Sunday, December 9, 2012

Festive Fox Ornament Pattern & Tutorial

I want to share a little pattern and tutorial for a Christmas ornament I made today! I don't know if any of you know this or not, but I have a thing for foxes, so here's my ode to this lovely animal...

Make one yourself using a free pattern and tutorial pdf I set up here.
Please send me a pic if you make one, I'd love to see your version!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Arrows Mini Quilt

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I actually had two this year, lucky me. Once with my husband's family in Tyler, TX, and then again at our house with my parents who were visitng from out of town. You have to have Thanksgiving at home so you can have leftovers!!
Anyhow, thought I would share a little mini quilt I made a couple weeks ago for a Houston Modern Quilt Guild challenge. I missed the original deadline because I was wrapped up in Quilt Market details, but I finished it anyway because I really wanted to see how it would turn out.
I love it!

Working in small scale was fun, but surprisingly more difficult and time consuming than I had thought. Maybe a bigger quilt with larger half square triangles would actually be easier.

I dont know how other people lay out their quilt designs, but here's a look at how I lay out my designs on the computer first. That way I can alter colors and placement easily when figuring out my design. It also comes in handy when assembling all the little pieces and the bigger negative space pieces. You can see I had to remeasure quite a few before I got them right.

I use either Illustrator or InDesign, but graph paper works wonder too, infact, most all of my designs actually start on graph paper before I build them on the computer.

Here are some pics of what's currently on my drawing board...

First stage is pencil (with lots of eraser action)

Then once I'm happy with the pencil rough, I go over it with a black pen (this is a different design).

Sometimes I'll use color pencils at this stage to rough in the color, but mostly I just go straight to building it on the computer because it' so much easier to adjust both color and scale.

I'd love to hear how other people design their quilts and sewing projects, if you have a technique that works really great for you I hope you'll share it.

I'll leave you with a pic of one of my little helpers.

Mama Bear.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Quilt Market 2012 - Part 3

Last post on Market! Here are a few more of my faves which are undoubtedly already plastered all over the web because they're so fantastic...

Melody Miller's booth and her new fabric collection, "Ruby Star Rising".

Ha, I love those sneaker roller skates under the tree.

Jenean Morrison didn't have a booth, but Westminster had a nifty little corner set up for her fabric collection, I believe it's called "In My Room". 

I'm a sucker for little dresses, and these by Emily Taylor are dreamy, as is her charming booth.

I'm really lovin' this color palette and sweet little end display for Natalie Lymer's collection, "Folk Tale".

Those little collared shirts are too stinkin' cute! Use them to put whatever you want in them, and I think they're going to be a free downloadable pattern eventually (but don't quote me on that, Market was crazy and it's completely possible I misunderstood!)

The Moda booth for "Glamping" by Mary Jane Butters...

While Anna Maria Horner did have her own stunning booth, I was super excited to see her spectacular feather skirt in person in a little corner nook in the Westminster booth. I saw pics of it from last Spring Market, and was pretty much drooling all over it.

I thought I'd close with Tula Pink. Her booth and quilts for her new line, "Salt Water" were amazing. She also has coordinating ribbons and a clever hexagon quilt kit, including the fabric already pre-cut!

Her pixelated anchor quilt blew me away. I wish you could see the quilting better in this photo, but it's truly stunning. 

All in all, a completely inspiring experience.

If you've not yet attended Quilt Market, hope you get the chance soon, I highly recommend it!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall Quilt Market 2012 - Part 2

While at Quilt Market I took some photos of some really killer fabrics from emerging designers like myself that started on Spoonflower. First up... Samarra Khaja!

Samarra (aka sammyk on Spoonflower), does much more than just design fabric, dipping her fingers into all kinds of graphic design, large scale murals, illustrated recipes and sculptural finger puppets to name just a few of her talents. Here are some of her fabrics for Timeless Treasures.

Look closer at the red and black polka dot fabric for a clever surprise! In fact, all of Samarra's work is infused with humor that is both clever and whimsical, never taking itself too seriously. Check out her hilarious blog for a good dose of laughter.

Next up is Greta Songe (gsonge on Spoonflower), who I got to meet when she stopped by my booth to chat. I'm so glad she did, it was nice to put a face to a name, and what a sweet and down to earth person. I stopped by the Marcus Fabrics booth to see her new collections and what a feast for the eyes! You can see them in all their glory here.

I love the graphic, retro vibe in her designs, super saturated and full of energy. Her blog is fabulous too, you can see how she incorporated one of her new fabrics into a completely charming dress here. After seeing hers I want to immediately buy myself a Tova dress pattern and get to work!

Another designer that just blew me away was Sarah Watson. This was her very first fabric collection, "Luxe in Bloom" for Art Gallery Fabrics and it was a stunner! Not to mention her killer booth, full of sketches and concepts tacked to one wall and drawn directly on to another wall painted with chalkboard paint. In fact, she won Best Booth for a First Time Exhibitor.

Then there's all the talented designers at Michael Miller. Right next to me was Laura Gunn whose phenomenal watercolors make such striking fabrics. Her new collection, "Cosmos" has dresses and skirts written all over it!

Next to Laura was Emily Herrick of Crazy Old Ladies Quilts. This Market she introduced a bunch of really modern and graphic quilt patterns for solids, specially designed to use Michael Miller's fabulous Cotton Couture Solids line. I actually met Emily last Fall Market, but since that was all one big blur, I really enjoyed getting to chat with her more this go 'round, she's super funny and really, really nice. Aren't her quilts and booth fun?

I love how she displayed the patterns in coordinating paint cans.

Patty Young's booth was just exploding with color happiness! Her new line, "Textured Basics" is so fun and her ModKid line of children's patterns shows them off so well. If you have little ones, definitely check out her ModKid Boutique for the newest pattern releases.

Trenna Travis was on the other corner, introducing her first collection for Michael Miller, "Bekko". An interior decorator and talented photographer, her fabrics are perfect for home dec and, of course, I see more dresses. Stylish and smart, her collection is perfect for a wide range of projects. Hope we get to see some soon!

Across the aisle was Swirly Girls, whose Clubhouse programs have a devoted following. Here's a peek at their sweet double booth.

And here's Christine demonstrating their new Circle Savvy Ruler from Creative Grids, I definitely need to get me one of those!

Then there's the other side of the Michael Miller Booth, where all the selling action happens. Look how gorgeous all those bright colored quilts look displayed against all that white. And that fountain of fabulous fabric strips on the far right was really eye catching and seemed to defy gravity.

Not one to waste space, both outer corner niches were staged as well, does anyone else want that couch in their bedroom?

Phew, that's a lot of photos! If you can believe it, there's still more to come. I haven't gotten to the booths and fabrics of some of my favorite designers. But, all this bloggin' is exhaustin'! So, I'm gonna' call it quits for tonight, go pet my cats which have been ignored long enough, maybe unload the dishwasher if I feel guilty enough, and continue at a later date...  Good night all!  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Quilt Market 2012 - Part 1

Well, Quilt Market has just wrapped up and it was really amazing. Last year's Fall Market was a bit overwhelming, but after a year of learning more about the industry, this time around felt much calmer. It was sooo nice to see familiar faces and meet new people. I got to know some of the other crazy talented Michael Miller designers a bit more and to meet some designers I am completely in awe of. I took lots of pics, so I will break this up into two parts. This post is all Michael Miller, the next will be about everything else!

So, to start off with, here's my booth showcasing my new collection, "Les Amis"!

I split it between the two colorways, "Dusk" and "Dawn", as if the sun had already gone down on one side, and was just coming up on the other. 

I made little boy's ties out of every fabric in the Dusk colorway and they seemed to be a big hit, drawing folks in as they walked by. If you'd like to try your hand at making some, you can find the free pattern and tutorial here. They're surprisingly easy and quick to make and would make the sweetest gifts for anyone with little boys.

I had some pretty grand plans for this side of the booth, but when I realized I wasn't going to be able to finish the quilt I had designed to hang here, I had to come up with an alternative plan. I ended up sewing diagonal strips of all the different fabrics together and displayed them in large square frames. 

