March 22, 2017

Walk With Me . . .

I've picked up the pace of my daily walking since the first of the year and it feels great. Unfortunately I haven't kept up the same pace with my blogging posts so it's time for a little catch up. These photos cover walks over a period of time, but they do have a common theme.

I walk on all sorts of terrain. Crushed rock trails like the one behind my house. Roads. Mountain trails. Boardwalks. Grassy trails. And of course concrete sidewalks.

Regardless of the trail surface, I need to spend a fair amount of time watching my step.
Here are a few of the things I see when I'm looking down.

It fascinates me how the simplest of things can capture my attention if I look for them. If I just pay attention. Things like the shadow from a seed pod . . .

The cracks in the sidewalk . . .

Or the cracks in parched soil . . .

Things left behind and blown around . . .

Things peeking through . . .

Interesting surface textures . . .

And tracks left by those who went before me  . . .

I love to isolate details of line and shape with my camera. To focus in on how they can be cropped into pleasing compositions. I'm amazed at how a simple group of cracks in the pavement can be cropped into numerous compositions. Try it the next time you go for a walk.

Least you think I spend all my time staring at my feet, I'll leave you with this beautiful composition of line found far above my head . . .

Do you enjoy walking? The weather is getting nicer and nicer so get outside and take in some fresh air. It's time for me to take another walk. See you later.  : )

You can see photos from my other Walk With Me posts here.


February 9, 2017

Colorado Cadence: BMQG Charity Quilt for QuiltCon 2017

I'd like to introduce Colorado Cadence . . . 
Boulder Modern Quilt Guild's charity challenge quilt for QuiltCon 2017

Boulder Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon charity quilt, Springleaf Studios

The Boulder Modern Quilt Guild has made a QuiltCon charity quilt since the challenge first began in 2014. Making charity quilts has always been a large part of the BMQG's mission and I'm thrilled to say we have donated more than 50 quilts over the past three years. For a small guild, averaging around 24 members, I think that's pretty amazing!!!

Today I'd like to share the process we went through to bring Colorado Cadence to fruition.

When the color palette and theme were announced by TheMQG, we talked about possible directions we could use to depict the idea of scale and agreed upon the color palette we wanted to work with. We also chose to use mostly prints rather than working with solids as we have done in previous years. Using the prints allowed us to use scale at the micro level within the design which gave the final quilt even greater variety and depth.

As chairperson, I developed a few ideas to review at our the next meeting. One of those ideas came from our President, Cynthia, who had seen an article about Roberto Burle-Marx, a Brazilian landscape designer. The article included this wonderful mosaic. 

photo by Scott Zona shared via Flickr Creative Commons

At the review meeting, everyone agreed the mosaic offered wonderful opportunities for exploring the use of scale. The next step was to develop the design. Squares and circles, structured through the use of color blocking, was the basis of our concept. The super large areas of color provided an additional level of scale beyond that within each block. 

Boulder Modern Boulder Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon charity quilt, Springleaf StudiosQuilt Guild, QuiltCon charity quilt, Springleaf Studios

I started with big blocks of color which provided the larger scale element of the quilt. Then things were broken down into 12" blocks and the basic design elements of squares and circles came into play.

Boulder Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon charity quilt, Springleaf Studios

More and more details were added which provided texture and variety. And with each progressive refinement more and more movement and rhythm was introduced to the overall design.

Boulder Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon charity quilt, Springleaf Studios

The layout was then broken into sections based on color and packets of fabric were pulled together that included a small amount of a solid plus a few prints. Participating members were asked to sign up for 2 or more blocks of a given color and to supplement with fabrics from their own stash. In this way we added even more variety to the quilt. Sewing assignments were designed to be flexible so those who wanted could add their own twist to their blocks. The main criteria was to stick with the color scheme and basic square and circle elements. This worked well for our group and we ended up with a little of both. Some made their blocks exactly as the diagram showed and others took liberties. 

Over a 2 month period, members worked at home and during our monthly sew days to make their blocks. As the blocks came in, I put them up on my design wall at home to keep tabs on the progress.

Boulder Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon charity quilt
Boulder Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon charity quilt

All blocks were due in September. Then, during our October sew day, many people pitched in to sew the blocks together. By the end of the day we had not only a finished top but were well on our way to a finished backing made from the leftovers.

