Interview with Amanda Murphy

I am really excited to share this interview I had with Amanda Murphy. 

About six months ago I reviewed her book Color Essentials. Amanda is also the author of Modern Holiday: Deck the Halls with 18 Sewing Projects Quilts, Stockings, Decorations & More.


Thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your sewing and quilting career.

1.    Tell us about your family, kiddos, husband, pets.
 
I live with my husband and two kids in North Carolina. 
 

2.    I read that you started quilting at an early age.
Well, I started sewing at an early age, but I didnt start quilting until    after my kids were born – about a dozen years ago.

3.   Tell us the story of how did you get started? Did someone influence you?  What was the tween Amanda like?
As a child my two favorite subjects were art and math, so I guess the fact that I like quilting and fabric design is no big surprise!  I also always loved history – decorative arts museum are my favorite.

4.   Where did you grow up? Where did you attend college, and did your major in fine arts help you with your quilting career ?
I grew up in Virginia and attended college at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA.  I was actually an industrial design major but ended up working in print multimedia.  That experience has definitely helped me in terms of being able to keep up a website, put design patterns, etc.

5.   What inspired you to write Modern Holiday and Color Essentials? Are there any other books on the horizon?
Modern Holiday was inspired in part by all those gorgeous holiday fabrics that are now available!  I wanted to do a holiday book that was very graphic in nature – bold and fun.   
    Color Essentials is reflective of the work I did with color in college and also the incredible range of colors in the Kona cotton line. It walks the line between art and quilting for me. (And there are more projects on the horizon, but I cant talk about them yet.)

6.   Tell us about your relationship with Craftsy. How did it begin?
Craftsy originally recruited me at Market to teach classes in machine embroidery.  Now I also teach an appliqué class!

7.  Tell us about your classes with Craftsy, in particular your newest one.
I have two classes in the machine embroidery category – Elegant     Machine Embroidered Bags and Elegant Machine Embroidered Quilts.  It is so fun to pick threads to match quilting fabrics to make something really unique.
 
My 20 Fresh Appliqué Techniques is just that!  I teach your a variety of techniques that will really make your machine appliqué sing!  

 

Some are traditional and some are more unusual.  We make 4 small projects – all with a modern flair.  And we learn to embellish with thread and stitches beautifully!

  

8.   Are appliquéand embroidery your favorite sewing and surface techniques and what draws you to them?
They are some of my favorite techniques – yes.  I tend to love whatever I am working on at the moment!  Im fortunate to work in such a creative industry.

 9. Please show and tell us about your favorite project to date? 
My favorite project to date is my most recent quilt, Flower Power!  It uses a lot of the stitches and techniques I teach in my Craftsy class.  (A coordinating pillow is part of the class.)

10. How did you begin your business Amanda Murphy Design, and how did you grow it?

    I began by sending some design ideas to fabric companies and then started designing patterns. The books, the classes, and my relationship with BERNINA followed.
Modern Lace Fabric – Cool Tones Designed By Amanda Murphy                              
Modern Lace Fabric – Warm Tones Designed By Amanda Murphy

11.What do you see as emerging trends in fabric and quilting in the next 1-2 years?
I see a merging of the modern and traditional movements.  The modern aesthetic is definitely having an influence in the traditional quilting world and the techniques familiar to traditional quilters are seeping into the modern movement.  Also, the embracing of technology by the quilting community is bound to continue and it will be interesting to see where it leads.

Thank you so much for spending this time with us.

Thanks for having me.

Amanda has generously offered a give-a-way; a free link to her recent Craftsy class – 20 Fresh Applique Techniques.  In order to enter, please leave a comment in my comment box telling us what your favorite pattern line is

I will announce the winner on this blog on Friday, July 18 in the morning, EST. Please be sure to leave me your e-mail address so we can get in touch with the winner. Good luck!!
On Another note, Plum & June’s New Quilter’s Blog Hop is containing. I participated and posted on June 3rd. There are many more great quilt bloggers to meet, so please click on the Plum & June Button on my sidebar.

Winner of Fort Worth Fabric Studio Give-a-Way

Thank you to everyone who sent Happy Blogaversary wishes. It means a lot to me, because I enjoy sharing with readers what I am discovering in the quilt industry, as well as my WIP’s and tutorials.

The lucky winner of the $25 Fort Worth Fabric Studio gift certificate is ScottyLover.

