Hissyfitz Designs

A Light-hearted Look at Appliqué Quilts by Sandy Fitzpatrick

Quilting

Aurifil Love

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick6 Comments

Does it get better than this?! Today I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected as an Aurifil Artisan! I've had a love affair with this wonderful thread for many years and have been using it exclusively ever since I discovered it. The quality is unsurpassed in my book, strong, lint-free, fantastic colors, and my BERNINA sewing machine absolutely loves it.

What an honor to be included in such a great group of likewise quilters, crafters, bag-makers, designers, and sewists throughout the world.

If you have taken a class from me, then you probably already know about this thread as I have been preaching about its qualities for years. If you haven't tried it yet, I encourage you to give it a try.

My husband and I took a trip to Italy a little over a year ago and, although it wasn't on our original itinerary, we took a train to Milan to visit the Aurifil headquarters

 

This is me with Elena Gregotti and her Dad, Angelo Gregotti, the founder of Aurifil thread and Studio Auriga.

 

Now this is a priceless shot! Look at all that wonderful Aurifil thread! Oh, and those three great guys in the foreground too.

Alexander, Bradley and Alex

Did you know that you can use Aurifil thread for embroidery too?

So, I'll just be doing my little "happy dance" for awhile here! I hope you will join me in my celebration.

Welcome to My Little Corner of the World!

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick9 Comments
Teapot stitching

Teapot stitching

If you are new here, I'm glad you found your way to my little corner of the world. I'm participating in a Blog Tour called BERNINA Ambassadors - Telling Our Stories, and today is the day that I get to tell mine. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may already know a few of these little tidbits but sit back and relax as we get to know each other.

My name is Sandy Fitzpatrick and I am a pattern designer, teacher and lecturer of machine appliqué and free-motion quilting. Sewing has always been a passion of mine and I get no greater joy than teaching and sharing my techniques with others.

free-motion

free-motion

I became an official BERNINA Ambassador about two years ago, but I've actually been a BERNINA advocate for almost 40 years! I had previously owned another brand of machine which "gagged" whenever I tried sewing over elastic. Since I was making clothes for myself and my children at that time, it was really frustrating trying to find a "work around" to my stitching problems. When I had the opportunity to sew on and purchase my first BERNINA I thought I could hear angels singing, as all of my stitching issues seemed to vanish. I couldn't believe that a machine could make that much difference in my sewing capability. As Ambassadors we also create great tutorials on the We All Sew blog. Here are a few links to some posts which I have previously written.

Stitch Tape Measure Style

Mantel Cover

Make It Merry Holiday Coasters

Decorative Stitching with the BERNINA Tailor Tack Foot

For years, I made my own clothes and, as my children came along, I made hand smocked outfits for each of my three kiddos. This worked well for a number of years. With two girls and a boy, I would make coordinating smocked outfits for Easter and Christmas along with the normal "church" clothes for the rest of the year. When our son was about four years old, I made coordinating sailor outfits for Easter. On Sunday morning when it was time to get ready for church, my son refused to put on the knickers and smocked shirt that I had so lovingly made. Frustrated, I stomped downstairs and told my husband, "You go talk to him!" About five minutes later, my son came strutting down the stairs, proudly wearing said smocked outfit. "How did you do that?!" I asked my husband. He said, "I told him I'd give him a dollar if he would wear it to church." Let's just suffice it to say that I never made him another smocked outfit.

When my kiddos outgrew these smocked clothes, I had to find another direction in which to focus my sewing. I decided to try quilting, and found my new passion. I began by making traditional quilts, but soon realized that appliqué was more forgiving and I didn't need as many math skills.

It didn't take long for me to realize that I enjoyed creating my own appliqué patterns. When friends started asking me to create patterns of my designs, I realized that perhaps I could turn my fun little hobby into a business, and Hissyfitz Designs became a reality.

