10 cuts. Without waste.

It's typical of patterns in my Rotary Cutting Revolution book. Efficient cutting without waste or measuring.
I got together with Rachel Low here in New York at her Pins & Needles shop. Rachel is the C&T author of  Girl's Guide to DIY Fashion   We helped each other to make our how to videos. Have a look at mine, and if you hear a phone ring once, well, rings happen.
These fabric hexagons are suited for English Paper Piecing EPP. After making the video I polished up the pattern and made it available as a free PDF download  hosted on Craftsy. Help yourself to it.
My technique-filled class Traditional Blocks Made Simple is on Craftsy. It includes as a bonus the PDF of Rotary Cutting Revolution. Identical to the paperback version complete with 300+ photos and easy to print patterns. All in all, a sweet deal to celebrate National Sewing Month for yourself.

Make it Simpler,
It all began many hexagons ago...

Enjoy The Process: Anita's Square-On-Point Quilt Block

September 9, 2015
Summer Triangle Reruns Part 1

You say Tomato, I say Tomato
Some say Square in a Square, I've always called it Square-on-Point

Whatever you call it, I cut and piece it Simpler.  There is no waste other than eight teeny tiny triangles.
Two squares of fabric yield the equivalent of two quilt blocks + eight teeny tiny leftover triangles. For 40 blocks, you'd need 40 squares of fabric. For 100 blocks, you'd need 100 squares of fabric.
Read the story and download my unique CuttingLines pattern in my column, "The Fiber of My Being" on Craftsy. Tune to: Developing My Square-On-Point Pattern
Make it Simpler,

Summer Stitches

July 26, 2015

This summer I settled into writing, piecing and designing. My seventh Fiber of My Being column has already posted. These posts for Craftsy appear semimonthly; you can subscribe here
In  the Sweet Summertime Dreams column I mentioned my intention to remain in New York this summer. I'm thrilled everyday that the plan worked out.

I became better acquainted with newest machine "Elna Dunham" and progressed on an upcoming Elna group project "100 blocks in 50 days."
Years ago I broke a needle late at night which taught me to always have an extra package of needles on hand.  Can you see what I did wrong last week? Jeepers Anita!
 Make it Simpler,

Anita's Make It Simpler® Monkey Wrench Block Pattern (aka Churn Dash)

Why am I smiling at the International Quilt Market? Because I went from petting an Elna Lotus sewing machine to becoming an Elna Boutique Designer in under 30 seconds.  Which means I've got something to make you smile too.
The complete pattern AND directions 
It's a no-measure, no-trim, no-waste solution
I delight in making traditional blocks simpler and this Monkey Wrench is a chip off the old block. Here's a video glimpse 
Stack, sew on lines, cut, and sew.
It's how I made this butterfly version
You may know the pattern as "Churn Dash"
Why don't you try a Monkey Wrench and then think about the steps you didn't have to take? Start with: Gee, I didn't have to trim a triangle (HST)!
Stay tuned,  I'll be launching five additional CuttingLinespatterns to teach in my classes. Comments
I named her "Elna Dunham"

Make it Simpler,

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 11

May 5, 2015
Quiltmaker and the Zegart Block

Terri Zegart is the daughter of Shelly "Why Quilts Matter" Zegart. In mid-September 2001,  I wanted to make blocks like those on the cover of the book jacket.  I was smitten by the diamond stars which formed in the center of every four blocks.

I figured out the construction after line drawing the block in Electric Quilt. I went on to  paper piece six inch blocks each entirely on one uncut sheet of vellum paper. Not four four pieces of paper but one piece that folded but was never cut apart
Neither Terri nor Shelly could identify a name for the block. The cover quilt came from a prop house. I love this block.  I would have married it if i wasn't already married. It was published in 2003 in my first paper piecing book and changed the course of my professional life

For Volume 11 the block, below, is presented at 12 inches and is not paper pieced.
The fabrics are  Liberty of London prints

There is a giveaway. Do tell, for a chance to win, what is your favorite, love of your life, quilt block and where do you live?

Comment  below ***  by Saturday,  May 9th at Noon eastern time for a chance to win a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol 9 directly from Quiltmaker Magazine.  You'll also win a digital foundation for the six inch Zegart block from me.   Good luck to you

Make it Simpler,
1.   Anonymous comments aren't eligible as they don't provide me with a way to contact you
2.  Your comment must be applied to this particular blog post. Some quilters once left comments on a previous 2013 Quiltmaker 100 blog posting of mine
3. This is a shortcut to  post your comment

The Fiber of My Being

The Fiber of My Being
May 4, 2015
I've always intended the posts on this blog to be a quiltmaking resource and less about me. Well last month I undertook writing a personal column for Craftsy, The Fiber of My Being with Anita Grossman Solomon
Craftsy asked for the emotional and humorous aspects of being a maker and I'm happy to oblige.

I won't tell you the age of my Yo-Yo doll above but we've been together since my childhood. You can learn more in the column.

As for resources, this week I'm ensconced in my sewing room. I'm always envious when teaching that everyone in a workshop  except for me is sewing. When I get home my desk captures me and it's days to weeks before I can sew for myself

The best of both worlds is that I'm now adding  finishing touches to a series of new "Make It Simpler" patterns. Just you wait and see the construction shortcuts I have in store for you
And then there was Wishek, ND last week. You probably never heard of it. I hope to never forget the Homespun Friends I met.

  Make it Simpler,

Be My Valentine

February 6, 2015
What's Red and White and Square All Over?

It's in the International Quilt Study Center & Museum collection. Quilts of Concentric Squares have long fascinated me. The one above is currently the featured IQSC&M  Quilt of the Month. The monthly quilt and archive may be viewed here

subscribe  to the Quilt of the Month eNewsletter

With one stripe fabric per quilt, and no leftovers,  I can make a reversible Xcentric quilts. Front and back together, only a total of four seams
 Kaelin made her own reversible quilt (upper right)
Make it Simpler,

30 Quilts for 30 Years

Happy 30th Anniversary Kona!
November 7, 2014
Quilted by Janice E. Petre
I’m still smiling from an amazing week in Houston at Market and Festival. The icing on the cake was actually sharing in the celebrations for Robert Kaufman’s 30th Anniversary of Kona Cottons. And the party didn’t stop in Houston. Today’s my day to be the blog stop on the “30 Quilts for 30 Years” blog hop which runs through December 3rd with daily prizes throughout.  The look book created for this milestone is just too delicious – take a peek and download a copy for yourself !

Words can’t express how excited I was to see my Two-Color Coral and Indigo Pineapple quilt photographed so beautifully and included among the work of so many talented designers.  Each and every one of these quilts is gorgeous it its own right, and yet when put together in the wonderful “30 Quilts for 30 Years” look book their beauty is even further enhanced.

Want to get started on a quilt of your own?  Well thanks to Kaufman Fabrics, and Craftsy and C&T Publishing,  I'm able to GIVEAWAY a charm pack of the 32 new Kona colors
 AND my Craftsy class Traditional Blocks Made Simple

Recording the Pineapple in Craftsy's Denver studio
including my eBook Rotary Cutting Revolution. Step-by-step instructions with a gazillion photos for the Two-Color Pineapple are in the eBook and shown in detail in the Craftsy class. Details follow below.

Last spring while teaching my Pineapple quilt on a quilting cruise through the Panama Canal I received an email from Nichole at Kaufman Fabrics about their Kona anniversary project. I didn't know Nichole but was thrilled to learn that she and all of the Kaufman look book ringleaders were devout quilters

Nichole (right) and Anita
Nichole's North and South Quilt

Flashback: In 2004 I experimented with a new way to rotary cut Pineapple blocks using Kona Cotton so sewing up a new one for the Anniversary seemed in order.
My first Pineapple block emerging as photographed in 2004
This time I chose classic Kona Cotton coral and indigo for their contrast. I cut through lines on my paper cutting guide to get 64 perfectly-sized patches for two blocks in less than two minutes. I used only 14 rotary cuts to get the 64 patches without measuring.
From Fabric to CuttingLines to Patches without measuring
I’m sure I’m not the only designer who depends on Kona’s richly hued, colorfast and easy to work with solid cottons when they want to make an impact.
The GIVEAWAY has ended; The GIVEAWAY WINNER is Jenn. I spent the morning trying ALL of the fabric suggestions. In my nightgown. This is the first Saturday I've had 'off' in months and I've enjoyed it. I liked Jenn's  combination of Ultramarine and Pickle and I intend to work with that group this evening with the pack of new colors I purchased last month from The Fat Quarter Shop. Thank you all for your well considered  responses. Anita


If you are wondering how many Two-Color combinations all 303 Kona colors would make the answer is 45,753...  Now go sew!

Make it Simpler,
and follow the Blog Hop
Week 1:
Saturday, November 1st: Johanna Masko 

Sunday, November 2nd: Alyssa of Aria Lane
Monday, November 3rd: Dorie of Tumblingblocks
Tuesday, November 4th: Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations
Wednesday, November 5th: Daniela of Cozy Quilt Designs
Thursday, November 6th: Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts
Friday, November 7th: Anita Grossman Solomon
Saturday, November 8th: Debbie of Esch House Quilts

Week 2:
Sunday, November 9th: Alex of Teaginny
Monday, November 10th: Darlene Zimmerman
Tuesday, November 11th: Nichole Ramirez with Aurifil
Wednesday, November 12th: Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts
Thursday, November 13th: Lee of Freshly Pieced
Friday, November 14th: Julie of Jaybird Quilts
Saturday, November 15th: Latifah of The Quilt Engineer

Week 3:
Sunday. November 16th: Elizabeth Hartman
Monday, November 17th: Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting
Tuesday, November 18th: Karrie of Freckled Whimsy
Wednesday, November 19th: Valori Wells
Thursday, November 20th: Marilyn of Quilt Moments
Friday, November 21st: Cortney Heimerl
Saturday, November 22nd: Shayla and Kristy of Sassafras Lane Designs

Week 4:
Sunday, November 23rd: Shea of Empty Bobbin Sewing
Monday, November 24th: Carrie Strine
Tuesday, November 25th: Rachel of Stitched in Color
Wednesday, November 26th: Liz of Lady Harvatine
Saturday, November 29th: Carolyn Friedlander

Week 5:
Sunday, November 30th: Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy
Monday, December 1st: Emily of Carolina Patchworks
Tuesday, December 2nd: Ken Kaufman
Wednesday, December 3rd:
Grand Finale!