May 2, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 13 Blog Tour

It's that time again for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks issue! I've been involved in this magazine for a long time now. I believe this is my 5th block! It's a fun, fun magazine full of inspiration from a lot of talented designers and vol. 13 is just as good! If you are new to 42 Quilts, please take a minute to look around. I am the author of 5 books from very traditional to marginally modern, which is the style I'm most comfortable working in (right now, anyhow!). I have a great following on FB, so be sure to like me there and you can follow me on IG @jeniferdick (note there is one "n" in my name).

My block is named Four of a Kind. It's not hard to figure out why! I actually designed the single heart a long time ago and it has been waiting patiently for the right project to go into! I decided to make it into a group of 4 - 6" units rather than just on large 12" block. It's paper pieced because of the wonky nature of it - I'd rather paper piece than work with templates any day of the week!

Below is my EQ rendition of the block. I like to use EQ to experiment with color. As most quilters are, I'm very visual. I need to actually see the colors to know if I'm going to like them or not. For some reason, imagining them in my mind doesn't work well for me - I'm often left feeling like the version in my head is better than what I actually make! So if I can see it ahead of time, I know I'll love it!

Four of a Kind for Quiltmaker's 100 Block vol. 13 - EQ version

Once I drew the block - in this case the group of 4 hearts, I start clicking on colors. Sometimes I stick to complementary colors (orange/blue, green/red, purple/yellow) and sometimes I go with warms and cools (red/orange/yellow being warms and blue/green/purple being cools). And sometimes I go random to see what unexpected combinations pop up that are pleasing. This time I decided to keep the heart in the traditional red as a starting point. My usual inclination is to go the unexpected route - making the heart in a color other than red - the unexpected. But, for some reason, this time I was feeling traditional!

Once that decision was made, I moved on to the background colors. Since the red, a warm color, is the dominant, I decided to go with cool colors in the background. Being that there are 3 cool colors - blue, green and purple (not counting indigo - I never know where to put indigo!), I had to decide which color to double up on.

Rejected Color Option

Of course, my go-to color is blue! But this just didn't look quite right to me. It seems a bit bland. So I played with the warm colors. Adding in just one seemed to work. It made it much more interesting and somehow more pleasing to look at!

The finished Four of a Kind!

If I were to make a baby quilt out of this block, which is a natural use for it, I think I'd forgo the bright, intense colors for softer pastels - pinks come to mind. And of course, adding in prints would always be a good option!  Twelve blocks with a 2" sashing in a straight set and border would make a 44" x 58" baby quilt - quick and easy!

Now for what you are all waiting for - the giveaway! To win a coy of the magazine - Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 13 - leave a comment telling me if you like working with solids or prints in your quilts (or both!). I'll draw for the winner on Friday, May 6And remember, in order to win, I have to know how to get ahold of you! If you don't have your email address in your profile or comment as anonymous, I won't be able to get the book to you, so please include your email with your comment if you think I won't be able to find it!

Good luck!

The contest is over and Judy V. is the winner! Congratulations Judy and thanks to all who entered!

March 26, 2016

The Applique Book Winner!

The winner is Janie! Thanks for entering everyone! I loved reading your comments. By far everyone's favorite decade to quilt in is now, with the 1930s being the second favorite!

March 16, 2016

The Appliqué Book - Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to 42 Quilts! I have the privilege of telling you about The Appliqué Book: Traditional Techniques, Modern Style by my friend, Casey York. This is  an amazingly well curated group of modern appliqué quilts made by quilters from all over the stratosphere of modern quilting! And I happen to have been lucky enough to be included in that group!

Lookie! My quilt is on the cover! Yippee!

My project for the book is called Belle the Squirrel, circa 1975! If you've read my blog or follow me on Facebook, you'll know that I love all things 70s! I love the sheer abandon of those quilters during that era - it is so inspiring to me! And that was the inspiration for Belle. 

Here's a little of the backstory behind the quilt. As soon as Casey invited me to submit a quilt for the book, I knew I wanted to make a squirrel quilt. A squirrel design had been percolating around my mind for some time before that, and I knew this would be the perfect venue for my idea. Belle is based loosely on a 1930s Nancy Cabot block I found in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Appliqué.

Belle's inspiration!
I took this inspiration and began sketching until I got to where I not only liked the shape, but I could actually appliqué it with minimum struggle! It's very easy to draw appliqué shapes that are too difficult to translate into fabric. Those projects often turn into UFOs! But this rendition of Belle is easy to do with a turned edge or with a fusible web.

A finished Belle - one of 42!

