An Interview Lee Heinrich – Designer, Author and Blogger of Freshly Pieced

I have always enjoyed Lee Heinrich’s blog Freshly Pieced, and participating in WIP Wednesdays. I finally had a chance to catch up with her and am really excited to share our interview with you, and a give-a-way too. 

We are celebrating my belated 2nd Blogaversary, which was on June 6th. We both tried to have this posted on June 6th. And in all fairness, we both were busy with family matters. Lee was busy with her family visiting from out of town, and her kids were finishing up with school. 


My husband and I were awaiting our third grandchild, who was 8 days late, and finally arrived on Monday, June 9th. Then we ran up to Boston for 24 hours to meet Nolan, our new grandson. I will save that story for another post, because this is post is about Lee. 


We both know how busy quilt bloggers and quilters are, and the point is that no one is immune to changes in schedules. We just do our best to handle them gracefully. 


So it is an honor for me to interview Lee. Her blog was one of the first few blogs I started to follow two years ago. I learned so much from her, and finally got to say “hello” in person at QuiltCon this past February. 

Anne : Where did you grow-up? 

Lee: Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Anne: Where did you go to school, college, post-graduate? And what is your design background?

Lee: I got my degree in journalism from Michigan State University (go Green!) I logged in a few years as a reporter/editor/publishing-jack-of- all-trades before realizing that my design-related duties were what I really enjoyed the most. So I taught myself Photoshop and Illustrator and transitioned over to the graphic design side of things, full-time. 



Anne: Tell us what you want to share about your family now, and how motherhood has affected your quilting and designs. 

Lee: I live with my husband and two daughters, who are 8 and 6. I guess I would say motherhood is the whole reason I started quilting—when I quit working to stay home with my daughter, I needed a hobby, and quilting was perfect. 

Anne: When you were growing up did you sew/quilt? Did you have any influences, such as a Grandmother, Aunt, Mother, friends, etc.? If so, how did that grow and evolve.  


Lee: I did not sew or quilt at all when I was growing up! My mom sewed things like curtains for our house, Halloween costumes, etc., but I had zero interest in it at the time. However, I did have a quilt on my bed while I was growing up that was made by my great- grandmother. I wasn’t a great sleeper when I was a kid, so I remember spending a lot of time lying in bed staring at that quilt, for lack of anything better to do while I wasn’t sleeping. LOL. I remember trying to decide what my favorite prints were in that quilt. So who knows, that may have subconsciously influenced me! 


Anne: Tell us about your design process. Do you choose to work with certain color palettes? If so, how do you decide which ones you will work with? Would you discuss your style, and some of the fabric collections which are your favorites?


Lee: People ask me this question a lot, and it’s so hard to answer! Sometimes I start with a certain color palette (usually something I found online), sometimes I start with certain fabric, and sometimes I start with a design and then plug colors/fabrics into that. I guess it depends on which of those elements is inspiring me at the moment. I love any fabric by Alison Glass, Carolyn FriedlanderViolet Craft, Cotton+Steel, and much more! 

Anne: Describe your sense of style. If it has changed or evolved over time, please expand upon that. If you can discuss and share your next projects, that would be great. 


Lee: Hmm. That’s a good question. Honestly, I think writing Vintage Quilt Revivial, 




with Faith and Katie was a big turning point for my style. I always loved taking traditional blocks and making them “modern,” but I think coming up with great designs for the book forced me to get more creative with the overall layouts of the quilts than I had been before. 

And working with Faith and Katie inspired me in a way that I couldn’t have been if I had written the book alone! The three of us are hoping to collaborate on another project in the future, although I don’t know if it will be a book or something else. 


Above, Sugar Snow, from, Vintage Quilt Revival; 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks

Anne: What influences you when you design and create quilts and other sewing projects? Physical, written, scenery, spiritual, elements, etc.? 


Lee: Anything and everything! I’m constantly on the lookout for any kind of geometric repeating pattern. You can find them anywhere if you look! 

