A blog showcasing quilt patterns by Monica Curry. Get free patterns, quilting tutorials, and printables. Quilt patterns for every skill level are featured.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A Taste of Honey Placemat Pattern: honoring our precious pollinators

Who doesn't love the sweet taste of honey? These stylish and modern hexagon placemats showcase the Bee Creative and Bee Inspired fabric collections by Deb Strain. But no matter what colours you use, these placemats are sure to make a statement.

A Taste of Honey Quilted Placemats
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A Taste of Honey Quilted Placemat Pattern


A Taste of Honey Placemat Pattern - detail

I love the quilting on the back. It reminds me of sacred geometry.

A Taste of Honey placemat back quilting

Our Precious Pollinators


The honey bees are in danger. After being here for thousands of years, their population is declining and one species of bee is on the endangered list. It’s scary to imagine what would happen if all our honey bees were gone. Most of our non-grain foods are dependent on honey bee pollination. There are 90 different food plants that depend almost exclusively on the honey bee. When my husband and I heard several years ago that the bee population was declining, we planted more flowers and plants that would attract and feed them. Also, we use only non-toxic, natural pesticides.


honey bee on blanket flower
Photo by Monica Curry



Here are five things you can do in your garden to help the bees:

  • Plant bee-friendly flowers and flowering plants in your garden and yard.
  • Honey bees love weeds, i.e. clover, dandelions, so leave a few in your yard.
  • Don't use chemicals and pesticides to treat your lawn or garden.
  • Buy local, raw honey.
  • Bees are thirsty; leave a tray of stones and water to give them a place to drink.

Here are three good websites with information about honey bees and honey bee populations:


http://www.panna.org/our-campaigns/save-our-bees

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/u-s-lists-a-bumble-bee-species-as-endangered-for-first-time/

http://foecanada.org/en/

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Three Ways to Resize a Quilt Pattern: Step-by-Step

Quilt patterns can come in many sizes. But what if the size of the pattern isn't the size you want? Maybe you want a throw instead of a mini quilt or a baby quilt instead of a king size. To resize your pattern, you need to know the percentage to reduce or enlarge the blocks. Read below to learn three easy ways to get the percentage you need to resize your blocks and templates.



1. Do the Math
Below is the standard formula for reducing or enlarging.

Enlarging:
  1. What is the original block size? e.g. 6 inches
  2. What size do you want the new block to be? e.g. 8 inches
  3. Divide the new size by the original size, e.g. 8 ÷ 6 = 1.33. 
  4. Move the decimal point two steps to the right to get your percentage = 133%.
  5. Enter 133% into the copy machine to enlarge your 6-inch block to an 8-inch block.
Reducing:
  1. Do the opposite of above. 
  2. Divide the small size (e.g. 6") by the large size (e.g. 8") to get your reduction percentage, e.g. 6 ÷ 8 = 0.75 = 75% reduction.
2.  Proportional Scale
Proportional Scales may look a bit intimidating at first but they're easy to use. You can buy a Proportional Scale especially for quilters HERE.


How to use a proportional scale:
  1. On the bottom wheel, find the original size of your block (e.g. 6"), [Fig 1].
  2. Line up this number with the new size (e.g. 8") on the top wheel, [Fig 1].
  3. In the window, you'll see the percentage of the reduction or enlargement you need to resize your block, [Fig 2].
Note: The math formula and proportional scale results may be off a tiny bit. This is okay.

Figure 1

Figure 2

3.  Proportion Measurements Chart
Download my enlargement and reduction charts to find the percentages you need at a glance. Download PDF.
  1. Find the original measurement on the left side of the chart. 
  2. Go along that row until you get to the measurement you want on the top row. 
  3. The number in the intersecting box is the percentage you'll need to reduce or enlarge your block.



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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Four summer mug rugs you'll love . . .

Summer is finally here! Now, check out these cute summer themed mug rugs. These would be great for drinks on the deck, around the pool, or hostess gifts for your next BBQ. The book includes instructions and templates for all four mug rugs shown below.

For a limited time, you can get the 4 Summer Fun Mug Rugs pattern book for 10% OFF. Use coupon code SUMMERFUN17 at the checkout.

