Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti Carey | McCall’s Quilting Blog

Welcome back guest blogger, quilt and fabric designer, and Northcott’s Vice President of Public Relations Patti Carey. Patti’s quilt Painted Porcelain is featured in the January/February 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting. Read on and don’t miss the fabulous fabric giveaway contest at the bottom of the page!

Hello there!  I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger on the McCall’s Quilting blog.  McCall’s Quilting has been a favorite magazine of mine forever, and has inspired me to try many of the different quiltmaking techniques found in the various projects over the past 25 years.  I am Vice President – Public Relations of Northcott, where I have been for 29 wonderful years.  When I started designing quilts with Northcott collections, I used the style of pattern-writing in McCall’s Quilting as a guide for the Northcott patterns.  Even now, with my own patterns, available from, when I am stymied on the wording for a particular technique or method, I will pull out my archived copies of McCall’s Quilting for inspiration.  For me, designing quilts with luscious fabrics is easy.  Writing the directions in a clear concise manner is another matter – it is an art and a skill!  Thankfully, McCall’s has a talented team to write the directions for the projects featured in the magazine – projects such as my Painted Porcelain quilt:

Painted Porcelain 600px Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti CareyI have had the honor of having a quilt in the January/February issue of McCall’s Quilting for the past 4 years, and the one in this year’s issue is a classic!  Painted Porcelain features the perennial favorite combination of blue and white from Northcott’s Porcelain Blue collection in a generous queen/king size quilt with a traditional barn-raising setting. I used the classic florals, calicoes, and crackle prints from the collection.

STRIP R 300x300 Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti CareyI also used an innovative new fabric that has 2” wide printed lengthwise strips – it’s called a STRIP-R (pronounced  “stripper”), and there are 21 strips across the width of the fabric.  Think of it as a jellyroll already sewn together!  Northcott has included STRIP-Rs in a dozen collections to date, and I am having so much fun designing quilts with them.  The STRIP-R in the Porcelain Blue collection includes 2” strips of 12 different florals and calicoes from the collection, so strips 13 – 21 are the same as strips 1 – 9.

Painted Porcelain FLAT 500px 243x300 Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti CareyI used this to my advantage when I designed the Painted Porcelain quilt, cutting matching sets of triangles that look pieced but are not.  These matching sets allowed me to create the barn-raising effect in the quilt using just half-square triangles.  Being able to make this involved-looking quilt with only half-square triangles means that it is achievable for even a confident beginner.  You don’t have to tell your quilting friends that you didn’t actually sew all of those strips together, but you probably will, because you’ll want to share your excitement at putting the quilt together so quickly and easily.


So, I have a couple of tips for you when you are making the Painted Porcelain quilt.

cutting the STRIP R 300x225 Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti CareyTip #1 will help you cut out the STRIP-R triangles:  tape your template to the underside of a large triangle ruler or a 12” square ruler and cut along the edges of the ruler.  This will save you time positioning the template and then the ruler on the fabric, and prevent you from accidentally trimming the template when you cut each triangle.


Tip #2:  the STRIP-R triangles have bias on the short edges, and the floral triangles have bias on the long edge.  When sewing the triangles together, sew with the bias on the BOTTOM and let the feed dogs on your sewing machine (the teeth under the presser foot) ease the bias edge into the straight-grain edge. This means that when you are sewing the STRIP-R triangle to the floral triangle to make each block, the floral triangle is on the bottom, and when you are sewing the blocks into rows, the STRIP-R triangle is on the bottom.

What else can you do with STRIP-Rs?  The possibilities are endless!  The Bevels quilt that I designed for the November issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts (see my McCall’s September 10 blog post) is a terrific use of the STRIP-R from Artisan Spirit Ambience:

Bevels FLAT 600px Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti CareyHow about a quick bargello?  Heat Wave features the STRIP-R from the Calypso fabric collection:

Heat Wave throw surf 851x1024 Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti Carey Perhaps you prefer chevrons?  Fluctuations is made with the Ambience STRIP-R:

Fluctuations sunglow throw 784x1024 Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti Carey If you’re looking for something traditional, try the Strip-Easy Lone Star using the Beacon Hall STRIP-R in the star:

Strip Easy Lone Star queen Beacon Hall 1024x1024 Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti Carey Or how about Porcelain Prism Stars using the Porcelain Blue STRIP-R in the faux-split stars? There are only 8 seams in the split stars instead of 16 seams in a traditional split star:

Porcelain Prism Stars twin 819x1024 Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti Carey For even more ideas please check out my dorky YouTube video on STRIP-Rs on Northcott’s YouTube channel.  I’d love to see what you can come up with using them!  I hope you have as much fun as I do!!  To get you started, there is a terrific Porcelain Blue giveaway below that includes STRIP-R fabric , and if you post a comment on my blog post today at pattispatchwork, you’ll have another chance to win.  Good luck!


Porcelain prize 350px Painted Porcelain: A Visit with Patti CareyThanks so much, Patti! And thanks to the folks at Northcott, we are giving away 3 luscious fabric packs of the Porcelain Blue fabric collection. Each prize package includes a yard of the STRIP-R stripe, and 10 coordinating fat quarters. Leave a comment below before midnight January 3, 2016 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing. Three names will be drawn on January 4 and notified by email. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents, excluding Quebec.

We have our winners. Congratulations to Sherry Calkins of Greenville, South Carolina, Kathleen Robbins of Portland, Oregon and Carolyn Terrill of Hot Springs, South Dakota!

If you’d like to make your own version of Patti’s Painted Porcelain quilt and don’t already have a copy of the January/February 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting, you can order print and digital magazines in our online shop. The Painted Porcelain quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download. And there are still a few Painted Porcelain quilt kits and backing fabric packs available for preorder, too!


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