Rosemont’s International Quilt Festival: Trends & Hot Topics

Last week AllFreeSewing and FaveQuilts were able to make it to the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont, Illinois. To put it in a word, we were ecstatic. As one would imagine, we’re pretty happy when it comes to seeing what can be pieced together with a needle and thread. Browsing through the amazing finished quilts and cutting edge products had us absolutely giddy.

Janome

Paddycakes

Quilt Display Products

But to keep all of our discoveries and newfound treasures to ourselves would be selfish, so after a few days of calming ourselves down from the madness, we’re here to report the top trends from the International Quilt Festival.

Top Trends from the International Quilt Festival

3D – This is an age of innovation in the world of free motion and hexie quilts. No longer are we confined to keeping things flat with fabric. Ladies and gentleman, it’s time to go big, bold, and home with dimensionality in your quilting projects & products.

 

Handy Caddy

International Quilt Festival Display
Color! Now you might be thinking, “Duh, AllFreeSewing and FaveQuilts, color is always at a quilt festival,” but we’re here to tell you that it was like a color explosion in Rosemont. Brights prominently made their way into every kind of quilt and fabric available at the show.

Fabric Display at International Quilt Festival
Novelty Fabrics – Along with wild colors were uninhibited prints on tons of fabrics we saw available. Movie characters, animals, and even popular Pins made their way to the show this year.

International Quilt Festival Fabric

Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Embroidery – Designs and long-arm machines made our mouths water at the International Quilt Festival. We were particularly excited to see a lot of fabrics that made use of sparkly thread as a detail, similar to inlay thread.

BERNINA         Linda Z's Sewing Center

Needless to say, we’ll be returning next year. Watch out, 2015! Here we come!

International Quilt Festival

 

Have you ever been to a quilt festival?

 

FaveQuilts’ Top Five Quilt Films and Documentaries

We’ve talked before about our favorite novels about quilting, and all the ways that quilting affects our lives, from charity quilting to quilt guilds. The best part of quilting is the community built into it; people who understand that “fat quarter” isn’t an insult and exactly how much work the gift of a quilt requires, especially if they’re hand-stitched! Quilting requires a lot of really difficult quilt math, creative energy, and boundless patience. These films and documentaries run the gamut from heartwarming movies to informative history lessons—just like the hobby of quilting itself. So settle in and enjoy! All of these films are available on Amazon.

 

 

Stitched the Film

 

1. Stitched, the Film From Amazon: “Stitched” is a fun-filled documentary following three quilters racing to complete their entries for the International Quilt Festival, the largest and most competitive quilt show in the nation. The compelling doc uncovers an overlooked medium that has progressed from traditional folk to modern art.

 

 

 

how-to-make-an-american-quilt

 

2.How to Make an American Quilt From Amazon: Berkeley graduate student Finn (Winona Ryder) is spending the summer at the home of her sparring grandmother and great aunt (Oscar winners Ellen Burstyn and Anne Bancroft), where she intends to finish her latest thesis and think over a marriage proposal. As she wrestles with her decision, the women in her grandmother’s quilting bee confide to her the stories of the loves that shaped their own lives. Also starring Maya Angelou, Kate Nelligan, Jean Simmons, Lois Smith and Alfre Woodard, How to Make an American Quilt is a deeply moving and funny film that celebrates following your heart.

 

 

Why Quilts Matter: History, Art and Politics

 

3. Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics From Amazon: The nine-part documentary series will change the way you think about quilts. It’s an exploration of quilts with capital Q that takes you on an amazing journey. Episode by episode, this series introduces new ideas and uncovers the unsuspected size and depth of quilt culture. Delve into the inner workings of the art world, explore behind the scenes in the marketplace, and journey into the complicated, kaleidoscopic world of quilts: explore two centuries of history; watch as women gain power from their handiwork; consider the nature of art itself; and more.

 

 

Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt

 

 

 

4. Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt From AmazonStories From The QuiltAs of 2004, a variety of drugs have been developed to resist, if not cure, AIDS–yet Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt remains as emotionally powerful as it was during the height of the crisis, when people were dying by the thousands every year. With a combination of photo-montages, interviews with friends and family members, home movies, and news footage, this 1989 documentary captures the grief of those who have survived victims of AIDS. A moving combination of art and politics.

