Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New Light

Today I want to share an easy color trick with you. I think you’ll find it useful. I figured this out by accident along with some trial and error.

peckingordercolor Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New Light

It all started with this pattern.

It started with this pattern. I didn’t think I’d ever make a chicken quilt, but I loved the colors! The pinks and reds combined with blacks and grays and accented with a few yellowy neutrals was heavenly—so I plunked my money down without a second thought. I bought the pattern just to have a record of that color combination. (This was before the internet.)

With this purchase I realized that the design and the color recipe could be two separate things. Each one could be its own little world.

handout3 Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New Light

My handout of string piecing ideas in black and white—on accident.

About that same time, I was developing a class on string piecing. I accidentally printed some of my handouts in black-and-white instead of in color. They printed as shown above, but they were supposed to look like this:

handout2 Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New Light

This is the same image as the one above except that it’s in color. The quilts look different!

I was stunned at the difference. I realized that I liked most of the examples because of their colors, not their patterns.

handout4 Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New Light

Seeing these two tulip quilts in black and white was an eye-opener. I loved them in red, but when viewed in black and white, many more possibilities opened up to me.

I also had a light bulb moment: Looking at a quilt in black and white could help me visualize it in any colors I wanted! I was suddenly free from liking or disliking a design based on its colors. What a revelation!

handout5 Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New Light

When we see quilts in color, it’s natural not to imagine them in any other colors!

Years later, I frequently copy a quilt image in black and white just for this purpose: to free myself from the prejudice that certain colors impose, and to see if I like the piecing, design or pattern of it once it has no color. Let me give you a few more examples.

bluebaskets Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New Light

Blue Baskets by Alex Anderson for Quiltmaker’s March/April 2005 issue

Alex Anderson’s Blue Baskets appeared in QM’s March/April 2005 issue. It’s a beautiful quilt in blue and yellow and it was very popular. But what if you wanted the quilt in a different color?

bluebasketsbw Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New LightDo you see how much easier it is to imagine it in pink or green or aqua if it’s reduced to a black and white image? It’s like magic!

nightrecital Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New LightNight Recital is an older QM pattern from May/June 1997. Look at the difference in black and white below.

nightrecitalbw Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New Light

Night Recital takes on new possibilities when seen in black and white.

Imagine the quilt with a blue background, or even with something lighter such as yellow. Isn’t this fun?!

peckingorderbw1 Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New LightLet’s go back to Pecking Order. I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I love this even without its gorgeous pinks and reds. It’s just a great quilt design—and now I can imagine it in golds and greens, or blues and reds, or whatever.

Give it a try with some of your old quilt magazines, patterns or pictures. Take a photo of the quilt and then you can edit the photo to black and white right on your smartphone.

smartphones Easy Tricks: Seeing Quilt Patterns in a New LightPhoto editing apps work, too. It’s easy and fast—if you need to ask your kids or grandkids to help you, that’s fine!

You can also use a copy machine to make a black and white version. If you have Photoshop or PS Elements or other photo editing software, you can remove the color using those.

Let me know if you try this and what results you have. I can be reached using editor@quiltmaker.com.

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Gwen Marston’s Minimal Quiltmaking: Book Review

I was anxious to get my hands on Gwen Marston’s latest book, Minimal Quiltmaking, from AQS Publishing and I was not disappointed.

gwenscover Gwen Marstons Minimal Quiltmaking: Book ReviewGwen Marston is one of those legendary quilters I respect and admire. She’s been making quilts for decades. She has experience as a designer, a colorist, a writer, a teacher, a speaker, a retreat planner and more. She’s friendly and casual, and in the classes I’ve taken from Gwen, I’ve liked her a lot. She’s someone you’d enjoy having as your neighbor.

I read the new book from cover to cover in one evening, but it’s the kind of book I’ll go back to because there is a lot to digest. It’s a book about one approach to design: minimalism. In other words, Gwen limited the design elements in these quilts and kept them simple.

“…the focus of designing minimal quilts is to produce work that has been reduced to its essence—stripped down to its essentials…when design is stripped down to its rudiments, when there is in fact “less,” everything counts more.”

What’s interesting as you study the quilts is that they’re anything but simple. Gwen’s observation that “everything counts more” is astute. It will take me some time to absorb these quilts and to understand why they work.

gwen1 Gwen Marstons Minimal Quiltmaking: Book Review

Minimal Composition, designed and made by Gwen Marston. Hand quilted.

Minimal Quiltmaking is chock-full of color photos and detail shots. Gwen also included work by other people and their thoughts about the quilts. It’s fascinating.

gwen2 Gwen Marstons Minimal Quiltmaking: Book Review

Turquoise, designed and made by Gwen Marston. Machine quilted by Rogene Fischer.

The chapter titles hint at the book’s contents:
• How to Use This Book
• About Designing
• Minimal Quilts
• Hard-Edge Quilts
• Minimal Color
• Minimal Quilts Inspired by Art
• Gallery
• The Grand Finale: A Baker’s Dozen

As I prepared to write about Minimal Quiltmaking, I thought of the other books I own by Gwen. I was curious to see how many I had, so I pulled them all out.

gwen3 Gwen Marstons Minimal Quiltmaking: Book Review

I own these books by Gwen Marston.

It’s quite a stack. I wonder if the woman sleeps, especially when you consider that many of her quilts are quilted by hand. As far as the books, there’s not a dud in the bunch!

gwen5 Gwen Marstons Minimal Quiltmaking: Book ReviewThe “Liberated” titles are among my favorites. Once you get the hang of liberated quiltmaking, it’s hard to enjoy anything else.

gwen4 Gwen Marstons Minimal Quiltmaking: Book ReviewAnd Gwen’s collaboration with Freddy Moran was a recipe for dynamite. They wrote two books together. Unbelievably fun!

gwen8 Gwen Marstons Minimal Quiltmaking: Book ReviewAs much as I love the books just mentioned, one of my favorites continues to be Gwen Marston’s Needlework Designs. The motifs are gorgeous.

gwen6 Gwen Marstons Minimal Quiltmaking: Book ReviewThey can be used for quilting, applique, redwork, or whatever you can dream up. Each page shows how the design looks when used in these ways.

So now you’ve been introduced to a quilting legend. If you’ve come to the place when you’re no longer satisfied to make quilts just like the pattern, get to know Gwen. She’ll help you move forward.

gwenscover Gwen Marstons Minimal Quiltmaking: Book Review

I loved the last few lines of Gwen’s dedication in Minimal Quiltmaking, so I’ll leave you with those. They’re a reflection of the wonderful woman she is.

“And as an elder in the quilt world, I also dedicate this book to the new generation of quilters. I admire their spunk, welcome them with enthusiasm, and trust them to carry the future of quiltmaking forward.”

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Christmas in July: Robert Kaufman

Please note: This contest is for U.S. readers.

Quiltmaker’s Christmas in July contest is in full swing! There will be eight lucky winners who will each receive a holiday quilt top from our July/August issue along with lots of fabric and more quilty goodness!

quilttops Christmas in July: Robert Kaufman

Each prize package, valued at $558, is made possible by generous industry sponsors. We are spotlighting the sponsors one by one. We hope you’ll support these businesses at your local quilt stores.

kaufmanlogo Christmas in July: Robert Kaufman

Today’s featured sponsor is Robert Kaufman.

QM PatriotStarsCO Kaufman Christmas in July: Robert Kaufman

We used the Patriot Stars pattern from our July/August issue to make the quilt top above. The fabrics are Winter’s Grandeur 2.

SRKM 14583 223 Christmas in July: Robert Kaufman

This is a panel from Winter’s Grandeur 2.

One of the eight lucky winners in the Christmas in July contest will win the quilt top, along with fabrics, patterns, books, notions and more. It will feel like Christmas!

PatriotStars 450 Christmas in July: Robert Kaufman

Patriot Stars by Carolyn McCormick from Quiltmaker’s July/August issue, made in fabrics from Island Batiks.

This is the original Patriot Stars quilt, designed and made by Carolyn McCormick. You can get the July/August issue on newsstands or from quiltandsewshop.com. Or you can purchase just this pattern for Patriot Stars.

CIJ14logo Christmas in July: Robert Kaufman

I hope you’ll take a few moments to enter Christmas in July. Lots of quilty pleasures will be awarded to lucky winners. One could be YOU!

Quiltmaker is pleased to partner with Robert Kaufman and we’re grateful for their sponsorship.

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Christmas in July: Quilting Treasures

Today we’re featuring Quilting Treasures, another generous sponsor of Quiltmaker’s Christmas in July contest.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to enter the contest—surely you’d love the chance to win this quilt top.

QM Luminous QT Christmas in July: Quilting Treasures

I know I’d love to cuddle up under this 50″ x 65″ throw with its icy blue color scheme. The fabrics are from Winter Olympics: A Tribute to 1914–2014 by Studio 8 for Quilting Treasures.

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23179 b Christmas in July: Quilting Treasures  23181 b repeat Christmas in July: Quilting Treasures

This project was made from the Luminous pattern in Quiltmaker’s July/August issue. Here is the original quilt.

Luminous 450 Christmas in July: Quilting Treasures

Luminous was designed by Ann Hansen and made by Diane Liddell in fabrics from Michael Miller Fabrics.

This is the issue that contains the Luminous pattern, so if you’re a subscriber you already have it:

QM10714 200 Christmas in July: Quilting Treasures

Quiltmaker July/August ’14

Please take time to enter Christmas in July. Lots of quilty pleasures will be awarded to lucky winners. One could be YOU! Entering involves answering a few questions about the sponsors’ products in a scavenger hunt. It’s easy and fun.

Quiltmaker is pleased to partner with Quilting Treasures and we’re grateful for their sponsorship.

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You can always buy back issues of Quiltmaker at quiltandsewshop.com!

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Christmas in July: Hoffman California Fabrics

Please note: This contest is for U.S. readers.

Quiltmaker’s Christmas in July contest is in full swing! There will be eight lucky winners who will each receive a holiday quilt top from our July/August issue along with lots of fabric and more quilty goodness!

quilttops Christmas in July: Hoffman California Fabrics
Each prize package, valued at $558, is made possible by generous industry sponsors. In the days to come we’ll be spotlighting the sponsors one by one. We hope you’ll support these businesses at your local quilt stores.

QM IrishStarsCO Hoff Christmas in July: Hoffman California Fabrics

Today’s featured sponsor is Hoffman California Fabrics. We used the Irish Stars pattern from our July/August issue to make the quilt top above.

hoffman fabrics logo 200 Christmas in July: Hoffman California Fabrics

The fabrics are Holiday Shimmer, Woodsy Winter and Pear Tree Greetings. See the fabrics in Hoffman’s online fabric catalog—you can get lost in there!

Here is the original quilt, designed and made by Jo and Kelli Kramer.

IrishStars 450 Christmas in July: Hoffman California Fabrics

Irish Stars was designed and made by Jo and Kelli Kramer in fabrics by Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics.

I hope you’ll take a few moments to enter Christmas in July. Lots of quilty pleasures will be awarded to lucky winners. One could be YOU!

Quiltmaker is pleased to partner with Hoffman California Fabrics and we’re grateful for their sponsorship.

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Quiltmaker and the Christmas in July Contest

(Please note: The Christmas in July contest is for U.S. readers only.)

QM10714 2001 Quiltmaker and the Christmas in July Contest

Our annual Christmas in July contest is open and you could be one of the eight lucky winners.

CIJ14logo Quiltmaker and the Christmas in July Contest

Eight winners! Each prize package is worth over $558.

CIJ14quilts 500 Quiltmaker and the Christmas in July Contest

Each winner will receive one of these holiday-themed quilt tops (plus backing and binding to finish), as seen in our July/August issue, and beautiful fabric from:

Clothworks
Hoffman California Fabrics
Moda Fabrics
Northcott
P&B Fabrics
Quilting Treasures
Robert Kaufman
Timeless Treasures

Winners will also receive the following prizes:

• Three pattern book set from AccuQuilt
• Variegated thread set from Connecting Threads
• Quilt Ruler Upgrade Kit from Guidelines4Quilting
• Free-Motion Machine Quilting for Beginners DVD featuring Helen Godden
from Handi Quilter
• 18 spool box of Cotona thread from Madeira
• Handwork Sampler: Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy and six popular colors of
Sulky 12-wt. Cotton Petites 50-yd spools from Sulky

Correctly answer questions about our sponsors’ products in the scavenger hunt for a chance to win one Christmas in July quilt top and a fantastic prize package. The contest is open until 11:59 pm MST on August 5, 2014.

(Please note: The Christmas in July contest is for U.S. readers only.)

Why is this contest open only to U.S. residents?
We value all of our readers, whether in or outside of the U.S. While we wish that it was possible to include everyone in our contests, it isn’t. Holding contests has complex legal implications and you will find that many contests are only valid in the country where they originate. This article gives a good explanation: howstuffworks.com/question541.htm

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Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emily’s Pup Tents

The Quiltmaker Scrap Squad is a select group of six QM readers who take one pattern from each issue and make scrappy versions of it to inspire others. You can see slideshows of past Scrap Squad projects.

QM scrap squadB3 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

The featured design from the July/August issue of Quiltmaker is called Pup Tents. This issue is on newsstands now.

QM10714 500 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

Quiltmaker July/August ’14

Pup Tents was designed by Janice Averill from West Haven, Connecticut. The pink version below was made using fabrics from our preferred partners Quilting Treasures.

QM PupTents QT Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

Today we’re featuring a version by Emily Bailey from Centerville, Utah, who blogs regularly at Em’s Scrapbag. You’ll hear from Emily in her own words below.

scrapsquad emily3 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

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When I saw Pup Tents I knew I wanted to use colors you’d find in a basic set of crayons minus the purple, brown and black. I don’t have purple in my stash, therefore it’s not in my scraps; brown and black are just not as bright and happy as the rest.

I sorted my scraps by value into darks, mediums…

DSCN0327 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents      DSCN0328 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

…and a variety of lights for a low volume* background.

DSCN0329 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents* Editor’s note: “Low volume” is a phrase that quilters have started using in the past few years to describe fabrics that have a lot of white or very light areas. The first person we heard use the term was Malka Dubrawsky.

Like Margaret, I did not use the flip and sew method.

DSCN0337 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents   DSCN0336 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

Instead I cut 2 1/2″ strips and then used my half-square and quarter-square rulers to cut all the pieces.

DSCN0334 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

I decided to keep the values in a similar order as the pattern. For the top row I used a dark “goose,” a medium-value side for the pup tent, and then the low volume background.

I chain pieced the low volume sky to the left side of the geese. After I added the medium-value side piece, I followed with a trapezoid piece containing the same fabric.

DSCN0341 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

I followed a similar process with the units in the next row of the block, substituting the half-square triangle for the trapezoid. I added the square to the left side once they were all sewn together. I used a medium tent for these with a dark pup tent side piece.

DSCN0340 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

I repeated the process with the next two rows, just changing the value placement. Row three used dark and dark, row four used medium and medium.

DSCN0339 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents   DSCN0338 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

Then I sewed the rows together to make the block.

DSCN0343 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

I knew that using the original layout was too busy for my blocks so I tried letting geese just snake down the quilt. First I tried alternating the way the geese traveled. I felt it was still too busy.

DSCN0349 223x300 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

This layout was still too busy for my taste.

So I laid them out all going the same way. Much better!

DSCN0352 197x300 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

I liked this a lot more!

For borders I auditioned several but I finally decided on a green “stop” border and a fun red print with blue flowers.

It turned out that I didn’t have enough fabric to make it all the way around. I loved the red so much I decided to find a way to make it work. I tried several pieced cornerstones but finally settled on a blue print.

DSCN0465 225x300 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

I pieced the back with low volume prints I had in my stash. My low volume bin was quite full—in fact I couldn’t put the lid on it—so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone.

DSCN0464 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

I quilted organic lines running down my quilt.

DSCN0393 300x225 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

I bound it with a American Jane print I had in my stash. I photographed it outside on a pretty day!

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Emily’s completed Pup Tents

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Start sewing immediately! Get the Pup Tents pattern from Quiltmaker.

Get Quiltmaker’s July/August issue: 11 great patterns including five star quilts!

QM10714 200 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Emilys Pup Tents

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Crazy Quilts: I’m on Board

I have never been interested in crazy quilts, but this book changed my mind.

Embroidery&PatchworkRevisited hirez Crazy Quilts: Im on Board

Embroidery & Patchwork Revisited by Janice Vaine

I walked into a booth at International Quilt Market and saw the fan quilt below—and nearly hyperventilated.

fanquilt1 Crazy Quilts: Im on Board

Fan Favorite by Natalie Tomola, Jo Ann Cridge and Janice Vaine

I’m not usually attracted to crazy-type quilts but this was a horse of a different color. It was fabulous!

fan3 Crazy Quilts: Im on Board

Each fan is a miniature work of art.

fan6 Crazy Quilts: Im on Board

I couldn’t stop looking at it! All of the fabrics in Fan Favorite are by Jo Morton for Andover.

fana7 Crazy Quilts: Im on Board

The book was displayed with it, so I tracked down the publisher’s booth and was eagerly handed a review copy of Embroidery & Patchwork Revisited by the folks at Landauer. The author is Janice Vaine.

dream under Crazy Quilts: Im on Board

A Quilt to Dream Under by Janice Vaine

The cover quilt is just as spectacular as Fan Favorite. It’s called A Quilt to Dream Under, and was inspired by an antique. Jan Vaine owns that antique quilt (she says she “has guardianship”) and it’s what inspired the book, which is subtitled An Illustrated Guide to Hand Stitching.

In addition to these two quilts, inside the book you’ll find illustrated instructions for 19 embroidery stitches and several pages of ideas for combining the stitches. There are also patterns for an etui, a tote bag and another small quilt. A wealth of information is given on embroidery techniques in general, which include marking designs on fabric, needles and threads.

Embroidery&PatchworkRevisited hirez Crazy Quilts: Im on Board

If handwork is your thing, or if you think it might be, you’ll want your own copy of Embroidery & Patchwork Revisited. I recommend it. And beware: This kind of stitching is addictive!

See Landauer’s video with more information on this title.

EmbroideryStitchBooklet hirez Crazy Quilts: Im on Board

Hand Embroidery: pocket-sized reference guide with 29 stitches

You might also be interested in Landauer’s carry-along reference guide called Hand Embroidery: Stitches at-a-glance, also by Jan Vaine. It’s a pocket-sized illustrated handbook of 30 favorite stitches, a steal at just $8.50.

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Visit quiltandsewshop.com for lots of great creative products to get you sewing!

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100 Blocks Mug Giveaway! Three Up for Grabs!

We rarely give away the coveted 100 Blocks coffee mugs but this is your chance.

 100 Blocks Mug Giveaway! Three Up for Grabs!

We’re beginning a slow buildup leading to Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 10 this fall, which will put us at 1,000 blocks published. Volume 9 is available now at quilt shops and newsstands, or from quiltandsewshop.com in print or digital versions.

 100 Blocks Mug Giveaway! Three Up for Grabs!

Allison Harris, who blogs at Cluck Cluck Sew, highlighted her block on this mug from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 4.

We’ve had such a good time sharing these designs with you! The designers never disappoint us—they just keep coming up with great ideas.

 100 Blocks Mug Giveaway! Three Up for Grabs!

Over the weekend I ran across a photo of Kimberly Jolly, proprietress of Fat Quarter Shop, and her friends Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister Designs, enjoying something in their 100 Blocks mugs.

M&M+precuts&notions 100 Blocks Mug Giveaway! Three Up for Grabs!

Kimberly Jolly (center) with Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister Designs. Check out the 100 Blocks mugs, as well as the “Precut Fabric Dictionary” video by clicking on the photo.

By the way, take a look at their Precut Fabric Dictionary video, done in the style of Jimmy Fallon. Good for a two minute chuckle and you might learn something! There’s also a “Notion Talk” video in the post with a lot of great info.

Okay, let’s have a giveaway! For your chance to win a 100 Blocks mug, leave a comment here before midnight Saturday, June 28. We’ll choose three winners and announce them here.

The winner’s of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Mug Giveaway are: Ruth Harms, Sandra Hadley and Earleen. Winners have been notified by email!

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See and order any volume of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, a valuable resource for any quilter!

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Scrap Quilts: Exploding Sewing Room by Buff

This gallery contains 16 photos.

The Quiltmaker Scrap Squad is a select group of six QM readers who take one pattern from each issue and make scrappy versions of it to inspire others. You can see slideshows of past Scrap Squad projects. The featured design … Continue reading

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