Friday, February 27, 2009

Stripes Rule!

In my personal design book, stripes have a lot of ZING! I love their energy and I want to harness it to work for me in my fabric and quilt designs. My Dream Garden fabric line though seemingly demure avails itself joyously of this energy.

This week I had the pleasure of talking about these pert little creatures of the fabric world with one of my favorite fabric reps on the planet. We were bemoaning the fact that quilter's in general seem to be wary of striped fabrics. She had a brilliant idea of how to use them. I've invited her to share her idea through this blog as an "Urban Amish" guest designer. Hoping that will be coming soon.

Meanwhile, here in Urban Amish land we are busy preparing the next lesson that will deal directly with the elemental power that is represented by the stripe. We want the lesson to be really well-crafted so we won't release it until we've had a chance to work all the details through properly. And I'm actually wanting my star pupil to have a bit of time to sew up a really wonderful design she came up with after her experiences with Lesson 2. It is thrilling to see her design come alive on the flannel wall.

In the meantime I thought I'd share these stripey thoughts.

This fabric pouch is my idea travel folder. It's an idea corral. It keeps my notebook, favorite mechanical pencil and postcards, index card notes and bits and pieces of paper that accumulate on my travels. And it folds down quite small so I can slip it into my shoulder bag if I want to.

It has two compartments.
This "Personal Idea Courier Pouch" gives my organizational loving soul quite a thrill.

I didn't set out to make such a thing. I was simply testing out an idea I had for a quilt pattern and had this pieced chunk of fabric lying around the studio. I kept playing with it until finally I figured out what I could use it for. If you want the template I used for the wedge, click here and it will download.

Best of all I got the chance to use at least one of the fabulous wooden buttons I got at The Wooly Lamb in Pennington, N.J.

Love to see where the use of this template leads you. There are no instructions accompanying the template but I can bet there's plenty of you who don't really need me to tell you what to do with it. (Please send me pictures of whatever you do do and they will be posted.)

And I have a contest! It's a Guess Which Block Will Be the Next Urban Amish Block contest.

There are clues in several of the pictures in this blog post as to which block this might be. The winner will be the one who guesses first and will get to pick her/his very own Urban Amish shirt as a prize.

Go here if you want see all the t-shirt styles that are available.

(Contest not open to the Urban Amish elves that actually KNOW what the next lesson is and are not guessing at all! You know who you are.)

And look how nicely stripes behave in a fan configuration using some more Dream Garden fabric. As if they were born to it.

So make those fabrics work for you. You will end up loving them and wondering what took you so long to become friends with the stripey types.

Zebra courtesy of John Storr via Wikipedia Commons.

Last minute addition: More Stripely Zing.

Just came across this on my computer and had to add it to the post.
Here's a closeup of a block in the quilt designed by my friend, Barbara Campbell, that will appear in the Quilter's Newsletter publication Traditions with a Twist. (On the newstands starting late May.)  I don't think stripes intimidate Barbara, do you? What a nice weaving effect she has achieved.


  1. I'm gonna take a wild stab and guess, based on the proliferation of wedges on this page, that the next Urban Amish block is gonna be Grandmother's Fan!

  2. Dorothy, great guess but no cigar! A hint: look within the fabrics used themselves.

  3. I guessed earlier by replying to your email - how 'bout the wedge design - I don't know what that block would be called!!!!Or some kind of basket - the stripes could be a basket weave!!!
    Love the fabric!!!

  4. I'm thinking Roman Stripes....
    I LOVE all the stripes! I am a quilter who has steered clear in the past of stripes - have started to see them used in ways that are making me less afraid. I love your idea pouch.

  5. OOooh, this is harder than it looks. Based on your hint, when I look at the orange print, I see tumblers, when I look at the cream print, I see the outline of what could be grandmothers flower garden. Am I getting closer?

  6. I love guessing games!! And I can't wait for Lesson 2 to be posted so that I can make my floor pillow: one side Indian Hatchet, the other side...mystery block.

    So, my guess is...
    ...Patience Corners.

  7. I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.