“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
I know you have been wondering what happened to Laura and me over the past few months. The truth is, we both wanted to take a little break to renew and refresh. Before we knew it, our summer break extended into the month of September! But it is now October, with all the beautiful colors of autumn. Our summer excursions are now sweet memories, with lots of inspiration to draw from and share with you in upcoming posts.
We will be back on track with our weekly posts from now on, and who knows – we may have some exciting news to share with you soon!
Summer vacation began early for me this year. I just spent the past 10 days with a visiting relative. I got to play tourist in my own back yard – and what fun it was! My cousin Pam, is from the small, Midwestern town that I grew up in. It is filled with tree-lined streets, sprawling green lawns and a brick paved town square in the center of town. Pam lives in the quintessential American home, filled with lovely antiques, vintage quilts and 3 adorable Puggles. She was looking for some inspiration to do a bit of spring “freshening” to her house when she got home. And so, instead of the regular tourist attractions, we chose to focus on seeking out some of the hidden gems that Northern California was offering at the moment. Pam went home with lots of ideas, and I now have a gallery of inspirational photos to kickstart some new quilts! I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the photos.
We attended a Garden Ramble through eight lovely, sustainable gardens in Piedmont. The colors and texture combinations were so interesting and unusual!
So many lovely shades of green.
And a garden path to follow.
Then it was off to Berkeley to enjoy the Berkeley Marina. Clear blue skies, reflective blue water, and cheery, colorful boats of every shape and size. I love how striking the pattern is, created by all the masts.
The last trip was to Napa Valley, to visit Sunset Magazine’s new gardens in Sonoma. What a treat – color, texture, patterns, shapes . . . my little quilty brain was in heaven!
Wouldn’t this be considered blue fescue on point?
Perhaps an improvisational fenceline?
I found more paths to meander down . . .
And I realized that at the end of every good path . . .
Lies a lovely place to contemplate all that you have been inspired by.
It feels like forever since I have checked in with you. I read through all the thoughtful comments from my last post and could not select just one winner, so I randomly picked two. Be sure to read to the end to see who will be receiving my new pattern/ruler pack. If you missed seeing the post, simply click here. I challenged myself with a charm pack, large scale floral fabrics and a 20-degree wedge ruler. It was great fun. I’m still in play mode and don’t see an end in site any time soon.
So much has happened here since the last time I checked in. I have completed my new pattern, the Blooming Wedges Table runner and had some personalized 20-degree wedge rulers made. The two combine perfectly into a neat little pack. I have just shipped my first order to a major distributor so they should be available to shops very soon! In the meantime, if you are interested, I am offering a 50% off special on my website until May 31st. The special price is $12 plus $2.50 shipping. If you don’t use PayPal, just simply leave a request in the Comments and I will be happy to contact you via email.
I have also taught Wedge Play workshops at several local guilds and have been so pleased to see the abundance of creativity and willingness to play with fabric and rulers. To say I’m beyond excited, is an understatement.
Although the pattern has specific instructions for making the table runner, there are endless design possibilities using the ruler.
Below are just a few of the projects currently on my design wall.
I’m heading out on a four-day quilting retreat next week with the goal of finishing these quilts. Wish me luck!
This is my favorite so far . . . made from silk tie samples.
I’ll be sure to post updates with my next post. Finally, the lucky winners of the pattern/ruler pack are Jane from MA and Judy White. I will be sending you an email shortly to get your mailing addresses. Please be sure to share your projects.
As always, many thanks for checking in. Until next time, happy creating everyone!
My block, called Girl’s Best Friend, block #1219, is a take on deconstructing a diamond.
I used some of Tula Pink’s collection, True Colors because I had been looking for an excuse to play with them. I really like the eclectic feel of this collection.
Part of the fun that I had with this block was playing with pattern designs. I am self taught in Photoshop, so, I am always looking for opportunities to get a little more familiar with the program. So, after using it to crop my block photo, I thought I would just play with some repeats, flipping, rotating and moving around. I think this block has a lot of possibilities.
#1. This might make an interesting border idea . . .
#2. Or a horizontal band running across the width of the quilt.
#3. I love the zig zag effect in the center of this setting . . .
#4. and the last one looks like layers upon layers of diamonds.
What do you think? It ‘s fun to build a virtual quilt once in a while, just to get the inspiration flowing.
Be sure to follow the rest of the block tour. There are giveaways and lots of talented designers that will posting this week about their block designs.
I have about 4 days left to get ready for the Sew Amazing Quilt Show for the Vallejo Piecemakers. I’m excited, but also nervous. It’s such an honor to be invited as the Guest Artist for the show. This is something new for me and I am working hard to make sure that everything turns out perfect!
For the past few months, I have been methodically checking things off my to-do list. I am so grateful to have Laura around with her experience as a vendor. She has had lots of tips to share with me. Here is a funny turn of events – in a different life (ok, my twenty-somethings), I actually designed trade show booths for a very large corporation. I designed the layout and floor plan, the graphics and tradeshow materials, and then followed it through from set up, to take down. Those were 1000 square foot booths, with truck loads of equipment to ship. But preparing for this show is sooooo much more nervewracking for me. Maybe it’s because I want to share everything I love about quilting, and get others excited too. Or maybe it is because I am not in my twenty somethings anymore.
