Paint Box – New Pattern Preview

PaintBox Front Cover copyIt’s time to once again start highlighting each of our new patterns that were just released at the Houston International Fall Quilt Market 2019.  First on the list is Paint Box.  You can purchase the pattern in paper or PDF format right here in our Colourwerx shop!

Paint Box  was designed by Carl and the first version was specially made for Island Batik using our second signature batik collection with them called ‘Jewel Box’ designed for us by Kathy Brett Engle! As we preview more new patterns in the coming weeks, you’ll see this gorgeous collection of batiks used with each of our new designs!  You can view the whole ‘Jewel Box” fabric collection by clicking here!

This little ‘Paint Box’ quilt has quickly become an all time favorite of mine to piece from beginning to end.  Let me explain why….Strip Roll

First off – gathering the materials is so – so – so simple – all you need is  (1) 2-1/2″ strip roll with at least 40 strips and two 1-yard cuts of coordinating fabrics – that’s it!  From those materials, you’ll be able to make the 48″ x 48″ quilt top plus your binding.  Throw in 3-1/4 yards backing materials and you are set!  (This pattern is also a great stash buster so you could choose to cut the forty strips from your stash!)  I used for my second ‘Paint Box’ version the fabulously rich jewel toned Me+You Rainbow assortment of batik strips pictured above!

You will also need the Creative Grids 90˙ Quarter Square Triangle Ruler (CGRT90).  You can purchase the ruler from your favorite quilt shop or right here in our Colourwerx shop!
CGRT90-1Next sort the strips from your roll into groups – here’s where the fun begins 🙂  – you can sort by color, design, or just because – anything looks great!

Once you’ve cut and sorted your fabrics, its easy strip piecing and lots of it – but it goes fast!   I love this step in the process – although I still have to concentrate on my 1/4″ seam, I find strip piecing of this nature very relaxing and easy going.

Hoffman Strips
Next a little pressing and some fun cutting of triangles using the Creative Grids 90˙ Quarter Square Triangle Ruler.   And voila!

Hoffman Triangles

Lay out the triangles according to the pattern, sew triangles units together to form blocks, sew blocks together to form rows,  sew rows together and you’re done!   It really is that simple!

Me + You PB 2
To date, I have made five versions of our Paint Box pattern, including the two versions mentioned above.

Gridwork PB 1Here’s another version and this one graces the pattern cover because it truly came out so #colouricious!  This version uses Christa Watson’s newest fabric collection from Bernartex Contempo Fabrics called ‘Grid Work’.  You can view  the whole collection by clicking here and purchase these fabrics in Christa’s shop by clicking here.

Christa’s new fabrics are full of pure color and fun geometric designs so the combination of her “GridWork’ fabrics and the Paint Box pattern created a dynamic and fun quilt for sure!

We also made two versions for our friends at Free Spirit Fabrics, using of course, the new Kaffe Fassett Collective also coming to your local quilt shops and available in February 2020.

So go ahead and give it a try -it’s really so much fun!
Purchase the Paper Paint Box Pattern here!  Purchase the PDF Paint Box Pattern here!

And also be sure to check back into our Colourwerx shop as we will have kits for most of these versions coming real soon!

And of course, by all means – please do send us a picture of your completed Paint Box quilts – we always love to see and share all of your beautiful creations made using our Colourwerx patterns!

Carl and I are so thankful for your support and wish you happy and bright quilting always!  Until your next colour fix~ L&C xxoo

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Quilt Market Fun!

IMG_8338It’s been a whirlwind these last few weeks (in fact the whole year!) but I  finally found time to sit down and share with you our experience at the recent International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas.  The International Quilt Market took place October 26th-28th (always over my birthday wouldn’t you know it!) and is THE PLACE to see all the new fabrics, patterns and products by shop owners and industry professionals before they arrive in the shops some six months later.

We didn’t have a booth this time around but rather chose to “be free” and able to roam the show floor – this was a first for us and very liberating!  As always, Market is full of seeing old friends, meeting new ones , super fun antics and just an all around generally inspiring, terrific quilty experience!

We debuted six new patterns for Quilt Market – You can see them below in the slide show, and we’ll highlight each of these new patterns  in future blog posts, but all are available for order in our Colourwerx shop right now!

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We had several versions of our new quilts displayed with various companies throughout the quilt market floor.

First, we collaborated again with our good friends at Island Batiks and five of our quilts were displayed in a special preview window at the front of the Island Batiks Booth (slideshow below).  All of these quilts were made using the new and super gorgeous Jewel Box Batik Collection designed by Kathy Brett Engle for Island Batiks and coming to a shop near you in February 2020.   Check out the fabrics in the link above! Just lovely!!

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We also collaborated again with our  partners at Free Spirit Fabrics and always welcome opportunities to make our new patterns using Kaffe Fassett’s newest fabrics or other beautiful collections coming soon.  Here’s our PaintBox pattern in both the Warm and Cool colorway of Kaffe’s new fabrics- arriving in shops in February 2020 and we will also have kits available too.

We  also made our new Waterfall pattern in Martha Negley’s newsest fabric collection called Veggies – I am super in love with the rich jewel tones of Martha’s newest collection and the vegetable designs of carrots, beets and cabbage are to die for – it partners super well with all things Kaffe and I just love it .

Martha Nagly Waterfall

Continuing on with our collaboration and great friendship with Christa Watson of Christa Quilts.com – I was thrilled when she asked if I would make our new Paint Box pattern in her new fabric collection called GridWork.  Of course I would!  Here’s the finished version and of course a cute picture of Christa & I in her colorful booth at Quilt Market. Her new fabrics, GridWork will be coming to your local quilt shop in February!

We also formed a new relationship with Windham Fabrics and their popular fabric designer, Carrie Bloomston.  You all know Carrie by her popular fabric design, Love Newsprint that we sell in our Colourwerx shop right here!

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Carrie’s fabric collections are always full of whimsical motifs and adventures and mostly have a collage look with super beautiful color palettes of magentas, turquoises and golds.  Her newest collection “Wish” was fabulous and fun and we were thrilled to make our ModBlossom quilt for display in her booth!  Carl and  loved meeting Carrie and also love her new Wish fabric collection which will be coming to shops in the Spring!

Last but not least and perhaps most exciting, because we were free to roam the show floor, we were finally able to share our fabric design portfolio with many of the fabric companies’ design directors.   We can’t say anything just yet, but Carl and I were super pleased by the positive feedback we received regarding our fabric designs and are excited to explore this additional design avenue in our business! Look for more news on this in the very near future! 🙂

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Until your next colour fix – thanks as always for following along and Happy Fall!  L&C xxoo

 

ColourMaze QAL -Week #4 – Assembly & Borders

ColourMaze Front Cover(1)Welcome back!  We’re in the last week of our amazing ColourMaze QuiltAlong!  This week is all about stitching the ColourMaze Blocks together to form vertical rows and then completing your quilt top by sewing those rows together!  If you’re doing placemats or a table runner – just refer back to the pattern on pages 5 & 6 for sashing and border directions!

As always, there is a fun short companion video to this post.  So if you’re more of a ‘visual’ person, then hop on on over to our Colourwerx You Tube Channel and subscribe to view the video!

LInda Week 4
Let’s get stitchin’!!  Once your ColourMaze blocks are complete, you’ll then stitch the remaining  1″ strips to the top edge of each block.  For tips and trick on sewing those thin little strips to your blocks, check out Week #3’s ColourMaze QAL here.  If you’re making the Lap Quilt – you should have (3) 1″ strips left – set those aside.

While you’re at the machine – just go ahead and stitch the sashing and outer border strips together too.  All of the directions are on pages 5 & 6 of the ColourMaze Pattern.

Next the fun begins – lay out on your design wall or floor the blocks in the order you prefer!  Notice that I bolded the words “you prefer” – that’s because there is no right or wrong way to do this.  I usually just choose a layout because I’m either pleased with how the order and colors flow from one block to another such as the Violet Craft Modern Classics sample below:

….Or I follow color wheel order like the Kaffe Fassett sample below….

Anything goes!  Once you’ve decided your order, stitch those remaining (3) 1″ strips to the bottom edge of the the bottom block in each row.   Now you’re ready to start stitching block to block to block to form vertical rows.   On my Violet Craft Modern Classics sample, here’s Row #1….
Row 1

And Row #2….
Row 2

And Row #3….
Row 3

Next, stitch the sashing strips on to one side of each vertical row!  Now  you”re ready to stitch the rows together to complete your quilt top.

Colourmaze Geo 1

Geo Pop on Black (purchase a kit from christaquilts.com)

But wait – I have a tip!  Sometimes when stitching these long vertical rows together, the top row may creep ahead of the bottom row thus causing those strong horizontal lines (which were/are the 1″ strips in each block) to look off kilter.  Part of the illusion of the ColourMaze design is that when all those little horizontal strips are lined up parallel across the vertical rows, it looks like a maze.  So wouldn’t it be rather maddening after all your work  to have them unparallel across the rows once the top is done? I think so!

So here’s what I do…. first, I place my two rows Right Sides Together.  I then pin as usual but when I come to a place in the pinning where the thin strips need to stay aligned and parallel to each other from block to block – I “sneak, peek and pin” –  🙂  yes,  a very technical term.  But here it is a nutshell:  I peel back the top row just enough so I can sneak a peek and realign the strips so that they are directly on top of each other.  I then fold back the top layer to match to up the edges and pin in place.  Works like a dream and almost always those thin little strips are aligned and parallel from each other from row to row!

Once you have the three rows stitched together – just finish off your ColourMaze quilt top by stitching the last outer border strip onto the remaining edge!  And now you are complete and ready for the big reveal to family and friends!  Great job!  Go celebrate!

And what to do with all of the offcuts from the strips – how about make some scrappy binding!  Here’s mine…I just sewed all the scrap strips together and made more than enough binding for my lap quilt!
Binding

This now concludes our ColourMaze QuiltAlong!  Thank you so much for following along and for your continued support!  Look for more Colourwerx QuiltAlongs on our Colourwerx Facebook page or on our website under QuiltAlongs!mouth21

Until your next colour fix – happy quilting!  Linda & Carl xxoo

 

 

 

 

ColourMaze QAL – Week #3 – Piecing the Block

Hey, hey!  Welcome to Week #3 of the ColourMaze QAL!  This week is all about piecing the beautiful ColourMaze block!

Test Block
If you’d like to view our companion video to Week #3, you can view it on our Colourwerx You Tube channel and also subscribe so you won’t miss future broadcasts!

Linda Week 3
Let’ s get stitchin’!!    Before I start any new sewing project that requires some pretty precise piecing as this ColourMaze Block I like to ‘set my machine up for sewing success’.  Over the years, I believe that all of these steps help me to stitch a much more accurate scant 1/4″ seam and improve my piecing accuracy!

Here’s what I do every time I start a new patchwork project:Clean

  1.  Clean and Oil That Machine – I’m always amazed at how much ‘fabric dust’ one accumulates under the stitch plate within a few days of stitching….those fibers and all that dust can really inhibit the machine from ‘taking its best stitch’ which in turn cause inaccuracies in your 1/4″ seam allowance.  Every few days actually, I just make a habit to lift up that stitch plate , remove all the dust bunnies and give it my machine a good drink of oil to boot.  You might find depending upon your climate that your machine requires more oil than the manufacturer recommends.  For me, the desert air here actually dries out my machine alot and I find that I really need to oil it at least once a week and sometimes in Summer twice a week;

  2. Start with a New Needle! – an absolute must!  When Carl and I owned our quilt shop, Linderella’s Quilt Works, in Southern Pines, NC, we were always always amused by customers who would brag and boast that they had never, ever, ever changed the needle on their sewing machine….uh, say what?  That needle takes alot of abuse with just regular stitching and if you’ve every run smack-dab over a pin – whoa!  Check out the picture below – The picture to the left is a new needle and the picture on the right? That’s what the tip of your needle now looks like after you hit a pin – time to change the needle!
    Dull-Needle-Close-Up
    Additionally, the needle manufacturer actually recommends that you change it every 8-10 hours of sewing…that might be too much or too little depending on the project…I usually change my needle whenever I start a new project …. For piecing, my go-to needle is the Schmetz 75/11 Quilting Needle.  This needle has a super sharp tapered point that penetrates the fabric without leaving a large hole and also eliminates skipped stitches;IMG_7750
  3. Change the Stitch Plate to a Single Hole Stitch Plate – This little guy is a game changer!  If you don’t already own one, run (don’t walk) to your sewing machine dealer.  By changing over to a single hole stitch plate,  the needle and thread (as it loops around the bobbin thread to make each stitch),  are forced to stay perfectly straight up and down in the single hole thus creating a more perfect straight stitch.  The single hole stitch plate also prevents fabric from getting caught or chewed up under the stitch plate as you start stitching.  Just remember to switch the stitch plate back to the rectangular opening stitch plate if you choose a zig zag stitch or other decorative stitch – if not, you’ll hear a violent crunch and then definitely need to change that needle!IMG_7757
  4. Change Thread to a 50 Weight Cotton Thread – One of major reasons 1/4″ seams are inaccurate is thread takes up a lot of space in the seam allowance, and if one is using a thicker shaft thread such as a 40 weight or 30 weight, some of that precious seam allowance has just been robbed by the thicker thread (compounded by perhaps slight inaccuracies in cutting and pressing)  – all of these factors cause the block not to finish at the exact measurement the pattern says it will – a great example of this is when your points are cut off while making a star block.  So I always switch out to a 50 weight cotton thread for the top and for the bobbin. My go to preference is Aurifil 50 weight Silvery Gray – #2615 – this color is fabulous and no matter what my fabric color is (dark or light)  this thread color camouflages itself in the seams.  There are many other great brands such as Gutterman, Superior etc…. just choose a neutral color like tan or gray and make sure it is 50 weight cotton;IMG_7752
  5. Change the Presser Foot to a 1/4″ Patchwork Presser Foot –  Another must have and available from your sewing machine dealer.  This foot helps you achieve and stay true to the 1/4″ seam allowance that all quilting seams require.  I prefer the 1/4″ foot without the guide  – personally for me, I find that when I use the 1/4″ presser foot with the guide, I become lazy about my 1/4″ seam and begin to push my fabric up against that guide thinking everything is just peachy.  The results?  My seam allowance is larger than a 1/4″ and my piecing is inaccurate.

IMG_7878Get Your 1/4″ Seam Mojo Going!  Now that my machine is ready to go – I always like to test my scant 1/4″ seam. Let’s face it, a 1/4″ seam is not a whole lot of room (as evidenced by the photo to the right – this is the Wrong side of one of those 1″ strips after it is sewn in to the block –  the seams almost touch!  Not alot of room to spare!)  And alot of things take up space or rob you of that precious seam allowance like thread, pressing, inaccurate cutting, wobbly stitches, thread build up from from seam ripping etc.   So a scant 1/4″ seam is what’s really required, and a scant 1/4″ seam is just a hair less than a full 1/4″ seam allowance.

Quilter beware!! – Alot of the 1/4″ presser feet for machines are a full 1/4″ – I have found this with my Bernina for sure and I need to slightly “back off” from the right edge of the foot to achieve a scant 1/4″.  One of the best ways to figure this out is to simply stitch a test strip.

Test Your Scant 1/4″ Seam: Cut (2) 2″ wide strips of fabric – any length will work. Stitch your best scant 1/4″ seam.  Press the seam to one side and the strips should measure 3-1/2″ wide at the top, middle and bottom.  If not, try again and adjust where you place the fabric edge up against the edge of the presser foot – like I said, you may need to back off from the edge or move your fabric ever so slightly to the left (toward the needle).

Still Can’t Get That Scant 1/4″ Seam??  If you’re having trouble achieving a scant 1/4″ seam,  there’s a fabulous tool to help you – available at most quilt shops.  Its called the Perkins Perfect Piecing Seam Guide.  It’s a small little ruler with a hole in the middle and a scant 1/4″ seam drawn on the side of the ruler. Place it under your stitch plate, drop the needle in the hole and voila!: the right edge of the ruler denotes the scant 1/4″ seam on your machine – you may even notice as I did that the scant 1/4″ seam is just to the left of the right edge of the 1/4″ presser foot.    I like to run a piece of tape from the stitch plate down the slide on table and then line my fabric up against the tape edge to keep my fabric straight while stitching!

TTest Blockhis is a TEST! 

Now you’re ready to start stitchin’ up the gorgeous ColourMaze block!  I like to always stitch up a test block. Test blocks are great ways to work out all the kinks. I find whenever I skip this step – I always wish somewhere along the way that I had chosen to make a test block to avoid headaches in the future.

