Thursday, May 23, 2019

Love Me, Love My Platypus

I have a new friend and his name is Professor Platypus.  He is a Professor of Chemistry, Physics, and other fun subjects!


I bought the pattern the last time I was in Australia teaching at the Australasian Quilt Convention.  Finally, the pattern was properly ripened and ready to be stitched.

I love Northcott's Big Bang fabric line so much that I made a quilt from it, filmed a class using it, and made an apron from it.  I even have plans to make a dress from it.  The next project was the PLATYPUS!

This won't be my only platypus so I grabbed my Elmer's Tape Runner and taped the pattern to cardstock:


I'm a frugal person so I was able to use less cardstock by being fussy with the pattern placement:


I cut out the cardstock pattern with my non-fabric scissors:


Traced it on fabric,  pieced it, stuffed it...


And loved it!


If loving this platypus is wrong, I don't want to be right.

I'm not sure which animal I need to make next, but I promise there will be more animal friends in my future.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Houston Quilt Festival Report

Are you making plans to attend Houston Quilt Festival in October and wonder what to expect?  Check out my report from last year's Quilt Festival on Annie's Creative Studio.


Find inspiration and excitement through the eyes of those who attended the 2018 Houston Quilt Festival! In this Products We Love episode, expert quilter Debby Brown is at the show to check out the quilts, the excitement and all the quilty goodies you don't want to miss! In this episode:
  • Hear from a quilter who shares her hobby with patients in recovery.
  • Listen to a newbie attendee describe her first Quilt Festival.
  • Be motivated to finish your projects and keep learning.
Quilt Festival is a "must go" for me every year, and not just because I teach there!  I hope to see you at the quilt show!

Annie's Creative Studio is a subscription-based platform where you can learn from experts (like me!) how to quilt, knit, crochet, and more!  If you aren't a member yet, sign up for a free trial to watch the entire episode.

Monday, May 20, 2019

FQE Part 5

This week I finished the hand applique on my little experiment:


I pulled out some Fossil Fern Peridot fabricLori Holt's Bloom templates, and a spool of InvisiFil Pastel Green thread and added some leaves to the outer yellow berries.

Since this quilt wasn't planned and I didn't measure and center everything, I had some unevenness to work through.  I might try away some edges of the quilt to even things up after quilting, but then again I might not.

I do believe that I am done with this quilt top.  Unless someone has an idea so great as to change my mind, the mystery will continue next week as I start to machine quilt this piece.  This quilt is either going to be beautiful or be used to wash the car; only time will tell.

___
Fat Quarter Experiment
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


Friday, May 17, 2019

To the Beach!

My favorite "I wish I had designed this" quilt pattern is Picnic Patch Cutie Pattern.


It's a gorgeous quilt and I get to stitch lovely ribbon candy in each of the sashing strips.  Making this quilt is a present to myself, and this quilt was just gifted as a present to someone retiring to Florida.  I picked the colors to match their new house and hope they have many happy years with this quilt!

If you'd like to make this same quilt, you can purchase the quilt kit HERE.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Online Classes!

For the last half of 2018, I silently prepared to film two classes for Annie's Catalog and am excited to let you know that they are now online and available for purchase!

Machine Quilting with Rulers


I've brought two decades of quilting experience to this class, one of the most requested in-person classes that I teach.  I talk about picking the right type of rulers for your machine and show how to use each type of ruler safely effectively.



This class includes the pattern for the quilt on the cover and instruction on how to design your own show-stopping quilting plan.  I show you, step by step, how to quilt a variety of negative space techniques on your own quilt.

It feels great to finally let you in on my secret.  Annie's is a great family to work with:  I write for Quilter's World Magazine, film for Annie's Creative Studio, and now film online classes.  Everyone there knows their stuff!

I hope you enjoy my new classes!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

FQE part 4

My Fat Quarter Experiment is taking shape and I'm falling in love with the quilt.


For this step, I pulled out my bag of Lori Holt's Bloom templates, some Sun Tan Fossil Fern fabric, and a spool of Perfectly Pink InvisiFil thread.  I chose to hand applique these petals because I like to hand applique and the purpose of this quilt is to have fun and play and see what happens.

So far I like what is happening.

For my next step, I'm thinking either more applique or more thread or just start the machine quilting.  Hmmmmmm.....

_____
Fat Quarter Experiment
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Monday, May 13, 2019

Typecast Blog Tour -- Why (K)not?

Today is my day to celebrate Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill's/ Whole Circle Studio new Typecast English Paper Piecing Patterns. 



My letter is Y.  Since I'm in love with Benartex Fossil Fern fabrics, I pulled out my treasured box of Fossil Fern scraps, a spool of DecoBob thread for piecing, and got to work!



No one who knows me is surprised that lime green is the focus of my little block.

So how does the letter "Y" relate to my quilting life?  Well, it's the basis of my design choices for all of my quilts:


Whenever I come up with a wild and wacky idea for a quilt and start doubting myself, I say "Why (k)not?" and then create a wild and wacky quilt that is either great or about to become a cushion cover for the animal shelter dogs.  However it turns out, each quilt was fun to make and taught me something I can use in the next quilt.

I'm so grateful to Sheri for asking me to be a part of her Typecast tour because it re-ignited my love for handwork.  I gave up all hand work when my arthritis was progressing, but I never picked it back up once my body calmed down.  Since I started my "Y" block, I have started two other EPP projects, finished a small applique quilt, and have pulled out all of my unfinished handwork projects.

To see these projects, learn about my machine quilting projects, and follow along with my geeky quilting life on my blog, sign up for my newsletter, follow me as "DebbyBrownQuilts" on all social media channels (FaceBook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.), and visit DebbyBrownQuilts.Com for info about my new online classes and more.

Be sure to check out the other fantastic artists and makers who have joined the Typecast party!


• Wednesday, March 27: Tour Introduction by Whole Circle Studio


• Monday, April 1 — A: Kate Brennan of Aurifil
• Tuesday, April 2 — B: Mathew Boudreaux of Mister Domestic
• Wednesday, April 3 — C: Tara Curtis of Wefty Needle
• Thursday, April 4— D: Leah Day of Free Motion Quilting Project
• Friday, April 5 — Week 1 Wrap Up featuring A-D and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio


• Monday, April 8 — E: Erin Bay of Paper Pieces
• Tuesday, April 9 — F: Sylvia Schaefer of Flying Parrot Quilts
• Wednesday, April 10 — G: Giuseppe Ribaudo of Giucy Giuce
• Thursday, April 11— H: Hilary Jordan of By Hilary Jordan
• Friday, April 12 — Week 2 Wrap Up featuring E-H and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio


• Monday, April 15 — I: Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios
• Tuesday, April 16 — J: Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl
• Wednesday, April 17 — K: Karen O’Connor of Lady K Quilts
• Thursday, April 18 — L: Kristy Daum of St. Louis Folk Victorian
• Friday, April 19 — Week 3 Wrap Up featuring I-L and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio


• Monday, April 22 — M: Molli Sparkles of Molli Sparkles
• Tuesday, April 23 — N: Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
• Wednesday, April 24 — O: Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios
• Thursday, April 25 — P: Pat Sloan of Pat Sloan
• Friday, April 26 — Week 4 Wrap Up featuring M-P and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio


• Monday, April 29 — Q: Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts
• Monday, April 29 — Q: Lindsay Széchényi of Lindsay Széchényi (and Patchwork Threads)
• Tuesday, April 30 — R: Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop
• Wednesday, May 1 — S: Sarah Thomas of Sariditty
• Thursday, May 2 — T: Rachel Rossi of Rachel Rossi• Friday, May 3— Week 5 Wrap Up featuring Q-T and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio

• Monday, May 6 — U: Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter
• Tuesday, May 7 — V: Jenn McMillan of Fabric, Ink
• Wednesday, May 8 — W: Jenny Meeker of Bobbin Roulette Studio
• Thursday, May 9 — X: Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety
• Friday, May 10 — Week 6 Wrap Up featuring U-X and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio


• Monday, May 13 — Y: Debby Brown of Debby Brown Quilts
• Tuesday, May 14 — Z: Nisha Bouri and Kim Martucci of Brimfield Awakening
• Wednesday, May 15 — Week 7 Wrap Up featuring Y-Z, Tour closeout and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Piece-Full Days

I love to teach for Annie's Creative Studio and teaching how to make the Piece-Full Days quilt made my little heart go "pitter-pat."


If you have lots of scraps and leftover fabric strips, this is the perfect quilt project for you! The more variety in your fabrics, the better your quilt will look. In this Learn, Make, Create! episode, expert quilter Debby Brown demonstrates how to clean out your scrap basket and create this treasure at the same time.

In this episode, you'll learn how to:
  • Choose a controlled or a super scrappy palette.
  • Sew accurate 1/4" seams.
  • Piece tricky triangles.
Since this was a piece-full quilt, I decided to pull out my "peaceful" fabric scraps. 


How did I do?

I just mailed off this quilt with four of its friends to gift a family with a quilt for each of them.  Just because I can.  Isn't that the best feeling?

Annie's Creative Studio is a subscription-based platform where you can learn from experts (like me!) how to quilt, knit, crochet, and more!  If you aren't a member yet, sign up for a free trial to watch the entire episode.

Monday, May 06, 2019

FQE part 3

I've been undertaking a design experiment.  I started with a fat quarter and a bunch of fun thread and letting the quilt grow from there.  My lines aren't perfectly straight.  Nothing is measured and centered.  I'm PLAYING instead of STRESSING.

This week I pulled out some lovely Lemon Balm Fossil Fern fabric, some 1" paper circles, Icy Lemon InvisiFil threadapplique pins, and a straw needle and set to work.  I find the only way I can get beautifully round circles is to applique around a foundation; needle-turn applique just doesn't get that same perfectly crisp circle for some reason.


This is my "watch Marvel movies with my husband" hand work project at night.  I prop my feet up on my tuffet, throw a pillow in my lap, and stitch away while the fate of the universe is decided.


The fate of the universe is still up in the air, but this week's addition to the fat quarter experiment is finished.


What shall I do next?  More applique?  Start quilting?
____
Fat Quarter Experiment
Part 1
Part 2

Friday, May 03, 2019

A Quilt So Nice I Made It Twice

My favorite "I wish I designed this pattern" quilt pattern is Picnic Patch Cutie Pattern.  I make it all of the time.  So when I saw this fabric at my local quilt shop, I knew exactly what I had to do.


Did you notice all of those beautiful 1" sashings?  They BEG for ribbon candy:


I happily oblige.

Question:  Why did I make two of this exact quilt?
Answer:  Because I have two children, naturally.

How could I pick which child to give this ADORABLE quilt to? 

Kits are available at Quilt Basket, in case you need to buy one (or two) for yourself.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Goin' back to Houston!

Houston Quilt Festival has just announced it's list of teachers for October 2019 and I'm on the list!


I'm teaching four ruler classes on the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen (topic transferable to home machines) and two walking foot classes.

Will I see you there?

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Climate Change

I've been hard at work finishing up samples for Quilt Market on my Handi Quilter Forte who is affectionately known as Jason Momoa.  One evening Jason and I were not getting along.

My thread kept breaking:


If you've ever had that problem, you know just how frustrating it is.  It was time to start running through my "why is my thread breaking" checklist.

1.  Change needle

I changed the needle.  Thread still broke.

2.  Check the thread path.

I noticed that the thread was occasionally popping out of the thread mast so I squeeze a little piece of sponge inside of the opening.


Thread still broke.

3.  I noticed that the slippery thread was unspooling and getting caught under the cone and under the cone stand so I added a thread wrapper/thread net to keep the thread contained .


The thread still brok.

4.  I wondered if the thread was wound on the cone improperly so I turned the thread upside down.


The thread still broke.

After that I tried quilting while standing on one leg, quilting with my fingers crossed, and other silliness yet the thread still broke.

Eventually I decided that Jason Momoa and I needed a break from each other so I stopped quilting and went to bed.

I woke up the next morning and introduced myself to Jason.  "Good morning, darling.  You and I are going to have a wonderful day today because you are big and strong and you love me.  Right?"

And the thread stopped breaking.

WHAT????!!!??????

That's when I noticed the sunny weather outside.  The evening before I was quilting during a thunderstorm.

Reminder:  humidity can affect thread, y'all.

PS -- Jason Momoa really does love me.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Into The Wild

I was searching for a book to listen to whilst quilting and nothing in my Audible account was speaking to me.  I randomly downloaded We Die Alone and it blew my mind.




This is one of WWII's "little" stories, except there's nothing little about it at all.

In one way, nothing happened. Jan Baalsrud was the sole survivor of a commando mission that had to be abandoned. The Germans knew that there was an enemy combatant in occupied Norway and were searching for him, but they never found him. That's the war part of the story.

The human story is much larger. Jan Baalsrud survived an incredible ordeal escaping Norway but he was only one of the heroes of this story. Many ordinary Norwegians did extraordinary tasks to ensure his survival and eventual escape.

When Into the Wild was the book of the moment and everyone raved about it, I never understood why. It felt like a needless waste of a life to me, and people were hailing Christopher McCandless as a hero.  If they want to read an account of man versus nature and man versus man and a life spent for others, this is the story they needed to read instead.
 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Fat Quarter Experiment (FQE) part 2

I'm experimenting with various quilting techniques and threads starting with the world's most perfect Fat Quarter.  (See part 1)

After the applique comes the big stitches:


I pulled out a spool of Glamore thread (available at Quilt Basket) and stitched along some straight-ish lines drawn parallel to my bias tape applique.


I have ideas on where to go next.  This is either going to be amazing or awful, but I'm having fun getting there.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Adventures with Quilts and Photos

Last week I posted photos of my death defying attempts to get a photo of a my Squared Away Cutie quilt.  This week I finished its fraternal twin and had to (gulp) take another photo.

Meet Stepping Stones:


It was raining when I had time to take this photo, so this is on my front porch.  Did you know that rainy days have wonderful light for photos?  Sunny days are too bright but overcast, rainy days make excellent photo days.

The fabric in these two quilts is The Blue Skies Collection by Sharon Holland Designs for Paintbrush Studios (thank you, selvedge).  It's gotta be from 2010 or so.  I pulled out a bolt of Wilmington Prints Sonoma Solids blue spruce and it POPPED!  I use this in my Forever in Peace Cutie Quilt kit, but don't have extra yardage for sale.  Sorry!

Now I have to tell you that I live in the honest-to-goodness woods.  I can walk to the Appalachian Trail and we keep our property as it grows.  The animals win.  We could fight them, but we'd lose so...

I rarely use my front door.  We use the garage as our entrance.  Our guests usually enter via the garage.  Even the package delivery services know that if they honk, I'll open the garage door from my studio (remote control -- BRILLIANT!) and they can chuck the packages inside without bothering to walk around to my front door.

So I went outside to take a rainy day photo on the front porch.  And was promptly attacked by nesting birds.


I don't know what kind of bird it was, but it was little and makes a next from mud and moss.  Evidence to follow.

Debris below the nest:


Mud flung on my front doors*.  Somehow.


Seriously, these mud spots are nearly as large as the bird.


So the birds get custody of my front porch until their babies are fledged.  Then I will sweep the porch and scrub my doors.   Until then, please honk and I'll let you in through the garage.

Shhhh.... baby birds are sleeping.

_____
*I hate my front doors.  Seventeen years ago when we bought this house I said "The very first thing I'm doing is replacing those front doors."  That was as accurate as when I said, "Mom, it's just a prom date; it's not like I'm gonna marry the guy."  Famous.  Last.  Words.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Stitching in Circles

I've mentioned before that I'm absolutely in love with walking foot quilting.  I've filmed another episode of Annie's Creative Studio showing patterns you can stitch with the walking foot on your home sewing machine.


               "Did you know that you can make smooth spirals on your quilts using a walking foot? Expert Debby Brown shows you how in this series on finishing your quilts on your home sewing machine. In part three of this Quilter's Skill Builders series, you will practice quilting several different spirals. Debby's proven tips will help you plan the spiral placement while easing the physical work of quilting curves.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:
•             Center or offset your spiral.
•             Choose spiral size and spacing.
•             Set appropriate stitch length.
•             Fill in the edge areas."


Annie's Creative Studio is a subscription-based platform where you can learn from experts (like me!) how to quilt, knit, crochet, and more!  If you aren't a member yet, sign up for a free trial to watch the entire episode.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

In Search Of: The Perfect Stitch

Are you always in search of the perfect stitch?  In other words, is machine tension causing you physical tension?

My latest article in Quilter's World Magazine is all about how to achieve the perfect stitch when machine quilting.



I'm blushing, because I'm a cover girl.  Did you notice?


Look for this magazine at your local quilt shop, a newstand, or subscribe HERE.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Garden of Beasts

I borrowed the audiobook Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver from the library simply because it had a similar name to the biography of Ambassador Dodd which I recently read and wrote about. That book was wonderful and this was amazing, both in different ways.




This novel started as a 30s gangster crime novel, threw in some Forest Gump "Hey I met someone famous" events, was a detective thriller, was set in Hitler's Germany of the 30s, and was a bad-man-with-a-good-heart story. Plus a love interest.

So, that long list sounds like Mr. Deaver might have over-reached, but he really didn't. This book kept me awake and quilting til the wee hours just to finish it. 

For some reason I can't remember, I decided that I didn't like Jeffery Deaver novels years ago, but now I'll have to give them another try.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Fat Quarter Experiment

Quilting is:

my job
my therapy
my hobby

Last weekend I felt the need to let quilting be my creative outlet.  

I've been collecting Fossil Fern Fabrics and have had a desire to play with bias tape for months.  So I did.


I took one of my longarm curved rulers and drew opposing curves on a Pastel Almond Fossil Fern fat quarter.  I didn't center the curve; I just plopped it on.  When I drew the opposing curve, I only measured so that the tops and bottoms of the curves matched the first curve.

I cut bias strips from Fossil Fern Wisteria, pieced them together, and made 1/2" bias tape.  Then I appliqued it to the curve using InvisiFil thread,  applique pins, and a straw needle.


I really enjoyed this small bit of hand stitching while I sat and visited with family this weekend.

I pulled out a bunch of other threads because I have ideas of where this is going next:


This is either going to be the best quilt ever or a total mess.  I'm ok either way and look forward to more small moments of play in the near future.

Friday, April 19, 2019

It ended with a BANG!

I fell in love with Big Bang fabric from Northcott and have only loved it more by making and quilting this quilt:


and filming this class


I had a plan for the quilting, and the plan worked out even better than I hoped!


Check out this class and learn how to not be overwhelmed by a large quilt and how to have fun randomizing a design.  


I thoroughly enjoyed this quilt and this class, and don't be surprised if I soon own a dress featuring the periodic table of the elements from this fabric line!  (Did I mention I was OBSESSED with this fabric?)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Great Idea!

I recently finished this Squared Away Cutie Quilt:


It's ribbon candy perfection and I just had to take a photo of it while it was on my lap.

