Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bananafana Designs

Get ready to fawn over the patterns from Jessica Goldman's brand-spanking new pattern company, Bananafana. Her hip clothing and accessory patterns will make you and your kids feel cool, even if they're not old enough to say it yet!

Holy Toledo! I feel so privileged to be doing this! I told my husband about the little article that Fat Quarter Shop asked me to write and the cute title of their blog. His response to this was, "Oh, jabber, that's pretty fitting for you." What can I say, I know I'm not the only one.

Anyhow, I'm most excited to introduce myself and my darling little pattern company. I'm Jessica Goldman, owner and designer of Bananafana. I'm married to a wonderful supportive husband and have two out of this world adorable children. Ever since I can remember I always had designing on my mind. Every year before school would start, I'd sit down and spend hours sketching out the clothes I would like to start the school year with. Of course in a family of eight kids, these sketches were merely dreams, and hand-me-downs were a regular (although I do remember upon occasion snatching something from the dress-up box and wearing it to school for a little extra flair).

I learned to sew from my mom who made dozens of beautiful dresses for us growing up. I had a doll house that I bought at a garage sale when I was eight, and I would sew little pillows, blankets and clothing for the dolls with scraps of fabric from my mother's many projects. I took sewing classes every year in school from 6th to 12th grade. Sewing has just always been in me. I put my husband through college by working full-time and picking up odd sewing/upholstering jobs. No matter what the stage of my life I always seem to fit sewing in.

Now I'm a stay-at-home mother of two super duper adorable kids (ages 22 mos. and 3 1/2 yrs.) They have become a HUGE source of inspiration. I designed and sewed everything for each of their baby rooms. Upon the arrival of my baby girl I began making baby clothing and diaper bags. I love dressing my little Lucy in unique clothing made just for her (what mom wouldn't?). After a bazillion comments on her clothes and my bags and much encouragement and guidance from good friends, Bananafana was born the summer of 2007.

Since I've been doing everything from designing my logo to drawing/designing my patterns, I've learned so much and have had many opportunities to grow. I'm so excited to go to Spring Market in Portland and to have my very own booth. The anxious and eager side of me wants to pass out and wake up when it's time for market, and the more practical side of me says, "You've got a heaping ton of work to do, girl!" Wait 'til you see the Bananafana booth! It's going to be spectacular, and I'll provide pics on my blog!

I feel Bananafana patterns provide a modern yet whimsical view of the sewing world, in the hopes that more young people will feel excited and encouraged to pick up this wonderful hobby. Right now I just have bags, clothing, and chidren's play items, but wait 'til you see the quilts I've got coming out in the next couple weeks! Fabulous!! Don't be shy, leave your comments, and feel free to visit my blog to keep yourself updated on the latest and greatest from Bananafana. Make sewing fun again!!!

Jessica Goldman

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sandi Henderson on "Ginger Blossom"

We are really excited to introduce today's guest author, Sandi Henderson, who has just debuted her first line, Ginger Blossom! It's got spring written all over it. This collection is proving very difficult to keep in stock, but fear not! We have more in today and more coming in later, so keep your eyes peeled!

Greetings to all of the Fat Quarter Shop readers! I am happy to be here as a guest writer.

My first line for Michael Miller Fabrics has just debuted and what a pleasure it is to see it traveling into people hands at last. Ginger Blossom has been a journey of love for me. One year ago I was happily working away at Portabellopixie. Portabellopixie was my business for custom-made children's clothing. I worked away in my little studio in our home, creating clothing for children all over the world. I was always on top of the newest and prettiest lines of fabric and eventually decided to design some myself. Why not? It doesn't hurt to try.

Eight months later it is on the shelves and Portabellopixie is lending its name to my new line of patterns debuting at Spring Market in Portland. The line will consist of children's clothing patterns, very much within the same spirit of my past designs. We will soon add accessories like bags and aprons as well as crafts and adult clothing to the line, but the initial kick-off will be children's clothing. For me the most rewarding sewing is always something I've done for my children, and I am excited to put the "how to" into other sewers hands.

I am often asked where my inspiration for my fabric comes from and it is always a different answer. It depends on what I am designing. For Ginger Blossom, I really drew inspiration from some of my favorite things that are dear to me. For example, the Blossom Buds print was inspired by my son's crib. It is a 4-poster canopy crib that has been passed down through my family and has held both of my children. The posts are topped with ornate, pineapple like knobs. I gave them a little bit more of a clean modern shape and added a leaf or two and it is one of my favorite prints in the line.

All in all, it's been an incredibly exciting ride! I am looking forward to an amazing year with lots of new projects to come and new friends to make! Thank you for letting me gab a little on Jolly Jabber!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Debbie's Recipe Box: Piglickin' Cake

This is the most delicious cake!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Jolly Jabber Idol

Reality show fever has finally invaded the Jolly Jabber! (I guess that would make it reality blogging?) In any case, it's our most intense (and longest) contest yet! Tell all your friends!
Welcome to...

