Tara Miller: October 2007 Archives
One can only imagine the ideas a new studio such as Amy's would inspire. My own new space has already helped me to create many new ideas. And while I do not have time to work on them, I have a notebook full. It is infinitly easier, creatively speaking, to see all of my yarn and most (Man, do I have alot) of my fabric out, so when an idea pops in, I can see it in color or sometimes just looking at prints or colors together creates ideas. I already feel as if the Muses have moved in with a nice comfy recliner, chilled beverage and the latest Martha Stewart Living, tossing ideas at me as they flip pages and I am not nearly 1/2 done moving into the room or decorating. My sewing machine is downstairs in the dining room till further table purchases. But I want to share what I have so far, to inspire you and also in hope of gaining ideas for my room from yours. Send me your pictures or post them in our Sew & Tell Gallery. You know you spend most of your time there and would love to show it off and I have no scruples when it comes to stealing sewing room design ideas( and I refuse to feel ashamed. I am well past shame!) Pretty is pretty, so let me see 'em. I will post more pictures as it comes along and maybe, just maybe you will be able to see a little of yourself in my room and be able to tell your friend, "Hey, that blog chick from Fabric.com totally stole my sewing room idea!"
Now I know we are not the first to annouce this nor are we probably the first place you read this exciting news but it is important for us to add that we are very excited about Amy Butler's New Patterns and it is the talk of the office. There are several discussions involving these patterns and future plans and even some employee pre-ordering of fabrics that we want to use in conjuctions with these patterns. I, for one, plan on making the Lotus Dress as pictured, but I really want to make the Anna Tunic in a print from Erin Michael's Loft 1800. Goody!
We are like runners at the beginning of a race just waiting for the gun shot. As soon as these patterns hit our receiving door, we are going to run around like chickens with our head cut off to get them online ASAP (by the by most of the running will be from excitement and not from disorganization). There is a great Blog post by Amy Butler over at Quilters Buzz or if you want to pre-plan check out Amy's Pattern page.
Stay Tuned We will be sure to tell you as soon as Amy's New Patterns are instock!! (I can hardly wait!)
One of my duties is to stay on top of the trends and up to date on the latest fabric lines and it is a my favorite responsibility. While performing the usually hunting techniques last week, I discovered a very happy finding! The host of One of my favorite blogs and children's clothing designer, Sandi Henderson of Portabellopixie, has announced her first cotton print fabric line produced with Michael Miller Fabrics, Ginger Blossom. You really need to check out this new cotton line; it is fresh, bright, happy and everything you want a quilt, skirt, dress or top to be. Here is just a little bit of what Sandi says on her blog about her new line: "I am a huge lover of textiles-I have literally every genre presiding happily in my stash. Retro, vintage, modern, shabby chic. I enjoy it all, and eventually I found a style that was all me-a little bit of everything. Eclectic and Happy". You can read more here. I am so excited about the great shapes and hues that Sandi has so artfully combined in some wonderful prints. This is definitely the look I envisioned for my new sewing room. I can't wait for December!
P.S. Be sure to check out Sandi's whole blog. She has some really great photos!
FASHION TRENDS TRANSCEND TO THE GYM
By Karen Howard
There was a time, without revealing my age let's just say around 20 years ago, when dressing to stay in shape, maintain your health or step up one's active lifestyle was all about oversized cotton or poly/cotton tees, sweatshirts, jackets, pants and shorts. Colors were drab and silhouettes were loose and unflattering.
Well, in the last 7 or so years things have REALLY changed .... Fashionable styles, silhouettes and fabric trends have invaded the active/gym wear industry. With the huge surge of everyone, from 5 - 100 years, looking to maintain their health and fitness .... Top designers and active wear brands have transformed the industry attire to include more fashion forward fabrics like washable silk lycra blends, cotton lycra spandex, quilted broadcloth, quilted nylon, decorated/printed fleece, stretch fleece, lycra knits, poly lycra knits, nylon lycra swimwear, stretch velvet, cotton flannels as lining and stretch velour.
Silhouettes are following the current fashion trends ranging from tastefully fitted and revealing to loose, very fashionable less revealing looks, empire waist tops and leotards, short and long shorts, various pant lengths from extremely long yoga pants to extremely short running shorts.
Famous sports, movie and designer personalities are launching their own high-fashion active wear lines .... adding even more fashion flair and trends to the once drab apparel industry ...thus taking active wear apparel beyond the limits to carve out its own place in the fashion industry.
Now is the season for marathon training and running. Die-hard fitness enthusiasts never let the cold or the approaching holiday season keep them from accomplishing their fitness goals. Now they look forward to touting their physiques in fashionably layered, cold weather active attire highlighted in with layered, lined or accented as trim with quilted faux suede, faux fur / minky accents, spa minky and various unique trims.
Athletes and wannabe athletes are not only now inspired by the motivation to get and stay fit, but by the fashion inspired attire that now allow them to personalize and individualize their active persona.
Sew News is offering a free purse pattern that I think is the cutest! This is perfect for the stock of fun new cotton prints we have in stock. Dick & Jane, Look & Learn & Fresh Air by Moda.
