Saturday, March 29, 2014

American Made Brand winners!



Thank you all for entering my giveaway of five gorgeous fat quarter bundles of American Made Brand fabrics. It was so fun for me to read what you all are planning to make with this fabric. Without further adieu, here are the lucky five winners!


























Congratulations Mary, Carrie, Kathy, Melissa, and Sarah! I'm off to email you all now!

Friday, March 21, 2014

tutorial: Bricklayer quilt block with American Made Brand fabrics + a giveaway!




It's really great to hear how many of you are excited about American Made Brand fabrics. I am too! I'm back today with a tutorial for a fun quilt block that I designed that is based on a traditional quilt block. Plus, I've got a giveaway of some American Made Brand fabric bundles to share as well! 

This is my Bricklayer quilt block and it reminds me a bit of the patterns that can often be found in brickwork. It's a really easy block to construct and I love the simplicity of the overall design.





The Bricklayer block is based on the traditional block known as the Beggar's Block, Cats and Mice, and The Roman Square. It's the one labeled 717 in the photo above, which is a page from the book "5,500 Quilt Block Designs" by Maggie Malone, which is a great resource for design inspiration.




When I was working on my design, I drew up a couple of variations in my sketch book. As you can see, my Bricklayer block is not an exact duplication of the traditional block. I varied the width of the middle section of the pieced patches for more visual interest and movement in the design.




I chose two colors of American Made Brand fabrics to use in my block, Periwinkle and Cream.




For each 12 1/2" unfinished block, you'll need one 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" square of Cream, sixteen 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces of Cream, and eight 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces of Periwinkle fabric.




The block consists of eight pieced patchwork sections, which are each constructed with one 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces of Periwinkle fabric and two 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces of Cream fabric. Using a 1/4" seam, sew one piece of Cream to one piece of Periwinkle, right sides together.




And then sew the other piece of Cream to the piece of Periwinkle fabric, right sides together. 




Repeat this seven more times for a total of eight pieced patchwork sections. Then, press the seams to the sides, towards the darker fabric.




Lay out the eight pieced patchwork blocks, along with the Cream square, like this. Construct the block by sewing three rows: top, middle, and bottom. Then sew those three rows together. Press the seams of the top and bottom rows to the right and the seams of the middle row to the left so that they will nest as you sew the three rows together. Press the final two seams to the sides, towards the top and bottom rows, respectively. 



And that's it! The Bricklayer block measures 12 1/2" unfinished. And now for the giveaway...





My friends at Clothworks are generously giving away some fat quarter bundles of American Made Brand fabrics to five lucky readers. 





Each bundle has eight fat quarters of American Made Brand fabric in some beautiful colors. 





To enter the giveaway, please leave me a comment below and let me know the first thing you would make with American Made Brand Fabric. 




The giveaway is open only to residents of the United States and runs until next Friday, March 28th, 2014. I'll choose five winners randomly, and please be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

American Made Brand by Clothworks



I  am so excited to share this new partnership and project with you. Clothworks Textiles, a fabric manufacturer located in Seattle, is producing a new line of solid cotton fabrics called American Made Brand that is made completely in the United States. The American Made Brand fabrics were created from the desire to tap into the once thriving tradition of American textiles to produce a fabric entirely sourced and manufactured in the United Sates. The cotton for AMB is grown in America, which is spun into yarn, woven into cloth, and finally finished as dyed fabric, all in America. I think that's pretty darn amazing.





I'll be working with AMB to produce quilt designs, patterns, and finished quilts. I'll also be serving as one of the judges for their Farm to Fabric Challenge, a juried exhibition that will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall. For more information on the challenge and exhibit, please visit the link above. I've also got some more fun projects with AMB up my sleeves that I can't wait to get started on!




I had the opportunity to visit Clothworks when I was on the west coast last month, and it was so exciting to see and feel bolt after bolt of beautiful fabrics that were made entirely in the US. Owner Ted Hoffman and the entire staff of Clothworks have worked so incredibly hard to bring this dream to life, and I think the result was completely worth it. AMB fabric currently is available in 50 colors, with another 25 coming soon. The hand of the fabric is really nice and the colors are clear and beautiful. The quality of the fabric is really amazing as well, and it has a tight weave and a high thread count. I've already worked with it on a few projects for my book and I'm really pleased with the results. I'm hoping to have my first pattern featuring AMB available later this week, as well as a tutorial and giveaway in the next couple of days, too.




