Pacific Fabrics Blog

Quilters Anonymous Show 2013 - Truly Out of This World

15 Mar 2013

I love this little "sleuthing" thing I get to do! This time, I got a sneak preview of the Quilters Anonymous Show last night, by volunteering to deliver something to our booth after set-up. Tricky of me, eh? So, I'll share a little with you. And if you need to rush out to the show right now before you even scroll through this post, click here for all the info.

Click on the pictures for a closer look!


My pictures are designed to intrigue you, so they are all "parts" of quilts. You'll have to go to the show to see the whole thing! This lovely batik quilt hangs near our booth and was made by Patsy Hayes from a Jo Morton pattern. She calls it "S'Mores Batiks".


These two are a lot of fun! In response to a challenge from her daughter, Patty Guinn made "Sunrise" and then . .


"Sunset"! Both from the same pattern.

Bargain Braids

I love this! Called "Bargain Braids", Wendy Stone made this from a quilt kit she found on clearance. She didn't like the pattern, so came up with her own.

Spring Equinox

Quilter Lee Ann Decker calls this wonderful kaleidoscope "Spring Equinox" because she worked on it all Winter! It is amazing - don't miss it.

Omar's Garden

And for you cat lovers, here's Omar's Garden made by Pam Seaberg. Sorry he's blurry - you know how cats keep moving. Obviously a very special kitty!

Wedding Ring

To finish up, my last picture is a quilt called "Antique Wedding Ring". Tess Herlan purchased this hand-piced top from an antique dealer years ago, then quilted it herself.

Our booth

And here is our marvelous booth with perky Karen on duty, ready to help you. Stop by to say hi and have a great quilty weekend!

~ Annette

Category: Quilting | Read 2 Comment(s)

Choosing The Right Fabric For The Do-It-Yourself Photographer

14 Mar 2013

by Jennifer Leach, guest blogger

Choosing the right fabric for a photo shoot can be tough.  With thousands of fabrics to choose from, where do you start? In today's post, I'm going to answer that question by sharing some lessons I've learned working as a photographer for more than 15 years.

No matter which fabric you choose, there are a few basic things to keep in mind.  First, make sure that your fabric doesn't steal the show. Unless you have a subject that can hold its own against bold colors and patterns, you'll want to stick with neutral or muted colors and fine or solid prints. You'll also want to make sure that your edges stay clearly visible by choosing a color and texture that doesn't blend in with your subject.  

So which fabrics work best for photography?

Heavyweight Fabrics

Heavyweight fabrics hold their shape, resist wrinkling, and block out light, which makes them perfect for hanging smooth backdrops or shaping on a tabletop display.

Passion Suede

Luscious!  Passion Suede is available in a variety of solid colors in the Home Decor section of Pacific Fabrics and is 60" wide.

Passion Suede is one of my favorites.  This versatile fabric is soft enough to drape, but thick enough to hold a shape.  What makes passion suede unique (and perfect for photography!) is that it has two distinct sides.  The nap on the right side can be smoothed out for a velvety-look; this side absorbs light and creates a rich, solid background color. The reverse side is a smooth, tight weave that has no visible texture even when photographed up close.

Cotton Duck

Most commercial photography backgrounds are made from dyed or painted Cotton Duck, also 60" wide.

Cotton Duck is another good choice for a heavyweight fabric.  It behaves a lot like Passion Suede but without the nap, and comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns.  Be aware that that this fabric has a course weave that may be visible if you're shooting close-ups.

Western Look

Tooled Faux Leather is perfect for photographing country-western boots and comes in a 54" width!

Very stiff fabrics are great for simulating walls and flooring. Try awning canvas or vinyl - both are available in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures.

Lightweight Fabrics

Lightweight fabrics are great for draping or shaping closely around your subject.  The possibilities are endless for layering these fabrics on top of other fabrics or materials like wood, stone, or plastic.  Some thin fabrics can wrinkle easily, particularly if they're 100 percent Cotton, so stay away from fabrics like Linen unless you're intentionally going for a wrinkled look.


Frame your subject in beautiful curves by draping a Nylon/Lycra blend.

For a satiny-finish, try Nylon/Lycra. It's relatively opaque so it hides whatever's underneath.  It  drapes beautifully, and resists wrinkling. Rayon has very similar qualities without the shine.


Draping Burlap creates a beautifully dimensioned natural look. It comes 47" - 60" wide.

Loosely woven fabrics, such as Burlap, are also a great choice for draping when you want other background materials to show through.  These fabrics have a very distinct texture, so make sure that the texture you choose makes sense for your subject and the rest of your photo set.

Quilting Fabrics

Just a few of the hundreds of quilting cottons available at Pacific Fabrics. Widths range from 45" to the 108" wide Quilt Backing fabrics.

If you're looking for a specific color or pattern, it would be tough not to find it (or something darned close!) in a Quilting Cotton. These smooth-textured fabrics are available in just about every color and pattern imaginable. Lighter colors can be somewhat see-through and all variations of this fabric are prone to wrinkling.  Some selections are available in 108" width - about 50 percent wider than most other fabrics - which is a huge plus when shooting larger subjects.

How much fabric do I need? 

For hanging backdrops, you'll want to buy enough fabric to cover the background behind your subject and a generous amount of space to the top and sides of the subject for framing. When shooting on a tabletop, be sure to buy enough fabric to cover the table and drape over props or stands that will lay under the fabric. 

