Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Designer Focus - Brenda Riddle of Acorn Quilt & Gift Company and Giveaway!

Our Featured Designer this month is Brenda Riddle of Acorn Quilt & Gift Company.  We have the privilege of hearing about how Brenda got started in the business.  So sit back and enjoy the story! 


My love of working (playing really) with fabric and threads began when I was a little girl learning how to embroider. I had seen the table covers and doilies that my Mom had inherited from her mom and grandma, and I felt such a sense of belonging as I was also learning to do the variety of pretty stitches. I could sit and stitch for hours!


Then there were the beautiful patchwork quilts that Mom kept on the higher shelves in the linen closet. A little higher than I could reach, but I would always take a peek at them whenever I was asked to get something for my Mom from the lower shelves. . . or when putting away the towels when ‘helping’ my Mom folding the laundry. (Confession: I still like folding laundry!) The quilts were saved for ‘special’ occasions - when snuggling and comfort was especially needed - like when I had a cold or those times when Mom knew that cuddles wrapped in one of the quilts would help make everything little better. (She was so right - they still have that effect on me!)

As I grew, I started making my own clothes in middle school, and I continued to make many of my clothes until my early adult years. Then I was introduced to fabric stores, and my first job was working in a fabric shop when I was in high school. Not much of my paycheck ever made it out of the shop - but my love for bolts and bolts of fabric was definitely embedded into my creative soul.


In college, I majored in Art/Design and after graduating I worked in the architecture and interior design fields for about 9 years. It was a wonderful way to get to use my love for design, but there was something missing. It was becoming a ‘job’, and I was losing the joy.

All during these years, I had also worked with high school kids in my church's youth groups, and after a summer trip to Guatemala with a group of them, I realized that I would love to work with kids full time. So I left the design field and started teaching art and design in a private high school. I loved watching the kids learn and try and grow in their abilities and in their belief in their abilities; taking things step-by-step. I was reminded of a saying that my Grandpa would say, “. . . from little acorns, mighty oaks grow”.
It was also during this time that I began quilting and loving every aspect of it. I found that everything I had done before (creativity-wise) all seemed to fit perfectly with quilting. I taught at the high school for 15 years and during the last four years I began to grow Acorn Quilt & Gift Company. I was encouraged to go to Quilt Market, and once I did I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I said goodbye to full time teaching (I still like to sub now and again), and I’ve been very blessed with everything that has happened since. From designing quilts, fabric, and ever-expanding needlework designs I am one happy and blessed girl!  


My latest pattern, By My Hand, is one that is very dear to my heart. It reflects my love for all the aspects of quilting (piecing and appliqué), but also incorporates stitchery with its embroidery. The focus of the design is the cross-stitch samplers that I have always loved. Many of the vintage samplers were done by younger girls. It reminds me of the days when I was first introduced to a needle and thread and the incredible wonderful journey that has since come my way!

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Brenda! 


We have By My Hand available as a Block of the Month beginning in March, and patterns are also available separately. Take a look at all of Brenda's products in our Featured Designer category.

Brenda's dog Bailey has one more announcement!


That's right, Home Comforts, Comfort & Joy, and Simple Things Small Joys have all been marked down 30%.


GIVEAWAY!
Four lucky winners will receive a pattern or book by Brenda Riddle!  Enter a comment below sharing what your favorite Brenda Riddle pattern is, or tell us what you liked about Brenda's story. 

November Giveaway Winners!

Announcing the winners of our Verna Mosquera pattern giveaway:

RitaInAlaska of Alaska
Mom C. of Utah
Kate B. of British Columbia

Congratulations, ladies!  You have each won an autographed copy of Autumn Sunset! 

Thank you to all who participated.  The next giveaway will be up soon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Are You Thankful For?

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next Thursday? For those of you that are less familiar with Thanksgiving, here is a little back story. The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by some of the first colonists to give thanks to God for guiding them safely to the New World. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days - can you imagine planning to cook that much food for three days?! The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.

