the retreat special

retreat special

If you wish you had gone to the retreat why not treat yourself to the next best thing?

Our retreat special issue is out now, and only $5. It’s packed full of projects, many of which were taught over the weekend, as well as additional bonus patterns and features! Find it here.

Amy has offered up the amazing pillow (pictured below) she made from Thomas Knauer’s Flock fabric as a giveaway. Her pillow is featured in the designer challenge from this issue, and you could win it!

Leave a (single) comment on this post for your chance!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED – the winner is (drum roll….) Lisa at Cottage Nest congrats Lisa – look out for an email from us!

Flock Fat Quarterly Designer Challenger

Winner of Patty Young’s Sewing MODKID Style

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway of Patty Young’s

fantastic new book, Sewing MODKID Style: Modern Threads for the Cool Girl. Congratulations to our winner, Felicity of Felicity Quilts (hey, great initials! FQ!), who said:

I got a serger for my 10th wedding anniversary so I’ve done a little sewing with knits, but nothing with a pattern. Would LOVE a copy of this book!

Felicity, please contact us at with your mailing address to claim your prize. Thanks!

By |May 17th, 2012|giveaway, winners|1 Comment

Sewing MODKID Style Review + Giveaway


Welcome to the Sewing MODKID Style book tour! And apologies to anyone who was looking for this post on Friday. Due to a scheduling snafu at FQHQ (i.e., John had the wrong date!) we’re joining the tour a bit later than expected. No worries — we still have a great post and a book giveaway to get to, so let’s go!


As the father of twin girls, I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of Patty Young‘s new book, Sewing MODKID Style from John Wiley books (check out Patty’s fans already know that Patty is a popular sewing blogger and prolific designer of both patterns and fabric (through Michael Miller). As the mother of two girls herself, her style has a decidedly fresh, playful, colorful and feminine spirit.

My excitement, however, was mixed with some trepidation — Patty is known for her expertise on sewing with knits, and I had never sewn with knits before.  With book in hand and some newly acquired knits, I was ready to tackle a project from the book.

Full-size pattern pieces are included in this fun enclosure, featuring some of Patty’s designs!

But first, a bit more about this gorgeous little book itself.  Sewing MODKID Style is subtitled Modern Threads for the Cool Girl, and inside you’ll find a wide variety of children’s clothing and accessory patterns in the true MODKID style: not only are they cute and stylish, but are highly functional for kids’ everyday activities like running, climbing, and playing.  Let’s face it: our kids are not easy on their clothes!

Inside, you’ll find the 20 project ideas organized by chapter:

  • Accessories, including a headband, leg warmers, and more — plus a pattern for a full-size quilt made entirely from knits!
  • Bottoms, such as yoga pants (or shorts), skirts, and leggings.
  • Tops, from a tank top to a sweater and many in between.
  • Dresses and ensembles — you’ll even find a swimsuit and cover-up project!

As valuable as the patterns themselves is an extensive reference guide on sewing and finishing techniques for knit fabrics, including double knits, jersey knits, and lycra.  I used these instructions extensively, as I’ll describe in a bit.


Although it’s not snowy here in NC, I still thought some knit scarves would be a fun project!

Instead of just reviewing the book, I wanted to actually make a project from it.  I decided on the Stripwork Scarf, which seemed like a beginner-friendly pattern, and something I could easily make two of.  (Remember, I have twins — just making one item is not an option!)  After selecting a variety of knits (I went for a more scrappy version of Patty’s pattern, which only uses 2 fabrics), I went to my local sewing store for some new supplies.  Patty provides needle and thread recommendations, and I was easily able to find the items I needed.

Sewing MODKID Style by Patty Young
A sample page from Patty’s invaluable Guide to Sewing with Knits.

The saleswoman at my local shop helped me select these 80/12 jersey needles, appropriate for most interlock and jersey fabrics.  Patty explains why these ballpoint needles are most appropriate for sewing with knits.

Patty recommends a polyester thread (which has more elasticity than all-cotton thread).

After reviewing Patty’s tips on the proper settings on my machine for sewing with knits, I was ready to go!

Don’t have a serger?  Neither do I.  But Patty includes full instructions on how to use the different stitches on our home machines to effectively sew with knits.

I started my project using the stem (or stretch) stitch, but decided that it was taking too long to sew my seams!  Patty’s instructions helped me select the proper length and width of my stitches.

After some trial & error, I decided that a regular zig-zag stitch was what worked best for me.

As soon as I cut my fabric, I was ready to go! The scarves came together very quickly, and the forgiving instructions provided an easy and approachable project to truly get comfortable using knit fabrics.

