free quilt block patterns


Usually the only time of the year I think about bats is around Halloween.

But, as I was looking at a website that had special holidays, I discovered that today is Bat Appreciation Day.

I’m not sure that I fully appreciate bats – although they are somewhat intriguing to me.

When quilting daughter, Stephanie, was in Houston, she learned that Austin has the largest bat population in North America.

Possibly that’s where Bat Appreciation Day came from.

Regardless, today, you’ll see how to sew The Bat quilt block – there’s a video and step-by-step instructions to download:

http://www.how-to-quilt.com/articles/1364-the-bat-quiltblock.php

the bat quilt block

The Bat Quilt Block

No April Fools today!

Jim and I have headed out, leaving the Schnoodles and Davey in charge – guarding all of my valuable quilting supplies.

But, I do have my new Quilt as You Go project with me, and am making progress daily.

In this week’s news, you’ll see a picture of the quilt in the works and – since it’s the first of April – there are new quilt block patterns to download:

http://how-to-quilt.com/newsletter/quiltasyougo.php

Pineapples have been a symbol of friendship for centuries, so it’s no wonder that quilters would create quilt blocks that represent the pineapple.

For those who celebrate Easter, have a wonderful Easter Sunday – with family, friends, watching children enjoying an Easter Egg Hunt.

And even if you don’t celebrate Easter, here’s a video showing how to sew the Pineapple Plant quilt block, and a free pattern – my gift of friendship to you:

http://how-to-quilt.com/articles/1362-pineapple-plant-quiltblock.php

pineapple plant quilt block

Pineapple Plant quilt block

It’s amazing to me that something simple can change my entire outlook.

When I first started making quilts, everything took soooo long.

My corners weren’t all that square and my blocks ended up being different sizes.

It seemed like I spent more time fixing things than sewing them in the first place.

Then I decided to take a class to learn how to make an Irish Chain quilt.

It turned out that it was using a strip piecing technique.

I had heard about it, but had not tried it – I was still cutting my patches with scissors!

By the end of the class, my quilt top was almost finished – having started with no fabric cut!

And my corners were square and the blocks all fit together.

Just learning that one technique opened my eyes to a whole new world of quilting because I realized how much fun it could be – and that I would be proud to have someone know I made that quilt, generations from now.

Every March I think fondly on that Irish Chain quilt I made oh so many years ago.

Glad I stuck it out and kept learning from those quilters who were so willing to share their techniques.

In this week’s news, you’ll discover more of the inside story of that quilt and get the March quilt block patterns:

http://how-to-quilt.com/newsletter/straightpins.php

 

One of the things I find fascinating about quilters is that even prior to women being allowed to vote in the United States, quilters were making political statements.

It is reported that many quilting women participated in political discussions in their families and communities.

In addition, quilters created politically-themed quilt blocks to make a “statement” or raise money.

There is a wide variety of quilt blocks named for presidents of the United States. And sometimes Presidents have more than one quilt block named for them.

Lincoln is one of those presidents who has at least two blocks named for him – Lincoln’s Hat and Lincoln’s Platform.

You’ll see how to sew the Lincoln’s Hat quilt block together when you visit:

http://www.how-to-quilt.com/articles/1355-lincolns-hat-quiltblock.php

Happy Lincoln’s Birthday!

lincoln's hat quilt block

Lincoln’s Hat Quilt Block

It’s clear that most of us humans love our pets.

And quilters celebrate their pets by creating special quilt block patterns for them.

Since this is Pet Dental Health Month, we’re featuring a couple of pet-related quilt blocks.

Like many of you, I’m sure, I wasn’t all that convinced that cleaning my cats’ teeth would make a difference to their overall health.

As many cats as I have had over the years, it didn’t seem like it made any difference to them.

Then along came m. mouse, the diabetic Siamese kitty.

It took about 15 minutes of a vet dentist who specializes in big cats’ teeth to make me understand how important it is to keep your pets’ teeth healthy.

In fact, he told me that if m. mouse’s teeth had been cleaned years earlier, he may not have gotten diabetes.

Not so true with humans, I guess – but kitties and puppies aren’t human, even though it’s hard to remember sometimes.

Anyway, you’ll find video and free quilt block patterns when you visit:

http://how-to-quilt.com/articles/1354-dogbone-quiltblock.php

siamese cat sleeping on tumbling blocks quilt

m. mouse

Cats and dogs have questions, too, you know!

They must.

Questions like:

- when will you feed me?

- why did you stop petting me?

- when will you return?

- why did you interrupt my nap?

And since today is “Answer your Cat’s Questions” Day, you’ll see quilt blocks for any type of pet you have:

http://how-to-quilt.com/articles/1189-cat-quilts-dog-quilts.php

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.

Today’s article takes us back to traditions and thoughts of trees.

It’s about the Tree of Life quilt block.

This is a block that inspires various settings.

For example, in its original design, the tree is at an angle. However, by turning the block 90 degrees and adding triangles, you can make the tree upright.

In addition, by changing the color of patches within the tree, it can be a Christmas tree, a fall tree, or even a tree with the bright green leaves of Spring.

You’ll find a pattern for the block when you visit:

http://how-to-quilt.com/articles/1139-treeoflife-quiltblock.php

tree of life quilt block

Tree of Life Quilt Block

Karen Combs calls them ‘quilts of illusion.’

I call them 3 dimensional-looking quilts.

I like her description better.

And whatever you call them, quilts that appear to have dimension are easy to make and fun to look at.

Plus when your family and friends take a look at these quilts, they are amazed that can be done in fabric.

The biggest secret is in the choice of fabrics.

I learned that the hard way!

After a vacation years ago, I decided I wanted to replicate a photo using fabric.

The biggest challenge was getting the right colors (and values) of fabric and putting them in the right places.

That was decades ago when the fabric choices were limited compared to now.

With a few key pieces of knowledge and the right design, you can create this fun hollow cube.

You’ll even find a video showing you how:

http://how-to-quilt.com/articles/1112-hollow-cubes.php

Binding a Quilt with Hexagons

Binding a Quilt with Hexagons

Most quilters love an easy quilt!

Even if you are a very experienced quilter, often it’s great to take a break from the challenge and stitch one that is really easy.

Especially one where you don’t have to cut a bunch of little square and rectangles.

Here are 5 quilt blocks that create wonderful quilts – each one you can make using strip piecing, without templates.

You’ll see how easy these are to sew, and get some quick tips for ensuring that your strips are sewn ‘the right way.’

Yes, when you are sewing several strips together, there are things that can go wrong and make your finished blocks warped and the strips misshapen:

http://how-to-quilt.com/articles/1109-quilt-blocks-from-strips.php

roman strip quilt block

Roman Stripe Quilt Block made using a strip piecing method

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