Houses. Neighborhood. Homes. All the differences that make up our communities. This is what I was thinking about when I was pondering the theme "Houses" for the Curated Quilts Mini Quilt Challenge.
I thought it would be interesting to eventually expand the mini quilts into a series of quilts based on houses. I started with "regular" houses bookended by the wholesome "House of God" and the not-so-wholesome "House of Ill Repute." Then I was thinking of new developments, the following of the rules of sameness in the "Homeowners Association", dense housing neighborhoods to living far away and in more solitude. It was fun to play with the rough ideas on the computer.
For challenge I thought I'd make my original "house of God and house of ill repute" neighborhood. For the structure of the houses I started with the houses from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company "The Village" quilt and made them mini...scaled down to 2" across. I also added some reference to side view angles for roofs and sides of houses.
I quilted in straight lines with the steeple of the church going vertically to emphasize the height and direction of the cross. The binding is a faced binding- my first! Hopefully I'll have time to do some more of the house quilts and grow my neighborhood.
My big learning experience this summer has been starting the Splendid Sampler 2 sew along. It has pushed me to try things I would not have tackled on my own. Luckily there are tutorials and instructions from the block designers on how-to's and techniques. Lots of learning for me on this one! I think its safe to say I need to improve my turn-edge applique skills!
For this sampler I decided to use grays and yellows. I am using mostly fabrics from my Dandi Annie collection for Moda (ships to quilt shops Nov 2018) with the addition of some of the grays from my Blushing Peonies group. The block above is "Point Taken" designed by Susan Ache.
In the "Clamshells" block designed by Helen Stubbings, there is a mix of embroidery and applique. Helen's flowers for embroidery were a different design from these but since I am using a number of my Dandi Annie dandelion fabrics I wanted my flowers to mimic that. I like doing the dandelions so much that I am doing some other needlework projects with those as well! For the clamshells I used my applique glue on the pieces to wrap them around the templates but I mistakenly glued the bottoms too so I had some ungluing and pressing to do. Oops. Like I said, lots of learning on this one. After sewing the clamshells down I was pretty excited to see this all together.
It was the first time I've ever done English Paper Piecing when I attempted the "For the Love" block by Sharon Burgess. I'm sharing this because I think its interesting to document our learning and clearly I'm a beginner on this. Sometimes we are hard on ourselves when our work is not as perfectly matched up and sewn as what we are seeing online by other quilters. We all start somewhere! You can see my center square is really a trapezoid and my sewing is a bit stretched. But I got it done!! Time to say "good enough"!
Applique with circles is also an area that is new for me and I got the chance to do a little practice with some other blocks. But one thing I got to try with this sampler that I'm really liking is Foundation Paper Piecing! I absolutely love the "Flowering Tree" design by Amy Friend! I had my quilt bee friends come over and Greg Stewart kindly taught me how to do FPP for our bee block that month. After that I zipped through this block and I love the look of the tree and the branches. This would be so great as multiple trees through the seasons on a whole quilt!
These are my first 8 blocks and looking forward to doing more and seeing how this gray and gold quilt evolves! Join along by checking www.splendidsampler.com every Thursday when they release a new pattern up to the first 20 blocks. Then get the Splendid Sampler 2 book by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson to keep sewing along!
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...
Blues, teals, robin's egg blue. Having fun trying out my Blockstep pattern in Dear Mum fabrics.
I enjoy looking at the difference in light vs dark backgrounds. The feeling changes completely when the fabrics are against a darker teal vs white.
Next week school is back in session and I'll be getting back to a slightly more regular schedule. Although I like the break of summer, I also find I gravitate to the schedule and comfort of my routine once fall is here. My daughter will be moving back into the dorm at college next week as well so the house will soon feel very quiet.
Some fun activities that started this summer were two samplers- Moda Blockheads 2 and Splendid Sampler 2. I haven't typically been super active on Facebook and there is a vibrant and lively community there with the Blockheads page, so I find myself hanging out at Facebook more than normal. As a result of being on Facebook more recently, I realized I should relabel my business page to make it easier to find. It was previously just called "ColorAndQuilt" and I've added my name now so its "RobinPickensColorAndQuilt." Duh!! Why didn't I think of that earlier?? I can be really facebook-challenged sometimes! My instagram feed updates there so if you don't hang out on IG, check me out at facebook at: www.facebook.com/robinpickenscolorandquilt/
But back to Blockheads! I look forward to Wednesdays and seeing what the new block pattern will be and seeing all the beautiful versions people make. When I see how people sometimes add more pieced blocks within parts of the blocks I appreciate how they customize and creatively push the boundaries to make it their own. I'm using blue, green, pink and some yellow in my blocks and keeping it in that range of pretty colors while using fabrics from my Poppy Mae, Blushing Peonies, Dear Mum and Dandi Annie lines. It is really thrilling when I see other people using my fabrics too and in ways I would not have even imagined! What a gift!
These are just a couple of the blocks and I'm loving the mix of sizes in this project. We have 6" blocks up to a 24" block! That is huge! I can't wait to see what the overall layout is going to be and its fun to have it be a surprise. Join along with the Blockheads!
Up next...Splendid Sampler 2 update!
How did I not share this earlier? I was probably writing patterns and sewing and finishing calendars. But its never too late, right? This is the overview of the quilts I launched to go with my Dear Mum collection for Moda Fabrics at the Fall 2017 Quilt Market. And Dear Mum is in shops now!!
Left to right is Harlequin, Starlet, Equalizer and a refresh of Tokyo Terrace in Dear Mum. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Robin's Egg blue/aqua color in this group and the Tokyo Terrace re-fresh was an idea I had rambling around in my head. It was a last minute decision to add that one in (because there is not enough sewing to do before market!) and I'm so glad I did. I wanted to use that lovely Bella Solid Dovetail with the mums and I love the warmth of that gray.
Here's my booth with the quilts I designed and the totes I made using Amy Sinabaldi's Riverside tote pattern. The quilt on the chair is from Tula Pink's 100 Modern Blocks book and I used my previous lines on it. Equalizer got to hang up in the sales area!
The beautiful applique quilt is by Barb Cherniwchan of Coach House Designs. She makes stunning quilts and kits.
A fun moment for me was meeting Tula Pink and taking this picture with her with my version of her City Sampler quilt using the 100 Modern Blocks book she made. I'm using all Poppy Mae and Blushing Peonies on this, mixed with solids.
And on the last day a bit of fun playing on the APQS Millie longarm! Drawing on fabric- oh yes! Market is wonderful for seeing new things and lots of inspiration.
Its been feeling pretty good to get back to projects with Dear Mum fabric. I had a lot of ideas in my head for working with the blue/teals/robin's egg color since that was new to my group at the time. But when I saw this grouping of the reds I got excited about the idea of a quilt made from just this colorway. It's my month for the block for my quilting bee through my local guild so I gave everyone a little of these fabrics (the mums, dots and paisleys) and asked them to do their own interpretation or inspiration with them for a 12' block. I can't wait to see what I get back!
Want to see the whole color range? Robin's egg blue, green, red, and grays. I am loving how these work with Bella Solids of Spray, Chartreuse, Dovetail, Etchings Slate and Charcoal.
Dear Mum is in shops now! Don't forget your Mum and sew up a colorful garden!!
Want to see more with Dear Mum? Check out some tote ideas!
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!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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