But back to the to do list – The sleeves are all sewn on to the quilts for the show. The booth layout has been decided and is currently set up in my garage🙂. My good friend, and the longarm quilter of all of my quilts, Kerry Reed, will be joining me in the booth and have some of her creative little treasures to purchase. I have my patterns and quilt samples ready to go, including, my new Yardstick Sewing Tote. This is a project that I have taught for years in classes, but I have yet to sell the pattern to the public.
It will be making its debut at the Vallejo Show, with patterns and yardstick kits to purchase. Speaking of debuts. . .
I will be playing with color all weekend at the show. My whole shtick has always been to inspire others to try something new. So, that is going to be the theme of the weekend form me. I will be sharing tips and tricks on how to add color to all of those wonderful black and white prints on the market today, and then show a few samples of what to do with them!
If you are local to Northern California’s Bay Area, I hope you take time to visit me at the Vallejo Quilt Show. I am sure it will be an awesome show, and I would love to see you. Stop by my booth, check out my new stuff, and do a little coloring with me!
If you are not local – no need to fret. I will be posting more about these projects and products throughout the summer. As soon as I catch my breath, I will have them on my Etsy shop to purchase.
It’s curious to me that sometimes I have to schedule a play date in my sewing room in order for things to get done. I guess this is just a sign of busy times. Fortunately it’s not always like this!
I’m just now getting back to playing with the charm packs and floral fabrics that I started in my last post. In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap and details of my process.
I started with a charm pack (5″ squares) of solid Kona Cotton fabrics by Robert Kaufman. I separated the solid fabrics and then paired them with some floral fabrics from my collection.
I set aside one of the six solid fabrics from each group. Then used my new 20-degree wedge ruler to cut the remaining solid squares into fabric wedges. I got 2 fabric wedges from each square. There was a bit remaining that I decided not to use in this project.
After cutting, there were 10 fabric wedges from each group. I arranged nine and then sewed them together to make half of a circle.
The next step is to make a straight cut along the edge of the three inner fabric wedges. I placed the completed half circle on my cutting mat and used a ruler to determine the distance from the straight, left-hand edge of the circle to the outer edges of the three inner fabric wedges.
Cut the excess.
Turn the fabric on the mat and make two additional cuts, as shown.
It will now look like this.
Next, I straightened the top edge even with the lowest point of the curve.
I cut the squares that were set aside earlier, as shown in the photo.
These are sewn to the bottom corners, and then trimmed to size.
Next, I cut a floral piece of fabric for the top of the block and joined the two halves together.
I did the same for the remaining combos. Here are the finished blocks. My next step will be deciding what to do with them. . . I see another play day in my future.
I must share with you that after my previous post on this challenge, I received a comment from my friend Anita Grossman Solomon, that she too had been playing with the charm pack of Kona solids that she received in her goodie bag at the same Craftsy event. Not only was she playing with the solids, but also combining them with large floral prints . . . what are the chances?
I asked Anita if I could share her blocks with all of you. Here you can see another simple use of the solids squares combined with beautiful floral fabrics.
Like myself, Anita too has a new class on Craftsy, “Quick Techniques for Classic Blocks: Wrenches, Stars and Twists”. She shares lots of innovative tips for cutting and block construction. If anyone can simplify the process, it would be Anita . . . that’s the name of her game. Please visit her website to learn more about her books, patterns and workshops. To preview her online class with Craftsy, simply click here.
My new 20-degree wedge rulers just arrived. I’d like to send one along with my new table runner pattern to one of our readers. Please just leave me a comment by Friday April 22nd, letting me know what you would like to play with wedge rulers. I will announce the winner with my next post.
Every year, I do a quick post to promote a month long quilt show hosted by a group that I belong to, the East Bay Modern Quilter’s. This year’s event, Stitch Modern 2016, is a month long extravaganza filled with workshops, lectures and beautiful quilts. The opening reception was last Friday, and as always, the show has proved to be amazing. If I know Carol Van Zandt, she will have lots of beautiful photos of the Stitch Modern quilts up on her blog, The Plaid Portico, soon!
Stitch Modern will be open until May 8th, so if you live in the Bay Area, be sure to check out the events calendar and show hours to visit. You will be glad you did.
I am totally excited about this Wednesday evening’s event, Global Perspectives in Quilting, Talks by Youngmin Lee & Sujata Shah. I took a Bojagi workshop from Youngmin Lee last year and totally loved her! I have not met Sujata Shah, but love her blog, The Root Connection. It will definitely be a great evening. You can read more about both of them and the event here.
Also, if you would like to see the quilt that I have been working on for the show, click over to my personal blog, Design. Stitch. Quilt. Blog. to see what I have been up to. I promised Laura that I would write a post soon on how I tackled some of the tricky parts to the quilt. Here’s a sneak peak. . .
If you live in the Bay area, I hope to see you at the lecture! Have a great week!
When I got up this morning, my plan was to write a post about all the happenings in my life over the past 6 weeks. It’s been extremely busy with lots of traveling and teaching. As I started to write, I could feel the need to put on the brakes and shift gears. What can I do NOW to support my creativity? With only about 1 hour of free time today, I decided to give myself a challenge. I quickly looked around my sewing room. There sitting on my cutting table was a charm pack which had been tucked into the goodie bag I received at the recent Craftsy Summit, a training camp for instructors.
The pack contains forty-two 5″ squares of solid fabrics. My plan is to use all 42 pieces in a new design . . . the clock is ticking ; ). Funny thing is, I found this to be fun. I know I work best under pressure!
As much as I enjoy working with solids, I think my first love is prints. I have a nice collection of Kaffe Fasset, Phillip Jacobs and Brandon Mabley prints, so I pull out of my stash.
I begin sorting through the charm squares and pairing them with the print fabrics. I narrowed it down to 7 prints combined with 6 of the solid squares. Here are six of the combinations I came up with. I will show you the seventh combination in a bit.
The next step is deciding what to do with the combos. I have enjoyed playing with wedge rulers recently and want to continue experimenting with new designs. So, I took 5 of the 6 squares from each combo and cut them into wedges. You will note that I am only going to use 9 of the 10 wedges that I was able to cut from the 5 squares ( only used 1 of the pink wedges as only 9 are necessary to make a half-circle.
Here’s what it looked like after I sewed the 9 wedges together, trimmed the edges and then used the 6th fabric from the combo to form the side triangles. I looks like a basket bottom to me.
These solids were combined with this Kaffe Fassett fabric as my 7th combination.
I’m happy to see that this plan seems to work and I will be able to use all 42 of the solid squares. My time is up for the today but I will definitely be working more on this design and give you an update in my next post. Please let me know if you find this interesting as I will be happy to add more instructions and tutorials for cutting and sewing.
Speaking of updates, my third class with Craftsy, “Quilting with Confidence: Your Questions Answered” has recently gone live. I am excited about this class as it covers everything from selecting patterns to the final binding. It is perfect for beginning quilters and those wanting to take a leap into the creative world of quilt making. This link will take you to all of my classes. While on the Craftsy site, feel free to look around. There are many wonderful course offerings. Also, if you are interested in learning more about designing with wedge rulers, you might consider Debbie Caffrey’s new class “Smart Techniques for Working with Wedges“. There is always so much to learn!
Until my next post, I wish you all a Happy Spring!
“I am not sure I have any tips either, except to stop worrying about the “rules” and what other people think, and do what comes naturally to you. If you strive for order, make a quilt that fits your style. If you like freedom and chaos, then make that type of quilt. Also, don’t expect perfection the first time you do something.”
Congratulations, Shasta! We will be contacting you to get your address for your book delivery! And thank you to everyone that entered. Be sure to take time to read through the comments for some very useful tips.
Today we are part of a blog tour introducing a new book! The Appliqué Book by Casey York. You know what that means – lots of blog links for you to explore and be inspired by some very talented people and A GIVEAWAY!
I attended one of Casey York’s lectures at Quiltcon 2015 in Austin. The subject was using art history as inspiration for quilt designs. Right up my alley and very thought provoking. So, at this year’s Quiltcon, I had the opportunity to meet Casey and have time to visit with her. She is a lovely person, and so talented and inspiring! I am really happy to share her new book , The Applique Book, with you. It is full of wonderful quilts to inspire and create, using appliqué techniques in modern quilt designs by Casey and a line-up of talented contributing designers. Here is a peek at some of the stunning photos in the book.
Shards by Casey York, showcasing a technique she describes as free-form appliqué, embracing improvisational elements.
Ginko Bed Runner by Casey York, using raw edge appliqué.
Belle The Squirrel, Circa 1975 by Jennifer Dick using turned-edge appliqué.
Beautiful, right? This is a fabulous reference book to add to my quilt library. I find I am doing more and more appliqué lately. I don’t necessarily start out with appliqué in mind, but somewhere in the design process, I have a visual in my mind, and have to figure out how to create it as an image for my quilt. As with the beach balls created for the pattern, Making Waves, In my latest quilt, I really struggled to find the best applique technique to achieve the effect I was looking for . . . .
It turns out, I am using a few different appliqué techniques to get this one finished! More photos to come soon on my blog, Design. Stitch. Quilt. Blog. Hoping to finish it this week!
Thank you, Casey, for putting all the techniques down in one place – for me to refer to when needed! The book is a great addition to my quilting tool box!
Do you have a favorite tip or technique for applique? Share it with us in the comment section for a chance to win a copy of The Applique Book, by Casey York, (hard copy for US residents, electronic copy for international winners). Winner will be chosen at the end of the blog tour, on March 25.
The tour runs from March 14 to March 25 and features two posts per day. Be sure to check out the line-up below – there will be some great posts over the next two weeks.!