Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My "Cover Quilt" on Spincushion

So yesterday I asked what you think I have in common with Taylor Swift. You guys are hilarious (and I'm particularly lookin' at you, Jackie!) Some of my favorite responses:
  • You're both strongly influenced by Shania Twain?
  • You can really rock a minidress?
  • You're secretly a singer/songwriter in Nashville?
  • You've been interrupted by Kanye West while accepting an award?
  • You both have long legs?
  • Who's Taylor Swift??!

Well, it's not really me that has anything in common with Ms. Swift -- except maybe the long legs? -- but one of the quilts I recently featured here on the blog shares her sense of style.

Let me introduce you to Leigh Ann, the creative mind behind my favorite new blog, Spincushion. Leigh Ann recently contacted me to see if I would mind if one of my quilts was featured on her blog as part of her Cover Quilts series. I replied "of course" (because I am always flattered when others want to feature my photos on their blog), but I must admit that I wasn't very familiar with the Spincushion blog.

Well, one peek and I was hooked. The Cover Quilts series is only one of Leigh Ann's ingenious creations. Color Cues, If a Quilt Lived Here, and Swatchtower are just a few of her other series of posts. High on style and beautiful imagery and low on a lot of unnecessary words -- I can probably take a few tips from Leigh Ann on this one -- her blog is pure eye candy for the fabric lover. I hope you'll check it out.

Here's my Cover Quilt. First, the cover ...

... and then the quilt photo that so magically complements the magazine cover. Isn't it cool how the colors and style can be presented in two totally different -- yet surprisingly similar -- ways?

What a fun game. Do you have any Cover Quilts in your collection?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fabric Winner & a Free Tutorial

Hi, everyone! Hope you're having a great week. There's been a LOT happening here in the Quilt Dad household -- the types of things that might cause much upheaval for us over the next couple of months. All good things, though! I'll share more as it all unravels ...

Patchwork Quilt

In the meantime, I wanted to announce the winner of my Mother's Day fabric giveaway. The leftover blocks will be going to Bailey, who said:

"I just ordered the bundle - I love the fabrics! As comment #4 says - "hey, it's Mother's day right?" Thanks for the chance to win some extra fabrics to go along with it!"

Congrats, Bailey! I can't wait to see what you make. I'll email you shortly for your mailing information.

Mug Rug Tutorial

Also, I wanted to point you to a new tutorial that I wrote up as part the Fat Quarterly team's guest series on the Sew Mama Sew blog. I made two cute little mug rugs for some swaps recently and decided to share the pattern with you all. Click over to the post on the SMS blog to access the tutorial. Enjoy, and please let me know if you make one!

Ziggity Mug Rug tutorial

Until my next post, I will leave you with a riddle: what do I have in common with Taylor Swift??

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

April Quilting Bee Blocks

I hope you enjoyed the Bella Solids parade! Now, back to regularly scheduled programming. It's time for my monthly round-up of my quilting bee blocks...

First up is my block for the do. Good Stitches { Charity Bee }. April was actually my month in that bee, which means I determined the blocks I wanted the other bee members to make. I am also responsible for assembling and finishing the quilt top and making sure it gets donated for charity.

I decided to ask each member to make 4 shoo-fly blocks using Malka Dubrawsky's pattern (free pattern here), because I was so inspired by the gorgeous quilt she made that is featured in her book, Color Your Cloth. I asked everyone to stick to shades of green, blue, and purple. It's been great fun seeing everyone's fabric selection as the blocks roll in.

Here's my contribution to the quilt:

do. Good Stitches | April

Can't wait to see this one come together.

In my other bee, Buzz Cuts, Sudi-Laura asked for large (15.5") square-in-square blocks. It's my absolute favorite block, so I had no trouble whipping up this one for her:

Buzz Cuts | April

With this month, sadly, Buzz Cuts is coming to a close. The group has been a rarity -- two years going strong with little to no flaking or major issues. The Buzz Cuts gang included some of the most reliable and highly inspirational quilters that I've met on my quilting journey so far. Thanks to everyone in the group for all of my wonderful blocks and for letting me stitch with you. Special thanks goes out to our fearless leader, QuiltinKimmie. Love ya', Kim!

But you know what they say: when one door closes, another one opens. And as Buzz Cuts draws to an end, Bee Tweet will be getting started in May. I'm excited to join some old friends and get to know some new ones as this bee gets up off the ground.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bella Solids Parade | Expert's Picks Day 7

Today's the last day of my Expert's Picks over on Fat Quarter Shop Bella Parade. What did you think? Did you have as much fun playing along as I did making all of the picks?

