September 24th, 2014
First things first… QuiltDad is my homeboy. Oh man, I love this guy. I’m telling everyone he wrote Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature’s Elements just for me. I love making quilts that focus on fabric and that look complicated but are simple in construction. In other words, quilts I can make that don’t require a lot of my concentration or, um, reading. Not that John doesn’t write with lovely words, but I’m a read-by-illustration person. Words are hard. Pictures are easy. So thanks John for writing this book for me, and pretty cool of you to have plenty of copies for others, too. And it gets better - John’s publisher is giving away an e-book copy to one of my readers (more info at the bottom of this post).
I’m so smitten with the cover quilt - Pacific Crest. Crazy smitten. I even love all the fabrics and colors John chose. John writes in his book that Pacific Crest is, “… an asymmetrical repeat to mimic the movement of a flock of birds…”. It totally looks like a flock of birds, but when I saw it I immediately saw sunlit sparkles on water atop darting fish, most specifically Pacific Ocean water which is just a few miles from my front door. And then my mind immeadiatly went to fish tacos.
What I especially love about the quilts in John’s book is that the patterns are what I think are easily adaptable to modify and personalize, which is something I like to do 99.5% of the time when I make someone’s pattern. I set out to make a giant placemat/mugrug (<— just for you, homeboy) for my living room coffee table. With John’s cutting instructions and a stack of yummy fabrics consisting of Anna Maria’s Dowry and Pretty Potent, Robert Kaufman Essex olive and Kona solids, and Moda Bella solids - I went at it.
I got a little giddy when one of my smaller blocks (with the Echinacea print) ended up having some seam-magic with it’s bad self.
I had an s-ton of fun making all these little blocks. So pretty and so fun to make. And the olive Essex goes so beautifully with Anna Maria’s prints. I may be just a tad addicted to Anna Maria’s Dowry and Pretty Potent collections. I’ve bought it 4 times now, and no doubt will be buying more. I did the same thing with Totem from her LouLouThi collection. When I fall in love I fall hard.
Tah-dah… my Fish Tacos table mat! Next I need to quilt it - so I can bind it. I think 80% of the quilts I make are for the sole purpose of having something to hand bind. Up top, fellow hand binding lovers.
I’m not sure yet how I’m going to quilt it. Not that I don’t not have an idea of how - but this pattern screams so many possibilities. Which is another thing I love about John’s quilts is that they are easy for me to come up with quilting ideas. Often I find myself not knowing or seeing how I’m going to quilt something, so I could not be more tickled to have quilting possibilites dancing in my head. Thanks, John!
– Robert Kaufman Essex yarn dyed in olive
John’s publisher is giving away an e-book copy of Beyond Neutrals. To enter, leave a “QuiltDad is my homeboy” or something like “I’d love to win a copy” comment on my Instagram post here. I’ll draw a winner Friday, 10am PST. You really need this book so give it a go. Be sure to check the Beyond Neutral Book Tour for more blog posts and more chances to win a copy!
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