Friday, September 19, 2014

Designer Tidbits: Horizon by Kate Spain (Plus Giveaway!)

Hi everyone! Kate Spain is here today to chat about her newest collection for Moda Fabrics, Horizon. This sea glass inspired collection is filled with cool blues and soft lavenders and is a twist from Kate's previous collections. Read on to find out more!

Q: Tell us a little about the Horizon collection. What were you inspired by?
A: Thanks for having me on the Jolly Jabber! I'm so happy to share a little more about Horizon with your readers. For much of my life, I've lived close to the water (still do) and one of my favorite things to do in any season is to take walks along the shore. Even from day-to-day,  there are noticeable changes in the scenery...whether it's the sun illuminating bright green sea grasses, or shorebirds diving and bobbing on the waves, or the blend of colors in the sky at different times of day. I love to notice these shifts and that they're all set against a single, tranquil constant; the horizon line. Here is a photo taken from the end of our street:

And this photo is of sand at low tide that I took on Christmas Day last year.

There is always something to be inspired by!

Horizon is a bit of a departure from my usual style in that I began by hand-carving blocks and printing them to create the repeat patterns. It was the first time I'd ever tried to do this and really had no idea how the process would translate to fabric. But I am so happy with how it turned out! I love that the irregularity, imperfection and handmade quality of the block prints remains intact in the finished fabric. Here are several of the blocks I hand-carved and some of the patterns I created from these blocks

The color palette for Horizon was inspired by bits of beautiful, luminous sea glass I've collected from many shores over the years — in hues of bright green, crystal blue, turquoise, and brilliant cobalt. These are some of my favorite colors and I love the way they resonate harmoniously with the textural designs of the block prints.

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A: I really love the freedom of being consumed by the creative process so I typically start with either a color palette or a very simple, unrefined idea or area of interest: woodland gardens, ceramic tiles, Caribbean blossoms etc. Then I usually draw or paint or as with Horizon, carve. This gives way to exploring how colors interact, seeing how the scale and rhythm of patterns play together, and then composing and refining these elements to balance the collection as a whole. I guess it's a bit like sailing where you can be drifting along and then suddenly a gust of wind fills your sails and off you go! I love the creative process because you never really know when the wind of inspiration will arrive or which direction it'll come from. It could happen early on at the beginning of a project, or somewhere else. The thing you can be sure of is that once it arrives, you get completely swept up and carried away toward a new creative horizon!

Q: What is your favorite part about being a designer?
A: Every single part of it. It’s what I love to do. Working with my hands is definitely a big part of it for me. The process of carving blocks was so inspiring to me that I may have to do it again. If anyone is interested, we're going to be offering a limited edition of my woodblock prints on our shop site. Each one was hand-printed by me and a wonderfully skilled neighbor did all the framing. Both framed and unframed prints are available.

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Horizon?
A: I've already seen some amazing quilts being made with Horizon and will keep my eyes peeled for others! Also, I teamed up with a wonderful sewist/photographer, Becca DuVal  who has brought her amazing talents to creating three "looks" for children's outfits and a small "Day Tripper" bag. We're featuring her projects, the patterns she used and her photos on my blog now, so please come for a visit! Here's an adorable peek:

And what's on my creative horizon? Maybe some of this.

It's called Paradiso and will be shown at the International Quilt Market this October. 

SURPRISE! We have not one but TWO special giveaways with Kate today! 
First, we're giving away a Horizon fat quarter bundle to one lucky winner. All you have to do is to comment below and let us know what you would like to make with the Horizon collection and we will announce the winner on September 26th, 2014

Our second giveaway is our most exciting one yet! 
We want you to show your love for Horizon with a video review. All you need to do to is ... 

  1. Purchase a yard or more of Horizon fabric or a jelly roll, layer cake, fat eighth bundle or fat quarter bundle between now and October 15th
  2. Record a video review of yourself reviewing the fabric.
  3. Post the video review on our Facebook wall, tag @fatquartershop, @KateSpain and use #fqsloveshorizon
  4. And that's it! You're on your way to winning a $100 Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate.   

The winner of the Horizon video review giveaway will be randomly selected and announced Thursday, October 30th on our blog and Facebook! Good luck everyone! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Meet our 2015 Quilt-Along!

Wait, 2015?

Don't worry, we're not stealing the rest of 2014 from you! (We always work so far in the future, it can be hard to remember what year we're currently in.) But, we ARE giving you a glimpse into our quilt-along future!

The Wishes Quilt-Along (benefiting the fantastic Make-A-Wish Foundation) is still going on, and we're approaching the last three blocks! (You can still catch up if you haven’t begun!) So it's about time to show you what next year's quilt will be. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we happily introduce...

These are 12 picturesque blocks that capture and celebrate moments of happiness in our lives. They are put together in a really unique setting, reminiscent of a framed photo gallery, that we'll be making all throughout 2015. And yes, they are all made with traditional piecing, no paper-piecing!

And here's the uber-awesome block on the back that ties together our Snapshots theme!

This quilt-along will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. If you do not know about St. Jude, they focus on treatment and research for children with cancer, and at NO cost to the family. They are able to do this through the generosity of donors like you!

We will sharing more information about the quilt-along very soon, so be on the lookout!

And before you even ask... our quilt uses Daysail by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics. Also, yes, we're offering kits and backing sets so you can sew up this version!

For all of our Wishes Quilt-Along-ers, keep it up! Your blocks are looking fabulous, and many of you are close to having your finishing done! We hope you will quilt along with us again in 2015. For the rest of you, please think about sewing Snapshots with us, we'd love to have you quilt along for the ride!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Matilda Rotating Cutting Mat

Hey guys, it's Kimberly and I want to show you one of my must-haves in my sewing room, the Matilda's Own Self Healing Rotating Cutting Mat. I've had this mat for over ten years and I just love it! This mat never wears out, turns nicely, and helps me get that perfect finish when I'm trimming down my blocks. Check out my video to see how I use my Matilda Mat in my sewing studio! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fun Facts About Kimberly!

Hi everyone! It's Kimberly again! One of my resolutions is to share more about me here on the Jolly Jabber! So, I thought it would be fun to start off with a few fun facts you may not know about me. Get ready, some of these things might blow your mind a little! 

  1. I have four little redheads (Christopher, Will, Peyton & Emma). I have yet to get a picture of them all looking at the camera.

  2. I'm an indoors kinda gal. I developed my love of crafting by staying inside during the long, hot summers. Pictured below: My Juki, my constant indoors companion. 

  3. My all-time favorite fabric collection is Buttercream and Figs by Fig Tree Quilts, circa 2005!

  4. I'm a CPA and started my career at one of the Big 6 accounting firms, where I met my husband, Kevin. Although I love numbers, I love fabric way more. True to my CPA roots, I rock this awesome trusty calculator and am a super whiz at Microsoft Excel!

  5. I have a fascination with criminal research. If I got the chance to shadow a criminal investigative PI, I'd do it in a heartbeat. If you're one and need a partner, call me.

  6. I have worn the same nail polish color, OPI Cajun Shrimp, since 1992. It’s the 90’s trend that has stuck with me! It's also what inspired my Nail Polish Quilt

  7. My brother and husband have the same name - Kevin. At family events, everyone's always asking, "Which Kevin are you talking about?"

  8. I love Chick-fil-A! I eat it at least two times a week and never change my order. 

  9. When I was young, my grandmother lived a mile away from St. Edward's University in Austin, TX. Whenever I was being especially naughty, she would walk me to "Dracula's castle" (aka St. Edward's University). My grandmother is now 89 and she's the most awesome, funny, and intelligent lady I know!

  10. I love 80s rap music. There is and will never be a better band than the Beastie Boys. Before I film my YouTube videos, I listen to the License to Ill album really loudly to pump myself up. 

  11. My favorite city is Las Vegas, Nevada! I love to play blackjack and Pai Gow Poker.

  12. My all-time favorite TV show is Ducky Dynasty. I recently went on the Duck Commander cruise and had the time of my life. I actually judged an apron competition with Willie and Miss Kay, and Willie asked me if my microphone wasn't working and I said I wasn't talking because I was too scared. That is just about the dumbest thing I have ever said in my entire life. I am not sure if I will ever forgive myself. 

  13. I learned to crochet when I was five. I spent an entire summer chain stitching yarn. I would stitch the entire skein, then pull out the stitches and restitch it all over again! 

  14. I loved my father more than anything, and he died when I was pregnant with Emma. He was my biggest supporter, and Fat Quarter Shop would not exist if he and my mom had not cheered me on and believed in me. I inherited his stubbornness and business mind and remember everything he taught me. To a relative who kept trying to give me advice, my mother said, "I'm not sure why you keep trying; the only person she ever listened to was her father, so you might want to stop." It's mostly true!

So tell me some fun and interesting things about you in the comments! I know I'm not the only one that loves the Beastie Boys and has an obsession with numbers!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Scandinavian Sew-Along Quilt Auction

Hi guys! A few weeks ago, I was asked by Sherri of This & That to participate in her Sweet Scandi Sew Along event, which ends with a quilt auction with the winning bid going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. The final Sweet Scandi quilt is finally finished, and look at how beautiful it turned out! This quilt and sew-along were unique because many quilters got to make sections of the quilt, so the creation of this quilt is documented, and it has passed through many quilter's hands!

We want to raise as much as we can and we can't do it without you. Visit the auction page, and bid, bid, bid until September 21st, 2014 to help us raise money for this amazing cause! Thank you so much to Sherri for asking me to join this fun sew along!

Beyond Neutral Book Tour

Today, we're so excited to be a part of Quilt Dad's Beyond Neutral Book Tour! Quilt Dad, aka John Adams, invited several of his blogger friends (including Fat Quarter Shop) to share our thoughts and projects from his Beyond Neutral book. "Naturally." we couldn't say no and jumped right into the tour and his Beyond Neutral CHALLENGE, as well as adding in a few surprises of our own! 

We are huge fans of Beyond Neutral and we even made it one of our 2014 Summer Book Club picks. JOhn posed this challenge for the tour: to find a photograph from nature hat has particular appeal for you, and build a color, print, and fabric palette from that image for a quilt. So, one of our quilty staff, Daniar, tackled the Triton Cove quilt from the book. Thought this is a water element quilt, ironically she was inspired by the Sahara Desert, savanna and rich colors of the sunset and chose the August collection by Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel for her quilt. Here is a sneak peek of her quilt top.

We love how the coral solid tames the whimsical August fabrics into a warm, funky yet sophisticated quilt. Want to join the Beyond Neutral Challenge? We collaborated with John to create two special bundles, the Beyond Neutral Fat Quarter Bundle and the Nature's Elements Fat Quarter Bundle (currently 20% OFF!). These exclusive bundles were hand-selected by John to reflect the premise of his book, drawing gorgeous color palettes from the beauty of nature.

Time for our extra surprise! We will be giving away three Nature's Elements Fat Quarter Bundles to three lucky winners! All you need to do is comment below and let us know what elements of nature inspire your quilts. The winners will be announced September 22nd, 2014. 

Thank you so much, John, for having us in your tour. And be sure to visit John's blog, and  all of the upcoming bloggers on the tour and use #beyondneutralchallenge when you share your creations. Happy quilting everyone!

September 16 -- Julie Herman at Jaybird Quilts
September 17 -- Nick Ball at Quilts from the Attic
September 19 -- Amy Lobsiger at Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts
September 22 -- Emily Herrick at Crazy Old Ladies Quilts
September 23 -- Sarah Fielke at The Last Piece
September 24 -- Monica Solorio-Snow at the Happy Zombie
September 25 -- Scott Hansen at Blue Nickel Studios
September 26 -- Katy Jones at I'm a Ginger Monkey

Saturday, September 13, 2014

National Sewing & Quilting Month Week Two Recap!

Hello everyone! We're celebrating National Sewing & Quilting Month all September long! We also created an exclusive Color of My Heart Quilt Pattern for you! Now it's time to see what our bloggers have been creating in their sewing rooms this week. Here's our weekly recap!

Gen X Quilters - Quilt Inspiration | Quilting Tutorials & Patterns | Connect
First, let's welcome AnneMarie of Gen X Quilters! Earlier this summer, she embarked on creating her first Wiksten tank. So, she decided to she challenge herself to add bias tape accents and create the tank in chambray fabric. We absolutely love this and it's perfect for everyday wear!

Question: How did you start quilting?  

AnneMarie: When pregnant with my first son, I decided I wanted to make him a quilt.  I had been gifted a sewing machine for Christmas that year, but it hadn't even made it out of the box.  I absolutely cannot tell you why I chose a quilt.  I may have remembered trying to make a patchwork blanket for my dog growing up - but it never made its way past a bunch of cut up squares.  I had no idea what I was doing (i.e. it's not really a quilt - I didn't know to quilt it), but somehow I was uber-proud of my completed Winnie-the-Pooh Joann's flannel blanket.

Happy Quilting

We're so happy to have Melissa of Happy Quilting come and join us for National Sewing and Quilting Month! And she surprised all of us with 3-D sewing or garment making with creating Frozen-inspired Anna and Elsa capelets. Don't they look adorable?

Question: When was the first time you knew that you were a quilter?

Melissa: I think I considered myself a quilter after designing my own quilt for my first tutorial, Snuggle Squares, that was hosted at the Moda Bake Shop. It was my first time not following a pattern of someone else's and really putting myself out there. It was scary and wonderful all at the same time. Snuggly Squares received such wonderful feedback and I knew it was the start of hobby turned passion.

Next we have the dynamic duo, Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister Designs joining us. Mary told us that she loves working with color and Barb loves to collect fabric. 

Barb took on our challenge and created our Coffee Koozie in their LOL collection

Melanie of I Heart Stitching loves to be crafty! Her YouTube tutorials are so much fun and anyone can sew along with her. For her #fqschallenge, she was inspired by Anna Maria Horner's Mod Corsage Block and created her own version.

Question: Do you have any sewing faux pas?
Melanie: There was this one time that I was trying to free motion a quilt. I was new at quilting, but I just couldn't get the tension right, even though I had been successful with a few quilts. Something wasn't right. I spent hours... I mean hours, troubleshooting. And it turns out to be a defective bobbin! I wanted to scream with frustration and at the same time be happy that I wasn't crazy. That bobbin went straight to the trash! Bad bobbin! 
Jana Machado
Jana of Jana Machado faced her fear of creating garments and sewed up this adorable little girl's skirt for her daughter in  the Nouvelle collection by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics. 

Jana also made two versions of our Color of My Heart quilt block!

A Quilting Life - a quilt blog
Sherri of A Quilting Life created this adorable Sew Together Bags. This bag was a little daunting at first with its four zippers, but Sherri decided to give it a try and made six of these lovely things!

Question: When was the first time you knew that you were a quilter/sewer?
Sherri: When I was sixteen, I started my first job at Cloth World. We were allowed to cut fabric that we wanted and leave it under the counter until pay day. That's when I knew that I was definitely a sewer... I spent everything except what I needed for gas money on fabric. I really started quilting a lot when I was about 27 or 28 and haven't stopped since. 

Vickie of Spun Sugar Quilts has sewn since she was eight years old and considers herself a pretty advanced sewer. So when we challenged her to try something new, she decided to tackle the Hour Glass Mini Post Card Pattern. Each hour glass block finished at 2" blocks (how tiny!). 

Question: What advice would you give someone who's just starting out in sewing/quilting?
Vickie: My advice to a new quilter - don't be afraid of using the colors you love. The ones you love might change and that's okay too. Take a few classes at the LQS or online and practice, practice, practice. 

Amy's Creative Side

Last but not least, we have Amy of Amy's Creative Side joining us. She challenged herself in creating a quilt from batiks and going beyond neutral colors in her quilt. She's currently working on her project but gave us a sneak peek of her fabric choice! 


Question: How did you start quilting and sewing?
Amy: I learned to sew garments as a girl. I've always loved fabrics and thread, and was begging my mom, a seamstress, to learn early in life. Later when I started having kids - we have four - I was drawn to quilts and taught myself to quilt. It's been a slippery slope ever since! 

Don't forget to check out everyone's blog for more pictures and Q&A about their sewing and quilting adventures. Here is next week's line up of bloggers
September 15th, 2014
Michele from Quilting Gallery

September 16th, 2014
Leanne of She Can Quilt 
Paula of The Sassy Quilter

September 17th, 2014
Teresa Quilting Stitching and Sew On
Cheryl of Quilter Chic
Julie of The Crafty Quilter 

September 18th, 2014

September 19th, 2014
Lynne of Lily's Quilts
Rach of Family Ever After

Now challenge yourself to do something fun and new! Share your projects on our Facebook, Google + and Instagram using #fqschallenge. Thank you so much for joining us!