Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rubans pour les cheveux

... which, thanks to the ever-trusty Google Translate tool and my online pal Cara (thanks, Cara!), I know means "hair ribbons".

It's also the name I decided to give the quilt I designed and made using Tula Pink's new line, Parisville. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to step back a few months ...


Back in August, I was asked by Tula herself and the nice people at Free Spirit / Westminster if I would be interested in designing and making a quilt featuring the Parisville line. The quilt would hang at Quilt Market in Houston to showcase the line, and the pattern would be made available as a free pattern to accompany the line on the Free Spirit site.

It took me all of about two seconds (just enough time to pick my jaw up off of the floor) to say "yes!" A chance to play with the as-yet unreleased Parisville? And have something actually on display at market?! Duh.

My mind began thinking of a bunch of different directions I could go in with my design. I was a bit overwhelmed and anxious about it, to be honest. It wasn't until I actually spoke to Tula on the phone about the project that my idea really started to come together. You see, she told me a little more about the line itself and her thinking and design process in pulling it all together. The thing that stuck most in my mind was a single comment that Tula said: "it's really ALL about the hair."

Hence, an idea was born -- a quilt pattern depicting hair ribbons & bows! Hey, I thought it had more mass appeal than my other idea: a quilt featuring guillotines in honor of Marie Antoinette. I wasn't sure how that would go over with the quilt market crowd. (Tula, I'm still going to make you a mini quilt based on that idea!)

I sketched out some ideas on graph paper, and realized that the ribbons could be assembled from some of the most basic of quilt blocks: simple squares and rectangles, half-square triangles, and flying geese.

By this point I had the precious cuts of fabric in hand and headed over to my local shop (Wish Upon a Quilt) to pick out some coordinating fabrics. (Here's a tip for anyone who has purchased the Mist colorway: the Free Spirit solids in ICE, ORCHID, CREAM, & OLIVE (an Amy Butler solid) coordinate wonderfully with the prints. I can provide the FS#'s if you want them.) I couldn't decide on a single solid to use, so I decided to use all of them. I created a rugby stripe-like effect with the four different colors.

And here are some photos that I took along the way ...

A close-up of some of the ribbons (and a hair bow!) after I had finished piecing the top:

Parisville Sneak Peek

The entire quilt top laid out on my living room rug:

Rubans pour les cheveux

Here's a shot taken on my back deck in the sun. The quilt had just come home from the quilter:

Parisville quilt ... quilted

And now, some beauty shots of the quilting. Once again, I collaborated with Bethany (of bethanyquilts.com) to work on a design that would really highlight the quilt pattern and prints. Bethany really delivered the goods!

Parisville quilt

Bethany alternated between two different quilting designs -- one in the blue and cream layers, and one in the purple and green layers. They remind me of intricate lacework, and the dense quilting on the solid portions of the quilt really allowed the ribbons featuring Tula's masterful design work to pop.

Parisville Quilt (sneak peek)

Some more shots of the quilting ...

Parisville Quilt (sneak peek)

Parisville Quilt (sneak peek)

Parisville Quilt (sneak peek)

And what it was all leading up to ... on display at Quilt Market in Houston!!

My Parisville quilt!!

I was so fortunate not only to have my quilt hanging at market, but to be able to attend and see it in person. It was really a big moment for me, for which I am very, very grateful.

The quilt was hanging in the Free Spirit / Westminster row, where the company reps were holding all of their customer meetings. Every new line was showcased by a single quilt.

By the way, I also designed and made a second quilt for market that was also hanging in this row! It was a last minute request because some yardage of David Walker's new line, "Baby Talk", had become available. Here's a picture of that quilt on display:

My David Walker quilt

I'm calling this one "ABC Menagerie":

ABC Menagerie Quilt

I'll post on that quilt separately, but let me just tell you -- the line features both unicorns and narwhals. That's a sure sign of a winner in my book.

But I digress. Back to my Parisville quilt ...

I received the most wonderful feedback on the quilt from Tula herself, the folks from Free Spirit / Westminster, and my many quilt market buddies. The one comment I heard over and over again was that it was just so original and "didn't look like anything else". And I take that as the highest compliment.

Neither of the two patterns ("Rubans de cheveux" nor "ABC Menagerie") have been posted to the Free Spirit site yet. I will be sure to let you all know when they do. Or, let me know if you see them first!

Tula Pink + Quilt Dad!

Here's a picture of me and the woman herself, Tula Pink. It was great to finally get to meet her in person after striking up an online friendship so long ago when I first posted my Full Moon Forest quilt blocks. I only wish we could have hung out more ... but there's always Salt Lake City!

Tula's booth at market was absolutely stunning, and I am ecstatic that Parisville is finally hitting the stores so that all of you can have as much fun playing with it as I did.


And no post about Tula would be complete without a picture of my puppy (also named Tula!) She's getting SO big -- way bigger than I ever expected her to get. She's a GREAT dog. We really lucked out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chattin' with Pat!

I'm so excited to be talking with Pat Sloan on today's episode of Creative Talk Radio!

The show begins at 4:00 PM EST, and I'll be Pat's guest for the first half of the show. And don't worry -- if you can't listen live, the episode will be available for replay.

Wish me luck -- I am not used to being interviewed!

Here's the link to listen to the show:

You can learn more about Pat's show here:

And here's the link to Pat's blog:
(Hint: you'll have to leave a comment on Pat's blog post to be eligible to win some great prizes!)

Edited to add:
If you're one of Pat's listeners and you're new to my blog, welcome! This is the post you should be commenting on in order to be eligible to win the giveaway prizes. As a reminder, I'm giving away a layer cake of "City Weekend" by oliver + s for Moda Fabrics, 5 complimentary issues of the special holiday issue of Fat Quarterly, and one full-year subscription to Fat Quarterly for a lucky listener.

Moda Giveaway | City Weekend Layer Cake

Sunday, November 21, 2010

{Modern} Relief

I'd like to tell you about a very special project that I am participating in this holiday season. It's called {Modern} Relief, and it's an online raffle for quilts made by 18 quilt bloggers, with all proceeds going to a very worthy cause. {Modern} Relief was conceived and organized by my friend Heather, and I am so very honored to be a part of something so special and worthwhile. As we enter the holiday season, it's important to remember the people in the world who aren't as fortunate as we are.

Here's the quilt that I will be sending to one lucky winner. It's a 40" square quilt made from the Glam Garden line by Robert Kaufman. It would be perfect as a baby's quilt, or maybe a wall hanging. And yes, it's been quilted since this picture was taken and will be bound by the time a winner is selected!

Glam Garden Baby Quilt

Here's more about {Modern} Relief, taken straight from Heather's blog post:


{ Modern } Relief is a simple concept. We are Modern Quilters uniting through the holiday season by bringing the warmth of our quilts and the warmth of your hearts together for others in need. This season, 2010, we will be supporting World Vision. We hope YOU will join us in taking a stand against hunger by participating in our fundraising raffle. Please let me introduce to you World Vision.

World Vision is leading the effort to end hunger.

In the next seven seconds, another hungry child will die.

World Vision is on the front lines of the fight against hunger. Today — and every day — we’ll distribute nearly 600 metric tons of emergency food aid, nourishing the hungry. We’ll give local farmers the seeds, tools, and training they need to grow their own food and feed their own communities. And we will plead the cause of the hungry in halls of power all over the world.

Please join us in creating a world without hunger — a world in which no child dies for want of nutritious food. This site offers in-depth information on hunger, its causes, and how it can be stopped. You can learn more about key hunger-related issues and share what you discover with friends and family. Use this link to begin your journey.

Please meet the members of this season’s event and view their donations that they have generously provided to this fundraiser raffle.

Heather from { House } of A La Mode

Amy from Amy's Creative Side

Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson!

Nettie from a quilt is nice

Aneela from Comfortstitching

Brioni from Flossyblossy

John from Quilt Dad

Kate from One Flew Over

Ashley from Film in the Fridge

Katy from i'm a ginger monkey

Tacha from Hanies

Amanda from Sasikirana Handmade

Jennifer & Jessica from Twin Fibers

Nova from a cuppa and a catch up

Ryan from I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts

Julie from Jaybird QuiltsJacquie from Tallgrass Prairie Studio

Alissa from Handmade by Alissa

The Guidelines:

- To enter this raffle please click on the PayPal button, this will bring you to the { Modern } Relief PayPal account.
- The cost to enter this Raffle is $10.00 per entry.
- Entries are unlimited, so please feel free to give till your heart’s content.
- Winners of the raffle will be chosen by a random generator on December 1st, 2010.
- Each { Modern } Relief Quilter participating in this event will post the entire list of winners for the donated quilts on their blogs during the second week of December and the grand total of our contributions to this cause.
- Additionally, they will also contact their personal winners at that time too.

We THANK you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

October Bee Blocks

After the whirlwind of the past few weeks (quilt market in Houston! more on that soon ...), I spent this past weekend trying to catch up on some bee commitments. It felt good to knock out some small projects and cross a few things off of the ol' to-do list.

First up is a block for Modern Quilt Guild headmistress and sewist extraordinaire, Alissa (from handmadebyalissa), for our {Bee} Imaginative quilting bee.

She was inspired by this photo of a contemporary woven tapestry seen on Cathy of California's blog, and asked us to interpret this design in our own way to create a rectangular quilt block.

Here is the amazing fabric collection that Alissa pulled together for this project:

Bee Imaginative Fabric

And here's what I created:

Bee Imaginative | October

I had a lot of fun going back to something purely improvisational, making it up as I went along. It was a great way to spend my Friday night. Can't wait to see Alissa's quilt come together!

Bee Imaginative | October

On the complete other end of the spectrum was a much more traditional, paper-pieced block for Mary over in the Buzz Cuts bee. The funny thing is that I enjoyed making this more traditional block, where accuracy and precision was key, just as much as I enjoyed making Alissa's block. Having made them both in one evening, it was a very cool exercise in contrast, and flexing both sides of my brain!

Buzz Cuts | October

I am still not very comfortable with my paper piecing skills, but I only had to rip out one seam on this block. I also made a corresponding alternate block that Mary is going to use in her quilt layout:

Buzz Cuts | October

And here they are both together:

Buzz Cuts | October

There's lots of good chatter going on right now about virtual quilting bees over in the Quilting Bee Blocks group. For me, I am really enjoying being in 2 bees at the moment ... down significantly from the 6 or 7 I was in at some point over the past year!

How about you? How many bees are you in? How many is too many? And if you're not in a bee yet, what are you waiting for?!

Friday, November 12, 2010

M-g R-gs

Have you seen these itty-bitty little quilts that are all the rage on Flickr? Most call them m-g r-gs, but I can't bring myself to say that after one Happy Zombie planted an inappropriate thought in my head about the name over dinner in Houston. So I'll just call them "itty-bitty little quilts that some people use as coasters" and move on!

I know many people don't see the point of making something so small. Yes, they're kind of silly. No, they're not very functional. But you know what? Sometimes the itch to create something from start to finish just needs to be scratched, and these itty-bitties can be knocked out in one sitting. It's a fun way to try something new, or use a favorite fabric, and get instant gratification. For me, I took the opportunity to practice my machine binding. And y'all know I'm a sucker for swapping anything handmade.

I haven't joined the official Flickr swap group for these quilts, but I did participate in a mini side swap with some Twitter friends. I whipped up this one for Erin, who blogs at two more seconds. I love this fabric line ("Wee Woodlands" by Keiki for Moda), and had a lot of fun playing with some of the decorative stitches on my machine.

Erin's Mug Rug

This next one was created for Sue, who blogs at eileensideways. I used another favorite line, Patty Young's Flora & Fauna, to create this little bumblebee-themed piece of patchwork. I stippled the quilt with little loop-de-loops to connote the flight paths of the bees!

Mug Rug for @eileensideways

Finally, I made this last one for Ryan (I'm Just a Guy Who Quilts) with some scraps from Basic Gray's Origins line.

Mug Rug for @RyanWalshQuilts

Kind of fun, don't you think?

Edited to add:

I just got the following comment from Natalie of Beyond the Reef:

"I make these size 'quilts' for Priority Quilts and send them to Ami Simms - they are auctioned off to raise money for Alzheimer Research. If you like this size, enjoy your scraps, quilt as you like, and pass them on to benefit others. It is, after Alzheimer Awareness Month, isn't it"

What a great idea!! So, I Googled it for more info, and here's what I found:

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative
Making a quilt to donate
The rules
Quilts for sale

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Falling leaves ...

Today's the day! Issue 3 of Fat Quarterly is now available. This issue has a focus on fussy cutting, and I really think it's the best issue yet.


Want to learn more about Fat Quarterly? We also just released our first ever newsletter, available to anyone who wants to read more. Find it here.

I'm so happy to share the pattern I created for this issue. It's one of my personal favorites so far ...

rooted quilt pattern (issue 3)

Inspired by the changing seasons, I wanted to create a giant tree quilt with falling leaves. Rosemarie Lavin's Spa line, with it's hues of brown, blue, and green, was a perfect fit. And when I went shopping for a backing fabric, Joanna at Wish Upon a Quilt pointed me towards this Joel Dewberry print. Genius!

rooted quilt pattern (issue 3)

Bethany Pease (http://www.bethanyquilts.com) amazed me again with her mad skillz. I was worried that the overall tree pattern was getting lost among the busy prints, but she masterfully added bark to the trees, stems to the leaves, and swirly winds in the sky to really bring the quilt to life.

rooted quilt pattern (issue 3)

Check out this detail work. Amazing.

rooted quilt pattern (issue 3)

Since I have had solids on my mind since returning from Quilt Market in Houston (thanks, Cherri!), I can't help but imagine this quilt made from mostly solids with a few select prints mixed in. My wife also had the brilliant idea to make this as a family tree quilt, with the leaves doubling as signature blocks for family members. Wouldn't that be amazing?

I'm calling this pattern "rooted", and I am very proud of it. And since it's really just made up of squares and half-square triangles (HST's), it's great for both beginners and more experienced sewists.

rooted quilt pattern (issue 3)

Check it out. I can't wait to hear what you think.