Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the winner of Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe is...




Thank you to all of you who entered my giveaway of a digital copy of the new book Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe.  I was so thrilled to read your sweet comments and share in your excitement for the book, too. Without further adieu, the winner of the e-book version is 





Congratulations, Nati! I'm off to email you now! And keep an eye open for another giveaway soon, because I've got a paper copy of the book that I'd like to share with you as well.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

interview on the Makerie blog



Ali, the founder of the Makerie, recently asked me a few questions for an interview on her blog, and she's sharing the post today. Click here to read it.

And don't forget, tickets are still available to join us at the Makerie Sewing retreat in April. It's going to be an amazing time, and I'll be joined by Amy Butler, Liesl Gibson, Kaari Meng, Jenny Hart, Cal Patch, and Tamar Mogendorff. You can register for the Makerie here.

Thanks so much for your kind words, Ali. I'm so looking forward to being with you in April at the Makerie!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Typeface



Have you seen the amazing fabric by Julia Rothman called Type? It's so much fun! I really love Julia's illustrations, so it was quite an honor to me when the folks at Windham asked me to design a quilt for the line a few months ago.  I came up with a simple pattern that really allows the fabric to shine. I called it Typeface, and it's available as a free download on the Windham site here

And you can also find kits for the quilt top at Robin's Nest fabrics. If you'd like one, I'd hurry, because this fabric is flying off the shelves! 



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe blog tour and giveaway




I'm so excited to be sharing Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe with you today as part of the big blog hop celebrating its release. The book contains nineteen projects from eighteen designers, and I'm incredibly honored to be a part of such an esteemed group of modern quilters. 





My Silo quilt, complete with full instructions, is included in the book, and I have to say, this is one my of favorite projects to date. I love that it's really unique and that it's design was inspired by something so mundane as a silo.




I actually just received the quilt back from the great folks at Martingale last week to use in my Creativebug shoot this past weekend, and it was really fun to see it hanging in front of some large, metal silos near my house. You can read more about my Silo quilt, which was chosen as a winner in the fourth Project Modern Challenge by Denyse Schmidt, here and here


Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe is full of amazingly gorgeous quilts, and here are some of my favorites. 



I love Katy Jones' Indian Summer quilt, which is modern spin on the traditional Dresden plate design. The hot pink sets off the Dresden plates perfectly.




Monica Solorio-Snow's quilt is called Juicy, and it certainly is with the gorgeous pops of color that are grounded with dark gray and white. It's really stunning. 




John Adams designed a quilt called "A Shift in Perspective" and I really love his use of color. It is really bold and graphic and has an incredible sense of movement.




I love the minimalist feeling in Jessica Kovach's "Petal Pod." The combination of the large quantity of gray negative space is the perfect way to accentuate the prints in the pods. Gorgeous!


Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe is a must-have-book for any crafter's library, and I'm so excited to be giving away an e-copy for one of my readers. Just leave a comment below and I'll choose one random winner. The giveaway closes on January 29, 2013 at midnight ET. Good luck!


Please be sure to read more about the book on Martingale's blog, and visit all of the other designers who are participating in the blog hop and giveaway as well. 

P.S. Please be sure to leave your email address in your comment if it's not connected to your blogger profile. Thank you!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

my Little Red, in progress




My little girl, Olivia, is turning five next month (which is incredibly hard to believe), and I've been wanting to make her a handmade doll as a gift this year. I've made her a few dolls in the past, but I was looking for a new pattern, and I'm so glad that I came across this adorable one. It's called Little Red and it's by Larissa Holland of mmmcrafts.com. Isn't she sweet?




I chose to make my version with yellow felt hair, instead of brown as shown in the pattern, so she'd look a bit more like my blonde girl. I really love the stitched details in her hair! I used a golden colored thread for this and I think it worked really nicely with the yellow felt.




One thing I love about this pattern is the attention to detail, especially in the face. Here's how it looked when I was getting started.




And here's her completed face! The spots are damp areas where I removed the water soluble pen marks for placement of her eyes, nose, and mouth.




After the front and back of her hair was completed, it was time to make her braids.




I've realized that I misplaced them a bit, as they are a little more to the side in the pattern, so that you can see that they make a circle. I don't mind them in position, though.



And here she is, all sewn together and ready to be stuffed. I used Pellon Perfect Loft Cluster Fiber Fill for my stuffing. It's great because it's made of of tiny clusters, instead of big lumps, of stuffing so you can really control the placement of it throughout a smaller project like this.







After her arms were sewn I attached them to her body, and then it was time to start working on her skirt.




The pattern calls for 1/2" wide decorative ribbon, and it was really hard for me to find something that I liked and that would coordinate with the fabrics I was using, so I ended up with this black floral design. Next time I make one of these dolls I think I'll look for some Renaissance Ribbons, though. They are much more pretty than what I found at my local big box fabric store. 




And here's what she looks like now! I finished her skirt and tiny shoes last night, and I just need to finish her cape. I'm using cream wool for that, and instead of the basket that is included in the pattern, my doll is going to have a coordinating quilt to go along with her.



I think Olivia is going to love it! I'll share more photos of her once she's finished. You can find the pattern for Little Red in Larissa Holland's pattern shop here.

P.S. I'm sorry for the poor quality of these photos! This has been a secret mission since it's a gift for Olivia, so I've been working on her late at night, once the kids are asleep. She's much prettier in natural light!

Friday, January 18, 2013

my first feature article!



A few months ago I was contacted by the lovely folks at Modern Quilting Magazine, a British publication. They asked to write a feature on me for their upcoming article, and I'm excited to finally be able to share it with you!




I have to admit, it's still kind of strange to me to see my name on the cover like that...




And in the inside too, for that matter.

The article is a nice five-page spread in the magazine, and it's a really great interview, if I do say so myself. We talked about where my inspiration comes from, what type of quilting I prefer, how I started quilting, and more. Here are some shots of the layout, which I think is really beautiful.








And here are my top three quilting tips to give to a new quilter that I shared in the interview:

1. Firstly, believe you can do it! Quilting doesn't have to be intimidating.

2. Secondly, your quilting doesn't have to be perfect. It's the little imperfections that give quilts character.

3. Lastly, start with a small project if the idea of making a large quilt seems overwhelming. You will learn lots of tips and techniques in small quilted projects that will come in handy when you move on to larger ones.


You can read the rest of the article in Issue Five of Modern Quilting. I found my copy at Barnes and Noble, and it's available in specialty bookstores as well.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

my finished scrappy trip around the world quilt top


I finished my scrappy trip around the world quilt top this week, and I have to say, I kind of love it. I ended up taking out two darker blocks that I made and I'm so glad I did because I'm really happy with the final arrangement.



It measures 72" square and is made of 36 blocks. I'm thinking I'll finish this with some straight line quilting, using either a cream or light gray thread. For the binding, I was planning on making it scrappy too, using leftover bits from the construction of the top, but I think that may be too much. So, I'll probably end up using a white or gray fabric instead. I'm still thinking about the backing too...maybe I'll piece those dark blocks in there somehow.



As you can see, I use all sorts of fabrics. They are mostly prints by Denyse Schmidt, with a few Amy Butler prints thrown in for good measure, a fun polka dot by Jennifer Paganelli, and a purple print by Anna Maria Horner.






And I have to admit, this is the first quilt that I've made that I want to make again, as soon as this one is finished. It was really fun to put together, and I love how it works, even though all of the fabrics are really quite random. It was kind of like a surprise every time I'd finish a block, and then again when I was working on the final arrangement of them. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

my Creativebug workshops



I can't believe it's been about a month since I was in San Francisco filming my workshops for Creativebug. It was a whirlwind trip, and so much fun, and I'm still pinching myself that I was asked to be part of such an amazing group of people.

In case you're not familiar with Creativebug, it is a website full of amazing online workshops by incredible artists and designers. Viewers can subscribe on a month-to-month basis and have access to the entire library of video workshops. That means you can watch anything you'd like, whenever you'd like, and new workshops are released every week. There are so many categories, from apothecary to bookbinding to embroidery to knitting, and I'm incredibly honored to be kicking off their quilting category. The folks at Creativebug recently released this inspirational vido that tells a little more about their back story. 




Aren't they incredible?! I really love everything about them, from the people who run the company to the workshops that are offered, to how they are filmed and the music that is used in them, and everything in between.


As I said, it was quite a whirlwind to get everything for my classes finished in time for the shoot, but we did it! And I spent a good part of one week during December in this studio.




For most of the time that I was in there, this was my view.




And this was my work table, complete with a stash of step-outs below. That shot was from when I was filming my Mod Strips quilt workshop.




And although I was in San Francisco, I did kind of feel like I was in Hollywood, with all of the lights and cameras on me.



It was honestly a little surreal to see my name on the marker. And even after four days of shooting, it still felt a bit unnatural to speak directly to a camera, but Courtney, Darryl, Pierre, Ava, Kelly, Jeanne, Julie, Fernando, Debra, and everyone else at Creativebug made me feel welcome and totally at home. 




Courtney is not only an amazing artist, but she also kept me on track during all of the stops and starts of the shooting. I couldn't have asked for a better coach. 




When I said I was speaking to the camera, I was actually speaking to Darryl who was holding the A camera. 



Pierre directed my workshops and filmed the B camera, which acted sort of like my eyes, so he was focused on getting the shots of everything as I saw it. I have filmed some other television programs before, but working with Darryl and Pierre was a totally different experience. It was clear that I was working with filmmakers, not just cameramen. I'm so excited to see how everything turns out, and I have no doubt that it will all be absolutely beautiful. 




Of course, part of the beauty of the shoot is from the gorgeous set that I filmed in. Courtney and Ava arranged my quilts, plus some sketches from my notebook, along with lots of other cool things in the background. 







Here was my view on another day of filming, while we were working on my Diamonds in the Sky quilt workshop.



And I loved these vintage ladders, which are displaying step-outs from my Mod Stripes quilt and my jelly roll rainbow stripes quilt.




I brought some old favorites to the studio too, like my Yield quilt above, and my red and aqua wonky cross quilt below.





My workshops will start running in February on Creativebug. I designed three new quilt patterns, Rainbow Jelly Roll, Mod Stripes, and Diamonds in the Sky, and I'll show you how to make them from start to finish in each class. I also filmed a workshop on precut fabrics and shared some ideas on what you can make with them. I'll let you know as soon as they are ready to view!

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