Friday, January 23, 2015

And the Winner Is...

... Julie from Texas!

Julie had two colorways of Island Batik fabric to pick from; she chose pink and purple.

Have fun with your prize, Julie! Thank you all for joining the Sock Hop blog hop, and thank you Island Batik for providing the wonderful fabrics!

Giveaway to be given away tonight

     Thank you for participating in the Sock Hop. I hope you will hop on over to my friend Nan's blog for her pattern today. Nan has created a pattern for a small kennel quilt for shelter animals- please see The Quilt Pattern Magazine for more information.
    By the way, the kennel quilts are the same size as my placemats, so by adding batting, you can turn "Besties" into a kennel quilt.
    Because I have to work today, the winner will be announced this evening.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Island Batik Sock Hop pattern ... and a giveaway!


Friendship Star is one of those super-simple blocks every quilter should know how to make. Here, we are making a set of four placemats from fat quarters of Island Batik's gorgeous "Full Bloom" line of fabrics. Placemats measure 12" x 18". You will want to keep two for yourself and give two to your BFF.  Here's how to make them. And at the end of the pattern I tell how you can win some fat quarters of your very own!

                                                "BESTIES" Friendship Star Placemats

Materials and supplies

Four green fat quarters for background
One gold fat quarter for stars and contrasting strip
One red fat quarter for stars and contrasting strip
One yard of fabric for backing
Neutral color all-purpose thread
Pencil or water soluble fabric marker


Please cut fabrics in order listed. You will have plenty of leftovers for coordinating mug mats or to save in your scrap stash. When I refer to WOF (width of fabric) you are cutting across the wider dimension (approx. 22") of your fat quarter.

Label your background fabrics B1, B2, B3 and B4. Label your star fabrics S1 and S2.

From EACH B fabric:

1. Cut one strip 5" x WOF. Cut two 5" squares from this strip
2. Cut one strip 4 ½" x WOF. Cut four 4 ½" squares from this strip.
3. Cut two strips each 2 ½" x WOF. Trim each strip to 2 ½" x 12 ½".

From EACH S fabric:

1. Cut one strip 5" x WOF. Cut two 5" squares from this strip
2. Cut two strips 4 ½" x WOF. From the first strip cut one 4 ½" square and three 1 ½" x  
    12 ½" strips.  From the second strip cut one 4 ½" square and one 1 ½" x 12 ½" strip

Sort fabrics into piles for each placemat.

Pile 1: All B1 pieces, two S1 5" squares, one S2 4 ½" square, and two S2 1 ½" x 12 ½" strips.

Pile 2: All B2 pieces. All S pieces the same as Pile 1.

Pile 3: All B3 pieces, two S2 5" squares, one S1 4 ½" square, and two S1 1 ½" x 12 ½" strips.

Pile 4: All B4 pieces, all S pieces the same as Pile 3.

Starting with Pile 1, make placemats as follows:


1. Layer 5" B and S squares, right sides together. Draw a diagonal line as shown (solid line on illustration). Stitch ¼" from each side of the drawn line (dashed lines on illustration). Cut along drawn line. Press to set, press seams toward darker fabric. Square up to 4 ½" square.


2. Stitch pieces into rows as shown. Take care to position your star points so they "spin" in one direction. Press seams to set, then press seam allowances in top and bottom rows towards the center. Press seams in middle row out.

3. Sew rows together. Press seams to set, then press seams in one direction.

4. Sew a 2 ½" S strip to right and left side of block. Press seams to set, then press toward outside of placemat.

5. Sew a 1 ½" B strip to right and left side of placemat. Press seams to set, then sew toward outside of placemat.

Repeat for remaining three piles of fabric.

Place lining fabric right side up on table. Lay placemats, right side down, on top of lining fabric. Carefully rotary cut lining even with placemat. Pin layers together.

Stitch ¼" around edges of placemat, leaving a 4" opening. Trim corners and turn right side out. Press. Topstitch close to edge, enclosing open edges as you stitch.


How to win a packet of four Island Batik fat quarters- each will give you one chance, doing all three will give you three chances. 

Follow this blog, if you do not already do so.
Follow Six Gables Designs on Facebook, if you do not already do so.  
If you have a funny story about you and your BFF, share it in the comments below. 


Where's Barbara

     2015 is shaping up to be an incredible year, if incredible can be defined as "I'm so flippin' busy I don't know whether I'm coming or going, but I'm sure having a blast doing it."
     This is one of those "alternate years", when all the quilt shows where I vend are scrunched together into a few hectic weeks in the fall. This year I also happen to have a number of guild events all scrunched together in the late winter/ early spring.

Schedule for first four months of 2015:
Jan. 21, Clamshell Quilters, Waterford, CT, vending night
Mar. 2, Shoreline Quilters, Branford, CT, trunk show/lecture
Mar. 21, Ninigret Quilters, Westerly, RI, workshop, Sixty Degrees of Separation
April 13, Linsey Woolsey Quilt Guild, Attleboro Falls, MA, trunk show/lecture
April 20, Silver City Quilt Guild, Taunton, MA, trunk show/lecture

     Tonight is my first "event" of the year. I'm heading out to vending night at Clamshell Quilters in nearby Waterford, CT. I had hoped to finish a new bag pattern in time for this event, but when it became obvious it just wasn't going to happen, I decided I could wait to launch it at my next trunk show in March. So... Shoreline Quilters of Branford, CT, you will be the first to see this up close and personal. Put your thinking caps on, because when I post the finished pieces in the near future, I will be having a contest - the "Naming Barb's New Bag Pattern Contest". Grand prize to be announced.

     Tonight is meatloaf and roasted veggies night- one of my standbys for nights when we won't be eating together. I take a large baking dish (roasting pan for more than a few people) and drizzle in a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a liberal sprinkle of your favorite dried herb blend (Italian or Greek seasoning, Herbes de Province, etc.). Cut potatoes and carrots in chunks (I don't peel my potatoes, but I DO peel the carrots); If your carrots are fat, cut your chunks in half lengthwise. Dump in the pan, mix, and push to the two ends of your pan. Make your favorite meatloaf recipe (beef, turkey, whatever) in form into a loaf in the middle of the pan. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, turn potatoes and carrots, and continue cooking until done (about another 20 minutes). Serve with a green salad.

     The lovely fat quarters that have been taunting me for nigh onto a year are finally being put to use in a quilt that is a mashup of traditional and modern aesthetics. No sneak preview yet- this will take me a long time to make. I'm waiting for a snowday or ten when I can stay home from work and stitch to my hearts content. I'm participating in Beth Helfter's Drop and Give Me Twenty this year. If I commit to twenty minutes a day during February, I just may make some headway on this. Sadly, these gorgeous fabrics have been discontinued, but if you google "Sabine Rinehart Magic Garden" you will see photos of these fabrics.

     Sunday night is my Third Annual Superbowl Sunday Craft-a-Thon. For those of you who have never participated in this Facebook event, let me explain. You have my permission to spend a few hours doing something crafty. You can quilt, knit, bake... even write books if that's your thing. During the evening we post pictures, share our progress, and have a lot of fun. I had lots of prizes during my fall Craft-a-Thon; this one will have a prize or two, but I'm keeping mum about them until they are awarded. Come join us.

     Tomorrow is "my" day on the Island Batik blog hop (or as it is called, "Sock Hop"). It's the first time I've shared a pattern on my blog- I wanted something quick and easy that could be made by stitchers of all levels. So...come back tomorrow for my pattern "Besties".