Sunday, October 10, 2010

Autumnal Impressions!

What a great day here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, home of Virginia Tech! Liz and I have been trying to get our 10,000 steps in every day, sometimes we slack off, but overall we have been achieving our goal ; )
Earlier we were walking by a neighbors garden and the light wind was making the sunflowers dance in the dappled shade. The leaves are starting to turn brilliant shades of gold and auburn. Liz and I were really delighted to experience one of the many nature's splendor.

Falling Leaves Quilt Pattern is a celebration of the annual display of brilliant autumnal leaf color. Green leaves abound during the summer months because the pigment chlorophyll masks lighter yellow pigments and other compounds known as anthocyanins. However, with shorter days and subsequent cooler temperatures, plants stop producing chlorophyll, and as it breaks down, leaves change from green to a host of spectacular fall colors.
This quilt pattern is available in and includes a full color picture of the finished quilt, full-size foundations, assembly diagram, yardage requirements, and instructions to make the quilt shown.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Excess versus Necessity

Nikki Giovanni once told me that the largest issue that we needed to confront was that of excess versus necessity. Every economic system has it flaws, but capitalism relies on excessive waste to thrive. In order to maintain our social expectations we need to consume products quickly and appreciate the rationale behind built-in obsolescence and the quick paced creeping featurism of technology.
Bernard London coined the phrase planned obsolescence in his pamphlet, Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence. In the 1950s the amazing industrial designer, Brooks Stevens, reintroduced this concept to the public with his interpretation of planned obsolescence , "Instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary."
Capitalism was taken by surprise in 1960 when Vance Packard wrote his pivotal book, The Waste Makers, where he exposed "the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals." Nikki Giovanni said that we need to think about necessity and what re really need to be happy. Are our lives defined by possessing that latest gadget?
HA Schult is an artist forcing us to think about much larger issues than his "Trash People" sculptures. It is the conversation that artists start that reflects a society and its time. What do you think about the HA Schult's Trash People? Where do you stand in regards to the argument of Necessity versus Excess?

Liz and I have been fond supporters of recycling! This is especially true in our quilting studio. When we started quilting Liz and I were still in college and we could not really afford fabric, so we bought our first stash at an auction. Our bag of scraps from another quilter helped us begin our enriching journey. Then we started combing the thrift stores for wool skirts to make a vest for Liz, and blouses for interesting fabrics to use in our quilts. We still have some of those fabrics that we use from time to time.
Over the years we have made dozens of scrap quilts and in the Twirling Sunflower Quilt you can see the great use of scraps!
Gather up your scraps and stitch this colorful portrait of a dazzling sunflower. You can use your scrap collection as we have, or limit your palette by choosing just one or two fabrics. Either way, this delightful wall hanging is sure to add a touch of fall's splendor to your home.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars in difficulty (Easy/Moderate)
Finished Size: 18" × 21"
Designer(s): Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Technique(s): Foundation Paper Piecing

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Give Peace A Chance!

President Obama is trying to assist in finding an amicable resolution to the Mideast conflict again. I wish him luck and I will dream of world peace! The headline on reads "Netanyahu calls Abbas his 'partner in peace',"which could be the beginning of something this world really needs, peace.

Clay Bennett truly sums up the issue with his cartoon ; )

Liz and I designed this block in support of world unity! World Unity quilt block is a simple foundation paper pieced quilt block.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mecca Hits The Big Time For Islam!

The world's largest three billion dollar clock is a skyscraper over Mecca! The clock has four faces that are 141 feet across! This is huge! We may have to rename Big Ben in London. This amazingly ornate clock sides are decorated with more than 90 million glass mosaic pieces.

The construction of this clock was to mark the beginning of Islam's holy month of Ramadan, which is about a month of restraint from eating, drinking, and sexual activities from dawn to dusk. Fasting teaches Muslims the importance of patience, humility, and a deeper understanding of their spirituality. During this month Muslims set out to read the entire Qur'an through Tarawih.

