New Month, New Fabric, New Coloring Page!

The garden is in full bloom at Casa Hersey - tulips, begonias, spinach, kale - it runs the gamut! I can't take any credit for the lovely and delicious things growing in our yard...I have a brown thumb when it comes to plants, so I stick to drawing flowers that can't die and leave the gardening to my green-thumbed, botanically-gifted husband.

Speaking of flowers I've drawn, my latest collection of patterns - Acadia -  is now available on Spoonflower.

Acadia Quilt

This collection was inspired by our visit to Acadia National Park and our wide-spread exploration of Maine a couple of summers ago.

Acadia Pattern Collection

As frequent visitors to the western United States, it was quite a change to spend time along the northeastern coast. The flora and fauna are so different from what we're used to, either at home or traveling. In this collection, I've tried to capture some of the unique beauty found in the Acadia region.

The artwork from this collection is featured in this month's coloring page. I hope you enjoy it!

Bonfire Sampler - A Sister Sampler Quilt

I had the pleasure of hearing AnneMarie Chany of Gen X Quilters talk about her book, Sister Sampler Quilts, at a recent meeting of Columbus Modern Quilters. Her talk was inspirational, and her quilts were gorgeous! I picked up a copy of her book, and dove right in.

The book features traditional piecing methods and modern, out-of-the-box layouts and quilting. The premise of Sister Sampler Quilts is that each block in the sampler is made in pairs - giving you an instant opportunity to change the way you work with the colors and prints to achieve different looks. I chose a selection of fabrics from Elizabeth Olwen's Park Life collection, along with a few Kona cotton solids.

AnneMarie's directions are clear and very well-written - each pattern was easy to follow, and the technique tutorials really helped with some of the trickier bits (curves, for example). I learned some new things that are sure to show up in my future quilts.

I had so much fun making the Bonfire Sampler from the book, in part because I didn't have a chance to get bored. Since you're making just two of each block before moving on, you don't get burned out doing the same thing over and over. I'm pretty sure I finished this quilt in record time - for me, anyways!

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Embracing this sampler as a learning opportunity, I opted to do something outside of my comfort zone for the quilting. Instead of doing a basic meandering pattern or straight line quilting, I did different types of FMQ (free motion quilting) for each of the blocks, with an orange peel sort of frame around them all. I used straight line quilting and a meandering pattern in the border, and while I can see I need more practice on the FMQ, I'm really pleased with the end result.

Veranda Quilt Pattern

In January, I released my Hideaway fabric collection to Spoonflower, and decided it was high time I made a quilt with my own fabric. I came up with a simple pattern that allowed me to show off the prints, and I'm calling it the Veranda quilt.

I received a lot of positive feedback on this quilt, and by popular demand, I'm excited to offer this free pattern to you! The instructions include directions for a throw size quilt (60" x 60") or a baby quilt (48" x 48"), but this 12" finished block can be used to make any size quilt your heart desires!

You can download the pattern here, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed designing it - Happy Quilting! And be sure to share your quilt on IG - #verandaquilt

2016 - The Year of Big Quilts!

Last week I declared that while I don't make New Year's resolutions, I did resolve to try and make big quilts this year. That's right...I don't always follow the rules, even when they're my own.

For my first big quilt of 2016, I decided on a Double Wedding ring quilt made with fabric from our recent wedding (fitting, I know). We used homemade cloth napkins for the reception, which have been washed, rewashed, and pressed, as well as fabric from various items like the ring pillow.

I know that it is a luxury that a typical modern quilt is made from lovely fabric, purchased for the purpose of quilting, cut into a bunch of pieces and sewn together as part of a plan. I kind of like that this quilt shares something with the quilts of my ancestors - made from fabric that served another purpose first and led a good, useful life before it became a quilt.

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I splurged and purchased the Simpli-EZ Double Wedding Ring Ruler set in an attempt to not lose my mind cutting or tracing the many many many many pieces needed for the quilt. So far, I have managed to cut 607 tiny wedges without completely losing my mind.

One day soon I'll be able to get to the fun part...the sewing. But for now, I need to run and buy some more blades for my rotary cutter.