Fabric Inspiration: Wildflowers by Teresa Ascone

Shipping soon to a local quilt shop near you is the newest Clothworks release, Wildflowers, by designer Teresa Ascone.  Inspired by the natural beauty of Alaska, Wildflowers comes alive with prints ranging from swirling auroras, dazzling florals, and vivid nature motifs.  Who knew Alaska could offer so much color inspiration!!?

Teresa’s talented friend, Chris Francis, has been just as inspired by transforming the brilliant fabric designs of Wildflowers by Teresa Ascone, into all kinds of beautifully constructed projects, such as the wristlet wallets pictured above.  Chris and Teresa are excited to share these beautiful works of art.  Take a look below….

Wildflowers will surely add some pizzazz to your wardrobe with these accessory and garment project ideas!

How about sprucing up your home with some colorful Wildflowers creations too?

A quilt made of Wildflowers is a no-brainer, but how about an elegant chair and ottoman re-upholstered in it, too?!

Thank you Teresa and Chris for sharing pictures of these gorgeous creations in Wildflowers.  It’s one thing to admire the gorgeous fabric designs of Wildflowers by Teresa, but seeing it crafted into functional, stunning works of art by Chris takes it to a whole new level!

And before we leave you today, all of these brilliant crafty projects by Chris could not have sprung to life without her trusty sewing machine (almost 60 years old and a gift from her husband during their first Christmas together), a Singer 401a Slant needle pictured here:

Chris comes from a long line of sewists and quilters, with her grandmother recycling worn-out clothing into handmade quilts to keep the family warm during long, cold winters.  Born into a family that created things out of necessity taught Chris the fundamentals of sewing.  As Chris continued to pursue her craft, she learned to manipulate patterns and replicate sewing techniques to create professional-looking creations.  Throughout her sewing career- she has tackled upholstery projects and bridal- developing a knack to take a bride’s vision of her wedding gown and transform it into a work of art.  As she put it herself, “An artist may call it a craft, but I believe it to be art.  My palette is fabric and I love to put together the most unlikely.”

AMB License Plate Quilt…..Home at Last!

 

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The American Made Brand License Plate Quilt has finally made it home…all in one piece!  Kudos to the prompt turn-around and lovely quilting job by longarm quilter, Loretta Orsborn, of Orsborn Specialty Quilting.  Loretta really had her hands full when it came to quilting this quilt!!  With 50 blocks that are sized as an actual license plate, plus sashing and borders– it all amounted to one seriously large quilt!!  Maybe almost as big as Texas 🙂

Here are my pictorial attempts in trying to capture this American Beauty, all made using American Made Brand solid fabrics.

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Let’s give a round of applause to all who lent a hand in making this quilt happen!  Thanks to Candice, our Creative Director and Marketing Whiz, who organized the AMB blog tour.  A Standing ‘O’ goes out to all 50 of our Blogger friends, or as I like to call them, our State Ambassadors, who provided their talent and sewing ingenuity to create these distinctive state license plate blocks.  Hats off to Toni B, our Sample Room Extraordinaire and Quilting Queen who designed the layout and pieced the quilt top, and kudos to Loretta Orsborn, the quilter, who completed this quilt!!!  Bravo!!!

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AMB License Plate Quilt Update

AMB license quilt straight on photo

Now that Summer has officially ended, it’s time to make way for the cooler weather of Autumn.  I guess that’s perfect timing for our American Made Brand License Plate Quilt to head on one more road trip…..off to the quilter, that is!!  Toni B., one of our resident Quilter Extraordinaires, rose to the occasion to design and piece the top of this amazing quilt comprised of 50 ‘license plate-inspired’ blocks.  If you’ve been following us here on The Works, you may remember we kicked off the summer season with the AMB blog tour – a virtual road trip to all 50 States in the USA!  We met some super friendly & talented blogger friends in each state who were so warm enough to share some of the local culture and wowed us with their craftiness in contributing a quilt block of their own design in the same format as a real license plate!  One by one, our office was flooded with envelopes containing these clever quilt block designs.  Finally, after all 50 blocks had arrived, Toni B. threw all of the blocks up on the design wall and when she arrived on a desired placement, she began to piece the top of this quilt.  As all the license plate blocks used American Made Brand solid fabrics , Toni continued using these solids with the sashing and borders in the quilt top, too.

Here are a few more pics, with some close-up partial views of the quilt top, snapped in time before the quilt was packed up and sent back on the road again—off to be quilted!  This quilt has definitely gotten some mileage, you could say ;)!!

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AMB license plate quilt

Check back here at the Works soon to see the final progress of the AMB License Plate Quilt— quilted and bound for home!

 

AMB Blog Tour Quilt is in The Works!

