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My Maple Leaf Quilt (and Me!) at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

 Good morning, and happy Monday! I have an exciting collaboration/project/event to talk to you all about today.

Many months ago, local fabric designer Allison Bielke (whose fabric is available at Modern Yardage) approached me with a fun idea for a fabric design contest. We teamed up with the Wisconsin AIGA (a graphic design association) for a contest challenging Wisconsin designers to create prints inspired by our state’s natural beauty.

We chose a handful of the prints that were submitted for the contest, had them printed on fabric by Modern Yardage, and I’m creating a quilt using all of the prints. It’s been a fun design challenge to come up with something that showcased the prints nicely, tied in with the theme of Wisconsin’s natural beauty, and had a modern design that would appeal to the AIGA crowd.
I ended up choosing a simple, classic maple leaf design, and I think it’s looking amazing.
On Tuesday night, I’ll be unveiling the completed quilt at a special event at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design! The event is open to the public, so I hope all you local peeps will come out for it!
Allison will be talking about her design process when creating her fun, often retro-inspired prints, and what it’s like to be a fabric designer. I’ll be talking about my design process for creating my quilts (especially this particular quilt), as well as fabric design from the consumer’s perspective. What do quilters and sewists buy, and why do they buy it? What do the most successful fabric designers do well that makes them so successful? We’ll also be raffling off some quilts, and Allison and I will have fabric and patterns available for sale.

The event starts at 6 p.m. I hope to see you there!

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I’m On the “Me Being Crafty” Podcast

Good morning! Looking for a podcast to listen to while you’re sewing today? I’m on the newest episode of “Me Being Crafty” with Tsoniki Crazy Bull!
Tsoniki and I chatted about my creative process, behind the scenes at WIP Wednesday, and much more. Tsoniki is so easy to talk to and I had a lot of fun being on the show—I just finished listening to the episode, and for once I didn’t even cringe at the sound of my own voice. LOL. So head over and give it a listen. You can also subscribe to “Me Being Crafty” on iTunes and Stitcher.
And yes, I pronounce “blog” and “block” with a hard-core midwestern/Wisconsin accent. You’ve been warned. ; )
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I’m Teaching at QuiltCon

Did you all see the Modern Quilt Guild’s big announcement? I am so excited that I will be teaching at QuiltCon in Austin in February 2015, and thrilled to be in such good company. Yeah, that’s my picture right there next to Anna Maria Horner’s. No big deal. LOL.
You can see the full list of teachers right here. Really looking forward to seeing the quilters of Gee’s Bend in the keynote address!

Can’t wait to tell you all more about my workshops, but in the meantime, I hope to see you in Austin!

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WIP Wednesday: Vintage Quilt Revival at Pottery Barn

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
It’s been a week of working on projects that I can’t show here on the blog just yet, but I have been busy with other things as well—like my “Vintage Quilt Revival” events at Pottery Barn!

Photo by Faith 

Faith and I had so much fun at these events. I’ve given plenty of formal lectures at quilt shops and guilds, but I’ve never done anything as casual and friendly as these meet-and-greets. It was so nice to just chat with everyone one-on-one, answer questions, and talk about fabric and design.
And what a great opportunity to bring our quilts to a wider audience. We spoke to lots of non-quilters, many of whom had never seen a modern quilt or knew they existed.

Quite a few people inquired about buying our quilts (sorry, most of them are not for sale), and several copies of Vintage Quilt Revival were purchased by people who don’t even quilt! Yet. : ) So I’d say the whole thing was quite a success.

Photo of Faith and me by Jean Heideman – thanks Jean!

A huge shout-out goes to Pottery Barn for approaching us about these in-store events. I think it’s fantastic that they bring in local artists and designers for events like this. We’ve seen so many examples of large corporations copying designs by individual artists or trying to drive them out of business. Partnering with independent craftspeople makes good business sense for all involved, but it’s still not happening enough. So I hope you’ll all support retailers like Pottery Barn that are willing to make the effort!

What are you working on this week? Here are the linky rules:

1. Link up any blog post from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog.
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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Join Me at Pottery Barn!

