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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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Twin Quilts for Twin Girls

The twin baby quilts that I was working on last week for my soon-to-arrive twin nieces were finished and gifted to the mom-to-be over the weekend. What a fun challenge to come up with baby quilts that were a matched pair, but not identical—just like their future little owners. : )

I found out at the baby shower that they’re leaning toward Rose as a name for one of the babies, so it’s a happy coincidence that I pieced one of these quilts in rosy pinks. In fact, this quilt features one of my recent favorite Kona colors, Pomegranate.
And the other quilt is all in “my” colors—aqua and lime green and teal. I thought it would be a nice touch to do one of the quilts in warm colors and the other in cool colors.
The blocks in both quilts are paper-pieced blocks from Vintage Quilt Revival (of course!). The pink quilt has the Geometric Star block (I guess I’m kind of addicted to doing this block in solids, since I used it in this quilt as well). The pink quilt got straight vertical-line quilting.
 The teal quilt has the Exploding Star block, which has great dimensionality. I decided on angled straight-line quilting for that one. In case you’re curious how I do my quilting, in this case I marked the center quilting line with painter’s tape, using the 45-degree angle in the block and my longest ruler to guide me. I sewed right next to the painter’s tape for that first quilting line, then removed the tape and quilted outward on either side from there, lining up the previous line of stitches with the side of my walking foot. This kind of narrowly-spaced straight line quilting can take a while, but it’s so worth it!
I have to admit, the back on the teal quilt is a lot more fun. Yep, wood grain again—you know how I love my wood grains! This one is from Joel Dewberry’s True Colors collection from Free Spirit, supplemented by a Laura Gunn Painter’s Canvas print. Sadly, I didn’t have any good matching rosy pink prints for the back of the pink quilt, so that one got an Architectures Crosshatch instead.
And the best part of all: My sweet sister-in-law told me after she opened them, “I was hoping I would get a quilt from you! I didn’t even register for any blankets because I wanted a quilt!” I can’t think of a better compliment from a recipient of one of my quilts. : ) Can’t wait to meet these baby girls, and I hope everybody (mom and babies) enjoys their quilts!

Meanwhile, On Instagram …

My world in photos over the past few weeks:

 Come follow me on Instagram!
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WIP Wednesday: Babies Need Quilts!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
This week I’m working on a matched pair of fun little baby quilts for a matched pair of fun little babies-to-be.

I know what you’re thinking. I can hear your thoughts out there. “Lee—an almost entirely white baby quilt? Really?” But … but … it looks so cool. LOL. I wanted a sleek, modern, very un-girly pair of quilts for these little girls. I auditioned a lot of things other than white, and nothing was grabbing me, so white it was. (Edited to add: The block above is the Geometric Star block from Vintage Quilt Revival.)

And I’ll tell the mother-to-be the same thing I tell every mom who gets a baby quilt (or two) from me: Use it! Wash it a million times! Love it to pieces—literally! If it gets spit up on and drooled on and stained in a hundred places, that means it’s been loved, which is mission accomplished for me. Nothing could make me happier.

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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Spiced Chai Quilt

 I guess it’s a good sign that I want to make a whole bunch of quilts from my own book, right? Here’s another recent finish—my version of Katie’s Spiced Chai quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival.
This might be my favorite quilt in Vintage Quilt Revival. It’s simple, it’s quick and fun to make, and I think it should be a poster quilt for modern-traditionalism, because it’s got it all going on. A beautiful traditional block, plus so much of what I love about modern quilts—asymmetry, unexpected block flips and rotations, strategic color placement that emphasizes the design, use of negative space. The list goes on.
So I knew I needed my own Spiced Chai. And this was one of those rare instances where I didn’t feel the need to make a lot of design tweaks, because Katie’s quilt is kind of perfect just the way it is.
The colors in my quilt are similar to those in Katie’s version, just a little more subdued. I even used Katie’s quilting methods—except that I swapped them by putting the squiggly lines into the leaves, while the swirlies were the background. The only significant change I made was to use woodgrain prints instead of solids for the neutral blocks. Because I do love me some woodgrains. (These are from Erin McMorris’s Lush Uptown line.)
And look: more swirly quilting! After stubbornly refusing to do any FMQ other than stippling for about three years, I’m kinda proud of myself for branching out recently, can you tell? : ) Remember what I said in my last post about burying knots? This quilt totally helped me get over my fear of knots. All the more reason to love it.
Definitely one of my new favorites.

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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Freeflow Quilt

Somehow I’ve accumulated a pile of finished quilts that I haven’t yet shown you here! That’s got to be a first in the three-plus years I’ve been blogging.

Anyway, let’s start with this one, which I’m now calling the Freeflow Quilt. It’s a variation on a quilt from my book, Vintage Quilt Revival.
One of the things I love love love about this quilt is that it demonstrates the flexibility of the patterns in the book. I used the Geometric Slide pattern—here is Faith’s original Geometric Slide quilt from the book. Faith’s quilt uses the Double Z block:
Photo from Vintage Quilt Revival
But as you can see, it’s really easy to mix-and-match blocks in many of the Vintage Quilt Revival patterns. Instead of using the Double Z block, I tried it with the Geometric Star. I love how it gives the design a whole different dynamic! I wouldn’t mind giving the pattern a whirl with some of the other blocks as well.
This quilt was beautifully quilted for me by Anne Books, who owns the Material Matters quilt shop in Thiensville, Wisc. I’m terrible when it comes to deciding how to quilt a quilt, so I gave Anne free range. She thought the blocks looked a little like box kites or even boats in the water, so she quilted it to give the effect of an object being pulled through water. I love the way it takes these blocks, which are all straight lines and angles, and gives it more of that flowy feel. And of course, she added some yummy bubbles and swirls throughout the negative space. Thank you, Anne, you did an amazing job!

I used all solids in this quilt, to highlight the complex piecing and keep the design crisp and clean. I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Orange, and the following Kona Solids by Robert Kaufman: Graphite, Azure, Ultra White, Valentine, Butter, and Cactus. The binding is Party Streamer in Dahlia by Alison Glass, from her Sun Print collection. It’s a great binding print!So if you have Vintage Quilt Revival, I encourage you to take a look at the book and see how you might want to mix and match some of the blocks and patterns. You could even swap in some other 12.5″ block that’s not in the book. So many possibilities! And if you come up with a great design from that, be sure to share it with the #vintagequiltrevival hashtag!


Vintage Quilt Revival Blog Hop: The Big Finale

I hope you all have enjoyed the Vintage Quilt Revival blog party this week! I want to give a huge thank-you to all of the bloggers who graciously agreed to make a block for us. I love how everyone put their own unique spin on the blocks—color and fabric choices really do personalize these designs.

If I could sum up Vintage Quilt Revival in one sentence, it would be: Think outside the grid. We would love for you to make the patterns in the book, of course. But more than anything, we hope Vintage Quilt Revival will inspire you to get creative with traditional blocks. You don’t have to just tile them across your quilt in the usual way—mix things up a little!

So when we asked 20 bloggers to make blocks from the book, Katie, Faith and I thought it would be fun to split those blocks up amongst ourselves and make small sampler quilts with the blocks in fresh, creative layouts. We told our blog hoppers they could use any colors or fabrics they wanted, so it was a bit of a design challenge getting all these blocks to work together, but I think the three of us were up for it.

So, here’s my sampler! Half-blocks and staggering: These are a few of my favorite things … If you’ve been to any of my guild lectures recently, you can probably sing it with me. : )

Seriously though, I do love a staggered layout, where the blocks are laid out like bricks instead of in a traditional grid. This is such a simple layout tweak that anybody can do with almost any block—yet it can do such cool things to a quilt design, you guys! And half-blocks along the edges of a quilt are a perfect compliment to staggering, because they make it look like the design extends right off the edges of the quilt. It all adds up to a look that I return to again and again.

I made two blocks and two half-blocks to complete the design. The background is Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman in Eggplant. Quick stipple quilting in a nice medium gray thread, and we’ve got ourselves a charity quilt.

Love the Joel Dewberry floral on the back. Such pretty colors in that print!

I’ve got a couple of local children’s charities in mind to approach with this one—I’m hoping a little girl who loves purple as much as my 4-year-old does will get this quilt.

If you missed any of the block posts by our blog hoppers, the full list is below. Thanks again, everyone! Don’t forget to visit Faith‘s and Katie’s blogs to see what they did with their blocks! And another reminder: The Vintage Quilt Revival Block-Along starts next week on Sukie’s blogGrab a copy of the book and sew along. Oh, and be sure to check the #vintagequiltrevival hash tag on Instagram! People are making some beautiful things from the book already!

