Thursday, April 30, 2015

Not your grandma's log cabin!

Some of the most intriguing quilt designs come from taking a classic block and doing something unexpected with it Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton had a great idea--they combined the super-colorful prints of Greta Lynn's Bright Idea collection with the traditional log cabin block, and then added in plenty of white space.

The result? A traditional-meets-modern quilt that's a breath of fresh air!
"Bold & Bright" by Melanie Greseth & Joanie Holton,
made by Jennifer Green and machine quilted by Sheri Zalar;
featured in Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting May/June 2015

What drew you to the Bright Idea fabrics?
They are so playful and bright and fun! The primary colors are fun to work with, the stars have a different feeling than the typical red, white and blue stars you usually see.


Tell us about the blenders you used.
We mixed in the Fleurish prints—the colors work so well with Bright Idea, as we needed something vibrant to play off the brights. Because these prints have a little bit of a wavy stripe to them, they’re not as harsh of a stopping point; they have more of a tonal effect, which acts as a resting point for the eye.

How did this design come to be?
We really were trying to do a modern take on the log cabin block. We played around with a lot of different layouts, and it really started to take form when we didn’t have rows and rows of the bright log cabin. The blocks needed space between them so they could get their full effect—otherwise it just became a mush of color. As we started playing with the sashing/lattice between, it gave each Log Cabin a windowpane effect that we really liked. 

This must have been fun to quilt, with all that white space!
Our longarm quilter did such a fabulous job! She quilted it with a firework effect, which really worked well with the stars and zigzags of the fabric.

What do you like best about Bold & Bright?

This really was one of our favorites. It just gave such a fun balance to that modern quilt idea, but still a lot of old-fashioned quilting in there with the piecing of log cabins blocks. It’s such a perfect marriage of traditional and modern quilting. 

Click here to see the Bright Idea fabrics.
Click here to see the Fleurish fabrics.
Click here to learn more about Melanie and Joanie.
Click here to find the kit for Bold & Bright.
Click here to find the digital pattern for Bold & Bright.
Click here to find Love of Quilting.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bright Idea

The big idea behind Kanvas' Bright Idea collection was to mix together bright colors and cool designs. And it was exactly that--a bright idea!

From stars and confetti to a really neat dotted zigzag stripe, this line is loaded with POP!

 We featured Bright Idea in the Kanvas booth at Fall Quilt Market. 
Here's one photo of the booth; you can see more photos here.

Check out the "Star Bright" free quilt pattern by Stitched Together Studios! Love those fun, bright colors, set off by some of our quilter's solids, and that cool diagonal rainbow stripe for sashing.
"Star Bright" by Stitched Together Studios;
Download the free pattern here.

Click here to see the entire Bright Idea collection.
Click here to download the free Star Bright quilt pattern.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top 5 Summer Prints

What says summer to you?

To us, summer is all about:

1. Palm trees!

2. Turtles!

3. Pineapples!

4. Popsicles!

5. Flip flops!

That's right...we're talking about the bright prints from Greta Lynn's new Endless Summer collection. Summer won't last forever, but you can keep that summer feeling going with these fun prints! 

Perfect for tote bags, deck pillows, cell phone cases, and more.

Click here to see the entire Endless Summer collection.
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Monday, April 27, 2015

A little imagination goes a long way!

Meet Domingo Pena, an employee at our Elmwood warehouse.  

He admired the leftover fabric pieces he encountered in the warehouse, saying they would make great shirts. After receiving permission to take some of the extra scraps home,  he brought the scrap pieces to a tailor while visiting his family in the Dominican Republic. The tailor transformed the scraps into shirts and a pair of pants.  

We wanted to thank Domingo (and Mariell, who shared this story with us) for sharing the photos, and to congratulate Domingo for having such a wonderful imagination.  The shirts (and pants) look fantastic!  

Domingo, you're looking great!

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Piece of Cake!

You can have your cake and eat it too with Stephanie Sheridan's "Piece of Cake" quilt featured in the Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 magazine, from Quilter's Newsletter. This fun design uses the Brigitte collection by Michele D'Amore from Contempo Studio and is perfect for showing off large focal prints. Stephanie used the citron and gray prints, but the line also comes in aqua, magenta, orange, and green--so many choices!

"Piece of Cake" by Stephanie Sheridan; machine quilted by Linda Leathersich.
Featured in Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015 from Quilter's Newsletter

What is it about the Brigitte collection that appeals to you?
 This collection just has it all! It features a wonderful mix of floral and geometric designs, lots of different scale to the prints, and to top it off – great color options!

Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
 The dandelion print is probably my favorite, followed closely by the diagonal stripe.

How did you choose which colorway to use in your quilt?
 I completely fell in love with the Citron colorway of this collection as soon as I saw it. The color combination of citron, olive, black, white and gray feels so sophisticated and chic.

Where did the cake idea come from?
 I was looking for a way to showcase all of these great prints without chopping them into little pieces. When I was designing the quilt I saw pyramids, but when I showed the design to my husband he said it reminded him of a tiered layer cake. The name of the quilt serves 2 purposes – it describes the design, but also lets the quilter know how easy this quilt is … it is truly a “Piece of Cake” to make!

Can you talk about your choice to use a textured (and directional!) print in the background?
 I first designed this quilt with a white tone on tone background, but the quilt seemed a little flat to me … it needed something more. I popped the diagonal stripe into the background on a whim and it pulled the whole quilt together. The directional aspect of the background provides a great counterpoint to the vertical stripes and curvy florals of the cake layers.

Talk about the machine quilting.

The diagonal stripe background gave Linda (aka Mom) a perfect jumping off point for the quilting! She mimicked the diagonal stripe on all of the background, then flipped in the opposite direction for the dandelion layers and border. She also randomly created circles around some of the dandelions, which really made them pop!

We love how you embellished this quilt! Can you tell us about it?
 The BLING! Mom and I are crazy about adding crystals to quilts, and this one just cried out for them! We used clear crystals in the dandelion circles and on the vine fabric in the center cake, and black crystals in the center of the black flowers. Just that little bit of sparkle takes this quilt from “Pretty” to “WOW!”

Click here to see the entire Brigitte collection.
Click here to find the kit, backing, and digital pattern for Piece of Cake.
Click here to find Quilter's Newsletter. 

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Romance is in the air...

Romance by E. Vive, that is! 

This gorgeous new collection is so light and airy--perfect for creating an English cottage look! It comes in two colorways: lilac, soft yellow and green, or pale blue, pink and green. 

Take a closer look at some of our favorites:

Heidi Pridemore's Sweet Romance quilt is just the right pattern for these prints! The quilt center has a soft watercolor look to it, framed beautifully by the border stripe.

Click here to download the free quilt pattern.
Click here to see the entire Romance collection.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Autism Awareness Month and Green Farms

April is Autism Awareness month, and weighted blankets are something that can be very comforting to autistic people.  Rob Appell of Man Sewing shares a tutorial for making a weighted blanket using Greta Lynn's adorable Green Farms collection for Kanvas. Check it out!

Click here to watch the tutorial.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

We have a winner!

And the winner in our March Madness Fan Favorite Pattern is.....

Star Struck
by Wendy Sheppard
featuring Caryl's Feather

Find the free pattern for Star Struck here.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote, either here on the blog, or on Facebook, during our March Madness contest!

We've also randomly selected the winners from our March Madness giveaway:

The winner of the box of 80 Sundance fat quarters is:
Vickie Storey

The runner-up winner of 20 Daily Zen fat quarters is:
Donna Koenig

Congratulations, ladies!

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Monday, April 6, 2015

The Championship Game!

Our March Madness Fan Favorite Pattern Bracket is down to the final game:
Star Struck vs. Star Dance

Thanks to everyone who has helped narrow the patterns down from our original 50 to the Sweet Sixteen to these final two.  As a thank you for your participation, this final round of voting will include the opportunity to win fabric prizes! 

Congratulations to Wendy Sheppard and Ann Lauer for creating the two quilts in our championship game! We interviewed the quilt designers of these two beauties so you can learn more about what inspired these designs and fabric choices before you vote. 

Help us choose the champion by voting in the comments and on our Facebook Group – Sew Interesting (see more voting details at the bottom of this post).
And don't forget to download these free patterns (or any of the others that you can find in our Quilt Gallery).

"Star Struck" by Wendy Sheppard; featuring Caryl's Feather

"Star Dance" by Ann Lauer; featuring Sundance


Wendy talks about Star Struck:

What do you like best about this quilt?
I like that it looks traditional and contemporary at the same time. You see the sawtooth star blocks?  I am on a personal quest to see just how many ways I can use sawtooth star blocks in my designs.

How did you choose the colors to use in it?
The way I chose the colors was to include as many colors as I could, but still keep an ordered look.  When I use a lot of colors in a quilt, oftentimes I would finish out the border with either black, gray or white.  In this case, my go-to choices didn't bring out the bright look I wanted for the quilt.  So, I used red.

Can you tell us a bit about the design?
This quilt is essentially a one block wonder quilt.  The blocks are simple in construction, and are created in many colors to scrap up the overall look. The framed square blocks, spiced up with the small sawtooth star blocks in all the colors, give the overall design a lot to look at, I think.  I am always excited when I can come up with something with a lot of visual interest using simple blocks.

Why does it work so well with the Caryl's Feather fabric?
Besides colors, the Caryl's Feather fabrics themselves have a lot of movement and texture from the large feather prints that are incorporated with the background colors.  So, even though the designs will work just as well with any basic line of fabrics, I think Caryl's Feather really brings the design to a different level with the texture and movement in the prints.

 Ann talks about Star Dance:

What do you like best about this quilt?
The design looks involved but it's actually simple piecing so it can be made successfully by quilters from advanced beginner up. It also a lot of components so there’s not too much repetition—it’s fun to make. The pattern uses a very easy technique for flying geese, four-patches, and an included template for the half rectangles.

Can you talk about how this quilt shows off your Sundance prints?
The design is not crowded and the components are large enough to let the details of the fabric show off. It has an airy feeling. The black print is a geranium flower, so depending on where you cut it, you’ll get a variety of red petals as well as green leaves. The green, red and purple in the background are all delicate marbles with nice flowing movement.

Can you tell us a bit about the design?
The larger 10” squares help to highlight the focal prints--true watercolor style of the large poppy and field of flowers prints. The Irish Chain look that connects the blocks came about because I was just having fun with four-patches, letting them dance across the background. Plus, the pinwheels are not just HSTs—they are more interesting but easy. 

Tell us about the flexibility of your design.
Of course, I think the pattern is beautiful in the Sundance fabrics but it's designed to work for other collections as well. You could also enlarge it into a twin-size quilt by adding pinwheel borders to the top and bottom. 

It's a battle of the stars! 
Star Struck vs. Star Dance
Which one will be the fan favorite quilt pattern?

Here's how to vote AND how to enter the giveaway:
  • To vote: Leave a comment below with the name of your favorite quilt, Star Struck or Star Dance. One comment per person, please.  You can also vote a second time on our Facebook Group – Sew Interesting. Voting is now closed.
  • To enter the giveaway: Send an email to socialmedia23 (at) with Battle of the Stars in the subject line.
  • Both the voting for Favorite Pattern and the giveaway will be open through Tuesday, April 7th at 5 pm EST. We'll announce the Favorite Pattern and giveaway winners on Wednesday. 
  • Prizes: The grand prize winner will receive a box of 80 Sundance fat quarters. Runners-up will receive a bundle of 20 fat quarters from Daily Zen. We'll choose one runner-up for every 50 emails received. Winners will be randomly chosen from received emails and will be notified by email as well as announced here on the blog. 
Good luck to both of these fantastic patterns! 

To see the original bracket of sixteen and/or read the details of March Madness, click here.
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