Thursday, February 19, 2015

A New Pattern: The Motley Wheel

One thing I love about teaching is getting to inspire people to make things that they have never tried before. But since I can't be everywhere, teaching through patterns is a great alternative.

My goal through patterns is to provide lots of detail and instructions so that my patterns teach when I can't be by someone's side. My patterns include lots of full-color photos for each step of the construction and assembly of the quilt to walk readers through what each step involves. 

While I have published patterns though magazines, I'm starting a new direction by publishing my patterns independently.  The first one is The Motley Wheel.

Motley Wheel Pattern Cover

The Motley Wheel is a mini color wheel that would be perfect as color inspiration for a sewing room or as a gift for someone who loves color. The pattern is 16 pages with more than 50 full-color photos to illustrate the step-by-step instructions. I provide lots of detail on the various techniques required to create The Motley Wheel, including sewing curves, improvisational piecing and paper piecing. 

My patterns also undergo testing before I release them. Testing is an important step in the process as it helps me to discover potential issues and address them before publishing a pattern. 

I was fortunate to have The Motley Wheel tested by quilters of great skill and talent.

Debbie of A Quilter's Table stitched up this beauty. For more on her testing experience, check out this post.

Courtesy of Debbie of A Quilter's Table
Svetlana of s.o.t.a.k. handmade made this adorable pillow. 

Courtesy of Svetlana of s.o.t.a.k. handmade
Karie of Two Kwik Quilters took things in a different direction using a bundle of Cotton & Steel fabrics. It shows that The Motley Wheel doesn't only have to be a rainbow quilt. 

Courtesy of Karie of Two Kwik Quilters
If you have any questions about The Motley Wheel, please feel free to ask. For more on the making of The Motley Wheel, please check out my previous post here

The Motley Wheel is available in my Etsy shop

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Motley Wheel

A year ago, I made this mini color wheel for my partner, Karie of Two Kwik Quilters. She said she loves rainbow quilts so I thought a little color wheel would be perfect. For more on the quilt, check out this post

DQS14_Color Wheel

That little quilt got quite a lot of love not just from Karie, but from some folks on Instagram. Some people asked me if a pattern was available. I can now say, "Yes!"

I've written a full-color, step-by-step pattern. I modified the original quilt, reducing the number of spokes from 32 to 24 and changing the background from a regular patchwork to an improv background.  The result is The Motley Wheel.  

The Motley Wheel

The Motley Wheel is a 20” mini color wheel. The colors flow from red and orange through yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and back to red. I love the contrast between the colors in the wheel and the low-volume of the background and center.

I had fun deciding what to put in the center. I chose a quote by Clem Snide, “Find love and give it all away.” The center fabric is from the Collage collection by Carrie Bloomston.

The Motley Wheel_Center Circle

For the quilting, I stitched wavy lines in the wheel and spirals in the background.

The Motley Wheel_Detail

I'm making the final edits to the pattern based on feedback from the testers. Once I'm done, I'll list the pattern in my Etsy shop. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Making Her 8th Quilt

I am on a mission to dwindle the size of my w.i.p. list. Next up? A quilt I started for my little one last year.

One night as I was getting her ready for bed, she looks up at me and says, "Mommy, the blankets for nap are too small. Can I take one of the quilts?"

"Sure, sweetheart," I said, but inside I was thinking, "Oh, my goodness! She needs a new quilt!" Never mind the seven quilts folded in her drawer. 

As soon as I said goodnight, I got to work cutting out a new quilt. I wanted to use a design that would be quick to stitch together. After all, my baby needed a new quilt!

I chose the Palimpsest quilt in Thomas Knauer's Modern Quilt Perspectives. The block comes together quickly with its big pieces.

Modern Quilt Perspectives_Palimpsest

I only needed 12 blocks to make a jumbo size nap quilt.  I used pink and yellow flannel scraps from my Anna Maria Horner magic numbers quilt, along with a few other flannels from my stash to make the top.


For the backing, I'm going to use this Forest Life flannel print by Michael Miller.

Forest Life_Michael Miller

Somewhere along the way, making this quilt top dropped off the priority list, but I'm ready to put it back on. All it needs is quilting and binding. I will get it done this month. My baby girl needs an eighth quilt! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Visions of Pink and Orange

Allow me to introduce my first finished w.i.p. of 2015!

Kaleidoscope Quilt

This Kaleidoscope quilt has been sitting for a year waiting for some attention.

It started with a request to my bee mates in the That Stash Bee to make two paper pieced blocks for me in pink, orange, and low-volume fabrics.  I made more until I had 30 blocks.

Kaleidoscope Quilt_Blocks

Then a top was born.

Kaleidoscope Quilt_Top

And then I quilted it using an overall paisley design.

Kaleidoscope Quilt_2

I love the bright colors of this quilt and the illusion of circles created by the dark and light values.

Kaleidoscope Quilt_3

On the back and binding there is more pink, a Flea Market Fancy print that I've been hoarding for just the right quilt.

Kaleidoscope Quilt_4

My bee mates were such sweethearts to help me make this quilt. I am grateful for the gift of their time and stitching to turn my pink and orange vision into a reality.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday and A Lovely Year of Finishes!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Juggling Projects

Do you feel like there is not enough time to make all the things?

It is a constant struggle for me. I wish I could sew, sew, sew all day long!

I won't bore you with my to-do list, my w.i.p. list, or my sewing bucket list, but I will share with you my "what I'm working on now" list.

Right now, I'm juggling two projects.

The first one has me seeing rainbows. I'm revisiting the color wheel quilt that I made for my partner in the Doll Quilt swap, Round 14.

DQS14_Color Wheel

Since making that quilt, I've had some people ask if I were going to write a pattern for it. I started working on it a while ago, but am doubling my efforts to finish it up. This past week has been about testing different versions. Hopefully, I'll have more to share with you soon.

Color Wheel_Beauty

The other project is my Kaleidoscope quilt. It's more than a year old and ready to be done! Progress is slow as these blocks are paper pieced and that takes some time. But so as not to shame myself after making a public goal, I'm pushing to meet the January deadline. Plus, I really want to wrap myself in this quilt!

Kaleidoscope_paper piecing

In the meantime, if anyone has any answers to finding more sewing time, please share. I'm listening.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Modern Petals Revisited

My kaleidoscope blocks are waiting patiently while I attend to other things. One of those things has been a commissioned quilt based on the Modern Petals table runner I published in the Winter 2014 issue of Modern Patchwork.

Modern Petals_Modern Patchwork_Winter 2014

A client saw the table runner and asked that I make one to fit a narrow wall in her home. I said, "Yes," and got to work making a larger version, customized to fit the wall.

Modern Petals

I did the quilting differently than the first time around, quilting more densely in the background and filling the petals with a wide straight line spiral. Since the background quilting is so dense, it flattens the background, which makes the petals puff up a bit. It's a nice contrast.

Modern Petals_back

This weekend I finished it and sent it off to its new home (the quilt tag is by Gutentags).

Commissioned_Modern Petals_Folded

I hope it is everything my client imagined it to be. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Since one of my goals for 2015 is to tackle my stack of works in progress, I thought I'd play along with A Lovely Year of Finishes hosted by Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew Bittersweet Designs.

My Button

I would love to turn this stack of blocks that I started last January into a quilt. I got some help making blocks from bee mates in the That Stash Bee.

Kaleidoscope stack

The block is Kaleidoscope and the pattern for a 12" block can be found on Quilter's Cache


I'm aiming to make a throw quilt of pink and orange goodness.

Kaleidoscope blocks

These pretty blocks will have to wait for a moment while I stitch to meet a couple of deadlines, but I'm hoping that January will be the month I finish this quilt. Wish me luck!