Today I get to share my newest fabric line for Moda Fabrics, SOLANA. It is based on sunflowers and warm, happy colors. When I designed this fabric, I had no idea how much I would need and enjoy working with this optimistic group of fabrics at this particular time.
Solana is a Spanish word for "the sunny side" of a mount or valley. This seemed like a perfect name for a group about sunflowers because they are always looking to the sunny side, always reaching up to that sunshine.
This collection feels like it celebrates simple pleasures. Ladybugs crawling on leaves, tall blooms looking pretty yet bold, linear illustrations of fanciful sunflower centers... It does remind me of being on family vacations in the summer, driving across country with the windows down and the warm air rushing at my face. I've included a painting of a rural scene in this collection that reminds me of those car trips and seeing miles of farmland and fields.
Solana includes 4 main colorways of cream/buttercup, green, peach/clementine, and pond and horizon blues. The large florals are accompanied by a criss cross ratan pattern, tall stalks, ladybugs, varietals illustrations, sunflower seeds, and of course more Thatched blenders. This collection will be shipping to quilt shops in October 2020.
A very exciting addition to the line this time are two PANELS! Each of these panels have a quote in the center and are a yard in width. Want to have some fun with free-motion quilting? Or add blocks for borders and make these the center of a bigger quilt? I can't wait to experiment more with these and share my progress with them!
The quotes are "Wherever life plants you, Bloom with Grace" (French Proverb) and "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what Sunflowers do." by Helen Keller.
It's been a different experience to prepare for Quilt Market in a virtual way. Today I would have been back home, just arriving from a late night flight after seeing all you wonderful quilty peeps at Market. I miss that experience. It's like reuniting with family. But I am learning new ways of connecting with people over the internet and video. Speaking of video...this is what my dining room ended up looking like to make my market video! I'm still cleaning up...
I'll post more about my quilts with this group, as well as my progress with my panels. I hope you are all finding some sunny inspiration in your days and can look to the bright side!
Can you imagine a meadow with hearty, deeply colorful blooms like the red and pink sunset colors across the sky? This is what I thought of while I visited my mother last summer and we walked through the gardens. The coneflowers were in full bloom in the warm summer sun with their plump centers drawing in the bees and butterflies.
I love the proportions of coneflowers and those big full cones, full of nectar, and colorful petals that hang down with a lovely curve in warm red, fuscia and rich sunset shades. The flowers seem as if they are always looking up to the sky in anticipation of the happy sun or as a welcome for the bumblebees.
The beautiful shape of the coneflower inspired this collection and I couldn’t resist adding in those bumblebees- so plump and fuzzy, just like the flower centers! The fabric group also includes little drawings that show the coneflowers and bees in sweet illustrations or dancing within paisley shapes. Watercolor textures, sprigs of plants and sketchy oval dots compliment the lively group.
Painted Meadow has 4 colorways of cream, pinks, green and teal. It is available in precuts of Layer Cakes, Charm Packs, Jelly Rolls, Fat Quarter Bundles and Mini Charms. It was shown at the Kansas City, MO Quilt Market 2019 with Moda Fabrics and will be shipping to quilt shops in October, 2019.
Enjoy the sunset colors of Painted Meadow with coneflowers and the buzzing of plump bees as you feel the warm summer sun…
I've never been to Kansas City so I was really looking forward to visiting a new city, and being there with my husband and enjoying some BBQ and time away from the daily routine. Market requires numerous weeks of preparation so by the time we get there, I'm ready for a the excitement of the show and seeing lots of quilt people! And did I mention BBQ? Plenty of good eating on the trip! A whole day early (and no missed flights this time!) gave us time to rest, explore the city a little and get some sleep before the big set-up. Yup- barbeque was on the menu and it did not disappoint! braised and bbq'd everything and enjoyed the ambiance of the Power and Light district.
We stayed at the Marriot near the convention center, across the street in the older section that was renovated (the former Muehlebach Hotel). The rooms were lovely and renovated and the lobbies were elegant. I loved that we had the top floor so the ceilings were really high and the light was great! I had a great time taking photos of some of the quilts in the room before set up.
So what can you fit in two suitcases? Turns out you can fit: booth fold up boxes, seed packets, 6 quilts, 6 hangers, a quilted tote, promo flyers and clothes and toiletries for two people for 5 days. Not bad.
From a blank canvas to a quilted world! I had my three new quilt patterns, Beanstalk, Kyoto Steps and Picket on display, made up in my new fabric line, Painted Meadow. The three main quilts on the wall and left quilt ladder were longarm quilted by Marion Bott. Don't you love the textures? The Kyoto Steps on the ladder in teal and the pink and green Picket (seen in hotel room) were longarm quilted by Sally Corona at Corona Quiltworks.
For a little giveaway this time I got coneflower seeds (did I mention my new line Painted Meadown is based on coneflowers??) and made up seed packets. I hope the seeds made it all over the globe and into fresh dirt, ready to grow and bloom!
Sarah Huechteman made up a sample of the Beanstalk quilt for Moda and she made me a little gift with some of the leftovers of the Painted Meadow fabrics! How adorable is this little Bitsy Box?! The pattern is from Ticklegrass Designs. Precious!!
What really makes market amazing for me is the time I have with the Moda people and the other designers. I am so grateful to have this experience and company to work with!
I had a great time seeing shop owners and visiting at the Moda party. Another market done and now its time to plan for the next one!
Oh! And if you are wondering, Painted Meadow will be shipping to quilt shops in October 2019.
Jelly Roll-friendly and quick to piece, this Showering Stars quilt is full of drama!
I knew with the Sweet Pea & Lily collection for Moda Fabrics (ships in Feb/March 2019) I wanted a quilt that used deep purple to enhance the theatrical nature of the purples in the prints. One thing I enjoy with this group is the purples are in both cool and warm purples. I needed to find the right deep purple to show off their splendor.
I have now fallen in love with Moda Bella Solid PRUNE 238. Its rich and vibrant and LUSCIOUS! Its the glorious deep purple/plum color as the background. Did I mention I bought a bolt of it? Not sure what I'm doing with the rest but I can't wait to use it as an accent to other prints.
But what would Showering Stars look like reversed, with a light background? I haven't made it this way (yet) but thought I'd give some computer inspiration for other colorways. I used a soft gray in the star points and dashes to let the colors in the star trails feel more colorful and sparkly.
And going all-out color with this turquoise background and light green star points. Completely different look but all of these are using the same Sweet Pea & Lily prints in the star trails.
This quilt was my main booth image at the Houston Quilt Market this past fall. It was fun to have such a different color play with this collection! One part I like is the greens and grays still transition through from previous collections.
Check your local quilt shop for the Showering Stars pattern, along with Sweet Pea & Lily fabrics! Patterns are also available at my online shop if your local shop is not carrying it.
Find a falling star and make a wish! And check back for more Sweet Pea & Lily quilts!
Sweet Peas are a lovely combination of elegance and simple delicacy combined with theatrical colors and rich tones. Purples make me think of royalty, drama and celebrations. Deep purple, lavender, warm pink and plum colors look luscious in these Sweet Peas, and feel special in their blend of sweetness and strength. Lily of the Valley with graceful hanging bells of little pops of creamy color add a charming mix to this collection, “Sweet Pea & Lily.”
Additional pink, plum and purple Astor flowers, fluttering butterflies, swirling leaves, tiny branches, ornate medallions, and sketchy lines all joined in the sketchbook and watercolor studies for this collection. The group celebrates the range of warm to cool colors of purples and how they play well with pinks and greens. There is still a touch of gray to balance the brighter colors, as well as to tie in with past collections.
It makes me happy to remember that we often would call our daughter "Sweet Pea" (and sometimes still do) and I wish I had these fabrics when she was younger to make a quilt to go in her room with the cream and pink walls. But now, even as she has gotten older, she can enjoy the deep purples and greens and still likes all the lovely flowers!
Sweet Pea & Lily will be showing at the fall Quilt Market in Houston. I've been busy measuring, cutting, and sewing my new quilts to go with the collection. There are four new patterns I'll be showing soon! If you are in Houston for Market, come on by the Moda booth designer sections. I'll be in booth space 235 and look forward to meeting with you!
