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!

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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

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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….

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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.

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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