November 16, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Tour and Giveaway!

Here we are again with Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks blog tour and magazine giveaway! How much do we love this magazine? 100 blocks, fully patterned and ready to get the creative juices flowing!

My block is a scrappy version of a traditional block, one with many names! According to the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman, it has no less than EIGHT names!

Traditional block with many names:
Mosaic #21
Mosaic #6
Gem Block
the Road to Paris
Double Squares
Jack in the Pulpit
Broken Dishes
The Dewey
Because I have a hard time leaving things alone, I modified this block with eight names to accommodate many different fabrics - 12 scraps and 2 constant colors - to be exact! And I named mine Monkey in the Middle because it reminds me of the keep away game my kids play with a soccer ball! So now the block has NINE names!

Monkey in the Middle block
I've been on a big scrap quilt kick lately. I have so much in my stash that covers 20+ years - including fabric from my grandmother, my grandmother-in-law, my mom and my mother-in-law - that I have to start using it! I prefer bright fabrics, so my collection of modern scraps worked well with the gray background. But look how it would look in a monochromatic scheme on black:

Yummy blues!

And in a quilt.

And in the same quilt without sashing and borders. Check out the secondary surprise! 
Large square-in-a-square units emerge when the blocks are joined without sashing.
I hope you try making Monkey in the Middle. It's a versatile, scrap-busting block that's fun to make! And I'm sure there are many, many settings and color ideas I would have never thought of out there!

Now for the giveaway. Leave a comment telling me if you have ever modified a traditional block to make something new and if you enjoyed the process! From all the responses, I'll choose one to receive a copy of 100 Blocks! Make sure I have your email address so I can contact you if you're the winner! Good luck and happy creating!

Also, head to Quiltmaker magazine's blog for more chances to win lots of cool prizes and see other blocks from the magazine!

Nov. 22 Update: The contest is closed! minibea12 is the lucky winner of the magazine. Thanks to all who entered!


October 28, 2016

Quilting Tip of the Day

I think it's time to bring back Quilting Tip of the Day! For more, go to my pinterest board:

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!)

October 10, 2016

A New Spin on Drunkard's Path Blog Tour Giveaway Winner!

Karen C. is the winner!

She said: "Red is my favorite color for quilt making. I would love to win and make one of the quilts. Thank you."

I gotta say, red was probably one of the least mentioned color people said was their favorite to work with, but there were several other reds! Surprisingly, purple seemed to be the most popular - totally unscientific results, of course! I thought blue would be the most popular!

Thanks to all who entered and congrats Karen!

You can still get a copy of the book. To order, head to John's website. He might even sign a copy for you!  

September 26, 2016

A New Spin on Drunkard's Path Blog Tour (and Giveaway!)

Just when you think there's nothing new under the sun, a book comes along that knocks your socks off! That's what I thought when I first saw the quilts in John Kubiniec's book, A New Spin on Drunkard's Path. It's full of Drunkard's Path variations, tips and ideas that take a humble block to a new level of visual interest and better yet, they are deceptively easy to make!

The quilts in his book are not only quite original in concept, but they also make an old block feel very contemporary. The rest of the book is filled with lots of hints and tips, which I'm a big fan of, and I especially like the section about how to find time to quilt in a busy world! Very practical for all of us!

This is my favorite quilt in the book:
"Bowties" is a super-scrappy quilt with black accents. John uses 1930s reproduction prints in his version. I think if I were to make it I'd use a combination of bright prints and solids with a medium-dark gray as the accent. That would make a more modern version of this contemporary setting.

For this post, I decided to actually make a few blocks. I have to tell you, I'm not a curved piecer. I've tried in the past and never had much luck. I couldn't figure out how to get the concave and convex parts to fit together just right. So this time, I decided to follow the directions and see if I had better luck! The results, I'm happy to say were perfect!

John's tutorial is in-depth with step-by-step photos, very helpful for a visual learner like me! I used these templates from Marti Michell and make 6" blocks with the Corner Triangle Variation.

If you don't have the templates, John includes instructions for making your own templates, but I strongly recommend buying the pre-made ones - especially if you're going to make 100+ blocks. It really takes a lot of hassle out and you get to the sewing faster!

Here's my cut-out pieces. Using the templates, I was able to cut them perfectly, which is probably why it was so easy to piece them perfectly!

Once I had my samples made, I played around with arrangements. There are lots of possibilities with these blocks! These are my favorites:

I'm really happy I made the sample blocks. I really had no illusions that I'd be able to curve piece any better than I ever have before. But with these results coupled with all the variations John shows us, I find myself thinking about adding in Drunkard's Path blocks to future quilts!

Now for the Giveaway! C&T and John are giving away a copy of the book (an eBook if you are not in the U.S.) and a set of Drunkard's Path templates (shown above).  For your chance to win, answer this question in the comments: What's your favorite color to use in a quilt? I'll be drawing for a winner on Oct. 8. Make sure to leave you email address so I can contact you if you're the winner!

Here's the line-up for the rest of the blog tour. Check in each day for more chances to win!

September 26, 2016
Jenifer Dick

September 27, 2016

September 28, 2016
September 29, 2016

September 30, 2016
LoveBug Studios

October 1, 2016        
Kathy Patterson

October 2, 2016

October 3, 2016
Generation Q Magazine

October 4, 2016
Nicole Daksiewicz

October 5, 2016
            Marti Michell

October 6, 2016
Kim Niedzwiecki

October 7, 2016

Good Luck!

June 30, 2016

On the Road 2 California!

I'm so happy to tell you I'll be teaching FOUR classes at Road to California in January! Road2Ca is January 19-22, 2017. There are far more participants than class spaces available so if you're  interested, you need to be ready to sign up when registration opens July 9

Here's the classes I'll be teaching. Some are old favorites and some are brand new! Which ones do you want to take?

