Delight in the happy colors of summer as we take a first look at Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One.
Firstly, you’ve seen the main character of this show (the Seashore Friends Pattern Collection), Bubbles. (See Uncork the Bubbles for more Bubbles fun!)
Secondly, you know he’s got some beach-loving “supporting characters”, Pinky and Sally.
To begin, each character started from a focus fabric and an idea. This is a case of the fabric driving the quilt!
Each quilt was made using both beautiful sides of the focus fabric. For each character, the fabric sparked the idea for the quilt design.
Now, you’ll see how these friends take center stage in this new pattern collection.
So, how do you combine these very different characters into one pattern collection?
With colors, motifs, happiness and love!
Granted, that might sound corny, but it’s very true! When you put in lots of hours on an idea (or many ideas), you get connected, right? It happens when making quilts, for sure. Some quilts are hard to give away because of the “soul” we’ve invested in them! (Not to mention time.)
Therefore, it’s the same with pattern collections. Here’s the headline fabric:
Look for the colors and elements that connect each fabric in Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One.
Finally, from bubbles that can make Bubbles, dancing starfish, whale tails, sand dollars, and seashells, these designs perform together!
Watch for encore productions of Seashore Friends – New collections premiering soon!
After setting up (and a bit of shopping), the program began. Now if any of you know Merle, you know she can read an audience and she can be, well, I don’t know, a ham? (Love you, Merle!) In addition to sporting her vintage watering can as a purse, she modeled merchandise like a pro! See Merle’s Bouquet below (see her watering can?).
In all seriousness, thank you for your help, Merle!
After the presentation and a short break (so they could shop), the guild meeting continued. Meanwhile, Merle and I began the task of rolling almost 50 quilts and packing the patterns and merchandise. During this time, it’s fun to listen and observe the guild. This group was chatty and enthusiastic. They seem to have lots of activities within their guild. Also, if their Show and Tell is an indication, they are a prolific group!
A hearty thank you to the Grace Way Quilters Guild and to Patty for getting me there!
Read about the Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild HERE!
Next stop is in Farmington, Missouri at the Threads of Friendship Quilt Guild.
Threads of Friendship is a larger guild in a larger town. Like their name, they are very friendly! My friend, Linda, invited and arranged for me to speak. Between her and the friends I’d met in Desoto (also members of this guild), I felt like I knew them from the start.
For this presentation, I had the privilege of introducing my eldest daughter, Paige, as my assistant. This was her first-ever guild meeting.
Later, Paige told me she loved watching the quilters interacting with one another, all coming together with a common passion. Once again, we could hear the interaction during Show and Tell and the business meeting to know this guild is very supportive both within the guild and in their community. Many of these wonderful quilters visited with me and Paige throughout the evening.
A hearty thank you to Linda and the Threads of Friendship Quilters!
If you’ve never attended a guild meeting, I suggest you seek one out. Find the meeting the suits you and that you can embrace! Guild members have a special connection in this wonderful world of quilting!
It’s not just about quilting skills, but the older I get the more I cherish my past experiences and embrace the journey I’ve been on. Do you keep proof of where you began?
Many of us, I’m sure, miss our days of guild meetings and live programs. One of the main messages of my programs to quilters was for them to reflect on their past and recognize how far they’ve come – to truly enjoy their quilting journey. In addition to experience and maturity, there are lots of influences in our lives that change our outcomes.
I bet you know someone who said they could NEVER quilt, right? My answer (sometimes silently in my head): all you need is a willingness to fail.
For me, to embrace the journey, I try to look at the good, bad, and…yes, ugly! I definitely have those in my collection of quilts! Some great ideas that just don’t quite make the cut. Do you look back at quilts you thought were just grand and laugh as you hide them away? I do. Wow.
But you know what? It’s this way for all things in life, I think. The older I get the more I realize that I could do what I’m doing if I didn’t start somewhere with the desire to learn and a willingness to mess things up!
Recently, I took a bit of my own advice. I pulled out some sample fabrics that I had printed on Spoonflower, framed them in embroidery hoops and hung them on my work wall right over my computer desk. It’s a little painful. These fabrics are absolute rejects. Colors are off, design are just…bad. White lines show the “repeat” was off. They are what they are!
I’m hoping with determination and lots of hard work, I’ll soon have hoops filled with successful designs.
Now I’m in the middle of a fabulous repeat pattern design course and I’m learning to fix all of those things. If you’ve ever been interested in repeat pattern design, I highly recommend following Oksana at Okscania HERE in Spoonflower or also on Pinterest.
Here I share my fails with you my friends. I hope soon I can share some beautiful fabric designs. We will see!
See the Merry fabric above? She’s from the red truck quilt pattern. See more about her HERE.
You’ll likely enjoy the first article in this issue is called, “Give Your Quilt a Bath”! It gives you step by step guidance on how to bathe a quilt that just can’t go into a washing machine. I found the specific instructions (with illustrations) from how to submerse to how to remove the quilt very helpful.
Inside AQ Magazine, you’ll also find seven “irresistible” quilt patterns, some “how-to” articles, and features by contributors. The seven quilt patterns include three “easy”, three “intermediate”, and one “challenging”.
American Quilter is a perk of membership with AQS (American Quilter Society), but is also available on the newsstand. This March 2021 newsstand issue is $6.99.
You’ll find a feature display of MJ Kinman’s “Bourbon Diamonds” which is as interesting as the quilts are beautiful. You might recall the exhibit featured at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky in 2020.
One regular contributor, Gail Garber, discusses the use of color versus contrast with many photo examples.
I hope you find this review of AQ Magazine helpful. Because I’ve found American Quilter to be a high-quality publication, I started with this issue. I can say from a personal standpoint, the company is delightful to work with. I’ll leave a few pics of Merle’s Bouquet here. It was a lot of fun to have her featured in this quality magazine!
Look for more reviews and new patterns coming soon!
Some quilters use bias binding all the time, for everything. I understand it is a cleaner finish, molds to the edge of the quilt, and provides more fibers on the edge of the binding. For all of these attributes, I must admit, I don’t use it all that often.
Bias binding, for me, is something I consider when I want to use a bias stripe or if I’m binding a quilt with unusual edges. Since those two things don’t occur all that often for me, I usually need a refresher on bias binding before I begin cutting.
I liken it to the first two steps in paper piecing, when I haven’t done paper piecing in a while. Mastering those first two pieces can take me the LONGEST time. Once my brain grasps it, I’m good to go – but it takes me some time.
Since I AM from the Show-Me state, I do like a good tutorial. It doesn’t have to be a video, but I usually like pictures. How about you?
So if you are need of a refresher in cutting and using the bias binding, here is what you’ll learn:
How to cut bias strips
How to cut one continuous bias strip
The difference between single and double bias
Check out these tutorials about bias binding on Pinterest:
Need a fast straight binding solution for your quilt? Check out Lickety-Split Binding HERE!
How about using bias of a stripe for a flange?
Here’s a glimpse of a new pattern made from an old pattern coming soon! Here I have laid out the pieced top and auditioned an outer flange and bias binding. The bias flange is accenting the center of the quilt.
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Watch for the new quilt pattern (shown above) coming soon!
Discover Modern Broderie Perse – a combination of new techniques and lovely traditions.
Use both beautiful sides of floral fabrics in many creative ways!
But first, what is modern Broderie Perse?
There’s a long history of Broderie Perse with origins dating back to the 17th Century in Europe. See more information about Broderie Perse HERE .
Fabric artists would cut around the artwork on fabric, often using subjects like flowers or birds, and hand applique them to their quilt work. Usually you’d consider this work to be exquisite, heirloom quality. Many hours of hand-stitching was involved in this method.
Fast forward to today’s modern Broderie Perse…
Today’s quilters have so many options and opportunities for quilt-making, most tend to make more quilts – and make them quickly – rather than spend hundreds of hours on one. How about you? Do “life events” (graduations, weddings, babies, etc.) push you at times towards faster, more “do-able” quilt projects?
So what is Modern Broderie Perse? The basic concept of using floral (or other) motifs on fabric is still the same. You cut around the motifs and attach them to your quilt. Here you can see a variety of ways to use the motifs of your fabrics in a modern way while getting the traditional look and feel of Broderie Perse.
As you can see below, Flora is a quick project. The happy sugar skull is made with the reverse while her floral crown and binding are made from the front of the fabric. The key to making Broderie Perse modern is the use of fusible web and combining the edge finishing with quilting.
I recommend using a lightweight paper-backed fusible for these quilts. You’ll usually start by applying the fusible to about fat-quarter or smaller piece of fabric. Use a good pair of serrated scissors to cut around the motifs. Depending on your project, you might cut groupings of flowers all in one or partial flowers. You’ll see on some projects, I’ll use a bird, bee, or other motif from the fabric in the design. How many pieces you need to cut will depend on your focus fabric and your project. Once you arrange your Broderie Perse pieces on your quilt, you’ll fuse them with an iron – like you would a fusible template project.
See more examples of both traditional and modern Broderie Perse HERE.
The second element of making your Broderie Perse project quickly is securing the fabric to the quilt withyour quilting stitches. This involves a doodling or tracing movement in your quilt, which is very free-form and forgiving. You can follow the motifs to add dimension to your Broderie Perse.
Broderie Perse is a great way to add some pizzazz to your applique projects. Doing it a modern way makes it fast and easy!
Behind every quilter is a quilter who inspires them.
Maybe it’s a grandmother, mother, aunt, uncle, neighbor, or friend. Maybe the quilter is someone you’ve never met but viewed on Instagram or Pinterest or read about in a magazine. While quilting inspiration is everywhere…the tiles of a building or the view of a garden…those who inspire us can turn our likes into passion.
Is there a quilter who inspires you?
Here is one quilter who inspires me: Kathy Doughty. I met Kathy once, very briefly in Houston at quilt market. (I’m certain she does not remember me.) I was very familiar with her work and sought out her booth.
I used to say that I’d love to live in a house I could get lost in (with twists and turns and secret stairways). Well, I’m kinda the same way about quilts. I’ve mentioned before that I love and appreciate all kinds of quilt styles: traditional, modern, primitive, one- color, two-color, appliqued, pieced…etc….
But the quilts that really spark my interest are quilts I can get lost in!
Kathy Doughty is a quilter who inspires me because I get lost in her quilts. Your brain can’t grab the full story of her quilts at first glance. When you look at Kathy’s quilts, you are drawn back in to study, to make sense of the design. You have to ponder the quilts to figure out how the fabric motifs and colors work together.
It’s not obvious, like, for example, in my grandmother’s two-color lilac and white quilt. While I cherish everything about the family heirloom quilt, it tells me it’s whole story at first glance. It’s very calm and peaceful.
When Kathy was interviewed for American Patchwork and Quilting magazine (June 2017), she responded to a question about fabric and color choices with,
“I like to make quilts that have secondary patterns and are not digestible in a glance.”
I just rediscovered this article when going through old magazines, wondering why I’d kept this one- THIS is why! Kathy is unafraid of color and pattern, but she has a healthy respect for design. Maybe one reason Kathy inspires me is because her ability to combine color and pattern to the degree she does still alludes me. I guess something achieved wouldn’t be very inspirational, would it?
Kathy has a number of books that feature her vividly and interesting quilts. I keep her books handy, where I see them often. Just opening these books to revisit the quilt photos gives me inspiration to try new combinations, new colors – to step out of my comfort zone, and expand the horizons of my own little quilting world.
Years ago a sweet lady named Betty gave her opinion about using white in quilts. That soft-spoken piece of quilting advise has stuck with me like a whisper in my ear.
Using white in quilts can be more controversial than one might think.
I would venture to say that most quilters (or anyone buying paint for their home) knows that white isn’t necessarily white. There’s off-white, cream, cotton, paper, snow, shadow, vanilla, milk, white wash, cloud…the lists of whites goes on and one!
Quilters know they can use a fabric that isn’t actually white but it could “read” as white. One example of fabrics that use varying shades of white within themselves are “white on white” fabrics. Here is one example – which I LOVE – because this white on white has flamingos on it!
The definition of white from the dictionary is “the achromatic color of maximum lightness’.
White is the color that is perceived by the eye when exposed to all the visible wavelengths of light. Off-white colors can vary in hue, saturation and intensity.
So how does the definition of white relate to quilting?
According to Betty, one should never use pure white in a quilt. She believed it was too harsh on the eye. Now, does this mean that Betty never made a white-white quilt? I don’t know. I have definitely made quilts with bright white fabrics in them.
However, the context in which Betty was speaking when she gave me this advice was regarding the thread to choose for quilting a quilt with pure white fabric. She suggested using a warmer white. (I recall being a bit shocked.) She said the use of a softer white in the quilting thread provides a rest for the eye and softens the look of the entire quilt.
I remembered Betty’s advice when I used to quilt for customers. I chose an ivory thread, even on pure white quilts. It “read” as white on even the whitest quilts, but it softened their look.
In 2017, when I chose the background fabrics for Phoebee (my first pattern), I wanted to really go wild and use many varying shades of white. While it wasn’t necessarily my goal, I found that the use of varying shades of white provided a subtle interest in my designs. It also made me more “free” in my choices (and a bit of a rebel?). I felt I was challenging myself and eventually my student quilters to try to combine fabrics that don’t “match”. More than 35 patterns later, one of my favorite part of designing patterns is choosing the varying background shades.
I don’t get to see my friend, Betty, very often – especially now. But I think of her often and with admiration. She provided a valuable piece of advise to a novice quilter. You just never know how something you say today can stay with a person more than sixteen years later. Thanks, Betty! (hugs)
Sometimes we all need a little help. Who do you turn to when you need advise, ideas, or help? Friends…family..neighbors?
I’m going to say, “all of the above”! When I need a little help with my projects, I find that most people are happy to lend a hand, especially my quilter friends.
My next door neighbor has helped me with photo shoots and quilt advise. Another neighbor comes up with pattern names. Several great friends have helped me fold and stuff patterns for orders. There was even a quilter who help me do a photo shoot on the beach! (She was wearing a quilting tee shirt so I struck up a conversation. It turned out we’d met before – we had a blast!)
That being said, when I need a little help I most often turn to my self-acclaimed “silent partner”. My husband, Matt, calls himself this when he names a new quilt pattern (“Phoebee” and “Bubbles” come to mind) or offers business advise. While that’s not exactly how “silent” works, it’s still helpful!
Since I happen to live with the guy, he’s easy to tap for additional help – like holding quilts for photography! While I appreciate the advise and names, holding quilts is where he excels. Except for the occasional tired arms, Matt doesn’t complain or moan or rush me to get the perfect shot. He’s been known to dive for a falling quilt so it doesn’t touch the ground and he’s saved more than one quilt from a crashing wave (see Quilts at the Beach)!
It doesn’t take a Marine to hold up a quilt…but it sure is nice to have one.
Most recently, we visited the Rocky Mountain National Park for our oldest daughter’s quaint wedding at one of the most beautiful natural venues God created, Sprague Lake.
While technically this wedding was “plan b”, it was nothing short of perfect. This was especially so for Paige and Trevor who love national parks and All Things Hiking. After the ceremony, toasts, and celebrations ended, my husband said, “Let’s go get that picture”.
You see, I’d made a wedding quilt for Paige and Trevor out of National Parks fabrics and the design was “mountains ranges” (name still pending). Matt knew I didn’t want to leave the beautiful mountains without a photo shoot of that quilt first. But I knew he had been in his dress blues since about 6 am that morning. By 3 in the afternoon, he was hot, tired, and uncomfortable.
We found a spot to pull over where there was a rushing creek with mountains in the distance. I noted that the quilt would drag the ground and he said, “Give me the pole”. He proceeded to walk on the small platform on the edge of the bridge. When he was confident he could hold the quilt there, we slid it onto the pole and he held it up while I took about ten minutes of photos and videos.
I hope to debut this pattern soon and share some fantastic video clips I captured…with a little help, of course!
I have to share just a few snapshots from the wedding, right?
Note: this blog post would not be possible without the help of my Silent Partner. Much love to you, dear.
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Christmas (Quilts) in July? Yes, it’s a thing! Ours is a craft that requires lead time!
Let’s think of happy days ahead, with family and friends and gifts of joy and comfort. I love the idea of combining two of my favorite things: Christmas and quilts. I hope you’ll enjoy this month to contrast our lovely, warm summer with a taste of the crisp winter to come.
Noelle is quilted wall hanging pattern of a cute little pair of ice skates (like you might hang on your front door at Christmas time) with beautiful bouquets of winter flowers spilling out their tops. Her background is snowy white (scrappy) with fun winter-y accent fabrics. Like most #usebothsides quilt patterns, this one is fast and easy!
Go check your stash! I bet you have a Christmas floral in there, just aging for the right quilt! You’ll use your focus fabric for the skates (reverse), bouquets, and the binding!
Years ago I made myself a Christmas jumper out of this beautiful poinsettia fabric. I couldn’t bear to part with that jumper because I loved the fabric. I cut it apart and will use it as my focus fabric in my ice skates quilt!
Next pull out your winter motif fabrics! Just five fabrics and two accent strips make up the background. Super fast!
With the Noelle quilt pattern, you’ll learn how to audition both sides of fabrics to pick just the right focus and background fabrics.
The technique for making your bouquets is what I like to call Modern Broderie Perse. (Click HERE for more information about Broderie Perse.) Basically, it’s fusible applique while using your fabric motif as your cutting guide! See, it is fast and easy! And if your fabric has bonus motifs, like pine cones or birds, you can add those to your masterpiece! Quilters at workshops and classes seem to have the best time arranging their bouquets!
The best part is, once you make Noelle, you’ll know the technique for making all the broderie perse #usebothsides patterns!