Jolly Old St. Nicholas • recap

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I recently received an email from a reader, asking me about the details of my Jolly Old St. Nicholas quilt.  Her simple request pointed up a problem all of us blog writers face: how to find things on our blogs.  I do have an index, but she specifically asked for more information about that quilt, which is NOT on the indexed link.

While it may seem strange to have a post about Christmas in June, I will occasionally be going through some long-term projects, and collecting all the information about that quilt in one post, linking to other posts when necessary.  I can see several that are strung out across several months, that would benefit from this coalescing.  So here it goes for Santa.

Santa's Village Pattern

Pattern: I used Santa’s Village, from Thimblecreek, but with many changes.  See Construction Photos section for more info.

Outside Large Green Blocks: I didn’t like many of the pattern’s original blocks.  So I drafted my own in QuiltPro Software, and asked my Mid-Century Modern Beemates to each make me a block, shown in this post, where there are 14 blocks to choose from.  You can download templates (or pattern pieces) for each block on that page.

Construction Photos

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On the original pattern, you can see the top of the tree and the tips of Santa’s toes being chopped off by the addition of their giant rick-rack.  I decided I wanted a cleaner finish as I wasn’t keen about the “chop-offs” on the original pattern.  I measured carefully, placing everything just so, but in the end, I slimmed down the top of the tree (inset) so everything would fit.

I also added a 1-inch red band around the outside edge.  Be careful in your measuring.  The center Santa block needs to finish at 24″ so if you are going to add a one-inch border, then the center Santa needs to finish at 22 inches (cut the center white square down to 22 1/2″ inches to allow for seam allowances).

The feet were a torture to applique, but they make this guy, so stick with it.

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As mentioned before, the blocks were made by my mates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee; here I audition them for their placement around Santa.

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Then it was time to start on the trees and houses.  The original pattern has a lot of funny pieces at the ends of the trees.  Basically  you make a sort of flying geese block, stretched or regular (depending on where in the tree stack it is), then added a spacer at the end to even it out.  I eliminated those end spacers on the top and middle triangle sections as I thought it was a lot of bother.  You can figure this out.

Truth: My pattern is either lent out to someone, or in a proverbial “safe place.”  Either way I can’t put my hands on it, in order to be more specific about this.

Another Truth: This pattern needed several more rounds of pattern testing.  I did talk to the designer at a quilt show sharing with him some of the problems I had with it.  He wasn’t very happy with me.

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I’m showing you both of these photos, so you can see the types of spacers between the house and the tree.  I had to put one on each end of a house-tree strip in order to make them fit (different from the pattern), so don’t hesitate to make adjustments if needed.  You can see what I’m talking about if you look at the original pattern, where the tips of the trees in the corner are touching the houses.  Mine don’t touch.

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Since my reader asked me about the center Santa, I thought I’d throw in a couple more photos showing how cute he is.  Yes, sir.

And that’s Jolly Old St. Nicholas!

 

Triple Squares in “On Your Mark”

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My friend Simone recently launched her first line of fabric for Paintbrush Studios.  It’s called On Your Mark and has its origins in punctuation marks.

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Because I’m a pal, I get to sew with it.  I made her a baby quilt using her fabrics, perfect because the fabric has a lovely soft hand that the quilt won’t be scratchy at all.  I call this Triple Square.

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It’s basically a variation of a nine-patch, using 2-1/2″ squares with side pieces of 2-1/2″ by 6-1/2.” It goes together very quickly (like I started it Saturday afternoon, and delivered it, unbound, by Monday evening).  You may have seen this at QuiltCon, where she used it in her demo.

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Triple Square, 42″ square

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It finishes at 42″ square.  I quilted it in random angle lines, going around and over and above the brightly colored squares.  I threw in some random other background pieces, just to spice it up.  Then I channel quilted it around the outside edges, to create a type of border.

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The reverse of Triple Square

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This is Simone’s free downloadable pattern for her collection, titled Gumdrops, which you can find on the link at the top of this post.

Look for Simone’s fun and colorful collection coming soon to a quilt store near you!

Rainbow Gardens and Quilt Mascot?

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My Rainbow Gardens has made its way out into the world.  I was contacted by the Victoria Quilter’s Guild in Victoria, B.C. (Canada) to ask if it was all right if they used my quilt for their poster.  The theme of the quilt show and sale is the City of Gardens, which is one of Victoria’s names, according to the website for the city: “Victoria – otherwise known as the “City of Gardens” – is home to a number of spectacular gardens that range from formal to heritage, exotic to west coast, and multi-themed to mostly rhododendron.”

So, a quiet and reserved “YESSSSS!” was my response.  I soon will have the poster in my possession, which I plan to tape up on the door to my sewing room studio.

Rainbow Gardens Poster

While the real life poster should arrive here soon, I was sent this image of the poster by a an observant reader of mine, who saw the poster and sent me a photo of it.  If you are up in that area, put it on  your calendar — I would love to go to a quilt show that has live music.

Japan Tokyo 2020 Logo

Since we’ve all just finished watching the Olympics in Korea, I thought I would get you prepped up for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, by showing you their patchwork-like logos.  Can we make quilts like this?  They are auditioning their mascots now, because no matter where you are in or what you are doing in Japan, there is a mascot for it.

I think we need a quilt mascot.

Lady Liberty in Quilts

I made this image in my very first Digital Art Class; the other students thought I was pretty much a nut-case, but I still like Lady Liberty draped in a quilt.  But now as we are more international, we need a cute little quilty creature (I vote patchwork with some appliqué) to carry forward our message.

Go to it, you creatives!

Annularity II

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This is the story of the design of my quilt Annularity.  It is also the story of Annularity II, which will hang at QuiltCon in Paintbrush Studios Booth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annularity II
Quilt Number 194
Designed and Pieced by Elizabeth Eastmond
Quilted by Natalia Bonner
59″ square

The story of this begins when I was contacted by the fine people at Paintbrush Studios, who make the ever-lovely Painter’s Palette Solids.  I submitted one design for review, time passed, things changed; I thought the process was dead in the water.

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But I had all these lovely fabrics, so we started the process again.

Annularity Fail

I played around in QuiltPro, my favorite quilt design program and came up with the above design messes.

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I showed them to Simone, seeking advice, and she said, “Don’t forget the white.”  Negative space is critical, but sometimes you get in the weeds of a thing and you can’t see your way clear.

Given that the Great American Eclipse was on my mind, I started calling my quilt Annularity:

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I began building the quilt top, remembering the white.  But when I got to the outer edges, something still wasn’t right.  A designer can do all the designing they want to, but then the fabric takes over and slowly, the outer edges morphed from the planned design to what you see at the very top.  Then there was the problem of the center.

AnnularityOPQuilt Centers

I tried lots of combinations: yellow, aqua, violet, maroon but finally finished with periwinkle, one of my favorite colors in the Painter’s Palette Solids line-up.  I finished it and when Paintbrush Studios told me that Natalia Bonner was going to quilt it, I was over the moon, because I quite admire her work.  I bundled up the quilt, sent it off, and then waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And I began to wonder, even though I’d tracked it to her address, if it had gotten lost.  I worried, then did the next best thing:

My Annularity

I made another.

In the rush, I didn’t have all the correct fabrics, so some are pieced.  But then I heard from Natalia that she had the quilt.  Whew!  Since it’s going to be hanging in the booth at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, I gave the first one a new name, since now there were two in the world: Annularity II.

Pineapple Fabrics has the complete line of colors needed to make this design, and you can soon buy the quilt pattern from them.  Come and see Annularity II in the Paintbrush Studios booth, #905.

But I’ll be quilting mine, Annularity, bit by bit, sharing that experience as I proceed.  In the meantime, enjoy the photos of Natalia’s fine work:

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Cinque Terra Tiles • Improv Applique (Part 2)

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This is the story of my Improv Appliqué Demo, coming up at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena.  In the last post, you saw me making a whole gang of these little bits squares, some with slightly wobbly shapes.  And lo and behold, one day they all turned into this:

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Cinque Terra Tiles, Quilt # 193

Yep.  I arranged those little bits and bigger bits until they coalesced into this quilt, which I love.

At the request of Paintbrush Studios, I’ll be doing two demos of this Improv Appliqué technique during QuiltCon 2018:
•  Friday, February 23 from 2:45 to 3:15 p.m.,
•  Sunday, February 25, from  11:00 to 11:30 a.m.

If you come, you’ll get a little kit to get you started, complete with needle and thread, and a mini-charm pack of fabulous Painter’s Palette Solids.  I’ll have a set of printed directions for your improv appliqué, plus tips on folding techniques as well as basic hand-appliqué directions.

UPDATE: Here are the directions I passed out at QuiltCon (right click on each to download):

 

I loved working with this fabric, as it has a nice tight weave, but not so tight that it won’t ease and fold into shape.  The colors are saturated and rich and play well against each other.  I’m totally sold on this fabric, especially after working with it in such close circumstances: handwork reveals everything, I think.

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I’m deluging you with photos, because if you want to make one, all of a sudden you’ll say, I need a new shape! a new color combo! Feel free to steal one of mine.Cinque Terra Tiles_5

I did cut out the back of the larger appliqué shapes, but you can see where I appliquéd smaller on larger. You can also see that I did NOT press seams open, but instead, to one side.  I grouped them together, sewing four smalls, then seaming that onto one larger, and so on (sew on?)

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Sometimes it’s fun to see the undersides of our quilts, right?

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I chose a fun Kaffe Fassett circles pattern to back it with.  I decided not to gild the lilly, that is, to excessively quilt the little bits: I just stitched in the ditch.  But on the borders, I picked up the circles theme again, and did arcs in varying sizes with black thread.  It’s nearly invisible on the front, but you can see it very well on the back.Cinque Terra Tiles_6alabelCinque Terra Tiles_7quilting

Hope to see you in Pasadena–come and learn how to do some Improv Appliqué!

Cinque Terra Tiles • Improv Applique (Part 1)

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The kind folk at Paintbrush Studios asked me (some time ago) to give a demo at QuiltCon 2018.  I set to wondering what I could teach in a short amount of time (20-30 minutes) that would be interesting. Shortly after they asked me, I visited Cinque Terra, Italy, and stood on a plaza in Riomaggiore, overlooking the sea (above).

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We walked down the steps, and underneath the plaza was a passageway, the walls decorated with these tiles in all sizes. It was on the way to Via dell’amore (the Walk of Love).

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When I returned home and started looking at my photos, I thought about all those mini charm packs we pick up everywhere, and how they could become something along the lines of this impromptu artwork in Riomaggiore.  Cinque Terra Tiles1_1

So I got out my mini-charm pack from Paintbrush Studio Solids and started pairing up the colors, trying to make the duo sing together–have a little friction together–trying to get pairs that would play against each other.

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I found a worksheet online that had a whole bunch of oddball shapes, and I began trying some.

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I sent away for more mini-charm packs.  Once I got started, I kept wanting to make more.

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And more.

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I carried around a little baggie of paired squares, and did them while watching TV, getting my hair colored and while in Urgent Care one bad flu season.

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I loved watching my collection grow.  I would do one shape for a while, then another.  I used up bits and pieces of squares.  I even tried some paper-piece-wrapped hexagons; I ended up not liking them so much because the charm of these squares was in their wobbliness, their wonkiness.

And then one day, I put them up on the wall with other, larger, squares–just like the Walk of Love passageway in Italy.  And wouldn’t you know it–it was really looking fun.Cinque Terra Tiles1_5

I wasn’t finished, but what I hoped would happen, did.  I took this photo and put it up on Instagram, using the SnapSeed app to expand the edges and add the text.

Next post: the finish and the details about my demos at QuiltCon.