Handcrafted for Quilt Market + A Giveaway: A Guest Post by Jenn of A Jennuine Life

I am giddy with excitement to share something fun I’ve been working on!  I got the chance to play with some wonderful fabrics from Andover Fabrics to display at the International Quilt Market in Houston October 25-27.

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Rewind several months, and you may remember that this summer I went on a trip to NYC to meet up with some of my sewing blogger/designer friends and shop around the garment district.  I still owe a post on that trip – it was so amazing!  While we were there, we got to visit the offices of Andover Fabrics on Broadway and meet with several lovely people and fawn over fabulous fabrics!

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We got to see this new line of fabrics from Alison Glass called Handcrafted and all of us were threatening to take the production samples home in our bags!  It’s a modern take on batik and the colors are just amazing!  Alison gave a nice overview of the inspiration for the different designs and the backstory of the line on her blog.

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Needless to say, I literally jumped at the chance to sew something for the Andover booth.  Not only will my design and work be on display for thousands of people at market, but I got to be one of the first to sew with these amazing fabrics!

I decided to sew a design I’ve been working on for almost a year.  It’s been evolving over time, and you may remember theversion I made in linen this summer.  I’ve removed the center front seam from that version and changed up the construction just a little and I’m so pleased with how my vision is coming to life!  Only one problem… I just discovered that there’s already a lovely pattern with essentially an identical fold-back collar.  So, I’ll ponder that and see if I can change up my design a little to better differentiate them before offering a sewing pattern under Jennuine Design!

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The dress has no closures and a comfy elastic back that’s formed from a self-casing made by sewing a line just below where the skirt and underskirt attach to the fully-lined bodice.  This way there’s no exposed elastic, and no extra work to install a separate casing.  This was one of those construction methods that I dreamed up and it sewed exactly as I had hoped!

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For this version to showcase the fabrics I used two different fabrics from the Handcrafted line.  The outer fabric is ‘Petal’ in Eggplant and is this amazingly saturated shade of purple and the flower print is scattered becoming more dense along the borders.  The center of the panel has no design, and I used this area for the bodice so it gradually builds as you approach the hemline.  The lining is called ‘Bouquet’ in Ruby and is is an all-over design that looks like spatters, which really shows off the contrast of the colors.

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To really play up the “handcrafted” nature of these fabrics and to highlight the fold-back collar detail, I handstitched a pick stitch, or I guess really a running stitch along the neckline with chartreuse perle cotton.  I love adding little details like this and I think for this dress in particular it is the exact right finishing touch.

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Arden and I took advantage of one the last warm days of Autumn and the little strip of woods along a creek in my brother’s back yard.  Doesn’t she look like a woodland nymph with the rich colors and the fall backdrop?

Unity-Dress-7So if you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with me!  And if you happen to be lucky enough to attend Quilt Market in person, I’d love to hear about it as well as whether you spot my little dress in Andover’s booth!

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And now how ’bout that giveaway I hinted at in the title?  Andover is offering one happy reader a chance to get your own Handcrafted to enjoy!  Three one-yard cuts from the Handcrafted line are yours if you are chosen by the wonders of the Rafflecopter widget here!

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Meet New Andover Designer: Greta Songe

BIO PIC GRETA SONGEGreta Songe is a native of South Louisiana, but has lived in Coralville, Iowa for quite a while now. Most of her design work is strongly rooted in the handmade with most work beginning as paper cuts, prints, or ink drawings. She loves the happy accidents and textures that come along with that method of working. Also, she is a compulsive doodler with the edges of any notebook that she takes into a meeting and many scraps of paper around the house filled with with lots and lots of characters and design doodles!

When she’s not sewing or making designs, she loves to cook, bike, swim, and garden. Some of her best ideas have come from when she’s been out on a ride or spending time outdoors.

To view her work, visit www.gretasonge.com.

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Stay tuned to see her first collection, Flower House, later this week.

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The Generosity Of Quilters: A Guest Post By Tina Guthmann

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Hi, I’m Tina, a software developer by day and a quilter, textile designer, and pattern designer at all other times.  My new website is ModGeometry and you can find me on Instagram at @sashikostyle. This spring I had the privilege of having two of my quilts in the Andover booth at Spring Market in Pittsburgh.  It happened only with the help of quilters that I had not previously met.  This story is a testament to the generosity of quilters.

I am a Pearl Bracelets fan from way back so I there was no question I was going to get the Pearl Bracelets tonals once they came out.  I spent hours trying to come up with a design. I wanted to use all the colors fairly evenly.  Because of the numbers of fabrics and how they
matched up, I knew it that the quilt had to be based on hexagons. Since I have already made a hexagon quilt using Pearl Bracelets, called PB-Complete, I made the hexagons in this quilt using triangles.

