Lilla Pattern Launch

Lilla Quilt Lotta Jansdotter


90'' x 90''

Lilla is a collaboration between myself and Lotta Jansdotter. It is also a pattern available from C&T, launched this week.

Last year C&T approached me with the idea of working with Lotta on a pattern. I hesitated for a split second then agreed. Hesitated only because of timing, but I didn't want to turn down the opportunity to work with an artist and person I truly admire. So Lotta and I started emailing.

While it would have been fantastic to visit her in her Brooklyn studio or have her come out for some Prairie and Mountain air, we had to settle for the back and forth of online collaboration. She chose the fabrics we would work with - a selection from her soon to arrive collection, Lilla. We discussed style of quilt - medallion versus block based, improv versus precision, pieced versus applique, scale of piecing, and so much more. Lotta sent me some inspiration images, I made sketches. My job was ultimately to translate her ideas into workable quilt patterns. It was up to me to interpret her inspiration for the home quilter.

Lotta Jansdotter Inspiration

One of my favourite moments was when I opened up my email with this image in it. Lotta made some paper cut shapes. Up until this point we'd been going back and forth with little progress on something feasible for a quilt or a quilt that she liked. But these images! I went straight to my sewing machine to play, instead of sketching. Soon after we had a workable design. 

I really tried to take the organic nature of Lotta's work and translate it to the need for blocks to lay flat. Her shapes lent themselves well to some basic improv techniques, thankfully. Combining those with some precision piecing creates a challenging and graphic quilt.

The pattern itself lays out the techniques as a whole and then instructions for 25 different blocks. Yes, 25 blocks. As presented the quilt is queen size, but the pattern includes a baby size option. Make 1 of the blocks many times over or make all 25 four times over or make each one only once. It's entirely up to you, but the pattern includes it all. It also includes specific fabric notes to make it with Lotta's Lilla fabric as we designed it, but feel free to go on your own.  

I've made another version of the quilt, with totally different fabrics. It changes it up! Watch for that soon. 

In the end I am so glad I didn't let the time factor get in the way of this great experience. Sure, it was a rush as I frantically finished just before I had to leave to Australia. Thank you to Bernadette at Wonderfil for guiding me through the quilting. The experience of collaboration was worth it. It presents a creative challenge, for sure, but that's a good thing. It gets me outside of myself and the insular world of my own creations. On to the next one!

Pattern now available from C&T, or ask for it at you local quilt shop. 

Splendid Sampler Wrap Up and Giveaway!

Splendid Sampler

A whole year later The Splendid Sampler finishes up! While I stalled in making blocks months ago, it was fantastic to see more and more quilters tackle all the techniques and tiny piecing of the designs making up the 100 blocks. 

To celebrate, our fearless leaders Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson are hosting an international giveaway. So are a number of the contributing designers.

For my faithful and new readers I would love to share a collection of patterns with you. Leave a comment below on what you loved and hated about The Splendid Sampler. Finish with your email address so I can contact you (my host does weird things and it is hard to get emails from comments just by clicking on them). Like this:

I'm not a fan of embroidery so those blocks always stopped me in my tracks, but I loved pushing my own technical boundaries! 

cheryl AT cherylarkison DOT com

That way spam bots won't get them but I can still contact the winner.

The prize?! How about a collection of digital patterns? I currently have 6 patterns and would be happy to send you a copy of each. Three of them are brand new to coincide with my Tag Fabric from Connecting Threads.

Oh Canada quilt

You will get my most popular pattern, Oh Canada. Plus the Sewing Machine Quilt and Kinda Herringbone. The three new patterns are for Hopscotch, Spiral, and Ellipsis. The last one is a fun mini that will likely appeal to grammar nerds like myself.

Giveaway is open until February 19, midnight MST. I will email the the winner the following day.

And don't forget to check out the main giveaway and celebration, plus the other parties around the world. 

Can We Talk? UFOs, WIPs, and Quilts Under Construction

We all know I like my Quilts Under Construction. I have a long list of projects to dip into at any time. I would love your feedback on on the topic, how you operate, and what your approach is to UFOs, WIPs, and Quilts Under Construction. 

Results will be reported first in my QuiltCon lecture at the end of the month, then here on the blog.

Survey is open until February 8.

Create your own user feedback survey

The Splendid Sampler - In The Sunshine

The Splendid Sampler - Applique and Improv

In The Sunshine

18.5'' x 18.5

My 15th wedding anniversary is coming up in a couple of months. One of the more entertaining moments of our wedding day (aside from the baby nearly born there) occurred as we walked down the aisle after the ceremony. After almost 6 years of dating it seems our wedding was a much anticipated affair. So our friends standing up there with us shouted out a coordinated, "Finally!!' 

After nearly a year of The Splendid Sampler I kind of feeling shouting Finally!! myself as my block debuts.

In the Sunshine was envisaged to celebrate my love of applique, a desire to not have really tiny pieces on this small block, and just a little bit of my true love, improv. And really, who doesn't love a flag waving in the sunshine?

Get the pattern here. Finally!

The Splendid Sampler

It was fun to play with my own fabric in this mini quilt. My first line, Tag, recently came out with Connecting Threads. I've made a handful of quilts already with just my fabrics, but the true measure of a fabric is how well it plays with others. So the background squares include my fabric plus a mix of stashed black and white prints. Then I dug into the scrap bin for the solid fabrics on the flags.

Now making a mini is hard for me. I get why people love them - boy is it fast from start to finish - but I prefer to Go King or Go Home! And when I am sewing for myself I default to improv piecing: curves, letters, slabs, and everything else.  That being said,  I really enjoy the switch up to designing patterns. It gets my brain working in a different way plus seeing the different results from other quilters is pretty thrilling! That's why I am so excited to see what each of you do with the block. This was a quick one to make, even with the needle turn applique. Get the pattern here. 

For those of you new here let me tell you a bit about myself. I live on intersection of the Rocky Mountains and the Prairies, in Calgary, Alberta. A pretty dreamy location. We get a proper winter - which I love - and it gets just hot enough in the summer. I'm such a Canadian! We have 3 nearly feral, outgoing, and active kids. My girls have followed me to the pool. In my youth I was a competitive swimmer then rower. After a decade working on environmental policy and sustainability issues I switched gears to staying with my kids and to become a professional quilter, writer, and a teacher. With three published books, online classes, national and international travel to teach on top of our busy lives I could say it is a fine balance, but it is more like a rocky seesaw that just can't quite make it even. But hey, I chose it and I'm making it work!

The Splendid Sampler, Applique, Improv Curves

So take a few moments to hang out here. Check out my quilt gallery for inspiration, read through the blog for a glimpse into my compulsion to create, and feel free to sign up for my biweekly newsletter. My mission here and in everything quilting is to inspire creative action in everyone, for everyone. I am what you see - bold, blunt, kind, generous, open, and a little bit weird.

PS If the curves make you nervous, check out my episode of The Quilt Show, where I break it down.