Designer, Quilt Market

Spring Market 2017 Booth House Schedule

We can’t wait to see all of you in St. Louis, Missouri on May 19-21, 2017 at International Quilt Market! We have several exciting events happening in our booth #2328! See the schedule below for our “Booth House”.

Come join the fun!  Receive a passport from our booth and visit with your favorite Windham Fabrics Designers! Attend 3 booth houses and receive a stamp to then be entered to win a fabulous fabric prize from Windham and Anthology Fabrics!

Can’t attend Spring Market 2017? We’ll be posting live on our Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss out on the fun!

Booth House Events Spring 2017 Schedule

 

 

 

 

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Designer, Modern Fabric, New Fabric

Interview with Windham Fabrics Designer, Maria Carluccio

Hello Fabric Fanatics! 🙂

We are so excited to share our interview with Windham Fabrics Designer, Maria Carluccio!

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Q: What’s the story and inspiration behind your collection?

I was definitely inspired by my own cat Alegra, who as I write this, is ramming her head into my hand so I’ll pet her. She and all the cats I’ve know my entire life have inspired me to create this collection. Cats are all such amazing creatures, which I’m in awe of. I always think that when you live with an animal you begin to learn to speak a specific language with them. It’s as if you are bi lingual, you know what they mean (most of the time) and they know you as well. I guess that’s what made me consider the idea that cat’s could be obsessed with books just like me. I write and illustrate children’s book so that’s probably why I see characters and stories in most of the things I create. It was really fun to come up with the titles for the books too. What would a cat read? Why “A Tail of Two Kitties or Eat, Prey, Lick, of course.

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Q: Tell us a bit more about yourself, how did you start ?

I used to draw a lot as a kid. I remember one time I went into my basement (where I would do a lot of my art projects) and I drew a tube of toothpaste and toothbrush pretty realistically. I think I was about 11 or 12. I came up and showed my mother who was an artist, and she was impressed. I saw that I could do something others couldn’t do and it made me feel special. When I discovered that I would be praised for this talent I guess it drove me to keep going, to keep creating. It’s funny how our identity gets developed through such random things.

Q: What mood or point of view have you brought into this project?

I defiantly feel as though I want to inspire whimsy and humor in this project. I tried to create bold graphic shapes for this collection since cat silhouettes are pretty recognizable. I also wanted to make sure there was some sort of narrative aspect included as well. Cats are so funny to watch, they have such hilarious ways of moving through the world. When I create my art I try to include details so the viewer might be inspired to create their own narrative (in this case, they might see their own cat). I also love trying to pair things down to their essential qualities. I ask myself “how can I describe the actions of a cat in simplest terms possible.

Q: Describe your creative process when designing fabric.

Each project really varies. The “Smarty Cats” collection was based on a personal project I had been working on for a long time. It started as a pencil sketch of loads of crazy cats crammed together doing all different “cat things”.

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Sometimes, with complex images, I need to start with one small thing at a time. So I tried to see if I could create just one of those cats in color. After I did one I liked I just kept going and eventually I decided to have them all playing in a huge kitty condo. This image was the inspiration for my cat collection. cats posterI liked the playfulness, the expressions, the angular shapes and graphic nature. I tried to keep the integrity of that through out the collection. It’s funny, I did the “smarty cats” book cats piece after the kitty condo but “smarty cats” book cats was our favorite in the end so we decided to lead with that one and take out the kitty condo pattern all together.

Q: How did your collaboration with Windham Fabrics come about?

I was introduced to Windham through my friend Janine Vangool from Uppercase magazine. I have had my work in Uppercase over the years and I’m a big fan of Janine’s work as well. I told her how much I loved her patterns with Windham and she recommended my work to Mickey Kruger. It was incredibly generous of her and I’m so grateful she helped introduce me.

Q: How has your experience been working alongside Windham Fabrics on this collection?

I love working with Windham. They were incredibly supportive from the get go. I showed them a huge amount of art that we could choose from for my debut collection. Eventually we both really loved the kitty condo art. We both thought the kitty condo art could be easily expanded into a collection.  Originally I had a much softer color palette but Windham had wanted me to stick to the palette of the kitty condo art. I liked the bolder palette Sandy and Laura suggested. It was refreshing to try a palette I might not have considered before.

Q: Can you choose your favorite print from the collection and tell us why it’s your favorite?

I think I like the cat’s on bookshelf image best because its fun to find the cats, the mice and the titles on the books. I love patterns that have hidden “bonus” things. I also like the way the books themselves are a simple abstract pattern.

