For now, hugs and kisses XOXOXO!!
Finally ready with my newsletter "Inside Color and Quilt" with a fee pattern download of this XOXO Heart Patchwork Quilt! The quilt is a 20" x 20" size that is great for a wall hanging or pillow cover. I'll be making pillows with mine to spread some Valentines love in my home. Sign up for the newsletter so you can get your download link! There is a box on the right side panel of the blog or click this link:
After posting pictures of my studio on instagram I got a lot of questions about my sewing and creating space. I'll be sharing some more info on that and my fabric organization in the newsletter as well as sharing color play explorations for painting, sewing and decorating.
For now, hugs and kisses XOXOXO!!
I participated in my first Sew-A-Long in 2017 in @gnomeangel's 100 Modern Blocks project. Using Tula Pink's book we did an Instagram sew-a-long/quilt-a-long and I decided to use my Poppy Mae and Blushing Peonies collections for Moda Fabrics.
A common question I've been asked is if I had a color plan in mind when I started and I didn't. I rotated between gray, green, pink and orange colors and when I was about 3/4 of the way through I rearranged and figured out my plan. It was a great experience for me because I usually plan out a lot on the computer ahead of time and for this project I just made blocks then figured it out later, in a more organic way. It was a growing experience for me!
The most unexpected thing for me was the amount of community and comeraderie I found on Instagram from going through a group sew-a-long. I loved seeing people post their progress and daily accomplishments and it was motivating and inspirational! I love how we are all in different parts of the world but working on common projects and speak some of the same languages. This was uniting and a feeling of being part of something bigger. What a great creative time!
Many thanks to Sally Corona at Corona Quilt Works for her fabulous quilting on my 100 Block Sampler. She had fun touches with individual blocks and made it feel like another level of creativity was reached.
If you could see my fabric stash, you’d notice I fall in love with big dramatic patterns. I love a big statement. I like big flowers. Sometimes I really want to SEE more of that big design. That is why I also like to make some quilts that give space for a powerful print to have it’s spotlight. Think of it as a gallery wall or panel of windows. I knew I wanted to show off the large scale peonies in my "Blushing Peonies" line for Moda Fabrics. That idea inspired “Tokyo Terrace”…pockets of space to display the splendor, balconies of gardens and sunlit architectural structure. This pattern plays with the contrast between large panels to showcase a bold botanical print and small 2” squares in blocks that balance the large flower blocks.
When working on this quilt, I enjoyed making the blocks of small squares and playing with my placement and balance of patterns and color. Then I love the great feeling when row after row comes together quickly with larger blocks. I pieced this in a weekend and I’ve already done another color version since it comes together so easily. Here is a computer-generated version of this quilt in a pink colorway as well as the green one I made.
The above quilt was pieced by me but long-arm quilted by Tanya Heldman of Free Range Quilter. She used a lovely curved floral design that compliments the soft lines of the peonies and contrasts well with the geometric structure of the quilt.
Blushing Peonies fabric with Moda is in quilt shops now. If your local quilt shop does not carry Tokyo Terrace pattern you can find it in my etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/colorandquilt
Its winter time again for Clara and the Nutcracker Ballet Dancers! My daughter danced twice in the Nutcracker ballet that her local dance studio put on. It was a fun and festive time and I have sugar-plum-sweet memories of it! What a beautiful time to celebrate with some Nutcracker designs for holiday clothes and decorating.
Available through www.redbubble.com/people/robinpickens... my Nutcracker Suite collection. Freshen up the couch with a pillow. Have a cup of mulled cider in a festive mug. Or find some cute totes and zipper pouches for your own little performers...
Happy Holidays! Happy shopping! And happy, happy dancing!
Visit my Redbubble shop! Click here!
Do you have a tiny dancer who is performing in the Nutcracker? My daughter used to do ballet and she was in the Nutcracker twice. The Nutcracker Ballet is a lovely holiday tradition. I've taken my "Clara's Nutcracker Ballet" print from spoonflower and made four tea towels that fit on one yard of linen cotton canvas. You can make four tea towels (all the same design or one each of the four combined on one yard) on each yard of fabric to help celebrate your holiday traditions and add some ballet cheer to your holiday kitchen! Dance on!
Visit my spoonflower links for my Nutcracker collection and Tea Towels collections.
Every year spoonflower.com has a calendar tea towel challenge for the upcoming year. I love seeing the wonderful solutions that all the designers come up with! I love my kitchen and I love a cheery, colorful tea towel hanging from a cupboard handle, folded as a set on the counter, or hanging on the wall as decoration. I usually try to do a set of 4 coordinating tea towels that I will gang up on one yard of linen cotton canvas (or you can order them individually as a fat quarter). This year I've been playing more with watercolor paint and I decided to try a painterly, fun, garden look for my towels.
Each year I update the ones I designed from previous years to reflect the coming calendar year. I'm almost done with those changes...got one more set to go! Also if you want a tutorial on how to do mitered corners (that is how I finish off mine) then check out my instructions from a prior year: http://www.robinpickens.com/blog/fun-floral-tea-towels-mitered-corner-tutorial
Tea towels make lovely hostess gifts. AND, if you don't like to sew, pop on over to www.roostery.com (a sister company of spoonflower's) and order some that are already hemmed up for you. Take a look at the "Spoonflower special edition tea towels" category.
Criteria for Blushing Peonies Quilt #3: Something bold to go on my wall. Showcase a large central panel of floral fabric. Try a medallion that mimics the blooming of a flower. My solution: Town Square Garden.
I have a discrete group of three women I show my ideas to early on. My mother, my sister and my friend Darci. It is interesting how I will get three very similar answers or three completely different opinions. They are a great test group. With this one, it was my sister who commented that the first version was too Southwestern-Aztec looking. And it was. Okay, new challenge…use geometric shapes and suggest a more curved feeling of petals and layers. Finally I came upon this version and I have to say I am really happy with this one. I kept my big center square for the bold large scale florals to show off their colorful petals. The outer shapes mimic the open petals. But it is also reminds me of the structure of a town square with a beautiful park in the middle, blooming with life and activity, surrounded by blocks of shops and homes that radiate out. This reminds me of grabbing the picnic basket and heading to the town square to hear the band play while the park flowers blow softly in the warm sun. Evening sets as crickets chirp with the music and we lay on the picnic blanket and look up as the stars appear. It’s a small town, main street kind of weekend.
The long-arm quilting on this quilt was done by Tanya Heldman of Free Range Quilter in Los Angeles. She really had a great vision for the solid areas of the quilt. Growing vines, curves, arcs…it blows my mind how she sculpted the texture of the background. Thank you Tanya!
Town Square Garden is carried by United Notions and ships to stores in early November when my Blushing Peonies collection for Moda Fabrics ships. I’m also carrying it in my etsy shop at etsy.com/shops/colorandquilt. Wall size here is 54” x 54”. The pattern also includes a scaled down version of 38 x38”. I am currently quilting that on my home machine and will post more pictures when it’s ready. I’d love to know…what is your preferred size for wall quilts?
Garden on…quilt on…go visit the town square…
Blockstep is a flexible pattern that is great for precuts like Layer Cakes (or a Jelly Roll). The design is an interplay of chunky square outlines, splitting them and playing with them stacked as squares and as back-to-back brackets. I first started playing with these geometric puzzle pieces when I was taking one of my first surface design classes at Otis College of Design. Repeats with rotation was part of the exploration. I made this geometric design as a print for my kitchen wall, done in shades of olive green, khaki and some orange. Then I did a red version for the holidays. I also sell prints of this pattern at Art.com (under Robin Pickens and Geometric Abstract City Squares). It was my mother who commented that this would make an interesting quilt. I guess that suggestion hung in the back of my mind to finally come to life about 12 years later.
This is the first time I have played with floral prints within the blocks and brackets and I’m really loving the versatility of this framework. It’s easily scaled up and down in size and you can simply add more rows either way to move up to a queen or king sized quilt
One of my favorite experiments with this pattern was to step out into the borders with a square or a block on each side. We don’t always have to stay in the safe zone! When I gave this to the long-arm quilter, Sally Corona of Corona Quiltworks, she worked with randomly spaced gray horizontal quilted rows to stay with the theme of the lined up blocks. But then she added a few lime green lines running vertically down one section of blocks and I just love it! It's a great pop of color and directional change. (The white background version at the top was long-arm quilted by Tanya Heldman of Free Range Quilter with a great contrast of circular to the blocks)
Step this way, turn that way, have some fun with Blockstep. Shipping to stores in November with my Blushing Peonies fabric from Moda. I’ve also add these to my etsy store along with two other new patterns!
I showed three new quilt patterns with my Blushing Peonies fabrics for Moda. They are BLOCKSTEP, TOKYO TERRACE, and TOWN SQUARE GARDEN.
BLOCKSTEP can be made with precuts of a single Layer Cake or a Jelly Roll for ease of coordinating your print fabrics. Precuts can also give you a shortcut on TOKYO TERRACE by using Mini Charms for the small patchwork blocks that are interspersed between the larger rectangular panels. I like doing at least one quilt with a collection of fabrics that has larger panels that make it easy to showcase larger scale motifs. I like to do large-scale florals and show them off!
TOWN SQUARE GARDEN is my first medallion quilt and it was a lot of fun to do. I'm currently doing quilting on my home sewing machine with my walking foot on the smaller light color wall quilt (it's 38" square vs. 54" square) and I'll share some pictures when it's further along!
Feel free to visit the etsy shop or look for these at your local quilt shop. The patterns will be shipping with the Blushing Peonies collection in November 2017. Also stay connected for "color play" when I do some computer experiments with other color ways of my quilts.
September 16th was National Sew a Jelly Roll Day and I was too busy sewing to post on the blog that weekend. At least I was too busy with fun sewing! The folks at Moda started the love of precuts and they have #ProjectJellyroll to show the great projects you can do. Jelly Rolls are great for making projects quicker when you need 2 1/2 inch strips and the variety of prints you can get in a precut bundle. Sometimes you just want the ease of things that coordinate and go together fast!
I decided to use my Sliding Shoji Screens pattern for this weekend project. I designed that quilt pattern to showcase my large scale floral prints with large panels of rectangles that are separated by solid Jelly Roll strips. This makes the cutting much faster. But for this version I wanted to flip the design so the patterns were in the Jelly Roll dividing strips (from my Blushing Peonies collection) and the large panels were solids. Although I liked the plan on my computer (where I often mock things up before cutting) I felt it could use a little extra "something." I decided to try Amy Ellis' Ikat from her Serenity collection and I loved the combination with my peonies!
The combination of precut Jelly Roll strips with large panels of fabric really make this quilt come together quickly. It's satisfying to have a quilt top at the end of the weekend and I really enjoyed sewing along as I saw others doing their projects for National Sew a Jelly Roll Day.
If you'd like to check out the Sliding Shoji Screens pattern, it is available through quilt shops or on my etsy shop.
I'm a Moda fabric designer, quilt designer, coloring book artist, home decor and giftware designer and illustrator. I enjoy sharing my passion for art with my love of family and friends and making a creative home.
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