Finishing Spree & My Top 4 Favorite Patterns of Summer 2021

Since I like to work on multiple projects at a time, I occasionally experience a bottleneck of quilts that are all at the same stage. Such has been the case this month, when I ended up sewing bindings on 8 different quilts in a little over a week. Wow! My arms are ready for a break, but it’s so much fun to see each quilt finally completed. And it has given me chance to reflect on my favorite patterns of the summer.

But before I go any further, I’d like to elaborate on what I look for when I buy a commercial pattern rather than designing a quilt myself (which I also like to do).

What I Look for When I Buy a Pattern:

(listed in no particular order, recognizing that no pattern ticks ALL of the boxes – which is just fine!)

–A design that I haven’t seen before, or an clever twist on an old favorite

–A technique I haven’t tried before or don’t use very often

–Multiple size options (this isn’t a deal breaker if it’s only one size – as long as I feel confident that I can change the size if I wish to do so)

–Well-written (and tested) instructions with clear diagrams, cutting charts, and (bonus points) coloring sheets

–An opportunity to use a favorite fabric or collection of fabrics I’ve been saving for “just the right project”

And the most important factor:

–A pattern that inspires me with lots of “what ifs” as in “what if I add this” or “what if I change that” – leading to lots of fun variations on the original design

Pet peeves:

–Poorly written, edited, or illustrated patterns

–Fabric requirements based on 44″ of usable fabric width (Not all quilting cotton is that wide right off the bolt, and the selvages may reduce the usable width even more – not to mention the shrinkage that may occur with prewashing.)

–Assembly that requires all seams to be pressed open. (This is a personal preference – I don’t mind pressing some seams open, but I appreciate “nesting” seams as much as possible.)

And here are my favorite patterns of summer 2021:

The Flabellum Quilt Pattern by Alex Hoffmann of HoffMama Company

Why I love it: it’s fast, fun & easy to make, a great pattern for showcasing gradations of color and/or value, with lots of size options.

My version:

Flabellum Quilt pattern by HoffMama Company, made by Beth Ann Williams

And next, the Nightingale Quilt by Lo & Behold Stitchery

Why I love it: Brittany provides clear instructions (always), multiple sizes, and creative options. Inspired by memories of summertime at my grandparents’ farm, I had great fun pulling together a wide selection of fat quarters for this quilt. I also played the “what if” game – adding sashing and crosses between the blocks and a border to “float” everything on the background fabric.

My version:

Nightingale Quilt, pattern by Lo & Behold Stitchery, made by Beth Ann Williams

Thirdly, the Rough Cut Diamonds Quilt by Bre T Designs

Why I love it: this is another great design that comes together pretty quickly, and lends itself to lots of interpretations (check out the hashtag on Instagram!) I added sashing and cornerstones between the blocks, and changed up the the color placement to create a secondary pattern and a new look.

My version:

Rough Cut Diamonds Quilt pattern by Bre T Designs, made by Beth Ann Williams

And finally, the Confetti Quilt from Tied with a Ribbon

Why I love it: this one snuck up on me. I originally purchased the pattern because it featured shapes I hadn’t worked with much before; I had no idea what a treat was in store for me! However, once I started making the blocks (which are SUPER FAST & EASY to make with Jemima’s method), I was fascinated by all of the different design possibilities. I’ve already made 4 different versions, and I feel like I’m still just scratching the surface.

My versions:

Confetti Quilt #1 (made with Tula Pink fabrics) – I carefully planned the fabric placement to create an ombre effect. This is the only version I made that is sized as written in the pattern.

Confetti Quilt #1 – based on the pattern from Tied with a Ribbon, made by Beth Ann Williams

Confetti Quilt #2 – (batik fabrics) – I reduced the size of the squares by an inch and resized the pattern to make an ombre table runner.

Confetti Quilt #2 – based on the pattern from Tied with a Ribbon, made by Beth Ann Williams

Confetti Quilt #3 – (batik fabrics) – I kept it scrappy (like the pattern), but rotated the blocks to create a fun new design.

Confetti Quilt #3 – based on the pattern from Tied with a Ribbon, made by Beth Ann Williams

Confetti Quilt #4 – (batik fabrics) – I was inspired by the iridescent shimmer of soap bubbles in the sunlight when I laid out my fabrics for this quilt to create another ombre effect. I also resized the pattern to make a baby quilt.

Confetti Quilt #4 – based on the Confetti Quilt pattern from Tied with a Ribbon, made by Beth Ann Williams.

And that’s it!

If you are interested in making a Confetti Quilt of your own, I’m offering a 3 week evening Zoom class that starts on Oct. 7, 2021. I’d love to have you join me!

Before I go – I want to give a shoutout to Terri of Threadtales Quiltworks, who always listens carefully to the feeling I’m going for with each quilt, understands & makes really useful suggestions, and quilts them so beautifully. I usually quilt most of my quilts myself (I quilted the last 3 Confetti quilts), but the larger quilts have become challenging for me to handle physically – so being able to hand them off to someone I trust and admire has been a lifeline. Thank you, Terri!

New Classes for Fall 2021

Registration is now open for my new fall classes!

Stop in or call the Wyoming, Michigan Lakeshore Sewing location at 616-531-5561 to register for these ZOOM classes. Note: Lakeshore Sewing will be closed Saturday – Monday of Labor Day weekend.

And don’t forget – locals can save 10% on class supplies at Lakeshore Sewing!

It’s all About the ThreadZOOM – Tues., 9/21; 6:00 – 8:00 PM EST Update 9/17 – this class has been postponed due to an unforeseen schedule conflict.

Sneak peek at some of the swatches from the upcoming zoom class Creative Machine Quilting with a Walking Foot with Beth Ann Williams

Easy & Effective Machine Quilting with a Walking FootZOOM – Sat., 9/25 & 10/2; 10 AM – 1:00 PM

Original Confetti quilt from pattern jacket (from Tied with a Ribbon – pattern purchase required) and ombre baby quilt layout by Beth Ann Williams

Confetti Quilt or Table RunnerZOOM – Thurs., 10/7, 14, & 21; 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Sneak peek at a few of the swatches from the upcoming zoom class Free Motion Quick Start 1 with Beth Ann Williams

Free-Motion Quickstart 1 Sat., 10/23; 10 AM – 2 PM

Sneak peek at a one of the samples for the upcoming zoom class Free Motion Quick Start 2 with Beth Ann Williams

Free-Motion Quickstart 2: Crescents, Swirls, Flowers & Leaves ZOOM – Sat., 11/6; 10 AM – 2 PM

Hope to see you soon!

NEW Free-Motion Quick-Start

I’m working on a bunch of new non-class-related info for the blog; but meanwhile, I do want to let those of you who may be interested that I’ve added another brand-new Zoom class. 🙂

Free-Motion Quilting Quick-Start – NEW

Sneak peak at a few of the swatches from the upcoming zoom class Free Motion Quick Start with Beth Ann Williams

Are you interested in free-motion quilting, but need a boost to get going? Join Beth Ann for a brand-new hands-on introductory class designed to do just that.
We’ll start with a few basic patterning styles that you can use right away, and then explore how you can build on them as your confidence grows. This Zoom class will feature video clips and up-close photography, along with live instruction and Q&A.
Sat., March 13, 2021; 10 AM – 2 PM
Confident Beginner $30
Download the supply list here.
Please call the Wyoming, MI Lakeshore Sewing store at 616-531-5561 to register for this online Zoom class.

More classes are in the works – you can see the current list here. 🙂

The New Zoom Class Schedule is Up!

The new January and February Zoom class schedule has finally been published!
I’m excited about the mix of classes I have coming up – some brand-new offerings you’ve asked for, plus a few repeats of popular classes.

You can see the full list (and download supply lists) on the Upcoming Zoom Classes page on my website, or at www.lakeshoresewing.com.

All my classes are being offered through Lakeshore Sewing in Wyoming, Michigan, so you’ll need to call the store at 616-531-5561 to register. 

Please note that the usual store hours are Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 5:30 PM and Saturday, 9 AM – 4 pm; but with the holidays, there are some changes. 
The store will be closed from Dec. 31, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021; normal hours will resume on Monday, Jan. 4, 2020.

Meanwhile, here is a quick overview:

All Sew Together – Convertible Fleece Blanket/Pillow
Trellis Quilt (Pattern by Cluck, Cluck, Sew)
Dual Compartment Padded Laptop or Tablet Pouch
Sneak peak at some of the swatches from the upcoming zoom class Easy and Effective Machine Quilting with a Walking Foot with Beth Ann Williams
Divided Basket (pattern by Noodlehead)
Flanged Bindings by Machine (quilt pattern by Lo & Behold Stitchery)
It’s All About the Thread – a NEW lecture/trunk show

See my Upcoming Zoom Classes page for full descriptions, dates, and supply lists.

Hope to see you soon!
Beth Ann

www.bethannwilliams.com

NEW Online Class

Some exciting news – I’m teaching my first online class next week! 🙂

I’m a little nervous, but also very excited about engaging “live” with fellow quilters again – I’ve missed everyone so much while keeping safe at home during this pandemic.

Here is the info from the Lakeshore Sewing website:

Creative Machine Quilting with a Walking Foot
Learn from the comfort of your own home! Join this beginner-friendly hands-on zoom class with author and designer Beth Ann Williams, featuring a mix of live instruction and Q&A, up-close photography, and video clips showing the techniques in action. Together we’ll make a set of swatches that you’ll be able to refer to for inspiration whenever you wonder “How can I quilt this?” Go beyond quilting in-the-ditch and discover fast, fun, and deceptively easy ways to complement piecing, enhance a focal area, and create a variety of textures, all while machine quilting with a walking foot.

Confident Beginner – Intermediate $35; Tues., 7/14 & 7/21/2020, 1:30 – 4 PM.

