Archive for March 2013

Framed and embroidered Tree block

Happy Easter everyone! Today, I'll share a photo of my framed Tree block. I've been testing out my paper pieced patterns and making a lot of single blocks. For some of them, I don't have plans to incorporate into bigger projects yet. So, on my last trip to IKEA, I bought some plain white picture frames, and you bet they are filling up quickly! For this 5" x 6" Tree block, I added a 1" rectangle piece to make it a ground. I also embroidered a swing and some orange flowers. I haven't done a lot of embroidering in the past, but it's something I would like to practice more, for it goes so well with paper piecing. Furthermore, I know just the blog that has a picture dictionary of embroidery stitches. Check out Sarah's Hand Embroidery Tutorials if you are interested! 

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Finished Project: mom's antique key quilt

My mom finished another small wall hanging quilt with my Antique Key pattern. Her color choices were a gradient of black and some pops of brown and blue for the keys. She also incorporated nine patch blocks to go with the keys, and I think it looks fantastic! 

and here are some detail shots. 

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New Addition: Airplane block

First of all, there is an announcement to make! I made an update to my Etsy shop. All of my PDF files can now be instantly downloaded after purchase, just like in Craftsy. I am really happy about that! 

Now, the new block of this week is the Airplane block. I was inspired to design this block by remembering the airport symbols and by looking at some amazing graphic posters on Wander Blog

This airplane block is meant to be friendly for grown up travelers just as much for little boys. You could definitely make a travel themed quilt with this Airplane block and the Vintage Suitcase block. I would also like to add that this block was revised multiple times until I got the final approval of my husband. He is very particular about the shape of an airplane. 

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Fabric Talk

To me, the most fun part of paper piecing or quilting in general is carefully selecting the fabrics for every project. I am quite sure that many quilters feel the same way as I do. My fabric stash is slowly but surely growing since spring 2012. I have collected my fabrics mostly from 3 different sources: big chain stores such as Jo-ann and Hobby Lobby, Etsy shops, and local fabric stores that carry designer fabrics. Because honestly, collecting fabrics is an expensive hobby, I like buying fabrics on sale or with a coupon. 

Lately, I've been buying a lot of solid color fabrics from brands like Kona Cotton and Moda. Buying solid color fabrics is a great way to build your stash for you don't have to stress out about not owning so many fabrics for each colorway.

For example, let me show you two different fabric combinations of my Cactus pattern. I made the one on the right side first. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to mix the solid colors and patterned fabrics. I chose a solid honeydew for the background and a solid hot pink for the pot to make it stand out. My shortcoming of this block was selecting a white-ish flower patterned fabric for a little cactus. As my husband put it, this little cactus looks a bit dead compared to the big guy next to it. For my second try, I made some adjustments. I decided that a white background might be even better. I used a solid dark green fabric for the little cactus and a solid grey fabric for the shelf or the "concrete" floor. 

I have not bought a whole collection of designer fabrics yet, but I am waiting for the right moment to buy this one. It's called Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander. As an interior design major, I can't help but feel like this collection was designed for me. 

Another collection I can't wait to get my my hands on is City Center collection by Jay McCarroll. Especially the one with the map of Los Angeles Downtown is so beautiful!

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Finished Project: Placemat

I finished my placemat quilt over the weekend. It's about the same size as my laptop which is 17" (monitor size). You all know where the silverware pattern came from. If you are wondering about the plate, I also designed it and paper pieced it. It's made up of 8 triangles that look like a slice of pie. This plate pattern can probably be turned into a pie or a pizza based on fabric choices. I don't happen to own a fabric that has pizza toppings, so I settled with a white and blue classic plate. 

In fact, I have done a similar project as the plate pattern in the past. I took a Foundation Pieced Spider Web Pillow Series class from Stitch Lab, which is a great place to learn how to sew in Austin by the way. You can check out Stitch Lab's website if you want to take this class or learn more about it. Here is a picture of the Spider Web pillow I finished. 

I plan to share my plate pattern under free downloads. It will be there later today or tomorrow. As I suggested in the etsy listing, this silverware pattern would also go well with Dresden plate block. I know a perfect tutorial video for making Dresden plate block. 

