Monday, October 29, 2012

Rock Garden Lounge Pillow | An Art Gallery Fabrics Project

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I haven't been making too much lately, but I did take some time to sew together this fantastic lounge pillow recently and I absolutely adore it! It's made from the gorgeous new Rock 'n Romance line by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics, and I made the free project pattern available over on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog today.

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I'd love to be able to share some of this amazing new fabric with a lucky reader!  Want to win a fat quarter bundle of Rock 'n Romance?  Simply leave a comment on this post and I'll randomly select a winner later this week.  Since I haven't been around much this summer, I'd love to hear what y'all have been up to.  What's your best memory of this past summer?

Good luck, and keep rockin'!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Skip the Borders Winner


Thanks for all of your great ideas for fabric choices for Julie's "Box of Chocolates" quilt.  I'm happy to announce the winner of Julie's book, Skip the Borders, is Veronica of Vivid Felicity who said:


OOOOooo! I'd love to use the new Joel Dewberry Line for this quilt! Throw in some Robert Kaufman Quilters Linen, and I think it would be sooo pretty ;D!


Veronica, I'm happy to send you the book if you promise to send a picture of that sure-to-be-fabulous quilt!

I'm back tomorrow with a new Fat Quarter Gang project for Art Gallery Quilts.  See you then!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Skip the Borders Book Tour


I'm back today to bring you the final stop on the Skip the Borders Blog Book Tour.  Skip the Borders is the first book by blogger and quilter extraordinaire -- and one of my bestest quilting buddies -- the always fabulous Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts fame.

Skip the Borders is a collection of 15 quilt patterns, bound together by the fact that Julie has chosen to present them all without any borders at all.  The running theme throughout all of the projects is that the designs themselves are the stars, and Julie shows them off by letting the design run from side to side and from top to bottom, without the framing effect of borders.

The book, quite ingeniously, is broken out into three sections: one-block quilts, two-block quilts, and outside-the-block quilts.  It's pretty amazing to see how Julie creates such large-scale, original patterns using such simple elements.  And through it all, Julie brings all of the voice and personality that is such a signature of her blog.  Her writing is very conversational, and I felt like I was sitting at market with her again!


Instead of showing off several of the beautiful quilts in the book, I decided to just showcase my favorite.  Box of Chocolates is one of the book's two-block quilts, and it is representative of some of my favorite quilts: simple to put together, a basic patchwork approach, and a design that showcases its fabrics.  Plus, it may look like a square-in-square or log cabin block, but Julie introduces a strip-piece method to making these blocks that may surprise you.

I love this quilt, and it's only one of the 15 great projects in the book.  Check out some of the other photos on the other stops of the blog tour.


The fact is, Julie is one of the best pattern writers in the business.  Her patterns are easy to follow and accurate beyond belief.  Plus, Julie always gives options to help personalize the quilt to best meet the quilter's needs.  The book has a fantastic overview and basics section, which makes this a great book for beginning quilters.


Julie and the fab team at Martingale are giving away an ebook copy of Skip the Borders to a lucky Quilt Dad reader.  Want to get your hands on this awesome book?  I know you do!  Simply leave a comment on this post and tell me what fabrics you would use to make your own Box of Chocolates quilt.  The pattern has such versatility, and I'd love to hear about all of the different ideas you have for this single pattern!  I'll be picking a winner shortly.

Hexa-Go-Go Winner

Hexa-Go-Go

Thanks for all of your entries in the Hexa-Go-Go book giveaway! I am pleased to announce that the winner is Amy of [Amy's] Crafty Shenanigans, who said:

"It is a lovely book. Am I brave enough to try hexagons? I think I am - I've seen so many amazing things made with them that this book would encourage me to be brave :) Thanks for the chance."

Congratulations, Amy!  Please email me with your contact information to redeem your prize.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hexa-Go-Go Blog Tour

Welcome to the Hexa-Go-Go blog tour!  I know it's been quiet around here lately, but I just had to help one of my very best quilting friends, Tacha Bruecher, spread the word about her amazing new book.

Hexa-Go-Go

As you may have guessed from the title, Hexa-Go-Go is all about projects featuring hexagons!  Never tackled hexagons (or, as many quilters like to call them, "hexies") before?  Have no fear.  For the uninitiated, Tacha begins the book with a robust, 15-page section that takes the reader step-by-step through the process of English Paper Piecing.  For more experienced paper piecers, the book contains a variety of projects that are sure to inspire sewists to put their hexagons to use in fresh, unique ways.

Hexa-Go-Go

This is Tacha's first book but, based on the high quality of Hexa-Go-Go, I predict it won't be her last.  Tacha is an amazing quilter and crafter, and both her style and skill are presented beautifully in this book.  Tacha is one of those talented crafters whose fabric choices and original patterns reflect the eye of a modern quilter, but who simultaneously pays homage to the history and traditions of quilting.  The result is a beautiful book that is sure to become a classic!

Hexa-Go-Go

I've made no secret of my (ahem) distaste for hand sewing.  Little did I know that my first attempt at the technique -- a quilting bee block for Tacha that I made years ago -- would actually make its way into a book!  See the quilt above?  Tacha included blocks made by several members of the Bee Inspired quilting bee into the original Over the Rainbow quilt pattern.


Who knew that hexagon blocks could be so versatile?  Tacha ingeniously organized the book's 16 quilt projects into 5 categories: rosettes, diamonds, stars, blocks, and free form.  But my favorite projects by far are the two flag quilts that Tacha designed: the Stars & Stripes quilt (above), and the Union Jack quilt (below).  I think the Stars & Stripes quilt would look amazing hanging in my living room.  Just sayin', Tach.   : )


The Argyle Quilt (below) is another favorite.


Tacha and my friends at C&T / Stash Books are offering one lucky Quilt Dad reader their very own copy of Hexa-Go-Go.  Simply leave a comment on this post and tell me your experiences with English Paper Piecing.  Have you ever done it before?  Do you enjoy it?  What's your favorite project you've made with hexagons?  I'll randomly select a winner next week.

The fine print: US-based winners will receive a hard copy of the book, while international winners will receive a digital e-book.

** NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST! **

The full list of stops on this fun tour can be found over on the Fat Quarterly site. Be sure to visit all of the stops to increase your chances of winning!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaways for both the Art Gallery Fabrics and the new book, Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!  I'm excited to announce the winners ...

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First up, the gorgeous fat quarter assortment from Art Gallery Fabrics goes to Katie R who blogs at Little Green Sewing Machine!  Here are her favorite shades of AGF's Pure Elements solids line:


beautiful! I think I love Nocturnal and Smoke! Such pretty choices!


Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!

Next up is the lucky winner of Angela Yosten's new book, Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!  Congratulations to Texas JennyWren, who said:


Cute ideas for the little guys!! I think Kona Solids would be awesome on some of these projects. Thanks for a chance to win this book.

Big congrats to you, Katie & Jenny!  Please contact me via email with your mailing information, and I'll be sure your prizes are sent out to you ASAP.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew! Blog Tour + Giveaway


Welcome to today's STOP on the Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew! blog tour.  I'm so happy for friend, blogger, and fellow Moda Bake Shop chef Angela Yosten upon the release of her very first book for Stash Books.  Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew! is a fun book of sewing projects for the little (and not so little) boys in your life.  All of the projects revolve around the theme of traffic signs, which makes for a unique and cohesive collection of projects for all skill levels.

Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!

I'm so glad to see so many new and creative projects aimed for boys and men, traditionally the most notoriously difficult audience to find a variety of appropriate quilt and sewing patterns for.  Whereas Sewing for Boys covered apparel and Geared for Guys provided quilt patterns for teens and men, Angela's book has the youth market covered.  Adding to the cohesive nature of the book is Angela's choice to make all of her projects in true scrappy style.

Take a look at this adorable bedding ensemble, featuring several projects all included in the book:

Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!

One of my favorite projects is this One Way Growth Chart.  Even if you didn't have a growing boy in your household, I think this would make a really modern and graphic conversation piece for any wall.

Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!

Angela asked us to share a road sign that captures something about ourselves or our lives as part of the post.  I came across this image and thought it was perfect!  I don't know about you guys, but I've been having a great time watching the Summer Olympics these past 2 weeks ... even though it has been at the expense of making progress on my sewing projects.  I only wish I could be in London watching the games with all of my British friends!



Now's your chance to win a copy of Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!  Simply leave a comment on this post, and tell me your favorite fabric lines that feature awesome prints in the basic colors of RED, YELLOW, GREEN, and BLACK (since those would come in super handy for making the projects in this book.)  The winner will be randomly selected and announced here on my blog on Monday, August 20th.  (Note: US winners will receive a hard copy of the book, while winners outside of the US will win an e-book.)  Good luck!

** NOTE: Giveaway is now closed.  Thanks for playing! **


For more chances to win, be sure to visit the other STOPS on the tour!


Departure...
Day 1 (Monday, August 6): Stash Books (California) http://www.stashbooksblog.com/

Pit Stops…

Day 2 (Tuesday, August 7): Sarah Fielke (Australia) http://thelastpiece.typepad.
com/

Day 3 (Wednesday, August 8): Blue Nickel Studios (Washington) http://bluenickelstudios.com/



Day 4 (Thursday, August 9): Natalia Bonner (Utah) http://www.pieceandquilt.com/



Day 5 (Friday, August 10): Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobsen (Arizona) http://www.
meandmysisterdesigns.com/


Day 6 (Saturday, August 11): John Adams (North Carolina) http://www.quiltdad.com/ <---- YOU ARE HERE!



Day 7 (Sunday, August 12): Vanessa Christenson (Iowa) http://www.vanessachristenson.
com/


Day 8 (Monday, August 13): Rachel Griffith (Ohio) http://psiquilt.com/



Day 9 (Tuesday, August 14): Pat Sloan (Virginia) http://www.patsloan.com



Day 10 (Wednesday, August 15): Lissa Alexander (Texas) http://modalissa.blogspot.com/



Destination...

Day 11 (Thursday, August 16): Angela Yosten (Texas) http://blog.angelayosten.com

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gradiance Bed Runner | A free pattern!


We all know what a table runner is, but have you ever heard of a bed runner?

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I'm so excite to post my first project today as a member of Art Gallery Fabrics' Fat Quarter Gang.  I had a great time working with the fabrics above -- a selection of Pure Elements and Oval Elements -- that are not only gorgeous to look at, but were a dream to work with to boot.

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Head on over to the AGF blog today to find my free pattern, and leave a comment on this post to win some of the fabrics I worked with to make your own Gradiance project!  Simply let me know your favorite shade of Pure Elements or Oval Elements.

And don't forget to be eligible you must ...

Follow Art Gallery Fabrics on your favorite social media platform (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter), and subscribe to their blog to stay up to date on all thing AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

Enter to win today! Giveaway open until Friday, Aug, 10th.

** NOTE: Giveaway is now closed.  Thanks for playing! **

Friday, June 22, 2012

Going Gangbusters for Art Gallery Fabrics


You've gotta love a really great, creative idea.  And it's even better when there are some really great people behind it.  That's why I was so excited to be invited to be a founding member of Art Gallery Fabrics' new "Fat Quarter Gang."

The idea of the Fat Quarter Gang is pretty simple: the oh so lovely Pat Bravo rounded up a group of bloggers and designers to form a little sewing group of sorts -- a sewing group that would combine their fresh, new sewing ideas with all of the gorgeous new fabrics coming out of Art Gallery HQ.  Then, once a week, a member of the group would share a new pattern or project idea on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog.

And so, from the streets of Miami, the Fat Quarter Gang was born.

But Pat, Anais, and the creative troupe at Art Gallery took their idea to the next level by totally embracing -- in a fun, lighthearted way, of course -- the "gang" part of the Fat Quarter Gang.  So each of us, as sweet and gentle as we may appear to be on our blogs -- embraced our inner sewing bada$$ and took some (completely embarrassing) member photos.

Here's mine:


Admittedly, it's one of the lamest.  Despite hailing from the mean streets of Brooklyn NYC, gangster doesn't come too easily to me.  But you MUST check out the other bloggers' photos -- some of them are PRICELESS.  You can find them all here.

I'm a bit late to the game in posting this, since the free project ideas kicked off on Monday, June 4th.  Here's what's been posted so far:










And finally, here are a few more fun facts about the gang:


  • Every project that gets posted will have a giveaway for the EXACT fabrics used in the project over at the members blog (rules to that giveaway will be posted in each project). We will also randomly select lucky people to win patterns and such through the Fat Quarter Gang Flickr group. Feel free to post your projects as you make them... you never know when we are in the giving mood (and that's often.)
  • Have a blog and think you can hang with the gang?  There are 4 guest spots open for blogging "newbies." After all 12 bloggers have posted their tutorials, the gang will have a spot open for a guest blogger (that could be you!) to post their project tutorial. This pattern will repeat itself for 1 year so you have 4 spots available.
  • Also, if you have a blog, you can follow the gang by grabbing a "FQG button" located on the right side of the Art Gallery Fabrics blog!

Think you got what it takes? Submit your project ideas along with a link to your blog to anais.cowley@artgalleryfabrics.com. Who knows, you might end up with your own gang name and pic too.

Stay tuned for my first Fat Quarter Gang free project idea in July.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Quilters Take Raleigh -- This Friday!



I had a great time attending the Quilters Take Manhattan event last summer, sponsored by the Alliance for American Quilts (see my post here).  That's why I was excited to learn that the Alliance was bringing a similar event to my hometown of Raleigh, N.C. ... and even more excited when they again asked me to be part of it!

As part of the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo taking place at the Raleigh Convention Center this weekend, the AAQ has planned several great events.  On Friday evening I will be moderating what is sure to be a FANTASTIC panel discussion about one of my favorite topics: spotting trends in the quilting and fabric industry!

All the information you'll need can be found on the Quilters Take Raleigh Event at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo page.  In the meantime, here's a short blurb about the event:

Join me on Friday, June 22 in Raleigh, N.C. at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo to support the Alliance for American Quilts (Quilt Alliance) in their effort to document and preserve the art of quilting. Gold sponsors of this event are FreeSpirit and Rowan fabrics and you won't want to miss the fabulous goodies they are giving away to guests! 
Enjoy luscious chocolate desserts, refreshments and a lively panel discussion including me! Additional panelists for “From a Bird’s Eye View: Trendspotting from Across the Quilt World,” include “Quilt Dad” John Adams;  Cathy Alston-Kearney of the Heritage Quilters group of historic Warrenton, N.C.; Beth Hayes, Editor-in-Chief of McCall’s Quilting; Tula Pink, author and FreeSpirit Fabric designer; Cathy McKillip, innovative quilting retailer; Christine Zoller, contemporary quilt artist and Associate professor of Textiles at East Carolina University. 
Quilters themselves become part of the story during the debut of "Go Tell It at the Quilt Show" interviews with quiltmakers and the Quilt Alliance premiers its 2012 contest quilts "Home is Where the Quilt Is".

For all of my local NC quilters and friends, I hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Father's Day 2012

Just a quick post this evening to wish all the dads out there a Happy Father's Day! I'm blogging from NYC, where I've been able to spend a lovely couple of days with family and attending my cousin's wedding last night. The kids and I had a nice brunch today with my mother, brother and sister-in-law, and followed it up with a few hours of shopping in Soho. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zakka Style Giveaway Winners

Wow.  It's been a month since my last post.  Sorry for being MIA.  I have most definitely been busy and have a LOT to blog about -- Quilt Market in Kansas City, our first-ever Fat Quarterly Community Retreat in London, my membership in the fun new Art Gallery Fat Quarter Crew, swap items (both sent & received), and other events -- but I've unexpectedly had to deal with a bit of real life lately, and blogging has fallen down in the list of priorities.  I hope to be around a bit more in the coming weeks and months, but it will likely be less than in the past for a while.  I appreciate your understanding.

Zakka Style: 24 Projects Stitched with Ease to Give, Use and Enjoy - Front Cover Projects - ISBN: 978-1-60705-416-0

For today, I wanted to announce the winner of the Zakka Style book giveaway.  Congratulations to Helen (who blogs at Archie the Wonder Dog) who said:


Archie the wonder dogMay 14, 2012 6:12 PMI don't think I've made anything that could be considered Zakka but I did find some lovely ribbon/trim in a shop last week - I bought some just in case I had a zakka moment!!


