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Where Does She Come Up With These Great Ideas?

Jinny is off this week so the staff here at the Studio decided to take over her blog. The takeover was prompted by a discussion of this week’s web special. In the web special, we are offering a bundle of autumn colored fabrics inspired by a photograph of the spectacular colors of the maple tree at the Studio’s front door. How did we get from that photograph to the fabrics for this week’s special?

 

autumn bundle web special- for blog

 

Looking at the image, you will see in the lower left corner the colors taken from the photograph. Jinny explained in her blog in April 2014 how you can do this with any photograph using Photoshop software. From that, she chose eight fabrics ranging from warm golds, oranges and reds to a weathered dark brown. Compare the fabrics with the color palette from Photoshop. Don’t they look wonderful?

 

Autumn Bundle for blog

 

But where there are pretty shaded fabrics, there is always the question of where to use them.

Jinny next went into the Quilter’s Design Board on our website. The Design Board allows you to download hundreds of free quilt blocks, get fabric recommendations, yardage requirements and more. After looking through it, she chose two blocks to play around with. Here is what she started with to get to the two quilts above.

 

Design Board Blocks- Blog

 

Choose the size you want your blocks to be and you can see the templates for each patch and how many you will need along with a handy template guide for how to put your block together.

 

Template Guide

 

You can print the templates directly onto template film. Check out this tutorial on our website.

All that’s left is to pull out your fabric and get started. You can make the scrappy Bear’s Foot or the shaded Pine Tree. You just need a half yard bundle and two yards each of a background and border print. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses Block

From the time I first began quilting I experimented with ways to “fussy cut” fabrics to give interest to the blocks I was making. Unbeknownst to me during that same time, an Englishwoman named Lucy Boston (1892-1990) was doing her own experimenting with fabrics and she created many spectacular quilts, probably the most famous being her Patchwork of the Crosses.

 

lucy boston intro block (1)

 

With the renewed interest in hand piecing and working with mirror-imaged fabrics, Lucy’s Patchwork of the Crosses block has become very popular. The block is made with with a single shape–the honeycomb (elongated hexagon). The blocks are then joined with squares.

 

lucy bostgon ill 1 (1)

 

Some people stitch the blocks in the traditional manner and some use the English paper piecing technique. No matter which technique you use, the most fun part is seeing how many different ways you can cut the fabric to create different effects.

 

LB for Blog Illustration 3

 

I experimented with the Patchwork of the Crosses block using just two border print fabrics. Typically a mirror-imaged motif is centered in the middle of the template, such as you see here.

 

LB for Blog Illustration 2

 

But what happens if you deliberately “skew” the template so that the mirror-imaged motif is not centered?

 

LB for Blog Illustration 4

 

Mark a portion of the design onto the template and then flip it and find the mirror-imaged counterpart.

That technique was used in the corners of the two blocks shown above.

As we began playing around with Lucy Boston blocks and hexagons, or “hexies,” last year, we began to carry acrylic and paper templates for these projects making the process faster and easier. We also have some tips on our website for fussy cutting border prints for these projects. We’ve been having so much fun with these. Why don’t you give it a try?

 

Here are some more Patchwork of the Crosses blocks done by our staffer Diane.
Here are some more Patchwork of the Crosses blocks done by our staffer Diane.

 

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The Magic of Shading

I just couldn’t resist the Zipster pouches that are in our web special this week. In case you didn’t notice, they shade from top to bottom. And as you may have heard, I have this thing for shading.  As soon as I saw them I just had to make some shaded bundles to go with them.

 

Jinny Shading

 

 

Zipsters with Fabrics for Blog

 

People have asked what the secret is for shading colors. It is not difficult. You can shade light to dark within a color and then link it to another color through very dark or black. You can shade through medium values into another color, or you can shade lighter and go through lights.

When I go on a tour with people I can’t help myself sometimes when we do a group photo. People are never asked to wear anything special, but for the photo I like to shade everyone together according to what they have on that day.

 

INDIA shaded phot sm

 

This is a photo that was taken in front of Amber Palace in India on a trip with Sew Many Places. It is a perfect example of my shading addiction. Notice the five women in the lower right. Within just those five, the colors go from light to dark and from bright orange to deep burgundy. The woman in the center is what I call the “transition” color because her shirt is a mixture of slightly orange and slightly pink…sort of watermelon.

The man in the second row down with the turban is the transition between the gold and the coral shirts. The four of us in the lower left probably should have been reversed so that the lime green shirt was next to the greenish gold shirt.  But how much rearranging could I expect my fellow travelers to put up with?

Fortunately, this shading addiction led to my creating the 150 shaded fabrics in my Palette Collection along with the Portable Palette.

 

portable palette

 

I will be taking another trip with Sew Many Places this October to Nepal. There are still a few spaces left. It is a colorful country and I’m looking forward to going once again. It’s not too late for you to sign up and join me for this fabulous tour.

 

nepal_bhaktapur

 

 

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And the winner is……

Back in the beginning of May we announced a contest inspired by a box of packets of 10-inch squares from last year’s Quilters’ Quest. We challenged you to design and make a quilt (or quilt top) using these fabrics. Photos had to be submitted by June 18th.

 

10 inch squares

 

What fun we had looking at your entries! Each member of the Studio staff, totally untrained in any kind of quilt judging, voted on his or her favorite.  The quilter who got the most votes wins a $100 Studio gift certificate.

About a dozen people managed to finish their projects and submit them in the short amount of time given. There was a wide range styles and entries came from around the world.

And the winner is…Sarah Kirtland from Williamsburg, Virginia.

 

Sarah's design

 

Sarah’s quilt, Here Comes the Sun, is based on the classic kaleidoscope block. She knew she wanted to do something with triangles after seeing my new Thousand Pyramids quilt. She spent four days simply drawing, working on the design. Sarah was at the Studio at the beginning of the month taking a class and picked up a few fabrics to supplement the 10-inch squares. Then the fiendish sewing began and didn’t stop until shortly before the deadline. She didn’t believe she had a chance to win but thought it would be a good exercise. I’m reminded of a saying by Mark Twain: “…you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.’

There were many other fabulous quilts. Here are just a few.

 

David S Design

 

David Schulz took inspiration from local Native Americans who had different names for different parts of the Potomac, calling the river above Great Falls, where the Studio is located, “Cohongarooton”, meaning “honking geese.” He included flying geese blocks along with a variation on a block design from my Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns (Island Compass 380-11).  He also used the Golden Ratio throughout the piece. Even the number of flying geese is included in the Fibonacci sequence. The finished piece measures 29” x 18”.

 

Charlie's Design

 

This Phoenix quilt came from Charlie MacDonald and we enjoyed his description of the process, the trials and tribulations. He loved the palette from the Quilters Quest. It reminded him of sunset/sunrise “and somehow the colors got him thinking of a Phoenix rising in flame from the ashes.” He used his Apliquick tools for the appliqué. Charlie said he learned a lot from making this and already has ideas for Phoenix 2.0.

 

Tom's Design

 

Tom Dengler took an interesting approach. He writes: “I was inspired to find a way to challenge myself to use both sides of the fabric based on some ideas I had first seen used in watercolor quilts. The white gives the illusion of piercing the fabric by piecing the fabric backside. I learned that hand stitching the corner first gives a much neater appearance.” It is called Dos Rayos de Luz.

One thing that I particularly loved seeing was how many truly challenged themselves to try something new and, it seems, are very glad they did so. Here are more of the wonderful projects we received pictures of. We have no stories to go with them but I want to thank each and every one of you for participating and congratulations to all for your beautiful work.

 

Designed by Diane McGuire
Designed by Diana McGuire

 

 

Design by Barbara Bell Hanger
Design by Barbara Bell Hanger

 

 

Design by Michaela Burgnon
Design by Michaela Burgnon

 

 

Design by Bernerdett King
Design by Bernerdett King

 

 

Design by Margo Karczewski
Design by Margo Karczewski

 

 

Design by Jeanette Bayliss
Design by Jeanette Bayliss

 

 

Design by Susan Meinholtz
Design by Susan Meinholtz

 

 

Design by Dana Brewer
Design by Dana Brewer
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Studio Contest

Sometimes around the Studio in an effort to straighten up, items are put in a “safe” place and temporarily forgotten.  Such was the case with a large box of 10-inch square fabric packets prepared for last year’s Quilters’ Quest. You can imagine our dismay when we found them.  We certainly could have used them at the time. But now, the question became what to do with them. The idea we came up with is a fun opportunity for you and the chance to win a great prize.

Studio Contest SwatchesThese packets feature six fabrics from my Carnival collection relating to our 2015 Quest theme, Sunset Over the Potomac. They were just part of the color palette the “questers” could collect as they traveled to all 10 Quest shops.  Here is the entire palette.

quest chart

calliope Palette quilt final sm
Calliope, the JB STUDIO quilt designed with last years’ color palette

If you purchase one of these packets or still have one from last year’s Quest, here’s what we’d like you to do. Design and make a quilt (or quilt top) using these fabrics. We must be able to recognize at least a piece of all six fabrics in your quilt. You may add whatever other fabrics you’d like. Take a picture of your project and post it on our Facebook page by June 18th.

