Thursday, May 28, 2020

Purdy Bird Pattern Release!


Because of having to shift from pattern writing to home schooling, not only have I been noticeably absent here, but am now finding the need to pack a lot of what is going into one post... are you ready? Well, then grab that cup and get settled in!

Now Available! - Purdy Bird is a fun quilt pattern that comes together quickly despite the fact that it is a mixed bag of quilting techniques. Drunkard’s path and paper pieced blocks are accented with easy applique shapes that are like the icing on a cake. All required cutting templates are provided, as well as a coloring page, to help you make your own custom Purdy Bird quilt. 

I will be running a pattern release sale on my entire shop for 20% starting today until June 7th, 2020 with the SALE CODE: Purdy.


It's almost a little hard to believe that my Purdy Bird quilt pattern has literally been over a year in the making. Last May, I was already finished with the pattern testing stage and was just a few corrections away from hitting the send button, when I got the opportunity to have my quilt featured in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. Of course, it meant putting her under wraps... again.


So fast forward to May of this year, where I was supposed to pre-release her as an exclusive offer to class participants at Nadelwelt... but since Nadelwelt was cancelled too, I had to wait yet again... but now the waiting is over, and I couldn't be more excited!


One of my favorite things to see is how a pattern takes on a totally different personality, simply with different fabrics. This grey version is a little more subtle, but with fresh accents of aqua and chartreuse. 


And now for my other big news: I have planned a Purdy Bird Quilt-A-Long for this year! The QAL will start August 31st and go through October 24th! The link ups and prizes will be through Instagram, but even if you don't have an Instagram account, you can still participate. The QAL will go out as a newsletter, where I share all kinds of helpful tips and tricks, not only for piecing, but for starch applique as well. If you are an experienced quilter with not so much applique experience, this is the perfect place to start, simply because of the larger applique shapes.


As things devolp with the QAL, and we get closer to the date, I will give you more information how to join in and sign up for the newsletter. I'm really looking forward to it, and hope that you're able to join in on the fun!


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Social Distancing Quilting


It took me a long time to get plugged into the quiltng community here in Germany. Not because I didn't want to, but often it was simply a matter of how? It started with a chance "online meeting" with another quilter in Germany that eventually grew into a quilting group. Then after I started posting regularly on Instagram, and eventually attending Nadelwelt, some of those online connections with other quilters in Germany became more personal.


As I mentioned in my last post, I've recently had two teaching events that were canceled because of caronavirus... and now there's another to be added to the list - a summer workshop in July with Victoria Findlay Wolfe - in Germany! 


I realize that I'm not the only who has had their world turned upside down... everyone has had important things cancelled... everyone has had things that they were looking forward to that just won't happen. I'm very sad for my niece, who totally lost all the would-be memorable experiences of her senior year. In light of the magnitude of things, I know that missing a silly little class pales in comparison to what some are going through right now.


As with my teaching events that were cancelled, it's not really about any loss of income... but more about loss of contact and interaction with other quilters - you just don't find a quilter on every corner here. We had even booked a little vacation apartment with three other quilters - fantastic women, who are talented quilters and lots of fun... not to mention several other quilters that I knew were traveling to be there. It was essentially to be a big social meet-up right in my "back yard"! (instead of me having to travel south)


You may remember that last summer, I was already getting ready for this class... it might have seemed a little crazy at the time to be getting prepared so far in advance, but since I knew what was on my calendar, I didn't want to feel stressed because I had to throw something together at the last minute.


So, after I got word that the class was cancelled, I decided to pull out all those pieces and give it a whirl. Now, I never expected that this would be the kind of block that you just whip up. Since I've been sewing for so long, curves and y-seams don't scare me. I can't really say that this block is hard, per say, but it can be a patience tester. I am a big fan of sewing bigger, and trimming afterwards - it's what works for me. So, when you have to manage exact match ups on that many curves, it can be a challenge... and with nine blocks already cut, I'm kind of pretty committed!


So, during this social distancing time, I've starting climbing a Mount Everest... by myself. Are you climbing any mountains right now too?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

In Reverse Gear


So far there have been two of my teaching events that have been canceled because of the craziness that is going on in the world right now. One of those events was my biggest show of the year, Nadelwelt. Each year, flocks of quilters make their way to Karlsruhe, Germany for THE networking and meet-up event of the year for quilters in Germany (and several other surrounding countries)


One of the classes that I had planned to teach was combining reverse applique with piecing techniques. The last weeks of 2019, I worked on putting together several blocks and samples for the class, one of which was this mini pattern. Since that class will not be happening, I decided that it was high time to share the quilt finish that came out of those preparations.


I really wanted to experiment with different ways to quilt using my walking foot. I ended up marking the designs on the solid stips to highlight three different quilting designs, and filling in with straight line quilting for the background.


Believe it or not, I actually used the walking foot for the orange peel quilting. It was a bit of a challenge with the movement of the quilt under the machine to get those curves in since you are essentially sewing "straight". But I have to say that it got easier and the lines looked better the more I did it.


Even though it was the most marking to do, I found this design to be the most satisfying after it was quilted. I also used this design in my Purdy Bird quilt. You know what they say... if it's not broke, then don't fix it.


My goal is that after things get back to normal, to work on a few online teaching resources for the reverse applique technique... but until then, sending a little quilty love your way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Fly High, Dragonfly


Last week, I shared a very emotional post on Instagram. Essentially putting into words a mixture of trying to sort out my feelings about the current events that are happening in the world, and finding the balance of moving forward in the midst of the storm. 

Since the planned release date for my Fly High Dragonfly quilt was perfectly positioned in the eye of the storm, I found myself asking the questions... how do I just carry on as if nothing has happened?... what does one do in the midst of a crisis? Retreat to our caves? make lemonade out of lemons? turn our focus to the good and simple things of life? search for the things that distract us from reality?...

AND let me tell you... I was totally overwhelmed and touched by the responses that I got!?! Such encouragement for moving forward with the pattern release in spite of the current situation. That beauty and inspiration is actually what helps us cope... that  a sense of normalcy settles fears... that creativity is an outlet that brings joy...

When I make a quilt, I find that what comes out is often a reflection of what’s in my heart at the time. And usually when I reflect back and do a little digging, I find that what I’ve created matches what I had been processing in that season of my life. With that thought in mind, I decided to find out more about this amazingly beautiful and fascinating creature…the dragonfly.


In almost every part of the world, the dragonfly symbolizes change & new beginning, living life to the fullest, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. They are also often associated with courage, strength, hope, and happiness. All things that are so fitting and needed for this time in all of our lives.



Since so many had shared that a semblance of normalcy, opportunities to be creative, and busy hands help with processing, dealing with, and coping with what is going on right now, I decided to move forward with releasing my Fly High dragonfly pattern. As with all my new releases, I will offer a 20% discount, with the SALE CODE: dragonfly. Sale ends the day after Easter, April, 13, 2020.



If you decide to purchase my pattern at this time, my desire is that with each stitch, perhaps this pattern reaches you in those ways. I hope that no one misunderstands that by releasing my pattern that I am simply going about business as usual, but that it is more of an attempt to be a part of helping others find the joy and therapy in being creative.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

"A" Is For Apple + 20% OFF ALL PATTERNS!


They say that good things come to those who wait, and hopefully you've not had to wait too long for the release of my "A" Is For Apple quilt pattern - now available in my Payhip shop! For the official launch, I am running a 20% sale on ALL of my quilt patterns from March 5th - 15th, 2020! Just enter the Sale Code: APPLE.


The "A" is For Apple quilt pattern is custom made for the intermediate quilter looking for a pattern that has it all – traditional piecing, curved piecing, applique, reverse applique, and XXL applique. This juicy apple is 26 inches and packs a powerful punch as the focal point of this quilt!


There are two different stem options, as well as two different leaf layouts included in the pattern. Doesn't this Granny Smith version just look juicy and tart?


Red meets green... the perfect pair!


