Introducing: Grafic Fabric

I designed a fabric line. Yep, I can still barely believe it. It’s called Grafic. It’s in celebration of graffiti and street art and the streets of Los Angeles. It’s bold. It’s graphic. It’s gritty. It will hit stores this month! I love it. I hope you do too.

A bunch of amazing designers agreed to make projects with Grafic. So, I took them all out into the streets of Los Angeles to be photographed against graffiti walls, murals, and street art

Glam Clam 2a

Boy onesie - color

libs bag

And, then I put them all into a Look Book. Check it out. I hope that it inspires you.

If you love it, request it from your local or online fabric stores.

Happy quilting!

The Magic Pillow Facing Tutorial

You may hear me jokingly say I’m a lazy quilter but, I don’t ever believe in compromising quality and workmanship and I LOVE a professional finish when I sew. This means even on the insides of projects or in places that wont be seen often – like the inside of a pillow. I’ve serged seams, sewn full linings, put bias tape over the seam allowance – all kinds of things to achieve a professional look. But, after I figured out how to do the “magic pillow facing”, I think I will only make pillows this way now! It looks so professional. Essentially, you line the pillow front with a facing that encloses all the raw edges! And, it just takes one extra 4″ seam and one extra turn.

IMG_0892 copy

I had a heck of a time figuring out a title for this that would make sense. But, it really does feel magical when you do it. And, it’s more of a facing than a lining. So, there you go.

You can use this technique to make a pillow that has an envelope back or a pillow with either an invisible or lapped zipper put in. Whichever you choose, sew your pillow back as you normally would first. This tutorial will use an envelope back for ease of demonstration.

You can also use this technique with any size or shape pillow! This tutorial assumes a 1/4″ seam width. Adjust to fit your desired seam width for assembling your pillow.

Here we go:

  1. First, your pillow front, back, and facing should all be the same size. If they are not trim down to size.
  2. Place pillow front RIGHT SIDE UP. This can be a solid piece of fabric, a patchwork piece, or even a quilted pillow front. If you’re going to quilt your pillow front just quilt the pillow front onto batting since you’re effectively adding a facing to the pillow front with this technique.Magic Pillow Facing Artwork1
  3. Place pillow back WRONG SIDE UP on top of pillow front. They will be RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.Magic Pillow Facing Artwork2
  4. Align outside edges, pinning as desired. At the bottom (and away from any join) , sew about a 5 inch long seam 1/4″ from the edge of your pillow. Note: If you have a zipper on your pillow back then unzip it here!Magic Pillow Facing Artwork 3
  5. Place pillow facing WRONG SIDE UP on top of pillow back.Magic Pillow Facing Artwork 4
  6. Align outside edges pinning as desired. On the facing, mark the beginning and end of the 4 inch seam that was sewn. Mark with chalk or use a few straight pins. This will be your beginning and ending marks for your next seam.Magic Pillow Facing Artwork 5
  7. Starting at the end mark of the 4 inch seam, sew with a 1/4″ seam all the way around your pillow stopping at the other mark for the 4 inch seam.
    Magic Pillow Facing Artwork 6
  8. Reach in through the 4″ opening at the bottom and turn your pillow right sides out. You will see the RIGHT SIDE of the facing on one side and the WRONG SIDE of the pillow back.
  9. Then reaching through the opening of your pillow back, turn your pillow right sides out again. You will now see the RIGHT SIDE of the pillow front and the RIGHT SIDE of the pillow back.
  10. Poke your corners out.
  11. Whip stich the 4 inch opening closed in the bottom.
  12. Look at that magical pillow facing! Don’t you feel fancy?

Here’s one pillow I made using that technique:

FullSizeRender 14

It’s hard to photograph the inside of a pillow but, here’s a peek at how the inside looks. The pillow back is to the right and the facing is to the left. See, magical huh?!

FullSizeRender 15

Let me know if the last steps aren’t clear. I’ll try to take some pics to help. And, if you try it – let me know how it turns out!

Happy sewing!

Blog Hop – The Appliqué Book: Traditional Techniques, Modern Style

My friend Casey York asked me to be a part of her second book aptly named The Appliqué Book. She invited 21 designers to contribute to the collective knowledge of this book. I love that it embraces “Traditional Techniques, Modern Style”. Because, isn’t that what it’s all about?

