Violet Craft

Violet Craft

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Favorites from the Madrona Road Challenge!

Onwards by Casey York (Tied for Favorite) Onwards

Untitled by Iara Ferreira from Bragança, São Paulo, Brazil (Tied for Favorite) Quilt da minha amiga Iara

Recently I had the most difficult task of picking my favorite project from The Modern Quilt Guild / Michael Miller Fabrics Madrona Road Challenge. There were hundreds upon hundreds of amazing entries and more are still pouring in even though the official deadline has passed. I am so thrilled that everyone is still finishing their projects and I plan to keep looking through all of them as they come in.

I honestly didn't know where to start and I wrote a little about my dilemma. Lindsay from ellesquare responded with her blog post Steal This Quilt. To quote her, "In short, I wish I'd made it and I want to steal it. I want it. I will take it and hide with it for years in an underground cave, and then after I lose it in a game of riddles, I will follow a pair of tricksy hobbitses through the gates of Mordor only to jump into the fire of Mount Doom to be with it forever. My precious." Thank you so much Lindsay!

So that is how I started to bring my numbers of favorites (hundreds) down to something I could work with (dozens). When I had a workable number of favorites I asked myself, would I jump into the fire with it? I'm a total geek, so you can see how this post really resonated with me. When I was all said and done, I had ten that I couldn't let go of... and I had two top pics that I completely could not separate. I loved them both for totally different reasons and I wanted to pick them both... and fortunately, The MQG allowed me to do just that.

Above are the two I could not separate from being my favorite. Below are in no particular order of awesomeness. Click on the photos to see their Flickr streams. Again, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated in the challenge.

Buckles and Belts by Linda (Flourishing Palms)
Madrona Road Challenge

Madrona Road Scrappy Stars by Terry Aske
Terry Aske - Madrona Road Scrappy Stars - 34 x 42 inches

Untitled by mb slinko
Madrona Road front 4

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt by Irelle (Jibberish Designs)
Madrona Road Challenge Quilt 005

Projective Plane of Order Four by moonbrightinjune

Untitled by Lindsay (ellesquare)
Madrona Road - finished! (54x54)

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt by Anne (anne @ play-crafts {asdesigned})
madrona road challenge quilt - 48" x 36"

Sweet Dreams by Disentangled
Sweet Dreams - 10X35 Amazing, right? The Michael Miller QuiltCon booth choices are all posted on The Modern Quilt Guild blog - those were all high on my personal list as well! And with more entries still coming in, I foresee at least one more post soon :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hello. Love. Luck.

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! 

One-Sided Binding7

I have a little tutorial over on the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog today showing four different ways to finish a project with ruffles. I am a ruffle-aholic and have featured many a ruffled quilt over the years (Freshcut Quilt-uvet, Gypsy Caravan Quilt & Obsession on Point Flea Market Fancy Quilt), so head on over to my tutorial to find out more about my trials, errors and successes in ruffles!

In my tutorial I have created four little mini-quilts a.k.a. snack mats. Two of them use a thread painting technique. Over the holidays, my friend Ale was using a similar technique for some pillows. I modified it a bit and here are a few pictures to show you how I did it.

First off, cut your three layers: top, batting and backing. During this whole process I have the top and batting sandwiched together so that the bottom stitches of my thread painting will not show on the back of my project when I add the backing for finishing.


Using a water-soluble marking pen, draw an outline of the image you want to thread paint. I wrote the word "Luck" in cursive. The blue ink would NOT photograph to save my life, so I've enhanced it here :) And it's still hard to see.... sorry folks.


Using a free-motion foot and your feed dogs disengaged, carefully sew along the outline. This part can actually also be done using a regular foot with feed dogs engaged if you move very slowly and turn a lot. I find the free-motion foot to be an easier process, but grab a scrap piece of fabric and try out both ways to see which you are more comfortable with.


Increase the outline of your words with a second row of stitching. Sometimes I will draw this area in with my water-soluble pen for a guide.


