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.
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