What’s Happening Now

I’ve been hard at work getting the quilts finished and doing all the administrative work in putting together a quilt retreat – which is why you haven’t heard much from me lately.

However, I just wanted you to know that I haven’t completely forgotten about you!

Since my work lately has been in preparation for the Iowa / Nebraska Quilt Retreats (see this page if you want more information), and assisting with the Minnesota Quilt Retreats (info found here), what I have to show you is one of the finished quilt tops for the IA/NE retreat.

I know I’ve talked about the kaleidoscope quilt before – and the ruler, but working on these quilts has simply amazed me.  They make up SO quickly using the ruler (see more about the kaleidoscope ruler here), this is fast on the way to becoming an addiction!  I suppose a warning lable should be added to the packaging of the ruler – repeated use can be habit forming! Laughing 13

Here are some of my favorite blocks from this quilt.

Even if you can’t come to one of the retreats (and believe me – you’d have a great time if you did), you really should check out this book, which was made as a companion to the ruler. You’ll be amazed at what you can do.

Kaleidoscope ABCs

Kaleidoscope ABCs

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

Book Review: “Memory Quilts” by Better Homes and Gardens

Hello all! I bet you thought I’d forgotten you! I assure you that isn’t what’s happened, things have just been a bit – well I’ll say it’s been unusual and leave it at that! But you didn’t come here to read about what’s kept me from posting – you want to see what I have for you today, right? Then here we go….

Today, I’d like to share with you some quilts that were made from a great book titled “Memory Quilts – with T-shirts, Autographs, and Photos”. The book is by Better Homes and Gardens. This time of year, with graduations, new babies and weddings just around the corner, we all have great memories to preserve – and what better way to do so than with something you have designed yourself?

The first type of quilt discussed in this book is the T-shirt quilt. T-shirts can say so much about the owner of the shirt, and putting together an entire quilt of them can really be a great way to showcase their interests, accomplishments, and passions.

Also, making a quilt from those shirts that will probably never be worn again gives them a great new life! Particularly for the graduate who is moving onto a new stage in life, the shirt that was worn with pride at a high-school football game may not come out of the closet once they get to college. But a quilt made with those shirts will be displayed and used with pleasure. This book has great ideas whether your t-shirts are all the same size or you have to be creative to make the different sizes work together.

T-Shirt Quilt

Here is a T-shirt quilt made by Bev of Elkhorn, NE. What a great quilt for one of her kids to remember some high school activities. There weren’t enough T-shirts for a whole quilt, so she used some of the ideas in the book to make pieced blocks to fill in areas that might otherwise have had another T-shirt patch. The closeup view on the right will show you a bit more detail on the blocks if you click on it.

It’s rare to find T-shirts that have been made for different events and with different themes that all come in the same size. So determining a block sized based on your largest t-shirt patch can help in creating your design. Sewing the final quilt together becomes a snap – as you only have to decide how the blocks look best together.


This quilt had even more of a challenge when it came to block size – so the quilter become a bit more creative. As you can see if you click on the photo to the left, I have marked some areas where borders and fabric strips were added to the quilt to make things properly.

This style of filling in the spaces makes the quilt seem a bit more difficult, but if you lay things out ahead of time, you will find that it really isn’t too tricky. As you can see, this particular quilt has 5 bands going down the length of the quilt. Each band has it’s own width, so once you get going, it’s hard to make a mistake.

Of course, this is about memory quilting – not just T-shirt quilts. And what better way to preserve your memories than with photos? Many of us have groups of photos on our computer hard-drives, just waiting for that ‘perfect’ way to display them. But you don’t always want to make a photo album. Why not a memory quilt with photos?

What a cute quilt this grandma made featuring her granddaughter, Katrina Rose. And years from now, imagine Katrina enjoying the site of this quilt that was made just for her!

Photo Memory

Just imagine all the ideas you could do with this idea. Feature a wedding anniversary, church events, school days, etc. In the book it will teach you how to work with fabric sheets you can print photos on (you may remember that earlier I did a series of ideas on photo fabric printing).

Take a closer look at this image on the right – a digital photo, printed on fabric, and then a picture taken of that fabric – and it’s still beautifully clear! What a great way to preserve those precious memories!
Pick up this great new book! Get the family and friends involved in making memory quilts!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
P.S. – watch for another idea from this book in a day or two.

Continuing to ‘Turn 20’

Yesterday, I told you about the great book “Turning Twenty”, and introduced you to the author and quilt designer, Tricia Cribbs. Today, I want to share some quilts from the 2nd and 3rd books in the series, “Turning Twenty… Again”, and “Turning Twenty Around the Block”.


The basic premise remains the same, in a Turning Twenty quilt, you turn 20 fat quarters into a quilt top.

For book two, “Turning Twenty… Again”, you cut your fat quarters into 11 different shapes, then you mix the fabrics around to make every block look different. Here is my creation from that book, I choose to go with darker fabrics for this quilt, but if you look at the book cover above, you see how bright and ‘springy’ a quilt with this pattern can be.
Quilt Size: 64½” X 80½” – with optional 6½” border it becomes 76½” X 92½”

20 Again Quilt

For book three, “Turning Twenty Around the Block”, I made a quilt that was primarily black and white, with red accents. This quilt was taken with me to several different shows, expos, and seminars. And it seemed that everywhere I went, someone wanted to purchase the quilt from me!
Working with the buyers from Hancock Fabrics, I selected fabrics and helped put together a kit of fat quarters that would recreate the feel of the quilt everyone loved so much. The kit is designed to be sold as a companion to the “Turning Twenty Around the Block” book, the kit does not include a pattern with it.

The fat quarter kit – please note it does not include instructions


A closeup of the fabrics in the kit (this time without the glare from the shiny packaging)

With this third book in the series, you are still making the quilt out of fat quarters, but instead of cutting them into 10 or 11 shapes (as in the last two books), this time you cut your fat quarters into 12 different shapes. Then the fun comes – you mix up the fabric pieces and make every block with different fabric combinations just as with the other books.

One difference in the third book – for this quilt you will need an extra 1½ yards of focus fabric for the center of the 20 blocks and you will need 1¼ yd of fabric to make sashings or corners on each of the blocks. The size of the finished quilt is: 72½” X 88½”.

Check out the book for examples of other color combinations and ideas for the centers of the blocks, as you can see on the cover, one suggestion is to put an image such as Sunbonnet Sue in the focus blocks. There is even a pattern to make a ‘Reduced Fat’ Quilt – finished size 34½” X 42½”
This quilt is a finished size 72½” X 88½”

Around the Block
A picture of the finished quilt – this is the quilt that can be made with the fabric kit available at Hancock Fabrics


A closeup picture of the quilt

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing