Monday, May 16, 2016

The Circus Star Mini - in the new issue of MQU

It's no secret that I love solid fabrics - they're one of my favorite groupings of fabrics to use, especially in paper pieced blocks, because they make those beautifully crisp and sharp angles and points even more pronounced. But ombre solids have a special little spot in my heart. Ombre solids can be so much fun to work with, figuring out how to cut a single half-yard, for example, into eight or so different shades of one singular color and then seeing them come together in a finished block or mini. And if there's one designer I always associate with ombres, it's for sure Vanessa Christensen of V + Co.

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Before the baby came, I had a chance to work with some of Vanessa's beautiful ombre fabrics for a project for Modern Quilts Unlimited, and the Spring 2016 issue featuring the quilt, pattern and an article about paper piecing by yours truly has finally hit the stands. You'll find my Circus Star quilt pattern on page 40 of the magazine, with my article on paper piecing just before that on page 36.

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The Circus Star totally reminds me of the multicolored patterns you see on circus tents and such, and yet also gives off a kaleidoscope kind of feel. It's a three template project, and has loads of possibility. It could easily be done in a color wheel kind of style, or even in grayscale, and be really and truly stunning.


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Quilt Stats
name: Circus Star
pattern: Circus Star pattern in spring 2016 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited
size: 24" square
fabrics: V + Co ombres
quilting: Aurifil 50 wt in assorted coordinating colors in multiple styles, including straight lines, zig zags, meandering stipple and wiggle
Monday, May 9, 2016

Appreciating the teachers

This year my son is lucky to have a crew of five fantastic female teachers, who we were super happy to spoil with some simple handmade zipper pouches and their favorite candies last week. Second grade has been such a great year, and I'm so lucky that my son goes to a school where it feels like every single staff and faculty member cares for all of the kids.

Teacher Gifts 2016 by Elizabeth Dackson

His two teachers are so amazing. So patient, so thoughtful, so caring. They are the kind of teachers you hope your kid will have, and I'm so grateful to them for making second grade so enjoyable for my kiddo. My son is a gifted student, and while that comes with some wonderful pros that make him a great student, it also comes with some emotional baggage that can make school challenging, and his two teachers were so wonderful with him this year.

Writing sweet teacher notes by Elizabeth Dackson

His art and music teachers are also delightful with him. He played the role of Santa in the holiday school musical, so he's got a bit of a soft spot for his music teacher in particular. But right now, I think his favorite teacher is his PE teacher. She's always got a great big grin whenever I see her around school, and her sunny disposition is beyond infectious.

Now if only they'd keep him for the summer too - I'm kidding! Mostly ;) I know my son is sad to see that the school year is coming to an end, as he adores school, but here's hoping that third grade is worth the wait!
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Quilter's Paper Piecing Workbook: A Sneak Peek

So my second book, The Quilter's Paper Piecing Workbook, has started to ship a whole month early, and I'm so excited!!!! I'm incredibly proud of this book, so I wanted to take a moment this morning to show you a few sneak peeks of some of the things I love most about it.

The Quilter's Paper Piecing Workbook by Elizabeth Dackson photo QPPW1web_zps0dxygsiq.jpg

I love the photography. I gave my publisher, Interweave, a "mood board" to work from, trying to give them an idea of the style of photography I hoped to see in the book and oh boy, did they deliver. Absolutely the look and feel I had hoped for!

Steely Gaze intro photo IMG_2898_zpsioqeidxn.jpg

I love the projects in this book. They are so very me. And it's impossible to pick a favorite, but right now I'm crushing real hard on Steely Gaze...

Steely Gaze photo Steely Gaze quilt_zpsycrvh9sb.jpg

I love the amount of me that's still left in the text. The amount of personality that didn't get edited out.  I think my voice really comes through in the writing, and that's really exciting to me.

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I love the amount of illustrations and photos throughout. It makes the book so much more vibrant.

And really, I love a lot more about it, but that's all I'm going to share for now. Don't forget, you can order a copy from Amazon right here or you can order a signed copy from me right here! Stay tuned for more, and have a fantastic day!
Monday, May 2, 2016

A gift for Henry

Once upon a time, we bought our first house and lived in a neighborhood where we had great neighbors. And one neighbor became a good friend of mine around the time my son was born, so much so that she's had the title of auntie since he could talk. And though she moved away a few years ago, after we left that neighborhood in search of a bigger neighborhood with more kids around, we're still in touch and she recently welcomed her first child, a boy she and her husband named Henry.

Henry's quilt - side view photo IMG_2763_zpswoxw0syk.jpg

Henry came a good bit early, but he's doing really well so far, which is so wonderful. I'm so excited for her to become a mom and to get to enjoy all the sweet mom/son things that I've enjoyed with my son. I know that Henry is a lucky boy to have her as a mom, and I wanted to send my love to them both the best way I know how - a quilt.

Henry's quilt - quilting and backing detail photo IMG_2771_zps2vqv5csg.jpg

This quilt isn't super technical or super fancy, but it's meant to be loved and enjoyed, and will be a great playmat for Henry after he gets to come home from the hospital. I did some simple plus blocks using fun blues and yellows, with one of my favorite text prints as the background, Heartfelt in Snow from Littlest. I bordered the patchwork with simple improv piecing using some great shades of Kona: Alegria, Copen, and Cadet.

Henry's quilt photo IMG_2767RTSQ_zpsfxrzlubo.jpg

Quilt stats
name: Henry's quilt
size: 35 1/2" square
fabrics: assorted prints, low volume Heartfelt in Snow from Littlest, Kona Alegria, Kona Copen, and Kona Cadet.
binding: Valley in Azure by Leah Duncan
quilting: improv hills in Aurifil 50 wt 8605

Henry's quilt - wip3 photo IMG_8073_zpsbqaiwczw.jpg

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mo' blocks, mo' options

It was a weird week last week. Between a crazy busy week of work and sick kiddos and Prince dying, I felt like I was just off most of the week. Maybe I'm coming down with the nasty sinus infection my son's got. Maybe I'm just hungry - I'm trying to shed the last of the baby weight, with a combo of better eating habits and exercise. Regardless of the reason, the week just felt kind of weird. So when the weekend came, all I wanted to do was crank up my favorite Prince songs and sew, and thankfully I was able to do just that at least a few times, with some good company.

Maximus wants to sew by Elizabeth Dackson

I decided that what this quilt was missing was neutrals, so I sewed up some blacks and grays into blocks and wrapped up some more of the cool colors as well. Nothing like working on some purple blocks while Purple Rain is blasting in your earbuds.

Mo' blocks by Elizabeth Dackson

I think I'm nearing the end of the block making for this quilt, and getting to the point where I'm going to have to commit to a design and start sewing blocks together. I think I'm headed in the right direction, so I'm excited about this next phase of this quilt.

I hope this will be a better week - but I do know this much, I started up another quilt that's going to yield a fast finish, so there is definitely at least one quilt top coming in the near future (if not two!) and that makes me a happy quilter :)

A new project by Elizabeth Dackson
 hello

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy eight year old boy and a newborn baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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