April 27, 2011

Fat Quarter Winners Blog Tour - The One Where Lisa Drops the Ball

IMG_0254 I was behind the eight ball.
I dropped the ball.
I blew it.
The buck stops here.
In other words, I didn't finish my Pinochle quilt.

Sorry to disappoint - I did get the first row completed (one-third done!).   I hope you will stop by again to see the quilt top once it's finished.   I really like the way it's turning out with a mix of French General collections.   I have some pretty Rural Jardin prints picked out for borders.

April 25, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Thanks to everyone for stopping by to enter my contest to win Monique's fabulous book and rulers.   Using the random number generator, my winner is commenter #26 who wrote:

Wonderful progress. I really love the colors you have chosen for this quilt!

Posted by: RC | April 21, 2011 at 02:30 PM

Congratulations RC!   Your prize package will be in the mail for you shortly.

I hope everyone had a nice Easter weekend.  We joined family for Easter dinner and had a nice get together.

I'm really sweating my Pinochle reveal on Thursday.   Despite having a free weekend, I did not get any sewing done.   (hanging head in shame)

I do have an excuse - I was having too much fun with this.  :)

April 20, 2011

Fat Quarter Winners Blog Tour - Interview with Monique

Photo I did make some progress on Pinochle this week, but don't really have much to show.   I got all the larger half square triangles arranged on my design wall so I could get a pleasing mix of the reds and blues.  I'm going to be much more random in my placement of the smaller HSTs.   I'll show you my "random scrappy" method next week.  I took advantage of a Joann's sale this weekend and bought enough plain white flannel to re-cover my design wall.   Soon there won't be any green or blue flannel stars behind my quilt blocks!   Now to find the TIME to actually do it!

But back to the Book Tour.  This week I had the opportunity to ask Monique anything I wanted and so of course, I chose my favorite topic - FABRIC!

My first question is - how did you embark on the fabric designing journey?   Were your ideas brought to the fabric company, or did they approach you?

The first thing that I did was come up with an idea.  I was thumbing through a book one day and I thought "This would be wonderful fabric!"  As I kept looking, the idea started to grow.  I wanted to use antique tiles, tapestries and textiles as inspiration.  The next step was to get my ideas on paper for the fabric companies to see.  I think that this was the hardest part.  To get the ideas in the computer, manipulate the colors and prints and then get it presentable to the fabric company.  Once I figure this out, I approached the fabric company about my ideas.  From what I understand, the fabric companies get hundreds of fabric proposals a year.  So, I decided that I wanted to present them with something that would stand out from the crowd.  What I did was I created a proposal.  In the proposal, I included fabric swatches like paint chips.  I had several different designs that I wanted to feature and included different colorway.  The other thing that I did (and I think this is what really helped me) was to feature several different quilts using the fabric swatches.  In other words, I created virtual quilts and put them in the proposal.  I wanted the fabric company to see what I would do with the fabric. 


How do you design a fabric line?   Do you start with one focus print and then design coordinates around that one fabric?


I think that I do things a little different from others.  I like to decide on my colors and then pick prints from there.  Then I try to pick prints that are different in scale and have different elements that I can draw from.  I make sure that I have tone-on-tones, small prints, large prints and a main print to choose from.  I also like to bring a border stripe in so that there can be another choice for borders.


How do you come up with your color palette?   Do you only choose colors that appeal to you, or ones that you think would popular with quilters?


Choosing the color palette is more complicated than you would think.  The issues are that yes, you want to do what appeals to you but you also want to make sure that it appeals to others.  The other idea that I wanted to make sure that was incorporated into my fabric is that the lines would coordinate.  I want the customer to be able to use leftover fabric from the previous line(s) with the latest line.  So, that makes it more complicated in what you bring in and what you eliminate. 


Is there anyone's stash that you would love the chance to raid - either a real life quilting friend or someone you've seen on a blog?


Yes, I have a friend that loves blacks and reds.  I'm sure that her stash is fantastic and would love to get in there.  I've seen glimpses of it but I think she's afraid that I might sneak some out.  :)


What's up for your future?   Any new fabric designs coming soon?   And what can we expect to see from you at Market this Spring?


I'm planning on continuing to design fabric, books, patterns and rulers.  I truely love what I do and am glad that people like it too.  For Spring Market, I am promoting Fat Quarter Winners, will have a couple new patterns including an applique quilt and my new ruler.

And getting back to Fat Quarter Winners and Monique's rulers, she has generously offered a copy of the book and a set of rulers (Fit to Be Square, Fit to Be Geese and Mini Fit to Be Geese) to each of us to offer to one lucky blog reader.   Please leave a comment on this post and I will draw one name to win this fantastic prize package.   Edited to add:   I will announce my winner on Monday morning, so please continue to comment on THIS POST through Easter Sunday and I will add you to the drawing.

Also, be sure you visit my fellow Blog Tour friends for more chances to win!