My niece described it as "woodsy/earthy" so I got a great idea.

"Why don't I go outside in the back of the property on a really windy day while there is wet mud under the leaves and try to take photo?"

Great idea, Deb.  Really.

So I nearly killed myself climbing up to this rock.


It's not far but it's steep, well over a 45* climb.  The rock is about as tall as I am and I thought I'd drape the quilt over it for a photo.

Well...… the top of the rock is at an angle and the quilt kept slipping down.  I had to keep dropping my camera to catch the quilt before it hit the mud under the rock.  Approximately 134 times.

So I decided to drape the quilt in the tree next to the rock.


After 97 tries on 72 branches with the wind blowing the quilt down 100% of the time, this is the photo you get:


Yes, there's a shadow on the bottom because of the WIND WARNINGS.

Next time I'm bringing duck tape, a stapler, and weights to help hold the quilt for the photo.  Without those...

This is as good as it gets, folks.

And now you know how far I'll go for a quilt photo.  All the way to the back yard.  To twist my ankles, get muddy, say some colorful words, and entertain the neighbors.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Typecast

I'm over-the-moon thrilled to be a part of Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill's Typecast of Characters Blog Tour!


Check out all of the details HERE.

I'm learning how to best adapt English Paper Piecing to the special limits my hands have.  Stay tuned for more information about that.

Follow along with all of the bloggers:

TYPECAST OF CHARACTERS BLOG TOUR hosted by Whole Circle Studio:

• Wednesday, March 27: Tour Introduction by Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 1 — A: Kate Brennan of Aurifil
• Tuesday, April 2 — B: Mathew Bourdreaux of Mister Domestic
• Wednesday, April 3 — C: Tara Curtis of Wefty Needle
• Thursday, April 4— D: Leah Day of Free Motion Quilting Project
• Friday, April 5 — Week 1 Wrap Up featuring A-D and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 8 — E: Erin Bay of Paper Pieces
• Tuesday, April 9 — F: Sylvia Schaefer of Flying Parrot Quilts
• Wednesday, April 10 — G: Giuseppe Ribaudo of Giucy Giuce
• Thursday, April 11— H: Hilary Jordan of By Hilary Jordan
• Friday, April 12 — Week 2 Wrap Up featuring E-H and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 15 — I: Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios
• Tuesday, April 16 — J: Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl
• Wednesday, April 17 — K: Karen O’Connor of Lady K Quilts
• Thursday, April 18 — L: Kristy Daum of St. Louis Folk Victorian
• Friday, April 19 — Week 3 Wrap Up featuring I-L and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 22 — M: Molli Sparkles of Molli Sparkles
• Tuesday, April 23 — N: Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
• Wednesday, April 24 — O: Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios
• Thursday, April 25 — P: Pat Sloan of Pat Sloan
• Friday, April 26 — Week 4 Wrap Up featuring M-P and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 29 — Q: Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts
• Monday, April 29 — Q: Lindsay Széchényi of Lindsay Széchényi (and Patchwork Threads)
• Tuesday, April 30 — R: Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop
• Wednesday, May 1 — S: Sarah Thomas of Sariditty
• Thursday, May 2 — T: Rachel Rossi of Rachel Rossi
• Friday, May 3— Week 4 Wrap Up featuring Q-T and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, May 6 — U: Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter
• Tuesday, May 7 — V: Jenn McMillan of Fabric, Ink
• Wednesday, May 8 — W: Jenny Meeker of Bobbin Roulette Studio
• Thursday, May 9 — X: Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety
• Friday, May 10 — Week 5 Wrap Up featuring U-X and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, May 13 — Y: Debby Brown of Debby Brown Quilts
• Tuesday, May 14 — Z: Nisha Bouri and Kim Martucci of Brimfield Awakening
• Wednesday, May 15 — Week 6 Wrap Up featuring Y-Z, Tour closeout and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio