Color play to visualize new quilts! I wanted to see how Hopscotch Happy might look with some Blushing Peonies fabric (This line will be shipping to stores November 2017). Since I'm still in my summery mode with bright and happy hot colors, I wanted to try the red and gray families of color ways and add a little more of the peonies in the pink/orange colors. For three of the blocks, I liked making the background color a soft apricot to warm it up more.
Too much charcoal gray can start to look like Halloween but a touch just adds contrast and sophistication. But what if you DO want a fun quilt that can look fall-like and transition into October and Halloween? A simple switch of background to black and my quilt now looks ready for cozy times in front of the fireplace and candy corn! Have fun playing with Hopscotch Happy! Available at my etsy shop.
Blockstep is a flexible quilt pattern that is great for precuts like layer cakes and jellyrolls or for using up assorted scraps that are at least 2 1/2" wide. The design is an interplay of chunky square outlines and splitting them and playing with those sides, or brackets, in rotation.
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 assignment. I printed out this pattern for some art on my kitchen wall, done in shades of olive green, khaki and some orange. I also have a red color-way print for the Christmas season to put on the wall. I also sell prints of this design 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 simple 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 block on each side. We don't always have to stay in the safe zone and out of the borders!
When I had this dark version quilted by the long-arm quilter, Sally Corona of Corona Quiltworks (the white background version was long-arm quilted by Tanya Heldman of Free Range Quilter) she really worked with the geometric structure of the quilt with straight lines done in random spacing horizontally. Then Sally took one section of blocks lined up vertically and quilted them with vertical lines in lime green which add a wonderful contrast to the other gray threads. I love it!!
Step this way, turn that way, have some fun with Blockstep. The pattern will be shipping to stores in November 2017 with my Blushing Peonies fabric from Moda. I've also added these to my etsy shop!
Remember hopping over squares on the ground on one foot, balancing and having fun out in the bright sunshine? Bring back happy squares with Hopscotch Happy, a quilt pattern that is charm pack or layer cake friendly and that can be pieced quickly and easily. Love the brightness of it on white. Love the drama of the blocks on dark. Its fun to make it both ways and see the difference that color and contrast make.
I like to group my sections of blocks by colors. I like pockets of green and red and gray that play together with similar colors. It makes the blocks feel cohesive to me. In this pattern, as I played with colors, I realized if you used 4 Charm Packs (or one Layer Cake) of Moda Precuts of Poppy Mae, you could group the blocks for the lap size quilt to just be greens and reds, leaving the grays for a separate project. I wanted to create a modern feeling quilt that had plenty of negative space for interesting quilting sewing. I love the deep gray of Moda's Bella Solid Charcoal 9900-284. It is my go-to dark gray. I used that with my gray blocks set off to the left side. I also replaced one of the block pieces with a solid persimmon red for a pop of color. After I pieced this, I asked Gina Siembieda, the long-arm quilter who did the quilting for me, if she could work with the angles of the blocks and horizontal lines to create interesting quilting in the negative space. In a case like this, it is helpful to print out an image of the quilt and just draw on it, discussing it together with a long-arm person. Gina ran with it and I couldn't be happier. I love the linear nature of the sewing and the movement and contrast of lines and open space that is created.
Hopscotch Happy is written up for a variety of sizes, including Lap, Twin, Queen, King and as a table runner. It's an easy, fun quilt that goes together quickly. It's available through United Notions/Moda Fabrics as well as at my etsy shop. Hop on over to take a look and start playing happy with Hopscotch!
It's the beginning of July and I saw a fellow Instagrammer posted she was starting a July challenge started by "the Reset Girl". Perfect timing... the start of a month for the start of something new. The theme of resetting seemed appropriate for me since I'm restarting my mindset after a freelance stint that just ended and it's time to refocus on some other projects.
I realized today that I have been in the mood for challenges. I saw that blogger Gnome Angel had started the #100days100blocks2017 sew-along using Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book and designs. But I realized they were already at Day 34. Bummer. As I scrolled through the feeds of wonderfully varied solutions I kept thinking I wanted to jump in the fun too! I decided to start at the beginning with Day 1 and just be a slow-poke. Maybe one block a week was all I could do and then, well, at the end of two years I'd have a quilt! Not ideal but better than never starting. So I got going and soon realized that I could do one a day...and I decided to just jump in with everyone else who was on Day 39 and go from there along with doing my catch-up from the beginning. I love being a part of this IG activity!
The theme of challenges continues with one of my quilt guilds. At the LA Modern Quilt Guild they challenged us to work with new materials and to push ourselves. The theme for our anniversary year is linen so I've bought some and will take the challenge of working with a new material. I'm also taking a class in bias tape quilting given by the talented Latifah Saafir and that is also a completely new method for me. I signed up for Quiltcon 2018 and selected two workshops I wanted to do. Both of them are a challenge and new stretch for me. One is reverse appliqué, which I have never done. The other is advanced photography of your quilts. This means I need to get my good camera fixed and get more comfortable with it before the class begins. Which means stretching out of the comfort zone some more.
This all makes me realize I am the type of person who responds to groups and being accountable to others. I like having assignments and other people to interact with (online and in person- yes!) as well as the challenge of learning new things and pushing myself beyond what I already know. And the other wonderful thing about challenges is that they are often for a set period of time where you can sustain your momentum and enthusiasm. David DiSalvo, in an article he wrote for Forbes ("Kill Your Resolutions And Replace Them With One Little Thing" from Jan 12, 2015) says "Small habits get you in the backdoor of behavior change." This is my way of small daily actions and tasks helping me accomplish something bigger and create positive behaviors and habits in my life.
What are you challenging yourself with? For the Reset Girl Self-Care Challenge I want to work on time/life balance and diet and health. After the 100 Days100Blocks Challenge I want to find a group to do Jen Kingwell's Long Time Gone sampler. Do you look for a group to push you on to new activities and learn fresh things too? There is a wonderfully creative and evolving person deep within you and may the right challenge find you!!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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