Combining Art Quilting Techniques

Combining Art Quilting Techniques

When you have an idea in mind for your art quilt, often combining techniques you’ve learned along the way and a little experimentation will help you reach your goal.

My goal for this small landscape art quilt was to recreate a scene of our Capitol shown in the distance through the autumn leaves. The fall season is my favorite, and so beautiful at the UW-Madison with the variety of trees and colors. Having worked in the heart of this beautiful campus for many years, I’ve had many opportunities to view it.

So how do I begin to reach this goal…where do I start? I cut a base of scrim and a thin wool batting about 8×10” and drew a 6×8” border, giving me a background with border parameters.

I knew I needed to begin with two important elements for the background … the Capitol and the perfect hand-dyed fabric for the sky. For the Capitol I used photo-transfer. And for the sky I auditioned several fabrics, until I narrowed it down to four. (Note: The “leaves” in the photos were left over from another project—just used temporarily to me help decide.

When I was experimenting with dying cotton fabric with Procion dye a few years ago, I made lots of fabrics that work nicely for sky and water. It’s great to have that stash on hand!

I liked the sky fabrics in the two bottom photos the most. I felt they had more depth and interest. So I made two. Why not? It’ll give me a chance to experiment more with my stitching and color choices for leaves & thread.

I found several colors of Aurifil and Sulky threads to “thread paint” texture and detail into the building and sky. Shades of grey blend nicely.

Now for the tress and autumn leaves. First I experimented by cutting individual leaves to fuse in larger chunks, but I didn’t like the look (sorry, I forgot to take a photo). So instead I opted to use the “confetti” technique by cutting small “confetti like” pieces of fabric and placing them directly on the background, covering it with tulle, pinning, and then stitching it down to keep in it place.

I rotary cut dozens of batik fabrics in fall colors and started planning out where the leaves would go. A tweezers helps with this process. …don’t sneeze!!

Once I was satisfied with the placement, I covered it with white tulle (to keep it lighter), pinned it together, and auditioned some of my Sulky and Aurifil threads to machine quilt it. Note the birch tree trunks added underneath.

The free-hand machine quilting not only keeps the little pieces of fabric together, but it adds texture and color.

I love the final look with the birch tree trunks under the stitched leaves. Now I need to remove (cut away) the excess tulle. And add a couple of borders, some backing, batting, and finally on the hanging triangles and binding.

Here’s a quick video of most of the final process:

Here’s a one minute video showing my process.

Whenever possible, I like to chose a fabric for the backing that’s interesting or fun. For one of them I found a fabric I’d experimented with marbleized on earlier, and for the other some fabric that gradated from green to brown. I like to sew folded triangles into the upper corners to make it easy to hang on the wall. (See the back of the quilt towards

the end of the video.)

Both art quilts are now in my Mulberry Patch Quilts Etsy Shop.

As always, I hope you enjoyed seeing the process. And that you’ll have fun creating your own favorite scene and experiment with different techniques along the way.

Happy Quilting!

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

Sunflowers for Ukraine PQ13 Entry

Sunflowers for Ukraine PQ13 Entry

Like many of you, I can’t stop thinking about and praying for the brave people of Ukraine as they are under attack. As Lella Boutique said so beautifully in her recent blog:

“Sunflowers are powerful and relentless in their pursuit of light … It seems so fitting that Ukraine’s national flower is a sunflower. Sunflowers have become a powerful symbol of the Ukrainian people; their heart, strength, and determination to fight for the good. It’s impossible not to be inspired by their spirit. We pray for these heroic people to overcome the evil at their door. We pray for the leaders of our nation and the world to know the right way to help.”

So for this week’s Project Quilting Season 13.5 challenge, I knew I had to incorporate sunflowers and the colors of the Ukrane flag into my piece. The PQ challenge is “Rhythm & Repetition”, so the rhythm is the heartbeat of those brave Ukrainians and the repetition will be the sunflower blocks themselves.

I found the most beautiful quilt pattern by Jen Daly Quilts shop on Etsy as an inspiration and adapted it into a small table runner and for cutting with my AccuquiltGo. Not only do I love the pattern and colors, but it’s a great “stash busting” project. And I know my Accuquilt dies will make it fast and the piecing easy.

From Etsy Shop: Jen Daly Quilts

Here’s a photo of all the fabrics I pulled from my stash of quilting fabrics in the browns, yellows, and blues that I’m looking for.

And here I’m cutting the squares and triangles on my Accuquilt.

It’s helpful to cut more pieces than I need and then “audition” them on my design wall. You can see that not all the fabrics made the final cut.

I love the way the gold and yellow petals seem to sparkle, and the depth created by the variation of the shades of blue.

The Accuquilt makes it easy to piece…because the corner “dog ears” are trimmed by the die, they easily fit together.

There was a lot of piecing to do…making me wonder if I’d get it done it in time. The PQ challenge entry has to be done from start to finish in one week, and I didn’t start this project until day 5! But I found I made a lot of progress by setting my timer and working on it in smaller chunks of a time over a couple of days, rather than in one sitting.

The finished piece (13 x 32”) can be used as a table runner OR a wallhanging.

I’ve sewn “hanging pockets” into two corners to slip a thin wooden dowel into for hanging on the wall.

If you’d like to contribute to the Ukrainian situation, I’d like to pass this information along that I received from good quilting friend (thanks Sally!). It’s smart to do some research on the organizations first. Here are two excellent websites to go to:…/top-rated-charities…

Like so many of my quilting friends, I’ve decided to sell this table runner in my Mulberry Patch Quilts Etsy Shop and donate the proceeds to help Ukraine refugees.

UPDATE: The runner has been sold (thanks to a generous friend in FL)…and every penny donated to a reputable charity (rated A-) that is airlifting much needed supplies to their partners in Ukraine & working with displaced children and families. Thank you so much !!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

Silhouette Art quilt: Project Quilting 13.2

Silhouette Art quilt: Project Quilting 13.2

The challenge for this week’s Project Quilting Season 13.2 inspired me: “In Silhouette”. Participants have only a week to begin and finish a quilted item for the challenge, and it took me a few days just to come up with the idea.

But once I did get the idea, I was off and running or should I say off and sewing)! I found the perfect fabric for the background from my stash of hand dyed and painted fabric. It reminded me of a sunset.

I free motion quilted the background first using a variety of variegated threads. Next I fused Steam-a-Seam 2 onto my black fabric and cut out the shapes and fused them to the background.

Then the black shapes were quilted with black thread, and I thread sketched the blades a bit to give them the look of grass or cattails. Blowing in the breeze.

I finished it off with a simple black binding, adding folded corners on the top corners for hanging.

Done and ready to enter in this week’s challenge. And it’ll be for sale in my shop later today.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

Weaving: Multi-color Yarn Scarf on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Weaving: Multi-color Yarn Scarf on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Now for something completely different (as Monty Python would say)! I’m usually blogging about a quilting project I’m working on, but I’m taking a little detour from quilting to learn something completely new to me … weaving.

While my sister was visiting, she won (in a local drawing) a weaving lesson to make a scarf with two colors of alpaca yarn…thank you Fevolden Farms LCC. Seeing her weaving process sparked my interest.

So, we found a lovely weaving shop in Palmyra, The Hook & Shuttle. Jay (the shop owner) was so helpful, patient with all our questions, and very knowledgeable. And while she found a beautiful Schascht Flip table loom, I purchased this gorgeous sports weight super wash wool yarn with hopes of weaving (or knitting) with it later.

I decided to get a small Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom (10”) just to get my feet wet & see how I liked it. The loom comes unfinished and unassembled, so after waxing the parts with Howard’s Wood Polish & Conditioner and letting it dry overnight, I assembled the loom. It was easy—Ashford has a very helpful online video.

Next came wrapping the warp. I used the same yarn for the warp & weft. It’s about 8 inches wide (64 ends using the 7.5 reed that came with my loom) with a warping length of 86 inches.

I did a loose even weave for about 36 inches. This was a great way to start.

See how open the weave is before it’s taken off the loom (above) & how the little square “holes” disappear after wet finishing (below)?

I absolutely love the look of the multi colors in the weave.

I twisted the fringe…who knew? There’s an inexpensive gadget to help.

…I decided to make it more interesting by folding the two end edges on top of each other and securing them with two sewn on buttons to make it into a cowl scarf.

I absolutely love it. I just position the triangle under my neck & loop the excess over my head and around my neck.

It’s light weight enough to wear season, but I think it’ll be great this fall over a long sleeved t-shirt in green or plum (or any of the colors in the yarn).

For my next project (photo below) I tried a similar but shorter cowl with a pattern I bought on Etsy that called for two colors of cotton yarns. I learned to alternate the colors on the end when warping, and how weave with 2 colors (shuttles). But I think I prefer the look and drape of the wool yarn better than the cotton.

It wove up beautifully & I learned a lot…

I couldn’t find the yarns that were suggested in the pattern, so I substituted the reddish/pink & white with pink-speckled cotton threads. Maybe they’re just not my colors.

What’s next? …I found a luscious grey wool yarn with flecks of blue, plum, & yellow from a favorite yarn shop in nearby Stoughton, WI, called Spry Whimsy Fiber Arts. I plan to experiment by adding wool roving to my weft as I weave it for more sparks of color. If it works, I’ll show you in an upcoming post. In the meantime I’m having fun and recommend giving weaving a try.

Until next time, Happy Quilting (or weaving)!

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

Easy To Make Fabric Card Holder

Easy To Make Fabric Card Holder

Like me, do you need a place to put all those punch cards, restaurant discount cards, gift cards, etc.? So you can take them out of your wallet, but still have them in your purse when you need them?

Or maybe you’d like to give your next gift card in style!

