Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Experiment for "fun", grrr...

Marny here...Sometimes a little bit of an idea pops into your head.  This time it started with a method for making half square triangles.  But wonder if you don't care if there are straight lines, or equal portions, or matching anything.  Sounds like fun and experimenting ensues.

It is easy to get hung up on finding just the right fabrics, or worrying about the size and shapes to start with. To keep things relaxed and enjoyable, though, I won't worry about the details.  The fabric stash is raided and this is what shows up.

Squares might be the simplest choice.  Some Kaffe Fassett with solids will be fun.

So here is where the plan took off from.  This illustrates traditional half square triangle construction.

Stack two fabrics  of equal size right sides together.  Draw a line from corner to corner.  Stitch 1/4" on either side of this drawn line.  Next, cut it along the line.  And you have two equal half square triangle units.  Lots of quilters oversize the squares from the start so that the final units can be trimmed to the exact size called for.

Now let's see what happens when there is no straight line to dictate where the seams are.  I will still aim for approximately 1/2" between stitch lines so that the seams will each be about 1/4".  If the curve is too sharp it won't work, but gentle curves are worth exploring.  The seam can be trimmed just a bit if pressing becomes difficult.

What was I thinking?  My vision is no where near what I ended up with.  But now I know.  Even the slightest curve makes it difficult to move forward with piecing.

Grrrr.  Of course.  So a slice here...

and a strip there...

nothing so far.  But no harm done either.  Learning is not based on experiments that you know the outcome of.  Something may come of this way down the road.

And speaking of "down the road".  Luckily our preparation for Spring Quilt Market is more predictable (at least so far).   The patterns, flyers, business cards and signs are all being printed.  Display details are being hammered out.  Our Schoolhouse presentation is moving along.  Most importantly the quilts are all done and waiting for their debut.  All good.  Two weeks from today we set off on the adventure.

See you next week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And let the FUN begin....

Marny illustrating color selection.

Taking shape.

While the rest of the booth remains a puzzle, I'll make just a few comments on the Color Marketing Group at  It's a fun website to check in on every now and then.  Of course, the group forecasts, not dictates, color trends in industry and media.  Cars, interiors, and tabletops see the changes before fabric.  Certain areas like NYC and the west coast see the changes faster than the midwest.  I guess we like the tried and true.
It seams that colors will remain warmer (hopeful for the weather, too).  The reds are earthier with copper metalics emphasized. There is influence of China and India in these hues. The newest arriaval is "Honey Moon": mellow, golden, toned with hints of orange.  I'm anxious to see that one on a car!

Don't you just love the names they come up with?  One of the interior paint schemes on HGTV's site is named pumpkin and asparagus; brings back haunts of harvest gold and avocado green.  We've come full circle.  I guess that dates me.  I swore I'd never use that gold again but maybe its been long enough.  It seems to be creeping into my palates.

So pay attention to the colors around you.  I see glimmers of navy returning but it's still hard to find in fabric.  The two most difficult fabric hues for me to find are true yellow and blue violet.  Let me know if you spot them.  Polka dots and plaids, straight clean lines and green are still in.  One forecaster says that what makes colors different from year to year is how you put them together in fresh innovative ways.  It's our job, quilters!

Come check us out!
Till next Tuesday....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Walk Along the Design Path

Marny here...Sometimes beauty is pretty blatant and very accessible.

And sometimes you have to do some searching and believe in time you will run across it.

You start walking down a path that you have tried before, and maybe even more than once, but this time with just a day or two of extra warmth and a bit of sunshine, miracles happen.

Coming up with a new design is kind of like this too.  We all go down paths we have explored before, but something clicks, we add to or subtract from the original idea and all of a sudden it is right.  We explore with the tools of balance, scale, color, texture, line and we push and pull and all of a sudden we have something we want to share. 

Jill and I have come up with four fresh modern quilt designs that are heading to the printer in less than a week.  We are a month away from setting up our first booth at Quilt Market in Salt Lake City.  So many details to be taken care of and ideas for display are rattling around in our heads that we need to pause and enjoy the miracles of spring (and for that matter of good quilt design.)  Enjoy the arrival of the upcoming season wherever you live. 

Till Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It Ain't Dumb Luck it's Modern Quilting

Marny here...There is a brouhaha lurking in the quilt blogging world.  It may be a tempest in a teapot, but that won't stop us from weighing in.  Here is a set of three blog posts that caused the furor.  We found out about it reading Jacquie Gering's blog Tall Grass Prairie Studio on Friday April 1st.  I left a response supportive of Jacquie on her comment sheet.

It is hard to fairly paraphrase the pages of "the dumbing down of quilting" posts.  The phrase "dumbing down" seems a bit derogatory, though, any way you read the posts.

It ain't dumb luck that many Modern Quilts are gorgeous in their simplicity.  Reducing a composition to simple forms is not easy.  I can make complicated blocks, repeat them over and over, and put borders on them too.  (And I have.)  But that phase is behind me now.  Modern design principles, balance, scale and value are all important in what appears simple.  It is not dumbed down.

And for all the quilters having fun, whether they are designing or just having fun playing with fabric and producing quilts to be enjoyed and used, use whatever techniques suit you.  If wonky is fun don't let anyone stop you.  Do what makes you want to continue.  There is room for every type of quilter and every type of blogger in the quilting world.

jill here....I'm not going to read what Marny just wrote so it will probably be somewhat redundant.  I'm guessing she gave you an introduction as to the debate....

We all make quilts for different reasons. It's most always a sense of accomplishment to complete a quilt and be happy with the outcome.  Keeping the design fun and easy to execute leads to more successes and often plants a desire to try something new and more complex.  But, complex doesn't have to be complicated!

One of the reasons Marny and I started designing patterns was because we were not seeing a lot of the more contemporary/modern design esthetics.  Incorporating good design and fresh modern fabrics with well written instructions has been our goal.  I would hope that our designs are not "dumbing down" but making more with less.  We all want to create smarter, not harder and have fun with it.

So enter into the discussion as you wish, we really love to hear you comments! 'Till Tuesday....