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Discussing organic fabrics with Daisy Janie’s Jan DiCintio

Today we’re so happy to welcome Jan DiCintio, the creative force behind Daisy Janie, to the Fat Quarterly blog.  Jan is an accomplished designer who, in 2006, launched 2 collections of digitally printed fabrics under her own brand name.  Equal to Jan’s passion for design is her passion for sustainability and environmental consciousness, which is why from day 1, Daisy Janie’s fabric collections have been offered exclusively on organic cottons.

We wanted to learn a bit more about Jan, her business, and the realities of organic fabrics.  She’s going to share some of her thoughts today, and will be back with us tomorrow to answer a few of our questions and kick off an exciting new Fat Quarterly Designer’s Challenge.

Oh, and Jan has provided us with our newest blog header, created in the style of Daisy Janie’s newest fabric collection, Shades of Grey.  If you’re reading this via a reader or feed, be sure to come check out our awesome new masthead!

Hello Fat Quarterly Readers!

The wonderful crew at FQ invited me to participate in a couple fun posts & projects taking place this summer, the first of which is this little ‘ole introduction post about my business Daisy Janie and the organic fabrics I self- produce. I love chatting up organic fabric, so I certainly couldn’t say no to this “open mic night” opportunity!

There is so very much about organic cotton fabric that is upstanding, thoughtful, conscientious, responsible, meticulous and downright magnificent, and I’m going to talk briefly about just a few of them. Before that however, here’s a quick definition of organic cotton fabric… since that’s typically the burning question.

What is organic cotton fabric?

Organic cotton fabric is a textile that has been grown from non-genetically modified seeds, without the use of toxic synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and fungicides. The organic cotton fiber is then harvested, cleaned, spun and woven also without the use of toxic chemical inputs, like formaldehyde, chlorine bleaches, aromatic solvents and petroleum-based scours. This carefully implemented process creates systems that “sustain the health of the soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects.” This is the minimum that has to be done to yield an organic cotton base cloth. Companies do not have to continue with organic procedures beyond this, but I have chosen to take Daisy Janie’s fabrics alllll the way through to packaging.

3 Awesome-Sauce Things about Daisy Janie’s Organic Fabrics

1. Daisy Janie fabrics go the whole nine yards in eco-friendly fabric production.

From planted seed to packaged bolt, Daisy Janie’s organic fabrics are 100% GOTS certified. The Global Organic Textile Standard is considered the gold standard of certification in green textile production. Basically, my fabrics take the organic cotton fabric a few steps beyond the definition above. The organic cotton base cloth is also printed, finished and packaged in a manner that is eco-friendly and meets the GOTS requirements.

With stringent, compulsory criteria for all phases of production, GOTS certification “ensures the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling, in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.” There are other standards companies may use, but they are typically a stepping stone to GOTS and are not nearly as comprehensive. Although it’s more expensive to follow the GOTS requirements all the way through the growth & production process, I opted for the complete package b/c it represents the same level of conscientious commitment I bring to all of my work. It just makes sense to me to go for the gold!

2. Daisy Janie’s fabrics are socially responsible.

Daisy Janie’s organic fabrics are produced in a Fair Trade Certified facility. This means that employment is freely chosen, working conditions are safe & hygenic, child labor is not used, workers are paid a living wage, regular employment is provided and harsh, discriminatory & inhumane treatment is prohibited. This seems like it would be a given in today’s society, but it is definitely not! Ethical treatment is not at the top of the priority list for Big Corporations, who seek to squeeze every penny of profit out of cotton production – at the cost of human lives and so much more.

3. So far, Daisy Janie’s organic fabrics prevented approx. 4500 lbs. of synthetic toxic fertilizers from entering the cotton supply chain.

It takes approximately 1/3 lb. of toxic synthetic fertilizers to produce 1 lb. of raw cotton fiber, and it takes about 1 lb. of raw cotton fiber to make 1 cotton t-shirt*.

