Freebies & Features

Creating with the Experts
Vicki Bellino demonstrates various cutting and piecing techniques that make the most of our Strip-It™ pre-printed stripe fabric by Faye Burgos.
More Strip-It™ Tricks from Vicki Bellino!

We love Vicki's seeming endless library of creative tips & tricks using our Strip-It pre-printed stripe fabric.

Here, she simplifies bordered stripes and half-square triangles, cutting the Strip-It fabric as indicated by the blue dotted lines in these photos.

A -- Bordered Stripes B -- Half-Square Triangles
A - Cut Strip-It to include sections of the stripes that are adjacent to your featured stripe -- remember to add the ¼" seam allowances before you cut the sides stripes!
B - To cut ready-made half-square triangles, cut out two stripes from the Strip-it fabric. Position ruler at a 45-degree angle so that the center of the ruler is centered between the stripes.

For either of these creative cuts, quilt along the "cheater" lines for a pieced look if desired.


Our PRIMO PLAIDS gain new fans with each season. The growing assortment of colors and designs is fast becoming a staple for cozy quilts and much more.

Designer Vicki Bellino of Bloom Creek knew that the deep, rich colors and the plaids would lend themselves to a great masculine quilt. As she was creating her new Octagon Patchwork pattern, she came up with some valuable tips for working with these gorgeous plaids:

  • The fabric's plush hand convinced Vicki to treat it as she would wool, especially for the smaller blocks. Before cutting any pieces for the octagonal blocks, lightly apply some spray sizing.
  • To stabilize the smaller octagons for appliqué and to minimize raveling around the edges, Vicki uses the fusible windowpane appliqué technique:
    Cut away the inside of the fusible web to 1/4" of the outside edge and then fuse the appliqués to the blocks. This eliminates the stiff hand of fusible appliqué. After blanket-stitching them to the blocks, the appliqués had the look and feel of wool appliqué.

The pattern for Octagon Patchwork is available on the Bloom Creek website. Thanks for your tips, Vicki!


If you've ever looked at our popular Strip It designs by Faye Burgos and wanted to discover exciting new ways to use them, check out Vicki Bellino's project for McCall's Quilting magazine. She creatively cuts the Strip It print from Faye's AMERICAN PATRIOT COLLECTION to create effortless hexagon blocks! View it in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue, or online now!

Creative Quilt Labels with Vicki Bellino
Sometimes, once you've expend your time and talent on fabric selection, cutting, sewing and quilting a quilt, the labeling of your creation can become a bit of a stepchild in your creative process. But the label is key - beyond basic identification, it serves to document your work for years, even generations to come, and is worthy of the same thought and creativity you've invested in the front of the quilt.

Here with a few easy ideas for upgrading your quilt labels is quilt designer and owner of Bloom Creek, Vicki Bellino. We recently featured some of Vicki's labels on our blog, and asked her for some creative labeling suggestions suitable for any skill level. Shown here are some of her labels for recent Marcus quilts she designed, including "Regency T-Stars". To see Vicki's patterns and more, visit Bloom Creek.

  • Incorporate strips from the selvedge as the border of your label, using the sections that include the name the collection, manufacturer, designer, etc. Even the dye dots along the selvedge can be a fun addition to a quilt label!
  • Use a practice block from the quilt as a frame around a basic muslin label.
  • Repeat an appliqué motif from the quilt to decorate the label, like the tulips shown at left.
  • For the text portion of your label, follow Vicki's method below:
Making Quilt Labels by Computer:
  1. In Word, center and type information you want to appear on your label.
  2. Iron a piece of fabric you want to use for the label onto the waxy side of an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of freezer paper.
  3. Place the freezer paper sheet into your printer, positioning it so that when it feeds through the printer, the label information will print onto the fabric. (Whether the fabric side faces up or down in the printer will depend on the type of feed your printer uses.)
  4. Peel back fabric from freezer paper sheet and heat set with iron.
  5. Add borders using left-over fabric from quilt.
  6. Turn over raw edges approximately ¼" and press. Sizing works well for this step.
  7. Place on bottom corner of the quilt back and whipstitch in place.