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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pre-pleated Satin Trim Flower Tutorial

We have a new tutorial for you today. We recently got a new item into our store; about a month and a half ago Lisa discovered this fun pre-pleated satin trim and it has been flying off our shelves. We have placed two orders of it already and are awaiting shipment. At first we were making blankets using it to trim the edges, but we started thinking about what else we could use this cute trim for...

We had a small piece left over which I started playing with and that is how I came up with making a flower out of it! Here is what you'll need:

-- Scrap piece of pre-pleated satin trim (my piece was 3/4 of a yard and it ended up making a flower 4" in diameter. Gauge accordingly to what you would like your finished flower to measure).

-- Decorative button or gem

-- Scrap piece of fabric (I used a scrap piece of canvas to give the flower some stability)

-- Fray Check (you can also use a lighter)

--Unique Stitch, fabric glue or hot glue

-- Scissors

*Make sure and read through all instructions before beginning your flower. 

To begin, take your scrap backing fabric and lay down facing up. Take one end of your trim and seal the raw edge either with the Fray check or using a lighter by quickly passing the raw end through the flame. Using fabric glue, Unique Stitch or a hot glue gun, start leaving a bead of glue along the bottom seam. If using hot glue, be careful not to burn yourself; allow the glue to cool down a bit before handling the trim. 

Starting from the edge start to adhere the trim to your backing fabric, guiding the trim in a circular shape. 

Continue to apply a bead of glue and gluing your trim down in a circle around the outside perimeter of your scrap fabric. Once you come back to where you started, gradually move the trim inward, overlapping with the outside loop slightly. Press firmly until the glue has taken hold. 

Continue in such fashion, going around the entire scrap fabric.

As you start to get to the center, measure off how much more trim you will need before placing your glue to the back. Cut off any excess trim and seal the new raw edge in the same fashion as before. Here you can see the edge of the trim in slightly wet from the fray check. 

Apply glue to the last portion of the trim and press it in the middle firmly until the glue has taken hold or is dry.

Add a dollop of glue to the back of your decorative button or gem and adhere it to the center of your flower. 

If you started with a square piece of scrap fabric, trim off the corners and any other excess fabric around the outside line of glue. At this point you can attach a broach pin or alligator clip to the back of your flower if you intend on using it as a pin or as a hair clip. 

Attach where you desire and be prepared for all the compliments you'll receive!  

*This tutorial is for personal use only and is not to be used for sale or profit. © Copyright of Fabric Center 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Block of the Month

For our Block of the Month students, here is your monthly review to help you finish this months' blocks before the next class:

For those of you who would like to join this exciting class, there is still time. You've only missed three classes, which will be fairly easy to catch up on. If you would like to make this without joining the class, the pattern is now available exclusively in our store! This is a fantastic pattern with infinite possibilities. Play with color and placement to make a unique quilt each time, as was previously talked about in our last blog post. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Color Can Make a World of Difference!

UPDATE (4/24): If you are interested in learning more about how color theory as it pertains to quilting or would like to improve how you pick patterns, prints and colors for your quilts, enroll in our Color Palette Class taught by Cheryl Bridges, a trained graphic designer! For more details, check out our Quilting Classes Page on our main website.

In art and design, whether it's interior or quilt design, color and color placement can make a huge difference! I'm sure you've had a situation where you see a quilt and are not immediately impressed overall because the color scheme or the way the colors were placed did not strike your fancy. But then you saw the exact same quilt but with a different color scheme and were then in love!

This year, we are offering a Block of the Month class unique to previous years because we are offering the Stitchin' Star quilt to be made in two distinct color combinations. The first is a triptych color scheme, as seen in this example using red, black and white.

The second option is a scrappy, Civil War era inspired color scheme:

Look at the significant difference between these two quilts, even though they are the exact same pattern!! The first is bold and balancing a traditional look with a contemporary feel while the second is colorful and upbeat while still traditional and warm. 

We want to encourage our students, as well as all our customers, to not stop at just a few options for any given quilt but rather to see the raw pattern as the jumping off point to creative thinking about color theory and placement. In this way, you expand the possibilities and thus the longevity of a well-written and well-designed pattern. Simultaneously you also learn about depth, perspective and texture that can be applied to a quilt and how this can result in an infinite number of visually-appealing and unique designs. 