Please e-mail me at (acbeier71@gmail.com) with your snail mail address so Fort Worth Fabric Studio can send you the gift certificate. Congratulations and happy shopping!!


On Fridays, Fort Worth Fabric Studio offers some great bundle deals. And a special thank you to Jodie for offering this gift certificate.

And The New Blogger’s Blog Hop will be hopping to the next group of new quilt bloggers. Click on Plum and June’s button to check them out. I’m looking forward to visiting these new blogs too. And a special thanks to Beth for coordinating this great blog hop.

Happy Reading and Happy Quilting!!

Quilts and Color Exhibition at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

This past weekend we had a great time visiting family in Boston. We also made a trip on Saturday afternoon to The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see the Quilts and Color Exhibition, The Pilgrim/Roy Quilt Collection,
http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/quilts-and-color

Does the word “Wow” describe the collection?  You bet it does. 

Artists, Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy collected 59 quilts that were made from the per-revolutionary war period to the early 1900’s. The focus of the exhibit was on the use of color, variations, values, color vibrations and how this body of work parallels the “work of mid-20th century Abstract Expressionist and Op Artists.” (Quote from the web site), http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/quilts-and-color  There were many fascinating references to the color wheel throughout the exhibit in the I.D. labels below the quilts.

This basket quilt was made with cotton silk fabric.
 

When I looked at it from different angles, some of the white squares took on a gray sheen. This illusion is from how the light hits the silky fabric, and from wherever the viewer is looking at it. Pretty cool, huh?

The red star in the quilt below seems to vibrate, when the viewer looks at it.

 

The Carpenter’s Wheel Quilt, below;

This quilt uses yellow, green and red fabric all of the same value.

Simple use of primary and secondary colors were used in many of the quilts in the exhibit that are beautiful and inspiring.

In my post http://www.hudsonvalleyquilts.com/2014/06/welcome-to-new-bloggers-blog-hop-2014.html   Welcome to the New Blogger’s Blog Hop -2014, I discussed two of my favorite quilting tips. One of them was; a mistake is not a mistake. It is an opportunity to learn something new and be creative. 

The quilter who made the quilt below did not seem to be concerned when her flying geese triangles did not match up perfectly.

Nor did the quilter below seem to worry when she ran out of fabric. In the quilt below see the border. The green strip that is fourth from the bottom uses two different greens. The quilter made it work. Another strip of closely colored fabric was added. These “imperfections or mistakes” that we often attribute to our own quilts today, actually adds that unexpected detail. The result makes each of these pieces more interesting, and provides them with character. 

At first I thought maybe it was a mistake on purpose. Many quilters back then, and some still do today, make a mistake on purpose for religious or spiritual reasons. I have no idea if that is the case with any of the quilts in this collection. And I don’t why I think that is not the case with quilt above.

Resources were just not as abundant to quilters then, as they are today. I
thought a lot about that as I was looking at the dates of when these quilts were made. Our foremothers made do.

There was another big detail missing that I noticed in a few of the quilts; something I’ve never seen before. Some left off the top border. Why we thought?  We assumed it was because that top went under the pillow, when the bed was made, and it didn’t show, making it unnecessary. If you have any hypotheses about that, please share in the comments box.

The exhibit runs through July 27, 2014. I don’t think you will  be disappointed in this show at all. It’s a lot to take in, and I was inclined to go back and view it again, but there wasn’t enough time.

On a completely different note, there is still time to enter the give-a-way for a $25 gift certificate, from Fort Worth Fabric Studio in honor of my first blogaversary.

In order to win, sign-up for the Fort Worth Fabric Studio’s newsletter. Please leave a comment in my comments box, letting us know that you signed up for it, and tell us what is your favorite bundle from their web site.

I will announce the winner in the morning, on Wednesday, June 11th on my blog. Also, please make sure you include your e-mail address, so I can contact the winner directly.

AND, don’t forget to stop by Plum and June’s New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop http://plumandjune.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-new-quilt-blogger-blog-hop-and.htm The button is on my side bar.

Happy Quilting!!

Welcome to the New Blogger’s Blog Hop – 2014

It’s very exciting to participate in the New Blogger’s Blog Hop this year. I started this blog almost a year ago to date. On June 6th, it will be my first blogaversary, and I have learned so much about quilting and blogging during this time.

