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I've been busy doing more catch up on the Moda Blockheads 2 project! When the week calls for an applique block, Corey Yoder does an alternate block that is pieced. Due to my time constraints, I went for the pieced block. Applique just takes me longer and I have a few hand sewing projects in progress now, so pieced it is!
This Happy Scrappy Baskets pattern was so fun to make. I love simple patchwork blocks and enjoyed making it into this charming basket. Corey also has a pattern for a whole quilt with this one and it looks delightful! You can check it out here! The fabrics I used for this one were a combination of Poppy Mae, Blushing Peonies and Dandi Annie.
This 18 inch block "Mountain Climbing" was a block pattern from Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters. More details on her blog. It did take me awhile to make all the half square triangles and I tried doing a group of 4 or 8 each night. When I have lots of triangles to trim, I use a rotating mat and that really helps to streamline the trimming. The light spotted fabric here is from Dear Mum and I liked adding some solid white triangles too for a little additional pop of lightness.
And more on the catch up list- Blocks 13- Patchwork Flower designed by Corey Yoder, Block 25 Oshkosh Star by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, and Block 22 Economy Path by Laurie Simpson. Big flowers, tiny stars and delightful plus signs...each block has been so enjoyable to make each week. The catch up continues and I only have two more blocks to go and I will be completely caught up!
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Imagine light coming in through the windows of the farmhouse, dancing between the panes, glowing with the warmth of the sun and soft colors of growing things.
Simple one lane roads intersecting among golden fields and the colors of morning dawn.
The dandelions in Dandi Annie celebrate the simple pleasures, joined with prints of seeds blowing in the wind, sketchy plaid, and painted leaves. Growth and warmth.
I love the way the thin sashing plays from light to dark and extends into the borders. The gray borders add a calm grounding to the bright colors.
There is something so satisfying about making stacks of half square triangles and getting them ready to arrange in balanced symmetry. This quilt is arranged in four colorways of yellow, coral/pink, green and gray. Each color group surrounds an intersection of thin sashing.
For the backing I used Moda Bella Solids in Pesto. What a great green! I'm excited to get my bolts of Dandi Annie fabrics and I'll be kitting a limited number of these quilts in this fabric. But the pattern itself is available now on my etsy shop and would be fun to make with other fabrics too.
Dandi Annie is shipping from Moda now (December 2018).
Happy sewing and farmhouse dreaming! Check out my other Dandi Annie patterns too!
Yet another cute block for this week's Moda Blockheads! This block, Interstellar, was designed by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique. I was excited when I saw it because I recently became more comfortable with sewing circles AND I decided to use my Circle Savvy Ruler from Creative Grids to make a nice smooth arc.
My first step was to print out the paper template that Vanessa included with her pattern. I make sure my printout is the correct size by checking the 1 inch box for reference.
Next I line up the circle template on the lower corner (bottom and right side) of my printout shape to include seam allowance. I can then look at where my circle template cut line for the arc lines up with the printed sheet for the curve. I have highlighted the section in yellow so you can see the parts I've lined up. I can see my inside piece will be cut to the 10 1/2" circle measurement.
When I put my fabric under the template I again line up my lower right corner to the the lines that will include seam allowance. I cut an arc through the 10 1/2" template. This curve is large enough that I can use a normal rotary cutter but on tighter circles I prefer to use a small blade rotary cutter.
I repeat the same process for the top/outside piece by first lining up the bottom seam allowance line from my printout with the template and looking for the arc that fits. For the outside piece the 9 1/2" circle is the one I want to use.
Line up to seam allowance at the lower right corner and cut the outside piece using the 9 1/2" circle template line.
After cutting my pieces I lay them on the paper template to check them. I MAY have flipped my measurements at some point in the past and learned to double check my pieces! (that's why we buy a little extra fabric, isn't it??)
In order to help me line up the inside and outside parts of the curve for pinning and sewing, I next fold my pieces in half, matching bottom side to right side and make a little crease at the fold.
