Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Pattern for the New Year

Winter is settling in today. It is delightfully dark and dreary and I suspect we will have out first flakes of snow today. But, as you know, I love this kind of weather, especially if I am in the studio and fondling fabric. One of the first projects of the season has been to write and illustrate this new purse pattern. I call it the Pretty Perfect Pocket Purse and it is the bag that I actually use everyday. I have had so many people admire it, that a pattern was the obvious outcome.

I love this little bag (11" wide and 12.5" tall) because it is just the right size. It holds everything I need and the front pocket is great for all the things you want close to hand, like your keys and your cell phone.
But I like it, too, because it's just FUN! It make people smile and the felt beads are the icing on the cake.

Both of these are made with the new Garden Divas fabric, which will be available in stores this January. But it is perfect for featuring some of that fancy fabric already in your stash. The other fun thing about this pattern is decorating the front pocket to make it personal and unique. On the first bag I quilted it and added she-sha mirrors. On the turquoise bag I quilted it and then added clear sequins and pink French knots. The front pocket is your creative canvas... beads, buttons, ribbons or paint. If you can't find felt beads for the bottom, ball fringe will work just as well.

It takes a lot of concentration to put a pattern into production, so it is a good feeling to see the project come to life. We added it to the Sassaman Store this week, too, for those of you have taken the "handmade pledge" this holiday.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Garden Divas Finally Materialize!


Welcome to the new season of inspiration from the Idea Book. This week I have been busy sewing things with my new FreeSpirit fabric, Garden Divas. There are so many possibilities and ideas that I want to try, so I have been trying to organize my time in the most advantageous way. Basically, it comes down to serious sewing, designing and office work during the day, handwork (burying threads) for relaxation in the evening and dreaming about new projects at night. I actually have several jobs going at the same time, which is unusual.

Here is a little broderie perse quilt that is hot off the sewing machine. This was made by fussy cutting Zinnias from the Pastel colorway that are backed with interfacing. The interfacing adds stability and also helps to keep the colors bright. I was careful to keep a bit of the blue background surrounding each flower, so the applique stitching would not eat into the blossoms and blend into the blue background.

The pot, background and border ( Lively Silhouette- Green) are also backed with interfacing. After arranging the bouquet, the pieces are appliqued from the bottom up and the background is cut away from underneath. This keeps the quilt nice and flat by removing the multiple layers.

Then I got to practice my free-motion quilting by stitching in the white outlines. It's not perfect, but it really gives the piece a wonderful texture. I used 12 weight (topstitching) thread to quilt the flower pot and around the border.

Here is an extension of the idea, through the magic of Photoshop. The butterflies are too regular, but that would be easy to change in "real life." This could be a wonderful quilt to hang over a bed or above an entryway. The quilt could be made in any of the colorways by matching your background fabrics... red for the Exotic colorway and black for the Peacock Zinnias.

This has been wonderful fabric to brighten the cold and cloudy days this week. I hope it has brought a little cheer into your life, too!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A New Design Season Begins

So now Houston Market is a pleasant memory and the teaching year has finished. As the new year of design begins, I am looking forward to showing all the fun new fabrics and the items we have made from them. I have made a pledge to post a new blog entry every week, so stay tuned for more fabric inspiration and project ideas as we head into the season for celebration!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Off to Quiltworks Northwest

After all the bustle and anticipation of Quilt Market in Houston, I am home for a day before I leave again to see all my fiber friends in Seattle and teach a three day class at the wonderful fabric shop, Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue, Washington. Quiltworks is a favorite store and I am looking forward to fondling some fabrics there!

This is my last scheduled teaching job of the year, so I am a bit giddy and looking forward to getting started on many of the new ideas and improvements I have planned for the next creative year. Most of all, I am anxious to show you all the goodies made with the new FreeSpirit fabric, Garden Divas, now that it has been officially launched!

But in the meantime, we have posted Garden Divas on the website so you can start your own designing gears in motion! I am really pleased with the line and I hope you will like it, too!