— Here’s the perfect gift for a bright, shiny new baby, star of the soccer team or spelling bee or a budding musician! There’s bound to be a star under every roof, don’t you think? Maybe “Our Shining Star” can be the guiding light for a special friend, a light in the window for the holidays or a sweet blessing on a new marriage or home. For any purpose, our big, bold star will make a big, bold statement!
— The “Fast Track Runner” will get you on the fast track to completing gifts and decorations for any occasion! Simple stripes are always stylish. Use your favorite prints for that extra pizazz! The best part of this speedy project is that the quilting is completed along the way. Sew the strips together and bind — you’ll cross the finish line in record time!
— Get ready to celebrate those crisp, windy days the fall season brings with “Blown Away!” Our directions are for a pillow, but it has many more possibilities — perhaps a simple, small wallhanging. Use clean solids, sweet traditionals or a mix of bold prints. It will make a graphic and fun addition to any room setting!
— “Whatever the season” has so many possibilities! Our version is done in greens and reds with a gray border — perfect for December or July if you are doing a Christmas in July promotion. Of course, pinwheels are playful the year round, so make a second sample in red, white and blue or other summery seasonal colors. Then work with fall or winter colors later in the year as this FREE-to-use pattern works “whatever the season!”
— It’s a snap to make a scrappy “trip around the world” quilt with this clever technique originally developed by Eleanor Burns and “scrappified” by Bonnie Hunter. Use 2-1/2″ strips: sew, cut, unsew, sew and repeat. “What a trip!” is made up of four quadrants and uses 40 strips. No sense packing light here — the greater the variety in the scraps the more dynamic the effect!
— Like a blank canvas this easy quilt is just waiting for you to “fill in the blanks.” Pick a color “story” — make it subtle in hue and value, or use the whole paintbox at once. The large background is begging to be filled with fancy quilting as a framework for your center of interest.
— The Curated Collection is an easy quilt design where you can showcase your own unique curated collection of fabrics. Cut five-inch squares of every fabric next year and sell a monthly or an entire year’s collection. The Curated Collection will look more complex with its finished small pieces and be a delightful mix of fabrics — unlike any other!
— Gingham check is always a classic! “French Bistro” is an easy table mat with marketing potential! Why not host a French-themed event? It will be great for your holiday, Valentine and summer displays and sales. Make it in traditional red and white, or try blue and white, black and white or green and white. The key is coordinating the two values. With only 3/4 of a yard each of four fabrics — it’s even easy to kit!
— “A Modern Twist” is a minimalist twist on the traditional “orange peel” or “pumpkin seed” quilt block. The design is clean and fresh! A great pattern to test the “modern” quilt movement in your shop. Use solids, as our sample shows, or traditional reproductions or bright, busy prints for the leaves. Perfect for wall art and suggestions for a larger size are included.
— Hexagons seem to be everywhere these days! “The Go and Sew Mini” is just what you need to get your customers started with a portable, yet manageable project! We used solids, but any prints will work. A perfect pattern to utilize a Sizzix® cutter.
– “The Pretty Pinkeeper” is just that — “pretty!” Pincushions are always popular. There is something endearing about them. This pattern will be perfect for a spring display. Decide on a theme and make several samples.
— For a nursery, a “lovey” or even a living room, “Everest the Elephant” will bring a smile to everyone’s face! Make your sample of “Everest” in sweet baby colors, luscious bo-ho colors or vivid solids. He is sure to charm everyone.
— “The No-Sew Cone” is a super-easy holiday ornament (for any holiday!) with lots of decorative potential! Make up a basic kit with squares of cardboard and fabric. Hold an all-day, drop-in-and-out class and offer a variety of trims. Make your own samples for shop display. Fill the bottom with a bit of stuffing and top it with notions or gift cards.
— Inspired by beautiful braided French bread – the “French Bread” tablerunner is super easy and fast to construct. Use a bundle of pre-cut 2-1/2-inch strips and you can make more than one! Great for holiday gifts or any season of the year.
— Keeping to something more traditional this time, our FREE-to-use pattern “Petit Point” can be created with so many looks. Our example uses good basic solids and even plays with transparency in color and value. You can definitely use prints — reproductions would be lovely — but the background could be something less busy. Or, if you do make the background a bolder print, you’ll really need to step up the intensity of the block colors! Make it work! We’ve given directions for a smaller work with only nine blocks, but on the computer screen this looks really great with five rows of five blocks each. You and your customer can have fun with it. What about just one block for a pillow?
— You will have “beaucoup” fun making this lively field of “beaucoup” happy flowers! Be ready to hang loose, though, because the process is loose — yet, you can do no wrong! Read the “basic goals,” “construction guidelines” and the “embellishment variations” before you embark on this sewing journey! Then relax and enjoy the process!
— “Season’s Star” is a quilt pattern for all seasons! Make it now, make it later — “Season’s Star” makes a perfect seasonal tabletopper or wallhanging. Use pastels for spring, patriotic for summer, golds and greens for fall, red and green for the holidays and cool blues for winter. It’s large enough for a quick baby quilt in pinks or blues. Or, how about making it in your favorite school colors? Prints or solids? Oh, the possibilities!
