Monday, March 26, 2018

A Color Book Review

I am always on the lookout for great quilt books, and I've found one in The Quilter's Practical Guide to Color (affiliate link).

This book selection was not about making a project from the book. Instead, this choice was for learning more about color theory,  and to pick up tidbits of information from a quilter's perspective. And that's important, because Becky talks about not just color but fabric.

After reading the first 20 pages, I knew this book was different. Of course, it wouldn't be fair of me to tell all, otherwise you wouldn't look at the book yourself. And there's a lot in this book that I think is really useful information for quilters, because it's fabric related.

So, here are three more tidbits that really struck a cord with me:

1) Characteristics of and uses for various print fabrics. 

We all have those 'love this print, but where and how do I use it?' fabrics. You know the ones - maybe really large prints, or several colors in an unpredictable pattern, etc, etc. Becky does a fantastic job discussing how best to use these, along with other prints, such as stripes, dots, plaids, and all sorts of prints in between. This is the first 'color' book that I've read to really talk about the print on the fabric, which is an extension of color. We quilters have to take everything into account when making a quilt!

2) Using clear vs grayed fabrics. 

This nugget of information was well worth the price of the book! You see, my stash is full of grayed fabrics, mostly from the 90's and early 2000's: trendy I am not. I moved some of it along a couple months ago, because I felt the fabrics were just too dull. And then I read this book.

Becky talks about using those grayed fabrics, along with  clearer ones, to give a sense of depth to a quilt. Wait, what?? Does that mean I should have held onto those fabrics?

Well, no, I'm still glad I moved them along, but just reading this bit of information was a hallelujah moment to give me confidence in using the remaining grayed fabrics that I have. And I can let go of the angst that group causes, now knowing a better purpose for them. Thank you Becky!

3) Building fabric choices for a quilt.

This takes all the information discussed earlier in the book - color relationships, fabric prints, scale, texture, etc, etc - and puts them all together in choosing fabrics for a quilt. 

And she doesn't make it a hard process. She actually says, "Don't over-think it," which is probably the best advice there is.

So, in a nutshell, The Quilter's Practical Guide to Color (affiliate link) is probably the best 'color' book out there for quilters. For us, there's more to a quilt than just color relationships - it's all the other elements associated with fabric prints that are rarely discussed. And this book, which is now one of my go-to books, tells it all!

Happy Quilting in Color!

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Patriotic Wave Decorating

As you may know, I make and sell patterns of quilts that I design, and that others will love. And that is certainly the case here, as my most loved pattern is the Patriotic Wave Table Runner.

Patriotic Wave Table Runner by QuiltFabrication

It's one of my favorites too, and you know I have a lot of favorites!

So, the reason for this post is not so you can get a jump on your sewing for the 4th of July, though there is a treat at the end of the post. No, this post is because of two pictures I've received - and I just have to share!

This week, Maureen sent me a terrific picture of her Patriotic Wave, hanging in her husband's office.

Maureen's Patriotic Wave wall hanging

Maureen says she sews mostly clothes, but looks for small projects that are within her skill level. And she certainly did a fantastic job! With a hanging sleeve on the back, she turned the runner into a wonderful wall hanging. Maureen, thank you so much for sending this - Patriotic Wave is making a lovely wall decoration!

And in the summer of last year, Pam sent me a picture of her Patriotic Wave, which she turned on end to decorate her front door.

Pam's Patriotic Wave door decoration

Wow - doesn't that look terrific??

Thank you, Maureen and Pam, for sending pictures of your versions of the Patriotic Wave - great job!

Thank you to everyone who has downloaded my patterns - I truly appreciate it! Have a wonderful weekend quilting!


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My Favorite Patterns

Monday, March 19, 2018

Strawberry Splendor

Springtime is here, and so are strawberries!

Strawberry Splendor quilted wall hanging

Fresh strawberries, straight from the farm, and oh so sweet! Let's honor this luscious berry with a beautiful wall hanging pattern, Strawberry Splendor - more details are within the post!

Strawberry Splendor 38 x 38 wall hanging pattern

Strawberry Splendor is fairly straight forward - it uses 11" paper pieced berries, appliqued flowers, and pieced ric rac chains. The berries are easy to paper piece as there's no seams to match, no points to worry about, and as a special bonus, all the fabric piece sizes for paper piecing are listed for you - no need to figure it out yourself! Put it all together and there's sweet homage to everyone's favorite, strawberries! Just divine!

Along with those big berries, there's beautiful quilting to enhance the charm of this quilt. As in the preview last Wednesday, the background has straight line quilting, which changes direction throughout the quilt, but stays the same direction around each strawberry.

Strawberry Splendor background quilting

When viewed up close, there are groups of three perpendicular lines evenly spaced in the background, adding a bit more interest to the negative space.

Strawberry Splendor background detail quilting

Simple outlining makes the flowers and leaves stand out. The strawberries have diagonal crosshatching with a little bar at each crossing, giving the impression of a seed.

Strawberry Splendor strawberry quilting with seeds

Gracing each red corner border are motifs of strawberries and leaves, enclosed by micro-stippling to make them pop.  Definitely a lovely addition to the strawberry theme!

Strawberry Splendor strawberry motif in borders

If you, too, wish to honor spring's best berry, the Strawberry Splendor pattern is now available at Etsy

A few more pics to show before you leave: 

Strawberry Splendor quilt backside

 The quilting makes the back just as beautiful!

Strawberry Splendor quilt backside closeup

Time to go enjoy some strawberries!!

Strawberry Splendor quilt

Happy Quilting!

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Serendipity Mini

I'm proud to introduce my latest project, Serendipity Mini!

Serendipity quilt

Measuring in at 24" x 24", this is a perfect size to participate in the Small, Smaller, Smallest Blog Hop, sponsored by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt

First, a little background on this quilt. I started 2017 with good intentions of following along with RSC17. I got as far as red in March, then too many other projects demanded my attention, and RSC17 fell by the wayside.

But I did make at least nine RSC17 quilts during those three months, which is pretty productive. This purple scrap quilt got started, then sidelined because of a fabric shortage. 

So when I saw the Small, Smaller, Smallest hop, I knew Serendipity Mini would be perfect, and I finally had a reason to finish it as it was. 

Before I jump to closeups, I want to talk a bit about the quilting design. Using a vinyl overlay, I started to draw,

quilting design testing

Notice in the picture the three different line directions inside the stars - each one follows a different side of the triangle. The top left was the first, and is a natural starting choice. The top right was next, and was ok. But the center bottom was the one that made me say Oh! I like that! - what a difference the direction makes. So when you have a directional choice to make in your quilting, try all angles and see what makes you say Oh!

Now on to Serendipity Mini closeups!
First, a corner, full of 1/4" 45 degree lines.

one fourth inch 45 degree lines in the quilt corner

Next, the stippling in the center.

stippling in the quilt center

A closeup of one of the stars, with their directional centers, and seed arcs on the purple triangles.

star centers

Put them all together...

Serendipity quilt center closeup

and that's one pretty wall hanging!

Serendipity Mini quilt

And not to be left out, the back, complete with hanging sleeve!

Serendipity Mini quilt backside

Not only did the scraps, colors, and quilting come together for this quilt, but the opportunity to finish it. Truly a happy chance, or serendipity!

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, March 2, 2018

Raspberry Cheesecake

Who doesn't like cheesecake??? How about a piece with raspberry ribbons running through it?

Raspberry Cheesecake improv quilt

Yes, Raspberry Cheesecake - this quilt was sooo easy to name!!

These older fuchsia prints just sing next to the Kona Banana - such a beautiful color combo! A special thanks goes out to the 3 in 1 Color Tool (affiliate link) for helping out in that department. (See, I'm exploring color relationships!)

3 in 1 Color Tool

How about some closeups? There just had to be straight line quilting in this one,

Raspberry Cheesecake quilt closeup 1

which I had originally meant to be 1/4" all the way through. 

But, I started with a 1/2" mistake, then quilted 10" worth of 1/4" spaced lines, and thought, ugh, I have to do this all the way? Oh-so-time consuming, and possibly with a stiff result, so maybe not such a great idea.

That one 1/2" mistake then turned into a design element! I quilted a few inches of 1/2" lines, then a  few of 1/4", and so on. In the end, it was a great choice, because it certainly adds a ton of quilting interest to this quilt.

Raspberry Cheesecake quilt closeup 2

Simple loops are in the raspberry ribbons, because I wanted something curvy, and not dense. The curves and low density contrast nicely with all those close lines.

Raspberry Cheesecake quilt closeup 3

This quilt will be going to it's forever home next month, as a coworker is decorating their baby's room in pink and yellow, and this is perfect, especially with a flannel backing.

Raspberry Cheesecake quilt closeup and backing

Hubby is sad to see it go. For me, I'm ok with it, cause I know I have enough fabric to make another!

For more on how this quilt was made, check out these posts:
Improv Project #4
Improv Freehand Cut Striped Fabric

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Quilting!

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

March 2018 Book of the Month

March 1st, and time for a new Book of the Month selection. This one goes to Becky Goldsmith's The Quilter's Practical Guide to Color (affiliate link).

Yes, it's time to move on, though I certainly enjoyed Improv Patchwork (affiliate link) over the last two months as verified by Hippo Blue, Love MatchZee Quilt, and a fourth creation revealed tomorrow. It certainly was fun to just cut fabric and sew,without a lot of seams to match. 

Maria did a pretty good job discussing choosing a color palette, and I wish I had explored color schemes a bit more, but was hesitant to cut into my solids. To get over that, I want to explore color a bit more, as choosing color schemes is something we deal with every time we make a quilt. I hope to  share some of Becky's insights of color relationships, and make us all a bit more confident. 

Happy Quilting!

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