Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Nurse In The Family

This is not my usual subject for a blog post, but please indulge this Mom in my proud moment.  

My daughter, Nicki, just graduated college with a BSN.  It took 6 long years because of some health set-backs, but she persevered!!

All Nicki ever wanted to be is a nurse from when she was a little girl.  She loves babies and wants very much to be a labor and delivery nurse.  

I hope she gets her wish someday!  We now have a nurse and firefighter/paramedic in the family.

We could not be more proud or happier!!  Congratulations, Nicki!!  You did it!!!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Circa 1880 Nine Patch Blocks

More blocks to inspire you!  I adore the fussy cut center of the block in the lower right corner.  Love fussy cutting fabric motifs!  There are a whole lot of them within the blocks of my quilt, and as I sit with it on my lap, I enjoy searching for those little gems.  They're little surprises waiting to be discovered.

If you enjoy putting fussy cut fabric motifs in your blocks, check out my new Fussy Cut Template set.  You can read more about them on my blog and buy them on my website.

Hope you've considered joining the Circa 1880 Club to make blocks and the heirloom quilt for yourself.  I imagine some of you are thinking it's way too hard and that you don't want any part of making blocks with little pieces.  Truth is....you don't make the blocks with little pieces!!  Really!!  Join the club and become a part of the private Facebook group where I share all my secrets about how I made this quilt in less than a year, working on it about an hour a day!!  

Monday, January 14, 2019

Circa 1880 Blocks

Here's another set of Circa 1880 Nine Patch blocks.  Are you seeing fabrics you have in your stash!  It's great to pull fabrics and cut them up to make the blocks.  It's like seeing an old friend.  We all have our favorite prints and I enjoy pairing them with other fabrics.  

Have fun cutting and sewing.  We've only just begun!  You can read more about the Circa 1880 Nine Patch club here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


Impressed with my fabulous photo of squares??  Teehee!  I always need a photo for a blog post, and I want to share the winners for my last post, and honestly couldn't think of anything....until, I looked around to see all the projects I'm currently working on using squares.  While I can't show the projects yet (always frustrating for both of us!), I can tell you....if you don't do this already, start cutting and saving 1 inch and 1.5 inch squares.  From friend to friend....just sayin' (wink, wink.)  I think you'll be really happy if you do.  And...while you're stash diving, be sure to read my post on The Ohio Principle.
I really enjoyed reading your comments about your stash and organizing tips.  If you have time, look them over, there's a lot of great advice there!  

Here are the three comments chosen to receive a Heartspun Quilts pattern of your choice.  They are....


I didn't know it had a name, "OHIO" but I love it! I try, I mean I really, really try to be organized. But, I find I still make little piles after a project. I do get to them and cut them into strips to put in drawers of that strip size. I have found that works best for me...well so far. Never thought of the cutting ahead for the specific project idea, but I really like that concept. My 3 year old Granddaughter thinks the drawers of strips are for her to put up on the design wall. Hahahaaa...I don't mind handling those scraps a million times because watching her play is priceless joy to me! 


Hi Pam, Love this system!! I feel I'm pretty organized, I have to be because my sewing and storage space is quite small, so I really wouldn't be able to function if I weren't putting things back in their own spot right away. I do have to say I love scrappy quilts, but I really love block and fabric exchanges. I have found myself using the same fabrics in lots of quilts and that concerns me. That's also why I usually only buy fat quarters or snippets of fabrics. And there are always new fabric lines coming out that I really love, especially yours!!

Traditional Quilter....

I sort all my fabrics by colors and put them in totes I can see through and place them on shelves. I mostly make scrap quilts. Whenever I cut into new fabrics I like to cut some into strips in widths I use often and I have smaller totes that I organize these in by color and size. I keep a tote for narrow scraps for string piecing. I have totes for scrap pieces and also keep totes for bonus triangles and squares. I like to keep all my fabrics wrinkle free, so I am careful to place all my fabrics flat in my containers neatly. You had some great tips in your post Pam thanks!

Please email your mailing address to me at Pam@HeartspunQuilts.com along with the pattern of your choice.  

Thanks, everyone who left a comment.  Means a lot to me, ya know!!  

Back to work and hope you spend at least a little time sewing and feeding your soul!  

Monday, January 7, 2019

Circa 1880 Blocks

Welcome to a year long show of the Circa 1880 Nine Patch blocks.  Once a week I will post photos of all of the blocks I used in my Circa 1880 quilt.  I hope it will inspire you to use nearly every scrap of fabric you own and head on over to your LQS to buy more for the biggest, most gorgeous variety of fabrics to make your quilt the best ever!!  
Join The Circa 1880 Club at your LQS.  If your LQS isn't participating, there are several dozen shops all around the country (the world, really) who are participating.   It's an exciting adventure and I hope you are tempted to participate and make this heirloom quilt for yourself!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The OHIO Principle

Many, many years ago, while watching a TV news magazine program about organization tips from organizing pros, one of them talked about The OHIO Principal and I've never forgotten it.  It has been very good advice that I've used in every area of my life but never more so as when making scrap quilts.  

What is The OHIO Principle?

It simply means.....Only Handle It Once

It is a way of thinking that makes the best use of your time where applicable.  Here's an example.  You go grocery shopping and buy four boxes of tissue.  We might normally bring them into the house, unpack them from the bag, and set it on the counter.  Then, later we pick them up from the counter and bring them to the linen closet for storage.  The OHIO Principle says to take them from the bag and put them directly in the linen closet.  Not the most astute example, but you get the idea.  

Basically, what it really means is that we waste a lot of time moving things around.   Instead, only handle it once and put it where it belongs right away.  

How does this apply to quilting or making scrap quilts?  Oh....it does in a big way!

We all love scraps quilts and we love using up our scraps.....BUT....scrap quilts are very labor intensive.  Choosing all the different fabrics and cutting from each one for just one quilt is extremely time consuming.  

But.....what if you apply The OHIO Principle and only handle it once??  What happens is nothing short of amazing!

As many of you are about to embark on The Circa 1880 Nine Patch club journey, you will probably be handling a whole lot of new fabric and lots from your stash.  Now is the time to become organized and make the most of handling each piece of your beautiful stash!

From the first cut of my fabrics for The Circa 1880 Nine Patch and every fabric I laid hands on after that, I cut pieces for several scrappy quilt projects.  Each and every time I handled a piece of fabric, I made the cuts necessary for the other quilts.  Hence, I only handled each fabric print once but made the most of it.
I always started with my WOF strip.  
Then I cut the strip in half on the fold.
I then made cuts for seven different scrap quilts.  Before I started cutting anything for the Circa Nine Patch, I made a list of what other quilts I wanted to make and the cuts I needed for them.  I cut squares for Half Square Triangles,  a piece for a Tumbler quilt I'm working on,  a scrap for blocks for a quilt I am hand piecing, two squares for a Four Patch blocks, a strip for Log Cabin blocks, 1.5 and 1 inch squares for Postage Stamp quilts and the strips for the Circa Nine Patch blocks.  

I know many of you have been cutting squares and a variety of different width strips for years before I wrote this post, and I have never done that because I didn't want to spend my time making cuts for quilts I wasn't presently planning to make.  Knowing exactly what quilts I wanted to make made all the difference.  That's just me.  

During the year I worked on the Circa Nine Patch blocks, I made nearly 400 Four Patch blocks sewing them together as leader/enders!  It felt effortless.  I am still making Circa Nine Patch blocks and am using leftover strips as my new leader/enders for a postage stamp quilt I've designed that will be released later this year.  I don't have to cut anything new!  It was all done months ago, and now I just sit and sew!  What a great feeling it is to have all those glorious scraps waiting for me!!  

And while you're at it, it pays to have my 
Fussy Cut Templates handy for the fabrics with great motifs!  

I hope I've given you something to think about as you begin a new year and continue making quilts.  The OHIO Principle has made a huge impact on how productive I am and I'm loving it!!

I invite you to leave a comment about your best tips for making the most of your fabrics for scrap quilts.  I'll chose a few winners who will receive the pattern of their choice!

Very soon, I will begin traveling for lectures and workshops.  

My first visit will be to the North Suburban Quilters Guild in Arlington Heights, IL.  I'll be there February 22nd and 23rd.  You don't have to be a member to attend workshops at the member discounted rate!!  Click here to find all the details of my visit.  I would love to see you there!

Friday, December 28, 2018

48 Hour Fabric Sale!

Fabric Sale!

My sincere thanks to everyone who buys a book or pattern, a notion or some of my fabrics through the year as it allows me to continue doing what I love.  Where would I be without you?

So....I'm having a Customer Appreciation SALE!

Visit my website and shop all of my fabric on the bolt for 20% off every print in stock!  

Saturday, December and Sunday, December 30th only!!!  Stock up and save while supplies last.

Happy Shopping and thank you all so much!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Warm Holiday Wishes!

I received a wonderful gift the other day from my friends Debbie and Ronda.  Debbie made me a new Deck The Halls quilt and Ronda quilted it for me.  It was their Christmas gift to me.  
The three quilts in my Tokens of the Past: Yuletide Greetings pattern are three of the four quilts that were stolen from my booth at fall quilt market and they wanted to right the wrong by replacing it for me.  It was the perfect gift!  (No sign or word of the stolen goods so far)

There are so many good people in this world, and while bad things sometimes happen to all of us, many more good things happen than bad.  Especially during this Christmas celebration, it's important to remember Good Will Toward Men and Women!  Thank you Debbie and Ronda for your very special gift!

Wishing you and your family a 
Very Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Fussy Cut Template Winner

My thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my new Fussy Cut templates!  

As promised, the randomly chosen winner is...

Nettie, who said......

I can't tell you how many times in the past 20 yrs. I have needed these fussy cut templates! I love to center a special motif or saying on some of my quilt blocks. Happy Holidays and thanks so much for the very special drawing!!!

Congratulations, Nettie!  Please email your mailing address to Pam@HeartspunQuilts.com.

Many thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.  I read them all and enjoyed them.  

Click here to order a set for your Christmas stocking or for Santa to give to you....wink, wink!

Besides preparing for Christmas, and the usual work of filling orders and such, I'm working on several new quilt designs.  There are two new fabric lines in the works and several more planned for next year.  It definitely keeps me out of trouble!!  

While we are all so busy at this time of year, I try to find a little "me" time each day to sew something for myself as it makes me a much happier person.   You, too? 

Enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

NEW! Fussy Cutting Templates

Heartspun Quilts Fussy Cutting Template Set 
While I was working on The Circa 1880 Nine Patch quilt, I cut lots and lots of fussy cut motifs for the blocks.  I love the surprises fussy cutting gives, especially in such a scrappy quilt!
This is what I was using to fussy cut my motifs.  Yeah....it works, but not well.  I didn't always get the motifs centered correctly because the ruler lines make it difficult to see.   Over and over again, I wished I had a clear template showing an unobstructed view of the fabric I wanted to cut.  
As they say.....necessity is the mother of invention!  

I designed what I think are the perfect fussy cut templates!  Each template will cut two sizes of motifs.  In the sample above, the full template size cuts a 3 1/2 inch finished square.  The inset square cuts a 1 3/4 inch finished square.  I deliberately made the inset lines very faint so as not to obscure the view of the larger motif.  I love it!!
For the larger motif, using the full template, center the design and cut the fabric on all four sides of the template (white arrows.)
For the smaller size, center the design in the inset square (white arrows.)  Make the first two cuts on the right and top of the template. 
Turn the fabric around and align the cut edge with the dashed seam allowance lines on the inset square (red arrows.)  Finish cutting the square (white arrows.) 

 I created six different templates that cut twelve different size fussy cut motifs:

1 inch and 1/2 inch squares
2 inch and 3/4 inch squares
3 inch and 1 1/2 inch squares
3 1/2 inch and 1 3/4 inch squares
4 inch and 2 1/4 inch squares
5 inch and 2 1/2 inch squares

Instructions, with color photos, is included in the set.

To celebrate the debut of my new Fussy Cut Template set, I'm giving away a set to one lucky winner!

Leave a comment on my blog by midnight, Friday, December 7th and I'll randomly choose a winner.  Please include your email so I can notify you.  

To be fair to everyone, do not email your comment.  Only blog comments are eligible. 

If you can't wait....or need a Christmas gift for yourself (your hubby will appreciate the hint!) or a special quilting friend, the Fussy Cut Templates are in stock and ready to ship today!!

I hope you're enjoying the holiday season so far.  Our home decorating is nearly complete.  I started to do some shopping but stopped because we've been busy preparing to ship Mrs. Miller's Apprentice patterns to quilt shops as the BOM begins in January.  

I still can't believe it's DECEMBER!!!   Stay cozy under a quilt...or two....or three!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Vintage Patchwork Giveaway & A Thankful Heart

In the evenings, I truly enjoy hand stitching while I watch TV.  I rotate between projects depending on my mood.  Sometimes I work on a hexie quilt, sometimes hand piece blocks, stitch binding, or hand quilt.  I do love working with wool applique and one of my favorite artists is Rebekah L. Smith.

I truly adore Rebekah's folk art style and her whimsical designs never disappoint!  

Rebekah has a copy of my Vintage Patchwork book to giveaway.   
If you'd like a chance to win a copy of my Vintage Patchwork book, head over to her blog and be sure to take some time to browse her website, too.  I promise you'll be inspired and tempted to shop!  

I had to buy the pattern and kit for her newly released design called Autumn Fowl.  Love, love!!

Thanks, Rebekah, for sharing my work with your readers!

I have a very full and thankful heart on this Thanksgiving Day.  My family is together and we have our health.  

I thank you, my fellow quilters, for your support of my little company....my quilt patterns, and fabric, for without you, I would not be able to continue the work that I love.  I feel very blessed.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Circa 1880 Club Quilts

I'm over the moon happy to report that quilt shops all over are signing up for my Circa 1880 Club every day.  I believe a shop in Canada is signing up so our friends to the North will be included in the fun.

One of the benefits of being a club member is getting the pattern for the six exclusive small club quilts.
You will notice that in each of the club quilts, I used the same Uneven Nine Patch block  I used in the big quilt.  
Sometimes they're paired with other fun blocks.
Sometimes just that cute little block!
Each quilt also features the brand new Circa Basic Essentials fabrics and is given at just the right time of year.  The pattern/kit for the quilt above is given in December.
There are other benefits of the club, too!  But...I don't want to share all my surprises just yet!
I hope I have piqued your interest and that you'll look for a participating Circa 1880 Quilt shop in your area or that you can join by mail.

I have other news to share with you soon that I'm very jazzed about!

No news, however, on the whereabouts of my stolen quilts.  From what I'm told, they are likely in a Houston garbage dump.  Very sad.  If that's the worst thing that happens, I have much to be thankful for as they can be replaced.  

We have to keep our perspective as there is so much true tragedy with the California fires and people loosing everything.  A few quilts are meaningless in the grand scheme.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Much To Be Grateful For!

I'm back home from fall market with a whole lot to share.  Some really great news and some not so great news.

First of all, my year long super-secret-scrappy-project, now known to the world as The Circa 1880 Nine Patch quilt and club was a big hit!!  Dare I say the quilt was a show stopper.  Many people really did stop dead in their tracks while passing my booth to take a look at the quilt.  The quilt really is something special and I am so grateful that it was well received by so many people.  Lots and lots of shops signed up for this club so watch for your LQS to advertise The Circa 1880 Club coming soon! 

I still have to show you the small quilts that are a part of the club, too, and will do so in my next post.  

But, I am anxious to get the word out about about the three quilts pictured in the pattern cover above.  

All three of these quilts and the blue one below were stolen from my booth on Friday while we were all attending a Schoolhouse presentation.  
Storyteller ~ Mrs. Miller's Apprentice BOM bonus quilt 
My three Tokens of the Past: Yuletide Greetings quilts, the bonus quilt from Mrs. Miller's Apprentice BOM and four fat quarter bundles were gone when we returned from Schoolhouse.  The authorities were alerted.  The quilts have labels sewn into them, but I don't have high hopes of them being returned.  The head of security said it was likely a convention building worker and not another exhibitor.  

Market had its challenges this year.  My flight was delayed 5 hours going to Houston due to rain, my luggage and all my clothes were soaking wet, I fell off the ladder on Thursday and hurt my back, and my quilts were stolen on Friday.  I could dwell on the unfortunate events that took place, but instead I am grateful.

Grateful I arrived in Houston on Tuesday safe and sound, grateful my clothes dried and the hotel was able to laundered some others, grateful I didn't hit my head, break a bone or knock my teeth out when I fell.  I am grateful to my fellow Marcus designer friends and all my friends at Marcus Fabrics who helped me with everything I needed, and let me know how much they cared!  I am also grateful that my new designs were so well received by shop owners and that I safely returned home to my family.  

It feels much better to be grateful than to hold onto anger about anything that happened.  I do ask that should you see any of my quilts on eBay that you just let me know.  I am grateful for that as well.  I'll be posting about my stolen quilts on social media, and if you have time, please share the post so the word gets around.  

I am grateful for each and every one of you as well.  Thank you for your continued support which allows me to keep doing the things we all love.   

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Circa 1880 Nine Patch Quilt

The Circa 1880 Nine Patch Quilt by Pam Buda ~ Photo by Aaron Leimkuehler
I am anxious to share more details about my new Circa 1880 Club.   The Nine Patch quilt above is the main focus of the club.  It has over 500 blocks!  

Did you gasp?

Fear not!

Making the 500 + blocks needed for the quilt is very doable in one year's time.  (Nobody said you have to make it in a year.  I promise there are no Nine Patch police around!)  I have worked out all the kinks and have making these blocks down to a science - I promise!  All my hints and tips will be shared when you're at club meetings at your local participating quilt shop and through a private Facebook group.  

Still thinking it's not possible?  If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know I keep myself pretty busy.  I was on a mission to make this quilt and I had to find time if I was going to get it done.  So, I made a commitment to spend one hour each morning, 5 days a week to making the blocks.  Sometimes I did less.  Sometimes I was able to spend an entire Sunday.  It all worked out.  At first, I wasted a lot of time and knew I had to work smarter, not harder, and over a few weeks, developed a system that enabled me to make a dozen blocks in about an hour.....and YOU can too!!  

This quilt is an heirloom for sure....I call it my Hour A Day Heirloom.  It's done...I really made it.  It's not a UFO!  All from one hour a day!  

To gain a larger variety of scrap happiness in my blocks, I asked six friends to trade blocks with me.  We all agreed to a set of trading rules and stuck to them.  We didn't make strict timelines to trade because we're all busy, so we traded whenever we had about 25 blocks made.  That helped to be able to work at your own pace.  A big reason my Circa 1880 Nine Patch quilt is so wonderful is because of them.  So, it's time you know who they are!

My local (in Illinois) friends are Debbie McClarence, who is my co-worker and right hand.  

Karen Schultz of Elgin - a dear friend and founding Prairie Women's Sewing Circle member who I have known for many years and adore.

Becky Carpenter of Montgomery - another dear friend and founding Prairie Women's Sewing Circle member - friend to Karen as well...and super talented quilter and antique lover like me!

My out of town trading friends are:

Janet Olsen of Logan, UT ~ super talented quilt maker and maker of extraordinary pies!  Janet writes a wonderful blog called Rogue Quilter.  She inspired me with her beautiful work and makes a lot of small quilts I love.

Wendy Reed of Bath, ME - I met Wendy several years ago when I taught at the Maine Quilt Show.  I knew immediately we were kindred spirits.  Wendy knows so much about nineteenth century fabric and makes the most amazing repro quilts.  She also has a blog...The Constant Quilter which you should check out.  Wendy is hosting a monthly sew-along to sew all twelve projects in my Vintage Patchwork book!  How fun is that?  Click the link for her blog to read more.

And....last but certainly not least is Cyndi Black, owner of The Busy Thimble quilt shop in Litchfield, ME.  I met Cyndi at the same time I met Wendy.  I was very lucky to visit The Busy Thimble shop on that trip and immediately fell in love with the shop and Cyndi.  Like Wendy, Cyndi makes amazing repro quilts.  She also writes The Busy Thimble blog which I'm sure you'll enjoy.  

Fussy Cut blocks using Circa 1880 Fussy Cut template.  Photo by Aaron Leimkuehler
One of the best parts about making these blocks is fussy cutting motifs for different parts of the block.  In the photo above, you can find the word Union in the block center and the same block has a little flag in the corner square.  My quilt has lots of fussy cut surprises.  Many of them came from blocks I traded with my friends.  Each month I was amazed at how many fabrics I received that I never saw before.  Their stash has so many new-to-me fabrics and now I have a piece of them in my quilt.   So, so cool!!  

I L*O*V*E fussy cutting fabrics for lots of the quilts I make.  So much so, I have designed a new set of fussy cutting templates that make it so easy peasy to cut just about any size motif you like.  The new templates are also making their debut at market and I will be anxious to share them with you when I get back.  So...stay tuned for more fussy cutting news!

The quilt is set using Marcus Fabrics Aged Muslin which was absolutely perfect in recreating the look of the antique quilt.  It is a very special fabric - not your ordinary muslin in that each and every yard is hand dyed.  No two yards are the same which gives it the perfect aged patina.  It also shows the quilting stitches beautifully.  

Speaking of the beautiful quilting....my quilt was quilted by oh-so-talented Valerie Langue who owns The Quilt Merchant in Winfield, IL.  Val...you truly outdid yourself!!  

I also designed 26 new fabrics for the club and a new backing fabric designed especially for the Circa 1880 Nine Patch quilt!  I'll tell you lots more about them soon.  

In the meantime, I'd better get back to packing for fall market.  I have a lot to share while I'm there.  In the meantime, give your sewing machine some love today!   It misses you!