— “Buttonart” can be made using the new ImaginisceX “i-top™ Brad & Button Maker Tool,” old-style button blanks or simply by gathering a circle of fabric around a button. Covering buttons is addicting and what a good way to make art and an historical record of your stash! The i-top is perfect for Saturday demos! Cover a bunch of buttons and display them in a bowl on the counter to generate more interest. It’s hard not to play with them. For a class, hold a button swap before making “Buttonart.” Buttons are very popular right now in all kinds of crafting — so do a little cross-pollinating on your own!
— During my visit to southern France with French General in addition to all the other activities, we also did a little embroidery. A lot of the vintage French linens have the owner’s initials embroidered someplace on the item usually in red thread. I enjoyed this, and I know embroidery stitching is popular everywhere, so it seemed appropriate to give you an embroidery project as this issue’s FREE-to-use pattern. And, what else for the design, but French lavender gently blowing in the breeze stitched on a small pincushion.
The base fabric for my sample is Weeks Dye Works 35-count linen in the color called “linen.” The over-dyed thread is also Weeks Dye Works in “Blue Bonnet 2339” and “Bayberry 2166.” I loved using the Morgan 7-inch No-slip Hoop as it really did hold the linen taut. The design could be worked on hand or guest towels. And of course, you can vary the kind of thread and base fabric. How about using silk ribbon or linen thread and wool or velvet?
— Premature births account for between 8 and 10 percent of all pregnancies. Since Quilts for Kids (see page 36 of this issue) accepts small — 36-inch square — quilts, “Little Bright Star Baby Quilt” is perfect to get you started collecting and giving to the Quilts for Kids program. Our sample is made from Wilmington Prints “Baby’s First Friends” line. Simple and easy — it would also make a good wallhanging or tabletopper. Please note: there is a change to the size of Piece B in this quilt. It should be 2-1/2”x2-1/2” rather than 2-7/8”x2-7/8”. E-mail info@AmericanQuiltRetailer.com for a corrected PDF file.
— Here’s a fun, unexpected thing to do with pre-cut strips! Weave them! There’s lots of potential in this FREE-to-use pattern. Sell your pre-cuts or cut your own, and kit them. Vary the size of the strips if you like. Make the piece in the size given, or teach or demo the technique on a small placemat, then give your customers this pattern for the larger piece. Eliminate the “base fabric” and the weaving will be open-aired. Use a fusible “base fabric” (face fusible side up) and weave it more tightly eliminating the 1/4-inch space between strips. Then fuse the woven layer to the base. You will still add borders and backing, but this eliminates the need to sew or quilt the strips. Use a piece of Roc-Lon® Multi-use Fabric as the base. Again, eliminate the 1/4-inch space. After weaving this version, use Mod Podge® to seal and stiffen the piece, and you’ll have a floor cloth.
— Buttons are big right now – so vintage, so nostalgic and so fun to collect. These fabulous button flowers are easy to make and pretty to look at! They make a great no-sew project. Want something else vintage or retro? Yes, you guessed it – mushrooms are back! We have offered two sizes with lots of fabric suggestions – both are cute and friendly and will work well with cooking and homemaking themes.
— You can make our peaceful hen out of wool and stuff her, or create a quilt block for a patched and fat fowl. Let your creativity take wing! Susan’s blog
will give you great display and class ideas.
— Put holes in those stashes with “Holy Snowballs!” Look how pretty our sample looks in today’s newest fabrics from Quilt Market. There are 31 different fabric lines represented — aren’t mixed up scrap quilts the best! You could even put together a starter kit using older fabrics to put some holes in your dated inventory before year’s end. Then help your customers find colors and patterns to complement your selections. This might be a good chance for some basic color theory instruction and gaining fabric selection confidence.
— One pattern – two ways! This issue’s FREE-to-use pattern gives you several options. “Fruit Cocktail” and “Apple Tree” are the same pattern, but with two different names and descriptions. Download one or download them both. You decide how you want to market it! Use bright fabrics for “Fruit Cocktail” and use traditional fabrics for “Apple Tree.” Try the “bonus” holly-shaped leaf and holiday fabrics for a more festive look.
— Zig-zags and rick rack are fun and energetic! Up one minute, down the next — just like the stock market! They’re a big throw-back to the ’60s. The “Speedbumps” quilt, shown on the cover of Issue 88 is a 50-by-58-inch zig-zag project made up in coordinated prints. It takes 13 cuts, 1/3-yard each, plus borders (easy to kit!). Judy Martin’s “Point Trimmer” tool, available from Brewer Quilting and Sewing Supplies and other distributors, will make sewing the large triangles together easier, although the top can be constructed without the tool.
— “Ship Shape,” is intended to be foundation-pieced, which is an easy way to precisely construct quilt blocks and seems to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity. This easy pattern will give you the opportunity to teach your customers a new technique. Foundation piecing also lends itself to add-on sales. There are special foundation papers, marking tools, and the Add-a-Quarter™ ruler by CM Designs, Inc. is a must. Our sample is made scrappy, but of course “Ship Shape” will look great in any color combination. How about blue and yellow, or red and blue ships on white or pale blue seas? Make the nine blocks identical, or a mix of your color combination. It’s an easy, breezy pattern for calm summer days.
— “Free as a breeze,” this issue’s FREE-to-use pattern, is a lap quilt designed to be made with “layer cakes” and “charm packs.” You can purchase these pre-cut, or cut 10-inch and 5-inch squares from your own fabric inventory. It’s a perfect opportunity to finish up older bolts! “Free as a breeze” will look good in just three fabrics, like our sample above made of Kona Bay’s “Kanji Tonals,” Robert Kaufman’s “Mama’s Feedsacks Dots” and Robert Kaufman’s “Citronella.” However, you can get the same effect using light and dark scraps with one extra color for “pop.”
— Like our popular “What’s up, cupcake?,” the FREE-to-use pattern in Issue 82, there are many ways you can use this issue’s “Flutter by Me.” Use the block to teach embellishment skills. Host a challenge for the most beautiful butterfly. The butterfly shape could also work well as an applique on a purse, tote or jacket. Our sample is made of fabrics from Robert Kaufman, Quilting Treasures, Henry Glass and Wilmington Prints.
— It’s always the right time to plan ahead. Even though your shop is full of pumpkins and there’s a holiday display up front, we want you to be ready for the next big holiday — Valentine’s Day. The FREE-to-use “Soft-Hearted” pillow pattern is an easy one for you to sew and display. Our sample, which “Magic” is so comfortably snoozing on, uses three fabrics (two fat quarters and one regular quarter) from Joanna Figueroa’s Fig Tree Quilts “Gypsy Rose” line for Moda. The pillow is so inviting (it took Magic all of five minutes to discover it), and will look beautiful in almost any fabric from big romantic florals to quaint small prints. Add one to your Valentine display. Better yet — add a whole bunch of these pretty pillows to your Valentine display. Grouping many of one object is more impressive than, in this case, one “lonely heart.” The pattern includes ideas for more looks and techniques. It doesn’t need to be simple-hearted. So take the basic framework and run with it.
— Your customers can use up their stash with this issue’s FREE-to-use pattern “Waste Knot.” It can be very scrappy (mixing all colors in every block), planned scrappy (one color randomly placed in each block) or simply in two coordinating traditional fabrics like our sample above. Here, the light fabric is from Marsha McCloskey for Clothworks and the dark fabric is from Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics. There are even instructions for making the block really look knotted. The knot pieces are all 2-1/2 inches wide, so the pattern can be cut from Moda’s Jelly Rolls.
— Join the cupcake celebration with “What’s up, cupcake?” our cute cupcake block. Thanks to both Roseann Kermes (rosebudscottage.typepad.com) and Pat Sloan (patsloan.typepad.com) for our block idea. They make quite a creative team! “Crazy for Cupcakes” by Roseann, on page 20 of Issue 82, has more ideas on how to use this block. Our sample is constructed of fabrics from Clothworks™, Benartex, Inc., Moda and Michael Miller Fabrics.
— Ah, The Mighty Tote — reduce plastic and save the world! Have fun with this one. The Mighty Tote is easy to make. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to construct. Suggest making matching sets of three or four totes for all kinds of shopping needs. You could make kits, but the cutting is pretty elementary. Let everyone individualize with their own fabric choices. How about a simple, short class? You could teach machine quilting on these smallish pieces using simple or even more complex designs. For display, fill your Mighty Totes with bundles of fat quarters or piles of quilts as shown in the photo above. The bag is best when stuffed full. Highlight embellishment books, products and techniques. Can you picture it scattered (or covered!) with yo-yo flowers and buttons? The American Quilt Retailer
sample is made of two fabrics by Clothworks. The stripe is “Samba” by Sue Zipkin, and the lining is a bright orange from “Belle Fleur” by Christine Graf.
— Create a model of “Make Momma Happy!” and set up a display specifically for Mother’s Day. Designed for just two contrasting fabrics, the look is clean and “happy!” Cover your display table with a gingham or checked fabric. Find a rectangular planter and paint a coordinating checkerboard design on the outside. Plant with white flowers (artificial is okay, if you like). Kit your fabrics and tie with strips of gingham fabric or ribbon. Maybe you could even find and paint those cute wooden berry baskets for kit packaging. Don’t want to applique? Construct the background and borders, and then embroider the flowers with white perle cotton. Or, embroider the leaves, make yo-yo flowers and use buttons for the “bubble” flourishes.
— This pretty wallhanging showcases, with a gentle Asian sense of design, a lovely “hana” or “spring blossom.” You can create your sample, or kits in exquisite Asian-influenced fabrics, make it in more traditional patterns. The American Quilt Retailer
sample is made in a combination of both looks. Look to World Market for display props. A blue and white rice bowl filled with buttons or spools of coordinating thread (or fortune cookies!), along with chopsticks and colorful tea bags will set the tone. A rattan or reed window shade would make a nice backdrop. Lantern Moon
, along with some really interesting baskets, has some elegant quilt hangers that may just fit this quilt. If you display the quilt hanging on one, the hangers will sell.