Thursday, January 30, 2020

20 Years of KTQ Block-of-the-Month

If you're making my 20 Years of KTQ BOM, thanks for joining me! Here's the second block in the series. Please follow along on my Facebook group by the same name to ask questions and post your blocks.

The instructions for this quilt are found in the block-of-the-month pattern at your local quilt shop or at HERE.  

Block #2 - String of 9-Patches

The second block in my quilt is a row of five 9-patch blocks on point. I use 9-patches alot in my designs, especially as filler blocks. My favorite is this uneven 9-patch with a larger center square. I think it's more interesting and offers more design options, too.

What you need to know about Block #2

Cutting Corrections
Green & Gold - (4) (2) 1 1/2" x 10"

Tan - background - D - (1) 1 1/2" 2" x 29 1/2"

2. Crosscut into a total of (10) 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"  4 1/2" B-segments.

To keep the 9-patch section square, be careful when piecing and pressing the A & B triangles. I like to spray the triangles with sizing after sewing them to the 9-patches and press it while folded. (If you press the triangle while damp, it will stretch more). Then, I press the triangle open using my ruler on my pressing mat as a straight edge guide, as shown. If each 9-patch + A triangles unit is straight, I know the section will be straight when I'm finished.

The main thing to know about blocks that are sashed as you go is to make sure they are the correct overall measurement. For example, when you add the A and B triangles to the 9-patches, if your unit measures less than 6 1/4" wide, then the whole section, even with sashing, will come out narrow, too. When sewing all the blocks together in the quilt, the section measurement (block + sashing) is more important than what each block measures. If your seam allowances are on the wider side, wait to cut your sashing strips until you assemble the larger sections. You'll waste less fabric, and be happier with the final results.

Lynne's block- trimmed before sashings

Kathy's blocks with sashing.
See you on February 15th for Block #3.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

KT & Friends Retreat, Appleton, WI

Me and My Sister Designs' Project

Two of my Moda designer friends teaching at the Appleton retreat are Barb Groves & Mary Jacobsen of Me and My Sister Designs. Yes, they really are sisters. And really smart quilters. And crazy fun to be around. It's not just their fabrics that are bright and cheery!

Here's a picture of their adorable Love Shack quilt they'll teach this summer in Appleton. Our theme is Quilt the Seasons, so it's perfect for a Valentine's Day treat or special quilt for a sweetheart. I hear it's the last of this fabric collection, so jump on board now to Quilt the Seasons with us.

Contact our KT Event Coordinator, Kathy Limpic, for more information on how to register for our retreat. Email, or 816-377-9699 10am-5pm Monday-Friday.

Monday, January 27, 2020

KT & Friends Retreats

KT & Friends Retreat Project

We're so excited to be hosting two KT & Friends Retreats this summer. The first one is in Bennington, Kansas, home of Kansas Troubles Quilters, June 17-20. We'll take over our local school for four days of workshops, trunk shows and lots of fun. Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Co, and Barb Groves & Mary Jacobsen, of Me and My Sister Designs, will join me for the weekend.

The guys who have our backs, Ron and Robert.
 Our second retreat is in Appleton, Wisconsin, just down the road from Lisa Bongean and her Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop, August 5-8. Barb & Mary will be joining us again with their fun and easy approach to quick quilts. Lisa will offer her expertise on playing with flannel and wool stitchery. The Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley is our home base for four days in spacious ball rooms for classes, and comfortable rooms at the hotel for your convenience. Our Wisconsin retreat is 3/4 full with registrations coming in everyday, so it won't be long until it's full, too. Don't miss out on 4 days jammed with exciting new projects and lots of surprises! It's never a dull moment with this group of designers.

 Wondering what you'll be making? Here's a peek at my computer generated version of Summer Sampler lap quilt (we're working on the quilt now with brand new fabric!). I'll share my Layered Patchwork method for simplifying star points and flying geese, but you're welcome to traditionally piece your project, if you prefer. We'll also be making a quick Mini Table Treat in a seasonal design. Watch throughout the week for sneak peeks from my fellow Moda designers to see what they'll be sharing with you.

 If you're interested in information about KT & Friends Retreats now, or in the future, contact our KT Event Coordinator, Kathy Limpic at or call 816-377-9699 between 10am and 5pm Monday-Friday.

