Friday, July 24, 2015

The Making of a Magazine Cover: Modern Quilts Unlimited Summer 2015

Who me?  A cover girl?  No way!!!

But it happened, and I am thrilled beyond measure.  Here is the story....

"Crazy Dresdens" began last fall, when I wanted to have some blocks to demo on in the Wonderfil booth at Quilt Market.  They make such superb threads.  I especially love their #12, Spagetti, for combining machine and hand stitching.  Their #8 rayon threads, Razzle and Dazzle, are great for adding extra handwork with lots of glimmery style.

I loved getting to know the Wonderfil folks as I demo-ed in their booth, and learned a tremendous amount from them. 
Because I would be showing how you can use their thread in both the machine and with handwork, I had to have some blocks ready.

Here are some of the blocks up on my design wall.  I assembled the Dresdens onto plain backgrounds using trims in between the blades.  This is a super cheater way to make Dresdens and you know me, I am not a piecer!
My goal was to include some crazy quilt elements--decorated seams, "random" selection of stitches, threads, and colors (though nothing is really random in my world)--but keep a fresh and simple affect and lay-out.

Here's a detail of a mostly stitched up block.

That line of stitching that looks like quilting is actually a running stitch.  I machine quilted on either side of it later in invisible thread to make it pop up.

Before I put the centers on the Dresdens and in the sashing, I had to do some practice to get my tension right and stitch length where I wanted it.

But once I was in business, away I went!

You can't imagine how much I enjoyed this.  Having an AccuQuilt Go circle die added to my enjoyment, believe me.

I chose a wool batting for it because A) I wanted this to be a warm couch quilt and I love how wool batting just radiates a nice warm glow and B) I wanted the quilting to be very dimensional, to show off that handstitching.

Basting away with pins here.
My Sweet Sixteen made the quilting really enjoyable too.  What a blessing it is to have great tools.

That backing fabric is pretty perfect, too, isn't it?

Here's a quilting detail.

There may be too much "open space" for today's quilting trends...but I wanted this quilt warm, and that means I needed air inside the layers to warm up when the quilt is draped over my snuggling body on the couch on a chilly winter's day.  Plus, the quilt didn't need it a ton of quilting, design-wise.

To see how the rick rack binding was done, you will have to buy the magazine! ;-)

It goes on sale August 1st.  Subscribers will be receiving their copies this coming week.

My thanks to Carol Zentgraf, my editor, and Vicki Case Anderson, the owner of Meander Publishing, for giving me the opportunity to write for them.  I loved every second of this project.


Well, obviously I haven't blogged in awhile.  I am working full bore on my book for C & T, and it is Top Secret!  All I can say is it is not crazy quilting!
It is very hard for me not to share my work, but I want you to know that I am fully documenting everything as I go, and will have an extensive "behind the scenes" look, like this blog post, after the book comes out. 

Meanwhile, I am posting away on Facebook under Allison Aller--friend me!  And I'm on Instagram too, under alliealler.  Lots of garden posts these days...