Friday, May 13, 2016

Meet Ruby McKim

I found a post last night on a new fabric line coming out called Vintage 30's Ruby's Treasure by Barbara J. Eikmeier for Fabri-Quilt, Inc., in conjuction with McKim Studios.There is a nice article on Inspired by Fabric, the blog for Fabri-Quilt/Paintbrush Studios. I love this fabric line and will be purchasing a fat quarter bundle as soon as it arrives in stores. I'll let you know when I see it at major online retailers. (pictured here, (c) Fabri-Quilt, Inc.)

On another note, I've had several inquiries about getting the weekly block emailed to you. I was not planning to do that, but you can sign up for my email newsletter and you will get a reminder to visit Seacoast Quilter and see the new block. The blog post each week will have photos of the step by step construction of the block. A beginning quilter can start now and improve their skills as we move forward through the quilt and the blocks get more difficult (y-seams, paper piecing, applique, etc.) 

On a personal note, I am going home from a rehab stay today. It will take a couple months to get back to my usual strength but quick action saved me from a heart attack. If you ever have symptoms that you might think are a heart attack please call 911. They had a portable EKG unit, hooked me up, and took me away to the hospital. I didn't get the names of any of the emergency workers but thanks, whoever you are.

I'll be back Monday with my next #MayisforMakers pattern. I may even make it over the weekend.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

101 Patchwork Patterns - Quilt Block of the Week

This is the 100th anniversary of the first pattern, Quaddy Quiltie, published in 1916 by Ruby Short McKim. You can see much more about Ruby’s patterns on the website her granddaughter runs, They are also doing the original Flower Basket Quilt as a block of the month in conjunction with The Kansas City Star. The pattern is available on McKim Studios website, and 25+ shops are offering the program. A detailed list is available on the website.

ln honor of this important milestone, I have decided to do a sampler quilt using blocks from Ruby’s classic book, 101 Patchwork Patterns. I’ve created a medallion layout that utilizes 61 block patterns and 1 border pattern from the book.

Block of the Week Sampler Quilt

Here is a blank layout for the quilt I’ve designed. If you make the quilt just as I’ve drawn you will have a 92” x 92” queen sized bed quilt. I’m going to post a block pattern every Wednesday. We will start with the center next week and it is only squares and strips. They will get progressively harder from there. Some weeks I may offer a pieced and an appliqued block so you’ll have a choice in which blocks you use. You also have the choice of leaving off the pieced border which would yield an 84” x 84” quilt. 

(c) Mary Furber - Drawn with Electric Quilt 

I will show samples colored with traditional 30s fabric, and with batiks. I’m not sure what I’m going to make my quilt with. All my drawings are done in Electric Quilt, version 7. I’m able to import images of most any fabric to try it in the blocks. I guess it will be a surprise. Blocks will remain free until 30 days past the end of the program. At this time it will be packaged for sale.

I do hope you will join me on this quilting adventure.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May is for Makers

Well, I’m a week and a day late (and a dollar short as Dad always said) but I’m finally doing my first May is for Makers #mayisformakers. I planned to join in the fun last Monday but was unable. If you are a personal friend you saw my post on Facebook. To sum it up I lost my husband and had a heart attack on April 30. I got my laptop yesterday and spent all day today reading emails from the last 10 days. So that delayed my first post. Now, I can’t wait to get out of rehab and go home.

I did add my two published patterns to Craftsy and they can be purchased as a dpayment igital download there. You need to create an account but it is free. You can control the marketing emails you receive as well. They only accept Paypal for but that lets you use credit cards or your bank account to pay.  It's very easy and very secure. I've used it for 15 years and there has never been any security issues. Craftsy as a marketplace is unusual because it does not take a cut. If you purchase an $8.00 pattern I receive $8.00. I have three more designs in some stage of creation but would be interested in a couple testers? If you are local and want more information please contact me.

I just gotten a Brother Scan ‘n Cut CM650W (no affiliation, but see it here) the day before everything happened. I haven’t even tried it yet! But I plan to start making fabulous machine appliquéd quilts. So for my first May is for Makers pattern I purchased Whoo Knows? from a Craftsy seller, Fat Cat Patterns. I started browsing there because there is such a large selection of patterns for sale. Anyway, I have loved owls since my high school years in the 70’s. I had a pretty cool collection of ceramic owls back then. Wonder where they went? I didn’t take them away to college…
Image (c) Fat Cat Patterns

Whoo Knows? has lots of different owls that look like a good way to really learn how to use my Scan ‘n Cut. The pattern I downloaded has 70 pages and is listed as needing an intermediate level of quilting knowledge. The author, Sindy, says she designed it for her daughter, and I know owls are popular again. The instructions start with yardage requirements and some general hints. Then you get cutting and sewing instructions for the two different base blocks constructed to place the appliqué on. You can also cut the borders at this time, or wait till later.

A nice numbered layout of where each block and owl will go in the assembled quilt is next. The diagrams are both line drawings and color images. 65 pages for the individual owl appliqués with a block line drawing, color image, and individual templates are provided. The templates have lines with or without seam allowance so you can choose the style of appliqué you use. Every block has the total dimension, and how large to cut each of the appliqué pieces of fabric. The only thing I could possibly say is missing are grain lines on the curved piece templates to help those not that familiar with appliqué. I started sewing making clothing and grain lines are much more important there than when quilting. Your quilt will have all the layers stabilized by the final quilting stitches and if you use fusible web backed appliqué it won’t matter at all!

On the back of the pattern I found the designer’s website, What a fun collection of original designs. There are also two Blocks of the Month, already in progress. She has a whole page of free patterns so you can see how well her patterns are written before you purchase any. I just started reading the blog but will definitely return to browse farther back. She also has a Facebook page. I hope everyone knows that you don't need a Facebook account to look at public pages. Do take a look at Fat Cat Patterns.

Thanks so much for reading, and I'll be back soon with my next post soon,

Saturday, April 30, 2016

May is for Makers

I am busy getting ready to launch the 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt along next week, but I stumbled across something today that I want to share. Lindsey Rhodes from LRStitched has a post about purchasing patterns from independant designers. There are so many patterns available free on the
internet, and I so often design my own. I don't support other designers beyond following their blogs. I am going to commit to what Lindsey is suggesting and purchase one pattern every week for the month of May from an independent designer. There are so many wonderful people doing fabulous work with unlimited creativity.

As a beginning designer I only have two patterns for sale, at, and carried by one wholesale distributor, Checker Distributors. Some months I have no sales, others a dozen or more. I have several more patterns in the works but it takes a lot for a design to go from an Electric Quilt drawing, to instructions, test sewing, making a sample and writing the pattern. And whatever fabric you make the cover photo sample with is no longer available by the time the pattern is published. Anyway, pardon the preaching but I just wanted to say we should support independent designers and bloggers, and don't copy and share patterns.

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

End of the Art Deco Monogram

This is the last installment of Ruby Short McKim’s Art Deco Monogram Font. It was published the October 30th. Ruby says that X, Y and Z are quite lacking in popularity but that many collect the whole series. That way when a gift is needed you have any combination of initials possible. I have known people with a last name starting with Y and Z, but never X!

Click here to download a pdf version

For the complete font here is a list of links:
               A – D
               E – H
               I – L
               M – P
               Q – T
               U – W
Also, the posts are all tagged as Art Deco Font. 

The 101 Patchwork Blocks quilt that will start next Wednesday. I will share a couple layout options and an overview of the blocks between now and then. I am going to do mostly rotary cut blocks but will offer a choice of some of the applique blocks that can be included. I'm also planning on one or two pieced final borders. I expect this quilt will be queen sized if you make all the blocks. I'm having fun deciding which ones to start with!

Talk to you soon,


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Art Deco Monogram U-W

This installment of Ruby Short McKim’s Art Deco Monogram Font is U to W. There is only one more week to go for the full alphabet. Oddly, this one was published out of order in the original newspaper so I had to hunt for it. The paragraph is hard to read but it talks of painting a coffee can and decorating it with a monogram and maybe stripes for a Christmas gift. It was published the 25th of October.

Click here to download a pdf version.

I’m working on the 101 Patchwork Patterns blocks and a layout for the quilt. The schedule is one block per week, usually on Wednesday, from May through December. I plan to use traditional thirties fabrics for my sample but it would look great in anything. It will be a medallion style with narrow solid borders between rounds to make the measurements fit. I’ve also varied the size of the blocks in the rounds so that we aren’t cutting wonky sized pieces as much as possible.

I have an original catalog from McKim Studios from 1931-32. It is fascinating to look though it and see the quilt patterns, embroidery designs, and general sewing projects. Everything from stuffed toys to aprons and other clothing is included. Here is a page of pre-cut quilt kits – check out the prices!

Thanks for visiting,


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Presidential Quilts in Paducah

This is QuiltWeek in Paducah, Kentucky, sponsored by the American Quilter’s Society. The main AQS show is open Wednesday, April 20 thru Saturday, April 23 at the Paducah Convention Center. I have always wanted to go, and I will attend some year.

My friend and quilt historian, Sue Reich, has an exhibit of antique quilts titled Patriotic & Presidential Quilts at the Robert Cherry Civic Center in Paducah. Also on display is the Presidential Quilt Project, consisting of 43 wall quilts depicting our presidents. Each was made by a volunteer using fabrics and patterns appropriate to the time period of the president. I made George H. W. Bush. This is as close as I’ll ever be to having a quilt hanging at Paducah! For more information visit the Paducah Rotary Club.

The collection is traveling to local museums and historical societies around the county until December 2017. They will be on display at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, from May 17 thru September 4. Sue has written a book, Quilts Presidential and Patriotic, that is available from Sue directly or through other booksellers. I highly recommend it.

This is my George H. W. Bush quilt, made for the Presidential Quilt Project. I used photos of things important to him, rather than strictly applicable to his time as president. During his acceptance speech for the presidential nomination in 1988 he compared America's clubs and volunteer organizations to "a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky." The thousand points of light became a regular theme during his presidency and is represented by the stars containing the seals of Yale University, Vice President, President and Director of the CIA.

I'll be posting the next part of the Ruby Short McKim monogram font tomorrow. Have a great day.