art gallery fabrics

6 Reasons We're Excited About Improv

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In 2021 Shannon used Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Light Citron, Lemonade, Dark Citron, Raspberry Rose, and Plum Preserve for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Shannon Fraser Designs.

Hi there, Shannon of Shannon Fraser Designs and Amanda of Broadcloth Studio here! We’re back taking over the Art Gallery Fabrics blog and we’re super excited to be talking to you all about improv quilting.

Why are we so excited, you ask? Because we’re just about to kick off our second annual 30 Days of Improv QAL! We had such a wonderful time last August: it was beyond thrilling to see all the different improv blocks and quilted wall hangings pop up on Instagram during last year’s quilt along and we can’t wait to see what emerges this year.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about the quilt along (or if you need a refresher), here’s a quick recap: during the month of August, you’ll be making one block Monday-Friday to make a total of twenty-ish 5” blocks (because we all need a couple days a week to catch up or just chill out). Starting July 31st, we’ll be sending out weekly emails every Sunday, highlighting the shape of the week and providing daily prompts to explore the shape without a pattern. If you’re curious to see what this looks like in fabric-form, make sure to check out the hashtag #30DaysofImprovQAL to see all the makes from last year!

Broadcloth Studio Improv 7In 2021 Amanda used Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Vanilla Custard, Garden Fern, Tigerlily, Turmeric, and Apricot Crepe for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Broadcloth Studio.

Before we dive into our fabric bins and start slicing and dicing, we thought we’d share what we’re most excited about for this year’s QAL. So, without further ado, and in reverse alphabetical order, here we go:

Shannon @shannonfraserdesigns says, “I’m so excited that Amanda and I have teamed up again to bring you another summer of improv quilting fun! As we gear up to host again, here are 3 things I’m most looking forward to in this year’s improv quilting challenge:

    1. Color & Fabric Play: Shocking, right?! Getting to play with a new color palette always gets me fired up! And since the first step in any improv project is picking your fabrics and colors, I think this is the perfect opportunity to have fun,  try something new and set the tone for your quilt journey. I’ve been itching to cut into these colorful beauties.
    2. Switching up my tool of choice: last year I used a combo of both my rotary cutter and tailor’s shears, with a little heavier reliance on my rotary cutter. This year, I’m thinking about exploring my improv solely with my tailor's shears. I’m curious to see what effect that will have on the shapes I create.
    3. Encouraging the play: I love sharing my enthusiasm for improv quilting and encouraging you to let loose and just play. I know how scary it can be to quilt without a pattern, which is why we love leading you through this improv challenge. Seeing you have a quilty a-ha moment is just the best!”

ShannonFraserDesigns.30DaysofImprovQAL.2022.Week0.P5This year, Shannon is using Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Blueberry Zest, Field of Lavender, Sweet Macadamia, Peach Sherbet, and Apricot Crepe for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Shannon Fraser Designs.

Amanda @broadclothstudio adds, “ditto to everything that Shannon said! The 30 Days of Improv QAL was a highlight of my 2021 and I’m thrilled that we’re bringing it back this year. I love that while there are so many unknowns about this month-long adventure, what I do know is that I’m going to have a blast! I’m specifically looking forward to:

    1. Learning to love Orange: This year I’ve had an unofficial goal to try to work with purple and orange, colors that I don’t naturally gravitate towards. For the first half of the year, I challenged myself to work with purple (and umpteen purple projects later, I’m now reaching for it first). So it seemed like the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with orange. What I love about the #30DaysOfImprovQAL is that I know I’ll be spending a whole month playing with these colors, getting to know them better, discovering what I love about them! 
    2. Making Waves: We’ve changed up a couple of the weekly shapes this year and I can’t wait for Week 4’s Waves! Last year we tackled quarter circle curves and I had so much fun with them that I continued to explore playing with them for months afterwards. While I’ve dipped my toes into the water of waves (pun intended) before, I haven’t spent any serious time immersing myself so I’m looking forward to getting to explore them for a whole week.
    3. Connecting with YOU: I always love getting to hang out with quilters, so I shouldn’t have been so surprised that one of my favorite parts of last year’s QAL was trading tips with each other, cheering each other on, and being inspired by you, the fabulous community of QAL-ers! I’m always amazed by your creativity and can’t wait to see what you bring to the table this year.” 

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This year, Amanda is using Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Sherbet, Dried Carrot, Tigerlily, Light Grey, and Night Sea for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Broadcloth Studio.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now for our weekly emails that will guide you throughout the month of August here.

You definitely don’t want to miss out, especially because we’ve got an extra special giveaway to jumpstart this improv journey: by signing up before July 24, 2022, you’ll be entered to win a fabric bundle from our friends at Art Gallery Fabrics so go ahead and sign up now! If you sign up after July 24th, never fear: we’ve got a ton of other fun giveaways planned throughout the month of August!

And, as an extra special bonus, we’re going to be sitting down with the legendary Pat Bravo, fabric designer and co-owner of Art Gallery Fabrics, for a LIVE Zoom chat on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 1PM EDT (once you sign up for the QAL emails, you’ll get a link to the Zoom). We’ll be talking all about picking fabric, swapping tips and tricks, and diving into our own sources of inspiration for our improv sewing projects!

 

xo,

Amanda and Shannon


New Decostitch and Floral Elements Colors

Hello makers and fabric lovers!

With a new season upon us, what better way to honor the bright colors of spring with new shades of a couple of our most popular blenders: Floral and Decostitch Elements! These six new colors of each are perfect to add to your stash of AGF blenders since they make up a few missing shades between some, and they work well with others. 