As you may know, I live in Ohio, and farming and manufacturing have been an important part of our economy for hundreds of years. While we still have many farms here, their numbers are certainly decreasing, as are manufacturing plants across the state, which of course, ultimately leads to job loss and a declining economy. So, I am incredibly honored and proud to be part of a movement that helps strengthen both American farms and manufacturing.




AMB will be available to purchase from independent fabric retailers this month, so be sure to look for it at your local quilt shops as well as at your favorite online stores. You will also be able to find a list of retailers on the AMB site after April 1, 2014. Read more about AMB brand on their site at americanmadebrand.com.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

packing for Portland and a big birthday!



I've spent the last week getting ready for my trip to Portland for the Modern Quilt Guild's SewDown which starts tomorrow. I'm so excited to go, although it's always hard to leave my family, but I'm really looking forward to teaching my You + Me class again. It's always a fun class and it's especially exciting for me to see all of the different versions of my pattern that my students create. I made some new samples up in a totally different color palette than my first quilt, and now, of course, I want to make the whole thing in these colors. Unfortunately, that will have to wait a while. If you'd like, be sure to follow me on Instagram where I'll share some photos of my classes at the SewDown so you can all see them, too.



It's been a busy week on the home front, as well. This sweet girl of mine turned six, which I'm not quite sure how it is even possible, but it happened. As you can see, she had a bit of help from her big brother with the opening of her presents. 




And I keep thinking that it is downright amazing how quickly the past six years have flown by. How on earth does it go so fast?




And now she's six, going on sixteen, it seems like somedays. She really is the best though. Happy Birthday Olivia!

Monday, January 27, 2014

a fun start to the new year!



Wow. I can't believe that I haven't shared anything here in well over four weeks. With the holidays and book deadlines, coupled with household illnesses and subzero temperatures, I have barely had any extra time, and certainly not enough to share things here, unfortunately. But, the kids are back in school and another big deadline is just about finished, so I wanted to share that the folks at GenerationQ magazine have included a fun little feature on me and our new house in the latest issue.




Here's me and the pups in my studio. We shot these photos back in September and I can't believe how much Bruno has grown since then. He's definitely just as big as Rosemary is now.




And here are a few more shots of my studio, and I love the photo that Jeff took of Olivia and I in front of my design wall. Olivia was super excited when she saw herself in the magazine!




Ah, and our fire pit in our back yard with Aidan and Olivia.We miss those warm days!




And here's a fun shot of Jeff's painting studio, although, like my own, it's not usually quite as neat as that. Besides, a messy studio usually means lots of great work is being done there, right? At least that's what I tell myself...

Pick up the latest issue of GenerationQ to read more about our little corner of the world. And thank you again to GenerationQ for the great feature! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

the winner of my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day prize is....



Thank you so much to all of you who entered my giveaway of a three month subscription to Creativebug for you and a friend as part of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day last week. Congratulations to lucky number 51, Coser Tejer Crear, who said




Off to email you now! Happy Holidays, everyone!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!





Better late than never, right?! I'm so excited to be participating in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day this year and I've got an awesome prize for you and one of your friends. I'm giving away a three-month subscription to Creativebug! One winner will receive a subscription, and in the spirit of the season, the winner will also receive a three month subscription to give away to a friend. It's a gift for you and for one of your friends!





If you're not familiar with Creativebug, you really should be. Creativebug is an online community of craft classes and video workshops with some amazing teachers, including Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Kaffe Fasset, Liesl Gibson, and more. I seriously love Creativebug for many reasons, and one of which is that as a subscriber, you have access to all of their workshops. You can also purchase classes a la carte if you prefer, but it's such a great deal to buy a subscription. And besides having such wonderful content, the workshops are so beautifully filmed which really appeals to me as a visual person.





I'm really proud to also be an instructor with Creativebug, too. My current workshops include  my Rainbow Jelly Roll quilt class,




my Diamonds in the Sky workshop...



and my Mod Stripes quilt class. All of my classes are geared towards beginner quilters, or those of you who are looking for modern quilt patterns that are easy to construct and have strong graphic impact. You can read more about my time on set here, if you'd like.

To enter, please leave a comment below. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. The giveaway is open to everyone, both in the US as well as our international friends, and it closes on December 13, 2014 at 5:00 PT when I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner. Good luck, and be sure to check out all of the great giveaways on Sew Mama Sew!

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