Q: What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

Probably my computer or phone. I always need to connect to the world through email and I need my computer to help bring my work to the next level at times. Personally, I can’t live with out my daughter. She’s really the most important person in my life.

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Q: What other designers, makers or artists inspire your work?

There are so many. I love the work of Paul Rand, who I was lucky enough to take a summer studies course with years ago. I also love the work of Paul Klee, Leo Espinoza, Jon Klassen, Isabelle Arsenault, Roger Duvoisin,  Sara Gillingham, Sonia Delaunay, Ben Shaun, Robert Roth, Penny Dullaghan, Jane Ormes, Katsumi Komagata, and Aurore de la Morinerie. Just to name a few…

Q: Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy you live by?

Different messages resonate at different times in my life. I have a big stack of 3×5 cards with quotes of phrases that I jot down all the time. Here are a few I’ve been looking at recently.

“Time is precious, don’t waste it wishing you were someone else”.

“Take what you have here and now and do something with it”.

“Curiosity is addictive”.

“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you feel alive because the world needs people who can come alive”.

Q: What are you up to when you’re not designing?

I love to be in nature. I also love swimming and yoga, although I wish I did that more than I actually do. I just really enjoy being out in the world, it gets hard to work from home at times, I really need to get out and meet people, to feel connected to my community or I can get kind of blue. I find inspiration through exposing myself to the arts, like seeing films, hearing music and meeting awesome people.

Q: Do you have any other upcoming projects lined up for 2017-2018?

I am juggling a few projects right now. One is an interactive dress up flipbook that allows kids to choose different patterns for each character in order to create an outfit. It will be published by Chronicle books and should be out sometime next year I believe.

I’m also working on a book dummy but that’s very slow going…I stop and start all the time. I have a few dummies in the works these days. I am also getting geared up for Surtex this Spring. I’m excited to have a booth this year but there’s a lot of prep work. Finally, I always do my “collage or drawing a day” sketch book which I post on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter everyday. I’ve been doing this for over a year now. It’s a great way for me to explore anything I’m curious about and share it with the world.

Thank you so much Maria!

Be sure to follow her on Instagram @carluccio7

Smarty Cats is available in a quilt shop near you!

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Interview with Windham Fabrics Designer, Natalie Barnes and her debut collection “Hand Maker”

Today,we are so pleased to share our interview with Natalie Barnes from Beyond the Reef Patterns. Her debut collection “Hand Maker” is available in local quilt shops! We can’t wait to see what fabric goodies you sew up with it!

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Q: What’s the story and inspiration behind your collection?

That’s an easy one, but a touching one.

#morningwalkswithbuddy.

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This hash tag captured all of the posts of all of the flower, color, and inspiration that Buddy (the dog) and I encountered on our travels, our walks, hikes, visits….

One morning, he didn’t want to walk.  I stayed awake with him that night, and by the next day, he was gone.  Almost seven years to the day that I brought him home.

When the UPS guy delivered the box of sample yardage for Hand Maker later that same month, we both stopped for a moment and had a good cry.

Because Hand Maker was made up of all of the things that Buddy and I had experienced together.  All I could do was whisper, “We did it, Buddy…..we did it….”

I have to admit, it took me a while before I could cut into that fabric….

Q: Tell us a bit more about yourself, how did you start ?

It was my grandmother, not my mother, that introduced me to the needle arts when I was pretty young.  Knitting, crocheting, embroidery, sewing, you know.  The “hand work” of a child.

That  translated into embroidered jeans as a summer camp counselor.

As for quilting, my high school boyfriend made me a quilt while he was on the “injured list”.  Bright sunny yellow and grass green polyester.  (I think his mother might have had something to do with that!!)  Not to be outdone, I headed to the library, stopped at Woolworth’s and got to work drafting quilt patterns onto brown paper bags.  To this day, I have a hard time working in bright sunny true yellow.  And in my stash?  I think I have one piece.  Just one piece of true yellow fabric…..

I started beyond the reef pattern company while visiting a girlfriend in Hawaii.  I made each of us a quilt kit – needle turn appliqué – and the rest, as they say, is history.  At that time I was still working designing commercial and corporate interiors – beyond the reef became my “second job”.

Q: What mood or point of view have you brought into this project?

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We are makers.

We create a business, we make a home, we make a family, we make pies and gardens…we make friends…..and we make quilts.

Even if you are not a quilter, I can guess you’re making something…..a Thanksgiving dinner, a table filled with those you love and those that love you…..

