From Big Rusty to Steampunk Halloween©

Our friend and designer, Desiree Habicht of Desiree’s Designs, gives insight into the inspiration for her Steampunk Halloween Collection. Check out this funky and fantastical group of characters, in shops now!

Art for me has always been about being inspired by things around me while using lots of different elements and ideas to create something unique and special.  I have always loved gardening and with that comes lots of rusty tools, gears and things that have interesting shapes and textures. I also love to create faux finishes like leathers and marbling. As an artist I think I see more details and colors than most people. I think it comes from drawing and painting so much that it trains you to see the hues, the details and the textures of an object instead of just the object. You might see a tree, but I see the lights, the darks, structure and the negative spaces too. 

With that in mind we were on a trip to Portland Oregon for the Spring Market. We were driving through a small town in Oregon when I saw a bunch of old rusty gardening tools that had been transformed into animals. I yelled to Randy to “pull over” and I jumped out of the van before it stopped moving. We wandered through this odd and crazy zoo. It was love at first sight. We were planning on stopping to see my mom in Northern California on our way home and I just had to bring her one of these awesome, crazy creatures for her garden. We decided on Big Rusty, a wonky, crazy looking bird made of a shovel, rototiller tines, rebar, faucet handles etc. We had our van full of stuff from the show, so we had to tie Big Rusty onto the roof of the van. As we drove, I could see his silhouette on the road. He wasn’t small or light. He was about 4 ft tall and he must have weighed about 30lbs.

Big Rusty in the Garden

We laughed at ourselves and what people must have thought about us driving with Big Rusty tied to the roof. As we drove and I watched his shadow on the road as he was traveling with us it started me thinking about creating animals out of odd things, some rusty, some shiny. Nail heads and gears all lent themselves to this idea that was starting to take shape, odd shape, but shape, nonetheless.

I started by sketching some simple Kitty’s that were all made from gears, springs, rakes and anything metal I could think of. That is why I originally called it Steampunk Kitty. Being a bit dark and different I thought that Halloween would be a good time to release the line. As I began to develop the line, it changed, becoming more colorful and interesting since dark rusty gears and automotive springs for cats weren’t very colorful or fun for fabric.

As I began to paint, I knew we needed some complex backgrounds and rich colors to make the line come alive. I pulled from the many faux finishes and mixed media backgrounds that I had created years ago to help pull all the elements together to form this fabric line. The bugs were actual paintings I did for an apothecary shop looking design that I loved but never used. I wanted it to have that kind of a look, so it was morphing as I let my design create itself with the bits of art, I had been saving for just this occasion.

The main characters developed into their own personalities. Sir Ives (the owl) the old, wise scientist, the keeper of time and knowledge. Nicholi Jeeters (the Cat) loves gears and diodes and keeps the rhythm for the group. Then there is Phineas (the crow), this quirky persona is fun loving and adventuresome. He holds the keys to unlock the wonders of the air.

The pumpkins (pin head, shrunken head and zipperhead) were added to bring in the element of Halloween. I wanted to keep the line fun, bright and interesting, true to my brand and not too dark or scary! It was a happy, fun steampunk. I hope you love it as much as I do. It is a truly inspired line that came about by allowing my imagination to keep refining the original idea until we arrived at the final characters who became Steampunk Halloween. We are now working on the next one! 

There are great machine embroidery patterns to accompany this collection coming soon from Desiree’s Designs! Sign up for her newsletter (on her website) to learn when they will be available.

Left: Desiree, and her husband Randy were stars of Quilt Market in Houston. Bringing the steampunk style to life! Below: Desiree, Randy and daughter Jenn… a Steampunk family!

Steampunk Halloween is in shops now and ready for your creative projects! Stay tuned – we will announce a contest with Desiree on Friday 4/24!!!

SUPPORT YOUR FAVORITE INDEPENDENT QUILT SHOP! SHOP SMALL!

How to Quilt a Quilt- Part 4

Are you a fan of Mike, the QT Sewing Salesman yet?

We sure are… he is making it so easy to get your projects down with his tips and tricks learned while traveling the southeastern part of the U.S. and talking with his shop customers.

You may not have been able to check out Parts 1, 2 and 3 yet. No problem, that’s the beauty of the internet! Click here to start at part 1 and follow the blogs through to part 4. You can follow along at your own pace and review whenever you need this information!

Are you ready for the big finish?

Part 4: How to Quilt Your Quilt – Putting on the Binding: Part 2

If you don’t like the final step of hand sewing the binding onto your quilt, here’s the fast easy way to do it by machine.  I show you how to iron the binding in place and an easy way to machine finish the binding.

Mike knows these are not techniques for show quilts…these are helpful hints to let you enjoy the process and keep creating projects for yourself, family and friends! As Mike says at the end of this tutorial, “it’s bound, it’s done and I can give it away and somebody is going to love me because I gave them a quilt” What’s your next project look like?

Special thanks to our friends at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics in Tamarac, FL for hosting Mike for this video and for the live studio audience! If you are in the area, stop in and tell them Mike, the QT Sewing Salesman sent you!

If you love the quilt in this video, the pattern is called “Seahorse in the Reeds” by Blue Bear Quilts. It features Dan Morris Designs’ Oceana collection for QT Fabrics and is in shops now.


If you subscribed to our  QT Fabrics Youtube channel you can visit these videos easily, anytime!

Share pictures of this or any QT Fabrics projects on our Facebook Page!  Join our Facebook Fan Page to ensure you always see our posts.  On Instagram, tag us with @QTFabrics and @QTSewingSalesman  We can’t wait to see your projects!

We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks from our Sewing Salesman!

Follow our “On the QT” blog so you never miss a blog post!  We’ll see you again soon!

How to Quilt a Quilt- Part 3

You’re almost there… how’s your project coming along?

If you missed part 1 and 2 – no worries! Click here for Part 1 and Click here for Part 2 it’s not too late to join the fun and learn from Mike Flynn, QT Sewing Salesman!

Now, it’s time to bind your quilt. Do you have a pile of unfinished quilts waiting for the last hurrah to complete your project? Mike is here to help with his next video tutorial.

Don’t put off finishing your quilts any more!

Part 3: How to Quilt Your Quilt – Putting on the Binding: Part 1

Hate putting on binding?  I do too, it takes forever.  Here’s how to put on your binding in less that 30 minutes—using your serger!  I’ll show you a fast and easy method for attaching the binding to your quilt.  You won’t believe how easy it is!

Special thanks to our friends at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics in Tamarac, FL for hosting Mike for this video and for the live studio audience! If you are in the area, stop in and tell them Mike, the QT Sewing Salesman sent you!

If you love the quilt in this video, the pattern is called “Seahorse in the Reeds” by Blue Bear Quilts. It features Dan Morris Designs’ Oceana collection for QT Fabrics and is in shops now.


If you subscribed to our  QT Fabrics Youtube channel you can visit these videos easily, anytime!

Share pictures of this or any QT Fabrics projects on our Facebook Page!  Join our Facebook Fan Page to ensure you always see our posts.  On Instagram, tag us with @QTFabrics and @QTSewingSalesman  We can’t wait to see your projects!

We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks from our Sewing Salesman!

Follow our “On the QT” blog so you never miss a blog post!  We’ll see you again soon!

How to Quilt a Quilt- Part 2

Did you enjoy your quilt sandwich?

If you are saying what? I have no idea what you’re talking about…. you missed last week’s tutorial video. No problem! Click here to catch up and watch Part 1 – How to Quilt Your Quilt – Make a Quilt Sandwich!

Mike Flynn, QT Fabrics Sewing Salesman, is ready to show you how to finish a quilt top in a few hours – start to finish!  You can quilt and bind your quilt tops fast and easy on your regular sewing machine.

Let’s continue with Mike and his fun & easy tips!

Part 2: How to Quilt Your Quilt – Quilting Your Quilt

Here’s how to easily quilt your quilt on your home sewing machine in less than 1 hour! It’s super fast and easy to finish your quilt at home with these simple techniques. Mike challenges you to try this with a few yards of extra fabric you have – in a few minutes you’ll see how easy it is, and you will be finishing all those quilt tops waiting for the big tah-dah! Try it!

Mike at Cut Up And Sew in Palm Coast, FL – a true Sewing Salesman on the road!

Special thanks to our friends at Cut Up And Sew in Palm Coast, FL for hosting Mike for this video. If you are in the area, stop in and tell them Mike, the QT Sewing Salesman sent you!

If you’re drooling over the quilt Mike is working on- it’s a free QT pattern designed by Wendy Sheppard using our Harmony collection! We encourage you to go to your favorite independent quilt shop for patterns and fabrics, not to mention the customer service and camaraderie! Here is a link to the pattern called A Walk In The Park . Your favorite shop should have the fabrics in-stock! The colorful quilt with black in the background is by our friend Reed Johnson of Blue Bear Quilts and is called Pixie Party. That is a for-sale pattern available through your favorite shop!