Note:  When shooting large subjects including full-length portraits, you'll need a backdrop wider than what's available in fabric stores.  If you don't want to pay big bucks for a commercial backdrop, try a painter's tarp.

Preparing and storing

Unless you have a very wrinkle-resistant fabric, the fabric will need to be ironed or steamed before every use.  Run tape or a lint brush over parts of the fabric that will show in the photo- dust, lint, and pet hair can really ruin a shot! When you're done, fold the fabric very loosely and store it in a dark bag to protect it from sun damage and dirt.

All fabrics shown above were photographed at are available from Pacific Fabrics. Click here for store locations.

If you're interested in learning more about how to photograph your arts and crafts, join me for a workshop!  The next one is coming up on Saturday March 30 at the Seattle Creative Arts Center in Ballard.  To learn about other workshops I teach or to register for the class, call me at 206-937-0590, or visit my website at

~ Jenn

Categories: Quilting, Sewing, Crafts, Home Decor | Read 1 Comment(s)

QuiltCon Giveaway: We Have a Winner!

12 Mar 2013

QuiltCon winner

And . . .we have a winner!

Maia LeDoux, who commented on Michelle's QuiltCon Giveaway blog post at 7:56am on Saturday, March 9th is the Winner of the amazing book - Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe!!! Maia commented: "So inspiring! I'm gathering ideas to replace a much beloved but dying quilt, and I love these modern designs!" Get ready to replace that quilt, Maia and congratulations!

Please send an email to, let us know which store you are closest to and we will send your book there for you to pick up. If you're not close to one of our stores, just let us know your address and we will drop it in the mail for you.

Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

And if you weren't the winner, you can still find this amazing book at our stores or on our web site. Click here!

Happy Modern Quilting!

Category: Quilting | Read 1 Comment(s)

QuiltCon Recap: Giveaway!!

08 Mar 2013

I thought a great way to finish up an exciting week of news from QuiltCon would be with a giveaway. BUT... before we get to that I want to share one more special quilt from the Modern Quilt Convention.

A few months before QuiltCon the Modern Quilt Guild put a challenge out to all of its members to make a quilt block using the QuiltCon colors (orange, lime, aqua and grey). They then selected blocks to make one quilt to raffle off at the show, with the proceeds going to a local Austin children's shelter. The rest of the blocks were divided amongst the local guilds to make twin sized quilts for beds at the children's shelter. What a great idea- an excuse to quilt and help a local community at the same time!

Here is the quilt Elizabeth Hartman put together with the blocks selected from the challenge. I personally love the armadillo in the bottom right corner!! (Click on the quilt image for a closer look)

QuiltCon Block Challenge Quilt

Ok... now the moment you have all been waiting for- I brought this tote bag back from QuiltCon for ONE lucky WINNER. And that winner could be you. Simply comment on this blog post below. I would love to hear what your favorite quilt was from over the past week. Or what are you most excited to try when you work on your next (or maybe first) modern quilt? We will randomly be picking the winner on Monday, March 11th.

QuiltCon Giveaway!

Along with the AWESOME QuiltCon tote bag, I am also including one of our favorite new modern quilt books, Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe. It was definitly a hit at the Sewing Expo down in Puyallup last weekend. If you are not our lucky winner, check out the book in any of our stores and online!

Modern Quilts from Blogging Universe Book

Thanks for joining me for this QuiltCon recap. I hope you enjoyed it and much as I did writting it!


P.S. Be sure to check out our Modern Quilting department on our website. Fabric, Patterns and Books... everything you need to start your own modern quilt!

Categories: Quilting, Charitable Stitching, Contests & Giveaways, Modern Quilting | Read 200 Comment(s)

QuiltCon Recap: Angela Walters

07 Mar 2013

One thing that I was really excited about seeing at QuiltCon was all of the incredible quilting! It is one skill that I still need to work on and am always looking for inspiration. The more I see something, the more I want to try it and QuiltCon had really made me want to hit the machine!

One of our favorite machine quilters is Angela Walters. She had an incredible 10 QUILTS in the show, a couple that she pieced and quilted herself and the rest she quilted for others. She is an incredible quilter and I couldn't help but take lots of close up pictures.

Here is one of the quilts she pieced and quilted herself and entered in the Improvisation category. This is "throwing the rules of traditional piecing out the window" at its best! The quilt is called Impracticality and demonstrates a lot of the modern designs elements I mentioned in a previous post- asymmetry, graphic colors, etc. (Click on any of the images below for a closer look)



Check out the quilting on each little piece!

Close Up


Here is another great example of Angela's amazing quilting. I don't have a good picture of the whole quilt but you get the idea. The quilt is called Spin Dr and the pattern is included in Angela's "In the Studio" book.

Spin Dr Quilting


The last quilt I wanted to share today is one made by Dana Michaelsen and then quilted by Angela Walters. It was the perfect quilt for the QuiltCon quilt show- Texas pieced in QuiltCon colors! For me the quilting really makes this quilt, although I love the colors too! I love the giant lone star she created in the negative space. She even added another star right over Austin, the capitol of Texas.



A closer look at the quilting... again. I can't resist : )

Texas Close Up


Well I think that is enough modern quilting for today. Check in tomorrow for a special surprise!! Also don't forget to check out both of Angela Walter's books that we carry in our stores and online (just click on one of the covers below).

Free-Motion Quilting   In the Studio


Categories: Quilting, Modern Quilting | Leave A Comment

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