Necklace Seam Rippers

Seam rippers

 

A beautiful collection of 9 necklace style seam rippers, handturned by my husband, were just listed in my Etsy shop!  See link in sidebar.  Shipping to addresses in the US only at this time.  Thank you!

Seam rippers

Inn Street Clutch in Quilting Arts Holiday 2015

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I’m excited to have a fun quick-sew project in the special 2015 Holiday issue of QuiltingArts Magazine that’s perfect for gifting or keeping!

Inn Street Clutch by Amy Friend

My project can be found on page 80 and it’s called the Inn Street Clutch, named after a street in the historic downtown Newburyport, MA.  I was inspired to make this modern clutch with handmade bias tape embellishment by the design of my daughter’s crisscrossing leather straps on her Sunday shoes, and by the recent QuiltCon bias tape challenge.

Inn street clutch by Amy Friend

I had a lot of fun with this pattern and actually made three versions.  They all use Robert Kaufman Essex Linen for the exterior and Doe by Carolyn Friedlander for the bias tape and linings.  Zippers are from Zipit on Etsy. The interfacing is HeatnBond Fusible Interfacing Craft Extra Firm.

Inn Street Clutch by Amy Friend

Forgive me, I took a couple of extra pictures…

Inn street clutch by Amy Friend

 

 

Do you think that they would be fun to make?  I would love to see your version!

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Squared Elements at Massdrop…with a giveaway!

Squared Elements

Starting today, Massdrop is offering a Squared Elements drop! Squared Elements are  modern, graphic blenders by Art Gallery Fabrics.  They are offered in 27 different beautiful hues, including 6 brand new colors: Lox, Tutu, Cielo, Cyan, Seaglass and Wasabi.  This drop includes a fat quarter of each!

Squared Elements

The range is great so you are bound to find a color to work with whatever palette you choose.  In fact, I found 4 that work perfectly with a quilt I just started.  They are very useful blenders and I love having them in my stash.

Squared Elements

If you look carefully, you will see that some of the prints have colored squares floating on a white background and others have white squared with color surrounding them.  I love that they include that mix.

Squared Elements Haberdashery Pillow by Amy Friend

I chose 9 of the Squared Elements (which was hard!!) and paired them with a light grey solid to make blocks from my Haberdashery pattern.  I shrank the blocks to 6″ in order to make an 18″ pillow cover.  I quilted with a 1/2″ grid in the spirit of the Squared Elements.

Squared Elements Haberdashery Pillow by Amy Friend

I would love to see a whole Haberdashery quilt made up with the Squared Elements.  Wouldn’t it be fun?  Due to the necktie like diamond shapes it has a bit of a masculine look while incorporating feminine colors.

Squared Elements

During Quiet Time readers have a chance to win your own bundle of Squared Elements courtesy of Massdrop!  The giveaway is even open internationally.  Just leave a comment and enter with Rafflecopter. If you don’t want to miss you chance, click over to Massdrop before the drop ends.

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Bauhaus Mini

Bauhaus Mini by Amy Friend

Recently, I asked my former colleague, Victoria Solan, for some suggestions for modern inspiration to use in my quilting. She recommended Bauhaus 1919-1933; Workshops for Modernity by Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman. Well, before I even opened the book, I was inspired to somehow replicate the cover image by Joost Schmidt from 1926.  His was an offset print on cardboard measuring 12 1/8″ x 9 3/16″.  Mine is an improvisationally pieced mini quilt measuring 18″ x 21″.

The Bauhaus was a school of art and design founded in Germany in 1919.  It was shut down by the Nazis in 1933.  In that sort time, they discussed and experimented with the idea of modern art.  I love the graphic quality of the cover image and the radiating circles.  I didn’t even attempt the fine lines that you will see on the cover but rather began with an inset circle and then hand cut curves of about 1/2″ to an inch and a quarter. The initial curved were tight and therefore tricky, as was hand cutting the black circle and matching its seams with the black arc. But I really enjoyed that challenge.

Bauhaus Mini by Amy Friend

Due to the difference in media, I had the opportunity to add another dimension to my piece with quilting lines. I chose to echo the arc like shape in the black and grey sections with dark grey lines of quilting spaced 1/4″ apart.  Then I quilted in concentric circles in light grey thread for the colorful portion of the mini.

I had a lot of fun with this experiment. I found it technically challenging and forced myself to reach a bit for my color palette including that green that isn’t normally included in my work.

 

Ombre Vibes Mini

Ombre Vibes Mini by Amy Friend

A little over a year ago now, I designed a quilt for Sizzix that I called Ombre Vibes. It is available as a free pattern on the Sizzix site.  Sizzix now owns the sample quilt that I made and I have been intended to make one for myself but keep putting it off.  I was asked to teach an Ombre Vibes quilt class this fall so I figured it was now time to make another version!  Sizzix is kindly sending the original for me to share at the class so I made this sample to share another colorway, a smaller size, and a different quilting approach.

