A New Spin – Checkerboard and Abstract

Today is a two-for-one day.  Both of these quilts feature Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory for Studio e Fabrics.  She is partially to blame for my addiction to the Drunkard’s Path block – her book 65 Drunkard’s Path Quilt Designs was the first Drunkard’s Path design book I purchased – and it still finds a place of honor on my shelf.

The first is Checkerboard.


A sixteen patch finds its way into the Drunkard’s Path block.  No you aren’t cutting all sorts of small curves and then piecing them together – see if you can figure out what I did – if you can’t, well guess you will have to wait for the book.

The second is Abstract.


Abstract uses the Fan Variation in addition to the Sixteen-Patch variation.  Both of these blocks look HARD – but with my simple and innovative techniques they are really quite easy.

Again – I had a great fun quilting these two pieces – all with longarm rulers. I used Aurifil 40 weight thread to do the quilting. Checkerboard gave me the space and the grid to do some fun ruler work in the colored squares.  The background again let me have some fun with improv ruler work.

With Abstract through the quilting I was able to extend the sixteen-patch grid into the background space and also extend the circles.  Grids are formed and dissolve, arcs try to form circles but never quite succeed.


Check out the other quilts in the book!


Test Pattern
Deco Blue
Shaken not Stirred

What Would Happen If…


Books will be available in September – but you can order now!

Click on the book cover above to find out how.



A New Spin – Shaken Not Stirred

My book  A New Spin on the Drunkard’s Path releases in August.  Just to whet your appetites I would like to show you the individual projects. First up on that tour is Shaken Not Stirred.  

This quilt is my homage to the show Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts.  It was because of that show that I began to experiment with the Drunkard’s Path Block


Shaken Not Stirred – 48” x 48”  Designed, pieced and quilted by John Kubiniec

This quilt features the Corner Triangle Variation of the Drunkard’s Path block and it is used to create both the central image as well as the borders.  This is a great beginner project from the book. Small in size – easy to manage.

In the borders the color placement in the block is the opposite as it was in the center motif. Here the red corner triangles merge with a red linear border to create an interesting frame for the entire quilt.   The book you features some other creative ways of using the Drunkard’s Path block and its variations in borders.

11182 Kubiniec F16

Close-up of top border and quilting. Shaken Not Stirred – From A New Spin on Drunkard’s Path – C&T Publications 2016.

One of the features of the book is that each of the quilt patterns is presented in two other color-ways.  So if red and white is not your style, one of the other color-ways might be more to your liking or if it isn’t it will spur your imagination in designing your own color-way. What are they you ask – well I can’t give away everything here can I?

I pieced and quilted all of the quilts in the book.  In this quilt the red portions are quilted in a linear fashion with the aid of rulers on my longarm.  The white areas are quilted with a stipple, bubble wrap (my take on pebbles) and some melons. I used Quilters Dream wool batting and Aurifil 40 weight thread to do the quilting.


You might ask where does the title come from? Well, I had some help from friends in naming some of the quilts.  This quilt reminded my friend Teri Lucas of a martini shaker – hence the title.  Another aside about this quilt. I needed a twelfth project and I had hit the proverbial wall for designing.  I reached into my pile of class samples and pulled this one out.  It was small, it looked great so I quilted it up and added it to the mix.  As fate would have it the old adage “The last shall be first” came true.  The last quilt to the book became the cover image!  So, dig through those piles of UFOs in your collection – you might just find and old gem waiting to see the light of day!

To find out how this all got started read

What would happen if…?

Next up on the tour will be Bowties.   See how 1930 repros get switched up a bit!

A New Spin on the Drunkard’s Path  will be available in August from C&T Publishing.




Aurifil April 2015 Designer

Hi there

I have the honor of being the Aurifil Designer for April 2015.

Aurifil April 2015 Aurifil Designer John Kubiniec

My block – Secret Garden – uses fabric from the Tree of Life fabric line by Mary Koval for Windham Fabrics.


Aurifil Quilt

It is a quick and easy mini quilt and I did simple straight line quilting on my BERNINA 750 QE.



Check out the other mini-quilts that Pat Sloan made from the January, February, and March Designers.

pat sloan jan to april aurifil minis

Check out my interview on the Aurifil Blog and find out how you can win some great Aurifil Thread!


McCall’s Design Star Wednesday – August 25

I will post some thoughts every Wednesday about the McCall’s Design Star Challenge.

But first of all – I must give a big THANK YOU SHOUT OUT to Aurifil Threads – they are one of the sponsors of the challenge. I received this pack of thread as a prize for making it into the finals -how did they know these were exactly the shades I need to piece my top for the first challenge?

When I work on a quilt I normally doodle on paper pads, and graph paper – sketching out design ideas.

I later take colored pencils/markers and color in the designs.

For this challenge I started out doodling on graph paper taking it with me as I traveled on bus and subway around New York City and on the bus and train to my church job in New Jersey. I had an initial design of two blocks and then I looked around and came up with a second design with two very different blocks. I then transferred these two basic designs to EQ6 and colored them in various combinations and printed them out – I then carried these around town with me and doodled and revised and then transferred these to EQ6 again. (Yes, I know there is a new version -I will order the new upgrade as soon as I am finished with this one and learn how to use it before the next challenge!!)

Once the quilt is posted for voting I will share with you my doodles and revisions showing how I arrived at the finished quilt top – I know you would like to see that know – but I can’t let you see it yet!

Here are some of the things I have learned and share with you for you to consider when you design a quilt:

Keep tweaking! I thought I had a great design, but it was only after I sketched it out and colored it in, set it aside and came back to it, tweaked it, set it aside, came back to it, and tweaked it yet again – that I eventually came up with several designs that I would be very happy with.

Let them rest – give them some space – let them sit for a day or two – give them and yourself time to breathe and clear your brain.

Come back to them again – and ask friends but don’t ask which one they like – but WHY they like a particular design –  Try to ask questions which let you see what they see.  See if you are conveying what you really want to convey.

This is how I am approaching the design process for the quilt challenge – now for a question for you – How do you go about designing a quilt? Please share some of how you approach creating a design.