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July 2012

Sewing Room of the Month

So we searched far and wide for a really cool sewing room and then lo and behold we get a glorious email from Irelle of Jibberish Designs. She was kind enough to show us her space and share the story that went behind it...

Where I sew...

If you have been following my blog, you know that I moved a couple of months ago.  The bad news is that I moved away from a fabulous quilt studio.  See that blog post here.

The GOOD news is that I have an amazing quilt studio in my new home!!  This is what it looked like in progress….

And NOW – let’s take a tour!

When you walk through the door of my quilting studio, the back wall of fabric immediately tickles your senses with the beautiful color!  This is definitely my happy place.

When I moved, I wrapped all of my fabric on boards for storage.  You can purchase hard plastic boards in two sizes from Polar Notions here.  I started with them but when I realized how much my stash has grown, I needed a less expensive alternative.

Enter this post by Jennifer at That Girl That Quilt and I had my solution – comic book boards!  I bought two packs of 100 but had to go back for more!  I used the comic book boards for all of my quilting cotton that is 1 yard or more.  I used the Polar Notions small boards for pieces that are larger than a fat quarter and smaller than a yard.


My fat quarters are stored in baskets, a CD tower and a cute Pottery Barn cubicle shelf.  Some of it is stored by collection and some of it is just random.


My sewing space is comprised of my Janome sewing table with an adjacent large table for all the necessary accessories. I definitely love Ikea for all those lovely storage ideas.  Many of them come from their kitchen section.  The magnetic strip with the tins is great for pins, safety pins, and needles.  The large magnetic board and the bulletin board are great for design ideas.


Here is a closeup of some of my tools and accessories on that wall.


To the left of my sewing station is my ironing station.  In order to maximize my storage space, I purchased a pine buffet from Ikea that fits my Big Board perfectly and has two shelfs of storage below for my project boxes. I put some plastic bins for scraps and a couple of decorative shelves above the ironing board.


No sewing room is complete without a design wall and my space has TWO!  I have a Disappearing Design Wall above my closet and a second one to the right of my cutting table.  And Art Gallery fabric in my Work in Progress!


My big board can double as a cutting table BUT, I have a separate cutting table between my design walls. Spoiled – I know. I put the cutting table in an opening that would normally go through to my bedroom but I needed the space.  One the backside is a second dresser as my bedroom was too small for two.


The final wall in my quilting studio has two closets for messy storage and my TV and library of quilting books.  I store all of my patterns in plastic sleeves in binders and since that collection is growing – I have quite a number of binders sorted by category of patterns.


I keep all of my messy storage in the three closets in the room.  The first photo is the closet below my disappearing design wall.  The other two closets are on either side of the TV/library.  I put extra shelving units to maximize the storage capability in these two closets.  I don’t have a photo of the left closet as the mess was too much :)


The bonus to this sewing space is that I have quite a bit of floor space.  It works for laying out a quilt to baste it.  And also has enough room that I can add two portable 6 foot table to the front and side of my sewing machine table when I want to do some machine quilting.  I’m trying to do more of that but I still prefer to send my tops to Heidi at Rocky Mountain Quilting for her magic.


I think that completes the tour.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my quilt studio.  I spend many wonderful hours in this space. I’ll leave you with a close up of my sewing room art from the makelifesweet gals and their Sweetwater Etsy store.  I love these prints!

Thanks for checking in!  I hope you enjoyed my studio tour. 

Happy sewing,



** Thanks Irelle! We really loved seeing your space and we hope that this inspires people to make their sewing space a creative haven.

Have an amazing space? Did something cool and creative? Well what are you waiting for? Share your sewing space with the rest of us... we really would love to see it. Email

Til next month :)

Love, The AGF Team

Winner of challenge #6 is...


June's challenge was a place-mat and you ladies did a great job. You not only got creative with the styles but we loved that some of you took functionality into consideration.  I think this challenge may have had the most "out of the box" entries.

Soo now for the winner..

We loved this entry because it was really cute, well thoughtout, had quilting and we can really see this working!

So congrats...


 Marlene Reasoner

*cheers & applause*

Marlene Reasoner

We really hope you guys are  enjoying this. You ladies have been super loyal and we really love that you are still here with us. We love to see what you all make and honestly we really hate voting because it is like picking your favorite child...

Challenge # 7 is already underway and we can't wait to see what you all come up with. Congrats to all of you!!

<3 Anais

Fat Quarter Gang - the Quilted Sham by Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Hi! I'm Maureen from Maureen Cracknell Handmade, and I'm so excited to be sharing my very first Fat Quarter Gang Project with you today!
Pic 1

A tutorial for a set of Quilted Pillow Shams, a project designed for Art Gallery Fabrics new, gorgeous LillyBelle Fabric Collection, that's quick, easy, and takes only 10 Fat Quarters to make a set!
It's a great project for a beginner or if you want a small  project to practice sewing those perfect straight quilting lines! Let's get started!!

