Cut, Stitch, and Piece Quilt Patterns

A blog showcasing quilt patterns by Monica Curry. Get free patterns, quilting tutorials, and printables. Quilt patterns for every skill level are featured.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A Taste of Honey Placemat Pattern: honoring our precious pollinators

Who doesn't love the sweet taste of honey? These stylish and modern hexagon placemats showcase the Bee Creative and Bee Inspired fabric collections by Deb Strain. But no matter what colours you use, these placemats are sure to make a statement.

A Taste of Honey Quilted Placemats
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A Taste of Honey Quilted Placemat Pattern


A Taste of Honey Placemat Pattern - detail

I love the quilting on the back. It reminds me of sacred geometry.

A Taste of Honey placemat back quilting

Our Precious Pollinators


The honey bees are in danger. After being here for thousands of years, their population is declining and one species of bee is on the endangered list. It’s scary to imagine what would happen if all our honey bees were gone. Most of our non-grain foods are dependent on honey bee pollination. There are 90 different food plants that depend almost exclusively on the honey bee. When my husband and I heard several years ago that the bee population was declining, we planted more flowers and plants that would attract and feed them. Also, we use only non-toxic, natural pesticides.


honey bee on blanket flower
Photo by Monica Curry



Here are five things you can do in your garden to help the bees:

  • Plant bee-friendly flowers and flowering plants in your garden and yard.
  • Honey bees love weeds, i.e. clover, dandelions, so leave a few in your yard.
  • Don't use chemicals and pesticides to treat your lawn or garden.
  • Buy local, raw honey.
  • Bees are thirsty; leave a tray of stones and water to give them a place to drink.

Here are three good websites with information about honey bees and honey bee populations:


http://www.panna.org/our-campaigns/save-our-bees

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/u-s-lists-a-bumble-bee-species-as-endangered-for-first-time/

http://foecanada.org/en/

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Three Ways to Resize a Quilt Pattern: Step-by-Step

Quilt patterns can come in many sizes. But what if the size of the pattern isn't the size you want? Maybe you want a throw instead of a mini quilt or a baby quilt instead of a king size. To resize your pattern, you need to know the percentage to reduce or enlarge the blocks. Read below to learn three easy ways to get the percentage you need to resize your blocks and templates.



1. Do the Math
Below is the standard formula for reducing or enlarging.

Enlarging:
  1. What is the original block size? e.g. 6 inches
  2. What size do you want the new block to be? e.g. 8 inches
  3. Divide the new size by the original size, e.g. 8 ÷ 6 = 1.33. 
  4. Move the decimal point two steps to the right to get your percentage = 133%.
  5. Enter 133% into the copy machine to enlarge your 6-inch block to an 8-inch block.
Reducing:
  1. Do the opposite of above. 
  2. Divide the small size (e.g. 6") by the large size (e.g. 8") to get your reduction percentage, e.g. 6 ÷ 8 = 0.75 = 75% reduction.
2.  Proportional Scale
Proportional Scales may look a bit intimidating at first but they're easy to use. You can buy a Proportional Scale especially for quilters HERE.


How to use a proportional scale:
  1. On the bottom wheel, find the original size of your block (e.g. 6"), [Fig 1].
  2. Line up this number with the new size (e.g. 8") on the top wheel, [Fig 1].
  3. In the window, you'll see the percentage of the reduction or enlargement you need to resize your block, [Fig 2].
Note: The math formula and proportional scale results may be off a tiny bit. This is okay.

Figure 1

Figure 2

3.  Proportion Measurements Chart
Download my enlargement and reduction charts to find the percentages you need at a glance. Download PDF.
  1. Find the original measurement on the left side of the chart. 
  2. Go along that row until you get to the measurement you want on the top row. 
  3. The number in the intersecting box is the percentage you'll need to reduce or enlarge your block.



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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Four summer mug rugs you'll love . . .

Summer is finally here! Now, check out these cute summer themed mug rugs. These would be great for drinks on the deck, around the pool, or hostess gifts for your next BBQ. The book includes instructions and templates for all four mug rugs shown below.

For a limited time, you can get the 4 Summer Fun Mug Rugs pattern book for 10% OFF. Use coupon code SUMMERFUN17 at the checkout.

Summer Fun Mug Rug Pattern Book
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four summer mug rug patterns book

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wooden Scissors Pattern Now Available!

About a year ago I posted my wooden scissors project that my husband and I worked on (see post HERE). This was such a popular post, I decided to make the pattern available for sale in my quilt pattern store.

These would be a great gift for the sewist or quilter in your life. They would be a wonderful addition to any sewing studio. I think it would also be a great project for a woodworking student learning the basics of using a scroll saw.

Wooden Scissors Wall Art
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wooden scissor pattern

wooden scissors pattern detail

wooden scissors pattern on the wall

Sunday, 4 June 2017

BLUE DIAMOND Mini Quilt

Who doesn't love a little bling? This cute blue diamond mini quilt designed in facet art style would brighten up any area of your home or office.

