Craft Napa – In Search of My Creative Spark

Crafting a Life - Craft NapaI spent the first few days of the new year attending the very first Craft Napa, an amazing, three day retreat in Napa Valley. Craft Napa is the creation of Pokey Bolton, founder of Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines. Pokey moved to Napa Valley with the dream of hosting a retreat for those driven to create. She invited inspiring instructors, organized a lovely venue and put it out to the quilting and art world.

When I heard about Craft Napa, I knew it was exactly what I needed. I have been feeling a bit lost the past year or so, creatively speaking and had been looking for a new direction in what I make. I had just finished reading Carrie Bloomston‘s book, The Little Spark, 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity, and although the list of instructors was quite enticing, I decided that spending three days with Carrie might be the perfect way to begin the new year. To understand why, well, it would probably be easiest to suggest you take a moment to read her bio, here on her website.

I knew I missed the feeling of creating with my hands, rather than always going to the sewing machine. I missed holding a paintbrush or sketching with a pen. But it had been so long since I had done this, to be honest, I didn’t even know how to begin. Which is why I read her book.

The Little Spark by Carrie Bloomston

The Little Spark is a wonderful book that guides you through finding (or in my case, rediscovering) your creative energy. Carrie’s workshops were filled with activities that allowed us to play, explore and simply make. We worked quickly, and sometimes with our eyes closed, which was actually quite freeing for me, because it didn’t allow me to “think” about what to do. We ripped paper, we glued, we painted, and we drew.

Craft Napa workshop

There is something lovely about making without planning. The unexpected happens. The end result becomes secondary to enjoying the process and simply embracing the moment. It felt wonderful to just let the paint flow, and watch the textures and layers begin to appear. The two samples in the center are my attempts with layering paint. The others are samples are from my fellow students. I wish I had names to credit them with their work – aren’t they beautiful?paintings from a craft napa workshop

I had not picked up a piece of charcoal in 30 years, and yet, I had this comfortable feeling rush over me as we were asked to do quick, charcoal sketches of Carrie as she held some very graceful yoga poses. The end result? Ok, maybe not quite Edgar Degas – but it was such a special moment for me, I didn’t care.

charcoal sketches by pati fried

Just for that moment, I was back in art school, where my spark was once a full flame.

Our final project was to make a collage, a chance to use all the tools and techniques that we had worked on throughout the course. Mine is the third from the left, with the white background.

students work, craft napa workshopAgain, I wish I had the names of the other artists to share with you. Each one is so unique and interesting.

students work, craft napa workshop

students work, craft napa workshop

Every collage had a story to tell, which we shared as a group on the last day. It was fascinating to hear the thought process from each student. Carrie’s supportive critiques warmed my heart. Her excitement and joy in viewing each piece made stepping out of my comfort zone downright fun . I loved hearing her comments to all the students. It caused me to take a second look and see something that I would not have noticed otherwise.

Carrie is on the right, sporting an apron from her fabric collections, Paint, a line she designed for Windham Fabrics.
workshop, craft napa

Our glorious weekend ended with a visit to Pokey’s Barn, which is not just an ordinary barn, but actually, an awesome art studio. The barn was all dressed up for the occasion  in a perfect combination of art, textiles and wine in honor of celebrating the success of the first Craft Napa. It was a chance to relax and visit with all the amazing people that were a part of this special event.

craft napa

And, an opportunity for me, to thank Carrie for such an inspiring experience. Carrie’s energy and passion as a teacher were instrumental in my rediscovering my spark. I went to Napa with an open mind, willing to try something new and different. . .

carrie bloomston and pati fried

I came home from Napa, with my eyes wide open, ready to do something new and different. Thank you for that, Carrie! And thank you Pokey, for following your dream to share Craft Napa with us. I loved every moment of it.

 

Giveaway

And now for the Giveaway Winner for last week’s

Good Hair Day blog hop!

This was really hard – there were so many hilarious stories that our readers shared on their worst hair day. If you haven’t taken the time to read through them, you should! So many perms, Dorothy Hamill haircuts, blue and pink hair debacles – I debated (and laughed) long and hard as to who should be the winner of the Good Hair Day charm pack. But, I had to chose one – so the winner is. . .

