This Sounds Like a Job for the…..

Goat portrait


Meet the newest members of the Clothworks ‘herd’, the hardworking goats of Amazin’ Grazers, a local affiliate of Rent-a-Ruminant, contracted to help us take care of a heavy duty job.  As most of you might know, Clothworks just moved into a new facility at the beginning of the year and now that summer is almost here, we’ve left one of the most challenging jobs for the professionals to tackle– clean up the backyard!!

Backyard Jungle1

It’s a Jungle out there! (and somebody’s breakfast-lunch-dinner, too)

With summer on the way, that means warmer temps and days full of sunshine (it’s not always rainy here in Seattle);  the Clothworks team would like to enjoy the season by setting up a picnic area in our backyard.  With all of those rainy days, as you can see, our backyard is definitely overgrown and in need of some serious work!

Amazin' Grazers

AMAZIN’ GRAZERS to the rescue!

Time to call in the goats!!

Truck Backing in

And they’re off!

Goat walk

Adrienne, owner of Amazin’ Grazers is a pro when it comes to herding the goats!

She brought 13 goats with her for this job!

Goats walking into fence area

Not everyone was willing to get to work right away, but Candice and Debbie of the Clothworks Crew were able to coax this little one back to the herd.  It’s not everyday you can add ‘goat-wrangler‘ to your job description!

Stray Goat herded in

It didn’t take long- these goats immediately went to work, chomping away at the overgrown brush in our backyard.

Goats eating Collage

Check back with us later to see the progress made in our backyard clean-up from our goat friends!

Clothworks Show & Tell Projects

Seedpackets Totebag

Welcome back from an extended holiday weekend!  Whatever you occupied yourself with- be it spending time with friends & family, cook-outs, ‘chillaxing’ at the beach, a road trip, a home repair/remodeling project, or just catching up on some well-deserved rest– I hope you enjoyed yourself!  Toni B.- one of the resident ‘Quilting Queens’ here at The Works– treated herself to a few days at a quilting retreat this past weekend.  It was the perfect chance for her to finally have some time to focus on some sewing projects.  Toni B. was a busy bee this past weekend during her quilting getaway- accomplishing 2 large quilt tops and a tote bag.  Since a couple of her (mostly) completed projects were made with some of the more recent collections released by Clothworks, I wanted to share the ‘show & tell’ with you!

This adorable totebag was made with 2 contrasting prints from the Vintage Seedpackets collection by Iron Orchids Designs with a solid red cotton from American Made Brand for the straps.  Isn’t this just the perfect tote to carry to the local farmer’s market or to use when grocery shopping?

Seedpackets bag standing

Sandwiched in between the exterior and interior fabrics is a stiff interfacing to make the bag sturdy for wear and give it some body.  Check out the contrasting lining fabric for the bag in the pic below.  Vintage Seedpackets is the perfect line of fabric to make a large bag to tote around your market wares.

seedpackets bag- interior

Besides making this adorable totebag at her recent quilting retreat, Toni B. was able to complete 2 quilt tops.  One of the quilt tops is this full sized quilt featuring fabric from the Mojito collection! Toni did a wonderful job in balancing the lights and darks and colors in the block piecings.  There’s movement here, but it’s also very pleasing to the eye.

Mojito Quilt 3

I would never have thought to use the bright yellow AMB solid cotton to frame the pieced blocks in the predominantly black/white/grey/lime green Mojito color scheme, but it really works well for this quilt.  Not only does it divide the busy print used in the border from the patchwork piecing in the quilt, but it adds an unexpected flair to this quilt.  Brava, Toni B.!!!

How about you?  Were you able to tackle any sewing projects this past weekend?

AMB Solids Bloom in Modern Quilts by Hilary Frye

Mammoth Sunflower

While the Clothworks team was attending the Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis last weekend, we met talented up-and-coming quilter, Hilary Frye.  She blew us away with her ‘mammoth-sized’ quilt designs using American Made Brand solid fabrics.  Hilary’s interpretations of close-up images and geometric-inspired graphic flowers, such as the pic of this one above, entitled ‘Mammoth Sunflower’, were perfectly suited for the vibrant bright color palette offered in American Made Brand solids!  Hilary was gracious enough to answer my email queries about her quilting background and what drew her to use AMB solid fabric in her bold, modern flower quilt designs.

As with many quilters and sewists, Hilary laid her ‘creative roots’ down at an early age and continued to grow & explore her talents, eventually making it into a career.  Hilary recalls ‘breaking the rules’ at a very young age to execute her creations– in other words, cutting up Mom’s curtains to make clothes for her Barbie at age 5. At age 10, she learned to sew garments (denim culottes to go with her hard-earned Frye Campus Boots to wear for the First Day of school in 7th grade).  In high school she worked at the local fabric shop, an emporium carrying the most beautiful fabrics and trims which inspired her to concentrate on Fiber Arts while attending Iowa State University for Art Education.  During her college years, she continued to feed her passion for fabric and art- learning to dye fabric, embroider, silkscreen, and even made her first Hawaiian applique block!

Another fiber arts passion bloomed later for Hilary– it wasn’t until Hilary was in her 40s when she became hooked on quilting!  She may not have known how to use a rotary cutter when she was hired at the quilt shop where she started working, but with her cheerful smile and background in art & color theory, she was an asset to the shop and quickly developed a love of quilting.  Exposed to many gorgeous fabrics designed by talented textile designers in the quilt shop also made Hilary more aware of color theory, which in turn has influenced her own quilt designs.

Hilary’s draw to using American Made Brand solids was mainly the plentiful color offering, as well as bringing textile production back to the USA!  She was impressed that AMB solids was launched with 50 gorgeous saturated fabric colors (like the 50 states) and took to the hand & feel of the fabric.  Just knowing that the fabric is grown, woven, dyed, and finished all here in the USA makes her feel proud to be using a product that is helping fuel the local economic climate.  Hilary purchased the Indigo color of AMB (nostalgic for her fabric-dyeing days in college) and was immediately hooked!  From there she began designing bold, visually-impressive quilts inspired by flowers….on her iPad!

Here are a few of the quilt designs using her iPad:

Hilary Frye Collage

from left to right:  Mammoth Sunflower, Iris Isles, and Rosie’s Garden designed by Hilary Frye

Another reason Hilary chose American Made Brand solid fabric to execute these bold flowers into stunning quilts was that the solids would lend themselves to the texture created by longarm quilting.  And just by happenstance, Hilary met a very talented longarm quilter, Martha Downs of Free Spirit Quilting, who she’s worked with ever since a chance meeting during lunch last year at the Minnesota Quilters Show.

This unfinished quilt version of Iris Isles is from Hilary’s instagram page.  Martha’s beautiful longarm quilting compliment’s Hilary’s colorful bold flower design perfectly!

Iris Isle quilt


Check out more of Hilary’s work on her website here— she’s a very talented illustrator, as well!

Mammoth Sunflower and Rosie’s Garden will be on display at the Minnesota Quilters Show in Duluth, Minnesota, June 11-13, 2015 in the Modern category.

The three flower quilts will also hang in her first solo show the entire month of October 2015 at the Chaska Community Center in Minnesota.

Hilary hopes to have patterns for her flower quilts published by early fall.  Keep afloat of her on her instagram, too!




Clothworks Spring 2015 Quilt Market Highlights

AMB Booth 1

Spring 2015 International Quilt Market held this year in Minneapolis, MN has come and gone!  In case you weren’t able to make it to this year’s show over the weekend, we snapped some pics of the booths displaying the fabrics of Clothworks and American Made Brand in all their glory.  We also managed to snap a few pics of a couple of Clothworks’ beloved textile designers in their booths, too.  As you can see in the pic above, American Made Brand solids were prominently featured in their own booth.  Don’t you just love that pieced version of the American Flag?!!  This most impressive quilt pattern is the brainchild of Avis Shirer for her new design company, Sadie(a division of Joined at the Hip).  Clothworks’ very own Joyce who works in Design pulled a ‘Betsy Ross’ and pieced this entire quilt, while Loretta Orsborn added her skillful machine quilting to bring it to life!

