Cutting and Sewing Curves, a Video Tutorial & Giveaway

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Several of our readers have asked for a tutorial on cutting and sewing curves without using a pattern. We have made a video tutorial showing how easy it is to add curves to your quilting projects. This is the technique we used on our Making Waves pattern.

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It’s fun, it’s easy and if you haven’t ever done it, I suggest watching the video and give it a try. It will be permanently living in our How-To Videos page, which can be accessed through the button above. While you are there, be sure to check out some of our other helpful videos.

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We are offering two copies of our pattern to two of our readers. Please leave a comment by end of day Friday, July 31st if you would like a chance to receive a pattern.

We will also have the video posted on our SHWS You Tube Channel Enjoy the show!

Laura Signature

Select Print & Piece – New Product for Foundation and Paper Piecing & Giveaway

As promised, I have given another one of Alex Anderson’s new product for quilters a try. Select Print and Piece by Floriani definitely gets a thumbs up in my book! I am embarrassed to say that I have truly never embraced paper-piecing, primarily because I don’t enjoy removing all the papers and especially dislike all the little bits of paper that often remain on the back side of the block. With that said, I am impressed with this product for a variety of reasons.

Quilters Select Print & Piece
Quilters Select Print & Piece

First, I like the weight and feel of this fiber-based product. It is available in 8-1/2″ x 11″ sheets which will easily and conveniently run through your home printer. I made a copy of the square-in-a-square pattern that is included in the pack of 25 sheets. I selected a few fun fabrics and soon started the paper piecing process.

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As with all foundation and paper-pieced patterns, the process was organized and easy. After I had completed sewing the sequence of pieces, I trimmed the block and began the process of removing the paper. It was surprisingly easy and removal was not messy – no little bits of paper stuck in the stitching lines. I started to tear the paper, which worked quite well, and then looked again at the instructions which suggests first dampening the stitching lines for easy removal. I didn’t have a q-tip, as suggested, so I simply used a spray bottle of water that was on hand in the classroom, and lightly spritzed the backside of the block. Voila! This worked perfectly! The paper came off easily, and large pieces, with no little bits remaining in the stitching lines. Also, I must note that I even forgot to shorten my stitch length as is generally suggested with paper piecing, and I am happy to say there was NO distortion of the stitches.

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Removal of the paper is optional. If you like, you can choose to leave it in the quilt and you will hardly know it’s there. About 50% of it will dissipate when the quilt or project is washed.

Well, Alex, thanks again for sharing with us another great product! We love anything that helps make the process easier and more enjoyable.

Again, Alex has provided a package of the Select Print and Piece as a giveaway for one of our readers. Just leave us a comment by end of day Friday, July 10th, telling us why you would like to receive this gift. The winner will be announced in Pati’s post next week.

The winner of the rolls of Select Appli-Stick and Appli-Web Plus is Pam S. Thank you to all of you who took time to post comments. I wish I had rolls for everyone but hope you will have an opportunity to give the products a try and encourage your local quilt shops to keep it in stock. Here is a link to the Quilters Select website where you can find a list of the quilt shops that carry these and many more products.

Until until next time, happy creating everyone!

Laura Signature

New Products for Quilters – Select Appli-Stick and Select Appli-Web Plus & Giveaway

Alex Anderson

Hi Quilters, Crafters and Sewers!

When I recently heard that my friend, Alex Anderson had new products on the market I gave her a call and asked if I could give them a try. My hope was that I would like them enough to share my thoughts with all of you. I am happy to say I love them. Alex graciously sent me samples of three products: Select Appli-Stick, Select Appli-Web Plus and Select Print & Piece. The first two products are used for fusible appliqué and the Select Print & Piece is ideal for foundation piecing. I’ll share my thoughts on the Appliqué products today. Be sure to check back as I plan to write a review of the Select Print & Piece in my next post.

 

I’m always curious about the origin of new products so I asked Alex how these came to be. She shares that while she was on retreat with some friends and working on this beautiful pieced & appliquéd quilt, she was also searching for a new fusible web to replace one of her favorites that was removed from the market many years ago.

Designed and made by Alex Anderson. Machine quilted by Angela Walters.
Designed and made by Alex Anderson. Machine quilted by Angela Walters.