Ombre Vibes Mini by Amy Friend

The original Ombre Vibes was made with 6″ finished squares and HST units.  This mini version is half the size using 3″ finished squares and HST units.  It finishes at 27″ square.

Ombre Vibes Mini by Amy Friend

It can be tricky to find 6 solids in a nice gradient.  I chose to start with a FQ pack of Pure Elements by Art Gallery Fabrics and added in the lightest shade of pink for the center and one of the medium pink shades from a Kona bundle in order to achieve the gradient I needed.  The grays are all Kona.  I was so thrilled to find the perfect binding fabric in my stash!  It’s Tula Pink’s Swarm in Jam.  Not only does it match the darkest shade of pink but it includes one of the medium shades too!

Ombre Vibes Mini by Amy Friend

For my original Ombre Vibes, I quilted with tiny pebbles in the center square and then quilted wavy radiating lines from the center to the outer edges.  In order to show a quilting alternative, and since this one was smaller and therefore this approach more feasible, I quilted with a dense diagonal grid.  The lines are all 1/4″ or 1/2″ apart.  They are primarily quilted with a 50 weight Aurifil in light pink but I added some rows of gray stitches too. I think you can see this if you look closely.

I hope you are all enjoying summer!

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Garden Stroll Pattern Available

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Thank you for all the compliments on Garden Stroll! I am so glad that you like it.  It is now available as a pdf download from my Pattern Store (see header) or Etsy and Craftsy (see side bar).  Please remember that I am only selling to the US in my Etsy and Craftsy shops so if you live outside of the US, you will need to purchase through my Pattern Store. It’s very easy though and you still use your Paypal account.

 

Garden Stroll Quilt

Garden Stroll Quilt by Amy Friend

I finished my Garden Stroll Quilt last night.  This is a paper pieced quilt with lots of interesting negative space but block based putting it squarely in the modern traditional category, I think!  All of the blocks are pieced but you get a break on the blocks with just the chartreuse diamonds because they are simple and quick.

Garden Stroll Quilt by Amy Friend

The quilt is made using 5 solids–blue, chartreuse, light pink, medium pink and dark pink.  You could make scrappy flowers from prints too!  I was going for a bold, graphic look so I felt that solids would do that best. I wrote about my color palette recently if you missed it, you might find it interesting.

Garden Stroll Quilt by Amy Friend

I chose to quilt with organic, wavy, vertical lines using a medium shade of grey Aurifil that I thought blended pretty well through the range of colors.  I hoped that the wavy lines would give the sense of a stroll through meandering paths in a garden and add some movement to the quilt.  I like the fact that they do a good job of obliterating the block seams from just a short distance away.

Garden Stroll by Amy Friend

I picked up a fat quarter stack of Honeymoon by Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel while at market this spring. It was sitting out in my sewing room (due to lack of space in the fabric hutch!) and caught my eye.  I thought it would make the perfect backing for this quilt. I ordered some yardage from The Fat Quarter Shop.

I will have this pattern available for sale shortly both as a pdf and paper pattern.  This quilt measures 60″ x 67 1/2″ finished.

Color Palette

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I thought I would share my process for choosing my color palette for my upcoming pattern (it’s in the works but summer sewing is proving to be challenging!).  The design for the quilt had been drafted for months but I hadn’t settled on colors.  One day, I was noticing my husband and son’s raincoats hanging together (center pic in right column) and I loved the chartreuse with the royal blue.  Another day, I was admiring my yarrow (top pic in right column) and noticing the several shades of pink within one flower and how beautiful those shades were.  I glanced down and noticed that the shorts I was wearing were about the same color as the yarrow and I was wearing the tshirt in the bottom picture. I thought, “Hmm, I like the rosy shades with the blue.”  But I wanted a pop of color and that made me think about the raincoats again.  So I added chartreuse.  The palette ended up bring a medium shade of blue, three shades of pinks and chartreuse.  Do you come up with color combinations this way sometimes? I can’t say it was planned. It just evolved over the course of a couple of weeks.

 

 

Find Me in the Garden

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If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I love gardening! It’s all the sweeter this year following such a long, cold, and incredibly snowy winter.
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I thought I would pop in to show you some of the magic that is happening in my garden, amongst the weeds!
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If you have posted some garden pictures lately, leave me a comment with a link so I can come see yours too!
Happy summer everyone!

FQS Aurifil Thread Boxes

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When the Fat Quarter Shop asked if I would like to try out their exclusive Aurifil thread boxes, they didn’t need to ask twice. I am a huge Aurifil fan and use it pretty much exclusively.  The Fat Quarter Shop is selling boxes of 10 spools each in four colorways called Biscotti, Macaroon, Scone and Tart. They are offering Patchwork Sets (50 weight thread good for machine piecing), Finishing Sets (12 weight thread good for handquilting) and Aurifloss (6 strand floss for embroidery).

Tart

I was sent the Tart Patchwork set.  I guess these are my kind of colors because I just used the pink, grey, teal and yellow in my last quilt and they are all found in this set.

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

If you look carefully, you can see all those colors in the quilting above!  Initially, I purchased 40 weight Aurifil for my quilting but I have recently, over the last year or so, decided that I like to use 50 weight Aurifil for both my machine piecing and machine quilting.  My machine seems to love it and I like the finer weight as well.

Scone

The Fat Quarter Shop also sent me the Scone colorway.  At first, I didn’t think I would find the colors all that helpful but they are actually very nice dark neutrals. I have already used half of the spool on the left in my most recent piecing project.

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I was also able to try out a set of Aurifloss in the Tart colorway.  I don’t do a lot of embroidery but had recently received Rebecca Ringquist’s new book, Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops: A Bend-the-Rules Primer and it includes a sampler in the back of the book.  It seemed like fate and it’s always nice to have a portable project for the summer.  I just started stitching the sampler using the Aurifloss. I have experimented using only 2 strands, 3 strands, and all 6 in order to get different textures as Rebecca suggests.  It’s fun!  As it turns out, couching is really cool!  And it is a great use for those little bits of leftover yarn I have too.  I don’t expect that this project will be done any time soon but I will share it when it is done for sure.

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The Aurifloss is great to work with. It comes on the most adorable wooden spools which pretty much sells it. But I also found the floss nice to work with and less easily tangled than other brands I have tried.

I have no qualms at all about recommending Aurifil. It’s a quality product. I had the opportunity to hear Alex Veronelli from Aurifil speak about the thread making process a couple of years ago and it was fascinating. It just made me appreciate it all the more. And the Fat Quarter Shop has excellent customer service and has boxed up attractive colorways.

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Welcoming Quilty Box (with a giveaway!)

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I am happy to welcome Quilty Box as a new sponsor today.  You may be familiar with Quilty Box already. It was started by an avid quilter in Florida in 2013.  She was open to new subscribers for three months.  Balancing the number of boxes that needed to be packed each month with the needs of her 3 children proved to be overwhelming (I think we can all understand that!) and she had to close to new subscriptions.  She fulfilled her subscriptions in 2014 and then the business was aquired by Patrick Claytor, the current owner who is relaunching Quilty Box.
I like the way Patrick describes himself so I am going to quote: “I’m the son of a quilter and enjoy helping people find new products and explore their craft. Growing up, quilting has always been a part of my life. A loving quilt from my mom was always on my bed (along with a dozen in my closet). I know what it is like to be a kid running around the quilt store touching all the colorful fabrics. I learned to drive by being a shop hop chauffeur. I don’t profess to be a quilting expert but I do know about applique, batting, backing and patchwork. I know what a log cabin pattern is and how it is different than a star pattern. I know not to eat the layer cakes and jelly rolls. And, I know that quilting is different than sewing. I grew up in Louisiana, Georgia, and Michigan before attending college at the University of Montana. I now call Montana home with my wife, two cats, and yellow lab puppy. When we aren’t packing Quilty Boxes we enjoy all Montana has to offer and try to spend more time exploring the mountains than sitting at home.”
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Quilty Box works subscription style where you sign on for 3, 6, or 12 months.  You can cancel at any time and shipping is free (in the US). Your box will contain at least $50 worth of products; 4 or more items.  They might include a range of things from fabric to patterns to notions and perhaps even quilty gift items.  The boxes are shipped on the 11th of each month. I asked Patrick what was included in the June box.  It contained: a jelly roll of Clementine Fabric by Free Spirit Fabrics, The Strip Lash pattern by GE Designs, Seam Guides from Guidelines4Quilting, a thread pack from Sulky in either Spring or Summer colors, and a 6×8 OLFA cutting mat. You can see a pictures here (and follow them on IG) and above.  5% of the profits of multi-month subscriptions is donated to Quilts for Kids, an organization dedicated to turning fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children in need.
Quilty Box is offering all my readers a promotion!  If you look at their ad in my sidebar, you will find the coupon code QUIETTIME10.  Using that code will give you $10 off your first box.
You also have a chance to win a June Quilty Box today!  To enter, simply leave a comment below.  Maybe suggest something you’d love to see in an upcoming Quilty Box…you never know! The giveway is open to those with shipping addresses in the US, Canada and Australia.

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I will notify a winner on Thursday the 2nd.

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Puddling Quilt Completed

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

I’ve just finished up my Puddling Quilt. I had a great time making it. I have been asked if I have a hard time working improvisationally since I normally share precise paper piecing here on my blog.  The answer is no. I love working both ways. In fact, when I paper piece, I rarely precut. I just hand cut my pieces as I go. I also rarely use a ruler to cut my seam allowances. I hand cut.  I can just hear people gasping now.  But I can cut a straight line and eyeball a 1/4″ pretty well and I find it so much more fun to simply grab my scissors–it’s more liberating than a ruler and rotary cutter! Improv also lets me grab my scissors and go.

Puddling by Amy Friend

Also, I studied art all through highschool and college. I think that if you have a background in studio art, you have to learn to let go of a certain degree of expectation at the beginning of any creative process.  Really, the process of creating a painting or drawing is always improv with intent, isn’t it?  You have an idea or plan of where you are going when you start but so many things can effect the final outcome; it might be your skill level, it might be the series of choices you make along the way, it might be the watercolor that spread a bit farther then you intended, the light changing, or your model moving, etc.

I can clearly remember my figure drawing class in college.  We would have a set and limited time to sketch from the model after which we would have to hang our drawings up for criticism from the class and the professor.  The stress!  Not only was there the pressure of a ticking clock but also of what others would say. I think it made me realize the wide range of reactions to one single piece of art and how everyone’s opinions are really their own.  It helped me accept the fact that others might not always like my end product and I am ok with that as long as I do!

Here is a view of the completed quilt. I decided not to square up the edges. I would have lost the cute little kick out to the side on the lower left and the wave of the bottom edge.

Puddling by Amy Friend

I had to share this picture of the quilt caught in the breeze too. I always love to capture a quilt in motion.

Puddling by Amy Friend

I used the Windham wide text print for my backing. I thought it was perfect for this quilt and I loved not having to piece it!  It was a recent purchase from Massdrop.  While it is not a current drop, you can request that they offer it again and they might (see the link on my sidebar).

Puddling Detail by Amy Friend

I decided to go with fairly dense organic straight line quilting. I tried to let the degree of straightness in my piecing dictate the quilting.  Where the piecing waves, so do the quilted lines.  I stitched grey lines spaced about 1/2″ apart and then went in and added three shades of Aurifil in pink, gold and jade fairly randomly.  The colors were a great match for the solids that I used. These are all Art Gallery Pure Elements Solids except for the Putting Green by RJR.

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

The quilting in the arcs was more challenging. In order to work with the curve of the piecing, it meant varying the spacing between the lines. Often, the lines started out spaced 3/4-1″ apart and then got as close as 1/4″ where there width of the arc was narrow.

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

The quilt has fantastic texture and I do love the subtle interest added by the thread color.  It isn’t noticeable if you are standing back or looking at an image of the whole quilt so it is a discovery you make upon closer examination.

The finished quilt measures approximately 46″ x 70.”

It would be remiss of me to not credit Sherri Lynn Wood for her inspiration.  Working on my Scrambled quilt for her book last year reminded me of how much I like improvisational quilting.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Patterns Available on Paper

Printed Patterns by  Amy Friend

I am very pleased to announce that four of my paper pieced quilt patterns are now available on paper (they previously existed exclusively as pdf downloads). If you are a shop owner and would like to order wholesale direct, please see the Wholesale link at the header of my blog. You will be able to order my patterns through the distributors as well, hopefully within the next couple of weeks. Please feel free to email me with any questions.

All of my patterns are printed in full color with a gloss finish. The paper piecing templates are included at full size as a separate insert so that you can just copy them and get started right away without needing to worry about enlarging by the correct percentage.

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I need to thank Daniela who was my graphic designer and designed the template for me. She used the watermark/logo designed for me quite awhile ago by Sally. I would highly recommend both of them if you are looking for design services. And finally, I have to thank Laura for her help proofing my patterns before they went to the printers.

I hope that you will ask your local quilt shops to please stock your favorite pattern! Thank you.

Eclectic Elements Spring 2015

Diamond Tote using Eclectic Elements, designed by Amy Friend

I wanted to quickly share a couple of projects that I made for my friends at Tim Holtz for Spring Quilt Market 2015.  Tim debuted a new collection of Eclectic Elements prints.  I was asked to make a patchwork tote and I came up with this diamond design.  I love the way these particular prints work with the black yarn dyed linen.  All the prints featured in this bag are new with the exception of the Symphony print that I used as an accent.

The staff at Coats has made a project sheet for this tote that was handed out at market and I think it will be made available to shop owners.  If you are interested and can’t find the information, let me know and I will look into it for you.

