2015 Fall Catalog

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

One Million Pillowcase Challenge Sew-a-Thon - Give With Joy

 We are thrilled and honored to be a participant in the One Million Pillowcase Challenge Sew-a-Thon Blog Hop! Coats and FreeSpirit have sponsored this fabulous charitable challenge for many years and the Sew-a-Thon Blog Hop is all about inspiration and helping others - it's perfect for you! Learn more about the Blog Hop and Sew-a-Thon, by clicking here.


 Those who make are the most generous people I know and I’m convinced that the act of making expands our hearts and increases our capacity to see the value in giving. Makers are always the first to respond to need and they usually show up with every other maker they can find. Since the One Million Pillowcase Challenge needs your joyous making help for a September Sewathon - let’s talk pillowcase. Stay with me and you can find out how to help at the end!

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frankdiary of Anne Frank: the play
Pillowcases make fabulous gifts and are a tremendously easy way to perk up your own home décor. There are lots of options to consider and we have three yummy possibilities to inspire you. We’ve used fabrics from Free Spirit’s 2016 Fall collections that you’re going to love - Rosealea by Nel Whatmore, Isabelle by  Dena Designs and Sadie's Dance Card by Tonya Whelan. Click here to see 50 free pillowcase patterns on the One Million Pillowcase Challenge web site.

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” ― Abraham Lincoln

 Basic pillowcases are super-easy and super-quick to make. Novelty prints are fun to use, but there’s something totally classy and serene about a pillowcase made with basic stripes and dots. In general, you’ll want to choose three fabrics for your basic pillowcase – main, cuff and accent. Audition your fabrics by laying them out in the order they might go. Take a picture to see how the finished case will look - it's a great tool for decision making.

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa

Bright colors and patterns make a wonderfully bold statement and an exciting pillowcase. Audition your fabrics and think about where your pillowcase will be used and the overall look you want to achieve. If you’re making pillowcases to donate, make them as attractive as possible. The love you put in will be evident in the finished case and the recipient will instantly know that someone cares.


“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ― Maya Angelou

Making pillowcases is a sewing joy and it's especially delightful when you add a little variety and spark to the design. Charming fabrics become awesomely spectacular when you add interest with a scalloped cuff. Can you just imagine the smile on the face of someone in need who receives a case like this? That’s what the One Million Pillowcase Challenge is all about – miles and miles of pillowcase smiles!


 The Third Annual 24-Hour One Million Pillowcase Challenge Sew-a-Thon takes place this year on September 16th and 17th. American Patchwork and Quilting, originators of the Challenge will hold a Sewathon at their headquarters in Des Moines IA. If you're not close to Des Moines there may be an event in your area or you can plan one of your own. Even a few friends sewing together can make a magnificent contribution. Click here to visit the One Million Pillowcase Challenge Sew-a-Thon web site. You'll find pillowcase patterns, groups to join and places to donate. And, above all, make, enjoy and give - someone nearby is counting on you for handmade love and encouragement!
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan

Visit the other stops on todays blog hop:
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Friday, July 08, 2016

A Few Fun Facts About Kathy Doughty

We asked Kathy to share a few interesting facts about herself! She is a real Jack of all trades! Read more about one of newest designers.

- My last job before I owned a quilt shop was managing professional skateboarders…a natural cross over.

- I worked for SWATCH Watch when it was a start up company in the 1980’s.  The experience was critical for developing my perspective of changing traditional ideas to be colourful and lifestyle oriented.  My quilts are based on traditional designs but are made with the colors and techniques of today.

-I have taught in Australia, New Zealand, France, Canada and all over the USA at some of the best events

- I am  a yoga junkie

- I am the author of five books and I have two classes on Creative Bug

- Meeting Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably 10 years ago change how I see the world. Since then I have learned to be observant of the world around me gathering ideas for color combinations and patterns. 

- I work in my shop 5 days a week and do my design work in the evenings or on the weekend listening to the radio while I work.

-My fabric lines are meant to be connectors in shops.  They fit in with more traditional lines and gently merge them into the contemporary designers.  The colors are based on the different types of customers I have learned to identify in my shop which are pretty, contemporary or traditional.  We are human and have a need to seek what we know.  I hope that the colors I choose help people to move between the different styles with easy choices. 

-The designs are meant to be able to be fussy cut or used big

- Combining fabrics is all about making lines. We need to understand how to create line when light, medium and dark doesn’t work and this is often the case with contemporary fabrics.  It is hard to tell if it is light or dark when there are a lot of colors.  I am always looking to create interest…matching is not a word I use.

- Folk Art Revolution is my fourth fabric line. I designed it to be quilter friendly.  First I first start drawing ideas with a pencil on paper.  I research the concept and consider color palettes.  Then I start imagining how the fabric can be used in quilts.  To do this I look at the traditional structures of quilts as well as how a more modern aesthetic might work with the designs.  Quilts often have a feature design so for this range I have created a cast of characters inspired by folk art.  When piecing blocks we need a dense print to create lines or to define spaces.  I like big prints for medallions or large spacing blocks. All over florals are always popular so there has to be one of those!  I often find a decorative stripe handy for sashing, borders, or just for fun.  Of course we need a spot or dotty print and something with strong color to add some spice.  With these critical elements in mind I start playing with the elements to make the final designs.

- The line is called Folk Art Revolution but in theory it was inspired by the vast numbers of refugees moving around the world.  As an immigrant myself I spend a lot of time considering the impact of uprooting people…what its like to find yourself in a new land with new customs and traditions.   I found myself wondering about the people that came to America seeking freedom and how lucky they were to find a land that could be settled…where they could make a life.  On a serious note, I think it is important to think about that and give people a chance.  

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Thursday, July 07, 2016

Kathy Doughty introduces Material Obsession

Kathy Doughty's Material Obsession shop has been one of Australia's favorite quilt stops! Kathy's eye for quilting and mixing colors and pattern are nothing short of impressive. Kathy told us a bit more about her shop and her love of quilting. 

"I have been a shop owner since 2003. Material Obsession is a creative centre where people come to explore color and design freely and with support."

"As a self taught quilter my experience expanded on the floor of the shop working directly with customers helping them with their quilting issues.  I have an eclectic style developed from the many influences of the talented quilters I work with including many popular Australian designers.  My quilts grow organically inspired by challenging fabrics….stripes, plaids, big and colourful prints…if it looks like it might not sell you’ll find it in one of my quilts to demonstrate how to use the fabric."

"Combining contemporary designer fabrics has always been my area of expertise.  Long before colourful big prints were popular they were all we had on the shelves.  Exciting combinations of print on print are my specialty.  My quilt designs are never complicated technically but rather create interest by the way the fabric is used."

"My workshops are geared to encourage quilters to be confident in their decision making by providing methods for selecting fabrics, choosing techniques and generally reducing quilter confusion."

"Being a FreeSpirit designer is like coming home.  The names of the designers on the team comprise the majority of my stash and quilts.  In the beginning, customers would walk in my shop, look at the walls and declare, “this shop will never last!”   Determined to prove them wrong I set out to change the perception of what is acceptable in a quilt…"

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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Win Big for Kathy Doughty Week!

We are excited to participate in a BIG giveaway for Kathy Doughty Week! We will be giving 3 lucky winners SIX 1 yard cuts of her fabric(featuring both Flock Together and her NEW collection Folk Art Revolution), her new book Mixing Quilt Elements from C&T Publishing, AND a collection of American Patchwork & Quilting Magazines! All you have to do is enter below by submitting your email address to our mailing list! You can add a BONUS entry by following us on Pinterest through the entry below!

Good luck! Winners will be chosen on July 12th at 8:30am when the contest closes!

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

FreeSpirit Presents Juliana Horner Our NEWEST Designer!

FreeSpirit is proud to introduce our newest designer, Juliana Horner. Juliana Horner is an artist based in Nashville, Tennessee. The oldest of seven children and daughter to textile designer Anna Maria Horner, Juliana grew up in a largely creative household. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in fashion design at Pratt Institute in 2014, and has since been broadening and refining her creative skills in many areas including illustration, textile and garment design. Living in both Nashville's musically-enriched culture and the artistic capitol that is New York has helped cultivate Juliana's multifaceted approach to creating. She finds the energy to design fabric lying in between spastic episodes of drawing, playing various instruments strangely, going on hikes and browsing untouched corners of antique stores. 

 Juliana's art could quickly be described as cute and ethereal with an unexpected depth. She cycles between flowers, faces, objects and amorphous shapes with an expressive style. Stream-of-consciousness doodling fades in and out of realistic depictions and scenes. She is interested in illustrating both clear human connectivity as well as the changing colors, shapes and thoughts that live in the recesses of our minds which we can't logically make sense of. By combining these two ideas, she hopes to convey a beautiful truth. 

Juliana gave some insight on how her creative process flows at this years QuiltCon in Pasadena, CA. She shared snapshots of her artwork as well as a sneak peek at her debut collection. 

Here is a look at her debut collection "Fast Friends" shipping to stores in August 2016!

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