Christmas on Brambleberry Ridge

Christmas on Brambleberry Ridge is beginning to ship out to stores, cue the Christmas music! Christmas on Brambleberry Ridge pulls some of my favorite prints from previous collections in tones of reds, greens, and gold. Each line I create tells a story and now it feels like my favorite friends (and hopefully yours) are coming home for the holidays!

From the original Brambleberry Ridge line you will see some returning favorites.

 Knots and Loops in Red

Knots and Loops in Red

 Knots and Loops in Green

Knots and Loops in Green

 Brambleberry in Burgundy

Brambleberry in Burgundy

 Brambleberry in Evergreen

Brambleberry in Evergreen

 Timber in Evergreen

Timber in Evergreen

 Timber in Red

Timber in Red

 Bow Tie Plaid in Garland

Bow Tie Plaid in Garland

 Bow Tie Plaid in Burgundy

Bow Tie Plaid in Burgundy

From Waterfront Park, the birds from Flight soar in a trio of shades. They like to fly in from time to time and you never know when they will make another appearance! Reflection gets fancy with the addition of metallic gold in Shimmer Reflection.

 Flight in Cranberry

Flight in Cranberry

 Flight in Green

Flight in Green

 Flight in Red

Flight in Red

 Shimmer Reflection in Green

Shimmer Reflection in Green

 Shimmer Reflection in Red

Shimmer Reflection in Red

Perhaps a couple of my favorite prints come from Madrona Road, but don't tell the others, I don't like to play favorites with my fabric. Wild Carrot a lovely, simple floral and Memoir a true fairy tale. Memoir is available in two colors, a beautiful red and a dreamy metallic gold.

 Wild Carrot in Red

Wild Carrot in Red

 Memoir in Gold

Memoir in Gold

 Memoir in Red

Memoir in Red

Just in time for the holidays you can snap up Christmas on Brambleberry Ridge and get way, way ahead on your holiday sewing! I can't wait to see what you will create!

Merry Sewing to you!

Modern Patchwork and the Cardinal

Recently I was featured in Modern Patchwork magazine, Winter 2016. The article tells a little of my background as well as the story of the inception and creation of the The Lion from my Abstractions series. You can purchase the magazine or digital copy here.

In addition to the article there is free project for my cardinal table runner featuring Christmas on Brambleberry Ridge. The cardinal table runner project is a great project if you're new to paper piecing. It's simple, sweet, and you can get a jump on your holiday sewing (Don't laugh, some people really do prepare this far out, a dream for the rest of us.)

The Color Palette for this project:

Cardinal - Brambleberry in burgundy, Bow Tie Plaid in burgundy, Shimmer Reflections in Red, Wild Carrot in red, Cotton Couture solids in Black and Paprika

Background - Memoir in gold, Cotton Couture solid in Paprika

Binding - Bow Tie Plaid in burgundy

Directions for the table runner can be found in Modern Patchwork Winter 2016, the downloadable templates are available here.

Merry sewing,

Violet

 

 

The Forest Abstractions Quilt Along: Final Suprise Block!

It's here! The final installment of the companion blocks to the Forest Abstractions quilt. Thank you for your patience and commitment to the Forest Abstractions Quilt along.

Introducing the Snail!

The Snail joins the worthy ranks of the Field Mouse, Trillium, Wild Carrot, Hummingbird, and Pine Cone.

The color palette used for the Snail (shown above) in order from the top:

  • Michael Miller Cotton Couture Lagoon
  • Michael Miller Cotton Couture  Stone
  • Brambleberry Ridge Knots & Loops in Coral
  • Michael Miller Cotton Couture Luna
  • Michael Miller Cotton Couture Blossom
  • Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection in Mint
  • Brambleberry Ridge Rosemilk in Sorbet

The color palette used for the Pinecone (shown above) in order from the top:

  • Michael Miller Cotton Couture Taupe
  • Michael Miller Cotton Couture  Shell
  • Brambleberry Ridge Knots & Loops in Fog
  • Michael Miller Cotton Couture Blossom

Each of these free companion blocks make up an entire column that can be added onto your Forest Abstractions Quilt.

 The final suggested layout for the expanded Forest Abstractions Quilt. Finished size 56" x 60". 

The final suggested layout for the expanded Forest Abstractions Quilt. Finished size 56" x 60". 

This block is FREE in my shop. Download The Snail here.

Enjoy!

Violet

Picking a Palette using Forest Abstractions: The Stag

ORIGINS IN 3D MODELING
My Abstractions patterns originate from creating 3D models of real animals I have photographed. I create the patterns in such a way that the shapes of the pattern pieces combined with the placement of the fabrics distinguish skeletal and muscular structure in the animals. 

In the Forest Abstractions Stag notice the curvature in his back and haunches. Where the lines break out the individual shapes and combine with the fabrics to create the movement and curvature in these places. Now look to the facial structure and the long snout area and the contrast created by the area for set back eyes. In his legs the lighter fabrics and long lines of the pieces highlight the long sinewy shape of the legs. Each fabric was chosen to highlight or lowlight the appropriate places to capture this movement and curvature while still retaining the abstract sharpness of the design. 

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE FABRIC CHART
To retain the same look in your blocks you can use the exact or similar prints as I used or you can select your own and follow a few simple guidelines.

Let's take a closer look at the fabric chart included in all of my foundation paper pieced patterns and how it can help. The example below left is for the original Stag block from the cover quilt.

The fabrics are listed on the chart with the background fabric first and then all other fabrics follow from dark to light.  

To retain a similar look select fabrics and arrange them in the same order with background fabric first and then from dark to light. An alternate "Bright Palette" chart is shown below right using this method.

Original: Michael Miller Cotton Couture (CC) Eggplant, CC Toffee, Brambleberry Ridge (BR) Timber Valley in Fog, BR Knots & Loops in Coral, BR Shimmer Reflection in Peach, BR Bow Tie Plaid in Mist, BR Rosemilk in Opal, CC Bright White

Bright: Unknown linen blend, Waterfront Park (WP) Domino Dots in Navy, WP Domino Dots in Jewel, Madrona Road Haystack in Fuschia, Peacock Lane Falling Flowers in Turquoise, WP Reflection in Coral, WP Domino Dots in Starfruit, WP Domino Dots in White

When I was placing the fabrics on the chart, I wasn't exactly sure which order they should go in. To make sure I had them in the correct positions I took a photo of them and then also used a filter to make the photo gray scale and then it became more obvious.

BACKGROUND
It is very important that the background fabric you choose contrasts well from all other fabrics that will touch it. In the example of the Forest Abstractions Stag, all other fabrics will touch the background fabric so I chose the Cotton Couture deep Eggplant in the original quilt which contrasts well with all of the other prints. In the Bright Palette I used all very saturated prints, so the lighter linen-blend background contrasts well with all other prints.

REVERSING DIRECTION
In this version I created a rustic Christmas Stag. I reversed the lights and darks which still highlight the appropriate places and results in the chart shown below. For the background I chose a deep red to contrast with all of my other choices. 

I also created this Forest Abstractions Stag head pillow in lighter prints where the lights and darks are reversed from the original. I chose the very light Rosemilk in White as the background. 

Christmas: CC Red, CC Toffee, BR Bow Tie Plaid in Fog, BR Brambleberry in Fog, BR Knots & Loops in Fog, BR Shimmer Reflection in Fog, BR Knots & Loops in Bark, BR Timber Valley in Bark

Pillow: BR Rosemilk in White, BR Rosemilk in Opal, BR Knots & Loops in Coral, BR Brambleberry in Fog, BR Timber Valley in Teal, BR Timber Valley in Bark

GETTING SCRAPPY
So, let's say you want to do a completely scrappy version, but still maintain the same contrast in these areas. Gather your scraps and then organize them into piles from high saturation to low saturation. When the pattern calls for one of the darker fabrics, select from your high saturation pile and so on and so forth through to the lightest fabrics. Again, choose a background that will contrast well with all of the scraps you have chosen to use.

GETTING PICKY
So, you want to know more... let's get picky. When looking at any of the blocks, look to the original cover quilt and think about which pieces are important to you. For the Stag, my starting point would be his face. That long, strong snout is a standout piece in the pattern. The face really sets the attitude of your entire Stag. This is the fabric I would choose first. Once you have determined this piece, you can really choose which of the above routes you want to go down for the rest of your selections. 

