My 2014 Hoffman Challenge Quilt

Today the winners and travelers for the Hoffman Challenge were posted.  I’m over the moon that my quilt will be travelling for the next year! Here are some photos of the overall quilt, and close-ups to show the quilting and blocks.

2014 Hoffman Challenge Emily Breclaw








I named it “Fiesta on the Riverwalk.”  I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, with all of the gorgeous Hispanic influences.  The fabric made me think of Folklorico dancers, embroidered Mexican dresses, the Battle of the Flowers parade, and all the posters my mom has collected from the Night in Old San Antonio festivals.

The challenge rules stipulate a “noticeable amount” of the challenge fabric, plus whatever other fabric you’d like.  I used the challenge fabric and one pastel stripe for the blocks, plus third fabric for the background.

Hoffman fabric and thread






I quilted concentric circles in the blocks, and the block intersections, using a wide variety of thread colors.

Quilting Hoffman Challenge






I quilted the borders in a variegated thread, with circles and spokes inspired by the motif in the fabric background.

close-up Hoffman Challenge






The blocks themselves are based on Lucy Boston’s Patchwork of the Crosses.  My hexagons are only 3/4″ on a side (the original quilt had 1″ sides).  I also really took liberties with the symmetry of the blocks.  Traditional POTC quilts are very symmetric, but in mine, I had fun making the designs swirl in unexpected ways.  I also left off the sashing hexagon rows.  However, I English paper pieced the entire quilt, just like Lucy Boston did hers.

center block Hoffman Challenge






The finished quilt is 31″ square.  I can’t even remember how many hundreds of EPP hexies and squares are in it, but it’s a bunch.  If you’re heading to Houston this fall for Market or Festival, you’ll be able to see this quilt in the Hoffman exhibit.  Happiness!  Also, be sure to check out the Hoffman Challenge website.  The winning quilts are incredibly amazing.

I’ve got several other exciting things to share with you over the next couple of weeks, so please stop by often!  This month’s Japanese Quilting Study Group is an extra-special one.  A reader sent me photographs of her taupe projects and they are incredible! I hope to have those posted for you by the end of the week.

Happy Stitching!


Posted in Hoffman Challenge, projects | 10 Comments

Atomic Fireball

This morning I realized I’d never posted a picture of my finished kaleidescope quilt.  So here’s my “Atomic Fireball” in all its wild and fiery glory.

Atomic Fireball






I made it with the From Marti Michell kaleidescope ruler, which you can read more about from the original post.  I quilted it in a huge spiral using my home machine and a walking foot.  It was a ton of fun to quilt. Now this quilt is safely with its new owner, and I find myself missing the bright colors. But I have lots of scraps leftover, and a son who would really like a version of this quilt on his bed too, so perhaps there’s a chance of an encore.

For now, though, I’m working furiously on my American Made Brand challenge quilt, and trying my hardest not to stalk the Hofffman Challenge facebook page to see when they post the results.

Linking up to Fort Worth Fabric Studio’s Friday Fabric Frenzy.

Hope you have a weekend filled with smiles and time to stitch!!




Posted in projects | 4 Comments

Downton Abbey Sews Winner and Another Hoffman Block

Thank you so much to everyone that left comments on last week’s post.  The winner of the Downton Abbey Sews magazine and fabric is:

Lorraine, who said: And I liked you on FB.  Good luck hitting 100!!

Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch with you over e-mail soon.

Monday morning I mailed off my Hoffman Challenge quilt.  Whew!  I think the most unnerving part of entering a contest like that is putting your quilt in a box and trusting that it will reach its destination safely.  I’m thrilled that it is finally finished though.

Here’s another block from the quilt:

block two- Hoffman Challenge








Hope you have some time to sew today!!

Happy Stitching!



Posted in projects | 5 Comments

Giveaway Goodies

First of all, congratulations to the winner of the AMB tote bag, Linda, who said:

I also love the dark aqua like you.  I am a new quilter! I love your blog!  I also like you on Facebook.  Have an awesome day!

Yes, I used to pick the winner! :-)  Linda, I’ll be in touch with you soon.

Downton Abbey giveaway






And today, I wanted to do a little Downton Abbey Sews giveaway.  I ended up with an extra copy of the magazine, and am adding in some quarter yard cuts of Downton Abbey fabrics from Andover.  You can use them in your own Legacy quilt, or in several of the other great projects in the magazine.  (I’m crushing on the hexagon notebook cover at the moment.  But the teapot cozy’s really cute too. .. .so many decisions!)

To enter, leave a comment below.  For an additional entry, please “like” TCQ on facebook, and leave me a second comment telling me you do.  And, if you’d like to share this with other quilty friends on FB, please do!  If I hit a hundred likes, I’ll add in a second giveaway (copy of the magazine and fabric).  So sharing won’t detract from odds of winning!

edited to add: I’ll post a winner (or hopefully two!) next Wednesday, July 16!

Happy Stitching!


Posted in Uncategorized | 33 Comments

Sneak Peak at my Hoffman Challenge

The Hoffman Challenge Deadline is eight days away!  I’m within about a day of finishing quilting the borders, and then all I have to do is bind it, put a sleeve on, and label it.  It’s going to be close, but I think I’m going to make it.

Hoffman fabric and thread






I thought you might like to see a little of what I’ve been up to for this quilt.  The only fabric requirement is using a noticeable amount of the challenge fabric (bottom left).  I ended up using the challenge fabric, and the gradient pastel stripe on the right for the entire quilt.  Those two fabrics, plus fussy cutting, equalled an amazing amount of variety!  The blue and purple stripe up on top is the border fabric.  I used more threads than fabrics!  All the gorgeous polyester threads went into hand quilting the top, and the variegated blue cotton was for the border.

Here’s one of the sixteen blocks in the quilt:

Block one








I can’t wait to show you more, probably at the beginning of August.

Happy Stitching!!


Posted in projects | 4 Comments

More Goodies from American Made Brand!

When it rains, it pours!  I have not only one, but two fun giveaways planned for this week!

Do you remember the AMB road trip from last month? That was my first introduction to those amazing solids, and I’ve been playing with them every spare moment since!  AMB is also sponsoring a Farm to Fabric challenge.  Definitely click the link for all the details, but in a nutshell- all you have to do is make a quilt with the AMB solids that expresses your interpretation of the theme “Farm to Fabric.”  Then send in pictures of your quilt by August 15.  The best part?!?  Winning quilts will be displayed at International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall.  How cool would that be?

Here’s a sneak peak of the fabrics I’m using for my challenge quilt, yum!

AMB farm to market challenge





And if you’re overwhelmed with all the color possibilities, the Fat Quarter Shop has some lovely fat quarter bundles to help get you started.  I also recommend the color card so you can see all 50 fabrics in their glory.

For the giveaway, Clothworks will give one of my readers this fun tote bag featuring the AMB logo (just imagine, wandering around quilt festival with this tote over your arm, then stopping to pose for pictures in front of your challenge quilt!!)

AMB market bag








You have two opportunities to enter:

1- Leave me a comment below.  Tell me your favorite AMB color, whether you’re entering the challenge, or your favorite coffee flavor (my favorite color is dark aqua)

2- Like The Caffeinated Quilter on Facebook, and leave me a comment telling me you’ve done so.  (Thank you, thank you!!  It’s lovely to be liked:-))

I’ll pick one random winner on Saturday,  July 12, and notify via e-mail and a follow-up blog post.  Good luck!  And check back on Friday for the second giveaway!

Happy Stitching!


Posted in Great products | 11 Comments

Japanese Quilting Study Group- Tackling a Yoko Saito Purse Project

center diamond






Welcome to the (slightly belated) June edition of the Japanese Quilting Study group!  If you’re new to the series, you can see all the posts by clicking on the Study Group tab above.

In April, we talked about good online resources for taupe fabrics. One reader recommended One World Fabrics . I’m looking forward to shopping there once I’ve used up more of the taupes I have, and have a legitimate excuse to buy more fabric.  However, they’re carrying the Tulip needles from Japan, and I can HIGHLY recommend those.  I bought some (from the Fat Quarter shop), and they are an absolute delight to sew with. They thread easily, even with polyester thread that frays, and best of all- they don’t bend when you’re quilting through seam allowances.  I LOVE these needles.  They are completely worth the price (about a dollar a needle).

So, this month we’re talking about actually creating a purse project from the book.  This may turn into a two-month topic.  Japanese quilt patterns are drastically different from American.  Most of the purse instructions fit on a single page in the book.  Which means she really expects you to know how to sew.  It’s a bit of a challenge, and I’ve spent several hours just reading through the patterns and trying to figure them out before cutting the fabric.

I finally decided to make the Soda handbag.  The instructions looked a little simpler than some of the purses with pockets and zippers.

soda bag






So far, I have just made progress on the bag front. I opted to use a From Marti Michell template instead of copying the template from the book.  The FMM template is a tiny bit bigger than the one in the book, but that discrepancy was worth it to me for the added accuracy of a laser cut template over a hand-traced one.

lots of diamonds







Later this month, I’ll post progress on the purse construction.  First, though, I need to finish my Hoffman Challenge quilt, which is due in less than three weeks. YIKES! Wish me luck!

Are you working on a taupe project?  I’d love to see pictures!

Happy Stitching!