My question for all of you is, what are you most thankful for? Comment on my post below and share with everyone the things you are thankful for. To show my appreciation to all of you for sharing your thoughts with me, I'll randomly select 3 responders who will receive our Shabby Fabrics Exclusive Bountiful Harvest Table Runner and Bountiful Harvest Wall Hanging patterns.   We also have kits available for both the table runner and the wallhanging.

Warm Regards,
 
Jen
 

 

Tweeting Good Deals!

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you all something new and exciting that I have started. Shabby Fabrics will now be offering promotions and discounts using our Twitter account. I know that some of you may not be familiar with Twitter. However, I think now is the right time to get with the program.

Starting today we will be offering promotions to our Twitter followers. Special deals and savings will be "tweeted" periodically. Coupon codes will be listed in our tweets, which can only be seen if you are a Shabby Fabrics Twitter follower. We sent our first coupon tweet out this morning!
 
So what do you need to do to gain access to Twitter? All you need to do is create an account, and "follow" Shabby Fabrics! Our account name is "ShabbyFabrics". Watch your newsfeed for the newest promotions from Shabby Fabrics! Please take the opportunity to "tweet" at us too, we love chatting with our customers!

All aboard the Twitter train - tweeet, tweeet!

Jen

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vintage Rouge BOM!

Announcing the Vintage Rouge Block of the Month Program!


Vintage Rouge, by Vicki Bellino of Bloom Creek, is a classic quilt with a holiday flair. The 78" x 78" quilt utilizes both piecing and applique and is absolutely stunning in person! This Block of the Month Program includes pattern plus top fabrics, borders, binding, and embroidery floss. Fabrics will be exactly as shown from the Vintage Rouge collection by Faye Burgos of Marcus Brothers. Program beings in May 2012 and runs for six months, ending in October 2012. The program is $34 per month plus $5 shipping for US customers and $9 shipping for International customers. Enrollment fee is $10 to reserve your space.

A coordinated 3-piece Kimono Silk Thread set is also available!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Designer Focus - Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool & Giveaway!

Our November Featured Designer is Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool.  Verna is known for her intricate applique quilts and has released two fabric collections this year.  Here is what Verna had to say:

Verna in a top created with one of the
voiles from the October Skies collection.
I was so excited when Shabby Fabrics asked me to do a guest post about my new fabric collection October Skies for FreeSpirit Fabric. This is now my 5th fabric collection and it is hard to believe all that has happened to me in the quilting and fabric world since I began.


I started out as a student who was intrigued by quilting and just wanted to learn how to make a quilt. I took my first class over 15 years ago and have literally been quilting every day since. I was hooked from the word go and found myself soon teaching classes and building a following of people who enjoyed my teaching style and color sense.

Not long after I began to dabble in pattern design. I started The Vintage Spool with my husband Miguel when I was expecting my second son Nico back in 2004. I had always wanted a creative career and the quilt world offered me the opportunity to be an entrepreneur and a stay at home mom to my two sons Milo and Nico at the same time.

Verna's beautiful studio!
We launched with 6 pattern designs and started moving my samples around to different shops across the country. It didn’t take long for word to spread and for me to realize that my heirloom patterns struck a cord with many and filled a special niche in the market place. By our second year in business we decided we were ready to go to the International Quilt Market in Houston and that was when things really got interesting.


My quilt pattern designs were suddenly being purchased by wholesale shops and distributors all over the world. That coupled with the internet boom and word began to spread very quickly. At that same market I met Donna Wilder, previous owner of FreeSpirit Fabrics who loved my look and asked if I could do a line of fabric for FreeSpirit. I was thrilled to join such an up and coming group of designers and still feel incredibly blessed to be in such great company.
 
The first line was challenging to do as fabric design was all so new to me. When Sweet Escape debuted it was wonderful to see what a great response it got and energized me to do more lines and learn even more about the fabric world. As I began to design October Skies I realized how much I’ve learned and how much I truly enjoy working with my own fabric designs.


Verna and Jennifer

Although I’m often recognized for my soft color palette I knew I wanted to explore an autumn color theme. I did what I always do when I design and began to make a list of all that I found beautiful about the season. Sometimes I clip things from magazines or find swatches of color from fabric or paint chips. The colors were derived from everything from acorns, butternut squash, pumpkins, and especially California’s autumn sunsets (that’s where the pink comes in).


I am so excited to have both fabrics and patterns hit the market. October Skies just made its formal debut at the International Quilt Market in Houston. It is always terrific when customers finally get to see your vision. I hope they will be inspired to make some wonderful things from the collection. Both fabrics and patterns can be purchased at www.shabbyfabrics.com.

Thank you so much for letting me share about my designs.

Verna

  
Thank YOU, Verna!  We love carrying your patterns and fabrics and are happy to feature you this month!




Take a look at all of Verna's products on our website here.  Verna's last collection, Tea Cakes, was just adorable, and we still have kits available for two of her patterns using the fabric: Princess Tea Party (left) and Sugar Kisses (below).

  


GIVEAWAY!!

We are happy to announce a giveaway!  Three lucky readers will each receive a copy of Autumn Sunset autographed by Verna!  To enter, leave a comment below telling us your favorite Vintage Spool item.  One entry per person, enter until November 30, 2011.
Autumn Sunset

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

International Quilt Market Weekend Recap

Howdy from Houston everyone! I reckon the time has come to share with you all of the fun things I experienced this past weekend!

Friday was a whirlwind of a day spent putting the finishing touches on our booth, preparing from Sample Spree, and having a traditional Texas BBQ dinner at Rachel Ashwell's ranch. Lynn arrived Friday afternoon to help us put the finishing touches on our booth. Once the booth was near completion I headed out to prepare for dinner. Lynn and Dave spent their Friday evening working a very busy Sample Spree. While Lynn and Dave were at Sample Spree holding down the fort, I boarded a chartered bus and headed to Rachel's ranch.


The food was amazing, and her ranch was absolutely gorgeous. Rachel Ashwell, much like myself has a taste for all things shabby and beautiful. Many of you may be familiar with Rachel's most recent collection of fabrics Garden Rose.
Saturday morning we woke up early and headed to the convention center again for the first full day of Quilt Market. Lynn, Dave, and I spent the morning talking to shop owners.
                       


I was paid a visit from Rinske Stevens, one of our international distributors.



Rachel Ashwell also stopped by our booth.
I spent a lot of time in meetings Saturday afternoon with distributors reviewing the newest fabrics collections. By the time I had finished my meetings on Saturday it was time for the Moda dinner. Lynn, Dave, and I all went and had a wonderful evening.

On Sunday when the traffic was a little slower at the convention center I made my way around to some of your favorite designers. My first stop was Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs. Anne's newest pattern Merry, Merry Snowmen is one of our newest block of the month programs.












After I left Anne Sutton I headed on to The Quilt Company. Many of your favorite patterns are from The Quilt Company. Little Red Barns BOM, Cottage Charm, Lovebird Lane. Their newest pattern will be a Block Of the Month that we will offer as well, it is called Carrot Patch.
                                                                                              
 Here is a look at a new Block Of the Month that we will offer called Vintage Rouge, this program will start in May.





 I stopped by and saw Marti Michell, she's the creator of the Perfect Patchwork Template Sets that many of you use when completing Patchwork Party.









I was also able to see Pearl Pearl P. Pereira who is the designer of the wonderful American Album blocks. Pearl had a finished blocks hanging in her booth that were so beautiful.
I found the most lovely ruffle fabric that we will start to carry in our shop soon. I also found three very beautiful quilts that we will start to offer as kits in the coming months.


It's time for me to go get ready for Quilt Festival. Lynn and Dave have already started preparations. Check back soon for more updates. Have a great week y'all!
Jen

October Giveaway Winners!

Thank you all for participating in our October Giveaway!  The winners of the quilted baby shoes from Curby's Closet are:

Sarah from Virginia
Mary on Lake Pulaski

Congratulations, ladies! 

Our November Featured Designer and Giveaway will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned!