Windham Fabrics is delighted to be a part of the Quiltmaker's100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers, issue. It is such a thrill to look through all the designer blog entries and to learn more about each of the designers that submitted a block. I hope you are all enjoying what Quiltmaker has done to give exposure to so many diverse creators.
Windham Fabrics is especially happy to note that 2 of our favorite designers Susan McDermott and Maria Tavy Umhey both used fabrics from Windham for the blocks that were selected by the magazine. Kudos ladies!!! Furthermore we are happy to be a voice for Susan and Maria since they are not bloggers themselves.
Susan McDermott’s block can be seen on page 21, block #19. She just so happened to have Windham collections Clara Barton and Valley Forge on her work table at the time the request came from Quiltmaker looking for designers. This is what became her inspiration for her block.
“The 2 collections complement each other and are historical so that what was what inspired the patriotic slant. I thought of all kinds of images that could go on the ends of the pinwheels….stars, eagles, bells, drums, Uncle Sam's hat….but decided on the flag because of the nice red stripe in the line. Someday I may get around to a making a quilt with all those images on the end of the pinwheels and call it Patriotic Spin!
Windham's historical lines can work very well together. I have another quilt on the design wall mixing Clara Barton and the Williamsburg Clarissa line together, using the wonderful blue toile in Clarissa as the focal fabric.
I love designing quilts for Windham. The fun begins when the Fed Ex box arrives. I open up the box, stroke all the beautiful fabrics and begin mulling over ideas. I always come up with the basic design first, perhaps making a rough pencil sketch and then I fine tune the design in EQ. I always like to keep an open mind when placing the fabrics on the design wall because the way I think fabric will look (in my head or the way they look in EQ) is often not what really works best with the actual fabric. I always ask "What if?" as I work.”
One special note: Susan is a master at appliqué so it is no surprise that she would do something out of the ordinary using appliqué for her block!
Maria Tavy Umhey’s block is called "Easy 3-D" is block # 88 on page 55 , quite different from Susan McDermott's patriotic block making for a nice representation of the diversity of Windham Fabrics. Maria used fabric from Gathered Over Time to make her block and she really bring out the color contrasts in a collection.
It isn’t by chance that she came to be so talented and what she wrote about herself is very telling about her crafting abilities.
“When I was about nine years old I went with my grandmother to a Ladies Aid Society meeting to tie a quilt stretched on a big wooden frame. That was my first quilting experience. I didn’t begin making quilts myself until my sons were grown and I had finished my work as a chemist, county legislator and business manager.
I enjoy designing colorful, cheerful quilts meant to keep people warm and make them happy. Up to date tools and techniques enable me to make quilts with a traditional look in weeks rather than months. I depend on careful use of color and contrast and the simple shapes passed down to us by our grandmothers to produce crisp, uncluttered designs. No intricate blocks with lots of tiny pieces or fancy needle work here. Whether on a bed, on a wall, or casually thrown over the back of a chair, quilts give a feeling of warmth and comfort to our homes.
About the biggest kick I get is seeing my designs interpreted by others in the pages showing quilts made by subscribers. I also have lots of fun designing and building play structures for my grandchildren; another activity which allows me to use scraps and left-overs to spread happiness.”
Windham fabrics is so proud to be a part of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers that will be on newsstands November 17th. To follow the blog tour go to www.quiltmaker.com/quiltypleasures for inspiration, ideas, and giveaways galore! Look for 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers in your local quilt shop, or purchase it at www.quiltmaker.com/100blocks. Each day, a different set of quiltmakers in 100 Blocks will be featured. Check out Quiltmaker's website and blog — you can find some awesome things there and could win the fat quarter pack donated by Windham Fabrics!