Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Guest blogger - Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts


Konnichiwa! I'm Alyce and I am currently living it up in the fabric and stationery-filled land of Japan for a few years. I blog about my fabric adventures at Blossom Heart Quilts, as well as design many quilts in my graph book, some of which have managed to escape into reality to become tutorials or patterns.
I started quilting 3 years ago when my husband bought me a sewing machine and told me stop reading about quilting and just try it. I often joke that he must regret buying my little Elna considering the steep trajectory my obsession (and stash!) have taken! But when we moved to Japan for his work about 9 months later, he has definitely appreciated it as a source of sanity and focus for me. It was hard adjusting to our new life here with a 2.5 year old and a barely 1 year old and no family nearby, and quilting became my strength for me - something for me to focus on, and at times, to escape into.

Messy sewing space
#honestsewingroom - my sewing space is sharing with the kids' playroom

At the same time, I also started my blog - Blossom Heart Quilts. I just love being a part of the online quilting community, because you all rock and have been a huge help in keeping me sane too! I also love "blogging" - I love (most of) the techy stuff, I love learning about how to make my website better and cooler and easier for the readers, I love sharing what I've learned along the way.

Tea For Two 1

Adding to my nerdiness, quilt designing is where my passion lies. I love that mix of creativity and maths, and I am particularly interested in making complex designs in the most easiest way possible. No Y-seams here! I love seeing simple shapes create interesting big-picture designs. My aforementioned graph books are overflowing in sketches that unfortunately many will never become a reality, but I love the creative exercise anyway. I draw my inspiration from life around me - architecture, flooring, etc. In fact my very first pattern, Tea For Two, was inspired by a manhole cover!

Aurora sneak peek

I am also highly partial to star quilt blocks, which is what inspired a very special pattern in next month's issue! If you love a good star block or two, or fifteen, you'll be wanting to subscribe to the first year of Make Modern #justsaying! You will also find me sharing my love of quilt math in a column I am very excited about sharing with you all.

You can find Alyce's starry sampler Aurora in our first issue of Make Modern (subscribe here!) due out on the 1st September!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Guest Blogger - Molli Sparkles

For this week's guest blogger, we have the fabulous Molli Sparkles. Wait til you see his awesome project in our first issue of Make Modern! Meanwhile, read on and learn a few truths about Molli.

The Truth About Molli.

I made my first solo quilt in yellow because there's not enough sunshine in the world.

When I first started quilting, I had a brilliant idea: I'd start a quilt blog. No one will have ever done that before ... Oh.

Madonna. Cher. Mariah. Kylie. Molli. Enough said.

I like big seam rippers and I can not lie.

My Make Modern pattern, Trip Around the Universe is an improved version of a Trip Around the World. Because really, who wants to wind up where they started off?

MolliSparkles.com you either get it or you don't.

I founded the NGAQB (No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee) and the ever-growing Men Who Quilt group. Confusing places to be for a guy called Molli Sparkles.

No, I don't have a pattern for my D! quilt. Disney's legal team might though.

The Glitterati are friends of Molli Sparkles who believe in themselves and the power of positivity. Are you ready to shine?

"I quilt so I don't kill people." Nah, I quilt because I already slayed the entire world.

I'm working on project thirty-two after only sewing for two years. Some might say I have an addictive personality.

My favourite colour is silver, and my favourite creature is the unicorn. A silver unicorn? That's just cray.

My weekly Sunday Stash link-up is a safe house for fabric fugitives.

Calling it scrappy is not an excuse for it being ugly.

I'm an equal opportunity fabric employer. There's no room for discrimination in my stash, even for batiks.

You're the only you, you've got, so love yourself sick.

You can serve me Truth Tea anytime you like. I can take it like a boss.

Borders on quilts are allowed, but heavens to Betsi, they're definitely not required.

I oil my Juki with champagne.

My weave will always be bigger and better than yours. It's a fact of life.


Friday, 15 August 2014

Free Project #2 - Create Paper Pieced Pattern


Really it's an entire sentence all by itself isn't it! That one word sums up what we as quilters do - and it's complete. All by itself. What a brilliant word - and a perfect one to have hanging in the sewing room!

So I have designed my favourite word as a little paper pieced pattern - it's perfectly sized to be made into a mini quilt, or a cushion, or a mug rug, or whatever else you deem needs to have the word "create" emblazoned across it!

As you can see, I chose to make mine into a mini quilt. Simple quilting, simple binding, but perfect for my sewing room. The fabrics I used are the Feather prints from Alison Glass's Sunprint range. Love love.

The pattern makes an 8" x 12" block but you can resize that however you wish by simply adding more fabric to the top and bottom of the block. All the letters are paper pieced, using the "Just My Type" font that I love so much. There are some fiddly and small pieces in there but I'm sure you'll agree the outcome is worth it! Just um.. don't pick this as your first ever foundation pieced project. Please. Come back when it's like your second project! Once you love paper piecing and you want to paper piece ALL THE THINGS! Ahem.

You can find this pattern as a free download in my Craftsy shop. The pattern is just for the paper piecing templates - leaving it up to you to decide what to make your block into!  And don't forget, when you're finished, share a picture with us! You can pop it on IG with the hashtag #makemodern or share it on our Facebook page. We'd love to see!

Happy sewing my friends! Let's go create - and make modern!
Kristy xx

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Guest Bloggers - Cat & Vee

Hello Make Moderners everywhere!

We are Catherine and Vanita - two good friends from Brisbane, Australia.  We met through our children being in the same class at school, and soon discovered a mutual love of fabric, design and the making of fun stuff.  We are both married (not to each other!), each with two kids and a crazy cavoodle dog each - Vanita has Pixie and Catherine has Teddy.

We are really excited and honoured to be part of the first issue of the fabulous Make Modern! - and to share our first-ever sewing patterns with you all.  We've designed two new screen-printed panels especially for Make Modern, and then complemented them with four sewing patterns - so you can choose to sew then up with the panels, or not, whatever you'd like to do!  Here's a sneaky peek at what you'll soon find in Make Modern!

Ooooooh, we wonder what they could be?!

We have a little Etsy shop where we sell a range of screen printed and digitally printed craft panels,  which you can use to sew into your own creations or frame as art for your wall.  We screen print onto Essex natural linen in our garages at home, and then heat set by iron while watching trashy TV shows.  Our digital panels are printed by Spoonflower in the USA.  Here are a few of our panels - there are lots more in the shop!

As for our other creative, crafty lives?  Cat loves to sew - all kinds of different projects.  Much of her sewing time is given to bees and swaps - this past year, Cat's been part of the AusModBee, The Wee Bee and the Care Circle of doGoodStitches and taken part in several swaps.  Cat loves the social side of sewing and craftiness, and is a little addicted to instagram (she is @hellofromcat and Vee is @hellofromvee) and to meeting up with other lovers-of-sewing.  In the past couple of months, Cat's taken classes with Camille Roskelley! - when Camille came to Australia for her Red Letter Day tour, and with Lorena Uriarte to make the Social Tote, and she will soon be doing a Nested Churn Dash class with Jane Davidson, wahoo!  Cat's the secretary and a founding member of the Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild, and is really excited to be heading off to QuiltCon in February 2015.  Here are a few of the things that Cat has made over the past few months. 

Vee has recently finished her Graphic Design studies with CATC, and as well as designing for cat&vee, is also freelancing as 'Hello from Vee' Graphic Design.  Vee has also just picked up her paint-brushes again for the first time in a VERY long time and has some amazing ideas bubbling away for new artworks.
Vee designed the logo for the brand new Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild ...

… and also the logo for the Secret Sewing Society
Here are a few more of Vee's recent creations.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read about our fun little creative world, and thanks so much to the gorgeous Kristy, Lara and Jane of Make Modern for having us here.  xoxo cat and vee

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Guest Blogger - Juliet from The Tartankiwi

For our guest contributor this week we have the lovely Juliet from The Tartankiwi. You will likely have seen some of her amazing paper pieced patterns around the interwebs and we are so excited to have Juliet involved in our very first issue! Read on to learn a little more about the very talented Juliet!

Hi there everyone,

My name is Juliet and I blog at The Tartankiwi. As the blog name suggests, I'm a Scot who now happily lives in New Zealand with my husband and two children.

I am really excited to be contributing to the first issue of Make Modern and the pattern that I've designed is my new favourite (until the next pattern at least!)

In case you are curious, here's a wee sneak peak:

Can you guess what it is?

What I love about my pattern for Make Modern is that the basic block is very simple in concept, but the possibilities for making many varied projects are endless.

That's the way I like my patterns to be. I view my task as a designer to be to provide a spring board which others can use to unlock the depths of their own creativity.  I like to respect the creative choices of those who make my patterns and therefore prefer not to tell them what fabric to put where. After all, it would be boring if we all used the same colours and made the same thing all the time!? I'm not afraid to say that often others think of amazing ways to use my patterns that I could never have come up with on my own.

Having learnt the basics of sewing at school, it wasn't until my daughter was born that I discovered my passion for blogging, sewing and later quilting. The sewing machine that I own was bought many years ago with the sole purpose of making a pair of curtains. I'm pretty sure that I laughed when the lady in the shop suggested that I might get into quilting- why oh why didn't I buy the expensive sewing machine that she suggested when we were a double income childless couple?!?

It has been lots of fun going on this creative journey over the last four years and I am loving seeing where it takes me.

All my quilt patterns so far have been paper pieced, but who knows, one of these days I might venture out of my comfort zone and try something different instead.

My New Zealand Bird Quilt is one of the first quilts of my own design that I completed and it was a pure labour of love. It all started from my kiwi design and snowballed into a single sized quilt featuring 12 species of New Zealand birds.

 Another of my early designs was the butterfly. I have made up several different projects using this pattern and love how different they all look.

If you fancy a challenge, why not pop over and read about the Butterfly Challenge. You have till the end of the month if you want to join in and win some beautiful Oakshott Cotton.

- Juliet