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April 2016

Introducing the ColorFun Blog Series

 

Hey there fabric lovers!

With Quilt Market around the corner, our sewing machines have been running at full speed! But this doesn’t stop us from sharing some fabric news! We had to take a short break to tell you about our new ColorFun blog series. We know that sometimes it can be difficult to mix prints and match colors, even when they’re the same hues. Like with any new skill you learn, it takes practice and time to become great.

Art Gallery Fabrics_color fun logo_green fabric

But don’t worry! You probably know that at AGF we like to make life easier for our makers. Therefore, we’ve prepared this Colorfun blog series to help you match your favorite prints and discover new ones! Every month we’ll feature a curated bundle with fabrics from new and older collections in a specific color. To kick start the series, we’re starting with green fabrics!

Art Gallery Fabrics_Colorfun_April_Green Fabrics_2

This selection of green fabrics features (listed from left to right):

We chose green fabrics for April because it reminded us of all the spring trees blooming, the grass growing, and because it’s a fresh color for the season. Since we were thinking of nature when we chose the color, we decided to pick prints that had organic shapes and florals to keep a consistent look throughout the bundle. Can you imagine all the mini quilts and home décor you can make with these pretties? We’re already envisioning placemats with matching napkins. (❤‿❤)

Art Gallery Fabrics_green fabric bundle

*****GIVEAWAY CLOSED*****

CONGRATULATIONS Mary Jane, you've won the ColorFun green fabric bundle! Check your email.

If you have a new love for green fabrics, you can add this pretty little bundle to your stash by entering our GIVEAWAY!

To enter:

Simply, leave a comment telling us what you would make with these fresh green fabrics. Giveaway ends May 4th at 3pm EST. The winner will be chosen using random.org and will be announced on this post.


We hope you enjoyed the first Colorfun blog post! Feel free to let us know what you think. Stay tuned for next month’s color!

Xoxo,

Stephanie


The Art of Mutual Learning: Curiosity & Sewing

To all the sewists out there,

You are all super talented and inspire me with the beautiful projects you make every day. Thank you! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the Social Media Coordinator here at Art Gallery Fabrics. Along with the rest of the team, I’m the one who gets to show you all the possibilities that can happen with our fabrics. From inspiring you with beautiful pictures on instagram to planning fun giveaways on our social media platforms, it’s always great to interact with all the amazing people in the sewing community!

For a girl who doesn’t sew, seeing the details that go into quilts and all the “Me Made” outfits that sewists post makes it tempting to learn. I had been suppressing my urge to sew for a while but, after working at AGF for a year, I’ve finally decided to give it a try. Recently, Lauv one of our product designers wrote a blog post explaining her sewing journey at AGF and how she will teach me how to sew. You’re probably thinking that one day I just got up from my desk and said “Lauv I want to learn how to sew” and it just happened. In reality, my dive into sewing happened because of Lauv’s curiosity.

Lauv, is one of the most curious people I’ve ever met. She loves asking questions and coming up with interesting ideas for us to do as a company and as colleagues. Since Lauv has been working at AGF for a few years, she’s usually my go to person when I have questions about sewing. We’ve always had a great relationship because I love answering people’s questions, I like BIG ideas, and we share a passion for art.

One day, we were talking about artsy things and mini quilts and she proposed teaching me how to sew by making a mini quilt. I always felt that quilts were pieces of fine art, so I quickly agreed to the proposal. Since I was an Art major in college, the thought of making something from scratch with a new medium seemed really exciting! In the past I did photography, digital collages, and some sculptures; now I’ll have sewing in my list of creative skills. (✿◠‿◠)

Musician & Boss
I love capturing people's interactions and candid moments in my personal photography.

I can’t wait to begin learning and sharing my work in progress through the AGF blog. Now the big questions for all of you is…

What’s your best tip/advice for a beginning sewist?

‘Til we meet again!

-Stephanie

 






Sew in a Secret Garden with Lavish Fabrics by Katarina Roccella

Web-banner-lavish600px

Hi there fabulous sewists!

There comes a time where we release the final fabric collection of the season. It’s an exciting time because we have the opportunity to reminisce about all the fabric collections that were released from October to April and we begin to prepare for the next line-up of collections. For this reason, we’re super excited to release Lavish by Katarina Roccella! Although this is the last fabric collection of this season it’s definitely not the least!

ArtGalleryFabrics_Lavish_Table-Runner_2

Lavish is filled with delicate florals, watercolor brushstrokes, and a touch of elegance. Personally, I’m a fan of Katarina’s work and when I saw that this collection combines the right touch of femininity and artsiness, I instantly fell in love. Katarina uses her signature saturated colors mixed with softer shades, and elements from nature that will make you feel like you’re sewing in a secret garden.

ArtGalleryFabrics_Lavish Fabric Collection_Girls_15

Plus, this collection is the perfect addition to your spring fabric stash. Take a glimpse at the look book and feast your eyes with tons of quilts, garments, and home décor ideas.

 

By the way, did you see this stunning quilt? The FREE QUILT PATTERN is available in the look book, just for you!

ArtGalleryFabrics_Lavish_FREE Quilt Pattern_1

Don’t forget to mix and match all the beautiful prints in Lavish with a few blenders! Check out this cheat sheet filled with AGF Elements that coordinate with this fabric collection.

Lavish Blenders

But most importantly, don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY! You'll have a chance to win a FAT QUARTER BUNDLE of the full collection. WOOHOO!

Lavish Giveaway Graphic

*****GIVEAWAY CLOSED*****

CONGRATULATIONS Silvia, you've won the fat quarter bundle of Lavish fabrics! Check your email.

To enter:

Browse through the Lavish lookbook and leave a comment below, telling us what you would make with this delicate fabric collection.

Giveaway ends April 27th at 3pm EST. The winner will be chosen using random.org and will be announced on this post.

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Stay tuned for all of the Quilt Market preparations! (✿◠‿◠)

 

Happy Sewing!

Stephanie

 






10 Spring Dress Patterns You'll Love

Hi there makers!

How are those spring sewing projects going, so far? Here at the AGF HQ, we’ve started revving up our sewing machines for Quilt Market! Yay! As we look through the window of our sewing room, the grass is greener, the palm trees are swaying in the breeze, and the weather hit 80 degrees. That’s right, 80 DEGREES! Welcome to spring in South Florida (we’re sure we’ll get some rain along the way).

For many, spring is the season where the flowers begin to bloom, the weather gets warmer, and we can all sew cute outfits for picnics and walks in the park. One thing I love about the spring is that you can wear pretty dresses everywhere. There’s just something about wearing dresses that makes me feel fancy! If you are thinking of updating your wardrobe or simply want to do some selfish sewing, here’s a list of ten dress patterns that I’m sure you’ll love for spring!


Spring patterns 1-5

  1. Misses' Wrap Dresses, Belt and Sash by Butterwick

This lovely dress pattern was featured in our Heart Melodies lookbook. The Misses' Wrap Dresses, Belt and Sash pattern comes with six styles you can sew combined with three kinds of sashes to coordinate with the dress. In the version we made for the lookbook, we choose a style with short sleeves and extended the length to give it a feminine boho feel. Plus, doesn’t this pretty Petal Strings Romance print from the Heart Melodies collection, look lovely? I can imagine wearing this dress to Sunday brunch with friends.

  1. Josie Sundress by Christine Haynes

The Josie Sundress by Christine Haynes has a great mix of modern and elegant details, yet it’s casual enough to wear anywhere. This pattern consists of a squared neckline, an empire waist bodice, and center box pleats throughout the skirt. My favorite part about this dress is that it comes with POCKETS! I’m a practical kind of girl, and I highly dislike carrying large purses so any garment that has pockets instantly becomes my favorite. Now let’s talk about the fabric! This pattern was featured in our Coastline Fabrics by Sharon Holland look book. We chose to make it with the Netting Twine print to give the dress a classic beachy feel.  

  1. Alder Shirt Dress by Grainline Studio

Let’s talk about the Alder Shirt Dress by Grainline Studio! We featured this pattern in the Sketchbook Fabrics by Sharon Holland look book, and we’ve loved this dress ever since. This dress combines a classic A-line silhouette with a preppy feel. We used the Delineament Indigo print to give the dress a whimsy look.

  1. The Staple Dress by April Rhodes

All the AGF girls and I can agree that the Staple Dress pattern by one of our designers, April Rhodes is our go-to dress. It can be styled casually or dressed up. Oh, and did I mention it sews beautifully with our light weight voile! For the Fleet and Flourish by Maureen Cracknell look book, we decided to use the Swifting Flora Swell print, styled it with boots, and added a thin chained belt for a boho look. Doesn’t the model look like a stylish traveler?

  1. The Tank Dress by Sew Caroline 

The Tank Dress by one of our fabric designers, Sew Caroline is great for a breezy spring day! This pattern also has a simple silhouette that’s versatile for any occasion. And yes, it’s great for beginners! Sew Caroline herself, is modeling this cute dress in the Dripping Paint Cooling print from her latest collection, Chalk and Paint. Check out another version of this dress in the Chalk and Paint lookbook.

Spring patterns 6-10

  1. Inari Tee Dress by Named Clothing 

The Inari Tee Dress by Named Clothing is one of those dresses you wear during a laid-back day. Its simple straight silhouette is ideal for beginner sewists and only uses 1 ½ yards of fabric. I can imagine wearing this dress to do weekend errands or to walk on the beach. This versatile dress can also be dressed up! For example, in our Skopelos Fabrics by Katarina Roccella look book we used the Greeka Skouro print for the dress, glammed it up with a gold statement necklace, and finished off the look with gold gladiator sandals.

  1. Misses’ Dress in Three Lengths by Simplicity

As you can see, we gave the Misses’ Dress in Three Lengths a spring twist with our Painterly Wash print from the Denim Studio. What’s great about this pattern is that it can be made for a casual or formal occasion. We chose the version with a slight hi-low hem, for a more relaxed feel.

  1. The Davie Dress By Sewaholic Patterns

I’m sure the Davie dress by Sewaholic Patterns will instantly become your go-to dress! It’s simple, comfortable, and can be made with knit fabrics. What’s great about this dress is that you can layer it with a blazer or cardigan for a business casual look or you can wear it with a cute pair of sandals for a casual look. We gave this dress a girlie touch, with the Library Gardens print featured in the Paperie Fabrics by Amy Sinibaldi lookbook. Isn’t it adorable?

  1. Petit dress and belt by Butterwick 

If you’re looking for something a bit dressier for a spring luncheon or dinner, the Petit dress and belt by Butterwick is a great classic dress. All the AGF girls loved this dress in the Collar Ends Bronze print from the Artisan Collection by Pat Bravo. Can you believe it’s made with canvas?

  1. Cambie Dress by Sewaholic Patterns

Last but not least, in this list of awesome patterns is the Cambie Dress by Sewaholic Patterns. This pattern comes in two styles and has a slight vintage feel. Once completed, your dress will have a pretty sweetheart neckline, cap sleeves, and either an A-line skirt or a full gathered skirt. For the Pastel Thrift look book, we chose the version with the full gathered skirt. Oh, how about the fabric? For this dress we chose the Type-Plaid Absurdity print. I love how the touch of yellow in this print gives the dress a fresh look!


I hope everyone enjoyed this list of beautiful dress patterns. Let us know if you have a favorite and if you’ve sewn any of these patterns before. Don’t forget to share your amazing spring creations with us on social media with the hashtag #ArtGalleryFabrics.  Now back to Quilt Market preparations!

Happy Sewing!

Stephanie

 






The Art of The Mini Quilt & The Art of Mutual Learning

The-persistance-of-time

 

2016 marks my fifth year working at Art Gallery Fabrics. For those of you who may be wondering what I do here: I wear many hats, but my main job is to be a product designer (fashion/quilts/home decor), and to oversee our product design team with the guidance of our creative director. When you reach certain milestones, it is of human nature to reflect on what has changed and what has been learned. I must confess that when I started, I had no idea about quilts or the quilting community. I majored in Fashion Design because I needed to understand how to manipulate fabric (I like making things with my hands) into the designs that I wanted to exist in this world. Learning how to quilt has expanded that desire even further and I am eager to keep creating.

This is the first quilt I ever designed:

First_quilt

I sewed it in the original colouring which was made with Hyperreal Garden by Pat Bravo

And I also made this mini one with Pure Elements as a going away gift for one of our co-workers (she loves Sonny Angels, of course) :

Sonny_pure

I was having some issues with the tension that day...

But before it becomes an auto-biography, I want to say that the main point is that I have learned SO much about quilting, both designing and sewing (I still have much more learning to do), and that the inevitable has happened: I have also fallen in love with quilts. It's impossible not to, once you understand the tradition that it carries, the amount of work and skill that it takes, and also that there is a style for everyone, just like in art, which is why I irrefutably want to say that to me patchwork and quilting are an art form.

Here at the studio we like to learn from each other. I'm an asker... the auto-correct is saying that word is wrong and perhaps it sounds the same, but I'm not going to correct it. I like to ask, and not only Google... I like to ask people/my workmates, who by the way are so knowledgeable it blows my mind. Because I ask about so many things (mainly about gadget/software topics that seem to be changing every other minute), I also like to answer, and teach whenever I can.

One of those whom I am constantly bombarding with question is Steph. Steph oversees the Social Media & Marketing department, and knows pretty much everything about Siri + many other things. Steph and I share an admiration for all forms of art, and guess what? She wants to learn how to sew.

So because this is a topic on which I can be more of an answerer (see samples above), we agreed that I would teach her the basics (very basics) of quilting, and we thought it would be great to share our journey through a series of blog posts since we will each be making a mini quilt.

Please stay tuned as we share the first... shall we call it "episode" (?) of this learning collaboration.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY "MUST KNOW" TIPS FOR FIRST TIME QUILTERS?

 

If you do, please comment below, and we'll all learn from each other.

r'n's!

Lauv

*The header is a cropped photo of The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí

 


Networking to Increase Reach

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Each and every Art Gallery Fabric Fan that passes through our social media channels or inbox, is a valuable part of the #AGFfamily 

 

We want you to get to know each other, a little more. Being able to connect with you... seeing your AGF project images, and watching your sewing journeys is what fills our hearts here at AGF . Having a network full of like minds, and being able to connect with those individuals is an amazing opportunity. So, why aren't more of us taking advantage of it? Lately, Facebook and Instagram have made it a lot harder for everyone to stay connected with their friends and fans. 

As I write this, the saying "It's not about what you know, but who you know." keeps ringing in my ear. You can learn so much from the people that you interact and connect with...that's your "who you know". It's about time you create your own sewing circle. Just typing that gets me excited! Consider this blog your morning cup of coffee, with an extra scoop of power. We're about to help you network, to increase your net worth ;)

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We live in a generation that's oozing with technology, and networks. [ I'm kind of surprised that humans haven't evolved into a 6 fingered species by now, to type more words per minute ] We should really be utilizing the hundreds of daily opportunities that are knocking on our social media pages. So we're going to give you a few tips to help you create your very own unstoppable, ultra cool, top of the thread, sewing network. Ok, ok...we'll cut the small talk and get started.