So that's the overview, and I have some pretty talented ladies to thank for all the help I received putting this booth together. It just so happens that about the time I received my fabric samples a month before Market, I also received another gift... morning sickness!! So while this news pleased my husband and I immensely, it also made preparing for Market almost impossible. 

Three very lovely and oh-so-creative ladies graciously volunteered their skills: Sally Keller, Pam Biswas and Robin Woods.

First, Sally Keller offered to sew up not one, but two mini quilts, one for each colorway, with lots of hand embroidery. I love them both so much, and the hand lettering adds such a charming touch. You can check out her blog and see more of her handiwork here.

I was lucky enough to have Pam Biswas offer to do the quilting and hand-binding on the one quilt I did manage to get pieced together. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out... I think this is my new favorite quilt, LOVE!!

And, last but definitely not least, I owe Robin Woods many, many thanks for making me TWO cathedral windows and SIX pairs of baby booties! I don't know where she found the time to make them between working and having a life (and with only a week and a half to do it), but make them she did! Can I use any more exclamation points?

Seriously though, I think the baby booties stole the show, they were just too stinkin' cute. And believe me, I'll be putting them to good use, my little one's going to have the best dressed feet in town. :)

Robin even set up this eye-catching display, shown here with my Sweet Owlie

If you want to make a pair of these little charmers yourself, Joanna Armour has a free pattern. (*NOTE: Unfortunately, the link I used in my original post is broken, but, you can access the pattern through another link on Michael Miller's blog, Making it Fun here.)

I was planning to include the rest of the Michael Miller designer's booths in this post, but I think it's getting pretty darn long as it is, so looks like I'll be breaking this up into 3 parts!

And I'd better hurry up because come the weekend I'll be posting about Quilt Festival and the 2nd Annual Quilt Festival Modern Meetup hosted by Houston Modern Quilt Guild on Saturday night. Which promises to be a whole lotta' fun with great door prizes by sponsors like Cloud9 Fabrics, Fat Quarter Shop and Anna Maria Horner. You should definitely stop by, it's in the Lobby Bar of the Hilton Americas (connected to the George R Brown) and starts at 7 pm. Check out this link for all the info.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Quilt Market Setup 2012

Phew, what a day... I mean, what a week... I mean, what a crazy couple of months this has been!

Quilt Market set up was today and the hubs and I just got home. Time to order pizza, but no rest for me just yet. This is my first time in a 10x10 booth of my own and the day was just full of surprises, which translates to lots more to do before I turn in.

No booth photos yet (still working on it, can you believe it?), but they will be coming very soon. As well as details on some very lovely projects that other very creative and talented ladies made for me. Can't wait to show you!

For now, I'll leave you with a preview of my new fabric collection with Michael Miller called "Les Amis...

Dawn Colorway

Dusk Colorway

More pics soon!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hello Sunshine by Virginia Odien!

The postman has been very good to me lately as there was another nice box of goodies waiting for me when I got home from work on Friday. I know my stash is quite large enough, but when my friend, Virginia Odien's fabric collection "Hello Sunshine" was finally released through Connecting Threads there was no hesitation that it would be the newest addition!

The prints are gorgeous on screen and even more gorgeous in person. The colors are vibrant and happy and I can almost feel the summer breeze on my face when I look at them. I'm so excited I had to post some photos even though I haven't had a chance to make anything yet. I was quite greedy and bought fat quarters of everything, plus additional yardage of "Sunkissed Flowers" as I knew from the minute I saw them that they were destined to be little girl's dresses... too sweet!

You can get to know a little more about her through a fantastic interview she gave on Spoonflower, or by checking out her blog.

Here are some of the fabulous projects that Connecting Threads posted on their website, and you can see even more, by clicking on the catalog link at the bottom of their page...

Picnic Party Twin Quilt by Mari Martin

Reversible Fresh Tote Bag by Mari Martin

Stay tuned to see what I come up with using these delicious fabrics!

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