Thinking of 1 yard of cotton fabric (36″ l by 45″ w), I’m sure I could make one shirt out of that single yard. So, based upon how much fabric Daisy Janie has had printed to date, I have prevented 4500 lbs. of synthetic fertilizers from entering the cotton supply chain. And from entering the soil, the air (and blowing on the wind to the food acreage), the waterways, the farmer’s lungs and skin – and so on.

Taking this one step further.

Consider ALL the other toxic chemicals that are used to produce conventional cotton ~ insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, formaldehyde, chloro-phenols, aromatic solvents, petroleum scours, toxic waxes, chlorine bleach, petroleum-based inks with heavy metals and so on. The quantity of ALL these substances that have NOT become a part of the cotton supply chain or ecosystem as a direct result of Daisy Janie’s use of organic cotton fiber & GOTS production methods multiplies astoundingly! My fabrics may be the proverbial drop in the bucket in the quilting fabric industry, but these numbers stand as a testament to my doing my part as a good human and a conscientious business owner.

* Source: Organic Trade Association

Just Dandy by Josephine Kimberling

Today we’re thrilled to welcome designer Josephine Kimberling to the Fat Quarterly blog.  Following the success of her first two collections with Robert Kaufman fabrics, Hot Blossom and Glam Garden, Josephine is excited to launch her latest line of fantastically floral fabrics: Just Dandy!

We’re excited too, because Just Dandy! was another of our favorite new lines at Quilt Market this spring.  We saw two quilts made from Julie Herman’s new jaybird quilts Chopsticks pattern in Josephine’s fabrics and we fell in love.  (By the way, Julie paired several prints from the line with Kaufman’s Quilter’s Linen, and it was as if the two lines were meant to be together!)  Josephine’s even provided us with our newest blog masthead — if you’re reading this via an RSS feed, be sure to jump over to check it out.  It’s ADORABLE!!  (We might just keep this one  ; )

We’re also excited because our good friends at Robert Kaufman are giving away bundles of Just Dandy! to a few lucky Fat Quarterly readers.  Please join us in getting to know Josephine a bit better and learn a bit more about Just Dandy!  After the interview we’ll let you know how to enter to win some great fabric.

Welcome to Fat Quarterly Josephine, and congratulations on the release of Just Dandy! What three words would you use to describe your newest collection?

Thanks so much for inviting me!  Just Dandy can be summed up in the following three words:

  • Vintage
  • Lighthearted
  • Sweet

We were lucky enough to see Just Dandy — and several quilts made from the line — at Quilt Market last month. We were immediately struck by the beautiful colors, and especially the linen-like textures that you used in the designs. From where did you draw your color inspiration for the line?

Oh fun! Thanks! As part of my process for designing collections, I create mood boards out of color inspiration that I’ve gathered from various sources – mostly runway, fashion, lifestyle & home magazines. From there I create color palettes inspired by those images and also incorporating my own color sense. I then try a variety of color palettes out on a collection, and see what makes it ‘sing’. Some color stories can be truly fabulous, but not connect with a collection or bring out the best in the prints – there’s a lot of push and pull for me when working with color to get it just right.

Can you tell us a little bit about each of the prints in the line? How might each print be best used in different types of projects?

I’d love to!

DAISY CHAIN (AJG-11333) In my gathering of mood images for this collection, I really was gravitating towards summer days, exuberance and joy, and was thinking of being a kid in California and how we would sit at the park and make daisy necklaces, which I felt sat well in the Just Dandy theme.

MOD DAISY STRIPE (AJG-11339) This print was actually inspired by a rubber stamp that I designed. I created a set of flower petals that when rotated and stamped again and again would create multiple overlapping petals. I just loved it so much that I turned it into a print! Because of the scale of this print, and the one-way direction, I can definitely see this in a little girls dress, crafting projects such as an iPAD or laptop cover or a fun handbag.

POPPY FIELD (AJG-11337) I really enjoy drawing line drawings of ‘realistic’ flowers, and was inspired to put together a garden bed of flowers with a focus on the poppy – forcing myself to keep the colors to a minimum (which is hard for me!), and still keep it interesting looking.

DOT TAC TOE (AJG-11336) The crosshatch in the prints inspired me to add a drawn hatching to these dots to tie the prints together. I absolutely LOVE the navy/mustard version of this print as I think it has a really cool vintage feel to it. It’s actually one of my favorites! I can see this in anything – I mostly picture it in a little boy’s button-up shirt or tie, a shrunken jacket, or a cross-body handbag.

DANDELION GARDEN (AJG-11334) Since the ditsy print has been in a high trend cycle, I wanted to contribute my version of a ditsy, and did so by clustering multiple flowers together to create this print. This is one that I can definitely see being worn in practically any garment – skirts, shrunken jacket, maxi dress, button-up tunic top and the like.

DISCO DOTS (AJG-11335) I was exploring creating a dot print – and I have a really hard time creating simple prints. No matter how hard I try, I’m just drawn to detail in prints. So what’s better than a dot but dots within dots! Because of the white ground in this print, I can see it as a layered skirt or dress, a summer tank or tunic, or bedding for kiddo’s.

JUST DANDY (AJG-11338) I was inspired to create this print to contribute to the retro feel of this group. Dandelion prints have been on trend for quite a while, and while I usually steer clear of direct trends and go in the opposite direction, this time the trend was up my alley, so I thought I’d contribute to it. I think this print would work great in home décor projects and crafting projects such as an iPAD cover, book cover.

We were also big fans of your previous lines, Hot Blossom and Glam Garden. How is Just Dandy different from your first two lines, and what have you learned about fabric design in general over the course of developing all of your fabric collections?

Thanks! To me, Just Dandy is different from Hot Blossom and Glam Garden in that it has a bit of a younger feel, and swings toward 60s mod, with my own twist. The Petunia and Blue Jay colorways in Just Dandy are unique in that they use analogous colors on the color wheel.

I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the fabric industry over the past 3 years. One of the biggest things I’ve learned and continue to learn is how to create a collection of prints that can sit well together.

Your bio says that you began your career as a textile designer for Nordstrom. Was that a fun position? How did it prepare you for your current endeavors?

I worked for Nordstrom for 10 years, and just left my position there in May! I’ve been designing fabrics on the side for the past 3 years, while working full-time, and just recently decided to take the leap to work for myself. Working for Nordstrom was a wonderful opportunity and gave me a very well rounded background, which has really set me up for success for my new business.

Working there taught me how to track and interpret fashion trends, how to create artwork and flex my artistic style for a variety of consumers, the process of textile development through production, creating and giving trend presentations, and business skills. I use all of these skills in my new day job.

Are you a quilter or sewist in general? What are your personal creative pursuits?

I am a beginner sewer and I haven’t quilted – yet! I took a sewing class with a good friend a few years ago, and sewed quite a few garments from my Hot Blossom & Glam Garden lines, which was a lot of fun and helped me grow a lot.

As I’ve had an intense job in the fashion industry for 10 years, and spent most of my free time working on fabric collections on the side for the past 3, I didn’t have much time for anything else. Now that I have more time on my hands with my own business (I finally have a weekend now!), I’m excited to re-discover creative pursuits and hobbies aside from creating artwork. I keep looking around my house and seeing projects that I would love to make such as lamp shades, pillows, and floor cushions. I’m excited to be able to explore again!

Let’s get back to Just Dandy. What types of projects do you think would provide a perfect vehicle for using this collection?

I’m a bit biased, but I would say fashionable clothing! Whenever I design a print I always ask myself “Would I wear that?” It’s ingrained in my point of view now. It was a lot of fun to decide what garments to sew for my photo shoot, and I think they interpreted really well! Because of the blue and pink color stories, I can also see these as unique baby quilts & crib bedding, home décor and handbags – definitely handbags.

Besides your own, what are 5 prints that are currently on the market within the quilting industry that you just love? What do you love about each one?

Gosh, this is really hard as there’s a lot of talent out there..hmmm… I would say the following:

1) TULA PINK: Parisville Collection – Cameo: I absolutely love Tula’s imagination and how she incorporates hidden beauty in her designs. This print really speaks to me as in college I would draw old ships with women looking off into the horizon of the sea. Strange, but it’s true!

2) AMY BUTLER: Love Collection – Sandlewood in Turquoise: My absolute favorite color is aqua. Love it. I gravitate to it like a moth to flame.

3) HELEN DARDIK – Too Muchery in Brown: It’s Helen Dardik – need I say more? I LOVE her work!

4) ANNA MARIA HORNER – Innocent Crush Collection: Shattered in Sun: I love this print because triangles and angular prints have been really hot in the art and fashion world, and I feel like she broke the mold by bringing this concept into quilting fabrics.

5) ANNA MARIA HORNER: Loulouthi Collection – Summer Totem: Because it’s just gorgeous!

I truly enjoy and appreciate the detail involved in artwork that a designer creates. It just resonates with me. That’s what I love about all of these prints. As an artist, it’s my applauding these designers for their mad skills.

Although we’re just now celebrating the release of Just Dandy, we’re already curious about what’s next. Can you give us any hints about what we might see in your next collection?

I’m currently in the works with 2 different collections, as I enjoy the process more when I can work on a couple different collections at a time. It keeps my juices flowing. So, I’m not sure which one will beat the other to the end of the race! Stay tuned…

So, whaddaya think?  Are you as inspired as we are to start sewing something?  We’ll chalk it up to Josephine’s amazing photography … and, of course, her amazing fabric design.

Well, lucky for you we have a few Just Dandy bundles to give away!  All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post, letting us know which is your favorite print from the Just Dandy collection.  We’ll randomly select a winner some time next week.

Happy sewing!

Edited to add: Comments are now closed.  Thanks for playing along!

LouLouThi Giveaway from the Fat Quarter Shop

LouLouThi is the newest fabric line from a perennial favorite among fabric aficionados, Anna Maria Horner.  The Greek work for flower, LouLouThi is a gorgeous collection of 30 quilting cottons, 6 voiles, and 4 laminates featuring Anna Maria’s signature beautiful designs, her deep hues, and celebrating her love for cross-stitch and needlework. In fact, to correspond with the release of LouLouThi, Anna Maria is also launching Anna Maria Needleworks, a line of products designed to create beautiful things that complement the LouLouThi fabrics. The launch of Anna Maria Needleworks consists of boxed collections of pearl cotton in two color palettes (Geranium Wall & Reflecting Pool), as well as two 12-count envelope collections of 6-strand embroidery floss (in the Seafaring and Radiant color palettes).  Be sure to check out Anna Maria’s blog for her project ideas and inspiration photography showing off these new products.

LouLouThi is just hitting stores now, but thanks to the generosity of Kimberly and her amazing team at the Fat Quarter Shop, we have two fat quarter bundles of the line to give away to our lucky readers.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling us what pattern — quilt, garment, or otherwise — you think would perfectly show off this beautiful line.  Even better, pick a pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop and include the link in your comment — if you win, we might even be able to persuade Kimberly to include it with the bundle!

But hurry, because this will be a quick giveaway.  LouLouThi is sure to sell out, so we want to ensure that our winners get their spoils!  We’ll pick our winners on Sunday, June 12th.

Good luck!  We’re insanely jealous … … …

ETA: This giveaway is now closed.  Thanks to everyone for entering!

Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack with Log Cabin Yardage

Today we’re excited to welcome our newest sponsor, Nicole from Log Cabin Yardage.

Log Cabin Yardage is an online shop selling a selection of fabrics, patterns and even finished quilts.  We’ve put together a fun new Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack together with Nicole, but before we unveil it we wanted to get to know a little more about the shop.

Tell as a bit about Log Cabin Yardage? How did it come about?

