Quilt Storage Tip and Intro

Oh Christmas tree

My quilts are big. I stored them in every convenient space in the apartment, excepting  a bathtub, which was already taken for fabric. When packing for a teaching trip I'd invariably have a panic attack because I couldn't find a quilt or two or three.

Now they are contained. What once was lost, now is found:

100 Blocks Blog Tour Day 4

Perspective on my Simple Celebration block
Its center square is suitable for a photo transfer; the side triangles are paper pieced. They are foreshortened to make the block appear curved. It can be made with a few as two fabrics. It's my "go to" block when I need one that will look well in a sampler quilt

It's #148 on p45. In the quilt Gallery, p74, it's in Peggy Jorgensen's curvaceous "Ribbon Riot"  and in Donna Benham's "Citrus Spice" Sampler

One reason Quiltmaker is exemplary is the Quilting Motifs included in every issue; this issue's designs are sized for the 12" blocks
I'm giving this pair away* which includes my signature vellum
I live in Manhattan; I took the subway downtown last spring to Timeless Treasures Fabrics on Broadway and chose Botanica fabric by Lourdes Sanchez. I cut it up and saved some for two of you. I'll never forget visiting 'TT' with my friend the late Denise Bradley to select 'brights' for a group quilt.  She gazed at mountains of fabric and then pronounced herself verklempt.
Using the Electric Quilt, I designed and made the above block in the early '90s, a paper piecing pattern. One of my long term quilting obsessions is the Square on Point block. I added "short" triangles to the perimeter.

I've adored this block from the moment I made it. I made it again for the 2000 "Spirit of a Milltown" Block Challenge using a photo transfer of an image of a 19th century Mill girl for the center. Seen below, the block was auctioned online among a group to benefit the New England Quilt Museum.
Still loving the block, in 2003 I designed an all-in-one piece paper piecing pattern of it for my second book, Perfect Blocks. Extraordinary colorist that she is, my friend Jeri Riggs pieced it.
Quiltmaker will give away one copy of 100 Blocks on my behalf. Comment by telling how many years you've had quilting on your mind. To do so you may have to open this as a separate post. I'll use Random.org to select the winner late Sunday evening November 14th. On the other hand, you can always buy me
* I sent a pair of giveaways of TT fabric and Simple Foundations Vellum to Quiltmaker; follow their Quilty Pleasures blog to enter.

Today is Veteran's Day. I have a rule about Federal Holidays. I make it a point to always sew on Federal Holidays.

Quiltmaker Magazine and Giveaway

Christmas in October
I'm always excited to see the fabric quilters choose to work with. It's part of the magic in the air during workshops. The images below are from the Arrowhead workshop I gave this past summer at "Quilting by the Lake" in Syracuse.
Recently six staff members of Quiltmaker Magazine chose different Christmas fabric collections to make their Arrowhead.quilts. The six quilts are featured in Quiltmaker's November/December 2010 issue in an article that presents my rotary cutting method for the Arrowhead block. In true Quiltmaker thoroughness, everything is covered, including a quilting motif.  The icing on the cake was this interview and giveaway.
March 2011 edit from Anita: Though Quiltmaker magazine sold out of all printed issues of Nov/Dec ’10, the pattern PDF is now available as a free  digital download.   It’s also available as part of the 2010 Collection on DVD

Boise Blues at hand

This quilt has 110 blocks. It calls for 110 eight inch fabric squares; no fabric is wasted.
The magic ingredient crisscrossing this quilt are the Japanese indigos. I stumbled upon them in 2004 at the City Quilter in New York. Cathy Izzo, the shop's owner harvested them at Quilt Market and lugged them home. I spied them on the counter, still wrapped in cellophane, and pleaded with Cathy to sell ALL of them to me, never dreaming the quilt would be seen on cover girl.

A year ago this February I was in Boise, Idaho having a blast. The weather was milder than New York.
I explored their Anne Frank Memorial, attended the Boise Basin Quilters meeting where I demonstrated my Super-Sized Nine Patch Quilt, taught in the largest shop classroom I've ever been in, Patty Hinkel's Quilt Crossing, when Patty and I weren't out sampling Vietnamese food at lunchtime. I knew about the Boise Art Museum's collection, they even had some 19th century American quilts on display. What I didn't know was that the area is home to the largest Basque community in the United States. I enjoyed a Basquaise meal with unforgettable friends that I had first met three weeks earlier in New York.
My rarest moments were 'underground' in the Cotton Club. That's Cheryl Little's internet shop, below street level, in a period office building, where she curates fabric collections for her fortunate customers.