One of her friends suggested she try some products by Floriani that were being used for machine embroidery. Alex gave them a try and immediately loved the results.  She started working with Floriani to tweek and customize the products for the quilting world. The products were recently introduced at Spring Quilt Market. To read more about Alex’s story and watch a video, be sure to check out the Quilters Select Website. You will also find many other useful products by this company.

I was excited to receive my samples in the mail and test for myself how they worked. Here’s what I found.

1. Select Appli-Stick – Great for fusible raw edge appliqué. This product is available in rolls, printable sheets and narrow tape (perfect for quilt bindings or decorative trims).

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Like many other fusible webs, there is a paper side and web (glue) side. I especially like the weight of the paper side. It is slick, takes markings easily yet also any unwanted lines are easily erased without leaving any markings. The paper side peels away easily (think I’ve used easily too many times, but you catch my drift!) after pressing, leaving  the sticky web adhered to the wrong side of the fabric.

Shapes marked and then pressed onto the paper side of the Appli-Stick.
Shapes marked and then pressed onto the paper side of the Appli-Stick.

The prepared fabric is soft, not stiff and best of all, can be repositioned! That’s right, you can change your mind if you want to move pieces around before they are permanently stitched onto a background fabric. Pieces are secure until you are ready to add your favorite decorative stitches around the edges.

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2. Select Appli-Web Plus – A great product for your appliqué and other craft projects. Unlike the Select Appli-Stick, the bond on this product is permanent. The fusible webbing is very lightweight producing a softness to the finished shapes.

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The paper backing on this product is not as heavy and slick as the Select Appli-Stick so I found it easier to use a pin to score the back side of the prepared shape in order to remove the paper. This prevents frayed edges from picking and pulling along the clean cut edges.

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The prepared shapes are soft, lightweight and press well onto a background fabric. Since shapes are permanent, decorative edge stitching is optional.

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I am really excited and pleased with these products and will definitely be using them for future appliqué projects. I’m also happy to learn from Alex that they will only be available at independent quilt shops, not large chains. Online sales are an option, but whenever possible, please remember to support your local shops. Click here to find retail locations: www.quiltersselect.com and to see the other useful products by Quilters Select.

WebAlex has graciously offered a roll of each of these two wonderful products to one of our lucky readers. If you are interested in having your name added to the hat, please leave a comment by Friday, July 3rd telling me why you would like to receive this gift. The winner will be announced in Pati’s post next week.

Speaking of giveaways, Pati and I are excited to have new followers on all of our our social media platforms! Thank you one and all. The 3 winners following our new Instagram account SeeHowWeSew, are rdarcene, merryheartbusyhands and mbelmer1. Congratulations to all of you! Please contact us at seehowwesew@gmail.com to give us your mailing address for your gift.

Please be sure to check back on my next post, as I share my thoughts on the new Quilters Select Print & Piece.

Until then,

Laura Signature

 

5 Ways to Inspire Creativity with Social Media

There are so many social media platforms available today that there seems to be a fit for everyone’s interests and preferences. By tapping your phone, you can see what the Kardashians are up to today. If you want to find that little Thai restaurant you went to 4 years ago, you can. 2015-06-22 13.06.16But, for all of us creative souls, the best perk of having all of this information at our fingertips is that we have instant connections into a visual world of inspiration. My tablet, computer and smart phone seem to be as much of a tool these days as my rotary cutter.

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Laura and I have been quite busy the past few months examining how See How We Sew can connect with readers to create more of a community through our social media sites.  Since we encourage “Ideas – Inspiration – Information” as the core of SHWS, it makes sense to find opportunities to explore this with more than just reading blog posts.

We are excited to share some of the details of all our hard work with you. We hope that you will not only find ideas, inspiration and information from these sites, but also take advantage of social media 2interacting with us and other readers to create an even stronger SHWS community. Share your ideas and projects, ask questions, and hopefully make some new quilt friends!

What you would like to see in your favorite social media site?

In keeping with our hopes to build a community – we would love your feedback. Where do you go for inspiration? Which social media platform do you prefer? What would you like to find in a SHWS social site? Leave some comments for us to help create the community that everyone is looking for.

Now, find your favorite arena in the list below, click on the link to follow us – and let’s start inspiring each other! 

