18 Quilting Tips For Beginners and Experienced Quilters

Here are some tips for those that are new or inexperienced quilters. These are also good reminders for us seasoned quilters as well. Enjoy!

  1. Choose a quilt pattern in keeping with your level of expertise. There are thousands of quilt patterns to choose from, but your choice could mean the difference between a finished quilt and just another craft project.
  2. Decide what size of quilt you want and see if the quilt pattern you are working with can be adjusted. Do you want to use your quilt as a bed spread (to the floor on 3 sides and up over the pillows), do you have a footboard or pillow top mattress pad or will you be using a bed-skirt? Consider how the quilt will be used when determining the size.
  3. Choosing the colors for your quilt – Do you want the quilt to be the focal point of the room? Is your quilt to blend in with existing décor or maybe you just want a quilt in your favorite colors?
  4. Choosing fabric for your quilt – Quilts can be made from almost any fabric – but using the highest quality of 100% cotton you can find will give you a quilt that will stand the test of time.
  5. Choosing your quilting technique –you can tie your quilt, stitch your quilt by hand, use your sewing machine to do the quilting or have your top custom quilted by a long arm machine.
  6. Choosing the batting – many types and thicknesses are available. After you’ve chosen the quilting technique to be used – the selection of batting is easier. Some bats work best if tied, some work well for machine or hand quilting but if you’ll be hand quilting you’ll want to stay away from anything with scrim. Some of the materials available are polyester, cotton, wool and even alpaca.
  7. Determine how much fabric you’ll need to make your quilt – most patterns will give estimates based on the size of the quilt. Be sure to make any necessary adjustments for changes you’ve made to the quilt pattern.
  8. Gather all of your tools – rotary cutters, rulers, scissors, iron, etc. before you begin.
  9. Cutting your fabric – this may be the most important step in making your quilt. Not being precise with your cutting can result in running out of fabric as well as throwing off the overall design, shape and size of your quilt.
  10. When it’s time to piece your quilt blocks – remember: 1/4-inch seams will give the desired result and must be maintained throughout your quilting project. Smaller seams can cause fraying and uneven wear – larger ones can cause bunching and a mixture of the two will certainly throw off the points of stars or the matching of quilt blocks.
  11. Pressing and/or trimming the quilt blocks as you go is very important. Skipping this step can also throw off the overall design of your quilt causing bunching and gathers.
  12. Measure each quilt block – they should all be the same size and shape.
  13. When your quilt blocks are made – experiment with your layout. Many quilt patterns can be altered depending on how the quilt blocks are laid out. Turning the quilt blocks even 1/4 turn can alter an entire design. Be creative and find the quilt design you like best.
  14. Once you’ve chosen your quilt design lay out your entire quilt and pin the quilt blocks together in rows numbering each row.
  15. When you start sewing your quilt blocks together – keep your 1/4-inch seam allowance in mind and be careful to match points and seam joints when putting rows together. Pressing every other row in the opposite direction will give a better fit when sewing rows of quilt blocks together.
  16. Press entire quilt top and hang away while you move on to the backing. It will be tempting to just use a big sheet for the backing of your quilt. Don’t!! After you’ve gone to so much trouble to choose just the right fabrics for your quilt top take a moment to think about the back of the quilt. Choosing a complementary fabric will make it seem invisible and enhance the beauty of the quilt top. Choosing a bold color or pattern can give you the versatility of a reversible quilt. Quilt backing fabric is available in most cloth stores and comes in widths about 110 inches wide, which will accommodate most quilting projects. However, if that isn’t an option for you – any cotton fabric can be pieced to make the quilt backing and you will be much happier with the overall result. Press and square up your quilt backing.
  17. If you’ve decided to quilt your project yourself the next step is to “sandwich” the three layers – quilt top, batting and quilt backing. Hold them together with safety pins or by basting stitches. If you’ve chosen to have your quilt custom quilted by a long arm machine or by hand, your quilter will want you to skip this step and send them the quilt top and quilt backing unattached. Check with your quilter to find out their preferences.
  18. After your quilting is done – the binding is the next step. Again there are many methods to choose from – select the one that works best for you and your quilting project. The best way to add the binding to your quilt is to sew it to the topside so that it flips to the back to cover the seam. Hand stitching the binding down to the back of your quilt with very small stitches (5-7 to the inch) will not only secure it tightly but your stitches will be invisible to the eye so as not to alter the design of your quilt top. It will be tempting to hurry through this step in order to finish your quilt – don’t!!

Happy quilting!

Ryan

Sunkissed by Sweetwater

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Happy Fat Quarter Shop Friday everyone! Welcome to the first 2011 edition of our popular designer spotlight series. Today, Susan of Sweetwater, a family run design company from Colorado is here to talk with us about their new line Sunkissed. Bringing us gorgeous prints in wonderful colors, Sweetwater’s previous lines include Authentic, Make Life, and Pure.

Their newest release, Sunkissed is available in stores now. Helping to cheer those Winter blues away it is full of bright picnic plaids, flowing floral designs and neat stripes. I’ve been personally fascinated with this line and am so pleased with it now that I’ve seen it in person. The pale grays and butterscotch oranges sing to me!

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As always, I look forward to seeing their signature text prints. Something Sweetwater is famous for. I ask Susan about their popularity later in the interview as I’ve noticed lately a lot of new fabric lines include this type of print.


 

RWQ: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your design background?

Sweetwater is a family run design company located in northeastern Colorado. All of the designing, marketing, shipping, and distribution takes place at the corporate office just southwest of the town of Fort Morgan. Sweetwater is actually a spin-off of its parent company Farmyard Creations. Farmyard Creations began as a quilt company in 1985, providing quilt patterns and designing fabrics for quilt stores throughout the Unites States, Canada and even overseas. In 2001, Sweetwater was born by taking the fabric designs of Farmyard Creations and turning them into paper. Coordinating stickers and other accessories were then added to give the Sweetwater line a soft, sophisticated style. Recently, Sweetwater has been focusing their energy on fresh and innovative graphic design, as well as a fun line of fabric and quilt patterns.

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RWQ: Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing in general?

Our inspiration for design comes from shopping! Yes, shopping! Although our husbands don’t understand or fully agree we get a lot of ideas from shopping trips. We love to see the current trends, colors, and textures.

RWQ: Is there anything you want to tell my readers about your inspiration for Sunkissed? Do you have a favorite print in the collection?

The colors of summer were our inspiration for Sunkissed. The fun and yummy colors of popsicles and ice cream remind me of the hues that were selected for Sunkissed. My favorite print of this line has to be the gingham design. Who wouldn’t like to have a picnic paired with a quilt made out of the gingham print?

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RWQ: They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. One of my favorite aspects of your designs is the word prints you incorporate. The typefaces you use are beautiful. Recently there have been a lot of fabric lines introduced doing the same thing. How did those particular prints come about and what do you think of other fabric company’s noticing the popularity and trying to do the same thing?

We have noticed words popping up on fabric and of course we would have loved to place a patent on it :) But, we knew that wasn’t possible and that indeed there would be more and more fabric with this sort of graphic element. This just makes us stretch our creative minds a little further to find other ways to set our fabric apart from others.

RWQ: Blogger’s Block A Palooza, is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 24 and features your new line of fabric! Myself and 16 other quilters have designed blocks that will be showcased twice a week for several weeks. John Adams (aka QuiltDad) has scheduled and coordinated everything. I wasn’t sure if you were aware of the quilt along and wanted to see if you had a message or anything you wanted to pass along to the contributors and participants?

We were not aware! Thanks so much for passing this along to us. We are so very flattered that Sunkissed was the chosen fabric for this project! We can not wait to see the blocks! Thanks to all of the contributors and participants. We will be sure to check in on the project.

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RWQ: How can my readers find more information about your company?

The best place to find out what is happening at sweetwater is our blog –
http://www.sweetwater.typepad.com/

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Thanks for being with us today Susan and sharing your wonderful new fabric! Sweetwater’s complete line of offerings include scrapbook supplies, quilting patterns, stationery, hand made gifts available in their etsy shop, and custom graphic design.

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As a special treat to my readers, Fat Quarter Shop is donating a fat quarter bundle of Sunkissed for you to win! This will certainly get you started if you’re participating in the Blogger’s Block-A-Palooza!

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Leave a comment on this post to enter for a chance to win. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.

I will draw one winner using the Random Number Generator on Friday, January 21, 2011!

Fat Quarter Shop

Thanks for sponsoring this giveaway FQS! Please take the time to visit Fat Quarter Shop today by clicking on the image above.

CLICK HERE for more information on Bloggers Block-A-Palooza.

Thanks for joining us,

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Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey { Fat Quarter Shop Fridays Sponsored Post }

It’s Friday once again and you all know what that means! It’s time for Fat Quarter Shop Fridays! Let’s get this party started…

Every once in a while a fabric line is released that completely takes everyone by surprise. You know, a breath of fresh air in the quilting world. That’s how I interpret Aneela Hoey’s April 2011 release from Moda Fabrics, Sherbet Pips. I can still feel the buzz in the air from 2010 fall Market where everyone was raving about the designs. ME included! From what I saw, Pips were the first to sell out at the Moda booth during Sample Spree.

Aneela stopped by earlier in the week and chatted with me about her background and what inspired her to name her fabric Pips.


Thanks for being here today Aneela! Please introduce yourself:

RWQ: How long have you been designing fabric? What is your design background?

I’m an avid quilter, embroidery pattern designer and now new fabric designer with Moda. I graduated with a degree in printed textile design from Winchester School of Art in the early 90’s, then worked in studios in London and New York as well as freelance. After getting married and raising my two daughters (now aged 7 and 10) I developed a serious quilting habit and started keeping a blog. About a year and a half ago, I began printing designs through Spoonflower and selling them in my etsy shop which led me to start designing for Moda.

RWQ: Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing in general?

I draw all my inspiration from what is happening around me, which happens to be spending time with my daughters and also from my sketches and doodles. All my work seems to stem from my doodles which are really just idea’s I am jotting down in picture form for later use. The doodles get turned into applique’s, embroidery designs and fabric designs.

RWQ: Is there anything you want to tell my readers about your inspiration for Sherbet Pips (ie: your color choice inspiration, a trip that may have inspired the line, etc.)? Do you have a favorite print in the collection?

The two lead designs in the pips began life as embroideries inspired by my daughters playing which I later worked into fabric designs. I like to work with imagery that is happy and kind of nostalgic and describes the personality of my daughters which is mostly playful and dreamy. I really wanted the playfulness and dreaminess to come across in the fabric. The colours really just came from the shades I like to work with when making my own quilts. My favourite print just has to be the girl on the tree swing one, though I love all my fabric babies!


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RWQ: Is this your first design to be licensed on fabric? If no, can you briefly tell us about your other lines?

I designed prints for fabric about 10 years ago but I have no clue as to who they sold to or what kinds of fabric they were made into. I did all kinds of prints from conversationals to florals and very arty prints too.

RWQ: How would you describe your quilting “style”?

I am completely obsessed with quilting. No matter how many I make, I always have plans to make more. I love scrappy quilts, crazy piecing and also very simple quilts just made out of squares. I love doing traditional blocks in modern fabrics and also like to throw a lot of fussy cut pieces into my designs.

RWQ: One of the hardest parts of designing for me is coming up with the names for my patterns. How do you pick the names for your fabrics?

For each of the fabric prints, I name them for what they are, i.e. ‘girl on a tree swing’ or ‘scarf stripe’. There is no point in thinking up fancy names as people will just call them by whatever imagery they see in there. Naming the fabric line though is fun, as it forms an identity for the fabrics.

‘Sherbet pips’ are tiny little hard boiled sweets that are sold in old fashioned sweet shops which you purchase by weight. I just love everything that the name conjures up which is nostalgia, sweetness, childhood, the good old days…..

RWQ: How can my readers find more information about you and your company?

My blog: http://comfortstitching.typepad.co.uk/
My shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/comfortstitching
My fabric: http://www.unitednotions.com/un_main.nsf/aneela-hoey
My flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aneelahoey/


Oh wow! Thanks for giving us a peek into your world Aneela! I would have never guessed that Pips were a candy.

Speaking of candy, how about a little fabric candy for everyone!?! We’ve got some Sherbet Pips precuts to give away. That’s right… I have a jelly roll, and 2 charm packs available out of my own personal collection!

**!!GIVEAWAY UPDATE!!** Kimberly of the Fat Quarter Shop has just informed me that one winner will also receive 5 yards of Pips! (in a combination of their own choosing!!) Thanks Kimberly!!

To enter for your chance to win any of the giveaway prizes, leave a comment on this post. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.

I will draw three winners using the Random Number Generator on Friday, April 1, 2011!

Fat Quarter Shop

Please take the time to visit Fat Quarter Shop today by clicking on the image above.


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Circling Geese Table Runner

Flying Geese Runner

A good friend and fellow manquilter bud recently purchased a home. I knew I wanted to make him something as a housewarming gift and asked him one afternoon about colors. As he was describing the rooms, a runner I designed a few years ago came to mind. It had been sitting unfinished in my UFO pile since it was completed because I had no idea where to use it or how to quilt it.

Flying Geese Runner

When I first started to quilt I fell in love with batik fabrics and flying geese blocks.

I made TONS of them.

I had and still have stacks of geese that I made with scraps in all different colors. I assembled some colorful square in square blocks too because they were real easy.

Flying Geese Runner

I was very lucky to be able to pair both of the different types of block together because I wasn’t paying any attention to the sizes when I was making them. When I started laying out this runner everything just fell into place. I guess you have to be lucky sometimes.

I was so pleased.

Until it came time to quilt it!

I had no creative ideas whatsoever. So there it sat in that dreaded, ever growing UFO pile in my studio.

Flying Geese Runner

I thought this runner would fit their scheme so well that I had to wrack my brain and come up with a game plan for the quilting.

I’m becoming a big fan of straight line quilting so I decided to play on the direction the geese were going a little. I machine quilted a continuous line wrapping the entire outside of the runner. I also used a grid pattern on the inside through the square in square blocks.

Flying Geese Runner

I was so happy to get it finished and send it along to its new home. And I got another project checked off my UFO list to boot!

Enjoy Charlie!

Flurry by Kate Spain

Welcome to another fabric filled edition of Fat Quarter Shop Friday where we bring you information and insight from some of your favorite fabric designers!

Today, we’re welcoming back Moda fabric designer Kate Spain. Kate stopped by a month ago to chat with me about one of her newest releases, Flurry.

This fresh holiday collection is sure to get you in the mood for some winter sewing and is available in quilt shops now!

Flurry by Kate Spain

It’s always a pleasure to speak with you Kate! Thanks for coming back to speak with me about Flurry.

RWQ: When we last spoke with you, Central Park had just released from Moda. What exciting things have happened since we last checked in with you?

Things have zoomed ahead non-stop since January, when “Central Park” came out. It was such a long winter here in the Northeast, I think we all needed a little sunshine. Many of the projects I’ve seen with C.P. (eg, on blogs, Flickr, and Etsy) were just that! So many talented and creative people out there. It’s a joy to find them making something with my fabrics.

In February, 2 new lines of porcelain plates I designed came out at Crate and Barrel — “Delilah” and “Triana.”

Delilah is still in stores and online and features the “Canto” pattern from my fabric line Fandango. Keep your eyes out for Delilah this autumn when Crate will continue to offer them, but in beautiful new seasonal colors.

Link: Delilah plates

Triana featured a variation on the “Esplanade” pattern from Central Park and they have sold out online. They may still be available in stores, but you’d have to check to be sure.

In March, “Terrain” (my 6th line for Moda Fabrics) was shown around to shop owners. The feedback has been very positive, and shop owners seem to be (almost) as excited as I am about this collection. Terrain is set for a September release, and I can’t wait! Then in October … well, you’ll have to come to Quilt Market in Houston to see line #7! :)

At the end of March, to my surprise, I learned from a friend that my “Zoo” animal print from Central Park was featured in a craft segment on the Martha Stewart Show (a good thing, indeed!) Martha showed how to frame fabric to display as wall art. Such a simple and fun idea that you can change anytime for a new look. You can watch the clip here: http://www.marthastewart.com/341188/framed-fabric

In April, the “Harbor” shellfish buckets and coordinating bibs I designed came out at Crate and Barrel:

Link: Harbor

I have a friend who bought them and said that her little boys use the bucket to put crayons in and use the bibs to cover their clothes when they’re painting! So they’re not just for lobsters and clams :)

In May, I completed my 4th Surtex Show in NYC. My husband, Pete, graduated from the
Yale School of Public Health. And then we went on a little trip to Seattle and Portland, where we enjoyed meeting up with Monica Solario-Snow (bka, Happy Zombie), Mo Bedell, Gina who owns BOLT Fabrics in Portland, Angie who owns The Quilting Loft in Seattle, and Laurie Shifrin who works at The Quilting Loft and has authored several artistic quilt-design books. Lots of fun and in such a beautiful part of the country.

