Books · Giveaway

Book Reviews & Giveaway

The linking went like this: teaching at Surfside Guild –> looking at their website to get to know them –> finding their Block of the Month page –> jumping up and down because now I could make a Freddy Moran quilter lady block –> to making one –> hunting down a couple of Freddy Moran books (one in the bookcase in the family room, and the other one online).

This has a lot of Freddy’s style in it, from bright intense color to more bright intense color and how to play in that paintbox. I really enjoyed it.

I’m not finished reading this, but right off the bat, I have to tell you it’s like getting two books for the price of one, because it has both Freddy Moran’s and Gwen Marston’s philosophies, which make you wish you’d could have been a part of the conversation they are having in this collaboration book. I had to hunt for this online, but am so glad I did.

Seeing these guidelines was worth the price of the book. It answered for me that question I always had when I see a perfectly produced and designed quilt in a quilt show, but for some reason I just walk on to the one that is less perfect, but way more interesting (see #3, above).

I used to have this book, but I lent it out somewhere. I watched her lecture at QuiltConTogether and once again recognized what a genius she was in her designs and vision for our humble walking foot. So I bought another one.

And I purchased this one, which I hadn’t had before. The review on both of these books: a good idea to have in your bookcase. I have probably purchased way too many books over the years, but I tend to like books that can spark new ideas for me, or give me a new technique or vision on using tools or fabrics that I already have. So yes-absolutely to the collaborative Gwen/Freddy book. And yes-absolutely to both to Jacquie Gering’s books.

I like my books unsigned (it’s a Creative Writing thing–you don’t want to know) but one of my books arrived signed. I contacted Jacquie and she immediately sent out a new one, and said I could do a giveaway on this signed book. So….if you don’t mind having an “Elizabeth” in the front of your book, and you’d really like to have a Walk book (her first one), I’ll use the Random Husband Number Generator to choose someone.

Leave a comment telling me what your favorite part of Spring is: the flowers? the rain? the weather warming up? the promise of summer? the mud? the shifting to daylight savings time? (If you say this, I won’t pick you because I hate Daylight Savings Time: you’ve been warned.) Easter candy? Eating chocolate bunny ears? Easter? Easter dresses? (I think I’m in a rut here.) Mother’s Day? Your birthday?

[For those who need a definition: Spring begins sometime after Valentine’s Day, and ends when the hot days of summer blow in and school gets out.]

Okay, that’s enough blathering–time to go. Or, as Jacquie says, “Walk on!”

Leave a comment!

UPDATE: Comments closed now. The next post will update you on the giveaway.

300 Quilts · Giveaway · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt Finish · Quilt Patterns

Pomegranates • Giveaway

Where does inspiration begin?

Does it start here? How about both places? Today is a pattern announcement, a quilt top done announcement and the best part: a giveaway!

My friend, Kenna Ogg of Madison Cottage Design, is launching her line of batiks from Banyan Batiks (made by Northcott) and asked me to help her share the pictures and flavors of her line of fabrics. And at the end of the post, be sure to enter to win a fat quarter stack of these beautiful fabrics, rich in the tones of fall and winter.

So when she sent them to me to dream up a quilt, I kept thinking about my friend Karen’s pomegranate tree, and how she was always so generous with the fruit:

Pomegranates come on in the fall and into winter, so the two ideas merged into one.

(Posed under a citrus bush)

I arranged the fabrics, trying to get a feel for the richness of the color, then one night drew up the quilt idea in my Affinity software, and a quilt pattern was on its way!

I drew up a pomegranate shape, adding the bit at the top (the calyx), then traced it onto fusing material, cutting out the center of the circle so the quilt wouldn’t be too stiff. I then cut around the outside and fused it down to a four-patch.

All are on! Now the borders.

It’s a fun way to show off the luscious tones of this line of batiks. I had a hard time photographing them in the night when I was working, so here’s a photo from Kenna:

This is what she’ll send the winner of the giveaway: Twenty Fat Quarters. Yes, you can make the Pomegranates quilt from that. But now you can also score a discount on the pattern, as I’m launching it at the same time. Head over to my pattern shop on PayHip, navigate to the pattern and for a 30% discount on this pattern enter the following code at checkout:

PomegranatesOPQuilt30

There are three places you can enter the giveaway:

The giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to Esther, who wrote:
“Love the fabric and the pattern! Pomegranates and the pomegranate tree are beautiful. The tree and fruit provide habitat for birds. Maybe this will be the year I plant a tree or two, there are a number of varieties, some with pink arils and lighter rind that I think would make a nice combo with the standards. I think there are many references in the bible and poetry as to their beauty and symbolism, though right now I can’t pull one out of my memory. As far as harvesting the arils, I just “go for it” since I’m only cleaning one at a time. If I was ambitious, I’d make pomegranate jelly. I like to use the arils in a salad of winter greens, with slices of bosc pear and fuyu persimmon and a vinagrette.”

Here, on this blog (I’ll pick a winner on Thursday evening, and email the winner). OR, on my Instagram account. OR on Kenna’s Instagram account. And of course, you’ve figured out by now that if you enter all three places, that’s three times the chances. I will mail your name and address to Kenna and she’ll send them out. Good luck.

Leave me a comment below, telling me what you think is the easiest method to get the arils (the seeds) out of the pomemgranate: get on an old shirt and head out to the picnic table and just go for it, or submerge the fruit in a water bath, letting the arils sink to the bottom while the pith floats to the top. And of course, since I love your stories, any pomegranate story or memory you want to leave me will make me smile.

A red-stained juicy pomegranate smile!

Giveaway · Publications

Giveaway! Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns

The new edition of this classic — which every quilter should have on their desk — is a quilter’s dream come true.  It has clean illustrations of the blocks, as well as a depiction of the same blocks in full color.  I reach for my original version almost daily as I try to puzzle out a block, or dream up new combinations in making my quilts.  While I didn’t think Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns could be improved, I was wrong. This new version will make it easier to find interesting blocks to make, to research the history of our work, as well as to link us to our rich heritage of quilting. 

That blurb at the top is what I wrote for Electric Quilt, the publishers, when they contacted me earlier this fall. As long-time readers know, I’m an enthusiatic user of this book (my edition was published in 1993). When I need an idea for a baby quilt, I turn to the Nine-Patch section. When I am creating quilts for my classes, I peruse the more complicated sections, as well as the traditional Four-Patch. She has Wheels! She has Fans! She has uneven Nine-Patches! And the best part is that now it comes in color, AND in black and white, as you can see by the sample illustrations. That way the coloring can be suggested, or you can go hog-wild, coloring up your own blocks.

But the absolute best part (if there can be only one best part) is that now we can connect our blocks to those of those early quilters. We can identify them, linking all of us together with those women who drew their blocks out on paper, working their quilting in among their gardening, their laundry, the raising of their families, their teaching, their mending. Now you can use Barbara Brackman’s careful research to make your quilts, coupled with the updated and colorful version of this book. I am so excited!!

Here’s my True Story: while the bulk of my blocks in SHINE: The Circles Quilt come from a church in Slovenia, when I was just getting started on this idea, I turned to my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and found Feathered Star, block #3389. I made it, and when I visited that church, I was able to show the guard in the kiosk a photo of this block — “my art” is what I said — and he gave me permission to take more photos of the glorious art in that Serbian Orthodox Church. That quilt, which is still cooking along, had its genesis from this book, a block from around 1933, according to Brackman’s notes on its provenance. And one of you can win this book. Keep reading.

  • Electric Quilt, the publisher, is currently offering 30% off the book if customers “pre-order” it on their website by November 24 . I’m just telling you this, so that in case you are not the lucky winner, you can still have the opportunity to take advantage of the 30% pre-order discount. Details here:  https://electricquilt.com/pre-order-and-save/
  • EQ expects to start shipping the book December 1, 2020. Perfect for holiday giving. (And yes, I plan to have a Christmas holiday this year, and although more kilos may join the Covid kilos, it will still be worth it.)
  • If you want any other information about the book, they have general info at their website, such as FAQs, a blog post, and reviews (maybe you’ll see mine there?) Click to head there: https://electricquilt.com/online-shop/encyclopedia-of-pieced-quilt-patterns/

Here’s the official details:

  • Enter to win a copy here, or pre-order the book through November 24th at ElectricQuilt.com.
  • Giveaway winner will receive one copy of the book shipped in December, 2020.
  • The Electric Quilt Company will ship to U.S. addresses for free, others will have the option to pay for shipping costs, so yes, international readers you can enter (but you’ll just have to pay for shipping–they will contact you).
  • The book will be shipped directly from Electric Quilt. I’ll forward them your info after contacting the winner by email.
  • You can also enter on my Instagram Account @occasionalpiecequilt It’s a slightly different set of guidelines; pay attention, so you’ll be in the running.

Okay, gushing over! Get ready, get set, go! I’ll choose the winner on All Saints Day (November 1st) because I know you’ll be too busy on Halloween to pay attention.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!

Leave me a comment below telling me what you want for Christmas. Get creative, get close to the heart, get wild, or shoot for the stars.

Giveaway · Live-Online Classes · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt Patterns

Criss-Cross Autumn Quilt Top

I’m getting ready to do a live-online presentation and teaching at Glendale Quilt Guild next week, and a deadline always sends my I-should-try-this into overdrive. So while I have the Criss-Cross pattern up online, and I thought I was pretty settled, a little voice in the back of my head said I should try some autumn colors in the largest size block in the pattern.

Okey-dokey. So I pulled a group of red-orange, purple, gold, orange, yellow fabrics and I was cooking along, pretty happy with the choices I’d made, but when I was looking for another darkish to put into what was up on the design wall…

…this fell out of a bin. It was Jennifer Sampou’s Chalk and Charcoal fat quarter stack, purchased some years ago. I used to have it out on a surface, just because I liked the colors so much, but had never opened it. (I’m sure you have never done this.)

So, in a flash, all the previous choices were down from the wall, and I had cut and was arranging all the new choices up there. The last image is adding in the strips.

So here is Criss-Cross Autumn, a 35″ square wall hanging. And since we don’t live in a climate that has a lot of rusts, golds, purples, reds in the tree canopies, but we do live in a climate that at the end of summer has a lot of golds, browns and yellows, my husband and I took a drive out in the countryside to shoot some photographs.

We were out in Hemet, by the golden San Jacinto mountains (shown above). One writer once compared the California hills to a tawny mountain lion. I grew up in the Bay Area, where in autumn, the golden grassy hills are interspersed by giant spreading oaks. What we have mostly now is not native, as I discovered when reading this essay, but like the author, I do love the colors.

Now, what to do with that other almost-quilt? How about I give it away? I’ll send you the almost-quilt (already cut!) and its strips (also, already cut, although I have to tell you that once you get adding and subtracting, you may find yourself adding more). There are also a few extra pieces in there, in case you have a different vision. I will also include a hard copy of this new pattern, with multiples sizes and variations.

Leave me a comment at the end, tell me about what colors are in your landscape around you right now, and how you feel about those colors. I’ll pick a winner using the husband-draw-a-paper-out-of-hat method, and let the winner know by email. Here are some image/photos of Criss-Cross Quilt, done in Christmas fabrics:

I’m looking forward to live-online teaching this quilt at the Glendale Quilt Guild next Saturday!

Criss-Cross Autumn, Quilt Index No. 232

UPDATE: Just thought I’d add this to the post. I finished the quilt a few days later, using a simple straight-line quilting pattern, varying the directions. It will be perfect for hanging up during September, when autumn arrives.

UPDATE: Comments are now closed. Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, August 10, 2020.

P.S. There’s a coupon code for the pattern, good for 25% off Criss-Cross Quilt through the end of August. The code is listed on the PayHip page.

Giveaway

Temperature Quilt & Giveaway

temperature quilt_10

I’ve jumped on that colorful bandwagon and am making a Temperature Quilt, or as my scientist husband likes to refer to it: a Heat Map.  And, I’m hosting a

giveaway-banner

…so keep reading for how you can win. Teaser:

tempquiltgiveaway_1
No, it’s not a Featherweight…

Giveaway now closed.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

screen shot 2019-01-25 at 8.03.43 pm

Here are some examples of heat maps:

heat map_world touristiness map
World Touristiness: in other words, where the most photographs are snapped.

heat map_gym locations in dc
Gym locations in Washington DC

heat map_natural gas prices
Gas Prices 2014

heat map_tornado watches
Tornado Watches, 20 year average

heat map_australia 2017 feb

And one we are most used to: temperature heat maps.  By the way, between the polar vortex and Australia’s heat waves, the heat maps this year are really getting quite the range.