Today's inspiration color is Yellow and, really, who couldn't use a little more yellow in their life? : )

For this bundle, I started with the partridges in green from Sarah Fielke's From Little Things line, and built the collection from there. You can see that I had a hard time limiting myself to 3 solids and 3 prints, so I gave myself some leeway to make today's bundle a bit bigger:

Bella Solids Parade - Day 5

Top row: Bella Solids in Purple, Lime, Etchings Slate, and Summer House Lime
Bottom row: Lime Partridges and Grey Dots (sold out) from From Little Things, Modern Workshop Citron Yellow Textile Wave, From Little Things Purple Bell Flowers

What do you think? Does my (admittedly eclectic) combination of yellow, purple, grey, and lime green work?

So I have a crazy idea. I love all of the little fabric collections that I've created this week, and since I know I will never have the time to make quilts from each one of them, I'm thinking of something a bit more manageable. Mini quilts, maybe? Do you also have little bundles of fat quarters just waiting to be made into something beautiful? I'm sure I'm not the only one. Is anyone interested in a Mini Quilt Parade quilt-along?

Let me know, and if there's enough interest I'll pull something together ...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bella Solids Parade | Expert's Picks Day 6

The parade is almost coming to an end! Today's inspiration color, Rust, posed another tough challenge.

The rust led me to the Max & Whiskers print on the bottom left, which helped me to introduce the golden wheat and turquoise. The golden wheat allowed me to pull in the ukeleles which, by default, opened the door for the dark brown. Ty Pennington's spicy stripe helped pull the solid rust back in and -- voila! -- another fun bundle.

Bella Solids Parade - Day 6

Top row: Bella Solid in Golden Wheat, Bella Solid in Brown, Max & Whiskers Blithe Grunge
Bottom row: Max & Whiskers Fur Abbott, Impressions Spice Wave, Beach Mod Circa 60 Ukeleles

Play along with me! What would you add to this collection?

Visit Shruti and see more over at 13 Woodhouse Road for the Fat Quarter Shop Bella Parade!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bella Solids Parade | Expert's Picks Day 4

Ooooh ... I can really take a bite out of today's color (no pun intended!) The inspiration color is this deep shade of Orange:

The Art Gallery Fabrics botanical print on the bottom left was my jumping off point, and I love where I landed with this little fabric bundle. It has a bit of Japanese flair, don't you think?

Bella Solids Parade - Day 3

Top row: Bella Solid in Terrain Cactus, Bella Solid in Baby Yellow, Bella Solid in Paper Bag
Bottom row: Bohemian Soul Mellow Ditsy, Sherbert Zen Garden, Aviary 2 Aqua Sparrows

Here's where you get to play along: what would you add to this fabric pack?

Visit Shruti and see more over at 13 Woodhouse Road for the Fat Quarter Shop Bella Parade!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bella Solids Parade | Expert's Picks Day 3

Today's jumping off point was this deep shade of brown, fittingly called Hershey:

Moda Bella Solid in Hershey (9900-41)

This bundle was a classic case in failure to self-edit. When it came down to it, I just couldn't make the hard decision of which solid and which print to cut ... so I left them all:

Bella Solids Parade - Day 7

Top row: Bella Solids in Etchings Stone, Pink, Together Tan, and Weathered Teak
Bottom row: Central Park Lawn Zoo, Modern Workshop Courtyard Green Roundabout Dots, Bohemian Soul Hay Endless Dream, Tammis Keefe White Later Alligator

This is my favorite bundle so far, and just might just be my favorite of all of them. What would you add to this combination of prints & solids?

Visit Shruti and see more over at 13 Woodhouse Road for the Fat Quarter Shop Bella Parade!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bella Solids Parade | Expert's Picks Day 2

Today's inspiration color is Peach. Not an easy challenge! This isn't a color I am accustomed to working with.

Here's what I pulled together. What do you think?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bella Solids Parade | Expert's Picks Day 1

Have you heard about the Moda Bella Solids Parade that fellow blogger Shruti is hosting? Shruti, who blogs at 13 Woodhouse Road (great blog name, right?), had a fantastic idea:

All month long, Shruti's highlighting a color and shade represented by a Bella Solid fabric and asking her readers to share inspiration photos that somehow feature that color. In addition, there are contests, giveaways, quilt-alongs, and more from Shruti with support from the generous folks at Moda and the Fat Quarter Shop. You can see more here.