In June, we adopted 2 adorable kittens, a brother and sister that we named Franny and Lou. We love them already. They are little rascals and happen to love playing with jelly roll strips! I think there’s a sewing project in here somewhere…

Later on this summer, I’ll have a couple fun announcements too. So definitely lots going on around here!

RWQ: Wow! Congratulations on all the accomplishments Kate! I am always on the look out for your designs in every store/catalog I look through. And those cats, ADORABLE! You describe Flurry on your blog as having more traditional reds, greens and clearer blues than in your other holiday collections. How does this collection differ from your other holiday lines and what made you decide to go a more traditional route?

I always give special attention to color trends, no matter what I’m designing for. This year, the color forecast for holiday was pointing to more traditional pine greens and ribbon reds and so anticipating this, I made sure to incorporate this direction in Flurry. The crystal blue (as opposed to the aqua from 12 Days) offers a crisp accent to this seasonal theme — and what’s really fun is that Flurry will coordinate with 12 Days of Christmas very nicely.

RWQ: Your holiday collections remain some of my favorite and I am pleased to see you decided to change it up this time. Is there anything you want to tell my readers about your inspiration for Flurry?

I wish I could say the inspiration came from a trip we took to Norway! But it’s actually that we have some great friends from Norway who were visiting last summer, and somehow on a 90 degree day, we got to talking about celebrating the holidays. Go figure! Kari told us about the reindeer herds in her hometown and how much she and her family love sledding. That got me thinking about a favorite sweater I had as a little girl, which had two cute reindeer facing each other on the front, and the sleeves were mixed bands of chevrons, snowflakes, and kaleidoscopic stripes. So then I started to look at old “Fair Isle” knitting patterns… and voila! Several of the designs were inspired from these traditional Nordic sweater motifs.

RWQ: Interesting! I think the panel you created for Flurry describes your inspiration perfectly. Do you have a favorite print in the collection?

The print called Telemark would have to be my favorite. It’s Moda #27081-15 and is one of the focal prints of the line. I designed it to work like a stripe but to evoke that classic and familiar sweater.

RWQ: I always enjoy the excitement surrounding quilt market and learning how the designers create their booths. I saw you exhibited at Surtex in NYC this Spring. Did you have a theme for your booth there or a pre designed layout you followed?

I tried something different this year which required a bit of extra planning, measuring, and prep — but, it was well worth it. And yes, I do pre-design my booth layouts so I have a solid plan well in advance of set up. There is always a degree of improvisation that happens once you get to the actual space, but it generally works out — thanks to my husband Pete who has gone on emergency goose-chases around Manhattan in search of things like tape and poster hangers! I couldn’t do the show without him. In year’s past, I have shown my designs on kraft-colored boards that I hang inside the booth. But this year, I wanted more of a clean, simple, elegant “pattern garden” kind of theme. I had poster-sized prints made of the focal pattern in each collection, and surrounded them with coordinating secondary prints in smaller frames. It had more of a gallery look to it and really worked to capture people’s attention. I also made oversized white paper flowers to complement the theme, and displayed many of the most recent products featuring my designs that are out in the market now. It was a great show, and I’ve already been tossing around some ideas for next year!

RWQ: I look forward to seeing photos of next year’s booth. Your fabrics are so fun to work with and many designers choose to highlight them. Can you share links to some of the beautiful quilt patterns you or other designers created using Flurry?

Of course, Ryan! I’m not sure if people know that despite not having a pattern company of my own, I actually do design the quilts that Moda distributes as project sheets to go with each collection. I really enjoy that part of the process as well. For Flurry, I designed a quilt called “All Wrapped Up” using fat eighths plus yardage. Some shops have put together kits with it and I’ve seen it available online at some great stores, including:

Fat Quarter Shop: Click here.

Hancock’s of Paducah: Click here.

Suppose Quilt Boutique: Click here.

Quiltin’ Country: Click here.

And here are some adorable stockings made with Flurry that I spotted on Etsy:

Here & here.

RWQ: You mentioned you design patterns … are you a quilter? How would you describe your quilting “style”? If you’re not a quilter are there any forms of crafting or general creativity you enjoy?

I started quilting about 18 months ago, and I really enjoy it, but wish I had time to learn more. My “quilting style”? … uhhhh … I would say, chunky/clunky with a touch of simple and lots of fun! I’ve just started to warm up to triangles. Hexagons are somewhere on the 2012 planner. We’ll see how that goes!

I also really enjoy making things that are functional with fabric, such as, tote bags and pillows.

RWQ: What methods do you use to design your fabrics (ie: painting, photography, tablet)

I start with a pencil and paper then go from there, scanning the hand-drawn works into my computer and then using a tablet to refine the sketches. Sometimes I draw right on the tablet into Illustrator.

RWQ: It was a pleasure talking with you today, Kate. For further information, how can my readers find out more about you and your company?

My website is: www.katespain.com and that’s a really good place to start. I post current news and updates and have a fairly comprehensive listing of where you can find products featuring my designs out in the stores.

From my website, people can link to my blog, “The Drawing Board”, or sign up for my newsletter, or link to Flickr groups where there are lots of wonderful photos and ideas that have been posted by amazing quilters and crafters!

Etsy is also a fun place to search for handmade things created with fabrics I’ve designed.

Flurry Precuts

As a special thanks for hosting the chat, Kate would love to offer a charm pack giveaway of Flurry! Happy (early) Holidays! I’ve also agreed to offer 2 more charm packs from my personal collection, so that makes a total of 3 to give away!

To enter for your chance to win, please leave a comment on this post. Feel free to let us know how much you like Flurry and what you’d like to make with it! Only one entry per person. All duplicate entries will be deleted!

I will draw several winners using the Random Number Generator and announce them here on Wednesday, August 17, 2011!

Kate will return next month for a feature on Terrain, her newest collection.

Fat Quarter Shop

Please take the time to visit Fat Quarter Shop today by clicking on the image above.

Good luck!

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Denyse Schmidt Greenfield Hill GIVEAWAY

Hi all! What would you say if I told you one of my sponsors has the new Denyse Schmidt collection, Greenfield Hill in stock (in voiles and quilting cottons) and she wants to give some to you!? Pretty cool right?

Well, Cathy over at Wondrous Woven Fabrics recently contacted me to say how beautiful DS’s new line is (and I agree with her.) Sure it’s more traditional than her other lines, but the basecloth is gorgeous, the colors are saturated, and the voiles are soft as silk.

Denyse Schmidy Greenfield Hill Blue Bundle GIVEAWAY!

I think the Griswold Plaid, the Mill Plain, and Library Stripe are my favorites. Heck, I might have to put my name in for this one. I’m on a self imposed stash diet this year. Free fabric is OK, but unless it’s for a specific project I’m not allowing myself to “collect” it.

Up for grabs is a complete fat quarter set of the blue colorway …

Denyse Schmidy Greenfield Hill Blue Bundle GIVEAWAY!

and a set of 3 voiles! Thats 10 fat quarters total to one lucky winner. Yay!

Denyse Schmidy Greenfield Hill Blue Bundle GIVEAWAY!

Here’s a tip I learned while working with voiles if you’re not familiar with them: They are slippery! Lots of pinning when piecing and if you use your walking foot when stitching with them the seams will lay flat and even.

To win this fat quarter bundle, leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite print from the line is. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.

I will draw a winner using the Random Number Generator on Sunday, Jan 16, 2011!

As a special treat to all my readers, Cathy is extending you a discount code that will give you 15% off an order from her shop. Just type “ryanquilts15″ into the discount code box at checkout! The code expires on Sunday, Jan 16th! Happy shopping! Thanks for being so generous Cathy!

As stated in my recent New Years post, I promise there will be lots more personal reflection here on the blog. I have a post coming up in the next few days with my goals for the coming year and what I’m going to do about my overwhelming stash of fabric.