I’ve got a simple tutorial for sewing up a quick and easy fabric card holder for yourself, or to give as a gift, that takes only minutes. And it’s a great scrap-buster.

To make a this simple holder you’ll need to CUT:

One 4-1/2” x 5-1/2” rectangle of outer fabric

One 4-1/2” square of lining fabric

Two 4-1/2” x 3-3/4” rectangles of pocket fabrics

It’s nice to have contrasting fabrics, especially for the pockets & lining, but you can use all the same fabric if you want. I like using scraps or leftover layer cakes.

Fold pocket fabrics in half so they’re 1-1/2” x 4-1/2”

Place outer fabric right side up on your surface and place the pockets on either 4-1/2” end, lining up the raw edges. Sew each side seam ¼” from the raw edges.

Next place the lining fabric (centered) right side down over the top of the pockets & outer fabric. (Note: you’ll notice that the lining fabric doesn’t reach all the way to the ends of the pockets—so just center it.)

And sew just the top and bottom seams ¼” from the raw edges. Then clip each corner to reduce bulk

First turn just the lining fabric right side out & press.

Then turn each pocket right side out (over the lining) and use a blunt instrument to poke out the corners. Press.

To finish it off, topstitch about 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the edge all the way around the parameter.

And you’re done! Just press in half and add your gift card or cards.

Optional: Add an elastic & button closure. Simply sew an elastic hair band between the layers before sewing up the side seams/pockets, and sew a button on the front. Take care to sew the button only on the outer fabric and not through all the layers or the cards won’t fit in the pocket.

Have fun. I’d love to see what you create. Wouldn’t it be fun to send your graduate a gift card in a holder made out of their school or university colors? Or a baby shower gift card in baby fabric? So many ideas!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING! …and gift giving!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

(Printable one page instructions below.)

AccuquiltGo Sawtooth Star: Get Mileage Out of the Dies You Own

AccuquiltGo Sawtooth Star: Get Mileage Out of the Dies You Own

You’ll see in my recent posts that I’m obsessed with learning how much mileage I can get with my Accuquilt GO!Cutter and the dies I already own.

I love the simplicity of the Sawtooth Star block and so I decided to see if I could design some pieced items with it using the dies I have.

Although I don’t own the 8” Go!Cube, I have almost all the shapes (see those in bold print on the list below). The only one shape I was missing was for the “flying geese” part of the star: the #4 GO! Quarter Square Triangle — so I ordered it. Yay!

To make the SAWTOOTH STAR BLOCK, you need four die shapes: GO! Shapes 1, 2, 4, & 5 (I’ve listed all the shapes that come in the GO! Cube below, and highlighted in bold the four you need),

  1. GO! Square-4 1/2″ (4″ Finished) (55708) —GOT IT
  2. GO! Square-2 1/2″ (2″ Finished) (55709) —GOT IT
  3. GO! Half Square Triangle-4″ Finished Square (55710)
  4. GO! Quarter Square Triangle-4″ Finished Square (55711)ORDERED IT
  5. GO! Half Square Triangle-2″ Finished Square (55712) —GOT IT
  6. GO! Square on Point-3 1/4″ (2 3/4″ Finished) (55713)
  7. GO! Parallelogram 45°-2 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ Sides (2 1/16” x 2 13/16″ Finished) (55714)

Next I fired up EQ8 on my laptop and started designing. Here are just a few of the ideas.

A Square Table Topper with borders
Larger Table Topper with 9-patch centers
And a table runner with three stars.

I decided start with the table runner using some beautiful spring fabrics I had in my stash by Robin Pickens for Moda. I seem to love every fabric line she designs!

It’s so fast and easy to cut the pieces with my Accuquilt GO! The precut notches at the corners really help with accurate piecing.
Here are the cut pieces for the stars (I changed my mind on the background fabric)
The pre-cut notches really help with more accurate piecing!
Adding the second star point.
All I needed to add were the corner squares and center square, fussy cut from the coneflower print.

After making two more stars, I changed the original design a bit by surrounding each star with a black inner border and the whole runner with red outer border.

I think it looks good as a wall hanging too.

I adore her coneflowers, so I used more on the back of the runner—it’s reversible.

It was so much fun to make, I couldn’t stop there…so next I tried piecing a simple table topper with only one star surrounded with an inner and outer border for myself.

Somehow the points on stars never looked this good when I used a ruler & rotary cutter! I credit the accuracy of the Accuquilt, not my piecing.

That’s how easy it is to figure out how to get the most “mileage” out of dies you already own (or like me buy one more die) to create dozens of new blocks. I hope you’ll fire up your EQ8 software or get out your graph paper and give it a try!

If you like the table-runner, it’s now on sale in my Etsy shop. The table topper has a found a new home in my diningroom 😉.

I hope you’ll give the Sawtooth Star a try! Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

Tuesday Tips: AccuquiltGo Chisel Die & Braid Strip

Tuesday Tips: AccuquiltGo Chisel Die & Braid Strip

Since I last talked about my new obsession with my AccuquiltGo cutter (see last post) I’ve been busy trying out the dies I already own to make as many different blocks as I can. It’s fun to take apart a block and find the die shapes to make them. While playing, I discovered a new use for my Chisel Die.

Well, I didn’t really discover it—lots of other quilters discovered this… But I discovered their discovery (thank you Pinterest). So of course I couldn’t wait to give it a try!

Did you know you can use the Accuquilt Chisel Die to sew a braided strip? I didn’t.

It’s so easy! And a great “scrapbuster”. Just cut out a bunch of chisels (remember you can cut 6 at a time). It’s a one way (directional) die, so be sure to cut half with you fabric right side up, and half with your fabric right side down. Then place them using the photo above as a guide.

Sew them together, starting at the top, lining up the 90 degree ends. Keep sewing on chisels in that same manner until they’re a little bit longer than what you need and cut straight across the bottom and top with your ruler & rotary cutter to trim off the ends.

Voila! The braided strips are ready to use in your quilt. I made mine into a mug rug (snack mat). But wouldn’t they also make great borders? Or maybe a strip quilt? Or the side of a bag?

This one’s for sale in my Etsy Shop.

And it’s reversible.

Hope this little tutorial was helpful. Until next time…


Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

AccuquiltGo! Thoughts & Bear’s Paw Block

AccuquiltGo! Thoughts & Bear’s Paw Block

I purchased an Accuquilt Go die cutter awhile ago and have made so many great projects with it, including tumbler block baby quilts and Dresden Plate table toppers. But I wanted to use a combination of dies to create some other basic, well-known quilting blocks.

My original purchase of my AccuquiltGo! included a combination die (above). It has on it a 2” finished square, a couple 2” finished half square triangles (HST), and a 4” finished square.

Hey, that’s all I need to make the basic Bear’s Claw block! Perfect.

I haven’t yet purchased any of the the Accuquilt GoCubes. Mostly because I can’t decide which one to get! They have 6”, 8”, 9”, 12”, and have recently added a 4” GoCube. After doing a little research on the Accuquilt website I realized that each of these GoCube Sets cuts the exact same 8 basic shapes. The only difference is their finished size. The shapes are:

  1. GO! Square-large
  2. GO! Square-small
  3. GO! Half Square Triangle-large
  4. GO! Quarter Square Triangle
  5. GO! Half Square Triangle-small
  6. GO! Square on Point
  7. GO! Parallelogram 45°
  8. GO! Rectangle

That means if you figure out the shapes you need for a block, the shape numbers are always the same, no matter which CubeGo you have—only the finished size changes.

The light went on in my brain! Ah-hah! I get it. I discovered I already owned shapes 1, 2, & 5. So all I need are a few more (shapes 3, 4, 6, 7, 8) and I’ll have all the dies in the 8” GoCube.

  1. GO! Square-4 1/2″ (4″ Finished) (55708) —GOT IT
  2. GO! Square-2 1/2″ (2″ Finished) (55709) —GOT IT
  3. GO! Half Square Triangle-4″ Finished Square (55710)
  4. GO! Quarter Square Triangle-4″ Finished Square (55711)
  5. GO! Half Square Triangle-2″ Finished Square (55712) —GOT IT
  6. GO! Square on Point-3 1/4″ (2 3/4″ Finished) (55713)
  7. GO! Parallelogram 45°-2 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ Sides (2 1/16″ x 2 13/16″ Finished) (55714)
  8. GO! Rectangle-2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ (2″ x 4″ Finished) (55715)

The white squares were cut with Shape 1, and I decided to purchase Shape #8 (the 2×4” finished rectangle) to cut the grey rectangles.

This pattern was designed by Robin Pickens and is free on her website.

To finish, I used my 1-1/2 (1” finished) strip die and 2-1/2 (2” finished) strip die for the borders and binding.

Don’t you just love Moda fabric by Robin Pickens? I do. These fabrics are from her Dandi-Annie & Dandi-Robin lines for Moda. I had just enough left from a lap quilt to make this table topper/wall hanging..

I decided to be a little more creative with my machine quilting. What do you think?

This table topper (that can double as a wall hanging) is now available for sale in my Etsy Shop.

I can’t wait to try figuring out how to make more items with the Accuquilt dies I already own. And maybe I’ll add a few more dies so I’ve got the equivalent of the 8” GoCube.

Stay tuned. And until next time…



Mulberry Patch Quilts

How to Bind Your Quilted Wall Hanging with 1-1/2” Single Fold Binding

How to Bind Your Quilted Wall Hanging with 1-1/2” Single Fold Binding

Normally I bind my quilts (baby quilts, lap quilts, bed quilts) using double folded straight-of-grain binding cut between 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 inches wide, folded in half (wrong sides together) and sewn on the quilt. For more info on that process, go to my blog post: How to Bind a Quilt—The Secret to Perfect Corners. Double fold is great for projects that will take need to stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

But I’ve found that single fold binding is perfect for most of my smaller projects, like wall hangings, table toppers, etc. I think it has a better look…not as thick and bulky, but nice and crisp. Plus you save on fabric. Here’s how to do it.

