What’s In The Box?

I have been very lucky that I have been super busy the last few months.
It is very exciting to have several projects in many different magazines.
This month I have the pleasure of being in not one,

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not two,

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but three magazines.

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One of the coolest patterns I have worked on was this optical illusion quilt for Jenny at Love Patchwork & Quilting.

As always it starts with a bit of looking around online and through my photos. After a chat with Jenny on what would be a good selection of fabrics I narrowed it down to a few of the new lines from Art Gallery. Because most new fabric ranges are available online as jpegs, I can easily create my quilt digitally before even ordering the fabrics. This method allows me to shift and reposition the prints to best suit the design. I like doing this!

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Once a decision on the fabric was made ( Winged by Bonnie Christine) I was ready to get quilting so the great people at Hantex sent me over what I needed and away I got to cutting.

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As you can see the finished quilt looks virtually identical to the image above which was made digitally.

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Once it was pinned out the spiral was started on my Janome Horizon 7700.  This machine makes quick and easy work of the full size quilt.
(Thank you to RayStitch for always letting me use the big green table to pin my projects)

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I really like the way this turned out.  Looking forward to sitting warmly under it on the sofa watching some bad tv!

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I even seam matched the back so you won’t be able to find the join.  I dare you to try and find it!

Let’s go for a ride!

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Meet Caleb and Dylan.  My two bamboo bikes made by a company in the states.  I assembled both bikes by myself and love riding them around London.  Caleb and I participated in the London Night Ride together this past year. Dylan is my fixie and has been relaxing on the wall for a bit.IMG_0136Some people might call me a bit bike obsessed.  That might be true but I thought it would be fun to combine my bike with a quilt.  I found a really cool image online not too long ago and my next magazine project was born.

Starting with an illustrator rendering of the chain, I began to deconstruct it into more manageable sections. Playing with the layout to see what looked best.

The result can be found in this months issue of Quilt Now! (issue 9).

image-8It was a fun thing to do.  I enjoy creating my own templates and this one had a few interesting shapes to contend with.  Most people can deal with the Drunkards curves but the other two take a bit of planning.

Once I drew out my shapes I then printed them and added my seam allowance. Scanned them back in and redrew them to the correct size and shape.

On a visit to CT last year, Denyse Schmidt gave me some bundles of her Florence collection so as this quilt was to be mine I thought I would use my own stash to create it. I pulled a few colors that I liked and placed them in the order that appealed to me.

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Then the pressing and cutting began.

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Once all the pieces were in front of me on the table I pieced the easy parts first. I have a curved piecing foot so that is what I used but it can be done the pinning method as well.

DSC_0142With a bit of trial and error I added the outer curves to complete the links.

DSC_0147 DSC_0148 DSC_0149 DSC_0150 DSC_0151That wasn’t so hard so I moved on to the background piece to complete the section.

DSC_0153 DSC_0154As they say, Wash, Rinse and Repeat!.

When the top was finished I pressed out my back and taped it all to the floor when the baby was napping.  With my safety pins in hand I got to pinning.

image-2 image-6 image-7Not sure what to do for the quilting I decided to echo the shape the chain links made.  Unlike a spiral where it is continuous, this has rings that are evenly spaced.

It was a really fun thing to figure out and quilt. image-9

 

 

 

 

Rain or Shine?

I was asked by David at Dashwood Studios to come up with a quilt to use at shows that would display their new Rain or Shine? range.

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A few days later a package arrived at the house with some strike off prints.  I immediately starting to like about what I could do with the very brightly colored prints. Then it hit me, Giant raindrops and an even BIGGER Umbrella!

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My original sketch just had a solid background and while I didn’t want it to take away from the prints I knew it needed something. I found some Kona grey solids and a few sky blues and got to cutting.

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So I decided to cut some squares and then sew them together.  Then I cut some more and added them to the mix.  After a while I ended up with over 100 little trimmed blocks that needed to be arranged.

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I found some space on the living room floor and started to lay them out.  Shuffling them around so the tones were different. 

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Next was the blue!

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I made my Raindrops and Umbrella pieces using some interfacing and then carefully appliquéd them in place.

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The finished Quilt all ready to be sent to David.DSC_0215 DSC_0228 DSC_0226 DSC_0219

 

Let’s Quilt Now!!!!!

This past year I had the pleasure of seeing my friend Katy Jones at the Festival of Quilts and a brief chat about me doing work for her new magazine, Quilt Now!, turned into this really cool Triangle quilt.

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Since I have never done work for a magazine before I was excited and nervous about giving them what they wanted. Katy sent me a few of her Pinterest boards with the colors she was looking for. After a visit to the Wharf with Haydn I noticed an image on the elevator with random triangles. When I got home I created a digital layout and we were off.

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Step two was selecting fabrics for the quilt. I emailed Annie at The Village Haberdashery and she said to come on by and pick out what I needed. I wanted a bright and fun quilt so I went with some interesting choices.

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Using my layout sketch I trimmed my triangles out and placed them up on my design wall. After a few tweeks here and there we were ready to go. You’ll have to get the magazine for the instructions!!

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I wanted to add a bit of something to the back so I made a large triangle using the scraps I had and some contrasting orange and black to set it off.  With the remaining larger pieces I stripped them down to 2.5″ and bound the quilt in them.

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So now I am working on a few more.  One for the March issue and one for April.

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An Open Book

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So I am a fan of the band Blue October and have been for years.  It started as a bit of an accident.  I had gone to a show with a friend to see another band I like and Blue October was the co-headliner. I was drawn to the music and the lyrics and have continued to follow them over the last 10-11 years seeing them in concert every time they either play in NYC or in London and on a few occasions in San Francisco while we were on vacation.

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This year the lead singer, Justin Furstenfeld released an acoustic album of his songs and was touring the UK and Germany. “Open Book” is a mix of Justin singing and talking about his life.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

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As I follow them on Twitter and Facebook I noticed this cool image that Justin posted before the album was released. I thought it would make a cool quilt.  As some of you know I have been making these pixelated portraits as of late.  I plotted out my image and began to figure out what to use for the black and greys.

Then it hit me, I have some older tour t-shirts that I don’t wear as much as I used to and placed them out to see if I had enough to do what I needed.

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After pressing the shirts flat I started to cut them up.  As they are not quilting cotton I had to interface the back side of the shirts to keep the edges from rolling and fraying.

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Once all the shirts were prepped I figured out the size I was going to cut them up into. After some quick calculations I thought my best best would be 2″ squares ending up with a 1.5″ finished square.

Let the cutting begin!!

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I carefully chopped up the fronts and backs of the shirts into tiny little squares and separated them into color. Most of the squares were black but on some of the shirts I used the printed silkscreen image as varying shades of grey.

Now on some of the other quilts I just gridded up the entire project into 5×5 or 6×6 sections and pieced them together normally.  They were bigger squares and quilting cotton.  Since we were using smaller squares and t-shirts I opted for the fuse and sew method I have seen demonstrated by Oh Frannson! Off we went.

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After a few days of careful planning while Haydn was sleeping I had a finished portrait of Justin.

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Will get to the actual quilting soon.  When I saw Justin in October I mentioned I had made this and offered it to him.  The full band will be back in February so I will plan on getting it to him then.

Choo Choo!!

I was asked by the Simon & Schuster Marketing Department to design a Pop Up for the 2014 Caldecott Awards Banquet. This years winner was Brian Floca for his book, Locomotive. Since S&S is the publisher of the book they get to create the Program that gets handed out at the event.  That means I got to design the Pop and the booklet.

Since many will never see the Pop Up, I thought I would show the construction of it.  I made a white dummy and sent the die line files to Brian and he made this amazing art overnight.

Have a look!

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Been a bit busy!

Sorry for the lack of posts as of late. I have been a bit busy.

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Victoria and I welcomed Haydn into our family in March and everything has been a bit crazy since. Hopefully I will be getting back to regular posts soon.IMG-20140516-WA0000 IMG_0929 DSC_0021

 

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Book Bound?

For the last week of so I have been working non stop on getting a last minute project finished.  At the beginning of Feb I was asked if I would be able to create a quilt for a book on Quilting by DK.  The beginning was a bit slow going until the fabrics were picked. The Editor, Kate picked the prints out.  Not really my taste of style but they are growing on me.

I started with a double pinwheel pattern I made up and sent it over to them for approval.

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The idea was so all the end points lined up but it would leave the quilt on a slight angle which I liked.  What they then asked for was a straight block with sashing around it.

Once the fabric arrived from Cotton Patch, I got to work using a paper foundation method. This would ensure all the blocks were exactly the same.

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So today I managed to get all the sashing sorted and ready for pinning.  Figured I would head to class a bit early so I can use the tables to lay it all out and pin.

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Should end up as a Double bed quilt.  Not to bad.

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What the What?

I was walking down Clerkenwell Road not so long ago and found this. London is full of pretty cool Street Art. You can find them all over if you are looking.

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At first I thought it was just a spray painted face on a wall until I looked closer. I walked past it completely until I got up under it and realized it wasn’t what I thought it was.

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Have a closer look…

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Keep looking…

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This is Me!

As part of the London Modern Quilting Guild we have decided to do a “Meet a Member” section on the blog.  As the new President I thought I would go first.  A few of us came up with some questions, both quilting and non quilting to answer for other members to get a better understanding about what makes us tick, likes and dislikes , etc.. This is mine.  You might also see if on the LMQG blog this week too.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m originally from New York.  Victoria (my wife) and I moved back to London after we got married 3 years ago.  She is British and works for an investment bank who relocated us when her position changed.  I went to F.I.T. in NYC for Advertising and Graphic Design, not Fashion as the name suggests. When I graduated I took my first job designing children’s novelty books for HarperCollins. A few years later I was lucky enough to get to work with Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart, both have changed the way Children’s Pop Up Books were looked at.  After several years as the Art Director I moved to Penguin where I was given the chance to create and design my own pop up books.  My first book was the second place winner of the NY Book Show in 2010  “Everyone Says I Love You”.

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In 2012 I designed and engineered another book called “Spin”which won the Novelty division.

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Since moving to London I continue to design Children’s books for several publishing companies around the world.

What inspired you to start quilting?

My mom has been quilting for a number of years and about 8-9 years ago I asked her to show me how to sew.  I have a black dog and my mom didn’t want to spend many hours making something for me if Lily was going to lay all over it. Over one holiday break between Christmas an New Years she brought in her spare machine and showed me what to do. I have been hooked since then.  It feels like a combination of painting and building but with fabrics and if anyone knows me they know I love building things.  The perfect match in my opinion.

Mom and me at the Columbia Road Market. Mom and me at the Columbia Road Market.

What is your favourite tool or notion?

Going to have to say a seam ripper.  If you ain’t rippin’, you ain’t quiltin’.  I like to think I am fairly competent on my machine but no matter how good you are you will always make a mistake or find a seam that could be done better. My little Clover ripper is always near by.

What is your favourite fabric right now?

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There are too many to choose from.  I am going to have to say my giant bundle of “Florence” by Denyse Schmidt given to me by Denyse herself on a visit to her Studio in CT.  I’m a bit afraid to open it but I think I will and can get over it. Here is my first quilt. DS all the way.

What’s your pet hate?

I hate people who stop walking, dead in their tracks on the sidewalk.  Especially when they stop to take a picture of a shop window.  It’s called a sidewalk for a reason, Walk!

Tea or coffee?

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Tea, 2 sugars no milk

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Do you stick to one project at a time or have several on the go?

I can’t stick to one thing at a time.  My office is a mess of things.  Both book jobs and quilting projects intermingling on the desk.  That goes the same for my knitting and cross stitch projects.  I like having the freedom to pick and choose what I want to work on and when.

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Victoria and my wedding thank you cards. Victoria and my wedding thank you cards.
I was bored. Kay got a knitted skull jacket! I was bored. Kay got a knitted skull jacket!
my little x stitch version on my larger James Dean quilt. my little x stitch version on my larger James Dean quilt.

What are your vices?

I quilt while watching the UFC. Back in NYC I would stand at the island in the kitchen watching the UFC while actually quilting.  Don’t ask me why? That’s just the way it is.  Usually I bind to Law and Order because no matter where you are in the world you can always find an already viewed episode on TV.

Hand or machine quilting?

Machine.  Was lucky enough to get a Janome Horizon a while back. While I piece everything on the machine I do finish binding by hand.  I think if you are going to spend all that time and money on a quilt it should be finished by hand.

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What’s your favourite film?

That’s hard to say.  Growing up I was a Pulp Fiction fan. Have seen it dozens of times and each time you watch it is see something new. I would probably say most of the Fast and Furious movies.  Cut me some slack! I’m a guy and I like cars.  If you ask Victoria she would tell you my movie selections are on the girly side of things.  Who doesn’t like a good chick flick from time to time.

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Favourite band?

A number of years ago a friend had won some concert tickets from work to see a band that I liked and few that I didn’t really know.  We both ended up liking one of the not known bands and have been a huge fan since then.  If we have met in person at any time in the 3 years I have been in London you would have seen me in one of the dozen or so concert shirts I have from a band called Blue October. An Alt Rock band from Houston Texas. Since my first show I have probably been to at least a dozen shows both in the States and in London.

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What do you do when your not quilting?

When I am not quilting I am building elaborate pop ups for different Publishers around the world. I always have a scissor and paper with me.

My 75th Anniversary Pop Up for Madeline. Out in early 2014 from Penguin. My 75th Anniversary Pop Up for Madeline. Out in early 2014 from Penguin.
A Pop Up Firetruck with Teddy Bears for the Book Company in Australia. A Pop Up Firetruck with Teddy Bears for the Book Company in Australia.
my paper monsters for Caterpillar Books. my paper monsters for Caterpillar Books.

I am also training for the London Nightrider again on a Bamboo bike I built.

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100K through the streets of London at night raising money for Battersea Dog and Cat Home.  Feel free to Donate with the link above.

Victoria and I have been fostering since we moved back to London. We have had three amazing Staffies.

The big mush, Philip. The big mush, Philip.
the the “is that my ball” Leroy
and the 14 year old, Kay. and the 14 year old, Kay.

First live band?

My first Concert was Poison and Warrant at Nassau Coliseum back in 1990. I was 14 years old and my neighbor took me. Since then I have been to 100’s of shows. I’m a child of the 80’s. Hair Metal was what I listened to.

Radio 1's Hackney Big Weekend 2012 Radio 1’s Hackney Big Weekend 2012