Each member of the Studio staff, totally untrained in any kind of quilt judging, will vote on her favorite.  The quilter who gets the most votes wins a $100 Studio gift certificate.

So many fun items to choose!
So many fun items to choose!

The 10-inch square fabric packets are available on our website here.  Because supplies are limited and we want to give as many of you as possible a chance to participate, we can only allow one fabric pack per order. Domestic postage on only the fabric packet is less than $2.50.  The $100 gift certificate can be applied to any Jinny Beyer products (fabric, books, notions), classes or shipping.

This idea was inspired by one of our favorite customers. You’ve often seen Margo on our Facebook page with the many wonderful quilts she makes.  A couple of months ago, she came in with this quilt which started with those same 10-inch squares. So let the Marvelous Margo inspire you and get to designing.

Margo with Quilt

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No Sewing Machine, No Pattern, No Problem

We’ve just returned home after spending a week with our daughter, her husband and our two grandchildren who are now seven and four. The grandchildren love to work on art projects of various sorts and are quite imaginative. Usually when I visit, I have a sewing project that I am working on and they always ask if they can have some pieces to sew too. A couple of diamonds sewn together becomes a butterfly, a few squares become a blanket for a stuffed animal, etc.

Cutting Fabric
Cutting fabric
Polly making fabric trimmed binoculars
Making fabric trimmed binoculars
Sewing a butterfly
Sewing a butterfly

I often take them a small gift of various art supplies, scraps of fabric, and other fun craft items. This time, I decided to take half yard pieces of some of my Safari fabrics that they could turn into whatever they liked.  I thought they would enjoy the animals on these fabrics and the bright colors.

Collars and clothes
Collars and clothes

Well, they LOVED the fabrics but, right off the bat, my grandson said “Will you make me a skateboard shirt?” My granddaughter pounced on that idea and said “Will you make me a skateboard dress?”

My heart fell a little because my daughter doesn’t have a sewing machine, I had no patterns and I thought there wouldn’t be enough of any one fabric to make these garments. I told them I wasn’t sure the pieces would be big enough. They said that that was okay because I’m always sewing different fabrics together and they wanted “patchwork” clothes. They immediately picked out the fabrics that they wanted in their new clothes.

A work in progress
A work in progress

So I set aside the amounts of fabric I thought I would need, drew some sketches to show them, and measured. They told me exactly where they wanted each of the fabrics and, while I cut and sewed pieces together for their garments, they cut pieces and created a myriad of projects for their stuffed animals, dolls and their dog. My grandson even created a new garment for me, taking pieces of the fabric and taping them together to form a shirt.

Making a shirt for Grandma
Making a shirt for Grandma
A scarf for Lucy
A scarf for Lucy

I have to admit my thoughts journeyed back to seventh grade where all the girls in the sewing class made gathered skirts with a waistband all by hand. By that time in my life I had been making clothes for several years on my mother’s treadle sewing machine, and longed for the sewing machine for those long seams. While I love hand piecing my quilts, for garments a sewing machine definitely comes in handy.

Finished Skateboard GarmentsAt any rate, the children had a ball. I loved watching them with their creative little minds and I wondered when they would be old enough to have their own sewing machine. Hmmm…grandma has a gift in mind.

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Our Favorite Fabrics

Fabric1Often my blogs come about by a customer who asks an interesting question. Sometimes the ideas come from my staff as this one does today.

The bonus for this week’s “Weekly Web Special,” (available only to subscribers*) mentions how difficult it might be to pick your favorite fabric from fat quarter bundles we are offering. From this, one simple question captured our attention and had us all wondering.  What is your favorite Jinny Beyer fabric?

Now, you would think think this would be easy to answer but many found it quite difficult. Here’s what several of them had to say.

Betty, who posed the question, fondly remembered many past collections but stated Outback, several years old, was her favorite. She decided her single favorite, though, was a border print in teal and purple from the original Border Basics collection.Betty's 1Betty2My son, Sean, who manages our fabric inventory (which makes him well acquainted with each and every fabric) was in agreement with Outback being a favorite collection and this fabric, with its aboriginal designs, as his favorite.

0279-04 -- and it's on sale!
0279-04 — and it’s on sale!

