Meet Corey Yoder, a new Moda designer

Though she grew up with quilters on both her mother’s and father’s side of the family, Corey Yoder really wasn’t interested in quilting. Then she visited stores near her home in Ohio’s Amish country and fell in love with fabric.Corey Yoder Headshot

“I’d buy it without knowing what I’d do with it,” she says “This went on for awhile until I thought ‘This is ridiculous!’” Corey’s mom suggested she make a quilt. “I found a maple leaf pattern and chose the fabrics and cut them out using templates and scissors—no rotary cutter—then sent it over to my mom to sew. We did this for a while and eventually it became apparent I needed to learn to sew myself. So I did!”

Spools and Stitches

The colors of this cross stitch BOM Corey was sharing on her blog inspired the palette for her new Moda line, Prairie.

This love of textiles is why Corey is especially excited to be one of Moda’s newest designers. “Fabric is what sucks me in,” she says. “I enjoy all kinds, modern and traditional, and love designing fabrics and quilts.” Her first fabric line, Prairie, will be making its debut this month at Quilt Market. “It uses some of my favorite warm, sherbert-y colors with small scale patterns, because I like smaller piecing,” she says.

Book Projects

Projects from Corey’s Playful Petals book

Around that same time she’ll be debuting patterns to accompany her fabric. Designing quilts isn’t new to Corey—her patterns appear in magazines from American Patchwork and Quilting and McCall’s to Fat Quarterly and Stitch, as well as in the Moda Bake Shop and Moda’s Sweet Celebrations book. Last year she published her patterns in, Playful Petals, which focuses on raw-edge, fusible applique, a technique she used extensively in the kid’s clothing she made under the name Little Miss Shabby.

lilli picture

The Yoder family’s Yorkie, Lilli, sleeps soundly amongst Corey’s pillows.

That business got its start in 2006, when Corey dressed her first daughter, Chloe, in clothes she made for her. Friends asked if she’d make some for them and Little Miss Shabby was born. Corey’s second daughter, Elonie, was born in 2008 and that was when Corey returned to quiltmaking. “I’d made a lot of applique jeans and while I enjoyed the design aspect, I didn’t so much like making the same things over and over,” says Corey. The online quilting community called to Corey and she participated in sew-a-longs and bees. “One year I did eight or nine bees,” she says. “I tend to jump into things with excitement and vigor. If one is fun, nine will be nine times as fun!”

Market Quilts

Quilts for Market are stacking up at Corey’s house, including the second one from the top that was hand quilted by her mom.

While this attitude sometimes gets Corey in over her head, she says that if quilting weren’t fun she wouldn’t do it anymore. She likes to remind others it’s okay not to make every part of a quilt yourself. “If you don’t enjoy quilting, it’s okay to send your quilts to a quilter,” she says. “Traditional piecing not your thing? Go improv! If you’re not enjoying some part of it then change it up, try something different, or farm out the part you don’t like. Get rid of the rules and have fun with what you’re doing, because it opens up a world of possibilities.”

Sewing Room

Piano or stash storage? Corey likes to move her sewing machine and fabric to wherever her family is so she can work with them nearby.

Part of what’s fun for Corey is sharing stitching with her Mom, who is helping sew samples for Market, and her daughters. In recent weeks Corey and her mom have set up sewing machines at Corey’s house and Chloe and Elonie have joined them, cutting, gluing, ironing, and jumping on the sewing machines when Corey and her mom are taking a break. “Chloe is making funny little stuffed animals out of the Prairie scraps,” says Corey with a laugh. “There are stuffed animals all over the place!” Chloe’s also helping her mom stay focused in the frantic pre-Market days. “She’s only nine but she said ‘Mom, you just need to make a list and check it off every day and you’ll be fine.’” Chloe is obviously wise beyond her years.

Girls Sewing during market prep

Whenever Corey and her mom take a break from sewing, Corey’s daughters Elonie and Chloe step in, eager to help with Market prep.

For more about Corey, including some free patterns and tutorials, visit her blog Little Miss Shabby.

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A nip here and a tuck there…

I’m getting a face-lift!

Well, not me personally, as in “not on my person”, my physical self.  Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. is the beneficiary of this enhancement – the patterns.

I – we – need it.  And I’m pretty excited about it.

Cutting-Table---New-Patterns

Aren’t they pretty?

Okay, they’re not done.  That’s not even one of them.  Think of this as a sneak-peek into the operating room.

Wee Hours?  It’s a new pattern but that’s not it on the cover, that’s the Collection for a CauseFriendship quilt from a few years ago that was used for context and to help with the visual.  Full Circle?  That’s it on the cover – made with Alice’s Scrapbag, the beautiful new collection by Barbara Brackman.  Susan is working on the layout and diagram now.  She’s the perfect person to work with me as she used to teach third-graders.  The one in back is Viola… more on her soon.