AMB booth Collage

More American Made Brand solids splendor shown in the booth at Quilt Market this year.  Some of the quilts shown in these pics are made from patterns by Avis Shirer, as well as a pattern by the genius mother/daughter design duo who design for their line called Sassafras Lane Designs.

Clothworks Booth Collage

As well as AMB solids, Clothworks displayed several new collections that are scheduled to ship to a Local Quilt Shop(LQS) this summer and fall.  In the pic above on the top left corner, the new collection by Skipping Stone Studios called Rosehill is made in the shade in this adorable quilt pattern called ‘Shabby Shades’ by Bee in My Bonnet Designs by Lori Holt.  At the top right corner, the new Laurel Burch collection Dogs & Doggies is shown in the square patch quilt, while the cobalt blue/white color-schemed Rhapsody by Sue Zipkin looks fresh in the pinwheel/circle block quilt.  These quilts are also shown in their entirety in the lower left corner pic.  Finally, the quilt shown in the lower right corner is made from a pattern called ‘Music Box‘ by Marlous Designs, showing off the new Clothworks designer, Anne Bollman, debut collection, Lady Bug Blooms.

Penguin Collage

Speaking of Clothworks designers, here is a lovely collage of pics showing off the quirky & cute designs by Clothworks favorite, Alyssa Thomas for Penguin & Fish.  That’s a pic of her, smiling in her booth.  Clothworks is excited to release the new Penguin & Fish collection in printed organic cotton, called Serengeti Beasties, this fall.  You can see a little bit of the fabric in bright blues, oranges, and yellows in the pic shown above.  Take a look at the clever table top in Alyssa’s booth, too– made using the cardboard reels from fabric bolts!

Peg Conley Collage

And finally, we made our best attempt to capture the vibrance of gifted artist, Peg Conley.  That’s Peg in her booth, with her cheerful smile, dressed in a vest made of fabric from one of her past Clothworks collections.  She’s pictured with her inspirational and boldly-colored watercolor prints that have been made into stationery.  Clothworks is thrilled to release her new fabric collection this summer, the aptly titled Summer Sunshine.  You can see a bit of Summer Sunshine fabric in the quilt with white sashing which Peg is posing in front of in her booth here.



Tiny Quilt Challenge: Registration Begins Today!


Just a reminder that the Tiny Quilt Challenge registration begins today– May 15th, 2015!  The Tiny Quilt Challenge is a juried quilt challenge using American Made Brand solids– the collection of 100% made in the USA woven quilting cottons.  Last year we presented the Farm to Fabric Challenge– with the winning quilts of that juried contest exhibited at the International Quilt Market in Houston, TX last autumn.  To view the winners of last year’s challenge, follow this link.

For this year’s quilt challenge using AMB solid fabrics, it’s time to scale down and think small– hence the Tiny Quilt Challenge!  Here are some of the criteria for contest entry:

  • Quilts must be no larger than 15″ x 15″ and have a 4″ hanging sleeve attached
  • Quilts must use American Made Brand solid fabric–  choose from 62 colors in the assortment
  • Quilts may use any technique-  piecing, applique, embroidery, photo transfer, manipulated fabric, etc.
  • Open to residents of the USA and Canada
  • You may enter multiple quilt designs.
  • Registration for Quilt submissions starts today May 15th, 2015 and goes through September 15th, 2015.  Click here for the registration form.

For more details on the Tiny Quilt Challenge, head to this link.

Winners are to be notified October 1, 2015.  Quilts to be presented at the Road to California 2016. Many fantastic prizes will be awarded to top entries in a few different categories of the Tiny Quilt Challenge, but the Grand Prize is a trip to warm & sunny California in January 2016 to see the Road to California Tiny Quilt Challenge Exhibition!  Best wishes to all of you creative folks out there!  This is surely an exciting challenge to show off your quilting talents….in ‘fun-size’!

Happy Sewing!

Clothworks Quilt Market Sneak Peak (with AMB, too!)

Quilt Market Sneak Peak CollageIt’s that time of year again!  The Spring session of International Quilt Market takes place this weekend- from Friday May 15th through Sunday May 17th, 2015.  Soon, a mass of quilt shop owners, fabric vendors, pattern designers, trim & notion suppliers, fabric designers and the like, will descend upon Minneapolis, MN where QM takes place this year.  As market credentials will be enforced to gain entry into this trade show which caters to the sewing industry,  here’s a little preview of some of the samples Clothworks will be showing in the Quilt Market booth, in case you are not able to attend.  Feast your eyes…..

Quilt Market Sneak Peak collage with #s

Starting at the upper left hand corner, going clockwise:

1) ‘Flag’ pattern by Avis Shirer for her design co., Sadie(a division of Joined at the Hip)- made from American Made Brand solids– pieced by our very own Joyce in Design and quilted by Loretta Orsborn.

2) ‘Cutting Garden’ pattern by Avis Shirer, made with AMB solids.

3)  ‘Music Box’ quilt pattern by Marlous Designs– made from Lady Bug Blooms by Anne Bollman for Clothworks (due to be released this Summer 2015).

4) ‘Peony Patch’ pattern by Avis Shirer, made with AMB solids.

5)  ‘Firelights Lane’ pattern by Sassafras Lane Designs– also pieced and quilted by them, using AMB solids.

6)  ‘Over the Rainbow’ pattern by Avis Shirer, made with AMB solids.

7)  ‘What a Pear’ pattern by Avis Shirer, made with AMB solids.

8)  ‘Shabby Shades’ quilt pattern by Bee in My Bonnet Designs by Lori Holt. Pieced by Cindy Carter, quilted by Loretta Orsborn, made with Clothworks fabric from the collection called Rosehill by Skipping Stones Studio (due out in Fall 2015).

9)  ‘Cut, Slice, and Toss’ pattern by Avis Shirer, made with AMB solids.

If you’re lucky enough to attend Quilt Market this weekend, please stop by to check out these fantastic quilts in person and say hi to the friendly Clothworks team!

Mojito POPS in ‘Twist of Lime’ Quilt!

'Twist of Lime' quilt project  picture from Fons & Porter's Quilting Quickly Magazine May/June 2015

‘Twist of Lime’ quilt project picture from Fons & Porter’s Quilting Quickly Magazine May/June 2015

Mojito, a recent fabric collection release by Clothworks, is featured in Fons & Porter’s Quilting Quickly May/June 2015 edition in a quilt called ‘Twist of Lime’.  Maybe you recently went on an expedition to your LQS (local quilt shop) and spotted this chic fabric collection.  With easy step-by-step instructions by the master quilting staff of Fons & Porter’s, you’ll have no problem whipping up this tall drink of a quilt.  Head to this link to purchase the pattern download for ‘Twist of Lime’, or follow this link to purchase the magazine download for Quilting Quickly May/June 2015.

If you find yourself ‘stuck’ and need a some extra help in piecing together the ‘Twist of Lime’ quilt, the folks at Fons & Porter’s have even made a video tutorial!


The Mojito fabric collection by Clothworks, with its black-white-and-grey color combination accented by vibrant pops of lime green, will add a trendy element to your home decor….complete with a ‘Twist of Lime’ quilt by Fons & Porter’s Quickly Quilting!

Happy Sewing!

American Textile Artist Sources Locally with AMB Solids!


Joann Condino, textile artist & owner of Three Pines Studio in Cross Village, MI produces a signature line of tableware using antique wood blocks and American Made Brand solid fabric.

