triangles, my favourite of all the shapes

15 01 2016

I do love triangles.  I particularly love them when they come together to form different shapes and patterns.  I could seriously put triangles into everything.  Here is one of my favourite old quilts built on triangles and appliqué.
cmykflameflower

 

These next three are also amongst my favourites of my more traditional quilts.

Aurora cmyk

windows cmyk

Oriental cmyk

It is all in the placement and the use of colour.  There are dozens of different rulers that allow you to cut and sew triangles, but I am a bit old school and like to use actual maths.  I have a handout that you can download to help with the calculations and sewing instructions which you are welcome to use if it will help.

Using Triangles

Patterns for these quilts plus more are available at http://www.uniquestitching.com.au





12 Days of Christmas – Day 11 – Foundation Piecing and 2016 BOMs

16 12 2015

I love paper piecing or what is often called foundation piecing.  The foundation does not have to be paper.  Foundation piecing is an old, old technique that is still as applicable in modern quilts and contemporary quilting as ever before.  It is the single best technique for very precise and accurate seams, allowing you to complete some very complex blocks with ease.

Foundation piecing is a bit counter intuitive when you first start, but once you get the first couple of pieces stitched down, it is quick and very easy.  I will embed a link to a tutorial below.

There are a number of fabulous quilt designers using foundation piecing predominantly in their quilts.  The work of Jaqueline de Jong and Judy Niemeyer,  both of whose patterns I will have in stock in the new year, are great examples.  However one of my favourite design pairs using paper piecing are the mother/daughter team that are Sassafras Lane Designs.  In 2015 I ran their Arcadia Avenue Block of the Month.  In 2016 I am running their Empire Place BOM.

Here are the two colourways I am running:

Empire Place Timeless fabrics sml Empire Place MM fabrics sml

My Christmas special on these is that if you enrol in the BOM in the next 48 hours, I will send you two additional foundation piecing quilt patterns as a bonus.  Value will exceed $30.

Here is the link if you would like to get more information and/or register

http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9083817/empire-place-block-of-the-month-by-sassafras-lane—pre-order-for-february-2016-start.html

Here is a link to the Sassafras Lane tutorial on foundation piecing.  I think it is a bit more complicated than entirely necessary, but take the ideas and work out what works for you.

http://sassafras-lane.com/blogs/news/7240948-sewology-sunday-paper-piecing





12 Days of Christmas – Day 10 – Modern Clearance

15 12 2015

Today is less of a Christmas special and more of a Christmas clearance, but the end result is the same.  I have fabric and patterns that I just want to get rid of so I have priced these at around and below half price.  My standard pricing was below recommended retail to start with and now I have dramatically reduced these.  So please take them to your house.  Here are the three details:

Modern Plaids – reduced by 50%.

modern-plaids

These plaids are not the low quality that you expect.  They are the same fibre and thread count as all the normal patchwork fabric and are great for childrens clothes and toys, household items, rugs and of course gorgeous quilts.   Here is the link:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9056684/12-days-of-christmas—day—10-modern-quilt-studio—modern-plaid-collection.html

Modern Plaid Quilt Kit

plaid quilt

I have kitted up the free pattern that the manufacturer provided for these fabrics (plus a couple of others).  It is a very effective quilt and I use my version as a picnic rug.  Instead of putting on a traditional backing, I backed it with Multipurpose Cloth to give me a water proof background.

Here is the link to the free pattern:  http://www.andoverfabrics.com/Quilts/The%20Modern%20Plaid%20Collection.pdf

and here is the link to buy the kit:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9059566/12-days-of-christmas—day-10—modern-plaid-quilt-kit.html

The final part of this clearance is a deep discount on the Modern Quilt Studio patterns.  Again over 50% of RRP.  Go here to see the options:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/4552122/1/modern-quilt-studio-.html





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 4 – Solid Quilts don’t have to be Solid

9 12 2015

When you spend a lot of time out at big Quilt and Craft events or even in a patchwork shop, you need lots of samples on the walls to attract people, demonstrate your products and sell.  Having samples can be a really mixed blessing though because although they draw people in once there is a sample on the wall, everyone wants to make it EXACTLY the same.  This can be very difficult for the patchwork shop owner as all fabrics have a use by date and in most cases in Australia, you get it once and have no chance of getting it again.

