Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gourmet Values

jill here...The newest edition of Modern Patchwork has arrived!  You can purchase a copy by checking out the link.  It is filled with many wonderful projects...27 to be exact!  This is the first time we have published with Interweave and we enjoyed the association.

Our quilt is titled "Gourmet Values".  The following photos will take you through a little design tutorial, explaining some of our process.

Last Houston market, our friendly help purchased (at sample spree) a Robert Kaufman 10" square collection.  They know how much we love Carolyn Friedlander: not only is she a wonderful designer but a really nice person.  Her latest, "Botanics", uniquely colored and graphically pleasing, sat on the shelf begging for a new creation.   Three values of every color (plus a white) spoke for a modern transparency.  The grey background was chosen from her previous line Architextures.

Four values from dark to light work well to create transparency.  The changes in scale and pattern create interest.

Ten inch squares created a cutting challenge...a fun one!  The medium and medium dark fabrics intersect to create a darker intersection or overlap.  The dark line appears to weave over/under to feature the dominate bars.  The white adds a sparkle of brightness.

Turned vertically, the bars have a very different appearance.  We had more choices of fabric within the package that we didn't use.   It's hard to narrow good choices.  Sometimes less is more.

April West added her quilting touch.  The vertical organic leaf shapes are a nice counter balance to the strong horizontal rectilinear lines.  The binding inserts are just a "little taste of the unexpected",  drawing the eye to the edge. The instructions in the magazine give you the pattern and tips to make it!

This polychromatic color scheme works because all the colors have the same undertone and are equally balanced with the light grey background.  This would be dynamite in a monochromatic or achromatic scheme. Patterns and textures could add the variety.  The strong lines make it very gender friendly.

Enjoy the day!  "till next Tuesday.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jacquie Gering and Craftsy and news!

Marny here…We first met Jacquie Gering in person following a Schoolhouse talk at Quilt Market several years ago.  She came up out of the audience afterwards and warmly told us that "we get it".  We were speaking on modern design elements in our quilts.  

We have followed her blog, Tallgrass Prairie Studio, since before Modern Quilt Relish was off the ground.  Jacquie is independent, warm, encouraging, kind and creative and a founding member of the Modern Quilt Guild.  Very importantly, she is a wonderful public speaker and a great teacher who clearly loves sharing what she knows.

So when I read here that Jacquie had a new Craftsy class a week ago I was hooked.  It is called Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot.  In a word, awesome!  Learning new things is both a joy and overwhelming for me.  Jacquie keeps all the joy and takes care of the overwhelming.  She delivers her information in such an organized fashion, both visually and verbally reinforcing each step along the way, that you feel empowered to give it a try!  I will be quilting with my walking foot.  

The Craftsy platform is fantastic.  The class is beautifully filmed, seamlessly edited, and great fun to watch.  You have the ability to back up, speed up, ask questions, make comments, make written notes, mark parts of the videos you want to remember and go back to, get help from the instructor or fellow classmates, etc.   I am a convert.  It was just so dang enjoyable!  

Now, some Big News!!!  We are so excited to share that we are working on a book, to be published by Stash Books in October 2015.  Seems like a very long time from now, but deadlines loom and we will be busy, busy, busy.

Leaving you with a touch of color!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nine Patch Quilt Creation

jill here....This past weekend was the reunion retreat in the Chicago.  It was the nine-patch connection to make all those blocks into a donation quilt(s).  Dorothy's Snappy Nine Patch pattern motivated us to create many blocks to supply our donations beyond next year.

The challenge was how these multicolored blocks could come together in a unified  presentation.  Keeping in mind the quilt is for an auction to an eclectic audience, polychromatic (many colors) can sometime be difficult to pull off when the tonal undertones are very different.  Some of the colors were clear and more saturated and others had a more "earthy" undertone.  We divided the clear more jewel colors from the brown, golds and reds.  This process enabled us to make an analogous statement:  always easier  to design and pleasing to the viewer.

The variation in values make the predictable setting interesting.  The alternating blocks of solid gave the eye a place to rest and enlarged the size.  It finished about 50 x 58...a nice sized throw, easy to snuggle under!

This is the second color option.  The reds and greens are complements with the gold   As you can see, the brown undertones unify. The contributors different fabrics makes it interesting.  It's set on point for a different variation. The inner alternate blocks in a lighter value. give a focus to the center and create another opportunity for quilting emphasis

We agreed that it's a lot of fun to sew one of these projects together.  Not only does it go much faster but it's an opportunity to laugh and converse with someone other than yourself.  A gift for both the giver and the recipient!  Good memories, thanks ladies.

'till next Tuesday.....

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels MQG Challenge

Marny here…we are excited to announce we have a throw size quilt project in the Spring 2014 Modern Patchwork issue.  We haven't gotten our hands on a copy yet, but they can be ordered or downloaded here.  Can't wait to see our copy and share it!  We loved the quilt.  It uses a set of 10" squares of Carolyn Friedlander's Botanics and additional background.  
Spring 2014 Modern Patchwork

Yeah!!  Presenting a little bundle of the Michael Miller challenge fabric.  Emily tied it with baker's string, too cute!  Jill and I are both planning on participating.  

The entire Petal Pinwheels collection can be see here on the Michael Miller site.

From left to right…

  • The gray is the only one not part of Petal Pinwheels.  It is part of the Atomic Tabbys line and is called "starjacks"  You can see that entire line here.
  • The next is "petal garland" on an aqua plaid of fine lines
  • Followed by "tile pile" in kind of a melon
  • The multicolored "pegs a plenty" is super useful.  Use it as a stripe?  Run it which way?
  • Then a darker solid, "cotton couture" in coral
  • And last but not least, "petal pinwheels" itself on a yellow plaid of substantial lines
Don't you just love how they name things?

The rules of the challenge are here on the Modern Quilt Guild site.  We can make anything we want, as long as it is quilted.  We don't have to use all the fabrics we received.  And, we can add any Michael Miller fabric or solids.  The winner is announced July 8th.

The pretty little bundle has so much potential.  The pressure is on!  Hopefully some wonderful idea will take shape and blossom!  Get it?  Petals, blossom.  It is Spring!  Smiles all around.

Till Tuesday…  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


 jill here....Spring finally arrived with a gust of warmer weather.  I'm certainly grateful that there is movement in the right direction.  The seasonal change caused me to switch out the kitchen soffit display, with the help of my ladder lifting husband.  Even he was agreeable.

I have a large collection of rabbits and bird houses but decided on the "less is more".  The quilt can hold it's own.  I made it over 10 years ago but alas, there is no label.  The pattern was designed by Marge Edie in  Bargello Quilts, ( Martingale in 1994).  It is one traditional style, evolving from needlepoint embroidery, that truly intrigues me.

Fireflies (as named by the designer) was somewhat of a technical challenge.  Once the strata were created, they were strip pieced to a gridded foundation.  Lots of little pieces, all rectilinear in shape, create the curvilinear shapes with they're staggered values.  Of course, the value gives it the depth and focus (wander where you've heard that before)! The lights next to the darks give it that luminescent quality.  I added a quilted layer with a few curves and faced the edge.  This baby is heavy.

Okay, one birdhouse adjacent to the quilt!

Our wren house has a new base and a vacancy sign out.
'Till next Tuesday...