Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's Turkey Time!

It's two days before Thanksgiving, and sewing just might be taking a back burner to cooking. We've compiled some helpful advice for the big day. (And if you're looking for creative decor and delicious recipes for the big day, check out this post.)

Brined Roast Turkey with Sage Butter Rub from finecooking.com

21 Turkey Tips Every Cook Needs from finecooking.com:
Picking the right size for your group
Brining dos and don'ts
Should you stuff it?
Special turkey treatment (including a growing trend...cooking a deconstructed turkey!)

And from that domestic diva, Martha Stewart, Everything Thanksgiving, including:
How to grill a turkey
8 turkey tips
36 Thanksgiving leftovers recipes

For the semi-serious cook, Thanksgiving, Solved! from epicurious.com:
Turkey 10 ways
Step-by-step turkey cooking, covering shopping & prep, moisture & flavor, stuffing & roasting, and gravy& carving 

And for day-of emergencies, if the Internet fails you, don't forget about that beloved resource, the Butterball experts! 
Now available by phone, online chat, or email!

Good luck! We'll be back after Thanksgiving with more fabric-related posts.



Monday, November 24, 2014

A Walk in the Park


We happen to think that the best floral fabric collections have both traditional and contemporary appeal--a little something for everyone, if you will. 

That's probably why we love Ro Gregg's new A Walk in the Park collection so much--it's full of big-bloom florals in varying sizes and soft tonal coordinates with doses of damask. But it also has a stripe with a twist--a pinstripe-type look with vines and flowers "climbing" up it. And don't forget the oh-so-appealing geometric print that looks like it came straight from a retro tile floor!


We asked Ro to talk to us about her new collection.

Q. What inspired A Walk in the Park?
Ro: The best things in life are free, like enjoying nature! There is nothing like sensory pleasure we get from natural beauty—observing flowers, butterflies and birds. Our desire to connect with the Earth and its beautiful elements served as design inspiration for this line.

Q. Tell us about a few of your favorite prints.
Ro: The main floral is a masterpiece of my favorite flowers: roses, poppies, primroses, and hydrangea. You'll also find butterflies and birds among the flowers.
I think the bird floral stripe is very sweet, too.


I love the park with all its architectural elements and the scrolls and bird cages.


And the geometric print emulates the tile-like blocks of the park's path.


Q. Can you describe your color palette?
Ro: I chose fresh new trend shades directly from Pantone, including antique moss, robin's egg blue, soft café au lait, rock ridge grey that all intertwine with alluring shades of pinks and roses. The two colorways cross over and work well together.

Q. Anything else you'd like to point out about this collection?
Ro: The multi-tonal textured backgrounds of the damask park scene and small foulard adds dimension and continuity to the patterns.

We've even got two different free patterns you can download and make using the A Walk in the Park collection: A quilt and a table setting.

"A Walk in the Park" by Pine Tree Country Quilts
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Click here to find these free quilt patterns.

See the entire A Walk in the Park collection here.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

10 Thanksgiving Ideas You'll Love!

Did you know that 95% of Thanksgiving hosts spend the weekend before the holiday preparing for Thursday's feast? Grocery shopping, baking, last-minute sewing projects, centerpiece assembly...so much to do!

Okay, so we made up that statistic. But chances are your mind will be on turkey day this weekend. With that in mind, we present 10 of our favorite Thanksgiving themed pins. Enjoy!


1. An easy pieced runner to celebrate the day
Find the pin here.



2. Helpful tips on how much food to serve for your group size
Find the pin here.



3. Ah, Brussel sprouts...you get such a bad rap, but you're actually quite delicious!
Find the pin here.



4. Dresden turkey block
Find the pin here.



5. What? Easier mashed potatoes? No peeling? We're sold!
Find the pin here.


6. Dress up your table with these easy printables
Find the pin here.


7. These are just too funny...deviled eggs recolored (but fortunately not re-flavored) for the season!
Find the pin here.



8. After dinner fun and games...
Find the pin here.



9. Seasonal appliques
Find the pin here.



10. This one takes the cake...literally! Salted Caramel Apple Snickers Cake. Yum!
Find the pin here.






Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hexies in miniature

Ro Gregg's new collection comes with much fanfare--laden with rich colors, metallic gold accents, and symbolic motifs, so its name, Asian Fanfare, fits extremely well!

Check out the swatches below and then keep reading to hear the story behind Ro's designs.



Q. Tell us about your new collection, Asian Fanfare.
Ro: I found inspiration from Chinese culture—Oriental fans have been involved in Chinese artwork for centuries. They are viewed as good luck and symbolize generosity. I showcased a variety of designs—cranes, peacocks, goldfish, dragons and butterflies. I picked these because they were some of the most popular motifs and each sign means something—they represent wealth, longevity, immortaility, love, romance and dignity.

Q. Why did you choose hexagon shapes for the medallion print?
Ro: I wanted the line to have something geometric in it—I thought it would add interest and flair. It's a perfect shape for showcasing the florals, the peacocks, and the other symbols. The hexagon shapes are very versatile—they can be fussy cut, or used as a border print (like in the free pattern at the bottom of this post).


Q. What about the scale of these prints?
Ro: The idea behind the collection is that the scale of the designs is miniature. I was going for delicacy of design in a very small scale. These are very delicately printed, and the metallic gold creates an etched feeling.

Q. How do the focal prints tie together?
Ro: I started with the hexagon medallions, but then carried the miniature designs into the fan print. The allover stripe is really stunning and showcases the different symbols as well.





Q. And what about the coordinates?
Ro: The peacock feather has that same delicate feel, and the metallic lattice works on its own and pulls out the idea of stripes and textures. It has a lacy allover feeling. The pindot has a multi-texture feel. The lacy metallic gold accent runs throughout, creating a beautiful shimmer and is an accent to many of the dramatic black backgrounds in the collection.




Q. What makes these prints special?
Ro: All of these symbolic motifs bring such good wishes of love, romance, good fortunes and more—that whether you're making a quilt for yourself or giving it away—it's a gift with a positive message.


We have a free quilt pattern to share with you using Ro's Asian Fanfare collection:

"Asian Fans" by Terry Albers
Download the pattern here.

See the entire Asian Fanfare collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Appliqué Shortcut!


Recently we showed you a photo of Jayme Crow's "Mesmerize" quilt that was hanging in our Quilt Market booth, made using our batiks. We were intrigued by everything going on in this design--the colors, the shapes, the stitches, the quilting, so we asked Jayme to tell us a bit more about her quilt.

"Mesmerize" quilt embroidery design by Jayme Crow of Bella Nona;
quilted by 
Marlene Oddie of KISSed Quilts 
Q. Can you explain the digitized embroidered applique concept for people who might not be familiar with it?
Jayme: Machine embroidery appliqué is an easy, short-cut way to do your appliqué. Digitized designs created for embroidery machines are more accurate and time-saving than free motion embroidered appliqué.
By using a design created for machine appliqué, it's as easy as placing your fabric on the placement lines, letting the machine sew, trimming away the fabric and then letting the machine do all the work! You are left with a finished embroidered design!

Q. How did you go about designing this quilt? How did you come up with the idea of the layered circles?
Jayme: I'm what you might call a "free-motion" designer. I've always liked circles and organic shapes. So I began with an idea and used scrap paper, pencil, tape and scissors and drew and cut until I had the pieces I liked. This quilt actually was an embroidered adaptation of another quilt I did called "Fire Dance." We sized it down and took out the background showing through the rings and created an embroidery pattern.

Q. What can you tell us about the process of making this quilt? 
Jayme: Here's a brief step by step description:
1. Follow the pattern instructions for cutting the fabrics, stabilizer (optional batting) and Wonder Under.
2. Load the digitized designs into your sewing machine and follow the instructions for embroidery.
3. The instructions will take you through the design layer by layer, building it from the outside ring to the inside circle.
4. When the blocks are all embroidered, remove the stabilizer and square up each block.
5. Arrange your blocks into your quilt top and sew them together.  


Q. What attracted you to our batiks? Why do you think they work well for this pattern?
Jayme: Fabri-Quilt has a beautiful array of batiks in many colors. I started with the whole line of batiks and used most of them in this quilt. The lights, darks and brights create dynamic layered circles.

Q. Do you have a favorite batik from the ones you worked with?
Jayme: Asking if I have a favorite batik is like asking if I have a favorite chocolate…I like them all!

Q. Why did you choose the background, inner and outer border fabrics you did?
Jayme: I chose a light neutral as the background fabric to set the bright colors against. The inner border drew a definite line of color between the background and the outer border. Since I used the inner border fabric in some of the circles, it helped to unify the blocks. The outer border is a dark neutral to frame the quilt and ground it.

Q. Can you talk a bit about your thread choices?
Jayme: We used Magnifico by Superior Threads and chose the same colors that are in the fabrics, but we used them differently. For example, we used a lime green thread to outline a dark blue fabric and a red thread to outline a yellow fabric. It adds interest and excitement. In choosing the thread colors to use, it is important to consider both fabric colors the stitching will reside next to. Choosing a color that pops on both creates a bold look. Choosing a color that pops on one fabric and blends with the other gives a more subtle look. It's a fun adventure choosing what color threads and you really can't go wrong, no matter what color you choose!


Q. Who do you recommend this quilt for?
Jayme: This is a great quilt for a beginning quilter who has an embroidery machine. It is done with one hooping. Those with experience will enjoy it as well.

Q. Can you talk about the machine quilting designs used on this quilt?
Jayme: The organic "pebble" design used in the background echoes the rings. It feels like an extension of the blocks instead of a design that might compete with the blocks.

 Q. What do you like best about this quilt?
Jayme: I love the energy this quilt creates! It evokes oohs and aahs from nearly everyone who sees it. I also appreciate the fact that you can use the inside cut-away pieces from the larger rings to create the smaller rings as you build the quilt.

Find Jayme's Mesmerize pattern here.
See our entire collection of batiks here.
  



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank you, veterans!


This Veterans Day we're posting the red, white and blue as a thank you to everyone who has served in the Armed Forces. 

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I. The name of the day was eventually changed to "Veterans Day" to encompass all veterans, not just those who died in WWI, and is observed on November 11th each year.

Be sure to thank a veteran today for his/her service to our country!
Download a free pattern for this classic flag quilt, made from 2-1/2" strips.


The "Old Glory" Snack Pack includes 42 strips--everything you need to make the quilt top and bind it--all tonals from our Tone on Tone collection.


Monday, November 10, 2014

6 table runners for turkey day!

Thanksgiving is a little more than two weeks away...is the annual turkey dinner at your house this year? If it is, it's time to get started! (Not on your menu...save that for next week!)

Nope, it's time to get started on a harvest-themed table runner to dress up your table. We've searched the Internet and come up with 6 that we really like, along with some fabric recommendations. 

Happy sewing! And remember, the beauty of a table runner is that you can stitch it quickly--plenty of time to have it finished and on your table by November 27!

 1. Ombre table runner from The Destashification Project
Find the tutorial here.
Suggested fabrics to use: Shadows


2. Quilt as you go table runner from Diary of a Quilter
Find the tutorial here.
Suggested fabrics to use: Topaz


3. Woven squares table runner from The Recipe Bunny
Find the tutorial here.
Suggested fabrics to use: A New Leaf


4. Leaf applique table runner from Seasoned Homemaker
Find the tutorial here.
Suggested fabrics to use: Autumn in the Forest


5. Half-square triangle table runner from The Sassy Quilter
Find the tutorial here.
Suggested fabrics: Batiks


 6. Disappearing ninepatch table runner
Find the tutorial here.
Suggested fabrics to use: Marblehead (featured in photo above)