28 January 2015

Emily's Nonsense

I’m so excited to be able to share my quilt “Emily’s Nonsense” with you today!  This quilt is in the new Quilters Newsletter issue, "Tradition with a Twist Quilts," available wherever quilting magazines are sold.

My completed Boys Nonsense quilt top!My initial inspiration was this quilt by the super-talented Sarah Stasiuk. (Shared here with her permission.)  Isn't it stunning?  Sarah uses a traditional block called "Boy's Nonsense."

I saw Sarah’s quilt, on Instagram (she's sarahbear621)  and Flickr, and was absolutely in love.   I looked up the block and saw quilts made using more traditional fabrics and value placements and was intrigued by all the possibilities.

When Quilter’s Newsletter put a call out for “tradition with a twist” quilts and I thought it would be the perfect excuse to play with this traditional block and put my own twist or two into a traditional quilt.

Before I go into my twists, let's step back for a moment:  who is the Emily of Emily’s nonsense?

It's the blogger and HGTV designer Emily Henderson. I’ve been following her blog for a while now and really enjoy the (as she puts it), “midcentury Scandinavian Japanese feel with a huge side of ‘weird’” of her new home.

I chose the fabrics for this quilt with the that house in mind.  Not so much to GO INTO the house, but to capture the colors and the feel of the house.  The blue is meant to match her beautiful blue couch. The wood grain fabric is  her floors. All the white fabrics echo the role of that color in her home. And the fabrics at the centers of my blocks are a quirky mix of handmade, Japanese, and commercial fabrics, much like the little accents and bits of art that Emily has in her house.

Here's Emily Henderson in her home--couch and floors and white walls/ceilings in full effect! (This photo collage is shared here with permission).

Awesome, right? Do you see the connection?

My twists on the Boy's Nonsense block are twofold:

First, I put in sashing and a border.  Not just any sashing, mind you, but a sashing that is boldly blue in a third of the quilt, with blue placed into almost half of the blocks, where they touch the sashing.

Secondly, I scattered little snips of blue throughout the quilt blocks.  I've got to tell you--I was scared OUT OF MY MIND doing that.  I wasn't sure if it would look the way I wanted, but I just committed to the snips, put my head down, and kept working.   In the end, I love the look. And anyone who doesn't like the snips can simply skip that step in the magazine's pattern.

I quilted this using Leah Day's "Pipe Maze" design.  A spool of variegated thread from Aurifil gave me just the weird and pretty look I was going for.

Starting a wee bit of quilting to make sure my plan works. Pipe Maze design from Leah Day + variegated #aurifil add just the touch of weird pretty I was seeking. Next week, this pup gets quilted!

The backing is a fun eyeglasses print and I did my usual screen-printed label in white.

Leave a comment letting me know what you think and I'll pick a winner for this lovely bundle of fabric--Lakeside Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings from Moda--at 1pm on Thursday 1/29/2015. The drawing is open worldwide to anyone who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days; be sure to leave an email address where I can reach you. 

05 January 2015

Infinite Fun

My friend Brenda over at Pink Castle Fabrics recently handed me a stack of fabric and asked me to play with it and make a bit of something that she could hang in her shop for a while.

I wish I could hire an intern. Their only job would be separating navies from blacks. I'm getting dizzy. #99problemsandseparatingneutralsisone

What fabrics, you ask?
First of Infinity from Lecien--so dreamy.  These fabrics should be available in the US sometime this month or next; if you go to Pink Castle's website, you can sign up for an email when the fabric line is stocked.

I was so excited to play with the fabric--it is such a wonderful combination of pretty and modern.  And I got doubly-pumped and super-on-board when I learned that both Pink Castle and Lecien were okay with me mixing the fabrics with other lines (I'm a mixer, through-and-through) and that they didn't mind what kind of quilt I made.  Just show the fabrics being used.  Yes!

I'm trying to make a pretty and happy and wintery mix.

After giving the First of Infinity fabrics a good petting, I pulled a bunch of fabrics from my stash and scraps from my scrap pile.  The above shot is just a bit of that process, with the First of Infinity fabrics on the left-hand side and bits from my stash through the center and to the right.  The selections were pared down from here to a more limited palette, but you can see the basis of what I'm doing--using only some of the First of Infinity fabrics--the ones with black (not navy) and the ones with the cool colors and the peaches.   These are the prints from First of Infinity that I'm using in this quilt--I have a panel of each:

The stash pull is mostly in the same color range--mostly low volume prints, some grays, some citron, and some dusty pastel teals. And I've been sneaking in a bit of magenta and a tiny bit of orange for fun.

I'm doing these quarter-square improv blocks
Jon is butchering his buck ( 5-point) and I am squaring up my blocks (5.5-inches). #parallelplay #improvinfinitydrunkardsquilt

These blocks are based on "Drunkard's Path," a traditional block, but I'm doing it my way--improv and in varied sizes and laid out all crazy-like. No pins, no swearing, no crying.
Our Thanksgiving adventure has begun. We're in Wisconsin; Jon is deer hunting with 8 members of my family and I'm at my aunt and uncles's house quilting and tending the fire. ��❄️��✌️#improvinfinitydrunkardsquilt

The constrained color palette with slight interruptions is working for me...
My cousin Derek got a 10-point, so he's back at the house watching me quilt, "is there a plan? Is this chaos?"

And the quilt is coming together...
Too chaotic? #improvinfinitydrunkardsquilt #firstofinfinity #lecien

Time to sew up a storm.  :-)

24 November 2014

Books to watch out for in 2015!

A few books I've been excited about have shown up on Amazon.com for pre-order, so I wanted to bring them to your attention!

My dear friend Lynn wrote a book on scrap quilting called Every Last Piece.  It's available for pre-order now.  I saw bits and pieces of these quilts this year as Lynn was working on them and can't wait to see the whole book and learn even more from Lynn than I have already. Her book comes out in May.  Lynn is on Instagram as thelittleredhen_lh and her blog is here.

(2) Coming in June is Cheryl Arkison's latest book, You Inspire Me to Quilt.  The premise of this book is very cool...design inspirations coming from people in our lives to the quilters.  If you click through, you'll see a list of contributors that includes me!  I can't wait to share more about the quilt I made for this book.

(3) Available in March is Sherri Lynn Wood's upcoming book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously.  I saw an early draft of a small part of this book, because I volunteered to pattern test, and I've been so excited by Sherri's approach, which is to give you a starting place (which she calls a score) rather than a exact pattern.

**links to amazon are affiliate links