Tuesday, January 20, 2015

#NGAQB Mr. August: Shaun Abels

As of this month, the amazing No Girls Allowed Quilting Bee (#NGAQB) has reached its conclusion. I am hopeful for a round 2 of this bee for more camaraderie with the amazingly talented gents of the group but, in the meantime, I'm going to try to round up my posts for the last few months of the bee.

(For more information on the #NGAQB, read here.)

August was Shaun Abels' month in the bee. Shaun didn't ask for anything specific, but rather left the blocks to be "quilter's choice." I'd been itching to try out Jessee from Art School Dropout's Geometric Shape pattern. I LOVED this pattern (I knew I would) and ended up making 3 blocks to send along to Shaun.

Shaun doesn't have a blog (yet) but, aside from being in the Navy, he does active duty over on Instagram (@slabels.) Here's a bit more about this great quilter and all-around great guy:
I am 27 and have been sewing/quilting for about 3 years. My aunts, uncle and cousin all quilt. I asked my aunt to teach me how to make a quilt and loved the whole process. My first quilt was a disappearing nine patch, with simple straight line quilting. 
I'm originally from Omaha, Nebraska, right in the heartland of America. I've been in the navy for the better part of a decade now, and have had some great opportunities to see different parts of the world that I normally wouldn't have seen. However, it does make for precious little time to sew. I do my best quilting with BeyoncĂ© or Jenny Lewis playing in the background. 
I have really developed an interested in modern quilting after discovering the incredible modern quilting community on Instagram. My friend Carey, who I've know for years and years, came to quilting about the same time I did and she has opened my eyes to the glory of Tula Pink and Angela Walters, Joel Dewberry and Jaybird Quilts. I've also discovered a smaller, but fantastic group of creative men in the modern quilting community. 
I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the NGAQB over the past year and have loved getting to know this awesome group of creative (and funny!) guys.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Paper Lanterns: A quilt "pattern"

(not me)

Happy 2015, friends far and near! The holidays came barreling towards us, some major life changes took place, things got a bit away from me, and I last posted back in late October. No big deal, right? We've been through such pauses in action before. What's important is that we pick up where we left off!

The things is, I've been sewing. A lot. What I haven't been so good at is taking pictures of all the things, and getting them into a format to share here on the blog. The iPhone and Instagram are blog killers. Taking a quick snapshot on my phone and sharing instantaneously via IG have replaced the process of pulling out the big camera, waiting for good lighting and a good setting, uploading and touching up pictures, etc.

Maybe that will be one of my New Year's resolutions for 2015: get back to taking more "real" photographs of my work. Certainly some good photos will inspire me to blog more?

Anyhow, since we last chatted, I received some great news: my Paper Lanterns quilt won the Denyse Schmidt / Free Spirit Fabrics Modern Solids, Traditional Inspiration Challenge and was featured at Fall Quilt Market in Houston, TX! What an honor. Sincerely, I didn't think I had a chance -- I was so discouraged with the start of the challenge that I almost scrapped my design and withdrew from the competition. And even after I regained the confidence in my design, the other designers' submissions were all so incredibly strong that I was honestly happy just to be included.

The most asked question I've received since sharing photos of this quilt is if I'd make a pattern available for my design. As I mentioned, the building block for my quilt is another designer's design (Angela Pingel's Petal Pushers block, from her book A Quilter's Mixology.) So while I cannot distribute her block pattern, I can certainly do two things:

  1. Encourage you to check out Angela's book!
  2. Share as much detail as possible about my design process for the quilt and the ways in which I modified the pattern to arrive at my final product.
So while I can't really call it a pattern, I'll call it a "pattern". (See what I did there?) Check out my free download for the quilt (which I've since named Paper Lanterns) below:

Monday, October 20, 2014

#NGAQB Mr. July: Ryan Walsh

I'm pretty much caught up on my #NGAQB commitments, but I am still WAY behind in blogging about the block I've made for my bee buddies. (For more about the No Girls Allowed Quilting Bee, or #NGAQB, see here.)

July was Ryan Walsh of Ryan Walsh Quilts' month, and he asked us to make him a colorful block using Elizabeth Hartman's fun Knee Socks Block tutorial. I had fun combing through my scrap bucket to piece together this rainbow block for Ryan:

Ryan has been a friend and quilting buddy for years -- so much so, in fact, that I can still remember when he, I, and Scott Hansen were the only manquilters running in the modern quilting blog & Flickr circles. But for those of you unfamiliar with Ryan and his work, here is some more about him:
Ryan Walsh is a self taught quilter and quilt designer who enjoys taking classic quilt designs and updating them with a modern twist. He’s employed full time as a NYS Licensed Funeral Director and manages a funeral establishment in his hometown. A busy dad, the majority of his quilting adventures occur in the late hours of the night after his kids are in bed! (Boy, that sounds familiar.) 
Ryan uses quilting as a vehicle to satisfy his never ending need to be creative. His work is based around combining traditional piecing methods with free-style construction techniques. As a way to challenge his ability, Ryan participates in several online bees and quilt related swaps every year. 
When he’s not quilting, Ryan also enjoys photography, embroidery, collage, crocheting, sightseeing and spending time with his family. Ryan currently resides in the Catskill Mountain region of Upstate New York with his children. 
Blog: www.ryanwalshquilts.com
Instagram: ryanwalshquilt
Twitter: @ryanwalshquilts
Flickr: ryanwalshquilts

Happy Monday, friends! I hope your week is off to a great start.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Winners winners chicken dinners

It's time to close out a bunch of open giveaways that I've been hosting here on the blog. Are you ready to see if you're a lucky winner?


From my Beyond Neutral Blog Tour post:

A copy of Beyond Neutral (courtesy of Martingale) and a Nature's Elements fat quarter bundle (courtesy of the Fat Quarter Shop):


A Nature's Elements fat quarter bundle, courtesy of the Fat Quarter Shop:



From my stop on the Quick Column Quilts blog tour:

A copy of Nancy Zieman's book, Quick Column Quilts:



From my blog post celebrating the release of Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger's book, Little Quilts:

A copy of Little Quilts, courtesy of Cico Books:



And from my Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration challenge post:

A fat quarter bundle of Hadley, courtesy of Denyse Schmidt and Free Spirit Fabric:



Congratulations to all of the winners. Please email me with your mailing information and I will pass it along to the appropriate benefactors. Thanks for reading and for your continued support of my blog!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Modern Solids Challenge | It's time to vote (and give away some fabric)

Hello & Happy Friday, everyone! And a special welcome to anyone who's visiting after reading about the Modern Solids, Traditional Inspiration challenge hosted by FreeSpirit Fabrics and Denyse Schmidt. I am honored to be competing against such amazing and talented quilters, who I am also fortunate enough to consider my friends.

I couldn't be more thrilled about how my quilt turned out. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I used Angela Pingel's Petal Pusher block pattern from her book A Quilter's Mixology as my jumping off point for my design. I let each block tell its own color story, and I weaved in some scraps from Denyse's many amazing fabric lines that helped tell that story. I then sliced up some of the blocks and rearranged them all on point, allowing the blocks to be oriented more in a diamond pattern. And while a diamond pattern can be considered traditional, I think the curves and the scrappy block composition help me achieve my goal of making it more modern.

I backed and bound the quilt in some dark prints from Denyse's Ansonia line, and enlisted the help of my friend Sarah's super long-arm quilting skills. Together, we decided on an all-over Baptist Fan quilting pattern -- a choice that plays with the curves in the quilt design and is both traditional and modern at once.

And now, friends, it is time to vote! As much as I would love and appreciate votes for my quilt, I would  sincerely be happy if you voted at all. I encourage you to please go admire the amazing work of the other participants and show some love by casting a few votes for the one you think best met the challenge. FreeSpirit Fabrics is accepting votes via their social media channels and voting will end on October 14th:

FreeSpirit Pinterest Board - http://www.pinterest.com/freespiritfab/modern-solids-traditional-inspiration-challenge/ 

I am also thrilled to be able to award one lucky Quilt Dad winner with a Hadley fat quarter bundle, designed by Denyse Schmidt and courtesy of FreeSpirit Fabrics. Simply cast a vote in the contest, come back here, and leave me a comment telling me that you've voted. The vote can be for any quilt in the contest, and you don't even have to tell me who you voted for! I will randomly select one lucky winner from the comments.

Thank you again for all of your love and support in my journey to bring this quilt from concept to reality.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Jolly Bar Blog Hop with the Fat Quarter Shop

My friends at the Fat Quarter Shop are always up to something fun, and today is no exception. Today is especially exciting though, because the FQS gang is announcing the launch of their very own exclusive  PRECUT with Moda Fabrics, the Jolly Bar! The Jolly Bar precut is 5" x 10" (twice the size of a charm square, half as big as a layer cake) and I was lucky enough to get to play with one.

Jolly Bars are currently available in four Moda Fabrics collections, and each collection offers a different free pattern packaged in with the fabric. I made my quilt from the Persimmon collection by Basic Grey using the new Picket Fences pattern. I paired the Jolly Bar with some squares that I cut from a piece of orange Grunge fabric from my stash, though making this quilt with a coordinating charm pack would make the process even easier.

The colors of this quilt are PERFECT for the burgeoning Autumn weather here in North Carolina.

You guys, I love this new Basic Grey collection. There are some killer basic and blender prints in here that are totally stash-worthy. Can't wait to stock up on some more.

Want to learn more about the Jolly Bars? Here is Kimberly from the Fat Quarter Shop to tell you more in a fun video:

But wait … there's more!

For every Jolly Bar collection, the FQS sneaked in four Golden Tickets, and each is a $50 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop! That means, there are sixteen total Golden Tickets that are up for grabs, but they are only in the first batch of Jolly Bars, so you must pre-order for a chance to get one. And I'm only requiring a small finder's fee for the winners.  :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Modern Solids Challenge | Progress ...

Finally took the leap and cut into my beautiful box of Denyse Schmidt's Modern Solids collection for Free Spirit Fabrics. I had been waffling between several different ideas for my entry in the Modern Solids, Traditional Inspiration challenge -- with this box of 75 full-spectrum fat quarters, the possibilities are literally endless! -- but ultimately decided to pick a direction and take the plunge.

Inspiration came to be in the form of my friend Angela Pingel's new book, A Quilter's Mixology: Shaking Up Curved Piecing. I fell in love with her Petal Pushers quilt and envisioned a version in Denyse's bright rainbow of colors, but with a few slight alterations.

First, I had planned on 3 shades of a particular color for each block. But these blocks are BIG! Finishing at 24", the fat quarters don't stretch quite far enough to make a complete block. No worries! I decided to dive into my Denyse Schmidt collection to pull out a couple of coordinating scraps to help complete each block. I thought this felt in the spirit of Denyse's classic log cabin blocks, but with a bit of a twist.

Second, I decided that I am going to assemble the quilt top with the blocks on point. As much as I like Angela's original layout, I prefer to look at these blocks tilted on a 45-degree angle. On point, they are more diamond in shape and remind me of paper lanterns.

I had mentioned previously that the challenge would also entail some fun giveaways, and I am so excited that Free Spirit has provided me with a fat quarter bundle of Denyse Schmidt's Hadley collection for one lucky Quilt Dad winner. Stay tuned for details on how to enter!