Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Winner: Classic Modern Quilts

Thank you all so much for you kind words about my new quilt, Blaze!! I am so happy you like it. It was a lot of fun to design and make. You know I love star blocks. : )

The winner of the new book, Classic Modern Quilts is:


Becca from Bryan House Quilts. Congratulations Becca, you are going to love this book!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Using patchwork to sooth your mind

Scrappy Tote

Armed with a new-to-me bundle of scraps I sat down on Wednesday night and made a tote bag. I didn't need a bag, but I needed to sew. It was one of those days where I was feeling restless. The new quilt pattern I've been working on was not cooperating. Have you ever heard the term, "you bit off more than you can chew"? Yeah, I think I tried to eat the whole buffet.

One of the best things about sewing, especially repetitive sewing, is that it frees my mind to think. I needed time to think about the pattern, work out the problems and see things differently.

Scrappy Tote

I knew that whatever project I picked to work on required a repetitive element. I also needed it to be small, satisfying and playful. I know that is a lot to ask. Does that sewing project exist? It turns out it does, The Perfect Quilted Tote pattern by Elizabeth Hartman was all of those things.

Sharing progress on Instagram

The quilt as you go method is awesome! Deliberately choosing and placing each scrap satisfied the creative and controlling side of my brain (also known as my left side). And the dense quilting and ironing satisfied the restless side of my brain that needed soothing (also known as my right side).

Scrappy Tote
Lining: Garden Party by Anna Maria Horner

Since there was a lot going on in my head already, I left out the fussy lining with inset zippers and opted instead for a plain lining made with pretty fabric. Oh Anna Maria Horner, you make my heart beat so!! This tote was so fun to make I plan on making lots of them and maybe next time I will tackle that inset zipper.

As for my own pattern, I'm still working on it, but this time refreshed.

Pattern: Perfect Quilted Totes by Elizabeth Hartman

Monday, November 18, 2013

Classic Modern Quilts Blog Tour

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the new book, Classic Modern Quilts. Make sure you read to the end of the post for a fun giveaway!!!  : )

I had so much fun designing this quilt for the book -- definitely one of my favorites to date! My pattern, along with the other nine contributing authors, was inspired by historic Kansas City Star quilt blocks. We were given a fun challenge to reinterpret these historic blocks with a modern aesthetic. For me, it was important to honor the history of the original block while changing it enough to make it feel fresh and new. How much do you change? Well, that is up to each quilter! I find that one or two small changes can make a big impact.

Introducing Blaze!

star of bethlehemBlaze was inspired by the Star of Bethlehem block. We were given several blocks to choose from and I was drawn to this one immediately. I had several ideas on how to change it up within minutes of deciding on this block. Whenever I have too many ideas (which can sometimes be a problem) I write down theme words to help me focus on a direction. For Blaze I wrote down, graphic, colorful and playful.

This is the stack of fabrics I started with. A mix of light monochromatic prints for the scrappy background and bold solids for the star points. The center of the blocks were exaggerated and made really graphic by using a dark center. Varying the angles of the star points makes them twinkly and fun.

Stack of Squares
Squares on the worktable

Peek 2


This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Becca from Bryan House Quilts.

Kansas City Star is giving away a copy of the book to one of my readers. To enter, please leave one comment on this blog post. Winners will be contacted via email so make sure you include yours. International entries are welcome. Giveaway ends Wednesday, November 27th. Good luck everyone!!

-Kansas City Star
-Marmalade Fabrics
-The Intrepid Thread

The blog tour is continuing through November 22nd with quilts, photos and giveaways at each stop. I think most of the giveaways are still open. I highly recommend starting at the beginning of the list and working your way down for maximum giveaway entries! Here is the schedule and links to each blog on the tour.

Nov. 11: Lisa Calle, 
Nov. 12: Lynne Goldsworthy,
Nov. 13: Lauren Hunt,
Nov. 14: Heather Kojan,
Nov. 15: John Kubiniec, 
Nov. 18: Adrianne Ove, --- you are here! : )

Nov. 19: Trisch Price,
Nov. 20: Tammie Schaffer,, and Tia Curtis,
Nov. 21: Amy Smart,
Nov. 22: Susan Strong,

Tammy of Marmalade Fabrics has put together custom fabric bundles based on my quilt. Visit her online shop for more details.

