Garden on…quilt on…go visit the town square…
Criteria for Blushing Peonies Quilt #3: Something bold to go on my wall. Showcase a large central panel of floral fabric. Try a medallion that mimics the blooming of a flower. My solution: Town Square Garden.
I have a discrete group of three women I show my ideas to early on. My mother, my sister and my friend Darci. It is interesting how I will get three very similar answers or three completely different opinions. They are a great test group. With this one, it was my sister who commented that the first version was too Southwestern-Aztec looking. And it was. Okay, new challenge…use geometric shapes and suggest a more curved feeling of petals and layers. Finally I came upon this version and I have to say I am really happy with this one. I kept my big center square for the bold large scale florals to show off their colorful petals. The outer shapes mimic the open petals. But it is also reminds me of the structure of a town square with a beautiful park in the middle, blooming with life and activity, surrounded by blocks of shops and homes that radiate out. This reminds me of grabbing the picnic basket and heading to the town square to hear the band play while the park flowers blow softly in the warm sun. Evening sets as crickets chirp with the music and we lay on the picnic blanket and look up as the stars appear. It’s a small town, main street kind of weekend.
The long-arm quilting on this quilt was done by Tanya Heldman of Free Range Quilter in Los Angeles. She really had a great vision for the solid areas of the quilt. Growing vines, curves, arcs…it blows my mind how she sculpted the texture of the background. Thank you Tanya!
Town Square Garden is carried by United Notions and ships to stores in early November when my Blushing Peonies collection for Moda Fabrics ships. I’m also carrying it in my etsy shop at etsy.com/shops/colorandquilt. Wall size here is 54” x 54”. The pattern also includes a scaled down version of 38 x38”. I am currently quilting that on my home machine and will post more pictures when it’s ready. I’d love to know…what is your preferred size for wall quilts?
Garden on…quilt on…go visit the town square…
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!
I showed three new quilt patterns with my Blushing Peonies fabrics for Moda. They are BLOCKSTEP, TOKYO TERRACE, and TOWN SQUARE GARDEN.
BLOCKSTEP can be made with precuts of a single Layer Cake or a Jelly Roll for ease of coordinating your print fabrics. Precuts can also give you a shortcut on TOKYO TERRACE by using Mini Charms for the small patchwork blocks that are interspersed between the larger rectangular panels. I like doing at least one quilt with a collection of fabrics that has larger panels that make it easy to showcase larger scale motifs. I like to do large-scale florals and show them off!
TOWN SQUARE GARDEN is my first medallion quilt and it was a lot of fun to do. I'm currently doing quilting on my home sewing machine with my walking foot on the smaller light color wall quilt (it's 38" square vs. 54" square) and I'll share some pictures when it's further along!
Feel free to visit the etsy shop or look for these at your local quilt shop. The patterns will be shipping with the Blushing Peonies collection in November 2017. Also stay connected for "color play" when I do some computer experiments with other color ways of my quilts.
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!
It's the beginning of July and I saw a fellow Instagrammer posted she was starting a July challenge started by "the Reset Girl". Perfect timing... the start of a month for the start of something new. The theme of resetting seemed appropriate for me since I'm restarting my mindset after a freelance stint that just ended and it's time to refocus on some other projects.
I realized today that I have been in the mood for challenges. I saw that blogger Gnome Angel had started the #100days100blocks2017 sew-along using Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book and designs. But I realized they were already at Day 34. Bummer. As I scrolled through the feeds of wonderfully varied solutions I kept thinking I wanted to jump in the fun too! I decided to start at the beginning with Day 1 and just be a slow-poke. Maybe one block a week was all I could do and then, well, at the end of two years I'd have a quilt! Not ideal but better than never starting. So I got going and soon realized that I could do one a day...and I decided to just jump in with everyone else who was on Day 39 and go from there along with doing my catch-up from the beginning. I love being a part of this IG activity!
The theme of challenges continues with one of my quilt guilds. At the LA Modern Quilt Guild they challenged us to work with new materials and to push ourselves. The theme for our anniversary year is linen so I've bought some and will take the challenge of working with a new material. I'm also taking a class in bias tape quilting given by the talented Latifah Saafir and that is also a completely new method for me. I signed up for Quiltcon 2018 and selected two workshops I wanted to do. Both of them are a challenge and new stretch for me. One is reverse appliqué, which I have never done. The other is advanced photography of your quilts. This means I need to get my good camera fixed and get more comfortable with it before the class begins. Which means stretching out of the comfort zone some more.
This all makes me realize I am the type of person who responds to groups and being accountable to others. I like having assignments and other people to interact with (online and in person- yes!) as well as the challenge of learning new things and pushing myself beyond what I already know. And the other wonderful thing about challenges is that they are often for a set period of time where you can sustain your momentum and enthusiasm. David DiSalvo, in an article he wrote for Forbes ("Kill Your Resolutions And Replace Them With One Little Thing" from Jan 12, 2015) says "Small habits get you in the backdoor of behavior change." This is my way of small daily actions and tasks helping me accomplish something bigger and create positive behaviors and habits in my life.
What are you challenging yourself with? For the Reset Girl Self-Care Challenge I want to work on time/life balance and diet and health. After the 100 Days100Blocks Challenge I want to find a group to do Jen Kingwell's Long Time Gone sampler. Do you look for a group to push you on to new activities and learn fresh things too? There is a wonderfully creative and evolving person deep within you and may the right challenge find you!!
What would Sliding Shoji Screens quilt pattern look like in a new line? I wanted to try it out with my Blushing Peonies prints that will be shipping from Moda Fabrics in November. Here is the original color version of the quilt done in the light version:
And here are two versions of the quilt in new colors and prints! For the first one I wanted to try a punch of citrus orange (this is Bella Solid 161 Amelia Orange). I made the smaller divider strips in Persimmon 294 to add some deeper contrast. I have ordered my fabric and can't wait to get started on this one! It feels so summery and happy to me!
This gray version evokes a calmer, more restful quilt with the pretty color pop of peachy peonies. I wanted to try more light and mid-tone grays and keep my contrast relatively low. I like the added in deep charcoal in the floral pinwheels pattern as my dark color. I don't think it overpowers the other patterns because there is still a lot of light gray in the floral motif.
I'm a Moda fabric designer, quilt designer, coloring book artist, home decor and giftware designer and illustrator. I enjoy sharing my passion for art with my love of family and friends and making a creative home.
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