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May 2013

Market Wrap-up, Part One

Hey there!

So, we are back from Portland Spring Market 2013 and we are very excited to share with you all the great stuff that happened while we were there. As some of you know, or some of you may have experienced, this is one of the most exhausting yet some of the funnest times in the industry. 

First things first, we would love to congratulate Mrs. Pat Bravo for winning 1st place, single booth for Carnaby St.!

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We loved this booth because it was a crossover from the Carnaby St. video and really took you into the mood of mod. A lot of the videos images were used throughout the booth... does that black and white wall look familiar??

All the elements in the booth were perfect and carried the 60's vibe through and through. Take a look below and check out some of the elements that really pulled this booth together... as well as Pat beaming from her win!

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Now from the "Swinging London" movement we take you on a journey in the traveling caravan of Bijoux by Bari J. ...

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Bari J.'s minimalistic approach to her booth design was stunning! It truely showcased perfectly the beauty of this collection and just how much you you can do with it.

Check out Bijoux's video and see where this collection led us... 

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This booth may have looked simple at first glance but when you stopped and walked around you really noticed all the intricate details that is Bijoux. From delicate embroidery to small cacti plants, this booth really was a sight to behold.  

Now after you have had your fair share of traveling with this bohemian soul hop on a plane a head on over to the scandinavian side with Nordika by Jeni Baker...

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Jeni's booth was filled with cute projects, beautiful quilts and even a mini George (pillow form of course.)

Nordika takes you on a trip to through the northern nordic meadows and drops you off in this sweet booth full of inspiration. The deep and moody color palette works to set the tone for this collection. 

Take a peek below at some of the beautiful projects from the booth ... 

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Now that we have shown you a bit of what these wonderful ladies worked so hard for let's take a look at this sweet video they made just for you all :)

  

We hope that you have enjoyed PART ONE of our market re-cap. I can't wait to share with you all the rest of this eventful trip!

See you soon,

<3 AGF

 

 


Fat Quarter Gang - Stackable Squishable Fabric Blocks by Always Expect Moore

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 Hi! I'm super excited to be here at Art Gallery Fabrics today to share these fun stackable, squishable fabric blocks! My name is Carolina, and you can find me most days at 30 Minute Crafts and Always Expect Moore, sharing all kinds of fun crafting and sewing projects!

Stackable squishable fabric blocks
My mom taught me to sew when I was 6, and I made my first bed-sized quilt when I was 13, so I've always had a passion for fabrics. And I LOVE Art Gallery fabrics - they feel unlike anything else! I don't know what kind of textile magic they do... but it makes AGF wonderful for any projects that will get a lot of touch - like these stackable, squishable fabric blocks.

I have two very active boys, as well as 3 nephews and 2 nieces. So I love having projects that I can stitch up for them. These fabric blocks are simple enough to make, but I've made them a little different than a traditional stuffed block. These blocks are stuffed with polyfill, but also have an extra layer of polyester pellets that make them stackable. The layer of poly pellets also gives more structure to the blocks so that they don't have to be over-stuffed with polyfill. This makes the blocks super squishy! Great for small hands to be able to grab.

To make the stuffed fabric blocks, here is what I used:

10 FQs of AGF, half prints, half solids
Heat N Bond
Polyfill

Polyester Pellets

Start by cutting your fabric squares. The finished size of these blocks is 3", so all the fabric squares are cut at 3.5". Cut 12 squares for each block, 2 in each color.

 

Fabric squares

 

If you want applique shapes on your blocks, use the leftover fabric to cut shapes. I traced cookie cutters onto Heat N Bond, then fused this onto the back of the fabric to cut out my shapes.

 

Trace shapes to heat n bond

 

I then fused the shapes onto my squares. If you use Heat N Bond Ultra, you'll have a permanent hold, and won't need to stitch around the shapes to secure them. 

Pick block pieces

To start, we make small "pockets" for the poly beads. Stack 2 squares of the same color, both with Right Sides UP, and stitch together using about 1/8" seam. Anywhere between 1/8 and 1/4 is fine, but it needs to be less than 1/4 so that the stitching won't show.

 

Stitch scant seam

Stitch each pair of squares on 3 sides, leaving the 4th side open. You will have 6 pockets.

Fill the pockets with poly beads. I used two level tablespoons. This gives enough beads to give form to the blocks, but not so much that they get in the way while stitching together the blocks.

