The ModTiki – and why not?

Enchanted Tiki RoomDoes any one recall Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room?  I do!   It was quite simply a most magical experience and is still a Disney classic to this day.    Located in Adventureland, it debuted in 1963, and entertains its guests with a colorful cast of animated talking toucans, birds, tropical flowers, tiki drummers and best of all, talking tiki totem poles – all singing a variety of catchy Polynesian tunes.  It is just fabulous!

So when we moved back to Southern California and decided to finally settle in Palm Springs, little did we know that we were moving into a mecca of what might be termed upscale, but rather touristy Polynesian playlands.   Around every corner in Palm Springs and the surrounding communities, you’ll find tiki themed hotels and cocktail lounges, serving exotic rum-laced cocktails from their own enchanted tiki rooms adorned with of course, Tiki statues.

Within a few months of moving here, I was quickly becoming Tiki obsessed. One morning to Carl’s chagrin, we even ventured out in triple digit temps to take photos of our Cosmos quilt draped over a favorite Tiki.  This guy greets visitors daily at the  entrance to the famed Club Trinidad and Purple Room (where Frank, Dean and Sammy used to hang out in the 60’s).    I just love the way the Tiki and the quilt  become one piece  – elevating both to new level of art.

CosmosTiki
So it was only a matter of time that I ‘needed’ to design a ModTiki – and hey, why not?  I started sketching this guy out about 12 months ago but didn’t really make him a reality until a few weeks ago when I made the samples and wrote the pattern.

Tiki Drawings

Warning — These ModTikis are fun and can be quite addictive….I had a great time looking through scraps of batiks and fabrics testing out which fabric prints might look great as the tiki body  – like these two made from Island Batiks or the Kaffe Fassett Artisan Collection…

….or this one made with Banyan Batiks, which would reflect more of  traditional hand carved look to the ModTiki…

BB Tiki

As always, my preferred method of applique stitching the shapes was on on my trusty Bernina 750QE sewing machine, using Stitch #2 and an open toe applique foot (#20 for Bernina lovers) using Aurifil 50 wt thread in the top and in the bobbin. My preferred zigzag setting is stitch length 0.5 and stitch width 3.0 – for me, this creates a nice tight stitch that resembles a satin stitch without being too tight,  and nicely outlines the shapes without overwhelming them.

Tiki Applique 3
What’s terrific too is that the shapes on the ModTiki provide many opportunities where you can “stitch into and out of the points”  – this is a fabulous look and really adds a “high end” look to your applique stitching.

When you approach the point of an applique shape, as you are stitching,  reduce your stitch width so the zigzag stitch becomes smaller and smaller – this is stitching ‘into the point’, if you will  – then after turning the corner, enlarge your stitch width to stitch ‘out of the point’.   It’s a little like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time and takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, it really does create a fabulous touch to your appliqués.

The ModTiki pattern includes both the small wallhanging size – which is fat quarter friendly and measures 11″ x 22 (or 16″x 22″ when adding the optional flower appliqués), but also the Kon Tiki larger size – measuring 44″ x 66″ – 12 half yards is all you need for this bigger version and that includes the background fabric and all the fabrics for the 12 Tikis.
Kon Tiki
I’m finding that almost any fabric can make a great Tiki!  Solids, batiks, florals, geometrics, you name it!

So are you feeling a little ModTiki?  Then go ahead and give our happy little guy a try!  It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and makes an excellent gift for that guy in your life!  You can purchase the pattern on our website here.

Mahalo and Aloha! 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

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.