Monday, February 1, 2016

Kaleidoscope BOM - Month 2

Where did January go? It feels like I just introduced the Kaleidoscope BOM a week or two ago and we're already launching month two.

Month two has some really awesome blocks in it. This first block would be amazing repeated in a quilt. I'd be interested in seeing the movement that the light teal would work that way. As just a single block, I feel like I'm on Space Mountain at Disney World, just zooming into space. 

The second block for this month is a bright and cheery star kaleidoscope block. I really like how the white background intersects the orange star in this block to give it a great effect. I love star blocks that are framed up, and the use of the same color of fabrics in two different tones really has a nice effect here. 
I can't wait to see what you make with these blocks. If you want to participate in the BOM, download the blocks on Craftsy here. Don't forget to hashtag your blocks using #kaleidoscopeBOM. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dazzling Diamonds Remix

Three years ago now I taught a class for my Dazzling Diamonds quilt pattern. Instead of making it on solids like my original pattern, I made this one in some prints to go with the colors of my guest bedroom.
I'm really not sure why it took me this long to finish this quilt, because I really do love it. This is still one of my favorite quilt patterns I've designed over the years. I love that there are so many different layout options for this quilt, making it so versatile.
This quilt finishes at 24" square and is now hanging in my guest bedroom. I picked these colors specifically for this bedroom, with it's blue walls and pink and green accents.
I machine quilted this on my longarm and found inspiration from a recent Craftsy class - Angela Walters' Dot to Dot quilting. I had quilted the white and blue already before that class but decided to use one of her quilting techniques to do the green points here. I really love how it came out and will definitely use this design again. I had toyed with pebbling the pink, but it became clear that with the pattern, it would be difficult for any pattern to show up, so I just echoed around the diamonds.
I'm not sure if this new quilt will become a favorite over the original, but they're both pretty awesome in my opinion. I can look back at this original all the time and just smile.

If you ever come stay with me at my house, your guest room will now how two lovely quilts hanging in it. You can see my Twirling Trellis quilt hanging in the mirror here with some great complementary colors to it. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Twirling Delight

I was recently asked to publish my Twirling Delight pattern, which originally appeared in Quilty a few years ago. Upon receiving that ask, I looked back through my blog and realized I never blogged about this quilt.
This is a super simple paper pieced quilt that has only seven pieces per block with minimal points that need to be matched up, making it ideal for the beginner paper piecer. The colors of this quilt remind me of spring and summer, a much welcome color palette right now given that I spent the morning snowblowing my driveway and shoveling my front walk. I could go for a picnic in the park or on the beach, just sitting on top of this quilt.

This quilt was machine quilted by Angela Walters. Some day I hope to be able to quilt swirls the way she does. She brought so much texture and movement to this wonderful quilt with her magic.

If you want to make this quilt, visit my Craftsy page here for the pattern. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Kaleidoscope Block of the Month - Month 1

Here we go, it's month one in the Kaleidoscope Block of the Month. Hop on over to Craftsy to download the first two blocks today!

Block one is a simple kaleidoscope block that has a couple of star patterns here. If you look at the light teal and the dark teal, each color individually could be a star. Make one of those colors the same as the plum in this block and you have a completely different look.

Block two has a lot of depth to it with the dark and light orange here. Playing with color here could change the look of this block as well. Alternate colors for more of a spiral look or make it more scrappy with more fabrics instead of just three here.

Download the blocks here!

Share your blocks on Instagram using the hashtag #kaleidoscopeBOM. I can't wait to see what you make. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

QuiltCon and Why I Love the Quilting Community

As many of you have seen by now, acceptance and non-acceptance (I refuse to say rejection) letters went out to the 1,800+ QuiltCon entries this week. I submitted two quilts this year and I feel very humbled and lucky that both of them were accepted into the show given the roughly 20% acceptance rate. What I'm impressed about though is what I've been seeing on Instagram and online since these announcements. If you haven't already, go search the hashtag #quiltconreject and see all of the amazing quilts that were not selected to hang at QuiltCon this year. Impressive, right?
My Every Which Way quilt will be at QuiltCon 2016
What amazes me is the apparent quality of quilts that appears to have been accepted, but also those that were not. But what might be even more impressive is the response that both the accepted and non-accepted quilts are receiving. We all knew that this quilting community that we belong to is wonderful, but to see the KIND, SUPPORTIVE, ENCOURAGING words that we as quilters are leaving for each other is exactly the reason why I love being a part of this community. With this, I want to say THANK YOU to every one of you for being the type of person that we all strive to be and for encouraging all of us to continue with our journey.
My Milky Way quilt will also be at QuiltCon 2016.
This is the first year that I didn't have a quilt rejected at QuiltCon. In 2013 I submitted two and had one accepted. Last year I submitted five and had two accepted. Here's what I learned from that process that I want to share with you. When I took a look at all of the quilts that were accepted and in the show, I got why some of my quilts were not selected. Sometimes my quilts have more of a modern-traditionalism feel to them instead of a pure modern spin. You know what, I'm TOTALLY okay with that. When I look at the quilts that were accepted, I am so incredibly inspired by the talent, creativity and execution of the quilts in the show. You know what? I can say the same thing about all of the quilts that were not accepted either. With that I say to all of you - please keep doing what you do. You inspire me.
One of my 2015 QuiltCon "rejects" that I still LOVE!
What I think I love most of all is the positive attitude of so many quilters that were not accepted into QuiltCon. I'm constantly reading about how quilters are okay with the fact that their quilt wasn't accepted because they still LOVE their quilt. And the positive comments and likes reaffirm that so many of us also love and enjoy your quilts as well. I know I've made multiple comments about loving quilts that were not juried into a show on Instagram. Because, let's face it, most of us are not show quilters. Is that really what modern quilting is about anyway? Our quilts are meant to be used and loved. They're an expression of who we are and where we are at a point in time in our lives. We should never be ashamed or disappointed about that. Own it!
My Confetti quilt hung at QuiltCon 2015.
I don't envy the judges and the tough decisions that they have to make. As we move closer to QuiltCon and the judging of the quilts, let's remember that they're human. As humans we're programmed to have opinions and they are all different. Let's embrace those differences, because those differences are what make our quilts unique. One person's preferred color palette may not be my preferred palette. I love color and and am not naturally drawn to earth tones. That being said, there are some incredibly amazing quilts out there that use those colors. I think and see things in repetitive patterns a lot and work with paper piecing frequently. While I occasionally work in improv, that process is much more of a stretch for me. To others, that comes naturally. It's those differences, unique perspectives that will continue to advance the modern quilt movement.
My Mod Hex 2 quilt hung at QuiltCon 2015.
There's always a ton of debate about what the modern quilt movement is all about and what makes a modern quilt. To me, that definition must always be fluid. One of the things that I observed is that a style of quilt that might have been accepted last year might not have made the cut this year. Take the pixilated quilt of a celebrity. Last year we saw those quilts hanging at QuiltCon but I've seen some of those in the #quiltconreject thread. Last year they were considered something new and unique. And guess what? They inspired many quilters to make their own version. That's awesome. BUT, if every modern quilt show had the same type of quilts in it, would that continue to evolve the modern quilt movement and push the limit of what we create?
One of my #quiltconreject quilts from 2015.
Here's my challenge to you, go back and compare the first quilt you made and the last quilt you made. My guess is that your styles have changed. Now go back and look at some of the quilts in the Fresh Modern Quilt group on Flickr and see some of the first quilts there vs. what we see today at QuiltCon. See the evolution? With that said, if you're goal is to get a quilt into QuiltCon 2017, my recommendation would be to look around you, at the quilts you see, the patterns and the colors of not just quilts, but life and draw inspiration from that. Now take that inspiration and push the envelope to do something that neither you or anyone else has done before. That, the creativity, the pushing of limits and the uniqueness is what modern quilting is all about and is what will help you get into QuiltCon if that's your end goal. Just continue to make quilts that you love though and you'll end up a winner regardless of the outcome.