A Few Internet Ideas

A good while back I listed what I thought were some helpful hints for quilters, but there were too many to fit into a post of the length I like.  So, here are a few more, these related to the internet:

Colors:  If you want some new ideas about colors and palates, subscribe to Design Seeds (Design-Seeds.com) to get free palates delivered to your mailbox every day.  It’s a great inspiration!  Here’s an example of the type of thing they send every day:

street hues

Keep track of internet ideas:  I use Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) to keep track of things I find on the internet, from quilts I want to see again to inspiration and color trends. If you like, you can go to my page (http://www.pinterest.com/mjp28723) and get an idea of how it works by browsing my boards.  Here’s a picture of the front page of one of my boards:

Quilt Ideas

Quilt Ideas / by Mary Puckett

56 Pins

Search colors:  Use Pinterest to keep up with color trends.  By putting “Pantone colors 2014” in the search box, you will get an array of palates predicted to be popular in the next season. The Pantone company provides color standards for the advertising industry but also is at the forefront of color predictions.  You can also Google “Pantone color of the year” and similar phrases to get interesting results.  Here’s a pin of the pantone color of the year 2014, just from putting the words in the Pinterest search box:

PANTONE Color of the Year 2014 - Radiant Orchid decor

PANTONE Color of the Year 2014 – Radiant Orchid decor

So, go have fun on the internet!

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Fairyland to Vermont

I’ve just submitted my improvisational quilt “In Fairyland” to the Vermont Quilt Festival, and of course I’m hoping it gets in!

improvisationally pieced quilt

In Fairyland

I made the blocks at the top just for fun when I got an EQ add-on called “Town & Country Patchwork” by Cori Derksen & Myra Harder (who have generously agreed to my use of their designs in this quilt for the show).  The blocks are paper pieced and I made them in fantasy colors because those were the scraps I had on the day I decided to make them. Then the blocks sat around for quite a while 😉  Sound familiar?

Eventually I decided I needed to use up some of my MANY scraps.  At least the scraps are cut into strips of standard widths, so when I get a notion to use them, they’re ready to go.  So I just made rows of scraps, putting the sky-type ones at the top.  Below the houses, I arranged the thinner rows in the “distance”.  Finally, I found one of the flower fairies and put her in near the bottom.improv pieced quilt

My friend Joyce quilted the whole thing on her long arm, using a pattern of leaves at my request.quilting on improv quilt

I’m happy to say I’ll be going to the Vermont Quilt Festival this year–something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  I’m hopeful that “In Fairyland” will be included so I can view my own quilt there!  Anybody else going?

Quilt Labels the Easy Way

I have made my quilt labels a variety of ways and generally have felt that the result looked amateurish.  However, I’ve now developed a method that I like, so here’s how.

Binding-7

First, I compose my labels in my word processing program and print them onto those fabric sheets prepared for a computer printer.  These sheets are fairly expensive, so I wait until I have enough to fill a page.  Gives me an excuse to procrastinate on labeling my quilts 😉

I like to frame each label with leftover binding from the quilt because I like the way it looks. That printer-ready fabric is very stiff, so the border makes the whole thing easier to sew to the quilt back.

There’s almost always enough left-over binding to frame the label. ironing quilt binding I start by ironing the binding open (yes, after having worked earlier to get it ironed into a nice fold).  I then sew it to all 4 sides of the trimmed label with a 1/4 inch seam.  I sew the binding to opposite sides of the label the press it out, away from the label.  I then sew to the two remaining sides and press them out.

Note that it’s easiest to sew to the two (opposite) longer sides first, then to the two shorter sides, which are now longer because the border has extended them.quilt label

After framing the label with the binding, I attach it as I would have done without the frame. That is, I turn under 1/4 inch on each side of the frame and sew the label to the back of the quilt by hand.  I think having the label framed with the same fabric used to bind the quilt gives it a nice finishing touch.Binding-7

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Confetti!

I’m very excited to be making a quilt for the Summer 2014 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited.  (Hint:  If you go right over there and subscribe you’ll get not only the issue with my quilt, but the spring issue with a quilt by my friend Ann over at SewMessy.)

fabric stack

Beautiful Fabric from Michael Miller Fabrics

I’ll blog about that project when it’s published this summer, but for now I’ve made a confetti block from the scraps.

The Michael Miller Fabric Company (one of my favs) kindly supplied the fabric for this quilt from their Cotton Couture solids, plus a wonderful print called “Tara’s Fireworks“.

The quilt top is made, and I’m quilting it, BUT LOOK AT THIS:

scraps

Scraps! Lovely scraps!

All those beautiful colors in little bitty pieces just FORCED me to make an improvisational block representing confetti!

I just grabbed those scraps and started joining them any old way, putting in lots of white so the pieces of confetti would stand out.  When the edges came out wonky, I trimmed.  Usually I then sewed the trimmed section onto the next piece!  Some of those bits were TINY:

improv quilt block

The pin is for perspective on these tiny pieces

Eventually some bigger sections emerged.improv quilt blocks

And finally, I had a piece just a bit larger than 12-1/2 x 12-1/2, which I’ll eventually trim to make a block.

I can just hear someone saying, “so what is this block FOR?”  Well, it’s FOR FUN!  OK, I do have a plan for this block, but that’s a secret for now 😉  Meanwhile, that was great fun, so if you haven’t tried improvisational piecing yet, just go for it!