Sunday, January 30, 2011

Featured Sponsor - Clever Quilter

Welcome to one our newest Sponsors, Jean from the fabric store, Clever Quilter!
Jean has dropped my FQ HQ today to tell us a little about her store and more!

FQ: Tell us a little about how 'Clever Quilter' came to open its virtual doors.

CQ: Before I become “one of us” I was “one of them”. My life involved cubicles, “business attire”, financial reports, board meetings, and worse yet, a bunch of “suits” with little imagination! When the company I was with merged, I had the opportunity to re-prioritize my life goals and really think about what I truly enjoyed. It took about a year for me to transition to “one of us”. Business, computers and fabric: I just added a bit of chocolate and voila! was born.

FQ : Do you have a team of helpers at your store who are clever quilters?

CQ: I believe *everyone* is a Clever Quilter. Our goal is to help quilters realize their “Clever” potential through offering easy but lovely patterns, kits and ideas. The projects are fast, portable and totally doable. You can stop in our shop here or read about various projects I’ve got going on at the Clever Quilter blog. We also gab a lot on facebook – look for us and friend us as at Clever Quilter.

FQ: You are also the creator of the intriguing & interactive site, “Quilting Is Murder”. Can you describe to us what it’s all about?

CQ: Certainly. Imagine a fun murder mystery mini-series for quilters complete with prizes and a search for clues. That’s the general idea of the project. Readers can simply enjoy the story a it unfolds over an 8 week period or join in the fun by registering as a “Quilt Detective”. We’re working with Killer Shops (quilt shops) and Deadly Sponsors who provide specials and prizes our detectives learn about throughout the promotion. Quilting Is Murder runs through 3/4/2011 with two new stories planned later in 2011. Come & join in the fun here! Catch up on our blog for updates! We’ve lined up a half dozen *real life* mystery authors to blog as the mystery unfolds. Cool!!

FQ: With 2 busy websites to maintain and all this mystery solving, do you find time to sew for yourself? If so, what’s your favorite item to sew?

CQ: I’ve been doing a lot of fusible appliqué work recently. The Last Rose and Guy the Giraffe are two projects you can read about on our blog. Fusible appliqué is fun, fast and oh so satisfying! I can start and finish a project (except final quilting) in a few evenings. Creating art quilts like this, is my chocolate fix: I grab one, work on it and am instantly gratified. We’ve been focusing on kitting more art quilts in the shop so I’ve been in heaven lately!! Oh and I can’t forget to mention these kits usually involve BATIKS. Lovely BATIKS. I purr when boxes of them arrive in the shop…..

FQ: Do you plan to start more interactive websites in the future? Can you give us any clues as to what those plans might entail…?

CQ: Yes, I can tell you but then I’d have to kill you… My uncle was an intelligence officer in the army and I remember he’d use that line all the time when he didn’t want to answer a question. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized, hey, he might just be serous… LOLOL!! Anyway, you’ll just have to sit tight and wait and see. Keep on eye on Quilting Is Murder’s Facebook page, and are keeping me on my toes right now. What’s up next is a ….mystery!

Thanks so much Jean for joining us today!

Jean has generously offered to give away a fat quarter pack of Thimbleberries fabric in Dark to one lucky reader! For a chance to win tell us about a sewing mystery you've experienced (missing fabric, ufo's that mysteriously pile up in the corner of your sewing room, baffling techniques you just can't work get the idea ;) ) & please go and like Clever Quilter on facebook!

We'll randomly select a winner & announce them here on 5th Feb. Good luck!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chit Chat..

Hello, it's Kate here!

Just popping in to let you know that I will be chatting with Sarah from Swell Cloth and Stash Resolution a little later on.

Sarah is asking me a whole heap of questions about craft and getting the inside scoop on how things are run here at Fat Quarterly.

If you want to listen in, the podcast can be found (for free) here:

Sarah will also be uploading chat notes here:

Edited ***********************

It is not possible to listen live. The podcast will be uploaded to the Stash Resolution site when ready.

