Archive for the ‘Kansas City Star BOM’ Category

Best. Christmas. Ever.

On December 25, 1952, Hazel declared it her Best Christmas Ever.

She got everything she wanted but a watchband!

In 1965, Hazel gave birth to a little baby boy on Christmas Eve. I’m wondering if that Christmas perhaps replaced 1952’s Christmas as her Best Christmas Ever?

Hazel loved Christmas, and I’m pretty sure that the gatherings with family meant more to her than the presents, but she loved those, too!

I knew that I wanted to include a Christmas quilt in the book because of this, so I used the traditional Christmas Star quilt block for one of the blocks in the main Hazel’s Diary quilt, and drew some poinsettia appliqué to go on top of it.


The Christmas quilt I designed for the book is called “Best. Christmas. Ever.” and it uses the Christmas Star block in a medallion setting. I took the appliqué off the blocks, and moved it into the large triangles around the center block.


I also wanted to do an unexpected color combination as a nod to the early 1950s, when table linens had motifs in odd colors, such as red horses or gray flowers. When I saw the Chalkboard Christmas fabric by Melissa Ybarra of Iza Pearl Designs for Windham Fabrics, I knew it was what I wanted to use for this quilt.


This quilt is sized to make a great wall hanging or table topper for your Christmas decorating, or even a nice bed topper.


I’ve been wanting to try the block in some new modern fabrics as well, so I chose some pieces from Holly’s Tree Farm and The Cookie Exchange, both lines by Sweetwater for Moda. I made just two blocks, and added some triangles to join them together into this little 18″ x 36″ table mat.


I fussy cut the block centers to feature a couple of the cookie recipes from The Cookie Exchange fabric:



I did some very simple outline quilting on it, so that I wouldn’t have stops and starts or any knots to tie.

You could also make just one block with the appliqué, and add a border to it for a small square wallhanging or table mat. Lots of options!

The block pattern and the pattern for the Christmas quilt can be found in my book, “A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s“, or you can download just the block pattern by itself (Month 6 of the BOM) — both in my Etsy shop. Both versions have full-sized appliqué patterns for the poinsettia appliqué.

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Is there any better combination?

Cotton and Chocolate is a wonderful quilt shop located in Thousand Oaks, California. Voted one of the Top Ten Shops by Quilt Sampler Magazine in 2012, this shop does some amazing things. I visited their booth at QuiltCon in Pasadena last February, and their samples were jaw-dropping!

I’m mentioning them here today because . . .

For their Saturday Sampler Club in 2017, they are doing the Hazel’s Diary quilt!!

And today is the sign-up day!


So if you’re anywhere near Thousand Oaks, get yourself to the quilt shop and sign up! If Cotton and Chocolate happens to be your local quilt shop, then consider me jealous. They’re limiting enrollment to 100 spots, and you can read all the details in their latest newsletter from their website.

I’ll be following their progress all year; I’m so excited to see their quilts!

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My sister, Katy Kitchen, pieced and appliquéd a couple of projects for the book. One was the quilt called Dear Diary that is an alternate version of the main quilt. If you’re looking for a different setting for your blocks that isn’t as large or involved as the Hazel’s Diary quilt, Dear Diary may be just the option you’re looking for.



Since Katy had all the patterns in her possession early because of helping me, she was doing some secret sewing behind my back the whole time!

She arrived at my house one day and flopped out the most gorgeous version of the Hazel’s Diary quilt — it took my breath away! Have I mentioned that my sister is a color genius? Well, she is — and the color way of this quilt is one of my favorites. Ever.

I took one look at it and said, “OH! That’s so ‘Hazel Meets Elvis’!” and the name stuck.


We don’t know if Hazel liked Elvis, but my sister is an over-the-top super-dedicated Elvis fan. Since our mother loved music of all kinds, and also movies, we are guessing that she was probably a major Elvis fan in her own right.

My sister visits Graceland at least once a year, and we do it when we’re already nearly there to go to the AQS Show in Paducah every spring. We just swing on down to Memphis and include that in our trip. This year, we took the quilt along, and photographed it at the gates of Graceland!

Here are a few close-up shots of it.


Check out the polka dots!


I really really love this quilt in these colors.


