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The “Mixer” Quilt!

You have all heard of a “sampler” quilt – even if you have never quilted – I’m sure you have heard it somewhere in the past.  Well the newest rage is the “Mixer” quilt by Quiltworx.  It’s a new take on a variety of blocks that get put together, giving you the opportunity to try out different techniques along your quilting journey!

When you do a mixer quilt by Quiltworx, you can subscribe to an app called “Quiltster”, pick and choose the shapes and techniques you want to experiment with, color it with your own fabrics (or thousands of others available online), put it all together on your digital screen – before you even cut the first piece – to see if you like it, order the components you chose to make your creation and you are on the road to your masterpiece mixer quilt!

I’m currently working on a “Kaleidoscope” mixer which is made from all diamonds.  There are 15 diamond options to choose from, and you can rotate them any way you like.

With so many choices and available fabrics, every quilt that is designed in Quiltster is unique! The foundation paper piecing method that is used to put it all together, insures perfect points and precise blocks every time.  There is really no going wrong with the mixer patterns!

They are offered in 9 different mixer groups where the components can only be interchanged within a specific group.  You can choose from: Cattail mixer, Congo mixer, Hosta wall mixer, Kaleidoscope mixer, Meadow mixer, Solstice mixer, Stella Maris mixer, Sunrise mixer and Willow Star mixer.

They are all unique in their own way – and all fabulous to work with!  I’m sure to be teaching many classes on this new wave of quilting, and will be providing video guidance on how to prepare your components prior to class.  The link below will show you the Shimmering Star diamond graphic I have provided for one of my classes. This is a great sheet to color in and decide how you want to make your quilt look – even if you don’t have a subscription to Quiltster.

Shimmering Star layout

So stay tuned, and check out my classes on the “shop” tab, to see when you might be able to sign up for a mixer class – on zoom – or in our studio!


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Pantone Colors

Ever wonder where the Pantone “color of the year” comes from?  Who makes that decision as to what color we are supposed to be wearing if we want to be “in style”?  I’d love to sit down at that table while the big “color people” are hashing out their decision over bagels and mimosas!  They probably start the meeting talking about what they did last weekend and where they were on vacation last month.  “The sand at St. Tropez was amazing!” “Hey, these Mimosas are fantastic!” “Can you pass the blueberry jam?” etc. etc.

The “new color” usually is announced in early December.  All the fashion industry and anyone who has anything to do with textiles, anxiously sits on the edge of their seats just waiting to jump on the wagon and produce the product that the “in crowd” will be salivating over in the coming year – using that Pantone color that no one can resist!

Who is Pantone?  Why do they get the right to choose for the world what is popular and what is not?

Pantone began in New Jersey in the 1950s as the commercial printing company of brothers Mervin and Jesse Levine, M & J Levine Advertising.   In 1956, its founders, both advertising executives, hired Lawrence Herbert as a part time employee.  Recently graduated from Hofstra University, Lawrence used his chemistry knowledge to systematize and simplify the company’s stock of pigments and production of colored inks. By 1962 Lawrence was running the ink and printing division at a profit, while the commercial-display division was US$50,000 in debt; he subsequently purchased the company’s technological assets from the Levine Brothers for US$50,000 (equivalent to $430,000 in 2020) and renamed them “Pantone”.

The company’s primary products include the Pantone Guides, which consist of a large number of small (approximately 6×2 inches or 15×5 cm) thin cardboard sheets, printed on one side with a series of related color swatches and then bound into a small “fan deck”. For instance, a particular “page” might contain a number of yellows of varying tints.

Basically, Pantone has created a system that is largely a standardized color reproduction system, and as of 2019 it has 2161 colors.  They call it a “color matching system”. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another. The “Pantone Color Institute” created the CMYK process. This is a method of printing color by using four inks—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. A majority of the world’s printed material is produced using the CMYK process. In 2001, Pantone began providing translations of their existing system with screen-based colors. Screen-based colors use the RGB color model – red, green, blue – system to create various colors.  I could go on about the PMS colors, or the GOE system Pantone introduced in 2007, or the new colors added to the CMYK process – making it now the CMYKOG process; but I digress.

So when did all this turn into a “color of the year” game?  In the year 2000,  the Pantone Color Institute declared a particular color “Color of the Year”.

I’m not really sure why, but they did. 

Now twice a year the company hosts, in a European capital, a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year.  For example, the press release declaring Honeysuckle the color of 2011 said “In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.”

The results of the meeting are published in Pantone View, which fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies purchase to help guide their designs and planning for future products. In 2016 and 2021, Pantone chose two colors for Color of the Year.


Taking a look back since the Pantone “color of the year” was first declared, I thought it would be fun to design some quilts for each of the years in the color that was deemed the “cat’s meow”!  I made a short video for you to enjoy – just click on the link below and take a walk through the last 2 decades of color!


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The “biggest puzzle ever!”

This year 2021, is a “Technique of the Month” year with Quiltworx!  That means there is a new pattern that has several techniques released on January 1st to the public for purchase through certified shops and also through certified instructors who are teaching the workshops to complete the pattern.

I’m in the process of becoming certified through Quiltworx, and I am loving this new “TOM”, and how it all goes together.  I thought I would share my enthusiasm with my granddaughters who already know how to sew and make quilts.  I’ve featured them in this blog before – a couple years ago – when they had fun making a gift for their dad.  As they mature, they are very interested in having an online presence, and “working in the family business”.  I’m looking forward to encouraging them to keep on quilting, pick out fabrics, learn to paper piece – and teach others how to do so.  When they are excited, I’m excited!

Here is a little look at how they helped to put some of this year’s TOM – “Coral Reef” on the design board in my very cold garage.  LOL  They had a blast and can’t wait to come back to put the rest up.  I guess I better get busy piecing more of this quilt!

Coral Reef “Like a puzzle!”  Click on this Coral Reef to see the kids in action!  It was a great brain exercise in spatial relations and map reading to get it up on the board the right way. Are you a quilter with a couple kids who are at home with remote schooling?  Having them quilt with you can be a great break from the zoom drudgery – yet still be a bit educational.  😉

Stay tuned to see the finished quilt!  It’s only about half way done at this point – so much more piecing to get finished!