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.

-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.

-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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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Patchwork Napkins

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Patchwork Napkins Blog Hop!

Today we are celebrating the newest pattern from my friend, AnneMarie of Gen X Quilters. This 10-page pattern includes full color photographs,four patchwork style blocks, two napkin sizes, fabric requirements, helpful tips and complete assembly instructions to make patchwork napkins that are FUN-ctional. Giveaway at the end of this post!

These patchwork napkins are completely reversible with no exposed seams. The self binding technique makes for a very polished edge on each napkin.

There are four block designs to choose from and I picked the log cabin for my napkin. I used some fresh, springy Lottie Da scraps. The tiny butterfly was just begging to be fussy cut for the center. The background is a grey Sweetwater print. Doesn't it make those bright pastels sing? 

For the backing and binding, I chose a candy green colored solid. I really like the way it framed the whole thing. It's like a little mini quilt for each place setting.

Don't forget Mom! Mother's Day is Sunday, May 11. These napkins are a snap to sew up. The Patchwork Napkins Pattern is ON SALE all this week for the hop - just $7 here.

Patchwork Napkins Blog Hop Schedule
Mon. Apr. 28  Diane / From Blank Pages
Tues. Apr. 29  Lee / Freshly Pieced
Wed. Apr. 30  Adrianne / Little Bluebell and Amy / Sukie
Thurs. May 1  Kati / From the Blue Chair
Fri. May 2  Debbie / A Quilter's Table

GIVEAWAY - This giveaway is now closed. 
AnneMarie has generously offered to give away a pattern to one of you!! To enter, please leave one comment below and tell me: Are your napkins paper or patchwork?! : D  I will chose a winner this Saturday, May 3rd. The winner will be notified via email so please make sure your email is either in your profile or part of your comment.

The winner is Sandyland Stitches!

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Friday, April 25, 2014

On the Worktable: Trellis Crossroads

I've been sewing pretty much every spare minute I can sneak away. Just for the joy of it. This little bundle has become quilt top. The pattern is called Trellis Crossroads by Jessica Kelly and it's in the book, Modern Bee by Lindsay Connor.

This morning I watched this short film by Gael Towey & Company, featuring Natalie Chanin, of Alabama Chanin. It's a beautiful and inspiring declaration of handmade. 

Make what you love,


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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hello Sunshine!

Thank you all so much for the love and support for my Meridian quilt in my last post!! It was a fun challenge to participate in. Many thanks to Anne and Adrianne for hosting. I wonder what next year's color will be?!

Sunshine has arrived! This custom bundle is a mix of warm coral, sunny yellow, happy turquoise and deep navy. When there is no sunshine outside, we can make our own! : )

Let's take a closer look...

From Left:
-Mormor Blomster in Coral by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham
-Sweet as Honey, Honeycomb in Marmalade by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery
-Sweet as Honey, Honey House Peach by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery

-Sweet as Honey, Honeycomb in Marmalade by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery
-Meadow, Sprinkled in Noon by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery
-Meadow, Gentle Breeze in Beige by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery

-Sphere, Direction in Sunshine by Zen Chic for Moda
-Bluebird Park, Magnolia Sunrise by Kate & Birdie Paper Co. for Moda
-Catnap, Finn in Yellow, Lizzy House for Andover
-Garden Party Tango, Hexagon Hustle in Pineapple by Iza Pearl Design for Windham

-Minimilista, Script in Turquoise, by AGF Studio for Art Gallery
-Chromatics, Pointelle in Celeste, by AGF Studio for Art Gallery
-Rapture, Butterfly Bliss Teal by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery

-Color Me Happy, Floral Vines in Navy by V&Co. for Moda
-Meadow, Geo in Deep Marina by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery
-Garden Party Tango, Medallion in Mambo in the Night Sky, by Iza Pearl Design for Windham 
-Tule, Windmarks Mirage, Leah Duncah for Art Gallery

And the whole gang...

Limited Edition Fat Quarter and Half Yard bundles available at The Intrepid Thread

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