The best quilt news, picked just for you!
No. 005. July 2016. By Michelle Bartholomew
Get to know an awesome quilter


This month we are featuring Ebony Porter from Campfire Quilts. I discovered Ebony's gorgeous quilts while searching Instagram for hand quilting inspiration. Her designs stood out because they were a nod to quilts of the past, and also so bold and full of life. I love her use of naturally dyed fabric in her quilts. There is just something magical about the colors. The amount of care and craftsmanship is clear in her work and is definitely an inspiration for me.

Hi there! I'd love for you to introduce yourself.
I’m Ebony, founder of Campfire Quilts, established in 2013. I was born in Australia but have been living in Texas since 1991. It's safe to say I'm a Texan Aussie by now.

Describe your quilty style in 3 words or less.
Simple, meditative, bold

What is something interesting thing about you?
I make my living as a writer. I’ve written since I was a little girl and never in my wildest dreams, would have thought this is where my career would land. But it has, and I feel very, very fortunate.

What Kona color best describes you?
Natural and unbleached! Because then I can naturally dye it as I wish. Since I’ve started dyeing my own fabric, I see firsthand that what you can achieve at home is a world away from what is available on the market. The color from natural dyes moves and pulsates in a way that factory dyes don’t. I am a huge fan of shot cottons, but even those don’t breathe like natural dyes. 

But if I had to choose a ‘color-color,’ I love flame! That electric vermillion red is sensational. And I am uncertain I would be able to achieve such electricity naturally.

What's your quilting secret weapon?

I would be lost without my clear quilting ruler. I’ve had the same one for almost 20 years. It’s what I measure to cut with and what I use to draw my quilt lines on before I start hand quilting. It’s essential and I’d be lost without it.

Question of the month: Where do you find inspiration for your quilts?

I love Amish quilts from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, as well as the Gees Bend Quilters of Alabama. Their bold use of color and dancing forms are like looking at a great painting you never tire of. I also find inspiration from the natural world and during my families travels. We camp a lot, which I prefer. Nature is the epitome of perfect design, so a rock formation, or the sunset over the ocean, or the geography of an area might give me some ideas on how I can transpose that into blocks or dye colors for a new quilt.

I am always thinking about traditional quilt blocks and how I can make them my own, or into something I haven’t seen before. I’ve never used a pattern kit and I don’t sketch my quilts unless I am working on a commission. I see them in my mind, and once I start to slice and dice the fabric, soon enough the quilt top begins to take form. I feel that this way there is an opportunity to change course if need be. As the quilt top grows I hang it on the wall to get a good look at what's happening, much like I do for a painting.

Continue reading....
Where do you find inspiration for your quilts?

I'd love to know your sources of inspiration! Tweet me @MichelleBartho or post a picture on Instagram using the hashtag #mbquilts
I absolutely loved this story about a woman who is changing lives through making scrap quilts.

It's so fun getting to peek where modern quilters live and create. I loved getting a virtual tour of Kristi Schroeder's studio. I want to have all of my quilts on display like that!

Chelsea over at Patch the Giraffe just finished putting this Rocky Mountain Puzzle quilt together and I'm in love. I've never participated in a virtual quilting bee but this gorgeousness makes me want to! 

The Snowflake Shimmer Quilt Along begins over at Quilting Jetgirl tomorrow (and it's free!). The quilt design will be revealed and I'm so excited to see what Yvonne has designed. 

My daughter is going to freak out (in a good way) when I make her adorable this panda purse from the free pattern over at Sew Mama Sew.

For anyone looking for last minute 4th of July project ideas, here are a few of my favorites.

I just added this Hexie Shape Family EPP kit to my wish list. I can imagine spending hours creating different layouts (that's normal, right?!). 

People are starting to finish their mini quilts for the Black & White Quilt Swap on Instagram. I have had a b/w quilt on my wish list for awhile, and these are motivating me to get one going! 

This article on How to End the Endless Game of Catching Up really resonated with me so I thought I'd share it if you are also feeling the pressure to keep up with 2,308,399 things. I just reset my blog reader to zero and it feels so refreshing! 

Do you have the new Instagram Business Profile? I don't really have a business, but I like the Insights where I can see top posts and what my followers like to see. 

If you are looking for something new to watch while sewing, check out Pioneer Quest. It follows two couples trying to live for a year like pioneers. There's even a little quilting in it :-) It's free to watch for Amazon Prime members.

I always get excited when I discover new quilters who not only have bold, interesting designs, but also share photographs that inspire me daily.

This quilt, by Hamabi Design is just one example of the gorgeous pieces of contemporary patchwork she creates in Barcelona, Spain. I love her choice of colors and the use of white space!
Theme: Ocean
"The earth has music for those who listen."
-George Santayana
Image sources, clockwise from top left:
one | two | three | four | five | six
I love this hanging display of Ebony Porter's quilts. There is just something special about seeing quilts displayed outdoors and it gives me a few photoshoot ideas! :-)
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with love and stitches,

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