Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fun-Size Quilts BLOG HOP!

Hey there, thanks for stopping by on the blog hop!

For the longest time I couldn't understand why people would make mini quilts. The idea just baffled me. And then I got the opportunity to design on for this book and I totally get it now. They are so fun, quick and easy and the design options are endless!

I am so fortunate to be among some of my favorite designers in this book. 

My mini- "Skyline" -features fabrics from my stash as well as several prints from my Technicolor fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics.

Do you want to win an e-version of this fun book for your self? All you have to do is visit the Martingale blog and then hop along to the rest of the designers on the blog hop to have a look at their quilts (you can enter to win an ebook on each of their blogs). Then come on back here and leave a comment telling me which is your favorite (it doesn't have to be mine!)

It could be-

"Hedgehog Heyday" from Cheri Leffler

or "My Little Garden" by Jackie White

or "Fox in a Box" by Jeni Baker 

or any of the others- there's 19 different fun-size quilts!

Can't wait to see which one you choose! Contest will run through July 30th. 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Getting to know...RUSTIQUE!

Photo from Hawthorne Threads. Used with permission. 
Since RUSTIQUE is now shipping to stores all over I wanted to tell you a little about my inspiration and how I came up with the ideas for each print. 
I've been planning this post for a while and had to postpone due to a computer crash. Unfortunately I lost a lot of photos and have had to re-think how I'm going to do this post. I hope you enjoy!

Park City was one of the first prints I designed for the collection. Originally each hexagon only had one trophy in it and the animal varied in each including an Elk, Mule Deer, and Moose. While playing around with the trophies I got this snowflake design and loved it! It was decided that choosing only one animal would be best so I stuck with the trophy motif from the Trophy print. I LOVE the snowflake shape that it makes.

From the beginning of it's creation I  knew I wanted woodgrain somewhere in the Rustique collection. This fabric line was in the works for a while and by the time it was ready to go there were lots of woodgrain fabric already out there. I decided not to have a woodgrain print and instead chose to add just a touch in these prints. I really like the accent they add to Park City.

I had the idea for Trophy all along. I knew I would have deer heads with antlers evenly spaced on a background. In my head I envisioned wallpaper. What would these deer heads look like on a wall? My deer went through several drafts before deciding on the one you see here. Their antlers were a work in progress, too. Originally they were just antlers. My husband helped direct me to the specific type of deer and the best "rack". I really learned a lot about deer, specifically the difference between whitetail and mule deer. At some point, I don't remember exactly when, but I had the idea to make the collection more organic by adding flowers and branches. It was an "Ah Ha!" moment when I replaced the antlers with branches and tiny blossoms. It took some convincing to get the hubs on board but I really didn't care if he agreed or not- I loved it! Of course this changed the final look in Park City, also, both for the better.

The idea for Embossed came about from one of the original trophies in Park City. This trophy is a whitetail.   A lot of the design process is just moving images around and seeing what happens. I wanted to line them up and see what secondary design would appear. Once they were lined up I immediately saw an Aztec/tribal style design and added the little diamonds. I knew this print would be a tone-on-tone print and envisioned embossed leather where the design shows up in shadows depending on the way the light hits it. This one might be my favorite of all the designs despite the fact that my husband still wished they were mule deer instead. :o)

Crosscut was another idea that I had from the beginning, yet it took on many different forms before the final print was ready. 

I love the design that crosscut wood branches make so I used images like this as my inspiration. The disks were originally more intricate with their designs and had lots of rings. Each disk was tone-on-tone. When deciding to go more organic I had an idea for flowers. 

The flowers I envisioned were primitive as if they'd been cut from the end of a piece of wood (obviously not as intricate as the ones in the pictures above). Once I designed the flowers I knew I needed to simplify and change the wood disks to follow the feel of the flowers. I color blocked each wood disk and intermixed the woodcut flowers and the Crosscut print was born. 

The leaves for Leafpress are like my other prints in the fact that they went through many phases before the final was ready. In fact, my original leaf was the one that was used in Technicolor. Since the first leaf was very geometric and already used in another collection I revisited the leaf for a different look. I thought of leaves in a press and the image they make. I also thought of the "embossed" process of leather and the wood stamp inspiration I used in crosscut. All of those ideas helped shape the leaves for Leafpress.

Adirondack style and decor was one of the ideas that originally inspired me to do this collection. Yes, my husband was a big part but the first thought came here. I saw a page in a fashion magazine (dang I wish I still had it!) And it showed a runway model wearing what looked like a blanket from a cabin. The rest of the page had different images in a design board style of Adirondack style in both fashion and decor. This was a couple of years ago and really got the creative wheels turning in my head of how I could combine Rustic and Chic = Rustique! I absolutely love plaid and developed this plaid to accompany the rest of the print in the collection.  

When I first started this collection I sketched out and wrote down a bunch of ideas. Because I started so long about chevrons were just getting started in their fabric fame. I also wrote down feathers. I wanted to do things differently than were already being done which meant that I didn't want a print with feathers on it or a basic chevron. Simply adding a curve to the chevron lines I got a design that looked like feathers and a chevron all at once. Feathering

I love geometric designs and prints. I played around with lots of ideas and like many others was influenced by hexagons and triangles. I changed the shape a bit and developed a cool design. The altered triangles reminded me of a Sharktooth necklace one of my brothers got when he was in cub scouts as a kid. Sharks and deer obviously don't fit in the same theme, but shark teeth are used in tribal jewelry. So I managed to make it fit with the theme. :o)

Main prints are always a little bit tricky for me to design. I just think in smaller scale and tinier repeats. Open Season (named for my husband) and Yes, Deer (below) were designed almost simultaneously. In Utah we have a lot of Quaking Aspen trees up in the mountains. We call them "Quakies" and their a beautiful tree. I wanted to incorporate them into my collection somehow but their scale is difficult to work with. If I shortened their trunks they just wouldn't bee quakies anymore. 
The bird in the print is a special addition for me since it came from an actual picture I took of a vulture or hawk flying around. After designing the trophy deer head I really wanted some full deer silhouettes. I made a grazing doe and two nice bucks hiding in the trees. By staggering the trees I was able to get a print that could be a good scale to work with and still look like the forest I envisioned.
 One thing that I find amusing is the tree trunks themselves. Quakies are white with black notches and knots. This print just did not look good with a colored background so I couldn't make the trees white. I reversed the color placement on the trees for this print and they look awesome! They're just opposite of what they would normally be in nature. :o)

Yes, Deer uses the same buck silhouette from Open Season and carries the wood cut flowers over from crosscut. I don't do a lot of flowers in my design process so I struggled a bit with this print. It went through many revisions and color changes before I was happy with it. I like that my deer is hiding in the gorgeous bouquets of flowers. This print brings a softness to the collection that ties it all together.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about my design process for Rustique. I just love this collection and I hope you do too! 
Do you have a favorite print? What are you planning on making with Rustique? Tell me all about it!

You can purchase Rustique for your own collection from HAWTHORNE THREADS or ask for it at your local quilt shop!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Aurifil Designer of the Month- Camille Roskelley

July's designer on the Aurifil blog is CAMILLE ROSKELLEY. If you don't know who Camille is you might be living under a rock. This amazingly talented and delightfully sweet girl has created some of the more popular quilt patterns (Thimbleblossoms) and collaborates with her Mom (Bonnie of Cotton Way) on their fabulous fabric collections for Moda Fabics.

Among all the other amazing things Camille does, she just returned from a trip to Australia!!!
You can read all about it on her blog.

You can download the instructions to Camille's block HERE.

Have you been quilting along? Did you know that if you post pics of your finished block to the Flickr page you are automatically entered to win a boxed collection of Pat Sloan's Aurifil thread!? 
They pick a winner EVERY MONTH!
So get those blocks done and post the picture and you could be the next winner!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I'm retreating

Tomorrow I head to the beautiful Midway, UT for the Small Town Quilt Show! I can't believe it's finally here. I was asked to teach so long ago it seemed like the day would never come. And now, here I am, gathering things together and counting down the minutes until I pull out of my driveway.

