Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Challenges of Spring and Other Adventures

jill here....Okay, there was a little excitement at our house this morning.  When I let the dogs out, I didn't see the two deer in the yard.  Barkley took out at full speed and breeched the invisible fence.  I had to put my clothes on to track him down!  (He leads a very sheltered life here on the hill so I wasn't sure he would come back.)

I found him in a panic on the neighbors driveway!  No, he didn't catch the deer.  He knew he needed to come back home but didn't want the buzz of the collar.  So it took some coercion with his collar off to get him across the line.  AHHHH, the invisible fence, the best invention for dogs since the bone.  He's resting now after clearing his territory. Good thing he can't climb a tree!

So, on to fabric.  Houston Market introduced some great lines of fabric.  One of my favorites is the 
Dear Stella Palladium.  I love the whole collection, particularly the gray and yellow color way.  You might guess what pattern will come together soon.  This will be a mellow version.

Blocks waiting to come together.

Absolutely great textures to compliment the graphics!
An IKAT print...very popular with that
global history connection.

One of my favorites, subtly graphic! 
One of our new patterns involves these Cherrywood Fabrics.  They are soft to the hand; perfect to snuggle under...pieced and quilted of course.
Just can't go wrong with an analogous color scheme!
And then there is just plain fun.  Although sometimes I thought I would go crazy reading those stories again and again!    Celebrate Seuss! by Dr. Seuss Enterprises for Robert Kaufman.
has this wonderful black and white nondirectional background and saturated primary colors.
Oh, to be a kid again.
So hope you stay tooned in as this spring is flying by.  Market will be here before we know it!
'Till next Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Modern Quilt Relish Exhibit and the Arrival of Fresh Modern Fabrics for Spring

Marny here...our weather has been extraordinary!  Warm dry days filled with sunshine and bird songs and wild flowers and daffodils and crocus and tulips.  How are we supposed to get anything done?  Lucky for us Sheila Green ignored the call of Spring and hung our quilts at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska in time for International Quilt Day 3/17/12.  (Note the bit of St. Patrick's Day green in every photo:-)  Here is a link to our exhibit.    

They look awesome, Sheila.  Thank you for the photos and the hard work.  And yet another thank you to Ellen Rushman for recommending our quilts to the museum in the first place.  Visit her blog, Fabric Field, to see her take on the exhibit.

Jill and I will be seeing them all before they get taken down!  We will share more once we do that.  The show is March 16-31. 

But what else have we been up to?  New patterns for Spring Market in Kansas City is a partial answer.  Here are some pictures of yummy fabric piles that became/are becoming quilts for one of our new pattern covers.
What do you think?
Ever so helpful and always available if fabric is present!
From top to bottom.  Robert Kaufman Essex Linen, Kona Color, Valerie Wells for Free Spirit two pieces of Wrenly.

David Butler for Free Spirit Parson Gray.

Windham Fabrics Echo by Lotta Jansdotter.

Three pieces of Echo combined with Robert Kaufman Kona Snow.  

Kaffe Fassett fabrics for Westminster Fabrics plus two Robert Kaufman Kona Colors.
What did you do on International Quilt Day?  What do you think of our fabric choices?
Till Tuesday...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Premativa Twist on Bowtie Pasta and Free Tutorial for Quilt Backs

Bowtie Pasta With A Twist in "Primitiva"

jill here....Andover Fabrics was gracious to share some of designer Jane Dixson's new line of Primitiva.  Together, Marny and I cut and pieced the quilt at our DSM Modern Quilt Guild retreat.  We just got it back from the quilter and it's worthy of a process discussion.  This tutorial is intended for personal use (gift or charity) and may not be reproduced without our permission

For the backing, we had a length of Andover's Dimples (designed by Gail Kessler) but not wide enough for the entire quilt.  So rather then adding just another length to bring it to the correct width, I wanted to use the one fabric in the collection that we didn't sew into the top.  Still not enough!  So I added one more light valued fabric with enough contrast to the print.  The quilt top measured 56" X 70"  therefore I needed 64" X 78" to send to the machine quilter.

Three fabrics for the backing with the print acting as the focus.
For the backing I needed:  2 1/3 yard of dark, 5/8 yard of focus, 7/8 yard of light.
Cut the following from the dark fabric: Remove the selvage from one WOF side, leave the other on for stability.  Cut the LOF to 78".  Cut another 5 " X  24" strip.
Cut the following from the focus fabric :  2 strips of  9 1/2"X WOF.  Cut again into (7) 9 1/2" squares.
Cut the following from the light fabric:  2 strips of 11" X WOF, 1 strip  5" X  24" strip.

Sew the dark and light 5"X 36" strips lengthwise.

Sub cut this into (8)  2 1/2" X 9 1/2" segments.
Starting with the above strip set, alternate the strip sets with the 9 1/2" blocks, keeping the same orientation of lights and darks.  The fabric pattern of the focus fabric square was alternated from vertical to horizontal for a more lively setting.

This will make a  strip set  79 1/2" long, trim either end to make it 78" long
Sew the (2) 11"X WOF strips end to end (after trimming the selvages).  Trim this piece 11" X 78".   Sew it to one of the sides of the pieced square sets.
Back side after sewing the light value to the square sets.
We press our seams open.

