Designer Duo 2019 Launch

Blog Tour, Designer Duo, Designer Duo 2019, Mix It Up Quilt, Nancy Rink Designs, Uncategorized

img_3008.jpgWelcome to the DESIGNER DUO 2019!  This year we are making Nancy Rink and Sarah Maxwell’s quilt pattern, MIX IT UP.  These ladies have crafted up a quilt sampler that is not only fun to make but offers some design options that are customizable by you.  Consisting of three block sizes, 18″, 12″ and 6″, the quilt finishes at 78″ x 90″.  This quilt is nice and big and will be a favorite make for sure.  Don’t worry!  This first week is all about gathering your fabrics, pattern booklet, and a game plan.

When it came to making my version I chose to use all the blocks in the book except for two of the 12″ block designs.  It was a personal preference but because I made two of each of the 18″ and the other 12″ blocks but made them look totally different from their pair.  In my last post here I provided the fabric requirements to make my version.  Matching Kona Solid colors to the prints in Robert Kaufman Fabric’s On the Lighter Side collection made for a super fun palette.

So next Friday, May 24th, the first block will be discussed and you will get started on your quilt.  Unless of course you are a typical quilter and you got started as soon as your kit/pattern, pattern book, and your own fabric choices were purchased.  For more information on everything be sure to visit Nancy’s blog HERE, as well the designated Facebook group HERE, if you use FB.

Here is a photo I took of my MIX IT UP quilt while Hubby and I were on vacation a couple of weeks ago in Whistler, B.C.  He’s the best quilt holder EVER and at a towering 6’4″ and a vast wingspan, he makes my quilts look good.  That should give an idea of just how grand this quilt is.  He couldn’t comfortably hold it open!

Mix It Up – Designers Duo 2019

Blog Tour, Designer Duo, Designer Duo 2019, Mix It Up Quilt, Nancy Rink Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

IMG_3009For the second year in a row I have had the honor of being named Guest Designer in my friend Nancy Rink and Sarah Maxwell‘s Designer Duo quilt pattern and quilt along.  Joining me as Guest Designers are Elisabeth Hardy of Elisabewquilts, Giuseppe Ribaudo, aka Giucy Giuce, Tiffany Hayes of Needle in a Hayes Stack, and Dolores Smith of Timeworn Toolbox. I hope you’ll keep an eye out for them too as we have all created something different.

This year Nancy and Sarah designed such a fun, interesting, and customizable pattern.  You’ll see as the QAL/quilt along kicks off this Friday, May 17th that this is a very different quilt in regards to layout.  This happens because of three different sized blocks used throughout the quilt, 18″, 12″, and 6″, making a 78″ x 90″ finished quilt including borders.

What I have so much fun doing is taking Nancy’s direction to “re-color” the original quilt with fabrics of my choice.  In this case she also asked me to redesign the layout of blocks into something new.  The pattern book talks about the idea of designing your own blocks or switching out the 12″ blocks with others of your choice.  I chose to utilize all but I think one of the blocks in the pattern and not replace anything, but I did mix up the layout to create a much different look.  As we all know, fabric placement can change everything and I enjoy doing just that. I did rearrange actual block placement but paired with fabric placement, I was able to make everything look very different from the original two layouts by Nancy and Sarah. IMG_3008

I chose to use a fat quarter bundle of ON THE LIGHTER SIDE from Robert Kaufman Fabrics for the prints in my quilt.  Using a Kona Solids color card, also from Robert Kaufman, I matched Kona fabrics to the colors in the prints.  A HUGE thank you to Robert Kaufman Fabrics for supporting this project, by the way.  I love using Kona Solids because I know I will get any and every color I could possibly need as they have created 343 colors.  Yup!  Three hundred and forty-three colors, People!

IMG_3001

Using the low volume prints of On the Light Side collection and Kona Solids I created bold blocks that were a joy and a fun challenge to make.  Below is the list of Kona Solids that I matched to each print in the collection shown above.

