Monday, August 20, 2018

Amanda Murphy's Free Motion Fantasy

If you've followed our blog for any length of time, you've probably admired Amanda Murphy's gorgeous machine quilting. She designed her new fabric collection, Free Motion Fantasy, to help quilters practice those quilting motifs. We'll be featuring Free Motion Fantasy all week here on the blog, starting with an interview with Amanda about her vibrant fabrics. Get your free motion foot ready to stitch! 


Tell us about the idea behind your Free Motion Fantasy collection.
It’s an educational collection. The patterns that I like to machine quilt are printed on the fabric so that you can follow the lines and learn how to create them. These fabrics are a great way to practice free motion quilting.





How did you decide which motifs to include?
I started with some of the basics—pebbles, for instance, and bricks. I knew I wanted some type of swirled design. I honestly could do four of these collections because there are so many different options that I could include.

Pebbles

Bricks


How did you develop the feature fabric?
I actually worked backwards on this line, which is very different than how I usually work. I started with the different quilting motifs and finished with the feature fabric, which includes many of the bigger patterns on a bigger scale. The feature print comes in four colors, which I named after the seasons.
Orange - Autumn

Pink - Summer

Blue - Winter

Aqua - Spring



Can you tell us about the color palette?
It’s rainbow plus gray. All of the coordinate prints can function as blenders. Some have higher contrast, with little pops of analogous color, like the Flying Geese print.


What’s your favorite print in the collection?
My favorite of the four feature prints is the orange one, and I usually hate orange. It’s very vibrant with the aqua added in.


I really like how the swirls in the flying geese print came out. When it’s quilted, it has amazing movement to it. I also really like the paisley. 
Paisley



Click here to see the entire Free Motion Fantasy collection. 
Click here to visit Amanda's website.

Free Motion Fantasy Features
Monday: 
Introducing Free Motion Fantasy

Tuesday: 

Technique Tuesday with Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts

Wednesday: 

Jayne from Twiggy and Opal; @twiggyandopal
Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts; @sliceofpiquilts

Thursday: 

Sandra from MMM Quilts @mmmquilts
Lisa from Color My World @lisaerin1121

Friday:

Amanda's Virtual Trunk Show
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Friday, August 17, 2018

Midnight Poppies Virtual Trunk Show

We've had fun sharing Ann Lauer's Midnight Poppies collection with you this week! We hope you'll enjoy Ann's virtual trunk show of the quilts she has designed featuring her new fabrics. 


 "Love That Print" showcases two large prints in a quick and easy design. 
Click here to find the kit.

"Midnight Stars" - this one really sparkles! This two-block quilt is easier than it looks and shows off a large focal print as well. 
Click here to find the kit.

"Montana Summer" features on-point blocks. The pieced blocks are made from three-fabric strip sets, and the border showcases the iris border stripe. 
Click here to find the kit.

"Afternoon Delight" is made with fast flying geese, four-patches, and large focal print squares. 
Quick and easy! 
Click here to find the kit.

"Free Fall" is one of my most popular designs. The wall quilt version is assembled using quilt-as-you-go technique, and the colors blend beautifully together! 
Click here to find the kit.

"Poppy Toss" is a free quilt pattern available on Benartex's website. The centerpiece is the large poppy print, surrounded by strips of pieced stripes. Finish the quilt off with fussy-cut appliqued poppies!
Click here to download the pattern.
Click here to find the kit.

Click here to see the entire Midnight Poppies collection.
Click here to read our interview with Ann about Midnight Poppies. 
Click here to visit Ann's website and see her additional Midnight Poppies patterns.


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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cats on Parade

Ann's Midnight Poppies collection may be hitting stores, but her previous line, Cat-I-Tude, is still going strong! Today we're featuring a quilt from Quilter's World that uses the Cat-I-Tude fabrics. 


Cats on Parade designed by Lisa Swenson Ruble
and machine quilted by Diane Oakes;
featured in Quilter's World Fall 2018

What attracted you to the Cat-I-Tude collection? 
I really love the paisley swirls! There's so much detail and depth in that fabric, and it ties the entire line together. It's also a fun challenge to design a quilt featuring fussy-cut blocks; I wanted a quilt that would highlight the cat blocks but also have interest in the background. 



How did you choose the coordinates to use? 
Aqua is my go-to color, so that was easy. I tried a digital version using green instead of the purple, but it didn't pop the way I wanted it to. I chose to use the cat blocks on black and the black tonal background to enhance the rich contrast of the colors.

Tell us about your design.
I've designed several quilts with a woven look. I like the over-under illusion, and the depth that it creates. I actually designed this quilt about a year before Ann's fabric came out but hadn't found the right collection for it yet. It seemed to work perfectly with these prints. 

Tell us about the machine quilting.
Diane Oakes has quilted several of my woven quilt designs, and I think she does a great job. She chooses one motif (and thread color) for each "weave," so for example the purple areas all have the same design. This helps to enhance the woven idea. She followed the paisley lines in the outer border and also quilted some of the details on the cat blocks. 

What do you like best about this quilt? 
Definitely the woven effect. I like that it creates the illusion of dimension. 


Click here to see the entire Cat-I-Tude collection by Ann Lauer.
Click here to read more about this quilt.
Click here to order the kit for Cats on Parade.
Click here to purchase the fall 2018 issue of Quilter's World.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Debby Kratovil's Technique Tuesday: Using a Border Stripe

It's Technique Tuesday! Debby Kratovil from Debby Kratovil Quilts is here today to show us an idea for using the border stripe from Ann Lauer's Midnight Poppies collection. (Hint: it's a great focal sashing strip!) 

Here's Debby!

Lovely, lovely fabrics: Midnight Poppies

When Benartex invited me to design with them, I was sure I could come up with something. I was concentrating on that large border print. There is a black stripe on either side of it (shown in second picture) and I thought I could use one of my rulers to slice it up.


My approach is always simple: Make the fabric do all the work! 
I'll walk you through my design process.

When the fabrics arrived I was back to square one because my original plan wasn't going to work. Here are the fabrics I chose. I ended up not using the large poppy green and purple floral on the right. This will be incorporated on the back of the quilt.

Midnight Poppies with a selection of 7 coordinates

OK, Debby. Now what?

I always consult my own patterns and designs and figure out a way to rework them. Oh, yes. And I consult the "voices in my head" to see what vibes they are getting from the voices from the fabric. This is true; I'm not making this up! 


Here is my second plan, but I didn't have enough fabric of each print to get an even number of squares for symmetry. Dang! But I did know that I wanted to cut the four sections of border print and use them as vertical and horizontal sashings!


Midnight Poppies Draft 2

So, here is what I did - Plan 3! This is just the concept--I tweaked the design a bit, and you will see that scale of the prints makes the actual quilt turn out differently.

Midnight Poppies Off Center Log Cabin

First the steps:
1. Cut four 8-1/2" squares of 622-60 White Floral and one 8-3/4" square (for center unit).
2. Cut 3-1/2" strips of supporting fabrics to begin building my Off Center Log Cabin blocks (4 of them)
3. Row 1: One (5427-44 Green) 3-1/2" x 8-1/2" and one green 3-1/2" x 11-1/2" strip. Stitch as shown.

Start of Off Center Log Cabin
4. Continue adding strips, cutting for EACH block, the following:
  • Row 2 (5425-40 Sage Green): One 3-1/2" x 11-1/2" and one 3-1/2" x 14-1/2"
  • Row 3 (5424-44 Mosaic Petals Green/Purple): One 3-1/2" x 14-1/2" and one 3-1/2" x 17-1/2"
  • Row 4 (5425-09 Daisy Petals White): One 3-1/2" x 17-1/2" and one 3-1/2" x 20-1/2"
  • Row 5 - I was short on fabric and so used two: One 3-1/2" x 20-1/2" strip 5427-44 Green and one 3-1/2" x 23-1/2" strip 5426-50 (Criss Cross Dot Blue/Green)
Here's one block:
One Off Center Log Cabin: 23-1/2" x 23-1/2"

5. Make two blocks and join with a trimmed border strip (measures 8-3/4" wide including seam allowances). Here is the trimming of the border print. I allowed the LENGTH of 29" to stay until the very end.

Trim each side of the border print, allowing for 1/4" seams

6. Two blocks joined:
Two blocks joined and then border print trimmed to 23-1/2" to match the blocks.

7. Make two more blocks, but be careful of where you stitch the strips. Uh oh!

My Uh, Oh Block. Gotta remove that renegade white strip!

8. Add the 8-3/4" floral square to two remaining border strips:
Add center square to remaining two border strips
9. Join blocks and wide sashing strips; measure and trim the sashings at the very end.

10. Here is my 54" x 54" quilt top hanging in the breeze on my deck after a summer rain!

Midnight Poppies Off Center Log Cabin: 54" x 54"
Follow the cutting instructions as listed above. Here is the supply list for making the quilt as shown here. Backing and batting needs to be at least 3-4" larger around all sides for quilting.


Thanks, Debby, for showing us a great idea for using Ann's border stripe and those gorgeous poppy prints!
Click here to see Ann's entire Midnight Poppies collection.
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Monday, August 13, 2018

Ann Lauer's Midnight Poppies


Ann Lauer's poppies are back! Her new collection, Midnight Poppies, takes this iconic bloom bigger and better. The collection comes in green/purple and fuchsia/blue colorways. Scroll down to read our interview with Ann and learn more about the fabric line. 




What inspired the Midnight Poppies collection?
I love the showiness of poppies—they’re one of my favorite flowers. I wanted to do them again, but in a different way. We added in the Moonlit Poppies print, which is a really dense floral that we did as a tonal print.


What makes these poppies different?
I love these poppies because they’re realistic with artistic license. They have shading and shadowing that you don’t normally see in an actual flower—they’re prettier than nature!

Tell us about the texture that shows up in this collection.
The background in the large poppy focal print turned out beautifully. It has shaded dots, crisscrossed lines, and an occasional grid. It’s all in there without distracting from the flowers laid on top.


Talk to us about the color palette.
I just love jewel tones. That cobalt blue is gorgeous, and of course I’ve always loved purple. The green hovers between a sage and a lime color. There are four black/white prints in here as well--they range from light to dark, so you can play with just blacks and whites as well.



Can you tell us about some of your favorite prints?
The Mosaic Petals are one of my favorites in the whole collection. It’s a little angular and geometric—not as curvy—and it ties all the colors together. The Daisy Petals print uses that same idea, but in lighter shades, plus black and white.



The Criss-Cross Dot print is a multicolor version of Moonlight Texture. The random lines add a geometric feel. The colors are so deep and rich!


The Stripe combines the poppies with the Mosaic Petals and the Geometric Squares. It can be fussy cut for borders or for blocks.




Click here to see the entire Midnight Poppies collection. 
Click here for a sneak peek at Ann's Midnight Poppies quilt patterns. We'll be sharing a virtual trunk show later this week. 

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