Back side after sewing the dark value to the other side of the squares.

If there's fabric, they will come.  Thanks, Jaxon!

Back from April West, the quilter, the final challenge was to find the best binding fabric.  The top two fabrics were in the quilt but the orange was the  same light in the bowties.  Not wanting to compete with the accent, it was voted off.  The browns weren't so exciting so I went with the darker orange zig zag.  It was lively but not too crazy.  Turned out just fine!

All decked out with no where to go!

Spring shadows....
Ta Da!
 'Till next Tuesday when I can hopefully say the taxes are out of my hands!  Enjoy  the arrival of spring.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ellen Rushman & Modern Quilts

Marny here...Lovely adventures just keep coming our way.  We are so fortunate.  This is a story in which two special people will be introduced.  And if you read all the way to the end, we want to share about a special tutorial coming this way!

We met Ellen Rushman at the Fall Quilt Market in Houston.  Ellen is a graduate student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.  On Friday, March 2nd she presented Modern Quilting: DIY Discourse to the Lincoln Quilters  Guild.  Ellen has done extensive research on the Modern Quilt Guild, conducting interviews of the founders and members throughout the United States.  Her entertaining blog, Fabric Field, allows you a peek into her world. She and Madeleine Roberg have an exciting new endeavor, The Printed Bolt.

Ellen Rushman
Anyway, several weeks back we received an email from Sheila Green.  (More on wonderful Sheila further along in the post.)  Ellen planned to give the above lecture, could we provide some quilts for the event? Thank you again, Ellen, for bringing us to Sheila's attention.  So that is why you see Ellen standing in front of Cheddar No Crackers, and a Supper Club close by.  (I would like to point out that we last saw Ellen and Madeleine on Halloween in Houston creatively costumed as an unfinished projects.  Quilt Market is nothing if not full of surprises.)

Our quilts providing a backdrop in this expansive room.
But our quilts are not just a back drop to the talk, oh no, they are in a trunk show Sheila helped get rolling at the Bernina Sewing Studio in Lincoln.
Announcement our quilts will be at the Bernina Sewing Studio.
Here is another newspaper clipping detailing Ellen's presentation.
Our quilts hanging in the Bernina Sewing Studio, Lincoln NE.


And even more.
That brings us to a bit about Sheila.  (All of these photos are courtesy Sheila btw.)  

Wow!  We have got to say, WOW!  Upon receiving more information about her activities, we just have to say it must be true, "if you need something done, ask a busy person."  Her role quickly grew from sending us an email on Ellen's behalf and that of the Lincoln Quilters Guild to orchestrating a Trunk Show at the Bernina Sewing Studio to picking up all the quilts in Des Moines to GETTING OUR QUILTS HUNG IN THE FOYER OF THE INTERNATIONAL QUILT STUDY CENTER & MUSEUM DURING THE SECOND HALF OF MARCH!!  Please excuse my "shouting" but we are so dang excited to have them there and see them hanging.  

Back to Sheila for a moment.  If it involves quilting in Nebraska she seems to participate! I have tried to think of a way to adequately let you know her activities, but I think I'll just publish a bit of what she sent us. 
"Basically, I'm a volunteer, love to travel with family (especially grandchildren) and friends.  I am a quilter involved in lots of quilting related volunteer work for the Lincoln Quilters Guild, Nebraska State Quilt Guild and IQSCM including being a docent at the IQSCM Also, at the museum, I teach "My Doll and I Classes" at the museum for elementary aged girls, classes for adults, on the FRIENDS of the IQSCM Board,.  Through the Lincoln guild, I do all scheduling for schools and volunteers for Discover Nebraska presentations ( is my website).  It's a supplement to the fourth grade Social Studies curriculum that combines Nebraska history and quilting.  I schedule and recruit volunteers for monthly Quilts for Community (LQG outreach project worked on at the IQSCM on Saturdays), chair National Quilting Day, etc. Nebraska State Quilt Guild Education Chair, Quilt History Day Chair.   I have taught classes at Bernina Sewing Studio and the Nebraska History Museum in recent years."

Sheila Chairs the National Quilting Day event at the IQSCM and that is why our quilts were presented to the appropriate people to approve or disapprove for the foyer and they passed!  So they will be going up the 16th in time for a special day at the museum and will remain up till April 1st.

Here is some information on the special class Sheila will be teaching.  It sounds like a joyful three hours learning/playing monoprinting.  Her students will get to dye a silk scarf.  Look into it everybody!  And you get to experience all the Museum has to offer.  If interested please call the number given, this photo of the form is just that, and is not meant for registration purposes.
So our many thanks to Sheila Green and Ellen Rushman and all the kind people at the Bernina Sewing Studio and the International Quilt Study Center & Museum.  

Now, as promised, more about that tutorial.  Next week, if all goes as planned, Jill will present a special tutorial on a well designed but simple to execute quilt back.  It is so cute it would make a simple quilt top too.  Think a baby quilt in no time flat.  Come back and check it out!

Till Tuesday...