Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Designer Tidbits: Barbara Brackman + Album Quilt Block

Get inspired by Barbara Brackman's latest reproduction beauty. Ladies' Album is historic and romantic, perfect for a quilt project that you will cherish through the years. Barbara is here to share more about her Ladies' Album collection for Moda Fabrics and share a quilt tutorial with you! Keep reading for a closer look at Ladies' Album!

Q: Tell us a little about the Ladies’ Album collection. What were you inspired by?
A: Ladies' Album is my latest nineteenth-century reproduction collection from Moda. It's rather romantic, inspired by the sweet sentiments of autograph quilts and leather-bound album books. The prints recall the years 1860 to 1890 when school friends, boyfriends and favorite aunts "played the poet" with clever sayings and elegant signatures on paper or cotton.

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A: I usually begin with a historical idea---like the album fad in quilts and paper. Sometimes it's Jane Austen novels, sometimes Paris the Twenties. I find swatches---the document prints---that evoke the era, mainly from my own fabric library. I have a great fabric collection and Moda also has a fabulous fabric library. The large cretonne-style floral here came from their collection.

Q: How do you describe your style?
A: I would describe it as a mirror of historical styles rather than my own style. Right now shops have at least three different styles of my reproductions: the sentimental Ladies Album, the avant-garde Modernism from Paris in the 1920s and the Morris Modernized: CFA Voysey, featuring his turn-of-the-last-century take on imagery, repeat and color. I try to present an accurate reflection of historical style.

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Ladies’ Album?
A: The Moda free pattern for Ladies' Album is an old-fashioned album pattern and here I'm giving a pattern for a second classic album design. I'd love to see quilters use the Ladies' Album fabrics for friendship and signature quilts, real keepsake quilts. Those album blocks always have a good spot for a name and a sentiment.

Q: Please include information about your free pattern and what inspired the pattern.
A: Album quilts were the rage in the nineteenth century and many of them were pieced in this particular block of squares set on point. Not surprisingly, the pattern is called "Album Block." I adapted the design so those squares can be cut from a pack of Moda Jelly Rolls (2-1/2" wide). The block finishes to just about 8-3/4", an odd size, but it doesn't matter since all the blocks will be the same size. The alternate squares and the background tea shades are cut from the Layer Cake package of 10" squares. We are going to show you how to make the Album Quilt Block.

The quiltmaker, my friend Kathe Dougherty,  She set the blocks in a design that echoes the pattern construction---squares on point--which gives a nice balance to the composition.

The quilt finishes at 44” square.

Fabric Requirements:
One Ladies' Album Jelly Roll (40 - 2 1/2" strips)
One Ladies' Album Layer Cake (42 - 10" squares)
1/2 yard total of dark fabric for the scrappy setting triangles
1 1/4 yards for the border and binding. (SKU# 8284-20)

The Album Block finished at 8 3/4” square. You will make nine blocks.


A - From nine light Layer Cake squares cut two 2 1/4" squares, 18 squares total.

Then, cut each square once on the diagonal. You'll need four A triangles per block, 36 triangles total.

B - From nine light Layer Cake squares cut two 4 1/8" squares, 18 total.

Then, cut each square on the diagonal twice. You'll need eight B triangles per block, 72 triangles total.

C - From the Jelly Roll cut one light print, four medium prints and eight dark prints into 2 1/2” squares. You need 13 different squares per block, 117 squares total.

Setting Triangles
From the Layer Cake cut four 9 1/4" squares for the alternate squares.

From two dark Layer Cake squares cut one 7” square, two total.

Then, cut each square once on the diagonal. You'll need four triangles total.

From the 1/2 yard of fabric cut two 13 1/2" squares.

Then, cut each square on the diagonal twice. You'll need 8 triangles total.

Cut two 4" x 37 1/2” strips for the side borders.
Cut two 4" x 44 1/2” strips for the top and bottom borders.

Cut five 2 1/2” x width of fabric strips for the binding.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Great Granny Sew Along: Filled Basket Block

Happy Monday, quilters! We hope you are excited to begin the Great Granny Sew Along! Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet designed an adorable quilt to celebrate the release of her new book, Great Granny Squared. Today, we are teaming up with A Quilting Life, Why Not Sew, and Pam Kitty Morning to start this sew along off right. So let's crack open our copies of Great Granny Squared, download the cutting PDF and sew the first block in the sew along, the Filled Basket Block!

Kimberly is sewing her Mama's Crochet quilt with Country Girls fabric by Tasha Noel
Debbie is sewing her Mama's Crochet quilt with My Sunshine by Zoe Pearn
Sew up your Filled Basket Block for a chance to WIN some prizes! Next week we will choose three winners from the pool of photos in the Great Granny Sew Along Flickr Group. This week we are giving away three sets of Sullivan Embroidery Scissors and Clover Point Protectors. We hope you are ready for some embroidery!

Check back next week to find out if you are one of our three winners, and to start on the next block in the Great Granny Sew Along!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Good morning! Some bunny is wishing you a very Happy Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Aurifil Giveaway - Darlene Zimmerman Thread Boxes

Is your stash bursting with 1930s prints? You know, collections like Lazy Daisy Baskets, Grandma's Garden, and Betty Dear? Darlene Zimmerman's new thread boxes by Aurifil Thread might be the perfect addition to your bright, colorful stash. These threads will match perfectly for your vintage-inspired applique and binding. We are giving away FOUR Darlene Zimmerman Thread Boxes to FOUR lucky winners! We have two Darlene Zimmerman Large Aurifil Thread Boxes and two Darlene Zimmerman Small Aurifil Thread Boxes up for grabs today!

First up, we have two Darlene Zimmerman Large Thread Boxes to give away. These boxes contain 12 playful thread colors to perfectly accompany any 30s-inspired project.

Each spool contains 1,422 yards of delicious 50 wt. 100% cotton thread. With all of that thread, you might have to dig through your stash and start an applique project or two. The Candy Store and More book by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine might give you just the inspiration you need.

And next up, we have two Darlene Zimmerman Small Thread Boxes to give away. This little beauty is travel-friendly, and contains 10 spools of Darlene's charming thread colors.

If you want a taste of this adorable thread collection, the Small Thread Box is for you. The 10 spools contain 220 yards of 50 wt. 100% cotton thread.

For a chance to win these playful thread boxes, leave a comment on this blog post letting us know what 30s-inspired projects you have in mind for these silky smooth threads. Four winners will be chosen on Friday April 25th. Eligibility is open to all, and please only comment once! Be sure to include your email address so we know how to contact you! Good luck!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Designer Tidbits: Winter Wonderland by Bunny Hill Designs

We are snow-balled over with adoration for Winter Wonderland. Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs has combined three of her favorite elements (redwork, embroidery and Christmas) to create one of our favorite holiday collections of the year. Read on for more about her new line and some sweet photos and ideas! If you're inspired to tackle an adorable scenic quilt in this fabric, check out our I Believe in Snowmen Quilt Kit!

Winter Wonderland was inspired by my love of redwork, embroidery and snowmen! It's a happy fabric line with snowmen galore, stars, dots, trees and little trucks. Get ready to celebrate Christmas in April when you see this fabric. It's never too early to get started on holiday projects.

What was your design process for Winter Wonderland?
Designing a fabric line is like telling a story with a beginning, middle and end. I start with a theme, work on an outline, add in some color and make sure it has something unexpected. The more I work on a fabric line the more it grows and changes, often taking off in new directions I hadn't planned on.

Tell us some design trends you're currently exploring.
I love the idea of smaller projects and the trend for "small" seems to be growing.  We're all pressed for time, and working on a project that can be completed in a day or two gives a wonderful sense of fulfillment. I'll always design large applique quilts, but each season I'll add in more of the fun "little" things.

What do you hope to find made up in Winter Wonderland?
I've designed a lot of fun patterns for Winter Wonderland, but I know you can think up more. What about a table runner, table cloth, napkins, tree skirt or stocking? Make a Christmas tote, purse and a few special gift bags. Doesn't a fabric covered journal sound cute?
Winter Wonderland Collage

What is your absolute favorite Christmas tradition?
It's hard to pick just one tradition because Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love everything about Christmas, but at the top of my list is decorating the tree. I have about three sets of decorations and I alternate them every year. I always add a few new ornaments and different bows. I invite my granddaughters over for a day of hot chocolate and tree decorating. Making lasting memories is a great tradition!

Time to confess a big sewing faux pas!
When I was cutting a quilt border, I cut the entire strip 3 ½" instead of 4 ½". Luckily, I like to cut my borders lengthwise, so I had enough fabric to cut another strip. What is it they always say? Measure twice, cut once. It's really true!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Designer Tidbits: Tim & Beck

