Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Whirly Girl Intro!

Have you ever had to take the backseat to let someone else shine? Let them demand all the glory and attention of the center stage? Whirly Girl was actually intended to be my third pattern release, but in order to work on my Lovebirds' Garden pattern, allowing enough time for testers, she had to graciously step aside. Then a small window opened up only to have Home Sweet Home quietly tiptoe right past her... yet again!?!

... but now she has dusted herself off and is ready for the limelight! 

Perhaps you might even recognize her from behind?

Do you remember me mentioning going through my "purple phase"?... well, if we are giving credit where credit is due, then Whrily Girl most likely takes the blame for starting that trend.

Whirly Girl will be my first pattern without applique!?! I know, hard to believe, but I decided that I had to make up for it some way... so she is my first pattern sporting partial (or inset seams) Once you realize how easy partial seams are, you'll think that someone should feel guilty for having given them a bad rap.

Be looking to hear more about her in the weeks to come. Right now she is in good hands with my pattern testers now, but you don't have to wait much longer to have her in yours... Whirly Girl is scheduled for a March 14th release! If you just can't wait to see more, then be sure to check out what my pattern testers are up to on Instagram #whirlygirlquilt.

Quilt: Pattern: Whirly Girl, Campbell Soup Diary - scheduled March 14th, 2019 release
Started: October 2016
Fabrics: Alison Glass, Anna Maria Horner, Carolyn Friedlander, Cotton & Steel, various other designers.
Finished quilt size: ca. 60" x 75" in. (ca. 152  x 190 cm)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What's Missing In New York?

Perhaps its happened to you too...

You're on a mission. The goal is set. Your determination is firm... stay. on. course. And like an unexpected, glittery flea market on the side of the road, there is something that just beckons you to pull over, and have a look.

Finishing up Whirly Girl, is top of my list right now, hmmm... but she is with pattern testers at the moment. Get the next pattern together for a Nadelwelt release, hmmm... but that's in May. So, I suppose that one could argue that there's always time for a detour... stop and smell the roses, right?

Have you ever wondered what's been missing in New York? (well, at least with the New York Beauty block) I think I figured it out... applique!?! Or perhaps just like chocolate, applique just makes everything better.

And speaking of chocolate, short and sweet this week allows me to stay a bit longer on my pit stop.

How is it with you, are you on course, or have you stopped for a short detour?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Summer Smoothie Finish

Usually this time of year, there is a certain deep grey that seems to settle and hover over Northern Germany... a kind of grey that is thick. When you know what to expect, it somehow makes it a little easier to come to terms with the inevitable. Despite the fact that I know the looming forecast, it's still a little hard to plan my photos around it. Last week was the first break in the dreary covering since the New Year, and the clear skies were accompanied with a light dusting of snow.

In any case, don't you think it is a little ironic that I am sharing my Summer Smoothie quilt finish in this wintry weather backdrop? Perhaps the slight dusting provides the best contrast for these popping summer colors. I chose to finish it with simple straight line quilting.

Even though the backing is still technically pieced, it's only two pieces compared to my usual let's-piece-half-a-quilt-for-the-back standard. I've had this paintbrush fabric in my head for a backing pretty much since I figured out this quilt's color direction.

Here you can really see the backing fabric from Carrie Bloomston... I adore this border print of hers that she came out with a few years ago.

Since my quilts are usually pretty bright, I've found myself reaching more and more for a neutral binding fabric. There are plenty of coordinating or contrasting fabrics that would work well with  this quilt, but I prefer the focus to be on the blocks themselves. A scrappy low volume binding keeps it quiet while using up scraps... that's a win, win in my book!

... and last, but not least, I have to send out a really big thank you to my fellow quilting bee members who contributed to this quilt. #quiltycircleofbees #quiltyfriendsarethebest.

Quilt: Pattern: Summer Smoothie Quilt from Allison Richter for Campbell Soup Diary, free tutorial
Started: April 2017 Bee Quilt, Quilty Circle of Bees
Fabrics: Alison Glass, Carolyn Friedlander, Zen Chic, Carrie Bloomston, Cotton & Steel, various scraps, and low volume backgrounds.
Finished quilt size: ca. 56" x 70" in. (ca. 142 x 178 cm)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Nadelwelt Class + Free Fabric Swatch Cards

Last week I shared about several upcoming events, one of them being my class offered at Nadelwelt on Color Theory for Quilters. I am super excited about this class becuase I am super excited about color! I think my love of color came from my dad, who finished college with an art degree.

