The air is getting a little cooler, thank goodness! I just hope it doesn’t get so cold the kids all have to cover up their costumes with coats. AND! Heaven forbid, snow like we had one year. It’s late & We’ve got to get those Halloween patterns off the shelves before they’re mummified!
I’ve been working onKaleidoscope blocks for a new Halloween quilt. I love making Kaleidoscopes and arranging them in new ways. Click HERE for the tutorial. They’ll make a perfect quilt for so many of these Halloween patterns!
I’ve also been thinking about all the yummy treats for Halloween. This year I had a new idea, ‘hope you like them! – Floating on Air -“GHOSTIES” – to go along with my “Ghostly Feathers” pattern. Learn how to make them below.
Every October when our kids were small I would decorate the front door with spider webs made of black or white yarn and hang big plastic spiders on them. Then, there was the year James made Jack Pumpkinhead and he has been our door greeter ever since. See him in last years Halloween post. AND get the recipe for our yummy “pumpkin-filled” Pumpkin Face Cookies.
This year I have a new “Spider Webs” Pantograph. Ohhh, they’re so realistic and soooo Creeeepy! It reminds me of the spiders the boys made in Cub Scouts. See below.
Okay – I’m not really crazy about spiders. I step on them purposely, but I had 5 boys and, well, boys like stuff like that! Here’s a paper bowl spider I taught the boys to make in scouts. Kids love creeping it along! It has been loads of fun over the years. 25 years to be exact! (It’s a little weather-beaten!)
Here are some other fun Halloween patterns and recipes/ideas to go with them!
It’s windy today and I’m afraid the leaves will turn and blow off the trees before I can get my Thanksgiving candles made. Go here for the Ice Candle tutorial. Make them NOW while there are still leaves to gather and put them in your freezer!
I’m afraid I have been accidentally quarantined from the longarm. I had big plans, but then there were masks to sew and a donation quilt and working on my embroidery patterns for Christmas sales and…
I’ve been trying desperately to get this set of Santa’s out for Embroidery machines. Watch for them in the next newsletter. Here’s Scandinavia’s Julemanden.
There are always a million things to do and this month we had a beautiful new granddaughter. Here’s the quilt I made for her. It’s stitched with Fairy Spring.
Then there is the quilt I made for a new great-grandson!
Beach Memories on sale here!
Were having a “last chance” beach and vacation sale. Along with that is a Beach Borders misprint I’m offering Free with purchase. THE BEACH??? Well, I’m from So Cal and we go to the beach on New Year’s Day! But so many of the beaches were even closed this summer! Sob!!! I thought You might be thinking of the vacations you WERE able to have this year in spite of quarantine. Maybe you’ll make a quilt to commemorate. “Sandy Shores” is a good choice and so is “Campout.”
BEACH BORDERS – A limited number of FREE misprints are available. Order the $4.00 version on the product page and enter coupon misprint2020 at checkout. These patterns can also double as E2E for short-arm machines.
It’s nice to see how these “Fishy” ideas can be used.
BTW in case you hadn’t noticed, I love focusing on shells
Next month I’ve got a lot of things lined up to finish and show you! So that’s my excuse. What’s yours?
Pictorial patterns offer an additional focus. They provide a secret ingredient to the quilt. Visible only as the viewer steps closer “for a better look.”
Large whole cloth patterns that unfold or unroll were the originals in this area. They often contain flowery medallions or subject specific motifs or even figures (eg. angels) that are to be centered on the quilt. Generally custom work surrounds the central motif. They give a large image for focus and are generally used on solid fabric quilts, hence the term “Whole Cloth.”
But what about the name “Pictogram?” What we designed weren’t simple repeating Pantos! So what were they? As I researched for a name I noticed “pantographs,” as quilters knew them, weren’t the device that architects had used for a couple of centuries. However, the longarm machine did have close similarities to that original wooden device. So, I explored other terms related to the reproduction of pictures. In doing so I began looking at other techniques, even cave drawings. You’ll recall how many cave paintings depicted a whole story, the riders, the buffalo, the arrows, etc. It was there I came upon the term Pictogram. Should that be our choice for a name? I even polled my customers and friends and finally decided upon this, a new to quilting, term — Pictogram.
Angela developed a pseudo-interlocking format for this new category that we called Pictograms. Although they were pictorial and “non-repeating,” and told a story as it were, they were still in roll format for easy handling. They weren’t the large, cumbersome whole-cloth patterns which had to be unfolded and traced onto the quilt. These could be unfurled down the length of the table on the longarm machine and traced with the laser light or stylus. The stitching could travel in a “continuous-line” across the whole quilt. These are patterns which paint a mural across the “canvas” of the quilt.
Quilts can be “Memory Filled.”
Pictorial patterns carry the viewer with them to the South Seas, or to the Farm or swimming with the Penguins. They can remind us of our vacations around the world or of a weekend skiing.
When I was a child, our family built a desert cabin in the high desert of California. The boulders of Rattlesnake Hill were my playground. Later as a college student I went with friends to explore rock formations of several western states. I was at home on the desert rocks. Recently when someone suggested I do a Southwest pattern I leaped right in. It was fun remembering climbing on boulders, feeling the wind and chasing the jackrabbits. Of course, there were plenty of giant Joshua trees and snakes, too. The adventure turned my thoughts to the fun times of my childhood. I drew all those memories into my “Southwest Vistas” pattern. “Campout” and “Backwoods” are two other patterns that take me back to those happy-go-lucky days. Didn’t you ever go camping as a child? Did your Dad make you sit in the boat for hours to catch fish? With book in hand, it seemed like forever. That was tedious, but it’s fun to remember now. Re-discover such memories when you stitch pictorial patterns on your quilt!
When you care enough to send the best, give your gifts added appeal.
Theme specific patterns are great for gifts. They make it more fun for children, husbands and special friends with whom we have shared experiences.
A few years ago I made quilts for several of my Grandchildren. The piecing was of a variety of methods; Stack n’ Whack with tigers, Peaky and Spike fish in bright colors, and traditional 30’s Cat’s Cradle blocks with Prairie Points. They were fun piecing and as I sewed I planned how each would be quilted with Pictograms. The fish quilts were covered with the tropical fish of “Fishy Business;” the spinning tigers with “Jungle” foliage and animals; and the cat’s cradle with “Kitty Cats” playing through the maze and highly visible in the setting squares of the piecing. When these quilts arrived at my Grandchildren’s homes, they were gleefully spread across the floor where the children lay playing, “I spy,” with the stitching. The quilts are equally interesting when Mom makes the beds with the back side up, so they can enjoy the stitching to its fullest effect. (Wear n’ tear is lessened too!) I had achieved my goal. My quilts and gifts of love were truly loved in return.
Although this type of machine quilting is ideal for children, it is not only for the young. All of us enjoy memories such stitching designs can bring. Pet lovers will love images of their pets stitched over a quilt. We can remember New Orleans with images of the “French Quarter.” Nautical designs bring our thoughts back to summers at the seaside, while cherries carry the remembered fragrance of summer orchards. Pumpkins and pinecones, jungle bells and wedding bells, all have a place in our specialty, and sometimes even prize-winning, quilts! Helen Baczynski’s first-place quilt “Turning Twenty Again on Halloween,” was quilted with a Pictogram –“Pumpkin Patch.”
While my husband was in the military, we lived in Southeast Asia and made many friends there. A few years ago when my husband went back to visit, a friend sent me some beautiful presents. I wondered, “How could I ever send something that would be cherished?” Then I hit upon the idea of making a special quilt. I have some puppets from Indonesia – Wayang Golek (wooden puppets) and decided to draw them and the story they portray, the Ramayana, into the design. As I sat at my drawing table I remembered our home in Malaysia; the sights and smells of the marketplace, the monkeys that sat on our shoulders in the parks and the wonderful friends I had there. Making the quilt and the pattern became a gift not only to my friend, but to me as well. The next year this pattern was very creatively used by Bonnie Bosma to quilt an amazing batik vest, “Indonesian Inspiration.”
Last year another friend told me of a touching experience with her quilt guild. The National Guard from their hometown was being deployed to Iraq. Of course, they wanted to send quilts with them. After asking permission, they were told the quilts would need to be “sand-colored” and of a specific size. Unable to decorate with vibrant colors, many of the members quilted up their sandy quilts with my “America’s Pride Pictogram.” I was thrilled to imagine images of the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln as well as other symbols of the Land of Liberty warming these brave soldiers with memories of home.
How about the man in your life.? He might feel a quilt was definitely made with him in mind when the pieces are laced together with images of “manly” interests like golfing, camping, hunting, fishing, dragons or cars. My son loves cars! Not a day went by that he was not telling me this and that about driving systems, historic models, etc., sharing his interest with me. One day the pictures he was showing me, clicked. I started drawing cars, all the time thinking of him. I should call it my “Joe” pattern. Those “Classic Cars” became another prize-winning quilt for Helen Baczynski, “Sunday Drivers in the Land of OZ”
When a car lover receives a quilt like this, he knows it was made for him!
Expanding your theme adds new dimension.
These days quilting Pantographs and Pictograms are available in so many varieties that they needn’t be relegated to the edge-to-edge category. A myriad of borders, sashings, blocks, etc. open the door to amazing framed Theme Quilts. With a Pictogram or medallion in the center, compatible border designs can parade around a quilt to create a well unified masterpiece.
