community news

FQS Designer Mystery Block of the Month

We’re excited to share that the Fat Quarter Shop is hosting another fabulous Designer Mystery Block of the Month.  The 2012 Designer Mystery BOM, the FQS’s 5th annual program, may just be their best yet.  Why?  Well, for starters, it features the fabulous new line by Bonnie & Camille for Moda, Vintage Modern.

Need some more reasons to check it out?  This sampler quilt features 12 wonderful blocks from Moda designers, including our friends Aneela Hoey, Kate Spain, the fabulous ladies of Sweetwater, and of course Camille Roskelley herself.

Seriously, you could make a trash bag out of these gorgeous fabrics and it would be the most beautiful trash bag ever, so we can only imagine how stunning the Designer Mystery BOM quilt is going to be.  We’d share more … but of course it’s a mystery!

So if you love block of the month programs — and, really, who doesn’t?! — we wholeheartedly recommend this top notch program.  If you decide to play along, tell Kimberly and her awesome Fat Quarter Shop staff that Fat Quarterly sent you, and please share photos of your blocks and finished quilts in the Fat Quarterly Flickr group!

SLICED | A Moda Bake Shop Competition

Are you as big a fan of reality show competitions as I am?  I love Top Chef, Project Runway, Work of Art, Chopped — basically, if skilled and crafty people are showing off their stuff, then I’m in.  My kids even have me hooked on Cupcake Wars.  Which is why we here at Fat Quarterly are so excited to see the latest (and fiercest) sewing and quilting competition unfold.  I’m talking about SLICED, the latest activity brought to you by Oda May and the master bakers at the Moda Bake Shop.

Haven’t heard of Sliced?  Well, here’s a quick break-down of how it’s gonna work:

Sliced is an online sewing competition where four crafty people will compete before a panel of judges. They will have 5 days to use their creative talents to develop a project with a sewing basket of mystery items given to them on the first day of each week {crafters must provide their own items}.

Once they have completed their project, the panel of judges will critique the projects from each challenge and will decide who will  be SLICED and who will continue on to the next week and a new challenge. We will have a surprise guest judge each week of the competition. The competition will run March 4 – 31, 2012. Each week, someone will be “Sliced” from the competition until only one winner remains. Do you have what it takes to become the next Moda Bake Shop Chef?

More details about the rules of the competition can be found here.

And there are prizes, too.  Oh, are there prizes …

Unfortunately, the call for entries ends tonight — so if this is the first you’re hearing of the contest, then you’d better work fast to enter!  The good news is that we can admire all of the entries in the Sliced Flickr group, and watch the action unfold the Moda Bake Shop blog.

And who knows — you may even see a friendly Fat Quarterly face pop up as a guest judge later in the competition …

By |February 29th, 2012|community news|0 Comments

Sewing Summit (aka Katy’s triumphant return to Salt Lake City!)

We’re huge supporters of Erin & all of the work that she and her team have done to bring what began as a really good idea to life.  They put on the first Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City last October and it was an undeniable success.  So much so, that its attendees hadn’t even returned home yet when everyone was already itching to make reservations for the 2012 event.

Well, good news, friends!  The dates for this year’s event have been announced: October 11-13, back in the same venue in SLC.  Registration’s not open just yet, but you can sign up for the Sewing Summit newsletter to be among the first to be notified when it does.

And some even more exciting news: our very own Katy Jones has been selected to be an instructor for Sewing Summit 2012!  You won’t want to miss her (sure to be) awesome class on English Paper Piecing.  The chance to learn English Paper Piecing from a genuine Brit?  Yes, please!

Oh, and you also won’t want to miss the unique spectacle of seeing Katy cross the street in Salt Lake City.  TRUST ME on this one.

Photos taken in Salt Lake City during Spring Quilt Market 2011!

By |February 22nd, 2012|community news|3 Comments


The Modern Quilt Guild announces Quilt Con in Austin, TX, February 21-24 2013 with keynote speaker, Denyse Schmidt.

But what is QuiltCon?

QuiltCon will be the first modern quilt show and conference of it’s kind, and will incorporate a juried quilt show (with cash prizes), vendors, lectures and workshops  from top modern quilters, including Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner, Elizabeth Hartman, Malka Dubrowsky, Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.

In less than 3 years the Modern Quilt Guild has expanded rapidly to include thousands of members in over 100 chapters, all across the world. Founder and board member, Latifah Saafir says ‘it became obvious to us that the next step for our (Modern Quilt Guild) members was offer an event that was custom tailored for them’.

‘We hope our conference attendees can learn new techniques and strengthen their quilting skills with the most influential and recognized modern quilters in the world’ said Alissa Haight Carlton, founder and president of the Modern Quilt Guild.

Sign up to the newsletter at the QuiltCon website, follow on twitter for updates – don’t miss out on the news!

By |February 20th, 2012|community news|3 Comments

The Basic Charity Challenge 2012

For the second year in a row, Cara Wilson from Cara Quilts has issued a challenge to the quilting community.  Cara, the host of the ever-popular weekly #talknt chat on Twitter for quilters everywhere, is asking for us all to help those less fortunate in our communities and, in return, she’s offering up some fantastic prizes.  Here’s more from Cara’s post on the 2012 challenge:

In our daily lives we have a lot of things we think of as basics.
This morning you brushed your teeth with a toothbrush and tooth paste.
You used toilet paper.
Had soap to wash your hands.
Put on some deodorant.
Ran a brush through your hair.
Maybe took a shower with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and a razor.
Put some make-up on.
You were able to put on clean underwear and socks, that no one else has ever worn.
In the kitchen did you grab some paper towels to clean up a little spill?
At some point during the day you probably grabbed a coffee or tea.
Used some tissue to blow your nose. Maybe sanitized your hands after.
I could go on but you probably have the point by now. We have a LOT of things that we consider basics.
In each of our communities there are places that people don’t have the very basic things we all take for granted. Shelters — for abused women/children, homeless, men’s missions — exist in virtual every community. They are a necessary safety net for people in our communities who for an array of reasons need help. But these shelters are almost always in need of the basic items. Many of the people have had to leave everything behind, or don’t have anything to begin with.
So here’s Cara’s challenge: identify a local shelter or charitable organization in your local community.  Ask them what they need.  Check online — they probably have a website and most have a list of what is needed at that particular time.  Make a donation of basic goods, and upload a picture of your donation to the Flickr group.  That’s it!  By doing so, you’ll be eligible to win some great prizes from Cara’s very generous sponsors, like fat quarter bundles, jelly rolls, quilting books, patterns, and more.
But the best prize of all will be knowing you made a difference.

Want to spread the word?  Blog about the Basic Charity Challenge 2012, and add the button to your blog or site.  Here’s the code:

<a href=”” title=”Basic Charity Challenge 2012 by cara quilts, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”159″ height=”146″ alt=”Basic Charity Challenge 2012″></a>

By |February 6th, 2012|community news|1 Comment

Community News

Dolores from a Labour of Love has decided to host a sew-a-long featuring projects from the latest issue of Fat Quarterly.  This issue is all about paper piecing  and Dolores is encouraging everyone to sewalong and share their experiences making projects from it.  She has made a wonderful button which you can grab from the sidebar of her blog.  Her opening post is here if you want to join in.
FQ8 Paper Piecing Sew Along

She’s set up a Flickr group, FQ8 Paper Piecing Sew Along.  Don’t worry, if you don’t have a Flickr account, she’s going to set up a linky party at the end of each month and everyone can add their links to that.  Here are some of the projects you might choose from.

So the nitty gritty about the group. This is not a “how-to group” with tutorials. You will need to have your own copy of Fat Quarterly Issue 8 (it’s a download so you get to have it straight away!). The group is a place for everyone to support each other through the process of making the projects.

You may wish to concentrate on one particular technique like foundation piecing or freezer paper piecing or English paper piecing or have a go at all three. You may be planning to make every project or just concentrate on one or two, it doesn’t matter, everyone is welcome.

Let us know if you’re joining in and make sure you also add your pictures to the Fat Quarterly Flickr group so that we can admire your work too!

Community News – fancy a quiltalong?

Well if you want to join in with a whole gang of other quilters all around the world, all working on the same quilt, all at the same time, all in different fabrics, all in your own homes but chatting online about how you’re getting along, then a quiltalong is what you need and there are plenty to choose from at the moment.  Here are a few that might tempt you.  Leave us a comment below letting us know if anything on this list has already tempted you or if you are in the middle of one we haven’t listed (and there are plenty more out there).


