Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It's a Mystery . . . . all of it!

Wow this title is so appropo . . .we are so happy to be back on our blog, spreading the joy and love of quilting with pretty FreeSpirit Fabrics.  First, a great big thank you to our soon-to-be owners Jaftex for keeping this brand alive and our artists and team together. For that we can all be eternally thankful!

Now onto the fun stuff . . . . if you have not heard, there is a mystery brewing.  It's sort of like the game of  Clue but instead of Professor Plum in the Library, it is none other than Kaffe Fassett with his beautiful Classic fabrics, in your local quilt shop.  

If you haven't already, visit our Kaffe Mystery Quilt Facebook Page and enter the Gallery where you can view the excitement of those participating as well as receive clues as to how this quilt will all come together.  If you are a Mystery-maker, post photos of your progress on our Kaffe Mystery Quilt Facebook page and hash tag it #KaffeMysteryQuilt. That # enters you to possibly win fabulous gifts and prizes each month!  You have to be in it to win it though, so post, post, post!

Exeter Sewing Machine Co. LTD. super excited to be a part of the Mystery!

Month One, March, is at your local retailers.  It's not too late to see if you can join in the fun. Until next time, they mystery is yours to solve!

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Thursday, February 08, 2018

The Story Continues . . . Watch our Quilting Arts Episode
Legendary artisans influence today's fabrics

As we explore our unique relationship with The Original Morris & Co., we are taken aback by the influences in today's quilting by legendary and iconic artisans.  Van Gogh, Monet, Maxfield Parrish and more continue to influence today's quilter and fabrics not only in their hand or illustrative painting styles but also their color palettes.
Host Susan Brubaker Knapp (left) and guest Luana Rubin (right) talk about
the influences of William Morris on modern textiles on Quilting Arts airing now on PBS.
Textile and quilt expert Luana Rubin, from, talks about the influences of these iconic artists and how they inspire and influence today's quilting in an episode of Quilting Art, airing now on your local Public Broadcasting Station.  

Of course, William Morris is part of the discussion.  A true renaissance man, he worked in textiles and embroideries, murals and stain glassed windows plus he was a poet, a writer and a publisher.   
A lot of William Morris work included applique. Our FreeSpirit True Morris
quilt featuring Kelmscott and Merton collections is true to to the vision
of William Morris. 
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
Today, you can find an interpretation of William Morris in fabrics that have been scaled up, scaled down or recolored in more tonal hues or brighter colors.  The beauty of the fabrics from FreeSpirit and The Original Morris & Co is the authenticity of his iconic designs like  
Strawberry Theives, Willow, Chrysanthemum, Snakeshead and more in classic color palettes that speak to his original works and are true to his vision. 

To see the segment and learn more about the influences of William Morris, click here

Iconic William Morris designs including (left to right) Chrysanthemum, Strawberry Theives
and Snakeshead authentically reproduced by FreeSpirit

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Monday, February 05, 2018


Winter blues getting you down? Need a dose of color to brighten up your days? Odile Bailloeul's Broderie Boheme collection will have you smiling in no time. Brimming with color and folksy feelings, Odile's designs encourage you to let loose and go a little wild.

Today's project focuses on using one special feature of the Fairy Tale and Chessboard prints from this collection. The stitch details of these designs provide the perfect guide for a bit of embellishment. With embroidery thread or pearl cotton you can add dimension and texture to your projects. Just choose some design elements and get to work.

For these bags, the embroidery embellishment is minimal as the front will see a lot of use with keys and pens going in and out of the pocket. Even so, the result is a fun mix of fabric and thread. Pattern is Pretty Pocket Purse by Jane Sassaman.

The embroidery stitches are basic—seed stitches, french knots and satin stitches. Three strands were used for the seed stitches and satin stitches. Two strands of Anchor floss were sufficient for the knots. For extra drama, add seed beads to your stitches.

Do your embroidery on the exterior bag pieces of your choosing before assembling the bag. If you use a hoop when stitching, cut the bag piece out after you have finished embellishing. As you put the bag together, take extra care when pressing.

The addition of felt balls along the bottom of the purse ups the boho factor. You may choose to replace these with long fringe or pom pom trim. Make it your own and add embellishments to suit your mood.

If bag making isn't your thing, select a section for embellishment and once complete, frame it in a hoop or picture frame. There's no end to the fun.

Broderie Boheme ships to stores this month!

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Thursday, February 01, 2018

THE AUTHENTIC STYLE OF WILLIAM MORRIS: Access to the unrivaled archives of The Original Morris & Co.
brings to quilters true William Morris artistry

In case you have not heard, FreeSpirit has some very exciting news!  We are collaborating with  The Original Morris & Co., based in Denham, England.  This unique partnership gives the FreeSpirit brand exclusive access to fascinating original works and colorations dating back to the establishment of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co in 1861.

Known as the father of the Arts and Crafts Movement, William Morris longed for the simple beauty of artisans working alongside one another in collaboration using the best of natural materials. Much like quilters, he enjoyed the pure essence of artistic crafts, and then sharing that enjoyment with all. FreeSpirit is pleased to share the true aesthetics and authenticity of his art with quilters who are as passionate, using their talents to create their own masterpieces.
Two iconic collections are playing upon the true aesthetics of William Morris. Kelmscott, inspired by the picturesque Cotswold retreat of William Morris, celebrates the extraordinary patterns and detail within Morris’ work. Featuring iconic designs such as Strawberry Thief and Bachelors Button in a colorful palette, these classic designs beautifully complement a selection of smaller scale co-ordinates in light and fresh colorways.  This collection of 29 enduring designs will be available in now.

Named after Merton Abbey Mills, Merton, available in March, is where much of William Morris’ design work and production took place. The collection of 21 timeless fabrics features well-loved Morris designs such as Snakeshead, Chrysanthemum and Willow Boughs recreated in new, contemporary color palettes, perfect for quilters to infuse their creativity with re-imagined, heritage rich designs.

Want to learn more? Here are some fun things to watch for to inspire your quilting and your love for these beautiful Fabrics.
Host Susan Brubaker Knapp (left) and guest Luana Rubin (right) talk about
the influences of William Morris on modern textiles on Quilting Arts airing now on PBS.  
Watch your local PBS station for Quilting Arts TV Show featuring a show staring owner and textile expert Luana Rubin. She talks about William Morris and his influence in textiles and today’s quilting cottons.

Stars & Pinwheels designed by Sally Ablett,
in Today's Quilter, issue 32, on sale now. 

·      Today’s Quilter magazine issue 32 is now in stores. The magazine comes complete with a supplemental issue about William Morris including the free Stars & Pinwheels quilt pattern designed by Sally Ablett.
Star Nouveau quilt designed by Carolyn Beam
in the March/April issue of McCall's Quilting on sale now!

More inspiration can be found in the March/April issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.  Look at Star Nouveau by Carolyn Beam. This medallion quilt pattern combines the FreeSpirit prints in the prettiest way.

There is more to come!  We are thrilled to bring to life the principles that drove William Morris through creative collaboration with its own artistic talents. Together, this unique relationship will bring to life the artistry, vision and authentic style of William Morris. Click here to find your nearest shop carrying these iconic fabrics. 
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

FreeSpirit presents Folk Tales by Jane Sassaman


Happy New Year! Are you ready to start things off with a bang? Need some ideas to help you keep your sewing and making resolutions for 2018? Look no further. We've got you covered.

Jane Sassaman's newest collection, Folk Tales, is shipping to stores this month. The fun factor in this collection is high and makes for easy drama no matter what project you choose. Jane is known for her personality prints and bold, beautiful color combinations and Folk Tales does not disappoint. You'll find bugs, chickens and lovely flowers—all of which combine to do the hard work for you.

These motifs practically beg to be made into kitchen projects. Everything from aprons to pot holders to place mats and table runners are excellent options. Because the best way to set yourself up for success with those sewing resolutions is to start easy with great fabric, today's tutorial will walk you through the necessary steps to make two place mats (18 1/2” x 14 1/2”).

To begin, cut the following pieces:
            (2) 10 1/2” x 14 1/2” rectangles from Kerchief
            (4) 3 1/2” x 14 1/2” strips of Blanket Stripe
            (4) 1 1/2” x 14 1/2” strips of solid black
            (4) 2” x Width of Fabric strips of Indispensable Dots (optional)
            (2) 18 1/2” x 14 1/2” rectangles of Bumblebee
            (2) 18 1/2” x 14 1/2” rectangles of fusible fleece

Sew one Blanket Stripe strip to one side of a Kerchief rectangle. Sew a second Blanket Stripe strip to the other side of Kerchief rectangle. Press seams.

Sew a solid black strip to each Blanket Stripe. Press seams.

Repeat for second place mat.

Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse one piece of fusible fleece to each pieced top.

Optional: If choosing to omit binding, sew the pieced top and the backing, right sides together, around the edges. Leave a gap of approximately 4” inches for turning on one side. Clip the corners. Turn right side out and press. Slip stitch the opening closed. Edgestitch around all sides of the place mat. Quilt as desired.

Place pieced top and backing wrong sides together. Baste as necessary. Quilt as desired. Trim edges if necessary.

Sew 2” strips of Indispensable Dots together end to end. Press in half along length, wrong sides together. Pin to front side of place mat and sew. Press to back and hand stitch in place.

To add dramatic flair to your table setting, use the Kerchief yardage to make a table cloth. Or enlarge a quilt block to make a table topper as seen in this inspiration only image.

These easy mats make great gifts and are just the thing to keep on hand for last minute gifting. If you're short on time, skip the piecing and use a single 14 1/2” x 18 1/2” rectangle of different prints for a varied table setting. Easy peasy!

Choose a colorway, grab some yardage, and start enjoying a pop of color in the new year!

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