Fun Friday Show & Tell: AMB in all of its Glory!

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What a lovely surprise I found in my email inbox this morning!  A very talented seamstress by the name of Jill made this American Flag using….(you guessed it)….American Made Brand fabrics!!  As I continued to chat with Jill over email about her creation, I discovered that this is the first American Flag that she has ever made.  WOWEE!  She was excited to have finally found a fabric that’s strictly made in the USA, having purchased AMB solids at her local quilt shop, Carolina Foam & Fabric based in North Carolina.  Her son, a member of the National Guard, will be the proud recipient of this all-American-made labor of love!

Pledge your allegiance to American Made by using American Made Brand cotton solids in your sewing and crafting projects. Visit one of the many retailers across the USA that carry AMB solids by Clothworks and follow this link to find a local quilt shop near you!

 

 

On the Road Again: AMB on Tour at Upcoming Quilt Festivals!

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American Made Brand fabrics will be making the quilt exhibit circuit, featured in some gorgeous quilts at a few quilt festivals this Autumn!  Quilts made of American Made Brand solids featured in the Farm to Fabric Challenge from 2014, as well as the lovely AMB License Plate Quilt (as shown above) will be shown in 3 upcoming quilt festivals.  Fill up your gas tanks, rev up your engines, and take a road trip to these quilt festivals to view the American Made Brand Farm to Fabric Challenge Quilt Exhibit.  Here’s your chance to see these absolutely fantastic quilts in person:

September 17-20, 2015 – Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XXII- Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA

October 8-10, 2015 – Quiltfest Oasis Palm Springs- Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, CA

October 15- 18, 2015- Pacific International Quilt Festival XXIV- Santa Clara, CA

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Last year in 2014, in conjunction with the debut of American Made Brand solid fabrics, we hosted the Farm to Fabric Quilt Challenge where entrants were asked to design & make their quilts using the beautiful assortment of American Made Brand solid fabrics and answer the theme question: What does it mean to you, your family or your community to bring fabric production back to America to use in your American made quilts?  Several applicants submitted quilts, but through the juried contest, a handful of the best quilts were selected to be exhibited.  Clothworks is excited to continue touring the Farm to Fabric Challenge Quilt exhibit so that you may have a chance to admire these amazing quilts made from AMB!

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You might also remember from last year here on the Works, we took you on the AMB Blog Tour– a virtual road trip visiting all 50 States in the USA, meeting a new blogger per state, and viewing their contribution to the AMB License Plate Quilt.  This quilt will also be featured along with the Farm to Fabric Challenge Quilt Exhibit at the upcoming quilt festivals mentioned above.

The Farm to Fabric Challenge Exhibit along with the AMB License Plate Quilt was shown at The World Quilt Show in Manchester, NH from August 13-15.  Although we missed it, you can read the account of it from our blogger friend, Victoria of Park Hill Farm, also known as ‘Ms. New Hampshire’ on the AMB Road Trip Blog Tour.

And just a reminder…..

It’s not too late to enter into this year’s American Made Brand Quilt Challenge, The Tiny Quilt Challenge for 2015.  We are still taking entries through September 15, 2015.  This year we’re extremely excited to offer a ‘Junior’ category for entrants below the age of 18!

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Read here for full details on how to enter and register your quilt into the AMB Tiny Quilt Challenge…… and Good Luck!

 

 

Clothworks Show & Tell: Oversized Check Quilt

Oversized Check Quilt

Maybe it’s the impending seasonal change that has gotten me on a quilting kick, or maybe it’s a quest to use up my stash.  Who knows!?  I can’t say I can blame the mosquitoes, but that darn quilting bug has bitten me and now I’ve been making one quilt top after another lately.  I had to share this one with y’all, as it has a mix of older Clothworks prints with some American Made Brand black solids, and some up-cycled plaids thrown in for good measure.

I’m no quilting genius, I would call myself an amateur.  I admit that I’ve never sewn a triangle or a star block (but I aspire to do that some day).  I’ve only pieced with square and rectangle blocks.  And this is my 5th quilt I’ve made.  This is also my own design. I call it the Oversize Check.

Like I said, I’ve been on a quest to use up my fabric stash lately.  It’s a challenge to do that when you work here at Clothworks and you’re surrounded and shall I say, bombarded, with new, beautiful fabrics on a daily basis!  Fabric comes home with me like a lost puppy dog sometimes. :)  So as I was cleaning out my stash the other day I came across these tonal skull prints from a past Sue Zipkin release with a Halloween-theme called ‘Gone Haunting’.  Remember these?

Skulls- Close Up

As I continued to plot out my quilt design, I wanted to keep it simple with a masculine feeling.  This quilt would be gifted to a guy.  I drafted some sketches on my graph paper, and eureka!  An oversized check design came to mind.  How easy is that- still keeping with the simplicity of the piecework, but using my stash, and making a manly-looking quilt, this design fit all of my criteria!

Oversized Check Quilt- close up

I threw in the black solid American Made Brand fabric to create more depth and contrast in the design.  I had some various plaid fabrics laying around (upcycled from some old flannel shirts) and thought this would create an interesting detail and nice shot of color to break up the monochromatic color scheme.

And ta-dah!

Oversized Check Quilt cropped

My finished squares are about 7.75″.  Although Clothworks no longer carries Sue Zipkin’s ‘Gone Haunting’ collection of fabric, I could see this quilt design replicated using some of the tonal blender fabrics that Clothworks carries year round in the warehouse.  The whole line of Impressions- Moire, Flora, Scroll, and Sprig would make great replacements, and even the Paisley…or maybe any of the Clothworks range of Basics!

 

Clothworks Welcomes New Backyard with German Potluck!

Before & After Backyard Collage

Although the Summer season may feel like it’s coming to an end with kids going off to school, the weather is a different story.  Especially here in the Pacific Northwest where the Clothworks HQ is based.  With the El Nino weather pattern in full gear for this year, the meteorologists are forecasting a mild & dry Autumn season through Winter season.  Good thing we finally cleaned up our backyard just in time to enjoy the warm summer weather, and with any luck, some mild days throughout the rest of the year!  Above you can see a before & after picture.

If you’ve been following us here on the Works, we had a little help from some friends…..the goats of Amazin’ Grazers, an urban goat rental, who chewed away at all of the overgrowth in our backyard.

Before & After Bkyd Collage

It most certainly was a jungle back there.  We had no idea there was a storage shed in the back until the goats ate away at all of the bushes and brambles!  So with the backyard cleaned up, it was time to christen it, and in true Clothworks fashion, we celebrated with a POTLUCK!  Hey, the family that eats together, stays together, right?

German Potluck Collage

One of our esteemed warehouse crew members, Chef Steve (pictured above manning the grill), was excited to share a popular delicacy from his home state of Wisconsin, Usinger’s Famous Sausage.  The tag line for Usinger’s Sausage is ‘America’s Finest Sausage’….quite fitting for the folks that bring you American Made Brand Fabrics!  This set the tone for our potluck theme– a German-style Potluck with all of the essentials:  grandma’s homemade potato salad, sauerkraut, pickles, mustard and tons of fantastic side salads, as well as rich desserts including homemade kuchen made with fresh blackberries and apple strudel.  It was fun to celebrate in our new backyard patio……even if we ate like goats! :)

Brat lunch

AMB Tiny Quilt Challenge Deadline- One Month Away!!

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The deadline to enter the Tiny Quilt Challenge sponsored by American Made Brand is quickly approaching!  With just about a month to go, entries will be accepted no later than Tuesday September 15, 2015.  As the name of this year’s quilt contest suggests, the Tiny Quilt Challenge will accept finished quilt entries made from AMB Solid Fabric, sized at 15″ x 15″ or less.

Last year’s AMB-sponsored quilt contest, The Farm to Fabric Challenge, was all about paying tribute to bringing fabric production back to the USA.  From the cotton grown in the fields to the fabric woven, dyed, and finished in the textile mills, we asked contestants to ponder the importance of bringing this booming industry back to U.S. shores.  It was the perfect theme to help debut the release of American Made Brand fabrics, a division of Clothworks.

