Fun Friday Show & Tell: Guess How Much I Love You III Quilt


Guess How Much I Love You III, the latest Clothworks release featuring the whimsical rabbits by children’s book illustrator Anita Jeram, has just delivered to our quilt shops.  Our multi-talented Clothworks employee & Shipper Extraordinaire, Debbie, had a project in mind when she spotted the new fabric in our warehouse and immediately got to work.  In just a few days, Debbie whipped up this sweet baby quilt!

ghmily3-debbie-quiltSix fat quarters from the GHMILY3 line were used to make the half square triangles, with additional border fabric and a soft flannel print for backing & binding.  Debbie followed this quick & easy beginner level quilt tutorial, and away she went– piecing and quilting her project on her home sewing machine!  A family member due with her first child will be the lucky recipient of this quilt.  Nice work and thanks for sharing, Debbie!

Be sure to stock up on the new Guess How Much I Love You III collection before it sells out.  Find a local quilt shop by visiting our online store directory.

Happy Sewing!


Fun Friday: A Very Gifted Block (Pre-Cut Friendly, too)!

Tina's Gift Box Block

One of our talented quilting friends, Tina, stopped by the other day to share her current project with us, made with Clothworks fabric, of course!  Check out this darling ‘Pretty Package’ Block she pieced together using the sweet snowman collection released last year by Clothworks called Creature Comforts by designer Barb Tourtillotte.  This is Tina’s contribution to a block exchange. Pretty nifty, eh?!  I also love how she set off her block using the white tonal Impressions Sprig fabric by Clothworks, too!!

package block quilt ufo TinaLooks like Tina has been quilting up a storm, this summer.  She also shared this image of a quilt top pieced with modified ‘Pretty Package’ Blocks.  This was an old UFO that has resurfaced for Tina.  She added some borders and hopes to complete it soon.  Recognize that fabric?  The multicolor Christmas tree print used in the outer border is from the new holiday-inspired Laurel Burch collection called Enchantment, recently released by Clothworks.  It surprisingly works very well in tying together this eclectic mix of holiday prints.  Nice work, Tina!

For those interested in making their own ‘Pretty Package’ Block, there’s a wonderful video tutorial found here on youtube.  Not only is this block super cute, but it’s pre-cut friendly, too (perfect for 5″ and 10″ squares)!

And be sure to head to your LQS to stock up on Clothworks holiday fabrics (Frosty Fun, 25 Days of Christmas, Christmas Wishes, and Enchantment to name a few), because pretty soon they will be here before you know it!

Happy Sewing!

Fun Friday Show & Tell: These Pincushions are the Bee’s Knees!

Bee Pin Cushions

Had to share these adorable pincushion creations made by our quilting friend and helper, Lorri.  Lorri belongs to a local quilt guild called the Busy Bee Quilters, and recently the guild held a pincushion challenge.  Taking inspiration from their name, Lorri created these busy bee pincushions, using the classic chicken pincushion pattern as a base.  You might not be able to tell in the pic, but the black and white stripe fabric used was from an older Clothworks release by designer Masha D’yans.  Don’t you just love all those details that Lorri added to her bees?  From the daisies to the daisy-shaped button applied to the polka-dot ribbon wings!  The seed bead eyes and thread antennae give personality to these little buggers, too!

Bees and ladybugs pincushions

The bees turned out so cute, Lorri made some ladybug friends!  The solid black fabric used for the ladybugs is American Made Brand cotton, too!  Lorri was so pleased with how her pincushions turned out, she’s been making more to gift them to lucky recipients.  And speaking of luck– according to superstition, it’s good luck to give away a pincushion with a pin stuck in it!

Bee and Pincushion Family

Talk about a Busy Bee! Here’s the whole family!  Well done, Lorri!  Thanks for sharing your adorable pincushions!

Happy Sewing!

Show & Tell: Some Inspiration for the Weekend

Faithfully Yours- Tina

Our quilting friend, Tina, emailed this stunning pic of one of her recent creations using the new collection from Clothworks by Barb Tourtillotte called Faithfully Yours!  Not only did Tina’s email brighten my day, but with the vibrant colors, gorgeous flowers, and inspirational sayings in the fabric prints in this collection, it gives me faith that Spring is just around the corner!

Tina followed no pattern to create this small pieced quilt top.  She simply added one of the coordinating tonal prints in Faithfully Yours for the sashing around the block print blocks, then added two borders.  Do you notice the yellow inner border fabric?  I love how Tina used the paw prints from Dogs & Doggies by Laurel Burch.  It works very nicely with the bright palette in the Faithfully Yours collection!

Well done, Tina!  Thank you for sharing your project with us.  Here’s hoping you feel sew inspired to create.  Head to this link to find a local quilt shop that stocks Faithfully Yours today.

Happy Sewing!

Call for Entries: Pet Postcard Project

From the Pet Postcards 2016 blog: Pet Postcards in Progress by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Modern Quilt Studio.

From the Pet Postcards 2016 blog: Pet Postcards by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Modern Quilt Studio.

Calling all animal-lovers, sewists, and crafters, alike!  The Pet Postcard Project is seeking donations for pet-themed postcards made with fabric to be sold at the upcoming International Quilt Festival in Chicago, April 7th-9th, 2016.  Postcards will be sold for $20 at Festival, with all proceeds going to PAWS Chicago, the largest no-kill animal rescue in the Midwest.

The Pet Postcard Project was started by Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr, owners/designers of Modern Quilt Studio, in an effort to raise money to benefit homeless pets.  Being that they are so crafty and organized, they have devoted an entire blog to the Pet Postcard Project, showing pet postcards in progress and tutorials to help inspire you.

