Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Designer Tidbits: Gleeful by Sew Caroline

Hello everyone! Our special guest today is Caroline Hulse of Sew Caroline. She's here at the Jolly Jabber to tell you all about her first fabric collection, Gleeful for Art Gallery Fabrics. This collection is a feminine depiction of all things happy and sweet. We're loving the dots, stripes, and floral patterns that give this collection a modern twist. Read on to find out what inspired Caroline!

Q: Tell us a little about the Gleeful collection. What were you inspired by?
A: For Gleeful, I was inspired by bright colors, and feminine floral motifs. I love cheerful things, so the simple prints paired with highly saturated colors is the bright look I was going for.

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A: This was my first collection of fabric, and I was completely overwhelmed at first! (Next time, I’ll know how to start!) I began by designing process by deciding on a color palette and then sketching up/doodling different designs. From paper I moved to the computer and the rest is history!
Q: What design trends are you currently exploring?
A: Currently I am working on designs that mimic ready-to-wear garments and things I see in stores like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. I want my designs to look authentic, yet sophisticated chic.

Fabric Banner by Sew Caroline
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is all over the board. BUT, I’d say my roots are always based in a classics. I love color, so I like to express my “wilder” side through lots of color!

Piper Misses pattern in Gleeful 
Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Gleeful?
A: I love sewing clothing, so I, of course, hope other people sew clothes. BUT, I can also see bags, quilts, toys, headbands, etc. sewn out of the fabrics!
Date Night Clutch  courtesy of Sew Mama Sew 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

2014 Summer Book Club: American Homestead Quilts by Ellen Murphy

From sea to shining sea, the Unites States is filled with a mix of American Homesteads. Ellen Murphy is long time lover of house tours, garden tours, and historic tours. Her book, American Homestead Quilts was inspired by the United States' eclectic mix of cultures and diversity that reflects their home décor and style.

In this book, there are nine quilt projects that are inspired by iconic house styles from Brownstone and Saltbox to Craftsman and Farmhouses. Along with each quilt, Ellen also included some inspirational photographs featuring iconic American homes. These traditional and classic quilts are great for building your sewing skills, beginning with simple squares and working your way to more challenging diamond patterns. We absolutely love these traditionally pieced quilts that are perfect for any décor. 

Inspirational photographs of American Homestead Quilts

Here are a few examples of quilts in the book. 
Garden Cottage and Vintage Bungalow quilts

Craftsman Home and City Brownstone quilts
It's time for our 2014 Summer Book Club giveaway! We are giving away a stash of books to ten lucky winners from now until the end of August. To enter, comment below and let us know what iconic American Homestead are you most inspired by when quilting. One winner will be picked each week and all the winners will be announced August 26th. Good Luck and happy quilting! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

All About Applique with Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts

Hello happy quilters! Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts is back on the Jolly Jabber to show us some tips and tricks when using fusible applique. If you're new to applique, like Kimberly, these tutorials are so helpful.

First, Edyta shows us how to use stencils to draw applique shapes. Quilting stencils make tracing foolproof, especially when you’re creating multiple blocks. Watch as Edyta show us her step-by-step process

Next, we are going to prepare our block for fusible applique. In this video, she has chosen to use her Dancing Umbrella stencil to show us a step-step process from tracing to fusing.

When you're all done fusing your applique, it's time to stitch them into place. In this video, Edyta will show you various ways to stitch your applique.

Thank you so much for joining us on the Jolly Jabber! If you want to receive our videos as soon as they’re out, subscribe to our YouTube channel! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cotton + Steel Collection: August by Sarah Watts

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday! Sarah Watts is an illustrator and surface/textile designer. She makes up the fifth member of the Cotton + Steel dream team! Sarah has worked with companies such as Carters, Hallmark Cards, and Simon & Schuster to name a few! Her new fabric collection, August is a representation of power and strength. Read on to find out more about her collection! 

Q: Tell us about your Collection. What were you inspired by?
A: I love animals and nature. I wanted my first collection with Cotton+Steel to be one that represented power and strength. That's where the lion comes in! August is about making wishes, going after your dreams, and being resilient through the journey. It's also about all the fun along the way. It was a lot of work to get to this point and meet this amazing team and I feel that August is a good representation of that.  
Q: What is your background in textile design? 
A:  I got my start in textile design working at Carter's/Osh Kosh designing artwork and prints for children's clothing. I learned a lot about the apparel side of textile design. After Carter's I went to work at International Greetings. There I designed stationery and gift wrap and learned design processes on paper goods. I feel that these jobs were an invaluable extension to my education in Illustration.  

Q: What projects do hope to see made with your collection?  
A: Everything! A quilted helicopter that works. A quilted parachute that hopefully works. A miniature city made of soft blocks. A life-size Godzilla stuffed animal. Cute outfits for lions. A dust cover for a house. A giant hair bow for an elephant. But seriously, anything made from my fabric would be cool. :)

Q: How do you describe your style?
A: A lot of people say that my work looks like woodblock prints. I love that! I work in pen and ink, and I tend to draw from a narrative perspective. My work is inspired by antiques and vintage treasures. Nature is a continuous theme. There is something so mystical about the woods and all the little worlds you find in a forest.  