For this year’s contest, The Tiny Quilt Challenge, it’s all about down-sizing!  Have you ever just wanted to live a simpler, pared down way of life?  See how much fun it can be to think about what you can create in the box (finished dimensions of 15″ x 15″ or less) with AMB solids!  Maybe you’ve even gathered enough scraps of American Made Brand solid fabric left over from previous projects and want to reduce your fabric stash?!!  The Tiny Quilt Challenge may have a smaller format to work with, but the possibilities of what to create are limitless!  Act quickly, as before you know it the September 15th deadline will be here!

And now for the fun part– the Prizes!  Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries in each of these four categories

1) Pieced         2)  Applique       3)  Quilting        4)  Junior Quilter (up to age 18)

1st Place: 1 yard each of the 62 colors of American Made Brand Cotton Solids, a color card and an AMB tote bag
2nd Place: 62 fat quarters – 1 each of the American Made Brand Cotton Solids, a color card and an AMB tote bag
3rd Place: 31 fat quarters of American Made Brand Cotton Solids, a color card and an AMB tote bag

Best of Show Grand Prize: An airline ticket to sunny Southern California in January 2016 plus 2 nights accommodation to see the Tiny Challenge exhibit debut at Road to California 2016!

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Are you up for the challenge!?  Prepare to WOW us with your Tiny Quilts made from American Made Brand Fabric!  Follow this link to read further info and contest rules for The Tiny Quilt Challenge.  Read more about the Road to California by following their lovely blog, too!

Best of Luck!

Fun Friday Show & Tell with AMB!

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Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve been enjoying your summer- whether it’s been keeping cool inside working on sewing projects or basking in the sunshine outdoors.  Speaking of sewing, sunshine, and the outdoors– our friend Barbara of Enchanted Valley Arts, recently shared some fantastic pictures of a summer youth sewing camp where she is a director.  You may remember a post from a few months ago where we featured Barbara’s outstanding Puget Sound-inspired applique wall-hanging called, ‘Another Point of View‘ she designed using Western Washington Shop Hop fabric by Clothworks and In The Beginning.  Barbara works with the Clothing and Textile Advisors of Kitsap County, a group of highly skilled & trained individuals (similar to a Master Gardener program, but for textiles instead of plants) which sponsor a 4H summer sewing camp called ‘Creative You’.  During the sewing camp, these young people learned to create all sorts of fabric manipulation techniques:  dyeing, fabric stamping, shibori, etc.  After dyeing their fabrics, the campers transformed the fabrics into finished sewing projects such as pillows, tote bags, accessories, garments, etc.  Clothworks was excited to team up with Barbara and her summer sew camp by donating some American Made Brand solid fabric for use in their creations.  Below are some great pics of the sewing camp attendees in action during the creative process.

AMB Dye Process Collage

AMB Dye Process 2

AMB- Craetive You- Sewing

AMB Finished Projects 2

AMB Finished Projects

Looks like there was lots of fabric dyeing & sewing fun to be had at ‘Creative You Sewing Camp’.  How exciting to see Clothworks and American Made Brand solids used in these beautiful creations!!

AMB Thank You CreativeYou

 

Mojito Collection featured in ‘Picklemints’ Quilt by Toby Lischko

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Are you keeping cool as a cucumber this summer?  For those wanting to beat the heat, keep your eyes open for the next edition of Quiltmaker Magazine– the September/ October 2015 edition, soon to be released to news stands.  Featured in this next edition of Quiltmaker Magazine is a gorgeous quilt project by award-winning quilt designer, Toby Lischko, featuring fabric from the Mojito collection released by Clothworks earlier this spring.  Cool off in the A/C while you stitch piece by piece, Toby’s Picklemints Quilt Design!

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In this new edition of Quiltmaker, quilt designer Toby Lischko will instruct you step by step on how to make her gorgeous quilt, ‘Picklemints’.  Aptly titled– as it features the fresh fabric designs from the Mojito collection by Clothworks.

picklemints quilt

Be sure to stop by Toby’s website, Gateway Quilts N Stuff, to read more about the special acrylic templates she has developed to help save you lots of time in making the Picklemints Quilt.

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And be sure to stop by your local quilt shop to pick up some of the zesty Mojito fabric collection by Clothworks before it melts away!

The Importance of Labeling Your Quilt: A Tutorial

Finished label on quilt

How to add a label to a completed quilt- The License Plate Quilt by American Made Brands sponsored by Clothworks.

One of the often overlooked, but very critical details in making a quilt is the addition of a label.  There’s so much thought put into preparing and creating a quilt masterpiece:  designing or choosing a quilt pattern, selecting fabric & calculating yardage, cutting & piecing, adding sashing and borders, preparing the backing, and finally, quilting and binding.  It’s no wonder that making a label for the quilt is sometimes a forgotten step in the process or even an afterthought, if that.

Here’s why it’s important to make a label for your quilt–

1)  Give yourself credit!  You’ve spent lots of time putting your heart & soul, and maybe some blood, sweat, and tears, into making your quilt creation.  Whether you give it away to someone special or enter it into a quilt show- it’s important to give yourself credit by labeling  your work.  Who knows- decades or centuries down the road- your masterpiece quite possibly could end up in the Smithsonian and it would be a shame to have it credited to ‘unknown’.

2)  Tracking a lost quilt will be easier to find with a label!  Although we don’t like to think about the unfortunate events of losing something in the mail, sometimes it does happen when we ship through the USPS, or UPS and FedEx.  And if you’re planning to pack your quilt in your luggage when you fly, sometimes your luggage might not make it to your destination, either.  Of course you can always give a visual description of your quilt design & fabric to the lost & found clerk, but they might have a different idea of what ‘flying geese’ are. Having a label with your name and other contact information could make it 100 times easier to locate your lost quilt, speeding up the reunion between you and your quilt.

3)  Having a label on your quilt is part of the criteria when entering it into a show!  See reasons above- with so many quilts entered into a show, you will receive much deserved credit for your beautiful design & it will be 100 times easier to have your quilt returned to you quickly if you have a quilt label sewn on to the quilt with accurate contact information.  The advantage of having a quilt label that’s sewn on to your quilt is that there’s no tag that falls off or paperwork that is mis-pinned to it.

Here’s what information to put on your quilt label–

If you’re entering the quilt into a show, here’s an example of the information to include on your labels:

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As you can see above- these labels are for quilts that were entered into the Farm to Fabric Challenge sponsored by American Made Brand fabrics by Clothworks.  These quilt labels were labeled with the following information:

Name of Quilt Show

Title of Quilt

Name of Quilt Designer & Maker

City & State of Quilt Designer & Maker

Dimensions of Quilt listed in inches– Width by Length

Those labels are just an example of what information to include.  Be sure to check with the quilt show in which you are entering your quilt as they may have specific quilt label guidelines.  If you plan to give your quilt as a gift to someone, you can choose to make your label more personal by adding an endearing message.  And as mentioned above, if you are nervous about your quilt becoming ‘lost’ in transit, it might be a good idea to add an email address or phone number as a point of contact.

So, when do you add a quilt label during the quilt making process?

It’s best to apply the quilt label to your quilt back before you quilt your top, batting, and backing together.  Sew the label to the quilt backing fabric, then quilt away and add your binding to complete your quilt.  That way, your label is securely sewn into your quilt and will never fall off—unless you are crazy enough to rip out all of the quilting.

Help!  How to add a quilt label to a completely finished quilt?!

Maybe you’ve gained some insight after reading this blog post, with the cogs & wheels turning in your brain now as you stare at that pile of quilts that are nearly completely but have no quilt label!  You’re in luck- we’ve created an easy pictorial tutorial to solve the problem– thanks to resident Clothworks quilting queen, Toni B. for her guidance and help!!

EZ Tutorial:  How to Add a Quilt Label to A Completed Quilt

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Remember the American Made Brand License Plate Quilt made up of license plate blocks by our highly talented bloggers from all 50 states during the AMB Blog Tour Roadtrip last year?  Well, after all of that stunning work in putting together that beauty of a quilt– YUP! You guessed it– we forgot to make a label for it!

Good thing there’s a product on the market such as this– Iron-On Quick Fuse Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers.

Quick Fuse Iron On Labels

Follow the manufacturer’s instruction on how to make a label on your computer to print using your ink jet printer.

AMB License Plate Label- Pinked edges

Here’s our lovely label printed on to one of the Fusible Fabric Sheets.  As you can see, September, our amazing Graphic Designer here at Clothworks, did a fantastic job making an easy-to-read label which credits all of the talented contributors of our AMB License Plate Quilt.  Toni B. pinked the edges of the label to prevent fraying, since we will not be sewing the label on to the back of the finished quilt.

AMB License Plate Label back of page

Notice the ‘gummy’ fusible backing on the fabric label.

Position label on quilt

Place the fabric label to the back of your completed quilt and position where desired.  Here, we are placing the label on the lower right corner of the back of the quilt.  Since you will be ironing the fabric label to fuse it to the back of the quilt, place the quilt and label on top of an ironing board.

Fusing Label to quilt

After you’ve positioned your quilt label, use a protective iron sheet to place over your fusible quilt label before you apply your iron.  This will ensure that you do not burn the fabric and cause any nasty marks on your beautiful label.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the iron to your label.

Finished label on quilt

And ta-da!!!  You have successfully added a quilt label to your completed quilt!  Allow your label and quilt to cool a little after ironing.  Check to make sure all areas of the label have been adequately adhered to the quilt and you’re good to go!

Happy Quilting!

 

Show & Tell: Aprons & Mitts, cute as a ‘Hey Cupcake’!

Apron & mitt

Summer is that time of the year when most are heading off to the beach, a national park, an amusement park, or some other fun outdoor attraction.  Shirl, Accounting Extraordinaire here at Clothworks, just returned from her summer vacation and brought back some fun Show & Tell.  You’d think maybe she’d bring back some seashells from the beach, but instead she brought in these adorable aprons and mitts made from cute fabric in the Hey Cupcake collection by designer Dan DiPaolo, released by Clothworks earlier this year.  Above is an apron that Shirl worked on with her sister Carolyn, who just happens to be an exquisite quilter and has her own long-arm quilting service in California.   And if you’re wondering, that apron pattern is from the Taylor Made Designs book, More Retro Aprons, by Cindy Taylor Oates.

mittsHere are some sweet oven mitts- from the left is a pot holder/mitt hybrid and to the right are mitts and oven gloves.  Shirl and her sister Carolyn traced an oven glove to create their own pattern template to make these.

Now why, you ask, would Shirl and her sister Carolyn spend some time sewing and creating these lovely aprons while on vacation?!  Well, why not!  And instead of buying cheap souvenirs, these aprons and mitts are gifts for Shirl’s neighbors who kindly watched Shirl’s sweet little Yorkie mix named Charley while she was away.

Just look at the adorable girl’s aprons below that Carolyn made!!  The ruffles and zig-zag trim are the icing on the cake on these simple apron silhouettes.  The cupcake prints from Hey Cupcake fabric collection by Clothworks are too cute!

little girl aprons

Sew, how’s that for some ‘sew’-cation summer fun?!!!  What about you?  What kinds of fun projects have you cooked up this summer?

‘Simply Moderne’ Magazine Contest featuring AMB Solids!

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The creative people of Quiltmania, a quilting publication based in France, are excited to launch a new magazine that will hit the shelves in the USA tomorrow!  Simply Moderne is the new release by Quiltmania— look for this new magazine cover at your local quilt shop or bookseller arriving Wednesday July 15th, 2015.  In honor of the new publication’s release, Quiltmania is hosting a contest that’s sure to help add a bit of fun to your summer!  Participate in the #SimplyModerne Summer Game contest beginning now and you could win some fantastic prizes– including some beautiful American Made Brand solid fabrics!

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#SIMPLYMODERNE Summer Game

How to Participate:

1)  Bring a copy of the new #SimplyModerne Magazine with you to wherever you go on your summer travels—the beach, countryside, mountains, desert, your sewing room, or even at the top of the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty!

2)  Share the photo with your friends on facebook- post the photo in the comments here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quiltmania/127669537250550 or on Instagram with hashtag #SimplyModerne

3)  Once there are 80 photos shared, Quiltmania will select 20 of the best pictures to win the following prizes:

  • 10 spools of #Aurifil thread– the “Fresh Modern & Timeless” collection by #VictoriaWolfe
  • a mini double wedding ring template set by #EZquilting
  • gorgeous colorful fabrics by #AmericanMadeBrand

4)  Contest is valid until August 31, 2015

Let’s see how creative you can get with your photo entries!  Best of luck!