Monday, September 29, 2014

DVD Review and Giveaway!

I recently had the opportunity to review a new DVD by the talented Carrie of Such Designs called Art Techniques for Quilt Design.  I jumped at the chance to learn from Carrie, as I’ve been wanting to add more of my own voice to the the quilts I make.  Lucky for me, Carrie does too and she teaches this in her new DVD.  

Carrie was trained as a fine artist and brought her fine art skills to her quilt and fabric designs.   Carrie describes herself as a creativity enabler, and that is such a good description of herself and how this class is designed.  Rather than teach you how to sew, she teaches you basic fundamentals of art and drawing that you can apply to your sewing projects.   

The first half of the class focuses on arming you with basic drawing skills.  In this portion, she has you explore line drawings, gesture, and composition.  She encourages you to find the spirit of the form of whatever you are drawing and helps you learn to see what is actually there rather than your mind naturally thinks is there – ie what an apple actually looks like versus what you think an apple should look like.  In her discussion of composition, she uses several quilts to discuss the different types of composition and how to apply them to quilts.   

All of the basic drawing skills that Carrie teaches in the first half of the class are useful in the next portion, where she teaches her popular nest quilt design.  In real time, she describes how to draw the nest, how to cut the fabric, and how to sew the nest design.  It is so fun to watch her build the nest, piece by piece, all while giving great encouragement.  At one point she says that if nothing else, she wants you to trust your creativity and know that you are good enough just as you are.  I love that.   
There is also a small portion at the end of the class that goes over turning children’s art into quilt designs.  I do wish this segment had been longer, but it did get my brain spinning with ideas of how to turn my own daughter’s artwork into a quilt design to treasure forever. 

Carrie teaches so much in this DVD that I think it’s important to discuss what you will NOT learn by watching this DVD.  This is not a how-to-quilt class.  She does not go over basic sewing skills or piecing instructions.  What she does do in this class is teach you to draw and create composition while helping you build up your confidence so that you trust your own creative process.  I’ve already taken what I’ve learned from her class and applied it to the next project I am working on – a raw applique storybook design – which I’ll leave a sneak peak of here.

Would you like to build your confidence as a quilter?  Definitely check out this DVD. You can purchase the DVD or direct download at the Interweave Store.  Better yet, how about a chance to win a copy of this DVD?  Hop over to Carrie’s blogto enter a DVD giveaway for Art Techniques for Quilt Design.  Hurry, the giveaway ends October 4th! 

Thank you to Carrie and Interweave for the chance to review this DVD.  Note that I did receive a free copy in exchange for this review, but all views and opinions are my own!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Apple Season

I signed up for the Apple Dumpling Pouch Swap last month after I had so much fun participating in the Schnitzel and Book Mini Quilt Swap this summer.  I really enjoy making stuff for other like-minded, crafty quilters.  Of course there is the added bonus of getting some secret crafty goodness back in return!


The rules for the apple dumpling swap were to make an apple themed dumpling pouch and fill it with apple goodies.  Michele Patterns provides a wonderful pattern and tutorial for the cute dumpling pouch.  As I was pulling out my fabrics, I was inspired by the aqua and red combination and decided to just run with it. 

My first plan was to do a mini granny square, but even at 4 inches square, it was still slightly too big to fit completely on the dumpling pouch side (those pouches are pretty small!) so I turned it into a mini pincushion instead.  I went back to the cutting mat and decided to continue on my Dresden plate kick and made a tiny Dresden plate for the dumpling pouch instead. 

Seriously people, these mini dresdens are ridiculously cute (pattern from Westwood Acres fabric), are they not?  I attached it to some lightly quilted Essex yarn died linen in indigo.  I'll admit it was hard to give this dumpling away!

I also wanted to make my partner a little something else when I came across this fabric basket tutorial by Ayumi of Pink Penguin fame.

But I couldn't stop there.  I have had the book, Heather Ross Prints, for quite some time.  Knowing that my partner was a Heather Ross fan, I made her some notepads using the instructions from the book.  People, these notepads were so easy and satisfying to make.  I think everyone in my life will get one at some point. 

My partner, Courtney, received her basket of apples yesterday and sent the nicest thank you note.  I really enjoyed creating this package; it was a great way to try some new things I've been wanting to check off my to-make list for quite some time.  Of course I already have plans for more mini dresdens.