Book Review: Hexagonal Tilings and Patterns + GIVEAWAY!

Well, January seems to be the month for good books and hot coffee. And watching old movies with sick kidlets, but we won’t go there. . . .

Today I want to share with you a fun book that you probably won’t find in quilt stores. Several months ago, Richard Hollos contacted me after he saw my book, Adventures in Hexagons, at his local library. He asked if I’d be interested in reviewing his book, Hexagonal Tilings and Patterns. Intrigued, I said I’d be delighted to, and I’m glad I did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book shows lots of tessellating hexagon patterns.  Each of the 132 pages has a unique tiling design on it. Some of them would make great quilts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others are very complex,  or have open-ended shapes that wouldn’t work so well for quilts. But they’re inspiring, nonetheless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a feature of the book that I thought was pretty clever is the creative license agreement in the front of the book.The authors give you permission to use the tilings in any way you want to (including quilt designs!) so long as you reference them as the tiling source. I may take them up on this, several of their designs look like fabulous quilts.

They also gave me a second copy of the book to share with one of you! If you’re interested, leave a comment below. (I apologize for the weirdness of my wordpress theme.  If you can’t see the comment box, scroll back to the top of the page, click on the title of this post, and then scroll back down, where the comment box has magically appeared.) For an extra chance to win, head over to Instagram and follow me there. . .Then come back and leave another comment telling me you’re following on IG. I’ll select a winner randomly next Thursday, January 26, and post the winner’s name on my next blog post.

Happy Stitching!

Book Review: Cotton and Indigo From Japan

Happy New Year! As you may have seen on my Instagram, I have been spending a lot of my time lately snuggled under extra blankets, hot drink and good book in hand.  One of my favorites has been Teresa Duryea Wong’s new book, Cotton and Indigo from Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a book to savor. The photography is gorgeous, the stories and information are fascinating. . . . When Teresa’s first book came out, I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting.  This one I made myself spread out over a couple of days so I could enjoy it a little longer. If you know anyone who loves all things Japanese, they will enjoy this book.  While the book talks quite a bit about quilting, it’s also a wonderful insight into many intriguing aspects of Japanese culture.

I also attended one of Teresa’s lectures about the book last fall.  I’d never been to a guild meeting before! At the time, I was wishing I had brought pen and paper to take notes on her lecture, but all the wonderful information is in the book too. Check out her website for a lecture near you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She also brought an amazing quilt to share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teresa made it from her own collection of lovely indigos and Japanese fabrics, and she hand stitched it in the chiku-chiku style. (What is chiku-chiku? Check out the book to find out! Me, I just might have to learn the technique, because chiku-chiku is loads of fun to say!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s on your reading list right now?

Happy Stitching!

 

Christmas Round-Up

I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying a lovely holiday!  My kids finished up school today, so I’m taking a much-needed break, and dedicating the next week to baking, decorating, and crafting with my kids and family.  I’ll be back to regular blog posts in January. Until then, please enjoy this round-up of tutorials and patterns for Christmas celebrations, drawn from my past 6 and a half years of blogging!

Quick Craft Tutorials

Perfect for last-minute gifts!

Bowl Cozy Tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hugs and Kisses Coasters

Mug Rug from Sizzix Big Shot Scraps

Kanzashi Flower Candle Coaster

Christmas Quilt Patterns

Buy now, get Christmas fabric on sale next week, and start quilting for a finish by 2018!

Tumbling Snowflakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colossal Peppermints

 

 

Peppermints and Snowflakes 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Whirlwind
Yummy!

My own Coconut Bundt Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing you the very best of this Christmas season.  I’m so grateful that YOU are a part of my quilting journey!!

Happy Stitching!

Quilt Market 2017 Yoko Saito’s Schoolhouse Presentation on her New Fabric Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Schoolhouse this fall, Yoko Saito introduced her fans to her gorgeous Centenary 23 fabric line, available in 2018. You can see all 61 fabrics in the collection on Lecien’s website. As she showed the fabrics, she gave wonderful tips about how she incorporates the various fabrics into quilts.

