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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spinning yarns

You sometimes hear quilters refer to panels as "cheater cloth" because it creates the look of patchwork without all the work--the details are simply printed! Do knitters and crocheters have a yarn version of cheater cloth? If so, we like to think it looks something like this cool print:

If you were a fan of our Knitty Kitty collection, you'll be thrilled to know that 
In Stitches from Kanvas is now available.

The look of knitting, perfect for sewing fits for needleworks of all types, without all those directions...purl one, purl two... Ideal for those of us who prefer to do their fiber work with sewing machine and thread rather than knitting needles. 

Make sure to check out Debby Kratovil's Technique Tuesday post featuring Knitty Kitty--you'll love her creative ideas for some fun projects using a yarn-themed collection!

Get a better look at the In Stitches collection from Kanvas here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School!

Parents all over are celebrating...it's back to school time for kids! Get in the spirit for the new school year with Kanvas' Head of the Class collection. 

Here are a few of our favorites:

 A different take on text prints!

School supplies--great for borders or bags!

Whether it's to make a fun pencil tote or lunch bag for a school age child, a welcome-back-to-school gift for a new teacher, or to get an impressive head start on teacher gifts for the end of the year (yes, buying the fabric counts as a head start--then you still have 9 more months to actually get sewing!), you'll love the fun prints from Head of the Class!

Get a closer look at the Head of the Class collection here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Home dec at its best: Burlap and Lace

So many of the soothing, zen-centering rooms you see in home decorating magazines these days feature a muted palette--creams, beiges, chocolate browns, and a little soft French blue thrown in for good measure, or maybe a more monochromatic cream paired with charcoal and deep black. It's like the interior designers read our minds (or maybe we read theirs?!). 

Our new Burlap and Lace collection is based on just such a palette--subtle hues rich with texture and pattern. Perfect for creating a haven in your home. What makes these prints truly extra special (and you'll likely have to click on them to enlarge to appreciate it, at least until you see them in person at your local quilt shop), is these have the apparent texture of burlap without the scratchiness--these are our usual soft cottons! This added layer of texture enhances the richness of the prints, which are then layered with lace, flower motifs, and other interesting patterns. 

The collection also includes incredibly detailed pre-printed blocks in both colorways:

And a stripe that combines the best parts of the coordinating prints!

Where to start? As always, we've got you covered. 
First, head to our website and see larger versions of all of these swatches. 
Then, click here to find Tailormade by Design's Laced Up quilt pattern, available as a free download. 

What will you make with Burlap and Lace? Let us know!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Technique Tuesday with Debby Kratovil (and Wild West Saloon!)

It's Tuesday and that means it's time to learn a new technique. OK, maybe not to all of you, but Debby Kratovil is our guest today and she shares some tried and true methods for raw edge applique using our new collection called Wild West Saloon by Maria Kalinowski for Kanvas.

Wild West Saloon Fabrics

Q: Debby, tell us why you chose this collection?
A: Well, I'm married to a Texan. Is that enough of an answer? While he isn't into guns or poker (well, sometimes he can be enticed to play with the guys), he loves those boots. Hey, where is the picture of the boots?
These boots were made for walking . . .
When I showed the collection to Phil, it was a no brainer. He said, "OK. Where's my quilt?"

Q: What did you decide to make?
A: I recalled two applique blocks I had designed for a pattern several years ago and realized that this fabric would be perfect to replicate them. I even have them available for our visitors to the Sew in Love with Fabric blog. Keep reading (but first, look at the pictures!)

Q: Show us the blocks, please!
A: First I pulled up my Cactus Block. (Note: this is not the true size for the applique; that comes later.)
Keep your distance! I've got pricklies!
Then I pulled up my Boot Block.
No spurs on this one!
Now it's time to show you the steps!

Cactus template
Step 1. Transfer template markings to the paper side of freezer paper. No need to reverse because I always place my freezer paper templates to the right side of the fabric and NOT the fusible web side.

Step 2. Rough cut a rectangle of fabric (I used the green from the Burlap Collection) and iron a rectangle of Heat 'n Bond Lite to the wrong side of the fabric. Now there are 3 layers.

Here are four colors from the Burlap Collection (the color "Leaf" green is at the bottom). (I was also auditioning background fabrics and this dotted one is from an earlier Benartex fabric line called Normandy.)

Step 3. Cut out the cactus!

Now I can reuse the Cactus template of freezer paper (on the right here)
Step 4. Center the Cactus over a 12-1/2" background square and fuse in place with an iron.

Step 5. Time to stitch. It's hard to see the stitching from the front, that's why I am showing the wrong side. Notice the tiny zig zag machine stitches.

Step 6. Now for the boot. I used the Burlap "Nutmeg" color for that. Drew the boot, rough cut the freezer paper and then ironed it onto the fabric with Heat 'n Bond Lite on the wrong side. Notice I've included the placement for the extra patches. More on that later.

Boot template
Step 7. Cut out the boot details.

