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! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Quilting Q&A with Kimberly

Hi everyone, it's Kimberly and I'm excited to share with you our first Quilting Q&A with Kimberly video! 

We asked you to send us your quilting questions in last week's blog post and I've selected a few questions to answer today! Watch our video and let me know if you have any quilting questions for me in the blog comments and you might just make it onto the next episode! 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Designer Tidbits: Moon Shine by Tula Pink

Hi everyone! Tula Pink is in the building! And she's here to talk about her Moon Shine collection for Free Spirit Fabrics. This collection was inspired by camping, Tula style! Her whimsical prints are always a favorite of ours, and yours too! We can spend hours pouring over all the gems she hides in her illustrations. But we'll save that for later, right now it's time for a tale around the campfire, Tula-style! 

Q: Tell us a little about the Moon Shine collection. What were you inspired by?
A: As with every fabric collection I do I am always trying to set a scene and tell a story in that scene. In the case of Moon Shine I am telling a camping story in my own slightly off kilter way. The main print is a sort of camping styled toile. There are tons of things going on in that print when you take the time to look. There is a bear that has stolen a bunch of food from the tent and is secretly snacking, someone was cutting firewood while listening to music but must must have become distracted and walked away. Some mice have commandeered the tree house, it goes on and on. I loved working on that print. The companion prints continue the story in a broader way. 

Another of my favorites is the Camo deluxe print. I mean, what's more outdoorsy than camouflage? I did it in my own excessive way though because I am incapable of leaving anything alone. Of course the star of the show is the deer portrait made up of a plethora of tiny shapes and paisley elements. This is my most favorite way to think about form and design. I love taking one thing and molding it into something else. Even though I have been drawing this way for a while it still totally surprises me when it works out.

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?

A: My design process is always concept first. I start with a simple idea like "I am going to talk about a camping trip." I usually write out every single print I am going to accomplish. If 20% of those original ideas end up in the final collection it's a miracle. Once I start drawing all good intentions go out the window. It's like going down the rabbit hole, the whole process takes on a life of its own. When I start drawing the ideas come a hundred miles per minute. That theme or concept that I started with is what keeps me focused on the task at hand. I will often write down the other ideas, then come up with a quick sketch and put them aside for future collections. I go back to those a lot. It will take my entire life to get through them all, although some of them are pretty terrible ideas. I have to get through the bad ideas to get to the good ideas. 

While I am drawing I will start to think about color in a general way. I start thinking about whether the color should be bold or soft or feminine. In the case of Moon Shine I knew I wanted to keep it primary, strong reds and blues and oranges but I also wanted one color way to be soft and somewhat feminine just to push against the convention of camping being more manly. It is my version of what outdoorsy looks like.

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: My style has evolved over the years but there are a few things that are constant. I have a hard time with open space. If there is space I want to draw in it so my fabrics tend to be jam packed with shapes and colors and ideas. 

I value imagination above all things. I have designed some really pretty prints that never made it into production because when I put them up on the wall they were just pretty. They didn't say anything or tell a story. I need that second look in my work. I want you to be able to go back to it again and again and see something new every time. When I design a new collection it is pretty much all I will be working with for up to six months, so it better be enough to hold my attention, and if it isn't then how can I expect it to hold anyone else's? 

Color is the third factor to the Tula Pink style. I LOVE color! I love arranging color, choosing colors, putting them together and moving them around. I spend as much time on color as I do on the drawing of the prints. I prefer a bold clear color. Some like jewel tones or neutrals I tend to be really interested in tertiary colors. Those are the colors that are created when two other colors are mixed together. I will always opt for aqua or a true blue, or a yellowish  green over a grass green, a magenta over a bright red. I am addicted to rainbows. Everything I make can be arranged into a rainbow. It just happens, it's not intentional, I just love all of the colors.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a designer?

A: My favorite part of being a designer is when I am drawing. Sitting down to a fresh sheet of paper with a pencil full of new lead. At that moment the possibilities are infinite and I have no idea where it will go. That moment is both exciting and terrifying. It's exciting because absolutely anything is possible, I will get lost in it and from nothing I will create something, hopefully great! It is also the most terrifying moment because all of that possibility is a lot to live up to. I always have that fleeting doubt that says, what if I can't live up to it. I don't think that feeling will ever go away and it's what drives me forward and pushes me to constantly do better. I don't put a collection into production until I think it's my very best work to date so I am always coming off of what I thought was the pinnacle of my abilities. To push past that a little bit every time is what drives me to keep doing it. I love that feeling! It's like an addiction, I live for it.

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Moon Shine?

A: I hope that people make all kinds of things with Moon Shine! It's such a fun, happy collection. I hope they make quilts and pillows and dresses and bags. I would pretty much like to see the world covered in it. I think a picnic set would be nice and very appropriate. Dang! I totally should have done that arrrg!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rainbow Nest by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts

Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts' debut her first story book, Rainbow Nest. Edyta brings us a charming story about a mother preparing for her baby, a bird preparing for its nest, and how they are tied together.  

This book is a pleasure for all ages and it features her stunning Jelly Bean Batiks collection and beautiful illustrations by Sue Cornelison, illustrator of the American Girl Bitty Baby picture books. 

As you complete the story, Edyta includes full instructions, diagrams, and appliqué templates for an easy nine-patch quilt to welcome your Spring arrival. Learn more about the heartwarming story of Rainbow Nest in her new video at Fat Quarter Shop. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Simple Sampler Block of the Month by Vicki Bellino

When we received the Simpler Sampler quilt to photograph, we swooned over it. The quilt panel has the look (without the work) of English paper pieced look, and all the colors and blocks are beautifully blended. We've invited Vicki Bellino on the Jolly Jabber to talk about her NEW BOM!

Hello everyone! It's Vicki Bellino here with my newest block-of-the-month, Simpler Sampler. This BOM is truly an example of a vision and inspiration coming together through a collaborative effort between myself, Faye Burgos and Judie Rothermel. When asked by Marcus Fabrics to design a new Aunt Grace block of the month, my first thought was that I wanted it to be different, with a simplistic approach, making it appealing to quilters of all skill levels. 

While I have a love of English paper piecing, I also realize this technique might not appeal to everyone. So, with English paper piecing as my inspiration, I worked closely with Faye Burgos of Marcus Fabrics to create a pre-printed panel of some of my favorite EPP blocks. With Judie Rothermel’s sweet 1930’s prints and Faye’s ability to create the perfect panel of blocks, the Simpler Sampler fabric collection was born.

While the monthly blocks can be classified as simple and the quilt can easily be completed in six months, the layout of this design gives the appearance of a much more complex quilt. By quilting the motif panel blocks “in the ditch”, it is very hard to tell that these blocks were pre-printed onto the fabric and not English paper pieced!

This club starts January 2015 and tuns through June 2015. Sign up today at Fat Quarter Shop for a lovely, unforgettable quilt!