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.  : )