February 14, 2018
Shortly after starting Blue Underground Studios I was giving a talk at a guild meeting and I asked the members why they liked to quilt. There were the various expected answers such as “I love fabric” or “I learned it from my mother.” But there was one woman in the group that evening – she was straight faced and looked very serious – who piped up after all of the others and said loudly “I quilt so I don’t kill people!” She said this without even cracking a smile and immediately everyone burst out laughing. It was a funny answer, to be sure. However, there was probably an element of truth there. Quilting (and all other creative pursuits for that matter) can save us in a sense….both individually and collectively.
February 13, 2018
I am finally working on a quilt that I started at the end of last year. It’s based on my LOFT pattern from our first book, Colorful Quilts for Fabric Lovers (C&T publishers). Late last summer I found out that this book was going to be available again as a print on demand version and I am so pleased! There were several patterns in this book that I love making. I decided that as time allows, I am going to make some of these patterns in some refreshed fabrics and palettes.
November 6, 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!
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.
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.