KONA Cotton Solids in yards:
1387 White – 4 ½
1071 Charcoal – 1/6
1470 Pewter – 1/6
848 Blueprint – 1/4
1072 Chartreuse – 1/3
475 Grasshopper – 5/8
865 Pimento – 1/6
496 Nectarine – ½
840 Duckling – ½
419 Azalea – 1/6
233 Celestial – 1/6
7 Tomato – 5/8
410 Kumquat – 1/3
488 Dahlia – 1/6
476 Grellow – 1/3
1383 Violet – 1/6
1541 Deep Blue – 1/3
1049 Bright Pink – 1/3
407 Chestnut – 1/6
1066 Cerise – 1/6
1218 Marine – 1/6
K040-114 Jet Black – 1/6

I hope y’all join us in the QAL this summer! It’s going to be great because not only are we making amazing quilts, but Nancy and Sarah have some fun things planned. If you want to make quilts exactly like Nancy’s or Sarah’s you can order kits from Homestead Hearth, Fabric Essentials, and book only from Hancock’s of Paducah. If you just need a pattern book then you can order them from those shops or from Nancy herself HERE. And last but not least, here’s my version of the Designer Duo 2019 MIX IT UP quilt in all its glory. (Sorry there aren’t kits for my version. That’s why I gave you fabric requirements. 😉)

It was an honor. The Designer Duo QAL wrap-up.

Designer Duo, Uncategorized

Over the last couple of months I’ve had the great pleasure of sewing along with my friend Nancy Rink and her colleague and fellow designer, Sarah Maxwell. They invited Tiffany Haynes of Needle In A Haystack and me to be “Guest Designers” on their Designer Duo QAL this spring. I had chosen to use Sarah Golden‘s latest collection from Andover Fabrics, “Around Town” in my version of this wonderful sampler quilt. I loved that there were doubles of the sampler blocks and thirteen copies of the set-in blocks in this pattern. It makes for easy and fast block making because your quilt finishes up a tad bit faster when designed this way.

We got started on April 6th and continued making and sharing Instagram, the Designer Duo Facebook group page, and our websites/blogs.  The Facebook Group has 2.2K members and although not everyone in that number shared their progress with us, it was a very active community for those of us that did share.  The support and cheerleading spirit within the group made for fun and exciting Fridays over the next six weeks.

As I got started I found that my layout was going to make for slightly different assembly steps.  I took some time to go over the pattern and make notes to reference as I went.  For example, all my four-patch blocks would use the same fabric, unlike in the pattern where you make the four-patches as you make each block.  That was because the fabrics are of such a variety that it was easier to make those small blocks as you cut your fabrics for each set of blocks so they reflected the fabrics used in them.  I had designed my version to use the same black & white polka dot and background fabrics in all of the four-patch blocks, so I just made them all at once.  However this did result in erasing the optical illusion of large circles in the quilt, but I love how retro my layout feels.

I also found it helpful to use one of my favorite notions, the Alphabitties from It’s Sew Emma.  They make for an easy system of tracking all the pieces and units per block.  I’ve been using them for a few years now and although I could just write numbers or letters on Post-Its, these are much cuter.

My blocks made me so happy and the use of stripes to create interest and movement was so fun for me.  I love using stripes in my quilts because they aren’t as complicated to use when they’re cut into smaller pieces.  They make for striking blocks and much more interesting fabric play.

*Some of the block images below are actually my digital images from the design software.  I had passed the quilt on to my longarm quilter without taking some good progress pictures of the latter blocks.

The Kaleidoscope pattern that Nancy and Sarah produced is full of great tips and tricks, and the blocks are some of my favorites I’ve ever made.  I love a good sampler quilt and I truly enjoyed making this one.

When it came to making the set-in blocks I wanted to fussy cut the cheetahs in my focus fabric for them.  The pattern calls for the Tri-Recs ruler.  I initially placed it over the fabric and using a dry-erase marker, traced the cheetah shape onto it.  This way I could be consistent with placement and cutting of my fabric.  As the need to alternate the direction of the fabric due to block layout directionality, I easily wiped the drawing off and redrew the image after replacing the Tri-Recs ruler on the fabric in a different direction.  I love how these blocks turned on in the quilt.  Don’t hesitate to make the tools in your studio work for you.  I love the Tri-Recs ruler and plan on using it in future designs of my own too.

My friend Tracey Peterson quilted a beautiful edge 2 edge design on my quilt using her Gemmill longarm. I love how it turned out!  Once I got it back it was time to trim up the quilt and get the binding stitched on.  I prefer to machine stitch it on the front and then hand stitch it onto the back.  I need to make a quilt label for it still but I just love how it turned out.

I made the entire quilt using my Janome Skyline S5 and Aurifil 50 weight 100% cotton thread.  These two things are used in everything I create in my studio.

Last weekend I was finally home after a busy two weeks of travel for Quilt Market in Portland, OR and the first Janome Education Summit in New Jersey, so Hubby and I went over to nearby Woodinville, WA where the famous Chateau Ste. Michelle winery is located.  I brought my Designer Duo quilt with me and Hubby held it up for me in front of this gorgeous blooming tree on the grounds of the winery for a photoshoot.  It was a bit breezy but we succeeded in the winning shot eventually.

Thank you so much, Nancy, for inviting me to be a part of your beautiful and fun quilt along.  I look forward to seeing what new designs and fabrics you will have coming down the pipeline.

Happy DDQAL Day!!

Aurifil Artisans, Blog Tour, Designer Duo, Fabrics, Quilts, Uncategorized

DDQAL stands for “Designer Duo Quilt Along” and it’s kicking off today with Designers, Nancy Rink & Sarah J. Maxwell. I’m thrilled to have been asked, along with Tiffany Hayes of Needle In A Haystack Quilt Shop, to be a guest designer. What does that mean? It means that Tiffany and I recolored the Kaleidoscope Quilt that is the pattern we will be making in this quilt along, and we will also be providing discoveries and tips resulting in those discoveries as we’ve been making our quilts.

img_1913  

I chose to recolor it using the “Around Town” collection by Sarah Golden for Andover Fabrics and a selection of colors from the “Linea” collection from Makower Fabrics, and distributed by Andover in the U.S.  When I recolored the quilt design I ended up loosing the optical illusion of circular movement that is so special in Nancy, Sarah, and Tiffany’s versions. The repeated block with the triangles create this effect along with the four patch blocks. My version became very retro yet modern because of the fabrics. I also ended up altering the actual shapes within the six featured block designs because of fabric placement. It’s interesting how placement and fabric selection can play differently in a quilt design.  I love it and I love the possibilities with the Kaleidoscope quilt.

img_1383-1

My version of the Designer Duo Kaleidoscope Quilt using Sarah Golden’s Around Town collection from Andover Fabrics and Linea collection from Makower Fabrics.

block 1 seaglass

Nancy’s version of Block 1 using her Seaglass Collection for Studio 37, a division of Marcus Fabrics.

block 1 botb

Sarah J. Maxwell’s version of Block 1 using her Bring on the Bubbly Collection for Studio 37, a division of Marcus Fabrics.

As block construction gets underway I will be providing some tips that I always utilize when constructing half square triangles (HSTs) and flying geese (FG) units.  To start with, I always round up the cutting measurements at least an 1/8″.  For example, when cutting the strips in block one that eventually create the A triangles, I cut the strips at 3″ instead of what it calls for.  This way I have a little more room to square up my HSTs and make them as perfect as possible.  This is also useful because not everyone’s machine makes true 1/4′ seams.  This way you are sure to get your HSTs to be consistent and then everything lines up beautifully when you assemble your blocks.  It’s just one of those things.  Most importantly, remember to have fun and make something beautiful!