Cut 1-1/2 inch strips straight-of-grain

Whether I’m making double fold or single fold binding, I always cut on the straight of grain (from selvedge to selvedge). The only exception to this rule are projects that have curved edges…something with rounded corners, scallops, or completely round. That’s the only time I bother to cut on the bias. For most of my art quilts, wall hangings, or runners (which all have straight edges) cutting 1-1/2 inch strips on the straight-of-grain is fine.

First, figure out how many strips to cut. Take the measurement of the parameter of your project by adding up the length of the sides, top, and bottom and cut the number of 1-1/2 inch wide strips you need to equal that number plus a few extra inches. It never hurts to have too much.

Sew the strips ends right sides together at a 90 degree angle and sew from one corner (where they meet) to the other corner (I’m pointing to it with my tweezers).

Trim the seams to about 1/4 inch and press each open.

Starting in the center of one side of the project and leaving a long tail (about 6 inches or more) start sewing one side of the binding to the right side of the project. When you’re 1/4 inch from the corner, stop with the needle down, pivot, and sew off the corner edge at a 45 degree angle.

Take it out from under the presser foot and turn to the next unsewn edge. Flip the binding up so it’s parallel to this next edge.

When I get junk mail, I save those laminated cards they often send. They’re perfect for this technique. Any thin plastic card or index card will work. This technique will help you get the feel for how to get perfect mitered corners on your binding. Just place the card across top raw edge of the quilt/binding (top) and bring the binding down across the top of the card and flush with the raw edge of the next edge to sew.

Bring the binding over the card, flush with edge of next portion & pin

I put a pin just below the card to keep it in place and then slip the card out.

Then continue sewing from the edge to the next corner and repeat the process until you come to where you started. Stop sewing several inches from the beginning and take it to your cutting table.

You’ll have a “tail” on each end and several inches (about 8-10”) between where you started & stopped sewing in the middle of one side.

To join these two tail ends, trim the right side tail of your binding so it ends half way between the beginning & the end of your sewing.

Lay that trimmed binding piece over the end you just trimmed.

Place your left tail over the right & fold it back until it’s in line with the right edge of that extra piece of binding and cut it at that fold. Perfect! (The ends of the binding tails will overlap by the width of that extra binding, which in this case is 1-1/2 inches, but this trick works with any size binding and NO MATH or special tools needed! So I always do it. Yay.

To make it really nice, use your ruler & a fabric marker to draw a 45 degree line as a guide to sew on.

Then overlap the binding ends as shown above & sew right sides together on that drawn line.

Double-check to be sure it’s sewn the right way (ask me how I know), and then trim the seam to 1/4 inch and press open. Line up the raw edges and finish sewing the binding to the quilt.

Tada! All sewn. All that’s left it to fold it to the back & hand sew.

First iron the binding out from the right side, all the way around.

Turn the quilt over and from the back turn the raw edge of the binding in half so it meets the raw edge of the quilt (at the corners too)…

Then fold in again, bringing the folded edge over so it covers the stitching and pin. Stop at the corner, pinning as close as you can to a 1/4” from the edge.

To make a crisp mitered corner lay a pin or stiletto across the corner edge of the binding just to hold it in place (see photo) …

…while folding the next edge & pin. See how nicely the corner miters? Continue folding/pinning around the quilt.

Then sew the folded/pinned edge to the back by hand.

Don’t the corners look great? …From the back…

…as well as the front!

Double Star Barn Quilted Wall Hanging/Table Topper

All Done! I’m in the process of creating a pdf pattern for my newest quilted wall hanging/table topper called “Double Star Barn”. I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you in my Etsy Shop and it should be available in just a day or two, so be sure to check Mulberry Patch Quilts if you’re interested.

Would you like to learn how to add “triangle corners” to easily hang your quilt? Check our my blog How to use Corner Triangles to Hang a Quilted Wall Hanging.

I hope these tips and tricks were helpful for your next project. And that the photos helped the explanation.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING,


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Easy Patchwork: Triangle Corner made with a Square, or “Snowball” Corners

Easy Patchwork: Triangle Corner made with a Square, or “Snowball” Corners

It’s easy to make a triangle on the corner of a block, no math involved. I first heard of this technique from an amazing quilt teacher, Mary Ellen Hopkins, who wrote groundbreaking quilting books like “It’s OK if You Sit on My Quilt”, and “Connecting Triangles” among others. Mary Ellen was probably best known for creating the connector and perfect piecing triangles concepts. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to see her at her lecture in Milwaukee just a few years before she passed away (in 2013). Not only did she make quilting fun, her sense of humor and showmanship shined during what I would call her “performance” instead of her lecture.

Here’s how to do this technique. In this example, I’ll add a triangle to the top of a rectangle. I cut a square the same width as the rectangle. On the wrong side of the square, I drew a line from one corner to the opposite corner. Since I’ll be sewing on this line, I like to use a very fine point sharpie or a mechanical pencil with a light hand—just dark enough to see.

Draw a line corner to corner.

Place the rectangle right side up and the marked square right side down on top of it (right sides together) paying attention to the orientation of the angle.

Then sew on the drawn line.

If I’m making more than one I like to sew one after the other (chain piecing) without having to cut the threads in-between until I’m finished.

Then I take it to the ironing board (love my wool pressing surface by the way) and I give it a good press as is to set the seam.

Then I gently open the seam by folding the edge of the square to meet the opposite corner.

Press, then lift the top layer up to reveal the two layers beneath it…
Trim bottom 2 layers with 1/4” seam.
You’ll end up with a beautiful triangle…no math necessary.

This video might make it easier to understand…just hit the play button below.

These corner triangles (made with marked squares) are sometimes referred to as “snowball” corners, or “snowballed”. You can use them to make all sorts of blocks: snowball, flying geese, or star points. Let me show you a few examples.

By adding a second triangle (same angle orientation) to the bottom, I’ve made a simple parallelogram.

Or by adding them to four corners of a square, I can make a snowball block. Here’s one of my baby quilts featuring the snowball. I’ve added color triangles to the white squares & white triangles to the color blocks.

But look what happens when

I added the triangles to only opposite sides of the squares. I sewed grey to opposite sides of each square and it’s the arrangement of the squares that makes the Xs & Os design.
This is the exact same idea, but they form stretched stars in my lap quilt made with red and white scraps. It’s all in the colors & block arrangement that gives the illusion of stars.
And by adding the “snowballed” corners to 2 corners on the same side of some squares it creates these adorable stars on my baby quilt made with 30s reproduction fabrics and bleached muslin,

So give this technique a try. And play with different sizes and shapes. The sky’s the limit! Have fun.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING


Mulberry Patch Quilts

How to Use Corner Triangles to Hang a Quilted Wall Hanging

How to Use Corner Triangles to Hang a Quilted Wall Hanging

I have found an easy way to hang smaller quilted wall hangings or art quilts on your wall…hanging corner triangles. They’re so easy to incorporate into your binding. Here’s how.

After you’ve finished quilting your wall hanging and have trimmed the edges to prepare it for binding, you can add these corner hanging triangles to the back.

Cut two 5” squares. I like to use the same fabric as the backing, but if you don’t have enough, any fabric scraps will work. I like to try to match the background so they will blend in and you don’t notice them when you look at the back. This is especially nice if you’ve made a wall hanging that you might want to use as a table topper too. It looks nice and won’t interfere. But if your item will only be hung on a wall, matching the fabric really doesn’t matter. You can even use leftover charm squares, or muslin.

Cut two squares approximately 5” each.

Fold each of the squares wrong sides together corner to corner and give them a good press with a hot iron.

Pin each triangle to the top corners of the back of your wall hanging, with the raw edges of the triangle matching the raw edges of your quilt.

With your sewing machine baste the triangle edges to the quilt using a walking foot and a scant quarter inch seam.

The raw edges are on the outer edges & the folded edge is towards the inside.

Bind your wall hanging in the usual manner, incorporating the basted triangle edges with the edges of the quilt. Once bound, all you need is a thin wooden dowel cut slightly shorter than the quilt. The thickness depends on how heavy the wall hanging is. This particular wall hanging is 20 x 20 inches square. I used a quarter-inch dowel, but even a thinner one would have been substantial enough to carry the weight.

Just slip both ends of the wooden dowel inside both triangle corners and you’re ready to hang it on your wall with a nail, or hook.

This wall hanging pattern will be available at my Etsy Shop soon!

For smaller art quilts or wall hangings I start with smaller squares (4”) and use thinner wooden dowels. I’ve even found wooden skewers to be long and thick enough for small projects. Experiment to see what size works best for your quilt.

This mini is 13 inches wide.
…so I used smaller squares & inserted a wooden skewer (cut to fit).

Keep in mind, this technique won’t work for large or heavy quilts/wall hangings. They might need more support in the center. It will all depend on the width and weight of the wall hanging.

For larger items, I use sew in a “hanging sleeve” that goes all the way across the top of the quilt back, so the quilt’s weight is more evenly distributed.

If you’re interested in making a full length hanging sleeve, see my blog on hanging quilts.

I hope this was helpful. Until next time,


Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

Adjustable Face Mask in 3 Easy Steps

Adjustable Face Mask in 3 Easy Steps

So after making so many, many face masks to donate to clinics, friends, and family, you quickly realize that one size does NOT fit all. Not only are there different size heads, but even the distance from the mask to the ears is different from one person to another.

After doing some experimenting, I’ve come up with a way to make a face mask adjustable by adding 3 easy steps.

START WITH MY INSTRUCTIONS for making a rectangular, pleated style mask HERE, from my previous blog post.

To make this pattern adjustable, you’ll need two lengths of 1/4 inch elastic cut 12 inches long each, and two 6x9mm pony beads.

I had these pony beads on hand

Step 1: Using the instructions at the above link, use the two 12 inch elastic ear loops and finish the mask the same way.

Step 2: After the mask is finished, fold the end of each elastic ear loop and thread each of them through a pony bead*.

Step 3: Tie a slip knot at the very end of the elastic loop.

DONE. To adjust the mask, simply pull the bead closer to the mask, or further away from the mask, toward the slip knot. Ta-da!

*HINT: if you have trouble inserting the folded 1/4 inch elastic through your bead, cut a length of thin wire or strong thread and thread one end through the bead, then through the elastic loop, and back through the bead and (grasping both ends of the wire/thread) pull the elastic through the bead. Easy-peasy!

Hope this is helpful. It’s great to be able to adjust the mask, and this makes the mask so much more comfortable.

Now that masks are readily available for everyone, I’ve cut back on making them. But I will sew just a few more for my family. Since it’s nice to keep a few extras in the car, or by our back door. And wouldn’t you love to have a few that actually coordinate with outfits as we venture out more and more, and actually begin to wear “real” clothes again.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING (and mask making),

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

The 15 Minute Face Mask DIY

The 15 Minute Face Mask DIY

Wow! 2020. This has been one crazy year so far, hasn’t it? And I just realized I haven’t posted a thing since it all started.

One reason I haven’t posted is that I‘ve been busy making face masks. I started making them back in March when there was a shortage masks. I got a few requests from family…and then the requests rolled in from all over—our local EMTs, my family doctor’s clinic, friends who are medical techs, nurses, and of course family and friends. It was my pleasure and a labor of love…a way (however small) of helping.

After fulfilling requests for 250 plus masks, I finally think I’ve perfected a pattern that I really like. It’s an accordion pleat style mask that includes a pocket in the lining (for those who want to add an additional filter), a nose wire (to help conform it to the bridge of your nose), different fabric on the front & back (so you can remember at a glance which side goes towards your face) and ear loops.

Now that face masks are more plentiful and easy to find and buy everywhere, I’m not making many masks anymore. But because many cities, counties, and even states in the US are requiring people wear masks inside public buildings—and with this pandemic staying around much longer than we had hoped—I thought I’d share my pattern step-by-step with you in case you’d like to try making some for your family.

There are a lot of face mask patterns & how-to’s out there to choose from. What I like about this pattern is that it includes all the features I want and it’s comfortable to wear. I can use scrap cotton fabrics I have on hand from my quilting stash, and it only takes about 15 minutes to make. Here’s how…

Materials: You’ll need a rectangle of cotton lining fabric cut 9×6”, and some pretty cotton fabric for the front cut 9×7-1/4”. You’ll also need either 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch elastic (white or black), each cut approximately 7”, and a 4-5” length of nose wire.*

Place the lining & front fabrics right sides together & make a mark 1/2” down & 2” from each edge the top (see photo below).

This is the only time you’ll use a 1/2” seam, …sew from one edge to the 2 inch mark & stop/backstitch. sew the other edge to the 2 inch mark & stop/backstitch. (This will leave a 5 inch opening in the middle. Take it to your ironing board & press the seam open.

Open it up & topstitch across the lining seam allowance only, about 1/4” from the seam/hole, which will finish that seam allowance. (Do NOT topstitch the fashion fabric front seam allowance.)

Next place the opposite ends right sides together & sew 1/4 inch seam across the bottom. Then press from that stitched edge (bottom) to the top. As you do this, you’ll notice the seam you just topstitched will automatically “roll” to the back/lining.— see photo below.

Elastic Ear Loops. Take the one of the pieces elastic and place one end inside the top edge of the side seam and begin sewing 1/4” seam, backstitching over the elastic, and continue sewing about half way down the side…

Then reach inside and (being sure the elastic doesn’t twist & that it lays flat) grab the other end of the elastic and place it in the bottom of the seam. And finish sewing the edge backstitching over the elastic. It’s ok to let a bit of end of the elastic hang out.)

This diagram (below) might make that step clearer…note the elastic is inside (between) the two fabrics.

Do the same with the second piece of elastic on the opposite side.

Turn the mask right side out through the hole (pocket) at the top and use your favorite tool to “poke” the edges out and give it a nice press with your iron.

This is how it looks from the lining side.

*The nose wire. I’m using coated speaker wire a friend gave me. It keeps it’s shape and the plastic coating keeps it from rusting in the wash. But you can use floral wire, twisty ties, or pipecleaners.

I like to create the casement for the wire first, leave one end open to insert the wire & then sew it shut. Start sewing from the top edge about 2” in from one side, going down about 1/2”, pivot & continue topstitching parallel to the top edge. This will create a casing. Stop & backstitch when you’re a few threads from the end of the pocket so you have enough room to insert the wire.

Sew from the top down a out 1/2”
Stop to leave a small opening to insert the wire.

Insert the wire into the casing and finish by topstitching starting at the top edge, pivot and topstitch until you’ve closed the opening of the casing.

Pleating. Now it’s time to make the pleats. I like to put three pleats on each side of the mask. Be sure your pleats face down when folded. If you’re making just a few masks it’s easy to make equal folds (pinches about 1/4” each) and either pin or clamp them downward and topstitch about a quarter inch from each side.

However, if you’re making a bunch of masks, I have a much better way of making consistent pleats that I learned from a YouTube video, and no pinning required! You can create a pleater to do the hard work for you. Here’s the link on YouTube created by Hilary Mark Nelson…genius!

His gadget is made from lightweight cardboard (like cereal boxes) and then is taped together with packaging tape. I was lucky enough to have a friend‘s husband make one for me…thanks Rodger!

Here’s what it looks like.
I just line up the bottom, right side up and start folding…
And folding and folding…
I can pick it up, take it to the sewing machine and stitch…no pins needed!!

Topstitch about 1/4” from each edge.

At this point I also topstitch across the bottom of the mask. It’s not necessary but I think it helps the mask keep it’s shape after washing.

A little press with a hot iron and you’re done!

I hope this tutorial encourages you to try making a mask or two for your family and friends.

It’s fun using different fabrics from my stash of 100% cotton fabrics.

Until next time,



PS: Please note that these are not medical grade masks.

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Easy Preemie Baby Quilt from Jelly Roll Strips

I’m participating again this year in Project Quilting, and this week’s Season 11.5 challenge is “Give It Away”. TRISH we must be on the same wavelength (LOL)!! Just the week before the challenge I made ten baby quilts for one of my favorite charities, Mikayla’s Grace! What are the chances? See that blog post here.

BUT those quilts won’t count for entry into this week’s challenge. The rules clearly state the quilt has to be made–beginning to end–during the challenge week. That’s not a problem… I see by their website that Mikayla’s Grace is still in need of baby quilts in their “large preemie” size. So I made two more quilts during the challenge this week.

Last time I used leftover blocks to make the quilts. This week I thought I’d change it up by using leftover jelly roll strips from a recent quilting project. I gathered up all the 30s reproduction strips I could find in my stash and started sewing them together.

If each strip has been 42″ (WOF), this would have gone faster–but most of the strips I had left were only 10″ …but it still worked just fine.

My “plan” (and I use the term loosely) was to make two similar baby quilts, each about 22″ square. Why two quilts? Because Mikayla’s Grace requests that donated items be made in sets of two. I also knew I wanted them to look “scrappy”, so I grabbed strips randomly and sewing them together until I had strip sets 11 strips wide (my simple math plan was 2″ finished x 11 =22″)… at least it sounds like a plan.

Once several strip sets were made (and I’d exhausted my pile of strips), I sub-cut them into 2-1/2″ strips and joined the edges together to make four identical really, really long strips.

I laid the subcut strips side by side and offset them by one square–“un-sewing” the last square from the bottom (see photo above) & re-sewing it to the top (see photo below).

I did the same thing with the third long strip, only offsetting it by taking two squares off the bottom & resewing them at the top… etc etc.

You get the idea!

If I had begun with full size (WOF) strips, or if I had more strips left to plan it all out perfectly, I could have figured out the exact size I needed to make the two quilts…but of course I didn’t have quite enough strips, so once I sewed all four long strips together, I simply un-sewed them into four sections and then combined two sections into each quilt…make sense? You can see in the photos how the diagonal stripes change color at their centers. But I don’t think it matters. It makes them more interesting.

I didn’t have quite enough subcut strips to make them square, so I added a strip to each side.

Both quilts are backed with the softest cotton flannel, sewn right sides together, then turned right side out, with just enough quilting in the ditch to hold the layers together nicely.

Off these go in the mail to Mikayla’s Grace in McFarland, WI. I hope they’ll bring comfort to a little one in the NICU of one of our area’s hospital, and that these quilts will offer love, hope, and comfort to their families as well.

Do you have some jelly roll strips left over? Why not consider making a baby quilt for Mikayla’s Grace, or a charity near and dear to your heart? I hope this blog has inspired you to give it a try!

Need more ideas? Check my blog on using your leftover blocks here. Or click “Charity Quilting” under “Categories” on the right side of this blog to see even more ideas.

Enjoy! I’d love to see what YOU create.

And I’m excited to see all the charities supported and ideas by the wonderfully generous and talented quilters make for Project Quilting this week.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Twister Heart Wallhanging—Put a Heart on It

Twister Heart Wallhanging—Put a Heart on It

So this week’s challenge for Project Quilting is “Put a Heart on It”. I’ve been wanting to do another Lil’ Twister tool quilt AND break into a beautiful Moda charm pack I just got by American Jane called “Merry Go Round”. I love the bright & pastel spring flower-like colors.

So here goes! How do you make a Twister heart? First position all the 5 inch squares into a large patchwork quilt top, kind of in the shape of a heart. This one is 7 x 7 squares.

Sew it altogether, then add a border out of the same background fabric and start cutting with the Lil’ Twister tool, lining the marks on the tool up with the seam lines.

This is the fun part! … it’s fun to see it change.

The hardest part is that first cut… then you line them up into a whole new “twisted” design and sew up the rows and columns again. So cute.

I was able to square up the fabric left between the cuts to use as a 2-1/2 inch square scrap border. There were just enough.

I decided to do a faux piping binding in green and red for a quick finish.

And did simple straight stitch quilting around the pinwheel shape, the border, and a zig zag through the scrappy border. I may go back at a later date to add free motion quilted “petals” in each pinwheel shape and more quilting in the background–either straight stitching or free motion meandering.

So here’s this week’s entry in Project Quilting Season 11 (2020). There’s no voting this year, but come see the entries here.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

PS: Since it’s snowing like crazy here this morning in Wisconsin, I decided to hunker down at home and added some more free motion quilting to it.

Project Quilting -Team Colors

Project Quilting -Team Colors

So as you’ve heard me talk about before, Project Quilting is similar to Project Runway–you’re given a challenge & a limited period of time to make it, start to finish…but no one is voted off! It’s the creation of Kim Lapicek with her friend, Trish (AKA Quilt Chicken), and helps take the “cabin fever” out of the middle of winter here…although they have quilters from all over the world entering!

This is Season 11, Challenge 2: And the phrase is “Team Colors”. Well, I’m from Wisconsin, so of course (being football season) it’s either the Green Bay Packers or UW Badgers. I happened to have green & “gold” fabric in my stash & a technique I wanted to try…a perfect combination.

So info my stash I dove & cut strips of varying widths…even some with curves.

I layed them on a square of fusible interfacing (slightly overlapping) & just ironed them in place. Then I turned it upside down (photo above & below), and re-trimmed to size.

Then comes the fun part! I added yarns, ripped twisted thin strips of fabric, and zigzagged it all down.

Here’s a close up…

Then I simply put four squares together, and added the border on top of tge batting/backing and bound it.

I love the texture it creates. Fun!

It’s posted for this week’s challenge. There’s no voting, but check the Project Quilting website to see how other quilters have interpreted it. And give this fun technique a try.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting…Advent Calendar

Project Quilting…Advent Calendar

When I found out the theme of this week’s Project Quilting challenge: NOTABLY NUMERIC, absolutely nothing came to mind. Then I remembered a kit I bought at the Madison Quilt Expo a couple years ago. It’s for an advent calendar wallhanging designed by Leanne & Kaytlyn Anderson of Whole Country Caboodle.

Everything I need is in the box (except for the batting & backing).

I loved this fabric and pattern, but every year around Christmas I never seemed to get around to it. Well, now’s my chance! …even if the holidays have come and gone, I don’t mind. At least it’ll be done before NEXT Christmas. Yay!

The only problem…can I get it cut, stitched, quilted & bound (beginning to end) by the PQ deadline, in only one week? We’ll see.

It comes with this pre-printed panel (see above) to make the cute numbered pockets. And inside each pocket is a tag. The idea is to take out a tag each day in December and do a kind act that’s written on it… Don’t you love that idea?

Here the labels are… all fused & ready to put in the pockets. Or you could make up your own labels with your own ideas written on them to put in the pockets.

It’s so much fun sewing on all the cute little pockets.

Here’s the layout. After making the pockets & topstitching them to the center of the quilt, she has you surround it with borders of her cute fabrics. It has a Glad Tidings banner at the top, and pieced pinwheels at the corners.

I did simple straight stitch quilting with my walking foot so I can get it done in time to upload for the challenge. But I can always go back and embellish more later if I want. But I don’t think it needs much.

All done.

And Beagle approved!

I love the concept of doing an act of kindness each day.

I was so happy to get to actually meet the designer, Leanne Anderson, at the Quilt Expo in Madison. Her fabrics (Henry Glass & Co) and patterns are all so cute. She’s an amazing artist. She looks great (that’s her on the right). I, on the other hand, look a bit exhausted by all the shopping at the Quilt Expo…lol.

So I’m done in time to enter it in Project Quilting. There’s no voting this year, but if you’d like, follow the link above, you can see what everyone created for the first week’s challenge: Notably Numeric.

Until next time, Happy Quilting!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Quilt Studio Makeover: Design Wall

Quilt Studio Makeover: Design Wall

It’s so nice to be able to place your fabric pieces on the wall when you’re piecing or designing your quilt. I had a small design wall in my tiny quilt studio at our old house. But after gaining a little square footage at our new location (and more wall space), I decided that a larger design wall was in order.

It’s easy to do-it-yourself! Here’s how I did it.

Insulation board— I headed off to my local home improvement store to pick up some insulation board. Since I have a small car, we can’t fit the standard six feet sheets into it, But I was able to find some the perfect size … 2 x 2 foot.

Measuring the space available on my largest wall, I found making my design wall 6 feet x 6 feet would use the 2×2 boards most efficiently, and still be enough space for most of the quilts I do. So I bought 9. If you’ve got the space in your car, it’s a little cheaper to buy the 6 foot boards. But this was ideal for me.

Next I taped the boards together using heavy duty strapping tape. I did both the fronts and the backs of each seam. Duct tape will work, but it’ll show more easily through the flannel covering. The hardest part was finding an area on our floor large enough to lay them all out. A carpeted surface isn’t ideal, it’s best to do this step on a hard surface.

I found it easiest to tape my insulation board pieces in columns & then tape the columns together by rows. Hmmm…kind of like putting together a quilt.

Here it is (above) all taped together on both the front and the back sides.

FLANNEL– You’ll need a soft material (like cotton flannel) that fabric pieces will cling to to cover your insulation board. White or a soft light neutral are the best choices of color. I headed off to my local big box fabric store thinking I could find some inexpensive white wide flannel by the yard. Nope! Any other color or pattern BUT not white! Ugh!

So instead I found these white flannel sheets at a nearby Kohl’s…on sale!…perfect! This one was full size & I only used the flat sheet so the fitted sheet can be cut up and used in another project(s), like my charity baby quilts.

Sorry, I forgot to take a photo–but I laid the flannel sheet on the floor, placed the best looking (& smoothest) side of the taped insulation board on top of it, and worked folded the flannel over, trimming it as needed, and taping it to the back with duct tape. I worked the wrinkles out (taught but not too tight) as I went. You could also use a staple gun, but be sure your staples are short enough that they don’t go all the way through the board.

All that’s left to do is to mount it on your wall. How? There are a few options. You could try heavy duty sticky-back Velcro. Or picture hangers. But I chose to use drywall screws with washers. The insulation board is light weight, so I only needed about ten. They’re not pretty, but I hardly notice them. And it’s very sturdy.

You’ll notice in the photo above that I used a couple of boxes to hold it up so I could stand back and judge the placement on the wall before I committed to it and screwed it to the wall.

Here’s a closeup of the washer & screw. The washer needs a hole large enough for the screw to fit through, but small enough to keep the screw head from going through. I imagine you could camouflage it with a dab of white paint.

I can’t tell you how helpful having a larger design wall is. I love it. Most fabric pieces stay put without assistance, but I have the option to stick pins in the fabric to insure they don’t fall off before I get the chance to sew them all together. And it only took an afternoon to do make it.

So get going and give it a try. I’m sure you’ll love yours too.

You can make yours as small or as large as you like. You’re only limited by the size of your wall and your flannel covering.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

PS: I’ve been asked about the project on the design wall in the photos. It’s a pattern by The Pattern Basket called “Star Drops” and it’s alot of fun to make. It’s made of layer cake (10″ squares) and mine is a Moda fabric by Robin Pickens called “Dandi-Annie”. Love it!💕

Quilt Studio Makeover: Layout

Quilt Studio Makeover: Layout

Is it a sewing room? A quilt studio? What do you call your spot? Whatever you call it, it’s a space set aside to create something beautiful; a special spot to get those creative juices flowing and enjoy some time doing what you love.

We’ve just moved into a new home, so of course I immediately claimed one of the extra bedrooms for my sewing/quilting/creative space. What I love about this room (besides the fact that it’s larger than what I had before), is the view and wonderful lighting.

Where to begin?

So where to start? It was like a fresh canvas… Where will I put everything, and (hardest of all) where should I begin? I guess the layout comes first.

I’ve got an app on my iPad called “Floorplans” by Green Tea LLC Software. In this app, I can draw the floor-plan of my room and add furniture and move around on the screen to see how it looks. It’s a great way to rearrange everything without physically having to move it.

Here are some of the many layouts I tried. Note: there’s a large window at the top, and a closet and door at the bottom of the pictures. The app has alot of built in furniture to choose from, but not a sewing cabinet, cutting table or ironing board, so I improvised with their computer table and tables just changing their size to match my furniture.

Layout #1. Not bad, I can see out the window while I sew, but the light’s not coming in on my left side and I also want the left side of my sewing table away from the wall so I can fit larger projects under my needle.

Layout #2. No…this one’s not quite right either. I don’t want the ironing board jutting out over and blocking the window.

Layout #3. So this is it (above). I finally decided on this layout (although I switched the bookcases around). And after moving everything around to match the layout drawing, I’m pretty happy with it.

I like the proximity of everything to my ironing board… I can walk all the way around the cutting table, and easily have access to the design wall and storage closet.

I like to glance out the window every once in awhile as I’m sewing away…and the extra daylight on my sewing is very helpful.

Note about the view–It’s hard to believe we’ve had 3 snowstorms since October! Looking out the window now, you don’t see any snow…only bare trees and green grass (and some leaves that missed the last raking!). The temps are now up to 50 degrees, but they’ll dip back down with more snow in just a few days. It’s “anything-can-happen” weather in Wisconsin!

Most of the bookshelves from my old quilt studio fit inside the closet here, so when we moved in my sister and I took the doors off the closet for easier access. (BTW, I’m indebted to my wonderful sister, who drove over & spent a few weeks helping us purge, pack, clean, & get ready for the move. I don’t know what I would have done without her!…thanks again Judi!!)

In the next post, I’ll tell you about the design wall with a little DIY hints.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Tuesdays Tips -Quilting: HST Tip Tool

Tuesdays Tips -Quilting: HST Tip Tool

Hi! Thought you might enjoy a quick tip when you need to join half square triangles (HST) the traditional way–by sewing two triangles together.

I’m working on a Christmas quilt, and the pattern calls for cutting squares in half (corner to corner) and sewing them together.

I usually make my HST by cutting squares a bit larger, stacking them right sides together, drawing a line from corner to corner, sewing 1/4″ on either side of the line, cutting between the lines, pressing and squaring them up to size. You know the drill.

Or (if I have the right size die) I’ll use my Accuquilt to cut perfect triangles with the dog ears pre-trimmed. But for this pattern, I didn’t have the right size die.

So…I happened to remember a sweet little tool I got at the Quilt Expo quite awhile back (and amazingly was able to find it)! It’s a Porter & Fons Triangle Trimmer. It made the job so much easier.

Just line it up with the corner and trim!

Why? Because it makes the triangles easier to line up, and easier to feed through the machine (easier to get the trimmed edge under to needle than that tiny point).

And because once they’re opened up and pressed, there are no dog ears to trim.

I was lucky…these HST finished up right on target, so there was no need to spend time squaring.

So if you’re into a project that calls for sewing HST the old fashioned way…take a look in your tool stash. You just might have forgot about this great little tool.

Hope this tip was helpful. Until next time,



Mulberry Patch Quilts

Making Folded Fabric Pine Cone Ornaments

Making Folded Fabric Pine Cone Ornaments

A customer asked if I’d do a custom order for my folded fabric pine cone ornaments, and I was happy to make some for her.

I love using the Prairie Pointer by Susan K Cleveland. Along with the Woolie Felted Ironing Mat, & my Tailor’s Clapper, it’s the perfect trifecta for ironing crisp and perfect little prairie points.

First, I cut dozens of little squares and fold them in half and iron

Then I center the Perfect Pointer & use it to fold down the sides…slip it under the iron and use my new wooden Riley Blake Tailor’s Clapper to help them keep their crease while cooling.

One by one, I pin each one to the styrofoam egg base…

And they’re finished! Aren’t they cute…?

Four of these (in fall colors of brown, rust, & gold) are on their way to a wonderful customer in Virginia. But I made a few extra pine cones that are in my shop now, and plan to make more to add in the coming months.

If you’re interested in getting a pine cone ornament (or Christmas or Easter ornament), be sue to stop in my shop, Mulberry Patch Quilts and go to the “ornaments” section.

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’ve been up to.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Fear-less — Pixel Play Project Quilting 10.4 Challenge

Fear-less — Pixel Play Project Quilting 10.4 Challenge

This week Trish (our challenge designer for Project Quilting) chose PIXEL PLAY for our 10.4 challenge.

This week, I’d like you to be inspired by these particles, whether you pixelize a picture, make use of low resolution like 8-bit graphics, or are merely inspired by these hard-working colored boxes.

Since I love to work with mosaics, the thought of working with pixels was inspiring. So I’m definitely IN this week. Thanks Trish!

I found a website (Pixel Stitch) that will convert a photo to an embroidery pattern made up of squares. Although it’s made for embroidery, it creates a grid of the pixels in the photo with colors, so it works for pixelated quilt patterns just as well. All I had to do was figure out how big each square would need be to make a reasonably-sized quilt that I might actually be able to finish during a busy week.

Another site (Pic2Pat) does the same thing:

We had an juvenile owl, called a “jumper” (because it was just learning to fly), in our back yard a few years ago. You can read about it HERE. It was rescued and placed back in its nest. I’ll never forget the surprise I got when I saw the little guy several days later. He had learned how to fly and was sitting on our back yard fence staring at me with those big yellow owl eyes, almost as if to say “thank you…I’m fine now…and I’m fearless”. I knew that I had to capture the fierce look in those riveting, yet beautiful eyes in a future quilt.

I thought I needed to print the pattern to the full size, but later realized all I really needed was a copy large enough to follow alongside my gridded work surface.

The printed pattern sheets taped together

The next decision was what technique to use to get all those little squares (half inch) together on a quilt? The squares are far too small for me to piece. I’ll have to use a raw edge technique. Hmmmmm… how about placing squares on some sort of foundation and stitching over them to keep them in place. But what kind of foundation? I’ve used fusible woven interfacing before and ironed them into place. I’ve also used Steam-a-Seam II. Or I could use a temporary glue on muslin to keep them all in place until they’re stitched down. Or even pin tulle over them before stitching.

I decided to use a technique I used to do the quilt of my father in a previous post. It involves marking a quarter-inch grid on a fusible light weight interfacing and ironing each 1/4″ fabric square to the grid using the printed pattern as my guide.

Half-inch squares of batiks sorted by value

Placing squares side-by-side on the fusible interfacing grid

Original print out helps keep me on track

I placed a shear tulle over the squares before I started free motion quilting.

Strips of paper help keep me in the right place

Superior & Aurifil threads for quilting

Closeup of free motion quilting

Closeup of the owl eye

And the little guy is done! Doesn’t he/she look fearless? And I finished just in time to enter it in this week’s Project Quilting Challenge Season 10.4 (2019).

COME JOIN IN THE FUN…go to their website to see this week’s entries and to vote for you favorites (hope one of them is mine, #36 “Fear-less Owl”, hint, hint). Voting starts Sunday afternoon, Feb. 24th and runs through Friday, March 1st, 2019.

HOW TO VOTE: Just go to the link above, scroll down to the bottom until you see the thumbnail photos of the quilts. Then click on the heart in the upper right hand side of the photo of the entry you want to vote for ❤️ and it’ll fill the heart in & tell you how many votes you have left. If there are over a hundred entries, you’ll get 10 votes. Enjoy!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Quilted Hearts and Twister

Quilted Hearts and Twister

I’ve been wanting to make something for Valentines Day, and when the theme of “Red, White, & Blue” for Project Quilting Challenge #2 (Season 10), I knew what I wanted to make.

The challenge states you can use reds, whites, and blues…any shades…no other colors, but you DON’T have to use all three colors.

  1. RULE#1…Your project should contain ONLY the colors RED, WHITE, and BLUE. It does not have to use all three, but it cannot include any additional colors.

So I decided, with Valentines Day coming up, I’d limit my colors to just the red and white. I went to work scrounging in my fabric stash for every shade of red and white (with no other colors in them) that I could find.

After going through my patterns, searching Pinterest, and having a desire to use my Lil’ Twister tool again, I found a tutorial by Connie Kresin on the cutest little Twister heart pattern and decided that was the one!

I made a quick sketch of the layout of the square colors on paper, and then cut the fabric stash into 5 inch squares. Here they are (below) pinned on my design wall. I realized quickly that it’s best to have contrast between each square (except for the background that’s all the same white with red print).

I sewed the squares together.

Question: do you press the seams to one side (each row in opposite directions) so the seams nest together making the columns easier to sew together? Or do you press the seams open so there’s less bulk at the intersections, making it easier to cut and piece the pinwheels later?

I decided to press the seams open. It takes longer, but it sure makes cutting & sewing the pinwheels easier later.

The next step involves the Lil’ Twister square template. Just line the black lines on the template with where the seams intersect and cut. I twisted them slightly and carefully placed them side by side in a row as I cut them.

Before going on to cut the next row, I like to sew the row together, and even sew the rows together too…less chance of getting them mixed up.

after cutting everything out, you’ll end up with lots of tiny pieces of leftover fabric… I like to trim them to 2-1/2 inch squares to use in another project. I ran out of the background fabric, but if I had more of it I might have used these squares in one of the borders.

This is the fun part! I love ❤️ seeing the pattern–in this case the heart–emerge as I piece it together. Magical!

To keep everything nice and flat, I used Best Press on each row.

All that was left was to add a couple borders, add the batting and backing, and quilt it on my domestic machine (my sweet Bernina 570QE).

Using various reds (Aurifil and Sulky threads), I free motion quilted petals in each pinwheel. And with a walking foot and white thread, did a straight stitch around the heart shape and around the border.

and here it is!

I’m entering this Twisted Heart wall hanging in this week’s Project Quilting.

UPDATE: The voting is now closed. No prizes this time, but it did rank #11 out if 118 entries. Thanks so much for your vote!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Mosaic Quilts: My Infatuation Continues

Mosaic Quilts: My Infatuation Continues

So after seeing the gorgeous quilts by Heidi Proffetty (see my earlier post) and not having access to a digital fabric cutter (which is really a necessity for her technique), I thought I’d try creating another small mosaic art quilt using the simpler tiny squares recommended by Cheryl Lynch (see previous blog post).

I thought you might enjoy following along with the process.

The first step was to find a very simple, but inspiring photo that I could trace to make the pattern outline. I found a photo that I had taken last spring of a Trillium (my fav woodland wildflower).

I downloaded a tracing app for my iPad and used it to roughly trace the outline of the petals & leaves. Note: There are a lot of tracing apps out there (and I certainly haven’t tried them all), but this one (free) allowed me to upload my photo and trace over it with my finger or my computer stylus. It’s rough, but that’s okay…I can go over the lines again with a black Sharpie pen after it’s printed.

This particular app allows you to fade out the background (photo) so you can print only the lines, which saves printer ink. That’s a nice feature.

After saving the tracing as a jpeg file, I needed to enlarge it at 200% to get it to print to the size of a sheet of copy paper, which was the size I was looking for. Once my outline was printed, I used Cheryl Lynch’s technique of taping it to a piece of core board and then thumbtacking a sheet of Steam-a-Seam 2 over it, uncovering the top of the fusible to expose the sticky side up.

Next, it was time to go through my collection of cotton batik fabrics to see what colors might work for the tiles. I cut them into 3/4 inch squares, using Cheryl Lynch’s mini mosaic cutting guide and found that the more variation you have in the light/dark of each color, the better it looks.

Now for the fun part…placing each individual square fabric “tile” with a tweezers. It’s somewhat like putting a puzzle together…one area of color at a time, but you don’t have to make them all fit…you can trim pieces to fit as needed.

For a project this small it doesn’t take long to cut enough squares of fabric to get started. The variation in the value of each fabric color is the key. You don’t want them to look too flat by having each tile exactly the same color value. I added some bright yellow strips in the center of the flower.

It’s slowly progressing! It takes quite awhile to individually place each square with a tweezers, but it’s surprising how much is accomplished by working on it in 30 minute segments throughout a couple of days. Before you know it, it’s finished and ready to fuse to the “grout” fabric and add the tulle netting over the top …

…adding the borders, batting, & backing …

and do the machine quilting using white cotton thread and a walking foot. I stitched between the rows of mosaic squares in the “grout area”, and outlined the petals and leaves. I added a few quilted veins into the petals of the Trillium too.

Close up of the quilted veins & center of the Trillium

What do you think? Originally the background was all browns and green, but I decided it needed more contrast, so I took out some of the squares and re-did the top portion of the background in blue sky.

I’m excited to report that this mosaic quilt has been featured in the Winter 2019 Issue of Art Quilting Studio…so exciting!

I’m ready to try it again…how about you?

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Tuesday Tips: Accuquilt Die Cutting

Tuesday Tips: Accuquilt Die Cutting

So I’ve been debating whether or not to buy one of the new fabric die cutters available out there…I wondered… Was it really worth the price? Would it really save me time?

After watching a b’zillion videos on the Accuquilt website, and an in-person demo at one of my fabulous local quilt stores, Mill House Quilts, I was “hooked”. It wasn’t the time saved or even the “rotary cutting wrist relief” that sold me on them… It was the consistent accuracy of the pieces the Accuquilt dies cut.

There are several sizes of Accuquilt Die Cutters (ranging in price) for me to chose from.  I felt a little like Goldi-locks–this one’s too big, this one’s too small, this one is just right!  I felt for me the Go!Baby was a bit too small. I wanted to use the larger strip cutting dies, and the Baby only accepts the small dies.  On the other end of the spectrum the Go!Big Electric was too much for my small sewing space.  It would be a great choice for people with hand issues that can’t handle the manual crank.  And the Studio (the top of the line and most expensive) was way over my needs, space, and budget.  So I settled on the Go!. It can handle the larger dies, but is light-weight and easy to fold up and put on the floor under my cutting table when not in use.  Very easy to bring up and use anytime.  Of course I waited until it was on sale, and it came with a “Value Die” (55018) a 6×12″ cutting mat, die pick, and pattern booklet.   I also bought the 1-1/2 inch strip cutter–thinking ahead to log cabins in my future (yes!).

I absolutely love it!

There’s one tip I learned along the way that I’d like to share with you about preparing the fabric.  I found it helpful.  I create a simple cardboard template for the die to help.  Here’s a sample of the one I made for my 2″ finished half square triangle die…

I’m in the process of making a baby quilt for a friend (soon-to-be grandma again) that has 4″ finished Signature Blocks.  To create the two corners of the block, I need 2″ finished half square triangles, and I happen to have this die (yay! It’s part of the “value die”).   To make the cardboard template, I measure and add about a quarter inch or so on each side all around that particular die and cut it out (with paper scissors).  Then whenever I use that die, I can use this template to help me visually prepare the fabric so it’s not too large or small and I can make the most of the fabric strip or scrap from my stash.

I can place it on my ruler when I’m cutting a strip to judge the correct width…

and then place the carboard template at the end of a strip and roll the fabric around it…

…until I’ve got 6 layers of fabric (the most my Go! will cut at one time)…then I cut off the excess fabric on the strip (if any)…

And give it a quick press with my iron…

**IMPORTANT**:  Don’t forget to slip the cardboard template OUT of the fabric before you take it to the die cutter! –you do NOT want to run the cardboard template through the die cutter with the cardboard inside!!

Place the fabric over the template, being sure it hangs over all the edges of the marked die, cover with the plastic cutting mat, and run it through your die cutter…

Here’s a quick video of the cutting process…(forgive my amateur video taking!)… it’s difficult trying to do this with only one hand!  LOL

It actually didn’t take long at all! From beginning to end I cut 24 perfect half square triangles in about 2 minutes.

The best part (and the real reason I was hooked on a die cutter) is the accuracy. Each triangle is perfectly cut.  And even better, all the “dog ears” are cut off…making piecing a breeze.

Between then and now (my birthday was in there and the family knows what I want–LOL), I’ve accumulated a few more dies.  I plan to make templates for all of them except the very large strip cutters.

That’s all for today… I hope this was helpful.  I’ll share the quilt I’m making with you next time.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my friends in the U.S.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

2 Minute No Sew Christmas Napkin Ring

2 Minute No Sew Christmas Napkin Ring

Want to add a festive touch to your holiday table but don’t have a lot of time?  Here’s an easy, no sew, way to make a colorful poinsettia napkin ring in 2 minutes flat.

It’s a technique my sister-in-law taught me over (well we won’t mention how many) years ago.  I’ve perfected the pattern, but the idea is the same.  There’s no sewing involved, and all you’ll need is some red and green felt squares (available at JoAnne Fabrics, and lots of other stores — be sure to use your coupon).

Click on the PDF pattern (below) and print it off.


There are only three pieces. Cut them out of red & green felt as shown in the photo below.


That’s all there is to it! Easy peasy.


cut an X in the center of the green & red petals…simply fold in half & cut, refold in half the other way and cut.


To assemble, fold the RED long strip in half..


and pull the tips through the center hole of the GREEN felt petals.


And then through the center hole of the RED FELT petals.


and fluff by pulling the tips apart


Roll up your napkin (or fold) and slip it through the “ring” and your table is instantly transformed.



Now get creative—change the shapes of the outside leaves & petals…use different colors and you can make all sorts of flower napkin rings for every season of the year!

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday Season…And a very HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!

Until next time,


Mulberry Patch Quilts

My Project Quilting 14.6 Entry:  Conquer Your Fear (of failure) with art quilts

My Project Quilting 14.6 Entry: Conquer Your Fear (of failure) with art quilts

This week Project Quilting Season 14 (2023) has as their very last challenge: Conquer Your Fear

They say in their post, “if you only do what’s safe and comfy, you’ll stagnate and grow soft.” I agree. You need to push your boundaries from time to time … and get out of your comfort zone.

As you probably know, the challenge is to make a quilted object (any size) from start to finish in one week using the challenge title as your inspiration. And post a photo at their website before the deadline.

So, after pondering all the fears that I might want to conquer, I thought about my journey with quilting and how I’ve grown from simple (and safe) traditional quilts, to more advanced techniques, and then pushed myself a little further out of my comfort zone to create original art quilts. I promised myself that this year I’d try to create more art quilts. But there’s a “fear” involved in making an art quilt. And that nagging little fear makes me procrastinate. A new technique, a new design. The fear is … that I can make a mistake! I can fail!

So for my “fear conquering” challenge, I’m trying a new technique on a new art mini-quilt. It involves quilting FIRST and then coloring the fabric after. Let’s see how.

The first step is to trace (or draw) a design onto PTD cotton fabric that I ironed onto freezer paper. The freezer paper stabilizes the fabric ti make it easier to draw on. I used a pen that disappears with heat (Frixion). I thought a coloring-book like design might be fun to stitch and color…and the word “create” will help to remind me to have fun and to play while I’m doing it…without fear!

After adding batting & backing, I began free motion quilting over the drawn lines with black thread on my Bernina and my BSR foot. It’s ok to “draw” outside the lines, it’s ok to go over the lines several times … with no fear.

… Did you know that “do not fear” is found 365 times in the Bible?

Before ironing…
And after ironing…notice the drawn lines have disappeared.

Then I got out my Inktense color pencils and aloe vera, and began “coloring”.

All that’s left to do is a pillowcase backing that I just saw featured on Quilting Arts TV today. Sew the backing right sides together to the front all the way around. Then trim corners, cut a small X in the backing fabric, and turn right side out and press. Ta-da!

And done!

No worries…I can cover the slits in the backing with the quilt label!

So here’s my mini art quilt, all done and hanging right above my sewing machine, amongst my beautiful threads, to remind me to create …have fun …don’t forget to play, and conquer my fear!

Until next time, Happy Quilting!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Experimenting with Inktense on Fabric for Project Quilting 14.3

Experimenting with Inktense on Fabric for Project Quilting 14.3

The Project Quilting challenge for this week (Season 14, #3) is “54/40 or Fight”. It’s the name for a traditional quilt block. If you’re interested to find out more about the block, it’s history, or the Project Quilting challenge, click here: Project Quilting

The challenge has to be done from beginning to end in one week. I was thinking about using the 54/40 or fight block as the center of a square table topper, making pieces wonky to make it more modern. But my heart wasn’t in it. Nothing seemed to come together.

I had just gotten out my set of Derwent Inktense pencils to play with a few days ago, so I was inspired by them on another project. Then the light went on in my brain — Why not paint the block on plain fabric using the colored pencils? Yes!!

I was inspired by a design printed on canvas that I had picked up on sale somewhere few years ago. I’ve always loved the hand-drawn and watercolor look of it. And it has a barn quilt “distressed” vibe that appeals to me. Especially in the unusual muted earthy colors. Could I recreate something like that on fabric with my pencils and then quilt in those black seam lines? I was inspired enough to give it a try. Here’s a photo of the printed block on canvas.

A photo of the original printed block & my sketch of the “54/40 or fight” block

I experimented with the pencils and aloe vera, some water, and several brushes to try to get a similar distressed look on my fabric. My test sheet of samples and ideas are in the photo below, as well as the first stages of my painted block (bottom).

Sample sheet of ideas (lower right) & painted block on PTD cotton fabric ironed to freezer paper (center).

I kept tweaking my painted block with bits of added color in browns and grey to black until I was happy with the outcome. I even sprinkled water in a few areas, then blotted the ink to make it look even more distressed.

Uneven (purposely wonky) lines to echo a hand-drawn look

I added Pellon fusible fleece and a batik backing fabric and quilted along what would have been the seam-lines if it would have been sewn together. I purposely tried not to make the quilting perfectly straight to help give it a “hand drawn” look, like someone drew the lines a few times with ink on watercolor. .

The only thing left to do was to bind it. I used an art quilt technique of sewing folded triangles to the front of each corner, adding strips folded lengthwise to each side (cut just a half inch or so short of each corner). And then (after stay-stitching) I folded them all to the back and hand stitched them down.

I liked the clean edge that mimicked the look of the print on canvas.

Before hand sewing it all down, I added a thin wooden dowel intwo of the corner triangles so it’ll be easy to hang on the wall.

And here it is! All finished in plenty of time to enter in the contest. Wish me luck!

How does it compare with the original inspiration piece? Might not be perfect, but for a first try I’m satisfied.

Derwent Inktense pencils are easy to use, experiment with, and I’m sure I’ll be “playing” and experimenting again soon! Give them a try.

Until next time, Happy Quilting! Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Painting on Fabric with Inktense Pencils

So I haven’t painted or drawn on fabric for quite awhile now. And with the snow falling outside, I declare an official “Snow Day” … a day to relax, stay cozy indoors, and “play”.

I’ve got my Derwent Inktense 24 box of pencils, a few stiff brushes, some plain white fabric (PTD prepared for dying), freezer paper, and water/aloe vera gel/textile medium and I’m ready to play.

For those of you not familiar with these color pencils, once they’re activated with liquid and dry they become permanent. Unlike watercolor or regular color pencils, these pencils have actual ink in them that bonds with the fabric when wet. You can use water (which will give more of a watercolor effect but will bleed more) or a textile medium or aloe vera gel (which are thicker and give you more control). Let’s give it a go!

After tracing a photo on the shiny side of a piece of freezer paper, I ironed it to my fabric. I chose 100% cotton “prepared for dying” white fabric because I had it on hand, but I think any cotton muslin with a tight weave will work.

There are a plethora of how-to videos on YouTube, and I watched quite a few of them. Just search on “Inktense on fabric” if you’re interested.

In my pack of 24 pencils there’s one labeled “outliner”. I’m using that one to sketch in the details of the bluebird.

I’m going to draw on the dry fabric and then use the aloe vera on a stiff brush to blend and make the color pop. My sample sheet might be helpful in choosing the colors.

When I first got my pencils, I made a sample sheet on fabric of all the colors.

I’ll start with the branches.

Dry, no aloe vera added yet.
After brushing on the aloe vera and blending.

You can see how vibrant the color becomes on fabric when liquid is added to it! For the lighter areas I found brushing on the aloe vera first, adding bits of color and blending worked better. I even took my wet bruch and dabbed it right on the pencil to add the color.

Not perfect, but not too bad for a first try

Next I need to let it dry. I may come back and add details using a permanent fine tip marker after it’s done drying.

I’ll come back and show you the finished art quilt when it’s done. For now I’m going to think about what background I’ll use. will it be pieced? Painted? Or a batik?

Until next time, Happy Quilting! Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Season 13.6 Flying Geese

Project Quilting Season 13.6 Flying Geese

So this is the last Project Quilting challenge (season 13)for 2022. As you know the challenge quilted project can be anything (from a quilted coaster to a full sized quilt) but has to be done (start to finish) during the challenge week. It’s amazing what quilters can accomplish.

I don’t have a lot of time this week, but I really wanted to make something simple so I don’t miss out on participating this week.

I used my Electric Quilt 8 (EQ8) computer program to quickly design a doll quilt/table topper with a strip of flying geese going slightly off center. The program let me print the blocks for foundation piecing (paper piecing).

I found some great fabrics in my stash, including one of my favorite fabrics—Morris & Company by Free Spirit. I think that dark blue print worked great as the background fabric.

So here’s my entry after quilting and binding. Isn’t it cute on the doll bed?

Or it can be used as a table-topper.

I’ve learned how to make sweet little labels that fit nicely on the back corner of my quilts.

What do you think?

I want to give a big shout out to Kim, @persimondreams, & Trish, @Quilt Chicken, for providing us with another fun season of Project Quilting! Thanks!!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts


Disappearing 4-Patch Quilt: Merging the Best Instructions

Disappearing 4-Patch Quilt: Merging the Best Instructions

A “Disappearing 4-Patch” may look intricate and complicated, but it’s really very easy. If you can sew a simple 4-patch, you can sew this quilt.

There are many great how-to tutorials out there. I chose these two YouTube videos as my favorites—

Jenny at the Missouri Star Quilt Company and

Laura Ann Cioa at Sew Very Easy.

After watching both, I decided to “merge” their info together to make my own Disappearing 4-Patch. Here’s how…

Jenny (MSQC) has you use a charm pack in her version, while Laura (Sew Very Easy) has you cut larger squares from fat quarters. I chose to go with Jenny on this one because I had this sweet little charm pack from Moda called “Cozy Up” on hand. Isn’t it cute?

I pulled 32 of the medium to dark squares from the charm pack for my quilt. I also needed 32 background 5” squares. I was going to use white muslin, but there were several light charms leftover from my charm pack, so I mixed them with the white.

The first step (from both videos) is to sew your squares into a 4-patch. Easy! I like the way Laura (Sew Very Easy) shows you how to press the seams to make your 4-patch nice and flat. Check it out on her video.

The next step is to place the 4-patch on a spinning cutting mat & line up the 1” line on your ruler with center seam and cut.

Then spin your mat and repeat until your block looks like the one above.

This is where I diverted from Jenny’s instructions in favor of Laura’s. Jenny had you swap each corner block and spin the center 4-patch a quarter turn. I gave that a try, but the seams didn’t nest together and I found it difficult to sew.

But Laura had you switch just the center top 2-patch rectangle with the bottom one, and the left center 2-patch with the right one! That’s it. The seams nest perfectly, making this block a breeze to sew.

Here’s the finished block, 8-1/2” (8” finished).

Now it’s time to play! Put the blocks up on your design wall until you find your favorite layout. I liked this layout (above) which has 4 blocks across and 4 down (a total of 16 blocks). I’ll add a 1-inch white inner border and I might add a 4 inch outer border, so my finished baby quilt will be 42 x 42 inches.

Here are two different drawings (done on my EQ8 program) as examples of just two of the ways you night sew it together.

And here’s the finished baby quilt. I decided not to add the extra border. This is the perfect size for a baby stroller or “tummy time”.

I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s fun. Post your quilt below in the comments and let me know how you did.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING

Jane, Mulberry Patch Quilts

Art Quilting Class: Dream Come True

Art Quilting Class: Dream Come True

Ever since I first saw her art work on Quilting Arts TV, and her articles in Quilting Arts Magazine, I’ve dreamed of taking a workshop from Ann Loveless.

Well last Saturday that dream came true — thanks to a workshop given by our very own Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Art. So Off I went on a road-trip to historic Cedarburg WI.

We were also treated to view the museum’s current exhibition of quilts by artist Victoria Findlay Wolfe

The workshop was given in their historic barn. A beautiful space below the museum and gift shop with the original beams exposed, but well lit, cozy, with wonderful tables and ironing stations and lots of room to spread out.

Ann Loveless demonstrating her wonderful technique.

I came well prepared with every scrap of batik fabric I could find in my stash along with my trusty Bernina B570QE sewing machine with it’s free motion stitch regulator and an assortment of thread. Maybe I overdid it…just a bit.

I think I might have overdone it with my batik fabric scraps

Ann gave us wonderful step-by-step instructions. And we were treated to a trunk show of dozens of her beautiful art quilts.

Ann showing us her finished masterpieces

I love all Ann’s work, but I’m especially interested in her very small, and very detailed, mosaic landscapes. They’re amazing. And this class focused on her technique for creating them. Perfect!

I wasn’t able to buy her finished pieces, but I did buy some awesome note cards & her autographed book.

Starting out, my little landscape didn’t look like much…

But it’s amazing how it took on life with more color and detail added…

Ann was very supportive and gave us a lot of suggestions and help. She’s a marvelous artist and teacher.

I was so pleased with the results

By the end of the all-day workshop, everyone had a beautiful landscape done, or almost done…I thought every one of them was beautiful. Don’t you agree? That’s the sign of a great workshop!

Everyone was pleased with their work.

And here’s my finished piece. I plan to frame it and hang it on my wall to remind me how amazing that day was.

Here’s my finished piece, ready to frame.

If you ever have the opportunity, I hope you’ll take a workshop from your favorite quilt artist! And if Ann Loveless is the teacher, you’re sure to have a wonderful learning experience.

Until next time, Happy Quilting!


Mulberry Patch Quilts