Get Your Colour Game on with Prismatic!

PrismaticI’m catching up on new pattern blog posts – so let’s talk about one of our newest patterns – Prismatic!.  Boldly go where no colour has gone before!  – It’s  a terrific pattern for batiks, prints or solids! And good news, it may look complicated, but it’s not.

Prismatic! is a fun, easy to piece quilt.   All the blocks Prismatic Front Cover copyare pieced exactly in the same fashion..the only difference is how the fabrics are combined and in what order they appear in each block.  Luckily, we gave you a handy reference chart in the pattern, and if you follow that and a few additional tips below – you’ll be on your way to creating this gorgeous quilt.  Click here to purchase the pattern in either a paper pattern or PDF download pattern.

This new pattern from Colourwerx was designed by Carl on a whim….he was playing around in EQ7 designing quilt block patterns while watching TV one night and happened to switch the channel over to CBS…the logo appeared….this was the result —- see the similarity? Kinda like a cat’s eye, right….    Sometimes it takes just a little inspiration to light a creative fire; and yes, that old saying that ‘inspiration is everywhere’ is absolutely true.

Since the quilt is entirely pieced (and not foundation or paper pieced as many think), a good 1/4″ seam is imperative,  so you’ll need to whip out that 1/4″ patchwork presser foot for your sewing machine.  Mine is the #97 for my Bernina 750QE – it comes with this handy metal guide that keeps my 1/4″ seams perfect and I love it!

Bernina97

Fabric selection for Prismatic! is super easy too – you just need twelve coordinating fabrics plus three neutrals for the backgrounds.  The pattern includes two sizes: a Large Prismatic New Back CoverLap with a 6″ finished block – and measures 72″ x 84″ – which uses just twelve half yards; and a Small Lap Size with a 4″ finished block  – and measures 48″ x 56″ – which uses just twelve fat quarters. Refer to the Material List at your right  for further information on yardage requirements.

So if you’ve been lusting after half yard bundles or fat quarter bundles this may be the perfect pattern!  I selected to use one of our personally curated bundles of gorgeous batik fabrics from Island Batiks.  This is now available for purchase in Fat Quarter or Half Yard bundles in our Colourwerx shop – click here for more information.

It of course follows colour wheel order (….and I always love a good colour wheel order quilt…), but the depth of saturation and gorgeous texture of the Island Batik Basics really callModTiki out to me.  This colour palette may also look familiar to you as I chose this exact same bundle to use for the Big Kahuna version of my ModTiki quilt – this pattern is also available on on our Colourwerx website here.  For the background fabrics, I used my favorite Island Batik neutrals in the colors of Smoke (dark gray), Tin (light gray) and White. Once your fabrics are selected, creating a fabric color key is paramount – just snip a 1″ square from each fabric, staple the fabric squares to a piece of paper and label them accordingly.  This key will aid you continually in keeping your fabrics coordinated and in the order needed to make the pattern work.

Cutting your fabrics is also pretty easy too – using the pattern templates provided and following the cutting chart provided in the pattern,  each fabric has exactly the same quantity of shapes cut – it’s just a matter of cutting the correct template shape from each fabric.   Once the fabrics are cut, the most challenging part is to separate and combine the the fabric shapes into the different block combinations, following the color coded block combination chart provided in the pattern.    There are thirty three different block combinations, so getting the right shape in right color in the correct combination is important – check and double check!.

Once my block combos were separated, I placed each of them into ziplock bag and labelled how many blocks I needed to make for that combo –  all I needed to do was select a bag and sew the units together in that bag.    Eazy peazy, right?

Once all thirty three combinations were completed, I laid out the blocks on my design  board and began to sew the blocks together. I then quilted it on my APQS Lucey longarm with an all over pantograph pattern.  Voila!!

This pattern is so versatile and as mentioned above, choosing twelve coordinating fabrics will always create beautiful results…Here are a few other versions of Prismatic!

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Prismatic! is a super fun quilt  – so dive in and step up your colour game!    Thanks for your support and happy holidays!  Until your next colour fix~Linda & Carl

 

 

 

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A Brite Idea – Match the Selvage Dots

Brite-Idea-LogoWhen we owned our shop, Linderella’s Quilt Works, many times we heard our customers say they were  “…just no good at matching fabric or picking colours” or that they had  a favorite piece of fabric but just no idea what to place with it….well, here’s an easy tip that will never fail you….look to the selvage edge….yup – that’s right!  Those colourful little dots not only tell you every colour the screen printers used in creating that fabric – but it also serves as the handiest guide in the universe to help you mix and match other fabrics with it!

For example, pictured below is a wild piece of Kaffe Fassett (well – actually most of his fabric is pretty wild, right?!)  And to the right –  are the selvage dots located on the edge of the fabric.  There are 12 color dots varying in values of pink, purple, chartreuse,  teals, orange and even a bright red and a ruddy brown-like burgundy (check out #6 & #11).  I never saw these colours in the print until I looked at the selvage.

First, I went to my Kaffe stash – Here’s a quick pull that mixed nicely with this print – lovely!  But I know, I know – some of you are saying, “….too easy – everything Kaffe goes with Kaffe…..”
Kaffe Match Up
Ok….how about this combination? These are some gorgeous new batiks from Laundry Basket Quilts – designed by Edyta Sitar’s for Andover Fabrics called “Splash of Color”!   I love that ruddy red (#11) and would have never thought of picking that colour would it not for the selvage dots.  This collection is available now so yes, please go to your local quilt shop and ask for it!
Edyta Match Up(Full disclosure here:  Edyta and I met at Quilt Market and she liked our Colourwerx patterns so much that she asked if I would use some of her batiks to make a few new samples of my patterns using her new batik line – Why yes!  :-), of course I would be delighted to!!  These projects will soon be posted.) 

Actually I do think I like this batik combo better than the Kaffe combo above as the batiks give that Kaffe fabric a whole new rhythm.  Not pictured but equally beautiful would be a mixture of a half dozen Kona Cotton Solids mixed with the Kaffe print to really set it off!  (Of course batiks don’t have a selvage edge so if you’re starting with a favorite batik and stumped – seek out your colour wheel for guidance or the assistance of your quilt shop.)

So dig deep in the stash for that favorite fabric you’ve been fondling all these years, study the selvage edge and then head off to the quilt shop to match fabrics to make something gorgeous! Until your next colour fix! ~ Linda & Carl

A Brite Idea – Pin for Accurate Placement of Foundation Piecing

Brite-Idea-LogoJust a quick tip for lovers of foundation piecing or paper piecing!

Sometimes I find it very hard to know exactly at which angle to place the next piece of fabric when paper piecing (or foundation piecing).  It’s completely understandable though – you’re placing fabric on the back side of the paper but sewing on the front side so when you flip the paper over to the sewing lines (especially if they are extreme angles) things tend to go awry – is the line pointing up or down?  To the right or left? Ugh!  And because of that – I’ve ruined my fair share of blocks or endured countless hours of seam ripping over and over and over again.

Until I started to pin…Now I place 2 pins like so (pics below) on the sewing line – that way when I flip the foundation paper to the other side to place my fabric, the pins are there to guide me as to the perfect angle so no more misplaced pieces or wasting lots of fabric  – voila!

Works every time!  Give it a try!! 🙂  Until your next colour fix!  Linda & Carl

Slash ‘n Sew – Say what?!??

BW PIllowThe other day it occurred to me that when we label a project “easy – slash ‘n sew” that many of you might just say “Huh – ……what the heck does that really mean…”??  Hence this blog post….

“Slash ‘n Sew” is a term that I adopted in the 90’s when I learned about liberated quilting – a non exact, non precise way of piecing a block – no templates, no set patterns and best of all, no exact 1/4″ seams!  Many of today’s modern quilters have also adapted this method but refer to it as “improv quilting”. Gwen-Marston

The inventor and queen of modern, liberated quilting is Gwen Marston, who I was fortunate enough to take a class from way back when (circa 1999).  I credit her (and later  – Australian artist, Jan Mullen) for opening my eyes to this type of unconventional piecing – both of their influences can be seen in many of my early Linderella quilts that have slash ‘n sew techniques such as “Happy Hauntings” pictured below – Check out the outer borders...(And if you like this pattern, you can purchase it and a few more oldies but goodies at our Linderella Craftsy site as a PDF download)…

Happy Hauntings copy

 

Back to slash ‘n sew – Gwen Marston’s books, “Liberated Quiltmaking I and II” are both excellent reads and staples in my reference library.  Almost any block that can be conventionally pieced,  can be “slash ‘n sew” pieced.  It’s a wonky, free wheeling, liberating, stress free, non exact, wildly innovative way of piecing.  The key is to let go, relax and enjoy the creative process.

To get you started – perhaps the simpliest block to slash ‘n sew would be the liberated 4-patch.  You’ll need:
• (2) 4-1/2″ squares of 2 different fabrics,
•  a rotary cutter with a sharp blade, and a square ruler.

1. Stack the (2) squares RIGHT side up and even.   With your rotary cutter and straight ruler, slash straight through the stack vertically. This slash should not be perfectly centered – skew the slash from top to bottom. Without moving or disturbing the stack, slash again through the stack but this time horizontally.

2.  You should now have (4) piles of misshapen squares – the same fabric should be on top of each stack.

3. Before sewing you’ll need to “shuffle” each pile.  Leave Stacks #1 & #4 alone. With Stacks #2 & #3, take the bottom fabric and place it on top. The two opposing stacks should now have a different fabric on top like the photo.

4. Begin assembly of the 4-patch square by stitching the top fabrics from Stacks #1 & #2 together – an exact 1/4″ seam is not necessary.    Press the seams open.     Repeat this step with the top fabrics from Stacks #3 & #4.     Again press the seams open.   

5.  Finally, matching the center seams (or not matching – it’s your choice and that’s the great thing about liberated quiltmaking!) , stitch these two pieces together to create the slash ‘n sew 4-patch square. Press all seams apart and outward. With your square ruler, center and trim the square to 3-1/2” X 3-1/2”.  Voila – a liberated , stress free, fun slash ‘n sew 4-Patch.

These squares can be made any size you want – just allow yourself enough room for squaring down after stitching.  A good rule of thumb would be if you want the Slash ‘n Sew 4-Patches to finish at 3-1/2″, then add a full 1″ when cutting the squares out – hence cut them out at 4-1/2″ (or whatever size you want them to be).

So what can you do with this little gem?  Check out these 2 pillows I made –  both are 12″ x 12″ – so that would be a total of (16) 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ squares.  Easy – peasy!  (Full disclosure: I did do a little pre-planning and on how the colors would gradiate out on the multi colored pillow before stitching).

BW PIllowColour4Patch

And how about using the liberated 4-patch for an outer border – check out our Pattern Colourstruck – I think the wonky border really makes the quilt dynamic!  There are over (80) Slash ‘n Sew 4-Patches there.

Colourstruck
ModTVFor a more challenging slash ‘n sew project – try our Mod TV pattern – this design was very inspired by Jan Mullen and of course, our love for everything retro!

So go forth, be liberated and slash ‘n sew your way to stress free quiltinq!  Give it a try – Until your next colour fix~  Linda & Carl

 

Get Colour with The Color Game and Carl…

FullSizeRender copy 3What do architects and quilters have in common?

A lot!   Design, harmony, structure, balance and a little math just to name a few.

On a recent trip to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles I came across a set of cards called “Color Game” by Ted Naos (more on Ted in a moment.)   There are 16 cards in each set (Ted also has designed several different sets varying in colour and shapes) –  each card is about 4″ x 4″ and has its own colour and a die-cut out pattern.  The purpose of the ‘game” is to learn about color interactions and experiment with color harmonies. 

More than likely these cards were never meant for quilters, however I noted that when the cards are individually set against a neutral background or even better,  stacked on top of each other (1, 2, 3 or even 4 cards) they create quilt blocks (see some of my examples below).

These cards are great inspiration and quite fun if you like to play around with colour (like I do) – and I might add – quite handy if you like to design your own quilt blocks!

Color Game 5

Now a little bit about the inventor of ‘The Color Game”  –  Professor Ted Naos.  Born in Athens, Greece, Ted came to the United States to study architecture at the University of Texas at Austin followed by Columbia University in New York.   Some years later Ted moved to Washington, D.C. to join the faculty at the School of Architecture and Planning at the Catholic University of America.   As a Professor of Architecture at CUA, he has taught design for many years while also pursuing his professional practice and his passion in painting and three-dimensional graphics.

On his website you’ll not only find the “Color Game” card sets, but also a wide variety of 3-dimensional greeting cards, calendars (these are pretty neat!) and free standing, die-cut paper city scapes, all designed by Ted Naos.

So the next time you visit the local bookstore or an art museum, you might give that gift shop a second look for some color fun like these “Color Game” cards.  If you can’t wait and like what you see,  you can order them directly from Ted Naos’ website here (and full disclosure: no, we were not asked or paid by Ted to link to his website – we just think this is a neat idea and wanted to share it with you…)

So check it out and have some colour fun…..!!!! Until your next colour fix~
Carl  (and Linda)

A Brite Idea – Adding Quick Corner Triangles

Brite-Idea-Logo

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….

IMG_3266

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.

IMG_3272

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