Friday, April 10, 2015

New Collections from Art Gallery Fabrics

Hello, blog friends!

This week, Art Gallery debuted ten new lines (!!!) that will be released this spring and summer, leading into fall. There's tons to see so let's take a look.

Anna Elise is the latest collection from Bari J. This line features bunnies, guitars, and free spirited florals with the namesake young girl on horseback. I love the teal and orange tones in this line as well as teeny tiny pops of metallic! Anna Elise arrives in shops in May.

We had Caroline Hulse's first collection, Gleeful, when she debuted her fabric designing skills as an Art Gallery Limited Edition designer last spring. She's been hired on to AGF's permanent design team with her new line Happy Home. My favorite prints are that bias scallopy stripe, her big hand painted text, and cutesy cartoon houses. Love the rich navy with all those bright colors! Happy Home arrives in stores in May as well.

So happy to have a new collection from Jeni Baker!! Her color palette with this line, titled Curiosities, is so rich and gorgeous and the prints are adorable (as usual). I love the scallop but my favorite print, by far, is the bunnies! George the bunny is on fabric!! Just when I thought Jeni's fabric couldn't get any cuter, she does that. Curiosities ships out in June.

We still have Skopelos coming from Katarina Roccella in May but in this unveiling, we get to see TWO more collections from this busy lady! First is Imprint. Prints in this line are wonderfully clean and geometric, drawing inspiration from printmaking and linotype. The colors on this one will play really well with Etno and Maker, if you have some of those in your stash. Imprint arrives in stores in June. 

Sketchbook is Sharon Holland's second collection with Art Gallery. Lots of soft pinks, greens, and gold accented with rich indigo in these prints. I love the pen and ink prints-- they look like scans from a page of my own sketchbook! Other favorites are the scattered square blender and big poofy dandelion wisps. Sketchbook ships to stores in July.

April Rhodes's third collection from Art Gallery, Bound, comes out this summer. Much like her first two, Bound has southwestern vibes. Her rich color palette is my favorite thing about April's line and this one introduces a gorgeous jade green and cerulean blue, both of which I'm gushing over, combined with signature golden mustard, burnt orange, and soft, warm greys (all of which I have happily come to expect from April). Bound arrives in stores in July.

Playing Pop is the next house designed line from Art Gallery. With prints ranging from floral to abstract, this line will be super versatile and will play well with tons in our stashes (Geometric Bliss, a little Petal and Plume, Dreamin' Vintage perhaps?) with minty greens, soft plums, and sugary pink on creamy backgrounds. Playing Pop ships out in August.

Pat Bravo's Artisan is a nod to handmade craft and makers who create them. Colors in this collection are wonderfully saturated and prints nod to quilting, watercolors, embroidery, and the natural texture of textiles.  Artisan ships to stores in August.

New from Bonnie Christine is Succulence.  This line features pen and ink style line drawings of cacti and other flora, polygons, rain drops, and several great low volume prints. Her colors vary from rich jewel tones to fresh pastels. My favorite print is definitely those prickly pear cacti! Succulence arrives in shops in September.

Last, and certainly not least, is Wonderland, Katarina Roccella's second collection from Art Gallery in this unveiling. As an clear nod to Alice in Wonderland, this collection takes us all on a trip down the rabbit hole. Tea sets, camouflaged owls, whimsical flowers and dolls all make big statements in this new take on a classic tale. Wonderland ships to stores in September.

Check out this look book for bigger swatches of all the prints from these collections!

What are you guys excited for? Any collections you're thrilled about? Are there trends you'll pass on? 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Camp Stitchalot fun!

Happy New Year, friends!! I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is ready for all the exciting things to come in 2015. I know I am!

I realized a few days ago that I totally forgot to share all the fun we had at Camp Stitchalot this fall!! It was such a blast and insanely productive so I thought I should tell you guys a little bit about that weekend and talk a little bit more about our camp this coming May. Hold on, guys. This is a long post.

In November, we had the privilege of hosting Carolyn Friedlander and Sherri Lynn Wood at our shop and at the Hankered Inn. Carolyn was kind enough to teach her new Outhouse pattern in a small class at our shop before the festivities of camp weekend set in. This pattern is so cute and a really great place to start for a beginning paper piecer.

Carolyn's class was the first one held in our new shop!
Carolyn's Outhouse samples made for our class (from her IG)
Local friend Maggie's cute, wintery houses made in class! (From her IG)

At camp we were treated to an trunk show with Carolyn, showing off her awesome needle turn appliqué, paper piecing, and quilting skills. I was dying a little bit-- she's one of my favorites. I love her style with simple and clean lines but it's done in a really organic way. So cool.