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I was on the West Coast when Daryl of Andover Fabrics saw my Instagram teasers of my quilt.  She asked if I could send her the quilt in time for Spring Market in Pittsburgh.  Of course I said yes, even though I had not started sewing the quilt!  Once I got back home, I had to make a trip to Vermont and then I was off to New Orleans for a work conference. How in the world was I going to get this quilt sewn and quilted?

PB tonalsI was fortunate in that I didn’t have to stay over in Vermont on Friday.  That left me all day Saturday to work on the quilt.  I started sewing Saturday morning and was done sometime in the evening. When I started to sew the quilt back, which I planned just to piece together in squares, my husband suggested I mimic the front by piecing it into six large triangles.  I said, “You realize this is going to add hours to my project.”  He understood and promptly got out his pencil, straight edge and construction paper and with some trigonometry we created the pattern pieces.  By the time I finished that and the binding and sleeve it was 4 am.  I had to get up at 7 am for a 9 o’clock flight to New Orleans.

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Next problem.  How was I going to get this quilted?  I searched online and found a New Orleans quilt store, Mes Amis Quilt Shop.  I called and asked if they had a long arm to rent. Denise, the owner, said they didn’t.  I asked if she knew a quilter and she suggested Cindy Braiwick of CeCe Quilts.  So, I called Cindy and she agreed to quilt it for me.  I planned to take a taxi from the airport to her home.  I packed my hand quilting supplies just in case this wasn’t going to work out.  I have yet to hand quilt, however, but I was willing to give it a try.

Cindy sent me an email that I got just before I left Boston.  She and her friend Patty offered to pick me up at the airport, take me to Cindy’s house to discuss the quilt and back to my hotel.  I was so surprised by their generosity.  When I got to New Orleans, they asked me if I wanted to go out to eat!  We had a nice lunch, discussed the quilting at Cindy’s house and even went quilt magazine shopping at a few places before they dropped me off at my hotel.  We had just met and were already old friends!

8310831465_44032260c3_kThe following Tuesday Cindy returned my quilt and I loved her work! She came and got me at my hotel and took me over to Denise’s shop so that I could sew the binding on. Denise’s shop closed at 4:30 but we didn’t get there until almost 4:30 due to traffic. Denise graciously waited while I sewed that binding on.  It was my first time doing 120 degree angles.  I had so carefully preserved my points when I was sewing the quilt top and had all but forgotten about them when I sewed the binding on — I was so nervous because I was keeping Denise waiting.

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I had two days to bind it.  I had previously asked a friend of mine to join me in New Orleans after the conference.  We had site-seeing planned so I couldn’t very well spend the days sewing the binding on, so I worked on it late for two nights.  One day, I took it with me during our tour bus ride through New Orleans.  Yes, I was tour bus binding! I didn’t bring scissors so I had to cut the binding with a nail clipper, when I was joining it!  These were serious “MacGyver” and “make it work” moments!

Well, it was all worth it because I sent my Prism and my PB-Complete quilts off to Pittsburgh and they reached Daryl in time for her sales presentation and were in the Andover booth!  I am forever indebted to Cindy, Patty and Denise for helping me out in a bind.  I am always amazed by the generosity of quilters.  You can always ask a quilter to
help you when you’re in need and she’ll do whatever she can to help you.  It’s such an amazing community that I am so proud to be a part of!

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Downton Abbey – The Lady Rose Collection

Approved Lady Rose 5These daring fabrics from our upcoming Downton Abbey collection are inspired by Lady Rose, featuring faux-knits and rich hues that were popular in the 1920s and becoming to her character. Look for these fabrics in stores this coming Fall.

View a full gallery of this collection here.

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Hand Dyes Bags: A Guest Post By Sue Pfau

My name is Sue Pfau and my pattern company is called Sweet Jane’s. I am a pattern designer. Usually I say I am a quilt pattern designer, but I have recently branched out into bags! I have been bitten by “the bag bug”. I love piecing as well, so I like to combine the two to make pieced, patchwork bags. This particular bag works great with Kim Schaefer’s Hand dyes fabrics. The rich colors and the similar tones make this fabric perfect for this bag!

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If you have never tried to make a bag, you should make the leap! I started making bags about 1 year ago and I really enjoy it. I try to keep my bags simple. I find myself intimidated by bags that have too many pockets and zippers, or a bag I need to buy special hardware for. My bags are quick & easy to make, and don’t require any tricky handles or snaps! I love making bags because they take less fabric than quilts, work up quicker, and make great gifts. This bag is fully lined and has one large pocket inside. No need to put in a zipper if that intimidates you! One great thing about bags is you really can customize the inside if you have experience with zippers and pockets, so keep that in mind. If you have a large stash, you can make a bunch of bags without even going to the fabric store….you have to love that! I made the bag above with scraps.

Andover blog-2Usually I quilt my bags, but I used a medium weight interfacing to line both the outer bag and lining for this one. It looks great, and it is a lot easier than quilting the bag. I wish I could make another bag in the reds, purples and orange/rust in this line, I just don’t have quite enough material in my house.

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These strips will have to be made into a smaller project!

I used my fabric on this extra long table runner below. You can see all of the beautiful color combinations that are possible with this line of fabric, and how great they would look made into my bag! You can make a table runner like this one using 2” strips. I just cut the strip sets into varying widths and sewed them back together.

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If you are interested in this bag pattern, or are curious about my other patterns using precuts and fat quarters, head over to my Etsy shop for a look! I hope you are feeling inspired!

 

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Alison Glass Field Day Quilt: A Guest Post By Giuseppe Ribaudo

When Alison Glass contacted me asking if I would like to make something out of her new collection, Field Day, it didn’t take much to convince me. Anyone familiar with my stash through Instagram knows just how much of a fanatic I am for deep, saturated color (and how many of my quilts include pieces from Alison’s past collections).

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I had been excited about Alison’s new line since seeing the photos of it at Quilt Market this past spring. Upon seeing the spectacular photos of her booth, I began plotting what my project would be when I got my hands on some of the fabric. Much to my surprise, I didn’t need to wait too long to be able to start cutting into the gorgeous materials. My friend at Andover, Daryl, sent some of the fabric my way along with some of Andover’s new chambrays. It was kismet. The two lines were astonishing together. The balance between the bold and graphic prints of Alison’s line with the near-iridescence of the chambrays made for a perfect pairing.

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I had had a few ideas for what I wanted to do with Field Day before I had received it, but once I saw the line in person and put it next to the chambrays, everything changed. I drew up some sketches of potential ideas but nothing really spoke to me.  I wanted to do something that would make Alison’s breathtaking prints jump out at you. The scale of the prints is so fantastic. To me, they begged to be kept in tact because they are so intricate and interwoven.

That’s when I took a few steps back and decided I wanted to do something simple. The colors and prints in Field Day speak for themselves. I realized I didn’t really need to do anything too elaborate because Alison had pretty much already done the work for me. That’s when I remembered I had always wanted to make a plus-sign quilt…

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When I started to lay out the prints with the chambrays it really started to come to life. The solid pluses framing the vibrant Field Day ones gave the prints almost a three dimensional quality. The two lines melted together. I think the thing I love most about the pairing of Field Day and the chambrays is that the chambrays help to really pull out the very subtle use of color in Alison’s more complex prints.

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When it came time to quilt, I knew I wanted to continue down the road of simplicity. I decided it best to stick with diagonal straight-line quilting, but I played a little bit with variations of how the lines were woven together. As a result, the quilted lines move in different patterns throughout the quilt. Up close I feel it makes your eyes dance just a bit from piece to piece.

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I’m so grateful to Alison and the good people over at Andover for allowing me this opportunity. In addition to thanking Alison and Daryl for their help on this project, I would also like to thank Nicole Daksiewicz for helping me to take some beautiful photos of this quilt. Be sure to hop on over to her blog to check out the absolutely unbelievable things she has been doing with Field Day. Also be sure to check out Alison’s blog to see some of the incredible projects that people have been making with Field Day.

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The Max & Bunny Collection: In Stores Now

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Introducing Max & Bunny, a new designer for Andover Fabrics with clean and modern designs that are sure to find a place in your next project.

Get this fabric now at your local independent quilt and fabric shop.

View a full gallery of Max & Bunny photos here.

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Row By Row quilt by Vanilla Latte Quilts. Download the free pattern here.

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The Melodies Collection: Coming Soon

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The enchanting Melodies collection by Jo Morton  is coming to an independent quilt and fabric shop near you this August. These delicate and colorful prints beautifully accompany Jo’s Haberdashery collection.

Check out our store locator to find both collections near you.

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Starry Paths quilt by Candy Hargrove. Download the free pattern here.

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The Handcrafted Collection: Coming This Fall

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The Handcrafted collection by Alison Glass is 100% handmade, created in a lengthy process that is unique to Andover. These fabrics are coming to an independent quilt and fabric store near you this Fall.

View the full collection here.

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Get Involved Now: The 2015 Downton Abbey Mystery Quilt Along

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Dear Downton Abbey & Andover Fans,

We are really excited about the upcoming fabric lines, and can’t wait for the start of the new season of Downton Abbey.

Once again, Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios will be hosting a mystery quilt along to celebrate the fabric and the show. Last year’s quilt along attracted nearly 3,300 participants from 50 US states, 9 Canadian provinces, and 24 additional countries around the world. We expect the excitement to continue with the next quilt along, and we hope you’ll join us!

More information about the quilt along can be found on the LoveBug Studios Downton Abbey page, and you can sign up to get updates about the quilt along. Registration begins in September, and the quilt along starts on January 4th, 2015.

If you have any questions about the quilt along, please direct your inquiries to LoveBug Studios directly. They can be reached at downtonabbey@lovebugstudios.com.

Thank you,                                                                                                                                             The Team at Andover Fabrics

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