Tutorial: How to Use Impressions Quilting Templates

Have you gotten your hands on the awesome new Orange Peel Templates?! Today, we’ll show you exactly how to use these fun templates! Check out this easy-to-follow video!
These four new patterns are so fun to make! You might have seen them in our favorite Bella Solids, but we’ve made them in some of our favorite new collections, too!
We used the fun and colorful prints of Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis Textiles for Robert Kaufman Fabrics! These prints are small and subtle enough that the fish shapes we love are still the star of the show! Purchase your Pattern today and bring this quilt to life! 
Friedlander by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Fabrics is a fun collection with a large variety of colorways! We love how that periwinkle blue just pops in the center of the Grapevine Pattern!
We softened up the Jewel Pattern by using First Blush by Ruby Red Designs for Windham Fabrics. These dainty florals are perfect to highlight the petals of this pattern!
The Round Robin Pattern is so versatile, and we decided to make it in Manderley by Franny and Jane for Moda Fabrics. This collection features contemporary prints in a variety of sizes, making it perfect for this quilt pattern!
Are you feeling inspired? We can’t wait to see what you create with these fun Impressions templates and new patterns! To help you get started, we’re giving away a set of Aurifil Thread that corresponds with the quilt kits! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to be entered to win! Contest ends Saturday, February 25, 2017! Winner will be announced on the blog!

Aurifil Impressions Thread Set

Fresh Finds from Fat Quarter Shop

It’s 2017! Do you have a New Year’s resolution to sew more? Or maybe to finish up some projects that you’ve been hanging on to? Say no more! We have a HUGE list of fresh finds this week, and we are sure that something will catch your eye and get your creative juices flowing! Check out just a few of our new favorites below, and find them all on our what’s new page!

Story Party with Such Designs

Hi everyone, it’s Daniar here on the Jolly Jabber to talk about Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Designs‘ new fabric collection for Windham Fabrics, Story. Carrie invited some of her quilty friends to sew something special with her amazing new fabric collection and I feel so honored to be one of the lucky ones. 
Story is… “about community, connection and the essentials of life; home, family, love, garden, nature, stars, moon, sun, animals, friends.” 

Using Cluck Cluck Sew’s Suburbs pattern I wanted to tell a story of all the different cities, countries, and places that I’ve resided. I love travelling and enjoy moving from one place to another, so home is more than just a house, it’s where I can be myself. These house blocks represent my past, present, and future to come. 

Here is my favorite block… full of love, dreams, and blessings.
There are so many medium to large scale prints, these house blocks are such a great way to show them off. 

I have to admit that my fondness of Carrie’s collection was love at first sight. Her prints are
absolutely gorgeous and coincidentally filled with my favorite colors. 

To see what our other crafty friends have sewn, check out the Story lookbook and visit Carrie’s blog to enter a special GIVEAWAY! Thank you so much for joining me today and let us know, what you would make with the Story collection in the comments section!

Designer Tidbits: Lily Gonzales Creed

It’s sizzling in the kitchen! We hope you are hungry! Lily Gonzales Creed is here to share more about her Farm to Fork collection for Windham Fabrics. Get inspired and let’s get cooking!

Q: Tell us a little about the Farm to Fork collection. What were you inspired by?
A:I am incredibly inspired by the farm to table movement that is happening all over – people are caring more about where their food is coming from and the quality of life of livestock. I truly believe that things raised in a happy environment are more delicious, and that goes for anything from clean tasting beef, rich farm eggs with the brightest yolks you’ve ever seen, to fresh garden snap peas and heirloom tomatoes that make grocery produce all taste like cardboard in comparison. To the core, I am a meat lover. I wanted to pay tribute to that and offer a part of myself to the public. I limited the colors in this line because I wanted to present this collection more as a news reporter and less like a story; this is what is relevant at this time in history. The grey tones juxtapose the brightness because the farmer’s life is not the easy path to take. I wanted to honor the struggle and the balance.

Q: What design trends are you currently exploring?
A:This collection has been described as “Retro Mod” by people. I am personally drawn to things that are incredibly graphic and although I have a fine art background, I am more inspired by the contrast, balance, and simplified shapes of graphic design. I believe that aesthetic will stay true in my design. I am interested in exploring color more with the next collection to offer quilters more choices.

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Farm to Fork?
A:Bias cut Bacon short shorts! No really, it would be “meat chic”. I would love to see everyday things made from it. I carry a steak purse every day and get funny reactions from time to time but mostly, people just think it is an organic pattern.

Of course this line translates well for kitchen decor and aprons; men love the meat prints for BBQ and grilling things! I love using it for pet accessories too. In some of my photos, there is a French Bulldog in a cute little steak outfit. He is my friend’s dog and his name is Angus so making him meat apparel cracks me up!

Q:How do you describe your style and how has it evolved over the years?
A:Funny enough, my personal style is completely different to my maker style. Day to day, I live a grey and taupe existence. Those are the colors of my house and my closet. My sewing room however has graphic black and white curtains with splashes of bright putrid chartreuse. I don’t remember planning my environment in that manner but it happened anyway. The day to day reasonable conservative Lily likes subdued shades of neutrals, the maker in me is much more wild and bright.

When I was drawing and painting in my younger years, I gravitated towards orange and blue color schemes. Since I have been quilting, those have been very colorful as well. In fact, one of my favorite quilts is blue and orange so perhaps I am more consistent than I think!

Q:What has been your biggest sewing faux-pas to date?
A:I do not sew apparel. For some reason, it makes me more nervous to sew that than anything else. One day this lightning bolt of courage hit me and I was going to make these fabulous shorts out of a great eyelet print. I bought a pattern and started cutting. I wanted to do French seams to impeccably finish them. When I was getting to the final steps, I realized something went drastically wrong. I forgot to account for the seam allowance required for French seams. NO WAY were they going to fit. AHHHH!!! All of that time and work for nothing! I gave them to a skinny friend even though the waistband ended up crooked too and haven’t made shorts since. Maybe someday I will try again…

Designer Tidbits: Ampersand Design Studio

Count down the days of the week with this fun new collection! Eight Days a Week by Ampersand Design Studio is a bold, graphic new collection that will have you feeling crafty! Morgan and Carrie of Ampersand Design Studio are here to share more about Eight Days a Week, so keep reading for a treat!

Q: Tell us a little about the 8 Days a Week collection.  What were you inspired by?
A:We believe that every day of the year is cause for celebration so we built this collection around that idea! 8 Days a Week is a group of playful, hand-painted prints highlighting the names of months, days of the week and dates on the calendar! We even included a blank calendar grid and tons of fun icons so any important date can be commemorated. Then, we threw in some stripes and dots for good measure and voila! We absolutely love typography and hand lettering (we even met in typography class in college), so it wasn’t a surprise that lettering was a focus of this group. For the color palette, we knew we wanted to mix it up a little and work in a more limited palette than our last line, Cream & Sugar (which was super colorful). We were both loving bold black and white with a few colorful accents so we just ran with that.

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A:We begin by giving ourselves some time to just play, do some research and get inspired. We build style boards and pin things that we’re loving. Then, the two of us share our first round of ideas and we decide what we’re both most drawn to. Often, it’s some combination of our two points-of-view. At this point, a theme usually emerges and we begin to flesh it out and play with color and scale. For 8 Days a Week, we went a few different directions before coming up with the theme, but we were so happy with where we finally landed!

Q: What design trends are you currently exploring?
A:Right now, we are loving going crazy with mixing patterns — graphic with florals, ethnic patterns with stripes, etc. We think this could be a pretty fun one to explore with a fabric collection. We’re also having fun with light-hearted and optimistic prints…things like inspirational quotes and hopeful graphics like hearts.

