Monday, March 10, 2014

Introducing Modern Designers - Anna Maria Horner - A Fabric Swap

Field Study by Anna Maria Horner
Known for her bold designs and vivid colors, Anna Maria Horner is an inspiration to many in the quilting and crafting community.  Author, pattern designer, and fabric designer with a line of embroidery patterns and threads, giftware, and home items, AMH is a woman of many talents (and mom of 7!)   You may want to check out her blog - it's always a lovely read.  And you may be interested to know that her daughter, Juliana Horner, has a line of fabric designed for and available at Joann's stores.

From AMH Garden Party line of fabric for Free Spirit
Some of you were asking at the March 8th meeting to get a "head start" on our next fabric swap, and possibly be able to purchase fabric on our field trip to A&E in April.  Our next ECMQG Fabric Swap for July, 2014 will be Fat Eighths (F8s or FEs) of any quilting cotton by Anna Maria Horner.

Pillows made with Field Study by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit

What is a Fat Eighth?

A fat eighth (FE or F8) is one eighth of a yard of fabric, or a yard of fabric cut into eight equal pieces. Traditionally, this long narrow cut from the fold line to the selvage, resulted in 8 strips measuring 4-1/2" x 44".  

Like the Fat Quarter, quilters changed the cutting dimensions of of that same yard of fabric to be both longer and wider by doubling the width and halving the length and ended up with a piece 9" x 22", and called it a Fat Eighth.  A fat eighth has so many more possibilities for quilting than a long, skinny 1/8 yard piece.

Modern quilters still found this cut too confining, and realized by changing the cutting dimensions yet again, shorter fatter pieces were even more user friendly.   

This newer cut, still a FE or F8, and hugely popular with modern quilters is sized at 11" x 18" or 10.5" x 18" (after selvages are removed).   

Anna Maria Horner's May, 2011 Quilt Market Booth (photo courtesy of ACraftyFox/Westwood Acres Fabrics)
The Rules

 If you wish to participate, here is what you need to do:

1.  Purchase one yard of any Anna Maria Horner printed quilting cotton fabric. (If ordering online, be sure to order early enough to allow time for delivery and cutting before the July meeting.)  Some possible sources for your fabric might be:

A&E Pharmacy in Pensacola, or online from Hawthorne ThreadsPink Chalk Fabrics,  Fat Quarter Shop,  Fabric dot com, eQuilterIntrepid Thread and Fabricworm.

Be sure to buy 100% cotton quilting fabric.  This is not a swap for velveteen, flannel, corduroy, voile, home decorator, or other fabric types (although you may want to investigate those for your personal use - AMH has some lovely voiles, velveteens, and home dec fabrics).

2 - You may swap up to three yards of fabric.

3.  Cut your fabric using the tutorial below.

4.  Place your cut fabric in a zip top bag labeled with your name.  If you're swapping more than 1 yard, place each SEPARATE yard in a labeled zip top bag. 

5.  Leave your labeled bag(s) on the designated Anna Maria Horner swap table inside the Fellowship Hall at the July 12 ECMQG meeting.

6.  Your fabric(s) will be sorted and separated by groups.  At the conclusion of our meeting, drop by the Anna Maria Horner swap table and pick up your bag(s) - (a) beautiful bundle(s) of modern designer fabric.

7.  We won't have a variety of prints if everyone purchases and brings the same fabric.  Please utilize the comments section to let us know what fabric(s) you've selected.  With the number of participants we are anticipating, it should be okay to have no more than two or three people bring the same print.  

True Colors by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit (photo courtesy of Westwood Acres Fabric)

Cutting Modern Fat Eighths

1.  Press your fabric to remove the center crease.  Do not remove the selvages.

2.  Using your rotary cutter, cut your fabric lengthwise through the center.  You now have two pieces, measuring approximately 22" x 36".

3.  Cut each 22" x 36" piece in half again lengthwise.  This gives you four pieces, each measuring 11" x 36"

4.  Cut each 11" x 36" piece in half crosswise.  This gives you eight pieces, each measuring 11" x 18".  A modern fat eighth.  