Merry Mouse Mischief

Merry Mouse Mischief

I currently have a line of patterns that are a little outside of the box. I once had a customer tell me that I didn't even know where the box was. Hmmm... I guess I'll take that. Anyway, you may find me vending and teaching at quilt shows throughout the U.S. As we speak, er, I mean type, I am teaching and vending at A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, TN and next week you will be able to find me at AQS Quiltweek in Lancaster, PA.

Cruisin'

Cruisin'

I am currently working on new patterns for Quilt Market in St. Louis in May so keep a lookout to find them at a shop near you.

I hope you enjoy learning about the other participating BERNINA Ambassadors on this little blog tour. Simply click on the names below to get a peek at who we are and what we are all about. Remember that if you are looking for teachers for your guild or local shop we have lots of knowledge and enthusiasm to share!

Monday March 20 Lynn Carson HarrisKelly AshtonDiane DoranMelody Crust

Tuesday March 21 Kathy DelaneyChrista WatsonMandy Leins

Wednesday March 22 Sandy FitzpatrickBeth FerrierCheryl Sleboda

Thursday March 23 Annie SmithLori KennedyKari KarrCatherine Redford

Friday March 24 Joann SharpeCherry GuidryJenelle Montilone

Everyone loves a little free gift! If you have stuck around long enough to get to the bottom of this post, I have a free pattern for you, just sign up for my email newsletter in the pop-up block on my Homepage and this free Stitch It Up pattern will be emailed to you.

Stitch it Up!

Stitch it Up!

Enjoy!

Signature for Blog

Signature for Blog

You Need This Book!

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick2 Comments

I recently had the privilege of having a sneak peek at Lori Kennedy's new book, Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3. Lori is a regular columnist for the American Quilter Magazine and has a wonderful blog called The Inbox Jaunt.

If you are familiar with her work, you know about the amazing designs Lori can create with her quilting. If you haven't seen her work and are interested in applying some free-motion quilting to your own projects, you need to purchase this book for your quilting library.

Lori has done an amazing job creating a resource to guide you through the quilting process. What may look like a complicated design once it is stitched out, is actually quite easy and "do-able" using her step by step guidelines. By following her instructions, she will remove any doubt you may have of your stitching ability.

The beginning of the book is loaded with information on how to set up your machine, tools to make the process easier, and a breakdown of batting, backing, and threads.

As you make your way through the book, you will find simple designs, which gradually morph onto what looks like more complicated designs. However, Lori will guide you along each step so that you will soon be stitching your way through new design elements. She also includes areas for you to practice doodling designs so that you can get a feel for how the design is created.

I have been doing my own free-motion quilting for many years and wish this book had been available to me when I first started out. The information Lori has provided will help remove the fear you may have in attempting your own free-motion experience.

 

I would suggest that you pre-order your book through your local quilt shop now! You may also get your copy directly from Lori at The Inbox Jaunt or through Amazon.com. This is a book you don't want to miss.

 

 

 

Sometimes a Girl Just Needs a Makeover

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick3 Comments

flamingo-new Do you ever have one of those days when you look in the mirror and decide it's time for a little change?

As a pattern designer, we get to make those decisions when it's time to reprint a pattern. This Flamingo Frolics pattern is not new. However, it still remains popular and when I began to run out of the pattern, I had to make a few decisions. Do I keep it in the line, or not?

Since it was one of the first patterns I designed, I decided to give it new life by remaking the quilt in updated fabrics and redoing the pattern completely. It is now much easier for you to create, as all the pattern pieces are drawn out separately and ready for you to trace onto fusible web. There are new instructions and a guide sheet showing pattern placement.

There is a constant swirl of new pattern designs in my head and I'm working hard to have some new ones ready for Spring Market. But, for now, welcome back girlie, good to see you "keeping up with the times"!