How do you retreat? With a few friends at a location close to home? On your own traveling to wherever inspiration strikes? Let me know how you retreat to win a new Through the Years charm pack, available at your favorite quilt shop in March.

Through the Years - Win a Charm Pack!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

20 Years of KTQ BOM - Block #1

Are you piecing along with my 20 Years of KTQ block-of-the-month? For those of you who signed up with KTQ, shipments are arriving in quilters' mailboxes all across the country. Included in Shipment #1 are instructions and fabric for blocks #1-4 (months #1 & 2), plus a large spool of Aurifil 50wt. thread for piecing - and a surprise or two.

Follow along on the 15th and 30th of each month as I offer tips and answer questions on my Facebook page. Today, we're beginning with an easy tree block using assorted sizes of flying geese.

Block #1 - Pine Trees

Step #1 - Cut the (3) green fabrics for trees and the tan backgrounds, as given in the instructions.
NOTE: (Some patterns were shipped before we caught a couple small errors.)
The J-tan piece is 2 1/2" x 5 1/2"  2" x 5 1/2".

Step #2 -Follow piecing instructions. TIP - Press the Connecting Corner (CC) squares toward the corner from the center of the rectangle for less stretching.

Step #3 - I like to lay out all of my pieces for the block in order to make sure they are cut correctly and I haven't forgotten any pieces.  I use sizing at each step of the piecing process to stabilize the fabric and avoid stretching.

Step #4 - Sew flying geese and trunk parts together to create trees.

Step #5 - I still need to add my K-tan piece to the top of the large tree (measures 6 1/2" x 20 1/2").
I think I'll wait to make sure the unit fits perfectly when sewing it to the adjoining block.

One of my piecers, Kathy Limpic, our KT Event Coordinator, is also stitching along. Here are her blocks in the original fabrics. Always perfect!

PS - Not everyone's 1/4" seams are the same. If your trees don't measure the exact size, not to worry. Adjustments may be made in the sashing strips when sewing the blocks together.

See you on January 30th for Block #2.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Announcing...a new KT & Friends Retreat

KT & Friends Retreat in Appleton, WI

We're heading north this summer to Appleton, WI, home of Lisa Bongean's Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop. She and fellow Moda designers, Barb Groves and Mary Jacobson (Me and My Sister Designs), are joining me for a 4-day quilting retreat. We'll each offer our favorite tips and techniques for easy piecing & stitching, and share our newest quilts. With this bunch, there's sure to be lots of laughter and surprises. We hope to see you there!

We're already planning for 2021, checking out destinations for our next KT & Friends Retreats. Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Cooper's Quilt

I've made the grankids each a quilt when they were babies, for their first "big kid" bed, and another twin quilt when they were about 12-13 years old. As they grew, I promised a queen size quilt when they turned 18. Boy, does time fly...

Cooper celebrated his18th birthday in November of 2018. When he was 13-15, he traveled to quilt guilds and shops with me during spring break and summers to load and unload the car (and the quilters), help with sales of quilt patterns and precuts, and navigate for me. I also put him in charge of handling our daily food allowance to learn to budget. He saved enough eating frugally on one trip that we had a feast at Red Lobster the last night. Coop was the first grankid to really "get" what I did for a living ("Gramma makes quilts, not blankets".). He watched and listened in my workshops. When it was time for him to get a new quilt, he designed it - at 13-years-old - to look like a football field with a giant Nebraska "N" in the middle, using all NE logo fabrics. He was so proud of his quilt and his contribution to it.

Now, at over 6ft tall, his twin size quilt looks like a lap quilt and is love-worn around the edges. Last Christmas, he reminded me of my promise to make a new quilt for his 18th birthday. He also had a few requests - black flannel, red accents, simple blocks and LARGE size. I pondered over the next few months which block(s) to use to make it masculine, but simple. He wasn't interested in "normal" blocks like stars or churn dash or 9-patches. Everyone had those. So I pondered some more.

One night when I couldn't sleep, I started thinking about Cooper's quilt and how I could make it personalized & unique. Piece his name on it? Nope, too obvious. How about Morse Code??? I Googled Morse Code on my phone, started sketching, and made the 90x104 quilt over a weekend. Here's the happy recipient at Christmas this year.

I wish now I had made snowball blocks for the "dots", rounding off the corners, but it didn't occur to me until Joy quilted circles in them. She also quilted lots of straight lines to reinforce the feel of the quilt. Cooper was excited (hard to get that kind of reaction from a 19-year-old). He also loved that I used flannel as the backing and batting, too, for a super soft and cuddly quilt. He immediately swapped out the vintage quilt on the bed he was sleeping in for his new quilt. I think it was a hit!

Now, to figure out what Rowan might like in 18 months...

Do you make quilts at certain milestones in your family's lives? Do you over-promise, like me, and scramble to catch up? I'd love to hear your advice.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Kit To Quilt and a Winner

KT Winner

Mom C - Oh so pretty, Wedgewood. I made a goal, no new starts til I get all my quilt tops quilted. Finished one Jan 1. But I didn't vow not to buy kits and have them available when I get these 10 quilts done. You are an inspiration to me. Love your fabric lines and designs. Thanks for your enthusiasm and energy in the quilting world.

Congratulation Mom C! You're the winner of our latest Kit To Quilt project. Wedgewood is a charm quilt featuring our small KT Wedge Template. I layered and fused wedges on simple half squares to create the illusion of curved piecing. The kit includes all fabrics for the quilt top & binding, plus the small KT Wedge template, pattern and buttons, just for fun.

Kit To Quilt - Wedgewood

Would you like to be part of Kit To Quilt? Six times a year, you will receive a complete quilt kit with all the fabrics and/or precuts needed for the quilt top/binding. We might also include one of our KT templates, Aurifil thread to match or buttons, depending on the project. The complete kit will be a retail value of $40-45 for only $30 + FREE Shipping. How fun to open the mailbox to a mystery kit every other month.

Don't miss my next mystery kit in February - sign up today! Call the KT Quilt Shop at 785-488-2120. Our winter hours are Thursday-Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-3.

NOTE: The month after the Kit To Quilt mailing, the projects are available to everyone on our website for $40 plus shipping. Find Wedgewood HERE.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year!

Starting the New Year

I love decorating for the holidays, but on New Year's Day, I'm ready to pack away all things Christmas and let the house breathe - less clutter, calmer colors, more cozy texture for long winter evenings. It's a way for me to refresh my surroundings and my mindset. Some of my holiday decor includes snowflakes and trees, so those remain lit with twinkling lights thru February. I think the part I love best about Christmas decorating is the lights, illuminating corners of the house, making it seem totally magical (and it doesn't show the dust!) Quilts are always a big part of my decorating, so switching out red/green quilts to blue/white, softer vintage hues and cozy wool blankets helps to set the theme.

This year, one of my goals is to be more consistent with social media - Blog, Instagram and Facebook. I also plan to be home more and travel less, allowing me to check off more items on my daily work schedule, and free up time to sew more for pleasure. Finishing my new studio is at the top of the list. We're still in the midst of construction (our bed is in the living room!) and could be for a couple more months. My contractor/son is working around the weather and his other work commitments, so we knew it wouldn't be a quick finish, but I'm ready to move into the larger space. I'll have all my fabric in one place with room for multiple projects going at once. I'll have great lighting to (hopefully) shoot short videos for quilt-a-longs, etc. No doubt you will know when the studio addition is complete. You will hear me shouting from my rooftop!

I want to thank each of you for your kind comments and continued support of KTQ. I appreciate your enthusiasm and love to hear from you - and even better - meet you in person at a workshop. We're excited to celebrate our 20th year of fabric design with Moda with my 20 Years of KTQ BOM and lots of fun giveaways and surprises throughout the year. We're continuing to learn, grow and get better each year with fresh new fabric, quilt patterns and refreshed quilt shop. KTQ is also offering more programs (Kit To Quilt, KT Collector's Club) and expanding our KT & Friends Retreats. Watch for exciting news over the next few weeks. Here's to the next year - and decade - of possibilities. Hope to see you soon!

The latest Kit To Quilt project, Wedgewood. Call to sign up!

KT January Special

A new year, a new project, brand new fabric - what could be better? Our KT January Special is our Milestones fat quarter bundle (40 fat qtrs.) for only $108 + free shipping (retail $135 + shipping). It's the perfect way to be inspired - or check a few UFO's off your list.
 Find our KT January Special HERE.

Here's to new beginnings, exciting challenges and new friends in 2020. 

Comment to win our Wedgewood Kit To Quilt Mystery Kit.