All of the directions to make the ColourMaze block are on pages 2 & 3 of the pattern.  There you’ll find step-by-step detailed directions, full color diagrams and pressing directions to assist you. Here are some notes  that I hope you find helpful while making your ColourMaze test block and future blocks:

1. Measure and Trim After Each SubUnit is Created:  I’m what you might call a cautious quilter – I like to check the accuracy of my seam allowance and stitching at almost every step in the block construction.   The ColourMaze Block is created by piecing together 3 sub units (top, middle and bottom) and these 3 sub units come together to create the block.  I like to measure and trim after each subunit is completed.  The pattern itself tells you what each subunit should measure after stitching is complete. For me, its a good way to check and make sure that my stitching and pressing is consistent and the block itself is being assembled accurately.  That way I can correct and mistakes while the block is being constructed and I am assured the my block will be fairly close to the finished size according to the pattern.

TRimSubUnit
2. Those Thin 1″ Strips & Tips– Again those thin little strips can be quite squirrely.  At first, you might find it difficult to stitch an accurate scant 1/4″ seam down the edge as the  little strip wants to  slip and slide along the edge of the larger fabric strip.  If so, here are a few tips:

a.  Get a Grip!   Pinning may help but pins also take up space and throw off the seam allowance.  I find that by pressing down on the strip with a pretty firm grip of your finger or even a stiletto is good at preventing the strip from slipping and thus causing your seam allowance to waiver.  I do this when starting to stitch down the 1″ strips and especially near the end of the strip to avoid my seam allowance from waivering as the end of the strip approaches the needle.

b. Draw In Your Scant 1/4″ Seam!  If you’re having a lot of difficulty keeping true to that 1/4″ seam, why not just draw your 1/4″ seam down the edge of the 1″ strip?  Remember it should be a scant 1/4″ or a hair less than a full 1/4″.  Carl does this often and his piecing is really accurate.  With a Frixion Iron Off pen or a washable marker, just lightly draw the 1/4″ seam down each edge of the 1″ strip and then sew directly on the line. Works like magic!

c.  Be Just a Tad More Scant!  When stitching down the edge of the 1″ strips,  I find that if I am just a ‘tad’ more scant (like just a hair less again) with my already scant 1/4″ seam, that the seam allowance works out perfectly and that my strip is stitched on straighter.

Seam

d.  Set the Seam!  Alot of us learned this tip in our Beginning Sewing classes and then promptly forget this useful tip  – I know I did !  But it does really help (and regardless of what you’re sewing)! Setting the seam’ simply means that after you stitch the seam, you press the seam in its closed position (just how you stitched it) – this will squish all the threads down into the seam allowance, and smooth and flatten the seam.  Next you press as you would normally- i.e.: open the seam or finger press the seam to one side or as the pattern directions say.  Then press the seam with the iron.  By adding this one little step of setting the seam in its closed position I can definitely see that my seams and stitching in general are more accurate and also that the block finishes flatter and nicer all around!

e.  Use a Little Steam and Mary Ellen’s Best Press – Yup, in addition to ‘setting the seam’, I also find with a little steam and a squirt of  Mary Ellen’s Best Press that these 1″ strips lay over nicely and behave!

f. Trim after Stitching the 1″ Strip to the Larger Strip:  Again, cautious quilter alert!  After I stitch the 1″ strips onto the larger strips, I like to check and of course, trim them to what their exact measurement should be before proceeding to the next step.  This little trim takes care of all my inaccurate, wobbly stitching when sewing the 1″ strip on in the first place.   So once these little strips are stitched on and pressed, I know that they should measure 3/4″ wide.  So I place the 3/4″ line of my ruler along the seam and trim off excess fabric off the top and side – alot of time I’m trimming off just slivers of fabric but I find this results in a more accurate final block.

TrimStrip

Make More ColourMaze Blocks:  Once my test block is complete and I’ve worked out all the kinks, I’m ready to construct more ColourMaze blocks.  I like to chain piece all the units first and ready them into the three subunits that make the block – top, middle and bottom – this makes the final block construction go oh so much faster!

So go forth and create ColourMaze blocks.  Mine are shown below. I making two ColourMaze quilts at the same time.  The first with Violet Craft Modern Classics and the second with the new Kaffe Fassett Rainbow Stash.