Yoko Saito’s Tips for Appliques

The Centenary 23 fabric line included several fabulous brown prints, suitable for trees. Saito-san recommended using the prints vertically for tree appliques, and horizontally for representing paths or streets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was also insistent that quilters use more than one fabric for tree appliques, because no tree has just one color!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several of her fabrics incorporated leaves and trees, and gave completely different effects when viewed up close or from a distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saito-san encouraged us to consider using both sides of the fabric, as sometimes the backside of the fabric provides the right amount of color and a softer design.

Using Fabric as a Design Element

Saito-san is renowned for her extremely detailed, intricate appliques and quilting, so I was delighted with her tip about selecting background fabrics. She said that using a subtly busy print for the background makes it look like you appliqued more than you really did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Centenary 23 collection includes a basket print in several color options. She created this print because she loves Nantucket baskets. She recommends using the basket weave print in sashings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite prints from the new collection is this stunning black and red print.  It’s such a contrast to most of her palette, but it works perfectly with the other fabrics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new collection also includes new Etoffe Improvue linens for clothing.  Here is Saito-san modeling one of the three new linen prints in her gorgeous tunic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saito-san hinted that one of her new quilting books will also include patterns for making clothing, and knitting! I’m starting to learn knitting NOW  so I’ll be ready by the time this book is available in English (a couple of years down the road!)

So, that’s it for my Schoolhouse recap! Next week I will be sharing photos from Saito-san’s exhibit at Market and Festival.

Happy Stitching!!

 

Quilt Market 2017- Yoko Saito’s Schoolhouse Presentation on her Favorite Projects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re on Instagram and Facebook, you already know that I was INCREDIBLY excited to attend Yoko Saito’s schoolhouse presentations this fall. For the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing photos and notes I took throughout the weekend, over her presentations, her exhibitions, and even getting to meet her personally.  It was an amazing experience.

So, first up, her presentation with Priscilla Knoble of Stitch publications about her favorite books and projects. Saito-san was an absolute DELIGHT to listen to, even if you couldn’t understand her words, her enthusiasm and excitement were evident throughout.

Saito-san publishes two books PER YEAR, each with 25-30 projects. She typically makes these projects in about 6 months, and ONLY uses her sewing machine for sewing the bases to her bags. Now that’s productive. She also teaches 400 students, and prepares special patterns just for them.

Yoko Saito’s Favorite projects

One of the first projects she showed was her hand-sewing kit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The audience giggled when Priscilla pulled a clover needle threader out of it. When asked about her choice of needles, Saito-san said she uses Clover black needles to get her tiny stitches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up, a darling turtle pincushion, from her wool work book.

 

Then she showed a tote bag she designed for carrying piano books, based on a sketch of Mozart that she drew while watching a show about him on television. The top section with the notes on it is a zippered pencil pouch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She said one of the reasons she makes so many bags is that Japanese people don’t always have a lot of room to store lots of quilts in their home. But they use public transportation frequently, and enjoy having bags to take with them on the trains for their shopping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tote bag below is from a new book that she published with a publisher in Taiwan. Stitch publications will have an English version available next year. Quiltmania already has it in French, so of course I impulse bought a copy.  It lives up to expectations!!  I love the pop of red on this tote, which is also on the book cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The detail on this scallop tote is mind-blowing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And last, but not least, here’s a project from her Japanese Taupe Theory book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fun facts

We had a chance to ask questions at the end of the presentation.  Someone asked what Saito-san’s home studio looked like. She replied that she never worked on quilting or sewing projects at home, only at her store workshop. She said she can’t even think about designs if her husband is around. How cute is that!?

Finally, Saito-san also talked a little about her inspiration for the Scrap Valley book.  She said that she loves antique American designs, and wanted to incorporate them into some larger projects.

Saito-san’s journey into fabric design

Saito-san started designing fabric for Lecien about 20 years ago.  She was having trouble finding Japanese fabrics that gave the effects she wanted, so when Lecien approached her about designing, it was a win-win for both of them. Some of her designs are based on a 100-year old book of patterns from Lecien.

Next week, I’ll be posting about her second schoolhouse presentation. It focused on her upcoming line from Lecien, and included some tips for using fabric creatively to achieve realistic textures.

Happy Stitching!

(And if you’re new to my site, you can check out the Japanese Quilting Study group tab at the top of this page for lots more information about Yoko Saito and Japanese Quilting!

 

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Winner and SALE

A huge thank you to everyone who stopped by for the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks volume 16 Blog Tour!! So much fun!!!

Congratulations to Diane P., who won a copy of the magazine!

And my new shop means that I can join in the fun of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday with a special TCQ coupon code.  Just enter “turkey17” in the shop to enjoy 30% off ALL my digital patterns AND digital pattern bundles. After purchase, your downloads will be immediately available, so you can get right to the fun of picking fabric and starting a new project.  I can’t wait to see what you create!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing you and yours a very lovely Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for YOU!

Happy Stitching!

 

 

 

 

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 16 Blog Tour

A big Texas “Howdy!” to all y’all stopping by for the blog tour fun!  I’m so glad you’re here!

If you’re a new visitor to The Caffeinated Quilter, let me introduce myself.  I’m Emily Breclaw, a pattern designer, C&T author, coffee fanatic, quilter, and board gamer. Most of the time, I’m a hand piecer, because, well, five kids means not a lot of dedicated time at the sewing machine, but lots of moments waiting in cars, sitting at sports events, and at the kitchen table helping with homework. Quilting means that no matter how busy the day gets, I can still carve out a little time to make something every day.

Today I’m excited to be sharing with you a super fun and fast little English paper pieced block, Diamond Wreath. I made this block entirely by hand during a road trip last year visiting family for Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the portability of EPP, and this design is just plain fun to stitch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The four little yo-yo’s can be holly berries if you do them in red like the sample block.  Or if you celebrate Advent, you can easily turn this into an Advent wreath by making 3 purple yo-yo’s and one pink.  That’s on my to-do list for this year.

 

Diamond wreath table topper

I also super-sized this block, using 3” diamonds, to make a fun table decoration.  This version is all hand pieced, and uses black diamonds to finish off the background, instead of the background square of fabric as explained in the magazine block. If you want to make your own, you can follow along with these images. . . I cut 24 black diamonds for the background. Please note that this is NOT the same piecing sequence as the magazine block.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, I haven’t quilted and bound this yet, but I hope to in time for Christmas.  If you want to see quilting and finished pictures, follow me on IG.

Do you love EPP and hand piecing? Or are you more of a machine stitcher?  Either way, if you want to learn more about sewing hexagons, please check out my book, Adventures in Hexagons.  I cover all the basics of sewing hexies using English paper piecing, hand-sewing, or machine sewing.

Thank you so much for stopping by on your virtual road trip! Before you go, please leave a comment below and tell me your favorite place to visit in the whole wide world.  I’ll randomly pick one winner to receive a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks volume 16. My favorite place, and where I would go if I could choose to live anywhere, would be Yokosuka, Japan.  I spent two weeks there in high school, and was so inspired by the culture.  Plus, it’s close to Tokyo, where Yoko Saito’s Quilt Party store is located.  Are you a fan of Yoko Saito too?  Be sure to subscribe to the blog and newsletter, I attended several events with her this past month at Quilt Market, and I’m preparing a bunch of blog posts about it (just need to organize the 177 photos I took!)

 

EDIT:  If you don’t see the comment form below, please click on the title of this post, and then scroll to the end of the post. I apologize for the inconvenience, not sure why WordPress is acting this way all of a sudden.  A huge thank you to the folks who brought this to my attention by e-mailing me!

Happy Stitching!!

 

Loverly Quilt-a-Long Week 5- Wrap-up!

Welcome back to the Loverly Quilt-a-Long! If you’re new to the series, please check out the previous posts (cuttingpiecingpiecing rows,  pressing). You can find the pattern for the quilt in my book, Adventures in Hexagons.

Today we’re wrapping up the series.  I’m not quite finished with mine yet, as you can see by the binding clips.  But I really wanted to hand-sew these bindings, so it’s taking me a little longer to finish. Here’s both of my Loverly versions I’ve been working on, plus the original.  Isn’t it fun to see how color changes the look of a quilt?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the fall color version, I stitched an allover leaf pattern.  It was so fun to stitch out, and an open enough design that I could avoid seam intersections easily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my patriotic version, I quilted free-form feathers.  This was my first real attempt at quilting feathers, so I’m glad I used a subtle colored thread. But overall, I’m tickled with how it turned out. It definitely kept the theme of the fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How is your Loverly turning out? Please post pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #loverlytablerunner, and tag me @thecaffeinatedquilter. You can also join the Adventures in Hexagons facebook group and post pictures there.  I love seeing your creations!!  Thanks for sewing along with me!

Stay tuned to the blog over the next couple of weeks, I’ve got some special Market updates to share with you (warning: it’s almost all about Yoko Saito.  My goal is to make the blog posts feel as if you were actually at her schoolhouse sessions and the evening event with her.) And next week will be my stop on the Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks blog tour, so lots of giveaway fun there.

 

Happy Stitching!!!

 

Loverly Quilt-a-Long Week 4- Preparing to Quilt

Welcome back to the Loverly Quilt-a-Long! If you’re new to the series, please check out the previous posts (cutting, piecing, piecing rows,  pressing). You can find the pattern for the quilt in my book, Adventures in Hexagons. This week we’re talking about quilting your table runner, and next week we’ll wrap up the series with some photo finishes! And after that, I can start telling you all about Quilt Market. It will be the return of the Japanese Quilting Study Group series. I met Yoko Saito, and boy, do I have a lot of wonderful information and images to share with you!

But for today, let’s focus on Loverly.  We will meet our goal of finishing before Christmas! Last week I said I was curious whether hand or machine piecing really was faster. I sewed the rows of the orange version together by machine, and it took me 40 minutes to sew two entire rows. Hand-piecing on the blue one took me 40 minutes for one row. So, for me at least, machine piecing is twice as fast. However, I have to note that it took three days before I had a 40 minute block of time to sit at my sewing machine, by which time I had finished several of the rows in “found moments” by hand. Food for thought!

 

I’ve been thinking long and hard about quilting designs.  I quilted the original Loverly in curliques, and I love the flexibility of that pattern (i.e.- you can avoid big seam intersections pretty easily, as I did in this close-up shot. If you can avoid quilting through those star points, do!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lately I’ve been having fun with big pebble quilting, so that’s a contender, but doesn’t really seem to fit the piece. . .. .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These blues look so romantic, I’m tempted to go all swirly on this one. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaves would be a challenge for me, but they would help tie the fall-themed fabrics together. . ..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many fun choices! What are your favorite quilting designs? Be sure to check out my Instagram feed for progress pictures as I start quilting these this week. (not on Instagram? No worries- the bottom of my shop page always shows the most recent posts, so you can see them there too!) And next week, we’ll have a finishing party. Wahoo!

Happy Stitching!!

 

Update on the Loverly Quilt-a-Long

Soo, I decided to give y’all an extra week to finish up piecing your Loverly table topper!  (Yeah, that’s it. .  .and I’m kind of too swamped with Quilt Market prep to finish a real post this week. . . ) My apologies for the delay, but we’ll get back to quilting on it next week, I promise!

In the meantime, piecing leads to pressing, and if you’re hand or machine piecing, you may be wondering how to press your seams (if you’re English Paper piecing, you can skip this, you’re all set to press in the direction you basted).

C&T to the rescue!  Check out my new video on the C&T website, and coming soon to my youtube channel, to get all of your pressing questions answered!!  (Get it? Hah! Sewing pun!!)

Happy Stitching, and PLEASE, follow me on FB and IG for lots of behind-the-scenes fun from Quilt Market this weekend!!