Open House & Sample Sale

I am super late on my Quilt Market Recap and believe it or not, I am still editing photos and trying to wrap my head around it all. Sooooo much! But in the meantime, I thought I'd let you know that we'll be opening our doors for tours and holding a HUGE studio sale tomorrow, Friday, June 1st, if you are local to the Central Illinois area or just passing by.

There'll be lots of items up for grabs, all at 20% off list price (including lots of one-of-a-kind sewn samples!!). The last time we opened our doors to the public was 6 months ago!

Details are below... click on the image to enlarge:

Heaven & Helsinki KNITS!

I spent all last week in Kansas City at the International Quilt Market, then half of this week in Des Moines at the Meredith Corporation headquarters, but more on all that real soon (as soon as I download my 300+ pictures and wrap my head around everything I experienced in the past 2 weeks). But, more importantly, I am way overdue for a new knits reveal! I promised to blog this last Friday, but time got away from me, so I apologize. This all worked out for the best, though, because now I can actually share the video we all got to see at schoolhouse last week... YAY!!!


First of all, let me tell you a little bit about the new Heaven & Helsinki knits. These new knits are jerseys (not interlocks, like my previous ones) with a fiber content of 58% Cotton, 38% Poly and 4% Spandex. They are seriously the softest, smoothest knits I have ever worked with. The addition of that teeny-tiny percentage of Spandex means that you can use these for bindings or anything that requires extra stretch, like neck bands, sleeve bands, waistbands or yoga bands, because they have amazing stretch and recovery.

But what most of you will be pleased to hear (as was I) is that the addition of Poly means an incredible decrease in the shrinkage factor. I couldn't believe it when I heard that these new knits shrink less than 1% so I needed to find out for myself. I cut a piece of fabric at 36" long by 63" wide (the full width of fabric!). I took it home and washed & dried it in Normal cycles. As a matter of fact, I just threw it in with some laundry I needed to do because I wanted to make sure it didn't get any special treatment. When it came out of the dryer, I laid it flat and it measured 35.5" x 62", which means it had shrunk a grand total of 1/2" on the length and 1" on the width!! I let it sit over night and then I took it to the studio to sew up my schoolhouse dress... it did not shrink any further over night and as a matter of fact it had almost gone back to it's original length by the time I started cutting! Wooohooo!


So, what about the designs? There are 20 prints in this collection including 6 near-solids which we are loving for bindings, waistbands and such. There are some prints that you'll also see in the woven version of this collection and a few that are new and unique to the knits.

Here is the whole collection, but you can also see it here. They ship in August, but if you want to see them for yourself, we do have some knit scrap bags on the website (along with some Heaven & Helsinki woven scrap bags!) Make sure you specify you want H&H, or you might get an assorted variety.


Now, without much further ado, I want to present to you the video that we showed at schoolhouse last week. It features all the projects from my book, Sewing MODKID Style, sewn in Heaven & Helsinki. This was definitely a labor of love and we couldn't have done it without the help of our assistants, Emalee and Jessica, our adorable little models and the contributions from our sponsors, Chooze Shoes and Fox & Hounds Studio.

Hope you enjoyed the video! Let us know what you thought of it. An abridged version will be found next week on our Amazon page.

Now, for a few quick links:
  • Purchase signed copies of Sewing MODKID Style here
  • Purchase Heaven & Helsinki KNIT scrap bags here
  • Purchase Heaven & Helsinki WOVEN scrap bags here
  • See Heaven & Helsinki and pre-order it for your store here
  • Join the Sewing MODKID Style Flickr Group and share your creations here
Evolution of Lars
(and a book winner!)

I have a super fun project to share with you guys today as we head out to Quilt Market, but first, I need to announce the winner of the Sewing MODKID Style book copy. Thank you all for your lovely comments and for following along with the tour. chose comment #15, which is.... drum roll please...

VickiT 4:14 PM, who said:
I cannot wait to see Heaven & Helsinki Patty. Of course, I'm still in LOVE with Lush. I am still hoping to buy some of that gorgeousness this month.

Anyway the first thing I would love to try making from your book when I get my copy (hopefully one I will win) would be the Yoga Pants and also the Bloom dress. I might even attempt making a shortened version of the Bloom dress as a shirt to go with the Yoga Pants.

Congrats, Vicki!!! Please email your address to and Wiley will send you a copy of my book right away!

So, who is this Lars character, you ask? Well, he's nothing less than our Heaven & Helsinki booth mascot! We are so in love with him... we've even joked about buying a crate for him to travel down to Kansas City and putting a leash on him, water bowl, treats, etc.