Over the space of a few days, I’d looked up the range of temperatures in my area, chosen my colors, and then set to choosing colors.  I had bins of my favorite solid fabrics: Painter’s Palette by Paintbrush Studio and what I didn’t have, I found at the Pineapple Fabrics booth at the Road to California, which just happened to be open this week. (See below for more information and the giveaway).temperature quilt_1temperature quilt_2

temp colors and chart
This swatch line-up is mostly accurate, but I have made some changes, reflected in the chart, although I did swap out Beryl 095 for Agave 094.  

I made myself a preliminary chart, but by looking at Weather Underground’s calendar for this month for my city, I could see I would need to add a couple more lows.  The chart on the right is the final one, and I added a color for rain, since that’s a Big Deal around here. Here’s the website for my city; you can type in yours and get your own calendar.

I was following along with Michonne’s Instagram posts for her Temperature Quilt last year.  Like me, she’s not a fan of the heat (she lives in a hot climate, too) and since I didn’t want a whole quilt of reds and oranges, I switched up my colors.  I don’t think it matters what you do, just keep a chart and be consistent.

temperature quilt_3

Because I recently had rotator cuff repair surgery (aha!  you knew it had been quiet around here…well that’s why), I was back to drawing lines on cloth and cutting them apart with scissors. It’s my right arm that’s out of commission, so no rotary cutting for me for a while.temperature quilt_4

I put them all in little baggies, labeled with their place in the chart, the color number and name, and the temperature degrees spread.  I went with a three-degree spread because I wanted a lot of variation and colors.temperature quilt_5temperature quilt_3atemperature quilt_6

I only made a few of this color, because if it’s over 115 for too many days, I don’t know what I’ll do.

temperature quilt_7b

If the day is warmer than the day before, the middle arrow points upward.
If the day is cooler than the previous day, the middle arrow points down.
If it’s a tie, I’ll look at the day’s low temperature and let that be the deciding factor.
If everything is a tie, then it stays pointing up.
Rain triangles always go on the left side of the big triangle when it’s pointing up (even if it is flipped around).temperature quilt_8

I penciled in the date in the seam allowances.temperature quilt_8a

It’s interesting sewing with the dominant hand mostly out of commission.  I’ve gotten better at wrangling the iron left-handed.  And I iron in steps, as shown above.  Everything is  s l o w e r.

temperature quilt_9

I was excited to get this to use for tracing around for cutting, but whoops. This just won’t do.
I corresponded with the company and apparently I need to iron the seam allowances toward the smaller triangles to make it work.  I haven’t done that.  Those of you who are long-time readers know I appreciate the sculpting that can happen with the direction the seam allowances are pressed. Because I want the larger triangle to pop, this won’t work, but I’m keeping this ruler around anyway. (I ended up using a smaller 4 -1/2″ ruler with a rough undersurface to help things from slipping around.)  [And no, I’m not obsessing if the tip of a triangle is cut off a bit.  There’ll be over 365 of those in this quilt, and since I’m working left-handed, it’s a miracle they are even sewn.]

temperature quilt_10

And so here I am on this nearly last day of January.  I planned this so I’d have pinks in the scorching temps and lots of blues in the moderate temps, but was surprised at the combination of oranges and greens in January’s temps.

 

It reminds me of the citrus bushes next to my driveway (kumquats) and if you ever drive by, you are welcome to pick some.  It’s citrus-picking season around here (Valencia oranges come on later in the season).  But no worries, I’ve lived before in Wisconsin in during one of the coldest-it’s-been-in-80-years winters, so I am familiar with how it feels be up North.  Obviously their temperature maps this year will be blasting open the lower ranges of possibility:

heat map jan 2019
(By the way, more than happy to see the National Weather Service and NOAA back up and running!)

giveaway-banner

Pineapple Fabrics is the place where I buy all my Painter’s Palette. (If you use that link, you’ll be taken right to the place to purchase the fabrics.)  There are several of us who are total manaical fans of this fabric and after you try it, you’ll be converted.  Linda has written about why you should try this fabric; I’m in love not only with the colorfastness, but the silky hand and fine weave.

I’d like you to be able to try some.  Because I can’t get to the Post Office (not cleared for driving yet), and because my husband is the one doing all my errands, I’m going to limit this to U.S. readers only.

And you’ve got to get your quilts quilted, right?

Colorwheel Blossom_quilting

Quilting _Annularity4a thread

When I did the top quilt, all in a rainbow, Magnifico was just new on the market.  Some of those sections are Magnifico, some are So Fine, both threads by Superior Threads Company.

