Monday, October 31, 2011

Plum full of Quilt Marlet

Writing from I-45 heading out of Houston. (Jill is driving should you be concerned.) We have to apologize for not posting till now. Busy, busy, busy at Quilt Market.

We will be posting when we get home. It was a wonderful experience and it will be fun to share it with you all.

Till soon!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Modern Dinner Plates Quilt

Marny and Jill here....but not for long!

We are packing the car to head to International Quilt Market in Houston.  Lots of last minute details getting taken care of.  It is all so much fun! 

Remember the Free Modern Quilt Dinner Plates Quilt Along that we held a couple of months ago?  (To see all the steps we posted you can always click on the Dinner Plates label in the right side bar.)

Here is a completed Dinner Plates quilt that April West is sharing with us.

Isn't it wonderful?  Seeing the same pattern made up in a variety of ways is so rewarding.  April's color palette and textures and prints differ greatly from the versions we have shared previously.  It is so much fun for us to see a pattern made up multiple ways!  Very gratifying.

And look at the quilting!
A Dinner Plate quilted.  Gorgeous!

An empty, rather solid textured, square given dimension with quilting.

April is an professional longarm quilter.  Her business is The Quilting Den.  She does a fantastic job on all the quilts for our patterns.  We love getting the quilts back from her.  Her quilting really helps them "come alive."
Look how she works in and around those Dinner Plates!  
Our thanks to April for sharing her quilt.  Seeing how quilting adds to your quilts is educational, both for those making quilts and for those of us designing patterns.  It is an element that can have a huge impact on the success of the final product.

If all goes well, and the app works as intended (and practiced) we should be able to blog as we go this trip. Please be forgiving of typos and other oddities since "typing" will take place on an iPhone or an iPad. Check back frequently this week to see what we are up to!  We are eager to share.

Till soon....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Easy...Easier...Easing for Modern Quilt Tip

Marny here...

Do you ever stop and ask yourself, now why did I do that?  And then, how can I fix that?

For those of us with moveable needle positions on our sewing machines we get to choose our seam width.  This is not as cut and dried as you might think.  Jill and I were feverishly sewing together last week and we discovered she is a "4.5" and I am a "4.0".
Jill's perfect setting at "4.5"  This is the smaller seam allowance of the two.
Marny's perfect setting at "4.0" is the larger seam allowance of the two.

Could I leave well enough alone?  No is the obvious answer.  You guessed it, I made a couple of strip sets using "4.5".  Then I cut them into the correct segments and decided to check the results.  I lined the segments side by side to sew them together, and wow, you guessed it again, "4.5" doesn't work for me.  Everyone is different in how they place their fabric along the edge of their foot.  I imagine every machine is a bit different too.  So you need to find the needle position that works for you and use it!
Can't have this now can we?  This is the overall difference in length.  The three seam
allowances were not large enough so the segment ended up
 longer than the one it needed to pair with.

The "grass is always greener syndrome" can get you into trouble.

I had a pile of segments with the wrong seam allowance.  One set of segments had three seams in each one.  The error gets multiplied the more seams are involved.  I did not want to start with a new strip set.  One fabric was in short supply.  What to do?

My first solution was to resew the seams.  Easy but tedious.

And then I thought how about if I pin lots and fudge a bit.  Easier but not so pretty.

But then...wait for it...easing is best accomplished if the fabric that needs easing is against the feed dogs of your machine.  I can just hear my 8th grade Home Economics teacher announcing this kindly as we all wrestled with inserting sleeves.  (I also still remember that the first one went in perfectly, and that the second one took nine tries.   Not so cleverly and against advise, I chose a nice solid pink fabric that showed every error.  I just loved the solid sea of pink though.)  Notice I am still happily sewing with solids.

I placed the fabric segment that needed easing along the feed dogs and put the segment sewn with the "4.0" needle position seam on top.  Worked like a charm.  Success was mine.  Big sigh of relief.  The blocks are going together beautifully now.
The segment that ended up too long due to the too small seam allowances
 is placed against the feed dogs.When you pin appropriately and match seams
correctly the machine does the work for you.

Note to self:  all other strip sets will be sewn with a "4.0" needle position.  That is if I can remember.

Last week's design dilemmas have been conquered, the new pattern is getting put on the computer with diagrams and directions, and all the deadlines are going to be met.  The quilts will be ready at the longarm quilter's tomorrow (thanks April) and therefore let us give a shout.  Binding and pictures are next.  Ta Da!  Yipee!

We just received Market Values back from the printer.  It is always fun to watch the UPS truck drive up with patterns for Modern Quilt Relish.  Can't wait to show them to you all!

See you Tuesday.  Which, by the way, is the last post before Houston Fall Quilt Market.  Can you believe it?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stuck on Complexity

jill here....Sometimes the process really hurts.  We're stuck in a design dilemma. We have this beautiful Daisy Janie fabric "Tilly" and this great block to feature the fabric but the setting just isn't working.  (Actual photos of these layouts that will be shared after we publish the finished design.)  Later, we'll share our journey with some design criteria; you can add in with your opinions.

Did someone say there is a deadline on the very near horizon?   Better not to panic as there is a wonderful designer depending on us.

Back to the basics!  A quote that inspires us is from Weeks Ringle's and Bill Kerr's book Color Harmony For Quilts. "As a general rule of thumb, a complex palette flatters a simple design and a simple palette is best suited to a complex design." So we're traveling back to the drawing board and computer to discover a new direction.  Stay tuned.  Keep the faith, Jan!

It'll be a busy week but we'll be back next Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fresh Fabric for Brioche & Baguette

Jeanne's Fall in Colorado, thanks for the photo!  Great memories...

Marny here....

First, we want to thank everyone who attended our lecture at the AQS show in Des Moines.  We were so pleased to share "A Little Taste of Modern" with you.  The talk focused on a design principle (balance)  and the design elements (space, line, shape, value & color) that we feel are essential to a Modern Quilt.  Preparing the lecture made us distill some of our thoughts into a cohesive whole.  It was a good exercise.  Hopefully those attending enjoyed themselves.

We did receive permission to share our Robert Kaufman surprise!  It is such fun news for us!  Wow!  They have a new line of fabric coming out called Stockholm, designed by Robin Zingone.  While we can't show you pictures of the fabrics before they launch them later this month, we can tell you they are fabulous.  It is so much fun to be cutting into the beautiful prints and putting them up on the design wall.  They are going to be made into our Brioche and Baguette pattern.  (You can scroll down through the pattern shop to see which pattern we are talking about.)  Stockholm is a perfect fabric line for the pattern.  It will be even more exciting for us to see the quilt hanging in their booth at Houston Quilt Market.  We will have one in our booth too, lucky us.

Our Market Values Pattern is heading to the printer's on Friday.  It will be a proofreading frenzy (and special thanks to our little team of proofers) since the pattern has changed a bit since the mystery test class we had.  Our students offered many valuable suggestions.  The pattern will be better for it.  Thank you.

How are all those Dinner Plates Quilt Along quilts coming along?  I've seen a couple of tops lately and I can't wait to see the finished projects!  It is always so much fun to see how unique each quilt is.  We saw Lois' fun top during the Market Values class and I got to see April's Sunday afternoon.  It will be just wonderful when she gets it quilted, and she will soon I bet.

Till Tuesday.