Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quilting From Little Things... Blog Tour | Sarah Fielke

- Sarah Fielke, author Quilting From Little Things

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today we're discussing designer Sarah Fielke and her latest book, Quilting From Little Things. Newly available from Krause, this book celebrates Sarah venturing out as a solo author and discovering her own, unique style as a quilter.

Quilting From Little Things

Co author of the hugely popular books, Material Obsession & Material Obsession 2 (two of my absolute favorite eye candy quilt how to's) Sarah explains in her introduction that this book is a daring "journey of self discovery" and urges everyone to "find the courage to try something different." All of the projects in this book are shown in pairs: one in mini, or doll quilt size, and one full size inspired quilt. Sarah's reasoning behind this concept? It's simple, she feels that you'd be more apt to try a new technique or method if you weren't committing to a large project. Try something small, get comfortable with it, master the art before working on the larger scale.

Sounds real user friendly and encouraging, right? It is!

Here's a picture of Sarah working in her studio. She's lovely, right? She looks calm, peaceful and right at home. I'm sure all of us strive to be this relaxed and focused when working at our craft. To say that I don't have the biggest quilting crush on Sarah would be a lie. Her quilts and the way she mixes fabrics get me all hot and bothered, in a quilting sense. I love her to pieces.

I hope I can persuade you enough today to run out and buy a copy of Quilting From Little Things. If not for the awakened understanding of quilting you might obtain, but for the beautiful way this book is photographed. It's just as exciting visually as it is mentally. I may sound like a big quilt geek here, but Sarah doesn't disappoint with Little Things. The photography is right on par with the standards that were set in MO and MO2. Rich, bright quilts full of scrappy style in attractive settings. And plenty of close ups to get your mouth watering.

One of the main aspects of this book that I like so much is that it's written in first person for the majority of it. It's almost as if you're having a conversation with Sarah in her studio and she's telling you all about how she chooses fabrics. Her philosophy about using large scale prints, how she hardly uses any solids in her quilts... as each chapter progresses you get to know Sarah more and more. This book is real personal for her and gives the reader a peek into the reasoning behind her quilting process.

Ten pairs of projects ranging in difficulty from straightforward piecing to more than one complex technique required take you through different skills and descriptions like: Row by Row Construction, Strip Piecing, Deconstructed Piecing, Applique with Bias Strips, Flying Geese and Foundation Piecing, Inset Piecing, Needle-Turn Applique, Using Wedges, Step-Down Piecing, & Feathered Blocks. The instructions are clear cut and full of hand drawn diagrams.

And have I mentioned the GORGEOUS quilts?

The way she presents the material in this book is inspiring and the lessons she teaches are worth their weight in gold. This is not a straight forward, run of the mill quilting book. It's a tool to help you grow as a quilter and one, I'm sure, you'll be coming back to again and again! Sarah Fielke is a super talent in the quilting world and a wonderful teacher.

Thank you Sarah, for inviting me to participate in you blog book tour! It's an honor.

I want to leave you all with a quote from the book and one of the reasons why I believe Sarah and I would get along famously...

- Sarah Fielke, author Quilting From Little Things

... a woman after my own heart! Bless you, Sarah!

Here are several other sites talking about Quilting From Little Things...

Monday 28th November: Fat Quarterly & Amy Ellis

Tuesday 29th November: Thomas Knauer

Wednesday 30th November: Camp Follower Bags & Ryan Walsh Quilts

Thursday 1st December: The Happy Zombie & Moda Lissa

Friday 2nd December: Mrs Schmenkman Quilts & True Up

Saturday 3rd December: Pink Chalk Fabrics & Pam Kitty Morning

Sunday 4th December: Sew, Mama, Sew! & Pat Sloan

You can purchase your own copy of Quilting From Little Things at the Martha Pullen store. They're currently offering $5 off if you use the promo code QUILTLITTLE.

Happy quilting,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pretty in Patchwork Holidays | ebook Available Now

I hope you are all having a restful Sunday and are on the mend to start another week at work beginning tomorrow.

Several months ago I was asked, along with my P2 design cohort Charlie, to design a project for an upcoming book to be published by Lark. My buddy John Adams was venturing out as a solo author, compiling a list of holiday themed projects. YAY John, CONGRATS DUDE!

Together, Charlie and I submitted several ideas for the book and one was accepted. A table runner featuring trees that Charlie had designed was given the go ahead with one condition...

They wanted us to make it into a tree skirt!

Our project, Trees All Around Tree Skirt appears on page 64.

Even though the softcover version of the book won't be available till Spring/Summer 2012, Lark is offering an ebook version for sale now here.

They've also officially announced the project on their blog and have a free PDF pattern for a Handmade Shopping List Holder by Terri of Sew Fantastic.

Look for more news about this book along with a personal interview with John right here on RWQ!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Happy and Productive Saturday

Things are getting back to normal in the Walsh household after all the activity from Thanksgiving. My wife's side of the family got together at their mother's house and we decided to make an appearance there this year. Luckily for us it is only a few blocks away, so with both kids in tow we didn't have much of a hectic travel time.

Friday was spent at home with the family and then back to Mandy's parents for dinner.

Today, however, I excused myself to the studio cave (with Mandy's permission, of course) and began sewing blocks for my Curious Nature quilt for Simple Quilts magazine. What a process! After one mistake was corrected in the quilting math, progress is being made. I hope to finish this up to send out to the quilters by the middle of next week. Photography is scheduled for the 8th of December!! Eeeep! I only received the fabrics a few days ago. Might need to quilt this myself depending on how long it takes me to finish.

Curious Nature block construction is well under way!

I took a break during the middle of the day to make a bag from Jeni Baker's AWESOME drawstring bag tutorial for my Secret Santa Swap (#ssswap on twitter) partner. All the handmade presents I sewed and purchased fat quarters fit right inside perfectly!

Your presents fit perfectly in this bag made from a tute by @jenib320 partner #ssswap

Now I just need to wrap everything and send it off to my partner. Once I get a chance to take better pictures of everything I'll post an update here.

Rowan spent a little time with me in the studio too. Mandy sent him in for a "break." AKA: A time out. He was a little wound up from all the activity this weekend. We chatted a while during sewing and he settled down.

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Curious Nature by Parson Gray | Free Spirit

Curious Nature by Parson Gray (David Butler)

I got an exciting package in the mail a few days ago that I want to share with you all! My advance yardage of Curious Nature arrived for a project I'm working on with QUILT Magazine and Simple Quilts. The folks at QUILT and Free Spirit just recently gave me permission to begin blogging about the project. YAY! It's been in the works for a few weeks now and the design was finalized a few days ago so Westminster went ahead and shipped the fabric to me...

... and it's GORGEOUS!

Curious Nature by Parson Gray (David Butler)

I've only seen photos of this line by David Butler (Amy Butler's husband) in images of his booth from the recent Quilt Market. Thankfully, several of my friends were able to attend this year and posted photos on their blogs.

Curious Nature by Parson Gray (David Butler)

I can see myself ordering yardage of this line when it's released next year. It's printed on a great quality cotton. Something I've come to expect of all lines from Free Spirit/Westminster. I just love the colors.

Curious Nature by Parson Gray (David Butler)

I can't wait to show you photos of the project I'm working on, but nothing too revealing...

Curious Nature by Parson Gray (David Butler)

I think this last print is my favorite out of the entire line. It's called Cocoons The scale is nice and large. The individual "cocoons" are around 3.5" long.

Curious Nature by Parson Gray (David Butler)

Generation Quilt has a fun interview up with David on their website here.

Talk to you all soon!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sew to Swap Blog Tour | Win A Copy!

Thanks for stopping by on my day for the Sew to Swap book blog tour. I was honored to be asked by author Chrissie Grace to contribute to this swap-inspired book along with 16 other amazing quilters. I'm also excited that I get to tell you a little more about the book today!

I had a great time exchanging fabric and making quilt blocks while getting to know everyone that participated a little more. Swapping at its essence is all about friendship, inspiration, trying new things, etc. and I think Chrissie did a wonderful job capturing that in Sew to Swap. I'm an avid swapper and I participate in dozens of swaps and bees every year. Whether it be embroidery pieces, fat quarters of fabric, mini quilts or simply blocks; I believe swapping is an integral part of where I am today as a quilter.

You'll see many beautiful illustrations scattered throughout the book by Ariel Eldridge along with detailed photos of the quilts we assembled. A unique aspect of the book that we all participated in is a feature called, Ask the Contributors. We were asked a series of questions by Chrissie like, "What's your favorite sewing notion or tool?" and "What's your all-time favorite swap?" Our answers to those and many other questions appear all over the book and once again establishes that "get to know you" aspect of the spirit of the book.

All the participants were asked to contribute to a certain number of swaps and I was fortunate enough to be included in:

The Diamond Block Swap

The Scrapbuster Swap

The Curvy Block Swap

As a collaboration between all of us to commemorate the swap, we exchanged signature blocks that were incorporated into this quilt.

The book is broken down into four distinct chapters: Get Ready to Swap, Super Small Swaps, Marvelous Medium Swaps, and Gorgeous Gigantic Swaps, and also discusses topics like basic sewing supplies; choosing fabrics; quilting, pressing, and piecing; backings, borders, and binding. It's an all around great read. Especially for someone who's looking to plan and get involved in quilt swapping.

If you'd like to win a copy of Sew to Swap, please leave a comment on this post letting me know you'd like to win. Feel free to let me know if you've ever participated in a swap and if you had a favorite one you were a part of.

As a bonus I'll even throw in a bag of scraps hand picked from the over flowing scrap tubs I keep in my studio.

Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted!

I will draw a winner using the Random Number Generator and announce them here in an upcoming post!

If you haven't yet, please feel free to visit the other contributors who participated in the blog tour.

November 7 Lovely Little Handmades

November 8 Stitches & Scissors

November 9 Cluck Cluck Sew

November 10 My Three Sons

November 11 Twin Fibers

November 12 Stitchy Quilt Stuff

November 13 The Creative Juices of Ariel

November 14 Texas Freckles

November 15 Quilt Dad

November 16 Artsy-Craftsy Babe

November 17 Little Miss Shabby

November 18 A Cuppa and a Catch Up

November 19 A Quilt is Nice

November 20 A Little Sweetness

November 21 House of A La Mode

November 22 Ryan Walsh Quilts

November 23 Little Bit Funky

November 27 In His Grace

You can purchase Sew to Swap now for just $14.99 ($10 off the retail price!) Visit the Martha Pullen Online Store and enter SEW2SWAP at checkout to receive the discount!

Happy quilting,

Pat Bravo Modernology Winners!

Thanks for visiting RWQ over the past few days to read all about Pat Bravo's new line with Art Gallery Fabrics, Moderology! By all the enthusiastic comments I saw, many of you are looking forward to creating with Pat's new fabric.

As promised, 2 winners were chosen and here they are:

Winner #1 is comment #12, Chancy!

Winner #2 is comment #98, Shanon!

Thanks for playing along everyone! And thanks Pat for stopping by RWQ again! We love having you.

There's still more time to enter the Amanda Murphy pattern giveaway and read her feature here. I'll draw 2 winners on Wednesday!

Happy quilting,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Designer Spotlight | New Patterns from Amanda Murphy Design

On this edition of the RWQ Designer Spotlight series, fabric and pattern designer Amanda Murphy is here today to introduce her new patterns that were just released and will be available at your favorite fabric shop soon!

Amanda has added 8 new patterns to her portfolio that feature fabrics from her Swiss Chocolate and Veranda lines for Robert Kaufman. Several also include new fabrics from Laurie Wisbrun (Modern Whimsy) and Kona Solids.

I really enjoyed looking over the preview patterns Amanda sent to me. I think she has a great eye for modern design and came up with this clever poem to tell you all about her new patterns.

Be sure to click the links she included as they will take you to her blog and posts about each individual pattern!

"A big "thank you" to Ryan for inviting me to guest-blog,

Like many of you, of quilts I have a backlog.

So I thought I'd take a just minute or two,

To share some of my recent work with you.

I confess I have a crush on Kona, you see,

So designing for Robert Kaufman has been fortunate for me.

Such a wide range of colors I have in my stash -

If you came to my house we'd have a quilting bash!

That rainbow of colors covering my design wall

Inspired my new patterns debuting this fall.

First there's Bedazzled, where one block design attains

The illusion of several interlocking chains!

Make some changes and add another block in

And Beribboned arrives where Bedazzled had been.

And if you, by chance, have holiday travel plans,

Yo-yos for Bejeweled would occupy your hands,

For quilters like to stay busy, when the work involves sewing,

(Of cleaning and dusting I claim not to be knowing.)

Bejeweled features Modern Whimsy, which is colorful fun,

Make some matching yo-yos and you are almost done!

And then there are reprints - designs from the past -

Instructions for which people have repeatedly asked...

Garden Jewels features Veranda, a favorite of mine,

Flying geese and bright colors are simply divine.

Caramel and Cocoa is a modern bargello,

That is great for modern prints or your favorite fellow.

You can make Garden Sampler to display on a bed.

The big blocks are quick with fabric and thread.

Also perfect for lots of feature prints, I think,

Is Cafe Mocha - so fun to sew. (Or to drink!)

But which wins my heart? My blog friends could guess.

Beflowered is my favorite, I must confess.

Triangles, hexes, and lots of flowers,

Came together in a design that kept me busy for hours.

But it was so gratifying to see my design plans

Emerge from fabric I cut with my own hands.

And that is why I love quilters, you see.

They value their friends and their art (and they even put up with this poem from me).

There is no greater gift that a quilter can impart

Than to use someone's patterns to create their own art.

So on behalf of designers and in the spirit of celebration,

Thanks for giving life to our ideas with your creations!

Thanks again, Ryan, for inviting me to guest blog."

Thanks so much Amanda for visiting with me today. I hope everyone enjoyed your poem as much as I did.

If you'd like to win a bundle of Amanda's new patterns, please leave a comment on this post letting me know. Feel free to tell me what pattern is your favorite and what fabric you'd like to make it with!

Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted!

I will draw two winners using the Random Number Generator and announce them here in an upcoming post!

For a second chance to win, please visit Amanda's blog because she'd also like to know what new pattern is your favorite!

All of Amanda's patterns will be available soon at the Fat Quarter Shop!

Happy quilting,

Friday, November 11, 2011

Designer Spotlight | Modernology by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics

Designer Pat Bravo is returning to RWQ today to talk with us about her new line from Art Gallery Fabrics called Modernology!

Pat's really out done herself on so many levels for this collection; even breaking though some personal boundaries and trying out some new colors she hasn't gravitated toward in the past.

One of my favorite aspects of Modernology is the flavorful language Pat used to name the fabrics. Using words and phrases like, Contempo, A la mode, Posh, and Mod to describe her prints really give this line a flair for the dramatic. And when you see the lush colors ... let's just say it's a good thing you all are sitting down in front of your monitors.

BTW... have you visited the Art Gallery website recently? Right now, they have an awesome inspiration video highlighting Hyperial Garden.

I emailed Pat about a week ago to invite her for a visit and she quickly accepted! Here's what she had to say about Modernology:

"First of all, thank you Ryan for giving me the chance to be on your blog! It's always nice to get the opportunity to spread the word on my latest collections…

So this time, I'm introducing MODERNOLOGY (one of my personal favorites!)

Those who know me and are familiar with my designs and color palettes, probably know that I'm not that much into red and navy blue (to be honest, they used to give me the chills!) but when I first started sketching I started to sort of gravitate to those colors without really noticing… and a couple of weeks there you have it, intense cherry reds and deep navy blue mixed with uber-bright lime!

My inspiration for this collection was the Scandinavian modern lifestyle, with their clean lines and sophisticated simplicity. But of course I had to throw the big florals and intrinsicate lines in there! And as a result, this is what I got… what do you think?

I chose this collection to be featured on my showroom for Quilt Market, so we made a modern-ish quilt using the White Linen from the Pure Elements and prints from the Vogue Blue palette… along with some pillows and pillowcases to complete the look. Swear to God that bed looked so comfy we were all dying to take a nap there hahaha. Those who've been to Market know what I mean!

Oh and that's Martha wearing a caftan dress made with my new voile! (yeah, we gave the mannequin a name lol).

Isn't this dress the cutest little thing?

And the slippers? Someone actually wanted to buy them at Market! Haha! I love how the blue pops out against the white rug…

What do you guys think?? Any favorite prints already? Can you think of something you would make with Modernology?… Well you better cause I'm giving away TWO HALF YARD BUNDLES to Ryan's readers!"

WOW! Did you all hear that? Thanks so much for visiting Pat, and bringing gifts for my readers. We'd love to have you back any time!

If you'd like to win a bundle, Pat asks that you head over to Facebook and "LIKE" her Pat Bravo page. Please leave a comment on this post letting me know you "liked" her. Feel free to let me know what you'd like to make with it! Only one entry per person. All duplicate entries will be deleted!

I will draw several winners using the Random Number Generator and announce them here in an upcoming post!

If you'd like to purchase Modernology yardage or precuts, it is available from the following sponsor shops:

Hawthorne Threads
Fat Quarter Shop

Happy quilting,
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