Friday, February 26, 2016

Book Review and a Giveaway - Splash of Color

One of the best things to come out of my first time author experience has been the chance to meet some really fun folks in my quilting world this past year and today I'm happy to share one of those and her book with you...Splash of Color: A Rainbow of Brilliant Black and White Quilts by the awesome Jackie Kunkel.

You may know of Jackie through Canton Village Quilt Works or through Quiltworx as a Judy Niemeyer certified instructor - she's a really busy gal! I had the pleasure of meeting her at Fall Quilt Market and quickly found we are two peas in a pod when it comes to our love of color and bright, bold fabric. I was thrilled she shared a copy with me :)
All images courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place.
Her book Splash of Color is beautiful! It has 13 different projects that focus on the use of brights with black and white fabrics as the neutral...right up my alley! Here are some of my favorites...
Star Bright, by Jackie Kunkel

Proud Mary, by Jackie Kunkel
Jackie had many of her quilting buddies contribute to the book and do their version of her quilts in different colorways and with their own twist as well. The ideas just keep coming. I love that.

One thing that I really wanted to try was Jackie's technique for curved piecing, something I really haven't done a lot of. A little scary - but not when Jackie shows you how easy it is. She has this great youtube video to show you how.

Let's celebrate that successful curved piecing with a giveaway, shall we? Just share a comment below about Splash of Color, curved piecing, or anything colorful to be entered to win your very own signed copy of Splash of Color. I'll draw a winner on March 5th.

And if that weren't enough, you can hop over to Jackie's blog where she's reviewing my own Stash Lab: Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts this week for a chance to win a signed copy of that one as well!

So two thumbs up! Thanks Jackie for a great addition to my bookshelf and my sewing room.

Happy Splash Quilting,


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Review - Machine Quilting With Style

What do you do when you love quilting but don't actually like to do the quilting part? I have to admit it's not the part of the process I enjoy the most and I'm often stumped on what to do with my completed tops. I like the fabric, design, piecing and even binding! The quilting itself can be a challenge for me and definitely an area with room to grow. So I was very happy to get my hands on fellow-Martingale author Christa Watson's book Machine Quilting With Style: From Walking-Foot Wonders to Free-Motion Favorites.
All photos courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place.
You may know her from on-line as Christa Quilts or the Precut Store. She has so many great ideas for quilting with both the walking foot as well as free motion.

The book includes 12 complete projects that provide not only beautiful projects themselves, but great ideas for some very do-able quilting ideas that you can do on your own domestic machine.

I really appreciated all of the info Christa shares about batting types and thread. Hints for successful basting (often another challenge altogether) as well as some really beautiful designs.

I love this scrappy project called Facets. The best part - she's even doing a quilt-along on this pattern as we speak!

So I was happily inspired to drag out a project I had been procrastinating on and give some of her tips a try. I pulled out my completed top for Cavanaugh Crossroads and decided to give the serpentine stitch on my machine a go for some nice, overall texture.

And success! Super happy with it. The quilt measures 54" x 54" and took me about 7 hours (split into two days.)

The best news yet is that Christa has another book coming out later this Spring with Angela Waters that I can't wait for - The Ultimate Guide to Machine be continued! Christa is super involved with the Modern Quilt Guild and you can also find her on Instagram @christaquilts .

And guess what? You can find me there too! @tonyaalexanderquilts.

Happy stash quilting,


Friday, February 12, 2016

Behind the quilt - Sunny Side Up

O.k., on to our next project, with a little peek behind this crazy little creative brain of mine! We may be no closer to figuring out how it works, but we'll take a look anyway...

Also from Stash Lab, this quilt is called Sunny Side Up...
Sunny Side Up
I love geometric patterns and I see them everywhere! Hotel carpets, upholstery, tile, a brick walkway - pattern is everywhere! This quilt literally jumped off a bathroom wall! Here's a magazine ad for some hotel that I ripped out of a magazine (I'm sure it was mine!) It was begging me to be made into a quilt. Really, a traditional quarter log cabin block, just made bigger and brighter!

Inspiration on my bulletin board in my sewing room...
That torn out picture lingered on my idea bulletin board for at least a year or so before I got the urge to go shop-hopping while on vacation through sunny California searching high and low for all things yellow. Before this project, my stash had virtually no yellow to speak of so this was a fun fabric hunt. It was addictive!

I have to admit, before I decided to go with the yellow, I considered making it in a bunch of different colorways (red and white, blue and white, etc.) because there was this old quilt color "rule" I had heard someone say that a quilt should never have more than say, 5% yellow or it will be ruined. Well, that was like throwing down the gauntlet for me - it had to be yellow now!

I didn't actually even draw this one out because I really figured on replicating the tile pattern pretty closely. Everything got cut down to 2 1/2" strips and this is what it looked like mid-way through up on my design wall.

Tracey added the most beautiful, modern quilting to it - way too big for me to tackle on my home machine with a deadline. This one is so cuddly and soft, it just begs you to curl up in it for an afternoon nap. I love it, one of my favorites for sure. Simplicity itself.

Happy stash quilting,