Boulder Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon charity quilt

Our talented President, Cynthia, took everything home at the end of the day. She completed the backing and then worked her free-motion magic by quilting a variety of different motifs in the various sections of the quilt. We are so lucky to have her skills in the guild. She used her sit down Juki mid-arm machine. Look at all this wonderful texture . . . 

By early January it was ready for the finishing touches. Label. Sleeve. Binding.

The vast majority of our guild participated in one way or another. THANK YOU, THANK YOU quilters for all your time and talents. I am so proud of you and our quilt.  This picture shows many, but not all, of the quilters who helped.

Boulder Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon charity quilt

Seeing Colorado Cadence hanging in Savannah with the other charity challenge quilts will be amazing. Many of our members will get to see it in person. While I won't make it to QuiltCon this year, I can certainly vouch for how inspirational it is to see so many quilts, all sharing the same theme and colors, hanging together in one place. AMAZING!!!  And all for charity. Quilters truly are generous people.

The Boulder Modern Quilt Guild is based in Boulder County Colorado. If you live in the area or even if you're visiting, we'd love to have you join us. Evening meetings are the second Thursday of the month and sew days are the usually the third Sat or Sun of the month. We currently meet/sew in Louisville, CO.

Learn more about us by visiting our Facebook page or our website.
Follow us on Instagram too @bouldermqg.


February 3, 2017

Introducing a New Pattern: Interweave

I'm thrilled to introduce my newest pattern. Interweave.

Interweave quilt pattern, Springleaf Studios, Kaffe Fassett

Interweave was designed specifically to feature large scale prints. Kaffe Fassett. Amy Butler. Philip Jacobs. All those beautiful, big prints you're afraid to cut. Go ahead and cut them up. This pattern is the perfect place to show them off.

Interweave quilt pattern, Springleaf Studios, Amy Butler

Interweave quilt pattern, Springleaf Studios, Kaffe Fassett

Interweave quilt pattern, Springleaf Studios, Kaffe Fassett

If big prints aren't your thing you don't know what you're missing. Give them a try. That said, Interweave will make a beautiful quilt with all sorts of different fabric choices. Use your favorite fabric collection. Try different scale prints. Think batiks. I think it would even look stunning in all solids and give you a wonderful space for showing off your free motion quilting skills. Maybe a different motif in every row.

Interweave quilt pattern, Springleaf Studios,

The Interweave pattern includes:
  • A design lesson to help with choosing fabrics.
  • Yardage for baby, throw, twin and full/queen sizes.
  • Information on how to alter the size to meet your needs.
  • Design explorations illustrating additional ideas.
  • Fully illustrated step by step instructions.
  • Coloring pages for all 4 sizes so you can color your own version.

Interweave quilt pattern, Springleaf Studios, Kaffe Fassett

The design looks amazing on a bed. If I'd had enough fabric of the quilt shown above I would have made a queen size for my new guest room. Some of those black and whites have been in my stash for years and I was down to just small amounts so could only manage a small throw. Right now I'm playing with another Interweave throw for the family room using some traditional large scale leafy prints I've hoarded. So many ideas. So much fabric. So little time. Can you relate?

To celebrate both the new pattern and because my birthday was this week, I'm putting Interweave on sale for 20% off. No coupon code needed. Sale runs through Sunday February 6th 2017 ending at midnight CST.
Edited: Introductory sale has now ended.

Head over to Craftsy or my Etsy shop and give Interweave a try. I'd really love to see what you make. Send me a photo, or better yet, post it to Instagram using #springleafstudios and #interweavequilt.

Happy Quilting.


January 16, 2017

Walk With Me

I admit that when the weather turns wintery, I'd much rather be inside with a cup of Earl Gray and a good book. There is something beautiful about freshly fallen snow though. I like the stillness. So here's my latest walk . . .

Snow means  . . .

Have you ever noticed how blue the shadows are on snow?

The trail is barely there. So peaceful . . .

Goose tracks. They don't seem to mind the snow.

I'd rather be sitting here with a beer soaking up the sun but it will be a few months yet.

