Tag Archives: quilt

A Big Debut

I am thrilled I can finally announce my big news:  this beauty is mine.  Arbor Lane, JoAnn’s 2010 QuiltBlock of the Month quilt design, is mine.  My goal for this quilt was for it not to look like a Block of the Month.  I wanted to develop a design that had never been done before.  I love medallion quilts, but had never made one, let alone design one.  Why not?  A girl can dream, can’t she?  I must admit, the team was skeptical.  Designers had tried to fit a medallion quilt into monthly kits before, but it hadn’t ever worked.  Too many restrictions on shapes, number of pieces, and a lot of behind-the-scenes details.  But I was determined.  After all, nothing presents a challenge like hearing “that’s never been done before.”

Here’s are photos of the quilt top in my home, before it went to the longarm quilter to work her magic:


I’ll be sharing the genesis of Arbor Lane with you each day this week.  I give you a sneak peek into my design process, unveil thumbnail sketches, alternative color palettes, and designs that ended up on the cutting table and never made it into the quilt.  It’s going to be fun week:  don’t miss it!

To kick things off in a grand scale, let’s have a contest, shall we?  I’ll be giving away a fall color palette of fabric to the lucky quilter who can guess how long it took me to make this quilt.  Leave your guess in the comment section and I’ll award the fabric at the end of the week.

Red: July’s Color-of-the-Month

Welcome to the July Color-of-the-Month slideshow, offering tips on using red in your quilt palette.  This month’s show features Red in traditional, spare, summertime, and Christmas color palettes!   This month I host Buggy Barn, Henry Glass Fabrics, Debbie Grifka, Benita Skinner, and more, sharing fabric designs and gorgeous quilts.  Get inspired to create a fabulous quilting project and remember to support the participants of each month’s show! (If the text is too tiny in the presentation, click on the Fullscreen link to view it Full Screen.)

5 Fabulous Ways to Use Red in a Color Palette

One More Peek at Pink

February is almost over, and I’ll miss our look at everything pink this month.  Being the only woman in a household of boys and men, it was delightful to play with pink fabrics, thread, pomegranates, baskets, and paints.  I don’t want to say adieu, but March calls.

A couple more peeks at pink.  I’ve shared this quilt before but wanted to do so again, as I don’t make many pink projects.  This quilt was for a baby adopted by friends, and I had so much fun basking in toiles, paisleys, and pastels.  It truly was a joy to make.

Here’s one of several blocks I made to makeover a Log Cabin quilt that was my very first.  You can see both here in my Extreme Makeover Quilt Edition video:

Goodbye pink!  We had so much fun together.  I look forward to the lessons and joys ahead in this creative journey called Color-of-the-Month.

My Kindle’s Here! My Kindle’s Here!

I’m like a kid at Christmas – my Kindle’s here!  After putting off buying one for too long, I’ve finally succumbed to Kindle love.  I’m an avid reader, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Kindle once Amazon lowered the price.  Now it’s here and guess who downloaded the first books?  My sons!  My younger son downloaded a classic Beverly Cleary book Ralph S. Mouse, and my older son downloaded the latest Alex Ryder novel.  This was after they tried a sample chapter first.  I took both boys to the doctor this morning with coughs and sore throats, and they devoured books on the Kindle en route.  It was beautiful silence.
A nice surprise – some quilt books are available on the Kindle.  Mostly the state documentation books, like Tenneessee Quilts, and all the photos are in black and white, but it’s lovely to have some quilt love on the Kindle too.
So excuse me, but I have to catch up on my reading.  And my first Kindle book?  The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.  It’s a great novel about cooking and relationships, and I wanted to read it over the summer but couldn’t find it locally.  The Kindle makes reading so easy, especially for book lovers.  Goodbye Law & Order, hello novels.

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Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks: Old Glory is Mine!

old-glory-by-maria-peagler

When Carolyn Beam from Quiltmaker asked me to participate in their 100 Blocks issue I was thrilled to contribute, as Quiltmaker is the magazine I recommend most to my students.  It’s a great learning tool, and their 100 Blocks collector’s issue does not disappoint.  It’s packed with appliqued, pieced, and mixed-technique blocks, so no matter what your taste, you’ll find something that you love and can’t wait to make.

qm100blockscover200px

Here’s a sneak peak at the behind-the-scenes detail of my block:

Inspiration: I used my color journal as I discuss in Color Mastery:  10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts.  You would think I already know what’s in my own journals as often as I write about them.  I was wowed by how many patriotic quilts and memorabilia I had pasted in those pages.  I have three patriotic quilts in my den (above the mantel, over the sofa, and on the foyer wall), but I knew a patriotic block would be a classic that quilters would love to make and use often.  I do wish I could have included photos of my journals here, but they are at Quilter’s Newsletter being photographed for an upcoming excerpt of my book.

Design: I adore simple, elegant blocks, and do not enjoy making quilt blocks with a lot of tiny little pieces.  It’s actually far more difficult to design a simple block that looks sophisticated than it is to make one with 70 pieces.  This one came together after I remembered my mission:  Connecting, Playing, and Longevity.  Old Glory connects me with so many other women of generations past who honored their country by making patriotic quilts.  Playing?  I had fun playing with the pinwheel design in the star area of the block.  I played with several options and decided on this version after I loved the movement it created.  And what block design could have more longevity than a patriotic block?  It’s one that will be made again and again.

Colors:
Red, white and blue of course, but which ones?  The flag block needs high contrast for each part of the design to show well.  I mapped the hue, value, and intensity of each color, so I’d know exactly which ones would work together to create harmony.  Blue is the easiest, as navy is the classic dark, dull blue used in most flags and quilt blocks.  So what about the red and white?  I went to my stash and found two red fabrics:  both pure red (no orange or raspberry hues) and they were a dull intensity and medium value.  The white fabrics were both bright white and would be more intense than cream or off white, but were needed to balance the navy and red.  I adore how they all coordinate to give a crisp look.

Construction: Here’s a secret:  all 1/4″ seams are not created equal.  For this block, and others I’m making for a quilt I designed for a fabric manufacturer’s block of the month, I find a true 1/4″ seam works well for strip piecing.  However, when you piece triangles, a scant 1/4″ is far more accurate, as a true 1/4″ makes the block too small.  Try it on the Old Glory block and it you’ll find this method works beautifully and gives super-accurate results.

I envision Old Glory set in a quilt with alternating plain blocks and lots of gorgeous feather quilting.  Wouldn’t it look great for July 4th?

Follow the 100 Blocks Blog Tour daily Nov. 9-13 at  for inspiration, ideas and giveaways! The collector’s issue is in your local quilt shop, or purchase it at the Quiltmaker website.

Here’s your own chance to win the issue and make your own quilt using Old Glory!  Leave a comment telling me how you would use Old Glory in your quilt or project, and I’ll choose a winner Thursday.  Watch here for your name to be announced!

My Journals’ Humble Beginnings

Abstract drawing from my journal

Abstract drawing from my journal

Keeping a journal has transformed my art. It’s hard to believe initially I resisted keeping a journal of any kind, as writing is my profession and I didn’t want to do more of it at home. Surely I keep visual journals and sketchbooks as well, but I started by keeping a simple journal of things I was grateful for every day.

I tried to list 100 things to be grateful for in my life - went well over!

I tried to list 100 things to be grateful for in my life - went well over!

I got this idea from Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and also the idea of a Discovery Journal. From these humble beginnings came my sketchbooks and quilting journals I’ll be sharing with you later.