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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Our Fabric in Action!

We love sharing projects made from our new fabrics with you! Here are three new quilts here, all from the Missouri Star Quilt Company: 

Cutting Corners Quilt tutorial featuring Sevilla Blues by Andrea Komninos

This quilt is featured in a tutorial by Jenny Doan. 

Click here to find the tutorial.

Have you seen BLOCK Magazine, also from Missouri Star Quilt Company? Their new issue features two quilts made using our fabrics:

A gorgeous quilt using Cherry Guidry's Sunday Ride collection. 

and a "Tangled Geese" quilt featuring Ann Lauer's Circle Play collection.


Click here to find the magazine. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The drama of Carmen

If you're a fan of Benartex, then you're likely familiar with the work of Maria Kalinowski, the Vice President and driving creative force behind Kanvas Studio. She creates everything fun novelty prints to elegant traditional prints such as the Spanish-inspired Carmen collection. Today, Maria talks to us about her design process and the Carmen collection. 

Carmen comes in two colorways: 
Rich reds and blacks

and earthy greens, browns, and bronze

What inspired the Carmen collection?
It was inspired by a Dolce Gabbana runway show showcasing beautiful embroidered shawls with Spanish flavor. It reminded me of an embroidered silk rose I’d recently purchased, and it was my starting point. There was resurgence of Carmen the opera happening at the time. The line has such a beautiful, Spanish, lush look to it.

the inspiration board for Carmen

Tell us about the metallic accents in this line.
I do enjoy using metallic. I love that beautiful shimmering, glistening effect. It makes cottons luxurious, like home dec fabrics.

Tell us about your design process.
I look at everything—fashion magazines, what’s going on for trends. I’m always looking at studios in Paris, London, and Italy. I like to find one focal print—I call that my meat and potatoes. It flows from there, and all the coordinates go with it. I design from an art perspective—making beautiful art—and worry about whether it’s going to work in quilts later. After I’ve designed my art,  I get other people’s opinions—my colleagues have better quilter’s eyes than I do.

What do you love about being a designer?
What quilters do with the fabric always surprises me. I love the creativity of the quilters and the beauty that comes out of the lines. My art is going to another artist, who is sewing it. Creating something totally new with my creation.

Click here to see the entire Carmen collection. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Island Blossom

Get a taste of tropical fun with Maria Kalinowski's Island Blossom collection!
These prints are all about texture and big blooms, in lime and turquoise or fuchsia and lime, combined with black and white for extra pop.

 Love the lime? It works great with either colorway!


Bring the tropics into your house with the Waving Lei's quilt pattern in either pink or turquoise.
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Click here to see the entire Island Blossom collection.

Click here to find the free quilt pattern. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Signs of Spring

One of the best parts of spring is the all the flowers! We love big blooms as much as anyone, so we're happy to share the Flowering Peony collection from Dover Hill Studio with you. Soft blues and warm creams...peonies, butterflies, geometric coordinates and delicate tonal prints. Sounds like spring!

 This free quilt pattern from Janet Page Kessler lets the large floral print shine!
Click here to download the free pattern. 

Click here to see the entire Flowering Peony collection. 

Click here to download the free Flowering Peony quilt pattern. 

p.s. For a little extra Monday inspiration, be sure to check out Debby Kratovil's blog post; she used Paula Nadelstern's Fabracadabra collection in fussy-cut hexagon blocks! Gorgeous!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Embroidery: Behind the Scenes

This week we’ve been sharing some of the embroidery collections that coordinate with our fabric lines. Today, we’re going behind the scenes. We talked with two experts at Oklahoma Embroidery Supply & Design: Tony Warriner, Design Center Manager, and Christy Burcham, Product Manager.


How are motifs from fabric lines chosen to become embroidery designs?
Christy: There are some artists who we have an established relationship with. Those artists have an idea of what motifs they’re drawing that they’d like to use for embroidery. That makes our job easy. Other times we go ‘shopping’—we look at new fabric lines and see what might add value to our embroidery lines.

Do you typically choose the focal motifs from fabrics?
Christy: Usually, though our digitizers can see things in fabric artwork that the average customer might not see as a motif. They pick out those pieces—even out of the background of a fabric—and make a really interesting piece.
Tony: There are a lot of really awesome background designs that work well for what we need.

Is there a range to the number of designs, or the complexity of designs that you like to have in a collection?
Tony: We try to cover a bit of everything. On average with a fabric line, we are looking for 20 designs to round out a collection. We’ll have 5 or 6 main focal point designs. Then we’ll have smaller elements that go with the main designs, as well as borders, corners, line work, and appliques.

How does a motif become an embroidery design?
Tony: We’ll start out by looking at the design. If there is a large open area of one color, we’ll decide we want to make that motif an applique. We’ll choose colors that match, and put some additional shading into it. We try to look at the embroidery from the perspective of the end user. We don’t want to have too many colors, which leads to lots of thread changing, but we use our techniques and a limited amount of colors to create what looks like twice as much. I think we do a really good job at keeping the colors and the amount of sewing time to a minimum.

What are some easy ways for a quilter to get into embroidery?
Christy: Getting your hands on it is where you want to get started, and there are lots of opportunities to do that. Many of our dealers offer classes where they’ll provide a machine. We do that too—we’ll go into a store and do a hands-on workshop. The customer doesn’t have to have used a machine before; she can come in and make a project during the class. If you have a friend with an embroidery machine, ask to try it. I think people will find it’s far less scary than they think it is.

How has embroidery evolved?
Tony: We used to actually lay out the artwork—as big as  poster—and take a ruler to mark off angles and points. Everything was so manual. It was done stitch by stitch by the digitizer. Now it’s all done on the computer.
Christy: The other thing that has changed dramatically is that the type of designs is so vastly different. Embroidery used to be industrial focused—mascots, logos, things you’d stitch on the chest of a shirt. Now our focus is heavily involved in what the creative user wants to do. It’s not about making clip art, it’s about the experience of a customer making something. It’s about what’s going to inspire someone to make something beautiful. Our biggest customer group is quilters. A lot of times people think that embroidery is a different sewer than a quilter. Embroiderers love to make quilts. Our most popular collections, our most popular products, are quilt-related. Quilting is big time.


Thanks, Tony and Christy, for taking the time to talk to us. 
Click here to see all Oklahoma Embroidery Supply & Design has to offer.
Click here to see the OESD designs that coordinate with our fabric lines.  

**********************************************
Announcing our four winners from Cherry Guidry's pattern giveaway last week:
Chickasaw Lake:Natalie F
Dogwood Star:Alesha Klein
Lakeside Ride:Quilter
Sunday Ride Minis:QuiltShopGal

Congratulations, ladies! You'll be hearing from Cherry via email about getting your pattern prizes. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Focus on Embroidery: See what coordinates with our fabric!

We're focusing on embroidery here on the blog this week; today we're showing the embroidery collections that coordinate with some of our designers' fabric lines. 

Jackie Robinson has embroidery lines that coordinate with her three most recent fabric collections. 



Nancy Halvorsen has an embroidery collection for her Christmas Pure & Simple line, as well as some of her older lines.

Amanda Murphy has embroidery collections for two fabric lines:

Sparkle (consider this a sneak peek of one our holiday 2016 collections!)

 Susan Rooney has an embroidery collection for her Breezy Blooms line.

Cherry Guidry has embroidery collections for her two most recent lines:


Click here to see OESD's embroidery collections, including those featured in this post.  

p.s. We're launching an exciting giveaway (a sewing machine!) on Facebook. Be sure to check our Facebook page Wednesday evening for details! 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Focus on Embroidery: Splash of Color

Not all quilters are embroiderers, and not all embroiderers are quilters. But when you do mix these two art forms together, the results are pretty incredible! 
This week we'll be focusing on embroidery here on the blog--specifically embroidery collections that coordinate with some of our fabric lines. If you already love embroidery, consider this a heads-up of some of the fun designs available for your next project. If you haven't jumped on the embroidery bandwagon, we hope you'll consider this week's posts an introduction to what is possible. Enjoy!

What do you get when you combine beautiful fabrics with stunning embroidery? A quilt like Sarah Vedeler's "Splash of Color," which is currently being featured as a series in McCall's Quilting. 

"Splash of Color" by Sarah Vedeler; machine quilted by Gina Perkes;
features in McCall's Quilting
We asked Sarah to tell us about "Splash of Color," and how this quilt design developed. 

How did Splash of Color get started?
I designed a quilt for McCall's using my new [at the time] fabric line, Transformations, and some of my newer embroidery designs. They loved the quilt and wanted to use it as a series quilt in 2016. (Instructions for making the quilt are spread out over six issues, beginning with the January/February 2016 issue of the magazine.)


Tell us about why this quilt design works so well with your Transformation fabric line. 
I designed it so you can do a certain amount of fussy cutting. I used the infinity circle print in the borders--they're each one row of circles, and the quilt was designed around this. For some of the appliques, I fussy cut the fabric--for example, I used the stripe in the scroll heart, and then I fussy cut the tree of life fabric to center it in a heart shape as well. 

Tell us about the applique work. 
I created the quilt using my embroidery machine; the applique is all digitized so it can be done on the embroidery machine. But because of the strength of design of the fabric, it's more applique work done on the embroidery, and not your typical embroidery with so much stitching. The embroidery actually features the fabric. I have a signature satin stitch that has a triple stitch around the outside edge and a triple stitch around the inside edge. It gives a really nice 3-D look and creates a beautifully clean satin stitch. It's kind of a satin stitch plus. 

How can quilters purchase the embroidery designs?
They're available on my website. The digital downloads include the designs in two different styles:  basic embroidery designs that highlight the applique, and then embroidered applique designs with solid fabrics to show off the gorgeous threadwork in the designs. I also created a Facebook group so anyone making the quilt can follow along, post photos, and ask questions. 

An example of the embroidered design used on solid fabric.

Click here to see Sarah's Transformation fabric.
Click here to visit Sarah's website and find the Splash of Color designs. 
Click here to find McCall's Quilting magazine. (The May/June issue, pictured below, is #3 out of 6 in the series.)