If you glanced through my web site you realize that I like to design appliqué quilts. I have more ideas than time. The local guild inspired me to design one for them. As usual, a design is simply a problem to be solved.
The guild needs to make money by raffling off the quilt.
The quilt needs to look great from across the room inviting people to get close enough to buy raffle tickets.
The quilt must have sections that can be given to other quilters to stitch.
The quilt should represent the Sacramento valley.
The design must be approved by the quilt show chair for 2018.
The quilt show chair expressed a wish for a stained glass window quilt so I looked at the best for inspiration.
Louis Comfort Tiffany
The advantage to this design idea is there are a variety of shapes that can become quilt blocks for other guild members to stitch. I wanted to simplify the design so it wouldn’t be intimidating for those who are new to appliqué. I started with a mountain and a few hills. We can see the part of the Sierra range from town. I added the basics of a tree.
I worked with Korey Chase and Sandra Mollon the Quilt Show Chair and the Artistic Adviser until the design looked like this:
There were many modifications and adjustments plus a few terrific group appliqué lessons lead by Sandra.
Fabric Garden offered us their classroom for our first stitching session. The room was FULL! I was delighted.
Our next sewing session was at Meissner’s. Thank you to both venues for their generosity.
Due to all the hard work we see results.
Several weeks later the sashing and borders are stitched and the quilt top is done except for stitching down a few birds.
The quilt is now with the long arm quilter. I can’t wait to see the results.
Sometimes my quilt ideas evolve and include the latest amazing fabrics. The interesting fabrics used in these 2 quilts come from Northcott. Which colorway do you like best? My favorite is the one with the copper bowl. The deep orange to lemon yellow fabric is an ombre as well as the fabric that made all the leaves. Find the pattern here. The appliqué shapes including the doily were cut using my Silhouette CAMEO. The petals of the geraniums were sprayed withTerial Magic and dried over marbles to give them shape. I did all the quilting myself using my Bernina. Find the pattern for the Geraniums in Blue here:
I am happy to announce that a selection of my patterns are now available from E. E. Schenck. This makes it easier for quilt shops to order patterns while they order their fabric and notions. The patterns carried by E. E. Schenck are:
Quilt Festival in Houston has invited me to teach in their Modern Quilter classroom this November.
One of the classes is called How to Cheat at Color. We will cover a wide variety of ways to choose color combinations. Of all the classes I teach this is my favorite. Perhaps it is the group setting, with everyone seeing the work of all the others. When it comes to color we get our personal preferences when we receive our DNA. We can teach ourselves to use select color combinations but when we quilt for sanity or serenity we always return to our feel-good colors. I refuse to change that in my students. I want each student to understand which colors please them at an emotional level and how to use colors to win big ribbons. I love the exercise with the “ugly” color. It comes toward the end of class and is very exciting for me, as the teacher, to watch.
This is the handout with links provided in class. Feel free to look them over and take the color tests under Activities.
C&T Publishing offers the 3 in 1 Color Tool and the book Color Play by Joen Wolfrom
Offers color trends analysis for fashion and creative professionals
I am fascinated by the variety of styles within the quilt world: Baltimore Album, Civil War, 1930’s, Amish, Art quilts, Cute quilts, Landscape quilts, Hawaiian, Traditional, Modern. These are just a few of the different recognizable styles of quilts and more are emerging every year. It is wonderful to be a part of this growing and changing creative field. Every time I visit a quilt show I see something new and astounding. It is very inspiring.
I attended a panel lecture for those who want to be published. It was in the middle of process of producing my book; Applique Workshop for C&T Publishing. I looked around me and the audience was predominantly white haired. It set me to thinking. Most quilt books are aimed at the average quilter who is about 62 years old and has 5 or more years of quilting experience. There are books with cute quilts for kids and art quilts, but the largest category of design style is aimed at the older female. My first book was and my second will be. My third and fourth book ideas are inspired by the students in my design classes at the local junior college. They grew up with computers and are comfortable designing with computer programs to create art in an emotional and energetic style. I would like to add some of their design style to my quilt world. For a while I have been worried that quilting would go the way of macramé, latch hooking and cross stitch. They were once very popular and then one year no one was selling new patterns and the shows closed. I now see that quilting will rarely go through a 1950-1960’s downturn of popularity, especially if we teach quilting to our children and young adults. I learned to quilt when my boys finally started school. I was experienced at crochet, latch hooking, cross stitch, needle point, embroidery, garment sewing, stained glass and tatting. I love learning new skills so it only took 3 quilts to get me hooked on quilting. But so many of quilting’s brightest lights are grey haired. I still pay a hair stylist to keep me out of that category. But I want the creativity of the quilt world to survive me and my generation and that requires sharing my enthusiasm for designing and teaching.
Houston Quilt Festival has a classroom with sewing machines dedicated to the Modern Quilter. I am lucky to be teaching there the beginning of November. Check back for more details.
Do you design your own quilts? Have you ever wanted to? I used to draw out my ideas on large sheets of paper. But this involved lots of erasures and re-dos. I went back to school. The local junior college offers classes in Adobe Illustrator. I learned enough in my classes to do all I need to make great patterns. Illustrator makes vector drawings that can be resized easily. I can make endless revisions and save them with different titles. I can color them in, even add texture to imitate fabric. I like to color several final drawings in different color-ways to see if my value choices have enough contrast.
The finished drawings may be tiled as they are printed. Which means that they can be printed by my inkjet printer on multiple pages. I tape these together to create full sized patterns.
I am glad that I am not to old to learn new things.
The Winter Amaryllis quilt was a design I took to my quilting group. They all gave me their opinion and the end design was much better.