Color Burst in QUILT (June/July 2013)


Happy Friday, Friends!  I hope you have had a good week.  As promised, I am sharing with you my “Color Burst” quilt that is featured in the latest QUILT magazine issue (June/July 2013).


I nicknamed this quilt my “Iron Man” quilt because I felt like the Iron Man after making hundreds and hundreds of half-square-triangle units in order to finish the quilt top.



The little HST units finish at 1.5″ — and I don’t even like piecing!




Here is a little behind-the-scene tidbit… In order for me to make the photo shoot, I completed that quilt from start to finish in about 5 days!  Sometimes I really think I have a screw loose somewhere… ha!


Here you can see the very clever quilt layout better – and see the pinwheel secondary pattern.

Block Party2b_high res

All that said, this quilt was made with lots of affection because the design is based on an actual quilt in the DAR collection, shown in the following. Click here for the technical information.  So, can you imagine having to piece all those blocks by hand, as done by the un-named original quilt maker?  What a heroine she was!!

Original DAR Quilt

[image source: Quilt Index]

And you know I love re-making historical quilts with our contemporary palettes.  I feel connected to quilters of the past when I work on such quilt projects.  It is my way of paying tribute to the women that have gone before us generations ago for their contribution in the rich American quilting heritage.


I used Thimbleberries’ Block Party fabrics (by RJR) for my interpretation of the design for a sweet vintage flair.  Click here to view the full fabric range.  I love how the fabrics end up giving a spring palette to the overall quilt design.

Block party

It was a little nerve wrecking working on a borderless on-point quilt because the pieces of the large HST units at the edge were cut on the bias.  I was scared to death the quilt top was going to turn out wonky.  I press-starched the fabric stiff before cutting to avoid the distortion in the cutting and piecing processes.  That seemed to take care of the stretching on the bias problem, because my quilt top laid flat upon completion.


Quilting was kept very simple to keep the “antique” look – just quilting in the ditches along major straight lines.  As always, I used Aurifil Mako 50 Cotton threads to quilt over Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting.  Now that the quilt is returned to me… my little pea brain has been toying with the idea of going back to quilt the open area with feathers (of course!).


Honestly, as much as I am not crazy about piecing… I told the editor I would make the quilt AGAIN in a heartbeat using just red and white fabrics.  All that to say, those HST units shouldn’t deter you from attempting this quilt.  It is actually quite relaxing because there isn’t much variation to the piecing – just piece maybe a block a day, and don’t complete the entire quilt in 5 days like I did.  Kits to replicate Color Burst are available for purchase here.

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you liked my springy Color Burst quilt!  Have a great weekend.


Click here, and here for my other contemporary interpretations of antique quilts.


Click here, here, here, here and here for my posts on DAR quilts.


My 2013 lineup thus far besides “Color Burst” – click on the links for more information:

Annie’s Love Those Precuts Book (January 2013):  Apple of My Eye

Annie’s Sweet Layer Cakes (April 2013): Sunburst Melody, to be posted

Fons and Porter Easy Quilts (Spring 2013): Baubles, Baubles

Fons and Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2013): Curious Cats

Fons and Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2013): Fabrique Foursome

Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting (March/April 2013):  Now I know my ABC’s

Machine Quilting Unlimited (March/April 2013): Quilting Curvy Feathers

QUILT (June/July 2013): Pattern Play, to be posted

Quilt Trends (Winter 2013, Cover Quilt): Tango

Quilts and More (Spring 2013): 2 Wishes

Quilts and More (Spring 2013):  Watercolor Sketches

Quilter’s World (February 2013): New Life

Quilter’s World (April 2013): Monkey Around

Quilter’s World (Summer 2013): Garden Mist, to be posted

Quilter’s World QUICK & EASY QUILTS (Spring 2013): In & Out

Quilter’s World QUICK & EASY QUILTS (Spring 2013): Garden Maze

Simple Quilts & Sewing (Spring 2013):  Stained Glass

The Quilter (December 2012/January 2013): Not Too Square

The Quilter (April/May 2013):  In the Meadow

Benartex Free Pattern (March 2013): Pumpkin Patch/Autumn Fauna

Benartex Free Pattern (March 2013): Flora Linda/Catalina

Quilting Treasures Free Pattern (January 2013): Mediterranean Dream

Quilting Treasures Free Pattern (February 2013): Butterfly Kisses

Tango in QUILT TRENDS (Winter 2013)


Hi Friends!  Thanks for all your sweet emails/comments the last couple of days.  I haven’t been at the computer much.  So, it’s nice to open up my inbox and read through a string of sweet emails/comments from you!

Tango is going to be the last magazine feature quilt I am sharing with you this year.  And it is a COVER QUILT, featured in the Winter 2013 of Quilt Trends Magazine!  If you aren’t aware of Quilt Trends Magazine, I would say the projects featured in the magazine are contemporary quilts with style!  Check out their website for a sampling of the projects if you aren’t already familiar with the magazine.

Undoubtedly, Tango is very unlike my usual style!  But it was good to step out of my comfort zone when designing this quilt for a more contemporary look.


Tango uses the contemporary style fabrics from Red Rooster Fabrics’ Mango Tango fabric collection.  These fabrics are truly stunning in the visual effect department.


And the design also illustrates the concept of using solids/basics/blenders to highlight the print fabrics in the collection.  Click here to purchase quilt kits.  [A side question: What do you think of that red couch in the styled shot?  No, it’s not like my antique camelback couch, but I think it is growing on me!]

Tango Style Shot

[Image source:  Quilt Trends Magazine]

Here are a few close-up shots.




As you can see from the pictures, quilting was simple.  I quilted circles to kind of “break up” the stuffiness of the squares!  Click here to read about the method I used to quilt the circles.  As usual, quilting was done using Aurifil Mako 50 thread over Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting.

Thanks for stopping by, my Friends!  I can’t believe 2012 is almost over, and most of you have been such encouragement to me this whole year!  Please know that I do appreciate your friendship and love.

I have to go to the store for some last minute Christmas errands.  So I’d better run….

FRIENDLY WARNING: Just in case you are making…

my Warm Blessings quilt … there is a slight boo boo in the quilt assembly diagram in the magazine.  This is what you will see in the magazine.  See how the brown patches in the 9-patch block centers are all going in the same direction?

That’s not the case in my original design with which I made the quilt.  The difference is subtle, and probably won’t matter much.  But I felt like it is my responsibility to share the information with you in case you are wanting your quilt to look EXACTLY like mine.  I also feel the braided effect is a little more prominent with the brown patches oriented differently from block to block.

Please know that I am not mad at the editorial staff  of the magazine because I think they consistently do a good job.  Sometimes things happen.  The difference was indeed subtle.   Thus the friendly warning. ;)

I want to also take the opportunity to thank you for your super kind and sweet comments on the quilt.  Have a blessed rest of the day.


Mosaic Stars in QUILTER’S WORLD (October 2012)

Happy Friday, Friends!  I know I say this all the time, but I really can’t believe it’s Friday!  We are looking forward to an Artisan Fair that is happening in our area.   To me, visiting the outdoor fair booths this time of year is the perfect way to usher in the autumn season!  I want to share with you today my Mosaic Stars quilt that is featured in Quilter’s World‘s October 2012 issue.

[Image source: Quilter’s World]

Mosaic Stars is a two-block quilt with an appliqued swag border.

The palette of this quilt mixes blue with the usual autumn colors to give an updated look.  The rather unexpected use of blue also makes this quilt useable throughout the fall and winter season.  In fact, I will be working on a fall dress for Miss Baby that is blue and brown – that way I get more mileage out of the dress.  I don’t want her looking like a weirdo wearing an orange dress to church, say, in January.  But a blue and brown dress would still work well for a middle of winter dress.  Back to the quilt, the fabrics used for this quilt are from Quilting Treasures’ Autumn Bouquet collection.

Quilting was done using Aurifil‘s Mako 50 Cotton thread over Hobbs‘ Tuscany Silk Batting.  If you haven’t read my articles on threads and silk batting – click here and here. I set out to quilt something that would look totally different on the back compared to what’s on the front.  If you look carefully at the following picture, you can see glimpses of the quilting scheme starting from the center of the quilt.

And here, you see it more clearly how the quilting scheme actually played out on the quilt back.  Except for those arches that were marked for me to know where the boundary was, everything else (feathering) was free-handed.  Now, you can’t quite tell from the quilting scheme how the front looks, eh?  Isn’t quilting fun — oh, how the possibilities make me swoon!

Here are a few close-ups of the front:

And here are a few close-ups of the back:

I shall stop annoying you with yet another photo showing yet more feathers.  Believe me, I took a lot more pictures of just the feathers on the back.  I hope you have enjoyed my Mosaic Stars, and I want to wish you a lovely weekend.  Till next Monday!

Fons & Porter Love of Quilting TV Shows Series 1800

Some of you might recall my sharing about Joseph’s Pinwheels being featured not only in Fons and Porter‘s Love of Quilting magazine, but also on their TV show.

Image source: Fons and Porter

I received my complimentary copy of the Fons & Porter Love of Quilting 1800 Series DVD last week, and didn’t have time to watch it till about an hour ago.  While my little one was taking a nap, I spent about 30 minutes watching the “Joseph’s Pinwheels” episode.  It is rather surreal listening to Marianne Fons and daughter talk about my quilt.

Anyway, the DVD for all the Love of Quilting episodes aired this year is out.  You can order the 2-disc DVD set here if you wish to.

Since Joseph’s Pinwheels is a quilt of many colors, I thought I would also share with you a Color Studies packet offered by my friend Sandy.  Sandy is one of the first Americans who befriended me when I was fresh off the boat coming to America waaaay back in 1994.  I am generally not good at keeping in touch, but Sandy and I have managed to not go too long without re-establishing contact.  Sandy paints beautifully, and the last I check, she was working on her first quilt!!  Anyway, that’s my pubic announcement for the day.  Click here to view details.

I am still dealing with Thanksgiving aftermath at my end.  Today I am putting up my Fall dishes, and replace the cabinets with my Christmas dishes.  How are things looking at your end?

Later alligator!

FREE PATTERN: Paddington’s Travels

Paddington Bear, written about by Michael Bond, made his first endearing appearance in 1958. P.B.’s story (and eventually stories) was inspired by a lonesome looking bear on a shelf in a store near Paddington Station, London. Author Michael Bond ended buying the bear for his wife as a present.

Quilting Treasures just released a NEW and SUPER cute Paddiongton Bear line, “Paddington’s Travels”.  I designed a quilt pattern using these fabrics — FREE for your quilting pleasure!  Click here to download the quilt pattern.

Panels are used for the center of some of the blocks.  Just look at these adorable scrapbook pages interpreted for fabric.  There are a total of 8 different panels, and all of them appear in the quilt I designed:

And  how about the Toile Paddington you see in the background of the airplane blocks?  I am telling you, the Paddington Toile prints in this collection are just toooo cute!

Check with your local quilt shops for fabrics!  You can also search for stores that carry this line by going to

Alrightie – that’s all I have to share with you today.  Thanks so much for your get-well wishes.  I am still limping along.    Till tomorrow!

Autumn Place Mats in QUILTER’S WORLD (October 2011)

What do you think of my autumn place mats featured in the October 2011 issue of Quilter’s World?

If you like to use half-square triangles in your quilts, you would probably like the twist in lengthening two sides of the squares in making the pieced half-rectangle-triangle units used for this place mat project.  These units are constructed using the template method:

I think my favorite part is the pumpkin silhouette appliqued on the pieced half-rectangle-triangles.

About the quilting – motif is replica of the pumpkin leaves, placed strategically on the negative space of the place mat.  Simple applique shapes oftentimes make excellent quilting motif in case you are unsure about what to quilt onto your quilts.

The fabrics are a mixture of Katie, Modern Edge and Modern Mix from Benartex.  Quilting is done by Aurifil‘s Mako Cotton over Hobbs‘ Tuscany Bleached Cotton Batting.

Extending the idea of using a motif to define the theme of the place mats, I appliqued a fun red snowflake onto the placemats pieced with Christmas fabrics for a bit of Christmas whimsical fun!  Fabrics are from Henry Glass‘ Over the River collection:

More motif ideas to personalized the theme of your place mats using the same pieced half-rectangle-triangles:

1.  Cupcake for birthday

2.  Graduation cap for graduation

3.  Heart for Valentine’s Day

4.  Doves for wedding

5.  Clover for St. Patrick’s Day

6.  Bunny for Easter/Spring

7.  Lemon piece for Summer

8.  Leaves for Autumn

9.  Initials of your guests’ names for a special dinner

10.  Apple for a teacher

And the list goes on…

And, if have machine embroidery capability, you can always machine embroider the motifs instead of applique-ing them.

Possibilities, possibilities!  I hope my place mat magazine feature helps jump start your own holiday place mat projects!  And when you do make these placemats, I would love to see the pictures!  Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Monday, and Happy Week!

Catherine’s Scrabble Quilt

Happy Friday, Friends! I hope you are doing well. I appreciate your sweet get-well-soon comments from my last post. I am feeling a little better. While moping around because I wasn’t up to doing anything (well, not quite, one can’t really “mope around” when one stays at home with an active 2-year-old), I was elated to receive an email from Catherine who had made a Scrabble quilt, based on my design featured in Quilter’s World August 2011 issue. She sent the following picture:

She also included the story behind the quilt… “This was a wonderful project for the two of us. As you can see different scrabble fabrics were used than your original work. While using the website, I asked her to pick out the fabrics she liked so the quilt reflects her tastes. She picked words that meant something special to her. I went on a vanity car license plate site to get ideas for the seven letter tile combos in the borders. I copied a template of a scrabble board for a work sheet, and used an online crossword puzzle maker site and my daughter’s scrabble skills to design the word layout. The backing for the quilt is minkie to keep her warm at college…

As her girlfriends came through our house to say their final good-byes, I enjoyed seeing all the girls before they headed off to their colleges and listening to them compliment her scrabble quilt. Thanks so much for developing this pattern. Your quilt design provided my daughter and myself with some very touching moments working on the quilt and celebrating her next journey in life.”

I should be the one saying “Thank You” to Catherine for the touching story. I want to thank Catherine for inspiring a first-time mother like me to cherish and create special moments for me any my little one! By the way, I think Catherine has a beautiful daughter, and my very best to Catherine’s daughter in her college endeavors.

Peppermint Parcels in Quilter’s World (December 2010)

I am happy to receive in the mail my Peppermint Parcels Christmas Quilt, back from Quilter’s World.

I loved working with Henry Glass‘ Hip Holidays fabrics for the Christmas Present blocks:

I stitched “Merry Christmas” in different languages on the gift tags. The church my family went to while I was growing up, and still does, is a Chinese church. So, we would greet friends at church “Merry Christmas” in Mandarin.

[What else you can stitch on the gift tags: Names of Family Members, Names of your Quilt Guild Friends, Blessings of the Christmas season such as love, joy, peace etc, Addresses of the places you have lived if your family has moved a lot, Christmas verses you like – feel free to add more suggestions in the comment section]

This particular block was made with my Russian friend Ellen in mind. She showed me via email how Merry Christmas was written:

And this Italian block was made with my Italian friends Gloria and Monica in mind. Gloria had proof read the Italian version of “Merry Christmas” for me:

The blocks are quilted with streamers to carry on with the “Christmas presents” theme:

Additional streamers and garlands are quilted on the borders. Stringed pearls and beads are quilted on the sashing to remember my love of decorating gift parcels with streamers and ribbons etc.

Technical information: Unmarked free-motion quilting on my Bernina 640; Quilting Thread – Aurifil Mako 50; Quilt Batting – Hobbs‘ Tuscany Silk (In case you haven’t already known, this is my favorite combination of thread and batting when it comes to quilting a quilt!); Fusible: Steam A Seam2 by Warm Company; Pattern – found in Quilter’s World‘s December 2010 issue; Finished size: 50″ square.

This was a super fun quilt to make. I would love to know if you do make it too! I am trying to find out if it would be possible to kit this project at this time. So if you are committed in purchasing a kit, please email me at

Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day and week!

Christmas in Ohio in Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts (Winter 2010)

I received my complimentary copy of Fons & Porter‘s Easy Quilts (Winter 2010) yesterday.

And I was and still am SUPER happy with how my Christmas in Ohio quilt was photographed!  This quilt is peppered with the famous Ohio Star block, thus the name Christmas in Ohio.

[Picture from]

This lap-size quilt was made with Benartex‘s Winter Traditions fabrics!  I love the Currier & Ives look on the fabric prints – they just convey a sense of coziness that comes with the cold wintry season!  You can purchase a kit to replicate this quilt from Fons & Porter.

Check out the  information on converting this quilt into a twin and full size quilt in the magazine article.   Can you imagine this quilt draping a bed during the cold nights of winter?

Quilting was done using Aurifil‘s Mako 50 Cotton thread, and over Hobbs‘ Tuscany Silk Batting.  I have said it before, but this is my favorite combination of thread and batting for most of my projects!  Curious mind wants to know if you have tried out my favorite quilting combination yet…

I grew up in tropical Southeast Asia, and had never seen snow or experienced a cold season till I came to the States at the age of 19.  I never cease to wonder at the amazing changes from season to season.  So working on these “cold” fabrics was special to me, albeit this quilt was made during the peak of  summer this year. :)

Thanks for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later!  For now, I need to go and keep all my plates spinning!


Okay, I have a suspicion that Christmas is barely on your radar screen (or is it?)…. but The Quilter‘s “Quilting for Christmas” is hitting the newsstands on October 12th.  My Christmas Fiesta is featured:

This quilt uses fabrics from At Home for the Holidays and Hip Holidays by Henry Glass.  These fresh color palette gives a very cherry and slightly different look to the traditional Christmas green and red colors.  And I love the effect.

See what I mean?

This 36″ x 36″ wallhanging/table topper was fun to put together.

What was even MORE fun was quilting it!  I used Hobbs‘ Tuscany Silk Batting and Aurifil‘s Mako 50 Cotton threads.  Again, I quilted this quilt on my domestic machine.  The feathers were “hyper-quilted” with green and white threads.

You may purchase a kit (includes fabrics, backing and binding) for this project from Heartbeat Quilts.  Oh, by the way, the quilt will also be displayed at Heartbeat Quilts.  So, if you are in the vicinity of Hyannis, MA – do drop by the say hi to the staff and my Poinsettia Fiesta quilt. :)

Poinsettias are one of my favorite Christmasy things to include in my Christmas decorations.  What is/are yours?

Thanks for stopping by.  I am slowly working on responding to your emails/comments in the reverse order they are received.  Have a lovely day!

Cascade of Leaves in QUILTER’S WORLD (October 2010)

Hello Friends, it’s great to have you visit again! My Cascade of Leaves quilt is officially featured in Quilter’s World‘s October 2010 issue!

You may remember these fabrics from months ago:

These fabrics from Benartex‘s Silk Road Collection turned into this quilt:

I loved working with these fabrics because they give the interpretation of fall colors a rather exotic look:

Here are some close-ups of the leaves. I can see these leaves by themselves on a throw pillow. I might have to make some to go with the quilt.

The overall feather quilting is comprised of machine embroidered feathers (stitched with Isacord machine embroidery thread), and free-motion quilted filler feathers (stitched with YLI Silk 100 thread) :

Again, I used Hobbs‘ Tuscany Wool Batt for the batting. It made my quilt lay nice and cuddly and soft despite being densely quilted:

Thanks for stopping by.  I wish you a lovely fall season!

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” – Genesis 8:22