Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trendy Tuesday | Paisley

Happy Trendy Tuesday everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Trendy Tuesday where I'll be highlighting some of my favorite trends in the current fabric market. From colors to shapes and all other possibilities, we'll be looking at similarities among fabric collections hitting store shelves.

Call it kidney shaped or Persian pickles, twisted tear drop or Welsh Pears, this design of Indian and Iranian origin takes its name from a town in central Scotland. Paisley prints are surfacing all over the place in contemporary design it seems. This WAY groovy and almost psychedelic symbol caught on in 1967 during the summer of love and reached its pinnacle in 1968 thanks to the Beatles and a certain pilgrimage to India.

Groovy, baby!

Here are some of my favorite examples of fabric from today's featured trend:

Veranda the_quilted_fish_sugar__spice_sugar_paisley_in_red

Pinfeathers paige_stanley_miller_bon_vivant_paisley_in_blue

michael_miller_house_designer_paisley_spree_in_turquoise joel_dewberry_heirloom_voile_paisley_in_amber

Cherry Fizz
amy_butler_soul_blossoms_dancing_paisley_in_lemon amy_butler_love_cypress_paisley_in_lime

What are some of your favorite fabrics featuring paisley?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z Book Blog Tour

Good day everyone! If you're reading this, then you're probably here for another installment of Nancy Zieman's Sewing A to Z Book Blog Tour! Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy my thoughts on the book.

Nancy Zieman, executive producer of Sewing With Nancy and founder of Nancy's Notions is no doubt an expert in the field of sewing and quilting. In her new book, Sewing A to Z, she's compiled over 100 basic to advanced sewing and quilting methods and techniques. Relying on her 35 years experience teaching and lecturing, this book is sure to become the cornerstone of any sewist’s library, whether novice or professional.

Full of step-by-step illustrations, tips and thorough explanations, this book contains a wealth of information and will be an invaluable guide to fine-tuning sewing skills. The spiral binding allows you to follow along easily right at your machine or worktable.

Among the many topics covered in the book of interest to quilters like myself, including: applique, binding, thread, half square & quarter square triangles, machine quilting, needles, etc, I found the tutorial on mitered quilt borders to be excellent.

What a great alternative to straight borders and a simple, easy way to frame your quilt. Nancy's instructions are precise and thorough, as always. The illustrations throughout the book are well labeled and clearly drawn.

You can watch Nancy herself talking about her new book in the video here.

Need a quick answer about sewing with knits? Want to know the best way to install a zipper? The alphabetized index at the back of the book will direct you to the proper section quickly and have you back behind the sewing machine in no time. All and all, I believe this book will give me a better understanding of my quilting hobby and perhaps encourage me to expand my talents and branch out to garment sewing. We'll see!

I want to thank Nancy for allowing me to preview Sewing A to Z and hope my readers will benefit from the information contained therein.

If you're interested in winning your very own copy of Sewing A to Z, please leave a comment here on this post. I will draw a winner and announce their name here on Monday, August 29th!

Nancy has also put together an amazing grand prize package worth $450 for one lucky reader. Visit Nancy’s blog and comment on her blog tour post for another chance to win!

If you've missed any Sewing A to Z tour stops here is the complete schedule including the remaining stops. Toot toot!

15-Aug Nancy Zieman’s blog
16-Aug Whipstitch
17-Aug Sew Mama Sew
18-Aug Diary of a Quilter
20-Aug Amy’s Creative Side
22-Aug Quiltville
23-Aug Crap I’ve Made
24-Aug Eileen Roche’s blog
25-Aug I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts
26-Aug The Free Motion Quilting Project
27-Aug Sew Serendipity
29-Aug Lazy Girls Designs
30-Aug Pat Sloan Blog
31-Aug Tallgrass Prairie Studio
01-Sep True Up
02-Sep Sew News
06-Sep Off the Cuff Sewing Style
07-Sep V and Co.
08-Sep The Cottage Home
09-Sep Colette Patterns

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Strawberry Fields WINNERS Post | Sweetwater Friday!

Good evening everyone! The comments are officially closed for the Strawberry Fields Giveaway. I hope you enjoyed the interview with Joanna. I love learning a thing or two about the designers who's fabrics we love so much.

I have a bunch of fabric to give away and I'm going to keep the amounts a surprise! Let's just say I'll distribute it evenly amongst the following lucky peeps:

Strawberry Fields

These winners were drawn using the Random Number Generator.

Winner #1 is comment #261, Tiffany.TF!

Winner #2 is comment #74, Quilter in the Gap!

Winner #3 is comment #186, Sue!

Winner #4 is comment #93, Diane H (Sideroad Stitcher)!

Congrats to all the lucky winners! If you didn't win and still want your own collection of Strawberry Fields, head on over to see Kimberly of Fat Quarter Shop for a nice selection.

Coming up on this week's edition of Fat Quarter Shop Friday, Susan and the Sweetwater team are once again returning to RWQ to talk about their latest release, Hometown!

I hope you're all as excited as I am. This collection is newly available and is sure to be another home run for Sweetwater.

Until then,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Trendy Tuesday | Grey

Happy Trendy Tuesday everyone!

Welcome to the very first edition of Trendy Tuesday where I'll be highlighting some of my favorite trends in the current fabric market. From colors to shapes and all other possibilities, we'll be looking at similarities among fabric collections hitting store shelves.

Up first is the color grey. Once upon a time it was very hard to find fabrics which featured the color grey. You'd look high and low in most LQS' to come up with a couple examples and sometimes even go away empty handed.

Fret no more my dear ones, grey is a hot color right now and is being included in most new lines. Take the recent collections Strawberry Fields, Sherbet Pips, and Ruby into consideration. The color grey is a heavy hitter amongst all three and really rounds out the collections I might add.

We've seen grey and all variations of the color pop up in standard collections from manufacturers like Michael Miller in their Ta Dot & House Designer lines. As well as coordinating solid collections from Robert Kaufman in their Kona, Freespirit in their Designer Solids and Moda in their Bella.

Whether you call it gray, grey, pewter, stone, slate, or charcoal, here are some of my favorite examples of fabric from today's featured trend:

Violet Craft Peacock Lane
Ta Dot in Stone P&B Downtown Rough Weave

Alphabet Soup Circles in Gray
Jessica Levitt Kingdom Tapestry in Pewter Joel Dewberry Blockprint Blossom in Blush

Bari J Ackerman Paris Apartment Le Salon in Pewter
Carri Nelson Nine Dots Tossed Tiles in Gray Carrie Nelson Nine Dots Basketweave in Gray

Alice Kennedy Lemon Grove Dandelion Puffs in Grey
Patricia Bravo Hyperreal Garden Euphoria in Boysenberry Dena Fishbein Taza Lisa in Yellow

What are some of your favorite fabrics featuring the color grey?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Strawberry Fields by Joanna Figueroa | 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!

Moda designer Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. is here to talk with us about her latest release Strawberry fields.

As quilters, we've all known and come to love Joanna's designs for Fig Tree. Walking though any quilt shop you can always point out Fig Tree & Co. collections. Her designs have a familiar feel and are comfortably incorporated into any project.

Bursting with bright, summery colors Strawberry Fields is an exciting line and one of my favorites released by Joanna. It even incorporates grey, a VERY popular color we've seen in many new lines.

Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree & Co.

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

I started designing fabric for MODA about 7 years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed the ride of creating fabric designs along with all of the other products that we have worked on over the years. My style and design sense has changed and evolved slightly over the years but we have stayed more or less true to that look that we call “Fresh Vintage”- straddling the line between vintage in design and fresh in color scheme.

In terms of background, I worked on graphic design in college but since my parents didn’t think I could ever make a living doing that [I like to to point out to them whenever I can, that I am indeed doing just that now!], it took a back seat to my political science and education major. Nevertheless, ever since I was a little girl as well as an adult, I have always dabbled in art of some sort and when I discovered fabric, it was one of those “aha” moments. It quickly became my favorite medium and I more or less stopped working with most other types of art. Fabric feels like my home.

Since then I have gone back to school for fabric design and worked on other design, photography and computer skills on the side. The best teacher however, has been practice and deadlines. Although we all hate them, I think that deadlines are a God send to creative types- giving us something that we know we have to work toward and a time when we know we HAVE TO stop tweaking with the final product. Since I can pretty much tweak with a fabric or quilt design forever, the deadline saves me at some point even though I hate it every time!

RWQ: I love the concept of "Fresh Vintage." It's an idea very close to my own design preferences. Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing? What is your starting point for a design concept?

For me, the inspiration almost always starts with a color palette and then goes from there to develop into prints and groupings, etc. The palette itself can come from anywhere as I find that I am always looking at color wherever I go. I have developed fabric palettes from old china plates that I fell in love with at the flea market, a grouping of antique bowls, the inside of a hatbox, a vintage children’s illustration, a vintage French floral textile, a grouping of peonies from my favorite florist, etc, etc. Its one of those things that my husband refers to as a “blessing and a curse” [one of his favorite lines from one of our favorite shows, MONK] in that my head is always full of new inspiration but I just don’t have the time to create something out of all of it. So sometimes, it torments me a bit, keeping me up at night. But in general, I love it.

