Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book tour stop: Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness

The Beyond Neutral book tour rolled through the Windy City of Chicago yesterday and made a stop at the blog home of Sara Lawson, Sew Sweetness. Not only did Sara have some really kind things to say about the book, but she also adapted my Half Moon Bay pattern and made a pretty badass baby quilt (above.) Any baby rocking that quilt will automatically earn some extra hip points. Thanks again, Sara!

Remember, Martingale is giving away a free eBook version of Beyond Neutral at every stop of the blog tour. Head on over to Sara's post and say a quick hello in order to be eligible.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Space Dust Quilt-along | Week 5

Welcome to week 5 of the Space Dust Quilt-along. In week 5, we worked on the 4th row of the quilt. We're more than halfway there, everyone! Here's a picture of my quilt top with row 4 added ... and a special appearance by my new Liberty of London Vans. (Love them!)

For this week's installment of the quilt-along, I thought we'd take a quick tour of the quilters who have completed their quilts through row 4. It's amazing to see how this pattern can be interpreted in so many ways, and look so different with everyone's fabric choices.

Amazing work, everyone! Big congrats to last week's winner of the Auriful thread giveaway, Kim (@jkimr). This week's giveaway was for a $15 gift certificate to Quilter's Square in Lexington, KY. I am excited to announce that Sharni (@lyrebird_lamb) is this week's winner. Congrats, Sharni! Email me or DM me on Instagram so that we can get you your award.

Ready for another giveaway? Remember, anyone who posts their progress through row 5 will be eligible for this week's giveaway, and it's a good one. One lucky winner will win a half-yard bundle of Pure Elements solids, courtesy of Quilter's Square and Art Gallery Fabrics. Simply post your photo on Instagram or Facebook with hashtag #SDQAL -- or, if you post your photos elsewhere (like Flickr or your blog), just leave me a comment below and tell me where I can find your pictures.

Paul will announce the winner of the fabric bundle in next week's post.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book tour stop: Martingale's Stitch This! blog

The first stop on the Beyond Neutral book tour is Martingale's Stitch This! blog. There, you will see how graphic designer extraordinaire Sarah tackled the Beyond Neutral Challenge and created a beautiful quilt palette. There's also a chance to win a free eBook of Beyond Neutral, so check it out!

Psst ... my giveaway for an eBook AND a fabric bundle is still open on my kick-off post.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The last of the book quilts

With the book tour underway, I wanted to wrap up my series of posts showcasing the quilts from Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature's Elements. I've shown 12 of the quilts in previous posts, and this post will reveal the last four. I hope you've enjoyed seeing the quilts as much as I've enjoyed hearing your amazing feedback on the book. It makes me happy and proud that so many of you are enjoying Beyond Neutral, and I truly appreciate each and every review and kind word.

This first quilt is a bold beauty that I named Fire Island. I paired fun, colorful Cloud 9 prints with a bright red shot cotton whose dimension and texture both look and feels beautiful up close. Was the red a scary choice? For sure, but I'm glad I pushed beyond my comfort zone.

For Big Thicket, I pulled out a long-hoarded fat quarter bundle that I had purchased from Pink Castle Fabrics a few years back and loved for its eclectic mix of prints and colors. (Sheep? Chairs? Meteors? Electric yellow?? Sure!) I created a very simple 2-block pattern that showed the prints off and paired them with a subdued grey that I think achieved both strength and whimsy.

Speaking of hoarding, here's Triton Cove. I made it using my collection of Tula Pink's Neptune line. Need I say more? (PS. the solid here is also a shot cotton.)

And finally, allow me to introduce Fox River. It was my experiment in pairing woodland prints -- foxes, trees, and owls -- with a decidedly aquamarine solid. Constructed in rows, this is a super easy pattern perfect for showing off large prints, and could easily be adapted into baby / kid quilt size.

I hope you've enjoyed my brief introduction to all of the quilts from Beyond Neutral. Remember, the book tour is now underway and there will be plenty of book giveaways to help celebrate. (My giveaway is still open, and there aren't many entries yet. Just sayin'!)

If you have a copy of Beyond Neutral, I'd love to hear what you think. Amazon reviews are always appreciated too!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fabric Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to the winner of my Mormor fabric giveaway in celebration of the release of the Fat Quarter Shop's FREE Fat Quarter Fizz pattern, AnnMarie from Wisconsin, who said:

annmarieAugust 7, 2014 at 8:45 AM I've checked out quite a few already - wonderful fabric choices (love your blues) - great pattern - great giveaway! Heading over to Me & My Sister next.
Congratulations, AnnMarie! Please email me at your soonest convenience with your mailing address and I will get your fabrics out to  you ASAP.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Beyond Neutral Book Tour

I am happy to kick off the blog tour for Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature's Elements today! Over the next four weeks, several of my best bloggy friends have agreed to share their thoughts on the book and the quilts featured within. Naturally there will be prizes and giveaways throughout (more on that later.) And some have even agreed to take my Beyond Neutral Challenge.

"What is the Beyond Neutral Challenge?", you may ask. It's drawn from the premise of my book, which is that we can draw color palettes for our quilts from the beauty of nature. So the challenge is this: find a photograph from nature that has particular appeal for you, and build a color, print, and fabric palette from that image for a quilt.

Here's mine. I simply Googled "nature photography" and looked at the image results. Right there on the front page was this beautiful image:

With that as my inspiration, I began to think about what I could pull from this image that would translate to fabric. Clearly, the colors are gorgeous: oranges and yellow, browns and greens. There's the literal interpretation, namely imagery of deer, trees, leaves, grass, and other foliage. Finally, there's the overall vibe of the photo -- calm, serene, tranquil, a bit muted. I can almost hear the sounds and smell the scents. And, because it's a quilt, I always try to strike a balance between large and small scale prints, include both focus fabrics and blenders, and ensure I've got some dots and stripes (or dot and stripe equivalents.)

Here's what I came up with after a quite enjoyable virtual shopping trip to the Fat Quarter Shop:

What do you think? If you like the collection, the Fat Quarter Shop is currently offering it as a special bundle to help celebrate my book tour! It would be a great starter pack for any of the quilts in Beyond Neutral.

I did this once before when the book was first released and created another fun fat quarter bundle. The Fat Quarter Shop also offers this bundle, called the Nature's Elements bundle, and for the duration of the book tour this bundle is being offered for 20% off. I happen to think that the two bundles could be combined for a pretty epic woodland quilt, or a fabulous stash builder.

I encourage you to take the Beyond Neutral Challenge, and I've got some giveaway prizes for anyone who accepts! One winner will win both an e-copy of Beyond Neutral and a Nature's Elements bundle as inspiration to make one of the book quilts, and another winner will receive a Nature's Elements fat quarter bundle.

All you have to do is complete the challenge and leave a comment below telling me where I can see your photo and virtual bundle. It can be on your blog, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, etc. If you post to social media, be sure to use the hashtag #beyondneutralchallenge so that we can all view your creations. Participation is not mandatory for a chance to win. Winners will be chosen from the comments as well as from the hashtag on FB & IG.

Most of all, have fun! And be sure to visit all the other stops on the tour for more chances to win copies of Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature's Elements.


August 25 -- Kick-off -- YOU ARE HERE!
August 27 -- The Stitch This! blog at Martingale Books
August 29 -- Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness

September 2 -- Molli Sparkles
September 4 -- Angela Pingel at Cut to Pieces

September 10 -- Lynne Goldsworthy at Lily's Quilts

September 15 -- The Fat Quarter Shop's Jolly Jabber
September 16 -- Julie Herman at Jaybird Quilts
September 17 -- Nick Ball at Quilts from the Attic
September 19 -- Amy Lobsiger at Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts

September 22 -- Emily Herrick at Crazy Old Ladies Quilts
September 23 -- Sarah Fielke at The Last Piece
September 24 -- Monica Solorio-Snow at the Happy Zombie
September 25 -- Scott Hansen at Blue Nickel Studios
September 26 -- Katy Jones at I'm a Ginger Monkey