The most amazing part of this journey has been the kindness and support of complete strangers who are quilters and bloggers from all over the country, and internationally. I can’t wait to meet some of my new friends in person at The Chicago Quilt Festival or at Fall Quilt Market in Houston.

I began quilting on October 8, 1994. Why do I know this exact date?  Because later that day I met my wonderful husband!! 

I began taking quilting classes at a local quilt shop. My first project was a hand quilted pillow. Then I learned how to machine piece, machine and hand applique and machine quilt. I still love to hand quilt some pieces, because I find it so relaxing. Others are definitely meant to machine quilt. I am now beginning to design my own quilts, and hope to publish a book someday.

My favorite tips I learned when I first began quilting, and still are;

1. There are no quilting police.

2. A mistake is not a mistake. It is an opportunity to learn something new and elevate your skills and creativity level.

My favorite example;

I was almost finished with a beautiful little quilt. I accidentally made a hole in it with my scissors.  I was so upset. But I remembered number 2.  And I appliqued a little butterfly over the hole which looked great. It gave the quilt an original twist. Everyone commented more on how cute and unexpected the butterfly was than the quilt.

These are a few of the quilts I’ve made over the years;

Honoring The Seasons
 Honoring The Seasons – A close up of a block

Show Off Pattern – Dedicated to our Cat Biscuit

 Double Nine Patch – Dedicated to My Husband  (Emma’s Tail Peeking Out)

 Attic Windows Pattern – Dedicated to Our Cat Emma



My favorite blogging tips are;

1. This is a very image oriented blogging genre, much like food and travel blogs. Images support your content, more so than the other way around.
 

2. Taking a risk in quilt blogging is a lot easier than with more serious blogs that discuss politics or health care reform.  We are lucky!!  Take advantage of the fact.

A Little Bit About Me

I live with my husband and two adorable cats; Biscuit and Emma who regularly appear in blog posts. I have three great step-children and two grandchildren.

Biscuit and Emma



My Favorite color – Yellow.

Favorite vacation spot so far – Maui, Hawaii.

Favorite Movies – “Cinema Paradiso,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Notebook” and “The Run-a-Way Bride.”


Favorite BooksA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Ann Barrows.


Favorite Musicians – The Beatles, Billy Joel, Phil Collins and Miles Davis.


One thing most people don’t know about me – I climbed to the top of 

El Capitan at Yosemite National Park.

There are many other fascinating and talented new quilt bloggers participating in this blog hop. Please stop by and visit their blogs for more information, inspiration and fun.

http://smilestooloudly.wordpress.com/ 
Sarah @ Smiles Too Loudly


http://negligentstylee.blogspot.com/
Vera @ Negligent Style

http://www.michellebartholomew.com/ 
Michelle @ Michelle Bartholomew

Katie @ Good Golly Ginger

http://meadowmistdesigns.blogspot.com/
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs

http://janainamachado.blogspot.com/ 
Jana @ Jana Machado 

http://www.leighlaurelstudios.com/ 
Karin @ Leigh Laurel Studios


http://tiesthatbindquilting.wordpress.com/ 
Kim @ Ties That Bind Quilting

http://quiltingjetgirl.com/

Yvonne @ Quilting Jet Girl

I would really like to hear from you – Please leave a comment in my comment box telling me;

1. What draws you to keep reading a blog or subscribe to it?

2. When you see a quilt, what makes you say, “Wow?”

Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

Creating and making a quilt is a very gratifying experience. Blogging is challenging and creates the opportunity to learn and meet other incredible people in the quilting community. I love being on this journey.

Happy Quilting and enjoy the journey!!

WIP Pick and Mix

Over the weekend, I laid out all 80 squares for my king size Pick and Mix. 



It took about 2 hours, and I still wasn’t satisfied with the final block arrangement. The values of some blocks that were next to each other weren’t working for me.




I number each row and square.  For example; Row 1/1, 1/2 and so on. I will lay it back out again and move the blocks around until it works.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the New Quilter’s Blog Hop which I will be participating in. My post will be Wednesday, June 4, as well as some of the other new bloggers. The hop continues into July, and I will post links to other blogs so you can read about their experiences too. 

Thank to Plum and June http://plumandjune.blogspot.com/for organizing and sponsoring this blog hop.

And, I’m linking this WIP Wednesdays with Freshly Pieced, http://www.freshlypieced.com/2014/06/wip-wednesday-with-guest-host-lucy-from.html