Tomorrow's stop is Trisch Price at Hadley Street Quilts. You won't believe what she did with the Air-Ship Propeller block!!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Playing with Socks

My last few quilts have been very colorful and very precise in construction. It might make sense that the next project is improvised using quiet, comforting colors. The inspiration came from a pair of socks. That's right, a pair of socks. 

I bought these socks and I just love them. Instead of classic navy and cream stripes, there is a skinny stripe of shimmery gold at the top and also a quirky triangle of grey at the heel. I can't explain why, but it makes me smile every time I see them.

Wanting to savor the smile, I bought fabric in similar colors and cut a bunch of random strips. Then I started sewing them into strips sets, keeping mind the ratio of color in the socks. In other words, lots of navy and cream stripes and just a touch of grey and gold.

And then because I couldn't leave it alone, I started cutting out triangles and more strips. Who knows where this will end up, but it is so much fun to sit down and play with fabric. Inspiration is everywhere!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Classic Modern Quilts Blog Tour

Next week is the official kick-off for the new book, Classic Modern Quilts. Ten modern quilters (including yours truly) were asked to design quilts inspired by historical Kansas City Star quilt blocks. The result is this inspiring book with quilt patterns ranging from a little bit modern to very modern. My quilt falls in the middle of that range with a modern graphic design and a touch of vintage charm.
The tour runs from November 11-22. We'll be stopping by a different designer's blog each day and showing you the quilts from the book. I'll be sharing additional photos of my quilt, Blaze, and some behind the scenes info you don't want to miss. There are some fun giveaways lined up as well. Books and fabric anyone?! ; )
Come back and join me on Monday, November 18th and I will show you what I made using this gorgeous stack of fabrics. Low volume and brights? Oh, yes I did!!
Blog Tour Schedule:
Nov. 11: Lisa Calle, Vintage Modern Quilts

Nov. 12: Lynne Goldsworthy, Lily's Quilts
Nov. 13: Lauren Hunt, My Aunt June 
Nov. 14: Heather Kojan, Heather Kojan 
Nov. 15: John Kubiniec, Big Rig Quilting 
Nov. 18: Adrianne Ove, Little Bluebell (See you then!)
Nov. 19: Trisch Price, Hadley Street Quilts  
Nov. 20: Tammie Schaffer, Crafty Tammie  and Tia Curtis, Tia Curtis Quilts
Nov. 21: Amy Smart, Diary of a Quilter 
Nov. 22: Susan Strong, Strong Stitches 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cameo and Friends is Finished!!!

Inspired by the sun and the sea, my love of fabric and my obsession with color. This is Cameo and Friends.

It all started with the fabric, a combination of Cameo by Amy Butler, Birds and Bees by Tula Pink and solids from Art Gallery. My original stack did not include the zingy tomato red. Looking at it now, I can't imagine this quilt without it.

I was originally thinking of making a small patchwork quilt with the blue and green colors to imitate the looks of glass mosaic tiles. I made a test block and it was good, but I felt it was missing something. Around that same time, Katy and Audrey were obsessed with making Scrap Vomit quilts. They were cranking out one after another and the quilts they made were so fun and scrappy. Something about these two ideas merged in my mind. When I added the coral and the alternating blocks the design finally felt right.

I made the strip sets earlier this year and set it aside for awhile. In early October I picked it up again and decided it was time to finish. Pinning all of the 2" squares was tedious, but it was made more fun with friends when I brought it to a local sew night. This quilt measures 70" x 84".

The main print of the back is also from the Cameo line by Amy Butler. It's called Harriet's Kitchen and I really love it's large scale. The colors were perfect for this project. It's bound with the same red, Kona Coral, that I used on the front.

I quilted it in diagonal lines across each square with this fun variegated cotton thread by Sulky. Again, the colors were perfect!

Read more about the process of making this quilt from the orgininal mood board, to the strip sets, the rediscovery, and the building of the top.


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