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Quilt Talk

Hello there! I hope everyone ate their Wheaties today! You’ll need it to keep up with our prolific guest quilter … teacher/designer/quilter/friend, Amanda Jennings (mrsmcporkchopquilts) is visiting RWQ today and we’re SUPER JAZZED!!

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She’ll talk with us about her quilting interests and share info for her new Star-y Log Cabin e-Course (sign-ups end Feb. 1st and class begins Feb. 3rd). She’s also brought some gorgeous pictures of her work to show. YAY!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read about Amanda’s adventures in quilting, I urge you to wander over to her blog. You can feel the creative energy bursting forth from each and every one of her posts. She is super honest and definitely keeps it real. I look to her flickr stream often for quilty inspiration.

RWQ: Thanks for being here today Amanda. Please tell us a little bit about what inspires your quilting.

I’m inspired by Japanese craft books & zakka sewing! I love the idea of making everything patchwork; mugrugs, cell phone cases, everything. But I also really love and adore traditional and precision pieced quilts. Seeing stars with all their points makes me smile & feel like my sewing skills are improving!

RWQ: Are there any current quilting trends that peak your interest?

I am super jazzed about hand quilting right now, there is something really relaxing & it helps me “visit” with my favorite fabrics in the quilt longer, because each time I hand stitch, I’m re-looking at them and remembering exactly why I bought them…because I LOVE THEM!


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RWQ: What does being a quilter mean to you?

Being a quilter…that’s tricky! To me it means to be creating something one of a kind, to keep me warm! It’s a way to play with color and pattern and to have the personal satisfaction of “Hey! I made THAT! MYSELF!!!”. I think in an age where it’s SO easy to buy ready made quilts at box stores, the urge to take the time, sit, sew and create one, really says a lot about the current DIY quilting movement.

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RWQ: Thanks for letting us get to know you a little better Amanda! Now, can you tell us about your Star-y Log Cabin quilting e-Course?

My e-course will run 8 weeks and will teach you everything, step by step, from start to finish including:

* picking fabrics
* fussy cutting
* finding your machines 1/4 and scant 1/4 inch mark
* how to make PERFECT sawtooth stars…with ALL THEIR POINTS!
* making the blocks & assembling the quilt top
* straight line & hand quilting
* binding
* inspiration & positive thinking!

This class is 100% BEGINNER FRIENDLY. I’m here for YOU! If you can sew, I can teach you this. My goal is for you to create a gorgeous star-y log cabin quilt in colors that make YOU happy. This is going to be chock full of information!

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I completely understand that sometimes a full quilt is daunting at first so I’m breaking this up over 8 weeks. Once a week you’ll get a pdf from me with tons of color photos showing you each step. After you purchase the class, you’ll get an INTRODUCTION PDF. This is the schedule and the topics I’ll be covering.

CLASS WILL OFFICIALLY START THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY.

I recorded a special video message for everyone interested in the e-course. You can also CLICK HERE for further information and to sign up!

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Amanda is generous enough to donate one space in her e-Course to my readers! To win a FREE pass to her amazing class, leave a comment on this post. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.

I will draw one winner using the Random Number Generator on Wednesday, February 2, 2011!

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In addition to her blog, you can find Amanda chatting on Twitter (@heyporkchop) and designing and selling adorable embroidery patterns in her Meylah shop, The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.

Thanks for stopping by,

Never miss a post! Sign up here to have posts emailed to you as soon as they are published.

{ A Month of Giveaways } Week 4 Reveal


Welcome to the final week’s reveal in our April Month of Giveaways. Every week in April I’ve been expressing my heart-felt thanks to my readers by giving away everything from toys for those newly-expected bundles of joy to fabric gift certificates so you can indulge in a little fabric therapy. I am very excited to tell you all about our 4th and final giveaway as I’ve teamed up with another of the premier online fabric shops.


The Fat Quarter Shop has long been regarded as a wonderful source of information on upcoming fabrics, often posting collections before the design houses have time to put them on their own websites! They offer yard cuts of fabric, lots of pre cuts, kits, Block of the Month Clubs, and super fast shipping!

Kimberly Jolly and her crew work hard to provide excellent customer service and selection. Here is a little information about the shop which is shared on their About Us page:

The Fat Quarter Shop was founded in 2003 by Kimberly Jolly. An avid quilter, Kimberly began her shop as a side business while still working a corporate position, cutting, packing and shipping right out of her house during evenings and nights. From the very beginning, she was committed to delivering top-notch service for every single order and customer. As the Fat Quarter Shop’s reputation grew, Kimberly decided to make it a full-time operation. Her husband Kevin joined her not long after, and with his help, lots of hard work, and a tireless commitment, the store began to grow. Over the past few years a few more people have joined the staff!

As a team, we continue to branch out with the best fabrics, exclusive kits, quilt clubs, BOMs, and more. And we will always be driven by the passion that Kimberly founded the store upon, which is always giving you the best products and service!

One of my favorite parts of The Fat Quarter Shop is the wonderful blog Kimberly and her crew create called The Jolly Jabber.

Kimberly has generously donated a $50.00 gift certificate for this giveaway and I have agreed to donate another. That means we will again have 2 winners at the end of this week!


Here’s how YOU can win!

Everyone can enter up to 5 times in the following ways (please make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry):

1. Post a comment on this giveaway post.
2. Become a follower of my blog (leave a comment letting me know you follow).
3. Post the giveaway on your blog along with the Month of Giveaways image at the top of this post (click the image to enlarge and save) and leave me a comment with the link.
4. Visit the Coming Soon section of the Fat Quarter Shop website and leave a comment telling us which fabric collection you’re looking forward to most.
5. Become a follower of the Fat Quarter Shop’s blog, The Jolly Jabber and leave a comment here letting me know you did.

I’ll use the random number generator to pick 2 winners on Sunday, April 25!

Good Luck!

!!GIVEAWAY!! Kokka/Echino and Sun Felt Booths { 2010 Fall Quilt Market Recap Series} PART 2

One of my very first stops on the Market floor Saturday morning was the Echino/Kokka booth. It was right on the end of the first few aisles and with all the bright colors and eye candy, one couldn’t miss it. Japanese textile designer Etsuko Furuya has a bold sense of style. Her designs are immediately recognizable whenever you see them. Her Echino line has produced some of my favorite canvas prints over the last few years. They are great for use in bags, clothing, pillows and other small items. The booth was gorgeous.

I was lucky enough to snag one of their 2011 catalogs and haven’t been able to put it down since. Even my “non-quilter” wife was fascinated by the decor. The colors were so saturated and bright.

Kokka/Echino Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

The 2011 Echino collection is full of Etsuko Furuya’s signature style and use of color. The way she layers different elements on a single piece of fabric is very interesting to me.

Kokka/Echino Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

Kokka/Echino Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

I think my wife and I stood in front of these bags for several minutes. The prints were so fun.

Kokka/Echino Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

Here are some more images from items in the Kokka section of the booth. I don’t recall seeing any quilts among the items shown here, but there were some fine examples of clothing and bags made from their fabrics.

Kokka/Echino Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

Kokka/Echino Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

Kokka/Echino Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

The US distributor for Kokka textiles and Echino is Seven Islands. I encourage you to head over to their website to learn more. It is full of images of yummy fabrics.

While we were finishing up browsing the Kokka booth, a very nice lady started a presentation on how to make felt foods in the Sun Felt booth. We wandered quickly in her direction as the crowd around her small table began to grow. I didn’t want to miss what she had to say because the felt foods scattered around her booth were scrumptious. They looked so real.

Sunfelt Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

Sunfelt Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

It looked as if someone had set up a tiny little bakery in the middle of her booth. The food looked awesome! I wanted to grab it up and take a closer look but didn’t want to chance making them upset. I handed someone my card and immediately was given a large packet of brochures, all in Japanese.

Sunfelt Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

Sunfelt Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

Sunfelt Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

Sunfelt Booth - Fall 2010 Quilt Market

I didn’t take any pictures of the demonstration for copyright purposes but the technique they used was so simple with extremely gorgeous results. Looking at these photos, I wish I’d purchased some of their kits to bring home and share with you.

COMMENTS ARE NOW OFFICIALLY CLOSED FOR THIS GIVEAWAY

!!GIVEAWAY!!

As a special treat for all my readers during this month when I recap my Quilt Market excursion, I’m giving away free stuff!

For this week’s giveaway, I’m offering up a fat quarter bundle of the new 2011 Echino fabrics (released fall 2010). One lucky winner will get their pick of one colorway from the new line as seen here in one of my sponsor shops, Hawthorne Threads. You can select from either cool, fresh, sunrise or sunset.

Please leave a comment on this post for your entry. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted. I will draw a winner using the Random Number Generator on Sunday, November 14, 2010!

Good luck,

Marine by Dan Stiles { Fat Quarter Shop Fridays Sponsored Post } WITH GIVEAWAY!!

On this weeks edition of Fat Quarter Shop Fridays, I’m bringing you the best of my 2 current favorite posts: Quilt Market recaps and upcoming fabric lines! I had the chance to visit the Birch Organic Fabric booth while in Houston and chatted with the lovely Cynthia Mann. She is the driving force behind Birch Organic Fabric and has brought several great collections to fruition by designers like Monaluna and Jay-Cyn Designs.

Just look at her gorgeous booth! She presented everything in a very streamlined, straightforward style (and in some of my favorite color combinations I might add!).

 

Spread throughout her booth were some fine examples of clothing and quilts made using her companys fabrics. They are all produced using 100% organic cotton and low impact dyes.

Marine by Dan Stiles

Releasing around the beginning of January 2011 from Birch is a debut fabric line by poster artist Dan Stiles. Based in Portland, Oregon, Dan has been designing for over 15 years for the music industry and major corporations. His collection Marine is a fun, modern take on all things nautical.

Marine by Dan Stiles

Marine by Dan Stiles

Here’s what Dan had to say recently about Marine:

RWQ: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your design background?

I’m professionally trained and have designed pretty much everything at one point or another but originally I come from the self-taught underground world of DIY screen printing and rock posters. What started as a hobby turned into my profession.

RWQ: Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing in general?

Simplicity, purity of form, and strong concept are important to me. For that reason I often wind up walking the same path as the modernists, who were concerned with similar notions. I’m very inspired by shapes and repeats. Often I’ll simply cut some shapes from paper and see what I can make from them. It’s a fun exercise and it inverts the usual notion of starting with a concept or vision and executing it.

RWQ: Is this your first design to be licensed on fabric? What other mediums do you design on?

This is my first fabric line. Pattern and repeats have been a large part of my work for the last several years, so this felt like a natural extension of what I’ve been doing. I do a ton of illustrative design for print and worked for many years as a screen printer. For me the printing process is really part of the design process. I don’t think of them separately. The whole time I’m designing I’m thinking about how the design will print. In other words, printing is my medium. Even if I do something in another medium, it still looks printed.

RWQ: Is there anything you want to tell my readers about your inspiration for Marine? Do you have a favorite print in the collection?

Birch Fabrics approached me looking for something with whales in it. From there the project grew into a full line based on the marine environment. It’s tough to pick favorite. I might have to go with Birds. It looks so soft and friendly. It makes me wish I was 2 and had a blanket sewn out of it.

RWQ: How can my readers find more information about your company?

The internet is a good place to start. You can see most of my stuff on my site www.danstiles.com

Thanks for your time Dan! We look forward to many more design collaborations from you with Birch Fabrics. Marine is a great start and sure to be very popular.

Also shown in Cynthia’s booth was a wonderful Marine quilt made by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!Head on over to the Fat Quarter Shop, sponsor of this post, and sign up to be notified when Marine becomes available for purchase.


!!GIVEAWAY!!

As a special treat for all my readers during this month when I recap my Quilt Market excursion in any post, I’m giving away free stuff donated by some wonderful quilt shop owners and designers!

Cynthia has graciously offered up a collection of Quilt Market Sample fabric scraps from the Marine collection! That’s a total of about 1.5 yards of unreleased fabric!!

Please leave a comment on this post for your entry. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted. I will draw a winner using the Random Number Generator on Thursday, November 18, 2010!

Don’t forget my other giveaway from the previous Market recap post. You can enter to win a FQ bundle of Echino fabric HERE. Drawing a winner for that one on Sunday, November 14, 2010.

Never miss a post! Sign up here to have posts emailed to you as soon as they are published.

Good luck,

March Giveaway


Greetings All – That last giveaway was so much fun! I almost missed the drawing as I was busy quilting away for an etsy order that came in recently. I was working on a few quilted mouse pads. I like these little buggers so much, that I decided to offer them for my March giveaway! How do you like that? These pads work great for the laser type mice. If you have the old roller ball type, they might not work so well.


I have been offering these mats as candle mats and hot mats for quite some time now. One day, I was using my computer and looked down to a faded and cracked old freebie mouse pad. You know, the ones you get for free at shops, banks and the occasional computer store? Disgusted, I tossed the pad thinking I would find another when out shopping with the fam. Well, those of you who know me know that I can be quite forgetful if I don’t write something down. Sure enough, I didn’t add it to my list and I FORGOT one while out. Next time I sat down to use the computer there was NO mouse pad and I was quite upset with myself. I sat there fuming for a few minutes and glanced around the room. I had a stack of newly quilted mats ready for a local shop and the light bulb when off! I snatched one and have been using one as a mouse pad ever since!

So, for this giveaway, the lucky winner will get a handy dandy quilted mouse pad in scrappy colors (yours will be finished, I promise) AND one of our popular foil cupcake tarts AND a set of EASTER mini vintage postcards AND a set of our fantasy wings hang tags!

Same rules as last time folks! Everyone can enter up to 4 times in the following ways. You don’t need to have a blog to win:

1. Send me an email to enter at ryanwalsh@stny.rr.com.
2. Post a comment below to the blog.
3. Become a follower of my blog (in the right hand column) if you are a follower you get 1 automatic entry.
4. Post the giveaway on your blog along with the giveaway image above (click the image to enlarge and save) and let me know so I can add your name again.

The winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, MARCH 31, 2009. I will post the winner here on the blog as well as announce the giveaway for the upcoming month.

GOOD LUCK! TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS!

Barn Calendar Winners Post!

Barn Quilts: The American Quilt Trail (a 2011 calendar)

Hello everyone! It’s time to draw some winners for the Barn Quilt calendars …

Show of hands: How many of you visited Suzi’s blog? What is your favorite barn quilt design? I’m already dreaming of what block to make for our garage.

I like the original barn quilt block designed by Donna Sue.

The First Barn Quilt

150 of you stopped by to say hello. Suzi and I thank you for all your enthusiastic comments.

Winner of the first calendar is comment #15, Gina!



Winner of the second calendar is comment #91, Nanbon44!



Congratulations ladies! I’ll be emailing you this weekend for your contact information. Please let me know how much you enjoy the calendar.

**EDITED TO ADD: Thanks again Suzi for being so generous by offering 2 calendars! If anyone is interested in purchasing a calendar you can find a link at the top of Suzi’s blog!***

I’ll be back on Sunday with another giveaway and an update on what’s going on in my corner of the quilting world.

See you then,

Sunday Stash #4 & DQS7

SUNDAY STASH GREETINGS – While browsing etsy the other day, I came across this wonderful quilt made by Carly who has an etsy shop called Quiltville. She lives in Wisconsin and makes the neatest quilts using her own patterns.

This particular quilt I just fell in love with. It doesn’t hurt that she pieced the top using Joel Dewberry fabrics! And she even used my current favorite line of his, Deer Valley. I got so excited when I saw the quilt. But was also saddened when I realized I didn’t have an extra $195.00 laying around to buy it. Believe me, If I had the cold hard cash that sucker would be mine lickety split! It’s a great price!

The pattern she used is called dancing patchwork. She designed it herself. I wandered around her store a bit and found several other quilts she made using the same pattern. Go look at them. They are sooooo cute. Since I couldn’t justify ordering the quilt, I ordered a pattern instead. I think this will be the perfect use of some of the new Deer Valley line.

I haven’t decided if I am going to use a few fabrics from each colorway for one quilt, or make 3 quilts (one for each colorway).

I can’t wait to get the pattern!

NOTE: I wanted to respect copyright laws and wasn’t sure If I had permission, so I posted only links to my stash addition (the pattern). Have fun looking at Carly’s shop.

Also, hopefully this week I can start updating everyone about my DQS7 quilt. I am so happy to be included in this round. I’ve been following along for a few rounds and was able to stick my foot in the door this time. I have everything planned out and my fabric arrived on Friday, yay! So stay tuned! I have to stop oogling all the quilts everyone has been posting on the group page so far. I couldn’t possibly hold a candle to the awesome stuff that’s been shown. Way to go everyone!

Giveaway Announcement – Part 1


The lovely Carolyn from AccuQuilt emailed me recently to say what a fan her company was of my blog. Can you believe that? I was totally shocked and surprised to see a message from them in my inbox. I’ve been enthusiastic of their machine since it was released. Needless to say, her message made my day.

I immediately called Carolyn as the note requested and boy did I get some great news for you!

Carolyn wants to offer me a GO! Cutter to GIVE AWAY to my readers! Isn’t that great?!?!



I love my AccuQuilt cutter and was so happy to hear that I get the chance to give one away to you guys. The GO! is a great tool I feel every quilter should have in their studio arsenal. Whether you are looking for something new to spark interest in your hobby again or don’t have a lot of time to spend quilting, the GO! is a universal solution great for busy quilters and crafters.

The majority of problems with my quilting seem to develop around cutting mistakes. The GO! helps me by creating accurate and consistent cuts every time. I can cut up to 6 layers of fabric at a time and cut an entire quilt 90% faster than using a rotary cutter!

In a few weeks I’m going to show you how I made a quilt using my AccuQuilt GO! machine and give one away right here on my blog to one lucky reader! Exciting, right? Well, I’ll also be giving away prize packs of fabric and notions that were donated by my readers too! There will be one grand prize winner (the lucky duck) for the GO! cutter and many runners up. How exciting!

I’ll leave you with this AccuQuilt video explaining how easy it is to use their revolutionary machine.

Happy quilting,

VOTE FOR ME! { Shameless Plug } GIVEAWAY

I hope everyone is ready for a giveaway announcement on Monday morning because I’m finally giving away that Accuquilt Go! I’ve been having fun with this machine and want to tell you all about the awesome features and benefits. Stay tuned.



I also wanted to say “Hi!” to all the recent followers who joined in the last few weeks. Please leave me a note to let me know you stopped by. I really do enjoy all the feedback and comments.

A big announcement is coming soon! September will bring with it a new venture I hope you all will welcome with open arms. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Very exciting stuff!!

Lastly, I entered a mini quilt in the Quilting Gallery Mini Quilt Contest. The polls are open till Sunday evening and I’d appreciate your show of support. I’m battling it out with 30 other entries to win a $50.00 Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ENTRIES AND VOTE FOR ME!!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday Family Dollar Savings


THURSDAY GREETINGS EVERYONE – I was able to stop by Family Dollar on the way home today after work. The prices in my hometown are a little higher than what I would find in the bigger areas (ie: Oneonta). I was still able to get some good deals on dishwasher detergent. I also grabbed 2 boxes of Band-Aids as I had 2 more $1.00/1 ANY size coupons left.

My total OOP expense with tax was $3.90. I got 5 boxes of Finish/Electrasol Tabs for .50 cents each after a $2.50/1 ANY size coupon. They were $3.00 a box. The Band-Aids were $1.10 per box, so they only cost me .10 cents after the $1.00/1 ANY size coupons! Yippee! I might have been able to get all this FREE in a bigger area, but it would have cost me more than $3.90 to drive there.

It’s Been A While

I’m back! I know it’s been a few months (three to be exact) since my last post. We’ve had a busy summer here at the CCC! We managed to make it to a few craft shows and have been working on LOTS of wholesale orders. I promise I’ll keep in touch more often.

After getting home from work on Saturday, I spent the afternoon in the candle shop pouring some melts for an order. I decided to do a whole mixture of scents for the upcoming Christmas season. It was fun! I turned the music on and went to town!

All set up on the counter with the foils laid out. I just finished pouring a first batch! These foil cupcake tarts are a great seller at the shop. Our customers just love them. We’ve managed to make them affordable at only around a dollar a piece.

Old fashioned Christmas – Fresh baked carrot cake with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum!

Christmas Pine – Crisp, clean and pine – just like a freshly cut tree! Can you smell it? Great if you use an artificial tree.

Candle Shoppe – A blend of just about everything – just like walking into a candle shop!

Snickerdoodle – You can almost taste the cinnamon sugar coating on this cookie.

Country Christmas – A Best seller! A truly fantastic blend of bayberries, cranberries, and apples, with spicy nuances of nutmeg and cloves with a top note of orange zests.

Hansel & Gretel’s House – top notes of orange, lemon, and bergamot; middle notes of ginger, nutmeg, honey, and clove; and well-balanced with base notes of vanilla bean and cocoa. Smells great!

I’ve smellied up the shop for the time being! As always, my foil tarts are available in my etsy shop (CLICK HERE) and at my website Catskill Country Cupboard (CLICK HERE).

Sunkissed by Sweetwater

sunkissedlogo_3
Happy Fat Quarter Shop Friday everyone! Welcome to the first 2011 edition of our popular designer spotlight series. Today, Susan of Sweetwater, a family run design company from Colorado is here to talk with us about their new line Sunkissed. Bringing us gorgeous prints in wonderful colors, Sweetwater’s previous lines include Authentic, Make Life, and Pure.

Their newest release, Sunkissed is available in stores now. Helping to cheer those Winter blues away it is full of bright picnic plaids, flowing floral designs and neat stripes. I’ve been personally fascinated with this line and am so pleased with it now that I’ve seen it in person. The pale grays and butterscotch oranges sing to me!

SunKissed-bundle-450

As always, I look forward to seeing their signature text prints. Something Sweetwater is famous for. I ask Susan about their popularity later in the interview as I’ve noticed lately a lot of new fabric lines include this type of print.


RWQ: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your design background?

Sweetwater is a family run design company located in northeastern Colorado. All of the designing, marketing, shipping, and distribution takes place at the corporate office just southwest of the town of Fort Morgan. Sweetwater is actually a spin-off of its parent company Farmyard Creations. Farmyard Creations began as a quilt company in 1985, providing quilt patterns and designing fabrics for quilt stores throughout the Unites States, Canada and even overseas. In 2001, Sweetwater was born by taking the fabric designs of Farmyard Creations and turning them into paper. Coordinating stickers and other accessories were then added to give the Sweetwater line a soft, sophisticated style. Recently, Sweetwater has been focusing their energy on fresh and innovative graphic design, as well as a fun line of fabric and quilt patterns.

sunkissed 6

RWQ: Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing in general?

Our inspiration for design comes from shopping! Yes, shopping! Although our husbands don’t understand or fully agree we get a lot of ideas from shopping trips. We love to see the current trends, colors, and textures.

RWQ: Is there anything you want to tell my readers about your inspiration for Sunkissed? Do you have a favorite print in the collection?

The colors of summer were our inspiration for Sunkissed. The fun and yummy colors of popsicles and ice cream remind me of the hues that were selected for Sunkissed. My favorite print of this line has to be the gingham design. Who wouldn’t like to have a picnic paired with a quilt made out of the gingham print?

sunkissed 3

RWQ: They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. One of my favorite aspects of your designs is the word prints you incorporate. The typefaces you use are beautiful. Recently there have been a lot of fabric lines introduced doing the same thing. How did those particular prints come about and what do you think of other fabric company’s noticing the popularity and trying to do the same thing?

We have noticed words popping up on fabric and of course we would have loved to place a patent on it :) But, we knew that wasn’t possible and that indeed there would be more and more fabric with this sort of graphic element. This just makes us stretch our creative minds a little further to find other ways to set our fabric apart from others.

RWQ: Blogger’s Block A Palooza, is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 24 and features your new line of fabric! Myself and 16 other quilters have designed blocks that will be showcased twice a week for several weeks. John Adams (aka QuiltDad) has scheduled and coordinated everything. I wasn’t sure if you were aware of the quilt along and wanted to see if you had a message or anything you wanted to pass along to the contributors and participants?

We were not aware! Thanks so much for passing this along to us. We are so very flattered that Sunkissed was the chosen fabric for this project! We can not wait to see the blocks! Thanks to all of the contributors and participants. We will be sure to check in on the project.

sunkissed 5

RWQ: How can my readers find more information about your company?