Once I had the shape where I liked it, I broke out the tail into a separate piece. This allowed me to pair two fabrics together to make a more interesting squirrel than just one piece of fabric would be. Although that could make an intriguing quilt if done with the right fabrics! (hmmmm.....)

I used a wide variety of bright solids and accent prints for the blocks. The squirrel bodies and backgrounds are all solids. The tails are mostly prints with some solids thrown in for fun! Mixing and matching the tails and bodies was the most fun part of the process! 

To applique, I prepared the shapes with freezer paper and sewed them down using thread to either match or contrast, depending on my mood! I used a loose zigzag stitch, not really caring how "perfect" the stitches were - just as my 1970s counterparts would have done! (For more on my freezer paper method for preparing appliqué shapes, you can check out my book, The Modern Appliqué Workbook!)

Once all 42 blocks were done, I set them in an old-school straight set with 2" sashing. To modern it up a bit, I used gray for the sashing and used the same gray for the outer border, which looks like sashing because it's the same 2" wide as the inner sashing. You could certainly add a traditional border to the outside of this if you wanted the quilt bigger. (It's 80x93 as shown.)

Here she is!

Belle the Squirrel, circa 1975
The fabulous quilting was done by Kelly Cline of Lawrence, Kansas. I can't tell you how fabulous she is as a quilter and as a friend! Our collaboration on Belle couldn't have been a better one! She worked so hard to make Belle shine! I don't know how many thread changes she went through, but it was all worth it in the end! 
Belle quilting in progress.

I knew in keeping with the 70s vibe of the top, no ordinary quilting would do. I told her to quilt it like the sashing wasn't even there. Her result was to echo quilt around each squirrel and then add in circles (acorns, if you will!) around the echo quilting that spill off the block into the sashing and into the block next to it. It really is amazing to see! Once I have the quilt back in my possession, I'll blog more about the quilting with better pictures showing it!

So there you go! There's the inspiration behind Belle the Squirrel. Now for what you've been waiting for! The question you must answer in the comments to enter for a chance to win a copy of The Appliqué Book! So here goes: What is your favorite decade for quilting? Leave your answer below. 

And remember, in order to win, I have to know how to get ahold of you! If you don't have your email address in your profile or comment as anonymous, I won't be able to get the book to you, so please include your email with your comment if you think I won't be able to find it! I will draw for the winner on March 25. THE CONTEST IS OVER! JANIE IS THE WINNER. THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED!

Good luck, and honestly, many will enter and only one will win, so you might as well head over to Casey's website and just purchase your copy now. If you win, then you have a gift to give your quilting bestie! 

Here's the schedule of blogs participating in the tour. Head to these sites each day for more info about the book and more giveaways!
Mon. March 14:
Casey York |
C&T Publishing |
Tues. March 15:
Jenna Brand | (coming soon!)
Adrianne Ove/Pink Chalk |
Wed. March 16:
Jenifer Dick |
Pati Fried |
Thurs. March 17:
Shannon Brinkley |
Bari J. |
Fri. March 18:
Debbie Grifka |
Beth Vassalo |
Mon. March 21:
Latifah Saafir |
Tues. March 22:
Lynn Harris |
Kevin Kosbab | http://feeddog.blogspot.comModern Quilts Unlimited |
Web. March 23:
Allison Rosen |
Cindy Lammon |
Thurs. March 24:
Rossie Hutchinson |
Generation Q |
Fri. March 25:
Betz White |
Casey York |

February 8, 2016

Ho, Ho, Ho It's Santaland!

An old friend came home last week - my embroidered pillow that appeared in the book Santaland by my friends Brian, Christina, Eula and Kay. It's been hanging out on display at Quilting Bits and Pieces in Eudora, Kansas, (which happens to be owned by Christina, Eula and Kay) and happens to be a charming, small-town shop full of wonderful fabric, notions and books!

This was a fun, fun book that came out a few years ago - full of fabulous Christmas-themed quilts and projects drawn by Brian - including...


Brian asked me to create this pillow for the book and, of course, who could say no to this adorable Santa!? I decided to go with non-traditional colors, including the chartreuse border. I kinda like it for the non-traditional types. But of course you could make yours in any color combos you like!

Check out the details...

A rickrack flange adds texture, and a bit of the unexpected! And check out the French knots for the fleece on Santa's hat and coat. French knots are a bit tedious for me so I just did a few of them - you get the point and I didn't have to spend hours filling in the entire area!

You can get your copy of Santaland here:

February 4, 2016


I feel like this will become something fabulous!
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