Precuts for this collection from Moda Fabrics include Fat Quarter Bundles, Fat Eighth Bundles, Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs and Mini Charms. The collection will be shipping to shops in March 2019.
Oh! One more thing for quilt shops! Excited that my quilt patterns are now being carried by both United Notions AND Checker Distributors!
Now that Quilt Market has passed, I'm thrilled that I can finally share my Dandi-Annie line for Moda Fabrics! The glowing golds and yellows have been warming up my office and brightening my days. This was a special collection to design because it reminds me of growing up and seeing the cheery yellow blooms pop up in our yard. As kids, we loved the simple happy flowers that could be twisted into necklaces and rubbed into our skin to make a lovely golden color. But even better than the yellow blooms were the mature puff balls of seeds. We knew our dreams would come true if we could blow the seeds off the stem in one breath.
After blowing the seeds off the dandelion stem, we would watch our seeds travel off in the breeze in a graceful dance. Hopefullness. Sunny days. Being a kid and finding the beauty in a what others considered a weed.
Those are the memories and wishes wrapped up in the threads of Dandi-Annie. Little birds also pay a visit in this group, jauntily picking their own bouquet of dandelions. Flyaway seeds, some woven textures and plaid, and a lattice repeat that makes me think of cottage gardens...cheery coordinates for a happy group.
Warm colors fill the group with golds, pinks and greens and they are balanced with the cool of gray. The line still coordinates with the colors from my previous collections so I'm sure to try some mixing in of Blushing Peonies and Dear Mum and Poppy Mae. The more the merrier in the garden!
I hope you like Dandi-Annie as much as I do. I think its my favorite Moda group so far! It will be arriving in quilt shops in November 2018. Stay tuned for QUILTS!
A bit of panic started the morning the day my husband and I left for Portland. We were doing great on time- actually got to the airport early. Good, right? Well we didn't realize the long term parking lot was closed down to a fraction of it's former self for construction (what construction, I didn't see any trucks or equipment?) so there was very limited parking. Very. Very. Limited. Other parking lots were full due to the large number of cars that had the same problem we had- finding a parking space. After frantic driving blocks and circling around we finally found a lot (at valet prices, oh well). So even though we were early, technically, WE MISSED OUR FLIGHT TO PORTLAND! Sigh.
Tensions were high in the car that morning and I'm happy to say I'm still married. The good news is we got on a flight 3 hours later with minimal extra charges but it was an interesting way to start the trip. We got to Portland safe and on the day we intended, so that is really all that matters. But I learned...take the Flyaway bus to LAX. Don't drive.
Once we got to Portland and the convention center the setup went quickly due to the fact that I had my husband along for his FIRST EVER time at Quilt Market! It takes me three times longer to hang a quilt by myself on a ladder vs standing back and saying "yeah, a little to the right baby." I'll get into the quilts and fabrics on the next post. But for now, this is me after a 4:30am wake up, missed flight, train ride into city, hardly any food and huge relief to be there and be set up! Yeah, after checking in to the hotel we had a nice dinner and glass of wine so that made up for it.
I was super excited to bring along the quilt top for my Gypsy Wife quilt that I did with the GnomeAngel sew-a-long on instagram. I wanted to show it to the amazing Jen Kingwell, whose pattern it is, and who creates the most amazing works of fabric art!
Another highlight of the trip was meeting some of the talented and incredible people from the mill in Korea. They brought me a beautiful gift of the scarf I am wearing and were so LOVELY! They make magic with my designs and I am so grateful for their skill.
Of course while at market I must buy some things myself, right? I bought a new Baby Lock Sashiko sewing machine, a Daylight company floor lamp and was exposed to the luscious and lovely threads at Cosmo and Cosmo's Tsu Mu Gi. I really needed to go home before I bought more.
The best part of the trip is not only connecting with shop owners and other designers but also having time with the people at Moda. I am so blessed to work with such a fantastic group of people who are great at their jobs, are committed to excellence and their customers, are forward thinkers and truly GOOD people. They are a pleasure to be around and they make market special and fun. Thank you Moda!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
Shop Robin's Designs
© Robin Pickens Inc. All rights reserved. No images may be reproduced without permission.