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 the Denver Craftsy 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!

A Pineapple Shows In Texas…

October 21, 2014
I’m excited to announce that actually not just one, but two of my pineapple quilts will be spending a lot of time in Texas this year.  First up, my latest pineapple quilt made from Kona’s beautiful coral and indigo cotton solids has been selected for inclusion in Robert Kaufman’s wonderful “30 Quilts for 30 Years” 30th Anniversary of Kona Cotton exhibit and look book
Thirty amazing, talented quilters were invited to submit their Kona Cotton quilts (#konacotton) and the results are spectacular.  You won’t be able to buy your favorite Kona solids fast enough once you see the photos of all the wonderful quilts you can make.

Want to make your own Pineapple quilt?  Detailed instructions to make the block and quilt are included in my book Rotary Cutting Revolution by C&T Publishing.  The book can be purchased at Amazon.com  or downloaded in its entirety FREE when you enroll in my Craftsy “Traditional Blocks Made Simpler” class.  With my Make It Simpler® technique, you’ll be making this seemingly complex block in quickly and accurately in no time – just stack, cut & sew perfect blocks!  

The original Kona tomato & cream quilt I made in 2007 will be on display as part of the International Quilt Festival’s “Ruby Jubilee Exhibition” celebrating their 40th anniversary in Houston.
This image from the International Quilt Festival Facebook page
I hope you’ll have a chance to see this wonderful exhibit.  It’s sure to be a highlight at Houston this year. That quilt will then pack up and reappear at QuiltCon in Austin, from February 19-22, 2015 – will you be attending?
Make it Simpler,

Out and About

September 18, 2014 

I taught on two cruises this year. The ship's cruise director concluded every shipboard announcement by exhorting passengers to go "Out and About!" So out on deck I went to swim and marvel at the Panama Canal and eventually bask in Glacier Bay
When I teach a workshop, on land or sea, I'm always envious of the quilters. I watch them enjoy their fabric and sigh to myself, Oh! Anita Sue, I want to sew!  So sew I did late this summer and magic happened. The weather was mild, my iron was hot and I was on a roll. The short version is I have new techniques to unveil, blocks with Half-square Triangles and Flying Geese units made Simpler. After seeing online images of quilters' triangle waste and block trimmings I was inspired to explore a different approach.

As a result, a pattern will debut in the Nov/Dec '14 issue of Quiltmaker magazine. Yes! If it weren't for the careful magazine staff, this pattern would remain unedited, untested and unknown.

If you're curious as to what will keep me from sewing in the coming months - have a look at my just published newsletter (lots of pictures) and sign up for future issues.

Make it Simpler,
T for Texas Made Simpler
 Two squares of  fabric and continuous seams = Two No-Waste blocks

Honey I'm home!

June 19, 2014
Miles and miles. Between last month and yesterday ninety-nine pounds of checked baggage and I completed three cross-country flights. School's out; now is my time to unpack, have a swim and gather my thoughts .
By the way, you might follow my occasional picture posts on Instagram. I've begun to use "IG" as a scrapbook.

Make it Simpler,

Quiltmaker Giveaway #1: What are the odds?

May 8, 2014

The odds were 3 out of 4,319, or about 0.07%*  Nan_c won the issue of 100 Blocks because her reply happened to post on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 2:11:00 PM EDT and 2-11 happened to be my husband's birthday

What is Anita up to?
Double Wrenching with something up her sleeve
Auditioning Cowgirls, that block is unsewn
I press and block at the same time. I drew block Guidelines on the ironing surface with a permanent pen.   The block is 10.5 inches unfinished
*There are 1,440 minutes in a day and the competition ran for three days minus one minute   4,319 minutes. 2:11 PM occurred three times over that interval (if you also included 2:11 AM, the odds would double).

Tribal Crossing for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol 9

May 2, 2014 
Q & A with Anita
What inspired Tribal Crossing?

The "blade" shape seen in the traditional  Key West Beauty block that I patterned in one of my paper piecing books. It became a 30 inch quilt which grew to a 38 foot wide image in Times Square Details
I reprised the shape in my signature No-Waste Windmill block  Details
And now it's pretty in pink
What techniques were used?
• It's paper pieced with appliqu├ęd circles. I cinched the circles over 1" mylar circles
How did you make the circles?
• I could have fused them per Quiltmaker's recommendation but wanting handwork during travel, I needle-turned them and then attached them with a machine zig zag stitch

Are the circles necessary?
• They are the icing on the cake don’t you think?

Do you precut patches for paper piecing the background?
I do
Templates may be made by cutting a couple of Tribal Crossing patterns apart into subunits. Before cutting out the subunits, add a 1/4 inch seam allowance to each subunit. I use paper templates that I generate with Electric Quilt (EQ) software
• There are two sets of shapes that are the reverse of each other. They’re asymmetrical. That's four patches plus the center triangle

 I also used EQ to mock up other colors:
 How many templates are needed to cut the four patches? 
•  Only two. The trick is to always cut two same shape patches simultaneously from a folded piece of fabric. It won't matter if you fold the fabric right side or wrong sides together (Yes, you could use one patch and layer the fabric in fourths)
It won't matter if the template is right side or wrong side up. You'll wind up with two patches that are always the reverse of each other. As long as you can cut through two layers of fabric, you've got it made.

