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One Year and 105 Posts Later: We’re Celebrating with a Group Fabric Challenge AND a Giveaway

For those of you who received our earlier draft, apologies! We hit that “publish” button a bit prematurely. This one is the real thing, and we’ve got lots to share. First up: this month, See How We Sew marks its first anniversary (!), and we’ve got a month-long celebration planned to recognize this exciting milestone. In addition to our regular posts, we’ll have all kinds of news, updates, and of course–special giveaways.

Over the past year, many of you have told us that you enjoy our different styles and “voices,” so to kick off the month, we thought it would be fun to issue ourselves a group fabric challenge to see just how different we really are. We each began with a fat quarter of the same fabric. Our assignment: Choose six fabrics to go with it. For our focus fabric, we selected a large-scaled, daisy-bedecked Robert Kaufman print from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schimler.

Our theme fabric: a colorful print designed by Amy Schimler for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

As you’ll see, some of us were better at sticking to the “rules” than others, but that’s what makes us who we are! Here goes:

Jennifer’s Selections: My first thought when I saw the theme fabric was to pull in black-and-white prints and then select a few bright-toned ones that called to the main colors in the theme fabric: ultramarine blue, green, and pink. I took a drive to Wooden Gate Quilts, one of my fave local fabric haunts in Danville, CA, and pulled likely candidates with my friend, Kim Butterworth. Once we whittled down the choices, we surveyed the shop’s color mavens, including Margaret Linderman (a living, breathing work-of-art whom we all emulate because she’s so fabulous!), Robin Olvera, and Cyndy Rymer. Violá! I like the result, especially that whimsical Amy Butler print on the bottom of the pile.

Jennifer's selections

Jennifer’s fabrics, from the top: Michael Miller – from the Secret Garden collection by Sandi Henderson; Robert Kaufman – from the Pimatex Basics collection; Free Spirit – from the Early Birds collection by Jane Sassaman; Moda – from the Twirl collection by Me & My Sister Designs; and Rowan Fabric – from the Lark collection by Amy Butler.

Christie’s Selections: I loved both the pattern and the colors in our theme fabric, so I went into my stash to search for companion pieces. It wasn’t difficult! I have an obscene collection of green and pink fabrics, and polka dots are a mild obsession, so it’s pretty easy to see what path I took. I know there are lots of dots, but I couldn’t help myself. (I did make an effort to vary the scale of the prints). Two of my selections are Kaffe Fassett designs (he’s one of my idols).

Christie's selections

Christie’s fabrics, clockwise from the top:  Westminster Fibers – Big Blooms by Kaffe Fassett; Free Spirit – from the McKenzie collection by Dena Designs;  P&B Textiles – from the Pop Parade collection by Metro; Rowan Fabric – from the Soul Blossoms collection by Amy Butler; Art Gallery Fabrics – from the Girly Girl collection; Rowan Fabric Spot by Kaffe Fassett.

Laura’s Selections: This was an easy challenge as I generally start with a focus or inspiration fabric when working on a new project. With the exception of one print that I pulled from my stash, I found my companion fabrics at three California quilt shops: Back Porch Fabrics (Pacific Grove), The Cotton Patch (Lafayette), and Thimble Creek (Concord). My only difficulty was limiting my selection to six prints. I love scrap quilts, so for me, the more the better. I look for a variety of prints from tone-on-tone to multicolored in varying scales (small to large) and textures (dots, geometrics, checks, etc.), as well as value (light to dark).  If I were making a quilt or block, this selection would most likely be a starting point; I would add more during the process.

Laura's selections

Laura’s fabrics, from left to right: Westminster FibersAboriginal Dots by Kaffe Fassett; Rowan – from the Soul Blossoms collection by Amy Butler; Robert Kaufman – from the Fiesta collection by Jennifer Sampou; Westminster FibersSpots by Kaffe Fassett; Troy Corporation –  from the Line 5 collection by Marcia Derse; and unknown – this is from my stash and the selvage is missing.

Darra’s Selections: This was a tough assignment for me. It’s not unusual for me to use 100 or more fabrics in a quilt, so narrowing my choices to six was a real challenge. (It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that I had overshot my target by one.) Also, I rarely ever start with a focus fabric. Know what? I discovered that basically the same ingredients apply; that is, a good mix of colors, values, and types of prints. I was especially attracted by the playful interaction of the hot pinks and yellow greens with the sophisticated gray background in our challenge fabric, so that determined my direction. I had a great time fondling the bolts at In Between Stitches in Livermore, CA, one of my favorite area quilt shops.

Darra's selections

Darra’s fabrics, from left to right: Michael Miller – from the Backyard Baby collection by Patty Sloniger; Moda – from the Reunion collection by Sweetwater; Moda – from the Little Apples collection by Aneela Hoey; Marcus Fabrics – from the Bundle of Jungle collection by Laura Berringer;  Marcus Fabrics – from the Bundle of Jungle collection by Laura Berringer; Moda – from the Reunion collection by Sweetwater; Moda – from the Marble Swirls (Moda Basics) collection.

That’s our part for today. Now, since this is a celebration, we’d like you to be part of it too. Tell us which of the four palettes is your favorite. Leave a comment by end of day Sunday, April 8, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for the adorable (and appropriate!) Queen of the Party pattern from The Quilted Fish, along with a packet of four coordinating fat quarters. The winner will be announced in Christie’s April 10 (Block of the Month) post.

‘Til next time, happy sewing!

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