We are Makers.  By our own hands, we make.

Q: How has your experience been working alongside Windham Fabrics on this collection?

Windham Fabrics is such a fabulous company.  Made up of a great  team of people – there’s that key ingredient again, people.  The team is concise and competent and willing to share skills.  And I am learning so very much!!

When you see the President of a company participating in industry interviews – sharing volumes of information – and then rolling up his sleeves to help break down a Market booth, you know you are seeing a company with a great leader at the helm.  I’m a firm believer of this – as the head of the company goes, so goes the company.  It’s from an old Italian saying….

Q: Describe your creative process when designing fabric.

Someone at a lecture asked what my “schedule” was – front to back – to design a line of fabric.   You know – what I did on day one and how many days it took until I was finished.  Gosh, I couldn’t really answer her.

After giving it some thought, I explained, I walk the dog, and look at all of the flowers and branches and rocks.  Drive from point a to b and spot a fence or a series of windows and pull over to sketch the geometry.  Stop to photograph peeling paint and weathered wood.  Enjoy a breakfast with friends and see how the color of the maple syrup works with the oatmeal verses the waffles.  (oh, oh….)

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Today I saw a Victoria Findlay Wolfe post about some gummy bears that Carolyn Friedlander had given her at Fall Market.  What did I see…..color scheme!  (and where does one get teal gummy bears, by the way….)

It’s not a straight line process for me – it’s definitely organic!

It’s life.

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Q: Can you choose your favorite print from the collection and tell us why it’s your favorite?

I didn’t think you were supposed to have a favorite child…..

Okay, well, can I have a three way tie?

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Let me think.  Okay.  One of my favorites is the red print called “Pie”.  (as in venting the top crust of a pie, or docking the bottom crust).  Because it reminds me of baking with my goddaughter, LittleNatalie, and because it’s the one fabric that everyone points to and says, “I don’t think that red belongs in this collection at all!”.  (smirk)

Q: What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

People first and foremost.

It’s not so much the event but the people with which you share it.

It’s not so much the dinner, but the people around one’s table.

Could I live on a deserted island?  Exist, yes, but not LIVE.

Okay.  One thing. The garden.  Wait.  The dog.  Or Music.

When it comes to quilting, I’d say my industrial Bernina machine,  the two “tailor’s thimbles” that I happened to find at a tag sale (I have “big” hands and fingers) and Chenille needles.  Oh, and Pearle 8.

May I also add….my big giant haas avocado tree in my postage stamp yard at the beach.

And any given sunrise or sunset.

(is that more than one?  that’s more than one…..)

Q: What other designers, makers or artists inspire your work?

I look down a long long aisle at any given International Quilt Market, and I have to say, “there is a WHOLE LOTTA talent in this room”.  And it’s true.I am inspired every day by so many…..it’s like the “pick your favorite fabric in the collection” question.  Eeeep.

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I am always inspired by Gehry, Eames, Aalto, Calder, Moore, Knoll, Sottsas, Definitely Kahn, and Meier.  Always Meier.  Leonard Cohen.  Vector.  Morphosis.  The deZeen “hot list”.   Colbie Caillat, Andra Day, Alexi Murdoch, Brandon Heath, Tchaikovsky.  Xavier Rudd.

We live in such exciting times!  The doors have been flung wide open on design, if you ask me.  All sorts of design.  Food, cocktails, music, architecture, clothing design…..

As for quilters, I would say the same.  Every quilter I meet has some way that they inspire.  Every Quilter.  My local MQG makes pillows for parents whose children have passed.  They are presented on “the one year anniversary” to the parents by the staff at Miller Children’s Hospital.  For that, I am inspired.  That’s something I don’t think I could do.  But I am inspired by it.

I am inspired by the woman who stopped by my booth to chat, at this last Market.  She is creating a program for the prison system in Texas to teach quilting.  She had just finished a similar prison program, making needed cribs.

Inspiration comes in all forms.  We just have to be open to it.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy you live by?

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future….” Victor Hugo

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius power and magic in it.” Goethe

Or the (dated) Nike ad campaign “they will tell you no….and you will tell them yes.”

John Wooden on leadership…..

Q: What are you up to when you’re not designing?

Would it be bad if I said there’s no on+off switch? I’m always looking, photographing, drawing, sewing, stitching, knitting…..it’s a lifestyle, this creative life.

That’s not to say that I’m not traveling, gardening, enjoying the company of good friends…..….oh, and “taking long walks by the beach at sunset with the dog”.