Posted in Japanese Quilting | 4 Comments

Finally on Facebook

This has been a doozy of a week for TCQ behind the scenes.  I’m pretty certain I haven’t even replied to last post’s comments.  I am sorry!  But the good news is, I have finally joined the dark side and started a Facebook page.  The learning curve has been huge.  However, I think it will be a great resource in the future, and I’m looking forward to posting little crafty things there that never quite merit a blog post of their own.

However, I’m planning to keep the blog as my main communication center, so have no fear if you’re not on Facebook.  I promise you won’t miss anything!  (And I think the little widget on the right sidebar will show you the latest posts on FB too).

Sooo, are you on Facebook?  If so, I’d be thrilled if you’d  like The Caffeinated Quilter.  And please leave me a comment on this post, telling me your favorite thing about following bloggers on facebook, or your biggest pet peeve.  I want to make this page worth reading, so your input is important to me!

Thank you for your patience.  I promise I’ll be back to regular quilty blog posts next week.  I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on with the Japanese Quilting Study Group!!

Happy Stitching!


Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Giveaway Winners, and a Pillow Finish

Can you believe the AMB blog tour is over? I’m a little bummed.  It had become my morning ritual to grab a cup of coffee and head over to the Clothworks blog to see  the new stops each day.  But wow, what a road trip!  I responded individually to every comment on the Texas post (which is a first for me, but I’m so glad I did.  It was delightful to make so many new friends!!)  And I really enjoyed all the great ideas people shared.

Without further ado, the winner of the AMB fabric bundle is Beth, who wrote:

Great Plate.  I am working on the farm to fabric challenge.  If my design is lucky enough to be chosen, I would love to visit it at the Houston show.  I really like your tote bag idea.  I am trying to visit all 50 states and was trying to think how to incorporate that idea with these blocks.  Now I am leaning toward travel tote :)

And the winner of my bluebonnet bundle is Marsha of Quilter in Motion, who wrote:

I love your license plate block; it’s very creative!   The bluebonnets and cone flowers were a great idea with the hexies.   I will probably make some mini quilts with pairs of state plates for each couple I give them two – wife from New York, husband from Maine they’d get those two state plates, maybe buttoned together.  

Great giveaways.  Thank you!

In other news, I wanted to share a finished project with you.  I saw this first on pinterest, and was delighted to find a free tutorial to make one.  I made this for my husband for Father’s Day:


death star pillow






Check out Emmaline bags for the pillow I saw first, and Quirky Granola Girl for the fabulous pattern.

So, that’s my week in quilts.  My mom and sister and niece and nephew were in town visiting this past week, and we all had a blast.  I will post soon on other projects finished during the week, and some great books I picked up on our adventure to a local quilt store.

Happy Stitching!




Posted in projects | 3 Comments

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Sews Issue!

If you follow the Stitch team through the daily blog, you know the special Downton Abbey Sews issue hit magazine stands yesterday.  I have been excited about this issue since the call for submissions went out– yikes, last winter, I think?  I love Downton Abbey.  The scenery and costuming is amazing.  The story line is thought-provoking, and some of the characters are people I’d love to know in my daily life.  (Especially Mrs. Hughes.  I could be a countess too if Mrs. Hughes ran my household!)

Last season, two sweet babies arrived on the scene, so I knew I wanted to design something with them in mind.  After much play in EQ, several fabric store trips for the awesome Downton Abbey fabric from Andover, and many late nights rearranging stuff on the design wall, my husband and I came up with the cot quilt design you can see on page 53 of the magazine.  And the page was featured on the Sew Daily blog today, so you can get a sneak preview!!  I’m so excited!!

The quilt in the magazine is my “Sibby” version, made for Sybil’s baby girl in fabrics from her line.  It was actually the second quilt I made in this pattern, and quilted by the amazingly talented Amy Jameson.  I love how you can see the movement in the quilting.

Here’s a picture of the “George” version, made up in Lady Mary’s fabrics from Andover:

George Legacy








And a close-up of the quilting that I did myself.  It was my first time quilting a spiral with my walking foot, and I’m quite happy with the way it turned out.

George Legacy close-up







Of course, we all know that it’s kind of easy to make a stunning quilt when you have amazing fabric from a coordinated line to start with.  So last night, I played around with triangles cut from my overflowing bin of baby fabrics.  Here’s a design wall view of a completely non-Downton version of the quilt in yellows, aquas, and novelty prints:

legacy bright








Yep, I think the design still works :-)  Paging through the magazine makes me want to venture outside my comfort zone and try garment sewing for me.  The dresses and accessories are breathtaking.

How about you? Are you a fan of Downton? Have you delved into the world of fancy dressmaking?

Happy Stitching!



Posted in Hexagons | 8 Comments