(mostly Texas edition.)
(mostly Texas edition.)
Meet the Collection quilt.
Collection is my new block-of-the-month pattern and part of my Slow Sewing Studio.
I’ve been teaching hand appliqué more and more over the last couple of years, and I’ve found that people are really receptive to the technique, as well as to the overall experience. (Handwork is fun!)
I often think back to when I was first learning the technique, and how blindly I chose projects. It’s impossible to know what’s doable for a beginner without any experience. This was my very first attempt at needle-turn. (No judgment–it’s clearly still not quilted or even sewn into a top–ha!)
It’s a Taro block from a Hawaiian quilt book that I’d picked up on a trip to Hawaii. It marked the beginning of an Hawaiian quilt obsession, as well as a complete needle-turn appliqué addiction. Looking at this block now, I see how far my own skills have come with practice, and I also see that I took on some real challenges with my first project–not necessarily a bad thing.
As a designer, I’m always thinking about the best ways to educate when it comes to how I develop my patterns as well as my classes. I loved the idea of creating a Block-of-the-Month pattern for hand appliqué, because I knew that the format would allow more of an opportunity to educate the process.
Collection is a 9-part series focused on exploring shape and color. Each “Collection” (or part of the project) is broken down by skill. For example, in Collection #1 you’ll be able to get the hang of the basic process before I start throwing any crazy shapes at you. Each following Collection will focus on another appliqué variation through illustrations, photographs and diagrams.
This is the quilt I would have wanted to make when I was first learning to do hand appliqué. It needed to be something fun (#1), but also something where you can really explore and learn how to tackle shape with your needle.
And if you already know and love appliqué? Not to worry. I have you in mind, too. Because, hey, I know and love appliqué, and I wouldn’t develop a pattern that I wasn’t interested in making myself (after all, I make my own patterns a lot!).
There’s also a color component to the project. I’m often asked how I choose fabrics and work with color, and so I wanted to incorporate some of that info into the project as well. Many block-of-the-months are built to coordinate specifically with a fabric collection, and with this one, I decided to go in a slightly more versatile route. Of course, all of the fabrics that I used are spelled out specifically in the fabric requirements on the back of the cover, BUT what I also did was to list the fabrics by color so that you could easily make substitutions or adjustments as desired.
To help with those decisions, there’s a black and white line drawing of the project in the first part of the instructions. Alongside it, I talk about overall composition and color for this project and encourage you to take some tracing paper and colored pencils to it to explore your own possibilities. Then, at the beginning of each Collection, I talk more about the fabric choices and colors for that block specifically.
So, it’s a lot in one project, and here’s where I feel like an infomercial…
But wait, there’s more!
(anyone else addicted to Ronco as a kid or was it just me?…)
I also have 6 alternate projects included that are made from blocks in the project. It was hard to hold back when I had the opportunity to include them, and I liked having ideas for using the blocks to make other projects like wall hangings, baby quilts, etc.
So this is Collection. It’s just starting to ship to stores and distributors this week. I’ve received a lot of inquiries from folks who are interested (yay and thank you!), and so
I’m working on compiling a list of participating shops and will keep you posted you can find a list of participating shops here.
As for it appearing in my own online shop, that will happen, but I’m planning to give shops a chance to get their programs up and running first since I won’t be able to offer it in the same way that they will. They will be able to kit the project, host monthly events and demos for it, sell the hard copy and more, whereas I can only plan to offer the full download in one installment. Which is also good. You can take your pick.
To be honest, I’m not totally sure when I met Natalie Barnes, but it was sometime within the last few years at Quilt Market. Natalie has such an easy-going and sincere personality that it’s very easy to feel like you’ve known her forever. So when she asked me to participate in her blog tour for her new book, A Modern Twist: Create Quilts with a Colorful Spin, I happily agreed. This is Natalie’s first book, and it’s an honor to have been asked to celebrate that with her. As part of the tour, Natalie invited us to pick a category from her book (color, contrast or composition) to talk about, and I happily chose COLOR.