art gallery fabrics

Sewing Friends

Community Sampler Sew Along: Block 9 - Double T

Hey there Sewing Friends, 

What's your latest fabric crush? For the past 9 weeks I been crushin' hard for our new Splendid Fusion fabrics! When we caught wind of the sew along  Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell where hosting it wasn't a hard decision at all as to what fabrics we were going to use.  This past week we added a new member to our Production Design department, I am super excited to introduce Jessica to the AGF Team! Turns out we both graduated from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale with a Fashion design degree! It was so much fun sewing up Block 9 of the Community Sampler with her. Learn more about the the Double T Block and all about our newbie below. 

Double-T-Block-graphic

 

 
Meet Jessica! (below) Had the best time chit chatting about our favorite teachers from school and our passion for textile design. Can't wait to see Jessica use all her amazing talents and use them in her new found love for quilting. Jessica_blog





 How did you get into sewing?

 I got into sewing when I was 10 years old, my grandmother was a seamstress and I was always fascinated by  the process.

 

What is your favorite thing to sew?

 I really don't have a favorite thing to sew in particular, but I do feel excited every time I get to start a new project that I have never work on before. I guess I like to learn new techniques and face new challenges.

 

Having the right sewing supplies to get the job done right saves a ton of stress. What is one sewing tool you could never live without.

 Definitely, a seam ripper. :)

 

Finishing a project gives all sewers a rush of happiness. What is your all time favorite sewing project you have completed?

 My favorite sewing project  was a bathing suit because attaching the elastic was such a challenge. When I finally finished it  I felt super accomplished!

 

Before starting your first quilt block lesson, what was your impression of quilting and how did you feel about doing this for the first time?

Before learning about quilts  I thought of quilts as a bunch of geometric shapes and a artistic way of putting blocks together to create a beautiful bedspread.  I thought that it would be hard to make one but when I made my first block it wasn't hard at all! It does takes a lot of precision and concentration though. I loved it!

 

 What was your favorite part about creating your first quilt block?

 My favorite part was when I was attaching pieces together and I was seeing the block take form.

 

 What advice would you give someone who is new to quilting?

My advice for someone new to quilting is be patience and maintain your seam allowance at ¼ because otherwise it will affect your block.

 

How does it feel to have created your first quilt block?

 I felt happy, to learn how to do flying geese.It seemed so hard when I saw it on a quilt. I learned that it wasn't hard as I thought. 

 

How has your idea of quilting changed after learning more about it?

 It change completely I would never thought in a million years that I would make a quilt, I thought it was complicated but  now I just can’t wait to finish my first quilt!.






Who else is having a blast sewing up their blocks each week?! Here is a peek of all of our blocks. 

AGF-Community-Sampler-

Happy Sewing, 

Meli


Community Sampler Sew Along: Block 6- Square Dance

Hey Sewing Friends, 

It's already Week 7 of the Community Sampler Sew Along and we are starting to see our quilt come to life! Last week I got to sew up the Square Dance Block with my fellow marketing team member, Sophia! Sophia is one of the newest additions to the AGF team and after three months of working here she was totally ready to hop on a sewing machine and sew up a quilt block! Getting to sew with each one of the girls from AGF Team has been such a blast and my hopes are to teach them the sewing basics, tips and tricks they can use for future projects, and to turn them all to the quilty side. So far it's going  better then I ever  hoped for! Our team is full of very talented ladies all coming from different backgrounds and are all so special and unique. 

Take Sophia for example, with her outgoing and determined mind, having very little sewing experience didn't make her hesitate one bit. Read more about her and the creation of the Square Dance Block below! 

Community-sampler-graphic

 Our Block is made with Splendid Fusion Fabrics 

 

This block came together super fast! With the giant 8 1/2" square center this block is perfect for fussy cut fabrics. 

 

Meet Sophia! (below) Spread the quilting  love and comment below letting Sophia know what you think of her block. 


IMG_8536_blog

 

Prior to starting your quilt block did you have any sewing experience?

In art school, I took a few fashion classes that involved basic sewing with garments. After graduating, most of my sewing experience was learned “on the fly” when I took on various freelance projects. The most memorable sewing experience involved a “Paris is Burning” themed event at a nightclub, where I had to sew a huge (10 ft x 15 ft) French flag to hang at the entrance. I also had one day to make it, and it had been a while since I had sewn. No pressure, whatsoever. :]

 

Before starting your first quilt block lesson, what was your impression of quilting and how did you feel about doing this for the first time?

My first impression of quilting was that it required extreme accuracy, patience and a very detailed eye. I was right! Haha! While making the quilt block, I felt like I had to keep telling myself to be patient, not to rush, and be gentle with the fabric.

 

What was your favorite part about creating your first quilt block?

Having all the pieces come together and seeing the finished product, of course! So satisfying.

 

What was the most difficult part about creating your quilt block?

Finding the right amount of pressure with the tools and handling of the fabric! For example, I felt like I didn’t know how much pressure to apply to the rotary cutter, and had to go back a few times to apply more pressure to cut the fabric, properly. The same thing happened when I was feeding the fabric through the sewing machine, where I was gripping it too hard and it was started to stretch. Whoops!

 

What advice would you give someone who is new to quilting?

SLOW DOWN and double check your seam allowance.

 

How does it feel to have created your first quilt block?

Great! I always enjoy learning anything that involves creativity while working with your hands. It always leads to new discoveries and inspiration.

 

How has your idea of quilting changed after learning more about it?

After making my first block, I honestly have more admiration for quilting because it requires a interesting combination of “right brain and left brain thinking!”

 

Do you see yourself quilting in the future?

Absolutely! The thought of creating a quilt for someone special seems like the most wonderful, unique gift to give! A lot of my close friends are having babies, so I would love to make quilts to match their nurseries.

 

 Who are you making your Community Sampler Quilt for? Giving it to a friend, donating it to charity, or keeping it for yourself? Comment below to share. 

 

Happy Sewing, 

Meli


Join the Community Sampler Sew Along: Block 4 - Cactus

 Hi Everyone, 

Last week I had the pleasure of sewing the Cactus Block  with Jess from the Graphic Design team. It was also her first time sewing a quilt block so I was excited to teach her all I know. It's super exciting to get to share your passion with others and see them over come their fear of trying something new. Sewing is meant to be a fun creative outlet that brings joy to your life. Sure there are some challenges along the way but like Jess shares below when mistakes arrive, fix them with a smile. Working with Jess was such a treat! With her sweet laid back style we jammed out to songs by Devendra Banhart, a American-Venezuelan singer-songwriter. 

Do you listen to music while you sew? Or do you prefer Netflix or podcasts

The construction of the Cactus Block was so fun to put together. This block was new to me and very easily made it's way to my top  favorite quilt blocks.  Read more about Jess's first quilt block below.  Also comment below with any advice for first time quilters?  

 
Community-sampler-graphic

 Cactus Block made with Splendid Fusion Fabrics

Click the image above to follow along!


 

 Enjoy reading about Jess's experience about being a part of the Community Sampler Sew Along

 

Prior to starting your quilt block did you have any sewing experience?

Not much! Very basic here and there... But I’ve always liked it.

 

Before starting your first quilt block lesson, what was your impression of quilting and how did you feel about doing this for the first time?

Quilting = beautiful form of design, strong organization, and a lot of focus. I was excited and at the same time a bit nervous because it is new to me. But then when I thought I’d be under the guidance of block Master Meli, everything felt right. :)

 

What was your favorite part about creating your first quilt block?

Seeing how from a little triangle piece, it starts growing through the seam allowances, with more and more pieces together until it’s a block, or in my case, a ‘half & half’ block. x)

 

What was the most difficult part about creating your quilt block?

When you realize you messed up something so simple (like the direction of one of the diagonals) → that feeling of  "aghhh noooo, now I gotta go back and start that piece alllll over again" when you’ve already spent quite some time and effort doing it. Hehe, funny how something so obvious can get us sometimes…

 

What advice would you give someone who is new to quilting?

Just love the whole process especially, when mistakes arrive :p fix them with a smile.

 

How does it feel to have created your first quilt block?

Inspiring ♥  I’m seeing it as a little push to get more into sewing.

 

How has your idea of quilting changed after learning more about it?

It is more special and fun than what it looks like.

 

Do you see yourself quilting in the future?

Why not? I would like to make at least one entire quilt in my life.

  IMG_7393-small_blog

This is Jess above looking pretty happy about how her block turned out!  

 

Join me next week for the reveal of the new block.  For the next installment of the AGF Community Sampler, I get to sew with Kelly from the Production Design Team! 

Click on the pics below to read all about our previous blocks created for the Sew Along. 

 

Block 1: Kitty-Corner 

IMG_6629

Block 2- Dovecote 

Final block

Block 3- Ribbon Star 


IMG_7296

If you plan on being a part of the Community Sampler Sew Along hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell make sure to share your blocks on Instagram using the #CommunitySampler so other people can check out your finished blocks. That's my favorite part !!! I love getting see everyone's amazing blocks and fabric choices.  Sew Alongs are the best to meet new sewing friends and share your passion with people who love the same craft you love. 

 

Happy Sewing, 

Meli 


AGF Makers Spotlight Winner: Lindsay from @lindsayinstitches

Hey there, makers!

It’s that time where we get to reveal the winner of the AGF Maker’s Spotlight! This is always such a difficult decision because everyone’s projects are so creative. For this round our winner is Lindsay from @lindsayinstiches!

Makers Spotlight logo

We felt like her project was perfect for summer because every gal needs a comfy dress to wear during this hot weather. Plus, we loved how she hacked an existing tank pattern into a dress and made it with AGF Rayon! How cool is that?! Get to know Lindsay in our quick interview with and see how she jumped into garment sewing. ;)

1. Hi Lindsay! Can you tell us a little about yourself?   

Hi there! I’m Lindsay, you can find me on Instagram as @lindsayinstitches. I live in a small town in Wisconsin with my husband and three little ones. By day, I work as a Pediatric Nurse. In my spare time, you can usually find me sewing in my basement studio. I mostly sew garments, though someday, I'd really love to get into quilting. I figure I'll start that if my girls ever stop wanting clothes made by mom. I also just started doing some embroidery. I'm having fun sneaking those hand stitched details into some of my makes as well!

Lindsay-Headshot

2. We love how creative you get when sewing garments for yourself and your kids! When did you start sewing garments?

I started sewing about four years ago. I didn't grow up with a sewing mom or grandma, so I'm pretty much self-taught through great patterns, sewing blogs, and trial and error. In the beginning, it was a lot more error than anything! My husband actually bought me my first sewing machine as a Christmas present. I asked for one so that I could make curtains for our home. Funny thing, I’ve yet to make a single curtain!

It was a slow and challenging start, but sewing has now become a way of life for me. At first, I was in need of a creative outlet and way to de-stress. I’ve always been a crafty person, but I’m also pretty practical. It was hard for me to justify time spent on a hobby. By making clothing, I was fulfilling my own need for creativity, but also meeting a basic need for my kids.

Now, I consider sewing and making a part of who I am, it's ingrained in me. I don't feel as much need to justify why I do it, like I did a few years ago. While a majority of what I make does get regular wear, I give myself the grace to also make things for the sake of learning or simply, just because!

3. Tell us all about your fabric choice and the hack you did to sew this beautiful dress that won the AGF Makers Spotlight.

I’m a big fan of April’s work. I think I have used every one of her fabric collections. When Heritage fabrics was revealed, I thought it was so beautiful-  both the designs and the story behind them. I was also thrilled to find out Art Gallery was producing rayon.

I used the Ogden Cami pattern from True Bias to make my dress. I’ve made a few Ogden cami’s in the past and find it to be a great staple pattern. I originally planned for this to be a looser fitting dress. Kelli, of True Bias, has a great tutorial on her blog on how to hack the Ogden Cami to a dress. While I love that boho look on others,I found that it just didn’t work on me. Since I had already included a fully lined bodice to accommodate the gathered skirt, I was able to easily add in an elastic channel at the waist to cinch it up.

This is an area I really feel I’m growing in as a garment sewist. I’m starting to recognize what fabrics, patterns and silhouettes work best for me. While there is nothing wrong with sewing a pattern as is (I still do that), I really love making little changes to help something better suit my style or vision. I’m so pleased with how this dress turned out. It is a really versatile piece and bonus- it is incredibly comfortable!

Heritage-ogden-dress

4. What did you love about sewing with AGF rayon?

AGF rayon has a beautiful hand and drape! Rayon is not always the easiest to work with, but this held a press beautifully and was quite opaque. I’m looking forward to working with it again! I can think of maybe, um, a thousand things I love to make!

5. What’s one of your most memorable sewing experiences?

One of the best stories in my life also involves a little sewing. When I was pregnant with my third child, we decided to find out the gender of the baby, like we had with our other two children. We were told in the ultrasound that we were having a boy. We already had a boy and a girl, so we were fine either way. I just like to plan!

The surprise of our life happened some months later when I delivered a beautiful baby GIRL into the world! Who knows what happened in that ultrasound appointment, we joke that the technician must have been new!

Anyways, on to the sewing part, I was so overjoyed to have another daughter to sew for that I ordered fabric online (a knit from Bonnie’s Winged collection!) from my hospital bed, just hours after she was born. I whipped up a matching headband and leggings the day after we brought her home! That was just the start of a whirlwind of baby girl sewing.

6.What’s your advice to those who want to venture into garment sewing but feel intimidated?

When I started sewing, I really had no idea what I was doing. If I can start from scratch, I’m sure anyone can. I started working with quilting cottons mostly because it was what was available at my local quilt shop. It ended up being for the best because I was able to work on the basics (hello bobbin tangles and tension issues!) without having the added challenges of shifty or stretchy fabric.

Look for patterns that don’t require a lot of fuss while you build your confidence. I had the best luck with Indie sewing patterns for ease of directions and accessibility in PDF format. Many of those pattern designers also have a lot of resources available through their blogs or websites to help you along. You can also consider choosing a pattern that has an online sew along or a designer/company with an active facebook group that can answer questions. It’s not the only way to go, but it worked well for me!

---------------❤

I hope you all enjoyed reading this interview! If you want to see more of Lindsay's creations follow her on Instagram at @lindsayinstiches.  Make sure to post all your AGF projects with the hashtag #AGFMakersSpotlight for a chance to win a bundle of fabrics and a feature on our Instagram and the blog. :)

Till next time!

-Stephanie


Free Book: 32 Modern Quilt Blocks

Hey makers!

We all know that there’s always a good reason to have a party and celebrate something special. This is why we’re excited to celebrate the 50th issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting! LPQ is a publication we love working with. Their work is inspiring, they always provide great patterns for makers, and they’re great at staying up to date with quilting trends. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy taking a break and flipping through a nice magazine?

LPQ50

To help them celebrate this amazing milestone, LPQ paired up with us to create their 32 Modern Quilt Blocks book with blocks made completely with AGF. Anyone who purchases issue 50 will receive the special book for FREE! YES, FOR FREE! Each block in this book has full instructions on how to piece them and they’re great for making a sampler quilt. For anyone in the US waiting for their copy of LPQ to arrive, you can get a head start by checking out some of the bonus blocks they’ll be posting on their website.

IMG_3202-1024x682

But the fun doesn’t end there! If you love making quilt blocks as much as we do, you have to join their sew along! Here’s how to enter:

  • Grab a copy of issue 50, including our free cover book. You can order it in their online store or download the digital issue to your phone or tablet.
  • Sew your favorite quilt block from our 32 Modern Quilt Blocks book.
  • Share a photo on your instagram and tag it #lpq32blocksSAL and #artgalleryfabrics (if you use our fabrics)

  Lqp50_coverbook_tri14

To see what some makers have made so far, make sure to explore the hashtag #lpq32blocksSAL. We hope you have tons of fun sewing all the quilt blocks!

 

Til next time,

Stephanie

 


AGF Makers Spotlight Winner: Saija from @saija_elina

Hey there, makers!

I hope you're having a fab week so far! First off, I want to thank all of you for always sharing your beautiful projects with us. It's truly inspiring! You all keep us passionate about sewing, quilting, and being all around creative. This is why we started the Instagram contest the AGF Makers Spotlight. We want to give all of you the opportunity to showcase anything you make with our fabrics.

