Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm Still Here

Hey all, remember me?

I'm the one who promised to give away some Veranda fabric and never posted the winners. Sorry to keep you all in a perpetual state of suspense. I feel very lucky to be missed when I'm not around, especially since most of you only know me through this blog. Thank you for all the notes, well wishes, and questions. Really, everything is all right ...

I took the rest of this week off from work to catch up and finally go through the mass of emails and just basically all around get some sh#t done. That's right! And it feels GREAT!!

Some of the answers to the questions in the emails I've been reading ...

1. I wasn't in an accident. No foot in a cast or anything like that.
2. I'm still alive.
3. No, I haven't given up blogging. What kind of a question is that?
4. And no, unfortunately, I haven't been scooped up by some big name in the fabric world to blog and do PR for them ... but a guy can dream, right?

Things have gotten a little carried away in the REAL JOB realm so my blogging had to take a break for a few. This blog is a hobby for me that occasionally needs to take a back seat when my family/private life comes a calling. Priorities and all that ...

Although I can't discuss the stressful/busy/juicy/workaholic job details with you here, everything is well. Trust me.

Thank you all for your patience.

So, welcome back everyone, it's nice to see you.

RWQ is going to see a lot of action in the weeks to come. We're a little backed up and need to get back on track.

Look for a new fabric feature tomorrow and the Veranda giveaway announcement later today.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Martha Pullen Sewing Awards

Every once in a while information comes across my desk that I want to share with my readers. I received this email from a publicist at F+W Media and thought some of you may be interested in entering this contest:

"The 2011 Martha Pullen Sewing Awards celebrate the art of sewing in its many forms.

Whether you were born with a needle and thread or recently discovered your love for sewing, we want to recognize and reward your passion! To celebrate the great sewing tradition in its many formats, Martha Pullen in partnership with F+W Media is inviting sewing enthusiasts to showcase their creations by entering the 2011 Martha Pullen Sewing Awards competition this summer.

In addition to 7 category winners, 1 grand prize winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion, including classes, an award ceremony, your item featured in Sew Beautiful magazine and website and more!

The Competition:

Submit to seven categories within three classes: Quilting, Sewing for Newborns and Children, and Christening Gowns or Suits.

Seven First Place winners in each category get a $200 gift certificate
to the Martha Pullen store with an impressive selection of patterns, kits, Irish liens, notions and designer fabrics and more, AND a highlight in Sew Beautiful magazine.

One Grand Prize to the Best in Show Winner is an exclusive 4-day, all-expense paid trip to the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion.

Beginning July 1, 2011, log on to to enter. Competition closes on October 1, 2011.

All entries must be made either by hand or machine to be eligible; no purchased or ready-made items allowed.Winners will be announced on the Martha Pullen and Sew Beautiful websites on November 10th and in the January/February 2012 issue of Sew Beautiful magazine.

Let’s celebrate the growth of today’s sewing community and the skills, care and love that go into creating anitem from scratch! For complete rules, details and to sign up go to:

Ready, Set, Sew!

About F+W Media, Inc.
F+W Media is home to the bestselling sewing, crafting, mixed media and creativity titles from North LightBooks, Krause Books, Memory Makers Books, and David and Charles Publishing.

About Martha Pullen
Martha Pullen Company, now a subsidiary of Hoffman Media, began as a fabric shop in Huntsville, Alabamain 1981 and today continues the tradition of heirloom sewing education through the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion, the Martha Pullen Company website and an ever-growing catalog of sewing-related products,including fabrics, machine embroidery collection CDs, patterns, books and notions."

Links have been placed in the announcements section of my sidebar if anyone would care to take a look at the contest further.

Happy quilting,

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Who Wants To Win A Fat Quarter | General Announcements

Last Saturday evening I held my first Twitter game called, "Who Wants To Win A Fat Quarter!?" This first edition was a blast and everyone involved had fun. I gave away 10 fat quarters donated by Robert Kaufman and it was held in conjunction with the Fat Quarter Shop Friday post featuring Suzy Ultman.