Recently, I wanted to make a special quilt with New England in mind. I always think of the Nor’easters that plague that part of the country as being typical. They seem somehow romantic! (Really, wouldn’t it be great to be snowed-in so you had nothing to do but quilt? No electricity? That’s why I keep my old treadle sewing machine!) So, I drew a “Nor’easter” pattern with frothy seas, boats and docks and even a one-horse sleigh braving the storm. It was fun looking at lighthouses and a friend in New England told me Portland light was the proper icon.
Angela quilted all this over a bargello sea topped with crashing white waves. The quilt would need borders too, so she stitched whales swimming around the inner border and a “Salty Seas” rope with lobsters, anchors and lanterns encircling all, in the quilt’s outer border.
Planning a Theme quilt is challenging, creative, and fun. Patterns must be chosen that compliment each other and carry out the theme. There are plenty of these available. You may find one piece of your master plan on one website and the next on another. Feel free to mix and match! (Shopping, yippee!) Yes, there are adjustments to be made. Pieces of the pattern might have to be omitted or added to enable it to fit your quilt. Borders must be centered and sometimes motifs must be separated out of a pattern to be used in a corner block.
Does it all have to be a “Theme?”
Suppose your quilt top is made up of Log Cabin blocks or any of a thousand standard block designs, Well, Decorate the Quilt you have with unique Pictogram stitching.
I don’t mean to infer that all these ideas should be only stitched over solid “Whole Cloth.” I love placing amazing stitching over interesting and theme-specific pieced fabrics. I can’t give up that part of my quilting fun. I just add another layer of interest.
Yes, one must be creative and skillful. But the end result can be amazing. The more effort you put into it, the greater the satisfaction!
When my quilts are completed I re-open them to enjoy the designs over and over. Don’t you love looking at something you’ve made, again and again? ( I hope I’m not the only one who goes back and unfolds a quilt, just to enjoy the finished masterpiece once more.)
Explore the world of patterns, and I hope you’ll agree that using them can be creative and interesting. It’s fun quilting motifs that pop out to decorate and enhance. You can expand from the ease of edge-to-edge into the fascinating assortment of non-repeating patterns and theme quilts. As for feeling comfortable on the other side of the machine—It just takes a little practice!
So oil up that machine, and add another layer of interest to your quilts.
The great MeadowLyon Adventure began when we returned from living in Malaysia where Monkeys would sit on our shoulders at the park or steal our lunches. My son would lie on the floor pouring over animal books. So I decided to make him a Rainforest Quilt to help him remember that wonderful adventure. I pieced it with tropical fabric and as I got deeper under the canopy used darker fabrics with bigger animals. Finally I turned the trees upside down and pieced the lower ones with fish fabric. Then I asked my friend Angela to quilt it for me – and put in birds and animals. She said she’d be glad to quilt it, but I’d have to draw the pattern. So I did. I didn’t know it could repeat so I made it all different. It became the basis for our first 4 “Pictograms.” “Rainforest,” “Jungle,” Safari,” and “Fishy Business.”They were highly pictorial – almost a “Whole Cloth” pattern yet on an easy to use 12 ft. roll. Read more about Pictograms here.
Take a LOOK! How many animals, plants or landmarks can you spot in this quilt. See the full list on the Southwest Vistas page.
“When I was a child, our family built a desert cabin in the high desert of California just outside Joshua Tree National Park. The boulders of Rattlesnake Hill behind the house were my playground. Later as a college student I went with friends to explore rock formations of several western states. I was at home on the desert rocks. Recently when someone suggested I do a Southwest pattern I leaped right in. It was fun remembering climbing on boulders, feeling the wind and chasing the jackrabbits. Of course, there were plenty of giant Joshua trees and snakes, too. The adventure turned my thoughts to the fun times of my childhood. I drew all those memories into my “Southwest Vistas” pattern. “Campout” and “Backwoods” are two other patterns that take me back to those happy-go-lucky days. Didn’t you ever go camping as a child? Did your Dad make you sit in the boat for hours to catch fish? With book in hand, it seemed like forever. That was tedious, but it’s fun to remember now. Re-discover such memories when you stitch pictorial Pictograms on your quilt!”
Here’s a complete list of all our Pictograms. Search by name HERE.
When you go to each post you’ll see closeups and the special BORDERS planned to compliment them.
Often as I sat drawing patterns I would imagine the quilt I would make on which to stitch them. Although this is not my main focus, I’ve published a few that you might use. Some are FREE, some are full sized and some are normal patterns.
If you know me, you won’t be surprised that I also came up with recipes for some of them. Guess which Pictogram they match!
I don’t know about your kids, but mine did a lot of Monkey-ing around! In fact, it wouldn’t be incorrect to call them little monkeys! (Plus, I told them many times NOT to jump on the beds.) So let’s make some cute quilts for Children’s Day coming up on June 14th.
Let’s have fun with kids – many have been with their kids 24-7 for the first time these past weeks. I hope it’s been a fun, if revealing, experience. For many it’s been a great opportunity to increase the familial bonds and have fun together. If you haven’t had the privilege of being with your kids, you might consider gifting a kid’s quilt to provide a fun distraction for weary parents or for refugees. (Even a whole cloth with a fun panto is easily done but very enjoyable.)
When I lived in Korea I discovered Kids Day was May 5th. I had never heard of a kids day and was pleasantly surprised. In the US it is June 14th (or the second Sunday in June.) So you’ll have time to get a quilt or two made for your favorite kids.
I’ve started making a list of some fun and easy ideas for kids quilts. First is my Monkey Fun/Socky Monkey pattern. This is the link to the PDF version. I’ve made several from this pattern with slight variations and fabrics. Here’s a little gallery of them all. AND a tutorial. (The PDF pattern was FREE for the Virtual Quilt Show and I’ve extended the price for May.)
When I was growing up we didn’t have a sailboat but we did have an “outboard” for water skiing. Good memories! My brother asked the “shop” teacher in high school if he could build a boat. “If your Dad takes the night class and works on it with you.” And so they did. Can you imagine the rest of the guys in class making lamps while my brother worked on his boat??!!
Novelty Pantographs paired with novelty fabric=cute little quilts!
Do you remember Peaky and Spike?
“Peaky and Spike” was a design element popularized by Doreen Speckmann. I asked my local quilt guild to make me these easy blocks of “fish.” I ended up with enough for 3 twin sized quilts! When my grandsons received them they spread them out on the floor and squealed with delight as they found all the fish that were quilted into them.
Turn any Blocks or even Pantos into a Coloring Party! Kids love coloring. Stitch out a few Fishy Business Blocks for them to color using dye coloring sticks or even crayons. Eleanor Sassnet did this on her beautiful prize winning quilt.
Turn any Blocks or even Pantos into a Coloring Party!
There are lots more kid friendly patterns. I’ll put some on “sale” on the home page.
I almost forgot I was going to give you a Dinosaur Puppet pattern. I made it for the kids in Thailand – the home of Siamosaurus!
Spring is different than anyone expected this year. I was thinking of Bunny Rabbits and Chicks and Easter Baskets. (*See those below!) But, in the grocery store, before the world changed, I bought a beautiful, potted Blue Hydrangea. Suddenly I loved the spring flowers. Having it on my kitchen table has brought me so much happiness, I wanted to share it with others.
If you haven’t seen my homepage take a look. It’s all part of the theme!
I couldn’t resist sharing my original Blueberry (Hydrangea) Breakfast Cake recipe. I’m such a foody!
My mind raced to devise a quilt design on which to display a Hydrangea Pantograph. It’s been fun and I found that the emergence of the pretty spring flowers here in Kansas has lifted my spirits.
It’s really a simple design. Here’s how you do it.
This could be adapted for pansies or any number of flowers in our gardens by changing the colors on this very simple pattern.
There are spring flowers everywhere I look. They bring the promise of re-birth and new days of peace and plenty. The world will become right again. Have faith!
Where do you hide the eggs for your Easter Basket?
Do the Shelves in stores feel like a Desert? – Desert Fabrics, that is. So many things are changing this month Has your world been turned upside down like mine has?
What happened to all our Quilt shows? No Seriously…
We’re spending much needed time at home with our families and trying to get things done we’ve intended to do for years. (Is that too hopeful sounding? It’s hard to change everything and we need enjoyment to get us past the worry. So I’m still working on quilts and the garage is still not sorted, and I hardly feel guilty at all!)
But in our family we have managed to put some of our time to good use. Since we’re at home, on Sundays we have our own little church meeting. I play the piano and we sing, have a Sunday School lesson and scripture readings. It is a good time to think about the past and the goals we’ve made (not only the UFOs). A couple of days ago our next door neighbor texted me to ask if I needed anything at the store, since she was going. 2 weeks ago we wouldn’t have thought about doing that. My husband just cam home from working at the church storehouse – a food pantry and stopped at the store to pick up a couple of items. He said the shelves are increasingly bare of all foodstuffs. So we might ask, have we helped our neighbors, or called Aunt Ruth? While we’re social distancing, we’re also praying for the health and safety of our families and loved ones.
But let me get back to the subject of the blog I decided upon before all “this” started. The big Fabric companies were announcing new specialty fabrics emblazoned with cactus and succulents. So I had determined to design a few more “Desert” patterns to add to my already bulging stock. And I hurried out to buy a few yards of the fun fabrics.
My favorite new pattern is “High Desert.” It’s the one filled with my memories. I love to see designs like this stitched out over quilts. It induces the viewer to “zoom in” and have a closer look. It’s so interesting.
