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

American Patchwork & Quilting

69 posts.

Quilt-Along: Oh! No Contrast? (or) OH NO! Contrast!

 

I’m blaming it on too many Christmas cookies, or maybe it was the egg nog, or the chocolate rum cake. Whatever the cause, it wasn’t my fault! I lost my way. That said, it took me two blocks to remember what it was I was supposed to be doing here. It was a low-contrast exercise, right? I get that it’s self-imposed, but I think I have a problem…a contrast problem. I’m addicted to contrast! Unbeknownst to me (until now), it’s a hard habit to break.

 

Left to my own devices and with little memory, apparently, I dove into my project and made these two beautiful blocks.

 

I was on a roll and feeling good about my progress, until I pinned them up on the wall next to my other blocks.

Yikes! What is that I see? Contrast!!! It’s oozing out all over the place. What was I thinking? The first four blocks I made are starkly different from the last three…what should I do? Well, here’s what I did.

 

  1. Had a good laugh. Seriously, I learned something about myself as a quilter. Old habits are hard to break. After years of looking for contrast in quilts, both personally (I like it) and professionally (because it is easier to see in photographs)—when relaxed and quilting, contrast is my natural go-to. To make myself get outside the contrast box, so to speak, I need to buckle down and really pay attention and remember what I’m trying to do.
  2. Thought about how to get back to form—or whether I should. You’ll have to wait until the next post to see what comes next.

 

 

Moving on, I do want to share one tip I have for working with more loosely woven fabrics like the ones I’ve chosen. It’s a tip that Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings shared with me a few years ago. Here’s the secret weapon:

Magic Sizing—I generously spray it on the fabrics when I press them before cutting, and use it again when I press the finished block. It really gives some stability to fabrics that might otherwise tend to ravel or curl. I’m a steam junkie, too, when it comes to pressing. So the combination of steam and sizing leaves me happy with the shape both give to my blocks.

 

 

Until next week,

Jennifer Keltner,

Executive Editor

 

P. S. I hope you’re having fun quilting along too. Please share your successes (and foibles) with the group by using the hashtag #APQquiltalong on any uploaded photos to your social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

 

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!

 

 


Staff Round Robin

We were super inspired by the four awesome designers who chose to do a Round Robin for our February 2014 issue (buy the digital issue here).Gudrun Erla, Kari Carr, Terri Degenkolb, and Terry Atkinson agreed to a quilting round robin in which they each would design their own center motifs and entrust the other three to progressively build their quilt tops. In addition to the center motif, they had agreed to ship 20 fat quarters and a 3-yard supply of background fabric to the next quilter. Other than these basic parameters, they were left to their own devices–no rules, no constraints.

 

Although it caused them a little stress, all four agreed that it pushed their personal boundaries and forced a different kind of creativity. See the four finished quilts and read about each of their journeys here.

 

Four of our own staff members decided they were up for the challenge of an office round robin. With the holidays approaching, they opted for a mini version of a Round Robin.

 

Here are their rules:

  • Their quilt centers (round 1) will be no larger than 12″ square finished.
  • When giving their quilt center to the next person, they will include 10–20 fat quarters and 1 yard of background fabric.
  • Just like the original No-Rules Round Robin, they won’t be able to see their quilt center again until the big reveal after the final round.

 

The order they are going to go in is Jill Abeloe Mead (editor), Jody Sanders (editor), Elizabeth Beese (senior editor), and Nancy Wiles (design director).

 

The dates for completing each round of quilts and passing it to the next person:

  • Round 1: 12/6/13
  • Round 2: 12/24/13
  • Round 3: 1/14/14
  • Round 4 (reveal): 2/4/14

 

Each will be journaling about their process on our blogs, so make sure to come back and read!

See Jill’s blog.

See Jody’s blog.

See Nancy’s blog.

See Elizabeth’s blog.

 

Want to host your own Round Robin? Get our cute invitations, journaling cards, and quilt labels to get started! Print them here. 


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!