The Modern Medallion Blog Hop

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Today marks the beginning of The Modern Medallion Blog Hop!  Beth and I are starting off the hop with an introduction on C&T Publishing’s Blog.  Please pop on over to check it out and enter to win a free copy of the book!

Each of our contributors will be posting on their blogs over next two weeks, so you can get lots of sneak peeks and inside information on the book.  Follow the schedule each day to meet the designers and enter their giveaways:

The Modern Medallion Workbook Blog Hop Schedule:

May 11th:  Janice and Beth at C&T/Stash

May 12th: Melissa Richie-

May 13th: Amy Sinibaldi-

May 14th: Christina Lane-

May 18th: Erica Jackman-

May 19th: Becca Bryan-

May 20th: Karen Anderson-Abraham-

May 21st: Latifah Saafir-

May 22nd: Kerry Green-

May 25th: Beth-   and

Have a wonderful week!  Happy sewing!

Spring Bloom Winner!

Windham Circle #

Thank you for all of your lovely comments on my Spring Bloom Blog Hop post.

The winner of the Fat Quarter Bundle of Spring Bloom is:

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#38: Lisa Burger!

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Congratulations Lisa!  I’ll be emailing you shortly.


Spring Bloom Makers Blog Hop and Giveaway

Spring Bloom Blog Hop, Spring Bloom By Bella Caronia for Windham Fabrics

It’s my day in the Spring Bloom Makers Blog hop and I’m so excited to reveal the quilt I have been working on!  Bella Caronia’s Spring Bloom is Amanda Caronia’s first fabric line with Windham Fabrics and it is lovely.

I met Amanda at an LAMQG meeting and we instantly bonded over being California transplants and former 705 Costumers (that’s the local union for TV and movie costumers).  I was really excited when she asked if I would design a quilt for her new fabric line.

I love Spring Bloom’s variety of colors and floral designs, and I wanted to design a quilt that represented a bouquet of flowers, or an aerial view of a French Formal Garden.

Spring Bouquet Quilt by Better Off Thread featuring Spring Bloom Fabric by Bella Caronia.

“Spring Bouquet” measures 84″ x 84″ and is a sampler in the round.  I had a lot of fun choosing blocks and laying them out to best show off these gorgeous fabrics.

It’s hard to see scale in a cropped photo, so here is a behind the scenes shot for size reference.

Spring Bouquet Quilt by Better Off Thread featuring Spring Bloom Fabric by Bella Caronia.

It fits very nicely on my queen-sized bed (yes, I STILL need to paint the other nightstand…quilts come first!).

Spring Bouquet Quilt by Better Off Thread featuring Spring Bloom Fabric by Bella Caronia.

I will be releasing the pattern for Spring Bouquet next month, so please check back for details!  I’m thinking it may be fun to have a quilt-along: 12 different blocks over 12 weeks (4-8 blocks per week).

Spring Bouquet Quilt by Better Off Thread featuring Spring Bloom Fabric by Bella Caronia.


Now it’s your turn to win your own Spring Bloom! Windham is generously giving away a Fat Quarter Bundle of all fifteen prints to one lucky reader.

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below.  For fun, why don’t  you tell me what your favorite flower is.  I love Peonies and I’m eagerly awaiting the two weeks that Trader Joes carries them in their store!

The giveaway will be open until midnight EST on Sunday, May 3rd.  I will choose one winner by random number generator. International entries are welcome!

Spring Bloom Blog Hop, Spring Bloom By Bella Caronia for Windham Fabrics


Be sure to stop by the other blogs in the hop and see what they have created with Spring Bloom.  Amanda is having an Instagram giveaway, so check out her blog post on how to enter.  You can also check out #springbloommakers on Instagram for more projects.


April 20 Windham Fabrics Snip-itsBella Caronia Blog

April 21 Leah and Bea Koch – Wintergreen and the Bee

April 22 Nell Timmer – Nell’s Notions

April 23 Jessica Darling

April 24 Kristy Daum – St. Louis Folk Victorian

April 25 Sherri Sylvester – Thread Riding Hood

April 26 Cindy Wiens – Live a Colorful Life

April 27 Krista Hennebury – Poppyprint

April 28 Felicity Ronaghan – Felicity Quilts

April 29 Casey York – The Studiolo

April 30 ME!

