Room With a View

November 6, 2017

Room with a View Quilt. Photo used with permission of American Patchwork & Quilting. ©2017

Have you seen the October issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine? They featured one of the latest Blue Underground Studios designs – the Room With a View quilt!

I love the colors in this quilt. Originally, I had selected a blue, green and earthy brown/gray palette. I wanted to make a quilt that would be suitable for guys and girls, and blue and green have long been a favorite color combination (green being my favorite color and all…). As I was sewing the blocks together, however, I realized that this quilted needed more spark. So I added the creamy white solid. And then started pulling out some warmer colors, starting with the gold tones to add to the squares. Gold, in this case a more subdued cousin of yellow, instantly warmed everything up. This is not a color that I work a lot with in quilts unless it happens to appear in a printed fabric that I fall in love with. But it is so rich, and can really act as a neutral on its own. I felt I was halfway there. I still wanted an addition that would be unexpected, sort of a maverick if you will. Since I started the quilt with blue as one of my anchor colors, I decided to go with fabrics that would offer high contrast. This is how the pinks and tomato red made the cut. Pink is not necessarily a color I would choose for a guy quilt, but I definitely think it works well here. Sort of like a really good looking man in a pink tie. It’s classic, and goes well with a dark suit :). After those two fabrics were chosen, the other ‘frame’ colors practically chose themselves – shades of violet, crimson, and even a coral.

This quilt is sparkling a little as I am looking at it on my kitchen chair. It’s partly the colors, and it’s partly the fabrics – the palette collection by Marcia Derse for Windham fabrics. If you’re not familiar with her amazing work, you can see it all here. The fabrics from the palette line are subtly textured and have a sophisticated look. I have been cutting kits for this quilt over the past couple of weeks (you can get one here!)…

and falling in the love with the color combos all over again. I’m definitely inspired to work with more gold. And I am very intrigued by the idea of using gold and pink together as a starter palette for a future quilt!

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Crafty Saturdays

October 15, 2017

I recently read an article about the importance of teaching children how to sew.  The author of this article –  and I cannot for the life of me remember where I read it – talked about the importance of keeping the craft going and how important it is to engage young people while they are young. I so agree with this philosophy and try to apply it in my own home – not just with sewing, but with as many creative pursuits as I have storage for.

Growing up, there was no end to the projects I wanted to try.  I was lucky enough to have a family that encouraged and enabled my artistic endeavors, such as they were.  I really try to foster this type of environment for my daughters. I also try to make it a regular occurrence.  Thus the birth of Crafty Saturdays.

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Baker Street II

October 11, 2017


I finished a new Baker Street sample last month and I love it!  As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite things about quilt making is the different looks you can achieve by changing one or more of the variables.  One pattern can literally have thousands of different looks by changing the fabrics alone.

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Color, Color, Color!

September 27, 2017

Between the start of my art classes this school year, a color class at The Quilter’s Trunk, and a visit to the Itasca Quilt Guild,  I spent almost all of last week talking about and thinking about and dreaming about color.  It was a blissful week!

I always start the art year at school out reviewing the color wheel and basic color theory.  I am trying to get my students to be able to think about colors the way they think about their math facts – I want it to become part of their school vocabulary.  I have yet to find any kids who dislike color.  They all have a lot to say on the subject and seem genuinely happy to learn about it.  Like anything you imprint when you are young, as you mature, you start to see things that you might not have otherwise.  Since I started giving color classes about ten years ago, my perspective on color and the way I view colors in nature, art and quilting have been affected by all I have learned – both in preparing for classes and being inspired by my students.

This year’s classes started at the perfect time to coincide with a color class that I gave at The Quilter’s Trunk a week a go last Saturday.  We have offered this class a couple of times now and I always love teaching it. We spend the morning and early afternoon together reviewing basic color theory, doing mini-color studies and creating new quilt fabric palettes with fabrics from the shop.  It’s pretty much a win-win for everyone.  We get to talk about color and pet fabrics at the same time :). Here’s a few shots from class that day:

Mini- Color Studies: color confidence class, September 2017

 

Mini-complementary color study, color confidence class, Sept. 2017

Color Chats, color confidence class, Sept. 2017

Color Studies, color confidence class, Sept. 2017

Color Studies, color confidence class, Sept. 2017

Color Studies, color confidence class, Sept. 2017

Thanks to everyone who came to class – I even had one student there for the second time!

Then last Wednesday I visited the Itasca Quilt Guild – such a lovely evening spent with like-minded ladies!  I gave my Color Confidence lecture and showed Blue Underground quilts – some new, some old.  Storage space it at a premium in my house and most of my quilts are put away in between trunk shows…I always like seeing all of these quilts as they are unfolded.  They are like old friends.  And as an extra treat, some of these ladies brought quilts that they had made from our patterns in years past!

As the season changes here in Chicago (even though this past week alone has been hotter than any other this summer it seems)  I am inspired to keep experimenting with color! If you’re interested in scheduling a color class or lecture/trunk show for your shop or guild, send us an email at blueundergroundstudio@yahoo.com or call 773-425-6261!

 

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The Beauty of Color

July 24, 2017

We have been talking a lot about colors this summer, largely prompted by these color cards by Eeboo that my daughter Maggie got for Christmas (from Santa!). My daughters are five and eight, and I love to hear their different opinions about colors and how they are used, and what they should be named and which are their favorites.  I was surprised to find just how much they have to say on the matter. So much in fact, that sometimes they like to ask visitors to play as well.

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