Welcome Darci Read, our new member of The See How We Sew blog team!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we had some exciting news to share with you soon. Well, today is the day! Laura and I have been co-authoring See How We Sew as a duo for a while now. We are excited to say that we have a new member joining us to keep the ideas, information, and inspiration on quilting and sewing flowing for our readers. Laura and I would like you to meet Darci Read.

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Darci is a talented quilter and sewist that I met a few years back through the East Bay Modern Quilters. She is a lovely person with a unique style and eye for design. I love her work and am so excited to have her join our team. – Pati

Laura’s thoughts: Since Jennifer retired from the blog, Pati and I have wanted to add another contributor. Pati met Darci through the East Bay Modern Quilters and felt that Darci could be the perfect fit as someone who would provide a different perspective and share her knowledge and expertise on topics which interest her. After meeting Darci, I couldn’t agree more. I am thrilled to have her join our team. Please join Pati and me in welcoming Darci Read to SHWS.

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Hello! Darci here. I’m a graphic designer by day and sewist every other minute. I started sewing (again) 6 years ago in New York City. I had moved there from Minnesota to finish my graduate school. When my sister had her first baby, I wanted to make her something handmade. Enter: Quilting! I hadn’t sewn since Home Ec class but decided to take a class at the City Quilter in Manhattan. The rest is history.

(Sidenote: I feel like I might hold a world record in stash building. Looking at my pile of fabric makes me wonder if I have my “started quilting” dates wrong. My other hobby is hunting estate sales and thrift stores. I love anything vintage, especially the fabrics.)

Fast forward 6 years, I now make most of my own clothing, sew lots of quilts for friends and family and express myself with quilts that I have just started showing. I rent time on a long-arm in Berkeley and love machine quilting. It’s my favorite part of the quilting process. I’m an active member of 3 quilt guilds in the Bay Area, but my home base is the East Bay Modern Quilters. We meet on the last Tuesday of the month-I’d love to say hello!

This year I’ve started to teach sewing also. I have a group of elementary students who come once a week and are working on their first quilt. Their ability to jump in and let go amazes me. I also am working on a class that will be held at Bay Quilts about beginning garment making. Be sure to check their site for more info.

Here’s something I’m working on now. I love mixing traditional elements to modern quilts, like taking these English Paper Pieced Hexies and appliqueing them to a larger solid background so I have lots of space to quilt. I’ll be sure to share the finished project.

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I’m so honored to be part of the See How We Sew team! My passion is machine quilting and modern design, and I can’t wait to share that with you. I have my own blog at darcisews.com. Feel free to say hello there, too. I love comments.

darci

 

A SHWS Alum Stops By + A Giveaway!

Hello SHWS readers, Jennifer here! It’s been many months since I’ve been in touch. These days I’m trolling the crafting and quilting resources of the great Southwest from my new digs in Arizona. Believe me, it’s challenging to leave the abundance of the San Francisco Bay Area where artists and craftspeople are setting trends, but it’s invigorating to jump into the unknown and explore who I am when I don’t have my posse of creative types for input. (Lordy, I miss Laura’s know-how though!)

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In my adventuring I’ve come across a wonderful pattern designer called Carrie Payne of Believe Magic. As I explain in a post at my blog Chasing Bright Shiny Objects, I discovered her work at Scottsdale Quilts in Arizona. I don’t typically fall for charming figurative designs, but something clicked with her illustrations that celebrate young womanhood. It’s a case of right place/right time and a sudden need to make something special—my eldest son was about to propose to his girlfriend! As a mother-in-law-in-the-making I realized I needed to welcome my prospective daughter-in-law in an appropriate quilter fashion . . .

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Giveaway Details

And so, if you click over to my blog Chasing BSOZ, you’ll get the lowdown on my Carrie Payne adventure and the opportunity to enter a giveaway to win one of Carrie’s patterns. The deadline is Monday, November 14th.  Leave me a comment and I will draw random winners. There’s a question to answer, but you’ll find that at the end of the post.

What’s Better Than One Bridal Project? Two, Of Course!

It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but once I made one engagement gift, I couldn’t stop. Maybe it was the fabulous vintage ribbons available at Scottsdale Quilts, or perhaps I’m building up good will with my other son’s girlfriend. Her only sister is about to marry and she’s the maid of honor plus organizer of the bachelorette party. We decided she needed a bride quilt bedecked with charms from all the girls attending the party.

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screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-4-09-41-pmI didn’t fly as blindly this time with the little quilt. This bride-to-be was months into preparation and had an official color scheme and a wedding gown. Carrie’s pattern is very flexible and I was able to style that bride to match her plans. Don’t you just love Pinterest? I took her special color board to the quilt shop and craft store and found just the right embellishments.

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Carrie’s pattern allows for styling, and so my son’s girlfriend and I played with different hair designs and decorative elements. We ended up with her hair down and a fascinator carefully snipped from a length of vintage lace. Those roses could have formed a bouquet, but all told, that was too much when elaborate lace layers alternated with white print tiers.

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These are some of the finishing details. I told her I’d sew the charms on once the bachelorette party is over and there’s a blank label on the back for the guests to sign.

Your Official Invitation

Do come over to Chasing Bright Shiny Objects to check out my latest creative adventures and please enter the drawing for a Carrie Payne pattern.

My best to the wonderful readers of See How We Sew!

Jennifer

Monday Morning Musings

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I woke early this morning with thoughts of what to write in this post flitting through my mind. So much time has passed and so much has happened in the 4 months since I checked in with you.

Do I let you know how over the moon excited I am that I will welcome my first grand baby, a sweet little boy, into the world sometime around March 1st? If so,  I could share with you some of the many projects I have already started working on for this little man!

Knitted with love from Grandma!
Knitted with love from Grandma! Pattern is Cashmere Treasured Heirloom Baby Blanket by Lion Brand Yarn. 

Or perhaps, I will tell you all about my summer road trip to Thermopolis, Wyoming where I took a Road Scholar course at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center learning to become a Certified Dinosaur Bone Preservation Specialist?

Hard at work chipping away matrix from a 50 million year old dinosaur bone.
Hard at work chipping away matrix from a 50 million year old dinosaur bone.

Oh, and yes, let’s not forget my new electric pressure cooker,  The Instant Pot has quickly become my new favorite kitchen toy. I know you would love reading about all the yummy recipes I have been experimenting with.

Delicious Dulce de Leche - 20 minutes in The Instant Pot
Delicious Dulce de Leche – 20 minutes in The Instant Pot

Finally, I’m thinking you might enjoy seeing photos of the new quilts I am designing in preparation for teaching on an upcoming Cruise to Hawaii. This is just a start . . . as lots of fun sea creatures will be added.

The background for an underwater scene.
The background for an underwater scene.

I am anxious to share all of these and more with you, but honestly, I feel I will save these for later posts.  Today I just want to say thank you ALL for being here, for supporting SHWS.

I hope you know how much you are appreciated.

I hope you are well.

I hope you are happy.

I hope you are finding time for some joyful creating.

I send you all my best this first day of November and I hope this little tree with its heart shaped leaves brings a smile to your face, as it does to mine.

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Please check in with us next week as one of our original contributors, Jennifer Rounds will be sharing a guest post.

Until next time, Happy November everyone!

 

Laura Signature

 

An October Afternoon

Fall table“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. pati-and-laura-october-2016

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!

Laura & Pati

Inspiration Friday!

2016-05-24 17.20.57 HDR-2Summer 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!

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And whimsical!

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So many lovely shades of green.

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 And a garden path to follow.

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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.

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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!

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Wouldn’t this be considered blue fescue on point?

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Perhaps an improvisational fenceline?

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I found more paths to meander down . . .

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And I realized that at the end of every good path . . . 

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Lies a lovely place to contemplate all that you have been inspired by.

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Have a lovely weekend!

Pati

 

 

 

20 Degrees of Fabric Play

FullblockIt 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.

Blooming Wedges Table Runner - pattern plus wedge ruler
Blooming Wedges Table Runner – pattern plus wedge ruler

 

 

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 not a color combination I generally work in, but I'm loving the results.
This is not a color combination I generally work in, but I’m loving the results.

 

I LOVE red and black, with just a bit of an Asian flare.
I LOVE red and black, with just a bit of an Asian flare.

This is my favorite so far . . . made from silk tie samples.

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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!

Laura Signature

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour

myblockisin13_200_68131I was excited to be selected for the latest issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. They are hosting a blog tour this week and I am on the first stop. So welcome everyone!QM21115

The issue hits newsstands May 3, or you can purchase right now as a print or digital issue in the Quiltmaker’s shop. You will find instructions for 100 original and very unique blocks.magazine spread

My block, called Girl’s Best Friend, block #1219, is a take on deconstructing a diamond.

Deconstructed Diamonds

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.
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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 . . .

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#2. Or a horizontal band running across the width of the quilt.

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#3. I love the zig zag effect in the center of this setting . . .

 

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#4. and the last one looks like layers upon layers of diamonds.

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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.
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Have a great week!

Pati

Visit Me at the Sew Amazing Quilt Show This Weekend!

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!
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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.

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It will be making its debut at the Vallejo Show, with patterns and yardstick kits to purchase. Speaking of debuts. . .

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I am really excited to be able to demo my brand new ruler, Braid Trimmer©, at the show! If you have ever pieced a braid, you know that the worst part is the nerve wracking step of trimming the points off. Well, that will no longer be an issue if you use the Braid Trimmer©! I will be doing demonstrations all weekend showing how easy it is. I will also have lots of samples to inspire you to incorporate a braid in your next project.

And then, just for fun . . .

Coloring Fabrics

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.

Have a great week!

Pati

 

 

 

My One Hour Challenge – Part 2 plus a Giveaway

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.

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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.
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After cutting, there were 10 fabric wedges from each group. I arranged nine and then sewed them together to make half of a circle.

Wedges

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.

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Cut the excess.

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Turn the fabric on the mat and make two additional cuts, as shown.

 

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It will now look like this.

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Next, I straightened the top edge even with the lowest point of the curve.

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I cut the squares that were set aside earlier, as shown in the photo.

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These are sewn to the bottom corners, and then trimmed to size.

Trimming

 

Next, I cut a floral piece of fabric for the top of the block and joined the two halves together.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Blooming Wedge Table Runner by Laura Nownes
Blooming Wedge Table Runner by Laura Nownes

Until next time, happy creating everyone!

Laura Signature