Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Going to Guild - Karla Alexander

Last Monday was guild night, and our guest was Karla Alexander of Saginaw Street Quilt Company. She taught a class on Sunday that I was unable to attend, sadly. The work her students brought for Show and Tell was inspiring.

Karla was last at our guild about five years ago, and she always tells a story about a quilt her mother made for her. Even though I've heard it before, it always makes me tear up. I guess the story reminds me a little bit about the Orange Crush quilt I made for Grace - all those scraps, each with their own memory.

Double Crossed by Karla Alexander

Karla plays with line and color in exciting ways. Her patterns seem to find new ways to arrange and show off the fabrics.  She always brings loads of quilts to demonstrate a point.

Loose Ends by Karla Alexander

I also love how her techniques bring out a luminous quality to the quilts that reminds me more of a painting or stained glass than fabric.

Clam Shells by Karla Alexander

Karla's more recent work dives deep into curved piecing, and this is what I would love to learn from her. The way these clam shells are designed is ingenious!

Lanterns by Karla Alexander

But my favorite quilt of all may be one of the less complex ones. The Lanterns quilt would be such a great way to show off those fabrics that you just can't bear to cut, the ones that need wide open spaces to show off. I love the lines of this quilt, and can think of so many fun ways to free motion quilt each individual lantern.

I've linked to each pattern in case you want to try one for yourself. If your guild is looking for a teacher/lecturer, or if you're trying to decide on a class at a show, you can't go wrong with Karla!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Review: Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson

Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson shown here
with fabric from Christa's new line, Modern Marks.
Photo credit: Vicki Holloway

The fabulous Christa Watson has done it again! That is, she's written a book that feels incredibly welcoming and approachable for newbies, but thought-provoking and creative enough for the more experienced quilter. She also answers that burning question that every true stash lover wants answered: What do I do with all these precuts?

Spools quilt by HollyAnne Knight of String and Story

Admit it, you've bought precuts with absolutely no clue what to do with them. They're pretty and fun to pet, but every once in awhile you need to open one up and use it.

Squiggles quilt by Kristin Esser

The eleven quilt patterns in this book are simple enough - and with well written directions - for a beginner who is comfortable with a sewing machine OR for a more advanced quilter to whip up a quick quilt and have fun playing with color and quilting designs. The fabric and the quilting do the heavy lifting in these modern designs. 

Gridwork quilt by Vicki Holloway of My Creative Corner 3

We know Christa is a great teacher and encourager when it comes to quilting on a domestic machine, but now she's added fabric designer to her resume. Her new line, Modern Marks, is the perfect companion to the quilts in her third book.

Special thanks to Martingale for generously sharing a copy of the book with me so I could have a sneak peek, and to VickiKristin, and HollyAnne of String and Story  for letting me borrow their pictures. For lots more about the patterns and fabrics, be sure to visit their blogs. They are in the middle of doing another blog hop through this book, and the quilts they are showing are fantastic! Even better, they are each giving away a copy, so be sure to visit all three of them.

Question for you: how many precut bundles are in your stash right now? 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Queen Bee!

This month it is my turn to be the Queen Bee in our Twilters swap, and I had such a hard time picking a block design. Every time I saw someone else's choice, I was like Rachel in Friends when she hears Monica's baby name.

Then I started down the path that always leads me to ruin - planning some elaborate original design. (I have a stack of UFOs to explain how that ends if you haven't seen this episode before.)

Finally, I've settled on a block that won't be too difficult for any of my hive, that won't send them digging for some super specific fabric in their stash, and will get me moving toward a quilt I've always wanted.

I'm asking for 16 Patch blocks made of 2" finished squares. My only other request is that you don't repeat any fabrics. I'm sure I will end up with some duplicates in the final project, but this will help reduce them and keep the quilt totally scrappy.

Just in case anyone needs instructions:

Cut a 2 1/2" square out of 16 different fabrics. 

Sew them together in pairs,

and then into four patches. Press in opposite directions so the seams nest.

Sew the four patches together into pairs,

and then into the finished 16 patch block. Voila!

This makes a great leaders and enders project while you are sewing something else. If you are having fun and would like to clean out a few more scraps, feel free to make more than one. Send it to me or start a postage stamp quilt of your own.

Thanks for swapping!

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