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!

April 6, 2017

How to make a great baby quilt

Nothing says welcome to the world better than a homemade baby quilt, even if it's for your great niece that lives two states away that you'll only see once a year!

When you throw your patterns out for public consumption, you never really know what is going to be popular and what isn't. You just go with your gut and hope for the best!

To my surprise, since Trish and I started publishing patterns under the Everyday Stitches brand in 2015, one of my quilts has been consistently a top seller. XOXO is a darling "modern" baby quilt. Not modern as in the aesthetic of modern - although it certainly has characteristics of a modern quilt - but modern as in it is what contemporary mothers want in a baby quilt.

I'm seeing tons of photos of baby rooms on social media, in catalogs and on TV and one thing stands out - mothers today aren't like we were! They want good, minimalist design (think IKEA furniture) and they don't necessarily want pink for girls and blue for boys. So it's time to step up our quilting game if we want our baby quilts to be used by today's moms!
XOXO is designed with a modern mother in mind! 
Easy and fast to make with a minimalist aesthetic,
it's perfect for the newest addition to your family tree!

XOXO was made in honor of my first great niece's birth. Her parents decorated her baby room in a beautiful chartreuse and dark gray - coincidently two of my favorite colors! It's very modern and can easily grow with the baby into childhood. Since I saw pictures of her room before hand, it was easier to make the quilt. I knew the colors and I knew that they would appreciate a quilt with modern characteristics. The quilt turned out perfect for her room!

If you know a baby coming with modern mother, here's some ideas to designing your own quilt for them!

Keep it Simple
1. If you put too much work into the quilt, the mother won't want to use it because it's "too nice". Something washable is best!

2. You need it to be easy so you can crank it out fast. Even though you have 9 months warning, those babies have a way of coming faster than you think!

3. Minimalism is popular right now, take advantage of that. Enlarge a traditional block and use that as the focal point. Switch values in the pieces. If you normally have the points and center of a sawtooth block a bright color and the background white, switch it and make the star white and the background the bright color. I did this in XOXO with the blocks. It's a nice, unexpected surprise!

4. Borders? Forget about them! Borders aren't necessary anymore, and borderless keeps things clean and fresh. Or, use XOXO as a guide and do asymmetrical borders to add a punch of color.

Where to buy XOXO
The XOXO pattern is available at fine
quilt shops - like Quilting is My Therapy in Liberty, Missouri. 
Or go to www.everydaystitches.com to order XOXO and see the rest of the Everyday Stitches quilt patterns!

March 23, 2017

TBT: Rec Team

For the next several Thursdays I'm going to highlight some of my past patterns that you might have missed! Today's TBT is Rec Team, a fun, mid-century modern inspired twin size quilt - perfect for the rec team player in your life!

Rec Team by Jenifer Dick
I love working in brights - especially rainbows! Anytime I can come up with a rainbow colorway I do. Mixed with shades of gray, the rainbow solids pop off the quilt. The two blocks that make up the quilt are 6" x 12" and when you add the offset borders, it finishes to 64" x 90". I think it would be just as lovely in a more controlled colorway as well - perhaps your athlete's team colors!

Everyday Inspiration
Mid-century architecture is a huge source of inspiration for me. I love how the designers of that era broke out of traditional, classic designs and started to see other possibilities. This attitude really translates well into fabric!

The inspiration for Rec Team
This photo is the inspiration for Rec Team. I saw it on Pinterest (where else!?) and was instantly drawn to the shapes and the movement. I'm not sure what this is actually a picture of, but it appears that it's a decorative cover for a car porch. I would love to drive home to this everyday! 

What drew me to it for a quilt design is how the positive and negative space in the first "block" are reversed for the second "block". And the secondary surprise that comes when joining the "blocks" is the wonderful movement that keeps your eye bouncing all over the place. You can also see this effect in the quilt.

Keep looking for inspiration all around you. You never know what you see that might make a great quilt!

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 Rec Team 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

February 10, 2017

I'm SEW sure you should be my Valentine!

There's no doubt, I'm a sucker for vintage! And if the vintage happens to be about sewing? Whoo hooo - jackpot! Happy Valentine's Day to all my fellow sewists!

(The Valentine's are from my Vintage Valentine's  Pinterest Board.)

February 4, 2017

True Love 2017 - Free Pattern

A few years ago, I designed this wonky valentine for my friend over at Crafty Tammie. This year, I thought I'd share it with you! It's just so darn stinking cute, I had to repost it!

True Love is made of 12 paper pieced hearts, but they really could be improv pieced just as easily. I provide 4 paper piecing patterns, but the goal is to make ask 12 look as different as you can. You can do this by redrawing your lines on the pattern or printing some of them as a mirror image. Either way gives you more variety.

True Love is 30" x 39". Perfect for a last minute project before the big day!

In addition to the quilt, you could easily piece 4 blocks and join them to make a mug rug or smaller wall hanging. Embroider the name of your true love on the block to make it super-personalized!

Get the pattern here

Here's my true love:

I hope you have a great Valentine's Day and get to spend it with your True Love!

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