Monday, September 15, 2014

I'm an American Made Awards Finalist

I'm incredibly honored to announce that I have been hand selected by Martha Stewart and her panel of judges as a 2014 American Made Awards Finalist in the Crafts category. Martha Stewart’s American Made is a nationally recognized awards program that celebrates new rising stars of the growing nationwide maker community who have turned their passions for handcrafted, well-designed goods into small businesses and proudly make their products in America.  To say I'm humbled would be an understatement.

And I could also use your help. Part of the voting process involves asking my community to vote for me. While I'm not one to typically as for help, the winner of this award will receive $10,000 to grow his or her business. That would allow me and my small business to do some really amazing things, and I've got lots of ideas brewing if that should happen.

Voting is open now and runs through October 13, 2014. You can vote up to six times per day, and please feel free to share with your friends and family if you feel so inclined. Here's a link to my profile.

Thank you, so very much, in advance for your help!

Friday, September 12, 2014

headed to the Cincinnati Maker Faire

This weekend I'll be at the Cincinnati Maker Faire, where I'll have a booth in the Handmade Marketplace set up to sell some of my handmade designs. I've got quilts, pillows, mini quilts, and even some hand drawn sketches of my designs that are perfectly suitable for framing. Here's a sneak peek of some of the goodies that I'll have with me.

The Maker Faire runs Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14, from 11-6 pm at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Admission is free! I'll be in the lower level of the museum in the Crafty Supermarket. Hope to see you there! For more information on the show, please visit

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Modern Solids, Traditional Inspiration Challenge, and a giveaway!

I've been so busy the past few weeks, wrapping up deadlines and photo shoots for my book, working on some finished quilts to sell, and this fun little project, the Modern Solids, Traditional Inspiration Challenge. A handful of designers and bloggers were asked to participate in this challenge to make a modern quilt, inspired by traditional design, with this gorgeous box of Denyse Schmidt's Modern Solids by FreeSpirit Fabric. You may have seen this collection before which consists of 75 fat quarters of FreeSpirit Designer Solids that Denyse curated and it's the perfect stash builder. It's pretty amazing just to look at too, honestly.

The idea behind this design challenge is Denyse's latest book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration. It is, hands down, one of my favorite books (I've shared my love of it before), and it beautifully illustrates how Denyse combines her fresh designs with traditional patterns.

I'm busy working on my quilt for the challenge, and I can't wait to share more photos of it with you. Check back here for some photos of the work in progress, and you can find some in my Instagram feed as well. The quilt will be finished by the end of the month when it will be posted on FreeSpirit's blog and audience members will get to vote on their favorite one.  So exciting, right?

But what is even more exciting is that I have a giveaway for you, too! FreeSpirit has generously provided a fat quarter bundle of Denyse's new line, Hadley, for me to share with you.

 I must say that I'd really like to keep this myself because it is so gorgeous--seriously, the gold color way is perfection---but of course, I won't do that.

This bundle contains forty fat quarters, including fourteen solids that coordinate beautifully with Denyse's prints. 

To enter, please leave a comment below telling me what you'd like to make with the Hadley collection. Be sure to include your email address, so I can notify you if you win. The giveaway ends next week, Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 5 pm ET and I'll choose one random winner. US residents only, please. 

And be sure to follow all of the design challenge fun by searching #ModernSolidsChallenge on Instagram and Twitter. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

join me at the Cincinnati Art Museum this Saturday

If you're in the Cincinnati area, I'll hope you join me this Saturday, September 6 at the Cincinnati Art Museum. I'll be there as part of their Family First Saturday, a free program for children and families, talking about quilting, with lots of examples of my work. The theme of this month's Family First Saturday is Farm Livin', so you'll learn about all types of life on a farm through everything from artwork on display, to scavenger hunts, story telling, tours, hands-on art making, and artist demonstrations, which is where I come in. The program runs from 12:00-4:00, and for more information, please visit the Cincinnati Art Museum's site here.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Farm to Fabric Challenge, reminder and an extension for you!

I can't believe it's August already. This summer is flying by for me, and as it draws to a close, so too does the deadline to enter the Farm to Fabric Challenge, hosted by American Made Brand Fabric. I've told you about the challenge before, but if you need a bit of a refresher, the challenge is a juried exhibition of quilts made exclusively from Clothworks' American Made Brand cotton solids that speaks to the theme Celebrating Farm to Fabric.

What does it mean to you, your family, or your community to bring fabric production back to America to use in your American made quilts? The exhibit will premiere at the International Quilt Market and Festival, October 25-November 2, 2014. I'm honored to be one of the jurors, along with Alissa Haight Carlton and Pokey Bolton.

The deadline to enter your quilts has been extended to August 31, 2014, so you've still got time to make something, even if you haven't started yet. The quilts must measure a minimum of 25" x 25" and must have hanging sleeves attached. The quilts must be made specifically for the challenge and must not have been published (including in magazines or blogs) prior to November 2014. You'll be notified no later than September 12, 2014 if your quilt is selected for the exhibition, and the quilt must arrive in Houston, Texas by October 1, 2014.

For more information on the challenge, please visit American Made Brand's page on the show.

I'll be sharing more about my newest quilt, Harvest, shown above, later this week, so stay tuned!

Friday, July 4, 2014

prepping for Sisters

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you enjoy you're holiday. I'm spending part of the day preparing for my trip to Sisters, Oregon for Quilters Affair, where I'll be teaching all next week. There is still some room in my classes, so maybe some of you can join me! Here's what I'll be teaching:

On Monday, I'm teaching my You + Me quilt, my pattern that was inspired by a vintage quilt. It is made of four large quilt blocks that are constructed through piecing strips of fabric together, so we'll learn the techniques of strip piecing and working in large scale. Using three solid colored cottons and simple construction, You + Me creates a strong graphic design that is at once both modern and timeless. The quilt is really easy to construct and comes together quickly, and the class is suitable for both beginner and advanced quilters alike.

On Tuesday, I'm teaching my Ohio Supernova, my modern spin on the traditional Ohio Star pattern. In this version, the scale of the block has been dramatically increased so that it makes up the vast majority of the finished work. Using solid colored cottons and simple construction, the Ohio Supernova packs quite a visual punch, and is suitable for both beginner and advanced quilters alike.

On Wednesday, I'm teaching my Basic Improvisational Quilting class. Improvisational quilting is a fundamental component of modern quilting. In this hands-on workshop, learn how to let go and begin to design intuitively, to create completely unique and one-of-a-kind quilt blocks through a variety of improvisational techniques. From completely random piecing, to improvised blocks with a bit more structure, this workshop will challenge you to think about quilting in a whole new light. Students will be asked to bring a bag of scrap fabric in various sizes as a starting point for their improvisational work.

On Thursday, I'm giving two lectures. The first is Everyday Inspiration in Modern Quits. Many quilters today are finding inspiration in a variety of places in their everyday worlds. Join me for an exciting look at how some of today’s quilters find inspiration just about anywhere and everywhere – from a parking lot to a work of fine art, and everything in between. I will also encourage you to do the same, and I will share tips on how you can bring your everyday world into your own designs.

The second lecture is on Integrating Tradition in Today's Modern Quilt Designs. Many modern quilters, myself included,  integrate traditional components in their quilts; this is often done through the use of traditional patterns, blocks, or techniques. Then, he or she adds their own spin to these traditional components to make them more fresh and modern. Join me for an in-depth look at my process of merging tradition with modernity in quilting.

And finally, on Friday I'm teaching my Blume, otherwise known as Gelassenheit, quilt. Gelassenheit is my  modern take on a traditional Dresden Plate quilt pattern. Only one Dresden Plate block is used in the pattern, but its size is much larger than those found in more traditional versions. The background of this quilt is pieced to create a striped effect, which gives the overall design a lot of movement. This class is best suited for intermediate quilters, although a confident beginner can also complete this pattern. 

I'll also be in Sisters for the quilt show on Saturday, and then I head home on Sunday. I'm so excited to be spending a week teaching and lecturing, and I hope to see some of you there. You can find out more information about Quilters Affair and still register for classes, including some of mine, at

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Large-Scale Piecing, my contribution to Lucky Spool's Essential Guild to Modern Quilt Making

Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making: From Color to Quilting: 10 Workshops by Your Favorite Teachers 
(Lucky Spool Media; Distributed by The Taunton Press; June 2014; $28.95)

Today is my stop on the blog tour of the new book Lucky Spool's Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making, which is being released this month. I love this book, and am quite honored to be included in it. The book is really an all-inclusive guide to modern quilt making, and is structured so that each chapter is a different workshop, led by the best teachers in the field of modern quilting, including Denyse Schmidt, Jacquie Gering, and Angela Walters, and each focusing on his or her specialty. In it you will learn the principles and composition of color, how to piece with solids and prints, multiple curved piecing techniques, the fundamentals of improv and paper piecing, tips and tricks for large-scale piecing, applying alternate grid work to your quilt tops, and modern machine quilting. There are also sixteen patterns that explore all of the techniques that are covered in the book, as well as a gallery of 50 modern quilts. 

My chapter in the Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making is on Large-Scale Piecing. In it I share all of my favorite tips and techniques for achieving great results while working in a large-scale format, including how to create oversize blocks and large areas of negative space, playing with scale and composition, fabric selection and cutting, and construction techniques. My pattern for the book is called Ebb and Flow and it features a large-scale churn dash design.

I really love this quilt because it's such a simplified design and it comes together quite quickly, but it has such a strong visual presence. I made the original one for the book using Kona Parchment, Kona Cadet, and Kona Artichoke, and I can't wait to make another in a totally different color palette. I think black, white, and gray could be pretty amazing.

My original Anni quilt is also included in the gallery of modern quilts that was curated by Heather Grant.

In celebration of the book's release, the Taunton Press, distributor of the book, is offering a 20% discount on it if you order it through their store until July 21. Please use the code EGQM20 during check out for the discount.

Be sure to follow along all of the stops of the tour to learn more about the Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making. Here's the schedule:

6/23  ++ Chapter 1: Principles of Color taught by Kari Vojtechovsky
6/24 ++  Chapter 2: Working with Solids taught by Alissa Haight Carlton
6/25 ++  Chapter 3: Working with Prints taught by Dan Rouse
6/26 ++ Chapter 4: Improvisational Patchwork taught by Denyse Schmidt
6/27 ++ Chapter 5: The Alternate Grid taught by Jacquie Gering
6/30 ++ Chapter 6: Circles and Curves taught by Cheryl Arkison
7/01 ++ Chapter 7: Paper Piecing taught by Penny Layman
7/02 ++ Chapter 8: Large-Scale Piecing taught by Heather Jones
7/03 ++ Chapter 9: Modern Machine Quilting taught by Angela Walters
7/04 ++ Chapter 10: A Study of Modern Quilts curated by Heather Grant

And learn more about Lucky Spool Media and see what other amazing books editor Susanne Woods has in the works at
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