Commentary about works in progress, design & creativity
This tag denotes posts that talk generally about full, or almost full, quilt patterns, but do not review them. Do not use this for blocks. Use the Blocks tag for posts about blocks. Use the pattern review tag for reviews of patterns.
As you know, I am not a big fan of patterns. Patterns weren’t available in large numbers, if at all, when I learned to make quilts and I never really learned to use them. Yes, of course, there were quilt patterns in magazines, but the packaged stand-alone quilt patterns were not available back in the dark ages.
I do admire the possibility of small business owners creating patterns and making them available. That there are so many indie / women-owned businesses is one of the great things about the quilt industry.
The StitchTV company, Ed & Eddie LLC, is one of those small businesses. One of the things I noticed about the Stitch TV pattern samples were the different fabrics used. In the photo above, you can see at least 4 different fabric groups. While this grouping does not comprise all the possible fabric combinations, it does give the shopper a good idea of how the design will look in different fabrics.
There are so many patterns now. All of us have a quilt ‘to do’ list that extends beyond our lifetime, so we have to be more choosy about adding new things to the list. Marketing patterns with a variety of samples is imperative now.
Thanks to Holly Anne Knight, who blogs at String & Story, for reporting on the StitchTV Show Pattern launch (and telling us a little about herself!) when I couldn’t be there in person.
My name is HollyAnne Knight. I’m a wife and mama of two little boys, and I am a brand new quilter. After about 8 months of experience with rag-style t-shirt quilts, I decided it was time to give “real” quilting a shot. In May, I simultaneously discovered Pam Cobb’s Hip to Be a Square quilting podcast and her quilting talk show, The Stitch TV Show, which is co-piloted by Lynn Rinehart. I listened each night as I plugged away on my own projects, gleaning tips and sharing in the laughs. While I’ve been creative all my life, I’ve done most of my creating in isolation. Now, all of a sudden, I felt like I had friends—funny, encouraging, quilty-friends.
On the June episode of The Stitch TV Show, Pam and Lynn talked about the July Stitch-In and their pattern release which would be just a day apart. I gathered my courage and decided that I would attend both because I wanted to meet and begin getting to know these new friends. I was a little embarrassed at the stitch-in, with my beeping machine and loud trucks outside, but Pam, Lynn, and the others were so patient and welcoming. They laughed at my jokes and answered my questions, and I had a really lovely time connecting faces and voices and names.
Still encouraged from from what I decided to count as a “successful” introduction on the stitch-in, I gathered my 4 month old, Ian, and the diaper bag and drove the 20 miles to Red Hen Fabrics for the pattern release—determined to make some new friends and have a fun “big girl outing” with only ONE baby! Yippee! I must have frozen just inside the door because I remember one lady behind the counter motioning and saying, “Come on in!” Red Hen Fabrics was my first quilt shop experience, and I’m not sure if I enjoyed the fabric or the atmosphere more thoroughly.
Pam and Lynn are engaging, funny, and kind, and their quilts are BEAUTIFUL. “The Stripper’s Knot” was hanging behind their Stitch TV Show set, and if I hadn’t been quite so self-conscious, I think I could have gotten lost in the piecing and quilting for hours. I loved seeing the variations of the “Time After Time” table runner and the asymmetrical border of “Belinda” (a copy of this pattern is hanging happily over my sewing machine now!). Rae, Kelly, and Mike comprise The Stitch’s production staff, and I enjoyed talking to them as well (over delicious cake no less!). Rae and I talked quite a bit about pattern editing and production. Speaking of, if you are an Indie designer looking for a way to get your quilt patterns into the world, go look her up at 77Peaches!
Before I left, I was sure to get some pictures of Pam and Lynn doing their thing—posing with quilts, laughing, and generally having a wonderful time. Congrats, y’all, on a fabulous pattern release, and thanks for welcoming this “newbie” into the party!
HollyAnne Knight is a 20-something wife, mama, and artist. She has a life-long background in visual arts, over a decade of knitting experience, and training in several types on dance from classical ballet to ballroom to Zumba. She has been married to the Hubster (John) for 3 years, and they have two boys, Jem (December 2014) and Ian (March 2016). They live in the Greater Atlanta Area near Holly Anne’s parents and enjoy being outside, sharing meals and adventures with friends, and singing silly songs.
While Holly Anne’s first exposure to machine sewing was at the young age of 8, it was much more recently that she returned to it. She began with a t-shirt quilt for her Mama, and she continues to make t-shirt quilts for customers all over the United States. She also sews modern quilts and is the first Modern Impressionist Quilter, combining the imagery of art quilts with the functionality of other modern quilts. Her style of quilting is strongly influenced by her love of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, her own work with paints, and her familiarity with knitting patterns
Holly Anne can be reached on Instagram at @mesaventureshak and at @stringandstory or via email at stringandstory [@] gmail.com.
This post is like a matching handbag and shoes when you get dressed. It adds a final polish. This post adds a final polish to the StitchTV Pattern Launch Extravaganza being held at the Red Hen in Georgia.
It is a little too far for me to pop in in person, so I interviewed Pam and Lynn the brains and brawn behind the StitchTV Show and am bringing that interview to you. Check out their new patterns on their site.
1. How did you meet?
Lynn: We met at the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild. I attended a couple of meetings and the board tackled me and asked me to be on the board. I said yes because I am still learning how to say “no” to people. The only ones I am good at saying no to are my dogs and only because they don’t have reasonable arguments.
Pam: We met through the Atlanta Modern Quilters Guild. My first memory of Lynn is when she won one of the prizes in a quilt challenge, an I thought, “Who is this new person that swept in and won a prize and I’ve never met her?” I was a little taken aback, frankly, and then as we got to know each other through sew-ins and other events, I remember thinking that she was so nice that I would probably be a bad influence on her and I should watch my language more. And then we started carpooling to meetings and we’ve been buddies every since (despite my occasional bad language)!
2. If you won a $500 million lottery, what would you do that would surprise people?
Lynn: I would go to Art School or, for that matter, buy an Art School. I was kicked out of Art Class in High School because they needed people in the Band. So apparently playing the flute was more important in my later life than drawing. Who knew?
Pam: I am very boring (ed. note: nobody thinks this except Pam herself, IMO) and would do things like pay off my house and get a car that’s less than 3 years old. To no one’s surprise, I would also donate a chunk to the cat shelter I regularly volunteer for. Then I’d put together a business plan to open a quilt retreat center so I could teach without traveling, but talk to Lynn first and make sure I wasn’t talking crazy.
3. What strength(s) do you bring to your business?
Lynn: None. Pam does everything well! I just mostly laugh with her, not at her. I would never do that. 🙂 Oh and I am married to the tech department so that helps. Honestly I think that I bring creativity to the partnership that complements her creativity. We are so opposite in so many ways but it works. I couldn’t ask for a greater friend or partner in this adventure.
Pam: I’m a giant nerd and don’t mind doing business “stuff”, although I still have a lot to learn. As a trained engineer, I’m very process focused, so I’m all about streamlining things and making them run smooth and nailing down details. As a trained marketing person, I like to think I’m pretty good at creative promotion and stringing words together. As a quilter who’s been sewing since she was 5, I know how to put fabric together, quickly, so I’m good at making samples.
4. If you woke up tomorrow with a superpower, what would it be?
Lynn: Time travel. It totally fascinates me! The thought of traveling to historical events or experiences would be so cool. My “fly on the wall” dream would be to be “in the room where it happens” on so much history that affected the world and our culture. Which is why both my obsessions right now are “Outlander” and “Hamilton” 🙂
Pam: In an ideal world, it would be the ability to spot cat vomit in the dark before stepping on it. (ed. note: gross, but useful)
5. What is your dream for the business?
Lynn: Pinky: What are we going to do today?Brain: The same thing we do everyday, Pinky. Try and take over the world.That pretty much sums it up.
Pam: I’d love to grow our business to a point where we can set a teaching schedule to travel once a month, and invite groups in to our own retreat center to teach there. I’m eagerly anticipating the time when Lynn and I collaborate on show quilts, too, which may happen sooner than that whole capital-investment-in-real-estate thing that a retreat center requires.
6. Describe your perfect home. Number of bedrooms? Chef managing the kitchen? Separate pet apartments?
Lynn: OH! I am a home body. Huge house on the waterfront. Beach or secluded lake, I love the water. At least 5 bedrooms. Not that we need 5 bedrooms but people will want to come visit and I would love to have the space. Also large entertainment areas for people and an amazing chef’s kitchen. I do love to cook and enjoy cooking for big parties. Pam makes fun of me but I do make new table cloths and napkins for parties to go with the theme. I have been known to do that the night before the party. 🙂 Cloth napkins are important to me, I love them. Especially if they are embroidered. 🙂 Oh and I need a pool with a swim lane to do laps.
Pam: Ranch style with 4 bedrooms (so I’ve actually got a guest room) and a daylight basement for a sewing room. I actually like cooking, so no chef for me, but definitely want a maid! We’d also need a shop out back for my husband and son so they can tinker on go-karts, airplanes, and whatever else their little hearts desire.
7. Describe your perfect studio and let readers know if your perfect home would be attached to your perfect studio.
Lynn: Studio will be in the house, that way I don’t have to leave. 🙂 I currently have most of our basement as the studio but I would like a much bigger space. I would like all the sewing machines in one room and would love to have additional space to setup our filming studio where it isn’t so crammed. I also need a chill space where I can curl up and read or watch a good movie.
Pam:I would absolutely want my studio attached to my perfect home since I hate driving. Too many years of horrible Atlanta commuting traffic ruined car travel for me, so I’d love to live in a place where I could walk or bike most places I need to go.In terms of equipment, I’d go for a regular domestic machine and a sit-down mid/long-arm. I’d like to have my fabric storage be behind glass to cut down on the cat hair, a 4’x8′ cutting table I could walk all the way around, and actually room for a design wall.
8. If you could photograph a quilt you made anywhere in the world, where would it be and what quilt would it be?
The photo above depicts Lynn’s first two Salukis, Bailey and Boaz. It is a mosaic raw edge fused technique.
Lynn: I have done several of quilts that represent my dogs. Salukis they [sic] are the royal dog of Egypt. I would love to have them displayed around relics of ancient Egypt. It would be amazing to see my love for this breed and the passion of quilts to be together in one photo.
Pam: I would take my Droid quilt to Skywalker Ranch with the 501st Stormtrooper legion and have a field day.
9. What is your dream project? Are you working towards it now?
Lynn: One of our dream projects is to work full time in the quilting industry and get to work with fabrics, quilts and the quilting people that we love. We both enjoy teaching and giving lectures at guilds. As we release the new pattern line for The Stitch TV Show, I think that we share our love for this art form as well as a love for the community of quilters. I think that The Stitch TV Show is really designed to share community with other quilters.
Pam: I’m not sure; there are “some day” quilts I’m planning in my head, but not sure I’d call them “dream projects”. I’d love to explore wholecloth quilting more, and have the patience to do more with intricate applique. I’d also love it if my applique circles didn’t have corners.
10. Tell us about your favorite quilt? Did you make it? Do you still have it?
Lynn: I don’t know that I have a favorite. I love so many. I have the same issue with what is my favorite movie question. My favorite, quilt that I have made is Open Doors. I still own it and it hangs in my house.
Pam: Hmm. That’s a bit like choosing your favorite child. Not to say I haven’t picked a favorite (quilt or child) but it feels disloyal to call it out. My favorite types of quilts are controlled scrappy ones.
11. Anything else you want to tell my readers?
Lynn: My husband is flippin’ awesome. (he wanted everyone to know)
Pam: The hole in a wooden spoon in the kitchen is supposed to measure one serving of spaghetti, but I’ll be darned if I can ever make spaghetti where I don’t have either three times more than I need, or one serving short. Maybe it’s a character flaw, or maybe I need to rethink that personal chef in the dream house!
It has been over a month since I took the Midi Bag class, – WOW! time sure flies – but I finally finished the bag.
After the class, I only had to topstitch then close up the opening in the lining. I really just didn’t have a spare moment to sew those last few steps. It isn’t as though I have been sitting around, but the Midi Bag just did not come to the top of the list.
After finishing the Heart Bag, I decided to take a few minutes to finish the Midi Bag. I am really thrilled that it is done. The Memorial Day weekend unexpectedly turned into a few days of finishing. Although I had to go with DH for a little bit of #Politicalwifery, I was able to sew a lot and finish a few projects. It was so relaxing and I am so thrilled I got to all of the projects I was able to finish.
I really like the way the bag turned out from a fabric point of view. The colors are very appealing and it has a bit of a tropical/Hawaiian art feel. I used Horizon by Kate Spain mini-charm packs for the body, a random solid for the inside and more Kate Spain yardage for the handles. The color combination is really great. I especially love the fabric I used for the handles. There is something about that blue that is very appealing.
It is a very strangely shaped bag, however, and I am not sure of the purpose for which I would use it. Also, I feel like it needs some kind of closure. SIL and I talked about grommets and buttonholes. I am not a fan of grommets after the Scrap Lab Backpack, so buttonholes are more likely. We’ll see.
The pocket came out well. I put a little decorative stitch on the edge and I am glad I did.
I still have a few of the same charm packs left and I might see about making this bag again in the Mondo size. Perhaps the proportions for the larger bag will be better and that one won’t look as strange. I am not sure I would be able to carry a Mondo sized bag full of stuff. I don’t that pattern and would like to use the second sheet of interfacing from the Midi Bag pattern before I buy another pattern. Nota bene: Each pattern comes with 2 sheets of interfacing.
A week ago, I took a class at Scruffy Quilts to make the Midi Bag from QuiltSmart. I have had the pattern and the charm squares for awhile. Despite the short notice, it turned out that I was free so I signed up right away when Katrina sent out the class notice. I also wrangled Julie into taking the class with me.
One reason I wanted to take the class was to learn how to use the QuiltSmart fusible interfacing. I could not understand the directions on the pattern, thus the project had been languishing. It is very helpful for me to have someone walk me through the pattern the first time and this class was no exception.
Tips such as fabric placement is something you get in a class that you don’t get from a pattern.
I am pleased with the colors of the charm pack as I thought I would be. I used mostly the blues and the greens. I didn’t use as many of the lighter lavender squares, so those will show up in some donation quilts.
I am totally in love with the handle fabric and think I need to get more of it. The blue is not quite a navy, but is dark. I love it!
The bag is a little bit of a weird shape and I am not sure how I will use it, though I think it would be an excellent knitting bag. I have another sheet of the fusible interfacing (two come with the pattern, which is nice!) and I may add some kind of closure to the second one. I think having a closure would make it more useful. I think I would like to make the Mondo bag. It seems that size would better for a bag without a closure. I think it would be like having a shopping bag along rather than a purse.
I still have a few steps to do, but I got pretty far in the class. I laid out all of my charm squares and fused them. I was glad that I had charm squares and didn’t have to cut fabric. I made the lining and the handles and sewed the whole bag together. I could have made the handles at home, but was confused about how they wanted the handles made. I didn’t want to make them wrong and have to make them over. It turns out that there was nothing special about making them. I still have to poke out the corners, topstitch the top edge and sew the lining shut.
Learning how to use this interfacing makes me want the interfacing for the FOTY quilts. I am not sure how that would work since the sizes are different each year. Perhaps, if there was a general grid, I could overlap some of the seam lines when the patches didn’t quite match up with the lines? Oh well, if wishes were horses….
This is a pattern where you could use VinylFuse for the bottom squares. I didn’t, but may in the future. If you take this class, do with your 2.5″ squares already cut and your handles already made.
As I said last week, I was well on my way to finishing the Chubby Charmer (pattern name) made from Half Moon Modern fabrics. I finished it last Sunday. It took me about 6 hours total, including pressing the Vinylfuse to the squares I was using for the bottom.
I did a couple of things differently this time.
I like bags with something on the bottom that can be cleaned without washing the whole bag. Some tote patterns use a “self-bottoming” technique to make the bottom of the bag, which is actually a really nice technique. You don’t have to insert anything. That technique does not lend itself to putting vinyl on the bottom of a bag since the bottom is made up from parts of the sides. If you don’t have a seam to create the bottom the VinylFuse will look bad and eventually peel.
The Chubby Charmer pattern uses this “self-bottoming” technique, but you can add VinylFuse to each square that will go on the bottom before sewing the charm squares together, thus enclosing the vinyl with seams.
You still have to be careful with the vinyl. You can’t rip out much as the holes stay in it. It is also messy and sticky. I used the paper backing as a pressing cloth. It worked ok most of the time, but I put the wrong side on one piece at one point and now have paper fused a bit to one of my squares. Fortunately, it is on the bottom. I could have ripped it out, but I decided to live with it.
I also made the handles twice the length of the handles in the pattern and on my other Chubby Charmers. This was an accident. You are supposed to cut and make one handle then cut it in half. I missed the one part and made two, thus this Chubby Charmer is more of shoulder bag, which is fine.
I also put Soft & Stable in the handles to make them really soft and comfortable to use. I also want to keep the handles from getting squished together permanently when I hold them.
The pattern calls for using Pellon Fusible Fleece. As I said with my first Chubby Charmer, the Fusible Fleece worked really well. This time, however, I wanted to make sure the bag stood up. I used Fusible Fleece on one side and Soft & Stable on the other size. Mission accomplished! The bag stands up. No floop!
I was a little disappointed with the Fusible Fleece, because it didn’t fuse very well. I know the fusibles can age, but it wasn’t old. I bought the product and then used it the same day. At least it wasn’t old from sitting around my house.
The other thing I did was use the walking foot to topstitch the top edge. I like more than a single line of topstitching and that area was so thick that I thought I would try the walking foot. It worked really well.
This is a great bag and it was a great use of the fabric. I already used it to go to the Midi Bag class (look for a post soon) and look forward to showing it off at the guilds soon.
I went to pick up two quilts the other week from my longarmer. While there she showed me what she was working on for Quilt Market: Instant Quilts. When I hear ‘easy’ and ‘simple’ related to quilts, I can roll my eyes like the best of a teenager. “Instant” stopped me for a second, but as I was about to roll my eyes, Colleen put up her hand and showed me what she meant.
The quilts look like windows and I love the possibility of windows. These quilts are the ‘Big Block of Special Fabric’ type quilts. These quilts do use special fabrics, but the window type design makes it appear that you are looking into a fabric landscape. I saw some of that Octopus fabric from the Salt Water Collection by Tula Pink that would look fabulous in this design. Modern fabrics are made for these designs. I can also imagine hand dyes being used to wonderful effect. Admit it, you hand dyers (ahem, Sandy), sometimes the fabric is just too delicious to cut up into tiny pieces. 😉
I also think some of the Asian fabrics that are popular would look great in this style. My mind was whirling after we talked and I kept thinking of how many different types of fabric would work using this format.
This will be rolled out at Quilt Market, where Colleen is also presenting a game. She has self published a book about the concept, which should be available on her website Monday or Tuesday for those of you who are unable to visit her booth at PIQF. I have to say that I really like the concept.
I have really not turned on my sewing machine in two weeks. A little here and there, but nothing major since Thanksgiving. I am scraping the bottom of the barrel for blog posts as a result. I am planning to ignore the world (possibly in my pajamas) all day today and work on this project.
As I mentioned before, I got this pattern from a Pam and Nicki Lintott book. One thing that is very confusing is that they have written the pattern for one line of fabric. I am not using that line, so I had to translate and that proved difficult for me. I don’t like the directions very much. I don’t think they are bad, but they don’t really work for the way I work.
So, earlier this week, I sat down with EQ7 and made a rendition of the quilt. This helped me wrap my head around the project a little more. This exercise coupled with the math that TFQ did for me when she was here made me less frustrated and excited about this project again. I organized a bit last night while the boys were out, so I am ready to sew like crazy.
I am not a big pattern maker, but I like to point out the products of hardworking quiltmakers. I have not had this pattern in my hand. I looked at it on the Etsy site and noticed that they have extension and Jelly Roll directions, which I think is a step in the direction of making patterns that people can expand out to be more personal. Good luck to Amy and Opal on this new endeavor!
I am on another CraftSanity jag and listened to an episode where Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood interviewed Meg McElwee, owner of Sew Liberated and writer of the Sew Liberated blog. Jennifer is a huge fan of aprons and these look really fun. I have been thinking of making a bunch to entertain some friends and relatives at Christmas, but we will see.