The best place to find out what is happening at sweetwater is our blog –
http://www.sweetwater.typepad.com/

sunkissed 4

Thanks for being with us today Susan and sharing your wonderful new fabric! Sweetwater’s complete line of offerings include scrapbook supplies, quilting patterns, stationery, hand made gifts available in their etsy shop, and custom graphic design.

tn_sunpack go
tn_sunsummer breeze1

As a special treat to my readers, Fat Quarter Shop is donating a fat quarter bundle of Sunkissed for you to win! This will certainly get you started if you’re participating in the Blogger’s Block-A-Palooza!

5440AB

Leave a comment on this post to enter for a chance to win. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.

I will draw one winner using the Random Number Generator on Friday, January 21, 2011!

Fat Quarter Shop

Thanks for sponsoring this giveaway FQS! Please take the time to visit Fat Quarter Shop today by clicking on the image above.

CLICK HERE for more information on Bloggers Block-A-Palooza.

Thanks for joining us,

Never miss a post! Sign up here to have posts emailed to you as soon as they are published.

Animal Party Too by Amy Schimler { Fat Quarter Shop Fridays Sponsored Post }

I hope everyone is having a great Friday. Spring is certainly in the air around these parts. The birds have slowly been returning and a few Robins have been reported in the back yard. I’m really looking forward to all the natural colors resurfacing. The bright yellow daffodils and purple crocus are already peeking through the ground.

And speaking of bright colors …

Amy Schimler is here today to talk with me about her new line with Robert Kaufman Fabrics called Animal Party Too! This fun collection is due to hit stores in April 2011 and a portion of the sales will benefit Quilts For Kids.

Animal Party Too

Thanks for being here today Amy! Please tell us about your designs:

RWQ: How long have you been designing fabric? What is your design background?

I returned to college in Boston to study painting and fiber arts and wound up taking a course in pattern design at RISD in Providence RI. I was immediately hooked. This was many years ago and after many starts and stops I picked it back up about twelve years ago. I worked in house at Carters and then found a studio to rep my work. My first fabric collection with Robert Kaufman came out in the fall of ‘07.

RWQ: Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing in general?

Inspiration comes from many places – nature, people watching, vintage children’s books, flea markets. Color inspires me, many times a design starts with a color collection.

RWQ: Is there anything you want to tell my readers about your inspiration for Animal Party Too (ie: your color choice inspiration, a trip that may have inspired the line, etc.)? Do you have a favorite print in the collection?

Because Animal Party Too will benefit Quilts for Kids the design process was a little bit different than how I usually approach a collection. First and foremost the prints needed to be kid friendly and needed to appeal to boys and girls. My original colors changed a bit to fit the needs of the organization and to coordinate with other fabrics for the kid’s quilts . My favorite print in the collection is the floral – I don’t have a lot of floral print fabrics in my collections and I am pleased with the happy mood of this print.


Animal Party TooAnimal Party Too


RWQ: Is this your first design to be licensed on fabric? If no, can you briefly tell us about your other lines?

I have had numerous collections with Robert Kaufman – On A Whim, On A Whim 2, The Cow Says Moo, Confections, All My Heart, Creatures and Critters, Animal Party, and a new collection coming in October called “Fly Away”.


On A WhimOn A Whim
Creatures and CrittersOn A Whim


RWQ: Are you a quilter? How would you describe your quilting “style”? If you’re not a quilter are there any forms of crafting or general creativity you enjoy?

I have actually designed quilts and am a quilter “in my head” but I fear I lack the discipline and patience to physically assemble the quilts. I wish that wasn’t so. I work as an illustrator as well as designing fabrics so it may just be that I am too busy to have the time it requires. Never say never, there may be quilts in my future. I started sewing in middle school and used to sew all of my outfits. I don’t sew as much now, again I think it is more of a time issue. I love printmaking and painting when I have the time. I also illustrate children’s books and have a new book coming out this month called “Splish Splash” with Little Simon.

RWQ: One of the hardest parts of designing for me is coming up with the names for my patterns. How do you pick the names for your fabrics?

I try to think of the mood of the collection. I agree it can be really challenging. So far the names just seem to pop up. It is also a collaboration with Robert Kaufman, as they do have a lot of experience naming their collections.

RWQ: How can my readers find more information about you and your company?

I have a blog where I post information about my fabrics and links to stores that carry my collections as well as information about the other illustration work I do:

http://redfishcircle.blogspot.com

Animal Party Too

Thanks for being here today Amy! And thanks for bringing along some fabric bundles to share with my readers!

Animal Party Too by Amy Schimler

4 lucky winners will each win a bundle of Animal Party Too!

To enter for your chance to win any of the giveaway prizes, leave a comment on this post. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.

I will draw the winners using the Random Number Generator on Friday, March 25, 2011!

Fat Quarter Shop

Please take the time to visit Fat Quarter Shop today by clicking on the image above.


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Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I’ve been thinking a lot about 2011 and what I can do differently here on the blog. I took a moment to look over the posts for 2010 and for the past several months it’s been all designer interviews and giveaways. I feel that the one thing that’s been lacking here lately is ME! Wait, I know that sounds completely narcissistic, but let me explain …

I started this blog originally as a way to network with other quilters and express my creativity. After all, that’s the sole reason why I follow other bloggers. To get to know THEM better and appreciate their unique spin on the art. Since the beginning, my blog has grown by leaps and bounds to include sponsors. As part of the agreement in taking on sponsors, I have to help promote them. Otherwise why would they bother to advertise with me, right? Sometimes that can make for a dry atmosphere. A lot of sponsored blogs try and mix in giveaways to offset that and keep the readership. All and all, I think my blog has been lacking soul and creativity and I want to change that for you and me.

Don’t you worry, because the giveaways are staying! I know how much you like them along with the designer interviews. One of my favorite parts of this blog has been getting to talk with fabric designers.

So, in an effort to get more conversation started and make it a little more interesting around here, I promise the following things will take place in addition to all the giveaways and Q&A’s:

  • You can expect more of me to shine through on the posts (what’s going on in my life, what’s on my design board, my opinion on quilting trends, etc.)
  • You can expect more replies to your comments! I read every single one (if you ask me a question and don’t hear from me it may be because you have your email blocked).
  • I’m starting a page to inventory all the designers interviewed here to make it easier to look back and read them.
  • I’ve created an “announcements” section in the right hand column to list items of note like giveaways and quilt alongs.

This is just the beginning!

When I’m not hiding in the quilt studio, you can generally find me nosing around the kitchen. To me cooking is just as relaxing and satisfying creatively as quilting. My wife and I generally share the cooking duties in the house 50/50 and growing up around restaurants and diners has helped me develop an appreciation for preparing food. My parents owned and operated the local diner here all while I was in high school and college. I helped out when I could (especially on weekends) and really miss all the people and daily interaction.

I love to come up with my own recipes for things and I’ll start sharing them here for you to try. How does that sound?

I’m open to any other suggestions as to what you want to see more of! Including designers you want to hear from.

Here are a few pictures of my two sons taken this past summer.
They are growing up so fast!

Rowan, age 5.

Brennan, age 16 months.

Talk to you soon,

Sunkissed by Sweetwater

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Happy Fat Quarter Shop Friday everyone! Welcome to the first 2011 edition of our popular designer spotlight series. Today, Susan of Sweetwater, a family run design company from Colorado is here to talk with us about their new line Sunkissed. Bringing us gorgeous prints in wonderful colors, Sweetwater’s previous lines include Authentic, Make Life, and Pure.

Their newest release, Sunkissed is available in stores now. Helping to cheer those Winter blues away it is full of bright picnic plaids, flowing floral designs and neat stripes. I’ve been personally fascinated with this line and am so pleased with it now that I’ve seen it in person. The pale grays and butterscotch oranges sing to me!

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As always, I look forward to seeing their signature text prints. Something Sweetwater is famous for. I ask Susan about their popularity later in the interview as I’ve noticed lately a lot of new fabric lines include this type of print.


RWQ: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your design background?

Sweetwater is a family run design company located in northeastern Colorado. All of the designing, marketing, shipping, and distribution takes place at the corporate office just southwest of the town of Fort Morgan. Sweetwater is actually a spin-off of its parent company Farmyard Creations. Farmyard Creations began as a quilt company in 1985, providing quilt patterns and designing fabrics for quilt stores throughout the Unites States, Canada and even overseas. In 2001, Sweetwater was born by taking the fabric designs of Farmyard Creations and turning them into paper. Coordinating stickers and other accessories were then added to give the Sweetwater line a soft, sophisticated style. Recently, Sweetwater has been focusing their energy on fresh and innovative graphic design, as well as a fun line of fabric and quilt patterns.

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RWQ: Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing in general?

Our inspiration for design comes from shopping! Yes, shopping! Although our husbands don’t understand or fully agree we get a lot of ideas from shopping trips. We love to see the current trends, colors, and textures.

RWQ: Is there anything you want to tell my readers about your inspiration for Sunkissed? Do you have a favorite print in the collection?

The colors of summer were our inspiration for Sunkissed. The fun and yummy colors of popsicles and ice cream remind me of the hues that were selected for Sunkissed. My favorite print of this line has to be the gingham design. Who wouldn’t like to have a picnic paired with a quilt made out of the gingham print?

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RWQ: They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. One of my favorite aspects of your designs is the word prints you incorporate. The typefaces you use are beautiful. Recently there have been a lot of fabric lines introduced doing the same thing. How did those particular prints come about and what do you think of other fabric company’s noticing the popularity and trying to do the same thing?

We have noticed words popping up on fabric and of course we would have loved to place a patent on it :) But, we knew that wasn’t possible and that indeed there would be more and more fabric with this sort of graphic element. This just makes us stretch our creative minds a little further to find other ways to set our fabric apart from others.

RWQ: Blogger’s Block A Palooza, is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 24 and features your new line of fabric! Myself and 16 other quilters have designed blocks that will be showcased twice a week for several weeks. John Adams (aka QuiltDad) has scheduled and coordinated everything. I wasn’t sure if you were aware of the quilt along and wanted to see if you had a message or anything you wanted to pass along to the contributors and participants?

We were not aware! Thanks so much for passing this along to us. We are so very flattered that Sunkissed was the chosen fabric for this project! We can not wait to see the blocks! Thanks to all of the contributors and participants. We will be sure to check in on the project.

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RWQ: How can my readers find more information about your company?

The best place to find out what is happening at sweetwater is our blog –
http://www.sweetwater.typepad.com/

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Thanks for being with us today Susan and sharing your wonderful new fabric! Sweetwater’s complete line of offerings include scrapbook supplies, quilting patterns, stationery, hand made gifts available in their etsy shop, and custom graphic design.

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As a special treat to my readers, Fat Quarter Shop is donating a fat quarter bundle of Sunkissed for you to win! This will certainly get you started if you’re participating in the Blogger’s Block-A-Palooza!

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Leave a comment on this post to enter for a chance to win. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.

I will draw one winner using the Random Number Generator on Friday, January 21, 2011!

Fat Quarter Shop

Thanks for sponsoring this giveaway FQS! Please take the time to visit Fat Quarter Shop today by clicking on the image above.

CLICK HERE for more information on Bloggers Block-A-Palooza.

Thanks for joining us,

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Process Always Wins Over Prolificness

I love to see a project grow in front of my very eyes, but sometimes I’m impatient.

The satisfaction I feel every time I add a block to one of my design walls can’t be put into words.

There’s something therapeutic about piecing quilt blocks one at a time over a period of weeks. I savor the process thoroughly.

When I give it a chance.

I’ve been staring at the Modern Solids blocks Charlie and I have created for our quilt along for about 5 weeks now. They sit right above my computer just about overpowering that corner of my studio. I was almost certain I would get tired of seeing them there, but their presence for me has become an icon of self actualization.

I sometimes get carried away looking through flickr and/or friends’ blogs just to try and keep up with everyone. The speed at which some quilter’s finish projects amazes me. I look at them and see all the accomplishments, sometimes listed and linked right there on their side bars, and think to myself, what am I doing wrong? Am I not committed enough to my craft? Should I be spending more time behind my sewing machine if I want to hit the major leagues?

I almost get to the point where I become completely discouraged and then I finish another quilt block and add it to my design wall.

That tiny pang of satisfaction rises again and I think to myself, “yeah, this is what it’s all about. The PROCESS.”

Who really cares about how many quilts I make in a year…

…as long as I enjoy making them.

AccuQuilt GO! { Quick Cuts } – Preventing Fabric Waste – DAY 2 GIVEAWAY Celebration ALL WEEK LONG


Welcome to day 2 of our week long celebration featuring the AccuQuilt GO! Each day this week we’re going to be presenting you with some quick tips on how to get the most from your AccuQuilt GO! machine, and some personal thoughts on my experience using the GO! We’re calling this feature, AccuQuilt GO! {Quick Cuts}

Did you know AccuQuilt has it’s own YouTube Channel? It’s true, there is a library of videos all on the AccuQuilt Go! system. And because I don’t have any fancy video equipment to record myself using the machine, I am going to share a few with you today.

Remember I said there were a few tips to minimize the amount of fabric you waste when you cut your shapes? One way to achieve that is to mark your die using a permanent marker so you can more easily see where the blades come out of your die when cutting. This video from the Accuquilt YouTube library shows how to do that:

Now that you have marked your die, you can place your fabric close to the outer perimeter of the blade and only have as little as a 1/4″ of leftover fabric where your shape was cut out. This next video is titled, “Minimize Waste with Your AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter.” Take it away Carolyn!

If you want to win one of these fantastic machines and 3 dies of your choice, head over to THIS POST and leave a comment there to enter. You can qualify yourself to enter up to 5 times. On Monday, September 6, the Random Number Generator will pick the comment of one GRAND PRIZE winner and several runners up and I will post the results here on the blog.

REMEMBER DON’T LEAVE COMMENTS ON THIS POST. GO TO THE GIVEAWAY POST AND COMMENT IN ORDER TO ENTER.


Say hello to one of our BLOG SPONSORS, Charlie Scott of Qubee Quilts who graciously donated several of his patterns for one of our lucky runners up.

Yes, one of you lucky ducks will take home copies of his latest 3 patterns! Take at look at what you could win (from left to right, the patterns are called LOVE, PRAIRIE STARS and WRITTEN IN THE STARS:


Charlie Scott is a quilter and pattern designer living in Kansas City, Missouri. He enjoys collecting all kinds of fabric, especially Fat Quarters and designs traditional quilts with a modern twist to make them uniquely his own. He also enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time outside when he isn’t quilting.

Thanks for joining us today,

{ A Month of Giveaways } Week Two Winner!

It’s Sunday evening again and as promised I have another prize to give away! I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. Hopefully you were all able to get everything accomplished you set out to, and set some time aside to spend with your family. The warm weather we were blessed with over the past few weeks has passed and we are back to chilly temperatures and windy days. Please send some warm weather in our direction soon! I’m getting jealous of everyone talking about starting their vegetable gardens.

OK, enough complaining from me. Let’s pick another winner!

The lucky pick out of 74 comments is:

Comment #28, Ariel who said…

I’m loving the baby theme! My new little man is due in July and he could use a hooded towel that isnt a hand-me-down 😉

Congratulations Ariel! And another big congrats on the news of your new little man on the way. July is a great month for a birthday. He’ll be in good company 😉 Please send me your address so I can mail your gift.

There’s still more giveaways to come. I’ll announce the next one tomorrow. It may just get my quilting pals’ attention. Stay tuned!!

Here’s a peek of what I was working on for a while this weekend. A tutorial is on the way!


See you tomorrow and thanks for following along!

Walsh House Backyard Flower Tour


While mowing the lawn this afternoon I couldn’t help but notice how much Spring has finally sprung! The leaves are out on the trees and the flowers in the perennial garden are starting to blossom. I decided to take a few moments and show you some of the flowers I can find in my backyard. My son Rowan was pointing out all the flowers as I was photographing them.

He’s such a ham in front of the camera!

Mommy and baby Brennan stayed inside as it was still a little cool out for them.



Now, forgive me if I don’t come up with all the correct names for these flowers and plants. I’m not always the best at remembering what I’ve planted.






Forsythia has always been one of my Spring favorites. I always clip branches to bring in the house. It brightens the room so much with that great yellow coloring.


Our tour guide was getting a little too rambunctious! I asked him to run a few laps around the lower yard before going inside so he wouldn’t wake his brother up.



Hope you enjoyed the tour!