(Note that the width of the fabric may vary, which may make your F8 somewhat less than 11"; if you cut your fabric width into equal quarters, it will be close enough.)

As always, if you have questions regarding the swap or this tutorial, you can email me at wendimihalik at yahoo dot com.

This is going to be a super fun swap!

Wendi Mihalik
ECMQG Swap Captain

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Make a Bag - Make a Friend - Our MAY ECMQG Project Swap

Hi!  Wendi Mihalik here with a preview of our May project swap (just in case you want to do any shopping at A&E when we're there on our field trip next month).  =)

One of the comments I hear a lot at guild meetings (and one that makes me smile) is how friendly everyone is at our guild....  How guild members make everyone feel welcome.  I will say that it is one of the things that makes it fun for me to get up and drive 45 miles on a Saturday morning also!  What a wonderful group of ladies we have in our guild!  We have grown very fast - when I joined the guild just over a year ago, we only had about 20 members.  Now we're at more than 50 members and seem to be growing every time we meet.

One of the reasons I think we all come to guild meetings is to develop friendships with others who love quilting as much as we do ourselves.  With that in mind, our next project swap will be to make a Friendship Bag from the tutorial by Rachel at psiquilt...

and fill it with some fun goodies we think our guild members might like...

Bring it to the May meeting, and we'll swap.

So here are the rules:

1.  Make your Friendship Bag according to the tutorial from psiquilt.  Even though you are following the tutorial as far as general dimensions, feel free to make the bag your own.  (For example, if you use jelly roll strips {2-1/2" wide} instead of honeybun strips {1-1/2" wide} adjust the number of strips accordingly.)

2.  Use only quilt shop quality fabrics.  No "big box store" fabrics, with the exception of the designer lines they may offer.  Joann's offers designer lines by Denyse Schmidt (DS Quilts), ModKid, Patty Young, Juliana Horner, and a few others.  

3.  Make your item with a modern aesthetic.  We are a MODERN quilt guild, after all.

4.  Make your item the best you know how.  Be sure to make something you would like to receive.

5.  Fill your Friendship Bag with some fun items you think your new friend will like - Make them something to coordinate with their new Friendship Bag.  Add a tool or a spool of thread.  Maybe add a little sweet treat.  You might add a charm pack or some favorite scraps (at least charm square sized {5" square}, please) or a fat eighth or fat quarter.  Make the bag something you yourself would enjoy.  It shouldn't be expensive, but it should be fun!

6.  Bring your filled bag to the MAY guild meeting.  We'll draw numbers and swap our Friendship Bags - and provide a little time to socialize with your new friend.

7.  Be sure and say "thank you" when you receive your gift.  It's only good manners, after all.

8.  Have fun!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

April 2014 Block Lottery - Rock Candy

Welcome to the ECMQG April 2014 Block Lottery!

If you are new to the group, or our blog, you can read the general Block Lottery information here, as well as see previous blocks (with instructions or tutorials) and past winners.  As always, please read through the entire instructions before cutting and sewing.

The rules are simple:

  • The Lottery is open to all ECMQG members in good standing.
  • Please use only quilt shop quality fabric (no Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's fabric with the exception of designer lines and please no batiks).
  • The aesthetic is ALWAYS MODERN
  • Take your time and effort to construct your block well.  Use a 1/4" seam allowance. 
  • Blocks should be the correct size, within about a quarter of an inch.
  • Each block + $1 is one entry in the drawing.  You may submit as many entries as you would like.
  • Please label your block with you name, either within the seam allowance on the back, or, with an address label stuck to the back.
  • Past winners can still contribute, but please understand until we see a finished quilt from your win, allow someone else the thrill of winning.
  • If you have any questions please contact me - Kira - or comment below.

This month the color palette for our block is aqua, pink, red, and Kona white for the background.  This is a color trend that feels very retro, and is a popular color combination in the modern and modern-traditional quilter's palette. 

As a child, did you ever make rock candy by mixing sugar and water?  After a little bit of time (okay, a LOT of waiting), the sugar crystals are formed.  


This retro modern color palette along with the block design remind me so much of those sugar crystals, hence the name Rock Candy.


This month let’s touch on the subject of quilt design by using this block as an exercise.  I would like to explain a little bit…

The Rocky Candy block is simply a variation of the traditional Rolling Stone or Broken Wheel blocks.  A great resource for the history of these blocks is available from The Quilt Index.

Camille Roskelly, Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts, and Elizabeth Dackson of Don't Call Me Betsy, along with many others, have patterns or tutorials that are also variations. They can be found herehere, and here.   

In it's simplest form, the Rolling Stone block is a basic Nine-Patch block.  Four square-in-square blocks in the corners; four double strip blocks are used for the top, sides, and bottom; finally, the center block.  Variations can be created just by changing an element and/or color placement within the block. 

Because there are so many design possibilities, I have included a couple of links to coloring pages for the Rolling Stone block and Rock Candy block.  You can print these out and play with color placement or even change an element within the block to create your own version.

Rock Candy Block Tutorial

Unit 1 - Is the center of the block, a square-in-square.  It is a colored square that is surrounded by the white background.  (Make one block.)

Unit 2 - These are the corner square-in-square blocks, only with three sides of white background and the fourth side with a colored fabric.  (Make four blocks.)

Unit 3 - These are strip blocks made from two colored fabrics.  (Make four blocks.)

Choose three fabrics from your stash in shades of aqua, pink, and red.  In this tutorial the colored fabrics will be referenced as fabrics A, B, C, D, and E.  (Yes, you will use two of your colored fabrics twice.)  Because I want to allow you to have more control over choosing where to place the colored fabrics, I am only specifying where the white background goes.

Fabric Requirements and Cutting Dimensions:
(This is a great scrap buster or stash buster block!  I am not specifying yardage amounts, because the block can be made using less than a fat-quarter of each color.)     
  • Kona White - one 28" x 3 1/4" strip
    • sub cut into eight 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares; cut again in half diagonally, making 16 triangles. 
  • Fabric A - one 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" square for Unit 1
  • Fabric B - one 14" x 3 1/4" strip
    • sub cut into four - 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares for Unit 2
  • Fabric C - one 7" x 3 1/4" strip
    • sub cut into two - 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares, then cut in half diagonally to make 4 triangles (see cutting instructions below) for Unit 2
  • Fabric D - one 2 1/2" x 19" strip for Unit 3
  • Fabric E - one 2 1/2" x 19" strip for Unit 3

3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares, sliced diagonally - Background and Fabric C

Unit 1

With right sides together, sew a background triangle to one side of the fabric A's 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" square. 

Repeat on the opposite side.  Press seams toward the background.  Trim excess fabric from sides so it is even with the center square.

Next, sew two more background triangles to the remaining sides, completing your square-in-square.   Press seams toward the background.  

Trim to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". 

Measure from the center points out 2 1/4", this way you will have a perfect 4 1/2" square.

Unit 2

Similar construction as with Unit 1.

Using the four 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares and the fabric C triangles, sew one of fabric C to the side of the 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" squares. Press towards the fabric C triangle.

Then sew one background triangle to the opposite side of the square. Press towards the background.

Trim the excess fabric off even with the square.

Next sew background triangles to the other two sides of the squares. Press towards the background and trim to 4 1/2" square.

Unit 3

With the two color fabric strips D and E placed right sides together, sew the long edge.  Press towards the darker fabric.

Cut into four, 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares.

Assembling the Block

Lay out the units as shown.

Working from left to right and top to bottom, sew a corner block to a strip block, and a side block to the center block, paying close attention to your overall layout.  

Sew the remaining corner blocks and side block to the previous sections (as shown below), creating three rows.

Sew your top row to the middle row, matching seams.  Press this seam open.  Repeat with the third row, creating your block.

If your 1/4' seam is accurate, there will be no need to trim, as the block should measure 12 1/2" x 12 1/2".

I hope you enjoy this sweet block, and I look forward to seeing your creations!

We are not having a meeting in April due to the field trip to A & E, so we will draw for a winner in May at the meeting on the 10th.  

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.  Thanks!

ECMQG Block Lottery Coordinator 

ETA: Jennifer's lovely quilt top made from her blocks