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!
Lucky for me I have a mom who sews and is willing to tackle a project when visiting. Little did she know when she arrived for my daughter's graduation that she'd be piecing a whole quilt too! But that is the beauty of Sliding Shoji Screens...you really can piece it in a weekend. Thanks Mom!!
Moda's Bella Solids of Amelia Apricot (9900-162) and Persimmon (9900-294) are mixed with Blushing Peonies in warm tones to make a summery quick and easy quilt. Mom wanted to try my new Juki sewing machine and I think they formed a good friendship. (And yes, when I'm working in my studio I just pile things up and drape fabric wherever- it's how I work)
My mom is smiling because finally the slave-driver (me) will let her have a break. She did good. This happy quilt top is off with a long-arm quilter now. Stay tuned for more pics when the grandma-special returns!
Sliding Shoji Screens is available at my etsy shop.
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.
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!
My secret to a never ending garden? Blooming fabrics that never wilt! The botanical sketchbook continues with my new fabric line for Moda Fabrics. “Blushing Peonies” have bloomed in a dramatic and colorful fashion. I’m so excited to be able to share this new line that just showed at Quilt Market in St. Louis! When Moda sponsored the Fabric8 contest in 2015 they picked “botanical sketchbook” as the theme. I can’t think of anything lovelier to draw and explore than beautiful, colorful flowers. I’m so happy to keep the theme going and keep the color blooming. These peonies may be blushing, but they certainly are not bashful.
I love the romance of peonies as they open. When I was younger, I would see the round bud balls in the garden with ants marching in frenzy on the surface. They were just as eager to see the flowers burst open with full soft petals. Breathtaking in a vase on the table. Colors so pink and pretty and lively with light. Don’t you just love the beauty?
I’m happy to say that the Blushing Peonies line will still coordinate with my Poppy Mae line so have fun mixing your floral favorites. This new group has a larger range of grays to play with along with a warm group that includes a punchy orange to go with the warm pinks. Some solids you may want to mix in with the Peonies are Moda’s Bella Solid Persimmon 294, Cameo 298, Bubble Gum 88, Pesto 233, Chartreuse 188 and Light Lime 100. For light backgrounds I use Eggshell 281 or White Bleached 98. I love love love Moda’s Bella Solid Charcoal 284 for a dark drama and some other lovely grays are Etching Slate 170 and Gray 83.
Blushing Peonies will be shipping to Quilt Shops in November. Just in time to make that quilt to snuggle up under and to remember warm days and the sweet scent of pink and white blooms.
Color and more color...I love to play with different color ways and see how different a design looks in each! Here is my Deco Garden tea towel in gray and green colors. I've got my sample swatch on the way and I will be ordering this one and the citrus palette for my kitchen.
I couldn't resist one more color grouping. I was thinking of a kitchen, two houses ago, where I had my cobalt blue kitchenmaid mixer on the counter and lots of warm orange and gold colors in the decorating. The jewel tone towel would have been the right choice for that kitchen.
If you'd like to see these and more, check out my spoonflower shop!
I love old mason jars. The beautiful aqua blue of the glass reminds me of sea-glass and retro kitchens. When spoonflower.com had a competition with the theme of "spoons" I thought it would be fun to have the colorful plastic ones waiting for a bowl of ice cream at an afternoon party, displayed in lovely mason jars. Since then I created a set of tea towels using the party spoons and mason jars that fits an assorted four designs on one yard of linen cotton canvas. I recently updated the calendar tea towel for 2017.
You can find the group of four together on my spoonflower shop link here or find them individually and see other tea towel designs in my tea towel collections page.
Thanks for visiting my spoonflower shop!
It's that time of year on spoonflower.com when the calendar tea towel competition happens. I love this challenge because there are so many amazing and lovely designs submitted- yummy visual treats to see!
This year I decided to use my Deco Garden motif to make a citrus palette towel to ring in 2017 on a cheery, happy note. Designs on spoonflower can also be ordered through their sister site Roostery.com in an already made tea towel. Now I just have to get this sampled, but I couldn't wait to share!
This is the adorable bowl I use for my pins while I am working on projects. I got it at Anthropologie and I got one for me, one for my daughter. When she decided she was done with hers it found a permanent home in my studio. It is the perfect size for the pins I scatter upon the tabletop as I am sewing. I love the bright pop of colors and happy feeling it gives me.
But then Pincushion-Palooza (#ModaPinniePalooza) came along and I could not resist making a new pincushion to share the space with my striking bowl. I have noticed when working with my Poppy Mae fabrics that the inside of the poppy flower sometimes reminds me of a watermelon with seeds when it is cropped. I thought it would be super fun to do some fussy cutting and make a chunky watermelon slice for a pincushion. Being the novice quilter that I am, I experimented with making a template and sewing this curved wonder up. I'm not sure if it was the bias sewing and the stretching of the fabric or just my own lack of precision...but I ended up with a little bit of an off-kilter watermelon! Really...how many times is nature perfect and a watermelon is completely symmetrical? At least that is the story I am sticking with. I am fondly calling this first prototype my "Frankenstein Watermelon" because when you flip it over you can see where the imperfections happen and my experimental seam/mistake fix happens. This is the honest, and sometimes not pretty, process of learning and experimentation and I proudly will use my mistakes and redo till I get it right! Hopefully I will have a free watermelon pattern up on my site by the time my fabric ships in November.
I've filled this watermelon with ground up walnut shells that I purchased at a pet supply store. I have enough shell mix to make quite a few watermelons...so I'm sure I'll get it right eventually! In the meantime...happy summer and don't swallow the seeds! (A watermelon plant will grow in your tummy!)
This week's theme on spoonflower #SFWeeklyDesigns is CATS and DONUTS. Hmmmm. So the thing that kept popping in my head was decorating the sweet little delights to look like charming kitty faces. Chocolate chips for eyes? Licorice for whiskers? Coconut for fur? I can see it! But what I could really see was a frisky dog friend with a sweet tooth getting really excited by those donuts. I may or may not have been influenced by the dog we were dog-sitting this past weekend (it was a loud weekend around here!). I was definitely influenced by my dog Charlie who likes to eat anything he can get down from a counter.
This design exists as two repeats. The larger cat donuts alone and the smaller donuts with Otis the bad dog. Both are on spoonflower.
Click here for Cat Donuts or Bad Dog Otis!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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