art gallery fabrics

Learn how to unleash your unique style with Checkered Elements

Welcome back to the AGF Blog! Today, we dive into the art of fabric pairing in the world of textiles, where colors and textures come alive, and possibilities are endless. Discover how different fabrics complement one another, especially when blending various collections. This has become a wellspring of inspiration for sewists and quilters everywhere. 

Join me as we explore our Checkered Elements Blenders, which offer the perfect texture and pop of color. They are a classic yet trendy blender that can be used in countless ways! To inspire your creativity, I'd like to share three different ways you can incorporate this blender to cater to your style. Whether you prefer a modern, low-volume aesthetic or a more traditional look, our Houndstooth and Tweed prints are sure to bring your projects together.⁠

Here we Go!

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1. Modern: Embracing the Contemporary Aesthetic

Let's begin with the modern style. We envision geometric patterns, shapes, and straight lines when we think of modernism. Sleek curves and a bold color palette are also key elements. I have chosen eight exquisite Art Gallery Fabrics that perfectly embody the modern look. Each fabric has been meticulously selected to inspire your creativity and elevate your projects to new heights. Before starting any project, it’s important to pinpoint our color scheme. I’ve incorporated teal, black, and a touch of gold, adding vibrancy and sophistication. 

Next are your main prints, Visions Woodblock and Tinted Blooms from our  Luna & Laurel collection; these larger-scaled prints bring boldness. To complement these fabrics, we have included our Checkered Elements Blenders, which are the ideal companions, creating a striking contrast and adding texture that captures the eye. 

Lastly, our PURE Solids bring balance and harmony to our group of fabrics. This curated assortment is now ready for creating unique quilts, fashion-forward garments, or edgy accessories. Let your imagination run wild as you infuse your projects with a modern flair that is bound to turn heads.

Modern Fabric Pull

2. Low Volume: Subtle Elegance 

Low volume fabrics have gained immense popularity, particularly amongst the modern quilt movement. This style can be described as basically in subtle white, cream, neutral, or pale-colored print fabrics, often with a delicate self-colored pattern or subtle design, and they are selected to offset the much brighter color palettes. If you appreciate refined, soft, and tonal aesthetics, the low volume style is for you! I have chosen eight beautiful Art Gallery Fabrics that perfectly embody the low-volume look. I went with a warm color scheme in this fabric pull and added my main small-scaled prints: Brushed Fibers from our collection Soften the Volume, Castle Keys from the Willow Collection, and Sashiko Mending Tan from our All is Well Collection. You could use low volume prints where the effect of using a solid fabric is desired, particularly in modern quilts. 

Next are our blenders, this is where they shine! Featured blenders are Checkered Elements & Oval Elements. These blenders add sophistication and texture that magically blends together without overpowering each other.

Finally, I’ve added a touch of our PURE Solids, and Voilà! Your Low Volume Fabric selection is ready for creating dreamy quilts, soft and flowing garments, or refined home decor.

Low Volume Fabric Pull

3. Traditional: Embracing Classic Charm 

The Traditional style stands the test of time, remaining beautiful year after year, making them timeless. If you're drawn to the timeless charm of traditional designs, I have curated a special fabric assortment just for you. The color scheme I've chosen embraces nostalgic hues of red and blue with a touch of gold.

Next, I wanted to go with classic florals and some geometrics for our main prints to stay with the nostalgia theme - Fabrics are Botanist’s Essay Two & French Sampler Two from Garden of Opulence. Let’s add some Checkered Elements, Oval Elements, and Floral Elements blenders to add texture and redefine this group. This fabric pull is perfect for traditional quilt projects, apparel, or crafting unique accessories. These blenders will beautifully tie your projects together.

Traditional Fabric Pull

We hope these three different approaches to using our Checkered Elements Blenders have sparked your inspiration and ignited a desire to experiment with fabric pairing. Let us know your favorite by leaving a comment below! 

To view the full collection, click here: Checkered Elements 

Let’s make the most of your fabric pulls! Unleash your creativity with these FREE Projects from our Checkered Elements Lookbook:

Flora Blocks

Checkered Elements Flora Block

Checkered Pillows 

Checkered Pillows

Our AGF Blog is your go-to resource for all things fabric-related, so stay tuned for more exciting tips, tutorials, and inspiration. Stay connected by following us on Instagram! Get the inside scoop on our latest AGF News and interact with fellow makers. 