This wintery white is beautiful but I'm kind of glad it's not going to last. It's supposed to be in the 50's for the next 3 days. Maybe another walk will be in order.

Have you taken any interesting walks lately?

I've created a Walk With Me tab at the top of my blog so now you can find links to all my walks in one place. If you like these white images, you might also take a look at my White post found under the Color Inspiration tab. Take a look and then go take a walk.  : )


December 14, 2016

Wrapping up Four Years with the Mid Century Modern Bee

Four years ago, Cindy of Live A Colorful Life sent me an email. She said she was starting a new bee for quilters that were 50+ in age with a modern aesthetic. I will be forever grateful for that email. It was the start of many online connections and true friendships right when my blog was getting off the ground.

Now, four years later, the Mid Century Modern Bee is coming to a close. Over the years we've had a few people come and go and I've enjoyed meeting each and every one along the way. The bee also gave me the opportunity to make a wide variety of blocks including ones I'd never sewn before. Dresden Plates, Spiderweb, Churn Dash, 9-Patch, Log Cabin, lots of paper piecing . . . these are just a few of the blocks I've had the pleasure of sewing for an amazing group of quilters.

Today I thought I'd share all the blocks made for 2016.

January 2016 for Elizabeth of OPQ, also found on Instagram @occasionalpiecequilt

February for Cindy of Live A Colorful Life, also found on Instagram @liveacolorfullife

March for Linda of Chirp, also found on Instagram @lkhomework

April for Stephanie of Peas in a Pod, also found on Instagram @stephiepeterson

May for Carla of Grace and Favour, also found on Instagram @carla_knit2yarns

June for Rene' of Rene' Creates, also found on Instagram @renecreates

July for Sherri of A Quilting Life, also found on Instagram @aquiltinglife

August for Mary of Needled Mom, also found on Instagram @needledmom

September for Mary of Mary on Lake Pulaski, also found on Instagram @maryonlakepulaski

October for me here at Springleafstudios and also found on Instagram @springleafstudios
I had everyone make the letters for the word Bee. I asked each quilter to use their favorite fabric for the capital B and was quite surprised that I got so many reds and bluish greens. At this point I have only a very vague idea of how I will use these. It will be a long while before the concept works itself out into a finished quilt. When done it will be a lovely reminder of my connections to these women.

November for Nancy of Patchwork Breeze, also found on Instagram @patchworkbreeze

December for Elizabeth of Pieceful Life, also found on Instagram @piecefullife

Isn't the word "Bee" just the perfect block to bring this bee to an end?

It most certainly was another year of variety and fun. I'm sorry to see the bee come to an end but happy to know my friendships will go on. Thanks for a fun four years ladies. And thank you Cindy for inviting me to play along.


November 18, 2016

Walk With Me

Time for another walk. Are you ready?

I love taking walks in the fall.
I love kicking up the leaves and hearing them crunch beneath my feet.
I love the colors of fall . . . yellows, golds, oranges, reds.

This walk was all about color . . .

The soft yellow and gold in the photo above was a happy accident as I didn't realize the camera setting was on soft. The painterly quality of the image is just lovely. In another life, I'd love to be a painter. I dabble here and there but have little real training. My aunt was a wonderful watercolor artist and I believe I inherited her artistic side.

As I walked, I noticed that some trees are still completely full of leaves and beautiful glowing colors. The range of colors here is just amazing . . .

On the other hand, some trees have only a handful of leaves still hanging on set against an intense clear blue sky . . .

The park nearby has this lovely mini grove of trees. The band of bright green running through the middle of the photo caught my eye.

The intensity of the reds is always beautiful. Colorado falls are mostly yellows and golds so the really red reds here and there are a real treat . . .

The golden tones of ornamental grasses simply glow this time of year . . .

After all the beautiful colors, this is what I found outside my back door this morning. White! We've had a lovely long fall but this was bound to happen sooner or later . . . 

I'm hanging on to fall just like this last little leaf . . . 

In case you're wondering, I am still sewing. A little. Just not as much as usual because we've got some house projects that are eating into my time right now. 

Hope you enjoyed another walk with me. Each time I go out now I find myself looking at things in a whole new way. Try it. You might be surprised at what you actually see.