Category Archives: Uncategorized

Winner! Modern Rainbow Blog Hop


Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing for Modern Rainbow, by Rebecca Bryan.

The winner is:

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 7.15.41 AM


#103:  Kaelyn!

Jewel tones, but mostly purples! I love purples. I even painted my sewing room purple. Thanks for the giveaway!

Congrats, Kaelyn! I’ll be contacting you shortly.

Right Round Medallion Progress

I finally found time to finish up the quilt top for my Right Round Medallion!  The center is my Right Round Mini pattern and I made up the borders as I went.

Right Round Medallion Quilt by Better Off Thread

 I decided to go all out with the colors, but leave plenty of negative space to rest the eyes.  It reminds me a little bit of a circus, especially those wide stripes and the triangular “bunting” borders.  I was listening to “Water For Elephants” while I sewed it, so that probably influenced me!

Right Round Medallion Quilt by Better Off Thread

I think my favorite part is that tiny little smiley face.  I didn’t even know it was there until I pressed the quilt!

Next month I have a book coming out on Medallion Quilts (more on that later!) and I was thinking of releasing this pattern in May as a cross promotion for the book.  Would anyone be interested in a pattern?

I’m going to try to get this quilted in the next week and then I’ll post better photos of the finished quilt!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Free Block Pattern!


I’m excited to share a free block pattern with you over at Blossom Heart Quilts!  I designed the Wanta Fanta block for Alyce’s Bee Hive Series and here is how several blocks look together:

Wanta Fanta Block by Better Off Thread for the Bee Hive Series

It’s partially paper-pieced, but no curves to sew!

Check out Alyce’s blog for more information on the block, and her series (with lots of free block patterns!).  You can download the pattern here.



The winner of the Fat Quarter Taquito pack of “Black and White” is….


Linda Brown | February 1, 2015 at 9:35 am | Reply

I would make some a table runner with place mats….


Congrats, Linda!  I sent you an email.

Thank you to everyone who left comments.



The Bee Hive- Block of the Month

I am very excited to say that I am part of the Bee Hive!


What is the Bee Hive, you ask?  Well, my friend Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts is hosting a year-long series of quilt block tutorials on her blog. Each block is perfect for quilting bees because when you use several of the same block, they create a secondary design.  Here is the first block, Tic Tac Toe:


It’s a fun, modern block, right?  Well look what happens when you put several of them together:


It makes a fun design!

Each month, Alyce’s blog will feature two block tutorials; one from Alyce and one from a guest designer.  The schedule is as follows:

January 12 – Tic Tac Toe
January 26 – Kristy from Quiet Play

February 9 – Chainlink
February 23 – Janice from Better Off Thread

March 9 – Houndstooth
March 23 – Jane aka Quiltjane

April 6 – Spinwheel
April 20 – Christa from Christa Quilts

May 4 – Busy
May 18 – Angie from Gnome Angel

June 1 – Bunting
June 15 – Anne from Play Crafts

July 13 – Abacus
July 27 – Jess from Elven Garden Quilts

August 10 – Homebase
August 24 – Joshua from Molli Sparkles

September 7 – In The Middle
September 21 – Jennie from Clover and Violet

October 5 – Magic 8 Ball
October 19 – Diane from From Blank Pages

November 2 – Alpine
November 16 – Melissa from Ms Midge

December 14 – Treasure Hunt
December 28 – Finale

I am really excited to see what everyone comes up with.  Alyce has lined up an impressive list of quilters.

Check out Alyce’s blog for more info and enjoy trying out the blocks!

American Patchwork & Quilting Radio

I am pleased to announce that I am going to be a guest on the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast hosted by Pat Sloan!

American Patchwork and Quilting Pocast guests Janice Ryan Jan 2015

 I will chat with Pat about all sorts of quilty stuff.  You can listen to the podcast live by clicking on the photo above, or you can listen to it later, as all the past podcasts are up on the American Patchwork site free for your listening pleasure.  There are lots of great interviews on there to listen to while you sew!

So tune in on Monday, January 12th at 4pm EST (That’s 3 days from now!) and hopefully my nervousness doesn’t make me blunder too much!

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway PDF pattern bundle is….

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 2.12.17 PM #155: Catriona!

Love the spiral of geese, I’ve had it pinned on Pinterest for ages!

Congratulations Catrinoa!  I’ll be emailing you shortly.

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

It’s that time of year again for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

This time I am giving away a PDF bundle of five of my patterns, including Gaggle of Geese, which will be released next week.


You can enter twice:

1. Leave a comment, any comment.  Maybe tell me which pattern is your favorite or if you would use rainbow fabrics, or something else.

2. Follow me either on my blog, or on Instagram (Betteroffthread) and then leave a second comment on my blog saying that you followed me.

The giveaway is open until Friday December 12th at 5pm PST.  I will pick a winner by random number generator and notify them by Sunday.  Giveaway is open to anyone!


The Giveaway is now closed and the winner will be announced soon!

Tumbling Cats Tutorial


Tumbling Cat Block by Better off Thread

This is a tutorial for a 24″ x 24″ panel (perfect for a large pillow, or mini quilt) as pictured above.  If you want to make a large quilt, scroll down the the bottom for the 11″ block.


Cutting Instructions

You will be cutting pieces for 16 cats.  Choose between 1-16 different fabrics and then cut pieces accordingly (I chose 4 fabrics, so I cut 4 cats per fabric).  A fat eight will yield four cats.


From Cat Fabric:
Cut 16 rectangles 3-1/2″ x 5″ (cat body/head- 1 per cat)
Cut 32 squares 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ (cat ears- 2 per cat)
Cut 31 rectangles 1-1/2″ x 3″ (cat legs- 2 per cat)

From Background Fabric:
Cut 11 squares 3″ x 3″
Cut 6 rectangles 3″ x 8-1/2″
Cut 2 rectangles 3″ x 6″
Cut 16 rectangles 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″
Cut 16 rectangles 1-1/2″ x 3″


Step 1: Make the Ears

- Place two matching 1-1/2″ cat squares right sides together on either end of a
1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ background rectangle.


- Draw a line on the cat fabric from corner to corner.


- Sew along the lines and trim excess fabric.


- Flip triangles and press flat.
- Repeat to make 16 ear units.


Step 2: Sew Ears to Cat Bodies


- Sew an ear unit to a matching 3-1/2″ x 5″ rectangle (cat body).


- Repeat to sew all of the ear units to the cat bodies (16 total).


Step 3: Make Leg Units


- Sew two 1-1/2″ x 3″ cat legs to either long side of a 1-1/2″ x 3″ background rectangle.
- Repeat to make 16 leg units.


Step 4: Assemble Cat Block


- Lay out four cat blocks as pictured above, with a 3″ x 3″ background  square in the center.

IMG_3250 copy

- Begin with the cat unit on the right. Place the center square right sides together on the cat unit, as pictured.  Sew together stopping 1/2″ before the inner corner.


- Sew the top cat unit on next, then the cat unit on the left side.


- To finish the block, you will need to fold the cat unit on the right side out of the way, sew the bottom cat, then sew the remaining part of the right cat unit.


- Repeat Step 4 to make three more Cat Blocks.


Step 5: Finishing (Attach Sashing and Borders)


- Lay the four blocks out however you would like them to be oriented.  Pair legs with the inner facing cats and then place 3″ x 3″ background squares between each leg unit.


- Sew the legs and background squares into strips, as pictured, then sew everything into rows.  Sew the rows together to complete the center of the quilt.


Next, sew larger background rectangles and leg units together as pictured to make the borders .  Sew the side borders on first and then the top and bottom borders.


You are done!


11″ Block for Full Quilt

The 11″ unit will go together like the larger 24″, but you will include extra leg units that will match up to the blocks around it.


- You will need to plan out your color placement in advance, so you know which leg units to place on which block.


Above is  57″ x 68″ quilt.  You would need to remove the extra legs from the left and bottom blocks and add a leg border to the top and right side.

Enjoy the tutorial and show me what you make!


 This week, I am donating 100% of my Craftsy Pattern Sales to my friend, Jennie. Please read below for more info.


Jennie and her kids.

I am busy working on a free tutorial for the cat block!  In the meantime, I want to tell you about my old friend and college roommate, Jennie.  She is a single mom with three adopted children. Two are special needs.  She is the sole caregiver for her children and the state she lives in has very little in the way of programs and support for her children.  She was trying to move back to our home state of Pennsylvania, but her house has not sold and the job market is dismal.  At this point she is simply trying to make ends meet. She is exhausted and in despair.

Jennie was a wonderful roommate and friend and I always have had so much respect for her drive and perseverance.  Her father passed away when she was very young and her mother had several children to raise alone.  While a lot of us were goofing off in college and living it up, Jennie was working hard with her studies and also working to make money so that she would be able to afford the next semester.  She has continued to work so hard to to give everything of herself to her children.  I really want to see something positive come her way.

10089 copy

Jennie and me in our super-awesome door room.

For the following week (September 22-29) I am going to donate 100% of my pattern sales to Jennie and her kids.  So, if you’ve been planning on buying one of my patterns, now is the time!  I try to keep my pattern prices low, so they are basically the cost of a trip to Starbucks.  I’m hoping to be able to raise enough to help Jennie pay a bit of her bills.

You can find my Craftsy store here:

For more information about Jennie, you can check out her blog here:

and her GoFundMe page is here:

Thanks so much!!