This is a post I’ve been waiting to write for a long time now! The line of Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio sewing patterns is expanding to include licensed designs from some fellow quilt makers and sewists. You’ve seen this in my business before with Angela Walters’ very popular Bleachers pattern and now the program is growing!
I have admired their work for quite some time and am thrilled about bringing their work to sewing patterns. You’ll see their designs popping up in the coming months as printed patterns right next to the designs that I make. It took many months of working with a consultant and an intellectual property lawyer to draw up documents. Then came the design submissions and the writing and testing of the patterns. They are at varying stages of completion and I am excited to show you their work soon! In the meantime, meet the women who are the newest Empty Bobbin Designers:
Krista Fleckenstein, of Spotted Stones
Krista lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband and four children. She has been quilting since she was in high school but really started getting serious about fabric when she started her blog, Spotted Stones, in 2010. She has written patterns for the book Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe, Modern Patchwork magazine, and 101 Patchwork Projects magazine.
Kim Eichler-Messmer, of Kim E-M Handmade Quilts
Kim grew up in Iowa. She learned how to sew in 5th grade when she made a quilt out of old shirts with her father. She went on to study engineering, Spanish, Portuguese, drawing, and printmaking before taking a textiles class in 2000. Kim received an MFA in textiles from the University of Kansas in 2007. Her work has been exhibited nationally in numerous group and solo shows. Kim recently designed a quilt for Pottery Barn Teen and her quilts have been featured in West Elm, Apartment Therapy, and Design Sponge. She currently lives in Kansas City where she does math daily, grows tomatoes, hugs cats, and is an Assistant Professor in the Fiber department of the Kansas City Art Institute.
Lauren Hunt, of My Aunt June
My name is Lauren Hunt, aka Aunt June. I like to draw, which is how I ended up being considered a designer, even though my college degree has something else on it. After school, I grew up and started sewing and craft-blogging, and then Spoonflower.com came along, and allowed anyone who was so inclined to design their own fabric! Wheeeeeee!!! I was smitten, and have been doodling up designs and selling them in my Etsy shop ever since. My aesthetic is influenced by children’s books, 60′s instructional manuals, cartoons, and science textbooks; I love the look that only hand-drawing can give to patterns. I live in Kansas City, Missouri, where my husband Brian and I live in an ancient house that we share with our cat Baxter and our schnauzer-mutt Rufus.
Alexandra Ledgerwood, of Teaginny Designs
Alex Ledgerwood is a designer and quilter who lives in Kansas with her husband and two sons. She enjoys improvisational quilting, sewing with scraps, and making things for her boys. Her work has been published in the magazines Stitch and Modern Quilts Unlimited.
Jessica Levitt, of Juicy Bits
Jessica Levitt has been sewing and quilting since the age of twelve. Always thirsting for some new craft, she has taught herself countless quilting techniques as well as costuming, event design, and home decor. She has also designed several lines of fabric for Windham Fabrics and authored the book Modern Mix. Her degree in engineering from Duke University is now largely unused while she pursues fulfillment in these more creative endeavors. Jessica lives and works in New Jersey with her husband and two children.
There you have it! A group of talented women who have some fabulous work that we are excited to show you over the coming months! You’ll definitely have to stay tuned. If there is a name or face you aren’t familiar with, explore their blogs and see their work for yourself!
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Modern Baby, a new release from Martingale. I have a quilt in this book, which marks the first quilt I’ve submitted for inclusion in a book. (yay!) Read through to the end for a chance to win a free eBook copy of Modern Baby!
My quilt, Busy Blocks, is a such a great quilt for a beginner and a fast finish quilt for an experienced quilter. Squares and half-square triangles. Easy as that. My goal was to design a quilt that could grow with a baby, both in color and design. An added bonus? If you wanted to make the quilt larger, simply increase the size of the basic square units and the quilt scales right up to any size you’d want, while retaining the exact same look as the baby quilt. I love designs that can do that!
It is also a fun design to try out a variety of free motion quilting designs. I quilted this one myself on my mom’s long arm, using a different design for each color grouping. The book sample I made is entirely made up of Kona solids, with the specific colors listed in the book.
In all of my printed patterns, I like to show the design in multiple colorways or fabric choices. I think it’s helpful to see each design in a totally different light. And Busy Blocks got the same treatment. Here it is in soft, pastel girly prints.
I will always remember this quilt and its timing in my life. We’d just learned that we were expecting our third child at the same time I was working to complete the quilt. That could partly explain my desire to make the quilt in two color schemes…. we are one of those ‘crazy’ couples that waits until the baby is born to learn the gender! Now, we have cutie pie, four month old Rhett. One day, when this quilt returns to me, I’ll get to take his photo on it!
Want to win a copy of the eBook version of Modern Baby? You’re in luck! Martingale is giving one away to one of my readers. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite color combination to use in baby/toddler quilts (other than pastel blue and pink!). I’ll pick the winner one week from today- Friday, April 26th.
You’ll want to check in at all of the stops on the tour. Consider it one big, traveling baby shower. Each blog offers a different chance to win an eBook!
April 18: Jenny, StitchThis! http://blog.shopmartingale.
April 19: Shea Henderson, http://emptybobbinsewing.com
April 22: Jake Finch, http://generationqmagazine.
April 23: Audrie Bidwell, http://blueisbleu.blogspot.
April 24: Carolyn Friedlander, http://carolynfriedlander.com/
April 25: Melissa Corry, http://happyquiltingmelissa.
April 26: Jen Eskridge, http://reannalilydesigns.com/
April 29: Sarah Flynn, http://fairyfacedesigns.
April 30: Dana Bolyard, http://oldredbarnco.blogspot.
May 1: Amy Smart, http://www.diaryofaquilter.
May 2: Carrie Bloomston, http://suchitysuch.blogspot.
May 3: Victoria Findlay Wolfe, http://www.bumblebeansinc.
May 6,: Lindsey Rhodes, http://lrstitched.com/
May 7: Pippa Eccles Armbrester, http://www.pippapatchwork.com/
Welcome to my stop as part of the Collage Party! Collage is the debut fabric collection for my friend, the wonderfully talented and amazingly sweet Carrie Bloomston of Such Designs. Collage is manufactured by Windham Fabrics and will be available in July. Hoard your money, people. This line is awesome. Be sure to read to the end for a chance to win some of your own Collage!
I first met Carrie when I stopped in her booth at Festival in Long Beach back in 2011, but I knew of her for some time before that. Her branding is excellent and I was drawn to her use of color and her style the first time I saw one of her pattern covers. I thought, “This girl gets it!” Her designs are fantastic. (I used her Wonky Little Houses pattern to make a gift for my parents!) When I happened upon her booth that fateful day, I had no idea the friendship that would blossom. We started our pattern companies around the same time and became fast friends. Everyone should have a Carrie Bloomston in their lives.
In some ways, I’m glad that we live 1,200 miles away from each other. It makes our long phone dates extra special. I do, however, wish that Carrie lived next door so that she could help me be a mom who is good with making messy art with my kids. She’d loosen me up, I just know it. I also wish I could be part of her lemonade stands. If you take the time to read the other posts in the Collage Party, you’ll notice that everyone writes of Carrie’s incredible soul and the way she connects to people. They aren’t kidding! When she first shared that she was working on a fabric line, I couldn’t wait to see it. I knew that it would represent Carrie the Painter so well. And it does!
If ever there were a fabric line that represented a soulful and caring and warm and loving person like Carrie in the form of thread, Collage is it. The entire line works just as well in large pieces as clothing or tiny pieces in a quilt, which is a tall order.
The first photo in this post is the back of an upcoming quilt pattern. I can’t show you the front just yet, but I’ll show close ups because I want you to see the words Carrie has created and woven together on the Newsprint piece. People! Read these!
‘Sewinista’? Yes, please.
There are many things I appreciate about this print. Most importantly, it has voice. It’s also non-directional. Text prints are riding a wave of popularity, but it’s rare to find a great text print that is also non-directional. Which is oh-so-awesome and so much more versatile. (I wish for more non-directional fabric in the world, oh great fabric designers!)
As I cut and sewed the quilt above, a few of the pieces struck a chord with me. I used some of the bits and pieces left to make this mini-quilt for a friend’s sewing room. She was needing a little pick-me-up and Carrie’s fabric was so perfect that I stopped everything I had going and made this:
Blessings and love. I think I’d buy a bolt of this fabric, just for this section alone:
“My friends are my estate.” Perfect.
Please, please, please share this line with your local fabric store and tell them you’d love to buy it from them. Then stock up, because this fabric is so versatile and lends itself to an infinite number of projects and cuts and directions.
If you are itching to use Collage and can’t wait until July, here’s your chance! Carrie and Windham have generously supplied a pack of 10″ squares of the entire line for one lucky reader. Leave a comment telling me what you’re working on with that sewing machine of yours! Comments will be open until April 24th. Just be sure I have a way to contact you.
And while you’re at it, check out the other blogs that are part of the Collage Party:
This was the scene in my kitchen last night. Eight wonderful friends, neighbors, former teaching buddies and fellow preschool moms gathered around our kitchen table. All learning to sew. Can I start at the beginning?
While at QuiltCon, I attended the lecture given by Mary Fons (of Quilty). Her talk was one of the most memorable parts of a most memorable and awesome event. If you haven’t had a chance to hear it yet, go to Craftsy and enroll in the free QuiltCon Lecture Series course. She spoke about embracing the beginner and ensuring future of our craft. I left completely inspired to teach someone to sew.
Like many people who sew, I often have friends say in passing, “Oh, I wish I could make that,” or “I have a sewing machine, but don’t know how to use it.” Well…. I took those people and said, “Hey. If you’re serious about wanting to learn, I’m serious about wanting to teach you.” I’m selecting and sending them links to a few short Quilty videos (free online!) and then we recap and go over those things in person. They all commented on Mary’s approachable and fun personality in the videos, and I completely agree.
Last night was our first class and they made the Roll Up pillowcase from American Patchwork and Quilting. Quarter inch, half inch and French seams? Check! Pressing and pinning a long seam? Check! People excited to leave with a FINISHED project that they can use right away? Check! Look at these smiles!
I’m so happy, I think I could skip sleep for days. If you have ever thought about taking a friend or two and teaching them to create something with a sewing machine, DO IT. Give prizes for people who ask the most questions. Award a new seam ripper to the first person to need one. Assure them that, yes, you have bobbins goober up, too. And encourage, encourage, encourage.
Up next, we’re tackling rotary cutting and making half-square triangles to make little patchwork pillows. I can’t wait to see what these friends will have completed by the end of 2013!
What are you waiting for? Find some beginners of your own and embrace them (and their fear of winding their bobbins). You won’t be sorry.
If you want to leave a piece of advice or encouragement for these friends, feel free to do so in the comments!