Utility-Style Quilts For Everyday Living Blog Tour

Art Gallery Fabrics, Aurifil Artisans, Blog Tour, QBR Series, Uncategorized
Book Blog tour banner

Photo by Sharon Holland

Happy Friday, Friends & Visitors!  For those of you who are new here, my name is Karen aka Lady K.  Today is my turn on Sharon Holland’s book blog tour and I couldn’t be more excited!  Sharon and I have been Instagram friends for a couple of years now, and we finally met in person at this past fall’s Quilt Market in Houston.  Though we were meeting for the first time IRL (in real life), we already felt like old friends and hugged each other as if we were long lost friends.  Sharon is sweet, intelligent, adorable, a prolific fabric designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, and now a published book author.  She’s not new to the world of publishing, having been the Assistant Editor for Quilt-It…Today & Sew It…Today magazines when it was still in circulation a few years ago.  This time though, she is at the helm of things and the results are nothing short of exquisite.  Utility-Style Quilts For Everyday Living is one of the best quilt books to land in my hands in a very long time.   It’s a beautiful book full of quilt patterns for the novice and advanced quilter alike.  The designs are both unique and familiar, and although a majority of the patterns make up a generous sized quilt, the patterns can be easily adjusted to shrink or enlarge the designs to suit all needs.

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I had a very difficult time deciding which pattern to choose, and after narrowing it down to two, I finally chose the “Night & Day” quilt pattern.  It’s a clever play on a classic Log Cabin quilt, and having never made an entire log cabin block quilt, I was excited to get started.  Sharon’s original pattern design makes an 87″ square quilt, but I was going to be quilting this myself and my shoulders and back can only handle up to a certain size on my Janome Skyline S5.  I looked at the quilt layout on page 41 of the book and decided to make 25 of the 49 blocks to make a 62.5″ square quilt instead.  Although that’s still a bit large for me when maneuvering a quilt on a home machine for quilting, it really is a great size and still allows for the unique and modern layout that Sharon designed.

Next up was fabric selection.  I pulled all the Art Gallery Fabric that I own from my stash and proceeded in putting low and mid volume fabrics for backgrounds in one pile, and bright medium and dark fabrics into another pile.  I wanted each block to showcase one bright med-dark fabric, but I was going to use a limited variety of low-mid volume background fabrics to limit the scrappy look.  Following Sharon’s direction, I paired my fabrics and once I had my final combination, I started cutting out the pieces for each block.

This was such a fun quilt to make, and following Sharon’s pattern was so easy.  Each block came together fairly quickly and I love how the repetition was comforting but made different with each block because of the fabrics I chose.  20171122_164429808_iOSOnce I was done making all twenty-five blocks for my particular quilt, I then placed all of them up on my design wall and played with layout possibilities.  I decided to keep the background fabrics the main decision maker in this task, making sure to start with the lightest background fabrics in the top left corner of the quilt and then gradating down towards the bottom right corner, going from mid to darker low volume choices.  This allowed the bright fabrics to really make a bold statement and stand out more, creating Sharon’s obvious log cabin design that is still a bit different from the traditional layout we have all become so familiar with.  The result is beautiful, fun, and allows for your eye to rest comfortably instead of moving from spot to spot looking for a pattern.

IMG_1014A quilter I am not, but I’m also not afraid to quilt up a quilt myself on my home machine.  I was on Pinterest last week, looking for quilting inspiration for my quilt, when I came across vintage quilting designs that were quilted within each block and not all over.  I thought that would be a nice way to quilt this particular quilt, allowing me to focus on one block at a time and not worrying about getting from one edge of the quilt to the other at once.  This did make for a lot of starting and stopping and thread locking, but it was made more interesting because I used a variety of thread colors across the quilt.  I used my beloved Aurifil Thread in 50 weight, and the following colors: in the bobbin 2245 Red Orange, and on top 2021 Natural White, 6729 Tangerine Dream, 2312 Ermine. 2135 Yellow, 2835 Medium Mint, and 2325 Linen.  The result is a fun variety of thread colors both complimenting and contrasting with the different fabrics, but completely blending in on the back.

IMG_0966Hubby and I took the quilt  on a little field trip to nearby Everett, WA this week in hopes that I could get some good full-quilt photos.  His idea of an overlook spot didn’t disappoint and the weather was glorious too.  I have one of the best quilt holders in the world at my fingertips and I know how lucky I am.  He’s patient, takes direction perfectly, and makes it fun every time.

