Creat8… Fabric8… Final 8


It’s time!

We’re on the homestretch of the Spoonflower – Moda Fabric8 contest – Botanical Sketchbook.  The eight finalists chosen by you – the voters – have added designs to their collections and now it’s up to you to choose who will be the next Moda fabric designer.

Spoonflower Finalists

Voting is open!  You have until next Wednesday – October 14th!  The winner will be announced on Thursday, October 15th.

Anyone  and everyone can vote!  Just VOTE!

If you share a computer at work or at home with another Spoonflower user, please note that you will need to be logged into your own Spoonflower account to make your vote counts as Spoonflower has fraud detection that controls for votes from the same IP address unless you’re logged in.

If you’re not a member and want to be, that’s easily done.  It’s fast and it’s free, and you can do that here.

If you’d like to meet the Spoonflower Finalists –

Now go VOTE!

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Meet Lil Red and New Moda Designer Stacy Iest Hsu


Stories are at the heart of many fabric collections, but it’s especially true in the case of one of Moda’s newest designers, Stacy Iest Hsu. And it’s not just the stories themselves, but the mood they create. Stacy, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, reads nightly to her three children. While her two eldest kids could read on their own, they still enjoy gathering evening. “No one’s fighting, everyone’s peaceful, and though they’re sometimes working on projects of their own, they’re still listening,” says Stacy. “It’s my favorite time of the day.”IMG_3069

Stacy hopes that Lil Red evokes that time of day for other busy moms, as well. She created the cut-and-sew dolls as a quick project with a handmade touch. “The dolls are a product of thinking about how I live my life and my busy schedule,” Stacy says. “I wanted to help people make things, even if they don’t have a lot of time.” In addition to the dolls the collection includes complementary prints, perfect for stitching pillows, curtains, quilts (both doll- and human-sized) and even clothing. “I love designing fabric because people will make amazing things with it,” says Stacy.IMG_3070



A native Californian who grew up on a dairy farm, Stacy credits her upbringing with instilling a love of making things. “There weren’t a lot of people around, so you get creative,” she says. She also grew up in a crafty family—both her grandmothers and her mother sewed. One grandmother even made dolls for her 18 grandchildren. “When you’re little you don’t realize the hard work that goes into it, but as I’m doing this I realize how special it was.”



After studying fashion merchandising and textile design, Stacy worked for Gymboree, designing fabrics for their layette division. While she loved the work, it was difficult to balance with the demands of parenthood and she left to freelance, creating designs for Baby Gap and Pottery Barn, among others. But working with Moda is a special thrill, as her mom is an avid quilter and “fabric collector.”

IMG_3047“I grew up going to quilt shops and sewing stores and my mom always told me Moda had such great fabrics,” says Stacy, who first submitted designs to Moda after the birth of her second child. Though she was turned down, she was also encouraged to keep trying. “That was about seven years ago, and today I feel very, very lucky. The day I started with Moda I could tell I would love the way they treat people who work with them. And being part of the quilting world makes me feel like I’m back home.”


Sharing her love of creating is important to Stacy, and she’s passed that on to her own children. “We are busy with sports and stuff, but I try to keep it boring for the rest of the time,” she says. “It’s kind of annoying as a parent to have kids say ‘I’m bored,’ but eventually they figure it out. My studio is a shared workspace—I keep things like boxes and fabric scraps for them to use and it amazes me what they come up with.” Her older children know how to operate her sewing machine and though her ten-year old son is now “too cool” to sew, her daughter has her own fabric stash. “I love to hear the sewing machine in the background and knowing she’s doing her own thing.”



Lil Red is slated to ship to stores in January and Stacy’s working away on her next line. “My husband will say ‘What do you want to do when you retire?’ and I tell him I just want to keep working,” she says. “I love my job and I love hearing back from people who have used my fabrics. To be a part of Moda is a dream come true for me.”

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Think Pink!  Think Market!

Think Something – Anything – But Market!


This is an antique Drunkard’s Path quilt I found on Pinterest.  It’s pink.  It’s pretty.  It’s in!

I think you can guess that given a choice of subjects for today, I’ll go with the first one.  It’s October and since 1985, it’s been celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  But did you know that the pink ribbon symbol didn’t come until several years later?

In the fall of 1991, The Susan G. Komen Foundation had given out pink ribbons to participants in it’s New York City Race for the Cure.  Two years later, Evelyn Lauder of Estee Lauder Companies founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as it’s symbol.  If you watched any National Football Games over the weekend, you probably saw lots and lots of pink.

We were laughing about that this morning and that led us to asking how much “pink” we had in the office – meaning in the sample room and notions building.  There is some pink fabric – but pictures of pink Bella Solids didn’t seem as interesting as notions.


Sewline.  They’re easy – everything they do comes in pink packaging.  Thank you, Sewline!

That’s the Sewline Gift Set, it comes in a pretty pink case.  Do you use marking pencils?  Someone asked me recently if I did and I have to confess that I don’t.  I use the Micron fine markers for drawing lines and unfortunately, they don’t come in pink.  Red, but not pink.  (Who do I see about correcting that?)

