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Threadbenders Quilt Shop
Threadbenders Quilt Shop

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Secondary Passions:Purple, Orange and Green

We've been talking about secondary colors, orange, purple and green.
Because they're mixed colors they blend much better than the primaries. They work and play well with others.They also work well with each other.

Round Robin Quilt
You'll probably find more people using two of the three, though.This round robin quilt from the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild features purple and green.
purple and orange quilt

This quilt is from Jennifer at That Girl that Quilt. The purples and oranges are almost singing together.
It takes a little more courage to mix all three.
Lorrie Cranor, improv quilt
We love this improv quilt from Lorrie Cranor. Purple, green and orange are electric colors together. Mix them up, blend them in. You may run with scissors, but they don't. They get along great.

Friday, December 27, 2013

It Is Easy Being Green

We talk about green with envy, looking green when we're feeling unwell, green back dollars and the grass that is always greener. 

Green is a color people have a lot of mixed feelings about. Green is not a color everyone should wear. For clothing, it's marvelous or dreadful and there's nothing in between. And there are endless greens ranging from chartreuse to lodge. 

But we're in the quilter world. Remember? We don't have to wear the colors we work with. And greens give us a cool fresh feeling nothing else can match. 
Several years ago it was fashionable to say that lime is the new neutral. It really is. Green tends to set off any color near it with a beautiful background.
Here are some lovely quilts that glow with their greens.
Four Crosses by Denyse Schmidt
We love the lime next to to the yellow green in this quilt by Denyse Schmidt.
Green Not-Baby Quilt

This Green Not-baby Quilt is a neat take on a rectangular log cabin. What a neat use of strips?
Green with Envy

Heather at Bitty Bird posted this strippy version of a lightning strike. 
Green with Envy Detail
The differing greens dance together.
Go ahead and green one of your quilts. You may find yourself rolling in clover.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Care and Feeding of Quilters: A Holiday Guide

There's a madness that comes with the holidays, but at some point like a storm settled, we quiet down, sit with our families and welcome our friends to a cup of tea, a bite of something wonderful, a taste of Christmas.

So what do you serve your quilting friends? Do you respect their latest diet? With that in mind, I went looking for some sinless Christmas decadence. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. And any quilter I know would melt  at the sight of these tidbits on the table.
This truly sinless fruit Christmas tree is button cute. 

Another sinless effort is this veggie "gingerbread" house by Green Giant.

But for us hard core sweet girls we'll just have to get out the frosting. These reindeer are very sweet in every way. And vanilla icing would make it into a snow man, easily.
This seems perfect for those who just drop in.
But my favorite holiday desert only got  made once. It was supposed to be a jelly roll. That didn't quite work out. 
As I was rolling the roll, there was an unholy argument between one of my cats and one of my guests. It was so unsettling that the jelly roll fell apart in my hands. It lay on the tray in  chunks.
We got out more jelly, pasted it together, covered it with powdered sugar and called it "tree bark in the snow". It won't every happen again because that cat and that person will never be allowed in the same room with each other again.
Disaster as it was, I served tree bark in the snow. No one noticed. They took seconds. They licked their forks and knives.
And that was when I realized the most important thing. That whatever we serve people with love is always perfect, just as it is.

Fill their cups with coffee, coco and tea. Stir to perfection. Drink in the warmth of  holidays, just as they are with the people you love. May yours be happy and bright!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Royal Purple: Shaded in Beauty

When we had kings and queens we dressed them in purple. There were reasons for that. Purple dye was the most expensive and exclusive.

But past that, purple has always been a royal color. The child of red and blue, it's richer and grander than either of them. 

It's stood for passion, for shadows, and beautiful spring flowers have lent their names to purple: lilac, orchid,and iris.

It also goes with anything and is pretty on almost everyone.
Here's some great quilts in purple to inspire you to purple passions of your own.
Lavender and grey baby quilt 

Erica's unexpected grey and lavender baby quilt is a nice weaving of colors.

Flying Purple People Eater

Jessica's Flying Purple People Eater is a great scrappy star quilt with a luscious range of purples.
Purple Poppy Quilt 
A white background  makes such a big difference! The purples that were so dark in the darker quilts brighter and bolder next to white.
Purple Stash Experiment
Finally there's this great purple stash experiment coming out of the North Hampton Area Modern Quilt Guild. Every purple really does go with every other purple.

Do some experimenting of your own. Grab the purple fabric and make a royal quilt!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Orange: Loving Colors You Hate

I love asking people about their favorite colors. I also love asking people if they have a color they hate.

Of course everyone's answer is different. But orange is often the color they like least.

Why is that? It's partially preference, and anyone who lived through the 70s might well be permanently put off burnt orange. I think it's simpler than that.

If you ask people what colors they like best they're likely to say either blue, or pink. Most people can wear some shade of either blue or pink and have done so their whole life. They're picking the colors they're used to wearing.
Not everyone can wear orange. Or should.

But we don't wear our quilts. We don't have to look good in them. Which means there's a world of color we've been avoiding, right outside our door.

But it does wake up a quilt! Orange is sort of like orange juice on a gray day. Everything after that is so much better. A mix of red and yellow, two big show offs, orange has real punch.

It's great as a straight shade.
Add caption
It's electric when it's in different tones.
There is a day in every quilters life, when they look at the colors their quilting with and say, " I'm bored. I want something different. Orange might just be that for you. Grab some OJ and brighten things up.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Primarily Speaking

So far we've talked about red, yellow and blue. You're probably already with me. These are the primary colors. They're primary because they are really separate in themselves. They aren't made of other colors. They're just themselves.

That sounds like a metaphor, but actually that's how they work in design as well. Because they aren't blended from other colors, they are incredibly loud and bossy with other colors. Why are they featured so strongly in kid's prints? Because they really stand out and children love that kind of stimulation. Although I could see it as a reason to choose something else for the hyperactive baby's room.
Of course they're a great way to make a really bold statement.
Modern Mood Circus by Sherri Lyn Wood
This quilt, Modern Mood Circus by Sherri Lyn Wood, is exactly that bold because she worked it in primaries.

Modern Crazy Quilt
This modern crazy quilt by Caroline Heinrich shines in primaries.

Kona Fabric
This new line of Kona Cotton celebrates red, yellow and blue in darker and lighter tones.

From Custom made Quilts

And even a simple patch quilt is cheery and bold.

Don't be afraid to work with primaries. They're bold, direct, bossy and sassy. Just like you!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Playing the Blues

We all get the winter blues. But we love the blues too! Dark and stormy nights, moon shining through darkness, the deep of the ocean, the silence of the lake.

So dig into the blues! Grab your blue fabric and celebrate the richness and the blueberry goodness.

Here are some great Blues quilts.
Cascade quilt by Christina Cameli.

Get into the blues. Don't let them get you down. Move with the rhythm. It's its own Jazz in fabric.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Reach for the Sun: The Warmth of Yelllow

Color is more than the color wheel. The color wheel maps the relationships between colors. Some of us don't care about that at all. How does it make you feel? 

We have cliches about color. We feel blue, we're green with envy, we're having a purple day. We're red hot mad.

But past that, we all have our private feelings about color. We'll be exploring a number of colors and combinations.

by Deaux Petite Souris
When I was younger I used to call it my enemy color. It's not pretty on me. But now I know it's light and heat in my quilt. And right now those sound kind of good.It also can be just goodness. And it brightens everything it's near.

Modern Pickle Relish
Of course yellow comes in a range of shades. Once we stretch a bit, we're into yellow orange, or yellow green. How marvelous!

Black and Yellow Chevron

Notice how much our neutrals change the feeling. This yellow against black and grey feels more dramatic and less sunny. But I still love it.

Use this time to think about colors differently. Reach for a color you never use. It could become your next best friend

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Black and White and Red All Over: Modern Quilts with Snap

Color makes the quilt. We choose our patterns and we execute our stitchery, but what we take in first is the color. And it's great when your colors say"Wow". Particularly when they say it backwards.

Modern quilting celebrates streamed down patterns and bold statements. And nothing is as bold as red, black and white.
Why? Because it's the most dramatic color combination out there. It's the diva of  color combinations.Black and white are direct opposites  and red is as bold as courage or hearts.
One of the fun things about fabric line  collections is that they'll print the same fabric in different ways.
Here's a great run of red, white and black fabric.

It doesn't hurt that its a great print. But the contrast between the black and white is really exciting.
Another print of a different size gives it a different kind of contrast.
And add something with red in it...
You see what I mean.
Of course a great combination is something that's timeless. This quilt called Heart and Hat is over a hundred years old. And still fabulous!
Pick some white, black and red fabric and make a statement that is bold as you are. We've got a shelf of it waiting for you at Threadbenders

Here are some amazing fabrics that

Monday, December 9, 2013

Quilting for Boys: Boy Toy Fabric

Leslie Sischo's Nursery Rhyme Quilt 
With Jackie's new grandson, we're all fluttery about passing around the baby. It's time honored.He's a good sport about that. So is Jackie. Boy, when you do, you see what he's wrapped up in. 

Boy toy panels
It made us keenly aware that  boy fabric can be hard to find. So we were especially delighted to find this collection. It's bright, bold and full of tools and hardware and boy toys.

nuts and bolts fabric

wrench fabric

earth moving panel

Of course if you've got a little girl with a passion for building and Tonka toys, she may love it too. But it's great to have fabrics that any boy can immediately love in his quilt.