Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Modern fabric choices for Quiltcon

jill here...While we finish up Picnic we're looking ahead to the next challenge.  It's fun and filled with mystery as it's the first one. It's Quiltcon!  We'll be making LOTS of new samples so it was exciting to shop at market for new inspirations.  

We love Carolyn Friedlander's new Architextures collection from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  They are perfect to feature many of our patterns.  You'll just have to wait and see!  Carolyn has done a spectacular job with her sketches, printography and pops-of -color textures.  And she's a really nice artist as well as she is talented.

Even the little squares are cute!

The tonal backgrounds work well with even just a few colors.

Two other favorite fabric collections are from Monaluna.  Jennifer Moore (equally nice and talented) has designed Havana and Modern Home that have wonderful prints, textures, large and small scale animals, icons and dots.

It's fun to mix and match!

The greens and pinks are fun.....

Don't you just love the llamas?  

Frances and Wagner are patiently waiting for their holiday treat!
Hope your season is filled with lots of sewing and fun time.  My annual sewing party is Thursday...guess I'd better get on that!

'Till next Tuesday....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Color lessons from dish towels...

Marny here...I received this delightful trio of dishtowels as a gift recently.  Would you take a look at the amazing set of colors?  Clear aqua, a bright orange red and an intense red violet really leap out at you.  I love intense colors.  Many of the designs tag (small t) brings out from year to year visually intrigue me.  Some of their paper products and small dishes are at home in my cupboards right now.

The towels come tied with red violet twill tape.  Look at the color story!
Why these colors?  Why group them this way?  While not sure these questions got answered, they certainly got examined.
From left to right, the clear aqua, the intense red violet and the bright orange red.
Wielding my Pocket Color Wheel and my curiosity here is what I discovered.  And all the following comes with a big disclaimer.  I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination.  It is fun to learn and explore once curiosity strikes.
Ah ha!  An easy one.  A complementary color scheme.  Start with Red and cross over the wheel to Green.  They are directly across from one another on the color wheel or you could say opposite one another on the color wheel.  (Notice too that all the colors woven in come from one half of the color wheel.)  

Moving on to the next level in Color Wheel 101, we've got a split complementary color scheme.   Here Red-Violet was chosen to start.  Cross over the color wheel to find the complement (Yellow-green) and see the colors on each side of the complement, Green and Yellow.  The photo makes the greens in the dish towel just a bit yellower than they are in real life.  This is a true split complementary color scheme.  
Ok.  So this one stumped me.  I kept trying to make it fit to a tetrad, or a triad because those have little diagrams on the wheel.  This of course kept me from seeing how simple it was.  It starts with the Blue-green, has lots of Yellow-green and Yellow-orange.  Another ah ha...these are Diads.  Blue-green is two colors from Yellow-green and Yellow-green is two colors from yellow-orange.  Double diad anyone?  Of course the simplest answer is Analogous.  You can see Blue-Green at the top and all the colors heading counterclockwise to Yellow-orange and creeping into Orange.
It takes this cat no more than ten seconds to arrive when fabric gets put on the floor.  While dishtowels are not as comfy as a quilt spread out for photos they do require her always helpful attention.  What is it with pets and fabric/quilts/laundry on the floor?
It is fun to question what you see, explore and develop curiosity!  Three traits we have as children that should be nurtured throughout our lives.
Till Tuesday.... 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kansa City Modern Quilt Guild

jill here....We had a fast and fun visit to the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild last Thursday. We tasted Bon Bon Atelier, a really cute storefront in Westport and found some unique fabrics and unusual gifts.  We walked the Plaza on an absolutely beautiful afternoon and shared  a quick dinner with some of the the guild officers.  With an exuberant gathering, we showed some of our quilts and discussed how they play a role in the ever present "modern".  This guild is an exciting group that is quilting and planning up a storm!

 Shea Henderson, owner and designer of "The Empty Bobbin".
She's  also the president of the guild and rules with a gentle and enthusiastic hand.

Below are some of the many quilts this group is completing.  My camera couldn't keep up with all the creations.

Thanks so much for having us, Kansas City.  Hope to see some of you at Quiltcon!

'Till next Tuesday....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Giant Salad Bar Process

jill here...We finally met Rossi at market.  We were first introduced at the Modern Quilt Guild meet up and then she came by our booth where we shared a longer conversation. Rossi has a really fun attitude toward quilting and has been around the modern movement long enough to see some changes.  We certainly respect her insights and are grateful for her dedication to manage the flikr site that has so successfully influenced the modern aesthetic.  She has a fresh entry with photos from market which is worth checking out.  A while ago, she posted a process pledge which we signed.  From time to time, we like to share our process, however convoluted it may be!

So with process in mention, I'll share a quilt evolution with a student/customer of ours.  Alzire has taken some classes with us; she's a great class participant and has "come around" to the more modern movement, mostly through the request of her family (for whom she is sewing).  She is accomplished in her techniques and has a very adventuresome outlook.  Her request was to create a Salad Bar in king size!  We write for many sizes but had not included the instructions for the California king.  The even bigger challenge was that the background fabric chosen was the end of the blot with a restricted number of yards and inches.  We plotted and diagramed.  The solution was to add one more block to the length and then scale up the supporting color blocks and background.....keeping in mind the subject matter on the bed "top" and "drop".

 This is the diagram to help the memory,
labeling the positions and sizes.

Alzire joined me in my studio to utilize the large cutting surface.
Even the design wall wasn't quite large enough! It allowed
for the us to test the diagram, position the fabrics, then
label for sewing in the correct order.

Batik prints were the focus of the design with the darker
green as the overlap.  The blocks are square so they
can be turned either way (vertical here).

April quilted with a pantograph named  "Contempo".

This is a very large Salad Bar!  Alzire is living with it
before she sends it off to her daughter.......Hmmmmm.
Wonder where it will land?
If you're in Kansas City, hope to see you Thursday evening at the KCMQG!  Otherwise, next Tuesday!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Houston Market 2012

jill here...Good Saturday Morning.  We're just a little late with our blog post but we can blame it on our not-so-smart smart phones.  It certainly wasn't the operators!

We had a great time at market, reconnecting with customers and meeting new ones!  We spied lots of wonderful fabric and had some time to visit with other MQG members and designers.  Hurricane Sandy was certainly a spoiler causing worry and confusion with many leaving early to catch planes.

One of our initial highlights was the appearance of "The Printed Bolt" by the founders and winners!  Ellen Rushman and Madeleine Roberg, masters graduates from that state just to the west of us, were the founders of Repeat: A Design Competition // Repeat:  A Design Competition.  Repeat was six challenges judged by a  host of  talent from the quilting world.  The winner is Michelle Rosenboom who is an Iowa resident and graduate of Iowa State University (just over a hill from my house so that makes us clever purely by association)!   At any rate, Ellen made two of our patterns in Michelle's  winning fabrics, printed on Spoonflower.

Ellen holding "Taffy Twists".
Michelle's Industrial Revolution fabric  (the  larger scale) in our "Recipe Cards".

So here are some of our booth photos...pretty much the same design as last year with lots of new samples!

The back of our booth was dedicated to our upcoming "Picnic" .
Picnic  will be released in December.  We have many copies reserved by quilt shops and distributors;  we'll show you more samples in the next month.

It's good to be home but always looking forward to the next adventure.  Seems like the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild is next on the list.  OMG!  That's next week!

'Till next week, we promise!