Season One!

Much like a certain show this is modeled after, Jolly Jabber Idol has a mission, fabulous prizes, voters, and a cute celebrity host with short hair. (Hmm, I wonder who that could be?)

We want to find the coolest items you can make using the Simplicity collection by 3 Sisters! These can be quilts, home decor, clothing, us what you can do!

Take a picture of your item and attach it in an e-mail to Jocelyn at The guidelines for entries are listed below. Entries will be accepted until midnight CST, March 30, 2008.

On Friday, April 4, we will set up a gallery of all the entries and hold an open vote for a winner! Yes, you decide the winner!

Of course, there are rules and guidelines...
  1. The fabric must be purchased from Fat Quarter Shop.
  2. The item must be 60 inches or smaller (that converts to about 152 cm for our friends across the pond.).
  3. The picture must be at least 250 pixels wide to be posted. We will try to represent your image as best as we can.
  4. The e-mail must have "Jolly Jabber Idol Entry" in the subject line. The body must include your name, city/state, and what pattern you used. The picture must be attached.
  5. The deadline for entries is midnight CST, March 30, 2008.
Also, there are prizes!!
  1. 1st place - $125 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop
  2. 2nd place - $75 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop
  3. 3rd place - $50 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop
The contest starts today, so get quilting!!

P.S. Don't forget to check out our new Designer Mystery BOM! We have already sold over 25% of our memberships!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kimberly's Designer Mystery BOM

Debbie and I have searched the last few markets for the perfect block-of-the-month project for beginners. It seemed to elude us, so we decided to create our very own! I called all my designer friends, and they have graciously designed twelve sampler blocks using the sumptuous 3 Sisters’ Peace on Earth collection. They are amazing!

These are the wonderfully creative designers who have agreed to help us:

This BOM is designed to be easy and affordable. You can look forward to receiving a unique block each month! The blocks are simple to assemble and will go together quickly, so this project will easily fit into your hectic schedules. (Yes, really!) The program begins this June!

With a line-up like this, how can you miss out? Spots are limited, so sign up now at our website!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Debbie's Recipe Box: Classic Potato Salad

Those who do not like pickles or mustard in their potato salad, will love this recipe!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Vicky McGee on Skipping Stones Quilt Kit

Vicky McGee is one of our favorite fabric addicts of all time, and we know the true reason she's on her "fabric diet" -- to make room for more! We asked her to help us make a rustic new quilt out of At Water's Edge called Skipping Stones, so who better to describe it than...Vicky?

One of the many pleasures of being a quilter is getting to know those in the industry who inspire us and keep our creative juices flowing. My very dear friend, Kimberly, has been such an inspiration to me, and I’ve fallen totally in love with the adorable Miss Emma!

After Fall Market I was delighted to have the opportunity to make a sample kit for Kimberly. The result is Skipping Stones, an exclusive Fat Quarter Shop quilt kit, using the At Water’s Edge line by Blackbird Designs for Moda.

This quilt was so easy and so much fun to make. I was able to cut the kit one afternoon, and sew the blocks and completely assemble the quilt the next day. With limited sewing time and easy rules (in my book), Skipping Stones fit the bill perfectly! The fabric is gorgeous, the instructions are well written, and I loved every second of making this quilt.

Thanks, Kimberly, for allowing me to work with you on this kit. It’s a beauty!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day from the Fat Quarter Shop!

And now, a special PSA from Miss Emma.

"It isn't easy running a business. So many things to play with, people to see, offices to explore."
"That's why I'm so thankful for this awesome nursery, where I can come and enjoy special time with Mommy and Daddy anytime I need. Believe me, after a hard day of work, I need that! (And look at this cute card that Debbie made for me!)"

"And so on this Valentine's Day, remember to go home and give the ones you love a great big bear hug!"

Monday, February 11, 2008

Barb & Mary on "Strawberry Lemonade"

Barb and Mary, the fun duo of Me and My Sister Designs, is back a fresh new line for Moda called Strawberry Lemonade! They are definitely done with cold weather (for now!)--these bold primaries will cure any winter blah.

Strawberry Lemonade is here!
We are so excited to introduce our newest fabrics for Moda! The idea for Strawberry Lemonade actually came from a packet of drink mix that we found in the grocery store!

We wanted these fabrics to have the look and feel of a summer picnic. From the “Picnic Plaids” to the “Strawberry Fields” prints we have captured the down home-small town feel of a bright and lazy summer day.

We have great fun taking what we like to call “Everyday Color” and infusing it into our fabrics and traditional pattern designs. We are constantly re-doing everything we see in bright and vibrant color.

With every fabric group we design, there is always a fabric panel and a free pattern on our website for using that panel. This time the panel has oblong shaped Strawberry Lemonade Blocks. These blocks when cut apart can be used to make the cheerful border around our free “Picnic Throw” pattern. We have embellished all the flower centers and strawberries on our throw with buttons, embroidery threads and jewels to add even more texture and fun. We can’t wait for the first picnic of the season to use it!

Our next fabric group is called “Smores” and has wonderful prints with names like Marshmallow Cream and Rick Rack Stripes all done in “Everyday Color”! This group also features a special pattern called Baker’s Square that uses the new 10-inch layer cake squares by Moda.

We are already busy working on our next group for Quilt Market in Portland!
It is called Butterfly Fling! And for all of you who loved our Spring Fling line about a year ago---well, let's just say---you wont want to miss out this time!

Sign up on our website ( to receive notices of future fabric groups and patterns as soon as they become available. Many times we get to post “coming soon” fabric swatches at the same time the quilt shops are being shown them.

Color is everywhere in our lives! Today I had a lime green highboy dresser delivered. It’s going to look great with a folded Strawberry Lemonade quilt on top!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Debbie's Recipe Box: Blueberry Coffee Cake

Coffee cake is the Great Equalizer for goodies--you can bring it to a casual get-together as well as a fancier Matha-Stewart type soirée.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Holly Holderman on Emma's Garden Quilt

Our guest designer today does not really need an introduction, but here it is anyway! She is the powerhouse behind LakeHouse Dry Goods, she keeps a little blog you may check religiously (HOLLYBLOG!), and we are fortunate enough to be on her list of "Blogs I Love" (find it on our sidebar). She is Holly Holderman, and she has designed a beautiful baby quilt in honor of our own little Emma, although the soft spring shades will fit any little girl.

I first heard about "Miss Emma" from my friend Brenda Riddle...It was all in one breath, and it went something like this: "Kimberly Jolly had a baby, she named her Emma, and she's the cutest pink-cheeked little baby you've ever seen...and Anne and I are going to visit her this summer in Texas."

Actually, all I really heard was, Kimberly Jolly had a baaabbbyyy...before my brain switched on to the "decorating channel" (I keep a lot of sketch pads for this little problem). For every baby, there’s the perfect quilt, and the perfectly coordinated room for that quilt!

I imagined my room for "Baby Girl Jolly" like this: the softest petal pink walls, soft white cove moldings & window trim, a poufy white on white roman shade, cotton hooked rugs on the floors, soft white crib, a liberal use of petal pink mini-prints (especially gingham), some soft celery & moss greens and few touches of yellow...and a quilt to complete the look. In the spirit of “anything worth doing is worth doing to excess” I even imagined a little ”E M M A” banner made out of the letters from our Little Girl’s Alphabet fabric to coordinate.

Knowing how much Kimberly, Brenda and I all love pastels, it was just good fortune that I happened to be in the middle of styling the new Cherry Baby line for our Fall 2007 intro. Cherry Baby was designed to go with many of the fabrics from the La Belle Rose line that we'd introduced the season before.

Luckily, I happened to mention the “Emma Jolly” quilt idea I had to McCall's Quilting magazine editor Beth Hayes one day on the phone, and that’s how the Emma’s Garden quilt came to be.

The funny thing is that I imagined Emma as a blond and pink cheeked baby, (a miniature Kimberly). What a surprise it was to see her picture many months later at Fall Quilt market and realize that she got her daddy's red hair... Thank goodness pink and green are just as adorable for redheads!

The “Emma's Garden” quilt can be seen in the April 2008 McCall's Quilting magazine that just hit the stands last week, and Fat Quarter Shop is offering the kits online, and the magazine will be in their store any day.

I can’t wait to see a picture of Emma when she gets her little quilt...I’m guessing that Miss Emma is going to be the poster child for a new generation of quilters, don’t you think?

In the meantime, please visit me at HOLLYBLOG, I’ll be giving away a free gift to the first three first-time visitors!

Keep on Creating!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Winner of the "Notes from Moda" Giveaway

We are so blown away at the response from Lissa Alexander's "Notes from Moda" entry last Friday on the Jolly Jabber! Lissa is sure going to have a lot of material to go through when she writes for us next time.

Also, as promised, we have randomly selected a winner from the comment page to receive an At Water's Edge bundle. And yes, we are going to announce the name now.

Congratulations to Jen from Sydney!

Contact Kimberly to claim your bundle!

Thanks to all of you for reading, and keep watching for more contests and giveaways! (Here's a hint: there is more fun stuff planned for Friday!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sue Zipkin on "Bliss"

Our featured designer today is someone we have just come to know. The first line we carried from her was Be Mine, a whimsical watercolor Valentine line which some of you are probably using right now for a certain special day in February. Now, we also have Bliss by Sue, a spring-colored garden of...bliss! Read on for her own thoughts on Bliss.

