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Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Impressions from Spring Quilt Market 2017

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017


The Spring 2017 edition of International Quilt Market took place in St. Louis this year. As always I’m inspired and energized by what I see. Overall, I thought the colors looked clear and fresh, which I like. I saw several lines with words and/or letters. And, the inclusion of clothing patterns continues. Here are more specifics.

Michael Miller

A major theme in Michael Miller booth was Paper Doll, which featured four wall quilts with fabric (as opposed to paper) doll bodies. You or your children or grandchildren create clothes and stick them to the dolls. A wonderful way to encourage connection and to introduce children to sewing.  Also new from Michael Miller is the vivid 21-piece Hello collection by Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design. The line features an old telephone print (remember those!), scissors, exclamation points, and fun letters to cut out, along with blenders and tonals in graphite and aqua colorways. Free patterns and kitting instructions are available. The line ships in June and promotions include a summer blog hop followed by an Instagram hop. (

Moda Fabrics

Moda introduced its 40-piece William Morris line, which was inspired by the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The prints are from the wallpaper and textile designs of William Morris, 1834-1896). A kit of a 72″ medallion quilt is available. (

Read more…

Quilt Market Roundup

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016


I got back on Sunday evening after four days in Salt Lake City, which has to be one of the friendliest cities around. Yes, I just confirmed that it ranks second in a Travel + Leisure poll. I started my stay with a trip to Harmon’s Grocery to pick up flowers for my room, and a young woman actually took me part of the way so I wouldn’t get lost. As for Market itself, I loved catching up with long-time friends and making some new ones. I loved being inspired, and I definitely was.

In a few words, the themes that kept popping up for me are flowers — large flowers — glamping/camping, handwork, and navy and gray.  Here’s just a bit of what I saw.

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Book Review: How to Speak Fluent Sewing

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

How to Speak Fluent Sewing

How to Speak Fluent Sewing
Christine Haynes
Stash Books; $22.95


One of the goals of our industry is to attract new sewers or crafters so that the industry continues to thrive. For those of us who have been around a long time, the lingo and terminology are second nature. Even for those who are experienced quilters or fiber artists, some sewing terms may not be as familiar. This comprehensive directory explains and illustrates more than 300 different sewing terms. The author approaches each item, whether that is a tool, a term for stitching, or a type of seam, and answers three basic questions: What it is, What it does, Why use it. At first glance, I thought it seemed rather basic; with a deeper look, I can see its value as a reference not just for new sewists but also for those who are more experienced. After all, do you know when to use a hera marker or when to use ball-point pins as opposed to glass-head pins?


Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.



Book Review: Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing

Sunday, October 5th, 2014


Sewing School 2

Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing
Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle
Storey Publishing; $18.95

We are all interested in seeing sewing expand with each generation, and we need to make it fun and accessible for young kids. I love what Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle have done with Sewing School 2. The authors, owners of The Sewing School in Memphis, share their own experiences teaching kids. The projects are fun, varied from simple to complex, and useful. The book starts with an intro section for parents about how to teach sewing and then instructs the kids on choosing and using a sewing machine, and more. Some of the projects include a simple pin cushion and a secret message pillow, a backpack and a quilt. The authors include some sidebars on how kids can make the projects more individual, plus a sewing playlist. Definitely designed to inspire kids to enjoy sewing successfully.

You can look for the book at your favorite quilt shop or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Modern Hand Stitching

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Modern Hand Stitching

Modern Hand Stitching
Ruth Chandler
Landauer Publishing; $24.95

I love the resurgence in hand stitching. We are definitely seeing more emphasis in what we could call “slow stitching,” enjoying the process of the stitching. Ruth Chandler’s Modern Hand Stitching is a wonderful resource in this area. Ruth teaches you nearly 40 stitches as well as challenges you with her “No Boundaries” section for each stitch to build beyond the basics. To learn the stitches, Ruth suggests creating a sampler book. Interspersed throughout the book are pieces from a designer’s gallery to provide additional inspiration. If you need a refresher on basic hand stitches or are starting from scratch, this is a good resource.

Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

The Better Bag Maker

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

The better bag maker

The Better Bag Maker
Nicole Mallalalieu
C&T Publishing; $26.95

I’m a sucker for bag patterns; just check my pattern files. What I like about The Better Bag Maker is it’s about learning the techniques behind handbag design so you are more successful in creating bags. Author Nicole Mallalieu is a well-known Australian designer with an international reputation for bag making. Technique covers the first third of the book, from specifics of materials, such as how to select the correct interfacing; to key sewing skills; to basic techniques, such as altering patterns. Once you have got the techniques down, Nicole suggests making a basic bag from which the other bags are derived. Instructions are included for an additional ten bags.

Look for the book at your local quilt shop or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Essential Sewing Reference Tool

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

All In One Tool Reference Guide

Essential Sewing Reference Tool
Carla Hegeman Crim
Stash Books; $17.95

I have always had a “go to” sewing reference, and I use it when I need to know something
like how to do a Hong Kong finish or how to make a round table cloth. What I love
about this reference is it’s compact and includes all the essentials. The author,
Carla Hegeman Crim, is the founder of Scientific Seamstress LLC. A molecular biologist
turned patternmaker, she is well known for complete easy-to-follow instructions
and detailed illustrations. You will find it handy for sewing terms and techniques
as well as quilting terms, ranging from batting types and their advantages and disadvantages
to a materials discussion of fabrics and interfacing. I think this compact resource
could become your “go to” reference.

Look for the book at your local quilt shop or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

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