Q:What projects do you hope to see made with 8 Days a Week?
A:Anything and everything! Honestly, we’re just so flattered when people choose our fabric for their projects! We love seeing the results. We love this group because we feel like it is so versatile. We can’t wait to see how people get creative with the calendar grid and make their own keepsakes out of the different elements. We also love the idea of this group as nursery fabrics and kid’s clothing, but feel it works well for home and grown-up pieces, too. How’s that for indecisive?! We just love dreaming up all the different possibilities!

Q:How do you describe your style?
A:We would call our style a modern and clean, happy and colorful.

Q:What is the biggest sewing faux pas that has happened to you?
A:Well, not sure about a true faux pas, but we will just admit that, although we enjoy it, we are not the best seamstresses in the entire world, despite having it in our genes (both our moms and our grandmas are/were great sewers). We sewed most of the pieces for our first fabric collection catalog ourselves and on one bag, we actually sewed the straps on in a way that would make it almost impossible to carry. Oops! We have come a long way since then!

Designer Tidbits: Marcia Derse

Interview with Marcia Derse, fabric designer and artist. Featuring Mosaic fabric collection for Wilmington Prints

Marcia Derse‘s new fabric collection mixes color, movement, and texture. These fabrics are inspired by the tiles in a mosaic and incorporate her hand dyed motifs. If you are looking for an interesting new collection to play with, try Mosaic by Marcia Derse for Windham Fabrics. To spark your creativity, Marcia is here to tell you more about the collection. Keep reading for a closer look!

Q: Tell us a little about the Mosaic collection. What were you inspired by?
A:My latest collection, Mosaic was inspired by a project my son recently did. He created a fridge puzzle in the style of a roman mosaic. The puzzle is beautiful but insanely difficult. Looking at his little tiles on the fridge prompted me to pull together other inspiration, a book on Pompeiian mosaics, a postcard of a tiled floor that was in my studio, piles of broken pottery that I keep around long after the plate has broken. From there the collection took shape.

Mosaic Fabric Collection by Marcia Derse for Wilmington Prints

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A:I start with a knock-out piece of fabric that speaks to me with color, design, or sometimes both. Then I revisit every piece of fabric in my stash, opening each one up, making piles of favorites that relate to the inspiration piece in some way. Every surface in my studio, tables and floor, is covered with piles of fabric for a day or two until I start to edit and organize the unused fabrics back into color coordinated stacks. Mosaic started with the charcoal tiles fabric that was hand-dyed and stamped with resist & over-dyed.

Mosaic Fabric Collection by Marcia Derse for Wilmington PrintsMosaic Fabric Collection by Marcia Derse for Wilmington Prints

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Mosaic?
A:Honestly, I am always humbled and amazed to see what people create with my fabrics. I’ve seen some truly wonderful quilts, sculptures, clothes, and shoes made with my fabric but right now I am most keen to see my fabric on furniture. I’ve dabbled a little in upholstering found furniture pieces in my fabric and I am really excited about the result. If anyone has any furniture projects please send along pictures. I’d love to see it.

Turnstile Quilt Kit featuring Mosaic Fabric by Marcia Derse for Wilmington Prints
Turnstile Quilt Kit featuring Mosaic fabric
Turnstile Quilt Kit featuring Mosaic Fabric by Marcia Derse for Wilmington Prints
Turnstile Quilt Kit featuring Mosaic fabric

Q:What projects have you made using Mosaic?
A:The first thing I created was a fabric mosaic of a bird. A very literal use but I wanted to bring it right back to the inspiration. Even using tiny squares the marks of the fabric were quite obvious.

Inspiration for Mosaic fabric collection by Marcia Derse for Wilmington Prints

Q:How do you describe your style?
A: Organized eye candy.

Designer Tidbits: Allison Harris

Sit back with Allison Harris and enjoy the view. Wallflowers by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew just arrived. Her debut collection for Windham Fabrics is subtle, alluring, and fresh. We asked Allison about her first fabric collection, so sit back and enjoy Wallflowers!

