American Patchwork & Quilting | AllPeopleQuilt.com Staff Blog - Part 3
 

American Patchwork & Quilting

67 posts.

Round Robin: Jill

My “big” plan for 2014 is to make my sewing room the happiest (and most organized) place in my home. Can’t think of a better way to start the decorating than with a wall hanging made with my favorite fabrics and created by my friends/coworkers.

 

I’ve always been fascinated by spools of thread: luscious colors, interesting textures. The spools I’ve stitched for the center of the little quilt top show off a lively stripe that I’ve always liked. I used this stripe in a big quilt and have always wanted to add it to a smaller one. I like the way this uneven stripe works for the thread…each spool looks a little bit different. I’m not one for symmetry and I’m kind of a minimalist, so it will be fun to see what each other quilter adds to the center.

 

The box of fabrics that will accompany my quilt center is chockfull of my favorite polka dots and solids. The background fabric is my all-time favorite, go-to choice…a white dot printed on white background. In addition to the colorful dots, the theme-setting stripe, and assorted solids, I’ve added an uneven black-and-white dot and an uneven black-and-white stripe. My quilting mantra: add small dashes of black-and-white to make other colors sing.

 

 

-Jill Abeloe Mead

December 2013

 


Round Robin: Jody

I love to do English paper piecing. I carry little bags with me wherever I go. The bags have tiny pieces of paper, thread, little scissors, a needle threader, and fabrics. My boys are involved in athletics and that means a lot of time spent in gyms and soccer fields. On tournament weekends I needed something to pass the time while waiting for the next game, so I started doing handwork. It’s portable and easily fits in my bag.

 

The pieces for my Round Robin quilt center are 1/2 inch hexagons from Paper Pieces. I fussy-cut a couple of the “rounds”. I like the look of two-color quilts, but also love super scrappy. I included 23 red fat quarters and 21 creams in the kit I’m passing along to the next quilter.

 

 

After completing the hexagon portion, I appliquéd it to a 12-1/2″ square.

I can’t wait to see what Jill, Nancy, and Elizabeth add to my center block!

 

Jody


Quilt-Along: Turn on the Lights!

 

Three blocks in and it’s time for a quick assessment. Since I’m cutting one block at a time, I’ve not committed to any one direction for my quilt to go yet.

 

So far, I’ve got three mostly dark/medium blocks with little contrast. But a whole quilt of these blocks might lead me to mourn the loss of lights altogether.

 

I’m still committed to the stash of fabrics I began with, but am ready to experiment now with the lights in my mix. For my first light(er) background I’m choosing a gray/blue stripe from the pile and two khaki green prints for the A, B, and C segments. Even though the hues are similar, up close, I do like the different textures the prints bring to the block.

Those interesting changes in texture and print are the same reason I love to look at scrappy quilts up close. The little details and differences make it a more interesting quilt to me. And I’m pleased with the finished block too…though this is about as little contrast as I could achieve from my fabric assortment, I’m happy enough to try a second light-but-low contrast block.

 

For this one, the contrast is a little more significant—not between the two lightest prints in the block, but between them and the background.

What I’m discovering about myself in this challenge is that it’s hard to kick my addiction to contrast. Here’s my second light-among-low-contrast blocks.

 

 

Now it’s time to take them from my sewing area to the design wall and answer the David Letterman question: “Is this anything?”

I’ll say yes. The all-dark block trio was a little muddy and a little disconcerting to me that it would just look like a mess when pieced together if I didn’t use any sashing (which I think is my plan). But when I add the lighter blocks, I like the contrast between the lights and darks when they’re set side by side.

 

With that in mind, I think I’ll carry on!

 

Until next week,

Jennifer Keltner,

Executive Editor

 

P. S. If you decide to join in—don’t forget to share! We’re so excited to see what everyone’s making as they quilt along! We created a hashtag you can use on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Simply hashtag any uploaded photos to your own social media sites with #APQquiltalong. That will make it easy for all of us to see what everyone is working on! I’ll be back to share my progress with you soon.

