Hadley Giveaway Winner!

Free Spirit Fabrics was nice enough to sponsor a giveaway of a fat quarter pack of Denyse Schmidt’s Hadley fabric that includes coordinating solids. Out of 191 entries #24 is the winner!!


Congrats Kei! We can’t wait to see your quilted table runners.



Check your email for a message from me!

#ModernSolidsChallenge – VOTE!!!

(Hadley giveaway post is here!)

That was fun! In the end, seven awesome bloggers/designers (Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts, Heather of Olive and Ollie, Holly of Bijou Lovely, John of Quilt Dad, Lee from Freshly Pieced, Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations and myself) came up with seven pretty awesome quilts! I sorta can’t be mad if any one of us wins! BUT, if you’d like to vote for me – you can do it at each of these three places:

FreeSpirit Farbics Blog

FreeSpirit Fabrics Facebook Album

FreeSpirit Fabrics Pinterest Board

Aren’t they all awesome??

Final Quilts



#ModernSolidsChallenge: The Quilt!

(Hadley giveaway post is here!)

Three hotel rooms, two states, and five airports later, I finally finished my Modern Solids Challenge Quilt! After much back and forth I decided to go with one of the designs that I designed using a variation of the Birds in the Air block. Instead of the standard block made with HST’s (Half Square Triangles) I decided to make the blocks with HRT’s (Half Rectangle Triangles). Introducing my Buzzed Birds Quilt!

TQE_8352 (2)

This is the individual block.

Birds In the Air Quilt Block with HRT's

Birds In the Air Quilt Block with HRT’s

Which I of course turn on it’s side so that the diagonal of the HRT is parallel with the top and bottom of the quilt.

TQE_8369 (2)

I love the look of using two background fabrics in this quilt! So much so that I carried them onto the binding.

TQE_8442 (2)

And of course, this one got my favorite all over quilting design of a random crosshatch! When it came to naming this one I just kept thinking that if the birds in the air are in a rectangular formation AND on their side then they must be drunk. Then I kept thinking about the stories in the news a few years ago about birds getting drunk by eating fermented berries. So, all in fun this quilt is called Buzzed Birds. 🙂

TQE_8384 (2) Square1

Thanks Free Spirit Fabrics for this opportunity to play with your fabric! And Denyse Schmidt for picking awesome colors!

#ModernSolidsChallenge: The Giveaway

Giveaway closed!

As a part of the Modern Solids Challenge Free Spirit Fabrics has given us a wonderful bundle of Denyse Schmidt’s Hadley fabric to giveaway to one lucky person! The great thing about this fat quarter bundle is that it is bundled with the coordinating solids. Love that. One entry per person please. To enter just comment on this blog post with what you will make if you win this bundle of goodness! A Random Number Generator will be used to pick a winner. Entry will be open until 5pm Pacific Time on Friday, October 10th 2014. I will pick a winner by the following Monday, the 13th.


(Image from Denyse Schmidt’s site)

Thanks and Good Luck!

#ModernSolidsChallenge: The Design Process

I love to hear about everyone’s design process. For everyone it’s different. For me it is key to see the whole design in my head before I actually cut fabric. I have been learning Illustrator and Design and luckily I can quickly draw

Our design parameters are as follows:

  • 60″ x 60″ final quilt size
  • Just use fabric from the box (we could ask for more for background fabric if needed)
  • Inspired by the style of Denyse Schmidt’s book Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration

First, have you seen Denyse’s book??

DS Book

She captures the beauty of many traditional patterns and presents us with gorgeous clean modern versions. So, of course I started looking at antique and vintage quilts. There were two quilts that I kept coming back to. One was quilts made from variations on the Birds in the Air:


and the other was Sugarloaf Quilts:


I figured I could make these modern. These are the traditional blocks:

Birds In the Air

Birds in the Air Quilt Block

Sugarloaf dwg

Sugarloaf Quilt Block with Traingles

Sugarloaf dwg2

Sugarloaf Quilt Block with Diamonds

I’ve been working with paper pieced half rectangle triangles (HRT’s) a lot lately in my designs so I guess they had been on my mind so I started to play with ideas that I could incorporate them into these traditional layouts. I haven’t seen HRT’s much in antique quilts but, if you substitute them for HST”s or combine them to form regular triangles. Then walla! These were the rejects. 😉 All of which I would still like to make into quilts!


I knew I wanted colorful but, not rainbow-y and I knew I didn’t want to use white for my background fabric. But, to decide what to use when you have 75 colors. Due to my heavy work travel schedule, I waited too late to request extra fabric from Free Spirit. Luckily I live in LA with awesome local stores and Sew Modern had two choices that are also included in the Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids Fat Quarter Box – Spark Gold and Sand Dune. My decision was narrowed down.


It is interesting how just changing the background color changes the look and feel of the quilt.


Then it hit me – I can use both! I’m so excited with how this is coming out. . .



Yep challenge. I don’t love competitions and I design best when I’m designing from a place of love and pure creation and I know this about myself. But, I’m a sucker for a box of beautiful fabric and how beautiful is this?

photo 1

So, when Free Spirit Fabrics/Coats and Clark asked me if I wanted to participate in this challenge, I couldn’t help but say yes! It’s a friendly competition with a few extra awesome designers. Can you believe this list???

Heather of Olive and Ollie
Holly of Bijou Lovely
John of Quilt Dad
Lee from Freshly Pieced
But, I didn’t know how hard it would be just TO BREAK THE LABEL and take the fabrics out of the box. Sigh.
Then I had to create. How do you create when you have the whole rainbow of beautiful colors?
I had a long, long road ahead.

The Big ‘O’ Quilt, Part II

Here’s a quilt that I’ve never blogged about.

The Big 'O' Quilt, Part II Angle

I blogged about The Big ‘O’ Quilt a few months ago. This is the second quilt in the ‘O’ Series, The Big ‘O’, Part II. Like The Big ‘O’ this quilt uses the Bias Tape Appliqué technique but only on the right half of the quilt.  The other half uses Dale Fleming’s Pinless Piecing (otherwise known as the six-minute circle) technique which you know that I love. And barring managing such large pieces of fabric, it was a quilt that went together quite easily. But, of course both of these techniques are pretty easy.


This quilt was finished to hang at the first QuiltCon in 2013 so many of you may have seen it there or from pictures from the show. It had never been photographed properly though.

The Big "O", Part II

This quilt has so many things that I love in it. Green, in the perfect shade. And another pretty great shade of green. Half circles making up a full circle. Random crosshatch quilting. Binding that blends into the background. Just a hint of a print. Super light Gray background. That perfect blue (I think it’s the same blue on the back of The Big ‘O’)! I also think this super simple quilt has fabric from 4 or 5 different manufacturers which makes me happy too!

I love so many things about this.

Oh, and it is featured in the recently released  Lucky Spool’s Essential Guild to Modern Quilt Making which you should all check out!

Sewtopia Chicago? Here I Come!

I was so happy when the Sewtopia crew invited me to teach at the second Sewtopia event happening April 16, 2015. Then I found out the other teacher was Rita from Red Pepper Quilts. Then I found out it was going to be in Chicago! Then I found out it was going to be at The Drake hotel. This will be so much fun! Registration opens on the 1st of August so just over a week away. It’s a pretty intimate event so there are just 80 spots. If you’re interested, you shouldn’t wait!

Sewtopia 2015

I’ll be teaching a soon to be released Latifah Saafir Studios pattern called Molehills where we’ll explore gentle curved piecing, curved piecing without (or with minimal) pins and a relaxed approach to paper piecing. Even though this pattern goes together easily, this is the perfect opportunity to come work with me to learn how I do curves and possibly overcome your fear of sewing curves.

Molehills is a fun pattern with two variation and so many opportunities for personalization. Here’s a baby quilt that I made that has variation one with paper pieced arcs.

Molehills Picture

And, here is a sort of wild and crazy quilt top that I was playing around with the variation where the arcs are each made of one fabric. I’m working on quilting this baby today so you can get a better view.

Horizontal Detail

Hope to see you in Chicago!

(P.S. If you unfortunately can’t join us at Sewtopia, check here for more info on the pattern SOON!)


Spicy Sticks – A Quilt for Mom

Do you sometimes make a quilt that is not 100% your style or colors? I do for those I love. My sister decorated my Mom’s living space around colors inspired from a mirror that Mom fell in love with from Pier One. I wanted to make a quick quilt that would coordinate with this already colorful living room. Here’s the result. Stripes – all Kona Cottons – in turquoise, rusts, tans and black. Colors that all coordinate directly with the room.

I didn’t have a flat surface with the right sun outside at her house so it was taken on the fence but, I promise the stripes really are straight. 😉  This quilt is made of eight different Kona Cotton colors – seven on the front and one on the back.


Spicy Sticks

The back is one solid fabric and really shows the quilting lines well.

Spicy Sticks Back

Of course there is a big chunky 1″ binding to tie in the chunky 1″ wide black stripe that unifies the quilt.

Spicy Sticks Folded

This quilt has a lot of saturated colors but, it really goes well with the room.

Living Room

And Mom loves it which is all that matters.

Spicy Sticks Detail

Play Around the World Quilt

I sorta have a crush on everything that Sarah Jane does. Everything. And, when she had her first line of fabric, I wanted every SKU of it. It is filled with true multicultural children, not just children with different complexions.  And these kids all live in a magical world of individuality and whimsy. Love it.

This quilt was made with fabric from her first line with Micheal Miller called Children At Play that came out in 2011/12. I fell in LOVE with the border print and wanted to find a way to use it effectively in a quilt. (It’s such a great print that you can still find it in stores.) I knew it would be for my niece Nyala and I wanted it to be fun and individual just like her. Also, she’s been a girly girl since birth so I wanted it to be girly without being over the top pink. This fabric has the best colors with peaches, lavenders, turquoises and pinks. So, I went with that for the quilt colors using the peach Gingham (a coordinate in the Children at Play line) as well as a bunch of solids.

Play Around the World FrontThe quilt was pieced with a modified Six Minute Circle method. And, this quilt just called for a little hand stitching detail to it. And, of course I had to follow the shape of the curved insert for the quilting.

Play Around the World Quilt - Detail

This fabric was just too good not to put on the back.  It is also from the same line. Also, note the scrappy binding using fabric scraps from the quilt top.

Play Around the World Quilt - Back

This detail view of the backing fabric is just too cute not to post.

Play Around the World Quilt - Back Detail

The label is in the same shape as the front of the quilt and was added with the same method.

Play Around the World Quilt - Label

Love this quilt so much. And, thankfully so does my two almost three year old ballerina girl.

Play Around the World Quilt - Detail

XO, Tia Tifah 🙂