Friday, March 28, 2014

Hungry Eyes

That's the way I used to describe my need to be visually inspired. I honestly felt like my eyes were hungry in the way my stomach would be if I hadn't eaten.
When I first discovered online places like Flickr, I felt like that unquenched need had a place to turn to be satiated. And this, despite the fact that it might take a bit of searching to find images that spoke to me personally.
As an artist and designer, I think Pinterest does an even better job of meeting that need. Maybe it has to do with the way it is organized. Maybe it's because you  curate what you see, but I find myself turning to it on a daily basis, pinning images, and reviewing those images when the creative well is a little dry.
Today, I thought I'd share 5 images from my Inspirations Board, that's 5 out of 1,307 pins. These are not my 5 favorites, though I love each one. The board is packed with favorites, so I couldn't possibly pick 5. These are just a sampling, somewhat randomly selected, but all very beautiful. I hope they inspire you too. I've linked each image which hopefully will guide you to the original maker.
This is a knitted blanket design by Kristin Kapur. I love many of her designs and it's easy to see how this inspired this:

Next up is a print by one of my all time favorite artists/designer, Anni Albers.

Though this is a screen print, I can definitely see it re-interpreted as a quilt, couldn't you?

I find myself returning often to this image of crocheted blankets. I love thinking about ways to re-envision this concept in fabric rather than yarn.

Here's a rug design that would make an amazing quilt!

Sometimes, it's a simple twist on the tradition that catches my eye. I love the Double Wedding Ring pattern and I think this is a lovely rendition of it, but what really caught my eye and made me think about applying it to my own designs was the use of black rather than a traditional white or cream as the background color. This block is the perfect kind of inspiration because there's something in it that starts me thinking about seeing or doing things in a different way. That's exactly what my eyes are hungry for.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What I'm Working On Wednesday

Last Friday, I featured the beginnings of a quilt inspired by a digital pattern I found on Pinterest.
Since then I've worked on tinting the black and white version to be able to highlight different parts of the pattern. I like finding secondary and tertiary patterns and playing with those.
All that play resulted in this single block:

My plan is for the finished quilt to include 9 blocks and would therefore end up measuring about 64" x 76". 
Because I tend to mentally complete images I can pretty easily imagine the interaction between the different patterns that will be created by just varying the colors and values of the stripe combinations. it's actually very easy to piece. Everything is either a strip or a triangle. No complicated set in seams here.
While I was working on this though, I noticed this:
Do you see it too? Don't sweat it if you don't. But, at some point I noticed a motif that reminded me of another motif that I'd seen and sketched in November of 2012. 
I was in Switzerland and visited the Paul Klee museum in Bern where I saw lots of amazing work, made note of many things, but made several sketches of a motif I decided to call "Klee's Trees".
Since then I've made several attempts to figure out how this pattern/motif could be interpreted in patchwork,
but never quite figured it out until my eye was caught by that pieced section. It took a bit of color tweaking and probably will be adjusted more as I become more familiar with the pattern, but this is what I've come up with:

One of the things I'm discovering is the possibility for play just within each block.
I can vary the color of the strips simply to create a bit of difference.
I can vary the color of the strips to emphasize a section or create a secondary pattern.
Or I can vary the color of the background either part or all to emphasize diamond shape of  the "tree".
I can even play with the values of the strips that make up the tree and background to make the entire image drop back into the background.
I'm sure I'm not done discovering things about this pattern and maybe even finding new patterns that are outgrowths of this one just as it was an outgrowth of the larger block.
I suppose that's why we all do what we do. You just never know what's around the corner and what little inspiration from the past will come back to play a role in your present and maybe even in your future.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Inspiration: The Quick and Dirty Version

I've been thinking about this a lot lately: inspiration, where it comes from, why it's different for every person, and what you really end up doing with all those bits of inspiration you gather in the average day, week, year.
I think about this a lot primarily because I love Pinterest and gain a lot of inspiration from looking at images there.
Having said that, all I have time for today is the quick and dirty version of the discussion. It's the hey, here's a bit of inspiration I found and here's what I'm making of it.
I would, however, love to have a more extensive discussion about the topic, so I'm planning that for next week.
I have this:
Strips of color all neatly cut and ready for my next quilt pattern.
And this:
The inspiration image, found you know where, but linked to this site, and the beginnings of a quilt I'm calling "A Star for Baby C".
And even this:
The reject block or blocks. Because before you have the aha moment, you have a bunch of "eh, this is not quite it" moments.
The aha moments are a lot more fun. Here's hoping for a bunch of those this weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What I'm Working on Wednesday

I'm a little late in the day posting this morning (yes, I know it's only 8:00am CST, but I usually like to get this done earlier). Anyhoo, I'm late because I was busy crafting a new shop banner with updated pictures new logo. Yay!
Soon, very soon, my entire site will be fresh and user friendly and just plain fabulous. New posts, new tutorials, new patterns and shop offerings, and a complete listing of workshops, lectures, and publications.
In the meantime, here's what I'm working on today:

My basic starting point for what I'm calling "leftover play" is the smaller rectangle in my Boyfriend Quilt pattern. I made a few rules such as if the rectangle was already the largest size needed I wouldn't cut it ant smaller and that the patches that were made up of smaller bits had to have equally sized components. Makes sense? I just find that when you're trying to improvise in any way, some parameters are useful. Also, I stuck to alternating warm and cool colors like I do in the larger pattern.
Ideally, I'd like to use up all the scraps I have leftover from the larger quilt as that would make me feel very virtuous. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sale, sale, sale!!