What you'll need : :
  • 10 - Fat Quarters of the LillyBelle collection
  • 2 - Standard Bed Pillows measuring 20" x 26"
  • 2 - pieces of cotton batting measuring at least 21" x 30"
  • 1 - yard of cotton muslin cut into two pieces measuring 22' x 36"
  • White Thread
  • Rotary Cutter/Mat/Ruler

Cutting and Piecing the Fabrics : :

1. Choose six different fat quarters of the LillyBelle fabrics for the pillow sham fronts, save the other four for the pillow sham backs

2. Cut each of the six fat quarters into two pieces measuring 5" x 20"  (I recommend using a rotary cutter and mat set for cutting)

cut fabrics

3. With right sides facing, pin and sew six fabric strips together, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance

4. Press all seams open as you go

My creation

5. Continue to piece both pillow sham fronts and press well on both sides

Quilted Pillow Sham Tutorial

Layering and Quilting the Pillow Top : :

6. Cut Muslin into two pieces measuring 22" x 36". Cut batting into two pieces measuring 21" x 30"

7. Lay muslin piece onto the work surface, center batting piece on top of that, and then center the pieced pillow top

muslin.batting.pillow top sandwich

8. Prepare for machine quilting. Pin layers together well, adding a few pins running down each of the six different fabrics that makeup your pillow sham top

9. Stitch on either side of the seams as shown in the photo below

10. Once quilted, remove pins

Quilted Pillow Sham Tutorial

11. Using a large ruler or straight edge, trim away excess fabric, batting, and muslin. The pillow top should now measure 20" x 26"

trim away excess

12. Continue to baste, quilt, and trim both pillow sham fronts

finished pillow top and back

Sewing the pillow together : : 

13. Prepare back pieces -- Using two of the remaining LillyBelle Fat Quarters for each pillow sham, cut fabrics to pieces measuring 18" x 20", fold over one of the sides measuring 20" a 1/2", press, fold over again, press. Sew along inner folded edge and along the outer edge, staying close to the fold. This will create the double seam finish.

14. Place pillow top piece RIGHT side up on your work surface. Place both backing pieces RIGHT side down on top of the pillow top piece.

My creation

15. Pin and sew along entire perimeter using a 1/2" seam allowance

pin in place

16. Zigzag stitch around the entire perimeter, as well 17. Trim all four corners

My creation

18. Turn pillow right side out, making sure to poke out each corner. Press well. Repeat for second pillow

turn out & press well

Insert your pillows and now you have your very own set of LillyBelle Quilted Pillow Shams!!


Want to win your own set of FQ to complete this project? Well enter to win! ....

Here's how:

Maureen's Rules:
- Simply leave a comment under her giveaway post! We'd love to know what you'd stitch up with a bundle of LillyBelle?!

- Followers of Maureen Cracknell Handmade get an additional entry, too! Whether you follow her blog or on Facebook, just let her know that you do by making a separate comment to record that entry. (one optional entry)

For Art Gallery Fabrics

Follow us on your fav social media platform (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter)

Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on all thing AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

Please enter now through Friday morning, July 13th. Mr. Random will pick the winner and Maureen will announce their name at the bottom of her giveaway blog post!

Happy Sewing :)

<3 Love,

The Fat Quarter Gang & AGF team

*** Want the PDF? Check out AGF Consumer site for previous member projects and their PDF's ****

Star Store of the Month

Hey guys,
It's that time of the month when we present to you the new Star Store! When picking the next Star Store we thought of Lauren and her shop Sew Modern. Lauren and her amazing staff have set up the cutest shop over in Los Angeles, California and recently added an online shop to their resume. Of course we wanted to know more about the woman, the business and her crew. We were so excited that when we contacted her she was all for it and even shared pics around the shop.
Beware... these ladies are super friendly and their energy will draw you in!
Here's what we got :)
1. Tell us how Sew Modern got started.  Why?  When? Where? Who?

I learned to sew on a whim about 8 years ago.  I took a class and the instructor, Capril Bonner-Thomas became my mentor and friend.  I was hooked on fabric and sewing in a bad way and I often talked with Capril about opening a store that carried all the fabrics we were only finding online.  We wanted to see and touch and compare in person!  I also wanted a community of sewing geeks like myself to hang out with.  Luckily that community came in the form of the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild.  I joined right at the inception and was immediately blessed with friends, a focus group, customers, instructors...a community.  In October of 2010 I took the plunge and signed a lease for a storefront here on the west side of Los Angeles.  It's been a wonderful whirlwind ever since.  Though I am the sole proprietor, I have an amazing staff and community supporting me and it all just keeps building.  We are having a blast!  Unfortunately my friend Capril passed away before ever seeing me realize my dream, but I know she'd be proud and amazed.  This year we opened an online shop as well as a way to keep the inventory flowing as we want to have all the great new lines in the shop and we only have 1,500 square feet.  We manage to have over 2,000 bolts, a classroom area, a longarm quilting machine, a huge custom cutting table and a lounge area in that amount of space!

Overview(Sew Modern Store in Los Angeles, CA)

2. Some shops have a theme...what would you say is your shop's theme?
I don't know if I'd call it a theme, but Sew Modern is just what it indicates: A modern place for fabric, learning and creating.  We have a bright, eclectic, inviting style and we want everyone who comes through our doors to feel welcome.  (Well, maybe not the drunk guy who poured whiskey on our rug!) 

Solids(AGF Solids)

3. What goes into fabric selection?  What do you consider and how much of a role does personal taste play?

I am the sole buyer but I definitely get input from my customers and employees.  It's a gut feeling really, that propels me to choose fabrics.  So I guess personal taste plays a huge role, but I like a lot of things so that keeps it plentiful!
Quality of basecloth, designs, colors, price points, delivery dates...all of that is considered as well.  
Lounge(Lounge area to sit back and relax, hang out with friends or hold a get together)

4. Social media is one of the biggest tools out there right do you incorporate it on a daily basis and how have you seen that impact your business?

Social media is huge now in business.  We have a Facebook page, we Tweet, we're on Pinterest...and the ONLY advertising we've done is on blogs.  WE LOVE BLOGS!  We also have our own blog which is getting a facelift as we speak.  I would say most of our online traffic comes from blogs and Twitter.  

5. So let's say I just bought some fabric online...describe the process and time frame from order to doorstep...without letting our any secrets ;)
Luckily our online store is connected to our in-store POS system.  When we get an order a few things happen.  The order shows up on the store computer.  I also receive an email notifying me from our system.  I also get a notice from paypal saying money was received. It's amazing because this way we never miss an order.  As soon as someone is in the shop the order is cut and packaged and the inventory is updated.  Usually the orders ship out the same day they are placed or the next day.  It should arrive on your doorstep within 3 days of shipping.  
Ariga (Ariga going through some AGF Solids)
6. Lauren, you have kids ranging from ages 4-15...How involved and interested are they in the shop?  Are they interested in the sewing, fabric or quilting world?  

My kids are all pretty impressed with the store, but only one of them is really interested in sewing at this point.  She's my 9 year old and she has a sewing machine in her room and she wants embroidery stuff for her birthday.  If they are in  the store, they all like to ring up sales...they think they're so cool.  Mostly they like that I'm a few doors down from Starbucks.
Liz(Liz flashing us a smile)
7. Tell us about your staff.  WE met Liz at quilt market and can tell that you are surrounded by a wonderful staff.

Well that is absolutely true, I have a great staff.  I've got Liz who is my manager, personal slave and sewist extraordinaire, Ariga who is amazingly patient with customers and a great garment designer and sewist,  Lisa who knows all about sewing machine parts and can fix most anything AND sew anything---she made it her personal mission to know our long arm machine better than anyone so she can teach it well, and we have many other top notch guest instructors.  I'm extremely fortunate in that regard.  Oh, and my amazing nanny, Cesiah, without whom I would not be able to work at all!

Long arm(Lisa at the long arm)
8. If you didn't run a successful fabric shop what would be your dream job? 

In many respects this is my dream job, though it couldn't be more different from what I thought I'd be doing with my life.  I love sewing but I can't be holed up by myself all the time, it's just not in my nature.  I need people.  I do hope that some day the business parts of the shop will be running enough without me so that I can be more creative and have a smidgen of free time.  HA!

9. You carry a variety of Art Gallery Fabrics products.  Can you tell our readers what you like most about our products?  What are your hot sellers from AGF right now?

I would have to start at the beginning with the base cloth Art Gallery uses.  It has such a beautiful hand to it...soft and drapier than other mid-weight cottons so it's great for garments as well as quilting.  The colors Pat uses and her designs are just stunning in every collection.  Different from anyone else out there!  And prolific!  just one gorgeous collection after another!
What's hot now?  Summerlove has been selling extremely well and we are constantly reordering Oval and Lace Elements.  They are the perfect blenders.  But Pure Elements has to be our hottest seller right now because the colors are extraordinary and the little bit of sheen they have....mmmmm. just divine!

10. What kind of feedback do you get from consumers that buy AGF? 
Nothin' but net, baby.  It's all fantastic.

11. What is your favorite AGF collection so far?

I have to pick ONE?  That's too hard!  I plead the 5th!

Agf rocks
(Lauren, Shop owner)

Awwww... Thanks Lauren and gals over at Sew Modern! We love you guys too! You have a beautiful store and we are so happy to be in your shop!

If you would like to know more about Sew Modern you can like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and get the latest scoop on the blog.... Go on and let them know AGF sent you!
Til next time... Happy fabric buying!

Project Challenge 2012 - Challenge # 7 - Piecing Pillow

ProjectLOGO_finalSo we are over the hump... You all have now been following loyaly Project Challenge 2012 for over 6 months. Ladies, you have been doing a great job and we hope that these challenges have helped you grow as a sewer/quilter.

So without further adieu I give you July's challenge: Piecing Pillow.


This month we decided to pay homage to the Fouth of July and make this pillow project in some patriotic colors. We used Oval Elements in Mood Indigo for the backing and border, to form the word LOVE we used Nature Elements in Hibiscus, Living Elements in Red Ribbon, Lace Elements in Cherry Lace, Floral Elements in Scarlet, Pure Elements in Spiceberry, Modernology in Mod Vines Raspberry and Rhapsodia in Frida's Dream Red.

You can make any word as long as it contains a minimum of 4 letters.



1. Must use the piecing technique.

2. Pillow can be any shape.

3. Each letter must have a minimum of 2 different fabrics.

That's it ladies (and gents if there is one of you out there)

As always the rules are:

1. Join our Facebook group to enter into the challenge, and "like us" if you want...
2. Must use Art Gallery Fabrics ONLY to make the projects.
3. Must be completed and submitted in the allotted time.
4. Must let your imagination run wild!

All entries must be submitted by 12 am on July 31, 2012. They must be original works and use only AGF fabric.

Judging:  We will have 7 more people voting this month ...  AGF team (5 votes), our great designer & creative director Pat Bravo (1 vote) and awesome designer Bari J. (1 vote.)


 Participating in the AGF Project Challenge 2012 and you have blog? Want to add this badge to your facebook pictures... We go ahead, right click the badge bellow or dowload it here
and show your support!


May your thread be strong and your machine be speedy! Get set GO!!

XOXO, Anais


Fat Quarter Gang - Must Dash Little Lap Quilt by I'm A Ginger Monkey

Hi,  Katy Jones here from the I'm A Ginger Monkey blog. Today I am going to share with you my Must Dash Little Lap Quilt tutorial. This quilt has style and sophistication (hence the mustache appliques.. ha ha ha)

Title pic
So lets start with what you'll need to make this quilt top (measures 38" x 47")


    - 10 Fat Quarters *FQs (Rhapsodia was used here)
    - Fusible web (I prefer steam a seam 2 lite)
    - Download Mustdash template

First up press your FQs and cut EACH FQ into 2 10" squares for a total of 20 squares.

With the leftover fabrics print and cut out your Download Mustdash.


Following the manufacturers directions for the fusible web, make a total of 20 moustache shapes - 2 from each fabric.

Fold each of the 10" squares into quarters, pressing with your finger to leave a crease, and line up a moustache shape with the centre folds. Iron onto the background squares as per the manufacturers directions, and stitch into place using your preferred applique stitch. I used a regular straight stitch, but you could zig zag or use the button hole stitch.

Now lay out your blocks in 5 rows of 4, either on a design wall or floor. Move 'em around until you have a layout you like where the colours and patterns are evenly balanced.

Sew each row together, one by one, and press seams to alternating sides - eg rows 1, 3, 5 to the left and rows 2, 4 to the right. This helps match up your seams and let's them sit nicely together as you assemble the quilt top.

Sew the rows together into a top and press well all over.


To finish your quilt you will need:
    - 1.5 yards of fabric for backing
    - Piece of wadding measuring 44" x 53"
    - 1/2 yard fabric for binding

Thank you guys for tuning in to the Fat Quarter Gang and please join the fun and sew along... join our Flickr group (it may or may not..but mostly may.. include random prizes).

As always we have a giveaway!!!  :)

Giveaway Rules(dum dum dummm)

For I'm A Ginger Monkey:

Leave a comment of I'm A Ginger Monkey's blog.

For Art Gallery Fabrics

Follow us on your fav social media platform (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter)

Subscribeto our blog to stay up to date on all thing AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

Happy Sewing :)

<3 Love,

The Fat Quarter Gang & AGF team

*** Want the PDF? Check out AGF Consumer site for previous member projects and their PDF's ****