MJ
Kinman

2022 Diamonds & Drama Queens
Members Page

August 2022: Wild Child in the White House

The Inspiration

Our Diamonds & Drama Queens pattern for August is inspired by an orangey-red tourmaline that I’d like to think was similar to one owned by Alice Roosevelt Longworth during her time in the Washington DC limelight. It’s a little topsy-turvy, sort of like Alice.

Alice Roosevelt was the oldest child of President Teddy Roosevelt. She was 16 when she moved to the White House in 1901. She was a handful even when she was being well-behaved….which wasn’t often. She smoked, wore trousers, drove fast cars, and carried in her handbag both a tiny pistol and garter snake named Emily Spinach, which she’d sometimes release at the dinner table.

Alice used to bug her father in the Oval Office, too. The exhausted president once commented to his friend, author Owen Wister, after she interrupted their conversation for the third time, “I can either run the country or I can attend to Alice, but I cannot possibly do both” and he threatened to throw her out the window.

Alice lived a large – if not very happy – life. Her only daughter, who died as a young woman, was the result of an affair with Idaho Senator Borah. Always wickedly sly, Alice considered naming her daughter “Deborah” as in “de Borah”. She settled on “Pauline”, but many referred to Pauline thereafter as “Aurora Borah Alice.” (Aurora Borealis!)

Inspiration Gems
Inspiration Gems
Alice Portrait Profile Feathery Hat and Pearls

The Video: Wild Child in the White House

I hope you enjoy learning about Alice Roosevelt Longworth, a real Drama Queen!

The Pattern

Colorway Document

I’ve created 2 colorways representing several aspects of Alice’s wild life. Of course, you can also use any of the other colorways provided in previous months OR create your own!

Wild Child in the White House Bubblegum Colorway resized DDQ August 2022 Pattern AI
Wild Child in the White House Bubblegum Colorway
Wild Child in the White House DDQ August 2022 Pattern JPG Emily Spinach Colorway resized
Wild Child in the White House
Emily Spinach Colorway

July 2022: The Whitney Alexandrite

The Inspiration

Our Diamonds & Drama Queens pattern for July is inspired by a remarkable gem that is part of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection. The Whitney Alexandrite is a spectacular 17.03-carat, cushion-cut Alexandrite. This gem is a variety of chrysoberyl known for its dramatic color change. Trace impurities of chromium cause Alexandrite to transmit red and green light equally well.

Dr. Coralyn Wright Whitney gifted this gem to the Smithsonian in 2009. Dr. Whitney was a research professor in biostatistics. After retiring from academia, she earned her graduate gemologist and accredited jewelry degrees from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Dr. Whitney has been a significant contributor to educational and research gems in addition to donating two of the most beautiful gems in the collection. She also donated the Whitney Flame Topaz in 2018.

Enjoy my interview with Dr. Whitney!

alexandrite1
The Whitney Alexandrite under different lighting: incandescent (left), daylight (right).
Photography credit: Chip Clark, The Smithsonian Institution

The Video: An Interview with Dr. Whitney

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Coralyn Wright Whitney, donor of the Whitney Alexandrite in 2020 for the Tiny Treasures Club. Enjoy!

The Pattern

Colorway Document

I’ve created 2 colorways representing the amazing color changes of the Alexandrite gemstone. Of course, you can also use any of the other colorways provided in previous months OR create your own!

Whitney Alexandrite Colorway Collage
Whitney Alexandrite Colorway Collage


June 2022: Belperron’s Beauty

The Inspiration

Our Diamonds & Drama Queens pattern for June is inspired by an Asscher cut gemstone, a square emerald-cut invented and branded by the Asscher brothers in Holland in 1902. It became wildly popular in the 1920s, about the time our Drama Queen, Suzann Belperron, started her spectacular jewelry design career.

Suzann Belperron was one of only a handful of women who were major designers in the early 20th Century. Her designs were worn by & sought after by some of our favorite Drama Queens like Mona von Bismarck and Wallis Simpson.

Suzann spent her entire life designing jewelry, yet also played an important role in resisting the Nazi’s when they invaded France. Her employer, Bernard Hertz, sold the company to her prior to being detained and eventually killed in Auschwitz during WWII. Suzann joined the French Resistance and avidly fought the occupation. When Herz’s son was released from prison camp, she turned the firm over to him and continued to work by his side.

I hope you enjoy learning about this amazing woman as much as I have!

One more thing….As promised, I created this month’s pattern to be a pretty simple little design. You can always add more facets to it! Remember to give them unique identifier codes and add your hashmarks. Feel free to use the image to the right to inspire you on ways to scatter color throughout the additional facets. And be sure to make a copy of your customized pattern, too, so you’ll have a key to help you put it back together. Have fun!

gia2208157567 diamond

The Video: Belperron’s Beauty &
Suzann Belperron

Enjoy the June video all about Suzanne Belperron’s amazing career.

SB Portrait Looking angled lower right gorgeous

The Pattern

Colorway Document

I used 7 colors in this pattern, one less than the 8 that I typically use. In addition, I’ve only provided 1 colorway, since I know that you know how to put colors together in gorgeous ways! You can always use the fabric selections from any of the previous month’s to inspire you.


May 2022: Lucifer’s Amethyst

The Inspiration

Our Diamonds & Drama Queens pattern for May is inspired by a lovely amethyst cut in a modified triangular shape. I loved the inner triangles that are tumbling through its center.

I’d like to introduce you this month to someone who may not have been a Drama Queen himself, but certainly created gorgeous jewelry for them. His name is Jean Schlumberger. (“Jean” is French for “John”. It’s not pronounced “Jeen”, like it looks to us Americans. Instead it’s pronounced kind of like this:  “Szhaw”. The “n” is silent.)

Jean created fabulous jewels for Tiffany & Co. for many years. His fanciful designs were inspired by nature, especially sea creatures. Clientele included Babe Paley, the Countess Mona von Bismarck, the Duchess of Windsor (nee Wallis Simpson), Gloria Guiness, and others.

This design has LOTS of facets. As a result the pieces are small and the Unique Identifier codes are small, too. So for those of you who typically make the 6” version, please take a deep breath and be patient with yourself….OR try a larger size.  Enjoy!

faceting design lucifer amethyst
faceting design lucifer amethyst

The Video: Lucifer’s Amethyst &
Jean Schlumberger

Enjoy the May video all about legendary jeweler, Jean Schlumberger.

DDQ May 2022 Logo
DDQ May 2022 Logo

The Pattern

Colorway Document

As usual, I’ve provided fabric translations in 3 different fabric lines: KONA Cotton Solids, Moda Bella Solids, and Painter’s Palette Solids (by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics). Please keep in mind that only KONA has the closest color match since they have the most robust line of solids. I’ve tried to select colors from Moda Bella Solids and Painter’s Palette that come close, but sometimes it was a bit of a stretch.

Shine on!


April 2022: Daisy’s Wicked Pink Diamond

The Inspiration

Our Diamonds & Drama Queens pattern for April is inspired by a pinkish-red diamond that I’d like to think was similar to one owned by Daisy Fellowes, heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Daisy was allegedly wearing a fabulous pink diamond brooch when she met with her friend, the Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli. The striking color inspired Elsa to invent the color “shocking pink” and use it to launch her 1937 perfume collection

Princess Red Fancy Diamond Straightened all different quads
Princess Cut Pinkish-Red Fancy Diamond

The Video: Daisy’s Wicked Pink Diamond

Enjoy the April video all about Daisy Fellowes and her amazing life.

The Pattern

Colorway Document

I’ve provided several different colorways for this month’s gem pattern:

Shocking Pink (new this month)
Emerald
Golden Topaz (new this month)
Tanzanite (new this month)
White Diamond

As usual, I’ve provided fabric translations in 3 different fabric lines: KONA Cotton Solids, Moda Bella Solids, and Painter’s Palette Solids (by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics). Please keep in mind that only KONA has the closest color match since they have the most robust line of solids. I’ve tried to select colors from Moda Bella Solids and Painter’s Palette that come close, but sometimes it was a bit of a stretch.

In this pattern, I attempted to make the center part of the gemstone darker than the surrounding facets (except in the case of the White Diamond, where the center is lighter because I flipped the color code progression). Since this sometimes resulted in the center becoming TOO dark, I switched out some of the colors which resulted in the code progression to not be a true progression from lights to darks.

For example, in some cases, you’ll see that the code “F” is lighter in value than the previous codes. Also please note that I used 2 codes for Black facets in the White Diamond colorway. When you look at it, you might think it’s a typo; it is not.

As I always say, there are no wrong answers to color! I designed my block and then played with the colors until my heart said, “Yes! This is it.” That resulted in some changes to the value progression.

I hope you are beginning to feel comfortable, too, playing with your color options to satisfy your heart’s desire, rather than sticking with the instructions. I want your gemstones to sparkle in a way that brings you maximum JOY.

Shine on!


March 2022: Babe’s Marquise Quilt Block

March Mid-Month Meet-Up

This video is a recording of March’s Mid-Month Meet-Up. Since this is the last month for those who joined in 2021 and have decided not to renew, I wanted to provide this trunk show for them as a “thank you” for joining me on the adventure. Thanks for making beautiful gems with me!

Video: Babe’s Marquise

Enjoy this month’s presentation all about Babe Paley and her fabulous jewelry.

The Inspiration

This month’s gem is inspired by a stunning amethyst, diamond, ruby and gold ring created by the house of Verdura. Verdura was the favored jeweler of high society, including Babe Paley, who was nicknamed “The Queen of New York.”

verdura 12

The Pattern

Colorway Document

I’ve provided several different colorways for this month’s gem pattern. I’m introducing a collection of purplish-pinks and periwinkle fabrics for this month’s new color: amethyst.

In addition, I’ve provided all 5 of the previous colorways, too: Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond & Citrine.

All the colorways are offered with a white and black background. Depending on the color you choose, some of the backgrounds work better than others. But, as always, this is all about personal preference. Select the background that makes your heart happy.



February 2022: The Taylor Emerald Quilt Block

Mid-Month Meet-Up
(AM Edition)

Hi there! Here is a recording of our Mid-Month Meet-Up Zoom time together last Wednesday morning (Feb 23, 2022). It was great to catch up with all of you who could make the meetings! In this recording, there’s some fun catch-up chat at first. Then at about the 6:30-minute mark, we start sharing our Taylor Emeralds and other projects.

Then I thought you might be interested in knowing why and how I add gallery facings to my quilts rather than traditional bindings. That short presentation starts at about the 49-minute mark.

If you’d like to review the PDF document of the presentation, you can click the button below to download the document. I just ask that, as always, you use this for personal use. Thank you!

Be well and shine on!

Video Presentation

Hi, everyone! Here’s the edited version of our Wednesday morning pattern release Zoom meeting (February 9th). I had such a great time meeting all of you that day. For those who couldn’t join us, I hope you enjoy the presentation.

I decided to keep the conversation we had before and after the actual presentation because there was so many good suggestions. Also, I hope this shows just how amazing all our members are. My presentation starts at the 31:43 minute mark.

Be well and shine on!

The Inspiration

Our Diamonds & Drama Queens pattern for February is inspired by a gorgeous bluish-green emerald ring owned by Elizabeth Taylor. I fell for this gemstone because of its single flash of light at its center. That seductive flash of light is surrounded by a pool of deep, deep green. I’m ready to dive in!

This was just one of many emeralds owned by Liz. Richard Burton gave her many of them, purchased from world-renowned jeweler Bulgari. As Burton put it, “I introduced her to beer. She introduced me to Bulgari.”

This month’s design is very straightforward – all straight lines and simplified piecing. The hardest part of this month’s block will be deciding which colorway to use.

Enjoy!

emerald ring
Liz Taylor’s Emerald Ring

The Pattern

Colorway Document

I’ve provided several different colorways for this month’s gem pattern. The gorgeous emerald ring that inspired the design flashes several shades of a mysterious bluish-green. I tried to replicate that in my fabric recommendations.

However, I also thought it would be fun to turn it into a canary diamond, a sapphire, a ruby, and a white diamond, as well. And of course, YOU can create this gem in any colorway you wish. Remember: gems come in an infinite number of colors. There is no WRONG answer when it comes to colored gemstones!

I’ve also offered the design with a white and black background. Depending on the color you choose, some of the backgrounds work better than others. But, as always, this is all about personal preference. Select the background that makes your heart happy.

Taylor Emerald Collage White

January 2022: The Hope Diamond Quilt Block

Pattern Release Video

Hi, everyone! Here’s the edited version of our Wednesday morning pattern release Zoom meeting (January 12th). I had such a great time meeting all of you that day. For those who couldn’t join us, I hope you enjoy the presentation. Be well and shine on!

DDQ EWM IG 1
Evelyn Walsh McLean & the Hope Diamond

The Inspiration

Our Diamonds & Drama Queens pattern for January is inspired by the Hope Diamond, arguably the most famous diamond in the world. The Hope is celebrated for its color and weight. At 45.52 carats, it’s the world’s largest deep blue diamond found so far. It measures 1” wide, slightly more than 3/4” long, and about 1/2” deep.

Discovered in a mine in India is the 18th century, it was originally a much larger stone weighing 115 carats. It was cut down twice to its current size and barely survived the French Revolution.

hopediamondatlanta
Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

It passed through the hands of multiple owners until landing with Pierre Cartier, the head of the New York house of Cartier. Pierre, being a much better marketer than salesman, he concocted a story of a “curse” in an attempt to attract attention to a stone that no one seemed interested in. His favorite customer (and one of my favorite Drama Queens of all time), Evelyn Walsh McLean, bought it and decided it would bring her good fortune.

I’ll admit that this month’s pattern may be challenging. There are a good number of pieces and curves to manage. If you are new to this style of piecing, don’t worry! I’ll walk you through it, but I’d encourage all our new members to consider making one of the larger sized blocks.  Enjoy!

Hope Collage White

The Pattern

I tried very hard to keep the pattern as true to the shape and spirit of the Hope Diamond as possible.

This is a great example of how asymmetrical gems can be, especially ancient gems. And that’s what I love about the most interesting gems. They invite your eye to travel around and through their color and light.

This pattern is also an example of using highly saturated colors surrounded by grayish colors to create glow. The Hope has a lovely bright blue twinkle to it and I tried to capture that in the colorway. I also used that same idea in the other 3 colorways as well.

This month’s pattern has nearly 100 pieces in it. While I did create a 6″ pattern for those of you who like to try the itty-bitty pretties, I strongly suggest that those of you who are new to this process work with the 18″ pattern.

Hope Diamond January 2022 JPG

Colorway Document

While I’ve provided a colorway for the beautiful blue color of the actual Hope Diamond, I thought it would be fun to turn it into a canary diamond, an emerald and a ruby, as well. However, YOU can create this gem in any colorway you wish. Remember: gems come in an infinite number of colors. There is no WRONG answer when it comes to colored gemstones!

Click the DOWNLOAD Button below the image to download the document.

Hope Collage black

Below are the 4 sizes for the Hope Diamond pattern. Click the button below the image to download the size pattern you desire.

Demo Video: Cutting Curves with the “Rock & Roll” Method

Here’s a quick video I created during another class showing how I like to cut curves. Check it out!

Welcome to the 2022 Diamonds & Drama Queens page!

It’s wonderful to have you join me on this adventure.

To get started, I’ve uploaded a series of tutorials for those of you who haven’t made gem patterns before using the technique I like to call “traditional piecing using freezer paper as your templates”. I’ve also listed a few places below to source freezer paper.

Sources of Freezer Paper

This technique uses a product called freezer paper. Freezer paper is the amazing product that has a regular paper surface on one side that allows you to write or print on. However, the back side of freezer paper is coated with a wax-like substance (it’s really a plastic material) that adheres to fabric when you hit it with a hot iron but won’t leave a residue when you remove it.

Please keep in mind that freezer paper is NOT the same as wax paper or parchment paper. Wax paper has the waxy coating on BOTH sides, so you can’t write on it and if you iron it, you’ll really mess up your iron. And parchment paper doesn’t have the waxy substance on the back. So please be sure to purchase “freezer paper”!

How much freezer paper will you need? Well, it depends on which size block you’re going to make. I will offer the blocks in 4 sizes: 6″, 9″, 12″ and 18″. (Most participants during the current year have made the 12″ and 18″ blocks, because the pieces are larger and easier to handle.) Here’s how much you’ll need for each block size:

— 6″ blocks require 12 sheets (1 sheet per month x 12 months)

— 9″ blocks require 24 sheets (2 sheets per month x 12 months)

— 12″ blocks require 48 sheets (4 sheets per month x 12 months)

— 18″ blocks require up to 96 sheets (8 sheets per month x 12 months). Note: sometimes the 18″ blocks may only need 6 sheets per month, so 96 is a high estimate.

Pre-cut sheets of freezer paper (8 1/2″ x 11″): Check with your local independent quilt shop to find out if they carry pre-cut sheets of freezer paper such as C&T Publishing’s “Quilter’s Freezer Paper Sheets”.

If your quilt shop doesn’t carry it, you can order from eQuilter.com. (Note: eQuilter.com ships internationally.) EQuilter offers 2 brands: C&T Publishing’s Quilters Freezer Paper in 30-sheet packs. They also offer a product by C. Jenkins in 50-sheet packs.

And if you live in the United States, you can order 50-count packs from my online shop. I’ve also found freezer paper packs on Amazon, so you might try checking there to see if a vendor in your country has some available to ship to you.

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Freezer Paper Pack
C&T Publishing’s Quilter’s Freezer Paper Sheets
Freezer Paper Packs
Freezer Paper Packs from My Online Shop

Make your own freezer paper sheets! I’ve made my own freezer paper sheets by using Reynolds Freezer Paper for years. It’s getting harder to find in grocery stores these days, but it’s still out there. (Note: I heard recently from one of my students that Canada has recently banned freezer paper for food usage, but others say it’s still available on some shelves.) If you aren’t able to find it in your local grocery store, you can also search for it online on sites such as Amazon.

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reynolds fp 2

Special options for international members unable to find freezer paper: If you live in a country outside the United States and are having trouble finding freezer paper, please let me know by emailing me at [email protected] There are several options we can discuss. First, I could ship you packs of my freezer paper packs, but please know the cost to ship internationally right now is crazy high. The second option is that we can talk about another method of piecing these blocks that doesn’t include freezer paper, but uses other products instead. The directions will be a bit different, buy you’ll still be able to make gorgeous gem blocks

Tutorials Demonstrating Freezer Paper Piecing

For those of you who haven’t made one of my patterns before, I want to be sure to give you as much support as you need. To that end, here are several videos I made all about the various aspects of freezer paper piecing.

The videos below are tutorials that I created the summer of 2020 for my Elizabeth Sew-Along project. The pattern is different, but the technique is the SAME — just on a slightly smaller scale! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at [email protected] or at 502-287-3034 (Eastern Standard Time).

The 6 videos below are about 5 – 7 minutes each in length. You’ll learn how to read the codes on the pattern, cut up your freezer paper pattern, organize your fabric and facets, cutting your fabric around the freezer paper facets, get an introduction to the step-by-step strategy for piecing the facets together that I call the “Piece Plan”, and finally how to sew your facets together by matching up the hashmarks. The last video shows you some trouble-shooting tips if you have gaps or tucks in your seams.

Enjoy the adventure…we’re just getting started!

Introduction to the Pattern & Its Codes

Cutting Out Your Paper Pieces

Preparing Your Fabric & Managing all the Pieces

Cutting Pieces From Your Fabric

Part I – Introduction to the “Piece Plan”

Part II – Piecing Your Facets