November 18, 2016

Creator Spotlight, Helen and Janice, and a Thanksgiving Giveaway!

I am proud to feature two super-talented creative friends, Helen Bergner and Janice Roy, in this special creator spotlight and giveaway.

Helen and Janice mentioned to me earlier this year how they were working on two quilts incorporating 350 different fabrics from collections that I'd designed for Moda Fabrics. What?! How?! What fun!! I wondered.

Crossing state lines, time zones, and circling back, Helen and Janice tracked down some very hard to find out-of-print fabrics, from my first line, Verna, to the most recent release, Grand Canal, and almost all the other lines in between (except my Latitude Batiks line), and got to creating.

As they explained it to me, Helen and Janice practice the buddy system. Helen is a crazy crafter and Janice is a long-arm-quilting artist. For them, striving to sew together one morning a week during the school year keeps them moving forward on personal projects and, Helen adds, "keeps us from getting overwhelmed by the distractions in life, like work!"
Janice Roy
Helen Bergner
“I have been crafting in one way or another as long as I can remember," Helen explains. "There was always crafting going on in my house. My mom sewed, knit, and did crafting projects for the many Girl Scout troops she led. She used to sew matching outfits for all us kids- though she had to give it up by the time the twelfth one came along! I love to delve deeply in to a craft, teach a few people how to enjoy it, then move on to learning something new myself. I am pretty competent at knitting, sewing, making jewelry, tie-dye-ing and a few other things. One of the best was running a theatre camp for six years, called The Backyard Players, in my back yard for 25 kids where they made their own costumes, sets and props and performed a play all in one week.

“I started quilting about 7 years ago when my son Peter had nothing to do on spring break. I got him started, and he went on to make 10 quilts. Instead of summer camp a year later, we rented time on Janice’s long arm machine, and Peter quilted everything he had sewn. That is when I got to know Janice and started quilting myself.

“I tend to be a 'Quick and Dirty Quilter'. My sisters Annie and Liz, who quilt, love complicated patterns and paper piecing. I prefer projects which have blocks that are large enough to really show off the beautiful fabric. I have designed a few patterns, and love working out systems to make the project easier/faster to execute.”

Here's Janice in the early stages of her extraordinary quilt. Janice's quilts have earned her special awards and national recognition. I'm extremely fortunate to have had Janice's quilting on some of pieces I've shown at Quilt Market in Houston recently. It's thanks to our mutual friend, the great Denyse Schmidt, that I first met her.
Janice Roy preparing and sewing a few squares of fabrics for the quilt.

Janice explains her passion in short, “Fiber Arts are in my blood!" When I press her for more, Janice shares the tale of her sewing roots and adventures.

"My Grandmother always had a project underway. She was skilled at any needle art, from braiding rugs to knitting. My mother’s sewing machine was always at hand to make clothes, curtains and other home decorating projects. Quilting became my passion in my 30’s. Quilting after my boys went to sleep helped me unwind after a long day of work and family.

"I love taking classes to learn new techniques and enjoy every stage of quilting from initial design until the last inch of binding is hand sewn. My husband and I opened Little Red Quilthouse long-arm quilting studio in 2002. We offered drop off quilting service as well rental time on our 3 Gammill Optimum quilting machines. Working on a system that can be computer and hand driven affords me endless finishing flexibility. Working on projects with project designers such as Janice Averill and fabric designers such as Kate Spain, Denyse Schmidt and Jennifer Paganelli has resulted in my work being displayed in museums – including the National Quilt Museum!"

Helen emphasizes the synergy in her and Janice's collaborations, “Janice and I both contribute different strengths to our projects. Janice’s strong point is her experience. She has been to many classes including ones with the Ct Piecemaker Guild and often has tips or tricks to share. Her award-winning long arm skills put the polish on the final quilt. I am an avid collector. I love to search on-line and brick and mortar stores for pieces from out of print (OOP) fabric lines."

Here's how they brought their different strengths together to create their "Kate Spain" quilts. 

Helen had found herself resisting just mixing things too much, when it came to fabrics. "It made me avoid Kaffe Fasset Collective fabrics for a long time. Janice helped me get over the hurdle and we made our first 'Kaffe Quilt' using over 100 different fabrics. Then we decided if it was fun with Kaffe, it was going to be even more fun with Kate! We collected well over 300 different Kate Spain (non-Christmas, non-batik) fabrics for each quilt. Then Grand Canal arrived and we tossed in a few Christmas and winter prints, so the total went to about 350."

Helen's fabric hunt included Christie's Quilting Boutique, our local quilt store here in Norwalk Connecticut, and ... also an unexpected binge in Georgia.

