QT Quilts of Valor Challenge 2016!

On the heels of last week’s patriotic themed blog and as a nod to the upcoming Memorial Day remembrance, we are proud to share with you the Quilts of Valor Challenge of 2016!

We were thrilled when HQMS approached us to sponsor this wonderful opportunity. QT is proud to show our appreciation for the Quilts of Valor organization and more importantly, for the “service members and veterans touched by war”.

This year’s challenge featured the Be Strong Be Brave fabric collection by Home Front Girl™ for QT.  The quilts will be donated to the Quilts of Valor Foundation and there are $800 in cash awards for the winners!

Quilts are being showcased at this week’s Home Machine & Sewing Show in Salt Lake City, Utah.   This show is a “premier consumer exhibition and educational conference for all machine quilters, embroiderers and those love to sew!”  Sounds informative & fun!

Here are images of the entries; 23 quilts were made, that means 23 quilts will be donated!  What an incredible gift and show of support by these talented quilters!

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And special shout out the winners in the different categories! Shown below.


Honorable Mention:  Waving Freedom

QT13 Waving Freedom

Jeena Lugo

QT13 A Waving Freedom

 



Judge’s Choice:  Try to Be Square

QT05 Try To Be Square

Connie Eagle

QT05 B Try To Be Square



Judge’s Choice:  Brave Hero

QT17 Brave Hero

Michele Noble

QT17 B Brave Hero



3rd Place: Thank You Quilt of Valor

QT16 Thank You Quilt of Valor

Marie Nelson

QT16 A Thank You Quilt of Valor



2nd Place:  Salute

QT02 Salute

Regina Bechard

QT02 A Salute



1st Place:  All Star Hero

QT12 All Star Hero

Kimberly Loar

QT12 A All Star Hero

QT12 B All Star Hero


Thank you to the HQMS for coordinating and showcasing these beautiful quilts, to Quilts of Valor for their special contributions to our service people and a huge thank you to all the participants who dedicated so much time and talent to this worthy cause.  We are inspired by your generosity and we cannot wait to see more of these quilts in the future!


Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

~Lao Tzu

Introducing Antiquities

Our company history dates back to 1807 when our cotton printing plant was established by Rhode Island governor, William Sprague.  We are proud of our heritage and our place in the American Textile Industry!  Antiquities was born from our passion for embracing our rich traditions and sharing the beauty of our printed textiles throughout different decades.  As part of our library here, we have dozens and dozens of swatch books containing our cotton print samples as a record created by and used for the plant.

antiquities paper final copy

Library2

Top right – notice the 1860-1883 swatch books – ❤

MiniMuseum

Our Mini museum with little pieces of history!

To me, these are priceless pieces of history. As a textile designer, it makes my heart sing when I look through these books.  Imagine seeing the original swatch of fabric with the production details inscribed … important information such as lot number, number of cylinders (colors), machine number and supervisor, most often hand written and organized together for future generations to experience.  I love it!!!!

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Production notes…

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Our premiere collection is named Canterbury (In shops now!) It’s an assemblage of designs gathered and styled to showcase the beauty of these archival prints.   Our studio design director starts the process by making selections from the antique production books.   The studio then scans them into the computer.  As you will see, the designer’s artistic talents come into play when recreating the design and bringing it back to life as fabric for today’s market.   It is a textile designer’s dream to work with these fabrics but it does come with some challenges.  Some of the swatches measure only two to four inches.  While that isn’t a problem for the tiny prints, large feature florals or damasks can be difficult to recreate.  The integrity of the original design is the main focus of our studio.

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Once the designs are complete, the studio works carefully to color the collection. They make it cohesive and balance the range of lights to darks for the best quilting friendly assortment.   Beautiful colors of navy, creams, golds and maroon come together and evoke the traditional flair while staying current in style.  These prints are reflecting what is currently seen in apparel in places like Anthropologie .  Here’s another example from Anthropologie.  *swoon*

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Click Photo to see the entire collection and free project sheet on our website!

 

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I hope you enjoyed this small look into the process of developing our Antiquities collections.  The next line, Ashford, is coming soon (April 2016) and offers another set of archival treasures.   We will show you the original swatch and how they translated to fabric!  Antiquities collections are an eclectic blend of fabrics, inspired by the past.   Embracing tradition, while remaining relevant with magnificent color and design, Antiquities is sure to be a staple in your stash.