I fold again so there is an additional crease mark between the middle and edges on both the inside and outside pieces. I will line up these creases when pinning my pieces right sides together.
I pin, starting with the two outer edges, then pinning the middle, then the mid points between the middle and sides.
I'm ready to sew! With curves I slow down and take my time. Sometimes it helps to increase your stitch length too. With a curve of this size I didn't need to make that adjustment. I press my seam outwards and there is a nice graceful curve for my star to live in!
Since I've been doing a little catch-up on my blocks I also did the Corey Yoder version of the star block number 21 (pieced vs applique and you can find it on Corey's blog at http://corianderquilts.com/2018/09/blockheads-wednesday/) so I'm feeling the stars today! For both of these blocks I used Dear Mum fabric and yellows from Dandi Annie by Moda.
Hope this helps if you are using the Creative Grids ruler! I love it and used it for my pattern "Towards the Sun." The pattern has a paper template but I like to use a ruler. You can check your local quilt shop for it and if they don't carry it, you can also find it on amazon or other online sellers.
Happy curved sewing!
Sweet Peas are a lovely combination of elegance and simple delicacy combined with theatrical colors and rich tones. Purples make me think of royalty, drama and celebrations. Deep purple, lavender, warm pink and plum colors look luscious in these Sweet Peas, and feel special in their blend of sweetness and strength. Lily of the Valley with graceful hanging bells of little pops of creamy color add a charming mix to this collection, “Sweet Pea & Lily.”
Additional pink, plum and purple Astor flowers, fluttering butterflies, swirling leaves, tiny branches, ornate medallions, and sketchy lines all joined in the sketchbook and watercolor studies for this collection. The group celebrates the range of warm to cool colors of purples and how they play well with pinks and greens. There is still a touch of gray to balance the brighter colors, as well as to tie in with past collections.
It makes me happy to remember that we often would call our daughter "Sweet Pea" (and sometimes still do) and I wish I had these fabrics when she was younger to make a quilt to go in her room with the cream and pink walls. But now, even as she has gotten older, she can enjoy the deep purples and greens and still likes all the lovely flowers!
Sweet Pea & Lily will be showing at the fall Quilt Market in Houston. I've been busy measuring, cutting, and sewing my new quilts to go with the collection. There are four new patterns I'll be showing soon! If you are in Houston for Market, come on by the Moda booth designer sections. I'll be in booth space 235 and look forward to meeting with you!
Precuts for this collection from Moda Fabrics include Fat Quarter Bundles, Fat Eighth Bundles, Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs and Mini Charms. The collection will be shipping to shops in March 2019.
Oh! One more thing for quilt shops! Excited that my quilt patterns are now being carried by both United Notions AND Checker Distributors!
Modern graphic blooms stand tall, reaching for the sun. This is the inspiration for my Towards the Sun quilt pattern.
I wanted a quilt to go with my Dandi Annie fabrics that reflected the round spheres of the mature seed puffs of the dandelions. The main prints have a play of large circles behind the plants and I thought they would play nicely within larger circle shapes. This became the overall composition for the blooms within a grid structure for mixing in coordinating prints. With such a graphic and geometric structure, I felt straight sectioned lines as stems would work well to support the blooms and add a new graphic element to contrast with all the circles.
This was my first time making a quilt with half circle and full circle blocks. I created a paper template to go with the pattern that you can use for making the blocks or if you'd prefer to use a specialty ruler template I'd suggest the Creative Grids Circle Savvy Quilt Ruler (CGRSAV1). It has a large range of circular sizes and I used this ruler to make my 6" finished circle blocks. Working with circles was actually quite fun and I found I was most successful with my shapes when I slowed down my sewing a little and lengthened my stitch length to help with the give and stretch going around curves.
This quilt can be made as pieced blocks or as applique, either fusible raw edge or turned edge. The white and yellow quilt here is pieced using the Creative Grids circular ruler and the pink and gray quilt is made with the fusible raw edge method. I top stitched on my machine close to the edges of the shapes after fusing.
The quilts were long arm quilted by Sally at Corona Quiltworks (IG @coronaquiltworks) using pantographs that also use circular shapes and lines, further reinforcing the graphic shapes. Towards the Sun is available at Quilt shops when it ships with Dandi Annie from Moda Fabrics in November. It is also available at my etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/robinpickensinc. If you get the digital PDF make sure you print out the template at actual size or 100% vs letting a printer resize. You can double check the sizing with the 1" marker on the template.
Its coming folks! September 15th, 2018. So get your Jelly Rolls ready! I have been mulling over what I am going to make this year and I think a little computer planning and designing is in order. Last year I used my Sliding Shoji Screen pattern which uses solid Bella Jelly Rolls to divide the blocks but I flipped it so the Jelly Roll of Blushing Peonies became the strips and I used solid pink, eggshell, and the Ikat print from Amy Ellis' Serenity collection as the large panels. I loved the result!
In honor of the new National Sew a Jelly Roll day coming up I wanted to share the most recent pictures of last year's project. When I got the quilt back from my longarm quilter, Sally Corona of Corona Quiltworks I loved it even more! The quilting design has a great retro mid century modern feel and lovely flow. When it is on the wall in the foyer it lightens up the space with a calm pretty feel without being overly girly. I recently got this new lamp and I'm liking the feel of these together. Now off to start planning for September 15th...
I have a new addiction. Its not buying shoes. Its not chocolate (okay, that one is already established). It's joining in to Sew Alongs.
There is a rush of excitement when you finish a block and photograph it and add it up on instagram or facebook or where ever your sew along is happening. Little pockets of motivated time for a do-able thing. Baby steps that add up to a bigger thing. Sharing in the online community and interacting, getting feedback, seeing how people interpret and add their style and taste, encouraging each other...it's about the people as much as the sewing.
Sew alongs are like my new crack. And in my need for my next "fix" I jumped into two of them in the last few days: Moda Block Heads 2 and the Splendid Sampler 2.
There is a huge group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/253867175058745/ where you can post your blocks. The first block pattern is Stellar Star from Lynne Hagmeier . The second one is Buckeye Beauty from Me and My Sister Designs. I'm using fabrics from my lines- the top one has fabrics from Blushing Peonies and Dear Mum with Bella Solids Ruby Ice and Light Lime. The bottom one is Dear Mum in the middle with Dandi Annie for the dots and birds. I thought it would be fun to just mix the lines and use them all.
The next Sew Along I jumped into is The Splendid Sampler 2 hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. I loved seeing what people made from the Splendid Sampler 1 and the first 20 blocks will be released free on a weekly basis, on Thursday mornings. If you want to make more than the first 20, as I'm SURE I will, then the remaining blocks will be in the book The Splendid Sampler 2 which comes out in October.
This first block, Quilt Market, is from Alex Veronelli at Auriful thread and I love it! I always take a deep breath before trimming something like this...and double check the placement as its noted in the directions.
For this project I think I am going to stay in the gray family and mix in yellows from my new Dandi Annie collection. Maybe I'll add more colors as I go along- we'll see. That is the fun of a sampler. You can experiment as you go along and see what fits the blocks and the group.
Want to join along? Come on, its a GOOD addiction! I'll try to post here each weekend to show my progress. Or check out my feed at Instagram @robinpickens.
Now that Quilt Market has passed, I'm thrilled that I can finally share my Dandi-Annie line for Moda Fabrics! The glowing golds and yellows have been warming up my office and brightening my days. This was a special collection to design because it reminds me of growing up and seeing the cheery yellow blooms pop up in our yard. As kids, we loved the simple happy flowers that could be twisted into necklaces and rubbed into our skin to make a lovely golden color. But even better than the yellow blooms were the mature puff balls of seeds. We knew our dreams would come true if we could blow the seeds off the stem in one breath.
After blowing the seeds off the dandelion stem, we would watch our seeds travel off in the breeze in a graceful dance. Hopefullness. Sunny days. Being a kid and finding the beauty in a what others considered a weed.
Those are the memories and wishes wrapped up in the threads of Dandi-Annie. Little birds also pay a visit in this group, jauntily picking their own bouquet of dandelions. Flyaway seeds, some woven textures and plaid, and a lattice repeat that makes me think of cottage gardens...cheery coordinates for a happy group.
Warm colors fill the group with golds, pinks and greens and they are balanced with the cool of gray. The line still coordinates with the colors from my previous collections so I'm sure to try some mixing in of Blushing Peonies and Dear Mum and Poppy Mae. The more the merrier in the garden!
I hope you like Dandi-Annie as much as I do. I think its my favorite Moda group so far! It will be arriving in quilt shops in November 2018. Stay tuned for QUILTS!
A bit of panic started the morning the day my husband and I left for Portland. We were doing great on time- actually got to the airport early. Good, right? Well we didn't realize the long term parking lot was closed down to a fraction of it's former self for construction (what construction, I didn't see any trucks or equipment?) so there was very limited parking. Very. Very. Limited. Other parking lots were full due to the large number of cars that had the same problem we had- finding a parking space. After frantic driving blocks and circling around we finally found a lot (at valet prices, oh well). So even though we were early, technically, WE MISSED OUR FLIGHT TO PORTLAND! Sigh.
Tensions were high in the car that morning and I'm happy to say I'm still married. The good news is we got on a flight 3 hours later with minimal extra charges but it was an interesting way to start the trip. We got to Portland safe and on the day we intended, so that is really all that matters. But I learned...take the Flyaway bus to LAX. Don't drive.
Once we got to Portland and the convention center the setup went quickly due to the fact that I had my husband along for his FIRST EVER time at Quilt Market! It takes me three times longer to hang a quilt by myself on a ladder vs standing back and saying "yeah, a little to the right baby." I'll get into the quilts and fabrics on the next post. But for now, this is me after a 4:30am wake up, missed flight, train ride into city, hardly any food and huge relief to be there and be set up! Yeah, after checking in to the hotel we had a nice dinner and glass of wine so that made up for it.
I was super excited to bring along the quilt top for my Gypsy Wife quilt that I did with the GnomeAngel sew-a-long on instagram. I wanted to show it to the amazing Jen Kingwell, whose pattern it is, and who creates the most amazing works of fabric art!
Another highlight of the trip was meeting some of the talented and incredible people from the mill in Korea. They brought me a beautiful gift of the scarf I am wearing and were so LOVELY! They make magic with my designs and I am so grateful for their skill.
Of course while at market I must buy some things myself, right? I bought a new Baby Lock Sashiko sewing machine, a Daylight company floor lamp and was exposed to the luscious and lovely threads at Cosmo and Cosmo's Tsu Mu Gi. I really needed to go home before I bought more.
The best part of the trip is not only connecting with shop owners and other designers but also having time with the people at Moda. I am so blessed to work with such a fantastic group of people who are great at their jobs, are committed to excellence and their customers, are forward thinkers and truly GOOD people. They are a pleasure to be around and they make market special and fun. Thank you Moda!
I love totes! If you are a quilter I'm guessing you do too. Or you do even if you are not a quilter. I've made three totes with Dear Mum fabrics and I get comments constantly when I use them!
For Quilt Market I made these totes using a free pattern that is on Amy Sinabaldi's blog Nana company. I love the large size of the totes and find these are my go-to bags to transport quilts in when I am taking one to show at a guild meeting or work on binding in the car while I wait to pick up carpool. They came together quickly and although I learned I need to work on fitting my inside linings better, I'm pretty happy with them! And if you are wondering about the labels on these- I ordered a swatch of fabric from spoonflower.com with my etsy shop logo on them so I could make labels.
This next tote is one of my very favorites! I made it at Sew Together Stitching Lounge in Los Angeles and I really hope Victoria, the owner, makes a pattern to sell of this. It uses Soft and Stable by Annie and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the straps. It is jute webbing that is used in upholstery. This tote was made in a couple hours. I love a project like that! Those cute toes...that is my daughter!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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