This blog post originally ran in October 2019.
Posts Tagged ‘jingle bells trunk show’
During the early fall and again after Thanksgiving, I’ve been piecing a scrappy version of Christmas Figs by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts, published by the Fat Quarter Shop.
Their quilt features the Christmas Figs fabric line by Fig Tree for Moda Fabrics. I had a fat quarter bundle of those fabrics that I’d purchased, and that’s what I used for the first few blocks. But I began to wonder if the blocks would be interesting enough with just those fabrics.
I’ve been working on a new holiday quilt called Christmas Figs. It’s been so much fun!
The folks at Fat Quarter Shop sent me a review copy of the Christmas Figs book, and I could not wait to dive in.
I’m not the least bit Scandinavian, so when cute little creatures called “tomten” started appearing in my Instagram feed last year, I had to Google.
It turns out they’re a little bit like gnomes. From Wikipedia:
A…tomte…is a mythological creature from Nordic folklore…typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season.
Every year it seems like I have time to sew during November, December and January. Other people are busy shopping, cooking and decorating. But my life is the opposite, and that’s kind of a good thing.
Thanksgiving was quiet with just five guests (two bigs and three littles). The meal was easy and the company departed around 3:30. I sewed for four or five hours after that. We ate leftovers and quickie meals the rest of the weekend, so there were many more hours in the studio.
I posted an image of my recent modern Christmas wreath quilt on Instagram, and a follower named Karen saw “urban-industrial style Christmas.” What a great description!
Her thoughts moved me to play around with this design and purposely go for an industrial look. So I moved away from Christmas entirely, to these possibilities.
A little bit different, but it still feels like the same quilt. Sashing is wider and all of the background and the border is one color.
Here I moved to a darker background color. I kind of like this idea. In terms of fabric, I’d use a lot of variety in the Bow Ties. (Ha, they don’t even look like Bow Ties now!)
More playing around. I’m not sure how effective this really is. But you never know until you try, so I don’t rule anything out when I’m experimenting, especially if it’s just in EQ. Even in fabric, play is the name of the game.
Whoa. This happened by accident! The background is the same color as one of the Bow Ties, so that piecing disappears and they look like weird C’s. Now we’re getting somewhere. In reality you wouldn’t actually piece the C’s, you could just use a solid patch in the same fabric as the background. I love this one, and surprisingly, it looks Christmas-y to me once more.
I had one more thought. I changed the gray to another green.
Like I said, you never know until you mess around!
A note about Electric Quilt design software: I resisted upgrading to EQ8 from EQ7 because I thought I didn’t have time to learn a new program. But when I did upgrade, I was blown away by how easy and intuitive it is. I spent almost zero time learning EQ8 because everything felt natural and logical. I love it. If you’re interested in designing quilts, you should get it. Well worth the investment!
Today, I wish you the courage, the curiosity and the commitment to play.
Let’s Talk Quilts! Does your quilt group need a speaker for 2019 or 2020? I’m booking entertaining, energizing, inspiring trunk shows now.
My exceptional longarm quilter said to me recently, “I think everything you do is modern.” I’d commented that I didn’t think of myself as a “modern” quilter, and her response gave me pause. I’ve been (very happily) fielding inquiries from modern quilt guilds, and the truth is that some things I design and make lean toward the modern aesthetic, some are traditional, and some are hard to put into a category.
Today I’m introducing Oh, Christmas Wreath! This design is decidedly modern: solid fabrics, negative space, clean and fresh. Oh, Christmas Wreath appears in the Nov/Dec issue of Quilty, on newsstands now. I hope you’ll grab it when you see it or order it online in paper or digital format.
Around Christmas last year, I started piecing a simple chevron quilt made from triangle-squares. I sewed from my stash and was pretty excited with how it started coming together.
Whenever I finish a quilt, I put the leftover binding into a shoebox in my closet. When I’m ready to bind a scrap quilt, I start by checking in the shoebox. Last weekend I wanted to bind my scrappy green and teal Patchwork Forest quilt, which I’ve named Can’t See the Forest for the Trees.
Merry Christmas! I hope your holiday is full of the love of family and friends. Let me tell you about my little Christmas tree quilt, Twinkling Bright.
It all started with this small block that I call a Baby Windmill. I’m on a mission to design as many interesting quilts as I can with this as the starting point. You can read more here.