If you’re unsure what blenders are and how to use them, check out this previous blog post that gives you great ideas on how to use these non-directional fabrics. 

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Introducing our new Floral Elements in Sweet Peach, Victorian Brick, Antique Rose, Chalk, Washed Denim, and Storm Winds.

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Introducing our new Decostitch Elements in Topiary, Airy, Timber Wolf, Desert Rose, Abyss, and Rosebud. 

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In addition to our new prints, we have also revamped a few of our patterns using the new colors. First up, we have our checkered bucket hat using a variety of different Florals and Decostitch to create this soft statement piece that is perfect to add to your wardrobe. For this hat we used our Florals in Washed Denim, Storm Winds, Antique Rose, Sweet Peach, Victorian Brick, and Chalk, and our Decostitch in Abyss, Timber Wolf, Airy, Rosebud, and Desert Rose. 

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To view the video tutorial for this hat, click here. 

We also have a PDF version of this hat pattern that we created with flannel if you would like to download that as well. You can find that here. 

For strip set 1, we used Floral Victorian Brick for fabric A, Decostitch Rosebud for fabric B, Floral Antique Rose for fabric C, Floral Sweet Peach for Fabric D, and Decostitch Timber Wolf for fabric E. For strip set 2, we used Floral Storm Winds for fabric F, Floral Chalk for fabric G, Floral Washed Denim for fabric H, Decostitch Airy for fabric I, and Decostitch Abyss for fabric J. We used Decostitch Desert Rose for fabric K, which is the lining. 

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Next up I have another statement piece for your wardrobe, this Artsy Tote that we made using a combination of new and timeless Decostitch colors in Cloud, Caffe Latte, Blue Minerale, Indigo Sky, Skyline Blue, Granite, Timber Wolf, and Abyss, in addition to our linen blend in Soft Sand. This tote has a combination of rectangles, squares, and half and quarter circles to form a trendy catch-all that can be taken anywhere you go; the beach, farmers market, the coffee shop…anywhere! 

To view the PDF pattern for this tote, click here. 

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Last up are two new combinations of our Florals to make our favored Alegria computer cover. The first one includes Antique Rose, Sweet Peach, and Victorian Brick and the second one includes Washed Denim, Storm Winds, and Chalk. We used high loft batting to make this computer case perfect to protect what’s inside while also adding velcro to keep the flap closed. 

To view the PDF pattern for this laptop cover, click here. 

The excitement to sew with these fabrics was growing and I was so happy when I finally got to cut into these beauties. With spring upon us and summer coming quickly, I know that I will get a ton of use out of the bucket hat and tote bag, and I can’t wait to show these projects off to friends and family. 

I want to see what you make with our new Florals and Decostitch! Share your photos on social media and use the #ArtGalleryFabrics so I can share the love! 

 

Happy sewing everyone! 


Escape to a Sightseeing Venture With Capri Fabrics by Katarina Roccella! 

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One of my favorite things about sewing is getting lost at the sound of my sewing machine! Sewing away, chain piecing, cutting fabric, and next thing you know many hours have passed, and I was able to escape to my happy place. That is the greatest part about this community, that we can all share this passion, and how we can relate to how happy it makes us! A lot of this joy starts with just choosing what fabrics speak to me, and as of recently, all I’ve been daydreaming about is going on a sunny vacation to the beach. Luckily for me, Katarina Roccella just released the perfect collection that will take me to my dream vacation, and it’s called CAPRI! 

Prepare for a sightseeing venture through the stunning island of Capri with Katarina Roccella’s latest collection. Where this collection features her signature style of painted florals, coastal tones, and zesty summery prints that will fulfill your wanderlust desires.

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Katarina Roccella is also an incredible pattern designer and the number of details and artistry in her collections is one to appreciate! If you ever hand her prints in your hands, you’ll find yourself staring for a long time as your eyes graze at all the beautiful details hidden within every inch. All her artwork is her very own paintings that she used watercolor and inks to put together, and somehow transform into fabric magic! 

Substrates*Featuring “Capri Toile” and “Limoni Righe” prints  

Luckily for us fabric lovers, we have 16 quilting cotton prints and 2 substrates to play with. With its sunny colors and Mediterranean vibes present in this collection, I can already imagine the beach quilts, summery cover-ups, and dresses that will be created with these fabrics! 

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Embrace the summery colors with matching AGF Elements (blender fabrics) that coordinate with Capri fabrics! 

Nature Elements: Veiled Rose.

PURE Solids: Mediterraneo, Maldives, Ocean Waves, Tender Green, Honeydew, Canary, Quartz Pink, Cinnamon, Sweet Macadamia, White Linen, Jade Cream, and Mirage Blue.

Floral Elements: Sand, Bubblegum, Sunset, Ballerina, Custard, and Icy Blue. 

 

Let these prints shine with our 60" × 60" free quilt pattern called “Land & Sea”! 

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DOWNLOAD PATTERN

 

Pack up and let’s set out on an unforgettable sewing journey to Capri! Flip through the pages of our “Capri Fabric Lookbook” where you’ll discover mesmerizing quilts, eclectic pillows, and summer-inspired silhouettes made with the available substrates. 

 

What better way to transport you to your dream vacation to Italy than a quick and easy phone pouch tutorial that can hold your necessities while viewing the stunning sights? Watch our latest Sew Easy project below! 

 

Katarina is not only an artist, but she also is a quilter and I highly recommend checking out her Instagram page because it’s always filled with tons of projects made by her and the process of how her prints come to life! You can also check out the hashtag #AGFCapri for more projects, and we encourage you to share your own too! We love seeing them and sharing the love.

Happy Sewing!

—Jannelle