Happy sewing and quilting!

Until next time, 

-Juana


How to Choose Fabrics for your Sewing Projects

Greetings to all fabric enthusiasts and aficionados! My name is Juana, and I'm thrilled to introduce myself as the newest member of the amazing AGF Team. As a fellow lover of all things fabric, I'm delighted to be a part of this wonderful community.

Having the opportunity to work with talented and kind individuals has been amazing. Access to a diverse selection of prints from the AGF warehouse will spark inspiration for a fresh selection of fabrics for your next project.
AGF has given me insight into the process of creating a collection from start to finish. Through “Auditioning Fabrics,” I’ve learned valuable tips and tricks about how fabrics can complement each other, especially when it comes to mixing various collections. When making a fabric pull, it’s important to consider color palettes, scale, blenders, and solids to achieve a perfect balance in sewing projects. I’m thrilled to introduce our new collection of Blenders, ‘Checkered Elements’ and demonstrate how to incorporate them into your fabric pull. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to create something beautiful the next time you dive into your fabric stash.

Let's Get Started!

 

1. Start with one collection of prints. 

Begin by selecting one print collection to guide your next steps. For this fabric pull, we will use prints from Hazelwood, featuring beautiful trendy greens and terracotta colors that complement any project. From the collection, I've chosen three prints that balance in scale.

1*Featuring fabrics: Wild Flora Sunlight, Hidden Land Moss, Underwood Sprouts Pale from Hazelwood by AGF Studio

 

2. Select your blenders, in this case, it’s Checkered Elements. 

Next comes our favorite fabric category, BLENDERS, featuring our latest collection, Checkered Elements. These classic yet modern designs will blend effortlessly into your next sewing project. The Houndstooth and Tweed Editions come in various colors and add a textured look. When selecting the "blending" fabrics, I chose neutral and golden tones to complement the main prints. I looked for these common tones and then chose the blenders that best matched those hues.

2. Checkered Elements Fabrics*Featuring Fabrics: Tweed Vanilla, Tweed Saffron, Houndstooth Solar from Checkered Elements by AGF Studio

 

3. Add Solids to Give a Pop of Color and Balance. 

Our Pure Solids collection is the perfect way to add a pop of color and balance to your sewing projects. Adding solids can make your project more visually appealing by breaking up patterns and prints. By using a solid color that complements the main prints, you can create a balanced and cohesive look in your creation. Our solids collection offers a wide variety of hues to choose from, ensuring that you will find the perfect color to enhance your project. 

3. Pure Solids Fabrics*Featuring Fabrics: Pure Solids

 

4. You have prepared a selection of fabrics for your next project. 

Now that you have assembled a fabric collection, it is time to let your creative juices flow and start creating something unique. You can use these steps to assemble a group of fabrics to create something beautiful and unique that will stand out from the crowd. Whether you are making a beautiful quilt, apparel, home decor items, or something else entirely, you can use these steps to make sure that your project is one of a kind. Let your creativity guide you as you take your project to the next level!

4. Group Photo

That is all I have for you today! I hope that these tips will be of great help to you as you search for fabrics to bring your creations to life. These can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your finished product, so it's important to choose them wisely. 

Let us know what you would create with this stunning fabric pull by leaving a comment below!

Until next time,

Happy sewing! 

-Juana


2022 Quiltmas Spectacular Roundup

To borrow a phrase from Miracle on 34th Street, “Quiltmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind.” Even though we’ve already shared all the blocks from the 2022 Quiltmas Spectacular, we’re celebrating Quiltmas all month long.

Haven’t heard of Quiltmas? Twelve pattern designers come together to create 12 free quilt blocks celebrating the holiday season! Every day between December 1st and 12th, the Quiltmas elves delivered a new, free block pattern. Stitch up every block for a holiday celebration quilt or choose your favorite to turn into pillows or wall hangings. All you need is some fabric from your stash and some Quiltmas cheer!

This is the fourth year of the Quiltmas Spectacular, and the third year that the Elves have partnered with Art Gallery Fabrics – and it’s definitely our favorite holiday tradition! See this year’s jubilation and past years' fun by looking through the hashtag #quiltmasspectacular! I loved designing a block to celebrate all things wintery and cheerful! And I love seeing the magic that each Quiltmas Elf stitches up. Nothing brings a bigger smile to my face than seeing each Elf’s holiday designs come to life. This year was the most cheerful, most colorful year since we got to work with the most charming solids from the PURE Solids collection from Art Gallery Fabrics. Picked to coordinate with the Christmas In The City holiday line, these colors are sweeter than sugar plums and brighter than my twinkle lights!

To stay in the Quiltmas frame of mind, let’s ring our jingle bells in appreciation for the 2022 Quiltmas Team!

On the first day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Christine from Tessellate Textiles brought us a festive block, Paper Packages.

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On the second day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Ben from Ben Millett brought us a jolly block, Fire Glow.

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On the third day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Tiffany from Village Bound Quilts brought us a joyful block, Classic Cardinal.

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On the fourth day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Fran from Cotton and Joy brought us a merry block, Merry Mantle.

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On the fifth day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Lynett from Lyns Avenue brought us a magical block, Starmental.

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On the sixth day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Jemima from Tied With a Ribbon brought us a dashing block, Snowflake.

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On the seventh day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Shannon from Shannon Fraser Designs brought us a delightful block, Refracted Star.

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On the eighth day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Julie from Running Stitch Quilts brought us a sparkling block, Winter Garden.

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On the ninth day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Claire from Made Just Sew brought us a wintry block, Seeking Santa.

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On the tenth day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Amanda from Broadcloth Studio brought us a playful block, Ski Season.

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On the eleventh day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Laurel from Porcupine Sews Thread brought us a cheerful block, StarBurst.

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On the twelfth day of Quiltmas, Quilt Elf Erin from Mija Handmade brought us a whimsical block, Jubilation Station.

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If you’ve made one or all of the blocks, or if this is your first peek at the Quiltmas Spectacular, we hope these blocks bring you all the Quiltmas joy! If you didn’t sign up for the Quiltmas Spectacular, there’s still time! You can get all the 12 inch blocks delivered to your inbox, for FREE! Just sign up here. Make sure you sign up and download the patterns before December 31st! That’s when we close the Quiltmas workshop for the year and take down the patterns. The 2022 Quiltmas Workshop is closed. Thanks for joining us everyone!

**GIVEAWAY CLOSED** Please reply within 7 days to claim your prize (check your email by December 28!) If we don’t receive a reply, we will have to choose another winner as we’d like to be fair with all participants, and pass the opportunity to another contestant. Thank you!
THE WINNER IS EMILY YADON! PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL TO REDEEM YOUR PRIZE!

We’re not done with Quiltmas yet! CLICK HERE for a chance to win a Fat Quarter Bundle of PURE Solids in 14 cheery colors: London Red, Flamingo, Cherry Lipgloss, Festival Fuchsia, Sweet Pink, Quartz Pink, Crystal Pink, White Linen, Raw Gold, Turmeric, Icy Mint, Mirage Blue, Secret Lagoon, and Zambia Stone. The giveaway ends on December 20th and the winner will be emailed by AGF and announced here on the blog. If you’ve already signed up for Quiltmas, you’re automatically entered in the giveaway. You can sign up again at the link above for a second chance to win!

By signing up for the Quiltmas Spectacular, you agree to subscribe to the Art Gallery Fabrics newsletter as well as the newsletters of the Quiltmas Elves. We promise not to spam you, sell your email or do anything Scrooge-like. And of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.


Quilterpreneurs at AGF & Sampler Quilt Blocks

Good times are always better when they’re shared, and we have sew much to share with you all today! And as an added bonus we have 12 marvelous quilt blocks to share, designed by the very gifted Quilterpreneurs!

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Who are the Quilterpreneurs?  They are 12 talented designers and creatives led by their inspiring leader Elizabeth Chappell of Quilter’s Candy. Elizabeth is an author, a fabric designer for AGF, a quilt pattern designer, as well as the host of the popular podcast Craft to Career. When Elizabeth saw the enormous talent and enthusiasm in the students from her Quilt Pattern Writing Course she wanted to create an opportunity for them to gather together. And what better place than here at our home, Art Gallery Fabrics, in beautiful sunny Florida! She decided to gather these artistic and enthusiastic students together to make connections, share ideas and “discover the magic” of their favorite fabric company at our headquarters.