Frances Quigley, who used to rest her head on the ironing board, while her sister’s ironed her hair. Frances, you definitely deserve a charm pack! You may have invented the flat iron! I will be contacting you to get an address to mail your gift to you. Congratulations!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Pati

Good Hair Day, Followed by a Pretty Pajama Night and a Giveaway

 GHD_BlogHop002We are so excited to be part of the Good Hair Day Blog Hop Tour today. The tour is celebrating the release of KimAndersson’s new line of fabric with Windham Fabrics, appropriately named, Good Hair Day.

See How We Sew Giveaway

If you are new to our blog, welcome! We are so happy you found us. If you are one of our loyal followers, then you know what a blog hop tour means here at See How We Sew. . . 

But first, let’s talk about this fabulous collection! Good Hair Day quickly fell into the SHWS favorite-stash category. I’ve known Kim for quite some time. She has popped up on our blog many times over the past few years. She has been featured in a guest post with us, and we were fortunate enough to participate in her first blog hop for the Tidal Lace collection. If you remember these posts, you would agree
that she is a pretty talented gal. With that in mind, I can safely say that Kim’s new line is a perfect combination of her humor and wit, sprinkled with a generous amount of graphic sensibility.
  iapfront_ghdThe colors for this collection are downright awesome. This is not just any ordinary color palette. Receiving our sample pack was like opening up a brand new box of crayons. And just look at those bobby pins and hair combs! They are brilliant! Who wouldn’t love to play with this fabric?

GHD 1

GHD 2

Which is why, when Laura and I were asked to create something out of this line to share in the blog hop, we jumped at the chance. What a perfect opportunity to embrace our girly side. Hmmm, combs, blowdryers, ribbons and curls – how about a girl’s pajama night?

Laura chose a Butterick #B6225 pattern to make a pair of pajamas. I chose Modern Robe by The Modern Robe Company.

Butterick Pattern        Modern Robe pattern

And off we went, measuring, cutting, and sewing up this cheery fabric!

Good Hair DayIt was pretty easy to get caught up in adding trim, ruffles, and sashes, when a collections plays so well together. This was a really fun project to complete!

SHWS pajama party crop

Then it was off for a photo shoot for the Good Hair Day Look Book.
GHD_pajamas2
GHD_Robe
GHD_pajamas
And on to the Windham booth at Houston International Quilt Market last fall to play with all the other amazing creations made by all the talented people on this blog hop.
IQM GHD

Our pajamas and robe made it home just in time to show them off at one of Laura’s Pajama Night Sew-ins at Wooden Gate Quilts. Here we are sporting our pretty pajama party clothes.

Laura and Pati - Pajama night

Thanks so much for joining us today. We happen to be one of the last days of this blog tour, but be sure to go back and read all of the blog posts that have been involved in the Good Hair Day Release. There are some really talented sewists, quilters, and designers on this list. So much creativity and inspiration is shared in their posts.
GHD_BlogHop002Good Hair Day Blog Hop
January 2016
Mon 11th:
Tue 12th:
Wed 13th:
Thursday 14th:
Friday 15th
Sat 16th:
Darci Alexishttp://darcisews.com
Sun 17th:
Mon 18th:
Pati Fried & Laura Nowneshttps://seehowwesew.wordpress.com
Tues 19th:
Nicole Daksiewiczhttp://modernhandcraft.com/blog/

And now, on to THE GIVEAWAYS!Giveaway

Everyone loves giveaways! Just for fun, leave a comment at the bottom of our post, telling us about the craziest hair style you have ever tried. We will pick a lucky winner to recieve a 5.5 inch charm pack of the this great collection. (If you have trouble finding the comment box, scroll up and click on the title of this post, that should get your where you need to be.)

cac797e3-6034-4eab-8b3d-2ab137cdec93

And there’s more giveaways!

Fat quarter bundles are being given away on the Windham Fabrics’ blog, Snip-its and Kim Andersson’s blog, I Adore Patterns. These giveaways will be open throughout whole blog hop schedule, which ends tomorrow, so be sure to hop over and leave a comment for your chance to win.