Our first class at camp was with Carolyn too. She taught us the basics of needle turn appliqué by way of the Aerial Grove quilt from her book Savor Each Stitch. The book does a great job discussing different elements of design in direct application to quilting. It's definitely one of the first books I pull when I'm looking for a little inspiration or if I feel stuck in a project.

Carolyn's "Facing East" pattern. Such a cool pattern for a color study.
Love her "Aerial Grove"-- her background with whites, low volume
prints, and soft yellows feels "solid" but adds just enough dimension
to a large area of negative space. 
Personally, I was super intimidated by learning needle turn appliqué. I'd never successfully done this technique before (I may or may not have attempted to make this quilt at our summer Camp Stitchalot and quickly abandoned the project). But her style of thread basting was super helpful! I loved seeing all the fabric choices around the room for this project too. By the end of the weekend, everyone had mastered the "squircle"!

Rose went with Liberty-- a perfect way to spotlight those
gorgeous, itty bitty prints! (From her IG)
My mom Cherie went to camp with us and she opted for
Alison Glass's Handcrafted with some Cotton+Steel on
Essex Yarn Dyed linen. 

Here's mine-- I've got 3 out of 4 rows appliquéd so far.
I'm determined to finish this one ASAP and hand quilt
it. I see a new bed quilt in my future!

On Saturday, Sherri Lynn Wood taught us all the ways of curvy improv. The class started after breakfast with a little guided meditation which was awesome. Everyone was calm, centered, and ready to go attack their improv projects. We spent the first half hour or so working in silence and focusing on our own fabrics. Sometimes the atmosphere at camp is a little hectic-- everything is exciting and we're all making new friends so it's easy to get distracted. This exercise had everyone totally in the zone.

Sherri Lynn did a great job in pushing people out of their color comfort zones. She challenged us to throw in fabrics we never thought we would use and for most of us, the results were surprisingly awesome.

So much curvy goodness! And such color! (From our IG)

We also learned some awesome tricks about sewing with curves using bias cut strips and even darts to get our quilts to lay flat! Look at all these awesome curvy pieces made by campers.

Karen's color choices are killer and the Alison Glass Handcrafted
is the perfect pop of print! (From her IG)
Here's Brenda's improv. It almost killed her to put in that strip of
bright pink but it looks awesome! (From her IG)
Our friend Stephanie finished a top made from her improv wedges
made with a whole bunch of Paint by Carrie Bloomston. Awesome
job, Steph!! (From her IG)

All in all, we got tons of stuff done. This was, by far, the most productive retreat I've ever been to. Everyone was so into their new projects and it was awesome to see some finishes!

Now let's talk about camp this May. I'm pretty excited for this one because I know I'm going to learn a ton. We have Christine Haynes, Alexia Abegg, Rae Hoekstra, and Karen Lepage teaching us the basics of garment/dress construction.

Our awesome teachers: Christine Haynes (top left), Alexia Abegg (top right),
 Rae Hoekstra (bottom left), and Karen Lepage (bottom right).

I'm not much of a garment sewist myself and I will credit that to two things:

  1. Fit-- I am 5'11, my proportions are different from a woman of average height, and I don't know what to do with a pattern to make it look right. Whether you're busty (or not at all) or you're more pear shaped (or maybe you don't have a butt), short or tall, fit is always super scary. No one wants to waste their time making something that is going to fit weird. If I wanted that, I could walk into any retail store and pick something off the rack.
  2. Finishing techniques-- I love the idea of handmade garments but I do not want that "homemade" look. Basically, I lack the finishing skills to make a garment look high quality if I'm sewing it myself.

Luckily, over the course of the weekend, we'll be learning all sorts of tips and tricks to help remedy those concerns. Over the weekend, our guest instructors will be teaching to a brand new shift dress pattern by Alexia Abegg. The pattern isn't released until spring market (early May) but from what I've seen so far, I can tell you guys it's going to be super cute and will be a sewing success story for any of our campers. As soon as more info for this pattern is released, it will be forwarded along to campers!

So with classes this weekend, we'll first learn about proper pattern sizing/measuring, the functions of muslin making, and how to do simple adjustments. Basically, how to pick a pattern and prep for it. I always forget how important and time consuming prep work is so we're going to talk about all of that. Next, we'll learn about bust adjustment. This will be a simple instruction on small or full bust adjustment and will help improve the fit of the dress without changing the style. Hooray!!

After that, we'll take all of our adjusted busts and go into the rest of bodice construction including things like darting, shoulder seams, side seams, and even adding sleeves. Almost a whole dress is ready at this point! Finally, we'll go over simple finishing techniques to really polish your garment. Learn about hemming by machine or by hand, different seam finishes, bra strap stays, and even discuss the use of different specialty fabrics in future projects.

Like any other camp, our teachers are here to give you one-on-one assistance with your projects and help you through any questions you have along the way. That's really the beauty of Camp Stitchalot. You get to work right along with the pros in a small group for a whole weekend and get hands-on help while you're working.

So much learning to look forward to! Will you be joining us at Camp Stitchalot??

Head to the Camp Stitchalot page on our site for more info or click here to get your ticket while you can!

Friday, December 12, 2014

New clubs with Pink Castle!

Hello, friends!! I know our blog has been a little quiet in the past few weeks. We've been at Camp Stitchalot (which I'll tell you more about another day) and we've been working on some really cool new things which I'm happy to share with you guys now!

First, we're adding a block of the month club! Starting in January, we'll have the new Moccasin BOM from GenX quilters!

Block of the Month clubs are pretty simple and we're happy to introduce the first from us! Each month, members of the Moccasin BOM Club will receive a pattern and all the pieces of fabric they'll need to create that month's designated 9 1/2" square block. The club lasts for 12 months so you'll get a block from us each month through all of 2015! By the end of the year, you'll have 12 finished blocks and all the fabric to finish your 65" x 65" quilt top plus binding. We'll have backing kits ready for you too as the year comes to a close. 

The Moccasin quilt is a really great way to expand your repertoire with traditional techniques like half square triangles, flying geese, nine patches, and rail fences as well as some more challenging piecing with curves, strings, and appliqué for a Dresden plate. 

The cost is $11.25 per month (plus shipping). Your club membership will bill on the 18th every month and ship on the 23rd. You can head to the Moccasin BOM page here to sign up and keep an eye out for a quilt along with the other Pink Castle Hayley blogger.

Next, something I'm really excited about, is our new Notions Club! This club is basically a subscription service for notions you use on a regular basis-- rotary blades, Aurifil thread (we have a few options for colors in either 50wt or 40wt), sewing machine needles, Sewline glue pen refills, and our favorite Soak products like Flatter, Soak Wash, and Handmaid. 

For the notions club, you simply click a little check box for each product you want included in your box and we ship it to you at the end of each month. Never worry about running out of your essentials again! We'll make sure you're always well stocked on the notions you need. You can read more about the Notions Club and sign up over here.

Last, but certainly not least, we're offering a new Monthly Club Box. If you subscribe to more than one of our clubs (which I know many of you do), this will make shipping much simpler for everyone. Rather than paying shipping on each club bundle that gets mailed to you, the Club Box will let you pay one flat fee for shipping and all your bundles sent out in one big parcel each month.

Shipping for the club box will be $5.75 in the US, $11.00 for our Canadian friends, and $15.00 everywhere else internationally. It's only a buck (for the US, three bucks for everyone else) per club to add it to your box and we'll ship it out to you on the 30th of each month! Check out the Monthly Club Box page for more info on simplifying your club shipping.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Priory Square is here!!

Art Gallery hinted around for a while this summer before finally announcing who their new Limited Edition designers would be. You can imagine how excited we were to hear it was our lovely dear friend, Katy Jones. It feels like ages since this announcement was made and we've been ever so patiently waiting the arrival of her prints. I am so happy to say that day has finally come!

Katy's collection has eight prints on quilting weight cotton plus two knits (Cottagely Posy and Clover Field) and her feature print, Sunday Clippings, in voile. Her booth at market was so gorgeous and had lots of projects made up with all the different substrates.

Cute dresses and things made up in knit, voile, and quilting cotton!
Katy's new Aurifil thread box and an Open Wide Pouch (free tutorial here!)
with Sunday Clippings on top and that gorgeous map print on the bottom
Love this Sew Together Bag! And that rose print in metallic ink is killer.
And of course a cute Katy pattern (also seen in issue #1 of Quilt Now)
How cute is this booth?! I want Priory Square bunting in every corner of my home!

And of course a few copies of Quilt Now in the booth!
Yardage and bundles are listed on our site here for you to order. If you ordered from our pre-sale, we'll be getting all these beauties to you as soon as possible! I loved all of the projects I got to see from Katy in Houston and I look forward to seeing what all you whip up!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

318 Patchwork Quilt Along!

The very awesome Allegory at A Thousand Needles has been hosting a quilt along for the 318 Patchwork Patterns book! She started in mid October and each week, she'll feature four blocks with a guest quilter and a giveaway. Her inaugural post with all those details can be found here (along with weeks one and two).

This week (or rather last week but given our shop move, it's been pretty chaotic around here) the guest on Al's blog is our very own Brenda Ratliff! She owns Pink Castle Fabrics, in case you were not already aware. She rules.

Brenda made block #5 from the book, this sweet ice cream cone. I told her she should make all the sweet treat blocks into a pillow set because how cute would that be?! Brenda put the time into nice finishing techniques too like a hidden zipper and contrast binding. You can read more about her experience working from this book and making the pillow over on her blog.

There have been a bunch of cute blocks stitched together so far-- mugs, apples, ducks, shooting stars, hearts, and this super cute little tulip!

This tulip, a shooting star, and heart featured in week 1!

A duck (block #95) pieced by Allegory
A chicken (block #99) pieced by guest blogger from week 2, Penny from SewTakeAHike

The 318 Patchwork Patterns book uses the freezer paper method of paper piecing which some of you may not be familiar with (I know I'm not). Al was also kind enough to put together a great tutorial on how to do this method of paper piecing!

I was really excited to get this book in the shop as soon as I found out we'd be carrying it and now seeing all these blocks worked up in pretty fabrics is so awesome. They're even cuter than I thought they'd be! If you're interested in seeing more projects made with some of these adorable paper pieced blocks, Zakka Workshop is also organizing a blog hop to show off all the things you can make from the book! Here's the full schedule for that:

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's Beginning to Look (somewhat) Like Christmas!

We’re getting closer and closer to the holiday season…Target has lights and ornaments on display next to the Halloween decorations. My friends’ kids are already telling me what they want for Christmas. In Michigan, the cold weather is beginning to creep up on us. And I still haven’t gotten around to quilting the Christmas quilt I made in July.

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to think about a holiday so far in advance. But I’m here to tell you that there are only 63 days until Christmas. 63?! That’s too soon! 

I figured I’d help you out with some fun ideas for Christmas projects.

First, I put together a fun blogger bundle with some fun Christmas colors, Yuletide Fruitcake.

Then I found some awesome patterns we have in the shop and online.

Empty Bobbin has a pattern for a super cute, stocking-themed Advent Calendar! The little advent cards for each slot are included in the pattern, too.

To The Point, a Cluck Cluck Sew pattern, only needs eight fat quarters for the throw-sized quilt. That’s a perfect way to put this whole bundle to use and even have some extra fabric!

John Q. Adams’ book, Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays, is perfect for any seasonal bundles!

What about the Nite Owl Quilting Hexagon Tree Skirt?

And while you’re planning some Christmas projects for the year, you might as well start putting together your Christmas list. We have some great bundles and quilt kits in the shop that would make excellent stocking stuffers (and stash fillers).

Even though Christmas is just around the corner, don't forget to enjoy the rest of your Autumn season

Monday, October 20, 2014

Handcrafted by Alison Glass has arrived!!

Alison Glass has been working with Andover on this new collection of fabrics for a while now and we're so excited to finally get them in stock. Let's take a closer look at Alison Glass Handcrafted.

Plus in Teal, Chartreuse, and Lagoon (more on prints below)
Handcrafted is a collection of hand dyed and hand stamped prints (hence the name). It's no surprise that Alison's color choices are all absolutely stunning and the prints are a modern, minimalistic, and clean take on a traditional batik processed fabrics. Take note though, these are nothing like any batik you've seen before. I feel like these prints really redefine how modern quilters see batik-processed/hand dyed fabrics.

The batik process is a really labor intensive and fascinating thing. Basically, batiks are any fabrics that are hand dyed and printed with a wax resist (so wax is applied to the fabric and then it's dyed and the spots that had wax on them don't absorb the dye-- salts are often applied too to give that textured crackly look). The batiks many of us think of are hand dyed with a really improvisational method and it's almost random how the wax and dye lie. Alison worked with Andover to take these ancient techniques for fabric dyeing and create something completely new and modern. Each of these fabrics is meticulously stamped to convey exactly the look and feel Alison has imagined.

Handcrafted includes five prints: Bouquet, Plus, Geese, Penny, and Petal (a gorgeous border print).

Bouquet in Duck Egg. Also in Ruby and Yarrow

Plus in Shortbread. Also in Chartreuse,  Lagoon, Strawberry, and Teal.
Geese in Lichen. Also in Storm, Graphite, and Tomato.
Penny in Fossil. Also in Beet, Peacock, and Navy.
Petal in Charcoal. Also in Eggplant.