November 22nd, 2013
This week has sped by! There was a hint of snow this morning and the rich smell of burning leaves fill the cold air. As usual, we are anticipating a large family gathering for next weeks Thanksgiving celebration. So today we are experimenting with table settings, of which our Wild Child fabrics will be featured.
Of all the Wild Child designs and colorways the Blue versions of Gaillardia, Fiesta Flowers, Delirious Dots and Sassy Stripes seemed the most fitting. So our first project was to make several Reversible Party Napkins & Button Down Napkin Rings (our Pint Size Pattern)… Gaillardia on one side, Dots on the other and Striped rings. I love the oversized button stitches.
Then we made some placemats. We quilted them with heavy black top-stitching thread. The striped border and solid colored Fiesta Ware help to brighten things up.
We are depending on our floral bouquet to add some color contrast and spice up the composition. This is a little white ceramic cube with holes on top to hold flowers. It is wrapped like a gift with my blue and white Night Life Ribbon (Renaissance Ribbon). This could be a nice placecard holder or party favor, too.
Things are coming together nicely! But lets see some more variations…
Oh yes! Those new splashes of orange and red really jazz things up!
I couldn’t resist trying traditional Willowware in the mix. Which combination wins your vote? Well, it’s starting to look like Thanksgiving here! I’m thankful for all of my fabric friends who stop in to see our weekly ideas and inspiration! Happy Holiday!!
November 18th, 2013
Last week they finally harvested the corn field next door. We look forward to this event every year as it’s always at night and so very dramatic. In the black void of night the light beams from the machines brush over a haunting landscape. But Sunday was wet and wild. We had tornado warnings so we kept alert and unplugged the electronics. But it was, of course, a divine day to hang out in the studio. I am trying a new routine of four days devoted to FreeSpirit Fabric work followed by three days of art quilting, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So yesterday I was at the work wall tweaking a new quilt project. Very satisfying!
Today it’s back to FreeSpirit business. So I’m going to preview one of our latest Autumn outfits featuring the Wild Child Gaillardia fabric in the red colorway. I love a classic gathered skirt with big pockets… comfortable and smart. This fabric has a touch of summer enthusiasm, but with the yellow blouse and deep pumpkin sweater it leans more toward Autumn.
I, personally, need to have pockets at all times, if only to hold my hanky. Pockets are very comforting. Big pockets are even more so.
We have even made a matching fabric brooch by mounting a fussy cut flower on felt and hand stitching some fancy details.
Stay tuned… next post we will tackle some Thanksgiving table settings for your inner Wild Child!
November 8th, 2013
When I returned from Houston Market and Festival there was a stack of mail waiting to be sorted through. Among them was a package from Renaissance Ribbon, always exciting! It contained the new colorways of the Wild Child Ribbon! And it is beautiful!!
After ten days of being away from the studio I was itching to make something, so I whipped up these little gift boxes. First I painted three brown cardboard boxes from Hobby Lobby to match the ribbon. The rectangular lid had a small window that was the perfect size to feature the Morning Glory ribbon. Then I wrapped three sides of the bottom half with the same design and painted the green dots on the lid.
For the oval and round boxes, I fussy cut some leaves from the Flower Fiesta fabric and decoupaged them on the lids and then glued striped ribbon around the edge. Next I carefully attached coordinating ribbons to the bottom halves. Since the ribbon is practical polyester you can keep the edges from fraying with the heat of a flame or burning tool.
Now they are ready to nest a precious little gift… a piece of chocolate or a pair of earrings, perhaps. Oh yes, the fabric they are sitting on is called Brocade and is from my new FreeSpirit line, Sweet Lady Jane, which will be available in stores this January!
November 6th, 2013
I’m still up in the clouds after a wonderful week at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. It was such a gift to be able to share my work with so many people! And it was grand to see so many students and friends. Thank you, Baby Lock, for sponsoring this prize! The suitcase is being sorted through and the photos need to be downloaded. As soon as I settle we will get back to blogging.
October 23rd, 2013
We had our first hard frost this week and they are even predicting a few snowflakes this afternoon. All the while, the elves in Sassaman Land have been busy with Houston Quilt Market preparations. If you are attending Fall Market please stop by the Westminster booth # 708 and the Renaissance Ribbons booth # 2300 to see my latest designs.
The new FreeSpirit Fabric line is called Sweet Lady Jane and it will have its official debut this week at my Schoolhouse presentation. These designs are Over-the-Top optimistic and very versatile with plenty of pretty tone-on-tone patterns that will be useful in anyone’s stash. But I can only give you a sneak preview today!
Here are some brooches that we’ve made for the Renaissance Ribbon Booth. Lately, I’ve been attracted to the idea of award ribbons and heroic medals. There are some days when a little symbolic sympathy and a pat on the back would help a great deal. So these are first place ribbons that you can bestow on yourself or a deserving friend; just like the Cowardly Lion’s Medal of Courage, the Tin Man’s Heart and the Scarecrow’s diploma.
I am fortunate to be attending Quilt Festival for the first time in many years. This is because I have a quilt in the show and I am thrilled. It has been many years since I have even entered, so this is a very special occasion for me. If you are lucky enough to attend, too, please stop by to see my Illinois Album Quilt in person. I look forward to seeing you all there!!
October 11th, 2013
I can’t recall such a glorious run of autumn days! Of course, this is a delightful feature of having four seasons… each one is better than the last. This is an early morning shot taken on the way down to the studio.
