On Monday we peeked at some wonderful projects Moda designers were sewing for the holidays (and beyond). Here are a few more:
Vanessa Christensen is stitching gifts for her children’s teachers.
“During this season I always want to make gifts for the special individuals who spend a lot of time with my children, helping them grow intellectually, but because this is also the season to be super-crazy with Christmas parties and family and all other things we try to cram into one month, I wanted to make something cute but fast for the teachers. This is what I came up with. It’s my Color block zipper pouches with an added embellishment of the teacher’s name and I used Sandy Klop’s Potluck Ruler fabric which was perfect for this project!!
Barbara Brackman says this time of year is a good one for sewing, but not for the reasons you might think.
“I usually get more sewing done in December than any time of the year because December is slow for free-lancers—few deadlines, few new writing requests. This December I’m working on reproduction quilts. I just moved across town and moved a metric ton of fabric (well a lot of fabric.) Before I put it all away in boxes labeled Prussian blue and Turkey red and forget about it I thought I’d make some stars in vintage-looking prints. Some of those prints go back 30 years, they are now vintage reproductions I guess. I’m also using lots of my recent Moda collections.
“The other project is snipping a triangle from every one of these prints in my repro stash and making a triangle charm quilt by hand. That should keep me entertained all of 2015.”
Christmas sewing and home dec projects have kept Sandy Klop busy.
“My son got married in August so I made a Christmas stocking for Heather. Now we have 14 socks to fill!” “I finished a floor cloth for the bathroom to match the shower curtain.”
“The most fun is getting ready for a retreat in January. I pull out unfinished projects, but then I often finish them! The stars are civil war blocks I traded with friends, so I added a lot of French and now I love it!”
“This one just needed sashing. I had to barrel-roll to get it done!”
“Now I must clean my sewing room because my three grandsons sleep there for the week of Christmas! Happy holidays!”
Brenda Riddle, unfortunately, isn’t getting much holiday sewing done.
“I thought I’d send you a photo of what I got started on making for Christmas… but then I fell & broke my wrist, so now I’m having to settle for looking at the one block and will have to be content to finish it after the holidays and have it all ready for next year!
“This is a block from my new pattern ‘Star of Wonder’ that United Notions will have at the beginning of January… shipping patterns has been delayed a bit as well! The little quilt in the back is the mini version, using some of my Ambleside fabrics, and for the block I used Bella Solids. The plan is to make a quilt for a special place in my kitchen/breakfast area all in reds and greens… so we’ll see!” We hope you heal quickly, Brenda!
Holiday sewing isn’t the only kind of stitching Moda designers are doing. Several are working on project for new books, or creating new quilts with their fabric lines.
Pat Sloan is working on quilts for her upcoming book—her 32nd—which will be published by Martingale. But she did make one holiday purchase.
“It seems that I have a mad compulsion to buy Christmas fabric in… mmm…December! Like I’m REALLY going to make this up, but I always have great intentions! This is Basic Grey’s 25th and Pine and I’ll be making up my ‘Stitched’ Quilt with it..maybe I’ll even start this month! I’d be ahead of the game wouldn’t I?”
Janet Clare claims she doesn’t sew any gifts. Instead, she’s got other projects going.
“This is an appliqued penguin on fabric from A Field Guide (the fabric line on sale now), which was the free pattern for my email club subscribers’ December newsletter. I have a subscribe button on my blog should anyone which to join (shameless plug!) My 10-year-old, Henry, also embroidered a penguin.”
Other than that I am slowly working on my fifth book The Wordsmith which will be published in the summer. I am making a story and memory quilt for the book, a quilt you can pull out and sit under and use the fabrics and blocks to prompt your telling of your family stories. The book is alphabetical in structure and I have just finished the letter ‘G’- goldfinch and gingham. My boys have a dead goldfinch in the freezer which they are hoping to taxidermy one day. The poor bird was found dead on the golf course and was carried home in their lunch box. I told this story at Spring market and have had lots of comments about it since! The boys and their nature collecting was the inspiration for my A Field Guide book. And the gingham is to remember our summer school uniform dresses—every school girl wears a gingham dress here.”
Alma Allen, who along with Barb Adams is Blackbird Designs, has a project for a book underway, too.
“I’m working on an applique quilt for our new book Country Orchard, for Star books. It will be released this spring, in April. We use quite a bit of our new fabric line Country Orchard, which will be released in March. I am enjoying doing this applique. Applique is relaxing for me during this busy time of the year. I like the story applique can tell. The organic shapes filling the blocks seem just right—placement of shapes can be whimsical and the results dramatic.”
So, there you have it—a bit about what Moda designers are up to now. How about you? Do you have any holiday projects stacked next to your sewing machine? Let us know!
It’s that time of year, when you’ll find lots of us at our sewing machines, creating gifts for those we love. If you’ve got your pedal to the metal right now as you whip up items for the holidays, you’re not alone. Moda’s designers are stitching, too. Here’s what a few of them are working on right now.
Brigitte Heitland is sewing presents, but not just for Christmas. Her first grandchild is due in January and she’s stitching up a storm in preparation.
Brigitte says: “I have sewn baby jeans and baby shoes. These are so tiny, that I guess they have to put them on the baby’s feet as soon as he is delivered; otherwise he will grow out of them pretty soon. I don’t think a newborn even needs some shoes, but couldn’t resist making these.
“I’m working on a diaper bag for my daughter-in-law and she was free to choose whatever fabric she liked. I love her choices from my newest line REEL TIME. The prints are “lenses” and “dots.”
“I also made a baby quilt—of course—and used a Layer Cake from SweetWater, Lucy’s Crab Sack. I used my own Zen Chic pattern, It’s a Plus.”
“For my niece I’ve made a quilt from only solids. This is a super easy beginner quilt, the top was done in only three hours. And I made a step-by-step tutorial for newbies, it’s on my YouTube channel (in German). We also have there a link to the free downloadable pattern.”
Vanessa Goertzen is excited about a gift she stitched for a family member. ‘I just finished this quilt for my brother-in-law using Amy Ellis’s Modern Neutrals fabric and also using her pattern Soiree.” On her blog she notes that it makes a great “man-quilt.”
Laurie Simpson of Minick and Simpson is making little coin purses. “I was inspired by this book I found in New York. I can’t read it, but I can look at the pictures. I made some coin purses with scraps from our fabrics. The paper hexagons were a gift from Edyta (Sitar) at the last Spring Market. I’m making a coin purse for myself, Polly, a neighbor, and whomever…. if I can make enough.”
Gina Martin has a very special project going. “I haven’t started it yet, but I’m planning on making a lap quilt for my 96-year-old grandmother for Christmas. She’s always loved sewing and quilting and is thrilled that I now design fabric for Moda! The quilt is made from sample yardage that I just got. It’s a Christmas collection called Tole Christmas that ships to stores next summer. I’ve decided to use BasicGrey’s Sweet Tea pattern because I think it will highlight the prints nicely!”
“Not only do I get to sew with my upcoming line, but I get to do it on my “new” little 1936 Featherweight that I bought for myself. It’s the perfect little machine for piecing!”
Barb Groves of Me and My Sister Designs has a couple of projects going. “I’m totally in the unfinished stage with two of my holiday sewing projects. In fact I’m more in the ‘piles of stuff still to start’ phase! My goal is to make a heart ornament for all my neighbors. I plan to hang one on all the front door knobs a few nights before Christmas. It’s a really good thing that there are only 10 houses on my street! I also need to make a holiday mug mat for the embroidery club I joined this year. The exchange is on the 19th so I’d better get started tonight! It just wouldn’t be Christmas if I started my projects early! Merry, Merry! “
“My sister Mary is trying to finish a project she started this past year. It’s something that she doesn’t want to become a UFO for the New Year’s resolution list! She’s making our Milky Way quilt in different blue Bella solids. The plan is to variegate her stars from light to dark. It should be beautiful IF she ever gets it finished!”
Joanna Figueroa is partaking of a holiday sewing tradition. “Every Christmas, I save a Christmas quilt to bind even though I know that it’s likely that I won’t quite finish it in time given everything else that is going on. It just makes me happy to sit on the couch in the evenings and bind something that is “in the spirit” of the holidays. This year I am working on one of our kits from last year, Christmas Lollies. Its from our Lollipops pattern and I think that its one of my all time favorite quilts. We have done it in at least 5 different ways now and I love them all! I hope you are getting to stitch something for yourself this season! Merry Christmas!”
Come back on Wednesday, when we’ll show you what more of what Moda designers are sewing now!
Twice a year, Sew Mama Sew brings bloggers, designers and brands together for one giant collaborative giveaway event. What was once done in a day has become a full week of amazing giveaway opportunities, all conveniently linked up in one place. It’s a tremendous time for new product discoveries, fun connections with your favorite blogs, introductions to a wide range of brand new blogs AND it allows all of us to have a bit of fun with all of you! It’s an exciting time and we’re thrilled to be a part of it this year.
Aurifil, Pellon and Moda Fabrics have come together to create a one-of-a-kind, over-the-top, you-will-not-believe-your-eyes prize package for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! This bundle is a combination of the best of all three brands in one spot: a 1/2 yard bundle of 12 Bella Solid Fabrics in a range of colors , an exclusive Aurifil Bella Solids Collection of thread, and a bundle of seven crib-sized Legacy by Pellon® battings — Natural Cotton, White Cotton, 80/20 Natural Blend, Bamboo Blend, Soy Blend, Wool & Polyester. Excited yet?
The 12 Bella Solids that we chose came from one of the 12 Pack Quilts made by Holly Hickman in our Design and Marketing Department. Her inspiration for choosing the colors for this quilt were from paint chips. “I sort through paint chips and layout color combinations that I like and pin them to my bulletin board to use for future projects just like this one.” She also changed the background fabric from one color to the same colors she used in the melons. It gives the quilt a complete different look and we loved the way it turned out. The Moda 12 Pack Quilt Pattern is called Melons and is available at your local quilt shop.
GIVEAWAY ENTRY DETAILS…
This fabulous giveaway closes December 12, 2015 5pm PST. The winner will be chosen randomly and the winner will be announced on or around 14 Dec. This giveaway is open internationally!
Simply follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter-to-win! Don’t forget to head on over to Sew Mama Sew to check out all of the amazing giveaways featured on some other great blogs and make some new friends! Good luck and happy sewing!!
Jen Kingwell in front of her Gardenvale Stars quilt
As a nurse midwife, Jen Kingwell helped bring lots of babies into the world. But when Gardenvale appears in April, it will be the first time she’s “birthed” a line of fabric.
Jen couldn’t be happier about this bundle of joy, though when Moda first approached her about designing fabric, she hesitated. “I’m such a scrap quilter I wasn’t sure how to design a range of fabrics that would fit,” says Jen, who’s known for her rich, mosaic-like quilt designs. “But Moda’s been fabulous, letting me do multiple stripes and spots across the width of the fabric. I’m really chuffed with it!”
For the Yanks amongst us, “chuffed” is Aussie-speak for “quite pleased.” While Jen hails from Australia, she’s lived for the past two years in the city of Al ‘Ayn in the United Arab Emirates, near the Oman border. She and her husband, who manages a manufacturing plant there, have three daughters and return to Australia several times annually to visit them. Their youngest daughter Lucy manages Jen’s quilt shop, Amité, which is located in the Gardenvale section of Melbourne, and sends large boxes of fabric to her regularly. “We call Lucy the fabric fairy,” says Jen. “The boxes have to be opened at the post office and the women who see them love the fabric, though because it’s often just quarter-yard cuts, they probably wonder what I’m doing with them.”
Jen’s Gene Pool pattern hangs behind her Carnival pillows
A self-taught quilter, Jen stitched her first quilt during her nursing training. “It was paper-pieced hexagons and I didn’t have any idea of what I was doing,” she remembers. She used all kinds of fabric, including corduroy and crimplene (a heavy polyester). “I love it because it’s the first thing I did. It’s definitely eclectic!”
Jen’s love of quilting grew and she bought into an existing fabric shop in the late 1990s, while still working part time as a nurse midwife. Her first patterns were for her shop’s customers and used six fabrics and big block quilts, but she found she didn’t enjoy it. “I decided to go against the trend of fast quilts and do what I love—hand piecing and hand quilting,” she says. Jen likens working by hand to mediation. “When I sit with my needle and thread, I can feel my blood pressure go down.” Her love inspired others. “We’ve got quite a hand-piecing culture at my store,” she says. “It’s so portable, so sociable, and people love the serenity.”
Jen’s hand-stitching in myriad thread colors highlights her Gardenvale fabrics
Asking Jen about her creative process and how she designs her complex quilts elicits a laugh. “The idea I start with is often not the way the quilt ends up,” she says. “For me, fabric is key. I base my designs around fabric and color and things grow and change as I work on them.” She appreciates when quilters change her patterns to suit their own work style. “I design for myself, but everyone enjoys doing something different,” she says. “If you’ve got mad machine skills, use a sewing machine. You don’t have to do needle turn applique, you can fuse.”
If you’ve been considering giving handwork a try, winter is the perfect time to practice those skills. And you’ll be prepared to give Jen’s aesthetic a try when Gardenvale debuts in the spring.