Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Sara Trail's Folk Heart

We're back with Sara Trail, talking about inspiration, the design process, and her new line, Folk Heart

Q. Where do you get your inspiration from for your fabric lines and patterns?
Sara: I get inspiration from fashion magazines, nature, rug catalogs, Christmas cards, dreams, beautiful California public gardens and parks, antique scrapbooks, random photos I take…pretty much just anything around me. 

Q. Describe the fabric design process.
Sara: I start the design process by leafing through my random cell phone photo prints, magazine tear-outs and colorful antique scrapbooks. I have a cool plastic Pantone color set which allows me to figure out exactly what color palette my inspiration piece is in "fabric designer's language."  I start by making photos of my ideas, and then I work with the art department at Fabri-Quilt to settle upon a design that is appealing not only to me but most importantly the customer! 

Q. What was the inspiration behind Folk Heart?
Sara:  I wanted a folk-art type design that had a homemade, unique type of feel. I love the artwork embedded within the theme fabrics and the animals are very cute.

Q. Which print in the collection is your favorite?
Sara: I definitely love the theme fabric, with the large scale of the animals- along with the cream flower print.

Q. What do you envision this collection being used for?
Sara: I could see it being used in a kitchen d├ęcor set, including place mats, curtains, and pot holders, or gifts—really cute purses, tote bags and quilts.
I would love to see what other people use the fabrics for. Please send me a picture of your creations! (Sara can be reached through her website, Sew Sara Sew.)

Friday, October 26, 2012

How long of a line...

...are you willing to wait in for great fabric deals? The longest one we know of is the line for Sample Spree at Quilt Market.

And speaking of which, hello to all of you waiting in the Sample Spree line! We hope you received one of our sample packs of twenty-six 3" Marblehead squares while you are/were waiting in line. And then used your smartphone to pop onto our blog! While you're chatting with friends and making new ones, enjoy the beautiful colors of the fabric and start brainstorming a block to make using them, because we have a challenge for you.

When you return home from Quilt Market, sated with fabric-y goodness, we hope you'll dig these sample squares out of your suitcase, stitch a 12" square block, and send it to us. We'll sew all the blocks we receive into a quilt(s!) and donate it (them!) to charity. We'll also select a winning block, and the block maker will receive a free Marblehead Global Brights fat quarter pack just in time for Christmas!

And while you're at Sample Spree, stop by and visit us at table #178 and #179. We'll be the tables with towering stacks of fat quarters. :)

Happy Shopping!

p.s. We want to know....what is the longest you've ever waited in line for a fabric/quilt-related purchase or event? And was it worth it? Tell us about it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Drumroll...Creativity Quadrupled!

We are so excited to share this big announcement with you! 

We'd like to introduce you to Rebecca, Jackie, Roseann, and Christina. 

These four incredibly talented ladies make up our new blogging design ring. They'll be creating projects with our fabric lines, posting how-tos for making them on our blog, and then offering fabric giveaways tied into the projects. 

That's right! Fresh, creative projects--from small stitched projects to quilts--featured in tutorials right here, just for you. The first post from one of blogging design ring members will go up in the next few weeks. We'll be sure to let you know when!

Scroll down to read more about each of these ladies and use the links to check out their blogs. We know you'll like what you see! 

Meet Rebecca Aikema from Our Busy Little Bunch

My full-time job is being mother to my four children and a wife to my very supportive husband, but I love to fill my spare time with sewing and quilting.  I have often said that having these hobbies is 'the glue that holds this mama together.' I love sewing anything from small accessories, to bags, to clothing for my kids.  I was introduced to quilting eight years ago by one of my best friends, and have since made dozens of quilts for families and friends.  The talented online community of quilters and sewers has been so encouraging; I love reading blogs for inspiration and to see projects with the new fabric lines.

Meet Jackie Kunkel from Canton Village Quilt Works
I am the owner of Canton Village Quilt Works. I  have been a quilter for 18 years, in business for 12, long arm quilting for 12, designing for magazines for about 2.5 years, and have taught classes over the last 18 years as well. I have also been an avid quilting blogger since 2007. I have been instrumental in forming the Modern Connecticut Quilt guild and moderated an event in NYC for the Alliance of American Quilts this past August.  I also have been producing a quilting podcast for 3 years now called Jackie’s Quilting Chronicles which can be found in iTunes. It was a natural transition for me to want to combine my love of paper piecing and Judy Niemeyer designs to become a Certified Teacher.  I have already been lecturing and doing trunk shows for guilds for 2 years and enjoying the entire process.This past September, I have spearheaded a NEW week-long quilt show at the New England Air Museum (NEAM).

Meet Roseann Meehan Kermes from Rosebud's Cottage
I am the owner of Rosebud’s Cottage in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. I began my career as a teacher at a local store, focusing on soft projects, small quilts, and decorative painting projects. As a designer, my patterns have been sold to quilt shops and magazines and also manufactured and sold in the gift industry. Many of my projects have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens® publications and other craft magazines and I'm currently a contributor to American Patchwork and Quilting® magazine. I opened my retail store in 1996, and in 2004, it was chosen as one of the top ten shops for Quilt Sampler® magazine. I grew up under scrap quilts - my mom was one of the founding mothers of Minnesota Quilters, Inc - and was always encouraged to be creative. In addition to working with fabric and wool, I enjoys other forms of creative expression, such as paper crafts, decorative painting, and altered art. With a camera always in my pocket, I take lots of photos and share them with others. My motto … there’s inspiration everywhere! 

Meet Christina Roy from 2 little hooligans
I am a married, stay at home Momma to three little ones who is obsessed with all things crafty and homemade. My blog is where I share our lives in New Hampshire, home renovations, gardening, crafting, sewing and of course lots of pictures of the" kiddos". I first learned how to sew in high school, but it wasn't until after my second child was born three years ago that my love for sewing really grew. I started out making baby items and before I knew it my mind was thinking up new designs for just about anything I saw that was made out of fabric. Sewing has become a passion of mine over the past few years and very few days go by when I haven't sat behind my sewing machine to create something. 
I am so excited and very honored to be part of the Fabri-Quilt blogging design ring. I will admit, I do not do a lot of quilting, instead I tend to create items that are quick sewing projects. I love to create practical items that will be used in our everyday lives. I usually try to make it before I buy it and hope I can inspire others to do the same. There is something so satisfying by making something instead of buying it! I am really looking forward to sharing some practical and quick sewing projects with all of you and hope that my style of sewing can add a different dimension to the group. I am really looking forward to what the other bloggers will be creating and how they will be inspiring us all!

We can't wait to see what these women create from our fabric!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ready for Quilt Market!

Crates of fabric cards?

Boxes upon boxes of fat quarter bundles?

Sample Spree Challenge handouts?

Quilts to hang in the booth?

Our team here at Fabri-Quilt has been busy getting ready for Fall Quilt Market*, and all that's left is to hop on the plane to Houston. 

Are you attending Quilt Market this year? 

  • Please swing by our booth to say hello. 
  • Don't miss Judy Hansen's schoolhouse** on 30 Quick & Easy Ways to Display and Sell Fabric Fast!
  • Standing in line at Sample Spree***? Watch for our sample pack handouts and join the Sample Spree Challenge (more info to follow later this week!). 

Whether you are attending Market or not, check back here on Thursday for a BIG announcement! We've been hard at work setting up another feature just for you. 

But before we leave, we wanted to give you a peek at some of what goes into getting ready for the show. 

When quilt shop owners come to the booth, we show them the new fabric lines on large sample cards so they can choose what to buy. For future lines, the fabric designs are printed directly on the card. Collections that will be going on sale soon have actual fabric samples.
Here, we're adhering fabric squares onto the sample cards.

Another card in the works.

A completed card (and a sneak peek at Tribal Council, which will be available in shops in November)

Fat quarter heaven! We'll have a booth at Sample Spree (please stop by if you're attending), and these boxes are full of bundles just waiting for a good home. 

Each year we decorate our booth to reflect the fabric lines we're selling, including sample quilts and smaller sewing projects made from the various collections. This year we'll be featuring Cook's Helper, Dancing Cranes, Budding Beauties, Marbleheads, and more. We'll also be displaying the Hopi Opportunity Quilt

Ready to be packed: Various small sewing projects for the booth, including a giant poof (sewn from Budding Beauties), an iPad cover, a jacket made of Marblehead fabrics, and a few placemats.

Boxes of sample cards

The grand total? 5 large crates of booth supplies, shipped to Houston

We'll be taking plenty of photos so we can show off the booth (and our new fabric lines) after we return from Market. 

For those unfamiliar with Quilt Market and the events surrounding it:
*Quilt Market is an industry trade show that happens twice a year. It is not open to the general public. Fabric companies show their new lines to quilt shop owners, other new products, tools, and patterns debut, there's an entire gallery of show quilts, and everyone walks around in inspiration overload for three days. It's wonderful!

**Schoolhouses are 30-minute educational sessions the day before Quilt Market, They are geared toward shop owners which introduce new fabrics/products/business strategies.

***Sample Spree: Market vendors bring extra goods for a 2-hour shopping event the night before show begins. Tickets are hot; attendees begin waiting in line a few hours before Sample Spree opens. Once the doors open, everyone rushes in for great deals on fabric, patterns, and more. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thank you!

Thanks so much to all who shared comments about what they'd like to see on the blog.
Random generator selected:
Calico632, who said: "I would love to see everything you mentioned plus other quilters quilts..I love the different ideas they have for a pattern. most are so clever.."

Calico632, please email your name and mailing address to fabriquiltblog @ gmail.com and we'll send something to you after Quilt Market.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Do you know Sara?

Today, we'd like to introduce you to Sara Trail, our youngest fabric designer. Sara's fabric lines include Biology 101 and her newest collection, in stores now, Folk Heart.

Sara and Maddie

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Sara: I am 17 years old and a freshman at UC Berkeley. I have not decided on a major yet, but am thinking about business, public policy or psychology. I was born in Chicago, but mostly raised in California. I love to sew and collect fabrics!

Q. When did you start sewing?
Sara: My mom introduced me to sewing at the young age of four, and I have enjoyed the hobby ever since. My grandma would constantly get upset with my mom for letting me on a sewing machine at such a young age, in fear of piercing my hand with the needle. However, I didn't run my hand underneath the machine shaft until I was 12, as a result of talking on the phone and sewing with one hand… lesson learned. I have an 86 year old great aunt who used to babysit me as a child, who used to sew all of my aunt’s clothes when they were younger! One time, I remember cutting all the fabric up from her sewing box into unusable pieces, and wondering why she was so upset. However thank goodness she loved me a bit more than her fabric stash!

Anyways, I have always loved fabrics of all kinds, based off texture, color, material or anything- I love the diversity in fabric. By the time I was 9 years old, I had, with the help of my mom, started an after school sewing program at my church with the support of my quilting mentor Mrs. Eleanor O’ Donnell. As I got older, I learned dressmaking from my other mentor, Prof. Laverne Edwards who taught me everything about drafting patterns, and creating garments from scratch.
Teaching kids how to sew

Q. How did you get into fabric design?
Sara: My opportunity to design fabrics for Fabri-Quilt came from John and Sue Linam of Fabri-Quilt.  They flew to my home and introduced me to the creative world of fabric design! I have always enjoyed designing, sketching, and color theory so fabric designing was something I really enjoyed doing.

Q. You also have a line of sewing patterns through Simplicity. How did that start?
Sara: I contacted Mrs. Judy Raymond (now retired ) of Simplicity Patterns and asked for a chance to patterns design for Simplicity, and they licensed me to design for them using some of my sketches and prototype clothing that I had sewn.

 Some of Sara's sewing patterns

Q. What do you like best about designing fabric?
Sara: I like being able to choose trendy colors for my fabric designs.  I enjoy taking pictures of colors found in nature, furniture or anywhere else that catches my eye.  My cell phone is full of random photos of objects that have beautiful colors, or texture or patterns and I tend to print out the random photos I take and use them for inspiration for new fabric ideas, or just to hang on my college dorm wall.

Q. How would you describe your style? How has your style changed as you've gotten older?
Sara: I would describe my style as eccentric, creative and different. When I was younger, I loved contrast and bright primary colors that were bold and stark against plainer backgrounds. However, now I am starting to appreciate blended colors now and "handmade" designs with imperfect edges rather than crisp perfect lines.

It's great getting to know you, Sara! We'll be back with a look at Sara's fabric collections and quilts. In the meantime, you can visit her website, Sew Sara Sew

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We're all ears!

In addition to getting ready for Quilt Market next week, we have a big announcement coming soon on the blog! Stay tuned...

But before we get to that, we want to hear from you. What would you like to see on this blog?

  • New fabric lines?
  • Free quilt patterns?
  • Free smaller sewing project patterns?
  • Interviews with designers?
  • Information about projects featured in magazines?
  • What else? 

Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. As a thank you for doing so, we'll randomly select a winner from the comments to receive a fabric gift! Though you're welcome to leave a comment at any time, to be eligible for the giveaway, you must comment by Sunday, October 21 at 
5 pm EST.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We {Heart} Hydrangeas!

We're busy getting ready for Quilt Market, which is less than two weeks away! (More on that to come.) In the meantime, we wanted to give you a heads-up about Budding Blooms, Ro Gregg's new hydrangea-themed collection, that is available in shops now.

The line includes a panel available in two colorways, several large florals, blenders, and these two richly colored ombres.
How much fun could you have with these gradations of color? Borders, sashing, binding, fussy-cut quilt blocks...so many possibilities!

And in case you need a little more inspiration, you can find the FREE pattern for this "Secret Garden" quilt by Dawn Conery on our website.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Star is Born

We know you love the Marblehead prints, but have you seen Ro Gregg's ''A Star is Born'' fabrics? They're in the Marblehead family, rich with texture and color.

"I wanted to design a Marblehead pattern with the true look of artisan-quality quilts, using bold, beautiful marbles,'' Ro says. ''I added the 'Midas Touch' metallic overprint for an updated look."

What does this effect create? Star quality that combines geometric motifs with an upscale, contemporary look.

Ro's favorite: the starburst tile, full of depth and illusion, which comes in four colorways.
Hollywood Star: Vibrant multidimensional hues of
caribbean turquoise, orange flame, sunny yellow,
lime green, and dramatic black

Sundance Star: Sensational shades kissed by the sun in
fuchsia, bright pinks, orange flame, sunshine yellow,
and jungle green

Star of Valor: A salute to our armed forces!
Red, white and blue never looked so good

Tiffany Star: Even a Tiffany window doesn't compare to
these hues of cobalt blue, palace purple, lime, caribbean
blue and mediterranean blue

If you love these prints as much as we do, check out the quilt Terry Albers made using the Sundance Star colorway. The quilt uses large squares of the starburst print--fussy cut it and it will do all the work for you!

Click here for the pdf of the FREE pattern for this quilt.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Glorious Fall Colors

If the vibrant colors of changing fall leaves have inspired you to start a new project, look no further than Terry Albers' Autumn Glow quilt, a bonus feature from the November/December 2012 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting.

Gorgeous, isn't it? It really does seem to glow!

Q. How did you come up with the design idea?
Terry: I had a very traditional, hand-pieced, vintage two-color quilt that I wanted to reproduce for my bed.  I built the blocks into my computer program and experimented with different fabric combinations.

Q. How did you choose what color palette to use?
Terry: I started playing with colors against black, which gave the quilt a much more contemporary feel. I love the illusion of light that you can create by careful placement of a color progression.  Thinking of the Morning Glory pool at Yellowstone National Park, I used a 7-color progression from light blue into teal for my first version of this quilt. The "Focus" line of blenders by Paintbrush Studio are tone on tone, making the colors sparkle and blend better than a flat color broadcloth would.

Terry's first version, done in cool colors

Q. How did you decide to gradate the colors from yellow out to orange, to red, etc.?
Terry: I chose the colors for this quilt while thinking of autumn in the Wisconsin
North woods. I used the pale yellow at the center and progressed out to the darker colors, making me feel as though I'm looking into (and going toward) the light.

