Welcome to my stop on the Scraps, Inc. Vol. 2 Blog Tour!
I was thrilled when Susanne asked me to contribute to Scraps, Inc. Volume 2. I do adore a good scrap quilt and Scraps, Inc. Vol. 1 was simply beautiful, both the quilts and the book itself. Volume 2 is filled with delightful eye candy and fun projects by 15 talented and unique designers.
My contribution to the book is “Sweet Emmeline”, a scrappy orange peel quilt. I named the quilt after my daughter. She constantly claims every quilt I make as her own, so I decided to cut to the chase and just name the next one after her! (And yes, I do sing the Neil Diamond song to her and change the lyrics.)
The quilt measures 58″ x 78″, the perfect size for a couch throw.
There are gobs of colors and prints in the quilt, so I wanted to keep them controlled and focused. I chose to use a selection of dark and light tones paired together for each orange peel . The quilt can be made even scrappier, as long as there is either color or tonal variation in the orange peels.
The quilt is also tactile and textural with the use of metallics, linen and the closely spaced wavy quilting.
I have to say, “Sweet Emmeline” looks pretty fantastic in my new house, on my new couch. It makes me happy every morning when I walk out and see it.
Would you like to win a copy of Scraps, Inc. Vol. 2? Just comment below and you will be entered to win! I will announce a winner (chose by random number generator) on Saturday, February 13th.
Lucky Spool is also offering 30% off your book if you purchase between now and 2/16. Simply go to this link and enter the code Scraps30 at checkout.
Follow the tour to see all the other designers and their amazing quilts!
Today I am a guest blogger for the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Quilt along, brought you by Angie at Gnome Angel, The Fat Quarter Shop and Marti Mitchell. If you would like to purchase the book, scroll to the bottom of this post for more information. If you would like to join the 5000+ other quilters participating in the sew-along, click here.
Thanks for stopping by my blog! Today I am going to show you how I assembled my “Daffodil” block. For the previous blocks, I have been cutting all the pieces with Marti Mitchell’s wonderful templates and hand-sewing them together. Wouldn’t you know that my first tutorial is NOT Marti Mitchell Template friendly?! For this block, I printed the templates from the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s CD and machine sewed the pieces together (machine, because I just moved and I needed to get this block done quickly!).
Normally I am a huge fan of paper-piecing, but I wanted to try using only templates and rotary cutting for this quilt. I found Daffodil to be very easy to free-piece. There aren’t even any “Y” seams!
A few notes before you begin:
• There is an error on the templates. Once you print them out, switch the letters on template N and template I.
• My block is a mirror image of the block in the book. If you want your block to look exactly like the one in the book, you need to place your templates so that the wrong side of the fabric and the printed side of the templates are together.
Cutting the Pieces:
Before tracing the templates, press the fabric and starch it if necessary. Some cottons have enough sizing in them, so they don’t need to be starched. I like to starch thinner fabrics, such as Liberty of London.
Once the templates are traced and cut out, draw in the seam allowance lines. You don’t HAVE to do this, if you are machine sewing, but it definitely improves your accuracy since there are many odd angles in Daffodil.
I always draw in the seam allowances, since I am hand-sewing and I don’t trust myself to eye-ball a straight 1/4″ line!
Assembling the Block:
Lay your pieces out and make sure they are facing the correct direction. You will see that there are three distinct sections to the block. We will be assembling each section separately and then sewing them together at the end.
Follow the photo above to sew the first set of pieces together. I pressed my seams open for this step.
Next, you’ll just sew the one little seam that the arrow is indicating. Press the seam allowances toward the pink triangle.
Sew the horizontal(ish) seams together, beginning at the top and working your way down.
Sew the three sections together and you are done. No paper to rip off!
Have you seen the “DIY Block Design” e-book yet? My good friend, Alyce, of Blossom Heart Quilts has published an e-book which makes designing your own quilt blocks so easy! Here is my honest to goodness review of the book:
Alyce Blyth has created a gem with “DIY Block Design”. The clean, easy to navigate layout and clear, conversational writing make this book a must-have for any budding or seasoned quilt designer. Presented in workbook format, “DIY Block Design” has beautiful illustrations, graphically appealing and accurate charts, and handy formulas so you can be designing your own quilt today, no matter what your skill level. As an experienced quilt designer, I love having all the calculations done for me in an easy to reference, consolidated guide. I know I will be referring back to the charts and formulas again and again. For beginning designers, the step-by-step workbook format is straight-forward and concisely presented. I will definitely be suggesting (or insisting!) that my quilt students purchase this book.