Summer Fun Mug Rug Pattern Book
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four summer mug rug patterns book

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wooden Scissors Pattern Now Available!

About a year ago I posted my wooden scissors project that my husband and I worked on (see post HERE). This was such a popular post, I decided to make the pattern available for sale in my quilt pattern store.

These would be a great gift for the sewist or quilter in your life. They would be a wonderful addition to any sewing studio. I think it would also be a great project for a woodworking student learning the basics of using a scroll saw.

Wooden Scissors Wall Art
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wooden scissor pattern

wooden scissors pattern detail

wooden scissors pattern on the wall

Sunday, 4 June 2017

BLUE DIAMOND Mini Quilt

Who doesn't love a little bling? This cute blue diamond mini quilt designed in facet art style would brighten up any area of your home or office.

Blue Diamond Mini Quilt
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blue diamond mini quilt pattern

 While designing my diamond I soon realised that the facet colours had to make sense. The biggest challenge in doing faceted art is positioning the colours so that they look just right.

blue diamond mini quilt pattern detail


Below is the inspiration for my little diamond quilt. This stunning quilt titled Bling was designed, pieced, and quilted by Katherine Jones. Bling won Best in Show at the 2017 QuiltCon Quilt Show, and you can sure see why. The details in this quilt are stunning! 

bling by katherine jones
Bling by Katherine Jones

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hexagon Colour Wheel Mug Rugs Patterns

I'm introducing three new mug rug patterns to brighten your home for spring. The bright primary colours against white, black,  and grey is a crisp combination. You could use these as pot holders as well as mug rugs. They would look lovely in a modern kitchen. They would also be a great gift for an artist or art student. This is a good project for quilters just learning to foundation piece. Instructions assume basic knowledge in foundation piecing. The pattern includes instructions for all three mug rugs.

Hexagon Colour Wheel Mug Rugs
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hexagon color wheel mug rug pattern

hexagon color wheel mug rug one

hexagon color wheel mug rug two

hexagon color wheel mug rug three

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Phone book foundation piecing

use phone book paper for foundation piecing

Earlier this year, I was able to get my hands on a Layer Cake of With Glowing Hearts by Grace Noel before it was sold out from pretty much everywhere. I'm using this gorgeous line of fabric to create a commemorative quilted throw to mark Canada's 150th birthday this year.

with glowing hearts fabric colletion

I decided to make my quilt using the Hunter's Star quilt block because I love the block and it ties in with Canada's fur trade history. Hunting and trapping, especially beaver, was how Canada began.

hunters star glowing hearts collection

There are several ways to make a Hunter's Star block. It's a matter of choosing which one you use. I chose to use foundation piecing because it's the technique I'm most comfortable with. However, this left me with a dilemma. I needed 48 blocks to make the quilt, but I didn't want to use 48 expensive sheets of foundation paper for the project. I know phone book paper is used for strip piecing, so I thought I'd try using it for foundation piecing. I was very pleased with the results. The phone book paper printed beautifully with my inkjet printer. If this were a complicated template, it might be hard to read, but it was perfect for this block. This paper is very light but doesn't curl up with normal iron heat and it tears away easily. Honestly, if I could get my hands on some of this paper not printed I'd buy a box of it.

The pros and cons of using phone book paper for paper piecing:

PROS
  • Very light but strong enough to be handled.
  • Prints very well in an inkjet (not tested on a laser printer).
  • Tears away with no effort at all.
  • Doesn't curl up with heat.
CONS
  • Somewhat difficult to read template
  • Not a nice 8½" x 11" sheet of paper.
  • Can't see through it.
How to make your phone book foundation piecing templates:
  1. Photocopy your templates onto an 8½" x 11" sheet of paper.
  2. Cut out phone book pages to about 7¾ " to 8" wide.
  3. Cut a piece of white paper to the same size as your phone book paper.
  4. Cut out templates and paste or tape them down onto the smaller white piece of paper. 
  5. Place phone book paper in your printer paper tray and adjust the paper width bars to the width of your paper.
  6. Center the template page on the printer bed and photocopy it onto the phone book paper.
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Monday, 17 April 2017

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt Pattern

Inspired by a day at the beach, Pixel Beach is a simple and elegant quilted wall hanging in a checkerboard of neutral tones. A lovely addition to your summer beach house. Think warm summer sand, collecting pretty stones and sea glass on the shore while the gulls singing overhead. These were my inspirations for my new mini quilt pattern Pixel Beach.

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt
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pixel beach mini quilt pattern

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt Pattern - Detail 1

Pixel Beach Mini Quilt Pattern - Detail 2

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

How to Recycle your Batting Scraps


how to recycle batting scraps

Over time, like most quilters, I wind up with a lot of spare quilt batting pieces in all kinds of sizes. I keep these in a batting scrap box. These pieces come in handy when I don't want to cut up a large piece when doing a small project.

I used to zig-zag stitch my pieces together but in a rush one day, I used a quicker method that I now prefer. I now recycle my batting bits by joining them together with fusible interfacing. It's so much faster than stitching them together, and they hold together very well this way. I hope this little tutorial will encourage you to save your batting scraps and find a use for them.

You Will need

  • batting chunks you want to join 
  • rotary cutter 
  • quilting ruler or regular ruler 
  • strips of fusible interfacing. I used Pellon Sheerweight interfacing, but a medium weight interfacing will work just as well. I'm also pretty sure there is such a thing as batting tape but the interfacing does the trick. 

Instructions


1. Get your batting pieces and check if they are jagged on the edge or not (these are pretty jagged).

recycle batting scraps step 1


2. If the batting edges are jagged, trim a little off to make both edges straight.

recycle batting scraps step 2


3. Butt the two edges together as shown; don't overlap them.

recycle batting scraps step 3


4. Following the manufacture's instructions press the fusible interfacing securely to the batting.

recycle batting scraps step 4


5. This is something like what your batting will look like. Any puckers are not an issue because you won't see them once you sandwich your quilt.

recycle batting scraps step 5


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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

My Urban Pathway table runner kit

The Connecting Threads spring catalogue came in the mail this week, and I was so excited to see my Urban Pathway table runner quilt kit there. The kit uses Shiny Objects Fabrics designed by Flaurie & Finch for RJR; it has a gorgeous metallic print. Thank you Anita and all the gang at Connecting Threads!

Urban Pathway Table Runner
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urban pathway quilt kit connecting threads

shiny object fabric collection urban patheay

monica curry connecting threads magazine


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

GRAND PIANO Quilted Hot Pad Pattern

This cute Grand Piano quilted hot pad is sure to play a sweet note in your kitchen. The pattern uses one 10" square from your favourite Layer Cake and some black and white scraps. The keyboard is simple foundation paper piecing. The black bias binding completes it beautifully.

Grand Piano Hot Pad Pattern
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grand piano quilted hot pad pattern

This hot pad pattern measures 12" x 9" (30cm x 22.5cm), which is the size of a small standard baking pan or dish.

grand piano quilted hot pad pattern - detail 1

I choose bright colours to set off the contrast of the black and white keyboard. Any print would look gorgeous for this project, and the black binding ties everything together, but I think a print with even a little black in it really creates a nice balance of colour.

grand piano quilted hot pad pattern - detail 2

Saturday, 25 March 2017

My Pattern Store is now open on my blog!

I'm very excited to finally be able to sell my patterns from my blog, making it easier for my readers to purchase and enjoy them. Visit my shiny new PATTERN STORE now!

For a limited time, receive 15% OFF your first pattern purchase if you subscribe to my blog.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Tulip Basket Mini Quilt Pattern

I'm excited to be introducing my newest mini quilt pattern Tulip Basket just in time for spring. The basket is two paper pieced log cabins, and the simple tulips are done in hand stitched appliqué. It measures 19" x 18" (47.5cm x 45cm). This mini quilt uses a soft taupe colour palette inspired by the beautiful quilts by Japanese quilt artist Yoko Saito.

