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Sewing Friends

#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

  Hawaii

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!


Whimsy Nostalgia: Little Clementine Fabric Collection

Is there a certain children's book that you absolutely loved as a kid?!

When I was a little girl, my mother or grandmother would lay in bed next to me with a book, and would read to me before I fell asleep, each night. As they read to me, I would let my imagination come to life, pretending that I was making friends with animals or mystical creatures in the story, and going on adventures to far off lands! Depending on the character in the book, my grandmother would change the tone of her voice as she read aloud, which made it even more entertaining and silly. Some of my favorite books were "Where the Wild Things Are," "Goodnight Moon" and the nursery rhyme, "Wynken, Blynken and Nod." I still have all of these children's' books, and take them out from time to time when I'm feeling nostalgic! :)


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With that super nostalgic, imaginative feeling in mind, I'm SUPER EXCITED to introduce you all to what we've been working on at AGF Studio. Our latest collection "LITTLE CLEMENTINE!" Inspired by stories coming to life, this story for our collection is  about "Little Clementine," a little girl with a big imagination who enjoys reading books and befriending forest creatures like bears and rabbits. Adorned with enchanted forests, cute houses, ditsy florals and novelty prints like "cardigans" and "cozy scarves," these fabrics are filled with soft, autumnal tones that make these fabrics, extra cozy! This collection honestly is one of my favorites! I love the story, the soft colors and the cute characters in it! I can picture so many different ways to use these darling fabrics with fussy cutting, baby quilts, kids' garments, accessories, a super cute lunchbox, book covers, wall decor, a mobile above a crib, and lamp shades that you'd find in a nursery!

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 For more whimsy-inspired projects, head on over to our "Little Clementine Lookbook!"

 

Here's our lovely "Sweet Wonders Quilt" for you to enjoy, just click the below link for the FREE pattern:

Download Quilt Pattern

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Here's some blender suggestions for your quilty projects that go with the "Little Clementine!"

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------Little Clementine Giveaway------

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Enter a chance to win this darling, fabric bundle by signing up to our giveaway! To enter, please fill the form below.  Congratulations Pat Devore! You're our WINNER! 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!

 

 


Introducing AGF Curated Bundles!

Hi Makers!

Happy October! This month is my absolute FAVORITE month since it's officially fall and Halloween is SOON!

To make this amazing month EVEN MORE EXCITING, here at AGF we're going to launching several new products for you! We've been secretly working on some things the past few months, and now the time is finally HERE to share it all with you! Drum roll, please!

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 The secret is out! AGF NOW HAS BUNDLES!       

We’re so SUPER thrilled to introduce you to a new way of sewing, AGF CURATED BUNDLES! This amazing sewing community is always inspiring us everyday to be better and to create better! We ALWAYS love seeing what you create from start to finish. We feel we're a part of you, and at the same time we feel you’re a part of us, that’s why we’re constantly trying to help you to design and sew your best projects with our fabrics! These are not your standard pre-cuts, but bundles specially curated to sew easy and fast, making the most of your time because we understand that in these crazy, busy times you need ideas to sew simple and quick projects.

We call it “conceptual sewing” and we’re sure you’ll absolutely love it! 

Stay tuned THIS WEEK and THIS MONTH via our Instagram, Facebook, TwitterYoutube and Pinterest as we will be posting more details about these amazing bundles! :)

Until then, keep creating and thanks for being our biggest inspiration! 

- Sophia 


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!