Thursday, January 31, 2013

Green: The New Neutral

With February fast approaching, it seems like the perfect time for another glimpse of spring, like Garden Beauty, featuring Ro Gregg's Budding Beauties collection.

"Garden Beauty" by Sue Harvey & Sandy Boobar of Pine Tree Country Quilts,
featured in the February/March 2013 issue of The Quilter magazine.

Fussy-cut hydrangeas nestle into beds of fresh and so springy! Below, Sue shares her take on a new "neutral" and explains the impact of fussy-cutting the hydrangeas. 

Q. What appealed to you about the Budding Beauties line?
Sue: Hydrangeas are gorgeous all by themselves. We also liked the use of the more contemporary geometric tonals and white prints mixed with such a traditional floral in the same collection.

Q. Talk about your decision to fussy-cut the hydrangeas.
Sue: The motifs are large but spaced on the fabric with quite a bit of cream background. We knew if we didn’t fussy cut the hydrangeas many of the block centers would have just bits and pieces of the flowers around the edges and would not have the same impact in the design.

Q. Tell us about the design.
Sue: We almost always try to create secondary designs in a pieced quilt. Probably shouldn’t say this, but this arrangement is what we think of as our no-sweat design! It’s such a hassle to match angled seams from block to block and have all those inside corners come out right. By adding the narrow sashing, the need for absolute accuracy is gone without destroying the secondary design. And the sashing actually adds to the secondary design by giving the medium green/lavender “blocks” an interesting center. This block design could easily be tackled by a beginner with just a little experience.

Q. The hydrangeas in the fabric are primarily shades of blue and purple. What prompted you to use so much green in the quilt?
Sue: To us, green is a neutral to be used like white, black or cream. It sets off the other colors in a quilt and also gives your eyes a resting place. If we had used more purple in place of the green, the quilt would have been overwhelmingly purple. If we had used pink instead of the green, it would have taken on a “circusy” look of too many colors. It’s funny though. When we look at this quilt, we don’t think of green as the main color. To us, purple is the main color. Sort of like looking at a garden of flowers ... you don’t look at it and say, “Wow, look at all those beautiful green leaves.” You say, “Wow, look at all those beautiful yellow, pink, purple, and red flowers.” The leaves are just part of the background. Oh, of course it helps that green is our favorite color!

Q. What do you like best about this quilt?
Sue: Hey, it’s winter here in Maine. We like the green, the purple, the blue, the pink, the idea of flowers growing...everything other than white!

Click here to buy a kit for this project.
Click here to learn more about Sue & Sandy and their work.
Click here to find The Quilter magazine February/March 2013.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Using a random number generator, 
the winner of the Peggy Sue fat quarter bundle giveaway is:

Congratulations, Suzanne!
We've emailed you for your mailing address.

Thank you to all visitors, new and old, who checked out Roseann's table topper tutorial. We have several more tutorials coming in the next few weeks, so come back soon!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How do you like your blues?

On buttons?

In bedrooms?
 On dishes?
 In your garden?

On your fingers?

Or on fabric?!

Meet our newest blue and white collection, Indigo Blues.

We know you'll love this soothing, classic palette in a mixture of traditional and more contemporary designs. With a wide range of values, you can make a quilt out of just these fabrics--a blue lover's dream!

Here's some quilting inspiration, "Indigo Blues" by Pine Tree Country Quilts.

Click here to download this free pattern. Ask for the fabric at your local quilt shop.

p.s. Tuesday is the last day to enter the giveaway for a fat quarter bundle of Peggy Sue! 
Click here to see how to enter.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tutorial: Around the Block Table Topper

Roseann from Rosebud's Cottage is here today, sharing her latest Blogger's Design Ring free tutorial, which includes a fat quarter bundle giveaway!

She used the Peggy Sue collection to make "Around the Block," a spring table topper. 
This isn't your typical table topper though; check out the shape!  

Love the combination of easy blocks--four-patches and half-square triangles--accented by solid white squares and placed in a unique arrangement.

Roseann quilted diagonal lines across the blocks, including cute flowers in the solid squares, a perfect pairing with the cheery Peggy Sue prints. 

To make this topper, you'll need:
1/8 yard or fat eighth pink print

1/8 yard or fat eighth yellow print

1/4 yard or fat quarter blue tonal

1/4 yard or fat quarter light blue floral

1/2 yard white solid
1/3 yard light blue print for binding

Click here to download the pdf for the "Around the Block" table topper. 
Roseann's pattern includes some tips and tricks to make sewing this project easier.

Then, head over to Roseann's blog to find the yardage and cutting for a larger version of "Around the Block," as well as the pattern for a smaller table mat she made from the extra fabric.
Plus, she has the Peggy Sue prints in stock and is offering a kit for this tutorial! 

Thanks Roseann!

Now for the giveaway. 
We are giving away a fat quarter bundle of Peggy Sue that you can use to make Roseann's table topper or any project you like. 

To enter to win:
1. For one entry, become a follower of this blog (see "Join This Site" on the righthand sidebar) or sign up to follow the blog by email (right sidebar). Leave a comment letting us know that you're a follower, and just for fun tell us which Peggy Sue print is your favorite. 
*If you already follow us, great! Just let us know in your comment.
2. For a second entry, "like" us on Facebook. Leave a separate comment letting us know. 
*If you already have, just let us know.

This giveaway is open through Tuesday, January 30th at 11:59 EST. 
Good luck!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day!

Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day - January 24, 2013

That's right...mark your calendars!

January 24th is "Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day."

Isn't it great to have an excuse (beyond just wanting to buy fabric) to take a trip to your favorite quilt shop? It's practically your duty as a quilter!! 

We'd like you to tell us about your favorite shop. 
In return, we'll send out some of our favorite fabric. 
To enter, leave a comment here on the blog or on our Facebook page sharing:
  • Your favorite shop's name, location and website
  • What you like best about the shop
We will choose one entry from the responses and profile the shop on our blog. We'll also send the nominator a fat quarter bundle as a thank you.

Leave a comment about your favorite shop by 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, January 26, 2013. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Catching up with Sara Trail

Getting to know fabric designer Sara...10 questions, 10 answers! 

Most recent place you've found design inspiration: Goodwill and Salvation Army. I love to refashion old denim and army jackets into fabulous, edgy statement pieces. The Disney Channel is showing a 90 second show where I demonstrate upcycling denim. Making this small program was lots of fun! :)

Latest book you've read: "I'll Walk Alone" by Mary Higgins Clark. I love to read but I don't like reading text books! College requires so much reading. When I can read for pleasure it is a well-enjoyed treat.
What you're working on now: I am currently working on an art quilt that will express my concern regarding the wave of violence against women in other countries. 

Favorite color: Red. I love to use reds with black or whites. I like to wear "contrasty" bold colors in my wardrobe to stand out and look unique amongst the students at UC Berkeley.

A recent great meal: The Texas Roadhouse. I am not a big red meat eater but I LOVE BBQ ribs from this restaurant. My parents will sometimes bring me a rack of ribs to my dorm room and by the time all of my friends get a taste, I only have a small portion left to eat myself. I have yet to convince my folks to bring me two slabs. I love salads, and if it weren't for Texas Roadhouse , I honestly would be a vegetarian.

How you get through winter: Sewing! Sewing!! Since I am now a college student, I don't have as much free time anymore. I enjoyed a long winter break and made Christmas gifts, including a full-sized quilt for my 84-year-old grandma Emma in Alabama (complete with pillow shams). I used Folk Heart fabric and left the selvege edges visible because she wanted it that way. Grandma is proud of my fabrics and shows my work to all of her friends. :)

Coffee or tea? Neither. I like the way coffee smells but I don't drink it, or tea. I LOVE hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream. Whenever I can, I make it at my dorm room and I have a small fridge that keeps a can of real whipped cream fresh for me.

Favorite Friday night activity: I love to go to slam poetry readings in cafes and small restaurants. I am too self-conscious to present poems, but I love to watch my friends. 

What you are excited about right now: MY BIRTHDAY! I will be 18 yrs old on February 19th! I hope my folks will spring for a nice party with lots of good food for me and my buddies! (Dad and mom if you're reading this please consider this :)

Which fabric line is your favorite? I love Folk Heart but Biology 101 is special too. I designed an art quilt and bedding with Biology 101. The art quilt I named "The Mermaid A Nubian Treasure." It was part of a mermaid themed art quilt show in North Carolina last fall and is now hanging in my parents' bedroom!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Hint of Spring

The dreary gray days of January (and February) seem to be when we most need a glimpse of some spring warmth.
Something fresh, bright and cheery. Something like Reeze Hanson's "Calypso Carnival" quilt, featured in Easy Quilts Spring 2013.
"Calypso Carnival" by Reeze Hanson 
Reeze designed this quilt using Ro Gregg's Calypso line using simple four-patches and sashing. The quilt measures 72" x 96". She shares some of her thoughts about the quilt below.

Q. How did you come up with the design idea?
Reeze: I wanted a simple design which would allow the fabric to do the work.  Putting four-patches on point with a simple slashing added interest, and secondary designs that work with the bold colors and large scale prints.

Q. How did you choose what colors to use?
Reeze: I used Ro Gregg's Calypso line. The bright colors contrasted so nicely with the white dot/stripe.  I wanted to challenge myself to find a way to use all the colors in this flower print in one quilt and still keep it unified and simple.

Q. What do you like best about this quilt?  
Reeze: I love the way the colors blend in a diagonal progression across the quilt from corner to corner.

Q. What was most challenging about this quilt?
Reeze: Organizing the piecing was critical.  I needed to make lists of each color combination and then divide the quilt in rows for assembly.  A design wall was really helpful to stay organized.

Q. Who did you make this quilt for?
Reeze: When I get a grand baby, the quilt will go to him or her.  Hope hope!

Q. Tell us about the machine quilting.
Reeze: Brenda Weien of Brenda's machine quilting does a great job complimenting the design with simple but engaging quilting.  The pumpkin seed or melon design in the four patches breaks up the starkly geometric lines of the quilt and adds some softness to the design.

Click here to buy a kit for this project.
Click here to learn more about Reeze and her work.
Click here to find Easy Quilts spring 2013.

p.s. Psst! Ro has a follow-up collection to Calypso due out in February, called Calypso Frogs. Below is a sneak peek, but you can check out the entire line here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Down on the Farm

It's time for some farm fun with Funny Farm! 
Tresa McConachie turned this playful collection into a cozy quilt, 
featured in Quilt Almanac 2013.
"Down on the Farm" by Tresa McConachie

Q. What attracted you to the Funny Farm prints?
Tresa: I chose to work with this fabric before ever seeing it in person. I live in the country with a three-story 1920 barn. How perfect! I have always wanted to design a quilt with a barn in it. But I must say when I saw it for first time I was so happy to see that the colors were rich and the images not too literal or too "cartoonish." It was just right.

Q. How did you come up with the design idea for the quilt?
Tresa: I first started out looking at the repeat and felt I didn't want all the blocks with pieces too small to appreciate how the characters interact on the fabric.  A more simple design would focus on showing off the fabric. The fence fabric had to go in the sashing and outer border. It has such a great grain that would frame each block and the whole top as well.

Q. Tell us about the paper pieced barn block. 
Tresa: I love designing paper piecing and many of my other patterns are done this way. First I drew the image using only straight lines, then using the Electric Quilt printing feature I broke up the image into block segments. When creating a paper pieced block, no line can intersect in the middle of another line. It may take many sections to make one block as in this pattern. I love this method because it is always consistent and can be done quite fast using a chain sewing method.

Q. Why did you use large blocks of the tossed animals?
Tresa:. Alternating the blocks was the only way to break up the large one-piece fabric blocks and keep the barn block from being all you see. I felt this was the best look to accomplish this so you could see enough of each of the individual fabrics. They are all so cute!

Q. Do you have a  favorite print in the collection?
Tresa: My favorite print... pigs.  They just make me smile every time I look at them.

Q. What was your favorite thing about making this quilt?
Tresa: Constructing the barn block and fussy cutting the animals into the doors and top loft area. It was fun capturing each little expression.

Q. Tell us about the machine quilting.
Tresa: The machine quilting was an allover "comb" design. An homage to the chickens. It was done with clear mat finished thread on top to blend well and not draw attention.

To see more of Tresa's work, click here.
To see the entire Funny Farm collection, click here.
To see another Funny Farm quilt designed by Tresa, click here.
To find Quilt Almanac, click here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Are You a Fashionista?\

How many pairs of shoes are in your closet? 
*Add 2 points for each pair of heels.
*Add 3 points for each pair of heels that is 3"+ high.

How about lipstick? Do you have a go-to favorite, or a drawer full of hues?

If shoes, make-up and style are your thing, you're going to love Fashionista, Ro Gregg's latest line. 

Pure drama in red, black and white 

 Lipstick, a girl's best friend.

 Or is it shoes, a girl's best friend? (Okay, we know it's diamonds, but shoes are a close second!)

Paired with four Marblehead blenders, these prints would be perfect for a cosmetic bag, a clutch to go with a LBD (little black dress), or even a shoe bag.

Stitch up this stunning red, black and white wall hanging by Barb Sackel. 
Click here to download this free pattern.