“Oh yeah! Cactus! My mom was a crafty sort and she just had to have some of that decorative Cholla Cactus wood. I can remember her with a handkerchief tied around her face like a mask and wielding a big butcher knife held by big heavy gloves – scraped the “stickers” off the cactus!! Those stickers are terrors!! They are the enemy! I know that from experience. But, Cactus Flowers were another thing! They were friendly and had beautiful, brightly colored flowers.
More new Desert patterns:
Desert Rose Quilt Construction:I had noticed that the succulents often had a tinge of fushia or purple along the outer edge of the petals. I wanted to achieve this look and so inserted thin strips randomly through the blocks.
IS ANYTHING ON SALE??? YES! All the Desert patterns are 20% off – BUT ONE WEEK ONLY – until April 1st. So you can stitch up your new fabrics.
PLUS DOWNLOAD A FREE PDF of Simple Saguaro, Cactus Flowers, or Desert Rose with ANY PURCHASE. Be sure to put them in your cart!
Mock Desert Rose quilt design. It’s so easy!! I just pulled these fabrics out of my stash and randomly sewed them in place! For this “mock” quilt I made only 2 blocks and tinted them differently so I could show you a “whole” quilt. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? You’ll definitely want to try this!
Hey, all this talk about “Desert” is making me hungry for “Dessert!” What do we eat in the Desert? Prickly Pears? Aloe Vera Juice? Jack Rabbit Stew? Get some ideas at the end.
Cactus Flower – this is the quilt I started as an example. All those Y-seams were soooo time consuming. Then the pattern I used for the flowers was faulty and I had to rip a lot out. I’ll give you the new measurements, but won’t guarantee anything.
Try a taste of Desert food! Rattlesnake Hot Dogs, Joshua Tree Date Shakes andDate Crumble.
When I was a teen Grandma Snyder’s Flower Garden graced my bed. I had a double bed frame painted white, with turned spindles on the posts – giving it that comfortably antique look which perfectly complemented the flower garden quilt. I can picture it now in my bright room.
Sorting through my Mama’s old quilt blocks brings a lot of memories and many questions that will remain unanswered now. I wish I could ask more. I wish I could remember all the stories she told me. Do you have quilts from your family heritage? I hope so. As quilters you are undoubtedly the ones who will prize them the most. Lately, when distant family members and cousins come by and stop to spend the night I unpack those precious quilts. If they are sturdy enough I spread them on the cousins’ beds hoping to evoke visual memories that they may treasure, or at least remember after leaving my home.
The Redd Quilt
When Mom came to live with me in her final years we worked on this Double Wedding Ring quilt together. We had the idea of embroidering the names of her family and their spouses in the centers. She came from a family of 14 children so there were a lot of names! Even so we stopped with not enough. We have 10 more centers unfilled for the direct line. So I’m trying to decide what other names to use. Maybe Mom’s 10+ aunts and uncles.
Here are the family quilts, the women, and their stories that have inspired me in my quilting journey.
Green Double Wedding Ring
Mama eloped. She was going on a road trip with her sisters and then up to her hometown in Canada to visit family. Sterling was afraid she would forget him or change her mind, so he persuaded her to get married on July 4th 1931, before her trip. While traveling she wrote a couple of letters – one to her “darling husband” and one to her mother in Canada. But somehow they got mixed up. When the letters arrived the secret was out. By the time she reached Raymond her family and friends had organized a surprise bridal shower for her and as they chatted they all worked on this special Double Wedding Ring quilt!
Blue and White Stars
When my mother Mary was first married she sewed for a dress factory owned by Del Grant in Los Angeles. She sometimes brought home scraps. Among them were these blue polka dot pieces. (Navy with white dots was sooo popular back then. I remember my Grandma Snyder wearing dresses from similar fabrics into the 80’s.) Her husband’s mother (Estella Naomi Snyder) and grandmother (Emma Jane Parkins) pieced this lovely star quilt from those scraps. Mom and I backed it sometime between 1970 and 1980 and hand quilted it (mostly Mom). I used it on my bed until it started showing signs of wear in 1988 when I was bedridden for several months. It will always be one of my favorites, yet I dare not wear it out even more. I’m sure you understand that feeling.
Do you have some blocks or “Tops” from your mother or grandmother? Quilt them up with these nostalgic Pantos.They’re on sale for you now!
Of course, all of these antique quilts were quilted by hand. That’s how I learned! But that’s not the modern way. In fact the stability of machine quilting can help strengthen a quilt if the fabric is not too fragile. ( read about it on the “Clothesline” page.) Perhaps it’s better than leaving them in a box for another generation. So give pantos a try! Or if you are making a quilt from reproduction fabrics. These might be perfect as well as many other MeadowLyon patterns.
Redd Wagons West
I designed this one about 8 years ago for a family reunion. I made up a small section to show at the reunion – it’s still not finished because I didn’t have enough of the “snow-dyed” fabric I used for it. But there’s another family reunion this year so I feel motivated. I’ve snow dyed more fabric that, miraculously, matched. You can read all about the stitched medallions in the download for Redd Wagons West if you’re interested. But what I really hope is you’ll feel inspired to make a memory quilt about your own family history. I wonder where your family lived? What they did?
The Yoyo quilt is definitely 30’s fabrics – the real thing. The squares were assembled but not put together into a quilt. I started making the “sashing” Yoyos from flowered fabric and then realized it was not vintage looking so I switched to green. I “gathered UP’ the circles from vintage fabric as I sat waiting in the car to pick up the neighborhood kids from school. I sure wish I could have found more of that pretty blue, but green it is. I’m ashamed for not getting this together yet!
Mom left several other block sets that I have not finished for her. Some that I can’t even find. 🙁 SO SAD! Maybe you are having some of the same feelings. Most of the time I feel overly busy. I mean, how can I possible do any more??? But last week on my trip for Christmas I realized I could have been sewing these Yoyos together in the car! Do your MOM a favor and finish her quilt!
LET ME KNOW ABOUT YOUR SUCCESS AND I’LL BE SO PROUD OF YOU! Love, Your friend Judy
I think I’ve always loved pinecones. In California we would drive up into the San Gabriel Mountains and breathe in the sweet smell of pine and the pinecones they sported. Even here in Kansas there were pine trees in the park across from our historic 3-story house on Ft Leavenworth where we gathered pinecones for decorating. Isn’t it fun to see their different shapes and sizes. I haven’t had much time this fall for finishing quilts, but I’m loaded with ideas. One is this great little Sweet Pine Quilt.
It measures 74 x 78 using 2” squares (2 1/2 cut). This is the measure by which I’ll give all my directions. But you could resize it in any way you wanted from 37 x 39 with 1” sq. and 55.5 x 58.5 with 1 1/2” squares.
I first sketched out this quilt when I was drawing the Ponderosa Pine Spray and Pinecone patterns—yes that was long ago! But now I have “Rustic Santas” just itchin’ to ride around my “Sweet Pine’s” borders. For this quilt I’m showing the “Rustic Yosemite Santa” (9” wide) with his sleigh pulled by California Grizzlies.
Is Wild Moose good to EAT? I don’t know about that, but my Wild Moose Antler Dip is something you’ll want to try. Be sure to serve it with pretzel twists so they’ll look like antlers! I just can’t stay away from this. I keep sneaking into the kitchen to get another nibble!
BACK TO THE QUILT! Are you curious about the circle inset? I really imagined an Ombré fabric with a bright area in the middle fading to dark as it progressed outward. The circle was how I “suggested” it, but in the end I liked the circle. I’d also like to try it with a plaid border. In fact, I bought a lot of plaids this year for a new “Rustic” quilt and also 2 new plaid shirts!
The Inner border could be pieced with different browns in a special design if you’re into beauty and have plenty of time. An easier option is actually a Seminole Patchwork braid in 2 colors or in 1 color. OR even easier, it could be a solid border stitched with my “Toga Trim” or “Greek Braid” designs that come with the “Mosaic” Panto #2493. So you’ve got some wiggle-room depending on your time and expertise. I’m include the “Greek Braid” in the PDF so you’ll have it. (As I was developing the design I lost the “mock-up” so was unable to make changes on the corners of the brown border. )
As I plotted out the design I added lines to show the piecing. Each small square is 2” so you can figure out the sizes of all the sections. For example, the finished strips in the pinecones are all 2” wide (remember cut 2 1/2”). Therefore the small pinecones finish at 8” square. If you actually cut the center into a circle you don’t need to “piece” the large brown square at all. Just inset the circle, or applique it into the square. (Even though the circle is quite big you can still use the insetting method described in the T-shirt quilt tutorial.)
But what about the Mock-torial! And what is that anyway?
Since I didn’t actually make the quilt it is just a “Mock-up.” So I’m calling it a “Mock-torial.” Download it here: Sweet Pine Quilt.
MERRY CHRISTMAS – FELIZ NAVIDAD
But more is going on at my house. Here are some pictures of what I’ve been working on. This Pictogram pattern is called “Las Posadas.” The name refers to a Nativity play, of sorts, that is acted out in the towns of Mexico and Guatemala.
Light the World is our church’s theme for this Christmas Season. As part of the “kick off” we had a huge Nativity Festival. A Mexican Nativity Set seems appropriate for Las Posadas. Are you celebrating? Send me some pictures!
Don’t forget the new Christmas patterns! On SALE this month!
Christmas is coming the Goose is getting fat! But, don’t worry we’ll eat him for Thanksgiving!! Sadly, I’ll probably get fat(ter) too! There are just so many great recipes. Check below for a new “Maple-Bacon Toffee” recipe I just invented today! Okay, I know this is supposed to be about quilting! But I have other interests too. Food is a BIG one!
Here’s a fun Holiday quilt. I love the big stitch.
I do want to encourage you to make the Thanksgiving Table Topper. It’s so beautiful on the table. When I went to Oklahoma last week I noticed my daughter-in-law had it hanging in the entry to her house. It was a great way to use it before the holiday.
This reversible Table Topper is so beautiful on the table. Your guests on every side will have a different view of the Thanksgiving story; The Ship greeted by Native Americans, The feast table, Indians bringing food to the feast, and a Pilgrim family bringing their contributions to the feast. It’s so much fun they might just want to play musical chairs! Get the FREE Tutorial and pattern!
I was talking with some of my adult kids last night and they were laughing about the White Pilgrim Collars I made them wear for Thanksgiving Dinner. We also had/have Thanksgiving puppets. So fun!!
Do you have any traditions for Thanksgiving? Submit them in “comments.”
NOW for the MAPLE Recipes! Click the expand button to view each entire, delicious recipe! Also: From last year’s blog, see my original Pumpkin Biscotti recipe here. Believe me, it’s far better than others I’ve tried!!
Don’t forget to make your Ice Candles while there are still leaves available!
IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS YET – IS IT??!!Don’t miss the SALE!
I haven’t had time to start any new Christmas projects but I did manage to get one beautiful UFO done last month. I started it too long ago to make a “tutorial” but I can give you the count and directions. (see below) I absolutely love the “Snowbirds” Pantograph and “Snowbird Borders” designs! Don’t you?
Before I forget, here’s a special announcement. ALL our Christmas themed pantos are on sale for the coming 2 weeks. See them all on the HOME PAGE!
Every year I’m too busy to start Christmas projects ahead of time. And every year I’m scrambling to get presents ready for my family and friends. I have a LOOOng list of projects to work on. Just take a look at my UFOs. I know a lot of you plan well ahead, like even making Christmas Projects in the summer. But are there any of you who are either too busy or procrastinate like me?
So you see why I’m so happy to finally have the Snowbirds quilt done!
Now back to the Snowbirds quilt. I like to give you tutorials, but I started this too long ago to have pictures. I do have a few left over pieces so you can see what I’ll be talking about.
Here are the requirements if you want to make one like it. Be sure to get the Snowbirds pantograph on the Christmas Sale!
Do you collect Antique Sewing Machines?Do you have a back-up sewing machine? What if your tension spring breaks? or you lose your bobbin case?Or there’s no ELECTRICITY!
Someone was asking whether I had a “back up” sewing machine. Very definitely!My first machine was a Kenmore that I received for a High School Graduation present! It was one of the best I’ve ever had! I’ve had a couple more over the years and don’t even remember their names. Of course, when I went to Thailand on a mission I couldn’t live without a machine so I bought one from a friend. It was a Juki converted from treadle with a little electric motor.See it in the far left corner.
I’ve always thought it would be a good idea to have a treadle machine—just in case the electricity goes out! So I currently have 2! My brother has my Grandmother’s old one (boohoo) but when we were first married I bought a REALLY old one from a little friend in Lawton OK. It’s not much to look at, but it has the long “spindle” type bobbins! It’s that old!
Next, my friend in Kansas gave me her mother’s machine. It’s much more beautiful. I use it as a base for my “holiday Tree” in the family room.
I do have my mother’s machine—a Wilcox and Gibbs factory power machine. (When she had little kids at home the factory she had sewn for in LA sent the machine home with her!) That’s the machine I learned to sew on! FAST & POWERFUL!!! That “attachment” on the left is a Tucking Arm.
Another friend gave me an old power (?) Machine (sitting on a shelf in my storage room.) It’s really beautiful, isn’t it?
And, Oh yes—there’s the “once top of the line” Elna that I bought at the thrift shop for $7.00. (Did you notice that gray case at the bottom of the shelf in the last picture?)
Now I have my Pfaff that I use almost exclusively. I think that makes 6 sewing machines that I still own!? Isn’t collecting fun!
Do you have a “back-up” machine? I’d love to hear about it!
If you haven’t already – Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! HERE
By for now! Hurry and get busy on your Christmas projects. Next time -some quick Halloween ideas.
Several years ago I wanted to draw some dog patterns so I sent out a request for dog pictures. Wow! I got some of the cutest pictures. Of course everyone loves their dogs and I could see why. You can spot “Lady” in my Dogpatch Quilt.
Anyway, I drew up separate blocks of the dogs and then the “Dawgs” Pictogram (A non-repeating pantograph 12′ long)
. Eventually I pieced the Dogpatch quilt using both patterns with their fun dog-bones sashing. Angela Meadows (my business partner and founder of MeadowLyon) quilted it and I painted in the dog faces everywhere they went over a white triangle.
I remember I had it spread out on our pool table in the basement with plastic trash bags draped over it to protect the rest of the quilt. (I was terribly afraid of ruining it!) My high school son came down, stood still a minute, and said, “Mom! You can paint!” Yep! But I hadn’t had time for that pleasure with 8 kids.
The first show I took it to was MQX in New Hampshire. As I was setting up, the photographer, Jeffrey Lomika, came rushing over. “I was photographing the quilts in the exhibit and looking through the lens, all of a sudden I saw Norman!!” Yes, his dog was in that quilt – the cutest little wire haired terrier ever. Look closely, maybe you can spot him. He was so cute, I used his face two or three times!
Do you remember I promised you a tutorial on inserting round patches into T-shirt Quilts. It’s Here: Making circular insets in T-shirt Quilts. You might also want to re-visit the Blog about T-shirt Quilts.
FINALLY, Don’t miss the SANTA BLOWOUT SALE NEXT MONTH
Can you adjust the length of MeadowLyon’s (Judy Lyon) Digital Pictogram panels? Yes, but consider the appearance of the images. To help in your decision here are some adjusted pictures showing how 3 patterns; “Rainforest,” “Fishy business,” & “Backwoods” would look if the panels were shrunk (shortened) or lengthened to fit a quilt. In your case the change may not be as drastic depending on your needs. Of course enlarging or decreasing, while keeping the ratio the same will not change the shape of the images but only decrease or expand their size. It’s also important to consider the “tightness” of your stitching. In a perfect world, none of these adjustments would have to made. But, let’s face it, every quilt is not planned to fit the stitching! Note that the original paper size of most MeadowLyon’s Pictograms is 11″x 36″. The digital size is set at 12″ x 39.1″.
Judy Lyon Digital Pictograms (non-repeating pantos) are currently sold by these distributors: Legacyquilting.com and intelligentquilting.com Find the link to their sites on MeadowLyon’s homepage.
I grew up in southern California. I thought I knew what it meant to be hot!! But I remember the first time I really got a handle on the thing – heat that is. Our family was on vacation and staying in a little motel at Lake Mead. When we walked out of the door it felt like stepping into an oven. After we got out onto the lake where my dad was fishing. I jumped in the water to cool off. It was like a bathtub!!
Years later, my son living in nearby Las Vegas actually cooked an egg on the sidewalk. Yes, he did! It can really happen.
But a heat wave seems never-ending. The long-hot summer! Maybe you can picture it – maybe you’re living in it. I’ve collected up all my MeadowLyon Pantographs and Pictograms that made me think about hot weather – like “Modern Southwest” pictured over a free-style, mock quilt.
My Dad and brothers built a desert cabin just outside the town of Joshua Tree, near 29 Palms, CA. It was rugged with only one room, but it did have two sets of French doors across the back and a gasoline powered generator mounted on an old lawn mower chassis that Dad could fire up when we wanted electricity at night. Before that we used a lantern.
I loved hiking up Rattlesnake Hill right behind our house. After I got to the top I could see out over the valley and into the National Monument Park where they used to “shoot” westerns. I used to dress up in my little cowgirl outfit and run around trying to “rope” our Cocker Spaniel Rusty.
Oh, Yes! Did you notice that straight rope twist and corner on the Rodeo Kids layout? It’s FREE right now. So put “Rope Twist” in your cart.
While you’re at it, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and sign up for our NEWSLETTER so you’ll know when we have special offers, new patterns and sales!
When my friend Helen in Las Vegas asked me to draw a pattern with southwest images for her I remembered so many things I had seen and loved in my childhood. I drew them into “Southwest Vistas.”
Oh yes! Cactus! My mom was a crafty sort and she just had to have some of that decorative Cholla Cactus wood. I can remember her with a handerkerchief tied around her face like a mask and wielding a big butcher knife held by big heavy gloves – scraping the “stickers” off the cactus!! Those stickers are terrors!! They are the enemy!
I know that from experience. But, Cactus Flower that was another thing! They were friendly and had the brightest colors!!
I’ve rounded up all the “hot weather patterns and put them on sale for you – just for memory’s sake. Titles like: Southwest Vistas, Spiral Suns (an all time favorite!), Spinning Kokopeli, Modern Southwest,Mosaic, Laguna de Cancun, Great Plains on the Move,Mustangs, Rodeo Kids, Ropin’ Horseshoes w Knotty Pine, Snakeskin,Cactus Flower, El Dorado, Pueblo Pottery (see a special tutorial below!) , Barnyard Dreams, Sunflowers, Giant Sunflowers, Chicken Feathers, MooCow, Illusion, Tornado, Mayan Glyphs, Portico Blooms, & Bengali Mosaic. Whew! is it hot in all those places???
