Friday, August 17, 2018

In the Shadow of the Plus

Who could use a little more positivity in their life? And when it's in the form of a quilt you can make using our favorite solids? Sign us up! 

Sandra Walker (@mmmquilts) designed "In the Shadow of the Plus," a plus quilt full of shadowed illusions, for the September/October 2018 issue of Modern Patchwork magazine. The fabrics she chose? Two cool blues and a subtle silver and white from our Painter's Palette Solids collection. Sandra shares more about her design below.
"In the Shadow of the Plus" designed and quilted by Sandra Walker;
featured in Modern Patchwork September/October 2018

Q. How did you come up with this design?
SW: I ran a design challenge on Instagram this spring (#30quiltdesignschallenge2018), encouraging quilters to design quilts. I drew this block during that time. The idea goes back to a Judy Martin block that is a shadowed star—I thought I could shadow a plus sign since it’s a fairly simple block.

Q. Tell us about the secondary design.
SW: There’s larger plus in the background of the shadowed plusses. You might not notice it right away.

Q. How did you choose your palette?
SW: When I transferred the design into EQ8, I chose my favorite color—blue—just to get started. I liked it so much that I stuck with it.

Q. Why did you choose to use Painter’s Palette Solids?
SW: I thought solids would help emphasize the 3-D effect that I was looking for. I love these solids! I can’t get over the smoothness of them. They’re saturated, they don’t fray as much, and they’re just lovely. I wanted to use them in this quilt. I used #121-109 Aquarius for the lighter blue, #121-038 China Blue for the darker blue, #121-010 Silver for the background plus, and #121-000 White for the background.

Q. What do you like best about this quilt?
SW: A few things! I’m really happy with how the quilting turned out, and the way it pulls your eye across the quilt. I also think the quilt has a pretty good 3-D effect, and the illusion of dimension has always fascinated me. I also like the surprise the large gray plus—you don’t necessarily notice it right away.

Q. Can you tell us about how you machine quilted this?
SW: The background was easy—I wanted to flatten it, so I did vertical lines on the gray and horizontal water ripples on the white. I knew I wanted something to stand out in the plusses, and I love all the detail. I did a stippled in the darker blue shadows to set them apart but help them fade into the background.
A close-up of the quilting in progress on Sandra's longarm

See our entire collection of 168 Painter's Palette Solids here and ask for them at your local quilt shop.
Visit Sandra's blog here and find her on IG.
Find the September/October issue of Modern Patchwork here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Buzzing about Bee Kind

We're pretty sure you'll fall in love with our Bee Kind prints based on their selvedges alone.!

Bee Kind is honey-kissed with a golden warm palette--bee prints, hexies, wildflowers, and an inspiring text print.

These daisy prints have a vintage feel!

These uplifting text messages are perfect for a tote lining or a quilt backing, or even as a tonal print in a quilt top.

Bee and hexagon prints with a hand-sketched modern feel

Who doesn't love hexies?! Ours come in four colors.

We used the Bee Kind prints to make one of the Honey Bee blocks featured in our free quilt pattern.

The Bee Kind Honey Bees free quilt pattern: 
Download the pattern here.

See the entire Bee Kind collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop.
Download the FREE quilt pattern here.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Manzanita Grove BOM and FREE Quilt Pattern

 Reproduction fabric fans, get ready for a fantastic Block of the Month quilt featuring Barbara Eikmeier's Manzanita Grove collection! The Manzanita Grove Sampler Quilt is a 10-month BOM and will be available in quilt shops starting in September. We asked Barb to introduce us to her new quilt: 
Manzanita Grove Sampler designed by Barbara J. Eikmeier;
machine quilted by Theresa Ward

Q. Tell us about the Manzanita Grove Sampler.
BE: This type of sampler was popular during the time period of the fabric. It’s typically called an album quilt. It includes a variety of different styles of blocks, and was often a friendship quilt made by a group of people.

Q. Can you tell us about some of the blocks?
BE: There are 41 blocks total. A few of the block designs show up more than once, but with very different color placement. For example, two of the red and white blocks are the same pattern, and two pinwheel blocks—one that is blue and yellow, and another is red, yellow, green and cream. See if you can find them!

Q. How did you come up with the blocks?
BE: Mostly from studying antique quilts. Some of the blocks are very simple; others are more complex. I think it’s good to have a variety of techniques and difficulty in a sampler quilt.

Q. Do you have some favorite blocks in the quilt?
BE: I love the group of five red and white blocks! They’re all made within one month.

Q. There’s so much going on in this quilt! Is it hard to keep the cutting organized?
BE: Because it’s a Block of the Month quilt, I designed it to make cutting easy each month—you’ll cut four blocks at a time, all in the same group of colors. So if you need, for example, flying geese blocks for more than one block that month, you’ll make them all at once. The BOM also comes with three different sets of cutting instructions: traditional rotary cutting, Accu-Quilt Go, and Marti Michell templates.

Q. How did you decide on the layout?
BE: The blocks measure 8” square, and I wanted the quilt to be large; I was able to add to the size by setting the blocks on point. I think it looks prettier, and it was common during that time period. I added sashing to space the blocks out. I originally tried the design with pointed corners on the sashing, but when I tried it with blunted corners, it changed the whole look of the quilt and I really liked it.

Q. Why red for the border?
BE: I love red, so it was an easy choice to use one of the red prints for the border. Just for fun, I tried a few other colors as the border. You can see them below. You could also enlarge the quilt even more by adding an outer border with the focal print.

Barb also designed a FREE quilt pattern for her Manzanita Grove collection, the Manzanita Grove Album Quilt.
Download the quilt here

See the entire Manzanita Grove collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop. 
Read our interview with Barb here

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Hello, Repro! Barb Eikmeier's Manzanita Grove collection

Barbara J. Eikmeier is back with a new reproduction fabric collection! Manzanita Grove, her new line, features a large paisley-style iris print and a handful of appealing mini prints in coordinating colors. Gorgeous! 

Q. Tell us about your new Manzanita Grove collection.
BE: Quilt historians put these prints in the last quarter of the 19th century. It’s a time period in quilt history that I’m particularly fond of, so designing this fabric collection is sort of a dream come true. It’s a reproduction red and green collection.

Q. What can you tell us about the iris print?
BE: This paisley-style print comes from a piece of antique fabric that I bought. It’s been reproduced close to the original with a little recoloring. The irises are pretty large—the flower is about 6” across. It works well for borders, of course, but it’s also really interesting when it’s cut up.

Q. Tell us about your reds and greens.
BE: The reds are called turkey reds, and the greens are poison or bottle green. I wanted some variation within the range of colors so that the fabrics worked well together. The darker green is probably my favorite—it almost reads as a solid with a bit of visual texture.

Q. You call this a red and green collection, but it has more colors in it.
BE: It does! I added the pink—quilt historians call it a double pink—because you see it in a lot of quilts from that timeframe. It also serves as a lighter red for quilt designs. The blue is called Lancaster blue, and I kept seeing it in quilts from the same time period. It’s quite bright, and hard to reproduce. The yellow—chrome yellow—might be one of my other favorites.

Q. Where did the Manzanita Grove name come from?
BE: In California where I grew up, there are Manzanita groves in the foothills between the Sacramento Valley and coastal range. They’re shrub-like evergreen trees with red bark. The colors reminded me so much of these fabrics.

Later this week, we'll be sharing Barb's Manzanita Grove Sampler and free quilt pattern! 

See the entire Manzanita Grove collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop.