Hey, Q-bies! Today's guest blogger is Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios. Read all about his adventures designing a quilt with the inaugural Ty Pennington's Impressions collection. And for a glimpse of the man himself snuggled in Scott's new creation (on the beach in Florida, probably barefoot, ready to kick back…don't you wish you were there, too?) don't miss our April-May 2011 issue. Now on newsstands!
The text message said it was a quilting emergency. That made me laugh, and it made me intensely curious. Just what is a magazine editor's quilting emergency?
So I called Quilter's Home editor Jake Finch right away to find out what was so dire. She said that Quilter's Home needed a quilt for an upcoming cover–stat!–and not just any quilt, but one featuring Ty Pennington's new line of fabrics created for Westminster Fabrics. For the cover shot, this quilt would be wrapped around the man himself.
Random thoughts flew through my head about deadlines and day job commitments that I had to see through, but in the end, the awesome opportunity and a healthy dose of crazy pills won me over.
"Sure! I'll do it!" I said.
The first step was to pick the fabrics I wanted to use from his new line, Ty Pennington's Impressions. It wasn't easy; there were a LOT of different choices! I always wonder when I pick fabrics from a website what the scale of the prints will be when they come in. Rarely do I guess right. Even if they have those little rulers on the pictures, I still don't pay close enough attention. But I decided to go for the grey/green/coral combo and waited for the fabrics to come in the mail.
I also needed to find out more about Ty while I was planning the quilt. It's something I do with every quilt I design around one collection. I want to know more about the designer, what they are like and what they are trying to get across with their designs. This is a throwback to my days as an English major, always looking for an author's point of view. I have to admit that while I knew who Ty Pennington was, I really hadn't seen him in action before.
So I watched the video on his website about his design process for this fabric collection, and I have to admit it was really quite interesting. I loved how he used woodcuts (were they actually made from wood? I don't remember now) and house paint to develop his basic designs. Very earthly and hands-on, I thought.
Then I watched part of one of his shows on Hulu. He's a busy guy, and the nice guy act is, well, not an act at all. He seems very genuine! I'd like to meet him in person, but he'll have to stop by here, because he gets around a lot more than me. I wouldn't certainly wouldn't mind if he came along and tore down the old trailer on our property that we used to live in, and replace it with a beautiful new studio. I wouldn't mind that at all. Really! (Major hint, Ty and crew.)
So, I decided to do something builder-ish with a Log Cabin block for the Ty quilt. Makes sense, right? I also was playing around with matchstick borders, and they started looking bricks turned on their side…, and that's how Brick House I was born.
Did I mention that I wanted to be an architect when I was young? Or that I built my own house? Two more reasons why I was happy to get hooked up with Ty. And, I have diligently kept this special project a secret for what seems like light years! Me and Ty, we go way back, all the way to December 2010, although I really haven't talked to him directly…his people talked to my people–no wait–I am my only people….
Anyway, thanks to Jake and her colleague, Melissa Thompson Maher, for this opportunity and thanks to Ty for designing such a great line of fabric. In the somewhat near future, check out my blog for another version of Brick House I made using the blues and greys of Ty's Impressions. And heck, just come on and stop by the Blue Nickel Studios for a visit anytime of day. In Blogville, the Studios are always open for guests. –Scott Hansen