I honestly don’t do appliqué much but, when I do there is one style of appliqué which I’ve sort of embraced as my own. Back in 2011 or 2012  while looking at all of my leftover bias tape I started to think about what I could use them for and thought that it would be fun to use it for bias tape appliqué. As far as I knew at the time, bias tape appliqué was primarily used for stems and vines in traditional appliqué (I hadn’t yet been introduced to the work of Joe Cunningham). I thought what if we used bias tape to draw on quilts in bold and modern ways. My technique is fully machine stitched and after the design is drawn on to the background fabric then it is sewn down using the design as a guide. Several people have developed different methods of bias tape appliqué but, this method is easy and consistent and can be used for bias tape strips up to 2″ wide. I do love that so many people are playing with bias tape appliqué now!

I wanted to create a simple bold quilt for Casey’s book and Sweet Pickles was the result. It is fairly easy to stitch together but, creates a fun and modern statement.


I went with my go to all over quilting and that’s the random or organic crosshatch – this time on a diagonal.


And, Sweet Pickles made it to the back cover too. Fun, huh?


Stash Books is kindly offering a book to a lucky winner! Just comment below on what your favorite kind of appliqué is. Comment by midnight on Friday, March 25, and I’ll announce a random winner on Saturday, March 26.

And the winner is

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.24.45 PM

as selected by the True Random Number Generator. Thanks Anna! Expect an email from me soon.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.23.45 PM


And, be sure to check out the rest of the blog hop. You’ll be able to see a lot of the wonderful quilts from The Appliqué Book and you’ll have even more chances to enter to win.

Mon. March 14:
Casey York |
C&T Publishing |

Tues. March 15:
Jenna Brand |
Adrianne Ove/Pink Chalk |

Wed. March 16:
Jenifer Dick |
Pati Fried |

Thurs. March 17:
Shannon Brinkley |
Bari J. |

Fri. March 18:
Debbie Grifka |
Beth Vassalo |

Mon. March 21:
Latifah Saafir |

Tues. March 22:
Lynn Harris |
Kevin Kosbab |
Modern Quilts Unlimited |

Web. March 23:
Allison Rosen |
Cindy Lammon |

Thurs. March 24:
Rossie Hutchinson |
Generation Q |

Fri. March 25:
Betz White |
Casey York |

Blog Hop: Wanderlust Quilts

I love when friends of mine create something wonderful and meaningful. That’s just what my friend Amanda (Mandy) Leins did with her book Wanderlust Quilts. She all at once weaved together her lifelong love of archaeology and the beautiful timeless motifs found therein with her love of quilts and created something beautiful. Reading this book you will be wrapped up in so much of what is meaningful to Amanda. And, in a world where we are often inundated by books that make quilting quick and easy, you will be challenged to step outside of your quilting box to try possibly new to you techniques that are sometimes a bit more complex.

Wanderlust Quilts by Amanda Leins (Courtesy of Stash Books. Photo by Nissa Brehmer.)

Wanderlust Quilts by Amanda Leins (Courtesy of Stash Books. Photo by Nissa Brehmer.)

My favorite quilt is of course Going Places which was essentially inspired by the same European Fan motif as my Molehills quilt. Of course Amanda’s was inspired by the actual cobblestone on the streets of ancient Europe and my version was inspired by the same design replicated on the Las Vegas Blvd. I know, classy. 🙂 But, great design is timeless and universal. And I love that Going Places really embraces Improv down to having a very interesting line on the perimeter of the quilt.

Going Places by Amanda Leins (Courtesy of Stash Books. Photo by Nissa Brehmer.)

Going Places by Amanda Leins (Courtesy of Stash Books. Photo by Nissa Brehmer.)

Isn’t she a beauty?

Going Places by Amanda Leins (Courtesy of Stash Books. Photo by Nissa Brehmer.)

Going Places by Amanda Leins (Courtesy of Stash Books. Photo by Nissa Brehmer.)

I hope you find a copy of Wanderlust Quilts and enjoy it as much as I did. Hop on over to Amanda’s page to buy a copy directly from the her.

Or if you’re feeling lucky, leave one reply to this blog post telling me what about what inspires you in quilting. I will close the drawing and randomly select a winner on Sunday, November 15th at 6pm PST. C&T/Stash Books will send the lucky winner their very own copy of Wanderlust Quilts.

And, by Random Number Generator

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 11.58.04 PM

the lucky winner is Barbara who said:

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 12.00.01 AMCongrats Barbara!

So proud of you Mandy! XO

Kickstarter – Just 5 Days Left!

I’ve posted this everywhere but, on the old neglected blog. But, this month of Kickstarter has been amazing. Get all of the details here. In a nutshell I am raising funds to finally bring to market a whole series of patterns and products. And, I was blessed enough to reach goal in 36 hours. Yep, I was flabbergasted too. And now, with just five days to go I am just $1,383 away from the SECOND stretch goal. Yes, I said second. I’ve been so humbled by this whole experience and look forward to bringing all of these products and more to market!


If you still want to support me and be the first to get patterns and The Clammy rulers then hop on over to Kickstarter today. There are just five days left!

Clammy Announcement

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported so far. Thank you!



Molehills Quilt Along, Part 3: Curved Piecing the Fans

Piecing the Molehills Quilt is a lot easier than you think. Watch my YouTube video on Piecing Your Glam Clam Quilt to see a technique for sewing curves without pins (or with minimum pinning). We’re going to use the same basic technique for sewing your Molehills. But, if you remember from the cutting post the Molehills templates do not have tabs which makes for MUCH easier cutting. Yay! But, it also adds another step in the process since we still want to be able to sew the curves in smaller sections. That step is pressing.

STEP 1: Pressing
So, the first step is to press your registration marks. You can start pressing when you have one Molehills fan cut out or wait until you have your whole quilt cut out.  Either way, I press one fan at a time. Press and stack that fan and place a pin through it to keep them together until you’re ready to sew.

The center marks of each arc will be pressed first by simply folding in half by matching the ends and pressing a crease in the middle.

Since the curve on the top and the bottom are different sizes the remaining registration marks on the top and bottom are pressed separately. This is done by first matching the end of the top curve with the middle crease and press. Just press about an inch from the top edge.

And, then match the end of the bottom curve with the middle crease and press. Once again, just press about an inch from the bottom edge.

Repeat with remaining arcs.

STEP 2: Sew

First, I find that I get the best results using a quarter inch foot with a flange on it. Then I can concentrate on matching the two edges and not have to worry about getting a perfect quarter inch seam. This is how the one I have looks and most machine brands and models will have a version similar.

photo 1

You will piece your Molehills fan from the top to the bottom. Start with the top two arcs first.

Place right sides together with the larger arc on top.

Don’t match the very tips of the ends, match at the quarter inch seam. I can eyeball that 1/4″ seam but, if you’re in doubt measure.

I also put my needle in the down position and place that V right up against that needle before I put my presser foot down. This insures perfect placement.


Sew a few stitches to hold that end in place. Match up the first set of registration marks and hold with your right hand. Stretch slightly to adjust the two edges together and sew to that registration mark.

Repeat with the next two registration marks. After you’ve sewn to the last registration mark, match up the ends at that 1/4″ seam. This is the one place that I might use a pin. I pin parallel to the seam with the head of the pin at the end so that I can pull it out as it is fed under the needle.

Your first seam is in!

photo 1 (4)
Perfect alignment. Or – perfect enough! 🙂

Repeat for the remaining three arcs to sew your Molehill.

STEP 2: Press

Once your Molehill fan is sewn, press the seams down towards the bottom of the fan. Then trim the dog ears.

photo 4 (3)


Remember, if you’re sewing along tag your Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram posts #molehillsquilt!

Blog Hop and GIVEAWAY: The Modern Medallion Workbook

(Drawing Closed)

Medallion quilts have been all the rage over the last few years. A medallion quilt generally starts with a center motif and then multiple borders are added until you have your quilt.

I loved that Janice Ryan ( and Beth Vassalo ( wanted to write a book where we could explore medallions even further and so they put their heads together and invited 11 amazing contributors and produced  The Modern Medallion Workbook (Stash Books).  And I was of course honored to be asked to be a part of this book. The best thing about this book is that it IS a workbook! So, if you want to you can make one of the quilts exactly like they are made from the book – and they are amazing as is. But, the book is made to inspire creativity and to encourage the quilter to step outside of just making a pattern and create their own. You know I love that!

