Monday, July 17, 2017

102 Year Old Quilting Hero

A FreeSpirit Hero!

A story that truly touches our hearts and I'm sure will touch yours..

Dorothy Wallace Foisy was born on June 26, 1915 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania and grew up in Monongahela, Pennsylvania over 100 years ago. Her mother died when she was three and her paternal grandmother and grandfather and lots of uncles and aunts raised her and her sister, Ruth. Since she was 6 years old Dorothy has been making quilts. She has always been very artistic.

She started out watching the family dress maker and her grandmother making quilts. She made little quilts for her baby dolls and then baby doll clothes. Over the years she made her daughters most of their clothes and even made matching clothes for their baby dolls.

Her life was full of family (four children), music, travel and art. Dorothy was a wonderful artist and also did embroidery and created beautiful handmade large quilts for beds. She was a natural interior decorator. From reupholstering furniture to building closets and painting entire rooms there was nothing that she couldn’t (or didn’t) do. Always happy and smiling, she was the positive spiritual center of her family.

Whenever there was an opportunity to help someone she was there. From a veteran with no legs in a wheelchair to a waitress with no front teeth - Dorothy was not only their friend she invited them over, gave them money, paid for the dentist, and took them out to eat. Dorothy’s middle name was “giving”!

Dorothy was always very interested in peace and would write to the White House with each new President and discuss the matter with them. She thought wars were so devastating and unnecessary. Mostly women and children were the victims of wars. She even has a personal letter from President Ronald Regan. Her uncles all fought in World War I and she lost her son in December 1963. Kim was a Lt. in the Navy. She had to fight a hard battle to recover from that loss. They made her a Gold Star Mother.

Dorothy has spent the last 30 years in Florida and last fall moved to Oregon to be near her two daughters, Dee Ann and Lynn. Over the last 15 years she has been making hundreds of baby quilts for children in need. Migrant worker's children, unwed mothers, mothers and children at risk, homeless children, etc. etc. The mother's loved the unique colors and designs of the quilts Dorothy made for each and every newborn baby. Dorothy loves babies! 

At 102 she is still making 5-8 baby quilts a month and she isn't slowing down anytime soon. It makes her so happy.

Watch Video

We are thankful to know such an amazing, selfless women who helps others through her passion of quilting!  Thank you, Thank you Dorothy for touching our hearts as much as you've touched those in need.  Keep on sewing!

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Friday, July 14, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Soul Mate by Amy Butler

It's safe to say this is a summer of LOVE!  I time the seasons around my big spring event, The International Quilt Market, which takes place in May. The show always kicks off my favorite time of the year, and this Spring and Summer I get to share my Soul Mate collection with you!

As with all of my fabric musings.. Soul Mate is inspired by a combination of my heart inspirations and a lovely mix of happy prints that help tell the story and spread the positive vibes!
Soul Mate is a sweet reflection on love and perfect co-creation that happens when synergy and beauty come together. There are two peacocks in my signature print "It Takes Two", and in a tongue and cheek kinda way, this couple represents me and my Soul Mate Dave.

To further play with and appreciate this idea, I invited some very dear friends of mine to share about their partners and express what they see as the deeper connection to each other. No boundaries of culture, religion or preferences, just pure LOVE! And why they are soul mates for each other.  Grab a tissue because what my friends share is absolutely beautiful!

I loved the idea of comparing how to make a great relationship and how to make a great quilt and that they do indeed parallel each other. Being in tandem and mixing elements go hand in hand in making a good quilt and a great relationship. Of course to keep any good relationship on higher ground "creative play" is encouraged! And that's why I have such a variety of prints in my Soul Mate mix. With 3 color ways and a balance of prints that compliment each other in a fresh, modern way; there is a multitude of stitching opportunities.

The other very special and significant detail about Soul Mate is it's printed on a new quilting fabric! 100% cotton poplin. It's a higher thread count that's made with finer yarns and provides a tighter weave and delicious hand! It feels like Liberty of London fabrics with more drape and a weight that is like traditional quilting fabric. It's superior! ( and it's priced the same as regular quilting fabric. ) That's a HUGE win win my friends! And it's beautiful to sew with. The finer quality and weave makes this fabric the perfect pick for quilting.. #1, but because of it's weave, the drape and hand combined also makes this substrate perfect for garment sewing and accessory sewing. I've given you a wonderful breadth of project ideas and some incredibly beautiful new free quilt downloads to get your Summer of LOVE sewing hot and bothered! ( wink wink!)

I love collaboration and I've been blessed to get to partner up with and share some great patterns including some of my own creations. It takes a village to raise an "Amy collection" and the talented hands of many local sewing friends, and near and far sewing friends, have stitched up these beautiful samples for your inspirational enjoyment! Follow the links to all good things contained here, and follow this LINK to my web site to see all of my inspiration images and read the beautiful messages from my friends. You'll be well on your way to a happy sewing summer!

To find Soul Mate fabrics just visit your favorite quilt shop or find one on my web site in my Where to Buy section.

Enjoy my friends! Create Beauty, Express Love and Be Kind, #loveislove


You can Cross My Heart over and over again! This lovely lovely quilt by Stacey Day Is a FREE pattern download folks! I am smitten..and grateful for Stacey's vision. She is so gifted at capturing the spirit of my collections and translating them into a meaningful, fanciful quilt design. Stacey did a gorgeous job stitching this quilt together and Gina Boone's quilting just put it over the top! Thank you ladies!

Details, details! It's easy to envision "nesting" with Soul Mate. Part of the fun for me is to weave the prints into my daily life.. the warmth of this collection transitions easily into home decor inspirations.

And... I'm happy to introduce the Mini Me of the Cross My Heart quilt! This is a new addendum for my Spice Market Tote pattern! You'll need both the pattern addendum and my Spice Market Tote PDFs to create this bag. Stacey helped Sheila and me translate her quilt design into small scale so we could create this great pattern addition. Let me tell ya, it took all I had to not steal his bag from my Quilt Market  booth display. I really adore it! 

Sweet construction and simple quilting make this bag extra special!

The ultimate in wall art! I was so darn proud to have this beautiful quilt hanging in my show booth in St. Louis! This is Stacey Day's "You Complete Me" quilt sewn by our friend Kerri Thomson and it's available as a FREE pattern download. All I had to do for this shot was add a few Annabelle hydrangeas from my garden. Lucky me! Lucky YOU!  Enjoy this free download! XO

And THIS honey of a bag  Is inspired by Stacey's "You Complete Me" quilt! As with my Cross My Heart Spice Market Tote addendum.. these new instructions transform my Spice Market tote bag into this stunning quilted carry all! You'll need both my new addendum PDF and my Spice Market Tote PDF to create this bag. We used a combination of Fairfield’s Extra-Loft Batting, Annie’s Soft & Stable Foam Stabilizer and Pellon’s SF101 Shape-Flex™ to add body and structure to the bag. Simple stitch in the ditch quilting adds just the right touch of depth to have this whimsical pattern come to life! 

We used Pellon® SF101 Shape-Flex™ & TP971F Thermolam Plus™ interfacings, and canvas by James Thompson & Co. to give the Tote #10 bag by Umami Midori from her Umami Canvas World book its wonderful feel and structure. Sheila and I work hard to find just the right combination of interfacing and or batting to give our projects the perfect look. Here are a few extra links to the products we love to use! and This tote would be great in my studio filled with fabric or filled with books lakeside during my mini breaks at our lake house.

Happy poufs for modern living! My Gum Drop pillows are delightful to look at and make any living space fun and interesting. Our college kidos are heading back to school next month and these pillows make for great additional seating.. and easily move to the next dorm room / apartment upgrade! 

Fairfield’s Stiffen Fusible Interfacing & Soft Foam Support Stabilizer give my Ultimate Storage Bins soft and sturdy structure for all kinds of organizational ease! Think.. cat carrier ( oh wait ... that's in my house) laundry tote and storage, dorm room catch all, fabric stash keeper... and great for gift baskets in the smaller sizes of course! 

You can see the drape beautifully with my Caftan pattern. The other bits I adore about this garment is it offers up the opportunity to bring two happy prints together and it's the easiest simple sew garment you can imagine. The poplin quilting fabric feels wonderful on your skin too!

Soul Mate has a lot of breadth in scale of prints making this collection one of my most wearable.I LOVE this tunic by Yuko Sato from the Japanese Craft book “Hooray Dresses and Tunics". My friend Molly constructed it with a little Pellon SF101 Shape-Flex™ fusible woven interfacing in the cuffs and collar to give both a bit of shape. The poplin transitions perfectly in this design and it's incredibly simple and elegant. We opted to face the bottom section of the tunic with more fabric so the peek a boo areas are reflections of the exterior print. Once this one gets back from trunk shows and store events.. it's going right into my closet!

The Curlew dress by Merchant and Mills is the prettiest summer silhouette! We lined it with a little bit of FreeSpirit's voile to help with the sheer feel of this light design. It looks fabulous layered with Lotta's Pivli coat from her Everyday Style book! 

Voila! Here is Lotta's Pivli coat which also pairs up nicely with a chill pair of jeans and a classic white T.

Uzi peering in with his approval of Stacey Day's "True Love" quilt  Our friend Kerri Thomson did an amazing job constructing this quilt. We are so proud to get to partner with both of these ladies. The FREE pattern is available on Free Spirit's web site. Generous opportunities to create this summer folks! #sewhappy!

My lovely lampshades from my Piece Keeping book create colorful bright spots in my studio. I've chosen a nice mix of prints from all 3 color ways to make this whimsy patchwork.

Scrap patches for me are the best! Sheila and I and some great friends at Quilt Market have created several of these blocks for a charity quilt for our women's shelter. Wanna make good use of your scraps? You can follow my Splendor Patchwork Pillow free PDF to get you started on the foundation pieced blocks, and you can find a local women's and children's shelter in your home town by following this national link  Doing good feels good! #loveisunlimited and so are YOU! 
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The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Floral Waterfall by Shannon Newlin

Floral Waterfall by Shannon Newlin

Floral Waterfall is my very first fabric collection with FreeSpirit .  I am thrilled and honored to be able to say “Hi!”  here from the blog and share a little bit about myself and this new collection.

My Artist Journey
I love painting, and I’m slightly obsessed with creating patterns and unique color combinations. I am particularly influenced by the beauty found in nature and flowers.   My inspiration for Floral Waterfall began with what I could find easily.  I enjoy taking mini strolls in the backyard or long hikes outdoors. I tend to collect leaves, petals and sticks and bring them back to the studio to play with.  Here is a little photo of random things I collected in my yard along side a photo of a beautiful tree taken during a walk.
The dark leaves near the bottom of the leaf collage look almost like a butterfly!   It’s these type of gentle shapes and colors that inspire me to sit down and create something.

Pattern Play
In creating Floral Waterfall I wanted to play against a very detailed floral pattern as well as a print with more breadth and openness such as in these 2 different designs…

On some days I just love working close up with very tiny details that go on and on; and on others, I find joy painting loosely as on the right. In either case, I never sketch things out…I just let my gathered findings along with my visual memory of my walks guide my paintbrush. 

Creativity Together

I am really looking forward to the next magical step in this creative journey which is YOU!! Now, I get to see all the goodness that can be created from Floral Waterfall.  I truly look forward to what quilt, clothing, craft project or special item you create.  What will YOU make?  I can’t wait to see! 
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Spring Fever by Jane Sassaman

Spring Fever by Jane Sassaman

Hello, everyone! I am pleased to be invited to tell you a little bit about my latest collection for FreeSpirit called Spring Fever. As the name implies this is a group of fabrics that truly has an optimistic, and frankly, a romantic point of view.

The collection revolves around Queen of the May, who is tickled pink that winter is finally over and the season of growth has begun. This design is a bit giddy with good cheer. The Tulips follow up in the promising procession, a quintessential symbol of Spring.

As you know, I favor large scale designs, which I call Personality Prints because of their obvious graphic power. But this season we decided to try them in a more delicate scale (mini), as well. I like them both!

The large print is fabulous for fussy cut quilts and the mini prints are wonderful for wearables and quilting,too. We have designed several quilts with this happy fabric, but my favorite one is called Stargazer. This is a paper piecing project. The white background really creates a light and airy feeling. You can download your free pattern on  Final pattern coming soon!
Designed by Jane Sassaman
Quilted by Gina Boone
Pieced by Melissa Peda

Here are some wearable projects made with the Mini Queen of the May fabric. The shirt dress is Vogue Pattern, Bill Blass #2961. I love the addition of the stripes. The little girls jumper is a classic Butterick #5283 from our archives. The tiny blouse is made from vintage Sassaman fabric from the Enchanted collection. So cute!

The rest of the supporting players add some “sass” to the collection. They contribute some contrast and graphic sting especially when they are paired with the frilly flowers.

But these fabrics are mighty powerful on their own! Here you see a quilt design that would delight all of you Mid=century Modern fans. What a difference a change in color can make! This is made with a 10” block, plus the Checkerboard and Sassy Stripes in the Indigo and Mexican color pallet.

I think these designs have lots of possibilities for your sewing summer projects and I’d love to see what you stitch up!
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