Fill pockets with poly beads

Match up two pockets along the open edge, and stitch closed. From here on out you will use a 1/4" seam, and you will add extra security to the beginning and end of each seam by going back a few stitches, and then forward again..

Together with quarter inch seam

Stitch four pockets together in a row, each time closing up the 4th open side when attaching it. If you like, fold a piece of ribbon in half and insert in one of the seams to make a tag. I used the pretty AGF ribbon for my tag, and folded it so that the flower would show on both sides.

Ribbon as label

Stitch the fifth square to the top of the row, lined up with the first square. Again, close up the open side as you attach it.

Start stitching 5th piece

Fold the 5th piece so that the second side is flush with the second square in the row. Stitch down.

Making the cube

Repeat this process until the 5th square is secured on all four sides. Then stitch together the 1st and 4th squares of the original row to finish the square.

Stitch top on block

Attach the final piece of the cube, stitching as you did the 5th square. This time, only stitch TWO sides. If you stitch 3 sides, you won't be able to turn the block. If you stitch all four... well... you won't be able to turn it then either!

Finished stitching block

Turn the block right side out through the opening you left by not stitching two sides.

Cubes needing stuffing

Stuff the block. Do not overstuff! I used between 1-2 handfulls of Polyfill. By gently stuffing the block, you make sure that the poly beads can still move around, which is what makes the block stackable. It also makes it nice and squishable.

Hand stitch the two open sides closed using an invisible stitch.

Stitch block closed

Baby B absolutely LOVED playing with these blocks! He and his brother tossed them in the air, sat on them, stacked them, squished them, squeezed them, and loved them completely! 

Playing with the blocks

I couldn't help but make oodles of them.

Blocks in box

A HUGE thank you to Art Gallery Fabrics for letting me share this fun project with you. I had a blast "thinking outside the block" and coming up with a fabric block that is just perfect for playing with! I hope you'll stitch some up yourself and see how the extra step of adding the poly beads really does make all the difference in having the perfect fabric block for small hands. And I hope you'll stop by and visit me sometime at 30 Minute Crafts and Always Expect Moore!

Now go on and show Carolina some love ... hop onto her blog, Always Expect Moore and enter to win the exact bundle used in this project. 

As always to be eligible to win you must follow AGF on your fav social media platform(PinterestFacebook, Twitter)and Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

Til next week!

<3 Carolina & The AGF Team

 


Fat Quarter Gang - Dresden Pillow Poof by Diary of a Quilter

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Hello Art Gallery Lovers!

I am Amy Smart and I blog about my sewing and quilting fetish at Diary of a Quilter.

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Today I am sharing a tutorial for a Dresden-inspired circle pillow "poof" using Bari J.'s gorgeous new Bijoux collection. This tutorial will create a 16" cushion.
The fabric requirements for this project are:
  • 10 fat quarters of Bijoux by Bari J. (I chose that many because I wanted the variety of prints, but you could use as few or as many as you want.)
  • one regular 1/4 of a yard for the pillow side (I used Essential Ovals Elements Mustard)
  • two 6" squares of solid (I used Pure Elements Honey)
  • pillow stuffing
  • one Dresden wedge ruler

I used the EZ quilt Dresden wedge ruler by Simplicity (an 18 degree wedge) - it's widely available in the notions department of chain sewing stores, as well as independent quilt shops.
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If you are using 10 different prints, cut a 7" x 9 1/2" rectangle of each print. Use the Dresden Wedge ruler to cut 4 wedges 7" long from each print.  You will need a total of 40 wedges for this project.
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Layout wedges to get the color and design placement you want. Match-up wedges into pairs, right sides together, and sew one edge using a scant 1/4" seam. Press seam to one side.
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After sewing pairs together, sew four of the sets into groups of four, and then into two groups of 10 wedges. Sew the final two halves together to create the Dresden circle. Repeat the process to create a coordinating back.
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To create the center circle, trace and cut out a 4" template. (Cereal box weight cardboard is perfect.) Then cut out a 6" circle of fabric (it doesn't have to be a perfect circle).  Run a large basting stitch around the edge of the circle, place the template in the center and gather your fabric around the circle. Press the edges well with the template still in place.  Remove the template and press again. Starch will help you get a nice crisp circle.  Then fold the fabric circle into fourths and lightly press to create lines above.
Sew-dresden-circle-tutorialUse pressed lines as guides to find the center of the larger pieced circle by lining up pressed lines with the lines of the pieced wedges. There should be 5 wedges between each quadrant of the center circle. Pin circle and sew in place using coordinating thread. Remove pins and press.Repeat with second side.
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Cut and sew a 3 1/2" x 52 1/2" strip for pillow side. Sew strip ends together to create a continuous circle. Fold in half and lightly press to mark 4 equal quadrants on the strip. Using the pressed lines as guides, pin marked quadrants on the strip in place every 5 wedges to keep strip equally distributed. Then carefully pin strip equally all the way around the sides. Sew in place using a 1/4" seam.
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Repeat the process, pinning the back side to the strip and sew edges, leaving a 5" opening to stuff the pillow. Turn pillow right-sides out and stuff with batting. Hand-stitch opening to finish pillow.
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And there you go! A beautiful pillow, showcasing lots of pretty fabric, and so much simpler than it looks. I'd love to see what you make using this tutorial.
Be sure to add it to the AGF Flicker group!
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Hop on over to Amy's blog, Diary of a Quilter, to enter to win your very own fat quater bundle of Bijoux. 

As always to be eligible to win you must follow AGF on your fav social media platform(PinterestFacebook, Twitter)and Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

Til next week!

<3 Amy & The AGF Team


Fat Quarter Gang - 60's Hexies Love Coasters by Soulful Eyes

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Hi!
Pat Bravo here and I am excited to be sharing one of my tutorials for the Fat Quarter Gang! I made these groovy coasters using my Carnaby St. collection and I think you will love the fun colors as well as the ease of this project. 
60sHexiesCoasters
Now what you will need...
MATERIALS (to make three coasters)
For this project, I used a combination of Pure Elements solids from Art Gallery Fabrics and some prints from my newest collection Carnaby Street. You will need:

FABRICS:
One (1) Fat Eighth of the following:
  • CST-3102 Psychedelia Gold
  • CST-3200 Brit Boutique Radiant
  • CST-3204 Girl About Town Rose
  • PE-405 Cherry Lipgloss
  • PE-424 Mirage Blue
½ yd of PE-408 White Linen 
Three (3) 11" square sheets of non-fusible batting
Coaster Trapezoid Template 

NOTIONS:
  • Ruler with 60° angle guides
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Water Soluble marker

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I really love using these coasters to brighten up any decor. Use these coasters for the next outdoor get together or make a couple to give to family and friends.

To get the full tutorial hop on over to my blog, Soulful Eyes, and get to stitchin!

I also have a swingin' fat quarter bundle all ready to find a nice pad. Leave a comment below letting me know "What is your fav Carnaby St. print?" and I will pick a winner by May 21st. 

As always to be eligible to win you must follow AGF on your fav social media platform(PinterestFacebook, Twitter)and Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

Til next week!

<3 Pat & The AGF Team

 


Enchanting a local quilt store near you, Bijoux by Bari J.

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Bijoux is a collection from the imagined life of a traveling free spirit and her elegant caravan decorated with gorgeous textiles and the beautiful items she has acquired along the way.

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Bari J. explains "Who is Bijoux?"

"Bijoux is my vision of a woman who is very much a free spirit. She travels around in her vintage caravan collecting things that she loves and that inspire her. She's an artist. And a loner. I envision her as an unusually tall woman with long streaming blond hair. She wears turquoise bracelets, boho skirts and beat up cowboy boots. I see her in dancing barefoot in the desert at night with the stars lighting her way. She's a rocker....

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... She loves life. Bijoux means little jewels in French, and it is also the name of my main character.

This fabric collection is bits and pieces of her life... as she is bits and pieces of me."

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 Envelop yourself in Bijoux's bohemian style, with styled florals and exotic geometrics.

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Excited for Bijoux? Join the Bijoux Launch Party!

11 blog party stops involving 11 giveaways of 10 fat quarters of Bijoux.... Oh my!

(mother's day, no stop on the 12th)
May 13: Imagine Gnats
May 14: Jona G.
May 15: Mommy for Reals

Be sure to post your own Bijoux creations in the Bijoux by Bari J. group on Flickr!

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 To get the Bijoux's free quilt pattern "Jeweled Wanderer" that was featured in this video click here.

Til next time,

Bari J. & The AGF team

 


Fat Quarter Gang - Stitchin' Sewing Machine Cover by During Quiet Time

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Hi everyone, it's Amy from During Quiet Time here today to share a tutorial to make this Stitchin' Sewing Machine Cover.

I wanted my sewing machine cover design to be sewing related, given it's job and all, but wanted to avoid things that I have seen done before at the same time.  That quickly eliminated spools and pieced sewing machines.

