Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wow events for Modern Quilt Relish

Marny here...
Modern Quilt Relish is keeping busy.  Jill and I are just trying to keep up with it.  The business has taken on a life of its own...and it doesn't allow for down time, that is for sure.  One of the words I keep uttering and writing in emails is "wow" and usually it is followed by an exclamation point.

Last Thursday we had two wonderful classrooms of students participating in a mystery presentation of our upcoming pattern Market Values.  Several of the students managed to cut their fabric and complete their quilt tops in under six hours.  Awesome.  Wow.  Jill has lots of photos to share when the pattern is revealed.  We received numerous really good suggestions and positive feedback to help with creating the final written version.  Lots of fine tuning of the instructions has filled our days since.    Photographs need to be taken for the cover the next time the sun shines and the breeze stops.  Our faithful proofreading team will be called upon soon, and then off to the printer everything goes.

This Friday we are lecturing at the AQS Quilt Show in nearby Des Moines.  Lecturing (except to my kids of course) is way out of my experience and my comfort zone.  We are excited to share our thoughts though--we can always talk about quilts!  Hope to see some of you there.  Please introduce yourselves if you get a chance.  Our lecture is entitled A Little Taste of Modern.

Now for some exciting bits of news leading up to the International Quilt Market in Houston at the end of October.  The portion we attend is only open to the trade.  Quilt Festival follows and that is open to everyone.  We have been given some wonderful opportunities in Houston!  Again all wows!

We are designing a pattern for a fabulous fabric designer, Jan DiCintio.  If you go to her blog and her website you will see all her wonderful designs.  She has a brand new line of fabric to add to her company Daisy Janie.  It is called Tilly and you can see it here.  We can't wait for the fabric to arrive here in Ames.   Just you wait to see what we have cooked up for her!  Our machines will be humming and our computers will be clicking next week.  It will be another new pattern at Market.  October will fly by.  Wow.

A large fabric company let us know they are using one of our patterns to display a new line of fabric.  How awesome is that?  Wow.  It was a total surprise and an absolutely delightful one at that.  We will take photos and share them after market.  We neglected to find out if we could share details before posting.

And yet another fabric company approached us about using some of their new fabrics in another one of our patterns.  Again, WOW!  We are thrilled and excited.   The fabrics are perfect for the pattern they have in mind.  Again pictures will appear following Quilt Market.  And again, we did not ask in time for this post if we could share details.  But we actually get to make up samples with their brand new line of fabric!

Thursday, 9/29/11, (in Ireland) we will be guest blogging over at Fluffy Sheep Quilting. Cindy contacted us about participating in her series of posts on Start Your Own ....  In our case it is about starting our pattern business.  This world is certainly shrinking in a very nice way with the use of the internet.  Her questions made us pause a bit and reflect on the business of Modern Quilt Relish.  Please visit her blog on Thursday to read more...

So believe me, we are sewing and writing and photographing and blogging and having a ball.  Wow.

Till Tuesday...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spices, Pinwheels and Stuff

So, do you all have your Dinner Plates together?  Lois takes the cake for getting hers posted!

We're getting ready for our talk at the Des Moines AQS show September 30th.  If you can make it, we'd love to have your company.  There will be prizes and quilts unearthed to make a never -before- seen appearance.  You can be the first!  It will happen before the snow flies and we're struck inside to sew all winter.

On with the fall domestics...

Architectural  spices, duplicate towers!

jill here......Have you ever gone to the grocery store and know you need a spice that you didn't put on the list?  So you go shopping through the alphabet, looking, looking.  Okay, they're reasonably priced so it's not the end of the world if you cover your bases and get an extra (and another and another).  I never realized how many spices start with the letter "C".  No wander I couldn't find the cumin when I needed it!

Gotta merge, purge and reorganize!

Neat and tidy in alphabetical order.
Now where's the cumin?

Baby pinwheels ready to send to Miss  Ivy.

Stripes are the greatest for pinwheels and binding.

With Minkie on the back, she'll be warm all winter.

Until next Tuesday....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Final Step Dinner Plates Quilt Along

Marny here...If you have been sewing along with us you have your circles inserted into your blocks.  (The three previous posts are available by clicking on Dinner Plates in the right side label bar.  It is never to late to join us!)

So let's get this Dinner party started.
With your circle blocks complete, it is time to figure our how to trim them
square.  You recall they started out oversized because some distortion
takes place while insetting the circles.  It will be fun to figure out what to do with the leftover 12" circles!  Any ideas?

Remember the finger pressed line down both axes of the circle?  My ruler is 8" across.
I want the block to be 15 1/2" raw(15" finished.)  So I place the 7 3/4" (7 3/4 + 7 3/4 = 15 1/2) mark along the fold line, as best I can.  Then I trim the fabric off to the right of this ruler.

Back to the two ruler technique we used earlier.  See here for a refresher.  My long
horizontal ruler on the right is on the 15 1/2" line.  I snug my vertical left
ruler up against the end of the first ruler.  Next, remove the first ruler and cut along
the ruler on the left.  

Two edges are now "square." 

The previously trimmed edges are at the top and bottom of this picture.  (The scrap to
the left is a leftover from a previous cut.  Sorry I didn't notice it when I took the picture.  Just pretend it
isn't there, please. )  The ruler's 7 3/4" mark is lined up on the finger pressed axis.  Note, the
ruler's top end is used to make sure the cut will be perpendicular to your previously squared edges.
See below.

Close up of the above step and ruler placement.  This area is from the side
looking at the top of the square in the above picture.

Last cut.  The 15 1/2" mark on the ruler is lined up on the right side.  The
"top" of the ruler is aligned with the top edge of the block to make sure the
last cut is square.

Your blocks are now complete.  Here is a layout diagram for the queen size quilt.
And here is the layout diagram for the throw size.
Please spread all your blocks out in a mock layout.  You might just want 
to do a bit of tweaking.
Oops.  Time for a confession.
Following my fabric placement chart I end up with too much of the
pink background fabrics on the upper left side.  There will need to be some
rearranging after all.  Best laid plans and all that...

I exchanged a plain number one fabric block (2nd down on far left column) with
a plain number two fabric block (4th down on the far left column) to balance
out the strong pink areas.  Other than that I followed the layout diagram.

Sew your columns together.  
Then join the columns.  
And your quilt top is done!!!
Wouldn't you know the lighting threw off the pink color for its completion shot!  But I still love how it turned out.  What do you think?

I hope to find a lovely way to use the 12" leftover circles--any ideas???  Any chunks of fabric leftover will probably go on the back, and I haven't decided whether scrappy or one of the darker pink fabrics for binding.  Any opinions?

How are all your quilts coming along?   Please note the comments on the previous posts--they lead you to at least one fresh idea from a Crafty Mom in Maine.  Our flickr stream has some photos submitted of some fabric choices made by one of our loyal readers.  

Again, if you want to join in any time the steps are in the label column to the left by clicking on Dinner Plates.  We would love to receive pictures via the "contact us" bar above, and we can put them in the photo stream if you do not know how to add to Flickr.

We will be here next Tuesday, hope you can be too.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Queen of Condiments Cooks Domestic

jill here....We're giving you a week to get all your Dinner Plates for our free modern quilt along fabricated.  (remember to click on Dinner Plates in the right side label sidebar to get all the steps if you haven't been able to follow along.)  Until then, you'll have to deal with my noncreative domestic side!

It WAS Labor Day!  And nothing like a little company coming to spur me into cleaning mode.  Marny,  another friend and I are hosting a milestone birthday party for a great friend.  The party will be here at my house and these two other hostesses have the tidiest refrigerators in Ames so I had to clean up my act.  Refrigerator interior design 101!

Number three child, during his six week home stay, polished off any eatable leftovers.  But my family likes condiments and we collect them much the same as fabric - opening new ones before the old ones are consumed.  Therefore, there are lots of partially finished options, some getting lost in the back, some not really worth keeping. Soooo, 2008 really has expired!  After much sorting, consolidation, rinsing, recycling and cleaning every surface, I'm proud to show you the organized result.  My husband was amazed!  I've saved face and even room for cupcakes!

A new perspective....
Repetitive patterns, in the door only.

During that successful exercise I was giving thought to my husband's birthday present.  Hard to think of a surprise.  He has this favorite shirt that is really comfortable but well worn, mostly just frayed in the collar.  I had previously considered "turning the collar" but rejected the thought for being crazy.  But why not?  A real gift to give him back his shirt and truly a surprise.

The favorite shirt.

Only the collar was frayed so I carefully ripped the treads
between the collar and the neck facing.

I then just flipped the collar, tucked it between the open edges
and restitched close to the edge and pressed.

Better than new 'cause it feels good!

Well he was surprised and amazed!  Just don't tell him how easy it was.  Enough domestic.
Until next Tuesday....