Using the "Clay" colored fabric from the Burlap Collection
Step 8. How do I align those detailed patches to the boot shape? Well, check this out!
Turn the freezer paper template over and use the placement lines to line up the shapes. You may have to hold this up to the light. Gently lower the freezer paper template and shape down onto the boot and do a little sneaky-peeky to check and see if it's "close enough for government work" and then hit it with an iron. Repeat for remaining Patch B.

Step 9. Cut out the black boot details and fuse in place. Now we're ready for applique! But first I had to dig through my mounds of thread to find something that would work. I was in luck!

Auditioning thread
Here is the boot already appliqued. I found a beige background print, again from an earlier Benartex Collection (Winter Traditions).

Appliqued boot
Step 10. Make some alternate blocks. I used the Burlap Blenders again and selected two main prints: Poker and Boots, a good combo for a cowboy.

Boots are AWESOME
Centers are cut 8-1/2" squares. The side strips are 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" and the top/bottom strips are cut 2-1/2" x 12-1/2". Easy.

Sure to be a winning hand!
Q: So, what does it look like all together?

A: I only have 6 blocks finished and my husband's armadillo insisted on getting in the photo!

6 blocks + an armadillo

 I have an assembly diagram for the larger quilt that I'm aiming for, along with the full size templates that our visitors can have. Yardages are on your own. Bookmark this page for the Alternate Blocks information.

But here is a digital layout of how my pattern goes together. It is contained in the 3 page pdf (link below). 

Best of the West pattern made with the Wild West Saloon Collection is HERE: Western Saloon Pattern.

Thanks, Debby, for walking us through your applique techniques! 
And don't forget to check out the entire Wild West Saloon collection here--perfect for any cowpokes (or wannabee cowpokes) in your life!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Classic Elegance...what's your color scheme?

Lately we've shown you several fun, bright and funky collections. Today we're turning the tables a bit with the traditional beauty of Arabella. This classic fabric collection comes in two colorways:

Blue and yellow

Pink and green

 We've also got two free patterns, designed specifically for this line:
Country Cottage by Heidi Pridemore

Charlotte by Stitched Together Studios
You can find both free patterns here.
Of course, both quilt designs work in either colorway! 
Which colorway appeals to you?
See the entire line here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A baby collection you'll love!

If there's one thing most quilters have made, it's a baby quilt! What makes a truly adorable baby quilt? Certainly the love and effort put into the stitching, but we like to think the fabric plays a role too. :) 

If you've got a baby quilt project in your future, take note of a cute and modern new collection from Greta Lynn for Kanvas: Safari Playground. Smiling animals frolic on patterned backgrounds, and the textures you see in the main prints appear again as tonal coordinates--such a versatile line for babies and young children! And the colors...modern gray and black mixed with turquoise, lime, yellow and light green. Perfect for boys or girls!

Here are a few of the focal prints:

And a look at all the swatches:
See larger swatches of the entire Safari Playground collection here.

Welcome to the Jungle free pattern designed by Heidi Pridemore:
Download the free pattern here.

Want to make some other nursery essentials?
Check out a great list of links here.
And links for other sew-yourself baby gear here.
We promise--all of these pieces would look fantastic using Safari Playground!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Give it a Whirl!

This collection is sure to make you smile! Greta Lynn's What a Whirl line for Kanvas uses a fun palette--royal blue, teal, lime green, and black and white--and a whimsical doodle-type style loaded with butterflies. Keep reading to find out how Greta Lynn designed this collection and what she came up with for What a Whirl 2!

How and why did you choose the color palette?
I wanted to focus on developing a fresh spring color story with a modern twist. I love mixing royal blue with the turquoise and lime. By adding the black and white, it makes the color way more contemporary.

What inspired the collection?
The collection was inspired by butterflies- I wanted to create a butterfly that had a geometric feel and build a collection around it.

Tell us about the style of the line.
The style of the line work helped make this group more whimsical. Once the butterflies were developed with the loose, free-flowing line work, it translated really well into the flowers and dots.

What's your favorite print in What a Whirl?
My favorite print is the Butterfly allover. It was the first print that I developed for this collection. I think it is very versatile because of the tossed layout.

Can you tell us about the stripe?
The stripe can be cut apart to make borders for quilts and pillows. It can be used for tote bags, too.

What prompted What a Whirl 2, the black, white and yellow color story?
For What a Whirl 2, I chose some of the prints from What a Whirl and thought they would work well with the What's the Buzz collection. Combining some of the prints from each collection it really made a fresh new group, especially with the accents of yellow.

Where did the What a Whirl name come from?
Coming up with the name for this group was a little challenging.  After reviewing all of the prints, I thought about the butterflies whirling around in the main pattern and the name" What a Whirl" just seemed to fit the group.

Ready to make a quilt using these fun prints? 
Find the free pattern for Whirly Gig by Stitched Together Studios here.

See larger swatches of What a Whirl here.
See larger swatches of What a Whirl 2 here.
See larger swatches of What's the Buzz here.