Quilt Market Flashback

This past Quilt Market in St. Louis looked like a fun one. I wasn’t able to attend in person but I did have a plethora of quiltings hanging throughout.
Today I want to show you my latest for Timeless Treasures and Dear Stella. Each quilt has a free pattern attached to it.

First up, and probably my favorite, is the Space Station Quilt for Supernova by Rae Ritchie. I love Rae’s design style and it is always a pleasure to work with her prints.

My older son helped me pick the fabric placement for this one. He loves space and one days he wants to be an astronaut/karate kid/hockey player. This quilt gets to live at home with us. HE was absolutely thrilled when “his” design was picked for the collection, and doubly so when he saw the finished quilt. The pattern is available HERE from Dear Stella.

Next is the pattern CHOMP! for the Dark and Stormy Collection I just LOVED the sea theme and immediately thought of sharks popping out of the water. During the process I am pretty sure my family managed to come up with more than a dozen unique shark puns as name suggestions for the pattern.

The shark teeth can be made 3D or pieced. I thought it was clever to use the pirate head print for the teeth. Tee hee! You can find the pattern HERE.

For Timeless Treasures I got to play with a more traditional collection, Zephyr by Alice Kennedy. There are 22 neutral and greyscale hues in 15 unique prints. I loved how they all played together, and the varying levels of contrast meant I could create a lot of depth and texture without adding color.

The first quilt, Halo, is my favorite. I grew up in northern Alberta and at night, with the moon shining brightly, you could often see (what we called) “moon dogs” haloing the moon. The shimmering ice crystals were my inspiration for this quilt. You can find the pattern HERE.

 

I probably overquilted it, but I don’t care! The black spaces were calling to me. I used a deep navy thread for a subtle glow against the black fabric, and to prevent eye strain while I was quilting. I quilted a series of loops, swirls, straight lines, and circles. This quilt gets to live at Timeless headquarters in New York. (Does that mean I get to say I have art hanging in New York? I’m going to say YES!)

The second quilt, Marbled, I wanted to play with simple shapes that make a complex texture. I wanted a tile wall-inspired flow and form to the quilt. Pretty sure I succeeded with that. You can find the pattern HERE.

Next week I will showcase more Market pieces.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

What Shade Are You? Winner Announced!

Today is my turn for the RJR What Shade Are You blog hop! I love participating in blogs hops, it gives me a chance to create something just for me, and have a little fun with all of my wonderful followers (Hint: FABRIC!) This is my second appearance in the blog hop. My first was back in 2015 with my Lanterns quilt Tutorial. It felt like only yesterday, and the ways my life has changed in such a short time, from there to here, is truly amazing. From a new house, to a new baby, to new opportunities within the quilting world, the last 2 years have been busy and scary and WONDERFUL.

RJR makes Cotton Supreme Solids. They are a dream to sew with. The fabric is the perfect weight to mix with anything, and you have 197 rich, delicious hues to choose from.

Now let me introduce my newest creation, Heat Wave!

I LOVE everything about this quilt. The colors, the layout, the quilting, everything. I’m sure somewhere there is a grouchy quilt police officer wagging a finger and chanting “Stacey, you are being prideful. You can’t just TELL PEOPLE you LOVE your own work.” But you know what? The hashtag for RJR is #quiltwithlove . So I just threw this quilt over their head, because I LOVE IT! I want to shout that love from the rooftops!

I picked an analogous gradient of my favorite warm colors and went to town. Each color is a color I love individually, and together they make a perfect sunset inspired palette.

Heat Wave is the perfect example of how a small change can make a huge difference. I had mocked up a different layout for these blocks, something eclectic and busy and kinda neat, but in my near-coma-like sleep deprived state I sewed half the blocks as a mirror image of the first. And I didn’t notice until I started laying the blocks out. After a little head scratching (because I STILL hadn’t noticed what I’d done) I turned the blocks around and VOILA!  Heat Wave was born! I still had to take a picture so I could purposefully do what I just did accidentally (and then FINALLY realized what had happened), but the top came together quickly after that and it couldn’t have turned out better.