Diane immediately popped up with an answer—Palette #119, chocolate leaf. It is a wonderful, rich brown and makes a great alternative to black as a background fabric as you can see in her Solstice quilt. Diane then tried to add another dozen favorites and wasn’t happy that we tried to limit her to just one.

Diane's SolsticePalette fabrics are pretty popular with the staff. Rebecca also chose a Palette fabric–#126—not only for the beautiful teal color but also for the design. She’s also fond of the 10 other colorways floral outline comes in.126 FloralThat design seems to be a favorite. Lura said, “I keep going back to this beautiful red, Palette #30. It is so vibrant!”P30

Another fan of the floral outline is Nancy, choosing #58. “Solid white is just too boring for me. This fabric has much more depth and is my current favorite background fabric.”Nancy1Linda wanted in on the fun even though she was in California at the time. Although she has a stockpile of older fabrics she loves, she says, “Black eyelash (#48) is probably my all-time favorite because it just works with everything!”Linda's projectsThe blue/green/purple of Bedfordshire received votes from both Judy and Julia. Neither could imagine I was asking them to pick just one or two. Judy loves the “elegant feel” of these fabrics.

Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire

For Julia, “the Bedfordshire collection really spoke to me when I was challenged in my guild to create a chevron quilt.  I used all the fabrics, with the light blue being the predominant fabric.  The border prints were fussy cut.  I guess you could call the light blue my favorite.”Julia's quiltDana is a quilter with a degree in fashion design so she often uses quilting fabric for clothing. While she loves Rajasthan Spray— “the colors are spectacular and each of these works well as a backing, a middle border or as a blender with a novelty fabric”—she has always loved the floral print from Rajasthan. “It works great for garments. I have used the yellow in a dress and the blue in a skirt.”

Dana's FavoritesSharon is a big fan of black and white quilts. She made this signature quilt for her son’s wedding and added the Monochrome border print. She loves this fabric because it always gives her quilts a nice finishing touch.Sharon2I am often asked what my favorites are and my usual response is my latest collection.  That would be Safari with my favorite from there being the teal elephants. They make me smile. If I had to pick an old favorite or two, I’d probably have to say cream thunder and black eyelash because they are so useful. Cream thunder is long gone but, now that I think about it, I might just have to bring that back again.

Jinny's favorites

If you would like to subscribe to our Weekly Web Special emails and be eligible for the Subscriber Bonus, please go to www.jinnybeyer.com and follow the instructions under “Newsletter Signup.”

Do you have an old favorite that you would like Jinny to bring back?  Send your comments to studio@jinnybeyer.com.

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2016 Pantone Colors: Yes, You Can Work With These

There has been a lot of talk and hype about the “2016 Pantone Colors of the Year”. Have you ever wondered why when you go to the mall in a new “season” that all the colors seem the same, that accessories coordinate and seem similar, etc? Well, there truly is a system in place to get people to use and buy certain colors each year.

When I first began designing fabrics in 1981, I was handed a board with some colors on it and I was told that those were the “in” colors for the coming year and I should design my fabrics using those colors.

My answer was that by the time the fabric was printed they would be on to a new set of colors. Even if the fabric came out in time, by the time a quilt was made with the fabrics, those colors would be out of style. I put the colors aside and just did my own thing and still do.

But let’s get back to the “2016 Pantone Colors of the Year” that have many people ready to upchuck. Here they are.

2016 Pantone colors
Rose Quartz and Serenity Pantone 13-1520 and 15-3919.

First and foremost, I want everyone to know that when I recolored my Carnival border print for my new border basic group almost a year ago, I was totally unaware of what the colors of this new year would be…but here it is.

Carnival border for pantones

It kind of looks like I was following the “Color God” rules, doesn’t it? Even more so when I created this quilt, High Tea, for the collection to show how effective the use of a border print can be in a simple design with a border print setting block.

Star and cone quilt 3 sm (1)But never mind. There is a more important point to make. I have taught my color class hundreds of times and in that class I always tell the students that it is my belief that you can put any colors together. It is not the colors you select but what you put with them that makes them look good. It is for this very reason that back in 1990 I developed my Palette Fabric Collection. It contains 150 colors that span the spectrum and they were designed in subtle prints to coordinate with other prints, borders, multi-color prints, etc.

My basic color theory is that whatever colors you select, you have to add whatever colors you need to get those to shade together. It’s like looking at a rainbow where you never know where one color ends and the next one begins–a smooth gradual shading. You can shade through darks, through lights or through medium tones.

So looking at the Pantone colors again, what happens if I add other colors to get those to shade together? The two colors in my Palette that come closest to the Pantone colors are #40 and  #133.Pantone colors with palette

There are many ways two colors can be shaded together. Here are three variations. There are many others.

