More cats! This collection from Windham is 'Smarty Cats'. I love the books and colors in this collection. It makes it a little more 'grown up'. Click here to see it on the website.
Thicket is back! We ordered more because they have been so popular. Come and see the pillows in the window of the shop using the large panels. So cute! We now have both the small and large panels. See them on the website by clicking here.
See you soon,
I bet you never thought I'd be including landscapes in our "Power of Three" challenge. But many landscapes definitely fall into this category. Before I get started I wanted to remind you that if you submit a quilt for our exhibit it needs to be made in 2017 and be an original composition. Many ideas, patterns and quilts by other people inspire us to make quilts. Use one of these ideas to make your own interpretation of "the power of three".
Landscapes, in general and in the quilting world, usually have three elements: the ground, the sky and an element to focus our attention. The ground and sky become the background in many landscape quilts. These two components are separated by what is called a "horizon line". Almost every landscape will have some form of a horizon line. This interpretation is simply put and in practice becomes more involved.
Although this landscape does not have a sky it does have the rock cliff which takes its place. Because of the trees the horizon line becomes a little less obvious in this quilt. The white of the rapids makes this our focal point, bringing us into the landscape to explore the details.
Here is one of Sue Benner's quilts. I can spot her compositions so easily. Whether the quilt is one of her landscapes or one of her many other forms of composition she has a unique style. Part of it is her use of color. All of her quilts have a multitude of rich colors. Here the lake and the sky provide a background for the blades of grass to take center stage.
This quilt kind of does the same thing. We interpret the stocks of leafs as the ground and then we have additional details in the sky. But with the use of color this artist has captured our attention with the blue rabbit.
This landscape is open to interpretation. The maker gave this quilt the title of "Urban Landscape". For me, this abstract landscape really gives an interpretation of the city. The messy black line in a busy circular shape really does depict the hustle and bustle of city life. This quilt also fits neatly into the topic of my last email- "three elements".
So there you have it. My ideas of how a landscape can be used in our challenge. Emily is teaching another landscape quilt class this winter. Check out all of the details here.
On February 9th I will be having my color class. I don't try and teach you color theory. I try to give you a more intuitive approach to selecting colors for your quilt. It's a fun, eye opening experience. Click here for more information.
Moda has given us more words, numbers, music and maps with this collection along with coordinating Grunge. It is aptly named 'Compositions'. Click here to see it on the website. Please note that we also received a white Grunge and a white grid pattern that is part of this collection. They aren't pictured here.
Alexander Henry has come through with more bold and colorful fabric.
These big messy stripes make a great addition to give any quilt some pop. See them here on the website.
If you haven't been to the store in a while, come on back. We'd love to see you.
Big Stitch starts next month. Here are our first four blocks. Click here for more information.
Our new arrivals this week are from Cotton + Steel. I couldn't resist the dresses and shirts. I just had to take a 1/2 yd of each home. I'll have to make some zippered bags for the shop. The dress print is from 'Jubilee' by Melody Miller and the shirts are from 'Kujira' by Rashida Coleman-Hale.
'Sleep Tight' by Sarah Watts is also from Cotton + Steel. The hedgehogs are so cute and the other prints have great shimmer. The black hedgehogs are a cotton/linen canvas. The last print is from the 'Flower Shop' collection. Click here to see it on the website.
See you soon,
In composition odd numbers of elements are more dynamic than groupings of elements evenly numbered. The basic idea of the rule is that objects arranged or grouped in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable and effective. This challenge asks you to use the power of three in an original design.
Quilts using three elements are not quite as transparent as those using three focal points which I covered in my last post. The three elements are compositional elements that make a whole image. Here are some examples:
This example is easily explained. You can see the three elements right away and they play a major role in the composition. Unlike three focal points, the yellow striped square is singularly the focus of this composition.
What are the three elements here? The three red circles are only one of the three elements. The lines and the large circle are the other two. The focal point is the large circle. It is the first thing to capture your attention.
Here the three elements are the black circular shapes, the white background and the red background. Each of these elements gives you a lot to look at and many details to pull you into the composition. The high contrast of the black and white brings the black circles to the forefront and they become the focal point.
