Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Modern Baby Salad Bar Speaks "J'Adore"

jill here....When we designed Salad Bar for Daisy Janie,  we designed a baby quilt as well.  Just didn't have the time to get it made before Houston.  While at market, the sweetest little French fabric spoke to us : "J'Adore" by Dear Stella.  Dear Stella was kind enough to share a fat quarter pack plus the extra for background and binding.  

The Paris map, the Bicyclettes, the Eiffel Towers were staggered
with the stripes as the overlap and binding and the confetti dots as the background.

Perfect for the pink baby!  Can be a blue version too.

The backing is the fat quarter leftovers!

The pattern shows options for settings.
This setting resembled a butterfly so the quilting motif was a butterfly as well.
Until next Tuesday...Happy New Year!  Jill and Marny

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Modern Floral Arrangement Arrives for the Holidays!

Season's Greetings from us both!
We have an asymmetric arrangement, a contemporary mix of color, and a touch of the unexpected.
Sounds a bit like the beginnings of a modern quilt.
The textures are amazing.  It is a wonderful mix of mums, protea and roses with seasonal evergreens accented with pussy willow.

Protea from Hawaii holds a special place in Marny's heart.
Whatever and wherever you celebrate, may you be filled with peace and the love of family and friends.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quilts for Kids...and Fun Too!

jill here......Last year we blogged about my traditional  holiday sewing party...twelve years of projects.  This  year, after sorting fabrics, I decided that some of my great kids fabrics would make some cute quilts!   Of course, I'm a great collector of fabric but of course, I never have enough of the appropriate backgrounds.  I had to shop for just a few yards!  I thought about planning 4 quilts with two different patterns but then I remembered to keep it simple! So the charity quilts would all be sewn from our pattern Supper Club!  The hope was for eight sewers to piece 4 quilt tops within 5-6  hours.  BUT,  there would be time out for lunch and lots of laughter.

We divided into two groups of four:  2 sewers, 1 presser, 1 cutter acting as the coordinator.  Each group had 2 quilt tops to construct.  I had cut the fabric earlier and we had 4 sewing machines set up, two in the kitchen and two in the studio.  It really wasn't a competition but there was a sense of friendly rivalry.   Could we succeed?
Warm cider gets us going!

Marianne at the iron, close to her kitchen duties.

Gale and Leona sewing in sunshine, still smiling.

There was division of labor and Laura handled the iron like a pro.

Marny managed the studio group and made the cuts!

Time out for a wonderful lunch prepared by Marianne.

Two quilt tops nearly finished (the other two as well).
Most of all, it was a great time with great memories!

Four quilt tops in a row!

Kid and Puppies.
I'm thinking I may just try my machine hand at the quilting but don't hold your breath!  Enjoy the season,
'Till next Tuesday...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rewarding Photos

Marny here...we are always so pleased when we get to see quilts made from Modern Quilt Relish patterns.
We recently received these two photos in our email via April.    
This is a beautiful version of Modern Pickle Relish.
It is a product of Isabelle Originals and Ivy Threads in Dysart, Iowa.
It is stunning in person.  We've seen it but did not have a good picture of our own.
It is intriguing to see a cream background with rich tans and golds as
the squares.  It is so different from our sample on charcoal black.

This is a queen Flatbread created by Delores.  It is going to look great on
some lucky person's bed!  Great job!  Amazing what four values can do!
So please send us photos and we can post them.  Our email is on our Contact Us page. You can also post them yourselves on our Flickr site.
We look forward to anything you are willing to share!  Thank you April!
Till Tuesday...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Maket Values: Quilt Top in Six Hours!

jill here....A couple of months ago, Marny and I offered a Market Values Mystery Class.  It was a pattern test: a chance to gain feedback prior to published print  AND to have a good time.  The quilters were given the ingredients to make their fabric selections before class.  They came ready to cut and sew.   What a cooperative group. We even had time for a tasty lunch!  Several sewers finished the quilt top within the six hour time period.

With helpful comments, Marny and I made some improvements to the finished product.


Lap sized Market Values in Daisy Janie's Shades of Gray
 Modern Quilt Relish kid sized Market Values
Market Values in Batiks

I cut out this top in 1/2  hour and Marny and I sewed it in 2 1/2 hours TOGETHER. What Fun!
It's new home is at Hen and Chicks in Conrad, Iowa.

'Till next Tuesday....

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Tutorial for Quick Decorative Towels

Marny here...
Recently the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild met.  Although I'd known there was to be an exchange of some sort of holiday item for weeks, I was caught with overly ambitious plans and too little time to complete them.  This simple little idea popped into my head.  I had the adorable Riley Blake precut 5" squares already and a quick trip into Target supplied me with the "finger tip" towels. 

They turned out so cute I thought I would share the steps I took.   
Start with 5" (Charm) squares.  Seven squares make four bands.
For my three towels (I made another they were so much fun) I used fourteen
charm squares.  No fabrics were repeated on any towel.
Or at least that was my intention.  I have some leftover bands to play with later.

Cut each 5" square in half.  You can stack them and cut them very efficiently.
Perfection is not required.  

Create two piles, each with one half of every charm.
This will give your strip sets a nice variety and keep like fabrics from
ending up too close to one another.

Chain sew pairs together.  Press the seams.  I press them open.

Then seam pairs together.  I really only needed seven fabrics across.
I got a bit ambitious and had to "unsew" a few because my towel
was only so wide.  So measure your towel relative to your strip sets.
You'll need a slightly longer strip set than the width of the towel so that you
are able to fold the ends in using the method described below.
Two additional inches should do it.
Cut the strip set in half lengthwise.  It will be 2 1/2" by the
length of your strip set.
I used one half on one towel and the other half on another towel.  

Next, press this unit in half lenghtwise.

Then, open it up again and press each edge in towards the center pressed line.

Line up the nicely pressed unit on the towel to see how much
the ends need to be folded under.  Press under that amount.
Next, fold the outer most corners towards the center to form a point.

Press again and no raw edges will escape while you are sewing.
The band you have created is probably an 1" to 1 1/4" or so wide.
My towels worked perfectly since they had bands to accommodate
the pieced units.  How did I get so lucky?
I increased my stitch length to a 3.0 (on my machine 2.5 is the default) and
stitched all the way around a bit more than an 1/8" from the edge.
To be truthful I used my trusty edgestitching foot with my needle in
position 6 (as far to the right as it goes).
This is a picture of the edgestitching foot ready for action.  It is hard to see here,
but it has a gate to the right that the fabric slides against.  This keeps the stitching
consistent and straight.  It is very handy for all sorts of sewing, especially for my 1/4" seam.

Each towel got two bands, each from a different strip set.

All ready for the gift exchange!  Very cute and lots of fun to create.
This technique could be expanded for larger towels.  You can cut your own 5" squares from your stash or purchase fabrics for your decor and cut those.   More importantly, use this idea to provide a happy excuse to purchase those wonderful Charm Packs of all sorts of holiday collections!  I'm going to be hunting for Charms appropriate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July.  

Do any of you have simple holiday gift ideas you'd care to share?   Any tutorials you know of for fun items to link our readers to?  Can't wait to hear about them.  Thanks in advance for sharing.  Notice the Handmade with Love little bird on the top right portion of our blog.  Lots to explore there.

Speaking of sharing, feel free to share a link to this tutorial.

Till Tuesday...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hen and Chicks in Conrad, Iowa

Amanda of Kaleidoscope of Colors is our Robert Kaufman Stockholm fabric winner!

jill here... On a beautiful November morning, Marny and I took a road trip to mideastern Iowa.  Neat and tidy, those Iowa farms look prepared for the coming winter.  Traveling through the rolling hills and gentle plains, we arrived in Conrad where we were greeted at the Hen and Chicks Studio.  The quilt shop and retreat center, The Nest, will celebrate its ribbon cutting this Friday, November 18th.  The grand opening will continue through Saturday.  Heidi Kaisand, owner, has renovated this beautiful vintage building to house her dreams of scrap booking, quilting and creativity.  Many of you know Heidi as a former editor of American Patchwork and Quilting.  With her family close by, this studio reflects Heidi's entrepreneurial spirit.  She describes it as the perfect place to gather and devote time to your favorite hobby.  Should you retreat here, you will be well fed and inspired!

Beth, the manager, opened the door to welcome us!

Wall of patterns...relish the MQR designs.

Upstairs at the Nest retreat center.

Sleeping quarters.  Shhhhh.

Sewing center with room for twenty.

And the essentials outside of very modern facilities!

Heidi ready to help.

A brand new collection from Anthropology waiting to take shape into a Market Values.
Hope you can visit this cute Conrad shop with a great selection of fabrics.
Stay tuned next Tuesday for a series of Market Values to temp your taste buds!