Today was a sew day for Laura and I. We are teaching a guild workshop in September on the Winter Brrrd Houses quilt. We thought it would be fun to experiment with making a different version of the quilt.
Laura brought some Kaffe Fasset fabrics and this wonderful white-on-white background fabric. I’m not sure if it was the white against the saturated color, or the strong graphics against the organic florals – but something really popped between this fabric combination. I had a stash of Moda Grunge, along with Robert Kaufman Quilters’ Linen that were just begging to be added into the mix. And so, with no preconceived notions in mind, we decided to start by making two houses each.
The houses were oh-so-cute, but we were a bit befuddled about what fabrics to add into the background plan. As you can see in the original quilt, the background represented a winter scene with drifts of snow. As much as we liked the background we chose, it just didn’t look right with any of the grays in my stash.
So we simply switched seasons!
Striped posts against a spring green hillside – now that works!
And so we’re off and running. It’s funny how things work out. Neither of us knew where we were headed with this quilt, but we just kept sewing until the ideas surfaced. It’s so fun to collaborate on quilts!
If you are interested in watching the progress on this quilt, I will put some photos up on Facebook Page and Instagram as it develops. If you’re not connected with us – now is a good time to do so.
On Wednesday, I shared the many chapters from my story of the healing hands quilts with you. I promised to share another special story involving a healing quilt. If you missed my first story, read about it here: Quilts Stitched with Love. And now, we continue . . . .
A few weeks ago, I took an outing with a group of quilters to the San Jose Quilt Museum to see an exhibit before it ended. There were five of us, including Laura Nownes and Diana McClun. A few days before we left, Laura received a phone call from the Museum to tell her that a quilt that she and Diana had made years ago had been donated to the Museum. Laura and Diana were both a little surprised and couldn’t seem to remember what the quilt even looked like. Laura mentioned that we would be visiting soon and asked if it would be possible to view the quilt while we were there.
And so, the day that we visited turned out to be a very special day for all of us, and not just Laura and Diana. When we arrived, we were ushered to the back room, where all the inner workings of the Museum happen, including the storage of their incredible quilt collection. As we walked into the room, our eyes went immediately to the viewing table, where Laura and Diana’s quilt lie patiently waiting for us to view.
A little history about the quilt: The quilt had been made for Laura and Diana’s first book, Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! which was published in 1988. Their publisher was Michael Kile, of The Quilt Digest Press. Michael was very involved in the entire collaboration of the book, including selecting patterns, planning quilts, and fabric choices for the projects. In fact, he had selected all the fabrics for this particular quilt. At some point during production, there were too many quilts and so, sadly, this particular quilt was cut from the book.
The success of the book encouraged them to do a the follow up book, Quilts, Quilts, and More Quilts! During production, Michael was hospitalized. Diana and Laura presented Michael with this quilt on May 25, 1991 to lift his spirits. Sadly, Michael passed away that same year.
After Michael’s death, the quilt was given to his mother, June. When June passed, the quilt made its way to Quilt Collector and Author Roderick Kiracofe who recently donated it to the San Jose Quilt Museum.
And so, there we stood, viewing a piece of history. It was a pretty awesome moment. As you can see from the expression on Laura and Diana’s faces, Michael held a very special place in their hearts.
Before giving the quilt to Michael, they had handwritten many notes, riddles and quips to lift his spirits- most, with a very healthy dose of humor on the side.
Each note seemed to bring back more memories for them. There were smiles, giggles and a few sighs.
“Hold on to your inner truth”. What a perfect phrase to finish my story with. It was one of those special moments that I was so glad to be a part of.
What a wonderful quilt from two extremely talented and amazing women.
And this concludes my week of inspiration when it comes to the power of healing quilts. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you! I would love to hear about any quilts for a good cause that you have been involved in. You are welcome to leave comments here on our blog, share them with photos on our Facebook Page or post them on Instagram #SeeHowWeSewprojects for all of us to enjoy.
Years ago, a close friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. As most of us would, I just wanted to fix things. make things better. Do something. There wasn’t a lot I could do to help. I had just finished contributing a block for a healing hands quilt to be given to someone in my quilt group that was battling with cancer. I knew that I needed to make a healing hands quilt for my friend Jodi. I like to think of this as Chapter 1 to my story.
I gathered her family and many, many friends and had them choose a fabric from a collection I had put together. They drew their hand prints on paper, which I transferred to fabric for raw edge applique. They also wrote notes filled with love and well wishes, which were added in later near each hand.
It was important for me to find a unique and artful way to display the many loving hands I had collected for my warrior friend. The hands eventually found their way into an unending circle with the notes of love weaving throughout their fingers.
Jodi loved the quilt. It travelled to chemotherapy with her every week, where she shrouded herself under it, like a big hug from all her friends and family. She is now 6 years cancer-free and the quilt now resides, center stage on her bed, continuing to cover her each night with the love of her friends and family.
Then there is a Chapter 2. . . . I wrote a lot about Jodi’s quilt and other community minded quilt projects on my own blog, PatiFried.com/healing-hands-quilt as I was working on them.During this time, I received an email from a reader, wanting to make the quilt for her brother fighting cancer. I happily shared all my tips and tricks with her. She created a lovely quilt for her brother and announced that he was on the way to recovery!
A few weeks ago, I got a call from Cynthia, who had known my friend Jodi for many years more than I had. “Pati, someone I know has just been diagnosed with cancer. Would you consider making a quilt like Jodi’s for my friend Brit?” she asked. Here was my chance to prove that a non-quilter could tackle this project. I answered, “No, but I would be happy to help YOU make it!” There was a long pause of silence, and then she replied, “But, I don’t know how to quilt.” I just smiled and said,”I know.”
And so we have Chapter 3 – Over the past few weeks, I have been coaching Cynthia with all the steps involved before a single stitch is placed. She gathered fabrics that she felt reflected her friends life and interests. She called out to family and friends to collect hand prints, notes, and fabric choices. She did a wonderful job. I loved watching the project evolve.
Now it was time for me to help. We determined the layout, tweaking the hands and fingers to give movement and flow. After fusing everything in place, I stitched around each hand with a buttonhole stitch. It was time to add a border. Cynthia said she had been looking for fabric that would reflect the time her friend spent in Italy every year, but couldn’t find anything. Well, it just so happens that I had designed a line of fabric years ago that was inspired by Italian pottery. I ran to the basement and pulled out my old stash – it was the perfect finish to her creation. Next it was off to the longarm quilter.
Kathy August did a wonderful job of quilting. The echo design in the quilting actually leaves an opportunity to add more notes if wanted.
In the center of the quilt, “B” for Brit is surrounded with well-wishes from friends and family. The notes are lovely and the hands have such creative and thoughtful poses.
And so, another chapter is completed. Brit’s Quilt is finished and has been given to Brit. I have received a few emails from her friends and family thanking me for my part. I am so proud of Cynthia for tackling this project. She did an awesome job!
I don’t know Brit, but I do know a lot of people that love her. I wish her good health during her journey.
This is a photo of our muse, Jodi’s Quilt, from Chapter 1. It is now about 7 years old and still loved daily.
And this is the Chapter 2 quilt. The one that my blog follower, Pamela Kersey, made for her brother. What a lovely quilt! And what a lovely family!
On Friday, I am going to share a story of another quilt that was given with hopes for healing. It is a very special story involving our own Laura Nownes and her dear friend Diana McClun. They teamed up to make a quilt that has had an incredible journey. I can’t wait to share the story with you!
We have a winner! The lucky winner for Laura’s giveaway last week is Kathe L. Congratulations Kathie! Laura will be emailing you soon.
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. But, 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.
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 interacting 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!
Facebook Fans: Right now, our Facebook page 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?
Pinterest Pinners: We have had a Pinterest site 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?
Instagram 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, 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 . . .if 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!
Twitter Tweeties: Though 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?
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
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
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!
With two weddings behind me, I am finally at a place where I feel I can begin working on some new projects of my own. My head is spinning with excitement and my heart is filled with so much inspiration around me. Let me just give you a little peek into my life last week.
On Tuesday, my student Mina shared these lovely hexagon placemats made from Liberty of London fabrics. Each one is made from a different combination of fabrics. This is such a wonderful use of scrap fabrics or even some leftover hexes! I know the lucky recipient will be thrilled with this thoughtful gift.
On Thursday, I spent a few hours with several other quilters. We come together to work on projects, share ideas, get inspired and of course, enjoy some tasty treats! We generally start the gathering with a show and tell. Take a look at this beautiful creation by Diana McClun. She never ceases to amaze and inspire us! This beautiful art piece was made in a 5 day class at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar taught by Meri Henriques Vahl. Please forgive that the image is out of focus . . . I’m trying my hand at a new device and obviously need some lessons : )
I shared this collection of fabrics and told the ladies that it was my plan to use them in a quilt using a new wedge ruler.
Before I was able to get the last piece pinned onto the design wall, I was getting lots of helpful input from my friends. Just take a peek at how this went. I just smiled and named it “how many quilters does it take to plan a quilt?”