 

But when I quilted my two most recent quilts: Northern Lights Medallion and Annularity, it was Magnifico all the way for one reason: it makes your quilting look great.  Superior Threads has graciously agreed to give away some thread, too.

tempquiltgiveaway_2

If you want to win this bundle, leave me a comment about the hottest day you can remember and where it was.

tempquiltgiveaway_3

If you want to win this bundle, leave me a comment about the coldest day you ever lived through and where it was.

Both bundles have one spool of Magnifico Thread, and two yards of Painter’s Palette Solids.  Yep — you have to choose: either the Hottest or the Coldest.  If you write for both (always interesting) I’ll use the first comment you left for your entry.  If you are a follower, you get two double chances.  I’ll close the giveaway February 1st.

And many thanks to our donors:

superior threads

pineapple fabrics

Leave me a comment!

Giveaway now closed.  Thank you for entering!

Books · Giveaway

Paint by Numbers, a creative approach to pictorial quilts

Paint-by-Number Foster.png

I was recently asked to review Kerry Foster’s new book, Paint-by-Number Quilts, recently published by C & T, and I eagerly said yes.  I’ve been a quilty-pal of Kerry’s for some time, and enjoy her style of quilt-making.

Cat-on-the-Ironing-Board-1998_Edrica-Huws.jpg

Her style reminds me somewhat of Edrica Huws.  I love the energy this type of quiltmaking generates, as I trend toward the pristine and ordered, and am not as comfortable with the assemblage/collage.  I always want to be better, but it’s like trying to straighten that errant curl in your hair–when you are not looking, it springs back to where it wants to be.
Red Door_1_small

 

So I thought I would give Kerry’s techniques a try in recreating this picture, taken when we were in Burano, Italy some years ago.  I like the weather-beaten look and knew that it would be better served by Kerry’s Paint-by-Numbers approach.Red Door_2_small

I threw it into an image processing program and used a filter on it to highlight the edges, but you could just trace the strong lines using a lightbox.Red Door_3_small

I extracted all the color, so I could see the shapes, then printed that directly onto the dull side of freezer paper, cut to size and put through my color printer.

I trimmed the freezer paper to size, taped it to a piece of cardstock at the top edge and fed it through the printer.  Mine has a rear cassette access, so the paper path is flow-through (it’s the reason I purchased this one).  Since I’m making one of my tiny picture-stand quilts, there are two images per page.

4_drawing hashmarks

I did draw on lines and prepared it for construction, according to her instructions in her well-written book.  All the information is clear and concise, with great photo illustrations to accompany each step.

I’m mid-process in the upper left photo, layering up the pieces as per Kerry’s instructions.  Yes, it did dawn on me at this point, that I’ve hardly broken out into wild new territory, but I liked this door when I took a photo of it some years ago.

Tiny Quilt Red Door_4

In retrospect, I realized that some of the proportions are off a bit — like the doorway is kind of floating, but I am always learning.  Next doorway will be better…and wilder!

Instructions for a tiny quilt on a frame are here.

Tiny Quilt Red Door_4a back

The back.  I’ve finally wised up and am using some of my favorite fabrics in quilts, instead of leaving them on the shelf.  I can enjoy them that way, instead of never seeing them.

Okay, back to the real reason for this post: letting you see a couple of the fun things that Kerry has in her book for you to make:

Foster Book Review_2.png

Foster Book Review_1
Grizzly Bear quilt

Kerry, and C&T Publishing would like to for you to have a copy of her book. There are many others who have reviewed Kerry’s Paint-by-Numbers Quilting book; I’m one of the last.  Each one is running their own giveaway, if you want to visit them:

Monday Sept 17 – Kerry @ PennyDog

Tuesday Sept 18 – Deirdre @ C&T Publishing

Wednesday Sept 19 – Anita @ Daydreams of Quilts

Thursday Sept 20 – Sarah @ Coopcrafts *

Friday Sept 21 – Krista @ Poppyprint *

Monday Sept 24 – ME!  Elizabeth @ OPQuilt

Tuesday Sept 25 – Wendy @ The Crafter’s Apprentice

Wednesday Sept 26 – Angela @ Heart of Charnwood *

Thursday Sept 27 – Leanne @ She Can Quilt *

Friday Sept 28 – Katy @ The Littlest Thistle

Tiny Quilt Red Door_2

To enter to win a digital copy, please leave me a comment below.  Thanks to you, and many thanks to Kerry and C&T!