Featured Shop: Welcome Fall at Pumpkinberry Stitches!

For Lisa Marien, it all started with a building. A 130-year old building to be exact. While on vacation she checked Facebook and learned that a friend who owned a candy shop in her Lake City, Minnesota hometown was moving and wanted to sell her building.dscn5584 Continue reading

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More Great (and Free) Ideas and Inspiration from Moda Designers

Last week I perused the blogs of some of Moda’s designers and found great information, patterns, and inspiration. (And if you’re following along on the All in a Row blog hop you’ve probably encountered more.) This week I checked out a few of the designers’ websites and the goodies available there.

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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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Double dare…

When someone dares you to do something, you might do it.  But when you’re double-dared… you have to do it.

Especially when your name is Mari VanderStelt and you’re the owner of Yankee Dutch Quilts in Brownsville, Oregon and it was your customers who issued the challenge.  So she did it.  Mari sent the following letter to Mr. Dunn, the man behind Moda Fabrics.

Mari-VanderStelt---Yankee-Dutch

Dear Mr. Dunn:

First, let me compliment you on your strong marketing skills, keen business sense, ability to recruit talented designers (although you have not recruited me… yet…) and your company’s user-friendly website. You have left many other fabric companies in the dust in just a few short years.

I do, however, have just one small complaint.  Okay, it used to be a big complaint but thanks to appetite suppressants, exercise, and the fact that I no longer eat, my problem is getting smaller. Yes. I am talking about my thighs, stomach and rear end.  (Okay, I’m not entirely serious… I figure the Moda Bake Sh0p thing was only responsible for about 20% of my weight gain.  Yes, I realize I’m responsible for my own choices…)

I am referring to the Moda Bake Shop.  Sir, it was a brilliant move to name pre-cut fabrics after delicious foods that invoked memories of Grandma’s kitchen (This was before Grandma got dementia and started to forget to add the sugar… sigh.  I miss Grandma.) and including “recipes” for the pre-cuts.  Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns, Candy, Turnovers…

However, there was a dangerous side-effect to all this goodness. Some of us quilters got hungry, and when we got hungry, we ate.  Baked goods were already on the mind so you can guess what happened next.

It was so innocent at first. We could keep this quietly controlled. An occasional jelly roll was slipped into the shopping bag at the quilt store, and we might stop off to get a jelly filled doughnut on the way home to complete the experience. Then we graduated to hosting “Moda Bake Shop” parties , slicing and dicing up our layer cakes and snacking on chocolate cake as we sewed. Quilts were completed more quickly, which gave us more time to have seconds of the turnovers brought in by the skinny baker/quilter who never gains weight.  (We’re all pretty sure she’s taking something illegal… but dang, her turnovers are good!)

Our New Year’s resolution was always to make more quilts and lose weight but we never realized that by accomplishing one, we were setting ourselves up for failure in the other.

But I have finally found a solution to the problem.  Fabric is fiber and fiber is good for you. Fabric has no calories and you can’t get fat with zero calories! All of the Moda treats are low-fat, have zero calories and are high in fiber.  And since traditionally, low-fat, high fiber food is also low in taste, this should help me trick the old taste buds.  I will continue to use my Moda “baked goods” to finish more quilts and if I get too hungry, I will just eat the fabric.  Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Mari-VanderStelt---Yankee-Dutch-2

I am sure you had the very best of intentions and didn’t know that you would be contributing to America’s obesity problem.  Maybe, as an act of good will, you could use one of your Collections for a Cause fabric lines to sponsor scholarships for Weight Watchers! I am also open to a tummy tuck, whatever works best for you.

Sincerely,

Mari VanderStelt/Fabric Geek

Mr. Dunn got a huge kick out of Mari’s letter and called her.  Mari told me that she was so shocked to receive a personal phone call from him that she was sure she sounded a wee bit like a bumbling idiot.  After it had all set in, her “head swelled to extreme proportions and [she] was forced to walk through doorways sideways until [her] teenagers deflated [her] ego a bit.”

It gets better.  Mari then wrote… “picture it something like this: ‘I was just talking with Mark Dunn of Moda about the weather.’ Or, ‘I was just talking with Mr. Dunn – the President of Moda Fabrics, you know – about my husband’s Dutch heritage.’  Name-dropping.  Five minutes of blissful name-dropping until the teens reminded me to cook dinner.”

We owe a huge thank you to these ladies – the Tuesday Thread Therapy Quilters group.  If it weren’t for you, everyone here wouldn’t have been laughing out-loud reading Mari’s hilarious e-mail.  Thank you!

Tuesday-Thread-Therapy-Quilters-1

Tuesday-Thread-Therapy-Quilters-2

By the way, Congratulations are in order for Mari!  When she replied to my request to re-print this e-mail, she wrote that she’s lost 24 pounds on her “Moda” diet.  She just keeps chanting, “This fabric is vegan, it’s not a baked good! This fabric is vegan, it’s not a baked good!”  Apparently it’s helped a lot… along with the appetite suppressants and “stupid exercise.”

And if she ever meets the guy who invented Diet Pepsi, she’ll kiss his feet.  (Don’t we all want to read the e-mail she sends to the President of Pepsi?)

Until then, she’s on a fabric diet.  I might need to adopt her chant as I’ve just spent the past week at the Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah where there is an on-site bakery…

Zermatt-Bakery

I’d better stick to these…

Mari's-Moda-Baked-Goods

Zero calories.  High in fiber.  Low fat.

My favorite “baked goods” are the Layer Cakes and the charm packs – I’ll call them “cookies” because I always seem to grab two of them.

Which Moda pre-cut is your favorite – and why?

Then tell me what your favorite baked good is t- cake, pie, cookies, etc?

As much as I love these Moda treats… it’ll never taste quite as good as that Lemon Meringue Tart.

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