But don’t worry – YOU’LL NEED TO COOL OFF with FREESODA FOUNTAIN BLOCKS SET. The first 20 orders will get a PDF set emailed to them FREE within 24 hours! Just wrap your lips around them straws! On the Soda Fountain page you’ll see ideas for using them!
Now back to the longest of the hot days. They make me think of eating MEXICAN! I’ve attached a couple of favorite recipes for you down below. That reminds me – Do you know about EPAZOTE? It is the quintessential Mexican herb. Add it to your favorite chili recipe and you will be transported south of the border! Yep, but it’s hard to find out here in Kansas. I finally asked the guy at Acapulco and he gave me some sprigs. “Where did you buy this?” I asked. “I grow it myself!”
But now a little more quilt talk. I’ve got a new pattern to celebrate the heat – “Pueblo Pottery.” It’s a fun interlocking panto with all the flavor of the southwest.
I have an idea for you to use it on a quilt Remember the “Southwest Vistas” Pictogram (that’s a non-repeating panto) up above? I made a Southwest Pueblo quilt to showcase it. I used some simple improv piecing in desert colors to suggest the plateaus and native pueblo style houses. The round oven, the round beams, the ladders and drying racks all added a bit of interest, color and nostalgia. All this supported the amazing stitching of the “Pictogram” or vice-versa, the pictogram accented the strong southwest feel of the quilt.
I added more color to surround the main body of the quilt and have loved the
border ever since. So I’ve combined the blocks from that border into a quilt layout.
Here’s how you can put it together. And how it will look in a different colorway with the Pueblo Pottery design quilted over it.
So crank up that Air Cond and have fun sipping your sodas and putting together this fun desert quilt! Oh and don’t forget the recipes below.
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Celebrate our Founding Fathers at Home and in History with Love, Honor and a FREE Patriotic pattern!
At this time of year we remember our “Founding Fathers,” both family and nation. Some founding fathers of our family are John Lyon, William A. Redd, Hans Ulrich Bryner, Lucius Franklin Snyder. Bryner, seated with a beard, was an immigrant to the US from Switzerland. In large measure he was the founder of the Bryner clan in America. Before coming he was blinded in an accident, but didn’t let that stop him. Traveling by ship and then covered wagon across the US he held onto the back of the wagon, giving up his seat inside for an elderly woman who needed a place. I designed a quilting Pictogram, Westward Ho, around his story and pictured him holding the wagon.
Just as you honor your fathers, we honor ours by telling them we love them, by giving them gifts, and by cooking their favorite treats. Our Dad loves tunnel of fudge cake – the old recipe with pudding. Yumm…. The kids all love making him treats each year! It’s no wonder in Sunday School we sing, “I’m So Glad when Daddy comes Home.” Now he’s a grand father and sooo good at reading stories. I get jealous – they want him! See his picture? Grandpas make us smile, don’t they? (I had fun overlaying the pix with an image from our America’s Pride Blocks- FREE PDF June 2019only.)
This time of year, climaxing with the 4th of July, is full of Patriotism. Because we live near an Army Post the boy scouts place flags on all the graves in the cemetery for Memorial day. That is the beginning. Memorial Day, D-day, Father’s Day and July 4th make a grand month of remembrance.
Patriotic service and red, white and blue décor and stories of valor are part of the fabric of our lives. In such ways we honor the Founding Fathers of our country. We obey the laws, we vote, we celebrate the birth of our nation. We enjoy the land through vacations and song – “Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies…” I even decorate a 4th of July tree! (I’m also reminded of a Canadian hymn, “In days of yore from Britain’s shore, Wolfe, the dauntless hero came…” My mother grew up in Canada and I learned this song as a child right along with The Star Spangled Banner.)
Every year on the 4th of July, we watch themovie “1776.” Our kids have the dialogue memorized. We love lines such as “He plays the violin…” and “Pins!” – “Saltpeter!” What, you don’t know those lines? Pull out that old movie this year and find them. You’ll have to sing the words with Ben Franklin! I can see and hear it in my mind’s eye.
Another tradition has been to have a BBQ and Swim party in the back yard. Ribs and sweet potato salad are always on the menu. I’ll include my favorite ribs recipe for your 4th of July feast this year. It’s actually an oven recipe but we put it on the grill for that special smokiness I love. Homemade ice cream was also a favorite, Root Beer flavor as well as chocolate. Strawberry pretzel dessert was embellished with blueberries. We’d have a yard full of friends, family and neighbors and sit around until dusk while the kids played in the pool. Later we often drove onto the military post for a fireworks display. I miss those days now that the kids are grown. WHY DO WE DO ALL THIS? To honor the birth of our nation and the founding fathers who built us this heritage. To honor the birth of our families and our own beloved Founding Fathers.
What are your favorite Father’s Day or 4th of Judy (oops July!) traditions? Happy Father’s 4th of July!
Upstairs in my walk-in attic I have a box of T-shirts meant for a quilt or two. I thought how fun it would be to have a t-shirt quilt for the grandkids to use when they visit. They’d be sleeping under all the memories of their Mom or Dad. In particular I have a number of Hawaiian T-shirts and Hawaiian shirts and/or muumuus that he children wore when we lived in Hawaii. Here’s my plan for those great memory pieces. I’m showing it “virtually” stitched with my “Hawaiian Hibiscus” pantograph. (I’m including the titles of the Pantographs on the pictures simply for reference.)
Another box is filled with old cub scouts t-shirts. They’d be great and I plan to include some of the neckerchiefs and patches in the piecing (see my mock-up example). I’m showing how I would stitch it with my 8-inch double “Jitterbug 15 interlocking “ panto. (You could also use the -one row at a time- “Jitterbug 11 interlocking” panto.) Doesn’t it look great! It reminds me of boys at that age, JITTERY!
There are many standard blocks which sport a square in the middle, so get out your pile of magazines and find a block, or do like I did and open up Quilt-Pro and find a block you like that’s not too time consuming. Here’s a simple star stitched with one of my favorties, “Maori Moko”. It’s a 15″ pattern so if you want a smaller one that’s similar choose the 9-inch “Maori Moko Border” and use it as an E2E. Knit is stretchy anyway, so there’s no problem placing some of the pieces on the diagonal. Another option would be to include the star points only on the outer corners and fill the center with rows of T-shirts. However, I like the tilted squares because it adds so much interest!
.Here’s another idea for a little girls t-shirt quilt. One is straight placement with colorful sashing on which I over-layed our “Oh so popular” Flowerburst pattern. It comes in 2 sizes. “Flowerburst 15” and “Flowerburst 10” Another is a version of a star block using Drunkard’s Path inserts to give a flower effect. You can actually place your t-shirts in some or all of the squares available. I over-layed that one with “Dolly’s Tea Party.”
1. Check your fabric to see how tightly or loosely woven it is. Many made for Quilting” batiks are loose enough to withstand the heavy stitching given to quilts. But some are not. Although I don’t advocate discarding the tighter fabrics, you’ll need to take extra care.
2. Use a finer needle to prevent puncturing the threads in a lightly woven fabric. (See the lower side of the purple picture – you can easily spot holes left in the batik where stitches were removed.) A ball-point might be helpful- but not too large. If you encounter “Frogging” the fuzz around stitches indicating broken threads you might be able to make them less visible by using a damp cloth, dotted with silicone and rubbing lightly. This can be a tricky decision if you have multiple layers of fused appliqué through which to stitch.
3. A silicone lubricant is useful. Spray on brands are available but difficult to find. You can apply a few drops of silicone (ie. Sewer’s Aid) to a damp cloth and rub over the quilt surface or apply a few drops to the spool.
4. Loosen the quilt sandwich on your machine slightly.
5. Batiks are a dream for machine appliqué because as a tightly woven fabric they do not fray easily. For hand-appliqué they may require a little more effort pushing the needle through the tightly woven folded edge. Use a finer needle and try some silicone.
The IRISH JIG, that is! I’ve done a FREE tutorial for my “Irish Jig” Quilt. I couldn’t get it made up so it’s not a complete pattern, just some honest Irish instructions. NO BLARNEY!
If you make it please share a Pic. It’s stitched with “Celtic Chain” which has 2 different borders. I’ve shown both so you can get the idea.
Our guild had a challenge to do a 2 color quilt, or at least a block. I thought about my favorite color – RED. Then I determined to use blue and include all my hand-dyed indigo pieces. But when I looked through my stash for a solid piece, I didn’t have exactly the right color blue! Well, of course, it had to match my hand dyes and that may be a problem. As I was fooling around with swatches I hit upon the idea of using green for St. Patrick’s Day. It could be scrappy and “use up” some of my many odds and ends. I must admit, however, I bought a few more for the mix! The ones I already chose out of my stash are on the left. The new ones are on the right. For this sample I couldn’t make it scrappy like I want for the whole quilt – remember, it was a 2 color challenge. Now I even have a 2 color quilt board on Pinterest!
The first thing I did to start was make a bunch of half-square triangles. (Whoever thought of that name?) I tried making 2 from a small square to confirm my calculations were correct. Then I made the rest with my “8 in one blow” method. Either way I made them a little larger than I needed so I could trim them to size.