Time will tell if this clock can hold this position of being the biggest clock in the world, as every nation wants to make the biggest everything! Maybe this clock will start the enlightenment of all humanity and wake us up to the fact that we share far more than the minor differences we have in belief. I will meditate over this as I quilt today ; )

Five Pillars of Islam
Designers: Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Finished Size: 90" × 102"
Rotary Cutting & Machine Piecing

Life for most Muslims is guided by a set of five core principals, or pillars. This quilt honors our Muslim friends with a design ghat symbolizes the relationship between the pillars and its people — a set of interlocked links that inextricably linked.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rings of Praise

Quilters love no more than an ordinary person, but they are loved for generations! ~ Stephen Seifert ~

Rings of Praise
Designers: Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Finished Size: 84" × 96"
Foundation Piecing
Ramadan, the most venerated month of the Islamic year is a time for renewal. During this time, muslims study the Qur'an and put those teachings into action. Colorful rings interlock and spread out, like prayers, to make this striking quilt.

Ramadan begins around August 11, 2010 and will finish on or around September 10, 2010.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is Martha Stewart the New Paul Newman?

When Paul Newman started branding himself as a tiny boutique operation, he merchandised Newman's Own foods. His product line included fabulous tasting salad dressings, pasta sauces, salsa, popcorn, and even pizza. He donates the companies profits to charities and over the past 28 years he had donated over $300,000,000! Wow! What a guy ; )

Martha Stewart turned 69 yesterday, happy birthday! Today Martha Stewart is being compared to Paul Newman, because she is merchandising herself on everything from paint to doggie designs to crafts to wedding supplies and now she is going into cosmetics. It is amazing how image is everything in selling! I guess she gained a tremendous amount of momentum when she was released from prison.

Paul Newman is an amazing actor and outstanding philanthropist! He serves as a good role model and I am proud of anyone who looks up to him, which I do. But to compare Martha Stewart to him is a gaffe and is truly appalling. What do you think? Where is the sanity in this world?
I am not sure if perfection can be achieved through the purchase of products with someone's name on it, but many people feel that Martha Stewart has an enlightened sense of perfection, which is packaged with her name on it. Matthew Arnold said that "The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. " Today Martha Stewart is the lighthouse guiding our dollars into her pocket.

Patriot's Point Lighthouse Quilt Pattern
Finished Size: 8" × 9"
Designer(s): Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Technique(s): Foundation Paper Piecing

Whether found on the coasts of oceans, lakes, or the gulf, they hold a special mystique for those who delight in them. They guide us on our journey toward safety and joy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pythagoras' Lute Quilt Pattern

Pure eye candy! There are talented quilt designers out there and Liz and I are proud to be amongst them! We have been and continue to be recognized as the most talented quilt design duo! This quilt explores the stunning beauty only found in pure mathematics. Pythagoras' Lute Quilt Pattern is based on Pythagoras’ Golden Triangle, this astounding quilt is a study in both color and geometry—it is sure to become a favorite conversation piece!

Quilt pattern includes a full color picture of the finished quilt, full-size foundations, assembly diagram, yardage requirements, and instructions to make the quilt shown.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars (Moderate to Challenging)
Finished Size: 34¼" × 36"
Designer(s): Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Technique(s): Foundation Paper Piecing

Golden Ratio Binary — 1.1001111000110111011…

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World!

Marketing is an amazing science which hones in on what people are spending money on. But we live in a world that seems to have gone mad! Marketing to the ages of 13 to 33 is where the money is at, because this age group does not take money seriously enough to spend responsibly. Youth is so wasted on the young!
Here are several iPhone apps that prove this point:

1) iLickit — ( a game where you lick your plate clean, or rather a picture on your iPhone that you lick the unsanitary surface and the image erases under your saliva. There is no greater pleasure wasting time today! Thank you Steve Jobs for your legacy of cultural enhancement : )
Check it out:

2) Hold On! — ( See how long you can keep your finger on a fixed point on your iPhone screen. Become a true winner with this app of patience, perseverance, and futility!