Pantone blog palettes

So next time you see two colors that you just don’t like together, think again. Bring in other colors that will allow the shading to occur and you might surprise yourself!

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Planting a Fabric Tree

It’s been bustling around the Studio these days. One of our very popular items this season has been our holiday tree bundles.

Tree bundlesThis year during our annual shop hop Charlie from Connecticut came down to participate in the Quest and went on one of our buses. Charlie brought a gift from his local quilt shop, That’s Sew Debbie, in Groton, Connecticut. It was a cute fat quarter bundle with four fabrics folded into a tree.

Of course, I had to figure out how the pieces were folded. I dissected the bundle and came up with a system that works for me.

The first fold is long side to long side.
The first fold is long side to long side.

When you make the first fold, be sure to fold long side to long side. I wanted to hide all the raw edges, get a perfect 60 degree triangle when done and have it compact enough to stay together. My Perfect Cut 60 Degree Ruler worked great to get the angle.

Folding a tree2The first words out of everyone’s mouth when they see one of the trees is “It’s so cute!”

Green treeWe think they make adorable Christmas gifts and wanted to share the process of assembling them with you. Watch the video below and start folding some yourself!

Enjoy!

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Two Novices and a Legend Go to Market

Quilt market signThis is the tale of two Quilt Market rookies and our trip to Houston with Jinny. We, staffers Dana and Nancy, have taken over Jinny’s blog to give you an inside view of the Fall Quilt Market in Houston which we had heard so much about yet never attended.

Quilt market floor
Just a few of the many booths we looked through.

It is at Market that fabric manufacturers, designers and all who create quilting products present their goods to shop owners. It was our job to help Jinny select goodies for the Studio and for our Weekly Web Specials. We did not, however, begin with shopping.

Jinny at schoolhouseWe spent our first day attending many of the almost 300 “Schoolhouse” classes offered covering a wide range of topics including new products and techniques, marketing and business education. Of course we made sure not to miss Jinny’s two classes.

Cozy quilt designs
Daniella Stout of Cozy Quilt Designs uses many of Jinny’s fabrics in her designs.

Heather SpenceHeather Spence didn’t know she was pitching her pattern to Jinny Beyer until Jinny commented that it was her fabric in “Dan’s Climb.”

Day two was a day of shopping for items that the Jinny Beyer customer would like and appreciate but it was so much more than that. We enjoyed seeing the wonderful mix of modern and traditional ideas and people of all ages. We found it very inspiring to see how vendors presented themselves and their products with such contagious joy and excitement.

Anna Aldmo
Anna Aldmo’s beautiful applique designs come to life with Jinny’s fabrics.
Espadrilles
Who wouldn’t want to make espadrilles with quilt designs on them after listening to this great presentation.

It was fun to hear the stories told by the vendors and people we met of how they discovered quilting and sewing and where life has taken them! And, of course, there was the people watching.

Julie Silber
Nancy, Jinny, Julie Silber, & Dana. Julie Silber sells an amazing collection of antique quilts.
Celeb Photo2
Left: Paula Nadelstern & Jinny; Right: Kaffe Fassett, Jinny, Dana, & Brandon Mably
Celeb Photo1
Left: Janet Lutz, Jinny, & Jenny Doan; Right: Alex Anderson & Jinny

What probably made the biggest impression on us was what happened by just hanging out with Jinny.  To us, she is just Jinny.  We forget that out there in the quilting world she is Jinny Beyer, the legend.  We can’t count the number of times where individuals, from famous quilters to small shop owners, came up to Jinny (and to us) to say that she has influenced them, inspired them and helped them to grow as quilters. Many were brought to tears. And we saw the joy on Jinny’s face when she spoke to the next generation of quilters seeing that the love and joy of quilting is being carried on.

Edyta Sitar, teacher, author, fabric designer, who learned Jinny’s techniques from her mother-in-law told Jinny of the difference she has made in her life.
Edyta Sitar, teacher, author, fabric designer, who learned Jinny’s techniques from her mother-in-law told Jinny of the difference she has made in her life.
Alaska
A quilter (so sorry I lost your name) currently from Sitka, Alaska, who learned to hand piece by studying Jinny’s book, Quiltmaking by Hand.

Thanks so much, Jinny, for letting us tag along.

Editors’ Note: Jinny will ask us to take out the last paragraph because she is very modest. However, she did ask us to write this blog today AND she doesn’t know how to post them. We do that for her. Sorry Jinny!