 

 

The Quilts of Gee's Bend5. Quilts of Gee’s Bend

From Vimeo: The Quilts of Gee’s Bend documentary accompanies the major exhibitions of Gee’s Bend quilts. Set in the quiltmaker’s homes and yard, and told through the women’s voices, this music-filled, 28-minute documentary takes viewers inside the art and fascinating living history of a uniquely American community and art form. Available to watch free online here.

 

 

 

 

 

Sizzix Fabi Starter Kit

Don’t miss out! We’re giving away a Sizzix Fabi Starter Kit, absolutely free. 

Cut modern and traditional shapes in a hurry with the new Sizzix Fabi Starter Kit. If you’ve never used a die cutter before, then this is the machine for you! Simply attach the handle and you are ready to cut. The cutting machine is very intuitive to use, and can easily cut through multiple layers of fabric.

Enter to win today!

Do you have a favorite film about quilts?

Quilting 101 for Animal Lovers: Animal Print, Modern Quilt Patterns, and Projects for Pets

One of our favorite sources of inspiration has been shared with designers, quilters, and people all over; animals. Our editors at FaveQuilts have noticed that whether it’s with gorgeous animal print fabric or a cute little quilt pattern for your pet, quilters can’t get enough of animal patterns! We want to help celebrate both the wild and the domestic with some creative and cute quilt patterns that are all animal-inspired in one way or another.

Projects with Animal Print

Quilting fabric is so much fun when it comes to prints. Not only are there patterns than use those classic designs we’re familiar with like the one seen in the Tiny Tiger Pouch, but there are also some beautiful fabrics that include cute little animals that quilters are able to cut and transform into creative designs for kid’s quilt patterns, as well as holiday-themed designs.

 

  1. Tiny Tiger Pouch (shown)
  2. Bedtime Bears Baby Quilt
  3. Cats Around the World Quilt
  4. Chilly Penguin Wall Art
  5. Elephant Applique Cushion
  6. Under the Sea Quilt

Modern Quilt Patterns Inspired by Animals

Even if you only have plain fabric, you can still express your love of animals through your quilt patterns. There are many paper piecing patterns and quilt blocks that use the techniques you’re already familiar with to depict your favorite animals right on your project.

 

 

 

 

  1. Happy Cat Quilt Block (shown)
  2. Bird Love Quilt
  3. Enchanting Peacock Pillow
  4. Giraffe Quilt Block
  5. Howling Wolf Block
  6. Majestic Maple Fox Block
  7. Owl Always Love You Quilt Sampler
  8. Pig in a Blanket Quilt
  9. Silly Shabby Butterflies Quilt

 

Small Animal Quilt Projects

Putting an animal on your quilt isn’t the only way you can make a project featuring your favorite creatures. These small quilt projects serve as organizing ideas, quilted gifts, and just all-around fun ways to make you smile.

 

  1. Kitten in a Box (shown)
  2. Bucket of Fish Game
  3. Charlie the Elephant
  4. Chickadee Pincushions
  5. Stuffed Turtles
  6. Sweet Christmas Birdie Ornament
  7. Winter’s Deer Paper Pieced Block

 

Projects for Pets

Our pets are like members of the family, so why not show them some love with one of these easy quilt patterns? Imagine how much money you’ll save by putting together a scrappy pillow for your puppy or a fun little catnip toy for your cat. They’ll last for years, they’re easy to repair, and they’ll be just as unique as your precious pet.

 

 

  1. Pinwheel Pillow for Puppies
  2. Plaid Puppy’s Dog Bed
  3. Best Blanket for Dogs
  4. Reversible Halloween Dog Coat
  5. Catnip Mice

 

Safari Fabric Bundle

 

If you’re ready for your patterns to get wild with some animal-inspired designs, simply enter to win this Safari Fabric Bundle from Quilting Treasures. You have until November 5th!

What animal do you think is the most inspiring?

 

 

 

 

Quilting Color Pop: Finding the Perfect Free Quilt Pattern in Any Color

We’ve all got a favorite color, and this can be a real joy for quilters. When we have a go-to color, any pattern seems possible. The editors at FaveQuilts have seen all kinds of color schemes and amazing blends, but today, we wanted to focus on the basics. All you need to do is pick a color and see how you can use it to bring out the best in your quilt:

Quilt in Color: Free Patterns

Red

Nothing burns brighter than red, and it’s versatility really shows through once you start using it within your different designs. There’s a special kind of romance that’s created when you blend red squares with whites and pinks to make an unforgettable patchwork pattern. Use a more modest shade to accentuate a classic design, or mix your shades together to give a simple quilt pattern more depth. Bold quilters will also appreciate how powerful a statement the darker shades create.

Orange

For a refreshing sense of brightness and energy, definitely consider orange. Whether it’s in the center of a basic quilt block pattern or running in and out of a complicated pattern like the rail fence quilt shown above, orange will make your patterns stand out.

Yellow

Are you just bursting with positivity and want your quilt pattern to do the same? Then you should become a fan of yellow! These cheery hues are popular with all ages, meaning you can design yourself a new throw and make a cute little quilted wallhanging for your little one. Fashionistas looking to make their outfit pop should make their next quilted bag pattern with some happy yellow fabric.

Green

Go green (literally) with another versatile color that creates a sense of natural beauty within any quilt pattern. Bright greens are excellent for springtime, especially if you’d like to depict some actual nature in your pattern. Many of the best garden quilt patterns utilize green as a base to complement other colors while still maintaining an overall balance of hues.

Blue

Another very popular color is blue. Not only is it a go-to color for patterns for boys, but its cool tones feel right at home within winter patterns. There are so many different shades that you can create a unique pattern simply with this primary color.

Purple

Mysterious and elegant, purple is a beautiful and rich color sure to present a sense of regality in your patterns.

Pink

Have fun with your projects of any size by adding one of the liveliest colors there is; pink. It’s a favorite for designing quilt patterns for girls, as well as embellishing fashion patterns. Pink patterns are also a special way to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness.

 

Timeless Treasures Soho Solids

 

If you’re in need of some real color therapy, enter to win a bundle of gorgeous Soho Solids from Timeless Treasures. We’re giving away three bundles of some of the best quality fabric basics you can find. The contest ends on October 22nd, so enter today.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your favorite color to quilt with?

 

FaveQuilts Giveaway: Clothworks Basics Cloth and Thread

It’s overwhelming to know just how many fabric lines there are. Finding the right pattern is tough enough as it is, but adding on the time you’ll have to spend looking for the right designs to bring out the best in your quilt can be quite stressful. To alleviate you readers of this burden, the editors at FaveQuilts are always on the lookout for the best lines and collections that we think will help your quilt make a lasting impression. Lately, we’ve been very excited to receive not only a splendid fabric bundle, but also an equally beautiful pack of thread all from Clothworks. Their Basics Cloth and Thread show that you don’t need crazy designs and complex patterns to make a quilt of stand-out quality.

Clothworks Basics

Their basic bundle from the Impressions Moire collection immediately separates itself from other basic fabric lines with its rich hues and mysteriously intricate prints. Anything from beginner quilt patterns to more advanced quilt designs will have a more pronounced decorative quality that easily complements or contrasts your home, wardrobe, or anything else you’d like. There’s a timeless quality to the look that suits the classic and the contemporary for just about any occasion. It’s all too rare to have a basic bundle with such a high-end appearance that’s going to give your quilts a real boost in quality.

When it comes time to focus in on the smaller details of your quilt, nothing will come in handy more than the Laurel Burch Thread. The pack includes a series of mako cotton with both solid and variegated colors. This gives you endless opportunities for making your free motion patterns, embroidery, and every other stitch within your quilt highlight the workmanship. Make your applique quilt designs really pop with eye-popping colors that will bring out the best in any quilt pattern.

Bringing out the best in your quilt doesn’t have to be difficult. Go back to basics with the Clothworks Basics Bundle and Thread, which includes both an Impressions Moire bundle and a 10 count thread pack. We’re ready to help you get started, so we’re giving away one of these Basics Bundle and Thread. All you need to do is enter on our site by the 17th.

FaveQuilts Giveaway: Free Range Fabric Collection from Monaluna

Finding a fabric line that’s not only enjoyable for you to work with, but also loved by those who you’ll be quilting for isn’t easy. It’s rare to find a collection that has cute patterns suitable for kid’s quilts, but also some designs with variety that you can use for projects for more mature friends and family. Thankfully, Monaluna is always one step ahead when it comes to offering fabric that’s high quality and incredibly popular. This season, they’re inviting quilters to take a trip down to the country with the vivid colors and classic images of the Free Range Fabric Collection.

Free Range Fabric Collection

Every project you make, whether it be a full quilt pattern or a small project, will be soft to the touch thanks to Monaluna’s 100% organic cotton. From the image above, it’s easy to see how colorful the collection is, and there’s plenty of variety. You can complement a solid patchwork pattern with the “Polka Ott” spotted fabric. It’s got a bit of a retro look to it, with the shaping of the circles adding that bit of quirk that will intrigue people to look at your pattern.

The Free Range Fabric Collection also includes fabric with some of the most recognizable items and animals on a farm. Imagine what kind of themed projects you can make with “Tractors” or “Little Farm”. The patterns are all consistent, which means you won’t have any trouble cutting your fabric evenly. Animal lovers will particularly fall in love with this collection’s “Bah Bah Black Sheep”, “Cluck Cluck”, and “Foxy Returns”. These patterns, as well as the “Apple Barn Cow” design can even be used for some fun quilting games that will help kids learn some basic words and spelling.

You don’t need to take a trip to have some fun on a farm now. Just get your own Free Range Fabric bundle and explore a new world within your quilting. Already excited about this collection? Then be sure you’ve entered our giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a Free Range Fabric bundle; You have until September 3rd, so don’t forget to enter today.

FaveQuilts Giveaway: Kozy Cuddle Kit from Shannon Fabrics

It’s so exciting to find that special fabric that you just need to make a pattern with. The downside can be that sometimes, you may not have any idea what to do with it. One way to avoid this is with a quilt kit, which not only includes some fantastic quilt fabrics, but also a free pattern that shows you just what to do to make your gorgeous new fabric look its best. The editors at FaveQuilts are excited to share one of the most popular kits for quilters from one of our favorite fabric companies, Shannon Fabrics. Take a look below to read all about the Kozy Cuddle Kit and how you can use it to make a warm and fuzzy new quilt that the whole family will love.

Kozy Cuddle Kit from Shannon Fabrics

The Kozy Cuddle Kit is one of the many packs from Shannon fabrics that makes the process of constructing a quilt with amazing fabric much easier. Inside the kit, you’ll find a colorful stack of cuddle fabric already prepared for you as pre-cut strips that you’ll be piecing together to make your new quilt. Cuddle fabric comes in all kinds of colors, and you’ll have one less step to worry about, as the kit has already organized the perfect complementary colors for you. All you really need to do is prepare your backing and binding, and put your quilt together. The finished pattern will make a comforting blanket for a baby or child, or a fun throw that the whole family can enjoy while relaxing in the family room.

If you’re in need of some cuddly quilting fabric, all you need to do is enter our new contest. We’ve giving away one Kozy Cuddle Kit with complete with fabric and a free pattern. Make sure you enter by August 20th for your chance to win!

FaveQuilts Giveaway: Novelty Fabrics from J&O Fabrics

It seems like there are more and more fabric designs becoming available to quilters every day, and picking out which ones to start with can be a tough decision (especially when it comes to prices). If you’re looking for variety, we highly recommend you take a look at some of these novelty fabrics from J&O Fabrics. They’ve designed fabrics with every quilter in mind, with a range of designs that suit all of your quilting needs from holidays, to kids quilts, to designs that are just amazing to look at.

J&O Novelty Fabric

J&O doesn’t sacrifice style for substance; every yard of fabric is made with 100% cotton, giving your quilts a soft, lightweight feel that makes any pattern you make snuggly and warm. With 70 categories of novelties listed on the site, the options are endless. You can find fun and bright superhero designs and automobiles for kids, festive designs for Christmas, and plenty of nature-inspired fabrics. The Sea Turtle Sanctuary design shown above demonstrates how beautifully realistic and inspiring these fabrics can be. There are also plenty of fabrics that offer more standard solids, as well as bursting florals and batik designs for a richly exotic look.