Both of these fabric kits are available in our Colourwerx shop!

Violet BlocksKaffe Blocks

That’s it for Week #3!  Happy quilting everyone! And by all means if you need any help or assistance, please email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com.

Next week – Week #4 – is our final week in the ColourMaze Quilt Along and we’ll discuss layout options and the steps to piece together the rows to complete the ColourMaze Quilt top!  be sure to check out the companion tutorial video to Week #3 on our Colourwerx You Tube channel and subscribe! WooHoo!

See ya next week everyone and thank you!  Until your next colour fix~  L&C xxoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

ColourMaze QAL – Week #1 – Choosing Your Strip Roll and Different Combinations

ColourMaze Front Cover(1)Hello!  And welcome to the ‘first week’ of the ‘first ever’ Colourwerx QAL (quilt along) where we’ll be making our super fun ColourMaze quilt!

First, I want to thank you so much for joining us for our first QAL.  Whether you’ll be sewing up the pattern along side us or just observing from afar, we welcome you and are overwhelmed by your enthusiasm so far – so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Also, we invite you to join our free QAL Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress and of course, post pictures of your finished projects so everyone can share in the fun!  Also feel free to share this invite and any QAL news with other quilty buddies and invite them to join along in the fun!

JOIN THE COLOURWERX QAL FACEBOOK GROUP HERE

I also have a companion video on or Colourwerx UTube channel so if you’d like to watch me ‘yak on’ instead of reading this post – you’ll find that video here…

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So this is Week#1 of the Colourmaze QAL –  First let’s review the schedule!
Colourmaze QAL 2As you can see it’s a 4-week QAL but you can take it at your own pace and join in anytime.  All of the videos and blog posts will remain here, as well as be posted on our website and social media pages throughout the year.  It’s free to join and you can choose to make the 50″x70″ lap quilt, or just a few blocks for a table runner or placemats, or just even one block – it’s all your choice!   So feel free to hop in anytime!

Here’s what you’ll need though to join in on the stitchin’ fun –
• The ColourMaze pattern by Colourwerx

PURCHASE THE COLOURMAZE PATTERN – PAPER VERSION
PURCHASE THE COLOURMAZE PATTERN – PDF VERSION

MaterialsJPG•  Background Fabric – 1-3/4 yards – choose a coordinating fabric to the strip roll or a neutral color with perhaps a tone on tone texture;

•  A strip roll (or jelly roll) – choose a strip roll containing (40) precut 2-1/2″ wide strips.  If you’d like you can choose these other options as well:

— Bust Your Stash – Cut (40-42) 2-1/2″ wide x 41-43″ long strips from your stash;
— 6″ Design Roll – this is a roll containing 20 fabrics all cut at 6″ x WOF – you would need to cut (2) 2-1/2″ strips from each of the (20) strips to make (40) 2-1/2″ strips for the project;
— Fat Quarter Bundle – a Fat Quarter is (18″ x 22″).  Choose a bundle that has at least (21) fat quarters and you would need to cut (4) 2-1/2″ x 21″ strips from each of the Fat Quarters.

•  Optional for the QAL – Binding : 5/8 yard and Backing Fabric : 4-1/2 yards

I always think that seeing different color combinations with a new quilt pattern is helpful when choosing fabrics so here a few different color combinations we have designed using some of our favorite fabric designers’ collections…

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You can purchase fabric kits for most of these combinations here:

PURCHASE THE KAFFE FASSETT RAINBOW FABRIC KITS
PURCHASE THE VIOLET CRAFT MODERN BASICS FABRIC KIT
PURCHASE THE GEO POP FABRIC KIT FROM CHRISTAQUILTS.COM

Preparing Your Fabrics for Week #2:
1.  Once you’ve selected your fabrics, be sure to measure the precut 2-1/2″ strips for accuracy.  Flash – flash – not all strip rolls are cut exactly alike or are accurately cut by the fabric factories! Yup – it’s just the way the ball bounces here in the quilting world and there are inconsistencies on these precuts from fabric company to fabric company.

So go ahead and unroll that strip roll and measure the width of the strip.  You may find as I did, that some need a little tiny trim off the width to make them a perfect 2-1/2″ wide.  (And remember if your strip roll has a pinked edge, you would measure from the outer tip of the pinked edge).


2.  Next, feel free to starch your background fabric and the 2-1/2″ strips if needed.  However – warning – DO NOT PREWASH YOUR STRIPS.  The strips are pretty fragile and if you wash and dry them, there will be tears (literally) – The strips will shrivel up and be unsable – trust me on this one!

3.  Lastly, each ColourMaze block is made using (2) different 2-1/2″ strips plus some background fabric.  So to prepare for Week #2 and cutting, pair up your strips for each block you will be making.  If you are making (1) block, then you will need (2) 2-1/2″ x WOF strips; if you are making the 50″x70″ Lap Size, then  you will need  (20) pairs of strips….

IMG_6988
ColourMaze Front Cover(1)….which brings us to a burning question where the 50″x70″ Lap Quilt is concerned….There are actually (21) blocks to make and you might be asking yourself “Where do I get the extra 2 strips for that 21st block if I am using a strip roll that only contains 40 strips?”  Well I have the answer below…  As you group your strips together this week, start thinking about which option you might like to choose:

 OPTION #1:  If your strips measure aprox. 42-43″ long, there is a way to cut your pieces more efficiently from each strip in order to have the necessary fabric left over to create the 21st block.  In next week’s blog post and tutorial video, I will demo this for you so wait for the answer before cutting;
IMG_7007
OPTION #2:  Once we cut the strips next week, there will be generous offcuts of each strip left over…so you could choose to cut your 21st block from these offcuts and create a scrappy block that goes in the center or off to one side of your quilt.  You can also use these offcuts to make your binding strips (which is what I’m going to do) or to make scrappy placemats or a table runner at a later date.

OPTION #3:  If you wish to purchase your binding fabric this week, purchase as the pattern states 5/8 yard.  This 5/8 yard is more than enough fabric to create your binding strips and also allows you extra yardage to cut the extra (2)  2-1/2″ wide strips to add to your (40) strips to make the (21) blocks total.

Next week – Week #2: we’ll be Cutting Your Strips and Background Fabric – woohoo!

Until then, please be sure to email us at colourwerx@yahoo.com if you have any questions.  Or feel free to post progress pictures on our Colourwerx QAL Facebook Group

Until your next colour fix and next week’s QAL post ~  happy and bright quilting always!    L&C xxoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Stay Pawsitive Fundraiser – Sewing For Our Furry Friends

Soon after Hurricane Harvey left the city of Houston, many fundraisers popped up to raise money for the ‘human’ victims of the storm.  However truth be told, our furry friends and felines also suffered too.

ffl-logo-alphaHouston’s Friends for Life Animal Rescue stepped in and was able to provide vet care and services to many of the animals who were lost, suffering or hurt in the hurricane  and subsequent floods. Approximately 3,000 animals were saved.  But all of that extraordinary care and effort comes with a price and the organization is now in need of money.

 

StayPawsitive

So when Quilting Arts founder and Craft Napa owner, Pokey Bolton, announced the Stay Pawsitive Fundraiser, I knew I was in…. She asked for 6″ quilt blocks to be made and plans to auction them off to raise funds for Friends for Life .  Each 6″ piece of artwork will be offered for $30 online sometime after January 5th at the Craft Napa 2018 website where 100% of all proceeds will go to Friends for Life Animal Rescue.

I dug deep into the Linderella archives to find some fun, whimsical patterns of dogs, cats or any other silly animals that I could easily reduce and adapt to the 6″ x 6″ block size.

Ta-da!!!  Here are the completed blocks – I think they came out pretty cute if I do say so myself. And I do hope they sell well for Pokey and the Friends for Life Animal Rescue.

Baryshnikov Birds
Boogie Birds

Hello There!
Hello There

Barney Gets a Bone
Barney

Pokey will be accepting blocks up to January 5, 2018.  So if you feel the urge  to contribute or just want to find out more information about the campaign, check out the Stay Pawsitive blog post or Craft Napa for more details.  In the meantime, I’m wishing Pokey mucho success and hope that she raises lots and lots of money for the Friends for Life Animal Rescue.

And the big bonus of doing this project (especially for you guys) – I also ‘unearthed” many patterns I had designed in the Linderella ‘hey day’ that I had completely forgotten about….. I now plan on reformatting them and offering as PDF’s just for you –  so stay tuned. 🙂

Until your next colour fix~  Linda & Carl

To Market We Go! Houston Recap & Giveaway!

