Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winner of a Modern Quilt Relish Pattern, and another Giveaway

Marny here....a couple of posts ago the scraps from making Leftovers were challenging me.  The project is developing.  Design choices are being dictated by available scraps and limited time for hemming and hawing.
Sack of evenly cut strips too good to toss.

So far a rhythm is developing, background strip, two of the above scraps sewn together and seamed randomly to the background, a unit made from the original scraps, and again two of the narrow scraps sewn together and added on.  Repeat.

The strong verticals have taken over the original random scraps, but we will see where it ends up.   I will keep picking it up and adding to it over the next week.  It is my current productive procrastination method--you know, doing "something" but not the "thing" you should be doing.

Busy times for Modern Quilt Relish right now.  New patterns are being designed, trunk shows are being developed, and lots of preparations are underway for Spring Market in Salt Lake City.

The winner from last week's post is Janice.  Congratulations!  (Please email us at with your choice.)  The question we posed was what is your least favorite color to quilt with?  Interesting that two mentioned orange and one bright blue with bright yellow.  Where do our color biases come from?  Sometimes I end up using my least favorite color (orange) or my least favorite fabrics and they are the perfect addition to the quilt/composition. Funny, life is like that too!

So here is this week's giveaway question.  You need to comment with a response to the question to enter.  We will send you the pattern of your choice if you win.  

What size quilt do you most often make?  Queen, throw, baby, wall hanging, table runner, etc.  Just let us know.  

Till Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Relish the Blues

jill.....Creating/recreating modern and contemporary quilts has its challenges.  The sample sewing for trunk shows continues.  So do we make samples the same as the original?  We weren't prepared to make  the patterns the same as the original so some variety is inevitable.   Alternatives are good but they still have to closely resemble the photograph.  It's up to you to make it even more spectacular!

This week a remake of Modern Pickle Relish was in the plan.  I found this black non directional background to act as my inspiration.

Once I gave myself permission to sew with gray instead of black thread, my life is easier (as I always have to "unsew" something)!

The subtle texture is in the color blue so I found values in blue.  Sound easy, right?  First of all, I don't have very much blue fabric so I had to shop.  What I ended up with was 2 half yard cuts of transitional blue.
I knew that just one of the panels did not have enough of a change in value to give me the variation I wanted.  I sliced the panels into sections and came up with 7 defined values.

I should have thought this cutting thing through as I ended up not being able to cut at least two 2.5" strips from each.  Oh well.  I used fabric that had some shaded area and tried to keep it oriented in the same direction.

From the values, I chose five and cut according to the pattern directions. I eliminated the darkest so that the 5th value was not lost in the background.

The background pieces were cut,  arranged and collated into the blocks, following the gridded pattern. I pinned them to my design wall in the appropriate order.

The valued grid illustrated the correct placement. Then I sewed the blocks, blocks to strips, strips to background and joined them just like a puzzle.  Ta Da!

The magic of the blues on the black background is the creation of luminosity.  It just glows.  It reminds me of the Marc Chagall stained glass that I once viewed at the Chicago Art Institute.  They are both better in reality.

The winner of a free pattern from last week's comments is Patty.  Please email us with your contact information.  Our question for this next week is what is your least favorite color to quilt with?  You could even tell us why, but not required!

So, step back, dim the lights and take another look.  If the piece doesn't fit the first time, keep on turning and trying.  Eventually it will all come together. (Except for the one piece the dog ate!)

Later, next Tuesday.....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Conversations with Modern Quilts & Leftovers Reheating

Marny here...we keep Cherrywood Fabrics on our radar. Recently Karla Overland blogged about a quilt show she is part of.  The name of the show sent my wheels spinning: Conversations with Cloth.  The title really resonated with me and I have been turning it over in my mind since reading it.

I have conversations with my cloth and my projects as I work.  Sometimes the conversations are kind of cranky, especially when a new design is posing too many challenges.  But mostly the fabric calms me as I cut, seam and press.  Holding fabric is comforting.  So is that a conversation?  If a conversation is a give and take I'd say giving cloth a new life and taking comfort in that qualifies.  Years in the quilt store have taught me that LOTS of people need to come in and pet the fabric to bring them happy moments in an otherwise stressful or unpleasant day.  It is a conversation of comfort that we are all part of.

Using the term conversation more precisely gets trickier. There is a dialogue between the artist/quilter and their creation and there is a dialogue the observer can become a part of.  The projects in the show clearly would inspire the spectator to respond....and isn't that what a conversation is?

And speaking of conversations, more comments please.

Here is an easy one for anyone to respond to.  Why do you sew?  

You can comment below or email us.  Our email is as follows.

Now for Leftovers Reheating.....In cleaning my sewing room not too long ago, the remaining scraps from our original Leftovers pattern resurfaced.

They are intriguing little bits and pieces.  I decided to trim them down, sew them in pairs and see what I come up with.

There is no way to tell until the sewing is done how close it will it be to what I imagine.  I will keep playing with them and will share the result in a later post.

The winner from last week's blog post is eschhousequilts 
Which pattern you would like? Thanks to everyone for participating and please keep the comments coming.  We love the conversation.

....and remember to comment on why you sew?
till Tuesday.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Puzzle and Modern Pickle Relish Class Alert

Post script from jill.... I love puzzles!  My daughter and I spent time talking and puzzling over the holiday.  Alas, she has returned to her home and left me with the hard parts.  I'll keep you updated as to the progress of this German castle.  Don't hold your breath.

The connection is this.  A lot of quilters love puzzles. Our pattern, Modern Pickle Relish, is very much like a puzzle in a grid form.  If you live close enough and want to join in the fun, I'm teaching the class at the Quilting Connection in Ames on Saturday, January 15th.  You can call 515-233-3048 to reserve a spot. Some things are so much better with a buddy.  Hope to see you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

to market, to market.....


jill here....Post holiday..... the calories, the cleanup, the cold, but most of all, the procrastination.  A lot has been on hold through this holiday season but the good news is that we will be vending at the International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City (May 13-15, 2011).  We have so many ideas we can't keep up with them.  For certain, we will have many new patterns to launch.  It will be our first exhibit to a wholesale market and we are excited!

Business marketing has been a challenge so it will be good to be seen by a larger audience.  We're working on more samples to offer trunk shows.  Like most, our quilts are even better seen and touched!  So stayed tuned for the specifics if you have a favorite shop that might benefit from our new, modern designs.

There was some time this past weekend to sew some samples of "Flatbread".  The runner size makes completion fast and achievable.  It was enjoyable to take a break from design decision making and just sew a well written pattern.  I collect a lot of batiks so it was nice to actually use some stash!  Batik's blendable nature works well for the transparency in this quilt.  Now they're off to the machine quilter and out of my hands for awhile.

Flatbread closeup

So, for the next couple of weeks, we would like to hear from you. Please comment on what you think makes a good pattern?   I could fill your mind with lots of ideas but I won't.  You are the audience that likes individual, original design but you occasionally must buy some patterns and books for certain reasons....

We will offer a free pattern, of your choice, from a random drawing of contributers.  We might even spring for more freebies if there are lots of comments....If you don't want to comment online, you may email us.    here   Let us know what you're thinking!

off to the future....
'till next Tuesday!