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#AGFMakerMonday - Our October Feature!

Happy Monday, Makers!

Here at AGF, we started a new way to feature  our inspiring makers' work that allows them to also win our fabrics, but THE BEST PART is that we all get to know a little more about you! We encouraged makers to post their sewing projects using our fabrics via their social media using the hashtag #AGFMakerMonday, so we could see how talented you are and the amazing work you all do! Once we decide on the winner for the month, the maker receives a feature here on our AGF Blog AND of course...they win A 20-PIECE FQ BUNDLE of our fabric, based on their personal preference.

With that, I'm excited to introduce our October #AGFMAKERMONDAY FEATURE to you, "Gillian Martin Noonan." She's an incredible quilter based out of Newfoundland, Canada who specializes in English Paper Piecing! Let's get to know Gillian a little a better and hear her sewing story!

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Fabric Featured: Charleston and Little Town by Amy Sinibaldi


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Fabric Featured: Paperie and Playground by Amy Sinibaldi

Amy2Fabric Featured: Les Petits, PlaygroundCharleston by Amy Sinibaldi

Hi Gillian! Congratulations on being our October's "AGF Maker Monday" feature! Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into quilting?

Home for me is 'Old Perlican, Newfoundland, Canada' -  a small town on the edge of the North Atlantic. My two sons are the loves of my life. My oldest is a lieutenant in the Canadian Navy while my younger son has just finished four months of backpacking in Europe and North Africa. They both live in Halifax, Nova Scotia so I visit there as often as possible. Actually I have been travelling a lot this year (11 European countries and 5 Canadian provinces) because I retired from teaching elementary school kids, last November.

Stitching has been an integral part of my entire life.  My mother adored sewing. All my clothes were made by her. When I was younger, I could come home from school and ask for something new to wear to a school dance that night, and she would whip it up. My mom made everything from quilts to a sofa! Her stash was huge and I still have a lot of it.  Since she sewed so much, fabric shopping was always on the agenda at family vacation time. We visited bookstores and museums for my father, and fabric shops for my mother. At one store in Montreal, Quebec which we often frequented when I was a little girl, I got hoisted up into an attic like room filled with rolls of fabric, so I could pass down what I liked.

My grandmother also played a very important role in bringing me to sewing.  Nan lived with us. She was a trained seamstress who believed I needed to be able to knit, crochet and do fancy work (embroidery) before I went to school.  I did! I loved spending time with her. Nan’s sisters and her mother were embroiderers and quilters too. So, I was surrounded by passionate women who loved to work with their needles, and now when I stitch, I feel very connected to them and their love.

Quilting is my newest needle art.  About 25 years ago, my best friend wanted to take a quilting class. I was supposed to go with her but stormy weather kept me from driving the two hours to the class.  My mom went with her. They both loved it so it was only natural that I give it a try. I made my first quilt, a sampler using templates and scissors, just before my older son was born. My projects remained small because I preferred hand-sewing to my machine and my mother was happily covering my beds with quilts. Eventually I started to use my machine more, making throw quilts. While quilting has been part of my life for the last 25 years, I have never been without some kind of needlework – it is just who I am.

What inspires your work?

Color and shape inspire me. Always having my camera with me lets me quickly capture images/motifs. I love visiting art galleries and taking closeups of paintings to just focus on the palette used. A French artist who I met on holiday here in Newfoundland inspired me to look at “line” in my world. A Newfoundland painter challenged me to look for the pink in the morning snow. Conversations like these and reading about what motivates artists has motivated me to reflect on what I see around me. Quilting friends both near and far also inspire me with the beauty that they create.

 Describe your design style in 3 words:

Storied, energetic, textured.

How did you get into “EPP?”

About 20 years ago, I needed a sewing project that didn’t require electricity and was compact. At the time, my family had a cabin in a secluded cove on the ocean.  It was totally off the grid; you actually had to take an 80 minute boat ride to get to it. I had seen a "Grandmother’s Flower Garden" quilt in one of my mother’s books and I knew it was perfect.  Blue scraps from my mother’s stash which reminded me of my grandmother’s dresses were chosen and my templates were hand drawn on freezer paper. I was set, but when I went to sew my hexie flowers together, they didn’t fit. My accuracy was off so, I put them aside for many years. Eventually I appliqued each to a background and joined the blocks together.  It will be hand-quilted, once I finish embroidering the names of my mother, my grandmothers and great grandmothers on the blocks.

