Baltimore in Taupe and Crimson

16 in ’16 – A New UFO List

No, I’m not going to finish 16 UFOs (unfinished projects) in 2016. I’m not even going to suggest that it’s possible. But I have a lot of UFOs so to narrow down the list this year I’m going to focus on the number 16. Here it is, my 2016 UFO Challenge, (NOTE: There are no prizes or awards, just the fun of challenging myself and seeing how it comes out.)

1. “Baltimore Album Quilt in Taupe and Crimson” Let’s play around with that number 16:  I have nine blocks completed in a 25 block applique quilt. That leaves 16 more to make. It goes on the list.Baltimore in Taupe and Crimson

2. I am well into making “Ladies of the Sea” a pattern by Sue Garmen. It’s a 16 block applique quilt. So, sure, why not, let’s put it on the list too.ships and border 1 adjusted


3. And let’s put some pieced blocks on the list as well. I have a whole pile of pieces cut out for 16” drunkard path blocks. So how about if I finish that quilt this year? Can I do it? That’s a lot of curved pieces?drunkard's path pieces16 inch Drunkard's Path block

4. Forest Galorist is a charming animal quilt that I started the week my precious granddaughter Etta was born. I really want to finish it this year and have been trying to figure out a way to make it work within the theme of 16. I counted the animals – there are 15! (It should have been last year!) I could say I will finish it before she is 16 months old. That would work. Naw, I think I’m just going to add an animal making it 16 animals!Forest Galorist pattern Forest Galorist blocks

5. And one more thing, just for kicks, I love making Lori Smith’s little Fat Quarter Quilts so I’m going to make 16 of those little darlings in 2016. These are not officially UFO’s because I haven’t started any of them (except in my mind) but it will spice things up to include it as a goal.

Do you have any UFOs that have anything to do with the number 16? Make your list, check it twice, and I’ll see you around in 2016!

Red and Tan baskets

15 in ’15 – the Final Results

Did I really say that back in January 2015? Did I say I was going try to finish 15 UFOs in 2015? What was I thinking?

Now it’s 2016 and since I threw out the challenge, so to speak, and some of you not only took it on for yourself but you even got your whole quilt guild to do it I thought I owed you a tally of my own progress on 15 in ’15.

First of all what do I consider an UFO?
1. It must have already been started prior to Jan 1, 2015 to make the list. That means no projects that I have bought a pattern and fabric for but have yet to start. No kits that I collected a month at a time but have yet to cut into. It has to already have had something done to it – cut out, strips cut, a few blocks made, etc.

2. What do I consider completed? I get into trouble in this category because I have a habit of thinking that once the top is done the project is completed.  However, for my 15 in 15 challenge I was clear with myself that finished meant finished. Quilted. Binding stitched on. Binding turned and finished. Label on the back. Finished. All the way.

Drum roll, please! Here are my 2015 completed UFOs.
1. “Grandma’s Garden in Pastels” – perfect to start the list because it took me 15 years to finish it!Pastel applique
2. “Earth” was a completed top on Jan 1. I got it quilted early in the year. I got it’s binding on in Oct. Dang those bindings drag me down!Earth
3. “Disappearing Nine-Patch in Indigo and Shirting.” On Jan 1st it was a pile of blocks. I finished this one in time to give it to a friend before her first chemo treatment. I’m glad it’s finished but not glad for the reason it got finished in an emergency. disappearing ninepatch for Doris
4. “Picnic Baskets” pattern by Jan Patek. The picture is dated Jan 6, 2015 making this project officially the first finish of the year. I made the top while on retreat with my guild in Nov 2014 so it might also officially have resided on the UFO list for the shortest length of time. See? It can happen!006
5. “Red and Tan Baskets and Stars”, pattern by Whimsy. I love this quilt. I worked on it during at least three retreats that I can remember and finally put it on my Pennsylvania Tues quilt group’s UFO challenge list. That motivated me to get it done – otherwise there would have been a penalty to pay of one fat quarter.Red and Tan baskets
6. “60 degree Kalidoescope”. Many of the UFOs in my pile were started as samples when I was teaching the Marti and Me Club at Quilting Bits and Pieces in Eudora, KS, this one included. It’s not very dramatic but it’s done!kalidoscope
7. “Brights and White” from The Quilting Bee in Cache, Ok. I got this back from the quilter the first week of Dec 2014. I sewed the binding on it a year later, just in time to include on my 15 in ’15 list!Brights and White
8. “Emma’s Quilt” Ages ago I started making quilts for my nieces and nephews when they graduate from high school. When the great nieces and nephews started coming along I saw that there would be no end to the graduation quilt program so I changed to baby quilts for the new generation. Dear sweet great-niece Emma was 1 ½ years old before her quilt was delivered. This picture was taken the day she got her quilt.Emma and quilt
There you have it! All the UFOs I completed for 15 in ‘15.

