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 http://www.lazygalquilting.blogspot.com/, 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.