Monday, November 7, 2011

Heartwarming Possibilities

C&T Publishing just released our newest pattern packet--Heartwarming Possibilities! This pattern packet includes 4 quilt projects to celebrate family and friends. The projects, a quilt, two wallhangings, and a tote, combine piecing with easy fusible applique--a Possibilities signature. The row quilt, approx 62 x 75" includes the verse "Friendship is the thread that stitches the world together" on the bottom row.

The Heartwarming Possibilities pattern packet will be available in mid November. Check your local quilt store, or contact C&T Publishing at

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all who made this pattern packet come together!The quilt was designed several years ago and just didn't fit into any of our books. We would bring it out at design meetings and end up tucking it away again and again. We were thrilled when C&T came up with this pattern packet format that fit this quilt to a "T". Thanks to Amy and Lynn and everyone else involved in this project at C&T for believing in us!

Thanks to everyone at Possibilities who worked on these projects--Susie, Lexie, Sharon, Jane, and Ann. (I hope I didn't forget anyone) Thanks to Merrie for the beautiful quilting.

Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tour to the Emerald Isle and the International Quilt Festival of Ireland

Sorry, our trip has been cancelled, but there are several more available if you would like to attend. Lynda
Have you heard about the International Quilt Festival of Ireland?

Well, we have and we are so excited about it that we want to escort 40 wonderful quilters and friends on an incredible 11-day tour of the Emerald Isle—wouldn’t you like to join us?
Nancy and I will be the personal escorts for an 11-day tour of the Emerald Isle, starting Friday, June 1st in Belfast, and culminating in Galway for the IQFI. Our husbands are also coming along. We fly from Denver to Belfast and will enjoy several sights and tours in the next few days as well as a visit with quilter’s of the Northern Patchwork Society. On the 4th we travel to Derry/Londonderry and along the way stop at the stunning Giant’s Causeway—one of my favorite sites in Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway is a spectacular rock formation featuring 40,000 basalt columns rising out of the sea. We will also make a special visit to the famous Bushmills Whiskey Distillery for a special guided tour—one of my husband’s favorite stops on our last trip to Ireland. We continue on to the city of tribes, Galway, stopping at the picturesque Glencar and Ashford Castle. The last few days we’ll spend in Galway attending the IQFI with opportunities to visit the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle and more.

As far as the festival itself, Jim West of Sew Many Places has outdone himself planning the IQFI. It is going to be a new kind of quilt festival! The festival will be held on the University of North Ireland campus in Galway, Ireland June 7-10th, 2012. The campus will be transformed into a glorious Quilter’s Village on the banks of the River Corrib. In the village there will be a Quilter’s Market where you can buy everything from Irish crafts to traditional Irish food. The Fat Quarters Chocolate Shop will be the place to obtain anything chocolate. The Town Hall will be filled with vendors who have created booths to tease you with their latest state-of-the art products and services.

Visit the Wicked Thimble Pub to relax and enjoy live Irish music in a pub atmosphere. Ready to chill out—the local movie house will be showing continuous free Irish movies such as the 1952 John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara movie, “The Quiet Man” filmed just a couple of miles away. Over a dozen special quilt exhibits will be on display in various buildings throughout the village and quilting classes will be held in the Schoolhouse.

Last, but not least are many Non-quilter’s programs, including an Irish pub crawl (I know my husband that will be attending), fishing, woodcrafting, golf, Hell’s Kitchen Museum/Railway Museum (Nancy’s husband will certainly be attending), and much more.
The festival begins with a special GRAND RECEPTION on June 7th featuring legendary quilter Jinny Beyer, a 3 course dinner and a Riverdance-type show, Trad on the Prom. Nancy and I will be attending but space is limited so sign up soon.

For more information, click here:
Any questions, just email me at .

Happy stitching,
Lynda Milligan

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Alphabet Quilt Blog of the Month, Part 2B

I know that I said the machine appliqué lesson was next, but my machine was acting up and I had to have it cleaned and checked--thanks Kurt! So, in the meantime, I've been working on getting more blocks ready. As you can see on Amy's directions that are listed at the bottom of the placement sheets, she starts at Step 5. You have already prepared your appliqué pieces and are ready to fuse them into place.

Amy has done a terrific job giving you the order of placement for the appliqué pieces. However, I found that in some cases it helps to pre-construct some units. Place the pieces on the Appliqué Presser Sheet or the release paper from the fusible web, press in place and they will release when cool. I also have found that I like to mark some of the detail lines before I fuse the pieces together.

So, with that said, here are my hints for the first eight blocks...................

Letter a
I would mark the bow knot and tails; the eyes, nose, mouth; and the circles for the hair fasteners. I pre-constructed the paintbrush, and the collar and bow.

Letter b
I marked the eyes, nose, Band-Aid lines, fingers and bubble circles. I pre-constructed the hat, hat brim, and hair; and the hand, thumb, and bubble blower as one unit. After fusing pieces to the background, finish marking the bubble circles.

Letter c
Mark the eye, mouth, hair bow, and fingers. Pre-construct the camera as one unit.

Letter d
Mark the eyes, nose, and mouth. Pre-construct the headbands, top of hair, and reflector. You can also pre- construct the hair right, hair left, and face.

Letter e
Mark the eyes, nose, and mouth. Pre-construct the outside and inside of both earphones with the earphone wire.

Letter f
Mark the girl's eyes, nose, mouth and hair bows. Also mark the frog's eyes, mouth, and chin. Pre-construct the hair, frog, and frog eyes as a unit.

Letter g
Mark the eyes, nose, and mouth. Pre-construct the goggle lenses, goggles, goggle strap, and buckle as a unit.

Bus front
Mark "abc" on the top of the bus. Construct the top of the bus, the windshield, the mirror supports, and the mirrors as one unit. Construct the bottom of the bus, the bumper, the wheels, the stop sign support, and the Stop sign as a second unit.

Cut the fabric for the backgrounds.
From your background fabric, cut seven strips 11 1/2". Cut each of these strips into four blocks 9 1/2" x 11 1/2". I like to treat my backgrounds with a couple layers of Spray Starch to make them extra crisp so that they naturally act like they have been stabilized.

Follow step 8 of Amy's directions. Read the instructions directly below the block placement sheet for any instructions specific for Step 8. On a light table, put a 9 1/2 x 11 1/2" fabric block background right side up over a block placement sheet. There should be approximately 1/2" of extra fabric around the block. Place appliqué pieces and/or pre-constructed units in place on fabric background aligning with placement sheet. Fuse into place.

Lots of preparation for the applique to go smoothly, but well worth the effort. I will give you the order in which I will applique the pieces next.

We were able to put together a button kit for the eyes. The kit contains 50 small black buttons and one larger black button for the eye under the magnifying glass. It is $8.99 and is in limited supply. Click here for more information.

I'll be back soon,

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Alphabet Quilt Blog of the Month, Part 2a

I'm sooooo excited to start My Alphabet Quilt Blog of the Month!!!

Because there is so much to talk about this first month, I am going to break the information up into a few blogs. We have made available on our website the My Alphabet Quilt pattern and book and two different kits to get you started. The first kit is our Skintones Kit. It includes 4 different mottled fabrics for the faces and hands. These will be the exact fabrics that I will be using, in fact, I accidentally used the wrong side of the fleshtone fabric for my artist's face--ooops, but it turned out fine and it gave me another choice. The second kit is the background/border kit which includes the white-on-white for the block backgrounds and borders, as well as the turquoise and the red. The fabrics may change but I will try to stay true to the colors. For more information on the kits and patterns, click here. There are also links on that page to the notions and tools that I will refer to.

Getting organized:

Pre-washing your fabric is a personal choice. We hardly ever pre-wash because we start projects at work and don't take the time. I am not pre-washing my fabric and I realize that the fabrics could possibly run. I will use Shout Color Catchers when I wash the quilt and not allow the quilt to soak.

Cut placement sheets and pattern sheets apart. Set placement sheets aside for now. There are many fusible products on the market. This project requires that you have a least one side covered in paper that you can trace on. The two that I use are Wonder Under and Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite. I like them both, although SaS 2 Lite creates a better bond because there is more fusible that comes in contact with the fabric. Whatever fusible product you use, be sure to read and follow the directions on the package.

Tracing the pattern pieces:

Place your fusible product over your pattern sheet with the paper side up. Leave at least 1/4" between pattern pieces. Using a Sewline Pencil in black, I trace all of the pieces from the pattern sheets onto my fusible web. I cut them out roughly--DO NOT CUT ON PENCIL LINE, but at least 1/8" away from it. I place them in a repurposed spiral notebook that I have marked with the alphabet letters, one set of pattern pieces per page.

If you want a softer feel for your appliqué blocks, trim out the inside of your fusible pattern pieces, about 1/8" inside of penciled line. I especially recommend this on any pieces that have many layers such as C is for Camera. Save these larger cutout pieces to trace smaller patterns, therefore saving on the amount of fusible that you will be needing. Be especially careful when trimming out the letters. Leave a bridge to connect the inner cutout pieces in letters such as "a and b" (see letter b below).

Some light fabrics placed over dark fabrics (such as the letter "m" where the dark fabric might show through the light skin) would benefit from lining the light fabric. To line the light fabric, iron a piece of fusible web to the wrong side of the light fabric, peel the paper off and iron to a separate piece of white fabric. Then treat this bonded fabric as one fabric. I will let you know which pieces I have lined.

Press fusible pattern pieces to fabric:

Place the pattern piece on the wrong side of your chosen fabric and press according to the fusible web instructions. Let cool. Now, cut out the pattern pieces on the pencil line. I find the Fiskar's Curved Scissor allows me to cut smoothly and accurately and can flip over to cut inside or outside curves.

Pattern Placement and Details:

This is where the Applique Presser Sheet (APS) pays for itself! Place the Letter Placement Sheet on an ironing board. Place the APS over it. Read the instructions directly below the block placement sheet for specific instructions from step 5 (refer back to the main Instruction Sheet for any steps not listed). Remove the paper backing from the fused pattern pieces. Place them in numerical oder on the APS using the placement sheet as your guide. Press as you go and the pieces will stick to the APS. When all pieces are placed, press again. Let cool. (Hmmm-I just noticed that I lost a bow for her braid-back to the ironing board).

Mark the detail lines and eye dots with a Sewline pencil in a color that contrasts with the fabric. Peel the applique away from the APS. Place the entire piece on your background rectangle and press into place.

If you don't have an APS, lay your background fabric over the placement sheet and center it. Place your applique pieces in order on the background and press into place. A light box might be helpful for placement, but do not press your pieces on it. Mark the detail lines and eye dots as described above.

Next up, Part 2b, Applique

If you have any questions as we go along please add a comment to the end of the blog entry or email me at

Back at you soon,