 I suppose that I've gushed a time or two about my super talented dad, and I remember all those "teachable moments" that he took full advantage of when I was young. He would  always sneak in a narration here about contrasting colors, or a comment there to point out a particular color scheme... my life was filled with mini art lessons, painting sessions in our furnace room, and tips on mixing paint colors. While I feel that working with color is very intuitive for me, I realize that perhaps all those times heavily influenced me in the way I approach color now.

 Since I realize that not everyone has had the advantage of daily art lessons since childhood, my hope is that teaching about what I've learned about color can take some of the guesswork out of picking fabrics for projects... it is my favorite part, you know?

So, you may have noticed in my last post, little cards with fabric swatches on them. I decided that this would be the prefect way to play around with fabric combinations without class participants having to travel with their whole stash!?!

I've started making cards myself, and I think it can really give you a better understanding of your tastes, likes, and dislikes. Painfully missing from my stash has been, and always will be, red. Kind of hard to believe that a beautiful red chair takes center stage in our living room, huh? But, I think seeing your stash in this way helps to assess what you have and what's missing, and what you "need".

Fabric swatch cards are a great way to do a pre-pull before that big explosion that we all know happens... please don't tell me that I am the only one whose room literally looks like a bomb has exploded after the fabric pull has commenced?

How many times, have you been fabric shopping, and you've had to manage those loose swatches to find a missing accent fabric OR you ended buying a fabric that you were just certain was a perfect match, only to realize once you got home that you were a couple shades off? These are great to slip in your wallet when you head to your local quilt shop.

So, even if your aren't able to make it to Nadelwelt, I thought I would share these little fabric swatch cards that I made... for FREE! They're in English AND in German. Go on... show me your stash!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Start TheYear Out With A Bang!

I know, I know... I've kind of left you hanging these last months, and while I could ramble on for ten blog posts about what has kept me absent, let's just start off the new year with a clean slate... sound like a plan? With all those explanations out of the way, then I can just jump right into sharing (in part) some the exciting things that are coming up, and what has my calendar already half way filled up with the year having barely started!?!

How about if I start with what is the furthest away and work my way back? I have the opportunity  to teach two classes at Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe again in May, and I am super excited about teaching color theory for quilters.

It's no secret that pulling fabrics for a project is my favorite part of quilting. I would love to pull fabrics every day, but I realize that this keeps one from making it to the sewing machine. It was a friend of mine who pointed out that I seem to work with confidence when using color, and suggested to teach a class about it.

Color means something different to everyone, and can evoke memories and even dictate moods... it's something that is very personal. Even though color is so personal, it can often be a little intimidating to tame and control. I want to challenge those who like to play it safe with pre-cuts and kits, and give a little guidance to those who are not sure how to incorporate colors. I've planned a very hands on class, and share how to make color intentional.

I also get the opportunity to teach a class on my favorite applique method, starch applique. Not only will I be teaching this class at Nadelwelt, but I have the chance to teach this technique in Northern Germany in April. Nachtpedalquilts will be hosting several quilters and has asked me to teach a weekend course.

It's been so long since I've talked about Whirly Girl that you may have forgotten about her, but she is about to make her debut in the next months... the first draft goes out to pattern testers at the end of this month, and I'll share the finial quilt once it goes out. I am planning for a March 14th release... somehow March just seems to be my month of pattern releases!

I just need to bind this finally quilted quilt, and then I'll be ready to share her with the world. Let's see if I'll have time to throw this smaller version together too!

Last but not least, in addition to two magazine features coming up, one in February, and the other in early summer (sorry, no sneak peeks), I'll move towards turning my apple quilt into a pattern! I had so many requests for it, that I decided to start working on it. I'll be making several changes to it since the original design was inspired by a print from Clare Youngs, but I hope that you will love all those small, little changes.

wheh, did I forget to mention anything? Probably, but I'll leave that for next time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Color Mood - December Design Wall

I'm not sure how it is with you, but I often find with me that things have a tendency to flow from one project into the next, taking the influences and hints from the previous train of thought... especially with colors. I don't necessarily think that this is something that I intentionally do, but something that I notice only after the fact. Some time ago, I realized that I seem to work in color clusters, and that one inspiration color that I'm feeling at the time gets carried over.

For instance, there's my "jewel-colors phase"... it all started with "Jeweled Kaleidoscope", which influenced the fabric selection for my bee block quilt, which spilled over into a mini quilt that came to being in an effort to use up all of those yummy scraps. One could possibly argue that "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" belongs in this category as well. Hmmm...

Following close on it's heels was my "purple phase"... this phase is technically ongoing starting with "Whirly Girl" (which I hope to release in spring) that influenced "Home Sweet Home", and lead me right into my "Lovebirds' Remix", which is currently a back burner project until I figure out the final direction it should go... oh, and I almost forgot my purple and orange HST quilt!?!

 In an effort to be more controlled with my colors choices and prints, I noticed myself using a lot of Basic Grey grunge fabrics in my "grunge phase"... does "Lovebirds' Garden", "Home Sweet Home", "Apple Of My Eye", and "Contrasting" bring anything to mind?

Often, people mention that they can identify my work because of the bright popping colors, but that kind of leaves my "toned down pastel phase" without explanation. My "Home Sweet Home " quilt seems to be connected to several phases, but my "Summer Smoothie" bee quilt boasts a similar subtle, and subdued color palette. My current "Folk Flower" quilt definately fits in here too!

Let's not forget to mention my "earth tones phase" with my "Penny Sampler", the recently finished "Cascade" quilt top from Victoria Findlay Wolfe's book... and I won't include all the smaller projects that belong in this category.

... AND FINALLY, we make it to my current flavor of the month, the "green/yellow phase", which has the honor of my design wall status for December... perhaps it's sunny brightness is helping battle the dreary greys of winter. In any case, it's easy to see the connection between my latest "Yellow Stars" quilt and my "Brimfield blocks". Just to be on the safe side, I'll through my "Chuck Nohara" project and "Green Smoothie" quilts into the mix.

So, what's your current "color mood"... Do you go though phases and embrace a "color mood" that you carry from project to project, or do you work with a completely new color scheme with each new project?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Remodeling Project

Usually when I plan to take a long break from blogging or social media, I normally give a little heads up. I wish my re-entry could boast a "big" reveal that has been under wraps, but perhaps I should simply start with that my distraction has been of the non-quilty kind. About two months ago my husband asked me if I could help him with a "little" re-modeling project at work. What started out as a small remodel of a dining room in a elderly, coma & therapy center, turned into a whole house renovation. So, should I share a little more?...

We started on the elderly care unit, which have a few common dining and sitting areas. The facility is one of several remodeled buildings on a family farm estate, and is traditional in style, which needed to be taken into consideration for the design concept. In the main dining room we opted for a soft, lacy botanical wallpaper in a light sage. The subtle greens are actually quite calming, and dark chocolate antique furniture has been incorporated into the design, for a nice contrast with the light and airy design.

 1. Rasch Tapete Pure Living wallpaper 2. Cavallini Vintage Poster 3. Bird Pair from Posiwio 4. Oilcloth fabric from Stoff & Stil 5. ADO Goldkante curtains

For the main sitting areas, another major consideration was that there were several existing furniture pieces that needed to be worked into the design, such as these teal wing chairs. Since there are also dementia patients to be considered, it was important to have clear and identifiable prints that also ekoke memories of things that are pleasant. The focal wallpaper has several species of birds, which is allows the patients the opportunity to stop and identify them.
1.  Photwall Art Canvas, Landscape Monotype 2. Woodland Chorus wallpaper, sky blue 3. Photowall, Malachite Lake 4. Birch Trees Lantern 5. Woodland Chorus wallpaper, cream

A smaller, open dining area adjacent to the birds wall, is now adorned with this sweet honeysuckle wallpaper from Sanberg.  We used several natural design elements to connect the areas. Since textiles can add a soft accent to a space, it was important to include coordinating table linens into the design.

1. Honeysuckle wallpaper from Sanberg, Elizabeth 2. Bird Lantern from Posiwio 3. Table linens from Sander 4. Fuchsia print from AllPosters 5. Planing Pots from Posiwio.

For the last two sitting areas that we addressed, we decided to use a historical wallpaper from Morris & Co. If you are not familiar with the British textile designer, William Morris, then I would highly recommend adding him to your must-look-up list. This brilliant artist, who was a major contributor to the British Arts and Crafts movement in the 1800's, produced some of the most amazing wallpapers, fabrics, tapestries, and stained glass, that are timeless to this day.

1. Mary Isobel wallpaper from Morris & Co.

With so many considerations like selecting paint, wallpaper, curtains, artwork, home decor, accessories, and even fresh plants, perhaps it sheds a little light what has kept me so busy these past months, but this was only a small tip of the iceberg...
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