I decided to work on the Hop Skip and Jump pattern by Denyse Schmidt (Denyse Schmidt Quilts book) as my next project right now. I rarely sew from patterns, but this one seemed like a good one to use with the blues that I had weeded out from my new fabrics. I had thought of modifying the pattern so that there were no curved pieces, but I didn’t. I am not afraid of curved piecing (note Flowering Snowballs/Cross Blocks), but each of the 16 pieces required for each block must be cut out separately. It is an arduous task, but I am into it now and will just continue on.
One problem I already had was with the copy place. The pattern directs the maker to enlarge the pattern by 400%. I have terrible problems with office equipment, copiers in particular, so I went to an office shop and they offered to do it for me. The girl couldn’t get the entire pattern on an 11″x17″ sheet of paper. She asked me at one point if it would be a problem to have the top of the pieces cut off. Finally, I told her she could reduce the size slightly and that seemed to work. It doesn’t bother me to have slightly smaller blocks. I can make a few more with no problem.
For once I have cut all the blue pieces for 6 blocks before I have sewed any of them together. I haven’t decided on the background yet, so I haven’t cut background pieces. I thought I had just bought a white on white that I would use, but I can’t find it so either it was my imagination, it is hiding from me or it isn’t washed yet.
This is my favorite. The background is a very cheerful dot print where the dots are irregular and a variety of different colors. I am all about cheerful, you know. 😉
The above is my second favorite. I don’t have enough of this particular black on white print, so I would have to use a variety of different black on white prints with the same weight/ratio of black to white. I wouldn’t want it to be too overly black.
I really wanted a very calm looking quilt, thus all the blues. This background is one of the P&B New Basics from 2000. I recently bought a yard of it and have at least a fat quarter somewhere else. The problem is that it is very close to some of the value of the other fabrics so the pieces blend together. I think they blend together a little too much.
There are a couple of factors for the background: one is that it has to have the look that I want. Another is that I have to have enough of the chosen fabric to use as a background. The bottom line is that I want this to be a quick quilt. I don’t want to spend weeks on picking the background. I also, however, don’t want to hate it when I am halfway through the sewing. I am happy to hear what you think.
I saw this pattern at the APNQ show, which I promise to write about soon. I seem to be attracted to Jelly Rolls and Jelly Roll patterns lately. Not sure what that is about, but am just going to go with the flow.
I have long admired diamond quilts, but aside from a few 8-pointed stars and a Lone Star center, I haven’t ever made a diamond quilt.
It is appealing because of the way larger diamonds are made up of smaller diamonds. Strip ‘n’ Dip is from GE Designs, an Icelandic company.
These were on my mind when I went to Seattle in February. When I got there I saw that TFQ had played around with this pattern after I posted and came up with the following
The above pattern scheme came about because she wanted dots, but didn’t want it to scream dots. So far she only has been playing with the project (you saw the other stuff she has been working on!) and who knows where it will go, but I hope it goes somewhere. I also can’t wait to see what Jan from Be*mused does with her blocks. Read the post, because she gives some good tips on piecing when using templates, as I mentioned before.
The research of the real name of the Cross Block started with a stray comment I made on a list saying I wondered what the real name of my block was.
That sent Sarah on a frenzy of Googling, where she found that the Library of Congress has quilt photo called Royal Cross that has similar bones to the Cross Block. Sarah also found that Tazzie has a pattern for the Royal Cross.
Then Leslie chimed in with the sudden realization that she had a quilt from her Grandma in this [Royal Cross] pattern. She posted the pics, which I have reproduced here.
Comparison between the Royal Cross and the Cross Block.
Blocks are constantly modified to suit the needs of the maker and I am sure that these blocks are no exception. My block and the Royal Cross look similar in the middle, but the outside of the Royal Cross looks like it is meant to draw attention to those squares in the corner. I can’t say much about that as I went on and on in one post about the center of this, among other patterns, not actually being the center. I’ll have to look through the Barbara Brackman book and the Kansas City Star books and see what I can find. If all else fails I’ll post a picture on the AQSG Yahoogroup and start sending photos around to various quilt historians.