Friday, April 29, 2011

Designer Tidbits: Anna Griffin

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Anna Griffin to the Jolly Jabber. Anna Griffin’s latest fabric collections are Francesca and Isabelle Christmas. Today we have a little Q & A on Francesca and the designer herself, Anna Griffin.

Q: How did you get into designing fabric?

A: It’s hard to believe that eight years have passed since the debut of the first Anna Griffin quilting fabrics! My transition into the textile market was an easy one for me because my designs translate beautifully on both paper and fabric. A lot of my designs are reinterpretations of antique textiles, so it just makes sense!

Q: Do you quilt, sew or have any other creative outlet?

A: I learned to sew when I was nine years old. Growing up in a small town, extra curricular activities like the 4H Club were part of my weekly activities. I even won a blue ribbon for my blue print bib short set! There are no blue ribbons these days, but I can still sew – little time to devote to it though. With the new decorative fabric division of the company, I am busier than ever…but in a good way!

Q: What was the first seed that planted the idea of making this line?

A: Antiques inspire all of my collections, I love to take old things and make them new. Francesca was inspired by a beautiful 18th century floral painting that I own and was reinterpreted for use in fabric. From tufted patterns, tossed florals and damask prints this collection is wonderfully sophisticated.

Q: Where did you pull the colors from or what was the inspiration of the colors?

A: I’m always tearing sheets from home decorating magazines, coming up with colors and looking for trends for fabrics. I combined a beautiful, crumbling Italian Villa photo with the original colors of the floral painting and voila, Francesca’s muted hues were created. It seems that bedroom colors today need to be rich and romantic, so I went with soft tones of grey-blue, taupe and olive green colorways paired with my very favorite shade of shell pink.

Q: What are a few of your favorite projects you have made or you have seen made with this line?

A: For my gift line, the taupe Francesca floral has become a luxurious tote bag, picture frame and hanging magnet board. They are lovely! We have just completed a few digital quilts with the group that show how easy it is to mix and match this collection. The fabrics by the yard from this collection is available this month, so I can not wait to see all that will come from this pretty group!

Q: What can anticipate to come out next?

A: Block print florals and Lace!

Anna Griffin

Also, don't forget to check out her Christmas line that came out along side Francesca-- Isabelle Christmas.  It's an adorable vintage Christmas!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Carrie Bloomston for Such Designs

"When I was two, my mom found me all tangled up in a basket of her needlepoint yarns and I've been an artist ever since," Carrie Bloomston says about her long career as an artist. At twelve, she owned a t-shirt splatter-painting business that she ran from her back porch...selling to local Birmingham, Alabama shops. By seventeen, she had her first successful one-woman show of abstract paintings and used her earnings to help pay for her tuition at the Rhode Island School of Design where she received a BFA in Painting.

After art school, Carrie moved out west to pursue a life of art-school-girl recovery...which she has successfully accomplished. Now, many years later and with a wonderful husband and two kids in tow, Carrie is up to something new again: sewing, designing, and creating art with fabric for her company, SUCH DESIGNS. Her newest line of patterns is designed to help people to celebrate their inner artist.

To Carrie it has always been important to help people know how innately creative and talented they are, "We are all nearly as talented as we once were as children...we just have to undo all the voices within us that have told us over the years that we can not draw or paint or make stuff. Have you ever heard a child say they could not make something? Nope. Exactly. My sewing patterns are fun and easy to read but they also encourage people to make artful choices and to have fun exploring fabrics, colors, and stitching."

Her I'll Huff & I'll Puff Finger Puppets are a super-fun and fresh interpretation of the Three Little Pigs as felt finger puppets. The pattern includes the three pigs (one of which is a feminista princess in a tutu...she owns the brick house!)

Also included: one big, bad wolf and the three little houses. Each one is dressed in little scrap outfits of your making. How will you dress your pigs?

The Wonky Little Houses Pillow Pattern is a fun collaged and pieced fabric pillow with adorable little houses.

 "The archetype of the little house has always resonated with me...not the perfect house with the perfect white fence...but the real, crooked, funky house and all of its creative charm... complete with a big big bird perched on its roof."

Each pattern has its own flickr group so you can share your pictures of your creations!

Read more about Carrie at her blog.

P.S. The Aviary 2 fabric line by Joel Dewberry (featured in the post below) would be a perfect fabric to use for the bird!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Designer's Tidbits: Full Circle

I always try to carry a sketch book with me for doodling. It's a great way for me to get creative and just have fun.

Then, when I'm working on a project like a new fabric line for Moda or an embroidery pattern, I start by thumbing through my sketch books and sooner or later some little doodle will inspire a new design. My newest line for Moda, Full Circle, is chalk full of these little doodles, each surrounded by a wreath of some sort to tie them all together! Little birds, bees, houses, flowers, acorns, all work together with decorative monograms. I've been into this whole monogram thing lately and I wanted to include pretty and fun letters along with the doodles. I was so happy with the way the embroidery look worked on fabric! Using this fabric is a great way to make a project that looks like it took many hours of hand embroidery, but really it's the magic of Moda!

When I stitch an embroidery design, I'm more than likely to stitch it with black thread on a nice soft, wheat background like Moda Crackle Wheat. The contrast between the background and the thread really make the design pop. I really wanted this same contrast to work with the fabric also. The red is that true red I'm always drawn to when I open my box of floss, it's deep and rich and warm.

I designed three project patterns using the Full Circle line of fabric. They have small projects such as:

a table runner and hot pads,

banners with images of the four seasons,

 and a monogramed pillow, banner, and more.

My good friend and designer Barb Cherniwchan, Coach House Designs, designed a beautiful quilt using the Full Circle Fabric. Her quilt is called Once Upon a Time and I loved it so much I asked my mom to make one for me!

Although it's April now, I've been stitching away on Christmas designs! It helps to play a little Christmas music in the background and it also helps that we've had a VERY cold and wet spring here in Oregon.

May will bring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City and I'm excited to have my new line of fabric, Towne Square Quilts, showing there. With this line I've continued with the hand drawn feel and the theme is houses and quilts and all of the things that makes an old fashioned Towne Square feel like home.

Happy Stitching!

Rachel Griffith's Smitten

There are three things I am always sure to love: adorable babies, comforting quilts & yummy colors. Well that's Smitten rolled up in one package. Yayyy.

The beauty of Smitten is that it will work with any fabric line and with any size. Smitten can go repro, bright or holiday.

{& it's perfect for whipping up a pillow, baby quilt, table runner or lap quilt.}

i'm smitten. are you?!?!


P.S. I used Bunny Hill Designs’ Lily & Will II collection for my sample.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Modern Workshop by Oliver + S

The very first time I met Liesl of Oliver + S was at Fall Market 2010. I had the great pleasure of having dinner with her and let me tell you, she is one neat lady. Since then I have been just waiting to chat with her again and today is the day! I am so excited to have her here with us on the Jolly Jabber so you all can see for yourself. So let's welcome Liesl Gibson...

Since first discovering it in college, I’ve admired the work of the Wiener Werkstatte, a circle of artists and craftspeople based in Vienna at the turn into the twentieth century. I love the strong, graphic nature of their prints, paintings, and homewares. But I also have a particular affinity for their design philosophy.

These artisans were living during the height of the industrial revolution, which for the first time in history made mass produced items widely available at low prices. In response to their economic environment, the members of the Wiener Werkstatte created unique, hand-crafted objects that stood in opposition to the machined, industrially-produced items that were filling middle-class homes. The things they created were beautiful and are noted today for their enduring quality and their unique design sensibility. As you can imagine, I have a strong admiration for this handmade philosophy, and I highly value today’s unique, hand-crafted items that stand apart from the cheap, mass-produced, imported objects that flood our contemporary store shelves.

When I was thinking about developing this collection, I paid several visits to one of my favorite small museums here in New York, the Neue Galerie, which specializes in the art of this period. In looking through the work there, I realized that the strong graphic nature of this period’s prints could be translated and updated nicely for the twenty-first century crafting community.

To create the collection, I started with two central prints, a very large and bold geometric curve and a large abstract floral. I worked them up in four different colorways—using a color palette that is much more contemporary than historical. I wanted colors that were bright, cheerful, and that felt very much like today. I then worked some elements of these central prints into a number of smaller-scale prints which include both geometric and floral motifs to complete the collection.

The final collection came in at 32 prints that all make use of a fresh, twenty-first-century color palette. The collection features a mix of small scale and large scale prints which makes it ideal for both garment sewing and quilting. All the prints are available on Moda’s wonderfully smooth and silky quilting-weight cotton fabric. Additionally, the collection includes a selection of six luxurious interlock knits and three waterproof PU-coated fabrics.

I’ve been sewing with Modern Workshop for a while now, and I’ve been happy with how it works when it’s actually put to use. Most recently, I’ve made samples from the collection for our new Spring-Summer 2011 Oliver + S sewing patterns.

The Seashore Sundress is made from the large, bold, graphic French curve central print from the collection.

The Family Reunion Dress is made from one of the smaller, supporting floral prints that picks up the floral motif from the collection’s central floral print.

And the Class Picnic Blouse + Shorts sample was made from two of the geometric prints (one a wavy stripe, the other a dot) which will also work well for quilting.

I also designed a quilt for this collection, which makes use of the colors for a graphic, contemporary version of a strip quilt that’s easy and quick to sew and creates an interesting overall pattern when the placement of the strips is staggered.

It’s so fun to see what our customers make from our fabrics, and now that it’s available I’m eager to see items start turning up in the Oliver + S Flickr group.


[You can also meet her on her blog with a video about Modern Workshop!]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Special "Tax Return"

Tax Day has now thankfully come and gone! We can't control what tax credit, if any, you may get from the government but we can control what you get back from us! We are giving you 20% OFF your next order over $100!

To receive your discount enter the code taxes during checkout before midnight Wednesday, April 27th. Please see the terms and restrictions below.

What a deal, you don't even need to fill out any forms! Thank you!


Terms: Your coupon must be used online and can only be used once. Your discount is not combinable with any other offer and is not applicable to clubs, programs or the purchase of gift certificates. It cannot be applied to previous orders and cannot be used after April 27th, 2011, midnight CST.

Joel Dewberry presenting Aviary 2

Good morning! Today's guest is known for his modern yet timeless designs. This husband and father of four has put together his favorite collection yet- no, seriously it actually is- Joel will explain this further.  But anyway, Joel Dewberry has a lot to tell you today, so let's welcome him!

Hi Jolly Jabbers,

The Aviary 2 line is a compilation of some of my most favorite and popular designs from earlier collections. I love designing for fabric because it allows my designs and creations to come to life on a beautiful surface that has some permanence. To know that so many talented and creative sewists, quilters and designers will be using my fabric in the creation of their own projects is a flattering and humbling sensation. On the other hand it is really difficult to be a fabric designer when I know the relative life cycle of one of my design collections is rather short, normally 1-2 years before it becomes discontinued. While this is done to make room for the "NEW" designs being created, I still struggle to see past collections become "out of stock". I know many share my same feelings as I receive and respond to inquiries on a weekly basis about where to locate specific designs from these early design collections that have been discontinued.

My idea with Aviary 2 was to reach back to early design collections, which are now discontinued, and bring the best of the best back to life, the creme de la creme. My all time favorite designs like the Sparrow print, wood grain or faux bois, damask, scrollwork and the bloom print now have a home together in one All-Star collection. And of course Aviary 2 had to be the name because the real driving force behind the reintroduction of these designs was the popularity of my signature Sparrow design from my original Aviary collection.

My color choice for Aviary 2 was inspired by my love for a vintage but hip flare. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to create new color ways that do not include aqua.

Aqua and I have been friends since early 2006 in my Chestnut Hill, earth color way and it has stuck around since for nearly every collection.

The Saffron and Granite color palettes are extensions of early color combinations that were so popular and still feel very relevant today. The Lilac color palette was a brand new introduction of a color scheme that has been on my mind for some time. We were delighted to receive our first strike-offs and witness how bold and fresh the contrasting purples, greens and aqua were working together.

Another way of defining the color ranges is Granite as a formal palette, Saffron as a cozy, comfortable palette and Lilac as a vibrant yet relaxing palette. What do you think?

To date my favorite project from the Aviary 2 line is the Pendant quilt and coordinating pillow we designed to go in my daughters new bedroom.

The lilac color range was my favorite on this introduction and I thought the result was stunning when we applied the designs to our very sparse and minimal Pendant quilt pattern. We are anxious to paint walls and complete the ensemble with more pillows and decorative details in the room like my bird sachet project from my book.

Currently, we are in a mad dash to the finish line in getting ready for Spring Quilt Market. My wife, Laurie, and I have been working like crazy to complete my next design collection and to be ready to introduce a line of life style sewing patterns at market. Despite it being right on the heel of the Aviary 2 line, my newest collection Heirloom couldn't wait. We will be offering it in our standard cotton, cotton sateen, laminated fabric, and voile. We think it is amazing and can't wait for everyone to see it in its entirety! Our sewing patterns will include skirt and dress patterns, handbags and a pin cushion.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prairie Women's Sewing Circle

Sign up for Pam Buda’s Prairie Women’s Sewing Circle Club at the Fat Quarter Shop. We have limited spots available.

 This unique six-month club that will take you on a journey back in time. Gather together as the prairie women did, and hear anecdotal stories about their quiltmaking, what daily life was like for those who traveled by wagon train on the Oregon Trail, the lives of quilter's during the Civil War and the years of women's suffrage for equal rights.

Spots are limited so sign up now!

Tidbits from the Designer: Le Petit Poulet

The French are so good at making country look so classy! I tried to do that as well.

There are several pieces in this line that can be used in a variety of ways.
I love using the multiple stripes, not just for borders but also for the blocks, as in the market square quilt.

The large border stripe I also used for vertical sashing, with only two vertical columns of pieced stars. The panel that looks like tile squares I used as a border in the Market square quilt and for the center of pieced stars in the French country quilt.

Party in the hen house quilt has only two borders with the chickens and the other two sides are the floral.
Evan if you don't care for chickens...

...there is plenty of fun in the florals, grids, stripes and bees. So bring a little french country home with you, and save yourself the trip.

Au revoir,
aka American Jane

Pom Pom de Paris Giveaway Winner!

I know you have all been waiting for this one! The announcement of the Pom Pom de Paris pattern + Fat Quarter Bundle winner of the last Pom Pom de Paris post...So let's get right to it! Well wait, I also wanted to point out we now have the Pom Pom de Paris pattern in stock so go check it out!

Now, here we go..The randomly selected winner from the random number generator is....

"The fact that the colors in this line were inspired by a garden at a 14th Century (!!!!!!) home is amazing! That something like that is still standing, able to be used, and possesses such beautiful sounding gardens is wonderful!"

Congratulations ShadyB! To redeem your prize e-mail Stephanie[at]fatquartershop[dot]com with your full shipping information. You have one week to contact us.

FQS Bella Parade @ 13 Woodhouse Road

Hi all, I'm Shruti from 13 Woodhouse Road. I am happy to take this opportunity to invite you to participate in the most Colorful Blogger Fest of this summer!
 The Fat Quarter Shop Bella Parade @ 13 Woodhouse Road...

And the Fat Quarter Shop has a special bundle of the 31 solids!

How do you usually buy solids? You buy some lovely print that you found online and then buy solids to go with it! Its time to change the view! Know more about 31 delicious Bella solids that will be featured on my blog and the Flickr Group from May 1st - 31st... We will be giving away about 70 yards of fabric in this month!!! For details and a launch giveaway hop over here.

Oh, and do not forget your coupon code for 20% OFF all Bella Solids!  Use the following code at checkout to redeem your discount:

Code ends 5/31/2011


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jolly Jabber Special!

Hi Jolly Jabbers! We have weekly specials on Facebook and Twitter and we want to share this week's with you!

40% OFF two lines by Sandy Gervais for Moda Fabrics:
1. Giddy
2. Lollipop

Use the following code at checkout to redeem this special:

Expires Friday, April 15th @ midnight CST.

Join us on Facebook & Twitter to see each weekly special as well as special sales, new products and other updates!