I’m so happy to be part of Katie and Jacquie‘s blog party weekend of posts celebrating their stellar new book, Quilting Modern! Katie is president of the SMQG and Jacquie is past president of the KCMQG, a current member of the CMQG, and on the national board too. These two know their modern improvisational quilting, and they generously share so many beautiful ideas, packed into one gorgeous book!
I love improvisational patchwork (and was very lucky to take Denyse Schmidt’s classes at PNCA), and Katie and Jacquie’s thoughtful designs, techniques, tips, and details are wonderfully illuminating. They cover many facets of modern quilting, like improvisationally piecing curves, creating sharp, perfect triangle designs, and one of my favorites, the log cabin makeover – they offer seven core techniques in all, each with three projects to sew. The table of contents gives a nice peek at the diversity of approaches and techniques (and I love the names they chose for their quilts!).
I’m sure many of the other bloggers will cover the 16 beautiful quilt designs in the book – but for my review I wanted to spotlight the striking smaller projects Katie and Jacquie designed for the home. With two little ones and not much free sewing time lately, a beautiful pillow or table runner is more my realistic speed, and these projects are also very scrap- and stash-friendly… a nice bonus! When I first got my copy and read right through it, I was immediately drawn to the Winging It Pillow, which builds a simple, stunning design around a focus-fabric scrap. The mix of erratic-height vertical piecing, bright, strong colors, and ultra-streamlined background is so appealing. This one is at the top of my to-sew list (and I love Katie’s invisible zipper technique, which is also included in the book).
The Southwestern Pillows are similarly striking. I especially love the Tumbleweed (the center asterisk-like design) – it’s such a fresh take on my favorite design style, mid-century modern. I’m picturing how fantastic a quilt made up of all Tumbleweed blocks could be… hmm, maybe when Pearl starts kindergarten…
My favorite of the three is the Sardinia Table Runner, a calm, serene, and gorgeous design with neatly curved “pods” (that Jacquie’s husband thought looked like sardines, so that’s where the name came from). This is another one I could see as a larger quilt. Angela Walters did a great deal of the quilting in the book, but Katie and Jacquie quilted these three projects. I loved the simplicity of these neatly alternating-angle diagonal lines over the curves and solids – a beautiful texture.
I will bring a copy of Quilting Modern for everyone to check out at our PMQG All-Day Sew tomorrow afternoon (at Fabric Depot from 9-9, though the book and I won’t be there til around 1:30), and I’m so thrilled that we’ll also be giving a copy away at the June 21 PMQG meeting. Thank you to Katie and Jacquie for including me in their book party, and to Interweave for sending two copies of the book for me to review and offer up at PMQG!
Be sure to visit the other bloggers reviewing (and giving away!) the book, too at the Quilting Modern blog celebration weekend:
A Stitch in Dye – Malka Dubrawsky
Fat Quarterly blog – Tacha Bruecher
Film in the Fridge – Ashley Newcomb
Generation Q – Jake Finch
Handmade by Alissa – Alissa Haight Carlton
Happy Zombie – Monica Solorio-Snow
iheartlinen – Rashida Coleman-Hale
Oh Fransson – Elizabeth Hartman
One Shabby Chick – Amber Carrillo
Pink Chalk Studio – Kathy Mack
Quilting is my Therapy – Angela Waters
Red Pepper Quilts – Rita Hodge
Sew Take a Hike – Penny Layman
West Coast Crafty – Susan Beal
Whip Up – Kathreen Ricketson
Wise Craft – Blair Stocker
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
Last night after work and school, we had a mini-marathon family Valentine-making party, with some secret projects in different rooms, and a lot of construction paper action. Pearl and I worked on decorating one for Andrew (which I bought at Hammer Press in Kansas City last fall, one of my favorite cards I’ve ever snapped up), shortly after the two of them made me a pretty killer all-handmade one with lots of hearts and a super-sweet message inside. It wasn’t hard to distract Everett away from Pearl working on one with a vivid portrait of him on the front, and after she went to bed I pinked a heart from my favorite Denyse Schmidt dots and sewed it on a card for her. Whew! This was our breakfast table this morning with grandparent Valentines waiting to be opened too. It was fun!
Pearl also made a whole family of Valentines for her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, which I just loved. Andrew cut out hearts and she proudly drew each member of the family. They each got emailed photos today and hopefully the real thing will roll into their mailboxes shortly too!
But if you are over the age of three and a half and after some truly gorgeous last-minute Valentines, please stop by the Hello!Lucky blog and download any or all of their free (!) vintage-inspired Valentine cards! My favorite is the cuckoo clock but they’re all awesome. Thank you, Hello!Lucky!
