Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Christmas shopping made easy!

Thanksgiving is over...a few turkey leftovers are all that's, well, left over. 

Christmas is right around the corner, and it's time to get your holiday shopping knocked out! But while you're shopping for everyone else, who is shopping for your gifts? 

We've got two helpful printables for you--they'll ensure that you get exactly what you want for Christmas (as long as you're on the nice list!).

Download and print out a pdf of the Christmas Wish List here.
Download and print out a pdf of the Letter to Santa here.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! 

p.s. Check out this link to Thanksgiving poems and blessings--a variety of ways to consider thankfulness.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Giving Thanks with Pillowcases

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we're sharing the newest pillowcase patterns from American Patchwork & Quilting's 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.

Pillowcase 68: String-Pieced Band featuring Lost World
Photo credit: AllPeopleQuilt.com; find the pattern here.

 Pillowcase 69: Wonky Heart Band featuring Natural Beauty by Ro Gregg
Photo credit: AllPeopleQuilt.com; find the pattern here.

If you're looking for a way to give back this holiday season, consider making a few pillowcases and donating them to a local charity. Then don't forget to add them to the count to help AP&Q in their quest to provide 1 million pillowcases to those in need!

Learn more about the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Celebration !

Thanksgiving is in 2 days. The grocery stores are packed. And you're looking for something a little different, something a little fun...something to add a little sparkle to your holiday feast. Look no further than our Thanksgiving Pinterest board! We've got unique food ideas, easy decor, and even turkey day games! Here are a few of our favorites.

Pie Crust Art
Find it here.

Fresh Votives in Glass Jars
Find it here.

Add a little "healthy eating" to your Thanksgiving meal
Find it here.

Games for when the eating's done
Find it here.

Bacon + Stuffing. Need we say more?
Find it here.

Turkey Hand Towel
Find it here.

A thankfulness pumpkin
Find it here.

Looking for more food and fun? Check out our Thanksgiving Must-Dos Pinterest board!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

December comes early: Season's Greetings

It's official! The radio stations have started playing Christmas music. Thanksgiving may be next week, but it appears the holidays have begun. Cue up Jingle Bells; this week we'll be sharing our holiday lines.

Season's Greetings is a large holiday collection that has a little something for everyone. Snowflakes, snowmen, plaid, stripes, Santas, trees, dots and more! 

The collection also includes an advent calendar panel and a stocking panel--ready to stitch and use!

See the entire Season's Greetings collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop.

Missed our other holiday fabric posts? 
A Snow Family Christmas

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

December comes early: Holiday Editions

It's official! The radio stations have started playing Christmas music. Thanksgiving may be next week, but it appears the holidays have begun. Cue up Jingle Bells; this week we'll be sharing our holiday lines.

Holiday Editions is all about classic Christmas, sprinkled with metallic gold. Decadent ornament and poinsettia prints, a vintage Merry Christmas print, and rich tonal coordinates. 

And then, our favorite from the collection, this border print:

What a fantastic tablecloth!

See the entire Holiday Editions collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop. 

Missed our other holiday fabric posts? 
A Snow Family Christmas

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

December comes early: A Snow Family Christmas

It's official! The radio stations have started playing Christmas music. Thanksgiving may be next week, but it appears the holidays have begun. Cue up Jingle Bells; this week we'll be sharing our holiday lines.

We love a great snowman-themed collection. Without Santa, the reindeer, and decorated trees, snowman prints can be used in a quilt that lasts all winter long! Judy Hansen's A Snow Family Christmas fabric line is exactly that. 

All the prints:

Imagine all the different uses for this stripe! Fussy cut inner borders, blocks...

The main focal print combines snowmen with the text print:

Candy canes in two colors:

 Checkerboard in red, navy and green:

Two more fun prints--holly and adorable snowmen:

The text print in gray, red and navy:

The Snow Family collection also includes a stocking panel, which can be made into a detailed stocking with minimal fuss. Perfect for a last-minute gift to be hung by the chimney with care!

See the entire A Snow Family Christmas collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Artistry in Quilting: The giraffe and the zebra

Recently we shared a behind-the-scenes look at Valerie Funk's "The Lion and the Paintbrush" quilt made using our Painter's Palette Solids. Today we've invited Valerie to talk about her giraffe and zebra quilts. (The best part, besides the eye candy? Valerie is selling these patterns, so you can make your own! See end of the post for details.) Enjoy!

Q. What inspired you to create animal quilts?
VF: My goal this year has been to try to expand my creativity and do something that would appeal to a broader audience—designing patterns that I could sell. Everybody likes animals, so I started there. I started with the lion and it turned out beautifully. The lion is so complex that I’m pretty positive I’ll never have a pattern I could sell. Next I moved on to a zebra. The zebra really turned out to be a pretty easy pattern to work with. The giraffe, I think that one I would call an intermediate pattern.

"Gypsy the Giraffe" by Valerie Funk;
featuring Painter's Palette Solids

Q. How did you end up with a lime, pink, orange and blue giraffe?
VF: When I was looking online for inspiration, Andy Warhol’s art kept coming up. The more I looked at his artwork and the colors he used, I really liked the different look it created: Taking something that you’d expect to see in “real” colors and giving it a pop with colors you didn’t expect.
After I drew the giraffe, I thought it would be adorable hanging in a kid’s room. I started with the Easter egg family of colors because I thought they’d be perfect in a girl’s room. I also created one with more lifelike colors in shades of brown with a blue sky. Next I’m going to go back and do one in brighter, primary colors.

Q. The giraffe also has a tree and leaves in it, but your other designs are the animal head only. Why did you make that decision?
VF: I wanted to add visual interest. The giraffe’s head was tall and narrow, and I didn’t want such a skinny quilt—I needed to fill space! Anyone making the quilt can ad lib a bit—picking and choosing where to put the leaves.

Q. Tell us about the quilting on the giraffe—it’s so different from the lion!
VF: The giraffe and zebra quilts were both planned to be patterns. My goal was to show people that if they were creating it, they wouldn’t have to do custom quilting. I didn’t want quilters to shy away from making the quilt because of the quilting. I wanted to show them how nice it can look with an edge to edge design. There’s really no wrong way—you can quilt it any way and it’s going to look great.

"Ze Coat of Many Colors "by Valerie Funk;
featuring the Leather collection

Q. You’ve made both the zebra and the giraffe in a couple different color combinations. Why?
VF: I wanted to show a little variety—not just what’s on the pattern cover. I hope that by seeing these different versions, I can help people unleash their creativity.
"Ze Coat of Many Colors" Zen Zebra by Valerie Funk;
featuring Painter's Palette Solids

Q. Do you have a favorite among these three patterns?

VF: I love them all, but the zebra is probably my favorite. I like the eyes, and the close crop of the zebra itself. And the variety of colors! There’s just something about the zebra. For me it’s a captivating look.

"Ze Coat of Many Colors" by Valerie Funk;
featuring Painter's Palette Solids

Thank you, Valerie, for sharing your beautiful animal quilts with us!

See the post on Valerie's "The Lion and the Paintbrush" quilt here.
Visit Valerie's blog here
Visit Valerie's Facebook page here and check out The Lion and the Paintbrush photo album to see more close-ups of the quilt. 

Want the patterns? Purchase Valerie's giraffe pattern here and zebra pattern here.

See all 168 colors of our Painter's Palette Solids here and ask for them at your local quilt shop. 
Find a list of shops carrying the Solids here

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Artistry in Quilting: The Lion and the Paintbrush

Last week during our Quilt Market tour post, we showed you Valerie Funk's art quilt, "The Lion and the Paintbrush." Today we're back with a post full of process photos and an interview with Valerie to learn more about her gorgeous work of art. Enjoy! 

"The Lion and the Paintbrush" by Valerie Funk, 

Q. How did you get into quilting?
VF: I moved to Iowa and was looking for something creative to do, something that would use my degree in photography, graphics and design. After learning traditional quilting, I ran across a couple applique quilts. I started looking at quilts from an artistic standpoint as opposed to a utilitarian quilt that would go on a bed. I liked what applique added to the quilts, but needle turn wasn’t going to work for me. Being introduced to fusible web was eye opening, and the flood gates opened up. I had all these designs in my head and I couldn’t get them out fast enough to create them.

Q. How do you design your art quilts?
VF: It depends—at first, I did all of my sketches with pen and paper, and then I’d photograph the design and have it printed at the size I needed. Then I got a tablet with a pen, and for some designs I’ll draw on the tablet. With more lifelike quilts like this lion, I’ll find images online to use as inspiration and pull details from them to create my design.
Almost everything I create is a mixture of images I like. I take a handful of iamges I like, put them on my tablet, and then I’ll draft my designs on paper using bits and pieces of what I liked from each image to create my own.

Q. Talk to us about your color choices.

VF: I’m a freeform kind of artistic. The only color I planned ahead of time was the lighter yellow base, because it wouldn’t muddy the design, and the other bright colors would stand out on top of it. The colors were planned on the fly—I got to each piece and made a decision. Sometimes I keep a color wheel by my project to help me choose what colors will look good together.

Q. Your lion is not what one would call “traditionally colored.” What prompted you to go with such a rainbow of a palette?
VF: When I started designing animal quilts, it was definitely stepping outside of my own comfort zone to do these in no-traditional colors. When I was working on the lion, I said to myself, it’s either going to be amazing, or I’m going to die crying. That was a bit of a scary moment. But after I finished the lion, I really liked the way it looked.

Q. Let’s talk about assembly.
VF: The lion is probably by far one of the most complex quilts that I have ever put together. I work one piece at a time, adding them to the light yellow lion head. After fusing all the pieces, I do a zig zag stitch to secure them. I like the look of the zig zag because it blends better with the quilt. I don’t want the topstitching of the pieces to be what stands out.

Q. The quilting on this is wonderful to look at—each piece has a different motif!
VF: The custom quilting—there’s so much in that quilt. I love the way it turned out. I hid a paintbrush in there in one of the tufts of fur and I hid my initials somewhere else. Each piece of the lion was addressed separately. I think for every piece in there, I changed thread to make sure every one was perfect.

Wavy lines on the black background:

The quilted lion from the back of the quilt--so much detail! 

Thanks, Valerie, for sharing the details of your lion quilt with us! Stop by later this week to see two more of Valerie's quilts made with our Painter's Palette Solids. 

Visit Valerie's blog here
Visit Valerie's Facebook page here and check out The Lion and the Paintbrush photo album to see more close-ups of the quilt. 

See all 168 colors of our Painter's Palette Solids here and ask for them at your local quilt shop. 
Find a list of shops carrying the Solids here