Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Gearing Up For Summer


I have to admit that I am a little all over the place with my projects these days. I know that things are winding down because summer is just around the corner... that time of year where there is less time for sewing, and more time for kids, outside activities, family, friends, traveling, and cookouts! (surely a little applique has to be on that list somewhere too!?!)


And that leaves me with lots to do and little time to do it. This past week, I basted two quilts, started quilting two projects, AND worked on several new videos... just to mention a few. 


So, if you happened to miss it last week, then be sure to hop over to my YouTube channel. I've been talking about my favorite thing, what else... the starch applique method! There are more videos to come, but since I've got a lot to say about this technique, I just couldn't get it all in at once! I just added an introduction to freezer paper (my favorite quilting must-have, below) and using freezer paper for starch applique videos.


I would love your feedback about what you would like to see more of, but today I'm keeping it short and sweet today because this week's motto for me is: a little less talk, and a lot more action.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Making The YouTube Leap


I've been talking about it for a while now, that I wanted to start making a few videos about some of the quilting techniques that I use... especially about starch applique. There's just so much to say, that you just can't get it all in on one blog post... not to mention that having a visual explanation of something just makes things so much more clear. So, pop on over to my YouTube channel and see what I've been up to...


Stay tuned, because I've got more vidoes in the making... do you want to see more?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Yellow Stars & Applique Blocks


Some of my bee members like to make fun of me that by the time I deicde on a quilt block, and make up a couple test blocks, that the quilt is almost finished. Well... not quite. Yes, I've made a good amount of progress on my yellow quilt, but am no where near being finished. My bee members will be pleased to know that I am stopping with stars now, and passing the torch for them to carry.


As I had mentioned last week, it is my intention is to keep the applique blocks fairly simple and not get slowed down by such labor intensive blocks... you just can't find any simpler applique shapes than stems, ovals, and orange peels. I've always been really drawn to crossing applique designs.


Here is another Chuck Nohara mix up... I used the stem template, but instead of the multi-pieced flower as in the original, I used simple leaves with a oval accent.


I love the curved crossing stems from this Chuck Nohara block... see if you can spot the original design from my summer garden blocks. No worries, I've not forgotten this project... it's coming back out for summer! It is my travel applique project, and I can't wait to work on it again.



What are you summer sewing plans? Take it with you applique? EPP? or lifting a cold drink as you relax in the garden?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Auditioning (Possible) Bee Blocks


For me it's that time of year again... where I find myself searching, scrambling, debating, back and forthing, all just to find the perfect pattern for my bee blocks... only to be left with that feeling of well, I'm-still-not-sure. I've had it in my head now for a while that I would like to do a yellow quilt (or even green) I love the simplicity of a two color quilt.


One of my biggest back and forth issues is that I want to do a bucket list project... right now on my to-do list are more time intensive or advanced blocks like a double wedding ring, an elaborate applique quilt, or a 100 pieces foundation paper pieced block... and that's not exactly what you throw at fellow bee members.


But I had the idea to do a quilt where I do the applique blocks, and my bee members do the piecing. Usually a more time intensive block utilizes ones bee members a little better, but it just appeals to me to have a simple color palette, with simple applique, combined with simple stars. Here is my original inspiration. So for my first applique block, I modified the leaves a bit on this EQ8 block.



Chuck Nohara blocks are generally a little more labor intensive, and my idea was to keep it simples with leaves and sprigs applique blocks. Even though I've done this block before, I wanted to include it  because it's just a few simple pieces.


Here is another block that I found on EQ8, and I've always been drawn to crossing designs. I love the way this Cori Dantini fabric works with the Basic Grey Grunge yellow... I'll be using these a lot throughout this quilt.


What is an applique quilt without including a perched pair on a vine. Here are actually the birds from my Lovebirds Garden pattern, and I simply reduced them in size to fit on this 8" block.


I'm not sure if my colors are too specific, or if these are colors that my members can find in their stash. Who knows, I just might surprise everyone and go a totally different direction... just to keep everyone one their toes...


... kind of makes things more intereting, doesn't it? 
 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Prints, Solids, Or Even Better... GRUNGE + Giveaway


I realize that when I like something I have a tendency to gush. My husband laughs at me about how overdone-theatircal-romance-movie-like I can be when I am really on a kick. So, whether you like the name, or feel like "Grunge" is not exactly the most fitting name for such fabric yumminess, I thought I would share a few of my current and previous projects, and talk about why I find myself grabbing for Basic Grey Grunge fabrics more and more these days.



If you are thinking that these colors look a little familiar, you are right... you may remember these pillows that I made last year for my parents? It's my mom's birthday again in July, and what better way to surprise her than with a matching quilt using Zen Chic's Contrasting pattern. I now know why modern quilters enjoy such quilts... they really come together super fast!?! (hmm... I say this on the heels of two applique quilts)


Firstly, let me start by saying that no matter how big a fan I am of Grunge, I will never give up my prints... I delight too much in sweet little flowers, interesting shapes, and awe inspiring designs. But sometimes prints can get a little busy, and I like the fact that a Grunge fabric can anchor like a solid, but yet add texture that a solid just can't.


If you've been around here you know that I don't use solids, mostly because they feel flat to me... there is no movement,  no texture, nothing to make my eyes stop and study something. Grunge fabrics work like a solid without feeling flat.


Being a color girl, it is an absolute must that the colors in my quilt really shine... I love that there are so many vibrant and saturated colors in the Grunge line. Color should never take the backseat in my book, but sit proudly up front.



When I am working with fabrics, I am always letting the fabrics give me little clues how they would like to be combined... usually pulling from the secondary colors in the fabric. One big appeal of Grunge is to pull from those second and third color accents and work them into a project.


My dad is an artist, and I always loved hearing him explain about how to paint. Each little brush stoke is intentional and thought out, and determines the end result. It feels to me that Grunge fabrics add such interest because they really give you a painterly feel... where does the quilt start and the painting stop?


Over the years the Grunge color range has grown. There seems to be a perfect color for just about every project... and you can see how my pretty stack has grown too.



... and speaking of Grunge, just in case you happened to miss it, I am running a giveaway on Instagram, featuring a Basic Grey Grunge fat quarter set curated by Fat Quarter Shop. (not to mention my latest Home Sweet Home Applique Samapler, Aurifil Thread box, AND Roxanne applique glue)


To enter the giveaway be sure to comment on my Instagram feed (not here, sorry) and remember that my entire Payhip shop is on sale through May 27th, 2018!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Home Sweet Home RELEASE(S) + SALE!


What are the things that really make a home? It almost goes without saying that for most, it's the people around you... but we all have those special "things" around us that are sweet, little reminders of the connection we have to the place that we call home... and my Home Sweet Home Applique Sampler quilt embodies just that. When I first introduced a few blocks from the quilt, I shared a lot of personal connections and stories behind the blocks, and what better way than to highlight all those sweet blocks than framing them in an Irish Chain layout.


But I realize that not everyone likes to make such time intensive projects, so I decided to also release a few of my favorite blocks as applique template sets. These are prefect for those that want to explore applique before tackling a whole quilt, for those who like to work on small, in between projects, and of course for those who ALWAYS deviate from the original pattern to make it their own. No quilt pattern instructions, but "just the applique shapes"... I have to admit that the Flora & Fauna set has to be my favorite.


































Kitchen and food themed projects are always such fun, don't you think?... and I could really imagine that these templates would be great made up into pot holders, hand towels, or even framed as prints. Here is a deliciously bright pillow that I made using the Edibles set combining felt and fabric applique.

If it's not already painfully obvious, my heart beats for flowers, which is not to say that I have a green thumb. I'm deeply amazed by the variety and the delicate and tiniest details of blossoms both big and small. This pillow, using the Blooms set, is everything that is soft and subtle in a garden.


I could imagine that it also goes without saying, that where I sew, it a big part of my home. I am blessed to have a space where I can create, mess up,clean up, and start all over again. There are so many sewing related projects possibilities with my Stitches set like needle books, thread catcher, sewing matching cover, fabric organizers, and the list goes...

... and saving the best part for last, I am running an 20% off introductory sale on all these patterns and the rest of my shop, starting today through May 27th, 2018. When you check out, be sure to enter the Sale Code: Home.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Home Sweet Home Finish + Nadelwelt Update


So much of the first part of my year has been the push get ready for Nadelwelt, which included finishing my fourth pattern, Home Sweet Home Applique Sampler. I was able to pre-release the pattern for the show, and it officially releases next week! Right now the dust has not yet settled, and I've not even really had time to fully process the whole event, but I can assure that I had a blast!


The first day of the show I taught a class on the starch applique method. I really have it in my head to possibly put out a couple videos on this fantastic technique, but everything in it's time, right? I ended up taking my two latest quilts, as well as a good number of smaller applique project samples.



 ... you may have already noticed that my patterns are now available in print! I'm also excited to that a few shops in Germany will be carrying my in-print patterns. I'll be sharing details very soon!



Even though the class was listed that I would teaching in English, because there were only German speakers in the class, I actually found it helpful to flip to German... talk about a challenge - try explaining a technique, using technical terms in a foreign language... but I'm glad to say that I came out on the other side without any major injuries.


I got the feeling that my class participants really enjoyed a different approach to applique, and I was asked by a couple of shops to offer courses with them too... keep your eyes peeled for more on that as it develops.


So, start your one week countdown clock... I've got some pretty exciting news to share next week with the official release of my Home Sweet Home quilt pattern... and it has something to do with fabric!


 Really happy to check this first finish of the quarter off my Finish-A-Long list!
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