All posts in Easy Star and Geese Rulers

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It’s OFFICIAL: My new course, Magical Jelly Roll Quilts on Craftsy has launched!

I’m more than excited. I’m over the moon! It was so much fun doing the video shoot (lots of hard work, but so much laughter and fun with the production crew, too.) And the creative folks at Craftsy have done a brilliant job of putting it all together to produce a first-rate, top-notch quilting course featuring yours truly. (Seriously, I’m blushing).

I’ll guide you step by step, every cut and stitch along the way. And don’t even get me started about how much I love the Craftsy platform! There are so many ways to interact directly with me and hundreds of other quilters taking the same class as well. Everyone shares tips, suggestions, and it is always exciting when someone posts photos of their quilts-in-progress. There is plenty of encouragement for everyone, and I’m there to answer questions you’d like to post.

Learn it…

Create sophisticated quilts with easy-to-use precuts with the new online Craftsy class, Magical Jelly Roll Quilts. I will share piecing, applique and machine quilting methods that I teach around the world in the spirit of fun I always bring to the process. Intermediate and experienced quilters will love my time-saving tools and techniques. Make one of five included patterns, or use what you learn to create your own designs. Beautiful quilts will come together with ease … Magical Jelly Roll Quilts!

What You’ll Learn

  • Easy cutting and piecing with jelly rolls, other precuts, or fabrics from your stash
  • Shortcuts using templates and rulers
  • Machine quilting to enhance your designs
  • Techniques for invisible and contrasting thread machine applique
  • How to construct flying geese units, stars, checkerboards and more
  • Great ways to combine fabrics, experiment with color and use your leftovers

What You’ll Make

  • A Chain Saw quilt that features deconstructed half-square triangles
  • Easy Charm Cathedral Windows to polish your machine applique skills
  • Lonestar Strip Magic, featuring checkerboards and diamonds
  • New tricks with triangles in Flying Geese Crossing
  • Endlessly versatile Jacob’s Ladder blocks to combine in dozens of ways

Make it…

To see the class preview or find out more or even sample a few of the lessons, click here.

Special discount for my blog readers…

Go to my homepage and scroll down towards the bottom. You’ll see a link for a special 33% discount when you sign up! Hopefully, I’ll see you on Craftsy. Come join me. We’re having a ball over there!
Raveling a Mystery

The weather outside is positively overcast, oppressively humid, and incredibly dreary. But I’m enjoying a lovely, cool, Sunday afternoon inside my studio cutting these luscious melon-colored, batik fabrics. For what, you might ask? In preparation for constructing a brand new mystery quilt I’ve designed for the 2012 AQS Quilt Show in Lancaster, PA. I admit, I’m in love — seriously in L-O-V-E — with this fresh, slightly contemporary take of an Amish inspired design AND these glorious batik fabrics. I’m calling my new design, “Almost Amish Star Chain”  and it would be equally stunning with either a light background as shown (the photo above washed out the color of the delicious minty-green background fabric) or with a dark background, as shown below.

Six fabrics, in values from dark to light. Or visa versa.
Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

I can’t wait to be an instructor at the AQS Lancaster Quilt Show next year. It will be like going home again for me. Hopefully, I’ll see some familiar faces and old friends next year. So if you’ll be anywhere along the East Coast in March 2012, my goodness…. I hope you’ll sign up for a class or two and come and see me. We’ll have a great time!

Enough blogging for now. Time for me to get back to writing the pattern instructions as I stitch the delectable, melon-inspired, Almost Amish Star Chain quilt from these sumptuous fabrics. Just think of it this way: It’s time for me to go “ravel” a mystery so some of you can enjoy the fun of unraveling it — step by step – next March. Oooohhhh….I can’t wait!

Spreading the word

For me, one of the best perks in this business has to be all the wonderfully talented and special people I’ve met and become friends with through the years. I just love receiving emails from these folks from across the country and around the globe. Recently, my friend and teaching colleague, Rachelle Apol, sent me the nicest email. She wrote:

“I demonstrated how to make flying geese blocks using the Easy Star and Geese Ruler.  I offered the demo at People, Places, and Quilts!in Summerville, South Carolina on May 7 to a packed classroom full of eager students including one young girl who thanked me and gave me a hug at the end of class.  The quilt behind me in the photo is not mine…it is an original from People, Places and Quilts, but the blue and yellow quilt is my quilt and was made entirely from flying geese blocks using your ruler!