Getting some precut EPP papers on a magazine two years ago made me decide to try it again. This time the hexie flowers went together perfectly. In the Spring of 2017, I took part in the Girt By Sea quilt along.  The central medallion was English Paper Pieced using Tales of Cloth’s precut papers. It was just the best sewing! I ordered another EPP kit as a retirement gift to myself and the first Mandolin block was included as a bonus.  I loved making it as well as the next 17 blocks! Now I have so many EPP plans for the future.

What was the most “time consuming” EPP project you’ve ever completed?

My grandmother’s garden has been the EPP quilt that has been under construction the longest, but my Mandolin blocks have consumed more time as there are many more pieces to each block. I usually make a Mandolin block over three or four evenings. I made my first Mandolin block in January of this year and I have two big blocks and a bunch of joiners left to complete.

How do you stay motivated with your sewing projects?

The key to my motivation, I have come to realize, is that I do many things.  I always have a pair of socks on my knitting needles and frequently a bigger knitting project like a sweater.  There are several pieces of embroidery in progress, and lots of quilting projects in various stages. While I do enjoy a finished project, I believe that I am more process oriented. This year, my quilt guild has had a WIP challenge. I had 10 things on my list (definitely not all my WIPs) and I have completed two.  I will get back to them – maybe. Learning something new is more important to me. This year, I've already have taken classes in goldwork and stumpwork embroidery, and in improv quilting. When I find my motivation lagging with my quilting, I just go work on a totally different thing.

What was the best quilting advice ever given to you?

There has been lots of advice given to me over the years probably because I am not afraid to ask questions. Some advice is specific like having an accurate but scant ¼” seam allowance. Other advice is broader like use the best fabric you can afford, but I think the overall best came from my grandmother who valued patience above everything. Patience lets you take time to get it done to your best. It encourages you to practice which improves everything, and patience lets you help others which opens you to receiving their help when it is needed.

5 things I can’t live without:

1. Books

2. Wool and fabric (How could I choose?)

3. Peanut butter  (A food group isn’t it?)

4. Needles (sewing, knitting, embroidery

5. The ocean (I have always lived near it and I miss it so when it is not near)

Where can other makers' find your work? 

My Instagram @sewgolly - I enjoy the interaction and inspiration it provides with other artisans throughout the world!

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Since Gillian LOVES "Amy Sinibaldi" and sweet florals, we curated this 20-piece bundle for her as her prize! :)

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Thanks so much Gillian and to all you makers who have been posting away! It's incredibly inspiring to see what you all make and how you add your personal stories and styles to your projects. We'll be picking a winner and announcing them via the blog next month in November! 

In the meantime, keep posting and sharing your beautiful handmade things with us using the hashtag #AGFMakerMonday for a chance to win.

Good luck and keep creating!

- Sophia 


#AGFMakerMonday - Our First Feature!

Hi Makers, 

HAPPY MONDAY! I'm sure we all can use some "Monday Motivation" today! Here at AGF, we started a new way to feature  our inspiring makers' work that allows them to also win our fabrics, but THE BEST PART is that we all get to know a little more about you! We encouraged makers to post their sewing projects using our fabrics via their social media using the hashtag #AGFMakerMonday, so we could see how talented you are and the amazing work you all do! Once we decide on the winner for the month, the maker receives a feature here on our AGF Blog AND of course...they win A 20-PIECE FQ BUNDLE of our fabric, based on their personal preference.

With that, I'm excited to introduce our first AGF MAKER MONDAY FEATURE to you, "Tracy Martin." She's an incredible quilter based out of San Diego, California who specializes in creating personalized, modern baby quilts! Let's get to know Tracy a little a better and hear her sewing story! 