The way to play the game is simple:

1. Log into your twitter account and follow me, @RyanWalshQuilts.

2. At the predetermined date and time for the game, I will begin posting questions to answer. All answers to the questions can be found in the corresponding FQSF post on the featured designer.

3. To answer simply reply to the question on Twitter with your answer. If you have the correct answer and gave it in the right order (ie: #3 correct answer to question #3), you win!

4. Each question will be worth either 1 or 2 fat quarters of the featured designer's fabric.

"Who Wants To Win A Fat Quarter!?" will be held on Saturdays @ 8 PM EST when able based on the amount of fabric available to give away.

Please help spread the word about WWTWAFQ!!

In other news ...

Things have gotten pretty busy around here. I am now getting requests for reviews/features on a daily basis and there are only so many weeks in a year. Due to the overwhelming demand, I may need to reconsider the nature of the features and possibly make them bi weekly posts. IE: Reformat Fat Quarter Shop Friday to happen TWICE a week several times during the year!! Yippee!!

To try and do a little house keeping, I've decided not post Joanna Figueroa's interview that was supposed to happen this past Friday. Instead it will post next week on Friday 7/22. I've also been working on a special quilt project in conjunction with Joanna and will be able to show it to you then.

The giveaway of Amanda Murphy Veranda fabrics will be held tomorrow, Sunday 7/17.

Join me tonight on Twitter at 8 PM EST for the Amanda Murphy Veranda edition of "Who Wants To Win A Fat Quarter!?"

Hope everyone is having a happy Summer!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Veranda by Amanda Murphy | A Fat Quarter Shop Friday Sponsored Post

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 Robert Kaufman fabric designer Amanda Murphy. Amanda stopped by earlier in the week to chat with me about her newest release, Veranda.

Set to be available to quilt shops across the US (and anywhere else great fabrics are sold) on or around August 2011, Veranda is presented in a beautiful Sorbet palette of pink, gold, and green, and a rich Garden palette of purple, aqua, creamy yellow, and green. Perfect for late summer sewing!

Veranda at Fat Quarter Shop!

It's always a pleasure to talk with you Amanda! Thanks for coming back to visit us here on RWQ!

RWQ: Amanda, when we last spoke with you, Swiss Chocolate had just released from Robert Kaufman. What exciting things have happened since we last checked in with you?

My first Market! My newest collection for Robert Kaufman, Veranda, was displayed in my booth there and will ship in August. I’ve launched a pattern line as well and it has recently been picked up by several distributors, so you’ll be seeing it in stores soon. All the quilts in the pattern line feature Veranda.

I also have a Block-of-the-Month program launching called, “Under the Veranda”. It is a traditional sampler with a very modern twist and is available exclusively to shops that order one or both color stories of Veranda. Each block has a coordinating accessory, which makes it a really flexible program. (Shops with questions about the program can contact me.)

I have a bunch of Veranda pieces in upcoming magazines – and there is one in Quiltmaker right now! Additionally, I have some things in the works in the paper products industry – but I can’t say much more about it yet.

RWQ: I've seen your new pattern line and am so excited about it! I love the designs you came up with to highlight your fabrics. I'll have to keep an eye out for the block-of-the-month program too. So, can you share with us what inspired Veranda?

Gardens. (Other people’s gardens because I can’t grow a thing!) Gardens in the south eastern United States in particular. Also, the beautiful table spreads featured in home decorating magazines. Pink and green glass. Creamware. Linen with hemstitching.

RWQ: Ok, so I'm bringing out my dictionary for this next question ... Veranda, by definition is “A porch or balcony, usually roofed and often partly enclosed, extending along the outside of a building.” How does this definition apply to your fabric line?

I think of Veranda as reflecting an outdoor space with plenty of blooms and foliage, but also intricate architectural details. It is an outdoor room, of sorts. There are ten prints in the collection in two color stories - a pink/tangerine/green “sorbet” color story and a purple/aqua/yellow/green “Garden” color story - plus a white one white print, for a total of 21 fabrics.

RWQ: Great answer! Do you have a favorite print in the collection?

It changes daily. Of course, I’m partial to the paisley, because it was the first print that I designed and really is the heart of the collection.

As I design, however, I’m really appreciating the versatility of the Blooms and Berries prints.

I really also love the light green and aqua tonal prints, though – it compliments every print in the collection really well.

Can I have one more? Since these are such visually complex prints I wanted to add something simple and modern looking. Diamonds!

RWQ: You mentioned your first trip to Quilt Market a little earlier in our conversation, I always enjoy the excitement surrounding quilt market and learning how the designers create their booths. I saw photos of your booth on your blog and they were wonderful. Did you have a theme for your booth or a pre designed layout you followed?

Thanks so much! I loved the way the booth came together! I made seven quilts for that booth in the weeks before Market and my friend made two more. And then Robert Kaufman had my logo quilt made from a pattern that I had designed. (Incidentally, I have had so many requests for that logo quilt from people who want to use it as a bed quilt with their kid’s names or a central panel print – I’ll get to it this summer, hopefully!)

The fabulously talented Angela Walters quilted the logo quilt and the equally accomplished Deborah Norris quilted almost all the others.

When you combine all those quilts with all of the Under the Veranda accessories (in both color stories) that makes for a full booth! Allie, Kyle, and Emmie at Robert Kaufman are entirely responsible for the display. I had the pleasure of spending 30 hours straight in the Dallas airport prior to Market due to flight cancellations and arrived a day late to find everything hung beautifully.

RWQ: Can you tell us more about the line of patterns you just released?

There are six patterns in the pattern line and all feature Veranda.

Garden Paths” is a 2-1/2” strip-friendly design that is evocative of woven ribbons cascading down the quilt top. It uses quilt blocks in a really non-traditional way.

Village Green” two roll-ups of 2-1/2” strips and is more of a large, bed-sized quilt. Flowers are appliquéd to the center of each block, but you could easily use fussy-cut motifs or other shapes in the center. Imagine a boy’s quilt with cars and trucks – or a beach quilt with dolphins or flip flops. Some of the Accuquilt motifs would work great on this quilt.

Blossoms” is a best-seller so far. It uses 2 ten-squares (or layer cakes) and is really fun to make. It is very versatile and would work with almost any fabric collection. You just need to make sure that there is adequate contrast between your fabrics and the blossom petals. Incidentally, varying the petal shape give you a completely different look. I’ve wanted to sew this quilt in Christmas colors for awhile now and a friend commissioned one from me! I am going to vary the shape of the flower so that they look like poinsettias with red centers!

Town Square” is my “backwards” quilt in that I started with a stack of fat quarters and designed backwards, so there is no waste! It is a great teaching quilts because it is essentially a 9-patch within a 9-patch within a 9-patch. No fabric waste here! I used the Sorbet collection, plus the two aqua prints from the Garden collection. I also used my favorite light green tonal for the sashing and love the “colorwash” look that results. Incidentally, my friend Pat did a smaller version in the Garden color story for the inside – and it is gorgeous. Thanks, Pat!

Bubbles” is the fifth quilt in the line and I love it because it is a great vehicle for modern fabric collections. It really shows them off big, colorful prints and it is so fun to make! Make sure you blanket stitch down your circles with contrasting thread! Some people have said they were planning on using specialty stitches on their machines for this purpose. What a great idea!

"Portraits of My Garden" is also a really superb vehicle for large, feature fabrics, even if you only have a little of each. The “frame” fabric really sets each individual print off. Even though it looks complex, this is a very simple quilt to make. A beginning quilter could easily tackle this one…

RWQ: Are you a quilter Amanda? How would you describe your quilting "style"?

The mess in my house would show you that I am a quilter. I don’t have my own studio and our kids are homeschooled so our living room is a hub of activity. (That is a nicer way of saying that it is a mess!)

I am heavily influenced by traditional methods and feel that one can never learn enough in terms of technique. If you were at my house right now I would insist we sew together. I think that the joy of quilting is, in large part, taking those techniques a bit out of context and making them our own. I never know when I am going to have the need to use something I’ve learned to make a project more dynamic.

On another note, one of the things that I enjoy so much about quilting, and I expect others enjoy it as well, is the freedom I feel to experiment with color. I might not paint my whole house in whatever my favorite color is at the moment, but I can make a beautiful quilt!

RWQ: What methods do you use to design your fabrics?

A Graphics tablet. Photography – but just for inspiration – I draw almost everything freehand. I like the thick/thin linework that freehand drawings generate.

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

Please visit my website and blog:

Thanks so much for having me, Ryan!

To learn more about Amanda's previous line, Swiss Chocolate, you can read another interview with her here.

The folks at Robert Kaufman have generously provided fabrics to give away! Amanda has also sent along some patterns to pass out!

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

For an additional chance to win, visit Amanda’s blog and comment there too!

I will draw several winners using the Random Number Generator and announce them here on Wednesday, July 13, 2011!

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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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Appleville Giveaway Post | Amanda Murphy Friday!!

WOW is it really Wednesday already? You know what that means ...

good news and bad news.

Lets get the bad news out of the way first! The giveaway for Appleville fabric is officially over.

Awwwww .....

Yes, it's true! Those of you who entered already are golden. Sorry if you missed it. However, the Suzy Ultman interview will forever be a part of the RWQ Vault of Designers. You can read all about Appleville there! Again and again!!

Appleville by Suzy Ultman

On to the good news! Lets give away some fabric!! The wonderful folks at Robert Kaufman have once again been generous enough to send some fabric to hand out. How about we pick 4 winners who will each receive a FQ bundle!?!

Winner #1 is comment #3, Trisha!

Winner #2 is comment #113, Alyssa Grace!

Winner #3 is comment #96, Alisa!

Winner #4 is comment #83, quiltma!

Woo hoo! Ok winners, send me your mailing address' so I can get this fabric to you STAT!! And don't forget to show us pics of the awesome things you make by posting to the RWQ Flickr Group!!

Because of the holiday, I didn't have as much time as I hoped to finish some REALLY cute place mats I made with Appleville. If I can sneak some time is this weekend to finish them I can take pictures and show you. There may even be a pattern involved! You never, know ;)

Thanks again Suzy for stopping by!

Oh and some more good news, Amanda Murphy is visiting on Friday to speak with me about her new collection, Veranda! We're talking quilt patterns, fabric, giveaways. Eeek! Just the stuff that gets us excited around here!

See you then,

Friday, July 1, 2011

Appleville by Suzy Ultman | A Fat Quarter Shop Friday Sponsored Post

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!

Artist and self proclaimed doodler Suzy Ultman is here today to spread a colorful helping of fabric cheer! Hailing from central Pennsylvania and currently living in Ohio, Suzy is new to the fabric design business and has found a happy home creating prints to be released through Robert Kaufman.

Putting her signature style on some of the collective line known as Metro Cafe and sharing the spotlight with a hand full of designers like Monaluna, we were first introduced to Suzy's work in these coffee themed prints below. Remember these lovelies?

Suzy is breaking out on her own AGAIN with a new mini collection named Appleville. Consisting of 1 panel and 5 coordinating prints, this tiny collection packs a big colorful punch. Covered in smiling apples and acorn houses, Suzy's Dutch inspired design really shines through.

Appleville at Fat Quarter Shop

RWQ: Hi Suzy! Thanks for being here with me to talk about Appleville! This line is adorable beyond words and I'm excited to explore the inspiration behind it, but first can you tell me a little about your design background?