Are you saying, “Wait a second, that isn’t 15 – it’s only 8?” Well, yeah, it is only 8. Drat it anyway. And look at how many of them only needed sewing the binding on. My challenge should have been “Just Bind It!”

It’s only 8 but it’s 8 more than zero which is how many it might have been if I hadn’t given myself the challenge in the first place!
So, if you didn’t get 15 UFOs done in 2015, don’t beat yourself up, pat yourself on the back for what you did get accomplished.

What are we going to do for 2016? I don’t know about you but I’ll be making a shorter list!
Next time I’ll share my challenge for 2016! See you then!


Coming Soon: Vintage Sampler

As soon as I knew I was going to be creating a fabric collection I wanted to design a Block of the Month program that used every fabric in the collection. Here it is, “Vintage Sampler”

Vintage Sampler by Barbara J. Eikmeier

Vintage Sampler 82″ x 89″ by Barbara J. Eikmeier, machine quilted by Maria Pate

I’m a big fan of quilt shops – I’ve not only shopped in my fair share of them but I also teach at quilt shops and have worked the retail side in a few as well. As I designed “Vintage Sampler” I thought about the quilt shop marketing the program, their staff cutting the kits, and, of course, I thought about the quilter who would be sewing the blocks. I, along with my editorial team, have been working for several months, striving to produce the pattern in the most economical way possible. As an added bonus I wrote the cutting charts with three different cutting methods – regular rotary cutting, using Marti Michell’s templates (my favorite method), and using a die cutting system – mine is Sizzix but we used finished sizes with a shaded shape so you can easily translate to a different system.

Paintbrush Studios will be showing the Vintage Sampler quilt in their booth #2318 at International Quilt Market, Spring 2015 in Minneapolis, MN. You can see a blog post with detailed photos and more about the quilt by hopping over to Inspired by Fabric.

Shops are receiving information now and the program will be starting in late fall or early next year depending on how each individual shop schedules it. If you are a shop owner and will be at Spring Market, and would like to learn more, stop by Fabri-Quilt’s booth and plan to attend my Schoolhouse on Thurs at 530 pm.

I have more stories about the fabric collection and the sampler quilt still to come. I’ll announce new stories on my Facebook page.

Ready for shipping!

Made in the USA – Vintage Shirting and Dress Prints

I’d like to introduce you to Vintage Shirting and Dress Prints – a fabric collection featuring reproduction prints from 1880-1910. Ready for shipping now from Paintbrush Studios/Fabri-Quilt.Swatch cardYou may wonder how this came about – a farm girl from California ends up designing a fabric collection.
Sometimes I wonder myself!

Here is the short version of the formula that worked for me: Start with loving quilts – making new quilts and collecting old quilts. (That began in 1984).

Add 25+ years of interest in quilt history with classes, workshops, fabric camps, and a lot of reading about quilt study and the dating old fabrics.

Mix in a longtime membership in the American Quilt Study Group with more reading and studying of quilt research.

Know generous people who frequent garage sales and find unusual old quilt tops and are willing to share. (Thank you Sharon!)

Then be in the right place at the right time when Paintbrush Studios, a Kansas City, MO based fabric company, is looking for someone to design reproduction fabrics.

Viola! That’s all it takes to become a fabric designer via the route of quiltmaking.FQ VintageMy first collection features shirting prints along with cotton dress prints that were popular during the late 1800s up to 1910 (and in some cases, beyond). The colors are as true to the original, unwashed, unused vintage goods as possible. Deep claret red, deep indigo, chambray blue, cadet blue, and the black mourning prints of the era.