"Last summer my sister Annie and I tackled 13 quilt stores in the Atlanta area in 3 days on a Row-by-Row odyssey. We found Thread Bear Fabrics in Cumming, GA and hit the mother lode of OOP Kate fabrics. Sorry, ladies and gentleman, I think I cleared them out of Central Park! They still have a ton of all the newer fabric lines, as well as Sunnyside, Honey Honey, Good Fortune and a little Terrain. They have Kate’s Christmas lines as well! 

"I love to take a picture of a quilt and to try to figure out how to engineer the cutting and assembly of it in the most efficient way, which usually means creating an entirely new pattern."

For this quilt, Janice broke out of her comfort zone and chose a dark navy for the sashing. Helen selected white.
Helen adds, "Either way, we can see how uniquely each sashing color brings out Kate’s amazing prints.”
According to Helen and Janice, it's the brightness, colors, and textures in my designs that excite them.  "Every fabric line has fresh new designs. (Though we would love to see a “Best Of” line sometime- perhaps a contest to choose Kate’s top 30 designs?) The influence of the travels she has taken and her love of gardening can clearly be seen. It is her florals and butterflies that inspired us to choose MSQC’s 4 Patch Lattice Quilt tutorial for our “Kate Quilt” because the pattern resembles a garden trellis." Helen re-engineered the construction method to avoid some of the sewing on the bias pitfalls, and Janice came up with the brilliant idea of cornerstones in the sashing to add more color. 

Bravo, Helen and Janice!

Happy creating all. And happy Thanksgiving preparations and safe travels!


P.S. Thanks to Janice and Helen, there is a Thanksgiving giveaway! One lucky winner will win this one-of-a-kind stack of 5"x10" rectangles of OOP fabrics remaining from Janice and Helen's amazing "Kate Spain" project.
The prize includes more than 100 different fabrics!
Want to enter to win?
Please follow these rules to be included in the drawing for this giveaway:
1. Leave only one comment per person, please :)
2. In your one comment name 3 prints from any of my fabric collections that you'd want to see reprinted. For each of print, include the COLLECTION name followed by the PRINT name (e.g., Grand Canal Girasole).
3. Submit your comment here by 11:59 PM Eastern US time next Tuesday November 22.

The randomly selected winner will be announced here on Thanksgiving morning, November 24.


  1. Great giveaway! Since my favorite prints are from your older collections I can't find the name of the prints but the SKU I hope that#s okay too.
    1. Fandango 27047 15 (clamshells on gold)
    2. 12 Days of Chirstmas 27021 12 (Ice skating children on red)
    3. Verna 27004 13 (tulips on dewdrop)
    But really can you and Moda just reprint these collections? PLEASE:-)

  2. Just this morning I was checking the selvedge for the name of a fabric that I wish I had more of and it was White Snowflake from In From the Cold. I also loved Fandango and wish I had more Castanet. Apiary from Honey, Honey would be great for a quilt I want to start.

  3. Great idea for reprint wishes! Excited to see what is reprinted! :)
    Central Park, Bridle Path 27061-14
    Terrain, Stonecrop Mist 27092-15
    Verna, Budding Pink 27008-11

  4. Love your fabric.
    1. Daydream Hills Valleys Jade
    2. Paradiso Destination Lagoon
    3. Aria Navy Leaflet

  5. Sweeeeet! Would LOVE to win their leftovers!! Thank you for the very fun spotlight!!! As for favorites?
    I don't know all the names but I have the skus :)
    Central Park: the big flowers(coriopsis?) 2706...I love the orange, but the blue and the gold are wonderful too
    Honey Honey (my personal all time fave collection!): the little scattered flowers in coral 27145
    Also from Honey Honey, any of the tea roses or florettes...tide was my fave colorway in all those
    How exciting!

  6. What a wonderful giveaway! I would love to see anything from the Cuzco line reprinted, but specifically these:
    Cuzco - Orchid Indigo
    Cuzco - Sanctuary Indigo
    Cuzco - Sanctuary Porcelain

  7. Great article and beautiful quilts. I would love to see the Terrain, Cuzco and Fandango lines reprinted, but it I have to pick three fabrics, they would be:
    Fandango - Alhambra - 2704311
    Fandango - Talavera - 2704411
    Fandango - Seville - 2705217

  8. The quilts look so different just by colour choice.......
    It is always wonderful when hunting thru a quilt shop and you find a favourite that isn't available any more...... It is a good thing not all shops have all their fabric listed on line.....
    There are so many great fabrics I'm not sure how I could choose just 3.....I do think it is sad that fabrics come and go so quick without the opportunity to get more......

  9. Love this quilt you shared especially the one with the Navy color. I would be happy with any of Debbie Mumm fabrics reprinted, Darlene Zimmerman fabric & any of the old lines of fabric from Moda. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

  10. Budding Paisley Verna
    Dewdrop Floral Verna
    Sprout Verna

    Can you tell I love Verna? I used it to make one of my first quilts. I love how girly and classic it is. I enjoyed reading this story of two friends.

  11. Thanks for the chance to win! I LOVE Sunnyside fabrics. I made a small quilt of them for the back of my couch from them.
    Sunnyside Shine glow
    Sunnyside Celestial glow
    Sunnyside Radiance glow

  12. What a fun prize to sew with and create beautiful projects! Fingers crossed!
    Fandango Valencia, 27041-12
    Honey Honey Lace, 27144-15
    Good Fortune Lantern Flowers in Gray -- 27102-19

  13. Love their idea for a quilt including so many of your fabrics. The one with the dark sashing really catches my eye. I don't know if these are the correct names but here goes.....

    Horizon - Green Earth
    North Woods - Bough Icicle - I love this entire collect and wish I had at least three yards of every print.
    Grand Canal - Giardinin

  14. I love Fandago and Sunnyside:
    Fandango - Talavera ole orange
    Sunnyside - Shine
    Sunnyside - Radiance! have a wonderful weekend!

  15. Cuzco Sanctuary indigo, Aria sky butterfly, north woods icicle. Thank you, hope to see finished quilts.

  16. Good Fortune dragonflies 27107 19
    Hone Honey hydrangeas sunset 27142 13
    Central Park sidewalks blue 27070 11

    Sandy A

  17. Your fabrics are so delicious, but I would love to see a reprint of your Honey Honey line, especially these (I'm giving you only 3 because that's all you asked for, but I love all of them!):
    Honey Honey 27144 12 Blush
    Honey Honey 27144 15 Violet
    Honey Honey 27144 13 Sunset

  18. I really liked the Fandango line
    Fandango - Alhambra - 27043-11
    Fandango - Talavera- 27044-11
    Fandango Seville in Sand 27052-17

  19. I would love to see
    Grand Central - Cobblestone
    Grand Central - Esplanade
    Grand Central - Carousel
    (are you sensing a trend?)
    It was fun to see the two quilts today. I can imagine how much fun they were to make!

  20. I can sure understand wanting to make Kate quilts - and I do that as often as possible. The garden lattice design is lovely!
    I would love to see these three beauties from the vault reprinted:
    1. Central Park Reservoir (blue floral) 27060 11
    2. Terrain Forest Floor in bloom (main fern floral) 27090 18
    3. Honey Honey Garden - Ocean 27141 17
    So hard to choose! Inspired to sew now!

  21. So hard to pick a favorite! I have more reds in my stash than any other color, so I choose Jingle Crimson 27217-21.

  22. What an interesting blog post! Love the idea of using many different fabric lines from one designer. I'd love to see reprints of Terrain - Footpath Berry Moss; Horizon - Leaves Green; Sunnyside - Shade Shimmer. That said, I'd love all of Terrain, In From the Cold and Central Park. Happy Thanksgiving!

  23. 1. Daydream Pale Ink Wonder
    2. Canyon Agave Murmuration
    3. Aria Water Butterfly

  24. How exciting! They look beautiful :)
    Only 3?? *sigh* ok -
    Terrain, Stonecrop in Mist
    Cuzco, Sanctuary in Porcelain
    Good Fortune, Floral Sakura in Waterfall
    Thanks for the chance to enter <3

  25. Oh what a choice! Central Park is my absolute favourite so I will go with:
    Central Park, Linden in Aqua
    Central park, Bridle Path Floral in Pink
    Central Park, North Meadow in Aqua

  26. Great post.I would love to see:
    Paradiso:Camelia Pearl blue.
    Grand canal:M0saic cloud Fig.
    latitude:Floral ocean.

  27. Cuzco-Sanctuary in Porcelain, Fandango - Alhambra, Sunnyside - Radiance. Gorgeous, amazing quilts. Just want to say, you were the first designer I fell in love with, I love your collections, they fill my heart. My DIL introduced me to the world of designer fabric (dare I confess I tied WalMart flannel and called it quilting)but I wasn't overly thrilled until I found you. Your colors are mine, but you do amazing things and I love all your collections. I could wish for many, many more than 3 reprints. Thanks for a great post and a really fun quilt idea.

  28. Daydream - Arcadia in Ink
    Canyon - Desert in Aloe
    Cuzco - Sanctuary in Indigo
    Love every one of your collections!

    Sandy N

  29. What a fun post! And a great quilt! My three are Cuzco #27130, Honey Honey # 27143 and Terrain #27090. Actually would love to see all of Terran again.


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