Rachelle continued, “I encouraged my students to purchase your ruler because it does not waste fabric and works GREAT with pre-cut 2 1/2 inch strips.  While demonstrating the ruler for Sew-A-Lot quilt shop of Centerville at the Lebanon, Ohio quilt show a few years ago I cut lots of triangles that got thrown into a plastic bag behind the counter as the day wore on.  When I went back to work the next week, Lesley handed me the bag and said, ‘Here.  Do something with these.’  The blue and yellow quilt was the result.”
 
All I can say is WOW!  The quilt is absolutely stunning, Rachelle! I’m so thrilled you took the time to send me the photos and share your success with me and my blog readers.
Incidentally, Rachelle is available to present workshops and trunk shows, especially for her “Quilts from Photos” original workshop.  If you’re interested, please contact her at: apolfamily@yahoo.com.  And just for fun, here are some photos of her beautiful, original quilts (shown here with her permission.) Enjoy!
 

Women driving car, auto clipart, cartoon clip art free, vehicles clipart

I’ll be on my way to meet a large group of fabulously fun folks at the mega-popular Quilter’s Paradise Retreat sponsored by Quilting By The Bay in Panama City this weekend! I was absolutely tickled and very honored when the shop owner, Sandy Perdue, contacted me and asked if I would present two workshops and a lecture at this year’s retreat. Sandy and I go way back. I met her almost 10 years ago (has it really been that long?) when she was serving in the Air Force and we were stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. I remember her preparing to retire from the military and we spoke about her dream of opening a quilt shop. Now here we are almost 10 years later and her shop is famous around the nation (and around the globe!) How wonderful is that?!

At this year’s retreat, I’ll be teaching students to make absolutely perfect pineapple quilts using  my NO MATH, NO TRAPEZOIDS, and NO STRESS method!

And I’ll be teaching a new mystery quilt class as well as presenting a trunk show of quilts from my book, Jelly Roll Quilts & More along with my PowerPoint presentation, Jelly Rolls = A Recipe for Design Success! With so much stitching, gabbing, eating, sharing, and access to one of the world’s most beautiful beaches…..I think this weekend will be a huge success!

I’ll be bringing two very special guests with me (no hints!) so for those of you who’ll be attending this weekend’s retreat — we are looking forward to seeing you there!

Let me state here and now that I just survived the absolute, all-time worst winter cold. EVER. It seriously had me down for the count. And twelve days later I’m still not back to 100%, but maybe 83%. Or so. The pretty pink roses my sweet hubby surprised me with last week lasted almost as long as my cold, but I ended up replacing those a few days ago with these lovely blossoms, and I’m enjoying them more than I can say.

I seriously [heart] tulips! There is just something about them that speaks to me on every level. Could it possibly be because I also love Holland just as much? Whatever the reason, there is simply nothing like a bunch of fresh tulips — in any color — to cheer the soul. And for less than six bucks a bunch, that’s cheap soul therapy wouldn’t you agree?

But I digress. The big news around here is that I’m sewing again.

This might seem like an odd statement coming from someone like me because you might think I pretty much sew all the time. And unless we’re in the middle of a household move (which we aren’t) I pretty much do sew all the time. But for a variety of reasons (writing and designing deadlines, health issues, holidays, family, etc….) I hadn’t actually turned on my sewing machine to stitch anything since early last November. This is highly unusual for me and I not only went through serious withdrawals during the past couple of months, it has been seriously hard for me to get my mojo going to actually get sewing again.

Until yesterday.

I pieced one of my new quilt designs into a glorious top called Caribbean Sea Stars for a class I’ll be teaching on the 10 day cruise to the Caribbean next month. Boy oh boy, I can hardly wait for that trip. I’ve heard all three of my full-day classes on the cruise are completely full (yeah!) and I can hardly wait to share my top tips and techniques to make the Sea Stars quilt in a matter of hours; because the design looks oh-so-much-more complex. I’ll show you a photo, but I want to wait to show it when it has been quilted and bound. I used 8 glorious batik fabris, and the quilt  is the Caribbean personified! Stay tuned for pictures to come….