Masterminded by the mad genius that is our very own Katy Jones aka I’m a Ginger Monkey, already 450 quilters all around the globe are making the wonderful Swoon quilt designed by Camille Roskelly.  Go here to join the fun filled Flickr group. And here is a quilt kit you can buy for the quilt from Robert Kaufman.

Bust Yo Scraps

Brenda from the Pink Castle fabric shop and Just a Bit Frayed is hosting a scrap busting QAL to make this wonderful quilt.  Head on over to this starter post to get going on this QAL and start busting yo scraps.  Wow, when I say that I sound American.

Chelsea at Pins and Bobbins is hosting a Made in Cherry QAL making Sarah Fielke’s wonderful quilt shown below:

Erin and Ali have taken Pantone’s colour of the year and launched the Tangerine Challenge challenging quilters to make something using tangerine coloured fabrics.  Find the Flickr group here where you can find the rules of the challenge.   Here are Erin’s two most tangerine fabrics according to her Kona colour card.

And if, like many of us out there in quiltblogland, you are going to try to shop from you stash as much as possible this year, then Rachel’s Scrap Attack QAL is the one you want.  A series of inspiring tutorials will help you on your way as you make a scrap quilt and join in the fun over at Stitched in Color. The picture below shows a tutorial by scrap queen Chawne.

There are plenty more QALs out there.  Please feel free to leave links in the comments to any you are running or playing along with if they are not listed here.  And whether or not they are listed here, let us know which ones you’re playing along with!

By |January 20th, 2012|community news|12 Comments

Gen Q Music Monday: Break Out!

Do you enjoy our Designer Challenges?  You know, the ones where we ask Fat Quarterly readers to create something based solely on a single piece of inspiration, or using a specific material, or by trying a new technique?  Well, our friends at Generation Q Magazine have just launched their fun new challenge series, Music Monday.  The idea is that the team at Gen Q will select a music video and have their readers show off what it inspired them to create.

Their first pick to kick off the challenge?  A blast from the past called “Break Out”, by Swing Out Sister.  Remember this one?  Check out the video below (and behold the awesome sewing sequence that kicks it off!), and then head over to the Gen Q blog to read more details about the rules, their Flickr group, and the announcement of their guest celebrity judges for the first challenge.  (Here’s a hint: IT’S US!)

So what are you waiting for?  BREAK OUT!

We love We Love French Knots!

There’s no denying the crossover that’s happening in the quilting, fabric, and embroidery worlds.  From fabric designers like Lizzy House introducing embroidery patterns to complement their fabric lines (see her Castle Peeps and Outfoxed projects) to established embroidery designers like Natalie Lyman of Cinderberry Stitches now releasing fabric collections (we love her upcoming Woodland line!), it’s clear that today’s modern crafter is expanding the ways in which she wants to express herself and her craft.

That’s why the timing was perfect for artist and fabric designer Bari J. Ackerman, a longtime lover of hand embroidery and embroidery pattern designer (you can find her original designs in her shop), to launch her new site We Love French Knots.  In Bari’s words, We Love French Knots is a site devoted to “modern embroidery”; and, by modern, she means a contemporary approach to embroidery with a strong nod to the rich history and legacy of hand embroidery.  We wanted to learn more about We Love French Knots, as well as introduce the site to the Fat Quarterly community, so we sat down with Bari for a few quick questions.

What was your motivation for starting up a brand new embroidery website?  What did you feel was missing in the blogosphere?

It wasn’t so much that I felt something was lacking in the blogosphere, but more that I love hand embroidery, and wanted to share it. We Love French Knots shares my vision of what I think people today are doing in embroidery.

Photo courtesy of Laura Bray

What’s your vision and goal for We Love French Knots?

The blog has tutorials and loads of inspiration and free patterns. (Editors’ note: the FQ team especially loves the free patterns by Nicole of Follow the White Bunny and Alyssa of Penguin & Fish. Check ‘em out!) I wanted to get people stitching. Clearly there is a big trend toward it already, but I sensed hesitation from a lot of people. I want people to know that they can do it. It’s not crazy complicated, and you don’t have to be perfect.  I would love to see We Love French Knots turn into a e-magazine and then possibly see it in print. I have lots of ideas, and I think there is ton that I can do with it. I see embroidery just getting bigger and bigger.

Stitched by Aimee Ray

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about hand embroidery?

I think that people have a misconception that it’s terribly difficult. It’s not. Also, I have heard “embroidery is a dying art.” Not so. I think it’s enjoying a renaissance.

Stitched by Alyssa Thomas of Penguin & Fish

Do you find that many sewists & quilters are afraid of hand embroidery?  What advice would you give them?

Yes, I think that’s true. To those people, I’d say jump in. Don’t be afraid of making a mess or ruining floss, fabric etc. You can start over at any point. Start with less expensive materials.

Stitched by Cathy Gaubert

What are some ways that sewists & quilters might consider incorporating embroidery into other sewing projects (bags, quilts, etc.)?

I love seeing embroidery in quilts and other projects. You probably know that I love fabric collage using free motion quilting. I love adding bits of embroidery on top of that. I like to put it where you might not expect it.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Ringquist

Do you have any favorites that you’ve made or seen made by others?

I’m crazy over so many pieces … I love the white on white by Karen Ruane. I adore how Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches includes embroidery in her quilts, and I’m over the moon about pretty much anything done by Anna Maria Horner.

Stitched by Karen Ruane

Who are some of the guests you’ve had over on We Love French Knots?

Sarah Jane, Natalie Lymer, Lynette Anderson, Verna Mosquera. So many! I’ve featured a new artist every Monday since late July when the blog officially started.

Alphabet Sampler by Alicia Paulson

Any sneak peeks of some fun things we can expect to come on We Love French Knots?

We have an interview with Anna Maria Horner coming up. It’s safe to say she’s my favorite designer. There will also be many more video tutorials, free projects and hopefully more giveaways.

Stitched by Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches

And there’s one more thing that you can expect to see in the near future.  Fat Quarterly will be teaming up with We Love French Knots for an embroidery-themed Designer’s Challenge.  Think you’ve got what it takes?  Sharpen up those needles and stock up on your favorite floss, and stay tuned for more information coming soon!

In the meantime, please feel free to add your embroidery projects to both the Fat Quarterly & We Love French Knots Flickr pools.  See you there!

By |November 11th, 2011|community news|6 Comments

Quilt Market Round Up

QM 2011 collage 1

We’re back from international Quilt Market Houston. Whew! So much to see, so much to tell you about, so much new and great stuff. So much, in fact, that we’ve decided to split the posts up into a series and post them over on Katy’s blog over the next few days.

So, pop on over and check out what she has posted so far. Follow along and you’ll be rewarded with the chance to win a nice little stack of quilt market treats at the end of the series. A few of our favourite finds from this year’s selection.

Quilt Market seemed lighter on traffic this year, which is most likely due to the economy. It wasn’t light on inspirational booths and fabulous new fabrics, though (thankfully!).

QM collage 2

Our predictions for the coming year;

1; there will be a surge in fabrics that feature a single colour print on natural backgrounds, such as Echo by Lotta Jansdotter (which is starting to ship now) and (our personal favourite and hot tip for greatness) Lucie Summers’ first collection with Moda - Summersville. We’ve got a fun idea planned using her fabrics as soon we can get some, a project that will involve some of you too. Keep your eyes peeled for that (more details soon!)

2; animals (and in particular foxes) will not be going anywhere soon. That makes us as happy as, well, a fox. Lizzy House and Riley Blake both have foxes featuring heavily

3; the organics are taking over the world. Ok, maybe not taking over, but they are growing stronger each market – fantastic news. Cloud 9 is really paving the way where the organics are concerned,Daisy Janie, Birch and now Kokka and even Robert Kaufman – you know it’s the future when the big manufacturers get involved. Laurie Wisbrun, and Betz White were just two of Kaufman’s organically printed collections from this market.

4; David Butler is going to be as big as his more famous other half. Parson Gray – wow, a truly masculine collection that is also fabulous for women’s clothing.

5; Melody Miller - we’re predicting within the next couple of years Melody’s designs will be snapped up by all sorts of different companies and before long we’ll be using Ruby Star stationary, eating and drinking from Ruby Star crockery, wearing Ruby Star clothes, carrying Ruby Star luggage. Cath Kidston – she’s old news, Melody is the future, people!

Head on over to Katy’s blog and see what else we liked the look of this Fall.

By |November 6th, 2011|community news|3 Comments