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February 1, 2014
Riding a camel on the beach

When my January newsletter arrived in your in box, I was packing for my trip to India. This one finds me teaching in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and when I leave here, I'm heading to the AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix, Arizona. It's no wonder I keep finding myself humming the old Willie Nelson tune, "On the Road Again."

My trip with India Quilting and Textile Tours was wonderful. I had a lovely group of fellow quilters accompanying me as we toured parts of India where most tourists never go. We visited several villages in the far western region of Kutch known for their huge quilting and embroidery traditions. Most amazing was the opportunity to go into the villages
The village children loved seeing the digital images of the photos I took of them.
where the cottage industries are keeping their intricate handicrafts alive. Their work can be found in shops around the world, often in high-end boutiques. Everyone was so friendly and the women were beautifully dressed leaving us feeling a little drab in our practical neutrals. I will be going back to India, this time with Sew Many Places, next October.  Maybe you can join me then.

Back here in the Studio, we have two exciting new quilts to premiere this month including our Block of the Month quilt for 2014, a fabulous new tote bag, advice for those who wish to hand-piece while traveling, and a great time-saving quilt tip.

Lapis and Jade in McCall's Quilting
If you haven't yet seen the March/April issue of McCall's Quilting, then you haven't seen my latest quilt, Lapis and Jade. Using colors reminiscent of shimmering tropical waters and soft, sandy beaches, this quilt features fabrics from my Malam batik collection. With only two different blocks to make, rotary cutting and strip-piecing techniques allow this project to be assembled with surprising speed. This queen-size quilt will add sparkle to any bedroom. Make sure you check out our kit information.
Lapis & Jade uses batiks from Malam

Make This Great Bag - The Atlantic Tote
We love patterns from Aunties Two and we think you'll share our excitement about this one. We quilters, soccer moms and grandmas-on-the-go are always using extra bags for the abundance of "stuff" we need to cart around. Instead of grabbing one of those mass-produced bags we all seem to accumulate, make a statement with the Atlantic Tote. Using precut strips and fusible batting, learn this fun method of weaving fabric for the side panels. Check out our gorgeous colorways for this big, roomy bag.  

Piecing in the Air
airplace-takeoff-sunset.jpg I have always said that one of the best things about being a hand-piecer is that I can work on a project in found moments almost anywhere I happen to be. With all of the travel I have had lately, this is especially true. Recently, on our Facebook page, we had a picture of me on a plane piecing and many of you expressed an interest in what I was able to bring through security. As a result of that discussion, my staff has put together some of our favorite products for "piecing in the air." Always be sure to check with your airline for rules and regulations prior to flying.

Making Templates Faster and More Accurately
Rotary rulers are wonderful but sometimes making templates is the best way to go. My staff has been experimenting and they have come up with good advice for how to print templates using heat-resistant template plastic.  This will be a super time-saver in making our new Block of the Month quilt, Starstruck. Check out our quick lesson on printing on Templar.
Some of the Starstruck templates printed onto Templar

Your First Free Pattern for Starstruck, our 2014 Block of the Month

The pattern for the alternating block is ready for you to download, along with the all-important General Instructions.

Remember the link for downloading the patterns is available only in the subscriber email. 

[Download link available in subscriber email only]

Would you like to see all six color versions? Starstruck Quilt Kits are now available.

We've also created beautiful fat quarter bundles of the fabric used in Starstruck. If you love the colors in this quilt and would like to use them in a different project, this is the choice for you.

Happy Quilting!

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