Sunday, November 11, 2012

Joel Dewberry at Houston International Quilt Market 2012

I know that the lighting on this picture is terrible. This is a shot of the original quilt made for Joel Dewberry for the Houston Quilt Market 2012. It was made by Barbie Mills and I took this picture when she presented it at our Salt Lake City Modern Quilt Guild Meeting before quilt market. She did a great job, and I think Joel's take on a chevron is a great use of this bold fabric. The slanted pieces are cut diagonally which makes it even more interesting and probably makes the fabric easier to work with. This pattern will be available for free soon. For better pictures of this, go to Barbie's blog and see her photos. They are much better than this.

Notting Hill in Turquoise color way at Fall Quilt Market 2012
This color way is only available in home dec weight or "cotton sateen" as Westminster calls it. The are from Joel's booth. On the rich is a stack of his brochures. He covered the boxes himself, and I sewed the hat from his Pieced Pinwheel Hat pattern. It is such a great, reversible hat. I highly recommend making it.

Navy Pockets Aplenty Diaper Bag
Of all of the lovely color ways that were represented in Joel's Quilt Market booth, the Navy color way was most admired, or so he says. This bag was made by Leigh. And it is just lovely.

Joel Dewberry's Pockets Aplenty Bag made in Cotton Sateen
 This bag was also made by Leigh.

Can you stand the pink and grey color way? It is so lovely. Again, a color way available only in heavy sateen fabric. The pink skirt and the yellow and aqua skirt in the background are voile. I actually made both skirts and the Pink and Grey Pockets Aplenty bag. What a pleasure it is to sew with such beautiful fabric. And it was a very cool feeling to know that I was the first one to ever sew with fabric from such a beautiful line.

I made this beautiful dress in Voile with the Red color way from Notting Hill. I also made the Hobo bag from another of Joel's older patterns. I didn't expect to love the red color way so much. The color is vibrant and beautifully contrasted by the blend of colors that surround it. That plaid is so well done. This photo shows my three favorite prints from the line: Plaid, Kaleidoscope, and Poppy. I love the fabric walls that Joel had printed with old London street maps as well as the fun subway signs that he designed and had printed to decorate his booth and highlight words that tie into the Notting Hill line.

The Westminster Fibres booth included this lovely quilt , dress (Vintage Flutter), and many lovely pillows. There was so much on display to highlight Joel's Notting Hill fabric line.

I sort of wanted to take off with those pretty pillows or at least take a little nap on them. I might have embarrassed my husband had I actually done that.

Anyway, I am super biased because Joel is not only my favorite designer but also a close personal friend. But I was super impressed by his booth at quilt market in Houston and recognized the enthusiasm in so many who took a look. Now go sew something with it. You won't regret it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall 2012 International Quilt Market in Houston

It really is a treat to attend the International Quilt Market in Houston. The 2012 Fall quilt market was not a disappointment. It was filled with beautiful fabric and wonderful, creative people. I will have to break this into several posts because there was too much eye candy to put in one post all at once. 

Sadly, I forgot my SLR camera battery at home, so my pictures are all from my camera phone (which is super stinky) so sorry these pictures are a bit of a disappointment.

I think I will start with some of the wonderful designers from Westminster Fabrics. Westminster did a new booth at this market. It appears that they took a lesson from Riley Blake on how to make really good use of booth space, allowing walls for each designer within their space. This is great because spectators get a really good look at what each of their designers' new lines are like even if the designers don't actually have a booth at market.

Of course it is always a delight to talk to Amy Butler and to look closely at the beautiful projects that display her designs. Amy's newest line is Alchemy. I really love Alchemy much more than her past two lines, Cameo and Lark, though they both had their own gems. Amy is a kind and sincere person who always seems sincerely interested in getting to know me and any others who visit her booth.

This is an interesting quilt that was on display. It was very chunky and textured. 

The skirt with the circles in this photo is a velvety feel and would be great for a coat or a couch.

I think that this picture is the best show of how beautifully these fabrics work together. I love the rose print toward the front.

This is a quick peek at a quilt in Jennifer Pagnelli's section of the Westminster booth. It is as bright and floral as most of her lines. Pretty. 

Tula Pink is just lovely. What would a market blog post be without a mention of Tula? She is funny and cleaver and obviously super talented. I enjoyed my chat with her and really love her new line, which is so interesting and beautiful. The line is called Salt Water and it has a beautiful ocean motif, including octopus prints among other more mellow prints. The orange is my favorite color of them all, but I could embrace any of these with enthusiasm.

Here are some of the things in Tula's portion of the Westminster booth.

Tula Pink Salt Water Quilt from Fall Quilt Market 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Joel Dewberry Fabric on Modern Family

I am a big fan of Joel Dewberry's designs and I am just as big of a fan of the hilarious show, Modern Family. Each week I wait to see what fabric one of the gay characters, Cam, will have on the cuffs of his shirts. It adds to his flamboyance, and is such a great detail in showing Cam's personality. On the most recent Modern Family, the show started with Cam wearing not just flamboyant cuffs, but a whole shirt in one of my favorite Joel Dewberry prints from his Heirloom collations. And my husband was the one to spot it first. He has become pretty knowledgeable on fabric lines.

When I posted these pictures on instagram, designers started asking how they can get their fabric on his shirts. Some designers said that the manufacturing companies send the fabric into the costume departments in hopes that they will choose those fabrics for the shirts. Riley Blake did this, and they did use some of their fabric on his cuffs. But in the case of Joel Dewberry, he nor Westminster had any hand in this. A Michael Levine person (Michael Levine is a huge fabric outlet in the fabric district of Los Angeles) came through quilt market and told Joel that the costume designers come through their store and pick out fabric for Cam's shirts. And I think that is how this happened. 

Joel's fabric has also been featured on Cougartown. There was a whole bedroom set made out of one of his lines on that show. There was also a diaper bag on a daytime soap (not sure which one) and I saw an episode of Tori and Dean Home Sweet Hollywood where Tori made a dress to wear in the hospital when she had her baby, Hattie. The whole ruffle top on it was made with a fabric from Aviary 2 in granite. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Joel Dewberry's Notting Hill on Pockets a Plenty Bag

Joel Dewberry's new line, Notting Hill will debut at the 2012 Fall Quilt Market in Houston. I thought I loved his old lines. I didn't know if he could beat Heirloom, but I was wrong. This line is beautiful. It just keeps getting better.

I made this bag, his own pattern, Pockets a Plenty, with his advance fabric in cotton sateen. It is a thick home dec weight cotton. It is so smooth and lovely to work with. And the print on the fabric made the whole project a love fest for me. 

This picture is inside of the pockets a plenty bag. I turned it inside out. I love the Poppy print from Notting Hill but the beautiful kaleidoscope print that I used on the inside made me wonder whether I put the right print on the outside. I still can't decide. 

The cotton sateen color ways are always different than the quilting cotton color ways. This time, I really appreciate color ways in both weights of cotton. This pink immediately spoke to me. I didn't expect to love the red color way so much (quilting weight and voile) but I just couldn't believe how much I loved the red. Turquoise is also a favorite of mine. Hopefully there will be many posts after market showing more variations. This is going to be a huge hit in the sewing community.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sewing Summit 2012, Salt Lake City

I was so looking forward to the opportunity to go to the Sewing Summit in downtown Salt Lake City this weekend. And it was every bit a fabulous that I thought it might be. I have been in a slump with little enthusiasm about my craft. But this weekend gave me new ideas and avenues to explore. This is my friend, Jennifer ( is the most wonderful, creative girl. I had such fun discussing our creative journey with her on the opening night and found so much in common with her.

This teacher, Mena Trott, has a blog @ She spent a whole year sewing her own wardrobe. She sewed new clothing every week and used vintage patterns and materials in most cases. She was inspiring and funny. She really got me interested in finding some patterns and making some vintage dresses for myself. This is something I have never done. I was so excited when someone brought a couple of boxes of vintage patterns to sewing summit and let my friends and I take from the boxes. I got about 6 that I really like. I am mostly interested in the 50s and 60s.

This is Jeni Baker. She has a blog called She taught me a lot about balance and tones and saturation. I am not a quilter, but I was very inspired by how I can find a color palate and mix a lot of different prints and colors to make something really lovely. 

Perhaps my most useful and needed class was by this pattern design class by my cute new friend, Carrie Lundell of She taught me things that should be intuitive but of course were not before the class. Carrie used to design children's clothing for Old Navy in New York City, and as it turned out she lived just one block from my apartment in Manhattan (I was on 119th/Amsterdam). Later I moved to Astoria. She moved there too. She now lives in Orange County, where of course I grew up. I appreciated her energy and her effortless ease and sensibility in her work as well as her cute personality. We ended up spending a lot of time together at the conference. 

After Carrie's class on Friday night, we went to dinner with more of our friends. Katie Deshazer is in Pink ( She is crazy talented. She makes the most amazing clothing that is tailored and sophisticated. She is also a doctor. So cool. And in the middle is Deborah Moebes from This girl is wonderful and talented and almost completely lost her voice, which almost made it harder to get to know her. But somehow we managed just fine. I sewed until late at night with these great girls and wish I had them around all of the time to meet for sewing... or at least once per month. Is that too much for a girl to ask?

Of course everyone seemed to be very excited about Joel Dewberry's new line, Notting Hill. We were all super excited to have him make an appearance and speak to us about his line and his design process and his inspiration. I was not very excited when I found out at the last minute that I would be introducing him. I feel like I roped him into speaking in the first place, but I didn't think I would get so nervous just to do an introduction. But anything in front of 250 is sort of a big deal. So I couldn't eat my lunch. But I made up for it at dinner time.

Joel was gracious as ever and a lot of fun. I could tell that people were very impressed by his work and who he is as a person. I am grateful to count him and Laurie as my friends because the Dewberrys tend to make me look good. I hope that I don't do the opposite for them. Oh shoot! I better be careful!!

Joel was super nice to stick around and talk to the mob that looked forward to meeting him. It was a wonderful experience, and I will try not to get him roped into these things in the future just because I know how busy he is. Still, he has to admit it was rewarding.

This is my dear friend, Erin ( She is also my neighbor. This girl changed my life and introduced me to this whole blogger/sewist world. I am so glad she did. I met her a couple of years ago and now I feel like she is my partner in crime. I love my adventures with her. Though most people would not consider staying up late and discussing fabric lines an adventure, for us it is exciting and inspiring.

More of my sewing summit friends at the closing dinner. Oh, I should mention Melissa Esplin on the end in navy ( She is young and funny and full of energy. I so enjoyed my time with her. I met her last year and took a refashioning class from her, which was super inspiring for me. I didn't realize at the time how useful the class was, but it panned out later. That night at dinner, we had a wonderful and inspiring keynote speaker. Her name is Nancy Soriano. She has major experience in the New York City publishing world. I identified with her journey, starting out working for a big name in New York (Cosmopolitan Magazine) and following her heart in her career for many years since. 

I loved the wisdom she shared about finding your path and what is right for you. She said things like: start down a path and see where it takes you, stay near people that keep you on edge or that don't quite rub you right and learn more about them, put yourself out there and see what comes and who you make connections with that might change your life, when things aren't enjoyable anymore, take a break and try something else, always be kind and treat people with respect, etc... I could identify with every nugget of wisdom she imparted. After the dinner, I stayed late talking to her and enjoyed her so much. 

I am way too lazy today to PhotoShop my pictures, but this gives you the idea. The class I attended that was the most amazing (though not exactly the most applicable to me) was Special Occasion sewing by the very lovely and graceful Sarai Mitnick. I enjoyed her so much. She is edgy and deep, two things that I know I am not-- but yet when Sarai showed us the lovely vintage gowns that demonstrated different fabrics that we discussed, I recognized that vintage brings us all together. Sarai and I have more in common than one might think. 

This woman's class was more technical than any of the other classes. She came prepared with take away cards with samples of each fabric and information under each one describing the needles to use, the hems to use, and tips for how to best cut. Amazingly helpful. I would never know what to do with Chiffon if I hadn't taken this class. Then again, I am not sure that I will ever actually sew anything with Chiffon. She painstakingly brought examples of each fabric with hem and seam finishing details on them so we could see what they look like. I was floored by her professionalism and felt like the class was worth so much more than my ticket to sewing summit. It was so kind of her to go to the trouble too because I am sure she wasn't making a fortune teaching us. On the contrary. 

This is my friend, Stephanie Woody from West Virginia (

Oh and Leigh, on the left here, who I knew before sewing summit because Erin introducted us. Leigh  is just a gem. I am glad to count her my friend. Leigh Hansen ( is one of those people who makes me feel like I have a good friend in the room and adds that bit of comfort that we all want when we go to something like this and know very few people. I have gotten to know her over the past year and look forward to knowing her for a long time. On the right is Deonn Stott who has done tutorials for Riley Blake for quilting. I felt like I knew her because when I was preparing my Riley Blake tutorial, I watched her online to see how it is done.  She is very experienced and a very nice person. 

