We have been crazy busy tweaking and cropping the past few days and are happy to present a new look for See How We Sew!
Take a moment to visit the different pages. We’ve made a few new changes and additions throughout the site. We have also been updating the look of our social media sites, so click away, like us and follow along, because we love our visitors!
Tidal Lace Blog Hop Tour
All of this has perfect timing to segway into this Friday’s post – which will be our portion of the blog hop showcasing Kim Andersson of I Adore Patterns, with her new line, Tidal Lace with Windham Fabrics. Kim was guest a few weeks back with us. You can read her SHWS posts here and here. She is uber talented and. . . We are so excited to be a part of this!!!! Continue reading
Happy Friday everyone! The project I shared in Tuesday’s post was so much fun to make, I think there are a few more ideas brewing in my head. I love making Halloween-themed projects year-round. It’s never the wrong time to work on something for Halloween–at least in my opinion.
Many of my closest friends are also obsessed with Halloween and I’ve partnered with one of them, Pam, to start our Etsy Store, Zombies and Posies. I drew a mascot logo and we named her Zweena –it means beautiful woman, which is perfect for a zombie don’t you think???
Zweena items are still in development; so be sure to add Zombies and Posies to your “favorite” list on Etsy, to follow her as she grows.
Pam and I are both interested in paper arts and have quite a paper stash! We love to make tags, cards, books, collages . . . the list goes on and on and what better way to share our creations and support our paper habit than to sell our stuff on Etsy, right? So far we are just starting out and getting our store stocked with items. Here is a peek of what we have in the shop.
Be sure to check often–there are new items listed every week. We appreciate you visiting our shop! Thank You! –Kim Buteau
I am happy to introduce our guest this week, Kim Buteau. I have known Kim for a few years now. Come to think of it, I believe it was in a class I taught on a Halloween project that I first met Kim. Little did I know what a Halloween fanatic she was! Kim loves, loves, loves, Halloween!!! But her talents run far deeper than spiders and cobwebs. Here is a little more that I know about this creative gal.
Kim started rubber stamping and paper arts in 1990 and then began quilting in 1998. She has always been drawn to bright colors. Each time I see her, she is busy working up a new project in her happy color palette, sometimes paper, sometimes fabric . Her sense of humor tends to peek through her work which I think lands somewhere between whimsical and urban. I am so excited to say she is now sharing these creations in her new Etsy store, ZombieandPosies. But more about that later. Welcome Kim! What have you been working on? – Pati
Hello all in the blog world. I am happy to be the guest blogger for the week here on See How We Sew. My name is Kim and I love Halloween, paper arts, and quilting! When my friend Pati Fried told me about the Quilt-Along, I just had to do something with the theme; but applique just isn’t my thing. So I decided to do something with paper and make it a Halloween theme.
I used a pine frame mirror I bought at Ikea years ago. I painted it with lime green sparkle paint and then used a darker crackle green paint over the top.
I die cut circles and leaves from Halloween themed scrapbook paper and made the flowers. Then I distressed the edges with black ink.
Loving Halloween and paper arts has led me to start an Etsy Store called ZombiesandPosies. Join me on Friday and I will show you more of my Halloween creations and a bit about the shop mascot, Zweena Zombie! Link to Etsy Store: ZombiesandPosies.
See you Friday! – Kim Buteau
If you are joining us in making the Quilt-Along, you may find the following tips helpful when attaching the birdhouse opening (circles) and blackbirds to the corner birdhouses. The template patterns for both shapes are included in the Pattern Pages. If you are new to our site, it’s not too late to start as you will find all instructions included in the Pattern Pages.
I used a fusible web product (there are many available) to secure the shape to the background fabric. Then, I stitched around the edges of the shapes and added the details (eyes & wings) with hand embroidery stitches. Either embroidery floss (2 strands) or perle cotton will work well in this application. I opted for perle cotton as I like the heavier look it provides and it also forms a nice edging along the outline of the shapes.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
1/4 yard of fusible web
Perle cotton, No. 8 or embroidery floss (I used perle cotton)
Small embroidery scissors
Marking pencil to transfer stitching lines
1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions that accompany the fusible web to trace, cut, and attach the circles and birds to the Birdhouse blocks.
2. Use a decorative embroidery stitch, such as a blanket stitch, as shown, to secure the edges of the shapes to the background fabric.
3. Lightly mark the stitching lines onto the right side of the birds. Then stitch along the lines with a decorative stitch such as the stem stitch, as shown here.
4. The beak, legs, and feather lines were stitched with long basting-type stitches.
That completes the Birdhouse blocks. Be sure to check back for final assembly instructions.
Just a reminder that Quilting in the Garden at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, CA is coming up in just a few short weeks. If you are in the area, sure hope to see you there!
Happy stitching everyone!
This week it’s my turn to share my contribution to our Quilt-Along project, Blackbirds and Blossoms, Oh-La-La! If you have been following along with us, these pieces will complete the center of the quilt top. If you are newcomer to this fun group project, it’s certainly not too late to start. All of the instructions can be found in our Pattern Pages. Please join the fun!
I was given the task of designing a block for the corners of the quilt. The center floral designs seemed to call for the addition of birds. With this in mind, the idea of creating birdhouses to fit into the corners provided the perfect setting for a quartet of simple, whimsical birds. This is a super-easy-to-construct birdhouse block and it adds a nice corner element to the center floral medallion.
Here’s what you will need to make four Birdhouses:
House front: Four 6-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ pieces
House top: One 11-1/4″ square. Cut the square twice into quarters diagonally to yield four triangles.
Roof: Two 1-3/4″ x 42″ strips. Cut the strips to make four 1-3/4″ x 9-1/4″ pieces and four 1-3/4″ x 10-1/4″ pieces.
Background: Two 13″ squares. Cut each square twice into quarters diagonally to yield eight triangles.
1. Sew a Background triangle to each short side of the House Front pieces, aligning the bottom edges.
2. Use your cutting tools to remove the excess Background and straighten the top edge, as shown.
3. Sew a 1-3/4″ x 9-1/4″ piece of Roof fabric to one short side of the House Top triangle. Then use the 45-degree angle marking on the ruler to cut the excess fabric even with the bottom edge of the House Top.
4. Sew a 1-3/4″ x 10-1/4″ piece of Roof fabric to the adjoining short side of the House Top triangle. Then use the 45-degree angle marking on the ruler to cut the excess fabric, as shown. This completes the top half of the Birdhouse.
5. Join the top and bottom sections together, matching seams where the House Front and House Top pieces intersect.
6. Press the seam in the direction of the bottom half of the birdhouse.
Easy enough? Yes, of course! Please join me on Friday as I give instructions and hints for adding the Birdhouse opening as well as the birds.
Until next time, enjoy!
Other than no rain, which is a real problem here in California, we’re experiencing a beautiful summer: clear blue skies, mild temperatures, and soft breezes. Sometimes it’s just too pretty outside and I have to stow my tools and ignore my stash (although I’m making serious progress on two simultaneous projects!). Why not? Color play can be found in other venues and I’m open to adventure.
Now this is a weird thing to admit, but I’m prone to color matching my grocery shopping, especially in the produce aisles. Really? I don’t know why, but I just do. It’s an unconscious act–I swear! (I did confess to my foible at the get-go in my first SHWS blog post.)
Just this morning I had another of my moments as I sat at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, yoghurt, and the third installment of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander saga–a real fave to reread especially with the ongoing Starz series. (Love Claire and Jamie!) I glanced from my book to a fruit basket filled with sunny golden apples, ripening Bartlett pears, bright yellow bananas and lemons, and, for contrast, limes and green-black avocados. The red tomatoes were exiled to the kitchen counter because they didn’t make the color cut. Does this quirk bear further examination? Probably not, but it does segue to . . . colorful summertime kitchen adventures!
As it turns out, abundant seasonal fruit has led me to a recent and rather fattening exploration of making gelato from farmers market spoils. My sister gave me a copy of The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto and I’ve been a mad scientist ever since with blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
At a recent company gathering, I paired my raspberry and blueberry gelatos with fresh peach sorbetto and an orange-blossom-scented olive oil cake (sounds weird, but truly sublime) made by a talented co-worker. Believe me the dessert tasted as wonderful as it looked and it delivers a fabulous color story too. Not only does this image tantalize me with its interesting palette, I’m intrigued with the proportion of the neutral tones to the dessert colors. Excellent quilt design fodder!
At the other extreme of summer cooking, I’ve been making gazpacho–gotta to counter the gelato calories somehow. Talk about stupidly easy to make: throw beautiful summer tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers into a veggie-crushing blender and press start. (Full disclosure: red wine vinegar, olive oil, good quality vegetable juice, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper) And, if you are anything like color-mad Jennifer, you select the soup fodder by color: I’ve made traditional red as well as a range of yellow to orange varieties.
These summer days I’m all about throwing back a shot of gazpacho when my energy takes a nosedive or taking a generous cup to work for lunch. The challenge is going to be finding a fall/winter soup that is as colorful, tasty, and easy to make/store.
That’s it from my colorful non-quilting adventures, but I’ve got to wonder: are there others like me out there? Does your passion for crafting crossover in weird ways to other parts of your life?
p.s. For those of you planning to be in Northern California in late September, a fun event on the horizon, Quilting in the Garden! (Click the image for details.)
Like last week’s guest blogger Christine Barnes, I too have a strong liking for ombre fabric. While I absolutely love Christine’s deft hand with color and value play as she builds her blocks, my typical take on ombre is to use it to make flower petals for dimensional applique.
Clever cuts of fabric can yield petals kissed by sunlight at the tips and darker shadows where the petals grow from the flower stems (or the reverse as shown above). Or, also beguiling, bi-color petals which can be folded and shaped to form realistic flower buds.
That’s been my recurring task for much of the summer: cutting and sewing petals and leaves. No, not 90 days of flower making 24/7–I’m not that insane–a few hours here and there over three months preparing to make a dimensional appliqué floral still life.
Some quilting projects are piecing extravaganzas: pedal to the metal, innumerable passes of a rotary cutter through fabric, and sweating over a steaming iron. That’s not my way with dimensional appliqué quilts. The grueling part is the preparation–composing the still life is almost anti-climactic. Gotta say I’m about to take on that challenge; after weeks of labor I’m ready to roll. (But not ready to share yet–stay tuned!)
Congratulations to Monica, the winner of the giveaway goodies from Christine Barnes.
Christine Barnes joins us again today to share her thoughts on the role of color and value in creating the illusion of depth and layering in quilts. Click here if you missed Part 1.
The adage is a bit overstated, but it’s true: We think first of color when planning a quilt, but value is often what makes a quilt successful, or not. In my second guest post, I’d like to show how this basic concept works in my quilts, and encourage you to consider it when working on your own quilt designs.
A bit of background: I majored in design at UC Davis, and I took a color class, but honestly, all I remember was painting a gray scale and making a color wheel out of construction paper. A few years later, when Sunset Books asked me to write a chapter on color for a decorating book, I had a full-blown panic attack. I recovered enough to call my uncle, a Mendocino artist who taught color for years. With intensive instruction from him, I learned not only about color, but that a “good color sense” is more about practice than talent. Fast forward to 2014, sixteen books later (four quilt books and twelve books for Sunset), and I am happily immersed in all things color and quilts.
Teaching workshops has taught me even more about color, especially the importance of value, the lightness or darkness of color.
Value has two important roles in quilt design: First, it creates a sense of depth. In piecing/patchwork, light values generally recede and dark values advance. The exception is appliqué, where shapes are applied to the surface. What’s on top will probably advance visually, no matter what the value. There are other exceptions, especially in the realm of art quilts.
Second, in a pieced quilt, value establishes the design. You read a dark star on a light background as a star shape because of the contrast in values. If the star and background fabrics were the same value, you’d never see the star.
Enough theory! Here are some quilts in which value does some of the work.
This early quilt, “Puss in the Corner on the Courthouse Steps,” shows how value establishes the design of a block and creates different planes of color. Light- and dark-value pieces make the sixteen-patch blocks read. The blocks advance because the strips surrounding them (blue-violet and orange) are darker in value than the striped background squares. True, the design plays a big part in creating the layered look, but the use of value is just as important. This quilt was inspired by Terry Atkinson’s “Tile Tango.”
“Brushed Metal” is an example of luster, the illusion of light sweeping across the surface. (See my previous post for two other lustrous quilts.) The easiest way to achieve this effect is with ombrés, fabrics that gradate in color and/or value. Here I oriented Serenity ombré strips so the light-value ends are on opposite edges of the blocks. Rather than a wash of light in one direction, the effect is more like light and energy flowing in both directions. Together, the three groups of fabrics—ombrés, Kaffe Fassett stripes, and Marcia Derse prints—are darker than the light-value sashing, making the blocks appear suspended.
Another example of value creating depth is this four-block mock-up, “Colors of Kauai.” Bright Gelato ombrés and multicolored prints from the Kaffe Fassett Collective advance against the open pattern and preponderance of white in the background fabric. (I love and use ombrés so much that I carry them in my website Store. Talk about temptation!)
Shifting gears to a nonrepresentational quilt, “Earthscape,” I thought about value with every piece of fabric I considered. The upper areas are lighter in value, making them seem distant, while the lower areas read as foreground because they are darker. (The design lines of the fabrics also suggest foreground.) Elin Noble’s hand-painted fabrics are the real gems here—I call them “investment fabrics” because they are magical wherever you use them.
In “Transparent Squares” the illusion of see-through color is all about value. For each block I used lighter and darker values of roughly the same colors (a light blue-green and a darker blue-green, for example). And I attempted to gather light-value fabrics with the same degree of lightness, and dark-value fabrics with the same degree of darkness. I call the effect in this quilt “layered transparency.” Check out my quilt “Galaxy,” which is an example of parent/child transparency, in the Gallery on my site. Value plays a big part in parent/child transparency, too. (The term, which describes the effect perfectly, was coined by Judi Warren Blaydon.)
And finally, here’s my latest quilt, “Swizzle Sticks,” so named for the narrow strips I inserted in each block. Again, the sashing is lighter, but in this quilt I wanted to link the blocks using another graphic element. The small four-patches did the trick, anchoring and connecting the blocks. From a distance I also see single diagonal chains that slip beneath the blocks.
Thank you, thank you for allowing me to share my quilts and thoughts on color. Please check out my website, where you can browse the Gallery and Store (books, patterns, fabrics), sign up for “Christine’s Color Connection” (a newsletter on color), follow me on Facebook and Pinterest, and access my series of color lessons on the Classrooms page of “The Quilt Show.” If you see me in the future—at a workshop, guild meeting, or quilt show—please say hello. And for your next quilt, make value “do all of the work”—and you take all of the credit!
Here’s yet another generous giveaway from our lovely guest blogger. Simply post a comment by end of day August 25th for a chance to win one of Christine’s color wheels and four fat quarters of Marcia Derse fabric.
Congratulations to Deborah M. the winner of all the goodies from Christine’s first post.
Until next time, happy creating!