Circa 15 Fabric Studio

I’ve been living in the Seattle area for twenty months now.  Hubby and I are lucky to be living near my cousins and aunts for the time being, and he has really made strides in his career here.  I struck gold myself when I started working for Kristen Suzuki in her quilt shop, Circa 15 Fabric Studioover a year ago.  I am passionate about the shop, the products we provide customers in our brick ‘n mortar and online shop, and the projects I have the pleasure of stitching up to be displayed in the store in Downtown Kirkland.  Next month is Circa 15’s 2 year anniversary, and in a way this touching TV interview is kicking off an exciting time for us.

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Last month a local TV personality and reporter wandered into the store and introduced herself to Kristen.  Malia Karlinsky can be seen on KOMO 4’s local show, Seattle Refined. She wanted to see if there was a story behind our beautiful shop.  After talking with Kristen, she decided there was, and scheduled an interview to be taped in our Kirkland shop for a few weeks later.  It was a thrilling day for Kristen, me, and my co-workers Kristi, Sharon, and Carolyn, a customer of ours.  We cheered Kristen on as she answered in detail, questions about the quilting industry, modern fabrics, quilts that she and I have made that hang on the walls, and most importantly, her own back story and the road that led her to owning Circa 15 Fabric Studio.

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Follow this LINK to watch the segment yourself, and remember that sometimes online shops are actually local quilt shops, and we pride ourselves in providing the best materials to our customers near and far.

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Some more discoveries at Spring Quilt Market 2016

Quilt Market was a prism of color.  Quilts, where ever you looked, shined with their own unique combination of fabrics.  Some quilts and projects stood out to me more than others, and it was those that I photographed and continue to look at with awe on my iPhone.  First off, and yes I’m completely biased because the maker is a friend of mine, was Jennifer Rossotti’s “Up With A Twist” quilt she made specifically for Hoffman Fabrics “Me + You” collection.  Their Indah Solids & Batiks are simply beautiful.  The creative genius behind this new line of “Modern Batiks” is Aaron Hoffman.  Yup, he’s fourth generation Hoffman, and his vision of making Batiks approachable by todays “Modern Quilter” has been executed to great success.  Currently the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild is working on a Me + You mini quilt/pillow challenge.  I’ll share about that next month when we have to turn them in for an upcoming show at a local store.  But I digress.  Jennifer Rossotti of “Ginger Peach Studio” was inspired to create something amazing with these beautiful fabrics and certainly did just that.  There is no pattern for this quilt people.  There may never be a pattern.  This one of a kind quilt is one of the most popular quilts to be photographed at both QuiltCon West 2016 and Spring Quilt Market last weekend.  Enjoy!

Up next were Tula Pink and Amy Butler’s upcoming fabric releases.  Tula Pink’s new collection is called “Slow and Steady”.  It features beautiful artwork of rabbits, snails, flowers, bears, raccoons and other forest animals in a brilliant array of colors. 

Amy Butler’s color and design choices are lush and vibrant in her upcoming collection called “Eternal Sunshine”.  These fabrics are so beautiful, I can’t stand it!  Amy’s booth was one of my favorites, and of course getting big hugs from her and her partner in crime/husband, David Butler, always makes my day.  They are two of the sweetest and most interesting people in the industry.  

I’ll share more from Quilt Market soon!


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2016 Spring Quilt Market Brought It

I like to be impressed.  I like to be inspired.  Who doesn’t?  Spring Quilt Market didn’t disappoint last weekend.  The 2016 version of Spring QM was held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in the heart of Salt Lake City, UT.  It was my first time leaving the airport in SLC and I liked what I saw.  I especially liked what I saw within the convention center.  Quilt Market is the international quilt industry’s roll out show for the upcoming fall and winter seasons.  Fabric manufacturers, their designers, notion and sewing machine companies, and pattern designers debut the things that shop owners will be buying and filling their shops with around the world.  It’s an exciting time in the industry, that is repeated every spring and fall.  

I attended with my friend and boss, Kristen Suzuki, the owner of Circa 15 Fabric Studio in Kirkland, WA.  We saw many beautiful things, interesting products and patterns, and I’m going to share a bunch of them all with you in a series of posts, starting with this one.  

Moda didn’t disappoint with their adorable “Camp Moda” booth and coordinating Representatives in their camping gear and clothing.  The Moda Designers’ booths with their upcoming collections debuting in quilts, bags, and other pretty things, made for plenty of eye candy.  

One of my favorite collections that debuted was Bonnie & Camille’s upcoming “HANDMADE”, with a welcome, yet surprising new color, BLACK!  Oh my goodness, I just LOVE “HANDMADE” and was super excited when Kristen responded to the collection and some of the Thimble Blossom and Cotton Way patterns just as positively as I did and placed her order for the fabrics.  That means all of Circa 15 Fabric Studio’s customers of the shop and online store will be able to get their hands on it too!

Another designer’s booth we visited multiple times through the weekend was Jen Kingwell’s. We didn’t have an opportunity to engage with Jen herself, she was super busy talking with so many people, bu we sure enjoyed our time with her charming hubby, Richard.  He showed Kristen and me little hidden treasures in Jen’s fabrics and how she utilized all the details of her fabrics in her quilts, like her “Lawn Star Quilt” and including the dotted lines in her “Lollies” collection that divides the prints as part of the prints themselves.  Use it all people!  Cutting lines aren’t just cutting lines anymore.  

I think the most popular quilt in all of the Moda booth’s collectively was this kitten quilt by Erin Michael, from her upcoming “Meow or Never” collection.  She is a kit, like last season’s popular “WILBER” the horse quilt.  Erin’s clever use of paint-by-number art makes for very interesting fabric.  This kitten is a solid panel, not individual pieces, that is cut out of a larger piece of fabric, and using fusible webbing, is appliquéd onto the background fabrics that you have sewn together, then top stitched on in whatever way you prefer.  

I guess I’ll leave this post here, making it my Moda review.  Check back later for more sneak peeks, my thoughts, and even more inspiration.  


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Spring 2015  Blogger’s Quilt Festival ~ “A Maker Lives Here”

I decided to enter two quilts into the Spring 2015 Blogger’s Quilt Festival over on Amy’s Creative Side website.  If you are visiting my blog from the festival link, thank you so much for your time!  The second piece I am submitting to be voted in the Original Design category is a quilt I designed for Fat Quarterly‘s Curved Piecing issue this spring.  I named it “A Maker Lives Here” because of how I use the quilt and the fabrics I made it out of.  In our family room our large couch has it’s back exposed so I like to cover it with decorative quilts.  They aren’t traditional shaped quilts, they’re more like oversized table runners.  I love large quilt blocks, and was inspired to design something that would showcase the remarkably beautiful “Maker” collection from Art Gallery Fabrics..  Thanks to Jessica of Sew Many Creations’ “Pathways Ruler” I recently fell in love with curved piecing.  The ruler makes cutting the “pie” and “crust” shapes out so much easier, and not to mention much more safely than other templates on the market.  .   


Selecting fabrics is one of my favorite parts of making projects, and this time around was no exception.  I chose to use the low-volume fabrics in the “Maker” collection, and pair them against the pink and peach fabrics in also in the collection as well as white and coral fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics’ Prisma Elements line.  I went for a “controlled scrappy” look in my design and I’m pleased with the result.  Using an assembly line process to piece the units needed to build the 20″ blocks, made for fairly swift assembly, considering all the pinning I do when making curved pieced units.   
     Using a 50 weight Aurifil thread, I quilted this on my Janome Skyline s5 using a medium meander design.  Because of Art Gallery Fabrics’ luxuriously smooth and soft hand, this quilt feels amazing with the quilting.  This quilt measures out to 69.5″ x 29.5″, with three 20″ blocks and perfectly covers the back of our oversized couch perfectly by hanging it over the edge.  (The pattern will be available in the “Curved Piecing” issue of Fat Quarterly e-Zine.) 

 Thank you again for checking out my quilt.  I hope you will take a moment to check out my other submission to the festival HERE.     