This quilt uses three elements as well. The writing in the upper left, the writing in the lower right, and the large "x". The composition in this quilt is fairly balanced, leaving it up to the viewer to decide what draws their eye into the piece.
I love this quilt. I wish the maker would have taken a better picture. The white, the background and the copper colored line create three elements in this composition. The white grabs our attention first. This abstract quilt really gets in my head and I begin to think of many different ideas of what the imagery portrays.
I still have a couple more emails to write for this challenge. I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts with you. I'll be covering modern quilts and furthering the explanation of "the power of three". And as always, everything is open to interpretation.
Stop by the shop and say hello. Spend $50.00 on merchandise and sign up for our challenge.
I wanted to update you on our Block of the Month for 2017. We have added a new colorway, "Tweet". The bolts arrived last week and I was so excited. The collection is exactly what I was looking for - earth tones in a great print. This colorway is hard to find in the modern and contemporary world of fabric. But Stof - my favorite Denmark fabric company - has really outdone themselves with this collection. These fabrics are not available for sale. I bought them specifically for Block of the Month. At a later date I may be able to have some yardage available, but right now they are reserved for Block of the Month. For this colorway the Block of the Month project is a little less busy. We are using more solid-like fabrics.
So far, people are very excited about this colorway. Space is limited so act now. Click here to read more about our Block of the Month program and enroll for this, or one of the two other colorways. Or, give us a call: 651-340-8263. There is limited space available for all the colorways, not just this one. Also, many of you have noticed that our Block of the Month is priced differently this year. This is because there is no finishing kit. Remember, Block of the Month always gives you a discount for the fabrics you will be given. We also really try to give you a minimum amount of yardage so you have very few leftovers and pay only for the exact yardage you need.
Here are the other color ways:
"Spring Garden" is based on a few key bolts from the "Hand Maker" collection from Windham fabrics:
And our original colorway, "Black Forest", uses Japanese imports. My design this year brings to mind the "more is more" philosophy of quilt making:
So that's the scoop on our Block of the Month offerings for 2017. Block of the Month begins on February 11th and is always on the second Saturday of the month. I'm really excited about this year!
If you missed last weeks post I laid out some framework for our challenge and told you some of the specific rules. As always, it was far from complete (I think it has something to do with having way too many things to do at once). We had a great question at the store last week. What are the dimensional guidelines for the quilts entered in the challenge. So here it is: All four sides need to add up to 200" or more. I chose this measurement for personal reasons. When I was creating my own art quilts it seamed like most of my quilts ended up at approximately 40" wide by 60" tall (80" + 120" = 200") or larger. So it follows that I think this is an ideal size to make a quilt for the wall. Not to say your piece needs to be an art quilt or a wall quilt. Any quilts larger than this size, for instance a bed quilt or a slightly larger baby quilt are a perfect way to make a statement. I also chose this size so that the amount of work you put into your challenge quilt is significant and those making a larger quilt don't feel that someone else made something small that took a great deal less time. It's my way of trying to make the challenge fair for all participants.
Today I am going to illustrate the idea of three focal points. This is another fairly easy concept. If you think about what catches your eye in some quilts it can be three elements which grab your attention right away, before you have an opportunity to take in the whole quilt. Here are some examples:
So these are the easier ones. Three circles in the first quilt, three plants in the second quilt, and three flowers in the third. This is pretty much the first thing you're eye registers with these quilts. After that you see the bigger picture.
These two quilts also have three primary focus points- the circular shapes. The second one also fits into another category which will be the topic of another post- three segments. Here they are the three circles, the lighter left side of the quilt and the darker right side of the quilt. More on this later.
Once again, I want to make it clear that your quilt does not need to be an art quilt. But as I search for quilts to illustrate the challenge theme, "The Power of Three", I know these quilts are original and thought up by the maker. This is also something you need to keep in mind for our challenge. This year your quilt needs to be an original- not someone else's pattern. An interpretation of someone else's pattern is fine as long as you are planning to give them credit.
If you think of any other questions I need to address, please let me know. I'll post all of the criteria on our website on the events page once I'm confident that most of the rules are addressed and the dates are set. But start thinking about your entry now. Come to the store and sign up soon. As I stated in my previous post, you need to sign up for the challenge in person when making a purchase of $50.00 or more. Someone also asked me if they could apply their loyalty points to the $50.00 purchase. The answer is no. This helps keep the challenge fair for all participants.
Now that life is back to normal after the holidays, it's time get those creative juices flowing again. We have some new fabrics that should help. And don't forget to check out our classes! Block of the Month, Big Stitch, Zipper Bags (who needs a pattern!), Make Me a Tuffet, and Secrets of Color are all starting soon. Click below to see the full list. Then if you click on a class title you can see even more details!
If there is a new baby in your world, this collection from Makower may inspire you. It is 'Baby Jungle'.
Andover has some additions to the 'Encyclopedia Galactica' collection. Fabric with words and symbols is very popular and adds so much to any project.
We received three bolts from two different collections by Alexander Henry. The first two are from 'In The Kitchen' and the bunnies, so cute, are from 'Folkloric'.
Moda's 'Tide Pool' by Kate Nelligan reminds us that spring and fishing season will return eventually. I don't know about you but I am craving color in my life about know. Winter is so filled with black and white.
See you soon,
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season with family and friends. Cheers to all of you! All of you make my life and work so special and I am truly grateful.
Do you like a challenge? Our Twin Cities Quilting Challenge is back for 2017. After taking a year off I decided I was once again up for the challenge of organizing this event. If you are not familiar with our challenges here's how they work: You make a quilt between now and the challenge deadline. Your quilt needs to be "on theme" for our challenge. Your deadline to have the quilt at the store is early May (specifics TBD). There are some rules and guidelines for the challenge listed below. We celebrate in May! All the quilts hang in the shop during May. We have a great big party! Those who enter a quilt in the challenge get their name entered for prizes- pretty good ones! After the quilts hang at Twin Cities Quilting they go up to Duluth and are part of a special exhibit at the 2017 Minnesota Quilt Show and Conference.
This year's theme is (are you ready!) "The Power of Three". For centuries visual artist and craftsman have been creating work with three strong visual elements. Sometimes this is easy for the viewer to spot and sometimes it takes on more of a supporting role. The best way for me to explain this concept is through examples. So here goes...
In the first group most of the examples are from our store (you may have purchased one of our patterns or kits). It has to do with organizing your elements into three columns or rows.
Both of these are fairly simple examples. Both use three columns to organize the work. Please note that with the baby quilt there are also three main visuals, each in it's own column with a supporting cast. The reason I bring this up is because simply using three columns or three rows of blocks is not quite enough. There needs to be three elements in these columns or rows that really catch the eye.
The next three examples are a little more complex but emphasis the same principle.
The first quilt although in rows really showcases three visual elements. Some have called this three belt buckles. Ha! The second quilt also uses three rows. But in this quilt what really illustrates "the power of three" is the sections of framed triangles. The other element in the rows is simply a nice way to fill the space so the sections of framed triangles can be different lengths and asymmetrical. In the third quilt we also use rows but what really takes center stage are the three big blocks. But this quilt without the border wouldn't work. It would be way too simple without anything to really make us take a second look. The border on this quilt elevates and makes this design more complex.
There are other ways to use this concept of "The Power of Three". I'll explore these options in upcoming emails.
Here's the "fine print"/rules for our exhibit:
Sign up for the challenge in the store. In order to sign up you need to make a $50.00 purchase.
Deliver your quilt by the deadline mid-May. Exact date to follow.
Come celebrate at the party and talk about your quilt. We are all interested in knowing how you created your quilt. Who knows you may win a great prize.
Let us display your quilt in Duluth at the 2017 Minnesota Quilt Show and Conference.
Pick your quilt up at Twin Cities Quilting the third week in June.
I hope you're excited. I'll let send out more emails showing how "The Power of Three" can be used in different ways.