In the original Stag I chose Timber Valley in Fog. Although my other fabrics are all a little sweeter than this fabric, the moodiness of the Fog print really sets the attitude of the Stag. The sweet peach and coral prints don't take on the softness they would if his face weren't set as such a strong focal point. Looking to the chart, I found that the face was second to top position under the background and the hoof fabric making it almost the darkest print on the chart. This coincides with the fabric I chose, so I went down the chart from darkest to lightest from there. 

Now, let's look at the Stag Pillow. I chose the sweet Rosemilk print to create a more romantic attitude for the pillow. Because this print is the lightest I wanted to use, I reversed the order of prints so that they fell lightest to darkest on my chart. 

TAKING IT FURTHER
Once you start to look at positioning you can really customize your look and see if it makes sense before you even begin. You can see that the chart shows where the hooves are and that the hoof fabric is not used anywhere else and choose accordingly. You can see the lightest fabric on the chart is the setback for the eye position. Does the fabric you chose for this position on your chart make sense in this part of your Stag? If not, you can change it up before you start.  

I hope all these tips are helpful. Show me those blocks on Instagram and remember to hashtag #forestabstractionsqal.

Cheers!

Violet

FAQAL Surprise Block #3: Wild Carrot

Our third addition to the Forest Abstractions Quilt is the Wild Carrot block!

Wild Carrot is also commonly known as Queen Anne's Lace which was introduced from Europe. The carrots we eat today originated from this plant and the root at the bottom of the Queen Anne's Lace is actually an edible carrot although the leaves are toxic.

Wild Carrot is a print in my Madrona Road collection and is the inspiration for this block. 

 

 

wild Carrot: Pink

wild Carrot: Blue

wild Carrot: Straw

wild Carrot: Tangerine

In this example I have reused my modern watercolor technique from this previous project: Watercolor Heart Block

Brambleberry in Quartz

To achieve this look, use a loose print on a solid ground and choose a background fabric that matches as closely as possible to the ground from your print.

I have used the Brambleberry print from Brambleberry Ridge in Quartz paired with Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Iris.

For the center flower, a distinguishing characteristic of wild carrot plants, I have used MM Cotton Couture in Eggplant and Toffee for the stem. 

The white leaves in the Brambleberry print serve as the individual flowers in the wild carrot bloom. 

 

Fabric guide in original color palette. 

In your Fabric Selection Guide you will see the Wild Carrot Block is designed to be used in a more straight forward way with two prints alternating to achieve a more abstract look. These prints are distinguished with light stripes and light dots in the guide and templates. 

As shown in the photo of my example guide, I have used the same Brambleberry print in both sections. 

Next week I will show an additional sample block, not in the watercolor style, with two prints used. 

 

 

Aqua

Blossom

Fog

 Opal

Opal

This block is FREE in my shop. You do not have to enter payment information. As long as your cart is $0 just proceed to checkout and the cart will email the link to the file. Download the Templates, Piecing Order, Fabric Palettes and Diagram here. 

Happy Sewing!

 

Forest Abstractions Quilt Along - Fixing A Block Tutorial

Last week when I posted the Falcon with it's little broken wing problem, Katie posted a great question that I thought would benefit many readers:

"How are you going to fix the wing? Will you have to re sew all the seams in sequence that follow the wing fix? Is there a good way to go back in and fix one segment in the middle of the block if you don't see the error until all the pieces numbered after the error are sewn? I finished the doe and then saw that I left a hole in one of the hoofs where the fabric wasn't big enough to fully cover the section. All the seams around it are sewn and look fine. Thank you."

 Let's start with my wing fix and then I'll specifically point out what my plan would be to fix Katie's little problem with her Doe. 
 

Here's our broken wing. You can see where piece D4 was just completely missed, which left the brown fabric from D1 left there making the wing look like it's sticking out below where it should be. I gathered my tools: seam ripper, small scissors and the replacement piece of fabric. 

Looking at the pieces, I found the path of least resistance to get to the piece that needed to go in. I seam ripped the G section on the right away from the CDEF group on the left, only about 1/2" past the next seam I need to take out. 

I then ripped the seam that connects the CD group from the EF group, again only about 1/2" past the seam I need to fix. 

The final seam ripping separated C and D, again just about 1/2" from where I need to sew the missed piece on, fully exposing the area we need to sew on the new piece. Fold back any pieces that are in your way and secure them with pins. 