 

Facebook Groups

Are you a part of a sewing or quilting group on Facebook? 

Facebook groups are such a great way to ensure that you're seeing your friends work, and reading their advice [ or need of advice ]

With all of the new changes with Facebook and Instagram's alogrithm, it's hard to know whether your friends are really seeing that awesome AGF dress you just created, or the quilt that you worked on for months. Creating your own group on Facebook can help with that. When you create a Facebook group, you are able to add all of your friends, or just some [ we suggest only adding the friends that you know are interested in that subject, ex: sewing, quilting, fabric, etc. ] to that group. 

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Name your group something that lets people know what the group is about, like: "Quilters Show and Tell" for example.  Once you add your beloved friends, you can start discussions related to that topic, post pictures of your work, and ask or give advice. The best part? Your friends that are members of that group will now get a notification when you post something inside of that group, and vice versa. Group members can add their own friends, even if their friends aren't your friends. Pretty cool huh? You just multiplied your social media reach! You pretty much just started your own club. You're cool. You're a pioneer. You're in control of who sees your work. You got this. But now, do you have your fabric?

...please stand with us, as we scream:

"TAKE THAT FACEBOOK!

Don't forget to look for other similar groups on Facebook, using the search tool at the top of your main page. Type in a key word, and groups related to that word will show up. Join other groups, and post your AGF projects there too. You can invite your friends to your newly found groups as well!

 With my fist held high,

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Makers Unite! - How to promote your handmade products on Instagram!

  Hello

 There have been "sew" many new things brewing here at the AGF Headquarters. From 2016 fabric collection reveals, to Quilt Market preperations. Our goal is to really and truly make a connection with YOU, our dearest makers and designers that continue to make AGF what is today.
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Creating a new project with  AGF fabrics is really exciting! Showing your latest project to the world can be even more exciting...I mean, your pretty much showing the world what your own two hands [ ok, and maybe a sewing machine ] have created. There's passion under those threads, and persistence soaked into the fabric. There's nothing small about that accomplishment, and we want to hear your horns toot a little louder! [ lol, yes I just said that ] So post as many pictures as you can. Show us your sewing process, your inspirations, and let us hear your sewing advice along the way. Your fans want to engage with you, every step of the way.

There's nothing quite like getting encouragement and sweet comments from your friends and fans about your latest sewing project, right? By now, you've probably started your very own business, doing what you love. We're so proud of you, because we know how much hard work and determination that takes. We don't ever want you to loose that passion and drive, and since we're family, we thought we'd pass on a few tips to help you keep your passion alive and push you a little further to the top of the maker ladder.  We wish nothing more than to see your business flourish, and we want you to know that AGF is here... every step of the way.

 Let's start with Instagram posts:

These tips will help you get more exposure on Instagram with your Art Gallery fabrics project/product photography

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Using Bright Pictures: 

Below is an image of a bag that was created by our in-house designers using the AGF Chalk and Paint fabric collection, by Sew Caroline

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The image on your left was taken in a very poorly lit room, and the picture looks very dark and gloomy. The bag is beautifully made, however the dark appearance of the image makes the bag a lot less appealing to the eye.

The picture on your right was taken near a window, with lots of natural light hitting the bag to give it a much brighter and beautiful appearance. Do you see the difference a little light can make?  A lot of times, people assume they need fancy lighting equipment to achieve professional looking product images...now you know...all you really need is the natural light of the sun, and a little patience to practice. We will also plead with you [please, please] to not use filters on your beautiful AGF product pictures! Filters alter to true look of the fabric, and give your image a very "generic" feel. So please be kind, and leave the filters behind ;)

Once you take the perfect picture of your new AGF project [get your favorite AGF fabric online, hereyour going to want to share it with the world, but of course! Be sure to check out the simple list of hashtags to consider using when posting your image so that more people can find your post. 

 

Creating Cute Picture Set Ups That Sell:

Below is a picture of an apron made by our AGF in-house designers.

