Finding Color Inspiration

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finding color inspiration 3 150x150 Finding Color InspirationHave you ever had trouble finding color inspiration? I have to admit, sometimes I do. I have my usual ways of playing with color but lately I’ve wanted to try something different. During the summer months I spend as much time as I can outside snapping pictures of all the pretty flowers. I have quite a collection! When I looked at all these lovely pictures it dawned on me that they make great starting points for coming up with color palettes that I really love. The photos at the top are 2 of my all time favorites so I thought I would start there.

My first place to look for fabric is my stash. I have it all arranged by color as you can see above.

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For my sunflowers I found these fabrics seemed to capture the colors in the photo (above, left). I don’t have a quilt in mind for this palette yet so I thought it might be fun to make a little collage to save (above, right).

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Here’s what I did with my poppies (above).

I’m going make a little notebook of these collages. That way whenever I need some inspiration it’s all ready to go.

Next time I’ll show you some tricks to use if you don’t have a color stash.

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4 BIG Happenings at Quiltmaker This Week

are ALL happening at Quiltmaker this week!

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#1 From Photo Inspiration To Quilt Inspiration

IMG 9943 150x150 4 BIG Happenings at Quiltmaker This WeekCheck in on Tuesday for Erin Russek to tell us about ways we can use colors from a favorite photo to create color inspiration for a quilt.

#2 Self-Directed Learning and Free Motion Quilting

Come back Wednesday when Tricia Patterson is continuing her self-directed education on free motion quilting on a domestic sewing machine. She’ll tell you about two classes she has taken from CraftU: Express Lane to the Free-Motion Quilting Highway with Angela Huffman and one of the classes from the Sulky series, Fearless Free-Motion Stitching for Beginners with Eric Drexler.

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#3 How About Brown Now?

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Confetti Cottons Color Brownie by RBD Designers for Riley Blake Designs

What do you think of brown? Is brown too boring for you? Don’t know what to do with brown? Tricia was so totally in awe of our new co-worker Anissa Arnold‘s use of brown for her quilts that she decided to take on the challenge and fun of using brown in a new series, About Brown, starting Friday.

#4 The Quilts Left Behind

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Saturday Morning Quilt Break with Mary Kate

Before heading out to the shops on Saturday, kick back and explore with Mary Kate Karr-Petras to hear about the quilts she has found in thrift shops, both the ones she brought home and the ones she left behind—and, why they might have ended up there in the first place.

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Saturday Morning Quilt Break: News from the Quilt World

Good morning! This week marks the return of a type of blog post I enjoyed writing for the Quilters Newsletter blog that were called Scrap Bags, a round-up of recent news items from around the quilt world or regarding quilts in the wider world that I want to share. In each summary, click on the link to read more about the story and see images.

As you may have heard, there’s going to be a total solar eclipse in the U.S. on Monday. Being situated just inside the zone of totality in Lincoln, Nebraska, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum is presenting a pop-up exhibit for this weekend only that they’re calling “A Rare Occurrence.” The exhibit features nine quilts from the IQSCM collection that relate to the solar system ranging from the 1840s to contemporary art quilts.

stash bandit moonshadow eclipse quilt 300x188 Saturday Morning Quilt Break: News from the Quilt WorldIf you’d like to make an eclipse quilt of your own, be sure to check out the free pattern being offered by former Quiltmaker associate editor Diane Harris on her blog Because this wall hanging is made with fusible applique, you have a good chance of finishing it before the eclipse starts! Diane has included a downloadable eclipse-themed label for you to use as well. Thanks, Diane!

The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, (coincidentally also within the eclipse zone of totality) has launched “Quilt Museum TV,” which can be viewed both on the museum’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, as well as three times a week on community access Channel 2 in Paducah. “With video it gives you a chance to say something pictures never can and explain more deeply how our programs work, what’s going on in the museum, what’s going on in the galleries, and tell a story where you can’t in other mediums,” said National Quilt Museum CEO Frank Bennett.

The Shelburne Museum in Vermont is currently exhibiting “Pieced Traditions: Jean Lovell Collects,” a collection of historic quilts and bedcovers through October 31. Highlights of the exhibition include Amish and Mennonite quilts from the 19th and 20th centuries ranging from a circa 1890 Double Irish Chain Quilt from Pennsylvania to a circa 1970 Amish A Thousand Pyramids Quilt from Ohio.

Fashion label Calvin Klein recently unveiled a new look in its redesigned flagship store in New York City that prominently features vintage quilts as part of the décor. The quilts were sourced by creative director Raf Simons and the Calvin Klein team and are meant to tie into Simons’ first collection for the label, which incorporated patchwork American motifs. Click the link to see photos of the interior and some of the lovely traditional quilts on display.

Carolyn Moulton recently won the grand champion prize at the Fremont County Fair in Idaho for her quilt On the Go, which she says she made in only five weeks (click the link to see the quilt). How did she get so good? It might have something to do with how she used quilting to help cope with surgery and chemotherapy following a breast cancer diagnosis in 2008.

Her surgeons warned Moulton that an operation might prevent her from stitching away.

“They weren’t sure that I could keep quilting. They couldn’t make any promises. I said, ‘No, that can’t be. I can’t not quilt. It’s like my life,’” she recalled.

Moulton proved the doctors wrong.

After surgery she underwent chemotherapy. Every morning before the four-hour treatments, Moulton spent about an hour quilting.

“I think that helped me get my strength back,” she said.

Even now she maintains a positive attitude toward life and isn’t too worried about the cancer returning. “Been there; done that. I can do that again,” she says.

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Spellbinding, designe by Brenda Plaster, McCall’s Quick Quilts, October/November 2017

In Case You Missed It: Don’t forget to check out our Halloween Spook-tacular blog post from a couple of days ago. It contains a bunch of great Halloween and pumpkin-themed quilt project ideas, not to mention a fabric giveaway! You have until Thursday, August 24, 2017, to enter for your chance to win a bundle of fabric designed by J. Wecker Frisch for Quilting Treasures.

That’s it for this Saturday Morning Quilt Break! Wishing everyone a productive week,
Mary Kate

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Charmed, I’m Sure – Exchange with your friends + free block pattern

Hi! Welcome back! Did you work on cutting your scraps into charm squares? It’s amazing how fast your charms can grow.

One thing I wanted to share with you today is how to organize a charm square exchange with your quilty friends. It’s good to give plenty of advance notice to your friends since there’s a bit of cutting involved. This works great with a minimum of 8 people, but you can adapt as needed.

1. Cut a 5″ wide strip of fabric (selvage to selvage). Cut this strip into 8 – 5″ squares. Separate into 8 piles. Repeat with 49 more fabrics until each pile has 50 – 5″ squares. One word of advice about exchanges. Please make sure to use only high quality quilting cotton—give the quality fabric you would like to receive. I like to cut my fabrics over time to make it less tedious. Continue reading

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Halloween Spook-tacular

A collection of Halloween theme quilts

written by: Tricia Patterson
Managing Editor, Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting and Quick Quilts

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Check out our Halloween quilt collection!

Is your grocery like mine? Halloween started in July, if you consider the wide aisle displays of costume accessories, home decor and treats. It feels like every year the seasonal and holiday changes occur earlier. I found this commercial push bothering until I thought of it from this perspective: These early changes are really REMINDERS TO QUILTERS to get busy with a plan for special seasonal and holiday quilting! So, I’m embracing the reminder of Halloween today with this blog. Continue reading

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Welcome Quiltmaker’s new Associate Editor

It’s rare that positions come open on our editorial staff—we’re fortunate to work with a team of dedicated people who love their jobs! But once in a while things happen, and we find ourselves in need of a new editor. And so the search begins. It’s not easy to find someone who quilts with experience writing/editing patterns and who lives close enough to our Golden, CO offices to come in every day. I’m thrilled to welcome Anissa Arnold to our team. You’ll see her name popping up in the magazine and on our blog. I asked her to tell our readers a little bit about herself so you could get to know her. So, without further adieu, welcome Anissa!

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Anissa Arnold, Associate Editor, Quiltmaker

Anissa’s Backstory…

I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky in a DIY household. I watched my parents build and create things around the house as a child and was, of course, expected to be the constant apprentice (in other words, free help!).   Naturally, as a child, I found this to be a terribly annoying way to spend my time but now as a “grown up” I am grateful for the underlying lesson – you can do anything you want, you just have to believe that you can do it and then go for it. This, in short, is how I became a Colorado quilter.

On a road trip across the Western U.S. in college I drove into Colorado and immediately knew that I was meant to be here. I returned to Kentucky, finished college, packed up a U-Haul and then drove my dogs and myself back across Kansas to settle in Denver.  It was in Denver that I met a good friend who introduced me to quilting and hockey (strange combo, I know!). Little did I know at that time that I would become an obsessive quilter and a very enthusiast but mediocre hockey player.

