Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Meadow Dance Blog Hop: Day 1

Get ready for more Meadow Dance inspiration! We've seen what Amanda Murphy has created with her new fabrics (click here if you missed it), and now it's time for some more fun! This week we'll be featuring four different projects using the gorgeous Meadow Dance florals and coordinates. Enjoy the tutorials, and make sure to enter to win a fat quarter bundle!

First up is Alison from Little Bunny Quilts, who picked a few favorite fabrics to make a Pocket Wall Organizer. Being organized is a wonderful thing, and having an attractive organizer is even better! Follow her tutorial and then head over to her blog to enter to win some Meadow Dance fabric. 

Here's Alison!
I'm Alison from Little Bunny Quilts and I am so happy to be back sharing a new project featuring Meadow Dance by Amanda Murphy! As I might have mentioned before, Amanda Murphy is probably my favorite designer so I feel so lucky to be able to participate in another one of her blog hops with Benartex!

I decided to challenge myself to make something new and am very happy with the results! Rather than being a pieced and quilted project, this project uses quilted sections to build a rather simple wall hanging with pockets!

You will need:
A total of 2 yards for the quilted sections of the wall hanging
     I used 1 yard of the aqua print, 1/2 yard of the large floral print, and 1/2 yard of the aqua/red print
1/3 yard for binding
     I used the aqua/grey print

Note: This is more that sufficient fabric for the wall hanging made below, but in case you want to scale up or make a mistake, I wouldn't start with less fabric than this. I found it was easiest to oversize my quilted sections and cut down to my desired size.

For the main background/base of your wall hanging, you will need a piece of fabric for the "front" and the "back" as well as a piece of batting. My desired size was 12" wide by 32" long, so I cut my pieces all an inch larger.

Layer your backing, batting, and main fabric and quilt as desired. Trim to the desired size of your wall hanging. I quilted mine with loops and trimmed to 12" x 32".

Repeat this process for your pockets. My three pockets are 12" x 8", so I cut my pocket fabrics and batting approximately 13" x 25". I found it to be easier to quilt one larger section and cut it into the three sections I needed for my pockets than to make three sections individually.

Cut four 2.5 inch strips for binding and for finishing the raw edges. Since my pockets are 12" wide, I cut one WOF binding strip into 14" strips for covering the top raw edge on each pocket piece. I sewed the strip to the piece exactly as I would for regular binding and trimmed off the excess. Repeat for each pocket. You do not have to worry about the raw edges on the bottom and the sides as these will be covered by the final binding.

Space your pockets evenly along the length of the wall hanging. For all pockets except the bottom, you will need to sew the pocket to the wall hanging right sides together as you would a regular seam and then press. Along the sides of each pocket and the bottom of the bottom pocket, stitch each directly to the wall hanging using a very scant 1/4 inch seam (my seam was slightly larger than 3/16" -- this will ensure that all of these seams will be hidden in our final binding.)

Don't forget to add some sort of hanging pocket! I used a 11" by 5" rectangle to create my pocket.

Add binding around the edge of your wall hanging just as you would any project -- I needed three strips for my wall hanging. There are times that you will be sewing through 3 layers of batting and 6 layers of fabric -- you will want to consider using your walking foot and sewing slowly! I also found it helpful to try to space my binding seams in places that did not have multiple layers of batting.

Hang as desired and fill with whatever your heart desires! While I made this with bright cheerful fabrics, it would be a great way to make a Christmas card holder as well! It's easy to start with this basic shape and modify it for whatever purpose you desire - you could modify this with smaller pockets to hold jewelry or larger pockets for sorting paperwork.

Follow along on all four days of our Meadow Dance blog hop!
Tuesday: Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday: Benartex blog design team
Thursday: Sandra @ Mmm Quilts
Friday: Chris @ made by ChrissieD

Click here to see our original Meadow Dance post. 
Click here to see the entire Meadow Dance collection.
Click here to visit Amanda's website and find her patterns.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Introducing Amanda Murphy's Meadow Dance collection

Meadow Dance is here! 
Amanda Murphy's new floral line is full of flowers, color, and machine quilting possibilities and we know you'll love it. Keep scrolling down to see the fabric and Amanda's quilt designs, and learn more of the story behind the collection. 

A look at a few of the fabrics: 

How would you describe the style of the motifs in Meadow Dance?
They’re more stylized. They’re the essence of flowers, but not literal—there’s definitely a human hand involved. The leaves don’t look like leaves, for example, and flowers aren’t necessarily shaded like mine are. I’ve said before that I like the push between modern and traditional prints—I think it’s a large part of art—the push and pull between realism and stylization.

