Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Market Discoveries

jill here....The best aspect of market is the people and the connections...its sort of like going to a quilt retreat to accomplish way-to-much quilting but it's the participants that make it memorable. 

 I met Cheryl Phillips, the creator of the "Cut A Round" slotted ruler.  I first saw Cheryl and her ruler on Alex Anderson's Simply Quilts (remember?).  We used her ruler for our Dinner Plates Sew Along tutorial. which is archived. We've enclosed a template in our pattern but you could use a slotted ruler such as Cheryl's.

 This is the ruler that was helpful in cutting multiple sized circles or arcs.  

Cheryl's redesigned rulers for even larger sized arcs and circles.
The medium and large sizes are required for the correct sizes of  "Pie".

Cheryl also gave me another did she know I had just the leftover
  scrap challenge that would be solved with her invention?

This is the arch leftover from the Pie crust background.  We give instructions in the pattern on how to piece some of the leftovers: this arc will provide the solution to use every little scrap!

The inner arc is recut to allow the pieces to fit together perfectly!

There are even notched ends to allow for the matching of seam allowances.

Pieced scraps that will be utilized in a creative backing.

Thanks, Chery.  It was great to meet you.  'Till next Tuesday...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spring Quilt Market 2015 in Minneapolis!

Pie, Sweet or Savory is now available in Our Shop!

Take a look at a few photos and a short video documenting our booth at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis.
The left side of our booth...featuring Pie, Sweet or Savory. The easy, pieced Pie blocks form circles in the Sweet version to the far left, and a graphic line in the Savory versions seen on the table, and to the right. Love them both!

A Sweet in saturated pastels on the wall, another in brights in the foreground, and a third in a table runner hanging off the corner.
Our Sneak Peek display! Simple, asymmetrical, lots of negative space...sound familiar?

Our booth is quickly (10 seconds) shown here. Take a look and pass it on!
Till Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pie, Sweet or Savory, new pattern for Minneapolis Quilt Market 2015

Introducing Pie, Sweet or Savory!  

Tessellating shapes, similar to a quatrefoil, influenced our newest pattern design.  The Savory Pie reflects spicy tastes with global icons.  The Sweet Pie shapes suggest candies, pastries and of course my favorite, pie.  So pick your flavor!  
They are both easily created by piecing quarter circle shapes.  There are so many options we made 8 samples to show their versatility!  The pattern even gives instructions on how to use the leftovers for a fabulous backing insert or runner.


Sweet Pie runner in two fabulous
 Art Gallery fabrics.                           The flip side features the leftovers plus.

This baby Sweet Pie features that cute firetruck fabric from Robert Kaufman.

Sweet Pie, throw size, is made with Carolyn Friedlander's fabric 
pantograph, "Kandinsky" by Patrician Ritter is equally spectacular.

Savory Baby's fun shapes and fabrics are reminiscent of vintage
in this modern model.  The central negative space would be perfect
to quilt your baby's monogram!

And the leftovers in the backing give it twice the statement!

Stay tuned!  We'll provide more samples, discuss design options and have some pattern giveaways!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

More Market Fabric Previews

jill here...We're knee deep into market preparation.  Our book is off to the publisher this afternoon after the final proof.  We are so excited to see it come together.

So what we have to offer in our busy kitchen are some fabric'll have to wait until next week for the reveal of our great new pattern.  We have SEVEN new samples to show how wonderful and fun "Pie" it is to make!

A composite collection, mostly from Carolyn Friedlander's Doe 
(Robert Kaufman) is made into a throw sized quilt.

A collection of cheerful saturated pastels, grey and 
white is featured in another throw.

  Did we tell you we have grandsons who love Firetrucks?

Artgallery  fabrics continue to entice us with their 
beauty and wonderful "hand".  These two fabrics
are displayed  in a two color table runner.

So just a little taste.  Come back next week for the full views!  later....

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Some great quilt fabric!

Marny here…in the midst of hurrying to finish up all the details, quilts, pattern writing and printing, etc. that takes place before a wholesale Quilt Market. Here are two fabrics I am working with today. Just two you ask? Yep!
Take a look at this simply wonderful fabric from 
Alexander Henry's Folklorico group.
Every cut is different from the next.
It is a perfect example of how a single fabric can provide
the variety and interest of several different fabrics.

It is really fun to use fabrics that differ even more than this 
one across their repeat. Look for them in your quilt shops. 
Here is the selvage edge. 
Casa Azul by the De Leon design group with Alexander Henry.  
Also working with a yummy slightly coral pink from Art Gallery.
It has a wonderful "hand" and finish. Great fabric.
See how each square brings something different to the table?
Trimmings from blocks following our upcoming pattern!
We'll be sharing the pattern as soon as we can. Promise.
Gotta run and finish the quilt top!
till Tuesday…

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

LIne Process

jill here...Within the past few years, I've become a fan of works by Anni Albers.  She was a German American artist, working mostly in textiles and later in printmaking.  She studied at Bauhaus, Germany with many other modern artists, married Joseph Albers and together they immigrated to the US in the 1930s, prior to the war.  The Museum of Modern Art in NYC has a collection of her textiles and prints.

I'm intrigued with Alber's line work and it's applicable translation to quilt making.  The juxtaposition of the lines is interesting; some lines are sharp contrast, others subtle with their stops and starts.  I found the exploration of these lines similar to the designs in our pattern Torte, totally dependent on the arrangements of the blocks.  So when I made some blocks for " You Want A Piece of Me?",  I utilized some of the line work.

Size and Color were our challenges; one side of the block had to be 9.5" (unfinished) and the color was chosen by the recipient.  This first fabrication explored the color acid green.  I was lucky that Penny shared some of her private, hand dyed collection so that I could get it right!  We could add any other supporting colors to the arrangement.  So I thought I'd punch it up with some orange!

 As you can see from the pictures there was my usual flight of ideas!  I tested colors, values, direction, mix of solids with some prints.  If I were to experiment again, I would follow this recipe:

  • 1 1/2 " strips cut from a WOF / cut in half to yield 2 strips.  Combine it with another value or color to make a strip set of 4.  Four strips in a set are easier to work with as you can turn them either direction (to use fabric A on top or fabric B on top).


  • When you use one value, use it again in another combination.
  • Use  very dark and light values with discretion.
  •  Use very saturated, bright colors with discretion.

  • Maintaining a horizontal orientation, I cut 3 1/2" pieces.  I used this measurement because it was 1/3 the size of the finished block so seemed like an appropriate choice.....but later chose to cut a strip or two down to 1 1/2" wide.  Some were larger for variety.

Three combinations that utilize in common values.

Less is more...more was just too much for this small composition.

Getting closer to a pleasing ending.  I liked the strength of the black and I knew Penny would too.  It has a pleasing combination of values in an asymmetrical balance.  If I had a larger block, I might shift the values a bit but time to move on.
The finished block! 

This is another design attempting to use a variety of colors.  In this small composition, I had to edit.

Some transparency was achieved.  The balance was countered diagonally .

'till next Tuesday....

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Creative Constraints at ISU Class

jill here...

Talk about fun and interesting!  Twice a week, sixty Iowa State University students explore different strategies and solutions in a Creative Thinking and Problem Solving class.  Most of the students come from the Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management majors but there are a few from diverse disciplines.  One of the elements the class utilizes is guest speakers from diverse walks of life to share their strategies.  Last week we shared our creative components and how they apply to our design process and business model. We discussed constraints within our design/business models, showed some of our quilts and challenged the group with a design activity.

The activity challenge: to design within constraints.  Not wanting to influence their design thinking, we shared minimal information on a quilt block and showed them a traditional nine-patch (with nine patches, all equal in size, three different values).  They each had a paper selection of 3 values and a white sheet.  We asked them to create, by tearing the construction paper, another design. One resourceful student even had a pair of scissors in her backpack and yes, we let her use them!  The constraint was that they had to have nine pieces in the final composition and glue it down to a base sheet.  The time constraint was 20 minutes. The above and below designs are some that they produced.

Looks like there was some quilt influence.  We relished the positive feedback.  Several students said that their Grandmothers had made them a quilt.  Our designs were different from the traditional, perhaps inspiring some creative process.   They picked up on our comments about the importance of networking to find help and solutions!

Talk about fun and interesting...'till next Tuesday!