November 2008 Archives
November 26, 2008
Note from the Fabric Maverick: Nancy has left early to go across country for her turkey dinner, but she left me instructions to print this for her.
The holiday season is upon us and I am inspired! I owe all my thanks to Amy Butler's free holiday pattern downloads. Her holiday designs are featured in the December issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine. I am not a snowman or Santa Claus collector. I prefer décor that reflects current design trends. When I saw these new designs from Amy, I immediately knew these were perfect for my holiday style. All of her ideas are cool and fresh and play with traditional themes. The napkins, gift wrap sashes and tree forest are going to be shining stars at my house this year. Amy Butler is also offering free patterns for a great snow mum pillow, a tree skirt, gift tags and art.
Grab your free patterns and holiday inspiration at AmyButlerdesign.com. You will see my tree forest interpretation in a few weeks.
Pick up great deals on all of her fabrics at Fabric.com and don't forget free shipping on order of $35 or more!
So Go Sew!!!!!
November 25, 2008
Soon we will be surrounded by the smells of roasting turkey or ham, wonderful vegetables and mouth watering desserts. This is the time to remember the great planners of this feast- the moms.
This year I have been invited to my daughter's in-laws for Thanksgiving. I do not know them well so this leaves me wondering what a suitable hostess gift would be. Traditionally, a bottle of wine, flowers or a dessert might be appropriate. My daughter says that they do not care for wine or flowers and her cooking is better than mine. I am not sure about this last one. I have thought and thought about this problem and I have decided napkins are the way to go. I know someone is probably thinking dumb idea! Well, let's think about it. Cloth napkins add a touch of elegance to the table. It shows that you have gone the extra step for your guests comfort. Cloth napkins are recyclable. You can make them from many different fabrics. Linen is a classic for an elegant table. Do you want a touch of whimsy? Make your napkins from Christmas fabric. You can make them two-sided for a different look. When you make your own napkins, you can pick the size. I like large napkins. A 1 1/2 yard of fabric will make six napkins. Cut six 18'' squares. You may finish by serging or do a 1/4'' hem. Voila! You are done.
Napkins can be folded many different ways. Check out napkin folding.
Try doing that with a paper napkin. Bon Appetit! Happy Thanksgiving from Fabric. com.
November 20, 2008
Where, did all the time go? I swear we were just ringing in 2008 and now 2009 is nipping at our toes. But tis' the season dahhlings, to be effortlessly fabulous, bold and adventurous with your holiday fashion wardrobe! And I know you girls, being the fabulous ones you are, have a ton of invites, to some pretty cool holiday gatherings. So between buying gifts and making snow angels, you must figure out what you're going to wear to all your holiday parties No need to pout my little sugar plums, how many times must I tell you, you don't have to break the bank, to look like a million bucks. So grab your pen, notepad and a glass of egg nog and repeat after me, "I will look ravishing and glowing at all my holiday parties and I will be the best wrapped gift under the tree". So let's run down the list of how to bring in the holidays in style and I guarantee these style suggestions will definitely keep you off of Santa's naughty list!
Since the holidays are upon us, there will be an overload of red and green everywhere you look, which is totally fine if you want to look like a walking wreath, but I know you wouldn't dare!! Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean you have to dress in dark colors or the typical red and green. Try pretty pastels in heavier winter fabrics. Try a pastel colored scarf or yummy sweater, to give your outfit a more feminine touch. Popular colors this season are champagne, soft gold, silver, mauve, icy blue or lavender.
Another option for holiday party attire is sequins. I am not talking the Miss America pageant here, think more along the lines of sequins in neutral colors and contemporary silhouettes and not so many that you would be mistaken for an ornament. Another easy way to add a little sparkle to your wardrobe is putting a jeweled accessory in your hair; it is a very simple fashion add on, yet it can totally glam up your holiday look.
Retro glam is another look that would be absolutely perfect for an evening holiday party. Pull your hair back and throw a fur cape or stole over your shoulders, both big trends for the holiday season. Top it off with a sexy red lip and remember to keep the eyes simple.
When all else fails, think black, you can't go wrong. It is timeless and classic. When making your selection look for different textures, like lace, velvet or satin. When trying to pull off this look, go with dramatic statement accessories or a clutch purse, jeweled belt, fur stole or cape, which are all big holiday trends, to take your look to the next level. You can also recycle last year's cocktail dress by following these same wardrobe guidelines. Remember, don't' try to incorporate all the trends at once, pick one or two and really focus on those.
Ladies, ladies, ladies, the holidays offer the perfect opportunity to step away from your normal make up routine and go for a more festive appearance. Changing your makeup can totally brighten and update your look. Gold nail polish is definitely a big trend this season; it is the perfect touch to give your fingers a little sparkle. If you are attending a holiday cocktail party, try a smoky eye using burgundy shadow or lilac and grey shadow, this will give the eyes more of a sultry look and definitely turn a few heads. For the lips it is all about rich and deep purple and plum colored shades topped off with a little clear gloss for extra shine or if you feel more daring you can opt for a muted red gloss, to seal the deal. Ladies the key to pulling off a flawless face is to focus on one thing at a time. If you are going to do a dramatic eye, go for a softer nude lip and if you want to make your lips the main attraction go for soft, less dramatic eyes. But most importantly, remember to keep your makeup fresh, it should never take away from you are wearing, it should only compliment it.
My fabulous ones, I think you are ready to return all those holidays R.S.V.P's you weren't so sure about! So go and spread a little holiday cheer and look good while doing it! But remember the most important must have holiday accessory of the season, that you do not, I repeat, you do not want to be caught without, is being surrounded by the love of family and friends. So daahlings until we meet again, as always, stay fashionable, fierce and have a fabulous holiday season!
November 18, 2008
Well, boys and girls, it is book review time! I like books! I love to look at the pictures, I love to study the instructions and I love to read the anecdotes the author usually includes with the project. If I am really lucky, the author may have included a recipe. Why do quilters love recipes? I don't know. Do you?
A Laurel Burch Christmas is fast becoming a collector's item with the passing of this designer icon. No one has ever duplicated her style. I am sure someone has tried and failed. What do I love about this book? For me, a book must have a timeless quality. In other words, it should not be tied to using a certain collection of fabrics. Laurel Burch does feature her fabric collection "Bountiful Blessings", but you could easily make the projects from different fabrics. Another important feature is the instructions. Instructions should be detailed and clear. I do not like to read instructions a hundred times. These instructions are quite clear. There should be projects from quick and easy to intermediate. Like most Americans, I like instant gratification. These projects range from easy ornaments to more detailed projects such as a Surprise-a-Day Christmas calendar. Even Fido has a special Christmas bandana. No one is left out in this book. None of the projects are beyond a beginners reach. The materials required range from felt to tissue lame. This book is all about embellishment. Don't want to sew, there are even paint projects!
Whether you have a little time or a lot of time, you will find a project that suits you. This is a book that you will use year after year. Get ready to sew! Add your own personal touch to this Christmas!
November 13, 2008
Be sure to enter the Ultimate Sewing Room Contest brought to you by Craft Stylish and Fabric.com! Just design your dream sewing space (including furniture, decor, equipment and more) then save your masterpiece in the gallery for other to vote on it. The grand prize is worth over $7,000, including a $1,500 shopping spree to Fabric.com! Enter today!
November 12, 2008
happened upon Indygo Junction. Their booth was filled with samples from their apparel and craft patterns. They were introducing their new line of stencils which included an alphabet stencil set I particularly liked. They had used it on the yoke of a child's jumper. The yoke was a natural linen color and the stencil was in a soft black. As soon as I find a great fabric paint, we'll have the stencils. We'll have great ideas from Indygo Junction about how to use them.
Well, I have never been so flattered as when I introduced myself to Jess Goldman at Bananafana Patterns. I walked up to her cute booth filled with samples in fun florals and Chinese Lanterns she had made and hung from the ceiling. I had to see what this was all about. Jess was explaining to another shop owner that she had already run out of flyers the first day, and she made 400. That should give you an idea of how popular she was at Market. I told her I was from Fabric.com and her beautiful smile broadened as she clasped my hand. She's a customer and was so excited that we would be offering her pattern line. And, we will be. Stay tuned in early 2009 for Bananafana Patterns. You'll be glad you did!
We have been carrying Ellen Medlock handbag patterns for a few years. I introduced myself at Market this year. She had a great booth filled with samples of her latest patterns. She has new handbag patterns that use metal kiss clasp frames and chain shoulder straps. She also has a bangle bracelet kit and a clock kit that can feature your favorite fabric. Look for her new patterns in 2009!
We have carried a limited number of Kwik Sew patterns in the past. I spoke with the gentlemen at Kwik Sew. We will be carrying many more of the Kwik Sew patterns in 2009 than we carried in the past. I like Kwik Sew for their great instructions, paper pattern pieces and simple styles. They are known for their patterns using stretch fabrics especially. Those are the ones I find easiest to fit for me. Easy to make, too.
Another booth decorated so beautifully I could not resist was Serendipity Studio patterns. Kay picked out the perfect fabrics to match the color palette of her booth. It was a calm vision among the chaos. I marveled at all the pretty things and couldn't believe I had not found her patterns sooner. She had a jacket there that was a minty green confection with a sash tie and tiny tulle ruffles around the neck. Being the curious fabric collector I am, I turned the hem of the sleeve to the inside to see what kind of exotic fabric this was. I still didn't know! It looked like a cotton eyelet on the top, but it was fleece on the back...hmmm....When I sat down to write my blog, I went to her site to get a little more information. The jacket is built on a sweatshirt! No way! I cannot wait to get the pattern and see how this works. It had shape and structure unlike a sweatshirt. She has sweet tops and a great trench pattern, too. Coming Soon!
November 11, 2008
I am sitting here enjoying a cup of coffee. The leaves on the trees have turned glorious colors of gold, red, orange, burgundy and yellow. The leaves are slowing falling to earth as nature prepares her blanket for the long, cold winter ahead. South Dakota already has four feet of snow on the ground. I am afraid that is not for me! It is hard to think that Thanksgiving will be here in a few weeks and Christmas not far behind. A sure sign of Christmas (besides all the Christmas decorations in all the department stores) is when you see all the magazines with their Christmas covers and tips on decorating for the holidays.
You may not have noticed but this year there were two collections called "The 12 Days of Christmas". I have taken this as a sign that Fabric.com should have a 12 Days of Christmas, too! From Dec. 1 to Dec 12th, we will have a project for you to make if you wish. On the 13th day of Christmas, it will be Bah! Humbug Day because some of you will have lost the spirit. I believe that Chef Bubba will then arrive with his own special recipes for Christmas. I have tasted his Black Bottom Pecan Pie Cheesecake. To die for, ladies! If this does not restore your spirit, it will be time to break out the cinnamon cookies. Who can smell cinnamon and not get all cozy in their heart?
Get ready to have some fun! There will be some projects for the young also. Victoria will have her now 7-year old consultant available to test her projects. Now would be a good time to check your craft supplies. Make sure you have some of the following:
1. Glue (several kinds including Fabri-Tac, Water soluble glue pen)
2. Straight pens
3. An assortment of threads
4. Christmas fabrics
7. Rotary cutter and mat
This is a great time to bust your stash and use up odds and ends. Of course, supplies will be listed for each project. I know Nancy has a great project from Amy Butler so you will need different sizes of Styrofoam cones. Nancy is known as the queen of glue and clip rings so I am willing to bet that there is not much sewing!
Now that I have teased you with what is to come, I must leave just like Santa or as Daniel, our very own Prints Charming with these words:
"Get your Moda running, Christmas is coming!"
November 10, 2008
I went to The International Quilt Market for the first time. I have not been before for many reasons, but the main one is many fabric companies have reps that visit us in the office on a regular basis. We saw all the new things without leaving home. I wanted to go this year to meet many of the designers we buy from and some of the people behind the companies that represent the designers. I also knew there were many independent pattern companies out there and I want to add some new ones to our already terrific line up. I also wanted to get an idea for emerging trends and new gadgets to bring you. So look out Houston, here I come!
I am not sure where to start telling you about all the wonderful people I met and all the pretty things I saw. And, I've got pictures! I'll break this up into two parts so I can concentrate on the two things I want to show you. This entry will be about the designers I met. The next entry will be about new products and patterns. Let's dive into Quilt Market 2009.
I'll try to do this chronologically. There were a few designers I knew I wanted to say, ''Hello'' to. The first one I came to without a mass of eager quilt shop owners around him was Jay McCarroll. He is in the Free Spirit/Westminster stable of designers along with Heather Bailey and Heather Ross. Jay is the first Project Runway winner. I am a big fan of Project Runway and I remember the first season well. His sister was helping him in his booth, and I spoke with her first. She said she has always been interested in quilting and had quilted before Project Runway. I had already seen his collections and loved them. They are quirky and a little odd, but that's what I love Free Spirit for. They are also very fashion forward. You all will find a lot to do with both collections we have coming. He was so nice to talk to and very willing to have pictures made and listen to all of us say how much we loved him on Project Runway. I passed his booth several times as I traipsed through the show. I got to his booth just in time. He was swamped every time I saw him.
Tina Givens is a stationery designer like no other. She uses a whimsical spirit to create her cards and notes. She designs her fabric collections for Free Spirit with the same whimsical creativity. We have Cloe's Imagination on line now. We also have her new pattern collection. Many of the patterns are for children, but she also has a couple patterns for adults, too. Her booth had a clean, bright modern look which shows off her intricate designs so well. She is the most charming lady with a South African accent and a beautiful fairy-like face. We talked about her new pattern line and her new collections coming in the spring. I cannot wait to show them to you!