Using an EQ program, or Electric Quilt software, Peggy created these additional looks simply by playing around with the color and placement:

If you would like to practice on your knowledge of color, color theory and color placement, we've attached a line drawing of the Stitchin' Star Quilt for you to print and color in. Print several and play with different color combinations and/or color placement to get an idea how each one conveys a different appearance and feeling. 

If you'd like some inspiration to get started, check out and follow our Color Scheme Pinterest Board. Finally, check out this nifty tool we sell to help you in picking out a color scheme for your next quilt. The Pocket Color Wheel is an invaluable tool because, thanks to it's compact size and mobility, it can be taken with you for other design adventures you may have such as redesigning a room in your home, planning a wedding, or building your next house. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fabric School -- Things to Know: How Fabric is Ordered.

We recently had a conversation at a staff meeting where the staff came onto a topic of having informed customers. We roundly agreed that, to fairly help our customers as well as contribute to a happy quilting consumer culture in our area, it was imperative to keep our customers informed and knowledgable. The conversation quickly expanded to include ideas to keep you abreast of all sorts of valuable information that not only keeps you an educated quilt/fabric shopper but also a well-informed and skilled quilter/sewer.

This portion of our staff meeting resulted in us creating Fabric School! We've come to see the value we would be contributing to the quilting/sewing community here in Northern Utah as well as online all over the world. Not only will this help us better meet your needs and expectations, but will create a more relaxed and enjoyable fabric shopping experience for both of us!

For the first installment of Fabric School, we want you to be informed of how fabric is ordered and stocked. Many times a week, we have customers who comes in to our store with a sample of fabric they had previously bought weeks, months, sometimes even years ago and had miscalculated how much they needed or had made a mistake cutting and were in desperate need for more. I'm sure we've all been there and can empathize. 

While we do our best to help our customers find the exact print when this occurs, it's important to understand that...
  1. we usually don't keep back stock of the majority of our products and 
  2. we can't alway reorder fabric we sell in our store if it is sold out.
A lot of the time we do not have the foresight to know what will be popular with our customers and what will sit on our shelves a long time. If we were to backorder all that we offered, this would result in enormous expenses that would increase our prices. We absolutely do not want to do that; remember our motto is "Service, Selection, Savings".

As for the second point, the life of fabric is very much like high fashion; it operates around the seasons. Fabric manufacturers have fabrics designed usually a year ahead of when they plan on providing them in stores. We and all other fabric shops order fabric about a season ahead of when it will be available to sell. This means that, seeing as how Christmas prints usually become available for sale in the middle of the summer, designers were creating the patterns for this Christmas last summer. Sales representatives from the various fabric manufacturers visited our store and we ordered these prints in the fall of last year, a whole season before they will be available on our shelves. 

These are very springy prints, but we got them in our store back in November!  See, a whole season ahead to give you time to make your spring projects.
The reason for this is that fabric manufacturers require a set number of yardage they need to print in order to supply the demand that was created when fabric stores ordered. This cuts down on their costs (which allows their fabrics to be priced lower for you, yay!) as well as the possibility for vast amounts of unsold fabric left on their hands that did not meet as much public acceptance (a nice way to say the fabric was ugly). For us and for our customers, that means there usually aren't any extra bolts to order once we run out of a certain print or fabric line. Additionally, fabric manufacturers want to be on the cusp of what is popular and to creatively expand what they offer to consumers. Because of this they rarely reprint old fabric lines. 

What we would like you to take away from this information is that, while we will thoroughly search through our cabinets and shelves for the print you are short on, there comes a time when a fabric is simply done and gone. As an informed consumer, this will help you to recognize our limitations, keep your expectations reasonable and understand that sometimes miracles just are meant to happen.

This fun comic was found on and explains why the fabric you are looking for is sold out: it's because Mrs. Bobbin takes it all! 
Should the possibility arise that you need more of a certain print and we are sold out, there are a few manufacturers who make it a little easier to reorder from; they will sometimes print a little extra for cases just like this. These manufacturers include Riley Blake, Springs and occasionally Moda. If what you are looking for falls within these manufacturers, we are happy to take your information and do some investigating to see if it is still available to order. Have patience with us as this usually includes  finding the fabric, determining if it is available or not, ordering it and having it shipped to our store. It may take awhile but we will be in touch with you about what we find.

We hope you are as excited as we are about Fabric School and the wonderful opportunities it can provide. Do you have something you'd like to know about and which you'd like to see featured on Fabric School? Leave us a comment or send us a message!