Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Patterns from Beach Garden Quilts

Happy day-before-Turkey-Day, everyone!! Today our guests are the two friends & neighbors behind Beach Garden Quilts! Lynette and Laura design fantastic patterns meant to create merriment and cheer, so what better season to feature them than now! So read on, see all their new designs, and have a wonderful holiday!

We are next door neighbors and share a driveway. We signed up for a quilting class about 12 years ago and Laura was immediately passionate about it. I, Lynette, am an artist and added it as one of many creative pursuits. I was painting a quilt design on a coffee table one summer day several years ago when we started talking about making it a business. The rest, as they say, is history!

Laura's family and my husband's family have been neighbors since 1929 when the grandfathers purchased property together and built summer cabins on the beach. Both families now live full time at the shore. Laura has two daughters and I have a son and daughter. Our kids are the fourth generation to grow up on Bainbridge Island. Bainbridge is just a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle.

Both of us are inspired by our beautiful surroundings when it comes pattern design. I do the initial design and Laura makes the first prototype. Our favorite part is working together at the design wall, manipulating the design. Once we both love it, Laura writes the pattern. I then make it.

We both strive for clear, easy instructions in color. The patterns we create are often uncomplicated with a twist, and we usually create with bright happy fabrics.

We get very excited to match fabrics with our designs. "At the Shore" is our inspiration for the coming year. Whether vacationing, dreaming, or driving by the lakeshore, beachfront, or even the nearest pond - there is a beauty that surrounds water that we are excited to represent in their 2009 designs.

Lynnette Sandbloom
Beach Garden Quilts

Monday, November 24, 2008

Andalucia by Patty Young

Be prepared to be amazed and very taken with Patty Young's debut fabric collection, Andalucia! Fiery and fun, Andalucia is a visual adventure with its bright and earthy palette, from rich browns and greens to eye-popping reds and pinks. The prints are a cool combo as well -- bold graphic florals and damasks with architectural-inspired patterns, rounded out with complementary strpies, checks and dots. Almost like there's something for everyone! :) We've got Jolly Packs as well as two color bundles available at the Shop!

Greetings, Fat Quarter Shop readers!

It's an absolute pleasure to be here today chatting about my favorite thing... fabric design! Andalucia was inspired by our honeymoon in the South of Spain almost 9 years ago! My husband, Jon, and I took a self-guided tour through the gorgeous towns of Grenada, Cordoba and Seville and even took a day-trip across the Strait of Gibraltar into Tangier, Morocco. WOW, What an adventure that was!

Unlike most newlyweds, I spent my honeymoon days photographing the gorgeous architecture, gardens and open-air markets I came across. And yes, every once in a while I did get a picture of Jon and I, but mostly I was entranced by my beautiful surroundings. The colors were so vibrant, the textures so rich and the food so flavorful that it made a permanent impression on me.

As soon as I decided to design my first fabric collection there was no doubt in my mind where I wanted to draw my inspiration from. Out came the honeymoon album and ideas started flowing! The designs in Andalucia reflect exactly what I fell in love with while visiting Spain: modern comforts trapped in a medieval setting. The collection boasts a rich and spicy palette of colors ranging from deep reds and oranges to fresh chartreuses and pinks. And the designs also vary from old-world rich designs, like Moorish Tile and Birdie Damask, to modern, playful ones like Mod Blooms and Jester. There are also five colorways of Tiny Dots that serve as "almost solids" designed especially for all you quilters out there. But between you and me, they work beautifully as trims for pillows and girlie dresses. ;)

I hope the designs in my debut collection, Andalucia, inspire you to create something beautiful!

Have a great day!

Patty Young
ModKid Boutique
Patty's Andalucia Flickr Gallery
** All photos used with permission from Patty Young and Dawn Bergeron! **

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Debbie's Recipe Box: Cheese Wafers

These wafers are a hit as an appetizer at holiday parties! Click on the recipe for a printable version and enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lynette Anderson Designs now at Fat Quarter Shop

You asked for it, and we heard! We are so excited because we can now offer you Lynette Anderson's patterns right here at Fat Quarter Shop. Probably best known for her stitchery patterns, Lynette designs all across the board, from stitchery and quilts to buttons and now fabric! Read on about how this creative and VERY BUSY BEE Lynette Anderson got started, right onto what is up next for her!

Hello, thank you for inviting me to be a guest writer here on the Jolly Jabber.

Ok, so where should I start??

My patchwork interest started after the birth of my first son, David in 1981. Baby David may have looked sweet and angelic but he sure could wreck my fancy knitting and bobbin lacemaking in a moment! I decided I needed a hobby that was very portable and easy to pick up and put down so I took a night class and made a traditional sampler quilt which I thoroughly enjoyed stitching entirely by hand, I was totally hooked!

By now I was the mother of two gorgeous boys and in 1984 my family moved to the Channel Islands, UK. I started teaching from home, and as there was no quilt store on the island, we had to get all our supplies mail order. There was no internet to make our shopping easy, so we had to trust the wonderful lady at the quilt store on the mainland to send us things we would like. I was also able to sell some of my handmade pillows and small quilts at the local craft centre. I organised the making of several quilts for charity with the help of all the wonderful ladies in my classes. Can you find me in this picture?

Now the proud mother of three sons, I moved to Australia in 1990 and in 1995 I started designing and producing my own patterns under the label Lynette Anderson for The Patchwork Angel, the name chosen as my Dad always called my brother and I his angels! I am very fortunate as my patterns were popular immediately, some of those early patterns are as popular today as they have ever been.

In 1997 with the help of my Mum, Ruth we opened a quilt store, The Patchwork Angel in an old church, on Queenslands Sunshine Coast. Many people would be forgiven for thinking that the trading name was chosen because of the old church that now housed the quilt store but in fact that name had been chosen two years prior when I released my first patterns. I continued to design and produce patterns and also self published four books. After almost ten wonderful, busy years I decided it was time to focus full time on my designing and I sold The Patchwork Angel.

These days I live by the beach and I am very lucky as all four of my boys and my parents live here on the coast, so we get to spend lots of time together. This picture finds us in Mooloolaba after breakfast one morning. Hugo our Seeing Eye puppy in training has found something fun to sniff! Sadly, Hugo did not make it into the formal training program and he is now officially our dog.

The inspiration for my designs comes from everyday life, whether it's a memory from my childhood, where I grew up in a small country village in Dorset, England, or from something that's occurring in my life today. I have a wonderful studio in my home, it's filled with all manner of 'stuff' that a stitcher needs, and of course it has a big armchair in the corner for the cat and dog to curl up in when they are helping me!

My newest block of the month quilt A Kitten's Tale was inspired by our dog Hugo and Felix, an unweaned tiny fluffy kitten who was found in a tree at the end of our street. Hugo and Felix took to each other straight away and are totally inseparable, whether they are bug hunting, sharing a bowl of food, playing in the garden, helping me put the binding on a quilt or just sleeping snuggled together.

Give me a pencil and paper and I am one happy girl, of course that then leads to needing fabrics, needle and threads! The end result could be a simple design for a pillow or ...

Besides patterns and books I also produce handpainted wooden buttons, you will find these adorning and enhancing several of my designs. The buttons are created by Leanne a friend of mine, she works from my drawings and then paints them in a style that suits my work, I just love them and I hope you do too.

This year I have had the extra excitement of working with Henry Glass & Co producing two fabric lines. It has been a wonderful experience, from posting off my little paintings to seeing how their design team interpreted them and now I am trying to be patient waiting to see the fabric! The team at Henry Glass have made me feel so welcome, and although I am a bit biased I think you will love the fabrics, be sure to look for Christmas Magic and Hedgerow next year.

I love coming to the US and have just had the most wonderful time at Quilt Market, catching up with old friends and making new ones. Thank you to everyone who once again made me feel very welcome.

You can visit me on my blog, dont forget to say hello.

Talk soon,

Lynette Anderson Designs Blog

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Patterns from Allison Quilt Designs

Today, our guest is Lori Allison from Allison Quilt Designs! A pattern designer and an apparent lover of Kaffe Fassett, her patterns are modern and contemporary, and they also bridge the gap for the young and novice quilter to try something new and trendy! She has just baked up a new batch of yummy patterns, and we're excited to show them on the Jolly Jabber today! You can find all of them at Fat Quarter Shop, and be on the lookout for a new kit using one of her designs debuting in our store soon!

Hello Jolly Jabber Readers,

I’m Lori Allison, from Wayzata, Minnesota, and mom to Pun’kins and foster doggie, Sam. I’m a former Family & Consumer Science teacher (Home Ec to many of us) and was teaching my high school students a little quilting, which is how I began writing contemporary patterns for novice quilters and Allison Quilt Designs. My students liked the idea of quilting, but they didn’t want to make ‘gramma quilts’ and neither did I!!

