Saturday, August 5, 2017
Storefronts Quilt Pattern (Window Shopping at the Five & Dime)
What a week it's been! Seeing Five & Dime arrive in shops, looking at beautiful photos of projects made with my fabric by talented friends -- I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed it all. Today is the last day of the tour, and to celebrate, I'm sharing a free pattern that I designed for this collection: the Storefronts Quilt.
NOTE: if you have trouble accessing the pdf file either through the link above or the link later on in this post, just click on this post instead for a non-pdf version.
My love of vintage items doesn't stop at music, movies, ephemera, and packaging (as I explained in great detail in this post). I'm also a big fan of classic architecture. And what could be a better match for a fabric collection called Five & Dime than a quilt pattern featuring rows of retro shops? I actually studied storefronts from the early to mid-1900s before sketching the design for this quilt, and I absolutely love the way it turned out. Not only is it a relatively easy quilt to piece, but it's also incredibly fun to choose the fabrics you use for each block.
I made two versions of this quilt. One uses my Five & Dime fabric. I loved using some of the Packaging labels as store signs and filling the windows with my Merchandise print in all three colorways.
Keep in mind that the quilt in these pictures was made with strike-offs, so the colors are slightly different from the final color palette which turned out a bit softer. Truthfully, it makes this quilt even more special to me to know that it can't be reproduced; it's one of a kind. My dear friend Becca of Bryan House Quilts took time out from her own Spring Quilt Market prep and the million projects she has in the works, not to mention planning for her recent move to Europe, to quilt it for me last May. I really think she must be a super hero in disguise.
The other version I made was actually the first one I created, my prototype. I stitched it together using pieces from my personal stash and enjoyed myself immensely picking fabrics according to what kind of store each block was going to be.
This version includes shops that sell music, women's clothing, bridal gowns, candy, stationery, baked goods, children's clothing, sewing notions, party supplies, cookware, gardening products, and pets. I spent several months hand quilting each of the blocks whenever I had a free moment. It was truly a delight to sew from beginning to end.
The pattern starts out with cutting instructions for an entire quilt, featuring prints from my Five & Dime collection and Riley Blake Designs Basics. There are six blocks which are each used twice in the quilt. However, I know that many of you are like me and enjoy using a single block for a pillow or bag or some other small project, so I give you cutting directions for each block by itself as well. I hope this will make the pattern more user friendly. At the moment I'm making a project featuring a half-size block of one of the storefronts, and I love it so much! I'll be sharing it with you soon.
You can access a PDF version of the Storefronts pattern here and find a shop that carries Five & Dime here. Please do be sure to add the hashtags #fiveanddimefabric and/or #storefrontsquilt if you share photos of your projects on social media!
I have to give credit to my sweet friend Gina of Party of Eight: Our Story who helped me test this pattern and made a darling Storefronts quilt of her own. If you're not following her blog or her Instagram account, you are definitely missing out on some beautiful projects!
I want to extend so many thanks again to my wonderful friends Lauren, Elea, Suzy, Amy, and Minki who took time out of their busy schedules this week to make beautiful projects with Five & Dime (click on their names to see what each of them made). You girls continue to amaze me with your talent and generosity!
I also need to thank my unbelievably patient and supportive husband James, who not only took all the photos in this post for me in front of a wonderful vintage shop along the main street of Boerne, TX, but who also gave me a new computer with a fancy monitor and stylus for Mother's Day last year so that I could finally take a shot at my dream of designing fabric. I can't tell you how much I love this man who always believes in me more than I believe in myself. You're the best, sweetheart!
And to you, my dear friends who are reading this post, thank you for all the encouraging notes and comments you've shared with me as you've watched this collection come to be. You have blessed me so much, and I'm thrilled to share these fabrics and this pattern with you at last. I hope they're as much fun for you to sew as they were for me to create.