Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hello everyone,
I am pleased to be chosen as one of 15 entrants in the next level of the McCall's Design Star Challenge.  In the professional category, a "Storm at Sea" block had to be incorporated into the design.  The pool of talent represented is admirable.  Please go to the link and check out the quilts!  You can vote for your favorite EVERY DAY from now until July 8th.  Enjoy the beautiful quilts and perhaps get inspired along the way!
My quilt entry is titled "Lost at Sea" in honor of my great-grandfather.  You can read the story that inspired the quilt (posted under the photo.) Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Want to make a designer's day?

It's really quite simple. Send her/him a photo of a quilt you have made from one of her/his patterns. It seems so simple, but it rarely happens, and that makes us kind of sad. Allow me to help dismiss your most common excuses:

1. "I don't know Cool Designer, so they might think I am stalking them." Most designers print their email addresses right on their patterns, or have websites with links to get a hold of them. If we didn't want to hear from you, we would use pseudonyms and live in the backwoods of Alaska totally off the grid. And trust me, nothing says "I have arrived" quite like a taste of stalkerdom, after all.

Take this adorable rendition of NEQDC member Terri Sontra's "Once Upon a Bunny Hill" pattern, made by Kresti L of Minnesota. One fine morning, Terri opened her email and there it was. Terri loves the way Kresti did the bunnies in a velveteen fabric, giving it texture and softness. Terri has never met Kresti, but Kresti made her day 1000 times over. And no restraining orders were taken out.

Judy Damon, NEQDC member, found this version of her "Inspinity" pattern in her inbox one morning. Made by Cathy, it made her day. Judy may not know Cathy, but now they are forever connected through a fun pattern. Cool.

2. "I changed the design a little and I think they might be mad." Did you buy our pattern from a shop or direct from us? Fantastic. You liked something about it, and were inspired enough to buy it and use it in your project. Most designers expect and encourage a little riffing here and there - it's what makes your quilt YOUR quilt. We want to see what inspiration we gave you and how you ran with it.

NEQDC's Barbara Chojnacki shared with me these photos of her "Sunny Day" table topper, both made by Katherine B. Barbara was thrilled to see these and to see how Katherine's choice to switch the fabric tones within the design resulted in two very different looking quilts, one with more of a "star" look and one with more of a "box" look. Cool, huh?

For my part, I had been told by a fellow quilter, Danielle F,  that she had made my "Syncopated Ribbons" design and had created some pyramid blocks to add to it as the cousin who was to receive it had spent a semester in Egypt. Danielle finally sent me some photos yesterday and I could not be more excited by what she came up with for those blocks. They are SO cool and look like little Egyptian postcards.

3. "I can't find my camera/I don't have a quilt rack to hang it on/It has been raining for 25 days straight so I can't go outside and take a photo in natural light/I'm too hungry right now/etc". Life happens, hotties. I too have lost my camera for days at a time, but most cellphones take fantastic photos these days. I have been known to thumbtack my quilt to the side of the garage for lack of quilt rack. When it rains, take a close up of some of the detail while it lies on your living room floor. And for the love of all that is holy, eat a good breakfast and you won't be starving to death and unable to function. See? No problem is too small for me to solve for you.

Danielle does not appear to have a quilt rack. But she has a deck with a railing. Worked for me!

I also love that Danielle shared that she knew she wanted to make this quilt in pinks and oranges, and as it really is a scrap buster, she asked for pink and orange scrap donations from her guild. She got so many that she only had to buy TWO fat quarters to finish the top. And she had enough leftovers to pass on as a "quilt starter - kind of like those sourdough starters from the 70s that people added potato peels to and they never died" to another guild member who loved her SR quilt so much they wanted to make it in those colors too. I love when quilters work together.

Judy Damon also shared this "Lava Lamps" quilt, which was apparently taken while spread on the floor or a table. It may not be ideal as a pattern cover photo, but in terms of making Judy happy to see it, it sure works.

As members of NEQDC, we also get really excited when we see patterns designed by ourselves or other members done up into quilts and hanging at the various shows we attend. Barbara Chojnacki shared how excited she was to recently see two of Terri's patterns, "Once Upon a Bunny Hill" and "Discovery" both hanging at a show in Western MA. She assures us both were beautiful and Terri would have been very proud of the makers.

I hope I have convinced you that it is worth sharing your creations with the designer of the pattern. So find those cameras and send one today! Right after you have lunch.

Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs