Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crazy for a Jellybean-a-thon!

A short time after Fall Market in Houston, I got an email from the incredibly talented Thomas Knauer asking if I would like to design something using only his jelly bean prints from Andover Fabrics. Well, of course I was incredibly flattered, but honestly... I can't design something! Yikes, I am AWFUL at it! Plus, I just am so busy with home life, my writing job and of course working on Gen Q! I just can't possibly...

And then I saw the list of people he had invited! Ugh! They are all, like pattern designers and book authors! No, I can't possibly! It would be awful! These are people that I follow on Instagram and stuff. People I don't know would be comparing my work to people who have won ribbons and stuff. Yikes!

And then I woke up the next day. One of my first thoughts was "Boy, I sure am protesting a lot!" Hmmm...

So, before I could lose my nerve, I emailed Thomas and said yes. I explained that I really am not a designer and my mind is saying no and that is exactly why I should do it.

Luckily, he didn't think that was at all crazy. He completely agreed with me. The fabric arrived just around Christmas and it took a while for me to have the time to even look at the fabric. I laid it on my sewing table and would pet it occasionally as I walked by.

Then about a month ago, I had an idea. What if I crazy pieced rectangles and made a quilt called "Crazy for Jellybeans"?

It was enough to get me started. So each morning, before I sat down at the computer, I would spend 15 minutes and play. I was really liking what was happening and I was having fun. I figured it would be lap sized, I would use white as a background and I would practice my machine quilting on it. It would be great!

And then I realized, I did not like white. And I did not like gray. I liked NOTHING that was in my stash (my husband says what else is new?!)So, I packed up my junior editor and headed to my local quilt shop. We honestly had bolts of fabric laying all over the floor with blocks lying on them. It was comical. We narrowed it down to a violet and an olive green, when I spotted magenta. It was perfect.

Then I got home and thought "the scale is all wrong! This needs to be a bed quilt!" It was really funny, this whole experience. I worked completely outside of my box. This is not my color scheme - it's was unlike anything I have ever done before. It was fun!

Without further ado, here is "Crazy for Jellybeans"...

The blocks will lay across the foot of the bed. It sort of reminds me of Doppelganger, which just won an award at QuiltCon and was on the cover of the winter issue of Gen Q.

I have been wanting to take photos for DAYS, but the weather has not been cooperating. I finally had to give in and take photos in the blizzard we were having today. Kudos to my eldest son for braving the storm and helping a mom out! (I kind of liked the snow covered brush in front of the quilt...)

It is just a top at this point because I decided that it needs EPIC quilting. And EPIC QUILTING can only be done by the amazing Lisa Sipes. So as soon as she can fit this baby in, I will upload photos... that's as long as I am still blogging at that point - she has quite a LONG wait. But it will be SO worth it!

Here is the rest of the tour! Tomorrow, the Jellybean-a-thon continues it's tour of Chicago by visiting the talented Sara at Sew Sweetness! Don't miss popping by and taking a look - she is great!

Feb 25: Thomas Knauer
Feb 27: Me!
Feb 28: Sara Lawson
March 4: Audrie Bidwell
March 5: Kim Niedzwiecki

Thank you so much Thomas for having the faith in me to play with your fabrics, especially when we had only just met! You are incredibly talented and add an amazing voice to the world of Modern Quilting.

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Have fun on the rest of the tour!



  1. So interesting to read your thoughts on the creative process. I have been thinking about this a lot lately(knowing Thomas at all seems to lead one to much introspection.) I realized lately that my most favorite quilt was one I had truth I have only designed two since I always work from a pattern. And just like you I have found it was great fun! Love this quilt , it's going to be EPIC!

    1. Ha! Thomas does get one thinking. I personally love to read about people's creative process and that just seemed to be the best way to approach the post. I also hope to inspire others to take a leap when they think they "can't" do something. If I can do it, anyone can!

  2. This is really great! I like that you made it by playing - we can all be designers that way!

    1. So true! Nothing is better than playing with fabric.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thought process and for jumping in to create this fun quilt. Magenta was perfect and I think the snow covered sticks are a fun contrast to the festive jelly Bean palette

    1. Thank you. That's what I thought too. :D

  4. Lookie who is finally getting around to this! I love it. Really, it looks fantastic. And I see now why you wanted me to quilt it. :0) I think your decision of magenta was perfect and it's good to know that I am not the only neurotic one (well, I know I'm not because Thomas is, as well!) in the group. High five lady!!!! Yay-ness!!!

    1. You are not remotely the only one who is neurotic! And after this episode, I can only say that for a person who doesn't consider themselves an artist or a designer, I certainly think like one (without the training). It has your quilting written all over it. I will give it to you in April and you can give it back to me in two years. Yay!

  5. I think the way the blue pops out from the magenta looks amazing.


Pin it