Next I started cutting the various other pieces. I sewed the long strips together and combined them into the little checker boards and striped squares. When they were pressed I laid a few of each on the ironing board for you to see. Next came the actual sewing into strips according to the schema plan I made up for the PDF.
Now I have one block finished to show you!!! I love the way it turned out, don’t you? Of course, I plan to “quilt” it with my Celtic Chain pattern with 2 borders and 4 different blocks. Maybe I’ll go scrappy with the designs too, and mix them all in.
Before I forget, I’ve got a St. Patrick’s Day recipe for you. It’s my very favorite Rosemary Cheddar Soda bread. Wait til you taste it – fabulous!!! Happy Quilting!! Judy
This was fantastic. I made it exactly (I almost never do) except for baking it on a Pizza Stone.
Rosemary Cheddar Irish Soda Bread
A tasty Irish Soda Bread with sharp cheddar and fresh rosemary. This is perfect as a side to your corned beef dinner.
Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Author foodnessgracious
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 cups buttermilk
1 whole large egg
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly flour a non stick baking tray or spray with a non stick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, pepper, rosemary and cheese.
Add the egg to the buttermilk and beat until mixed.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and lightly mix through until it becomes sticky and a ball forms.
Dump the dough out onto a flour dusted work surface and roughly knead the dough into an ball shape. It may be on the wet side so have some extra flour on hand for dusting.
Place the dough onto your prepared baking tray. Take a sharp serrated knife and cut an X on top of the soda bread.
Season the top with some more salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 25 minutes and the top is golden brown.
Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving with butter. If you can resist!!!
“Quilters” Wow! It was a great performance. Knowing that I was a quilter, my friend Nancy M. told me about the show just last week. So, we decided to go. My husband made reservations and on Friday – Opening night (avoiding the snow forecast for Saturday). Umm-they had catered snacks for the occasion.
If you’re in the Kansas City area, and like quilting or like frontier history you should see it. It runs through March 10th, so hurry.
We had never been to the Theatre Lawrence before. I thought the staging was super. Checking it out, I had seen some clips on You-tube of other “Quilters” productions and I liked the staging of this much better than those I had viewed. Plus, the musical ensemble was delightful. Instruments and unique effects added to the character of the presentation. It was nice that you could see the instrumentalists in the dark depths of the open stage.
But, now to the show – Wonderful! (Of course, I couldn’t take pics inside.) The voices were strong and beautiful and the acting great, too. Costuming too, was era perfect. I was particularly impressed by Susie LeGault. Could she have been my age (or was it just make-up?) and her voice still strong and vibrant? Well, let’s face it- I enjoyed the evening immensely.
There were heart-breaking moments which could be expected from life on the plains which bonded the women of the family together and to their community: The Ladies of the Lutheran Church, or the Ladies of the Methodist…or the Ladies of the Baptist… All the quilts they made over the years which had been collected and offered to bless the lives of those facing tragedy and loss.
In the theater lobby were hung several quilts by members of the local quilt guild (s?) I even found an old quilting friend there who had stitched one of them. She promised to send me the pattern. I’ll use it for my hand dyed indigo pieces. (You’ll recognize it in the pics because it’s blue and white! Thank you Deb Rowden.)
In the upstairs lobby were 2 antique quilts; a butterfly and a simple red and white.
All in all it was well worth the drive to Lawrence.
Several years ago, I took part in a play about quilters, too. It was written by Julie Stapley and was so fun to perform for our church ladies. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
I love Chinese New year time. I remember visiting Lila Lawrence with my mother when I was a child. She had Oriental furniture inlaid with mother of pearl and wore chopsticks in her hair. When we went to China Town in Los Angeles I would get those little prize balls that would unwind spilling little rings, and other treasures.
A few years ago when the catastrophic earthquake hit China I decided to draw a Pantograph with Pandas – “Panda-Bamboo” was what I called it. when I made the quilt I “Top-liqued” pandas right into the stitching line.
Living in the orient we enjoyed the fireworks and celebrations.
Simmer the pork in lightly salted water until tender. Drain and place in bowl. Sprinkle with juice of 1 – 1 ½ fresh limes. (I used 1 ½ good sized ripe limes)
Stir in 3 Tb. Fish sauce. Add 1 tsp Rot Dii (This is a Thai seasoning containing MSG. I used ½ tsp. MSG with about 1/8 teaspoon white pepper and 1 tsp garlic juice.) Stir well. Taste the liquid to see if you like the blend.
Add ¼ c. chopped cilantro, 3 Tb. Green onions, ½ c. thinly sliced red shallots, Crushed red pepper to taste – I used about ½ tsp. and it wasn’t hot at all.
To serve, sprinkle with cilantro and “Rice Dust,” – browned glutinous rice, crushed****( Place 2 Tb. Uncooked glutinous rice in dry frying pan. Brown the rice, stirring constantly. Allow to cool and crush well, or put it in a blender like I did. I should not become like flour – just like rough corn meal so it remains a little crunchy. This adds an important flavor.)Serve with sticky rice, chopped cucumber, diced, garlic and green mango slices. Wrap them up in green leaf lettuce and dash with Thai Sweet Chili sauce.
In the past few years I’ve seen more and more paint and ink being used on quilts. I’ve noticed it mostly on quilts custom stitched from the front of the machine. But, I’m a pantograph lady, I love the ease of knowing where I’m going and what I’ll find at the end of the row. Several years ago as Angela stitched our “Dawgs” pictogram (non-repeating pantograph) over the expanse of a Big Block quilt I thought how fun it would be to color it like a coloring book—I must admit childhood memories play it big in my mind! I seem to watch them play out, just like a television show. I remember one Spring I was very sick and had to wear dark glasses for a month to protect my eyes. Because I couldn’t go out, Mom let me slide the glasses up and take a peek at the Easter dress hanging on the bedroom sconce. For entertainment she bought me lots of new coloring books and crayons. One afternoon on the bed I sneaked a look and saw, to my chagrin; I had colored the pig orange! Those pesky glasses!
You probably have memories of coloring too. Was your technique to apply a firm line around each color area and then lightly “shade in” the entire space? Or were you like me and made each color a solid, full strength statement? Later I learned about shading and could deftly change hues or tints in the pictures I decorated. I confess I always maintained the bold look. Don’t get me wrong—I admire pastel tints but even my figure (sob!) is bold. When we tried out crayons on small fabric samples in our local quilt guild meeting and then ironed them for permanence, mine was definitely the most intense.
Well, back to the subject. I decided to color the Dog-Patch Quilt to make it more interesting. Remember it was already quilted with a pictogram that offered a collage of doggie faces replete with flopping tongues, sniffing noses, and shaggy ears. I limited the coloring to certain areas. That meant sometimes a dog’s face would be only partially painted and the rest only outlined with stitching. I admit it was scary. I feared I might ruin an otherwise great quilt. At that time our pool table was still in the basement and hadn’t been banished to the garage to make way for my longarm machine. So I spread a tarp and plastic drop cloth over it and laid out the quilt. Nervously, I positioned flat, black trash bags over the areas I wanted to protect. Shiva Paintstiks were the medium I chose because, as usual, I wanted strong color. I rubbed the Paintstik onto the page of a disposable palette and then brushed it onto the fabric with a flat, short bristled, oil paint brush. My 19-year-old son came down to watch TV and stood stunned. “Mom, you can paint!”, he exclaimed. I laughed and said, “Well yes, I was an art major. You’ve just never seen me paint before.” (Isn’t it great when you get a little praise—especially from your kids! That can be a rarity until they’re old enough to appreciate you!)
Face by face, the dog’s expressions began to emerge and take life. By the end of the experiment I was thrilled. This had made my otherwise “lovely” quilt truly standout as being unique. I’m so glad I took the first step – or brushstroke!
I was hooked and eager to paint on another quilt. I pulled out my Westward Ho Quilt that had already been quilted and painted the “campfire” and “spokes” of the wagon wheel giving it a stronger focal point. I was reliving the coloring book experience of my childhood all over again – each time with successful results!
Soon after, I found myself rushing around, trying to get my Dino-Spinners Quilt with the “Dinosauria” pattern ready to send off to a show. I suddenly realized the quilt had no label. So I turned it over and picked out a stitched dinosaur on the back, painted it with the Paintstiks, and “presto” I had a super looking, automatic label!
My friend Patti Buhler (Quiltedartsstudio.com) promotes and sells Tsukineko Inks so I decided to try those as my next medium of choice. I pieced together a simple quilt of penguin fabric, and white-on-white with plenty of open spaces. Over the quilt top I stitched the “Penguins on Parade” pictogram. Then going back into the central white area, I picked out key penguin figures and painted them black with the amazingly easy, Inkstick Marker that comes with each bottle of Tsukineko Ink. Serendipity! – As I inked in the black penguins, I found, as I had secretly hoped, the stamped on design in the white on white fabric resisted the ink, leaving a white design within the blackened area! (Viewers always get up close and exclaim, “Did you appliqué this one?” It looks like a different fabric.) Finally, I used a little orange, red, and yellow to define the fluff on the penguin feathers and again, instant success! And I mean instant! I didn’t have to wait 4-5 days for the paint to dry. Ink dries in minutes. (Well, I didn’t actually wait that long on the Dog-Patch Quilt anyway, because of my impatient nature.) A few years later I went back and decided to apply white glitter over my Penguin Snowstorm Quilt. I did this as an “added layer of interest” as I always say to viewers.