Hi Ryan! Thanks for having me. I attended Penn State University as a graphic design undergrad and then CalArts for graduate work. My graphic design background helps me create concepts & organize patterns.

I give my mom credit for my craft education. There was always a project happening in our house: painting, baking, sewing and/or gardening. My mom made clothes, wall-hangings, bedspreads, and more. My favorite frock was a prairie-style dress that she made from a ditzy floral fabric. (And yes, my sisters had matching dresses). While my mom sewed, I would route through her treasure trove of odd buttons, assorted notions and fabric swatches.

While my mom sewed, I would route through her treasure trove of odd buttons, assorted notions and fabric swatches. At a young age, I was intrigued by the materials and process behind a sewing project.

I am a newbie when it comes to fabric design, working with Robert Kaufman for almost a year. But, As part of the Lilla Rogers Studio gang, I have been focusing specifically on print & pattern work for the past 3 years. I have also created art for Chronicle Books, Land of Nod, Crate&Barrel, K&Company, Madison Park Greetings, Oopsy Daisy & more.

My creations grace the shelves of Target, Archiver’s, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Crate&Barrel. The products range from holiday ornaments to bathroom decor pieces to scrapbook essentials to the fresh, colorful Robert Kaufman fabric collections.

RWQ: Oh WOW, Suzy! So you're saying I may have seen some of your work out there at places like Target and not even realized it?! I better take a closer look when I'm there next time. Where would you say your every day design inspiration comes from?

My inspiration comes from a combination of childhood experiences, travel, and my connection to the nature.

RWQ: Interesting! And your inspiration for Appleville?

I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Appleville combines the spirit of both towns and the friends I’ve met along the way. The Pacific NW is quirky and environmentally conscious with a wonderful sense of community. Living there, I appreciated every sunny day and felt dwarfed by the huge conifer trees & the Cascade Mountains.

The Netherlands is colorful & peaceful. The landscape is full of flowers, windmills, water, cows, chickens & bikes. So inspiring!!!

Appleville by Suzy Ultman

RWQ: I've never been to Portland or Amsterdam, but your descriptions make them sound like fun places I should visit someday. You've released several lines with Robert Kaufman right? Can you briefly tell us about them?

Metro Café – I am going to sound like a Folger’s commercial, but there is nothing like that first morning cup of joe. I wanted to create mugs that expressed that feeling.

Kiss Kiss – Kiss Kiss is a busy print chock full of so my favorite critters.

RWQ: Those owls in Kiss Kiss are too cute! Are you a quilter or are there any forms of crafting or general creativity you enjoy?

I am not a quilter but would love to take a class.

I love working with my hands. Give me some felt, fabric & needlepoint floss and I’m a happy camper.

For holiday gifts, my mom & I collaborate on an annual stuffie project. I create the pattern & cut the fabric. She sews & stuffs.

RWQ: Do you have a hard time picking names for your fabrics?

All of the critters and characters live in a world inside my head, so the names come naturally.

RWQ: Have you had the opportunity design patterns for your fabrics?

Not yet…

RWQ: Please let us know when you do, OK? I bet they'll be just as cute as your fabrics!! What creative methods do you use to design your fabrics?

I draw everything by hand and then import the sketches into the computer.

RWQ: Where should my readers look if they want to find more information about you?

My Portfolio:
I'm on Twitter!!/suzyultman
My Etsy Shop:

Suzy Ultman

Thanks again for visiting with me today Suzy! I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks of Appleville!

The folks at Robert Kaufman have generously provided fabrics to give away!

To enter for your chance to win some, please leave a comment on this post. Feel free to let us know how much you like Appleville! Only one entry per person. All duplicate entries will be deleted!

I will draw one winner using the Random Number Generator and announce them here on Wednesday, July 6, 2011!

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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