Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hand Maker Blog Tour

I'm always happy to help a friend out, especially when that friend is as warm, generous, and gracious as Natalie Barnes of Beyond the Reef patterns. So when Natalie reached out to ask if I would participate in a special program to help celebrate the launch of her fabric line for Windham Fabrics, Hand Maker, at Spring Quilt Market earlier this year, I was thrilled to say yes.

Natalie had a great idea for her booth: she asked nine different quilt makers to each make a mini quilt that represents them -- their style, technique, and aesthetic -- that measures 30” x 30” when finished. A seemingly easy task, but we all know that the fewer and looser the rules of the game are, the more difficult it can be to focus on one idea.

I quickly decided to go through my mental rolodex and pull from a mini quilt idea that I'd long been wanting to realize, but never had the opportunity to do so. I reached all the way back to a blog post I had bookmarked in 2011, from the Purl Bee blog. Purl had been running a 'Mini Quilt of the Month' series, and I fell in love with their March 2011 entry, the Masking Tape Quilt. Though the quilt is made up of traditional Churn Dash blocks, I've always appreciated the secondary shapes and patterns that emerge from the repeating pattern as well as the eclectic fabric mix. I felt it was a great way to mash together a vintage-inspired idea with modern, 'of the moment' fabrics. Some simple quilt math helped me to resize the blocks to 10" finished each, and I got to work.

Here's an image of all 9 quilts that were created for Natalie's booth:

And here's a photo of the quilts in their natural habitat (Spring 2016 Quilt Market):

 Many thanks to Natalie for inviting me to take part in this fun, collaborative project ... as well as to get me back here to the blog to take part in the tour.


Want to get your hands on a fat quarter bundle of Hand Maker fabric, courtesy of Natalie Barnes and Windham Fabrics? (See, I told you she was generous!) I'm excited to be able to give away a bundle to a randomly selected Quilt Dad reader. Simply leave a comment on this post and let me know your favorite quilt project that combined traditional and modern elements; either that you've made yourself or that you've admired from afar. Share your links for others to see!

I'll select and post my winner's name by Friday, December 16th,

For more chances to win, and to hear the story behind each of these 9 special quilts, be sure to visit the other makers' blogs.


Saturday 03 December 

    Natalie Barnes
    Ann Shaw

Sunday 04 December

    Angela Walters

Monday 05 December

    Amy Ellis

Tuesday 06 December

    Julie Herman

Wednesday 07 December
    John Q. Adams

Thursday 08 December 

    Latifah Saafir

Friday 09 December

    Rose Hughes

Saturday 10 December

    Jenny Pedigo

Sunday 11 December
    Cheri Leffler
    Scott Hansen

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Today I am thrilled to share a quilt that will be displayed at Quilt Market this year. Whenever Carrie Bloomston asks me to work with one of her fabric collections, I can't resist. This year, Carrie is releasing a new line called Dreamer (with Windham Fabrics) and, after one peek at the beautiful prints -- the bees and the feathers, in particular -- I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

To showcase the prints, I made a large, square quilt from four oversized log cabin blocks. A nice, easy, meditative pattern that produces a big, comfy quilt is my favorite formula. Interested in a free pattern for this one? If there's interest, I'd be happy to type it up and post it here on the blog.

Carrie assembled an amazing team of talented sewists to make a variety of projects that unleash the potential of the collection. You can see them all in the Dreamer look book.

From Carrie's blog post, here is a description in her words of this beautiful new collection:
This sweet, fresh, bohemian collection is filled with layered patterns I made both with my typical collage technique and by hand-painted watercolor. This collection is a love song to the earth and to our ancestors around the globe who were MAKERS and who lived in harmony with nature.

Want to get your hands on some early cuts of Dreamer? Enter to win this beautiful fat quarter bundle on Carrie's blog post here.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Blithe Quilt with AGF Stitched and the Fat Quarter Shop

I'm back today sharing  a quilt top that I just finished up yesterday! This is called the Blithe quilt, and it's the latest free pattern born from the collaboration between the Fat Quarter Shop and Art Gallery Fabrics. This collaboration, called AGF Stitched, provides fantastic (and FREE) patterns to showcase your favorite Art Gallery Fabrics, or any other fabric you might choose.

For my version, I used the Succulence line by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics. I bought myself a few small cacti over the holidays and have been trying to make a few small terrariums, so I'm kind of obsessed with them at the moment. I love the colors in this line and the whimsical prints mixed with some really great basics.

I should actually name this quilt 'Distraction' instead of Blithe, because I made quite a few errors both in cutting and assembling this quilt due to a generally heightened sense of craziness around the Adams household these days. No matter, though -- I 'made it work', as Tim Gunn would say. I made a few pattern modifications and still love the finished product. Lemons out of lemonade and all that.

Here are all of the resources you'll need to make your own Blithe quilt:

Enjoy! If you make a Blithe quilt, I'd love to see it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

WINNER | Scraps Inc. Vol. 2

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post. There were some great scrap sewing tips in there! Congratulations to the book winner, Iris of Crazydutchbirdquilts, who said:
congratulations on a great addition to what seems an awesome book.

It is an awesome book, Iris, and I hope you enjoy it. Please contact me so that I can make sure you receive and enjoy your book.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words about my Origami Garden quilt. I hope to have some more completed quilts to share with you soon.

Happy sewing!

Friday, February 12, 2016

SCRAPS INC 2 | Meet my Origami Garden quilt

Today I am excited to share that I am one of the 15 designers whose quilts will comprise the upcoming book Scraps Inc. Vol. 2, an upcoming title by Lucky Spool! You may be familiar with the Scraps Inc. books because the first volume was such a success. Well, volume 2 is now available with 15 all-new original quilt project that are perfect for busting your fabric stash, and at the end of this post I'll share both how you could win a free copy of the book as well as how to receive a discount when purchasing it.
First, let me tell you about my quilt. I went about creating this quilt in a very different way from normal for me. Usually, I start with a pattern or quilt design, then pick or purchase fabric to match it. Or, I start with a stack or a collection of fabric and then select or design a pattern to showcase them.

For Origami Garden, I started with a color scheme. Nothing more. I loved the combination of deep plum, teal, magenta, and charcoal gray, and realized that I had a lot of scraps in these colors left over from other projects. With a pile of scraps in hand, I set about designing a small block that didn't require any large swaths of fabric and could be made with decent-sized scraps. I landed on a combination of a basic flying geese unit and a slight variation of a half-square triangle -- both approachable techniques for a beginner quilter -- and arranged them in such a way that the color placement, to me, resembled a folded paper flower. A tulip, to be more precise. The blocks are laid out in a basic row and column format, but the varied arrangement and use of negative space (via blocks of just the background print) helps to 'scatter' the flowers across the quilt top.

Hence, Origami Garden! I am extremely pleased with how it turned out.

The other quilts in the book are equally impressive. When I first saw the list of contributors, I knew I had to bring my A-game. And everyone really stepped it up for this book. All of the designers are participating on this blog tour, so to see who else has quilts featured in the book and links to their blogs, simply scroll to the bottom of this post. I've included the full list.

One of the most exciting things about this book is that it was photographed by fellow quilter and featured designer Nydia Kehnle, and her vibrant photography makes each and every quilt jump off the page. The book is eye candy, pure and simple. So even if you're not a big scrap sewer (and, by the way, each and every one of these quilts would look great in a more planned, purchased-fabric way as well), the photography alone will provide heaps of color and pattern inspiration.

Here's a little bit more about the book from the official description:
The wait is over. Introducing Volume 2 of the best-selling Scraps, Inc series. Create 15 stunning scrappy quilts using a variety of techniques, from curves, to triangles and from strips to squares. Carefully collected and constructed based on a common mood board of trendy, soft, spring-time blues, creams, pinks (and even metallics!), each of the 15 contributors has created a design that focuses on using those impulse-purchased fat quarters or all of the beloved scraps you have left over from sewing previous quilts. Each will stretch your creative skills whether you like quilts with a minimalist feel or with a plethora of piecing, there is a pattern sure to please in this book. 
You might decide to sew them all!

Are you interested in winning a free copy? I have one copy of the book to give away and, to have a chance to win it, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me something about scrap sewing: either a tip, a favorite project, an unexpected fabric combination that you discovered ... anything. I'll randomly pick one comment as the winner and announce it on Monday, February 15th … that way you can still take advantage of the purchase discount (see below) if you are not the lucky winner.

In case you're not one of the lucky winners, readers of the blog tour are eligible for a 30% discount when purchasing the book. This is only a limited time offer, though. Use this link to order the book directly from the Taunton site, and use the code Scraps30 to get your 30% discount. The discount is good only through Tuesday, February 16th at midnight, no matter what your time zone. That way, you have time to visit all the stops on the blog hop before you buy.

As for my Origami Garden quilt, it has already gone to live with a good friend across the globe in Christchurch, New Zealand. Deb, I hope you're enjoying the quilt and that it's providing a little bit of a reminder of your adventure through the United States.

Here are pictures of some of the other quilts included in Scraps Inc. Vol. 2:

Hope you enjoyed a sneak peek of this great new book! If you'd like to learn more about the other quilters in the book, see and hear the stories behind their quilts, and collect more chances to win a free copy of Scraps Inc. Vol. 2, be sure to visit all of the stops on the blog tour:
Monday, February 8
Amy Smart, Diary of a Quilter
Tuesday, February 9
Amy Friend, During Quiet Time
Alexandra Ledgerwood, Teaginny Designs
Wednesday, February 10
Dorie Schwarz, Tumbling Blocks
Thursday, February 11
Erin Harris, House on Hill Road
Janice Ryan, Better Off Thread
Friday, February 12
John Adams, Quilt Dad (YOU ARE HERE!)
Kari Vojtechovsky, Craft Happy
Saturday, February 13
Katie Blakesley, Swim Bike Quilt
Kati Spencer, From the Blue Chair
Sunday, February 14
Melissa Lunden, Lunden Designs
Allison Harris, Cluck Cluck Sew
Sherri McConnell, A Quilting Life
Good luck & happy quilting!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Dreamtime Quilt | Quilt Now, issue 8

As a quilter, I can't think of many things more rewarding than seeing your quilts in print. Having one of my quilts featured in a book or magazine allows me to share my work with quilters from all around the world, and I get the warm fuzzies thinking that I might be delighting and inspiring others. And when it's not just a quilt but also an original pattern of my own -- one that others might also choose to make themselves -- it makes me downright giddy.

Recently, I've been fortunate enough to have a few of my quilts featured in an exciting and relatively new publication, Quilt Now magazine. Based out of the UK, Quilt Now is helmed by my quiltsister Katy Jones as editor and recently celebrated its first year in print.

Earlier this year I had my first quilt featured in issue 8 of Quilt Now.  Each issue of the magazine centers around a theme, and the theme for the eighth issue was "monochromatic quilts". I have kind of a love affair with grey prints, so I set about making quilt top with a scrappy mix of a wide variety of grey and white (aka "low volume") fabrics.

The quilt ended up being quite large -- nearly king-sized -- but I wanted to add a little something extra. I drew some simple jewel and gemstone shapes, made cardboard templates, and cut them from a mix of brilliant pink & regal purple solids. Inspired by the design of Casey York's Apiary quilt pattern, I arranged the shapes in the center of the quilt, forming a circular focal point. I fused them down and used a raw-edge appliqué technique for an easy finish. It was finished with some AMAZING quilting by the AMAZING Trudi Wood. (Thanks again, Trudi!)

I named this quilt "Dreamtime" because of the juxtaposition of the calming and relaxing grey background and the vibrant jewels that appear, as if part of a dream. Who wouldn't love to dream about being covered in jewels?  :)

Big thanks to Katy and the great team at Quilt Now for featuring the Dreamtime quilt! I hope you'll check out their gorgeous magazine and let me know if you decide to make a Dreamtime quilt of your own.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Welded Quilt with AGF Stitched and the Fat Quarter Shop

Hello everyone, and welcome new visitors! Just a quick post today to share one of my recent quilt top finishes and let you know about a fun new free quilt pattern offered by my friends at Art Gallery Fabrics and the Fat Quarter Shop.

You may have seen my post a few months back about the Birchen quilt pattern, the first in the new AGF Stitched series of free patterns and projects born out of a collaboration between Art Gallery and the Fat Quarter Shop. I was excited to be asked to join in the launch of the newest pattern in the AFG Stitched series, the Welded quilt.

I've had the chance to make my own version of Welded, and I can attest to the fact that it is a fun, beginner-friendly pattern that delivers great results. I always love a quilt pattern that is able to showcase my favorite large prints, and Welded certainly fits the bill.

The Art Gallery Fabrics portfolio of designers and fabric lines has grown so much that it's always difficult to decide what fabrics to use for these quilt patterns. For Welded, I decided to play with my good friend Katy Jones' line for AGF, Priory Square. That navy blue "clippings" print, with its collage-inspired mix of floral images and hand-drawn birds, is a new favorite of mine.

Though I finished the quilt top per the pattern instructions, I'm not quite done yet. I'm waiting for some more cuts of the fabric to arrive so that I can add some borders and increase the size of the quilt in order to make it a bit more queen-sized bed friendly. This one's going to be a Christmas present for someone!

I will admit that I found the on-point layout of the blocks and assembling the quilt top in rows a bit tricky. Actually, the tricky part was trimming the edges of the top once it was assembled. I had to trim a bit more off than expected, because my row ends didn't quite leave me a straight line for easy trimming. I'll chalk that one up to a learning experience.

As always, the Fat Quarter Shop team has done a great job putting together materials to make your quilt-making experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. These materials include the pattern, quilt kits, and a YouTube video that you can find below.

Quilt pattern:
Quilt kits (featuring Artisan by Pat Bravo):
Backing set:

There is a whole bunch of other talented quilters showing off their Welded quilts today. Go check 'em out and say hi!

AGF Designer, Caroline Hulse of Sew Caroline
AGF Designer, Katarina Roccella
Kitty of Night Quilter
Michele-Renee of Quilt Matters
Christina of Sometimes Crafter
Jess of the Elven Garden
Svetlana of Sotak Handmade
Natalia of Piece N Quilt
Megan of Quilt Story
John of Quilt Dad
Sinta of Pink Pin Cushion
Jemima of Tied with a Ribbon
Riane of Vessel Quilts
Kaye of Miss Print