Tulip Basket Mini Quilt Pattern
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tulip basket mini quilt applique pattern

I think the rich tones of the tulips are stunning against the quiet neutrals. If you have basic appliqué and paper piecing skills, you can make this cheery spring project in no time at all. Hand stitched appliqué or fusible appliqué are both suitable for this project.

tulip basket mini quilt applique pattern detail

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Celtic Twist Quilt Block | Step-by-Step Tutorial

celtic twist block pattern monica curry
Celtic Twist Block | 17" x 17" (42.5cm X 42.5cm) 
Welcome some Luck o' the Irish into your home this St. Paddy's day with this elegant Celtic Twist table runner. My mother was Irish, so I have a strong affinity for anything Celtic. I particularly love Celtic knots. So, just in time for St. Patrick's Day, I completed my Celtic twist table runner for my coffee table. I'm a big fan of neutrals and used the Woodland Wonder fabric line by Sarah Summers. I love the warm neutral tones in the Woodland Wonders fabric design and couldn't wait to use it to cheer up our living room. All those little woodland creatures are adorable.

Luck o' the Irish Table Runner 
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Luck o' the Irish Celtic Twist Table Runner pattern

CELTIC TWIST BLOCK TUTORIAL

This tutorial is for the 17" x 17" Celtic twist block shown above. It may look complicated, but it's simple to put together. There are no Y-seams and no templates to worry about. The block consists of two 6 inch units (one is a snowball block) and two different sized triangle units; that's it! You can make one block or add more units to make a quilt or table runner. I love this block for showcasing big prints. If you want to print this tutorial, there's a printer friendly button at the end of this post.

These are the four units you will need to make the block.

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR ONE BLOCK
(All measurements include a 1/4 inch seam allowance)

Unit 1 - Makes 4
[8] 5" x 2" dark print
[8] 5" x 2" light print
[4] 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" medium print

Unit 2 - Makes 4
[1] 7-3/4" solid

Unit 3 - Makes 4
[2] 7" solid
[4] 2" x 2" dark print

Unit 4 - Makes 1
[1] 6-1/2" x 6-1/2" large print
[4] 2" x 2" light print

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Polly makes my pencil quilt

One of the most rewarding things as a quilt designer is seeing how other quilters interpret my patterns. I was so pleased to recently see one of my most popular patterns, Pencil Me In, created by Polly at Aunt Polly's Porch. I think she did a beautiful job with this pattern. Her colour choices are stunning, and I love the hanging tabs she put on the top.

pencil quilt pattern by monica curry
Image from Aunt Polly's Porch Blog

Pencil Me In Mini Quilt Pattern
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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Kandinsky Revisited: Inspiration for a new art quilt

When I first started my blog a couple of years ago, I posted an art quilt I created that was inspired by the art of Wassily Kandinsky. Get the post HERE.

Kandinsky inspired art quilt mystic bird

I've recently been itchin' to try something different, so I thought I'd revisit my Kandinsky phase; I'm glad I did. Recently, I found other quilts inspired by Kandinsky and discovered Kandinsky quilts are quite a thing in the quilting world.

Below are a few examples of the Kandinsky quilts I found recently. You can see that Kandinsky's art translates extremely well into art quilts. If you want some inspiration for your own Kandinsky quilt, check out artsy.net where you'll find a catalogue of Kandinsky's artwork.

This Kandinsky quilt pattern is one of three patterns by quilter and fabric designer Patricia Bravo.

Kandinsky Quilt by Patricia Bravo

Check out these gorgeous Kandinsky quilts at the Lollyquiltzs Kandinsky Challenge.

lollyquiltz kandinsky quilt challenge


Kandinsky and Me by Carol J. Floyd. This is an award winning Kandinsky quilt from the 2010 American Quilt Society Quilt Show & Contest in Des Moines, Iowa.

kandinsky inspired quilt by carol j. floyd


Inspired by the Kandinsky classic, Color Study, Squares with Concentric Circles. This quilt was created by Rebekah at Don't Call Me Becky.

kandinsky quilt by rebekah


Kandinsky Goes to the Bahamas by Daniela Schupp for the Art Quilt Association Inspired by the Masters Show



Kandinsky Goes to the Bahamas by Daniela Schupp