Tuesday, August 13, 2019

New Holiday Block of the Month

Holy Smokes it has been a long time since I posted  on my blog.  I need to get my act in gear!  My excuse. . . . ?  None.  I have taken most of July and August off to rest up for my busy Fall travel season and working on new designs and writing patterns.  Lonely work at times, but so often rewarding.

Today I am posting a new Block of the Month for the rest of 2019.  It is a project I have been tossing around for a while now, and finally buckled down and finalized the design.  It is a fun and challenging pieced and appliqued holiday wall hanging featuring blocks I love and a few new techniques.

It is called Season of Lights and yes, there are a few bright objects in it.  I am offering it in two colorways:  Day Lights and Night Lights.  Kits are available in both light and dark HERE.

Each month I will offer a large 12" block for free and companion bonus block (available free with a coupon code from my newsletter).  There are 4 rows beginning in August, and each month a new set will become available for free.  After 30 days the block and bonus block will be available as a set for purchase on my website.  The last month I will provide instructions for the setting and border.

The first block is a 12" finished Feather Star block.  I have always loved this block and think it is so appropriate for the holidays.  The center is 4" square and would be perfect for some hand embroidery, a small 4" friendship star, or some pretty quilting.  I leave it to you to decide what you want to put in the middle.

The pattern is paper pieced.  It does not include instructions on paper piecing, so if you are a novice I hope you will view some of the many great YouTube videos on how to paper piece before starting on this block.   It is not a difficult block, it just has a lot of sections.

You can download it for free from my Website:  www.morningglorydesigns.com

If you subscribe to my newsletter you already got the code to the bonus blocks this morning.  Not a subscriber?  Pop over to the 2019 BOM page (tab at the top of the page) and subscribe.  I send out my newsletter twice a month and my subscribers list is a private list, shared with no one!  And it is easy to unsub if you don't want to get it anymore.  One click on the bottom of the newsletter does it.

Now for a short personal rant.  I don't do this very often, but thought I would run this by you.

This is the 12th Free Block of the Month I have given away. Next year I am thinking about charging a subscription for my block of the month.  I have given away thousands of dollars worth of patterns and am now thinking perhaps I may have been too generous. I am more grateful than I can say to the wonderful quilters who write and thank me for the free patterns. I received such a nice note from Deborah L. this morning acknowledging how much work it is to write these patterns and thanking me for doing it.  I was touched and grateful, and frankly, it made my day.   

Since posting my new BOM in my newsletter at 10 am this morning, more than 300 people have downloaded more than 1000 (yup, that is 1,000+) free patterns from my website.  I received one thank you note, and 3 notes from people complaining because they had trouble finding where to put the coupon code to get the bonus blocks for free.  I write a personal note back to each person, responding to their concern with instructions, suggestions, and a thank you.  

Then I started thinking about what it costs me to give away these patterns.  All of my expenses have gone up this year.  

  • My web hosting service raised my rate by $10 more a month.  
  • My credit card processor tacked on a $25 month fee in addition to the 2.9% + .15 per transaction fee.  That is in addition to the $100 annual fee I pay every September.  
  • Pay pal costs 2.9% plus .30 per transaction, but at least they don't charge an additional monthly or annual fee.  
  • Then there is the monthly cost for my internet service (which just went up another $10 month) and
  • the printing supplies I need to print and mail out patterns which don't go out as digital downloads.  For example, I pay $75 for a box of 10 reams of high quality 24# paper for printing and $600 to replace ink in three printers (one color laser, one inkjet, and one large format) about 2-3 times a year.  I send large runs out to a commercial printer but most block of the month patterns are printed on my equipment because they are too expensive to print commercially in color.  
  • Finally, I have lost count how many times the post office has raised postage costs this year.  I just know that everyone, including me, wants free shipping, but it costs me  $3.60 to mail a regular sized pattern first class mail, and nearly $8 to mail a block of the month pattern priority flat rate.

Ok, you get the picture.  My hope is that my free stuff is an incentive to purchase patterns, and I work hard to create beautiful patterns that people will want to pay for.  So far *today* after giving away an estimated $1,740 worth of patterns I have had $10.25 in sales.

So I would deeply value your feedback on offering a subscription block of the month next year.

Thanks for listening to my rant, and your continued patronage of Morning Glory Designs.  Time to clam up.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

New Patterns

A Morning Glory Designs pattern will be appearing in the next issue of the Quilt Pattern Magazine!

