The Teddies Quilt Pattern

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sometimes inspiration for patterns comes in unexpected places. A month ago, I was having one of those days where all you want to do is lay on the couch and veg out. I downloaded a relatively new mobile game for my iPhone called Alphabears. It's a pretty standard word-building game, with one adorable difference: cute blocky bears in costumes.

After playing a few rounds, the light bulb switched on and I ran to my computer to design a teddy bear quilt block. Once I had the block design nailed down, I started working on a quilt layout. Then, as I shifted a second block over, I realized the teddy bears would "hold hands" without sashing strips between them. It was just too cute to pass up.

The Teddies Quilt patterns consists of nine teddy blocks, each comprised of three fabric prints plus a black solid (or near solid) for the eyes, nose, and mouth. My pattern provides material requirements for three bears in each of three colors, as well as cutting instructions for individual teddy blocks if you want to make scrappy teddies like some of my testers.

@applepiepatchwork made her charming teddies with Bonnie & Camille scraps.

@gailtmonroe used her teddies' bellies as a clever opportunity for fussy cutting, which reminds me of Teletubbies.

@hugsarefun made her magenta teddy into a huggable pillow.

@3stitchin_nite_owls also made scrappy teddies with Alison Glass prints. 

@Ifitaintkate didn't have time to finish the quilt top, but she did make some adorable bear-ception blocks with Cotton + Steel prints.

@sleinwand is after my heart with these blue teddies! How cute is that Castle Peeps teddy?!

@taracceleste also made her teddy block into a pillow! 

@karriofberries made a turquoise teddy that she plans to finish into a tote bag. Won't that be cute?

Thank you to my testers for all your work! They really made these teddies come to life.

Click *HERE* to purchase the Teddies Quilt in my Craftsy shop. Check out the hashtag #TeddiesQuilt on Instagram to see more teddies!

Size: 56" x 65"
Fabric: Mini Pearl Bracelets and Jewels by Lizzy House, Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander, Cotton + Steel basics, and Paper Bandana by Alexia Abegg
Pattern: Teddies
Quilting: Blocky meander
Completed: September 2015

Fall 2015 Quilt Market: Favorites

For a fabric lover, Quilt Market feels Santa's workshop. There are so many sights to take in and exciting products to covet. Here are my favorites from the show.

Cotton + Steel Collections

Photo credit: @cottonandsteel

No surprise here because I love everything these ladies do. The six quilting cotton collections  (Fruit Dots, Cat Lady, Penny Arcade, Macrame, and Bluebird) have the most gorgeous selection of colors yet. I bought a FQ bundle of each at Sample Spree and I've already put the entire range into color order. In past releases, one collection usually stands out as my far and away favorite, but it's really hard to choose this time.

The Lovely Hunt by Lizzy House

Photo credit: @suppose_quilts & @vhaberdashery 

I'm not sure if this collection counts since it released prior to market, but The Lovely Hunt has so many things going for it: a wonderfully rich color spectrum, unicorns (in a style that reminds me of The Last Unicorn), and great coordinates. As a medieval art lover, this collection turns the art I love into something modern and bright.

Mendocino by Heather Ross 

Photo credit: @mushyhed and @fatquartershop
Another no brainer for my list. I'm by no means a water baby, but mermaids have always been captivating to me. The sense of movement this collection creates is so impressive to me as an illustrator. I'm not much of a pink-loving girl, but the rich berry tones combined with the rich oranges and golds compliment each other so perfectly.

Pacific (and quilt patterns) by Elizabeth Hartman

I actually took these photos. 

I held out on buying Rhoda Ruth because I mistakenly thought it would be available at Sample Spree. When I learned Elizabeth had a new collection available in it's place, I was still eyeing Rhoda Ruth until I saw Pacific at Schoolhouse. Several of the prints in Pacific are direct reprints from Rhoda Ruth (prints I wanted), plus Pacific has bunnies! Her new quilt patterns are all to die for. I for one, have Fancy Forest lined up on my cutting table already.

Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander

Photo credit: @carolynfriedlander & @thermoweb

I knew I would love Carolyn's new collection before I even saw it. Her prints are the perfect blenders, and her color selection is always on point. Her design savvy gives me woozy knees every time I see her booth. I don't think anyone else could take such a small number of projects (that are mostly small themselves) and make a 10' x 10' booth look so enticing. Her fabrics and samples really embody the idea that less is more and attention to detail can have a huge impact.

Patterns & Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful

Photo credit: @sewkindofwonderfuljenny

The Quick Curve Ruler isn't new, but it caught my attention this past weekend. The quilts in their booth and a hypnotic demo by Sherilyn had me foaming at the mouth for their products. I picked up their new booth, One Wonderful Curve, at the book signing as well as the original ruler and Country Chic pattern (pictured right). They also have a mini QCR for tiny versions of their quilts. 

Fall 2015 Quilt Market Recap

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Quilt Market is my favorite time of year, and this Fall 2015 Market was no exception. I attended market for the first time last fall, so this is my second time making the rounds at the George R Brown convention center. It felt a little different this time around. Armed with my Windham Exhibitor's badge, it felt so good to be able to introduce myself as a fabric designer instead of saying, "I want to design fabric" like I had in the past. As an additional bonus, I attended along side my sewing BFF Julia.

Schoolhouse sessions by Kim Anderson & Elizabeth Hartman

This was my first time attending a full day of Schoolhouse, and it was a long day! I went to sessions by Angela Walters, Elizabeth Hartman, Lizzy House, Cotton + Steel, Aurifil, Kim Anderson, Sarah Jane, Heather Givans, and more. I love hearing designers speak about their collections and how they market them to the shop owners. It's not something the end consumers really think about, but designers have to put a lot of consideration into it.

Schoolhouse sessions by Lizzy House & Cotton + Steel

After Schoolhouse, we went to Fabric 2.0 for a quick drink, some snacking, and mingling before heading off to Sample Spree. They moved the time up an hour from previous markets, so there was only an hour gap between it and Schoolhouse. I had been skeptical of the change, but I think it was a good move. It was nice to be over and down with all the craziness an hour earlier so we could go home and get some sleep.

Giucy Giuce and I with our Collegiate Totes // Julia and her Lizzy House Dresses

We walked the show floor on Saturday and Sunday, and somehow managed to get all the business tasks on our to-do lists checked off. Of course we had lots of welcome distractions along the way, like stopping to chat with old friends as well as meeting people we've adored online. I got to meet Abby Glassenberg, Aneela Hoey, and Sandi Hazlewood for the first time and had some delightful conversations. Although this wasn't my first time talking to Tula Pink, it was the first conversation we had that extended beyond a quick "hello." She and her brother imparted some nice words of wisdom for me as a new designer. :)

Julia and I are huge Lizzy House Fans

My friend Patty had a booth for her new collection with Michael Miller, Into the Deep. Her booth completely knocked my socks off. You may have seen the jaw-dropping mermaid dress on IG.

Into the Deep by Patty Sloniger
 The booths were full of so many projects, it's difficult to take it all in at times. You may have notices that all of these photos are taken from my IG account. I had intended to bring my DSLR on Friday, but didn't follow through. I struggle a bit with feeling like the camera prevents me from being in the moment, and in the end, I didn't want to make the sacrifice just for some photos.

My Bubble Plus quilt in Heather Ross's booth // Violet Craft's booth
 It was great reconnecting with friends I don't get to see often like Gina Pina entourage, Becca Bryan, and the Bunny's Designs gals. Market may be a professional event, but it feels like a family reunion with a side of business.

There is always so much on my mind after market, so I'll be breaking up the tornado of ideas into a few posts. Check back soon for more.

Drunkard's Wife Quilt-Along: Introduction

Sunday, October 18, 2015

So, have you ever witnessed your friend proudly show off their new quilt, and noticed that they made a dumb mistake somewhere?  You try not to rain on their parade, but you can't help but be like:

That reaction was the inspiration for a fun Quilt A-long. It combines two activities I cherish: quilting and drinking. I'm calling it The Drunkard's Wife Quilt-Along.

We've all been there. We've gotten tipsy at quilt retreats or had a little too much with dinner, but hey! We got quilts to make! And then we make oopsies. It's time to celebrate those stupid mistakes. The Drunkard's Wife Quilt-Along is an exercise in f***ing up. 

The basic directions are simple. Make a block and screw it up. Do you remember that part in Fight Club where Tyler instructs the guys to get into a fight and lose? It's kinda like that. 

Some of you perfectionists are probably reading this like:

But guess what?

We're grown ass women and we can make some jacked up quilts if we want.

I'll be sharing 12 simple blocks with you on a weekly basis. You can turn it into a monthly BOM/cocktail hour with your friends. Get shwasty while you stitch or do it sober. But there is only one rule: no perfect blocks allowed.

Here's the rest of the basic housekeeping notes.

The finished quilt will measure 54" x 68". 

Fabric: You will need:
  • (1) Fat Eighth for corner stones
  • .75 yards for sashing
  • 1.625 yards for borders (or 1 yard if you're okay with piecing them)
  • 4 yards for backing
  • .5 yard for binding
  • 58" x 72" batting
  • Some embroidery floss (optional)
For your actual blocks, we're taking this the scrappy route, so pull a stack of fat quarters or your scrap bin. I'm not going to give you yardage since different people will want to approach their blocks in different ways. I'm not your mama! Figure it out! We're drinking here, not entering a math tournament.

I'll be starting on November 2nd. Keep up with updates on IG using the hashtag #DrunkardsWifeQAL and #DrunkardsWifeQuilt.

Fall Quilt Market Sewing

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I like Christmas as much as the next person, but I think Quilt Market is my favorite time of year. I love sewing with a clear sense of direction and list of projects to tackle. Fall 2015 is my third time sewing for market booths and this is the biggest batch of projects yet.

For Heather Ross at Windham, I designed and pieced my Bubble Plus quilt with her Mendocino collection.

For Violet Craft at Michael Miller Fabrics, I paper pieced two blocks from her Forest Abstractions pattern with her holiday collection, Christmas at Brambleberry Ridge. 

I three projects for the Andover booth. First is a Collegiate Tote with Alison Glass's Indigo Handcrafted and Andover Chambrays. I also made two small cathedral window pillows with the chambray and Lizzy House's new collection, the Lovely Hunt.

And last but not least, another Collegiate Tote for my dear friend Patty Sloniger of Michael Miller Fabrics. Her new line, Into the Deep is one we used to chat about in our office kitchen, which makes it exciting seeing it come to life.

Sewing for market puts a fire under my butt to crank out some awesome projects. I hope you catch glimpses of them in the #quiltmarket hashtag when the show starts on October 24th!

Bubble Plus Quilt Pattern

Friday, October 9, 2015

When I read the announcement that Windham Fabrics would be reprinting Heather Ross's Mendocino collection, I practically hit the ceiling. It's one of my favorite fabric collections and by the time I started quilting, it was already long out of print. When Windham sent me a fat quarter bundle to play with, I started sketching ideas to do this collection justice.

The shapes in the background of the octopus print caught my eye and I thought, "That would be a really cool quilt!" 

Windham asked to use the quilt in the look book for the collection, so I was biting my nails about how to quilt it. Quilting is probably one of my weaker points in the quilt-making process, and this was just too pretty for me to mess up. I made the decision to have a quilt long armed for the first time by my friend Pam Biswas. I've never not quilted one of my own quilts! It was hard to hand it off, but I was so glad I did. Pam did a beautiful job.

After binding the quilt, I took some photographs, and packed my baby up to ship out to Windham. The Bubble Plus Quilt makes it's appearance on the back cover of the look book as well as the project book. 

The Bubble Plus quilt pattern is available for purchase in my Craftsy shop. Mendocino will be shipping to stores in March 2016. 

I believe the quilt will be on display at Fall Quilt Market at the end of the month, so if you're in attendance, be sure to check it out!

Size: 64" x 75"
Fabric: Mendocino by Heather Ross
Pattern: Bubble Plus
Quilting: Quilted by Pam Biswas
Completed: August 2015