(I adopted a dog after the Spring Market release of Hand Maker – and at the moment, Stitch and I are working together on making him a good dog-member of society).

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Q: Do you have any other upcoming projects lined up for 2017-2018?

I am really honored to say I have a second line of fabrics being released by Windham Fabrics!  But you won’t see it for a while…..it will be a Spring Market 2017 release, available to shops in the Fall.  That means you’ll have lots of time to sew up lots of gifts and projects and quilts using Hand Maker.

And, well, if you have a little Hand Maker left…..I’m gonna bet it will coordinate with “Maker’s Home”….

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I’m also really excited to be teaching again in July at Quilter’s Affair for the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon….such a special event!  And, well, you know how much I love teaching and attending conferences and retreats.  Because, well, it’s all about the people!

Thanks so much Natalie!

Be sure to visit her at Beyond the Reef

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Designer, Fabric design, Modern Fabric, New Fabric

Fabric Friday! Guest Post by Kristen of Two Blondes and a Sewing Machine

Hello again and Happy FABRIC FRIDAY!!! Heather Ross’ new line Sleeping Porch has been popping up on social media all over the place as it arrives in stores. I am so inspired by the projects I’ve seen with it so far.

This line is truly versatile and I continue to dream up more projects with it!

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My third garment I made with the fabric is the Sutton Blouse. It’s so so perfect! The pattern is a flowy top just perfect for this line. I cannot wait to wear it on our next date night! Spring is almost here in Texas and the lightweight feel of lawn is the dream for Texas spring.

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My next project I want to share with you is something very special to me. About two months ago I hit a creative block. I didn’t have a desire to sew and I honestly didn’t have time with an eight month old that didn’t nap and wanted mom 100% of the time. Enter Suzy Quilts. She started a series called Sew Mojo and I was truly inspired. I loved the simplicity of the project, yet it’s ability to give you freedom and still grow your skills. This mini is based off of Sew Mojo #2. It was so fun sewing this together with no real rules and then playing with hand quilting afterwards. The perfect project.

 

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The last project I want to share with you is a work in progress. If you’ve been venturing around the quilting world for a while you may have come across Wild Boho’s embroidery hoops. They are GORGEOUS!!! I was lucky enough to snag her first book Boho Embroidery and have been dreaming of making one myself. She is hosting a #bohosal for the year and I chose three of the prints from Sleeping Porch to be my projects. I’m beyond excited about it and the idea of having something to come to all year for some creative fun!

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Ok, so it’s official. Sleeping Porch has stolen my heart. I cannot wait to see what starts popping up as more and more of you get your hands on it!

 

Happy Sewing!

 

Kristen of Two Blondes and a Sewing Machine

 

 

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Apparel, Designer, Modern Fabric, New Fabric

Fabric Friday featuring Sleeping Porch by Heather Ross! Guest post by Kristen of Two Blondes and a Sewing Machine

Today’s Fabric Friday post is brought to you by Kristen of Two Blondes and a Sewing Machine!

Heather Ross has done it again! Her newest line-Sleeping Porch-is filled with whimsical prints all on buttery cotton lawn fabric. The collection contains 25 pieces-six solids and nineteen prints. The first time you see Sleeping Porch, you will be in love! It not only works beautifully as garment fabric, but also lends itself well with quilting. Lawns have become more and more popular as a cross-over fabric that is versatile and luxurious!

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When I first received my Sleeping Porch fabric, I just KNEW I had to make a kimono. I’ve been dying to try out my sweet friend SewCaroline’s pattern-Florence Kimono.  It was a quick and easy sew, perfect for your first garment. I went with the longest length because I wanted it to be flowy. This has become my go to outfit accessory, dressing up a simple t shirt and making my outfit stand out!

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My second thought for the line was silky pj shorts!!! In Texas shorts are about the only thing I wear when lounging around the house, it’s been in the 70’s this winter, sigh! My favorite pattern to whip up is SewCaroline’s Parkside Shorts. They are a fun sew, a little more advanced than the kimono, but still a great pattern for someone newer to garment sewing. The elastic waist makes them super comfy, especially paired the buttery feel of the lawn.

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This line has so many possibilities, I cannot even scratch the surface of all the projects I dream of seeing Sleeping Porch in. Next week I’ll be showing off my Sleeping Porch blouse and embroidery hoops!

 

Happy Sewing!

 

Kristen of Two Blondes and a Sewing Machine

 

 

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