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!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

20 Shades of Pink mini quilt for the Quilt Alliance TWENTY Auction



The Quilt Alliance, a non-profit organization whose mission is to document, preserve, and share the story of quilts and their makers, is currently holding an auction to benefit their work. In celebration of the Alliance's twentieth year, the theme for these mini-quilts was to incorporate the idea of "twenty" in a work. And this is what I came up with.




This is my 20 Shades of Pink mini quilt, and as you might guess, it does indeed contain twenty different shades of pink cotton fabric. The hues range from the palest pink that almost reads white to a very dark hot pink.




I cut the twenty fabrics into strips that measured 1 1/2" wide by about 23" long and sewed them together from lightest to darkest. And then I cut the pieced section up into three pieces, reversed the order a bit, and sewed them back together again.




I quilted it with Coats cotton machine quilting thread in pink, in straight lines that run parallel to each pieced strip of fabric. The backing and the binding are a light gray cotton, which I think works really well with all of that pink.




The quilt measures 20" x 20" and is signed and dated on the back by me. And as I said, it's part of the Quilt Alliance auction on eBay, so go bid! Here's a direct link for your convenience. The auction runs through Monday, November 25, and all of the proceeds will benefit the Quilt Alliance. Good luck!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

please pardon the radio silence around here



The past few months have been so busy, and I just haven't had the time to share here as often as I'd like. I still have to fill you in on all of the adventures I had in NYC and surrounding areas back in September when I was there for the Quilters Take Manhattan event, and then at Quilt Market a couple of weeks back. And I promise I'll get to it all, hopefully soon!

Besides family and everyday life, that little contract up there has been keeping me very busy. I'm so incredibly excited and quite honored to be writing my first book with STC Craft | Melanie Falick Books, an imprint of Abrams. I have to honestly say that if I could choose any publisher in the world to work with it would be them. The quality of their books, from the projects to the design of the book itself, is impeccable. I'm still pinching myself...

My book is set to be released in the Fall of 2015, which seems so far away, but I know it will be here before I know it. I'll share more about it when I can.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Roots of Modern Quilting at the New England Quilt Museum



The New England Quilt Museum is hosting a new exhibition on modern quilting. Curated by Pamela Weeks, Roots of Modern Quilting is now open and there's a curator's reception this Saturday, October 19th, at 1:00 pm. The exhibition contains works from today's top modern quilters and demonstrates how their work is often inspired by traditional quilts but can also be vibrant and unexpected. 


The New England Quilt Museum is the only museum in the northeast that is devoted solely to the preservation and promotion of the art and craft of quilting. Located in Lowell, Massachusetts, it's a landmark in the heart of America's historic textile-producing region. 


In conjunction with the exhibition, Denyse Schmidt will be giving a talk on color, design, and modern quilting on Friday, November 15th at 7 pm. I really wish I could be there for that! Please visit the museum's website here for more information on the lecture and to register for it. 






I'm incredibly honored that my Silo quilt, shown above, is included in the exhibition. Here's a photo of it during the installation of the exhibition. There are also works by Denyse, Angela Walters, Jacquie Gering, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Thomas Knauer, and others.

Roots of Modern Quilting runs through December 28, 2013. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

build a creative brand, with help from Creativebug




My friends at Creativebug have designed a brand new online course called Building a Creative Brand. It features advice and straight talk on all the ins and outs of building your own creative business from some of the top creative designers including Heather Ross, Liesl and Todd Gibson, Christine Schmidt, Melanie Falick, and Lisa Congdon.




Every week of the course will cover a different topic, ranging from identifying your brand and aesthetic, the importance of a business plan, licensing your work and using an agent, publishing your work, work/life balance, and much more.

It's really going to be a great class for anyone interested in developing and growing their own brand, and I'll be taking it for sure. Want to join me? The course runs from October 14 through November November 15, and if you subscribe before the end of the day today, you can lock in a special early bird subscription rate. You can find out more about Building a Creative Brand here.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Legacy Tour for Kathreen's Brave New Quilts




I'm incredibly honored to be launching the Legacy Tour for this amazing new book, Brave New Quilts by Kathreen Ricketson. And I honestly say, every time I look at this book or even think about Kathreen, I get a bit choked up since she is no longer here to celebrate the arrival of this project with us.

I never had the opportunity to meet Kathreen in person. She lived in Australia and I'm in Ohio, and unfortunately our paths never crossed at Quilt Market or anywhere else among the thousands of miles between us. But, over the past few years we corresponded frequently via various online avenues and I'm so glad that we did. Kathreen was an amazing woman who was kind, supportive, encouraging, amazingly creative, and most definitely, incredibly inspiring.

Her beloved website, WhipUp, was one of the first that I came across when I began to make quilts for myself. I was instantly drawn to the site and Kathreen's sense of style and how seamlessly she combined her love of art and craft throughout every aspect of her life.




Brave New Quilts brings her love of art and craft to something tangible for us all, and is truly her legacy to those of us in the craft community. The book contains twelve projects that are inspired by twelve different 20th Century art movements, from Art Nouveau to Punk and Pop. I have to say, the art historian in me was absolutely giddy when I first heard about this book, and now that I have had a chance to spend some time with it in person, I'm even more excited. Kathreen includes a bit of information about all of the art movements that she includes in the book, which is great for those who may not be familiar with them,  and she discusses how she drew inspiration from each of them for her quilts.




Kathreen captured the essence of each art historical movement in its corresponding quilt that she included in the book. I truly love them all, but my favorite is the cover quilt, Weave, which was inspired by the Bauhaus movement. Kathreen's use of color in this quilt is really quite stunning and it's no wonder that it was chosen for the cover of the book.




In this project, as in all of them throughout the book, Kathreen encourages the readers to design their own, rather than duplicating her design. I love that she included four additional colorways for each project as a starting point to show people just how differently the same quilt pattern can look just by changing the colors of the fabrics that are used in its construction.




Kathreen's instructions are well written and easy to follow. In addition to the twelve quilt patterns, Kathreen includes information on how to finish each project, which makes this book great for quilters of all skill levels. Brave New Quilts also contains little tidbits of design advice from Kathreen throughout it. I especially love her suggestions that are included throughout each project, like the one above in Weave




Or this one, in the Seedpod quilt. While Kathreen inspires us to sew and work in our studios, she also encourages us to get outside and turn to nature as a source of inspiration for our design projects. 

I miss Kathreen, and I always will. But, with Brave New Quilts we all get to keep a bit of her with us forever. 

Please read more about the Legacy Tour of Brave New Quilts on the Stash Books blog, and be sure to follow along each stop as more of Kathreen's friends share their thoughts over the next couple of weeks. 


Wednseday10/2Kristin Link
Thursday10/3Maya Donenfeld
Friday10/4Alexandra Smith
Monday10/7Sonya Philip
Tuesday10/8Ellen Luckett Baker
Wednesday10/9Andrea Jenkins
Thursday10/10Shannon Cook
Friday10/11Mimi Kirchner
Monday10/14Cheryl Arkison



You can also keep track of the Legacy Tour by following the hashtag #LegacyTour on social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 




Rest in peace, sweet Kathreen. Thank you for sharing your love of art and craft with us while you were here, and for encouraging us all to be brave with our designs. 

winner of the Coats & Clark goodies...



I'm sorry for the delay in choosing a winner for my giveaway of the Coats & Clark goodies in honor of National Sewing Month. So, without further adieu, the winner is




lucky number 59. 



Niki! Congratulations! I'll email you today about your prize.Thank you again to everyone who entered!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt for Creativebug




My latest workshop for Creativebug is now available! This is my Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt and it's such a fun and easy project. As the name suggests, it uses a precut jellyroll fabric bundle, which means there is virtually no cutting of fabrics during the construction of this quilt. As you can imagine, it comes together really quickly. 





I chose a rainbow bundle of Kona solids from Robert Kaufman, but this project would look great in lots of other color combinations, too. And while is it very easy to construct, the simple design of the quilt has quite a strong visual impact.




So head on over to Creativebug to take my class, and I'll walk you step by step through the construction of the Rainbow Jelly Roll Quilt. And don't forget, if you subscribe as a member to Creativebug through the end of September, you can lock in the monthly rate of just $9.99 to have access to all of their great classes. It's such a great deal!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Creativebug subscription special!



My friends at Creativebug have an incredible deal going on this month, and I wanted to take a moment and share it with you. Through the end of September, you can subscribe as a member for just $9.99 a month! That means you have unlimited access to classes by Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Kaffe Fasset, Liesl Gibson, Heather Ross, Natalie Chanin, Cal Patch, and yours truly, plus many more for less than ten dollars a month.

I have a new workshop this month and I'll share more about it tomorrow. In the meantime, go subscribe!

Friday, September 20, 2013

it's on...





I'm ready to take on Luke and Mark and help support the Quilt Alliance! There are only 25 tickets left for the After Dark Cocktail Party, part of the Quilters Take Manhattan which includes our Quilt Match Manhattan, so please act quickly if you want to join us. Tickets can be purchased here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

National Sewing Month Giveaway with Coats and Clark!



You all know how much I love Coats and Clark, and they truly are my thread of choice, so I'm really excited to be taking part in their great giveaway in honor of National Sewing Month. The quilt above is my Around the World quilt, and it's still one of my favorite designs of all time. It's so simple, but it has such a strong visual impact, and it's really easy to construct, too. You can find the free pattern for it on the Coats site here.

Now, on to the giveaway!! 

Coats and Clark wants to help you with your National Sewing Month projects, and you have five chances to win! One lucky reader of my blog will win a Coats and Clark Anniversary Tin filled with sewing goodies like fabric, zippers and thread.




I have one of these myself and it's awesome! Once you use up all of the goodies that it comes with, the tin makes a great place to store all sorts of things in your sewing space.


Have you checked out the new look of the Coats and Clark Sewing Secrets blog? I really love the clean design and it's full of lots of great free tutorials as well as tons of  product info, all in one place. You might recognize this project, in particular...



That happens to be my Improv Color Block quilt, the latest quilt that I designed and made for Coats and Clark, and the pattern is available as a free download on their site here.

1) To enter this giveaway, leave a comment telling me: When you’re in a sewing rut, what motivates you to sew?

2) For a second entry, Like Coats and Clark on Facebook and leave a second comment telling me that you did! And don't forget to check out the other giveaways all week long for five chances to win! Monday, 9/16: Craft Buds Tuesday, 9/17: West Coast Crafty Wednesday, 9/18: Olive and Ollie Thursday, 9/19: Simple Simon and Co. Friday, 9/20: CraftFoxes


Please be sure to leave your email address in the comment so I can notify you if you're the winner. International participants are welcome to enter. My giveaway ends Wednesday September 25, 2013 at 5 pm ET,  and I'll randomly choose one lucky winner then. Good luck!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

SewDown Portland!




I'm really excited and honored to share that I'll be teaching at the SewDown Portland next February. The SewDown is an all inclusive weekend quilting getaway hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild, and this one takes place February 7-8, 2014 at the Nines Hotel.




I'll be teaching my Modern Strip Piecing class where I'll show you how to make my You + Me quilt, which is one of my favorites. I can't wait to see all of the variations that my students will bring to the pattern! This is a great project for beginners and a rather fast one for more experienced quilters, and the results are really striking and bold. I'd love to redo this design in another color palette myself, because I think it would have an entirely different feeling.

Other classes at the SewDown Portland are Improv Round Robin with Sherri Lynn Wood, Shooting Star: A Modern Traditionalist Mini with Lee Heinrich, and Sidekick Sampler Workshop with Julie Herman. There will also be lectures by Valori Wells, Violet Craft, and Bill Volkening. It's going to be such a great time!