Anne: What design elements are your favorites or signature elements? Are there certain; colors, shapes, prints, fabrics, or embellishments you tend to like and use most? 

Lee: Well, I’m guessing there aren’t many quilts of mine that don’t have aqua in them somewhere : ) I also loooooove a good color-gradient quilt (my Terrazzo and Sparkler patterns are two examples of that). In fact, recently I had to resist the urge to do yet another color gradient quilt. I don’t want to return to that well too many times. LOL. 


Above, Terrazzo 



Above, Wavelength 

Anne: Describe a typical day for you at your studio, if there is one. 

Lee: Like you said, there is no typical day! And with my kids starting summer vacation next week, there will definitely be no typical day for several months! Honestly, just sitting down to sew is often my biggest challenge. It seems like there are so many immediate tasks that are just the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business. Between that and all my mom duties, I have to be very protective of my sewing time. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t! 


Anne: What fabrics are your favorites to work with and why? 


Lee: I gravitate pretty strongly toward tonal prints and blenders, because I think those have the most graphic impact in a finished quilt. For me it’s all about the overall look of the completed quilt, rather than the individual fabrics! 


Anne: What artists, architects, designers, etc., (not in our industry), have influenced you? 


Lee: I can’t really point to any specific influences, but I love design in all its forms and I’m constantly looking at interior design and graphic design websites, so I’m sure what I see makes its way into my quilts in some form or another.


Above, Moroccan Lanterns 


Above, Fair Isle 


Anne: What other hobbies/guilty pleasures do you have?” 


Lee: I bought a power miter saw to work on a few small projects for my quilt market booth, and it’s gotten me very interested in woodworking! I wouldn’t call it a new hobby yet, but I’m hoping to try a few small projects soon! Guilty pleasures: Reality TV and Candy Crush. : ) 

Anne: Do you find that it is mostly the more modern/contemporary quilters and sewers purchasing your book, or participating in WIP Wednesdays, or are you crossing that divide into ‘traditional’ fabric buyers and quilters as well?  

Lee: It was definitely a goal of ours for Vintage Quilt Revival to be appealing to both modern and traditional quilters alike. We believe that both groups can learn a lot from the other! I’ve spoken at many traditional quilt guilds in my area, and I am constantly impressed at how willing most of those ladies are to consider new styles of quilting. I think most people out there just sew what they want and aren’t too concerned with labels. And that’s how it should be. 


Anne: Is there something you can share with us that you made, that you are most proud of? Please tell us about it. Do you have a photo? 


Lee: Wow, tough question to pick just one thing! I think my projects for Vintage Quilt Revival, collectively, would have to be what I’m most proud of, simply because I think that was a period of real creativity for me. 




From the top – Spin it Again Quilt, from p. 86 of Vintage Quilt Revival

Middle quilt – Diamond Tread – Click here to see this quilt on Lee’s blog. 

Bottom quilt – Make the Sugar Snow Quilt, from p.66 of Vintage Quilt Revival

Anne: What do you see for the future of Modern Quilting in fabrics, fabric and quilt designs, and “just” the quilting? Are you working on another book? Please share what you can. 

Lee: I’ve learned a long time ago not to try to predict 🙂 But I think the future of Modern Quilting is exciting, and the industry, to keep bringing exciting new things to quilters. 



Thank you so much, Lee, for sharing your time with us. Your quilts are so original and fresh, (LOL), but I’ve always thought of them that way, even before the book came out. And thank you for sharing a bit of your life with everyone. It is true generosity of spirit, and that’s what my grandma Lo would say, when people do that with you. 

And Lee has generously offered a give-a-way today; a free pattern of the winner’s choice. Please leave a comment in my comment box, and tell us which one is your favorite pattern from Lee’s shop. The winner will be announced on Thursday, June 18. Please make sure I have your e-mail address, if you are a no-reply blogger. 


Please check out the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.  You will discover some wonderful new quilters and new quilt bloggers. 




I read every post, and reply by directly by e-mail. Happy Quilting!!

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WIP Wednesday – Binding on 1930’s Reproduction Quilt

I finally finished sewing the binding on my 1930’s reproduction a quilt. The pinning was the hardest part.


I love doing bindings. But it’s really hard for me to do this, and the only place big enough is on the floor. I had spine fusion a few years ago – that’s what makes it difficult, physically. Just another reason why we are moving, (still looking), for a bigger home. Not a lot bigger, just by one room and a workshop for my husband Charlie.

And a proper sewing room to do this kind of work on a table, not the floor.


Biscuit kept me company and supervised, which always makes me happy!!

 I love when it fits right into the fold where it belongs.


Done!! Now to sewing.


So here’s the situation, and then a question. When I first learned to quilt, I was taught to….

1. Attach the binding to the quilt. 

2. Machine quilt. 

3. After that, sew the binding to the back.

4. Remove the basting stitches.

5. Wash the quilt to give it that crinkly and fluffy feel.

Most of my quilting buddies at Friday morning clinic were taught to machine quilt first, attach the binding, then sew the binding to the back or front.
(I just prefer doing it to the back). Either way is fine and pretty.

Let me know in the comment box which you do first, because a few months ago, was the first time I heard about attaching the binding after the machine quilting.
I am thinking with the extra fabric and batting hanging off, which we trim before attaching the binding, those sides would get caught on things and get in my way. It’s fine to do it either way, as I’m told. Just wondering what other people’s experience is like.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a great week. We are waiting for our third grandchild, who is now overdue.

Happy Quilting!! And I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Modern Pieced, and Lee Heinrich.

Congratulations to The Winners of The Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, Spring 2015

Congratulations to all the winners of The Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, Spring 2015, sponsored by the lovely and talented, Amy Ellis, the blogger of Amy’s Creative Side.

The quilts were fabulous, beautiful and inspirational. As we learned in team and camp sports when I was growing up, everyone who participates is a winner for having the tenacity to work at it, and the courage to try. (Thanks Joe, Adele, Mel and Lois for always instilling that in us).

If you haven’t stopped by to see the all of these lovely quilts, and discover some great blogs, click here.

Happy Quilting!!

Great Blowout Sale at Winter Creek Cloth

Dana from Winter Creek Cloth is having a huge blowout sale this week. I am a big fan of stores that offer discounts, reward points that apply to future purchases, ongoing sales, and end of bolt discounts. I am even a bigger fan of stores that make it easy for me to know about those sales and specials, by providing them with my e-mail address. Then the announcement comes right into my e-mail box. 


Each are full yard bundles. That’s how much I loved these fabrics!!




Vignette – Orchid Colorway



Vignette – Aqua Colorway


I promise I will be writing my update and review of 30 stores that help fabric buyers with great sales in about 2 weeks, (around the first week of June), and will continue to update it biannually. Also with that will be the updated list of sources and stores for out-of-print fabrics.

I was happy to find Winter Creek Cloth. A few weeks ago Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts posted about this fabric line, Vignette by Laura Gunn. The colors and the prints were unique, modern with just the right touch of femininity for us. My husband loved them too, yay!! I knew I would find a pattern and use it. I had a hard time finding the entire line in many of my go-to online fabric shops.

I called Michael Miller Fabrics and they suggested I contact Winter Creek Cloth. Luckily, Dana the owner, had them at a great price. And as I am revising my online and brick and mortar shops that offer good deals, I asked her discounts she offers her customers, and I was impressed.



Here are the details of this great sale;

5-day Inventory Blowout Sale Monday, May 18, through Friday, May 22 

Fabrics are on sale at 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% off
Patterns are at 25% off.
Holiday fabrics are at 50% off.
Pre-cuts and bundles are at 30% off.
And they have a bits and pieces category.

Bloggers Quilt Festival Spring 2015 Entry

I was so excited to see the hand quilting category in Amy Ellis’s Spring Bloggers Quilt Festival. Her blog, Amy’s Creative Side has been sponsoring this festival for several years. She runs the festivals during fall and spring quilt market. There are many wonderful online stores and vendors who offer prizes to the winners. 

I finished hand quilting this single size bed quilt in January, 2015. It took about a year to complete. I worked on it off and on.





Hand quilting is not as difficult as most people think. Once I got the hang of it, I really fell in love with it. It puts me in a very zen mood. It does take a long time to do, and I machine quilt most of my quilts. But I always have one on the side to do by hand. 

I like having something to hand sew when we’re watching TV, or listening to music. And, although it’s a bit cumbersome, it is portable!! I bring it to the pool in the summer, and work on it in the warm sunlight between swimming, reading, and visiting with my friends and neighbors.

The pattern I hand quilted on this piece is called the Bishop’s Fan. It’s one of my favorite patterns. The curves are very gentle, and it softens a quilt that is pieced using all straight seams or is angular. 



I try to make my stitches as consistent as possible. But this is hand work, and it’s not always perfect. The imperfections really do give it a hand made feel. Over the many years I’ve been hand quilting, my stitch length and spacing has soared – practice really helps.

It’s easy to see the fan shape in this photo. I mark the quilt before I begin the sewing using a template bought from a store, and use a number 2 pencil. I wash the quilt when it’s finished, and the pencil markings that haven’t worn off come right out in the wash. 

I used Prescencia Thread 60 wt., hand quilting thread, which is my favorite. I chose a neutral color that would show the stitches and pattern, but don’t scream with color and overshadow the fabrics and distract from the overall pattern of the quilt.

There are many types and brands of “quilting between needles.” I mostly use Colonial Needles, number 10. They also make a hybrid needle, which I use too. The eye is bigger, but the shaft of the needle is skinny, so it quilts through the three layers smoothly and easily.


It’s easy to see the stitches on the front and back in this photo. I love this backing with the little hearts.

I dedicated it to our cat Emma. She sleeps on it when it’s on the couch. We use it too for naps, and sometimes when we watch TV or read.

Check out all the beautiful quilts that other quilters have made. Click this link to link-up up with Amy’s Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival, Spring 2015. I promise you won’t be disappointed. The quilts can be entered into one or two of several categories during May 15 – May 21. You can vote for your favorites beginning on May 22. There are many great entries to inspire and delight you, and you’ll enjoy discovering new blogs and quilters.  

http://i2.wp.com/www.cookingupquilts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/BQF.png

Happy Quilting!!

A New Grown-up Quilt For My Cousin

One of my very special cousins lives in Chicago with her British husband, who makes me laugh in person, or when I read his fb posts. They have a son, Matthew who is in 4th grade, a daughter, Hannah, who is in 2nd grade, another son, Andrew, who just turned 1, and a large poodle, Dixie.

Of course all the children got baby quilts when they were born. Recently we were skyping. Matthew and Hannah spontaneously showed me their quilts, and told me how much they still love them. And they still sleep with them and put them on top of their blankets. Did I get that heartfelt warm and fuzzy feeling? Did I tear up? You bet I did. I never expected this, and I am so happy they are still enjoying them.

I decided that I would like to make each of them a single bed quilt that is age appropriate and larger. They can use the new quilt as they grow up, until they graduate high school,and bring to college if they want.

Today I am asking my readers for their opinion, and I am going to post the two options on The Late Night Quilters fb page too.

I’ve decided that I am going to use Aloha Girl, by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics for Hannah’s quilt. But I haven’t decided on a pattern yet.

For Matthew’s quilt I have two thoughts in mind. The first option is to use Heather Givens Succulents collection, with the Turning Twenty pattern.


Or I will use the Connect Four pattern from Country Girl Modern: 11 Modern-Traditional Quilts from the Junction, by Jo Kramer and Kelli Hanken.


I love the simplicity of this quilt. It has a timeless, versatile style. 

So, please comment in the comment box below. Tell me which of the two you would make, and why. Thank you for your thoughts.

