One of the fun parts about being a designer and quilter is collaborating.
Collaborating with other makers allows me to be inspired by their work, and also challenges me to think about my own work in new ways and stretch beyond my comfort zone.
I’m super excited about my new collaboration with Mathew Boudreaux (AKA Mister Domestic). I am in complete awe of his brand, personality and style. Mathew and I met in person a little over a year ago at Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis. Recently, I was super excited for him when I found out he was launching his debut fabric collection, Loved to Pieces. Mathew and I reconnected about the same time he was looking for a Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) pattern that would work well with the collection. He asked if I would consider designing one that would complement it. I have so much respect for Mathew and was excited that he wanted to collaborate with me!
And then came the tricky part… how to design a paper piecing pattern that truly supported the design of the Loved to Pieces collection and was able to be translated into a FPP pattern that wouldn’t drive makers insane as they were making it. While I adore Mathew’s collection, anyone who is familiar with my work will tell you the style of his collection is not something I would normally work with. There were a few moments of sheer panic—a fairly typical reaction for most designers. Could I do this in a way that truly honored and supported the collection?!?!
It’s in these moments of panic as a designer that I need to remind myself that creativity thrives in boundries. Graphic designers typically don’t have the luxury of choosing their clients (in this case I did!). At the core of it, graphic designers create visual concepts that communicate ideas to inspire, inform and/or motivate others. I use my training and 20+ years of experience in the graphic design field when designing quilts, especially if I’m feeling unsure of what to do or if I feel stuck.
As I started to sketch, I really just kept thinking about Mathew’s inspiration for his collection:
“With the wind of his daughter Helena’s love at his back, Matthew created Loved To Pieces. Her love for flowers and his love for paper piecing fused into a world where florals and EPP [English Paper Piecing] geometrics play against an array of blue tones with touches of vibrant pinks and subtle greens.”
For the pattern, I ultimately decided I really wanted to explore what a mix between florals and geometrics with my bold graphic style would look like. Graphic floral quilt patterns have been something I have been playing with for a couple of years. I created my first series, Picnic Petals—a modern quilt pattern based on the traditional flowering snowball quilt block in 2014:
A few years later, I started to dive deep into Hawaiian-inspired design and needle-turn applique and created by Big Island Blossoms Quilt Pattern:
I decided it was time to challenge myself and design a floral, curved quilt that could be entirely constructed using Foundation Paper Piecing. The result is my Patchwork Petals Quilt Blocks pattern. Here is one of the initial mockups I sent to Mathew using the Loved to Pieces fabric:
Here is the layout of the final design of the blocks in the arrangement he’ll be making during his Patchwork Petals Sewing Party. It uses all 4 blocks, with duplicates, to make a mini quilt:
Since the finished block size is 16½” x 16½”, I’m finding this pattern to be super versatile. I’m looking forward to making them into cute pillows, placemats and minis (can you say quilt swap?). I’m also thinking of putting blocks together to make table runners and larger quilts. During pattern testing, I made lots of blocks in different fabrics. Here are a few:
Get the Patchwork Petals pattern here, gather up your foundation paper piecing tools and head over to the Patchwork Petals Sewing Party Headquarters! Mathew will be giving all of his tips and tricks. You’ll be a foundation paper piecing pro by the end of the Sew Along!
Need some recommendations? Here are some of my favorite tools for sewing and paper piecing:
• plain copy paper
• 12″ Add-A-Quarter Ruler
• Fons and Porter Water Soluble Fabric Glue Marker (and refills)
• Aurifil 50wt cotton thread (in a neutral or color that matches your fabric)
• Rotary Cutter (I use both Olfa and Fiskars)
• Acrylic Ruler (I love my non slip Quilters Select ruler)
• Sewing Machine (I do all of my piecing and quilting on a Juki 2010q—it’s a workhorse!)
• Wafer Lightbox and Wafer Cutting Matt
• Iris Swiss Super Fine Pins
• Iron and pressing surface
Let’s make something awesome!
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