GHDFQB

Hope you enjoyed our stop of the tour. Be sure to look for this line in your local quilt shop. Thanks for joining us today!
Laura & Pati

Starting out the New Year – Creatively!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are enjoying these first few days of January. Both Laura and I are starting off the new year creatively.

Retreat

Laura is off to spend a few days quilting with friends on an annual quilting retreat.

2016-01-06 14.59.21I am in Napa Valley, attending the very first Craft Napa.  Obviously, my pup, Betsy was not as excited as I am about this.

So, we will get back on track next week with lots of new and interesting blog posts. For now, we invite you to follow along on Instagram and Facebook to see what creative fun we can get into over the weekend!

Click here for Facebook at See How We Sew and  Pati Fried

Click here for Instagram at See How We Sew and Pati Fried.

Have a great week and see you soon!

Pati

Our Top 10 Tips for Quilt Designs with Solid Fabrics

100qbThe 100 Blocks in 50 days Project sponsored by Janome and Michael Miller Fabrics will soon be wrapping up.  I shared lots of links and giveaway info about the project back in November,100 Quilt Blocks in 50 Days and soon after, Laura wrote about designing her first block Jigsaw Landscape Block. Our final three blocks will be debuting on the Janome Blog on December 16, 17 and 22, including free downloadable directions for our blocks, along with the other 96 blocks that make up this fabulous quilt! I will add the links to each as they are released.

2015-07-17 12.50.31
1. Laura’s Jigsaw Landscape released on 11/9/15    2. Laura’s Squared Block to be released on 12/16/15    3. Pati’s Two Blocks from One, Block 2 to be released on 12/22/15    4. Pati’s Two Blocks from One, Block 1 released on 12/17/15

Since you already have access to the instructions to make the blocks, thanks to Janome, I thought we might discuss some tips for designing with solid fabrics. Because most quilt fabric companies now offer their own signature line of solids, there are so many options available to us, that it can be a bit daunting to know where and how to begin. So, let’s do that – start at the beginning.2015-06-16 11.25.18

When the fabric first arrived in the mail for our 100 Blocks project, Laura and I had a tough time deciding how to ration out our stash. Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture Fabrics are, as you may know by now, some of my favorites. I love the saturated colors, the wide range of color options and the oh-so soft hand of the fabric, which make it really enjoyable to work with. But, it was still a challenge to commit to a color palette for our blocks. We were working at a cutting table that happened to be holding a  beautiful display of gladiolas. I looked up and realized that our color palette was right there in front of me in nature’s display!

Fabric inspiration

It’s not always that easy, though. So, read on for a few great tips. Once you have omitted the need to balance the scales of prints, you will see that you have opened up so many opportunities to new design possibilities! But balance is still the operative word. The balance of color, texture, proportion and warmth in choosing solid fabrics are a key part of your design. Here are our tips –  choose one or all, but be mindful of all of them as you work through your design.

Top 10 Tips for Quilt Designs with Solid Fabrics

Inspiration-Jennifer Rounds, Citrus fruit plate1.  Consider starting with an inspiration piece. This could be anything from a photograph to a ceramic pot, or a historical quilt. You are looking for something that inspires you emotionally, not literally. Draw from the color combinations that are used.

Selection of Solids at Wooden Gate Quilts

2. Be aware of texture, sheen and weave in the solids you are choosing. It may be a simple answer to choose from the same manufacturer’s line for consistency. But by mixing it up a bit in these three areas, you may be adding depth and interest to your final work. Check out all your options at your favorite quilt shops.

 

Vintage Cheddar and White Quilt3. Choose a minimal color palette to create elements with striking graphic design. Consider the one and two color historical quilts and the strong graphic elements that they evoke. Think of the overall impact of the finished quilt and don’t get caught up in focusing on just the individual blocks.

 

 

Salvege-Markings4. Choose a multi-color palette to create a dynamic and exciting overall design. Or as, Gianni Versace once said, “less is a snore.”  A multi-colored print is a great place to draw color inspiration from. Use the colored dots on the selvedge to shape your color palette. These are the manufacturer’s registration marks and are usually tried and true. Now, take a moment and look at the amount of each color used in the fabric design. Read on to # 5 . . . .

Close up of Achoo by See How We Sew5. Explore proportions. You can control the interaction of color choices by size and placement. Solid fabrics have a greater visual impact than prints. Manipulate this with the interaction of large and small elements to create drama and effect. 

 

Michael Miller Cotton Couture

6. Rely on the rules of color theory –  Just as with prints, be aware of balancing the amount of light, medium and dark colors you choose. You will find solids in every hue, value, tint and shade.Line your stash up in a manageable order by one of these categories. Move them around, tweak the order and placement. Make sure that they all play well together.

Happy Little Placemats by Pati Fried7. Be aware of saturated colors vs. non-saturated colors. Saturation offers wide range of impact and can also play an important role in the final results. Use a large amount of a strong color for a wow factor, or just add a sliver of an unusual color for accent or interest.

8. Combine warm colors with cool colors. Warm colors tend to advance, while cool colors recede. Think of designing a room in your home. Would you be happy with a completely cool, blue bedroom? Adding a lavender lamp to your bedside may give just the touch of warmth needed. How about a sumptuous red dining room? A slate blue vase might be the perfect accent to  offset the warm reds.

9. Add a repeating neutral to bring cohesiveness to the design-even if your neutral is red or turquoise. It will give consistency and flow to a busy design.

 

Let It Rain by Pati Fried

10. Consider negative vs. positive space. This could be a complete topic on it’s own . . .  but in short, use negative space to your advantage, allowing a resting place between solid color elements. This allows each element and color to be appreciated. I think of it as the difference between a photo collage on a refrigerator vs. choosing a few precious photos to frame and hang on the wall. Each is wonderful in it’s own way, but you are looking at the refrigerator as one big photo essay, and the wall as individual moments in time.

Web

Congratulations go to MoeWest, the winner of a copy of Laura’s book, Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!, third edition.  Laura will be in contact with you shortly to arrange shipping.

Laura and I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a new year filled with peace, happiness and love. We will see you back here in 2016 for another year of fun with See How We Sew!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Laura & Pati

Let’s Go To The Hop! And Two Giveaways.

Greetings to all our regular readers and welcome to those of you new to our blog. Today I am excited to be participating in a Craftsy Blog Hop/Tour with several other Craftsy instructors. I’m pleased to be among this exciting line-up of instructors who will each be sharing a bit of information on their classes. On this tour you will find a variety of inspirational classes. Craftsy offers an abundance of other creative class choices as well, so be sure to check them out. Two of my personal favorites are baking (hmmm, what a surprise) and bread making. There is something for everyone –  jewelry making, woodworking, painting, photography and so much more.

Craftsyend

 

You will have an opportunity to visit each of the blogs, learn about the classes, and sign up, if interested. You will automatically be entered to win a FREE Craftsy class of your choice. You can find all the details below.

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 12.45.35 PMHere’s a bit about me and my Craftsy class, Improve Your Quilts: 37 Troubleshooting Techniques. As you may know, I’ve been quilting, writing and teaching since the early 80’s. I am happiest in the classroom and especially enjoy helping students problem solve some of the challenges that often occur. In my class I address many of the most common disappointments (I truly don’t like the word mistake) that can arise during the quilt making process. There are seven lessons that cover everything from fabric selection to binding.

 

 

cuttingWant to know how to avoid cutting those disappointing  bent strips? It’s all in the preparation of your fabric. Take time to press the fabric, properly align the selvages and be sure the folded edge is without ripples before you make your first cut. This is no time to rush. Accurate cutting helps to prevent disappointments . . . and wasted fabric. Remember, success comes in the details.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.39.16 PMFabric selection … ah, yes. This seems to be one of the most challenging steps for many of us. There are so many wonderful bolts of fabric to choose from. How do I know where to start? I share several tips, including the use of Joen Wolfrom’s Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool. This tool includes 24 color cards plus and in-depth instructional guide to help make color planning easy. It’s both fun and user friendly. By the way, Joen also offers a color class on Craftsy.

 

 

Here’s the schedule and links to the participating blogs. Happy Hopping Everyone!

