Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quilting the New Classics





Today is my stop on the blog tour for the new book by Michele Muska, Quilting the New Classics. The book features twenty projects that are inspired by ten different quilting patterns, each one made in both a traditional and a modern version. I was so excited when Michele asked me to make a quilt for her book last year, and I'm even more exited to finally be able to share it with you!




For my project I designed this modern version of a traditional rail fence quilt. It's no surprise that I used solids for my quilt, and in this case I used three different FreeSpirit Designer solids: Dogwood, Cosmic Blue, and Natural. I really love this combination of fabrics and Dogwood, in particular, has become a favorite color for to me use.






Traditionally, rail fence quilts are made out of strips of fabric that are cut to uniform sizes. The inspiration for my design was a quilt made by Plummer T. Pettway of Gee's Bend, although I varied the widths of the rails throughout the layout to make it my own. As you can see, some of the strips are wider, some are more narrow, some are longer, and some are shorter. I really love the movement that all of these different sized pieces add to the overall composition of the design.



And here is some more information on the book by Michele herself: 



All quilters draw inspiration from the past. But how do today's artisans put their personal stamp on classic patterns? Twenty influential quilters from across the stylistic spectrum present their unique creative vision of timeless designs. Each pattern, Double Wedding Ring, Crazy Quilt, Dresden Plate, Bear Paw, Log Cabin, Nine Patch, Hexagon, Yo-Yo, Flying Geese, and Rail Fence, comes with step-by-step instructions for two adaptations, one traditional, the other modern.The book also includes a history of each pattern, images of heirloom or museum-quality quilts for inspiration, easy-to-use templates and essential quilting techniques.Forwards by Meg cox and Janneken Smucker.



I've also got one copy of the book to giveaway to one reader. To enter, please leave a comment below telling me what your favorite quilt pattern is, modern or traditional. I'll choose one winner randomly on Monday November 3. 

Be sure to follow all along the blog hop too! Here are a list of participants and dates:


Oct. 20th Michele Muska http://www.lolarae.com/blog.html
Oct. 21st Leslie Jenison  http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com
Oct. 22nd Janneken Smucker   http://www.janneken.org/category/blog/
Oct. 23rd Valerie Bothell http://pinkbunnykansas.blogspot.com
Oct. 24th Kaari Meng www.frenchgeneral.blogspot.com
Oct. 25th Elisa Sims Albury : www.stitchoutsidetheditch.com
Oct. 26th Heather Jones www.oliveandollie.com
Oct. 27th Victoria Findlay Wolfe http://www.bumblebeansinc.blogspot.com
Oct. 28th Amy Smart http://www.diaryofaquilter.com
Oct. 29th Jackie Kunkel http://cvquiltworks.com/blogs/blog\
Oct. 30th Pat Sloan http://blog.patsloan.com/
Oct. 31st Shelly Pagliai  http://prairiemoonquilts.com/?page_id=62
Nov. 1st Allie Aller www.alliesinstitches.blogspot.com
Nov. 2nd Kristin Omdahl www.styledbykristin.com
Nov. 3rd Jacquie Gering http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/


Sunday, October 12, 2014

just a few more days to vote!




There are just a few more days left to vote for me in the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards. Thank you so much for all of your support so far. I really appreciate it! Please keep it up and remember that you can vote up to six times a day.






And then don't forget to enter my giveaway, as a thank you for your vote. All of my pdf patterns are still on sale as well. To receive the 25% off discount, please enter the code "AmericanMade" at the checkout in my etsy shop.




And speaking of voting, if you're so inclined, feel free to vote for your favorite quilt in the Modern Solids, Traditional Challenge, hosted by FreeSpirit Fabric. You might remember that I made the improvisational pineapple quilt, and I think I'm the only challenger to use all 75 colors in their project! To vote, please leave a comment on the Challenge Facebook album. Thank you!

Friday, October 10, 2014

join me at the Labryinth Arts Festival in Cincinnati




Cincinnati area folks, I'll be at the Labyrinth Arts Festival at Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church in Anderson Township tomorrow, Saturday, October 11, from 10-4 and I hope you can join me! I'll have a booth set up and all sorts of things for sale, from finished quilts to hand drawn illustrations of my designs, and a lot more. 



It's a great way to get a start on your holiday shopping! For directions and more information on the festival, please visit their site at http://huuc.net/laf/.


Monday, September 29, 2014

my finished improv pineapple quilt



It's finally done! Here is my finished improv pineapple quilt that I made as part of the FreeSpirit Modern Solids Challenge. As a reminder, a handful of designers and bloggers were asked to create a quilt that was a modern interpretation of a traditional quilt pattern, using Denyse Schmidt's Modern Solids fat quarter box and additional FreeSpirit Fabric. And it was quite a challenge, but I had a great time making it, and I'm really pleased with the result. 





I choose the traditional pineapple quilt block as my inspiration, but instead of following a pattern, I made my blocks improvisationally. I really love the irregular shapes and movement that this type of construction lends itself too. This quilt took me about two weeks to complete, from start to finish.





The blocks each measures 12" square (finished) and the quilt measures 60" x 60", as specified by the design challenge. It took me about an hour to make each block, and I'm proud to say that I used all 75 colors of the bundle in this quilt. That was a challenge in and of itself, especially for someone like me, when I typically use only two to four fabrics in each of my projects.














I backed the quilt with FreeSpirit Designer Solids in Raven, which is a gorgeous, deep dark gray. 





As I said above, I used all 75 of the colors that are included in Denyse's Modern Solids bundle. While we were not asked specifically to use all of the colors in box, I made that part of my design challenge as well.  I used an additional four FreeSpirit Designer Solids throughout the blocks: Winter White, Mist, Arctic White and Natural. So, all in all, this quilt contains 80 different colored fabrics.




Another design stipulation that I gave myself was to use the colors straight out of the box, that is, to create my blocks using the fabrics in the same order as they are arranged in the bundle. Each of the twenty five quilt blocks is made up of three colors, so this was an easy way for me to make sure that I was able to use all 75 colors. I arranged the blocks in five rows each consisting of five blocks, starting with the upper left; for the second row, the orange block on the far right side follows the yellows in the box, and the order continues from left to right. Then row three continues the order from right to left, row four runs left to right, and finally, the last row runs right to left. 




Here's what my box looked like after all of my blocks were finished. I kept all of the fabrics in the same order as they were originally, as a fun visual reference to the layout of my quilt. 





During the construction of the blocks, I pressed all of the seams to the side. This was quicker than pressing them open, but there are some areas where there is a but of bulk from the seams.




I quilted it on my long arm machine last night, using Coats Machine Quilting thread. For the design, I used a freehand figure eight pattern that has been my go-to technique for the past few months. I really like the organic quality of this quilting design and I feel like it doesn't distract from the design of the quilt itself. 







And I burned the midnight oil to get it bound last night, too. I used Natural for the binding because I felt like it would frame all of the colors of the front nicely.  




Thank you, Denyse, for designing such a gorgeous palette of solid fabrics. They were a delight to work with and I feel like they are certainly a must have for any modern quilter. 


And thank you to all of you who have been voting for me everyday. Please keep it up! And don't forget to enter my giveaway as a thank you, as well! 



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hadley giveaway winner!



The winner of the gorgeous Hadley fabric bundle is lucky number 175!



And that is...




Congratulations, Mary! I'm off to email you now.


And thank you all for continuing to vote for me in the Martha Stewart American Made Awards. Winning a prize like that could really help me grow my business, and I so appreciate you all taking the time to vote for me (up to six times!) each day. Don't forget to also enter my giveaway of one of my all-time favorite quilts, too, and take advantage of my discount on my patterns as a thank you. For more information, please check out my post here



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thank you, and a huge giveaway!




I have honestly been blown away by all of the kind words and support that I have received since I announced on Monday that I am a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made awards. I'm incredibly thankful that so many of you have taken your time to vote for me, and I would like to offer something to you in return.





You may remember this new quilt of mine. I shared it last week here on my blog as well as my Instagram feed, and it really is one of my favorites. As a thank you for voting for me in the American Made contest, I will give this quilt to one lucky winner. Delivery will be in December, as this quilt will be included in an exhibition of fiber art at the University of Dayton next month.




Here are some detail shots and more information on the quilt for you. The quilt measures 50" x 72", so it's the perfect size for a lap quilt. It's made with 100% cotton (FreeSpirit Designer solids in Natural and Freedom Blue) and the orange squares are a linen cotton blend (Robert Kaufman Essex in Orange). The batting is 100% cotton (Pelon Legacy) and it's quilted with Aurifil thread.




It is completely made by me. I quilted it by machine in my freehand design of a loose figure eight pattern throughout the entire quilt. The backing and binding, which is sewn by machine, are both made in the blue cotton fabric. 





Here's how to enter the giveaway: 

1. Please vote for me on the American Made Awards site. You can do it up to six times, per email address, per day, now through Oct. 13, 2014. Just keep hitting refresh until all of your votes are used up. Thank you!

2. After you vote, please come back to this blog post and fill out this Google doc for each vote that you cast for me that day. Since you can vote for me six times each day, you will also have up to six entries for the quilt each day. I've put up the Google doc to make it a bit easier on my end, and I really appreciate you taking the time to fill it out. 

3. For an additional entry, share my nomination with your friends and let me know that you did so by filling out the Google doc again. 






The give away will run through October 14, 2014, so be sure to vote for me and enter each day through then as well. One winner will be chosen randomly, and the giveaway is open to international readers.

I'm also offering a discount on my pdf quilt patterns in my shop as a thank you to you as well. Please enter the code AmericanMade to receive 25% off of the purchase price at checkout in my etsy shop.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, so very much! And good luck!!

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!

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