The long awaited arrival of Jennifer Paganelli’s latest collection, Circa, has Sis Boom fans swooning. Circa is like meta-text for fabric. The collection brings a fresh wave of nostalgia for simpler times and days gone by; but for hard core Sis Boom fans, the collection looks back on some of Jennifer’s first fabric collections. Collections like Girlfriends, Mod Girls and Flower Power are still in high demand today, despite being discontinued and out of print.From initial reactions, Circa promises to be just as timeless and popular. I’m glad I pre-ordered a bit for my stash. My favorite is the Bradlee stripe, so full of fussy cutting possibilities and just the thing for mixing with past collections. I used some for the border on this hexagon and diamond runner.The hexies and diamonds were machine pieced. For the quilting I used yellow, blue and white Anchor pearl cotton. I’ve been telling Mr. P we need to get a white picnic table for the freshly graveled area near the grilling/smoking area. Can’t you just imagine this laid out on the table with a vase of pink flowers, a large jug of lemonade and some pretty glasses?All of these prints are from the Circa collection. I purchased the stripes and backing from Hawthorne Threads. The sweet Long Ladies appear to have some at Marie Madeline Studio. It’s going fast and second shipments won’t hit until September for most shops. Don’t wait!
If there was only one piece of advice I could give to those starting out or even on their way but struggling to create, I know exactly what I would say. Always make time to play! Always. It doesn’t matter what medium you are using–fabric, paint, pencils, film, etc. Set aside time to play. No limits on what you produce. No expectations. No rules.
Deep inside each of us is a loud voice, our internal editor, our harshest critic. This voice likes to be the driving force in all things, at all times. It takes a lot of patience and a lifetime of practice to keep it in its place. The very nature of play is foreign to the internal editor, which makes play the perfect exercise to exorcise that pesky devil.
This is yet another reason I love fabric scraps. Having a little stash of scraps at the ready means I can play whenever I have a free moment. I admit, I spend a great deal of time playing. This is where the ideas come from, where the sparks of creative fire reside. Everything that says “Melissa P” comes from this spirit of play.
Play has no hard and fast rules, except one….let go. Let go of every negative and critical thought. Let go of every past triumph or failure. These are obvious enough, although not necessarily easy. But there’s one more thing to let go of, something you might find counter-intuitive, even anathema. You must let go of your dreams and fantasies for the future. Yes, you read that right…let go of the dreams of glory.
Oh, I know this not a popular idea. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone pinning this thought on Pinterest boards, that’s for sure. In fact, our culture seems to teach us that our lofty goals and dreams of our 15 minutes of fame are the only thing that will make us better, more important people. If only we reach far enough, all our dreams will come true.
It’s deceptive. And very harmful to reaching your full potential, not just as a creative but as a human being. You see, our potential doesn’t lie out there in the stars waiting for us to grasp it. It lies within us. And we must turn inward to reach it.
Play is a way of making room for our potential. It isn’t about pretending to be something we hope to be one day. It isn’t about presenting a different face to the world, trying on masks and personae. It’s about being authentic and true to ourselves in an atmosphere without judgment or rules. It’s from this place that growth begins, releasing the possibilities that have been lying dormant all our lives.
If I could wish one thing for all of you, it would be for you to know the liberating joy of play.
Happy, happy Friday! After spending a bit of time cleaning up and organizing over the last couple days, I sat down with my scraps. While putting things in order, I found my paper pieces and could not resist making a star flower using Anna’s lovely Field Study print for a wild, exotic look. Somehow, I pulled myself away and finished trimming up these left over bits for a future something.There was even a bit of “what if?” play with other left over scraps.I’m clearly having a hard time focusing. But I’m enjoying the deadline free, pressure free play time. Ideas need execution and that’s the goal for next week. Before that happens, time to have fun!
Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!
Welcome to this stop on Quiltmaker’s 100 Block Tour! I’m so glad you stopped by. My block is called Between the Lines, block number 685 in Quiltmaker’s 100 Block series. The block itself is a 12 inch finished block. Thanks to some bold prints, it manages to pack a lot of drama into a small space. My friends, Jane Sassaman and Jennifer Paganelli, are two fabulous designers with distinct styles. Each of them does “Bold” beautifully and I couldn’t resist a chance to mix them together in this one block.To maintain the high drama in your own version of this block, keep these tips in mind. First, utilize high contrast prints. I used the black and white zebra as my starting place. Black and white is guaranteed drama. Second, be brave and add another layer of contrast. In this case, I chose red and white polka dots. Large dots have plenty of inherent drama, but the play of dots and zebra stripes gave it an extra punch. Lastly, use the larger corner triangles to give breathing space to larger prints. This green tonal of Jane’s is perfect for adding movement to the block without overwhelming the center.
And speaking of overwhelming, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by so many great quilt blocks, especially with 100 of them in every issue of Quiltmaker’s series. Sometimes, you see a block you love, but you just can’t see yourself actually finishing up enough of them to make a quilt. So what’s a quilter to do? Grab a bit of coordinating fabric and you can enjoy a favorite block in a new way. If your browser doesn’t show the pdf above, click here for the link.
To celebrate Volume 7, Quiltmaker will send a copy to one lucky reader. Here’s all you need to do for a chance to be that lucky person:
- Leave a comment on this post before the deadline to enter. Tell me anything you’d like, there’s no magic comment.
- One comment per reader. Duplicate entries will be deleted.
- You have until 12:00 midnight Pacific Standard Time on Friday, May 3, 2013 to enter.
- International entrants are welcome.
- Winner will be selected by Random Number Generator the weekend of May 4-5, 2013.
- Winner will be notified by email and will have until May 8, 2103 to respond. If winner does not respond, a new winner will be selected by Random Number Generator and notified by email.
Good luck! Please note that due to the large volume of giveaway commenters, I will be unable to thank you all personally for taking time to visit and enter the giveaway. So to everyone who stops by, “Thank you!” And don’t forget to check out Quiltmaker’s giveaways on their blog!
UPDATED: This giveaway is now closed. A winner has been chosen and notified by email. Thanks for visiting!
Usually, the arrival of Quilt Market sewing assignments means putting a project aside until the craziness abates. This year, there are multiple projects waiting for my attention. None of them on a deadline, thank goodness.I’m finding it especially difficult to tear myself away from this one. I assembled 3″ strips from all the Free Spirit and Rowan designers in my stash. Big enough to see the gorgeous prints and decide which elements to incorporate. They’re sitting on that proverbial back burner, bubbling away.
If you had this little stack of fabrics, what would you do with it? I’d love to hear how this stack inspires you.
Wondering what happened to that little stack of color over the weekend? Here’s a small peek.Colorful, aren’t they?I never tire of scraps. Or small projects. Which is a good thing as my scrap stash seems to grow bigger every day.
Within a couple days, a new box of fabric with Spring Market sewing assignments will arrive on my doorstep. More lively color and fun projects lie ahead. Of course, you know what that means….time to stock up on sharp needles, new rotary cutter blades and lots and lots of coffee.
Looking forward to the weekend? The first weekend of Spring? (Or Fall, as the case may be.) I’ve been toying with some ideas for small projects.This is the starting point–a few happy Sis Boom scraps, some white and a handful of embellishment ideas.Progress is ongoing and so is the fun.
What projects are on your mind this weekend?
The year started off with some talk about pre cuts, if you recall. (And if you don’t, or if you hadn’t joined me yet, here’s the introductory post.) So far, I’ve given you free patterns for a couple wall hangings (Garden Geometry and Fruit Smoothie) and a table topper (Fresh & Easy) and a picnic cloth (Country Picnic). Now it’s time for something a little bigger.
High drama carries the day with a mix of zebra and colorful prints in the blue and green range. The piecing itself is quite simple. There is no matching of seams on these tumblers. With the tumblers stacked top to bottom, the row arrangement creates a visual pattern of secondary interest without any extra work on your part.
Here are the details on the quilt:
- Measures 43″ x 55″
- Uses 12 fat quarters and one yard of zebra or other high contrast print for patchwork
- Fabrics in this quilt are from Jennifer Paganelli’s Happy Land collection for Free Spirit (zebra is from her Flower Power collection)
When deciding on fabric to use for this pattern, keep two things in mind. First, use one high contrast print. I’ve used zebra but you could substitute black and white dots or checks–anything that really stands out by itself. Second, the broader your range of prints for the non-zebra tumblers, the better. It creates all-over interest and keeps your eye moving. Pull out your scrap pile. Scraps would work beautifully in this quilt.
You can get the pdf of this free pattern by clicking here. And you’ll be able to find it easily in the future by heading to the Freebie section. If you’re not acquainted with Jennifer Paganelli yet, be sure to visit her website and blog. Jennifer lives color and beauty with every breath. And she would love to have you join her in celebrating them.
Enjoy this one!
While rearranging my Sis Boom stash last week, I pulled together all my scraps. They need a more permanent home than the clear plastic bag they’re in now. I sewed lots of them together over the weekend and I still have oodles. Despite the fact that I didn’t make a noticeable difference in the size of the scrap pile, I’m happy knowing I have many, many Sis Boom scrappy projects yet to come. I also used some Happy Land fat quarters for a couple of zipper pouches. Adding the right details was half the fun. Like the dots from Queen Street collection for trim and lining. And of course, a button detail.Jennifer’s newest collection, Circa, will be out in May. I’m going to have to sew a lot more from my Sis Boom stash to make room for the prints I want to add. I better get busy!