I did the quilting for her, using pink and black threads. It was a fun one to do!

Does this give you any ideas for making the quilt in other color schemes? The possibilities really are endless!

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International Quilt Market is later this week in Salt Lake City. It’s the twice-yearly trade show for the quilting industry, where industry professionals and quilt shop owners can go to promote their new stuff or see all the new stuff they want for their shops or businesses.

We’ll get to see all the newest fabric lines coming out, watch demos of new tools and gadgets, look at lots of new patterns and books, and get inspired. They also have an entire schedule of professional development classes that attendees can take to help them run their businesses better. It’s quite a deal!

Since my book just came out:



I’ll be at Market this time to help promote it.

I’m participating in a Schoolhouse session on Thursday at 1:20 with a couple more Kansas City Star Quilts authors.

Schoolhouse is a series of professional development presentations given in 30-minute increments all day long. There are hundreds of sessions to choose from, given by designers, authors, and industry folks — chock full of ideas for what shop owners can do with all the new products and trends that are coming out. Then the shop owners bring all those great ideas and products home to their shops for us, as quilt shop customers, to enjoy!

I’m also doing a book signing in C&T Publishing’s booth (#2141) on Saturday at 11:00.

That leaves Friday open for me to run around and see everything! And it’ll feel like running — there’s a lot to see in a short time at Market. I hope my new boots are really comfy!



If you are someone who attends Quilt Market, be sure and look me up — I’d love to meet you!

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Quilt 4U

I’m doing a book signing for “A Simple Life” tomorrow (May 15th) at Quilt 4U in Columbia, Missouri.

I’ll be showing all the quilts from the book, and the shop will have copies of the book for sale, and I’ll be there to sign them for you!

It starts at 1:30, and if you’re a member of their club, it’s free — if not, admission is $5.

Their address is 908 Rain Forest Parkway, Suite E. If you’re on 763, they’re in the same little strip of shops that Jimmy John’s is in, north of town. Hope to see you there!

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A Simple Life

They’re on the way!!! Woohoo!

“A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s” is available now!


To get your signed copy, you can purchase it here in my Etsy shop, or contact me if you prefer a different method, and we’ll work something out.

I also urge you to check with your local quilt shop, as I hope a lot of shops will be carrying it — buying from your LQS helps support them, and saves you shipping costs.

Here’s a couple more sneak peeks of some of the projects you’ll find in the book.

This quilt is called Happily Ever After:


And my favorite quilt in the entire book — I love this quilt so much — is called Fancy Farm Girl:


There are nine projects total included in the book. I hope you’ll love them all as much as I do!

If you order now, I’ll be shipping books on Monday, May 2nd, and Friday, May 6th. After that, I should have them in stock for immediate shipment at the time you place your order.

If you prefer to purchase from me in person, check HERE for a schedule of where I’ll be doing book signings, and visit me there!

If your group or organization would like a trunk show on “The Life of Hazel Ilene”, just give me a holler and we’ll work out the details.

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I have it on good authority . . . altho I AM from the Show-Me State . . . that “A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s” is shipping next week! Woohoo! Finally!


I thought I’d show you a few sneak peeks over the next few days, as much as I’m allowed to.

I’m gonna start with this lovely shot of all the quilts in one big stack!


I took these photos during the photo shoot we did for the book at The Vintage House.


We played around with props quite a bit, switching things in and out of the photos.


Here’s Aaron, trying to get the stack to sit just right:


I’ll let you guess which one ended up in the book!

I love this shot of all the quilts from the book together.


The book has 9 projects in it, the main one being the Block-of-the-Month quilt, Hazel’s Diary.

There are some alternate versions of the Hazel’s Diary quilt, and lots of spin-off projects, including 6 more quilts. I love quilts. Quilts are what I want to make, so my book is full of quilt projects!

Here’s a sneak peek of one of the alternate versions. This one was pieced and appliquéd by my sister, Katy. You’ll love it (I hope)!


I mentioned earlier that the next quilt-along is starting in May. I’ll have more information on it coming real soon. It’s a project that didn’t make it into the book, a wonderful scrappy quilt called Canning Season, so stay tuned for the announcement of that, as well as the official announcement that the book is out!

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