Monday, October 17, 2016

Artful Improv Blog Tour and Giveaway!

I'm so pleased to be part of the blog tour for the book Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela. 

I met Cindy at an art fair in Annapolis about 5 years ago. It was just months after I started the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild, and I was so thrilled to find an artist that shared the same aesthetic. I'm not even sure if I had ventured into improvisational piecing at that time, but her art quilts certainly inspired me to jump in.

There's so much great content in Artful Improv. A first flip through, and you'll be visually delighted with all of her quilts. As you dive deeper, you'll begin to see how she thinks, plans, executes and finishes her quilts.

As Cindy says in the chapter How to Use This Book: This is a hands on book. Play with the exercises to expand your comfort zone and experiment.

I'm eager to try one of her signature styles, which I think of as ribbons on a present.

Her use of color and scale -  so good!

Did I mention that Cindy is a master at curves? I'm eager to try some of her curved piecing techniques.

Cindy also dedicates a chapter to machine quilting (something that I find challenging, but am working on improving :-))
Look at all that wonderful texture she creates!

More than just a quilt book, I know you'll be reaching for Artful Improv over and over.

Would you like to win a copy of Cindy's book? Just leave a comment below, answering this question: Have you tried improv quilting before? Of course, my newsletter subscribers always get an extra entry (just let me know in a separate entry that you subscribe!) US winners will receive a print copy of the book, international winners will receive a digital copy. Winner will be drawn on October 20. Please make sure I can contact you via email.

October 10: C&T Publishing
October 11: Maria Shell

October 12: Rayna Gillman

October 13: Yvonne Fuchs

October 14: Sujata Shah

October 17: Heather Kojan  YOU ARE HERE!

October 18: Generation Q Magazine

October 19: Cindy Grisdela

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A New Spin On Drunkard's Path Blog Hop and Giveaway!!

I'm so happy to introduce you to my friend John Kubiniec, author of this fantastic new book A New Spin on Drunkard's Path. 

John and I met a few years ago at Quilt Market in Houston. We were co-authors for the book Classic Modern Quilts. After meeting, we became fast friends and soon had our own inside jokes!

Geography separates us, but we still manage to chat and see each other a few times a year. 

After hearing about it for several months, I'm so thrilled to see his book A New Spin on Drunkard's Path in print. What a treat! Simple fabric manipulation gives so many varieties. You have to see it!

Bowties Quilt from A New Spin on Drunkard's Path

There are several projects from the book that I'd like to make. I'm a scrappy gal at heart, so the Bowties quilt called out to me. I made a few that I think will ultimately become a baby quilt. Scrappy pink and grey? Yes!  I tried out a few different layouts. I definitely need to make some more before I can decide. John has several great tips for working with the drunkard's path ruler. He also shares wonderful tips on pinning - fork pins! Who knew? 

Peppered Cotton Background = curly edges!

Would you like to win a copy of the book? John is giving readers the chance to win a copy of his book and a set of the Drunkard's Path templates he uses. To enter, answer this simple question (feel free to elaborate!): Have you tried curved piecing before? Just comment here for your chance to win. For extra chances, follow me and John on instagram (be sure to come back here to let me know that you do.) And my newsletter subscribers always get an extra chance as well! (Just comment that you subscribe.) Two winners will be drawn on October 8th and notified by email (one for the book, one for the template.) If you're a no-reply blogger, please be sure to leave an email address where I can reach you. A US winner will receive a hard copy of the book, international will receive an e-book.

Congratulations, John! The book is fantastic!

Be sure to visit all the other bloggers on this blog hop:

September 26, 2016
Jenifer Dick

September 27, 2016
Heather Kojan  You are here!!!

September 28, 2016
September 29, 2016

September 30, 2016
LoveBug Studios

October 1, 2016         
Kathy Patterson

October 2, 2016

October 3, 2016
Generation Q Magazine

October 4, 2016
Nicole Daksiewicz

October 5, 2016
            Marti Michell

October 6, 2016
Kim Niedzwiecki

October 7, 2016

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Modern Spools Mini in Modern Patchwork Magazine!

So this happened a few weeks ago:

My Modern Spools mini quilt in Modern Patchwork Magazine! This is the Gifts edition - chock full of seasonal decor and gifts to give (or keep for yourself!) What I like is that the projects aren't overly "holiday." Switch out some fabrics and they'll work for anytime. With over 30 projects, I'm sure there's several you'll want to make (after you make my Spool quilt of course!) Me? I think I'll start with Violet Craft's paper pieced cardinal. She has it as a table runner, but I think one bird would make a great pillow. And the salt cellar pincushions? Adorbs. I have some old votive holders that I think would work perfectly. 

Oh, and this is fun. Modern Patchwork asked contributors to send in their favorite holiday recipes. You'll find my Sweet Potato Latke recipe in the issue. Think sweet potato french fry - just flattened and with more crispy edges. Delish. 

The hard copy is on newsstands now. Over 30 patterns! Go! Now! Buy! Sew!

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Friday, June 10, 2016

My Interview with Cheryl Arkison on the C&T Blog

Super excited to share my interview with Cheryl Arkison. She's one of my favorite quilters, and I've been known to spend a few hours here and there reading her blog. She's an excellent writer and inspirational improv quilter.

I had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl at Quiltcon in February! (we're cute!)

Head on over to the C&T blog and check it out!
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Sunday, May 29, 2016

A closet full of clothes....

....and nothing to wear.

Except, this is more like: a closet full of quilts, and not a dang one to put on the bed.

Yesterday I decided it was time to get rid of the "winter bed" and break out the "summer bed." With temperatures now reliably in the 70's, it's time to shed the bed of the heavy fleece sheets and double puffy, not very attractive but oh so warm quilt in exchange for lighter, whiter sheets and our summer quilt.

Except we don't have a summer quilt.

We have quilts. Lots of quilts. Not lacking for quilts here. Its just the size that isn't right. I only have two king sizes quilts and don't want to use either one of them (one being the previously mentioned not very attractive one, the other being this one

which I like very much, but it's so 5 years ago. And needs considerable mending.)

So I'm making a new one. And because a king sized quilt does not happen overnight, I think I'm going to reprise this pattern: 

Large blocks (I'll need 9) that go together quickly. Well, as quickly as a king sized quilt can go. I'm optimistic, though, that I will sleep under this quilt by summer's end. Which gives me about 4 months. Easy peasy!
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Friday, May 20, 2016

My Interview with Bonnie Hunter!

Hey there!

I'm super excited about a new series I'll writing for the C&T Publishing blog we're calling Quilter's Bucket list. I kicked off the series with the one and only Bonnie Hunter!!

Every quilter has a quilt bucket list - right? The list of quilts they want to make in a lifetime. The series is about chatting with our favorite C & T authors about what might be on their quilting bucket list. Fun, right?

It was so much fun to interview Bonnie. She's funny, authentic and just so nice!

Read my interview with Bonnie here.

Wonky Wishes Star Quilt Pattern
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This is Bonnie's latest pattern.  It's a big quilt that uses a ton of scraps! (Look for her new book out in September.)

So, two questions for you:

1. What C & T authors would you like to see me interview?
2. What's on your quilting bucket list?
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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Paper Piecing - I finally get it!

*this post contains ad links.

There are a few things I'm known for in my quilting circle. One is my dislike for variegated thread. Another is for my disdain of metallic fabric. (I'm working on both of those issues and will report back as soon as I've resolved them.) The third is my avoidance of paper piecing, or, as I like to school people - foundation piecing. And just let me say, about the thread and fabric, I enjoy them when they're used in other people's quilts. Just not in mine.

I actually made a paper foundation pieced quilt about 15 years ago. And I did it the old fashioned way: I went to the library, found a book by Carol Doak, took the book to Office Max and printed the foundation papers and went home and sewed it. It took about a weekend and I was actually quite proud of it. And also over it at the same time. Done. Next.

My First Paper Pieced Block/Quilt Circa 2001

Fast forward about 10 years and I'm in a ton (6 or 7) online bees and EVERYONE wants the flying death circle of geese block. I added "death" because that's how it feels after spending 4 hours to produce a 12" block and THEN you realize you have the whole thing backwards.

A block from my on line Flickr bee Bee Vintage

Done. Next.

Over the course of the next few years, people would try to lure me to the pulp side (so precise! perfect points!) but I always refrained. Nope. Not for me.

So I was quite surprised with myself when I voluntarily purchased this pattern and made not one, not two but three of these!!

I bought it because I signed up for the Rainbow Mini Swap at the Mid Atlantic Mod retreat in April. I thought it was the perfect pattern for the swap. And, I wanted to show off a bit and bring an awesome swap quilt. (Which it was, and very much in demand - as we do a dirty Santa type way of distributing the quilts. Oh, and funny, there was an identical one to mine in the swap - even quilted the same. Great minds and all.)

Anyway, the pattern was quite a work out. The first one took a solid weekend. Then I had the bright idea to make two at a time: one for my secret sewist at the retreat, the other for me, because its so cute and I really wanted one!

That plan was working great until I realized there was no way to finish both in time for the retreat, so I bailed on mine and finished my partner's.

I'm happy to say, though, the third is finished. And a charm. Charming. I learned a ton, found what works best for me and, dare I say it, I've started on another project!

If you're not so much a paper piecer, may I suggest you visit my first teacher Carol Doak here or here. She really is the best. And while you're at it, get this paper. It's the easiest I've found to use

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