 

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Do you remember the virtual road trip we took earlier this summer?  The AMB blog tour was such a blast- traveling to all 50 States and meeting one lovely blogger per State who shared a bit of the local history, trivia, and  culture with us!  Not only did our blogger friends serve as wonderful ambassadors to each State in the Nation, they were just as talented and crafty with their sewing machines!  Each of our blogger friends was also given the task of making a ‘license plate’ quilt block using American Made Brand solid fabrics to represent their state with the final goal of making a quilt out of all 50 blocks.

We thought we’d indulge you with a ‘Work in Progress’ picture of the license plate blocks mocked up in a quilt on our design wall.  Toni, the Sample Room Extraordinaire & Quilting Queen, has taken on the task of piecing these blocks into a complete quilt.  So far she has determined the placement of the blocks and has sewn a neutral grey fabric from the American Made Brand solids line as a border around each license plate, as well as white sashing in between the blocks.

Check back soon to see how far down the road (no pun intended) she goes in completing the quilt!

Worldwide Quilting Day is Saturday, March 15th!

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In case you didn’t know, tomorrow, Saturday March 15th, is Worldwide Quilting Day!!  Worldwide Quilting Day is a celebration of all things quilting across the planet!  There’s even a facebook page and a website devoted to the event, too!

Head on over to the website to see a list of participating shops.  Perhaps there’s one near you where you can join in on the festivities- including lots of fun promos!!  Head on over to your favorite quilt shop tomorrow to celebrate your love of quilting in the company of other quilting kindred spirits!

This year’s Worldwide Quilting Day kicks off a charitable block challenge cleverly entitled, ‘Wrapping the World in Stars’.  The challenge begins March 15th and goes through April 15th, 2014.  Participants are required to make 12″ star blocks to enter into the challenge.  Eventually all of these star blocks will be pieced together to make charity quilts.  Read more on the rules here, and yes, it looks like there’s a prize involved ;)…

Have a great weekend and Hooray for Quilting!!!

A Special Gift, Quilted to a ‘Tea’

Shirl's quilt- framed

With the chilling effects of the Polar Vortex that swept most of the USA this past week, here’s a story that’s sure to warm your heart!  Shirl, who works in Accounts Receivables and Customer Service here at Clothworks, brought in this gorgeous quilt that she received as a Christmas gift from her sister, Carolyn, to show & tell the other day.  We just love it when folks bring in show & tell projects or handmade gifts around here- with all the oooo-ing and ahhh-ing,  you’d think the viewers of such items were actually receiving the gifts, themselves!!

As Shirl unfurled her quilt, we were immediately awestruck.  First of all, this was a large quilt (I didn’t catch the dimensions, but I’m betting it fits a King-size).  But secondly, as we all peered up close at and admired the quilt, we couldn’t help be enthralled by the amount of craftsmanship, detail of the piecing and applique, the construction, and the gorgeous quilting that made this just a beautiful masterpiece!

After the ooo’s and ahh’s had dissipated, Shirl began telling the special story that accompanied this quilt.  See that cute little teapot in the middle of the quilt?  That is a paper pieced block that Shirl’s mother constructed 10 years ago in 2003.  Shirl’s mother, along with Shirl’s sister, Carolyn, were part of a Round Robin with a group of 5 other talented quilting gals.  They each made blocks including those cute tea cups and the ribbons, and started from there, working around the center pieced teapot block.

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Three years later, Shirl’s mother passed away, leaving many unfinished quilting and sewing projects.  Carolyn finally had the courage to go through these projects a few years later and decided to start completing them.  That’s when she came across the teacup/teapot quilt that had been started as a Round Robin and decided to add more borders and piecing to fit Shirl’s bed.

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This past summer, when Carolyn was visiting Shirl, Carolyn asked Shirl to pick out a pink fabric from the Clothworks warehouse, which would become the backing to this quilt.  Sneaky sister she is!!  This quilt would become quilted by Mary Landon, an extremely gifted long arm quilter.  Coincidentally, Mary had been a part of this Round Robin 10 years ago.  She couldn’t even remember what part of the piecing she worked on, but she and Carolyn think it might have been the ribbon piecing.  So at long last, this quilt was finally finished with love and given to Shirl, with many memories made and in the making!  Ahhh…now pass me the kleenex!

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I tried my best, but I feel like my pictures weren’t capable of capturing the amazing presence of this quilt.  Do head over to long arm quilter Mary Landon’s blog, addicted-to-fabric, to see some more spectacular images and stick around to see all of the gorgeous quilting projects that Mary posts on her prolific blog!  Oh, and that backing fabric was part of the Hug Me line designed by Sue Zipkin released by Clothworks.

Backing- I Heart You- Framed

How about you?  Anyone else receive something as cherished and memorable like this quilt?