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Paint Party: The Paint Fabric Collection

April 11, 2014

Parallels quilt pattern, elizabeth ancell, empty bobbin sewing studio, modern quilt pattern

Working with beautiful, vibrant fabrics is such a joy. Working with fabrics that have a clear handmade feel to them is even better. That’s the case with Carrie Bloomston’s upcoming line of fabric for Windham. It’s called Paint, and you’re going to love it! Read on for a chance to win a charm pack of the whole line! Paint arrives in stores in July/August.

If we’ve not met before…. Hi! I’m Carrie’s friend Shea. Pattern designer, author, wife, mom to three, and lover of all things sewing. Carrie and I met back in 2011 and became fast “pattern friends”. I just wish she lived closer so I could soak up her ability to get messy with kid art. Ha! In a digital world, where everything seems to be computer generated, Carrie’s painterly fabrics are such a welcome bit of fresh air.

This quilt is from a soon-to-be released Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio pattern, called Parallels. Parallels will be printed as a pattern book, full of six different quilt designs (each in sizes baby to king!) based on parallelograms. It was designed by Elizabeth Ancell (who is brilliant, by the way) and will be published with my pattern company. Keep your eyes out for it, as it will show up here and in shops all around shortly after Market in May. It was quite possibly the speediest-to-assemble quilt I’ve ever had the chance to make. (Thank you, mom, for the quick long arm quilting, too!) I can’t wait to share more about Elizabeth’s Parallels quilt designs. Soon!

What makes so many of Carrie’s Paint prints so great is that there are so many non-directional prints. When seams on a quilt match up with an identical piece of fabric, directional prints give those seams away too easily. Carrie’s fabric flows smoothly through Elizabeth’s clean, graphic design. And that red and newsprint stripe was screaming to be used as a binding!

If you want to see more of Carrie’s collection, check out the Lookbook here. Her awesome newsprint fabric is back (and even expanded), people!

Visit the other stops on the Paint Party, too:

April 9 April Rhodes
April 10 Sally Keller + Julie Goldin
April 11 Shea Henderson (that’s me!)
April 12 Ramona Burke + Jenny Kelly
April 13 Sam Hunter A Vintage Fairytale (Staci Barrett)
April 14 Rachael Gander + Erica Sage
April 15 Karen LePage + Tia Curtis
April 16 Shelly Figueroa + Fabrications2b (Bonnie Bobman)

Want to win some Paint fabric early? Leave a comment, telling me your favorite shape to see in a quilt. Squares? Parallelograms? Triangles? Circles? I’ll select a winner on April 21st! The giveaway is now closed. The winner is Margo! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Business Webinar Series: Starting Your Own Business

April 3, 2014

starting a craft business, how to start a craft business

If starting a business is something you’ve ever considered, check out the upcoming webinar hosted by The Modern Quilt Guild. I’ll be part of the panel and I’m looking forward to sharing with others (and learning from my fellow panelists!).

The webinar is free to members of the MQG, so head over to the MQG to sign up!

Coming Soon: School of Sewing!

February 27, 2014

School of Sewing, learn to sew, beginner sewing book

Big news to share today! My first book, School of Sewing: Learn it. Teach it. Sew Together. will come out in September!

Published by Lucky Spool Media, it is a book for the true beginner or those looking to teach a true beginner. There is machine buying advice, the what and why of sewing supplies, a detailed troubleshooting section and it’s filled quotes from actual beginners and I think that is my favorite part. It includes the storyline of my group of eight students who have been learning over the course of the last year!

My greatest hope is that not only will beginners pick up this book, but also experienced sewists looking to teach a friend, neighbor or co-worker to love our craft. The book is designed to tackle one project a month with each building on the skills learned in the previous lesson. The projects are functional, gift-able, and (with the exception of one project) can be made in one class!

This book is packed with info and is beautifully photographed by the ever so talented Lauren Hunt. It’s sophisticated and crazy informative and I can’t wait to show and share more!


Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 2.47.34 PM

I feel like celebrating! So let’s do just that. Now thru March 9th, all PDF patterns are 20% off in the shop with the code CELEBRATE.


And, start thinking about whom you want to teach come September! Have I got the resource for you!


Q is for Quilt: an ABC quilt

February 25, 2014


It’s Q Week in Graham’s preschool class. And that can only mean one thing: it’s time to take our ABC quilt to school!


As I pulled it out of the cabinet today, I realized that I’ve not blogged about this quilt. It’s a fun story that is worth sharing, I think.


These blocks were made waaaaay back in May 2010 in one of the bees I belonged to at the time. Each of the 11 other members made two letter blocks from the two fabrics I sent them. For example, one person made the F&S blocks, alternating which fabric was the letter and which was the background. I gave them a few resources online and in print form, but at the time there were not nearly the number of letter patterns out there as there are today. I’ve listed a few at the end of the post for anyone interested in doing something similar.


I got the blocks back right around the time we were packing up and moving from Kansas City to San Diego for our year long adventure there. I took them with me and finished the quilt top in January 2011 and gave it to my friend Angela Walters, along with a long list of words to quilt into each block.

ABC quilt, letter quilt, how to make a letter from fabric, fabric letters, alphabet quilt

Then I started my pattern business and kept bumping up other quilts of mine in line ahead of this one, so it wasn’t until January 2013 that we got around to the ABCs. Eleanor’s preschool class’ Q Week was looming! I think I actually texted a photo of the preschool class calendar to Angela as my official request to quilt it! Ha!


Angela did a fantastic job working in all of those words. There are names of family members (cousins, aunts, uncle, grandparent nicknames, etc), cities we lived in at the time (Kansas City and San Diego) and things the kids were into (trucks, swimming). It’s sort of like an I Spy.


I realize some letter teaching purists might call out the fact that the letters are wonky and many of the words are in cursive- not the type that they see or learn in preschool. But I don’t care. It’s such a fun quilt to share with others. In fact, Graham’s teachers approached me about bringing it before I could even offer! Eleanor’s teachers from the year before had told them about it!


Like all quilts I make, it’s meant to be USED! I left it with Graham’s teachers this morning with instructions to keep it all week, let them sit, stand, roll and jump around on it (minus shoes!) and I’ll just wash it up at the end of the week. The teachers always come up with great games to use with it.



The backing fabric from an old Cosmo Cricket line (called Girl Friday) was the actual inspiration for the quilt. I used a coordinating stripe from the line as the binding. The Kona solids are: jade, primrose, melon, tangerine, buttercup, olive, papaya, peony, canary and aqua.

If you’re looking for letter making resources, you are in luck! Here are a few you could use:

Elizabeth Hartman’s Refrigerator Magnets

Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci

Moda’s Spell it with Fabric blog hop (happening now!)

If you have another letter making resource, please share in the comments!

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