First, Freddy Moran got involved and started moving pieces around. Then, Dale Fleming jumped in to see if a bit of green fabric was needed in the mix. Finally, Diana McClun pulled a few pieces out of her stash and contributed her expert advice. It was way too much fun!
Here are a few more projects taking place. It was such a happy, creative sewing day with so much variety. Nikki was working on her Memory Star blocks, Alethea Ballard machine quilting a new project and Dale Fleming working on her drawing skills.
Before we called it a day, someone asked Freddy Moran to share with us the quilt she had folded up and sitting on a chair. Freddy pinned her quilt onto the wall and began telling us the story of the quilt. She tells it so much better than I ever could so I’ve added this sweet video and hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.
It’s been one of those weeks. . . you know the kind. . . a whirlwind on events that fill every space of your calendar. I’m not complaining, though, because I find I am always more productive when I have to make every moment count.
The week began with a wonderful invitation from Wooden Gate Quilts. I was asked to share my quilts in a trunk show at their shop. Wow! What a surprise! Wooden Gate is such a lovely quilt shop filled with so much inspiration and creativity. I just love to hang out there, so to have my quilts on display in their shop is definitely an honor.
So, my week began with gathering up a bunch of quilts to take out to them. I never realized how many of those buggers were hiding in every nook and cranny of my house. There are some that I totally forgot I even made! It’s kind of funny how my house looks now without quilts everywhere. There’s a bit of an echo going on.
If you live in the Northern California area, stop by for a visit next week.
Next on the to do list was finishing up a project that needed to be mailed off for Quilt Market. Here is a sneak peak –
It is part of a color story with the Michael Miller Cotton Couture collection. I promise to share more about this project in a week or so. I also shot a fun little video as I was working on it. I will share with you on how I made it.
My next few days were filled with lot’s of little details for some new quilt patterns to come out soon. I have been running around the city looking for the perfect location for photos of the quilts.
Okay, I probably can’t use this, but it’s definitely my favorite photo. This is in a lovely park near my home. The sculpture is a Benny Bufano. You can see more of his work at Benny Bufano Sculptures of San Francisco.
The rest of the week was filled with meetings, some much needed shopping for my house and prepping for a group swap project. See? I told you it was a crazy week!
I ended my week by gathering with some incredibly, creative women for an opportunity to share ideas and work on hand projects. The home that we met in had the most gorgeous garden and everything was in full bloom. Strolling through the garden paths was such a lovely way to end my action packed week and reflect on how fortunate I am to fill my days being around creative people in such colorful surroundings.
I will share one last photo with you and wish all the mothers out there a very special Happy Mother’s Day!
I have spent a lot of quality time with quilting friends over the past few months. Retreats, outings, quilt shows, planning sessions for quilt events, and sew days have filled my calendar since the beginning of January. I feel quite blessed to have taken part in all of these events.
While driving home from the last gathering, I found myself thinking about how important these friendships have become in my life. They say we choose our friends, but not our relatives. Where do quilting friends fit into this saying? We don’t choose those who have an interest in the quilt craft, but we do choose who we socialize with in our quilting circles. The quilters I gather with are all over the map in terms of ages, styles of quilting and the interests they have outside of quilting. So what is the element of attraction?
The history of quilting bees may be part of the answer to this question. Women used to gather to help each other complete a quilt for various reasons – but it was a reason that bypassed age and personality. A common goal brought them together, such as helping a neighbor or teaching a young bride to quilt. In the time they spent creating something with their hands, quality moments were shared and friendships developed. The same could be said for a sew day or a quilt class. Quilters from all walks of life gather to create and in the process build friendships. It is a natural opportunity to share life stories, thoughts and ideas in the slow paced moments of stitching.
Looking at my huge circle of quilting friends, I can think of only three friends that I would still know if I hadn’t followed the path of quilting. Wow. My life would be so different if I would not have enrolled in that very first beginning quilting class – with Laura Nownes, by the way!
Perhaps if I golfed, played Mahjong, or belonged to a book club, I would have different circles of friends with just as much to offer as my quilt groups. But quilting found it’s way into my life and I feel blessed to have chosen the path I have, taking time to get to know each quilter individually and build friendships along the way. Would I have thought to strike up a conversation in a coffee shop with one of them? Probably not. But when sitting together, working with your hands and being creative, it is a natural process to share your thoughts and ideas, in to getting to know each other. We are lucky to be able to do this. I am lucky to have this in my life.
Do you have a special friend or group that you found through quilting? I would love to hear your stories. I encourage you to share a comment with us.