On a another note, I still haven’t heard from Joycita, the winner of reader appreciation week, and she didn’t list her e-mail or link it to her photo box in the comments section of this blog. If I don’t hear from her by tomorrow, my husband will pick a random number, and I will announce another winner on this blog, and hopefully reach you by e-mail. Yummy chocolate is the prize.

Happy Quilting!! 

Finished Quilt

I finally finished this single-sized bed quilt!! 

The pattern was easy to put together. I decided to hand quilt it using the bishop fan pattern. 

This close-up makes it easy to see a square and the detail of the hand quilting. It took about a year to quilt it by hand.

Many of these fabrics I bought years ago and have been in my stash for a long time, especially the fabric with the little hearts, which I used for the backing.
Because it is a directional fabric, I was a bit picky about where I would use it.

I dedicated this quilt to Emma our cat. I have dedicated a quilt to our other two cats, Josie and Biscuit as well. One of my early quilt teachers told me she did that and I thought is was a lovely thought. 



Sometimes the cats will lie on them. Sometimes we display them on this stand. If one of them has come home from a difficult visit with vet or isn’t feeling well, I create a circular nest with the quilt around him or her while they are resting.


And of course we use these quilts for snuggling under on the couch while watching TV or reading too.

I will photograph all three outside when the weather gets better and post them, but that isn’t going to happen too soon.

Linking up with http://www.freshlypieced.com/2015/01/wip-wednesday-kaleidoscopic.html
And with Forth Worth Fabric Studio.

Happy Quilting!!

Coming Down the Home Stretch with a WIP

It’s taken a little over a year – but the quilting is done!! The binding is more than halfway finished.

 

I hand quilted this single-size bed quilt by hand using the bishop’s fan pattern. I love to have one hand quilting project around for a few reasons;

1. Hand sewing, particularly quilting is very calming and zen for me. Although I do like the speediness of machine quilting.

2. I am in a small, hand sewing group, that meets every other Thursday night and once a month on Mondays.

3. Originally my vision was to have this quilt as part of a set for a summer or weekend home. I wanted all three quilts to be hand quilted with this bishop fan pattern on them. I’ve done one, and I will be beginning a king-size quilt when this one is finished. No, I am not kidding. That will keep me entertained for about a year or two 🙂

In the next post about this WIP, which will be completely finished, I will show the whole thing; front and back, as well as the first one. And I will show the basted king-sized quilt I will start to hand quilt next.

Happy Quilting and wishing everyone and their families a healthy and Happy New Year!!

Quilting Photos with New Nikon D3200

This is a short post, but it shows some better photos of my finished quilt top. I used my new Nikon D3200. I promised I’d show better photos of the Moda floral fabric that is really pretty. Here goes….

I just received some beautiful new fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop. More photos of fabrics and quilts, as I learn these new techniques with a new camera, and finish with my class this month.

I am not straying from the mission of this blog, which is also to provide quilt news, WIP’s, interviews, and book reviews.

WIP – Pick and Mix Quilt

I finished 50 out of 80 blocks for my Pick and Mix Quilt. (Design by Angela Davies). Not all 50 are shown here. The flannel that’s underneath the squares isn’t big enough to hold all the blocks for a king size quilt. 

Eight rows by nine rows of blocks. Then the corner blocks and triangles from Fat squares along the boarders. After that a double row boarder. 




My goal is to have the other 30 blocks finished by the end of Memorial Day Weekend. I am pretty sure that won’t be a problem.

I am adding in some new fabrics as you can see. I am happy with it, but feel it needs a little more variety and some pop. Just a bit, because I envisioned it to be very scrappy.



 

So I did break my fabric and diet, and purchased a few more fat quarters from https://www.etsy.com/shop/sewmeasong. Thank Becca, for getting these mailed out to me so quickly.

BTW – I will be interviewing Becca in June about her Etsy shop.

I am really excited to see the top finished, and can’t wait to see the top finished.

On that note, I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday weekend. 
I am sending out special prayers, and many “thank you’s” to all those who have served, and are serving our country, and their families. You all do so much for us in so many ways.