Soon after arriving in Denver, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to move up into the mountains and spent the next 11 years living in Vail. I owned and operated an Interior Design Workroom for a living but spent all of my spare time exploring the mountains, trying to play hockey and quilting. My quilting career started out with many simple, “mountain-y” feeling quilts – quilts with darker, cozy fabrics, oftentimes flannels and almost always with some type of a mountain theme. Sometime around 2006-07 there was a shift in quilting fabric design and brighter, more contemporary fabrics started to become available…and my quilting skills had improved significantly. I found myself drawn to these rich, candy-like, brighter colors and more complex quilting patterns. In recent years, I moved back to Denver and am currently obsessed with finding the perfect brown fabric to use for backgrounds. A nice, luxurious brown grounds the strong, vibrant colors that I like to use for piecing/applique and also makes the colors and shapes of the pieces really “pop” and define themselves.

Thanks, Anissa, and welcome to our team!

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Glamping Anyone?

Lately I have been totally smitten with Terri Vanden Bosch’s adorable little campers (Quiltmaker July/August ’17, Sept/Oct ’17). Someday I hope to have a “real” mini camper to go adventuring in, but for now I thought I would make my own version of hers.

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Normally I do all my applique by hand so I was excited to try this technique. I started with fusing all my shapes onto my simplified background. The applique is attached using free-motion quilting so I layered my scene with batting and backing. Continue reading

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5 Things Happening at Quiltmaker This Week

What 5 things are happening at Quiltmaker this week?

Mark your calendars. We have another week of inspiration, information and fun quilting stuff to share with you from the staff at Quiltmaker. Here’s what’s happening…

#1. Go Glamping with a Quilt Project

Glamping 5 Things Happening at Quiltmaker This Week

Beach Bum, designed by Terri Vanden Bosch for Quiltmaker July/August 2017

Erin Russek has joined the glamping crowd–albeit by a more budget-friendly approach–from her quilt studio. She’s our resident expert with turned-edge applique. For her Tuesday blog, she’s taking Terri Vanden Bosch’s Beach Bum pattern (Quiltmaker, July/August 2017. Still available NOW. Click HERE.) as her inspiration for a project to try a different way of doing applique.

#2: Our Quiltmaker family is growing!

Check in on Wednesday to meet the newcomer to our editorial staff, Anissa Arnold. We are so pleased she has joined our quilting group! She is an accomplished quilter, already bringing inspiration to us, just from her interviews. We can’t wait to share more about Anissa with you, so join us mid-week. Continue reading

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Saturday Morning Quilt Break: A Quilter’s Origin Story

Good morning and welcome to the Saturday Morning Quilt Break!

Today I’d like to tell you a story, one that I’ve wanted to tell almost since the day I started working here seven years ago except I didn’t have an ending until a few months ago. If I were the hero of a quilting comic book series, I believe this would be considered my origin story. So settle in with your beverage of choice because I’m going to take you back a ways.

A long time ago, during my senior year of high school, my parents offered to allow me to take a gap year between high school and college as long as I spent my time doing something worthwhile. As they put it, “You can live at home and volunteer at a homeless shelter if you want, but you can’t just spend a year working at Robinson’s-May,” which is where I was working at the time.

For almost my entire childhood, my parents, younger brother and I lived in a 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom condo in Van Nuys, which is smack-dab in the middle of the sprawling San Fernando Valley on the northern end of the Los Angeles megalopolis. Yes, this officially makes me a Valley Girl, but not the Valley Girl of popular lore found in tonier neighborhoods like Sherman Oaks or Encino.

Continue reading

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Book Review – Mountain Mist Historical Quilts + giveaway

188I90576  419705 20 Book Review   Mountain Mist Historical Quilts + giveawayI have always been intrigued with antique quilts and am fortunate to own two of them that have been passed down through my family. Each one has a story to tell, and while I never had the opportunity to meet my ancestors who made them, I feel a connection to them through these quilts.

Looking through the Mountain Mist Historical Quilts: 14 mid-century quilts made new book by Linda Pumphrey connects us with quilts from another generation and brings them into the present with a modern remake. Each of the 14 quilts included was each selected for its charming history and appeal to both traditional and modern quilters. The designs are perfect for all skill levels and come with PDF templates to print and reprint from a CD-rom. Continue reading

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