I do like glue pens and Sewline’s is my favorite.  I’ve been using them to hold zippers in place while making zippered-bags, and for turning under edges for machine-applique.  (I’ll show you the circle quilt I just finished this weekend when it’s back from the quilter.)


There were a lot – more than I would have thought.

In no particular order:

Just so you know, the Peels, Tulips and Bobbinis only come in packages with blue, green, orange and pink.  I just pulled out the pink ones.

Do you know what this is?


I know.  It says it’s a Simple Seam Wheel.  They used to be pretty common in quilt shops… back in the day when templates were used for piecing a lot.  They’re not so easily found now but Jen Kingwell uses them all the time so she found a source and now sells them.  They’re very nice – heavy, thick and with a big enough hole for most pencils to fit into easily.

What’s it for?  It’s used to mark a 1/4″ seam allowance with templates – the sort used to make quilts like these…


These are from Millefiori Quilts  by Willyne Hammerstein.  The quilt in the upper left corner is the La Passacaglia quilt – fussy cutting required, templates required.  There’s also a gorgeous Millefiori Quilts 2 book… that Willyne is a busy girl.

That’s enough fun for me… I’ve got a binding to finish for Karen and some log cabin strips to cut.  And a backing to piece.

Pink is good but I need to think about that middle thing now.

Which reminds me… in addition to pictures of new things from Market, is there anything I should put on my list as a “look for”, “must see”, “get a picture of”?  (I need lists these days of I forget things.)

Happy Tuesday!

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Three weeks…

Twenty-two days.  That’s how much time there is between now – today – and Fall Quilt Market in Houston.

That means new fabric to fondle and ogle, catalogs to prepare, write-ups to write, quilts to make and patterns to write – basically, there’s plenty of “stuff” to do.

So I’m trying to catch up on a few things I’ve meant to share and keep forgetting about.


After deciding she needed a Halloween quilt too, Lissa pulled these fabrics a few months ago.  I knew I was going to make “something”, I just didn’t know what.  When trying to decide what to use for a quilt I’m contributing to a book, I remembered this stack and presto!  I know someone will ask so…

On the left, from top to bottom:

On the right, from top to bottom:

As for the quilt, that will have to wait until next year.

Have you seen the sew-along for the Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt?  I decided to sew-along and I’m happy to say that most of the ladies in the office are doing the same.  Some have pulled out the first Farmer’s Wife blocks they started several years ago with the goal of finishing – making progress – on that.  No matter… we’re awash in a sea of templates, little blocks and “big plans”.


Week No. 1 and so far, I’m caught up.  I think it’s all downhill from here.  But at least “I look good” with my spiral-bound book, don’t you think?  (FedEx Office or any office supply store can do this for a couple of dollars.  It helps a lot.)

I also took the plunge with one of the Zakka Workshop patterns-kits for a little coin purse.  I don’t know that I’ll ever really use the little purse but I was intrigued to see if I could manage to actually get one made.


This is the Simple Coin Purse and guess what?  It’s actually fairly easy to make.  One suggestion though – they recommend a toothpick for putting the glue in the clasp part.  Uh, no.  I found that a fine-tip for the glue bottle or a thin paint brush worked much – MUCH – better.  I want to make another one because it really was fun to make.  I might try the  Classic Coin Purse or the Vintage Clasp Wallet… though it has a pocket.  (After Market.)

A highlight this past week was the arrival of the first batch of Moda Match Maker for Bella Solids.

They’re.  Gorgeous.  Perfection!


The swatches measure 2 1/2″ x 5″ and the backing has the Bella Solid color number and name, as well as the number of the swatch.  It’s like a page number so putting it can be put back in order if you’re the sort who wants to take it apart.  (That would be me.)  The swatches are threaded onto a long metal tube that will allow for the swatches to be fanned easily.  When new colors are added to the Bella Solids, “swatch packs” will be available and they’ll still fit within the outer cover.  At least for the next hundred colors or so.


This is going to be so much better than my old method for color-matching…


If there was a prize for the “most trashed Bella color card” in the office… I’m a contender.  And in just eight months.

One last thing, something else I forgot – did you know that six years ago, Moda made a time-elapse video of the Fall Market 2009 booth being built?

It’s pretty cool.  If only it really happened in just a few minutes.

Happy Friday!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

I’ll be sewing.  Really, really fast.

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Takeover bid…

We went.  We walked.  We listened.  We ate.  We walked.  We were inspired.  We learned.  We laughed.

We had a really good time at the Quilter’s Take Manhattan, the annual event presented by the Quilt Alliance.

Moda is the Presenting Sponsor and after Mr. Dunn couldn’t attend this year’s event… a couple of us got to go instead.  (And we got to hear some great stories about Mr. Dunn from folks who adore him.  Big surprise, right?)


I wrote about the event last week but after having gone, it was a bit different experience than I expected.  From what I’d heard and seen online, I thought it would be a little bit more like a quilt show – lots of quilts, vendors, happy quilters, etc.  There is that but the focus isn’t on seeing pretty quilts and buying cool quilty stuff, it’s about so much more.

Ricky Victoria

Ricky Tims and Victoria Findlay Wolfe in front of one of the Double Wedding Ring Quilts from Victoria’s wonderful book – Double Wedding Ring Quilts: Traditions Made Modern.  (Ricky is so cool he saw the Pope.) (Victoria is so cool, she can rock a jacket made of double-knit polyester from the 1970s.)

Inspiration.  The day started with presentations by Ricky Tims and Victoria Findlay Wolfe who – it turns out – are a whole lot more like the rest of us than you’d guess.  They’re funny and they’re not quite sure how they wound up as quilters… truth be told, it’s the last thing both expected to be doing.  But they’re driven to create and “make stuff”.  Sound familiar?

Both spoke about how being true to yourself is the first, last and middle step to being a better quilter.  “Better”, not in the sense of perfect points and stitches, or winning ribbons but “better” in the sense of finding and creating joy in the doing.

Celebration.  This event was about celebrating quilting and quilters.  Okay, so that sometimes means “stuff” that makes us happy.


Top left corner – That’s a label from Pat Yamin’s Come Quilt With Me.

Top right corner – Rock. Paper. Scissors.  They’re a wonderful little shop in Montclair, New Jersey.

Lower left corner – the Quilt Basket of Pawling, New York.

Lower right corner – Sunrise Scraps from Handfuls of Scraps by Edyta Sitar.

Preservation.  The Quilt Alliance was created to build a body of knowledge about quilting – not just the how-to but the stories behind quilts.  Every quilt has a story.  Some are short and some rival “War & Peace” in length.  Funny or sad, interesting or not, there is a reason why a quilt was made.  And every one of those stories matters.

The original audio recordings and photographs from the recorded interviews done for the Quilters’ Save Our Stories are archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  While the majority of interviews are done one-on-one, often in someone’s home, the Alliance will often record interviews in a public setting to increase awareness of the pr0gram and encourage others to participate.  At this year’s event, Meg Cox interviewed Edyta Sitar about her glorious quilt, Common Bride.


(Please forgive the poor lighting – it was a dark auditorium and there were spotlights.)

This is much better.

CT Common Bride Edyta

There were also quilt stories shared, recorded and preserved for four talented ladies from New York – members of the Riverbend Quilters.

Celebration Part 2.  And a little competition.  Quilt Match Manhattan – an all-in-good-fun design challenge to determine the Quilting Weight Champion of the World.  This is the prize…


(Just look at Edyta’s determination… )

The three contestants this year were:

  • Edyta Sitar – no wonder she’s eyeing that awesome belt created by Frances Holliday Alford – of Laundry Basket Quilts.
  • Karla Overland of Cherrywood Fabrics – those gorgeous hand-dyed that feel like velvet.
  • Laurie Russman of NeonKitty and a Board Member of the Quilt Alliance.


What?  You expected “trash-talking”?


The stage is set.  The fabrics are ready.

We provided 11 half-yard cuts that the three challengers could use.  They didn’t have to use each fabric but these fabrics had to comprise the majority of the finished project.  Challengers could add a fabric to the mix but not knowing what they were getting until a few minutes before the match started… it was hard to know what to bring.

Still.  All three ladies created spectacular projects that “fit” their style.


Laurie Russman’s project – glued, fused and painted in place.  Laurie is a mixed-media artist so she knew her way around the paint bottle.


An upside down view of Karla’s project.  By the time she’d finished, she’d included the Pope and the building had the QTM logo.  Karla was probably also the furthest along as her project was glued and fused into place.  That gorgeous royal-purple background is one of her beautiful hand-dyed fabrics.


Eydta.  To think “someone” picked fabrics thinking they’d be throwing Edyta a heavy-duty “curve ball”.

Voting was done by applause – noise.  There were three judges – two with their backs turned to the audience to enhance the auditory-aspect of the response.  The third judge had a noise-meter.

And the winner was…


It was a very close contest but Edyta was the noise-meter-documented winner.

The three projects are then sold at “silent auction” as a fundraiser for the Alliance.  We – Lissa and me – wanted it.  Lissa went “big” with the first bid and was outbid.  She bid again and yes, was outbid again.  I was going to place the next bid and that’s when we realized that it was just one person bidding against us – the really nice woman giving us the “evil eye”. It didn’t help that Edyta had announced to the audience that as part of the winning bid, she would take the project home to fuse and quilt it to complete it.

So we let Dee Dee buy the project.  (We cut more fabric and we’ll get Edyta to make us another one.  :::snort:::)

The event concluded Sunday with a presentation by Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Threads at The City Quilter.  I’ll have more on that later but let it suffice to say that if you ever have the opportunity to attend an Aurifil presentation – run, don’t walk!  Go!  It was fascinating, educational and entertaining.  Seriously – you’ll have a much greater appreciation for thread.

As for the Pope… while he was in New York City, he couldn’t break away from his busy schedule to attend the events.  But he sent his regards.


That’s Amy Milne, the Executive Director of the Quilt Alliance.  A huge, huge thank you to Amy, and to Debby Josephs, the Office Manager, who arranged everything for us in New York, for making this such a terrific event.

I am crossing my fingers that I get to go again because I love the stories of quilts and quilters.

And New York City in September… I love that part too.

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