Oh-my-Kaffe!

barn raising KaffeIt’s no secret that Carl and I are huge (and I mean humongous) Kaffe Fassett Collective fabric fans….so last year when Free Spirit Fabrics asked us to design quilt patterns for some of the future Kaffe collections – we were – to say at the very least – super thrilled!

The Kaffe Fassett Collective (or also known as KFC) includes not only the master of colour and design himself, Kaffe Fassett, but also fellow designers Brandon Mably and Philip Jacobs.

These three designers collaborate and create the gorgeous fabrics you see.  Kaffe’s long time friend and associate – Liza Roos Lucy – wrangles this dynamic trio and also owns/operates the KFC online shop – Glorious Colour – where you can purchase previous released and new KFC fabrics, books and patterns and specialized fabric kits.  She, Philip and Brandon also host the very popular and always inspiring Facebook group, the Kaffe Fassett Collective.  Both sites are saturated with KFC fabrics, patterns and projects to inspire you!kaffe_compares

While Brandon and Philip have their own unique design styles (Brandon does the wild and kooky and Philip does the floral & botanicals)  – Kaffe pulls all of their designs together into cohesive collections by personally colouring each design by hand.  What makes their fabrics so uniquely beautiful and wonderfully detailed is that each master pattern is handpainted (a rare thing in this computerized age)  – this “painting” then serves as the master design for the fabric mills to follow for detail, colour, screenprints and registration when they print it on the fabric you then purchase.

This last Spring, three of our quilt designs using the KFC Spring 2017 collection were released as free downloads or kits on the Free Spirit and Craftsy websites – “All Stacked Up”, “Fan Dance” and “Waterfall”.  Links to download the free patterns are at the bottom of the post. The other, “Waterfall” – of which we made two versions – is now available for purchase as a kit on Craftsy.

“All Stacked Up” – Although the overall design  appears complicated with the overlapping and tiled patterns – the single block itself is so simple:  a half square triangle with two coordinating pairs of strips sewn on 2 sides.  Create two or three of the same block, follow the layout and you’ll have this quilt whipped up in no time.

ASU TrimAnd here’s a tip – organize and pair up your fabrics first and if you cut your strips a half inch larger – you can then trim them to the exact size after adding each one, therefore keeping the block perfectly square.

So give it a try – “All Stacked Up” remains one of the most popular patterns downloaded this year on the Free Spirit site – so kudos to you guys and thank you!  Fabric kits are also available at Hancock’s of Paducah and Waterwheel House Quilt Shop in Vermont!

“Fan Dance” is another free pattern available.  Again, a super easy pattern but this one is super dramatic when complete and allows you to use some of those huge patterned fabrics for the background.  This was a fun one to work up as Brandon’s Can Can ladies served as a constant source of amusement when cutting the fan blades – seeing which part of the lady would show up where – oh my!

Another super easy to piece quilt.  Cut the blades, sew together and appliqué to the background squares.  This is basically 1/4 of a dresden flower block.  I appliquéd my blades on with clear monfilament thread but you could also use a decorative thread to add highlights to the edges of the blades.  Two 1/4 dresden blocks make a “fan” block!

The third quilt – “Waterfall” – remains one of my all time favorites – we designed and made two versions of  this quilt – a cool colourway and a tropical colourway.  These blocks are a bit more labor intensive but well worth it and the fabrics in the kit on Craftsy are to die for!  The block is made of basic shapes – squares and  rectangles with a folded over triangle.  When all pieced together, the result creates lots of secondary patterns and its hard for the eye to see where the individual blocks start or overlap- kinda like a waterfall…. Super fast and gorgeous! (Full disclosure:  I bought the Cool kit for myself).

Teresa Silva of Quilting is my Bliss – did a gorgeous job, as always, machine quilting all of these quilts – her work is always super stunning and I wish we could somehow show better pictures for you.  Many times we have to take the pictures with low exposure to show off the machine quilting but this also makes the fabric look somewhat dull.   Check out the closeups below.

All of these are perfect patterns to pull from your KFC stash or take the opportunity to,  of course,  add to your KFC stash by ordering more!  And I have it on the best authority, that future KFC collections are also equally gorgeous and stunning – look for KFC Spring and Fall 2018 collections to be released very soon!  We posted a sneek peek on our Instagram and Facebook page a few days ago….

Have fun and enjoy!  Until your next colour fix~ xxoo Linda & Carl

Links:
To download the free pattern for All Stacked Up.
To order a fabric kit/pattern for All Stacked Up.
To download the free pattern for Fan Dance.
To purchase the Waterfall – Cool (blues) Colourway fabric kit.
To purchase the Waterfall – Tropical (oranges) Colourway fabric kit.

 

 

“…My Kinda Town…”

PS jpgWe recently moved house and sewing studio to the fabulous city of Palm Springs, California! It’s taken awhile to unpack and organize but we are settling in quite nicely!

Known as the mecca for Hollywood royalty getaways,  mid-century modern architecture and trendy pool parties and tiki bars – there’s plenty to do here and the town is super hip –  hosting such huge events such as the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Modernism Week, and Coachella Music Festival and Stagecoach Music Festivals.

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Similar to our previous residence in Pinehurst, NC – the permanent year-round Palm Springs population is about 45,000, and doubles during the winter season with part time residents from the north and vacationers galore.  To the east of Palm Springs, are several other desert cities including Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Indio.    PS 1

Big Bear Lake is just a short half hour away or so –  Los Angeles is just over a one hour drive to the West – and San Diego just two hours to the South.    And there’s o end to the shopping experiences –  a vibrant downtown area (that’s a statue of ex mayor Sonny Bono in the picture to the right), the upscale El Paseo shopping district (think Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills) and a super huge outlet mall just a mere 10 minutes down the freeway.  Entertainment and year around activities include two modern art museums, countless tiki bars and lounge acts, three regional repertory theaters, and two huge resort casinos/spas that host an array of super star entertainment like Lionel Richie, Tom Jones or Bette Midler in any given week.  Hollywood king pins such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope (see his house below – it is wild!), Dinah Shore, Lucille Ball and more all built homes here, adding a touch of stardust and old Hollywood glamour to certain areas of the town.  And of course, the famous Rat Pack played and stayed here…so it doesn’t get any much better than that!

Although the desert heat of summer pushes daytime temperatures into the 100s, it’s a dry heat and believe it or not, much more comfortable than the humid conditions we experienced while living in North Carolina!   The area boasts more than 350 days of sunshine with less than 5 inches of rain a year and winter temperatures average in the 70s with nights in the mid-40s – now that sounds like a fabulous way to spend Winter!

With all that – the pace is very relaxed, living is easy and fun is the name of the game! What attracted us to the area was the vibrant and colourful Palm Springs downtown  – streets lined with majestic palm trees, a vast variety of boutique shops, art galleries in abundance and the absolute mecca of mid-century art, artists and architecture that flood every corner.  Inspiration and colour is found in every niche of the city and surrounding areas.

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HausOur new home and studio is just outside the Palm Springs downtown area and we have fondly named it the Colourwerx Dezign Haus.    It is a challenge working and living in the same space especially when there are two of you and you are married!  And to make it doubly challenging – even after 6 weeks we are still unpacking, decorating and setting up the design and sewing studio – we promise a post on this progress soon!

We’re having so much fun exploring our new town and  all it has to offer!  A favorite getaway is the Thursday night Palm Springs Village Fest – over 180 vendors and local artists line the downtown streets.  A terrific find from last week’s visit was this colourful camel print we purchased from a local artist, Jutta Malry.  Of course, many more of her prints will be added to the Colourwerx Dezign Haus in the near future.

Palm Springs is a fabulous town to live in or just visit –  in short, as Frank Sinatra use to say….”it’s my kinda town…..”   (I know….I know….he was singing about Chicago….but oh well…)

…Just exactly what do you guys do?…

IMG_6104For the trade only – Quilt Market happens just twice a year and it is ‘the place’ to preview the newest fabrics, patterns and notions that will be arriving at your local quilt shop in the coming year.

Like most Quilt Markets it was exhausting but very energizing….  The ‘exhausting’ is in the designing, making and preparing all of our quilts for display, coming up with a new look for our Colourwerx booth (see below for a couple of snaps) , designing and printing handouts and brochures, and the final step – hoping that it all arrives (including us and the quilts) in one piece to the venue and on time.

The ‘energizing’ is actually just being there – being able to view and or try out the latest fabrics, notions and patterns, seeing a vast variety of quilts all made with different techniques and styles, and lastly and most importantly catching up with friends and colleagues and meeting new ones. Here were a few of our favorites:

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Amy Butler’s Booth

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Sew Many Creations’ Booth

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Tula Pink’s Booth

We were also thrilled to see several of our ‘secret sewing’ designs hanging in the Free Spirit Fabric booth and Quilt Gallery.  ‘Secret sewing’ – meaning we were not able to reveal them to you until now because the fabric had not yet been released.