Log Cabin Yardage came about as I was getting interested in quilting, and frustrated by the lack of selection at my local chain fabric store, as well as lack of quality for price. At the same time my sister was starting her own home based sewing business, and had the same issues, so I decided to start Log Cabin. It also allowed me to access the designers I was seeing in magazines and blogs from the states, albeit shipping does take longer. Log Cabin is presently operated out of my house part time and serves as justification for my fabric addictions and inability to resist colour and pattern when I get the fabric line headers to order from.

You are planning on opening a brick and mortar shop in the coming future? Tell us more…

I do plan to open a shop, but the location will be at my daughters’ school, which is going to rebuilt. It is a private Montessori school, and the new building is now taking longer than planned. We all know what has happened to the economy and mortgages, and while not as bad in Canada as the States the economic situation did stall the building plans. So timing is a bit up in the air. But I am fixed on the location!

I have a background teaching kids (arts and sports), and classes would form part of the shop, specifically for kids. Their school does teach sewing, so the interest is there. My husband, who is a stay home dad, also a photographer, and helps at the school, would be in the shop and able to work close to the girls. So while the plans are a bit out of my control it will come to be at some point.

Are you a quilter? What are you favourite projects to work on?

I guess I am a quilter. I also sew with my girls, or make projects on demand and the occasional skirt….. My 7 year old was convinced I should do her solo costume but I avoided that!

I love to juxtapose colours and pattern – be the colours solids or just the colour of the patterns. I also like the puzzle of the construction of the quilt and the patchwork blocks. Although traditional quilting done by hand can be mindblowing, I use a machine currently due to too many years goaltending in soccer – my hands get stiff so I didn’t want to start something I won’t be able to keep doing.

My favourite projects – are whatever I am currently playing with. Finishing is not a strong suit of mine, I have a commendable number of wip’s or ufo’s – for the amount of time I actually manage to sew!

What’s your favourite fabric line at the moment?

I couldn’t tell you a favourite, there are too many. I just got into batiks, something I was never going to do, but I got some bright saturated colour ones and can totally see the use for them. For different reasons I like Basic Grey – the tight patterns and crisp lines with layers of detail. I still like Simple Abundance as it is so calm and detailed. I also like Deb French’s Fresh Flowers due to the vibrancy and colour. See – I am all over the map for different reasons!

In the market for some fabric for a new project?  Why not pay Nicole a visit over at Log Cabin Yardage and check out what she has to offer?  I had fun searching through all of the fabulous fabrics Nicole has to offer and found a bunch of stuff I would LOVE to have.   I even put together a fun fabric pack of 9 fat quarters that I think would make an amazing patchwork project:


1. Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey
2. Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey
3. Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey
4. Henna Garden by Sandi Henderson
5. Habitat Plaid by Bernatex
6. Bella Solids by Moda
7. Hushabye by Tula Pink
8. Java Coffee Type by Deb Strain
9. Habitat Dandelion by Bernatex

Do you like it too?  If you’d like to purchase this bundle, simply contact Nicole and let her know.  She’d be happy to pull it together for you!

Example Block

Marshmallow Brochette Quilt Along

You saw the modern mini quilt tutorial here first and asked for more…

Boyish Mini Quilt

The Marshmallow Brochette Quilt Along has begun! Check out ThreadedMess.com for Part 1 of the QAL! You can also join the Threaded Mess flickr group to share pictures of your progress throughout the project.

Boyish Mini Quilt

This first post includes detailed instructions on gathering materials to make either a mini quilt or a lap quilt. I’ve also added a follow up post with the final lap quilt mockup and buttons for your blog!

Boyish Mini Quilt

Come join in all the fun!

Happy Quilting,


Mini Quilt Tutorial by Threaded Mess

Hi! My name is Natalie and I am the blogger behind Threaded Mess.


Fat Quarterly has graciously allowed me to post on their blog today because I’ve got a simple but fun mini quilt tutorial to share with you AND! one lucky winner not only gets to name this quilt but gets to choose one of the demonstration quilts I made to keep! Exciting right?!


