Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Color Walk-001


Sometimes when I'm walking I see something that makes me stop and take a closer look.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fall Forest Inspiration



Isn't it funny how the colors that surround you every day seep into your imagination and take root? This is what it looks like to walk through my neighborhood this week. It has been a dry, hot summer in California. The leaves feel like they are turning colors out of sheer exhaustion. The temperatures are cooling off (if only slightly) at night and I can see a few brave blades of grass emerging. I'm inspired to make something that captures the feel of this fall.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tidal Lace Blog Hop

Happy Kelp Quilt, Photo by Danielle Collins

Tidal Lace is the debut fabric line by my friend Kim Andersson for Windham Fabrics. It's a combination of hand drawn lace inspired prints and wee little tide pool creatures like anemones, limpets and sea stars. The color palette has a fresh vintage, seaside feel to it, which I love. 




I know Kim through the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild and most of our conversations have revolved around our love of fabric. Shocking, I know. Kim is such a sweet person, always encouraging, curious and quick to smile. It has been so exciting to cheer her on as she made this fabric, her fabric, come to life. Thank you so much Kim for inviting me to share a small part of this journey with you!! : )

Shimmer, Tidal Lace by Kim Andersson
Shimmer is my absolute favorite print. It comes in three different colors and it is so versatile. The hand drawn lines are killer and the variation of color would add a lot of interest and movement to any patchwork project. Check out this post post on Kim's blog where she talks about her inspiration for each print.



Going with the sea theme, I designed a new quilt called, Happy Kelp. I grew up in a small beach town with excellent tide pools and this collection feels like a little piece of home. I wanted a playful motif that would highlight all of the different prints in the fabric line. Colors were placed to give a scrappy, patchwork feel to the otherwise very structured composition.



Happy Kelp was inspired by the Kelp Forest exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Each quilt block is pieced using simple curves. Fabric placement makes the kelp leaves pop right off the watery background.


I quilted the background with an all over meandering pattern to enhance the watery feel and add a great crinkly texture after washing. The kelp is the star of the show and to help it stand out even more from the background, I outlined each leaf using my free-motion foot.

QUILT DETAILS
Name: Happy Kelp
Size: 43"x55"
Pattern: Coming Soon!
Fabric: Tidal Lace by Kim Andersson for Windham Fabrics
Thread: Aurifil 50wt #2610, Light Blue Grey

I hope you've enjoyed a closer look at Kim's fabric, Tidal Lace, and my quilt, Happy Kelp. Visit these other blogs for more inspiration and fabric eye-candy!! : )

BLOG HOP



Mon 15th Sept: 
Windham Fabrics 

Kim Andersson : I Adore Pattern


Tues 16th Sept: 
Erin Harris : House on Hill Road

Amy Gunson : Badskirt

Cath Mosley on Instagram


Wed 17th Sept: 
Anne Sullivan : Play Crafts 

Stacey Day : Stacey In Stitches


Thurs 18th Sept: 
Adrianne Ove : Little Bluebell

Terri Carpenter : The Quilted Fox


Friday 19th Sept: 
See How We Sew

Amanda Hohnstreiter : My Sewcial Hour


Sat 20th Sept: 
Ann Haley : Sew Messy

Madeleine Roberg : Domestic Strata


Sunday 21st Sept: 
Cal Patch : Hodge Podge Farm

Rebecca Ringquist : Drop Cloth


Monday 22nd Sept: 
Alicia Wietholter : Swoon Patterns

Stacey Sharman : Peppermint Pinwheels


Tuesday 23rd Sept
Jen Carlton Bailly : Bettycrockerass

Miriam Blaich : The Berlin Quilter





GIVEAWAY - This giveaway has ended and the winner is Gill! Congratulations!!! : )
Windham Fabrics is giving away a fat quarter bundle of Tidal Lace to one lucky reader! To enter please leave one comment below telling me what you'd like to make. I will randomly select one winner on Wednesday September 24th, 2014. International entries are welcome. The winner will be announced in this post and contacted via email. Good luck everyone!!

LINKS

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Improv Quilting with Jacquie Gering



This quilt was inspired by Jacquie Gering's Urban Garden quilt. Jacquie recently traveled to the Bay Area to teach an improv workshop and I was lucky enough to attend. Jacquie is such an inspiration and she has an infectious teaching style. She shared lot of advice throughout the workshop and spent time helping each of us with our projects. 




At one point, Jacquie came over to me and we were talking about this little scrap block I had been working on. I didn't like it and I couldn't seem to let it go. Jacquie held it up with two hands, looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and asked, "May I?" I nodded my head slowly and without hesitating she ripped that troublemaker apart, right down the fresh seam line. It was shocking! It was also the best thing she could have done for me. Now I had two pieces that I could re-work. It was so freeing and it turned out to be a turning point in my process. Let the pieces come together. What's the worst thing that can happen? If you don't like part of it, change it and keep going.



My favorite part of creating this quilt was playing with color, pattern and open space. Despite spending all day long sewing and making a big mess the day of the workshop, I came home with just a few random units of scraps sewn together.





It wasn't until I got it home that it really started to come together. I spent about a week playing around with my pile of scraps. I was disappointed at first because it didn't look like Jacquie's beautiful quilt. Then I realized that of course it doesn't look the same. We are two different people. As soon as I was able to let that expectation go, a playful storm took over. I used Jacquie's techniques as a guide and trusted my own inner voice to create.




Improv style quilting does not come naturally to me. I like to compose, arrange, and in other words, control the layout of my designs. It was exhilarating to shake up my creativity and try something different. If you ever get a chance to take one of Jacquie's workshops, do it! If you can't get to a workshop, she also covers this technique in the book she wrote with Katie Pedersen called Quilting Modern. The section of the book is perfectly named - Free YourselfIt took me awhile to get there, but I did eventually free myself.




HELPFUL LINKS:
-Classes by Jacquie Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio

Monday, May 5, 2014

Granny Square Quilt



This quilt came out of nowhere. A newly arrived bundle of pink, orange and sour lemon was just begging to become something pretty. The colors were inspired by the print on the right from Dreamin' Vintage by Jeni Baker.




On Friday I started thinking about granny square quilts. The next thing you know I was a cutting out a new quilt top. I woke up on Saturday and wandered over with my cup of coffee to take a peek on the progress. The colors were even prettier in the morning light. 




The pieces were all organized in piles for each block and I couldn't walk away. I told myself I would just sew a test block to double check the math. I blinked and it was lunchtime. My jammies were covered with thread bits, my coffee was cold, and I had my first few blocks pressed and resting on the ironing table. So satisfying.




The block pile grew pretty quickly thanks to strip piecing. Each strip set makes two blocks. It was tempting to keep sewing just-one-more-block. I loved watching the color combinations come to life.




Once I got a group of blocks put up on the design wall, they started to take on a watercolor, flowery look. Soft and pretty, but still with a graphic structure with all of those squares. It's an interesting mix. Most granny square quilts are set in a straight horizontal layout. This one is whispering to be set on point.

LINKS
-Limited Edition fabric bundles available available at The Intrepid Thread.
-Granny Square Tutorial by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches at the Moda Bake Shop
-Dreamin' Vintage  by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics

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