Set sail with Tim & Beck this Summer! We are climbing aboard and heading out to Bartholo-Meow's Reef! This new collection is perfect for playful sewing projects! Tim & Beck are here to share more about the Bartholo-Meow's Reef collection, so keep reading for a closer look!
Q: Tell us a little about the Bartholo-meow’s Reef collection. What were you inspired by?
A: In the fall of 2012 we had an impromptu encounter with whales. We were visiting one of our favorite beaches on the central coast of California and spotted whales coming in closer to the shore then we had ever seen. Tim, the braver half of “Tim & Beck,” convinced me that we should hop in a kayak and head out to say hello. Next thing i know we are side by side with giant whales coming up to feed less than 20 feet from our boat. It was a spectacular experience! We went back the next day with as many family members as we could entice into kayaks and spent another afternoon with the whales. After that experience our whole family was highly inspired by all things ocean. Our two budding artists were drawing sea creatures and the whole family had creative visions of life under the big blue ocean. Tim combined all of our thoughts into one concept and we began the design journey into the depths of the beautiful briny and oh so cute sea.
Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A: Hunting for inspiration is typically the first step. We tend to have 3 or 4 concepts in queue at all times. We’ll choose which idea we’d like to pursue and start hunting for inspiration to help us decide what convention, genre, style, colors, mix of patterns we’d like to use for that particular collection.
Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Bartholo-meow’s Reef?
A: Childrens clothing would be so fun!! Quilts are always amazing. Childrens aprons.... hmmmm really we are always in awe of all the projects we see!
Q: How do you describe your style and how has it evolved over the years?
A: We have a few different styles that we create under the brand “Tim & Beck”. When it comes to fabric design for Moda, we love to design whimsical collections for children of all ages. Our style is often described as a contemporary twist on a vintage classic feel. We’ve explored so many design paths over the years. I’d say we have evolved by learning to simplify. We used to want to pack so much into one collection when we could have created 2 or 3 collections with the same amount of material.
Q: What is the most memorable handmade item you have ever received?
A: Tim’s younger brother gave us a wedding gift of handcrafted pottery from a college pottery class he was taking. We’ve been married 11 years and those pieces are my favorite to have on display in our home. He made a giant bowl that I love to overflow with fresh fruit as a centerpiece on our dining room table.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Designer Tidbits: Ampersand Design Studio

Count down the days of the week with this fun new collection! Eight Days a Week by Ampersand Design Studio is a bold, graphic new collection that will have you feeling crafty! Morgan and Carrie of Ampersand Design Studio are here to share more about Eight Days a Week, so keep reading for a treat!

Q: Tell us a little about the 8 Days a Week collection.  What were you inspired by?
A: We believe that every day of the year is cause for celebration so we built this collection around that idea! 8 Days a Week is a group of playful, hand-painted prints highlighting the names of months, days of the week and dates on the calendar! We even included a blank calendar grid and tons of fun icons so any important date can be commemorated. Then, we threw in some stripes and dots for good measure and voila! We absolutely love typography and hand lettering (we even met in typography class in college), so it wasn't a surprise that lettering was a focus of this group. For the color palette, we knew we wanted to mix it up a little and work in a more limited palette than our last line, Cream & Sugar (which was super colorful). We were both loving bold black and white with a few colorful accents so we just ran with that.

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A: We begin by giving ourselves some time to just play, do some research and get inspired. We build style boards and pin things that we're loving. Then, the two of us share our first round of ideas and we decide what we're both most drawn to. Often, it's some combination of our two points-of-view. At this point, a theme usually emerges and we begin to flesh it out and play with color and scale. For 8 Days a Week, we went a few different directions before coming up with the theme, but we were so happy with where we finally landed!

Q: What design trends are you currently exploring?
A: Right now, we are loving going crazy with mixing patterns — graphic with florals, ethnic patterns with stripes, etc. We think this could be a pretty fun one to explore with a fabric collection. We're also having fun with light-hearted and optimistic prints...things like inspirational quotes and hopeful graphics like hearts.

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with 8 Days a Week?
A: Anything and everything! Honestly, we're just so flattered when people choose our fabric for their projects! We love seeing the results. We love this group because we feel like it is so versatile. We can't wait to see how people get creative with the calendar grid and make their own keepsakes out of the different elements. We also love the idea of this group as nursery fabrics and kid's clothing, but feel it works well for home and grown-up pieces, too. How's that for indecisive?! We just love dreaming up all the different possibilities!

Q: How do you describe your style?
A: We would call our style a modern and clean, happy and colorful.

Q:What is the biggest sewing faux pas that has happened to you?
A: Well, not sure about a true faux pas, but we will just admit that, although we enjoy it, we are not the best seamstresses in the entire world, despite having it in our genes (both our moms and our grandmas are/were great sewers). We sewed most of the pieces for our first fabric collection catalog ourselves and on one bag, we actually sewed the straps on in a way that would make it almost impossible to carry. Oops! We have come a long way since then!