Q: What does Cotton + Steel mean to you?
A: C+S is a group of friends to work obsessively with, while also calling them my sisters. I have so much fun with these girls, and respect them so much. I admire everyone's strength and motivation. It is a blessing to be a part of it and be able to bounce ideas and grow stronger as an artist.  

SURPRISE! RJR and Cotton+Steel have graciously donated fat quarter bundles for us to giveaway! Today, we are giving away Sarah Watts' August Fat Quarter Bundle to one lucky winner. Just enter the giveaway through Rafflecopter below! The more entries you complete, the more chances you have to win.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Designer Tidbits: Rustique by Emily Herrick

Hello everyone and happy Saturday! We're so thrilled to have Emily Herrick of Crazy Old Ladies here on the Jolly Jabber to talk about her Rustique Collection for Michael Miller Fabrics. This collection mixes rustic charm with bright colors to create a modern twist! Keep on reading to find out more on the collection. 

Q: Tell us a little about the Rustique collection. What were you inspired by?
A: Rustique has been a work in progress for some time. The idea started over 2 years ago and evolved into the collection that is out today. I grew up in the Bay Area suburbs in California where I didn't see a whole lot of wildlife. My husband on the other hand grew up in Idaho where they camped, hiked and hunting was a family tradition. His passion for all things outdoors has been quite an adjustment for me. He's all about the mountains and wildlife and all things camo (blech!), while my vacations include restaurants, hotels and shopping.

At some point I started to entertain the idea of creating a fabric collection that would include common rustic themes yet appeal to me with color and patterns. I knew from the beginning that I would include silhouette of deer and antlers. Another motif I wanted to include was the crosscut wood rings. I love plaid, so designing a cabin-esque plaid was a no-brainer. Utah has lots of Quaking Aspens in the mountains so I had to include those in a print. I tried to stay away from cliche type images and give my motifs an artistic feel. My favorite thing about Rustique is that I designed it with my husband in mind but it's totally and completely Me. The images and design elements are rustic in nature but with the vibrant colors it gives it a completely different twist 

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A: My process for this collection was somewhat different from my others because of the length of time I took to develop Rustique. I had a name -Rustique- but didn't have clear images in my head of what I wanted like I had done with previous collections. With Rustique I knew how I wanted it to feel, even though I couldn't quite explain it. Each print came from an idea: deer, trees, leaves, antlers, etc. There were certain designs that I knew I would include (plaids and geometric) and other motifs that I knew I wanted to stay away from. I would play and sketch and let things evolve. There were many periods of frustration when I would work on an idea for hours and when it was finished it just didn't have that "feel" I was going for. 

Part of my struggle to get it right was with the color palette. With my other collections the colors were the first things I determined. With Rustique, color came last. It was difficult to design without a clear color palette to work with but it helped push me as a designer. When the collection finally got to a point where I couldn't finalize it without a palette I auditioned a variety of hues. There was lots of trial and error in this area too but when I finally tried the rich jewel tones I just knew i was there. 

Tuacahn and Big Game Quilt 
Q: What design trends are you currently exploring?
A: I love the whole Adirondack/Aztec inspiration that is trending right now. I didn't know two years ago when I started Rustique that this is where things were headed, but I sure am glad they are. A trend in fabric and design has been coined "The Year of the Deer" and I'm excited to be a part of it.

My quilt patterns follow the same Adirondack/Aztec design style. There are a lot of triangles in design right now and I loved incorporating them into my quilts. My quilt patterns were clear ideas I wanted to explore and so I went for it. My interpretation of the trendy medallion quilt, Jackson Hole, was a fun project. It's written in sections and can easily be broken down into a block-of-the-month/week if you wanted. Tuacahn was one of those crazy ideas that I just couldn't shake. Once I sketched it out and realized how easy it would be I couldn't stop until it was finished. I'm inspired by architecture, flooring,  home decor and fashion trends so my designs are always evolving. 

Promise Ring Quilt
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I have a hard time with this question. I just don't think I fit into a single mold. If you look at each of my new quilt patterns you can see modern elements and traditional elements and also elements that can't be classified into either of those titles. For the most part I like to design quick and easy projects but sometimes I get an idea like Promise Ring and just have to go for it. My fabric collections are the same way. I look at all of them together and they're pretty eclectic. I think part of the reason is that I'm still evolving as a designer and an artist. I won't have a "style" until I quit evolving and I don't know when that will be. I guess I really am just a "Crazy Old Lady."

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Rustique?
A: EVERYTHING! Of course I hope to see many quilts made with Rustique because that's where my passion is. But I would love to see gorgeous bags made with it too. There are so many amazing bags out there and I can't make one to save my life. Believe me, I've tried. With social media and seeing all the fun little projects I hope people enjoy using Rustique for their pincushions, small bags, minis and more. And if anyone is brave enough to tackle clothing construction (because I'm no good at that either) I would LOVE to see a pencil skirt out of the plaid or chevron prints. Cute, right!? Ok, now GO SEW!!!

