Monday, July 14, 2014

A Quilter's Mixology by Angela Pingel Review & Giveaway


I am excited to be back here to share with you a really amazing new quilting book that joined my bookshelf. It is A Quilter's Mixology by the lovely Angela Pingel who blogs at Cut to Pieces!

By Angela Pingel
Interweave/F+W; $27.99

I have known Angela for years and she has been a huge inspiration for me. She is one of those girls who can make anything! Her quilts are crazy amazing, but she has designed all sorts of other things including children's garments and even zakka items that made my jaw drop to the floor. She has been big source of my inspiration, and I couldn't help telling her that she needs to write a book, so it was really exciting when she finally told me she was doing it! We chatted often while she was working on her book, which is over a year ago.  I feel I waited so long for this book! Angela's projects are always rich in colors and incredibly executed Her projects are great representations of herself as a person. She is so organized, posotive and oh just so lovely :) 

Medallion Baby Quilt, Page 63

Her book was guaranteed to be one of my very favorite quilting books, and I was so right about that. I have had AccQuilt and Drunkard's Path due cutter, but had not have enough inspiration to actually use it until I saw this book. Now I am itching like crazy to tackle curvy seams so I can make a beautiful quilt using Drunkard's Path blocks! If you have been in blogland, you've probably heard about this book and have seen the pictures of all the beautiful quilts in the book on Angela's blog. If you haven't, you really need to check that out! Maybe you will have goosebumps like I did! :)

There are 16 beautiful and unique eye-candies made by her. Every project uses the Drunkard's Path block. OK, maybe I just need to shut up and have you hear Angela's voices now! I was able to interview her, so here you go!

Petal Pusher Quilt, Page 127

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

1) You probably expected this was coming, but what is your advice for people like me who are a bit scared of sewing curvy seams? Which projects would you recommend for beginners?

Curved Seams are really not scary.  It's always a leap of faith to tackle a new skill but the reward is well worth it.  And though there ARE people who perfect a pinless curved piecing method, my advice for beginners is to use pins.  There is no shame in it.  I'm a pinner by nature and use pins in regular straight line quilting all the time.  So using pins here is no big deal.  But I know some people NEVER use pins and I'd have to tell you to get over it and grab a pin or two. ;)  Curved piecing is something I think every quilter should know how to do.  You don't always use it all the time but it's a technique you want to have in your back pocket.

The best pattern for the true beginner is probably the Ombre Drunkard's Path Pillow.  There are no seams to match up and the curves don't meet each other.  It's a small project that is easy to tackle.  And if you have a die cutter then life is even easier.  But don't stop there or even start there if another pattern is just calling you.  Go with your instincts.  Make a piece that inspires you!

2) How did you design these beautiful quilt patterns using only two types of Drunkard's path blocks? Did you use a software or design on paper?

I eventually get all patterns into the computer for technical purposes of sending them to the publisher, but truly...so many of my patterns really do start with sketches.  I find shapes that inspire me and I often have to sketch them out to break the pattern down into the curved blocks I need.  I can see an image and know that it can be made with these blocks but I still have to sketch it out by hand.  That puts it into my mind in a different way than designing straight from the computer.  But the computer is awfully handy once you have an idea of what you are doing with a pattern and just want to create alternate versions or flip flop blocks etc.  It's much faster for that type of work.  But yes, I'm old school.  I have lots of little notebooks filled with graph paper for sketching.


3) I think you are amazing at creating very original and modern quilt patterns, but what I think sets you to a different level as a quilter is your choice of fabric and colors. I find it very striking and eye-pleasing. I just love the way you make beautiful fabric design pop like a magic. What inspires you to choose colors/designs?

Well you are going to give me a big head with all that type of talk!  My goodness!  So first, thank you for that! And then to answer your question, picking out the colors and type of patterns I want to use is as vital as the pattern itself often.  I learned a lot about color and pattern when I was studying for one of my degrees, Interior Design.  I have to watch myself because I will tend toward a certain palette of colors for sure.  I wanted the book to have a diverse amount of color schemes but still feel like me.  I choose fabrics that make me happy and then pair them with something often that rubs me the wrong way a bit.  That way you get that extra bit of "pop" in your color scheme and keeps it from being too flat and predictable.  Like all of us, I have favorite designers and design companies.  I tend to use those as a base place to start and work out from there.

4) Probably most readers of this blog are rather zakka makers than quilters, so I want to ask a simple question about making a quilt. How long does it take to make a quilt, say Butterflies quilt for example?

Ah...a difficult question to answer.  How long did it take me? How long should it take?  How long COULD it take?  All very different answers and completely dependent on your ability to spend time making a single project.  But make no mistake, a quilt is not a "quick" project.  I can knock out a bag or dress in a day or two and that feels like a luxury.  Quilts take hours of cutting fabrics, sewing them together, lots of pressing and usually more sewing...repeat as needed.  And of course the size of the piece changes that time dramatically.  If you are nervous about tackling a large scale project like a bed size quilt, just look at some of the smaller pieces.  There are pillows (very accomplishable!), wall hangings, baby quilts etc.  In general, bigger projects take more time...but it really all depends on the number of seams.  I wouldn't expect to finish a bed size quilt in less than 2 weeks.  And it could take significantly longer.  There is no "right" amount of time to spend on a long term project.

Butterflies Quilt, Page 55 (My favorite project!!)

5) You made incredible 16 projects (14 quilts and 2 pillows) in such a short period of time for your book. And you did't even stop blogging while you were working on your book! You are awesome! How did you manage the time to work on your book when you had so many other things going on? Any tips to be very organized like yourself?

Well first of all, let's admit that it's a little bit nuts to do that.  I had quilt alongs going on and book reviews and swaps and other publications that I was doing all while writing the book and making those projects.  I had to put my creative life into two categories, the blogging world and the book world.  And never the two shall me until I can share publicly what I'm making.

It definitely takes some organization.  I had a list of the projects that needed to be completed and I stuck to a deadline for each one individually.  But it was actually important for me to do other sewing because I got tired of sewing sooo many curves for one and I also needed more immediate gratification projects.  Small dresses for my daughter were perfect for that...but the Super Mario Brothers Quilt along was probably a bit much. ;) I needed to make things that I could share though.  It's an important part for me of being a member of the online sewing community while sewing in isolation at my home.

6) What are you going to do with your quilts once they are returned? This is just from my curiosity :)

Well right now they are rather glamorously being housed in some large tupperware tubs in the middle of my living room.  But I hope to be able to display a number of them around the house.  I also intend to use them for trunk shows for lectures and teaching.  There is nothing like seeing a quilt in person to love it even more.

I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to give these away...but it does seem like a lot of quilts to hold on to! lol And I want them to be loved!!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these interview questions, Angela!

The publisher kindly allowed me to share a copy of her book with one of you based in the US! If you'd like a chance to win it, please leave a comment telling me about your favorite place to visit in the summer! The giveaway is open til the next Monday. I then will announce a winner!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Great Granny Sew Along :: Label


I am very happy to be back here to host a stop for Great Granny Sew Along for 
my sweet friend Lori's new book, Great Granny Squared. I made a label, 
although I didn't get a chance to do the embroidery on time in the center.


Lori does an amazing job making instructions very clear, so I recommend her books
to people of all sewing level, especially beginners just because the instructions 
come with great illustrations :) Excuse me for my imperfect seams! I made this 
while holding Honoka on my back the entire time. (She is sick and has a stuffy nose, 
so she has difficulty sleeping while laying down.)


She is still on my back, taking a nice and long nap. yay!

  • Here is a link to the Label block PDF, but you'll still need the book for a complete instruction. 
  • Check out Lily's Quilt and Pretty by Hands for more inspiration for making your label.
  • Remember to post your picture on this Flickr pool for your chance to win weekly prizes!

Have a lovely week!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dresden Photo Frames for Patchwork Tsushin No.180


I made these photo frames for my baby diary no.3 for Patchwork Tsushin magazine. This is my favorite project I've made for it because I so needed some cute frames to showcase monthly photos of Honoka :)


It was quite easy to put together, so I was able to finish them pretty quickly! I can hardly believe she is already 9 months old! I am looking forward to making more of these.


Along with the photo frames, I made this color cube. It will help me teach Honoka colors. Until she is old enough to understand the colors, she can play it by pulling the tabs. Babies love those!


And here are two blocks for the QAL for the baby quilt. I am quite looking forward to putting together this quilt although I don't know if anyone is following it lol.
 This is a newest issue of Patchwork Tsushin (No.180). Everything is in Japanese, but many projects' instructions come with step-by-step illustrations. I had many friends asking me if there is English translation to my bag I made for the last issue. If you ever need simple translation help, I would be more than happy to help you out. Just shoot me email! I have Patchwork Tsushin No.180 available in my Etsy shop here.

Featured artists include Suzuko Koseki and Atsuko Matsuyama.


 I hope you have a great weekend!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

You've Got Mail Wall Pocket in Patchwork Please!


You've-Got-Mail Wall Pocket in my book, "Patchwork, Please!" published in April last year.


Thank you so very much for all of you who have been very supportive of my patterns!!

I can't possibly describe how much happiness, encouragement, 
and support from you makes my day. 
Without good friends like you, I would be lonely.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend wherever you are!

Much Love!

Ayumi


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quilty Fun Sew Along: Bumble Bee Block


Welcome to the second to last stop of the blog tour for Quilty Fun Sew Along

I made a bumble bee block which will be a label for your quilt. 
Lori's instruction was so clear and great I was able to put it together fairly quickly. 

It is such an adorable pattern! You will have so much fun making it!


The cutting instruction + embroidery template PDF can be downloded here, but
you will still need the book, Quilty Fun, to get the main instruction to make it. 

As you know, there are some great prizes for you if you sew along and post your
progress in this Flickr group.

One winner will receive a packet of Alphabitties, and
 two winners will receive a 10” stacker of Vintage Happy

The three winner will be chosen from the pool of submissions on the Flickr group 
and will be announced on the Jolly Jabber on the following Monday.

Good luck everyone!

--------------------------------

The winner of the giveaway on my last post is...
Pierro of Rosemary B!

Congratulations, Rosemary!! I will contact you soon!

I so appreciate every one of you who kindly shared your tricks/tips
to find the time to sew. I am sorry I am not able to reply to all of you.
Squeezing in some sewing time in the day has become difficult for me
now that my baby girl has so much energy to crawl around everywhere.
I guess I'll have to get better at time management!