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The Quilterpreneurs of AGF are:

Elizabeth Chappell @quilters_candy

Belle Brunner @seams_sew_me

Erin Grogan @LoveSewModern

Maude MacDonald @theretroquilter

Shereece Spain @sewhookedontreasures

Kiley Ferons @kileysquiltroom and @modishquilter

Sandy Saengsuk @Thaicharmllc

Becca Plymale @sunflowerseams and @becca.plymale.creative

Jennie @cloverandviolet

Mary Davis @marygoroundquilts

Julia Wachs @juliawachs.designs

Jen Levin @jenlevin

We had an amazing visit with these accomplished designers and enjoyed spending time with these extremely talented makers. It was a true collaboration where they learned about everything AGF and we got a glimpse into each of their creative businesses. The Quilterpreneurs got a tour of our offices and Warehouse space, participated in some fun Lives and Giveaways on Instagram, and got some behind the scenes tips on styling and photographing their blocks and quilts. Plus they all received a fun AGF Gift bag full of goodies! We all learned something new during this incredible visit and feel like they’re a part of our AGF family!

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In addition, each Quilterpreneur created an exclusive block just for this event that can be combined to create a gorgeous quilt. They choose prints from Elizabeth’s soon to be released collection, Gayle Loraine, as well as beautiful coordinating blenders and fresh PURE Solids. Then it was on to cutting and sewing up their individually designed blocks in our AGF sewing studio.  It was so interesting seeing all these creative and innovative blocks come together! Each one is unique but they all coordinate to make a lovely quilt designed just for you. 

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Each designer’s free pattern is linked in this post. You’ll be able to work at your own pace and create each fresh block that will combine into an awe-inspiring quilt. 

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So let’s get started on showing off these fresh and fun quilt blocks. Each of these blocks was designed exclusively for the Quilterpreneurs at AGF Event and we’re so excited to be able to share all of these beautiful FREE patterns with you!  First up, we have the Quilterpreneurs’ amazing leader, Elizabeth Chappell of Quilter’s Candy, and her Log Cabin Block:

 Log Cabin Quilt Block

click to download

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  Elizabeth Chappell @quilters_candy

This blooming Log cabin block sampler offers a bold display of Elizabeth’s first fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics, Gayle Loraine. This collection is on its way- so stay tuned for the official release! The use of these complimentary pastel florals and bold graphic prints is a fresh take on simple design.  

 

Breezeway Quilt Block

click to download

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Mary Davis @marygoroundquilts 

Next up is the Breezeway Quilt Block by Mary of Mary Go Round Quilts. Beautiful triangles rotate and spin in this modern block.

Ribbon & Lace Quilt Block

click to download

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Becca Plymale @becca.plymale.creative

Soft dreamy pastels set the stage for the Ribbon and Lace Quilt Block by Becca of Becca Plymale Creative. This beautiful geometric design in subtle colors is sure to inspire!

Double Sawtooth Star Quilt Block

click to download

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Belle Brunner @seams_sew_me

Then we have this boldly traditional Double Sawtooth Star Block created by Belle of Seams Sew Me. This star within a star in vibrant navy accented by soft botanicals is a showstopper!

Lilly Bloom Quilt Block

click to download

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Erin Grogan @lovesewmodern

Lilly’s are in full bloom in the Lilly Bloom Quilt Block designed by Erin at Love Sew Modern. This large graphic seems to block bursts into life in this fun design.

Scenic Route Quilt Block 

click to download

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Jen Levin @jenlevin

Intricate piecing in romantic florals are sure to please in the Scenic Route Quilt Block by Jen Levin. Take your time creating this beautiful design and wow your friends!

Luminous Quilt Block

click to download

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Jennie Pickett @cloverandviolet

Perfect piecing is the star of this show with the Luminous Quilt Block by Jennie at Clover and Violet. HST’s and Flying Geese add a dash of style to this lovely block.

Nightshade Quilt Block

click to download

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 Julia Wachs @juliawachs.designs

Geometric prints and ditsy botanicals make the Nightshade Quilt Block by Julia Wachs look fresh and modern. This fun design with its rotated log cabin center makes it sew creative!

Introvert Quilt Block

click to download

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Kiley Ferons @kileysquiltroom

The Introvert Quilt Block by Kiley of Kiley’s Quilt Room is a tranquil beauty. We love the circular motif with simple strip piecing- so clever!

