Friday, May 27, 2011

Quilt Market Recap

Quilt Market was an awesome experience. I was lucky enough to get to go and see the show floor in a sneak peek on Wednesday and Thursday and after it opened on Friday and Saturday. I saw so many new things and learned a ton.

I thought I would share with you some of the things I saw and companies I learned of. So these are some links to sites that I think are worth checking out.

  • Maw-Bell Designs makes really stinkin' cute pincushions. I picked up a little red-headed lady to bring back for my mama. Love them!
  • Rebekah Merkle - Love the patterns here.
  • Joel Dewberry  has some fun patterns out with a "vintage modern" feel.
  • modkid has some funky, fun kids' clothes patterns.
Quilt Designs:
  • Modern Quilt Relish - This place had awesome quilt titles. How can you not love quilts that have names like Brioche & Baguette, Leftovers, and Flatbread. The quilts are really cute, too! Very modern!
  • Amanda Murphy just released her new pattern line at market. I really love the one titled portraits of my garden.
  • Judy Niemeyer Quilting - I LOVE the sharp points in a lot of these quilts. I'm a sucker for a star with those super spiky rays.
  • Jaybird Quilts - If you don't know Jaybird Quilts, you're missing out. Julie is a fantastic designer with a lot of fresh quilt ideas.
  • Don't Look Now! - I had been admiring these quilts online for months. It was even more beautiful in person. And I really LOVE the alphabet quilt pattern they had available.
  • Mountainpeek Creations
  • Swirly Girl Designs 
  • Love, love, love Cluck, Cluck, Sew.
Other fun stuff:
  • Shades Soft Fuse - Really thin fusible web.  I was given a sample at their booth, but haven't tried it yet.  I'm excited to find a project to give it a try.
  • Izzy & Ivy Designs - really cute kids' stuff.
  • Did you know you can get custom quilting rulers made?  I didn't!  Brandy's custom will make them for you.
*Photo above is of the show floor at Quilt Market (Salt Lake City, May 2011) taken by me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

For Parthena in the KC Scrappy Bee.

This is definitely my favorite block in the KC Scrappy Bee.  Parthena asked us to each make a wonky house in bright colors.  My envelope included everything but the raindrops and green fabrics.  I think this turned out really cute.
Wonky house
I wish I would have thought of this quilt idea.  I got to see some of the blocks Parthena is receiving and they all turned out adorable!  It will definitely be a super cute quilt.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

KCMQG Charity Project

The KCMQG has been working on a charity project the last few months.  One of our members worked (or works I'm not quite sure) at one of the hospitals in our area.  She recognized the need for fetal demise pouches.  What is a fetal demise pouch?  My understanding is that it's a little fabric pouch that is used when a baby is lost before they are large enough to be dressed in regular baby clothes.  Alex came up with a new pattern for us to use to make these for the hospital.  It's much more beautiful than what the hospital had before.

Some of our members got together and made little kits for us to sew.  Anna Maria Horner and FreeSpirit Fabrics donated the fabrics for us to use.  Aren't they beautiful?  Big thanks go out to them for helping us with this project.

FD pouches

These are the two pouches I made for the May meeting.  They are really difficult things to sew (emotionally).  You can't help but imagine what they'll be used for.  I'm happy to be a part of this project, but it was really quite difficult to do.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Vrooman Ranch Quilts - Second Go

You may remember the ranch quilt I made a while ago.  Well, Jacquie asked me to speak about my work a few months ago at the KCMQG meeting in April.  I haven't done a ton of this sort of work and I had never really documented it, so I decided this would be the perfect time to remake a former project into something a little bit better.  I had made the first ranch quilt to enter in the Project Modern Challenge No. 1, so it had to be at least 45"x45".  That size was a little bigger than I would have liked for where I had intended to hang this quilt, so I decided to make the new one smaller.

Another thing I really wanted to improve from the first quilt was the windmill.  The windmill had a lot of potential, but because of my poor fabric choices in the first quilt, I felt it was lost.  So, to accommodate the windmill, I decided to make 2 quilts, one ranch and one windmill.

Here's what I ended up with:
Vrooman Ranch Windmill

Vrooman Ranch - Take 2

The Windmill is 10"x20".
The Ranch is 30"x20".

I used all Kona Solids for these two quilts.  I'm really pleased with the way these turned out.  They look perfect hung in my sage green dining room.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Market Schoolhouse Free Patterns

I handed out a few patterns during my schoolhouse presentation and thought I'd share them with my blog readers, too.  Just click on the Patterns page right under the blog header and you'll be taken to a list of all the patterns I have available. 

Here are the new patterns that are available to you:

Jambalaya - Special

Flash Dance - Special
Flash Dance

Framed - Front

Small Tote - Modeled
Small Tote


Saturday, May 14, 2011


For some reason blogger didn't post the blog posts I had scheduled to be posted the day of my schoolhouse presentation.  I have caught the problem and they are posted now.  Sorry for the delay. 

What is Modern Quilting?

Modern quilting is less defined by strict rules and is better understood by its general characteristics. The word modern, as generally applied to art, architecture, and music refers to a piece that “reject(s) traditionally accepted or sanctioned forms and emphasize(s) individual experimentation and sensibility.” The modern style is nothing new. Modern quilting begins with the same goal as traditional quilting in mind, a finished quilt, but challenges the ideas and manifests them in a new way. It’s a re-interpretation and often slimmed down approach to doing something that has already been done.

This reinterpreting of ideas can be seen in other mediums, such as art and architecture. For example, Piet Mondrian participated in the De Stijl art movement (a style classified within the modern art category) in which he painted using only black, white, and primary colors in vertical or horizontal forms. Artists who partook in the De Stijl movement “sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order.” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s work is a prime example of modern architecture. He practiced what he called “skin and bones” architecture in which he exposed essential parts of the building, like columns, as opposed to hiding them behind the walls like more traditional architects.

The “skin and bones” approach reappears in many of the quilts found within the modern quilting movement. When conducting and online image search of “modern quilts,” one would find infinite basic forms, often with a minimalistic approach. Frequently, the examples found use a bold contemporary print highlighted through the use of solid fabrics and loads of negative space.

Modern quilting is an approach to quilting in today’s world. Most modern quilters are familiar with and often use traditional techniques. Some, however, choose to re-interpret the “rules” and follow their own paths. A few rule change examples include:

  • Improvised quilting often directly disregards perfectly square corners and regularity. 
  • The use of traditional quilt blocks transformed into something new. Lots of these new variations are reached through improvised piecing and lead to the “wonky” aesthetic.
  • Non-uniform scale of quilt blocks to exaggerate specific portions or drastically reduced to minimize them.

The only un-breakable rule in today’s quilting seems to be the necessity of three layers: quilt top, backing, and batting. These modern modifications have lead to a number of block designs that are used often by today’s quilters.

The traditional log cabin block has been translated into the modern quilt language in two forms: the wonky log cabin and the square-in-a-square. The square-in-a-square block varies the size of each ring and often strays from the “red square in the middle” found in traditional log cabins. The wonky log cabin is created when a quilter forgoes the rigidity of the traditional log cabin and instead chooses to skew the logs at his or her will. Often times this central square in both of these blocks is enlarged and features fabric that is fussy cut to show off a certain part of the print.

A modern block that has stemmed from the traditional eight-point star is the wonky star. The majority of this block is usually rigid in structure, but the wonkiness comes into play in the points of the stars. These are improvised in construction to evoke playfulness and fun.

Although there are modern quilt blocks, not all modern quilts are created using the traditional method of building separate blocks and joining them into a finished quilt top. Sometimes quilters skip over the use of these blocks and decide to create quilts in strips or rounds instead. There is a trend lately in creating quilts made from strips of fabric sewn together to appear as stripes. Sometimes the focus of the quilt is on the lack of a theme or design and letting the colors or fabrics speak for themselves, similar to the way Josef Albers concentrated on the colors in this paintings and was unconcerned with a defined subject matter.

In the past, most quilters generally came to quilting through the teachings of an elder. While this still holds true, some are finding it on their own. The online community has exploded and new quilters are able to develop their skills with online tutorials instead of in person. There are online forums, virtual bees, and swaps available on flickr, an online photo storage and sharing site. The blogosphere offers and abundance of free information and tutorials. Etsy offers an online marketplace for crafters of all kinds to connect and sell their products. Of course, modern quilters are not only connected digitally. One of the latest quilting phenomenans is the Modern Quilt Guild. In October 2009, the founding branch of The Modern Quilt Guild started in Los Angeles. The Modern Quilt Guild has grown to accommodate more than 100 modern quilt guilds in cities across the world.

Modern Quilting is many things. It is not solely for the young or the old. It is an approach used by quilters wanting a new twist to the age old tradition. It is a style of simple aesthetics and personal taste that allows the quilters to freely express themselves.

Defining the Modern Quilter

Hi!  For those of you who attended my schoolhouse, this is the blog post I promised you with all the links and photographs of projects I shared.  Thanks for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed it!

For those of you who did not attend my schoolhouse, this blog post is a brief overview of some of the projects I shared with my schoolhouse "pupils".

Mini Quilts
Modern Block Minis

Square in a Square - FrontSquare in a Square - Back
Square-in-a-square mini quilt by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Wonky Log Cabin - Front
Wonky Log Cabin - Back
Wonky Log Cabin mini quilt by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Wonky Stars - Front
Wonky Stars - Back
Wonky Stars mini quilt by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Everything Tote - Modeled
Everything Tote from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.

Small Tote - Modeled
Small Tote by Jessica Toye. Download the free pattern here.

Handbag - Hanging

Simplicity 2396

Lunch Tote - Hanging
Lunch Tote from Sewing Green by Betz White.

Carry All Bag - Modeled
Carry All Bag by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory for Fabri-Quilt, Inc. Available as a kit from Fabri-Quilt, Inc.

Josephine Apron
josephine from A is for Apron by Nathalie Mornu.

Waldorf Apron
the waldorf from A is for Apron by Nathalie Mornu.
McCall's Apron
McCall's 5825

Flower Girl Dresses
Flower Girl Dress from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.

Quilted Pillows
Flash Dance - Pillow
Flash Dance Pillow by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Mixed Feelings - Pillow
Mixed Feelings Pillow by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Split Second Decision - Pillow
Split Second Decision Pillow by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Table Runner
Engagement - Special
Engagement - Front
Engagement - Back
Engagement by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Half a Dozen

Split Second Decision - Front
Split Second Decision - Back
Split Second Decision by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Jambalaya - Special
Jambalaya - Front
Jambalaya - Back
Jambalaya by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory. Download the free pattern here.

Flash Dance - Special 2
Flash Dance - Front
Flash Dance - Back
Flash Dance by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory. Download the free pattern here.

Framed - Front
Framed - Back
Framed by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory. Download the free pattern here.

Mortar - Special
Mortar - Back
Mortar - Front
Mortar by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Mixed Feelings - Front
Mixed Feelings - Back
Mixed Feelings by Jessica Toye of Sewbot's Laboratory.

Thanks to those of you who were able to join me in my schoolhouse.  I hope you enjoyed it!