Meet designer Amanda Murphy

Today we're excited to introduce you to Amanda Murphy, an exciting and prolific designer based in John's home state of North Carolina! Besides being a prolific sewist and pattern designer, Amanda recently released her second fabric collection with Robert Kaufman fabrics (Swiss Chocolate) and is set to release a third, Veranda, at Quilt Market this Spring.

Of course, Amanda comes bearing gifts!
  • First, she has designed a quilt pattern especially for readers of Fat Quarterly! Chocolate Torte is a roll-up friendly quilt pattern featuring Amanda's current line, Swiss Chocolate, and is free to download for all readers.
  • Second, three lucky readers will win a roll-up of Swiss Chocolate to begin making their own Chocolate Torte quilt, courtesy of Robert Kaufman.
  • And finally, Amanda will have another chance to win over on her blog. Head over there, say hello, and become a follower for your chance to win.
And now let's learn a little bit more about Amanda!

Please tell us a little bit about your background, and how you came to pursue fabric design.

I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in design. For years I produced corporate design work, for both print and multimedia. After moving to North Carolina and starting a family I began to do freelance work. Over the years my work has become more illustrative, and I’ve been lucky enough to incorporate my love of fabric and sewing into my design.

Your bio describes you as a lifelong sewist. How long have you been sewing & quilting, and how did you get started?

I can’t remember when I learned to sew, but my mom taught me the basics. As a grade schooler, I spent an inordinate amount of time fashioning Barbie “hoop skirts” out of muslin and floral wire and made houses for those lucky ladies out of appliance boxes in our basement. I made a quilted angel tree skirt when I was ten or eleven – I decorated the angels faces with actual makeup. I also made a dress for my mom fashioned completely out of pink polyester lace. (It was the early eighties, but I don’t think it was “in”, even then.) Yes, Mom wore it, although she has recently admitted that she only wore it once.

Your first collection with Robert Kaufman was "Ambrosia". What was the inspiration behind that line, and what did you learn about designing a fabric collection?

That line was inspired by mosaic tiles, Indian prints, and tropical blooms. I learned a lot about what can and can’t be printed on fabric, as opposed to print, and a lot about the logistics of fabric production in general. Robert Kaufman was great to work with.

Your current collection is called "Swiss Chocolate". What can you tell us about that line?

With Swiss Chocolate, I was really aiming to produce a collection that could work well with the existing décor in any home, as a quilt or other project. I wanted something rich, classic, and sophisticated (which you see in the scroll and blossom motifs) but I wanted something a little playful too. This playfulness is probably best reflected in the large scale motifs inspired by oriental rugs. I also wanted a line that could be used in quilts that would appeal to both men and women.

So many of us have brown wood tones all over our homes, and I tried to pick up on that. The chocolate color story also features reds and salmons for a warm look – I love those colors! The mocha story features cool blues, in conjunction with the browns and light caramel colors. I had a lot of fun designing for that color story too.

Most importantly, unlike real chocolate, Swiss Chocolate is non-caloric.

What is your favorite thing that you've seen made from your fabrics by someone else? What's your favorite thing that you've made with them?

I’ve seen lots of things other people made that I love, but the prize has to go to my mom. She made hundreds of Swiss Chocolate flying geese to recover her dining room chairs in just a few days, and she has never quilted before. I loved teaching my mom to quilt – it was a special experience. We don’t often get to teach our moms how to do something we love, do we?

My favorite thing that I’ve made? Well, I really love some of the quilts that I designed especially for Swiss Chocolate that will be featured in upcoming magazines– including a complimentary pattern for you all! It uses a jellyroll, with a little extra yardage. (Find the Chocolate Torte pattern here)

From where you do you draw your inspiration?

My two greatest sources of inspiration are nature and the decorative arts. I’m not one of those quilters who is also a gifted gardener, though. A plant has almost no chance of survival if I have anything to do with its care – I just love to visit the gardens of others. As for the decorative arts, I love furniture, paintings, clothing, pottery, porcelain, samplers, quilts – just about everything, and I wish we knew more about their creators. That ordinary people of earlier centuries managed to create such beautiful art when everyday life was so hard is a testament to the human spirit. I fantasize about spending unlimited time in places like Winterthur and Williamsburg. Philanthropists like Abby Rockefeller and Henry du Pont did so much to preserve this heritage too – they were ahead of their time.

