Tuesday, May 2, 2017

pillows pillows pillows

Pillows--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Think of pillows. Warm. Soft. Inviting. A quick way to redecorate a room. And for me--the maker--they are a fun way to experiment with color and design. After all, it is just a pillow. It doesn't have to always match.

I like having them in the studio--they make the space look more complete. They are one of those smaller items that a customer can choose. And they do sell. Sometimes one at a time. Sometimes a customer wants to redecorate and chooses several.

I don't always notice when my stock gets low. After all, if I don't have them, they won't sell. Earlier this year I noticed that I had very few left. I had shipped a bunch off for an order on Etsy. Another customer realized that they needed a couple for their office decor. Something to comfort the people waiting for their services.

Time to make more. But what would the design be this time? Would each one be unique? Or what about a matched series where they would all coordinate? I love that challenge. Each pillow leads me on to new colors. New discoveries. I could keep looking at what I have and wonder what more I needed. How addictive is that? 

Green first--that was what one customer wanted.

Green pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Then purple. People who like purple, LIKE PURPLE.

Purple pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Then there is blue. And blue. Don't you love how different the two blues are?

Blue pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

French blue pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Rust to coordinate with the other colors.

Rust pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Brown always looks good against the blue, doesn't it?

Brown pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

And then there is teal--how dreamy is this? Doesn't it go with almost everything?

Teal pillow--16x16 in--Ann Brauer

Oh there are so many more I want to make. I am working on a grey right now. Then I need a gold--that will be hard. Plum is obvious and fun. Then there is red--not too red. The lighter reds will be a challenge, I know but I can't wait. What other colors should I work on? How would you pair them up? What do you think? Do you ever work in series just because?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Paradise Perks

I'm offering 20% off select Old Favorites at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Marlborough, MA next week-end with this coupon--I'm Booth 135.

You can download my coupon here and check out the others also. I wonder what other quilts I will add to this selection. I must go through my studio and see what I find. They will be work that I love but am not currently making and so I don't tend to bring them to shows and it becomes a Catch 22. Why not? (Of course this offer does not apply to orders or recent quilts but I will try to have a good selection.)https://festivals.paradisecityarts.com/spring-marlborough-perks

winter light--about 96x96 inches--Ann Brauer

pink butterflies--24x48 inches--Ann Brauer

3 landscapes--36x36 inches--Ann Brauer

skyscraper--8x64 inches--Ann Brauer--select colors available

field table runners--12x40 inches--Ann Brauer (this design only)

river of summer--38x38 inches--Ann Brauer
hidden lake--40x40 inches--Ann Brauer

Saturday, March 4, 2017


I am so honored to have my quilt "prairie sunrise" in the show "Because" at the Motherbrook Galleries in Dedham, MA. If you are in the Boston area, I do hope you will get a chance to check it out. Thanks Iris.

prairie sunrise--Ann Brauer 2016--image by John Polak

Sunday, February 12, 2017

seasons of the marsh--winter

One of the many reasons I love doing craft shows is to listen to what the public thinks about a new quilt. Here's hoping they like "seasons of the marsh-winter"--that I just finished and I can't wait to show it at the Baltimore Craft Show this February 24-26 at the Convention Center. I'm Booth 1308.

seasons of the marsh--winter--32x72 inches--copyright Ann Brauer--photo by John Polak

For discounted tickets:

  1. Visit Eventbrite.
  2. Enter 50% promotional code BWI2017GUEST 
  3. Click APPLY. 
  4. The discount was applied to your One-day pass (you will see the price will be discounted 50%)
  5. Select quantity of One-day Pass
  6. Click ORDER NOW. 
  7. Complete your contract information: name, email and password. 
  8. Click PAY NOW and you will be taken to a confirmation page.
  9. You can download your tickets immediately and also are sent an email confirmation with a download link.
I hope to see some of you there.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

getting ready for Baltimore

Ah--so much to do before the Baltimore Show February 24-26. I sure wish it would quit snowing so I could get down to the studio and make more quilts. Oh well. Soon I will be there--I'm Booth 1308. If you want to save on tickets, you can prepurchase one day half price tickets by going to Craft Council 
and using this code BWI2017GUEST

And to cheer up those like me dealing with a snowy Thursday, here's a sneak preview of some of my new quilts--I just got new images from my wonderful photographer John Polak. (My DH drove me to the local Post Office this morning as the snow was just starting so I could get them. Thanks!!!)  How lucky I was that it only snowed a bit last Thursday when I got the images taken.

Anyway, I call this one August moon--don't you love the rich warm colors of the sky against the brown of the ripening fields. Can you tell I grew up on the prairie where the sky stretched seemingly forever?

august moon--40x40 inches--2016--copyright Ann Brauer--image by John Polak

This is its companion quilt--autumn sun. I love how intense the rich brown colors of autumn are with hints of the deep blue sky.

autumn sun--40x40 inches--copyright Ann Brauer 2016--photo by John Polak

And one more. Those who follow me on Facebook or Instagram have seen hints of this triptych but it sure looks better in its formal portrait, doesn't it?  Each of these quilts are about 12 x 60 inches and I will sell them separately or as a set. Just think of the many different ways you could display them.

marsh moon--12x60 inches--copyright Ann Brauer 2016--image by John Polak
Well, I hope that gives you a sense of some of my new quilts. I'll try to post more in a few days. Meanwhile tomorrow is the studio when I try to get more work done!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Baltimore postcard

I love the fact that the American Craft Council now gives you a template with their log so you can design your own postcard. Thanks to the help of my DH, my cards are now being printed. Great idea, Craft Council. Hope to see some of you there.  For more information:  Baltimore Craft Show.

Here's the front. What do you think?

Baltimore postcard Copyright Ann Brauer 2017

 And the back.

Baltimore card--copyright Ann Brauer 2017

Now to get more work done.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

no more excuses

Sometimes you know--you just have to start. Sure I have memorized the images of the space until I know the colors and the angles by heart.  I have played with fabrics shopping for new ones and more of those I know want to use. Thinking about what will work in those wee hours of the morning as I think about getting up. Sketching designs in my mind as I drive to the studio or finish some hand sewing. 

But now--the holidays are over. I have deadlines and no more excuses. I need to begin.  There are so many possibilities. So many questions of scale that I need to address. Sometimes though for me that best way is to just start. See what I can learn by working at this scale. Will it be like I anticipated? Are the colors going to be right? Will the shape and movement be right? What will I want to do differently? What are the technical issues of this scale that are different from smaller quilts?

Sure I have made quilts that are this size before. "Sunrise" was 30 x 80 inches. I know I can do that.

sunrise--30x80"--quilt--Ann Brauer 2015
My quilt "distant flame" was vertical and also about the right size at 36x80 inches although I fear that three of these quilts would be too busy for the space.

distant fire--36x80"--ann brauer--2015

There is also my quilt "blue dream". I love how organically the "grasses" stretch to the sky but I wonder how it will translate when each panel is three times as wide. Three panels with three separate grasses could be too much for the space. What will happen when each panel becomes wider and shorter. Will it still have the same grace or will it look boring as a block of color?

blue dream--38x100 inches--ann brauer--2015

This time the mission is to create three matching wall hangings in three different colors in my "flame" or "marsh grass"series to hang in an entry way. The colors of the space are soft and floral but also sophisticated. I don't want it to be too busy. There is a lot of subtle design in the space. But I also don't want it to be too subtle that it fades into the background. The three quilts that have been ordered are each to be about 32x72 inches. Size does matter. It will be important to get the flowing grasses within this concept and have the three quilts look unified together.

What about "marsh moon"?  I love the glimpses of light peeking through the grasses? If I use the same feeling of light in all three panels will that tie the work together? Granted it will need some work to get the size right? But what will happen when I make three of them in the colors of the rug? Like three versions of the day? Will it be too busy or will the detail work perfectly to complement the rug.

marsh moon--work in progress--about 36x60 inches--ann brauer--2016

Hmmm. Well sometimes the only way to find out is to start. There is a lot I will learn by actually making the quilt and seeing how it works. After all, the worst case is I have a finished quilt that is not quite right for the space but that has taught me how to think this big. Nothing wrong with that, is there? And I do want to get this order done before the Baltimore Craft Show in February. Oh so much to do, isn't there?

Now before I begin this blog series I want to alert my readers, this will not be a how-to post. My goal in this post--and indeed in all of my blogs--is not to show how to make a quilt just like mine but instead to suggest how I think when I am making a quilt--the questions I ask and how I muddle through to get the right finished product in the hope that some of these same questions and methods will help you make the quilts that you imagine and want to create.