Next in line for the Spring pattern line up, is Crosshatch. It is a quilt pattern in three sizes! The design for this quilt evolved quite a bit over a very short period of time. I sketched some layered lines and the more I changed things up, the more I liked them. Then I set them on point (for all you non-quilters out there, that means on a 45 degree angle!) and liked what I had.
This quilt is so incredibly fast to cut and piece. Much of it is sewn with strip piecing, which speeds things up even more. It makes a great option for a class in a quilt shop. In fact, on of my testers (Jaime) is teaching a Crosshatch class at the Bernina store here in Kansas City this summer!
My testers all went such different routes, and I really like seeing the differences in the look of the quilt! My mom tested the large size for me and picked a softer color palette, using a great Michael Miller Mini Mike’s print, some Lotta Jansdotter Echo and a couple shades of shot cotton.
Jaime, who wins the “most frequent pattern tester award”, made this shot cotton beauty!
That deep navy is so wonderful. Just look at the awesome Kaffe print she picked for the back!
My guild friend, Paula, tested the baby size and made an adorable version in black, white and an orange. But. I was a total failure and in loading my car for the photo shoot I somehow left her quilt in my sewing room. I’ll have to get some good shots of it so you can see it, because it is really a unique color combination and I want to share it!
Angela Walters did the quilting on these. Want to see some close ups? Sure thing!
And the pieced backing option for this quilt is one I really like. Playing off a portion of the front, just in a much larger scale. And it is really so fast to do and I think it adds a fun feature to the back of the quilt. Instructions for all three sizes of pieces backings are included in the pattern. (Just like all of my patterns!)
I know Angela would say that the back is her favorite because you can see the quilting!
I love the layering effect of the fabrics in this quilt and hope to see so many great examples as this design gets into the hands of quilters. My cover quilt uses all Kona solids. The exact colors used are listed inside the pattern, but I will list them here as well. In order from the materials list on the back: Jade Green, Candy Green, Chartreuse, Kiwi, Sour Apple, and Clover. Backing in Candy Green and binding in Clover. All photography in this post is by Sarah Sorell of Sorell Images.
If you are ready to jump in and start cutting, you can find the pattern in stock right now at The Fat Quarter Shop online and in Kansas City at Bon Bon Atelier and the Bernina store on Metcalf. It will be popping up in many other stores in the coming weeks, too. If you are a store interested in carrying this pattern, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or one of my distributors (Brewer, Checker, United Notions, Petersen-Arne and E.E. Schenck)
Your turn! Is there a color scheme you’d like to see used to make this quilt? I’m going to need to make a small sample for some trunk shows and I think it would be fun to hear what you’d like to see! So? What color family would you pick?
I grew up using a wonderful handmade felt advent calendar that one of my aunts made for us. Each day you got to snap a new ornament on a little felt tree hanging on the wall. My sister and I used to race to hang up the ornament each day. (Mom, did you like how I substituted ‘race to’ for ‘argue over’ in that sentence?) That advent calendar is about 30 years old and I am proud to say it is still in use!
With kids of my own now, I wanted to start our own little family tradition of sorts. I wasn’t interested in having to purchase 25 mini gifts or give my kids 25 days of candy. I wanted to capitalize on the memory making moments many people experience during the holidays.
So, I created the Advent Activity Calendar! Each stocking holds a slip of cardstock with a new and fun activity to complete each day. Easy, fast and almost all of them are FREE. They are probably things you already do at Christmastime. Examples?
Sip hot chocolate.
Perform a random act of kindness for someone.
Read aloud the story of the birth of Jesus.
Listen to a CD of favorite Christmas songs. Sing along with gusto! (any other fans of John Denver and the Muppets, A Christmas Together??)
Hop in the car and take a tour of area Christmas light displays. Award a family favorite! (this is one we love at our house!)
There are a handful of blank slips to customize it for your family, for a total of 32 activity options. You know, just in case “Make a snowman” isn’t an option for you in Arizona! After completing each day, simply store the slips in the handy pocket/label on the back.
And, I might add that the pre-printed slips come with the pattern! Just cut apart the postcards inside the pattern and pop them in the stockings. How much easier can it get!? The pattern also comes with two font options, already at full size and mirror imaged for you to get going easily.
Alex always chooses fantastic fabric combinations, so I was especially excited to see what she would use. And did she ever come through! It’s non-traditional and I adore it!
And check out what she used for the ribbon. Twill measuring tape!
Caitlin used a great blanket stitch to sew down her stockings. She also had a great suggestion for using an extra stocking on the back as the pocket/label. So clever!
I am so excited about using this advent calendar with my two kids next winter. I know they will love the activities (and I will love knowing that they are easy to do!). And, as any person who sews gifts fast and furiously at Christmas knows, I am positively giddy that I have this DONE well in advance. I feel like there should be a bonus point I award myself or something. Typically, I’d be starting this November 30th! (I know I am not alone, either!)
Should you decide to make some advent activity memories of your own, head on over to The Fat Quarter Shop and pick up a copy of the pattern. If you start before November 30th, I’ll give you a bonus point!
Your turn! Do you have special way to count down the days to Christmas at your house? Did you have one growing up? Tell me all about it. I love hearing different family traditions for this sort of thing!
Here it is! My first official pattern publishing a design by Angela Walters! Oh, Bleachers quilt. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
1) I love that it looks just as great in ‘manly’ Curious Nature fabric as it does in pink Kona solids. It’s a quilt that you could make for a man or for a baby girl… and it would look like a totally different quilt. The cover version is made from Parson Gray’s (aka David Butler) Curious Nature fabric line. The exact fabrics used are listed inside the pattern. Seriously. That fabric line is fantastic. Incidentally, Moda Bella Etchings Slate gray goes perfectly with it. Kathy and the team at Pink Chalk helped me color match it, since grays can be pretty tricky! I used it in the backing.
2) I love that the blocks are scaled. But the directions are super easy to understand and the whole thing goes together like a nifty little (easy) puzzle. When Angela and I discussed how I would develop the instructions for her design, I asked her if she envisioned the design looking the same in each size or if she wanted it to have more ‘bands’ on the larger quilts. Luckily, she said “either way” and I got to fiddle with the math and came up with what I think is a pretty awesome little system. Whether you make the baby size or the giant full/queen version, you’ll get the exact same look.
3)I love the negative space in the design. Hmmm… think Angela did that on purpose to give herself some room to really quilt away? Like all of my patterns, there are many full color images on the inside of the covers to show close ups of her quilting and the variety of samples made by the testers. Like this:
4) I love the color options chosen by my testers! Since they get to keep the quilts, I want them to pick colors they really want. They only check in with me to make sure they aren’t all going in the same color direction. I think it adds so much value to the pattern, too, being able to see an actual quilt made in a variety of colors. The pink/orange/yellow solid quilt above was made by Mary Anne. What a fun baby quilt!
The lap size quilt below is a test quilt was made by Carla, who has tested several patterns for me. She picked some Kona coal for the background with natural and curry as the two band fabrics. It doesn’t show in the photo, but she used a great print from Malka Dubrawsky’s line for Moda as the backing. It works perfectly!
The blue version shown here was made by Melissa. Covering a full or queen bed, it is large and in charge! My husband nicknamed this one ‘The Royals Quilt’. (He is a true blue Royals fan, I tell you!) I love the shades of blue mixed with the ash gray. Wouldn’t it be a great quilt for a baby boy in the smallest size, too?
And finally, as always, there is a pieced backing option. Super easy to put together and the directions are so fast and simple that you’ll definitely want to do it.
So, I have to know. Having shown you a bunch of color options, what colors would YOU use to make this quilt? Itching to start? You can find the pattern right now at the Fat Quarter Shop, Marmalade Fabrics, Pink Chalk Fabrics and other stores listed here!
Getting to finally announce new patterns is such a fun day. These were initially written around Christmas, sent to a team of fantastic testers in January, quilted in February, photographed in March and the final patterns arrived in my doorstep last week! They are in boxes criss-crossing the country now and I am thrilled to be at this point and showing them to you!
Each day this week I will feature a new pattern. Tuesday: Bleachers (because, let’s face it…. Angela will not be kept waiting any longer to talk about her design! Ha!) Wednesday: the Advent Activity Calendar, Thursday: the Crosshatch quilt and Friday: the Home Sweet Home Pillow.
For now, here are the covers individually.
The Advent Activity Calendar is an incredibly fun way to count down the days to Christmas with easy and memorable activities each day. The best part is that the activity cards come with the pattern!! I can’t wait to tell you about it Wednesday.
The Crosshatch quilt is so, so, so fast to cut and piece. And I love the look of layering that it gives. This quilt pattern includes three different sizes and you will hear all about it on Thursday!
Ah, the Home Sweet Home pillow. Inspired by our crazy year of four addresses, naturally. I am crazy about this pillow because it is paper pieced and includes step by step photo instructions for the paper piecing process. The binding on the pillow has a fun little flange, which I love. The back of the pillow is also quilted, which makes the entire thing nice and sturdy. Am I the only one who gets annoyed with pillows that have a flimsy one layer backing? You’ll see some great photos and hear about this pattern on Friday!
And last but not least, Bleachers. It’s a quilt pattern with three sizes. I told you a bit about this pattern last week. Do you see now what I meant when I said it would be a great quilt for a guy? I am crazy about this quilt for several reasons. One is that it goes together in such a cool way– in fact each tester used the word ‘clever’ in their feedback. What is also cool is that the quilt blocks are scaled, so each of the three sizes has the exact same look! Here’s a visual:
All of the quilts in that photo are made by my testers from different Kona solids. I’ll list the colors when I post about the quilt tomorrow!
Many, many thanks go to the team who helps me make this happen. All of the vivid photography is by my friend Sarah of Sorell Images here in KC and all quilts were quilted by Angela Walters. Testers for this round: Jaime, Melissa, Carla, Mary Anne, Paula, Alex, Caitlin and my own mom, known around our house as “Gigi”. They are all a huge part this business!
So. There you have it. Months of work finally out in the world! I am so ‘close’ to the patterns that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. Can I borrow your pick for favorite? Tell me, which one would it be? I am so curious!
If you are in the market for one of these, you can find them in stock at The Fat Quarter Shop. Later this week here in Kansas City, you can find them at Bon Bon Atelier. They are in other boxes criss crossing the country right now, so you should see them popping up elsewhere soon. If you are a store interested in carrying them, you can order from me (send an e-mail to email@example.com) or from one of my distributors (Brewer, United Notions, Checker, Petersen-Arne and E.E. Schenck).