I stopped by Collage this morning and picked up some treasures, including some good Easter presents for Miss Pearl (I never seem to be following some cool blog schedule of sharing my Valentine’s stuff early enough to do anyone else any good, then Easter stuff when anyone else might also actually be thinking about it too… oh well). The markers, one Moleskine, and the sun print paper are all for her. The other Moleskines might find a home with me, I have an idea I’ve been wanting to try to customize a plain journal. Maria was so awesome and helped me find just what I was looking for – including markers that don’t dry out when the lid vanishes into playroom chaos. Who knew?!
I’ve been working on my PMQG name tag this week and was so happy to track down the exact Sharpie I needed there in that perfect turquoise color, so I can write west coast crafty on my white bias tape before I stitch it down. Here it is in progress, looking a little worse for wear after a tote-bag trip for matching purposes. I’m so excited to finish mine, and see everyone’s name tags at our February meeting! If you want to make one too, here are lots of inspiration photos, courtesy of Heather, and Petra’s original post with photos from her presentation at our January meeting.
Last, here’s some more info about the Collage party. It sounds so fun… hoping to go for sure!
If you go:
Collage’s Sellwood Grand Opening!
Saturday, February 18 from 10-6
Special discounts and 60+ raffles, all day!
7907 SE 13th Ave. in Sellwood’s Historic Antique Row, Portland
Okay, I’m off to make a red wine chocolate cake. Have a wonderful V-day!
I’ve gotten to do two lovely swaps with the Portland Modern Quilt Guild recently. One was with the KCMQG after my visit there, the Portland + KC quilters each made log cabin potholders for a member of the other guild and shipped them out to be unveiled at the December meetings. Super fun! Here’s a look at all the KC-made potholders on the table at PNCA before they were snapped up…
So, I made Jaime this… well, not a potholder. She was my wonderful hostess in KC and happened to mention that she has tons of potholders already. I was thinking about what else to make her in that same realm, and totally loved Megan’s presentation at our October PMQG meeting on quilted fabric buckets.
So I made this small standing bucket/bag with little binding-tape handles, and filled it with the rest of the blue and green fabrics I pieced with (she said blue and greens were her favorites on the swap card). This small, deep bag was made with a 7″ x 12″ block, joined at the sides and finished with box corners. I lined it with one of the solid greens.
In return, I got this charming potholder from Nancy – her first piece with free-motion quilting! Wow! She stitched in a sun, moon and stars, it’s gorgeous.
I just love it and it’s such an honor to have her very first free-motion quilting project as a gift. Thank you, Nancy! The back is so cute too…
Meanwhile, here in Portland, we did a holiday swap within our guild. Everyone filled a small ziploc bag with pieces of their favorite fabrics any any requests, and we chose someone else’s to sew with. I drew Rachel, who asked for a potholders or a placemat. I have a pretty placemat I love that Adaiha made and sent me, which I use on my sewing table every day, so I thought I’d make Rachel something similar.
I let the fabric piece sizes dictate the size of the placemat – three joined together, with a thin patchwork strip, made a nice-sized back so that was my template. I cut the rest of Rachel’s fabrics into 2″ wide strips and pieced them all randomly, then joined them vertically and top-stitched each seam. There were a lot of spectacular larger swap gifts on the table, but Rachel said that she really liked my humble little placemat, so I was happy!
I had the great good fortune for Anne to draw my name and assorted orange, yellow, and woodgrain fabrics. I said on my tag that anything would be great, and she made me a darling potholder and dishmat set – so cheerful!
I’ve been using the dishmat since I got home from the meeting. Here it is in its natural habitat, with a bowl and pan – it fits perfectly next to the (usually overflowing) dish drainer, in front of the toaster oven, and next to the coffeemaker. It looks so happy in my 1950 yellow and orange kitchen, I just love it. Thank you, Anne!
I’m also doing my first ever online quilt block bee, Michelle‘s Design Camp [think outside the block], and it’s been super fun. I just finished month #3 (for Michelle, but she hasn’t seen it in person so I’ll wait to post a photo). The first month, October, was a block with red Xs for Dustin:
Then, November, Coastal Dreams, was for Krystina:
I’m August, so I have a long time to think about my block fabrics + ideas. I’m considering sending out yellow, brown, and blue fabrics like the ones I used in the Denyse Schmidt class last summer, and getting everyone to improvisationally piece them as they’d like so I can mix them in with the ones I made. Hmm.
One last quilting note: I just posted a new correction for the Market Tote (page 141) from Modern Log Cabin Quilting. The seam allowance is incorrect on the first page (says 3/8″, should be 1/4″) – lots more details here. I’m so sorry about the error, but you can make a beautiful, sturdy, slightly smaller bag with the 3/8″ seam allowance, like Mary‘s here on the right (approximately 14″ blocks instead of 16″).
Well, I absolutely loved visiting Kansas City and have a new midwest category in honor of my trip. Thank you SO much to everyone who was so cool and welcoming! Everett and I had the most awesome time running around with Jaime, Jenny, and the other KCMQG folks, and I wanted to share some photos of my favorite things we did there, from start to finish.
Jaime picked me up from the airport and we started off with a trip to Urban Arts + Crafts as the first stop on my own personal Holiday Shop Hop (two months early in my case – but if you are anywhere near there, mark your calendars for November 5 and 6!).
Urban Arts + Crafts is a super cute and colorful store with beads, yarn, fabric and many other craft treasures (plus lots of books). I love shops like this, since I like to do so many different things myself… but my heart belonged to fabric on this trip.
I ended up with this nice zig-zag print and some Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope and County Fair! Loved seeing these again and getting a second chance to buy some.
Then Jaime took us to lunch at the Bluebird which was lovely, and downtown to visit Hammer Press (no photos of my finds, since there is a secret Father’s Day gift for Andrew in there that has to stay hidden til next June… but I did find this for a certain 3-year-old I know). Loved seeing the TWA building – so beautiful!
She showed us some other beautiful neighborhoods and we crossed from Missouri into Kansas for the first of many times. I hadn’t realized, with my total ignorance of KC geography, that we’d get to hang out on both sides of the state line, a bunch of times even! Very cool and now Everett has been to five states total. After some time to chill at Jaime’s gorgeous 1950 house (same year as mine!), we headed over to Eden’s Alley for dinner with Jacquie and Jenny. It was so great to get to hang out and chat, and Jacquie and I even found out we are both UNC grads (plus, she and my dad went to the same high school – !). Then it was time to head over to the KCMQG meeting…
I was so excited to see my dear friend Rhonda, who came from Lawrence to see me!! We’ve known each other for ten or eleven years through crafty things online and it was awesome to get to give her a hug in person. The meeting was amazing – KCMQG got their 100th and 101st paid members (!!), and the show and tell ended with a teary surprise – Shea organized a beautiful collective gift for beloved outgoing president Jacquie, a quilt called Windy City.
Then I gave my log cabin quilting presentation and showed book projects, and people were really wonderful about it – I got a lot of great compliments, and signed some books, thanks to Elaine from Harper’s, who sponsored the meeting with a fantastic mini-shop in the back! What a great evening.
After a lovely end of the night back at Jaime’s, she took me over to the KC Bernina store in the morning and we had to say goodbye. I snapped up this Betz White hat pattern and some handy pre-wound bobbins,
and got to admire their beautiful collection of vintage and antique Bernina sewing machines.
Jenny picked me up (with her adorable 7-week-old son, Carter, who Everett was fascinated with!) and we headed over to Harper’s. I loved seeing the Kaffe Fassett shot cottons in person, and how cute is this orange sewing machine?!
I picked out two of the shot cottons, plus this cute deer print and a tiny rotary cutter I’ve been wanting forever. (The quilting ruler was a gift from Elaine!)
Then we headed to the Nelson-Atkins art museum to meet Kim. I absolutely loved the museum and I wish I could have spent a whole day there (next time for sure). Everett let me see most of a photography exhibit before his baby-timer went off, and then we went outside for a more mellow visit to the completely amazing sculpture garden.
We dodged a hailstorm nicely and went back downtown for lunch with Kim, where I got to set foot on the other end of the Oregon Trail,
and then our last stop was Bon Bon. I was so excited to look through these tempting bins full of rolls of vintage and new fabrics! I picked out a nice selection, including this blue and brown colorway of my favorite vintage sheet pattern (!!!!),
and I got some half-yard cuts of two Cloud 9 fabrics I’ve been wanting.
Here we are at Bon Bon with Jenny and a sleepy little Carter. Jaime and Jenny were the sweetest tour guides ever.
Then we had to head out to the airport again and say goodbye to Missouri (and Kansas)…
and Everett and I were on the way home with a suitcase full of awesome souvenirs! Here is everything I found on my mini-shop hop. Love it all.
Along with everything I bought, Jaime gave me one of Shea‘s quilt patterns (can’t wait to try it!) and Lauren gave me this beautiful stack of vintage fabrics. Thank you so much, ladies.
I just want to thank everyone in KCMQG for welcoming me so warmly and to Jenny and Jaime for showing me your beautiful city. It was a wonderful couple days and I loved it all! I was sad to leave, but I’m excited that we’re doing a log cabin potholder swap with the KC guild – I can’t wait to see what my partner has in store for me… photos of the whole swap coming in November. And if you’re here in Portland, hope to see you tomorrow night at our PMQG meeting, too.
Speaking of, I’ll see you tomorrow for my Sewing For Boys review and giveaway – I had a lot of fun with this one and will be sharing my project then!