Friday, November 29, 2013

[workinprogress] and Black Friday Sales

Happy Thanksgiving!  Although we don't celebrate this holiday in Australia I do hope that all of my readers in the USA are having or have had a wonderful day with family, friends and good food.

Thanksgiving Day is traditionally followed in the US by Black Friday - a day dedicated to sales and shopping - much like our Boxing Day Sales (the day after Christmas).

I love a sale and thought I would share with you my sponsors' offers and sales:

THE FAT QUARTER SHOP ~  25% off everything - prices as marked.  2 days only, ends Saturday. Cannot be combined with other offers, not applicable to clubs, programs or purchase of gift cards.

HAWTHORNE THREADS ~ many fabric collections at just $7.50/yard or less. Through to Monday.

FABRIC WORM ~ More fabrics marked down and 10% off orders with code BFOMG.  Have you seen the new Charley Harper collection?  Ends Saturday.

BOBBIE LOU'S FABRIC (Etsy) ~ 25% off everything use code GOBBLE.  Ends Monday.

THE INTREPID THREAD ~ 30% off fabric. Prices as marked.  Ends midnight Friday 29 November.

FORT WORTH FABRIC STUDIO ~ 10% to 20% off all orders through to Monday 2 December 2013.

PINK CASTLE FABRICS ~ 20% off precuts & bundles, use code HOLIDAY20 and earn $5 gift certificate for every $50 spent in a single order.

STASH FABRICS (Etsy) ~ 20% off precuts and bundles, prices are as marked.  Free US shipping over $50.

FABRIC BUBB (Etsy) - 10% off all orders.  Use coupon code FRIDAYBUBB.  Ends 9pm Friday 29 November.

Thank you for supporting my sponsors.
Happy Fabric Shopping!

As you can see I have been whipping up a storm behind the sewing machine this week; lots of Liberty Tana Lawn mixed with scrap fabric and fabric from stash. The squares are small - finishing at just 2 inches square. I've had a wonderful time stitching and just enjoying simple patchworking.

Thank you for stopping by!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quilt Essential by Erin Harris

Erin Burke Harris is a highly regarded patchwork/quilter and general sewist, as well as a long time blogger at House On Hill Road (one of the first blogs I subscribed to way back in 2006). Erin is now also a published author with the release of her debut novel Quilt Essential.
Quilt Essential: A Visual Directory of Contemporary Patterns, 
Fabrics, and Colors by Erin Harris
Quilt Essential is quilting reference book, the kind that I would have found very useful as a beginner quilter and is still relevant now as a go-to resource and guide for all things fabric and quilting.

The book is divided into four main sections:  Fabrics, Colors, Designs, and Assembling.  Each section is packed with useful information. For example, the Fabric Section covers:
  • Types of Fabrics
  • Yardage and Measuring - calculating quilt size, fabric requirements, batting, background and backing fabric requirements, shapes per yard, using pre-cuts.
  • Caring for Fabrics - including advice on pre-washing fabric and color fastness.

I also really like the comprehensive Design section which includes information on block layouts and settings, sashing and borders as well as a brief history of quilt styles (ie traditional, Japanese, Hawaiian, Provencal, Amish) all with beautiful images to provide inspiration.

The last section (Section 4 Assembling) includes all of the "how to" information: general piecing, basting, quilting and binding instructions all with clear photographs which I am sure beginner quilters would find very useful.  In fact, it is more than just instructions as it includes information on making quilt backs, types of batting, styles of quilting, and binding (straight, bias, single fold, double fold).

Quilter Profiles - Kajsa Wikman (left) and Anna Maria Horner (right)
Profiled throughout the book are a selection of well-known quilters/bloggers each with personal stories of their quilting journey and their inspiration.

I have received one free copy of Quilt Essential directly from the publisher to give away to one lucky RPQ reader.

To be part of the draw please leave a comment on this blog post (email me if you are unable to leave comment - redpepperquilts at gmail dot com - and I will leave a comment on your behalf.

The draw will take place at 11 am (Australia EDT) on Friday 29 November 2013 at which time comments to this  post will be closed. The winner will be announced by edit to this blog post and will also be contacted by email.

Thank you for all of your entries!
The lucky winner is:

Congratulations Nicole!  Nicole has been contacted by email.

My congratulations to Erin on the publication of such a comprehensive quilting resource and reference book.


Quilt Essential by Erin Harris is available from Amazon.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Pinwheels and Daisies Quilt Pattern

Pinwheels and Daisies Quilt 
The Pinwheels and Daisies Quilt is finished!  I am really excited about how this quilt has turned out. I love the simple design from traditional patchwork units, and the colorful "field of daisies".

Other than a major and ongoing sewing machine crisis (not unlike a computer blue screen) no difficulties were encountered in the eventual basting, quilting and binding of this quilt.  My backup sewing machine was a trooper and came to my rescue.  I have quilted an all over grid of edge to edge lines, which really adds to the overall modern look of the quilt despite the traditional design.

I have written a pattern for the Pinwheels and Daisies Quilt.

The pattern (pdf file) is available as an immediate download from:
The pattern includes step by step tutorials to make the Pinwheels and Daisies block as pictured in TWO different sizes:

Pinwheels and Daisies Blocks in TWO different sizes
On the right is the original size block as used to make the quilt pictured here, and on the left is the larger size block for comparison.  Included also are cutting and sewing instructions for both blocks as well as fabric requirements for three additional quilt sizes regardless of what size block you choose to make.  Lots of options!

As always seam pressing instructions (and photos of the back of the blocks) are included to ensure that all seams nest together when sewing together your blocks into a quilt top, as well as handy hints and tips which will assist in the successful completion of this project (see the pattern listing for all pattern details).
The actual quilt itself is not for sale this time, but I am looking forward to seeing the many different versions and interpretations of this quilt made by you!

Thank you for enthusiasm which has spurred me on to write this pattern, and as always thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Stash #206 - True Colors by Joel Dewberry

True Colors by Joel Dewberry for FreeSpirit

True Colors is a designer driven fabric program by FreeSpirit Fabric featuring modern basic prints from FreeSpirit designers - Anna Maria Horner, Joel Dewberry, Jenean Morrison, and Heather Bailey - each contributing five prints in four distinctive colorways.

True Colors by Joel Dewberry - Herringbone 
First to arrive are Joel Dewberry's Tue Colors prints which are a collection of colors and designs that stand alone and are great mixer fabrics (stash basics).  I have chosen some of my favorites to share with you today and must say that I particularly like the Herringbone design (pictured above) as well as the quirky colors like the green and salmon colored prints pictured below.

True Colors by Joel Dewberry - Lodge Lattice

True Colors by Joel Dewberry is now available from:

True Colors by Joel Dewberry - Wood Grain 
Enjoy Sunday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pinwheels and Daisies Quilt Top


Just in case you were wondering what I have been up to ....

I have been working on this quilt top since arriving home. As my first project back behind the sewing machine my intention was to make a small quilt - a baby quilt - just to ease back into things.  But as progress was made I decided that this design would make a greater visual impact in numbers.  And so more blocks were made.  

80 blocks
320 half square triangles
1360 pieces (the smallest squares measure 1" x 1")

It is still not a large quilt but I am happy with the design and the colors. All of the solids fabrics used are Robert Kaufman Kona cottons including several from the new 2013 Kona color range (the white background fabric is Robert Kaufman Pure Organic and the black background fabric is Kona Pepper). Working with solid fabrics is such a pleasure; I am like a child in a candy store when choosing colors. This one, this one and that one too ...

Ready for basting, quilting and binding.

Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Stash #205 - Downton Abbey by Andover Fabrics

Downton Abbey by Andover Fabrics
The Women's Collection

I am a huge Downton Abbey fan, and have watched all of the first three TV series more than once.  Much more than once as it loops on my Ipad whilst I cut, sew, or quilt.  From the very first episode I was enthralled by the setting; the clothing, accessories and yes, the storyline. With each repeat episode I see more of the details such the the soft furnishings, the trimmings, textiles, and accessories.  A fascinating look at a bygone era.

The first exclusive collection of licensed fabrics of Downton Abbey for Andover Fabrics is The Women's Collection with color and design palettes inspired for the women upstairs: The Dowager Countess, Mary, Edith and Sybil - the lead female characters in the tv series.  It sounds like this is the first of several collections! 

Admittedly, these will be my challenge fabrics for 2014 - I LOVE them and the bundle has been eye candy on my cutting table for a week or so -  but they are well outside of my comfort zone (and I see so much purple!).

DOWNTON ABBEY - The Women's Collection is now available from:
Hawthorne Threads
The Fat Quarter Shop

Downton Abbey - Dotty Stripe
Enjoy Sunday!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Daybreak II - A Finished Knit

I have missed knitting this year!  I love to knit and because it is a more portable craft than machine sewing I tend to knit when I am out and about, traveling and also when taking time out on the couch.  But it seems that this year I have spent little time with the sticks. 

So today I am finally introducing my first finished knit for 2013 - Daybreak II (my second Daybreak Shawl).

The Pattern:  
Daybreak by Stephen West

The Yarn:
Madelinetosh Merino Light in Antler
Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball in Tropical Fish

Daybreak by Stephen West is an enjoyable straight forward knitting pattern, suitable for beginner knitters with some experience. Thankfully it is also the kind of project that you can easily pick up after a short hiatus.

This project was cast on early in the year and I finished knitting it in September.  I have used Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball yarn (a long repeat, self-striping, fingering weight yarn) alternated with a solid yarn. The self-striping yarn was a delight to work and when I did find time to sit down and knit I am sure my fingers and hands moved faster just to see the colors and knitted fabric change with every new row.

This shawl is wrapped and ready for Christmas gift giving; handmade Christmas gifts are special and I know already that this shawl will be much appreciated and worn often.

For more pictures and all the details check out my Ravelry page:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The American Folk Art Museum - 2013

Last week my husband and I traveled to New York City to fulfill my husband's dream of running the New York City Marathon.  If you have been following my blog for a while you might recall that we also traveled to NYC the same time last year for the same reason however as the marathon was canceled (due to hurricane Sandy) we have once again returned here.  And yes, this year the marathon was successfully completed by my husband with a great time!

Whilst in New York City I like to make it a priority to visit some of my favorite places including the American Folk Art Museum at Lincoln Square.  The current exhibition is called alt_quilts: Sabrina Gschwandtner, Luke Haynes, Stephen Sollins. The exhibition features the works of these three contemporary artists who are inspired by the history and structure of American quilts but who are neither inhibited, constricted, nor defined by it, and use unexpected materials such as 16mm film strips or used paper envelopes.

Camouflage, 2012 by Sabrina Gschwandtner
16mm film, polyamide thread, lithography ink
69.5 inches x 45.5 inches

Sabrina Gschwandtner is a New York based visual artists whose quilts feature the use of 16mm film. The historical films used are short documentaries from 1952 to 1982 focusing on textile crafts such as crocheting, knitting, sewing and quilting. 

Arts and Crafts, 2012 by Sabrina Gschwandtner
16mm film, polyamide thread
23.5 inches x 23 inches.
I was fascinated by Sabrina's work; the use of traditional patchwork blocks, techniques and color. The film quilts were presented with strong backlighting (not unlike a lightbox) which emphasized light/shade and positive/negative space.  A total of six Film Quilts are available for viewing.

Untitled (Return to Sender) 2010 by Stephen Sollins,
after Mary Jane Smith, 1865
Used envelopes, 78 inches x 72 inches

The work of Stephen Sollins is similarly amazing.  This log cabin masterpiece is a paper replica (made from used envelopes) of a traditional style (fabric) log cabin quilt made by Mary Jane Smith (1833-1869). Sollins spent much time carefully analyzing the piecing strategies and color placement of the pattern - his working/planning papers are also available for viewing.  

Also by Stephen Sollins:
Untitled (Grandfather's Garden) 2013
Made from used paper envelopes 86.5" x 66"
And also incredible ~  the work by Luke Haynes;

(The American Context #4) Benjamin Franklin 2010
 by Luke Haynes
Fabric, batting and thread 100" x 100".
This quilt by Luke Haynes is made to display on a bed and when viewed from a specific angle Franklin appears to be sitting on the corner of the bed.  

I enjoyed viewing and photographing this exhibition and have tried to carefully document the information that goes along with each of the quilts. These are only some of the works available for viewing and if you happen to be in the NYC and quilts are your thing, then I can highly recommend you take time to stop by this exhibition.  

Vintage Quilts for Sale at the Folk Art Museum Shop.
This exhibition runs until 5 January 2014.


Thank you for stopping by,

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