Makers Spotlight logo

Today, we're featuring the fourth winner of this contest and she's saying hello all the way from Helsinki, Finland! Let's give Saija a round of applause for submitting a beautiful quilt made with the lovely floral fabrics from Garden Dreamer by Maureen Cracknell! We had the opportunity of getting to know Saija through a quick interview. Check it out to learn all about her project, the things she loves, and her tip to taking beautiful Instagram pictures. ;)

Garden Dreamer Quilt with seal

 

1.Hi Saija! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi! I’m Saija. I live in Helsinki which is Finland’s capital. It’s nice to live here but I wouldn’t mind to have little bit warmer climate. I have two sons, a daughter and a husband. Our sons have moved to their own apartments but our daughter lives still with us.  My husband and I work in our own grocery store. We have been working together for 25 years and yes, we are still married! Other hobby of mine is running. We have a group of four women and we travel abroad once or twice a year to join running events. I sit a lot when I sew so exercise is a good balance. I also love basketball. My daughter plays and watching her games is the best entertainment in the world.

Saija headshot_square

2. How did you begin sewing/ quilting and what do you love about the craft?

Sewing has been part of my life since I was a kid. In school I chose sewing lessons instead of home economics. When my kids were little I sewed almost all their clothes. About twenty years ago I joined a beginner’s quilting class. After that class I knew quilting is something I really love. Quilting is like therapy to me. It cheers me up when I’m down and brings me a lot of joy. I’m not good at drawing nor painting but with colorful fabrics I can be an artist too. I often give my quilts as presents to my friends and family. There is much more meaning to the gift when you put some effort into it.

3. Can you tell us all about your quilt, the pattern you used and why Garden Dreamer by Maureen Cracknell was perfect for this project?

I used is Emma Jean Jansen’s Rain Drop pattern. It is a very good pattern if you don’t want to cut your beautiful fabrics into tiny pieces. I wanted to make happy and warm looking quilt so Garden Dreamer fabrics were just perfect choice for it. On the fabrics there are small and big flowers and that’s why I call this quilt “Flower rain”. This is a new color combination for me and it looks stylish and modern. I put the quilt on the wall of my sewing room. It looks really good there, even better than in the pictures.

AGF Makers Spotlight_Saija_Quilt

4.We are completely inspired by your instagram account! How would you describe your sewing style and what are some things that inspire you?

I think my sewing style is quite simple, modern and clear. I put a lot of focus on the coloring. Colouring is more important than the pattern. Sometimes I make something very modern but sometimes I feel like to make romantic and petite things. I don’t follow one style strictly but I make things that pleases my eye and feels good in the moment.

Inspiration comes from everywhere, books, magazines and beautiful fabrics. Also instagram community gives a lot of good ideas. I really need more hours to my day to make all the quilts I want to.

5. Besides your amazing quilts and projects, the pictures of them are amazing. Do you have any tips for makers who want to take better photos of their projects?

Thank you! I take photos with a camera and with a phone. I don’t know if I’m the best person to give tips on photography because half of the time I don’t know what I’m doing myself. I take so many pictures that there always has to be at least one good one. For me the most important thing when taking pictures is the lighting. It’s the most challenging thing especially inside and on the dark winter days. If it’s a gray day I take pictures near a window. Usually I take many pictures in different corners and from various angles, then I choose the best one. To take better pictures my advice would be to just start playing with your camera. There is so much to learn of photographing and with hands on work you learn the best.

6. How did you discover AGF and do you have any collection you’re excited to sew with next?

I have admired AGF fabrics for a long time. The quilt fabric selection is very limited in Finland and no one sells AGF fabrics here. I took part to A Spoonful Sugar’s Lisa’s competition and I won a bundle of Amy’s Playground fabrics. Then I really found AGF and truly fell in love with the fabrics. I like all of the collections so it’s hard to pick just one but the soft colors of Ethereal Fusions caught my eye.

I’m looking forward to working with fabrics that I won! Thank you!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------❤

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Saija! If you love her work make sure to follow Saija on Instagram at @saija_elinia. Don't forget to share all your projects made with AGF under the hashtag #AGFMakersSpotlight for a chance to win some fabrics and be featured on the blog. We choose the winner the last day of each month. :)

As always, stay creative and thanks for inspiring!

-Stephanie