Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dare to be square

I’ve probably mentioned that one of the ways I (attempt to) make a living is as an editor of craft books. Occasionally that work leads me to really cool projects—like one that hits shelves today: Dare to Be Square Quilting by Boo Davis, which I got the chance to do the technical editing for.

You’ve probably seen Boo’s Quiltsrÿche quilts in blogland before, and now you can make your own versions using patterns from her book. While most modern quilting books offer patterns for cool abstract designs, Dare to Be Square ventures into territory that has so far been underpublished: Boo’s quilts are unashamedly representational—owls, wiener dogs, skulls, and all that fun stuff.  Take a look at the book’s trailer to see what I mean:

There are so many brilliant quilts in this book, and none of them require more than squares and rectangles! (OK, one has a triangle—but you can handle it!) This is the book the quilty blogosphere has been clamoring for, even if we didn’t know it. So go get a copy and get stitching!

As I said to Boo, I don’t naturally gush; I just think this is truly a fresh book. I had lots of fun working with her on it and I’m sure you’ll love it too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I’m a cover boy!

 Quilting Arts Stitch, Fall 2010

That’s my ottoman slipcover on the cover of the Fall 2010 issue of Stitch! I’m always honored to be a part of the magazine and it’s super cool to have a project on the cover. Here’s what they say about it on the StitchBlog sneak preview of the issue:

I love the graphic, mod style of his Patchwork Cube Slipcover, and it's super-easy to make. It's part of our Off the Couch group of projects, about creative ways to use home décor fabrics.

Check out the preview to see a few more things in store in the upcoming issue.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation

Lazy summer days (and sweaty summer days in the garden) have slackened my posting, so it’s past time catch you up the trip I took this summer—Sandra Mollon’s Appliqué Academy at Lake Tahoe. It was a fantastic week filled with fabric, food, and a healthy dose of screwball comedy with quilting friends old familiar and new.

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This must have been early in the week, ’cause the room is still relatively clean. One of the really great things about this retreat is that we were all working on whatever hand-appliqué projects we wanted, so everyone’s stuff was totally different. By the end of the week, all the work we’d finished was up on the walls, pretty much covering the corkboards.

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Sandra was always on hand to help out with any issue that came up as we worked, and she also offered demos of techniques like making ribbon roses and inking to shade fabrics. She does the most intricate work, using silks and other fibers along with cotton to get great effects—check out the front page of her website to be wowed by one of her Baltimore album blocks (I’m sure more photos are on the way, so bookmark it too). It’s a privilege and a pleasure to learn from her.

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The scenery, of course, was remarkable too. Even if the combination of thin, high-altitude air and three-times-a-day buffet feedings left one feeling a touch out of shape. But with dessert included in every meal, I wasn’t complaining.

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I used the time to work on some retro kitchen blocks I’ve been designing. Below are the blocks I finished while there, along with Baltimore blocks from fellow retreater Mary—who was the brains behind the spoon in my colander block, which started life as an embroidered whisk that looked dreadful on the eggbeater background. Thanks for the save, Mary!

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As is often the case with these events, I was the lone male amongst almost thirty women. But I didn’t let them push me around…

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OK, so that’s a lie.

Anyway, that was my summer fun (the whole week, not just being pushed about by Vicki). Back to the grind so I can get the piggybank filled up for next year’s retreat!