What's next for Amanda Murphy Design?

QUILT MARKET! I’m going for the first time this spring and I’ll have my own booth with Robert Kaufman. I am SO excited about this. I cannot believe that I will be meeting all those talented people in the quilting industry. (I’ll have to get over my fear of flying to do it, but I can’t think of a better motivator.) If any of you out there will be going to market, please stop by because I’d love to meet you!

Thanks so much, Amanda! We hope you all enjoyed the interview. To enter to win a roll-up of Swiss Chocolate, simply leave a comment on this post below. We'll randomly select three winners on or around next Saturday, February 5th.

In the meantime, don't forget to download your free copy of Amanda's free quilt pattern, Chocolate Torte.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our "ghost" article

We hope by now that many of you are enjoying our latest issue, devoted to the subject of quilting and sewing with solids. The most observant have also alerted us to a missing article in this issue: "Quilting Cotton Solids", written by our own Tacha Bruecher.

Mysteriously, this article was included in the table of contents but didn't make its way into the issue. We're calling it our "ghost" article!

So for those of you who have already purchased issue #4, and as a special bonus to all of our blog readers, we are making the article available as a stand-alone PDF file. You can access it here:

Quilting Cotton Solids, by Tacha Bruecher

For those of you who haven't yet purchased any of our issues, this is a great preview of what you can expect in our magazine.


*** Edited ****

For those of you with no google account, you can download the solids article by clicking on the button below. The button will add a copy of the solids article for $0 to your cart. Simply click to purchase and you can download a copy of the article to your computer the same way you download an issue of the magazine.

Add to Cart


Issue 4 is now available for purchase! CLICK HERE to buy

In this issue you will find:
  • 10 sewing projects
  • Giveaways
  • Articles on Hand Quilting and Using Solids
  • Tutorials on Improv Piecing and EQ7
Plus much more!

frontcover issue 4

We hope you enjoy Issue 4 as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Raffle Winners!

Congratulations to the following who were just drawn in our raffle to win an annual subscription to Fat Quarterly in our Qld Flood Appeal raffle!

BevB said... 73 Thanks - great magazine and a truly needy cause. Rec#3233912
Sharon said... 52 My receipt number is 3202712.
Tracee said... 39 Makes me glad to be in hot, dry Perth.My receipt no is 3173428. Thanks
Kirsty said... 77 Great magazineReceipt #3234810
Adele said... 63 Well done for supporting this cause.Receipt 319400519290044 $200

Congratulations you 5! Please send us an email to and we will send you a download link :)

Many thanks to everyone who donated, not just in our raffle but in any of the auctions and raffles that have taken place in aid of the flood appeal. At FQ we raised $565! Yay! Toni will be announcing the grand total raised later this evening on her blog. Well done everyone!

Rich Reds

Some of our favourite 'Rich Red' photos.

1. Untitled, 2. I-8 Pete's Paintbox, 3. Out to the market 1.1, 4. apple, 5. red, 6. vintage crazy quilting, 7. Sets de table, 8. red and white, 9. Red White and Blue Picnic Quilt

The next theme is 'Glorious Green'. Start sending all your green photos to the group here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Issue 4 - Sneak Peek

John's "Carousel" quilt!

It is a great example of how you can incorporate solids and prints.

Carousel Quilt

Issue 4 goes on sale from January 27th!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Issue 4 - Sneak Peek

Does your sewing machine need a bit of TLC?

Look no further, Tach has created this beauty.

cover 1

Pattern available in Issue 4 - on sale Jan 27th!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Issue 4 - Sneak Peek

You too could be cloaked in quilt...project available in Issue 4.

messing about with quilts

Katy's 80's Batwing Sweater Quilt!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Issue 4 - Sneak Peek

The launch of issue 4 is just around the corner! It will be available for purchase from January 27th.

linen utility apron - issue 4

Nova's utility apron!

We have all loved working on this issue, which is dedicated to solids and hope you are inspired to make your own solid creation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack

This fortnights Fat Quarterly Fabric pack has been selected by Nova.

A fun selection of Timeless Treasure's organic cotton Daisies, Kei Honeycomb Dots & Quilters Linen....

This fabric pack is available at Fabricworm

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reader Competition: "WIN IT, TO BE IN IT"

Would you like the chance to win some amazing prizes AND feature in an issue of Fat Quarterly?

We are holding a 2 category competition on patterns seen in Issue 1, 2, 3, 4 (soon to be released) and the Christmas Special.

All you need to do is make something from any of the above issues and send your entry to

The competition will be split into 2 categories:

Category A: Quilts
Category B: Other Projects

We will award 3 prizes per category, a first prize and two runners up.

Category A - 1st Prize: A copy of EQ7 and a feature in an upcoming issue
Category A - runners up:  Two people will receive generous fabric packs

Category B -1st Prize: Craft book bundle and a feature in an upcoming issue
Category B - runners up:  Two people will receive generous fabric packs
  • Entries close end of March with winners drawn in April
  • Entries will be judged by Fat Quarterly and one guest judge to be announced.
What are you waiting for? Grab the button and start making!

Conditions of Entry 
  • 1 entry per person per category 
  • Entries sent to 
  • Include a max of 2 photos of made item 
  • Include in entry: name, address, email address, blog or flickr address, category entering and issue project was seen in.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Queensland Flood Relief

You may have seen on the news that  Queensland, Australia is experiencing horrific flooding.

Lives have been lost, homes are under water and thousands of people are living in evacuation centers.

You can see some of the devastation here.

In an effort to do our crafty bit we have joined Toni’s Flood Relief Appeal Auctions.

You can read all about the appeal on Toni’s blog Make it Perfect but basically, we are offering up 5  Fat Quarterly subscriptions and holding a raffle.

  • This giveaway is open to everyone no matter where you live.
  • To enter this giveaway you must donate $5 to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.
  • You may enter as many times as you like but each entry / donation must have a separate receipt number. 
  • Leave a comment/s below with your receipt number.
5 winners will be drawn on Wednesday 26th January.

Please help spread the word!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Blues

There have been some stunning 'Winter Blue' images sent to the Community & Inspiration group on Flickr.

1. 82.365, 2. custom work, 3. Chris's Quilt, 4. DQS9 by Poppyprint, 5. work in progress, 6. Pin Toppers, 7. The Blues [Feb 2, 08], 8. Boro Blues - Stitched Patched and Quilted Wall Hanging, 9. Linen and Denim Stripe Block Quilt

Thank you to everyone who participated, the next theme is 'Rich Reds' and a mosaic will be posted on the 25th January.

Start sending your 'Rich Red' images here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flickr Community & Inspiration

The new year is all about fresh starts and resolutions and it is no different here. In this space we want to start showcasing a little more of what you, our readers create.

Each fortnight, a theme will be set and we welcome you to add any photos that you think fit this theme. Then a selection of photos (around 9-10) will be selected and posted here, the Fat Quarterly website.

The first theme is 'Winter Blues'.

Half to Whole

Photo credit:

My new crochet corner

Photo credit:

You can join the flickr group here and while you are there take a look at some of the amazing - all things blue - photos that have already been added.


Photo credit:

The first mosaic will be shown on January 11th.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack

Each fortnight a Fat Quarterly team member will put together a bundle of fabric that we think will make a fantastic quilt.

First up, is a lovely selection of fabric put together by Kate.

This bundle can be purcashed from the Fat Quarter Shop, here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We hope that 2011 is filled with laughter and creativity.

The winner of the 'Betty Dear' bundle is comment number 66.

Hen said... Love that fabric! My favourite thing was a vintage crazy patchwork throw we spotted at a street market in the West Country. My other half had sneaked back to get it without me knowing and then there it was, on Xmas day! I now have it covering the chair in my sewing room, looking mighty fine.

Congratulations Hen! Please email your postal details to