Spring is here and who isn’t ready to escape all of the winter weather!

We are so excited that Spring has arrived. The cherry blossoms are blooming, the garden is coming alive and we can’t wait to start planting lots of new flowers and veggies. It is also the time of year when we all must to find a new balance between our life outside and our life inside. After all, we can’t just abandon our sewing machines, they might rebel!

A few of the prints in our new "Summer Fun" collection.

A few of the prints in our new “Summer Fun” collection.

What better way to get in the “Spring Sewing” mood than with a new project and a new fabric collection. We are so happy to announce that our new fabric collection, Let’s Play Dolls: Summer Fun is now available. It is the perfect fabric group to celebrate Spring and everything it has to offer. Full of fun florals and butterflies in bright, cheery colors it is a great way to freshen up your home and your sewing.

Completed 18" Doll Outfits in each Summer Fun color way

Completed 18″ Doll Outfits in each Summer color way

The line also includes two new adorable outfits for 18″ dolls on pre-printed panels. Each panel comes complete with one 18″ doll outfit, matching doll accessory and complete sewing instructions. There are also step-by-step illustrated tutorials for each panel on our website if you should get stuck.

All About Summer Top and Capri Pants Panel

All About Summer Top and Capri Pants Panel

For all of those little girls that love to dress just like their doll, the matching outfit patterns are also now available and include sizes 7 to 14. Each patterns comes with a bonus accessory pattern to compete the look!

Matching Girls Outfit Pattern in sizes 7-14

Matching Outfit Pattern in sizes 7-14

Be sure to watch for new ideas and tutorials coming soon in the next couple of weeks. Maybe even a Giveaway or two… We also have lots of projects that we hope to have done before Quilt Market in May- both personally and professionally. We can’t wait to share!

Happy Spring Sewing!
Sharon and Michelle

Happy Belated New Year!
And what a new year it has been… and it is only the first month.

A lot has been going on here, both for Firetrail Designs and for me personally. My life kind of got turn upside down at the start of the year, but here is to new beginnings! We have also been working like crazy to develop all kinds of new thing from Firetrail Designs. Although some of it won’t be released until late this year, we can’t wait to share it with you.

One thing I have been most looking forward to for 2014 is the Handmade Birthday Club I joined at the end of last year. Susannah Kate put together this amazing club of crafters- we are divided into groups of 12 and each month we make a handmade gift for someone’s birthday. Then, in our birthday month we get spoiled by our 11 group members with their handmade gifts.

The only bad part… I have to wait all the way until September for my turn. It is so much fun to learn about each person and come up with the perfect project for them. And it is not just limited to sewing, people are making jewelry, knitting, crocheting, stitching and so much more!

 

January Birthday Girls! In my group, we had 2 girls with January birthdays. That means I had 2 gifts to make this month, but then I have a month off later this year.

First, there is Jessica (@SameOldKits), she loves rich colors, spends most of her free time knitting and cross-stitching and loves having handmade things around to decorate her home. After doing a little cyber-stalking (Pinterest, Instagram, etc) I decided to make her a pouch for her Q-Snap frame and cross-stitching supplies.

I used the new Anna Maria Horner Dowry collection (I am in love!) and designed my own pattern. It turned out perfect… lots of pockets to store all her supplies. I like it so much I am going to make one for myself (cross-stitching is my new nightly obsession).

The perfect pouch to hold all of your cross-stitch project essentials.

The perfect pouch to hold all of your cross-stitch project essentials.

Another view of the Cross-Stitch Pouch for Jessica. Love the deer pocket!

Another view of the Cross-Stitch Pouch for Jessica. Love the deer pocket!

Then, there is Gwendellyn (@TheRainbowRevolts), and she is a PINK girl! Did I mention she loves pink? Oh and she is a new sewer so she was looking for supplies to fill her craft room. One of the projects I have been meaning to make for myself is a sewing machine apron, to help contain my ripper, scissors, ruler and other supplies I always have by the machine.Apron Pattern

I thought this would be the perfect gift for Gwendellyn and her new hobby. The question was what fabric to use? Oh, how about pink! I used this pattern from Janae King and whipped up both the apron and matching pin cushion. I love how they turned out and best of all, the Birthday Girl did too.

Pink Sewing Machine Apron for Gwendellyn.

Pink Sewing Machine Apron for Gwendellyn.

