I am sure you have noticed that we have not been posting on a regular basis for quite some time here at See How We Sew. Sometimes, life just has a way of taking you on a different course. Laura, Darci and I have all been experiencing this lately, each enjoying happy, new adventures, and simply taking a break on the social media platform for a bit. All is good, and the positive side is that this has allowed for a lot of interesting new topics to share with you this summer!
Laura and I attended a retreat a few weeks ago with a group of wonderful quilters. It was in a very peaceful, serene setting in the Sierra foothills. It was nice to have time to just sew. No deadlines, no stress, just 4 lovely days of sewing and creating. Laura took some beautiful photos of the property, while she was on her morning walks.
There was a beautiful quartet of quilts hanging in one of the conference rooms. A gift from the Foothill Quilters Guild, in Auburn, CA. The design, concept and workmanship was just stunning. I wanted to share them with you.
Earth, Air, Fire and Water – Created by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr.
Adapted from an original card design by Sr. Paulette Kirchensteiner H.M.
What a wonderful series of work, and the perfect location for them to be viewed in.
In our next post, Laura will share what she worked on during our retreat. It was so much fun watching this project go together!
Have a great week!
As promised in my last post, Uncommon Threads – Part I
Here is part II of the art quilt exhibit, Uncommon Threads. Grab your cup of tea and get ready for your Wednesdayinspiration!
I hope you enjoyed these beauties as much as I did. Thank you, members of the The Creative Fiber Artists. Your work is beautiful!
A few weeks ago, I met friends for lunch and had the opportunity to see their wonderful works on display at the Village Theater & Art Gallery in Danville, Ca. They were part of an exhibition called Uncommon Thread, whick featured unique art quilts created by a local quilting group, The Creative Fiber Artists. The quilts covered a wide range of topics and were interpreted in creative and imaginative ways. It was a great show.
I have become extremely interested in art quilting lately. This was an opportunity for me to enjoy a variety of mixed media and textile explorations which step out of the mainstream quilting style. I loved the show so much, that I took photos to share with our readers! I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. I, for one, am filing this under inspirational ideas!
Pretty awesome work, right? Stop in again on Wednesday and I will share the 2nd half of the quilts in this show.
Have a great week!
Hi everyone! I just re-read Pati’s previous post (BTW don’t you just love her new work?!) and noticed in her last sentence that she is curious as to what Darci and I have been up to. So, Pati, to answer your question, I will share with you and all of our readers what’s up here in Laura’s studio. I chuckle as I write this, as currently “my studio” is a very small section of my living space. Things have shifted a bit since the kids have moved back in with us. Let’s leave this for another discussion. All is well . . .it’s just an adjustment. I love having them here!
A few months ago I purchased a Kafffe Fassett Collective Fall 2016 20 piece Sweet Design Roll. The 6″ wide strips were the perfect size for cutting fabric wedges with my new 20-degree wedge ruler.
My new class, 20-Degrees of Fabric play inspired me to make some new class samples. Here’s the (almost) end result.
I say almost because, as you can see, I have not yet filled in the centers of the pieced hexagons. The obvious choice might be to appliqué circles. Instead, I decided to try cutting and fusing leaves from these beautiful fabrics, Maple Stream by Westminster Fibers.
I fused a green one to the hexagon in the upper right-hand corner just to see if I liked the look. The interesting thing is, my students saw it as a marijuana leaf! How funny, I didn’t see it. Oh well, I’m in California and decided I’m going to use them anyway. They are maple leaves . . . and I love them : )
While teaching the construction of this quilt, I had an opportunity to discuss one of my favorite topics, grain line. Here’s a little tip that will help not only with this design but any other pattern that uses equilateral triangles (all sides being the same). The triangles are arranged as shown below and then joined together in horizontal rows.
Tip: In an equilateral triangle, there will be two sides cut on the bias and one side cut on the straight grain of the fabric. To prevent the rows from bowing and stretching, it is important to always place the side with the straight grain of the fabric even with the outer edge of the row (top or bottom). The other two sides of the triangle which contain the bias edges (lots of stretch) are in the center rather than along the outer edges. This is a simple detail but can save lots of grief during construction.
Thank you all for your patience in announcing the winners of the fabric bundles from the giveaway in my last post. I will notify the following readers shortly to get shipping information.
