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Striking a New Chord: Sonata Fabric Collection

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At the age of five, I began learning classical piano. Every week, I'd have a piano lesson with my piano teacher and learned to play songs from all "the greats" like Mozart, Bach, Chopin....but my absolute favorite composer's songs to play was "Ludwig van Beethoven." His songs were moody and felt like they just had soul (no offense to the other talented composers), I just connected to his music the most, and his "Moonlight Sonata" became my favorite song to play on the piano..still is today! One of the main reasons I love it so much is that sonata's usually have three movements that contain different speeds: "Fast, Slow, Fast." However, Beethoven mixes up his song "Moonlight Sonata" by making it go: "Slow, Slow, Fast." He liked to experiment with composing music, and serves as a great reminder for learning traditional methods, revamping them, and then applying your own personal style to them. Very inspiring! :)

Beethoven's work also resonated with our designer, Amy Sinibaldi. Striking a new chord with her latest collection "Sonata," these fabrics were inspired by the classical music of one of the most influential musicians during the 18th century. Composed of romantic prints, these fabrics include symphony instruments, harmonious florals like edelweiss, and ornate windows that overlook the wondrous city of Vienna, these designs definitely take you on a musical journey. With a soft color palette of soft pinks and tranquil blues, this collection is great for fussy cutting to make music-inspired projects like whimsical quilts, home decor, wall art, and garments. 

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To see more of Amy's collection and quilty projects we've put together with easy-to-follow instructions for you, check out our "Sonata Fabric Lookbook!"

 

 

Here's the "Moonlight Sonata" that's filled with TONS of movement for you to enjoy, just click the below link for the FREE pattern:

Download Quilt Pattern

MoonlightSonataQuilt

Here's my top picks for blenders from our AGF Pure Elements that I feel go really well with Sonata's designs and colors: 

SonataBlenders

 

SonataGiveaway

Congratulations to our winner Linda Timms! Please check your email! Thanks to everyone else who participated in this giveaway! :)

*Once you have entered the giveaway it's normal for your information to disappear. To confirm your entry, check your email for a confirmation and approve it. By entering our giveaway, you'll be automatically signed up for our newsletters. Don't worry, we don't spam!


#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


0Fabric Featured: Charleston by Amy Sinibaldi

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Fabric Featured: Paperie and Playground by Amy Sinibaldi

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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 


Hawaiian Getaway: "Aura" Fabric Collection

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If you haven't gone yet, you MUST go to Hawaii at least once in your lifetime! There's so much beautiful scenery to take in there! The sunsets, the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, the amazing food like fresh pineapple..it's truly a gorgeous and magical place. My favorite part of visiting Hawaii was going horse back riding where "Jurassic Park" was filmed, I felt like at any moment a dinosaur was going to pop out of the huge trees there. It was completely surreal and breathtaking. 

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Say “Aloha” to Mister Domestic’s new fabric collection, “Aura!” Inspired by an island adventure with his daughter "Helena" to Hawaii, exotic botanicals, playful sea turtles and dolphins come to life in “Aura.” Using hues like brick reds and golden mustards, this color palette is filled with a warmth that radiates from Hawaiian sunrises and sunsets.  Aura is perfect for your quilting or sewing needs, available in two knits and a rayon for garments. This collection can be used to create tropical-inspired quilts, pillows, table runners, wall hangings, garments, and travel bags. I would definitely love to make some retro-inspired Hawaiian mens' shirts with these fabrics and a travel, duffel bag! 

Head over to our “Aura Fabric Lookbook” to discover sewing projects and ideas!

 

 

 

Here's the mesmerizing "Ambience Quilt" for you to enjoy, just click the below link for the FREE pattern:

Download Quilt Pattern

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Here's my top picks for blenders that can easily coordinate with gorgeous, tropical prints of "Aura!"Collection-elements-template-(1)

Wait, wait there's more! You guessed it! Enter a chance to win this fabulous, fabric bundle by signing up to our giveaway:

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**** AURA BUNDLE GIVEAWAY ****

 

Congratulations to our winner, Deanna Wall! Please check your email! :)

*Once you have entered the giveaway it's normal for your information to disappear. To confirm your entry check your email for a confirmation and approve it. By entering our giveaway you'll be automatically signed up for our newsletters. Don't worry, we don't spam!


Our Latest AGF Fusions: Rainforest + Trinkets

Hi Makers, 

With the holidays right around the corner, I know all of us are prepping or have already begun sewing gifts for our family, friends, colleagues and teachers. I think that as a maker, we're always trying to create gifts that are so personalized to the person we're giving it to, so if you haven't started sewing your gifts yet, don't worry! We just released TWO NEW FUSIONS that cater to two different themes that can turn into so many great gifts! 

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If you're new to AGF, our "Fusion Collections" are bite-size collections featuring best-selling prints from our internationally-known designers such as Pat Bravo, Maureen Cracknell, April Rhodes, Bonnie Christine, Katarina Roccella and Sharon Holland. With these two collections, you’ll find two different themes that provide you with countless sewing ideas and are no doubt, two collections that are a must-have for your fabric stash. Now, let’s take a closer look on how you can sew with these fabrics!

RAINFOREST FUSION

With botanical designs high on the trend radar for “jungalow inspired”  interiors and fashion, our “Rainforest Fusion” is perfect for creating a “tropical paradise” in your sewing room! Filled with vibrant, lush prints, this collection highlights tropical florals, palm fronds as well as tribal patterns that also act as great blenders. Grounded in bright and warm colors, this collection can be widely used in quilts, outdoor home decor, resort-inspired garments, as well as in accessories and wall art. I would love to make curtains and TONS of throw pillows with this collection! 

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 Download Our FREE "Vertical Garden" Quilt Pattern:

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TRINKETS FUSION

Channeling “vintage meets modern” and recalling old memories of sifting through a grandmother’s treasure chest,  our “Trinkets Fusion” offers countless ideas for sewing with nostalgic prints that are inspired by pressed flowers, vintage knitting, and hand pressed wallpaper. Deeply rooted in warm hues of rust and gold, this festive collection is a great option for your holiday, sewing projects! From various florals that range in scale to textured designs that make unique blenders, these fabrics can be sewn into romantic, bohemian quilts, throw pillows, rugs, tapestries and special occasion garments! I would love to have a dress made out of "Trinkets" fabrics for Thanksgiving - preferably one that's loose, so I can eat all those delicious Thanksgiving side dishes like mashed potatoes, stuffing and creamed spinach! :)

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 Download Our FREE "Free Spirit" Quilt Pattern:

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For more sewing projects we've put together using these two collections, head to our "Rainforest and Trinkets Fabric Lookbook!"

 

 

In case you're OBSESSED with both of these collections and need them NOW, enter our giveaway for a chance to win BOTH! 

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 To enter, please fill the form below. Giveaway ends Friday, October, 12th, 2018. Good luck!  

Our winner is Jo Isaac! Please check your email! Thanks to everyone else who participated!

*Once you have entered the giveaway it's Winner will be announced on Monday, 10/15! :)normal for your information to disappear. To confirm your entry check your email for a confirmation and approve it. By entering our giveaway you'll be automatically signed up for our newsletters. Don't worry, we don't spam!

 

 


Falling for Fall: Autumn Vibes Fabric Collection

Happy Fall, Ya'll!

Hope you're as excited as I am with this new season that's finally here!

Hands down, fall is my favorite time of year, even though we're here in Florida where we don't really have seasons..minus hurricane season! I still like to pretend the leaves change color and force myself to wear "cozy layers" despite the humidity. There's something so festive about this time of year that's super exciting! It's that time when you get to gather with your family and friends, eat a ton of pumpkin-flavored foods, continue traditions with holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and just enjoy being together. I think my favorite fall tradition is getting together with my gal pals at one of our homes, paint real pumpkins while watching the movie "Hocus Pocus" and eating way too much candy corn! :) 

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Inspired by that fall feeling, our designer Maureen Cracknell translated that true spirit of this season into her latest collection, "Autumn Vibes." This whimsical collection’s color palette features earthy shades of cinnamon, honey, pumpkin, mustard, and eggplant which are all my absolute favorite colors! Filled with vibrant blooms, whimsical foxes, playful squirrels and folkloric designs, these twenty prints are a great go-to for your autumn-inspired sewing projects! From quilts, garments, pillows, accessories, and novelties, you’ll have endless ideas for upcoming holiday gifts. After all, ‘tis the season for giving!

Browse through our "Autumn Vibes Fabric Lookbook” to discover more seasonal, sewing projects complete with instructions we’ve put together, just for you! 

 

 

Here's our lovely "Autumn Winds" for you to enjoy, just click the below link for the FREE pattern:

Download Quilt Pattern

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Here's some blenders for you (in case you need some ideas) that can easily coordinate with the autumnal-inspired prints of "Autumn Vibes."

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Enter a chance to win this gorgeous, "Autumn Vibes" fabric bundle by signing up to our giveaway:

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 To enter, please fill the form below. Giveaway ends Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018. Good luck! 

CONGRATULATIONS, GLENDA HOLLANDER! Please check your email. :) Thank you to everyone else who participated! 

*Once you have entered the giveaway it's normal for your information to disappear. To confirm your entry check your email for a confirmation and approve it. By entering our giveaway you'll be automatically signed up for our newsletters. Don't worry, we don't spam!

 

#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! 

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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! :)

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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