I wrote a little while back that the biggest challenge has been working backwards – at least it’s backwards for me.

Back in the day – it does occasionally feel like forever-ago – I would see fabric I liked and let it noodle-around in my head until I got an idea for what to make.  Then I would think about different sizes of blocks, how big each would make the quilt, “about” how much fabric would I need and so on.  That part is still the same, the difference now is that I used to make the quilt before I wrote the pattern.  Now I calculate the yardage, write the pattern, make some chicken-scratch diagrams and then pass it along to the computer wizards.  Sounds good, right?

Cutting-Table---Otis

It is. But it isn’t without a hiccup on two.  This is Otis – more on “him” soon too.

The problem – problems? – arise when something doesn’t work as planned.  One of the new quilts had yardage calculated based on getting six squares per strip.  Cut to size, it would add up to 20 1/4″.  It was a very tight fit… maybe 1/4″ to spare.  But many of us – including me – would cut those squares a little bit larger to allow for trimming – they’re for half-triangle squares.  I cut them at 3 1/2″ instead of 3 3/8″ and while it adds up to 21″ and “should” still fit, it didn’t.  I could only get 5 squares per strip.  So that pattern will need a little work, a revision or four.

Where I have to get better is keeping the drafts and revisions on the computer updated or, more importantly, making sure that whomever is working on that pattern knows that it’s been updated.  Learning to work with other people is really hard!

As we find a format and style that works for the new patterns, some of the “old” patterns will be updated, re-colored and perhaps even re-made.  As we go through this process, I’d like to ask for your help on two fronts.

First, are there any “old” Miss Rosie’s patterns that you think should be on the list for a makeover?

And second, if you were making a list of what absolutely, positively should be in a pattern for it to be good, what would you include?  E.g., pressing, little tips, why I’m doing it the way I’m doing it, etc.

I’m off to cut some fabric so I can finish Viola.

Then I’m writing the pattern.  Pray for Susan.

 

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Going Modern…

Not me – I’m already modern!

But someone else is “going modern” – Leigh Knox to be specific.  First, the girl went to QuiltCon – and didn’t come say Hi – but the randomizer picked her name from the list and so I’m sending her a copy of Jo Kramer and Kelli Hanken’s Country Girl Modern.

Country-Girl-Modern

Leigh – if you’ll check your e-mail box, I sent you a request for your address.

Thank you to everyone who participated, I wish I had enough books to send to everyone.  The good news is that you’ll find it at your local quilt shop – it’s a Kansas City Star publication so if they don’t have it, they’ll know who to call to get you a copy.  You’ll love it – it’s terrific.

Thank you to Jo and Kelli for asking us to hop-along with them.

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Modern Country Girl…

Make that Country Girl Modern.

Country-Girl-Modern

This book – 11 Modern-Traditional Quilts from the Junction.  Petticoat Junction?  Nope.  Iowa.  Jo’s Country Junction – Jo Kramer.  Jo and her daughter Kelli – Kelli Hanken – have been making and designing quilts for ages, and they’ve finally published a book of quilts “inspired by country air, traditional roots, and modern fun.”

We – meaning more than just me, the Carrie typing this – have known Jo and Kelli for awhile and when she asked us if we’d join the blog hop and review their book, how could we resist?  There’s a quilt in the book named “Modalicious”!

CGM---Modalicious

How much fun is that!

So here’s the review.  The quilts.  They’re terrific – a few are such that a quilting-newbie will have great success, and a couple have enough pieces that even a long-time quilt-maven will be kept busy.  Some of the quilts need yardage or fat quarters, and others will put a big dent in your scrap basket.

CGM---Bohemian-Rhapsody

This is Bohemian Rhapsody – it’s my favorite and the one that I’m itching to make with something… anything.  While it’s made with 1/2 yard cuts, I think this is one that would be great for scrap-busting.

The instructions.  They’re clear, concise and I love the “Quick Reference Chart” – that’s a genius idea.  It’s a “cheat sheet” of how many pieces / units you need to make the quilt.

CGM---Cheat-Sheet

Seriously.  This is a great idea.  (In pattern-writer-speak, that means it’s an idea absolutely worth “borrowing”.)

So have I convinced you that this is a great book and you should have one?  As your luck would have it, we can help with that last part too.  If you leave a comment here by Midnight on Sunday, March 15, you just might win a copy of Country Girl Modern.  Be sure to leave your e-mail address with your comment – and no, don’t put the e-mail in the comment, simply include it where and when the comment form asks for it.

Thank you to Jo and Kelli for asking us to hop with the Country Girls.  And Thanks to YOU for hopping too.

