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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