The PDF pattern includes the full size templates, and a coloring page. There are plenty of illustrations, and even a brief explnaion of the starch applique method. I've also covered the basics of the starch applique method on my YouTube channel, which should give you a good head start. Find all my patterns in my Payhip shop, and get started on your "A" is For Apple quilt today!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

"A" Is For Apple - The Granny Smith Edition


For the longest time I couldn't get my boys to eat very many apples. Somehow, it has usually been my husband that always put the apples in the shopping cart, and of course he picked his favorite... red. It wasn't until I started picking up a few apples for myself, that I realized that my boys, like me, prefer a sour and tart tasting apple... like the lip-puckering, Granny Smith!


You may remember a long time ago I shared my first apple quilt. I hadn't really made it with the intention of turning it into a pattern, but simply because a creative spark was lit, and I just had to get it out... and I have to say that I'm glad that inspiration hit me in this way. It was making this XXL apple that kind of got the ball rolling for some of my other XXL patterns.



But this Granny Smith was essentially started because I had to then remake the quilt in order to "test" and see if all my ducks were in a row. Because I had not intenailly made the first quilt for a pattern release, I hadn't made notes and changes like I usually would when I move to the writing process... I am usually tweakign and making little changes to a pattern as it's been made the first time around.


Since I had already quilted my first apple with reapeating shapes from the pieced side, I decided that I wanted to try something different for the quilting. I just love to use orange peels in my applique, and why not for quilting too? It might be a bit of a surprise to know that I actually quilted this with my walking foot. I have to admit that I am still not comfortable with free motion quilting. Too often I find myself almost feeling the need to apolgize about that. On one hand I want to push myself, but on the other hand, it can be nice to set up camp in your comfort zone. 


For the rest of the quilting, I stuck with straight lines, but in a slightly different pattern than the red apple. It's always fascinating when a quilt tells you when it's ready to change the direction of it's lines.


For this second version, I also decided that I wanted to do a two-leaf, second-stem version as an alternative layout option. Just like real apples - some like the red ones, and some like the green, it's a bit the same with the leaves. It's been really interesting for me to see that most of my pattern testers have picked the two-leaf version too!


A while back I was able to snap up several yards of Carolyn Friedlander's Ledger fabric. From the beginning of this quilt, I knew I wanted to use this for the backing and espeically the binding of this quilt.


I am finding myself more and more picking a subtle and hardly noticable fabric for the binding. My way of thinking is that I want the fabrics and focal point of the quilt to be the first part that you see, and the binding is the secondary discovery that you find when you look a little closer.


So are you ready to delve into a little juicy, XXL applique deliciousness yourself? My "A" Is For Apple pattern releases this Thurday, March 5th! Keep your eyes open for my second post this week!

Quilt: Pattern: "A" Is For Apple, self design
Started: August 2019
Fabrics: Basic Grey Grunge fabrics, Cotton & Steel, Kona cotton white
Finished quilt size: ca. 42" x 46" in. (ca. 106  x 116 cm)


Thursday, January 16, 2020

From Virtual To Reality


When the quilting community where is you live is so small, it makes it worth your while to take the extra effort to make real connections happen. I think that it's safe to say, that the majority of my quilting friends and connections have come via the Internet. The even more exciting part of that, is that I've had the opportunity to turn many of those online connections to real life ones.


I have actually followed Rachel's blog, Stitched in Color for quite some time now... falling into the all too common "silent reader" category, and only later on Instagram commenting back and forth more frequently. Since she has recently moved to Europe, we now have the commonality of both being American expats. I have to admit, that I am really glad that I have some of those challenges of living in a foreign country already behind me. Each step was a process, and I know exactly what she is going through having made the brave leap.


Recently my husband and I traveled to the Netherlands for our anniversary. In the days before our trip, it dawned on me that Rachel could be somewhere close by... when I googled it, I realized it was only about an hour from where we were staying!?!


Since I had been mulling it over in my mind for months to send her one of my quilts, I decided that our travels would take us too close to not see if an in-person hand over would be possible (how awesome is that, that your husband takes a detour to listen to you "talk shop" on your anniversary trip?!?)


