Monday, December 30, 2013

The Fox said . . . you are a winner!

Well we posed the question, what did the fox say and one lucky commentator was to be selected today as the winner of six, one yard cuts of FreeSpirit Fox Playground. We randomly selected Anna Conway! Check your email! Stay tuned for 2014 and even more fun ideas! Best Blogger TipsShare/Bookmark

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Quilting creates community. Sharing the joy with fellow quilters

Few communities experience the sheer joy and unbridled enthusiasm found in the sewing/quilting/crafting community. No one understands the point of doing something just for the fun of it quite like a person who cuts up fabric only to sew it back together into something new, something different. Certainly, no one understands the point of stash building better than a fellow fabric hoarder. We may have different styles and preferences, but when it comes down to the important bits, we all relate to the satisfaction found in sharing our passion with others, in the relief of talking about our latest obsession with people who “get” it.

These benefits are well understood by quilt guilds and their members. The regular meeting of like-minded individuals creates a strong sense of community, providing more than friendship and a chance to get out of the house. Seeing other people's work and understanding their choices helps us broaden our appreciation for the increasingly varied world of personal expression through fabric.

When we put aside our own preferences and ideas about what makes something beautiful, we can look with an open mind at someone's interpretation. This attitude makes way for inspiration. It may be a small thing, like an unexpected color choice or fussy cut detail, but it will spark your own creativity and get you thinking about ways to explore the idea in your own way. The best inspiration comes from exposure to new techniques, new ideas and new people.

Being part of group with a wide range of skills and backgrounds also guarantees you'll pick up helpful hints and tricks, especially great if you're just starting out and feeling overwhelmed. Even the old timers and those with thousands upon thousands of hours of experience are rewarded with the reminder of their own beginnings—the false starts, the fantastic fails and the fervent hope that it would all work out in the end.

We have a lot to give each other, a lot to share. When we come together as a group, we are force to be reckoned with. The love of our craft and of fabric goes a long way in bridging the gaps of our differences. As 2013 draws to a close and a New Year looms, think of ways you can contribute to and participate in groups of like-minded fabric lovers. We'll be kicking off the year with an idea to do just that, an idea we think you'll love.

Stay tuned for more details!
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Get your Fox on!

FreeSpirit Fox Playground by Dena Designs is the perfect fabric for some foxy fun, don’t you agree?  Do you know what the fox says?  If the fox was talking to you, what would it tell you to make from some Fox Playground?  Comment here and we will select two random commentators to win six, 1 yard cuts of this fun and trendy fabric.  The grand revel of what you think the fox says will be December 30 (in other words that’s when we will announce the lucky winners)! Go . . . .

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Fastest Holiday Gift Ever!

Add a homemade touch to the standard gift of a bottle of wine by making these classy, linen coasters. Featuring FreeSpirit Cocoon and Jenaveve Linen/Cotton by Valori Wells, this quick gift idea will dress up any table any time.   Click here for directions. Cheers and Happy Holidays!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Faster Holiday Gift Idea! The perfect Hostess gift!

You have one hour till your neighbor’s Holiday gathering and you do not have any idea on what you are going to take as a Hostess gift.  Well, plug in your iron and dust off your machine for this low sew, trendy idea using FreeSpirit Cocoon Linen/Cotton by Valori Wells. A simple topstitched double hem or two, along with raw edge applique pieces adhered with a fusible web and voila, a cute gift you can partner with a plate full of cookies.  Fast, fun and hip.  Click here for directions!

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Fast Holiday Gift Idea!

Over the past weeks, we have shared with you some Fabulous and Fun gift ideas you can make. As time ticks by and the days before Christmas become fewer, so does the time you may have to sit in front of your machine and create.  Here’s one quick idea to help you with those last minute creative gifts. Scarves are hot and very simple to make. This Infinity Scarf, featuring FreeSpirit Prince Charming Voile by Tula Pink, will take you less than an hour. 

So rev up your machine and get sewing one, three or a dozen . . . perfect for the tween or teen or any lady in your life! Click here to get started!

