Frou-Frou to Premiere at LQS this Weekend!

FrouFrou - 1-2-3 Voila

The newest addition to the Clothworks product line, Frou-Frou, will be debuting at a LQS (local quilt shop) this Saturday, August 6th.  If you’re lucky to be near Chelan, WA, head over to Woven Threads Quilt Store for an ‘evening in Paris’ as our Clothworks representative, Angela, will debut the fabrics, trims, and notions from this exclusive French brand!

Clothworks was thrilled to introduce Frou-Frou at their booth during Spring Quilt Market this past year.  So far, we’ve received a lot of interest in Frou-Frou and have started shipping this exquisite line of color-coordinating fabrics & trims from France to our customers scattered across the USA.  Besides the matching fabrics, trims, and notions, Frou-Frou also offers easy-to-make clothing and accessory patterns–making it a no-brainer for the modern sewist who is pressed for time, but passionate about creating something cute and DIY.

Head to your LQS to inquire about Frou-Frou.  And mark your calendar for Saturday, August 6th, 2016 at 6-8pm (PDT) to attend the Frou-Frou event hosted by Angela from Clothworks at Woven Threads Quilt Store in Chelan, WA.  Oh-la-la!

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!

Amazing Clothworks Show & Tell with Daisy Dance!

sleeping bag - matching pillow

Introducing the latest show & tell creation by one of the many talented Clothworks employees!  Debbie, our shipper extraordinaire here at the office, wanted to surprise her daughter who is about to set off on her first school camping trip.  Rather than going to the store and buying a sleeping bag, Debbie thought it would be extra special to make a sleeping bag for her daughter to take on her trip.  When surrounded by beautiful Clothworks fabrics, day in & day out, the most daunting part of the process was selecting the fabric to use.  Not to worry, fabric designer Sue Zipkin’s most recent release, the gorgeous Daisy Dance collection, caught Debbie’s eye.  The pretty daisy focal print, in purples and dark blues was very nicely accented by the light blue Impressions Moire basic.

Sleeping Bag pattern cover

Making a sleeping bag for the first time was a little bit of a challenge for Debbie, but luckily she had a great pattern to follow called Little Sleepers by Whistlepig Creek Productions.  Besides selecting the fabric for her creation, inserting a sleeping bag zipper was probably the second trickiest task during the process.

Sleeping bag- full pic

And with a few stitches of the machine and some extra special hand-made love, Debbie was quite successful in completing her first ever sleeping bag and pillow sham (with French seams, too) for her daughter’s camping trip!  Lucky girl!

Well done, Debbie!  Thank you for sharing your fantastic work!

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!

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

kathleen quilt 3

Although it’s a work in progress, I had to share this fun Show & Tell that our dear friend Kathleen, former Clothworks employee & talented quilter extraordinaire, is creating!  Earlier this year, Kathleen was lucky to have taken a class from the fabulous art quilter, Freddy Moran.  If you’re not familiar with Freddy Moran’s work, judging by the pictures of Kathleen’s project, you can see that her style of quilting is eclectic and does not seem to follow any ‘rules’. No regard for straight seams, raw edges on appliques, and wild color combinations are just a few of the criteria that make up Freddy Moran’s rebellious approach to creating art quilts.

Kathleen quilt 1As demonstrated in Kathleen’s project, the backgrounds in Freddy Moran’s art quilts are typically comprised of a patchwork of different monochromatic black & white printed fabrics.  I spy some black & white Clothworks fabrics from the Mojito by Skipping Stones Studio & the organic Sweet Tweets by Penguin & Fish collections.  In typical Freddy Moran style, a collage of fussy cut images clipped from various fabrics, here being a sea creature theme, are appliqued on top of the black & white pieced background.  Do you recognize the seaweed, fish, and mermaid cut from Laurel Burch fabrics in Kathleen’s project?  kathleen quilt 4

Kathleen Quilt 5

The result….a ‘psychedelic ocean scene’ art quilt!

I couldn’t find a website for Freddy Moran, but doing a search on the internet led me to a few quilting books penned by her, offered for sale on Amazon , perfect to put on your holiday wishlist ;).

And for more inspiration, just google ‘Freddy Moran’ and view the image results, and you’ll be blown away by the artistic intensity of her work!

 

 

 

‘Slice’ Quilt, Served up in AMB Solids!

Toni's Slice with AMB

Crisp, clean, and bright are words that come to mind when I lay eyes on the newest quilt project that our talented Toni B., sample room & quilter extraordinaire here at Clothworks, is currently piecing.  The clear colors found in the American Made Brand solid color palette give this quilt a fresh, summery feel– a warm reminder as we descend into chilly Autumn!

AQ quilter Cover

Perhaps the cover quilt found on the September 2015 edition of American Quilter influenced Toni B.’s decision to pursue this project.

Slice pattern

The version of ‘Slice’ by Marjorie Rhine found in American Quilter was sampled using a different line of solids, but I’m partial to Toni B.’s usage of the warm and bright colors she picked from the AMB solid palette for her version.

Toni's color code system

And I’m just loving Toni B.’s clever tip for translating & organizing her color layout- An AMB Solid Color Key!

Toni's slice close-up

Well done, Toni B.!  Thank you for sharing, yet again, another gorgeous project with us!

 

Make an ‘Elegant’ Runner in About an Hour!

wall hanging up close

Our shipper extraordinaire, Debbie, brought in this fun show & tell project made from the newly released Clothworks collection, Elegant Roosters by Dan DiPaolo.  Though not yet completed, Debbie was pleased with how quickly she could construct this pieced runner top……in just about an hour!

Elegant Roosters wallhanging

Clothworks is cross-promoting this runner pattern called Around the Block using the Elegant Roosters block print and coordinating fabrics. Head to this link to view the pattern mock-up kit matrix in these fabrics, and head to Pieced Tree Patterns for info on ordering the pattern.

Happy Sewing!

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

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:

labels

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

IMAG1482

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!