Sunday, September 30, 2012

12 Weeks of Christmas, Starts Tomorrow!

 Welcome everyone to the 12 Weeks of Christmas, Sewing Projects! We will be show casing a new tutorial each Monday, starting tomorrow, October 1st and ending December 17th. We will be featuring a tutorial from our awesome guest bloggers below and they will show you how to make a simple Christmas project that is great for little gifts or Holiday party favors! Each week we will be having a giveaway on the guest bloggers’ page and you can upload and see the projects in the flickr group here.

So grab your favorite FreeSpirit fabrics and get ready to sew because…Christmas is only 12 Weeks away!!!

October 1st Holly from Bijou Lovely Designs
October 8th Amy from Sitchery Dickory Dock
October 15th Bianca from Sweet Diesel Designs
October 22nd Melissa from 100 Billion Stars
October 29th Jennifer from Ellison Lane
November 5th Elyse from Elyse Susan Design
November 12th Tacha from Fat Quarterly
November 19th Jenelle from Echinops and Aster
Novermber 26th Sara from Sew Sweetness
December 3rd Katie from Swim Bike Quilt
December 10th Rachel from Sitched in Color
December 17th Kati from From the Blue Chair

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Tula visits New York City

FreeSpirit designer Tula Pink recently visited City Quilter in New York City and did two trunk shows.  We thought we would share photos from her program so you too can feel like you were there. Tula showed her latest FreeSpirit fabric collection The Birds & the Bees as well as Night Shade, Prince Charming and Parisville plus talked about her love for quilting on her Bernina sewing machine. The next time your local quilt shop hosts a "sewing or quilting celebrity" or an activity, consider being a part of the fun.  There is always something new to see or learn plus the friendships you develop inside your local quilt shop are bound by a common thread; the love of sewing and quilting. Enjoy!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

So, a fabric designer, and sewist walked into a fabric store . . .

Sounds like the beginning of a joke? Could you imagine asking a fabric designer what inspired his or her collection? And then ask, what would they make from their fabrics. Sounds like nirvana. We selected two FreeSpirit fabric artists and their newest collections to find out just what goes on in their minds when it comes to designing fabric.

Center City, Jay McCarroll

“Center City is a visual road trip through some of the greatest cities in America. From the underground graffiti of Philadelphia to where the stars and sand meet in Palm Springs, I was inspired by the essence of eight cities and interpreted each in an exciting, abstract and urban way.”

Butterflies & Flower, Jill Gordon
Jay McCarroll
Center City

“Following the lead of my fellow artist Kaffe Fassett, I was inspired by his bright and colorful palettes. My fluttery collection, Butterflies and Daisies, speaks to the Spring-like fantasy of any little girl or anyone looking to brighten their creativity. Much like the rising dew in Spring, my butterflies, daisies and artistic stripes bring a sense of renewal, cheerfulness and happy thoughts.”
Jill Gordon

With the inspiration at hand, what do these fabrics say to you? Urban and graphic, use Center City to make our Messenger Bag. Add frivolity to your sewing or a little girl’s room with our Butterflies & Flowers Chevron Stripe Floor Pillow. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One Million Pillowcase Blog Hop with Annette Tatum

American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge - They still need your help! Click here to GET INVOLVED
During the month of September, the good folks at American Patchwork & Quilting magazine are hosting a One Million Pillowcase Blog Hop. As a sponsor, FreeSpirit was lucky enough to be asked to participate. So, we turned to Annette Tatum and asked her to make pillowcases and share with us what it means to give back through her fabric and talents.

Annette Tatum

Annette chose to use the Basic Pillowcase pattern to really highlight her new fabric, Tailored.  Here is waht Annette says about the One Million Pillowcase  Challenge and why it is near and dear to her heart.

"Over the years I have had the most rewarding experiences when I give back to the community. Recently my husband and I helped to remodel a shelter for women and children. I have to say that the person who walked away with the biggest gift was me. When FreeSpirit asked me to make pillowcases for my favorite charity,  I felt the soft, shabby chic look of Tailored would offer the handmade love of patchwork while carrying a small piece of home for any child and my charity of choice Conquer Cancer LA.
I know that it is especially difficult for children who are ill to spend time in the hospital.  A pillowcase made especially for any child helps to bring home into the hospital.  Small reminders of home offer hope to many who are ill.  For a long time I have wanted to find a way to use or recycle our bits and pieces of scraps from our production. There are lots of fabric pieces that are large enough to patchwork small comfort items such as pillowcases, pillows and blankets. I would love for each child while they were in the hospital to be able to go home with a "pillow made of love".

I encourage every one to pay it forward by joining the One Million Pillowcase Challenge and donating pillowcases to a local hospital or organization.  If you don't sew, volunteer your time.  Sharing whatever knowledge, talent or love you have only benefits us all. That feeling of making a difference in someone else's life is incredible and I always walk away wanting to do more."

If you want to learn more or just want to follow the Blog Tour, here are a list of other participants to inspire your creativity and love for giving from your hands and of your heart!

7. Betsy Chutchian
8. Vanessa Christenson
9. Andover Fabrics
10. Laurie Simpson
11. Oak Hill, Ohio
12. Robert Kaufman Fabrics
13. Pam Buda
14. Indygo Junction
15. 4-H
16. Katie Hennagir
17. Anni Downs
18. FreeSpirit Fabrics
19. American Patchwork & Quilting Staff
20. Patty Young
21. Moda Fabrics
22. Monica Solorio-Snow
23. Moda Bake Shop
24. Andover Fabrics
25. Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage
26. Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics
27. Therm O Web
28. Edyta Sitar
29. Fabri-Quilt
30. Cherri House

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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Katharine's Wheel by Nel Whatmore inspired by spirals!

Editor's Note: It's September and FreeSpirit Katharine's Wheel is making a splash at your local retailers.  Nel Whatmore shares with us her musings about art, fabric and how Katharine's Wheel was brought to life.  
Picture 1

Well it’s nice to pause in my busy day to write this and say hi to all of you who like Freepirit Fabric. It’s that time of year when a few leaves start to fall and the days grow a little shorter and my next collection had to be finished September 1st!

I am a fine artist who also designs so everything stems from my original paintings. Pic 1

Nel at Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England
It’s been a very busy month ,as I have just been to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, as a guest designer for the reatiler Cottonpatch in the UK. We had a great time as Rowan artists Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably were there, as well as FreeSpirit's own Tula Pink, who I met for the first time.

I was helping launch my new range, Katharine’s Wheel and also my new dedicated pattern website. Often as a designer you spend days and days gazing at patterns and color ways trying to work out the ideal combination, so it is really very lovely to meet so many customers and also to see how much people loved the Katharine's Wheel quilt, which turned out exactly how I wanted it to. Here it is draped all over our house! 

Picture 2

So why did I call it Katharines Wheel?  The collection is inspired by things large and small. I realized, much to my surprise one day, that we have over the years filled our house with many things that have spirals on them. From ceramics, (picture 2), to the feet and tops of clocks, (picture 3) , to the shape of our garden path and so on and so on. We spent many hours making a lovely garden path with the kids, collecting shells and glass beads every year adding another section until now it is finally finished. 
Picture 3

It seems as though many people are drawn to spirals and curves and find them comforting and also pleasing. So, I started to look into spirals and evidently in many cultures they are viewed as a universally positive symbol.

I find that the feel good factor plays a very important part in my painting too. It seemed only right to design a collection around curves and spirals. The collection is called Katharine’s Wheel because my middle name is Katharine, and the firework of the same name is yet another example of the spiral! They’re everywhere!!

So we have lovely rich spirals and sparks and spots and bubbles of color. The stripe I designed so that you have a great border print which reminds me of the first sewing I did at school --a little cross stitch and running stitch samplers.

I have had so much fun making things for the Festival of Quilts. Pic 7A 7B. Including of course the collectible cat pattern for this collection ‘Dotty Cat’.

If you missed ‘Happy Go Lucky Cat’, it’s a FREE DOWNLOAD when you join The Cat Club. Pic

I also love the Katharine’s Wheel Shopper (picture 4) and also the basket (picture 5) I made sitting in front of the telly watching the Olympics! So many people have asked me how to make it, that I will be putting it on the ‘Creative Things’ part of the site shortly!

Picture 4

Picture 5
Well it was light when I started writing this and dark now so time to go. But thanks for listening and look forward to hearing what you all think of Katharine’s Wheel

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Monday, September 03, 2012

Happy winners for Jennifer Paganelli's Happy Land!

Wow! All you Jennifer Paganelli lovers really out did yourselves.  190 total comment to our question about what in your childhood inspires your creativity today. The six randomly selected commentators and winners of six, 1 yard cuts of Happy Land as well as Jennifer's book Happy Home are  CathyH, sweetdieseldesigns, Shirley C, Lorrie Orr, Sewfunbymonique, Heather A and Gale, KY Quilter.  You should receive an email from us verifying your good fortune!

Don't give up though.  Our next designer featured will be Nel Whatmore and her newest collection, beautiful Katharine's Wheel. Stay tuned!
Katharine's Wheel by Nel Whatmore
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