Monthly Archives: November 2013

Coming Up

I’m in the process of planning my next quilts – because you know I always like to have a few projects in the works – and so far I have two lined up.  Here’s a sneak peek at what colors I’m going to work with for the first one.

I still have quite a bit of this Denyse Schmidt fabric collection and it is time to put this to use.  Actually, I would say it’s overdue.

More to come on this one…

The Next Pattern Trends

I ran across this story on Apartment Therapy about the latest pattern trends and it had me doing a mental inventory of my current fabric stash.  Am I on-trend?  Do I have any botanical prints on-hand?  What about faux bois?  Is chevron over?  Do I even care!?!?

Like most things in life, patterns are a personal preference – some people like animal print, some don’t – but I have to say I’m really interested in some of the ideas Apartment Therapy suggests.  The two that grabbed my attention most are the arrows and botanical patterns.

I’ve started to see the arrow trend in quilting fabric, and recently designer Allison Glass introduced a new collection that has arrows, or what she calls “feathers” in it.  You can see it here.  I love this fabric and I would love even more to get my fingers on it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see more of this look.

The other print I’m digging is botanicals.  I haven’t run across much of this in quilting fabric but I feel like I’ve seen more of it in home design.  I have noticed designer Eloise Renouf’s Bark & Branch collection  that has some botanical prints in it and is pretty dreamy looking if you ask me.  I would love to get a big cut of the gray or blue Line Leaf to use on the back of a quilt.

So what do you like?  Think any of these patterns have staying power?

If there’s one thing I do know for sure it’s that I will NEVER get tired of polka dots!  That I do have a lot of, and I always seem to gravitate towards polka dots/circles or any dot-like fabric when I’m shopping.  I think I should take a break from dots.  From now on, I’m shopping for arrows and botanicals.

Boxed In

Remember how I wrote here about my favorite quilt?  I may have a new one, or at least a second favorite.  I think it’s the color combination of this project that makes my heart skip a beat.

Late this summer I went on a bit of a fabric shopping spree and got a pretty big stack of new fabric.  This was my first time breaking in to it, and you know that feeling of being excited to use new fabric but also nervous to make the first cut?  That’s exactly how I was feeling about it!  I loved the fabric so much and I wanted to make sure that I was using it well.

The prints in this quilt come from Dear Stella and are really pretty.  So pretty that part of my angst about cutting it came from wanting to find a design to highlight the fabric as best I could. This is what I landed on, and I’m happy to say that I have no regrets.

After I had all of my blocks pieced together I spent quite a bit of time rearranging them into a way that I liked.  I originally started with a repeating pattern but it just didn’t look right.  What I finally ended up with actually has a little bit of rhyme and reason to it, but it’s mostly random.  Strategically random.

For the back, I had a big piece of Kona Cotton in the Oyster color that matches perfectly with the neutral color in the Dear Stella prints.  The remainder of the back is scrap pieces from the front I had leftover.

Speaking of leftovers, when I started this quilt I was unsure of the size I wanted to end up with, so I made some extra blocks thinking I would probably use them and make a larger quilt.  But…I didn’t end up using them so I have enough blocks left to make a baby quilt.  I’m adding that to my to-do list and you will (eventually) find it in my Etsy shop!

Crafternoon at the New York Public Library

This post is overdue but better late than never, right?

In September I discovered a very cool monthly event the New York Public Library offers.  They have a free event hosted by a well-known crafter ever month called Hand-made Crafternoon.  The guest host can be an expert in just about anything that falls within the “crafting” category.

At the end of September, the library’s guest host was the one and only Denyse Schmidt.  Any of us that call ourselves modern quilters know Denyse.  Not only does she make AMAZING and inspiring quilts, she is an incredibly talented fabric designer.  I love, love, love working with her fabric and have quite a few pieces in my fabric stash just waiting to be used.

IMG_2434

Denyse spoke about her experience designing quilts and fabric and then we pieced together our own mug rugs using Denyse’s fabric.

IMAG0031

It was so much fun to see Denyse in person and hear about her design background.  And now that I know the library hosts Crafternoons, you better believe I’ve already signed up for the December event.

Here is the finished product already in use.

023

For more information about the New York Public Library Hand-made Crafternoon in December, visit http://www.nypl.org/events/programs/2013/12/07/hand-made-crafternoon-jessica-marquez-december-7-2013.

P.S. For those of you who don’t live in New York but are planning to visit, the New York Public Library is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.  They offer public tours and I plan to take a tour myself one of these days.

Vintage Fans

This is a quilt I can only take about 50 percent credit for; the other 50 percent goes to my grandma.  Years ago she made the quilt top and I took it over and finished it last week.  This design is part classic Dresden Plate quilt pattern, but with a twist.  I think they look more like fans so that’s what I’m calling it.

Fans Chair 1

My grandma recently celebrated her 91st birthday and has spent most of those 91 years as a quilter.  But unfortunately now that she’s 91 her eyes aren’t so great anymore.  She can still do some embroidery (more about that in another post) but she can’t see well enough to work a machine.

Before she stopped, she had a few quilts tops that were done but hadn’t been finished, so my mom gave them to me to finish.  They’ve been packed away for years and I finally dug them out on my last visit home to my parents’ house.

001

I love the old fabrics she used.  My grandma comes from an era where you use what you’ve got, and many of the fabrics found in this quilt come from old shirts of hers, according to my mom.  It kind of inspires me to look a little more closely at old shirts of mine before getting rid of them!

I chose a simple white back for this quilt and put it all together.  When it was time for the binding, my grandma had already taken care of that part, too.

Every quilt I can remember my grandma making has these little triangles for the binding.  She had already pre-cut all of the squares and all I had to do was fold and attach them to the quilt.

Triangles 1

I typically do a traditional binding on my quilts but it was fun to do the triangles to keep this a true grandma quilt.  I have to warn you, if you ever do the triangles for a binding they take A LOT longer than doing a traditional binding, but so worth the end result.

Fans 4

I love how this vintage quilt turned out and now I’m anxious to get my hands on any other quilt tops packed away.

Let’s Talk About Downton Abbey

Can we stray from quilts for minute and talk about one of the best TV shows ever?  How much do you love Downton Abbey?  Isn’t it the best?  I must confess that I have a tiny obsession with the entire country of England so Downton Abbey is right up my alley.

Given my love for the show, you can imagine my excitement upon learning about a fabric collection inspired by Downton Abbey.  This month, Andover Fabrics introduces the collection and I am itching to get my fingers on it, but first I have to decide which one I want.

They have four different collections available and each one is inspired by a different character.  I’m having a hard time deciding which collection to go with.  First up, the Dowager Countess.

(All mood board images courtesy of Andover Fabrics.)Downton Mood Board - The Dowager Small

I love the drama of this fabric and this one is definitely a contender.  The look of the fabric would be a lot different than I normally choose, but that could make it interesting.

Next, the Lady Edith collection.

Downton Mood Boards - Edith Small

When I first looked at it, this was probably my least favorite collection, but it’s really starting to grow on me.  The colors are certainly ones that I like.

Next up, Lady Mary.

Downton Mood Boards - Mary Small

That sweet print with the little berries on it is really speaking to me.  This could be fun to work with.

Next is Lady Sybil.

Downton Mood Boards - Sybil Small

This has been the frontrunner and I’m still leaning towards it. I really love the colors and the prints are lovely too.

Finally, they have companion prints to complement each collection.

Downton Mood Boards - Non-Character Small

Now the big question: Which one should I choose? I’m still leaning toward Lady Sybil but I’m not completely sold. I’m really starting to like Lady Edith’s collection, but I really love them all! Help me decide!

My Favorite Quilt

I’m often asked what my favorite quilt is and it’s a hard question to answer because there are so many that I like for different reasons, but there’s one that always stands out in my mind a little bit more than the others. It’s this one:

014

I made this quilt about five years ago and it started as a sketch on a piece of graph paper. And then it stayed like that for a very long time! I had an idea of the color scheme I wanted to go with but it took a while to find the exact fabric that would make it perfect.

I finally found it in Amy Butler fabric. I LOVE her fabric and after looking and looking, I combined her Belle, Soul Blossoms and Lotus collections. I think it’s only those three collections, but tell me if you see any others that snuck in there.

011

My goal was to randomly combine different fabric rather than try to stick with one fabric collection that would make it too uniform looking, and I think it works. It’s the randomness and the amount of colors and patterns that all seem to blend well together.

010

So there you have it. That’s my favorite quilt…for now!

Update (as of 5.29.16): As some of you have noticed and have contacted me about, there is another quilter who recently posted this quilt design to her blog (and other social media platforms) and is claiming the design as her own.  She is also selling a pattern and making money off of it.  Yes, I have contacted her and politely requested she stop.  Unfortunately, she has declined to do so.  As you can imagine, this is extremely disappointing and I am considering my next steps for handling this situation.  In the meantime, I want to thank the thousands and thousands of people who have read about this quilt, emailed me about it, commented about it, liked it, pinned it, shared it, or even just admired it from afar.  Your kind words and encouragement are what make the quilting community so wonderful.  I plan to address the greater issue of inspiration vs. plagiarism in a later blog post and would love to start a respectful conversation about it at that time.  More to come…