Friday, November 30, 2007

Bunny Hill Designs' Blossom Time BOM

Our good friend Anne Sutton's has awed us again with a beautiful new February-to-September block-of-the-month. And of course, we're also excited because it uses fabric named for our dear Emma! Blossom Time has a soft, warm vintage feel that everyone will love. Enjoy reading through her description of the quilt and fawning over these gorgeous blocks!

Blossom Time was so much fun to design! I wanted a quilt with easy appliqué, and not much piecing. It’s a quilt with large blocks that you can easily finish in a month! I’ve added a few embellishments for that “special” Bunny Hill look. Add it all together and you have a basket quilt you will love making, and you’ll have it completed quickly!

I’ve wanted to do a basket quilt for a long time, and Blossom Time seemed the perfect way to show off my new fabric, Miss Emma’s Garden! Each block was not only designed to work together in the quilt, but also to work alone.

You can take any block and make a separate project out of it. The appliquéd flowers or birds in block are perfect for a bed pillow, and the scallop framed basket in block two would be beautiful as a framed picture. The wreath basket in block four is perfect as a center medallion. Just add borders and you’ll have a wall hanging for a friend. Use your imagination and the uses for this pattern are endless!

Do you ever wonder how I name my quilts? Sometimes I know the names before I start, and other times I have to beg my friends for help. The name “Blossom Time” came to me after weeks of struggling, begging my friends to help, and then rejecting the names they came up with. I went out for a walk and I saw the most beautiful rose bush, just loaded with blossoms. Blossom Time just popped into my head!

I hope you’ll enjoy making this quilt, as much as I have enjoyed designing it. May your days be filled with blossoms!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

The First Santa's Secret Elves Special

It is that special time of year when we are filled with holiday cheer
And all the Fat Quarter Shop Elves scurry to the Fat Quarter Shop shelves
Each day, a new special on the list--bundles, jelly rolls, patches and kits!
See what our elves take off our shelves under the watchful eye of Emma, Head Elf!
To see this elf magic, go to our Blog; Hurry, hurry--before it’s all gone!


Roman Holiday!

50% off Roman Holiday bundles, charm packs, jelly rolls, jolly patches, select kits & plaid yardage

20% off Roman Holiday print yardage

While supplies last!
Offer expires on Sunday, December 1, 12AM CST








P.S. New specials will be added every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the Holiday Season! Check back on Monday to see what the Elves next have in store for you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quilt Soup's Birds & the Bees

First order of business...our adorable Emma has learned to crawl!
video

Now for our featured designer of the day, Barbara Jones! QuiltSoup has created a wonderful new block-of-the-month that starts in April for those of you who are ready to bask in warm weather again! It's called Birds and the Bees, and Barbara Jones explains why she designed it and the inspiration for it.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about our latest Month-by-Month quilt, Birds and the Bees. We are so excited about this new quilt, it is hard to contain our enthusiasm!

Our inspiration for this quilt was three-fold. I teach a continuing appliqué class each month to a terrific group of women, and we needed a new project for 2008. Birds and the Bees is for intermediate quilters who want a bit of a challenge without being overwhelmed, so it was just right.

Second, I have always wanted to make a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt but have come to realize that probably won’t happen in my lifetime. I just don’t think I could stick with it long enough! But I CAN make 2 of those blocks! Our program is called Month-by-Month because we usually make 2 blocks per month. We find that it takes one block to understand a technique and a second one to polish it. We begin with the easiest blocks first and work our way up to more challenging ones. It is my fondest hope that customers not only have fun along the way but also learn a little something. We find that learning something new is inspirational all but itself!

And lastly, Birds and the Bees was inspired by our idea of what an early summer looks like. The blocks have names like Honey Bee Garden, Bird’s Nest and Grandmother’s Flower Garden. The new Dandelion Girl collection by Fig Tree for Moda is a lovely collection that is soft yet has enough punch for early summer days.

We hope you like the quilt as much as we do and have tons of fun making it Month-by-Month! We invite everyone to visit us at www.QuiltSoup.com where they can see all of our products and find a new soup recipe every month.

Warmest Regards,
Barbara Jones
QuiltSoup

Monday, November 26, 2007

Prints Charming on Two Young Street

We met the Prints Charming duo (Cath Derksema and Kirsten Junor) at Market this past October, and we love their fresh, bold, and youthful feel. Today they've given us the scoop on their upcoming line, Two Young Street, and what's to come for their studio, so keep watch for it!


Back From Market
We returned from our second trip to Houston after the release of our new range Two Young Street for Marcus Fabrics, thrilled with the response to the new range. The handle of the fabric was commented on, and it does feel so soft. Beautiful to wear as well as quilt!

Things weren’t quite so overwhelming as our first trip last year, and it was great to see some familiar faces, including the crew from Fat Quarter Shop, and with blogs and emails everyone doesn’t feel that far away.

Two Young Street
Mid this year, Prints Charming packed up and moved studios. Two Young Street was our new address and it just seemed to be the perfect range name, reflecting the direct origins of our new line of original fabrics.

It is another eclectic range from Prints Charming that offers something for all...the young and those that still feel “two young” to be anything else! Hot brights through to sophisticated blacks and greys are utilised in typical Prints Charming fashion, bold, fresh and contemporary. The beautiful soft touch sueded poplin base cloth is just perfect for clothing as well as crafting and the variety of motif sizes means the fabric will look great cut large or small. Smooth organic lines lend themselves to being stitched in and around, creating yet another dimension to our fabrics.

White is still an important part of the Prints Charming look. So, for “two young street” we have created a white on white “pick up sticks” stripe that will sit back perfectly with the entire range.

With the release of “Two Young Street” we can reach a much wider audience than our labour intensive, hand-printed process will allow. This range will be released by Marcus Fabrics, NY, and we are thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with a company that has such a rich history in the quilting world. We see this as a great way to mix the traditional with the contemporary and introduce a whole new generation of quilters and crafters to the fun.

In the Works
“Stars on Mars” fills a gap in the market for contemporary boys fabrics. This range in the classic red, white and blues will inspire you to create quilts that young minds can drift off to sleep under, dreaming of stars and space.

We are back in the studio madly printing and sewing away getting ready for our annual “market day” we hold every year early December.



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday Pattern Picks

We hope you are enjoying the start of the holidays with your loved ones! Today we asked our own Cheryl to share a few of her favorite patterns for holiday projects.

Some of my favorite patterns right now are Heart & Home by Design Originals. 3 of my favorite things: hearts, home and quilting all rolled into one!

Star Sprinkles and Merry Mosaic by Atkinson Designs. Atkinson Designs patterns make piecing a real joy! You achieve difficult and intricate looks with ease with their easy to read and follow directions and illustrations. One of my favorite pattern companies!

Fatty, Fatty 2 x 4 by Thimbleberries. Anything Thimbleberries does is fabulous! This pattern is quick, easy and fat quarter friendly!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Verna Mosquera's "Sweet Escape"

Verna Mosquera has returned to blog for us now that her sweet line, Sweet Escape, has finally arrived! Catch up with what she has been doing in her studio, The Vintage Spool.

What a treat when Kimberly asked me to guest blog and share about our Fall Market experience and our new pattern line. We had a wonderful market, so incredibly busy. I, as usual lost my voice and barely made it out of the booth. I attribute that to several things: an awesome booth postion in a very high traffic area, an adorable booth design of which I must give my dear friend Meredith Harbaugh half the credit (hooray for our 2nd place single booth award), the debut of our first fabric line Sweet Escape for FreeSpirit fabrics and our 6 new pattern releases. Yes, 6 new patterns! We've been so busy here at The Vintage Spool.

Just this past week Sweet Escape has arrived on quilt shelves across the country. What an exciting moment this is! It is just in time for people to start making our new pattern line.

Our new designs consist of some patchwork, some applique and some patterns with a combination of the two. A couple of my favorites are Strawberry Baskets with patchwork baskets set on point and strawberry applique in the border, A Butterfly's Journey, a unique patchwork circle pattern combined with appliqued butterflies, no curves required, both made exclusively out of Sweet Escape fabrics. Also, don't miss our brand new ultra romantic block of the month Amelia's Rose Garden, dedicated to my grandmother. It features a center wreath medallion and 12 months of lovely rose appliqued blocks in soft pastel colors. We set the applique and bordered it with 3 of our favorite prints from the Sweet Escape line.

We hope you will enjoy the new products we debuted at Fall Market. The Fat Quarter Shop is carrying our entire fabric and pattern line. The staff is currently hard at work cutting fat quarter bundles. We hope you'll visit our website The Vintage Spool to view more photos of Fall Market and to see what fun surprises we have coming in 2008.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a few extra hours to devote to creative endeavors in the new year!


Verna Mosquera
The Vintage Spool

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Debbie's Recipe Box

It may seem a little out of season, but what a perfect way to celebrate the holidays. Recipe courtesy of Mary Moody!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Joanna Figueroa and "Urban Indigo"

One of our past guest writers, Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts, has graced us again with another beautiful collection, Urban Indigo, and today she talks about the inspiration behind it.

When I’m planning out a year’s worth of fabric collections, I always try to design in a variety of styles and colorways while still staying true to that Fig Tree look that all of my customers are looking for! Other than the 2 main collections that you all hear so much about (our latest main collection was Allspice Tapestry, seen here on the Jolly Jabber), many of us at MODA fabrics also design “in between” lines that release at other time throughout the year other than at one of the 2 main Quilt Markets. Often smaller in size, sometimes they are a bit different than the main Market collections in that perhaps they are seasonal, a departure from the main lines or more thematic in design.

Urban Indigo is our latest Fig Tree “in between” line for MODA. It releases into stores in mid-November. It is meant to be a sweet, soft and innocent group filled with a set of little prints & solids that will work well with any of our other collections or other MODA lines of fabric. It introduces a new “French blue” to our fabrics, a color we haven’t used before, hence the name Urban Indigo. That wonderful blue is paired with a soft butter yellow, a light cream, a delicate pink and little accents of grass green and mauve. The line was inspired by an article I came across in one of my favorite French magazines, Marie Claire Idees. They showed a page full of indigo jeans accented and decorated with sweet little prints and fabrics. The line took on a life of its own from that magazine page. I love a good inspiration!

To go with the line, we have designed a sweet and simple pattern, Sweet Clover, (featured here and available at www.FatQuarterShop.com), that shows you 2 separate colorway options for the quilt as well as what it might look like if you did or didn’t use some applique in the borders.

Hope you enjoy your own little piece of Urban Indigo!

Joanna Figueroa
Fig Tree Quilts

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rick Vanderpool

Moda has created a vibrant new floral group called Wildflowers, inspired by the deep and rich photography of Rick Vanderpool. Read about how his love of flowers, photography, and quilting came to be!


Greetings, Quilters, Quilt fans and other readers;

My name is Rick Vanderpool, a photographer and writer, living in Killeen and Commerce, Texas. While those places bear my addresses, I am seldom at home in either – choosing instead my '95 Chevy pick-up, at once primary residence and favorite travel companion.

After completing several Texas-themed travel projects (visible on the www.stateart.net web site – click on TEXAS), I was fortunate to have Northcott Silk take interest in using my montages for the creation of quilt fabric. When my contract was completed with Northcott, MODA/United Notions flattered me with interest in creating fabric from my Looking for Texas and Texas Wildflowers collections…While I may know quite a bit about photography after 35+ years behind a camera, it was MODA's talented designers who selected several of my more than 1,000 photographs of the state name, and who picked a bouquet from hundreds of its lovely native blooms to become some of the company's latest offerings as fabric.

Briefly, both MODA collections came to be like so:
Looking for Texas – I awoke one morning to the play on words ablaze in my mind, "There is a place where a thousand pictures are worth one word – TEXAS!" So, I set out on a 20,500-mile odyssey to photograph that word at least once in all 254 counties in The Lone Star State. While I was traveling all those miles, looking for Texas, I simply got tired of not knowing the names for the abundant array of wildflowers I saw blooming all over the state. I soon owned nearly every book on the subject and soon after that I knew roughly 400 Texas wildflowers on a first-name basis.

I have always been a lover of quilts. Both of my grandmothers, a great-grandmother, and even a great-grandmother, whom I knew briefly as a teen, were avid quilters. My father told me he remembers as a boy, quilting with his grandmother. As a photographer and writer, my life is a patchwork quilt of images I've captured with my camera or pen. My creative process, as it were, has merely been to record them in one form or another, store them, and later piece them together – in a most quilt-like fashion – as collections for sale, exhibit or gift.

MODA's Design Director has encouraged me to submit photographs for other collections, and I am working on a few at the present time. Please watch this site for updates on the progress. Feel free to email me from the StateArt site with FATQUARTER in the subject line, please…




Monday, November 12, 2007

Robin Mynatt

Robin Mynatt of Paris Bebe Fabrics is a fantastically creative gal we met at Market a few weeks back. Her fabrics take you back to a time of full skirts and pin curls - girly with class. Read about how she started designing and what she has in store for us, like the "In Your Dreams" collection.

I started sewing at age 30, when I had a friend ask me to make a cute outfit she saw on a pattern, and she was pleased, so I kept sewing for me, as in Knots Landing type business suits with a short skirt and fitted blazer. I was a hair dresser at the time and I would wear them to work. At the same time I had just opened up a small antique store on the side, so I was always on the go. Eventually I was asked to make two different wedding gowns for friends, and ended up sewing wedding gowns and bridal alterations for a short time on the side of being a full time hairdresser.

I met my husband after I moved to WA where my family had all moved from Orange County, CA. We had two kids after 40, and I wanted to do something from home to make money, so I started designing graphics on my computer and selling them as decals. Then sewing baby clothes and boutique style dresses for my daughter led me to designing fabric after I met my partner overseas that found me on Ebay and liked my graphic designs.

I love to create fabric designs by redesigning antique florals and graphics in my Adobe program and using my computer pen/tablet to construct one of a kind creations, along with collecting vintage linens and recreating them. I try to design popular shabby styles with some punch to them.

I am grateful everyday I am able to do what I love ~ Look for two new collections I have coming in 2008 called "The Loft Collection" and "Graffiti Chique."

The "In Your Dreams" Collection was created from favorite antique florals redesigned to create a cottage chic theme, what I imagine is a dinner table set with all your best vintage china creating a potpourri of delicate florals of dinner plates, teacups and saucers. I wanted to create a contrast of trendy reds and pinks with popular aquas that would be all dreamy designs in one collection.


Robin Mynatt
Paris Bebe Fabrics

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mix and Mingle: Part II

Today Sandy finishes off our two-part blog on her new Mix and Mingle line! Read her thoughts on the challenge of decorating a guy's place.

Our son Anthony moved into a new apartment in Ankeny, Iowa. Like most apartments it has all off-white walls. He told me he wanted it to look homey like his sister Abby’s apartment. He asked me to help because he really didn’t know how to decorate. I found it to be a challenge to decorate a single guy’s apartment. The pictures and accessories are many times too girly--flowers and such.

Anthony wanted to make a couch quilt himself, so I decided to design a stack and slice (#374 It’s a Guy Thing) for him, because they are great for beginner quilters. He came home for a day to sew the quilt. The nice thing about a stack and slice is that two people can sew on the same quilt since the blocks are cut to size at the end. We both sewed and were able to get all of the blocks done in one short day. We used a variety of fabric from my lines over the years for a scrappy look.

