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!

The Forest Abstractions Quilt Along - The Bunny - Mint & Yellow

Basement lighting setup = weird :)

Welcome to my workspace. On the left I have a 14" rotating cutting mat, an Add-A-Quarter ruler and rotary cutter. Right behind the mat is a large glass jar that I use for my trimming scraps. My sewing machine, the Janome 1600P, is set with a short stitch length to help notch the paper and strengthen the seams for easier paper pulling.  

Please notice my seam ripper front and center on the sewing machine. For me, the seam ripper is a main tool in foundation paper piecing. Fabric placement changes WILL happen. The seam ripper shouldn't be viewed as something you get out for mistakes - it's a part of the process and I use mine frequently to change the placement of fabrics while I work.

 

Mint & Yellow Palette

On my left is my handy lightbox sitting on a small table. My husband made this giant beauty for me as a gift several years ago using an Instructables tutorial. My Fabric Palette is taped up above my lightbox and I have each fabric lined up in front of the Palette & Piecing Guide. 

Not pictured: My iron and pressing board are at my right also on a tray table, a paper bag is at my feet ready for paper scraps and my templates are all cut and lying in order with A on top of the stack. 

 

My first piece of fabric for A1 selected and ready to go.

Here is my filled Fabric Palette for this block. I have chosen a fresh, light and bright palette of mint and yellow. I am using a more scrappy look and have picked more than one fabric for a few of the slots.

Background: solid white

Black: In place of black for Bunny's eye and nose, I have used the gray from the background of Waterfront Park Flight in charcoal.

White dot on gray ground: I have two fabrics on my palette. These two prints, Brambleberry in Aqua and Shimmer Reflection in Mint read as a very similar color and saturation and I want to use them interchangeably as I go along. 

White triangles on gray space: I have a lighter mint fabric than the earlier prints, Flight in Mint.

Gray lines on white: Memoir in White

Gray dot on white: I have placed three different fabrics. These three yellows, Wild Carrot in Straw, solid straw and Reflection in Starfruit, I planned to use interchangeable throughout the block. You will see that as I went, I ended up removing Reflection in Starfruit from the block.

White: In the final slot I have two solids as I wasn't sure which one I wanted to use until I got going. I chose the fog gray.  

 

First piece is always right side down, away from the template. 

I have taken my first piece of fabric and placed it underneath the template, under the A1 position. The template is right side up and the fabric placed under the template is right side down. Notice that the fabric piece extends at least 1/4" beyond all of the A1 edges. Since the A1 position is along the edge of the A template piece, the fabric also extends all the way out to cover the 1/4" seam allowance dotted line. 

 

This fabric piece was fitting almost perfectly... almost too perfectly. I was worried it would slip as I was sewing on the second piece, so I carefully lifted up the paper and used a small piece of double stick tape to hold it in place. I love this tape (Duck brand Easy Stick Double Stick Adhesive Roller) and I've never had any problems with it. The main reason it works so well for foundation paper piecing is that it barely sticks to the fabric. It loves to stick to the paper. It holds well enough to keep my fabric from shifting, but when it comes time to pull paper, in my experience the tape has always stayed with the paper. 

 

Take a good look at the space you are about to fill, A2. Notice the line between A1 and A2, this is your stitching line. The piece of fabric you use to fill the space needs to be large enough to cover A2 and at least a 1/4" seam allowance on all sides. Place a piece of fabric under A2 with the right side down and ensure it covers these seam allowances.

Holding all the layers in place, carefully flip everything over so that the fabric is lying right side up.

 

Focus on where the line between A1 and A2 lies. You should not be able to actually see it right now, because it is covered by the fabric. The fabrics should both be lying right sides up covering the places they will be once they are sewn down.

Flip the A2 fabric back across the line between A1 and A2 so that right sides are together and there is at least 1/4" of fabric crossing the stitch line on the A2 side of the line. 

 

Again, holding all the layers in place, carefully flip everything back over so that the template is right side up and transfer the layers to your sewing machine.

Place the layers under your presser foot. Put your needle in about 1/8" before the A1/A2 line. Sew along the line and beyond the 1/4" dotted seam allowance line. 

 

From here, you can see that the fabrics both extend at least 1/4" across the A1/A2 line and the seam extends through the dotted seam allowance line. 

With the template face up, fold back the template paper along the A1/A2 seam line. 

 

Trim off the excess fabric from the seam allowance. I use an Add-A-Quarter ruler as it makes this step quicker, but any ruler with 1/4" line will do. 

 

Smooth out the fold you made in your template. Place your template on your work surface so that the fabrics are facing up and the template is facing down and examine your work. Make sure the fabric covers the A2 space as well as extends 1/4" into all adjoining areas and extends across the 1/4" dotted seam allowance line. 

Using a dry iron or a seam roller, press the seam in place!