Book cover

My contribution to the book is a quilt called Zen Medallion. I really wanted to include my version of bias tape applique in my quilt so I built the design around this technique. It is top-stitched bias tape applique. I also included a bit of lightweight paper piecing as well. I quilted it in my go to when I really want the quilt design to sing – an all over organic crosshatch.


(Picture courtesy of C&T Publishing)

Now this quilt looks like a medallion but, it isn’t built like most medallion quilts. It is built in wedges. And, I know I always promise this but, it is much easier than you think!


There are even coloring pages for each of the quilts so  you can explore color and pattern even before you pull out your fabric. Ya’ll know I have a crazy color sense but, I love that I would be able to try out my colors and fabrics before I commit to them.

Coloring Page

Since I don’t have the actual quilt back yet I’ll show you these. I had a bit of a disaster when making this quilt the first time (Hint: coffee and quilt tops don’t really mix) and had to remake the top. But, I cut up the old top and will eventually make pillows out of the salvageable portions. I’m pretty excited about them!

Cut up Quilt

If you love a book that will explore a ton of different techniques and encourage you to step out of your box to make amazing quilts then you’ll love this book.

Now, for the giveaway. C&T Publishing is providing one lucky winner a copy of this book. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post telling us about  your worst sewing or quilting disaster (so I wont feel alone about my quilt top turned pillows)! A US winner will receive a hard copy and International winner will receive an electronic copy. Drawing ends on Thursday, May 28th.

Drawing ended! Thanks everyone for playing along. Congrats Pat (number 91 of 101 selected by Random Number Generator). Check your email for an email from me so that we can send your book to you! Capture

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog hop for more chances to win and to see all the other quilts:

May 11th:  Janice and Beth at C&T/Stash
May 12thMelissa Richie-
May 13thAmy Sinibaldi-
May 14thChristina Lane-
May 18th: Erica Jackman-
May 19thBecca Bryan-
May 20thKaren Anderson-Abraham-
May 21stLatifah Saafir-
May 22ndKerry Green-
May 25thBeth-   and

Molehills Quilt Along, Part 2: Cutting, Cutting, Cutting

So, your Molehills quilt should be all planned out now. Is it? If you are having a hard time planning it out, remember scrappy is perfect too. You don’t have to over think it and it will still look great.

Part II will be all about cutting – cutting your templates and cutting your fabric.


Version 1:

If you’re making Version 1 then cut one set of the five templates out and tape A, B, and/or C pieces together. You’ll want to match the edges carefully when taping so that your template isn’t askew. How will you know if you’re taping the right templates together? The shapes will match!

Tape templates together carefully along solid line matching shapes.

Tape templates together carefully along solid line matching shapes.

Also, I find that if you leave a little overlap one one end of your templates to be taped together that it provides a little more stability.

Create overlap for a more secure join.

Create overlap for a more secure join.

Version 2:

If you’re making Version 2 or including Version 2  or part of Version 2 in your quilt, then you’ll need a set of templates for EACH fan. Since you will be cutting this out more carefully after it is sewn, then you don’t have to cut these templates out carefully. I actually use my “paper” rotary cutter to cut it out roughly, only cutting it out carefully along the tape line. (HINT: If you do a lot of paper piecing then having a dedicated rotary cutter just for piecing paper is nice!)

If you’re paper piecing your arcs you can make a rough cut around the perimeter.


Full Fan Version:

You’ll only need one of these. Once again, cut out along solid lines and tape together carefully, matching shapes.

Match shapes and tape together to make full fan template.



I’ve included a great quick video with a few tips on how to cut these out!

Molehills Quilt Along, Part 1: The Plan

After WAY too long – the Molehills Quilt pattern is now available to purchase for download and will soon be available in print. I had a wonderful time teaching this pattern. First at Sewtopia in Chicago and then again at Sew Modern in Los Angeles. With all the experience teaching it I was able to refine and expand the pattern a bit before it was finalized.


Thanks to all of you who have purchased the pattern so far! I get so excited to see people making Molehills Quilts and making them their own.

So, who’s up for a Quilt Along? This will be especially great for those of you that really want to sew this but, are still a little intimidated by sewing curves. I promise, that it is a lot easier than you think! The curves are relatively gentle and I’ll teach you a bunch of techniques that will make this go together like a dream.

In the first quilt along installation we’ll talk about planning your quilt.

The beauty of this pattern is that it allows you to really customize it and make it your own. There are pieced fans, paper pieced arcs sewn into fans and the most recent addition is the template for full fans! These can all be interchanged and mixed.

Version 1
Version one is the main pattern and each fan consists of five arcs.

Chicaco Molehills

Rossie Hutchinson’s Chicago Molehills Block

Version 2
Version two allows you to paper piece the arcs. Lines are drawn on the pattern for ease and convenience.

Carolina Watts working on paper piecing her Molehills Quilt

Carolina Watts working on paper piecing her Molehills Quilt

OR, you can paper piece it free form OR draw your own lines like Myrth did!

Myrth McDonald added her own spin to her Molehills Quilt by paper piecing strategic arcs.

Myrth McDonald added her own spin to her Molehills Quilt by paper piecing strategic arcs.

Bonus: Full Fans
My fabulous TA at Sewtopia, none other than Rossie Hutchinson of Fresh Modern Quilts fame was the first at Sewtopia to include full fans but, I was reminded that one of my pattern testers did as well. And so I decided to include it in the pattern as a bonus. Yep, thank Rossie for that one.

Rossie Hutchinson's Chicago Molehills

Rossie Hutchinson’s Chicago Molehills

Coloring Page!
Included in your pattern is a coloring page for you to use to help plan your quilt. You can print out as many copies as you need and play until you have a layout that you are happy with. The coloring page has the Version 1 layout but you can easily add lines for any Version 2 arcs/fans and you can also color all five arcs one color to represent full fans.

Molehills Coloring Page included in Pattern

Molehills Coloring Page included in Pattern

With all the variations of arcs and fans there are countless options but, I’ll give you a few ideas to use as a starting point for planing your layout.

Version 1
Scrappy – The easiest way to make this quilt is to make a scrappy Version 1. This requires the least amount of thought. You can just focus on sewing and the result is still fabulous!

Anna Seckman's Scrappy Pink Molehills Quilt

Anna Seckman’s Scrappy Pink Molehills Quilt

Scrappy with a Plan – You can have one constant, like the top arc being the same fabric or the same color and the rest being random and scrappy like I did with my Wet Matches version of the Molehills Quilt pattern. The top arcs are all navy/blue and the bottom alternate aquas and corals.

Wet Matches, the cover quilt for the Molehills Quilt Pattern

Wet Matches, the cover quilt for the Molehills Quilt Pattern

Deliberate Layout – And, lastly you can make a very deliberate layout like Giedra did in her quilt. The coloring pages will be helpful for a very deliberate layout.

Giedra Bowser's (@threadnhoney) Molehills Quilt and fun red shoes

Giedra Bowser’s (@threadnhoney) Molehills Quilt and fun red shoes

Version 2
Scrappy with a Plan – Each fan is pieced with the same color family in this great quilt by January, one of my fabulous pattern tester.


Molehills Quilt from pattern tester @JanuaryT123.

Highlight a Few Fans – In my very first Molehills I highlighted a couple fans with prints and pieced all the rest in tan/beige neutrals.

The original Molehills Quilt.

The original Molehills Quilt

Scrappy – I sorta want to see someone make a purely scrappy Version 2 Molehills. . . I think it would be lovely. (If you do, please send pictures!)

Full Fans
I haven’t yet seen a quilt made of ALL full fans but, it is a definite option. It would be bold and I wouldn’t even say that you were cheating. 🙂

Mix & Match
This is where the fun really starts!

One of my pattern testers Patti used a solid top arc and pieced the rest of them. Really defines those fans.

One of my fabulous pattern testers, Patti Shanks (@retiredtoquilt) made this Molehills Quilt

One of my fabulous pattern testers, Patti Shanks (@retiredtoquilt) made this Molehills Quilt

Angela Pingel of Cut To Pieces mixed full fans and Version 1 fans.

Angela Pingel of also mixed whole fans and Version 1.

