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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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

A Brite Idea – Pin for Accurate Placement of Foundation Piecing

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

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

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

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

Slash ‘n Sew – Say what?!??

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

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

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

Happy Hauntings copy

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BW PIllowColour4Patch

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

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

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

 

Get Colour with The Color Game and Carl…

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

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

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

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

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

Color Game 5

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

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

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

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

Oh-my-Kaffe!

barn raising KaffeIt’s no secret that Carl and I are huge (and I mean humongous) Kaffe Fassett Collective fabric fans….so last year when Free Spirit Fabrics asked us to design quilt patterns for some of the future Kaffe collections – we were – to say at the very least – super thrilled!

The Kaffe Fassett Collective (or also known as KFC) includes not only the master of colour and design himself, Kaffe Fassett, but also fellow designers Brandon Mably and Philip Jacobs.

These three designers collaborate and create the gorgeous fabrics you see.  Kaffe’s long time friend and associate – Liza Roos Lucy – wrangles this dynamic trio and also owns/operates the KFC online shop – Glorious Colour – where you can purchase previous released and new KFC fabrics, books and patterns and specialized fabric kits.  She, Philip and Brandon also host the very popular and always inspiring Facebook group, the Kaffe Fassett Collective.  Both sites are saturated with KFC fabrics, patterns and projects to inspire you!kaffe_compares

While Brandon and Philip have their own unique design styles (Brandon does the wild and kooky and Philip does the floral & botanicals)  – Kaffe pulls all of their designs together into cohesive collections by personally colouring each design by hand.  What makes their fabrics so uniquely beautiful and wonderfully detailed is that each master pattern is handpainted (a rare thing in this computerized age)  – this “painting” then serves as the master design for the fabric mills to follow for detail, colour, screenprints and registration when they print it on the fabric you then purchase.

This last Spring, three of our quilt designs using the KFC Spring 2017 collection were released as free downloads or kits on the Free Spirit and Craftsy websites – “All Stacked Up”, “Fan Dance” and “Waterfall”.  Links to download the free patterns are at the bottom of the post. The other, “Waterfall” – of which we made two versions – is now available for purchase as a kit on Craftsy.

“All Stacked Up” – Although the overall design  appears complicated with the overlapping and tiled patterns – the single block itself is so simple:  a half square triangle with two coordinating pairs of strips sewn on 2 sides.  Create two or three of the same block, follow the layout and you’ll have this quilt whipped up in no time.

ASU TrimAnd here’s a tip – organize and pair up your fabrics first and if you cut your strips a half inch larger – you can then trim them to the exact size after adding each one, therefore keeping the block perfectly square.

So give it a try – “All Stacked Up” remains one of the most popular patterns downloaded this year on the Free Spirit site – so kudos to you guys and thank you!  Fabric kits are also available at Hancock’s of Paducah and Waterwheel House Quilt Shop in Vermont!

“Fan Dance” is another free pattern available.  Again, a super easy pattern but this one is super dramatic when complete and allows you to use some of those huge patterned fabrics for the background.  This was a fun one to work up as Brandon’s Can Can ladies served as a constant source of amusement when cutting the fan blades – seeing which part of the lady would show up where – oh my!

Another super easy to piece quilt.  Cut the blades, sew together and appliqué to the background squares.  This is basically 1/4 of a dresden flower block.  I appliquéd my blades on with clear monfilament thread but you could also use a decorative thread to add highlights to the edges of the blades.  Two 1/4 dresden blocks make a “fan” block!

The third quilt – “Waterfall” – remains one of my all time favorites – we designed and made two versions of  this quilt – a cool colourway and a tropical colourway.  These blocks are a bit more labor intensive but well worth it and the fabrics in the kit on Craftsy are to die for!  The block is made of basic shapes – squares and  rectangles with a folded over triangle.  When all pieced together, the result creates lots of secondary patterns and its hard for the eye to see where the individual blocks start or overlap- kinda like a waterfall…. Super fast and gorgeous! (Full disclosure:  I bought the Cool kit for myself).

Teresa Silva of Quilting is my Bliss – did a gorgeous job, as always, machine quilting all of these quilts – her work is always super stunning and I wish we could somehow show better pictures for you.  Many times we have to take the pictures with low exposure to show off the machine quilting but this also makes the fabric look somewhat dull.   Check out the closeups below.

All of these are perfect patterns to pull from your KFC stash or take the opportunity to,  of course,  add to your KFC stash by ordering more!  And I have it on the best authority, that future KFC collections are also equally gorgeous and stunning – look for KFC Spring and Fall 2018 collections to be released very soon!  We posted a sneek peek on our Instagram and Facebook page a few days ago….

Have fun and enjoy!  Until your next colour fix~ xxoo Linda & Carl

Links:
To download the free pattern for All Stacked Up.
To order a fabric kit/pattern for All Stacked Up.
To download the free pattern for Fan Dance.
To purchase the Waterfall – Cool (blues) Colourway fabric kit.
To purchase the Waterfall – Tropical (oranges) Colourway fabric kit.

 

 

A Brite Idea – Adding Quick Corner Triangles

Brite-Idea-Logo

Here’s a nifty tip we recently shared over on Instagram the other day.  This tip comes in handy when making snowball blocks or flying geese units where the pattern calls for drawing a diagonal line on the WRONG side  and then stitching on that line – when you flip this unit up it appears as a triangle in the IMG_5472corner of the block you have stitched it to.  The problem I always had with this particular method was that when I stitched ‘directly’ on the line and then flipped the corner up, it never really matched perfectly – it was always a ‘hair’ short of matching the corner…that was until a student of mine shared this secret tip….

IMG_3266

When adding a triangle to a corner of another block (commonly referred to as the “quick corner triangle piecing method”) – switch your machine’s presser foot to the “Edgestitch Foot”.  (For Bernina gals – that would be the fabulous #10 foot.)  Move your needle IMG_3267position one notch to the right.  Now stitch directly on the diagonal line positioning the center guide on the edgestitch foot directly on the drawn line.  Your stitching will be just a hair to the right of the line (or
as some say ‘just above the line’), but when you flip and press the
corner of the square up to make a triangle it will perfectly match the upper corner of the block.

IMG_3272

Why you ask? Well, thread and the fold of the fabric take up precious space in your seam allowance, so when you stitch ‘directly’ on the drawn line, this prevents the corner from marching perfectly.

Additionally, many times you have to make several dozen (or in my case for a quilt I am now working on over 400 quick corner triangles   :-0 egads! ), and no one wants to spend the afternoon drawing a diagonal line on the wrong side of each of 400 squares…So another tip. 🙂

By placing a piece of Washi Tape (or painter’s tape) along the center marking of your stitch plate, you can line up the top and bottom tips of the square with the edges of the tape and let that guide your stitching.  With a few practice runs, you’ll find that stitching directly down the center of this square is eazy-peazy every time and with no markings!

Try it and let us know what you think!

Until your next colour fix~
Linda & Carl