He started out when I spotted him at our local Neighborhood Thrift while Jon, Emalee and I were shopping for Mid-Century Modern furniture for our booth.


He was made of resin or something, not quite sure, but we all knew he'd be perfect (with a few minor alterations)!

We spray-painted his antlers, hooves and nose.


Then we spray-painted it again and again and again until he had full coverage (boy, that hot pink color is hard to cover!)


Next, the girls took our hundreds of Heaven & Helsinki scraps and Mod Podged him. Oh, the fun they had! I did learn a valuable lesson that day: always put my hair up in a bun when working with Mod Podge! My hair is so long now that even with a ponytail on, I couldn't keep it from dipping into the glue pan and splattering everywhere.... niiiice!




Anyway, after he was completely covered in scraps, we let him dry overnight. The following day, I blinged his eyes... each eye has about 25 rhinestones! Yes, Lars is quite in touch with his feminine side, wouldn't you say?

A couple coats of Polyurethane Spray to make him nice and shiny, and VOILA!


If you'll be at Quilt Market this week, come meet Lars at our booth (Booth #3024-26) and take away one of our catalogs ... you can't miss it!

Spring/Summer 2012 Releases
Heaven & Helsinki and 5 new patterns!

We are gearing up to exhibit at the International Quilt Market next week (May 17 - 20) in Kansas City and are just so excited to show all of our new goodies! In addition to the Sewing MODKID Style book and the Andalucia reprint, we are also showcasing a brand new fabric collection and five brand new sewing patterns! So without much further ado, let's get started...

My newest collection for Michael Miller Fabrics is titled Heaven & Helsinki:


As the name and logo imply, it is a Scandinavian collection with a nod to Mid Century Modern design. Those two things, by the way, have been an obsession of mine for most of my life. I grew up in a very "Mod" home designed by my own father, who at one point studied under a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright's. The furnishings and décor in my childhood home were also very "Mid-Century Modern"in style... we had a Danish dining room table and some pretty funky Mod lamps throughout the house. I clearly remember our family room sofa, low profile, straight lines and with that wide wooden frame around the cushions, a style typical of Scandinavian design.

So I drew inspiration from all of this plus from some of my current furniture pieces and décor, and sprinkled in some current trends in fashion and design, to bring to you this collection, which makes my heart go pitter-patter every time I gaze upon it.

The collection is made up of 31 prints, divided into two colorways, Retro and Metro, printed on premium quality quilting cotton.



We have had a blast creating pieces with these prints and I simply cannot wait to show these off...


Let's begin with the garments, which are always my favorite part. Here you see from left to right: a Gretchen dress, a Julia skirt with a piece of fabric wrapped around the torso (for lack of time to make another top), a Hannah 2-pc short set (new Summer pattern), a Natalie & Nate girl romper, and finally an adorable Claudia dress (another Summer 2012 pattern).


Here are some close ups. Don't you just love those Puffy Birds?!


The little houses, which I call City Block, are so fun to use for borders and skirting like this...


And of course, we have Tulips galore!!!


Check out this chair Emalee covered in my Loves Me Not (Metro) fabric. The pillows are from our newest mini-pattern...


Of course, my mom has made some AMAZING purses for us to take to Market. That woman never ceases to amaze me! Check these out!! We will be making patterns for future releases out of these, for sure!


Here are a couple of close-ups...



We also made an AWESOME quilt, of which I'm only showing you a tiny portion, because it really deserves a post all its own. It involves the Central Illinois Modern Quilt Guild again.... you guys are gonna LOVE this one!!


Finally, we will have 5 new patterns at Quilt Market, and these are so new they're not even up on our site yet. You are seeing these here first! :) And I promise to do a full write up of each of these when I return from Market.

Claudia is a sweet dress with a paper-bag-style skirt, a Peter Pan collar and side-seam rounded pockets. The pattern includes options for 3 sleeve lengths, all with ruffled trims, plus a long sash-style belt. Zipper closure at center back for easy dressing. Mix and match designer fabrics for a boutique look! Sizes 2T - 10 (Girls)


Hannah is a set of adorable flat-fronted shorts and capri pants with inset pockets, contrast cuffs and a flared hem reminiscent of nautical sailing pants. Pair them up with our easy-to-sew Carefree Cropped Top and she will be the cutest girl at her next beach or pool party.  Sizes 2T - 10 (Girls)

Morgan is a playful, color-blocked dress with a very Mod style for knit fabrics only. It features side inset pockets, a contrast hem band and inverted box pleats in the center front and back. Mix and match designer fabrics for a boutique look! Sizes 2T - 10 (Girls)


Here by popular demand!!! Dolly version of our very popular Addison dress, with the same vintage style as the girl's version. For 18" and 15" dolls.


