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Week 8- January 15, 2018- Block of the Week- Churn Dash

Block of the week is back and this week’s block is a favorite among quilters. It is the churn dash.

Churn Dash Block
Churn Dash Block

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It originated in the early 1800’s. It is called churn dash as the outside rounded corners look like the outside of a butter churn

and the center square looks like the wooden dash that went into the center of the churn to make the butter by pounding the dash

up and down in the churn. It is a favorite among quilters as it is fairly easy, using only a square, rectangles and triangles.

It makes a beautiful quilt.

Churn Dash Quilt
Churn Dash Quilt

Accuquilt makes it super easy to make this block with their 9″ Churn Dash die.

Accuquilt Churn Dash
Accuquilt Churn Dash

 

 

 

 

 

 

The churn dash pattern has many, many different names and variations of construction, such as the Shoo Fly and Double Monkey Wrench.

Let’s take a look at how some quilters have put a modern spin on a churn dash quilt.

It could be a red and white quilt as was done by Amy Smart.

Red White Churn Dash Quilt
Red White Churn Dash Quilt

Or a blue and white as created by Material Girl Quilts

Blue White Churn Dash Quilt
Blue White Churn Dash Quilt

 

 

 

This quilt is absolutely gorgeous turned on point.

On Point Churn Dash
On Point Churn Dash by Pat Speth.

How about something big and bold like this coloring of the quilt?

Bold Churn Dash
Bold Churn Dash

You can also piece some of the shapes in the block for a modern effect, like this colorful 4-patch center and pieced rectangles in Nut by The Happy Zombie.

 

 

 

 

or add flying geese to the rectangles as was done by Blue Ridge Girl in this modern interpretation of the churn dash block.

Flying Geese Churn Dash
Flying Geese Churn Dash

Finally, you could alternate the churn dash with another block

such as the 9-patch for a very striking and modern quilt created by Mary Manson or

 

make the block wonky like this one made by Jennifer Dick of 42 Quilts.

Wonky Churn
Wonky Churn

 

 

 

 

I hope this has inspired you to try some new things for putting a modern spin on the old time favorite churn dash block.

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Happy 2018!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Bear wishes everyone a Happy New Year! It’s going to be an exciting new year, with new looks and exciting new patterns.

Blue Bear
Blue Bear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I am in a catoonish image with my new look. Going for a more artsy.

 

Here are two of Blue Bear’s latest patterns. They are sure to warm up any home during this cold and brutal winter.

Pineapple Welcome Quilt
Pineapple Welcome Quilt
Bright Hope Quilt Pattern
Bright Hope Quilt Pattern
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Drumroll Please! Announcing the Grand Champion Prize Winner of the Accuquilt Block Design Contest.

I entered several blocks in the 2017 Accuquilt Block Design Contest. By popular vote, these two entries were the most popular.

Here were my other entries:

 

 

But the Grand Champion was my Purple Rose. It will be unveiled on the billboard outside the Accuquilt headquarters in Interstate 80 for an entire year. I am in the process of designing a quilt and a pattern for this block, which will be available in our shop.

 

I also entered this contest in 2016 and here were my entries from that year.

 

But the one that won Fan Favorite was Not Your Grandmother’s Flower Garden a.k.a. What Happens When Grandpa Tells Grandma No More Trips to the Fabric Store.It was designed with the Accuquilt Dresden Plate Die and Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

As a result of winning Fan Favorite, I was honored with a trip to Julien California to spend a week with Eleanor Burns, from Quilt in a Day, at her Fall quilt retreat at Camp Cedar Glen in the mountains. It was a wonderful time for which I am forever grateful.

Here are some photos from that trip. 

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Greek Isles Modern Quilt

For the 2017 Blogger’s Quilt Festival, I thought I would share Blue Bear’s most popular pattern, Greek Isles Modern. 

This pattern is much easier than it looks. It is made with 2.5″ strips of white and 2.5″ strips of light, medium and dark batiks, that you may obtain from jelly rolls, or cut on your 2.5″ strip die with your Accuquilt Go! Cutter. The blocks are all constructed the same way, and placement is what determines the pattern. At 70 x 90,” it is the perfect quilt to curl up with on the couch for binge watching your favorite Netflix shows.