Drunkard’s Star Quilt Block

click to download

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Maude MacDonald @theretroquilter

Add a dash of style with a simple bold graphic with the Drunkard’s Star Quilt Block by Mary of The Retro Quilter. This modern take on a star design is whimsical and fun.

Barn Star Quilt Block

click to download

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Sandy Saengsuk @thaicharmllc

The stars have aligned with this perfectly pieced Barn Star Block by Sandy at Thai Charm. Her 4 at a time HST method and easy to sew designs create this charming classic motif. 

 

 In Check Quilt Block

click to download

Shereece-Nicole450-x-550-px-sizeShereece Nicole @sewhookedontreasures

And last, but never least we have a cleverly modern design, the In Check Quilt Block by Shereece of Sew Hooked on Treasures. Get inspired by this simple graphic design in enchanting florals.

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It was so exciting seeing all these very different blocks come together! They’re all very different designs and styles, but in these lovely botanical prints in soft pastels and cool blues, creams and blushing pinks they all look beautiful together.

And don't miss the Podcast: Quilterpreneurs at Art Gallery Fabrics on Elizabeth's Podcast, Craft to Career. 

Click to listen to the podcast.

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We have sew many amazing creations in store for you! Stay tuned as we get ready to combine these blocks together to complete The Quilterpreneurs at AGF Block Sampler Quilt …. coming Soon!


5 Improv Patchwork Projects

Hi there, Shannon of Shannon Fraser Designs and Amanda of Broadcloth Studio here! We just finished up our second annual 30-Days of Improv Quilt Along (QAL). And today we’re taking over the Art Gallery Fabrics blog to talk about some of our favorite projects to showcase our improv patchwork.

If you’re not familiar with the QAL, it’s a month-long improv patchwork challenge that we’ve hosted for the past two Augusts. Every week, participants are encouraged to explore a particular shape, using daily prompts as a launching off point. We love this QAL because not only are we having fun exploring improv patchwork and making our own improv blocks, but we’re also constantly learning and being inspired by the participants' amazing makes!

One of the questions we see pop up a lot throughout the month is “how will this all work together in the end?” When you’re working without a pattern, the end result isn’t guaranteed and that can be scary! But, as Shannon likes to say “you’ll never know if you don’t try!” And we’re all about pushing ourselves to try and experiment and play…even if it means we end up with a block that might be a design outlier.

At the end of the QAL, we typically end up with about 20 improv patchwork blocks. Sometimes there are a couple blocks that just don’t work well with the others when it comes time to work on a final composition. And sometimes none of them really work together (this happened to Amanda this year). And sometimes you love one so much you don’t want it to get lost in a bigger quilt composition! So, we thought it might be helpful to share what we made for this year’s QAL as well as some of our favorite projects that would be a great way to use up some of those blocks that don’t quite fit with the rest. 

What We Made This Year

1. Wall Hanging (Shannon): There are only so many beds that I can cover in quilts, so covering my walls with quilted art is the next best thing! They also tend to be the perfect size: large enough to explore ideas without feeling too constrained, but not so large (like a bed quilt) that you feel daunted and overwhelmed. This year I loved having fun exploring how to balance that deep moody Blueberry Zest to keep the drama while allowing highlights from the lavender and peachy corals to balance out the composition. I had the best time figuring out which blocks would help me achieve that effect the best. From there, I loved adding in all the textural details with both machine and hand quilting, to help entice you to zoom in! A simple hanging sleeve (you can find a tutorial to make your own here: How to make a quilt hanging sleeve in 8 steps - Shannon Fraser Designs) and she’s ready for display! 

ShannonFraserDesigns.30DaysofImprovQAL.Week5.Composition.P52 (1)Shannon used Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Blueberry Zest, Field of Lavender, Sweet Macadamia, Peach Sherbet, and Apricot Crepe for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Shannon Fraser Designs.

2. Micro Quilts (Amanda): I have a tendency to try to make order out of chaos and often provide myself with parameters to ensure success. During this year’s QAL, I decided that in order to allow myself to really explore and play with my patchwork, I would need to shift my approach and my mindset. And boy, oh boy, did I have a blast! I loved letting my expectations go and really playing with my fabrics every day. I walked away from the month with so many different ideas to explore further. But on the flip side, I didn’t walk away with a cohesive group of blocks. So for my final project year, I turned a couple of my favorite blocks into micro quilts. I loved getting to spend more time with these blocks, adding in hand quilting while I thought more about what I loved about each block’s design. Plus with the holidays just around the corner, I think these would make awesome gifts!