Yay! You did it! 

 

Seam Allowance "Shadows"

So, what happens when you run into a light fabric that goes on after a dark fabric and creates a "shadow" in your seam allowance? Most people will probably not even notice this. I'm not convinced that I would notice it after the project was completed, but while it's right up in my face, it bugs the heck out of me. My solution is ever-so-slightly trim back the dark seam allowance. 

Shadow in my seam allowance.

Trim it away. 

Pretty, crisp seam allowance.

With the template lying on the work surface, fold back the light seam allowance and the template and hold it back under your ruler so that it will not be trimmed. Place your ruler so that about 1/16" of an inch of the dark seam allowance is sticking out and trim it away. 

 

Odd Angle Seams

This pattern has a LOT of them... okay, mostly ALL of them. Let's take a look at one.  In this example I have pieced D1 through D4 and am trying to fit the white fabric D5 triangle shaped piece. The D5 triangle does not have a 90 degree corner angle, which is going to make your fabric shift in an odd direction when you sew it on and press it in place. Here is how to get a perfect flip in the expected direction. 

With the template face up on your work surface, place the fabric piece on top of your template where you want it to be positioned after it is sewn, ensuring all seam allowances are covered. You can see that my fabric fits well on the top of the D5 triangle space, but has some weird jagged edges on the bottom edge by the seam. 

Place your ruler so that the flat edge extends 1/4" across the seam line with a little extra room. Using a chalk pencil or other marking tool, mark the seam allowance line where you will trim away the excess fabric. 

Place the fabric on your cutting mat and trim. Now you have the correct angle on your fabric and it should align when sewn on. 

 

Sewing Together Template Pieces & Aligning Points

With all of the angles in this pattern, it is sometimes difficult to see exactly where the end points should match to get perfect alignment. As you complete each template use the piecing guide to lay them out on your work surface with fabric right side up. 

When you are ready to sew two template pieces together, align them along the seam with fabric right sides together. Take a pin and put it through the top seam end point. Poke the pin through until it goes perfectly through the bottom template seam end point. 

Transfer to your sewing machine and secure the pieces under your presser foot. Remove the pin and sew the seam. 

 

The Bunny!

More posts coming with the original and alternate pallets for the bunny. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or where you would like to see more information or detail. 

Cheers! 

Violet

 

Watercolor Heart Block in Wild Carrot

Hello, friends!

Here is a little project I had a great time putting together for Janome. The full instructions can be found at

HERE

.

Violet Craft: Watercolor Heart Block Tutorial ~ Made with Wild Carrot print from Madrona Road Collection

I love to add a little bit of patchwork to our home every chance I get. This Spring I have been admiring some contemporary watercolor quilts, also referred to as color washing. My style frequently combines a little something classic with a little something modern and for this project I had the idea to use only one modern print and one solid to create a flowering heart pillow.

I had the perfect print in mind and my assistant agreed. Look for areas of loose or solid background when selecting a print to work with. Then select a solid closely matched to the background color. For my example I chose Wild Carrot from my Madrona Road collection matched with white background.

Violet Craft: Wild Carrot fabric from Madrona Road collection

Head over the the Janome blog and

check out the rest of the tutorial

Favorites from the Madrona Road Challenge!

Onwards by Casey York (Tied for Favorite)

Onwards

Untitled by Iara Ferreira from Bragança, São Paulo, Brazil (Tied for Favorite)

Quilt da minha amiga Iara

Recently I had the most difficult task of picking my favorite project from The Modern Quilt Guild / Michael Miller Fabrics Madrona Road Challenge. There were hundreds upon hundreds of amazing entries and more are still pouring in even though the official deadline has passed. I am so thrilled that everyone is still finishing their projects and I plan to keep looking through all of them as they come in.

I honestly didn't know where to start and I wrote a little about my dilemma. Lindsay from ellesquare responded with her blog post

Steal This Quilt

. To quote her, "In short, I wish I'd made it and I want to steal it. I want it. I will take it and hide with it for years in an underground cave, and then after I lose it in a game of riddles, I will follow a pair of tricksy hobbitses through the gates of Mordor only to jump into the fire of Mount Doom to be with it forever. My precious." Thank you so much Lindsay!

So that is how I started to bring my numbers of favorites (hundreds) down to something I could work with (dozens). When I had a workable number of favorites I asked myself, would I jump into the fire with it? I'm a total geek, so you can see how this post really resonated with me. When I was all said and done, I had ten that I couldn't let go of... and I had two top pics that I completely could not separate. I loved them both for totally different reasons and I wanted to pick them both... and fortunately,

The MQG allowed me to do just that

.

Above are the two I could not separate from being my favorite. Below are in no particular order of awesomeness. Click on the photos to see their Flickr streams. Again, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated in the challenge.