Monday, December 7
Jackie Kunkel – Canton Village Quilt Works
Kate Colleran – Seams Like a Dream
Tuesday, December 8
Wendy Gardiner – I sew
Wednesday, December 9
Maureen Cracknell – Maureen Cracknell Handmade
Thursday, December 10
Friday, December 11
Laura Nownes – See How We Sew
Saturday, December 12
Kelly Ashton – Kelly Quilter
Sunday, December 13
Lindsey Stephens – Poetry In Yarn
My first class with Craftsy was the FREE 2013 Block of the Month. It is always available. You can join the classroom by simply clicking on the image on the sidebar of this page.
Here’s how to enter the Craftsy giveaway.
Click here to purchase any of the classes from the instructors on the blog hop and you will be automatically entered to win any other class of your choosing for FREE at the conclusion of the blog hop. Winners will be chosen on December 14, 2015.
QQQcoverIn addition to the Craftsy Giveaway, I would also like to send a signed copy of my most recent book, Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!, third edition, to one lucky reader. Simply post a comment by end of day, December 14th, letting me know your favorite creative outlet (sewing, quilting, knitting, etc.) and I will put your name in the hat. I’ll announce my winner with my next post.
Finally, I want to thank so many of you for your heartfelt comments from my recent Paying it Forward post. I had a hard time selecting just one, so I decided to randomly pick the following 3 readers to each receive a yard of fabric from my stash: Brita, Jean and Carol Stickelmaier. I will be contacting you shortly. Pass it on everyone, you are all the best!
Oh yes, and just one more photo before I sign off, just because I’m such a lover of ladybugs, and couldn’t resist sharing.
This is just a small snapshot of the thousands upon thousands of ladybugs "wintering over" at one of our local Regional Parks.
This is just a small snapshot of the thousands upon thousands of ladybugs “wintering over” at one of our local Regional Parks.

Please keep your loved ones close.
Laura Signature

 

Sweet Potato Latkes for a Heartwarming Family Tradition

This is such a busy time of year for all of us. It seems particularly busy for me and my multi-faith family. The moment the Thanksgiving dishes are put away, we begin to celebration plans for anniversaries, my husband’s office party and Hanukkah. Not always in that particular order. And then, we are on to Christmas and New Years. My anxiety kicks in just thinking about it.

to do list

This year, Hanukkah falls nicely into our holiday madness – early in December with no overlap. To me, that means that I can enjoy the preparations for our annual Hanukkah party, sharing latke love with friends and family.

We started this tradition about 13 years ago, when one of my daughter’s friends announced she wanted to celebrate Hanukkah to have 8 nights of gifts. I took it upon myself to invite our kids’ friends and their families to share the true meaning of the Festival of Lights. We have been celebrating this tradition ever since! Families, friends, good food and candlelight – what could possibly be better?

Our First Hanukkah
The first of a long tradition of Hanukkah parties in our home. The boy in the back with the silly grin is my 25 year old son, my 23 year old daughter is on his right. I think I will keep the names of the others quiet, so they won’t be shocked to find their association with a quilting blog. They were all so cute though – weren’t they?

Each year, no matter how many guests I invite, my kids (now 23 and 25) seem to make their own guest list of hungry friends- and we end up with a house full of multi-denominational, latke-eating, candle-lighting regulars, sharing a special night with us. It’s one of my favorite moments of this time of the year.

Friends and Family at Hanukkah

I like to sprinkle dreidels and chocolate gelt on the tables, to add to the festiveness. The dreidel spinning begins, along with discussions of the preferred choice of gelt – dark chocolate or milk chocolate?Candles and Gelt

I don’t profess to be a great potato latke master. In fact, I am not even Jewish. I grew up on a farm in Iowa! But, in the early years of my marriage, my wonderful and very cunning mother-in-law had a way of teaching me all the families favorite dishes without even realizing it. I will always be grateful for that. When she came for a visit, she would announce that we would be making something I had never heard of for dinner that night. I got used to keeping extra onions and celery on hand when I knew she was visiting!Irene

I may not have ever heard of Kasha Varnishkes or Matzo Brei, but by gosh, I sure learned how to make them! Unfortunately, my mother-in-law passed away long before my curiosity with sweet potatoes peaked.

There are many wonderful recipes online with tips to pursue perfection in frying potato latkes. I won’t even begin to give advice in that arena. I make them, and they are tasty, but I know there are better latkes out there. 2015-12-03 14.57.19I am actually known more for the brisket or homemade applesauce that flag the buffet table. And over the years I have become known by my friends for frying a pretty mean sweet potato latke.Sweet Potato Latkes
I thought it would be fun to share my favorite recipe with you. There may be better ones out there, but this is what I have been making for years, and I think I have it down to a science at this point. At least, I have no guests complain yet!! I like them best with homemade applesauce (extra cinnamon, please), but they are also wonderful with sour cream.

Sweet Potato Latkes

  • 2 leeks, rinsed thoroughly and cut into chunks
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, quarter and to fit in food processor*
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or matzoh meal
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • canola oil, 24 fl. oz.
  • You will also need: food processor, 12″ in deep cast iron skillet and a splatter screen, metal spatula, ice cream scoop, salt shaker and pepper grinder, and a cookie sheet lined with 2-3 layers of brown paper bags or paper towels.

*Tip: You can shred the potatoes by hand, but the food processor is much easier and does a wonderful job with sweet potatoes.

Preparation:

Break 3 eggs into a large size bowl and beat well.

Using the “S” blade on your food processor, mince leeks until almost pureed. Transfer to egg mixture and mix together.

Attach the julienne slicer blade to the food processor. Feed the sweet potatoes through the processor to shred. Transfer shredded potatoes to the large bowl. Tip: Rinse out the processor immediately, so that you don’t end up with an orange “stain” to the plastic.

Sprinkle in 1/2  the flour and the nutmeg. Mix well. Sprinkle remaining flour, until it gets a “sticky” consistency. 

Heat 1/2″ of oil in a deep 12-inch cast iron skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Turn the heat to medium and make a “test” latke. With a ice cream scoop, spoon potato mixture into oil and gently flatten to 3-inch diameter with a slotted spatula. Tip:  I usually take a fork and loosen up the edges, to get a cripsy, hairy texture.

Salt and pepper, then cover with a splatter screen.  Cook until golden and crispy, about 2- 3 minutes, then flip and fry for another 2 minutes. You may need to flatten again once turned. The latke should have a crispy enough surface that it will not break up when turning. If it breaks apart, add a bit more flour to the remaining mix.

Transfer to cookie sheet and fry remaining mix, making 4 at a time.

Transfer latkes with spatula to cookie sheet to drain. You may move to a warm oven until finished frying the remaining latkes.

Serve with applesauce and/or sour cream. Enjoy!

And so, with the lighting of the candle on the first night of Hanukkah, the holiday season has officially began for my family. One lovely evening of family and friends enjoying traditions and embracing the holiday season together.

Hanukkah lighting with family

May all of our readers have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season filled with happiness and love!

Pati

Paying it Forward at SHWS with a Giveaway

Doesn’t it always feel good when something nice and unexpected comes your way? Or better yet, when you are on the giving end of such a gesture. I recently returned from Tennessee and while standing in line for lunch at a local restaurant, the young man in front of me asked the cashier to pass his change (about $3 or so) on to the next person in line. That would be me! It just gave me a moment to pause and smile. How lovely, I thought. I decided to keep the chain going by passing my change on to the next person. Who knows just how long it went on, it really doesn’t matter. I only know that in the moment, it felt good.

I returned home to find this sweet treasure waiting for me in the mailbox.  My dear friend, Anita Grossman Soloman, knows how much I adore ladybugs so, as you can read, has passed her leftover piece on to me. The fabric is Indochine: Lotus Leaf Ladybugs Indigo by Alexander Henry Fabrics. I have it in red but had not yet seen it in indigo. Thank you, Anita!

 

This is a beautiful large scale print by Alexander Henry Fabrics. The ladybug is about the size of a dime.
This is a beautiful large scale print by Alexander Henry Fabrics. The ladybug is about the size of a dime.