Place the new piece of fabric in the same way you would if you were just getting to this step for the first time. Sew the seam and trim the allowance, then press forward as normal.

Trim the outside edge seam allowances. 

Now re-sew the groups back together, starting with re-sewing section C to section D. Next, re-sew the section connecting CD to EF. Finally, re-sew CDEF to G. 

Complete! Total time was about 30 minutes to fix and well worth it. 

Below we can see Katie's litte doe hoof is missing a tiny corner. 

From another photo I found I know that this is the farthest right hoof. I would begin by ripping the horizontal seam from the right side of the block to at least 1/2" past the last seam we need to work with as pointed out by the white arrow below. 

Next, I would rip the seams on the right and left side of the leg to at least 1/2" above the hoof seam. 

Third, remove the small background piece under the hoof. 

Finally, remove the hoof fabric that doesn't fit. 

The final steps would be to replace the hoof fabric with a piece that fits, re-sew the background piece on, re-sew the seams on the right and left of the leg and finally re-sew the horizontal piece under the hoof. 

 

I hope this is helpful information. Good luck and happy sewing!

Forest Abstractions Quilt Along - The Falcon

Yay, it's Falcon time!  

Falcon, with one background piece missing and in the wrong background color. Mistakes happen! 

If you are looking closely you might notice a couple of issues with this Falcon. I had someone help me out and make the block. Without a color chart, a couple things went awry. I am traveling for the next week so since I don't have time to fix it right now, I had planned to Photoshop them out and make it all perfect-like for you... then I realized that's just plain silly. I make mistakes. We all make mistakes. I always say that your seam ripper is as important of a tool as your sewing machine when paper-piecing and here is a perfect example. Also - if this happened here, it could most certainly happen to you too, so let's figure this out!

First of all, there is a background piece missing in the left wing. See that brown part that is sticking out, it's not supposed to be there. I'll be pulling that wing apart to fix that. 

Second, the background color is the wrong one and so is the brown used in the wings. If you are using a kit or the fabrics used in the original quilt, you might run into this same problem. 

Below is the chart for the Falcon in the original layout with the Cotton Couture color card. There are three light purple/pink colors of Cotton Couture in the quilt and one dark. If your solids are not marked with the color name, you should be able to use the chart below to figure out which one is which. Iris is the lightest and is used as the background in the Falcon block. Primrose is the middle shade and is what was accidentally used in the block below. Mauve is the darker of the three fabrics. Eggplant is also a purple in the quilt and is the deep background for the stag block. 

Iris, Primrose, Mauve and Eggplant, oh my!

The browns contained in the original quilt are Taupe and Toffee. Taupe is shown below and is a rich, but lighter muddy brown. Taupe is the correct color used in the original quilt. Toffee has a golden hue and is used in the block above, but is NOT the correct color. That said, I won't be "fixing" these colors. I think they look great together and I also think I will still have enough left of the solid fabrics to complete the rest of the quilt as expected. It's possible I even like them more as it softens the look of the Falcon a bit. I'm undecided how I will feel about the overall color change with the rest of the blocks. We shall see! 

I find the Falcon to be a fun block to put together. Each of the sections are pretty quick and it pops together pretty fast. I'm in the middle of the mint/yellow version and will post it next week. 

Keep showing us all those blocks on Instagram! #forestabstractionsqal

Happy sewing! 

 

P.S. Individual block PDFs coming next week! 


The Forest Abstractions Quilt - Quilt Along - Introduction

 

I am so pleased to introduce you to my little foundation paper-pieced friends. The Forest Abstractions Quilt pattern consists of a full color booklet with fabric selection guide, fabric palette and piecing order for six different blocks as well as a hefty set of 20 ledger sized pages of templates for The Falcon Block, The Bunny Block, The Squirrel Block, The Coyote Block, The Doe & Bird Block, and The Stag Block.

July 15 - Quilt Along - Getting Started
August 1 - Quilt Along - The Bunny 
September 1 - Quilt Along - The Falcon 
October 1 - Quilt Along - The Squirrel 
November 1 - Quilt Along - The Coyote 
December 1 - Quilt Along - The Doe & Bird 
January 1 - Quilt Along - The Stag
February 1 - Quilt Along - Quilting and Binding

Beginning August 1, I will host a Quilt-Along right here on my blog with tips and tricks for each block and step by step instructions on how to foundation paper-piece. There are also six little surprise blocks that I will be giving away to add to your quilt if you choose to. These will be hosted here and at a few fun, surprise places to be announced along our Quilt-Along journey. 

The Forest Abstractions Quilt has her very own page where you can find links to all of the Quilt Along posts as they come out, , Instagram photos, kit guides and more, found here:

http://www.violetcraft.com/all-the-things/#/forest-abstractions-quilt/

The paper pattern and Brambleberry Ridge fabric and kits are available from many of your favorite online and local quilt shops. The PDF is now available in my PDF shop

So gather up your supplies and I'll meet you right back here very soon! 

My precut Brambleberry Ridge kit available at several online shops and my supplies, all ready to go!

Suggested Supplies:

  • The Forest Abstractions pattern
  • Fabric
  • Scissors for cutting paper 
  • Pencil
  • Tape 
  • Double Sided Tape - I use Duck brand Easy Stick Double Stick Adhesive Roller
  • Cutting Mat - I have a 13" spinning mat directly to the left of my machine
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Ruler - I use a 12" Add-A-Quarter ruler
  • Seam Ripper - this is a MUST, not a maybe :)
  • Water Soluble Fabric Marker or Chaco Liner
  • Sewing Machine with stitch length adjustment
  • Iron 
  • Hard Pressing Board
  • Light Box

 

A little note about light boxes... they are great. I have it on my suggested list as they make paper piecing so much easier, but they aren't entirely necessary. Any bright light source will do the same thing, just not quite as easily, including holding the pieces up in the air in front of any light. My awesome husband made my large lightbox for me as a gift a few years ago using a tutorial he found online. When I travel however, I use a little light box that came in a $20 fashion drawing set my daughter received as a gift when she was about 6. It is smaller, but just as effective. I have also seen some ingenious ways to lay rope lighting inside of a plastic tub for a similar effect. 

Brambleberry Ridge - Available July 2014

Brambleberry Ridge is my newest collection with Michael Miller fabrics. It has begun shipping to stores and is now available in many online and brick and mortar shops. 

Brambleberry Ridge evolved from a love of my great-grandmother Adeline's 1950's home in Dodge City, Kansas and my own current 1950's home on a little tucked away, hidden gem of a ridge line in the middle of the city of Portland, Oregon where coyotes, squirrels, rabbits and falcons are often present amid the blackberry bushes and trees. 

 The Bridgetown Dress in Rosemilk. Pattern available August 2014.

The Bridgetown Dress in Rosemilk. Pattern available August 2014.

 Rosemilk in Mint

Rosemilk in Mint

 Knots & Loops in Coral

Knots & Loops in Coral

 Bow Tie Plaid in Cameo

Bow Tie Plaid in Cameo

 Brambleberry in Aqua

Brambleberry in Aqua

Taking my great-grandmother's love of Rosemilk hand lotion, my love of her gloriously shiny costume jewelry and combining that with gold rimmed wine glasses and snack plate sets from the cupboards, a little mid-century gold gilt wallpaper, mirrored wall tiles, wood paneling and the always present hand tatted doilies on every wood surface from my various childhood homes, I wove all of this inspiration into a sophisticated, yet rustic collection of quilting cottons. 

 Knots and Loops in Bark

Knots and Loops in Bark

 Rosemilk in Opal

Rosemilk in Opal

 Flight in Orchid

Flight in Orchid

 Trading Post in Quartz

Trading Post in Quartz

All in all, this collection comes from my love and appreciation of the delicate sophistication of that era and brings it full circle into a modern collection brimming with joy.

 Mrs. Catterson working in the studio.

Mrs. Catterson working in the studio.

New paper patterns to coordinate with the collection are shipping to stores this week and will be available as PDF downloads July 15th. 

 Broken Herringbone Quilt

Broken Herringbone Quilt

 Breeze Blossoms Quilt

Breeze Blossoms Quilt

 Forest Abstractions Quilt

Forest Abstractions Quilt

 Flying Falcons Quilt

Flying Falcons Quilt

To see the full collection, visit the Design Gallery. 

 Brambleberry in Blossom

Brambleberry in Blossom

 Timber Valley in Teal

Timber Valley in Teal