April 19th, 2014
First of all, I’d like to thank all of you who voted in the BERNINA Faceplate Face-off! It was an honor to participate, especially among such distinguished companions. What ever the outcome, it was wonderful to see my design on the front of a BERNINA!
I have been busy in the studio preparing for several weeks of workshops beginning at the end of the month. So I have been cutting, wrapping, boxing and labeling. Plus I’m attempting to finish designing some new ribbon, a new scarf, and completing a sample for the BERNINA booth. In the midst of it all, yardage of the new spring line, Gregory’s Garden arrived, as well as, the strike-offs for autumn’s Prairie Chic. Phew!
As I’ve been absorbed in the nitty-gritty of travel preparations, my “Super Susan” has been able to fondle some fabric. This week she whipped up this fabulous vintage style apron. The current Sweet Lady Jane collection has a half-inch Garden Gingham in three optimistic colors.
Gingham has always been a favorite of mine and I often include some variation of it in my fabric designs. It is a fabulous foil for the more sophisticated floral prints. But in this pattern, Simplicity#4282, it gets to be its good old-fashioned, honest and domestic self… I’m thinking Dorothy in Kansas.
The details really make this humble apron great. The pocket is outlined with contrasting yellow rick-rack and accented with a strip of my polka-dotted ribbon. Perfect! The waistline is pleated along the checks and fastened with giant hand embroidery stitches.
The hemline is enhanced, yet again, with ribbon, rick-rack and embroidery. The essence of the Domestic Goddess! And just in time for Easter Dinner! Happy holiday, everyone!
April 10th, 2014
Spring has officially declared itself with the long a waited arrival of the glowing purple crocus… so glorious in contrast to all the gray and beige. I have been working on many things in the studio since next month is filled with workshops and travel.
Here is a new quilt that is a bit different from my usual style. I designed it to exploit some of the rich tone-on-tone fabrics in the Sweet Lady Jane collection. I have always been drawn to the simple cross motif, so here it is multiplied many times. This is built with 5″ squares (cut 5.5″) and a 6″ border. I think it would be stunning hanging in a white room with black furniture.
Since the design is so stark and geometric, I requested a simple flower and leaf pattern for the quilting. It was beautifully executed by Pam McIntyre of Quilting Makes the Quilt. The border has a sprinkling of simple flowers
Below are the fabrics used in this quilt and the yardage requirements. The piecing is so easy that this would be a good project for a beginning quilter. But an experienced free-motion quilter could have a good time noodling around on this crisp canvas.
Gone Dotty, Rose – 2/3 yard
Circle Dance, Periwinkle – 2/3 yard
Garden Gingham, Rose – 1 fat quarter
Gone Dotty, Green – 1/2 yard
Garden Gingham, Green – 1 fat quarter
Gone Dotty, Periwinkle – 1 fat quarter
White – 1 1/3 yard
Black – 1 yard
I also must remind you all that the BERNINA Faceplate Face-Off ends on April 14, so be sure to get your votes in. You can vote once a day and each vote makes you eligible to win one of these wonderful new machines!
April 2nd, 2014
Friday I spent the whole day on the pretty set of Quilting Arts TV. My hostess Susan Brubaker Knapp and the crew made it comfortable and friendly. I was so impressed with Susan… with just a week into a new job and she seemed like an old pro. She had to change her wardrobe for almost every shoot, since they were shooting out of sequence. It was a miracle she could keep it all straight!
I spent the rest of the weekend with family in Cleveland, a rare treat. On Saturday afternoon it started to rain and within a few hours there were 6″ of heavy wet SNOW! This was the last thing I expected, but I’m glad I wore my winter coat!
There is a quilt hanging in the background of the picture above. This is a new quilt made with the Sweet Lady Jane fabrics. I call it the Watermelon Quilt. As things are still very beige here I thought this bit of color would make us all happy.
This quilt is based on a 12″ finished block with a little applique added to jazz it up.
Here is the block which is a large traditional fan design. The large quarter circle applique actually acts as a band-aide to hold the fan and the background together, so there isn’t any seam allowance needed between those pieces. They simply butt together and the joint is covered by the appliqued shapes. But there does need to be seam allowance on the sides of the block so it can be pieced to its neighbor. The smaller appliqued whole circles where added after the blocks were sewn together.
Below are the appliqued shapes. Be sure to add the extra quarter inch to both ends of the large quarter circle band-aide. I used iron interfacing for the base shapes (just as you would use freezer paper in traditional applique, but in this case the interfacing stays inside the shape and helps to stabilize it). The edges are turned for a nice clean look and attached with a heavy blanket stitch.
Then it was beautifully quilted by Pam McIntyre at Quilting Makes the Quilt in Gainesville, Florida. This will be a fun piece to display in the summer season and it is a nice lap size quilt, too. Below are the Sweet Lady Jane fabrics that make up this pattern.
Yardage =1/4 yard yellow brocade, 3/4 yard of solid red and a half yard of all the others.
PS… don’t forget to vote for your favorite designer BERNINA 350 Special Edition! The more you vote, the better chance of winning one of your own!
March 27th, 2014
Well, my flight to Cleveland was cancelled today and my new flight isn’t until tonight! Thank goodness, there is no lecture scheduled for tonight! I am going to tape some segments for Quilting Arts TV tomorrow, so hopefully the new flight will go as planned.
So that means I have a chance to do a few things in the studio that would have remained undone until next week, including this blog post.
It is a wonderfully dark and dreary day, such a sharp contrast to the sparkling sunshine the past couple days. So I thought I would show you this new kaleidoscope quilt made with some surprisingly subtle Sassaman fabrics… subtle colors, not pattern.
This top is made with half square triangles, except the border. The long side of the triangle is 11″ finished. So the square in the middle is also 11″ finished. From these dimensions you should easily be able to diagram the pattern, especially if you have read Patchwork Sassaman Style.
There are only 2 Sweet Lady Jane fabrics used, Daisy Chain and Fuchsia in the Periwinkle colorway.
PS… have you been voting for your favorite BERNINA Faceplate everyday? The more you vote the greater chance of winning one of your own! Wouldn’t that be wonderful!!
March 18th, 2014
The BERNINA Faceplate-Face Off got off to a roaring start yesterday! Ten contemporary designers in the sewing industry were invited to design a faceplate for the new BERNINA B350 Special Edition sewing machine. It is an honor to be included in the competition! The contest goes through April 14 and everyone who registers at the BERNINA Facebook page can vote for their favorite design ONCE A DAY for the duration!!
It is a talented gathering designers: Alex Anderson, Amanda Murphy, Angie, Stevenson, Camille Rokelley, Heather Bailey, Yours Truly, Luke Haynes, Pat Bravo, Ricky Tims and Tula Pink. You will be able to see each entry and find out more about the designers on the BERNINA Facebook page.
My design, of course, was inspired by my FreeSpirit Early Birds fabric called Strawberry Serenade. So hop on over to the contest site and vote for your favorite faceplate. Here are BERNINA Faceplate FaceOff Mobile Instructions for those of you entering on your mobile devices.
March 17th, 2014
I’ve just returned from a wonderful and warm trip to Tuscaloosa for the West Alabama Quilt Guild. It isn’t always possible for us quilt teachers to get beyond the hotel in the places we visit. But this week I got the royal tour of the University of Alabama’s impressive campus and its city surrounds. Of course, I was interested in seeing the Art Building. I love this fun sculpture in its courtyard. I wish we had one in our yard! Looks like Bender.
We also browsed the Westervelt Collection of American Art in the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art. The museum is housed in a majestic Japanese style building surrounded by tall trees. The collection holds many western sculptures and busts of famous historic leaders.
But here is one of the favorite things that I saw there. The big frame surrounding a picture of “nothing” is so surreal! The label says “Out of Site of Land, George Catlin, 1786-1872.
I also was treated to an exotic (for a Midwesterner) variety of Southern culinary classics… fried catfish, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, grits, field peas, Hoppin’ John, coleslaw, and blackened shrimp! This was over several days, not in one sitting. But in any case, the diet begins today!
The Alabama quilters were as warmhearted and welcoming as quilters are everywhere. We spent a day together in the Simple Silhouettes workshop and those gals were on-the ball. Almost everyone finished their tops and two gals even started to quilt them. Thanks, girls, for making this trip so comfortable and entertaining!
Here is a Sweet Lady Jane version with all four Spring Diva Silhouette patterns made with into a lap size quilt. Just the kind of colors we need to coax us into spring.
By the time I got back home a few adventurous chipmunks had awoke from their winter’s nap and dozens of Sandhill cranes where flying overhead. These are sure signs that delicious changes are on the way.
March 13th, 2014
I have just returned from a wonderful visit to the Bloomington, Indiana Heritage Quilt show. Three great days filled with workshops, quilt envy, conversation and dinners that were amazing. My journey began at the airport, of course. At the Indianapolis airport I met up with my fellow teacher, Mickey Lawler. I thought how clever to make a seat from her luggage! But then I looked again to see that her chair was actually made from old suitcases! Look behind her head, there are more interesting details to discover!
How fun! This bench was across the way. Look underneath the seats to find a miniature traveling scene. Infact, the whole airport had interesting and colorful art to keep us travelers happy.
The Indiana Heritage Quilt Show had some good vendors and a ton of exciting quilts to enjoy. There was lots of extraordinary machine quilting among this years entries. Many clean modern quilts were making bold graphic statements and, of course, lots of lovely traditional pieces, too.
Here is a beautiful interpretation of Marie Webster’s Poppy pattern. How refreshing! It is both modern and traditional at the same time. Looks like spring. It was made by Carolyn Rider of Portsmouth, Ohio.
Here is a delightful miniature quilt that really tickled me! I had to visit it everyday. It was machine made with silk threads by Laura Welklin of Noblesville, Ohio.
This weekend I will be visiting The West Alabama Quilter’s Guild in Tuscaloosa. Rumor is that it will be at least 60degrees! I feel myself melting already!
March 3rd, 2014
Suddenly my designing life is accelerating, but that didn’t stop Mother Nature from dropping the temperature and six more inches of snow on us this weekend! FreeSpirit is making plans for Spring Quilt Market and Renaissance Ribbons has requested some new designs. So back to the drawing board for me!
This week we have been decorating some recycled winter wear. All of these well-worn chapeaux have been revived with a little lively touch of Sassaman ribbon.
The glass hat forms look like ice maidens in this outdoor setting. But even ice maidens need hats and scarves in this weather. I also thought you would also enjoy seeing the fabulous “mohawk” helmets that my daughter, Willow, knits. Here are my three favorite men modelling ideal hats for serious winter weather.
They are wool on the outside and lined with polar fleece on the inside. The thick mane travels low in the back to keep your neck warm, too. If you have to keep warm you may as well look good doing it!
Off to the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show this week. Hope to see some of you there!
February 21st, 2014
The winter weather continues to be extraordinary… snow, rain, wind. But the temperatures are raising so spring is definitely in sight. This is the time of year that we start dreaming over the seed catalogs and anticipating the colors of spring.
So here is a quilt that does the same trick! It’s called Tickled Pink and is made with fabrics from the Sweet Lady Jane collection and the Cross-in-a-Square recipe from my book, Patchwork Sassaman Style.
It was neatly quilted by Pam McIntyre of Quilting Makes the Quilt. This is an easy quilt to construct and all the measurements and yardage is shown below. If you need more detailed directions you can find them in Patchwork Sassaman Style.
The teaching year begins officially this week and I am looking forward to seeing all my quilting buddies. Check my schedule to see if we could have a class together. Remember that the Red Barn Special at the Madeline Island School of the Arts is active through the end of the month!To read more about my class and to register, click here, or call the Registrar, Anne Leafblad, at 715.747.2054, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you there!