Craft Project Organization Tips from Penguin & Fish

Alyssa Thomas, designer & owner of Penguin & Fish, shows off her valuable organization tips!

Alyssa Thomas, designer & owner of Penguin & Fish, shows off her valuable organization tips!

Happy First Day of Autumn to you!  With the cooler weather on the way, the seasonal transition signals a time to come back inside from fun-in-the-sun Summer and spend more time indoors working on craft projects.  For most of you, those projects may have been sitting in a messy pile, collecting dust for the past few months while you’ve enjoyed the warm weather & sunshine.  Clothworks fabric designer, Alyssa Thomas of Penguin & Fish, offers up some amazing organizational tips that will help motivate you to get back into your creative zone.  Head over to her blog to read the post here!


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.



The Talented Folks of the Works: Show & Tell Quilts

FIWP quilt

The team here at the Works have been a productive bunch lately!  It was about time to show off some of the fun things they’ve been making with Clothworks fabric.  Check out this adorable baby quilt pieced top in the opening pic above, using fabric from the recent release, Friends in Wild Places by Masha D’yans!  Jean, one of our expert sample makers had a ball constructing this quilt.  I absolutely love how she engineered those graphic animals into the blocks from the running yardage block print fabric in Friends in Wild Places.  She also showed off some clever fussy-cutting skills with those tiny animal squares in the middle of the pieced triangle blocks, too!!  If you’re interested in the pattern, called Giggles Quilt Pattern, it’s from a book by Swirly Girls Designs.

Evidently, Jean’s been on a sewing binge when it comes to baby quilts.  Below is another clever design made from older released fabric, Safari Sweet by Penguin & Fish, the first printed organic cotton collection by Clothworks:

Safari Sweet CollageDid you spot those cute animal designs in the quilting?  Our quilter friend, Loretta Orsborn of Orsborn Specialty Quilting, shows off her long-arm talents in this quilt!  I love how these designs mimic the characters in the fabric prints!!

Below is another version of this quilt design, also stitched by Jean.  Jean didn’t have the name of the quilt pattern on hand, so my apologies to those who are interested, but I’m sure there are some talented quilters out there who can confidently reverse-engineer this pattern by looking at the picture:

sweet tweets quilt

I’m really loving this version using Sweet Tweets, another printed organic collection by Penguin & Fish.  There’s something fresh & modern about the grey background with the pops of tomato, yellow, and black used in the stars.

Last but not least, Debbie, our shipper extraordinaire and ‘Jill’-of-all-trades here at the Works, made this Disappearing 9 Patch quilt for her brother, in the pic below.  I’m loving the simplicity of the 2 tonal fabrics used in the quilt- charcoal and red- a great color combo!  The piecing in this quilt creates a very graphic look- kind of reminiscent of a houndstooth, don’t you think?

Disappearing 9 Patch Collage

It’s hard to tell in these photos, but Debbie is using some tonal prints from older Clothworks releases- Chanticleer by Diane Knott (the red fabric) and Gone Haunting by Sue Zipkin (charcoal grey skulls fabric).


Here Kitty Kitty featured in Easy Quilts Spring 2015 Edition


The Crafty Kitty quilt featured in Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts Spring 2015 .

Fancy that!  Another adorable quilt found in the Spring 2015 edition of Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts showcasing a Clothworks fabric collection.  The Crafty Kitty quilt designed by textile artist, Alyssa Thomas, uses fabric from Alyssa’s fabric collection, Here Kitty Kitty for her company, Penguin & Fish released by Clothworks.  With whimsical prints of kitties chasing balls of yarn, modern geometrics, polka dots, and stripes reminiscent of a tabby cat’s markings, the Here Kitty Kitty collection in its soft pastels is perfectly highlighted in this simple patchwork quilt!

Here Kitty Kitty Collage

Here Kitty Kitty by Alyssa Thomas of Penguin & Fish for Clothworks


But this is not your ordinary patchwork quilt.  Designer Alyssa Thomas has added another layer of whimsy to this quilt!  Here Kitty Kitty is brought to life with an adorable cat applique caught pawing a ball of yarn applied atop the patchwork squares in The Crafty Kitty quilt.  Follow the instructions which can be downloaded for purchase here, and you’ll learn the stitch techniques to make this quilt the cat’s meow!

The Crafty Kitty

The Crafty Kitty Quilt from Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts Spring 2015 edition.

In the soft blues, pinks, greys, and yellows- this quilt would make an excellent baby quilt!  And better yet, Here Kitty Kitty is made of 100% Organic Cotton, to please both the eco-friendly and the cat lovers of the world.  Did I mention that Clothworks is running a promo on Here Kitty Kitty, too?  Stock up before it’s too late!



Critter Patch decks out the Thanksgiving Table!


Critter Patch Holiday Place Holders picture taken from the website of Penguin & Fish by designer Alyssa Thomas.

Turkey in oven…..check ✔

Potatoes mashed and chilling in the fridge…..check ✔

Pies are baked and resting on the buffet…..check ✔

Silverware polished…..check ✔

Tablecloth washed, pressed, and on the table…..check ✔

Extra chairs set around the table…..check ✔

Just when you think you’re fully prepared for Thanksgiving Dinner, something seems to be amiss.  Did you forget the placeholders?!!  Heaven forbid you sit Aunt Ethel next to daughter Judy’s new boyfriend from university without a proper introduction!!  Have no worries!  Thanks to talented designer, Alyssa Thomas, we’ve got you covered for that!  Head to Alyssa’s website, Penguin & Fish, where you’ll find some adorably-illustrated placeholders (at this link) to festoon your Thanksgiving table!  Not only are these whimsical creatures the same sweet ones found in the Critter Patch fabric collection that Alyssa also designed for Clothworks, but they are seasonally-appropriate (squirrels, acorns, and autumn leaves in hip harvest hues!).  But did I mention they’re FREE??!!!  Head to this link and Happy Thanksgiving!

Clothworks Makes a Splash at Quilt Market!

AMB Booth 1

It’s Quilt Market time and the location this year is in Pittsburgh, PA!  The Clothworks team has worked very hard to beautify our booth at Market with some tantalizing displays of new fabric collections.  If you need a dose of cheeriness, get a load of these pics snapped at market!  The bright color selection of our debut basic line, American Made Brand solids, is sure to turn that frown upside down!!

AMB dazzling display

We’re pleased to introduce our new line of solids, American Made Brand fabric, All-American made solid fabric at Quilt Market this year.  From farm to fabric, the cotton was grown right here in the USA and processed, dyed, and cut onto bolts here, too!!  So c’mon, get happy and feast your eyes on the Clothworks Booth at Quilt Market- Booth # 1944 and 1945.

AMB booth 2

Loving these candy-colored tuffets below made up in AMB solids!

AMB Booth Tuffets

Modern quilt designer and AMB collaborator Heather Jones of olive and ollie is glowing against a backdrop of AMB solids!

AMB Booth Heather

Besides these cheerfully bright pictures of American Made Brand solids, here are a few pics of Clothworks fabric shown in the booth, made up into beautiful quilts:

Clothworks Booth 1

Clothworks Booth 3

Peg Conley looks right at home in her booth displaying her vibrant and watercolor-like interpretations of floral and garden-inspired designs.  The quilt and fabric shown in her booth pictured below is from the Clothworks line, Cultivate Your Joy.

Peg Conley booth 2

Also spotted at this year’s Spring Market is the Penguin & Fish booth.  Designer Alyssa Thomas has been collaborating with Clothworks under the Penguin & Fish name, lending her sweetly whimsical designs to our organic fabric.

Penguin & Fish booth

If you can’t make it to Quilt Market in Pittsburgh this year, we sure hope that these pictures put a smile on your face!  Enjoy!!

If you’re lucky enough to make it to Quilt Market this year, look for Clothworks in Booth #’s 1944 and 1945!  Or look for the Clothworks quilted logo shown here:

Clothworks quilt

And a reminder…starting Monday, May 19th, the AMB Blog Tour launches a 50 state tour through June 20th.  Check back here at The Works as we travel coast to coast across the USA on this virtual roadtrip highlighting some of the country’s most talented bloggers!

Oh What a Difference a Colorway Makes!

full quilt

Ever notice how much a different colorway can change the look of a quilt?  Just the other day, Jean- our talented seamstress friend, brought in 2 baby quilts made using the same quilt pattern.  Pardon me for not catching the name of the pattern, but Jean said she found it in a book by Mary Hickey.  The fabrics she used are, of course, by Clothworks– the most recent release of a Clothworks printed organic fabric collection, Critter Patch by Penguin & Fish.  Jean had completely finished one colorway of the quilts, the one shown above with turquoise being the dominant color used in it.   I managed to take some close-up pictures to illustrate the difference in colorways and how it affects our perception.

Below is the Coral dominant colorway Quilt.  Though not completely finished, I snapped a close-up view to show how different this version looks compared to the Turquoise quilt:

Coral colorway fox quilt

And here’s the close-up view of the Turquoise quilt for comparison:


Kind of neat to see the difference in colorway!  And what perfect blocks to highlight the whimsical animals in Critter Patch, too!

How about you?  Have you ever made the same quilt pattern in different color ways and notice a difference?