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Monday, October 20, 2014

Susan Rooney: Paper engineer turned fabric designer

Breezy Blooms, the first collection from artist Susan Rooney, starts with garden flowers. Lots of 'em.


And more flowers: The panel, complete with blocks and lengthwise borders to fussy cut 

You'll also notice dotted lines that swirl, an idea the carries through pretty much every fabric in the collection.


And a unique not-your-grandmother's plaid, comprised of smaller patterns:

Scribbles with flowers and heart shapes worked in:


Scribble coordinates in a variety of colors:

Whirl coordinates in a variety of colors:

We asked Susan a few questions about herself and Breezy Blooms:

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I've been a licensed designer for a very long time. I've been doing greeting cards and other types of product design. Now I'm designing fabric as well, and I've teamed up with Ruthann Stillwell, a sewer/quilter to design and write patterns..

What was the starting point for Breezy Blooms?
It was hard to choose where to start, because I have such an extensive line of designs for licensing. Benartex suggested focusing on bright colors. I'm all about bright colors. We picked some florals in my portfolio and began adjusting and changing them for fabric. I always like looking at intricate things—the center of a sunflower—it has that whirl in it. Such an amazing pattern to play off of. Or zinnias, which have a little flower within the flower. I had a bunch of flowers in my garden, and I used photos to help design the fabrics.




One of our favorites is the plaid—how is it different from a typical plaid?
I call it a progressive plaid—the pattern is made out of dots and squares—all those textures and colors in one fabric. I went with the warm colors mixed with black and white, and at the last minute tried to make it work in lime green mixed with black and white as well.


Everyone finds themselves doodling scribbles from time to time. How did your scribble become fabric?
I had a scribble design already created, and then one time in the scribble I noticed something that looked like a heart and a flower. I adjusted the repeat of the pattern to have the hearts and flowers be all over. I like that challenge—making the scribble look random, but having the shapes appear. The dotted scribble line works well with the textures in the flowers.



Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
First, the plaid. I'm excited about it because it's different and it worked. You can play with the pattern and really make something dynamic.

Second would be the whirl, in the pink and yellow combination. The whirl pattern came from flower centers and it really has a nice texture to it.


What makes your panel unique?
I chose the mini flower border because I wanted to do something a little bit different. And with designing patterns, I can come up with ways to use it, like on the free quilt pattern. The flower squares have enough room around them to fussy cut squares from 6-1/2'' up to 12''. And the scribble pattern in the background carries the dot through, pulling everything together.


You said you love brights. Why do you like this color palette so much?
It's kind of fun to play around with the blenders in this collection. Depending on the combinations, you can come up with everything from watermelon colors, to Halloween colors, to just black and white.

What's the advantage to designing fabric and quilt/project patterns?
Ruthann and I work together—it's neat to brainstorm how to use the fabric and how they'll work indifferent patterns. We can take the fabric and design around it for patterns or vice versa. 

Here's a look at some of the patterns Susan and Ruthann have designed:

"Brees Blooms" uses the plaid print to create the illusion of a pieced background for the quilt's 3-D components. The oversized dimensional blooms stem from Susans' background as a paper engineer: "I specialize in pop-up and die cuts, and it's been fun to bring those concepts, particularly the 3-D aspect, into patterns."

Another dimensional project--a blooming pillow that goes with the Brees Blooms quilt.


"The 'Breezy Blooms Purse' is one of my favorites because it's the first one I designed." (back shown here)

"Breezy Blooms Purse" front

Ruthann's Swirly Girl apron pattern--angled with attitude...

...and reversible!

Don't miss Susan's free quilt pattern for her "Breezy Blooms" quilt!

Click here to download the free pattern.

Click here to see the entire Breezy Blooms fabric collection.
Click here to see more of Susan's patterns and other work, and to find out about ordering patterns.























Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Boy Meets Girl

Boy Meets Girl: A new fabric collection from Kanvas
(Because while we all know that while "Quilter Meets Fabric" indicates the same feelings of love, it just doesn't have that catchy ring when you say it. Maybe it's the single syllables?!)


Classic herringbone, modern flowers and dragonflies come together in one great fabric line.

In earth tones:

 In red, black and gray:

 And a free quilt pattern you can download here:
"Mad About You" designed by Tailormade by Design

Click here to see the Boy Meets Girl collection.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Feels Like Fall Bundle Winners!

We hope you enjoyed our Feels Like Fall Blog Hop last week!
So many tutorials and fabrics to choose from, so little time!


Here are the winners of fabric bundles from the blog hop giveaways:


Day 1: Harvest Song



Day 2: Spooktacular



Day 3: Daily Zen



Day 4: Fall Festival





Day 5: Spooktacular




Day 6Indian Summer


Congratulations, winners! We'll be emailing you for your full names and mailing addresses.


If you missed any of our autumn-inspired tutorials, you can find links to them here:
Day 1Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation featuring the Harvest Song collection
Day 2Christina from Sometimes Crafter featuring the Spooktacular collection
Day 3: Melissa from My Fabric Relish featuring the Daily Zen collection
Day 4: Benartex blog design team featuring the Fall Festival collection
Day 5: Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts featuring the Spooktacular collection
Day 6: Erin from Why Not Sew featuring the Indian Summer

Monday, October 13, 2014

Getting ready for the holidays...with pre-cuts!

Are you planning to make a Christmas quilt this year? If so, now is the perfect time to get started! We can even offer a suggestion for a quilt to make:

We love "The Present Quilt" that Jenny Doan from Missouri Quilt Co. makes on this YouTube tutorial. 



Jenny uses Nancy Halvorsen's Christmas Pure & Simple collection to make her quilt in the video. 

Did you know this collection comes in pre-cut 10" squares and 5" charm packs? 
Either pre-cut option helps this quilt go together even faster. 
Check out Jenny's tutorial and let us know what you think! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Feels Like Fall Blog Hop: Day 6

Welcome back! It's the last day of our Feels Like Fall Blog Hop. We hope you've enjoyed the tutorials! Today, Erin from Why Not Sew is here with a beautiful leaf quilt--she used the entire spectrum of color in the Indian Summer collection, paired with the Burlap solids, to create this simple fall design. Erin chose the same Maple Leaf block as Kelly did on Day 1, yet the scale, layout, and fabric choices create a totally different quilt. We think you'll love them both! Enjoy Erin's tutorial and then scroll down to the bottom to find out how to win a fat quarter bundle of Indian Summer fabrics for yourself!



Hello! I am so happy to share this tutorial with you today. I made a fall themed lap quilt using the traditional Maple Leaf quilt block and fabric from Benartex's Indian Summer (the prints) and Burlap (the solids) lines. I made several blocks with different background colors to add some interest and warm it up a bit. Let's get started!



For each block you need:
 from background fabric,
1 rectangle, 4 7/8" x 9 3/4"
2 squares, 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
 from printed fabric,
1 rectangle, 4 7/8" x 9 3/4"
1 rectangle, 1 3/4" x 7"
3 squares, 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"

For the quilt with a 4 x 5 block layout you need (20 blocks):
 from background fabric,
20 rectangle, 4 7/8" x 9 3/4"
40 squares, 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
 from printed fabric,
20 rectangle, 4 7/8" x 9 3/4"
20 rectangle, 1 3/4" x 7"
60 squares, 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"


Start by taking the 4 7/8" x 9 3/4" background and printed fabric and place them right sides together. Draw a line down the center of the rectangle at the 4 7/8" mark. Then mark a diagonal line on each side of the center line like the picture. This will make four half square triangles.











Sew 1/4" from each side of both diagonal lines.


Cut apart on the drawn lines. Set aside.


Cut one of the 4 1/2" background squares on the diagonal. Grab the 1 3/4" x 7" rectangle.


Press the two background triangles in half wrong sides together and press the rectangle in half right sides together.


Lay one of the triangles right sides together with the rectangle, lining up the creases. Sew together.


Open it up and sew the other triangle on to the rectangle, matching the creases.


Press toward the background fabric and square this up to a 4 1/2" square. Square up the half square triangles also.


Layout the squares like this above picture.


Sew the middle column to the first column.


Sew the last column to the middle.


Press the squares in the top and bottom rows away from the center and press the squares in the middle row toward the center.


Sew the rows together and press the seams open.

**For the whole quilt cut your fabric, make the half square triangles for each block, make the stem units for each block, then layout all of the squares arranged like above and stacked on top of each other. Then you can chain piece the blocks. This makes the process so much faster and you'll have a quilt top in no time at all!


Arrange the blocks in a 4 x 5 layout.


Enjoy!!!


Thanks so much to Benartex for asking me to participate in the blog hop! I love this quilt! It's such a simple and quick project I hope you make one too.

Thanks Erin! Head over to Erin's blog to enter to win a fat quarter bundle of Indian Summer fabrics!

This is the sixth of six autumn and/or Halloween themed tutorials coming your way, from Wednesday, October 1 through Wednesday, October 8. Be sure to check out all six and enter for a chance to win a fun fall fabric bundle!

Here's the line-up:
Day 1Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation featuring the Harvest Song collection
Day 2Christina from Sometimes Crafter featuring the Spooktacular collection
Day 3: Melissa from My Fabric Relish featuring the Daily Zen collection
Day 4: Benartex blog design team featuring the Fall Festival collection
Day 5: Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts featuring the Spooktacular collection
Day 6: Erin from Why Not Sew featuring the Indian Summer collection