Blue Diamond Mini Quilt
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blue diamond mini quilt pattern

 While designing my diamond I soon realised that the facet colours had to make sense. The biggest challenge in doing faceted art is positioning the colours so that they look just right.

blue diamond mini quilt pattern detail


Below is the inspiration for my little diamond quilt. This stunning quilt titled Bling was designed, pieced, and quilted by Katherine Jones. Bling won Best in Show at the 2017 QuiltCon Quilt Show, and you can sure see why. The details in this quilt are stunning! 

bling by katherine jones
Bling by Katherine Jones

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hexagon Colour Wheel Mug Rugs Patterns

I'm introducing three new mug rug patterns to brighten your home for spring. The bright primary colours against white, black,  and grey is a crisp combination. You could use these as pot holders as well as mug rugs. They would look lovely in a modern kitchen. They would also be a great gift for an artist or art student. This is a good project for quilters just learning to foundation piece. Instructions assume basic knowledge in foundation piecing. The pattern includes instructions for all three mug rugs.

Hexagon Colour Wheel Mug Rugs
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hexagon color wheel mug rug pattern

hexagon color wheel mug rug one

hexagon color wheel mug rug two

hexagon color wheel mug rug three

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Phone book foundation piecing

use phone book paper for foundation piecing

Earlier this year, I was able to get my hands on a Layer Cake of With Glowing Hearts by Grace Noel before it was sold out from pretty much everywhere. I'm using this gorgeous line of fabric to create a commemorative quilted throw to mark Canada's 150th birthday this year.

with glowing hearts fabric colletion

I decided to make my quilt using the Hunter's Star quilt block because I love the block and it ties in with Canada's fur trade history. Hunting and trapping, especially beaver, was how Canada began.

hunters star glowing hearts collection

There are several ways to make a Hunter's Star block. It's a matter of choosing which one you use. I chose to use foundation piecing because it's the technique I'm most comfortable with. However, this left me with a dilemma. I needed 48 blocks to make the quilt, but I didn't want to use 48 expensive sheets of foundation paper for the project. I know phone book paper is used for strip piecing, so I thought I'd try using it for foundation piecing. I was very pleased with the results. The phone book paper printed beautifully with my inkjet printer. If this were a complicated template, it might be hard to read, but it was perfect for this block. This paper is very light but doesn't curl up with normal iron heat and it tears away easily. Honestly, if I could get my hands on some of this paper not printed I'd buy a box of it.

The pros and cons of using phone book paper for paper piecing:

PROS
  • Very light but strong enough to be handled.
  • Prints very well in an inkjet (not tested on a laser printer).
  • Tears away with no effort at all.
  • Doesn't curl up with heat.
CONS
  • Somewhat difficult to read template
  • Not a nice 8½" x 11" sheet of paper.
  • Can't see through it.
How to make your phone book foundation piecing templates:
  1. Photocopy your templates onto an 8½" x 11" sheet of paper.
  2. Cut out phone book pages to about 7¾ " to 8" wide.
  3. Cut a piece of white paper to the same size as your phone book paper.
  4. Cut out templates and paste or tape them down onto the smaller white piece of paper. 
  5. Place phone book paper in your printer paper tray and adjust the paper width bars to the width of your paper.
  6. Center the template page on the printer bed and photocopy it onto the phone book paper.
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Monday, 17 April 2017

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt Pattern

Inspired by a day at the beach, Pixel Beach is a simple and elegant quilted wall hanging in a checkerboard of neutral tones. A lovely addition to your summer beach house. Think warm summer sand, collecting pretty stones and sea glass on the shore while the gulls singing overhead. These were my inspirations for my new mini quilt pattern Pixel Beach.

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt
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pixel beach mini quilt pattern

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt Pattern - Detail 1

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt Pattern - Detail 2

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

How to Recycle your Batting Scraps


how to recycle batting scraps

Over time, like most quilters, I wind up with a lot of spare quilt batting pieces in all kinds of sizes. I keep these in a batting scrap box. These pieces come in handy when I don't want to cut up a large piece when doing a small project.

I used to zig-zag stitch my pieces together but in a rush one day, I used a quicker method that I now prefer. I now recycle my batting bits by joining them together with fusible interfacing. It's so much faster than stitching them together, and they hold together very well this way. I hope this little tutorial will encourage you to save your batting scraps and find a use for them.

You Will need

  • batting chunks you want to join 
  • rotary cutter 
  • quilting ruler or regular ruler 
  • strips of fusible interfacing. I used Pellon Sheerweight interfacing, but a medium weight interfacing will work just as well. I'm also pretty sure there is such a thing as batting tape but the interfacing does the trick. 

Instructions


1. Get your batting pieces and check if they are jagged on the edge or not (these are pretty jagged).

recycle batting scraps step 1


2. If the batting edges are jagged, trim a little off to make both edges straight.

recycle batting scraps step 2


3. Butt the two edges together as shown; don't overlap them.

recycle batting scraps step 3


4. Following the manufacture's instructions press the fusible interfacing securely to the batting.

recycle batting scraps step 4


5. This is something like what your batting will look like. Any puckers are not an issue because you won't see them once you sandwich your quilt.

recycle batting scraps step 5


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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

My Urban Pathway table runner kit

The Connecting Threads spring catalogue came in the mail this week, and I was so excited to see my Urban Pathway table runner quilt kit there. The kit uses Shiny Objects Fabrics designed by Flaurie & Finch for RJR; it has a gorgeous metallic print. Thank you Anita and all the gang at Connecting Threads!

Urban Pathway Table Runner
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urban pathway quilt kit connecting threads

shiny object fabric collection urban patheay

monica curry connecting threads magazine