May 1 Deborah Moebes – Whipstitch

May 2 Bella Caronia Blog That’s a Wrap

Thanks for stopping by!

Starry Night Quilt

I was recently asked to design a quilt for Jennifer Sampou’s upcoming Shimmer II fabric line.  I loved her original Shimmer fabrics, and the new colors are even more beautiful.

The metallic print fabrics have a wonderful balance between traditional and modern tastes, so I wanted to design a more traditional block-based quilt with a modern flair.

Starry Night Quilt pattern by Janice Ryan, featuring Shimmer II by Jennifer Sampou

Starry Night measures 51″ x 62-1/2″ and is partially paper pieced.  The piecing is simple, so the blocks go together pretty quickly.  I love the optical illusion created when several blocks are sewn together.

Starry Night Quilt pattern by Janice Ryan, featuring Shimmer II by Jennifer Sampou

The pattern will be available in June as a FREE download from Robert Kaufman, but you’ll have to wait until September for Shimmer II!

Starry Night Quilt pattern by Janice Ryan, featuring Shimmer II by Jennifer Sampou

Happy Wednesday!

The Modern Medallion Workbook

Finally, after a year and a half of planning and waiting, I am pleased to announce that I have a book coming out!

The Modern Medallion Workbook by Janice Zeller Ryan and Beth Vassalo

The book is called The Modern Medallion Workbook and my co-author is the lovely and talented Beth from Plum and June.  We are joined by nine talented contributors whose quilts are varied, yet equally breath-taking.

Quilts from the Modern Medallion Workbook
A few of the quilts featured in The Modern Medallion Workbook:
Wedding Bouquet Medallion by Rebecca Bryan, Alliance Medallion by Alexia Abegg, One Step at a Time by Melissa Richie, and Zen Medallion by Latifah Saafir.

Beth and I were quite excited to create a book featuring medallion quilts, but we were also passionate about having an in-depth workbook section. The workbook allows the reader to learn new skills, and plan their own personal, one-of-a-kind, medallion.

Migration Medallion by Janice Ryan, from The Modern Medallion Workbook
My quilt contribution to The Modern Medallion Workbook, “Migration Medallion”.


All the details:

The Modern Medallion Workbook is available for pre-order at both C&T Publishing and Amazon.  The official release date is April 20th, so you don’t have long to wait! You can peek inside the book on both websites.

The book features 11 Medallion Quilt Patterns, ranging from beginner to advanced, by Beth VassaloAlexia Abegg, Karen Anderson-Abraham, Rebecca Bryan, Kerry Green, Erica Jackman, Christina Lane, Melissa Richie, Latifah Saafir, Amy Sinibaldi and me!

Included in the book is a workbook section which provides in-depth instructions for advanced skills such as paper-piecing and curves, coloring pages and instructions for resizing and mixing borders.

Check out Instagram hashtag #themodernmedallionworkbook for more photos of the quilts.


I hope you enjoy the book.  Please let me know what you think!


New Block Pattern: Icon


Icon Block by Better off Thread

A few months ago I was asked to design a quilt block for the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild Block of the Month.  I’ve been really enamored by Orange Peel Blocks lately, so I came up with this fattened version:

Icon Block by Better off Thread
Icon Block

The gently curved square shape reminded me of an iPhone icon, thus the name.

If you are new to sewing curves, don’t be afraid to give it a try!  I tried to make them fool-proof to line up, and the curve is gentler than a 1/4 circle.

I was having fun making the blocks, so I ended up making an entire quilt!

Icon Block by Better off Thread

The quilt measures 48″ x 60″.   I decided to just dive into my solid scraps and use every color, but now I’m wishing I had used a tighter color palette. Here are a few other ideas for color:

Icon Block by Better off Thread

Variegated Blues


Icon Block by Better off Thread

Ombred Alison Glass Fabrics


Icon Block by Better off Thread

 I used Essex Yarn-dyed for the background, a variety of solid scraps for the main curves and low-volume scraps for the latticework sashing.

Icon Block by Better off Thread

The stripy sashing is Robert Kaufman Railroad Denim.  I was asked if the denim is bulky, and it is not at all!  It’s a lightweight fabric and was quite nice to work with.

It you are interested in purchasing the block pattern, you can find it in my pattern store and on Craftsy!

Modern Rainbow Blog Tour + Giveaway!


Today, I am going to review Rebecca Bryan’s new book, Modern Rainbow, share a project I made using the book and host a giveaway!



I think anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a thing for rainbows.  When I heard that Rebecca Bryan had a book coming out called Modern Rainbow, I flipped out just a wee bit (ok, a LOT bit).  I have admired Rebecca’s work for a long time and she contributed a lovely quilt to my book (more on that this week).


Modern Rainbow was published by Stash Books and it is clear, concise and full of wonderful eye-candy.  I love that Rebecca organized the quilts into Modern/Traditional, Modern, and Improvisational patterns.  Within each section is a variety of skill levels and techniques for every kind of quilter.


Here is a selection of my favorite quilts from each section:

11097, Byran, SP15

Modern Traditional: Irish +

I love how simple the Irish + pattern is,  yet there is complexity in the choice of fabrics. This would be a fun quilt to pull fabric for and would be a fantastic exercise in contrast and value.


11097, Byran, SP15

Modern: Huckleberry

Huckleberry is one of those quilts that I am in complete awe of and wish I had designed myself.  It would look fantastic hanging in a sewing studio, and the way Rebecca pieced the hexagons is genius (you’ll have to get the book to see how she did it!).


11097, Byran, SP15

Improvisational: Rainbow Remix

I think Rainbow Remix is my very favorite in the book and someday MUST be pillows in my house.  The quilt reminds me of Gee’s Bend in Technicolor and I adore the saturation and freedom of each block.


I decided to make a mini version of Ducks in a Row.  Here is the version from the book:

11097, Byran, SP15

and here is the version I made:


The quilt is cut using templates, so I printed all of them at 50% and then redrew the seam allowances as I traced them onto template plastic (you always need to adjust the seam allowances back to 1/4″ when you change the scale of a template).


I decided to organize my fabrics so that the colors would transition from one hue to the next within each column. I think it took me longer to choose and organize my fabrics than to cut and piece the quilt!


The varying sizes of triangles also provide a great opportunity for fussy-cutting those favorite and precious fabrics from your stash.

Rebecca’s instructions were very easy to follow and she provided alternate sizes, so you can make any size from crib to king.  I did 11 rows of 5 ducks each at 50% and my finished quilt measures 25″ x 24″.



Now it’s your turn!  Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite quilty color scheme is (and no, it doesn’t have to be rainbow…you can make these patterns from any colors you desire!).  I’m going to giveaway one copy of Modern Rainbow to a lucky reader!

If you live in the US you will be mailed a hardcopy and if you live elsewhere, you will receive an electronic copy.  

I’ll choose the winner randomly on Friday, April 10th.  Good luck!


Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop for inspiration, interviews and sneak peaks of the book!

March 23rd            C&T/ Stash Books
March 24th            Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt
March 25th            Generation Q Magazine
March 26th            Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane
March 27th            Sally Keller of Sally’s Angel Works
March 30th            Amy Garro of 13 Spools
March 31st             Angela Walters of Quilting is my Therapy
April 1st                  Rebecca over at Craft Buds
April 2nd                Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness
April 3rd                 Sarah Craig of Confessions of a Fabric Addict
April 6th                 ME!
April 7th                 Beth Vassalo of Plum and June
April 8th                 Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
April 9th                 Giuseppe Ribaudo @giucy_giuce
April 9th                 Shannon Brinkley of Bottle Tree Quilts
April 10th               Rebecca Bryan at Bryan House Quilts

Have a great week!

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!