Cotton + Steel Collection: Moonlit by Rashida Coleman-Hale

We hope everyone is having a great weekend. Today, we are featuring Rashida Coleman-Hale of I Heart Linen's new Moonlit Collection for Cotton + Steel. Rashida is a well-known blogger and fabric designer who has been in the quilt scene for some years. Moonlit is her sixth fabric collection but the first for Cotton + Steel. She's here today on the Jolly Jabber to chat about her inspirations and collection. 

Q: Tell us about your collection. What were you inspired by?
A: My collections typically have a Japanese influence, but I decided to step outside of my comfort zone a bit and explore a little. My collection, Moonlit, drew inspiration from a Summer night in Little Italy. I truly enjoy a warm Summer evening out in Manhattan. A candlelit dinner outside, with the twinkle of the city lights above you, pennants waving over head, sparklers and luminescence. There are many simpler, geometric prints in this group that not only support my collections, but the rest of the C+S groups as well. 

Q: What is your background in design?
A: My background is in Fashion Design, but I also spent several years doing freelance graphic design. I'm so crazy happy that I've been able to combine my two great loves of sewing and graphic design as a career. My first fabric collection was with Timeless Treasures in 2011, Moonlit makes collection number six for me! (I'm currently working on collection number eight!) 

Q: What projects do hope to see made with your collection?
A: Any and everything!! The biggest joy for me is seeing how people use my prints and I'm so intrigued by it. I truly enjoy discovering the different and fun ways that sewists interpret your collections. It's an ongoing puzzle and sometimes you don't see how two pieces fit until someone else points it out. Such an amazing thing to witness!! 

Q: How do you describe your style?
A: I'm not sure I could think of a single word to describe my style. I'm always influenced by Japanese and vintage design. I enjoy clean design, with simple motifs, bold graphics, and lots of geometric shapes. Taking traditional Japanese motifs and giving them a little modern twist I suppose.  

Q: What does Cotton +Steel mean to you?
A: Cotton +Steel has been life changing and reinvigorating!  I loved designing before, but I'm drunk in love with it now. I've made life long friends that I always look forward to working with and never thought that I would make such relationships as a designer. We live such solitary lives as designers sometimes and I feel so lucky to have these ladies for inspiration, feedback, to bounce ideas off of, and to just chat with day to day.  And laugh. Lots of laughing! We each bring a different skillset to the table, and it's been so fantastic learning from each of them the wealth of knowledge they have to offer, as well as learning about myself as a designer and a person. I'm grateful. 

SURPRISE! RJR and Cotton+Steel have graciously donated fat quarter bundles for us to giveaway! Today, we are giving away Rashida Coleman-Hale's Moonlit Fat Quarter Bundle to one lucky winner. Just enter the giveaway through Rafflecopter below! The more entries you complete, the more chances you have to win.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cotton + Steel Collection: Homebody by Kim Kight

Hi everyone! welcome back to the Jolly Jabber. Thank you so much for tuning into our Cotton + Steel blog special. Today, Kim Kight is here to talk about her Homebody collection for Cotton + Steel. Kim is a fabric collector ,and creating her own fabric collection is her ultimate dream come true. Read on to learn more about her inspiration.

Q: Tell us about your collection. What were you inspired by?
A: My collection is named Homebody in celebration of introverts, hermits, and recluses. The prints all reference the home and quiet, bookish hobbies like stamp collecting. As it came together I thought a lot about my grandmother's house, her faded carpet, the Chesterfield, and the cigar boxes and mason jars she filled with coins, buttons, and miscellaneous treasures.

Q: What is your background in textile design?
A: I am totally self-taught in fabric design. I got my experience with design software from the publishing industry, and I was just driven by a burning love for all things fabric and textile to learn how to do repeats and how to design for different substrates and markets. 

Q: What projects do hope to see made with your collection?
A: Quilts, because what is cozier and more homey. I naturally gravitate toward more gender-neutral, versatile prints, so I hope to see clothes for all genders and ages. I'm also very much looking forward to seeing things I haven't thought of making myself. 

Q: What projects do hope to see made with your collection?
A: For fabric, it's vintage all the way. I love feedsacks and dress fabrics from the 1930s-70s. My Homebody prints are reproduction and vintage-inspired. For sewing, I like simple, classic, geometric. For my house, ideally it's understated mid-century modern, but realistically it's more like "barely keeping up because I live with three boys." 

Q: What does Cotton + Steel mean to you?
A: As I said in our first documentary film, I really think Cotton + Steel is the next logical step for the industry. We are the natural outcome of the last 10 years, which has seen a growth in design-savvy people who just love creating, and it never crosses their mind to define themselves as this or that type of sewer. I'm also thrilled to be involved in the collaborative design process ... I'm not sure I'd want to do it any other way!

SURPRISE! RJR and Cotton+Steel have graciously donated fat quarter bundles for us to giveaway! Today, we are giving away Kim Kight's Homebody Fat Quarter Bundle to one lucky winner. Just enter the giveaway through Rafflecopter below! The more entries you complete, the more chances you have to win.