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Spring 2015 Blogger’s Quilt Festival ~ Menagerie

I’m so nervous!!  I am entering two quilts in the Spring 2015 Blogger’s Quilt Festival over on Amy’s Creative Side.  If you are visiting me here for the first time because of your interest in the festival, “Welcome!”  You can find much more of my work and thoughts over on Instagram.  The link is there on the right.  

 The first quilt I am entering will be in the LARGE QUILT category.  It measures 93″ square, 372″ around.  My friend Anna aka @HootnHaller and I challengecd ourselves to actually make some things out of the many quilt books on our shelves.  This is my first finish and I couldnt’ be happier.  I call it “Menagerie” because of all of the animal prints throughout the top and back of the quilt.  It is made up of entirely all Cotton + Steel fabrics.  Of course I used 50 weight Aurifil thread to piece it and to sew the binding down.  I finished piecing it last week.  After piecing the back, I delivered it to my local long arm quilter, JoAnn Sholtz, and had her use a beautiful turquoise colored thread to quilt the dense “Deb Swirl” pattern all over it.  I was so excited to pick it up from her yesterday, Monday, that I ran right home, made up the binding, machine stitched it onto the top and then spent 4.25 hours hand stitching the binding to the back whole watching The Voice & DVR’d The Bachelorette.  And then… I slept under it!  Hubby and I just love it and were amazed at how nicely it fit on our king sized bed.   
   The pattern is called “Breaking Tide” by April Rosenthal.  It’s the second pattern in her book, “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced” from Lucky Spool.  I designed the back of the quilt using 10″ quarter square triangles to reflect the quilt top, and used two color ways of the coyote and rabbit print from Cotton + Steel’s “Mesa” collection.  I honestly don’t know which side I like the best!   

 Well, thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my quilt.  To those of you who have also entered the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, good luck!   Thank you to Amy of Amy’s Creative Side for providing such a fun platform to share quilts in.  


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The Quilt Book Project – “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced”

While my friend Anna aka @HootnHaller was here last month, we decided to challenge each other to actually make things out of the many quilt books that we both own.  I know, what a concept!  LOL!  I love quilt books and have a hard time not buying them, therefore, I have a lovely collection of quilt books in my studio.  Problem is, I haven’t made much out of them.  I spend plenty of time reading them and drooling over the pictures of beautiful projects, but I haven’t taken the time to make many of them.

I decided to make a quilt out of April Rosenthal’s book, “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced”.  It’s one of the wonderful titles that has been published by LUCKY SPOOL and has a cool theme.  “5 styles, 10 patterns, 50 quilts.” April has designed ten fun and beautiful quilts that range in skill level from fairly easy patchwork to approachable, yet challenging paper piecing.  April has then taken the book a step further by showing how different decorating styles can completely change the look of these ten quilts.  She even has a fun “Style Quiz” for the reader to take to narrow down what their home dec style is.  (Like April states in the beginning of her book, she loves personality quizzes on Facebook and so do I, so this was really fun.)  According to the quiz my style is “Farmhouse” style.

I chose to make the second quilt in the book, “Breaking Tide”.  I have surprised myself by picking this one because it is simple and easy to put together, consisting of 12.5″ quarter square triangles.  I always feel like I have to make things that are a bit challenging or complicated with lots of pieces creating one block.  Once I started making the forty-nine blocks I sure was glad the construction was so fun and simple.  Of course I started over thinking fabric combinations.  I chose to make this quilt out of Cotton + Steel fabrics only.  I have a great selection of C+S fabrics I have been collecting for a little while now, including cuts of all twelve prints in their Black & White line.  When things started to feel hard as I was creating fabric combos, I stepped back and decided to stop what I usually do, and let the fabrics speak for themselves.  I ended up using a lot of fabrics with animals on them.  It turned out to be the way to go because this quilt is for Hubby and me and he really loved all the animals when I showed him the final layout of blocks.

I still have to sew all the blocks into rows, then all the rows together and then put the border on but I am really loving how it’s turning out.  April’s instructions are well written and the measurements are accurate, providing plenty of squaring up room.  I look forward to making more quilts out of “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced”.

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