 

We’ll be quilting on sample swatches in class, but here is a selection of finished projects by Beth Ann Williams using some of the techniques we’ll cover in class.

Please call the Wyoming Lakeshore Sewing store at 616-531-5561 to register.

The class supply list is available here, in the store, or on the Lakeshore Sewing website. Continue Reading…

A New Machine!

I love my Baby Lock Symphony, and plan to keep it; but I’ve had my eye on the Baby Lock Jazz for a while. This month, Brian from Lakeshore Sewing offered a deal too good to pass up and I finally took the plunge.

I’m excited about using this machine for home dec (particularly large projects), machine appliqué on large projects, and for machine quilting (both machine-guided and free-motion quilting). The fabulous 12″ of space to the right of the needle, heavy-duty casting and 1,000 SPT was what sealed the deal for me. Continue Reading…

Making a Bargello Quilt – Cascade

Cascade, designed and quilted by Beth Ann Williams, pieced by Pam Crans for Colorwash Bargello Quilts. 29″ x 34.5″

This is the first in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt.

For a little more background information, you can check out my previous post, Colorwash Bargello.

For this series, I’ll be referring to the Cascade pattern from my book Colorwash Bargello Quilts.  If you don’t have the book or would rather design your own bargello quilt, you can still follow along and find a lot of (hopefully!) helpful information.

This has been one of my most popular bargello classes, as it can easily be completed in a day (or two days, if you are having lots of fun with your friends).

To help you start brainstorming a color palette for your own bargello quilt, I’d like to share some of the ways my students and friends have interpreted this pattern:

Cascade II, made by Eileen R. Clous from pattern in Colorwash Bargello Quilts. (gift from Eileen)

Continue Reading…

Pattern Review

Sewing with Seat Belts – Market Tote from Cozy Nest Design

Notes: All pattern information is from Cozy Nest Design.

Seat Belt Series: Market Tote Sewing Pattern

$6.99 (PDF download)

The Market Tote sewing pattern will take you step-by-step to creating a customized bag made of seat belt webbing!  Seat belt webbing is shimmery and luxurious, yet extremely durable  and easy to clean and sew! The tote features 2 exterior slip pockets and a flap accent with metal ring. On the interior you will find a zipped pocket and zipped gusset closure. The handles are 23″ long with a 11″ drop. Instructions are included for 3 different size options.  

Skill level: Intermediate
Finished sizes:
small: 14 x 9 1/2 x 3 3/4″
medium: 15 1/2 x 11 x 3 3/4″
large: 17 x 13 x 3 3/4″

What’s in the pattern:
–  3 complete sets of instructions are included – one for each bag size (small, medium and large)

– imperial and metric measurements
– cutting labels and one pattern piece* for each bag size
– a thoroughly tested design given the thumbs up by my amazing test team
– quality computer-generated line drawings and concise, detailed instructions
* all other pieces are cut based on measurements.

Here are the colors I chose for my first Market Tote:

I chose these 3 colors arranged in blocks for my first tote. Market Tote pattern options include instructions for 1, 2, or 3 colors and solid, stripes or blocks versions.

Continue Reading…

Celtic Quilt to Celtic Pillow – Sewing Machine or Serger

Celtic True Lovers’ Knot from Celtic Quilts: A New Look for Ancient Designs

The Celtic True Lovers’ Knot has been appliquéd, quilted, and trimmed, and is now ready for the binding.

This would allow you to use the completed piece as a wallhanging. I did consider a wallhanging – I especially liked how it looked when I hung it on point –  but I already have several of this design, so I thought it would be fun to turn it into a pillow, instead.

This method works not only with this Celtic project, but with any orphan quilt block or cool fabric that you might have on hand. If you use fabric that hasn’t been quilted, I recommend fusing a layer of Pellon 987F to the back of the fabric before proceeding. I like the extra shape and softness it gives the pillow.

How to Turn a Quilted Block into a Decorator Pillow:

Note: This is actually a pillow cover, as it is easy to remove for laundering – an important factor with kids and pets! Continue Reading…

Infinity Scarves – Sewn with a Serger or a Sewing Machine

Finished!

Infinity Scarf – looped 3 times

Infinity scarves are one of my favorite sewn gifts to give or to receive – easy to make and easy to wear! The continuous loop means no worrying about the scarf sliding out of position or the scarf ends being blown right off your body in a passing breeze.

There are many Infinity Scarf tutorials online and the majority get the job done just fine, but most of them end with a very wide opening that straddles the intersection where the ends of the scarf are joined. This can be a bit of a pain to hand stitch. I think this method, which I learned from Nancy Zieman, is a little easier and leaves a smaller, easier-to-sew invisibly, opening.

Since I’m working here with Telio Reflection knit fabric, I’m going to use the serger, but it could also be sewn on a regular sewing machine. As we go along, I’ll include photos showing how the stitching would look on a sewing machine. Continue Reading…