Free quilt pattern: Stripped Ease

May 4, 2021

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Do you have a fabric Jelly Roll that you fell in love with, but could never find a pattern that suited it? Leave it to Barb Mayfield of APQS Northwest and The Mind’s Eye to come up with one that is sure to get you fired up about finally using it with her pattern, “Stripped Ease.”

She says she just “made it up as she went along” but you can tell by her business name (The Mind’s Eye) that she has a keen vision for designing quilts. Look at this eye-popping rainbow beauty! And what better foil for brights than basic black?

Her quilt came about as a way to showcase her own favorite Jelly Roll of purples and blues (shown below). To test Barb’s pattern, a friend made another version using WOF strips from an ombre fabric (shown folded above her quilt) which made the pattern even easier since there were no jelly roll strips to sew together. So clever!

The sample quilt was pieced with Maywood Black Magic yardage and a Laurel Burch Prism jelly roll from Clothworks.

After sewing jelly roll strips together, Barb sliced the completed unit into various strips and then staggered their color placement up or down. She added black sashing strips to set them off.

Rainbow strips across the top and bottom are eye-catching, and a final black border frames out the center perfectly.

With soooo many wonderful quilting designs out there, it was hard to choose. But Barb knew from the beginning that the quilting would have to create movement across the strips. She loaded the quilt on her APQS Millie so that the stripes would be vertical so the design could wander gracefully across them.

Using her APQS Quilt Path computerized system, she chose the digital pantograph “Gala” from Anne Bright Designs. It dances and swirls across the stripes, creating a counterpoint to all the straight lines in the quilt.

Affinity Rainbow thread from Hab + Dash by FilTec beautifully carried the rainbow of colors through all the strips and into the black background fabrics.

Because so much of the quilt was dark, the batting used was Soft & Black batting from the Warm Company.

Barb’s longarm journey started with a used APQS machine back in 2007. Within two months, she was quilting for customers and within a year, she joined the APQS family as a local dealer.

Three months after joining the team – and with formal maintenance training still to come, the APQS service team asked for her help with a nearby customer who was having some thread breakage issues. “Needless to say, I was terrified, but with the backup of the awesome APQS Service Team, we got the customer’s machine running like it should. That same customer eventually upgraded to a new machine – and sold her older one to one of MY customers!” That is a testament to the longevity of APQS machines!

In 2015, she moved from a single Millennium in her home to a brand-new venture – opening APQS Northwest! Having a storefront with all the APQS models allows potential customers to try out machines in person, plus receive training. Others can rent machines to complete their own quilts. Barb also became an APQS Certified Technician, which means customers can receive local service at the store if they have an issue that can’t be resolved over the phone.

APQS Northwest moved into a larger space in late 2019, where it’s not uncommon for all four machines to be going at once!

Once the COVID-induced isolation loosens, Barb is excited to be able to start classes again so she can share her “quilting addiction” with a whole new group of “newbies”!

Her ultimate goal is to make sure that everyone who comes through the door leaves with a desire to come back and quilt again, because it was FUN! APQS Northwest will be their new “happy place.”

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