My new FreeSpirit fabrics, Sweet Lady Jane, have finally arrived and it is OH SO PRETTY!! But they were delivered much later than usual, so now I have barely 3 weeks to prepare samples for Houston Market. So I am cranking out quilt tops all day and sometimes into the night. I think “cranking out quilt tops” must be an oxymoron as it takes several days to make each one. Luckily, I had a few preplanned ideas to dive right into.
But, obviously this is heaven to me! I like nothing better than being buried under fabric and stitching on my BERNINA for days on end.
Did you notice my denim sewing ensemble? We couldn’t resist enhancing this casual blouse with our new Renaissance Ribbon. We lined the collar and the epaulets of the sleeve with strips of the Blue Bouquet ribbon. We have turned an ordinary shirt into a quietly classy one.
We have also reclaimed a skinny pair of jeans to jazz up with a stream of interesting insects down the side seams. Now I just have to find a skinny girl who can wear then!
OK, back to work! With pleasure!!
September 30th, 2013
This has been an incredible span of perfect early autumn days. So it was an ideal time for the annual Siderealistic Timesters Autumn Equinox show at the Starline building and to host several visiting artists for the weekend.
I snagged one of our visitors to model our new ribbon project. This is an original pattern that we have made several times with great success. This version is made of a single layer of pleated magenta silk. The pleats are anchored with some of my new Renaissance Ribbon. The ribbon echoes a bit of pink in its pattern.
The ribbon was stitched into place and then surrounded by two rows of blue topstitching to help blend it all together. Thanks to Alexis for being such a willing participant in my presentation.
I also want to share the work of delightful Australian blogger, Rachael Daisy. You may be familiar with her blogging avatar from her comments here. Her colorful blog, Blue Mountain Daisy, is the product of a talented quilter and enthusiastic fabric fondler.
Ms Daisy recently did a wonderful post featuring the Wild Child fabric applied to kitchen accessories. She has a grand understanding of personality prints. Jump on over to her site and check them all out! I love to see the fabric put to such good use!
September 21st, 2013
Autumn begins officially tomorrow, September 22, and summer is reaching its final glory. The tomatoes are at their peak and the mums are beginning to bloom. This week we used both the heater, for the first time, and the air conditioner for probably the last time. It was a week of transition.
This week I was also a guest at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. It is an enthusiastic group of fabric fondlers with a love for clean, contemporary and sophisticated design. So I took some of my most “modern” quilts to show. This is a quilt that they seemed very excited about.
Again, I have exploited all three colorways of the Masquerade diamond fabric (Wild Child collection) to make this dynamic graphic composition. It starts with this simple quarter square triangle, shown by the green line, divided into three pieces. The triangle is 11″ high and 22″ wide.. The end pieces are just single pieces of fussy cut diamond fabric and the center is solid blue. As the triangles get stitched into a block the solid blue forms a four pointed star. Then the dramatic black border wraps it all up.
Because the quilt is so sparse, I wanted the quilting to be opulent. So I sent it to a spectacular long-arm quilter, Pam McIntyre in Gainesville, Florida. She did a fabulous job combining traditional and futuristic motifs. She hepped-up the feathers and mixed them with the circles centered in each diamond. Thanks to Pam, this very easy quilt has become a stunner.
Next week my new fall line should arrive in the studio and we will jump in making pieces for Houston Market, so I am warming up the BERNINA for some intense action!!
September 14th, 2013
I’ve just returned from an inspiring teaching trip to Seattle for two vivacious and talented guilds, Block Party Quilters Club and Quilters Anonymous. I love the Seattle area, so it was a double treat!
One day we got to visit the new Chihuly Glass and Garden at the foot of the Space Needle. So I thought you might enjoy seeing some photos from that day while I unpack and regroup. Enjoy!
September 7th, 2013
The transformation has begun. Nights temperatures are in the 50′s, the air is very clear and the fields are changing color a little each day. In our yard the sedum is turning pink, but all the other blossoms are yellow and gold.
As you may know, my studio is gold, too. I find the color both comforting and stimulating. It is a color that appears in my fabrics quite regularly, too. And since I love combining contrasting colors, gold and blue or yellow and purple are a dramatic duo in many fabric designs. I am also a push-over for black! Black makes the other colors brighter and adds still more drama through contrast.
In this studio shot we are featuring both current and vintage Sassaman fabrics with these color mixtures. The chair is covered by the Teasel and Lace design from the Prairie Gothic line. The sachel in the chair is of the plum border print from Early Birds. The fabulous coat (Folkwear Pattern #118) and “Whole Cloth” quilt are both made with the current Wild Child collection. Love that electric blue, too!
The Whole Cloth pattern is a recipe from Patchwork Sassaman Style. It is the easiest recipe in the book! Here we are simply letting the fabric to the work… art by the yard! Just like a picture with a mat and frame. There’s no need to cut a print with so much personality. Let it stand on its own.
Surprise! The Whole Cloth is actually the back for this Thousand Mountain quilt! This pattern is simply made of 45 degree triangles sewn into strips. Each triangle is 10″ high, finished. Half of the triangles are cut from the blue Gaillardia fabric. The others have been strip pieced with jelly-roll strips, 2″ finished, of other fabrics in the blue colorway. I threw in an occassional 1″ strip of solid blue for a little breather from all the pattern. Thousand Mountains is a pattern I have made many times with much success and it is a recipe which is also included in Patchwork Sassaman Style.
I like the way the triangles seem to disappear and reappear. It is the strips with black that blend and create this illusion.
PS… there are some new Renaissance Ribbon colors coming soon! Stay tuned!