Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Hilda Disguises as a Trick-or-Treater" - Free Halloween Pattern!

"Hilda Disguises as a Trick-or-Treater" - © American Pie Designs by Melanie Pinney

As promised yesterday, I have a gift for you!  If you would like a free copy of the pattern for "Hilda Disguises as a Trick-or-Treater", email me at between now and August 15, 2011, and I'll send you the paper pattern for this 15" soft-sculpture witch, complete with instructions on how to age her and create her funky glasses and pumpkin-on-a-stick.  My version of Hilda was inspired by a good pal who has kindly given me permission to provide a free copy of the pattern to my friends and customers.  Hilda was one of the most enjoyable designs I have created to date, and I particularly enjoyed painting her and creating her crunchy old hat.  I think you'll have fun making her too, and there's plenty of time between now and Halloween to get her finished.  Have fun, and be sure to email me with pictures of your finished Hilda so I can post them to this blog! Please note, this offer is limited to quantity on hand and expires August 15, 2011.  

I also want to introduce you to Jan MacKay and her great blog at http://punchdrunkneedleworks.blogspot.comJan does an incredible job with punch needle and also an old handwork craft called "Swedish weaving".  When I was a teen, a church friend taught me Swedish weaving (she taught it to me as "huck-weaving"), and I loved the beautiful tea towels and we created together. I noticed Swedish weaving cloth is showing up at JoAnn Fabric stores again and I'm glad to see this artform being enjoyed and revived.  If you haven't tried Swedish weaving yet, be sure to check out Jan's blog!

It's time to get back to my worktable.  My new "No Place Like Home" quilt and newest rug hooking pattern will be ready soon, so be sure to check back for more updates, or follow this blog by clicking one of the links in the left-hand margin.  In addition, I'll soon be releasing new "printable" tutorials, including one for nearly-invisible applique (Mmmmmm, applique!).  Until next time!  -- Melanie

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"There's No Place Like Home"

Kansas Troubles by Moda - "Butterfly Garden Collection"

There are good things in life, like warm chocolate chip cookies, a new puppy and, of course, Moda fabrics.  The people at Moda don't know how much I love them, but I find it impossible not to include their fabrics in my quilts.  I added several swatches from their "Butterfly Garden Collection in a new quilt I'm designing called "No Place Like Home".  I'm having so much fun with this quilt that I'm torn between working on it and finishing the rug hooking design I've been yacking about on this blog for the last couple of weeks.  I'll post a couple of sneak-preview pics of "No Place Like Home" tomorrow.  The design features several themes I really love, like heart-and-home blocks, maple leaves and (Mmmmm) applique!  For those of you who are rug hookers, don't fear--I'm taking the rug design with me this weekend and will work to finish it then.  I promise it's going to be worth the wait!

We handwork-lovers know it's not too soon to start our Halloweeeeen projects!  Tomorrow I'll release my FREE PATTERN for "Hilda Disguises as a Trick-or-Treater", a wonderful pattern for a soft-sculpture witch inspired by the work of Stacey Williams Mead.  This will be a full-color printable pattern with complete instructions on completing "Hilda", and I know you are going to love her!

Well, it's back to the worktable for me.  Seems I spend alot of time running my hands over the fabrics and hand-dyed wools and enjoying the colors and textures.  I think that's one of the best parts of creating, don't you?   -- Melanie

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Big-Stitch Quilting Method Tutorial

I've been busy all day working on a new quilt design that will be ready for release soon!  The main quilt blocks are finished and I'll begin appliqueing the borders in the morning over a cup of hot coffee and some backyard sunshine.  I can't decide whether to hand or machine applique the border (I'm sure lots of quilters get in the same quandary), so I'll probably include instructions for both types of applique in the pattern.  Won't that be fun?!

I'm burning a little late-night oil, but as promised yesterday, I have a new "printable" for you on big-stitch quilting.  If you haven't tried the big-stitch method yet, you should consider giving it a try on your next quilt.
The big-stitch method is relaxing and enjoyable, can be taken with you anywhere (including road trips), and is easy to learn. I love the way it makes my finished quilts look! You can get the printable by clicking the image above or by clicking the "For Quilters" tab at the top of this page. You'll see other tutorials there too, and I'm adding more every few days.

I'm headed back to my quilting table (and there's a hooked rug project calling my name), so I'll post again soon. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend! --Melanie

Friday, July 8, 2011

American Pie Designs Will Soon be at Your Favorite Quilting Store!

I just received fantastic news this morning that American Pie Designs has been accepted for wholesale distribution by Pattern Peddlers and my quilting, wool applique and punch needle designs should start appearing in your favorite quilting stores soon!  If you don't happen to see my patterns the next time you buy fabric, don't be afraid to tell them you want them to carry American Pie Designs.  I'm very pleased to work with Pattern Peddlers and look forward to a long and happy relationship with their great team!

My designs will also appear at fall Quilt Market in Houston Texas on October 29 through 31, 2011.  I'll be posting more information on Quilt Market in later posts, and you can stay tuned for updates by entering your email address in the red "Follow this Blog" link in the left-hand column of this blog.

Of course, with Quilt Market hovering near, I'll be turning out new quilt and wool applique designs like mad over the next few weeks.  If you're interested in knowing when new designs are released, be sure to join my very private and very safe mailing list (left-hand column again).  In the meantime, shhhhh, I can't drop more hints about what's in store, but I know you're gonna love what you see!

Be sure to check back tomorrow because I'll be posting great instructions on how to do "big-stitch" quilting.  It's a wonderful and easy way to hand-quilt the the top and bottom of your quilt around yummy 100% cotton batting.  I love the look that cotton batting gives to my quilts, and I particularly love big-stitch quilting.  I can take my project with me anywhere and the result lends a wonderful, homey finish to my quilts that I can't obtain with machine quilting.  You'll be able to view these full-color instructions on your screen or print them for later reference!

We'll, I'm back to the drawing board and off to my favorite quilting store for fabrics and supplies.  Have a great Friday!  --Melanie