3) Crazy Eye — ( When you need to stress a point, you can select an image of a crazy eye to communicate what you are too inadequate to express with facial affect or words. Watch this:

This is only the tip of the proverbial iCeberg! It is as if aliens have landed and our future destination is unknown. At least with quilting you can make a quilt that forces viewers to ask intellectual questions! In Destination Unknown Quilt Pattern you have to think about outer space, the meaning of life, and of course is there an iPhone app for it! Happy quilting ; )

Friday, June 25, 2010

What If They Were Quilters…

What If They Were Quilters…

Henri Matisse's Desert Harmony In Red is one of my favorite works of art! Whenever I am designing a new quilt I often ponder about artists and what they would say if they were quilters.

"A quilt must possess a real power to generate love and for a long time now I've been conscious of expressing myself through love or rather in fabric." ~ Henri Matisse ~

Thursday, June 24, 2010

7 Rules for Quilting Success!

Liz and I are self-taught quilters. But over the years we have learned some simple rules for quilting success. Quilting has been an evolving art form, which has surpassed its critics expectations. For the past several decades quilters have developed the art into a science of success. There are seven golden rules of quilting that guide you to quilting nirvana. Some quilters can have a keen ability to learn from others, while some are like me, learning the hard way through experience. Liz and I hope that you can learn from our experiences, but if not please share your triumphs with us!

1) Sticking to the Numbers! Traditional patchwork relies on empiricism. If you stick to the numbers you will always find satisfaction. If you are making a 12" block you must make sure that your blocks are meeting your expectations. If your 12" block measures 11 3/4" your blocks will not add up to success.

2) Test Preparation! When following directions for a pattern you should test a block first to confirm that the pattern is accurate. When your test block confirms that the measurements are correct you are guaranteed success. Typically every quilt pattern is tested and the numbers are good, but every once in a while human errors are made and it can lead to frustration and despair.

3) Measure Twice, Cut Once! Some rotary rulers are hard to read and it it important to note which ruler you are using. Every once in a while I borrow Liz's ruler, which adds a 1/2" seam automatically and I cut my material too large. This is not so bad, until I go back to my ruler which doesn't and I cut my fabric too short. Now I always look twice to avoid frustration.

4) Slow Motion For Me! Have you ever rushed through a project and mixed up the placement of the fabric patches or block rotation? I have spent several hours seam ripping because I was hasty. Over the years I have befriended patience and recognized its virtue.

5 Got to Stack it Up! When foundation piecing I always stack my fabric pieces in the order they will be pieced. After every piece I am guaranteed to keep my patches in order and I can stitch along a little faster.

6) Stick to the Plan! When you start a new project it is helpful to make a plan and stick to it so make steady progress and achieve your goals. Proactive quilters are better producers and gain experience faster. Learning how to capitalize on your limited quilting time allows you to be the successful quilter you want to be.

7) Quality, Not Quantity! You can be an expert quilter, but the materials you choose will determine your true success. If you use lower quality materials for an heirloom quilt it should be no surprise if it doesn't last the test of time. Some quilters are impressed by the volume of progress and fail to see how quality quilts have more value and longevity.

Quilting is an art of love! We invest into the future with our masterpieces. Over time our quilts become cherished in ways that we never anticipated and we rejoice in the pleasure which grows from our seeds. Quilting success is ultimately determined by time, but we can take some small steps to ensure our immortality.

Share your ideas!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Just For Fun, Folks!

Liz and I are die-hard feminists! When I took my first Women's Studies class at Virginia Tech the professor started the first class off by playing Peggy Seeger's "I'm Gonna Be An Engineer," which she said was the battle cry song for the women's movement in the 1970s. I absolutely love folk and bluegrass music! Do you? Check these out:

Peggy Seeger singing "I'm Gonna Be An Engineer"

Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie singing Peggy Seeger's "I'm Gonna Be An Engineer"

Saccharine, that is what Liz calls me! I love romantic songs and one of my favorites was written by Ewan MacColl for his to be wife Peggy Seeger, which is "The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face)." Liz loves to cuddle, but when it comes to mushy love songs she cringes! My Fair Lady little Eliza, wants me to show her, since she is so sick of words ; )

Roberta Flack singing Ewan MacColl - The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face)

This morning Liz and I have been finalizing the new designs for our new book and I wanted to play some reflective folk music and I decided to look up Peggy Seeger on the internet and I was delightfully surprised to find her website, which allows you to listen to her work while you work. I have most of her earlier albums, but the were a few on my birthday list now.