Which brings me to this important note:  We get asked alot “….just exactly what do you guys do….”  – well, aside from the obvious fact that we sell patterns for our original designs and make quilts (and we make alot of them!), we also design quilt patterns and make quilts for many well known fabric companies.  Hence, the term “secret sewing”.

For example, a new fabric collection is due to be released in the next 6-9 months but the fabric designer may be a well known painter or illustrator and know very little about quiltmaking…so that’s where we step in….we are contracted by the fabric company to take the fabric collection and design several patterns highlighting that collection…then we are asked to develop one or several of these designs further by writing a pattern and actually making the quilt for display – it is great fun but it is also ‘top secret stuff’ as we can’t reveal to you what we are up to until the collection is released.

Back to Spring Quilt Market, we designed and made five quilts that were on display at Spring Quilt Market, and these were fairly “top secret” until about 2 weeks prior to Spring Quilt Market.  Some of these designs had been in the works since January so it was mighty hard not to tell you what we were up to….

We’ll highlight these designs later but here’s a short preview of them hanging in the Free Spirit Fabric Gallery of Quilts.  And we must give credit to our dear friend Teresa at Quilting is my Bliss – she custom  quilted all of these and did just an absolutely fantastic job!  If you see a quilt you like, then jump on over to the Inspiration page on the the Free Spirit website to download the free pattern  – some of these are available now and some are coming in a few weeks or so, plus there are loads more free patterns there by other fellow designers that are super terrific, so check it out!

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Mystic Gold

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Hat Boxes

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All Stacked Up

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Easy Sunday

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Racetrack

And finally –  Colourwerx (meaning Carl and I)  designed and debuted three new patterns which are now available at your local quilt shops – they are also available for purchase on our website!   PDF versions of these are in the works and should be available by the end of June!  (drum roll….) They are: ModCats, Mod TV and Mix It Up!  All are super fun patterns and incorporate the slash ‘n sew method we love!

All in all, a great time was had by all and now we’re turning our thoughts towards the Houston Quilt Market in October (yes, October already!)

Thank you to all for following along with us, and until your next colour fix~
Linda & Carl

The “Tattooed” Mini Spikey & ModDog

Early February,  we had the honor of creating a mini version of our “Spikey” quilt for our andoverfriends over at Andover Fabrics using Canadian artist and fabric designer, Libs Elliott’s,  newest collection called “Tattooed”.  The quilts commissioned were to be hung in the Andover Booth at the QuiltCon East Convention that took place in Savannah, GA.  We were beyond excited and thrilled to meet the challenge.

IMG_4851“Tattooed” fabric is just starting to hit your local quilt shops, and if you haven’t seen it yet – go check it out….It is a gorgeous collection of richly saturated jewel toned prints and makes the most perfect rainbow quilt or added to your stash is a great basic. You can also check out more of Libs Elliott’s quilts and her designs at her website …..her work is really innovative and fabulous as she uses computer code to create her designs.IMG_5008

Back to the mini “Spikey” – first I needed to arrange the “Tattooed” fabrics in my preferred color order.  Additionally, because we had a size requirement, I needed to reduce the Spikey triangle template to 3″ in length (instead of the original 8″ length).  These were going to be some tiny triangles!  The background and borders were cut from Andover fabrics Chambray collection – this is a beautiful woven fabric that creates texture, depth and movement to the background.  Love it and I absolutely need more now!

I then began the task of sewing triangles together…With our Spikey pattern the key to matching the triangles up is to offset the 2 triangles by just about 1/8″ and sew a perfect (not scant) 1/4″ seam – before I set out to sew any “Spikey” quilt I always have to do several test runs until I get it just right and then I set that pair of triangles off to the side as my reference while sewing all of the others. (Click on the photos to enlarge).

Once done – the mini Spikey was ready for quilting…since I don’t consider myself the most expert machine quilter, I used a monfilament thread and simply quilted a 1/4″ away from all of the spikes and then quilted abritrary lines in and out through the outer borders….Sometimes simple is better….and Voila – done! (You can click on the photos below to enlarge 😉

So off it shipped to be placed in the Andover Fabric quilt gallery.  What a thrill to see our mini Spikey displayed with all of the other gorgeous quilts in the Andover Fabric booth at Quilt Con East….I love the eyeball pillow and the jewel quilt, don’t you? it was thrilling to see it displayed with all of the other gorgeous work.

While making the mini Spikey, we also toyed around with making an additional project from the “Tattooed” fabric  – a mini “ModDog! He, alas, did not make the cut….oh well…

dog pillowBut here are the results!   I first wonky slashed ‘n sewed some “Tattooed” strips together and cut out the dog body.  Then I textured the Chambray background with straight stitching lines using a collection of brightly colored 12 weight Aurifil threads – these are deliciously weighty threads and work perfectly through my Bernina sewing machine using a 90/14 size topstitch needle….no problem!  And I love the way the background looks!  Next, I appliqued around the dog with a 50 weight Aurifil thread, added a piece of gorgeous Renaissance Ribbon for a collar, and even fussy-cut  a “handmade tat”  from Libs’ previous collection “True Love” for his rear end – ha! I think he came out super cute and we’re plotting more of these in the future!

Many thanks to Giusseppe and Daryl at Andover Fabrics for the opportunity and to Libs Elliot for designing such a gorgeous collection.  And if you like our “Spikey quilt or “ModDog” pillow, you can purchase patterns for the larger versions from our Colourwerx website or a PDF download from our Colourwerx Craftsy site.

Until your next colour fix~
Linda & Carl

A Brite Idea – Adding Quick Corner Triangles

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Here’s a nifty tip we recently shared over on Instagram the other day.  This tip comes in handy when making snowball blocks or flying geese units where the pattern calls for drawing a diagonal line on the WRONG side  and then stitching on that line – when you flip this unit up it appears as a triangle in the IMG_5472corner of the block you have stitched it to.  The problem I always had with this particular method was that when I stitched ‘directly’ on the line and then flipped the corner up, it never really matched perfectly – it was always a ‘hair’ short of matching the corner…that was until a student of mine shared this secret tip….

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When adding a triangle to a corner of another block (commonly referred to as the “quick corner triangle piecing method”) – switch your machine’s presser foot to the “Edgestitch Foot”.  (For Bernina gals – that would be the fabulous #10 foot.)  Move your needle IMG_3267position one notch to the right.  Now stitch directly on the diagonal line positioning the center guide on the edgestitch foot directly on the drawn line.  Your stitching will be just a hair to the right of the line (or
as some say ‘just above the line’), but when you flip and press the
corner of the square up to make a triangle it will perfectly match the upper corner of the block.

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Why you ask? Well, thread and the fold of the fabric take up precious space in your seam allowance, so when you stitch ‘directly’ on the drawn line, this prevents the corner from marching perfectly.

Additionally, many times you have to make several dozen (or in my case for a quilt I am now working on over 400 quick corner triangles   :-0 egads! ), and no one wants to spend the afternoon drawing a diagonal line on the wrong side of each of 400 squares…So another tip. 🙂

By placing a piece of Washi Tape (or painter’s tape) along the center marking of your stitch plate, you can line up the top and bottom tips of the square with the edges of the tape and let that guide your stitching.  With a few practice runs, you’ll find that stitching directly down the center of this square is eazy-peazy every time and with no markings!

Try it and let us know what you think!

Until your next colour fix~
Linda & Carl

 

Roundabout Quilt

Oh my – how time does fly!  Unbelievably, it’s the middle of March and we promised with our last blog post in January that we would talk more…our apologies but the good news is we have been super busy designing and quilting, designing and quilting, and designing and quilting and so on….the only problem with all this ‘designing and quilting’ is that it’s been “super secret quilting” so we haven’t been able to share any of it with you until now….IMG_3085-1

One of the first quilts we designed and made for Free Spirit Fabric was our ‘Roundabout’ Quilt using Nel Whatmore’s beautiful and cottage chic fabric collection called img_3847.jpgRosealea“.  This was a fun quilt to create but I must admit when a quilt sample was requested to be created for of all venues – the Houston Quilt Market! (gasp) – I was a little intimidated to say the least.  Here’s the completed quilt hanging in the Free Spirit Fabric Quilt Gallery which was a special booth exhibit at last year’s Houston Quilt Market – indeed a proud moment for Carl and I.

Designed solely by Carl, this quilt is almost entirely paper pieced, which allows for the perfect sharp points and intricate secondary designs to come forth – sometimes I wonder if he designs these complicated looking things just to test me!  Lol! Paper piecing is a love of mine so I welcomed the task!

