Friday, March 30, 2012

Designer Spotlight: Debbie Taylor-Kerman

Our designers are fabulous and we recently had a chat with Debbie Taylor-Kerman. Right after the interview, we have details on how you can win some of her Delightfully Frightful fabric! Take a peek at the line on our website! The line will be shipping in May! Make sure that you check it out at your local quilt shop.

HG: Where do you get your inspiration from?

DTK: I'm inspired by my kids, being inside their imaginary worlds and listening to their thoughts, traveling, shopping, being mindful and aware of what's going on around me, children's books and visiting trade shows. I also feel inspired by the things that I feel passionate about - women's issues, being a good parent, diversity, spiritual, emotional and physical well-being, ecology, equality and love.

HG: How long have you been designing?

DTK: I graduated from college with a degree in textile design in 1987 and have been designing ever since. I was a textile designer for fifteen years before branching out into licensing and therefore designing art for many different products. Oh my, seeing that in writing is making me feel old ...

HG: Can you give us a sneak peek into your studio?

DTK: I work from my home in New York City. We renovated a beautiful five story townhouse in Harlem, which took us over 2 years to complete. I absolutely adore our home and our workspace, and even though the process of renovating was a nightmare, it was worth it in the end. I feel completely blessed because here I am, not only living in this amazing city, I get to have enough space to work from home (so that I can be at home when my kids get back from school) and I also get to have a garden, both of which are rare in NYC. We have two floors for business, and I'm completely spoiled as my studio is on the top floor with a deck outside of it. I call it my cherry on the cake, as it has big windows overlooking the most spectacular panoramic view of Manhattan. At the end of my workday, as dusk approaches, I still get blown away after being here 3 years, watching the Manhattan skyline light up as th
e heavens go from cobalt, to pink, to midnight blue.

HG: Where did you grow up and where is your home town now?

DTK: I grew up in Scotland. I love Scotland and still visit often but my home is definitely here in NY. Bu as I always say, home is where my boys are.

HG: Pets or children?

DTK: I have two gorgeous sons, Eli who is twelve and Jules is eight. They are very different from each other, but they are both fabulously rambunctious and exuberant boys - no make believe tea parties and beauty salons for me, but I have loved every minute of building train tracks, make believe good guy/bad guy games and building lego ships. As you can see by our last Halloween photo, no fairy princesses for me either!

Unfortunately we have no animals. Both my husband Elliott and I are allergic to cats and dogs, which is a real bummer. I had a cat growing up and it wasn't until I was in my thirties that I developed allergies. Petting cats is actually one of the things in life I really miss.

HG: Favorite hobbies or vacation spot?

DTK: My favorite hobbies are yoga, tennis and antiquing. Being the Mom of two young children, I still struggle with finding time to nurture my own hobbies. I find that my weekends can be filled with shuttling them to tennis and I don't find the tie for it myself. I keep telling myself that will change as they get older and more independent - fingers crossed. : )

In the past couple of years, we've started to recognize that like us, our boys love adventure and travel. This past summer we took them on a camping trip out west to northern California and Oregon. We had the best time. So having been fully inspired and invigorated by that trip, this year we've planned a couple of great adventures. Pretty soon we're heading out to Santa Fe. I adore the culture out there, Native American history and, of course, the breathtaking scenery. I can't wait to experience that with them. Then at the end of the summer, we're taking them to Paris and then to a beautiful island on the west coast of France called Isle de Re for 3 weeks. I have spent a lot of time in France and this will be the first with my boys. I can't wait to share French culture with them for the first time.

HG: What medium do you create with?

DTK: I usually work with watercolor. I've just started to learn Photoshop. It has opened up a new world to me and has amazing capabilities but there's nothing more satisfying than the tactile feeling of creating a new image from a blank piece of beautiful textured watercolor paper, some paints and a beautiful brush.

HG: Thank you for this amazing peek into your life!

Leave a comment here and we'll have a drawing for some of Debbie's Delightfully Frightful fabric! Giveaway closes next Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 4 p.m.

Good luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Congratulations to Debbie St. Germain for winner our latest giveaway! Thanks for participating!

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Facebook Home

Good morning!

We want to let you know that we have a new Facebook home! Go and like us over there!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Guest Designer: Chelsea Anderson On Shirring

We had a chat with our very own, Chelsea Anderson of Pink Fig Design and the designer of the line, Amelie. She's a busy mom and for her latest venture, she's started working with the awesome folks at Zulily. Look at the beautiful designs that she's been working on!

These gorgeous outfits are in her shop now. Make sure that you check them out! The outfits are so perfect for the season.

We think that Chelsea should sew up some adult-sized ones for us to wear!

Chelsea wrote up this amazing tutorial for us on shirring. Thanks for the clear instructions and great photos!
Shirring can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it you will want to shir everything! Pink Fig Design's Chelsea Andersen is our guest today and she wrote this great tutorial on shirring for you!

1. To get started you will need some elastic thread and a bobbin. I buy my elastic thread at my local fabric shop and it looks like this:

2. Hand-wind your elastic thread onto the bobbin. Don't try to wind it using your machine. It will pull the elastic too tight and this will cause your shirring to be tight and the thread to break. When you are hand-winding you can pull on it a tiny bit to help keep the thread even on the bobbin, but don't pull too tight or you will cause the thread to break while you are shirring. After it is wound, it should look like this:

3. You will use the elastic thread on the bobbin and regular thread on the top of your machine. you can match your thread to the color of your fabric on top since the elastic thread will only be showing on the inside of the piece that you are sewing.

If you have a non-computerized sewing machine, in most cases, you will want to set your stitch length to 4 and leave your tension where you have it for regular sewing and you will sew with a straight stitch. If you find that the elastic is too loose or too tight on the back then you will want to adjust your tension. If you are still having trouble with your elastic then you might want to make sure the elastic thread isn't on the bobbin too tight. Practice on scraps first to make sure that you have it right. Straight stitch shirring looks like this:
Computerized sewing machines often times have a shirring stitch built in. I have a Babylock Espire and my machine has a stitch called the elastic zig zag stitch. It sets the tension for me and I just have to choose the stitch width and length. I set my length to 3.5 and width to 4. Elastic zig zag stitching looks like this:

Either stitch works great, but depending on your machine, you may need to play around with your tension and stitch length to get it right.

4. When you are ready to start make sure you have about 1" of elastic thread pulled from the bobbin so that you have enough to tie it off with your ending piece. Start sewing on a side seam with the top ofyour fabric facing up and the bottom of your fabric against the machine. you want to see your regular thread on top NOT the elastic thread. That should only be seen on the back side of your fabric.

When shirring around a neck line or on short sleeves, I like to start about 1/4" away from the edge so that it gives it a cute ruffled look. I usually space my rows 1/4" apart on sleeves, necklines, and chestlines. If I am doing several rows of shirring for a bodice or something around the chest, I set my rows 1/2" apart. Sometimes if you put your rows too close together it makes the shirring really tight.

Once you have gone all the way around to where your threads meet up, make sure that you leave about an inch of elastic thread so you can tie it off with the starting piece. Gently tie 3-5 knots trying not to break the thread:

This is what your rows of shirring should look like from the inside:

When you are all done with your shirring to tighten the elastic thread, steam it with an iron. Don't pull on the threads to tighten them, they will break! After you steam the elastic it should shrink up to look like this:

All done!

Thank you, Chelsea for spending some time with us! Have you ever tried shirring? What other techniques are you interested in learning?

Remember to enter our giveaway!

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Feeling Like Spring Around Here!

These colors and creatures make us happy that spring is around the corner. Did you do any sewing this weekend for the International Quilt Day? Are you making any spring or Easter projects?

Shelly Comisky designed this adorable line and the colors are so pretty. The creatures are cute and we're sure that you'll have a lot of fun sewing up a project with this line. Let's have a little giveaway! Name the four animals shown these swatches and we'll pick a random winner for some fabric [the fabric will be our choice!] Deadline is Friday at 4 p.m. Good luck!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Friday!

Tomorrow is International Quilt Day! What sort of plans do you have? Will you quilt at home all day or will you head down to your local quilt shop to have some fun?

We thought that we'd end the week on a happy note! Linda Lum DeBono has a lovely thought and the flowers are gorgeous! Have an inspiring weekend!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Humpty Dumpty And Friends

You were right! Last week we showed a snippet of a new line, Story Time Rhymes, by Delphine Cubitt. The color cards are in the sales reps' hands and your local quilt shop owner should be putting orders in for this adorable line right about now. Story Time Rhymes will be available in July so send some love for the line and look for it when it hits the store shelves!

There is a wonderful panel [above] that you can use to make a quilt and there's a book panel [below] that is so much fun! You can sew together a fabric book with images and several of your favorite nursery rhymes from this panel.

Adorable, right? It's a great line especially for your special little ones. The coordinates are just as adorable!

Thanks, Delphine for a great line. Look for an interview with Delphine in the coming months. We're going to give you a glimpse of her colorful studio!

By the way, the cow jumps over the moon in this line too!

We couldn't agree more with the pup! They are having lots of fun!

We Have A Winner!

We have a winner from our Beth Logan drawing! The winner is Lynn Damewood from Davidson, NC. Congratulations!

Friday, March 9, 2012

We're Changing Things Up Around Here

Have you noticed? We've started to change things around here. It's still a work in progress but we're going to bring you some more inspiration and fun. Stay tuned.

p.s. Isn't that a cute print? It is a sneak peak for a new line that will be out in July but because the fabric samples that came back were so cute, we couldn't resist showing you just a little bit. The swatch is from Delphine Cubitt. We'll bring you some more peaks next week. Can you guess the theme of this fabric?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Meet the Designer: Interview with HG Designer Beth Logan

Meet the Designer: Interview with HG Designer Beth Logan

Beth has a new line: Buttercup Babies being released in March.
Check back soon for a Sneak Peak of her new line.
Be sure to leave a Comment on our Blog by Monday, March 12th for a free Fabric Giveaway!

HG: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Oh boy – I get inspiration from just about everything around me. It’s hard not to. I think most creative people are like that, we’re just sponges!

I really notice this when I draw and paint characters they turn out looking strangely familiar. When I draw moose or bears, their faces often remind me of my dog (seriously!) and my bunnies seem to have the same little expressions as the baby squirrels I care for at the Wildlife Center where I volunteer!

HG: How long have you been designing?

Well, let’s see... I’ve been drawing pretty much nonstop since I could first hold a crayon. My patient and supportive parents learned when I was just a toddler that if they wanted to keep end-papers of books, or even the white walls in our home clean, they needed to keep me stocked with paper to draw on – and they continued to do so until they sent me off to art school.

I quit my last “real job” in 1992 (I was the human version of a paint-matching computer for a small home-decor store!) and have been designing full-time ever since. I stumbled into Art Licensing very much by accident, and for the first several years supplemented that with decorative painting in people’s homes – murals, borders, and decorative treatments – and doing graphic design – logos, business cards, and such.

Then 12 years ago I narrowed my focus to just Licensing and haven’t looked back! It’s a kick for me to see my art on different products, I never lose that Christmas morning excitement when I get to see something new for the first time; I literally squeal (often scaring the animals) when my fabric samples arrive. I can’t imagine a more fun way to share my art with folks; I’m truly blessed to be able to do this!

HG: Can you give us a sneak peek into your studio (or where you work) just a pic or two.

My studio is a tiny room in our tiny home. I draw and paint at my big desk, and spend a lot of time here at the computer. And during those few rare warm, dry days we get in the summertime in Seattle, I’ll move everything possible to the back yard and work out there.

HG: Where did you grow up and where is your home town now?

I have lived in Seattle for almost 30 years, and have been in this teeny little house for 24 of those! I grew up just a ferry-ride away from here. I came across the Puget Sound to “the big city” (well, around here it’s that!) to attend Cornish College of the Arts, and never left. I have a real love-affair with Western Washington and the Pacific Northwest and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

HG: Pets or children??? Or both??

We have a “furry family”. These days that’s our sweet rescue-dog, Molly, and our cat, the Fabulous Miss Flossie. Some of you might recognize Flossie from past fabric collections –she’s the model and inspiration behind Love To Craft and The Cat’s Meow. Flossie even has her own blog. She’s kind of a ham and loves the attention. Molly tends to be a little more private though. She’s a goofball around other dogs but is very shy around people and actually runs away when she sees a camera!

HG: Favorite hobbies or vacation spot??

Aside from drawing, painting, and making stuff, my favorite thing is to work in the garden. I suppose that falls under the category of “making stuff” too! For me, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of getting out there and playing with dirt and rocks, nurturing tiny seeds and seedlings that become plants, flowers and vegetables that I can enjoy and share. I also really love cooking (I used to do it for a living!) and that’s even more fun when I’ve grown the ingredients myself!

Aside from my own backyard (I know, how corny is that?!) my favorite spot on the face of the earth is my family’s funky little cabin on the Washington coast, just a couple hours from my home in Seattle. I am a beach nut - I love the ocean and can’t imagine not living near it. Just writing this makes me want to pack up the animals and drive out there right now and dip my toes in the surf (and I’m writing this in cold February!).

HG: What Medium do you create with??

Although all my art ends up as digital files that I manipulate in Photoshop, I start by drawing and painting everything by hand, mostly with watercolor paints and colored pencils.

For More information on Beth Logan Check out: