Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Benartex's Serendipity Collection by Jessica Flick

I'm super excited to share the latest project I've designed as a Benartex Brand Ambassador this year.  I absolutely fell in love with the Serendipity collection designed by Jessica Flick the first time I saw it. The clear bright colors give the fabrics a fresh look, and the artsy floral prints mixed with a stripe and diamond bring a bit of whimsy. 

Check out the entire collection on Benartex's website using this link.  

The collection is available in two colorways, and I opted for the blue, teal and lime green version.  For those of you who are pink lovers or making a quilt for a girly-girl, make sure you check out the second colorway - you will be glad you did. 

As I was designing a pattern to showcase the fabrics, I really wanted to show off the diamonds and the stripes.  They are simply stunning.  Next, I wanted a design that was quick and easy to make, because we all need some quick and easy in our lives.  Row quilts are my go-to for fast piecing.  So, I started playing in the design software (EQ8) and came up with this preliminary design.  I think it's a total win-win for showcasing the fabrics and being quick and easy to make! 

I decided to use the blue background floral as an accent to separate the diamonds and the stripes as well providing pops of color in the stars and the binding. The deep, rich blue really commands your attention.  

As you can see looking at the finished quilt, I added even more accent stripes when I started piecing.  Yep, that is all part of the design process.  Sometimes you have to pivot and make decisions on the fly.  This is why you all always buy extra fabric! 

Since Indiana is rocking all the autumnal colors right now, I needed to get creative with the photoshoot for the quilt.  Backroads are my thing. I'm always game for the road less traveled. And what is more perfect than a pup and quilt ready for some tailgating action?  Ruby, my Corgi, was an absolutely trooper as I was taking pictures.  

Since there aren't many bright flowers blooming right now, this white fence worked perfect, and the sun even popped out for just a few minutes. 

Be sure to check your local quilt shop or favorite online retailer for the Serendipity collection.  It will be perfect for all your spring and floral projects. 

I can't wait to see what you create! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Introducing Something To Crow About Collection from Benartex

As a Benartex Brand Ambassador, I'm super excited to share one of my latest projects featuring the Something To Crow About collection by David Galchutt with you.  I've named it Barnyard Bliss! 


As some of you know, I'm a Midwest farm gal so any fabric with cows, pigs, sheep, chickens and barns has my attention right away.   For this smaller lap-sized throw, I started my design process with the panel that is part of the collection. 

I squared and used the larger rooster section of the panel for the center area of the quilt and fussy-cut the four barn scenes so they could be pieced as cornerstones for the outer border of the quilt.  

To keep the panel as the focal point of the quilt, I brought in two of the prints from the collection as the other fabrics.  The bright yellow print brings a bit of punch to the quilt and serves as the perfect accent color while the blue print is the grounding neutral. 

Since I live in a rural area with lots of farms, I thought this corn field was the perfect backdrop for the photo shoot! 

Be sure to check with your local quilt shop or favorite online retailer to purchase the Something to Crow About panel and collection.  

I can't wait to see what you make! 

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Benartex's Winter At The Farm Collection + Virtual Fabric Show

 As many of you know, I'm a Midwest farm girl so when the 2023 Benartex Brand Ambassadors were selecting collections for Christmas in July, I was quick to pick Winter At The Farm by Dianna Swartz.  I absolutely love it.  Big red barns, cows, sows, cardinals and tractors bring back so many memories of my childhood. 

The Winter at the Farm collection is based around a panel featuring the Snow Hill Farm and the coordinating fabrics can bring a variety of colorways - gray, red, green and black.  

For my project, I opted to go with a red and gray colorway so that I can keep using the throw even after all the Christmas quilts have been put away.  So don't be surprised if it's April and I'm still snuggled under this one!  :) 

As I designed and made the quilt, I simply added borders around the panel.  Plain borders, pieced borders, more plain borders and fussy cut border fabric followed by another round of plain borders.  The border print in the collection makes it look much more difficult than it really was. 

I mitered the corners to give the illusion that the tractors were driving around the quilt.  

If you want to learn more about the Winter At The Farm collection as well as the other new collections from Benartex, be sure to join us for the Christmas in July Virtual Fabric Show on Tuesday July 25, 2023. 

I hope you will join the Virtual Fabric Show and see all the new collections, meet the designers and the ambassadors.   Here is the direct link to register.  

I hope you can join us and be sure to check with your local quilt shop or favorite online retailer to purchase your favorite collection.  I can't wait to see what you make! 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Introducing Porch Swing by Pat Sloan for Benartex

As a Benartex Brand Ambassador, I'm excited to share my latest project with you using the Porch Swing fabric collection designed by Pat Sloan.  In addition to Fat Quarters, the collection is available in all precut favorites - 10" squares,  2-1/2" strips as well as 5" squares. 

For my project, I opted to use fat quarters.  Don't you just love this color combination?  Purple is my favorite color and the teals really make things pop!  I love the gradation from light to dark and black is the perfect accent color. 

I think the hardest part was deciding what project that I wanted to make.  I know, we all struggle with that somedays.  When I'm designing patterns I tend to work in spurts and design a lot of patterns and then come back to them sometimes weeks, months or even years later with new fabric combinations.  These images live in a file folder on my desktop aptly named "Designs Not Accepted" meaning that haven't been accepted for magazine or book publication.  As I was looking through the images I came across this applique project that caught my eye.  In my design software (EQ8), I did some tweaking and came up with this design. 

My next step was to pull fabrics that would fit in each section of the design. 

Since I really wanted to focus on the fabrics and the quilting with this project, I chose to use raw-edge fusible applique to make the piecing part quick and easy.  I printed the motif and created template shapes to trace onto the fusible web with paper release.  For this project I used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 from The Warm Company. 

Essentially this project is a whole cloth applique quilt since there is no piecing of the background fabric.  How about that for quick and easy?  I started with a 42" x 42" piece of Benartex Color Weave in Light Gray which compliments perfectly with the Porch Swing collection. 

To get my orientation lines for the applique, I folded the fabric square in quarters and then on the diagonal and pressed all the fold lines.   And yes, real life is happening here - my ironing board cover is looking pretty dingy!  

I then positioned all applique shapes in the appropriate places using my printed motif as a guide. The motif on the left shows how I sort the shapes into a general placement. On the right, you can see what the final placement looks like.  When satisfied with the placement, then I iron them in place.   

Next comes the fun part ... the quilting!  For this project I skipped the step of securing the appliques with a machine blanket stitch or zig zag satin stitch.  Instead I am using the longarm to stitch close to the edge of each shape while quilting.  Talk about quick and easy! 

I'm using a varigated thread in similiar colors to the collection and stitching less than 1/8" from the edge of each shape.  I'm not striving for absolutely perfect stitch placement, rather I'm looking for an organic, natural appearance. 

Next is the background fill ... something that truly makes my heart happy. I stitched a mix of swirls, echos and wavy lines to create a lot of movement all over the piece.  The stitching is less than 1/2" apart so it lies very flat.  To help with the flat look I used Warm 80/20 batting from The Warm Company.  This batting gives perfect stitch definition without being bulky.  

As I quilted around the appliques I adjusted the size of the quilting motifs to fit and balance with the shapes.  To keep a monochromatic look, I used a white thread to quilt the background. 

After the quilting was finished I trimmed the edges of the quilt, I had to make the decision whether to finish it as square or to do something special with the edges.  Well, I rarely miss and opportunity to do something special so I decided to scallop the outer edges to give it a really fun look that contrasts with the harder lines of the applique.  When I got it finished, I knew I had made the right decision. 

I absolutely love all the movement the quilting created and the Porch Swing collection provided just the right amount of contrast to really make the design pop.  I can't wait to see what you make with this collection. 

So if you have been paying attention, I've been referring to this as a "project" not a wall hanging or a table topper.  I'm undecided on how to use it.   Can you help me out?  Leave a comment and let me know if you would use it as a wall hanging or a table topper.  

Monday, February 13, 2023

Chickadee Blog Hop

I'm super excited to be part of the Chickadee Blog Hop.  This fabric line designed by Heide Pridemore of The Whimsical Workshop for Island Batik is so amazing.  I love all the bright, bold colors! 

For the blog hop, I remade my popular Stacked Deck quilt using the precut 10" squares from the Chickadee collection and paired them with a neutral for maximum contrast.  

I love how the colors pop against the drab winter grass.  Of course, Ruby, my Corgi had to get in on the action too and help with the photoshoot.   It was so cold, as you can tell by the frosted grass, on the day I took photos that I was ready to wrap up in the quilt!  

Here's the original version of Stacked Deck, also made with Island Batik fabrics, and I'm not sure which one I like better.  Patterns for Stacked Deck are available using this link.  You will need just 1 package of precut 10" squares and 3-1/2 yards of coordinating yardage for the background.  I can't wait to see the version you make. 

Be sure to check out all the amazing projects that the blog hop designers have made!  Talk about eye candy :)  Below are direct links to each post.

You can purchase the Chickadee collection at your local quilt shop or favorite online retailer.  

Friday, November 18, 2022

Cue the Confetti! - I'm a Brand Ambassador for Benartex Fabrics

Sometimes it is so hard to keep the news to yourself but I am beyond excited to share that I am part of the 2023 Brand Ambassador team for Benartex Fabrics!  

What does this mean?  

It means I'll be spending 2023 designing and sharing projects with you using Benartex fabrics.  I'll have 4 featured projects that I'll be designing as well as 2 group projects.  You'll be the first to see the fabrics I'm working with when I share my unboxing videos.  

This is the first year for Benartex's Brand Ambassador program and I love being a part of the inaugural year.  I've used Benartex fabrics for a number of my magazine quilts and can't wait to continue to share more projects with you using their fabrics. 

You can meet the Ambassador Team on Benartex's website using this link. It's such an honor to be part of this talented group of international designers. 

Here is the complete list, be sure to give them a follow! 

Carol - Just Let Me Quilt

If you would like to see more of my patterns, tips and techniques delivered weekly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my weekly Masterpiece Quilting Studio News email.  It's free of charge and I promise your email is safe with me. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Clay's Choice Block ReMix Challenge - The Reveal

It's time for the big REVEAL of my Clay's Choice Block Re-Mix challenge! 

This was a super fun block to re-mix and the possibilities were so many that I had a hard time narrowing down the final version to share with you. 

This is a one block layout and I'm absolutely adoring the way it turned out.  The secondary patterns that emerged in the final layout just blew me away!  Stay tuned for seeing more of this design ..  I'm thinking about bringing it to life as a pattern!  :) 

I truly love the opportunity to play and experiment with different blocks as part of the REMIX challenge.  Each month we independently re-design the same block and it's always fun to see how each designer interprets the challenge. 

On Mondays, the participating designers share about the challenge on their Instagram feeds.  Some of us are adding other social media too.   If you don't already follow me on Instagram, I'm @masterpiecequilting 

Here is the list of Instagram handles of the participating designers. 
















An easy way to find the posts is using the following hashtags.  Just type them into the search box and the posts will show up. 














I can't wait to see what everyone is sharing this week and I hope that you will take a look too! Be sure to follow each of the designers so you don't miss their posts during this fun challenge.

If you would like to see more of my patterns, tips and techniques delivered weekly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my weekly Masterpiece Quilting Studio News email.  It's free of charge and I promise your email is safe with me.