Angela Pingel of also mixed whole fans and Version 1 fans

You can really, really play with color in great ways in this pattern. I’ll give you a few ideas that will hopefully get you to dreaming.

Alexandra uses color in such a great way! It is unusual and unexpected and very, very effective.

Inventive use of color on a Molehills Quilt by Alexandra Lünz

Inventive use of color on a Molehills Quilt by Alexandra Lünz

And, I don’t have a great picture of my Moody Blues Molehills but, I wanted to do an all solids version of this quilt and it’s a sort of gradation from dark blues in the upper left corner into neutrals in the bottom right.

Me showing my Moody Blues Molehills Quilt (Photo by Tami of

Me showing my Moody Blues Molehills Quilt (Photo by Tami of

These are just a few ideas – the sky is the limit with these layouts and color options! What is your plan?

Next week when you all have a plan, we’ll look at prepping your templates and cutting!

A Modern Twist – Blog Hop

I’m very excited to introduce you to the new book A Modern Twist: Create Quilts with a Colorful Spin by Natalie Barnes with Angela Walters (Martingale). First of all, let me tell you a bit about Natalie. Working in the industry I met Natalie somewhere along the way. I didn’t know her well but, I knew her and would see her at shows and other events. We would always chat and catch up. One show she mentioned that she needed a roommate for Quilt Market and I had a room for Quilt Festival and after a bit of back and forth with logistics we decided to share and room together. Then I realized I would be rooming with Natalie for 10 whole days! Now, you all know 10 days living with someone could either go really good or REALLY bad. Well, needless to say it was awesome! She is smart, caring and funny (and gives great little care packages for roomies) and she is all about community and supporting each other. We stayed up WAY too late a few nights swapping stories about our lives. I was so happy to find that this spirit comes through so clearly in her book as well!

A Modern Twist by Natalie Barnes and Angela Walters (Brent Kane, Martingale)

A Modern Twist by Natalie Barnes and Angela Walters (photo by Brent Kane, Martingale)

The whole premise of the book is brilliant – that you can make simple asymmetrical blocks and rotate them to create a very dynamic quilt. The result is brilliant.  It’s actually fun flipping through the book trying to identify the block units without looking at the pattern. One of my favorite quilts is called Circle Shuffle. Go figure, I like circles. 🙂 It took me a minute to identify the block in this one which is why I love it so much. It looks so much more complex than it actually is!

Circle Shuffle Quilt from A Modern Twist by Natalie Barnes (photo by Brent Kane, Martingale)

Circle Shuffle Quilt from A Modern Twist by Natalie Barnes (photo by Brent Kane, Martingale)

Throughout the book, Natalie explores the design areas of Color, Contrast and Composition through telling beautifully written stories and encouraging the reader to explore these design elements themselves. And, not only does Angela Walters quilt each of these beautiful quilts and projects but, she also explores the concepts of Color, Contrast and Composition as well.

Let me talk a bit about Composition. In quilting, composition is how all the elements of the quilt works together to form the final product. When you think about designing a quilt do you just think about what fabrics will go into the quilt top or do you think about all elements of the quilt. Composition includes how the elements of the fabric play together and in what scale. It looks at block layout and arrangement. It can even include designing with the function of the quilt in mind. Will it just be a throw or will it be on a bed? If it’s on a bed how will that design look when laying on the bed? What is the plan for quilting the quilt? Even your binding choice can affect the final look of the quilt. I love that this book takes a look at composition in a deliberate way.

Circle Shuffle Quilt from A Modern Twist by Natalie Barnes (photo by Brent Kane, Martingale)

In all, A Modern Twist is a great book for exploring quilting from a slightly different perspective. Experienced quilters can have fun playing with the elements of color, contrast and composition as they impact the design of each of these quilts.  And beginning quilters will have the opportunity to wow by creating complex looking quilts with simple blocks.

Thanks Natalie for letting me play!

If you’d like to win your own copy of A Modern Twist, leave a comment below with what part of composition is most fun for you in your quilt design! A Random Number Generator will select the winner on March 15th, 2015. If the winner is from the US they will receive an autographed copy. If they are International, it will be an e-book!

And the winner is:

Number 78 is Lynn! Congrats Lynn. Look for an email from me!


Join the rest of the blog hop as some amazing quilters take a look at A Modern Twist!