Looking forward, we will talk more about our history and give you some more behind-the-scenes views of Quilting Treasures!


History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~Winston Churchill


Until next time…Use QT to create something that is fabulous…something fantastic… something FABTASTIC!

Blog Shout Out! Plum Easy Patterns Part 1

One of the best parts of working in this industry is the people you meet and the stories you hear. We all have a story; we’re excited to share some insight into some of our new friends.   As part of our Fall Quilt Market, we held a contest for a blog shout out! Our first winner is Plum Easy Patterns!  They have a wonderful website with lots of information!

I was thrilled when I heard back from Deborah (the mother), and Bethany (the daughter) a dynamic duo making patterns Plum Easy! It’s great to have both perspectives of their experiences with their company.  

 

Print  Tell me a little about you and your shop/company. What’s your focus?


 

 

 

Print  When PlumEasy Patterns began it was because I created a new way of making the infamous Folded Star Hot Pad and I felt an obligation to share it. From the first month until now, this pattern continues to be our #1 pattern. The response from customers has been overwhelming. They write me, speak to me in person and tell me how much this pattern has impacted them. I compare a new technique for doing something that’s been done only one way for many years, to finding a new version of song that touches you. People have learned a new technique for an old pattern, and in doing this it has given them a new creative outlet. One that is easy and oh so fun to make. Some call my pattern addictive.

 

PlumEasy focuses on two things: designing patterns for sewing and quilting, and providing world-class craft fillings.

We try really hard to provide patterns that explain things well, and brings sewing down to a basic level though photos, illustrations and writing. Many of our patterns have printed interfacing to help make sewing even easier. We believe that almost anyone can make one of our patterns, if they read the instructions!

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Our other focus is craft fillings. It may seem odd, but I could not find a good filling when I made my first pincushion. I was very frustrated. So I did some research and decided to start selling ground walnut shells to stores in 2-cup bags that were strong and would look nice selling in a quilt shop. Well, after two years we were selling thousands of pounds of walnut shells. We added lavender walnut shells to our catalog, and then poly pellets, and ground Turkish Emery. Finally, we added a Craft Sampler of all four items. These are four wonderful fillings that can be used in pin cushions, stuffed animals, strawberry mini-pin cushions, iron hams, door draft blockers, and more.

 

 

 Print  I think the thing that really sets us apart as a pattern company is our resources. There’s hardly anything we won’t do to help a retailer sell our products. If someone needs samples and doesn’t have time to make them, we can loan them one of ours for a time. We have curriculum written up to help guide someone through teaching our patterns in a classroom setting. I love getting to meet store-owners directly at Quilt Market because we can really take some one-on-one time to teach these owners how easy it is to get our products off their shelves and into shopper’s carts. My mom has a motto: “Kill them with kindness” and that is what we try to do for every customer.

 

Print  What is one of your favorite projects?


Print  I love the All Ways Arrows design, and have had a lot of fun with it.  It is one little arrow that is paper pieced. The arrow can go in any direction and with every move the design changes.

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To go with this pattern, we sell PlumEasy Piecing, printable interfacing sheets, and we also sell All Ways Arrows printed on interfacing in a panel of 20 blocks. 

TRANSPARENT PIECE

20 PRINTED PAPER PIECING BLOCKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print    I really enjoyed designing the Morning Star Hot Pad. 

morningstar hot padMorningstar hot pad 2

It was a project that we worked on for so long and had such a hard time with. It was a huge relief when it finally clicked and came together. It was really fun to play with color and shapes and learn how versatile the star really was.

Print  How did you get started in Sewing | Crafting | Making?


Print  I began quilting in 2000 and it was love at first sight. I was obsessed with it and learned very quickly, as I was taught to sew when I was a little girl. A few years later and I was entering the crafting arena, trying to make a little extra money. I saw my first folded star hot pad and thought it would be great to make and sell as a craft.  I realized I had a different way to make the folded star hot pad. My method was very fast and easy and decided I should write it down.  I began PlumEasy in 2011 with that one pattern and a package of refill templates.

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Print  When I was about 12 my mother tried teaching me now to machine sew. I had some previous experience with embroidery so I knew my way around a needle and thread, but I was completely confounded by sewing machines. My mother would have me sew together strips for nine-patches and I couldn’t sew a ¼” seam to save my life. I got so frustrated that I completely gave up trying to machine sew.

It wasn’t until I was in college that my interest in sewing was awakened. I gained a reputation on campus for being able to hand sew. I began patching jeans and backpacks, hemming pants, and repairing busted seams. When I told my mother about this she sent me some basic sewing supplies and a small hobby sewing machine she had purchased for $5 at a garage sale. With all of these goodies she also included her first pattern for the folded star hot pad. I test this pattern out on the sewing machine and something in me ignited, and I couldn’t stop sewing. I still knew nothing about quilting at this time.

When I moved back home after college PlumEasy was still in its infancy. I began working with my mother right away. When we vended at our first quilt show I was blown away by what people were able to create out of fabric and thread. I spent every dime I had on fabric and decided I better become a quilter. I let myself fall headfirst down the quilting “rabbit hole” and never bothered to try to pull myself out again.

More to come… we’ll follow up with the rest of the interview next week!


Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.                ~Mattie Stepanek


 

Until next time…Use QT to create something that is fabulous…something fantastic… something FABTASTIC!

 

 

 

 

 

COLOR – Lovely, vibrant, dazzling & wonderful color…

One of my favorite things, besides fabric (of course) and print/pattern (of course) is color.

I LOVE COLOR!

I remember opening up my new crayon box and sitting there studying the crayons as if they were color chips.  I didn’t dare use my favorite colors, and, ummmm, every color was my favorite!  🙂 Fortunately,  I was lucky enough to have multiple sets of crayons.  There was one that was dedicated for “show only”.     Kind of like your mom’s “good scissors” that were only for fabric.  I still think twice before using my scissors – every time!!!

Things haven’t changed much, I still love staring at color and I found my niche working here!  I’m so lucky!

So…when I saw this collection of “basics” or “blenders” by Dan Morris, I immediately fell in love.  This is my visual Ode to Scrollscapes and I hope you enjoy it!

Scrollscape Color Wheel

Click on the Wheel to go to the website and choose your favorite! Come back and comment with the one you love the most!!!


         This is my favorite color from Scrollscapes, Teal!  It’s so pretty!!!

Scrollscapes_fullfabric

Showing the full width of the fabric and it’s repeat. Measures approximately 44″ x 24″ from selvedge to selvedge.

Below, I took samples from the fabric to show the variations within the selvedge to selvedge repeat! So many great options.  It’s really a bunch of fabrics in one!

Scrollscapes_variations

5″ Sections from the repeat of the fabric… pretty fabulous!

I’ll be back next week to talk a little more about colors, color stories and how to pick the perfect palette for your next project!

Next week, I’ll announce a new contest where you could be the winner of a fat quarter of each of these colors!   Come on back, we want to spoil you with fabulous, colorful, Scrollscapes fabrics!


 

Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second.

                                                                                                                              ~ Mattie Stepanek  


 

Until next time…Use QT to create something that is fabulous…something fantastic… something FABTASTIC!

 

 

 

What are you most thankful for???

I am thankful for…  so many things.  I make it a point before I go to bed each night to think of something I was especially grateful for that day.  Of course, there are days of sunshine and days of shadows, but there is ALWAYS something to appreciate.

InBloom_JoyQuote

 click on the link “In Bloom” below to browse all the fabrics of this collection

The above designs are from our “In Bloom” collection by Dan Morris.   I love the rich, vivid colors and the beautiful flowers.  Color and pattern are some things that always bring me Joy, I hope you find joy in the little things today and always… Happy Thanksgiving!

 


Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.

                                                                                                                                            –  Ralph Marston


Until next time…Use QT to create something that is fabulous…something fantastic… something FABTASTIC!

Traveling Tuffet & What’s in stores!

Brenda_SewCreative_Threads

Brenda from Sew Creative Threads, Elkhart, IN

TRAVELING TUFFET ALERT!!!!!!!

The Tuffet is on the move!   Our mini-tuffet is off on her journey from Quilt Market in Houston!  First stop was the Shipshewana Fabric Show in Shipshewana, IN.  Our friend Brenda from Sew Creative Threads is holding our mini-tuffet.  The Ombre Scroll Stained Glass Quilt is featured on the wall.

 

 

Next stop: Our Traveling Tuffet made her way to Trevathan’s Sweep & Sew Shoppe in Hillsdale, MI.  What a fun shop window featuring QT’s Janet Wecker Frisch collection “Letter Stitch” .

Patti, is shown here in front of the great window display.

Trevathans2

Patty in front of Trevathan’s Sweep & Sew Shoppe

Trevathanss1

Janet Wecker Frisch’s Letter Stitch Collection

If you are in the area, swing by and say hello to these friends of QT!


 

In stores now, our new collections, Heads Up by Studio 8 and For Love of Country by Dan Morris for QT.  Take a look, there are a lot of great creative possibilities!  See the full collection and patterns by clicking on their names above.

Heads Up_blog In stores

For Love of Country_Blog


With much respect and gratitude, we honor all Veterans  past and present.  Thank you for your service!


 

TUFFETS!!! Quilt Market Recap #2

IMG_0114This picture is a bit blurry.  I apologize.  I was so excited to meet our friends Sharyn and Lori, I took this photo too quickly and well, you get the (fuzzy) picture 😉

This is Sharyn Cole (pictured on left), our friend and designer of the Tuffet.  Lori College (holding the mini tuffet on the right)  is Store Manager at Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill, NC and is friends with Sharyn.

Sharyn made these amazing tuffets for us out of our new Ombre Scroll fabrics we launched at Quilt Market in Houston.  The mini one was made just for us and we fell in love immediately, how can you not?

A tuffet is an upholstered stool, like a small ottoman.  They are so chic!

Sharyn’s passion is making tuffets.  She started her own business called “Tuffet Source”.  Her imaginative creations are lovely.  I cannot get over the different variations of tuffets in her gallery.  It is kind of amazing to see!  I hope you stop by her site and check it out, I will put her link at the bottom of the blog.  Her passion shines through in her work. It is always so wonderful to meet someone who enjoys their work so much and is so generous to share their creativity and passion with others.  THANK YOU SHARYN!!!

In our office here, we have to say TUFFET with a loud and proud voice!  When I first spoke with Sharyn on the phone, my co-worker noticed I was yelling TUFFET with such gusto and excitement.   It’s kind of the only way to say it now… Anyway, we are super excited, can’t you tell?

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                                                                Just beautiful…
Tuffet_Booth

Proudly displayed at Quilt Market in our new booth with the Ombre Scroll. Our “Festival of Stars” Block of the Month and “Stained Glass” quilts.

                         


To learn more about Sharyn and Tuffet Source, click this link!

 Tuffet Source : A touch of whimsy for your home


 

Finally, before I go, I wanted to let you know that we are going to be following our

“Traveling Tuffet”

on her adventure around the country.  Our regional sales managers will take turns hosting our very own mini-tuffet and it will be exciting to see where the journey takes her.  Stay tuned… find out where she is heading next!!!



“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson



Until next time…Use QT to create something that is fabulous…something fantastic… something FABTASTIC!

 

QT at Quilt Market – Recap #1

Well, a few of us have returned from Quilt Market in Houston.  The Marketing group arrived in Houston last Wednesday to set up and prep for our biggest trade show of the year!  International Quilt Market in Houston is an industry convention for shop owners to buy fabrics, notions, and patterns for their shops.  They come from all over the world and visit exhibitors like us to see our collections, network, and get inspired!  It’s a great event with lots of color and creativity!!!

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Above, see how color & creativity SHINE in our Block of the Month quilt “Festival of Stars” designed by Pine Tree Country Quilts and our “Stained Glass” quilt designed by Cyndi Hershey. Both feature our new Ombre Scroll fabric. These are just being shown at Market and will be available to shops in March 2016 – I know… “Patience is a virtue”. 🙂

While at market, most of the companies meet with peers and also with potentially new customers, magazine editors, book publishers and the like.  Our team has been busy!  We were especially excited for this market as we have a completely new booth!   This market was the launch of our new booth styling – hard walls with plenty of room to hang and pin quilts/fabric as well as a space for creating visual vignettes!

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One of the 4 Booth structures we now have at QT!

Speaking of vignettes, our licensed artist/designer, Janet Wecker Frisch had her own section that she beautifully decorated to show off her collection, Sewing Seeds II which will be available in stores in March 2016.

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And… if the décor wasn’t impressive enough, she and Jo Packham, founder of “Where Women Create” got together for an Issue signing. The Winter 2016 issue features Janet’s studio and gives a glimpse into her creative world.

That was just a snippet of Market, we’ll blog again soon to share more with you!!!



A great accomplishment shouldn’t be the end of the road, just the starting point for the next leap forward.

                                                                                                                                 Harvey Mackay



Until next time…Use QT to create something that is fabulous…something fantastic… something FABTASTIC!