Listen to Peggy Seeger's "Crazy Quilt" album.

Crazy Stained Glass Quilt Pattern
Rating: Easy to Moderate
Finished Size: 30" × 39"
Designer(s): Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert
Technique(s): Foundation Paper Piecing

Crazy quilts are a wonderful and fun way to use oddly shaped pieces of fabric that you just can't bear to throw out. The crazy quilt pattern shown uses remnants of quilt fabric that were lying around the studio, making this is a good way to do your spring cleaning while making a beautiful crazy quilt.


I'm Gonna Be An Engineer
by Peggy Seeger (1970)

When I was a little girl I wished I was a boy
I tagged along behind the gang and wore my corduroys.
Everybody said I only did it to annoy
But I was gonna be an engineer

Mamma said, "Why can't you be a lady?
Your duty is to make me the mother of a pearl
Wait until you're older, dear
And maybe you'll be glad that you're a girl.

Dainty as a Dresden statue, gentle as a Jersey cow,
Smooth as silk, gives cream and milk
Learn to coo, learn to moo
That's what you do to be a lady, now.

When I went to school I learned to write and how to read
History, geography and home economy
And typing is a skill that every girl is sure to need
To while away the extra time until the time to breed
And then they had the nerve to ask, what would I like to be?
I says, "I'm gonna be an engineer!"

"No, you only need to learn to be a lady
The duty isn't yours, for to try to run the world
An engineer could never have a baby
Remember, dear, that you're a girl"

She's smart --- for a woman.
I wonder how she got that way?
You get no choice, you get no voice
Just stay mum, pretend you're dumb.
That's how you come to be a lady, today.

Well, I started as a typist but I studied on the sly
Working out the day and night so I could qualify
And every time the boss came in, he pinched me on the thigh
Said, "I've never had an engineer!"
"You owe it to the job to be a lady
The duty of the staff is to give the boss a whirl
The wages that you get are crummy, maybe
But it's all you get, 'cause you're a girl"

Then Jimmy came along and we set up a conjugation
We were busy every night with loving recreation
I spent my days at work so he could get an education
And now he's an engineer!

He said: "I know you'll always be a lady
The duty of my darling is to love me all her life
Could an engineer look after or obey me?
Remember, dear, that you're my wife!"

As soon a Jimmy got a job, I studied hard again
Then busy at me turret-lathe a year or two, and then
The morning that the twins were born, Jimmy says to them
"Your mother was an engineer!"
"You owe it to the kids to be a lady
Dainty as a dish-rag, faithful as a chow
Stay at home, you got to mind the baby
Remember you're a mother now!"

Every time I turn around there's something else to do
Cook a meal or mend a sock or sweep a floor or two
Listening to Jimmy Young - it makes me want to spew
I was gonna be an engineer.

I only wish that I could be a lady
I'd do the lovely things that a lady's s'posed to do
I wouldn't even mind if only they would pay me
Then I could be a person too.

What price for a woman?
You can buy her for a ring of gold,
To love and obey, without any pay,
You get a cook and a nurse for better or worse
You don't need a purse when a lady is sold.

Oh, but now the times are harder and me Jimmy's got the sack;
I went down to Vicker's, they were glad o have me back.
But I'm a third-class citizen, my wages tell me that
But I'm a first-class engineer!

The boss he says "We pay you as a lady,
You only got the job because I can't afford a man,
With you I keep the profits high as may be,
You're just a cheaper pair of hands."

You got one fault, you're a woman;
You're not worth the equal pay.
A bitch or a tart, you're nothing but heart,
Shallow and vain, you've got no brain,

Well, I listened to my mother and I joined a typing pool
Listened to my lover and I put him through his school
If I listen to the boss, I'm just a bloody fool
And an underpaid engineer
I been a sucker ever since I was a baby
As a daughter, as a mother, as a lover, as a dear
But I'll fight them as a woman, not a lady
I'll fight them as an engineer!

The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face)
by Ewan MacColl (1957)

The first time ever I saw your face,
I thought the sun rose in your eyes,
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the night and the empty skies, my love,
To the night and the empty skies.

The first time ever I kissed your mouth,
I felt the earth turn in my hand,
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love,
That was there at my command.

The first time ever I lay with you,
And felt your heart beat close to mine,
I thought our joy would fill the earth
And would last till the end of time, my love,
And would last till the end of time.

The first time ever I saw your face,
I thought the sun rose in your eyes,
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the night and the empty skies, my love,
To the night and the empty skies.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Top 10 Reasons 2 Become a Quilter

Top 10 Reasons 2 Become a Quilter

Why do you quilt? Liz and I started because we were bored! Now we are quiltaholics! How about you? Over the years at our quilt lectures and classes we have heard many unique and fun reasons. It really doesn't matter why you started as long as you have fun doing it! So slow down and take some time for yourself!

10. Fabric scraps work great to clean up spills and beverage rings after a business party!

9. Get praise for being a talented stripper!

8. Confirm the existence of UFOs!

7. Learn to appreciate the joy of solitude!

6. Master the fine art of self defense while using extremely sharp objects!

5. Meet new people who share your passion for life!

4. Influence friends and family home decor with a stunning quilt or wall hanging!

3. Constant reminder of how important you are to others!

2. You alone can make a single scrap of fabric special!

1. Fabric, fabric, and more fabric!

Quilting is an art form for passionate people who love color and fabric. We find quilting to be an excellent way to express ourselves, especially our love!

Rush Hour Quilt Pattern is a fun way to use up those scraps that you can't part with. This tessellating pattern if fast and fun! Download the pattern today:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Proud To Be An American!

Wow! What a day! This afternoon Liz, Sebastian and I were returning from a vacation in Washington D.C. and we decided to gas up in Troutville, Virginia, which has some of the lowest gas prices in Virginia at $2.49 a gallon. It was 12:23 p.m. and we decided to get a quick lunch at McDonalds and when I looked up I saw James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr., our 39th President, standing before me with a chicken salad on a tray. Everyone was taking pictures and the secret service men were being very diligent.
Sebastian is a real history nut and he immediately wanted to shake President Carter's hand and get a photo. I did not approach one of my heroes, because the secret agents were looking a little intimidating to me. But Sebastian had no problems walking up President Carter's table and he politely asked if he could take his picture. Rosalynn Carter was so nice and she introduced Sebastian to the president, after asking Sebastian for his name.
My heart filled with joy when I saw President Carter and Sebastian clasp hands. This day will resonate in our hearts forever!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Quilter's Heart

Do quilters care? Do you care? There are many families that struggle to express their true affection for each other. Sometimes the approval of a father or mother can change a child's life when they need it most.
Whether words don't come easily or if they are unconsciously repressed, a quilter knows a transcendent language that touches the hearts of those that they love most without words. A quilt that we stitch for another person we love is not an heirloom, but a milestone in expressing our love. Intimate and timeless, quilts give the people we love a manifestation of our love, which will comfort and protect our loved ones without us being present, especially when they need us most. I am proud to be a quilter and your friend!

Quilter's Heart was in the January/February 2005 (Issue 50) of Quilts With Style magazine. Liz designed this splendid wall hanging for me! Eight hearts are cleverly hidden in this interlocking star. Soft and sweet, this quilt makes a lovely display for Valentine's day or for your favorite quilting friend. With so few foundation paper piecing foundations and the large pieces, this quilt can easily be made in a day. Treat yourself to a day of sewing with this tempting calorie free wall hanging and share the love.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Garden Gate Daisy Mum

Check out the latest addition to our Garden Gate quilt pattern collection, Garden Gate Daisy Mum, this foundation paper pieced pattern is moderately challenging, but well worth the work! This quilt inspired me and I wrote a little poem below.

To My Quilting Mistress

When you, gifted quilter
full of joy and love, awaken
The bounty of bliss and a welcome family
will open hearts and mind to me,
and unravel my quilt to be.

Fine fabric and your inspiration
will stitch a patchwork pieced with warm affection,
A quilt embodying purity
bound by the hand of love,
together we glow with pride.

Beauty that makes me weep, laugh, and share
a quilt, together we are one;
Humility grows in the heart
as my pride wanes, and you come to life
warming souls for generations to come.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Is Going On?

There have been 6 school attacks in China since March where children and teachers have been injured and killed. What is going on? As a father of an 11 year old, I am concerned about the ever growing need for more security at schools.
When I was a child we never heard about these issues, but every day there is something new to think about. As a quilter I try to stitch every quilt with love and when I give them to my family and friends they know how much I care about them and the rest of the world. How can we inspire others to follow our loving path?
Our society is growing apart and we are starting to see missing pieces in our world of love. In Connect the Dots Baby Quilt pattern that Liz and I did we wanted to create a design reflecting how life is like a puzzle. Together we complete the puzzle.
Every day I wake up I am grateful that Liz and I love each other, I am grateful that Sebastian is safe, I am grateful that we have the ability to do wonderful things, and I am grateful that I can hug the people I love most every morning. Maybe a little naive thinking can help stop this awful chain of events. Show love every chance you get. When you feel angry take a moment and think of all the blessings we have, and even the ones we take for granted, like breathing. Shake a strangers hand and say thank you. Our world needs us and we need it to keep our children safe.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Keeping The Faith Quilt

Keeping The Faith quilt is a fast and fun project that is both inspirational and stunning. Used as a religious symbol for millennia, the cross is an easily recognizable symbol of faith. Created through a contrasting pattern of light and dark fabrics, this cross seems to glow from within. Proudly display your faith by making this quick and easy wall hanging for your home.

The quilt pattern for Keeping The Faith is still available in Quilts With Style #52.

Quilter's Prayer

From generation to generation we quilt
and will continue to quilt for eternity.
We shall express our love and gratitude of life
in every stitch, every piece of fabric, every quilt.
Quilting will never leave our hearts
for every quilt embodies our spirit.
Take pride in every quilt,
find satisfaction in every stitch,
and may those around you take refuge
in your transcendent quilt.
Tenderness is born from a quilt.
Every quilt made from the heart
touches the soul of those who are blessed
to find comfort in your patchwork bliss.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Coordinating Quilt Colors

When Liz and I made Cascading Rainbows Miniature Quilt we had to think long and hard about our colors. Finally we took the plunge and placed our colors and stitched up this miniature beauty. Every quilter struggles with coordinating colors every now and again. Color theory and the art of coordinating fabric colors is essential to piecing an outstanding quilt! Coordinating colors does not mean matching colors, but selecting a range of colors that compliment the overall feeling of the quilt. When you arrange your coordinating colors in a balanced way your quilt will pop!
Every artist has a difficult time choosing colors, but today it is quite a bit easier with the use of the color wheel. Here is a link to a helpful page with basic color theory:

Whenever Liz and I have to choose fabrics for a new project we have to plan the color range that the two of us like, which can be a little bit tricky at times. Sometimes it is hard to decide on what colors coordinate and if you are in the right range for the quilt at hand. I found a fun website that has some helpful color schemes that may be fruitful to you too:

Choosing a color scheme that works for your quilt can be hard, but with a little experience and a few helpful theories you can become confident when you pick out future quilt fabrics. Always remember that you have quilt friends online who would love to help, all you have to do is ask!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quilters Beware! Sobering New Research

Quilters Beware! Sobering New Research: the combination of four bad habits (smoking, excessive drinking, lack of exercise, and poor diet) can prematurely age you by 12 years.

Martini Time is a fun quilt that allows you to party without the risk. The University of Oslo research showed that men should drink less than three drinks a day and women fewer than two drinks a day. This study confirms how quilting is a healthy addiction, which contributes to our health, well-being, and longevity. Viva la quilt!

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.” ~ Thomas Paine ~

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hot Embroidery Digitizing by Louis Saha

What a great father's day surprise, a new truck! Through the unique marriage of computer technology and embroidery machines you can get anything digitized for your embroidery pleasure.

This accordion embroidery is so detailed that you can almost hear music! Whether you love a lively polka by Myron Floren or John Mellencamp's The Lonesome Jubilee or Mexican cumbia of Policarpo Calle's La Porra Caimanera.

Custom embroidery digitizing is really getting to be awesome! It is amazing how vector artists have mastered the art of illustration with that of the home embroidery machine. Louis Saha is a Vector artist and he is available to do custom embroidery designs of any complexity. Check out his work!

If you are looking for any custom embroidery digitizing contact Louis Saha:!/profile.php?id=100000946331037&v=info

You may want to incorporate a few custom embroidery motifs in your next quilt! If you know of other embroidery digitizing artists let me know and I will check them out!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Endless Knot Quilt

Liz and I have been busy in the sewing room and through the support of our friends and fans Liz and I have decided to call our latest pattern the Endless Knot Quilt. This knot pattern looks simple, but it was really difficult to design. We wanted to make it as easy as possible and after about 32 hours of designing the pattern we knew that we had succeeded. The Endless Knot Quilt pattern is based on the more than three thousand year old Shrivatsa knot design found in the endless knot of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism.
Liz and I were able to stitch this beauty in about 8 hours and it was really fun! The foundation paper pieced pattern gives you the accuracy and precision we all have come to expect from this technique, which saves quite a bit of time.
This traditional Tibetan Shrivatsa Knot geometric design symbolizes the nature of reality. According to Buddhism everything is interrelated, interconnected, and interdependent and only exists as part of a web of dharma and karma. This knot has no beginning or end and it represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha, and the union of compassion and wisdom. The knot reflects the relativity of time and the continuity of life as it is endless. The Endless Knot is one of the design motifs found in the Buddhist Eight Auspicious Symbols which represents the different forms of the Buddha.
Robert Beer points out in his book, The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, on page 171 that the Auspicious Symbols dates back to the Vedic Period (c.1500–c.800 B.C.). The endless knot is popular because if shares many similarities with Celtic designs.
The endless knot has inspired many designers and will continue to ignite creative designs well into the future.

Refracted Light Quilt

Refracted Light Quilt
designed by Liz Schwartz and Stephen Seifert

I absolutely love Modern art, especially the work of Josef Albers. As a passionate quilter I can appreciate his words, "Color is like cooking. The cook puts in more or less salt, that's the difference." Fabric is our choice of spice which leaves impressions so deep that they touch our hearts.
In our Refracted Light Quilt Liz used scraps of fabric for this projects. We love using fabric scraps and this project screamed for them. Liz and I choose to use black as the background fabric for this quilt to give the color wheel a stained glass effect, but a white background would have been nice too.
Fashion a quilted color wheel for your sewing studio to help you create winning color schemes every time. This wall hanging is as beautiful as it is practical! Stitch a striking blossom, Giant Dahlia, by using bright florals to make this amazing alternative quilt that resembles a blossoming flower.
Some quilters have a difficult time picking fabric for quilts and if you need an instant expert you should consider asking your local quilt shop owner or an employee to assist you in choosing the right fabrics next time you visit your local quilt shop. Trial and error will help you improve your color eye and confidence.
Color is a quilters most powerful tool to convey mood, relationship, and style. Have fun with your color wheel and trust your instincts!

Quick Quilt Tip — Ask quilt shop employees for fabric color help when in doubt ; )