Then last night after the boys were in bed, I pulled out a small, but special stash of fabrics I bought when I visited Birgit Schuller in Germany last year, at her friend’s (also named Birgit) shop. Because of my hectic schedule last year, I never had time to really do anything with those exquisite Danish fabrics. Until last night. Until it was TIME TO SEW AGAIN. Truth is, in all the months since last April, I have never gotten that color — that amazing, indescribable, glorious, in-your-face, chartreuse – out of my mind. I’ve mulled it over. I’ve planned. I’ve dreamt about it.  I’m convinced it is the “new neutral.” Better than gray, even. I’m also convinced (call me crazy) I can pair it with these delicious, sweet pink, raspberry and blue fabrics to make a quilt that is exquisite, exciting, and perhaps a little ‘on the edge of exotic.’ But most certainly, out of the box. My color box, that is.

So I got busy and began cutting those luscious fabrics. At 11pm at night, mind you. And after three rerun episodes of Frasier later, I had 24 of these:

After my afternoon walk with the dog today, after the boys have been fed dinner, homework is done, books have been read, laundry is caught up…..it will be my time again. I have a date tonight with my special Danish fabrics; and my chartreuse. I’ll be working on that new ‘out of my box’ design. And you’ll see. We’ll see. Chartreuse really is the new neutral.

But more importantly, I’ll be sewing. Again. Talk about therapy for the soul. Yep, sewing is even better than tulips!

I taught another fun-filled mystery quilt class at Scrap and Sew recently; we all had a marvelous time. Shame on me for not remembering to take photos of the class to share with all of you blog readers! I don’t know why my camera slipped my mind. Could it have been the Sangria? (Which was the name of the mystery quilt we were making that evening, not the fruity wine beverage.) But I do have some wonderful photos to share from a couple of the gals who came to class that evening.

Cindy Castora brought this adorable Heart quilt she made with the EZ Hearts Cut Tool. Isn’t it just darling? Well done, Cindy! I especially like all the trims and embellishments you used. (Cindy is just such a sweet, optomistic gal who’s a joy to have in class!)

Teri Morrow brought quite a few wonderful thing to show and share. Teri is a hoot! I’ve rarely seen such a prolific quilter; she also happens to be an absolute delight to be around!

Teri also used the EZ Hearts Cut Tool and got creative to make a fabulous, one-of-a-kind Mother’s Day gift. This little quilted heart keepsake booklet was simply too cute for words. Teri combined scrapbooking with quilting and made memory pages with photos and trinkets. I just love it! Check out the pages of her heart booklet below:

 

But that’s not all Teri brought to share. Previously, she was a student in my Perfect Pinless Pinwheels and Flying Geese class. She not only loved the technique and project, she took it to a whole new level and made this stunning bedroom ensemble for her neice. Her quilt and matching pillow shams are stunning! Enjoy the show and tell….

 

Teri’s pinwheel points are perfect; her flying geese also have absolutely perfect points, and the BEST part is, she made the entire quilt using NO PINS!!!

I also want to send a huge shout-out to Birgit Schueller, who won the highly coveted Solitaire Award for Machine Quilting at the HMQS in Salt Lake City last week for her amazing quilt, Shooting Stars. Many congratulations, Birgit! You ROCK the machine quilting world, lady!

I’m happy to tell you (if you haven’t discovered already) there are new pictures from our trip to Europe I’d like to share on the PHOTOS tab above. Check them out!

I just want to mention a few things about my teaching at the Prague Patchwork Meeting a few weeks ago. It was a completely awesome experience! I taught at the PPM two years ago, and was invited back again this year. I loved it before, but it was even more amazing this time, if that’s possible. The facilities were awesome, and the classroom was one of the nicest, brightest, largest classroom I have ever taught in!

Standing next to Anna Sterbova. This gal is an amazingly talented art quilter - and also an outstanding translator! I'm so proud to call her my friend.

Jana Lalova is a dear, sweet, talented lady. I've so enjoyed corresponding with her for the past three years. And she is also a very talented translator!

But the absolute best part was being with the people. The students were positively amazing! They came prepared and ready to learn. Thanks to the help of Anna and Jana, (my most excellent translators) the language barrier, well,…..it wasn’t a barrier. I truly love the challenge (and fun!) of communicating with ladies from so many different nationalities. Because if there is one thing for certain, it is this: 

Quilting is a universal language.

You've never seen so many gorgeous pineapple blocks in one place in all your life. And these Czech quilters were all having Oprah "ah-ha" moments using the Easy Pineapple Log Cabin Ruler!

 And Patchwork Transcends All Language Barriers

The ladies were all eager to learn how to make Jelly Roll Magic!

Did I mention? I’ve been invited back to the 5th Annual Prague Patchwork Meeting next April! I can hardly wait.

Lucky me! :-)

How nice!

My friend Pat, who writes a really fun and interesting blog herself (check it out here) wrote this morning to tell me she saw a lovely blog posting about my Easy Star and Geese Ruler featured on Red Pepper Quilts.  If you have a minute, scurry on over to her post and check out her dynamic and glorious flying geese quilt!

Considering this talented lady is making perfect flying geese quilts in Australia, isn’t it amazing to think just how far around the world our love of quilting reaches? I’m humbled to think my ‘lil ole ruler is making an impact down under and so many other places. Humbled, and truly delighted!

A box from my dear friend, Christine, arrived from Paris this morning. What a lovely surprise! Christine, (who recently became a new grandmother — congratulations!) is a very talented quilter, and she kindly offered to do some machine quilting on a finally-completed UFO. Remember this and this? Yep, I really and truly began this quilt way back in 2008. Last fall, I sent the top to Christine and she sent it back as a beautiful work of art. Her quilting is gorgeous! Would you like to see a close-up view of the quilting?

Once the binding in on, I’ll show you the entire quilt. Even though spring is just around the corner, looking at these gorgeous warm colors makes me eager for autumn! Along with the quilt, Christine tucked in some fun little surprises. I just LOVE surprises, and I double-LOVE surprises with a Parisian theme! (How did you know I collect Eiffel Towers, Christine?) She sent me a Paris calendar, and isn’t this the cutest little card holder you’ve ever seen? Thanks a million from my heart, Christine! I’m humming La Vie En Rose…..

On another note, we’ve loved reading all the cute and clever entries to the caption contest for the kitty photo. Every single one has made us giggle. Josh and Andrew are especially excited and have loved reading all the different captions. So, keep ‘em coming! There’s still time to enter the giveaway — just leave a comment below with your “caption” for the photo of what our kitties might be thinking or saying. We’ll choose a winner and post it on Sunday night.

In the meantime, happy weekend everyone!

I spent a wonderful day last Saturday teaching a class at Scrap and Sew, in Lutz, Florida. The ladies were all genuinely enthusiastic and ready to learn and I shared my favorite tips and techniques to help them improve their skills — while they put the clues together throughout the day to make a mystery quilt!

Tess and Terry Pokorny (owners of Scrap and Sew) were gracious, warm, and aboslutely wonderful in how they accommodated such a large number of students for the class. (They told us this was the largest class they have ever held in the shop!) Thank you, Tess and Terry — you made the day extra special by all your thoughtful preparations, class room set-up, and attention to details!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then sit back and enjoy the show. Here’s a recap of our fun, rejuvenating day of stress-free stitching!

Betty and Pat — table mates and new friends

Charm and Holli — sisters, spending a fun day together doing what they love!

Cindy made her quilt using a great selection of 30′s reproduction fabrics. Love the black!

Jennifer, (Cindy in the background), Wendy and Michelle meet at the cutting and pressing station.

Lisa was all smiles. Her fabrics were so pretty!

Mindy’ s black, white and red version was absolutely stunning!

Guayatri learned the secret of pinning perfect points!

Cindy and Tess start laying out the blocks to piece together the “clues.”

The first mystery quilt class at Scrap and Sew.
Check out those smiles after a full day of sewing — now this is creativity recharge at its best!

Who’s ready for the next mystery quilt?