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!

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!

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!

Saturday with QT’s Sewing Salesman! Week 8 – Finale!

It’s been a great 7 weeks, we took last week off for the holiday but we’re back with the finale of the Mustang Sunset Cowboy Memories II Quilt-Along with Mike!

This is the last week – we are so excited to finish!  Don’t worry, if you’re just joining us, it’s never too late to start!  Click here to go to the 1st video/blog!

The Whimsical Workshop designed this quilt and we think you should check out their site and see what other whimsical quilts you can create!

Be sure to subscribe to our QT Fabrics Youtube channel!

CowboyMemoriesII_Quilt

Click the image to go to the 1st blog in this series.  It’s never too late to start!

Off we go to the big finish!

Please be sure to share your project with us on Instagram  #QTFabrics #QTSewingSalesman

For Facebook – you can join our Fan Page – click here and click JOIN to submit your request – we will approve you.

Tag us with @QTFabrics and show off your finished masterpiece!!!

Happy sewing friends, we’ll be back with more great projects!

Vermont Quilt Festival 2017

We’re back from the 41st annual Vermont Quilt Festival!  It is a pleasure to attend and vend at this wonderful quilt show.  The spirited quilt enthusiasts are warm, friendly and we enjoy sharing our passion for fabric!

For those of you who were unable to attend, we wanted to bring our booth to you!  Of course, there are many vendors and even more quilts!  One of the most remarkable things about this (and many quilt shows) are the volunteers.  Here is a photo of Melissa, who has been volunteering for the VQF for many years.  Look at her great hat with memorabilia from all the shows!

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Wow!   🙂  The festival would not be possible without dedicated volunteers like Melissa!

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Here’s our booth – we wanted to showcase some of our most popular quilt patterns.  Look at these beauties!   Harmony Bargello, designed by Shannon Ownby, features our Harmony brights strip rolls…talk about stunning!  To get the pattern and some bonus tips about how to make this quilt, click on her name above.

Also, pictured above, is our Quilts of Valor friendly pattern designed by Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring.  This features our Monroe fabric from our Antiquities brand.  Visit Wendy’s blog (link above) to view her post on this gorgeous quilt!  To find out more about Quilts of Valor and the wonderful work they do, click here.

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But wait, there is more from our friend Wendy.    Her Harmony Butterfly quilt is shown above.  She uses our Harmony brights strip rolls in a completely different kind of pattern. Don’t you love how that happens?  Two people, the same fabrics and totally different points of view; so much creativity and inspiration!

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The last quilt highlighted is another beauty by Wendy Sheppard.   It is Spring on Bleecker Street and includes our Bleecker Street fabrics.  There is a Sew-Along on Wendy’s blog for this quilt. How fun!  The colors and whimsical styling of this quilt is so cheerful.  We collaborated with Wendy and Aurifil for her Marmalade Meadows embroidery floss which is incorporated throughout the Spring on Bleecker Street pattern design.

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Yay for embroidery accents and awesome quilting!

We don’t want to forget to mention our newest style of fabrics.  Junebee for Ink & Arrow Fabrics is here!  Our newest collection, Zola, is full of color, print and brings fashionable flair and fun to our fabrics!

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This fashion statement dress is the Monique by Sew Serendipity.  ❤  this pattern.  The great thing about her patterns are how customizable they are.  Different lengths, bodice types, belts or ties – anything is possible.  This is one of our favorite versions of this dress and we use this pattern all-the-time!!!

And then, there is the Road Trip bag by Sew Many Creations.  *Swoon*  This is the go-to bag when you are jetting away for the weekend!  It’s seriously roomy but so pretty and practical at the same time!  Love the handles / shoulder strap as well as the awesome hardware.

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Of course, the Vermont Quilt Festival is just that, a place to show off gorgeous quilts. Here are two examples of the many beautiful entries for this show.  To see more, make sure you like the VQF on Facebook and also check out their website for more photos to come.

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The above “Threads of Friendship” (Carol’s Gift) was best in show!  The intricate detail of the quilting and treatment of the fabrics are incredible.  Well done, Barbara K. of Maryland!

It is inspiring how the Vermont Quilt Festival embraces quilters of all experience levels and abilities.  Seasoned quilters can show off their latest challenging project and up-and-coming young quilters can share their triumphant first quilt.  The quilt below,  “Bad Kitties” by Emily D. of Vermont won the Young Quilter Award.  This is her first attempt at sewing!  How marvelous to see and this is exactly what we love to see, a new generation bringing their enthusiasm and point of view to sewing, quilting and creating!

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Extra bonus, this quilt features our collection a Tail of Two Kitties by Dan Morris for QT!

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Another year of camaraderie, laughter, learning, sharing and inspiration!  We look forward to the next Vermont Quilt Festival.  We are so thankful to have been a part of this awesome event and to committee and volunteers who make this festival come to life!

All of the fabrics featured in our booth are in shops now!  We hope you are inspired to head to your local quilt shop and check them out – what will you create?

 

 

Blog Shout Out – Austin Sewing Machines & Quilting

Hey Y’all!!!  We’re excited to share with you the winner of our Blog Shout Out from our National Quilting Day Event on Facebook!   Abby Brooks (shown below) won an 84 piece fat quarter bundle of Harmony!    Per the giveaway, Abby tagged her local quilt shop, Austin Sewing Machines & Quilting and so it is… our Blog Shout Out winner!

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National Quilt Day is once a year, but we eat, sleep, and breathe fabric and quilting every day!  🙂  We were thrilled to see the photos of consumers enjoying their time spent in their local quilt shop!  There is so much of a spirit of camaraderie when shopping local;  we love to encourage people to go to their local quilt/fabric shops!  You’ll find you can get guidance on a project or technique, inspiration, and of course, FABRIC!!!!! 🙂

I reached out to Austin Sewing Machines and Quilting to find out their story.  Another perk of being in this industry is learning about our new friends and their experiences!

QT:  Tell us about you and your shop:

Austin Sewing Machine (ASM):  ASM has been owned by my parents, Bob and Ruth Clark since 1984.  My name is Robyn Smith and I have worked in the sewing industry for most of my life.  Sewing is a love inherited from my mother and I created my first garment in 4H in the 7th grade.  ASM started out as a sewing machine business and we currently sell five brands of machines:  Pfaff, Viking, Brother, Janome and Juki (including Juki’s long arm).

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Impressive offering of machines… care for a test drive?

In 2001, premium quilting fabric, patterns, designs and notions were added to our inventory.  I soon was addicted to quilting.  In addition to teaching new owners’ classes to those who purchase machines from us, we also have a monthly Sewing and Embroidery Club meetings to encourage our club members with new techniques and designs as well as recognizing their own creativity and patronage.

patterns

That’s a whole lotta patterns 🙂

QT:  Are you more motivated by color or pattern?

Currently, with approximately 3,000 bolts from various manufacturers, I’m motivated by color rather than pattern.  I especially love bright colors and since I am the fabric buyer for the store, ASM has a lot of color!  Batiks, stripes, dots and metallic finished fabrics provide our customers with a selection towards the modern look rather than the traditional or civil war style.

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I spy our Sunkissed fabric (Spring wallhanging) beautiful sample! 

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Another beauty!  The fabric used here is  Kaleidoscope by Desiree Designs  ❤

QT:  If you had to make only one type of project going forward, what would it be?

Quilts, hands down.  Though I sewed garments for many years, fitting is not a strong point for me – if it didn’t fit, it never got finished!  Fortunately, quilts do not have to “fit”.

I especially love machine embroidery which plays very well with quilting.  We sell Anita Goodesign embroidery collections as well as various other companies’ designs.  We just completed an event with Anita Goodesign with over 50 participants which was a lot of fun.

QT:  Finish this statement:  To me, success is…

In connecting with our customers, of course face to face is the best.  We use email a lot and we do have a Facebook page.  We are exploring using Instagram.  To me, success is creating the most positive experience for each customer that makes a contact in our store.

QT:  What are your future goals?

Our goals for the future would be:  to continue to greet each individual who contacts our store with the genuine intention to get to know him or her and meet their specific needs; to provide customers with the best service possible; and to keep our “brick and mortar” business going well into the future.


 

A wonderful story and legacy for this family-owned and operated business.  So often, in this digital age, we forget the friendly smile and welcoming spirit when walking into a brick and mortar shop.   We love to learn from our shop customers and see the positive impact they have on their community.

I can’t wait to head over to my local shop tomorrow to see what types of events they have going on!   Maybe, just maybe, my friends there will be able to help me figure out a technique to keep my stitching within the seam allowance for once!  If crooked sewing/stitching was an Olympic sport, I’d tie for 1st, 2nd and 3rd 🙂

 

 

Springtime fabrics arriving in shops!!!

We are excited to share two of our newest collections shipping to your local fabric shop this month!  Our wide variety of fabrics allow us to offer something for everyone!  As evident by these two groups that are quite different!

Mariposa is up first, a beautiful collection by Kate Follows for QT.  These fabrics offer dazzling butterflies and dragonflies fluttering along with jewel tone medallions and beaded details.   Just gorgeous… fresh and bold at the same time, this collection is unique!

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Exquisite details in vivid color…

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Imagine the projects you could create? 

We have a beautiful project for this collection designed by Sue Harvey & Sandy Boobar of Pine Tree Country Quilts.  Click the Quilt to download the project!

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Do you have a Mariposa project in mind?   What will you create?



Next up, we have So Many Fish, So Little Time it’s true!  For the fishing enthusiasts in our lives, you know they can get “lost” for hours by the pond waiting for the catch of the day!

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This collection features artwork by Jon Q. Wright for QT.

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Grab your tackle box, fishing pole and sewing machine! 🙂

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These fabrics have a lot of detail and capture the artwork beautifully!  The Fishing Advertisement print would be a terrific “Camp Shirt”

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This group presents a great opportunity to create a quilt for your favorite fisherman or woman!  We have a great project available for download designed by Theresa Romeo.

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Click on the Quilt to download the free pattern at our website!

These are quite the “catch” and we hope you head over to your local quilt shop and create a project!  Spring is almost here!  We hope you enjoyed our latest collections!

 

We love to see what you create!   You can always send a photo of your Quilting Treasures projects to us at qtsocialmedia@cpw.com!  Tell us a little about your inspiration, and we may feature you on our Facebook page!  Be sure to like us and keep up with all the great things that are happening!