Buckles and Belts by Linda (Flourishing Palms)

Madrona Road Challenge

Madrona Road Scrappy Stars by Terry Aske

Terry Aske - Madrona Road Scrappy Stars - 34 x 42 inches

Untitled by mb slinko

Madrona Road front 4

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt by Irelle (Jibberish Designs)

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt 005

Projective Plane of Order Four by moonbrightinjune

PPO4

Untitled by Lindsay (ellesquare)

Madrona Road - finished! (54x54)

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt by Anne (anne @ play-crafts {asdesigned})

madrona road challenge quilt - 48

Sweet Dreams by Disentangled

Sweet Dreams - 10X35

Amazing, right? The Michael Miller QuiltCon booth choices are all

posted on The Modern Quilt Guild blog

- those were all high on my personal list as well! And with more entries still coming in, I foresee at least one more post soon :)

Broken Herringbone Quilt - The Pattern!

Broken Herringbone Quilt Pattern Cover

The Broken Herringbone Quilt was originally created from the Broken Herringbone fabric print in my Madrona Road fabric collection. It is still unclear though which came first... print or quilt pattern? I don't remember! The

pattern

is now available in my

shop

!

The quilt showcases fabrics in a bold manner, but in a fresh, modern, on-trend way. This is a perfect pattern for those fabrics you've been waiting to showcase!

Broken Herringbone Quilt

The pattern also puts a unique twist on quilt construction. There are no traditional "blocks". Quilt is constructed entirely of full width of fabric strips. I think you will be surprised how simple it is to pop this quilt together.

Broken Herringbone Quilt

There is VERY minimal scrap production and the pattern includes diagrams for two examples of how to use all of the scraps in an interesting quilt back. Exact dimensions are not included for pieced backs.

Broken Herringbone Quilt

You may recognize the truck in these photos from Madrona Road. My love affair with the trucks on Sauvie Island goes back to exploring the island alone when I first moved to the Pacific Northwest. At that time there was only one beautiful truck exploding with tulips. In 2005 I took my youngest daughter and a dear little friend there for a photo shoot for my handmade children's clothing line, KungFuBambini. Warning - cute baby overload!

Madrona Road Farmstead Truck

I included my illustrations of the truck in the Madrona Road Farmstead print. Last year, when we returned to take the pictures of the quilts, there were two new beautiful additions, one of which is the blue truck above. You'll be seeing more of these trucks from me. It's a magical little place and I hope to return there for years to come and find them full of blooming flowers.

Happy tears.

Warning: there are no pictures in this post. Just words.

I am bawling right now. Absolutely crying. And every one of them is a happy, happy, happy, HAPPY tear. The Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge has put me over the edge.

Last May I showed Madrona Road, my fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics, at Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City. I love this collection. I put my whole heart into designing it. Our family had been through a lot by that time last year. We were in the process of short-selling our home and changing everything we thought we believed about what we "needed" in life. I wrote Memoir of Madrona Road during that process. It is a very true story about a girl from Kansas making her way in this big world of ours and finding herself and the love of her life in Oregon. About 3/4 of the way through, the story goes on to describe a fictional place called Madrona Road.

At the time I designed Madrona Road, I think I thought that magical little road with the sweet little farm was really and truly what we were looking for. But since then, with ever more changes in our lives in the short span of a few more months, I've realized that the life I created in that little story will exist wherever our family lands. All that matters is that we are together and making the absolute best out of this life that we can WITH WHAT WE'VE GOT. Dreams are so important, but loving what you have right here and right now is so much more important. Making do.

It seems like that's exactly what all of you have been doing. The Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road challenge deadline was last night and I have been watching the progress daily on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter and blogs and it's been so exciting and fun. Then today, seeing 262 entries in the finished Flickr pool and 473 photos in the progress Flickr pool, well, it just did me in. I've been looking through them and bawling ever since... I am supposed to pick one favorite. I don't think I know how to do that. I love every single one of them. Just thinking of the energy of all of those sewers all stitching, well, it just makes me cry harder if you must know.

Please, oh please... if you are on Instagram, tag me!!! I am @violetcraft and I check the #madronaroad and #madronaroadchallenge tags daily also.

#peacocklanefabric gets used occasionally which makes me smile a little secret smile - and just as a tiny happy teaser, get ready for #waterfrontpark in a few months. Yes, I now openly speak in hash tag language. I'm okay with that.

xoxo,  violet

Welcome to the Neighborhood

First, a very quick May, June, July catch up:

Sold our Portland home, hooray!

Buyers backed out, boo!

Went to Kansas City quilt market, hooray!

Resold our home, hooray!

Moved to Manzanita, OR, hooray!

Came down with the flu, boo!

Followed that up with walking pneumonia, boo!

We live at the beach (for now), hooray!

Feeling better and back to work now, hooray!

Now that we've got that over with, hehehe, let's move on, hooray!

Neighborhood

This is the Madrona Road Neighborhood quilt made for me by my dear friend, Elizabeth Hartman. The pattern is from her newest book,

Modern Patchwork.

 Elizabeth blogged in much more detail about the pattern and her book in 

this post

.

Neighborhood

My little helper Cannon was barely tall enough to hold up the quilt for me, but she was a trooper! This was taken on the front porch of the house next to ours here in Manzanita. I love how it looks like the quilt could have been styled off of this house - but it wasn't at all. 

Neighborhood

The quilt can be seen here in my Spring Quilt Market booth. This photo was taken by

Adrianne

, known by most as Little Bluebell. Her photo was about a million times better than mine :) 

Violet Craft

Today it is 78 degrees here. That is about ten degrees warmer than it has been most of the summer. I think I'll go outside now and breathe in some of it. My lungs are still on the mend and I'm moving pretty slowly. This little slow town is just about the perfect place to heal.

V.

The Quilt Show, Quilt Market and Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day!

I have so much to tell you! Where to start, where to start???

Remember

way back when I told you

 The Quilt Show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims came to Portland to film me for their show? Well, it's live now and available for my readers to watch for free! Please, go check it out here:

http://www.thequiltshow.com/os/blog.php/blog_id/4735

Next, I just got back from Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! It was a total blast and I am completely exhausted. Here is a little sneaky peak of my booth in the Michael Miller neighborhood.

Now, let's get to that Giveaway Day! I am going to give away TWO bundles of Madrona Road. One in the Ocean colorway and one in Citrus.

So, here's how to win! I am going to choose one winner randomly from my blog comments here and one winner randomly from the comments on The Quilt Show's

blog post with my interview in it

.

Giveaway Day is the BEST! Thank you Sew, Mama, Sew! for bringing us all together in such a positive way! Follow

this link

to Sew, Mama, Sew! to enter more awesome giveaways!

Memoir... of Madrona Road

Memoir by Violet Craft

Once upon a time in the windy lands of the Old West a baby girl was born to a rooted father and a gypsy mother. Her father loved her mother very much; but as the wolf needs to roam so does a gypsy. It took a village to raise the wee child. And as she grew she began to raise the village.

Alas, the winds called her to seek her soul in the desert, the forests and the sea. She explored and roamed and filled her well deep with  knowledge and experience. The little gypsy girl was all grown up and soon she grew weary of the dissonance and longed for a steadfast place to call home. Once again taking to the road she traveled across the land with her trusty sidekick Buster eventually settling in the City of Bridges.

The winds had led to her soulmate and during a single moon she fell deeply in love with the robot maker. As the moss grows on trees in Forest Park so did the girl’s roots. After battling an evil giant she vowed never to climb ladders again and once again went in search of her soul. Stitch by stitch she pieced her soul together, sometimes unravelling again and again before she tied all the loose threads together, completing her nest.

And in it she placed her two young ducklings. The Princess and her Prince of the Pacific Northwest raised their two in a beautiful castle in the city under the watchful eye of the Griffin. The Princess longed for a simpler life without the troubles of castles and imperial dragon keepers. She began to run, simply so she could slow down. The Prince spent his days engineering the webs of others, dreaming of meads and ales. The country mouse and her prince grew restless in their beautiful city.

Onwards to the sea they were beckoned, bringing their brood with them in search of a farmstead; a place to call home, for weary travelers to rest, to listen to the land and create. And so it was to be that the family settled in a little house with a big life on Madrona Road.  Follow the smell of hops and barely on the wind, turn left at the donkey by the mailbox and when you see Mrs. Catterson next to the Tulips, you’re home. But heed caution, for goats indeed stand guard, fabric flows deeply, the tap never dries and there’s always room for a good friend. Good night my little ducklings, all in a row. Sweet Dreams.

It's Coming.... Madrona Road is at the mill!

Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City will find me with my new collection, Madrona Road. It is at the mill now and I hope to be able to start sharing photos of it in just a couple of short weeks!

In the meantime, Peacock Lane is nearing her 1st birthday. A few months ago Fat Quarterly did a a round up of some fantastic projects and photos going on at that time

here

.

Since then, I'm seeing the Falling Flowers pop up as modern basics in wonderful patchwork creations all over my favorite blogs. And just yesterday I ran across this quilt that made me stop dead in my tracks. I am in LOVE with it.

Pattern: Quilt Story #122 Rylee's Path by Heather and Megan  in Peacock Lane

And this Swoon Quilt is literally making me swoon.

Melissa

is participating in Katy's

Swoon-Along

A heartfelt thank you to everyone that chooses to use Peacock Lane in their creations. It gives me so much joy to see it come to life in the hands of sewists.