The best quilt news, picked just for you!
No. 002. April 2016. By Michelle Bartholomew
Get to know an awesome quilter


This month we are featuring Jenna Valoe from Rain and the River. When I discovered Jenna's work on Instagram, it was love at first sight. From her geometric inspiration to her impeccable hand quilting, her quilts have a timeless charm. But it was her amazing use of color that especially drew me in. Her combinations are always interesting, unexpected, and perfect.

Hi there! I'd love for you to introduce yourself.
Hello! My name is Jenna, I am a colorist and fiber artist. I recently left Milwaukee and moved into my Grandmother’s childhood home in Northeast Wisconsin, where I have a tiny studio in our flat. Quilts have always amazed me in their duality of use and beauty, and their magical ability to comfort. I have sporadically quilted for 13 years, finding inspiration in the natural world, folk art, and animism. I opened my online shop Rain and the River about two and a half years ago, specializing in handcrafted quilts and home textiles and have been pursuing quilting and fiber art as a full time career for the past six months.

Describe your quilty style in 3 words or less.

geometric, vibrant, handcrafted

What is something interesting thing about you?
I am a self taught fiber artist and admittedly have no idea what I’m doing half of the time! Running with that theme, I’m in the early stages of working on a quilt related book and am excited to see what this experience holds.

What Kona color best describes you?
Bluebell. It’s a chameleon blue that can be neutral and grayish or totally pop depending on its placement. I feel like Bluebell mirrors my personality fairly well depending on my environment and ambitions.

What's your quilting secret weapon?
I hand quilt all of my quilts and the process can become very painful for my fingertips. I don’t like using any type of thimbles because I lose the feel and rhythm of the stitches, so recently I’ve taken to wrapping a single layer of waterproof first aid tape around my quilting fingers for protection.

Question of the month: What's your favorite color palette right now?
I have no restraint with colors! My favorite palette of the moment is very foggy with bright pops of color, think stormy skies over a field of wildflowers. 

Kona specifics: dusty blue, dresden blue, lilac, orchid, ochre, caramel, snow and a little nectarine or bright pink. Maybe a few slivers of midnight and slate too.

What is your latest and greatest quilting achievement?
I see every completed quilt and opportunity to engage with the quilting community as a huge achievement. Last month I was lucky to be included in Apartment Therapy's 'Favorite Modern Quilts' article, which was a total surprise and honor. However, I’m currently most excited about participating in WAYSIDES, a group show, at the Kohler Arts Center. I submitted a small piece inspired by Midwest barn quilts and am completely thrilled to be included in the exhibit.

Love it! Thank you so much! To see more of Jenna's amazing work, check her out at:
Website | Instagram
What's your favorite color palette right now?

Post a picture of your palette on Instagram using the hashtag #mbquilts and I'll send one lucky reader a small fabric bundle featuring those colors!
Lately, I've been even more obsessed (if that's possible) with half-square triangle quilts. I think one of these quilts is moving to the top of my to-make list!

I've never made a sampler quilt, but this Modern HST Sampler from Blossom Heart Quilts is quickly changing my mind.

All of these HST projects inspired me to write a beginner's guide to half-square triangles. It's perfect for a new quilter and it also has links to other HST methods. I'm excited to try out the 8-at-a-time method from Suzy Quilts.

If you missed the finished mini quilts from the Rainbow Mini Swap, grab your favorite bevie and settle in for a journey down the internet rabbit hole of beautifulness. 

Do you think my husband would go for a house completely decorated in quilty things? I think so too. Here's the start of my wish list: dresser | couch | credenza | hex boxes

Looking for something to watch while sewing? This 15 minute excerpt from Quilts in Women's Lives documents the art of several quilters in the 1980's. "The film, like the quilts, embodies the reassuring care, the forgiving attention to detail and the fascination of detail and emerging pattern that animates the best of life itself." 

Two years ago, I met some of my best quilting friends through the New Blogger's Blog Hop. If you've been blogging for less than 2 years, sign up! If you're an old pro, consider writing an article with some tips for new bloggers. It's such a great way to connect with other quilters.

This month, Instagram had everyone talking about what's next with their proposed algorithm change. As a planner, I love this article on things to do to make your posts stand out.  As a member of our awesome quilting community, I love this reminder to forget numbers and focus on connections.

Who's up for a trip to Australia with me just to go to this amazing water park?!

It doesn't get much better than this bright and cheerful Hexie Stripe quilt by Suzy Williams from Suzy Quilts 

I love how Suzy mixes a larger floral print in with her solids. She strikes the perfect balance of color and design. And the bright coral binding just makes everything pop! 
Theme: Rain
"Rainy days, rainy nights, wash the world, set to right.
Cleansing streets, set apart, rainy days cleanse the heart"
-author unknown
Image sources, clockwise from top left:
one | two | three | four | five | six |
I love it when people share pictures of their notes and sketches. Jenna Valoe (our spotlight quilter) was kind enough to give us a behind the scenes look at her sketchbook. It is obvious that some amazing work is being created here!
See more of her work on Instagram
Want to be featured in an upcoming newsletter? Let me know!

Did I miss an awesome blog article, tutorial, or event in the news? Please share it!

Want to say hi or ask me a question? I'd love to meet you!

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with love and stitches,

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