Sunday, December 05, 2010

Whoo hoo!! "Word Play Quilts"!!!

At long last, the Book Event I've been waiting for all year is here!  Monday, December 6th, 2010 is the day that Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci will be released by Martingale Publishing.  I've been reading Tonya's blog since 2005 when she lived in Egypt.  I found Tonya through Bonnie Hunter's blog.  The two of them were my first introduction to bloggers and quilt blogs.  It opened up a whole new world to me, and it was so exciting!

These two word blocks are ones I made for Tonya, when she asked bloggers for "happy 4-letter words", and she put them all together into her quilt "Cake", which is on the cover of her book.  (Look at the lower right-hand corner and then the 4th row up from the botton, 2nd block from the right.)

This is the block I made when Tonya asked for words in different type styles for a Halloween quilt.  It was one of my first serious attempts at making the letters.  I was assigned "round" type style.  I don't know how well I did at the roundness.  I certainly stressed over this word.  It came out way bigger than I thought it would.  You can see Tonya's finished quilt here.

Tonya has been a huge inspiration to me.  Long ago, when I first found Tonya's tutorials on making her UnRuly letters, I attempted making some letters.  I made the entire alphabet but a poor choice of fabrics made them pretty much unuseable, due to the very low contrast between the letter and the background.  But those letters and what Tonya was doing with them intrigued me.  

Life got in the way for awhile . . . we moved from California to Washington, and my quilt studio was in boxes for most of the first year here.  But when I got it up and running, I decided that I was going to play with the letters.  

I joined Tonya's "House Home and Pantry Quilt Together" and you can see the blog here.  This is the start of my Witch's Pantry, and sad to say, this is all the further I am at the moment. 

Tonya asked all of her students for name blocks, so I made this one for her.  I used indigo fabrics, of course! The "S" was an inspiration that came to me in a dream one night, and I was thrilled that it worked!

This year, Tonya had the "Liberated Amish Quilt Challenge" - see that blog here.  "Shine" was my "warm-up" piece.  This little quilt just asked to be made first.

This is my finished (flimsy stage) quilt top for the Lib Am Challenge.  I learned so much about free-piecing from this quilt.  I got the wonkiest when I put down the rotary cutter and picked up the scissors.

Here's a closeup of the word in the border.  I used all scraps from the quilt top to make this.

This year my guild had a color challenge, using paint chips.  I had written down the idea for this quilt about 5 years ago, and decided that it was the right time to make this quilt.  I'd just finished the Lib Am quilt top and felt ready to tackle this project.  I learned a lot on this one too, and the most important lesson was that the more you make the letters, the easier they become to do!

This is the start of my next "wordy" quilt.  It's been on the back burner for most of this year, and I think I'll work on it again after the holidays.

Tonya and her wonky UnRuly way of making quilts (as well as Gwen Marston and the Gee's Bend quilts)  has changed the way I make quilts now.  I highly recommend that you give it a try too, if you haven't yet.  It's a lot of fun.  I don't think I'll ever worry very much about being "a little off" again.  Tonya's tutorials guide you step-by-step.  If I can do it, so can anyone!

And, if you go to Tonya's blog, you can click on the widget in her sidebar to buy her book from Amazon.  If you do it that way, Tonya will earn a little bit of $$.  I've already ordered my book there and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.

In celebration of Tonya's book release today, the entire Liberated Quilters web ring, which was inspired in part by Tonya, is showing off their creations that Tonya and her UnRuly letters have inspired. The widget to get there is on my sidebar. Take a few minutes and look at all the wonderful quilts. Maybe you'll get inspired to try some letters too.


  1. Great post.

    I didn't realise you never finished your Home House and Pantry quilt.

    I like Twinkle.

  2. I too found Tonya when she was still in Egypt - fell in love with her way of quilting, her GORGEOUS kitties, and her love for life. She's been such an inspiration. I love all your words, and finished quilts - I think twinkle is going to be my new favorite!

  3. Your letters are terrific! My favorites are the "come in and sit for a spell", the letter S in your name, and your button quilt. I'm so excited for the book!

  4. I love the 'spell' too! Can't wait to try these myself!

  5. Great and interesting post! I especially love the 'sharon' block.

  6. These are all so pretty. I am excited about her book too. With reading her blog, it seems like she is a friend who has this wonderful thing happening to her.

  7. Sharon, it's great to see the progression in your letters as you've gained experience and confidence. you've made some great quilts and sooo love the Lib Amish snuggle. you really came into your own with that quilt. thank you!

  8. LOVE the words!! I am making some right now, but got stuck on "M" and looking at yours I think I can figure one out.Thanks so much,Amy

  9. Awesome quilts and words ... love the button, button one!

    This is all SUCH fun . . . here's to even more letters and word play quilts!!!!!

  10. My copy of her book is STILL on order - has been for months!!! Can't wait. Amazon says Dec. 9 it will be shipped. Yeahhhhh

    I DID try one banner of words - didn't turn out too bad, just not quite free-form enough, but it's hanging proudly. Aren't we lucky to have so many talented artists? 8-))

  11. I just blogged about her release, right after I ordered it from her site! Whoohoo. I'm so excited to get this book. You have lots of great pieces that she has inspired, thanks for sharing

  12. Oh fun......your word is next to mine on the quilt....I'm Mwa hahaha to the right of your that quilt!
    I also got one of my blocks on the cover :0)of her book!
    LOVE is mine :0).....
    I wish Tonya continued success and of cocurse I can't wait to get the book!

    Happy sewing

  13. What a super bunch of quilts you made!! And Happy New Year


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