I'm often reluctant to work with a curated selection of fabrics. I'm not sure why, but the thought of being limited to a specific collection, no matter how extensive, causes me anxiety. It doesn't matter who the designer is; it could even be me, but my first reaction is an inner clenching.

I was a bit surprised when Vicki from The Fabric Society contacted me to discuss a promotional post for some of their fabrics and I  enthusiastically agreed to participate. 

Though I'm usually a believer in the ideal of sticking with plan A, I also see the value in pushing beyond my comfort zone and that, oftentimes that leads to new discoveries.

It certainly did this time.

I didn't really have a design in mind when I chose a variety of colors from their collection of Fresh Solids. Frankly I was hoping that something would come to me.

I lived with the fabrics for a bit, mostly because I was in the midst of QuiltCon prep when they arrived, until I came up with this simple and graphic design.

After a bit of play with concept as well as pairing colors, I was ready to piece the top together, a super-quick process.

Then this little top was off to the long armer, bound and ready for it's close-up. The whole 40" x 40" quilt took about a week from design to finished product.

When I look at this design my head fills with other possibilities and variations, many of which you will be seeing in the weeks to come. None of it, however, would have been possible if I hadn't ignored my instinct to fear the limitations of working with a set group of fabrics and embraced the opportunity to create in a new way.







Too Tired to Tinkle

That title is a reference to Gillian Flynn's novel, Gone Girl. Let me know if you get the reference.

I was listening to On Writing by Stephen King today. I almost always listen to an audio book or podcast while I'm working. Sometimes I do so furtively because I secretly don't think I should when my assistant is around, but I love the way being told a story gets me into the flow of working. 

Anyway Stephen noted that his most productive working time is in the morning and I have to agree. If I had written this post this morning it would be chock full of insight and pithy phrases. if I had written this post this morning I would effortlessly transition from one topic to the next and find a way to connect them all. 

But, I didn't write it this morning or even this afternoon. 

It is 8:39 CST and I'm putting fingers to keyboard after a full day of crafting and dyeing and erranding and teaching. So, I'll just post a pretty picture and say goodnight, Gracie. (Please, please, please tell me you remember George Burns).

Picked up this quilt, the first of my Gingham Quilts, from the longarmer today. Straight line quilting is so perfect for this design.

Picked up this quilt, the first of my Gingham Quilts, from the longarmer today. Straight line quilting is so perfect for this design.

Found in my Fridge

If I could name one bit of  business feedback I've been getting from my customers and nosy friends for a while now it's that I should create and sell a line of hand dyed solids. Honestly, I don't know why I didn't jump right on this idea, but, in the better late than never category, this week (yikes, is it that soon?!) I will be premiering my line of hand dyed solids by offering two different fat quarter bundles as well as some single solid fat quarter hand dyed cottons

I've also worked up a design for the Summer issue of Modern Patchwork, again in my hand dyed solids. I've got loads of plans for these babies including expanding the color selections almost as soon as they premier, but first I'd like to create a few quilt patterns to support this fabric collection. 

My initial thought was to turn to my Pinterest Inspirations board and quickly pinned several items that I felt could be re-interpreted for this purpose.

But, then another thought came to mind: maybe I've crafted quilts in the past that could be re-worked and sewn in these new fabrics.

Basically, I checked the refrigerator before I went shopping.

Here's what I found(other than I've got to stop buying more butter; there's already 4 boxes):

This quilt is a blast from the super past and originally designed and created in hand dyed stripes, but could definitely be adapted to working with solids.

Frankly, I'm a little embarrassed I didn't think of this quilt pattern right away. 

I originally designed it a couple years ago and sell the pattern both in paper and PDF form, so re-making it in my new solids would be a breeze, especially because the palette is pretty limited and the blocks are larger and piece together quickly.

I've always loved this design and even re-worked it with rounded corners for Modern Patchwork Magazine a few issues back, but, again, this would be simple to do in hand dyed solids and it would give me an opportunity to explore this concept in new ways. I'd like to expand the size even further adding enough" rounds" to make the single block big enough to fit a bed or make a quilt top that features 4 of these super-sized blocks.

How simple is this?

This quilt was inspired by the knitted Super Easy Baby Blanket created by the uber talented gals at the Purl Bee blog several years back. I made this first version to promote the commercial solids that were released alongside one of my Moda fabric collections. 

I think it would be even more amazing in hand dyed solids and if the widths of the various bands were varied a bit more. One thing I would definitely repeat: the intense machine quilting on the surface.

Another pattern that I sell, both in paper and PDF, that would be perfect in either exclusively solids or, as pictured, primarily solids with a few prints mixed in.

Originally created for my second book, Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration, this version features Kaffe Fasset's shot cottons. I've taught this quilt design as a class many times, so could probably re-do it in hand dyes in my sleep. Though, you're not supposed to operate machinery while sleeping. :)

If I did more than a cursory search, I could come up with more and just might. For now these seem a good place to start in terms of crafting supporting patterns for my solids or...maybe even starting a fabric/quilt pattern-of-the month/quarter club. I would love, love to hear your thoughts on that.