Q. Why did you choose to paper piece this design?
Terry: I paper-pieced this quilt for two main reasons; to control the bias edges and
clearly mark where each color belonged.  Paper (or foundation) piecing also helps keep the blocks consistent from sewing session to sewing session. This makes the top easier to assemble.

Q. Tell us about the machine quilting.
Terry: Diana Napier is a long-arm quilting genius. She completes my designs. We decided to do circles in the center to keep the flowing feel and she did her magic in the outer borders. The thread has a very slight sheen to it, adding to the glow.

Q. What are you planning to use this quilt for?
Terry: My husband worked on this quilt with me and he loves the color combination. I'll most likely be hanging it as a seasonal quilt, somewhere where he can see it every day."

Thanks Terry!

This pattern is available for FREE on the Fons & Porter website (you simply have to register for access).
Click here to get the pattern.
Click here to find the magazine.
Click here to buy a kit for this project.
Click here to learn more about Terry and her work.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Get a Holiday Headstart!

...with this easy poinsettia table runner, featured in the December-January issue of Quilt magazine.

We spoke to Terry Albers of Hedgehog Quilts, who designed this table runner using the Noel collection. 

Q. What attracted you to the fabric line?
Terry: I love poinsettias...especially pink and creamy white ones.  I love the realism and the scale of the blooms. The gold metallic accents are gracefully done and give even more depth to the background. It was an irresistible combination for me.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for the table runner?
Terry: I wanted a small, quick project for gift giving. My quilting friends and I will be making several of these for church bazaars, charity auctions and, of course, one set for ourselves. It is an easy pattern...the fabric does most of the work.

Q. How did you choose the coordinating fabrics to go with the main
poinsettia print?
Terry: I chose the red and green tonals from the Noel collection and accented it with true, deep black.

Q. What is your favorite part about the table runner?
Terry: I think there is an elegance to flowers set on point, and I love that. 

Click here to learn more about Terry and her patterns. 
Click here to purchase the kit for this table runner from The Quilting Hen.
Click here to find out where you can purchase Quilt magazine.

Terry also sewed a set of matching napkins that fold into a tree (and you don't have to be a napkin-folding expert to do it!). How neat! Find the pattern for these napkins free here at quiltmag.com.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


The random number generator chose:
Katie, who said: "Our local Women's shelter has recently requested pillow cases so that's where I would donate them."

Katie, congratulations! Please email your mailing address to fabriquiltblog@gmail.com so that we can send pillowcase fabric your way. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

At the Hop - Free Pattern!

Recently we posted a free pattern for a vintage-style apron made out of the Peggy Sue fabric by Ro Gregg. Today we're back with a free quilt pattern from the same line. 
We think you'll love the fresh, modern look of "At the Hop," designed by Jean Ann Wright. The quilt measures 74" x 90" and uses an easy rail fence block. We love the double large floral border, and the sweet appliqued butterflies, and we think you will too!

Click here for a link to the printable pdf of this pattern.

For a slightly different look, here is the same quilt with a green large floral border instead.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Friends of Fabri-Quilt Gallery

Denisa Ciranova of Zebra Patchwork quilt shop in Bratislava, Slovakia, was kind enough to share some of the projects she has made using our fabric.

From the Fall Spectacular line:

''When I first saw this collection I knew it would be placemats – I put the central picture in the middle and added few strips around it."

From the Farmer John's Market line:

Denisa's 15-year-old daughter made these pillows for herself and two friends when they attended a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Prague.

From the Victoria's Guest House line:

''This was quite easy; the beautiful big flowers on the fabric did all the work!"

Update, October 3: We accidentally listed a few projects as having been made by Denisa, but they were made by a friend of hers, Elena Konusova, also from Bratslavia. 

From the Astral Summer fabric line:
 Elena used a pattern called Rhapsody in Bloom from the Quiltmaker March/April 2011 issue.

From the Floral Vignettes line:

A table topper using the ''Winding Ways'' pattern

Thanks for sharing, Denisa and Elena!

Please send us photos of projects you've made featuring our fabric, and we may include you on our blog too! Email photos to: fabriquiltblog@gmail.com