Overall, I left sewing summit inspired and uplifted and excited to sew new things in a new way. Now I am off to make a dress from a vintage pattern!!! Not really. I have to put the kids to bed, but that doesn't sound as exciting.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Peek in the Riley Blake Warehouse

The other day I was picking up some lovely fabric from Riley Blake and thought it would make for an interesting post. We are lucky to live near Riley Blake. It makes it easy when we need to run and grab something since we have a wholesale account. Riley Blake's warehouse is located in Sandy, Utah and it is called Christensen Wholesale. 

Inside this warehouse, there are rolls and rolls of beautiful and cute fabrics. Above are some rolls of laminated cotton fabric, which makes for so many fun projects. There is no shortage at the warehouse.

The majority of the isles are bolts of quilting cotton. There is always a lot of variety of old and new prints. They also carry notions, patterns (including some of my patterns), trims, batting, and all sorts of other sewing goodness.

When Lila Tueller's line, Bohemian Festival came out, it was so fun to come and see it all on the bolts to get a good idea of how it all looks together.

Another fun rack is the rack with bolt ends. They get large scraps or bolt ends that are one yard or 5 yards and they are dirt cheap. Around $3 per yard? I can't remember exactly but I think they are under $3. And this day there was only a little there. Usually the flat folds are just piled high and it is a free-for-fall. This is perfect for small projects that you don't want to pay too much for or just to find fabric to stash away for a rainy day. 

I always enjoy visiting the warehouse. Sort of makes me wish I lived near Moda and Robert Kaufman and Westminster Fabrics too. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

IKEA Is So Nice

I love IKEA. Who doesn't love IKEA? Cheap shelving and funky do-dads. Basics and food. Good times. After living in California and then in Virginia, there was always an IKEA around. There was even access to one in New York City via provided shuttle. But when I got back to Utah, there was no good cheap alternative and certainly none of the real thing. I didn't even think there was a remote chance of getting one in Utah. But I always knew that it would be a good place for an IKEA. Cheap people on budgets that they seldom stayed within, tons of kids that need beds and furniture, loads of students, and creative do-it-yourselfers needing stuff to convert into better or prettier stuff. You can imagine my excitement when IKEA finally came to Draper, only 10 minutes from my home.

So this morning, among other things on my very busy schedule, I decided to go to a blogger event that was held at IKEA. I was invited. I didn't just crash it, of course. And I was amazed by how cool it was. 

First they fed us each a big breakfast. Yum. This is me with my friend, Ruth, who always seems to be my date at these things. She is fun and smart. So you should check out her blog. She has many a yummy recipe to share. 

It was fun to see all of the mommy bloggers there with their kiddos, soaking it all up. IKEA gave us each a new catalog. We are the first to see it. And it is full of textiles textiles textiles. They have so many new, delicious fabrics in their store. We got to peruse their displays and do some shopping. 

Since I was in a rush, I just got a huge shelf that I needed anyway and loaded up on Swedish fish. Ironically, I had to pay and dash because I had to get a root canal. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten all of those Swedish fish. 

This was the cute marketing employee who showed us our way and told us about the changes at the store. They recently got a roof covered in solar panels and all sorts of fun changes in the store as well. I am grateful for their time and generosity toward us and possibly love IKEA even more than I did before. I can't wait to go back and look more at their new fabrics.  Good stuff. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Following a Skirt Tutorial-- LOVE!

This was the result of following a really great interest pin. I mean, how many things do I pin that I don't even ever actually look at, let alone actually make. But this time, since I have been on a skirt kick, I actually went through with it. The fabric I chose was Joel Dewberry's Blockprint Blossom in Crimson. And this is the tutorial I pinned and followed-through with. 

I thought she did an AMAZING job on her skirt. I, of course, did a few things differently because I can't ever leave a good thing good.

1. I left off the tulle at the bottom of the skirt.
2. I made mine a bit longer. I wanted it to hit slightly below the knee.
3. The way this wonderful blogger put the skirt together was that she created a full back of the skirt and then a full front of the skirt with waist band and ruffles attached and then just sewed the whole thing together up the sides. I did not do that. I did not attach the waistband to the top of the front or back of the skirt. a. I opened the waistband pieces up and sewed the front and back waistbands together at one side. b. I sewed the 2 front skirt layers to the skirt back on the side where the ruffle comes up high. c. Then I stitched the bottom of the waistband to the top of the skirt with right sides together, starting from the side of the skirt that isn't yet stitched together. (Previously I had finished the edges of the open skirt side.) I also did a rolled hem on the inside waistband edge. d. I attached the invisible zipper to the open side of skirt and then sewed down to the bottom of the skirt. e. I edge stitched top of skirt and then hand sewed the inside of waistband next to inside of zipper so it was more like a facing. I stitched the waistband "facing" to waistband on the side by hand stitching in the ditch.

I only did it differently to make it a more finished garment in the way I like it, but I don't think mine looks any better than hers when photographed. Great tutorial. I learned a lot from it. I would love to see what other people came up with.

I would also like to try using contrasting fabrics and a pencil skirt instead of A-line just to see how the variations look.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reversible Sun Hat Tutorial Video and free pattern

Recently, I wrote a pattern to make reversible sun hats. Riley Blake created this video tutorial in their "Sewing With Cindy" series and it is located on the Riley Blake YouTube channel. In this video, I demonstrate how to make the hats.

It only went live a few days ago and already it has so many views and people all over the world have downloaded the pattern off of my website: in the sewing pattern section.

There are pattern pieces on my site as well as written instructions. There are extra tips that we point out on the video tutorial. It was a lot of work to make this pattern because I don't like math, and there was a lot of math in creating all of the circles that fit together for a hat pattern. But in the end, the feedback has been so great and people have emailed me and are so appreciative. It was worth it for sure.

Let me know what you think. An enjoy making these fun hats for your kids or for yourself.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Amy Butler Love Video Skirt... Two Generations Later

I watched this movie made by Amy Butler Designs many moons ago and fell in love with this beautiful skirt. It was made out of 5 or 6 different fabrics from Amy Butler's line of fabric, Love. The things is that there is no pattern for it. I asked Amy Butler herself if there was ever a pattern for it. She told me no. She said that someone on her staff made it up for the video. I wanted it badly enough that I used the formula for pi and figured out a pattern myself. When you lay it on the floor, it makes a perfect circle. So it took a LOT of fabric because I had to cut huge triangles out of big sections of fabric, leaving mostly unusable but large scraps. It cost me $70 to buy the fabric to make it.

I completed the skirt (all but hemming it) and found that I had measured myself a little wrong so it was a size too big, and even if it hadn't been, I knew I would never wear it. It is just too wild. I couldn't imagine myself wearing it to church. I would feel sort of like a gypsy. Or I thought people might think that I had really gone overboard with my fabric obsession. You know, I think those of us who immerse ourselves in the modern quilting fabric world tend to forget how normal people wear and use mostly basic looking textiles. These large, beautiful prints are more for accents than for the whole enchilada. So I decided that I would just hang it up and look at it but never actually complete it or wear it. Sort of a waste of money.

So then I was at Material Girls Quilt Shop and saw this cute skirt pattern. Notice how it is modeled on teenagers? Maybe that was for a reason. It is the Hippy Chick No. 19 Stripwork Skirt Pattern by Pink Fig. Well, I thought it was a sign when I saw that the skirt was not only made of strips of fabric but of strips of fabric out of the same line as my other skirt... Love by Amy Butler. 

So I decided to make the skirt on the left, the classic. So I took my $70 skirt and cut it down into rectangles, leaving even more useless scraps to add to my pile. I attached the strips and then added the waist band and elastic on top. I put it on... all excited... and guess what??!! It was a disaster. I happen to have hips and the grown-up size 8 was super poofy, using lots of fabric strips. It was so unflattering. My husband agreed that it was not suitable AT ALL. What another waste. But I was not done yet.

I made a cute A-line skirt eventually, as you can see from the picture above, I have been actually wearing my creation this time.

 In the end, I took the strips to complete the bottom portion of an A-line skirt. There is no rhyme or reason to the strips.

You get something a little different with each angle of the skirt.

But I like the result. These pictures are after I had washed the skirt and hadn't ironed it yet. So sorry for the wrinkles, but you get the idea. This is probably the most fabric consuming A-line skirt in history. Of course cutting the hippy skirt down to the A-line skirt left a bunch more unusable scraps. But at least I have finally made something that I will wear. And I have for sure noticed that compliments come from my fabric loving friends. Perhaps everyone else thinks I am crazy. What do you think? Oh, and I threw a block print of Joel Dewberry's in too. It is the bright pink one just to give credit where credit is due.