This tutorial assumes that you already have a good grasp on rotary cutting, sewing 1/4″ seams, free motion or straight line quilting, basting, and binding your quilt. There are some awesome tutorials out on the web for all of those skills so Google away if you need instructions or a refresher and then come back here to try out this quilt!

Supplies You’ll Need:

Thread – for piecing and quilting
Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat to cut your strips
A piece of batting at least 36″x36″
Safety Pins (or whatever you use to baste your quilts)
Clips or pins to tack down your binding
Sewing machine

Fabric: The following cuts assume you are working with fabrics at least 44″ to 45″ wide. If you are working with smaller pieces you will need to adjust to compensate.

3/4 Yard for your background fabric
1/3 Yard for your border strips (the fabric bordering and connecting your squares)
9 5″x5″ squares (I pulled from a Kona Solid Brights charm pack)
1/2 Yard for your binding
1 Yard for your backing

Getting Ready:

The first time I made this quilt I was flying by the seat of my pants, a method I often challenge myself to take to keep my mind sharp, myself interested, and my blog original. I started out with this vague idea drawn on some graph paper:


And ended up with this mini quilt some of you may have seen around Flickr:

NOVA MQG Preemie Quilt

The basic concept is colorful squares bordered and joined with a light fabric over a darker background. This pattern is perfect for playing with saturation levels, color combinations, or featuring your favorites.

Fabric Selection:


I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use Kona Medium Gray, Kona White, and squares from my Kona Solid bright charm pack. Feel free to switch solids for patterned fabric, play with the colors and saturation levels, and really make this quilt your own. But if you want to make something close to what I did, here’s how I selected my fabrics:

First, I sorted all my fabrics by color

Bright Charm Pack

Oops…I think I left the 3 purples in this charm pack out but you get the idea and they will show up in the next photo!

Next, I decided on my 9 squares. The first time I made this quilt I selected 3 pinks, 3 oranges, and 3 yellows which definitely had a girly feel. My goal with this quilt was to go for something more boyish so I immediately pulled out the pinks. Sorry, pinks! This still left me plenty of room to play…


This palette was very cool and calming but I wanted something a little more festive so I kept looking…


This palette was much more festive but somehow a pink snuck back in (sheesh pink, get a grip! I’ll use you later). With no more reds in the charm pack I kept looking…


I replaced the red stack with blue and knew I was finally on the right track!

Laying Out Your Quilt:


As mentioned before, I flew by the seat of my pants the first time I made this quilt but I wanted to make sure I did things right the second time around so I could share the instructions with you. I’m a visual person and it helps me to draw things out so I used colored pencils and graph paper to draw my strips and squares:


Then I laid them out and taped them down the way I planned to sew them.


I’ll be giving you my exact cuts later but if you want to play with the position of your blocks just make sure that all your cuts (four for each column) add up to 14 1/2″.

Cutting Your Top:


Cut your border fabric (the fabric bordering and connecting your squares – for both of mine I used Kona White) into 1 1/2″ by width of fabric strips. I needed 7 strips but you may find you need more or less depending on the width of your fabric. Cut your background fabric into 2 strips 3 1/4″ wide by width of fabric, 2 strips 5″ wide by width of fabric, and 2 strips 2 1/2″ by width of fabric (you should have a total of 6 strips – for both of mine I used Kona Medium Gray)

That’s it! I told you this was going to be easy!

Piecing Your Top:

The first step in piecing your quilt is bordering all of your squares using a 1/4″ seam. You can piece, press, and trim with your rotary cutter:


flip and snip:


or chain piece


This is really a matter of personal preference! I tried it all three ways and decided I prefer to flip and snip but I won’t be offended if you don’t like that method.

Press your seams as you go …


… and keep plugging until all 9 of your squares are bordered on all 4 sides.


Those of you into precision should trim down your squares so that they are all exactly the same size at this point.

Sew a 3 1/4″ strip on both sides of 1 1/2″ white strip and press.