The next time I tried the inks was on the backside of a Nativity quilt stitched with the “Joyful Birth” Pictogram.. I had stitched and appliquéd over the front and then, realizing the back was quilted with a pale batik, decided to color in some of the “Pictures” on the back. I generally don’t color in the entire quilt. I just pick motifs I want to emphasize. (Maybe you’ll want to color more.) The results were amazing! Just like the white-on-white, there was enough of the residual wax left in the batik so that those designs resisted the inks too. Now this quilt is “reversible”and some of us like the back best!
When you stitch with pantographs and pictograms there is an automatic coloring book effect created. Pictures are already stitched into the fabric of your quilt by the quitting machine. Adding colors to the designs you’ve stitched is easy. And they do add extra spark and appeal to the quilt. I’ll be using these techniques on more quilts. I hope you will too!
Shiva Paintstiks have a wax base and aren’t as oily as oil pastels or actual oil paints. Don’t try the latter or the oil will seep into the surrounding fabric leaving an unsightly ring around the painted area. The Paintstiks keep for years if you wrap them in plastic or place then in a tight can to prevent drying out. Paintstiks come individually or in sets.
Tsukineko Inks come in little one ounce bottles in a whole rainbow of colors, solid, sheer, pearlescent, and metallic. Just choose your color and dip the tip of the reloadable “inkstick” into the bottle. Use it like a magic marker. Don’t get right up to the stitching line, the ink will move toward it and happily, in almost all cases, will not pass the stitched line. Caution: do not thin the paints with water or they will “bleed” more easily into unwanted areas. If you want a pastel or transparent color mix a few drops of the ink with clear Aloe Vera Gel and brush it on. Or if you’re trying for a watercolor wash effect, paint some gel onto the quilt first and then apply the ink.
Of course one must always heat set the painted surfaces whether you are using Paintstiks or Inks to render them permanent and washable. To heat set my quilts, I place brown wrapping paper under the quilt on an ironing surface and place additional paper on top. Then I iron from the top. The heat, applied from the top, draws any loose oil towards the heat source and into the top paper.
Remember the serendipity effect: white-on-white printing will repel the ink. This is also true of some “authentic” batiks which often have residual wax still left in the fabric. Have fun with your next “grown-up” coloring book! Judy
It’s not too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving. I saw Turkeys on sale in our local market yesterday.
A few years ago, I made a couple of fun Thanksgiving Table Toppers. The first was a grand experiment. I tore off the colored silk leaves from an artificial autumn bouquet, arranged them on the fabric I had chosen for the top (and lightly glued them) and placed a shimmery piece of sheer chiffon over them. Of course, I quilted the glittery square with my Thanksgiving Table Topper Pictogram. I was excited by the result. I was so easy yet so special.
The next year I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it reversible. After all with the renewed popularity of “modern” style, I might want a lime green topper instead of a brown one. Who knows? I’ll have to admit it was quite ambitious but turned out super!
I chose a Dk. Brown Batik for one side and a good strong Chartreuse for the other. (Oops, threads not buried!) The Autumn leaves around the edge could be the same colors for both.
It turned out so great I wanted to share it. So, I took photos of the “step-by-step” and converted them into a FREE PDF tutorial for all of you.
This 20% OFF anything sale is such a great opportunity.
I want to share even more ideas with you if you’re willing.
I’m always trying to push the limits. I guess that’s the way it is with creative minds, right? I know you have one because you’re a quilter!
Here’s a fun way to use this cute Halloween pattern on a block exchange.This is Helen Baczynski’s Pumpkin patch quilt. And this is Funny Bones by Diana Reinhardt Annis. Someone sent a picture of a quilt with Ghostly Feathers and I can’t it anywhere. Wish I had it to show you.
I love decorating for Halloween and Fall. There are cute ideas I’ve collected over the years. AND great recipes. Yes, Secretly I’m a wanna-be Chef!
When he was young my son helped me make a Halloween, Jack Pumpkin-head, giant marionette. He was dressed in some old coveralls of my kids’ and old Camouflage boots. We hung him up every year by our various front doors.
Another tradition at our house is the “Brown Tree.” The kids retrieved it from the trash one year after Christmas and begged to keep it to play with in the backyard. I finally said,”Okay, but after 3-4 days you must throw it away!” Well, when the needles fell it was such a cute twisted shape that I’ve kept it now for almost 30 years. It even moved with us to Hawaii and back! I decorate it for every changing season. Here is the Halloween version.
Our very most favorite Halloween Cookies are – Pumpkin Face Cookies adapted from an old BH&G. (Not a great picture, but it is a great recipe!)
Spring is such a beautiful time of year. The sky is blue and sunny. Flowers are blooming everywhere (even in our lawns). God is spreading a beautifully colored quilt over the whole earth. Why wouldn’t our hearts thrill with the excitement of love and happiness?It’s in the air!
10% OFF – Enjoy some of our favorite floral pantos as well as a NEW enlarged version of an old favorite.
(This set includes 3 patterns. Specify which 3 you want: Wedding Bell Swag 15” border, “Floral Medallion” whole cloth centerpiece, Rosebud Striped Border 6” w/ Little Red Rose 4”, Red, Red Rose 8” border, Floribunda Bouquet 11” or 15”, Wedding Day 11” pictogram, Little Ferns 4” border, Fiddle Ferns 11” panto.)
The most common Chinese ways of saying Happy New Year are Gong Xi Fa Cai(Mandarin) and Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese). Even though the pronunciations are a little different, both are written the same.
Ever since I was young I have been fascinated by the Far East. I used to go with my Mother to visit “artsy” Lila L. She had her hair bound up with chopsticks and black lacquered furniture inlaid with Mother of Pearl. Chinatown was my favorite place to eat and I loved getting those prize balls at the gift shop and unwrapping yards of paper strips to find the tiny toys inside.
Little did I know I would “marry” into the army and live in the Orient. This amazing experience has increased my delight in all those memories and many new ones; like the Chinese Lion dance (always thought I’d draw this but haven’t yet!) , Sizzling Rice Soup and playing the Kayagum (like Koto). Subsequently I’ve drawn a number of popular Chinese inspired patterns. I’ll include Japan and Indonesia too! So for the New Year I’m passing along the celebration to you!
Get a copy of the CHINESE MEDALLION SET – FREE with purchase of any Oriental pattern.
Brrr! Everything is snowy! Let’s have a JANUARY WHITE SALE All white themed patterns 15% OFF through January.
Isn’t it fun to build a snowman? Here’s a cute SNOWMAN pillow designed for one of our birthday partys. All the little girls made their own. It was so fun. This picture is the one my daughter finished. Your kids can have fun with this too – even boys! It’s a FREE DOWNLOAD.
How do you decorate for the Holidays? Do you have a Christmas Quilt in the master bedroom? Is your family room festooned with strings of apples and garlands of holly? Or perhaps you’ll be skiing for the Holidays at your mountain cabin decorated with homespun plaid and flannelette quilts? If so you might want to snuggle-up with a cozy throw in front of the fireplace or display a quilt proudly over the railing on the balcony. Enjoy these super savings as you plan your beautiful rooms.
In the Summer there are bugs everywhere—even the computer has bugs! Heehee. For fun, pick your favorite and sew it right into your next quilt—just one or two in an out-of-the-way place. I’m including all the bug drawings I’ve sold over the years in this FREE OFFER. Just size them to fit. Draw your own too—maybe you have a “favorite.” Modern custom quilting lends itself to spur-of-the-moment bugs. I’ve shown a sketch of ideas for that. Pantographs also have room for bugs. I’ve included a few ideas of how I might stitch them in a panto. So get dancing! It’s young and whimsical!
I do not have IQ so I can’t tell you in Intelliquilter terms, but Linda Lawson has a video about lining up my Pictogram Patterns and you will find some excellent tips in that video. You can see it on Longarm Chat. http://longarmchat.com/index.cfm/event/Video.Home
Click on the title to read some “nitty gritty” information that may help as you plan the layout on your screen.
Background information for Pictograms:
1. Each panel was originally drawn at 11″ x 36.” Depending on what size you are going to make it, you’ll need to adjust the following information accordingly.
2. All our patterns have a 3″ registration system. That means, if you had the hard copy, you could slide each ensuing paper panel to the right or left in increments of 3″ ( eg. 6″, 9″, 12″ etc.) and they will still “fit” together.
3. With this registration system the stitching line reaches up to the top line every 3 inches. (If it isn’t visible, imagine a line across the top).
4. The stitching line reaches down to the bottom line every other 3 inches. (Imagine a line across the bottom.)
5. MeadowLyon Pictograms are not designed to interlock, they just come up or down to the line. It gives the effect of interlocking, but does not cross the line!
6. Yes, you can put each panel right on top of itself and it will work. But, you probably won’t want the panel to be placed exactly above itself or the animals and other motifs will be on top of themselves.
7. I recommend choosing the second or third panel to begin the second row. Make sure the “up” points fall between the “down” points. (You’ll probably put the second row on the screen and simply move it to where it looks good and nothing touches where it shouldn’t.)
As you look at previews of our Pictograms on this website, you will see the ups and downs clearly. For example, in the “Backwoods” pattern you’ll notice some mountain peaks, etc. that go up to the top line and see the spaces above them. Then you’ll see feet of animals or etc. coming down to the bottom line and notice space beneath them on the next panel. With each row simply slide the panels to where the peaks come up under a space or etc. But do not try to interlock, or cross the line. It’s not necessary and may cause overlapping.
Congratulations! You’ve purchased a “Pictogram” – MeadowLyon’s unique 12 ft. non-repeating roll. You’ll have lots of pictorial material from which to choose. Its four panels can be arranged to create a scene, of sorts, on a wall hanging or small quilt. Also, extended rows can be repeated above or below to cover a quilt with Edge-to-Edge quilting.
We recommend starting alternate rows at the beginning of a different panel each time. This will prevent the motifs from standing on top of themselves. Of course you can start alternate rows wherever you like. Our registration system prevents upper and lower rows from touching when you slide the pattern in increments of 3 inches; eg. 3”, 6”, 12” etc.
For accurate placement, align the bottom line* (or dots or corner points) to the previous top line. You might do this by lowering the needle at the exact top right hand corner of the panel recently completed, then inserting a pin at that point. Roll the quilt and after shifting the pattern and replacing the clamps, move your needle once again to that point and adjust the laser to the lower right corner of the new panel.
Caution: if you leave a space there will be a space – it’s best to match the lines with your laser, then slide the machine across the quilt to see if any stitching falls above the line and adjust slightly if needed.
* Note: If your pattern does not have a bottom and top line, you can draw it in by laying a yardstick along the lowest points (or highest) on the paper pattern and drawing a line to intersect with the dashed line at the end of the pattern.
1. EDGE TO EDGE PANTOGRAPH ALIGNMENT as printed on paper rolls
Aligning MeadowLyon Patterns:
This MeadowLyon continuous-line pattern can be repeated above or below itself to cover a quilt with Edge-to-Edge quilting. We recommend starting alternate rows in a different spot and on many patterns have indicated the place we recommend on the bottom edge of the pattern. This will prevent the animals (or motifs) from standing on top of themselves. Of course you can start alternate rows wherever you like. Our registration system prevents upper and lower rows from touching when you slide the pattern in increments of 3 inches; eg. 3”, 6”, 12” etc.
For accurate placement, align the bottom line* (or dots or corner points) to the previous top line. You might do this by lowering the needle at the exact top right hand corner of the panel recently completed, then inserting a pin at that point. Roll the quilt and after shifting the pattern and replacing the clamps, move your needle once again to that point and adjust the laser to the point recommended for alternate rows.
Caution: if you leave a space there will be a space – it’s best to match the lines with your laser, then slide the machine across the quilt to see if any stitching falls above the line and adjust slightly if needed.
* Note: If your pattern does not have a bottom and top line, you can draw it in by laying a yardstick along the lowest points (or highest) on the paper pattern and drawing a line to intersect with the dashed line at the end of the pattern.
…using Wedding Bell Swag, Floral Medallion, Rosebud Striped border. etc. I’ve posted a Floral Wholecloth Layout with many of the floral patterns. Reading through the following directions (although specific for the three listed) will be helpful in planning your individualized quilt layout.
The following instructions come with the Floral Medallion pattern but they may be useful for setting up quilting for the Wedding Bell Swag with other combinations.
So you want to make a whole cloth quilt?
There are many options, so have fun mixing and matching.
Here are some pointers for completing an 80” sq. Wedding Bell Quilt as pictured on the Wedding Bell Swag posting.
Patterns needed: Wedding Bell Swag Border
Rosebud Striped Border
You can make a 108” quilt by following the included diagram. The Additional Tips for quilting the swag will be helpful.
1. The Wedding Bell Swag pattern prefers a 30” throat space.
(I have a 24” and although I finally got everything
joined-up piecemeal, it took time! If you decide to try it,
be sure to quilt AROUND the corner’s edge as far as you can.)
2. If necessary you can make the quilt slightly smaller or a few inches
larger by changing the length of the outer stripes.
3. After loading the quilt start at either the top or the bottom.
I recommend Quilting across the entire end including both complete
corners. The followingmethod will maintain the “fit” of the stripes.
(You’ll need to cut the corner from the main pattern so you can
“attach” it to both ends.)
A. First, starting at the corner, quilt the flowery, be-ribboned
Wedding Bell Swag halfway across.
B. Go back and quilt the stripesaround the corner and under the swag
half-way across. (If you don’t want the stripes you could use
C. Move the corner into position at the other end.
D. Quilt the flowery swag the rest of the way including the corner.
E. Now quilt the stripes the rest of the way and around the corner.
F. Place your needle at the inside corner of the swag and with a
wet-erase marker or a pin, put a dot on the quilt at that
Repeat at the other end.
4. Align and stitch the Rosebud Border ¼” inside the swag. (Measure this
from the points that you marked. The ¼” may vary with the stretch
of your fabric so adjust the Rosebud stripes so they come out even.
Move the corners in and tape or paper-clip in place.)
When stitching, I apply clamps on the track to stop the stripes evenly
at both the top and bottom, but it’s not necessary. Machines love to
5. Center the lower portion of the Floral Medallion with the inside of the
Rosebud Border. (The pattern between corners should be
approx. 37 ¾”.)
It’s likely to have shrunk to about 37”. The Floral Medallion
measures 36” square. You’ll need to allow ½ ” all around it.
Therefore start ½ ” inside the inner corner of the Rosebud border.)
6. Stitch across the first panel, then align the top corner point with the
lower corner of the next panel. Do not leave a space, but do move
the machine across and make sure high points do not extend
beyond the line of the pattern and adjust slightly if necessary.
7. Continue by stitching center and upper panels.
8. Allowing ½ ” space – align, center, and stitch the opposite Rosebud
Border (upside down).
9. Allowing ¼” align, center and stitch the opposite Wedding Bell Swag
border, upside down, with corners attached.
You may find it necessary to reload the quilt and quilt it from the
opposite end if your batting is thick and minimizes the throat space.
As before, stitch half-way across, then go back and do the stripes.
Repeat the rest of the way across.
10. Remove quilt and re-load to stitch the two sides. You’ll have to
pull the clamps very tightly.
11. Align and stitch the Rosebud border. (This will help to evenly
distribute the fullness which is inevitable.)
12. Align and stitch the Wedding Bell Swag pattern between the corners.
Again go half-way and then do the stripes, repeat.
13. Turn the quilt and repeat steps 11 and 12 for the borders on the
14. Finally roll the quilt to the middle section and, IF DESIRED, apply a
fine stippling style of your choice between the flowers and ribbons of
the center medallion to create a “faux trapunto.” You may also
apply the same stippling around the ribbons of the swag borders
If you are transferring the designs to stitch on a home sewing machine or to embroider by hand you may find these methods helpful:
CENTERING – MeadowLyon Block Patterns have “centering lines” for easy placement. I think the easiest way to find the center of a square is to draw lines with a disappearing marker or simply a length of thread, diagonally both ways, from corner to corner. Poke a pin through the center of the pattern into the center indicated on the fabric. Using the “centering lines”, measure* to assure they are parallel to the outer lines of the fabric “block.” ( * Of course I “eyeball” it and you probably will too!)
TRACING – Place the paper pattern on a light box, an empty picture frame with glass, or a window. Tape in place. Next place the fabric over it and center it using the convenient centering cross-lines. Tape in place. Trace the design onto the fabric with a.) a washable marker or washable fabric marker; b.) a disappearing marker; c.) tailor’s chalk pencil; d.) a carbon leaded pencil that will wash out. There are lots of great products on the market! You can even get a white Clover marker to use on dark fabrics.
TRANSFERRING BY CARBON – On a hard surface, place a transferring medium such as dressmaker’s carbon* or “Saral” carbons over the fabric. Next place the paper pattern on top and trace over it with a ball point pen or stylus. (* Personally I do not like the carbon that is purple. It’s wet and smears all over!)
CREATE A STENCIL – Option A – Stitch through the paper pattern and after placing it on the fabric use a pounce pad to make through the “stencil.” This is convenient if you need to transfer the same design many times. Option B – Lay :” Bridal Tulle” over the pattern and trace with a fine line, permanent marker. When you want to transfer the pattern, lay the Tulle over the fabric, pin in place, and draw over the line with a chalk pencil. The chalk line will go through the holes of the Tulle to the fabric.
TRANSFER PENCILS – The latest tool is a great one. The transfer pencil (made by Fons and Porters and other brands too) create an iron-on stencil just like the old embroidery transfers. Simply turn the block pattern over, place it on a light box or window, and draw the line on the back of the block. When you’ve finished you’ll be able the place the block (right side up) over your fabric and “iron on” the stitching line.
TEAR AWAY – Option A – Trace the design from the pattern onto a tear away paper such as that sold through Golden Threads. Adhere the tissue to your fabric with pins or spray adhesive. Sew through the paper and tear away. Option B – Lay “Press n’ Seal” plastic wrap over the paper pattern. Trace the design onto the film with a washable marker*. Stick the film to your fabric and stitch through it. Tear away. ( * Always test the marker in a trial run first. Vis-a-vis markers for transparencies, Dry erase markers and permanent markers work well on the film, BUT, if you are using a long-arm machine, the heat of the needle may “set” vestiges of marker in your fabric.)
LONG-ARM MACHINE QUILTING – Of course you can place the pattern on the bed of your quilting machine table and follow the line with your laser or pointer. If you’re working from the front of the machine, DeLoa Jones suggests you place the pattern on a cookie sheet and adjust the laser to the page. You’ll still need to find the center of the block and direct your laser to that point. Then you can move to one of the starting points on the continuous-line block pattern and begin stitching.