02_facebookFacebook Fans: Right now, our Facebook 2015-02-13 14.44page is a place to share links to our latest blog posts. We would love to see more interaction with our readers and urge you to share what you are working on and leave comments. We’ve begun posting links to interesting stories and articles that we think you might be interested in. Let us know if you like them.

What type of posts would you like to see on our Facebook page?

Click here to check it out: See How We Sew Facebook Page

Pinterest Pinne13_pinterestrs: We have had a Pinterest 2014-10-21 15.13.30site for a long time. Laura has been very busy lately updating and adding to the boards. Also, we now have a new board, From Our Blog, which holds photos and projects that link back to their respective blog posts. I am currently working on pinning all of the past blog posts to this board for easy access.

There are so many of you already following our boards and we are so grateful. Are there topics that you would like us to add to our boards?

Click here to check it out: See How We Sew Pinterest Boards

Don’t miss the wonderful video with Freddy Moran. photo courtesy of Alethea Ballard.

youtubeYouTube Viewers: Did you know we have a YouTube channel? Well, I told you we’ve been busy! At the moment, there are only a handful of videos to view, but we have big plans coming.

What would you like to see on our YouTube channel? Tutorials? Chats with Laura and Pati? Interviews with quilters and fabric designers? Let us know and we’ll get the cameras rolling!

Click here to check it out: See How We Sew YouTube Channel

10_instagramInstagram Hashtaggers: Laura and I just finished an Instagram Boot Camp with Blogging Your Way. It was quite an eye opener for both of us! Along with our own Instagram accounts, we now have a brand new SHWS Instagram account!

In the next few weeks, we will be busy sharing photos that will have a bit of a theme to them. We will be using one of our favorite approaches to selecting fabrics for a new project. We’ll start with an image that inspires us, unnamed (1)this might be a painting, something in nature or even a tile pattern. Then we’ll choose fabrics to complement our inspiration image and put them on Instagram. You can find them at @SeeHowWeSew, but we will also hashtag them #seehowwesewwithcolor to begin an ongoing color story. This is the first of many hashtags to come covering topics on design, inspiration and most importantly – projects.

What are you working on right now? WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! so use #seehowwesewprojects and tag us @seehowwesew to share your latest project with us!

Click here to check it out: See How We Sew Instagram and . . .giveaway2if you are one of our new followers by 6/28/15, you will be entered into a random drawing to win one of three gifts that we are giving away at SHWS!

 

twitterTwitter Tweeties: unnamedThough we do not have a SHWS Twitter account, I do have my own account. I have to say that I have not been very active in this arena, other than tweeting the latest blog posts. I could use a boost from you. If you are a Twitter fan, I would love comments and feedback. What do you like to tweet about? 

Click here to follow me: Pati Fried Twitter Account

 

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Etsy Shoppers: Okay, this isn’t exactly in the same category, but thought it was a great opportunity to remind you to visit our Etsy Shops.

Laura’s Etsy shop is chocked full of all of her wonderful patterns. A great site to get inspired for your next project. Be sure to follow her to keep up on her latest patterns available: Laura’s Etsy Shop
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My site, is only a month old – so be patient. I’m working very hard to make my patterns available to you. I promise there will be lots of patterns uploaded soon to my shop! Be sure to follow me to know when they arrive: Pati’s Etsy Shop
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And now you have it. Whew! I am excited just talking about it. I hope you take time to leave feedback for us in the comment section. We love hearing from you!

Pati

A Few Tips for Novice Garment Sewing

Wow! I have lots to share with you today!

It was so fun reading all the wonderful reader’s comments left on last Tuesday’s post, My Urban Tunic in Crossroads Denim. It became obvious to me that I am not alone in being apprehensive to make the jump from quilting to garment construction. Since I had such a successful run with my first project, I thought I would share a few tips I gathered from experienced sewists as I began my project.2015-03-16 09.32

1. Read through the direction thoroughly, until you totally understand the cutting and construction.

2. Prewash and press your fabric.

3. Transfer your tissue paper pattern onto a more permanent and manageable material such as Pellon. I used Red Dot Tracing Material and it worked great..

4. Make a muslin sample first. Ok, in reality, I made two, in two different sizes. Then combined the smaller top and larger bottom for my own personal, pear shaped pattern.