Sew News also features an offer for a free McCall's Pattern. Don't miss out on the free embroidery pattern by Heather Bailey!
Quilt Magazine offers over a dozen free web patterns, including small projects like pillowcases, fabric stash blocks and quilt patterns. See the small projects here.
McCall's Quilting is also offering lots of free quilting patterns such as: Golden Quilts, Holiday, Patriotic and Blocks. Check them out here.
I don't think it is a stretch to say we all love fabric. That is why you read this blog, check out our e-mails and shop our store. But one of the best aspects of Fabric.com is our love and our knowledge of your love for the designers. When I say Amy Karol, Michael Miller, Heather Bailey or Anna Maria Horner around here, folks previously out of earshot join in the conversation. But as much as we take an interest in the fabric, quilting patterns, and projects that these smarty-pants produce, we can't keep our-speed of business-e-mail instant-cell in our ear-minds from wandering what's next . Welcome blogs and websites. Most of today's top designers have great, well-produced and informative blogs. And while these designers may not be able to layout their next fabric line in production out on the table for your approval 5 months before launch, they do not disappoint. You are sure to find fun, free projects, a peek into their studios or excitement producing hints and teasers that are sure to keep your interest and their ideas at the front of your mind so you will not to forget them while they work 27 hour days, locked in their studios to bring us what we love. And we love them for it. Check out some of my favorite designer blogs. Aside from our vendors, this is how we, at Fabric.com, keep our ear to the beat and make sure you have what you want AS SOON AS it is available.
Heather Bailey: Hello My Name is Heather. This blog is full of yummy pictures, projects and recipes. You are sure to find something or many things to get your hands itching.
Amy Karol: Angry Chicken. Amy's first book hit bookstores in June and is a huge hit. Her blog is dedicated to all things crafty. We are eagerly awaiting her first fabric line that we know she has been dreaming of!
Anna Maria Horner. Being a fabric designer is just one claim to fame (not to mention 5 kids! Yowza!) If the a tiny piece of the 1960's or 70's never left you or sometimes you think you were born way too late; pop over to Anna Maria's blog for just the fix you need.
These are just starting points. Google your favorite designer and see what you discover. Or check out some of the links to others on these crafty ladies' sites. My list of blog feeds easily tops 100 just from clicking links on these designer's sidebars and loving what I find. It is a great way to easily break the crafter's equivalent to writer's block, too.
This past weekend, I went to a chili cook off in my neighborhood and had a blast. There I was mingling and chatting, when I noticed something strange. As I went silent to ponder my observation, I heard a snippet of conversation to my right: "Must be in the water, that is why I am sticking to soda. I certainly don't want to catch baby! I only just had my youngest." That was it! I realized what the strangeness was which I had noticed but could not quite put my finger on. Everywhere I looked, someone was pregnant, holding a baby or desperately chasing a youngster down the alley between houses. "Wow!" I thought as I gazed at the glass of water in my hand, "I hope they are wrong about that part at least." To confirm my suspicions, I turned to my friend and asked her opinion of the water/baby virus situation. As she was gazing over neighbors' heads to keep an eye on her young son, she did not give me her full attention. "I don't know", she shrugged, "I did hear that they might kick you out if you don't have a baby in two years, though". She then laughed and I breathed a sigh of relief. While my residence in my new neighborhood is safe, my brain is not. I love babies and want to have one or two someday, right now I am more distracted by all the fabulous items I can make for baby, even though I am not yet ready. I often browse our Sew & Tell gallery to see what is new, but since my baby encounter this weekend I have noticed how many cute baby goods our customers have created. Here are some of my favorites.
This crib set made from Funky Monkey by Moda. It includes bumpers, bottom pad and a little pillow. All are perfect matched. I love how fun Funky Monkey is and it is really just perfect for a crib set. I give it 5 stars!
Last but not least, This quilt is made of blocks that each house a different item from baby's first year. The items are not cut up to make the actual quilt but are sewn on top of the block. It looks similar to an applique. I just think it is a clever idea and super cute to boot. Get it? To boot...baby booties! nevermind.
These booties, made by one of our customers, are made of felt and embellished with the sweetest details. I love the subtle pink with the mint green and the tiny rosettes. I can just imagine how cute they look with little feet in them!
Keep up the good work!
Another fun and creative project by our graphic artist, Moniqa. I love her projects because they look so stylish and rich but usually take no time, with scraps of fabric you have hanging around from your apparel or quilting projects. This month Moniqa has been bitten by the autumn bug and is getting ready for an influx of family visits for the holidays. She is focusing on the center of the holiday festivites, the family table. Bring in the warmth and color of fall for your table with this super simple Burnished Leaves Table Runner. All you need are a leaf pattern (provided by us or nature), fabric marker, and fabric scrapes in fall colors or spring (depending on when you can finally fit this project into your busy schedule). Moniqa used Dupioni silk; this is prefect for our Dupioni Check Swatch set or just 2 or 3 1/2 yard Dupioni colors. You can also use quilting cotton, wool or felt. Don't forget to embellish with some fancy embroidery stitches; check out these embroidery tutorials by Crafty Daisies if you need ideas or tips!
- Determine the shape of the leaves you desire. Any basic leaf shape will do but here aresome to get you started. Moniqa's leaves are 7 inches long and 3 inches wide. Trace your free hand leaf shape onto some posterboard or cardboard (you can use that cereal box full of crumbs that someone stuck back in the pantry), and cut it out. This is your pattern.
- Determine the length of runner you desire. Lay your Leaf pattern at an angle and in that postion measure from top to bottom. Divide this measurement by your total desired length (Example Your desired length is 50'' and you leaf measure ment is 5'', You will make 10 pairs of leaves). The difference will be the number of pairs of leaves you will need (Rounding up or down is up to you). Moniqa's leaves are 4 inches on the diagonal and the Runner is 48 inches long. That is 12 leaf pairs!
- Cut! Using your pattern cut out 24 leaves in various colors for the top side (lays face up on the table) and 24 leaves for the underside.
- Pin! Pin your topside leaves to your underside leaves, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Stitch together with 1/4 inch seam leaving an opening to turn out. repeat until all leaves are complete
- Press! Turn out all your leaves and press flat. You can slip stitch the openings closed but they will not show if you leave them open. If you do leave them open, you can leave secret holiday messages or candies in there for the little ones!
- Hand stitch your leaves together. Take 2 leaves and lay them end to end angling up. Hand stitch the end together. Repeat for all leaves.
- Stitch pairs together. Fit a pair of leaves above the first and stitch together wherethe leaves meet. Repeat this step until all pairs are united
- Give yourself a pat on the back and listen to the "Oohs and Aaws" from your appreciative family as they delight in your festive holiday table.
Don't be afraid to change it up or embellish. You can bedazzle this runner, add buttons, or beads! Moniqa did not pair up her top 2 leaves but stitched one on top of the other to make the top 2 tiers singular. This reminds me of a vine and really catches the eye.
I am amazed every day with Moniqa's creativity and am so glad to share it with you. Enjoy and don't forget to show us your take on this project in our Sew & Tell Gallery. We really look forward to seeing everyone's projects and love to get together and check them out!
Tara Miller for Moniqa
I am all moved in to my new house and I am loving it. However, I need a bit of a break from home decorating but can't get it completely out of my mind. With the promise of fall around the corner (in Georgia that means the temperture comes down to only 80 degrees) I am distracted by thoughts of new fall clothing. Being surrounded by home decor fabrics all day but thinking of apparel allowed me to find inspiration in using home decor fabrics to wear, Amy Butler's Nigella not withstanding. Here is what my wandering mind has come up with. See if you don't agree.
Coat, Trench & Blazer I am all about the coats this fall. Heck, I am all about the fall period! I cannot wait for crisp mornings, cooking stew and wearing sweaters and coats.I am cold blooded by nature so according to my family as soon as the temp reaches 69 degrees I reach for outerwear. I figure they are just jealous that I get to wear my awesome coats before them. More for me!
We have some really great options no what what your coat preferences. However, let's step outside the norm just for fun and look at what home decor fabrics have to offer for coats. I think this embroidered microsuede is so beautiful and different. It would really great with a trench pattern or if you prefer something classic and demure. Try this pattern with our Faux Suede in dark grey that is so popular this season.
Finally, don't forget about the fuschia this fall. Our Fall Forecast predicts this is one of the hotest colors this fall. And all too rightly! Who says we must bundle up in darker colors the rest of the year. Carry your favroite spring and summer colors with you to brighten the shorter days. Perfect for this task is this combo of Fuschia Polka Dots (Who doesn't love Dots!) with a fun, funky for fresh jacket pattern by Favorite Things. The non-tradional closure and new spin collar coupled with classic dots in a feminine color make this combination a sure thing and a staple.
I have recently been watching reruns of Sex in the City and fell
in love with Charlotte's entry, whose walls are covered in a blue plaid. Ever since I have been on a plaid kick. It reminds me of so many things I love, Family, warmth, crisp weather and Scotsmen (wink). It is not tricky to wear and is a must for keeping warm and sheik this season. I love this print with this dress pattern.The modern cut and details make it perfect to take the 'school marm' image out of this plaid. The shorter hem makes it so tempting to wear tights in either a trendy or classic color. This dress is also perfect for either boots, heels or flats, your choice but you can't go wrong with this lovely plaid.
Another great trend this season are bright colored or patterned tights. This simply shaped retro style dress is perfect to show off your fashionable legs in the best colors or patterns. I used Simplicity's Retro Pattern 3833 with our new Ultrasoft Sueded Twill in Rasberry. I paried it with dark grey tights. It looks so comfy but so sleek. Great for a lunch with friends, shopping or to wake the weekday doldrums.
I can't wait to get started on my Fall Fashions and I hope you will join me. Be sure to post your pictures in our Sew and Tell Gallery so everyone can admire and be jealous! And remember "If you don't look good, we don't look good."
Oh wait, wrong slogan, but still true!