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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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

 

 

LongArm Quilting Workbook by Teresa Silva

LQW Book Cover

Welcome to the second to last stop on the LongArm Quilting Workbook blog hop!

It’s no big secret that Carl and I are huge fans of Teresa Silva (aka Quilting is my Bliss) and her gorgeous custom Teresa Silva~Quilting is my Blissmachine quilting.  In the 2 short years we’ve had the pleasure of working with Teresa, she has long arm quilted over two dozen quilts for us and all have been perfection!  Imho – Teresa is simply one of ‘the best’ custom quilters ever!…..Her intuitive nature consistently shines through on every project – picking just the right pattern to compliment the quilt mixed with  gorgeous threads and then topped off with that exquisite workmanship – all together creating stunning results every time without ever overpowering the overall quilt or fabrics.  And would you believe in all this time and through all those quilts – she, Carl and I have never met face to face (gasp!)…but all that will change soon when we meet up this month at the Houston Quilt Market – she’ll be there to promote her newest creation – the just published and fantastic read – “Longarm Quilting Workbook” from F&W Media – now available on her website or at Amazon.com.

First off – I love the fact that the book is spiral bound so you can easily lay it flat near your work surface or your sewing machine.

LongArm Quilting Workbook Spiral

Secondly – it’s chocked full of detailed instruction with lots and lots of diagrams and pictures – there are over 20 plus quilting exercises explaining  in detail how to do all those super cool designs we all know and love –  like curly circles, pebbles, ribbon candy and feathers –  (gah! -Teresa’s feathers are to die for (see our Dazzle Dragonfly quilt pictured below and you’ll see what I mean).

Book Inside-LongArm Quilting Workbook

Exercises are fine but how about applying these to a block or a whole quilt,  you say?  Well – yes she thought of that too – I really appreciated Chapter 3 – Doodling and Drawing – this chapter explains in detail  how to diagram, map out on paper and then translate to your machine a combination of quilting designs together on a whole cloth (which could be easily adapted to your own quilt or a singular centered block in your quilt).  Let’s take a peek…

Book Inside - LongArm Quilting Workbook

And if that wasn’t enough, the Gallery of Quilts is stunning eye candy!  Page after page of beautiful quilts with close ups of her free motion quilting! This is Julie Herman’s Jaybird Designs quilt “Sweet Tooth”. Check out all of that gorgeous quilting!

Sweet Tooth-Longarm Quilting Workbook

Image Courtesy of F&W Media

And don’t let that title fool you – the information and exercises in the book are completely applicable to domestic machines as well.  I am admittedly the ‘world’s worst free motion machine quilter’ (that’s why I send everything to Teresa!) so anytime I find a new gadget, book or notion to help I am all in – I found her exercises well written and super easy to follow. Now I just need to find the time to practice!

Next let’s show off some of Teresa’s custom free motion quilting on our Colourwerx quilts – prepare yourself for gorgeousness!  First off , this recently completed version of ModTV (CW-110) using Alison Glass’ Chroma…..

ModTV3

And how about this stunning pebbling and clamshell work on our Cosmos quilt (CW101) –  this was the first quilt she custom quilted for us and is still one of my favorites!

Close up Cosmos

And another fave – “Harlequin” – a commissioned piece using Kaffe Fassett’s Artisan collection for Free Spirit Fabrics that we designed and made,  and Teresa custom quilted. One picture was simply not enough – click on any pictures to enlarge and see her quilting up close!

And her work on our Splendor quilt (CW-108) was fabulous…. (quilting in and around applique I think is the hardest for most custom quilters but Teresa has it down to perfection…   🙂 )
Splendor

And lastly – our Dazzle dragonfly (CW-102) oh my! –  and that gorgeous,  enormous feather – ooo and ahhhh indeed!

Dazzle Full Size

Teresa also has fun giveaways planned for you, but you have to go visit her blog at quiltingismybliss.com tomorrow, October 17th through October 20th and leave a comment to enter the giveaway!   Here are the prizes – yippee!grand-prize-1-blog-hop.jpg

The Grand Prize from the blog hop will be:
Free Spirit Fabric – Tula Pink Spirit Animal Fat Quarter Bundle
Quilter’s Dream 80/20 Queen Size Batting
Superior Threads – So Fine 50 – 2 Cones of Thread
20 x 20 Wholecloth Quilt – Made by Teresa Silva
Longarm Quilting Workbook – Autographed

Second Prize from the blog hop will be:grand-prize-2-blog-hop.jpg
United Notions/Moda Fabrics – Fig Tree solid Fat Quarter Bundle
Quilter’s Dream Pink Twin Size Batting
Superior Threads – So Fine 50 – 1 Cone of Thread
Longarm Quilting Workbook – Autographed

Carl and I are thrilled for her and wish Teresa the best of all successes with her wonderful “Longarm Quilting Workbook” – now go forth, buy her book, leave a comment on her blog to enter the giveaway,  practice your free motion and have fun!

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)

“…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…)