Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tula Pink BoM First 15 Blocks

I am thoroughly enjoying the making of Tula Pink's City Sampler blocks. It is delightful fun to pick fabrics, cut and sew the modern 6" blocks! Starting in October, two groups at the Pine Needle embarked on this journey together and a third class will start in February. In the first class, we discussed quilt sizes and layouts, then planned preliminary color placement before we jumped in and started sewing. I am so excited about these quilts and can hardly stand the wait from month to month to see what everyone has made.

Here are some of the fabulous blocks my students have made, starting with a happy, colorful palette of fabrics by Jan C ... and please let me know if I don't have the correct person associated with her work!

Jan C's City Sampler Blocks

Here is a detail so you can see how she features an especially pretty print in many of her blocks:

Jan C's Blocks, detail

Next up are the blocks of Karlee S ... I love the way she is combining Tula Pink's Acacia and Denyse Schmidt's Florence fabrics!

Karlee S' City Sampler Blocks

Charlotte W chose a subtle, monochromatic palette of grays, creams and golds ... with a surprising hint of aqua that sets off her blocks beautifully.

Charlotte W's City Sampler Blocks

Here is a detail photo of Charlotte's blocks ... I love the purse in the center as well as the clever way she used a stripe to frame the center flower in the block on the left.

Charlotte W's blocks, detail
Donna B is also working in a subtle, monochromatic palette ... with a touch of green in the form of hand dyed damask. The black and white graphic prints give her blocks such drama!

Donna B's City Sampler Blocks

Lynn B chose a tranquil blue, teal and green palette, a color scheme she fell instantly in love with the moment she saw the fabrics at the Pine Needle. As we work, we are all continuing to find new fabrics to add to our collections for our City Sampler quilts. Thankfully, we have a playground of 100 blocks!

Lynn B's City Sampler Blocks

Pansies are Pam G's favorite flower ... so is the perfect feature fabric for her quilt. Pam is also asking others to select the fabrics for a block and is naming the block for that person ... great idea! Pam is also using some vibrant, colorful silks in her blocks.

Pam G's City Sampler Blocks

Kathy A plans to make two lap-sized quilts with her blocks. One will be inspired by the colors of the desert Southwest but shown here are the blocks she will use in her quilt inspired by a flower garden. The interesting twist Kathy plans is a thunderstorm looming over the garden ... I can't wait to see!

Kathy A's City Sampler Blocks

Here is another delightfully happy palette of fabrics selected by Linda D who plans to set her blocks on point. Isn't it smart to put the blocks on the design wall on point as well? The black and white prints in her blocks are magic!

Here is another subtle, calm palette of soft aqua, gray and yellow ... and a touch of green. Lana K's blocks feature a beautiful floral print and bird print from Dear Stella's Paloma collection. Aren't her blocks lovely?

Lana K's City Sampler Blocks

Heather J loves large scale graphic prints and has chosen a palette of grays, whites and yellows. I am eager to see more and will do my best to take more photos from our next classes.

Heather J's City Sampler Blocks

Here is another bright, happy palette of blocks by Carolyn B who wants to "get modern" with her quilting ... I think she's got it! Carolyn is doing a great job with her vibrant, rich colors and dynamic prints.

Carolyn B's City Sampler Blocks

Peggy FY is working in her favorite colors ... rainbow brights! After quite a bit of experimentation, Peggy decided to add black and white prints which I think are making her blocks sing!

Peggy FY's City Sampler Blocks

Kathy S fell in love with the Astrid collection by Erin McMorris ... along with solids, black and white prints and one of my favorite Art Gallery prints, Squared Elements. These are happy, bright and energetic.

Kathy S' City Sampler Blocks

Lou Ann T loves to work in red, yellow and blue, her favorite color palette. I think working with the three primary colors can be quite challenging but Lou Ann has clearly mastered it.

Lou Ann T's City Sampler Blocks

Sherry coordinated a variety of prints and solid fabrics with a beautiful Australian print. I love the spiral of white dots in the Australian print and that lime green and orange stripe is perfect! Sherry plans to make two lap-sized quilts. It turns out that the group of coordinating fabrics works great with two different Australian prints.

Sherry W's City Sampler Blocks

Finally, here are my blocks. I decided to work in a limited palette of reds, oranges and yellows and am pushing that palette as far as I can. I am working mostly in solids with a few "low volume" prints for drama. Have you heard fabrics described as low volume? These are prints that use a small number of colors ... red and white, red and orange, yellow and white for example.

Pam's City Sampler Blocks

I hope you are enjoying these blocks!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Color with Jean Wells and the Sidekick Ruler by Jaybird Quilts

Jean is starting a series of blog posts called "Confidence with Color" that I think you'll enjoy. Click here to check it out! Jean begins with a beautiful scarf as her color inspiration, then develops a palette of fabrics. One of Jean's keys to success that I have found particularly helpful is using color in her project in similar proportions to the inspiration piece.

Jean's Color Inspiration

Another post I want to share with you is a guest post by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts. Last year, Julie introduced her Hex N More ruler which I love. This year, she has just introduced the Sidekick ruler. Both are well supported with a variety of patterns so you aren't stuck with a specialty ruler purchase for a single project ... don't you hate that? I do! In her post, Julie shows you all the shapes and sizes you can cut from each ruler and includes photos of the corresponding patterns. Thanks Julie!

Hex N More Ruler from Jaybird Quilts
Sidekick Ruler from Jaybird Quilts
I have now made several projects using Julie's patterns. They are well written, easily understood and clearly illustrated. I heartily recommend her tools and patterns. Click here to check out the rulers and patterns.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer Highlights 2013

Have you all given up on ever hearing from Quilts and Paws again? I guess I'm a "fits and starts" blogger ... bursts of activity with rather long lulls in between. To catch up a bit, I took two classes this past summer that I enjoyed immensely. Both were week long classes at the Stitchin' Post in Sisters. It is such a luxurious treat to immerse yourself in a new process or approach without the numerous daily distractions and disruptions that we all face. Plus, an entire week is sufficient time to feel I've made substantial progress. Good restaurants and a margarita in the evening don't hurt either!

In May, I took Jean Wells' class "Make Your Mark" where Jean taught a wide variety of surface design techniques:  painting, stamping, discharging etc. I especially loved carving our own stamps! Here is my favorite fabric I made that week:

Pam's Stamped Fabric

Every July, I look forward to Quilter's Affair and the Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters. This year, Mallory, Sandy and I went over for a long weekend. We decided not to take classes this year ... instead, we sewed, visited the High Desert Museum, and of course thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor quilt show, including the "Highlights from QuiltCon" show at Five Pines Sunday morning. The setting and weather could not have been more perfect! Don't the quilts look gorgeous amongst the pines and wildflowers?

Hanging amongst the pines is Carolyn Friedlander's quilt

Quilts by Alissa Haight Carlton

More quilts from QuiltCon

Honey in Space by Elizabeth Hartman

August brought a week long class with Rosalie Dace, Cross Currents, also taught at the Stitchin' Post. It was an awesome experience! I loved seeing and sewing a myriad variations of "+" and "X" ... here is my work in progress:

Pam's "Cross Currents" work in progress

As you can see, I made rectangular "+" improv blocks and decided to make pieced background X's with improv hourglass units. I love love love improv piecing ... and of course I've changed the quilt already! I promise to post a photo when it's finished.

Rosalie shared several quotes with us during our week together. Here is one of my favorites:
"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark".
- Agnes de Mille

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Fabrics for a New Project (and Pattern)

It's always thrilling to start a new project! This quilt will be the cover for a new pattern I'm writing. The quilt was designed for my dear friend Mallory's granddaughter who got married last summer. Strips are cut and I'm sewing!

I'll post again as soon as I've finished writing the pattern. Sherry, I hope this is good news!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sample This! Completed Section 1

I am very excited to share my students' work in progress on our Sample This BOM! As more students complete section 1, I will fill in the gaps. One of the great benefits of a quilt class, aside from making great new friends, is the opportunity to see the same pattern interpreted in a variety of ways. I always, always, always find it inspiring.

Donna is using primarily solids ranging from pale gray to almost black. Her accent fabrics are grayscale prints. Isn't that a great concept!

Donna - Section 1

Pat is working with exuberant contemporary prints in grays, cream and burgundy ... lovely! I love the way she is using white, cream and gray ... important neutrals juxtaposed against the bold black and burgundy prints.

Pat - Section 1

Here is Karen's Section 1. She is using batiks that range from the palest of lavenders to rich purples with hints of blue. Her focus fabric is a black batik with swirls of pastel rainbow colors ... striking!

Karen - Section 1

Continuing with our purple trend, here is another section 1. As soon as I figure out whose, I will update this post. This collection of batiks ranges from soft orchid to rich purple with some blue and burgundy accents. Isn't it fun to see how unique each person's work is?

TBD - Section 1

Jeanne is working with a luscious collection by Silvia Vassileva, Silvia's Garden from P&B Textiles. Her focus fabric is the creamy beige print with red, turquoise, green and burgundy leaves. I love those touches of brilliant red in the focus fabric and check ... beautiful against the turquoise!

Jeanne - Section 1

Jan S is also using the leaf print from Silvia's Garden. I love the way the warm, creamy golds perfectly show off the teal and burgundy in her quilt. It is such a treat to see the same fabric used in two different quilts. Jan and Jeanne are in different classes ... I don't think they have seen each others' quilts!

Jan S - Section 1

I love these reds in Jodyne's work! I quickly put these two parts of her quilt on the wall for a photo ... we'll get them arranged properly before sewing. Click the photo for the larger version so you can see the Kokopelli batik and the pottery print. I am eager to see the story of her quilt unfold as she combines southwestern prints with reds, greens, browns and turquoises that evoke the rich hues of the desert.

Jodyne - Section 1

Here is a warm, rich collection featuring Stonehenge fabrics. Sandy's feature fabric is the rich red with green-gold ivy print from Northcott's Sangria collection. The warm creams and complement it beautifully and I adore the olive green Raindrops print by Lonni Rossi ... it's perfect!

Sandy - Section 1

Mallory's quilt features a brilliant, large scale floral batik in turquoise and purple. In section 1, she has used primarily green batiks with accents of blue and coral. Isn't the coral stunning? Her quilt will feel like a spring garden.

Mallory - Section 1

Rae is working with a lovely selection of soft blues and sagey green but her palette also includes creams and a black and purple batik that adds drama to her quilt. I love the softness of those greens as the backdrop for the blue stars as well as the punch of the cream and black 4-patches.

Rae T - Section 1

Julie and Rae are best friends and so are their quilts! Julie is also working with soft greens but the blue in her quilt is a bit brighter in hue. There is a cool watery feeling to Julie's quilt, due in part to the linear batik. The surprise in Julie's quilt are those soft, subtle touches of buttery yellow. Gorgeous!

Julie - Section 1

I am very proud of their work and can hardly wait for the next month when section 3 is completed. Some students have sent me photos ... but you'll have to wait until early May to see! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sample This! BOM Sections 1, 3 and 5

Each month, we complete one section of the "Sample This!" quilt. April is our 3rd month in the series so today I'm sharing my work in progress thus far. As I selected fabrics for this quilt, I wanted to show that solids, prints and batiks can all be used successfully together as well as create a quilt whose colors feel soft and subtle. We'll see whether it all works! Here is one of 2 parts of section 1:

Section 1b

The triangular sections consist of interlocking friendship stars with 4-patches in the corners in a point setting. Setting triangles are sewn along the left side to complete the rows. Here are both parts of section 1 that will make the top left corner of the quilt.

Section 1a and b

Whenever possible, I use Deb Tucker's rulers and this quilt is no exception. In section 3, we get to use Deb's Spotlight ruler. Section 3 is composed entirely of spotlight units that can be arranged as desired. I chose to arrange 4 spotlight blocks so the center beam triangle spins in a "circle" around a pinwheel. The 4 side triangles in the corners will also form pinwheels with adjacent units.

Four spotlight units

I love Deb's "trim down" approach to patchwork. By working slightly larger then trimming to the size needed, many "easing" headaches are minimized ... each unit is perfect! Section 3, also set on point, will become the bottom right corner of the quilt.

Section 3

In April, we will construct section 5 ... a beautiful star block again made with the Spotlight ruler. It's the exact same unit used in section 3 ... don't you love the myriad designs you can get simply by rearranging simple geometric shapes? Section 5 has two parts made in different color schemes. Here are my two color ways:

Section 5a

Section 5b

My students think this section could be developed into a beautiful quilt ... so ...

Section 5
my homework, due the last week of April, is to come up with a design. I already love the spotlight blocks and am also intrigued with the slim inner sashing framed by the bolder outer sashing. I'm excited to give it a try.

Happy sewing!

PS - I just realized "Firecracker" by Jaybird Quilts is made entirely from the spotlight block ... how cool is that!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sample This BOM Fabrics

Spring greetings! Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are accustomed to cold, rainy spring breaks. Much to our delight, we have had a stunningly gorgeous weekend of record-setting warm days. To celebrate, here are most of the fabric collections from my BOM classes at the Pine Needle. The BOM we are making is A Quilter's Dream:  Sample This!

Sample This! Pattern Cover

Below is the first group of fabric collections beginning with Jan P (top left), Jan S (top right), Rae T (bottom left) and Linda (bottom right). I do hope I got everyone's name correctly paired up with their fabric collection ... let me know if I didn't! These are collections primarily of batiks that have a wide range of hues and values. It will be great fun to see these quilts emerge as we progress from month to month.

Batik Fabric Collections

Next are fabric collections from Karlee (top left), Heather (top right), Rae P (bottom left) and Donna (bottom right). Karlee's collection is a terrific group of fabrics from Tula Pink (Salt Water), paired with the perfect dove gray to tie it all together. Heather's quilt will be made entirely of whites and grays with a lovely pink accent ... totally modern. Rae P's quilt will be made from a stunning collection of taupe prints and wovens. Donna chose an array of solid whites and grays and plans to use white or gray prints as her accent fabrics. 

Collections That Showcase Gray

Check out this next group of fabric collections from Kathy A (top left), Sandy (top right), and Jodyne (bottom left and right). Kathy's chose a teal and chartreuse color scheme and is combining contemporary prints with batiks. Sandy's Stonehenge fabrics include brick red, cream and gold that extends almost into a mustardy green. Jodyne selected an array of Southwestern prints as shown in the bottom left photo; the bottom right photo shows the fabrics she will use in the first section of the quilt.

Color Palette Collections

This last group of collections is inspired by flowers and I included a photo of Mallory trying out a new "light tool" (bottom right). I don't know where she found this LED headlight but we were laughing so hard I forgot to take a photo of her fabric collection! Kathy S's collection (top left) is a colorful collection of small scale prints and solids that coordinate with her large scale feature floral. Carolyn's blue and green fabric collection (top right) features the Camelot group from Jason Yenter. The inspiration for Lana's collection (bottom left) is a beautiful oil painting of flowers.

Floral Inspirations

The quilt is constructed in six sections, all set on point. As we progress from month to month, I will post the completed sections. With 23 students in three classes, it will be awesome to see these quilts emerge. Despite good intentions, I somehow missed getting a photo of everyone's fabric collection but you'll still get to see them as the completed sections are posted.

Happy sewing!