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One of the most exciting parts of designing a fabric collection is when the big package of strike-offs lands on my doorstep. The strike-offs are the hand-screened samples that show what the artwork and color will look like on the final product. Sometimes, they’re spot on and look exactly like I’d hoped they would. Every once in a while they look even better! And then occasionally… well, we go for round two (or three). Last week our Magical Creatures strike-offs arrived, and they look great! Here’s a little peek:

Magical Creatures by Monaluna

The collection is 9 prints total, with 4 of them (the green, gold, lavender and pink blenders) carrying forward to sit with our upcoming Saturday collection (Coming in February). As always, the designs are printed on our GOTS-certified organic cotton poplin (read more about the GOTS certification here!), which works beautifully for quilting as well as many apparel and home dec projects. We see it as a great all-purpose cotton fabric.

The prints are a balance of large, medium and small scale motifs, designed to work well together in quilts and clothing.

There Be Dragons by Monaluna

Although it was tempting to go all girly with the unicorns and mermaids, we got some excellent dragons in there too (for the boys, or girls who like dragons, like me!) The green and gold blenders both work really nicely with that print.

Mermaid Party by Monaluna

I’m already planning for a pair of Mermaid Part pajama bottoms with a Lavender Dots top…

Unicorn Dreams by Monaluna

I felt like I was channeling my 4th-grade self when I painted the Unicorn Dreams print. I was unicorn-obsessed as a 10-year-old, and was also quite excited about flower crowns and peacock feathers, so I got them all into that print. Come to think of it, I’m still a bit obsessed with those things…

There will be a few minor tweaks to the prints (color trapping should be better, and a few colors will be adjusted for better details), but they’ll be on their way shortly! Look for the collection to land around the middle of November.

Field Flowers

Back to School in Simple Life Canvas by Monaluna

 

There’s just something about fall. Even long after I finished school (and before I had a kid of my own going off to class), as soon as the weather turned cool I would start to think about stocking up on writing supplies, sweaters, and the perfect backpack to carry everything in. This year, we decided to stitch up a little School Days set, including an awesome backpack, a lunch tote and a pencil case, using our organic Simple Life Canvas and Poplin.

 

For the pencil case, we used a free tutorial by Anna Graham that we found posted on her Noodlehead blog. It’s the perfect size and shape to hold your pencils and pens, and any other small trinkets you want to keep from getting lost in the bottom of the backpack.

 

Pencil Case in Simple Life Organic Canvas by Monaluna

 

Mindy stitched it up using Rosa Canvas and Herringbone Canvas on the outside, with a nice pop of On Point Poplin for the lining.

 

Pencil Case made with Simple Life Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

The lunch box is the Chubby Lunch Tote free pattern from the SewCanShe blog. There’s so much great stuff on that blog, but this project popped out as the perfect petite but roomy carryall for lunches.

 

Lunch Tote in Simple Life Organic Poplin by Monaluna

 

We used Hydrangea from the Simple Life Poplin collection, with accents and lining in On Point. The zipper used on both projects is a really sturdy and nice organic cotton and metal one that we carry in the shop.

 

 

Finally, the backpack is the Range Backpack, also by Anna Graham from Noodlehead, and available for sale in her shop. I absolutely love all the details and functionality of this pack, and the finished product looks super professional.

 

Range Backpack in Simple Life Canvas by Monaluna

 

Instead of the usual flap, the top of the pack folds over and fastens with a d-ring closure. It has a nice zippered pocket on the front, and in interior pocket as well, plus adjustable straps and a loop for hanging. Pretty much the perfect backpack! Mindy stitched this one up in the Hydrangea Canvas with Herringbone accents, and On Point Poplin for the lining.

 

Range Backpack in Simple Life by Monaluna

 

Altogether they make the cutest little set of back-to-school (or off-to-work) gear! It almost makes me want to go register for some classes…

The weather turned cool here this week just in time for back-to-school. I sent Anabelle off to her first day of 3rd grade yesterday, and now I have a little time to start thinking about fall sewing. One of the the most popular projects we’ve done here in the studio is our Patchwork Infinity Scarf, and Mindy stitched one up in our Journey Lawns last week. The fabric is delicate and lightweight, making it the perfect layer to add a bit of warmth and pattern to early fall outfits. You can get the free pattern for the project here ( just print or save as a pdf), and you can buy a 1/3 yard bundle of the Journey Organic Cotton Lawns (enough to make 2 scarves!) on the website here.

Journey Patchwork Infinity Scarf by Monaluna

Journey Organic Cotton Lawn Bundle

If you end up with some fabric left over, we have another idea for you: you can make this gorgeous patchwork pillow, based on May Chappell’s All Strung Up quilt pattern. Although it can be made with poplin or any quilting cotton, it’s especially nice in lawn, which makes it a bit softer and lighter.

 

We just got home from Quilt Market in Portland, and we had such a great time! There’s always so much to see, and so many of our quilty friends to catch up with, that it goes by in a blur. This time we were buying for the shop too, so it was even a bit busier than usual. I thought I’d share some photos of our booth, as well as a few peeks at all the awesome creativity we saw there.

 

Monaluna Quilt Market Booth - Portland Quilt Market 2018

 

Our booth was decked out with glimpses of our new Magical Creatures and Saturday collections, as well as lots of cute Journey samples, including an awesome May Chappel Blooming Dresden quilt that Janet Johnson stitched up, and Kathy August quilted. So pretty!

 

Monaluna Quilt Market Booth - Spring Quilt Market 2018

 

We introduced two new collections at this market, Magical Creatures and Saturday, and they both got great responses! They won’t be in stock until October (Magical Creatures) and February (Saturday), but I’ll have them up on the website to view next week. Until then, here’s a little peek:

 

 

 

I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I’d intended, but those that I did were all nicely coordinated: I was clearly into rainbows! And rich, saturated color. As usual, I was really drawn to the wool felt (coming soon to a Monaluna shop near you).

 

Sadly, I neglected to match this vendor to the gorgeous samples I photographed. Can anyone help me out with the company name on these felt samples? So pretty!

 

This was the “Village for All Seasons” quilt by Karen Eckmeier. Ahhmazing.

 

The Tula Pink booth, one of our neighbors. I cannot get over her gorgeous palette. And the fabrics and quilts, of course!!

 

A paper pieces quilt, made with Tula fabric.

 

There was so, so much more to see, and you should jump on instagram and search for #quiltmarket or #quiltmarket2018 for more!

Hello from Frankfurt, Germany! If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you’ve seen some photos of the awesome projects stitched up by the bloggers on the Journey Blog Tour hosted by Phat Quarters. They all came up with such great work! I wanted to give a little preview of each project here, and then you can visit each blog to see the full project.

The first stop on the tour was Sprouting Jube Jube, where Deb used our Skulls and Roses, Birdseed Blue and Arrows prints to make this adorable vintage bowler bag (the pattern is the Donna by Swoon Patterns). I love it! Check out more photos on Deb’s blog here . 

Betty Vintage Bowler in Journey by Sprouting Jube Jube

The next stop on the tour was the Handmade Boy blog, where Kelly made a darling Presto Tunic (pattern by Love Notions) from our Desert Floral lawn. I think it turned out beautifully, and it’s inspiring me to make something similar for when the weather (finally) turns warmer.

Handmade Boy Blog

That’s Sew Kari used the same Desert Floral lawn, paired with Birdseed Blue, to make a super cute, floaty and twirly Alice Dress (pattern by Violette Field Threads), along with a matching doll dress (SO cute!). She has lots of images on Pattern Revolution – check them out!

That’s Sew Kari Alice Dress in Journey

Traci made this gorgeous quilt using Journey and Diamond in the Rough from Wanderlust, which coordinates so well that I’m adding it to the Journey collection on the website. I love the intersecting squares, and the simple print block layout of the backing.

Journey Patchwork Quilt

Tami of SewSophieLynn used our Paintbrush and Dry Garden lawns to make two Driftwood blouses (pattern by Twig & Tale). They seem like  perfect, easy spring/summer wardrobe staples (and I love the way she photographed them, too!)

Driftwood Blouses by Sew Sophie Lynn

Liesel of It’s Liesel stitched up a couple of darling little girl outfits using our Dry Garden poplin. She used the Chloe Dress pattern from Honeydew Kisses for the dress, and also made some adorable bloomers to pair with a baby top.

Honeydew Kisses Chloe Dress by It’s LieselHoneydew Kisses Dress by It’s Liesel

I always love a good organization project, and Gemia from Phat Quarters used some of the fabrics to sew up this awesome Grocery Bag Holder. What a great idea! A pretty way to keep your reusable plastic bags.

Journey Grocery Bag Holder

And also on the home organization front, I absolutely love this fabric basket by Crafting in the Rain! It’s perfect for holding extra scraps of fabric, or anything, really. There’s a tutorial over on her blog!

Journey Fabric Basket by Crafting in the Rain

Easter is right around the corner, and this little stuffed bunny is just perfect for the holiday! I love the way Stephanie from Swoodson Says used the Moon Phase print and positioned the moons perfectly on the ears.

Moon Phase Bunny by Swoodson Says

Next, there’s a sweet and simple reversible knot bag made by Ula of Lulu & Celeste, using Desert Floral and Dry Garden, with an adorable matching wallet. The silhouette is so simple and sophisticated that it could be used for anything, from evening bag to project bag.

Japanese Knot Bag by Lulu and Celeste

To add a little flair to your home decor, Katy from Wild and Wonderful made awesome patchwork pillow covers using Coyote Moon, Birdseed Blue and Paintbrush. I love the gradation of blues and the texture!

Journey Pillow Covers by Wild and Wonderful

Finally, Christy from Phat Quarters made this awesome abstract bag, using a bunch of the Journey prints together. I think it looks amazing, and I’m going to try to make one for myself!

Abstract Bag by Phat Quarters

I’m so impressed with all of these projects, and want to say thank  you to all the bloggers involved. I love seeing all the creative and fun ways they’ve used the fabric, and I hope it’s given you a wealth of sewing inspiration!

 

 

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Our new Journey collection arrived last week, and we’ve been busy unpacking (so many boxes!), repacking, photo-shooting and shipping orders out to shops and designers all over the world. It seems like we wait and wait for the new collections to arrive, and then once they land there’s so much to be done! I still have a lot of samples to sew, mainly patchwork and some adult apparel projects, but we were able to get some great kidswear pieces finished in time for our little photoshoot last weekend. We got some of our favorite kids to show them off for us!

 

Journey Organic Fabric by MonalunaJourney Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Stylistically, this collection is a continuation of our Wanderlust collection that we introduced 2 years ago. It is inspired by the Southwest (and specifically, a time I found myself in Arizona years ago – you can read the story here), and has lots of cacti and succulents, coyote, blackbirds and indigo painted steer skulls. The palette includes warm corals and pinks, and a range of blues, which for me evokes the play of light and shadows on sandstone cliffs.

 

 

Like all of our collections, this range is GOTS-certified organic, which ensures that every stage of production meets strict environmental and social standards. The cotton is farmed without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, and there are no harmful chemicals used in the processing or finishing. Also, it’s fair trade. 🙂 The certification covers a lot – you can read the full description here.

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

The collection includes 12 prints on our premium organic poplin, and we also have 7 prints (plus our warm white solid) on our lightweight organic cotton lawn. Both substrates are great for quilting, as well as all sorts of apparel and home projects. The lawn is especially nice for spring and summer-weight dresses, skirts and blouses, but I will say that one of my favorite quilts is made entirely from our wanderlust lawn and is so soft and cozy!

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Because we only release a limited number of collections each year, I always try to make sure that there’s a good range of prints that will work for a variety of projects and wearers. This collection hits that mark pretty well, I think, with prints that work for kids as well as adults, and some good boy prints, too (I hear you!). I have a few projects picked out to sew for myself – I just need to fit in a little selfish sewing one of these weekends!

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Coyote Moon Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

We had some friends over for dinner this weekend, and I decided that was a perfect excuse to do some baking. I had been imagining something tangeriney (we have a ton of clementines on our tree this year), but not too sweet. After looking in vain for the perfect recipe, I decided to do a spin-off of a classic pound cake, add a little tangerine and some booze for good measure (I mean, what’s not better with whiskey?). It came out pretty delicious, if I do say so myself! 😉 Here’s the recipe:

 

Cake Ingredients

3/4 cup good butter, room temperature (plus a bit more to grease pan)

3 cups flour (plus a bit more to flour pan)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup milk, room temperature

1 – 1/2 tsp. tangerine zest (zest from 2 large or 3 small tangerines)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup whisky

3 cups sugar

6 eggs, room temperature

 

Glaze Ingredients

3 Tbsp. butter

1/4 – 1/2 cup whiskey

1/2 cup tangerine juice

1 cup sugar

 

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan and set aside. If desired, peel 2 small tangerines or clementines and slice thin, placing the slices in the bottom of the bundt cake pan. This will give a subtle design to the cake top.

Sift together 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup, combine milk, vanilla and lemon zest. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until very fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add in the 3 cups sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and blend until very smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, blending well in between. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, and beat well. Then add 1/3 of the milk mixture, and beat well. Continue,  alternating between the two, until all the ingredients have been added, and mix until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake. Check after 1 hour to see if a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If not, add 5 minutes at a time. Remove cake and allow to cool.

