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...
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!
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!
With all the rush of getting ready for quilt market I didn't realize I had not posted pictures of my Dear Mum line that is in shops now! I was so excited to do this line and include a pretty robin's egg blue (warm blue) that has a little bit of a turquoise feel. The main print is comprised of two kinds of mums- one of them being the oh so dramatic Anastasia Mum in a lovely chartreuse green. These mums fascinate me! I love their green color and graceful upward petals.
Tomorrow I'll share more of the quilts that launched with this group: Starlet, Equalizer and Harlequin, along with a color remix for Tokyo Terrace. I also made a cute tote with the bug print!
Keep planting, keep sewing, keep loving the splendor of blooming beauties!
I had a request to size my Toyko Terrace quilt down to more of a lap size. I like to get feedback on my designs and I loved the idea of this as more of a lap quilt. So I resized it to 3/4 of the original size and shortened the top and bottom borders to come up with an overall size of 54" x 60". What I like about this size is I can comfortably quilt this on my home machine. Twin quilts and larger just feel too big and cumbersome for me to quilt on my home machine and they go to a long armer. This lap size I can handle.
After sizing this down in the computer I decided to make one for myself. I still had not made the pink version I had originally planned in my Blushing Peonies collection so I added another fabric to the large panels for some more variety and pieced one in a weekend. I love that you can take your time with the patchwork squares or zoom through it out as a weekend project. This quilt is great for beginners. Very forgiving :)
I am very happy with the range of pinks and warm colors- makes me happy! I've kitted this quilt and have it available in my etsy shop- limited quantities. If I'm out of stock just message me on etsy if you are interested and I'll make some more if I have the yardage available.
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
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!
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.
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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