Sandy

 

Loving Lancaster

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick2 Comments

Last week I was able to spend a few days in the lovely city of Lancaster, PA while attending the AQS show. It was a very busy week with two lectures, teaching a class on machine applique and vending. After setting up on Tuesday we were able to spend some much needed "down time" taking in the idyllic sites of the surrounding area. We love the Central Market which was first established in 1730. It's the oldest farmer's market in the country and has such a great selection of food, flowers, and crafts. Definitely the best baklava I've ever eaten and the tastiest sandwiches on homemade bread! Central Market, Lancaster, PA

As we toured the peaceful Amish countryside we went in search of one of the local covered bridges and enjoyed the sites of a simpler life.

Neff's Mill Bridge 1824

Amish Life

My class on machine appliqué was such a treat. It's always fun for me to be able to show that there really is nothing to fear with appliqué and that it really can be so much fun, almost like playing with paper dolls. The students were a delight and we even had the joy of having an assistant, as Pumpkin the service dog, joined us for the class. Since Pumpkin has been trained to turn on lamps at home by pressing down on a foot control, we did get quite a chuckle as she decided to take a few stitches on the machine, thinking she was doing us a favor by turning on the lights.

Woo Hoo!

IMG_2205

Pressing

There were some absolutely exquisite quilts in the quilt show....

Celebration

Celebration by Lynne Taylor of Cape Girardeau, MO

The Minotaur

The Minotaur by Marilyn Belford of Caldwell, NJ

Spanish Arches

Spanish Arches by Lenore Crawford of Midland, MI

Bouquet

Bouquet by Katie Pasquini Masopust from her Paintings in Quilts special exhibit.

Now that the show is over, I'm spending some much needed "grandma/honey" time with the grand girls in NJ. We've managed to work in a few art projects of our own.

Emma's cake

Painting

Create!

Hope you are spending some time creating something of your own!

Sandy

Measuring Tape Border? No Problem...

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick2 Comments
If you've been wondering how to use the blanket stitch on your sewing machine to create the look of a measuring tape I've created a post on just how to accomplish it on your BERNINA.

We all love to sew, right? That’s why we’re here! I especially love to create things that depict my passion for sewing. Did you know that you can use the stitches on your BERNINA machine to replicate the look of a tape measure? Not only can it be done, it’s also very easy to accomplish.

Quilt Stitchin' Addiction by Sandy Fitzpatrick

I used this technique to create a “tape measure” border around my Stitchin’ Addiction quilt and I can’t tell you how many people have fallen in love with this idea. It is basically just three regular blanket stitches and one a little wider.

For the full "how-to" article, check it out on BERNINA'S We All Sew blog here....

http://weallsew.com/stitch-tape-measure-style/

Enjoy!

Sandy SigWeAllSew_205x205

You Finally Made It!

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick220 Comments

I hope you have been having a great time on the 100 Blocks Magazine Blog Tour! I'm glad that you found me here in my corner of the world. I have a little post-it note stuck to my computer screen that says, "I live in my own little world but it's okay, they know me here!" So welcome, sit back and relax and enjoy a few minutes with me. Image

I am excited to have a block in this wonderful magazine once again and hope that you will find it is just what you need to make up something quick for the holidays. My block is called "Shine a Little Light" and it actually has a little bit of special meaning to me as we place candles, just like this, in all of our windows for the month of December.

This block would be lovely if you combined three of the blocks together to make a table runner or even use it to make a mantle cover over your fireplace.

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Since I like to do things a little differently, I'm also showing how you can make a simple wallhanging of a window and add the candles to the windowsill. For a little special touch, I added the moon and a silhouette of Santa and his reindeer flying off into the night.

Image

If you would like to make a similar wallhanging, I'm offering a free download of the Santa and reindeer silhouette called "Santa's Flight" as a free pdf that you can print out on your own computer. In order to get the free download, you just need to sign up for my newsletter. Don't worry, I only send one out when I have a new design coming out or if I have some quilt related news to share, so your inbox won't be overrun with emails from me. I'll be sending out a newsletter next week with a link for the free download.

