Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey.

Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey. My goal is to share a little about my life, and a lot about my longarm quilting business, Lone Tree Designs.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mystery Quilts and Control Issues

  There are two categories of quilters.  Those who will take a chance on making a mystery quilt, and those who won't.  I have always been of the first group.  The problem is that lack of control is quite scary for me.  I want to know that the time, effort, and money that I am spending on this project are going to be worth it.  Adding to my aversion to mystery quilts was that several times I had customers bring me quilts with the following statement: "This was a mystery quilt.  If I had only known what it would look like, I would never have placed fabric X in that spot."  They weren't totally happy with their quilt, and I was thinking, "Why would anyone ever do a mystery quilt?"
  Enter Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville.com.  I was invited to attend a Bonnie Hunter workshop with some friends last spring.  It sounded like a lot of fun, so I signed up.  Then, I went online and started researching the woman and her style of quilting.  I discovered stunning photos of her past mystery quilts. I met others who had made lots of her mystery quilts and loved them. At the same time, I had signed up to do my first mystery quilt, mainly to support my friends in my Central City guild, and had recently discovered that it was, what else, a former Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt called "Double Delight" found free on her blog.  I also noticed that my all time favorite Bonnie Hunter pattern, Celtic Solstice had been a mystery quilt.  I made a "Pineapple Blossom" and saw how easy and user friendly Bonnie's patterns were.  I bought several of her books.  I watched last year's mystery quilt, "Allietare" pass me by.  Cue this year's mystery quilt:  "En Provence",
  So, here I am, a tentative mystery quilt convert.  I am planning to start on this year's mystery quilt this coming weekend.  The clues come out on Fridays, and the information can all be found on Bonnie's website.  In order to do this, I had to trust Bonnie.  (It helps that I have met her, and she is a fabulous person, as well as a great quilter.)  It also helps that I didn't have to purchase anything to do the quilt.  I went into my stash and gleaned all the yardage that I will need to make the blocks for the 87 x 87 quilt.  I did decide to sub in turquoise for the yellow in the quilt. I love purple, pink, and turquoise together, so how can I go wrong?  I can't wait to see how this quilt turns out.  Sometimes a little mystery is just what we need to step outside the comfort zone and be inspired!  Thanks, Bonnie!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

What a Difference Color Choice Can Make!

Heads N Tails #1

Heads N Tails #2


  Color.  The choices made when picking colors for a quilt 
can truly "make" or "break" your end result.  As a teacher and lecturer, I am frequently asked to speak about color.   As an employee at a quilt shop, I am often asked to assist customers in choosing fabrics that will look good together and will create a pleasing finished product.  It seems that color can be a real stumbling block for some quilters.  Some don't feel that they have an "eye" for color and need assurance that what they have chosen is "right."   The truth is that, while some choices are really not great, there is no "right" when it comes to color choices.  Some choices are not the best use of color, and some choices are definitely better.  However, if you love it...it's "right"!  
  My most recently finished quilt tops were specifically designed to illustrate the difference color can make in a quilt. Both quilts began with a crazy Timeless Treasures fabric that I found on a vacation to Paducah, KY with my hubby.  I bought parts and pieces of several ends of bolts in order to get the six repeats that I needed for my blocks.   Believe me, there wasn't a lot left after I cut my repeats for my hexies.  I did, however, have a LOT of hexies made.  Rather than making one huge quilt, I decided to break up the stack into two piles.  One would be set with a cool color, and the other with a warm color.  My goal was to create samples for my trunk shows that show that neither choice is "right" but one quilt will appeal to some, while the other quilt appeals to others.  Personally, I like both, and can't pick a favorite!
  The difference between the two quilts is pretty striking.  The one set with the aqua/teal is calm.  It makes me feel relaxed.  It's fairly low contrast.  Nothing about it jumps out at me, which is a good thing for some people.  The quilt set with the bright yellow/orange is exciting!  It's bright.  There's a huge amount of contrast between the hexies that jump off the top and the background stars.  The borders add an additional element of brightness and a sense of fun to the quilt.  Again, some will love that bright, exciting feel.  Some won't.  
  My first choice was the aqua.  I loved the pretty, soft color with the bright fabric that I used for my blocks,  It seemed to calm the wild pinks, yellows, and reds of the hexies themselves.  It made me think of a tropical vacation.  After I chose the aqua, I auditioned TONS of other fabrics with the remaining hexies.  I tried bright red.  I tried orange.  I tried hot pink, purple, greens of various shades. Nothing seemed right.  Finally, as a last resort, I put a few hexies on top of the yellow.  Zing!!! I had a winner!  Sometimes, this is the perfect way to decide on a color for lattice, or for borders.  Make your blocks, and then audition fabrics for the setting.  This can save a lot of time and money because you will know for sure that what you bought is what you like with your blocks.  The key is to choose what you like.  It's your quilt!  Bring a friend for a second opinion, or ask the quilt shop employee to give you their thoughts, but the choice is yours!