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.
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.
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!
Last weekend my husband and I went to Paso Robles to visit some friends. Darci and I have known each other through licensing artwork and exhibiting for numerous years. She very kindly offered to photograph my quilts with her creative eye and expertise.
These quilts use my Poppy Mae fabrics for Moda which ships to stores in November. I wanted to make some quilts that used larger panels to showcase some of the larger poppy prints. I love how the flowers peek out in horizontal slices of panels. This is actually the first pattern I have created for the line and the first quilt tackled in the samples. The fun thing is that it can be cut and pieced in a weekend. I love quick gratification! The quilt uses jellyroll strips to separate the patterned panels so it makes cutting go much faster to use a precut in the mix.
The Sliding Shoji Screens pattern has plans for two companion quilts. When you have cut the fabric according the the diagram you have enough panels left over to do a nice complimentary quilt so I decided two was better than one! And this was a fun experiment in how to have them quilted too- the horizontal line quilt was quilted by Doug Sobel of Quilt Hero and the oval, chicken wire reminiscent sewing was done by Gina Siembieda of The Quilters Cure. She also did my white version in vertical lines and the basket quilt with curves.
The Sliding Shoji Screen pattern lays out the patterns according to the Poppy Mae fabrics and gives you a diagram for either a dark version with black (using red poppies on charcoal and other charcoal coordinates) and also a light version with white (using pink poppies and more red and green coordinates). Of course you can use the fabric map and insert your own fabrics and patterns!
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!)
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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