April 2021: “Blushing Beryl” Gem Block
Click on the video below to watch our Friday, April 16th, Zoom chat all about Morganite and the new pattern “Blushing Beryl”.
April’s Tiny Treasures Club pattern is inspired by this gorgeous 82.83-carat octagonal Morganite from the National Gem Collection (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution). Morganite is a type of beryl, as are emeralds and aquamarines. Morganite gets its lavender/pink/peach hues from traces of manganese within its mineral structure.
When a deposit of gorgeous pink beryl was discovered in Madagascar in 1911, George F. Kunz — Tiffany & Company’s famous gemologist — suggested it be named for his benefactor J.P. Morgan. In addition to being one of the great financiers of the early 20th century, J.P. Morgan was also a great lover of colored gemstones and provided significant funding for the gem collection at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
As with our previous blocks, I’ve provided you with 3 sizes of patterns: 6″, 9″ and 12″. In addition, I created 2 colorways to get your creative juices flowing.
To access the PDF files of this month’s pattern, click on one of the options below. The 2 colorways shown above are actually included in the pattern instructions this month, rather than as a separate document.
To watch my conversations with Becky Goldsmith and Swan Sheridan, click below. Enjoy!
March 2021: “Spring Bluet” Gem Block
This month’s “Spring Bluet” gem block was inspired by a lovely square emerald-cut Aquamarine I found on Mayer & Watt’s website. I loved her soft color, her asymmetrical placement of lights and darks, and her nice lines. She just sang, “Spring!” to me….rain, soft breezes, scented air, sunshine. Spring is creeping into Kentucky now and I’m absolutely delighted about it. Our daffodils, crocus, forsythia are in bloom. The tulips and magnolia trees are about ready to pop. It’s the prettiest time of year here. So if you’re somewhere north of us and are wondering if Spring will EVER arrive, have hope! She’s on her way.
As I was designing the quilt block pattern, I took some liberties with her shape and number of facets. You’ll find 3 pattern sizes: 6″, 9″ and 12″. I’ve also created a number of colorways that I hope inspire you.
To access the downloadable PDF file for the size block you want, click on the options below:
To download the chart of 8 colorways, click the button below:
I had the wonderful pleasure of spending some time with Julie Biurkhart-Haid, an amazing artist who creates jewelry inspired by the quilts of Gees Bend. Click on the video below to hear all about what inspires Julie and what she’s working on now.
March 19, 2021 Zoom Chat Introducing “Spring Bluet”
April Mid-Month Meet-Up Resources
On Friday, April 9th, about a dozen of us met for a show-and-tell session, as well as to learn about how to put on a gallery facing. They asked that I put the PowerPoint presentation that I used onto our Resources page. Great Idea! You can click the Download button below to access the PPT. I only ask that you use it for your personal use. Thanks! And then click on the video below to watch the whole gab-fest on Friday. We had a great time! And welcome to our newest member, Karen Powel. She’s from Arizona and loves gems and quilts just as much as we do. Shine on!
February 2021: “Snowball” Gem Block
This month’s “Snowball” gem block was inspired by a tiny octagon Citrine that I found on the GIA’s website. If you haven’t already discovered the Gemological Institute of America’s site, I highly recommend it. (www.gia.edu) They are the preeminent source of gemological education in the world and having a certification from GIA brings a level of respect and credibility.
It’s tiny, but I loved its shape, color, and contrast of light across its surface. I hope you have fun making one or more of the 3 sizes I’ve created for you. I’ve also created about half a dozen different colorways to inspire you: citrine, ruby, sapphire, emerald, diamond, and pink tourmaline. And whose to say you can’t mix up those colorways and make something fabulous all your own!
To access the downloadable PDF file for the patterns, instructions, and piece plan, click the DOWNLOAD button of the pattern size you want below
Click the button below to download the 6″ template.
Click the button below to download the 9″ template.
Click the button below to download the 12″ template.
Click the button below to download the REVISED colorway document that now includes 2 Watermelon Tourmaline styles (See image of both new styles below. You can see that I brightened the “D” color in Style #2 just a bit.):
Below is an edited recording of our visit on Friday evening, Feb. 19. My chat with Dye Goddess, Cindy Lohbeck, will hopefully be posted on Monday!! Technical problems today have prevented me from bringing it to you!
January 2021: Welcome!
Welcome, Friends! It’s great to have you here!
I’ve been working toward this moment for many months and am so pleased that the time to get started is finally here. My goal in bringing us together us to build a community of quiltmakers who love gems as much as I do. This is a place we can learn from each other and celebrate creativity while playing with new gem patterns every month.
On the 3rd Friday of every month, I’ll send you an email at 8 PM that includes the link to this web page where you’ll find the following information::
- Mini-Gem Pattern & Instructions — You’ll be able to click a link in the email to download a PDF file of the new mini-gem that will also include instructions and its “Piece Plan” — a step-by-step guide to putting the pieces together. This is your pattern to do with as you please. Some of you may want to customize your gemstone block by adding or subtracting pieces. Perhaps you want to change the way the facet lines are drawn. And some of you may want to enlarge the block. That’s perfectly fine! I can’t wait to see what variations will result from our collaboration.
- Colorway Examples — To help get your creative juices flowing, I’ll create and share images of that month’s gem block in various colorways. These will vary from month to month, but will always include a Diamond colorway with the same 5 colors.
- Zoom Meeting Information — The email will also include all the information you need to join our monthly live Zoom chats at 9 PM Eastern time. These meetings will run for about an hour and include a presentation by me about the block and the gem that inspired it. I’ll also do a demo of any techniques that might be new to you. And we’ll have a chance to do a round of show-and-tell when you can show off the block you made the previous month and tell us about it.
- Interview With Industry Friends — The monthly email will also include a link to a private YouTube video of a pre-recorded conversation with one of my friends in the jewelry or quilting industry. I’m excited to have you meet these wonderful people!
So let’s get started!
January Mini-Gem Block: “Lisa’s Snowflake”
This month’s block was inspired by our first guest, artist and gem cutter Lisa Elser (www.lisaelser.com). I was introduced to Lisa by one of our fellow Tiny Treasures Club members. When I saw Lisa’s fabulous gems, I was stunned by their beauty. The intricacy and sculptural aspect of her gems were astounding. I knew I wanted to meet Lisa and to hopefully introduce her to you, too. You can watch my interview with her by clicking the link a little farther down in this post.
This is the gorgeous pink tourmaline in Lisa’s collection that inspired this month’s block. The hexagon faceting pattern, “Glitter Snowflake”, was designed by C. Thomas Schlegel (Lisa’s husband) and cut by Lisa herself. In our conversation, she explained that the combination of intricate faceting on both the top (crown) and bottom (pavilion) of the gem creates the starburst effect at the edges and center of the stone.
I wanted to highlight the step cuts deep inside each facet, as well a the star bursts at the outer edges. To keep the pieces from becoming to extraordinarily tiny, I simplified it down to its basic shapes. I then decided to experiment with a few colorways to see how she might sparkle as a light-color sapphire, ametrine, and diamond.
To access the downloadable PDF file for the pattern, instructions, and piece plan, click the DOWNLOAD button below By the way, this is the revised version I uploaded on 1/16/2021. This version has the PIECE PLAN listed at the end of the document.
Below is the 6″ template:
Below is the 9″ template:
Below is the 12″ template:
To access the downloadable PDF file of the various colorways, click the DOWNLOAD button below.
To watch my interview with Lisa, click on the video player button in the box below. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoy making “Lisa’s Snowflake”! Be sure to post progress pictures on our private Facebook Page, too!
Chat with Artist & Gem Cutter, Lisa Elser
Recording of Member Zoom Chat (1/15/2021)
Out of the 40+ people who have joined the Tiny Treasures Club, we had about 15 people join us on our very first Zoom chat on 1/15/2021. A great turn out! Watch our conversation by clicking the video play button below.
MJ Tutorials Demonstrating Freezer Paper Piecing
For those of you who haven’t made one of my patterns, I want to be sure to give you as much support as you need. We covered a little snippet of how to get started last evening at our Zoom chat, so I wanted to provide additional tutorial videos.
The videos below are tutorials that I created last summer 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.