Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quilt Week Des Moines

Marny here…happy, busy week! Big hurdles and big fun!  

Tomorrow, we're checking off a huge deadline for our upcoming book with Stash!

Wednesday, October 1st - Saturday, October 4th is AQS Quilt Week in Des Moines. Visiting the show as an onlooker rather than a vendor will be both relaxing and inspiring.   

And we received our booth assignment for Quilt Festival in Houston at the end of October. It is our first Festival. Generally we vend at the wholesale Quilt Market. Everyone tells us we shouldn't miss the retail Festival and this just seemed like the right year to try it. We hope to see lots of you in booth 1813!  Introduce yourselves, we'd love to meet you. We'll have more on our plans for Festival over the next few weeks. Click on the Festival badge in the right column of our blog and explore all the opportunities Festival presents. 

If you are going to be in Houston please comment or email us to let us know!!

Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Current Color Cues

jill here...Last week's project sent me on a hunt for "paint sample swatches".  My interior design background has led me there before, a lot like eye candy in a fabric store.  The paint companies do a  great job of presentation; ideas abound if you're looking for inspiration that can be translated easily into quilt colors! Or even paint for your walls, imagine that!

Valspar ads are prevalent  on TV.  In addition to the color presentation, the actual page layout contains elements that are a basis for good design.

Color print combinations set the palette.  Choosing the right proportion is another step.

This color scheme offers good advice on proportion using the interior design formula of 60/30/10.

This little folder gives you multiple possibilities and then allows you to choose and paste on the right hand side (good for those of us with indecision or a short memory).  Notice there are 3, 4 or 5 option groupings.  The one option that has five,  utilizes different values, not adding additional colors.

 This is the booklet that I really love.  It's Sherwin Williams' and I love their paint to boot!

 It labels the schemes and offers additions to the basic plan. In the above vignette, a variety of neutrals are displayed with an accent.  Notice that there is a light, medium and dark with a pop of color for the accent.  It's a formula for success.

And just when you think the complementary scheme of yellow/purple would not be current, they show just the right tones and proportions to make them a successful interior palette.  Have you heard the expression that a little yellow goes along way?  They have "neutralized" it with the purple and neutral values for a pleasing balance.

Undertones of colors can make all the difference.  These pages illustrate the differences between the warm and the cool.

So the next time you're looking for inspiration, check out the paint store. With the vast selection of solid fabrics available, a modern scheme is right at your fingertips!

'till next Tuesday (we're beginning to sound like Mr Rogers!)....

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Little Gift Boxes

jill here....I love Pinterest!  I found this cute little homemade gift box idea from a site:   If I could create a screen shot, I'd send that but I'm already behind.  You can go to Pinterest and search it for yourself. It's a cute tutorial.

At any rate, it was created with paint selection squares or whatever you call them.  I love those too!  It's really a fun way to see what color schemes are current and lots of other popular combinations someone can try.

They didn't have a five inch squares so I had to cut the larger one down to 4'' and the smaller one to 3".

I marked the backside 1'' in from all sides on the larger, 1/2'' from the sides of the smaller and folded. My edges were not a crisp as I would have liked but it was a test so I moved on.

 This is a view from the inside.  The directions have you cut a small amount out at the corners to allow for a better fold, not so much bulk.   The two loose ends, on each side, were taped with double sided tape to the sides of the box to form a bottom and a lid.

 This is the side view, standing on end, with the lid on.

 The box on top was my first try and the sides of the lid were too shallow (they were only 1/4'').

These are the two experimental boxes that would work great for that special little charm.  The lines that separate the values of color add an interesting element.  Even the printed names are fun.

This was another box the that was made from a heavy gift paper...not quite heavy enough but still cute.

Enjoy a beautiful almost fall day ....'till next Tuesday! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1 Hue + 4 Fat Quarters = Tutorial for a Fabulous Table Runner

Marny here…I love green! Any green, any value, shade, tint, tone and ranging from blue greens to yellow greens. I just love green.  So here we go. 

Choose 4 fat quarters in four values.  Mine are a light yellow green, a medium yellow green, a medium dark blue green, and a dark yellow forest green.  Remember names are subjective and colors are not accurately photographed on a rainy day in a work room.

These 4 fat quarters are neither blendy nor from a common color scheme.  There is a bit of a discordant conversation going on amongst the various players, but it is a very interesting conversation and the overall product is fabulous.  My advice would be to take a bit of risk with your own favorite hue.  

Showing what remains from the 4 fat quarters of 4 varying greens in 4 values (1 fat quarter of each)

Stack the fat quarters, in no particular order, on top of one another.  Orient the stack so that the long edge of your fat quarters (21'') runs from left to right and the short edge of your fat quarters (18'')  runs from your tummy to a point away from you.  Cut a 1 ½'',a 3 ½'',a 5 ½'' and an 8 ½'' strip.  (These cuts add up to 19'' so you need to cut them along the long edge as described.)

Make 4 piles.  Each pile will have one of each size of strip (1 ½'', 3 ½'', 5 ½'', 8 ½'')
and will have one strip from each color.
Sew each of the piles into a unit using ¼'' seams and pressing each seam open.  I chose to make all 4 units in the same order: starting from the top with a 5 ½'' strip, next the 1 ½'' strip, the 3 ½'' strip and finally the 8 ½'' strip.  You might choose to place your strips in some other order.  There are lots of perfectly wonderful ways to do this.  You do want it to end up, though, so you are not sewing two of the same colors together when you sew units to one another.
First unit

Second unit

Third unit

Fourth unit
Trim the sides of the units. Mine are trimmed to 17'' wide.  The height is 17 ½'' unfinished and determined by the strips being sewn together. 
Time for some design choices.  This layout has each unit with the 8 ½'' strip at the bottom.  But the distribution of the lightest fabric seemed off when I fiddled around arranging the blocks this way.

My solution was to turn one unit (3rd one down) and let two 8 ½'' segments land next to one another.  Since I love the juxtaposition of the medium dark blue green and the medium yellow green I am very happy to have them meet in the middle!

Sewn together and out in daylight.  Now for figuring out whether to quilt it, or just face and flip, or ?.
Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Barnyard Fabric Matching Game

Marny here…don't you just love the toddler stage when that little voice proudly gives you the sound each animal or vehicle makes?  I thought a set of images that brought out these sounds would be fun.  Amazingly I had the perfect fabric in my workroom.  Then it dawned on me that if they were pairs of images made into fabric "cards" they could become a matching game and then a memory game as skills were acquired.   
Starting with Free Range fabric from Monaluna.  Cute creatures and objects illustrate the entire alphabet in an overall print.   My matching game project calls for the barnyard animals, tractor and barn buildings.

This tractor stripe is fun for the back of the "cards". 

Lucky me, a supply of fusible fleece awaits on the shelf.

9'' wof strip of fusible fleece fused following the package directions to the back of the tractor fabric.

Pairs chosen and ready to be sewn. 

Rather than spending the time to cut the backing and fleece precisely to size the little image rectangles are pinned, right sides together with the backing fabric.  (The fused fleece is unseen, but against the table.)  Next, I cut crudely around the shapes.  They will be more precisely cut after stitching.

Stitch around, leaving an opening for turning. Then trim around the shape and cut off the corners as shown.

Turn right side out, pushing corners out carefully. Tuck in the edges of the opening and press.

Topstitch all around, close enough to the edge to stitch the opening closed. Perfection not required.  Just a hint, if your machine balks at sewing through the thicknesses just increase the stitch length one or two settings and see if that helps.  

One down, lots to go.
Wanna play?

Till Tuesday…