Broadcloth Studio - Micro Improv Quilt 2Amanda used Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Sherbet, Dried Carrot, Tigerlily, Light Grey, and Night Sea for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Broadcloth Studio.

Other Projects We Love

3. Small pouch (Shannon): What is it about zip pouches that are so fun to make and use! Even better? Featuring some of your improv patchwork blocks! After pulling together your composition, you might find yourself with some orphan improv blocks and a little pouch is the perfect way to feature them. Here I used up some of the scraps leftover from my first 30 Days of Improv QAL project to create this one of a kind triangle zip pouch. I upped the intrigued with some machine quilting to highlight certain shapes within the improv composition. Just another way you sneak in new techniques you want to try! This one’s been getting lots of request to be made into a pattern - stay tuned for that!

ShannonFraserDesigns.LimeImprov.SewingBag.P37 (1)Shannon used Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Light Citron, Lemonade, Dark Citron, Raspberry Rose, and Plum Preserve for this project. Image courtesy of Shannon Fraser Designs.

4. Tote bag (Amanda): I love a good tote bag, especially because you can easily adjust the size of a tote to match the number of blocks you have on hand (within reason, of course, though I suppose a sleeping bag is a type of bag if you have a lot of blocks to use up!). For this tote bag, I used a bunch of repeating nine patch improv blocks, but you could just as easily put lots of different blocks together to use! I quilted mine with a simple zig-zag stitch and eyeballed all the dimensions, but if you’d like a pattern to follow, I know there are a ton of different options right here on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog!

Broadcloth Studio - Improv Tote Bag 1Amanda used Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Lemonade and Olive Oil  for this improv nine patch tote bag. Image courtesy of Broadcloth Studio.

5. A Larger Quilt (Amanda): really love a block? Why not continue to explore what you love about it and make some more in a similar style?! As mentioned earlier, I had quite the range of styles and designs represented in my QAL blocks this year. But at the end of Week 1, I had fallen head over heels in love with a very simple and understated stripe block. I still really wanted to explore that block further but I didn’t want to give up my “no plans” approach to my daily block making. So, I started making other blocks on the side, focusing on exploring very elemental shapes and simple lines. Turns out, these blocks were so easy to make that I quickly found myself with a large crib size quilt on my hands. I’m so glad that I pursued this idea in parallel with my more detailed blocks for the QAL as both were such a joy to make and I already have plans to make more of both!

Broadcloth Studio - Big Improv Shapes Study 1Amanda used Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Sherbet, Dried Carrot, and Tigerlily for this improv shapes study quilt. Image courtesy of Broadcloth Studio.

So, when you end up with a block or two (or twenty) that aren’t playing nice together, why not shift your frame of reference and see how many different potential projects there are out there that are perfect for those blocks? Or set aside the ones you don’t love and chalk them up as a “learning experience” (you can always use them as the inside of a quilted pillow cover). And then take the ones you do love and celebrate them!

We can’t wait to see what you make! Stay tuned for next year’s 30-Days of Improv QAL (August 2023). And make sure to follow us on Instagram (Shannon is @shannonfraserdesigns and Amanda is @broadclothstudio) as we’ve got a couple of fun improv projects on the horizon.

Shannon & Amanda


6 Reasons We're Excited About Improv

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In 2021 Shannon used Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Light Citron, Lemonade, Dark Citron, Raspberry Rose, and Plum Preserve for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Shannon Fraser Designs.

Hi there, Shannon of Shannon Fraser Designs and Amanda of Broadcloth Studio here! We’re back taking over the Art Gallery Fabrics blog and we’re super excited to be talking to you all about improv quilting.

Why are we so excited, you ask? Because we’re just about to kick off our second annual 30 Days of Improv QAL! We had such a wonderful time last August: it was beyond thrilling to see all the different improv blocks and quilted wall hangings pop up on Instagram during last year’s quilt along and we can’t wait to see what emerges this year.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about the quilt along (or if you need a refresher), here’s a quick recap: during the month of August, you’ll be making one block Monday-Friday to make a total of twenty-ish 5” blocks (because we all need a couple days a week to catch up or just chill out). Starting July 31st, we’ll be sending out weekly emails every Sunday, highlighting the shape of the week and providing daily prompts to explore the shape without a pattern. If you’re curious to see what this looks like in fabric-form, make sure to check out the hashtag #30DaysofImprovQAL to see all the makes from last year!

