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WELCOME Fabric Lovers!


More Summer  News Letter

by  Robin Brisson

Quilter Studio

Welcome to my loyal customers and new subscribers. It seems like it has been good weather for quilting lately; much too rainy and cold for gardening here New England. 


Still going strong;

  • French country (light colors like copen blue, buttercup and white)

  • Toile (both large and small scale prints used for everything, quilts, curtains pillows, tote bags, placemats, chair pads, etc.)

  • Barnyard motifs (chickens, sheep and cows, barns, weathervanes, pastures,)

  • A decorating trend called British Colonial. I like to call it the Pier One look

  • Always popular for Spring/Summer sunflowers, ladybugs and anything with bees, beehives, honey, etc.

  • Be on the watch for; cowboy themes (old west, guitars, camping on the range) and Far Eastern Motifs, fans, birds, bamboo

  • On the way out; angels

Country is still prominent in New England but the colors have perked up. Instead of dark navy, hunter green and burgundy they have been updated to soft nile/sage green, dusty rose and muted light navy. If you have a lot of the darks try lightening a room with a few throw pillows or covering a lampshade with the new colors. Even the traditional homespun fabric is now coming in brighter colors and a wider palette. Another trend is vintage or retro. Quilters love to sew with the bright colors and conversation prints of the 1930's and decorate with the embroidered and colored textiles of the 1940's and now even the 1950's are becoming popular.

Sewing Tips

Hand appliqué is a good take along project during the summer. Cut your pieces for each block and put in a clear plastic bag or tin with a small pair of scissors, needle and thread. Remember, the thread should match the top piece that is being applied instead of the background. If you can't match exactly use a neutral medium shade like gray or taupe. Try one of the thinner hand appliqué threads available. They glide through the fabric. There are many methods and techniques for appliqué but I urge you to try the traditional needle turn method. My grandmother loves this technique. She still hand bastes the top layer down but you can use short sequin pins also. Just try one block to start. Add a few borders and you have a nice pillow or wall hanging. If you don't have any traditional patterns look through your "quick fuse" patterns or a child's coloring book for an easy first project. Trace the shape and add a scant 1/4-inch seam allowance when cutting it out. 

Quilt Ideas

 There are so many ways to use quilts around the house even in the summer. Do you have a top that you started but don't like enough to finish or changed your color palette? Put on the back using a quick turn method and use it for ground cover when having a picnic or as a tablecloth on the buffet table or picnic table on the deck. Omit the batting and just quickly machine quilt or hand tie and you'll have no trouble washing it. Some people call these summer quilts or spreads. I always have one of these covering the back seat of my car. It adds color, protects the seat and is easy to wash. It comes in handy if you have to change a tire or just want to stop and have an ice cream along the way. People will know you are a quilter just by looking in your car.

 I painted an old wicker chair to match my house and put it on the lawn by the front door. I planted some geraniums in an old galvanized oval bucket. Before I set the planter in the chair I draped some patchwork fabric over the back and side arm of the chair. The fabric adds color and interest to the chair and a homey welcoming feeling to guests. If you don't have a wicker armchair, use an old wooden kitchen chair. If you don’t have room for a chair just use a large wicker basket or wagon and drape the fabric over the front before putting in your plants.  

Quilt History

A blue and white quilt is still the most popular color combination for quilts. A quilt vendor will always price a blue/white one higher than a similar quilt in a different color. The second most desirable color is red and white with green accent. These seem to appear to most people and will fit in a variety of home décor. Star patterns are the most popular designs and there are literally hundreds of different star variations, the most popular being Ohio star, friendship star and lone star or star of Bethlehem. An eight-pointed star is seen most frequently. Other popular motifs are schoolhouse, log cabin and wedding ring.   

Shop Talk

-Many new fabrics and books. Nice bright colors and lots of homespun. My favorite is the Fairy Frost fabric, very unique.

-I have many colors in the hard to find 1930's repro solids. I repair many quilts and these are just the right weave and texture. I also have a "tablecloth panel" with a retro look of the late 40's. Make a tablecloth and use the border to sew an accent on a tea towel or bottom of a curtain, napkin rings, coasters or potholders. The panel also makes a most unusual vest. On a decorating show the designer used a panel very similar to the one I sell, used a quick turn method for a back and placed it diagonally on the center of a twin bed; very striking. The colors of the room were the colors in the panel. 

-New spring colors in waffle tea towels too. My customers use these for everything; appliqué (check out  the patterns to use with the towels), machine embroidery, curtains, texture on garments, tote bags even for civil war reenactment bags!

-Homespun continues to be popular for the primitive country look. Look at our selection of making to please patterns. These are quick projects like pillows and wall hangings that use the homespun fabric for a great accent.

-I have some nice larger floral prints in, so such soft colors and very romantic. These larger scale prints are great to use for a wide border on a small quilt or wall hanging. It makes up quickly when you only need to make 4 blocks and use a wide border and/or sashing.

-As always I have many "cheater cloth" fabric and panels and prints with themes. These include cats, sewing motifs, garden, summer with strawberries, conversation prints from the 30"s, patchwork, etc.

I have much more fabrics, books and patterns than I can fit on my website. Please feel free to call or email if you are looking for a particular fabric, book or pattern.  I am always glad to answer any of your questions. I process Visa and MasterCard credit card payments now so phone in your order or you may mail your order with the credit card information or check.

I hope you have enjoyed this free newsletter. Please share it with your friends. If you would like to be notified about the next one please sign up for our email list. I know many visit my site but are reluctant to sign up. I don’t "sell", rent, or share the list in any way. I use it to let you know about the newsletter, specials, shows, etc. Look for my ads in the July and September issues of both "QuiltWorks Today" and "Miniature Quilts" and the classified section of the September issue of  "Quilters Newsletter Magazine". Please email me with any comments or suggestions about my site or newsletter. I am thinking about having a regular feature to address your questions about quilting. It could be suggestions on using up scraps in untraditional ways, storing your stash, non-sewing gadgets used for quilting, etc. I 'm always happy to hear from my customers. Have a nice summer and see you at the shows.

 Happy Quilting, Robin


© Robin Brisson 2000



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