Market-inspired English Paper Piecing

Carrie’s shared with you so much of the amazing-ness of Quilt Market. It’s a sight for sore eyes (and it creates sore feet, unless you’re like me and refuse to wear anything but comfortable shoes).

Moda celebrating 40 yearsWhile it’s mostly delightful, it also creates frustration. And that’s because, no matter how much we wish it weren’t true, we can’t do it all. Seeing myriad fabrics, gadgets, and techniques, taking in all that color, texture, and design, provides endless inspiration. If only there was a Quilt Market vendor who offered special deals on endless hours of sewing time!

Since I have yet to stumble across that booth at Market, I’ve decided to take a new tack. I’m going to focus on just a couple of new things I want to learn.

Diane Gileland sharing EPP

Author Diane Gilleland sharing EPP

The first is English paper piecing, or EPP as those-in-the-know call it. I realize I’m late to this party but it’s something I’ve been dying to try, and a Schoolhouse presentation further whetted my appetite. Jess Finn of Paper Pieces teamed up with author Diane Gilleland to share Diane’s new book, All Points Patchwork. The book is filled with great tips about paper piecing in general, as well as what she calls “project inspiration”—ideas for ways to use paper piecing that won’t take years to complete. That’s my kind of sewing!

Different shapes that work together are labeled by package color. These (yellow) 1" diamonds will work with the (yellow) 1" hexagons.

Different shapes that work together are labeled by package color. These (yellow) 1″ diamonds will work with the (yellow) 1″ hexagons.

I was also really intrigued by the way she combined different shapes of EPP. And this is where Jess Finn comes in. Paper Pieces offers packs of paper templates in shapes from the tried-and-true hexagons to kites, pentagons, clamshells, and Dresdens. And to make putting them together simple, the pieces that match are packaged in color-coded packages: yellow for 1” pieces, purple for 2” pieces, and so on. It’s ingenious and takes the guesswork out of making sure selected templates work together. That kind of coordination reduces stress for newbies (like me). I also like that the 1″ pieces work with Moda candy—like these new lines by Leila Boutique and April Rosenthal.



If I decide to try fussy cutting, which creates so many fantastic secondary patterns, PaperPieces offers acrylic templates. And since last year I’ve been intrigued by these Kathy Doughty Hex Essentials. But one thing at a time…I’m trying to avoid Market overload!

The back of this EPP is almost as pretty as the front.

The back of Diane’s EPP is almost as pretty as the front.

If you enjoy English paper piecing, I’d love it if you’d share any tips to get me started successfully in the comment section. I need all the help I can get!

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Two down…

It’s always a shock that after months of getting ready, Quilt Market is over so quickly.  It’s also a short day – in part because Market closes at 4:00 pm instead of 6:00 pm, and in part because many attendees start leaving by Noon to catch flights homes.

The weather – it has made travel to Houston a little more challenging.  There has been flooding in parts of Texas and the storm created many flight delays on Thursday and Friday.

But so long as Sandy Klop – American Jane – is here, it’s all good.

Sandy’s new collection is Bread ‘n Butter – yes, that probably explains the banner.


Continue reading

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Fall Quilt Market 2015 ~ Part 1


This is where I wanted to start – it’s really the only place to start this year’s Quilt Market for Moda Fabrics.

Forty years ago, Mark Dunn started his own company.  He called it United Notions.  It grew, it changed and it created a division called Moda Fabrics.  United Notions continues today as a major distributor of books & patterns, threads, notions and batting, and other quilting and sewing tools but when most of us think of Mr. Dunn and his business, we think of Moda Fabrics.

The quilt was made by LUKE Haynes.  I wrote about Luke a few weeks ago with the men-in-quilting but what I couldn’t tell you at the time was that he’s one of Moda’s newest fabric designers.  His debut collection is Dapper.  (More later – tomorrow.)

So we’re having a party – an anniversary, birthday, celebration… all rolled into one big shindig at Quilt Market.


The booth wasn’t quite finished yet – no carpets, chairs on the tables, some random boxes around, etc.  More pictures coming tomorrow.  But I wanted you to start getting a feel for the place.


Tassels.  In great colors with a little bit of sparkly and glitter in gold.  (More on the quilt in a bit.)


The big pillars in the booth – this area is called “the pit” and there are technically four “pit areas”.  This is where the reps meet with customers to show the fabric lines.

The boxes on the top of the booth are wrapped and there are quilts spilling out of them – obviously on the other side of where I took this picture.  The quilts are in the same patterns and colors as the wrapping paper – everything is a two-color quilt done in the “theme colors” of the booth.

While they had all sorts of advice – solicited and not-so-much – the booth is very much the work of Lissa Alexander and Holly Hickman.

The designer parts of the booth are mostly done and there will be more pictures later, but there’s enough to start sharing some of the quilts, fabrics, and all the pretty stuff.

This is Sandy Gervais – her new collection is Refresh.  (As soon as the catalog pages go “live”, links to the United Notions website will be updated.)


I love this picture of Sandy with Mr. Dunn.

There was a Schoolhouse presentation for the upcoming Moda All-Stars All-In-A-Row book from Martingale and the theme was a “beauty pageant.  We were encouraged to go “all out”… “put on the glam”… and “work it”.  Sandy wore a dress that she first wore in the early 1980s – and it fit her perfectly.


Sandy may be Moda’s “oldest” designer but the girl still looks awesome – and if you’ve never met her, she truly is one of the nicest, funniest, truly most wonderful people in the business.  There is a reason why she’s “lasted” – it’s not just her incredible talent as an artist.


Jan Patek!  Her new collection is Garden House.  Black, a vibrant red, a cornflower-soldier blue, sage-ish green, tan and natural – this is one of my favorite Jan-collections.

And as always, Jan’s quilts are that unique mixture of folk art, primitive and traditional that is her signature style.

Lynne Hagemeir of Kansas Troubles is next – I hope you’ll forgive me but I’m going down the row of the Moda Designer Studio.


Lynne’s new collection is Bees ‘n Blooms.


Lynne has done minis – again.  I don’t want to say that Lynne is old… but Lynne (and Sandy, Jan and a few others) did “minis” the last time they were the hot new thing.

They were babies at the time… in their early teens.


Deb Strain – another one of Moda’s gloriously talented artists who paints, draws, does calligraphy and brush-lettering.  Deb’s new collections is Bee Creative – yes, bees are “big” this year.

It’s a gorgeous collection with a big floral print, two terrific text prints and terrific “blender” prints in shades of cream, gray, black and honey-gold.


Kathy Schmitz had a few more things to hang in her booth but I didn’t want to wait… I’m in love with these little “bits” she’s done.  (Did you see Kathy’s Sturbridge collection, it’s in stores now?)

Another one of Moda’s supremely talented artists – Kathy draws, paints and stitches.  I’ve always loved what Kathy does – even though I once thought she was up to no-good, rooting around under the tables in a neighbor’s booth at Market.  I had told Bonnie Sullivan of All Through the Night that I would watch her booth while she ran to an appointment, and I took the responsibility seriously!

(In my defense, how was I supposed to know they were sisters?)


Each of these little “blocks” measures about 3 1/1″.  Kathy does beautiful embroidery.

Bias alert!

I love that both Alma Allen and Barb Adams will be at Fall Market this year.  They are Blackbird Designs – quilters, cross-stitchers, artists.


Two of my favorite people.  Ever.

This is their Hyde Park collection – it’s beautiful.  Their next collection – I can’t tell you the name of it yet – will be shown in late December.

I know many of you have said that you would love to attend Quilt Market, and that one of the reasons would be to meet a few of your favorite designers.  I hope Barb and Alma are on your list of “would love to meets”.

I first met them at the Three Barns Quilt Show in Sedan, Kansas.  I was still pretty new to the business and it was my first “big show”.  Barb and Alma were two of the lovely ladies there and I was in awe – to me, they were “rock stars”.  They were so generous and supportive, offering advice and making me feel like I was “one of them”.  (As if?!?)

They’re also really funny.

They make us all – quilters and women – look really good.


Kaari!  The French General and Ville Fleurie.  Kaari Meng’s latest collection includes her signature Pearl, Roche, Faded Red and vibrant Red colors, but this one adds a lovely Lavender that I’m sure is inspired by the lavender fields near the Chateau Dumas of Kaari’s getaways, and a beautiful Aubergine.

(I’ll have close-ups of the floss cards on the hoops soon – they’re beautiful!)  (By the way, these quilts were made by Moda’s own uber-sewer Tammy Vonderschmitt.)


Betsy ChutchianEliza’s Indigo is just shipping to stores and Lizzie’s Legacy is debuting at Quilt Market.  (And there’s another beautiful collection coming soon… but shhhhh… you didn’t hear that from me, okay?)

Betsy has done a beautiful book with the folks at It’s Sew Emma – big quilts and minis.  I don’t know if you know but Betsy has always made a mini version of her big quilts first to check color-placement, proportion, etc.  So when she was working on the quilts for her new book, it seemed logical to include the patterns for both sizes of quilts.


Amy Ellis and Serenity.  Navy to medium blue, light gray to charcoal and almost black, and then a beautiful pink that has a hint of peach-coral.  It’s beautiful.

(And I want that lampshade… just saying.)

Amy and April Rosenthal of Prairie Grass Studio were the perfect neighbors – they were helping each other hang quilts and set-up their booths.


April’s new collection is Summerfest – I can’t think of the name of it but the quilt hanging in the back just might be my favorite sampler quilt ever.  I love the tiny blocks and the mix of plain squares in the vertical rows.  (The quilt/pattern is titled Grand Parade.)


I don’t know if April’s sweet little girl Hazel will get to wear this adorable little outfit but I sure hope so.

I’m guessing it all depends on how much Hazel grows in the next eight or nine months…

Kate Spain…

The rain, Kate Spain, stays mainly in the plain…


(Line shamelessly and unrepentantly stolen from Jennifer Keltner.)

This is Kate Spain’s new collection Aria.  It’s one of my favorite “Kate Spain collections”…

That there is a thirty-six way tie for first place in that category is not relevant… don’t judge.  (LOL)

(Just so you know, Kate rocked the pageant with a gown adorned with Aria-print butterflies.)

Figgy. Strawberry Fields Revisited.  (Or Forever… it’s one of those, right?  It should be “forever”… )


“Signature style”. When you see a fabric or quilt, you know who the designer is.


Joanna Figueroa has that – a color palette and style of quilt that is unmistakable – and unique.

So this is the left – east? – side of the Moda Fabrics Designer Studio.  The “west side” and the “annex” are coming later today…

Annex?  I couldn’t think of what else to call it… but it’ll make sense later.  I hope.

If you’re on Instagram, there are more pictures coming tomorrow – scout’s honor.  Periscope?  Been there, done that… keep forgetting to announce it ahead of time… but Saturday morning.  Definite.

There’s plenty more but it’s 1:10 am and if there’s going to be “more”… one of us has to get to bed.

Happy Saturday from Houston!

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Quilt Market—The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

In preparing to head to Market, I’ve been thinking about when I started going and how Market has changed in the intervening years. My first Quilt Market was in fall, 2008, and I was gob-smacked at all there was to see. That hasn’t changed.


The park across from the convention center in 2008. I love the cool, “quilty” sculptures.

Continue reading

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn