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!