I am happy to say, both of my packages arrived safe and sound and both girls loved my gifts as well as all of the wonderful gifts they got from the rest of the group. They were spoiled… but I guess that is the point! Now to start preparing for February…

Michelle

P.S. Check out the other gifts that were made by the rest of the group by visiting our Flickr page.

 

This is a project that I have been planning for months, maybe even years!

I have been collecting selvages (or selvedges, whichever you like) over the past few years- in our studio there are separate bins for colored scraps and then one more for selvages. I have even caught myself wanting to buy a quilting fabric just for its AWESOME selvage (pathetic I know!).

The problem has been that I just haven’t found the right project to finally use any of them. And boy, it better be a good one if I have to break into that collection. These are selvages never to be seen again so the project must be RIGHT- you all know what I mean, it’s like cutting into that favorite piece of fabric that you will never find again. I even started a Pinterest board to remember the possible contenders…

Well, I finally decided on my first selvage project- Selvage covered shoes! It combines 2 of my favorites things FABRIC and SHOES, Oh my! I used the selvages that really meant the most to me- favorite colors or collections, special symbols and of course selvages from all of our own fabric collections so far.

I love how these shoes turned out and for the people who understand what they are, they do too. I do get some funny looks when I tell people what they are covered in and they have no idea what in the heck selvages are. If you ask me, they are the crazy ones not me!

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Selvage Covered Shoes

Here is a short tutorial of how I put these works for art together!

Tutorial: Selvage Covered Shoes

Supplies-

-LOTS of Selvages!

-One Pair of Canvas shoes (I used TOMS, my favorites everyday shoes)- White works best since Selvages are mostly white.

-Mod Podge (or other decoupage medium)- I used Outdoor Mod Podge but I think Fabric Mod Podge would work too.

-Paint Brush

-Sharp Scissors

-A Surface you don’t mind getting a little messy- I put a bath towel down and then a bit of wax paper.

Supplies! Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Supplies!

Instructions-

-Assemble your supplies and begin laying out the selvages how you would like them to appear. Think about combinations of colors and words. I tried to have a nice mix on mine. Not all the same thing and not all lined up.

-Look at how the shoe is constructed and try to work in layers. For my TOMS I love the how the canvas wraps around the toes and wanted to keep that. So I started on one side, worked my way around the back and then tackled the front.

-Start at the bottom edge, painting a bit of Mod Podge on the surface of the shoe. Lay the desired selvage over the top so it sticks and then paint more Mod Podge over the top to make sure it is stuck and to seal it in. Repeat these steps working your way up the side of the shoe, over lapping each row of selvages as you go.

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Layering Selvages and Mod Podge.

-Just keep layering Mod Podge and selvages, over lapping when needed. You may also find that you want to trim a selvage a bit to get just the right combination of colors, patterns or words showing. I left to top edge blank until I got all the way around the back part of the shoe. When you are ready, use selvages that are a bit wider and adhere them to the top edge. Apply Mod Podge to the inside to edge as well and fold the selvage over, creating a nice finished edge.

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Finishing the top edge.

-Once I had the back portion of the shoe completely covered I began working on the toe. I started with the “bottom” layer of the show construction, saving the toe wrap around for last. Each piece extended a bit into the portion to be covered later so that I for sure cover every bit of canvas.

-This project is forgiving in that the pieces don’t set immediately, if needed you can always reposition. The only thing you can’t take back is if you cut a piece- the old adage applies- measure twice, cut once. I would even apply the piece uncut and then slip my scissors underneath and trim it down where needed.

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Complete Shoe

-For the tip of the toe on the TOMS I laid strips up the front fold, then began wrapping the selvages across at an angle. This worked great! Every pair of shoes will be different and you will just have to play with what works/looks best for yours.

-Once you have the shoes completely covered and are happy with the layout, cover the entire shoe in a layer of Mod Podge. Let the shoes dry for a few hours or overnight and apply one more coat just to make sure everything is sealed. You don’t want your beautiful white selvages getting dirty! Let them cure for a couple of days and then they will be ready to wear. Enjoy and show them off to everyone you know- especially the quilters, who will all be extremely jealous!

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Rocking my Selvage shoes.

~Michelle

P.S. I would love to see pictures and hear tales about your own selvage shoes or other projects. Please share!

Time to add a new outfit to the closet! Our latest “Let’s Play Dolls” group of pre-printed fabric panels for 18″ dolls and matching prints has arrived.

Pink Pks 1

Pre-Printed Pajama Panel for 18″ dolls. Just cut and sew!

The latest installation of the “Let’s Play Dolls” series includes a pair of adorable pajamas (with matching slippers!) on one panel and a doll-sized cheater quilt and pillows on the other. Both panels are available in 2 colorways that little girls are sure to love- pink/purple and lime/purple.

All you have to do is cut and sew using the instructions printed right on the panel. Get stuck? Don’t worry we have step by step illustrated tutorials on our website ready to help you. There is even a QR code printed right on the panel to take you there using your smart phone or tablet!

PJ-Panel-Pink

Pre-Printed Pajama Panel in Pink

The prints shown on the panels have been scaled down to be the perfect size for 18″ dolls. Each print is also available as running yardage so that you can make a matching pair of pajamas and quilt for your 18″ doll enthusiast. Be sure to check out our matching patterns at your local quilt shop or on our website.

Untitled-1

Coordinating prints sized for little girls.

Each of these projects are a perfect addition to any 18″ doll collection. What doll couldn’t use a new pair of PJ’s and a matching quilt? Maybe even a whole room make over? Did we mention that the matching quilt pattern makes a twin sized quilt…

Solid Bed with Doll

Complete the look with matching PJ’s, Quilt and Bed!

Can’t choose which colorway? Why not both! We painted our adorable bunk bed purple to match both quilt panels- check out how cute they turned out.

Bunk Bed Made Up

Bunk bed decked out in both Quilt Panels.

Be sure to check out all of the Let’s Play Dolls fabrics and patterns during your next trip to your local quilt shop or visit us online HERE.

We are so excited to announce that our latest fabric collection is now available at your local quilt shop!

“Let’s Play Dolls” isn’t your typical fabric collection- it includes Pre-Printed panels to make 18″ doll clothes. All you have to do is cut and sew!

Dress-Panel-Lime-Purple

Floral dress panel in the purple/green color way. Just cut & sew!

In this first collection, there are 2 different outfit panels- one for a fun, floral dress with matching clutch and the other for an adorable, top and pants outfit with matching shoulder bag. Each outfit is available in 2 color ways, pink/orange and purple/green.

Floral-Blk

Adorable butterfly floral.

The rest of the fabrics included in the “Let’s Play Dolls” collection are each of the prints included on the panels. The prints have been scaled larger so that you can make matching outfits for your 18″ doll enthusiast. Girls love to dress up just like thier doll and this is the perfect fabric collection to do it. Oh and did we mention that we have the matching patterns available for Girls sizes 7-14 so they can match exactly! Too Cute!

Purple Play Outfit 2

Completed Play Outift in purple/green.

Visit our website to see the rest of our new collection or check it out at your local quilt shop! We have also posted lots of pictures on Facebook. We know you and the special little girl you make these outfits for will love it : )

So for the last month I have basically been eating, sleeping and breathing lavender. Our sample yardage of Lavender Bliss arrived towards the end of April and we were frantically sewing samples for the Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City, Missouri the first few weeks of May. The whole studio smells like lavender- you can’t help but feel calm and relaxed as soon as you head down the stairs.

In the midst of all of this sewing we finished up 4 new sewing patterns and got a lavender project book started that will be available in June. Here is a peak at some of the things we have been making out of Lavender Bliss.

This is one of our new pattern called One + Ten. It takes 1 yard of an allover print that you love and 10 fat quarters. Here we used the large allover scenic from our collection and ten coordinates. This past Christmas I made my dad this quilt for his Man Cave using a car allover and a bunch of brightly colored tonals (including flames of course!). This is such an easy quilt to sew up and it is a perfect size for cuddling up on the couch with.

Image

One + Ten Quilt Pattern in Lavender Bliss

Focus Feature is  another pattern to use an allover print that you can’t bear to cut up. This was perfect way to use the Lavender Bliss scenic allover. We also made this one up in a giant Kaffe Fassett floral with black sashing and it is absolutely stunning! This pattern includes instructions for quilts in 4 sizes (including twin). A great way to really show off your fabric!

Image

Focus Feature Quilt Pattern in Lavender Bliss

~ Michelle

Love Spring! Check out all of those amazing colors.