The next step was quilting, and I had Heat Wave hanging over the bars of Penny(my Tin Lizzie Apprentice) for almost a week while I pondered. Then I realized it was Wednesday (again, I blame the sleep deprivation). Now I know some blogs are really good at showcasing just a top. Me, not so much. So she needed to be quilted, and quilted now. The funny thing is once I had her loaded on the frame, the quilting just fell into place. I recently returned from a family vacation, where I was able to meet up with a quilting friend. She once told me an anecdote from a famous longarm quilter (don’t ask who, I really can’t remember) and it always stuck with me. The moral of the story is when it comes to thread choice, always take the risk. So I did. I matched the yellow and violet fabrics in my quilt, and then used each color exclusively with the motif. Violet with the straight lines and yellow with the curled meander. The contrasting thread and patterns really worked well to highlight the secondary patterns in the quilt, and reigned in the pre-quilted color chaos.

To top off the perfection of this quilt, I chose to face it instead of binding to keep the colors flowing. Paired with the first really nice sunny day we’ve had in weeks, it felt like magic taking her outside to photograph. Even H wanted his turn with the camera! (We now have a lovely montage of grass growing.)

Now for the fun part (and the reward for reading to the end)! One lucky follower gets to win a bundle of the gorgeous Sunset Palette I curated for my quilt.

To enter, follow me here or on Instagram @staceyinstitches, and leave a single comment telling me 2 things: Where you follow me, and what your favorite color is! Easy peasy! I will draw a winner at 4pm PST Tuesday.

 

Congratulations to number 82, Deborah! I will be in touch soon!

There is also a second giveaway on the RJR Instagram Account. Log on and follow RJR Fabrics instructions to enter.

Happy Stitching!

Fletching- A free Pattern

It’s been a busy time here at Stacey in Stitches, so I thought I would post another free pattern for everyone! Say hello to Fletching!

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Fletching is another quilt pattern from the book that never was. It was one of the first designs for the book, and my goal with it was to create a large, useable quilt that sews up quickly. I think I succeeded in Fletching. The best part is that it has an improv with intent element to the construction, so no two quilts will look the same. The pattern uses large scale simple paper piecing, so it’s perfect for anyone wanting to get their feet wet. I mocked it up in a few different colorways, and they all look spectacular, so you know whatever fabric you choose is going to look great. I used a selection of my favorite warm, rich prints and batiks from my stash to make the fletchings. Joan Nicholson of Maple Leaf Quilters did a bang up job on the quilting. I asked for simple and modern, and the straight lines in a rainbow variegated thread are perfect for this quilt.

The Fletching quilt went on a long flight recently to it’s new home with J, a childhood friend of mine in the UK. He went on a long vacation that ended up as a staycation, and finally has a proper flat in a charming little town full of old churches, hills, and bunny rabbits.  He was my brothers best friend growing up, and we have known each other since I was 7 and he was 5 ( I think, it’s been a LONG time) when they moved onto our street. I have a lot of happy fond memories growing up in that neighborhood.

When J posted a picture of his room on Facebook, touting the fact that he finally had a real bed and pillows again, I realized he needed a quilt. Badly. White pillowcases and a sheet, it was screaming for some color!

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Every so often, a quilt tells me where it wants to live, and in this case Fletching practically jumped out of my trunk and into a mailbox. I knew it would be the perfect quilt for J. The rich, vibrant colors and multidirectional arrows of the quilt seemed to speak to his life, in which he is a performance artist and now a traveller. His life has gone a direction he maybe didn’t plan on, but he is making the most of it. So I went out on the first actually sunny day in what seemed like forever and captured a few pictures (with the help of my little buddy) and promptly sent it away.

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The quilt has been received and it goes great with his flat. I am so happy that Fletching has a forever home with J, where it will be used and appreciated as a quilt should!

You can find the free pattern in my Craftsy shop by CLICKING HERE. 

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

AQS Pattern Series Launch

I am so happy to be writing tonight, because I finally get to tell you all about my new online only pattern series with American Quilter Magazine!

We set this up back in November, when I made the Whirlpool quilt, and I have been working away since then on a 5 quilt series. The patterns are downloadable on the American Quilter website, just click here for a direct link. The pattern series will use a variety of techniques, from applique to paper piecing, and will cover a broad range of skill levels.

 

First in this series is Photobomb.

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Photobomb is one of my favorite designs. Originally for the book that never was, AQS liked it a lot and agreed to use it as the first quilt in the series. It combines traditional lone star construction with raw edge applique and an improv layout. I always thought this quilt would look great resized as a baby quilt in rainbow colors, so I might have to make one and see if I am right!

The quilt was inspired by one of my favorite placed to take photos. The walkways are cement square tiles with inlaid rock mosaics spaced out around the center fountain. The fountain has a beautiful carved sunburst, which always appeal to me and my love of stars.

IMG_4345My good friend Joan at Maple Leaf Quilters did an amazing custom job for me. The white areas are all quilted in a freehand paisley, the black borders have a ribbon candy pattern, and the stars segments are filled with orange peel echos. I just love it!

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The layout possibilities are endless with Photobomb. The background can be plain solid, or pieced with smaller sashes, the stars can be put anywhere you want, borders can be replaced with facings, the list goes on!

I am going to be offering this quilt as a workshop, so if you or your guild is interested, please feel free to contact me. I have a lot of tips and tricks to share and techniques to teach.

As usual, I want to see what you are making! Tag me on Instagram @staceyinstitches, #photobombquilt, send me an email, or upload your quilt to the Stacey Day Quilts group on Flickr.

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

 

It’s Worth WHAT?!?- The Feather Quilt and a retreat

Last weeked I had the immense pleasure of attending one of Krista @poppyprint wonderful Quilting By the Bay retreats. Its a 13 hour day full of sewing, great food, and great friends. I managed to find a sitter for the entire day, so I was off and away bright and early that morning.

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A gorgeous view in beautiful Lions Bay!

 

As usual, I brought waaay to much stuff with me, but I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. My biggest goals for the day were to finish up a longterm project, by BTW challenge quilt for the Pacific NorthWest show, and do my Riley Blake MQG challenge quilt. If I had time, I was going to play with making some Anna Maria Horner feathers, since I love them so much! I was reminded of them from a recent Molli Sparkles post and decided I really wanted to make some at one point in the day.

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A table with a view, amidst my fellow VMQGers!

 

I did manage to get most of my blocks sewn together from the long term project, but got bored waiting for the iron, and decided to put the rows away ( I know, I know, only 5 seams left, it’s just not a priority right now) and star on my BTW challenge quilt. I made up a design using only the Black to White fabrics, in a very effective grayscale. I had purchased a whole bunch of Cotton and Steel Black and White fabrics, and ended up with none of them in the final design for the quilt. By the time I finished sewing up the 256 Half Square Triangles, I was pretty bored of that too. I just wasn’t feeling it (To put some perspective on my strange mood, this was the first time in almost 2 weeks that I actually spent any time on my machine. I was burned out, and feeling it. I made a skirt at some point in there, but it doesn’t really count. Garment sewing is a whole ‘nother creature from quilting).

SDQ Trimmings

Holy Trimmings Batman!

 

I had a big, bright bundle of Hadley by Denyse Schmidt in my bag, and the templates and instructions for the Anna Maria Horner feathers, and I decided to play around with that. Only, as I was digging for the big, colourful bundle, I instead pulled out the Cotton and Steel fabrics that didn’t make it into the first quilt, paired with a lime green C+S basic (Dotties Cousin is the name of the print). It hit me then, that these particular fabrics together would look exactly like seagull feathers! Living on the coast, seagulls are a stable fixture in the environment. At the beach, in the parking lot at the store, or pretty well anywhere there is a chance of free food. Especially along the pier and beach at White Rock, which is a favorite spot for us.

A table full of feathers

A table full of feathers

I worked my way through the pattern, made a couple tweaks, and had enough strips cut from my fat quarters to make 11 feathers. Perfect for the baby quilt size. I had just enough white to make the surrounds, but had to borrow the solid black for the insides because I mistakenly grabbed an old poly-cotton blend that just didn’t work with the other fabrics (Thanks @FelicityQuilts!). I finished sewing the feathers together at home the next morning, added strips to the sides to make the quilt wider, and then backed it in another C+S print. The next day I booked my time on the longarm, and got to it! I chose a pattern of curved/straight lines and bubbles. I believe its is called Effervescent? Either way, it’s from the book Step-By-Step Free Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli.

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Feathers (Unofficially called Squack!)

 

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Quilting detail! This is one of my new favorite background fills

I color bombed the binding, and then hand sewed the whole thing, label and sleeve notwithstanding. I love my Feather quilt so much, I decided to completely forgo the original design and use this in place as my BTW entry. As I was filling out the entry form, I got to the section that asks if you want to sell your quilt. I decided to use the Molli Sparkles spreadsheet to see just how much, exactly, this quilt was worth.

Feathers Cost Sheet

HOLY CRAP! ITS WORTH WHAT!!!!

Let me clarify a couple points in this spreadsheet. I am an award winning quilter, an author, teacher and lecturer. I have more than 15 years of experience quilting. $33/hour is reasonable for a skilled and experienced artist. Quilting cotton in Canada is expensive, with solids starting around $10/yard and designer prints upwards of 17.99/meter, and Cotton and Steel in particular is at the upper end of the scale. The shop I purchased them from charges 16.99/yard, and I only charged for the actual amount of fabric used. The longarm rental is a flat rate of $60/day. There technically would have been the cost of babysitting and the retreat in there, since thats where I was sewing, but I didn’t include it. Then there is the 23% that the PNW takes as commission for selling your quilt (12.5% for two NFP entities) so that 30% markup is really only 7% for myself. Not much, considering most businesses mark up their products 50% or more ( I worked at a shoe store once, and made the mistake of checking the invoice. Our cost, $5.00, our retail price, $89.99, that’s an 1800% markup!) And Canada Post is mega expensive, even with my discount card, and that cost is a low estimate based on what it usually costs me to package and send off quilts to the lower US.

I never would have put this quilt at almost $900, but there it is! Personally, when I make a quilt for myself and as gifts, I don’t take cost into account. Especially with gifts, because friendship is priceless. But if you go and read through the We are Sew Worth It series from Hunter Studios, Molli Sparkles, and Sew Mama, Sew, it starts to make sense. When someone seeks out out to request a quilt, you are spending a lot of time, energy and money to make said quilt. Our time and skill has worth!

StaceyDay_Logo

Work Work Work!

Seems that all I have been doing lately, and not a whole lot that I can share at the moment.

One of the things I CAN share is the Rainbow Confetti Quilt!!

This pretty lap quilt is in the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited. I made it using Color Theory by V and CO for Moda. I love everything V and Co does! The block is one of my favorite asymmetrical blocks. You can really make things pop when you start playing with rotation and layouts.

Rainbow Confetti

Rainbow Confetti

 

I used the Ombre in Navy for the backing and the binding. Oh man, the Ombre!!

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March 1st saw me frantically sewing February bee blocks for the Great Canadian Stash Busting Bee. Since I was making Feb block, I figure I might as well sew the March blocks too! I also finished the March block for the I Love Lucy International Bee (but forgot to take a finished picture, yikes!).

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I also finished this quilt for Windhams new collection, Forest Parade by Petit Collage. It’s printed on organic cotton and is so super cute! The free pattern will be available soon ( I will have a link on my Free Patterns page)

Forest Clearings featuring the Forest Parade Collection by Petit Collage

Forest Clearings featuring the Forest Parade Collection by Petit Collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also have a bevy of patterns out with P&B Textiles. They have some great blenders (I love Dash and Color Weave) and some really pretty prints. You can find links to the patterns again on my patterns page.

I picked up this cute little Lotta Jansdotter paper doll at the Windham booth at Quiltcon (and got to meet Lotta in person! EEE!). L’il LJ has been helping out in my sewing room, coming on photo shoots, and organizing my thread by color ( to match her outfits apparently). She also gave me a hand with some of the secret sewing I have been doing!

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I have some great fun stuff coming up in the next couple months. I am really really excited about it and cannot wait to share it with you!!!

Enjoy your springtime, and Happy Stitching!

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Stacey

Book Review: The Modern Applique Workbook

The next in a series of book reviews! yay!

I ran out and bought myself a copy of The Modern Applique Workbook by Jenifer Dick as soon as I heard it was available. I tend to stalk the publishing websites for things I might be interested in, and this one was at the top of my list. I am the type of person who prefers hard copy books to digital (hurrah for full color pictures!) and I have to say that this is one of my favorites.

The Modern Applique Workbook

The Modern Applique Workbook

As most you know, I have been having a love affair with applique. My first quilts were applique, and it is a skill I am always pulling out in the course of my quilt making. I always seem to find myself using raw edge techniques, which are fine, but I have always wanted to brush up on my turned applique. There are some projects that a good crisp turned block would be much better than raw edge. Even the stitch and flip interfacing technique just doesn’t have the same look. Jenifer explains step by step her techniques for perfecting the turned edge applique and securing the pieces with the invisible zig zag method.  A big reason I was drawn to the book was Jenifers introduction. Her journey into modern applique is very relatable, we have all had one of those ah-ha moments when a technique just works and becomes more than you ever thought it would.

 

So what is modern applique? Jenifer lays it all out for you in an easy to understand, straightforward manner. From tools to fabric selections (she includes batiks! AWESOME!), Jenifer is able to create a modern aesthetic while maintaining a balance with the traditional roots of the technique. Her instructions are easy to follow and the diagrams and pictures are clean and concise. She even includes a well rounded section about fabric prep-whether you pre wash or not, it has useful tips and tricks for fabric prep. The first 60 pages are so are all instructional and specific to the technique, which is fantastic because as far as I can tell it covers everything you could possibly need to know about Modern Applique.

 

The technique itself isn’t anything new, applique has been around for a very long time, but the process is broken down in an easy to follow, detailed step-by-step way that makes this book beginner friendly. I have other books outlining a similar process, but it seemed so daunting I never even tried. Jenifer’s writing style practically drags you by the arm and shoves you into a chair with the supplies, and holds your hand through each step, after which you look and say “Oh my gosh WHY did I not try this before?!” she comes across as upbeat and friendly, very easy to read! from sharp points to concave curves and ovals, you get everything you need to make the quilts in the book, including a well rounded and easy to understand section on reverse applique. Her bias tape and straight grain tape techniques are to die for as well. This is one I am adopting into my repertoire of techniques immediately!

OKay, onto the projects!

The Modern Applique Workbook includes a variety of projects in different sizes for you to try out your newly learned skills. Each project has a forward that includes tips on fabric choices and a list of the techniques used, as well as the page references for each, making going back to look stuff up super easy. The photography is wonderful, you get a full shot and a detail shot of each quilt, as well as specific quilting and binding tips and instructions for each quilt. That has to be one of my favorite details in the book, that each quilt is explained individually from start to finish, instead of the cookie cutter “Basic quilt making and finishing” chapters in most books. Don’t get me wrong, they are useful and probably industry standard, but the individualized attention to each quilt really makes THe Modern Applique Workbook stand out.

The written instructions are detailed, yet flexible, which I like but others may find daunting, because there are no traditional layout diagrams. Any piecing is illustrated, but the applique itself is visually placed. That is the nature of applique, you are usually going off a photo, but because the pieces nest together so well you don’t have to worry about lining up overlaps exactly or ruining your project. It definitely add a planned improv feel to your projects, but almost guarantees that no two projects will look the same.

My favorite quilt is the cover quilt, Star Bright. Such a fun retro shape with a ton of flexibility in fabric choice and layout! I can think of a few fabric pulls for this quilt, the hardest part will be narrowing it down.

The Modern Applique Workbook

The Modern Applique Workbook

I am also really drawn to Mod. Again, a fun retro vibe without feeling like your wading through the shag carpet in your grandparents living room. The quilting in each is spectacular, both done by Angela Walters.

Mod

Mod

Fall is adorable and its a good thing everyone I know is having babies. FYI, you all get this quilt!

Fall

Fall

For beginners, Birds is a easy one to start with. Cute and fun, would also make a great gift!

Birds

Birds

 

Overall I would recommend The Modern Applique Workbook to anyone. Beginners will love the step by step, detailed instructions, and experienced quilters will love making the more complex shapes and adopting Jenifers techniques for applique.

 

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Stacey