Today we’re very excited to welcome Julie Herman to the Fat Quarterly blog!  Julie is the voice behind the popular Jaybird Quilts blog and is an amazing quilter and pattern designer to boot.  Today, Julie’s answering some of our questions, introducing the Fat Quarterly audience to some of her newest pattern designs, and even offering a few giveaway gifts for some lucky readers.

We hope you enjoy this fun Q&A to help get to know Julie better!

FQ: Congratulations on the release of your new quilt patterns! Can you tell us a bit more about each one?

Thank you! It’s been a busy few months in land of Jaybird Quilts. Since March I have announced 8 new patterns and have one more to reveal before market.

Unwind plays with negative space to create stars in the background. It uses 2 1/2″ strips and is a great design to feature a collection of fabric.

Firecracker is a great quilt to feature some of your favorite fabrics. It requires only a fat eighth of each to create the left and right firecrackers.

Hugs & Kisses is quickly becoming my top selling pattern. The design creates X’s and O’s which is where the name came from. I call this my start crossed lovers quilt. One of the best parts of this pattern is that it looks complicated but is actually very easy to put together.

Fast Forward is bold, fast & fun! I’ve always had a fascination with column quilts and this pattern developed from that. I know that a black background is a bold choice, but for this fabric it was the perfect choice.

Carnival is a twist on a basic pinwheel. It uses pre-cut 10″ squares to create this fun spring quilt of spinning pinwheels.

Plaid Parade is the result of combining plaid and argyle together. It’s a great pattern for large scale prints that you don’t want to cut up into little pieces.

Off the Rail is a modern spin on a traditional favorite. It’s a fat quarter pattern but it would also be a great stash buster.

Chopsticks is my newest pattern & currently my favorite. With the help of a 60° ruler you can perfectly cut all the pieces and make this quilt in a weekend.

…. and one more to come!

Most of my patterns have size options with all of the fabric requirements on the back for easy shopping.

FQ: You’ve got a great sense of fabric and pattern. Can you suggest a few alternative fabric choices for some of your patterns? What new fabric lines do you think would best bring your patterns to life?

I’m attracted to clear, bold, saturated prints. I often call my color style “crayon box” since I prefer to work with those colors over subtle ones.

Patty Young just showed a sneak peek of her new line “Grand Bazaar” and I can see it being a fantastic line of fabric to use for many of my patterns.

Anything by Momo would also be great.

Solids – I have a version of fast forward started that is in all solids and it’s looking amazing.

With the help of some friends I’ll have a few new samples of my patterns at market in different fabrics to show people the possibilities!

FQ: Speaking of fabric, what are your top 5 favorite prints right now?

Top 5?? I’m supposed to pick just 5?? Well I’m in a green mood today… so here are my 5 favorite greens right now:

ANM-11203-49 Olive by Nancy Mims from Pick A Bunch

APC-10997-43 Leaf by Piece O’ Cake Designs from Treasures and Tidbits

Lizzy House – green pearl bracelet (basra blue 1001 Peeps)

Modern Workshop Courtyard Green Roundabout Dots SKU# 11175-14

EIP-11018-47 Grass from Metro Living

FQ: Congratulations also on having your first booth at Quilt Market later this month in Salt Lake City! Tell us what market visitors can expect from your booth.

Thanks… eek!! It’s so close now! People can expect to see a fun space showcasing my patterns as they have seen them & a few in some new fabric collections. I’m also doing a schoolhouse on Thursday with Joan Hawley {} of Lazy Girl Designs.

3:10 – 3:40
Joan Hawley & Julie Herman
Lazy Angle: Strip Cut Pieces for Perfect Points

FQ: Readers of your blog know that you are an expert user of specialty rulers and notions. (I recently bought 2 specialty rulers based on your great tutorials!) Tell us why you love these notions so much, and what are some of your current favorites?

It isn’t a secret that I love specialty rulers. Not all rulers are worth the price tag, but when I find a ruler that I love I enjoy sharing it with others. A good specialty ruler can significantly cut down your prep time and increase accuracy.

Of course my favorite right now is the Lazy Angle ruler by Joan Hawley. {}
The ruler has so many possibilities and you can just play for hours!

My #2 ruler right now is the new 12.5″ Creative Grids 60° ruler that I featured in my Chopsticks pattern. I really enjoy using 60° angles to create triangles & hexagons and this new large ruler has so many possibilities!

I know that sometimes people are nervous to buy them or that they don’t fit into that month’s quilt budget. For this purpose I have included full size templates with all of my patterns that use specialty rulers.

FQ: Look into your crystal ball and tell us what you predict will be some of the biggest industry trends at Spring Market this month.

The first trend that I’ve already seen a peek at is Purple. A few designers have already shown sneak peeks of their lines to be released at Market and Purple is back!

Now into my crystal ball… I see lots of beautiful fabric, great tools and amazing quilt patterns. :-)

FQ: What does 2011 and beyond have in store for Jaybird Quilts?

I hope to teach more and continue to develop more patterns. Past that I’m trying to take each day one at a time and see where this road takes me. The last 4 months have been a whirlwind and I’m looking forward to a bit of rest as well!

Thank you FQ for having me!!

And now for the goodies.  I have three amazing prizes for you. Thank you to Robert Kaufman for the fabric and Creative Grids for the rulers!

Prize #1 will get you started with Unwind. It includes the pattern, a roll up of the fabric featured on the cover “Pick a Bunch” by Nancy Mims and a Lazy Angle Ruler.

Prize #2 will get you started with Fast Forward. It includes the pattern, a roll up of the fabric featured on the cover “Treasures & Tidbits” by Piece O’ Cake Designs and a Lazy Angle Ruler.

Prize #3 will get you started with the Lazy Angle Ruler and 5 of my new patterns! The possibilities are endless!

Thanks again, Julie!  Interested in winning one of Julie’s fantastic prizes?  Simply leave a comment on this post letting us know which of Julie’s new patterns is your favorite, and what fabrics you would use to bring that pattern to life.  We’ll leave the giveaway open for almost a week, and will announce our winners next Wednesday, 5/11.  Good luck, and happy sewing!