***Edited to add, the pattern is now available as a free download right here.***

Ruched Happy Bag by Amy Friend

I also made this bag using my Ruched Happy Bag pattern.

Quite a few of the prints in this collection are inspired by old wallpaper. One is reminiscent of the paper that used to be in the front hall of my house in fact!  I particularly like the text combined with floral motifs as seen in the bag above.

Congratulations to the team at Tim Holtz for winning an award for their booth this market!

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Pointed Statement Pattern Available

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My Pointed Statement Quilt Pattern is now available as a pdf.  You can click on my Pattern Shop button above, or on the links in the sidebar to Etsy and Craftsy in order to purchase it.  Thank you!

 

Free Sew Me A Song Pattern and Giveaway

Sew Me A Song free pattern by Amy Friend

I’m so happy to be sharing this free paper pieced block pattern today!  I designed this block THREE years ago now for my friend Becca when she left Sew Fresh Fabrics and started her own business, Sew Me A Song.  This sweet little bird singing while perched on a needle is her shop logo. I made the pattern as a moving away/opening a new shop gift for her.  Though she liked it and made the block immediately ago…it languished!  Becca needed a little encouragement so I told her that I wanted to share it on the blog.  Over the last couple of months, Becca decided to remake her block and built up a medallion quilt around it!

Medallion quilt by Becca of Sew Me A Song

Isn’t this such a cheerful quilt?  Becca used only fabrics from her shop.  Some of them may be out of stock at this point but they were all sold in her shop at one time or another.  Her favorite border is the four patch on point.  I can’t decide if I like that border or the pluses best.  When she finishes up this quilt, she will likely use it as a shop sign when she vends for guilds, etc. I think it is a fabulous finish, well worth the three year wait.

Becca has given me her permission to name the block Sew Me A Song and share it with all of you!  You can download it for free in my Craftsy shop.

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We are celebrating with a giveaway!

Becca is offering a Fat Eighth Stack of these beautiful fabrics from her shop. International entries are permitted.

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We’d love to see your block should you make one. Please use the hashtag #sewmeasongpattern.

And thank you Becca, your quilt is beautiful. It is just so cheerful that I can’t help but smile when I look at it!

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Improv Handbook Blog Hop

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Welcome to the Improve Handbook Blog Hop! Sherri Lynn Wood’s new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters; A Guide to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously, has just started shipping. I had the pleasure of meeting Sherri this past weekend when she visited my guild to teach her Bias Strip Curves class. You can read about that experience in my earlier post.

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The book is full of beautiful photographs by Sara Remington–including the cover shot and the picture of Sherri (both above). The staging is sparse, putting the quilts on center stage.

I really like the way Sherri speaks about improvisation. I appreciate technique and skill and respect those who exhibit both in their work. She suggests that improv has it’s own set of techniques and skills. I think those who have never tried improv might be quick to disagree with that statement but if you have given it a go, you will know that there is much technique and skill involved in putting away that ruler. She speaks to that and provides hints and tips for fixing problem areas in your work such as puckers and pulls and how to avoid them or work with them. I also like that Sherri states that the maker is the most important part of improvisation. You have to know yourself and your likes and dislikes, feel your emotions, etc. I think working on a improv piece is just that for me. I love to work intuitively and make decisions as I go.  I also feel like my decisions are more visible in improv than they are in other types of sewing. You kind of bare your soul.

Sherri’s book contains 10 scores. She uses scores as a vehicle for teaching improvisation. I see her scores as guidelines, broad rules to follow that start you on your way to improv. The rules can be interpreted differently by different individuals, as you will see if you look at the many test quilts that were made for this book. I think these scores make improv much less intimidating to beginners. Most people who sew are used to patterns and following directions. Sherri has provided you with direction enough to make you feel comfortable, with room enough for you add yourself into the equation, in fact, you are forced to.  You have to make decisions because the answers are not all there.

More than a year ago now, I received an email from Sherri asking me to consider making a quilt using one of her scores for her upcoming book. She asked me to work with the Layered Curve score which, broadly speaking, had me collect fabric, handcut curves, and reassemble, all without a ruler.  I was really pleased when she chose my quilt for the book. I thought I would walk you through my process today.

 

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The blocks above were my first attempt in following the score.

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Then I layered them and cut more curves.  I quickly decided that I didn’t like the direction that I was heading in.  The quilt was way too busy for my taste and the curves were not elegant enough or balanced.

I decided to start again with a set of solids in a very limited range and, in addition to the score, set another rule for myself. I would cut an inner 1/4 circle type curve in the corner of each section.

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I realized that I didn’t have any photographs of my finished quilt this winter and Sherri’s book was due out in February.  In an attempt to get ready for the blog hop, I actually had to borrow snow shoes to walk over the several feet of snow in our Massachusetts yard to get pictures.  Who knew that the publishing would be delayed?  I could have taken them without storm interference but you had better believe that I am sharing the snowy pictures after that monumental effort!  Plus, it’s more amusing.

Scrambled by Amy Friend

This is my final quilt. I named it Scrambled.  Sherri refers to the 1/4 circle shape I employed as a yolk like shape.  It definitely is that though it wasn’t my intent and the name of the quilt came later.  The curves in this quilt feel much more elegant and calmer.  It’s more “me” if you will than my first attempt.  I allowed the quilt to remain in it’s wavy, non squared up shape which I like as well.

Scrambled by Amy Friend

The quilt top posted here did not follow a score in Sherri’s book but I think it was informed by the skills I learned when working with the Layered Curve score. It gave me the confidence to attempt such a large improv piece. I also stuck to what I knew I liked best from this experience-mostly solids (though I included one print) and again I made rules, or scores, for myself which I explained in that post.

This book is a great springboard to improv piecing. I hope you will visit the other blogs on the hop to see some of the other beautiful quilts that were included in the book and all the test quilts as well.

May 1: STC Craft – Score for Rhythmic Grid Gallery

May 1: Sew Mama Sew – Score for Floating Squares Gallery

May 4: Plaid Portico – Score for Strings Gallery

May 6: During Quiet Time – Test Quilter Amy Friend

May 11: Studio Notes – Test Quilter Penny Gold

May 13: Quiltville – Score for Modern Block Improv Gallery

May 15: Peppermint Pinwheels – Test Quilter Stacey Sharman

May 18: Quirky Quilts – Test Quilter Kim McPeake

May 20: PoppyPrintCreates – Score for Patchwork Doodle Gallery

May 22: The Last Piece – Test Quilter Sara Fielke

May 25: Cauchy Complete – Score for Layered Curves Gallery

May 26Diary of a Quilter – Score for Bias Strip Petals Gallery

May 28: Getting Stitched on the Farm –Score for Improv Round Robin Gallery

May 29: Spoonflower – Score for Showing Up Gallery

May 30Fresh Modern Quilts – Test Quilter Rossie Hutchinson

The publisher, STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books, is offering one copy of this book to a resident of the US or Canada.  Please enter below for your chance to win.

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Bias Strip Curves Workshop

Sherri Lynn Wood

Today, my quilt guild hosted Sherri Lynn Wood, the author of The Improv Handbook for a full day workshop. She taught the Bias Strip Curves score from that book.  Sherri was a pleasure and very attentive and willing to help all of her students.  This is an advanced piecing technique where we attached bias cut strips to a center shape.  It’s also improvisational and was done ruler free!

Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild at Sherri Lynn Wood Workshop

Here is our guild, shortly after lunch.  We had each sewn about 2 pieces and spread them out to talk about the next step, composition.  Sherri’s class was nicely broken up into chunks of direction and discussion.

Sherri Lynn Wood

By the time we left class, almost all of us had taken steps to join some of our pieces together at Sherri’s urging. Some participants had nearly finished quilt tops.

Bias Strip Curves score by Sherri Lynn Wood, piece by Amy Friend

This was the status of my piece at the end of the class.  I am not 100% sure where I am heading next but I think I might applique this shape to a background and then add a few appliqued elements above it, prompted by a suggestion made by Sherri.

The class was a lot of fun and I would recommend it if your guild is considering inviting Sherri!

Visit my blog on May 6th for a chance to win a copy of this book!

 

Puddling Quilt Top

Puddling Detail by Amy Friend

I have been working on an improvisational quilt top on and off for the last few weeks as a fun “free time” project.  I enjoyed making my Improv Fans mini and this started as a take off on that idea. I changed a few things. My palette is all new and this time I added one print. Also, I started with a solid center and then built outward with my fans. Each piece in the fan was cut at a curve this time.

Puddling by Amy Friend

After some thought, I decided to make strips with patchwork bottoms coming from the improv fan portion. Everything was handcut; no rulers or rotary cutters. I just used scissors. I have never done anything improvisational on such a large scale before. It definitely is trickier bigger, in my opinion, but I think it worked out pretty well. I am going to wait to square it up any more until after I quilt. I am still coming up with a plan but I think that there will be some straight lines and some curved ones too.

I am calling it Puddling because it looks like the colors are dripping and forming puddles. Sorry for the lower quality indoor pictures but I don’t want to hang this outside and allow it to stretch any until I quilt it!

 

Seam Rippers are Listed

Seam Rippers

I just wanted to let you know that I just finished listing this batch of hand held, single ended seam rippers in my Etsy shop.  They are hand turned on a lathe by my husband.  The handles are acrylic and polished to a shine.  They are beautiful tools and I know you will love them!  We have included a bunch of new colors and patterns this time, including leopard!  They tend to sell quickly so click on the Etsy link in my sidebar if you are interested!