One of the other activities is to show fabric bundles that are built around each color to showcase the (sometimes very) different ways in which a particular color can be used. Each bundle is comprised of 3 additional solids and 3 prints to complement the day's color. I was thrilled when Shruti invited me to participate in her "Expert's Pick" series to create some of those fabric combinations.

(I know, I thought the same thing you're thinking right now: me? An expert?!)

Over the next several days, I'm going to share my fabric combinations both on Shruti's blog and also here with you. I'd love to hear what you think of each, or any other prints that you might add in to the mix. These posts will be auto-scheduled to go live while I'm at market too, and I can't wait to check in with you all when I'm back!

Before showing my first fabric combo, let me share a brief intro that I wrote for Shruti highlighting my thought process when putting these together:

Hi! My name is John Adams and I blog at I am also a founding member of Fat Quarterly, a popular e-magazine written by and for modern sewists. Come learn more about us and our magazine on our blog, which always has fresh, fun content about the modern quilting community. I live in Cary, North Carolina, with my wife, 6 year-old twin daughters, 5 year-old son, and dog named Tula (named after one of my fabric designers, Tula Pink!)

I've been sewing and quilting now for about 4 years, and one thing has become clear to me in that time: my absolute favorite part of the entire quilting process is selecting my palette of colors and prints for my projects. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy making small project like pillows, mini quilts, and mug rugs so much -- I can scratch that creative itch and try out new fabric combinations on quick & easy projects. I love Shruti's Bella Solids Parade project and I jumped at the chance to submit my expert's picks!

Shruti's challenge was a bit, well, challenging for me. When pulling fabrics together for a new quilt or project, I typically start with an inspirational print or two. I then draw complementary prints and colors, including solids from that starting point. However, here I was asked to start with a solid, which is a bit different than my usual approach. What I found is that each focus solid would still lead me to a "focus" print or patterned fabric, from which I drew the rest of my palette.

This challenge was GREAT fun, and I hope you like my fabric bundles as much as I do! For those who read my blog, you know that I often have a hard time editing myself, so for a few of my bundles I couldn't help but throw in an extra print or solid or 2. Now I am inspired and already planning projects with each of my new bundles!

Thanks for the opportunity, Shruti!

And now, on to the parade! Today's inspiration color is Sunshine:

And here are my coordinating picks:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Giveaway

Happy Mother's Day from Quilt Dad to all of the Quilt Moms out there! (And grandmas, aunts, sister, godmothers, guardians, and friends, too!)

Patchwork Quilt

Do you remember this spring-y patchwork quilt top I first showed back in February? I love this quilt. Sometimes a simple patchwork quilt that lets the fabric and color do all the talking is all I need to make me happy. And I had a blast pulling all of the fabrics for this one and seeing it all come together.

So here's the thing. I finally finished the quilt top by making it even bigger (I think I ended up with a layout of 10 x 12 blocks of 8" squares). So yeah, it's pretty mammoth. And I have a lot of already-cut 8.5" squares in these fabrics left over. A LOT.

Patchwork Quilt

I'm not going to assume that anyone else loves my fabric combo as much as I do but, if you do, would you like all of my leftovers? There should be plenty to make a nice-sized bed quilt for yourself.

Edited: this giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered! The winner will be drawn at random and announced soon. Don't forget -- the Fat Quarterly Fat Quarter bundle is still available at Wish Upon a Quilt!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rectangle Swoonerie Redux

Rectangle Swoonerie - Finished!

You may remember this from a blog post that I wrote back in December. I made this quilt from a pattern by Monica (aka The Happy Zombie) and fabrics from the Swoon line by Melissa Averinos. I have had the pleasure of getting to know both Monica and Melissa and I both adore them and am in awe of their mad skillz, so this quilt was already chock full of love.

And then it got quilted. And the love multiplied.

Rectangle Swoonerie - Finished!

The fabulous Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works offered her quilting services for this soon-to-be-for-charity quilt (if I can let it go, that is.) I packaged up the quilt top and the backing and sent it off to Connecticut to let Jackie have her way with it.

Rectangle Swoonerie - Finished!

Her quilting really blew me away. First of all, I don't know what pattern she used, but I love it. I'm still trying to figure out all of the stops and starts and overlaps and criss-crossing lines that make up this pattern. But whatever it is, Jackie made the perfect choice and truly bought the quilt to life.

Rectangle Swoonerie - Quilting Close-up

And lest you think her genius was limited to only the quilting pattern, check out how she used colored thread to enhance the design:

Rectangle Swoonerie - Quilting

Yeah, that's right: purple and orange thread to match Melissa's prints. This next picture shows the backing and binding fabrics that I picked to complement the quilt top. For some reason, I've really been enjoying shopping for backing and binding fabrics lately. I love the hunt to find something a little off and a little unexpected for these two elements -- something that both complements and offsets the front a little bit. In this case, I selected a print from Tina Givens for the backing and -- because I love me a striped binding -- a print from Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley line that highlights the rusts and purples featured in the Swoon fabrics.

Rectangle Swoonerie - Quilting & Backing

That solid brown you see in the next pic is a Moda Grunge solid. Grunges and cross-weaves are quickly becoming two of my favorite types of fabrics to use in my quilt tops. (Sorry for all of the rogue threads that are still on the quilt!)

Rectangle Swoonerie - Quilting

I am just thrilled with how this quilt turned out. I really couldn't recommend enough all of the different pieces that I pulled together to make this quilt: Melissa's awesome fabric designs, Monica's amazing quilt pattern, and the unbelievable quilting services offered by Jackie. Please go visit these amazing women. Tell 'em that Quilt Dad sent you!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Confetti Quilt | Fat Quarterly Issue 5

I spent much of my Quilt Dad hiatus tending to the care & feeding of the Fat Quarterly blog as we prepared for and launched Issue #5. This issue is all about pre-cut fabrics -- you know, charm packs, jelly rolls, ten squares, fat quarter bundles, roll-ups, layer cakes and the like. I know I'm biased, but I think it's our best issue yet. Fat Quarterly is really hitting its stride, and though it's a ton of work, I'm having a blast being part of the team and building the brand from scratch!


My original pattern for the issue is a quilt that I decided to name "Confetti". I was itching to make something with my friend Aneela's Sherbet Pips line for Moda, and was thrilled to discover that the colors coordinate beautifully with some of the prints from Basic Grey's Blush line. (Some of these prints are getting hard to find -- trust me, I'm trying! -- so try to score some if you like the way they look with the Pips, like I do.)


Why "confetti"? Well, the design that emerged as I cut up charm squares into alternating sizes of rectangles and squares reminded me of confetti falling down against the backdrop of the Blush prints. Plus, it's just a really fun quilt, and there aren't many words more fun to say or spell than confetti!


As you can see in the picture above, I backed the quilt in a solid charcoal Kona fabric, my first time making a quilt with a solid backing. I quite like it. I also quilted this large throw quilt myself, keeping it simple with some straight horizontal lines.

I'm SO happy to report that this quilt is already getting lots of love and use in our home, jumping from one kid's bed to another!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Final Hoop Up Embroidery + Quilt Album Winner

OK, so it's been a while. Life happens, and May was a crazy month. Insanity at the day job, my son's 5th birthday, houseguests in the form of my visiting mother, brother, and future sister-in-law, Easter, taxes, the release of Fat Quarterly Issue #5, some super secret sewing commitments, Spring Quilt Market prep, and generally helping to keep our household afloat as my wife careens towards finishing the first year of her PhD program have all conspired to keep me away from the Quilt Dad blog for the past few weeks. I do have lots to share though, so I hope to get at least a few more posts up this week.

First, I realized (embarrassingly) that I hosted a giveaway and never posted the winner! The winner of the Quilt Album software package was Andrea, who blogs at Random Musings. (Andrea was notified right away, but I never got back here to announce it.) Congratulations, Andrea! You can find a list of all of the Quilt Album winners on Pat Sloan's blog here.

And because no post is complete without pictures, allow me to share the final piece I made for the Hoop Up! Stitch & Send embroidery swap over on Flickr. I made this piece for the super talented Amy in Australia, better known as badskirt-amy to her Flickr friends:

Hoop Up for badskirt-amy

Amy's requested theme for her embroidery pieces was Roadside. She wanted the themes of vintage, adventure, and quirkyness to come through in the finished pieces, and you can read more about her theme (and her gocco adventures) here.

I decided to keep my piece pretty simple in an attempt to be more graphic, and embellished the piece with a piece of fabric from Basic Grey's Basics line that I fused on and secured with a machine blanket stitch. All in all I think it turned out OK, but in retrospect I wish I had added more detail for Amy ... especially because I took SO long and was late getting it back to her. I think she deserved more than what I delivered.

Have you ever sent off a swap piece and immediately wished you could have it back? One that you felt wasn't quite "up to snuff"?