It is called "In the Pines" and was designed for my friend Tammy Silver's Globetrotter fabric collection for Island Batiks.  It hung in their booth last year at Quilt Market!

If you don't have a subscription to this terrific on-line Quilt Magazine you can get one for a discounted price  HERE using the secret code MGD.  
OOPS, the secret is out now!  :-)

Two new patterns will be on my website and in stores this Fall.

Wildfire was made using Accu-Quilt die cut tumblers.  Super easy to cut and sew.  This quilt hung in the Northcott booth at Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City.  I made it in red and black to honor those who were touched by the tragic California fires in 2018.   The purple and teal version is made in honor of those who were touched by the tragic midwestern flooding this year.

 The pattern features the newest Shimmer collections from Northcott.

Artisan Spirit Shimmer in Red and Black

Artisan Spirit Shimmer in Purple and Teal

The next new pattern is called Peony Garden and it features a panel from Timeless Treasures new Peony Dance fabric collection.

These fabrics are super yummy!  The pattern will be available at Hancocks of Paducahm who will be kitting it this summer.  It will also be available on my website and everywhere else this fall.

More new patterns coming soon!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Time to post a new edition to the Button Basket BOM.  Block 5 is now ready on the 2019 BOM page.  Check it out.

This installment includes instructions for the pieced borders and appliqued corner blocks.  Wondering where the flower circles and buttons are on the outer border?  They will be in the final installment (July) along with the finishing instructions.

If you are a subscriber to my newsletter you will get access to the 5th in a series of American Art Pottery Blocks.  This month is an elegant swan vase from McCoy Pottery.

Can you believe this BOM is almost over?  Yikes!!  Good thing I have another in the works for the second half of the year.  I am planning a holiday project. Which would you prefer?  Pieced or Applique?  Answer in the comments and be entered to win the whole pattern!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Quilt Market in Kansas City

My booth at Quilt Market featured my Block of the Month quilts.

 It was a great market and was fun to see all the new things that will be in shops later this year. 

This is a new design coming out in June. I made the quilt and it hung in the Northcott booth.  It is called wildfire and was made to honor the survivors of the California fires last year.

Watch for more big news from Morning Glory Designs this summer. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Button Basket Block #2 is available for free in March

This block was totally fun to design and pattern.  Sooooo many circles!

Here are a few tips for making this block.  It was designed to be made with fusible web and machine applique.  If you prefer a different method, feel free to use your method of choice.

These circles are BIG and there are many layered and over-lapping pieces.  All the templates are reversed (although that doesn't make much difference with circles).  Trace one of each template on the paper side of the lightest weight fusible web you can find.  I recommend Soft Fuse of Misty Fuse.  Soft Fuse comes with a paper backing,  Misty Fuse does not, so you will need parchment paper with it.

Label every piece with template number/letter and fabric color.  This is critical with this many pieces which are similar in size and shape.

Smaller circles can be drawn inside the larger circles.  All but the very smallest circles should be "windowed."  That means you should trim out the center of the fusible web circles about 1/4 inch inside the traced line.  This reduces bulk when layer applique pieces.  Watch this video to see how to do this.

Get the applique basket you made from last month's pattern.  You will need it to make this month's complete block.

Cut out around each traced template and sort them by fabric.  Fuse the web to the back side of the applique fabric.  Trim each circle on the traced line.

Sort the circles into flowers, so all the pieces of a single flower are together.  Use a zip top bag for each flower to keep them organized.

Prepare the applique layout guide.  There are 9 pages  - yup this is BIG block.  Tape the pages together on the registration lines.  The complete block should measure 24-1/2" square.  Cut your  background fabric at least 25" square or more.

Pin the applique layout guide to your ironing board.  It may be bigger than your board so you might want to improvise with a larger surface.  Then pin your background fabric to the layout guide so it doesn't shift.  If you are using a light color background, you should be able to see the layout guide through your fabric. 

I recommend you use an applique pressing sheet to pre-assemble each flower.  CLICK HERE to see how to use one, if you have not used one before.  This will make it MUCH easier to position all these flowers on your background fabric.  Once the flowers are pre-assembled, arrange the basket applique and the flower applique on the background using the layout guide for placement.

Be careful about overlapping the flowers as shown on the layout guide.  Go slowly, and don't fuse anything in place until you are sure you have it placed correctly.  For example,  place the basket down first and fuse it in place.  Then slowly add flowers over the basket.  Work from the back to the front, if possible, to layer things in the correct order.

Be sure you use the correct iron temperature, time and pressure for your fusible product.  And don't forget to take the paper off the back of your fusible before placing it on the background.  A pair of bent nose tweezers are a big help in positioning applique pieces on the layout guide.

Once all the pieces are fused in place you are ready to stitch down the edges.  I will provide more detailed tips for how to do this in my next post.

By the way,  If you plan to sew on buttons (as I do) wait until AFTER the quilt is quilted.  Your quilter will thank you. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

New Block of the Month Announced

My favorite time of the year. . . . when a new Block of the Month is finally ready.  And here it is.

The Button Basket Block of the Month

Click on over to the 2019  BOM tab for all the details.  The first installment will be available on February 1, 2019, so bookmark the page so you can come back and pick up the pattern each month.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

New Patterns and a few Out Takes

December has been a very low key month for me.  No travel, no retreats, no going out.  Just time at home to rest and recoup from a busy year.  Of course I caught a cold/flu/bronchitis because everyone knows that if you aren't busy you will get sick.  Could have been a gift from the grandkids, but I don't mind, really.  Love those little babies to bits.

I may not have been traveling but I was still working.  Just completed two new patterns for Northcott which will be coming out in a week or two, and one new pattern for Timeless Treasures

Here are two versions of a Quilts of Valor design featuring Northcott's Stonehenge Stars and Stripes VII collection.  Super simple rail fence pattern in 2 versions.

The first one is called Don't Fence Me in.

The second one is called Don't Fence in my Eagles.

These two will be going to the printer next week and will be up on my website in the next few days.

One of the interesting things about designing for fabric companies, is that I supply them with dozens of designs (The same as many other designers), from which they only select one or two to feature with their fabric line.  Totally understandable.  They want a design which makes the most of their fabric and will help sell the fabric to shops.  Knowing that, I design quilts which show off fabric, but they aren't always great designs, and they often do not pick my personal favorites among those sent in.  So here are a few of my Outtakes.

For example, for the Stars and Stripes collection I designed several versions which used the new Eagle and Flag panel.  Here are my favorites, which were not selected.  But I think they would make GREAT Quilts of Valor.  What do you think?


I love that they are a little off center and have different borders on two sides.  The asymmetrical design reveals how unstable our current political situation is, but offers hope that the values which have and continue to give us faith in our republic are stronger than the current unsettled times might suggest.  It was a subtle but positive statement filled with hope for our future and gratitude for our past.  I suspect that was more than you wanted to know about these two designs, but I wanted to share that there is always a story behind every design, some more obvious than others.

Another new pattern features Northcott fabric collection Atlantic Shore.  I love, love, love the prints in this collections and plan to do a few more designs with it.  It has lobsters and crabs!  What is not to love about that?  I grew up on the Great Lakes and have a natural love of all things coastal!  Especially love eating all those aforementioned shellfish!  After nearly 3 weeks of camping on the south Texas coast at Rockport, in November, I am on a first name basis with those tasty beasties.

This first one is called Atlantic Compass.  it is 51 x 51 and the compass blocks are paper pieced. I had to get the blue crabs in there.  It was a touch choice between the blue crabs or the red lobsters.

Northcott asked me to do a simpler version which featured one of the panels in this collection.  Aren't these sea critter blocks fabulous?  This second version is super simple and anyone who can use a rotary cutter and ruler can make this one in a day!  But it is still totally fun with this amazing fabric.  Yup, no piecing at all in this version.  The center is one piece of fabric.  Wow I love panels.

Yes, there were a few outtakes from this group of designs as well.  Some were a set of placemats which I thought were pretty fun.  These feature a cut from the panel in the middle and some of the great associated print featuring crabs, lobsters and lighthouses.  Notice how the side panels use background fabrics which start with sand on the bottom, then shells, then birds on the top.  Is that cool or what?

OK, I was feeling patriotic after working on all those Quilts of Valor designs so, just for fun, I designed a flag quilt featuring the red, white, and blue prints in this collection.  Not a great design, but it was fun and I think it looked cool.  I didn't figure they would choose this since they save all their patriotic designs for their Stars and Stripes series, but I just had to use the blue puffins somewhere!  Aren't they cute?

Now for something completely different.  I designed some sweet baby quilts for Timeless Treasures using their Forest Friends collection.  Gotta tell you, these are some adorable little critters.  This collection will be in the stores in March 2019.   My adorable niece Melissa just had twin baby girls, Molly and Nora, so I named the quilts after them, and when the fabric is shipped they will each get their namesake quilt.

Here is "Welcome Molly" with sweet little cake stand blocks.

These prints are so soft and delicate they look washed out next to these bold colors in the earlier quilts.  Here is a close up so you can see these adorable hedgehogs, bunnies and owls.

Here is "Welcome Nora"

I loved the kitty applique and had to do at least one of these playful quilts with a kitty for my new grand niece.  

And the last thing I am working on is a collection of quilt designs for the new Northcott Shimmer collection, which will be featured at Spring Market in Kansas City.  I can't show you the designs they chose, but here are a few of the outtakes.  I don't know if these will get patterned or not.  Depends on the feedback I get from all of you.

My total favorite is called Frog in the Pond.

Yes, they are all 4" tumbler blocks cut with the AccuQuilt tumbler die.  Here is another of the tumbler outtakes.

I love trying to take a single shape and make it do things that disguise it.  Not entirely disguised, but the fish make you look twice.  Hehe

Here are a few more designs featuring the new Shimmer collections.


Picnic on the Sand

Wait till you see the ones they picked!  I'll be making them as soon as the fabric ships, and they will hang in their booth at market.  All I can say is dust off your AccuQuilt cutter!!!!

Speaking of market, I just sent in my contract to have a booth at the Kansas City Spring Quilt Market in May 2019.  I hope you can come and take a look.  I will also be vending and teaching at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival in June 2019 so definitely mark your calendar to come hang out at this amazing show.

Ok, after all this, I am ready for my  nap.

Oh, and did I forget?  I am working on a new block of the month for next year.  Whew!  I hope you will like it as well as the last few.  It is tough to keep coming up with good designs to give away each year.  But this is year 11, and as you know, I try to do something really different each year, and this next design is really different from what I have done in the past.  Curious???  Good.  Stay psyched for the big reveal January  February 1, 2019.

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Globe Trotter Blog Hop

Welcome the the Globetrotter Blog Hop sponsored by Island Batik and fabric designer Tamarinis.

 I had fun using the fabrics in this line to showcase the versatility and fun of this fabric line.  I did two designs in EQ8.

This first one is called World Tour and I wanted the big flying geese to go around the intertwined Globe in the center of the quilt.  And while we all may be in our own little corner of the world we are influenced by the rest of the world around us.  The fabrics really helped to convey this theme.

I ended up not making this design but worked instead on my second design called In the Pines.

This design used the greens and golds in the fabric line, with a bit of the blue blobs (that is what I called them anyway).  This was fun to make.

First I made all of these rotary cut and traditionally pieced flying geese blocks.  I love working with blocks which are the reverse of each other.  Confusing at times, but the look is so interesting.

Then I paper pieced the setting triangles.  These are a simple palm block set on point.  Super easy to do.

After getting all those flying geese blocks made I had fun putting rows together with sashing.  This pix shows all the blocks on my design wall waiting for their row to be next.

The pine tree blocks in the border are a variation of the flying geese block. 

It was a combination of paper piecing (geese) and traditional piecing (everything else).  At the last minute I changed the border design to add a bit more interest and I really like the movement created by the directional trees.

Wonderful quilting by Brenda Weien, machine quilter, added the final touch to the quilt.

And here is the label on the back.

Here are a few more designs I did for this fabric line that didn't make the cut, but you might like seeing some more ways to use this versatile batik.

Thanks for taking a look and don't forget to go to the other blog hop sites.  And be sure to enter the BIG DRAWING for a fabric collection.

Leave a comment on my blog to be entered to win a free pattern at the end of the blog hop.

Blog Hop Schedule

Monday, October 22
Island Batik 
Tuesday, October 23
Wednesday October 24
Seams Like a Dream
Friday, October 26
Patchwork Posse
Swam Amity
Saturday, October 27
Cranberry Pie Designs

Giveaway Details

What’s a blog hop without a little giveaway?! We have a yummy bundle of Globetrotter fabrics for one lucky winner! Enter to win via the link below.

 Globetrotter Blog Hop