Designer, Modern Fabric, New Fabric

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!


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

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



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?


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….)


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.


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?

42006-11 Cherry.jpg


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…’s like the “pick your favorite fabric in the collection” question.  Eeeep.


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…’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).


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… 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”….


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

2cabinmochi copy

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!



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.



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.





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!



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



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!


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!



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.



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



Blog Hop, Designer, Fabric design, Giveaway, Modern Fabric, New Fabric

Curious Dream Blog Hop


At Fall Market 2016, we had an incredible display featuring the debut collection of “Curious Dream” by Angela Pingel !  We couldn’t get over how many fantastic projects were created with this line! From trendy apparel to statement making quilts, this collection is a subtle take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland you have got to see.  If you haven’t checked out  the look book yet, click  here.



The next 12 days are going to be packed full of sewing goodness! Follow along with the Curious Dream Blog Hop! What other Windham Fabrics collections can you pair with this dreamy fabric? Be sure to visit each stop to see!


Curious Dream Blog Hop Stops 

Monday, December 12th – Windham Fabrics

Tuesday , December 13th – Kelly Bowser –Kelby Sews 

Wednesday, December 14th – Brooke Sellmann- Silly Mama Quilts 

Thursday, December 15th – Wendy Sheppard –Ivory Spring

Friday, December 16th – Rebecca Bryan – Bryan House Quilts  

Saturday, December 17th –  Chris Dodsley- Made by ChrissieD

Sunday December 18thAurifil

Monday, December 19th-  Jennie-  Clover & Violet 

Tuesday, December 20th – Stephanie Kendron – Modern Sewciety  

Wednesday, December 21st – Joanne from  The Fat Quarter Gypsy

Thursday, December 22nd – Heidi Staples – Fabric Mutt  

Friday, December 23rd – Round up post at Windham Fabrics

Be sure to comment on our post for a chance to win a Fat Quarter bundle of the line!

The giveaway will be open from now until 8PM PST on Thursday, December 22, 2016. The winner for this bundle will be picked at random and we will announce the name HERE on Friday, December 23, 2016.

This giveaway is open to everyone, USA and International.

If you’re a “no reply” or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment!

Happy hopping!

Designer, Fabric design, Modern Fabric, New Fabric

Interview with Windham Fabrics Designer Felice Regina and her debut collection “Luna Sol”

Hello Fabric Lovers!

We are recovering from Fall Market and will be posting our recap about it really soon! We have so many new colelctions to share with you!

Today, we spoke with Windham Fabrics Designer , Felice Regina about her debut fabric collection, “Luna Sol” (which is in stores NOW). felice_regina_pink


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

Luna Sol is my personal interpretation of the moon bunny from East Asian folklore. I latched onto the idea of the moon bunny years ago as a metaphor for different aspects of my identity. To me, he represents cycles, introversion, introspection, and the nature of creativity. Just as the moon goes through phases, I’ve noticed I go through a regular cycle in my creative process. I also tend to live in my own little world most of the time, so the idea of a singular bunny living on the moon seemed fitting.


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

I think I toe the line between childhood and adulthood in terms of my style. I want everything to be irresistibly cute yet I don’t want it to be juvenile. I think it brings us all to a place where we don’t worry about things being age-appropriate and we just focus on what makes us smile!


Fat Quarter Bundle of Luna Sol by Felice Regina for Windham Fabrics

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

I met one of my fabric design idols, Heather Ross, at Quilt Con 2015, and she introduced me to Mickey Krueger and the Windham team. I’ve heard people say “never meet your hero” before, but it seemed to work out well for me!

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

10/10, would recommend! Laura Jaquinto is so perceptive and personable. She seems to instinctively know just how much guidance to offer to help me achieve my goals without steering me in an unnatural direction. She’s the kind of person who knows how to fan your creative flames and get you excited to work. I’m a little suspicious Crystal Nilpirom might be part cyborg, because she’s on top of coordinating everything 24/7. I never have to worry about anything falling through the cracks or being forgotten because she magically keeps everything on task.


Luna Sol booth featured at Spring Market 2016

Q: Describe your creative process when designing fabric .

I start with the overall theme of the collection and make a list of anything and everything that comes to mind in relation to that theme. Once I have a long list, I go through and try to imagine how that object or idea would best be interpreted as a fabric. I’m thinking about repeat size, density, number of colors, directionality, etc. I sketch out quick, rough thumbnails (usually less than 30 seconds each) to visualize the layout. I try to find a balance of tossed designs, stripes, dots, simple and complex repeats so the collection will be well rounded before I even being making the artwork.

Making the actual artwork feels extremely relaxed once I have all the technical details figured out. Most of the times, it feels like I’m just doodling. The stress doesn’t kick in until the designs are complete and it’s time to select colors. I probably spend more time on color than illustration because the possibilities are infinite.


“Northern Lights” Free Pattern by Felice Regina and available on Windham Fabrics

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

Never stop learning and let curiosity be your guide.

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

Wasting time on the internet, playing video games with my husband, and willfully ignoring the basket of clean laundry that needs to be put away.

Thank you so much Felice! Be sure to visit her at :

Happy Sewing!