CW BoothTo market, to market we go!  As always,  the Fall Quilt Market was held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.   Except this market, someone came knocking early – yup – Hurricane Harvey crashed our quilty party a few months prior.  Many of us vendors and many more shop owners and attendees were concerned that either Houston would not recover or that Houston Strongthe promoters of the Quilt Market would be forced to cancel.    Well, I’m happy to report that neither was true and Quilt Market went off without a hitch – and amazingly, there was no sight of any effect from Hurricane Harvey except for upbeat banners and artwork like this one throughout the city!  The downtown Houston area was lively and the convention center (which just completed a gorgeous 2 year revitalization) was perfect!  And added to this excitement, the Houston Astros were in the World Series!  This all made for a very exciting market to say the least!

We debuted 2 new patterns – Mini ModDog & Mini Spikeyand before you change that channel – make sure you leave a comment at the end of this blog and ask your friends to follow us and do the same to enter the giveaway!  Two lucky winners will win either a Mini Spikey fabric kit or a Mini ModDog fabric kit –  just leave your comment below and let us know which one you’d like and why.…ok – ‘nuf said…..anyway back to market……we debuted 2 new patterns – Mini ModDog and Mini Spikey – both are now available for purchase on our website!

Mini Mod Dog Front Cover copyCW New PatternsMini Spikey Front Cover copy

Sample SpreeWe also attended our first ever Sample Spree selling already made Mini ModDog samples along with 6 Mini ModDog patterns – this way, shop owners have an already made sample and take it right back to their shop and start selling the patterns – nifty idea, right?!…Here’s Carl,  moments before the madness started.   Btw, the dog samples were a hit and the shop owners were thrilled to have an already made sample!  Below is a slideshow of all the Mini ModDogs samples we put together – we made 2-4 versions of all the styles you see – all in all, we estimated that we stitched up about 45 samples in the weeks prior to market – Wowwee!

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Of course, I needed to share these cute little pups with others too.  I also made a few for my friend, Jackie Kunkel at Canton Village Quilt Works to display in her booth –  using her new fabric collection, “Blue Moon” for Island Batiks.  This batik collection is super  gorgeous and so super saturated in all those blue, aqua, lavender and purple colours.  And of course, a play on the name – “Blue Moon”,  I couldn’t resist adding a moon behind one of the pups to make it extra super special for Jackie.  🙂 Jackie was so nice she even showed the Mini ModDog pillows to her schoolhouse attendees to generate more interest!

And spotted in another booth – Renaissance Ribbons had their very own Kaffe Fassett Mini ModDog too.  Renaissance Ribbons makes the most gorgeous ribbons and trims and since we embellish all of our Mini ModDogs with these trims so it only seemed quite natural that a pup pillow should be in their booth too!
Renaissance Ribbons

And finally , we also designed and stitched up (with a lot of help from Teresa at Quilting is my Bliss and her extraordinary custom machine quilting) a grand total of 6 more quilts for Free Spirit Fabrics and 2 more quilts for Island Batiks. 

Free Spirit Fabrics always does a great job of displaying the new collections via their quilt gallery and this year they won the blue ribbon for best booth!  Yay! Super secret sewing was in full swing here at the Colourwerx Dezign Haus from early May onward – some of the fabric designers we had the honor of designing and making quilts for were:  Kaffe Fassett Collective, Tula Pink, Jenifer Paganalli,  and Corrine Haig.  Most of the quilts you’ll see here are now available as free PDF pattern downloads on Free Spirit’s website here.

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In addition to that, we also made large lap size versions of our Colourwerx patterns:  Spikey and Mix It Up! for our friends at Island Batiks in the their newest fabric collections debuting at market.  They displayed these in their booth – Take a look!

Whoo – time to rest?  Nah – we’re already planning our trip to Spring Market which will be in Portland…Yippee!

Anyway, thanks as always for following along with us!  And remember to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a either a Mini ModDog fabric kit or Mini Spikey fabric kit! And be sure to ask a friend or two to do the same and leave a comment   Two winners will be randomly selected next Friday, November 17th!  Until your next colour fix – sew the rainbow and happy quilting!  L&C

 

 

 

 

 

 

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