If you subscribed to our  QT Fabrics Youtube channel you can visit these videos easily, anytime!

Share pictures of this or any QT Fabrics projects on our Facebook Page!  Join our Facebook Fan Page to ensure you always see our posts.  On Instagram, tag us with @QTFabrics and @QTSewingSalesman  We can’t wait to see your projects!

We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks from our Sewing Salesman!

Follow our “On the QT” blog so you never miss a blog post!  We’ll see you again soon!

Sew Fast with Sew Very Easy!

Laura Coia of Sew Very Easy with Sew Fast Pattern: featuring Circle of Friends Fabrics

Our friend Laura Coia of Sew Very Easy has an incredible YouTube channel of tutorials. Her wonderful step-by-step instructions and hints and tricks make trying new projects a pleasure. Laura created a fantastic video featuring our fabrics curated by Donna Robertson of Fabric Cafe using a free pattern compliments of Fabric Cafe! Video link and more information are found below but, let’s get to know Donna and the fabrics first!

Donna Robertson’s 3-yard quilts & curated fabrics

As the song says.. we “get by with a little of help from our friends”. From this sentiment, the collection Circle of Friends was born! Donna Robertson of Fabric Cafe curated this collection of fabrics with gift giving and sharing in mind. Donna’s 3-yard quilt patterns and books are a sensational way to create quilts for family, friends, charity and yourself! Look at these prints, “sew” perfect for a heartwarming quilt project!

Donna didn’t stop there! She also curated another collection called Violet”! While technically it’s a separate collection, the prints and colors are related and can be used together for even more fun choices. 3 yards of fabric, Donna’s pattern and a weekend project is on its way! Check out Violet below.

Both of these collections can found in your favorite independent quilt shop and are in shops now! Violet even made the cover of Donna’s last book!

Here are two other patterns with the her fabrics featured.

Get ready to make your own 3-yard quilt with a little help from Sew Very Easy!

We’re thrilled that Laura Coia has created this tutorial video on her channel Sew Very Easy and a since it uses a new FREE pattern from Donna Robertson called “Sew Fast”, there’s no need to wait. You’ll want to make as many 3-yard quilts as you can. Learn everything you need to know below! Enjoy!

How to Quilt a Quilt 4-Part Series!

1..2..3..4… Quilt!

Mike Flynn, QT Fabrics Sewing Salesman, is ready to show you how to finish a quilt top in a few hours – start to finish!  You can quilt and bind your quilt tops fast and easy on your regular sewing machine.

In this 4 part video tutorial series, filmed while on-the-go, Mike will show you how to spray baste a quilt sandwich, quilt on your domestic sewing machine and put on the binding with your serger.  Finish your quilts without a lot of extra expense so you have more money to spend on fabrics!

Part 1:  How to Quilt Your Quilt – Make a Quilt Sandwich

The secret to easily quilting a quilt is to spray baste your quilt sandwich with a water-based spray glue like 505.  Here’s how using a bed or a floor or a table… do what you can where you are!

The pattern shown in this video features Bohemian Rhapsody by Dan Morris for QT Fabrics and is called “Aurora Nights” You can buy at at your favorite independent quilt shop or via the pattern designer, Bound To Be Quilting. We loved how the ombre fabric is highlighted in this quilt!


If you subscribed to our  QT Fabrics Youtube channel you can visit these videos easily, anytime!

Share pictures of this or any QT Fabrics projects on our Facebook Page!  Join our Facebook Fan Page to ensure you always see our posts.  On Instagram, tag us with @QTFabrics and @QTSewingSalesman  We can’t wait to see your projects!

We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks from our Sewing Salesman!

Follow our “On the QT” blog so you never miss a blog post!  We’ll see you again soon!

Guest: Reed Johnson of Blue Bear Quilts!

Hello.  I am Reed Johnson, owner of Blue Bear Quilts, www.bluebearquilts.com, a Friend of QT Fabrics, a quilt pattern designer and an educator. I have the pleasure of writing a guest blog post for QT Fabrics regarding my trip to the AccuQuilt headquarters in Omaha for their 10th Anniversary Celebration and for my winning of the runner up prize in their 2018 Quilt Block Design Contest.