Hey, do I have your attention?
Would it have been better if I titled this post: Free Cookies!?
Anyway, the new pattern, Boyfriend Quilt, is listed and ready and, on sale, this week and next for 10% off.
But, before I give you the discount code, I want to add that EVERYTHING in my store is, in honor of the new pattern release, on sale for 10% off.
Yep, everything.
Want to get in on all that goodness? Apply this code, STITCHINDYE2014, at the time of purchase, anytime between now and March 28, 2014 and you'll receive the discount.

So...what are you waiting for?

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's Almost Here!

I'm going to be away from this space the rest of this week, but I wanted to tell y'all about something exciting and wonderful
Next Monday, March 17 I'll be adding this to my shop:

It's a PDF pattern for my first in my 12 in 12 series, the Boyfriend Quilt.
I am super proud of how this project turned out and to celebrate next Monday I'm planning a little something here on the pattern release day.
So, stay tuned, come back, and have a terrific week!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Quilting With a Modern Slant

The other day I received my copy of Rachel May's new book, Quilting With a Modern Slant: People, Patterns, and Techniques inspiring the Modern Quilt Community.
I first met Rachel at Quilt Market when I was premiering my a stitch in color fabric collection for Moda. She's young and energetic and enthusiastic and didn't have to work hard to get me excited about her book project and participating in it.
Fast forward a few months and Rachel is interviewing me over the phone, asking me about my influences and interests and my take on modern quilting in general. She also asked me to design a project for the book.
Though I could tell by Rachel's personality that the book would be well done and interesting, I was frankly blown away by how comprehensive, colorful, and downright inspirational it turned out to be.
This book is so much more than a how-to book or a profile book. It touches on every aspect of contemporary quilting and makes it personal. Here you'll visit with some of the best known crafters in this field and be inspired by what they make.

Nancy Crow
Anna Williams
You'll also learn about the groups within the larger group that is Modern Quilting and you'll discover a few folks you hadn't heard of before. I did and was pleasantly surprised to find new sources of inspiration.
Debbie Grifka

Maritza Soto 

Truth be told, I've been familiar with Maritza's beautiful work for a while, but I think some of you might discover her here and be happy you did.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm also proud to be included in this book and was happy to contribute a project. 
I got a kick out of reading my interview, but I think my favorite part of the book was the feeling that there was so much to discover here and that this was the kind of book I could return to and get something new out of each encounter.
Weekend's coming up! Maybe you need a new book ??

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What I'm Working on Wednesday: Leftover Edition

When I was a kid I hated leftovers. I called it "old" food and why would I want to eat that.
Now, I'm, hopefully, older and wiser and I realize that: a. said leftover is the remains of what probably was super tasty last night and b. oftentimes the flavor is enhanced by having sat in the refrigerator overnight.
I think the same is true for fabric. As I mentioned in this post, I've wrapped up the initial design process for my next collection. Getting to that point necessitated making quite a bit of fabric, much of which wasn't needed for the samples I sent in to Moda.
So, I'm using some of those leftovers to make this:
It's a modified version of a design I created for my book, Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration and crafted out of 5" square scraps of my hand dyes and a simple cream colored cotton.
It's simple and quick and very visually tasty.
Perfect for leftovers.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Clearing the Shelf

About 8 months ago I moved from a 3000 square foot house to an 1800 square foot place. I love my new place, but the idea of culling my stuff down to fit half the space was pretty daunting at the time.
With the help of friends and family and various local charity thrift stores, I managed to do it. And I learned something about remaining pared down. I like not having an excess amount of stuff. I've even recently purchased a Kindle because, though I own many books and love to read and browse those books, I don't want to have lots of stuff, including books.
So, in the interest of the stuff-slimmer me, I've decided to empty this shelf:
Now, this shelf in no way constitutes all the quilts I have. It's just a starting point, but a very concrete one as it includes a couple quilts that were in my book, Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration, which, by the way, has a Kindle edition.
Some might ask how I can part with quilts that have been significant in my career and I would answer that I'm not really "enjoying" them. They just sit on this shelf and wouldn't it be great if someone else really "used" them. That could mean they hang them on a wall or gift them to a friend, but I want them to play a role in someone's life, not just gather dust.
So, I'm starting out with these two:

I've added them to my store, here and here.
All the details about size and construction are included in the listing description.
As for those of you who would rather make your own and want to save storage space for your fabric stash there's that Kindle edition I mentioned.