March 30, 2017

Happy Spring

I sure hope it's warming up for those of you who are eagerly awaiting the onset of spring! It's still a bit chilly around here, but there are little signs popping up each day and that alone is warming my spirits.

Early Bird, my new fabric collection for Moda is now in stores and I wanted to give you some cute and fun Easter-ie project ideas. The first are these adorable love birds. Tutorial and templates can be found here. I used fabric strips to wrap a wooden embroidery hoop, sewed the birds on and added a looped fabric strip to the top to make this sweet bird mobile!
Next is this fun fabric nest/basket/bowl. Tutorial can be found here. One tip (i learned the hard way), do not use hot glue to tack the ends of each fabric strip to the cording. I use mine as a catch all for large-ish scraps. All the other scraps get tossed on the floor ;)
Here is another bird style. This was infamously known as the "Spool Bird" and was designed by Michael Fulkerson. The template can be found on Pinterest, and you can visit Michael's Etsy shop to purchase his whimsical bird mobiles.
The next one is this super cute fabric Easter basket. It was designed by Amy Smart whose blog Diary of a Quilter has loads of creative sewing projects of all kinds! The basket is a free tutorial complete with templates and easy-to-follow instructions. And what would an Easter basket be without...
... Easter eggs! Kim Kruzich has templates and a tutorial over on her blog Retro Mama
They were so fun to make, i couldn't stop!
If you have any favorite Easter/spring projects you'd like to share, please leave a comment and link us up to more great ideas! Thank you.

And lastly, our Morning Glory and Nest patterns are available on our website!
Happy Spring! (and happy Autumn for our friends in other parts of the globe)

March 1, 2017

Quiltcon Savannah!

What a pleasure to be with so many colorful creators from all over the world at Quiltcon in Savannah! Great thanks to Moda Fabrics United Notions for inviting me to join them there. Three creative leaders from Moda -- Lissa Alexander, Carrie Nelson, and Holly Hickman of "Urban Chicks" -- were joined by senior sales ambassador Amy Matheny. They did a wonderful job in hosting visitors to the Moda booth. The booth featured quilts designed by my friend and fellow Moda designer "Zen Chic" Brigitte Heitland, who conducted face-to-face consultations on designing quilts to go with interior spaces, based on her book "Zen Chic Inspired". Great work, everyone! In addition, I loved participating in the "Tap Into Your Creativity" panel moderated very smoothly by Jen Carlton Baily. We were joined by a thoughtful group of multitalented creatives: Heather Givans of Crimson Tate, the celebrated Bernina educator Nina McVeigh, quilt writer and creator Lisa Ruble, Janome educator and fiber artist Erin Schlosser, and an audience of several hundred attendees. In between the panel and joining the team at the Moda booth, I was fortunate to see or meet with friends, new and old, including Garen Brien Sherwood, Holly Broadland of Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, Erin Sampson and Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Italian ThreadsSarah CraigSarah Golden, Australian quilter and author Peta Peace and her very nice husband Richard, Hannah Goldstein, Thomas Knauer, Maureen Weflen of the Quilters Guild of Indianapolis, Carla Lissa, Denyse Schmidt, Jenny Doan and the great Missouri Star crew, Lizzy Rockwell, Southern CT Modern Quilt Guild. I also got to view so many amazing quilts. I posted a few to my Instagram and my Facebook pages. My great admiration goes out to all of you who submitted your special works to this festival. You inspire me and so many others. Bravo!

February 21, 2017

Winner of the Early Bird FQB and on to Quiltcon East

Congratulations to Christine Weld!

By random selection, Christine is the winner of the Moda Fabrics Early Bird fat quarter bundle in our Valentine's Day "Splendid" giveaway in honor of the completion of Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson's monumental 100-block "Splendid Sampler" year-long, international creative quilting event.
I hope to see some of you at Quiltcon in Savannah this week. 
I can't wait to catch up with the Moda team 

and with other longtime friends and to meet and hear from new acquaintances in the modern quilting world. This Friday morning at QuiltCon, I'll join Jen Carlton-Baily, Heather Givans, Erin Schlosser, Nina McVeigh, and Lisa Ruble on Friday at 9 AM to explore how to tap into one's creativity. Here's the listing for this event from the Quiltcon program: 
After that, I'll be spending some quality time with the Moda team at booth #523. Be sure to follow Moda's Instagram, my Instagram, as well as on the Modern Quilt Guild's Instagram, for some shots from Quiltcon East and lovely Savannah.

I hope to see you there!

P.S. If you missed it, here's Jenny Doan's color-smacking "Sweet Treats" quilt featuring the Moda Cake Mix #1 recipe paper by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co for Moda and my Latitude Batiks collection for Moda Fabrics. I'm now working on the follow-up batik line to it. Lots of fun and color! Time to get back to the drawing board. See you soon!

February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day Splendid Giveaway

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's time to share some love and to celebrate the 100-block Splendid Sampler with a big giveaway! Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson are hosting a giveaway with 5 fantastic prizes. There are also a bunch of other designers giving goodies away today — including me (keep reading to enter). To find out more about how to enter all the other giveaways, head over to the Splendid Sampler website!

Next month, Early Bird will ship out to quilt shops and we're so excited about that! This collection is perfect for spring-ie, Easter-ie projects and we have a FAT QUARTER BUNDLE to giveaway to one lucky winner. 
To enter to win, just leave a comment briefly telling us what you enjoyed most about the Splendid Sampler project and what's next on your "to make" list. 
One entry per person, please. 
All entries must be posted here by no later than February 21 at 9 PM Eastern Time.
We will announce the random winner here on February 22.
Good luck!

February 12, 2017

Splendid Sampler Grand Finale!

Cue the fireworks, balloon shower and confetti toss! You've made it to

Really, pause for a second to absorb what that means.

 Think back to last year when you were debating about whether you'd join in on this project. Think of all the things that have happened since. And now, know that each of your quilt blocks serves as a reminder of your commitment to your creativity. The quilt you make from all these blocks will be one to treasure. The stories and life events, and the miles of stitches that have been shared are as inspiring as they are unforgettable.

This quilting journey has been about the best things our sewing community has to offer; learning from each other, supporting each other, and through social media, connecting with more than 25,000 sewists, stitchers and new friends around the globe. In fact, when I saw this graphic that plots all the splendid participants, it really made me see just how far and wide our community is – though it looks like we need to hold some quilt retreats in Greenland and Mongolia ;)
For those of you who are visiting here for the first time, welcome!

Great thanks to the inimitable creators of this epic adventure, Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. {Applause, applause, standing ovation! Brava, ladies!} Their vision, care, creativity and perseverance brought the Splendid Sampler to fruition and brought all of us together in a memorable experience.

I first began to quilt in 2009, around the time that Verna, my first fabric collection for Moda came out. I didn't know anything about piecing blocks and didn't know any quilters I could turn to for help. Luckily, YouTube was well-stocked with video tutorials and that was when Pat first came across my screen. It's thanks to her that I learned how to sew a 1/4" seam allowance! As for Jane, if you've ever had the pleasure of meeting her in person, you will instantly feel her sincerity and kindness. Her beautiful long arm quilting is also a site to behold! It's no wonder that these two dreamed up this project and were so able to pull us all together for it.
So without further ado, it is an enormous pleasure and an honor to post the final and 100th block.
My block is called, Centered and can be found here.
Whenever I have a chance to sew, I find enjoyment in every part of the process. I love the focus it takes to measure, cut, and sew fabric pieces together and discovered it to be a surprisingly calming activity that I enjoy more than I could have imagined. The design of my “Centered” block is meant to reflect this feeling – radiating outward – and all the tranquil moments I treasure at my sewing machine.
Tip: You can fussy cut the center of each block to highlight something special. The blocks below are made using Early Bird, my next fabric collection for Moda. By now, you're probably an expert at sewing with small pieces, so you won't hate me too much for the size of some of these pieces! ;)
And, there's good news for all of you who are like me and maybe didn't get to dive in as much as our hearts had initially wished. There will be a book! You can pre-order a copy here.
The Splendid Sampler project reminded me how quilters and creators, while sewing together, grow together in a creative community that excites and enlarges us. The world can always benefit from more of the positive energy you’ve brought to bear through this creative voyage. And remember:
Please be sure to stop back here on Valentine's Day for a very splendid giveaway!


January 25, 2017

#ModaBellaChallenge Quilt Contest

To celebrate the 15th year of its "Bella Solids" fabrics, Moda Fabrics is calling on all quilters around the world to enter this creative quilt-making contest -- with big awards to those whose quilts are selected for purchase, showcasing at the International Quilt Market in Houston, and for archiving by
 Moda Fabrics.
First place: US$5,000.00
Second place: US$3,000.00
Third place: US$2,000.00

January 14, 2017

Gardening Tip: Coleus Propagation -- Take One

Hi! I hope your new year is off to a good start. It's snowing here, so I thought I'd take a moment to dream of the garden. At the end of last summer, our friend Tracy was at our house and saw some of our window boxes planted with annuals. She asked me if I over-winter the coleus. I had never thought about trying! Here's what Tracy told me to do:
  1. While the plants are still going strong, snip about 6" sprigs from each plant.
  2. Strip the leaves from the bottom 3" of the stem.
  3. Plunk them in a small glass of water then put the glass on a sunny windowsill. 
  4. Periodically, refresh the water.
I did this and lo' and behold after a few weeks, roots started to appear! I'll probably have to put them in a bigger glass soon, but by spring these will be ready to plant! It's exciting to learn something new, and a bonus when it also happens to be beautiful.

January 9, 2017

New! Quilt-Planning Coloring Pages

We got a nice call the other day from Amy in Oklahoma.

Amy asked if we had a blank black-and-white version of the Felicity quilt pattern for her to print out and color in. “Like a coloring-book,” she said.

Amy wants to create a quilt kit featuring my pattern and coordinating fabrics. She’s kitting this up for her local quilt shop (LQS) Modern Vintage Quilts in Claremore.

But, Amy admitted, she’s not decided on which fabrics to use. (An aside: May I recommend my collection for Moda Fabrics, North Woods ? A nice selection of the line is offered by my LQS, Christie’s Quilting Boutique, in-store or online, and elsewhere. Wink wink.)

And so, in trying to help Amy with her interest in playing around with some colors -- something that's integral to my process -- I decided to make her a template “like a coloring-book” and to send it to her. It’s available for free on our shop now.

And thanks to Amy’s request, we’ve decided to include a color-in template with all our new quilt patterns offered on our shop. 

Right now, these are the patterns that you’ll get a free coloring template with, when you get the pattern online from us. 
The fabrics I’d recommend for the Nest and Morning Glory quilts? My “Early Bird” collection for Moda Fabrics (shown on my bed above), shipping in March.