Here is a picture of Kim at Keep Me in Stitches in Largo, Florida, quilting this beauty; followed by a close up of her fantastic quilting.

 

Here are several more photos of the quilt out and about.

 

 

I have taught this class several times and here are some of my students interpretations of the quilt. Click on the links for short videos. They did a fantastic job!

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If you would like to purchase this pattern, it is available on our website here, www.bluebearquilts.com, or on Craftsy here- https://www.craftsy.com/quilting/patterns/greek-isles-modern-quilt/490532

Greek Isles Modern Quilt Cover

Sharing at the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy’s Creative Side.

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Quiltcon 2017

Since becoming a certified Quilt in a Day instructor things have gotten very busy with the trip to California with Quilt in a Day, teaching quilt classes, the holidays, family weddings, colds caught at family weddings and a trip to Quiltcon. Quiltcon 2017, in Savannah, was very exciting as I went exploring to learn all about the world of modern quilting. Modern quilters are just as passionate about their craft as traditional quilters, and they love to share their thoughts and ideas with other quilters. I was trying to get a definition for modern quilting and what I came up with was use of lots of solid colors, like Kona Cottons, lots of negative space for beautiful quilting, think Angela Waters, quilts are more utilitarian, taking traditional blocks and incorporating them into modern quilts or blowing the traditional blocks up to a much larger size so there is more negative space for quilting. Here are some photos of the exquisite work that I saw in Savannah. I hope you enjoy!

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Quilting Tale of Love- Part two

Back in March, I relayed a post From Suzan Ellis of Accuquilt regarding a Rob Peter to Pay Paul Quilt love story. It was part 1. Dying to know the rest of the story, I called her and said that fans were anxiously awaiting the outcome. She has posted the conclusion to the love story and you don’t want to miss it.

Here is a picture of the quilt.

Rob Peter to Pay Paul Quilt
Rob Peter to Pay Paul Quilt

 

Here is the link to the rest of the story. https://www.accuquilt.com/blog/uncategorized/the-quilt-in-the-attic-part-2/

Accuquilt has a die to help you make this quilt with ease. I Want to make one of these quilts now. Enjoy!

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Week 7- September 26, 2016- Block of the Week- Log Cabin- Part 2

As we discussed in Part 1 last week, this is a excellent block for beginning quilters to learn how to quilt. It is the pattern that I used when I was first learning to quilt. The most recommended book to make this pattern is “Make a Quilt in a Day- Log Cabin Pattern” by Eleanor Burns. So many people, including me, have used this book to make their first quilt. Thus, Quilt in a Day and Eleanor Burns are endeared to many quilter’s. Eleanor was a school teacher and her patterns are clearly written and easy to follow. The book is pictured in the photo below.

 

Quilt in a Day Log Cabin Pattern
Log Cabin Pattern

One helpful tool that the book contains is a paste-up sheet, where you lay out all of your fabric samples to see if you have a good mixture of lights and darks. An additional trick that I learned was to photocopy this sheet with the fabrics on it as it will highlight the contrasting tonal values for you. Here is a photo of the paste-up sheet that I  did for my first quilt and a photo of it photocopied. To obtain the desired pattern effects, you want a strong contrast between the lights and darks. Remember this was my first quilt and I now see that I could have done a better job of making a stronger contrast between the lights and darks. Today, I  would have made the pink center square darker and the two outer light colors lighter. This palette with the floral fabrics created a very country look and today I would most likely shy away from that as well. This quilt pattern is also good for a beginner as you can quilt it yourself by quilting straight stitches in the ditch.

Color Paste-up sheet
Color Paste-up sheet
Copier Paste-up sheet
Copier Paste-up sheet

 

This pattern is very versatile and can result is many different looks, depending on how you rotate the blocks. Let’s take a look at the traditional quilt from last week laid out 8 different ways. Depending on the fabrics you use and the layout, this traditional pattern can take on a modern look. I think that Whirligig and Navajo have a more modern spin to them.

Barn Raising Layout
Barn Raising Layout
Whirligig Layout
Whirligig Layout
Cross Hatch Layout
Cross Hatch Layout
Positive/Negative Layout
Positive/Negative Layout
Stained Glass Layout
Stained Glass Layout
Fields and Furrows Layout
Fields and Furrows Layout
Navajo Layout
Navajo Layout
Dark with Light Layout
Dark with Light Layout

My favorite is “Positive/Negative” as I love how the lights and darks create a a dimensional feel to the pattern. Which one is your favorite?

Positive/Negative Layout
Positive/Negative Layout

Next week, we will look at the Wild Geese Block which can create some fun modern patterns.

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Week 6- September 19, 2016- Block of the Week- Log Cabin- Part 1

Today we are going to look at the log cabin block. This is the quintessential beginner quilt block because it is so easy. All you have to do is sew strips together and cut various sized units. Those units keep getting sewn to another strip and then cut again. Here is what the block traditionally looks like.

Log Cabin Block
Log Cabin Block

You will note that there is a red center with light fabrics on the left side and dark fabrics on the right side. The red center is thought to be the fireplace of the cabin, and the light side is the sun shining on the cabin, or goodness, and the dark side is thought to be shadows on the house, or sadness. Sometimes this quilt is called Sunshine and Shadows depending on how the blocks are arranged. The next photo shows how this quilt is traditionally laid out.

Traditional Log Cabin Quilt
Traditional Log Cabin Quilt

Here is an excellent video animation by Judit Hajdu showing how to strip piece this quilt. https://youtu.be/ZayIGmzkMmo

Next week will feature part 2 on the log cabin block and showcase how many different quilts one can create depending on how the blocks are arranged.

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Week 5-Block of the Week- September 12, 2016- God’s Eye Block

There are many blocks which have names related to things or events in the Bible. Today’s block, God’s Eye, would be one of the them.

God's Eye Block
God’s Eye Block

Others would be Jacob’s Ladder, Crown of Thorns, Joseph’s Coat, Ruins of Jericho, Star of Bethlehem and many others. Quilts with Biblical names can be reassuring to those that are devoted to God and quilts have often been used as burial shrouds and it is comforting to families to have their loved one wrapped in a quilt with a Biblical theme. Many other quilt blocks with a square eye in the middle have been called “God’s Eye.” The yarn “God’s Eye” is a popular kids craft where two sticks make a cross and then different colored yarns are wrapped around the sticks concentrically.

 

The block is made up of a 4 x 4 grid, with smaller 4 x 4 grids contained therein. The smaller grids are composed with squares and half square triangles. Although there are many pieces in this block (88), it would still be a fairly easy block for a beginning quilter. This block is usually composed with four colors, 2 lights and 2 darks. Below is an example of  a 16 block quilt made up of God’s Eye blocks.

God's Eye Quilt
God’s Eye Quilt

 

This quilt can be very striking when made from scrappy fabrics, such as the quilt below.

God's Eye Scrappy Quilt
God’s Eye Scrappy Quilt

 

Stay tuned for next week’s block, which will be the Log Cabin, a great block for a beginner to learn to quilt.

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Quilt Block of the Week- August 29, 2016

Week 3- August 29, 2016

Double Nine Patch

Double Nine Patch Block
Double Nine Patch Block

In order to create a double nine patch, we need to know what a nine patch is first. it is a block that contains a 3 x 3 grid. Normally there is a combination of light and dark fabrics. Here is an example of the basic nine patch block.

Basic Nine Patch Block
Basic Nine Patch Block

Notice how there are nine “patches” that are the same size. There is a combination of light yellow with the dark navy blue. The yellow is forming a cross and the navy is forming an “x” in the middle. All of these patches can be anywise, but typically they are divisible by 3, so the overall block size is usually 6, 9 or 12 inches. This block is popular with beginning quilters as it involves straight sewing and matching of a couple of seams. It is also an easy block to select color fabrics as you only need two, consisting of a light and dark. This block also makes a great scrap quilt as each of the navy squares in the example could be a different piece of fabric. This is also an easy jelly roll quilt as to contract the blocks, you sew 2.5″ strips of dark, light, dark together and strips of light, dark, light together and then cut them at 2.5″ intervals. Then you take two of the dark, light, dark units and piece them together with a light, dark, light unit in the middle. Here is what a quilt would look like using this block, and then using the block alternating with plain navy squares.

basic nine patch quilt
Basic Nine Patch Quilt

 

Variation Nine Patch Quilt
Variation Nine Patch Quilt

Continue reading Quilt Block of the Week- August 29, 2016