Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MD in APQ:: that's me in American Patchwork and Quilting

First off, I am so enjoying all your pie comments, both the unusual pies that I've never heard of and am tempted to google and the ones that I know so well that they bring back good and sweet memories. Keep those coming because the drawing is open until June 29 when I'll announce the lucky winner.

As for today's post, well this has been out for a couple of weeks. I know because I have received numerous lovely emails about this. I haven't posted about this myself because I hadn't received my copy until yesterday. What is this? This is my feature in the August 2012 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. It has been a long time in the works, since last October in fact. Way back then, when the local temperature was below 100 degrees (the high was 113 degrees here yesterday), an editor and two photographers arrived on my doorstep to interview me, take pictures of my fabric line as well as my work, and just generally spend a lovely day with me. It was beyond terrific and pretty thrilling. I'm always stunned when folks want to know what I think. I mean, I want to know what I think and I hope that my family and friends want to know what I think, but I don't usually expect it beyond that circle.
Along with the article, I designed and wrote a pattern for a quilt specifically for this issue. You can view and access the pattern here, though I encourage you to buy the magazine and read the entire article.
Maybe through happenstance or not, I was teaching a class at Stitch Lab last Sunday that focused on making just this block. I had previously made a sample to promote the class, but was moved to make another one when I eyed Lucie Summers gorgeous Summersville prints all line up in a neat little row in the shop.
I combined those with a Moda Bella solid in a pale turquoise shade and one of the Flea Market Fancy reprints and in less than three hours I had this top cut and pieced.
I'm planning on backing this quilt with a Micheal Miller polka dot in red and white and quilting it in my, hopefully, trademark concentric spiral. I think I might even round the corners on this one just as a change of pace.
So easy, so fun, so quick and, so contemporary. What's not to love?

Friday, June 22, 2012

We Love Color

By we, I mean all of us, but identifying our mutual love of color is not the reason for my post. This is:
If you're asking what this is, then you're in for a most pleasant surprise. This is the cover to a wonderful, new book put together by the talented people at Stash Books and the equally talented people at Robert Kaufman fabrics, makers of Kona cotton solids.
In the interest of full disclosure here, I should tell you that I am one of the 16 designers lucky enough to have a quilt in this book, but that's not entirely why I love it and am recommending it.
The concept for this book is brilliant because it focuses on a very, simple idea: designing and crafting modern quilts using just solids. That allows for a couple of things: first, the contemporary look so many of us are drawn to is really at it's best when rendered in solids. Solids let the designers and makers focus on shape and line and all those fabulous elements of design rather than get caught up and distracted by prints. Second, Kona encompasses so many color choices that you won't have a problem finding colors that work together and are really not limited by the solids-only approach, but actually liberated by it.
And, if you weren't already blown away by the plethora of colors available to you from this collection, hold on to your quilted hat because Robert Kaufman fabrics is introducing 28 new colors, including this intense, rich blue, Regal. I love this color almost as much as I love pistachio (here,I am referring to a color, but I want the record to show that I love pistachio in all its forms including the ice cream variation).
If you're still grasping your hat then you're ready to receive the next bit of information I'm throwing your way. Stash and Robert Kaufman fabrics are giving away two fabulous prizes: a copy of the book and a bundle of the new Kona colors. I know. I know. Be still my heart.
What do you, lovely reader, have to do to win that prize. Well, I'm going to ask for something a little out of the ordinary prefaced by a brief explanation.
The quilt I designed for the book is called the Sweet as Pi Baby Quilt. It's a simple-to-make round quilt. I like shaped quilts; I think you'll like them too. I also love the play on words of Pi meaning 3.14 and the means to determining the size of a circle and its homonym, pie, which I can eat in copious amounts. So, if you'd like to be entered into the drawing for the book and fabric bundle, tell me what you favorite pie is. If you have a link to an online recipe, all the better, though it won't influence your chances in this totally random drawing.
If you'd like more info and to see the tour schedule, click here of here if you'd like to view and, hopefully, join the flickr group to show off your own We Love Color creations.
I think that's it. Go forth and be colorful, my friends!

Monday, June 18, 2012

...And more

My new little friend came back for more sewing fun and this time crafted a very large and colorful pillow.
She decided to tackle this project because she already had the 25" x 25" pillow form, but the cover had gotten stained. Apparently a ball point pen made its way onto the pillow cover and marred it. Now that she has joined the cult of sewers, she didn't see this as a problem, but an opportunity to craft something even better than a store-bought cover. And, based on the picture above, it's easy to see that she did just that.
She certainly seems very happy with her creation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sewing with a kid...

...just not my own, but maybe that makes it even more fun.
Over the past few days I've had a sweet, little treat come to my house every afternoon to do a wee bit of sewing. And, despite the fact that she's just barely out of second grade, look what she manged to make:
Hey, it's reversible too.
Also, if you think the first side featured is my cheater cloth from my a stitch in color line, you're mistaken. This little gal pieced together a slew of 2 1/2" squares to make the patchwork for the front and back of her tote. She selected the fabrics as well. Fearlessly. A girl after my own heart.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Break free. Go bold.

That's just a taste of the encouragement you'll encounter if you read through Jacquie Gering's and Katie Pedersen's new book, Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts.
If you've ever thought, for even a moment, that you'd like to explore improvisational piecing techniques, then this is a must-have book for you. And, if you haven't thought about exploring improvisation, then this book is still for you. Why? Because it is so crammed full of eye-candy that you"ll wonder why you haven't yet played with this process.
I mean, check out just a few of the projects that Jacquie and Katie created:
Also, if you're looking to try these techniques on smaller scale project, then they've still got you covered because there are 3 home dec projects to fit that bill.
Lest you think that this book is just about projects without giving you the tools to really "discover" improvisation, fear not. There is a super extensive techniques section, advice on strip piecing, curved piecing, crazy piecing, and more, all with an improvisational approach. This book really tackles all the trepidation many folks have about improvisation and walks you gently through this process.
It's unique and, for the modern quilter especially, incredibly timely and useful.