Vintage Shirting and Dress Prints, are 100% reproduced in the United States of America. That means the cotton was grown here, the yarn was spun here, the fabric was woven here, and the final goods were printed right here in the US of A. With so much of our industry moving overseas, I am thrilled to be part of a fabric collection produced at home.

I, along with Fabri-quilt, will be at Spring International Quilt Market in Minneapolis, MN from May 15-17. If you’re there, stop by booth 2318 to see the goods and the block of the month project that I designed for the collection.Color Card front
Ask for Vintage Shirting and Dress Prints at your local quilt shop and watch Barb’s Favorites for more about the fabrics, the Block of the Month, and Spring Market!

Ready for shipping!

Ready for shipping!


15 in ’15

It’s January. It’s a new year.  Time for goal setting. I don’t make ‘resolutions’ – I prefer to call them goals.  And out of the blue the other day, I decided to make a goal of finishing 15 UFOs this year. 15 in ’15. And just to be fair, I might as well add, that doesn’t mean I’m not starting anything new, in fact I might start 15 new projects this year too and end with a net zero.

Here is what’s on my design wall today – I’m slowly but surely making progress on this project from Di Ford’s beautiful book, Primarily Quilts. The translation from metric isn’t exact so I have struggled a bit with things coming out incorrect sizes but I’m muddling through and finding ways to make it work. (Those crooked borders are not a problem with metric conversions. They are a problem with the photographer.)119Next I will make English Paper Pieced hexagons that go over those striped borders. Do you ever do English Paper Piecing? A frisbee is a very helpful item for keeping everything contained.118Have you made  a list of quilting goals for 2015? Check back to see how I’m fairing on finishing 15 in ’15 and tell me about yours.


Front Basted Applique, see it on QNTV

It’s Design Wall Monday and I have something new on my design wall! I started it way back in Jan but set it aside to work on the Star a day quilt, now I’m back to this project from Di Ford’s book, “Primarily Quilts, 19th Century Inspirations”. 172Those hexagons flowers are made with 1/2″ hexagons and English Paper Piecing. My friend, Roberta DeWire, taught me EPP several years ago when we were on retreat at her family’s lake house in PA. Thank you Roberta!068

The appliques are cut from a large scale print and I’m in the process of hand appliqueing them in place. This technique is referred to by many names; fussy cutting, cut out chintz, and broidere perse, to name a few. I call it broidere perse and am using “front basted applique”, a method I talk about in my book “Back Basting Applique Step by Step” (see pages 29-30.)

Check out the current episode of Quilter’s Newsletter TV, the Quilter’s Community, where I share “front basted applique using die cut shapes. (Free this week only, after which a subscription is required.) Click here to go to the video.

Let’s see what others have on their design walls today by linking to Patchwork Times. Click here to visit Judy and friends.


Star A Day FINAL update

Today I won’t show you what is ON my design wall because its empty. But I have something to show that came OFF my design wall yesterday.183On Oct 31, 2014 I finished my final star! This one, right here. 176It was 1:28 pm when I cut my thread, spread it out in front of me, and said, “You, my pretty, are the last one!” Whew! I did it! I made 365 stars in one year – enough to make a quilt big enough to sleep under.

This post officially concludes my Star a Day Challenge.

What’s next, you ask? How about a Lucy Boston quilt? Here’s my first block. I was so eager to start it that I stitched this block the same evening that I finished the last little star! Why stop when you’re on a roll, right?184And in case you are wondering, NO, I will not be making a block a day! But do you suppose I could finish it in just one year?185(2)

Check out Linda Franz’s website by clicking here.

Let’s link in to Patchwork Times today and see what Judy and friends have on their design walls. Click here to go to Design Wall Monday.


Design Wall Monday – Another UFO

It’s a good idea to periodically challenge yourself to finish project that you started long ago. I didn’t have to decide this on my own, my friends in PA came up with a UFO challenge to help me out. We each made a list of 6 UFOs and every other month they draw a new number and Patty sends me a text message with the number. I then run into my sewing room to make sure it isn’t #3, that really big, really hard project that I never should have put on my list.

