I have been doing some thinking. Scary, right? I have been thinking about my design process and how I create quilts. Before I started making quilts for publication I did things a bit different. I would buy fabric in random amounts and stick it on the shelf. When I started a quilt, I would pull fabric from the shelf and begin. If I didn't have enough of a fabric I never let that stop me. I would make do with the closest fabric I had on hand.
I still buy random amounts of fabric and pull from the shelves to start but when there isn't enough I go buy specific fabric to fill those needs rather than really making do. So I decided to make a quilt "from scratch" with only what I have on hand. Going back to my roots.
Every quilt I make starts like this photo above. I have a million sketch books and they are full drawings. Some of the drawing actually look like something and some are like this. The quilt is in my head, I just need enough on paper to keep from losing my place and to do some math.
I decided I wanted a quilt that looked old/antique but something easy to piece and fun. I chose a medallion design. After working out some basics and figuring size on paper I drew up a rough design on the computer.
This is still not exact. I don't want to waste time drawing out blocks that I know are going to change so I just added in those bars to save the space.
I started pulling fabric. Most of it is a fat quarter or less so I am going to be scraping by on some of it.
I had a bit of this fabric saved back and I knew I had to use it. It is an older line called Old Glory from Nancy Gere and is one of my favorite pieces of fabric ever. I decided to use it on a border so it could be a focus. Working with such limited amounts of fabric would make using a design wall a practical idea but since I have never been one to be practical I am just laying my blocks on the floor. (Warning to anyone using a floor as a design wall- when you lay the project out on the floor and have just the way you like it will send out a silent alarm to any cat or dog in a five mile radius.)
So I get to here and realize that it is getting too busy to add another busy pieced border so I stopped and started auditioning fabrics for the next border. I think this navy blue will do the trick. It will give your eye a resting place and close in the piecing. I am going to have to use several navy prints because I don't have enough of one or two for that matter. I still have to finish my star blocks for the empty blocks and now instead of the next border being a six inch border of randomly pieced blocks, it will be a 3" navy border and 3" row of piecing. The lighter blue border towards the center was bugging me. It was too plain and drew too much attention. Being an appliquer I figure there isn't much that can't be fixed with a little applique so I laid some vines on it and that fixed it.
Obviously these are just laid on there but you can see that adding a bit of applique there will break up that border so it plays more nicely with the rest of the quilt.
I will check back in with my progress as I get this put together. Will it be a pattern? I don't know. I don't know if anyone would want to buy a pattern made from such random fabrics but I am having fun digging through scraps to piece it.
I can't believe it's been three weeks since I blogged. I always get home from market and think I am going to have tons of down time but it never happens that way. When you get home from something like market there are a million things to get squared away, not to mention getting the house back in order. Early in the month I had the opportunity to teach my Pathways quilt at a retreat not far from home in Kirksville. I love teaching this quilt. It looks complicated but is actually really easy to create. Then I was hit with a terrible cold which slowed me down and I don't like to be slowed down. I don't do well with taking it easy.
This Saturday, my friend Ann and I headed to the Lake of the Ozarks. We stopped by the Needl' Love open house which was gorgeous beyond words. From there we headed onto The Ladies Of The Lake retreat. This is the second year that I have been invited and I absolutely love this group. So that pretty much catches you up on my three weeks except for the arrival of the new issue of Quiltmania. This is issue #104 and the cover is above. The quilt on the cover is by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.
This is my quilt Laidley. It is pieced with a tiny bit of applique. I have a passion for old quilts that have areas where the dye was fugitive and has faded, leaving other parts bold. That was the look I was going for in this quilt and I am happy with the way it turned out. It is big stitch quilted with Valdani pearl cotton. I love the way they styled this. Quiltmania always does such a great job with their photography.
Every year in April they host a huge quilt show called Pour l'Amour du Fil which roughly translated is For the Love of Thread. The show is held in Nantes, France and my dream is to one day make it to the show. If you are interested in the show, you can get more information HERE. Wouldn't that make a great girls trip!
So for now that is all I have to share. I have started some new designs for Spring and hope to be able to share some of that with you soon.
So we made it to Market. Drove for 13 hours. Did Schoolhouse for my book and for my patterns.
Set up the booth.
And this is where we spent the next 3 days. It was a great market. I met a lot of new people and caught up with friends I only see at Market. I released 8 new patterns this market.
Camille- Layer Cake pattern
This is made with one layer cake. No additional yardage.
Sorry this is turned.
Hospitality- Dresser Scarf Pattern.
This is wool and velvet applique
Asters- Layer Cake pattern
Also uses only one layer cake.
My token pieced pattern. This one was fun to stitch.
This is a mix of wool and cotton applique on a cotton background.
All cotton applique.
Done By Me
Wool applique on a cotton background.
And as promised-
Somerset as a complete pattern.
I know that is a lot of photos and not much text but that is just how it is this time. I am exhausted but content. I will try to get the new patterns all posted in the online store by the end of the week if any of you are interested in ordering. Also if you ordered patterns while I was away for market, they will be going out ASAP.
I leave for Fall Quilt Market on Thursday- super early in the morning. I have been running around like crazy these last few days tying up loose ends and getting ready to go. This is a picture of the new quilts hanging on the rack patiently waiting to make their debut. I am pretty excited to show the new designs. I will have 3 largish applique quilts. One wool on cotton, one wool and cotton on cotton and one cotton on cotton. I have a new pieced pattern, two layer cake patterns, a dresser scarf pattern and for those of you have emailed me- Somerset will be available as a complete pattern. If you are heading to market, I will be in Booth #2052 and doing a book signing Saturday in the Star booth. Also be sure to check out my Schoolhouse sessions for Linen Closet Designs and Kansas City Star on Friday.
Yesterday I took a welcome break from the rush and welcomed Quiltmania into my house. Carol Veillon and Guy, the awesome photographer, came to do a shoot for the Quilts and Enchanting Homes feature in the regular issues of Quiltmania. These are my photos and are no where near the quality of what they do but just gives you an idea of our house layout.
It was a lot of fun and I feel honored to be featured. Our house is nothing fancy but I certainly have no shortage of quilts. I have been traveling a lot and it was nice to have all the quilts back up.
The house feels kind of bare when they are all packed up for trunkshows. Quiltmania took many more shots than the rough photos I have here but you get an idea. The feature should be in the spring- possibly the March issue.
So, that is really all I have to share until Market when I can finally show you all I have been working on. I just wanted to stop in for a minute so you didn't think I had given up the blog.
I see that I was wrong, there are plenty of blog readers out there. The interesting thing is that the blog readers seem to strictly read blogs and the Facebookers are strictly looking at Facebook. It is quite a divide. I will continue to blog and do my best to be regular. It was really good to hear from all of you. One comment really struck home with me- "you have been MIA to me". Wow! I hadn't even thought of that. So I am back to stay.
Several of you have asked for more info on the book so here are a couple of projects from it. I am posting it in the online store now for order. It retails for $24.95 and free shipping. Just click on the bird logo on the side bar. Above is Squash Patch. This is a fun quilt to make. The blocks are only 4" and the little squashes are super quick to stitch. It is a great stash buster. Below is Pathways. It is a Garden Maze pattern with an appliqued border. I love this quilt. It looks complex but is actually made of simple 6" blocks.
We just got home from Colorado yesterday afternoon and I found this.
This is a shot of my quilt Brighton from the new Fons and Porter Scrap Quilts. I was excited to see the quilt again. I finished stitching the binding on and popped it in the mail back in January so it is kind of like a new quilt to me. It was a lot of fun to make. I dug into my stash and made piles of red, green and pink and just started piecing. It is a large quilt, 92" x 92" so it is a great way to use up scraps.
This hasn't been the most interesting post but it's all I have for you for now. I have to finish unpacking and get my self back on track. More to come!
Time seems to be an elusive commodity. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. As I write this I am preparing to travel for trunkshows and workshops. Monday I am in Blue Springs Mo. which is about 1 1/2 from here. Tuesday I head to Marshall Mo. which about an hour away and early Wednesday morning I will be on my way to Colorado Springs which is farrrrrr from here. I am also getting down to the last weeks of market prep. Anyway, my point is as my business has grown I have had to streamline things and determine priorities and some things just have to go. As you can see I have let the blog go. I post regularly to my Facebook page because it takes only a couple of minutes whereas a blog post does require some thought and time to write and gather photos. It seems that fewer people are reading blogs than when I first started and that maybe my time would be better spent in other areas. So the point of this post is to see if I should let the blog go to the wayside or get back in the swing of posting weekly. If you are reading this PLEASE comment- let me know if readers are still out there. If you are and you are interested in seeing blog posts here, then I will get back in gear.
In case anyone is reading this I will catch you up on what I have been doing...
If you take a look at my sidebar you will several new magazine covers have been added. I have been fortunate to be a part of Quiltmania, Simply Vintage, Quilters World and Primitive Quilts and Projects these past months. I will also have a quilt in Fons and Porter Scrap Quilts and the Nov. issue of Quiltmania.
I have been all over teaching and doing trunkshows and have been blessed to meet a lot of wonderful quilters.
AND I finished my fifth book!
I am very excited about this book. It is fall themed and there is no other time I love better than fall. The book has 6 quilts and two smaller projects. There are pieced quilts, applique quilts and combo quilts. I have my advance copies and it should be shipping to stores in the next week.
This is Splendor, the feature quilt.
If it looks like folks are tuning in, I will share more of the book and all the new stuff I have coming up for market.
In August of 2009 I designed a sampler quilt called Vicksburg. Prior to publishing it as a pattern and making it available for purchase, I ran it as a Free BOM on my blog. I offered it as a challenge to use only fabric from your stash- no fabric shopping. I followed the challenge as well. I even dyed several background prints to have enough that matched. It was a lot of fun to see everyone's blocks as we sewed along.
One of the quilters that sewed along was Cherie Moore. Cherie finished her quilt and had it quilted by Terri Kanyuk.
This is Cherie's gorgeous quilt. She entered it to be juried into the AQS show in Paducah. And guess what? It was accepted! How fantastic is that?! I am so excited for her. If you go to the show in April, make sure to look for Cherie's Vicksburg. Cherie also has a blog at - quiltedjonquil.com
After 9 days and a little over 2000 miles we are home! It has been a fabulous trip. We started out in Houston for International Quilt Market. I debuted 5 new patterns. It was a fantastic Market and the new designs were well received. I can't tell you how grateful I am! It is so good to see your hard work pay off.
This is Rhapsody. It has 13 blocks of Folk Art applique. It is already popping up all over the place as a BOM.
This is Folly. I love this design- it has so much movement. The pillow hanging beside it is a block done in wool.Wool would speed up the process and add so much texture. I would love to find time to do a wool version.
This is Bristol. It is a super easy medallion that features velvet applique accents and some reproduction Dutch Chintz.
This is Ashbey. It is the first in a series of dresser scarf patterns I am doing. All of the designs will finish at 6" x 20 1/2". They all have a ruffled edge and feature wool and velvet applique with a touch of embroidery. These are fast to whip up. Great for gift giving.
The second dresser scarf is on the right. It is called Heart's Desire.
It was pretty busy and I didn't get out of the booth much but we did get to meet up with friends we only see a couple of times a year. I have to say Houston has some of the best food options around and we ate well while we were there.
The one non- quilt related thing we did was go to the Galleria. If you have never been, it is amazing. The largest mall I have ever seen. It has an ice rink in the center, is 3 stories and features some of the priciest stores you can find. I found a lovely Vuitton bag in eggplant for only $2500. Needless to say it did not come home with me.
After Market we headed to Rogers, Arkansas for a couple of days at the Rabbit's Lair. If you are ever in the area make sure you stop and see this store. They have a great variety of fabrics, wool, velvet and yarns. The store is in an old pharmacy and boasts all the original fixtures on both floors. The folks who run the store are very friendly and will welcome you.
Our next stop was Grove Oklahoma where I was lucky to visit the Grand Lake of the Cherokee Quilt Guild. I did a trunk show and workshop with them. I love visiting guilds. They have some really talented quilters in their group.
So that is what I have been up to. Now I am trying to get caught up around home. If you are interested in any of the new patterns I will have them up in the online store by tomorrow.
Patterns are now posted in the online store- www.linenclosetdesigns.bigcartel.com
I am a quilt and fabric designer in Columbia Mo. My company is called Linen Closet Designs. I create patterns with a vintage feel. I am the author of 5 books with KC Star Quilts.I have two grown sons, an American Bulldog and several very spoiled cats. You can email me at email@example.com. I do trunk shows and teach workshops.