I was reading the NY Times style magazine this morning which featured pieces from the Fall 2011 collections. I had not really followed the shows closely, so I looked up some of my favorite designers. I was excited to see that Rodarte's prairie-inspired designs were full of quilt references. Who knew patchwork would be on the cutting edge of fashion next season! Count me in!
All photos are by Imaxtree and I found them on the fasionista blog. There are also some great photos on theDaily Beast.

Rodarte Fall 2011 Prairie Girl Patchwork

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It is a bit like a Sudoku puzzle laying a quilt out isn't it! Here are the boytie blocks on my wall in my latest arrangement. The tiny hedgehog print I bought is a trick to get in the right direction - which is why the little squares are pinned up. I want to plan those out so I sew them in the right direction. I can't wait to start sewing everything together!
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Fit to be Tied

02/24/2011

 
Oscar Wilde said “A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life,” and so it goes with my leap into quilting. Inspired by a pretty bunch of fat quarters I put together and the linen strips Jenn used in the mug rug I got at the swap, I decided to 'go for it.' I cut  5x5 pieces (I believe they are called 'charm squares' in the quilting world) to make all the bow tie blocks and picked up the linen-colored solid from Cool Cottons in SE Portland. Here is a preview of the design:
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I think when I finish this one I will make a mate using a box of shirting stripes that is collecting dust in my basement. Maybe I'll name them the Duke and Duchess of Windsor!
 
 
Last night I got a hankering to sew a bow tie block. I saw a pattern for one in a book I had checked out and returned to the library and I couldn't get it out of my head. The pattern was unusual and I was determined to try it. I had jotted down some notes so I grabbed some scraps and went to work. Here is my first try:
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I loved how this sweet little block came out and I wanted to see some whole quilts made with this technique, so I did a search on flickr for bow tie quilts and discovered that there was another way to build this block. So, of course I had to try it and compare the two. Here is the second block:
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The technique I used for the second block did not use the sandwich method like the traditional block, instead it pieced the corners together using smaller squares to form the little triangles in the center.

So, after this exercise did I prefer one version over the other? Truth be told, I am favoring the traditional bow tie. I love the dimensional quality of the center of the bow and I can't resist the odd construction. It is a bit trickier to sew, but I think it is worth it. What do you think?
 
 
I was working on the Cement Brick blocks the other day and thought I'd indulge in some design inspiration. I knew the interior of the Parker Hotel (my original inspiration for the brick design) was done by Jonathan Alder so I thought I'd look him up. I got his book 'Happy Colors' from the library and designed about fifty more quilts in my head just flipping thought the pages. His Nixon collection uses the same brick design. It is to die for! Now I am even more excited about building this quilt! Here are a few picture of his Nixon Collection products: Rug, Bedding and pillow.
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Looking at the Alder products brings up some interesting questions about how to build the quilt. If you look at these products, the motif has been done two ways. On the bedding the 'bricks' are separated (like I would with sashing in a quilt) but on the rug and pillow they attach and a cross design forms in the negative spaces. Originally I had planned to be more true to the wall, like the bedding design is, but I love the way the pillow and rug look too. Oh - more design decisions to make. Yay!
 

PMQG meeting #2

02/18/2011

 
I am very happy that I went to my second Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting last night. I am so inspired by the talented women I have met there and I participated in my first show and tell. I brought a portable version of my wall o'work on a piece of curtain backing and showed some of the block designs I've been experimenting with. I also made what is called a 'mug rug' to swap and I lucked out! The one I chose made by Jen (gee why didn't I ask for her last name - such a dope!) is darling! Thanks Jen! Here are some pics. Also - Cherri Langley from Get Your Sew On offered to help me with binding techniques. Thanks Cherri!
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My 'mug rug' for the swap - the squares were inspired by a project Violet Craft showed me how to do and the reverse applique was inspired by the Alabama Stitch Book
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Here is what I traded for in the swap. I am going to try this technique. I love the fabrics and the linen details. Thanks Jen!
 
 
Here is the cement brick block version one. I used some funny calico fabrics I got from an estate sale a while back - a quilter had lived there and I don't think she had bought any fabrics since 1972. There were loads of us scooping it up, but I got my fair share. I have some left after design camp and it is perfect for projects like this.

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I plan to add sashing the same width around each block and I still need to figure out what I want to do for the orange doors. Maybe that will just go on the back. I am looking forward to going fabric shopping for the actual fabrics. I have also been designing a few more quilts and experimenting with some new techniques. Violet Craft showed me a great fusible interfacing project with 2" squares that I did with my after school middle school kids last week. I plan to do some paper piecing with them tomorrow. They have really been into the new techniques I've been introducing to them - and it helps me get more practice.

Tomorrow is also the Guild meeting. I think I'm going to put together an 'inspiration board' with all the research and experiments I've been doing. I am looking forward to their feedback.
 
 
I have surrounded myself with quilt books, quilt blogs, tutorials and inspiration. I have been working my way through Denise Schmidt's Quilt book - I started with her free hope bag tutorial and yesterday made a sample of the Big Zig quilt to see if I could figure it out. I wish I had a quilting fairy godmother to sit with me while I learn how to do these techniques. I will say I am more fond of piecing than I ever would have imagined.

So I set out to draw my block pattern using Adobe Illustrator. First I drew an outline of the finished block and then broke it apart using the divide filter. Then I figured out a fairly complicated way to add the 1/4" seam allowance to my shapes and proudly posted it. A very talented and wise friend told me there was a much easier way to do this, and it was a huge "DUH" moment for me. In the spirit of  the process pledge I took, I will share it:
saillistrator.pdf
File Size: 120 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

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I love the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs and wish I could have giant orange doors on my house. So I got to thinking, I can - I can make a quilt inspired by it! I put together an inspiration page with my first attempt at a design. I recently joined the Portland Modern Quilt Guild and I am on a quick study program (self enforced) I'm excited to plan this out. I started by getting about 25 books from the library and discovering that there wasn't a single block that existed like the one I drew. I was surprised, but that is typical of me to have something in my head and not be able to find it out there. So I drew it in Illustrator, printed it out and sewed it together. I discovered I had a quarter inch foot for my sewing machine and I discovered that it is the best thing ever! Perfect seam allowances every time. Here is my inspiration page:


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