Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Designer Tidbits: Oliver + S

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S to the Jolly Jabber. Liesl’s latest fabric collection is Cape Ann from Moda Fabrics.

Q: What was the first seed that grew into the Cape Ann collection?
A: I don’t think of myself as an illustrator, so it took a leap of faith to release a collection based on my own drawings. But I was inspired by the work of Virginia Lee Burton, who is best known as the author and illustrator of much-loved children’s books like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Little House. She also founded the Folly Cove Design Collective, which grew out of a renewed interest in the Arts and Crafts movement that began in the mid-1800’s England. The Folly Cove designers believed that their art should be both useful and creative, and they found inspiration in the environment of Cape Ann and its flora and fauna. I just visited the area and can definitely understand why they found the area to be so inspiring!

Cape Ann was inspired from my own surroundings here in New York and by the charming illustrative work of Virginia Lee Burton. The toile print (“Indian Summer”) features my drawings of children at play in nature. “Virginia’s Closet” takes ideas for children’s clothing directly from my sketchbooks. And the supporting prints include some of the flora and fauna in our neighborhood (“Ginkgo Toss, ”Chrysanthemum Swirl,” and “Starburst Mums”) as well as vintage-inspired classic prints and patterns (“Folly Cove Dots” and “Ticking stripe”).

Q: If your collection had a soundtrack what would be on the list?
A: I like all sorts of eclectic music styles, but I listened to a lot of Madeleine Peyroux and Norah Jones while I was working on this collection. So I guess the soundtrack theme is strong female vocalists?

Q: What single print/SKU in the collection is your favorite (can only pick one!)?
A: My choice might surprise you! I really like the polka dots because I’m a huge polka dot fan and because along the selvedge I’ve included some cute little labels that you can attach to your sewing projects. The polka dots are extremely versatile, and the labels are lots of fun.

Q: What is your favorite project you have made using this collection?
A: It’s always hard to choose a single favorite. The collection has really pretty quilt patterns, but of course I’m always especially attached to the Oliver + S clothing we make with the fabric. I think my favorite might be this 2+2 blouse and skirt because I like how the different prints work together. It’s such a cute little outfit!

Q: What is your favorite part of working in the fabric industry?
A: I’ve always loved textiles and sewing, and that’s probably my very favorite part. But the people in this industry are so nice, too! I love working with Moda to develop each collection, and our customers are just a dream. They’re so enthusiastic and inspiring! I love to see how they use the fabrics and our sewing patterns.

Q: Can you give us a sneak-peek of your next fabric collection?
A: The next collection is a bit of a departure from Cape Ann (I like to keep people guessing with each collection—you never know what it will be!) and is called the Ladies’ Stitching Club. It’s all about garden parties and tea and sewing and things, but with a little bit of quirkiness to it. I haven’t received the strike-offs yet, so I probably shouldn't show it until it’s a little further along. But it will be available in the spring, so that’s not too far away.

Q: What is your absolute favorite thing in your house?
A: Well, that would probably be my daughter and husband, but maybe that’s not what you mean? We have a vintage Knoll credenza that I adore. I’m afraid we won’t be able to get it out if we move someday, because it barely fit into our elevator when it arrived and the elevators have since been renovated and made a bit smaller. Since I love it so much, we may have to stay in our little apartment forever!

Q: Which project stands out in your memory as your all-time favorite?
A: I can’t really say that I have a favorite. I’m very proud of a few things I’ve made, but for me it’s often more about the process than the finished object. I love the experience of designing and sewing and generally focus less on the end product than on the project itself. So I usually like whatever I just finished, which means that right now it’s the spring Oliver + S patterns. I’m hard at work on them and they’re turning out really cute!

Q: Where do you do your best thinking?
A: I love to show off my studio. We just finished a renovation this summer, and the giant bulletin boards are actually doors that cover industrial shelving where I store fabric, books, and supplies for our business. But I do my best thinking when I’m with my daughter at the playground or walking around the city. New York really inspires me. When I’m in the studio I’m focused on what I need to do or what I’m working on at present. It’s when I get out into the city that I get a larger picture and find my inspiration.

Q: What is your favorite snack food?
A: We have a tiny kitchen area at the studio, but I don’t keep much there in the way of snacks. Usually I keep a bag of Trader Joe’s dried cranberries and some raw (unsalted) almonds. I like to mix them together for a snack. And I love tea, but I’m notorious for starting to heat the water and getting distracted with something else so I forget to actually make the tea. Remembering to actually drink it is another thing altogether!

Q: What is your one guilty pleasure in life?
A: Oh, having creative time often feels like a guilty pleasure to me. Sometimes what I do doesn’t feel like work at all, and I feel guilty for spending the entire day doing it! I’m very lucky to love my work.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winner: Pam Kitty Morning Designer Select

It's giveaway time!! For the past week I saw everyone trying to get hints from Pam on Twitter so they could have a chance to win the adorable Pam Kitty Morning Designer Select giveaway from last week's post. It was so cute seeing everyone's guesses and then Pam holding her grounds not giving any secrets away!

That being said I defiantly know everyone is super excited to see what Pam *lied* about (plus who the winner is of course)! So let's get right to it.

*2 Truths and a Lie*
1. I have been sewing since I was in 3rd grade.
A: My mother taught me to sew in 3rd grade. Lesson #1. NEVER MESS WITH THE TENSION DIAL

2. In high school I worked at a small factory making parts for Mack trucks. 
A: I worked in that little factory after school my freshman year of high school, and it was awesome.

LIE --> 3. I worked as a long haul trucker in the summer to put myself through college. 
A: Those 18 wheel trucks with the bouncy seats and noisy jake brakes are luckily a thing of the past.

...and the lucky winner is....

"I'm pretty sure #3 is false. Maybe? haha - thanks for the great opportunity to win PKM's fun fabric!"

Congratulations!! To claim your prize e-mail Stephanie[at]FatQuarterShop[dot]com with your full shipping address.

Ann Kelle's Dessert Party Giveaway!

Today we are lucky enough to have Kelle Boyd of Ann Kelle here donating some of her new line for a giveaway! She is donating three - 8 yard Dessert Party bundles to be awarded to three randomly selected winners. 

You can have up to 3 entries to win Ann Kelle's new Dessert Party collection. First:
1. Follow Ann Kelle on Twitter
2. Subscribe to Ann Kelle's blog
3. Become Ann Kelle's Facebook Fan

Then (*very important step*) leave a comment on this post letting us know which one you have done. You get one comment per option you completed.

Good luck!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Designer Tidbits: Kansas Troubles Quilters

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Lynne of Kansas Troubles Quilters to the Jolly Jabber. Lynne’s latest fabric collection is Cattails & Clover from Moda Fabrics.

Q: What was the first seed that grew into the Cattails & Clover collection?
A: Each year I watch the cattails on the north end of our pond (the grandkids call it "the swamp") as they change from green spiky leaves in early summer, to brown fuzzy cattail heads poking up in July to fluffy bursting cotton floating all over the yard in late summer. We cut bundles of them for "bouquets" in an old butter churn and blow on them like dandelions when they burst. I've even collected the fluff to stuff pincushions!

Q: If your collection had a soundtrack what would be on the list?
A: Something mellow and soulful from Sarah McLachlan.

Q: What single print/SKU in the collection is your favorite?
A: I've used the little brown viney print on a tan background the most. It works for just about any project.

Q: What is your favorite project you have made using this collection?
A: Cattail Creek. Just five-one yd. cuts of fabric make the center of the quilt using 10" squares and 5" squares cut with our KT-1/4 circle template. Double rows of bias strips embellish the blocks. Raw edge applique mimics curved piecing with lots of character and no headaches.

Q: What is your favorite part of working in the fabric industry?
A: The women. There are so many talented, confident women with good hearts and a sharing spirit. I've made several really good friends through quilting/designing.

Q: Can you give us a sneak-peek of your next fabric collection?
A: Sandhill Plums premiered at Fall Quilt Market in Houston.

Q: What is your absolute favorite thing in your house?
A: Right now I've been searching for a series of birds that are embellished with found objects - wings from old metal tape measures, standing on old crochet balls, gears or a watering can. There are dozens of different ones but I haven't seen them very often. I pick one up when I can to remember my trips. The last one was found in LaConnor, WA in a lovely little art gallery.

Q: Which project stands out in your memory as your all-time favorite?
A: I'm very attached to KT Favorites-10 Years & Counting. It's a BOM that celebrates KT's first ten years with Moda and features all 33 fabric lines from those years. It was so fun to pull out some of my old favorites and create a fabric memory.

Q: Where do you do your best thinking? Can we see a photo of your studio?
A: I sketch and daydream on my screened-in front porch. In fact, I enjoy spending time out there so much we're enclosing it with windows to make it a 3-season room. No pictures today - all the furniture is piled on one end and there's a big hole in the wall covered with black plastic!

Q: What is your favorite snack food? Can we see a photo of your fridge or pantry?
A: Twizzlers, always, but right now I'm enjoying Cheddar flavor almond crackers with a bottle of Cranergy as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Q: What is your one guilty pleasure in life?
A: Sitting on the dock savoring a Dark Chocolate Snickers while doing nothing – without guilt.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pattern Designer: Amanda Murphy + giveaway

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Amanda Murphy to the Jolly Jabber. Amanda now has eight new patterns that have just arrived to Fat Quarter Shop.

Hello all of you Fat Quarter Shop Fans!

I was so excited when Kimberly and friends invited me to share the new additions to my pattern line with you today. Kimberly was one of the very first shops to pick up my line when it debuted and I’m always excited to show her new additions.

Garden Paths, my best-selling design in the original line, toyed with the idea of making a quilt out of blocks that were “hidden” – where you didn’t necessarily know where one began and the other ended. I took the idea one step further with Bedazzled and Beribboned.

They are charm-pack friendly designs where the blocks seem to create interlocking chains. I use Kona, because I LOVE Kona and was smitten with how the pastel charm pack colors seemed to jump right off of the Bedazzled’s Amethyst background, but you could really use any charm pack you like from your favorite collection for either of these designs. Follow the pressing directions and all the seams lock, which make for a prettier finish.

In Beflowered, I expanded that idea to hexagons – or triangles masquerading as hexagons. In this case, BIG triangles made with the Creative Grids 60 degree ruler. Of course, big triangles need big appliqué – sort of like Blossoms. This might just be my favorite quilt. I love the angled edges and can’t wait to see what you all make with it!

Like most moms, I spend a lot of time shuttling kids around and waiting for them and wanted to design a project that traveled well.

Bejeweled is studded with yo-yos that you can make just about anywhere. (You also attach them onto columns before sewing the quilt top together, so even that step is portable.) Fellow Robert Kaufman designer Laurie Wisbrun’s Modern Whimsy fabric seemed the perfect vehicle for this quilt. I love the bright colors and had fun choosing coordinating solids for the yo-yos. But you can also use any roll-up or 10’’-square (layer cake). And the yo-yos can be made from scraps. Did I mention that directions are included for a charm-square-friendly lap-size version?

Next is Caramel and Cocoa – a modern Bargello design. This was originally a magazine quilt, but I have had so many requests for it in pattern form I decided to add it to the line. It is REALLLLLLLLY easy to put together – big blocks with no matching seams, yet it has a really sophisticate look. I have seen it made in many different color combinations and they all look unique.

Caramel and Cocoa is a great design to feature those modern large-scale prints at their best. Great for scraps of beautifully prints that you just can’t bring yourself to cut up. And it is entirely strip-pieced, so it is simple to sew.

Garden Jewels is a versatile design that showcases Veranda, my most recent collection for Robert Kaufman. But it would work in almost any type of print. Kimberly has kits for it here...

Finally, Garden Sampler may look traditional, but with its big blocks (the large rectangles are 12’’ x 18’’) it is the perfect showcase for large-scale modern prints. I love juxtaposing modern fabrics with traditional designs and vice versa!

So those are my new patterns. Thanks so much to Fat Quarter Shop for carrying all of them!

And now, to answer the serious questions:

1. If you had a mascot, what animal would it be? 
I think I’d choose a polar bear because I think they are just beautiful and I love to watch them swim when we go to the zoo, but that doesn’t really fit because I am only 5’2’’. I’d like to say a snow leopard too but, “That is not really me…” I confess as I trip three times on my way from the kitchen to the family room. Oh well, one can dream…

2. Who is your favorite celebrity?
David Suchet who plays Hercule Poirot on Masterpiece Theater. My kids would tell you that I LOVE Masterpiece Theater. I do, I do, I do!

3. If we were making a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
Emma Thompson!

4. Who is your favorite designer, not including yourself?
Gosh, that one is hard, because I like A LOT of different styles and designers. I guess I would have to say Kate Spain. She has a lovely hand-drawn character to her lines.

And now, it's time for a giveaway! I am donating my eight new patterns for three lucky winners.
You have two different chances to enter:
1. Subscribe to my blog and leave a comment on this post saying you did.
2. Leave a comment on this post saying which of my new patterns you like the most.
Good luck!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Designer Tidbits: Cathy Heck Studio

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Cathy & Ellen Heck (a mother daughter duo) to the Jolly Jabber. Their latest fabric collection is Bot Buddies from Blue Hill Fabrics.

Q: What was the first seed that grew into the Bot Buddies collection?
A: Bot Buddies grew out of our Baby Bots collection, which features a lovable little robot and his bot-friends. For the group on cotton, we were thinking about boys’ bedding most of all, inspired by childhood toys and bright, lively colors. We wanted these sheets to be fun, to inspire the imagination, to make waking up from a nap a cheerful conversation with a child’s own bot-bedding friends.

Q: What are 3 words you would choose to describe this collection?
1. Playful
2. Boyish
3. Cyber-cute

Q: What single print/SKU in the collection is your favorite?
A: We both love the Micro Fish pattern in all of its colorways. Get it? Micro Fish?

Q: What is your dream project using this collection?
A: With this group, we definitely want to make a crib set. The border panel, with toy turtles and wind-up fish, was designed with a bumper in mind and the Plus and Minus pattern is a perfect semi-solid to accent any combination of the other pieces in the collection. Maybe a mobile of Micro Fish too!

Cathy & Ellen's Silly Secrets:

1. What music are you listening to right now?
Ellen: The New Yorker fiction podcast
Cathy: One of my Pandora radio stations: Al Green

2. What is your guilty pleasure food?
Ellen: fruit roll-ups
Cathy: Fran's salted dark-chocolate caramels

3. Work and life essentials aside, what is the activity you spend the most time doing?
Ellen: swimming
Cathy: not necessarily most of my time, but one of my favorites is watching my girls play lacrosse

4. Where did you grow up and where do you call home?
Ellen: Austin, now living in California's Bay Area
Cathy: West Texas, now living in Austin

5. Do you have any pets and what are their name(s)?
Cathy: Neville, a funny mix of a rescue dog with sweet eyes who loves to croon. Here's a video of his talent.

6. What is your favorite fabric print ever (excluding your own)?
Ellen: There was a brightly-colored tulip print that was on my sheets as a toddler and young child that I just loved. Then one year at summer camp, my favorite counselor had the same exact sheets and that sealed the deal.
Cathy: One of my favorite dresses of all time (and you can tell by its worn softness, is a crisp cotton retro-50s dress with a pattern of milky-lime and soft-turquoise beach balls all over it ... or they might be olives, we're not sure ... but either way, the minute Texas summer hits, I love to wear it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

3 for Me: Debbie Taylor

Happy Friday everyone! We hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving yesterday and are now officially ready for Christmas! Please join me in welcoming back Debbie Taylor as she shares her Christmas wish list:

"This Christmas is going to be very special as my husband and I will be traveling to San Francisco to spend the holiday with my son and his family! Christmas will be amazing now that Tyler Katelynn is 3 1/2 years old and totally embracing the "Santa" thing! I am in love with the Pam Kitty Morning fabrics from Lakehouse Dry Goods and have a million projects planned in my head for this fabric. But these three fabrics would make adorable dresses for my granddaughters! I'm thinking something with a pinafore out of the blue and white check!"

Debbie's 3:

1. Pam Kitty Morning Blue Floral SKU# LH11002-Blue

2. Pam Kitty Morning Red Powder Puffs SKU# LH1009-Red

3. Pam Kitty Morning Blue Gingham SKU# LH11023-Blue

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Oh Thank Cuteness: Kimberly Jolly

What are you thankful for? Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. so it is time to collect your thoughts and remember what you are truly thankful for.  I am truly thankful for all of you readers and of course my family!

Generation Q Magazine invited us to join along in an Oh Thank Cuteness blog series giving thanks to each of our families- and of course show off their uber cuteness. We decided to hop on board.

The twins turned 2 this past August! (Will is on the left - Peyton on the right) We went to a Jumpy Gym to celebrate their birthday. It was a huge hit - I would recommend this for anyone with kids up to 4-years- old. 

Here is Cheryl and baby Christopher (he was exactly 9-months-old that day)!

In October we all went to pick out pumpkins to decorate for Halloween. 

You all know Emma! She thought this pumpkin was hilarious with all the bumps on it - I wish I had a video of that. 

Peyton loved the baby pumpkin.

Will was a bit overwhelmed by all the pumpkins, but he loved this odd shaped one and did not want to part with it! 

Christopher was all over it - he thought they were so neat!

As Kevin is pretty obsessed with the University of Texas Longhorns we all went to visit Bevo one Saturday! Yes, that is really him in the background. 

Emma being Emma... you know It's Sew Emma! 

Christopher got his first haircut.. he actually did pretty well considering... I think the super cute taxi car helped entertain him though - he was pretty mesmerized!

I snuck away from Fall Quilt Market just in time to celebrate Halloween with the kids! 

Here is Christopher as a sock monkey, Peyton as Thomas the Train's best friend - Percy, Emma as Snow White and Will as Thomas the Train.

And yes, between all the sassy, sweet, and adorable moments, my kids cry too!! ( I still think he looks precious while crying though - maybe that's just me?)

Last, but not least, my baby Christopher turned 1- year-old this month! He is pretty much the perfect baby - and so clean too. ;-)

This next month is going to be crazy with the holidays and wishing for my Disney cruise (wink wink.. Kevin!) and Emma is going to be a flower girl in Jocelyn's wedding!!  Hopefully I will have some pictures to share after all that chaos. I hope you enjoyed the pictures of what I am the most thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Oh, and don't forget to check out our Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at Fat Quarter Shop. Get ready for some clicking!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's Sew Emma Spotlight: Lollipop Shoppe

Hello everyone!
It’s Sew Emma has a brand new pattern called Lollipop Shoppe!

The second I saw the bright designs of Dessert Party by Ann Kelle, I developed a bit of an obsession. This is one of the cutest novelty lines ever! The colors are so juicy and delectable, and the polka-dotted ice cream cones, triple-scoop sundaes, swirling lollipops and chunky gumdrops are so fun!

I wanted to show off the fabric in a cute block, which became the tilted lollipop blocks. I also had to add in candy to go with the fabric, and I’ve always loved these cute candy wrapper blocks.

My favorite colorway for this quilt is the aqua, but we have two color options in our pattern if you are more of a chocolate person!  We’ve kitted up both for your sweet tooth, and don’t forget that shops can also order this pattern from United Notions soon! It is ISE-119!