Quilting in the Aloha State (and a Giveaway)! July 09 2019 44 Comments
UPDATED JULY 17, 2019. CONGRATULATIONS JUDY ZEGER! YOU ARE THE WINNER OF OUR HAWAIIAN SOUVENIR FABRIC GIVEAWAY! WE WILL EMAIL YOU FOR SHIPPING DETAILS!
Did you know that this past Friday (July 5th) was National Hawaii Day? This day is to recognize the 50th State - Hawaii - to be granted statehood.
Hawaii is known for its beautiful tropical beaches, stunning landscapes, luaus, hula dancing, surfing, rainbows, and of course, Hawaiian quilting!
A Hawaiian quilt is a distinctive quilting style of the Hawaiian Islands that began in 1820 when missionaries first arrived. It uses large radially symmetric appliqué from a single cut of folded fabric and quilting stitching that normally follows the contours of the appliqué design. Motifs often work stylized botanical designs in bold colors on a white background. Hawaiian quilts are truly a labor of love (generally 1,000 plus hours of craftsmanship and 1 million plus stitches per quilt).
I was blessed to be able to spend a few weeks in the Aloha State last month for our family vacation. We spent our time exploring the beautiful sites and beaches around the Island of Oahu including Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, The North Shore, Kualoa Valley and Pearl Harbor.
Activities included hiking, surfing, sailing, snorkeling, zip lining and soaking up the sun. I even managed to sneak out for a few hours to explore a local Quilt Shop and to see Hawaiian quilts in the wild.
These quilts and quilted accessories by Julie Yi (Julie's Creations Designs) of Hawaiian Islands Arts put a modern spin on the traditional Hawaiian quilt.
Another modern take on Hawaiian appliqué showcasing the Honu (turtle).
There are lots of options for quilted treasures for everyone's budget at Oahu Quilt.
The Hawaiian version of Sunbonnet Sue - Aloha Sue and Aloha Sam!
While not hand embroidered in the Islands, this pillow which showcases Oahu's treasures was designed locally.
I was only able to visit one quilt shop on our trip since it was the only one in walking distance of our condo. Fabric Mart offered a nice selection of Hawaiian fabrics including some novelty prints with a fun Japanese twist. On my list of must see shops for the next trip is Kaimuki Dry Goods and Kuni Island Fabrics.
And I did manage to bring back some souvenirs!
COMMENT BELOW whether or not you've made a Hawaiian quilt for a CHANCE TO WIN a bundle (fat sixteenth) of this Hawaiian souvenir fabric! Winner will be chosen by random on July 15th, 2019. Not feeling lucky? You can purchase your own souvenir bundle HERE.
Looking for more Aloha Inspiration?
Jason Yenter: Father and fabric designer June 04 2019 1 Comment
Jason Yenter is one of our featured designers in our blog series. As we approach Father’s Day, we thought to point you in the direction of his wonderful profile. A wonderful story that starts right where it should, In the Beginning.
We Love Our Mother Ocean June 01 2019
Many fish and ocean animals rely on the protection of the healthy, living reef that also supplies a rich, thriving food chain. It’s truly a wondrous watery world.
It also reminded us of ... read more
Quilt Market Spring 2019 Review May 21 2019 2 CommentsI was on a mission to see and touch as much pretty fabric and handwork products as I could at this year’s Quilt Market in Kansas City. Here's what I saw (and felt!) from the show floor. Read more.
Look out Quilt Week - Here We Come! May 01 2018 2 Comments
Margy and I submitted our instructor application in the Fall of 2017 and were delighted to learn that our proposals for a Beginning Ruler Work on a Domestic Machine and a Hand Sashiko class were accepted.
To say the least, it was surreal to see our names and photos (along with another Treasure Coast talent - Karen Marchetti) in the Paducah Instructor line up with the likes of Alex Anderson, Hollis Chatelain, Heather Givens, Marti Michell, Ricky Tims, Deb Tucker and Victoria Findlay Wolfe. We were tickled!
And to add to that, Margy's Ruler Work class sold out in a record two days! By March, my class was full as well.
The local newspaper, The Paducah Sun, reached out to Margy for an interview, and she was featured along with all stars Hollis Chatelain and Ricky Tims.
During the Instructor Briefing, we were also given the opportunity to sign up to film a short tip for Quilt TV which is produced by AQS for Quilt Week. Filming took place early Friday morning in the Red Thread Studio booth.
Here is my video if you are looking for a way to manage your threads:
I hope you enjoyed our adventure as much as we did!
2016 Fall Market Review November 21 2016
Another Quilt Market is in the books!
Quilt Market is a bi-annual trade show for the quilting industry that is not open to the general public. On the show floor, you will find shop owners, fabric and pattern designers, fabric companies, distributors, media, publishers among other industry professionals.
On the eve of Quilt Market, retailers can also participate in Sample Spree. This event gives retailers a chance to purchase limited quantities of up and coming fabric lines, patterns or notions in order to start making samples once back home or try out products before placing larger orders. You can feel the excitement in the air as the line to Sample Spree begins to queue more than 2 hours before the doors open! I certainly did my share and have some exciting samples currently underway back home at the studio.
Left: Thankful as always for my Mom as she held our place in line to Sample Spree while I attended an educational seminar.
Right: An attempt to capture the frenzy inside Sample Spree.
With 27 aisles of vendors to explore, I don't know what was more difficult - getting to see all that they had to offer in a limited amount of time or staying within budget! Like past markets, I was in search of new ideas for quilters on the go, and I can say that there was inspiration all around.
Here are some trends that we saw on our whirlwind tour:
Welcoming Pineapples and Flamboyant Flamingos
The pineapple is recognized as a traditional expression of “welcome” and symbolizes those intangible assets we appreciate in a home such as warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality so it was not surprising to see this fruit incorporated into quilt patterns or fabric designs.
Top Left: Mod Pineapples by Sew Kind of Wonderful
Top Right: Pineapple Farm by Elizabeth Hartman
Bottom Left: Pineapple inspiration by Adornit
Bottom Right: Japanese pineapple fabric
Flamingos are bright, social animals who are very family oriented. It is said that Flamingo people tend to be very vibrant, outgoing and even flirtatious. The flamingos we saw incorporated into fabric and designs definitely had a playful vibe.
Left: Flamingo Fever fabric by Adornit
Center: Florence Flamingo by Elizabeth Hartman
Right: Hello Flamingo by Adornit
Handwork, Handwork and More Handwork!
This continues to be the most exciting trend for me since I personally love handwork. From surface embroidery and embellishment to English paper piecing and Sashiko, handwork caters to the lifestyle on-the-go.
Top Row: Stitched by Nichole Vogelsinger of Wild Boho for Jennifer Sampou's new fabric line Black and White 2 for Robert Kaufman Fabrics (Top Left) and for Alison Glass's new fabric line 76 for Andover Fabrics (Top Center and Top Right)
Bottom Row : Stitched by Nichole Vogelsinger of Wild Boho for her new book Boho Embroidery.
Top Left: Modern English Paper Piecing by Violet Craft
Top Right: Studio Bag featuring Sashiko stitching by Leesa Chandler Designs
Bottom Left: Sashiko inspiration by Kathy Doughty featuring her up and coming fabric line for Free Spirit Fabrics - Celebrate
Right: Willow, a dress me doll, by Sew Quirky that features hand embroidered faces
Beyond Quilting Cottons
Quilting cotton isn’t going anywhere, but fabric designers are venturing into new textile territory. We saw denim, fleece, double gauze, chambray and even some bark cloth. One collection that caught my eye was Outback Wife by Gertrude Made for Ella Blue Fabrics that features bark cloth.
Left: Mister Domestic weaves his magic with Art Gallery Fabric denims
Center: Outback Wife by Cathi Bessell-Browne of Gertrude Made for Ella Blue Fabrics
Right: More wovens with Loominous 2 by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics.
What quilting, stitching or fabric trends have caught your eye?
Featured Notion - Tulip Needles September 20 2016
My favorite hand sewing needles by far are Tulip Hiroshima needles. Slightly more expensive than other hand needles on the market, Tulip needles have a reputation for being stronger, more flexible and less likely to bend or break. Based on my experience, I couldn’t agree more.
The tradition of Hiroshimabari (Hiroshima needle) production in Japan stretches back for more than 300 years. Tulip is based in the Hiroshima region and since 1948, has manufactured sewing needles blending traditional techniques passed down from older generations with cutting edge technology available today. Tulip also makes beading, wool felting and knitting needles as well as crochet hooks.
Based on the principle of ‘Quality First,’ each Tulip needle goes through 30 different processes when made to ensure the needle is safe and of the highest quality. The needles are polished lengthwise to ensure smooth piercing. The large eyes are optimally designed to allow for easy threading and to prevent snagging. Each and every needle eye is inspected.
While many think of sewing needles as disposable, Tulip believes that a really good, quality needle is never thrown away. Tulip recommends wiping down the needle after each use and storing it inside its case to maintain good performance. (Did you know that each year in Japan, seamstresses pay homage to their needles in the Festival of Broken Needles (Hari-Kuyo?)
To top it off, these sewing needles are beautifully packaged in small cardboard boxes with a cutout window one the front and encased in a clear tube that is secured with a cork stopper. Each tube is labeled with the needle size helping to keep your needles organized.
Check out my favorite Tulip hand quilting, appliqué and embroidery needles here:
What are your favorite needles?
2016 Spring Market Review June 13 2016
Hard to believe that three weeks has already passed since Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, Utah!
As many of you may know, Quilt Market is a bi-annual trade show for the quilting industry that is not open to the general public. On the show floor, you will find shop owners, fabric and pattern designers, fabric companies, distributors, media, publishers among other industry professionals all in search of new trends and ideas....and of course, on a mission to pet and fondle pretty fabric!
Unlike Fall Market 2015 where I braved 28 aisles of vendors alone, I was able to share this experience with my Mom. Now she can truly understand the method to my madness after seeing some of the behind the scenes of owning a quilt shop!
In addition to looking for new trends and ideas for quilters on the go, we also had the chance to meet up with some of our past and future Featured Designers to see what they have been up to and to film a fun video.
Middle left: Pauline McArthur of Funky Friends Factory
Middle right: Janeene Scott of Passionately Sewn
Right: Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession
Left: Scrappy Lawn Star from Jenny From One Block
Middle left: Jen Kingwell
Middle right: Happy Birds
Right: One Happy Bird!
Left: Alison Glass booth featuring her fabric lines for Andover Fabric
Middle left: Alison Glass
Middle right: Flower #1 embroidery kit
Right: Clover Sunshine Needle Book
Left: Helen Stubbings of Hugs N Kisses
Middle: Razz-A-Dazzle BOM coming to Red Thread Studio in July!
Right: Close up of a Razz-A-Dazzle embroidery block
Left: Jessica Van Denburgh of Sew Many Creations
Right: The Diva Frame Wallet
There was also several fabric lines that caught my eye.
Free Spirit Fabrics
Top Left: Mod Corsage by Anna Maria Horner
Top Right: Fast Friends by Juliana Horner
Bottom Left: Folk Art Revolution by Kathy Doughty
Bottom Right: Natural World by Snow Leopard Designs
Cotton + Steel Fabric
Cotton + Steel's guest designer Rifle Paper Co. created quite a buzz with Le Fleur.
Top Left: Trinket by Melody Miller
Top Right: Raindrop by Rashida Coleman Hale
Bottom Left: From Porto With Love by Sarah Watts
Bottom Right: Print Shop by Alexia Marcella Begg
Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Left: Marks by Valori Wells
Middle: Paint Box Basics by Elizabeth Hartman and her pattern Lepidoptera
Right: Euclid by Carolyn Friedlander
Shibori by Debbie Maddy for Moda Fabrics
Grafic by Latifah Saafir for Me + You by Hoffman Fabrics
Ella Blue Fabrics
Right: Matilda by Emma Jean Jansen
And finally, some handwork finds like wool appliqué and surface embellishment and English paper piecing.
Top Left: Folk Tails by Sue Spargo
Top Right: Bonus pattern from Folk Tails by Sue Spargo
Bottom Left: Wish Upon a Star by Sue Daley
Bottom Right: All Over the Octagon by Sue Daley
Do you have any favorites?
Full Circle - Giveaway! March 08 2016 39 Comments
I generally have a story about most anything, but this one I felt compelled to share. It is a story of generosity and of paying it forward (or sewing it forward, as I like to say). It also ends in a Giveaway for you!
This story starts at my first Quilt Market in Pittsburgh in the Spring of 2014. Here I met Jessica VanDenburgh from Sew Many Creations (and our Featured Designer in December 2014). I had been overwhelmed with the buying choices, and she graciously gave me her pattern Stacked which eventually became our first quilt kit at Red Thread Studio.
The sample quilt was soon pieced by my mother-in-law, Louise, and quilted by my friend Monica of Diary of a Quilt Maven.
Fast forward to the Fall of 2014 when I was gearing up to launch the website but was in need of a brand logo. Enter a dear friend from my childhood who also happens to be not only a high school art teacher, but also photographer and graphic designer. If you knew Andrea, you would know that she is a giving soul. She worked with me patiently to design the Red Thread Studio logo and would not accept any payment in return.
Now and after nearly a year of vending at quilt shows, we have only one Stacked Quilt kit left and a beautiful quilt that needs a new home.
Well, the Stacked Quilt is on it's way to Andrea, and I couldn't be more excited for her to open the box! I don't know about you, but my favorite part of making quilts is giving them away!
And, so that the story does not end, we are giving away the last Stacked Quilt Kit which includes nearly 7 yards of fabric and the Stacked pattern. Our only request is that you find a way to also Sew It Forward and keep the story alive.
You can enter the giveaway by simply:
- Leaving a comment below telling us how you would Sew It Forward with either this kit or another quilt you have made or plan to make.
The Giveaway is open worldwide and ends March 31st at midnight EST, and the winner will be chosen using random.org and announced on this very post.
In My Backyard February 10 2016
February started with the Port Saint Lucie Crazy Quilters Quilting in Paradise Show February 4-6th. What made this show extra special was that it was in my own backyard. I was not only a vendor at the show, but I am also a member of the guild. I had an amazing opportunity to show the girls what we offer at Red Thread Studio. As an online retailer, this is priceless.
The show even got some airtime in the local paper, The TC Palm. You can see some photos of the show in the TC Palm Photo Gallery.
I was also honored to be part of the Member Challenge committee with Nancy S. (left) and Perlie P. (right).
The theme this year for the Member Challenge was My Hometown. Since many of our guild members are transplants from other states or snowbirds, we had a a nice sampling of different states (and countries). My entry was #9 - Aurora, City of Lights (top right). To my surprise, I had a show attendee come to the booth to say hello. She was from Batavia, Illinois, a neighboring town!
First place Nancy P. with Sanibel #6, second place June C. with Carousel #18, third place Jane G. with Apples #13 and honorable mention Eyvonne S. with Cherries Yum #5.
We also had some special guests that visited the booth. Luckily I got the memo to wear red and white polka dots that day!
Friday saw record attendance. A big part of this was the program to celebrate National Wear Red Day and Go Red For Women as February is American Heart Month. We asked attendees to wear red on Friday, February 5th for a chance to win a gift basket (valued at $1,000). In addition, three beautiful heart quilts were auctioned to raise money for the American Heart Association. Here is one of those quilts.
Darling, don't I look marvelous? Attendees could also 'try on' this gorgeous red dress for a photo opportunity. The Red Dress quilt was on loan from designer and quilter Teri Henderson Tope.
As a vendor, I also got to award a vendor ribbon to the quilt of my choice. With the help of my daughter Grace (age 8), we selected Pebbles by Kathy R. which also got second in the Group category. We love it, don't you?
I was also honored to help piece our raffle quilt 'You Hosta Love It' and delighted that our very own Margy M, Raffle Quilt Chairperson and Coordinator Extraordinaire won the quilt!
And the most special part of this show was that on Saturday, I was able to share the experience with my daughter and my grandmother. As always, my mom Kathy was there helping me.
So here is my favorite photo: Four Generations of Quilters
Here are a few of my favorite quilts from the show. Which ones were your favorites?
Best of Show - Summers Delight by Sheila Q.
Best Hand Quilting - Almost Amish by Sharon H.
First Place Group - Out of the Box Design Group from Jupiter, FL.
From left to right:
- Iris by Nancy I.
- Bells of Ireland by Waynette P.
- Lucky Little Lady Bug by Nancy S.
- Double Delight by Shay K.
- He Loves Me by Margy M.
- Sunkissed by Theresa O.
- Floating Flowers by Elinor D.
- Butterfly Delight by Barbara U.
Second Place Group - One of several quilts in the group Journey Thru Art - Famous Female Faces, I really liked Carmen Miranda by Marian McCoin.
First Place Large/Medium Appliqué - My Whimsical Garden by Margy M.
Honorable Mention Large/Medium Appliqué - Happy by Joey M. and quilted by Karen M. (Creative Longarm Quilting)
First Place Medium Pieced - Grape Soda by Theresa O.
Second Place Medium Pieced - Colorful Selvages by Eyvonne S.
Cathedral Windows by Karen Rollins
The Grand Hotel by Valerie Y.
Stitchy Goal Setting for 2016 January 06 2016 1 Comment
As we kick off the new year, I wanted to put my stitching related goals for 2016 down on the proverbial paper. This seemingly simple exercise forces me to think about what is important to me and to map out the big things that will make a difference before I launch into my daily chaos.
As I sat down to write my goals for 2016, I first reflected on my accomplishments as well as bumps in the road over the course of 2015. I am amazed at all of the things that I was able to accomplish and to learn from launching an online business. I also feel blessed thinking about all of the people I have met along the way.
Moving into 2016, my word for the year is CREATE. I want to continue the momentum that I built this past year, but I also want to allow myself more time to create and not get bogged down in administrative tasks.
So, here are my 'Stitchy' goals (in no particular order) for 2016 to help me keep making things and inspiring others along the way.
- Host a quilt along or stitch along or both. I have some ideas but would also love hearing from you!
- Create and launch at least one new Block of the Month.
- Create at least six project tutorials and six product tutorials.
- Bring in another national teacher.
- Teach not only at guild meetings but also create workshops for beginners (English paper piecing, hand embroidery and Sashiko) for local Moms and their daughters as well as for the South Florida Girl Scouts.
- Discover more Indie designers, especially from outside the United States.
- And some personal quilting and stitching goals:
- Quilt my daughter's quilt top.
- Learn and master at least ten new embroidery stitches.
- Explore Kantha embroidery.
- Start and make consistent progress on a hand pieced quilt top.
- Make my sister's wedding quilt (as a point of reference, her wedding was in November 2015!)
- Make a memory quilt for a dear friend who lost his son in late 2014 to Barth Syndrome. You can learn more about this rare but serious genetic disorder at the Barth Syndrome Foundation.
- Piece my very own quilt top that my grandma will hand quilt! My grandma is hand quilting a quilt for each of the grandkids. She is not crazy about piecing quilt tops so she purchased one for everyone but me.
And, an important note to self: I can make the loftiest of goals, but I also need to be grounded and remember that life with two young kids can be hectic. I will need to be flexible and open to change. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
What is your word for the year? Do you have any goals for what quilting or stitching related projects you want to get done in 2016?
Jen Kingwell Workshop November 12 2015 2 Comments
And after much anticipation, the two day workshop with Jen Kingwell over Halloween weekend had arrived!
It proved to be a beautiful day on the farm for a workshop with Jen. On occasion, we would hear the roar of jets and planes overhead as they practiced for the Stuart Air Show which was also that weekend.
Jen kicked off the workshop with an overview of the class pattern The Circle Game which consists of 16 circle blocks that can be hand or machine pieced.
I am so proud of the class. All 20 students were open to hand piecing at least the first block.
First up, the 'Whirlgig' block. We put Jen's The Circle Game quilt in front of the window overlooking the garden to not only diffuse the morning light into the room but also to highlight the seams with an almost stained glass effect.
Jen showing us how to line up the individual pieces before beginning to stitch.
The day felt like one big sewing bee.
By the end of day one, we had some beautiful whirlgigs to put up on the design wall.
Jen also shared her technique and useful tips for hand appliqué.
As well as a discussion on color and fabric choice.
By day two, outer boarders were being added.
And students were spending some one on one time with Jen.
Day two was also the day we explored hand quilting with Jen.
Unfortunately, not all of the students were well behaved. Our guest student was a little sassy.
And the day was not complete without lots of Halloween candy and festivities. We played a handful of games including a pumpkin decorating contest and bocce pumpkin.
Winner of decorating contest - Luscious Lips by Bonnie L!
And Linda S. cleaned up during Bocce Pumpkin!
Of course, a Halloween party is not complete without dressing up! This was my attempt to get in on the vampire mania.
Anyway, I know I had a blast and I think the workshop participants did too. Stay tuned for an inside look at some of the tips that Jen shared with us.
Until then, it's a wrap.
2015 Fall Market Review November 10 2015
A bit of a lag in reporting to you on the 2015 Fall Market in Houston this October, but hopefully worth the wait.
Quilt Market is a bi-annual trade show for the quilting industry that is not open to the general public. On the show floor, you will find shop owners, fabric and pattern designers, fabric companies, distributors, media, publishers among other industry professionals.
With 28 aisles of vendors to explore and only 8.5 hours to do it in, I can truly say that I was on a mission! I was in search of new color trends and new ideas for quilters on the go, and I can say that I was not disappointed.
Here are the trends that I saw on my whirlwind tour:
Blue hues are heading this way
While there were plenty of bright, modern rainbow colors on display, blue was a dominating theme this Fall. Whether it be denim, indigo or hues leaning toward aqua and sea glass, you could find examples at nearly every fabric company.
My mind is swimming of the possibilities for quilting and certainly a modern take on Sashiko!
Left: Cotton and Steel booth highlighting the new collaborative line BlueBird.
Right: Art Gallery Fabric's new denim line.
Left: Boomerang quilt in Kona Designer Palette by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts.
Middle: Handcrafted Indigo and Sunprints by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics.
Right: Firelights Lane by Sassafras Lane Designs in sea glass.
Sea creatures and coastal themes join the ranks of elephants and woodland creatures
Perhaps because I am a Florida gal and because of the growing trend of toward blue, the sea life and beachy themes resonated with me this year. Maybe the harsh winter last year left us dreaming of warmer days.
Top: Into the Deep by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics.
Middle left: Coastline by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics.
Middle right: Surf's Up by Dear Stella.
Bottom: Mendocino by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics.
Handwork like embroidery and English paper piecing continue as the comeback kids
This is probably the most exciting trend for me since I personally love handwork and it caters to my Mommy-on-the-go lifestyle. I also enjoyed seeing all of the texture and new specialty threads.
Left: From Katja Merak's book The New Hexagon
Right: Adapted from Katja's book, The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt Along
Top Left: Samples made using Sue Spargo's Eleganza collection.
Top Right: Thread eye candy at the Aurifil booth.
Bottom Left: Surface embroidery on her new fabric line Abacus by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics.
Bottom Right: More surface embroidery using Cosmo thread on First of Infinity also by Lecien.
And finally, just because this was a jaw dropper. An amazing quilt showcasing Mostly Manor by Victoria Findlay Wolfe for Marcus Fabrics.
What quilting, stitching or fabric trends are you loving?
Jen Kingwell Trunk Show November 09 2015
Two years ago, little did I know that my red threads would lead me to an amazing pattern and fabric designer from Australia, Jen Kingwell. You also would not have convinced me that I would have the opportunity to bring Jen Kingwell to South Florida to share her knowledge and experience with the local (and not so local!) quilting community. It was a dream come true!
We kicked off the weekend with a trunk show on Thursday, October 29th at Ground Floor Farm, an urban farm and community space. Jen delighted us with 17 of her own quilts and one designed by her daughter Lucy.
She shared her personal quilting journey in three phases: Pre-book (Quilt Lovely), Book and Post-book.
Here are a few quilts from her pre-book phase.
My favorites from Jen's book Quilt Lovely.
And some recent designs since writing her book.
My Small World which was first released in the Spring 2015 edition of Quilt Mania and is now a stand alone pattern. Me to Jen, "Are those one inch squares? And a hand embroidered Eiffel Tower?" "Yes," she replied. "527 one inch squares!"
At the end of the trunk show, we had some time to get up close and personal.
What's your favorite Jen Kingwell pattern?
In the meantime, stay tuned for part II of our Jen Kingwell visit when I share photos and stories from the two day workshop.