What paper do you print the foundation pattern on?
• I use my very own thin translucent vellum, Simple Foundations, for my original no-pin paper piecing method

How do you get away with no pins? 
  1. Get creative and position two copies of the foundation onto a sheet of paper exactly across from each other, 1/2" apart. The words  “Tribal Crossing Section” in the seam allowances will be opposite each other
  2. Print this composite  onto a sheet of vellum
  3. Carefully fold and crease the vellum in half so that each section is aligned exactly on top of each other. You need vellum to see the alignment Piece the sections Refold the pieced foundation along the original crease
  4. Without a pin, sew the same seam that you would have if you had pieced two separate sections Think of Humpty-Dumpty. If you don’t cut a foundation pattern apart, you don’t have to put it back together again
  5. I paper pieced Tribal Crossing blocks aboard the ms. Westerdam last Saturday night
     while between Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. I taught on Road To California's
    Panama Canal Quilt cruise
    Do you sell the block pattern for Tribal Crossing? 
    • I don’t but Quiltmaker does Purchase the issue
    Visual Learner? 

    Where might I take a Workshop from you?
    • I’ll be teaching next month  on Quiltmaker’s sold-out Block Party at Sea, a cruise through Alaska with Carolyn Beam, Debbie Caffrey, Diane Harris, Margie Ullery and Editor-in-Chief June Dudley
    • I’m always available in my 3 1/2 hour class on Craftsy.com.  It includes “Anita’s Arrowhead” expanded from the pages of Quiltmaker Magazine. It includes a bonus PDF version of my C&T Publishing book Rotary Cutting Revolution with its more than 300 images. You can win it.
    • There’s the Houston Quilt Festival in October and I’ll teach next winter on the Quantum in the Caribbean.
    Giveaways (3)
    Nan_c won the issue of 100 Blocks because her reply happened to post on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 2:11:00 PM EDT and 2-11 happened to be my husband's birthday. The odds of that are 3 out of 4,319, or about 0.07%

    The first and last commentors, Anita (!) and CapitolaQuilter each won the Craftsy class.
    What are you up to quilting-wise? 
    Make it Simpler,
    1.   Anonymous comments aren't eligible as they don't provide me with a way to contact you L
    2.  Your comment must be applied to this particular blog post. Some quilters left comments on a 2013 Quiltmaker 100 blog posting of mine 

Polka Dot Nine-Patches

April 1, 2014
The upcoming Block Lotto at my guild is 9" finished
For mine, I sliced a stack of  three 10.5" fabric squares.
 Polka Dots are in the eye of the beholder 
To make them
Stack 3 rough-cut starched fabric squares
Trim to 10.5" square
Slice 2.75" parallel to each edge
to get 27 perfectly sized patches
Mix and match the patches - there will be six possible unique combinations
If you'd like to see this demonstrated for 6" blocks have a look at this video about 2 minutes from it's start.  I like 'orderly' Nine-Patches; I find them an oasis in chaotic New York.


Anita's Super-Sized Nine Patch Quilt

March 15, 2014

I'm featuring the video tutorial and pattern for my Super-Sized Nine Patch Quilt in honor of Worldwide Quilting Day. The video can only be viewed on computers located in U.S
After seeing Alex Anderson in the video, head over to see more of her, and Ricky Tims in The Quilt Show. Quilters often tell me that they loved and miss Alex's show. Oh my goodness, they have been missing out on her. The Quilt Show's 169 shows are available this weekend at no charge. My work is featured in episode #905
I've been teaching quiltmaking for 20 years. I'm always teaching online at Craftsy; in a few weeks I'll be teaching on the first of four upcoming quilt cruises. It will transit the Panama Canal.

A former teacher and my brothers figure in my blogging.

Back in the day, in my biology class, Mr. Roycroft graded our essays by counting intelligent statements. An essay required a minimum of 3 paragraphs. A paragraph required a minimum of three sentences. Sentences were counted only if they were intelligent statements. No filler was allowed.

In the margin top of  my essay a cryptic grade was penned in red ballpoint. The best grade was  vgwog which meant 'very good work old girl.'   A boy might receive vgowob.  I was 14 years old, Simon and Garfunkel had released "Mrs. Robinson" and the best AP grade I ever received was in biology.

I have two younger brothers. Growing up I briefly kept a diary.  I kept it locked. I was naive. Of course my brothers picked the lock. They were also adept in opening a locked bathroom door.

I don't blog about anything that I want to keep from my brothers and I won't take up your time with filler.  I'd rather be in my sewing room than at my computer, wouldn't you?

Enjoy this Worldwide Quilting Day,