Sign up for the newsletter here. newsletter-button I also have a couple of giveaways for you here. You can win one of three of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Magazines, I'll be sending out two magazines and Quiltmaker will mail out the third. I'll also be giving away three of my patterns. To win one of these six prizes, simply go to my website, decide which pattern you would like to win, and then come back here and tell me which one you would like, by leaving a comment below. Six lucky winners will be selected Monday morning and I will contact the winners to get a mailing address.

If you haven't already "liked" me on Facebook, please do so, as that is the quickest way to see what's new in my world. Click here to be added to my Facebook fans.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Signature Red

How to Add a Flange to Your Quilt Block and Mount it on a Canvas Frame

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick1 Comment

16Finished-block Many of my patterns have an additional little design element that's called a "flange". This is actually just an additional strip of fabric in a contrasting color to add a little zing to the design. However, it not only adds that little pop of color but also has a very useful purpose! It allows you to lift up the flange on your finished project to begin free-motion quilting in an area so that no one call tell where you began. After you have done all of your wonderful quilting, you can then end your quilting by lifting up the flange again and secure your stitches underneath. Again, no one will be able to tell where you ended your quilting! AMAZING, I know!

I decided to add a little tutorial on my blog so that you, too, would have the knowledge to add a flange to your projects and give them a little extra personality. The design I'm using is called "Stitch" and can be purchased on my webpage.

The first thing you need to do is complete the stitching on your particular appliqué block.

1Stitch-block

For this block I decided to stretch it over an artist's canvas. I purchased a 12" blank canvas from my local art supply/craft store.

Canvas-back

Since I started with a 12 ½" finished block, I needed to determine how much to trim off the block in order to add the flange and have the block wrap around to the back of the canvas. I wanted my flange to be 1" inside the edge of the canvas so I trimmed my block to 10 ½".2Trim-Block

Next, I cut one strip of fabric 1" x wof (width of fabric).

3Cut-flange

I then placed this on my ironing board in a little pile and added spray starch to it.

4Spray-starch

Next, iron this little strip of fabric, wrong sides together, to create a long strip of fabric that is ½" wide.

5Press-flange

Now, cut four of these flange strips 10 ½" in length.

Trim-flange

Line the raw edge of the first strip up with the raw edge of the top of the block and sew it on with a ¼" seam allowance. Then continue to sew the flange strips onto your block. I usually sew the top and bottom on first and then the two sides.

Stitch-flange

When the flange has been added, you need to determine how wide to cut the border strips to add to your block so that it will wrap to the back of the canvas. Center your block on the front of the canvas and measure from the edge of the block to the back side of the canvas and add ¼". My measurement was 3" so I cut two strips of background fabric 3" x wof (width of fabric).

Measure-to-back

I then cut two strips 10 ½" in length because that is the size of my block, and I sewed one border to each side of the block, again using a ¼" seam allowance, encasing the flange between the block and the border fabric.

Stitch-border

Remember to press your borders away from your block each time you sew one on. The folded edge of your flange strip will be towards the center of your block.

Press-border

Now that your side borders have been added you need to cut two lengths from your border fabric to measure 3" x 15" and add these two borders to the top and bottom of your block. When all the borders have been added, it's time to layer your block with backing and batting and do some fun quilting. If you aren't sure about free-motion quilting, you can always do some straight line quilting or cross-hatch quilting.

13Free-Motion

After quilting is finished, trim your block to 15" square and staple it to your canvas.

15Staple-to-canvasCenter your block on your canvas and pull the fabric to the back a little at a time and staple with a heavy duty stapler. Start in the center of each side so that you can determine that the block is centered and square and pull the fabric tight. The corners can be a little tricky, so fold the corner up at a diagonal and then fold the sides over it. Then continue to add staples around the block every couple of inches.

What a quick and easy way to give a block more personality. You can also add a flange to an area on your quilt that needs a little extra pop of color!

I've Been Waiting for You!

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick217 Comments

Image Hello, and welcome to my blog! I’m so excited to have another block in the 100 Blocks Magazine. There are so many wonderful blocks in this issue to give you some quilting and sewing inspiration, you’ll be busy for months!

If you are anything like me, the ideas to create using these blocks are so abundant that I don’t want to do anything else but lock myself in my sewing studio and sew. Unfortunately though, life has a way of getting in the way of studio time so I just have to stitch a little when I can.

I’m happy that you have made it to Day 4 on the Blog Tour. When I sat down to create a block for this issue I wanted something that could be displayed year ‘round. After a few sketches I decided on a cupcake block as they are so sweet and tempting.

Cuppity Cake

Here are a few ideas of ways to use my “Cuppity Cake” block.

You could make a traditional style quilt using any number of blocks, I kinda like the look of this nine block setting using alternate blocks of four cupcakes.

9 patch cupcake quilt

For something a little simpler, how about a table runner? You can add some cupcake quilting in the center block.

Cupcake Tablerunner

Or, if you really want to try something a little different, here is an idea using the completed block and then taking portions of the design to create something a little more unique. I really like the look of this one.

Cupcake Alternate Layout

Giveaway Prizes:

Five lucky winners will be chosen randomly using random.org to win one of the five prizes.  Prizes include one of two copies of the 100 Blocks Magazine, the kind folks at Quiltmaker are supplying one, and I will provide the other. Three Hissyfitz Designs patterns (winner's choice) will be given away as well.

How to enter:

Go to my website, Hissyfitz Designs, check out my patterns and then leave a comment here stating which pattern you would like to win.

Giveaway will close at midnight EST on Friday, May 3rd.  Winners will be contacted by email and will be posted here on my blog.

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Thanks for stopping by and I would love it if you would "like" me on Facebook to be the first to find out about my latest patterns.

Don't forget to "share" the giveaway with your family and friends.  We don't want anyone to miss out on the fun!

Be sure to check back tomorrow with the Quilty Pleasures blog to see even more inspiring blocks and ideas!

A Time to Sew

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick4 Comments

What a great weekend retreat we had last weekend as our bee went on our annual “bee-treat” at the beach! Lots of sewing, quilting, and knitting mixed in with delicious food and laughter. It was great to have one of our long, lost members return for the weekend. Kelly moved out of state several years ago but slipped right back in without missing a beat and was able to enjoy all the fun just as if she had never left!

We were able to complete a few quilt tops and get a good start on more projects…

Shirley completed her top using beautiful Daiwabo fabrics.

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Kelly made a bathrobe for her son out of John Deere flannel and also got a great start on some pineapple blocks and a quilt top made from plaid fabrics.

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A shoulder injury kept Tina from bringing her machine to sew on but she got quite a bit accomplished on a knitted bag that she is planning to felt.

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Carol made a gorgeous pinwheel quilt top (don’t know how I missed getting a picture of it) and also took a little time to work on her Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt which she has been hand-piecing for as long as I can remember. It is almost finished and we are ready to celebrate with her when she takes those last stitches!

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Lori completed two quilt tops, a bright and happy jelly roll quilt made from a Moda Bake Shop pattern and her version of “Frog Days of Summer”, one of my patterns – Gorgeous!

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Bright and happy quilt tops were also made by Ann using Dr. Seuss fabrics which she made for baby quilts.

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Julianne managed to crank out 25 lined fabric bags for Beads of Courage, an organization that provides bags to children with serious illnesses to carry their collection of beads.

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Julianne also worked on more blocks for her triangle log cabin quilt top.

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As for me, applique was the name of the game as I worked on blocks for my grand-daughter, Emma’s, quilt. Photos for that quilt to be posted at a later date.

I think we all came home with great feelings of accomplishment, and a renewed sense of spirit, ready to hit the ground running for the upcoming week.

Quiltin' with Friends

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick3 Comments

Our bee recently went on our yearly "bee-treat" and had a wonderful weekend full of laughs, relaxation and sewing! I think we determined that this was our seventh year to go away together (it would have been eight except for the fact that we cancelled our retreat four years ago when I had a skiing accident). Anyway, we always look forward to our time together. For the past two years we have gone to Oak Island and stayed in a gorgeous beach house owned by a relative of one of our members. We waste no time getting machines and tables set up so that we can get down to some serious sewing and quilting.

