Friday, July 7, 2017

Island Batik - July's Oh Baby! Challenge


July - wow!  I can't believe it's already July....this year is flying by - but for once I'm ahead of schedule with my challenge quilt :)   And this one is super cute ... you will definitely want to get the pattern and make it!

This month our challenge as Island Batik Brand Ambassadors is Oh Baby! featuring baby and crib quilts.

Well, I've got this one covered...  Earlier this year, I released my Rory Baby Quilt pattern.



Something I have discovered is that when the word gets out that you are "a quilter" and you are invited to a baby shower, there is an unwritten expectation that you will gift a baby quilt.  Well, I hate to disappoint anyone - so I designed the Rory Baby Quilt pattern to ease the stress of quickly needing to make a super attractive, gift-worth baby quilt.   The quilt is designed around the background fabric and then you pull stash fabrics to coordinate. It's a Beginner - Confident Beginner level pattern and the finished quilt measures 39" x 45".


For the background of the cover quilt, I used a white fabric with lime, orange and pink dots and then pulled fabrics from my stash to coordinate to make a super cute, little girly girl quilt. 

For our Island Batik challenge, I remade the pattern using a Dotalicious batik along with lots of scrappy bright colors.  This made the perfect gender neutral quilt. 

To keep the quilt super functional and to get it finished quickly, I machine bound it using the  same techniques I teach in my best-selling Learn to Machine Bind Your Quilts video class available at Annie's Craft Store




Print patterns for my Rory Baby Quilt are available in my Etsy store or as a pdf download  on Craftsy.  

I hope you are able to make a Rory Baby Quilt and I would love to see a photo when you are finished.  Happy Stitching !


Friday, June 30, 2017

Island Batik - June's Curvilicious Quilts

It's June and let's get our curves on!!  

Okay - well maybe like me, you are curvy enough already but let's get some curves in our piecing this month!




Our challenge this month as Island Batik Brand Ambassadors is curved piecing... which for me can be a love - hate relationship.  I love the way they look but I sometimes hate to piece them!  Do you feel the same way about curved piecing?  

Since I knew this project would take a little more time, I started thinking about it several months ago ... and I've been thinking... and thinking .... and thinking ...  yes, OVER thinking the project.   I wanted to make sure I was showcasing the batik fabrics but I was struggling to come up with a design.   My most success with curved piecing has been when I used a template to cut the pieces.  So I got out my trusty Uneven Nine-Patch cutting ruler designed by Darlene Zimmerman and made by EZ Quilting.  I have made several quilts with this ruler before and have had great success. 

So I settled on making a table topper (because who can have too many table toppers!) and I decided to go with a Christmas colorway (since it's 6 months away, I might as well be able to say I already have something finished for Christmas!).  I selected my Island Batik fabrics and roughed out a design in EQ7.   



In the quest to be different I wanted to showcase the curves just on the edge of the table topper and let the Holly applique be the focal point in the center.   I'm super pleased with how it turned out!  I hope you enjoy it too and stay tuned as I do plan to publish a pattern for my Holly Table Topper.  


 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Island Batik - May's Modern Batik Challenge


Our challenge this month for the Island Batik Brand Ambassador's was the Modern Batik Challenge.   This challenge started out rather challenging for me (hmmmm, maybe that's why they call it a challenge :) )  

Stereotypically, I normal design Modern Quilts with yards of white fabric, some random splashes of bright solids and lots of intricate quilting.  So the challenge for me was ME - I had to get outside my box and think PURELY about the design - and then plug the fabrics into the equation.  It took about a week for me to come up with the design... I had another design sketched that I kept playing with but it just wasn't coming together - then one night, right as I was getting ready for bed, this design materialized in my mind.  So I quickly grabbed a pencil and sketched it on graph paper.  In the morning I took one look and was sold on it!  At the studio, I started plugging in fabrics.  I had been saving my Lake Life collection of fabrics for this project and they fit effortlessly! (which was a good thing since I had spent a lot of mental effort on the design!)

So without further adieu - I present to you Modern Chain ....




The design has many of the same features as any other modern quilt - lots of negative space and a very strong design element.

From the precut 2-1/2" strips, I sorted out the blue strips for the binding, the dark green strips for one chain and gold strips for the other chain and the perfect muted green for when the two chains crisscross each other.   The background fabric features beautiful fish motifs that appear to be swimming around the quilt.

And in true confession style - I actually designed and pieced the quilt back in April and it has been sitting patiently waiting to be quilted.  While I had a very custom quilt plan in mind, I knew I didn't want to overwhelm the batiks with by quilting them to death - so instead I opted for an overall design that mimics the swirls in the background fabric.

As I was catching a few photos tonight, I decided to drape the quilt on the swing on our patio.  I hadn't even thought about how inviting it would look there! 





Like most things in my life, the "paw of approval" is very important and Miss Zoey says this quilt is a keeper :)







Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Spring Quilt Market - Part 1

As I start this post - I realize I'm not going to be able to share everything I want to in just one post!  So here is Part 1 of my trip to Spring Quilt Market!

This past weekend I attended the Spring Quilt Market in St Louis, MO.  I was really excited that it was being held in the Midwest this year, so I could easily drive.  Of course, it's summer - so that means orange barrels and construction zones :)



The Market was held in the Convention Center and is a wholesale only show for quilt shop buyers, designers, authors and media.  Since I was driving, I wasn't limited on luggage :) so I could take along all my new patterns to share with distributors, quilt shop buyers and fabric companies.



Spring Market is held in a different city each year while Fall Market is always in Houston in late October. And as a side note - you will learn very quickly that taking selfies is not my strong suit :)


Okay - where to start... I'm going to share photos of some of the fabric collections, designers and booths that caught my eye.   These aren't in any particular order.  Ready - let's go!

First up -  Island Batik !  As a brand ambassador for Island Batik, I couldn't wait to see all the new collections in person! I've been designing with the digital images for several months, but there is nothing like getting to touch, feel and fondle! 

The Sakura line is one of my favorites - keep an eye on the blog in the next few months to see what all I create with these beauties :)




Next up - Amanda Murphy who designs for Benartex Contempo line.  I first met Amanda in Houston a few years and love her designs.  I used her Carina collection in my Learn to Quilt with Precuts Video Class.  Here is her latest collection.  The photo doesn't really do the color justice (convention center lighting isn't the best!) but I love the clean and crispness of the line.



Another favorite of mine is The World of Susybee - if you haven't seen these panels, you must take a look!  They are so fun, colorful, whimsical but still realistic ... Lyon, the Lion has been my buddy lately as I as used him in my Learn to Quilt with Panels Video Class as well as a new trio of designs that will be released soon - so stay tuned!  I am enamored with the new Susannah Bee line - the florals are oh, so gorgeous!


I did take some time to slip away to walk down to the Arch ... I had only driven by it, but had never stopped to see it in person.  It was neat to watch the river and see the barges as they moved along.




To wrap up Part 1,  I want to share one of my favorite designers... I have heard her speak at several conferences and behind the amazing designs that we see on fabric is one of the most talented, businesswomen I have ever met - Tula Pink.  Her new collection is Spirit Animal. I'm not going to address any of the negative hub-bub related to the collection - it's not my place and other's have discussed it in length.  The fabrics typical Tula - bright colors that play well together but strong enough to stand on their own.


And as an added bonus - I was able to get a signed copy of Tula & Angela Walter's new book,  Quilt with Tula & Angela.   Photo Cred: Tula's amazing brother & social media genius Cameron.


So that's all for now - stay tuned for Part II ... and maybe even Part III!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Patterns, Patterns Everywhere!

If you haven't checked out the "Patterns Available" tab on my blog -
what are you waiting for? 

By June 1st, I will have 17 - YEP, 17 new patterns released. 

I have been designing for magazines, books and fabric companies for the last 4 years and now I am also publishing designs under my own Masterpiece Quilting brand. 

The first four patterns are available on Craftsy as pdf downloads -

Many have introductory pricing - so you don't want to miss that.



My top-selling pattern is Blossom, which is a huge surprise to me.


Be sure to keep checking back frequently as new patterns will be appearing all the time!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Furry Friday

As an Island Batik Brand Ambassador, we do more than just play with mega cool fabrics (really we do!) 

We help spread the word about several initiatives including Furry Friday by sharing on our blogs about animals that are in need of adoption.   This weeks Furry Friday is brought to you by Benartex.

This week's focus is on two pets that are in need of fur-ever homes.

First is Chester - a beautiful male black and white cat.



Chester may look tough, but that's because he's a natural-born leader. Chester lives in a cage-less facility and uses his alpha personality to make sure all the free-roaming cats get along. In addition, he LOVES dogs, and makes sure his fellow felines are nice to them too. Still, Chester longs for a forever home where he can snuggle in your lap and help with the laundry (really!). Meet him at Animal Refuge Center, Inc., in Vine Grove, Kentucky.

You can learn more about Chester or any of the other cats available by clicking here.

Next is Ceasar, this beautiful pooch.



Spunky senior Ceasar is 10 years young and, no matter what conventional wisdom holds, he loves learning new tricks! (Although he already knows sit, down, shake and high five!) Caesar gets along with other dogs, walks nicely on the leash and loves to play with toys and cuddle with his person. Meet him at the Humane Society of Summit County in Twinsburg, Ohio. 

You can learn more about Ceasar by clicking here.

I totally understand that your family may not need a new pet (we have a 2 dog limit!), but there are still ways for you to assist pets who are awaiting adoption.

Kennel quilts are easy to make and can be donated to your local shelter or rescue for use be either cats or dogs.  Here is my Miss Lilly, who we adopted from a local rescue, along with Zoey, in the back, modeling some of the kennel quilts I made earlier this year.
 




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Adventurous Applique - Island Batik Challenge


It's finally spring and what is more springy than a big ole bouquet of flowers?  I have lots of them popping up in my flower beds around the house and they are so beautiful.


As part of my role as an Island Batik Brand Ambassador, each month we are given a challenge quilt to make.  April's challenge is Adventurous Applique.  Well, I will gladly admit that I enjoy applique a whole lot more than foundation piecing, which was last month's challenge.  If you haven't read about my foundation piecing experience, then click here.



I am doing triple duty with this pattern - It's my Adventurous Applique Island Batik challenge, my Stitching Stars Blog Hop feature quilt and the first release of my new pattern line!  Talk about a perfect trifecta!

So without further adieu - I would like to introduce you to Blossom...






Blossom is a 21" x 21" wall hanging that is perfect for chasing away the winter blues and bringing a splash of Spring color into your home.  In addition to the Island Batik fabrics, I used Aurifil thread for piecing and Superior Threads for the blanket stitch around each of the appliques.  This pattern is a great stash buster with its scrappy border.

Here is a close-up of the quilting.  I quilted a free-motion swirl in the background around the applique and into the matching fabric sections of the border so it appears to be one area.  In the pieced border blocks, I used a curved line to accentuate the piecing.




To celebrate Blossom as my first pattern release, I have special pricing on this pattern at $5.95 for the entire month of April!  You may purchase it as a pdf download from Craftsy.   Print patterns will be available by May 1st.  Just leave me a note in the comment section if you are interested in a print pattern and I will connect with you.