June 20, 2017

What every man should know before marrying a quilter

Quilters are a rare breed of hobbyists. Proceed with caution...

She will stand for hours washing and pressing yards and yards of fabric, but don’t ask her to iron your shirt
            …and if you need your pants hemmed, forget about it.

Don’t ever offer an opinion on a new quilt design unless you are specifically asked
            …and then proceed gingerly.

If there is a quilting deadline looming be prepared to fix your own dinner
            …and do the dishes after.

Every road trips starts with the two of you planning your route together, but she will intuitively know where all the quilt shops are along the way 
            …and you better be prepared to stop at every one.

The best sales for fabric are on Super Bowl Sunday
            …and she plans on going to all of them.

Her sewing machine probably cost more than your first car
            …and she treats it better.

Running errands usually includes a quick trip to JoAnn’s for “just a couple spools of thread”
            …and an hour of conversation with the lady at the cutting table discussing her latest project.

It may seem that quilting is an obsessive hobby that steals all her time from you
            …but you will always keep warm with her under a quilt made with love!

May 19, 2017

I'm Teaching at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival!

And there's still a few spots left in my Starburst class!

The Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival is one of the largest quilt gatherings in the midwest and happens to be in my home town June 14-17, 2017! I will be teaching the Starburst quilt, which is an easy paper-pieced block that just looks difficult (seriously)! It is the most dizzying, electric quilt I've ever designed! The quilt is a baby quilt, but I'd love to see a queen-size version! I don't think anyone would ever be able to get to sleep under this quilt!
by Jenifer Dick
36" x 51"
Class Description
This baby quilt is a fun, unique quilt that will stretch the confident beginner and delight the more experienced quilter. Each block has 4 identical paper-pieced sections that are pieced with a 3" nine-patch unit in the center. The block is joined with partial seams. The optical illusion is mesmerizing once all 6 blocks are joined together.

There's only a few spots left, so sign up for the class quickly! Click here to begin the registration process.

Please join me!
Starburst with Jenifer Dick
noon to 3 p.m.
June 14, 2017
Class Code WC6A

May 17, 2017

Quilting Tip of the Day Round-Up Part 2

Do you know what my No. 1 Pinterest pin of all time is? It's a quilting tip! (For more info on that pin, click here.) We all love tips and hints! Anything to make quilting go faster, easier and cheaper! Occasionally,  I post a QTOD on Facebook, and here's some of them that I haven't written about here yet. If you don't follow me on FB, now is a good time to click like. In addition to the QTOD, I post all kind of other fun quilty stuff almost daily! For Quilting Tip of the Day Round-Up Part 1, click here.

Quilting Tip of the Day: When joining binding on the diagonal, press the seams open BEFORE trimming them to 1/4". This is so much easier than trying to press seams open after trimming.

Quilting Tip of the Day: Splurge on a really good iron. You can't believe the difference it makes until you use one! But also keep a cheap one on hand for messy jobs like fusing or heavy starching.

Quilting Tip of the Day: To make your borders fit without rippling, lay your quilt top out flat. Cut two border strips to width and longer than the quilt top. Then lay the borders across the center of the top, making sure one end is flush with the edge. Cut the other end off even with the opposite edge. Pin and sew the borders to the sides of the top, easing where necessary so it fits perfectly. Repeat with the top and bottom borders.

Quilting Tip of the Day: If you have trouble seeing, put a gooseneck lamp behind the needle of your machine. More light makes a huge difference.

Quilting Tip of the Day: When chain piecing I find it's easy to get confused when working with a lot of blocks that have a lot of pieces in each. Instead of having a continual chain going, I only chain piece units for one block at a time. It's much easier to keep track of which units go with which blocks.

Quilting Tip of the Day: Cut your binding strips when you complete the quilt top and put it in a safe place. It's really easy to lose track of the fabric (or cut into it for something else!) you intend to use for binding while the quilt is being quilted. This is especially helpful if it takes a while to get the top quilted! (Ignore the furry arm. She just loves to be photographed!)

Quilting Tip of the Day: Not so much a tip but a product I really love! I keep a magnetic pincushion by my machine to put pins as I'm sewing and I keep one on my ironing board to use when pinning pieces together. So much easier and faster than a traditional pincushion.

Quilting Tip of the Day: I use a lot of starch. For me it's easier and cheaper to mix my own. I mix Sta-Flo (found in the laundry aisle) and water in a spray bottle. I can control how light or heavy the starch is, and if the nozzle gets clogged I can easily wash it out.

Quilting Tip of the Day: Find a rotary cutter that feels good in your hand. A bad fit will tire you out fast. Ask at your LQS to try out a variety before you buy. And replace the blade often to further cut down on fatigue.

Quilting tip of the day: An orange stick is the perfect stiletto! It has a sharp tip for guiding fabric as you are sewing and the beveled edge is great for preparing applique shapes with freezer paper. It's a light-weight wood, so if you accidentally sew over it, it won't jam your machine and break your needle. And best of all, it's cheap! Get one in any health and beauty department.

See all my QTOD on my Pinterest board called Quilting Tip of the Day.

May 1, 2017

Modern Monday Redux

So I'm doing it! I'm rerunning Modern Monday! Back in 2011 when I started the Modern Monday Quilt Along, I never dreamed anyone would make the blocks with me, much less be still making them SIX YEARS later!

Modern Monday
by Jenifer Dick
64" x 64"
But that's what's happened. Thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, and of course Facebook, it's so easy to share and see what others are sharing. And because of tagging I can see who's making the blocks! I was surprised to see that there is still an interest.

Starting today (with the general instructions), and every Monday for the next 64(!) weeks, I'll post a block a week with a link to the original post with instructions.

Wanna play along? Click here to get all the starting info you need, including fabric requirements. And don't forget to post your progress using #modernmonday so I can find your creations!

Don't miss a week! Follow me on IG @jeniferdick and on FB at www.facebook.com/42quilts 

April 27, 2017

TBT: Drinks on the Lanai...

...or as we call it here in the Midwest, the porch!

Drinks on the Lanai by Jenifer Dick
60" x 80"
I look at this quilt and see palm trees, the beach and a drink in my hand. I can feel the warm, tropical breeze on my face as I sit on the lanai of a rented Hawaiian retreat. Hmmmmm, delicious!

Lanai, as it is affectionately nicknamed, is a simple appliqué throw quilt. The large shapes with gentle curves are easy to appliqué using your favorite method. Choose white and your favorite color in dark and medium. Add the complement of that color for a little zip and you have your perfect Lanai quilt!

 I made this quilt a few years back for Quilty magazine. Remember Quilty? It was a great magazine! Anyhow, this quilt graced the cover in September 2013! Doesn't she look so pretty?

Today, she graces another cover:

Gather your fabrics, fix your favorite fruity drink and stitch up a Hawaiian treat!

Everyday Stitches
Everyday Stitches is a pattern company my quilting friend, Trisch Price, and I started to produce quality pattern for everyday stitchers! New patterns are coming out soon! 

You can get Drinks on the Lanai and all the Everyday Stitches patterns at your local quilt shop or at www.everydaystitches.com 

See us on IG @everydaystitches an on Facebook at www.facebook.com/everydaystitches

April 20, 2017

TBT: Haven - The Trifecta

Every once in a while I design a quilt that is a trifecta of my favorite things - solid fabrics, over-the-top quilting and a great back story. Haven is that quilt! 
Haven by Jenifer Dick for Everyday Stitches
60 1/2" x 72 1/2"
Antique Inspiration 
The design is inspired from an Amish quilt I saw in a book - American Quilts: The Democratic Art by Robert Shaw. The version in the book is called Lattice Crib Quilt c. 1930. I was drawn to it for its Gee's Bend quality - no discernible plan to it but somehow it's cohesive anyhow - and so darn appealing! I am drawn to chaos, but I just can't seem to translate that into my quilt designs. My designs are ordered and well planned. I think I get that from my dad - nothing less than perfection is acceptable! But I love looking at these old, wonky quilts and drawing inspiration from them even if mine end up looking nothing like the original!
Lattice Crib Quilt c. 1930 from the collection of Faith and Stephen Brown
My version uses the same block but that's where the similarity ends! I dug though my solids looking for color combinations that look good to me. I'm in love with blue right now, so I knew that would be the main color. I chose 3 gradations: light, medium and medium-dark. To offset the calming quality of that much blue, I looked to the opposite side of the color spectrum - to the warm colors. I chose red, orange and two shades of yellow. These warm colors give just the right balance to the cool blue.
Haven is made from just one block - only the color combinations change.
Quilting Makes the Quilt
Haven is totally balanced, meaning there's nothing wonky or "off" about it. That led to the fabulous quilting. It was done by Angela Walters and is a wonderful blend of modern and traditional. I love dense, overdone, over-the-top quilting! Angela's has the unique ability to analyze a quilt top and see quilting patterns that others don't see. She created a medallion look to the open spaces in the center four blocks and repeated the same pattern, only smaller, surrounding that. It creates the illusion that the blue squares are the blocks and the red, orange and yellow stripes are sashing - totally hiding the true block. I love that!
Detail of Angela's wonderful quilting!
The borders are quilted in a feathered design, which has always been one of my favorite quilting patterns. Although not very popular in modern quilting, I still love them and use them whenever it makes sense. Here the curvy, feminine feathers contrast with the rigid, angular shapes of the blocks giving some balance to the quilt.

That Cool Backstory!
And what's the great back story? I was instantly drawn to the Lattice Crib Quilt when I saw it for all its visual qualities, but what really made me fall in love with it is the little detail mentioned in the one-paragraph description: made in Haven, Kansas. That's the small, south central Kansas town, 200 miles from here, where my husband went to high school 30 years ago! What are the odds that this anonymous Amish quilt from a town of 1,200 could find its way to me? That's how Haven got its name - Haven to honor the original and Haven meaning home!
Haven is a easy, fast and fun quilt
to make for your own personal haven!
If you're interested in Making an exact reproduction of my Haven quilt, here are the Kona Cotton solids I used:
Peacock 1282
Torquoise 1376
Bahama Blue 1011
Tomato 7
Tangerine 1370
Papaya 149
Lemon 23

Where Can You Buy Haven?
All Everyday Stitches patterns are available at quality quilt shops, like Modern Makers in Kansas City or online at www.everydaystitches.com

Everyday Stitches produces quality patterns for everyday stitchers. See us on IG @everydaystitches and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/everydaystitches New patterns are coming out soon! 

P.S. Haven was on the cover of the March/April 2013 edition of McCall's Quilting!

April 13, 2017

Scrappy Delight or Retro Cool?

I guess it depends on how old you are how you "read" No Color Too Perfect!

the No Color Too Perfect quilt
Do you see a scrappy quilter's joy or
old-school 45 records when you see this?
When I made this quilt, my goal was to use up 5" charm squares I have accumulated from years of online swaps. After a while I realized I had to actually make something with them! This was my solution.

Each block is made of a 4-patch, 2-patch or 1-patch center made from the 5" charms. The circle is a gray and the background is either a solid or print, depending on how I felt at the time! The gray circles are gradated from light to black as you move down the quilt.

I also kept cool colors together within a block and alternated with warm colors to give the quilt some cohesion. Sometimes scrappy quilts can turn to visual mush if not done well, so I like to have some kind of way to keep the chaos from taking over!

It's named No Color Too Perfect because I love love seeing how colors play off each other when they are all in one quilt! No color is "more perfect" than another! (I realize that's grammatically incorrect!)

I never saw the 45 records in this quilt until I started showing it at guild meetings. One time a woman said "Oh, it looks like 45s!" We all got a laugh and continued on. A little bit later a sweet young lady tentatively put up her and and asked "What's a 45?" You can imagine the howls of laughter over that! (For all you youngsters out there, a 45 is an old-timey record!) Since then, it's been nicknamed "The 45 Quilt"

No matter what you see in this quilt, No Color Too Perfect will definitely bust your scrap bag - or at least put a dent in it! To purchase, click here and take a look at all the Everyday Stitches patterns while you're there!

No Color Too Perfect or The 45 Quilt?
You decide!

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