Quilting the Quilt (part one)

By Mary Covey


When planning a quilt, most quilters know there are three elements to keep in mind – design, color, and texture. There is no denying that we are drawn to a quilt by the beauty of the design and by the color combinations that dazzle. But what about the texture – the actual quilting itself?

The quilts of yesteryear required a great deal of close quilting to keep the batting from shifting and lumping. This is not true for today’s quilts because of the numerous choices available in batting, more focus can be put on a quilting design that compliments both the design and color of the quilt.

The beautiful applique’ quilt block above was hand appliqued by Jane Green. Her attention to detail in the flowers deserves to be enhanced by machine quilting that does not distract from her work. Using matching thread colors helps keep your eye on the design of the block. Echoing each of the shapes both inside and outside creates equal density while still maintaining the beauty of the block design. Echo quilting is like ripples in a pond – they start out close in a perfect ring and get larger  the further away from the center they get.  After several passes around a shape swirls, leaves, hearts, and other designs can be added(see example below) to make those blank corners of the block beautiful.

Dorothy Smith's Quilt

Semi Feathers


From the Workroom

By Mary Covey

Its has been somewhat crazy around here. Just thought I would show you a few pictures of what I’ve been working on lately.

This lovely applique was done by Lavena.  I used echo quilting to enhance her beautiful work.

Lavena's Applique

Lavena’s Applique

Carolyn made this X and O scrappy quilt. Lots of fun with the long arm machine quilting.

Carolyn's Scrappy Quilt

Carolyn’s Scrappy Quilt

Elsie made this small wall hanging. This picture does not show the borders.

Elsie's Wall Hanging

Elsie’s Wall Hanging

Her machine applique is amazing. Here is a close up of the butterfly.

Elsie's Machine Applique

Elsie’s Machine Applique

Jackie made this modern quilt ( her own design ). Thought you would like to see a before and after.

Jackie's Modern Quilt Before

Jackie’s Modern Quilt Before

Blue side after long arm machine quilting.

Jackie's Modern Quilt Blue Side

Jackie’s Modern Quilt Blue Side

Green side after long arm machine quilting.

Jackie's Modern Quilt Green Side

Jackie’s Modern Quilt Green Side

Both sides were long arm machine quilted using the same variegated King Tut thread. All the quilting in these pictures is free motion long arm quilting.

I would really enjoy seeing pictures from your workroom. Send me an email @mmcovey@aol.com.


Fall Quilt Market 2014

By Mary Covey

Fall is full of wonderful things to look forward to and enjoy. The change of season brings beautiful color changes in foliage, cool crisp breezes and who doesn’t love a Harvest moon. Fall also brings the International Quilt Market to Houston, Texas every year. As a designer,quilter, and author, it is the place to find all the up to the minute fabrics, books, notions, patterns, etc. This year, due to a prior commitment, I was unable to attend fall market.  But that did not stop me from searching the web for information from vendors, designers, and authors. I am reposting a blog from Amy Smart that shares her impressions of what is new for the coming year. Those of you that follow me on Pinterest know how much I love red and white quilts, so take notice of the opening photograph.

Quilt Market, Houston 2014

Last week I had the chance to attend the International Quilt Market in Houston. This is a trade show for the fabric and sewing industry where companies show off their latest wares. Two books just came out that I contributed to (one being Quilting the New Classics as well as another one called Scraps, Inc. that will be out next month. More on that to come) so I got to participate in some publicity, signings, etc for those.
I’ve been to Spring Market a few times in the past, but never to Houston. It was a quick trip – I was only really there for 2 days – but it was SO nice to get away, see friends who I love and who inspire me, and to just recharge my creativity a little. Because I was only there such a short time, it was a bit of a blur. But I did take a few pictures to share of some of the upcoming releases that caught my eye. Here they are:

I have found that I am getting more and more inspired by deep, saturated color palettes, so hence, I love Alison Glass’s work. One of the few purchases I made was a bundle of her new collection of batiks, Handcrafted. I am in love with the palette. I’m also itching to do something with those gorgeous wools.

I’ve never been much of a batik user, so I’m excited to add something entirely new to my stash. Handcrafted comes out soon. If you are looking for some Alison Glass prints, check Westwood Acres. They should have Handcrafted bundles soon too.

 More saturated color from Anna Maria Horner and her collection, Honor Roll.
I didn’t get a good close-up look at the new Cotton + Steel collections coming out this winter, but they will continue to coordinate with their current collections and basics. Love these palettes too.

I think saturated color with more of a sour, burnt feel are definitely the new trend. These prints are from Birch Fabrics. Their booth always has great details.

Walking through the Cloud 9 booth these awesome retro-mod prints totally caught my eye. This collection by Jessica Jones called Time Warp is all printed on organic cotton barkcloth – it’s more of a home-dec weight fabric with texture. So cool – and check out that coat! So cute.
One more collection along this same color trend and one that I’m really looking forward to is Maureen Cracknell’s debut collection Wild and Free for Art Gallery Fabrics. I am so excited for Maureen – she is such a gifted artist. This collection releases next month.
Also with a first-time collection for Art Gallery Fabrics is the always quiet and reserved (don’t let this picture fool you), Katy Jones (aka I’m a Ginger Monkey) with Priory Square. Who is also my new BFF for bringing me my favorite British treat, Jelly Babies.
Carolyn Friedlander is a quilting genius, I think. She has her own personal style that is so uniquely hers. (Check out that Kona solids quilt on the far left. There’s a free quilt pattern here. Totally on my list now.)

She has a new fabric collection coming out called Doe that is sure to be very popular with modern quilters. Also check out this couch. Seriously.

Kona Solids are celebrating their 30th anniversary. To celebrate there were 30 quilts made from Kona solids. You can find the pattern links here (some of which are free like the Carolyn Friedlander one).

Here is Darlene Zimmerman with her Kona Solid’s pattern, Joseph’s Coat (free pattern is here.) Darlene also has EZ Quilting templates for this project. She was demo-ing her curved piecing technique and I even had the courage to try. I think I want to make this one too.

The Dear Stella booth had some beautiful samples and I love their new France-inspired collection. It even had a mini macaroon print!
Some new collections from Riley Blake include Lori Holt’s Flower Patch and Derby Days by Melissa Mortenson. I have been so excited by this one! Melissa has been a real-life friend for a while now and I am so excited for her to launch her first fabric collection! And it’s so ‘her’ too. Both the colors and theme, seeing as she lives in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby.
 Some of the upcoming Moda collections: Daysail by Bonnie and Camille
Paradiso by Kate Spain. This was the first time I ever met Kate in person. She was SO lovely and friendly. (Of course, so many people in this industry are.)
 Aloha Girl by Fig Tree quilts.
Vanessa Christenson and her new collection Color Theory. Another great group of good color basics prints.

It was especially fun to see Jen Kingwell since having taught with her this summer at the Fat Quarterly retreat. Jen is a true gem. So gracious and fun.

Just seeing all of her projects inspires me. I love this hexagon quilt. It’s her use of colors that I really love (and envy.) She has the gift to pull together such an eclectic range of colors and fabrics and create magic.

Which is why I think it is so exciting that she has a new collection of fabrics herself coming out this spring with Moda called Gardenvale. I feel extremely lucky to have got my hands on a bundle at Sample Spree. Usually I have a hard time breaking into bundles, but this one I wanted to tear into right away and get a look at her prints. I also love that these prints will add some depth to my stash – especially in the purples department to help me make it more interesting.

A few more people who inspire me: Cristy Fincher. Check out her amazing work. Cristy is the one who shared all of the mind-blowing Glue-basting tricks and tips this summer.

Another one of my favorites Lee Chappell and her pattern co. named after her great grandmother, May Chappell. Does the bag on the bottom right look familiar? That’s the one that inspired my own version a couple of weeks ago.
Here are Lee and I visiting our blocks in the official Olfa 35 commemorative quilt.

And then we threw down in the Kona IQ challenge where we had to match the name with the right shade. You’d think my hard core game face would have totally helped me out here. But you might be wrong.

And so (if you’re still reading by this point) that’s a wrap of Quilt Market 2014.


Craftsy’s Shop to Unlock Sale!

Craftsy’s Shop to Unlock Sale!
By Mary Covey
(sponsored post)
Don’t miss Craftsy’s Shop to Unlock Sale happening now! Get up to 50% off online classes for a limited time only! If you purchase a class during the flash sale, you will unlock a second set of classes on sale. For users that purchase, you will receive a subsequent email with a link “unlocking” the next set of classes. Hurry, this offer expires on November 9th, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy‘s Shop to Unlock Sale now and save big.

Craftsy's Shop to Unlock Sale

Craftsy’s Shop to Unlock Sale


Amazing Applique OnLine Class

Amazing Applique OnLine Class


Craftsy Start Machine Quilting Class

Craftsy Start Machine Quilting Class


Craftsy's Quilt As you Go Patchwork Bags Class

Craftsy’s Quilt As you Go Patchwork Bags Class



Craftsy's Color Play for Quilters Class

Craftsy’s Color Play for Quilters Class