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I decided to use Pat Bravo's Carnaby Stree to piece 3 traditional stitches:  the cross stitch, straight stitch and zigzag.  You might not automatically associate the design with stitching but that's ok because it has a cool graphic look to it at the same time.  I used a big chunk of Ladylike Black Tea, my absolute favorite print in the line, for the rest of the exterior so that I would get to see it lots.

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Fabrics used:


I hope you enjoy making a cover for your machine!  Remember, you will want to measure your own machine and make adjustments as necessary for a good fit.

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Download Stitchin' Sewing Machine Cover Pattern and start stitching a groovy new cover for your sewing machine!

Stop by Amy's blog, During Quiet Time, to win your very own bundle of Carnaby St by Pat Bravo

As always to be eligible to win you must follow AGF on your fav social media platform (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter)and Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

Til next week!

<3 Amy & The AGF Team


Featured Sewing Room

Hi everyone,

My name is Lynne Kline and I am a CPA by day, and quilter/crafter whenever I can find the time. I am very blessed to have a space to call my own.  My job has some never-ending days and hours that I ‘m sure many people can identify with; this space allows me to release stress and express my creative freedom.

My space is actually half of our downstairs living area. Our house is a split-level, so as soon as you walk down the stairs the pool table is the first thing you see.   Originally, this area was our game room for the kids and their friends to hang out. But then the two older kids moved out, the pool table was no longer being used, and I was getting serious about quilting and needed a dedicated space.  I am a do-it-yourself type of person, and always seem to be working on a limited budget, so I got out my graph paper, measured the room, and started drawing.  What I came up with fits most of my needs and keeps the pool table, just in case.

Welcome to my craft room.  Let’s take a tour.

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We covered the pool table with a large sheet of 3/4" ply board.  I have converted it into
my cutting table on one end, and my ironing area on the other end.  In the middle, I have piles of fabric and patterns that won't fit into the cubby holes (we'll get to those in a minute).  The fat quarters and half-yard pieces are folded and stored in shoe boxes.  I
also have, in the middle of the table on the other side, a basket (made by me) of UFOs, and a basket (also made by me) of embroidery thread.  Under the table are plastic containers with (more) fabric, yarn, general craft supplies, and more UFO's.

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(Note: I might have a fabric addiction.) 

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On the short wall I have a peg board full of basket making reeds of all different sizes.  The corner holds my large roll of quilt batting.  To the other side of the peg board, we have a fire place, with a TV over the fire place.

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Along the left long wall I have 10' of desk space, cabinets, and shelving.  We built the shelving and attached it to the wall.  Inside the cubbies is (more) fabric, yarn, basket making supplies, software, embroidery hoops, magazines, pictures, and craft supplies.  

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The desk area is divided into 2 main sitting or sewing areas.  It is a 10' piece of counter top from Lowe's that is sitting on 3 bottom cabinets.  The cabinets came from a Habitat for
Humanity Re-Store.  They were 80's yucky wood cabinets so I painted them inside and out.  I also have an inspiration wall over my sewing machine, and a ribbon and small design area over the other sitting area.

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On top of the desk I havetwo sewing machines -- my Bernina that I use all the time and my old Singer that I still use sometimes -- laptop, thread, stamp pads, brushes, pens and pencils, etc.  And in the cabinets under the desk -- sewing notions, polyester fiber fill,
stabilizer, and stamping and scrapbooking supplies.

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Where do I find my inspiration?  I get most of my inspiration from geometric shapes from architecture, drawings, tiles, or kid’s toys or books. I often find myself snapping pictures of something that catches my eye in thoughts that I might use it for a quilt down the road. 
For me the problem is not having inspiration, but having the time to implement the ideas.

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So, although I have my own space, it is by no means secluded or private.  I am often sewing while the grandbabies are watching TV or playing with their toys around the pool table.  And when the fire place is lit, they love to prop up their feet in front of the fire and relax. 

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So, that's it.  I finally got it clean for the first time in about a year, and it will be very nice to work in a clean room.  But I also have no misconceptions about it staying this way.

Like most creative individuals, I can be pretty messy.

Thanks for visiting.  Be sure to visit me at www.monkeyneedle.wordpress.com to see some of the projects I’m currently working on.

***

Thanks Lynn for sharing your space with us. It is always nice to see how everyone else creates and the space that inspires all the creativity.

If you have a sewing/creative space you want to share with us please email us at anais.cowley@artgalleryfabrics.com. We love to share unique spaces :)