My name is Sue Zipkin. I was so extremely excited to be asked to write on the Jolly Jabber blog. The Fat Quarter Shop is one of my favorite quilt store websites. One of the things I adore about their website is how they create wonderful vignettes featuring the newest collections from the best designers in the business. When I had found one of my designs on this website, that's when I knew I had arrived in the quilt world. I'm not really sure where I arrived, but it was a great honor! Now that I will be able to talk about one of the new collections that they will be carrying I am in designer bliss. That leads me to the collection I will be talking about – more on that in a minute!

My designs can be found on many products across the board including dinnerware, greeting cards, outdoor decor, scrapbook collections, party goods and more. Ever since I started designing, one of my most thrilling projects to work on has been quilt fabric collections.

I am blessed to be able to design for a great fabric company called Clothworks. When I create a new collection, I work very closely with the design team at Clothworks. Since I am not a quilter, it is fabulous to be able to have input from people who have been quilting for years. We do a lot of editing as we develop a collection. As most of you who are designers and quilters know, the possibilities are endless. If it was up to me, my collections would consist of hundreds of fabrics per group. Since this is not realistic, Clothworks helps simplify and pull it all together beautifully.

“Bliss” was originally a collection I did that I called “Victorian Retro." The reason I bring this up is because that is exactly what the pattern is about. I created this group a few years ago for my portfolio to show to different manufacturers. At that time I was in search of the right partner for my fabric designs. The “Victorian Retro” collection was a significant turning point in my designs. This was one of those Zen things that just seemed to come together from some other higher creative source. I recall I was painting roses and some soft watercolors washes and motifs. I then scanned them and started to bring in graphic elements in Photoshop like classic dots and stripes. I also incorporated some clip-art butterflies. I rarely use art that I don't paint myself, but in this case I could not resist, since they do seem to fit the design.

What people seemed to appreciate most about the designs when I first showed them was the marriage of the soft and graphic elements. This can be tricky to combine the two. Here I have featured some of the original design presentations from the collection.

One of my favorite flowers to paint are roses, also one of the most challenging. I think many artists who paint flowers struggle with roses. To capture the essence of a rose is a very difficult task as there are so many layers and intricacies to hold together.

For those of you who are familiar with my designs I am often most noted for my use of bright color. “Bliss," however, is not about bright color, as you can see it has a soft classic palette, although within the softness there are some bright playful combinations.

My next introduction with Clothworks, featured on their website, is "Samba." This collection is a playful eclectic mix of colors – the classic bright palette I’m most known for.

I would love to see what quilts you create with my Bliss collection, I am always impressed with your creativity! And thank you so much to all those who purchase my fabric and other designs.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Debbie's Recipe Card: Lime Jello Salad

For the whipped cream, I always use Cool Whip. [Click on the card for a black-and-white version.]

Friday, February 1, 2008

Notes from Moda

Notes from Moda by Lissa AlexanderLissa Alexander, the Marketing Director at Moda, has agreed to keep the Jolly Jabber updated on what's happening at Moda! However, we need input from you all about what you want her to talk about and what you would like to know.'s another contest -- write what you'd like to hear her talk about on our comment page and we will randomly select a winner on Wednesday, 2/6 for a fabulous Moda prize. The winner will receive an At Water's Edge fat quarter bundle - a $100 bundle from Moda's most recent line!

Lissa is always asking about Emma so she thought the best way to introduce herself to Emma, and to you all, would be through a letter.

Dear Emma,

Your mommy and daddy asked me to write for their blog. I am so flattered but very nervous as well. What should I write about? Why choose me? I write like I talk and sometimes my words get all mixed up. I can spell, I guess that is good. I thought I would write to you and see what you thought.

I am a mother of four boys and one girl ranging in ages from 16-25. I have been a quilter for 26 years and I work for Moda. I have been working at Moda for 12 years. You are going to be 12 months soon, so it is almost the same.

I feel like I have the best job in the world! (Marketing Director for Moda) I get to work with the most talented designers. I get to plan projects. I get to make pretty pictures to go in magazines. I get to plan booths for shows. I get to meet other quilters from all over the world. I get to play with and touch fabric anytime I want.

Emma, What do you think your mommy’s friends would want to learn about moda? Do they want to meet the other people that I work with? I could talk about the owner. He is so fun. You would like him. He wears cool clothes.

Do they want to see behind the doors? How fabric is designed? What about if I told you what was going to happen before it happens? That is kind of like magic. I could do that.

What about the new 3 Sisters collection, Simplicity? It is pretty and soft. There are kits, jelly rolls, layer cakes, charm packs and more. You may need to hide some in your crib because everyone is going to want these.

Maybe your mommy’s friends could send in some suggestions on what they would like to hear about and I will write to you again.

Lissa Alexander
Moda Marketing Director