Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ahead of the curve

Sometimes as a designer I have really great ideas....I just don't know it until later.

A few years ago (2011!) I designed a quilt pattern called Clambake. I wanted a giant clam shell quilt and I developed a way that was easy enough to do it (NO CURVED PIECING!). In fact I published a tutorial to show the way. (Sorry, I've taken it down since then)
The next year I debuted my fabric collection Shore Thing at Quilt Market and made a Clambake quilt to show off the prints. I received quite a bit of interest and decided to offer it as a paper pattern.

Last fall my friend and fellow Michael Miller Fabrics designer, Patty Sloniger, released a new fabric collection called Into the Deep. As soon as I saw this collection I knew it had to be CLAMBAKE! Those sea horses! Unfortunately I haven't had the time to actually make one but the fabric is patiently waiting for me. And since I made the digital mock up below it's been calling to me even more.

Clambake has always been one of my favorites. I've seen dozens over the years that people have made and have yet to see one that hasn't turned out stunning. You don't have to use beach or ocean themed fabric for Clambake, it looks great in any fabrics. The quilt on my pattern cover was made with Emily Taylor's Felicity fabric- not coastal at all and it looks fabulous!

The quilt below was made by the gals at SewMod. If you are thinking of making Clambake (and I think you should!) take a moment to read this blog post they wrote about Clambake. They have several tips and tricks they've discovered to help make Clambake even easier. I love it! They are ALL useful tips that I will be implementing when I make my next one. 

My favorite of their tips is to glue baste instead of pin. Glue basting is very popular right now. People use glue for all kinds of things- even to place their binding before stitching it down. I mention in the pattern to use pins on each curve, but gluing them down is GENIUS! You better believe it's going to go so much faster this way without the danger of getting poked and scratched. My favorite quilting glue is Jillily Studios Appli-Glue. It has been formulated for use on fabric with years of testing and is amazing. There's a lot of glues out there to choose from and I've tried a ton of them- Appli-Glue is the best.

You may have noticed a trend on social media this last year. Lots of Clambake style quilts have come out. Some require curved piecing while others are completely pieced. Even die cut companies are making large clam shell dies. This often happens in the quilting community, as soon as the trend hits multiple variations of a similar design come out. On occasion a variation will come out and the designer will have used the same name for her pattern even though the design is different. Although slightly frustrating, it's just part of the industry. 

Regardless of name and technique, my Clambake pattern has been around long before the others. Perhaps if I had waited a few years to design Clambake it might have been more popular. But sometimes I'm just ahead of the curve.

Purchase a Clambake Pattern HERE.


Friday, January 8, 2016

New Year, New Quilts!

Hi friends! I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday season and are ready for a new year full of fun and creative projects. I know I am! And I'm super excited to share a new one with you because it is AWESOME!

So, you know my Big Game quilt pattern? Well I have partnered with my friend Emily Taylor from Emily Taylor Designs and Pattern Jam to offer you my Big Game pattern on a pre-printed fabric panel!

I know what you're thinking about the panel prints of the '80's. Ugh!Well those are gone and these are in!This design above was offered at Christmas. Isn't it cute!? These beautifully designed quilt panels are gorgeous. Simply add batting, a back, quilt it and it's done. I LOVE this idea. What is even better is at Pattern Jam you can customize it yourself! If you're not a fan of the design offered, or maybe you just don't like a certain print or color, customize it the way you want and they'll ship it right to you. So cool!

Wait until you see the cute print they designed for Winter/Valentine's day. 

Check out the "Lumberjack Love" panel. All those awesome plaids.  The panel measures 50" x 63" a perfect throw size for the couch, chair or bed. Or even hang it on the wall as shown here. LOVE! Back it with minky and everyone in the family will fight over it.....or not. Because the best part is the price. At only $59.99 you can order one for everyone in the family and customize them each so nobody takes someone else's blanket! Seriously, best idea EVER.

I love this idea. Now I just have to decide whether to customize it or order as is. What the heck- I'll do one of each! I was going to order one for the hubs for Valentine's Day but I just had the best idea- coordinating his and her quilts! LOVE IT!

By the way. this isn't the only design they offer. They have others that are super cute or you can always design you own!

Ok, gotta go order my quilt tops. What are you waiting for!?