Be Kind
I'm most excited about this quilt! I developed this quit as a not-so-gentle reminder for all of us! But you can pick your own 6-letter word or phrase to express your own sentiment!

Class Description:

Be Kind is a fun quilt to express your own word or short phrase! Students can do the quilt up with "Be Kind" as shown or choose their own word or phrase to express something they would like to immortalize on their quilt. The quilt can be done in bright, rainbow colors as shown or in gradations of a single color or in two colors, such as red and white.  The pattern includes two sizes (12" or 6") of all 26 letters of the alphabet so the quilter can choose to make a queen size quilt or a wall hanging. Jenifer gives lots of hands- on help with color choice, word choices, and piecing.

When: Saturday, January 21

This is the most dizzying, electric I've ever designed! The class 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!

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.

When: Thursday, January 19

Exploding Nine Patch
This is one of my most popular classes! The blocks pop off the quilt in this fun, easy-to-piece optical illusion design! You can do it in brights on white as shown or in one color family on any background you like.

Class Description:
This all-day workshop is perfect for confident beginners to learn the basics of fabric selection, color choices, precision cutting and sewing to attain perfect points, and block placement. It is also challenging enough for more accomplished quilt makers. Jenifer offers tips, hints and alternate techniques while teaching you how to make this 84" quilt. Participants are guaranteed to learn something new and have fun stitching this stunning optical illusion quilt!

When: Friday, January 20

Exploding Four Patch

Not to be outdone by it's big sister, the exploding four patch is just as fun to make! Believe it or not, this is a Lemoyne Star block, but the choice of a 3-step gray gradation makes it look completely different! 

Class Description:

This all-day workshop is perfect for confident beginners to learn the basics of a 3-step gray gradation, precision cutting and sewing to attain perfect points, and block placement. It is also challenging enough for more accomplished quiltmakers. Jenifer offers tips, hints and alternate techniques while teaching you how to make the Lemoyne Star block with perfect points. Participants are guaranteed to learn something new and have fun stitching this stunning modern-traditional quilt!

When: Sunday, January 22

Check out the class catalog for my classes and all the other great classes here. To register for my classes, look for these codes:
Be Kind 6003C
Starburst 4003C
Exploding Nine Patch 5003C
Exploding Four Patch 7003C

And here's a link to helpful info you need to know before registering:

Let me know if you have any questions about my classes and I hope to see you on the Road to California!

May 2, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 13 Blog Tour

It's that time again for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks issue! I've been involved in this magazine for a long time now. I believe this is my 5th block! It's a fun, fun magazine full of inspiration from a lot of talented designers and vol. 13 is just as good! If you are new to 42 Quilts, please take a minute to look around. I am the author of 5 books from very traditional to marginally modern, which is the style I'm most comfortable working in (right now, anyhow!). I have a great following on FB, so be sure to like me there and you can follow me on IG @jeniferdick (note there is one "n" in my name).

My block is named Four of a Kind. It's not hard to figure out why! I actually designed the single heart a long time ago and it has been waiting patiently for the right project to go into! I decided to make it into a group of 4 - 6" units rather than just on large 12" block. It's paper pieced because of the wonky nature of it - I'd rather paper piece than work with templates any day of the week!

Below is my EQ rendition of the block. I like to use EQ to experiment with color. As most quilters are, I'm very visual. I need to actually see the colors to know if I'm going to like them or not. For some reason, imagining them in my mind doesn't work well for me - I'm often left feeling like the version in my head is better than what I actually make! So if I can see it ahead of time, I know I'll love it!

Four of a Kind for Quiltmaker's 100 Block vol. 13 - EQ version

Once I drew the block - in this case the group of 4 hearts, I start clicking on colors. Sometimes I stick to complementary colors (orange/blue, green/red, purple/yellow) and sometimes I go with warms and cools (red/orange/yellow being warms and blue/green/purple being cools). And sometimes I go random to see what unexpected combinations pop up that are pleasing. This time I decided to keep the heart in the traditional red as a starting point. My usual inclination is to go the unexpected route - making the heart in a color other than red - the unexpected. But, for some reason, this time I was feeling traditional!

Once that decision was made, I moved on to the background colors. Since the red, a warm color, is the dominant, I decided to go with cool colors in the background. Being that there are 3 cool colors - blue, green and purple (not counting indigo - I never know where to put indigo!), I had to decide which color to double up on.

Rejected Color Option

Of course, my go-to color is blue! But this just didn't look quite right to me. It seems a bit bland. So I played with the warm colors. Adding in just one seemed to work. It made it much more interesting and somehow more pleasing to look at!

The finished Four of a Kind!

If I were to make a baby quilt out of this block, which is a natural use for it, I think I'd forgo the bright, intense colors for softer pastels - pinks come to mind. And of course, adding in prints would always be a good option!  Twelve blocks with a 2" sashing in a straight set and border would make a 44" x 58" baby quilt - quick and easy!

Now for what you are all waiting for - the giveaway! To win a coy of the magazine - Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 13 - leave a comment telling me if you like working with solids or prints in your quilts (or both!). I'll draw for the winner on Friday, May 6And remember, in order to win, I have to know how to get ahold of you! If you don't have your email address in your profile or comment as anonymous, I won't be able to get the book to you, so please include your email with your comment if you think I won't be able to find it!

Good luck!

The contest is over and Judy V. is the winner! Congratulations Judy and thanks to all who entered!

March 26, 2016

The Applique Book Winner!

The winner is Janie! Thanks for entering everyone! I loved reading your comments. By far everyone's favorite decade to quilt in is now, with the 1930s being the second favorite!
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