Brenda Riddle and Ambleside

Brenda Riddle

Brenda Riddle’s Ambleside fabrics evoke a lush country garden. Surprisingly, she creates her verdant designs near Tucson, Arizona, in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. But her early, mobile years provided her with plenty of exposure to more leafy landscapes.

Seedlings quilt - in process

Brenda’s Seedlings quilt, in process

Brenda (or Bren, as she’s known to friends) grew up in San Diego, where her mom taught her to sew. “I made most of my own clothes back then and loved it,” she says. She spent her college years in Minnesota and the San Francisco Bay Area, studying architecture, interior design, and art. After working in those fields and spending a year with a hunger-relief organization in southeast Asia, she moved to Arizona to get a teaching certificate. “I thought I’d be here for two-and-a-half years, but that was 23 years ago,” she says. She taught art and design at a private school for 15 years, and six years ago left teaching to focus on her design career.

Ambleside Pre-cuts

“From the get-go, I’ve always loved interiors, even in high school and before,” she says. “I’d make a new bedspread, a pillow, and change my furniture all the time.” She describes her style as cottage farmhouse, balanced with a rustic look. “My house has a light, airy feel with softer colors, but I also like crispness,” she says. “That’s what I love in quilts, too.” She believes this affinity comes from the quilts her grandmothers made and that surrounded her when she was little. “I’d see them stacked on the linen closet shelves, scrappy quilts with light-colored backgrounds. When I see that in a quilt, I’m immediately drawn to it.”

Star of Wonder blocks

Star of Wonder blocks

Around 2004, Bren’s love of fabric led her to ponder opening a quilt shop. She visited Quilt Market and noticed people walking around with bags stitched from Seaside Rose. “I didn’t know anything about fabric companies at that point, but I knew I had to find out who’d made that,” she says. She visited Moda’s booth and became an ardent fan. The quilt shop never materialized, but over the years, even as she designed fabric for other companies, she describes Moda as “a magnet.”

One of Brenda's counted cross-stitch patterns

One of Brenda’s counted cross-stitch patterns

“They work so well as a team, they work really hard, and it shows,” she says. “They ran with my designs and I’ve been on cloud nine ever since.” She recently got her sample yardage of Ambleside, and was delighted. “When you see the precuts and how they’ve arranged the colors, it’s exactly how I wanted it to be. One of the honest-to-goodness blessings is their attention to detail and presentation. As a designer, you couldn’t ask for more.”

Brenda's buddy, Bailey

Brenda’s buddy, Bailey

Brenda’s currently working away on her Quilt Market samples in her home studio. She lives with her “buddies,” her father and her little dog, Bailey (for more about both, visit Bren’s Little Acorns blog). Along with fabric, she also designs quilts and needlework, and she’s started Quilted Comfort, an organization that provides quilts for seniors who live at the care centers her brother manages, and who have no visitors.

Bren's studio

Bren’s studio

Bren is grateful to have quilts in her life. “Quilting is obviously a creative outlet for me,” she says, “but it’s also a connection to the women in my family who came before and I hope, those who come after—one of my nieces recently requested a special quilt. Quilts have a utilitarian purpose, but they also comfort people and bring them joy.”

Brenda's A-Cuppa quilt

Brenda’s A-Cuppa quilt

 

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

Quilter’s Block? Get Inspired with 318 Patchwork Patterns by Kumiko Fujita

318 Patchwork cover_hires

We are excited to announce the release of 318 Patchwork Patterns by Kumiko Fujita. First published in Japan, this incredible book became wildly popular with quilters around the world. Now available in English, 318 Patchwork Patterns features over 300 original patchwork and appliqué blocks from designer Kumiko Fujita. This collection shows off her amazing talent for constructing detailed, realistic-looking motifs with deceptively simple shapes.

22-23

Designs are included for a variety of themes, such as holidays, letters and numbers, animals, flowers, food, and more. These beautiful motifs will inspire you to create countless projects…the possibilities are endless!

28-29

To celebrate the release of the book, we stitched up a few blocks using some of our favorite new Moda fabric lines, including Best Day Every by April Rosenthal, Modern Neutrals by Amy Ellis, Persimmon by Basic Grey, Miss Kate by Bonnie & Camille, and One For You One For Me by Pat Sloan. It was so much fun to experiment with all the different prints and patterns. Moda’s Layer Cakes are great to use when making these blocks since they contain an assortment of coordinating fabrics that are perfectly sized for these patchwork designs.

#3 cake block: Amy Ellis’ geometric brown and cream print was perfect for the cake layers

#3 cake block: Amy Ellis’ geometric brown and cream print was perfect for the cake layers

#133 dog block: Pat Sloan’s grey curlicue design evokes the texture of dog fur

#133 dog block: Pat Sloan’s grey curlicue design evokes the texture of dog fur

#42 sewing basket: This Basic Grey fabric mimics the woven texture of a basket

#42 sewing basket: This Basic Grey fabric mimics the woven texture of a basket

#89 ring block: April Rosenthal’s yellow striped fabric suggests the shiny reflection of light bouncing off a gold ring

#89 ring block: April Rosenthal’s yellow striped fabric suggests the shiny reflection of light bouncing off a gold ring

#5 ice cream block: Combine a variety of bright colors and playful patterns to represent different flavors of ice cream

#5 ice cream block: Combine a variety of bright colors and playful patterns to represent different flavors of ice cream

#49 lipstick and nail polish block: This pink, aqua, and gray color scheme was inspired by Bonnie & Camille’s Miss Kate collection

#49 lipstick and nail polish block: This pink, aqua, and gray color scheme was inspired by Bonnie & Camille’s Miss Kate collection

318 Patchwork Patterns will be released on October 15, 2014 and is available now for preorder. Ask your sales rep for more information. And don’t forget to stop by the United Notions booth at Quilt Market to check out more samples from the book!

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

A Sweet Scandinavian Christmas

Hi, I am Sherri Falls from This & That Patterns. For several weeks now I have been working on the Sweet Scandinavian Sew along quilt from the Holly Jolly book with a great group of designers that include Sherri from A Quillting Life, Vickie from Spun Sugar Quilts, Lissa from Moda Lissa and Kimberly from Jolly Jabber. The each one of them pieced some of the blocks for the quilt for me. Thank you ladies for helping me out! It’s made with the Moda Christmas fabric of Wintergreen by 3 Sisters and SnowBird by Laundry Basket quilts.

Scandi pic

Now that it’s all done, the quilt is up for auction  HERE on Ebay with 100% of the winning bid going to the Susan G. Komen foundation.  This is a charity very close to my heart so I hope that you will pop over to ebay and bid on this special quilt. You could spend this winter snuggling up with it and help out a great cause at the same time!

Thank you for Moda for letting me be a guest on their blog and a BIG thanks to Lissa, Sherri, Kimberly and Vickie for all their hard work on this quilt!

~Sherri

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

More Mini Quilts

One Block Variation of Navajo Stars

Back in January I did a post on mini quilts with a few ideas and lots of fun mini quilts, and I’m happy to say that for mini quilt lovers everywhere the trend continues! Today I have some more mini quilt fun to share starting with a few of the new mini quilts introduced at International Quilt Market this May in Pittsburgh. Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Company introduced some individual new mini patterns; however, the “Navajo Stars” mini quilt above is actually just one block from a pattern that also includes a four block and a nine block version of a larger quilt.

DSCN3862

Fig Tree also debuted the “Blossom” Mini which can also be made using a single fabric along with a contrast background. This scrappy version uses fabrics by Bonnie & Camille from a variety of their collections.

 

DSCN3990-001

One of Camille Roskelley’s most recent mini quilt designs is her delightful Mini “Red Letter Day” which is an amazing design whether large or small!

 

Mini Shine pattern cover

And this Mini Shine pattern is another new mini pattern–it also features fabrics by Bonnie & Camille.

Pittsburgh 2014 193

Fig Tree & Company also released a Mini Canned Pears quilt which is just as delightful as the full-size quilt version.

 

Pittsburgh 2014 195

And the Fig Tree & Company “Mini Stitch” pattern is an example of the mini version coming out before the full-size version. Watch for a larger version of this pattern coming soon!

Mini quilts are a perfect way to use scraps, charm squares, and even Moda Candy packs. They piece together quickly and also offer the opportunity for quilters to quilt these smaller quilts on their home machines. It’s a good way to play with mixing and matching various collections, and you can get a good idea of how fabrics will play together in a larger quilt by making a mini quilt with the fabrics being “auditioned.”

Why not make your favorite mini quilt today?!

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