Post Tulum…

After an action-packed, fun-filled week in Tulum, I have spent the last three days on my recliner.
It has been great to sleep in and lounge.
Today, I decided to read emails and catch up with my blogs.
I saw that Abbie, of Sparkle On, had posted the first block for the mystery quilt,
I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along .
Abbie did such a great job on the first block, and her enthusiasm is catching.

It just so happened that I had some seasonal fat quarters and white fabric remnants, so  I decided to give it a try.
The snowflake pattern is by Vanda Chittenden .

Block #1
I named this block, Snowflake in a Winter Forest.

It seems that ever since I started quilting, I have become more aware of the color, designs, and patterns around me.
While in Tulum, my design sensory mode was at an all time high.
On Sunday, I started playing around with some of the designs I had captured in photos, my sketch book, and in my head.
First, I created a design on Pattern Jam, so I could get a sense of color.
These are not exactly the colors I want, but it is a start.

Pattern Jam does not allow for designs in the sash or borders.
So, I used this design to sketch another that had some blocks to represent the ruins.
I also added a zig-zag pattern.

The border may be striped material, or strips of different fabrics.
Or, the border may be floral.
This is just a preliminary sketch.
I started thinking of the possibility of making blocks that have embroidered flowers.
I hesitate to start an embroidery project since the repeated action of embroidering affects my hands.
For now, I will continue designing Tulum quilts, while the experience is still fresh.

Tomorrow, I will start binding the Wild About Texas quilt.
Or, I may just go back to my recliner.

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Pattern Jam

Since I am still in a holding pattern, looking for something to do, I started creating quilt designs on Pattern Jam.
This is a pretty cool site that gives a quick visual of what can be done with different block designs and fabric.
I also enjoy looking at the library of designs shared by others.
These are my designs for today:

Autumn Day
Actually, I did this one a few days ago.


Fiesta Sky


Native Consciousness


Purple Pause

Summer Day

Sapphire Throne

Oh, the summer night, Has a smile of light, And she sits on a sapphire throne.
Bryan Procter

As children, the neighborhood friends and my cousins (who lived next door)
spent the summer outside…all day.
We’d bolt out the door after breakfast, and explore and enjoy the hot Texas days.
Trees were our friends; as were water hoses, water guns, and tin wash tubs.
We would return to our respective homes for supper; then head out the door to catch the sunset.
Nights were cooler outside, since we had no air conditioners.
Our parents would sit on the porches and watch us exhaust every last bit of energy we still had within us.

How I loved to sit on our brick porch column and look at the summer night sky.

Thinking of these summer nights made we want to read some poems about summer, stars, and evenings.
I pulled out some old poetry and reference books and ran across this poem quote by Bryan Procter.
The next thing I knew, I had an idea for a Summer Night quilt.

Pattern Jam offers a free design tool. I spent a few minutes on this design board and came up with this Sapphire Throne quilt design.  The design tool gives you the option to upload your own stash or choose from a line of their fabrics. Since this is just an idea, and a Project In Waiting, I used Pattern Jam fabrics. I have used this design tool before, but I have never purchased fabric from Pattern Jam.
I chose to use the Sawtooth Star block and a simple 4 Patch.

This quilt is now on my ever growing list of PIW.

Quilt of Valor

Last week, I went to Pattern Jam to try out some designs for the QOV.
I used fabric photos from the collection on Pattern Jam just to give me an idea of a color scheme.
First Design

This afternoon, I spent some time looking at different Quilt of Valor designs.
On Pinterest, I found a pattern for a 5 point star that I thought was pretty cool.
American Quilting has a great tutorial on how to Stack, Cut, and Sew Stars.


I thought I might use these stars for the QOV, but then I pulled out the
Lucinda Ganderton book, Block a Day.
I am a little more comfortable working with the 12″ blocks.
The star is appliqued onto an 8″ block, and I know I can make that into a 12″ block.
But, I just couldn’t come up with a design using the star blocks.
I still plan to try my hand at the stack and cut stars, but not for this project.