 

 

Now, check out these other Quilt Along participant’s blogs:

  •  Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side, amyscreativeside.com. Amy’s planning to make a guy-worthy quilt, with a scrappy mix of blue, green, and gray fabrics.
  • Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, bunnyhillblog.com. A rich, vintage look in hues of beige, purple, and rusty brown is what Anne is seeking.
  • Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms, camilleroskelley.typepad.com. A scrappy, cheerful assortment of Bonnie and Camille prints ups the contrast.
  • Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co., lavieenrosie.typepad.com. Carrie adds a French twist, working in a scrappy three-color palette of French General fabrics.
  • Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane, quiltjane.blogspot.com. Jane’s version is all about text-ure—text prints mixed with solid-color wovens.
  • Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter Shop, fatquartershop.blogspot.com. The big blocks pop when separated by colorful sashing on Kimberly’s quilt.
  • Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, lisabongean.com. Lisa turns up the volume with black backgrounds and cream and tan print patchwork.
  • Lissa Alexander, modalissa.blogspot.com. Lissa shares her experience and tips about the process of making the featured version of Tone It Down.
  • Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, www.aquiltinglife.com A fan of primary colors and American Jane prints? Sherri’s version might be just what inspires you!

 

 


Quilt-Along: Do As We Say, Not As I Do

 

I decided to start making my blocks while I was on a quilting retreat and the feedback was interesting. When I had my fabrics spread out on the table, the response was mixed.

Some people liked the low contrast, others thought the pile looked too drab. It may not be a palette for everyone, but give it time, it may grow on you.

 

Because I’d limited my palette to the fabrics I had on hand, I cut fabrics for one block at a time…something I don’t usually do. I then placed them in position at my sewing table. To get some differentiation in pieces, I ended up using three prints per block. Here’s my first finished block.

Looking at just one block, I’m not yet sure about the palette I’ve picked, but already I’ve learned a couple of things.

 

I’m usually a chain piecer and I like to multitask. So, I confess I was sewing this block together at the same time I was sewing another project…making the most of not having to cut the thread too often.  The first thing I learned is you REALLY SHOULD put the block together in rows like the instructions call for. I started picking up random pairs, sure that I could keep it straight. It’s true confession time…here’s what I ended up with:

 

 

This was like a Jenga puzzle! It took me forever to figure out what went where once I snipped pieces off the chain. Why, oh, why didn’t I sew it together in rows as written? Who knows! I blame it on the fun retreat friends I was yakking away with and maybe the glass of grape juice I was enjoying while I sewed. Even when I thought I’d figured it out, I made a mistake that I didn’t discover until the block was finished. Do you see it? It’s the center of the strip on the right hand edge. The strip is turned the wrong way! The little brown square at the center should be on the outside, not the inside. YIKES!

Eventually, with the help of my reverse sewing device (aka seam ripper) I was able to save the block and my sanity by promising to make no more blocks without following the instructions. So, for my second block I followed the prescribed set of plans and was much happier.

Again I used mostly darks from my assortment, though this block had slightly more contrast than the first. I followed the assembly instructions as written to a T and it was FAR, FAR EASIER—lesson #1 was learned! But, another true confession, I once again turned one of the side units the wrong way. A little seam ripping of that piece and I was back in business. Not sure why I can’t see that in my head as I’m placing pieces, but I was consistent….consistently wrong on blocks 1 and 2. Perhaps three will be the charm for me. Whew!

 

So, for block three I dipped into my “lights” to pull in a slightly more contrasty look for the nine-patches and four-patches.

I pieced it to perfection….with the exception of that one side unit I turned the wrong way again! I think I wasn’t meant to piece this block so late in the evening at a retreat….hmmm. Easily fixed, but seriously, what’s my deal? I’m setting this project aside until morning.

 

 

Jennifer Keltner,

Executive Editor

 

P. S. If you decide to join in—don’t forget to share! We’re so excited to see what everyone’s making as they quilt along! We created a hashtag you can use on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Simply hashtag any uploaded photos to your own social media sites with #APQquiltalong. That will make it easy for all of us to see what everyone is working on! I’ll be back to share my progress with you soon.

 

 

Now, check out these other Quilt Along participant’s blogs:

  •  Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side, amyscreativeside.com. Amy’s planning to make a guy-worthy quilt, with a scrappy mix of blue, green, and gray fabrics.
  • Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, bunnyhillblog.com. A rich, vintage look in hues of beige, purple, and rusty brown is what Anne is seeking.
  • Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms, camilleroskelley.typepad.com. A scrappy, cheerful assortment of Bonnie and Camille prints ups the contrast.
  • Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co., lavieenrosie.typepad.com. Carrie adds a French twist, working in a scrappy three-color palette of French General fabrics.
  • Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane, quiltjane.blogspot.com. Jane’s version is all about text-ure—text prints mixed with solid-color wovens.
  • Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter Shop, fatquartershop.blogspot.com. The big blocks pop when separated by colorful sashing on Kimberly’s quilt.
  • Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, lisabongean.com. Lisa turns up the volume with black backgrounds and cream and tan print patchwork.
  • Lissa Alexander, modalissa.blogspot.com. Lissa shares her experience and tips about the process of making the featured version of Tone It Down.
  • Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, www.aquiltinglife.com A fan of primary colors and American Jane prints? Sherri’s version might be just what inspires you!