Alyce is doing a month long blog hop with guest posts from new designers attempting their first block design and experienced designers sharing their favorite tips. You can find the full schedule at the bottom of this post.
When Alyce asked me to share my design process, I wasn’t really sure where to start! Each block and quilt I design has a unique process, depending on my inspiration, and how traditional or modern the design is. I do get asked quite a bit about the tools and computer programs I use when I design a pattern, so I thought I would go over each one briefly. If you have any questions, please ask!
Disclaimer: When you design a block, you really don’t NEED anything other than graph paper, a pencil and, of course, “DIY Block Design”! This list will come in handy if you want to take it a step further, or design patterns for other people to use.
Tools I Use For Quilt Design:
A Sketchbook: I like to carry around a small sketchbook and pencil, so I can draw anytime I have a free moment. I prefer to use plain paper rather than graph paper when I am first brainstorming, so that I am not limited by a grid. I figure out how to make my design work as a quilt later.
A Camera Phone: Whenever I see inspiration, I take a photo. I like to keep these on my desktop in a folder, so I can look through it when I want to be inspired.
EQ7: EQ7 (Electric Quilt) is quilt design software. I tend to use this for more traditional block-based designs. I love being able to design a quilt or block in EQ7, because I can easily play with various fabrics and see exactly what the finished product will look like. EQ7 will also give you templates, cutting measurements and fabric yardage, but you still need to do the math and check everything. I find that EQ7’s calculations are often inaccurate (This is not a fault of the program. It’s just that not all blocks will fit standard computer calculations).
Adobe Illustrator: I still need to learn all the ins and outs of Illustrator, but I love that I can design a quilt in EQ7 and then pull the blocks apart in Illustrator to create construction diagrams.
These blocks were designed in EQ7 for my Spring Bouquet Quilt, and then “pulled apart” in Illustrator so I could show other quilters how to construct the blocks.
Adobe Photoshop: I think most quilt designers prefer to use Illustrator over Photoshop, but it is what I learned to use in grad school, so I stick with it! I love that I can draw up a quilt without being constrained by a grid, so it comes in handy for a non-traditional design. I can also load an inspiration photo into Photoshop and draw a design right over the photo. You can do this in EQ7 also, but it needs to work within a grid.
For Example: I wanted to design a block based on a Viewmaster Reel. I uploaded a photo of a reel into photoshop and drew my design lines on top of the photo. I used this computer sketch to develop my templates for the Viewmaster Block.
Adobe inDesign: I use inDesign to write up the actual pattern and layout the illustrations. I learned how to use inDesign myself after watching a few of Adobe’s instruction videos. I find the program to be very intuitive and I don’t know what I did without it!
Money-saving Tip: I get all my Adobe products through a monthly subscription. If you are a student or teacher, or know a student or teacher, you can get a subscription for $19.99/month. You are allowed to download the products to two computers, so you can each have access to the products.
Thanks for stopping by! I’m in the middle of a move right now, so please check back. I’ll be blogging more once I am settled in from moving!
It’s my day in the Spring Bloom Makers Blog hop and I’m so excited to reveal the quilt I have been working on! Bella Caronia’s Spring Bloom is Amanda Caronia’s first fabric line with Windham Fabrics and it is lovely.
I met Amanda at an LAMQG meeting and we instantly bonded over being California transplants and former 705 Costumers (that’s the local union for TV and movie costumers). I was really excited when she asked if I would design a quilt for her new fabric line.
I love Spring Bloom’s variety of colors and floral designs, and I wanted to design a quilt that represented a bouquet of flowers, or an aerial view of a French Formal Garden.
“Spring Bouquet” measures 84″ x 84″ and is a sampler in the round. I had a lot of fun choosing blocks and laying them out to best show off these gorgeous fabrics.
It’s hard to see scale in a cropped photo, so here is a behind the scenes shot for size reference.
It fits very nicely on my queen-sized bed (yes, I STILL need to paint the other nightstand…quilts come first!).
I will be releasing the pattern for Spring Bouquet next month, so please check back for details! I’m thinking it may be fun to have a quilt-along: 12 different blocks over 12 weeks (4-8 blocks per week).
Now it’s your turn to win your own Spring Bloom! Windham is generously giving away a Fat Quarter Bundle of all fifteen prints to one lucky reader.
To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below. For fun, why don’t you tell me what your favorite flower is. I love Peonies and I’m eagerly awaiting the two weeks that Trader Joes carries them in their store!
The giveaway will be open until midnight EST on Sunday, May 3rd. I will choose one winner by random number generator. International entries are welcome!
Be sure to stop by the other blogs in the hop and see what they have created with Spring Bloom. Amanda is having an Instagram giveaway, so check out her blog post on how to enter. You can also check out #springbloommakers on Instagram for more projects.
I think anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a thing for rainbows. When I heard that Rebecca Bryan had a book coming out called Modern Rainbow, I flipped out just a wee bit (ok, a LOT bit). I have admired Rebecca’s work for a long time and she contributed a lovely quilt to my book (more on that this week).
Modern Rainbow was published by Stash Books and it is clear, concise and full of wonderful eye-candy. I love that Rebecca organized the quilts into Modern/Traditional, Modern, and Improvisational patterns. Within each section is a variety of skill levels and techniques for every kind of quilter.
Here is a selection of my favorite quilts from each section:
Modern Traditional: Irish +
I love how simple the Irish + pattern is, yet there is complexity in the choice of fabrics. This would be a fun quilt to pull fabric for and would be a fantastic exercise in contrast and value.
Huckleberry is one of those quilts that I am in complete awe of and wish I had designed myself. It would look fantastic hanging in a sewing studio, and the way Rebecca pieced the hexagons is genius (you’ll have to get the book to see how she did it!).
Improvisational: Rainbow Remix
I think Rainbow Remix is my very favorite in the book and someday MUST be pillows in my house. The quilt reminds me of Gee’s Bend in Technicolor and I adore the saturation and freedom of each block.
I decided to make a mini version of Ducks in a Row. Here is the version from the book:
and here is the version I made:
The quilt is cut using templates, so I printed all of them at 50% and then redrew the seam allowances as I traced them onto template plastic (you always need to adjust the seam allowances back to 1/4″ when you change the scale of a template).
I decided to organize my fabrics so that the colors would transition from one hue to the next within each column. I think it took me longer to choose and organize my fabrics than to cut and piece the quilt!
The varying sizes of triangles also provide a great opportunity for fussy-cutting those favorite and precious fabrics from your stash.
Rebecca’s instructions were very easy to follow and she provided alternate sizes, so you can make any size from crib to king. I did 11 rows of 5 ducks each at 50% and my finished quilt measures 25″ x 24″.
Now it’s your turn! Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite quilty color scheme is (and no, it doesn’t have to be rainbow…you can make these patterns from any colors you desire!). I’m going to giveaway one copy of Modern Rainbow to a lucky reader!
If you live in the US you will be mailed a hardcopy and if you live elsewhere, you will receive an electronic copy.
I’ll choose the winner randomly on Friday, April 10th. Good luck!
Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop for inspiration, interviews and sneak peaks of the book!
I’m really excited to be today’s stop on Jennifer Sampou’s Blog Hop for her beautiful new line of fabric, Black & White. I am sharing the day with Angela Walters, so be sure to pop by her blog where she discusses the quilting for my Black & White quilt.
I have been a long time fan of Jennifer’s fabric designs and I have quite the collection of quilts using her past lines (click the links to see my other quilts): Shimmer, Color:Full, Studio Stash and now Black & White…
Designing a value-based quilt has been on my to-do list for awhile, so I jumped at the chance to design something for Black & White. A traditional Storm at Sea block seemed like to perfect way to show off the variety of shades and patterns in the fabric line.
I love the warmth the subtle taupe tones add to the fabrics and look at that amazing quilting by Angela Walters! I have also been using those dots in every single project I make. I adore them!
I recently received EQ7 and it was a ton of fun to upload the fabrics into the program and play around them with them. I don’t think I could have designed this quilt without the ability to play around with the fabrics so freely.
If you are interested in making your own Storm At Sea, the pattern is available for FREE at Robert Kaufman, or you can purchase a kit, which includes the pattern and Black & White fabrics to make the top, at Keepsake Quilting.