The blocks I chose from Ganderton’s book include: Mississippi Spin, Spinning Heart, Variable Star, Pennant, and Friendship Star.
Second Design

I originally planned a quilt with three rows, sashes, and two borders.
But, the QOV site suggests that an ideal size for a quilt would be 60″ x 80″.
This design did not meet the minimum size required, which is 55″x 65″.
Third Design

This is my second plan.
As I posted this plan, I realized that I will need to turn some of the blocks to keep it symmetrical.
I will be in Dallas this weekend, and I plan to shop for fabric.
The patriotic fabric is out now.
I have seen some at JoAnn’s and Wal-Mart.
I would like to have some of the red and blue with a sprinkle of gold.
Then, I can use a gold for the sash.
The pennant block would look good with a star fabric and a stripe fabric.
I’m thinking that the heart might be gold, if I can find one that compliments the red, white, and blue.
Maybe a white on white, and a white with gold might work.
I’m still not sure this is the design I will use.
I will be visiting one of my daughter-in-laws and I plan to ask for her ideas.

Getting Ready

Spring time in Texas is beautiful and inspiring.
The wildflowers are a lovely sight.
I finally got to the Quilt Haus today, and purchased the Moda Wildflower VIII.
Apparently, this fabric is selling off the shelves at the local quilt shops.
Even the online companies have sold most of the stock on this line of fabric.
As I was purchasing the fabric, there was another customer waiting for some of the same bolts of fabric I had on the table.
There are past years of Moda wildflower fabric, and other lines.
However, my opinion is that the Moda VIII is a more natural design.
It gives more of a feel of the wildflower fields gracefully blowing in the wind.
I was not able to find the white background with the multiple colors of wildflowers, since the shop had sold out.
Luckily, my friend, Nancy, bought some for me at A Quilter’s Folly.
Before I start on this quilt, I need to finish some small projects that I started.
I am also waiting to receive the fabric from Nancy, and the wildflower portraits from Richard Reynolds.
Hopefully, I will be able to start on Saturday.

This is quilt I designed on Pattern Jam.
I already changed the fabric choice for the three strip blocks.
There was too much green in this design.

 

Texas Quilt

I’m sure quilters have heard of Pattern Jam, but I just ran across it a few days ago.
It is free, and it does have some good features.
But, it is a bit limited as to designing.
I have been trying out a few things for the Texas Wildflower quilt.
Pattern Jam allows you to upload your stash, so I uploaded Moda Wildflower VIII from Country Stittches .
My friend purchased some Moda Wildflower VIII from this site.

I don’t have a final design, but these are a few of the first drafts.
It will probably be all together different from any of these.:)
My plan is to use photographs of wildflowers from Richard Reynolds.
Check out his website…BEAUTIFUL!


This seems to be too washed out.
The photos would be in the white squares.


I like this one better than the first.


Wildflower photos would be in the white squares.

Wildflower photos would be in the white squares.

I found many Texas Map quilts on Pinterest.
I used this pattern from Must Love Quilts to help me draw up my own variations of the pattern.

      

I also order a Texas panel from eQuilter.com . I am thinking of using it as a center of the back panel.

New Tool

My son uses a design program when he is planning a piece of furniture he will be building.
He asked if there were any quilting design programs, and that was the first I ever thought of something like this.
After a bit of researching, I found a free program, Pattern Jam . 
I also found an app for the iPad, Quiltology.

I tried the free program today, and I am still learning how to use it effectively.
One glitch that I ran across was in designing the border.
The border for my Hope quilt is not solid.
It is made of keyboard strips.
I was not able to find out how to insert the different keyboard strips.
The result was a border showing just one keyboard strip.
I will keep playing with this and see if it is worth using.
One benefit I can see already, is the ability to layout the design and color scheme.
This is the result of the Hope quilt on Pattern Jam.

Tonight, I will be attending my first guild meeting.
The Alamo Heritage guild meets at a church that is near my house.
This will give me the opportunity to ask people about quilt design programs.

Oh! Exciting news.
Lucinda Ganderton, the author of Block a Day, commented on my blog!
I was so happy to read what she had to say.
Her book has been a great resource for me.
I highly recommend the book.