I found her to be very warm and pleasant, exactly as she comes across on her blog. I got the feeling that she really cared about the quilting that she was doing... especially since she knew that this was to be a very personal quilt, and planned to be used frequently in our living room! 


Needless to say, I am super over the top excited about how the quilt turned out. Since I am more into organic and natural shapes, the plumage design was my first pick. I had the idea to make the design a bit bigger to give it a more modern feel. It was actually very helpful for me to talk it over in person, not to mention that we had some other fun quilty conversations too.


Welcome to this small, but open quilting community here... you might have to dig deep to find them, but when you do, you'll find that they are gold!


... and if you happen to be in Europe, Rachel is offering a €20 discount on her quilting services this week! Just use the code: jumpstart.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Happenings For 2020!


The last months for me have been relatively quiet...everywhere. My days have been filled with economizing decisions, that left me having to brush social media to the side in order to meet deadlines for some of the exciting things that I have coming up in 2020! So much of the last part of 2019 has been planning for this year!

The biggest part of 2020 for me, will be several teaching events here in Germany. A lot of time and energy went into scheduling, planning, writing class descriptions, and simply emailing other details back and forth.I will be teaching all my classes in German, which is a fun challenge since it is not my native language, but I am lucky that most Germans find an American accent to be charming. 

This will be my third year teaching at Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe, Germany, and I am really excited about the two classes that I will be offering:

    
"Reverse Applique Method” for combining Simple Piecing & Pieced Blocks.You most likely know that starch applique is one of my favorite applique methods, but reverse applique is a very close second... there are so many possibilities, and as I've mentioned before, can be a big short cut for some curved sewing quilt patterns. This technique becomes really exciting when it is combined with simple piecing or pieced blocks.



Combining Felt Applique with Quilting or Paper Projects. Adding felt applique can be a fun way to add interest and texture to a quilting project... or even mixed medium projects. Delicate and filigree cut out shapes can be achieved and highlighted with fun quilting fabrics using a reverse applique technique for that extra added surprise detail.

.. and now my full teaching schedule for 2020. I'm excited to get to cooperate with so many great shops and sewing groups... will I see you there?

  
Now, let's talk pattern releases: This spring and early summer will be a very busy pattern launch time. In March, my "Fly High, Dragonfly" and "A" Is For Apple patterns release, followed by "Purdy Bird" in June.

"Fly High, Dragonfly" will kick off the beginning of my teaching schedule in spring. I have a second version in the works to demonstrate the various steps, which has a more subtle and subdued feel than this one. This quilt is the perfect combination between traditional piecing and simple applique shapes.


Even though you've seen "A" Is For Apple before, I had to do some fine tuning and tweaking before it was ready for release. The pattern hits several techniques, including reverse applique and XXL applique... I've got another version in the works that I will be sharing soon... Granny Smith, anyone?


You may have remembered seeing "Purdy Bird" in the November 2019 issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. Purdy Bird really is a mixed bag of quilting techniques, including paper piecing, curved piecing, and a New York Beauty block. The applique shapes are super simple, and this is the perfect project for an experienced quilter who would like to dabble in applique. If I have enough quilters that are interested, I am considering a Quilt-A-Long in the fall for Purdy Bird... are you game?
 

It's exciting for me to see the quilting community in Germany getting more connected to each other. Since quilting in Germany is not as well known as in the US, sometimes it can leave you feeling like a lone wolf. But now, because of groups like Das Quilt Kollektiv and Uta Hanson's Patchwork Online-Konferenz, more efforts are being made to connect online quiltling communities in Germany to each other.


I was so flattered that Uta asked me to be a part of her online conference, especially with her line-up of experts in the German speaking community. To sign up for the conference is free, and the interviews will be available for 24 hours. If you would like to watch the interviews after that, she has put together a package that you can purchase, and watch at your leisure.


You can hear my interview tomorrow on January 9th, 2020 (in German, of course) Find all the information on her website, patchworkfragen.de

... so are you ready for 2020? I am!
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