I caught up with my Westminster rep, Tom, and he escorted me to meet a couple of the other designers I had on my list. I have been following Anna Maria Horner's blog for a couple of years. This incredible young mother of five is a design dynamo, and the sweetest girl you'll ever want to meet. I caught her during the slower lunch hour so we had time to chat. Standing in her living room of a booth complete with a small table and chairs and a fantastic sofa upholstered in one of her more subdued prints in shades of taupe. The lines of the sofa were punctuated in a hot orange print. Just stunning! As was Anna Maria. We spoke as if old friends. She waved down a passerby wearing a fabulous trench made from her Drawing Room collection of home dec weight fabrics. She complimented her profusely on the jacket and how great she looked in it. And she did by the way. The print was the Sketchbook design, you know, the one we cannot seem to keep in stock.
Tom took me over to say, ''Hi'' to Amy Butler. Stephen and I had a conference call with Amy about three years ago to talk about how we could work together. I was so excited about Amy then and, of course, I still am always excited to see her latest collections of pattern and fabrics. We even carry some of her scrapbooking supplies. Look forward to some photo albums and frames as well! I wanted to meet her in person since we have been working with her and her team so long. Her booth was lovely, and she was dressed in a stunning outfit of grey and oatmeal. I don't know how she made it through the day in those beautiful grey patent leather shoes with the 3'' heels. She's a very gracious lady with a big fan base. Every time I passed her booth, she was in a one-on-one conversation with a shop owner while others waited to take their turn. This is such a nice industry to be in.
Walking to the other end of the Westminster area, Heather Ross is talking to Heather Bailey. I wait my turn to speak with each of them. Heather Bailey has a line of new patterns including the cutest pear pin cushion and a baby stacking set. I am also working on Heather's Trash Ties for your hair. You'll just have to see them to understand, but they are ingenious! Heather Ross has a new book coming out in the spring. I love these kinds of books because they come with the patterns in the front cover of the book! It's a book that not only has learning to sew instructions, but also great tips and ideas for any sewer. Did I mention the cute patterns in the front flap of the book? It's coming soon! Heather Ross and I had a great conversation, and I think we'll have a few more ideas in the works for you in the future.
Tom and I wandered around the corner to see Jane Sassaman's booth and speak with
Jane. Jane's latest collection, Prairie Gothic, could not have a better name. The colors are bold and saturated and the subject matter has had the gothic treatment for sure. Thorny vines and insects have invaded the flower garden and it's a great effect.
She said this color palette is a little subdued for her. I think it's all the black she's talking about. By any other standard, it's an exuberant palette. She created some fantastic things for her booth including the cover for a Butterfly Chair that I loved. Check
out the shirt and tie combination.
November 6, 2008
Before Mark saw the light, he was the Senior Producer for The View and Ricki Lake. He has also worked on The Joan Rivers Show and The Richard Bey Show. He has made a transition to the world of quilting and brought along a sense of humor.
He believes in preserving quilting, but he is not a member of the Quilt Police. He believes that you should have fun and learn to break some rules. You do not need to commit suicide if your points are not always sharp. I read his magazine, Quilter's Home, for the humor that it brings me. His magazine is a giggle wrapped in paper! You can get too serious in life and miss smelling the roses. After all, if you live on Pickle Road how serious can you be? Set aside some time, grab a cup of coffee, put up your feet and prepare to laugh out loud when you read his magazine.
Califon is Mark's newest line of fabric from Northcott. Califon is the name of the town in New Jersey in which he currently lives. There are two color ways- blue and yellow, black and white. He says he was inspired by the flowers and gardens in his area. I, personally, see a spirograph gone wild. I love the bold graphic designs. For some free downloads go to Mark Lipinski's website.
Have fun with this beautiful fabric. Mark has a new collection, Krakow, which will be available in early 2009. This is inspired by Polish pottery. You can see a preview at Mark's website.
November 3, 2008
The sale goes off at midnight Eastern Standard Time. Someone just brought me another quilting magazine which just came out with new projects! Why do these magazines wait until the last minute! Don' they know I need a lot of time. I imaged several pictures for you. This magazine has a lot of ideas from table decor, Christmas stockings and how to turn your bedroom into a Christmas treat!
Here are some stockings made from Williamsburg Christmas Traditions.
Here is an adorable quilt from Snow Show:
Here is a fabulous quilt from Laurel Burch's Bountiful Blessings: McCall's Quilting magazine is also featuring a Bountiful Blessing quilt. In the American Quilting and Patchwork, there is a quilt featuring Fabri-Quilt 12 Days of Christmas. All of these panels are going fast! You still have time for one of these great projects!