Travel

Irma, Yarn-bombing and Quilting On

If someone were to ask you what is truly important in life, I think we would all have similar answers: family, friends, health and enjoying the moment. In the day to day rush of life though, amid the ever-present piles of laundry and unopened bills, this truth can become forgotten for a little while. And then sometimes something comes along that shakes us out of our complacency and crystallizes the truth anew. Last week for us it was Hurricane Irma. We chose to evacuate to family in NC, but most of my family and friends decided to hunker down and weather the storm. At home, people worked together to help each other board up and prepared to spend the storm together. Meanwhile we made the best of our situation by sightseeing along the way. Even in the anxiety and uncertainty that preceded the storm, there was beauty and inspiration all around.

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We stopped for a late lunch in Columbia, SC and took a stroll around the downtown area to find to our delight that it had been “yarn-bombed.” It seems the industrious crocheters and knitters of Columbia have adopted a stretch of the downtown and nothing is safe from their needles. Trees, benches, traffic signs and parking meters are all decorated in multicolored custom knit outfits. That afternoon in the beautiful sun and light breeze, surrounded by the product of such industrious creativity it was truly possible to believe that everything was going to be alright. When we sew and quilt, we put a little of ourselves into each piece. “Made with Love” is not just a cute label, but the truth, and that day I could feel the joy and love that each person had put into their street art.

Quilting in particular brings people together and has a long, rich history. At a tea shop in NC I asked about a pile of quilts on a table and was soon talking with the reserved owner about how his grandmother and her friends used to hand quilt together by stretching out the quilts on wooden beams. She made all dozen grandchildren their own quilts this way. I couldn’t help but wonder how many quilts in Florida were being lovingly packed away in plastic bins as their owners hoped for the best.

Safe with family, we watched Irma move onto Florida via CNN while praying for the family and friends still in the storm. It took a couple days to confirm that everyone was OK because of power and cell phone connectivity issues, but thankfully everyone, including my AGF family, was fine. Meanwhile, I enjoyed spending quality time with family that I hadn’t seen in years and doing my favorite travel activity- checking out the local quilt fabric shops.

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As we move forward, we are blessed to have the understanding of what is truly important freshly stamped in our minds. I’ll bring this new inspiration to my sewing by taking my time with a project, and enjoying each step, by sewing clothes and projects for the ones I love, and stepping away from the laundry for a bit to sew some things for myself. The world is an amazing place, from the natural beauty of my aunt’s sun-dappled porch with the flowering myrtle trees to the howling ferocity of an implacable storm. There is inspiration all around. I’ll continue in my humble way to try to add some beauty to the world one little project at a time. I invite you to do the same.  :)

Until next time,

Christine


Grecian Getaway: An Expert Sewer's Voile Point-of-View

You may have first heard of Katarina Roccella in our Nördika release post. She's responsible for this collection's amazing video. Katarina has just returned from a refreshing family trip to Skopelos, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. This island can only be described as visual paradise, and it's easy to see how much her latest projects were inspired by it.

We've caught up with Katarina to talk about her experience and latest use of two gorgeous fabrics from our Voile collection. Keep reading to hear about her trip, project inspirations and even recommendations of use for Voile.

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So far, what sewing projects have you created using Voile?

I made the summer caftan with a matching shabby flower and the summer tiered twirl dress for my daughter.


What is your favorite thing about Voile? Do the prints inspire a specific feeling, or image for you?
 
When the fabrics arrived, aside from the gorgeous designs, I fell in love with the exceptional quality--an amazing, buttery feel.

The whole collection is really stunning and it was tough choosing only a few prints to sew with. But since I knew I would be taking my creations with me to Greece, I chose the blue prints (I'm obsessed with photographing my creations and imagining the best locations to showcase the designs and prints). The traditional Greek combination of blue & white was perfect for the prints I chose.

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What uses or projects do you recommend are best suited for this fabric collection? 

Voile's fabrics are excellent for garment sewing, specifically for summer projects. I would use them for accessories (bandanas, scarves, headbands and different crafty flowers: think small and big pompoms for weddings and other embellishing crafts) and clothing (especially tunics, blouses, skirts and dresses), but would like to try them for quilts too. I saw some amazing quilts on the web made with Voile fabrics.

 

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(see more photographs of the Skopelos islands here)

Do you have anything else planned to make with Voile?

While being on the beaches in Greece, I regretted not having made one of those large Gypsy-type headbands for my girls. I'd also love to make some more garment pieces and patchwork cushions, too. And definitely a small quilt.


Can you recommend needles and thread combinations (or even techniques) to use with the fabric?

Sewing with Voile is really easy especially if you have right type of needles and thread. Regarding needles, I'd recommend size 9 sharp needle or any other small size needle appropriate for lighter weight fabrics. For the thread, use some fine thread--it shouldn’t be heavier than 50 weight thread, and I read some great reviews about Aurifil Mako 50wt quilting cotton for use with Voile fabrics.

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Voile fabrics have a characteristic beauty that is sheer and crisp, not unlike the scenery around Skopelos. Between them, the prints and texture of the fabric also have a balance of weighlessness and a drape that layers beautifully.

 



Katarina has posted the Summer Kaftan Dress tutorial on her blog, and is currently finishing up the Tiered Dress tutorial. You can stay up-to-date on her tutorials by following her on Twitter. You can also check out our Free Sewing Projects page for this, as well as many other sewing projects.

We're grateful for her continued engagement with our fabrics and our aestethic point of view! I had a fun time looking through her beautiful stream of photos on her flickr, and was especially intrigued by her linoleum cuts and prints so I've chosen a couple as the closing statement to what I hope was a visually uplifting post.

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(All photos courtesy of Katarina)

 

Sew on,

Lorena

 


Enchanting London

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My recent trip to London got me super excited thinking about different blog posts to share with you... I didn't have time to put this together until now (my apologies to all UK friends that were waiting for this recap), and today is a great opportunity to tell you everything about it.

What a beautiful city London is... All my childhood dreams (I always wanted to be here) came through when I visited their streets, museums and I have to confess... many shops :) It is impossible not to be enchanted with the whole tradition that emerges in each of their products, from furniture to clothing and home decor. Oh... it seems that home decor stores are not of this world ... they take us back to an era of elegance and unique beauty! I walked, and walked and walked until my legs collapsed :)

 

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Seven days only left us thinking the best way to organize the places we wanted to go and how to make the best of it. Since this trip was inspirational for my new lines, Walter was ready to go with my plan to help me see and photograph the most I could!

The first day we went to Notting Hill, filled with flea markets, trendy art galleries, Portobello Road and so many boutiques! We just wandered the streets to be surprised a lot! I would love to bring back a little bit of everything I saw there...

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This amazing turquoise color left me wanting to use it throughout my home...

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So very vintage...
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Traditional British china was everywhere! I wanted to buy every piece, but then I thought it was too risky to bring them back :( So I took many pictures just in case because I was so inspired with these wonderful floral designs. And oh... the birds!

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There was a thrift jewelry shop where the vintage pieces didn't seem ever to end. Walls and walls were filled with exquisite necklaces, rings... I couldn't stop thinking who would have used these pieces in the past.

This lovely boutique got me window shopping for a long time, I couldn't get enough with all the shabby chick style. They make every window looks like a inspiration board! How about this style if you plan to update your sewing room?

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Couldn't do anything other than to stay like I was bewitched looking and looking..

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Pure beauty everywhere <3

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I LOVE the mustard bag and everything around it, lol!
Zara_storeThe famous Zara Home, where I could see amazing textiles put together to tell a mesmerizing story of flowers and color!

Are you inspired as I was? I hope you can use these images to motivate you on your next sewing project or help you get ideas to decorate a corner of your home!

I took so many pictures that I could not possibly share them all here, but I think there are many that deserve a second post, as my visit to Liberty of London (they are to dye for!) and the classes I gave at a quilt shop which you will fall in love with: Quilters Haven!

So see you soon, Pat

 


The AGF experience at Quilt Market.

Hello hello!

I'm glad you enjoyed our pics from Market, it was soo much work but oh so rewarding in the end!

So you know how they say "a picture is worth a thousand words"? Well that might be true, but because nothing tells the story like a VIDEO, the video-editing genius and graphic design extraordinaire Kat (part of our awesome AGF team lol) made this cool video about our experience at Market.

As you'll be able to tell, it was insanely rolling-on-the-floor-laughing fun and we had the best time ever, I honestly can't complain.

So if you never attended Market you'll be able to see a little bit of what really goes on in there (plus you'll get to see the AGF team making a fool out of ourselves in public lol) 

I still laugh everytime I watch it ha! What do you think, is this what you would expect to see at Market? What do you imagine it's like? Do share!

Happy long weekend everyone!

Love,

Pat. 

 

ps. Can't watch it on YouTube? Watch it on Vimeo or Facebook


Fall Market Recap.

Hey! 

This is Fab again. Last post I told you I would come back with the recap on what went down at Market in Houston... so here it goes!

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This is our Hyperreal Garden wall; there's actually a fun fact about the mannequin's flower head lol. Basically, it was a total accident. We had some leftover flowers so I just went ahead and jammed them in there as a joke and then Pat goes like "I LOVE THAT!", so they stayed! They actually look pretty awesome IMHO. 

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Some Hyperreal pillows... no pattern yet :$

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And this is the Bespoken wall... I particularly ADORE the pattern on the wall. It should be wallpaper right? 

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This was quite a show-stopper; the "blender wall", made out of strips of Pure Elements and Oval Elements, people even asked if they were painted on the wall, haha!

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Aaaand the Modernology showroom which I'm madly in love with! Seriously, the last day of Market when we had to take it all out I almost cried. I might have shed a tear.

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Between you and I, the sight of that bed from accross the aisle was KILLING us. 

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NOTE TO SELF: Cover books with fabric as soon as I move out. The girls and I were dying when we saw how they turned out!

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This dress almost makes me wanna have a daughter like, now. Almost

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And that's Pat receiving the award for 2nd Best Double Booth! For the 2nd time in a row! Woohoo! It's cool to get the recognition for all the effort you make... and it's even cooler to hang the red award ribbon on the wall lol.

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Joking around with the guys on our favorite couch... hey! After all, what is work without a little play?

Well I would show you some of the new stuff we presented but let's just keep the intrigue a little longer... it's more fun ;)

Hope you enjoyed the scoop and I'll be back soon... but before that you'll get to see some changes around here and get to meet my co-workers (and awesome friends) Angie and Kat. So yeah... stay tuned!

xo,

Fab. 


Back to the East Coast.

Wow. That's basically the word that sums up my trip to Los Angeles. From the crowded downtown streets, to the gorgeous shopping district in Santa Monica with its flawlessly dressed people, everything was just Wow. And please do not get me started on the weather. Yeah, I know the Miami weather is not really something to complain about, but California weather is PER-FECT! Can you imagine a life without hair frizz? 

Aaaaanywho, the first day we got there we didn't have to do anything show-related so me and the girls went out shopping in Santa Monica... well, not a lot of actual shopping was done, more like "window shopping" but oh well. Still fabulous! 

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Ok this store was amazing. Period.

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Brandy Melville is the name of this super cute store. Think california surfer girl meets Anthropologie. Gorgeous!

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Then it was time to get down to business.

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At l.a textile they make this thing called the "trend forum", which consists of inspirational visuals from the fall 2012 trends; fabrics, notions, pictures and pure awesomeness. They do this so designers can immediately understand what the upcoming trends are, and what kind of fabrics they should use... and guess what?? I spotted quite a lot of my fabrics in the pack! Biggest honor ever.

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Can you recognize some Bazaar Style, Hyperreal Garden and Bespoken? And the tribal print from Bohemian Soul? Woohoo!

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 I love me some shoes.

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How do you like our brochure?? 

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The girls made this gorgeous caftan dress using our new voile! Wish you could touch the picture and feel the softness lol. 

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We made these cool dreamboards to create different moods;and also made one board for each of the Fall 2012 trends. There were a headache to make but totally worth it!

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Just a girl with really cool hair haha.

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And me in one of my favorite tops which my husband totally hates, haha! What side are you on? 

L.A I'll miss you! hope to be back there soon... like, very soon. 

Whoa those were a lot of pics! Alright you guys have an amazing weekend, I'll be back on Monday with new fabric goodness yum!

Love,

Pat. 


Art Gallery Fabrics starts HERE.

Raise your hand if you don't like getting fresh new fabric delivered to your door...

No hands? I thought so.

We all love it when we hear a knock (or a ring!) on the doors and it's the UPS man with a pack filled with gorgeous, beautiful new fabric. But sometimes we get so carried away with the glamorous aspect of the fabric that we forget about the immense process that takes place before we get our crafty hands on it...

And where does this process take place? In our case, all the way in Asia. And off they went again the two loves of my life: my hubby Walter and my son Alex (for him was his first trip) to get up close and personal with Art Gallery Fabrics in the making.

The process is super interesting! I could describe it step by step but seeing it in pictures is a little better, right?

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This is where it all begins: the big fat blank roll of fabric.

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Behind each inspiring color there's someone who spends all day mixing paint by hand looking for the exact tone... impressive, huh? This process is made for each of the colors involved in one print!

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Isn't this machine amazing??

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After they find the exact colors, the screen-printing process begins...

Many screens! One for each color.


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Only one small section of the fabric is printed each time the squeegee covers the screen... so imagine printing thousands of yards!

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Once all colors are applied, the printing is done! Recognize this one? This is the before...

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And after! "Soft tiny buds" from the "Paradise" collection ready to roll!

