Jar 'O' Strawberries

Lately we have been eating a lot of these. And a lot of pretty much any other kind of berry out there.

There is just something about berries that means summer to me, doesn't it? Especially summer at the river. With a lot of kids nonetheless. We've certainly been having a lot of kids and a lot of berries!

All of this berry eating reminded me of some lovely little jars that we had made up for a special event a while back and that we had a couple dozen leftover. I have been enjoying them all in a sweet little stack in the shipping office but thought it might be time to share the goodies.

Thought I would offer them to you guys just in case you weren't getting your fair share of strawberries lately...



... kit comes in this jar.



 ... some of the fabrics are cottons,


... some are Snuggle fabric!



Click here for more info.

And, by the way, Happy 4th of July tomorrow everyone!




This too!

Did I mention that you could use it to "put a bird on it" too. Wherever you might like a bird that is! In this case on the end of a winter table runner. Love it!


Although I am not usually a fusible webbing kind of gal, this little machine is so much fun to use that I am hooked!

And for those of you going to Market, there will be a couple of opportunities to win some of these goodies you see below. In fact, there might be more than a couple of said opportunities. Stay tuned for times and places!





The i-TOP

I mentioned this great tool in yesterday's post and thought I would share a bit more about it today. 


While I was at Market in Houston this past fall, we did the "designer pillow" presentation for the MODA schoolhouse. It was a packed house and we had to do the presentations twice to accomodate all of our wonderful customers who wanted a sneak peek at what we were up to. We felt a little silly repeating all the stories twice, but it was fun.

After we returned to our booth with our little button pillow in hand, it seemed that every few minutes someone would come by and ask us if we had used the i-TOP for the pillow. At first we just politely told people that we used standard covered button kits but it didn't take long for us to become intrigued by this new tool that everyone kept asking us about.

Button piloow

Well, it turns out that we could have been doing sales for the i-TOP team because so many people were excited about it and doubly excited after they saw the fun use of buttons on our button pillow.

Needless to say, the i-TOP team graciously gave us a tool to play with and we have been having fun with it ever since. The buttons on those Sit Upons I mentioned a few posts ago? All done with the i-TOP. And this pillow too. And a few other upcoming projects.


1. Cut out a circle of fabric according to the package instructions. To be honest, I usually eyeball it after a couple but you should probably start with the guide to get yourself started.


You can use the i-TOP buttons forms or any of the standard button forms available at craft and quilt shops. This versatility is one of the things I like most about it. It accommodates several sizes of buttons and I hear that they are in the midst of a remodel to accommodate even more sizes. The new i-TOP will be available late Spring.

Here we are using the 7/8" button forms from our local quilt shop.


2. Snap the larger side of the tool out so that it is facing toward you [[it just releases if you pull and makes it effortless to turn around 180 degrees]. Place the circle on the top of the side of the i-TOP tool that matches the size of button you are using. In this case that is the larger side.


3. Make sure that your fabric circle is centered and push the fabric down with the metal button form, placing & pushing it down into the inside of the tool.

Make sure that you kind of gather or push the fabric into the center with your fingers if it doesn't want to do it on its own as shown in the above pic. The fabric needs to be slightly "tucked" in as shown above before the next step.

You can also use the smaller pink side to do this if you like [that will work if you are doing a bigger button like we are here but not vice versa if you are doing a tiny button].


4. Place the button cover on top of the "squished" fabric. 


5. Now for the fun part. Pop the tool up [it just releases if you pull and makes it effortless to turn around 180 degrees] and over so that it is now facing inside the way it was when you opened the package. The 2 sides should be facing each other like shown here. Press the 2 sides together lightly. 



6. Voila. 



7. Snap the button out and do it again and again.... and again!



If you would like an i-TOP of your own, we have some available here. Once they sell out, we will also be carrying the new models in late Spring.

If you haven't already, make sure you to and comment on yesterday's post to be entered in all the fun giveaways. And follow along on the PILLOW TALK BLOG TOUR to all the remaining designers too!


Talk to you soon.

Introduction #8

Bessie. Clover. Butch.

It seems the name options were endless as were the options of what kind of animal this really was. Designed as a baby cow. Thought by many to be a pig. Voted to be a baby bear by more than several. Termed "breakfast meats" by my hub... I know, not so funny to me but hysterical to most of the guys he says it to!!

 ...this is Bessie. Made out of the butter yellow Snuggle™ fabric by MODA. All of colors of Snuggles™ used here were new fresh colors released with our Whimsy collection of fabric. 

These are the newest 3 additions to our family. Bessie has been completely co- opted by my daughter. The other two, well... the boys would never admit it out loud or in public, but secretly they keep asking me when they are coming back from shows so they can have one each.

 I know, I know, both of them are too old but they have a soft spot for little stuffed animals in bed. Especially ones that I've made. It still makes me smile. I wonder if it will be the same when they are older. My husband still has an old teddy bear that he refuses to part with. He sits, a bit dusty, in the corner of our bedroom. I guess he probably wouldn't want you to know that. Too late for that I guess.


 ... this was the cover shot we used. A little stack of cuteness.


... this is Clover. I love this shot of him hanging out the window. Sometimes you have to have a little fun at a photo shoot.

... almost wistful, wouldn't you say?  

The fabrics are MODA's version of a soft, cuddly microfleece fabric that is so soft and wonderful to work with that I have started adding it as the back of many of my quilts, especially all of those that I know will end up in my children's hands!

You did hear me right, they are wonderful as backs! My faithful long arm quilter Diana who has vowed before to never again use the "other" unmentioned microfleece products on the market, LOVES, LOVES this one! She says it has much less stretch than those others, making it wonderful to work with.

... Now this here's what I call a cow pile! Ha, ha! On top is our latest addition, the polka dot cow. Made from Breakfast at Tiffany's polka dot! She doesn't have a name yet. Any ideas?



Name: Snuggle Softies

Made by: Cheryl Hadley & Joanna Figueroa

Size: app. 13" from snout to toe

Fabric Collection: Snuggle™ fabrics from our Whimsy collection

Fabric Used: 3/8 yds is all you need for the main body color. Like mentioned above, Snuggles or other microfleece are the best to use but standard cottons can be used as well. Pattern has many tips on working with both types of fabrics.

To look at precise yardage requirements look here under VIEW LARGER IMAGE.


Talk to you soon but not for a couple of days. Going on a little adventure. If all goes well, I might blog from my favorite little island in the world!






Introduction #6

Strawberry Cafe

Remember a couple of posts back when I said I was having a serious fruit thing going on? 

Well here is more evidence for that theory. These are my favorites right now. Now, I will admit that these little curtains are a bit more "cute sweet" as I call it, than my house is normally. I am more of a plain vintage girl and not so much cutesy as far as the house goes. But.... I broke down with these little cuties, especially since its summer right now and they are perfect for the season! 

So far we have auditioned them in the laundry room, the kitchen and even the bathroom. Yes, you heard me right, the bathroom.  Even a bathroom can use a little re-fresher once in a while, right? It looks like perhaps we might be sewing more than one set, perhaps with different fruit!


... 2 curtain panels fit just right in our vintage windows. You could of course make one long panel instead or 2 longer or shorter panels depending on the width of your own windows.




... you could of course eliminate the strawberries altogether. But really, why would you want to?


... this was the cover shot we used for the pattern I think. Curtains joined by a simple table topper.


... the topper is just as simple as the cafe curtains. Simple charm blocks with a few berries and a delicate sawtooth border inbetween.


... love them curtains the most in the breeze. Just feels like summer.



Name: Strawberry Cafe

Pieced by: Cheryl Hadley & Joanna Figueroa

Size: Each panel is 29" x 38" but can easily be adjusted. Table Topper is 41" square.

Fabric Collection:  Made entirely from Fresh Cottons

Fabric Used: One Charm Pack makes 2 panels or one table topper. Other than that you need a main fabric and an accent fabric or 2! The cafe curtains use simple cafe clips available at most home stores. I have bought mine at IKEA and Target.

To look at precise yardage requirements look here under VIEW LARGER IMAGE


Talk to you soon.


Introduction #5


Somehow I have managed to miss 2 days of introductions! How did that happen? I had such good intentions....

Let's just blame it on the end of school schedules of 3 munchkins & the gradution ceremonies of 1 of them. Okay, back to previously scheduled programming as my hub would say....

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

For several of the past seasons, we have not done specific projects with charm packs. I don't know why really. We were in love with the jelly rolls and mostly the layer cakes because you could do so much interesting stuff with those "cakes"... pretty much four charm packs worth. But the last couple of releases, we have rediscovered the charm pack I guess. Quick 5" squares already cut for you, what's not to love I ask you? 

And so this pattern was born. You know me, classic quilt blocks, made to look fresh with our yummy fabrics, yada, yada. This block is traditionally called a Card Trick. I am sure we can all see why, but then again when did we ever name something the name it was supposed to be called ?!

Our Clover block is made with 3 simple sections. So find those charm packs...


... Clover made using the Fresh Cottons collection with a tone on tone red outer border. 


... flat shot of the same quilt but made with the red roses & polka dots fabric from Fresh Cottons.


... here made from the Breakfast at Tiffany's collection. Love that coral red floral outer border. Really makes the quilt for me.


... flat shot of the same quilt. Notice we didn't use any of the dark browns from the Breakfast collection in this version. It was a bit too strong in this quilt and didn't "play so nicely" with the others.



... more of the same quilt. Love the yellows and blues in there.


... same Breakfast blocks, made with different posts, inner and outer border for a softer, more mellow version of the same quilt. Always amazes me how much the borders will alter any quilt.


... closeup to show the lovely quilting.



Name: Clover

Pieced by: Valerie Marsh and Sherri McConnell

Size: app. 58" x 66"

Fabric Collections: Fresh Cottons or Breakfast at Tiffany's used here.

Fabric Used: (3) Charm Packs [or you could use 1 Layer Cake and have a charm pack of leftovers for another fun project] is what you need to start off. Add some cream background an 3 of your favorites from the line and you are set to go.

To look at precise yardage requirements look here under VIEW LARGER IMAGE.


Talk to you tomorrow.



Introduction #4

Sweet Berry Bag

I really seam to be having a serious strawberry thing going on lately. Actually a fruit thing if I think about it. Between the Cherry Delight project I did for Quilts&More, this strawberry bag and the strawberry cafe curtains & table topper that I have yet to "introduce" to you [and I am working on something with pears...], I am all about the fruit these day. Really don't know what that is all about... maybe one of those "trends" I was just talking about except that this one is mostly all in my own head I think!


Anyway, we designed this as a purse for girls of all sizes but we have been amazed by all the women who have are making one for themselves! So I guess its a purse for anyone who is young at heart!


...Purses can be made either with a shoulder strap or with 2 short handles instead. Can be made either quilted [like the red polka dot version], or plain cotton with thick interfacing such as fleece, [ like the small cream floral version]. 


... this is the Fresh Cottons version with one green fabric for the top leaves.



...Purses can be easily embellished with little flowers such as shown close up here. Directions given in the pattern for these simple wool flowers.


... not sure which one will be going on trunk shows and which one will be staying with Ella!


... the Breakfast at Tiffany's version with two different greens for leaves, no embellishment & 2 short handles. 




Name: Berry Sweet Bag


Pieced by: Cheryl Hadley, Pam Kitty Morning & Joanna Figueroa

Size: app. 9" square for the body.

Fabrics Collections: Either Fresh Cottons used for the shoulder length purse or Breakfast at Tiffany's for the hand purse with 2 short handles

Fabrics Used: Fat quarters will work for the purse pieces or 3/8 yd. cuts. You do need 1 long piece for if making the shoulder strap. If wanting to make the quilted variety, just quilt a larger square of fabric and cut your purse pieces from that.

To look at precise yardage requirements look here under "VIEW LARGER IMAGE".


Talk to you soon.





Introduction: Day #3

Today's Introduction: Saltwater Taffy

It's always fascinating to me how the quilt and pattern industry goes in such clear and identifiable waves or trends. A few designers get inspired by something, then a few more and very soon there is an explosion of a colors or designs or patterns featuring said trend. Its unmistakeable and it happens like clockwork. I know that this is the way it is in most artistic or creative industries, but since I am most connected to this one, it is always so interesting for me to watch a "trend" spread into so many different venues and in so many different interpretations. I love watching it happen and I love being a part of it... especially when I am at the beginning of the inspiration LOL!



...Saltwater Taffy done out of Fresh Cottons with a tone one tone seafoam print pieced border and a seafoam medallion print as the outer border.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

[warning... tangent coming]


Now as a designer I do have to add that sometimes it is indeed a trend, in fact often it is a trend, something that catches on that everyone wants to be a part of. Sometimes it is separate cases of similar inspiration, and sometimes it is just plain plagiarism or in the case of our industry, the process known as "knocking off" of someone else's idea, design or product. In textiles and product design and more recently in pattern design, it happens a lot especially with the amazing access to design that everyone has via the internet. More than you would probably care to know. More than many people are willing to admit and recently a lot more than it used to... It is the part of the "trend" process that makes me sad or disillusioned, depending on the situation. Okay, done with my tangent. Just had to get that in there and out.  

[tangent done]

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Back to introductions.... the reason I started talking about trends in the first place is that we have been having a huge resurgence of hexagon and pinwheel designs over the last year or so. HUGE! They are everywhere in every kind of size and style. There is something about them that translates so well to both traditional and contemporary designs. And they are a lot of fun to make!



... made with Fresh Cottons. Closer up to show blocks & quilting.



For me, as with most things, I have shied away from some of these in the past because I hadn't yet figured out a simple way of doing the pattern without templates. For those of you who know me, you'll know that I am always on the hunt to recreate traditional blocks and designs into methods that we can use today without a lot of tedious templates, etc. Well we have done that with hexagons here, in a pattern that we released several Markets ago. Then I did another version here in this book, with the same hexagon method. Love those hexies in any form!

And now we are moving on to these spinning pinwheels [there are many traditional names for this block but heck if I can remember any of them right now when I need to!]. LOVE them.. now that I have figured out a way to make them out of a straightforward pinwheel and a few well placed trims. I think you might love this method once you use it! 

In the words of one of my seamstresses, who hates working with any kind of bias pieces, "Wow, I like this one enough to make it again for myself even after I am done making the sample for you!" That's high praise coming from Miss Cheryl I tell ya!


... flat shot of the same Fresh Cottons quilt.



... a tiny close-up because these are my favorite kinds of shots to take right now. Something so alive about them. Gives you an idea of what it would feel like to cuddle up with the quilt doesn't it?


... same quilt, different outer border. A bit more feminine perhaps.



.... made with Breakfast at Tiffany's collection with a slightly different style of border. Love the way the coral polka dots frame and set off this version!


... my artsy fartsy close-up shot of the same Breakfast at Tiffany's quilt.


... a better close-up of the borders sections.


... a flat shot of the Breakfast at Tiffany's version.



Name: Saltwater Taffy


Pieced by: Cheryl Hadley and Sherri McConnell

Size: 55 1/2" x 66 or 53 1/2 x 64 for the one with the coral dot borders

Fabrics Collections: Either Fresh Cottons or Breakfast at Tiffany's depending on which quilt & version you are looking at. 

Fabrics Used: Quilt starts with nothing else but (2) charm packs and some background yardage.

To look at precise yardage requirements look here under "VIEW LARGER IMAGE".


Talk to you soon.






Home again

We're back! We're back! We are tired but very pleased with the response to our newest patterns and fabric collections [more on that later]. Market was quite amazing but I can't even begin to describe how good it feels to sleep in my own bed with my squishy pillow and with the munchkins coming in at odd hours of the night and morning! 

Of course just because we're home doesn't mean that much at the moment. We're still in suitcases. There is no food in the fridge. The booth boxes will start arriving back from Market in the next couple of days just to add a bit to the chaos. We forgot to arrange to have the trash taken out while we were gone so let's just say that we will be finding creative trash solutions this week! 

The gals are working overtime processing both wholesale and retail orders in the office and we will start wading through emails, paperwork and Market follow up tonite! 

However, at this moment, the house is a bit cold, quiet and it is raining. Playing with pictures is as far as I am getting. As always I had great plans to post while at Market but somehow it just didn't happen. It never does. You would think that I would quit hoping that it will. In between the work in the booth, the meetings and appointments and the chance to "let our hair down" and have a good time with all of our favorite customers, fabric reps and fellow designers at MODA, there is just no way it ever does. So here is the beginning of some pics. 



Shots of Clover quilt pattern, Parasols quilt pattern and our brand new Summer 2010 catalog [which you can see in its entirety here].


A partial display of our new Polkadot & Summer dress pattern, Audrey Wrap Skirt, Saltwater Quilt pattern & the Satchel for Two bag pattern.


A little vignette on the bed filled with Cherry Blossoms pincushions and Little Jellies pouches made from leftover Jelly Roll strips! 



My favorite little cafe curtains ever from the new Strawberry Cafe pattern [curtain pattern along with table topper, both embellished with strawberries]. Can't wait to unpack those and put them in the kitchen. Oh wait, they have to go on some show trips first... well, perhaps we'll be making a 2nd set!


A little poster of our newest Fresh Vintage issue coming out this summer. Issue #15 is currently being shipped and this one here will be issue #16. I think it is already one of my favs! Gotta love the easy, no template method of making these dresden plates from a.... yes, you guessed it... a Jelly Roll!


And a rare shot of my hub and I in the booth. Somehow we almost always seem to forget to do this but this time a couple of our great customers reminded us so here we are! And no we did not coordinate... but we might as well have!



Stay tuned for more pics and some fun. Talk to you soon.

A Few of Our Favorite Things & MODA



In addition to the Snuggle yummies which we have already told you about, we have started to carry a few of our favorite items. You know those ones that you can't live without out? Or at least the ones that we get requests for on almost a daily basis...

If you didn't already hear, we still have a few bolts left of these yummy SNUGGLES and they really make the most amazing backs for quilts. OMG.... they are soft for snuggling I tell you....



In tomato red, ivory cream, buttercream yellow and aqua blue...




We now carry our creamy dreamy, cream tone on tone fabric. Perfect for any Fig Tree project. We are committed to carrying it as often as we can. The one we have in stock now is the cream from the Whimsy collection. As with most of our fabric lines, there is usually a soft cream involved and although we can't guarantee that it will always be exactly the same from line to line [differences in shade and dye lot], we can promise that it will have an incredible hand, will be creaminess personified and will be a dream to work with!




We have also added my favorite Japanese silk pins. These pins are seriously "like butter" and even though I feel like an old Saturday night live skit when I say that, they are. Just perfect pins. I don't use any others. Well worth it I think and they come in a charming little tin that is cute just in and of itself!


This is just the beginning of our A Few of Our Favorite Things Category, so stay tuned.






...Fresh Cottons on a Drying Rack, because where else would they be?


I am just back from a wonderful whirlwind of activity, demos, lectures and fun. The annual MODA Retreat is really one of the best opportunities around and if you are a store that has never participated before.... well, run to the next set of signups when they become available. Really, it is completely worth every minute.

We discussed marketing and sales, precuts and patterns, displays and trends. We hung out and had great fun and shared ideas and insights about fabric and our industry. It was exhilarating. Somehow in all of the 4-days of hub-bub, I barely took a single picture. In fact, i am not sure that my camera even came out of my bag more than once or twice. Can we say that my brain was on overload.... JUST A LITTLE!


One of the highlights.... spending time in the fabric resource room with Kaari.

 ...from Warp & Weft; French General

Highlight #2.... Project Fig Tree. Lets just say, that you never know which of the company execs have a hidden fashion sense and which ones would rather be making a bikini....

 ...from ModaLissa

Highlight #3, hours and hours... oh wait, and hours, of time wandering through the warehouses.... SHOPPING, yes, SHOPPING. Why you ask? Just because they pretty much have anything that I might ever need, yeah, anything. It was wonderful. They kept calling us to remind us that we were supposed to be somewhere and both Kaari and I kept getting "LOST" by accident, on purpose. Could have slept in there. A bit afraid of the boxes when they come and the bill attached to them. 


Warehouse2 borrowed from other designers since my camera seemed to be napping

Highlight #4... a little bit of down time at the Old Craft Store in downtown Carollton. Quilt Shop in the front. Old time General Store in the Back. A functioning United States Post Office in the middle. Really. Thank you Melba.




Highlight #5 a wonderful dinner and stroll through downtown Plano with Roseanne and Cheryl. Thank you ladies for a really wonderful meal, stroll and conversation. And Roseanne, I am still working on that name so stay tuned....

A beautiful evening,

Fountain_multi-color_evening_Image_t520 doesn't really look like this. Just had fun playing with the colors.


that has left me with daily cravings for Turkish food!


Talk to you soon.