I got a pretty awesome email a few months ago, from the national brand marketing director at Pottery Barn. She contacted me to say that she loves Vintage Quilt Revival, and would Faith, Katie, and I be interested in doing some in-store events at Pottery Barn? Um, let me think about that for a second …. yes! In fact, I may or may not have fallen out of my chair, I was so excited. Just saying.

So, Faith and I are coming to Pottery Barn locations in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas during the month of March! We’ll be doing trunk shows of our quilts, selling and signing copies of Vintage Quilt Revival, and talking about the general resurgence in popularity of quilts and quilting. (Did you know that Pottery Barn has a selection of beautiful patchwork quilts available? We all know how difficult it is to finish a bed-size quilt. Thanks to Pottery Barn, you can have a gorgeous quilt on your bed sometime in the next decade!) There will also be a free tasting of Cameron Hughes wines at the Illinois events.

I’m planning to have a few of my own quilts and other handmade items for sale at the Pottery Barn events. I have never sold a quilt in my entire career, other than putting two baby quilts up for charity auction. So if you are interested in owning a quilt made by me, this might be your chance.

If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come out to see Faith and I at Pottery Barn and support this amazing opportunity to spread the word about modern quilting in more public, non-quilty circles. Katie is doing her own Pottery Barn event in Arlington, Virginia, as well.

March 8, 1-2 p.m.
Pottery Barn, Naperville
Naperville, Illinois

March 8, 4-5 p.m.
Pottery Barn, Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, Illinois

March 22, 1-3 p.m.
Pottery Barn, Mayfair Mall
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

March 22, 1-3 p.m.
Pottery Barn, Market Common at Clarendon
Arlington, Virginia

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Chatting with Pat Sloan on APQ Radio

I’ll be on the air with Pat Sloan on the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast this Monday! We’ll be chatting about Vintage Quilt Revival, my blog, and other fun things. You can listen in live at 4 p.m. Eastern time, 1 p.m. Pacific, or any time after that. Click here to listen.

Lindsay Conner of the book Modern Bee will also be a guest, so I know you won’t want to miss it!

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A Prize For Me and a Prize For You!

Good morning! I’m totally on a post-QuiltCon high today. So many great things happened to me in the past week, I can hardly count them all, but let’s start with this:

First place at QuiltCon! : )

My Lifesavers quilt took first place in the Modern Traditionalism, Small Quilts category. To think that this little quilt would rank up there with the other amazing work on display at the show is honestly a dream come true for me. Not only that, but my prize was … wait for it … $500. All this from my first quilt show. Wow. It’s overwhelming! To see more QuiltCon winners, Leanne has a post up, and Christa has posts here, here, and here.

I’ll have a full report on QuiltCon in the next few days, but in the meantime, let’s celebrate with a giveaway. How about another copy of Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe? Just comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of the book from Martingale, which includes my Candy Necklace quilt pattern.

 

Candy Necklace in the book!
I’ll announce the winner on Thursday. In the meantime, have a wonderful week!
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Sparkler Quilt

My newest quilt pattern, Sparkler, is now appearing in the Spring 2013 issue of Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts! Yay!

Click here to purchase Sparkler as a PDF pattern

Sparkler quilt
I’m so happy to finally be able to show you this quilt! The unbelievably beautiful quilting was done by the talented Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful. I didn’t give her any requests when it came to the quilting, I asked her to do whatever she saw fit—and I’m sure you’ll agree that she knocked it out of the park. This is hands-down my favorite quilt right now, and Jenny’s quilting is the reason why. You can read more on her blog about how she decided to quilt it.

Sparkler quilt
“Easy quilt” is definitely an apt description of this pattern. It’s just straight-line sewing and some half-square triangles. The entire quilt is made up of one very simple traditional block that is often seen as a tessellating pattern. But rather than tessellate it, I used a single background color and reversed out the colors for half of the blocks, giving the design a whole different look (and making it far easier from a color-placement and planning perspective!).

Sparkler quilt - the back
(the back)

My version is done entirely in Cotton Supreme Solids from RJR Fabrics, a collection of beautiful, rich colors. I chose cool greens, blues, and purples and graduated them diagonally across the quilt. It would be fun to see this pattern done in warm colors or in the full rainbow as well. Quite a few of the colors I used are available on Amazon: Including Electric Green, Raging Rose, and Riviera Blue.

Sparkler quilt
And can I just say how thrilled I am to see that there are several modern quilts in this issue of Easy Quilts? The issue also includes quilts by Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter and Corey from Little Miss Shabby, along with several others of a more modern bent. It’s nice not to have the one lonely modern design in a sea of traditional patterns!

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On Display

So, did anybody get to International Quilt Festival in Houston this past week? I am so proud that I had a quilt hanging at the Festival!

Photo courtesy of Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies

My Supernova quilt was part of the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2012. I’m honored that something I made was chosen to help represent “modern” to the rest of the quilting world.

Photo courtesy of Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies
I love that the Modern Quilt Guild included my blurb about my design process, which is taken from the application I filled out to enter the quilt in the show. I guess if I had known it would end up on a sign at International Quilt Festival for all to see, I might have edited it a little more carefully (“but yet”?). : )

I wish wish wish I could have seen my quilt there in person, but thank you to Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies for taking such great pictures and allowing me to post them here. It was almost as good as being there.

Photo courtesy of Brenda of Pink Castle Fabrics

I was lucky enough to have a couple of quilts displayed at Fall Quilt Market as well. Here’s the quilt I contributed to the new Martingale book, Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe. Apparently it was displayed at Martingale’s Schoolhouse session for the book—I didn’t even know they were planning to have my quilt there! It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I’ve seen it myself!

Photo courtesy of Kati of From the Blue Chair

And here’s my little Lifesavers mini, which was my entry in the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild‘s EZ Dresden challenge.

Photo courtesy of Kati of From the Blue Chair

It took third place in the challenge and therefore got to be displayed in the Simplicity booth at Market. Don’t all those winning quilts look great?

It was fun to have some quilts at Market—it’s the next best thing to being there in person!

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Catching Up

After an insanely busy and eventful summer, this week has been … even more insane.

My oldest started all-day kindergarden this week, and like most moms, I’m feeling pretty conflicted about it. She’s old for her grade, having turned 6 a few weeks ago, so it was definitely time for her to go. Still, it’s been a big adjustment for everybody, including me and my younger daughter, who misses her like crazy! As I got ready to pack her lunch last night, I thought, “Seriously, she has to go there again tomorrow?” Guess I need to get used to this—it’ll only be this way for the next 13 years, after all.

My younger daughter started preschool this week as well. She goes three mornings a week, and I admit that I’m not as conflicted about this one. LOL. Three mornings a week is a welcome break from a strong-willed 3-year-old, but still leaves us plenty of time to play (and butt heads!) the rest of the week!

So lots of sewing-ish things are happening around here as well. I packed up my Supernova quilt and shipped it off for the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase at International Quilt Festival in Houston! Supernova will also be traveling around the country with the rest of the MQG exhibit for almost a year afterwards, so I won’t see this little quilt again for quite a while, which makes me kind of sad. But I’m excited about the adventure it’s about to have! It’s not unlike my kids going off to school, is it?

Here’s another bit of excitement: My first-ever collaborative book project is now available for pre-order on Amazon! Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe
features quilts by 18 talented bloggers, plus their thoughts on modern quilting and blogging. I’m so honored to be included with all these amazing people! The book is gorgeous and it’s very exciting to be published in book form.

Candy Necklace quilt
My quilt is called “Candy Necklace.” The shapes and colors reminded me of those candy necklaces I used to have as a kid. You can pre-order the book right now, and it will be available in December.
And speaking of books, have you seen the news about Craft Book Month, going on all this month at Craft Buds? It’s a huge celebration of all things craft book-ish! I’m so excited to be participating in the blog hop this year, and can’t wait to show you what I’m working on, which is from Amanda and Cheryl’s amazing book Sunday Morning Quilts. (If you haven’t picked it up yet, please do—it’s packed with of great patterns for using up your scraps.) Today’s Craft Book Month posts are by Katie of Katie’s Korner and Sharon of A Prairie Sunrise, and my post goes live on September 17. Be sure to follow along, because of course there is tons of inspiration and giveaways galore.

 

Improv block with Oakshott Rubies

I’ll leave you with what I’ve spent the past day or two working on—I’m putting together a table runner with that beautiful stack of Oakshott Rubies that I got a while back. Yes, it’s wonky! I can hardly believe it myself. Have a wonderful weekend!