Since last year, when Clothworks released its newest basic collection, American Made Brand solid fabrics, we’ve attracted a lot of positive attention in delivering a product that is strictly grown and made right here in the USA!  From your favorite Local Quilt Shop (LQS), to manufacturers of homegoods & garments, to textile artists– all of our wholesale customers who order AMB solid fabrics  also share a common goal in supporting economic growth in the USA by bringing manufacturing back here to our shores.  I’ve met so many folks who are ecstatic about AMB and profusely thank Clothworks for offering such a quality product that is proudly made here in the USA!  It’s wonderful to connect with such a diverse group of customers, but my absolute favorite part of my job is seeing what folks do with American Made Brand solid fabric after purchasing from us.

Sifting through my inbox one day, I was thrilled to open an email from one of our customers, Joann Condino, textile artist & owner of Three Pines Studio, a collective of local artists based near the northern tip of Michigan.  Joann is a brilliant fiber artist who has developed a signature style using her extensive collection of antique wood block designs printed onto quality linen and cotton fabrics.  As she already sources locally for spun wool produced by sheep in Northern Michigan for use in her hand-painted yarns called the Colors of Crooked Tree Yarn Collection, she was overjoyed to have found a local source for cotton fabric to use with her wood block printing.

“I spotted AMB cotton in a Country Living magazine last summer. Someone had made cotton dinner napkins and praised the quality of the cotton. I became obsessed to find the company so that I could offer to our studio client’s great quality cotton that has been grown, spun and woven in the USA. I was so happy when I made contact with the customer service department at AMB, the company has been fantastic to work with.”  — Joann Condino, textile artist & owner of Three Pines Studio.

Sprig napkins

Working in her studio year-round, Joann is inspired by the beautiful natural landscape of Northern Michigan, and continues to keep up with modern color trends.  The many pine trees surrounding her studio, and blooming flower gardens filled with birds & berries in the summertime, as well as Pantone’s color of the year for 2015, Marsala, have all lent their inspiration.  Joann’s exquisite eye for color shines through in her beautiful fiber art– from hand-painted yarn and wearable art, to her signature wood block prints.  Now Joann can proudly continue to source locally in producing her creations, using American Made Brand solid cottons in her wood block prints.

sprigs- table runner

Fun New Projects with AMB Solids!

100 Blocks coverThe newest edition of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks – Summer 2015, Vol.11 has 2 blocks made with American Made Brand solid fabric by Clothworks gracing its cover!!  Head to your LQS(local quilt shop) or other retailer of quilting magazines to pick up a copy and learn how to make these dazzling quilt blocks!

You may remember last summer during the AMB Roadtrip License Plate Blog Hop, our very own Ms. Texas— Emily Breclaw of The Caffeinated Quilter created this nifty block called ‘Hexadaisy’.  I’m loving her choice of AMB solid colors here– the vibrant daisy petals on top of the tonal lime green pieced background.  Quite a clever design and one for the ‘hexie-obsessed’ piece quilter!

Block 1037One more quilt block pieced with AMB solids was also spotted in this new edition of Quiltmakers 100 Blocks, entitled ‘Crocus and Daffodil’.  I’m really into this complimentary-inspired color combination with shades of purples and greens playing off of each contrasted by pale yellow and grey!  Very fresh!

block #1063As you can tell from these quilt blocks, the vibrant range of colors offered in the AMB solid collection make it very easy to create eye-catching designs with skilled use of color theory.  Solids never looked so interesting when you use American Made Brand fabric for piecing!

Also spotted in this edition of Quiltmakers 100 Blocks is an ad for the upcoming Tiny Quilt Challenge using American Made Brand solid fabric!!

Tiny Quilt Challenge adMark your calendars– Call for entries begins in just 2 weeks- May 15th!  Head to this link to read more about how to enter The Tiny Quilt Challenge and best of luck :)!

One more AMB-related story— Today is May 1st, which means that the Hillside Houses QuiltALong at Pretty Little Quilts is beginning.  Follow Pretty Little Quilts on instagram or head to their blog to download blocks for the Hillside Houses Quilt.  Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts made another stunning example of American Made Brand solids in her nifty quilt design, Hillside Houses pictured below.

hillside houses