CGM---Thanks-to-You

Really.  Thanks to YOU.  (That’s the name of this quilt.)

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Snow day…

As you read this, I may or may not be in the office.

Snow-Day

While it was sunny and beautiful outside Thursday morning, there was a thin layer of ice under that snow so the roads are still a mess and probably won’t be clear until late Friday morning.  The good news is that this kind of day let’s me catch up on a few things – like my mail.

This book arrived last week and I finally had a chance to linger over every single beautiful page.

Quilt-Lovely

If you like scrap quilts, you’ll love this book.  It’s simple – the book is that good.

I can also get to some of your questions from the Tip Jar.

After I shared the tip about using fusible thread for bindings, a friend asked me if I was really going to do that for all my bindings.  No.  I think it’s a cool trick, and I know there will be times – like right before Market – when I will need a binding to look “finished” so it can be hung.  The fusible thread is perfect for that – as is glue-basting, another trick I like and use.  So I’ll still use my beloved binding clips, but I’m happy to know about this method.  It’s a great tool for my “toolbox”.

To answer two questions – no, the fusible thread doesn’t leave a hard edge on the binding.  The folded edge that you’ll be stitching down isn’t adhered to anything.  Only the underside of the fabric directly over the seam allowance is fused.  In that respect, I prefer the fusible thread method to glue-basting as that can sometimes leave the edge hard, especially if you I’ve had a heavy-hand with the glue.

And the method will work with bindings made with strips cut at 2 1/2″.  There will be a little more of the binding that isn’t fused but the thread is only there to hold the binding in place for stitching.

Cleaning your rulers – yes, you should be doing that.  Think about anything you handle all the time… like maybe your cellphone.  How often do you wipe off the fingerprints, grime and oil?  While you don’t see it on your ruler, it’s still there.  There will also be build-up on the underside from your hands, as well as any sizing or starch, soap residue for the pre-washers, and whatever is used to finish fabrics at the mill.  So every three or four months, I use glass cleaner to clean both sides of all the rulers I use regularly.  I also remove and replace any tape, sticky dots or whatever on the underside.  (Just so you know, I don’t do windows.)

Rulers

I think you’ll be surprised that you will start seeing a difference – seeing being an operative word.  It’s like changing the needle on your sewing machine, it doesn’t take long before you notice the difference.

You are changing your sewing machine needles regularly, right?

Do I use the lines on my cutting mat to align my fabric?  Nope.  I know a lot of people who do with great success but I got better results using just the ruler, maybe because that’s how I learned… back in the olden-days before rotary mats had lines.  Old dog, old tricks.  (And the lines aren’t showing on my mat because I’m using the “wrong side” until it’s used-enough to need replacement.)

While on the subject of cutting mats, yes, you should soak your mat every so often to keep it moisturized – flexible.  Full disclosure – I’m not good about doing this.  Meaning, I think I’ve done tried it twice in twenty years.  I didn’t have a bathtub big enough and I didn’t have much success trying to use a kids’ wading pool.  As soon as I started filling the pool, Rosie climbed in because surely it was being done for her enjoyment.  The best information I’ve found on caring for your rotary cutting mat can be found here.

Tearing fabric?  Absolutely!  In fact, we’re working on the pattern for a quilt kit coming later this year that will require the border strips to be torn.  It’s simple – a good quality quilting fabric will tear well without much loss on the edges.  The higher the thread count, the better it tears.  I know it bothers some quilters to do it but I’ve never had any problems.  So I let her rip!

Snow day / sew day?  Maybe just a tiny bit.  I worked on some log cabin blocks last night – they’re for a Log Cabin book I’m contributing to that comes out next year – and I have plans to sew this weekend.  After I finish that quilt top, I’ll get back to these…

Progress-Collage

No. 1.  I only need a few more of the triangles for my pink and yellow strip project so these will probably be first.

No. 2.  I haven’t made any progress with my Repro Stars but I did get enough pieces cut for another 20 blocks.  I’m now officially behind – big surprise – so I’ll try to get caught up this week.

No. 3 and No. 4… I started a new project using Gardenvale and Bella Solids in Fog and Maize.  If you’re wondering why the Gardenvale squares are hanging, I decided to try something Lisa Bongean showed on her blog.  Instead of spraying the fabric with sizing/starch and pressing it dry, the fabric is sprayed and then left to dry.  Then it’s pressed flat with steam.  Genius.

I had the clippy-things from years ago and while they’re working well, I’m going to try using a couple of Command hooks to hang a clothesline over the bathtub so I can do more than one Layer Cake at a time.  I’ll let you know how that works.  I’m also going to need more starch.

Are the roads clear yet?

(Have a good, safe weekend wherever you are!)

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