Can you describe your color palette?
Grays are so hot right now, so I wanted to use them to play off the flowers. A darker gray to make the colors pop, but flowers that would also work with white. The new colors are the darker gray, oranges, and purples—colors I don’t normally use. Then there’s color continuity from my previous lines with the blues, aquas, reds, and greens. I spend a lot of time trading colors in and out in a design. I like the colors in a print to have a certain amount of push and pull—green in the red print, orange in the gray/green/aqua print. Those pops of color create interest in quilts.

How does your machine quilting play into your fabric design?
If you look at the swirls and scrolls in the Garden Path print, those are the shapes you use when you’re quilting. Garden Path is actually my favorite print—it looks totally different in the different colors. The red looks like a blender with pops of color.

This collection also includes a panel, which was created as a practice piece for ruler work. Ruler work for machine quilting is super hot right now. The panel works with two different rulers from Westalee—a border set and a feather focus set. You can use either one of those to quilt the panel using the guide. The panel also works really well with the Bernina Q-matic.

The crochet lace print is really wonderful.
I had actually drawn that a while back for another collection and realized it would work well here. It’s a great applique background—it has so much quilting potential too. I think it works well because of the contrast with the other prints. It’s very dominant, yet the boldness works with the rest of the prints.

Tell us about the bug print.
It functions like a dot print. I was playing with a round shape. Because it’s more geometric and the other prints are more scattered, it stands out. Some of the dots are ladybugs. You don’t necessarily focus on the bugs—they’re just design elements.

What about your blenders?
They’re all designs you can easily quilt on. You can move around on those swirls and spirals and do an allover quilt pattern that looks good. I also try to always include a geometric pattern that you can use to crosshatch on.

What about the little flowers?
This print has a 70s feel. It really holds up next to some of the dominant colors in the line. What’s interesting about that print is that if you hold the gray background little floral up to a gray tonal versus a contrasting color, it looks totally different. It functions like a bridge to other prints in unexpected ways.

Can you tell us about your Meadow Dance patterns?
“Meadow Paths” – This is the free quilt pattern available on the website. You can choose any blenders you like and it still works. They all coordinate with the border print, and I really wanted to use that border print here because it has so much contrast and drama to it.

Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

“Meadow Blooms” – I made this quilt with both dark gray and white backgrounds. There’s such high drama from the blocks. What’s interesting is the way the floral is functioning. It’s cut into pieces, but it really unifies the quilt. This is actually a very traditional quilt pattern, and it has great negative space to quilt in.

“Meadow Song” – This is a modern take on a Dresden quilt. It’s a pretty simple one block quilt, and pretty scrappy. It’s great for feathers—modern feathers work even better than traditional on this. I also made this quilt with a blue background, and the blue cools off the hotter colors in the collection.

“Meadowsweet” – This is a traditional applique quilt. It’s basically the flowers in the prints of the fabric line blown up. I used buttons for the flower centers.

“Meadow Minis” – This was designed for quilt as you go—you can easily quilt it on your domestic machine. I give you block instructions on one page and tell you how I quilted it on the other page. Each block is like a little project.

 There's also a coordinating thread collection from Aurifil

And embroidery from OESD!

Click here to see the entire Meadow Dance collection.
Click here to find the free quilt pattern. 
Click here to visit Amanda's website and find her patterns.

We're featuring Meadow Dance in a blog hop this week, so come back!

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Sunshine Garden Virtual Trunk Show

Ready to see what you can make with Cheryl Haynes' Sunshine Garden collection? We're ready to show you! Get ready for some sunflower fun! (If you missed our post about Sunshine Garden, find it here.)

First, there's the free pattern available on our website, which uses the panel with a fantastic star block border:
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.
 Cheryl is offering two patterns for sale on her website:

“Indigo Song” - We have a lot of Indigo bunting birds here in Missouri, and I watch them all the time. We even had some nesting in our birdhouses. They’re very pretty blue birds! I combined the pieced birds with nine-patches, and then used the blue sunflower fabric for the border, plus a little sunflower applique.
Click here to find the pattern.

Here's a table runner version of "Indigo Song."

“Garden Charm” – This is a remake of an existing pattern done up in my Sunshine Garden prints. The design uses charm squares. Of course, I really love the quick fuse sunflower appliques in the corners.
Click here to find the pattern.

And a little extra eye candy...how fabulous is this tuffet, complete with the dimensional sunflower on top!?!

Click here to see the entire Sunshine Garden collection.
Click here to visit Cheryl's website and find her patterns.
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