Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quilt Dad is my Homeboy...

So I've realized that, with so many of my patterns and project ideas now out there in the blogosphere, in our Fat Quarterly issues, and starting to pop up in some books and stuff, I don't have a good way of seeing what everyone is creating from my patterns. I don't always get to see what you've made, which is the most rewarding part of being a pattern designer.

To that end, I've created a home for all of your photos by starting a Flickr group specifically for these projects. Here is where you can add all of your photos of items made from Quilt Dad patterns: the Quilt Dad is my Homeboy group!

Please join and add any and all of your photos -- I'd love to see them. Plus, I may use the group for some fun activities -- giveaways, quilt-alongs, swaps ... who knows? We'll see where it takes us. Join the group now so that you don't miss a thing!

And, for your reference, here is a running list of all of the different patterns & projects I've made, and where you can find each one:
Carousel Quilt
iPad Sleeve
Peeps Flag
My Parisville quilt!!
Super Scissor Quilt by John Q Adams
Ziggity Mug Rug Tutorial

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One Stoplight Town | A free pattern!

Pooches & Pickups

A few months ago, designer Laurie Wisbrun sent me a bundle of half-yard cuts of her adorable new line, Pooches & Pickups for Robert Kaufman fabrics. I immediately fell in love with the vibrant primary colors of the line and the versatile prints that are appropriate for little and big boys alike!

Pooches & Pickups

I was inspired to design and make an original quilt pattern, and today I'm making the pattern available for all of my wonderful readers! It's a quick and easy-to-assemble pattern, with nice big blocks to show off the line's large-scale prints.

The retro vibe of the vintage pick-up trucks and the big dogs riding in the back called to mind summer afternoons, drive-in movies, old school gas pumps, and the very best laid-back country music, all of which combined to inspire the name of my pattern: One Stoplight Town.

One Stoplight Town

I selected several shades of Kona cotton solid fabrics to complement the prints, and incorporated them into the design.

I also have the perfect recipient for this quilt in mind. A childhood friend of mine and her husband had their first baby -- a boy -- a little over a year ago. I've long been wanting to make a quilt especially for baby Mason, but lacked both the time and the perfect selection of boy-friendly prints that could grow with him. I'm glad I waited, because Pooches & Pickups is the perfect match!

One Stoplight Town

Interested in making your own version of this quilt? Download a PDF of the free pattern here: One Stoplight Town

If you make One Stoplight Town, I'd love to see it! Please send me a photo or a link to your blog or Flickr stream.

Pooches & Pickups

And Laurie was generous enough to send an extra fat quarter bundle of Pooches & Pickups for a lucky Quilt Dad reader. Want a chance to win? Simply leave a comment on this post and let me know another fabric combination that you think would really bring One Stoplight Town to life!

I'll randomly select a winner next Friday, 11/4. Good luck!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Foxes afoot! My Spoonflower fabric

Rewinding a bit to New Year's Eve 2010, my wife and I made a list of goals that we had for 2011. In retrospect it was a pretty ambitious list (though I did recently complete a Warrior Dash. Check that one off the list!) Another goal was to take some of the designs that I worked on in Heather Ross' class and actually get them printed on some fabric.


Fox Fabric

Thanks to the magic of Spoonflower, I was quickly and easily able to upload my design files, make a few choices about pattern repeats, size & scale, and textile and -- voila! -- I had my very own fabric in my hands within a few short days. (It probably helps that Spoonflower is literally just down the street!) It was so quick and easy to do, in fact, that I wondered why I was so intimidated to try it out in the first place.

To start with, I just got a small cut of each of the three different fox designs that I showed you yesterday:

Green Fox Fabric

Yellow Fox Fabric

Purple Fox Fabric

I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with them yet. I am sure they will eventually make their way into some of my patchwork projects but, for now, I'm happy just to hold them in my hands and feel satisfied seeing something that I created come to life in such a special way.

Fox Fabric

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fabric Design with Heather Ross

Fellow bloggers: have you ever had a post that seemed so big, so overwhelming, and so daunting to write that you just keep putting it off and putting it off, until you eventually realize you may never write it?

My Quilt Market blog posts have fallen into that category in the past. It just seems like it will take hours to upload all of the photos I want to share, edit them all, and write the perfect blog post in which every word is witty, selectively chosen, insightful, and entertaining. It seems like a tall order.

Well, this is another one of those posts. After sitting in my blog dashboard as a draft for the past 15 months, I'm just going to write a few words and click publish. Because, you know, I have this OCD thing going on that won't let me have closure on an event until I blog about it.

Me & Heather Ross!

So yeah, that's me and Heather Ross in July 2010. Heather, who has been pregnant, carried a child to term, given birth, and survived her first few months of motherhood, all while this post has been sitting in my draft folder. No big deal.

Pacific Northwest College of Art, July 2010

Last July, I traveled to Portland, Oregon (for the first time ever) to take Heather's class, Introduction to Fabric Design using Photoshop, at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Pacific Northwest College of Art, July 2010

Heather was a GREAT teacher -- fun, laid-back, super patient, inspirational, full of tips & tricks, and HILARIOUS. She was pretty tickled that a man was taking her class. In fact, I seem to remember that she called me "THE MAN" all weekend. Did I mention that she was hilarious?

Heather started the class by quickly walking us through her design process by quickly drawing up a design, coloring it, moving it around, and setting up a basic repeat. It was a basic, but very Heather Ross, sketch of rainbow-striped toe socks. Looking around, I could see everyone's jaws were hitting the ground at about the same speed that mine did. We all agreed that, within 20 minutes or so, Heather had just designed a fabric that we would all happily purchase.

Heather Ross Fabric Design class, July 2010

I thoroughly enjoyed spending a few days in Portland. The city was everything I had hoped it would be, and was extremely welcoming of us east coasters. And the PNCA was the perfect venue for a weekend of creative thinking.


Here's the Whole Foods that was just about halfway in between my hotel and PNCA, right in the heart of the Pearl, where I had breakfast each morning. I still drool when I think about the beignets they had there. Our Whole Foods here in NC doesn't carry beignets. : (

Whole Foods in the Pearl District, Portland OR

It was during this trip that I also got to meet some of my sisters from some other misters, the Sweet Hot Yams themselves. They were like my personal welcoming committee in Portland. Here we are on a beautiful July evening enjoying a yummy dinner at the Paragon. From left to right, that's Mo, Monica, me, Terri, and Violet. It's funny -- looking back, I can remember how very nervous I was to meet them all.

PDX Fabric Fun

Monica even slipped me some cuts from her not-yet-released (at the time) fabric line, Holiday Happy. Of course, when I had planned on writing this blog post 15 months ago, this was going to be the "nyah nyah, look at this super top secret fabric that I got from the designer herself and it's not even out yet" picture.

Holiday Happy

Here's Violet and Terri again with another super sweet and amazing Yammie, Ms. Traci of Hip Fabric.

Dinner in the pearl

Here's a picture that Violet took of me at dinner that night.

Quilt Dad

Um, so I just realized that my photos kind of reveal the type of traveler that I am. Notice that I made it a point to not only visit, but to remember for eternity by taking pictures of, both a bakery ...

Pearl Bakery, Portland OR

... and a cupcake shop. Hmmmm, guess I'm not too good at keeping my sweet tooth under wraps.

(Fun fact: the photo below of Cupcake Jones was recently spotted on Flickr by a company putting together a visitor's guide to Portland, and they asked if they could include it. Sure!)

Cupcake Jones in the Pearl District, Portland OR

Here's a photo taken by Abi of the classroom setting. One of these things is not like the other! Can you spot me sitting over there by the window, deep in design thought?


Here's a pic that fellow classmate Megan of Lucy & Norman took when Heather was showing me something in Photoshop. It probably had something to do with repeats, which is why I look so bewildered and am trying SO hard to remember everything that she was telling me.

Heather and John

BTW, it was great to meet Megan, a long-time Flickr friend of mine, in person for the first time. Here she is with Heather. She doesn't look quite as bewildered as me.

Me and Heather Ross!

Megan designed a really cute cheater print featuring pigs and bacon.

My finished fabric design on paper

Here's Heather towards the end of the class, when we all printed out our fabric designs and laid them out on the floor to really take in what we had accomplished in just a few short days. Here, she's giving some advice to Amy from Amy a la Mode, another Flickr friend that I was glad to have the chance to meet in person.

fabric design class

So do you want to see the fabric that I designed? Here's my print -- a couple of cute foxes that I sketched in different poses, along with some floral rings that I drew and designed. I began with a few pencil sketches and, with Heather's help, learned how to digitize and color my art, as well as create repeats in the pattern.

My fox fabric

I also played a bit with each sketch and auditioned different color combinations. You can see better here how Heather influenced our work -- she taught us how to keep the rough pencil sketch feel to our art, which is the technique she follows when creating her own designs. She also taught me how to do the shadow effect that you see here.

Another color option

Fox on purple

Fox on yellow

What an amazing experience. Even now, 15 months later, I can still recall how grateful I was to be able to take 4 days away from my everyday life to take some time for me -- to feed my creative soul, pursue my passion, and imagine what might be possible in the future.

Heather Ross Workshop in Portland

We've set up a Flickr group, so if you want to see more photos from the weekend and my classmates' designs, just click here: Fabric Design with Heather Ross Flickr group.

(Whew. Y'all, you don't know how much of a relief it is to finally press publish on this post!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book tour winners

Thanks to everyone who visited my book tour posts. I'm always happy to pass along free stuff to all of you guys who read my blog and support me in what I do! There were some really good prizes this time, so let's get right to it ...


The winner of the Deploy That Fabric book & eco-friendly messenger bag is MaryAnn of Maire Sews! MaryAnn said:

MaryAnnB said...54

I recently read about this book and would love to win it. Our daughters and son in law all served in the Army and we've always wanted to do some things with their uniforms, and this book would definitely provide us with great projects! Thank you for the give away!


There were 5 prizes in total from my Scrap Republic post. The winners are:

Book: stephmabry of Hope Sewing is Genetic

stephmabry said...124

I'm always disappointed that I have a tough time finding gray flannel - I love backing quilts with flannel but my local shop doesn't carry it :(

I love any print that's white-on-black, though, particularly dots!! :)

Thanks for the chance to win!

Eco-friendly tote: Sharon from KC

Sharon said...175

I used Ta Dot and Metro Living prints in a quilt for my niece. They work well with everything.

Robert Kaufman bag o'scraps: Alli of B. Yazoo

Alli said...94

Ohhh, my favorite grey print is the teacups and plates one from Melody Miller. It's so expensive that I only let myself buy a fat quarter, though! >_<

ROY G BIV Essential Cotton Thread from Connecting Threads: Kris from Kris Loves Fabric

krislovesfabric said...13

I have a pretty great stash of black prints but my fav is probably from a line called Half Moon by Moda with white scissors on it. Love the Katie Jump Rope line also...thanks for the chance.

Mrs. Roy G. Biv quilt pattern from Carolina Patchworks: Lisa of The Quilty Home

Lisa said...57

I just got a grey on white from sandi henderson that has little keys all over it....don't know the is the first grey fabric I've ever owned! Looking at this I see I have a LONG way to go!


Modern Mix book + Kingdom fat quarter bundle: Katie from I really need a better name for this thing ...

Katie said...130

I'm going to say #2 is wrong! Thanks for a chance to win!

By the way, Jessica's lie was indeed #2. Duran Duran was Jessica's favorite band and her dad did make that deal but, sadly, Jess misspelled one name and wasn't able to go. : (


Fresh Fabric Treats book: Courtney of CCQuilts

Courtney Q. said...26

I have to agree that Scrap Republic looks awesome! I'm hoping to win this copy of Fresh Fabric Treats :)


Congratulations to MaryAnn, Steph, Sharon, Alli, Kris, Lisa, Katie and Courtney! Please send me an email at adamsjohnq -at- with your mailing information, and I'll make sure your prizes are sent to you ASAP.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A very special quilt

Amy Butler Midwest Modern Quilt

I know it's been a bit giveaway-crazy around these parts lately, so I wanted to step away from the book tours for a moment to share a very special quilt that I just finished up and bound over the weekend. If you've been reading my blog for a while then you've seen this quilt top before, but I recently received some news that was the motivation to finish it up and ship it off to its new home.

Me (guess which one?) and three of my closest cousins

I grew up extremely close with my extended family. Holidays, birthdays, and pretty much any major family event were all spent with my aunts, uncles, and cousins -- so much so that my cousins and I were closer than I believe most cousins tend to be. They're like my other brothers and sisters.

I always shared a special bond with one cousin who was only 5 months younger than me. When we were both in high school, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and began a battle to overcome the disease that lasted for several years. She went through more than any young person should have to go through, but emerged victorious with (to her credit) no interruption to her academic progress. She went on to graduate from the University of Notre Dame, build a successful career, and marry a great guy, and she never lost a bit of the beautiful light that shines so brightly inside of her.

Amy Butler Midwest Modern Quilt

Unfortunately, after several years of crystal clear test results, cancer has once again reared its ugly head in the life of my young cousin. Without going into too much detail, she has had to resume her fight with the disease at a very rapid pace and without too much time to prepare. One thing I know about her is that she's a fighter and my money's on her every time, though I wondered what I could possibly do at this time of need, from hundreds of miles away, to express my love and support. In short, to help.

Amy Butler Midwest Modern Quilt

We quilters know that the items we create can't cure a disease, or right a wrong, or solve the world's problems, but they can help. They can blanket someone in a hug when distance prevents a real hug from taking place. They can offer the gift of a small bit of oneself when it seems that nothing else can possibly make a difference.

I immediately knew that this quilt, so beautifully quilted by the fantastic Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works, was meant to be for my cousin. It's made from a mix of prints from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern collection. The quilt's generous use of pink is my subtle way of expressing that the quilt might, in some capacity, help my cousin once again conquer the cancer in her body.

Amy Butler Midwest Modern Quilt

The quilt is currently on its way to Connecticut to be with my cousin as she prepares for her second surgery in as many months. I hope she uses it and feels the love and warmth that it's meant to provide.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

One more, just for fun

I hope you've all enjoyed the impromptu "book week" here on the blog. With so many new (& great) books coming out, I've enjoyed sharing a peek at some of my favorites -- as well as a chance to win a copy -- with all of you!

To wrap up the week, I'm offering up a prize of my own:

That's right -- a copy of the Moda Bake Shop book, Fresh Fabric Treats, from Stash Books. This book was the very first time that one of my projects was featured in a book, so it holds a very special place in my heart.

Oh, and it's a very special copy of the book ...

Fresh Fabric Treats Giveaway!

I had several of my fellow contributors sign it for a very special Quilt Dad reader! Here we are in Salt Lake City during the signing:

Thanks to Kim Walus for posting this great pic from the signing!

To win, simply leave a comment and let me know which upcoming sewing or quilting book your are MOST looking forward to, or your favorite book that has come out recently. And don't forget that I have THREE other giveaways going on that are still open:

I'll draw ALL winners later on this week, so you still have a few more days to enter. GOOD LUCK!