Have at look Cheryl's contribution to Making it Simpler: her splendid Cotton Club indigo kit. Look around the site. I started shopping at the Cotton Club when they were strictly mail order and my computer monitor's screen was monochrome green.
In July 2011 I'll be in California to teach the my "New" Old Italian Block in Long Beach for Quilts Inc Summer Festival, class #215.

Fabric Love

It's true. I do  ...starch fabric.
Muggy summer days have passed. I've resumed ironing and starching fabric. I press blocks but iron fabric, usually with National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition" as background.
I begin by sewing like-size colors and yardage into continuous loops. No loose ends means nothing to tangle. Ahhh.  The loop above was photographed just out of the dryer.  I detail it  in the "Ask Anita" chapter of  Rotary Cutting Revolution excerpted here

Boulder Big Time

Objects of my affection
I shipped my quilts to Boulder and reunited with them and my former editor Darra Williamson on the set of  The Quilt Show 
 Photos by Gregory Case Photography
Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims explored techniques from my third book Rotary Cutting Revolution Alex demonstrated my Pineapple CuttingLines Pattern. Stay tuned to see what held our attention when this photograph was taken.

B-52 is not a presser foot

See what you missed? The very embodiment of the abundant grace and loveliness of the Quilting by the Lake faculty at their Friday night After Party.
It was a long day but we never let our hair down
Left-to-right: Donna, Rosalie, Philippa, Anita, Carol, Karin, Jeannette and Elin. Bouffants by quilter Wacky Wendy Brackman; photograph © 2010 Susan Sato of Easy Piecing

Connecting Threads No-Waste Windmill

Would you like fabric with that book?

Karen Johnson interviewed me and, together with C&T Publishing, set-up a generous giveaway to celebrate my No-Waste Windmill Quilt.

I cut the above Windmill blades from stacks of  8" Connecting Thread fabric squares with a technique on mine. I don't use a template, I don't need to read the lines on a ruler. There is no wasted fabric. And it's unbiased. The edges of each block are on the straight-of-grain!  I took these two photographs of my CuttingLines™  pattern during its development. The final pattern allows for No-Waste Windmills in any size, with or without cutting through paper.

The actual fifty-eight how-to photographs for the No-Waste Windmill block are in my Rotary Cutting Revolution book. It's one of eight different block techniques.  The faster I cut my patches, the sooner I get to fondle and sew them. What's not to like about that? Alas, there is one correction to the first printing.

Freezer paper 101

Design wall alternative
With only 14 rotary strokes I can cut 64 pineapple patches to size, enough trapezoids and triangles for two Pineapple blocks from two squares of fabric. To make my Two-Color Pineapple Quilt I needed only two different fabrics, Kona Cream and Kona Tomato. All patches are interchangeable whether two colors or more are used.
Hint: I iron the patches to the shiny sides of freezer paper. They remain in place until I peel them off to sew a block. The blocks are conventionally machine pieced, not foundation pieced. The freezer paper can be reused.
Make It Simpler Scrappy Pineapple detail

Pineapples are fabric intensive. A 15" freezer paper mock-up results in a 10" finished block; that's over 60% lost to seam allowances.

Quilt Show at QBL

Seeing Red. Let the Fabric Work for You

  The Red Xcentric Concentric Sampler Quilt     60 x 40 inches    2004 - 2008
  • There are 18 blocks in this quilt
  • Each 14" unfinished block took only 11 seams. No triangles were used to make the blocks, only fabric squares. Revolutionary!
Got stripes?  Make It Simpler.

Quilting by the Lake 2010

And the livin' is easy  Fabrics are jumpin'  And the cotton is high.
Quilting by the Lake in New York state. I'm offering four unique workshops over the last two weeks in July. Advance preparation is minimal.

Cut it, Sew It, Love It

Launch party at The City Quilter
May 2010
Demo, trunk show and book signing courtesy The City Quilter, New York. Their picture album. I devised an original way to cut 64 trapezoids and triangles for 2 Pineapple blocks from two squares of fabric without measuring, nor waste and using only 14 rotary cuts. One of my eight new techniques. Who's smiling now?  Rotary Cutting Revolution

A Picture is Worth One Thousand Words

These are a few of my favorite things
The front, the back and the frontispiece from the book Rotary Cutting Revolution. And speaking of pictures, there are over 300 in this book. But, there is one, only one,  paper pieced block in the book.

There is a Google preview of several pages of the book on the the publisher's website. Look for the the Google  preview button here More than one thousand words and quite a few pictures.

Tip of the Rotary Iceberg

Made in the shade, with only 2 rotary cuts
There are 26 Tip Boxes in Rotary Cutting Revolution.

This tip from the book leaves many quilters momentarily speechless in workshops. 

To quickly and accurately cut a large square of fabric using a small square ruler:

1. Fold an oversive square of fabric into fourths

2. Cut off raw edges to create a fabric square 1/2 the desired size.

3. Unfold square. Voila, it's the desired size. Gasp.

Pictured: A torn oversize square of fabric approximately 18" was folded into fourths. Now about 9" square it will be trimmed to 8 1/2" square by cutting off  the raw edges (top and right)  Unfolded, it will be 17" square.

Be there and be square with less space, Make It Simpler.

Smartphone, Smart Girl, Smart Block

Diagonally speaking Arrowhead Piece Talks
Laura Yellen Catlan with her Arrowhead Piece Talks at the 2010 Long Island Quilters' Society Show, March 2010, in Garden City, NY. I'm particularly fond of blocks with strong diagonals. They enliven this quilt almost as much as Laura's juxtaposition of playful fabrics. She probably used over 150 different fabrics. Nice juggling.
A 'Laura' block
Assorted Arrowhead fabric kits sold by Quiltmaker here

The Pineapple is an old Favorite -Eveline Foland, 1931

Timeless and Original
Five Pineapple peeks on the May 2010 publication of my "Rotary Cutting Revolution
77" square  Windmill Blades blowing in the wind   Photo courtesy The Quilt Complex
74" square
70" square
I made them 21st century Simpler with my CuttingLines™ pattern
Workshop information

March Madness

Boxes. Goodbye and Hello
March 12, 2009 Quilts headed to Mother C&T, Concord, California

Two weeks later photography samples being boxed up

March 2010, one year later, samples back home.
Within a month, the best boxes in the world should arrive at my doorstep from C&T Publishing. I'm expecting my third book, "Rotary Cutting Revolution: New One-Step Cutting, 8 Quilt Blocks, The Make It Simpler Way®" It's a juicy book brimming with photographs. Very, very juicy.

My No-Waste Windmill

Bordering on track
Big Love  36" square 2010
I love, love, loved using my own cutting technique for this baby quilt. Look at the border. The orientation of the directional fabric was maintained. Nancy Wolff's pooches are upright.

I did not use a specialized ruler. There was no waste in cutting the fabric. No measuring. No Swiss cheese holes in the remaining yardage. My only efforts were pure pleasure: choosing stash fabrics to amuse my great-nephew.

By the way, this Windmill quilt is easier to construct than an ordinary four-patch. Believe it or not, its 36 blocks are square; the corners needn't match up. Happy girl.

But woe is me, I didn't catch a photography error on page 60. The correction is here

My One and Only Two-Color Pineapple

Economy in a new setting
I make bed quilts. I make them my way. In 2004 I figured out how to cut two squares of fabric into 64 trapezoids and triangles to make a pair of ordinary Pineapple blocks.  I do this without measuring. I do it without wasting any fabric. And I do it with only 14 rotary cuts.
Discarded metal kitchen cabinets were mine for the taking. I hauled them onto a dolly which I pushed up the street to my apartment. My building superintendent installed them in my sewing room. Because they are metal, I use magnets to attach quilt blocks to the cabinets' surfaces. It's a New York City design wall where every  space is used to its advantage.

The Road to my Rotary Cutting Revolution

The Old Italian Block
Studio Spring 2004
January 2005 Quilt videotaped for Simply Quilts
Now my 3rd Book! details
Pre-publication workshops were held at the  Great American Quilt Factory Denver and the The Quilt Crossing Boise, February 2010

Mysterious Scraps of the Self-Mitered Log Cabin

Rocky Road Trip: Denver and Boise Workshops
The Self-Mitered Log Cabin leftovers

These are my leftovers. Others made their own at the February 2010 workshops at the Great American Quilt Factory and the Quilt Crossing.