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March 2012

Using decorative stitches in modern quilting

Modern quilting is a growing trend and as more and more blogs begin to feature this style we see that many favor the straight line for quilting motives. Because solids are used alone or in combination with prints, quilting thread colors and quilting motives take a new and central stage in the look of the finished quilt.

Have you ever thought that if you choose a geometric quilting motif as a design, these forgotten, I don't know what I can use them for..., DECORATIVE STITCHES can give your finished quilt a terrific and oh... so different look? Why only use our first choice, the all time known straight stitch? Another reason to use straight line quilting or geometric motives is that is much easier to handle under a home sewing machine, so no necessity to send it to the long arm quilter and you can practice yourself!!

In these tutorials we want to show you how different decorative stitches not only break free of the norm but can also add a high contrast visual appeal to your blocks.


For demonstration purposes, we'll work with blocks instead of a finished top. You will add batting, backing and secure the three layers after your blocks are sewn together. All blocks will be created with our Pure Elements Solids so that we can maintain a modern look but showcase how much impact one stitch can make. We also used white thread on all blocks, so there is a consistency and you can look at the stitch itself. You'll use the color of your choice, of course :)

In order to get a very straight line, you will have to do some some markings:

  • Using a washable fabric market, draw the motif you would like to quilt. In this case, we've done a 16 patch grid as an example.

In the first block, we want to show you a stitch that is used for fabrics that have spandex in its composition: the TRIPLE STRAIGHT STITCH. It's a fairly simple, but will have the simplicity of a straight stitch combined with the boldness of 3 threads in each stitch.

  • Choose this stitch in your sewing machine and start stitching following the lines of the grid (please note that each sewing machine brand and model may have the stitch in a different location on the menu).
  • Stitch very slowly (because this is not the usual straight stitch and the needle will move to the left and the right or back and forth depending on the stitch)


Here we are almost finishing with the stitching :)

The straight line or geometric quilting has more impact when solids or open prints and contrasting color threads are used.

This is how the finished block will look at the end.

I'm sure you are asking: "why did we leave that long thread tails?" Most of you will do quilting lines bumper to bumper, but if your plan is to do a quilting motif that doesn't cross over between blocks (that is contained inside), you need to hide the threads. Be sure you leave a long thread tail before quilting each line and when you are about to cut the thread. At the end of this tutorial we'll show you a trick on how to hide threads. 

The finished block ironed (lightly from the back for demostation purposes)


Here is a close-up view of the stitching. Cool, right?

In the next installment of this tutorial, we'll show you 5 new decorative stitches that can transform the look of your quilt.

Hope you enjoyed it! If you ever quilted this way, let us know how you liked it and what stitch you used!

Love & Happy quilting!






Twisty quilt pattern


Hi my friends,
I would like to introduce to you Twisty. You know how much I love pink, right? Well, this time I decided to put it together with orange and add Pure Elements Linen White zig-zag stripes across the length of the quilt. So fun!
This quilt just calls me for a nice picnic out by a lake or in the middle of a grassy field and therefore the photography had to reflect that. I think spring is the best season!


The angular design plus the addition of white gives this quilt a youthful feel. Triangles made of thin strips allows to use each fabric bumper to bumper and not to have any waste.


Twisty is now a kit, available exclusively at Moona Fabrics website. I love Susan and Nicole's store (Check it out, it's great!) Finished size is 52" x 69". Kit includes pattern, instructions and all of this luscious fabric for quilt top and binding. You will receive both printed copy of the pattern and instructions as well as an emailed pdf file. 

Happy spring!




Happy St. Patrick's Day

So I woke up this morning and poured myself a bowl of lucky charms and pondered what I would do for St. Patrick's day tomorrow. This is Mia’s 1st real St. Patty’s and I want to make it really fun. As a child growing up I went to catholic school and the nuns would always make a whole event out of St. Patrick’s Day. That morning all the kids would come into the classroom and see it all decorated in green with tiny green foot steps revealing a path of mischief. The fish tank would have green water (I don't remember any fish in it tho, so I think they were safe) and the leprechaun trap would have been set off but with no leprechaun inside. We really wanted that pot of gold!

So with all those fun memories I finished my bowl of Lucky Charms (which I bought in honor of this holiday) I got my little one out of bed and got her dressed for some quality time with grandma. Of course I send her off with her own bowl of cereal and marshmallow goodness.

Now to start the decoration process before it is time for work. I hang up my garland that is St. Patrick's inspired and put up the rest of my small accent pieces that add green to the house (green books, vases, place-mats, towels.)

Slowly the place transforms into an homage to the leprechauns.

Here’s a look at some of the elements I added to my décor. They are easy to make and use basic items found around your house.


The garland adds green to the room and represents the St. Patrick’s day theme without your traditional shamrock.  I also had some books covered in fabric and put those on my coffee table for easy reading.


Adding a green vase and changing all the towels to green are my finishing touches.  Easy peasy!

Oh and last night I made a St. Patrick’s day cake for the girls at work. Mia ate half the icing and stayed up til midnight (wonder why.)


She ended up with a green mouth from all the icing she stole. She had a lot of fun helping me and even had “cake watch” duty. She insisted on watching the cake cook and let me know every 5 minutes that it was done.

After the cake cooled down we stacked the different layers and iced the outside. I topped it off with a nice shamrock (or at least my take on what it looks like, soo not an artist)


I baked the cake in layers and made each one in different shades of green... Can you see it?? (I had seen a really cool one on Pinterest and tried to make one like that but that cake puts this one to shame... oh well tastes just as good on the way down!)


Yum yum! I do have to say it was delish! and we all have green tongues to prove it (no pic needed, trust

Well ladies and gents I hope you all have a great St. Patrick's Day tomorrow and most importantly I hope you catch some leprechauns so you can get that "pot of gold" they are rumored to have ;)

Happy St. Patty's Day!

<3 Anais



Sewing Room of the Month goes to....

 Sewing_room_logo_webMaureen Cracknell from A Creative Journal

This lovely lady is a stay at home mom with a passion for knitting, felting, sewing, quilting, fabric, and drawing. So take a look at her lovely space and head on over to her blog and show her some love...

My Studio

 I feel very blessed to have a little room all to myself, although I am not alone in there very often. It is very much a work in progress and is always changing as I shift things around, discover what works and what doesn't, and find creative solutions for storing my supplies. The photos here will change, as does my space.

You can see all the photos I take of my room here -- these are a few of my favorites...
Come on in...
Small smaple of my fabric stash ... 
Spools and spools of yumm thread ..
Some books for inspiration :)
Can you tell I love crates? Holding more fabric of course!
My handmade dollhouses

My studio is a full-on working studio, not just a pretty room. It has to hold all the mounds of materials -- fabrics, felt, pillow inserts, buttons, threads, batting, yarn, needles, the packaging stuff, the boxes, future projects, everything I need to run this little growing business. As such, it gets so overrun with stuff that it is hard to actually work in it. I would love to have curtains, and pictures, and artwork, and all this extra decoration that would make my space look cute and perfect. But for now, I want as little as possible because it gets so cluttered with the necessaries as it is. With this new addition of these pretty-to-me old, wooden crates, my old shelf is very happy, much less cluttered, and I've never been so happy with my little space!  Love love love. Never want to leave. 

And now, time to sew!!!
Maureen, thank you so much for sharing your space and your lovely creations. We love the re-purposed crates and the feel of your sewing room. You truly have earned the title of Maureen Handmade :)

If you would like to submit your sewing room for Sewing Room of the Month please email us at anais(dot)cowley(at)artgalleryfabrics(dot)com -


Become a... Summerlover!


Having designed many collections, people ask me if I have a favorite... and all I can say is "I love them all" because it's true. But there is a time, when you completely fall in love with one. You dream to see the designs finished, when you print the boards for the sales reps, when you first see the strike-offs, when you receive advance yardage... And then, dream about showing it to the public... This is what happened to me this time, that romance that I dream you can have with these designs! 

When I was developing the design concept behind Summerlove, the prints came to my mind at a lighting speed succession.  Each one was love at first sight...

So by now you all have seen the collection in sneak peeks and on-line images but today my Summerlove is making it official launching. Stores will be having it by next Tuesday... I'm really thrilled about it!!

This post is about the inspiration behind Summerlove. The images and video portray the overall youthfulness of this line.


I see this as a time when we all enjoy being a little more carefree and spontaneous, when we spend more time with family and let the kids run wild at the beach...


 .... revisit memories of lazy summer days and plan sun-filled vacations...


 ... remember first loves ....


Feeling happy... and free!


In our youth these were days when we got to stay up late and sleep on a scappy quilt at the beach....


And romance was in the air... 


Ahh to be young again...




 Mix and match the fabrics for your quilts and dresses...


My lovely girls at AGF have prepared this awesome and oh so fun! video that capture the essence of this collection so precious to me! Notice that they wanted to include me in a very short scene when we were filming, LOL 

Play it at full screen if you want a complete Summerlove experience.



I hope that this collection inspires you to create beautiful things for yourself and loved ones. Play with the mix of colors and dare to be more creative and more romantic... If you want to see more inspirational images and the inside scoop about this line, visit my Facebook page!

Enjoy next Summer with Summerlove!






And the winner of Challenge #2 is....

After much deliberation, tears, stand-offs and just plain amazement we have picked a winner...

As you can see on the photo below, the votes are blind except for the public vote. Bari J.'s vote was love at first sight and Pat's vote took more time... The girls here at the studio had a tough time voting too!


Carolina Moore!!!

*cheers & applause*

No_sew_fabric_feather_headband - carolina

Carolina you are the proud winner of 10 yds of Art Gallery Fabrics!!!!!

We love that you used a no-sew technique. The twisted flower is a perfect touch and looks to flow right into the design of the headband. You submitted 3 headbands this contest and each one was beautiful and creative.

You ladies have really made us proud. This months voting was extremely difficult because you all put forth such a great effort and creativity. All the headbands were spectacular. The photography has also gotten very creative and we love that you are taking pride in your work. Sharing this month was a HUGE success.... congrats!!

The public vote ended as follows:

Kristin: 14 votes

Jennifer: 15 votes

Brenda: 17 votes

Mindy: 111 votes

Jennifer: 75 votes

Tioni: 136 votes

Carolina: 11 votes

Linda: 6 votes

Marlene: 14 votes

Nicole: 5 votes

Challenge # 3 is already underway and I hope that you all are having fun with it. Congrats to all of you!!

<3 Anais