Wednesday, February 27, 2013

sewing it together

Isn't there a song about snowy days and Sundays? Well, I guess the song was written in California but I am sure you get the gist.  Time though to get some tasks done.

Now one of the tasks is to write again about how I join the blocks together. Sure, I have written about this before but it is some place in the depths of my blog posts--I have been doing this for several years after all. So for those who are not interested, well there is always some snow to shovel--and if you don't have any, I can offer you some . And of course, you can alter this method using your own methods. Why not?

 As you probably know I piece the quilt in blogs and pin it to the display board.

I take two blocks that I want to join and pin them right sides together.

And sew a seam.


Then I cover the seam with a binding.

Which I whip stitch in place.

Press the seam open and repeat.


And repeat and repeat. Turn up the music. Take a break. And repeat.....

See that wasn't hard, was it? Just a bit long and a bit tedious.  Oh well, isn't that part of making quilts?

Good luck. And do let me know if you come up with any other variations on this method. I know I am always hunting for an easier method.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

getting started

One of the interesting and unexpected results from the articles I have written recently is that I get asked questions about aspects of quilting that I usually do automatically. For instance, I recently received an e-mail asking how I get started on a quilt. How do I organize my fabrics? How do I choose which fabrics to use? Do I cut out everything first?

Nope. For me the process is simple. Not easy but simple. Now obviously you find other ways of doing this but this is how I do it. And yes, it was interesting to stop and think about it rather than just doing it.

Now, I have an order to make a quilt similar to ancient light but more golden for a wonderful customer. You may remember this quilt. A color progression with blocks or windows of light shining through.

But what colors to use? I always tell myself to start with what I know. The quilt will take on a life of its own as I work on it.

I pull out my boxes of fabric. No, I don't spend a lot of time sorting the fabrics. I just put them in boxes in some form of relationship to the basic color of the fabric. Often it is just groups of fabric that I used on the last project. Why spend time sorting when I am going to look through the box again?

Then I sort through this box depending on the color I am going for. I pull out all the colors that might possibly work.

Some I reject because though the background color is just what I want the print may be too busy or have the wrong colors on it. Purple flowers just won't go with this quilt--alas.

I always know my reject pile is much larger than the ones I choose to use. And even for the first block I will need about 8 fabrics. Since there will be five blocks in this row and I don't want to just repeat myself this is a LOT of fabric.

I cut the fabrics into the wedges I am going to use for this quilt. This lets me again think about the colors. Wonder if there are any other fabrics that will work. Maybe in the yellow boxes there will be something. Is there an orange or a grey that may work? I do spend time searching for just that little snippet that will make the quilt. And yes, I save all the wedges that I cut and go through this box also. You do never know, do you?

If the pile of wedges is too big, it takes too long to go through and find the piece that I know will be just right. If it is too small, then I spend too much time cutting more wedges.

Finally the fun begins. I choose two fabrics to start and lay them on top of the batting. This is some ways does actually determine what the final quilt will look like.

Finally I get a row done and pinned onto the wall. Looks so small and insignificant doesn't it after all that work. And then repeat and repeat and repeat the process until it is done.That's it. Simple though not always easy.

So how do you start? What tips can you share?

Monday, February 4, 2013

the quilts of Ann Brauer--winter light

No, I cannot believe it is February already and the light is returning. Every day I notice when I leave the studio that it is just a bit lighter and in the mornings I watch the sun rise earlier and earlier as I make my coffee.  I have been working seemingly non-stop to get ready for the Baltimore Craft Show February 22-24. This is always the time when I try to define the directions I hope to take for the next several months. I have several new quilts including "falling stars" and "winter light" that I can't wait to show you. In addition I have been stocking up on eyeglass cases and table runners for those hunting for smaller works. This is a sneak preview of "winter light" which is almost finished. As you tell tell it is BIG--99x99" when finished. Because it is using the thin strips it is also slightly lighter in weight than my other quilts. I can't wait to show you the finished quilt. I am Booth 4208.

  And this is a new smaller piece I call "maple". Do you see a theme here?
There are also lots of other wonderful fiber artists doing the show this year. Check out who is going to be showing  and further information about the show at:  Of course members of the American Craft Council always get in for free.  But this year the show is offering you the ability to prepurchase tickets until February 21 at considerable savings. When purchasing use the code  BWI2013GUEST and save 50%. Great news isn't it? Tickets Friday after 5 pm are also reduced in price although how anyone can see the show in just a few hours is beyond me.

For those who can't make it to the Baltimore Show I will be doing the Paradise City Arts Festival in March and CraftBoston in April. And of course when I am not at a show, I am working in my studio in Shelburne Falls most days although I do suggest calling first to make sure I am there if you are coming from a distance.

Meanwhile the quilt of the month is "red sky". This quilt  which is 32 x 48" normally sells for $800 but for the next ten days or until it is sold the quilt will be $600 plus shipping and any applicable taxes.

Well enough for now. I hope to see many of you in the next several months. Of course if you no longer wish to receive this monthly newsletter please do let me know with your name and the address at which you receive it. Yes, I did have some problems with my e-mail over the last month in case you were trying to reach me. I am sorry.

Ann Brauer
6 Bridge Street
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

413 625 8605