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Thursday, March 5, 2015

It takes Two to Tango!

Correction...it USUALLY takes two to tango, but we won't tell anyone if you want to keep our new Tango line all to yourself! 

This new collection has tropical punch! Bold, bright colors, small and large florals, a scrappy stripe just asking to be a binding, an ikat motif, and a neat butterfly pattern perfect for fussy cut squares or a quilt backing. Which will you choose first? 

Let us help you get started! Stitch up the happiest neighborhood in town! 
Download Wendy Sheppard's free quilt pattern, "Pretty Little Houses."
"Pretty Little Houses" by Wendy Sheppard

Click here to download the free quilt pattern.
Click here to see all the fabric in the Tango collection.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Breezy Blooms: 2 Styles

If you fell in love with Susan Rooney's Breezy Blooms collection when we shared it here on the blog, you're in luck! Today we're showing two different quilts featured in magazines that use these bright, cheery fabrics. The quilts are pretty different from each other, which really shows how versatile this line is. Keep reading and ask for Breezy Blooms at your local quilt shop--it's perfect for an early spring project!

First up, Tricia Maloney designed "Ella" for Quilter's World magazine. She paired the bright Breezy Blooms prints with white for a bold pop of color that graces the magazine's cover. 
"Ella" by Tricia Lynn Maloney;
featured in Quilter's World Spring 2015
Here's Tricia:

What appealed to you about the Breezy Blooms fabric collection?
The Breezy Blooms collection is fun and relaxed -- exactly how I wanted this quilt to look.

Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
I really loved the scribble fabrics in the bold saturated colors.


Why did you choose the Irish Chain design?
I've always wanted to make a double Irish chain. One of the very first designs I ever made was a single Irish chain, but until now, I had never made a double, so it was a personal challenge.  Now I think I'd like to try a triple chain sometime.  :)

Tell us about the white space I this quilt.
The white background fabric is the perfect choice for Breezy Blooms with its saturated yummy colors. The white solid provides a lot of contrast, but keeps the Breezy Bloom Prints as the "stars of the show." The white solid also helps to calm down the quilt a bit because of all the different prints.

Can you talk about your pieced border choice?
 When designing the quilt, I tried several different border treatments including no border at all.  I found that a single fabric border overpowered the scrappy double Irish chain, so I decided to use long narrow rectangles which acted more like frames, but didn't overpower the patchwork.

What do you like best about the quilt?
The final result, of course!  Once all of the elements came together -- the design, the fabric, and the quilting -- the quilt really had sparkle and was definitely a breath of fresh air.  I was thrilled to discover it had been selected for the cover.

Can you tell us about the machine quilting?
When faced with so much empty white space, sometimes it's hard for me to come up with a quilting plan.  But with this quilt, I followed the Breezy Blooms lead and went for a big showy floral design in the negative spaces.  To further emphasize the diagonal qualities of the chains, I quilted a simple serpentine.

Click here to see the entire Breezy Blooms collection.
Click here to learn more about Tricia and her work.
Click here to find Quilter's World.

Next up, Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton designed "Breezy Blossoms" for the spring issue of Fons & Porter's Easy Quilts magazine. In their quilt, the textured plaid takes center stage, alternating with columns of tipsy squares--a more contemporary look.
"Breezy Blossoms" designed by Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton;
pieced by Sharon Rosberg and machine quilted by Naomi Polzin
featured in Easy Quilts spring 2015

Here's Joanie:

What did you like about the Breezy Blooms collection?
It was such a fun, playful line to work with—perfect because we wanted to create a fun, playful quilt that was fresh and not too difficult--something with a little modern twist to it. 

Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
We loved the modern plaid. That was a big highlight for us. Susan just has such great colors. 

Can you talk about your design, specifically the pieced columns?
We were looking for something fresh--a simple design with a twist. It’s really easy to stack and frame squares, but we wanted a little more playful look. We think the columns are modern and fresh, and tilting those squares gave a little more playful feel to the quilt. 

We love how you used a print in the background of the pieced columns.
We decided to use the tonals as the pop in the blocks, and that middle-sized print in the background gave it a nice feel—it really added interest.

What about the machine quilting?

We had told her we wanted fresh, open quilting done so it didn't distract from the plaid and the vertical columns. She did a lovely job of blending the quilting with the plaid fabric on the outside and accentuating the pop of colors in the blocks. 

Click here to see the entire Breezy Blooms collection.
Click here to learn more about Tailormade by Design and their work.
Click here to find the kit for this quilt.
Click here to purchase the digital pattern for this quilt.
Click here to find Easy Quilts.

Monday, March 2, 2015

QuiltCon 2015 Part 2 ... the quilts!

There were over 300 beautiful quilts on display at QuiltCon 2015 in Austin, TX, sponsored by The Modern Quilt Guild. The wide variety was amazing, and the level of talent was inspiring! We couldn't possibly share every quilt with you ... but we would like to share some that spoke to us as we walked around the show.

Best in Show winner, Kathy York with her “i Quilt.”
Photo credit: 

A closer look at the "i Quilt"

Diving Geese by Katie Pedersen
Best Machine Quilting

Coral Reef by Marla Varner
Coats Award of Quilting Excellence Winner
Sunset Waves by Laura Hatrich
Lovely Fishbourne by Amanda Leins
Geo Applique Series #2 by Kayley Rose

Fractured Triangles by Paula Leber
Grove by Casey York
Score for Bias Strip Petals: Daisy by Sherri Lynn Wood

Spiced Chai Quilt by Katie Blakesley

Totally Spring by Dora Cory
One thing that we noticed in many of the show quilts - prints! The modern quilt movement looks like it is moving beyond only solid fabrics.

Please mark your calendars for QuiltCon West 2016 in Pasedena CA. The show dates are February 18th through the 21st.

Friday, February 27, 2015

QuiltCon 2015

Last week we had the pleasure of exhibiting at QuiltCon 2015, a modern quilt show and conference in Austin, TX, hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild. Today we would like to share some pictures that we took at QuiltCon and let you know about all of the things that we saw!

Our booth featured "Our Town," one of our newest lines from Contempo Studios designed by Michele D’Amore.


The runner quilts that were displayed in our booth will be available soon as free patterns on our website! The quilt on the table is from Deanne Moore's book titled "Fabric Play." To find out more about this great quilt pattern and book, visit Creative Sewlutions.

We shared the booth space with our sister company - Brewer. They are a distributor of all things sewing, quilting, and crafting. Here is their booth display:

Check out what is available ... Benartex scissors and bias tape makers! Your local quilt shop can order them through Brewer.

And here is a picture of our entire Benartex/Brewer booth:

On Thursday we gave a talk called "Think Big" showing quilts that use big prints and/or big blocks to make a BIG impact!

Each day we had a fun little project to demonstate to the attendees - and a free pattern and kit for them to take home. One of our projects was a four patch coaster:

Watching the demo:

A lovely little girl named Emily got to sew for the very first time - making a coaster to take home:

Our other project was a luggage tag:


One quilter even ran home after the show on Friday to make her luggage tag and brought it back to show us!

We had a great time meeting and talking to all of the quilters that visited our booth! Please stop back here on Monday to see  our pictures of the magnificent show quilts--so much inspiration!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Make it Modern: Daily Zen

Inspired by the modern quilting show QuiltCon over the weekend, we're sharing projects and fabrics with a modern twist this week, as well as some photos from QuiltCon itself. 

First up is the "Daily Zen Quilts & Projects' by Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton. This 56-page book features' 11 projects made from Michele D'Amore's Daily Zen collection for Contempo Studio.

The projects keep with the Zen theme--in addition to quilts, you'll find a yoga mat, an eye mask and neck roll, and a carry-all tote that can hold sewing projects or your yoga class supplies.

Joanie and Melanie worked with Benartex and Landauer to develop the "Daily Zen" book, with the idea of showing quilters many different ways to use a fabric line, all in one resource. We asked Joanie to talk about the book and projects she and Melanie designed.

Why did you use the Daily Zen collection?
It was fresh and fun to work with--Michele had some neat colors blended together, and a lot of grays that worked with colors that pop. Her black and white prints are perfect for modern quilts. I think both quilters and quilt shops are drawn to the contemporary and modern fabrics (like Daily Zen) but aren't always sure how to use them in patterns. Our book addresses that.

Tell us about the cover quilt. 
The "Unified" quilt on the cover is an example of a traditional block we tweaked--it's an oversized snowball block. The design looks like a chain, but very oversized. 

Do you have a favorite quilt from the book?
We loved all the quilts, but I really liked the Zen Garden quilt. It's a very contemporary take on a Drunkard's Path square. Bright and modern, and not as hard as it looks. 

And how about some of the other projects?
Our theme for projects was based around the theme of the fabric. For us, sewing is very zen. When you work on a project and it all comes together, you have this lovely calming feeling. That's what we took from the fabric--where is that place in your life where you go to have that peaceful feeling?

The carryall tote was a super fun bag to make, and so cute!

 The eye mask and neck roll go with the "feeling zen" theme. 

What else do you want readers to know about your book?
The projects are easy to make--we tried hard to make them accessible to many skill levels. But most of all, we hope quilters and sewers can find the corner in their world where they can sit and relax and enjoy the projects they've made!
Watch for Melanie and Joanie's next book, debuting at Spring Quilt Market!

Melanie and Joanie even have a bonus project to share with you, thanks to Landauer!
Click here to download Melanie and Joanie's free pattern for a travel sewing wallet.

Click here to find the Daily Zen Quilts & Projects book. (You can also click on the "Look Inside" tab to see a short video with sneak peeks of some of the other projects featured in the book!)
Click here to see Daily Zen featured on the blog and here to see our Contempo booth from spring Quilt Market featuring these fabrics. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Spring is in the Air (right?!)

Hummingbirds and morning glories...we can't think of a better combination to help us look get through the rest of winter by looking forward to spring!

Fortunately for us, the February/March 2015 issue of Quilters Newsletter features a quilt designed by Jackie herself, using her Glorious Hummingbirds collection. "Flight of the Hummingbird" combines two star blocks with Jackie's classic floral stripe border for a quilt that's guaranteed to speed along spring's arrival. Keep reading to see what Jackie has to say about her latest design.

"Flight of the Hummingbird" by Jackie Robinson

Tell us about the two different star blocks you featured in this quilt.
We keep hearing there’s such a lovely affinity for using the pink and blue together in the collection, so this quilt has pink stars and blue stars. The stars have different-sized center blocks, ideal for fussy cutting. And then of course the floral stripe border ties the two colors of stars together.

Tell us about the fussy cutting in this quilt.
Both star block designs have fussy cut centers. Because of the different scales of the print, I wanted to use a smaller scale as the fussy in one of them and a larger scale in the other. The smaller square [on the pink stars] shows a hummingbird. The larger square [on the blue stars] shows some flowers as well.

And how did you develop the secondary design with the blue squares?
Piecing blue squares into the background of the pink stars creates the crosshatch for the quilt—it is kind of an argyle look—and it’s more interesting than just a plain block. The first border around the quilt center is more of that checked design, so the stars float.

What do you like best about this quilt?
Easy. It has blue in it. I often say that I like any color as long as it’s blue. It’s a deep robin’s egg blue and I find it so comforting.

Click here to see the Glorious Hummingbirds collection.
Click here to find the kit for "Flight of the Hummingbird" (It's available with a black background as well!).
Click here to find Quilters Newsletter Magazine.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

We Love Our Town

Does your town have


Houses in tidy rows?



Our Town does! 

Our Town, Michele D'Amore's latest collection for Contempo Studio, has modern appeal in fresh, eye-catching colors. From rows of bicycles to tulips, two hump/loop stripes, text prints and two cool textures, everything about these prints say "take me home!" 

What would you make with Our Town? 
Below are two free quilt patterns to get you started. You can also see more of Our Town in action from the award-winning Contempo booth at Fall Quilt Market. See the pictures here.

"Small Town Living" designed by Stitched Together Studios
Click here to download the free pattern for Small Town Living.

"Painting the Town" designed by Heidi Pridemore
Click here to download the free pattern for Painting the Town.

Click here to see the entire Our Town collection by Michele D'Amore for Contempo.