Spring is finally here in the Pacific Northwest. It is finally warm enough to start planting and getting things cleaned up after the winter weather. The tulips are even making an appearance in the Skagit Valley. They were only a couple of weeks late… We took a trip up there last weekend and it is truly an incredible site. Not all of the flowers were quite ready but it was definitely worth the trip.

Beautiful tulips and daffodils.

Between all of the gardening and enjoying the spring blooms we are frantically working on getting things ready for Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City. Can you believe it is less than a month away? Great news is that we should have sample yardage of Lavender Bliss hopefully next week! In the mean time we am finishing up some of the patterns we will be releasing in May. Maybe next week I can give you a little sneak peek : )

Lavender Bliss Production Samples. Don't they look great?!

This week was pretty exciting though. We got the first production samples of Lavender Bliss and they look AMAZING. We are so happy with how they turned out and can’t wait for everyone else to see. The sewing machines are calling for us to get started. Guess I should get back to work. Kansas City here we come!

~Michelle

A few years ago, we visited the south of France during an European Art Tour I planned around all of the art I studied in college. During our few days in Nice we took a drive determined to find the infamous lavender fields of Provence.

We stopped in a little town for lunch and an adorable French man told us how to get to the “Largest Lavender Fields in France.”He warned us, however, that they were much too far away to go there and back to Nice in one day. Despite his attempts to persuade us not to, we continued on our journey following his directions and our instincts. Thanks to the wonders of GPS, we had absolutely no fear of getting lost- just put the hotel address whenever it was time to head back.

Rows and rows of lavender in Provence, France.

It turned out that these magnificent lavender fields were less than 2 hours way! For Americans who drive almost an hour to work everyday, this is nothing. We turned off the highway and headed into the Provincial country side. We discovered a truly incredible area of France with lavender fields as far as the eye could see.

View of Provence countryside with lavender fields as far as you can see.

It was mid July just before the lavender harvest and the air was filled with the enchanting smell of lavender and the buzz of bees hard and work. After driving around all of the country roads and taking lots of pictures, we decided we better head back to Nice- although it was very hard to leave.

Check out all of the bees in the air and on the sunflower blossoms!

This was one of the highlights of my first trip to Europe and I would highly recommend a drive in Provence to anyone traveling to France. The landscape is truly breathtaking and when you add all the amazing lavender and sunflowers, it is truly an unforgettable experience. We used some of our favorite memories from this trip to help use create our new fabric line, Lavender Bliss. We hope you enjoy!

~Michelle

We are happy to announce that our first fabric line, Lavender Bliss, is on its way from Andover Fabrics! It is scheduled to ship this June- just in time for the summer lavender harvest! Here is a sneak peak…

Together the line includes 13 beautiful prints in rich purples, warm greens and luscious creams. One of the standouts of the group is this incredible landscape that runs selvedge to selvedge.

Portion of the lavender landscape from Lavender Bliss.

Another great print is the lavender stalk allover on a soft, creamy background. This design will be great for any number of sewing projects- everything from quilts and other home accents to lavender items to use every day or give as gifts.

Lavender stalk allover from Lavender Bliss.

To check out the rest of the group, visit AndoverFabrics.com and watch for it to arrive at your local quilt shop this summer!

We are also working on some great sewing patterns that can be used along with Lavender Bliss or with other fabrics you love. Watch for updates with lots of great project ideas in the coming months. We can’t wait to see what you create!

~Michelle

Greetings!

Welcome to the Firetrail Designs Blog!

Here you will get an inside look into what inspires us, how we create our fabric designs, patterns and other creative projects we are constantly working on or at least dreaming about.

Our goal is to inspire you to find your own style in this sometimes overwhelming world of trends, ideas and opinions. Most of us can’t afford those high fashion trends we drool over in magazines- but with a little inspiration and some basic sewing skills you can create your own designer fashions that fit your everyday lifestyle.

There is a great deal of pride that comes from creating something yourself. You get to make it exactly the way YOU want it and the result is directly related to how much effort you put into it. Don’t be afraid to tackle something you have never done before! You have a multitude of teachers and information at your fingertips- through the Internet. Come across something you don’t know how to do? Just look it up and try! You are sure to find a tutorial, a video or an explanation of how to do it. All you have to do it ask.

Check back often to see what we have been up to! Hopefully our projects and ideas will inspire you to tackle your own. We are excited for you to get to know us and hopefully you will share some of yourselves with us too!

~Michelle

%d bloggers like this: