Friday, February 18, 2011

Calypso Swing by Mark Cesarik for Free Spirit { Designer Spotlight Sponsored Post }

Happy Friday everyone! I'm so excited to introduce today's guest. Mark Cesarik and his lovely fiance Cara are stopping by to talk about Mark's new fabric from Free Spirit, Calypso Swing! Let's all give a big welcome to our second ever MALE designer featured on RWQ! Woot!

Released in January, 2011, and available now in shops online and in LQS' nation-wide, Calypso Swing is a bold statement full of intricate patterns off set with bursts of color.

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Here's a little info about Mark's fabric from the Free Spirit website: Calypso Swing is a collection that I had a great deal of fun designing; I think that is well reflected not only in the designs themselves but also in the collections name. Each design creates it's own motion and its own mood. I thought it only appropriate then that it be best represented in the context of music and dance. Violets, pinks, grey and black provide a playful sensibility and enable the viewer to get a sense of direction and purpose.

RWQ: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been designing fabric? What is your design background?

I've been designing fabric for about 4 years - Cara and I started Sew Bettie in 2007 after she asked me to design a fabric for a pattern she was making. 4 years later I have my first collection with Free Spirit in stores. My background is in fine art and design. I studied painting and design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and my passion for art begins with oil painting.

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

Everywhere, I suppose. I am constantly sketching in one of my many sketchbooks and use them as references for almost all of my designs.

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

My favorite design is this one:

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I think it represents to the fullest extent what I was trying to accomplish in the collection - there is so much movement and celebration in this. It's like a party.

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

This is indeed my first full cohesive collection yes, Obviosuly I have designed fabrics under Sew Bettie and I've done some other licensing work for other companies. But yes this is my first full collection under my own name.

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RWQ: Are you a quilter? As a male in the quilting industry, what do you look for when selecting fabric?

I am not a quilter, although I am starting to appreciate the art more and more, my wife Cara is the person who introduced me to the industry overall. But I have to say that I absolutely LOVE just looking at fabric. I'm a fan of all types of design - so I suppose that is enough to really keep me interested in fabric.

Calypso Swing Pillow

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?

GREAT question - I often let the design dictate the name. I don't generally have an idea of what a full collection of individual design is going to be in the context of the others until the collection has really come along. And while I do believe the names I have given my individual fabrics and collection do reflect the designs very well. I do have to admit there is a certain level of randomness when it comes to the names.

Calypso Swing Plus Quilt

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

My website is markces.com, and I have my fan blog run by my lovely wife Cara, markcesarik.blogspot.com, and of course you can find info about me on the westminster/freespirit site as well.

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Thanks so much for being here today Mark!

Mark and Cara have donated a bundle of four fat quarters to give away right here.

To win, 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 Friday, February 25, 2011!

Happy quilting,

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Calypso Swing Plus Quilt { Mark Cesarik Preview }

Day two of playing around with the Calypso Swing fabric Mark Cesarik sent me. I've seen a lot of these cross/plus quilts floating around flickr lately. Thought I'd try one myself.

Calypso Swing Plus Quilt

Again, all of the squares are 3" (the same as the pillow I made).

Calypso Swing Plus Quilt

Calypso Swing Plus Quilt

Backed with Kona and quilted using a dark grey Aurifil.

Calypso Swing Plus Quilt

The interview with Mark will go live Friday! I can't wait to share.

See you then,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Calypso Swing Pillow { Mark Cesarik Preview }

Mark Cesarik will be vising the blog on Friday, 02/18 to talk about his new fabric line with Free Spirit, Calypso Swing.

Mark sent me some fabric to experiment with and I came up with a few different things to show you, the first of which is a pillow. I mixed some Kona solids in coordinating colors and came up with this simple design.

Calypso Swing Pillow

Calypso Swing Pillow

The squares in this pillow are all 3". There are a few other items I'm working on, (you can see them in my flickr stream) but I haven't finished them yet.

Calypso Swing Pillow

I promise I'll show them as I finish them.

See you tomorrow,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Inspiration! | Cross Your Heart Mug Rug Tutorial

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Welcome to a special Valentine's Day edition of RWQ! Tomorrow is the big day. V Day! A day when the pressure is on for us husbands, boyfriends, significant others, etc to romance our partners.

Did I get the perfect gift? ... check!
Did I make reservations? ... check!

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To get in the Valentine's mood, I started crocheting this dish cloth on Saturday.

And here's a little Valentine's Day inspiration I found on flickr ...

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1. cross quilt, 2. French General Fat Geese , 3. Red and Aqua Winding Ways, 4. red + aqua quilt, 5. pips baby quilt, 6. Dresden Wedges Mug Rug Tutorial, 7. Work in Progress - Quilt Top, 8. Red + Aqua = Love, 9. candy cane quilt-folded, 10. Red & blue quilt, 11. Red and Aqua Quilt with White, 12. Nine Patch Quilt - Strawberry Patches, 13. Red Criss Cross, 14. All buttons !, 15. Red and White Coin Quilt, 16. Red Patch Quilt - the front, 17. cathedral windows red block, 18. Red Triangle Quilt, 19. Red boutis, 20. me plus you quilt, 21. Rocky Red Road, 22. Red and Aqua Quilt with Hessian., 23. Red & Aqua Giveaway!, 24. Red and Aqua, 25. Free Pieced Heart Table Runner

For this tutorial I'm going to be using a few prints from the new Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen line. I love the visual interest that this fabric ads to projects. If you're looking for something to make your quilts POP! you've found it. I think RK has a great thing going with this line and hope they release more colors in the coming months.

Quilter's Linen from Robert Kaufman

This project can also be made using any fabric you have on hand, especially scraps. The tutorial I wrote shows how to make a mug rug exactly like mine. We like variation around here so feel free to deviate as you see fit. But, please remember to post your results in the RWQ flickr group HERE.

Cross Your Heart Mug Rug

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Materials:

3 squares of Red/Pink fabric that measure 5" x 5"
12 squares of White solid fabric that measure 1" x 1"
6 squares of White solid fabric that measure 2.5" x 2.5"
6 strips of White solid fabric that measure 1" x 6"
1 strip of 2.25" x 44" fabric for binding
13" x 7" piece of fabric for backing
13" x 7" piece of batting
Basic sewing machine and supplies

Instructions below should yield a 12" x 5" finished project.

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1. Stack your 5" squares on your cutting mat and slice them in half vertically so you get 6 rectangles each measuring 5" x 2.5"

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2. Using a pencil, draw a line diagonally down each 1" square of white fabric from corner to corner. Aligning the outside edges, lay two squares on opposite sides of one end of each 5" x 2.5" rectangle as shown in the photo below. If you are using prints, make sure your fabrics are right sides together. Sew on the diagonal marked lines attaching the white squares to the rectangles. Repeat this on all the rectangles.

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3. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, cut the square corners 1/4" from the diagonal sew line on all rectangle units, and press them open.

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4. Sandwich the rectangles right sides together as shown and sew a 1/4" seam along one side to form rectangle units. Press the seams open to reduce bulk.

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5. Using a pencil, draw a line diagonally down each 2.5" square of white fabric from corner to corner. Aligning the outside edges, lay one square on the bottom outside edge of the rectangle units as shown in the photo below. If you are using prints, make sure your fabrics are right sides together. Sew on the diagonal marked lines attaching the white squares to the rectangle units.

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6. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, cut the square corners 1/4" from the diagonal sew line and press open.

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7. One corner at a time, repeat step 6 on each rectangle unit. This will give you 3 heart units.

8. Using a rotary cutter and ruler, slice each of the heart units diagonally from the bottom of the small white corner to the top of the large white corner, as shown in the photo below.

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9. Align the outside edge of a 1" x 6" strip of white fabric along the cut edge of the bottom half of your heart unit and attach using a 1/4" seam. Press open and trim the sides.

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10. Align the outside edge of the top half of your heart unit with the cut edge of the 1" x 6" strip and sew a 1/4" seam. Press open. This should re-assemble your heart unit as shown in the photo below.

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11. Repeat the process of adding another 1" x 6" strip by using your rotary cutter and ruler to slice the heart unit again diagonally in the opposite direction. You will end up with a completed crossed heart unit as shown in the photo below.

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12. In the same fashion, make crossed heart units out of the remaining two heart units until you have a total of three.

13. Using a 1/4" seam, piece the crossed heart units together in a row like you see in the photo below.

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14. Sandwich the row of crossed hearts, your batting and your backing together and quilt in a manner you see fit.

15. Bind and enjoy!

Again, please remember to post your results in the RWQ flickr group HERE. I really do enjoy seeing items you've made using my tutorials!

Have a happy Valentine's Day,

Swiss Chocolate WINNERS Post | New Tutorial Arriving Tomorrow!

Today I get to do one of my most favorite things having to do with the blog. Give away fabric to you guys! Let's hear it for FREE fabric! Woo hoo!

Amanda Murphy brought some wonderful precuts with her when visiting to share with two lucky readers. Thanks again Amanda for being here with us and offering some of your new line, Swiss Chocolate from Robert Kaufman fabrics! Did everyone stop by her blog this week to enter her Ambrosia giveaway?

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I really enjoyed looking through all the prints in Swiss Chocolate. In no time my mind began putting together a quick ten-square pattern to post (more on that later, I promise). Using my handy Kona Solids color card I picked several solids that match SC perfectly. If you're looking to mix Kona with this line, here's what I came up with:

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1513 - Sky
1205 - Light Parfait
1386 - Wheat
0346 - Regatta
0140 - Nightfall
1551 - Rich Red
1483 - Salmon
1083 - Coffee

So ... let's see who won!

Winner of the Swiss Chocolate Ten-Square is comment #280, Evie N Lizzie!



Winner of the Swiss Chocolate Roll-Up is comment #153, Emma!



Congrats to the winners! If you don't hear from me in the next few days feel free to email me your address so I can send these goodies to you!

See you all for a special Valentine's Day edition including a tutorial tomorrow.

Happy quilting,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tidbits by Kari Ramsay | { Fat Quarter Shop Fridays Sponsored Post }

Happy Fat Quarter Shop Friday everyone! Kari Ramsay of Fresh Cut Quilts is visiting today to tell us all about her recently released line, Tidbits, from Henry Glass Fabrics. Please give her a warm welcome! Check out those wonderful browns, blues and dusty pinks.

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My wife and I had the opportunity to meet Kari and her husband at Quilt Market this past fall in Houston during Cake Party. Shortly before we met, I wrote to her and asked if she'd be interested in talking about her fabric line for my readers. She answered with a very enthusiastic, "Yes!"

Here is some background information about Kari from her designer profile:

As a child she loved to sit at her mother’s side and watch her paint and sew. She soon began learning to paint from her mom and then continued on to sewing lessons. Her passion for creative design continued throughout her young life as she dabbled in photography, calligraphy, graphic art, pottery, sewing, drawing and painting. Kari attended the University of Oregon and majored in Fine and Applied Art. While there she met her future husband and they eventually married and moved to Utah. In Utah, Kari became a professional floral designer, and for over ten years designed and created floral arrangements and wedding flowers for many of Northern Utah’s elite customers.

When Kari had her first child in 1999, she left floral design for motherhood and began sewing for her family. Quilting soon became a passion for Kari and she began creating her own quilt designs with hopes of turning these designs into a business of her own one day. Fresh Cut Quilts Pattern Co. began in 2007 with little more than a few designs and a big dream. She named the business “Fresh Cut” as a play on words from her love of floral design, flowers, and her idea that quilts should be “fresh” and unique. Her business soon took off, and she continues to design patterns for the quilting industry. She continues to live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Utah with her husband and children.

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RWQ: Welcome Kari! Thanks for being here today. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your design background?

I began painting when I was very young. Maybe about 4 or 5 years old. My Mom painted with oil paints, and she taught me how to hold my brush and how to mix colors. Later, she taught me to embroider and to sew clothing. When I was in Junior High and High School I took art classes all throughout. But, I still loved painting and pursued it more than Pottery and Calligraphy. When I went to college, I majored in Fine Art, but never finished my degree. I had considered becoming an art teacher, but things didn't work out that way. I began a career in Floral Design in my early 20's and continued to design with flowers for about 10 years. I focused on wedding floral design, and consultation. Creating a beautiful day for a Bride is a wonderful gift to give. I really enjoyed my work, but the hours became demanding with a family. At that point, I left floral design, and renewed my interest in sewing. Not long after that I learned to quilt. 10 years later, I am designing quilt patterns and quilting fabric, and now my Mom teaches my patterns to students in her area. I am so grateful, and this has become a dream come true for me.

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

My design inspiration can come from any source. One of my favorite sources of inspiration comes from early 20th century America. I love to collect vintage feedsacks and I get many ideas from these. I own many vintage collectibles that range from the 1920's through the 1940's. A few of my favorites are, a 1927 Lovell Family wringer washing machine, a 1920's Marvel parlor stove, a child's doll high chair, and several vintage 1930's era quilts. One piece that I own is a 1925 GE Hotpoint Range. The sleek lines and almost Art Deco feel of this range is lovely and it is a perfect depiction of 20th Century American design. It was intended to be a beautiful piece in every housewives' kitchen. I use it as a Side Board in my dining room and I find it very charming. I often see designs in architectural detailing, carpet and rug designs, and from nature. Flowers, trees, butterflies, Dragonflies, and anything unusual in my surroundings, can all be sources of great inspiration.

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

This is my first line of licensed designs. I am continuing to work with Henry Glass and we are beginning to develop my next line of fabric. I often design with acrylic paint and Bristol Board, pencil and paper, crayons, any writing or drawing instrument usually. When I need color inspiration, I often go to the paint department at a hardware store. They have thousands of paint chips, and the myriad of colors helps me play with color. This is particularly useful in the winter when our gardens are covered in snow!

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

My inspiration for TidBits came from Art Deco styling, contemporary art, and I think it has a late Victorian era feel with a modern twist. I love to mix different design styles, so I think my fabric lines should express that. There are pieces in the line that are largely contemporary, and the Damask pieces could almost be wallpaper in a Victorian Parlor. It is hard to choose just one piece that is my favorite, but I love the Bracelet Dots. They make the formal pieces in the line a little playful. They add a simplicity to the drama, and I love that.







Tidbits Bracelet Dots
Tidbits Bracelet Dots


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

I can be found by going to http://freshcutquilts.com or by checking out the Fresh Cut Blog at http://freshcutquilts.blogspot.com

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Thanks so much for being here with us today, Kari! Tidbits is a wonderful new line. I can't wait to see what you're working on next!

Kari has brought along a copy of her book to give away to my readers. Thanks Kari. She also arrived with a fat quarter bundle of Tidbits to go along with the book!

Released in the spring of 2010, Tidbits from Triangles, by Kari Ramsay, features 10 simply creative projects using half square triangles.

I will draw one winner using the Random Number Generator on Friday, February 18, 2011!


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To win, leave a comment on this post. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.

Fat Quarter Shop

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


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