Anthony soon discovered that his cat George thought the quilt belonged to him. He thought that if he made George his own quilt he would leave Anthony’s alone. Anthony decided the bright colors of the Mix & Mingle line would be great for a cat quilt. We shrunk the rectangle from It’s a Guy Thing to a size of 8” X 10”. (Follow the instructions for DRAFTING PATTERN steps 1-8, changing the rectangle size to 8” X 10”.) He then was able to cut his finished block to a size of 5 7/8” X 7 7/8”. His quilt ended up to be approximately 27” X 37”. This is a perfect size for a cat quilt or a tablemat. The new Layer Cakes from Moda would be ideal for making this quilt in the smaller size.

Anthony liked the geometric dot in the “Fall” Back in Time line. I used this in the brown and blue colors to make him a shower curtain, using #375 Square Deal for a pattern. I made it the same as the pattern except I cut the borders 8 1/2” instead of 4 1/2” and turned them back so I ended up with doubled 4 1/2” borders. I then applied grommets along the top border.

For his bed quilt I used the #358 Gridlock pattern using yardage instead of jelly rolls and added a red square in the center of each crossbar of the block. For an inexpensive headboard we headed to Pier One Imports and purchased 8 placemats that we found on the sale table for $2.50 a piece. We simply nailed them to the wall with small nails.

We hung three fabric panels behind his couch to break-up the large white space behind the couch. I used the red Sandy’s solid from Mix & Mingle for the middle panel and just some fabric I had laying around for the two side panels. The large stripe in the Mix & Mingle line (#17301) would be great for these panels but I did not have enough yardage to make two panels. I also painted a few pictures to help with the all-too-white walls. For some of them I purchased stretched canvas boards and just painted simple pictures that anyone could do - circles for one and stripes for another. Who couldn't do these?

I enjoyed the challenge of decorating a guy’s apartment and spending quality bonding time with my son. Now that the kids spaces are done I need to start redecorating our house.

Sandy Gervais
Pieces From My Heart

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mix and Mingle: Part I

Sandy Gervais is back with Mix and Mingle! She's used it to help her son Anthony decorate his new bachelor pad. Today, Anthony describes how he put in his own touch (even in the sewing!) and the end result.

After spending years living in many different apartments with a variety of roommates, I decided it was time to find my own place. I searched high and low for the perfect apartment. I found a nice one bedroom apartment that would suit me just fine.

Moving day came and I discovered I had a boat, fish house, minnow buckets, fishing, poles, duct blinds etc, but not much in the way of items usable to make a home. I guess one of the perks of having roommates is what you don’t have they more than likely do.

So there I was sitting in my new apartment that was basically empty, except my recliner, TV and a bed. I made a phone call to my mom and told her I had a big job for her…to put her creative touch on my apartment to transform it into a nice bachelor pad. She was thrilled to help me and instantly went to work painting pictures, finding furniture, and designing a quilt.

I made a trip back to Algona to incorporate my ideas on how I wanted my quilt to be. I decided that her new Mix and Mingle line of fabric would be perfect to use in my quilt. After creating a quilt on paper mom put me to work sewing.....yes I said sewing. It’s not something I like to brag to the guys about but I have enjoyed learning how to sew, plus the chicks kind of dig it. I even made a smaller quilt (all on my own without mom’s help) just like mine, only smaller, for my cat, George. As you can see in the pictures, he enjoyed helping me make it and loved the finished product!

Mom came down the following weekend with pictures, furniture, dishes and basically everything you can think of that a person would need for an apartment. When we were all done decorating (or what I call putting a manly touch on things) the place looked great!

If it wasn’t for my mother I would probably still be hanging out in my apartment with my one recliner, TV, and bed. Thanks to her I have a cozy bachelor pad that feels like home. I could have easily gone out and bought pictures and bedding; but it wouldn’t be the same. Everything in my apartment is one of a kind that you can’t find any other place. Plus nothing is better than lounging around on the couch with a comfortable quilt made from fabric that your mom designed.

I owe my mom a big thank you for helping me with my apartment and making if feel like home. I am so lucky to have such a talented and creative mother. Thanks Mom!!


Anthony Gervais