Monday, January 13:
Crazy Mom Quilts – Amanda Jean
Don’t Call Me Betsy – Elizabeth
Film in the Fridge – Ashley
Happy Quilting – Melissa
Noodlehead – Anna

Tuesday, January 14:
Quilting Is My Therapy – Angela
A Quilting Life – Sherri
Sew Mama Sew – Kristin
Tall Grass Prairie Studio – Jacquie

Wednesday, January 15:
Christa Quilts – Christa
Diary of a Quilter – Amy
Quilting Gallery – Michele
Sew Take a Hike – Penny
V and Co. – Vanessa
West Coast Crafty – Susan

Thursday, January 16:
Bijou Lovely – Holly
Don’t You Know Who I Am – Sukie
Lily’s Quilts – Lynne
One Shabby Chick – Amber

Friday, January 17:
Swim, Bike, Quilt – Katie
Freshly Pieced – Lee
Fresh Lemons Quilts – Faith


Vintage Quilt Revival Blog Hop!

Happy Monday! It’s an exciting week around here, because we’re having party for Vintage Quilt Revival!

Katie, Faith, and I asked some of our favorite bloggers to make the blocks featured in our new book, Vintage Quilt Revival. The bloggers were then nice enough to send their finished blocks to us three authors so that we could make them into charity quilts. We’ll each be making a charity sampler quilt with a fresh, unique layout, which we’ll unveil on Friday on our own blogs. Sound fun?

Visit the bloggers below, all this week, to check out each one’s take on a classic block from the book. Then come back on Friday to see what I did with some of them!

A few other updates: Fat Quarter Shop has named Vintage Quilt Revival their book of the month, which means it’s 20% off all month long! And that’s just in time for the Vintage Quilt Revival Block-Along, starting on Jan. 21 on Sukie’s blog. It’s one-stop shopping—grab your copy of the book and all the fabric you need to sew along with Sukie. Fun!

Here’s the schedule for our blog hop. Enjoy!

Monday, January 13:
Crazy Mom Quilts – Amanda Jean
Don’t Call Me Betsy – Elizabeth
Film in the Fridge – Ashley
Happy Quilting – Melissa
Noodlehead – Anna

Tuesday, January 14:
Quilting Is My Therapy – Angela
A Quilting Life – Sherri
Sew Mama Sew – Kristin
Tall Grass Prairie Studio – Jacquie

Wednesday, January 15:
Christa Quilts – Christa
Diary of a Quilter – Amy
Quilting Gallery – Michele
Sew Take a Hike – Penny
V and Co. – Vanessa
West Coast Crafty – Susan

Thursday, January 16:
Bijou Lovely – Holly
Don’t You Know Who I Am – Sukie
Lily’s Quilts – Lynne
One Shabby Chick – Amber

Friday, January 17:
Swim, Bike, Quilt – Katie
Freshly Pieced – Lee
Fresh Lemons Quilts – Faith

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Sampler Quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival

We’re winding down the “Meet the Vintage Quilt Revival” series—I hope you all have enjoyed the projects! Today I’m sharing my sampler quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival.

Photos from Vintage Quilt Revival

Along with one project for each of the 20 blocks in the book, the book features three sampler quilts that use all the blocks. Faith made her sampler blocks scrappy (you can see that quilt here), Katie did her blocks in solids (that’s the cover quilt, and I think she’ll be posting about it on Wednesday), and I made my sampler from a single fabric line—Madrona Road by Violet Craft. This was a nice call-back to our original Summer Sampler Series Quilt-Along, in which we also made samplers that were scrappy, solid, and from a single line.

But here’s what’s really interesting: Somewhere between the Summer Sampler Series and the release of this book, fabric choices like “scrappy” or “solids” or “single line” became far less important to all three of us authors. Clearly, what sets our three samplers apart from each other is not just the fabric, but the way we chose to set the blocks. I think it’s a great encapsulation of the quilting journeys all three of us authors have been on, and shows how our design priorities have shifted in the past two years.

Faith set her blocks on point, which gives them a whole different look and movement. Katie sashed hers. And I liked the controlled chaos of putting my blocks all together, without sashing. This layout essentially takes 20 different blocks and turns them into one design. I completed the design with a wide border that really acts more as a background than a border, and gives the design a little needed calmness. A colorful, scrappy binding finishes it all off.

And let’s not forget one final important element of this quilt—the spectacular quilting by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful. I’m a huge fan of Jenny’s work (she’s the woman who brought you the Quick Curve ruler and all the gorgeous patterns that go with it), and she knocked it out of the park on this quilt. Each block is quilted in a unique and beautiful way, and it brings so much to the design.

If you would like to see this quilt in person, it will be on display at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, as part of their “Modern Perspectives” exhibit, which opens Friday and runs through April 6. I have two other quilts in that exhibit as well (Spin It Again from Vintage Quilt Revival and my Diamond Tread quilt), and there are many other beautiful modern works there too. Some of Denyse Schmidt‘s quilts will be joining the exhibit in February. It’s not to be missed if you’re in the area!