September 16, 2013

Blog Hop Winners and a Sneak Peek

Thanks to everyone for joining us for the Moda Size Matters blog hop. Hope you came away with lots of great ideas that you can incorporate into your own quilt designs. It's not so much that you have to be a "designer" but rather think of yourself as an "explorer" and it's only a matter of time before you stumble upon something new. Enjoy the journey, too!

Today, Tammy at Moda has posted a few extra quilt blocks as well as a beautiful setting design for all the blocks you collected along the hop. Please visit the Moda Cutting Table to meet Tammy and to download the instructions.
Congratulations to Sharon Zisos who is the winner of the Sunnyside fat quarter bundle! I know i said there would be only one winner, but i couldn't help but send some more sunshine to a couple other people Alison and Debra will each be getting a mini charm pack of Sunnyside. Why is it that the smaller things get, the cuter they are?? Love those mini charms. Anyway, Sharon, Alison and Debra, please email me your mailing addresses and we'll get your prizes off to you!

Annnd, maybe you already know this, but...when it's raining...
...and the sun comes out...
it's possible to see a rainbow if you look in the direction opposite from the sun.

OR...just look right here to see a rainbow-ie sneak peek of my next fabric collection for Moda called Daydream.
This will be showing at the International Quilt Market next month and will be available in February 2014. Can't wait!
Have a wonderful day.

September 10, 2013

Moda Blog Hop: Day 5

Welcome to my day of the Moda Fabrics "Size Matters" blog hop! Today i'm posting alongside Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister Designs. I'm sure they have some laughs awaiting you so please be sure to hop on over to their blog too.

 The theme for the Moda Schoolhouse at Quilt Market last spring was "Size Matters" and we were each given a quilt block design to explore with regard to scale. What a fun challenge! I don't know if the block i was given has an official "name", but here it is along with a link to the free pattern download.
When i first looked at this block after seeing some of the others, i thought, "humph, that's a pretty boring looking little thing." But i very quickly learned that looks can be deceiving! We'll get back to that in a minute...

So, i thought about the way size and scale play with our perception. Sometimes big things definitely draw our attention because, well, they're BIG! This sculpture, "Untitled" by Anish Kapoor was irresistible to me for just that reason. This big intriguing shiny metal disc got me to walk closer to it and then... revealed all sorts of surprising little things to me.
Both vantage points were totally unique. Pretty neat, huh?
And then there's this nice looking red door. I love when people paint doors different colors and i happen to like this rosy shade of red. Nice details too. Looks like a regular door, right?
Think again!
Fun, huh? You can see how something that's very familiar can change significantly depending on our perspective...and the scale relative to other familiar things.

And then there's composition. You have to figure out how to arrange everything and what you're going to focus on. Take this cat for example. Pete and i were taking an evening stroll when we crossed in front of its window. In this first photo, the cat is only a small part of the bigger there's more of a story to tell because you get a little more visual information that enables your imagination to wander.
Look how much the "story" changes after Pete took a few steps closer. Now it's pretty much all about that adorable fluffy cat! Get it?
There's a wonderful picture book by Istvan Banyai called Zoom. It really plays around with all these ideas of perception/scale/zooming in/zooming out/focus etc. Someone made a video of it that you may want to watch — but you might want to turn the volume's just as good without the sound. I guess in a nutshell, if you start thinking of every visual frame as a potential quilt...there’s no end to your imagination or the possibilities!

Which brings me back to my boring little block. Let's have a look at it again, shall we?
It's four half-square triangles. That's it. It kind of reminded me of a paper fortune teller from my childhood or like one of the great pyramids seen from 30,000 feet! I started to play around and before i knew it, constellations of designs and patterns were appearing before my eyes with each turn. First, i just wanted to see what this block did if i took it and repeated it as is: 
Aha! I always wondered how that spinning pinwheelie quilt pattern was made! But then i thought i needed something to focus on and some contrast in scale, so i made a border for each block at 1/2 scale. When they came together they looked like this: 
Ok, i'm hooked! Next, i made one of those whole blocks with border at 1/2 scale and doubled the size of the biggest one. It looked like this: 
Then i went back to that original block and started rotating it around a few times and landed on this:
So...i got out some fabric and started to make the blocks using my newest fabric collection, Sunnyside (which should be shipping any day now! yippee!). Instead of just opting for a light and dark colored fabric, i threw in a mid-tone as well just to see how that changed things. Here's what that looked like:
And then here's how the whole block went together:
and then i just couldn't stop! I flipped the darks and this happened:
and then this!
And yes, before i knew it, i was head-over-heels for this little block and well on my way to making it into a whole quilt. Photos to come...soon.
Oh, and one other way that "Size Matters" is in the size of the pile of fabric! And we're giving away a gigantic Fat Quarter Bundle of Sunnyside! Thank you, Moda! Uh, i don't have a photo of the actual FQB, but here's a look at the whole collection.
To enter this random drawing, just leave a comment. That's it. Only one entry per person, please. Winners will be announced on September 16th. Good luck! Don't forget to visit Kathy SchmitzMinick & Simpson and Primitive Gatherings tomorrow.

PS: On a more solemn note, tomorrow we'll be remembering all the people and families who lost friends, colleagues and loved ones on September 11th. It's truly the size of our hearts that matters most.

September 3, 2013

Shop Hop and Blog Hop

What?? September already? It sure has been a long time and a couple things have compelled me to dust the pollen off this blog (more info in a minute). But first, i hope you enjoyed a fun summer and have been doing very well. A special “best of luck!” to anyone who’s heading back to school – like our nieces Katie (11th grade) and Rebecca (off to college in Rochester, NY), and all our friends who are parents, educators, bus drivers and other essential people/professionals in the cultivation of America’s future.

Around here, Pete and i have been busy with work and lots of projects both indoors and outside. With so much activity, i've mostly been Facebooking, Instagramming and Pinning the days away. Please join me (and Franny and Lou) there too — I'd love to connect and see what you've been up to as well!

Ok, so the first bit of news...

I am SO excited to see my wonderful friends Sarah and Joyce Ely and JEllen’s House of Fabric – now in its 3rd year – featured in the Fall/Winter issue of Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Sampler magazine — on stands starting today. Please head over to their Facebook page and join me in congratulating them on this milestone!
Used with permission from Quilt Sampler® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.
They're featured in the "Ultimate Shop Hop" article and if you're ever in the Cleveland area, I highly recommend stopping by to experience this place in person. Not only is it stocked with fabric, it is abundant with bolts of happiness. You can feel it from the moment you walk in the door, and even more so when you meet Joyce and Sarah. I have long admired these two for their charity sewing for kids with cancer, their efforts and contributions to the Million Pillowcase Challenge, their support for Reece's RainbowCamp Cheerful — but mostly for the kind, generous and huge-hearted people they are.
I was overjoyed to meet Joyce and Sarah back in 2010 during their shop's opening week. You can read about that trip here. They both have a very special place in my heart, and will always.

Along with the story about JEllen's, there is also a beautiful quilt and pattern tutorial that’s featured in the article.
Used with permission from Quilt Sampler® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.
It was designed by the ever-so-talented Crystal Stanworth of Frivolous Necessity, and i understand there were many other hands that helped to make it come together...including Sarah who sewed the binding on herself!
I am honored and humbled that the Sunnyside fabrics i designed for Moda Fabrics are featured in the quilt. And i'm so thankful to have these wonderful people in my life. They make it better, brighter and sunnier each day. If you're interested in picking up a copy of the magazine, please check your local quilt shop, newsstand, or visit the BHG site for a sneak peek (looks like the digital issue will be coming soon). I hear Sarah has been autographing copies at the shop too!

Next bit of news...

Tomorrow begins Moda's latest fun blog hop

You won't want to miss this because there will be free quilt block designs, a free quilt pattern and lots of prizes along the way! You'll get to have a look at the latest fabric collections and maybe even sneak peeks of future collections! So please join us. Here's the schedule:

September 4th

September 5th

September 6th

September 9th

September 10th

September 11th

September 12th

September 13th

September 14th

September 15th
Suspense-building day. Prizes announced tomorrow!

September 16th
Prize winners announced!
Quilt Assembly instructions included on the Moda Cutting Table

Looking forward to catching up more on the 10th and hopping along with you!
Have a wonderful day.