And now for the prizes!
On Jennifer’s Blog:
Win a FQ bundle of the entire Black and White line! Stop by Jennifer’s blog for details on how to enter!
On my Blog:
Win this Taquito FQ pack of Black & White fabrics. All you need to do is leave a comment telling me what you would make with Black & White! I’ll pick a winner by Random Number Generator on Tuesday evening.
Win a Taquito FQ rollup and “Elephant and I” Pattern. Enter to win by re-posting any Blog Hop projects and tag #blackandwhitefabrics and #jennifersampou
My Instagram handle is betteroffthread, so be sure to find me and repost my project!
Stop by the other participating blogs for inspiration and more giveaways!
I am very pleased to be a part of the Shimmer Blog Hop to celebrate Jennifer Sampou’s latest fabric release. Shimmer is fun, sophisticated, textural and the best part…it shines!
Last Spring, I made a quilt for Market from Jennifer’s Studio Stash line and I’ve been using the fabrics in my projects ever since. I really love fabrics that add visual texture and come in beautiful colors. The current line, Shimmer, certainly does not disappoint and the projects in the lookbook are stunning.
I had fun making the Cargo Duffle featured in the lookbook and Jennifer is lucky I didn’t keep it for myself! The dresses in the book are positively drool-worthy.
When Jennifer asked me to be in the blog hop and design a project, I jumped at the chance. I had this image in my head of a quilt with tons of shimmering X’s on a neutral background.
The block I used is called “Road to Tennessee”, but I changed the proportions to make the X’s thinner and more delicate. I didn’t realize when I came up with the design that I’d be sewing together 268 3″ squares and 536 2″ squares, but it was well worth it!
The background color is Kona Pewter (one of the newest Kona colors) and it is the perfect shade of gray with a hint of warmth.
I angsted over the quilting and then decided to sew simple, wavy, lines to add texture.
Check out those great prints!
I pieced the back using leftover Shimmer I had from making the Cargo Duffle. Look at it shine!
View from the back.
The quilt measures 47″ x 59″ and it is currently glamming up my living room.
Be sure to check out all the other amazing bloggers and the fantastic projects they are creating from Shimmer.
At the end of the Blog Hop, Jennifer Sampou will be giving away an entire fat quarter bundle of Shimmer. Check out this luscious stack of fabric:
To enter the giveaway, new readers should sign up on Jennifer’s mailing list and comment on her blog before the end of the hop. Be sure to comment about your favorite projects and why. Existing followers are automatically eligible to win.
I also have a charm pack of Shimmer to giveaway to my readers!
To enter to win the charm pack, just leave me a comment. I’ll announce a winner by random number generator on Friday, April 4th.
Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts is a very sweet bloggy-friend of mine. Recently, she asked if I would like to be a part of a blog hop where we share projects we have made from Kate Spain fabric. After accessing my finished projects, I quickly emailed Alyce back and told her that I have never used Kate Spain fabrics, but I would love to join in. I think Alyce probably fainted on her side of the computer monitor and I was a little embarrassed that my fabric collection is not very diverse!
I really have no idea how I have managed to never use any of Kate Spain’s fabrics. Kate’s fabrics are gorgeous, fun, whimsical and bright. Everything I look for in a fabric line. I feel like a whole new world has been opened up to me!
I’ve been wanting to make a quilted purse and my friend Jenn at Sunny In CAL recently patterned a really adorable duffle which comes in three sizes. When I saw the Cuzco fabric line I knew that it would be perfect for the purse, so I purchased a fat quarter bundle to play with.
I made quilt-as-you go panels using batting and duck cloth on the back to give the purse some stability.
Jen showed me how to sew it all together and she made so easy. Isn’t that the happiest bag ever?
I love the extra deep side pockets and that peacock fabric is so fantastic.
View from the top.
I love that the zipper is visible and Jen showed me how to make little fabric tabs on either end of it , which is such a great finishing touch.
View from the bottom.
The straps go the whole way around!!
I have become a total Kate Spain convert. I’m making a quilt for Moda Bakeshop right now and my #1 fabric request was her new line, Sunnyside. My fingers are crossed that it arrives in the mail for me. The cloud fabric is dreamy!
Make sure you visit the other stops on the blog hop and link-up your own Kate Spain projects. There are giveaways, tutorials and an interview with Kate herself!