Sunday, August 13, 2017

Island Batik - August's Quilt As You Go

August normally gets a bad rap ... It's the end of Summer, it's the dreaded Back-to-School time and the Halloween candy is already in the stores - so if you want Thanksgiving themed plates and napkins, you better buy them now!  (Don't ask how I know - just trust me!) 

But as an Island Batik Brand Ambassador, August brings a new challenge.  It's Quilt As You Go month! 

I approached my Quilt As You Go project a little differently than other Ambassadors.  As a longarmer, I challenged myself to do my Quilt As You Go project on the longarm.   And yes, it can be done!   Here are the two luscious pillows I made using my leftover Island Batik Lake Life Collection precut strips.   I am absolutely adoring these pillows!  Plus they match our couch at home.

Okay - so how did I do this?    Well, to make it easy for you to follow along here is a link to the video I taped while I quilting them.  Quilt-As-You-Go Video

And to make them yourself, I have a FREE pattern available for download on my craftsy page, Quilt As You Go Log Cabin Pillows with materials list, cutting instructions and step-by-step guide. 

Have fun and happy quilting!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Island Batik - July Box Opening

I described my first Island Batik Brand Ambassador box opening as "better than Christmas" so I can't use that again ... but truly, I'm not sure how else to describe it ...  Better than Christmas in July !!!

Anyway, I could type away all day -  but if a picture is worth a 1000 words, then a video is worth a million words.

So the best way to share my enthusiasm about the gorgeous new Island Batik fabrics is share my video with you - so click on the link below and enjoy! 

Island Batik Box Opening

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!