  AGFMakerMonday

TracyMartin

4B4072DF-1E2D-4FB0-BE7C-5A2C307446CC (2)Fabric Featured: Meadow Collection by Leah Duncan 

  TracyMartin (2)Fabric Featured: "Foraged Garland Peony" from Gathered Fabrics by Bonnie Christine

  6a00e553bbe52e8834022ad3887473200d-800wiFabric Featured: Loved to Pieces Collection by Mister Domestic 

TracyMartin (3)Fabric Featured: Bijoux Collection by Bari J. 

Hi Tracy! Congratulations on being our first "AGF Maker Monday" feature! Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into quilting?

Hi there, thank you for having me here today! I’m Tracy the one-woman show that is "TracyBug Creative."  I'm a wife and a mom of three school-age children. Prior to having children, social work occupied my time.  Long before that, when I was 13 my Great-Aunt Mildred came for an Easter visit. She was working on a hand-quilting project. I must have asked her a million questions. A retired schoolteacher she asked if I would like to learn to quilt. My heart jumped at the idea!

We made tentative plans for me to visit her that coming summer. A few weeks later, a carefully packed shoe box arrived. Inside she had tucked away a quilt kit with tiny notes pinned on various parts to sew and pages of handwritten instructions to get started. I was hooked! That summer I visited her. My uncle made me a small frame, and Aunt Mildred sat by my side showing me the way. I’ve worked on that project little bits at a time ever since. When my youngest was due I got a sewing machine for my birthday. The first quilt I finished was a baby quilt for her. As I wanted to learn new things, I searched the internet for resources, followed bloggers, watched videos, and took online classes while my babies slept.

What are you inspired by?

Color and shape bring beauty and meaning to the world.  Interesting patterns, bright and bold colors and soft muted tones always draw me in. Likewise, I’m inspired by stories. The people and the journey behind designs and quilts add a dimension without which a quilt is really just a thing.

Describe your design style in three words.  

Bright, Fun, Modern.

When did you start creating personalized, modern quilts for kids? How many have you made?

In 2011, I added the personalized modern quilts to my shop. I have made approximately 400 of them.

How do you stay motivated with your sewing projects?

Looking at new fabric lines, following designers on their journey, and hearing my customer stories all excite me. I especially love how AGF designers share their process and inspiration. My customers each specifically choose their quilt fabrics.  This allows me to connect with them and learn a bit about their story. They share things such as how the parents wanted this baby for so long, maybe the close friendship they have with the mother, or how this is their first grandchild. These quilts are not just a textile but become part of a baby’s story.  Participating in that is an honor. As I sew, I whisper prayers for the baby and the home it is going to. Human connection keeps us all going.

Any words of advice to those new to quilting or who are interested in starting?  

We were all "new" once.  No one started sewing and produced his or her best work from the get-go. Keep practicing and you will get there! Also, while you are at it, use the beautiful fabric. It will inspire you, cover mistakes, and you will smile more while you do it. Be gentle with how you speak to yourself in the process.  If you are new, be encouraging, kind, and compassionate with yourself like you would a five-year-old learning to read. Lastly, don’t be afraid to learn the rules and then break as many as you would like to develop your own style and creative voice.

5 things you can't live without.

 1.My Juki sewing machine (she’s my third arm!)

2. My seam ripper ;)

3. A fresh cup of iced coffee

4. A photo of my family

5. Of course beautiful, beautiful fabric.

Where can other makers' find your work? 

You can find me telling quilt stories and sharing creative ramblings on Instagram @tracybugcreative

My Etsy shop is www.tracybugcreative.etsy.com  and my blog is tracybugcreative.com

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Since Tracy LOVES "warm colors," we curated this 20-piece bundle for her as her prize! :)

  AGFMakerMondayBundle
Thanks so much Tracy and to all you makers who have been posting away! It's incredibly inspiring to see what you all make and how you add your personal stories and styles to your projects. 

We'll be picking a winner and announcing them via the blog next month. 

In the meantime, keep posting and sharing your beautiful handmade things with us using the hashtag #AGFMakerMonday for a chance to win.

Good luck and keep creating!

- Sophia 

 

 


With Love from AGF

Hey there, everyone! 

As the season of love is upon us, we have put together a list of things you can easily make\do for that special someone. Even though, these projects have a Valentine's theme, they can be done all year 'round. (Warning some selfish-sewing might be involved!) So, lets get started with projects that will make this love filled holiday extra special (We have something for everybody!). Since, a little selfish sewing never hurt anybody, here are a couple of ideas on what to wear on that special night. Feel free to flip thru our lookbooks to find inspiration.

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(Find these patterns in our lookbooks. Click here to make the Flee and Flourish dress, here for the Paperie top and Skirt, and here for the "date night dress") 

Here are a few adorable Valentine’s Day treats you can make if you are attending or hosting a Valentine's day party. (Anything chocolate-covered gets bonus points.) 

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 And you can also turn your favorite fruit, snacks, and candy into big smiles with these creative Valentines, that are perfect for classmates and\or co-workers. 

 TreatsNEW If you are anything like us, you take pride in wrapping your presents in a unique way. It's definitely, a great way to showcase your creativity and your passion for crafts, so Here are some cute ways of making your gifts look extra special.

Wrapping ideas

And of course, no present is complete without a personalized valentine's card. This is why, we decided to make these free printable, inspired by our latest collections Heart Melodies and Chalk and Paint

Valentine's Day Cards 2016_2

We hoped to have inspired you to create something beautiful! 

XO

G


The Big List of Thanks

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Hi my awesome friends! Pat here. I just wanted to stick in here between posts to tell you about some lists I was making on my 50's + few days... 

Turning 50-ties unleashed a storm of emotions inside me. The other day I was excited and a little numbed by all the gifts, + congratulations, + Walter singing happy birthday every 15 minutes over my ear at the office! 

Now that I have a little more time to think back on it, came out to the surface of my consciousness a list: deep memories (some that made me happy again and others not so). Add some revelations (that as always bring that stir inside) about things that you believed in for so many years and then you realize.... well, you know that right?. And how about new aspirations? It turned out to be a big list...

On the other side, A BIG LIST OF THANKS that exceeded all of the ALL lists: to God, for helping me to walk my way in life and let me show it to others; for giving me everything (and more than that, He gives it to me Every Day); for letting me know so many wonderful people along this way...

There were many messages written for my 50th bday post... All I can say is WOW, THANKS TO YOU TOO!!! I am a true believer that gratitude is an attitude, and we always have to try to exercise it a bit more. It's inserted into that circle that people call planting and harvesting or....  give and you shall be given back. You were so sweet to be here on my big day! Having you, celebrating with me, made me so happy! All your love, support and friendship is very appriciated! I want to wish you all the best for 2012, all your hearts desire :) LOVE, PEACE and cheers to you my kindred spirits!

Love, Pat


The AGF Team Talks: Meet KAT.

Hello everyone!

My name is Kat and I am one of the graphic designers working here at Art Gallery Fabrics. It's been practically a year that I've had the pleasure of working with such an amazing team and let me just say that I am completely blessed. When I started working, I had no idea what I was getting into other than the usual design stuff… quickly I was blown away! The world of quilting and fashion has fascinated me beyond belief… Most of the time I'm speechless (as some of the girls may be able to tell you) LOL All in all, I am completely and utterly in love!

 

But enough about my romances… Let me tell you how I make my bread and butter… 

 

My first project when I began working was making the Boho Dress (yes, lots of pressure)! Not even one week into work and I was practically in charge of making Art Gallery's first ever instructional DVD pattern! (yes, add some stress) After that, I became as what they call a "video genius" or "video maestro" (my preference) LOL, but regardless I am responsible for most of the video editing that you see coming from AGF {**spoiler: hold on to your sewing needles cause we're gonna be making more!)…

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Behind the scenes of the Modernology photoshoot! 

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My first photographic debut!

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Ah! C'est moi! LOL Here I am working in Houston for Fall Quilt Market :)

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I know I'm not in this one, but I was there in spirit (or on the other side of the camera ;)... that's mah job!)

Yes, I know there's not many pictures of me cause I'm usually behind the camera… These photos are the girls' attempts to catch me on camera.. I joke with them that if they manage to film me, I'll end up editing myself out anyways :) LOL

I definitely can't wait to show you all what we have in store for you! It's gonna be a lot of work on my part, but I know its worth it in the end!

 

Until next time, 

Kat