The Jinny Beyer Studio will be closed on Thursday, July 4th, to celebrate Independence day. We will reopen at 10 a.m., Friday, the 5th.
The Jinny Beyer Studio will be closed on Thursday, July 4th, to celebrate Independence day. We will reopen at 10 a.m., Friday, the 5th.
As we were getting ready to post this new blog entry, some of us received by email a blog entry from last year. It seems to have been floating around in cyberspace since then. We apologize for any confusion. Please ignore it but pay attention to the new entry below.
Row by Row begins this week!
We have been super busy preparing for the Row by Row Shop Hop. For those of you not familiar with the program, it is a worldwide shop hop. Each participating shop designs a panel for a quilt or a stand-alone mini quilt and creates a pattern for their row. You can travel to any of the participating shops and receive the free pattern for that shop’s “row” and most shops have kits available. Make a quilt from the patterns you collect. If it contains at least eight official rows, take it to a participating shop. If you are the first person to bring a finished quilt to that shop, you will receive 25 fat quarters of fabric. If your quilt contains the row from that shop, you will receive an additional prize.
The theme this year is “Taste the Experience” and the designs are created to fit that theme. This year for fun, the shops who are all part of the Quilters’ Quest shop hop in October decided to get together and plan a coordinated quilt for the Row by Row shop hop. We decided to make each of our rows like a vintage diner sign. Since I am known for growing hot peppers and for my hot pepper jam recipe, our row shows the jam and the peppers. When you pick up your free pattern you will also receive the recipe for my hot pepper jam.
In order to simplify sewing all those letters, we created a printed panel for the sign and for the “hot” label. This makes creating the row so much easier!
We are also participating in the Row by Row Junior and have a free pattern for “Jelly” the jellyfish for any child who comes into the shop. Kits are also available for purchase.
Go to the Row by Row website to read all the rules and to find participating shops by state and country.
Since I know that many of you cannot travel to the Studio, I didn’t want those of you who live far away to feel left out. In keeping with the spirit of the event and theme, I designed a tessellating pattern for both a lap size and mini size quilt which I call “Forklift.” Since these are not officially part of Row by Row, we have patterns and kits available online and in the Studio.
Plus, in addition to the Forklift quilts, we also have our “Palette Pleaser” fabric license plates. So, no matter where you are we hope you’ll be able to take part in Row by Row not only at your local shops but with the Studio, too.
Last month on my blog I posted about the Protea Squares quilt made with the entire Protea Bundle. One of the questions asked by a customer about the larger version of the quilt was, what would happen if you put the dark squares in the center instead of the light. Well, we thought it would be fun to see as well.
Here are both versions without borders.
It is clear that they are quite different. As you saw last time, the border that is added to the quilt can also make a difference. With each of the Protea web special mini-bundles we also offer one or two border print coordinates. These look good with the individual mini-bundles as well as the complete grand bundle. We selected these two Rajasthan borders for this month’s bundle.
I opted for a different treatment of the borders this time and added my more typical border of the narrow and wider border print strips and another fabric in between the two. To determine the width of the middle black border, I once again went to my Golden Gauge Calipers. The wide border stripe is 5” so I put the calipers across the five-inch strip and that told me that the black fabric should be 3” wide. (5 x .618 = 3”).
You can see here the same border design and the same border treatment with only the color change in the border print. What a different impact the two present.
From 1968 to 1972 my husband and I, along with our three children, lived in Nepal and India. It was in those places that I fell in love with geometric and mosaic designs. The images were everywhere–on buildings, walls, textiles, gardens–and they became ingrained in my whole being. It was also in India in 1972 that I began my first quilt, a mosaic, allover design made of hexagons called Grandmother’s Flower Garden.
Three years later, after returning to the States and while visiting my friend, Suzi, I saw a mosaic box on her table and immediately became enamored with the hexagonal design. She let me borrow the box and after days of scrutiny, I started my third quilt, Suzi’s Box.
Over the years I have collected mosaic boxes and designs from many countries–Spain, India, Nepal and North Africa. So many of these designs have small narrow borders between the elements of the design.
I wanted to tackle one of these types of designs and decided to begin with a simple six-pointed star joined together with diamonds made up of a narrow decorative stripe. The stars were cut from leftover border print pieces.
The narrow stripe was taken from one of my border print fabrics. Each of the connecting diamonds was made up of four smaller triangle pieces.
Herein lies the problem. I loved the design and what was happening with the connecting diamonds so I calculated how much of the border print fabric I needed…and YIKES!!!! It was 17 yards!
So, I decided that since the use of that fabric was too extravagant, I would just have to design a fabric that would work and that was when my first “mini-stripe” fabric was born. That fabric is used in the quilt which inspired its creation, Arabic Tiles, yet another hexagon based design.
It was so much fun experimenting and designing quilts using the first mini-stripe fabrics that I included another, in several colors, in my Aruba collection.
This brings me to the point of this blog. As you can see, inspiration doesn’t just appear. It is built on experiences, images and just slowly develops. I had been trying to decide for weeks what type of design to use for this year’s BOM quilt and wanted to include the mini-stripe fabric. Then one day when dusting a shelf, I spotted these two plates and looked at them with new eyes. I knew immediately that they would be the inspiration for the new 2019 BOM.
I studied and studied how the designs were created and after a week of complete concentration and drawing was able to come up with and draft this design. Thank goodness our pattern writer, Elaine, was a genius in breaking the design down into simple piecing of nothing but straight seams and a few in-set seams.
The fun was then in selecting the fabrics and the six different colorways to create the quilt.
Links to the first video and printed lesson will appear in our April 6, 2019 newsletter. It is free to all newsletter subscribers.
Watch this video clip to learn about the BOM and stay tuned for the next blog and the behind the scenes look at creating the program.
Last month, we introduced our latest grand bundle, Protea, named after an amazing flower found in South Africa. As I often do, the colors for this bundle we’re pulled from a photograph the Studio’s manager, Rebecca, took while on a trip there in 2017. If you are interested in this process of capturing colors from a photo, I wrote about it in a blog when we introduced the Irish Heather bundle. There are 40 fabrics in the Protea bundle and we have broken it up into five smaller bundles of eight fabrics each. Once a month we offer one of the smaller bundles as our web special.
Whenever we introduce a new bundle, we always discuss possible projects to give you all an idea of how you can use the fabrics. Both the Thousand Pyramid and Tumbling Blocks quilt were shown in the Irish Heather blogs and would be perfect for this bundle as well. Another suggestion is a quilt, Potomac Charm, designed in 2013 for the Quilters’ Quest shop hop.
Potomac Charm used 99 five-inch charm squares so, in order to have enough to play with, we cut two squares from each of the 40 Protea fabrics and staffer Nancy and I started arranging them on the design wall. We decided on a setting of 54 “blocks,” set six across and nine down. Swatches were added, moved around and taken down. Just when we thought we had it set we would change it again. Then we added border prints down the sides to audition them. What do you think?
After the positioning of the squares was set I created a digital image and played around with border options. Since the quilt was so small, I chose to start with the narrow border from the Casablanca fabric. The best outer border was just a wider black piece. To determine the best width for that last border I got out my trusty Golden Gauge Calipers. This gave me the perfect size for that last border. If you are not familiar with the Golden Ratio, check out my blog on this topic from a few years ago.
I tried another version using the border print from Miyako.
The finished quilts are approximately 59” x 67”. We always have people wanting to make our quilts larger. So I decided to play around with the digital image. I removed the top and bottom rows of squares then made two exactly alike and two that were the mirror image.
Since the quilt is larger, I used the wider stripe from the fabric and then used the calipers to determine how wide the black should be. Here is the quilt with the two different borders.
No longer a charm quilt (charm quilts do not duplicate fabrics), we decided to name this Protea Squares. The small quilt measures 34” x 50.5” without the borders and 59” x 67” with the borders. The large quilt is 67” x 78” without the border and 84” x 95” with the borders.
The finished width of our smaller quilt outer border is 3 7/8” (cut 4 3/8”). The finished width of the larger quilt outer border is 8½” (cut width 9”).
We are giving the Potomac Charms pattern here as a free download. You can use that as a guideline for creating your own 5” square quilt. We encourage you to play with fabric placement and settings, adding more squares or less, (depending on the size you want) or even adding fabrics from your stash. Once you get started, I’m sure you will have as much fun as we did.
When bad weather forces us to close the Studio, we spend our day as many of you would—working on our quilting projects. Here’s a quick look at how many of we staffers spent our free day.
Jinny is currently in the middle of taping the lessons for her new block of the month, Stellaris, so that’s what she worked on all while watching the birds and snow outside her window.
Nancy finished up the machine quilting on one quilt and continued hand quilting with a “big stitch” on a Quest quilt from 2013.
J.J. visited her brother in Utah last fall and discovered a BOM called Sewology from American Quilting, a quilt shop in Orem. Here is a photo of the beginning of hers along with her cat, Buckeye. Can you guess that J.J. is from Ohio?
For Linda, it was a day of catching up with projects. Putting binding on a class sample, labels on recently finished quilts, the next block in the Moon Glow staff challenge (more on that in another blog) and continuing to hand piece 9-patches for Jack’s Chain quilt is how she spent her day. The lighting is perfect in the sunroom on a snow day!
Maria is at Bethany Beach with five quilting friends. (Aren’t we jealous!) With wonderful company and food, she is working on the appliqué part of her Jen Kingwell “Golden Days“ quilt.
With two new grandsons born 3 weeks apart, Lura is hard at work on baby quilts. On the left of each quilt are possible backings.
Julia quilted a baby quilt for an Operation Homefront baby shower.
Judy summed it up when she said, “So it’s amazing how much you can do without interruptions.” She worked on the Moon Glow blocks and put together the blocks for a charity quilt. She also finished up the machine appliqué on a BOM border and put on the last border so it’s ready for quilting. Wow, she did accomplish a lot.
And finally, Rebecca started the day with a little hand quilting on her Facets quilt then headed to the airport to catch a flight to Nashville and the QuiltCon quilt show. We know she made it as far as the gate and hope she got out.
Whether it is snowy like here in the DC area or warm and sunny where you are, everyone should take a “snow day” every now and then.
When I gave my very first talk on color many years ago, I mentioned that I had a “secret ingredient” that seemed to work with almost every color scheme I put together. That ingredient was brown. As the years went on I soon realized that it wasn’t just brown but any neutral. Grayed down colors…..browns, grays, khakis, dirty blues, etc. Those are the types of colors we tend to overlook when browsing a quilt shop. We tend to gravitate to the brights, pretty colors and others that grab our eyes.
Yet when planning a color scheme neutrals are one of the most important ingredients. I illustrate my point with the images shown here.
The first one above is a photograph of an Iris that was blooming in my yard one May. When we look at that we just see all the beautiful colors and don’t realize how many neutrals are there.
But look what happens when the bulk of the neutrals are removed. Something is lost.
Many years ago I designed the quilt Mayflowers for use with the colors I found in the iris. Look at these two images side by side. The first is with the neutrals included in the color scheme and the second is without the neutrals. By far my favorite is the one with the neutrals included. The colors in the second one seem too bold and are lacking the rest that the neutrals seem to give our eyes.
So next time you’re designing a quilt or wandering through a quilt shop, don’t forget the neutrals, that secret ingredient.
This week’s web special offers the last of the Irish Heather bundles. In August, I introduced the grand bundle with colors extracted from a photograph of the Irish hillside taken by Nancy Fallone. Once a month for five months we have offered nine of those fabrics as a web special. My blog of August 22nd also showed a Thousand Pyramids quilt made with all 45 of the fabrics.
I love scrappy quilts and as we wind up the Irish Heather grand bundle web specials, I want to share another of my favorite “scrappy” patterns made with a 60 degree diamond. There are more than 20 different names for this design including Baby Blocks, Tumbling Blocks and Diamond Cube. My pattern, ”Scrappy Blocks,” illustrates yet another name for this design.
Just as in Thousand Pyramids, this quilt is also made in block units. Within the unit try to get a balance of all the colors, the darks, lights and accents. Here is a sampling of possible blocks.
The pattern, Scrappy Blocks, has instructions for a crib-sized quilt, but to make the quilt larger just make more blocks until you have the width and length that you like. You would still use the same edge pieces that are used in the crib sized quilt, just more of them, depending on how many blocks you make for your quilt.
I love using border print fabrics to finish off a quilt. My border print fabrics all have both a narrow and a wide border as shown below. Sometimes there is just a solid color in the seam allowance areas and sometimes a pattern as seen in the second example.
Typically, I add the narrow border, a “middle” border of a different fabric and then the wide border as I did in the two quilts shown above.
When making a smaller quilt, a border like the one shown above would be too wide and could overwhelm the interior design. Therefore it is necessary to try some other options. So in the next example, shown below, the Delhi border was used, but instead of using the narrow and wide stripe with a contrasting fabric in between, I used the portion of the border shown below, which has the wide stripe, plus the seam allowance area and a portion of the edge of the narrower stripe.
I found this border still a little overwhelming for the small quilt, but that same border used on the larger quilt has better proportions.
I tried another variation of the Delhi border on the smaller quilt this time using the portion of the border shown here.
Here is yet another border on the Scrappy Blocks quilt.
Compare all the quilts shown here and notice how the overall colors of the quilt look different depending on which color border is used.
If you have collected at least quarter yard sets of each of the Irish Heather bundles you would have plenty of fabrics to make the crib or double size quilts shown here. Three yards of border print is a safe amount for a double size quilt. Two and a quarter yards would be enough for the small one.
Here it is almost the beginning of winter and fall seems like a blur. It seems I was on a treadmill and didn’t know when to get off. We had our anniversary sale, followed by some classes, then our 10-day shop hop, followed by a trip to Quilt Market in Houston and as soon as I got back from that turned around and went to visit my grandchildren (and their parents) on the other side of the country! Back home a few days ago, I am now in the throes of preparations for my most favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving.
No one worries about presents, cards, or the pressures of the December holidays……just good food, family and camaraderie. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to share with you my recipe for stuffing. Years ago, I started with the basic bread, onion and celery stuffing and kept changing it little by little. Here is how I have been making it over the last several years.
Jinny’s Thanksgiving Stuffing
Makes 12 cups of stuffing
1 ½ cups chopped celery, including leaves
1 cup finely chopped onion
¾ cup Smart Balance
9 cups sprouted wheat soft bread cubes
1 lb. ground hot sausage (Jimmy Dean or Bob Evans)
3 cups peeled and coarsely chopped apples
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground sage or two tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon ground pepper
In a large kettle, melt the Smart Balance and add the celery and onions. Stir and cook until celery is tender. In a separate skillet, cut the sausage into chunks and cook until crumbly. Add all ingredients to the onion/celery kettle and mix well. Taste for seasoning and add extra seasonings as necessary. Stuff the turkey cavities just before roasting. Put any leftovers in an oven proof dish, dot with more Smart Balance, cover and bake the last two hours of roasting the turkey.
Last month I wrote a blog post on getting color inspiration from a photograph. I gathered fabrics that matched those colors and created the Irish Heather grand bundle of 45 different fabrics. I showed a quilt I created from those fabrics and arranged triangles in the traditional Thousand Pyramids style. So you have the bundle of 45 fabrics, you have the design, but the question arises about how to get a good distribution of the colors and that is what I want to talk about this week.
Any time I do a quilt like this, I like to work in “units.” It is easier to get a good distribution of the colors from a smaller unit than it is to try and visualize the entire quilt. Check out the first Irish Heather blog on how these colors came about.
For this quilt I had two units (A and B). The black and white sketch shows that in A the dark triangles are pointing upward and are across the bottom of the triangle. In B, the lights are across the bottom and pointing upward. To create the quilt, these two units are alternated with Unit B turned 180 degrees. Half units fill in the sides.
Please note that in the above illustrations, all the darks are very dark and all the lights are very light. There is a lot more interest if some of the darks are lighter and some of the lights are darker. Any light triangle only has to be lighter than all the dark ones surrounding it and likewise any dark triangle only has to be darker than all the light ones surrounding it. Compare the difference between the illustrations above and the one below.
The next task was to create those units in fabric. Each unit has 25 fabrics—15 darks and 10 lights for Unit A and 15 lights and 10 darks for Unit B. In each one I tried to get a good balance of all the colors in the bundle as well as a good balance between values from light to dark.
When I put several of the units together I wasn’t sure I was getting the colors the way I wanted them. Comparing what I had to the photo I realized I needed more of the pinks and blues and less of some of the other colors.
So I made two additional units (C and D). For these units I had more of the blues and pinks. And then in the final quilt I alternated all four units.
While I made this quilt digitally with only the fabrics from the Irish Heather grand bundle, if I were doing it in actual fabric I would add many more fabrics from my stash that fall within the same range of colors. My philosophy is the more fabrics the better. In fact, this particular design was a favorite one to use when making a charm quilt…a type of quilt popular from the late 1800’s to early 1900…but that is a whole other story to pursue in future blog posts.
Why not give this quilt a try? Here are the two templates that I used in creating the quilt shown here. In addition to the templates, you will also find yardage requirements for the borders and some basic instructions. I hope you have fun with it. Look for additional Irish Heather bundles in upcoming Weekly Web Specials.