IMG_2928-1In creating this quilt,  I discovered a few tips and tricks along the way.   First, the ever useful glue stick came in very handy. I ran a light bead of glue stick along the first fabric so that I could place the black and white dots evenly and perfectly IMG_2933vertical over the the first paper pieced section without the dots shifting as I sewed – skewed dots would look awful and I did not want that look!

IMG_2940-1I also used my very handy ‘Add a Quarter’ ruler to trim off any excess fabric leaving just that perfect scant 1/4″ seam allowance.  If you don’t have one of these ‘Add a Quarter’ rulers yet, run – don’t walk –  to your neighborhood quilt shop and pick one up – they are super useful for all paper piecing and just  a great handy notion to have in your sewing kit!

There were three different units that needed to be created  to form just one quadrant of each block…so 4 quadrants make just 1 block and there were 5 blocks in all….60 units total needed to be completed and all  in a matter of a week or so as our turnaround was very tight.

 

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To match the points of each unit, that old trick of pinning straight through the top point of the intersection and right through the matching top point of the intersection really did the trick and made piecing the units together a breeze. IMG_2970-1

And of course, the every helpful rubber mallet was most useful in pounding flat (yes you heard me, pounding flat!) the center of each block where there were many seams converging – hey, a quilter got to do what a quilter got to do, right?!

We added a black top and bottom border to frame out the quilt and make the completed version measure the perfect 45″ x 60″ size that was requested for the Free Spirit Quilt Gallery.

Once completed, the top was sent to Teresa at Quilting is my Bliss for some magical and very beautiful free motion machine quilting.  She did a gorgeous job adding just the right amount of quilting here and there without overpowering the design.

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So once completed, off to Free Spirit Fabrics it went and took its place in the gallery for Houston Quilt Market!  A fun project indeed.

If you like our Roundabout pattern and want to make one of your own, you can download the free pattern by clicking here.

Stay tuned for more posts on out other designs that have started popping up!

Until your next colour fix~Linda & Carl

 

Welcome 2017!

20172016 was indeed ‘a year of real change’…and in so many ways, right?   Presidential elections, celebrities found and lost, international intrigue and domestic scandals, and personally for us – a colourful and most welcome change of pace: a new business, new projects started, older ones completed, lots and lots of UFO’s still languishing from previous years, all the while creating a new bucket list of new projects that will take me some 3000 years to complete (but hey-who’s counting right?) and many, many more ideas and projects  percolating and in the works….

Linder Logocustomer-montageAs hard as it was, the end of 2016 was time for Carl and I to say goodbye to our beloved quilt shop Linderella’s Quilt Works located in Southern Pines, NC.   Although we were sad to give up the daily routine of running the shop and familiar interactions with customers and long time friends (check out the montage photo to the right – you might see someone you know 🙂 ), it was definitely and personally time for a change up…..  Eight plus years and then some, is a long time in one job but it was time for us to reboot our creative juices and return to our first passion of designing quilt patterns and making colourful quilts….

However looking back on 2016, we are mighty proud of what we accomplished, keeping two full time business running at full speed and with no employees I might add.  We designed two new patterns now available for purchase : “Mod Dog” & “Splendor”

In addition to that, we designed a few dozen or so new patterns for some pretty well known fabric companies, such as Free Spirit Fabrics – one of which is now available in kit form at Hancock’s at Paducah entitled, “Flower Show”….

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Completed over two dozen or so various quilts or samples for Colourwerx and/or Linderella’s, including our popular “Rainbow Row” for the Row by Row Experience (pictured below on the right); and in addition, taught a full roster of classes  using many of our new designs as well as other projects at the shop or at other quilt shops in the area, in addition to prepping and hosting over a dozen demos and/or events throughout the year.

gotcolourNeedless to say, we are super excited to see what 2017 brings and look forward to once again, just as we did in 2008 with Linderella’s , fostering our new business from the ground up.  We have so many fun colourful, things planned for you this year:  new patterns, new products and kits, free tutorials, giveaways and of course, a few surprises.  image-1

We also have a full roster of new classes and lectures available to local quilt shops, guilds and national shows – you can check it all out here.  If you think your local shop or guild might be interested in hosting us, we’d appreciate your referrals…

So here’s to 2017!!  We hope you’ll continue to follow us on all your favorite social media sites and tell your friends to do the same….and just in case you didn’t know where to find us, here are some links:
“Got Colour” Newsletter
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

And refer your friends to follow along on this blog as well….

We are so grateful for all of your support this last year and thank you so much for allowing us to share our colourful, quilty journey with you!  We hope to see you all very soon!

Until your next colour fix~
Linda & Carl

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