This favorite baby quilt was made by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. We had spoke a few months back when her new book, Handmade Style launched and I wanted to send her a congratulatory stack of fabrics. "I like your yarn dyes a lot" was all I needed to hear so I popped a pack of precut Shimmer 2 Coordinates in the mail to her and that was that.
I have had a long time love affair with yarn dyes (synonymous with wovens) and for 20 years have been doing them on and off. What makes them different than prints is the the yarns are dyed before the cloth is woven so usually the front is the same as the back and there is no printing process involved. (there are exceptions). I revisited designing wovens when I created color:FULL last year and whenever someone shows excitement, it fuels my desire to design more. It can be a bit tricky to coordinate prints made in Japan with wovens produced in India due to color pitching and timing, but working with Robert Kaufman for so many years, has greased the wheels of how we get things done together.
Anna posted two blog entries on this quilt and I would like to share them with you. The first is showcasing the quilt she made and the second is a tutorial which I hope you stop by to learn how she approaches an effective and easy way to make the quilt. I love working with other designers and sharing ideas that inspire us all. She generously shows you how to do this.
A big thank you to Anna for allowing me to share her quilt making here. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend. I am in the studio preparing my talk for D2D event Thursday Oct 22 on Living with Pattern and Color and also hand sewing the bindings of my two final quilts going to the Robert Kaufman booth at Houston Quilt Market next weekend. Of course I am using my new Studio Stash 3 and yes, 20 new studio stash yarn dyes to add to the collection!
We all love quilts and textiles. That is very clear. Many of us are also completely dedicated to creating nurturing homes that envelope us on a larger scale than a single quilt. Our nests are retreats and places we long to get back to after a busy day or even a vacation..."We had fun, but it's good to be home"
A few times a year, I go through our home and how it's faring for everyone.
I tweak and improve areas as we grow and change as a family. Organizing, purging and creating new spaces are processes I am at ease with and enjoy. At the core of my home, lies a code for our living space that has been said over and over again in different ways by every master designer, because it is so very true. It is the secret to creating a productive and highly personal home:
Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or to believe to be beautiful. Willam Morris.
I am delighted to be a part of a local speaker series in the month of October in Lafayette, California.
Dedicated to Design at the Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery. If you are in the area, please come hear my talk
Thursday, Oct 22 1-2pm.: LIVING WITH PATTERN AND COLOR- Mixing layers, textiles and genres to give your home an artful touch with a comfortable, and serene vibe.
Other speakers that day include the über talented, Debra Szidon of Cocoon Home Design (click here to see her blog post featuring my home) and Matt Guziejka of Mt Diablo Nursery showing DIY air plant terrariums and centerpieces. It will be a great month, filled with speakers such as my dear friend and kick ass jewelry maker, Marcella Austenfeld, home colorist expert, Shannon Kaye, plus many more. Coming together to celebrate a lively, always evolving vision of home in this first of it's kind, month long program, we hope to film part of the event to share it with everyone on the web. Tickets on sale now
(Oh, I am also speaking about 20 years of textile design at the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild Oct 15th at 10am! Open to all. )
Variation on a theme is delicious! Remember the Strips and Selvages quilt from my blog post Aug 21 as the cover of American Quilt Retailer? Well above pic shows the sister version in Shimmer II fabric using my same pattern. Totally different! I get jazzed about making color ways of quilt designs. I do it everyday with my fabric designs: Create a new print design, color it, then color into three more stories.
To really understand a quilt pattern you need to do it again and again. And do so only if you desire. Nothing is more irritating than the guilty feelings of "I SHOULD" when it comes to how you like to spend your free sewing time. My love for making keeps expanding as I delve farther into the study of color, balance and scale in this quilt medium. The great thing about experience is that it never goes out of fashion or to waste. After 25 years in this industry, I am still learning.
Choosing a light vs dark border is an impactful design decision. The light pepper yarn dye is a color enhancer while still giving lots of interest. This quilt begins with WOF piecing of narrow 1 7/8" strips. The pattern is good for giving you perfect proportions in the most pleasing layout. This is where I fuss and study a variety of design options to give you the best results. It can be precut friendly for Rollups only. Standard size are 2 1/2" width strips which creates a different proportion. Honestly, even though it's faster/easier to create, I find the look is a bit clunky and not my first choice. More images in the SHIMMER II look book.
By mixing the entire Shimmer group with some strong coordinates of Kona cotton, it gives a modern asian influence not evident in the original line. The variety of Kona is so important to me. Robert Kaufman understands our needs :)
The leftovers are my next topic. Every quilt has leftovers and they are usable even if we shove them in a bag and push under the table. I had narrow trimmed strips of the WOF fabrics strips that hung over the lamp in my studio for weeks. One eve after I had burnt my hand for the umpteenth time, using dishtowels as hot pads, I marched into the studio and made these in 90 minutes: It was a very enjoyable process even with a bandaid hindrance.
2 Bricklayer Hot Pads 7"x 9".
•1 FQ of 15346-2 Navy Coin print, 14773 pepper yarn dye (back side)
•20 various 5” charm squares of Shimmer 2 , kona pickle, azure, lime or your own scraps which you have lots!
•2 yards of 3/4" bias tape- I use this cotton japanese brand (sorry can't read it) from Stone Mountain Daughter in Berkeley
•5 layers of heavy cotton batt for heat resistance. ( you can add heat resistant batt too)
Refer to chart below.
•Cut two of each rectangles out of Navy Coin.
•Cut strips from 20 charms 2" wide.
• Cut two 7x9 of pepper yarn dye and 5 layers of batt.
Make all seam allowances are 1/4"
Sew 2"x5" colorful Shimmer pieces side by side until all 20 pieces are used (5" x 40") Then cut these crosswise to make 1" strips that will be used as your "bricks". Stagger alternate areas to give interest and piece together two sets of three to be used in the detail seen below. Finish adding on top and bottom navy coin rectangles. Layer top, batt and bottom. I used walking foot to do the quilting and then trimmed edges to clean up to 7 x 9. Last step was to add pre made japanese bias tape and leave an extra tail at the end to tie off with a knot. Ready to use!
Making hot pads had never been on my radar- but if you saw the ones I have been using you would have been grossed out by these tufts of matted, stained cotton. Back to why I was using dishtowels for hot pads? One day, I tossed those old ones in the laundry and they finally surrendered by blowing up cotton bits all over our clean clothes. Our days of mutual shame and embarrassment were over. I had mountains of fabric scraps in the next room and enough batting to choke a horse.
Stories from the Studio
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