Shirley Schmeyer – Batiks
Carol N – Benartex collection
Sandy A in St. Louis – French General
Until next time, happy creating everyone!
In past years, January has always been my catch up month. Not this year! I have been in a whirlwind since I shouted “Happy New Year!” a few weeks back. I have been on both a quilt retreat and an art retreat, met and spoke with 2 wonderful guilds at their monthly meetings, and then jumped on a plane to Mexico. As you are reading this, I am hoping to be causally sipping a margarita on a warm and sandy beach. Aaaah! Writing this post gives me a chance to reflect on the past year, and draw a few plans and goals together for me in 2017.
2016 was quite a year for me, with many firsts. I started the year out with a few days at Craft Napa 2016. I used the time to dig in to my creative side. I made a conscious effort to map out what was important to me, and permit myself to say no to anything that I had not enjoyed in the past year.
It was a great decision and made for a year of inspiration and adventures. I followed politics closer than I ever had before. I began speaking and teaching workshops to guilds. I was honored to be invited as the featured artist at a guild quilt show. I spent an inspirational month travelling in Italy. I made many new friends and reconnected with old friends. All in all, it was a glorious year. It is interesting for me to consider how my design work was influenced by my escapades.
This last quilt is an interactive quilt, designed to be a quilt version of the Subway Therapy Wall created in New York City. It is a work in progress.
Fabric “post its” are being added every day by friends, family (or anyone that wants to contribute) and will eventually cover the entire quilt. Heartfelt and positive thoughts, quotes and comments have become the overlying theme of this project. I have a stack of notes to add when I return home. If it gets too full, I will simply make another wall!
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.
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?
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 here
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!
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.
Share on Instagram with #100quiltblocks
I feel like an infomercial, but . . . Wait! there’s more!
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!
California is in the middle of a heat wave this week. The timing seems really odd to be announcing a new quilt pattern called Winter Brrrd Houses. But that is what I am doing! Winter Brrrd Houses is here, and now available through my Etsy shop and will be on our SHWS Pattern Page. And to celebrate, we are giving away a free pattern today!
Winter Brrrd Houses has something for everyone. The pattern mixes piecing, improvisational curves, applique and a little bit of embroidery. Trust me, you will not get bored from making the same block over and over again with this project. I made 30 birdhouses from the start of the quilt to the completion of the pattern. Each one had its own personality. It was so much fun choosing the fabrics and sizes, that I could just keep on going!
The pattern is designed to give you oodles of options to add your own unique spin on the project. The quilt and the pattern have my name on it, but I will be the first to tell you – Laura was a huge part of writing this pattern. We all know that writing a pattern with solid technical instructions is tough. Choosing to include improvisational design options made it twice the challenge. I am so grateful to have had Laura’s expertise along the way.
Last week, I gave a peek of the sample that Laura and I put together at our sew day. I’m excited to say I just received a few photos from Kerry Reed, who has been busy quilting for me and sent some teasers while working away. This is the Spring version of the quilt. Same technique, just different fabric choices and layout. Remember, I mentioned oodles of design options?
Laura and I are teaching a birdhouse workshop to the Piece by Piece Quilters of Morgan Hill, Ca. next week. It will be fun to team teach this project now, after working so hard together to complete the pattern.
About a week ago, I tried making two more versions. The first time, I followed the pattern exactly, with not a stitch of improv in sight. I even omitted the curve piecing. Ok, I did decide to change the birdhouse doors a bit. I also used some of my cherished indigo fabrics to punch it up. Simple, quick and still lots of fun to make.
In the second version, I threw all the rules out the window except for the cutting instructions for the roofs. I wanted to see what would happen if I sized the houses differently. How would it look if my points were off?
I also over sized the background sections, to give me a chance to play with the layout. The curve piecing was a natural fit at this point – I was just filling in the blanks. At some point it became a little French city, not a flurry of birdhouses. And can we just take a moment to notice the quilting?
So there you have it. Four versions of what can be done with one pattern. My hope is that a few of our readers will take my lead and create their own unique designs, using the tips and techniques shared in the pattern. In fact . . .
leave a comment on what your version might be like – and I will choose a winner to receive a free pattern!
Have a great weekend!
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!
See you Friday!