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And voila! Fresh new fabric ready to ship.

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More fabric!, but this time is "Dreaming in French"

Isn't it awesome to see how it's done? There are many other steps in this process that would take me hours to explain, but everything together involves a lot of hard working people from both sides of the isle... My son Alex was fascinated; he took zillions of pictures of our fabrics in progress... For me, it's the closest thing to actually being there (I don't know how I feel about the 24 hour flight haha!)

It's really cool that they got to see everything in action, but I must confess something: I'M SO GLAD THEY'RE BACK!!

Talk to you soon!

Love,

Pat.

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A moment of love

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They have just come back from Asia and brought me many, and I mean MANY pictures. From the Mills, of the fabric's production process, about the coloring, inks, new styles; but I decided to have these as the most important to me. They talk about the love of father and son, the joy of being together, their rapport. They also talk about the pride of a father because his son wants to follow his steps in the business, and the pride of a son because his father wants to teach these steps to him.
This is a moment that speaks about Love and a special relation, and I wanted to share it with you.
This is what my family and what Art Gallery Fabrics are made of. A lot of Love.

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Want to see some pics on how our fabrics are produced? Wait for me until I share them on the next post...

 

Love,

Pat

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The Market Chronicles, Part 2.

Hi! 

Thank God is Friday, right?? What are your plans for the weekend? I personally gotta catch up with my Netflix queue, haha! I have a whole bunch of movies to watch and I'll try to find some time to actually sit down, relax, and watch them!

Remember I told you I wanted to show you more about Market? Well, as promised, here's more!

I figure you already had a lot to read and take in with my last looong post, so I decided to put together a video so it'll feel a little bit more "real"... We had a lot of fun, you'll probably be able to tell! 

So, what do you think? Would you like to see more videos? I'm kinda getting into the whole video thing, I think is such a fun and dynamic way to show you, in real time, what I do and how it gets done.

With that said, I'm gonna go back to my studio for a little while and then go and ENJOY THE WEEKEND! I hope you do that too!

Love,

Pat.


The Quilt Market Chronicles, Part 1.

Hey everyone! How's it been?

Here at Art Gallery Fabrics we've been extremely busy ever since we got back from Market... between the shootings, the updates, the order processing, the fabric cutting, the video editing, the e-mail replying and oh my god! So much to digest after the whole show craziness! But of course, there's always time to give you the scoop on what happened at Market.

Setting up the booth this time seemed easy since we had everything so planned, organized, labeled and under control; well, we were wrong, ha! It took us quite a long time to put it all together but hey, it was totally worth it! With some strong teamwork everything gets done beautifully... you tell me! Here is the Fall 2010 Art Gallery Booth:

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At the booth we were presenting two collections: Paradise, and Modern Affair; and this time I tried to bring a different way to showcase my products: DREAMBOARDS!

Let's start by the Modern Affair wall...

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Some of you may be wondering... "What is all that stuff on the wall"?? Haha! Well, this is what I call a "Dreamboard": a collection of images, objects, and textures that inspire me to create. In my design process, I find it sooo important to surround myself with inspiration, to create a certain "mood"... So that's why I wanted to expand this concept, just take it out of my studio and show it to everyone, so you can also find inspiration and get your creative juices going!

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How do you like it so far?

My team and I also designed that Dreamboard concept to show "Paradise Collection"... wanna see it?

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Every item was carefully picked...

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Here are my Grab'n Sew kits and patterns... Did you know that we expanded the fabric choices for each of the Kits? We have 6 additional choices besides the original!

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You might think, "What is a TV doing there" "And why is Pat on it?" well... I kinda wanna keep it on the down low for a little more... buuuuuut... I'm releasing my very first clothing pattern, and this time, on a DVD format (printed pattern pieces included)! I'm super excited about it, but I'm gonna spill the beans later, I promise.

And now. it's time for my personal favorite: THE SHOWROOM! This time it featured Dreaming in French, which as I've already mentioned, it's my most favorite collection so far. The inspiration for the room was the little french knick-knack boutiques, can you tell?

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Everyone loved that little girl's dress with the big flowers. Would you like to see translated it in a new pattern?

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We put great attention to details...

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And here's our brand new Catalog!! We decided to go totally radical and change our cover from dark gray to light aqua! What do you think?

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I tell you, I have so many pictures I'm trying really hard not to post them all! I know Market it's only three days but I swear there's so much going on in so very little time, it's hard to cover it all! But I promise I'll do my best to keep you updated... Hope you like it so far, there's much more coming... stay tuned for Part 2!

For now, I just want to read your comments...

Love,

Pat.

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