This year's retreat was also a deadline for a project we had been working on individually. We got the idea from Quilting Arts magazine as they published an article a few months ago asking for small quilts that portray your inner animal. Since these quilts were small, usually 8 1/2" x 11" or something close to it, we figured this would be an easy and fun project. Giving ourselves several months to work on them also helped, however, there are always a few of us who literally wait until the last minute! I must admit I am one of the procrastinators but managed to meet the deadline by finishing my quilt at 11:30 p.m. the night before the reveal! Unfortunately I could not think up an animal that was a procrastinator but did manage to come up with something  that I felt was a close depiction.

 

I decided my inner animal had to be a duck. When I asked my dh why he thought I picked a duck he said it was because I let things roll off my back and don't get too upset about anything. Although that is a pretty accurate description, the real reason is because, like a duck, I may look calm on the surface but underneath the water I'm paddling as fast as I can! When we had our "reveal" moment, the quilts were removed from a bag and laid on the floor one at a time so that we could guess which animal matched which person. What fun it was to see just how well we knew each other.

 

This cute little quilt  belongs to Shirley. She said she had a hard time coming up with just one animal that depicts her so this is Shirley flipping her lid! As you can see it says, "Itz a ZOO in here!" She says that pretty much sums it up with all her ideas just screamin' to get out.

 

 Julianne created this great little quilt of  a Mama Hen. She said she longed to create a cheetah, based on her love of running and racing but she was sidelined from running due to an injury during the challenge time (notice the cheetah shaped cloud). She decided that she is really a Mama Hen with her four chicks around her, who dreams of being a cheetah. The hen is sitting on a quilt that Julianne made, which was photographed and transferred to fabric for use in her little quilt.

It wasn't too hard for us to guess that this was Carol's quilt. We are always accusing her of putting things away and forgetting where she put them. The great thing about this little quilt is that behind every leaf is a picture of scissors, thread, measuring tape or some other sewing tool. She certainly nailed it with this one. Also, notice the question mark above the squirrel's head? That's Carol, always looking for something and as she says, tries things by trial and error! :)

 There was no doubt who this little gem belonged to when it was revealed! Lori is a Hokie through and through and has sewn every bag pattern known to man! Although the rest of us weren't really sure what a Hokie was, we learned that it is actually a turkey. Lori says the Hokie Bird is loyal, studious, loves fall weather and college football, and bleeds maroon and orange. She did a great job on this little bag, the back of it even has turkey feathers for a tail!

Last, but certainly not least, is Tina's lion quilt. She says the traits of a lion are independent, strong, and fiercely protective of family and friends. What a beautiful job she did of collecting just the right brown prints for the lion's mane. It's no surprise that Tina chose this strong and gorgeous creature as she, herself, earned her black belt in karate this past year. You go girl!

We still have one member of our bee who is working on her inner animal. Hopefully Ann will have her quilt ready to post soon.

Gotta Love Machine Applique

UncategorizedSandy Fitzpatrick1 Comment

What a great class and a great group of ladies I was able to spend time with in February!  The ladies of the Meherrin Quilt Guild in Emporia, Virginia were such fun and so easy to work with. It's always wonderful to be able to share my machine applique tips and techniques with ladies so willing to learn. We were able to accomplish so much because they were so well prepared and knew how to use their machines! I know this sounds funny but I often have students who come to class with a machine they recently purchased and don't really know how to thread their machine or wind a bobbin. Using my Gorgeous Gourds pattern, these ladies came up with some beautiful fabric combinations.

We also had a great lunch provided by one of the guild members. Delicious chicken, twice baked potatoes, carrot salad, bean salad, and delicious dessert of cherry cobbler all made in their on-site kitchen! It smelled so yummy as it was cooking and was so, so good!

Thanks ladies for such a wonderful day!