You can have a new fabric design for practically every occasion with these Novelty Fabrics from J&O Fabrics, and you can receive a whole pack for free with our newest giveaway! We’re offering readers a chance to win a big bundle with over 15 different patterns. Enter to win on our site by August 6th for your chance to win.

FaveQuilts Giveaway: Stile Fabric Collection from Liberty Lifestyle Fabrics

It seems that there’s fabric out there to satisfy the style choices of every quilter. Making the decision on what design to work with seems impossible, which is why having a series of samples can be not only helpful, but inspiring. Floral fanatics are going to get that feeling immediately after laying eyes on any of the prints within the super-chic Stile Fabric Collection from Liberty Lifestyle Fabrics. The editors at FaveQuilts were blown away by how versatile and distinct this daring collection was, and we all agree that both traditional and contemporary quilters will find at least one design that they’ll want to include in their next flowery quilt.

Stile Fabric Collection from Liberty Lifestyle Fabric

What draws in so many people to this incredible collection is the use of both color and geometry to portray numerous types of floral imagery. Liberty Lifestyle went to great lengths to ensure that this collection suited all types of quilters, as you can see by comparing the designs. For example, there’s the “Mackintosh” pattern (shown above), which combines uses an endless number of shapes and colors to create a noticeable level of depth and complexity within the fabric. Quilters looking for a pattern with an exotic vibe will really enjoy this in any color scheme, especially with such a variety of floral designs within one pattern. In contrast, there’s also designs for quilters preferring something a little less busy, like the “Wells” pattern. There are two simple flower schemes here, each of which is consistently cascading throughout the pattern. Either of these patterns would look striking as part of a full quilt pattern or even as embellishments. It all depends on the quilter’s vision.

Flowers can bring a quilt to life in so many ways at any point in the year, and with fabric as artistic and lush as those included in the Stile Fabric Collection from Liberty Lifestyle Fabrics, you’ll have 8 different options, as well as even more color palettes to make a truly mesmerizing quilt. Ready to get your hands on this collection? Then simply enter our giveaway by the 23rd, and you’ll be entered to win your very own set of the fabrics in the Stile Fabric Collection.

FaveQuilts Giveaway: All Hands on Deck Fabric Bundle from Dear Stella Design

Quilters are all ready to dive into summer with new quilt patterns to make for their home, outdoors, and just about everywhere else! One thing that can be tricky when it comes to seasonal quilting can be fabric choices. You wouldn’t want to be using icy colors or pastels during the summer. It’s time for bold prints and fun designs that the whole family can enjoy. That’s why the editors at FaveQuilts are so excited to share the news about our latest giveaway with you! For all the fun and excitement of a trip to sea without the price of a ticket, you can set sail on all kinds of quilting adventures using the patterns included in the All Hands on Deck fabric collection from Dear Stella Design.

All Hands on Deck Fabric Bundle from Dear Stella Design

What makes this collection of fabrics such a pleasure for quilters is that while it maintains a consistently fun, nautical theme, there are different ways in which the themes used are presented. The designs from Jack and Lulu are playful, eye-catching, and even a little traditional. Patterns of crabs, lobsters, whales, and fishermen can easily be part of a new bed quilt for a sea-loving child, or maybe even a quirky set of kitchen patterns for someone special who loves to cook.

If you prefer more subtle patterns, don’t worry! The collection also features patterns with consistent patterns using anchors, boats, and more. It’s exciting to discover all of the ways in which the designers bring together familiar nautical themes to suit a number of styles and age groups.

Don’t let your summer be dry and boring. Every quilt you make will be like its own little trip to sea with the clever fabric from the All Hands on Deck fabric collection. Those ready to set sail with their patterns will be excited to hear about our brand new giveaway on FaveQuilts.  Enter by June 25th for your chance to win your very own All Hands on Deck fabric bundle from Dear Stella Design!