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Play With Color to Create a Whimsical Design

By Kate Smith
Did the illustrations of Dr. Seuss always draw your admiration? Maybe you love to watch Lady Gaga’s imaginative style? You don’t need to consign your free-flowing creativity to designing for kids. Instead, create a color plan that highlights your personality by using these color tips to spark your creativity and add a touch of whimsy to anything you make.
Bright colors used in multi-color combinations are the calling card of a joyful design. Start by selecting 2 to four bold hues that are of similar intensity. Then the secret is to not use an equal amount of each of the colors. Choose one or two colors that you will use as main colors and use less of the other colors.

Another way to pump up the energy is to favor high-contrast color combinations. Black and white is often used because they have the most contrast but any combination of light and dark colors can produce the same effect.

Inject playfulness into any project by using color in unexpected ways. You might add whimsy by incorporating fabrics with a fun mix of prints, large-scale patterns or unusual embellishments. Adding color where it isn’t immediately seen such as on the back or inside lining is sure to be a delightful surprise that brings a smile.

Get funky by reinventing classic and traditional patterns. Nothing says young-at-heart quite like acid green and aqua blue with a pop of radiant orchid. Think bold, modern art inspired combos.
Not quite ready to make the full commitment to a playful color scheme? Start by adding an unexpected color for just a little pop of color. Starting on a small scale will get you comfortable using more vibrant colors and soon you may even have confidence to build an entire whimsical, you- inspired color palette you love.

Indulge in your inner artist or Alice in Wonderland. Using these tips will help you build the color confidence to create a playful, creative quilt—the kind that will spark the next imaginative idea.
Keys to creating a playful, whimsical, and imaginative color combination
·         Multi-color schemes in playful combinations of 4 or more colors.
·         Bright, intense colors are a natural for this scheme. But just about any 4 or more colors of similar value and intensity have a playful quality, even pastels.
·         Strong contrast between colors
·         An element of surprise or delight is key. Color, scale, or pattern used in unexpected ways is a perfect way to bring this into your design.
Kate Smith is a well-recognized color expert sought out for her unmatched ability to show her clients how to use color to gain recognition and generate revenue. Kate shares her wealth of color knowledge and know-how on her website
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Foxes abound . . . fun and playful projects right on trend!

Sly and mischievous, foxes are popping up all over. From viral videos to jewelry, coffee mugs to handbags, it's hard to miss the adorable trickster. Right on trend, FreeSpirit Fox Playground by Dena Designs shows just how playful a fox and his friends can be riding bicycles and driving cars. It's a fun collection, perfectly suited for all sorts of delightful projects. For a whimsical applique project, check out our pillow project to a fun mask.


Click here for the Fox Mask instructions

Click here for the Fox Applique Pillow instructions

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sleep n’ Read Travel Pillow, the perfect hideaway for every kid’s treasures

Imagine a secret hiding place for your most treasured goodies.  Any child would love to stow away a favorite book, toy or stuffed animal in our fun Sleep ‘n Read pillowcase.  This fun and easy to make gift is perfect for the kids at daycare, neighborhood children or your nieces and nephew.  Ours features FreeSpirit Green House Flannel by Erin McMorris, warm and snuggly.  Make one or a dozen and don’t forget to hide a treasure inside!  Click here to get started!
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cooking in style, Mom n’ Me Aprons

Any Holiday cooking, whether cookies or a feast, will be more fun if the chefs are wearing Mom n’ Me Aprons.  Rows and rows of ruffles are stitched to a base cloth making for a very frilly, delicious gift idea.  These feature fabrics from FreeSpirit Dena Designs,  but clean out your stash and ruffle away!  Click here to get started!

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Fox Playground

Have you noticed, Foxes are hot? Perhaps it is the infamous YouTube video, “What Does the Fox Say,” with nearly 260 million views. Or maybe it is just that FreeSpirit Fox Playground by Dena Designs is just too cute not to be in vogue, especially for the discerning young lad! Here Dena, tells you what inspired this collection, available now at your local quilt shop. Stay tuned. We may not be able to tell you what the fox says but we can inspire you with fun and easy foxy projects and maybe a giveaway or two!

