One of the things I shared on my takeover of Moda Fabric's Instagram account last Thursday was a little video showing two beautiful notebooks that Susan Strumpf made for me with Tulip Tango fabric. Susan made a couple samples for me with the fabric (the light version of Tightrope and the lap size of Criss Cross Kisses). She often makes covers for notebooks, using the standard sized composition notebooks that are 7.5 x 9.75" which is such a nice size to fit into a tote bag or have for notes on your desk.
The insides have side panels where the cover of the notebook slides in. This is a great spot for a fun accent color or pop of unexpected color.
Lots of people asked for the pattern and I asked Susan about one. She very kindly suggested it be a free pattern that she would be happy to share. She doesn't have an online shop so I'm hosting the pattern at my shop. This is such a lovely project that would make a great gift for a teacher, boss, friend or as a memento to a special person. Susan has even made a memory journal out of neckties.
The pattern is a free digital download PDF that is two pages which can be printed out on one sheet of paper using both front and back sides.
These are some other samples of previous covers that Susan has made. She teaches classes and workshops at the Quilt Emporium in Woodland Hills, California (and yes, even a class where you can make these covers with other quilters!). One thing Susan likes to do is wood applique and some of her covers feature her wool creations.
Simple compositions with striking fabrics make a sophisticated statement.
Patchwork squares and rectangles...
And fun with leftover quilt blocks and pieces!
Get your copy of Susan's pattern at www.RobinPickensInc.com in Quilt Patterns, Freebies. Thanks so much to Susan Strumpf for sharing it will all of us!
I love that pattern play with Tulip Tango has started with a couple of my favorite patterns, Ring Around the Posies (on the previous post) and MOD FLOWER BOX! I mocked this up awhile ago to figure out a kit for the Shipshewana Quilt Festival to make for a workshop I am teaching there this summer. This first one is the version they picked and I love it! The tulip fabric on cream has such a pretty look and I really love the Love Butterfly print in the collection and used that for the outer border and inner pink border.
I think this version with Cranberry Dotty Thatched paired with Burgundy regular Thatched (#60) is also striking. The reds are rich and dramatic. This version is showing an option I have on the Mod Flower Box pattern, which is to put a subtle difference in the background fabric on the curves. This gives the curves that "boxed in" look, thus the BOX in the name.
But how about those greens and grays? The mood of these deep colors change when paired with the Dotty Thatched in Sprig and Chartreuse. The cream center still keeps the colors crisp and clear while having that springy border or growing greens to compliment the leaves.
And a Dotty Thatched Shadow border is softened by the larger Gravel colored outer border. Combined with Washed Linen background and highlighted backgrounds for the curves in cream, this version feels serene and meditative.
How about more prints? Those big tulips in the big border perhaps? Or the Tiny Tulips? When the outer border has a busier print, I think it is good to separate that with a regular or dotty Thatched smaller border. This gives my eye a place to rest for a moment and clearly defines the spaces without overwhelming with print on print. Another version of the "boxed in" flowers with Burgundy Thatched against the Cranberry Dotty Thatched background.
This last one has a warm energy with the earthy linen color mixed with the pinks and shadow grays. I hope you find a version that speaks to you!
One of the fun things about this pattern is that it uses curves but not too many, so it is great for those who are feeling a little afraid to try curved piecing. This is an easily manageable amount of curves and only a quarter curve vs a half or full circle. The pattern includes a paper template, but I am also a big fan of the Creative Grids Circle Savvy Ruler for making my curved quilts. I'll be doing a workshop at Shipshewana this summer with the top version of MOD FLOWER BOX or the all-Thatched version. The class is sold out, but I will also be doing some demonstrations in the shop with the Circle Savvy Ruler so if you are there, please stop by to say Hi! I think there are a few spots left in the Tightrope class!
I am honored to be in the company of these other designers and quilters at the festival! I've learned a lot from watching Amanda Murphy with her Bernina longarm (which is the one I have with qmatic) and am very excited to meet her in person. I am so pleased to know Devon and Melody from my shows with Moda Fabrics and look forward to more time at this event!
MOD FLOWER BOX can be made with Fat Eighths, Fat Quarters, Charm Packs or Layer Cakes. Check your local quilt shop for the pattern or visit www.RobinPickensINC.com if they don't have it.
This is the all-Thatched version:
Hope to see you at Shipshewana and I hope you have fun with TULIP TANGO in MOD FLOWER BOX!
In my newsletter I asked what quilt people wanted to see mocked up in Tulip Tango and RING AROUND THE POSIES was a clear winner!! I will be showing more quilt mockups in this fabric line but here is RING AROUND THE POSIES to explore with the Tulip Tango collection.
Lets start with the Dotty Thatched Cream background and Love Butterflies in the corners (in Tulip color). Classic reds on cream looks crisp and bright. When I use the Dotty Thatched background in Washed Linen with Cream corners it has a soft and romantic look. I would definitely want to snuggle up under this one!
This is the same Dotty Thatched Washed Linen with more of the Grays from the collection. I've used Love Butterfly in Shadow for the corners. I've also used more gray strips for leaves and flowers with the pinks still prominent for the flowers. One thing to point out here is that I've used a different fabric for the interiors of the flowers to give them a little more pop. This is Dotty Thatched in Cream and if you use a different fabric inside the flowers like this, you need a 1/4 yard of fabric for those.
Here I've used the lighter interiors again but sticking to more reds in the collection. The background is Dotty Thatched 118 in Cranberry with corners in Dotty 202 Tulip.
A little darker background is regular Thatched Burgundy 60. I am using the background color inside the flowers too and the main Tulip print 48710-19 in Cranberry for quilt corners.
One last one...dramatic night time garden with Thatched Soft Black 152 as the background color and Dotty Thatched 48715-117 in Shadow for quilt corners. Those colors glow against the Soft Black background! I love using the Swirling Leaves print as my bindings because it gives it a free flowing striped look.
Are you ready to make RING AROUND THE POSIES in Tulip Tango? I am trying to decide between the two washed linen versions.
If you are looking for the pattern, please check your local quilt shop to see if they have it. You can also find it at my shop at ROBIN PICKENS INC.
More mock ups to come...how about MOD FLOWER BOX next?
Chelsi Stratton brings us block #10 for Moda Blockheads4 called "Autumnal." This free block pattern can be found through Chelsi's blog (click gray bar to be taken there). You can also follow Chelsi on Instagram @chelsistratton
There are not too many color studies this week since I this block just looks so good as a leaf. Although it is fun to deconstruct the block and just see it as shapes, I prefer the leaf for my own quilt in simple greens to go with my pink, orange, yellow and green quilt. However, I'd love to see this block made up in a quilt with fall gradations like the top row with parts of the leaf being golden yellows and parts being the deep reds of fall beauties. I also gradated the background grays to black to emphasize the lighter and darker parts of the leaf.
It is fun to play with the shapes and see how we can pull out an arrow, just treat it like HST color play or an angled bowtie. Looking at the shapes this way suggests more directional movement vs an object.
For my quilt, this green leaf will live in a corner of the orange small row. I was hoping to have some reference to the bigger corner leaves by repeating the green for leaves within the inner smaller row. I've used fabrics from Carolina Lilies for both the greens and for the tonal cream background.
Nice to have another green block in the group! I think my bonus block of greens was feeling a little lonely and needed a friend. How fun to find it in a lovely green leaf!
Thanks Chelsi for this sweet block!
Free Quilt Block Pattern "Cross My Mind" from Brigitte Heitland for Moda Blockheads and Color Studies
Week #9 in Moda Blockheads is brought to us from Brigette Heitland of Zen Chic. The block, "Cross My Mind" can be found on Brigitte's blog through clicking the bar below.
I am doing a small orange block so my color play starts there. I like how the thinner sashing strips can be evenly spaced light and dark or ramp up and down in light and dark versions of a color, like steps. You can play with different colors or white and darks in the corner squares or treat them like horizontal color bands.
Black, gray and white with a pop of red in those side bars make a graphic abstract block where the negative space is just as important as the sashings. The color spectrum version plays with the subtle difference of white extending from center to outreaching arms or a darker center that creates a center like a receding window.
My orange block in 4.5" size uses Tangerine and Apricot Thatched with prints from Abby Rose.
I also caught up with a couple of the bonus blocks, Star Turn and Zipper, which happen to also be in cheery oranges!
Here is how my grid is potentially looking so far! And the group of blocks all together in yellow, orange, pink and green colors.
Thanks Brigitte for this week's block!
Kate Spain brings us this week's block in Moda Blockheads 4, called WILD GEESE. Visit Kate's blog for the free quilt block pattern. You can also see lots of Kate's wonderful work on instagram @katespain.
You could make these units as flying geese blocks and join them together, but the pattern shows them as individual half square triangles. I like that so I can play with multiple fabrics or shades of a color within the shapes. The center can be one solid color or a mix of colors or hues. Are the inside triangles different than the outside triangles? I flipped around some of the background white triangles in placement for image number 2- doesn't that look lively! Or spit the background white and black in sections or to divide the block. The lower left image makes an orange square surrounding the center with long and short rays. Next to it, the two tones of orange make me think of a motion trail with blades of a fan. This is such a nice block to experiment with!
My block is the 4.5" size and I used a mixture of oranges from Thatched and Abby Rose. I liked a yellow center because it made me think of a sun or center of a flower. I am thinking of summer and bright days with this one. Happy sewing!
Last fall the Moda All-Stars SOFT SPOT book was compiled by Lissa Alexander and published by Martingale Publishing with 17 comfy pillow patterns. I was very excited to be one of the designers! Royalties from this book go to the charity Operation Gratitude (OperationGratitude.org).
My pillow project is called "Bear Paw Pairs" because it is a large block of a Bear's Paw design, but with TWO rows of half square triangles surrounding those center squares. That's twice the triangle quilt block fun! Of course if I was making one pillow, why not make TWO to go with the "pair" theme? I decided to make one in all Thatched fabric and the other with a similar color layout but using print fabric from Cottage Bleu from Moda Fabrics.
These pillows have traveled to some quilt shops for display and are now back. I'm excited to give them a chance to go live in someone's home. That means it is time for a GIVEAWAY! I'll be randomly drawing names from two places: instagram and facebook, so that is where you will want to enter to possibly be one of the winners.
The all-Thatched version will be given away to a person on Instagram. To enter there, please follow my account @RobinPickens and in the comments on that post, tag a friend with an instagram account whom you would like to receive the Soft Spot book (so you could potentially get the Thatched pillow and your friend gets a book). PLEASE only enter once on Instagram. But you can double your chances and also enter once on Facebook!
To enter on Facebook, please FOLLOW my business page: Robin Pickens Color And Quilt. And in the post about this giveaway, please do the same thing by commenting with the name of a friend for a book (and you would be entering for the pillow). PLEASE only enter once on Facebook, just like Instagram. I'll be giving away the Cottage Bleu version of my pillow from the Facebook entries.
Due to size and postage issues, we need to keep this to US addresses. So you and your tagged friend need to be US postal addresses. I'll be drawing names on Sunday night, May 8th, 2022. I will notify the winner through the comments on the posts as well as DM. I will not set up any other account to contact you from nor do you need to register for any "notification" account. You would be contacted by me at Facebook as Robin Pickens Color and Quilt or instagram @robinpickens, not any version "like" those (always be careful for fake accounts).
This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by facebook, meta, or instagram. It is run by me with a random numeric generator to select a winner. I appreciate the help of Moda Fabrics and the donations of books from Martingale. Thanks Moda and Martingale!
If you would like to buy a copy of the SOFT SPOT book, please check your local quilt shop or visit Martingale online at www.shopmartingale.com/moda-all-stars-soft-spot.html
Block #7 is GAME BOARD from Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings. Visit Lisa's blog for the free quilt block pattern that you can make in the 4.5" or 9" size.
Along with Lisa's blog at lisabongean.com, you can also follow her at instagram @lisabongean. I was surprised to see this block from Lisa since I usually expect a LOT of little half square triangles from her but she has delighted us this time with adorable little squares. This game board gives a center space for good play with color and twinkling checkerboards.
I realized the borders can be a single color surrounding the checkerboard or maybe they are a continuation of the rows and lines from the center blocks. Broken color bands, 4 corner quadrants or straight across horizontal bands. Keep the center it's own distinct place or let those blocks share background color to make the perimeter more flowing.
Two color families here with pink play in the borders and randomly placed orange squares in the center. Or split it vertically half and half by color groups. The bottom two have more controlled block arrangements in the center with the last one forming a square within a square by darker squares.
Thatched rainbow, light to dark and dark to light. And that last one is like a little butterfly or insect buzzing on its merry way.
This week my block is a 9" pink version and I chose to make my 4 corners each a different print of pinks. I also used some of my new DOTTY THATCHED from the Tulip Tango line! I am loving the little dots and how whimsical and lighthearted they feel on the Thatched texture. Tulip Tango has this Dotty Thatched on cream, washed linen, princess pink, lighter pink, cranberry, chartreuse and medium and dark gray.
Ah, pink and vibrant...I love deep cranberry and that energy of fuchsia. What will next week bring? More orange, more yellow, more pink? We will have to wait and see. Until then, happy sewing!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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