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April 2012

Snooping around...

So one of my favorite things to do (and part of my oh-so-awesome job) is to surf the web for uber cool stuff.... and uber cool is what I always find. I have learned so much from the many many blogs out there and it has also been a great insight into what is trending in the quilting world.

Now some inspire me to create, some touch my heart beyond words, some tell me great way to cope with my lil one and some add the "funny story" to my day.

Since they have brought me all kinds of emotions I would like to share them with you all and hear if they touch you in the same way they touched me. 

Here are some that I'd like to share with you...

First one is the blog In Color Order. Jeni was our February Sewing Room of the Month winner but also has a very popular blog about sewing, quilting and a cute pet bunny named George. Now, I love her whole blog because she is so creative and has sooo many fun projects plus makes the quilting world not so scray for newbies like me. One of the posts that I really loved was her post about "The Art of Choosing." The post is dedicated on how to build your stash, set up your projects, build color stories, etc. You can read that post by clicking here.

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The other blog that I love to go to is Design Seeds. I use this site for color inspiration. It is a great guide for quilt planning, home decor color palettes and anything to do with color. I honestly get lost looking at all the different color combinations and the beautiful pictures that go along with it (plus it has a pin it button!)

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Lastly one of the blogs that I follow of a daily basis is Lil Blue Boo. This woman is AMAZING. I came across her site when someone tweeted about the video Ashley from Lil Blue Boo had made (see it here... "How to shave your head like a girl" .) Since then I have read and read and read on this brave woman's fight against the BIG C. She does it with grace, humor and pure JOY. Amongst all that she also finds ways to post the cutest tutorials and crafts. In a recent post she shows us how to make a t-shirt/memories quilt (here). She

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Well ladies & gents this is a lil bit of what I find every day and I hope that you have fun going through them. I am very pleased to share this with you.

If you have a cool blog, funny blog or any blog that you would like for me to check out... send me the link. I love a good blog ;)

Happy sewing and blog-surfin,

Anais <3


From Project Linus

Hey there!

I would like to share with you all how great today has been because we received an email from Project Linus, this has warmed my heart a thousand times over. They sent us pictures of them receiving the quilts and going through it. Below is the email that we received from Carol, National President of Project Linus.

 

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Hello,

I’m happy to share some photos with you of me and my assistant Jane Lawrence opening the box of quilts and admiring them. It was such fun – they are so beautiful and I know they will bring lots of oohs and aahs.   The beauty of giving away a Project Linus blanket is thinking of just how many people are touched by this act of kindness.  Especially the children who are in need of comfort, but also parents, siblings and other family members, in addition to the staff members who are able to reach out to kids in a special way making their job easier and sweeter. 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts – these are really special quilts and they will be loved!  We can’t wait to share these pictures and this story on our Facebook page too!

Please let me know if you need anything else from us – we are ever so grateful.

Warmly,

Carol Babbitt
National President

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Hi Jane!
(below & above)

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This "thank you letter" is for all of you that used our scraps to create these wonderful quilts. Without your efforts and time these fabrics would have not been made into loving quilts for these children. From Project Linus, Pat Bravo, AGF team and all the recipients of these quilts.. we THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. Moments like these really bring light into our lives, right? 

Keep Sewing,

Pat Bravo & AGF Team


Greta the Owl - A tutorial.

A little while back we gave scraps away and asked that you create something with it and share it with us. Many of you created beautiful things and we uploaded them on our Made with AGF album and one lovely fan even made a video of getting the scraps.

Today we got a lovely email from Katka Dachovska about this cute little owl named Greta and the tutorial that goes along with Greta so that you can make your own.

Katka, thank you so much for sharing this with all of our fans and we really appreciate you taking the time to make this tutorial.

So now without further adieu.. We present...

 Greta the Owl

by Katka Dachovska

Hello, my name is Kate. I am from Czech Republic (Europe) and I prepared for you short tutorial.  When I got the beautiful scraps from Art Gallery Fabrics I exactly knew what to sew! An Owl and I called it Greta.

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 What you will need:

- 2 pieces of fabric (one for body and contrasting fabric for wings)

- 2 buttons

- yarn for hair

- stuffing

- pencil for textile and colours for textile

- string for hang-up

- pattern

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Print Pattern and cut it. Transfer pattern to the wrong side of fabrics - 1 part for body, 1 f
or wings. Sew it. Do not forget to let opening hole for stuffing.

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Cut out fabric which you do not need and trim corners - ears. Now is owl prepared to be turned into right side. Turn it. Slightly iron it -  just to have flat body and wings. It is better for next part.

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BODY

Before you stuff it, I recommend - draw basic shape of face. Stuff body and close stuffing hole. Now it is time to draw face with colours. It is better to do it before hair are on the body because they are fluffy.

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 When colours are dry you can sew on hair. It is very easy. Take few yarn (the same long) strings and in the middle bind them up with thread, put needle on thread and you can sew.

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WINGS

Turn them into right side, stuff them and close stuffing hole. Sew them on the body.

At the end add string for hanging owl.

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You see, it is easy funny project. You can sew with you children, you can add felt flowers on the body or ribbon into hairs. It is up to your fantasy.

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If you like my owl you can see other toys and decorations at my blog http://kackad-bloguje.blogspot.com/- use google chrome for translating blog from czech language.

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"What a Hoot!"

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Thanks soooo much. We love getting tutorials so if anyone out there wants to submit anything they have done... send it on through :)

Happy Sewing and TONS of Love,

Your AGF Team


Pat Bravo New Collections Fall 2012 Sneak Peek (part two)

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Hi there,

Firstly, I want to thank you all your comments of my previous post! I read them all and it really feels good you are thrilled with my upcoming collection "INDIE". I was also reading the comments on Facebook. Thank you for that! <3

How was your weekend? Were you sewing a lot? Did you enjoy time with your family? I had a blast Saturday night having dinner and then going to the movies to watch one of my all-time favs: The Three Stooges! My sister Andrea, Walter and me couldn't stop laughing during the whole time :-D It was hilarious!!

As I told you, 2012 is going to be full of surprises! Collections, patterns, new clubs and other things I have under wraps because the beans cannot be spilled yet :(

About my new collections, I can't wait until I make a full reveal at Market, but because many of you asked me to show a sneak peek (and I LOVE to share! lol), as promised here it is.

I'm super excited to share with you bits of my second upcoming collection for Kansas City Quilt Market... ROCK'N ROMANCE

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It's always a thrilling sensation to present you new fabrics, but I think this time is double that feeling because I'm introducing black as part of my new color stories! and I LOVE how it came out!

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Having myself a heart full of love for disco music, it was SO cool to design for my little rocker side (that I sure have it too!). Do you also have that young rocker side? If so, you can start thinking in projects for you, or if have daughters or granddaughters :) 

Celebrating the fame of gray, I've also included many variations of this color which I LOVE!

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This collection (as well as INDIE) will be shipping in the fall, but I promise that as soon as I come back from Market, I'll be sharing with you all the prints!

Hope you love it as much as I do :) 

 

Love,

Pat 


Pat Bravo sits down with Create Kids Couture.

As a designer you often get the chance to work with passionate and extraordinary people. I got that chance when working with Shannon and Tiffany from Create Kids Couture. These ladies have the most passion I have seen in a long time from pattern makers.

Create Kids Couture specializes in creating patterns for kids that combine prints and color in a fun and creative way. I jumped at the chance to have a boutique create a line using our fabrics specifically for children. Shannon and Tiffany choose Poetica…. how poetic! *cheesy smile here*

But honestly we have LOVED the outcome. The pictures are the sweetest things you have ever seen. Take a look here.

So, without further delay, we introduce to you Shannon and Tiffany from Create Kids Couture..

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourselves (who does what in the company)?

We are Tiffany and Shannon and we co-own Create Kids Couture. We are both stay-at-home-moms who have a passion for children's fashion. Tiffany has 3 children, two boys who are 7 and 5 and a girl who is 4. Shannon has 2 children, a boy who is 4 and a girl who is 3.
As far as responsibilities go, we try to split the work load equally. We both have our strengths which we tend to lean towards, like Shannon loves to do the networking and social media and Tiffany prefers to design new things constantly, but we both do end up doing everything even if only a little sometimes.

532091_390139444343841_216885938335860_1262293_469091704_nPenny's Patchwork Twirler in action! Headband by Shake-Up Snow Designs
 

2. How did you guys start out?

We met in 2008 and discovered we both had a love for sewing! We quickly bonded while teaching ourselves how to make clothes and accessories for our daughters. At that time we realized that while there were plenty of beautiful patterns out there, the niche for “over-the-top” children’s boutique patterns was lacking however we didn’t have the skills required to make patterns. We both opened up boutiques and remained friends continuing to work together occasionally and share new techniques we learned always! After years of requests from fans, we finally decided to share our unique, one-of-a-kind design with everyone by forming Create Kids Couture in July 2011. When we opened we had just 5 patterns and after really discovering our love for designing we quickly grew to have over 50 patterns in just 8 months.

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3. What made you go into patterns for kids?

While we loved sewing boutique clothes for our customers, we really grew to have a passion for designing the new outfits every season. When we started, we honestly thought, "Oh we'll release a couple patterns for fun just to see what happens". We had no plans for CKC and absolutely NO idea that we would end up having the fan base we do! We love what we do though. We love trying to come up with new designs that haven't been created yet. However, our favorite part is that we are able to help so many people learn to sew. The boutique world can be very cut-throat and competitive; no one wants to share secrets. We want to break this stigma and teach people that there IS room for everyone and networking is powerful!

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4. What is your ultimate goal?

 Our main goal is to just be a pattern company for children's clothing that people love, trust, and can really learn how to sew from. We are both self taught seamstresses and we want everyone to be able to learn to sew from home just as we did. While many people love the big paper pattern companies that can be found in stores nationwide, we were never really able to follow along because of the technical wording and lack of pictures. If we were able to finish it, the outfit was usually too big!  We have all of our patterns tested for ease of use and accurate sizing to prevent this. While we didn't create the concept of PDF patterns we do feel that we are learning how to perfect it for our customers. Our ultimate goal is too eventually be in stores where more people can learn about our easy-to-follow patterns and teach themselves to sew at home! How and when we get there is still up in the air and we're excited for the future!

542914_390139951010457_216885938335860_1262311_1273609117_n(look at the sass in those eyes)

5. What inspires you to create?

Our daughters are our main inspiration...obviously, lol. But our customers keep us motivated with their excitement and enthusiasm! There is nothing better than creating a new outfit, posting a picture online, and having your customers begging for the pattern! 

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6. What is your fav pattern of all time?

Wow. This is a really hard question; it's kind of like choosing a favorite child! lol. Shannon's favorite pattern is Mia's Reverse Knot Twirly Dress and Helen's Maxi Dress. Tiffany's is our Peony's Sweetheart Bodice Maxi Dress we have coming out next week!

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7. Whats the next step in your business?

We're not really sure! Our goal is to just keep pushing the envelope creating exciting designs that keep our customers wanting more and networking with whoever we can and see where it takes us! There are a lot of ideas we have and things we want to do, but its just a matter of figuring out HOW to do it all.

540045_390141287676990_216885938335860_1262352_1414176890_nVivian's Peasant Top with Attached Sash and Danielle's Cuffed Shorts. Headband by Shake-Up Snow Designs.

 
8. How often do you release patterns? I see that you ladies are constantly working on new patterns :)

Right now we average about 6-8 pattern releases a month. Did we mention we LOVE creating new designs? lol. We have so many ideas and designs that we want to create, we wish we could get them out faster sometimes.

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9. What are the various avenues you use to sell them?

Well, the best place to buy our patterns is by instant download through our website: www.CreateKidsCouture.com. We just started working with Fabric.com creating exclusive patterns for them that they offer FREE on their website to everyone. Our first pattern was released on March 22nd and our next pattern will be available through them in May. We do also have free tutorials on our blog: www.CreateKidsCouture.blogspot.com. Lastly, you can find us on other venues such as Etsy and various fabric shops online.

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Collection used: Poetica by AGF in house

Pattens & dresses by: Create Kids Couture

Headband by Shake-Up Snow Designs

Photography by: Puddle Jumpers Photography

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Aww Tiff and Shannon.. we really love you guys and are so happy with the way it all turned out. The pictures are amazing, the dresses are beautiful and the lil models are precious!

Fans like you are the reasons we do what we do! Big SMOOCH!

Well ladies please go over and check them out.. you won't be disappointed and tell `em Pat sent you :)

Love,

Pat & AGF team

 


Pat Bravo New Collections Fall 2012 Sneak Peek (part one)

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Happy afternoon everyone!

How are you doing lately? It's been a while since I wrote you... I hope everything is going well with you: much happiness and much sewing!! 

Here at my studio same thing: LOTS of sample sewing for Quilt Market, designing the booths, ideas about how to format School House to make it fun and engaging --YES, we are coming to School House!!! I'll have 2 sessions and soon I can tell you everything about it :-D

And there is the excitement to present my new collections, as well as AGF In-House and of course Bari J.!! I face it: every time Quilt Market is around the corner, for each day less to Market, the excitement and adrenaline in my body is inversely proportional... it goes up! I'm so happy that I can't wait to meet you all and show you what's new :)

Because I can't stay still, I'd love to show you here a sneak peek of what's coming. Let's start with INDIE!

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This line is a cultural fusion of designs from around the world, with exotic florals and geometric global inspired prints. I've been wanting to create a collection like this for many years, and now I feel I was ready to deliver :)


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Get in the INDIE mood with this sneak peek!

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Stay tuned for my next post, where I'll preview my second collection for this upcoming season. 

*hint hint* Are you ready for a little romance, this girly girl is ROCKIN!!

 

Love,

Pat

 


April's Sewing Room of the Month

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This months sewing room post goes to Messy Jesse. I will say that the name does not fit this lovely and tidy sewing room. The room was completely remodeled into a sewing haven complete with a victorian fireplace and built in shelves. Read on below to see how she did it and what some of her favorite elements are. Messy Jessie we LOVE your space!

Our First Home: Craft room update

Well here it is, this is my new sewing room / studio for messy jesse. It's the perfect craft space, with lots of shelving and storage for my growing fabric collection. A new addition to this room is a wall-mounted TV over my desk yippee!

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Wowee such a difference hey, It's so amazing what a lick of white paint can do! I haven't got my new scalloped blind or a light fitting in yet so it's not quite there but I couldn't resist giving you an update. I was lucky enough to already have the wall shelves there when we moved in so all they needed was a rough sanding and some fresh paint. The thread rack is handmade by a seller I found on Ebay. I also found a cute little place to hang my bunting :)

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Note the victorian fireplace I painstakingly restored for DAYS! I haven't got a proper picture of it before I started on it annoyingly, but it was covered in a ultra thick layer of cream paint which I stripped down using nitro mors solution and a little metal scraper, hopefully won't have to do that again : I My trustee expedit holds my sewing books and my prized collection of Golden Hands encyclopedia's (mentioned in a previous post here). As well as lots of paper-crafting bits and bobs. The ladder shelves house an array of sewing notions, threads, trims and paper patterns. I'm still working on this part, I'd quite like to have more of these things on show but I'm not sure how to work this yet.

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I've got a new desk by up-cycling the old kitchen counter-tops we ripped out downstairs. It's so sturdy, and a great neutral colour for the room. My old desk from IKEA bowed with the weight of my sewing machine so hoping this won't do the same?

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 And the crowning glory... the fabric collection! I've arranged it with vintage sheets, curtains and pillowcases on the bottom four shelves and modern fabric on the two shelves above that, then fat quarters all arranged my colour, topped off with some larger yardage pieces including some beautiful linen I brought back from Turkey on a holiday this year (going to be turned into a couple of sofa cushions). Some CK fabric, and a stack of vintage embroidery bits and bobs I've been collecting from charity shops this year. 

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Haha my scrap bucket! what a disaster it looks but it actually works quite well for me. I need my scraps relatively easy to get to and not too tidy where it takes me forever to tidy. Do you have any good scrap organising tips? though I'm hoping to clear a lot of it in the new year with some scrap-busting projects.
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A shelf of my vintage sewing baskets and tins store less-frequently-used items, like press studs, zips, alphabet stickers, and button poppers. Hmm have I missed anything out, let's see: deer ornament collection over the mantelpiece, vintage Singer sewing machine and spools of bakers twine = my perfect studio.

Thank you so much Messy Jesse for submitting your sewing room. I love the white furniture and rugs with the pop of color being your accessories and fabrics. Your Etsy store is packed with handmade goodness and I am sure everyone loves seeing where the magic happens :)

Ladies and Gentlemen if you have a sewing space that you would like to share please email us at anais.cowley@artgalleryfabrics.com.

Happy Sewing ladies :)


And the winner of Challenge #3 is...

This months challenge really took a lot of you out of your comfort zones and pushed your limits. Some of you spent countless nights planning and sewing and slaving away for this challenge. Many waking up in cold sweats because of this table runner... well I would like to inform all of you... YOU DID A GREAT JOB!

The runners were fabulous! They show each one of your styles perfectly and we LOVE it. Now we can only choose 1 winner (and honestly we kick ourselves about that fact each time)..

But on with the show, the winner is........................

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Brenda Fyles

*cheers and applause*

Brenda Fyles

Brenda you are the proud mommy of 10 yards of Art Gallery Fabrics!!!

You were not afraid to use color in this challenge and you got the most use out of the Pures as well. You played well with the geometric requirement in this challenge. That's a lot of sewing and piecing young lady!

You also won the public vote for this challenge. Great job!

Challenge # 4 is already in motion... so ladies make it work :)

Some of the other entries below: (in progress)

Congrats to all of you and a big THANK YOU for your ongoing support and participation!

<3 Anais

 


Project Challenge 2012 - Challenge #4 - Saddle Bag

ProjectLOGO_finalAlright ladies I know the table runner was a toughie and therefore we decided to give you a small break this month.

April's challenge is a "Saddle Bag." The term "saddle" refers  that fact that this purse is worn to one side. This bag features a long strap so that runs across the chest and a unique shape.

This is a free month... So that means that we give you a break in the requirements and on size. You can let your imagination run wild and create the bag however you want it...

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We used Chocolate Cherry Oval elements for this bag and accented the style with a tassel. Simple and cute, right?  The strap is made using White Champs Elysee's from the Dreaming in French collection.

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Well,  as always the rules are:

1. Join our Facebook group to enter into the challenge, and "like us" if you want...
2. Must use Art Gallery Fabrics ONLY to make the projects.
3. Must be completed and submitted in the allotted time.
4. Must let your imagination run wild!

All entries will need to be submitted by midnight, Monday, April 30, 2012

Have fun with this one... there are no limits :)

Judging:  We will have 7 more people voting this month ...  AGF team (5 votes), our great designer & creative director Pat Bravo (1 vote) and  our awesome designer Bari J. (1 vote.)

May your thread be strong and your machine be speedy! Get set GO!!

XOXO, Anais