Now for the details–

  •  Create as many Pet Postcards as you wish to donate!
  •  Pet Postcards must be no larger than 5″ x 7″
  •  Pet Postcards can be made from any number of techniques and materials, as long as they include some fabric in the design
  •  Most importantly, Pet Postcards must appeal to pet lovers
  •  Send your completed Pet Postcards in an envelope (preferably a padded envelope), postmarked by March 15, 2016 to the following address:

Pet Postcards 2016

c/o Modern Quilt Studios

PO Box 2100

Oak Park, IL  60302

Show & Tell: Laurel Burch Dogs & Doggies Travel Bag

LB Dogs & Doggies Bag zipped up

As many people are making their way to visit friends and family during the holidays, here’s some fantastic inspiration to make a functional & spiffy travel pouch on your next travel occasion.  Our friend Patty made this travel tote using the recent Clothworks release, a Laurel Burch fabric line called Dogs & Doggies.

Patty found this nifty accessory bag pattern on Craftsy–  the ‘Sew Together Bag’ by SewDemented.  And as you’ll see in the pictures below, with all of its hidden zippered pockets in the interior, this bag will keep all of your bits and bobs ‘sew together’!

LB Dogs & Doggies bag unzipped

Amazing how many little pockets and pouches are found inside this handy little bag!

bag, aerial view

Safe travels during your holidays!  And Happy Sewing 🙂

Fun Friday Show & Tell: Compost Tote

compost bin 1

Just in time, for the ‘day after’ Thanksgiving dinner, some Show & Tell from the creative staff here at the Clothworks home office!  Shown here is something of a clever contraption, which I’m going to call the Compost Hamper.  Instead of having an unsightly plastic compost bucket lying around your kitchen counter collecting your food scraps to be composted, Pat in Accounting & Susan in Order Entry & Customer Service, devised and created this nifty invention to add a little pizzazz to your home decor.

compost bin 2Pat went to Home Depot to gather up all of the PVC piping and joints to create the frame for the ‘hamper’.  Once the frame was constructed, she gave Susan the measurements to draft and sew a fabric bag.  Do you recognize that fabric?  The modern floral from the Lady Bug Blooms collection designed by Anne Bollman, released earlier this year by Clothworks, adds a fun splash of color to Pat’s neutral kitchen decor.

compost bin 3

Susan’s genius idea of constructing the fabric bag with loops that have snaps, allows for 2 purposes.  The first purpose, although not pictured here, is to line the fabric bag with a bio-compost bag to be secured by the snaps when closing the tabs.  That way you can throw in your food scraps without soiling the fabric bag too much.  The second purpose for the tabs makes for easy removal of the fabric bag for laundering.

compost bin 4

And voila!  Hope this nifty idea inspires you in your sewing!  Besides being used to disguise your compost, I could also see this invention used as a bin for fabric scraps in your sewing room.  Hmmm….sounds like the perfect gift idea for a few crafty folks on my Christmas list 🙂

AMB Solids used in Elm Street Quilts ‘Bag It’ Series


Spotted on the Elm Street Quilts blog are some lovely little bags (pictured above) made with American Made Brand cotton solids.  Blogger Patty D, who is also a pattern designer on Craftsy and an enthusiastic bag-maker, is currently posting several wonderful tutorials on her blog on how to make many different types of bags.  In fact, she’s devoted the entire month of November on her blog in an event she has titled, ‘Bag It’.  Head here to read more about the event- it even looks like there are some fun giveaway opportunities currently running in during the event.

Elm Street Quilts Day 6

Head to this link to see how Patty D makes clever use of her AMB solid fabric scraps as she creates fun, stripey fabric pieces using the bold, vibrant colors found in the American Made Brand solid cotton palette.  I’m loving her concept of ‘making your own fabric’ from AMB scraps to be used to make these adorable zip pouches. Genius!


With the long Thanksgiving weekend ahead of us, here’s hoping Patty D’s bag tutorial inspires you to get in the mood to make DIY holiday gifts for friends & family!  No need to get caught up in the shopping frenzy on Black Friday.  Support your local quilt shop instead, buy some American Made Brand solids, then run home & sew up a storm!

In The Press: EZ Holiday Craft Idea featuring Clothworks!

towel snippet overlay

I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but I had to post about this Holiday craft feature spotted in the December 2015 American Patchwork Magazine edition.  Once you’ve taken care of putting the finishing touches on your Halloween costume, you can keep the sewing machine charged and ready to stitch away to create some FESTIVE HOLIDAY TOWELS! Clothworks very own Kathleen, retired Customer Service extraordinaire, designed these versatile bath towels with fabric banding.  Read more about the clever techniques she uses to apply the fabric bands on to colorful terrycloth towels to personalize them for the holiday season!

American Patchwork Quilting

The December 2015 edition of American Patchwork & Quilting is on news stands now!  So head to your local quilt shop or favorite fabric & sewing store to pick up a copy to fuel your sewing inspiration into the holiday season!

Bath towel and wash cloth 1

These personalized towels and tea cloths with their festive novelty fabrics are a signature gift item that Kathleen always includes in her beautifully curated gift bags.  I am lucky to own several that I use around the house which always remind me of her lovely handmade attention to detail. Her pairing of fabric by Clothworks designer Dan DiPaolo from the Santa’s on His Way collection with the plush terrycloth in festive Christmas colors shown in these pictures here is definitely helping me embrace the holiday spirit!

hand towels 2

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!