Our newest "LITE" pattern! Pieced and quilted pillow cover. Fits any standard 18" square pillow form.

Nordic Snowflake-cover

So there you have it! There is one more reveal (for the Heaven & Helsinki knits) coming up next Friday, the 18th, but I would LOVE to hear what you guys think of the new goodies! And for those of you attending Quilt Market next week, here is the schedule of events again:

Thursday, May 17:
Schoolhouse at 12:45 - 1:15 p.m., Room 2503B
We will preview all the new fabrics and patterns,
then show a MODKID Fashion Show video (first time ever shown!)
4 books will be given away at the end, courtesy of Wiley,
and EVERY attendee will receive a free pattern from our Summer 2012 line!
Friday, May 18:
Book signing at 11:00 a.m. at the MODKID booth, Booth #3024-26
The first 20 books are free, so be sure to get there on time.
After that, books will be available for purchase at wholesale price.
Saturday, May 19:
Book Signing at United Notions, 3:00 p.m., Booth #110-117

Sunday, May 20:
Book Signing at Brewer, 11:15 a.m., Booth #2824-2833

Sewing MODKID Style Giveaway

Well, this is it, folks! The end of the Sewing MODKID Style Virtual Book Tour. I want to start by thanking all of the awesome bloggers out there who participated in this book tour and made it so special. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your reviews and seeing what some of you made from the book. I would also like to thank my publisher, Wiley, for being so supportive and generously donating books to be given away at each and every stop. And finally, a huge THANK YOU to all of you readers out there for following the tour and leaving your comments. I see lots of repeat visitors and that makes me smile! If you've missed the other stops and would like to visit, there is a full list here.

There is one more book to be given away and that is here. At the end of this post I will tell you how to enter, but first, I want to tell you that if you will be attending the International Quilt Market next week in Kansas City, MO, there will be many, many more chances to win a copy of my book. Below is the schedule of events for the show:

Thursday, May 17:
Schoolhouse at 12:45 - 1:15 p.m., Room 2503B
We will preview all the new fabrics and patterns,
then show a MODKID Fashion Show video (first time ever shown!)
4 books will be given away at the end, courtesy of Wiley,
and EVERY attendee will receive a free pattern from our Summer 2012 line!

Friday, May 18:
Book signing at 11:00 a.m. at the MODKID booth, Booth #3024-26
The first 20 books are free, so be sure to get there on time.
After that, books will be available for purchase at wholesale price.

Saturday, May 19:
Book Signing at United Notions, 3:00 p.m., Booth #110-117

Sunday, May 20:
Book Signing at Brewer, 11:15 a.m., Booth #2824-2833

Speaking of new products, I am head over heels in love with my latest fabric collection, Heaven & Helsinki. A full reveal is coming this Friday, so please come back and check it out. What some of you don't know is that, in addition to the 31 quilting cotton prints you see on that page, the collection also comes in a new-to-us knit fabric that sews up like butter and has virtually no shrinkage. I can't say much about it right now because it is not ready to be fully shown (it's not even on the MMF site yet!) but the full reveal will come in a couple of weeks and I promise it won't disappoint!

Here is a sneak peek of some of the items from the book sewn up in the new knits. This is also an image from the video we will show at schoolhouse.


From left to right: Mikayla is wearing the Mondrian Shirt, Yoga Pants and Fingerless Gloves, Anna is wearing the Bubble Dress, Leggings and Rosy Headband and Sydney is wearing the Shirrley Tank Dress and Rosy Headband.

All shoes are courtesy of Chooze Shoes.

OK, folks, this is the moment you've all been waiting for: I want to know what the first item you would like to sew from Sewing MODKID Style when you receive the book. What is the project that most appeals to you? What are you most looking forward to sewing up? You can see the adorable Bloom Dresses Melanie O'Brien made for here daughters here. You can also see the Tie Strap Halter, Bloom Dress and Yoga Pants Melanie Dramatic made here. Jenny Fish sewed up more items than I can count (all so adorable!) here. And John Adams (a.k.a. Quilt Dad) made a pair of Stripwork Scarves for his sweet twin daughters here. Ohhhh, and for more inspiration, you can always check the SMS Flickr Pool... I even see the Harlequin Quilt in there! :)

Let me know what your favorite project from the book is in the comments below and I will draw a winner for a free book next Monday, May 14th.

Don't forget to check the blog this Friday (the 11th) for the full Heaven & Helsinki reveal and next Friday (the18th) for the knits reveal!! If you will be at Quilt Market next week, I hope you come by and visit.
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