I plan to use the fabric to make some little treasure that will remind me of Anita and how much I both love her work and am so grateful for her friendship. But, before I do, I’m going to cut the piece in half and share it with Pati. I don’t want her to feel obligated to use it or even challenge her to make something specific, but I will be anxious to see what she might come up with if she does decide to use it.

Giveaway-GoldWe could go on and on sharing our pieces and cutting them in half until there is nothing left but a pile of threads. Instead I would like to send one of you a 1/2 yard piece of fabric from my stash and encourage you to share with someone special. If you are interested in playing along, please simply leave a comment by November 25th telling me if you have a particular style of fabric or color that speaks to you.  I will put your name in the hat and announce the winner in my next post. I’ll be anxious to hear what you have to say and then have fun hunting through my stash to find just the perfect one to share.

Until next time, enjoy this wonderful season of giving thanks!

Laura Signature

 

100 Blocks in 50 Days! – Jigsaw Landscape block

Pati and I are finally able to share with you the first of the four blocks we made for the 100 Blocks in 50 Days challenge sponsored by Janome and Michael Miller Fabrics. It is called Jigsaw Landscape and is made using fabrics from Michael Miller’s new Cotton Couture line of solid fabrics.

Jigsaw Landscape by Laura Nownes.
Jigsaw Landscape by Laura Nownes.

 

Here is the collection of fabrics we had to choose from for our challenge blocks.

Cotton Couture solids by Michael Miller Fabrics.
Cotton Couture solids by Michael Miller Fabrics.

For this block, I decided to try my hand at cutting and piecing free-form curves. You can watch our video tutorial here and Pati’s advanced curve piecing post here. You will find complete downloadable instructions for making this block, along with all other 99 blocks, on Janome’s blog. In addition to getting free instructions, you will find a few exciting offerings so please take time to visit the website and take advantage of this opportunity. If you are just joining the viewing fun, you might want to check out our previous  post to see what these two companies have in store for a few lucky winners.

Have fun with this challenge and we hope to see you back here for my second block on December 16th and Pati’s on December 17th and 22nd.

If you are new to our blog, we thank you for visiting and hope you take time to look through some of our previous posts, enjoy some free patterns, recipes and video tutorials.

Happy sewing everyone!

Laura Signature

 

100 Quilt Blocks in 50 Days!

Janome and Michael Miller Fabrics have teamed up with a really fun project we would like to share with you. 100 Blocks in 50 Days.
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Laura and I were asked to design some blocks for this project a few months ago. The blocks were to be made from a selection of 10 scrumptious colors from one of my favorite fabric lines, Cotton Couture by Micheal Miller. 100 blocks total, were created by quilters from 40 different states and 5 different countries. The blocks were then assembled and presented at Quilt Market in Houston last week in this stunning quilt. Isn’t it amazing?

100qb So, this is where you come in . . .

All of these wonderful blocks are now being released, two at a time, on Janome’s blog, along with FREE downloadable instructions for each block! There is also a link for you to check out who the designer is.  Every weekeday beginning on October 19th going through December 25th  two new blocks have, and will, be released. How cool is that? It’s not too late to sign up to have the remaining blocks delivered to your email box every morning – Sign up here100quilt-blocks-3

If you want to catch up on the blocks already released, you can find them at 100 Quilt Blocks Downloads or follow along on Michael Miller’s Pinterest Board – 100 Blocks in 50 Days. Laura and my blocks will be released on November 9th, December 16th, 17th and 22nd. We will post a little info on how we created these blocks  on the days they are released. So, stay tuned!

Interested in making the quilt? I sure am!

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This Cotton Couture fabric bundle just happens to be the right amount of each color to make all 100 of the blocks. It is available to purchase at any Authorized Janome Dealer.

And – there are some opportunities to win some cool prizes.

Submit photos for a chance to win a Horizon Memory Craft 8900QCP Special Edition

Share on Instagram with #100quiltblocks

I feel like an infomercial, but . . . Wait! there’s more!

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Whew! I am exhausted – that’s a lot of info!

I am going to finish up by mentioning that Carol Van Zandt has been busy photographing the beautiful quilts at Houston Quilt Market last week. I think I will take a little time to enjoy her wonderful photos here. You should too!

Have a great week!Pati