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