Monday, September 28, 2015

Stash Lab - take 2

So, on our countdown to the big book birthday - October 6th! - I'm sharing some of the projects from my upcoming book with Martingale, Stash Lab: Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts. Moving right along, let's get to some more quilts.

This time, let's look at some of the projects under the Stash Lab equation of "Neutrals + Scraps = Balance". It really is as simple as it sounds. When working with lots of different competing fabrics or scraps in a quilt, it helps a lot to give the eye a place to rest in between. Neutrals can act as a great frame for a variety of fabrics and neutral doesn't just mean white-on-white either. Textured prints, solids, even low-volume patterns are all considered neutrals in my opinion. Here's one that uses a gray/white sheet music print as the neutral. This is "Loose Change"...

"Loose Change", Stash Lab: Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts
Can you guess it's namesake and the inspiration for this project? If you guessed a traditional Chinese Coin pattern, you were right! This is my version with a bit of a twist, turning the quadrants to add interest and little bit of a modern edge to a very traditional pattern. For this project, I dug into my bin of 1-1/2" strip scraps and put together a variety of strips sets, using sea glass as my color inspiration.

The next quilt is a little (o.k., a lot) bolder, and one of my favorites - not only because of the fabrics! This is "Kaffe's Garden at Night"...
"Kaffe's Garden at Night", Stash Lab: Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts
This one may look a little familiar :) I just can't let it go! I love this quilt. Black is definitely the ultimate neutral and really brings out the intensity of colors in fabrics that you use with it. Sometimes people shy away from using black in quilt tops, but I don't think black has to be sad or dark. Not when you use it this way!

Now, please forgive the not-so-great photo on this next one, it's the only one I could access at the moment. But, my bad living-room photography doesn't do this one justice in the least. This is "Sunny Side Up"...

"Sunny Side Up", Stash Lab: Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts
So maybe this is my ploy, you have to see the professional photography of this one in the book! The quilting is beautiful simplicity itself, from the efforts of the very talented, Tracey Fisher. Tracey is not only one of my go-to professional long-arm quilters, she is my friend and one of my biggest cheerleaders (thanks Tracey!) This one does actually use solid white as the neutral, but in a non-traditional way, to bring together a shop-hop collection of different yellow fabrics, all made from 2-1/2" strips. This would be a great project in anyone's favorite color.

Well, we're getting closer! I can't tell you how great it feels to finally be able to share all of this with you. I have said that waiting and working on the book for almost two years has felt like sitting on a chicken egg, waiting for it to hatch - and it's true! This is one big baby chick, I must say. But, I couldn't be more thrilled. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Happy Stash quilting,


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Stash Lab Countdown!

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig! They're home....crazy for me to look at this little pile of folded loveliness and think that it represents a couple of years worth of fun and fabric, but there it is.  Anyway, the countdown is moving right along and my publication date for Stash Lab is quickly approaching - October 6th! So, I think it's about time I start sharing some of the projects with you.  

Sorry, this seat is taken.

The table of contents gives you a sneak peak at what's to come. I really love the design and concept of the book that the good folks at Martingale came up with. Yes, they're my projects, my writing, my ideas, but the graphic design group at Martingale came up with the overall look and feel of the book itself. I love it - but then again, I'm a little bit biased :) 
Stash Lab - Table of Contents

I thought it would be fitting to start with one of the quilts you see on the cover and in the table of contents, "The Big Spin". The projects follow three different scrap equations that I like to use when  looking at my stash or a bucket of scraps and starting a new project. "The Big Spin" actually falls under Stash Equation #2 that deals with the use of fabric value vs. color. This project fits the equation to a tee. This design really is all about value and placement, regardless of color palette.
"The Big Spin" from Stash Lab: Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts
If you're in my local area, you can currently see this quilt on display at Two Thimbles quilt shop in Bellingham. All of the projects under this equation really work with any color palette or fabric style - it's all about value and placement to create the design. Another project in this category is "Jester".
"Jester" from Stash Lab: Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts
I enjoyed making this quilt so much because it has so many of my favorite stash fabrics. It's also the only paper-pieced project in the book - and a really easy one if you've never tried paper piecing before. This quilt is currently on display locally at Fabric-Etc. in Bellingham.

I am really fortunate to live so close to great shops that provide beautiful products and inspiration for what I love to do. They have been so supportive of my efforts as a quilter. Most of all, I'm so thankful for their encouragement, friendship and willingness to help me on this crazy journey. Priceless.

More to come, but if you haven't already, run out to your favorite local quilt shop and ask them to order you up a copy of Stash Lab! Maybe you'll find a few other goodies there to add to your stash. In the meantime...

Happy stash quilting,