Fig Tree Market Booth

RWQ: Strawberry Fields is a great summer line. How did the concept start for you?

Strawberry Fields is my own take on a retro summer. I always say that I would have loved to live in the 50’s. Well at least fashion wise because I surely wouldn’t make a very good 50’s housewife LOL! I would love to live in those twirly skirts with crinolines underneath and little cardigan sweaters! And Strawberry Fields is the collection I would want to sew those clothes from and the fabrics I would want to picnic on, as I dressed in those clothes! I can see it all in my head right now!

Strawberry Fields

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

My favorite print in this grouping is easily the large floral- probably in the grey and green colorways. Although I love the red, the aqua and the cream too. I guess I don’t have a favorite in there after all. I just love that floral!!

RWQ: Fig Tree & Co. has released several beautiful lines with Moda, can you briefly tell us about them?

I am currently working on my 22nd collection [I did have to look up the collections on my own website to do the math for this question!] and I still love it as much as I did with that very first one when I had so little idea of what I was doing. The collections move back and forth from more traditional to a bit more fresh so that we can keep all of our customers happy. Hence, our favorite tag line of “Fresh Vintage”. Right now I am working on a group that has a few new colors in it that I am really excited about but we’ll have to see how all of the colors “play together” once the strikeoffs come back later on this summer.

Right after Strawberry Fields, we went a bit more traditional again and Butterscotch & Rose, which releases this coming October, is a throwback to some of our earlier collections with deeper, more traditional colors and feel. My favorite print in that group is the 2-color geranium print. I could have done that one in every single colorway but there just wasn’t enough room!

The next collection after Butterscotch will be the one with some of those new colors. We will all [including me] have to wait and see how that plays out!

RWQ: Are you a quilter? How would you describe your quilting "style"? Are there any forms of crafting or general creativity you enjoy?

Actually I was a quilter first, a designer second and a sewer last. My business started off with one of a kind small quilted wall hangings and pillows that I sold to local boutiques and craft fairs. Oh how I remember those craft fairs! Our business name was “Figlets” back then. Then slowly the business branched out into quilt pattern production, then teaching locally and nationally, then designing fabric and then moving into other surface design. The sewing of children’s garments and accessories actually came last for me. It is not my background but I have loved learning it over the last couple of years. It adds a whole other dimension to sewing- literally 3 dimensional projects are so different than quilts which are pretty much a 2 dimensional work of art [more or less].

It has been kind of a funny process for me because these days it seems that more people are moving from this direction into quilting whereas back when I started it was all quilting and hardly anything else. The younger home sewer crowd was just starting out, blogs were completely unknown and most people who sewed and designed were all quilters first. Wow, I am really dating myself here! Lets just say that I have been quilting since before I started having kids and leave it at that!

RWQ: I have a hard time picking names for my patterns. How do you pick the names for your fabrics?

That’s actually one of the easiest parts for me! Isn’t it funny how we all love and struggle with different parts of the process. I am constantly coming up with new names for things and so I keep a list, or actually its more like a dozen lists of different names that I think might work for a print or a color, an entire collection or a quilt or sewing pattern. Naming them usually happens at the beginning for me if its a fabric collection and at the end if it is a pattern for a quilt or a garment. In that case, it is a little like the icing on the cake. Once I’ve named it, its done and ready to go to press check!

RWQ: Thanks for talking with me today Joanna. How can my readers find more information about you and your company?

Our website is www.figtreeandco.com and my blog is www.figtreequilts.typepad.com.

Oh and I twitter under @figtreeandco too. The best way to get our coupons and hear about our special offers, kits, etc is to sign up for our newsletter under the contact us button on our website.

Strawberry Fields

The lovely folks at Moda have sent me several pieces of fabric 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 Strawberry Fields 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 24, 2011!

Strawberry Picnic Quilt

Strawberry Picnic, a quilt I designed using Strawberry Fields will be released as a pattern on 9/25. If you'd like to see the quilt in person and receive a free copy of the pattern, please plan to visit the Delaware County Historical Association during their annual quilt show the weekend of 9/24-25. I will have a booth and show my quilts there on Sunday.

Fat Quarter Shop

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

Happy quilting,

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