April 28, 2014

Tickled Quilting Design

I doodle a lot in the evenings when I should be going to bed.  I always know I have a good quilting design when I want to keep drawing it even after I've seen that it "works". That's the way this design was, it tickled me, so that's its name: tickled.

It is just two things: spirals and echoing. It comes out very fluid.

Here is how I do this pattern. Start with a biggish spiral. Come back out of the spiral (I go along the "inside") until you are at the top and start a new, smaller spiral.

Come back out of that spiral until you almost run into the first one.

Now echo around the first one down to its base. Then echo back up around the whole operation.

Do one more echo around again and start the design again.

I think to do good freehand free motion quilting you have to have a certain amount of flexibility. So occasionally you'll only echo once, or just use one spiral in a tight space, or make some other adjustment to get it to all work out. So don't forget that if you try this pattern, you are authorized to change it on the fly as needed.

As with any new free-motion design, figure it out with pen and paper before you try stitching it!

P.S. You can see me stitching this design in my Secrets of Free-Motion Quilting class on Craftsy!

April 19, 2014

Open to beauty

I loved reading the responses to my last post. You all are drinking in the beauty around you! You're thrilled about spring. You love your families. You love quilting. And even where some of you are in the midst of sorrows, you are still finding what is precious and lovely. Thank you for sharing this all with me.

For the giveaway the winner of the fat quarter pack of Jennifer Sampou's Shimmer is Lynne Tilley #43, picked by random.org. And I just have to tell you, as a midwife, I got a thrill that the "atmospheric noise" of random.org chose the very person who left this comment:

"I'm about to see the most beautiful thing, my new grandson who is being born at this very moment. I'm waiting on the text message to tell me he's here :)
Reading sewing blogs is my only way of staying calm until he arrives :) Thanks!"

Just perfect. I hope you all have a great weekend, new and old and in between.

April 10, 2014

Shimmer Shimmer Shimmer

On my first-ever trip to Quilt Market last fall, I developed a complete crush on Jennifer Sampou. Not only was she warm and welcoming to a bewildered newcomer, she has a unique sense of style that looks effortless. Awesome boots, a cowhide bag lined in her own fabric. Mercy. She is that kind of artist-Jedi that makes you feel at ease but inspired at the same time.

So I loved it when she asked if I would make something with her upcoming fabric line, Shimmer.  Of course it's like Jennifer, natural, classy, and, with the iridescent printing, a little different without being weird. It's subtler than your standard metallic fabric. Touchable. I like it. 

I lucked out that Jennifer wanted me to use her snakeskin fabric. I loved the way it looked quilted and I thought, "Shimmer indeed!" I really want this print in every color now.

I made the messenger bag from my book. Jennifer and I each contributed leather scraps for the belt. That was her idea of course! Jedi-level, right? 

You'll be hearing lots of other bloggers tell you about Jennifer's fabric I think, so I won't say much more. If you're inclined to pre-order it you can do so at the Cotton Patch. Definitely stop by Jennifer's blog to get entered to win a fat quarter pack of this fabric before her drawing on the 21st. And visit the other participants in the blog hop too, each one of us has a charm pack to give away!

April 1Robert Kaufman/Jennifer Sampou
April 2Janice Ryan- Better off Thread
April 3Alissa Haight Carlton- Handmade by Alissa
April 4Julie Herman- JayBird Quilts
April 5Natalie Barnes- Beyond the Reef
April 6Stash Books- C&T Publishing
April 7Amanda Jean Nyberg- Crazy Mom Quilts
April 8Lee Heinrich- Freshly Pieced 
April 9Cheryl Arkinson- Naptime Quilter
April 10-Christina Cameli- A Few Scraps
April 11-Elizabeth Hartman- Oh Fransson
April 12-Faith Jones-Fresh Lemon Quilts
April 13-Gemma Jackson- Pretty Bobbins
April 14Katie Blakesley- Swim Bike Quilt
April 15-Amy Smart-Diary of a Quilter
April 16Laura Nownes, Jennifer Rounds, Pati Fried, Darra Williamson- See How We Sew
April 17-Holly DeGroot- Bijou Lovely
April 18-Jennifer Sampou-Wrap Up
April 21-Jennifer Sampou- Announce Winner of Giveaway FQ Pack of entire Shimmer Collection.

So to enter the giveaway for the charm pack, leave me a comment below telling me about something beautiful you've seen recently. Mine: as I type this I'm watching drops of rain sparkle in the cedar tree after a rainstorm. I'll draw a winner at random, after April 14th. Thank you to Jennifer Sampou and Robert Kaufman for the giveaway! 

April 07, 2014

60 degrees

I am enjoying playing these days. I have this 60 degree ruler that I'm becoming friends with. I used it to cut up some strips to test a theory. It worked!

The strips are different sizes to prove that it doesn't matter if the strips are different sizes. Cut at 60 degrees they will all turn the corners just fine.

There are so many ways you can arrange the triangles!

I like what I settled on. It was a fun experiment. I'll set it aside for now so I can keep playing.