Dresden tutorial by Missouri Quilt Co.

and of course the other option is to applique the plate if you are going for a cleaner and rounder look. If you end up making your own placemat with my silverware pattern, please e-mail me the photos. I would love to see your work!

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Finished Project: mom's camping tent quilt

I am happy to display a photo of mini-quilt that my mom finished few days ago. 
She used the Camping Tent block that is free to download from my blog. 
I love that she used a different combination of fabrics for each block.
She was hesitant about doing a bias (border) with brown fabric as opposed to light green fabric, but I think brown was a great choice! 

My mom who has been a quilter for almost 20 years is truly a master at hand quilting.
She does all of piecing and quilting by hand. In fact, she didn't paper piece these blocks, but patch worked them by cutting out every shape of the pattern, tracing them onto fabrics, and sewing them together with 1/4" seams. 

You will continue to see my mom's amazing quilt works, so check back often!


Tumblr Giveaway

I've been on Tumblr for over a year, and this is where hoarding of my inspirations all began. I started by posting interior/ furniture/ product design images when I was still in school. Now my contents are gearing towards a lot of textile art and graphic design. 

So anyways, I am happy to be doing my very first giveaway on Tumblr.
If you have a Tumblr blog, you can simply reblog my recent post about ProtoQuilt.
My Tumblr is Do What You Want (
I will choose two lucky winners on March 31st, and you can get a free pattern of choice from my Etsy shop. 

Good luck! 

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Grand Opening of ProtoQuilt

I am very happy to announce that ProtoQuilt has finally launched the Etsy shop. There are 8 patterns available as of today, and I will try to add at least one new pattern per week. Each pattern only costs $2.50. I think it's a bargain, and I hope that many of you will use my patterns to learn how to paper piece and make fantastic projects with them.

If any of you do finish a project with my patterns, please e-mail me the photos, for I would love to share them on my blog. My e-mail is

Screen shot of my Etsy shop
Another big news is that my patterns are also available through Craftsy. 
Advantage of buying my pattern through Craftsy is that you will get to instantly download the PDF file. If you purchase my pattern through Etsy shop, I will e-mail you the PDF file within 24 hours.

screen shot of my craftsy pattern store

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New Addition: Tree Block

Let me introduce you to my Tree Block. The Tree block is another great block for paper piecing beginners. It is only consisted of two groups (A + B) and thirteen pieces.   

To compare this block with what a traditional tree block could look like, I will show you a mini quilt I made last year for Christmas. I clearly had a lot of fun with embroidering and adding buttons as ornaments. This was done by patchworking and not by paper piecing. I do love how these trees are made of simple geometric shapes like triangles and squares, and it is a great pattern to resemble a pine tree. But if I were to illustrate blooming flower trees that I see on the street today, I would use my new paper pieced Tree block. It captures the organic quality of trees and like I mentioned earlier, it is easy to make it!

My Tree block also has the same height as Camping Tent block, so you can easily line them up for a quilt.

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Silverware Pattern

I designed this silverware pattern couple weeks ago and finally got around to making it. As I anticipated, it was a pretty intense one because there are so many little pieces in this block. But I powered through it, and the final product is very satisfying to look at. I really like the contrast between dark grey and light grey. I am going to add a plate block next to it and turn it into a little place mat quilt. I probably won't actually use it as a place mat, but there will be a wall to hang it somewhere. I have never worked with laminated fabrics before, but it would be cool to do a place mat with laminated fabrics using this pattern. Another project for some day in the future. 

 (In the making)

 (Final glam shot)

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Welcome to ProtoQuilt

Welcome to ProtoQuilt and Happy Worldwide Quilting Day! 
In my home studio, I am working hard to refine my paper pieced blocks and to open up my Etsy shop.
The grand opening day of my Etsy shop will be next Saturday, March 23rd. 
I plan to sell my patterns through Craftsy as well.
Here is the preview of some of my patterns that are coming soon.

(Antique Key)


(Picture Frame)

I already have two patterns that are free to download on my blog. 
This cute Vintage Suitcase pattern is one of them.

I am so excited to share my patterns with quilters all over the world.
Stay posted! 

- Joanne KM

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