As mentioned in a previous blog, Barb Sackel’s â€œ4 in 1â€ patterns were a huge hit at Quilt Market.Â The appeal of the patterns is in the way they allow other textile arts and crafts to be incorporated into their design.Â We sat down with Barb to get further insight into what â€œ4 in 1â€ Quilts are all about.
QW: Why are the patterns called â€œ4 in 1â€?Â What’s the 4 and what’s the 1?
Barb: A “4 in 1” Pattern is a quilt design that gives you creative spaces for different techniques. Originally I thought of just 4 techniques to put in the 1 space. But the list soon grew quickly. I kept the “4 in 1” name for convenience although it should really read, “Unlimited in one”. Some of the techniques are; using focus, fussy cutting motifs, hand appliquÃ©, machine appliquÃ©, hand quilting, machine quilting motifs, red work, blue work, ribbon embroidery, hand embroidery, machine embroidery, printed pictures, panels, cross stitch and the list goes on.
QW: How did you come up with the idea?
Barb: The whole concept started when I was working in a quilt shop and customers would pick up this adorable panel and then just set it back down while stating “I don’t know how to use this.”Â The owner then pushed the bolt into my arms and said, “Do something with this.” She knew that my creativity gets sparked when I am challenged. That’s how Trophy Case came along. We made kits and that bolt disappeared immediately. At the time, Red Work was just beginning to return on the quilting scene in full swing.Â Also, big motifs were left stranded because quilter’s didn’t want to cut the beautiful motifs into tiny squares.Â And so, the idea of creating spaces for all the different arenas evolved into the 13 patterns we have today.
QW: Do you have a favorite â€œ4 in 1â€ Quilt?
Barb: Yes, it is the Trophy Case of course, because that was my baby to the whole line.
QW: Give us some examples of what you have done in your creative spaces.
Barb: I have 16 women who are my testers. Every quilt of mine is tested 3 times. I don’t put any restrictions on my testers, I just let them fly. Therefore, some amazing stuff comes back to me.
The “4 in 1” patterns have come back with cross stitch, Blue Work (such as Circle of Fun seen below) and hand embroidery from the needle artists. Machine embroidery has found a new home with these patterns. Now you can utilize a whole CD, match it with fabric and have a full themed quilt.
My quilts incorporate themes that can be geared for fabulous men quilts. View to the Woods had men in mind with the pine trees. Throw in some wildlife, hunting, camping or any outdoors fabrics and if you want to really pamper your man, make it in flannels for that final outdoors feel.
The spaces allow playing with appliquÃ©, machine quilting, machine embroidery (see Homestead Acres above) and Broderie Perse.Â Then come the final embellishments: buttons, cording, ribbon work and gorgeous quilting.Â The sky is the limit and your imagination is your pilot. Golden Treasures is a great example of that.
QW: Are you planning on increasing your line of “4 in 1” patterns?
Barb: I have new ones already designed as I love the idea of a marriage between crafting and quilting.Â Of course, I am always open to ideas. If there is a need in the community of quilting, I would love to hear about it.Â Just go to the Contact Us page at QuiltWoman.com and e-mail me a message.Â Make sure you state itâ€™s for me so Iâ€™ll get it!
In the meantime, you can get patterns of any of the quilts featured here by visiting QuiltWoman.com.