Monthly Archives: March 2019

I've been admiring Sylvia Schaefer's work for a couple years, so when she invited me to participate in this blog hop to help launch her new book, The Quilter's Negative Space Handbook, I was excited for the opportunity.

 

Sylvia's book is a wealth of information. It contains eight full patterns which illustrate the different design techniques in each of her eight chapters. These are vibrant, modern quilts in bold colors. They utilize negative space in different, interesting ways. Below are a couple of my favorites from the book. In addition to these patterns, Sylvia walks you through the process to design in each of her techniques, with step by step diagrams, commentary on what works and what doesn't work, and multiple examples for each technique. These techniques can be used whether you design on a computer or with paper and pencil.

River of Fire by Sylvia Schaefer

This quilt illustrates Sylvia's technique of Making Shapes. I love the bold color, the use of one simple block construction in multiple sizes, and of how it makes me think of a fractal.

Every Which Way by Sylvia Schaefer

This quilt illustrates Sylvia's technique of Scattering. I love the randomness of this design as well as her choice to have soft grey for some of the arrows. I especially love the arrows that are so faint you can barely see them.

 

My Project

Sometimes when you see or experience something it affects you without you realizing it. When I received my copy of the book I flipped through it immediately. But I didn't take it all in. Then I designed my Island Batik project for this month. Our theme this month for the Island Batik Ambassador challenge is Vintage Reimagined. I like working from a traditional block and adapting it to a new design. When I came back to read The Quilter's Negative Space Handbook cover to cover, I realized that my designs fit right in with Sylvia's Extending Lines chapter. Surely, skimming through the book earlier had already influenced me.

I work in Illustrator to mock up design ideas. For this project I chose the Antique Tile quilt block.

My next step was to recolor it in four colors since I had chosen four fabrics in my initial fabric pull. Generally I work in random (and often obnoxious) contrasting colors until I settle on a layout I like. These are not indicative of my fabric choices.

From there I used three blocks on the quilt top and extended the light blue from the block above to the edges of the quilt. I tried with different background colors.

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Then I adjusted the scale of the blocks and plugged in the colors of my fabrics.

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I realized that I didn't have enough of the dark teal fabric for the size project I was creating, so I replaced the orange in my palette with red and rearranged by color placement.

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I tried these colors with my original scale.

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One other design option that came about didn't feature the Extending Lines technique, but rather another of Sylvia's techniques, Standing Alone.

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I've settled on which quilt I'm making this month, though I could see myself making another version, or further iterating on the design. I'd love to hear which of these designs catches your eye, or how you would adjust the design. (I've numbered the quilts 01-07 to make it easier to reference them in the comments.)

 

Buckles by Sylvia Schaefer

This is Sylvia's example of Extending Lines. The intersecting lines remind me of Celtic knots. I like her choice of straight line quilting and enjoy the color palette.

 

Giveaway

Sylvia and C&T Publishing have offered one digital (PDF) version of The Quilter’s Negative Space Handbook. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter below. By entering, you agree that you are 18 years of age or older. International participants are welcome. The giveaway is open through Wednesday, March 27th, at Midnight PDT. A winner will be randomly selected and emailed to be notified. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Hop Schedule

March 11 – C&T Publishing – blog tour kickoff
March 12 – Nicole Neblett – Mama Love Quilts
March 13 – Christa Watson – Christa Quilts
March 14 – Jessica Caldwell – Desert Bloom Quilting
March 15 – Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill – Whole Circle Studio
March 18 – Cassandra Ireland Beaver – The (Not So) Dramatic Life
March 19 – Yvonne Fuchs – Quilting Jetgirl
March 20 – Sarah Ruiz – Saroy
March 21 – Sarah Goer – Sarah Goer Quilts (you’re here!)
March 22 – Sylvia Schaefer – Flying Parrot Quilts – tour wrap-up

The products used in this project were given to me by Island Batik, Hobbs, and Aurifil.

Sunday morning, as I left the Purim celebration at our synagogue, I took a peek at the new Project QUILTING challenge that had been announced that morning. Craving Chocolate. I immediately had a plan. I would make a quilted hamentaschen.

Purim is one of the lesser Jewish holidays, a spring festival in which Jews read from the Book of Esther. The holiday officially starts tomorrow evening. One of the ways we celebrate the holiday is with tasty cookies called hamentaschen. They are a butter/sugar cookie that can be filled with, among other options, chocolate.

I couple things went into my fabric choices. I don't use much brown fabric, but I knew I had at least a scrap of brown Island Batik from this project. I thought I had a larger piece, but the 3 1/2" x 5" piece I found would have to do. It drove the finished size of the project. Additionally, I knew that one of the neutrals that I had received in my most recent Island Batik box was called Batter. That seems like a close choice for a sugar cough dough. :-)

I opted for a double batting in my dough, wool and cotton, to give it a thicker, cookie-like shape. My cookie was about 6 inches in diameter before it was folded up around my chocolate filling. The finished cookie is about 5 1/2 inches on a side.

Happy Purim!

I've linked up to the Project QUILTING Craving Chocolate challenge. Once the challenge ends on Sunday you can vote for your ten favorites. (Mine is #3)

 

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Last Monday I flew into Burbank airport for a visit to Camarillo Quilters Association. I was greeted with beautiful spring weather for my visit which included attending their meeting to share my Rules and Options of Planned Improv Piecing lecture and trunk show followed by my Planned Improv: Scrappy Squares workshop the next day.

 

Here’s a glimpse of the back of one of my oldest quilts that shared at the meeting. I think it’s my earliest attempt at Planned Improv. In this case I wanted to make “back art” for this quilt using my scraps from the front of the project. I was probably working with a limited amount of the black on white polka dot fabric, and I decided to insert a band of solid black with bars of bright color from my front. I had remnant strips that were all cut 2 1/2” wide, but they were different lengths. I added solid black to the ends of each strip and staggered them for my final placement.

 

In my Planned Improv: Scrappy Squares workshop, we had a variety of different perspectives on the planned improv technique. Some quilters took inspiration from a shape they saw in one of the quilts during my lecture while others built from their squares (and rectangles) for a unique composition. It was fun to see the variety of colors and sizes these quilters chose to work with. Every time I teach this class I return home with new ideas to try! Here are the slabs in progress by Linda, Kristin, and Barbara.

 

I had a fun day with this group. A great big thanks to all of the Camarillo Quilters Association for having me, and to Laura who was my host for my visit.

You can view my schedule to see where I will be teaching next. If I’m not headed your way, feel free to point your guild program chair to my website. I’m currently booking dates for 2020, with limited availability in late 2019.