The apron was created using The Denim Studio fabric collection.

Blog post pic 3final!

Notice how the apron is placed in a decorated scene? Rather than hanging the apron on a plain colored wall or table, it is displayed in a more "natural" environment. If this were a jacket or handbag, it might be hanging on a coat rack or sitting on a nice chair. Don't be intimidated, setting up product scenes are so fun! Let your creativity unwind. We find the coolest scene accessories at local thrift shops...you can find some super cool and funky things, for a great deal! If you happen to create your next product shot using this advice, we would love to see! Use the hashtag #AGFTips and we'll be sure to let you know what a beautiful job you've done. Speaking of hashtags, check out the following list of suggested hashtags to use on your AGF project posts. 

How To Use Hashtags To promote Your Products:

AGF Hashtags

These hashtags can be used with any project containing Art Gallery Fabrics. Using these hashtags will help you better connect with other makers using AGF, and will also help us find your project pictures and posts so that we can share them on our social media platforms...because we love to brag about our AGF family!

#AGF

#AGFfamily

#ArtGalleryFabrics

#WeAreFabrics

#FeelTheDifference  

 

Fabric Collection Hashtags:

#[insert fabric collection name here]Fabrics 

........

#IWant[insert fabric collection name here] 

Download your very own "I WANT" graphic from our FREE Download Library.

(Great to use to let your fabric shops know you want to buy Art Gallery fabrics, tag them!)

.........

#ILove[insert fabric collection name here]Fabrics

#IGot[insert fabric collection name here]Fabrics

(Great to use when your AGF package arrives!)

#DesignersName

ex: "This new skirt I just created with the Playground Fabric collection by Amy Sinibaldi from AGF is just perfect for my daughters next picture day at school!" #ILoveAGF #IGotPlaygroundFabrics #PlaygroundFabrics #AmySinibaldi #AGF #Skirt #Fashion #ChildrensClothing #ChildrensFashion #DIY #SewingProject"

If you want to post the name of the collection's fabric designer in a hashtag, but you're not sure who the designer is, you can always find it on the AGF website. Posting the designer's name as a hashtag also gives the fabric designer a chance to see what others are making with her fabric collections. The designer may even re-post your image...you never know! Hashtags are a great marketing tool to help you and your business be seen in the eyes of people that may not normally come across your posts. 

We know that each and every one of you have your own niche in the sewing world. Some of you make children's clothes, some make hand bags, some make children's toys and accessories, and of course we have our beloved quilters...the list goes on! Be sure to use appropriate hashtags that include those specific categories as well. For example, #KidsClothing or #Quilting. If you are selling your work, then consider using hashtags such as #Shop #OnlineShopping #BuyMe, etc. If  you don't want to over load your caption with hashtags, remember that you can add as many hashtags as you'd like, and then go back and delete them from the caption after a few hours. Don't forget that you can, and should, also create your own hashtags to brand your new business. 

Practicing the use of proper hashtags on social media will give you a better chance to be seen in the eyes of potential customers and/or fans. A good rule to follow is, only use hashtags that are popular [unless the hashtag is being used to brand your company]. To check if a hashtag is popular or trending simply type the hashtag into the search bar of your Instagram and a number will show up next to that hashtag to show you how many posts are listed under it. The higher the number, the more popular that hashtag is.

See example below:

Insta example 1

We really hope these tips have helped you get a better idea of how to market your new business or personal crafting identity on social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook. We will be posting more helpful tips like this to give our AGF makers that extra push to keep your dreams alive. Be sure to leave comments below with your own personal tips for your fellow Art Gallery Fabric makers, quilters and crafters. Let's help each other out, we're family after all. #AGFfamily

Oh, and did you know that we send out helpful tips like this through our newsletters? There's so many other goodies, only available through the AGF Newsletter...Be sure to sign up so that you're not left our of the loop!

 





 

 

With tons of love, 

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