Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winners and Curves again

jill here.....

And the winners, randomly chosen from last weeks comments, are:  Amy M., Vicki and Imatopper!  We'll get those pattens to you very soon.  Thanks so much for your comments, one and all.  It seems that Facebook and Pinterest will play a role in our business, hopefully very soon.  So stay tuned!

On with a challenge.  You know, one of the best parts of market is that you actually meet the people behind the product.  In Houston last fall, we met a very enterprising young woman by the name of Linda Warren.  She approached us with this tool called the The Learning Curve.  It's one template that guides in the creation of quarter circles (or other curves).  The two best features for me are that it has  "sew it oversized-cut down to accurate" and the visual tutorial clearly illustrates  whatever recipe you choose to follow.

We took a process pledge so I'll share my process of making  4 1/2" (unfinished) blocks with the curve in the corner.  Traditional quilters will recognize this block, similar to Drunkard's Path.

I start with cutting 5 1/2" squares from contrasting fabrics.

I line up the fabric edges with the template and cut the curve.

Cute little cone shapes are ready to pair up with a contrasting color.

I fold and press the center  edge of both the cone shape (convex)
 and the larger background (concave).  This gives me a landmark
to match when I pin the curves, right sides together.

I use three pins.  First pin the center, then the outer edges.
I  then sew with a scant 1/4" seam

Sew with the smaller convex piece on top, gently stretching
as you go, moving around  the curve.

Press to one side (may have to repress later to have your
seams "nest" for a smoother intersection).  It will look "wonky"...
perfectly okay!

Following the template and the dots placement for the curve,
two sides of the block are trimmed .

The curved corner is "squared up".

The template and dots show you exactly where to
make the final trim.

The end product (not quite) are like ducks in a row!

Next week I'll show you some setting options for a small project.  If you're interested in purchasing this template, you can check with your local quilt shop (available through Checker and United Notions) or you may order from Linda directly via her web site (above).  She also has some other ideas on how to use this little tool.

Later, next Tuesday....

The Learning Curve

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Quilt Studio Unearthed..and a chance for Free Modern Quilt Relish Patterns

Marny here...I was "digging out" after all!
The before.  Looking towards the western and northern windows.
The after.  Look at all the open space.  Ooohhh...Aaahhh...

Looking back towards the door.  The windows are to my back as I take the picture.
My sewing table has moved from facing the western window to it's neighboring northern window.

Basket full of rulers, colored pencils, writing and marking tools, etc.
Gift from April hangs above!  (I have a fat cat remember.)
Bureau down below was in my children's nursery.  Can't let it go.
Before.  Cutting table being used for a multitude of things.   I count no less than three separate quilting projects and piles of paper and files created following market. 

After.  Cutting table totally clean.  It is begging for me to cut my next project.
Two bulletin boards (that used to be stored on the floor) are hung and waiting for all the inspiring little tidbits I have already compiled.  More on that another time.
I used to store all my quilting books here.  Remember the unit, you'll see it repurposed in a minute.

Now my books and magazines and cds are shelved in this bookcase.
All my Modern Quilt Relish files are in a single place.  It feels so good.

See the reinvention of the old book case.  Target sells the black cloth "drawers" in two packs.  
I had admired Jacquie Gering's pressing station in this Tallgrass Prairie post.  I forgot about it until I was standing in the middle of chaos and realized I rarely use the actual ironing board so, with good fortune on my side, my "big board" slid easily on top.    
The before.  Patterns and covers to the left.  Boxes of patterns to right.

Now patterns and covers are at my fingertips!
Can you see these clever clips.  They are 3M Quick Clips 17505.  Think of all the thicker displays you might want to hang.  Including quilts???  3M adhesive supplies are all amazing and so removable.

A few small studies...a somewhat unsuccessful Diamond Head in the upper left and some other color/shape studies and improvisational piecing.  I have the design wall behind the ironing board, but can slide it out and place in front of the fabric shelves.  I'm excited I will be able to step back the length of the room (rather than the width) to judge my designs from now on.

My sewing studio is clean and organized.  It may not be all new and shiny, but I like to reuse the objects that have "lived" in my house for years and years.  The bulletin boards were used by my children.  The large bookcase belonged to my daughter.  It is still carefully labeled with her name.  Label maker fun at some point.  There is nothing quite like the power of knowing how to spell and a good label maker machine to a bright eight year old!    
Admittedly I have created piles of books and albums and papers that need new homes.  But I am on a roll and heading into the next room makeover shortly.   My family is remaining patient.  But I better make more forward progress.

Actually I did revamp our screened in porch from uninviting to this welcoming retreat over the weekend.  The furniture, rug and pillows were on clearance at Target.  Timing is everything.

Jill and I are giving away three sets of our newest patterns.  Each winner will receive a copy of Recipe Cards and Taffy Twists.  All we ask for you to enter is to tell us whether or not you use Facebook and/or Pinterest.  We'd like to limit winners to the United States and Canada due to exorbitant postage to other wonderful parts of the world.  The entries will end at 5pm CST June 25th 2012.  Thank you!
See you next Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

More of Market While Marny Makes Pretty

jill here.... While Marny continues with her digging.......Can't believe market was nearly a month ago.  We just wanted to share some photos of the fun.
Janine Burke of Blue Underground Studios.
We missed you , Amy!
Shea Henderson of  Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio..
This was her first market and such a cute booth.  We're .anxious
to meet again in September at the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild!
Clothworks' computer generated Market Values
with their new line "Scarlet" by Pamela Mostek.
Great use of striking values!

Benartex Fabrics featuring Michelle D'Amore's designs.
Michelle stopped by and recognized her Habitat fabric in our Leftovers quilt.
Zen Chic fabrics by Moda

dear stella fabrics displayed beautifully!
Just plain cute!
Beautiful design, gorgeous quilting!

Jennifer Moore of Monaluna  holding
her Taali fabrics in our Recipe Cards
Art Gallery Fabrics' beautiful  display.
Next week we'll have a drawing for some of our new patterns.  You won't believe Marny's sewing room transformation.  I better get busy!   'Till then....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Digging out my sewing studio! (modern or otherwise)

Marny here...

We had to chuckle at Quilt Market.  We were asked to consider sharing our sewing studios with a wonderful publication.  They assured us their readers were interested in real work spaces.

My sewing room is a disaster.  It is not just a sewing studio.  Like many of yours it holds books, papers, items without another good home and additional equipment.  Mine also houses boxes and boxes of patterns!

Let me take you on a tour.
Entering the room.  Nice northern windows at the opposite end.
The quilting frame is a great storage surface for quilts and fabric piles.
I certainly don't use it for its intended purpose.  That also means my awesome MegaQuilter lies idle.
Any offers?  Some pattern boxes below.
Looking back to the doorway.  Ironing board (without its big board, but with a coffee cup) to the left.
I must have used the ironing board to iron clothes before Market.  Imagine that.
Pitiful to have a nonworking tv sitting on the floor waiting to be recycled.  I mean really?
Surely I can do better than this.  I've been stepping over this for a couple of years.
Filing cabinet and great shelves not being used to their potential.  

Sewing machine on the left and cutting table on the right.
Lots of my books and magazines housed in a somewhat tidy fashion.

Notice the cutting table is such a nice large surface for getting "organized".

Posting this blog will force me to take action.  In one or two more Tuesdays you will see the "after" photos.  The room has so much hidden potential.  Literally.  What about your sewing spaces.

Till Tuesday...