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Wallflowers?
A:I love Zinnias, and spent every summer growing them to sell as cut flowers. The main zinnia floral print was my first focus, and the other prints followed! 


Q: Tell us about your background. How did you get into the fabric and quilting industry?
A:I went to school to be a Dental Hygienist, so getting into this industry was a happy accident (and lots of hard work!). I started through blogging, and after a few years I started a pattern company called Cluck Cluck Sew. It’s been 7 years since I made the jump into this industry, and although I can’t say it’s been easy, it’s definitely been a fun adventure and I love it! 

Q:What projects do you hope to see using Wallflowers? Quilts, apparel, accessories, home décor projects?
A:I’m a quilter first, so I hope that it gets turned into quilts galore! I’m making a crib sheet and bed skirt for my daughter out of the aqua and coral large zinnia print and coral leaf print right now, so hopefully it will make great home decor and some apparel projects as well.  

Q:Does your family give you input on your designs?
A:Definitely! Sometimes I have a hard time focusing on what I like and want to design, so asking my family for their opinions keep me in the right direction. They know me so well that they can tell me if something just doesn’t look like “me”. 


Primrose and Poppies Quilt Kit featuring Wallflowers by Allison Harris

Q:How did you learn to sew, quilt, and design fabric?
A:I learned to sew from my Mom but didn’t quilt until I was older. Quilting was mostly self-taught, but I’m lucky to have a Mom that is a great quilter that I could ask when I was having trouble. In the beginning trial and error were my best teachers! I’m STILL learning how to design fabric, I have a lot I want to learn in that department! 

Q:What is your favorite print in the collection?
A:The small stem stripes in green, aqua, and gray. It’s so dainty and I can think of 100 uses. Plus I just love stripes. 


Q:What inspires your work?
A:My home, family, and what I’m into at the moment. Usually what I’m decorating with or have in my house looks pretty similar to what I’m quilting and designing at the moment. I also pay attention to trends and what is becoming popular. I love retro designs, antique quilts, and a fresh farm look, so much of what I do has that “look” to it. 

Q9:What do you plan to make using Wallflowers?
A:Besides quilts (and more quilts!), I’m making bedding for my daughters’ room and a bed skirt for my own room using the gray stem stripe. I also have some Christmas gifts to make and a dress for my daughter. I’m trying to jump out of my comfort zone and make some clothes finally!

Designer Tidbits: Heather Ross

Welcome to the whimsical world of Heather Ross! Briar Rose, Heather’s new collection for Windham Fabrics, is filled with the most magical prints in bright, punchy colors. Her illustrations come to life on fabric and are dying to be transformed into your next sewing project. Heather is here to tell you more about Briar Rose, so keep reading for a closer look!

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for this collection?
A:In and around my home in the Catskill Mountains, in upstate New York.

Q: What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
A:When I drew the sketch of the little honey-bee mom.

Q: What would be your collection’s theme song?
A:Probably “That’s My Daughter, In The Water“.

Q:Tell me about your sewing machines. What kinds do you have and how many?
A:I have too many to list, but the green one in the Briar Rose catalog is my current love. It’s an Elna, in a wonderful “grasshopper green”.

Q:What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A:The wonderful people!

Q:From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A:My daughter, my home, and my own remembered childhood

Q:What is your design process?
A:I sketch for days, then I scan and plan repeats and composition, then I add lines and color digitally, using Photoshop. I describe my process step by step in my last book, Heather Ross Prints.

Q:What is your favorite print in the collection?
A:Nanny Bee, in green!

Q:What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A:When I’ve been staring at the screen for too long and can’t decide if something isn’t working or if I’m just tired of it.

Q:What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
A:Grass green, buttercup yellow, and orange. I love orange: rhymes with nothing, goes with everything!

For a closer look at Heather Ross and Briar Rose, watch our interview from Spring Quilt Market in Portland.

Designer Tidbits: SUCH Designs

Celebrate your inner artist with the arrival of Collage by Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Designs. Be creative with this collection and make your own fabric COLLAGE! Carrie is here to tell you more about Collage, so keep reading for a closer look!

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Collage?
A:It came from a lifetime of being an artist. Art is my default mode. I knew I wanted to use lots of newspaper. Because I am an abstract painter, I wanted to bypass the brush for my first collection and collage jumped up to take its place. I love the shapes made by cutting paper.

Q: What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
A:You want to know the truth? My Aha moment came from a healer who gave me permission to make it easy to design my first line. To make it effortless and fun and NOT a struggle. That is where COLLAGE comes from, a place of playfulness.

Q: What would be Collage’s theme song?
A:What an awesome question! Pondering this, I am seeing the collection in a whole new light! Hmmmm, the spirit of the whole line is in the song Mushaboom by Feist. But Boum by Charles Trenet song is also rather good for it! Ooooh, I’d love to make a COLLAGE playlist for you.

Q:What projects do you hope to see made using Collage?
A:Here is my goal for you with Collage: cut it up, stick it down, sew over it! It is that simple! You can collage it like paper, making mini-quilts or decoupage-ed art by gluing it to canvas. Or, use the line as a stack of textured papers to play with. Play! Have fun, mainly. Trust yourself, break some rules, and express something. Make garments, kids stuff, home stuff, quilts.

Q:What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A:The enthusiasm! Fabric is the axis of the sewing world, the epicenter, the reason. The rest of the industry swirls around that axis. Fabric gets all the glory, though. 🙂

Q:From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A:Love. Everything I do comes from that place. My family is my source. My kids inspire me daily. Creativity is born, for me, from knowing that I am good enough– just the messy, imperfect way that I am. That is the place where I am free.

Q:What is your design process?
A:I design in my mind’s eye first, but only as a starting point. Then, I assemble my materials and start working. I never know exactly where I am going until I get there, but mainly I work with my hands: paint, glue, paste, and scissors. My greatest tool? Messes–mistakes–accidents. There is a print in my line called Little Bits. That print was made from the trash left on the floor after I was finished designing the other prints. I looked down. My eyes went all starry. I scooped it all up and glued it down. You can see that the arcs are the handles of the cups from the cups print and the holes were left when I cut out the dots for my Bird Dot print. Incident. Accident. Mishap. These things bear the fruits of creativity.

Q: What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A:Being brave enough to start. It is always that first moment that feels so scary. Then we take a breath, take a step, make a mark and we are off and running. It is such an ego place, that first mark. I prefer to have a conversation between me and the things I make. They tell me something, I reply. It goes on like that. I find things as I work. But that first mark is all me…me and the blankness of the page. And I have to move in on the whiteness, on the emptiness, and start the ball rolling–I have to make something I can respond to. Then the conversation begins.

Q:What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
A:Favorite: saffron. Saffron like the Dalai Lama’s robe. Saffron that is almost orange, but not quite. I don’t necessarily work with it a lot, but I adore it. It breathes life like fire and sun and our highest self.
Least favorite: black & white. either way, they’re the same. empty. too intense. too much. not enough. People think white is neutral. I think white is terribly loud and almost too perfect for its own good, almost unnatural. I’ll choose off-white over white every day! It is softer, less loud. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging! I use white for different things, just sparingly…or if I am illustrating snow. 🙂 Black? Not so much. I learned in art school to take black out of my palette. It muddies. It darkens. It creates a mess of the vibrancy of other colors. I’ll choose charcoal over black every day. It is softer, less loud. Can you tell I love color? I LOVE color. All colors. Every color. As a painter I am on very intimate terms with the language of color. But it is a language that is unique to each of us.

To see a bit more of Collage, watch our exclusive interview with Carrie of SUCH Designs at Spring Quilt Market in Portland!