It's been a nice, low key summer so far. Oh I've done some fun things (Yellowstone anyone?) but most of my days are spent laying low at home. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for so many things but I can't wait to get out of here! MY KIDS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY! We've had lots of good times- snuggling during an afternoon movie, trips to the pool, ice cream dates, etc- but I miss my few hours of peace and quiet during the day when they're usually at school. They're older now so why is my house such a mess? I feel like a warden in this prison some days trying to keep the inmates on task and from fighting with each other. And so it is with delight that I am taking off for a few days. :o)

Tomorrow morning I'll be teaching HEX PLUS

And on Friday I'll be sharing a trunk show and my creative journey: 

Mostly I'm just excited to meet other fabric fanatics like me and sew, sew, SEW!

For those of you that have taken classes before, what are some things that you like for the teacher to say and do. I've taught before but I'm always looking for advice on how to do a better job or make it better/easier/more fun for the students. If you have any suggestions- let me here it!


Monday, June 16, 2014

DIY- Fixing the Dryer

We are well aware of that fact that our washer and dryer are on the way out. The hubs and I bought them when we got married and we'll be celebrating our 15th anniversary next month. The set has seen better days but have just kept on working. Well good enough anyway. We're planning on replacing them in a couple of months so of course that's why Friday night our dryer started making a horrible sound.

My oldest had put a load of his wash in the dryer and a horrible clanking sound ensued. The laundry room shares a wall with my bedroom and it was LOUD! It was night time and the younger two children complained that they couldn't sleep with all the racket. I went in and opened the dryer. His load was a light load- mostly socks and undies. No Jeans. No Shoes. Nothing that would make a racket. It was still hot and had been turning like it is supposed to. I didn't smell anything burning so I decided that his load would finish drying and I would assess the situation in the morning. 

Saturday morning I gathered up a few tools and got to work. You see, I'm the fixit person in this family. Oh the hubs does a lot too- yard equipment, cars, etc. But if it's in the house I usually take a crack at it first. (I fixed the washer when it wasn't draining a couple years ago). And the hubs was working so it was the perfect time to get this figured out.

Our laundry room is a small little closet. The washer and dryer squeeze in with only a few inches to spare. I managed to shift the dryer to the front of the room so I could climb on the washer and swing myself over to get behind the dryer. I armed myself with the vacuum knowing there would be lots of dusty lint to get rid of.
I unplugged the dryer and got to work with the drill unscrewing the back cover. Much to my surprise there wasn't a whole lot back there. Some electrical wires and the casing for the lint trap. So I got to work reattaching the back cover. Unfortunately while trying to get it into the clips it slipped and cut my finger. Not too bad, no stitches or anything, but definitely unpleasant. Oh well, only the best jobs leave battle wounds. 

At this point I decided to do some searching on the internet. I searched "My dryer is making a clanking noise". The hubs laughed at my search when I told him about it and was shocked when I told him there were tons of results. The best sounding suggestion was that one of the wheels that rolls the drum had worn out and broke. Luckily there was a good chance I could buy the replacement part and fix it myself. I just needed to get to the broken piece for the removal and replacement. 

Another quick search on the web and I was able to find a YouTube video showing me how to take apart the front of the dryer. Out came the power tools again and before you know it I had the top off. A couple of minutes later I was removing the front.
As I was taking the front off I saw some clothing. It was then that I realized that my son hadn't taken his laundry out of the dryer. And of course, I hadn't even bothered to check. 

I quickly grabbed a basket and removed his clothes. The site of my dismembered dryer above- with one little exception....

As I removed his clothes I made a discovery. His pocket knife lay at the bottom of the dryer. Guess what was making all that clanking noise the night before? That's right, the pocket knife.

What makes the story even better is that fact that I spent a good hour taking apart the dryer, battle wounds and all, and had I just checked inside and emptied the clothes first I would've found the culprit right off the bat. 

And that folks, is how I spent my Saturday. Go ahead and laugh, I've been laughing ever since I found the knife. I've also been saying "thank you" prayers because we cannot live without a dryer and can't buy a new one yet. 

I haven't hung up my tool belt for good. In fact, it's been brought to my attention that the agitator in the washer isn't working too well. Stay tuned for that story. :o)