Abstract Garden Blog Hop & Giveaway!

AbstractGarden_bloghopWINNER  WINNER! 

Congratulations to Allison!!  Molly (our Beagle) selected Comment #72 – Allison in Alabama –  with the Random # Generator  as the Winner of our Colourwerx/Abstract Garden giveaway!  Hurray, and congratulations to Allison.  And thank you to everyone who played along!

Hey y’all !  Today is our day on the Abstract Garden Blog Hop and we couldn’t be more thrilled that Benartex Fabrics and designer, Christa Watson asked us to join in on the fun! To find out more about the Abstract Garden Blog Hop and Christa’s inspiration behind this fab fabric collection, check out Benartex’s Sew in Love (with Fabric) blog and Christa’s blog here!

AG BundlePattern GiveawayWe’re one of the last stops on the hop so first let me say – there are giveaways!!! Yippee!  Christa and the nice folks at Benartex are giving away an Abstract Garden Fat Quarter Bundle and we here at Colourwerx are also throwing in a pattern pack of the three patterns we used when making the projects you see here: ModCat, Mini ModDog & Disco.

Here’s how the giveaway works: Just leave a comment below and we’ll select a winner Saturday morning.  It’s that easy!   Back to the hop….

Abstract Garden is the new signature collection of designer extraordinaire and Colourwerx good friend, Christa Watson of Christa Quilts.    The collection is super modern, fab, fun and bright – just my cup of tea!  Last year, when Christa mentioned that her Abstract Garden Fabric Collection was coming out soon, I jumped at the chance to make her a few projects to display in her booth at the Fall Quilt Market. Here’s a picture of the finished projects…

Christa_Projects

Christa is also always so generous with her fabric!  Here’s the assortment of fabulous fabrics Christa sent out to me.  Check out the #colouricious tones and those fabulous mid-mod designs (can I get a ooooo and an ahhhhhh please!), ….not only did Christa send me  fat quarters of the entire collection of Abstract Garden, but she also included some fabrics from her first 2 collections, Modern Marks and Fandangle – and yes, I do have big plans for these other fabrics soon! 🙂

AG Fabric

Now – what projects to make for Christa??  Well that was easy – what could be better than a ModCat and Mini ModDog out of Christa’s super modern fabrics!!

I made the ModCat trio first – this is the wallhanging version of our popular ModCat pattern.  First I needed to divide the fabrics she sent me into three colorways – I decided to make a yellow/orange, blue/aqua, and purple/pink cat.  After wonky strip piecing the fabrics together, I cut out the cat shapes and then appliqued stitched around the cat eyes before fusing everything to the background fabric.   Hint – hint!: By stitching around the cat eyes first, I have more control over my stitching and it’s easier to control the zigzag around the smaller shapes.

I had a lot of scraps left over so next I made (2) Mini ModDog pillows for her booth – these are always so much fun and work up quickly – I made Christa a girl and a boy dog pillow!!.  Again first I machine quilted the background, then wonky strip pieced the the fabrics together, cut out the shapes and appliqued stitched the pups to their fabrics.  These came out super cute if I do say so myself!

Finally, I worked up for Christa my Disco pattern in her new collection. I placed this version of Disco on the back of my pattern cover!    I just love it!

Disco_Abstract Garden copy

Also on today’s blog hop are Tara and Stephanie – check out their links below and hop on over to their blogs!   And be sure to check out Benartex’s blog tomorrow where they’ll present a virtual trunk show of Christa’s Abstract Garden quilts.  Here’s the full list of my fellow bloggers and the quick links to their blogs ….Abstract Garden Fabrics

Monday 
Benartex Blog – Intro & inspiration about my designs

Tuesday
Sherry Shish from Powered by Quilting
Lee Monroe from May Chappell

Wednesday
Annie Unrein from Patterns by Annie
Pam and Lynn from The Stitch TV Show

Thursday

Friday

Finally – go ahead and leave a comment below to enter our giveaway!  Molly the Beagle – office manager in charge – will randomly select a winner on Saturday morning! 

And be sure to ask your local quilt shops if they have Abstract Garden.  If not, check out Christa’s online shop to order some of these great fabrics for your stash!

Happy quilting and until your next colour fix~Linda & Carl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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Let’s Talk Moody….

This week, we are so proud and excited to announce that one of our quilt designs and the pattern, “Moody” is featured in the new issue of July/August Modern Patchwork magazine. It’s always a thrill to see yourself and a quilt you’ve designed in print!  This issue is just hitting newsstands and is available for purchase here.

I also think it’s always interesting to hear about a ‘pattern’s history” – some patterns work right away and some like this one need to wait for the right fabrics to come along to make it “sing” (our term for when the design and fabrics work splendidly together – when they do, the quilt begins to “sing”…..tra-la-la-la)

This particular pattern was designed several months ago by Carl using the quilt software EQ7 (or Electric Quilt version 7).  It’s original design was in a hot, modern palette and all the blocks were intended to be appliqued over the super large 4-patch background. It’s also been a test quilt to audition other fabrics with large scale florals, etc… but the colors or combinations never quite “sang”.

At least not until Tula came along….

Last year, Tula Pink released her version of modern solids to coordinate perfectly with her other Tula Pink fabric collections, available from Free Spirit Fabrics.   I love the range and depth of her solids collection…it’s certainly not a traditional color wheel rainbow of solids, but imho, there’s just something a little more sophisticated, classy  and different with these colors….And of course, different means it’s a challenge and I like that!   These solids are now a stable at Free Spirit Fabrics and readily available at your local quilt shops and online.

So when we eyed  Tula’s solid collection, we immediately thought that our “Moody” quilt that had been waiting in the wings, had finally found a partner – yup -you guessed it – they made beautiful music and the quilt sang!
Moody
Moody Dir
We submitted the design to Modern Patchwork magazine and they accepted it!  However, before we submitted it,  we made one major change to the construction – it’s all pieced.  We thought the pieced construction would 1) definitely be more challenging for the sewist and 2) evoked more of a modern feel to the overall quilt….

Figuring, checking and double checking the pieced dimensions and arithmetic was a bit of challenge, but after a few test blocks all was great! The quilt construction really goes together quite quickly!

Once the quilt top was complete using Aurifil 5o weight thread (of course) – our good buddy, Teresa at Quilting is my Bliss did an amazing job machine quilting with the grecian keys design.  All in all, I think the quilt came out gorgeous and definitely evokes an air of sophistication and of course ‘moodiness’ as the colored blocks seems to change  personality when they cross the dark and light backgrounds.

Modern Patchwork CoverThe pattern is indeed available in the current issue of Modern Patchwork now on saleMoody Dir 2 And kudos to the editors as well – if you like the Tula Pink solids I used and want to duplicate it exactly color for color,  you’ll find the exact fabrics called out by color name on the materials list in the magazine – a nice added touch by the editors – :-  Thank you Modern Patchwork….

Until your next colour fix~  Linda & Carl

 

 

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

Mystic Gold

Mystic GoldFall Quilt Market is quickly approaching and guess what? – we are finally catching up with this blog post about quilts we designed for the Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis!  Oh my – how time does fly!

Fabric designer and artist, Anna Marie Horner, debuted her gorgeous new fabric collection called “Floral Retrospective” at the Spring Quilt Market – which is now out in stores  – and we were fortunate enough to be asked by Free Spirit Fabrics to design a quilt for their booth using her new fabrics.   Introducing Mystic Gold!

When Carl designed this pattern in EQ7 (Electric Quilt 7 software), he wanted to accentuate the rings moving outward from center (as if a pebble had been dropped in a calm pool of water) and give the quilt that almost mystical  “vibrating” or “zingey” look (think of hitting a gong) – hence the pointed tips around each curve.

Mystic Gold PetalsAnd what looks to be complicated curved piecing –  really isn’t!  Here’s how we did it:

  1.   A simple half squared triangle block is created first;
  2. ….then we added the corner triangles;
  3. …then we created the petal applique by sewing the lightest weight fusible interfacing right sides together with the fabric petal, slitting the center and turning the unit right side out;
  4. …lastly, we fused the petal to the center seam line, topstitched the edges  and voila! – it looks like some serious curved piecing occurred when in fact, it was super easy!

Mystic Gold Drawings

mystic-topstitch.pngTopstitching was super simple using my #10 Edgestitch Presser Foot (a must for this type of job!) and a matching 40wt Aurifil thread. Perfect every time!  If you’ve ever made an orange peel block, then this is very similar if not the same method indeed!

 

Teresa, from Quilting at my Bliss, did some awesome custom machine quilting.  The free motion feathers across each petal were to die for and her custom quilting in between was equally gorgeous. (click on the pictures to enlarge).

By the way, Teresa has a new book launching in October, called the “Longarm Quilting Longarm Quilt WorkbookWorkbook”.  It’s filled with great tips on basic skills, techniques and motifs to help get you started  longarm quilting – so if you’ve just purchased a longarm or are considering buying one – this would be a great book to consider adding to your reference library.  And of course, if you’re just looking for some new and fun ideas on how to quilt something – there’s lots and lots and lots of eye candy!  Of course, you can buy directly from Teresa and have her autograph it too!

mystic-at-market.jpgAll in all, this one was super fun quilt to design and create,  and we were so honored that Free Spirit chose this one to hang in their booth at Spring Quilt Market.

If you like this design, it is now available as a free download on the their website – here’s the link!

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)