 

While cake is baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine glaze ingredients and stir until the mixture simmers and sugar dissolves. Simmer for about 10 minutes. You may adjust the whiskey to taste – 1/4 cup gives it just a hint, 1/2 cup will have more of a zing. (Note that most of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking of the sauce, but there may be some percentage remaining in the sauce.) Let sauce cool.

 

Once both the cake and the sauce have cooled, place cake on a plate or cake stand and use a toothpick to poke holes in the top and sides of the cake. Carefully spoon the sauced over the cake, allowing it to saturate. Much of the sauce will pool on the plate, but if you allow the cake to rest, it will absorb most of the extra. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired. Yum!

 

 

 

Our new Journey collection is on the way! It’s scheduled to land at port on February 21st, and we’ll have it in stock as soon as it makes its (sometimes slow) way through customs. Perfect for spring, the collection includes 11 prints on our premium organic cotton poplin, and 6 prints on our light and drapey organic cotton lawn.

 

This collection is a partner to our Wanderlust collection from Spring, 2016, and follows the theme of Southwestern imagery, with succulents and cacti, coyote and blackbirds, and even a desert night sky, as seen in the Moon Phase print. The collections were inspired by an unexpected two week adventure I had in Arizona years ago, and you can read the story about that trip here.

 

 

I’ve been itching to work with the sample fabric that we received a couple weeks ago, and have projects in mind from quilts to summer dresses, and even some summer-weight, rolled edged scarves from the new lawn prints. I got a little start this morning, and am planning to carve out some stitching time over the long weekend. Here are a few projects that I made from the strike-offs before market. They were perfect for scraps and small pieces, and I love the way the colors worked together, but I’m looking forward to some garment projects too. I’ll let you know when we have them in stock!

 

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Happy (almost) Valentines Day! I’ve been itching to work on some fun Valentines projects the last couple of weeks, but my weekends have been taken up with a more daunting project: we’re building a chicken coop! Of course, I thought that project would take only the last Saturday in January, but instead it’s dragged on and taken up the better part of the last few weekends. Still, it’s been fun, and it’s going to be an awesome chicken palace for our girls. (Photos coming soon… :)) So instead, I’m going to mine the blog and revive some oldie but goodie project ideas for you.

 

Last year, I came across a tutorial for this little bag on Gingercake, and stitched it up using a variety of pink organic fabric scraps from our Bloom and Haiku collections. It’s quick and easy, and makes a super cute Valentines gift for little girls. You can get our Valentines 2018 bundle with these fabrics and more on our website here.

Patchwork Heart Bag

 

Several years ago, I got crafty with the Valentines and made these little fabric cards. They are really fun to make, and can be as simple or as intricate as you like (or, in my case, have time for). Anabelle was just little when she got this one, and I still find it on her bookcase or in with her dolls, and it’s nice to have an enduring sentiment. My husband like his, too. You can see the tutorial on the blog here.

 

 

 

When I was a kid, my mom would always make these amazing Petit Cherry Cheese Tarts for Valentines Day. They were one of the highlights of my childhood. Apparently, my grandmother was the one who made them originally, and the recipe calls for tart Michigan cherries, which were easy to come by in Michigan, where she lived. I’ve found them to be more elusive in the Bay Area, so this year I tried to make them with Oregon Dark Sweet Cherries. They’re still delicious, but the color came out more purple, and lacked the bright flavor of the tart cherries. I’m going to continue my search for a source, but I realized I could get the right cherries on Amazon, so now I know where to go if I can’t find them locally next year. The full recipe is on the blog here. 

 

At the very end of November, amidst the holiday hubbub and retail busy-ness, our beautiful new Simple Life Knits arrived in the shop. Now that we’re revving up our spring sewing, it’s time to give them the spotlight! These beauties are unlike anything we’ve carried before – all the luxurious softness of our Anya Knits, but with 6% spandex, which makes them extra stretchy and perfect for active and play wear. They’re jersey knit, so they’ve got the drape and the characteristic curl, and they’re 100%, GOTS-certified organic fabric!

 

 

One of the really lovely aspects of these knits is their generous width – at 63-64 inches, you have plenty to work with, and a little yardage goes a long way. The prints are crisp and graphic with a bit of a Scandinavian vibe, for modern projects that span all age groups. The collection also includes 3 versatile solids that coordinate perfectly.

 

 

The medium weight of the Simple Life Knits makes it suitable for sewing projects all year long. It makes an ideal warm weather T-shirt, but can also be stitched into a snuggly wrap. They’re great for babywear and kids clothes as well as active dresses, skirts and even yoga pants. Here’s to a new year full of made-by-you cozy, comfy clothes!