5. Find someone that understands garment construction to help tweak your sample for a perfect fit while you are wearing it. I was fortunate enough to have the incredibly talented Margaret Linderman pin and tweak, then cheer me on to the next step. Thank you Margaret!

6. You know the saying, measure twice, cut once? Well, here’s a new one for you – Gather the correct pattern pieces. Make sure you are following the correct cutting layout for the view or option you have chosen. Check it twice, then cut it once.

7. Take your time sewing. Read and follow directions carefully. Pin, yes pin, even if you think you don’t need to.

8. Take your time to press each seam neatly. Use steam or a pressing cloth when needed.

9. Practice any required topstitching on a scrap fabric first, before stitching onto your garment. You want it pretty and perfect the first time.

I am sure these tips would be obvious to someone that does a lot of garment sewing, but for me, it was definitely a learning process, so I needed all the help I could get!. Perhaps my list will save someone else a few steps on their first project!

Giveaway-GoldNow, as to our winner of the giveaway for the Urban Tunic Pattern by Indigo Junction. Congratulations to Jacqueline! You will be receiving your pattern in the mail soon!

Thank you to everyone else for all the wonderful comments. I wish I could send a pattern to each and every one of you.

If you live in the Northern California area, be sure to check out the East Bay Modern Quilters annual show, Stitch Modern 2015. Opening night is tonight, but there will be lectures, events and gallery hours throughout the month of April. Be sure to check out the calendar of events on their website: Stitch Modern 2015.

Shapes by Linda Hungerford. Check out her blog at Flourishing Palms.

Need a boost of inspiration? Hungry for some eye candy? – be sure to follow the links to Carol Van Zandt’s blog posts with more quilt photographs from Quiltcon 2015. They are spectacular!

Minimalist Design Quilts

Bias Tape Challenge

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I think that’s it for now! Have a wonderful weekend.

Pati

My Urban Tunic in Crossroads Denim and a Pattern Giveaway!

My Nepenthe, a Story, a Riddle and a Giveaway

I want to start with a riddle. Think of this as you read on, and at the end, I will give you an opportunity to answer the riddle for a giveaway!

What do a cook, a quilter and an ocean view have in common?

I feel like I have opened the door to a whole new world this past few weeks.
My husband gave me a beautiful book for Christmas, My Nepenthe, by Romney Steele.

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My Nepenthe by Romney Steele

If you live on the West Coast, you may know of the restaurant, Nepenthe. I think of Nepenthe as more of a destination than just a restaurant. For years, my family has been making the drive down the coast to spend a magical day in Big Sur, California. We visit some of the most beautiful coastline available, stroll through majestic redwoods and explore the bohemic lifestyle in this mystical place that inspired artists, writers and creative souls over the years.NepentheView

But at the end of the day, we always, and I do mean always, stop to visit Nepenthe.

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It is the perfect way to end a day in Big Sur.We relax and enjoy the spectacular views, have something to eat, and then search for a special treasure  in the gift shop, The Phoenix.The Phoenix

It was on one of my first visits, I looked up at the vaulted ceilings in The Phoenix and noticed quilts hanging from the rafters in all their glorious colors. That is the day I found out Kaffe Fasset‘s family owned Nepenthe.

You would think that being given a beautiful book called My Nepenthe would be a very meaningful gift for me. But it even gets better.

 

Author Romney Steele is also co-owner of a very special cafe, oyster and wine bar in historic Old Oakland appropriately named The Cook and Her Farmer2015-01-30 14.18.37My husband eats many of his lunches there, noshing on an extraordinary grilled cheese sandwich or a bowl of savory mussels.

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As much as I love the food, I also love simply taking in the atmosphere. Colorful jars of canned goods and bowls of fresh produce line the counters.They convey the spirit of her farm to table principles.

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You can pull up a cheery, red stool to the warm, wooden tables for a casual and communal meal.
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I am in awe of those able to convey their vision so clearly for others to enjoy. Romney’s bio describes herself as a writer, cook and visual artist. I would agree. Whether I am reading her book, sitting in her establishment or peeking at her blog, there is a vision that she is sharing. It is warm, and colorful, and I enjoy being a part of it.

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So all of this leads up to my gift, the book My Nepenthe. A book of stories and tales of Big Sur.  It is a story about food, family, how it all unfolds around the table and why that matters. It celebrates the magic and history of the family who started Nepenthe, Romney Steele’s family and yes, the Fassett family.

Ahhh, it’s all coming together, now isn’t it??? Kaffe Fassett is Romney Steele’s uncle!

 

I am sure many of you have read and loved the autobiography by Kaffe Fassett’s, Dreaming in Colour, which shares his stories of life in Big Sur.

KaffeConsider My Nepenthe as part of a series of books. The book is lovely. The stories are wonderful, the visuals are inspiring and the recipes are fresh and unique.

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Even the design elements are delightful. Romney used Kaffe Fassett’s ever popular Millefiore design for the spine of the book, along with remnants of her grandmother’s smocks which were scanned and shared throughout the pages. It is so amazing to know a family such as the Fassett family could completely embrace the spirit of creativity.

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Romney Steele.
Romney Steele

 

 

 

To end my story, I want to share a excerpt from Romney Steele’s blog,

Romney Steele (words + food + visual).

She writes about her love of cooking in words that resonate with the way I feel about quilting:

 

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Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard – Romney Steele’s latest book

“I often turn to cooking when I feel out of sorts, when I feel less than grounded, less than knowing my way. Cooking, like gardening, feels tangible. Whether slicing lemons for a bright marmalade, or turning over the soil to plant spring greens, both feel grounded in my history and in my present–in so much that is healing and gives me joy. Preparing and sharing food creates a feeling of well being, of time well spent and good work done. It’s also deeply meditative, restorative by way of making.” Romney Steele

 

Thank you Romney. Your words inspire me to be true to myself. To do what I do because it is who I am. But for now, I am yearning for the Big Sur Life and I just want to curl up in some quilts and read all about it!

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So, dear readers,

What do a a cook, a quilter and an ocean view have in common?

MakingWavesPatterns-Cover1What do you think they have in common?  Leave your answer and share what inspires you as a comment. One of you will win a copy of our newest pattern, Making Waves.

I hope you enjoyed my story.

Have a great week!

Pati

Meet Jessica Smith and Her Fabulous, Fear-Busting Mystery Quilts

I am excited to introduce you to a friend of mine, Jessica J. E. Smith, also known as Jess,Jessica Smith
who I met several years ago at International Quilt Market Houston. Jess approached me to share her two cents about a question I’d asked at a lecture we’d both attended at the show. After that, we spent the day walking the show floor, shared a meal at a Greek restaurant afterwards, and have built a great friendship ever since. She is bubbly, creative, and so much fun to share quilt-love with!

Jess owns The Quilt and Needle, an online an online quilting store and interactive community , She specializes in designing one-of-a-kind quilting patterns and hosting unique Mystery Quilt Weekend experiences to help quilters overcome their personal boundaries. I participated in one of these mystery weekends and, let me tell you, they are fun! Imagine receiving a pretty fabric bundle in the mail, getting online instructions every few hours throughout the weekend, and watching a beautiful design emerge as you sew–oh, did I mention that you are sharing this weekend in a forum with participants from across the globe? It’s totally fun! Welcome Jess–we are so glad you are here!

Mystery Quilts and Why They are Worth Making

I design quilts. I piece, I quilt, I show, I gift, I sell, and sometimes I even get to cuddle with my work. No surprise, I love what I do. But the best part of my job is designing and writing mystery quilt patterns. Why? To begin with, I adore surprises. Not just receiving surprises, but presenting others with puzzles and tricking (yes, misleading, fooling, generally hoodwinking) them so that they are truly surprised at the end of the process. That’s just plain good times. When I design a mystery, it’s like I am throwing a killer surprise party for every quilter who works on that project (only, way less clean-up is required).

For example, who would’ve thought that when you started out by sewing together these various squares with borders:

Sherry's Unexpected Twist blocks

You’d get this quilt at the end? (These pictures were taken at one of our March Mystery retreats in Tomball, TX. The quilt pattern is Unexpected Twist.)

Sherry's Unexpected Twist from Mystery Quilt Retreat
Sherry Watson’s Unexpected Twist from a Mystery Quilt Retreat

 

The fun of it all gives me a serious case of the warm and fuzzies.

If I am being totally honest though, the grand surprise of a good mystery pattern isn’t really the best part. Certainly, I started designing mystery quilts as a fun way to surprise my quilty peeps, but my true addiction to mystery pattern writing came when I realized that mystery patterns were an often unutilized tool to help quilters overcome their self-imposed limitations.

You know that quilt pattern you’d love to try, but you keep telling yourself:

“I am not good enough to make that!”
“I love that quilt! But I could never do that.”
“That’s just too much for me, I’ll stick with squares!”
“I’d never have time to do something like that!”

Anybody? Yeah, pretty much all of us, right? We come up with any number of excuses to NOT try that design that we are sure will defeat us. Put simply, we often fail at a pattern because we never allowed ourselves to try. For me, once upon a time, that unclimbable mountain of a pattern was a Feathered Star. But hey, look at me now Mom! I created a mystery pattern to help all of those quilters afflicted with the same irrational Featheredstaraphobia I once suffered from.

 

Bella Cosa
Jessica Smith’s Bella Cosa

This pattern is Bella Cosa. There are no Y seams or similarly intermediate-level piecing involved, which is why this made a fabulous mystery pattern.

A good mystery quilt should lead the quilter through the process one simple step at a time, so the quilter doesn’t feel overwhelmed. If you don’t know the end product, you aren’t able to keep yourself from trying a fabulous design because of self-doubt.

Steps for Bella Cosa

More steps for Bella Cosa

Jessica Smiths finished top - Bella Cosa

Over the years I’ve often experienced the power of my mystery patterns helping other quilters achieve their own “unachievable”. In one of my first teaching gigs as a mystery quilt teacher, I met “Square Girl”. It was a six hour class. They came in with their fabrics cut, ready to sew, and completed a small top in a day. The mystery I was teaching was my pattern Phire’s Radiance, which is my take on a Lone Star. I walked past this girl while she was sewing and she was murmuring “I like squares… I like squares… I like squares…” as she pieced together this quilt full of strips, and diamonds, and triangles… maybe four squares in the entire thing. I was still pretty new at teaching and I remember telling my husband when I got home that I blew it… I would never see this girl again! I have to give her props though; she persevered and completed her small table topper in class.

Phire's Radiance
“Square Girl” (aka Dana Sudduth) – Phire’s Radiance #1

This was her third quilt ever! Pretty amazing I think. Anyway, my next mystery program rolled around a few weeks later, and you wouldn’t believe who showed up to that class. Yep. Square Girl. And she was smiling. And she was motivated. She’d made a Lone Star and now she was ready to conquer the quilting world! She has signed up for every one of my mystery programs since then. She’s hooked. She’s a fabric addict. Now Square Girl is selling commissioned quilts to support her habit. She was recently commissioned to make the King size version of Phire’s Radiance (again, no ‘y’ seams or similarly intermediate techniques were harmed used in the making of these quilts).

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“Square Girl” (aka Dana Sudduth) – Phire’s Radiance #2

Whoa. Just whoa.

DSudduth_Phire's Radiance_Close

So that’s why I do what I do. And that’s why it’s worth giving mystery quilts a try. You never know what you don’t know until you try something that you don’t know you are trying.

For more info the patterns above, go to:  Unexpected Twist; Bella Cosa; Phire’s Radiance.

Piece out,

Jessica J.E. Smith, owner of The Quilt and Needle

 

Thank you Jess! What a great topic! And BTW readers, Jess’s feathered star, Bella Cosa, was created using a line of fabrics that I designed a few years back! What a sweet quilt!

Want more? Jess will be visiting again on Friday to chat about her Crossover Quilts. She will present Schoolhouse sessions on both Mystery Quilts and Crossover Quilts at Interenational Quilt Market at the end of the month.

 

Urban and Amish Giveaway Winner Here!

And we have a winner! Congratulations to Houston Quilt Lady.

Pati Signature

The Signs are Out There: Amish Quilts Redux + A Book Giveaway!

 

Quilt-J:  Ocean Waves from Amish & Urban Myra Harder
Ocean Waves from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder, Martingale & Company/That Patchwork Place, 2014

giveaway2It’s inevitable really, the road to learning the quilting craft always passes through Amish Country at some point. While modern quilters may point to the Gee’s Bend quilt exhibition as a clarion call to explore quilt making, Amish quilts also cast their lure with minimal design layouts and vibrant coloration.

I’m seeing a trend here. In the space of a few hours last week, I heard about a challenge issued by  the San Jose Quilt & Textile Museum to several of the modern quilt guilds in the San Francisco Bay Area called  Amish:  The Modern Muse; an  exhibit of antique Ohio Amish quilts from the Darwin Bearley Collection set to open at that same museum in mid-November, AND, a new release from Martingale & Company/That Patchwork Place called Urban and Amish:  Classic Quilts and Modern Updates by Myra Harder. You don’t have to be a seer to note the signs:  Modern Amish is on its way! (Although, there’s always been a timeless modernity about the spare and bold quilts of the Amish.)

Urban and Amish Embraces a Hallowed Tradition and a Modern Aesthetic

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Author of Urban and Amish, Myra Harder, comes by her love of Amish quilt making from childhood exposure to the Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Myra’s Canadian parents moved the family to Lancaster County and lived there for several years before heading back north. The time spent in that rural fastness had a strong impact: Myra’s mother learned quilt making from the Amish women and Myra spent many hours playing with Amish children and learning about their mode of life. Later, when Myra took up quilting, it was an Amish Pineapple quilt displayed in a Lancaster, PA shop that set her on her quilting journey. Myra is a twenty-year veteran of the textiles and quilting industries and attributes her fascination to an ancestral calling “to the cloth,” so to speak, as her family traces its roots to Moravian cloth traders in early colonial history.

Quilt-J: Amish Center Diamond Urban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Amish Center Diamond from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder
Quilt-J:  Lightening Strike Urban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Lightning Strike from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder

Urban and Amish brings together two of Myra’s abiding interests: the Amish quilting aesthetic and the modernist trend in contemporary quilt making.  Her tactic is to juxtapose them in 8 duets of quilts: one faithful to Amish tenets of quilt design, and the other, a modern riff on the theme block. The result is 16 quilt projects that can be tackled by all skill levels. The challenge, of course, is in the execution which is something she addresses in her book:  color palettes, print or solids, scale of design, deconstructing blocks. It was interesting to learn that Amish color schemes are specific to each community–Lancaster County quilts do not use black as the darkest hue, navy is the preferred color. (That’s a factoid I’ll store for future use!)

Quilt-J: Amish Bars from Urban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Amish Bars from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder
Quilt-J:  Horizon Line from Amish & Urban Myra Harder
Duet partners: Horizon Line from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder

Myra Harder’s Urban and Amish is available now through Martingale & Company. Visit the publisher’s website for additional information about the book and author. Ah, don’t neglect to scroll to the bottom for giveaway details–you could win an Urban and Amish eBook from Martingale!

Quilt-J:  Trip Around the World from Urban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Trip Around the World from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder
Quilt-J:  Trip to NY fromUrban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Trip to New York from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder

Antique Ohio Amish Quilts from the Darwin Bearley Collection, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Staring November 15, 2014, and running through March 1, 2015, the quilt museum in San Jose, California will host an exhibition of more than 40 quilts from the Bearley collection. The quilts range from doll to bed-sized and cover a timeline from 1880 to 1940. The provenance of each quilt is fully documented with the story of the maker, recipient, and the dealer(s) who found the quilts.

Amish:  The Modern Muse at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

To coordinate with the exhibition, the museum issued a challenge to Bay Area modern quilt guilds–East Bay Modern, Bay Area Modern, and South Bay Area Modern–to interpret the Amish style in a modernest vein. The juried exhibition will run concurrently with the Antique Ohio Amish Quilt show. Quilt artist Joe Cunningham will select the quilts that best represent a 21st century interpretation of traditional Amish quilt making. Of course, our resident modernist and guild member, Pati Fried, has a challenge contribution and she’s giving us a peek!

Quilt-J:  Detail of Pati Fried's Amish style quilt

Giveaway Details Here!

Martingale & Company has kindly offered an eBook version of Urban and Amish for a lucky winner. Leave me a comment by Monday, October 13 and I’ll announce the winner in the Tuesday post on the 14th. Here’s your question:  Why the hoopla, aren’t Amish quilts already modern?

Later gators, gotta go make another quilt–modern, but not Amish . . .

Jennifer Signature