Monday - visit Nicole at Sister's Choice Quilts

Tuesday - visit Monique at Open Gate Quilts

Wednesday - visit Thelma - Cupcakes 'n' Daisies

and Thursday - come back and see me for my winner and Pinochle reveal

I hope you have enjoyed our blog tour so far!

April 13, 2011

Fat Quarter Winners Blog Tour - Tutorial Week

Thanks for stopping by today.  My tutorial uses one of Monique's great rulers, Fit to Be Square.  I'm not a huge fan of square in a square blocks, but only because I could never get the accuracy I liked from the block.  Construction of the block using Monique's tool produces a perfect square in a square - every time!


For my demo, I'm starting with 3 squares - one center square and two, slightly smaller outer squares.  First you will cut the outer squares once diagonally so you end up with 4 triangles.

Sew 2 triangles to opposite sides of your center square and press your seams (mine are pressed open, naturally!).

Now sew the remaining triangles to the other 2 sides of your center square and trim your dog ears before pressing.  You will end up with 2 dog ears at each corner, one small and one large.  I use my scissors to trim these off at the sewing machine.

Now press your block and you will end up with something that looks like this - a square in a square block with extra fabric around the outside.


Now here is where the magic happens.   Take Monique's ruler and lay it on top of one of the points of your block, thusly, and trim along the top edge of your ruler.   Then rotate your block and repeat this for each of the 4 edges and guess what?  You will have your perfect quarter-inch seam allowance.


I'm afraid I have no progress to show you on my Pinochle quilt this week.  I'm trimming all the half square triangles for my blocks and throwing them into a colander so I can randomly draw them out and pair them for my scrappy blocks.

Keep checking in with my blog buddies to see their quilts coming together.

Nicole, Sister's Choice Quilts - Monday

Monique, Open Gate Quilts - Tuesday

Thelma, Cupcakes 'n' Daisies - Wednesday

and finally, Moi - Thursday

See you in a week (if not sooner)!

April 7, 2011

Fat Quarter Winners Blog Tour

Pinochle Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my first post in our month-long promo of Monique Dillard''s beautiful book for C&T Publishing, Fat Quarter Winners.  Nicole, Thelma and I were so excited when our new friend Monique told us about her upcoming book release that we decided to help show off some of her beautiful quilts by making our own versions and featuring them on our blogs.

Yes, it's true, I was the lucky one who gets to make Pinochle - the quilt all of us wanted to make.   Here is the quilt as it appears in Monique's book.  Beautiful and elegant, isn't it?

I wondered how my choice of fabrics - French General reds and blues from various collections - would work in this quilt that Monique showcases using just one color family.   Would my blue fabrics stand out too much?   Would it have the scrappy, playful feel that I wanted?  Take a look at my test block and I think you will agree that it is a good fit with this pattern.

First There are a *LOT* of half square triangles in this block, and a lot of seam matching.  I started quilting after watching Shar Jorgenson's PBS show, Quilting From the Heartland.   She pressed her quilt seams open, and since I was comfortable with that technique because of garment sewing, I have always pressed my quilt seams open as well.  I've even inspired some of my quilt shop coworkers to press their seams open, too.   It's very helpful when you have a lot of seams coming together - the points match and the block lays nice and flat.

The most common question I get asked when I mention that I press my seams open is, "Don't you burn your fingers?"   Nope, never have.   How could I?  I've never touched a hot iron!

Back So looky here - a picture of the back of my block.   I never thought I'd be showing THIS on my blog!

Like Thelma mentioned in her post yesterday, one of the things I love most about Fat Quarter Winners is that Monique has a chart with each quilt pattern that shows a variety of sizes you could make using the pattern and the fabric requirements to do just that.  I'm actually going to make my Pinochle quilt smaller than the pattern shown - 9 blocks that each measure 16" square, which will make my finished quilt 60" square and a great size to hang in my office at work.

I hope you have enjoyed the first week of our book tour.   Please stop by next week when each of us will show our progress, and feature a tutorial for some of the techniques Monique uses to make these quilts.

Nicole will post on Mondays

Monique will post on Tuesdays

Thelma will post on Wednesdays

and check back with me on Thursdays for my weekly post.


April 5, 2011


Finished Oh Eventide - so beautiful to behold!    Here is my finished top.  I really enjoyed this project, every step of the way and I don't think I would have finished it without this sew-along.

So big thanks go to Thelma for all her work coordinating this super fun blog project, and also to the other participants who helped inspire me and keep me on task.   I couldn't have done it without all of you!   Please visit Thelma's blog, Cupcakes 'n Daisies, to see the parade today and see how great all the finished quilts look!

Also - please check out Monique Dillard's blog as she introduces you to another great quilt from her soon to be released book for C&T Publishing, Fat Quarter Winners.  Check back with me on Thursday and I will show you my next project using a pattern from her book.