Think about it from the perspective of the patchwork shop.  Reps show a range of fabric and the shop owner orders it.  There are standard bolt sizes and a fairly common one is 13.7 metres (15 yards).  Amongst great excitement the fabric arrives and a pattern is conceived to demonstrate it.  The patchwork shop owner whips up a fabulous quilt using the new fabric taking, lets say for the purposes of this story, half a metre off each bolt.  Immediately the shop is down about 4% of the fabric; 4% of the potential profit, gone to what is effectively a marketing budget.  He or She will spend 6, 10, 20 hours making the quilt, all of which has an opportunity cost if not a direct cost and if the top is made into a quilt, there is the cost of backing, batting and thread.  Assuming again that the fabric can not be replaced and the quilt top evenly used half a metre off each bolt and no one bought any as meterage or fat quarters, the shop owner has the capacity to make a maximum of 26 kits for said quilt.  That is a lot of expense in time and money for 20 to 30 saleable items.  Madness really.

If the quilt is great and original the shop owner may develop their pattern and sell it seperately.  Creating patterns is far more economical as you can make one sample and sell thousands of patterns.  Often, a shop owner will design a pattern or buy in commercial ones and order fabric to support the pattern.  In any of these scenarios the shop owner is dependant on getting fabric that is identical to or close enough to those used in a pattern unless consumers can imagine the quilt in different fabrics.  Speaking for myself and all my colleagues in the industry I can say with absolute certainty, it does our head in.

So the purpose of that very long introductory tale was to show you some examples of achieving an effect without using an identical fabric.  For the purposes of this demonstration, I am using Jaybird Quilts’ Northern Lights pattern.

Originally constructed in Kona Solids, this quilt is a play on colour transition and can be done in so many different ways effectively.  This is the original pattern with the original sample.

NorthernLights-Pattern_Cover_Web

Jaybird Quilts patterns usually have instructions for up to five different sizes. This is the second smallest, the lap quilt size, and as such uses 8 different colours. The baby quilt size uses just 6 and the King size will use 16.  Obviously if you move into the bigger sizes you are going to have to use some imagination to work out what fabrics to use because only 8 are demonstrated in the sample.  And there really is not one answer to that.  It comes down to what you like.

So, using completely different fabrics, ones that read as solids, but are not solid I made this example:

northern lights final       northern lights 9 (same quilt,a bit more detail)

Now, I could have started with any one of these colours and built a run from there.  For example, the two greens could have sat next to the blues on the right.  I could equally have started with the red on the outer left and run through the rainbow in that more traditional order of the rainbow or I could have done a hundred other things with it.

So, working on a rainbow, starting with a baby quilt size and adding colours to the King, your fabrics could look like this:  Baby quilt – 6 fabrics; Lap quilt – 8 fabrics; Twin (single) – 10 fabrics; Queen – 14 fabrics; and King – 16 fabrics.

Baby - 6 fabrics   Lap - 8 fabrics    fabric 10 rainbow

fabric 14 rainbow   fabric 16 rainbow

Or, alternatively do this in something more muted like Neutrals.  Here are three examples one of 6 fabrics and 2 of 8.

fabric 6 neutrals     fabric 8a neutrals     fabric 8 neutrals

Imagine doing something like this in a monochromatic scheme, from light through to dark.

Hopefully this helps you reimagine patterns a bit more broadly.  Support your local patchwork shop.  They are the experts and will help you make something spectacular, tailored to your preferences.

For todays special.  I have kits of all these colourways shown if you would like to make the quilt.  The kits are priced at around $13 to $14 per metre for the fabric and include the pattern.

 Head here to purchase:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9096759/12-days-of-christmas-2015—day-4—jaybird-quilts-northern-lights-kits.html

 

 





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day Two – Fancy Forest Quilt Kit

7 12 2015

We are running a number of great Blocks of the Month for 2016. You can see the details of all of them by following this link: http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/195258/1/clubs-subs-and-boms.html

As a result of already having two new BOMs lined up, I resisted falling in love with any more. Sometimes, resistance is futile. This became especially so when I saw Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Forest Quilt.

FancyForest BOM

I don’t normally do cute. I don’t normally do projects that are dominantly Northern Hemisphere, but there was something about this quilt that I could not walk past, so I have ordered some (well, maybe more than ‘some’) and they are due to arrive in February 2016.

I struggled with the concept of this as a potential Block of the Month though. There is fundamentally only 6 or 7 different blocks in the whole piece, repeated. To me a BOM should be quite different every month and ideally stretch your skill level as you complete it, gaining in complexity as you go. Fancy Forest wont do that. You can do this as one big quilt, one little quilt or four panels that can be built into anything. So I was not going to run the programme as a BOM. I have kits coming. However, as it is nearly Christmas, I am also going to offer this as a BOM over twelve months, not because I think it is a traditional BOM. I am offering this over 12 months so that you effectively have a ‘layby’ option and can spread the cost.

Numbers of the BOM will be strictly limited.

For a Christmas special, I am offering the full kit at 30% off for two days. To go straight to the kit, follow this link: http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9096332/fancy-forest-full-kit-by-elizabeth-hartman—pre-order-for-february-2016-delivery.html

Please bare in mind that this offer is a pre order. Kits will not be released until February 2016. By ordering now, you are guaranteeing your kit at a fabulous price. (And I know precisely how many I need)





A trip to the lolly shop

27 11 2015

I remember a time when I was younger and as a very special treat my sister and I would be allowed 20cents to go down to the local shop and buy a bag of mixed lollies.  It was always an adventure to see what you got and to swap those that you did not like.  I never wanted the hard, boiled lollies but I could usually trade these with my sister for a snake or something else.  I think she worked out that you could suck the boiled ones for hours and extend the pleasure of the lolly bag.

Now I am much older and am still not a fan of boiled lollies, but I think I have found a way to have the joy and colourful effect of these without the sugar.  That is in making the latest block of the month by Jaybird quilts – Sweet Tooth.  Each block reminds me of bright, colourful lollies.

The BOM does not come out until the new year, but the beauty of going to Quilt Market in Houston is that you get to see the quilts and take home a shop guide.  This year Julie also gave me a little bundle of fabric to make the first two blocks.

Sweet tooth 3

Here is Julie from Jaybird Quilts standing in front of Sweet Tooth. (you can click on it to see a bigger picture)

Sweet tooth 2

Last night I made my blocks up.  The two blocks took less than an hour from start to finish.  The quilt uses the Hex N More and Super Sidekick rulers or you can make your own templates.  The rulers make everything easier.  I am offering the BOM with a choice of light, medium or dark backgrounds and am making my sample up in the light background, so you can see the five colours on the silver background below.  Obviously Julie’s sample pictured above is in the dark option.

Sweet tooth 1

Here is what the finished blocks look like.  I am looking forward to making the rest.

Sweet tooth 4

If you want to be part of any of our BOMs you can check out the details here:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/195258/1/clubs-subs-and-boms.html





Toes in the Sand – A feast of easy triangles

11 04 2015

I have been having a bit of fun recreating a Jaybird Quilts (http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/) Block of the Month.  I will run this as a monthly BOM starting late May early June 2015.  All of the blocks in the quilt are made using the Hex N More ruler.  This ruler is a Jaybird Quilts designed tool and is very clever.

Here are some photos of me using the Hex N More on a different quilt block, cutting triangles and hexagons.  Using this ruler means that putting together these, and other shapes go together like a dream.

Hex N More cutting Hexes.

Hex N More cutting Hexes.

Hex N More cutting triangles

Hex N More cutting triangles

 

Anyway, the BOM I have been remaking is Toes in the Sand.  It is made up of 24 different triangles, set in more triangles.  Each month, you make two blocks in the same way, but the way you place the fabrics will make them look very different, so by the end, you have 24 really cool, different triangles.  This shows the original pattern and colours.

ToesintheSand-Pattern_Cover_WebI am offering it in two colourways, one similar to those originally used and one in autumn tones.  Both options have batiks as the main fabric and Kona Cotton as the setting triangles.

TTTongaBluegrass

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Here are the 24 autumn tone blocks.  There is a bit of variation in the quality of the lighting as I took these as I finished them, some in the day, some at night, all on my ironing board in the kitchen.  In each pair, one is more subtle than the other.  This will be important when I lay them out into the finished quilt placement.

?????????? ??????????  ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????

If you would like to take part in this or any of our other BOMs, please visit http://www.uniquestitching.com.au and select Clubs, Subs or BOMs as the category.

 








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