A Season for…Baby Quilts!

Free Patterns and Tutorials, Quilting - Inspiration

 

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Winter 2015 seems to be the season of anticipation – anticipation of new babies for my expectant friends, coworkers and family members!

Currently, I am in the process of creating and constructing four baby quilts – 2 of them as gifts for boys and 2 as gifts for girls – all due by early July.    With such a short timeline and wanting to have a fabulous individual and unique gift for all of the Mom’s, I turn to my social media resources for ideas and patterns, specifically Pinterest.  On http://www.pinterest.com,  I can locate pictures of quilts as well as links to free patterns and tutorials.  Inspiration galore!

Pinterest lead me to discover one of my favorite resources for learning new techniques and securing excellent ideas for quick and easy quilting patterns. Several quilters had “pinned” the series of YouTube tutorial videos available from the Missiouri Star Quilt Company.  By merely visiting their quilt store website, https://www.missouriquiltco.com/, and clicking on the “Tutorials” tab on the top right of the page, you have free access to dozens of instructional and educational “how to” videos.  Jenny Doan conducts awesome step-by-step tutorials – simple enough for the most inexperienced quilters yet engaging and creative enough for the expert sewers alike!

I encourage everyone to browse the site and watch some of the short tutorials – you will be inspired and itching to get started on a new project!

Here are several of the quilt tops that I constructed using YouTube videos mentioned.  These baby quilt tops are now ready for finishing.

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Baby Boy – chevron quilt

This simple design is the “chevron quilt” pattern and is completely done with 10″ squares of background (white) and patterned fabrics (grays and teal).  I was able to construct the top in one afternoon.  You can view the tutorial at the following link –

http://quiltingtutorials.com/all/chevron-quilt-10-fabric-squares/

 

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Zipper Quilt for a baby girl

This second simple design is from tutorial titled “The Zipper Quilt” – again another beginner pattern using pre-cut fabric collections.   Construction required a mere 3 hours of a Saturday afternoon.  This particular quilt can be easily adjusted in size too, by adding extra rows of “zipper” strips.  Here is the link to view this YouTube video-

http://quiltingtutorials.com/all/zipper-quilt-quilting-easy/

The Fons and Porters site, http://video.fonsandporter.com/, also has free videos and tutorials available for your viewing at any time as well as do many other national quilt shops and designers.

Another wonderful resource is for free quilting patterns that I just recently discovered is http://www.favequilts.com/.  I signed up for their free newsletter membership and now have instant access to more than 400+ step-by-step patterns with instruction.

In this article, I have only mentioned the sites that I personally used to get inspired with ideas for the baby quilt this winter but there are many, many other possibilities and opportunities to learn through the Internet.

Take some time to discover all that is available to today’s quilter.

Do you have a favorite link or site for patterns and inspiration that you would like to share?

Please feel free to share your information and comments with our followers.

Only 4 weeks until Spring…until then, stay warm and get quilting!

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Jump!

Homespun Fabrics, Original Quilt Designs, PA Dutch, Pieced and Appliqued Quilts

Never be afraid to try new things…

Years ago there was a craze for a period of time for quilters to create projects with plaids and homespuns. I too wanted to complete a project that incorporated both piecing and some of my favorite hand applique using these traditional fabrics.

Plaids and homespuns are larger weave textiles and can be a challenge to work with because of the difficulty of keeping the small pieces from fraying  Stripes and checked patterns in the fabric are also easily lost when the fabric is cut into tiny pieces, but I was not deterred.

I then finished and quilted the project using Big Stitch techniques and black pearl cotton.

Fractur Bird Plaids was drafted for my pattern company and soon became one of the most popular designs.

Who knew that this simple self-challenge project could turn out to be so well loved by fellow quilters!

So…jump!

An original design inspired by the Pennsylvania Dutch Fractur bird patterns. Copyright - Hearthstone Designs

An original design inspired by the Pennsylvania Dutch Fractur bird patterns.
Copyright – Hearthstone Designs

Inspiration from the world around us!

Original Quilt Designs, Quilting - Inspiration

Whether you are deciding on fabric colors for a quilt or just looking for a unique pattern or design, inspiration is everywhere!

I have been quilting and creating my own designs for many years and I have a tried and true method for staying creative and keeping my projects fresh and fun.   It’s actually very simple!

Merely take notice of the world around you…from the rising sun in the east as you drive into work in the morning, to the colors of the flowers, bird and trees in local gardens to the buffet of color in a restaurant salad bar at lunchtime.   Color and beauty abound!

Our seasons change here on the East Coast every few months, so there is nearly constant opportunity to get inspired by nature!

Heading to the beach this summer?  The shore is teeming with vibrant color from the blues of the ocean, to the soft hues of the seashells to the explosion of color in the flowers, trees, roadside vegetable stands, our clothing and even beach towels.

Not a summer person?   Then look no further than autumn!   Who doesn’t love the changing color of the trees, the oranges of pumpkins, the red and green hues of ripening apples, the first smells of wood burning in a fire place or crispness and coolness in the air on an October evening?

Winter can be gray and dank…but who hasn’t appreciated the beauty of a male cardinal perched on a snowy fence or the glistering of ice crystals draped over the branches of a tree?   Amazing, right?

Let’s not forget to mention those first spots of green on the trees in early spring or the first crocus – busting through the frozen ground and blooming in white, yellows and purples.

Be prepared so that you don’t lose an idea or thought.  Have a notebook, large envelope or phone readily available to take pictures, jot down notes or save items that you find interesting and inspirational.

Greeting cards are one perfect example of simple beauty and inspiration because they offer a wide range of color and design layouts as well as motivational and heartfelt quotes.  Save the ones that spark an idea for a future project.

Museums, art shows, galleries, and art books can also offer a world of beauty and interest.

Don’t even get me started on architecture…copper gutters and roofs, decorative tiled or inlaid wood floors, twinkling stained glass windows, and even tin ceilings can set my creative mind on overdrive!  Just a simple walk through an older neighborhood can offer some fresh ideas.

Discover what stimulates your creative juices and let them flow with abandon!