“Dear Santa” Advent Calendar with Pockets

Today is a guest post from blogger Julianne Walther, of Cary Quilting Company in Cary, NC. They have used the advent calendar from the Dear Santa line from Studioe, and illustrated below how to put the pockets on! Thank you for sharing Julianne!

Scott will be returning to this spot next Monday morning.

Creating an Advent Calendar with Pockets

Hi there!

We have a fun panel to create an Advent Calendar in the shop, and instead of using the directions printed on the panel, we came up with what we think is a better way to create it!  We want to share our tutorial with you now:

It starts with this panel by Sarah Fredericking for Studio E:

You’ll need a yard of backing fabric.  We used Andover’s Whisper Palette, White Asterisks on Gray.

To finish, you’ll need 1/4 yard of binding fabric.  We used Dear Santa Candy Stripe, which is a coordinate of the panel.

You’ll also need a scrap of batting and some ribbon.

To begin, cut the panel into two halves. Take the right half (the side with no breaks between the numbered sections), and a similarly sized piece of your backing fabric, and put those two ironed pieces of fabric right sides together.  It’s helpful if your backing fabric is light colored, so that it won’t show through, especially on the “13” pocket.

Now, carefully sew 1/4″ inside of each block, leaving a 1.5″ opening for turning on a SIDE of each block.

Once you’ve sewn all of the blocks, carefully cut them apart, and trim the corners to reduce bulk when you turn them right sides out.

Turn each block right sides out, and press them, pressing the open seams in where you turned the block (so that it looks finished).  A Purple Thang is the perfect tool for getting your corners to, well, corner.

We quilted our panel’s “left side” with the batting and other half of the backing fabric before adding the pockets.  We thought it looked nice, and it also made it easier to sew the pockets on, without worrying about puckers or folds in our backing fabric.

Next, line up each pocket on top of its printed location, and sew down the sides and bottom, being sure to back stitch at the top corners to keep your pockets strong. This top-stitching will also close up the hole you used when you turned the pockets right sides out.

We bound our quilt, and as the directions suggested, we finished with two ribbons to hang the calendar quilt.  We hope you enjoy making one as much as we did!

Piet would be so proud! A guest post by Pepper Cory

The following is a reprint of Pepper Cory’s post, originally published on http://peppercory.blogspot.com/ 


For the past couple of years I’ve been associated with StudioE Fabrics, the independent stores’ niche in the Jaftex Company. Other Jaftex holdings include Blank Quilting, Henry Glass, and A.E. Nathan among others.

The line of shot cottons we designed called Peppered Cottons has sold well for the company. Explaining just a bit here: ‘shot’ means that the warp (lengthwise threads on the loom) are one color while the weft (the thread carried from side-to-side by the shuttle) is another. The blending of two colors can produce fabrics that are either subtle or occasionally startling.

If the colors in a woven shot cotton are related, such as royal blue plus turquoise, when woven together they create an intense medium blue. The new shade coordinates with both true blue prints and all the aquas and turquoise-related colors.

Sometimes the blending of colors creates shades that are quite delicious and rare. Seen here: Grellow (yellow woven with grey) that shows as a light strange off-shade of green.


Or Morning Glory, a purple plus blue blend.


But sometimes a quiltmaker hungers for a pure color, an intense and strong shade, and it’s difficult to achieve that effect in a true shot (bi-color) weave. Red, in particular, is a color people love. When they want a real red in a quilt, they don’t mean Cherry Red or Burgundy Red. They mean RED. Sometimes only a pure color will do. Enter yarn-dyed true colors. Yarn-dyed means that the fabric is not first woven and then dyed red (the usual steps in solid color production). Rather the very threads, before being even warped on the loom, are dyed red. The red dye deeply permeates the very fibers of the fabrics and, when woven with the same red in the warp and weft, the process produces an intense color.

While formerly Flame was our only true color in the Peppered Cottons lineup, at this Spring Quilt Market, we’re introducing twelve new colors and four of them are true shades.


Meet Deep Space,

Deep Space-98

a black that’s blacker-than-black and its opposite–


White Sugar. Sorry that the white looks like a hole in the blog–it’s just super-white! And adding to the basic color wheel here’s True Royal

True Royal-77

and Buttercup,


a truly happy strong yellow.


Composition with red, Blue, and Yellow (1930)
Composition in red, blue, and yellow (1930) by Piet Mondrian.

Then I realized those true colors are the palette of many of Piet Mondrian’s masterpieces.
So if you’ve been wanting to do a Mondrian tribute quilt, we’ve got your colors!


Come and see the NEW Peppered Cotton colors on the StudioeFabrics Website

An Exotic Sewing Adventure with Color Catchers

Have you seen StudioE’s new Color Catchers collection in your local quilt shop yet? A free quilt pattern using this collection is available here, but this plush, two-sided fabric can inspire beautiful garments too!

Our guest blogger today is Marilyn League, a creative seamstress and art quilter from Memphis, TN. Marilyn has extensive experience in tailoring, garment sewing, pattern making, fitting and alterations that includes mens- and womenswear, bridal attire and even costumes for the royal court of the acclaimed Carnival Memphis.She seeks out unique construction techniques and has a library of books and reference materials to prove it. Marilyn has served on the Board of Tennessee Craft-Southwest, is a member of the Uncommon Threads quilt guild and member and Past President of the Memphis Sewing Guild. Living by her philosophy that every day should be a learning experience, she shares a sewing adventure on the StudioE blog with a tutorial for creating a ruana with Color Catchers.

An Exotic Sewing Adventure with Color Catchers                                                       Guest blog post by Marilyn League

When I saw the Color Catchers yarn-dyed flannel collection from StudioE Fabrics, I knew I had to make something fabulous!! But it had to be simple… to show off the rich colors and imbedded softness of the yarn-dyed weave. One of the best garments I’ve ever seen for its simplicity and elegance is the ruana—an ancient wrap from South America, worn by natives in the Andes Mountains. The shape of the ruana lends itself to easy-sew projects for sewers and weavers, as it is basically a rectangle with an opening in the front.


There are commercial patterns available to make a ruana, but using a template to cut the front opening is simple enough. I started with a two-yard length of the most luscious lime green—which in my mind and in my wardrobe is the “new neutral”—or you can choose another color or weave pattern from this enticing 20-piece collection. First, I cut a paper template three inches wide and 36 inches long, tracing around a small plastic cup to obtain a smooth curve for the neckline.

Then, I placed this paper template along the lengthwise fold of the fabric, so the curved edge was halfway to the middle of the two-yard length.

Once you’ve cut the front opening, the raw edges need to be finished in some way. I serged the front and lower edges, but left the selvedges as they are. Why make extra work for yourself? Plus, the selvedges look very nice on their own.


After serging the raw edges, I used a sewing machine to turn them under and straight stitch them. If you so desire, the serging can be left on its own as an edge finish. If you don’t have access to a serger, the edges can be finished with a double-turn rolled hem on the sewing machine.


Then you are finished! This took less than one hour to complete. You’ll have a lovely wrap that’s perfect for a chilly day, an overly air-conditioned restaurant or a car ride so you’re not so bundled up in a coat or jacket. And you have a variety of options for wearing your ruana. Wear it with jeans and a T-shirt to dress up a bit. Wear it over a simple dress to give it some drama. Throw one side over the other shoulder for REAL drama! Notice that Color Catchers is a two-sided fabric, so BOTH sides look good.


The choices for constructing or customizing your ruana are endless. Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of cutting the edges straight across, curve them.
  • Use a contrasting thread for serging all around.
  • Zigzag stitch with a coordinating or variegated thread on your sewing machine.
  • If you have gobs of time and want a really special garment, buy extra fabric that matches or contrasts, and finish the edges with bias strips. Oh, wouldn’t that be runway worthy!

I hope you have enjoyed my little sewing adventure. Stop in your local quilt shop or independent sewing center, buy a few yards of Color Catchers by StudioE Fabrics and get inspired to have an adventure of your own.

Introducing a Modern BOM – Choreography BOM

Today, the StudioE blog shines the spotlight on an exciting new quilt, called Choreography, that features fabrics from Brushstrokes by Pepper Cory and the Just Color! basic line by Studioe. Choreography is designed as a Block of the Month (BOM) program and is available exclusively to independent quilt and fabric shops. To tell you the story behind the creation and design of this graphic, modern-style quilt is its designer, Julia LaBauve, of JML Colors. Once you’re smitten with the quilt and its story, dance over to the JML Colors web site to order patterns and contact your Studioe direct sales representative or go to the Studioe website to place your fabric order… and let the music begin!



Written by Julia LaBauve

We all dance to our own music….

It amazes me how ideas form and how they become something that I can hold, touch and use. Initially it seems simple: a design “bounces” around in my head and I can imagine that it would look pretty good as a quilt. Easy! The design takes shape, I audition the fabrics, make final adjustments and there it is! My newest creation! Make the quilt top… write directions…. and a new pattern is born. But wait, the quilt top has to be quilted. Arrange for that. And there is the testing phase… and… who will test? Go find the appropriate tester. In the midst of this process, I’m hopeful that the timing works out so that while the top goes for quilting I can finish writing and then send it all to the tester. After that, corrections… reviews… it seems it will never be finished! And while all this is happening, my fabric friend and local Studioe Fabric rep, Veronica Hofman-Ortega, is waiting to see the finished project. You know…no pressure at all!


This is how Choreography was born. I had in mind a design that reminded me of the tile work I see when I visit my family in Spain.
The idea took form and the pattern was born. But at the write-quilt-test stages, it felt like we were all dancing together to some particular rhythm. If one of us missed a step, we would all stumble and the timing would get all messed up. Thanks to the fabulous quilting work of Pat Yearwood (Stitch’n Quilt) and tester Patricia Kelly-Flis, Choreography is now a beautiful quilt, available to quilt and fabric shops as a BOM program.

Choreography was designed with Studioe Fabrics in mind. I wanted fabrics that were modern and vibrant.


Fabrics that “read as solids” were the perfect choice to highlight sharp points and angles without worrying about competing fabric motifs. They also create a pleasant background to the stronger graphic design. I chose Brushstrokes, a beautiful new collection by Pepper Cory, and Just Color!, one of Studioe’s popular blender lines to achieve these goals. This was especially important when working with the paper-pieced blocks. These are slightly more complex than the rest (don’t worry, block size is 10” x 10” finished so the pieces can be handled comfortably). I wanted each piece to be clear and visible. Paper piecing is too much work for it all to blend and the design disappear in to the block!


I love how the orange stands out, but does not seem to overwhelm anything. I especially enjoyed using a variety of blues. Choreography became a study in color – because they are “solids”, fabrics do not compete with each other and it is the color that creates the designs. And the same goes for the rest of the traditionally pieced blocks – sharp contrast that creates a strong graphic design.


I hope you take a look at Choreography and choose to do the BOM. Shop owners should contact their StudioE direct representative for fabric orders and the JML Colors website to order the BOM patterns. I encourage quilters to visit their local quilt shop to request the program. This quilt was fun to make and see the design grow as blocks were added to the design wall. Now I am ready to find my next “bouncing idea” and to start “dancing” again.