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   www.42quilts.com

September 27, 2016

September 28, 2016
September 29, 2016

September 30, 2016
LoveBug Studios https://lovebugstudios.com/blog/

October 1, 2016        
Kathy Patterson  http://hillstreetquilts.blogspot.com

October 2, 2016

October 3, 2016
Generation Q Magazine http://generationqmagazine.com

October 4, 2016
Nicole Daksiewicz www.modernhandcraft.com/blog

October 5, 2016
            Marti Michell http://frommartimichell.blogspot.com

October 6, 2016
Kim Niedzwiecki http://www.gogokim.com

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: http://www.road2cablog.com/road-2016/registering-for-2016-classes-a-refresher/

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!

March 16, 2016

The Appliqué Book - Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to 42 Quilts! I have the privilege of telling you about The Appliqué Book: Traditional Techniques, Modern Style by my friend, Casey York. This is  an amazingly well curated group of modern appliqué quilts made by quilters from all over the stratosphere of modern quilting! And I happen to have been lucky enough to be included in that group!

Lookie! My quilt is on the cover! Yippee!

My project for the book is called Belle the Squirrel, circa 1975! If you've read my blog or follow me on Facebook, you'll know that I love all things 70s! I love the sheer abandon of those quilters during that era - it is so inspiring to me! And that was the inspiration for Belle. 

Here's a little of the backstory behind the quilt. As soon as Casey invited me to submit a quilt for the book, I knew I wanted to make a squirrel quilt. A squirrel design had been percolating around my mind for some time before that, and I knew this would be the perfect venue for my idea. Belle is based loosely on a 1930s Nancy Cabot block I found in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Appliqué.

Belle's inspiration!
I took this inspiration and began sketching until I got to where I not only liked the shape, but I could actually appliqué it with minimum struggle! It's very easy to draw appliqué shapes that are too difficult to translate into fabric. Those projects often turn into UFOs! But this rendition of Belle is easy to do with a turned edge or with a fusible web.

A finished Belle - one of 42!

Once I had the shape where I liked it, I broke out the tail into a separate piece. This allowed me to pair two fabrics together to make a more interesting squirrel than just one piece of fabric would be. Although that could make an intriguing quilt if done with the right fabrics! (hmmmm.....)

I used a wide variety of bright solids and accent prints for the blocks. The squirrel bodies and backgrounds are all solids. The tails are mostly prints with some solids thrown in for fun! Mixing and matching the tails and bodies was the most fun part of the process! 

To applique, I prepared the shapes with freezer paper and sewed them down using thread to either match or contrast, depending on my mood! I used a loose zigzag stitch, not really caring how "perfect" the stitches were - just as my 1970s counterparts would have done! (For more on my freezer paper method for preparing appliqué shapes, you can check out my book, The Modern Appliqué Workbook!)

Once all 42 blocks were done, I set them in an old-school straight set with 2" sashing. To modern it up a bit, I used gray for the sashing and used the same gray for the outer border, which looks like sashing because it's the same 2" wide as the inner sashing. You could certainly add a traditional border to the outside of this if you wanted the quilt bigger. (It's 80x93 as shown.)

Here she is!

Belle the Squirrel, circa 1975
The fabulous quilting was done by Kelly Cline of Lawrence, Kansas. I can't tell you how fabulous she is as a quilter and as a friend! Our collaboration on Belle couldn't have been a better one! She worked so hard to make Belle shine! I don't know how many thread changes she went through, but it was all worth it in the end! 
Belle quilting in progress.

I knew in keeping with the 70s vibe of the top, no ordinary quilting would do. I told her to quilt it like the sashing wasn't even there. Her result was to echo quilt around each squirrel and then add in circles (acorns, if you will!) around the echo quilting that spill off the block into the sashing and into the block next to it. It really is amazing to see! Once I have the quilt back in my possession, I'll blog more about the quilting with better pictures showing it!

So there you go! There's the inspiration behind Belle the Squirrel. Now for what you've been waiting for! The question you must answer in the comments to enter for a chance to win a copy of The Appliqué Book! So here goes: What is your favorite decade for quilting? Leave your answer below. 

And 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! I will draw for the winner on March 25. THE CONTEST IS OVER! JANIE IS THE WINNER. THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED!

Good luck, and honestly, many will enter and only one will win, so you might as well head over to Casey's website and just purchase your copy now. If you win, then you have a gift to give your quilting bestie! 

Here's the schedule of blogs participating in the tour. Head to these sites each day for more info about the book and more giveaways!
Mon. March 14:
Casey York | http://studioloblog.wordpress.com
C&T Publishing |http://www.ctpub.com/blog/
Tues. March 15:
Jenna Brand | http://jennabrand.com/ (coming soon!)
Adrianne Ove/Pink Chalk | http://www.pinkchalkstudio.com/blog/
Wed. March 16:
Jenifer Dick | http://42quilts.com/
Pati Fried | https://seehowwesew.wordpress.com/
Thurs. March 17:
Shannon Brinkley | http://www.thebottletree.net/blog/
Bari J. | http://barijdesigns.com/blogs/blog
Fri. March 18:
Debbie Grifka | http://eschhousequilts.com/blog
Beth Vassalo | http://plumandjune.blogspot.com
Mon. March 21:
Latifah Saafir | http://www.latifahsaafirstudios.com/blog
Tues. March 22:
Lynn Harris | http://thelittleredhen.typepad.com
Kevin Kosbab | http://feeddog.blogspot.comModern Quilts Unlimited | https://modernquilts.mqumag.com/category/blog
Web. March 23:
Allison Rosen | http://withinaquarterinch.com/
Cindy Lammon | http://hyacinthquiltdesigns.blogspot.com/
Thurs. March 24:
Rossie Hutchinson | http://www.rossiecrafts.com/blog
Generation Q | http://generationqmagazine.com/
Fri. March 25:
Betz White | http://betzwhite.com/blog
Casey York | http://studioloblog.wordpress.com

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