Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Felicia's World :: The Migration Pillow!

Do you remember the feeling as a child of getting a brand new set of crayons, or markers?
All the tips were sharp, none of the crayons were broken, none of the markers dried out. At least for me, these packages of new markers were full of promise. When I drew with them, I was extra careful. I put more detail into my picture and tried new techniques.

Well, here is the fabric equivalent:  I recently got a color chart and a few yards of fabrics from Michael Miller’s Modern Basics collection. I have to say, this is not just like getting the cheap pack of 12 markers from the discount store. This is reminding me of when my dad came back from a business trip and brought me a huge tray of high-end watercolor pencils!
Available in 35 colors and 5 different patterns, my first thought when I saw the color chart was that I thought I needed a yard of every single color and pattern to use as baseline fabric in my designs. Many of the colors have a decidedly feminine or childlike hue, just as is the case with a lot of Michael Miller’s other fabrics.  I am a huge fan of polka-dots in general – and in the Modern Basics collection, I can have them in three different sizes. Awesome.

Accompanying the modern Basics was a silky pile Cotton Couture which is Michael Miller’s 130+ line of solids. I am a huge fan! The Cotton Couture has a soft touch and drapes beautifully. These fabrics have a surface that makes you want to roll around on them, but they also have a higher thread-count than standard quilting fabrics. I have tried them both for piecing and applique and they stitch up great.
My best friend had been looking for some large pillows to throw on the floor for her toddler to sit on and I thought I could use my new “crayons” to make her one.  It gave me a cool project to use my new fabrics on, and to try out the big 15-degreetriangle ruler from Creative Grids that I hadn’t had a chance to try yet.
To contribute to the industrial-bohemian whimsy of her house, I used a coarse natural linen for the pillow itself. Then I made a large Dresden plate using the 15-degree ruler.  Applique birds give the pillow whimsical movement.
All the fabrics, except the linen, are currently available from Michael Miller. See how nicely the Modern Basics and solids play with the happy-looking bird prints? And how gladly all these beautiful fabrics play with their new owner.

The complete instructions to make the Migration Pillow can be found on my website, Felicia's World.

Happy sewing!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Michael Miller & MQG Spring Cotton Couture Challenge!

 Here's how it works...
Modern Quilt Guild Members will receive eight fat eighths of fabric when they sign up for this challenge. Quilts primarily use solids from Michael Miller’s Spring Cotton Couture Pastels. Additional solid Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabrics are permitted.  Michael Miller prints are permitted on the binding and the back. These quilts will then be entered into the Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture Challenge category! The top prize for this category is $500! All MQG members have been emailed a newsletter with details of how to get fabric from Michael Miller. Space is limited, so if you’re interested you’ll have to sign up now! Remember that you don’t have to get the free fabric to be involved – all you have to do is use the Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture line in your quilt!
~The MMF Spring Cotton Couture colors are listed below~ 

For more details and information, please visit the Modern Quilt Guild Blog by clicking here.

For a list of stores that carry our Cotton Couture, please click on the link below!

 We can't wait to see what you create!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Michelle Hart :: MMF & MQG Fabric Challenge!

Friday Feature: A guest blog post from Michelle Hart
I come from a long line of creative and crafty women. My maternal grandmother was a seamstress and taught me to sew at a very young age. I loved to play in her sewing room and would entertain myself for hours playing with fabric and spools of thread. I definitely have many great memories of learning to sew in that room. I pieced together my first “quilt” (squares of faux fur in bright colors) on my mini Singer in her kitchen when I was around six. The seams might not have been straight, but I was proud of my work. My paternal grandmother helped develop my love of quilts. She made a quilt for each of her grandchildren. I still cherish mine and love it as much as I did when she gave it to me. One of my proudest moments as a quilter was giving her a quilt I made especially for her. 
*Left- Michelle at 2 on her grandma's sewing table *Right- Michelle now :)
I find inspiration for quilting everywhere. I often snap pics of architecture, colors, and patterns I see to remember for future designs. The patterns and colors in fabrics often speak to me and provide inspiration as well. My design process normally begins with a flash of an idea that I want to convey in a design. I keep paper handy since it often occurs in the middle of the night. The design might take on many twists before the final project is complete, but the initial spark is still there. I recently purchased EQ7 which has made getting thoughts from my head into patterns a lot easier.

My inspiration for this quilt started with the name of the collection, Petal Pinwheels. I knew I wanted the quilt to show a lot of movement. I used a combination of colors from Cotton Couture solids, Petal Pinwheels fabrics, and a few from my stash to create the geometric design. I wanted a very linear look, using different shades of colors that coordinated to the Petal Pinwheels collection. I offset this with contrasting quilting to add another layer of movement. I quilted it on my Janome Horizon 7700 using coral, yellow, green and turquoise 50 wt. Aurifil. The lines started more compact and then spread out like a ripple in water. This created a lot of movement, while still allowing the eye to rest at different focal points. 
The back is leftover scraps and dark gray dumb dots. It is a simpler design, but just as fun as the front. This was a very fun challenge to put together! I am very appreciative to Michael Miller for hosting this challenge and giving us great fabrics to work with!


For more information about the Modern Quilt Guild and the MMF Fabric Challenge, please click here.

 Do you love the fabric collection used in this challenge? Find the complete Petal Pinwheels collection over on our website
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Colleen Molen :: MMF & MQG Fabric Challenge!

I am so thrilled to be sharing with you today as a winner of the Michael Miller fabric challenge! My name is Colleen and I blog (every once in a while) at I started really sewing about five years ago, when my second daughter was born. I have done a little bit of everything in those five years, handbags, accessories, and children’s clothes, all for a little online shop I used to run, but my true love is quilting. Even with all the other sewing I was doing as a way to supplement our income, I kept quilting for myself, with no designs to make it a business. My husband would laugh at me when I’d take a break from sewing to quilt for a little while. He seemed to think it was the same thing. Silly man.

I remember gathering material and a pattern for my first quilt and being so scared about it. I wanted to make a quilt for my first daughter, but put it off for a long time because the lady at the fabric shop told me the orange I liked wouldn’t go with the rest of the fabrics. I remember the day I finally got the courage to cut it up and start sewing. I turned to the internet because I didn’t really know anyone who quilted (until months later when I found out that one of my best friends was a closet quilter). I discovered so many blogs with fabulous women sharing their knowledge and helping me build my skills.

I made many quilts from beautiful patterns designed by others, with fabric pulled entirely from one fabric line. It made it so easy to learn how fabric played together, to learn construction techniques, to learn the ins and outs of quilty math and the magical ¼” seam. The moment I stepped out of my comfort zone and started mixing and matching fabric from my ever-growing stash was a magical one. I started making quilts that were so much more individual to me and my own aesthetic. I know what I like; I know what I enjoy sewing (and that I do not do improv). I know what I do well and that I enjoy pushing the limits of what I can do.
I had more fun with this challenge quilt than I have with any other I’ve made. From the design process inspired by browsing for a kindle cover, to the math involved making the templates for my quarter circles, pulling out bolts and bolts of solid fabric at the quilt shop to find just the right colors for the look I wanted with the inspiration fabric, and even sewing all those circles. Quilting the concentric circles and burying all those thread ends was worth it in the end, even though that wasn’t my most favorite part of the process. It is 100% mine, and I love looking at it on my wall every day. 



For more information about the Modern Quilt Guild and the MMF Fabric Challenge, please click here.

 Do you love the fabric collection used in this challenge? Find the complete Petal Pinwheels collection over on our website
Visit us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter!