Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Forget the rug and let's just say "cute as a bug in a quilt!"

Marny here...I was lucky enough to teach Modern Quilt Relish's Leftovers pattern this past Friday at the Quilting Connection in Ames, Iowa.  The students and I were very productive. One quilt almost got completed and two more were well underway by the time class ended.  Wish you all could have joined us.  It is such fun to share our patterns with others.

It is easier to be an effective teacher when you have examples of most of the steps sewn up to demonstrate with.  You can see when you scroll down the left sidebar of this blog that the two samples on the cover of the Leftovers pattern use a textured, relatively plain background fabric while the plaid/stripes are made up of a variety of prints.  My teaching sample took a different design direction.

I started with a really fun nondirectional print of bugs for the background.  I'd seen the bolt the day it arrived at the store and felt inspired to use it in Leftovers. Some fabrics just cry out to be used!
This was followed up with seven solids from my stash at home.
A little cutting, sewing, cutting and sewing and the quilt was well underway.
And here is the top all sewn together.  I'm eager to see it quilted and bound.  And I can't wait to share the completed quilt with you all and everyone who will see our trunk shows and meet us as Spring Quilt Market.  
Till Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Modern Quilts Call for Modern Measures.....

Literally cutting through red tape.
Marny here... I should be sewing, pattern writing, and otherwise thinking important thoughts.  Unfortunately Verizon invited me to order an iPhone and the meanies sent it early.  I wasn't supposed to receive it until after the 18th.  Plans for major productivity were in place. Oops.
Don't you love the code with the target in the center?  Quilt design maybe?
 Instead I have spent hours on learning everything I could ahead of time about the iPhone.  I have high hopes for it helping me attend to Modern Quilt Relish business details.  So much business is conducted on line these days that a smart phone seems essential.  The iPhone is the smartest phone of them all (we are an Apple family afterall) so I waited until Verizon finally announced they would be carrying iPhones.  AT&T does not have the best coverage in some portions of the country that I often find myself in.  If you haven't seen it yet here is a fun John Stewart video of how a lot of AT&T iPhone users feel.  Verizon has yet to prove itself. I have my fingers crossed.
The set up was a cinch.

So hopefully I can learn to post on the run, take photos and videos and place those on the blog and flickr sites, send invoices, run credit cards for customers at quilt shows, and in a pinch even use it as a telephone.  Dozens of other uses will appear with time.  So I will keep prodding and learning.

Prodding and learning is not confined to technology. Designing our contemporary and modern quilts takes some prodding and learning as well.  The idea for a quilt is just the very beginning of the process.  Design direction, scale, fabrics, pattern feasibility and much more needs to be hammered out.  The process is sometimes easy and occasionally painful, but always a rewarding learning experience.
...and every time I look at my phone I can enjoy the crashing surf ...
returning Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's all in the modern bag!

jill .....  Well, I could write a purse pattern but this weekend was not the time!  As I've said before, there is something rewarding  about sewing an already tested pattern.  I chose The Bella Bag by Heather Mulder Peterson from Anka's Treasures.   I have previously sewn one of her patterns and found it concise, easy to follow and successful.  I chose this purse pattern because it has options - great style (the most important) and three sizes as well as different handles.  I was not certain how my already constructed relish (from last week's blog) would fit.

I chose the medium sized purse pattern due to the dimensions closely matching my relish design, not too big but just right.

I added fabric on all sides to bring it "up to size".   I knew that the textured background would serve me well with lots of disguised seam lines.

Finding the center was helpful in aligning the design.  I then cut the front out from the relish and the back out of just the plain fabric.

The front was fused to fleece and quilted in the ditch around the shapes.

Following the directions (I actually read them), I cut my lining from the small geometric print and the pockets from the large scale floral.

Pockets sewn to lining and  pleats to form the bottom.

Inside view

The purse came together just as the pattern described.  The hardest part was cutting the holes for the grommets.  Once you make the cut, there is no return.  Alas, all's well that ends well.  The added fabric glue helped stabilize the grommets and they fit together nicely.  And I didn't even have to spend time unsewing.

I selected the convertible handle , threaded it through the grommets and tied her up!  She's just the right size.  It's fun to see a project come together quickly, at least once in awhile!

Marcia W. is the winner of the free pattern.  Marcia let us know which pattern you would like.  We'll post another question just a little later.....'till next Tuesday for sure but maybe even sooner, jill

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Line and Color Take Shape

jill....Color classes that I have taught bring a new challenge for many quilters.  Not only do fabricators have to deal with a lot of new terminology but they are asked to analyze quilts from different perspectives.  And you know, most quilts are made from love and sharing so it is hard to be critical...So if it's hard to deal with negative aspects,  I say start with what you like.  When most of us fall in love with a quilt it is largely determined by the colors.  Aside from  the emotional aspect, the actual success of the design has to do with the values, the light and darks of the fabrics.

I recently purchased a newly released book Quilting Line and Color by Yoshiko Jinzenji.  This book is amazing in its design and attention to detail.  I truly appreciate the author's use of white in large amounts and black in small details.  She uses color with such discretion that it is the interest (but does not over power the design).  One patchwork pattern she explores is cutting squares from printed fabric, selectively cutting for lines, shapes, and color.  I attempted a similar exploration,  changing a few elements, making it my own.

I started with a fat quarter from "Montage" by Michele D'Amore for Benartex.  It had many prints within the same piece of fabric.

I added some fabrics from "Soiree" collection for RJR.

Rather then reinvent the wheel, I decided to use a mosaic design, similar to Pickle Relish.

I cut some squares and rectangles and played with their arrangements.  I attempted to cut from unusual angles, the unpredictable and unrecognizable.

I tested the arrangement on a mostly white background.

I ended up choosing a mostly black background.

With a few adjustments....  not perfect but good enough!  Check back to see how it takes shape.

The winner of the pattern is Lynn.  Let us know which pattern and where we can send it.  We truly appreciate your comments.

Our question for this next week is :  Why do you take classes?  We'll again choose a winner from the commenters.  Stay warm and if you get snowed in, hope you have a happy project!  till next Tuesday...