In addition to the book, I have 5 sampler packs of Aurifil thread to send to some lucky readers.  Congratulations to:


elnoracMay 14, 2012 9:16 PMGeez, a guy who sews... I love it! Your mug rug looks great. Have done some of the Sew Along and may tackle this project, too. Thanks to you, to LRStitched, and to the sponsors. 
Chez RooMay 15, 2012 12:18 AMI have made a few zakka style pouches with linen and cute fabrics. Thanks for the giveaway, I love the projects that I've seen. 
LoBo333May 14, 2012 11:37 AMI've never sewn anything that could be considered zakka, but you-all are making me want to. Thanks for the opportunity to win and thanks for the great inspiration. 
AliMay 17, 2012 7:39 PMThat's such a cute little cloud! I haven't made anything I'd consider Zakka, is it wrong I'm waiting for everybody to finish the sew a long so I can just browse ideas from more brilliant minds than mine before I try my hand at it? ;0 
FrancineMay 14, 2012 11:38 AMLove the mug rug - and finally have to order my copy of the book - the projects look so fun! I had to look up the def. of "zakka" lol but now that I know, I would say that all my projects attempt to be zakka. I love pillows, throws and things that are readily seen by guests.
Francine

If you are a winner, please email me with your mailing information and I'll be sure your prize is sent to you ASAP.




Monday, May 14, 2012

Zakka Style Sew Along :: Week 7

Zakka Style Sew Along

Welcome to my stop on the Zakka Style Sew Along!  Not familiar with the Zakka Style Sew Along?  Fellow bloggers and my buddies Lindsey and Amy were so smitten with the new book Zakka Style: 24 Projects Stitched with Ease to Give, Use, and Enjoy by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Stash Books that they decided to round up 24 modern sewists to sew through every project in the book, Julia & Julia-style.  I was honored to be invited to join along in the fun.

(For more information on the tour, plus the full list of stops on the sew along, check out Lindsey's kick-off post here.  She also posted some great information on where to buy the book as well as the supplies used in the projects.)

Before I share my project, I wanted to say a quick word about this great book.  Rashida has done a fantastic job in bringing together a diverse set of sewists and crafters to provide the book's projects while still maintaining a very strong and cohesive aesthetic.  The book itself is beautiful and the photography inspirational, but it's not just a pretty book.  Nearly all of the projects are ones I can see myself making, especially because they strike the right balance of being advanced enough to yield an impressive final product while still being accessible to the beginning sewist.  Most of all, I think the items in this book fit the bill for quick gift ideas, and I can see myself returning to it again and again when I want to make homemade gifts.

Rain Cloud Mug Rug

I made the Rain Cloud Mug Rug, designed by Christie Fowler.  You can see Christie's original -- the one that's pictured in the book -- here.  This was a fun little project that I both started and completed in a single Sunday morning.  I used Essex Linen for the background and a small scrap of Kona Snow (both by Robert Kaufman fabrics) for the cloud.  I had intended to bind this mini quilt in a grey print similar to Christie's because I loved the serene feeling it gave off, but in looking through my scrap bin I decided to go with a more cheerful and sunny print -- kind of like the rays of sunshine through the rain cloud.

Rain Cloud Mug Rug

I adjusted the pattern a bit to meet my needs.  In her directions, Christie uses a needle-turn technique to apply the cloud to the linen background.  As my long-time readers know, I avoid handwork like the plague.  Instead, I traced the book's cloud template to a small piece of double-sided fusible interfacing, fused it to the Kona scrap, cut it out, and then ironed it directly on to the background.  (The more perceptive among you might notice that I didn't think to reverse the template first, so my cloud is the mirror image of the one in the book!)  I then free-motion stitched along the edge of the cloud shape.  This probably means the edges of the cloud will fray just a little bit over time, but I am totally cool with that.

Rain Cloud Mug Rug

With my darning foot & feed dogs down, I machine stitched the swirly, curly wind lines, trying to mimic Christie's style.  I put my regular foot back on and sewed the dense straight lines meant to represent the rain.  After machine stitching the small piece of binding to the mug rug, I was done -- less than 2 hours from start to finish.

If you make a Rain Cloud Mug Rug -- or any of the projects from Zakka Style -- I'd love to see it.  And since I'm giving this book a strong recommendation, I can't leave you without offering to give a copy away.  Simply leave a comment on this post and tell me if you've ever sewn anything that could be considered "zakka", and I'll randomly select a winner next week.

I've also got 5 sampler packs of Aurifil thread to give away, which brings my total number of prizes up to 6.

But wait ... there are more prizes to be won!  Lindsey has rounded up 24 fantastic prizes from some of the biggest brands in the quilting industry, and she's giving them away on her blog to people who are sewing along with us.  Be sure to check out LRstitched to stay up to date on all of her active giveaways.  This week, it's a $30 gift certificate to Zip It!



Please join me in thanking the following sponsors for supporting the Zakka Style Sew Along:


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fat Quarterly Issue 9 (+ my Nightshade quilts!)

Hello, and Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms, grandmas, godmothers, aunts, sisters, friends, and caregivers out there.  I hope you're all having a wonderful (and relaxing) day!

Thanks to everyone for all of your nice words about Geared for Guys, and especially for my Urban Decay quilt that's featured in the book.  I'm thrilled to be able to provide one of you with a free copy of the book.  Congratulations to Kathy H., who said:

I am thinking of a quilt for my son when he graduates from college so this book will probably have a few good suggestions. Congratulations on making the cover.


Kathy, please contact me so that I can get your book to you ASAP.

I had a fantastic visit to the Triad Modern Quilt Guild this past week, and want to thank Karen Grey, Angie, Colleen, and the entire group for being such gracious hosts.  Since I was speaking, I didn't take any pictures ... but I'll try to steal a few from the guild members and post more fully about it soon.  (In the meantime, you can read a little more about my visit on Kelly's blog.)

Today, I wanted to make sure that everyone knows that Issue 9 of Fat Quarterly is now available!


Issue 9 is all about sewing for, and with, the children in your lives.  It's full of fantastic patterns and project ideas, including a feature on Project Linus.  For my contribution to the issue, I was VERY excited to have the chance to play with Tula Pink's new line, Nightshade.  Though "officially" a Halloween line, a quick Twitter poll confirmed my belief that this goth-chic line would be totally embraced by tweens and teens (and, I suspect, many of their moms) all year 'round.

Being the dad of twin girls myself, I decided to design a quilt pattern for twins -- that is, a pattern that's easy enough to make 2 in the time it might take to make another, single quilt.  The scale of the prints lent themselves to large blocks, so I focused on making big, easy blocks and then created two complementary layouts.

Double, Double, Toil & Trouble: A quilt pattern for twins!

Here's my version in the Absinthe (green) color way:

Double, Double, Toil & Trouble: A quilt pattern for twins!

And its twin, in the Evening Shade color way:

Double, Double, Toil & Trouble: A quilt pattern for twins!

I call the pattern Double, Double, Toil & Trouble, and I hope you enjoy it!  Of course, if you make a version, I'd LOVE to see it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Geared for Guys Book Tour


I'm so excited to be kicking off the 30 days, 30 blogs, 30 books tour to announce the release of a fantastic new e-book of 8 original quilt patterns called Geared for Guys.  OK, so I'm a bit biased -- author & fabric designer Emily Herrick (of Crazy Old Ladies fame) asked me to be a featured contributor ... and my quilt made the cover!

First off, if you're not familiar with Emily and her work, you really need to check out her blog.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

OK, glad you're back!  I'm sure you saw that not only is Emily an accomplished pattern designer, but a successful fabric designer with Michael Miller Fabrics.  (After the success of her first two lines -- Going Coastal and Hall of Fame -- Emily is all set to release her third line, A Shore Thing.)  And now, Emily can add author to that list.

Several months ago, Emily contacted me to see if I would be interested in collaborating with her on a new book project she was working on.  Of course, once she shared her idea of a e-book focused on quilt patterns  with "guy appeal", I was all in.  I was so happy to design a new original pattern to be featured in the book, and was excited to make my quilt with the Curious Nature line by David Butler.

Urban Decay

We decided to call this quilt "Urban Decay", and here's how I describe the pattern in the book:


This quilt, with its decidedly masculine colors and prints combined with a design with structural and architectural overtones, should appeal to a wide variety of men in your life. Equally suited for the dorm room or den, Urban Decay is sure to be a conversation piece for years to come. 
I purposely designed this quilt to be fairly straightforward in its design; however, the mix of primary and secondary shapes combine in a variety of ways to make the quilt visually compelling. At first you might just notice squares and rectangles with some triangles mixed in; then, a secondary pattern of octagons begins to emerge; and finally, you can begin to see a very modern take on traditional quilt blocks like the churn dash and spool blocks. 
As a play on the overarching structural and architectural themes of the design, I decided to let the pattern begin to “fall apart” towards the bottom of the quilt. Simply by swapping out some printed blocks for solid counterparts, I created the illusion that this structure isn’t quite as sound as you might think. Whether it’s still in the process of being built -- or in the process of (not literally) coming apart at the seams -- this unexpected design element gives the quilt some movement as well as some visual interest. 
Of course, these elements of “decay” are optional -- you could choose a more straightforward construction approach. (If you do, be sure to adjust your cutting directions accordingly.) And, although I’ve included the directions and diagrams to make your quilt exactly like mine, feel free to play around and customize your “Urban Decay” element as much as you’d like.  Have fun, and make the design your own.

Urban Decay

Urban Decay was quilted by my homegirl, the supremely talented Angela Walters!

I am, of course, excited to reveal my own quilt project from the book, but the other 7 patterns are really, really great as well.  I am confident in saying that there's something for every guy in this book, and Emily's patterns are so versatile that they would look great with many different fabric and color selections.

I sure hope that you want to get your hands on this great e-book, and I'm glad to be giving away the first free copy of the blog tour!  If you'd like to enter to win, simply leave a comment below and let me know if you're planning on making any quilts for the men in your life.  I'll randomly select a winner and announce it here on the blog shortly.  And be sure to follow along with the tour for 29 more chances to win.  Tomorrow's stop is at the Jolly Jabber, blog of the always fabulous Fat Quarter Shop.  Say "hi" to Kimberly for me!

If you simply can't wait to see if you've won, you can order the e-book (in PDF format) through Emily's Etsy shop.  You can also find all of Emily's standalone quilt patterns there, too.

** NOTE: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR PLAYING! **

Monday, April 30, 2012

Giveaway Winner + Wild Olive Stitch Swap

Wild Olive Stitch Swap 

Today I'll wrap up my unintended series of posts featuring Lizzy House foxes!

First, I've drawn a winner of the Outfox the Fox pattern.  Congratulations to Melissa from blustitch, who said:

i just planned on making a baby quilt from that pattern - but haven't secured the pattern yet! the idea is to use red, pink, blue and green!

Congratulations, Melissa!  I can't wait to see your baby version of the quilt.

I also wanted to share a small piece of embroidery that I recently completed.  I participated in the Wild Olive Stitch Swap, hosted by the very talented Mollie Johanson of Wild Olive.  I've been a big fan of Mollie's for a long time now -- pretty much since I first started embroidering and came across her blog (and her adorable patterns which can be found in her Etsy shop).

Mollie recently organized a small embroidery swap -- small not because of how many people participated, but because we only had to stitch up a small piece for our partner!  The idea was quite genius, actually -- we were limited to a 4" embroidery hoop, which helped this to be a very low-stress and manageable swap to complete.

I was paired with Julia from the U.K., who indicated that she loves woodland creatures, and her favorite colors include green and gold.  I knew immediately that I wanted to stitch up one of Lizzy's foxes.

First, I tried to stitch up a cute little silver fox on a green woodgrain background:


 Wild Olive Swap Piece

Err, I know foxes are sly and all, but you can barely see the little guy.  So I started over, this time trying out a gold floss with some dark green accents.

Wild Olive Swap Piece

Yuck.  I just wasn't feeling that color combination either.  I decided to try one more time -- and this one had to work, because I don't do nothin' four times over.

Wild Olive Stitch Swap

Ah, just right.  I ditched the woodgrain print -- which was a great idea in theory, but I just couldn't make it work -- and went with bolder colors on a solid white background.  Much, much better.

Want to see the fantastic piece of embroidery I received from my secret partner?

Wild Olive Stitch Swap - Finished Piece

This amazing little piece was stitched for me by Jen (aka eklundjen on Flickr).  I absolutely love the work of artist (and embroidery pattern designer) Cate Anevski, and Jen stitched up one of my favorite patterns for me.  Thanks, Jen!  This one is going up in my cube at the office.

Anybody stitched up anything fun lately?