Monday, December 11, 2017

Meet Matthew's Mini Monsters!

 Matthew Pridemore's newest fabric line, Matthew's Mini Monsters, features an imagination-filled collection of whimsical creatures with a story. The line includes two panels: blocks to fussy cut, and a soft book panel that can be fussy cut or made into a book. Don't forget the coordinates! Fifteen prints ranging from circuit panels and pipes to tonal gears! We asked Matthew to introduce us to his monster friends. 









Tell us about the monsters.
I design things that I like. I had a couple ideas in my head for monsters. I sometimes don’t want to use the word monster because I don’t want people to think they’re scary. They’re just different. They all have names, and they all have stories. I love them all; don't make me pick a favorite!





What is the story of the monsters?
Having a story in mind for my characters helps through the designing process. I had the opportunity to tell the story in a more straightforward way with the soft book. The story really became a big part of the fabric.



My question was what are the monsters doing. Maybe they’re the reason behind sounds you hear. Or the cause of the lint in the fan on your computer. They’re not evil though—they’re just being themselves. Things just happen.

What do you like about the soft book panel in this collection?
The monsters have cute names, but without the story I don’t think they’d have the same impact for people—I know they wouldn’t have had the same impact for me. Being able to tell their stories in the soft book helps with who they are and what their characteristics are.
  

How realistic are your drawings?
I’ll use references at times to help give a better sense of what I’m creating. I can draw a rough circuit board from memory, but an electrical engineer may look at it and say that it’s not going to work. With many of these prints, when you zoom in (or cut 2” squares), the pattern goes abstract.

How does being a quilt designer influence your fabric design?
We definitely do think about how fabric is going to be used. When you cut a 4” square or a 2” square out of a print, what are you going to get? If a quilt shop runs out of the panels, we want the line as a whole to still work. Of if someone doesn’t want to use the monster panels, the collection works together--the gears, the pipes, and the LEDs, for example.

Do you have a favorite print?
The gears probably are my favorite.  I think I had the large gear design in mind even before I had the monsters. I like Steam Punk—the gears and the mechanical nature of it. I wanted the gears to look like they could work, and I played with textures and colors—the bronzy, coppery look—to make them more realistic. That print in itself, I see a lot of stories to tell. This looks like a complex mechanism: What is it? What is it doing?


The monsters were added in later, and I think they pop so well because of how realistic the gears are. My wife, Heidi, wants to make a dress from this print.

Tell us about a few of the other prints.
I created all of the numbers for the LED print. It took a long time to get the spacing right. They’re all made with one simple shape. It’s a very precise design.


I played around with wires for the background of one of the soft book panels, and the wire print came from that. Stripes on the bias have so many uses, and make a great binding with no effort. The wires create an interesting texture and allowed me to get more color into the line.


Anything else you want to tell people about Matthew’s Mini Monsters?

There is a monster that is not in either panel. It’s a little green guy named Icky, and he’s bumpy with hairy moles. He has the flu, so when your computer or device gets a virus, it’s because Icky is there. There wasn’t room for him in the panels, but he snuck into the large gear print.

We'll be featuring more from Matthew's Mini Monsters this week...stay tuned!

Click here to see the entire Matthew's Mini Monsters collection.
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Friday, December 8, 2017

Free Pattern Friday: Holiday Edition!

Today's post offers a recap of all of the free quilt patterns available on our website that correspond with our holiday fabric collections. Download your favorites and ask for the fabric at your local quilt shop. 

Nordic Holiday by Amanda Murphy
Amanda designed a free quilt pattern using Nordic Holiday, Candy Dish.
Click here to find out how to download it.

Click here to see the entire Nordic Holiday collection.
Click here to learn more about Amanda's Nordic Holiday collection and see Amanda's available quilt patterns.




Florentine Christmas
Find two free quilt patterns on our website using Florentine Christmas: 
"Secret Santa," featuring wrapped packages with applique bows
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

"Buon Natale," simple half-square triangles packed with punch
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Click here to see the entire Florentine Christmas collection.


A Moose for Christmas by Cheryl Haynes
Use Cheryl's panel (and coordinates) in a variety of free quilt patterns! 
Merry Moosemas! designed by Heidi Pridemore, features pieced borders around the panel.

Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Follow Cheryl's directions to turn the various panel pieces into table runners, pillows, and card holders. 
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.


Cheryl has an additional free pattern on her website--a classic patchwork square quilt that allows the fabric to shine. Click here to find it. 

Click here to see the entire fabric collection.
Click here to learn more about A Moose for Christmas.




Winter Story
Download our free quilt pattern featuring Winter Story, "Winter Cardinals."
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Click here to see the entire Winter Story collection.
Click here to learn more about Winter Story.





Mulberry Lane by Cherry Guidry
We have a free quilt pattern available on our website, Snowy Village, using the panel from Cherry's collection. 
Click here to download the free pattern.

Click here to see the entire Mulberry Lane collection.
Click here to learn more about Mulberry Lane and see Cherry's available quilt patterns.




A Festive Season by Jackie Robinson
Our website features a few free quilt patterns using Jackie's collection.
First, Festive Cardinals & Ornaments by Heidi Pridemore (you choose which panel and border print to use!) 
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Festive Runners by Jackie Robinson (again, you choose which panel to use!). Pattern includes table runner, queen-size bed runner, and placemats. 
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Click here to see the entire A Festive Season collection.
Click here to learn more about the collection and see Jackie's additional quilt patterns.




Merry Little Christmas by Holly Helgeson
Looking for a free quilt pattern? Try "Christmas Windows," which features the panel surrounded by patchwork borders. It's available as a free download on our website. 
Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

Click here to see the entire Merry Little Christmas collection.
Click here to learn more about the collection.




Winter Games by Amanda Murphy
Amanda designed a free quilt pattern using her Winter Games pattern. This quilt, called Skating Rink, is a log cabin variation featuring fussy-cut athlete appliques from the collection. The pattern is available as a free download from Amanda's website

Click here to find out how to download Amanda's free quilt pattern.
Click here to learn more about the collection and click here to see Amanda's additional quilt patterns.


We hope this holiday recap week has helped get you in a festive spirit! 
Happy Holidays!

Don't miss our other Christmas-themed posts this week! 
Technique Tuesday with Debby Kratovil: Hexagons with Festive Season

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

More Holiday Magic: Snowflake Table Topper

Table toppers are perfect December projects--they sew up quickly, and it's so satisfying to add a little sparkle to your seasonal decorations. Christina McCourt designed this Snowflake Topper for the November/December issue of Quilty magazine. She used the snowflake-themed prints from Kanvas' Winter Story collection. We asked Christina to tell us about her unusually shaped topper.

"Snowflake Topper" by Christina McCourt;
featured in Quilty magazine November/December 2017


What attracted you to the Winter Story collection?
I absolutely love the colors in the Winter Story Collection—the red, green, white and black fabrics. Fabrics with a black background are awesome because they really show off the colors and designs.

Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
My favorite is the black print with the red, green and white snowflakes. They are all beautiful fabrics though!

We love the shape of your table topper.  What made you go beyond a square? Any tips for binding the angles? 
I knew I wanted to do something that wasn't a square, a rectangle or a circle. I wanted something in an odd shape. By adding triangles to the sides, I achieved what I was looking for. I have used this shape before on a Christmas tree skirt.
I just cut width of binding strips for the binding. However I wish that I had done bias cut binding. It would have had more give for the angles. For the inner corners I snipped them so that when sewing on the binding I could "straighten" the side to sew on the binding.



Can you tell us about your design?
Once I had decided on the shape, I had to choose a theme. I wanted something that could go beyond the month of December, so I decided on the applique snowflake block. I auditioned several blocks before deciding on the pieced snowflake star. The lattice in the snowflake star provides a wonderful secondary design that connects it all together. I used the same fabric for the binding to pull it all together. Using Winter Story allowed me to stay with the snowflake theme. 

What do you like best about this quilt?
I like everything about it really. If I have to choose one thing, then, I like the applique snowflake the best. The snowflake stands out against the green fabric. It is fairly simple applique.

Anything else you’d like people to know about this quilt? 
Don't let the odd shape or the applique scare you off from doing this project!


Click here to see the entire Winter Story collection.
Click here to purchase the Snowflake Topper pattern individually.

Click here to purchase the Snowflake Topper kit.
Click here to find the November/December 2017 issue of Quilty magazine or look for it at your local quilt shop.


Don't miss our other Christmas-themed posts this week! 
Technique Tuesday with Debby Kratovil: Hexagons with Festive Season
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