I was able to cut all my pieces from 1 finished strip but if you are working with smaller widths of fabrics you may have to make a couple of these.

If you decided to play around with the placement of your squares, follow your own notes. If you want to use the exact measurements I did you’ll need to cut the following pieces:

2″ – cut 2
2 1/2″ – cut 2
3″ – cut 2
3 1/2″ – cut 1
4″ – cut 1
4 1/2″ – cut 2
5″ – cut 1
7″ – cut 1

By column my measurements were (from top to bottom piece):

Column A (left): 3″, 3″, 4″, 4 1/2″ = 14.5″
Column B (middle): 4 1/2″, 2 1/2″, 5″, 2 1/2″ = 14.5″
Column C (right): 3 1/2″, 2″, 2″, 7″ = 14.5″

Piece the sections you just cut to your squares in the order you wish them to be laid out on your quilt.


Once you finish sewing and pressing all 3 columns you are almost done with your top! Precision quilters out there should trim down their columns at this point.

The final step is to sew your remaining strips and columns together. I pieced mine alternating the 2 1/2″ strips and the 5″ strips to give my quilt an asymmetrical look.


You will end up with a bit of a tail at the end but you can just trim it off  with your scissors as you go(giving yourself some wiggle room) because you will be trimming your top later.


Trim down all four sides of your quilt so that you have nice, straight edges to work with.


You should now have a quilt top that looks more or less like this (except maybe not the messy sewing room to go with it):


Getting Ready for Quilting:

Now that you have your fabulous quilt top it’s time to select a backing fabric. I went with a fun print from Lizzy House’s Red Letter Day line because it had oranges, greens, and blues. As stated in the Fabric section you will need 1 yard for the back. If you don’t happen to have a yard, just piece something fun together (at least 36″x36″).


Next, layout your pressed backing, batting, and top and baste them together.


Quilt as desired!


My wonderful husband was kind enough to watch hockey downstairs while I worked on this quilt so that we could hang out and kept me entertained by practicing his stick handling skills.

I chose to straight line quilt this little guy using a light gray thread on the front and back just to see how it would look (by the way, I like it a lot). My stitches went vertically and were spaced 3/4″ apart.


For the girly version I free motion quilted various square mazes following the shapes of my top using a gray thread on the gray parts, white thread on the white parts, and matching  pink, orange, or yellow thread on the squares. I used the same gray thread on the back for the entire quilt.


I really like the way the mazes showed up on the back!


Trim down your finished quilt to give yourself straight edges to work with in the next step.


The final step is to bind your quilt.


I narrowed the choices down to two then let my husband help me pick the final one. He decided on the orange and gray one which is another Lizzy House print from her Red Letter Day line called Pearl Bracelet. Can you tell this line is a favorite of mine!?


I’m still working on sewing down the binding to the back but you can see above that it’s almost done!

Here’s my finished girly version rolled up for a binding shot (because who can resist a binding shot?):


If you’re not already thinking about it, I’ll remind you now that this is not only a tutorial but it’s also a giveaway! When it came time to name this quilt my mind drew a blank so I’m leaving it up to you! The person who comes up with the most creative name (my choice) for this quilt will get to pick between the girly version or the boyish version to keep for themselves. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post with your idea for a name. A winner will be selected May 6th and announced on my blog. I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I would like to give a big thanks to the team at Fat Quarterly for allowing me to share my creation with you. Check out their Issues for sale and other free tutorials on their website.

Show your support for this tutorial by leaving a comment here or on my blog (hopefully with something sweet to say and an idea for a name too), becoming a follower of Threaded Mess, and sharing your creations based on this tutorial on flickr in the Threaded Mess Tutorials group page.

Happy Quilting!


Big thanks to Natalie for such a wonderful post!!  Want to feature one of your tutorials in a future post?  Contact us at submissions@fatquarterly.com.

- the FQ team

Congratulations to our Fashionable Fabrics winner!

Please join us in congratulating Mary Jo for winning the $50 gift certificate to Fashionable Fabrics. Mary Jo blogs at the Crafter’s Notebook and will be using her winnings for some stash-building and to get some solid fabrics.

Have fun on your shopping spree, Mary Jo! We’ll be in touch shortly with all of the details.

Check back soon for another exciting Fat Quarterly giveaway.

Welcome Fashionable Fabrics

Today we’re excited to welcome our newest sponsor, Fashionable Fabrics, who has generously offered to give away a $50 gift certificate to their shop to a Fat Quarterly reader.

Fashionable Fabrics is an online shop with a wonderful selection of fabrics (including home decor, voile, lawn, and Japanese prints!), pre-cuts, patterns, books, trims and notions. Scrap sewers and bargain hunters will love their remnants section, where you can pick up small bits of really great fabrics.

Fashionable Fabrics was founded by high school sweethearts Tonia and Dennis who dated for 8 years before marrying in 1996 and are now the parents of two boys (ages 8 & 6).

Here’s what Tonia and Dennis had to say about their shop:

Fashionable Fabrics was founded in 2004 and is owned and operated by Tonia and her husband Dennis. It was always Tonia’s dream to some day open a fabric shop to provide unique and trendy designer fabrics that you just cannot find in the large fabric retail chains. Tonia’s favorite way to spend some spare time is hunting down unique fabric in the back of a fabric wharehouse, digging through piles, seeking the fabric gems she loves to carry in her shop.

Fashionable Fabrics is a unique fashion fabric boutique specializing in fashion forward designer quilting fabric, home dec fabric and sewing patterns. We have a large selection of Novelty fabrics and Japanese fabrics and are always looking for unique and hard to find trendy fabrics. We carry all of your favorite designers and manufacturers as well as some you may have never seen before.

Special thanks to Tonia and Dennis for offering a $50 gift certificate to Fashionable Fabrics to one lucky Fat Quarterly reader. Want a chance to win? Simply head over to the shop, take a peek around, and come back and leave a comment on this post telling us how you’d spend your $50.

You can earn another chance by visiting Tonia & Dennis on their Facebook page and becoming a fan of Fashionable Fabrics. Come back here and leave a comment letting us know that you’re a fan, and you’ll earn another entry.

We’ll let the Random Number Generator pick a winner one week from today … so head on over to Fashionable Fabrics and start window (or actual) shopping!

Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack

Hi all! John here with this fortnight’s installment of the Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack. I was SO EXCITED to work on this project, because mixing & matching fabrics is my absolute favorite part of the quilt-making process. For this fabric pack I teamed up with Cathy at Wish Upon a Quilt, whose large selection of great fabrics made it really difficult for me to decide on a 9-fabric bundle.
In fact, in my first pass I wound up with 25 fabrics in my bundle:
Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack
Greens & yellows comprise a fun, springtime garden-type mix, with touches of brown and red for some interest. But I knew a bundle of 25 fat quarters would be a tough thing for most quilters to commit to, so I began the process of winnowing it down …
I first cut it down to 16:

Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack
Then 12:

Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack
And, finally, a more manageable bundle of 9 fat quarters:

Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack

This fabric assortment really got its hooks into my brain, and I just had to see it and play with it in person to make sure it “sung” before I recommended it to you all! So I drove over to Wish Upon a Quilt (it’s my local shop!), picked up a bunch of fat quarters, and — over the course of last Friday night and Saturday afternoon — cut everything up into 8.5″ squares and made a simple patchwork quilt.
And you know what? I LOVE it!!
Patchwork Quilt

Note: I did pick up cuts of all of the original 25 prints, plus a few extras and some prints I had in my stash.
Patchwork Quilt
So what do you think? Do you like my selection? If so, the fat quarter bundle is available here. Swing on over to Wish Upon a Quilt and tell Cathy I said “hi”!

Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack

This fortnight’s fabric pack has been put together by Katy. I am sure you will be just as taken with this pack as we are – gorgeous!

This pack can be purchased at Pink Chalk Fabrics