Friday, February 27, 2015

Oopsydaisy - Make It, Take It Corrections

After months of hard work and eyeball-stinging editing, the unthinkable has happened. Yup. There are a couple of little mistakes for the project pictured below that have come to light now that Make It, Take It is out in the world and people are making the projects (yay for making projects already!!). They aren't earth-shattering, but they may leave you scratching your head wondering why you have an extra piece of fabric.

Martingale - Make It, Take It (Print version + eBook bundle)
Big and Little Patchwork Tote 
designed by Ayumi Takahashi of Pink Penguin

If you have purchased a copy of the book, check out the Corrections page on the Martingale website to update your copy. If you have a digital copy of the book, when you log in and open your copy it will automatically update with the necessary corrections.

Sorry gang.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I Went to QuiltCon2015...

...and all I got was this AMAZING ribbon!!!!!

All of the ribbons were handmade by Elizabeth Hartman and they were definitely coveted! She did a beauty job with them and I'm thrilled to have one.

Blackbird Fly QuiltCon winner
Photo credit: Stacey Murton, T-shirt that says "I touched a quilt and I liked it" by CatandVee

See that crazy, ridiculous grin? It was pretty hard to settle those cheeks down all weekend whenever anyone asked about Blackbird Fly or wanted a photograph with the quilt. I cannot tell you how incredible it felt to have this quilt recognized by the three talented judges, each of whom I admire (Carolyn Friedlander, Janine Vangool and Stevii Graves) .  This quilt is the very first one that I set out to make just for myself, after more than 10 years of quilting for others. It has a tremendous amount of meaning to me, so I loved it from the start.  
Winning first place in the Use of Negative Space category was a surprise for sure. The quilts were categorized by the judges, not the makers.  We simply entered them and they were placed into categories.  Here are a few things I learned through winning this prize:
  1. You do some of your the best work when you work for yourself, not to anyone else's specifications, rules or schedules. Caveat: I've done some of my favourite work for challenges.
  2. Aside from the top and bottom cream borders, all of the background surrounding the letters is negative space. I hadn't thought of that before. I chose the fabrics very deliberately so that the words would require thoughtful deciphering. One of the judges commented that the final design had an "effortless-ness" about it. I love that.
  3. When one door closes, another one opens. CQA did not jury this quilt into their national show last year because "I needed to go back and hone my quilting skills", "the fabrics chosen could have been higher contrast so that the quilt was easier to read" and "the design could have been placed better for maximum visual impact when the quilt was on a bed". Also, they wouldn't let me enter it into the Modern category because I'd used a pattern for the letter templates (Denyse Schmidt's Proverbial Quilt pattern). I'm so happy the MQG jury saw this quilt differently.
  4. Referring to #3 above, there is a definite need and relevance for the Modern Quilt Guild and QuiltCon. I used to resist, thinking that we should all just be quilters and our work didn't need labelling or definition based on a prescribed aesthetic. However after attending the show, I can honestly say I get it now.  Standing in the middle of that vast exhibition hall, looking to my left and right, every quilt I saw was a treat for my eyes. Every one.  That doesn't happen for me at traditional shows anymore. It isn't because I don't like or respect traditional quilting at all, I'm just ready for an update and a fresh approach.
Photo Credit: Felicity Ronaghan

Further evidence of non-stop grinning. This is Jim Kaldenberg, part owner of APQS , American Professional Quilting Systems, and sponsor of my generous prize. I was so happy that he was at the show and that I could thank him in person for his support of the MQG.

For a great overview post on the other prize-winning quilts from QuiltCon 2015, have a look here.

I'll just share one more sweet story with you now. My quilt was hanging directly across from the Steady Betty booth, where the proprietress' husband Gerald watched people looking at my quilt for 4 days. Gerald approached me on Saturday and wanted to tell me that he had so enjoyed watching people scan the quilt from left to right, working out the words and suddenly when the song dawned on them, breaking into a happy smile. Don't worry, I hugged him.  Then I hugged him again when he said he'd never in his life been to a show "quite like this one" and all he could think about was going home and making his second quilt.  I can't be sure, but I think Reginald is on the sunset side of 65 and he's definitely a good 'ole Texas boy. I hope I get to see him again at Spring Market.

Yeehaw! It's a Bundle Bonanza!

I'm just home from Texas, so my Yeehaw's are well-practiced. I was super excited to see a real life cowboy one afternoon on the street in Austin. He was hailing a cab. It was all I could do to restrain myself from taking his photo, but I'll give you a little description: two days stubble on a wind-burnt face, tight, faded jeans (nicely filled with tight buns), black cowboy boots with real manure on the heels (I swear), jean jacket, black cowboy hat curled up around the side brims. That was a treat.

Okay, back to the quilting blog: Just in time to stock up for Spring Break sewing, the wonderful gals at Sew Sisters are having a Bundle Bonanza this weekend. Time to stock up on your favourite fabric lines at great prices and with flat rate shipping. Have fun shopping!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Back Story

Martingale/That Patchwork Place, the publishers of my book, invited me to write a guest post on their blog sharing the inspiration behind Make It, Take It.  In it, I explain the concept of the book (a virtual retreat between book covers with all of my blogging buddies).  I've introduced each contributor and Martingale has shared photos of all of the projects in the book so you can take a look at the variety and usefulness of all of the designs!

Rainbow Round the Cabin quilts

There, you'll see this photo: I invited 5 friends over to test my Rainbow 'Round the Cabin group activity and these are four of the resulting quilts (above) made in about two hours! Perfect for a charity quilting bee or introducing a friend to quilting for the first time in a supportive, happy environment (cookies and tea encouraged!)

Take a look at my guest post and leave a comment responding to a super easy question at the bottom of the post for a chance to win a personal digital copy! The giveaway is open until next Wednesday, March 4th ON THE MARTINGALE BLOG (not here).  Don't worry though, I'll be giving away copies right here soon enough!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Read All About It!

Greetings from Austin!! I wish you were here (and if you are, come find me so that I can pin a Retreats Rule! button on you).

If you want to know all about QuiltCon 2015 but weren't able to join us in person, the good folks at Interweave have prepared a special edition of Modern Patchwork magazine devoted to all things QuiltCon! You might just find a photograph of my Chess On The Steps quilt in there...

On news stands March 3, but you can order your copy right now, direct from the publisher, by clicking on the link above.  

Lots of stories coming soon, but in the mean time, follow along on Instagram under the #quiltcon hashtag.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chilcotin Wild - a mini quilt

A last minute finish before departing for QuiltCon tomorrow, this mini quilt is a gift for my friend Kristie's new sewing room.  Seriously, I can't get enough of this mini Lonestar Circle (full-size lap quilt pattern by Lynne appears in my book).  The ombre effect with the Cotton and Steel basics is striking as long as you don't stare at it too long. I found that the skinny border helped to reduce the pulsating effect a bit by reining in the points.

Chilcotin Wild by Poppyprint

The centre seams of this one didn't turn out quite as accurate as my first effort, I think in part due to the fact that I had to fussy cut the horses individually instead of strip piecing them in to the sets (this would make more sense if you had the pattern in front of you).  I think there is enough going on with the horse motifs and quilting to divert any critical examination of seams though, haha.  I'm contemplating making 9 or 16 of these sized blocks for a queen size quilt. Call me crazy but I love making them - it's a bit of a shock considering how intense the piecing and seam matching is after all of the improvisational work I've been doing lately. At this point, it is only a "plan". You are know what that means. At any rate, I need to make at least one of these minis to keep as this is one of the projects I'll be teaching on the Alaskan cruise in June!

Chilcotin Wild by Poppyprint

I quilted with straight lines to define wedge shapes on each side and in each corner.  I then filled the wedge-shaped areas with a free-motion ribbon design that I'm super happy with. All of the thread is 40 wt Auriful in hot pink and aqua.  I just love how the quilting looks on that Essex yarn-dyed linen.

Chilcotin Wild by Poppyprint

For my 40th birthday (cough,  many years ago), B surprised me with a long weekend trip to British Columbia's Chilcotin region for three days of trail riding at a small dude ranch. We didn't see the famous wild horses of the Nemaiah Valley, but I would love to, one day. This quilt is named for them.

Chilcotin Wild by Poppyprint
Chilcotin Wild, 22 1/2" x 22 1/2"

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Stash Immortalized

One day a few years ago, I met a super fun and talented artist named Lysa. She asked me if she could draw my stash. Weird.

I like Lysa and we both like fabric and Mexican food and sushi.  So I put some of my most precious stash fabrics into several shopping bags and gave them to Lysa. She took them away. Scary.

Poppyprint Headquarters
Two of Lysa's stash drawings on wood panels (that she generously gifted me) are on display above my shelving unit!

If you want to see what magic Lysa worked after that, and learn a bit more about me, my stash and other exciting tidbits, then check out the interview I did on her blog today!

In case you were wondering, after Lysa completed her series of drawings of my stash, she gave it all back (I think).