Have you heard?
Quilting the New Classics by Michele Muska is #1 quilt book at Amazon. BOOM!
Michele and I have known each other for years, back from the days in my former life as an editor. I was really excited and intrigued when she pitched to me her idea of a book based upon favorite classic quilt motifs and pairing modern and traditional quilters together to interpret those motifs. More than a pattern book, it would incorporate a historical reference for each quilt type. Would I be interesting in participating? Absolutely. Would I work with Darlene Zimmerman on the Bear Paw block? Are you kidding me (duh—#fangirl).
I knew from the beginning I wanted to “deconstruct” the bear paw block. I presented Michele with a handful of design options and a list of notes on fabrics including:
Navy, (off) white, mustard, yellow, red, black. Finlandia/Asian (“Japanavian” aesthetic) [CHECK, minus the red, and the Finlandia]
I would likely incorporate items which are becoming my signature elements: big stitch quilting, textured fabric (linen), off-white/black prints. [CHECK, CHECK]
We settled on my “momma bear, baby bear” design. For the fabric palette (am I the only one that calls it this? I feel like it is a palette—I paint with fabric) I thought of current trends (not necessarily in fabric), my own design aesthetic, and what inspires me. Lately I can’t squeeze enough neutral, navy, grey, stripes and denim into my wardrobe and home. I strive to live minimally. My home colors of choice are white, white, white, and white, with wood, grey, navy, black and small pops of color—I AM a quilter after all.
My goal was to create a gender neutral, hip and modern quilt; one that any young urban mother would want for her babe. I selected my fabrics (thank you Robert Kaufman Fabrics) and dug in. As is often the case when I am working on a quilt the name came to me—“Blueberries for Sal,” based upon a favorite childhood book by Robert McCloskey (although the quilt name in the book was changed—I am assuming for copyright issues).
Enough about the design and inspiration. Let me be honest with you—the cutting, piecing, and instructions on this quilt are tricky. I used multiple fabrics, many of which you can get here (you’ll need this too if you want to make one like mine–P.S. they don’t know me, they only know my credit card) in an attempt to add subtle texture and pattern. Those who have taken a class with me know that these are two elements I can’t live without, even in a neutral quilt (especially in a neutral quilt). But here is the thing—you don’t have to use as many fabrics, with the crazy measuring and piecing. Make your bear paw blocks and select a background fabric, or two. I give you permission to change this design to make it work for you.
This quilt is easily assembled on the diagonal. Let me also say (as a liberated quilter) this design is forgiving. The seams don’t have to match up—who cares, and no one will be measuring and comparing against the pattern. Now as for making it work for you—let’s just say my husband says it is his favorite thing I’ve ever made (as if) and that we need one in “grown up” size. Don’t we all. (hint, hint, it’s not just for babies)
Now, if I have kept your attention until this point (sorry, you know I am all about the process) lucky you! Here is your chance to win a copy of this beautiful book Quilting the New Classics. And since unfortunately I can’t give one to everyone, there is Amazon for the rest of us. Please go order it. You won’t be sorry. Promise. (
I’ll pick a random winner the first week in November so we all have time to get through Halloween.) You know the drill. Leave a comment—random winner, yada, yada. (UPDATE: We have a winner–selected by the husband random number generator “pick a number between 1 and 76; 73.” Cathy.)
Be sure to check out what the other designers are saying about their quilts and this lovely book, plus there other chances to win.
Blog Hop Schedule
20–Michele Muska http://www.lolarae.com/blog.html
21–Leslie Tucker Jenison http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com
22– Marie Bostwick http://www.mariebostwick.com/
22–Jannken Smucker http://www.janneken.org/category/blog/
23–Valerie Bothell http://pinkbunnykansas.blogspot.com
24–Kaari (French General) www.frenchgeneral.blogspot.com
25–Elisa Sims Albury www.stitchoutsidetheditch.com (*YOU ARE HERE)
26–Heather Jones www.oliveandollie.com
26–Marci Warren-Elmer Instagram giveaway
27–Victoria Findlay Wolfe http://www.bumblebeansinc.blogspot.com
27–Megan Frock Megan Frock www.downtownhousewife.com/
28–Amy Smart http://www.diaryofaquilter.com
29–Jackie Kunkel http://cvquiltworks.com/blogs/blog
30–Pat Sloan http://blog.patsloan.com/
31– Shelly Pagliai http://prairiemoonquilts.com/?page_id=62
1–Allie Aller www.alliesinstitches.blogspot.com
2–Kristin Omdahl www.styledbykristin.com
3– Jaquie Gering http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/
Quilt Details: “Blueberries for Sal”–Dimensions: 42.5″ W x 56.5″ L. Materials: Robert Kaufman railroad denim and chambray (cotton), Essex yarn dyed linen, linen. Cotton batting. Cotton thread. Wool thread. Finished–October 2013.