I have always had a huge love for fabrics and pattern mixing. When my son, David, was born (many moons ago), I had trouble finding a fabric that was just right for his nursery. As I began thinking of ideas for a new Free Spirit baby boy collection, I wanted to create something that would make you and your baby feel happy. Foxes riding bikes seemed to be the perfect subject to start out with and it just naturally developed into a collection using fun color combinations and patterns. Foxes and their woodland friends can be found riding bicycles, driving cars, and posing in hand painted picture frames. These fun foxes are just what I would have wanted to create everything from bedding to pillows to curtains in my son's room. There are also small scale coordinate patterns like chevrons and wobbly polka dots that would make fun mini-flag bunting, or for trim around a pillow. The hand drawn animals with big personalities could even be fussy-cut and adhered onto a onesie or jacket for a quick, simple embellishment. In my studio, we used the multicolored collection to create a special little teepee that's perfect for hiding out on a rainy day. Fox Playground comes in a variety of color ways, so you can play around with mixing and matching the patterns together. I hope you enjoy it!

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Relaxing Resolution! Keep calm and sew!

Editor’s Note: If you sew and quilt, we are certain you are well aware of the therapeutic nature of these creative crafts. There is something magical about taking flat pieces of fabric and creating a dimensional item. Research has proven that sewing does offer health benefits. We invited our friends from the Sewing & Craft Alliance to share with you the therapeutic benefits of sewing.

mom_girl_sewing33293If your 2014 New Year’s resolutions include getting healthier, you may be surprised to learn that picking up a needle and thread can help. Most sewing enthusiasts will talk about disappearing in to their sewing spaces and not coming out for hours. But did you know that there’s more than creativity going on in there?

Clinical studies have revealed the stress-reducing benefits of sewing, proving a stitch a day could help keep the doctor away. The former Home Sewing Association commissioned a study which compared five different home-centered pastime activities that used similar eye-hand movements and involved both experienced and novice sewers. Using biofeedback technology, cStudioSewingshots1FSFhanges to physiological indicators such as heart rate, blood pressure, and perspiration rate and skin temperature were recorded. The results indicated that sewing not only helped the women to relax mentally, but the subjects experienced drops in heart rate, blood pressure and perspiration as well.

The stress-busting results come as no surprise to custom clothier, author and sewing educator, Mary McCarthy. Mary agrees with the study results and adds “When I am in my sewing studio, my mind takes a mini-vacation from outside worries and influences. Stress melts away as I manipulate the fabric and thread and begin to see a project take shape.”

Joyce Perhac, Director of the Sewing & Craft Alliance concurs. “A hobby helps you to escape from the pressures of everyday life, if only for a short time” she says. “In addition, for those who love to sew or quilt, the feelings of accomplishment you gain from expressing your creativity can improve your confidence.”

Activities such as sewing are good for kids too. Sewing stimulates a child's creativity and serves as an effective tool in building self-esteem. Jane in StudioFSF

Cherice Taylor, owner of Making It Sew Fun in Chicago agrees. Cherice offers sewing classes for adults and also teaches children ages 6-13 how to sew. She states, “Sewing isn't the only skill a child masters. They learn to complete what they start, problem solve, learn from their mistakes and exercise patience in the process. Their focused attention is calming to the soul,” she adds. “Developing these life skills boosts a child's self-esteem with each completed project.”

So as you are making your New Year’s resolutions, a plan for a healthier lifestyle should include a good diet and lots of exercise, but consider including stress management activities like sewing as well. 

The Sewing & Craft Alliance (SCA) provides education and creative resources to sewing and craft enthusiasts as well as retailers, manufacturers and educators. SCA offers free learn-to-sew articles, SEW-lutions Education Guidelines, free project sheets and interactive opportunities for the sewing community. Visit them at

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Fun gift to make!

Make this fun Pod Pillow perfect for propping up a tablet, e-reader or smart phone. For a more masculine take on this gift, try using FreeSpirit World Tour by Parson Gray. Of course a more feminine version can be made from FreeSpirit Pirouette by Verna Mosquera. Add whimsy for a tween using FreeSpirit Moxie by Erin McMorris -- proof positive that fabric can change the look of any project! Best Blogger TipsShare/Bookmark