Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sunflower Sparkle

We're paws-ing (get it? ha ha...) our Cat-I-Tude focus for this week to share another quilt made by Ann, using her Here Comes the sun fabric. Starring Sunflowers is featured in the January/February 2018 issue of Love of Quilting magazine, and is also featured in the PBS Love of Quilting TV Series 3100 (check your local PBS station for listings).

"Starring Sunflowers" designed and quilted by Ann Lauer; pieced by Lou Thompson;
featured in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting January/February 2018 issue.

 Ann walked us through her quilt design: 

Tell us about the pieced quilt center.
One of the things that makes this quilt interesting is the way four blocks come together and look like a larger block. You can’t tell what the block unit is at first glance. It’s all done with combinations of simple units—half-square triangles and triangles. It makes an involved-looking block.

The border treatment in this quilt is so interesting!
It’s not a typical border treatment, is it? Nine-patch units on point and setting triangles create a border that flows from the cream quilt center background to the teal dappled texture print. Strips of those two prints around the nine-patches provide breathing space as well. The nine-patches create a delicate look—the edges almost disappear into the next border. 
  


Why did you choose to use sunflower fabric only in the outer border?
The coordinate prints used in the quilt center have so much movement and interest, and I wanted to focus on them. Sunflowers, and splotches of partial sunflowers cut up to fit in the design, would interrupt the design. I thought these coordinates were pretty and worked well together.

And the final touch, the outer sunflower stripe border?
All the beauty in a stripe like that really shines in a wide border. I designed this print so you can cut four stripes of border across the width of the fabric. These sunflowers are actually prettier than those you’d see in nature, thanks to some artistic license. This border gives the sunflowers an opportunity to sparkle.

What do you like best about the quilt?
I like the combination of three things: the center piecing that looks involved but isn’t, paired with the delicate nine-patch border, and then the sunflowers adding weight along the outside edge.

What about fans of purple?
I also mocked up this quilt using the purple colorway! You can see it below, and I have a kit available for it on my website. 


Click here to read more about Ann's Here Comes the Sun collection.
Click here to purchase the pattern and here to purchase the kit. 
Click here to purchase the kit from Ann in either the purple or teal colorway.
Click here to find Love of Quilting magazine. 


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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Technique Tuesday: Piecing a Perfect Bargello


Hi! Ann Lauer here for a Technique Tuesday post using my new Cat-I-Tude fabric collection. 

I love to make bargello quilts. They have so much movement in the design, and on top of that, they're fun to piece. Today I'm going to show you the technique I use to assemble this type of quilt. It make assembly easier and more accurate. 

"Dinner in Style" bargello placemat pattern

When I make bargello quilts, I like to use Creative Grid Flannel in my quilt sandwich. This 2" cotton grid fabric has “surface tension” built in to keep your pre-cut fabric pieces in place when doing your quilt layouts. In our case, we'll be layering batting over it, and it will hold the batting in place. The grid lines help to ensure that the strips are laid straight and that the stitch lines are straight as well. 


Here's how I do it, using my Dinner in Style placemat set pattern as an example: 

Step 1: Choose your backing fabric. I chose Aristocats on black. This is a nice backing fabric because the placemats can even be turned over with this fun fabric on the back.  



Step 2: Position the backing fabric right side down, Creative Grid Flannel wrong side up and the batting on top. I prefer to use a thin batting such as Hobbs Thermore, which is bonded on both sides so it's easy to sew on. I like the combined weight of flannel and the thin Hobbs Thermore batting in table top projects. Note: The lines on the flannel are dark and you don’t want them to show through the lightest fabric that you are using. Therefore, I layer it wrong side up and place it under the batting.  You can see the lines through the batting well enough to keep the segments straight as you sew.  There are other grid products available and if you use one that isn’t printed too darkly, you may want to layer it on top of the batting.

Notice how you can see the lines showing through batting when you layer the batting piece on top of the Creative Grid Flannel.


Step 3: Following your quilt pattern, cut your fabric strips and sew into a tube. Press all your seams in one direction. 


Step 4: Use the grid to lay the first segment along a left hand vertical line and the top of the segment along a top horizontal line.  Follow the instructions and as you stitch each segment, open it up and check to be sure that the cut edge is staying parallel to a vertical grid line and that the seams within the segments are staying parallel with the horizontal grid lines.  Directions are included in my pattern on how to correct any areas that begin to bow.  By using this technique, all of the stitching will be straight and the bargello will be stabilized which will make it easy to fuse the cats onto the placemats.  




Step 5: Here's a view of the first five segments laid on the backing/grid/batting sandwich. These strips are tubes that have been opened on the designated seam so they lay flat. 




Step 6: When all the strips have been stitched in place, you will have made one large quilt-as-you-go section that you will cut into fourths to yield four placemats. Each placemat will be somewhat different, but they all go together beautifully.

Here is what the finished and bound placemats look like, complete with fussy-cut cat appliques: 



Click here to see Ann's entire Cat-I-Tude fabric collection.
Missed our original post with Ann's interview about Cat-I-Tude? Click here to find it. 
Click here to find the Dinner in Style kit and pattern.
Click here to find Creative Grid Flannel. 

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Meow! Cat-I-Tude is Here!

You don't have to be a cat lover to fall in love with Ann Lauer's Cat-I-Tude fabrics! 
(Although we're sure anyone with a feline friend is already smitten!)

Cat-I-Tude debuted at Fall Quilt Market, and the fabric is now available in shops. 

Ann's cats aren't cute fuzzy little furballs--they're sophisticated porcelain-looking cats with elegance and style, created in a vibrant palette of jewel-toned purples, aquas pinks and greens that pop against both black and white backgrounds! 

If cats aren't for you, the line also includes a paisley, heart prints, and a variety of machine quilting inspired blenders. Wonderfully rich colors with gorgeous shaded depth in the designs! 


We asked Ann to tell us about the Cat-I-Tude collection: 



Why did you choose cats as a theme for a fabric collection?
They’re such a beautiful and recognizable shape. I’ve never had a cat, but I do like their shape and movement. They’re so artistic and fluid.




You “decorated” these cats—no fur!
Yes! I think of these cats as being hand-painted porcelain. I didn’t want them to look cutesy or cartoony. The swirls and paisleys you see on them (and in other prints in the collection) are similar to long arm quilting designs.



Tell us about the panel.
I’m really excited about how this panel turned out. Each of the cats is a nice size, and they’re surrounded by a 1” feather border. If you cut ¼” outside of that, you have a 10” square block. With no frame, the cat will fit in an 8” square block. It’s designed to be used in a variety of sizes. The paisley print is on the top and bottom of the border. If you add strips of the paisley print to the sides, you’ll have an instant quilt. The panel comes on both black and white backgrounds.




What do you think really sets this fabric line apart?
The shading creates a luminescent look, laced with just the right touch of metallic gold. Everything—the hearts, the cats, the beads—is shaded to create depth. I also love how the jewel tones look with the gold on the cats—it just enhances that porcelain feeling.

Can you share some of your favorite prints?
The cat print features the same cats from the panel, made smaller. They have all the detail of the larger cats. Several of my patterns have them cut out and used as applique.



The hearts are a machine quilting motif. They come with and without cats. I love the cats climbing over the hearts!





The tonals: Feather Frolic is in beautiful teal, red, and purple—the darkest coordinate values—and again, a machine quilting motif. The medium value is the Triangular Motion print, and the lights are the Beaded Swirl print, which also comes in a multi-color version.






The all-over Paisley Style matches the panel. It has plenty of swoops and swirls, and a lot of shaded depth.  



psst! There's a coordinate Cat-I-Tude embroidery collection, too! Click here to see it.

Click here to see Ann's entire Cat-I-Tude collection. 
Click here for a look at the patterns Ann has designed using Cat-I-Tude. 
(We'll be taking you on a virtual trunk show later this week!)


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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Win a FQ bundle of Pansy Noir!


American Patchwork & Quilting magazine is turning 25 and we’re helping them celebrate by giving away a fun quilting prize – 
A FQ bundle of Kanvas Studios “Pansy Noir” fabric! 
Today only! 



Enter for our prize here
. Check back through the end of the month for a new prize each day. Open to US residents Only! 
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Friday, February 16, 2018

Modern Marks: Charming Chains

The Modern Marks collection by Christa Watson makes a magazine appearance again (click here to see our previous post), with a bright and cheery breath of fresh air--spring really is around the corner!
Nancy Scott designed the cover quilt for Quilter's World Quilts You Can Make in a Day issue, and it's a beauty! Keep reading to learn more about her quilt. 

Charming Chains by Nancy Scott;
featured in Quilter's World Quilts You Can Make in a Day


What attracted you to Christa’s Modern Marks collection?
I had met her at a conference before she started designing fabric and we became friends, encouraging each other in our quilting work. When she began designing Modern Marks, she invited quilting friends to consider using the fabric in projects. I had magazine submissions due, and I loved the bright fresh look of the fabrics.


What’s something we may not know about the quilt design just from looking at it?
It’s made using precuts—both 5” squares and 2-1/2” strips. That  makes it easy for fabric shopping—just grab and go—and also speeds up the process of making the quilt.


Tell us about the design.
I’ve always gravitated toward chain designs that give movement so the eyes flit across the quilt. To make this quilt more manageable and workable with precuts, I decided to use a smaller block where the chain doesn’t travel all the way through. I think the chain looks like little Xs. The quilt has a whole has a nine-patch look.
I used a white tonal for the background, so the colors pop.
 
Photo credit: Annie's Publishing
How did you decide on color placement?
I pretty much used the grab bag approach as long as I wasn’t putting two pieces of the same color next to each other. Each block is made up of four smaller units, so I tried to grab prints that I hadn’t already used within the block.

Tell us about the machine quilting.
It’s an edge to edge pattern called Tread from Tammy Finkler Oberlin. It creates a really nice overall texture for the quilt.


What do you like best about the quilt?
Definitely the vibrancy of color. It’s not neon coming at you, but it has so much saturation. The colors are so rich and deep.

Click here to see the entire Modern Marks collection by Christa Watson.
Click here to visit Nancy's blog. 
Click here to find the magazine issue on the Annie's Publishing website.
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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Love Bunny

Our love theme continues with Kanvas' Love Bunny collection! Soft pastel bunnies, tulips and decorated eggs, this collection is perfect for springy Easter-themed projects (easter baskets and dresses!) and baby quilts or bedding. 
So sweet! 


"Hugs and Kisses" free quilt pattern designed by Benartex Studio.
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

"Breath of Fresh Hare" free quilt pattern designed by Benartex Studio
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.


Click here to see the entire Love Bunny collection.
Click here to see the free quilt patterns.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fall in Love with I Thee Wed

It's Valentine's Day...a day to celebrate love! 
The I Thee Wed collection from Kanvas is full of romance and sparkle--silver and white prints with a touch of glitter. The prints feature flowers, vines, lace, champagne, and more...everything you need for a celebration of love. Use these prints to make a runner, placemats and napkins for a festive evening, gift bags, or a banner commemorating an anniversary date.


Click here to see the entire I Thee Wed collection. 

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