Free quilt pattern: Tulip Wheels
We’re getting in the mood for spring, so this month’s free pattern is a perfect fit. APQS Dealer and quilt shop owner Heidi Kaisand designed “Tulip Wheels” after being inspired by Danish architecture. “When I was travelling in Denmark I was blown away by the ornate wood carvings we’d see on buildings as we walked the streets of Copenhagen,” she said. Heidi marveled at how in the carvings she saw it felt like there was so much depth in the work. As she designed this pattern, she tried to use layers of color to give the quilt visual depth.
The pattern for “Tulip Wheels” has instructions for fusible appliqué, a technique that makes the appliqué process simple. Having the right supplies on hand also makes any quilt easier. The featured quilt was appliquéd using a combination of SoftFuse Premium fusible web (great for its very light weight and soft hand) and Super Nonstick Needles (which won’t get gummed up even with heavier weight fusible webs).
The quilt was quilted by Stephanie Unruh and Liz Meimann at A Quilted Memory. They chose the “Circleville” design by Anne Bright Designs. This digital edge-to-edge design was a natural choice to play up the radiating rings of appliqués.
In 2011, Heidi opened Hen & Chicks Studio, a full-service quilt shop and retreat center. As a shop owner, Heidi is always intrigued to see how customers take a pattern and make it their own. “We all have such different perspectives and we encourage everyone to make a project their own,” Heidi says. “I’d love to see how you choose to make this project.” As a second option to create more depth, Heidi tried using wool for the applique pieces, stitching it to a cotton print background.
Quilting has been a part of Heidi’s life as long as she can remember. Creating quilts, pillows and other crafty items started early as a 4-H member in northern Iowa. “My maternal grandmother was always making things and her creativity definitely rubbed off on me,” says Heidi. A 10-year 4-H career gave Heidi experiences in sewing, quilting, baking and more. She often credits those speaking experiences at club meetings and keeping the required records for giving her the confidence to talk to quilters and run an organized business.
When she attended Iowa State University it was not for textiles, as you might think, but rather for developing food recipes. It wasn’t long after starting her first job at Meredith Corporation in Des Moines, Iowa, that the opportunity arose to work on magazines featuring quilts. Heidi jumped at the chance as she puts it, “to develop recipes for quilts” so people can enjoy making them. Her tenure as Editor of Better Homes & Gardens American Patchwork & Quilting magazine allowed Heidi to eat and breathe quilting every day. Her passion for quilting grew deeper, including not only the fabrics and designs, but for the people and the stories that can be told through quilts.
As life changed and kids came along, Heidi looked for a different job to allow her to focus more on her family. APQS was her next stop in the quilting world, working as the National Sales Manager.
“Seeing the quilt industry from the manufacturing perspective of creating longarm quilting machines was an eye-opening experience,” she says. “Up until I worked for APQS I had been focused on helping quilters make quilt tops, but we left the “quilt as desired” to the experts.” She notes. “But my seven years at APQS allowed me to learn and explore the creativity quilters use in finishing quilts.”
Working alongside longarm quilters like Marilyn Badger, Karen McTavish, and many, many more helped Heidi develop a passion for helping others finish their projects. “Today at Hen & Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa, we rent out our APQS Millennium machine and teach our customers how easy it is to use the longarm and get projects done!”