Get your curve on! January 27 2015

A couple of weeks ago, we had the great pleasure of having Seattle-based quilt designer Patricia Belyea teaching her Doodle Piecing workshop at Fabrications.  She'll be teaching Kouki Improv Quilt class on February 28, and we're looking at dates for a possible repeat of the Doodle Piecing Workshop - keep checking back on our Classes page!

We met Patricia back in September 2014, when she wandered into the shop the day Carrie and Curtis had finished renovations and were re-opening at our new location (1018 Wellington St. West). Check out the lovely profile of the new shop she shared on her OkanArts blog.  

Patricia is one of those rare birds who is not only an extremely creative and talented fabric artist, but she is also a skilled teacher (and a great story teller too!).  And have you seen the gorgeous hand dyed yukata cottons she imports from Japan?  They appear throughout her quilts and she also sells them online through her online shop.

So what is Doodle Piecing, exactly?  Imagine turning line drawings, complex curves and all, into pattern pieces and then into quilt blocks. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t yet had a chance to take Patricia’s class, but suffice to say, I finally got over my fear of piecing flat curves.  In fact, we sliced and diced and sewed the most amazing pieces.  I think all six of us in the class were pretty chuffed at what we accomplished by day's end.

This is where we started - everyone chose 6 fabrics to use in their first block.


Once that was done, we doodled, made our pattern pieces, then worked some magic to negotiate all the organic shapes we'd designed into proper quilt blocks.  I'm talking about the type that lie flat without being forced to do so by a hot iron.  Because we've all made loads of those, right?

 Here's Patricia unlocking the flat curve universe to us, explaining the small details that make these blocks come together so beautifully.


 Kathryn, taking it all in stride.  (And Patricia's beautiful sample quilt on the wall behind Kathryn!)

And we got to see a few of Patricia's samples - this one combines Half Square Triangles with Doodle Piecing.  Topped off with some beautiful hand quilting.


 And voila!  Here we are, all smiles with our finished blocks!

We're so looking forward to running this workshop again soon.  It really does unlock a whole universe of curved piecing that can add so much interest to quilting.

Keep checking back on our Classes page to see when we'll be running it again!




New fabrics and fall class offerings August 20 2014

As many of you know, we'll be moving a little further west on Somerset Street in the fall.  We've been busy there 24/7 getting our new digs ready.  So excited for the big reveal and we can't wait to share the new space with everyone!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, life goes on and we've got a lot going on! 

Over the past few weeks, loads of new fabrics came through the door, including Nani Iro and EchinoArt Gallery (flowy voiles!), The Long Thread, April Rhodes Arizona collection and Japanese cotton sateens

Like to see more?  Come by the store (some of the new fabrics aren't on line just yet!).  Or, let your fingers wander on over to our Instagram (fabricationsott) to lose an hour of your day imagining what you'll be making from these beauties!

Fall Classes

To go with all these new fabrics, we've got a batch of great evening classes in late August and throughout September -- a great time of year to get a few sewing projects started! 

For absolute beginners, start here:

  • Sewing Machine Basics: Simple Fabric Bunting Banner - a one-night class that gives you all the basics and you leave with a great finished project.  It runs four times in the next few weeks - Aug 27th, Sept 2nd, 8th and 26th.
  • Express Beginner Class: Infinity Scarf (1 night - Sept 24) - learn the basics of using a sewing machine, and walk away with a great accessory for the fall.
    • Once you've got the basics down, the world is your oyster!

    For beginners or those getting back into sewing after an extended 'vacation', looking for simple but interesting project, try these:

    • Sewing 101: Easy Lined Tote (1 night - Sept 12th) - learn the basics and start making different sizes on your own.
    • Sewing 102: Easy Zippered Pillow (1 night - Aug 22, Sept 5th and 15th) - a little zipper therapy goes a long way. Enough said.
    • Sewing 103: Baker's Apron (1 night - Sept 9th) - we use a unisex pattern, so you can make a manly-man BBQ apron, or something a little more feminine.
    • Sewing 104: Japanese Hip Wrap (1 night - Aug 29th) - have you seen these things?  Great over leggings or skinny jeans, and so easy to make. And... did we mention we like having a few drinks at this class and make it a bit of a social night?  What more can you ask for in a sewing class? 

    For intermediate sewists, looking to tick off a few boxes in the 'new skills' department?  Learn how to hem pants, install an elastic waist band, sew some curves and start using some of your beloved stash!

    • Sewing 201: Pyjama Pants (2 nights - Sept 18th and 25th) - basic pant pattern, elastic waist band, hems
    • Sewing 202: Zippered Pouch (1 night - Aug 29th and Sept 22nd) - zippers, curves and using different weight woven fabrics
    • Beginner Garment Making: Rae Skirt (2 nights - Sept 16th & 23th) - sewing with a pattern, vertical seams, elastic casing
    • Crib Sheet (1 night - Sept 11th) super quick and makes a great gift for friends with wee folk!

    For advanced sewists, this is where the rubber hits the road!  Our advanced classes take on more complex sewing patterns and techniques.  Usually 3-4 nights over a few weeks, giving you the chance to soak up all that you can from our skilled teachers.  Learn tricks for fitting garments to flatter your own body, different hem lengths, shirring and sewing with woven and kit fabrics. 

    •  Sewing 302: Dressmaking / Washi Dress (3 nights - Sept 3, 10 & 17) - one of the most fun and versatile independent dress patterns to hit the market in years. Look no further than the Rae Made Me Do It flickr group for a little inspiration.

    We also offer a 3-night dressmaking class using the April Rhodes Staple Dress pattern and a 4-night class on knits using the Colette Moneta pattern.  Check back here for dates!

    Look forward to seeing you at the shop!


      Kids Clothes Week - Day 5! July 25 2014

      Day 5 and we're on the home stretch with Kids Clothes Week.  Sarah here (again!) and today's post is going to be a shorty. 

      Before we get to KCW, we're going to pause for a little double-gauze love.  This arrived in the shop today.  Oh my!  (will have it up online shortly!)

      Ok, back to our regular programming re: KCW.  Feeling quite chuffed that I've managed to wedge at least an hour of sewing in each evening despite a somewhat hectic week.  Sure, there's a giant pile of laundry waiting for me, but I'm good with that.

      I make a few of these reversable pinafores each spring for my eldest daughter, as they are a go-to top here all summer and they work with a long-sleeve shirt in the fall/winter.  I wish the pattern came in adult size, but no such luck.  This 'red birds' version was almost finished over a month ago and has been worn and washed a few times since.  However, the two side seams on the inside (pink floral) layer remained unfinished.  So, that's what took up my KCW hour today!

      The pattern is the Sweet Pocket Pinafore by Heidi and Finn. It's only 6 pattern pieces and sews up in an hour or so, minus the final side seams which need to be hand-stitched.  I've made a stack of these pinafores for my two girls and as birthday presents for others.  It's a loose and comfortable fit, so sizes are quite flexible.  French pattern-maker, Citronille, does a very similar pattern with button flaps at the shoulders.  And while it makes it easier to get it onto a small wiggly person, the straps never sat well, so I returned to using the H&F version.

      In the version above, the fabrics are both quilting weight cottons.  The bird fabric is an Alexander Henry print from this year.  Carrie had a stack of bunting made of it sitting on the coutner at Fabrications one afternoon and I walked out of the shop with the remaining yardage.  The cerise floral fabric peeking out from the inside is a few years old. I'm thinking Anna Maria Horner or Amy Butler? 

      Ok, that's it for today.  Johanna's back tomorrow with some more goodies for her boys!