Hello everyone! My name is Leigh Ann and I am the writer and designer behind the Spincushion blog. I’m so happy to be with you today, sharing a little about myself as well as a fun project I’m working on….  a quilt inspired by the artwork of watercolor artist Caitlin McGauley.

But more about that in a minute! First, a few fun facts about me:

1. I was a make-up artist for years, but now put pencil to paper far more often than I put liner to lip. 2. I once won a $100.00 gift certificate to JoAnn Fabrics, which my mother used to make my wedding gown! 3. I accidentally once made coffee in my iron. Long story.

I currently design sewing projects for publications such as Sew Hip and Stitch magazines and I have a pattern in the upcoming book, “One Yard Wonders: Fabric Extravaganza” due out later this year. My blog, Spincushion, is a collection of my great loves including surface design, interior decorating and modern traditional style with a focus on fabrics, quilting and sewing of all sorts. As you can tell from one visit to Spincushion, I’m a graphic design junkie and I’m very excited to have just designed the pattern covers for 3 quilts by Cara’s Quilt Designs (coming to an online quilt shop near you!).

My goal in the industry is to someday share my modern, feminine aesthetic through a line of fabrics and patterns. I’ve been sharing many an evening with my colored pencils, and as soon as my portfolio reflects the “me” that I want to share through fabrics, I plan on courting a few manufacturers.

Now back to that fun project! Lately, I’m loving the gorgeous works of artist Caitlin McGauley. Her playful yet glamourous art has attracted the likes of Kate Spade, Lonny Magazine and Tory Burch. I thought it would be fun to do a group of 12″ quilt blocks, each inspired by one of Caitlin’s works, then use white sashing to join them so that it looks somewhat  like a gallery wall in fabric form.

My goal is not to get incredibly detailed, just pick up on Caitlin’s notes on form and color, and then possibly add in some detail with hand quilting later on. I love the idea of the classic look of hand stitching on a very modern looking quilt top- kind of like reading “The Great Gatsby” on a Kindle.

So here’s how this block came to be. First I drew a plan on pattern paper outlining the main shapes. Then I did the math, adding 1/4″ seam allowance to the shape dimensions. Next, due to the angles, I created a template for the floor for easier cutting.

Then I pieced the back together and created and added bias binding to the “rug”.

And the rest is done with applique. This is the technique I usually use. First you cut a square from your desired fabric, larger than the shape that you’re going to be using. Then you trace the template (with no seam allowance) onto the fabric. Then you cut a piece of a lightweight fusible interfacing, the same size as your fabric and pin it to the back, fusible side facing the fabric. Next, using a very small seam, sew over your traced line. Trim the seam allowance to around 1/4″ and notch curves where necessary. Then cut a small hole in only the fusible and turn the piece right-side-out, smoothing out the inner seams.

Then I arranged the applique pieces and pressed them into place. Lastly, I used quilting thread and an invisible ladder stitch to secure the applique.

Thanks so much to Fat Quarterly for allowing me to share today! I hope to continue our conversation- so nice to meet you!