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The Anna Blouse in Skopelos

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I’m happy to be joining in on the Skopelos Blog Hop today! Skopelos is designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics. She was inspired by the Greek Island, Skopelos. The fabrics in the collection are just lovely and include knits and voile along with quilting cotton.

Anna Blouse in Skopelos by Amy Friend

I chose to work with the Kladi Under Shadow Voile and made an Anna Blouse. This particular print drew me in right away and is my favorite in the collection.  It reminds me of Statice flowers.  The blouse pattern is by Charise Randell and can be purchased here. The blouse is beautifully finished with french seams and details like bias binding and the key hole. I highly recommend the pattern and pairing it with voile. The voile drapes so nicely and is also easy to work with; easier I think than rayon and many other more slippery types of garment making fabrics. The blouse is shown here in a size 2 with a slightly modified neckline. The neckline was raise 3/4″ following this tutorial.

Anna Blouse in Skopelos by Amy Friend

 

I am glad that I normally take pictures of quilts because I am not sure how garment sewists get good pictures!  I tried taking a picture of myself in the mirror wearing this blouse and it turned out ridiculously!  I did send the blouse off to Art Gallery Fabrics for possible inclusion in their Skopelos Look Book so hopefully  you will see it properly modeled there soon!

Check out the other Skopelos project for inspiration:

1. LYNNE GOLDSWORTHY – April 20th

2. ALLEGORY LANHAM – April 21st

3. ERICA TOOLE – April 22nd

4. RACHAEL GANDER – April 23th

5. AMY FRIEND – April 24th

6. MARIJA VUJČIĆ – April 25th

7. DANA BOLYARD – April 26th

8. ERICA JACKMAN – April 27th

9. JESSICA ALEXANDRAKIS – April 28th

10. SVETLANA SOTAK – April 29th

11. KATHLEEN RIGGINS – April 30th

12. APRIL RHODES – May 1st

13. PAUL HALLINGER – May 2nd

14. SHARON MCCONNELL – May 3rd

15. CAROLINE HULSE – May 4th

16. JANE DAVIDSON – May 5th

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Pointed Statement

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I am so pleased to share this completed quilt today!  I showed you a few of the blocks a number of weeks ago.  I designed my own paper pieced pattern for this quilt and pieced it using 5 shades of Kona quilting cottons.

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I scattering the colors rather randomly while piecing, intentionally favoring the peaches over the greys.

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I really love the colors in this quilt; they are most accurately represented in this photo. They are so soothing and at the same time fresh and uplifting.  I worked on this quilt while waiting for spring to arrive here in New England and I think that the colors were just right for that.

I chose to quilt using straight lines and three shades of Aurifil 50 weight thread because the vertical rows of stitching work well with the vertical orientation of the triangles.  As you can see in this detail, I quilted with my lines spaced 1/4″ to 1/2″ apart.

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I used one of the prints from Art Gallery Fabrics’ Maker collection for the backing along with bits of leftover solids from the front.  And I bound the quilt in the background fabric color, Kona Light Flesh…an awful sounding name for a pretty color!  The finished quilt measures 48″ x 60.”  My mom suggested the name, Pointed Statement, which seems just perfect.

I am planning on offering this pattern for sale soon. It’s in the works!

 

Cocorico Traveling Bee-Charise’s Quilt

Passenger Ship by Amy Friend

I spent today working on this block for the Cocorico Traveling Bee.  Charise sent me two beautiful starter blocks for her quilt.  One depicts a well dressed woman holding a suitcase looking off into the distance.  The other is a camera photographing the Eiffel Tower.  Charise normally works in a recognizable palette of aqua, lipstick pink, cherry red, and the occasional mustard.  These blocks were no exception and I wanted my block to fit her palette. I also wanted to create a larger block toward which the woman could be gazing.  I decided she was looking at a passenger ship.  It felt more romantic to me than a plane. I drafted the paper pieced portion and included a bit of the lipstick pink solid that Charise sent along for continuity. The rest of the fabrics are mine but blend with her choices.  I improv cut and pieced the curves for the smoke and waves.

Charise's Traveling Quilt Blocks

Here are Charise’s blocks along with my passenger ship. I think I will make one more small block before passing it on to the next bee member but I am not sure what yet!  Suggestions are welcome!

 

 

A Pillow to Gift Tutorial

A Sweet Life Pillow by Amy Friend

Today I am sharing this pillow made from Pat Sloan’s new collection from Moda called The Sweet Life. I was immediately drawn to the text prints and the plus prints so I made sure to include both here.

The Sweet Life Pillow by Amy Friend

I used my From Santa pattern in the 10″ size for the package block. I have long been wanting to remake this block for another gift giving occasion and this was my chance.

Invisible zip

I finished the pillow with my usual favorite, an invisible zipper.

You can find the tutorial for this pillow on the Thermoweb blog. I used my favorite Thermoweb produce, HeatnBond Fleece Fusible.

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Make It, Take It Blog Hop

Make It, Take It Cover

My friend, Krista Hennebury of Poppyprint, has published a book and I’d like to tell you a little bit about it today. I first “met” Krista online back in 2010 when we both were finalists in the Sew Mama Sew Valentine’s Day contest. That was shortly after I had started blogging. I will actually get to meet Krista for the first time at quilt market next month and I am looking forward to that!  It’s been wonderful to build this community of support on line. Even though we haven’t all met in person, we have been sharing our creative journeys and supporting each other. Krista runs a successful sewing retreat business and decided to publish a book about retreats. The book includes stories about retreats as well as projects that you can make in order to pack for retreat/prepare for retreat and then some that you can sew while on retreat. Krista asked me to design a couple of projects for her book along with a number of other friends in this wonderful, supportive community I just referred to. The book has turned out to be a compilation of projects by some of my favorite people. I hope you will take the time to stop at all their blogs during this blog hop!

Now for my projects!

Posy Pillow by Amy Friend

I designed this paper pieced Posy Pillow that you can see on the cover of the book. I chose bold colors and text prints for my version but you could take this block and go in so many directions with it! I look forward to seeing some other interpretations.

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Here is a mock up of a quilt done in the block. I think it would be pretty amazing!

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I also designed a Double Scissor Keeper. This is such a fun project. The larger compartment holds your regular sized scissors and then the front pocket holds embroidery scissors or button hold scissors. The scissor keeper prevents your sharp ended scissors from causing any damage in your bag….something I always worry about! This project is quick and satisfying. It makes a great gift for a sewing friend or something useful for yourself. Anna recently shared a review of this book and project on her blog if you want to take a peek.  I have been delighted to see lots of these popping up on IG in the past month.  It’s so rewarding to see that.  I’m glad you are all enjoying the pattern.

Small Patchwork Bag by Ayumi sewn by Amy Friend

Many projects in the book appeal to me. I found time recently to make one of them, the Small Patchwork Bag by Ayumi. I used Art Gallery Fabrics new collection called Maker to make the bag which I have sitting on my sewing table holding “stuff” in an attractive manner.

Martingale is offering a free digital download of this book if you would like to enter to win! Seacoast Modern Guild members will have a chance to win a copy of the book at retreat later this month too. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is the blog hop schedule:

Friday, April 3 Blog hop kick-off: Krista at Poppyprint

Monday, April 6: Berene at Happy Sew Lucky and Amy at During Quiet Time

Tuesday, April 7: Leanne at She Can Quilt and Felicity at Felicity Quilts

Wednesday, April 8: Martingale Inc. at Stitch this! (check out their Rainbow Round the Cabin staff party!)

Thursday, April 9: Krista at Spotted Stones and Krista at Krista Withers Quilting

Friday, April 10: Lynne at Lilys Quilts and Cindy at Live a Colorful Life

Saturday, April 11: Ayumi at Pink Penguin and Krista at Poppyprint

Sunday, April 12: Kristie at OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder and Christina at Sometimes Crafter

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Haberdashery Quilt Pattern

Haberdashery Quilt Pattern by Amy Friend

I have been asked by several people to consider making my Haberdashery Quilt Pattern available. I listened and here it is! I hope you love it and I look forward to seeing your versions of the pattern.  The pdf pattern also shares an alternative layout that’s lots of fun.  What do you think?

Haberdashery Quilt Pattern Alternative Layout by Amy Friend

I feel like the alternative layout is a little more traditional and expected but I love it just the same. It creates ring shaped forms and interlocking stars.  My fabric cutting directions will allow for the use of directional prints as well, in case you want to mix things up and not do a two color solid quilt as I did.

The pattern is available in my Etsy and Craftsy shops for US customers and in my Pattern Shop (see sidebar or header) for everyone.  I have received some questions about Paddle, the checkout for my shop.  You do not need to set up a new account. You can check out as a guest.  If you set up an account,  you are doing so with me, not Paddle, and I have no intention of ever selling/sharing or trading your information.  I promise!  Paddle is just the checkout.  They collect your money using Paypal so you just use your established Paypal account as you do when you check out of Etsy and Craftsy.  They pay any VAT taxes as the merchant of record.  Then they transfer money to me on a monthly basis. I hope that makes you feel comfortable!  Don’t hesitate to ask any questions.

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