I often use traditional blocks – like the trip around the world block – but I make it bigger, apply some modern cutting and piecing techniques to make it fast and easy. I try to write fully illustrated instructions so that you can almost make the quilt by looking at the pictures. Of course, I recommend reading the instructions too!

One example is the tabletopper “Chocolate Cherry Caramel” made in Kaffe Fassett fabrics. It’s fallish without being pumpkins, leaves or turkeys! Strip sets are cut, pieced and subcut into units, then assembled into a block. Each one makes in about 30 minutes and it’s great fun to see your block – like a little mini quilt – right away. It’s like pull-tabs, you can’t wait to see if the winner is under the next tab!

Cinnamon and Ginger has been a blockbuster pattern, which is kinda funny, because I designed it and it sat in my computer for six months. I thought the design wasn’t “pattern-worthy.” I needed a new pattern for Fall market so I made it up and LOVED it! The Kaffe Fassett fabrics so often make a pattern come alive. The interesting geometric of the Targets fabric and the wonderful warm red and gold Kaffe Fassett fabrics accented with brown makes it light up a family room. Besides it’s very easy to make and fun to choose your fabrics.

Each season I try to create a pattern that is super simple to make, and shows off fun, bright prints. “Fruit Cake” fills the bill! Take a couple layer cakes or 15 different 1/3 yard cuts (I chose 13 prints along the gold, red, & brown colorways and then two punch fabrics in turquoise) plus some solid fabrics for prairie points and start making big, giant half square triangles framed by bright, fun prairie points. It’s twin size so makes a great quilt for that graduate going off to dorm life. Doesn’t it just look like a warm, rich slice of fruit cake??

It’s almost always the fabric that inspires me to create a quilt. Sometimes I’ll just pick out a few fabrics that I like together, arrange them in front of me, look at the colors and scale of the fabric design and think, ‘what can I make with this?’

Quilt On…

Lori Allison
Allison Quilt Designs

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Debbie's Recipe Box: Cheryl's Snickerdoodles

Cheryl made these for us when we went to Fall Market in Houston this year and they kept us going! Seriously delicious and chewy, dangerously addictive.
** Just FYI, the Crisco refers to Crisco shortening! **

Friday, November 14, 2008

Verna Mosquera on Savon Bouquet

Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool returns for her second appearance on the Jolly Jabber with her new line Savon Bouquet for Free Spirit Fabrics. Just as the season has begun to cool down (at least here in Texas!), her new collection is a huge breath of warm spring air! This vintage-inspired group is perfectly pretty with a variety of floral prints, stripes and dots. The colors, stronger than her first line, are vibrant and happy. Fat Quarter Shop has grouped Savon Bouquet into mini-bundles for your convenience, and we also have Verna's lovely pattern Jardin De Roses kitted up as well!

It was so nice to see Kimberly and Jocelyn at The International Quilt Market in Houston. I was there debuting my new fabric line, Savon Bouquet, for Free Spirit Fabrics and the new pattern I designed for my company The Vintage Spool, called Jardin De Roses. (Click here for close-ups...)

For years I have had requests for kits that go along with my pattern designs. With this sophomore fabric line I decided to design a pattern that could easily be kitted up by my customers. You can imagine my excitement when Kimberly and The Fat Quarter Shop decided to be one of the first shops to do just that!

I was thrilled when Jocelyn asked me to blog about the new fabrics. It is a line I am very proud of. As with anything I think experience comes with each time you do something and Savon Bouquet was a stretch slightly out of my comfort zone. I wanted to do something that went with my first fabric line Sweet Escape, but that was different enough to stand on its own.

As with many of my designs, Savon Bouquet was inspired by a personal experience. Years ago, my husband and I lived with my parents while we saved to buy our first home. My mom received a gift of lovely French soaps from one of her clients. She put them in the bathroom and we all began to use them on a daily basis. We got so spoiled bathing with them that my husband was sad to think that when we moved into our new home our tight budget wouldn’t allow us to use such fine soap.

As a housewarming gift my mom gave my husband a bunch of these French soaps. It was so fragrant, like a soap bouquet. Each was individually wrapped with rose petals. My husband just cracked up, he said back home you always gave your grandma pretty soaps. We loved them so much that it has become a tradition. One of my husbands Christmas gifts is always his Savon Bouquet. We recently gave these out at our schoolhouse series at Fall Market. They can be purchased at La Lavande Gifts.

When choosing colors I drew from my collection of vintage soap labels and each of the colors is named after a type of soap. The prints are pretty florals, fun dots and classic French ticking stripes. The colors are romantic and clean, pinks, yellows, blues and lavenders with a milky cream tying them all together.

I just love how versatile the line is. Not only is it perfect for quilts, but we just recently made up samples of the adorable Tea Party Sundress and Bloomers from my favorite designers, Oliver + S, and the cutest Tea For Two Apron by From Me to You. They both turned out so sweet. It is so fun to see my fabrics used in so many applications. The pattern for our new block of the month, Jardin De Roses, is now available along with the entire Jardin De Roses kit at the Fat Quarter Shop.

Even though Fall Market is over, life doesn’t stop here at The Vintage Spool. We have so many upcoming projects in 2009 it’s hard to talk about them all. Look for a couple of our new pattern designs in some of your favorite quilting magazines in 2009. Also, we will vend for the first time at Road To California this coming January. We can hardly wait for our first Vintage Spool Retreat, A Celebration Of Spring, March 20, 21 and 22. For more information, please stop by our website The Vintage Spool.

Warmest holiday wishes,
Verna Mosquera
The Vintage Spool

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Patterns from Melly & me

Thanks to your overwhelming requests for it, Fat Quarter Shop now has Melly & me quilt and project patterns available in our store! We got to meet these two bubbly sisters, Rosie and Melanie, at Market this fall, and what a treasure their booth was! Rosie and Melanie join us on the Jolly Jabber today to talk about their pattern designs and some exciting new projects on the horizon!

Thank you so much for inviting us to be a part of your blog, we are thrilled!

We are Aussie sisters living in the foothills of the Dandengong ranges outside of Melbourne Australia. Rosalie, the eldest of the two of us, has been designing patchwork and doll patterns under the label "Rosalie Quinlan Designs" since 1998, and as sisters together we have been designing under the label "Melly & me" for the past three years. We adore what we do for a living as it means we can work from home, which gives us a lifestyle we really appreciate.

We both live within minutes of each other with our beautiful supportive families. Rosie has three teenage children, and Melly has two pre-schoolers. Despite their age differences, all of the children love to spend time together and are often in the background laughing while we get together to create and brainstorm.

We are inspired by so many things in life including paint charts, cartoons, yummy fabrics, nature and our children. The main thing about our "Melly & me" designs is that they are happy and make us laugh. Each little creature that we make has a personality of its own and likes to come on excursions with us.

We love to work with bright and outrageous fabrics and incorporate them into most of our projects. When we began designing together under "Melly & me" our goal was to reach a new generation of sewers but it has been exciting for us to see that our designs have reached across all generations.

We are very involved in Blog Land and are very excited about all of the independent craft work that we view on clever crafter's blogs. We strive to make it possible for anyone to create their own fabulous projects using our patterns. We often have people send us photos of their finished work and these are the times we love the most, especially when they are sent to us by young or beginner sewers.

Within the last year we have both been lucky enough to find space for our very own studios. We have really enjoyed creating our own inspiring environments in which to dream and create. Here is a peek at where we work.

One of the things we have enjoyed most over the last two years has been traveling to Houston to take part in the International Quilt Market. These trips have been full of new experiences, new relationships and just a whirlwind of fun and adventure. We are hooked and hope to travel back to the States many more times, it really is quilters' heaven!

2009 will see us working on our first "Melly & me" book. It is just in the planning stages but we are really excited about it. Rosalie is planning her second "Rosalie Quinlan Designs" book as a follow up to her first book "Gift" released in July this year. We both anticipate designing fabrics in the not too distant future. We have a number of new bag and softie pattern on the drawing board as we always have more ideas than hours to make them!

Combining our creative talents together to work as "Melly & me" has been one of the most rewarding moves we have made in our designing careers. Working with your sister and best friend while doing what you love from your home must be the best job in the world! To see more of what we do please visit our blogs, Melly & me and Rosie Quinlan Designs.

Rosie and Melanie
Melly & me
Rosie Quinlan Designs

Monday, November 10, 2008

Annette Tatum on House

Annette Tatum, textile designer and owner of House, Inc., has released her first line with Free Spirit fabrics, also titled the House Collection! It's full of soft, whispering florals, ticking stripes, and polka dots. The light pastel hues of blues, pinks, and cottage greens, along with pops of stronger hues, make it simple to mix and match as you please. The sophisticated House Collection is an easy way to introduce light and warmth to your own house.

I am so happy to be a part of your blog. Thank you for including me. I started my company House over 10 years ago with the idea that I would create beautiful textiles for myself and family. I am a working mom with 4 children ages 6 to 17. The three oldest are girls Olivia 17, Ella 10 and Lena is 8, the youngest is Joe who is 6. My family and I live in Santa Monica, California where an easy lifestyle dictates a large part of our homes decor. This is a big reason why over the years House collections have remained easy to live with but full of style and inspiration. I design my fabrics with the same sensibilities that appeal to my own sense of home d├ęcor; beautiful, functional and full of color. There is always something for everyone in the collection.

I find inspiration in every day life, from the tile pattern in my shower to the latest skirt my daughter is wearing; I am always surprised by the different sources from which inspiration can be found. I have always loved different cultures from all over the world so I am curious about what other color combinations exist in different parts of the world. I find that I like it all. Over the years my sense of style and color palette has changed. I design for my customers and clients, but at heart I am more a free spirit in my own home. Over the past few years I have also re-connected with my early fashion days. I have started to look closely at trends, colors, applications and the drama that can only be found in the world of fashion. I am constantly inspired by the execution of certain fashion houses and how amazing their creations are. It has been fun and challenging to try and incorporate those ideas in the world of home textiles. I find fashion to be a huge source of inspiration second only to traveling. Exploring old documents, architectural elements and other one of kind treasures for inspiration makes the process twice as fun. I have several patterns in the collection for Free Spirit that came as a result of digging out old wallpaper samples and modifying them to become stunning prints. Colors that I found in buttons and trims are also used as in this new collection.

I often let an idea formulate for a couple of days or even weeks to see if it is still something I really want to pursue. I am constantly cutting and tearing from magazines, old wallpapers and architectural elements for color and design. I love to carry my digital camera around for quick snapshots when I see something out in the world that is special. It might be just the color on something completely unrelated to what I do. Like a pale pink in a china pattern. Either way I usually file it away... never knowing when or how I will use it. When designing a specific fabric I usually start with a pattern I like. My team and I get the rough outline into a computer program that we can then play and manipulate the color. It can be very exciting to see how a pattern can emerge and transform depending on the color palette you choose. When one strikes our fancy we pin it up on the design boards for days even weeks to see how we really like it. Does it grow on us... is the color working... what do others think. Sometimes you can finish the day with what you think is an amazing color and pattern only to walk in the next morning and say... What were we thinking? And of course start all over again. Somehow through the process of selecting and weeding out, a pattern is born and becomes part of our permanent collection. A true test of a great pattern for me is one that you never grow tired of. The colors still works... it never gets old and hopefully becomes what I call a "classic" house pattern. I love working with color. I think that is why I ended up in textile design. I studied architecture and industrial design and even worked in the lighting and packaging business before starting house. It was when I was able to apply color to products and actually wrap elements in fabric that I found my home. Fabric is a great medium to work with. You can wrap it around anything and change the form look and appeal.

Coming up next is my first book titled A Fashionable Home out in Fall from Clarkson Potter. These past 2 years working on this project have been amazing. I have met so many new people with whom I have been able to collaborate with. Photographers, stylists, homeowners and other designers all have been a part of this project. When I was first approached to do a book two years ago I really thought that what I wanted to do was to create a home decor book that was approachable. A book full of inspiration and easy ways to tap into everyone’s creative spirit. It became apparent to me that we do this every day when we choose what to wear. We create for ourselves an outfit everyday. Over time the project has allowed me to expand my own design ideas and creations as well as teach me how to create and nurture a project of this size. The book is a wonderful collaboration with so many talented people that I am still inspired by the experience today. The book is designed to take you step by step from your own closet and design sense and show you how you really already have all the keys to designing your own unique home. If you look closely at what colors you like to wear, what style sense you are most of the time you will see certain patterns and color pallets that make up the real you. Applying what you all ready know to your home is just the next step. Mixing your styles like you mix your outfits can be fun and creative. To see and to read about all of the exciting things happening at House, check out my website, and my blog, A Fashionable House.

Annette Tatum
House Inc.