Saturday, 30 January 2016

Prismatic Echoes Quilt...

One of the first things I did when I got my stash of Blueberry Park was make this quilt for Robert Kaufman. I wanted to do a quilt that incorporated the whole collection. This was a tricky feat for me as I normally work in a limited colour palette and because my collection is a mahoosive 75 fabrics big (ridiculous I know!) it was a real challenge for me to design something to include them all.

I had designed the pattern a while before and started sewing some of the blocks without being wholly clear on how I was going to piece it all together. Do you do that? I do it all the time but that's because I am not a good planner. I like to see where a quilt takes me. As the process went on I had a clearer idea of where it was going and eventually it morphed into this.

It actually turned out very differently from what was originally in my head but I was really pleased with the outcome...particularly as it was my very first quilt pieced with my very first collection (she says like it's the first of many...) with Robert Kaufman.

The quilt pictured here isn't actually the one I made. This one was made by Craftsy and is almost identical to mine apart from the fun scrappy binding they stitched. I love that!

The quilt has been made into a kit and is available here from Craftsy. The kit includes all the fabrics to make the front and the binding as well as a PDF pattern to follow. The quilt could be constructed in so many different ways and if you make it I would love to see! Either tag me in on Instagram @karenlewistextiles and add a hashtag or two... #karenlewistextiles #prismaticechoesquilt #blueberryparkfabric

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Sister Sampler Quilts Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Sister Sampler Quilts Blog Hop!

I was delighted and honoured when AnneMarie of Gen X Quilts asked me to be on her blog hop for her new book. If you have arrived here from AnneMarie's blog then welcome!

This book ticked so many boxes for me that I couldn't wait to dive in.

I am a big fan of sampler quilts. I love a quilt where your eye roams around it taking in all the different details but, being a bit of an enigma, I like a quilt to be balanced and work as a whole. All 3 of the sampler quilts have such a clever way of achieving this.

The Vice Versa Sampler includes 2 blocks that are the negative of each other, switching the colour placement from one into the background space of the other producing 2 very different but totally complementary blocks. You can see this in the Shoofly block above. Such a clever and unique idea.

In her second sampler quilt, Bonfire Sampler, AnneMarie has taken components from curved blocks and string blocks and constructed them in new and exciting ways, as you can see in the Friendship Star block above. The whole quilt has a strong border of HSTs giving the overall effect of a giant detailed Bearpaw.

The third sampler is the Sisters' Ten Sampler which incorporates 10 blocks each done in 2 varying ways, giving the quilt unity in design but added interest by not repeating them in the same fabrics...just like sisters...the same but different. Having a sister, and both being very different, this quilt really appealed to me.

The sign of a good quilting book is that I want to dive straight into it and start making. It actually took me ages to get started but only because I wanted to make everything...all at once...

I eventually settled on trying out the Button Block, mainly because I have a current love of curves and wanted to choose a block with curves. I so nearly went for the Time and Energy block so I guess I will be doing that pretty soon.

AnneMarie's instructions are clear and concise and the added diagrams make assembling the blocks very straight forward. I am definitely a visual learner and to be able to assemble a block simply by looking at the diagrams is a real plus for me.

If you haven't seen this book yet I really urge you to. There is a lot of mileage in it. There are so many options for doing the quilts in so many different ways which is another big tick for me when choosing a new quilting book.

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour. Do go click on all the other stops for some great reviews, block and quilt making, along with some great giveaways of the book.

Monday, January 18  
AnneMarie Chany / Gen X Quilters - Introduction
Sara Lawson / Sew Sweetness

Tuesday, January 19 
Leah Day / Free Motion Project
Brenda Ratliff / Just A Bit Frayed

Wednesday, January 20
Faith Jones / Fresh Lemons Quilts
Angela Pingel / Cut To Pieces

Thursday, January 21
Lynne Goldsworthy / Lily's Quilts
Amy Friend / During Quiet Time

Friday, January 22
Christa Watson / Christa Quilts
Violet Craft

Monday, January 25
Lee Heinrich / Freshly Pieced
Melissa Corry / Happy Quilting

Tuesday, January 26
Karen Lewis / Karen Lewis Textiles
Amy Gibson / Stitchery Dickory Dock

Wednesday, January 27
Sherri McConnell / A Quilting Life
Melissa Mortensen / Polka Dot Chair

Thursday, January 28
Heather Valentine / The Sewing Loft

Friday, January 29
Cindy Wiens / Live A Colorful Life 
AnneMarie Chany / Gen X Quilters - Wrap Up 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

2015...a review

2015 was a hellava was the year I became a fabric designer. 

To be fair, or accurate, I already was a fabric designer, small scale, nothing fancy, designing and printing my fabric panels for my own use and lots of you lovelies out there. But 2015 was the year that I officially became a fabric designer with my launch collection, Blueberry Park with Robert Kaufman.

That really set the tone for the whole year since it was back in January 2015 that I started to design the collection and almost a whole year later in November when it was released for you all to buy. 2015 will forever be remembered as a memorable year. A year on living this process on a daily basis I am honoured, flattered, humbled and beyond excited about quite where I am and what I am doing. I am pretty sure professionally it can't get much better than this. 

2015 wasn't just about the fabric, I had such highs in other areas too. I had an amazing year with countless magazine quilt projects. That is one thing I will also never tire of or become immune to. Seeing my work in glossy print is such a buzz every single time. I think at one time I had about 5 projects one after the other after the other, and all in and amongst the bubble of the collection getting ready, but the pressure of that still made it all nothing short of a joy...

...and there was more! Back to my love of screen printing and running workshops, 2015 was a wonderful year. I had some really great workshops at my home with some amazing enthusiastic printers and I also travelled near and far to teach, which was such a buzz. I was welcomed in Huddersfield...twice...Scotland...twice...Wales...once and even over in Copenhagen. Every group was just much fun.

On a personal level we had the high of moving house at the end of 2015 and discovering that we all love living in the country. We moved for the house. We fancied a change and it just so happened that we fell in love with where it was too and I can't wait for 2016 to unfold and see what adventures we get up to here.

It has been an unbelievable year. Professionally the best...personally some deep lows thrown in to test our resilience. But it isn't about that here other than it was a big part of what 2015 was and can't be missed out.

2015 was amazing...January is a time for reflection and planning and if I am going to stand any chance of 2016 being half as good I need to do just that...reflect and plan. I hope you will be with me on my journey and let's see where it takes us. I couldn't and can't do it without you.