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Win Book with border(Photo by Sharon Holland)

I hope you’re inspired to get a copy of Sharon Holland’s new book for yourself!  If you’re feeling lucky, feel free to leave a comment by next Friday, December 15th at midnight Pacific, telling me what your favorite thread color is to quilt with, and I’ll pick a winner to receive a of Sharon’s book, Utility-Style Quilts For Everyday Living.  I’ll select a winner at random on Saturday, December 16th (US RESIDENTS ONLY) and Landauer Publishing will send you your winning copy.  IMG_0863

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you’ll continue to follow along and visit the other makers on this fun celebration of an exceptional quilt book.  Next up is Kori Turner-Goodhart of Olive Grace Studios tomorrow, Saturday December 9.  Below you’ll find the list of talented makers and their links and dates.

Monday 12/4  Heidi Staples – Fabric Mutt
Tuesday 12/5  Amy Friend – During Quiet Time
Wednesday 12/6  Maureen Cracknell – Maureen Cracknell Handmade
Thursday 12/7  Amber Johnson – Gigi’s Gigi’s Thimble
Friday 12/8  ME! – Lady K Quilts Designs
Saturday 12/9  Kori Turner-Goodhart – Olive Grace Studios
Sunday 12/10  Silvia Sutters – A Stranger View
Monday 12/11  Sarah Maxwell – Designs by Sarah J
Tuesday 12/12  Jessica Swift – Jessica Swift
Wednesday 12/13  Lisa Ruble – Love to Color My World
Thursday 12/14  Cindy Wiens – Live a Colorfullife
Friday 12/15  Eleri Kerian – Sew and Tell Project
Saturday 12/16  Anjeanette Klinder – Anjeanette K
Sunday 12/17  Stephanie Kendron – Modern Sewciety
Monday 12/18  Christopher Thompson – The Tattooed Quilter
Tuesday 12/19  Susan Playsted – Hopewood Home

Roman Stripe (free quilt)

Sharon and her publisher Landauer Publishing are offering a FREE quilt pattern accompaniment called ROMAN STRIPE QUILT, and it can be found HERE.  Happy Quilting!   (Photos by Sharon Holland)Roman Stripe square

Thanks for visiting & Happy Holidays!

XO-K

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(All photos, except the two credited to Sharon Holland, were taken by me.)

I designed a block!

Aurifil Artisans, Lady K Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

To say I’m beyond excited about the fact that I designed a block that made it into a magazine would be an understatement.  I designed a block and the folks at Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Magazine liked it so much, they put it in Volume 16!  It’s hitting newsstands today and that is pretty dang exciting.  I had the pleasure of testing blocks for Volume 7 a few years ago, as well as making a quilt to be photographed and published in it.  Fast forward to today and other people tested my block!  You can find it on page 49 of Volume 16.  It’s called “Star Garden”.  I love a classic Churn Dash block and the idea of placing another design within the Churn Dash was a cool concept to me .  I played around with my EQ7 software drawing tool and placed a traditional Sawtooth Star design in the center.  I wanted to fussy cut a favorite fabric, so the center square easily allows for that.  *There is one typo; you only need to cut (4) Blue Solid rectangles.

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I hope you’ll go pick up your own copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Magazine and make your own version of my block.  If you do and you post it on social media, I hope you’ll tag me @ladykquilts on Instagram and use the #stargardenblock so I can see it too.  Here are some pics of what I’ve made with my block, as well as the original block you’ll see in the magazine.  In the original block I used fabrics from both Kim Kight of Cotton + Steel, Anna Maria Horner of Free Spirit Fabrics, and a Kona Astral.

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This second version is a mini quilt (measuring 24″ square) that I made using Robert Kaufman’s Kona Cottons Gotham Grey & Salmon & Aqua, and another Anna Maria Horner fabric.  It’s such a different look with the striking contrasts.  I love it!

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The following versions of Star Garden are mock-ups I designed in Electric Quilts’ EQ7.  I wanted to show the versatility of it using solids as well as all prints.  The prints are from my friend Maureen Cracknell’s newest collection for Art Gallery Fabrics, “Love Story“.

AGF Quilt Block Tour of Makers – Day 2

AGF Quilt Block Blog Tour, Art Gallery Fabrics, Aurifil Artisans, Fabrics, Uncategorized

Day 2 of the Art Gallery Fabrics Quilt Block Tour is here!  I’m thrilled to be part of this fun tour, thanks to Sharon McConnell aka Color Girl Quilts and AGF.  I don’t know if you’re aware, but AGF has a lively and informational YouTube channel.  On it you will find video playlists that showcase their different fabric collections, industry show recaps, quilting and sewing tutorials, and the focus of this particular blog tour, the AGF Quilt Block Collection.

20171113_221043000_iOSSharon invited a slew of Makers to select a block each from this last group of videos, and make something special to show off some beautiful AGF fabrics.  Lucky for me, one of my favorite blocks ever was featured in it’s very own video, the Ohio Star!  I had fun scrolling through the AGF product library and selecting the fabrics I would use in my projects.  The Woodland Fusions collection is one of my favorites of the Fusion Collections that AGF has been producing.  Their designers really do color and design right, and the Woodland Fusions collection might be one of the best to date.  I also used the Blossom Swale Spices fabric from their Spice Fusion collection, Sand in their linen/cotton blend which is part of The Denim Studio, and Hunter Fields in AGF’s Pure Elements solids.  I’ve listed every fabric and their link to the AGF website below.

Row by Row Woodlands, Timberland Woodlands, Joie de Clair Woodlands, Miss Thread Woodlands, Pruning Roses Woodlands, Blossom Swale Spices, Soft Sand, Hunter Fields

IMG_0073After watching the Ohio Star block tutorial a couple of times and taking notes, I got to work cutting out my pieces.  I had decided to make two pillows using a combination of fabrics and some differences from one to the other.  I always enjoy cutting, sewing, and pressing with AGF pieces.  Their hand is smooth, lush, and beautiful and makes for very crisp blocks when sewn up.  Once I had my two blocks assembled, I added a double mitered border using more of the Blossom Swale Spices fabric and linen/cotton blend in Sand.  I love how the linen/cotton blend adds an earthy look to the sophisticated combination of prints and a rustic texture.

Next up I quilted the two pillow-tops with my favorite thread, Aurifil 50 weight.  I love Aurifil so much that I am an Aurifil Artisan this year and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I selected a number of different colors that complimented the colors in my pillows; Aurifil 2460, 1135, 2850, & 1158.  Using a variety of decorative stitches on my Janome Skyline S5, paired with straight line stitching on a one inch grid, I quilted up both tops.  It really makes for a more interesting look when you add a few decorative stitches to your project, so don’t hesitate to lift the lid on your machine and play with those beauties.

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The last couple of things left to do were to make envelope enclosures for the pillow backs and stitch on the bindings.  I love to use a stripe for binding on pillows and quilts when I can, and the red and white stripe in the Woodland Fusions collection was perfect for my pillows.  When making pillows I like to machine stitch the binding trims on.  I use the Ditch Quilting Foot to stitch the binding down to the back for a nice even application.  It makes for an easier and more controllable sewing experience.

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Now that my pillows are finished I look forward to using them on our family room couch this fall.  I’m in the Pacific Northwest and autumn has been here for a few weeks now, but with Thanksgiving right around the corner, these pillows are the perfect fall decorations, being both beautiful and functional.

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I highly recommend checking out all of the AGF Quilt Block tutorials and incorporating the designs into your future projects.  Art Gallery Fabrics has been hosting a fun monthly contest this fall.  If you do make a block using their tutorials I hope you’ll enter in the contest HERE.  Also be sure to follow along on Color Girl Quilts & AGF’s Quilt Block Tour of Makers this week.  Follow us all on Instagram and check out everyone’s blog for pretty pictures, stories of what everyone decided to make, and get to know us.

November 13 Our gracious host, Sharon McConnell  @colorgirlquilts
November 14 Me! @ladykquilts
November 16 Amy Friend ⋅ @duringquiettime
November 17 Kate Basti ⋅ @katebasti
November 18 Yvonne Fuchs @quiltingjetgirl
November 19 AnneMarie Chany @genxquilters
November 20 Maureen Cracknell ⋅ @maureencracknell
November 21 Sharon Holland ⋅ @sharonhollanddesigns
November 22 Lucy Brennan ⋅ @charmaboutyou

Thanks for stopping by!

XO-K

Aurifil Artisans 2017

Aurifil Artisans, Lady K Designs, Uncategorized

I’m excited and so proud to announce that I am an Aurifil Artisan!  Aurifil is the only thread I have used for the last 5 years in everything I make.  It is  100% Egyptian Mako Cotton Thread and I primarily use their 50 weight thread.  My sewing machines love it, my piecing comes together beautifully because of it, and hand stitching bindings is a breeze because of the fine 2 ply strands.  There are 270 beautiful colors of Aurifil to choose from so matching thread to your favorite fabrics is easy as pie.

My twelve favorite colors that I constantly find myself using are the following:

2012 – Natural White  2012 Natural White.png

6722 – Sea Biscuit         6722 Sea Biscuit.png

2312 – Ermine                   2312 Ermine

2325 – Linen                     2325 Linen

5004 – Grey Smoke            5004 Grey Smoke

2692 – Black                          2692 Black

2800 – Mint Ice                2800 Mint Ice

2835 – Medium Mint     2835 Medium Mint

5007 – Lt Grey Blue        5007 Light Grey Blue

5015 – Gold Yellow          5015 Gold Yellow

6729 – Tangerine Dream6729 Tangerine Dream

2245 – Red Orange        2245 Red Orange

 

I’ll be sharing the pieces I make with Aurifil here on my blog, as well as on my Instagram feed, @LadyKQuilts on Instagram.  If you’re on IG yourself, I hope that you’ll follow me there too!

Happy Sewing! – K

 

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Photo by Karen O’Connor