This time it’s #5 (whew!) and that’s what’s on my design wall today.064These little appliqued cuties were a free to download pattern from Bunny Hill a few years ago (it’s now available for purchase as a complete pattern). I made it twice, once with blue work embroidery and again with back basted applique’. The blocks have been done for ages – I just need to put them together.

As luck would have it, I will be going on my quilt guild’s retreat in a few weeks and will be taking these blocks with me. Surely I can get them finished by Dec 1st!

Let’s see what others are working on over at Judy Laquidara’s Patchwork Times. Click here.

Take one

Guest on Quilter’s Newsletter TV

Last summer I took a little road trip to Quilter’s Newsletter headquarters in Golden, CO. Quilting friend, Donna Lynn Thomas and I drove from Kansas City where we filmed several episodes for Quilter’s Newsletter TV. The main reason for driving was to haul all our paraphernalia for our joint program, Four Decades of Quilting.

Score Barb and Donna! We got it all to fit and were on our way!

A road trip is incomplete without a stop or two – quilt shops and gas stations for sure, food is optional.

At Smokey River Quilts in Oakley, KS we came across a cover girl quilt, on display with the then current issue of Quilter’s Newsletter. That was fun.202

And in the same store I snapped a photo of this yardage counter which is like the one that was in the dry goods department of Daughtry’s Department Store in my hometown, Willows, CA, where I bought fabric for my 4-H projects. The department store is long gone but I still have scraps of some of those fabrics!201Once in Golden, CO our schedule was packed. We filmed a total of seven episodes with early morning call times for hair and make up. We unloaded the car and once the “on air” light went out Donna started getting set up for the next day.

My call time was a day later. I arrived at the studio for hair and make up, rubbing sleep from my eyes.

Into this

Barb with Big Hair

Barb with Big Hair

And it was showtime!

Final touches, then …

"Ok, I'm ready"

“Ok, I’m ready”


Take one

Take one

I wish I could tell you it was done in a snap but it doesn’t work that way. It took all morning starting with make up followed by set up and filming for two episodes. In the afternoon Donna joined me, fresh out of the hair and make up room, and we filmed two episodes of Four Decades of Quilting together. Working under bright lights in Mile High country is dehydrating, I was certainly ready when I finally heard the magical words, “That’s a Wrap!”

End of the day with my usual flat hair

End of the day with my usual flat hair

And what’s a trip home without a stop at a quilt shop or two? Here Donna and I enjoyed “book sightings” in Colby, KS.292

You can see Four Decades of Quilting parts one and two here If you don’t already subscribe you will need to purchase a subscription ($2.99 for unlimited videos for one month or $24 for a full year.)

Also check out the 2014 Jul/Aug issue of Quilter’s Newsletter for our article on the same topic

Here is the schedule for release of my two back basting applique episodes:

Barb Eikmeier presents: Front basting applique Nov. 21

Barb Eikmeier presents: Reverse applique with back basting Nov. 28.

Free for one week so mark your calendars and tune in to internet TV. See you there! (Check out Donna’s episodes too!)


Twice In A Red Moon

Did you see it? Did you see the second of two Red Moons in 2014?

On the way home from the library last night I noticed the moon, big, golden, and full – it was October’s Hunter Moon. Always spectacular, it was made even better by the promise of a complete lunar eclipse expected just before daybreak. I checked the Farmer’s Almanac for the exact time of the eclipse and set the alarm.

In the wee hours of the morning I crawled out of bed, shuffled to the front porch and sure enough, there, high in the western sky a lunar eclipse was occurring. I stood in my driveway, in my pajamas, and gazed until clouds rising on the horizon obscured my view.

I watched the Red Moon in April, (see related story by clicking here ). I can tell you two things – the air was much warmer on this early October morning than it was last April and the moon was definitely redder. Was it blood red? No. But it rivaled the autumn color of the my elm tree and that’s red enough for me!

I should do something to commemorate the two red moons I witnessed in 2014. I think I’ll make a quilt. To be more exact, I think I’ll finish one that I’ve already started.
Here is a sampling of blocks in progress.010

As you can see I have collected enough solid red fabrics for this project!015I think I’ll call this quilt “It’s a Red Moon Night.”