Reattach a zigzag foot and reengage your feed dogs. Use an appropriately sized zigzag with a longer stitch length to fill in the center space of each letter. You can repeat this a few times to get a nice fill. Don't completely fill with zigzags, just enough to get a base.


With your free-motion foot and feed dogs disengaged fill in the area with smooth front to back lines as opposed to the side to side lines of the zigzag stitches. This will give a smoother surface to your thread painting.


Two examples of completed words:



Now - to see how I finished these with ruffles head over to Sew, Mama, Sew! for my Ruffle Binding Tutorial. 

Happy Love Day!

~ Violet

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Broken Herringbone Quilt - The Pattern!

Broken Herringbone Quilt Pattern Cover

The Broken Herringbone Quilt was originally created from the Broken Herringbone fabric print in my Madrona Road fabric collection. It is still unclear though which came first... print or quilt pattern? I don't remember! The pattern is now available in my shop!

The quilt showcases fabrics in a bold manner, but in a fresh, modern, on-trend way. This is a perfect pattern for those fabrics you've been waiting to showcase!

Broken Herringbone Quilt

The pattern also puts a unique twist on quilt construction. There are no traditional "blocks". Quilt is constructed entirely of full width of fabric strips. I think you will be surprised how simple it is to pop this quilt together.

Broken Herringbone Quilt

There is VERY minimal scrap production and the pattern includes diagrams for two examples of how to use all of the scraps in an interesting quilt back. Exact dimensions are not included for pieced backs.

Broken Herringbone Quilt

You may recognize the truck in these photos from Madrona Road. My love affair with the trucks on Sauvie Island goes back to exploring the island alone when I first moved to the Pacific Northwest. At that time there was only one beautiful truck exploding with tulips. In 2005 I took my youngest daughter and a dear little friend there for a photo shoot for my handmade children's clothing line, KungFuBambini. Warning - cute baby overload!

Madrona Road Farmstead Truck

I included my illustrations of the truck in the Madrona Road Farmstead print. Last year, when we returned to take the pictures of the quilts, there were two new beautiful additions, one of which is the blue truck above. You'll be seeing more of these trucks from me. It's a magical little place and I hope to return there for years to come and find them full of blooming flowers.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy tears.

Warning: there are no pictures in this post. Just words.

I am bawling right now. Absolutely crying. And every one of them is a happy, happy, happy, HAPPY tear. The Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge has put me over the edge.

Last May I showed Madrona Road, my fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics, at Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City. I love this collection. I put my whole heart into designing it. Our family had been through a lot by that time last year. We were in the process of short-selling our home and changing everything we thought we believed about what we "needed" in life. I wrote Memoir of Madrona Road during that process. It is a very true story about a girl from Kansas making her way in this big world of ours and finding herself and the love of her life in Oregon. About 3/4 of the way through, the story goes on to describe a fictional place called Madrona Road.

At the time I designed Madrona Road, I think I thought that magical little road with the sweet little farm was really and truly what we were looking for. But since then, with ever more changes in our lives in the short span of a few more months, I've realized that the life I created in that little story will exist wherever our family lands. All that matters is that we are together and making the absolute best out of this life that we can WITH WHAT WE'VE GOT. Dreams are so important, but loving what you have right here and right now is so much more important. Making do.

It seems like that's exactly what all of you have been doing. The Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road challenge deadline was last night and I have been watching the progress daily on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter and blogs and it's been so exciting and fun. Then today, seeing 262 entries in the finished Flickr pool and 473 photos in the progress Flickr pool, well, it just did me in. I've been looking through them and bawling ever since... I am supposed to pick one favorite. I don't think I know how to do that. I love every single one of them. Just thinking of the energy of all of those sewers all stitching, well, it just makes me cry harder if you must know.

Please, oh please... if you are on Instagram, tag me!!! I am @violetcraft and I check the #madronaroad and #madronaroadchallenge tags daily also.

#peacocklanefabric gets used occasionally which makes me smile a little secret smile - and just as a tiny happy teaser, get ready for #waterfrontpark in a few months. Yes, I now openly speak in hash tag language. I'm okay with that.

xoxo,  violet