Decisions, Decisions, Decisions……

Well the boxes are all packed – I hope I can find everything on the other end.

The movers arrive tomorrow to pick-up everything and then many decisions need to be made.  I have a great open space that I am going to turn into my sewing/quilting studio.

But there are a lot of choices that I need to make

  • Where to I put the longarm
  • What wall would be best for all of my storage cabinets
  • What kind of a cutting table should I build (BIG I HOPE!)
  • Where does the design wall go
  • Do I have my computer and “office” in the same place as my sewing area
  • What kind of lighting do I put in  (the lighting needs to be seriously upgraded in the site)
  • But the first bit question is – what color should I paint the studio. Right now it is a nice creamy darkish tan – it make the room fee cozy, but not great for working with fabrics and seeing colors.
First of all – it is in the basement (the basement has been nicknamed the “QC” (Quilting Cave)
But the room is nice and big and there is some natural light
So the big question of the day is – what color????
  • pure white
  • a shade of grey – if grey what shade
  • a light beige
  • a light taupe
So – if you could pick any color – what color would you choose and why?

Hello – Rochester, NY!

Today I had a great time at Patricias’ Fabric House in East Rochester, NY.  This is one of the locations in which I will be teaching.  Twice a year the store sponsors a quilt show that allows area quilters to display what they have made, and…… there are great deals in the store! (YES SALE PRICES!!!)

Catherine “Kitty” Keller has been running the store for the past 36 years. I was able to set up a little corner to show some of my quilts and to advertise the various classes I will be teaching there this fall.  Here I am with Kitty in front of my display at the show.

They take over the hallways in a neighboring office area in the complex where the store is located and hang the quilts.  It is a great use of the space and a great way to show off the quilts and have it near the store.

The store has a wide selection of fabrics and has plenty of samples hanging to give everyone idea. And the staff is top notch!

I look forward to teaching there this fall – and I hope to see some of you in my classes!  CLICK HERE and then click on the classes tab on the left to check out the classes that the store offers.

Modern Fabrics – Modern Design

There has been a great wealth of new fabrics on the market.  Many of these feature big bold patterns, clean lines, simple style.  They are beautiful, but at the same time present a challenge if we try to use these fabrics in traditional quilt patterns.  Patterns that create 12 inch blocks made up of 3″ or 4″ units do not find these fabrics as “user friendly”.

In designing patterns that feature these fabrics I have had to look for a new way to think using them in a quilt. I would like to share with you how I work with these fabrics.

I designed the quilt Modern View for McCall’s Magazine January/February 2013  issue. The quilt features the Bella line by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics.

What I try to do in my designs is to let the fabric shine.  Looking at the line, the fabrics that featured the tree and featured the white flowers on a blue or grey background stood out and I wanted to showcase these fabrics.

The challenge was that the tree image measures in at around 10 inches, so this dictated the size of a block in the design.  I needed a block that was no smaller than 10 inches so that I could feature the tree and people could actually see it.  If the block had been smaller, say 5 inches, I might end up with only a piece of white fabric, or just a little section of a branch.  So, I  started off by deciding that I needed a 10 inch block for this particular fabric, and then went onto design a grid based pattern that featured smaller blocks in which I could feature the smaller sized prints of the line.

Another aspect of this design is the use of white fabric to give space between the fabrics so that they can shine on their own.

I also recently designed a quilt Whole Lotta Love that uses Lotta Jansdotter’s Glimma fabric line for Windham Fabrics that is featured in the current August/September 2013 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. McCall’s is also offering a kit that features these fabrics in case you would like to make this quilt. CLICK HERE to find out about the kit.

Again, I picked two fabrics that worked well together and decided the optimal size that needed to feature these fabrics in a block.  The line also featured a directional fabric that I wanted to incorporate in some way. I had been wanting to create a quilt that used directional/stripped fabric to create a gird pattern – this fabric line lent itself to using the blue and white print to help connect the blocks.

Again, I have used white fabric to show off the individual fabrics and also to create larger areas of negative space that would lend itself to a quilting design.

So if you are wanting to design a quilt with some of the new fabric designs on the market here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Upsize your blocks – take a look at the focus fabric (largest print) and measure the size of the largest print and see what size of a block you would need to let the pattern come through.
  • Once you determine the size of the block needed decide if you want to go with a more contemporary gird design like I have shown or if you would like to try and use it in more traditional block design.
    • If you want a contemporary design, get out some paper and play around with different sizes of squares and rectangles and separate them with a neutral background fabric
    • If you want to use a more traditional block, you will need to upsize the block. Here is an example – We most likely would make this bock to finish at 12″ this block measures 20″ finished, the center block (the teal flowers) measures 10″ finished.

So, venture forward and explore these fabrics!

Big Rig is Hitting the Road!

Eighteen years ago I moved to New York City for a job.  I came here thinking that I would give it a try,  if I didn’t care for the job I at least would live in NYC for a year and have time to explore all that it had to offer, at the very most I might stay three years.   Well, little did I expect that eighteen years later I would still be living here.  It has been a great eighteen years and NYC has been great to me, but it’s time to move on.

As quilting has become more and more a part of my life and how I make my living I needed more room to work.  Working out of my 600 square foot apartment just wasn’t working any more.   My living room became my studio. And alas the rents in NYC are far from affordable so that I couldn’t afford a separate studio space or a larger apartment – so it was time to make a move.   My partner and I talked things over about where to move and we settled on Rochester, NY. I had lived there for a number of years and my family lives in nearby Buffalo.  Ray (a professional harpist) had some friends who also lived there and also had some good professional contacts.

Right now this is my home…..

And soon it will be looking like this…..

Presently this is the view from my kitchen window…..

Soon it will be like this……

These are some other shots of my neighborhood in NYC…..

And another shot of the backyard in Rochester.

Yes –   some big changes,  and one of the ones that I am looking forward to is a new studio space.

This is where I presently work …… (my former living room)  NOTE:  The couch that is in the left corner of the picture found a new home shortly after that picture was taken – it was replaced with a cutting table.

This is my new studio space, the finished basement of the new house. It has been nicknamed “The Quilting Cave”  The new studio space is almost the size (if not a bit bigger) than my present apartment. Here is the main room where I will put my longarm machine, cutting table, design wall and sewing

This area will become my office area where I will have my computer.

I look forward to settling into the new studio space.  I also look forward to teaching at some great quilt stores in Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region of NY State – stay tuned for profiles on my new teaching locations!
Rochester here I come!!!!!!