Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tropical Dreams

The end of February is when we start dreaming of warm weather, flip flops, and sunny days. Based on the weather the last few days and weeks (at least here in much of the U.S.), we need a little help keeping that dream going.

What's better to get you in a tropical mood than vibrant batiks, like these from our new Tropicana Bali collection? Smaller swatches just don't do these glorious designs justice, so we're showing larger pieces of some of our favorite designs.

Hello, glorious color!
Love the darker green and lime combination!

This motif looks like little fireworks!

You've heard neon is making a comeback...who knew it would even show up in batiks?

Beige-gold on white...a unique combo.

Great depth and texture in a bamboo motif (shown in two colorways).

For an instant infusion of color, you can see a preview of the entire collection here on our Facebook page. These beauties will be in shops later this spring.

Also, we're not only about beauty, we're about substance too. Here's your lesson for the day.
Have you ever wondered how batiks are made? These special fabrics come from Indonesia (Bali is a province in Indonesia), and have a long, rich history.

  • When Dutch explorers arrived in Bali in the 1500s, they found ceremonial robes and headwear made from fabrics unlike anything they'd ever seen. These fabrics were created with natural fibers and dyes, and the motifs on them had special significance. 
  • Centuries later, the same hand-dyeing techniques are still used. Cottons are triple-dyed, which means that each yard of fabric can have over 50 different colors on it. 
  • You can see the artistry of individual dyers in batiks--dyes are applied by hand and in different ways to create special effects. It's a skill that is passed down from generation to generation in Indonesia.
  • Batiks are hand-dyes that feature particular motifs, such as leaves, animals or flowers. Artist use a wax resist process to create these designs. Motifs are etched onto a coper plate attached to a wooden handle. Hot wax is applied to the plate, and the plate is pressed into the fabric. When the fabric is submerged into the dye, the dye will not penetrate the areas covered in wax. The wax is later removed, and the motifs are visible!  
When you look at batiks, consider the handwork and artistry that goes into producing them--amazing! What do you envision making with these Tropicana Balis?

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

QuiltCon, here we come!

You've probably been seeing a lot of about QuiltCon on quilting and sewing blogs lately. For good reason--it's the first year for this exciting modern quilt show and conference, and it runs February 21-24 in Austin, Texas. If you're at the show, please stop by our booth, #121, and say hello!

For those of you who are not attending QuiltCon, no worries, we will be sharing some photos and impressions of the show here on the blog. 

In the meantime, we sat down Modern Quilt Relish designers  Marny Buck and Jill Guffy, who have a booth at the show and are also selling kits for some of their patterns at the show. We think you'll love these quilts made out of our Googlies fabric as much as we do! 

"Leftovers" pattern using "Googlies Allover Black" in the background.

"Cheddar No Crackers" using the Stars Pastel Googlies print in the background.

"Nibbles" using the Stars Bright Googlies print in the background.

We love how Jill and Marny combined solids with the Googlies print for a modern look. These quilts will look fantastic in the Modern Quilt Relish booth (#422)!

Jill and Marny also took the time to answer a few questions about themselves and QuiltCon.

Tell us a little bit about who you are.
Modern Quilt Relish has been in business for almost three years. We started as a pattern company, but have now just published our first book, Picnic. We design simply sophisticated designs for the modern quilter.

Why are you going to the show?
The inaugural QuiltCon is a wonderful opportunity for us to meet and learn from our supportive online community.  

What are you most excited about experiencing at QuiltCon?
The enthusiasm for modern design!!

What are you hoping to get out of QuiltCon?
We hope to further establish our presence amongst modern quilters and to learn more about our customers and to gain knowledge from the educational opportunities.

What do you expect to see at the show?
That is the big question mark.  It will be an inspiring surprise.

Give us your thoughts on the modern quilt movement. 
We base our "modern" on actual modern design elements and principles-negative space, asymmetry, color and value as focus, and simple geometric shapes.  There are lots of different interpretations of modern within the quilting world and it is rewarding to see the movement grow.  

QuiltCon, here we come!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More Manhattan Modern

We recently debuted Michele D'Amore's latest collection, Manhattan Modern. Today we're showing some additional free patterns you can use with these bold, graphic prints. 

American Patchwork & Quilting used Manhattan Modern with a crazy rail fence band for its 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge initiative.

Download the patterns for the pillowcase here.

On our website, we have free patterns for two quilts and a table runner, 
all designed by Stitched Together Studios.

"Emerald Cut" in two colorways

The table runner version

"Modern Living"

Click here for the free pattern pdfs for any of these patterns. 
There are so many creative ways to use these large-scale prints. Have fun!

p.s. Remember Lili-fied? There's a pillowcase pattern on the APQ site for that collection as well, with a cool chevron band!
Download the patterns for the pillowcase here.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Modern Appeal

We're gearing up for QuiltCon later this week, a modern quilt show and conference in Austin, TX, hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild. While we're packing our suitcases for the show, it seemed like the perfect time to show off Manhattan Modern, a new collection by Michele D'Amore.

Graphic lines, blossom bursts, stripes, dots and checks...this line has a little bit of everything!

Square swatches don't do some of the prints justice, so we pulled out a couple prints to show in their entirety.

And if brights aren't your thing, the collection comes in a trendy home dec colorway of teal, olive, cream and brown.

This new collection is one of our nods to the modern movement, and when you see what designers have done with it, we think you'll agree that it's full of possibility! 

Deanne Quill of Creative Sewlutions used Manhattan Modern with her pattern, Shenandoah, and we'll be showcasing this quilt in our booth at QuiltCon. We love how this pattern uses the big, bold prints in unexpected ways! Which colorway do you like best?

Stay tuned for our next post, which will show off Manhattan Modern in a few more quilt designs and a pillowcase pattern for APQ's 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge!

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Glamour Inc.

A new line from Michele D'Amore, Glamour Inc. mixes a Parisian shopping feel with essential accessories: shoes, purses, and hats! This ultra feminine collection features whimsical drawings, rich damasks, and two types of stripes. 

Two different sizes of panel squares (larger shown here) are perfect for quilt blocks, wall art, and purse pockets. 

Choose from chic pink and charcoal or trendy teal and charcoal.

And the playfully sophisticated coordinates!

Our website has two free quilt patterns designed exclusively for this collection:

"The Bella Boutique" by Stitched Together Studios

And the appropriately titled "Window Shopping," also by Stitched Together Studios.

Click here to download the pdf patterns for both of these quilt designs.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Valentine's Day Treat

Cupid is right around the corner, and it's a toss-up as to which type of Valentine's ads you see more of: flowers, chocolate, or jewelry. While we adore all three, how about a super-clever quick and easy no-sew project to tell your loved ones how much you care?
These adorable fabric fortune cookies, made from a tutorial by Megan over at Brassy Apple, have it all:
  • Unlike jewelry, they're inexpensive to make
  • Unlike flowers, they'll last forever
  • Unlike chocolate, they're calorie free!

We made our fortune cookies using Sweet Tooth II  and Kiss and Tell, both collections from Kanvas. Just the perfect amount of sugary sweetness for a non-traditional Valentine!
Be sure to check out Megan's tutorial, grab some fabric, and get started...

(**And a bonus: If you give these cuties to friends and family members, you can eat the chocolate you'd originally bought for them!)
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Extreme Color in Action

Everyone loves tonals, but just what makes a truly great tonal print? 
We think it involves texture, depth, and beautifully saturated color. A stand-out tonal will compliment the prints it is paired with when used as a "solid," but will also shine if you give it a starring role.

We've shown you Paula's Extreme Color collection as the trusty sidekick to the dynamic, pattern-filled Fabrique-istan line, but today we're letting these tonals take center stage. 

Here's "Whirligig," by Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios
made using a Drunkard's Path block. 
Color saturation at it's best! 
 The pattern for this quilt is featured in the April-May issue of Quilt magazine. You can order a kit (including die-cut Drunkard's Path units!) here.

We think it's a fantastic choice for the cover! 

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

We're bringing a quilt gallery to you!

We've heard it before. You love Paula Nadelstern's fabric. But when it comes to cutting into it, that's a whole different story. Where to start? Where to cut? How to use it?

While we're all about using fabric as art on its own (try framing a piece for quick and easy wall art!), but we'd also like to help you find ways to cut into these gorgeous prints.

Enter the trunk show. 
First displayed at Fall Quilt Market in Houston, these quilts reflect a unique variety of art-inspired designs using Paula's Fabrique-istan and Extreme Colors collections. We hope you enjoy this virtual gallery and step away from your computer inspired to cut into some fabric!

Tower One by Paula Nadelstern

The Skinny by Beth Carney

Stars in the Windows by Paula Nadelstern

Fireworks 1 by Ruthmary Schauer

Orange Star by Katherine Knauer

The Pyramids of Fabrique-istan by Paula Nadelstern

Southold Safari by Judy Oenias

Seeking Polaris by Cat Nix

Click on the video below to hear Paula talk about these trunk show quilts.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Where is Fabrique-istan?

If you're looking for some serious inspiration, today is your lucky day! You may have seen Paula Nadelstern's new collection, Fabrique-istan, but now you can hear all about it straight from the designer herself!

Paula talks about her "prima donna" prints, shows one of her favorite ever all-over prints, and shares her philosophy about using complex fabric to create simple quilts.

Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate, or tea), and get comfortable for this exclusive interview with one of the industry's master designer's, Paula Nadelstern.

You can see a few of the fabrics Paula discusses below; head over to our Facebook page or our website to see swatches of the entire mouth-watering line.

Are you in love? We're glad; we are too! 
With fabrics like these, the possibilities are endless. Check back later this week to see the simple quilt designs that Paula's friends made with these prints. 

Visit Paula's website here.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Some Like It Hot

Hot sauce and jalapenos: even if spicy food isn't your taste, you'll appreciate the sizzle of the new Kanvas collection, Some Like It Hot!

Beyond the traditional kitchen project fare of aprons and pot holders, here's another hot-and-spicy idea: go with the fabric theme and stitch a Tortilla Cozy, from the blog Made by Me & Shared with You.

And if you're in a spicy mood, consider these two delicious versions of stuffed jalapenos for a Super Bowl party this weekend. 
Baked Jalapeno Poppers from The View from Great Island
Find the recipe here.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos from Brown Eyed Baker
Find the recipe here.

Sampling a few of these should help with your jalapeno fix until you can get your hands on the Some Like It Hot fabric! 

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