Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fabulous Fabrics: Oakdale

I recently found a fabric collection by Mark Lipinski (who, less than 2 years ago, I'd never heard of and now he's everywhere!) called "Oakdale" manufactured and distributed by Northcott. Well, I got some -- and it's spectacular! Ohmygosh, its coloration is so rich -- vibrant reds and interesting lime greens and yellows. The motif includes wheat, and sunbursts and tiny turkeys, along with surprising scrolls and some really original tonal fabrics. The scale is lovely for quilters and the designs and motifs are intricate, organized and detailed. I think every shop in the midwest should capitalize on the fabric's "bread basket" qualities and have a sample in their store.

For me, I recovered my popular pattern "Diamond Time" in the Oakdale collection and I think it's stunning. I hope my customers think so too.

Here's the backing fabric -- isn't it something?

Enjoy, Lori Allison

Brand Spankin' New "KLIMT"

I have loved the cubist art of Klimt since I saw his work at the Guggenheim -- okay, I was never at the Guggenheim, but I did see nice reproductions at the Linen's'N Things going out of business sale. Not quite as 'high brow' but inspirational never the less!

Then I looked for fun color combinations in the new Kaffe Fassett spring 09 prints and found this warm, Sonoran Desert pallette that I pursued for this design.

I contemplated these fabrics and fabulous shot cottons and finally decided that I couldn't not use that weird stripe! It just sang to me.

And so, here is my hope for putting groceries on the table this fall. I hope my customers like this contemporary, different way to use large prints.

Enjoy, Lori Allison

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fabrics I Can't Leave On The Shelf!

I just couldn't leave this Phillip Jacobs floral fabric on the shelf when I saw it. So clean and fresh that I designed my new bathroom around it -- spa blue. Now, when I walk into the bathroom, it just looks happy and contemporary. I put in an ocean-scented diffuser and it's like I'm on my own little tropical island.
Here's some quick and dirty directions to make your own shower curtain.

Just can't leave that oh-so-gorgeous fabric on the bolt at the store? And bonus! it matches your bathroom. Go ahead, purchase 5 yards, square up the ends with your ruler and rotary cutter, cut it in half, cut off all the selvages, sew the two lengths wrong sides together with 1/4" seam allowance, press, then with right sides together, stitch it again at 3/8" making a french seam that will not ravel in the wash. Press it.
(Oh, go ahead, buy an extra quarter yard and match it side to side if you must, but I warn you, not all large print quilt fabrics match up side to side like decorator fabrics)
Fold under 1/2" and then 1" on each side; press, pin and stitch.
Press under 5" at the top, fold back up and press on a 4 1/2" by curtain width strip of fusible interfacing about 1/2" from the top edge and even with the newly pressed fold line. Fold that top edge 1/2" under, then fold over 4 1/2" pin and stitch it down.
Buttonholes or Grommets
Make a mark about 1/2" from the top and 1" from each side edge. Measure the distance between the two marks and divide by 11. Make a mark at each intersection (approx 7 1/2") Make a vertical button hole or put in a grommet at each of the 12 marks. Hang your shower curtain using the decorative rings and determine how much hem will be needed. Fold under 1" and then fold over the hem width (up to 4") and stitch. Press thoroughly and hang. Enjoy. Lori Allison, Allison Quilt Designs

PS: Now I'm thinking new shower curtain for each season....look at these....from Michael Miller & Free Spirit found at The Fat Quarter Shop online. Too much fun!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Precious Gems is Pretty In Pink

One of my very first patterns was designed especially for beginners because it teaches all those good beginner skills like rotary cutting, strip piecing, subcutting, chaining, nesting, stitch in the ditch and free motion quilting. It's a one-stop-shop for beginning quilters.

Not long ago, however, I updated Precious Gems into some mod colors -- those young mothers like unbaby baby quilts and this actually makes a good baby quilt. Toss it on the floor and let the infant lie on it and practice using those large muscles. It also makes a wonderful backdrop for a photo or two of a baby. Very artistic.

Enjoy, Lori Allison

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Color My World

These participants learned some valuable pinning techniques that one person said, "your pinning techniques have improved ALL my sewing." Using strips of prescribed sizes -- or even Jelly Rolls, this group of quilters learned a fast, fun way to make the Arbor Window block for the three Allison Quilt Designs patterns that feature this block.
Enjoy, Lori Allison

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Diamond Time

An earlier pattern called "Must Love Diamonds" was very catchy and popular, but having made it three times, I remember how labor intensive it was. I wanted that look, but with a lot less work. "Diamond Time" fits that bill perfectly. It shows off a big print and frames it with with color. What could be better? Oh yeah -- it's super easy to make too.

Above shown in Kaffe Fassett; at right is a twin size version in Free Spirit's "Del Hi" collection. How fun.

Enjoy. Lori Allison

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Candy Queen

A favorite block of mine since I began quilting in the late 90's, I had made a queen size using this block for a wedding gift, but the blocks were too small and cumbersome for a "Novice Quilters Aged 12 and Up" pattern. This spring I sat down with a calculator and created a 13" block that goes together much easier and frames a queen sized bed perfectly.

Once again, I chose a palette of Kaffe Fassett fabrics separating them into light, medium and darks. I also like the Kaffe collection because there's so much depth and variety to it. I like big and small prints and some stripes in there too because it gives so much interest to the final quilt.

Enjoy. Lori Allison

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mariner's Rhapsody

It was an honor to be asked to make the raffle quilt for the Minnesota Quilters 2009 Show in Duluth on June 11-13. Of course, life happens and I delayed production until the last -- and with some frightful moments and the help of friends, I completed and revealed the quilt on time at the January 8th MQ program meeting. It has everything that I was hoping for: high drama, evocative of Duluth - the Lake Superior shipping town, and twirly, whirly quilting.

I hope that it sells a lot of raffle tickets for the Minnesota Quilters.

Enjoy, Lori Allison

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ace of Cakes DejaVu

Last year I made Ace of Cakes from the beautiful pastel "Dandelion Girl" by Fig Tree for Moda. I photographed it on a lovely spring day in the yard with a white frosted cake for the pattern cover and I was pretty happy with my creation -- and my photography. Except that my foster doggie, Sam, sneaked out under my feet, ran to my creation and lifted his leg on the table skirt! I actually had to laugh and a paper towel cleaned it just fine. I was more than a little relieved when Sammy got a wonderful forever home later in the summer.

My point -- and I do have one -- is that I found this beautiful "Hemming House" collection from Moda and I just had to make up this pattern in this rich, scrolly "Hemming House" fabric. I loved it in my house at Christmastime and I love it, even when it's not Christmas. It's just so warm and comfy in its traditional design.

Enjoy, Lori Allison