McCall’s Design Wall Monday – August 30th

I have been busy finalizing my design for the McCall’s Design Star Challenge # 1.  I have most of the smaller pieces cut out and a few sewn together – but am still undecided about what I will use for the background color in the quilt.  As a reminder – here are the fabrics I am using for the quilt (Mixmasters-Fizz/Kaufman Fabrics by Patrick Lose)

I put up three different colors – Eggplant (Kona Solid), Black Print, Black (Kona Solid).

I decided the Black Print was a little too grey so that one got thrown out. So I added  Midnight (Kona Solid) to the mix. Here is how some of the pieces look against the background fabrics.

Against the Black

Against the Eggplant

Against the Midnight

I am on the fence trying to decide between the Black and the Eggplant. I am going to live with them for today while I finish cutting out the individual parts. I have a few quilts to crank out on the longarm and then I will start sewing the top together tomorrow.

Here is a close-up of my mock-up of the quilt with a “thought for the day” – when I hit a brick wall I read this and then follow its advice.

So, yes, one of my traditional blocks is a four-patch – and as you can see the other involves a little curved piece – but the question remains – what does the other part(s?) of the block look like?  Stop by next Monday for a little more of a reveal of what I am up to. And – mark your calendars – voting for Challenge #1 starts on September 16!

Stop by Judy’s Blog and see what others are up to!

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colorgirl: Heavenly Blue Shibori

I’ve been blogged! Visit Alyn’s blog and see some of my work – but take a look at some of her amazing work – on her blog an on her website www.alyncarlson.com!  Alyn designed my Big Rig Logo which I just love – and hope you do also.  Make sure you also take a look at your flickr page and see the amazing work she does. PS – she was a quilter in a former life!

colorgirl: Heavenly Blue Shibori: “These beautiful samples of shibori dyeing are from John Kubiniec of Big Rig Quilting. A client and friend, John just started his long arm …”

Friday Finish – August 27

I must confess, I finished this quilt (and an identical one to it) several years ago. I made two identical quilts for my sisters Rita and Mary Jane. Growing up (well – while they were growing up) our family raised chickens – by the time I came along the family had ceased raising the birds. So, when I decided to make a quilt for them, I found some great chicken fabric – and I had fun with the coordinating fabrics (chicken wire, corn, etc). I quilted these on my trusty old Kenmore machine with my walking foot. (Before my HQ 16 me and my walking foot were the best of friends when it came to quilting.)

I took these shots hanging on the clothes line (same one our mother used) at the homestead in North Tonawanda, NY. (suburb of Buffalo, NY). Enjoy the quilts as we enjoy the last few days of summer.

Front of the quilt

Close up of the front

Close-up of corner

Close-up of corner

Back of the quilt

close up of back corner

Design Muse Thursday – August 26

Here are some shots from a recent trip to the Green Market at Union Square in New York City. It is an amazing place to find some wonderful food and also wonderful to see some great color combinations.

I love how the dark brown and black makes the yellow pop out.

Just a little variety in the shades of green – but what a difference they make!

Yes, red and yellow tomatoes – but just look at all those shades of yellow and red!

Red – with a little yellow – the combo makes each color look better!

Purple, red, and green – might not have thought about doing this – I do like what the little bit of what in the roots does to the composition.

Some hand dyed wool – nothing else needs to be said…

And finally just some more pretty shots…


One thing I notice – Mother Nature is not subtle about color – she is big, bold and beautiful and in your face! Also – I just realized- my fabric stash looks like the pictures I take!

When it comes to color answer a few questions:

What is your favorite neutral?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite color combination?

What is your least favorite color?

Leave your answers in the comment box below.

McCall’s Design Star Wednesday – August 25

I will post some thoughts every Wednesday about the McCall’s Design Star Challenge.

But first of all – I must give a big THANK YOU SHOUT OUT to Aurifil Threads – they are one of the sponsors of the challenge. I received this pack of thread as a prize for making it into the finals -how did they know these were exactly the shades I need to piece my top for the first challenge?

When I work on a quilt I normally doodle on paper pads, and graph paper – sketching out design ideas.

I later take colored pencils/markers and color in the designs.

For this challenge I started out doodling on graph paper taking it with me as I traveled on bus and subway around New York City and on the bus and train to my church job in New Jersey. I had an initial design of two blocks and then I looked around and came up with a second design with two very different blocks. I then transferred these two basic designs to EQ6 and colored them in various combinations and printed them out – I then carried these around town with me and doodled and revised and then transferred these to EQ6 again. (Yes, I know there is a new version -I will order the new upgrade as soon as I am finished with this one and learn how to use it before the next challenge!!)

Once the quilt is posted for voting I will share with you my doodles and revisions showing how I arrived at the finished quilt top – I know you would like to see that know – but I can’t let you see it yet!

Here are some of the things I have learned and share with you for you to consider when you design a quilt:

Keep tweaking! I thought I had a great design, but it was only after I sketched it out and colored it in, set it aside and came back to it, tweaked it, set it aside, came back to it, and tweaked it yet again – that I eventually came up with several designs that I would be very happy with.

Let them rest – give them some space – let them sit for a day or two – give them and yourself time to breathe and clear your brain.

Come back to them again – and ask friends but don’t ask which one they like – but WHY they like a particular design –  Try to ask questions which let you see what they see.  See if you are conveying what you really want to convey.

This is how I am approaching the design process for the quilt challenge – now for a question for you – How do you go about designing a quilt? Please share some of how you approach creating a design.