Registration for the SewDown opens today at 10 PST, and if you're a member of the Modern Quilt Guild you'll qualify for a really nice discount on the weekend. Find out more about the event here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Quilt MATCH Manhattan




Wow, has it really been almost a month since I last posted??? This summer (well, the entire year, in fact) has been hectic and the last few weeks have been particularly busy. Hopefully now that my kids are in school I'll have more time to share some fun things here.

And what could be more fun than the Quilt MATCH Manhattan? That's me in the middle, right between Mark Lipinksi and Luke Haynes, and we'll be duking it out, all in the name of fun, for a design competition at the After Dark Cocktail Party at the home of Victoria Findlay-Wolfe.





This evening event is part of the Quilters Take Manhattan, which is a fundraiser for the Quilt Alliance, a wonderful organization whose mission to is document, preserve, and share the story of quilts and their makers. I'm a huge fan of the Quilt Alliance and their work, and I couldn't be more honored to be a part of this great weekend. The main event of the Quilters Take Manhattan takes place on Saturday, September 28, but there are lots of other fun activities that weekend as well. You can find out more about the event on the Quilt Alliance's site and purchase tickets for the event here. See you in NYC!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

my new studio






I mentioned a while ago that we moved into a new house, but I haven't shared many photos of my new studio with you. Jennifer and Heather asked me to participate in their Studio Spotlight series, so I'm glad to share more with you now as part of that. 






Without a doubt my favorite thing in my new space (besides the great natural light) is my vintage industrial Singer sewing machine. It's a Singer 281-1 from the 1960s I was lucky enough to come across it this past spring, when I found out that the downtown Cincinnati location of Brooks Brothers was closing and getting rid of their machines. I was out of town at the time, in Cleveland shooting for Quilting Arts, but thankfully I made it home in time to rent a truck with my husband and pick one up. We moved it to our new house, even though we weren't living here at the time. We were still doing renovations, but we knew that we didn't want to have to move this thing twice. It's heavy!!!




This thing is no joke. It has a speed up to 1500 stitches per minute and a an oil pan below the table top. It's a solid machine.





This large improv patchwork block was the first thing that I sewed on it last month, to try to get the hang of the machine. It's fairly easy to use, although it has taken a bit of time to get used to its speed.





To the left of my machine is a large industrial metal shelving unit that holds some of my fabric and books. I've got some scraps and works in progress stored in some plastic bins, and larger cuts of fabric on bolts. I've also arranged some of my smaller cuts of solids in color order on one of the shelves.




To the left of the metal unit is my large cutting table and more fabric storage. As you can see, the table is a popular place for one of my helpers to hang out. And honestly, it's not usually that clean, although I'm certainly trying to keep it that way. I've got some supplies in this fun metal cart from Ikea.




Beneath the cutting table are two storage units from Ikea that house a lot of my printed fabric stash. It took a long time to fold all of this, but I think the end result was worth all of the effort.




And next to the cutting table is my desk, which also came from Ikea. I really love this desk because it's really a drafting table, so I can adjust the height and angle of the top when I draw and paint. It's also got a bit of storage underneath it on two shelves, which is great. I keep most of my threads on three thread hangers that I've mounted to the wall. 





Behind my desk is a vintage striped chair that I picked up at a thrift store and a couple of old wooden baskets where I keep more scraps. My husband built the large quilt ladder where I keep finished quilts. It's getting quite full so we definitely need to make a few more for the house, and I'm working on a tutorial for that project that I hope to be able to share with you soon as well.




And next to the chair is my design wall. You can see how I made those here, although I recently recovered them with batting instead of flannel. And you can see that the chair is also a popular spot for my helpers.





And finally, coming around next to my sewing machine is a series of metal shelves from Ikea. I've got some of my favorite books and magazines there, as well as some other fun things like my vintage sewing basket and a handmade doll that I picked up at a flea market in Tennessee last year.




I've also got this lovely stack of fabrics that was a gift from a friend, and some fun vintage glasses for inspiration.




Thanks so much for stopping by my visit on the Studio Spotlight series by The Sewing Loft and Ellison Lane Quilts. Be sure to check out all of the great stops on the tour this month as well!



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