Sewing MODKID Style - Stripwork Scarf


My girls love their new springtime scarves and are already asking me what I’m going to make them next!

Um, yeah … so we did our photo shoot in our pajamas.  I’m sure you’re familiar with the “morning after a late night sewing finish photo shoot”.  No big deal!

Stylish AND easy.  What could be better?

We’re excited to offer up a free copy of Sewing MODKID Style to a lucky Fat Quarterly reader! Simply leave a comment on this post and tell us about your experiences sewing with knits, or if you’ve never done it before (like me!) We’ll draw a random winner in about a week.

There’s a chance to win a free copy at each stop on the tour, so please be sure to visit these other great sites:

Monday, April 2nd, 2012: Wiley Craft Blog
Wed., April 4th, 2012: A Sewing Journal
Friday, April 6th, 2012: Pink Chalk Studio
Monday, April 9th, 2012: Melanie Dramatic
Wed., April 11th, 2012: Stop Staring and Start Sewing
Friday, April 13th, 2012: Generation Q
Monday, April 16th, 2012: Lil Blue Boo
Wed., April 18th, 2012: True Up
Friday, April 20th, 2012: Paige Hill
Monday, April 23rd, 2012: Boutique Café
Wed., April 25th, 2012: The Long Thread
Friday, April 27th, 2012: Sew Pretty Dresses
Monday, April 30th, 2012: Prudent Baby
Wed., May 2nd, 2012: Our Busy Little Bunch
Friday, May 4th, 2012: Fat Quarterly <— YOU ARE HERE!
Monday, May 7th, 2012: Making It Fun
Wed., May 9th, 2012: MODKID blog

Good luck! If you make something from Sewing MODKID Style, we’d love to see it!

Winners! Two Peas in a Pod e-course giveaway

We’re excited to announce the two winners of Trish Preston of Two Peas in a Pod DesignsTie Front Tote e-course!

Winner #1: Gwen Windham, who said “I just bought a yard of Pernilla’s Journey Unicorn fabric for a bag for my daughter– so that would be my first project if I won this giveaway!! The bow tie really adds to this bag— cute! Thank you for the chance to win!” (Ed. note: Gwen, we’d LOVE to see your fun unicorn bag once you’ve made it!)

Winner #2: Jeifner, who said “I would love to make a bag! I also am scared of them. I even went so far as to cut one out once. It has been ignored like a naughty child for months and months. Taking a class would be great. I’d like to use home dec fabric, or some Tula Pink Prince Charming, which I love.”

Congratulations, Gwen & Jeifner!  Please contact Trish directly at to claim your prize.

Did you miss the post? Read Brioni & John’s reviews of the course and see their bags here. Also, here’s a brief video that Trish created to introduce her e-course. If you make a Tie Front Tote, we’d love to see it! Please add it to the Fat Quarterly Community & Inspiration Flickr group.

By |March 18th, 2012|giveaway, winners|0 Comments

Giveaway! Two Peas in a Pod Tie Front Tote Sewing Class

The wonderful Trish Preston (@trishpreston) of Two Peas in a Pod designs recently contact us here at FQHQ to let us know about the online bag-making course she developed for her blog readers.  She recently made available a full e-course that steps its students through her video-based tutorial to make an original Tie-front Tote.  We were intrigued, and Brioni and I agreed to make some of Trish’s totes in exchange for two free classes for Fat Quarterly readers!  Of course, we wanted to check it out ourselves before passing word along to all of you — and I’ll begin by saying we weren’t disappointed!

I’ll tell you a bit about my experience, and then turn it over to Brioni so that she can show off her creation.

Tie Totes

If you’re a reader of my blog, you might know that I’m a bit terrified of making anything three dimensional.  Quilts?  Sure.  But things like bags, toys, and apparel intimidate me.  I was a bit reluctant to agree to make a tote bag, but I put all my faith in Trish and my confidence in knowing that she puts out a quality product.  And, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided to make not one, but two bags.  So I stocked up on supplies — some yardage of some gorgeous Tula Pink and Amy Butler fabrics, coordinating thread, and fusible fleece — and got down to it.

Tie Tote in Parisville

To cut right to the chase, I’ll put it bluntly — Trish’s e-course was a lovely experience.  Because of the video element — actually watching something be made the proper way versus photos or illustrations — I found it to be far more effective than following a pattern.  The course was split up into 3 “classes”, each one presenting a very manageable part of the process.  And I would definitely classify this course as beginner-friendly.  If you’ve never made a bag before but are interested in giving it a try, I would highly recommend this e-course as a great place to start.

Trish is a great instructor.  And to top it all off, Trish’s sewing space is a lovely setting which made for an extremely pleasant viewing experience.  It was bright and sunny with a beautiful garden view and a soundtrack of singing birds, making me wish I was right there in Ohio, sewing with Trish!

I made the two bags assembly-line style, and have some gorgeous gifts that are ready to go.  They’re not perfect, for sure, but that can be attributed to my lack of experience (and confidence) in bag making.  But after Trish’s course, my confidence in tackling future bag projects is fully restored!

Tie Tote in Amy Butler Love

And now let’s hear from Brioni, who also took Trish’s course and made a beautiful tote.

Brioni: I have to admit to not being very fond of making anything 3 dimensional – I am most definitely a quilt girl – so was inwardly groaning when i dug some fabric out to get started.  I have never done an on-line class was and couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to, so i was thrilled when the whole experience was nothing like i expected.
First and foremost, everything about the website is so pretty – pretty kids, pretty fabrics, pretty garden and pretty backdrop to all videos. So, great start.
Then i loved watching the videos. Trish’s voice so relaxing that i could have quite happily have had a snooze instead of making the tote.  I did manage to stay awake and make the tote I did!

Brioni: The pattern is simple, the combination of the instructions and video were fantastic so there really wasn’t anything not to enjoy.  The result is also great. The bag is rigid enough to stand up on its own but still soft, and the handles are sturdy but not stiff enough to be uncomfortable on my shoulders.
A bit of Map of London home decor fabric, and bit of dark brown whale cord for the lining, a lovely afternoon watching videos and i am now sporting a new bag to carry my new crochet project on the train to work.  Simple pleasures  :-)

Interested in making a Two Peas in a Pod original tie tote of your own?  Trish has generously offered a free e-course to two lucky Fat Quarterly readers!  Simply leave a comment on this post letting us know what fabrics you’d use to make your tote and what you’d use it for, and we’ll randomly select two winners here on the blog next week.  Good luck!

By |March 4th, 2012|giveaway|97 Comments

Oakshott Shot Cottons – colossal giveaway

Head on over to Lynne’s blog any time in the next two weeks to be in with a chance of winning this box of 100 Oakshott shot cotton Fat Eighths.  Oakshott shot cottons are a secret the UK quilters have known about for some time and now they’re sharing it with the rest of the world.  Highest quality irridescent shot cottons and as soft as butter, you know you need to be in with a chance of winning this prize.

By |February 10th, 2012|giveaway|8 Comments


Thank you all for entering our Sew Mama Sew giveaway. We all had a lot of fun reading through what you would like to find in your stocking this year! I hope Father Christmas was reading too!

The winner of our giveaway is: (drumroll please!)

who is Valerie from!! Congratulations Valerie!

Valerie please can you email us at with your address so we can pop the CD in the post.

Thank you too to all those who entered the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop giveaway. The winner is posted on our Facebook page.

By |December 17th, 2011|giveaway, winners|0 Comments

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway

We’ve been running a giveaway of a CD version of the Year 1 Bundle over on our Facebook Page as part of the Quilting Gallery 4th Birthday celebrations and just so nobody feels left out we thought we would also offer a copy of the CD up for grabs to our blog readers.

(We know not everyone has a Facebook account or wants one!)

The Year 1 Bundle on CD

On the CD you will find:
Issue 1 – Fresh Start
Issue 2 – Scraps
Issue 3 – Fussy Cutting
Issue 4 – Solids
The Holiday Special 2010

And what better than to take part in the fabulous Giveaway Day organised by Sew Mama Sew. The Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day is always HUGE! So many wonderful people around the world offer up supplies or even finished products for anybody to win. We just love the spirit of the online sewing community that we are a part of.

So what do you need to do to win this CD? First off pour yourself a cup of your favourite beverage (mine is going to be mulled wine – yum!) and settle yourself down, since, once you are done here you are going to want to go off and visit all the other fabulous peeps that are taking part in the giveaway. And be prepared – you will definitely want to add more than a few to your blog readers!

If you are new to our site – Welcome!!!

Right, now all you need to do is leave a comment telling us what you would like to find wrapped up in your stocking this year. I’d like to find Michael Buble but I am not sure that is going to happen *sigh*!

By |December 12th, 2011|giveaway|323 Comments

Terrain Mini Charm Pack Winners!

Thanks for all of the wonderful comments on our Terrain post!  Reading all of your Christmas wishes was enough to put us in the holiday spirit.  We’re pleased to announce that the winner of the 5 Terrain mini charm packs, courtesy of Kate Spain herself, is Jess of Quilty Habit:

Terrain is one of my favorite lines ever. I’m asking for a fat eighth bundle (I’ve already made a skirt from a Terrain layer cake) – hoping to get some Good Fortune after Christmas :)

Jess has a great blog, so we suggest you click over and say “hello”!  Jess, shoot me an email at and I’ll be sure your charm packs are sent ASAP.  Congrats!

By |November 19th, 2011|giveaway, winners|6 Comments

Terrific Terrain

Kate Spain's

Tacha, Katy, and I are just back from Quilt Market in Houston and have been catching up, tending to our families, and trying to take a few deep breaths and catch a few winks of sleep!  We’ll be back with a proper blog post soon all about our adventures at market, but today wanted to feature one of our favorite new lines (and one of our very favorite people), Terrain by Kate Spain for Moda.  Kate’s new line is vibrant, colorful, and makes people happy … all of which can be said about Kate as well!

We also love our new Terrain masthead, designed by Kate herself.  RSS and Google Reader readers, click on over and take a look!

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite new projects that feature Terrain and demonstrate its flexibility in working beautifully across a wide range of items — from quilts to purses to pincushions!  (Speaking of flexibility, I’ve been using Terrain to make my Farmer’s Wife blocks, and continue to be amazed at how many other fabrics and fabric lines perfectly complement and coordinate with Terrain.  It’s almost magical!)

Throughout our tour, we’ll tell you 5 things about Kate that you probably didn’t know.  And, the always awesome and generous Kate has even offered up a fun little Terrain giveaway — stick around until the end of the post for more information about that.

But first, let’s take a tour through across Kate’s terrific Terrain!

Terrain Quilt
Made by Carlene Westberg of Carlene Westberg Designs

Terrain Quilt - the whole thing
Made by Crystal Stanworth (frivolous necessity)

Kate: “On more than one occasion, I’ve mentioned that hot dogs are my guilty pleasure. If they were good for you, i’d eat one a day! Otherwise, i’d have to say cashews. Or chocolate chip cookies. Or just the chips. By the handful.”

Terrain Starflower Quilt
Made by Samelia’s Mum

Gift Card Monster hacks
Made by Monica Solorio-Snow (Happy Zombie)

Kate: “The first thing i ever sewed by hand that i can remember was a felt watermelon slice, complete with glued on pits. I was in 5th grade. The most embarrassing thing i ever sewed and wore in public was my prom dress when i was a senior in high school. It actually fit as long as i didn’t take a deep breath or try to sit down. Ok so maybe i watched a few too many John Hughes movies!”

Terrain Patchwork
Made by two.hippos

Ziggety Mug Rug in Terrain
Made by Marieke (Annuin)

Kate: “Try not to get too jealous, but in 2004, I got to meet Yuko Shimizu in person. She is the Japanese designer who created Hello Kitty! Did you know Hello Kitty is a girl, not a cat? And she is from the suburbs of London!”

Stepping Stones
Made by Emma (emma_louise)

Gathered Clutch
Made by two.hippos

Kate: “I think practicing random acts of kindness should be mandatory. If you’ve never paid the toll for the car behind you, I highly suggest trying it. Or bringing a neighbor a freshly baked goodie. Here’s a fun little anecdote on this topic. A while back, Pete and i lived in New York City.  I don’t know how we came up with this, but one day during the summer, we took all the jewelry i never wore into Central Park and hung necklaces on tree limbs within reach of passersby, and left rings on park benches and bracelets on swings. We put one small black velvet jewelry box (with earrings in it) on the low wall surrounding Bethesda Fountain, then sat nearby to watch a woman discover it. On our way back to our apartment, we noticed that two of the necklaces had disappeared! It was a fun way to let old, unwanted stuff find a new home.”

Made by Suzanne (lavender1253)

tumbling block
Made by Sadie (sleepback)

Kate: “I can speak enough French to order a ham and cheese sandwich, coffee, or metro tickets.”

Made by cindys0707

Inspired by all of these amazing Terrain creations?  Well, you can win a small stash of Terrain all for yourself!  Kate has graciously offered to send one lucky winner 5 mini charm packs of Terrain.  Simply leave a comment on this post and tell us what’s on your Christmas list this year.  (We’re hoping that Santa brings us a little bit of Good Fortune, Kate’s upcoming line for Moda!)  We’ll randomly select one winner late next week.

Good luck!