Broadcloth Studio Improv 7In 2021 Amanda used Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Vanilla Custard, Garden Fern, Tigerlily, Turmeric, and Apricot Crepe for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Broadcloth Studio.

Before we dive into our fabric bins and start slicing and dicing, we thought we’d share what we’re most excited about for this year’s QAL. So, without further ado, and in reverse alphabetical order, here we go:

Shannon @shannonfraserdesigns says, “I’m so excited that Amanda and I have teamed up again to bring you another summer of improv quilting fun! As we gear up to host again, here are 3 things I’m most looking forward to in this year’s improv quilting challenge:

    1. Color & Fabric Play: Shocking, right?! Getting to play with a new color palette always gets me fired up! And since the first step in any improv project is picking your fabrics and colors, I think this is the perfect opportunity to have fun,  try something new and set the tone for your quilt journey. I’ve been itching to cut into these colorful beauties.
    2. Switching up my tool of choice: last year I used a combo of both my rotary cutter and tailor’s shears, with a little heavier reliance on my rotary cutter. This year, I’m thinking about exploring my improv solely with my tailor's shears. I’m curious to see what effect that will have on the shapes I create.
    3. Encouraging the play: I love sharing my enthusiasm for improv quilting and encouraging you to let loose and just play. I know how scary it can be to quilt without a pattern, which is why we love leading you through this improv challenge. Seeing you have a quilty a-ha moment is just the best!”

ShannonFraserDesigns.30DaysofImprovQAL.2022.Week0.P5This year, Shannon is using Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Blueberry Zest, Field of Lavender, Sweet Macadamia, Peach Sherbet, and Apricot Crepe for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Shannon Fraser Designs.

Amanda @broadclothstudio adds, “ditto to everything that Shannon said! The 30 Days of Improv QAL was a highlight of my 2021 and I’m thrilled that we’re bringing it back this year. I love that while there are so many unknowns about this month-long adventure, what I do know is that I’m going to have a blast! I’m specifically looking forward to:

    1. Learning to love Orange: This year I’ve had an unofficial goal to try to work with purple and orange, colors that I don’t naturally gravitate towards. For the first half of the year, I challenged myself to work with purple (and umpteen purple projects later, I’m now reaching for it first). So it seemed like the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with orange. What I love about the #30DaysOfImprovQAL is that I know I’ll be spending a whole month playing with these colors, getting to know them better, discovering what I love about them! 
    2. Making Waves: We’ve changed up a couple of the weekly shapes this year and I can’t wait for Week 4’s Waves! Last year we tackled quarter circle curves and I had so much fun with them that I continued to explore playing with them for months afterwards. While I’ve dipped my toes into the water of waves (pun intended) before, I haven’t spent any serious time immersing myself so I’m looking forward to getting to explore them for a whole week.
    3. Connecting with YOU: I always love getting to hang out with quilters, so I shouldn’t have been so surprised that one of my favorite parts of last year’s QAL was trading tips with each other, cheering each other on, and being inspired by you, the fabulous community of QAL-ers! I’m always amazed by your creativity and can’t wait to see what you bring to the table this year.” 

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This year, Amanda is using Art Gallery Fabrics PURE Solids in Sherbet, Dried Carrot, Tigerlily, Light Grey, and Night Sea for her #30DaysofImprovQAL quilt. Image courtesy of Broadcloth Studio.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now for our weekly emails that will guide you throughout the month of August here.

You definitely don’t want to miss out, especially because we’ve got an extra special giveaway to jumpstart this improv journey: by signing up before July 24, 2022, you’ll be entered to win a fabric bundle from our friends at Art Gallery Fabrics so go ahead and sign up now! If you sign up after July 24th, never fear: we’ve got a ton of other fun giveaways planned throughout the month of August!

And, as an extra special bonus, we’re going to be sitting down with the legendary Pat Bravo, fabric designer and co-owner of Art Gallery Fabrics, for a LIVE Zoom chat on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 1PM EDT (once you sign up for the QAL emails, you’ll get a link to the Zoom). We’ll be talking all about picking fabric, swapping tips and tricks, and diving into our own sources of inspiration for our improv sewing projects!

 

xo,

Amanda and Shannon