 

 


Quilt-Along: Gone to the Dark Side?

Ready for more of the American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt-Along? (Click here if you missed last week’s post—there’s still time to join in the fun. We’re working on a quilt pattern you can find in the February 2014 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine on-sale now at quilt shops, newsstands, and digitally at allpeoplequilt.com/getdigital.)

 

To pick up where I left off last week, I chose a palette of taupes for my version of Tone It Down and then mixed in some brushed cottons to add variety to the mix. Once I’d pulled all the potential fabrics from my stash, I spread them out on a cutting mat to get a feel for the range of colors and to see if anything popped out too much. Remember, my self-imposed rule was to keep contrast to a minimum and use only what I had.

 

I sorted into “lights” and “darks” which was no small task given the drab tone of my entire selection. Here’s what I felt could work as my “darks.”

 

And here is my selection of “lights.”

 

Now it didn’t take long for me to notice that there are way more darks than lights, which speaks to a continuing problem in my stash saga. When fabric shopping (or as I like to call it, researching) I’m almost always attracted to rich, saturated colors in fabrics—the darker and richer the better—leaving me with a paltry number of lights in the mix. Note to self: buy more lights when stash building to round out the assortment of fabrics on hand. (Whew, I feel like I’ll be on a mission now to help myself build a better stash! Don’t you love it when a project designed to use your stash leads you to begin replacement therapy right away? Tough work, but someone’s got to do it. I’m in!)

 

Okay, back to the project at hand. Here are the few fabrics I kicked out of the mix.

What got them tossed out? Looking at the photo from dark to light, here are my reasons:

 

  • Too dark and thus too much contrast.
  • Too minty and bold, stood out like a sore thumb.
  • This one looked like it should work, but in the end was too light to be a dark, and too dark to be a light. Stuck in the middle, this one stood out too much in the pile.
  • Way too light and bright.

 

Once I put it all together, here’s my final fabric palette.

 

I’m ready to piece a block together and my plan is this: Two fabrics per block, contrast kept to a minimum without getting too mushy. My challenge? I’m not sure I can do it using only these fabrics. But, I’m excited at the prospect of trying. That’s the fun of the quilt-along…trying something new and seeing whether or not it works. If it does, great! If it doesn’t….well, there could be some great patchwork pillows for my son and husband in this mix. Stay tuned…

 

 

Jennifer Keltner,

Executive Editor

 

P. S. If you decide to join in—don’t forget to share! We’re so excited to see what everyone’s making as they quilt along! We created a hashtag you can use on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Simply hashtag any uploaded photos to your own social media sites with #APQquiltalong. That will make it easy for all of us to see what everyone is working on! I’ll be back to share my progress with you soon.

 

 

Now, check out these other Quilt Along participant’s blogs:

  •  Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side, amyscreativeside.com. Amy’s planning to make a guy-worthy quilt, with a scrappy mix of blue, green, and gray fabrics.
  • Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, bunnyhillblog.com. A rich, vintage look in hues of beige, purple, and rusty brown is what Anne is seeking.
  • Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms, camilleroskelley.typepad.com. A scrappy, cheerful assortment of Bonnie and Camille prints ups the contrast.
  • Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co., lavieenrosie.typepad.com. Carrie adds a French twist, working in a scrappy three-color palette of French General fabrics.
  • Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane, quiltjane.blogspot.com. Jane’s version is all about text-ure—text prints mixed with solid-color wovens.
  • Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter Shop, fatquartershop.blogspot.com. The big blocks pop when separated by colorful sashing on Kimberly’s quilt.
  • Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, lisabongean.com. Lisa turns up the volume with black backgrounds and cream and tan print patchwork.
  • Lissa Alexander, modalissa.blogspot.com. Lissa shares her experience and tips about the process of making the featured version of Tone It Down.
  • Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, www.aquiltinglife.com A fan of primary colors and American Jane prints? Sherri’s version might be just what inspires you!