The dust is settling from Quiltcon. Everyone is arriving home and posting lots of wonderful photos of the show, the quilts and the friendships they have nurtured . It was an amazing few days for me and I am so appreciative of all the hard work and talent that went into this event. The quilts were amazing, of course. The lectures were incredibly informative. But, I believe I enjoyed the workshops most of all.
I thought it would be fun to share my experiences with you.
I had signed up for a workshop with the talented Alison Glass. I thought it might be a good idea to “up my game” at embroidery. It has never been my strong suit and I do love me some hand work with pretty colored thread. Alison is such a warm and friendly person and it reflects in her colorful and oh- so-whimsical work. I am always inspired to grab a sketchbook and colored pencils after looking at Allison’s designs.
The project Alison shared with us was a stitched sampler that could be made into a needle book. Sweet, simple images that would allow us the chance to practice stitches that she demonstrated.
She also shared samples in which she added bits of wool applique into her work. This is something I will definitely try. It paired so nicely with the texture of the stitches.
Playing with the beautiful colors of my threads was the best part of the class for me. I kept threading another needle just to try a new stitch in a different color. I had brought some small samplings of Presentia Perle Cotton #8 to work with on the project. I seem to have an embarrassing amount of the thread that I’ve stockpiled for Big Stitch projects. I am so happy to have another use for it.
I didn’t get terribly far, but I feel like I now have the “tools” to go home and practice – oh, along with her book, Alison Glass Appliqué.
As I mentioned in the workshop, my French knots tend to be more like french tangles. Hopefully this will improve now. Thank you Alison for all the wonderful tips. I aspire to create stitches as lovely as yours.
I also took a Screen Printing with Celina Mancurti. Celina was a wonderful teacher and had everyone messing up their manicures in no time! I had done a lot of screen printing in college, but forgot how messy it could be. It all came back quickly once I put that squeegee in my hand.
Celina had a lot of beautiful designs on screens and ready to print. That made it very simple to dive right in and start printing. I chose some lovely images and some muslin and got started. Three little birds, all in a row. Aren’t they lovely?
The student next to me decided to cut her own stencils and was kind enough to let me photograph her work in progress. She was really quick with the Exacto knife!
She whipped out her own original design in no time, then started printing away. Isn’t this great? Love, love, love the bright green on muslin.
By now my birds were somewhat dry, so I chose to add a second color. I liked it so much, I made it twice! I think I will add these to the bottom of some toweling that I bought ages ago and never used. Wow, I actually made something useful!
And then, I discovered the red poppies. And linen. And a very cool graphic element that I printed in black. Sigh. I am so in love with the final result of my poppies.
No idea what I am going to do with it, but would love some suggestions from all of you!
Celina also brought a sprinkling of the beautiful pre-printed linens that she has created. You will find a full line of the pre-printed fabrics, kitchen and table linens available on her website. Be sure to visit her shop at CelinaMancurti.com
As you can see, my workshops were wonderful. It is always great to have the opportunity to be learn a new technique or be inspired by someone else’s creativity. I hope you found a little spark of creativity also.
If you have an idea of what to do with my red poppies, be sure to leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.
It’s been a crazy, busy week here but just want to pop in and share an apron design I made using some new and very large wedge rulers from Quint Measuring Systems, Inc. It’s hard to tell in the photo but the skirt is so cute and swishy when worn. Since I’m a huge lover of all dotted fabrics, this black and white became the perfect choice when combined with the beautiful large scale floral print. It’s super simple and sews up fairly quickly.
Dots and stripes on the backside make this a reversible design. Two in one . . . not bad.
Ok, just one more shot since I couldn’t resist having the adorable Jamie Hirano of Wooden Gate Quilts model the finished product. Love the look on you, Jamie!
Here’s a sneak peek at another wedge project I am working on. Any guesses on what it will be? It was inspired by our new Making Waves quilt pattern. It will be something that can be used along with the quilt. If all goes well, I’ll reveal the completed (not going to tell you) in my next post.
It’s been fun making these easy projects but I’m so anxious to design and make a new quilt. Feel like it’s been way too long. I’ve just not been inspired, until this week when I came across this gorgeous print by M&S Textiles Australia. Yes, it is one piece, NOT pieced. Circles and stripes in jewel tones, oh my! I can hardly wait to get started. I’ll be away teaching at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar next week and hope to find a few minutes in the evening to play and work out some new designs. Fingers crossed.
That’s it for today. Hope wherever you live, you are staying warm and cozy. It’s such a perfect time to be inside working on projects. Take advantage.
Until next time, keep your eyes open for inspiration, it’s everywhere.