I decided to make the trip a mini vacation and so, when I got to Omaha, I traveled north to Sioux Falls, SD and saw the falls, and signs of fall with the leaves turning yellow. I proceeded westward to Mitchell, SD and saw the world-famous Corn Palace. On my way to the Badlands National Park, I discovered the Dignity Statue in Chamberlain SD.

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The Dignity sculpture is a 50-foot-tall statue; designed by sculptor Dale Lamphere to honor the cultures of the Lakota and Dakota people. During the day, her star quilt– a representation of respect, honor and admiration in Native American culture – glitters in the sun with color-changing pieces that move with the wind, and at night, lights cause the diamond shapes to glow. (This was the largest quilt I saw on the trip.) I also visited The Quilt Shop and met owner, Sonya Kroupa. Many fabulous native & western themed fabrics. Find online at The Quilt Shop.

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Traveling through the Badlands is an out of this world experience. Vast valleys and golden prairies; cute little prairie dogs popping up everywhere. Badlands form when soft sedimentary rock is eroded in a dry climate. The park’s scenery is made up of sharp spires, gullies, and ridges. At sunset, the color variations in the ridges intensifies. The colors in nature can inspire many quilts. After the Badlands, I had to stop and see Wall Drug and ride the jackalope.

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I took a detour to the north to see Deadwood, where Wild Bill Hickok, was shot to death in a bar, (if I made a quilt from here, I would have to use the Drunkard’s Path) and Sturgis, home of famous motorcycle rally.

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Next stop was Mount Rushmore in Keystone, SD. It was so amazing to see the heads of Presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln carved right into the mountain. I can’t even imagine how this was possible. It is a place filled with patriotism and makes one proud to be an American. As I look at this picture, I can’t help but think that the colors of white, grey, forest green and sky blue would make an excellent palette for a quilt.

Heading back to Nebraska, you travel through Custer State Park. Hundreds of buffalo crossed the road right in front of the car. It was an eerie and amazing sight. There were serene lakes, surrounded by gentle rolling hills and many deer grazing by the road. The Needles Highway had dazzling peaks, spires, fall colors, and tunnels carved right into the mountain side.

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I made a stop in Kearney, Nebraska. I had to visit the Bricks; named for the bricked streets in the quaint downtown, which had lots of painted murals on the sides of the buildings. I went to The Quilter’s Cottage and met the owner, Phyllis Hamaker. There were gorgeous QT Fabrics and fun panels. Check out her shop at Quilters Cottage. The Archway is a museum that crosses over I-80 and tells the story of the Great Platte River Road.

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Could not miss a chance to stop in at the International Quilt Reedimage9Study Center and Museum (International Quilt Museum) at the
University of Nebraska in Lincoln. They currently had an exhibit of quilts owned by Mark Dunn, President and Owner of Moda Fabrics. There also was an exhibit of Marti Michells and the business of quilts. No trip to Lincoln is complete without a stop at the Baker’s Candies Company.

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On to the main event in Omaha. I stopped at AccuQuilt the night before the award ceremony to take one last look at my block that was up on the 17-foot billboard, outside their headquarters, from having been the Grand Champion in 2017.

 

The next day, as part of the 10th Anniversary Celebration, we were treated to a trunk show of quilts that were made from the free patterns that can be downloaded from their
website, including Elephant Cuddle Parade, which was designed and made by me. We toured an exhibit of quilts that were designed and made by Kaye England.

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As the runner up in the 2018 Block Design Contest, my block will be displayed inside the corporate headquarters for the next year. We also got a tour of the AccuQuilt Quilter’s
Dream Studio.

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We proceeded outside to the tents. Kaye England gave an awesome presentation talking about life and presented a trunk show of her quilts that could be made using AccuQuilt Qubes.

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The Grand Champion this year was Candace Door and her winning block was revealed on the billboard. (below left/middle)  (Read the AccuQuilt blog about Candace here)

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We headed back to the tents and had a wonderful Panera lunch where door prizes were given away. Candace and I were awarded our prizes. Photo (above right) shows me with the CEO of AccuQuilt, Steve Nabity and the President, Greg Gaggini.

AccuQuilt is such a generous company that all of this was not enough. For their 10th Anniversary Celebration, they gave everyone there a Go! Baby Cutter, a tote, the 3 anniversary dies and an anniversary edition storage box. Getting ready to leave Omaha, we were greeted with the most intense and beautiful rainbow.

A great time was had by all.

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Hey there!   Tiffany, Creative Manager for QT here:

We congratulate Reed, and thank him for sharing news of this wonderful event.  Isn’t that the best part of the quilting world?  Sharing experiences, knowledge and the camaraderie?   We are so thankful to collaborate with Reed.  His quilt designs are fantastic and working with him is a great pleasure!  Look for his patterns in your favorite quilt shop!   His Kaleidoscope pattern looks awesome in our Harmony Collection.  Within the next month or so, we’ll have 3 of our newest collections featured in Reed’s patterns… stay tuned!

We hope you enjoyed this guest blog and look forward to more in the future!


 

Why go wide? 108″ wide fabrics!

We’ve gotten lots of feedback about backing your quilts over the years!  We’ve heard everything from using bed sheets to scrap-busting to fleece to another quilt “top” as a solution.  We’re all about creativity and certainly understand we “do what we gotta do”… But, as we all know, big quilts need lots of fabric for the backing!

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One of the things you may not realize is 108″ wide quilting cotton is a big time saver and it saves you money!  You want the same high quality fabric for your backing, you’ve invested all the time and love into making your quilt top,  why skimp on the backing?

Of course, your favorite friendly quilt shop can help you make the best selection for your quilt project size!  The best part of our quilting community is how generous our shop friends are with their experience!

Mike, our Sewing Salesman, has a tip from one of his shops Wandering Stitches.  Check out this quick video to learn the value added to wide goods.

Here is the Avalon 108″ fabric Mike mentions/shows in the video. We also offer Ombre Scrolls 108″ fabric.   Soon, we’ll have another fabric to add to our 108″ offering!

Do you have a tip about backing your quilts?  Leave a comment on this blog and you will be eligible to win a 3 yard bundle of one of our 108″ wide back fabrics!   

We will select a winner next week at random – good luck!!!  Oh, and GO WIDE! 🙂

Whether you are new to sewing or a pro, we have all been there… “My machine is broken!”    According to Mike (QT Sewing Salesman) and his shop friends that service machines all the time, not necessarily!   Mike’s back with some tips from his shops, some really technical terms (joking) and a head’s up on what to check before you bring your machine in for servicing.

Exceptional service, tips and tricks are always available at machine dealers and quilt shops, and we definitely encourage you to go and become friends!  Servicing your machine is important (just like getting your car inspected and maintained!) and is worth the investment.  However, some things can be simple and you will save yourself some time, money, and feel like a superstar with these tips!

This is Tiffany, Creative Manager at QT, and I made fast friends with the gentleman (Joao) who serviced my Industrial Singer walking foot machine! Well, I was his friend but he probably thought of me as “that girl” 🙂 I bought it used from a factory in Fall River, MA, received an hour tutorial on threading and basic machine maintenance, and off I went excited to bring it home and create amazing upholstery projects!   Day 1 – I went to sew a sofa cushion and my machine was “broken” I didn’t get more than 4 inches in and had to call for help. The thread was bunching and jammed the needle… I was told to bring in the beast of a machine for Joao to take a look.   Long story short – I made several visits and signed up for lessons with Joao because the machine was perfectly fine; it wasn’t a machine problem, it was operator error (or as I prefer to say, operator inexperience). Like learning to drive a car, you should get to know and learn about your machine, it’s quirks, best ways to change gears and how to maintain it properly. That is why your machine dealer or local service is so important!  10 years of upholstery work and this machine and I are BFFs and have made some magical projects together!

 

We hope you enjoy these QT Sewing Salesman Tips.  Make sure you join our QT Fan Group and follow us on Instagram @QTfabrics to stay on top of our newest collections and fun with fabric!

Last week’s winner of the Sewing Tip Blog is Robin Noel!  We sent you a message on Facebook!  Please let us know your address so we can send you some fun fabrics!

We agree and think the fun is in the process not in perfection!

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Machine troubles? Check this first

We hope you are enjoying the sunshine and some stitching this summer!  Mike is back with a quick video of sewing tips!

Do you have a quick tip to share? Leave a comment here or  join our Facebook Fan page and post it there! We will select one winner at random and send along a great fat quarter bundle of our Harmony fabrics (shown in this video!)  We’ll announce the winner on July 19th on our next blog!

If you want to share something  you made with QT Fabrics, that’s always a good idea!  Simply post on Facebook or Instagram and tag it with @QTfabrics and don’t forget the hashtag – #QTSewingSalesman

We’ll be back with more fun & fabric!

 

 

Happy Summer & Sewing Tips!