Welcome to day two of Island Batik week! We’re so excited to share all of these gorgeous new collections with you. It’s truly a delight to have the opportunity to talk with these designers, learn more about their inspirations and how they came into this wonderful world of quilting. We’ll be featuring one Island Batik designer each day this week to showcase new fabric & coordinating Aurifil collections. Each post will offer a fabric + thread giveaway so make sure to come back daily to learn more about our talented designers to enter-to-win some gorgeous prizes!
ISLAND BATIK WEEK SCHEDULE
1/10 – Coastal Mist by Tammy Silvers
1/11 – Glowing Embers by Cheri Good Designs (YOU ARE HERE!)
1/12 – Dotalicious by Claudia Pfeil
1/13 – Surf and Sand by Fourth and Sixth Designs
1/14 – Fresh Catch by Jackie Kunkel
To learn about Island Batik and the batik process, please visit their website. For a peek at the full range of Fall/Winter 2016 releases, in-stores now, click here or on the image below to browse the catalog. To check in on Island Batik’s news, please visit their blog.
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Introducing Glowing Embers by Kathy Engle for Cheri Good Quilt Design! This Signature Collection features hot oranges and yellows, with sparks of purple and green and evokes the feeling of cozying up in front of a warm fire, absolutely perfect for this Winter Season! Audrey and Cheri, of Cheri Good Designs, selected a gorgeous range of rich and bold colors to coordinate, all in our highly versatile 50wt thread.
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
12 Large Spools – 50wt (1422yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2135 – 2215 – 2245 – 2250 – 2255 – 2335
2350 – 2540 – 2545 – 4026 – 5001 – 5024
To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
What first inspired you to start sewing?
Audrey: I was around sewing all of my life. My Mother, an expert seamstress, made most of my clothes as well as those for my sisters and others. Quilting was also one of her many talents. My sewing instruction was a small part of her teaching as she was an avid fabric shopper and allowed me to discover the “feel” of fabric and the joy of selecting them. Her love of all things “sewing” extended to every sewing tool available at the time as well as her collection of cotton threads on wooden spools lined up by color by her work area. My solo sewing experiences were in high school when I wanted to make “my own clothes” and I had a wonderful teacher willing to let me make mistakes and solve problems as I grew.
Cheri: I started sewing when my daughter was born 51 years ago and made most of her clothes and gifts for family. I went to work when she was about 16 years old and quit sewing for a while. When my granddaughter was born, I went to a quilt store to buy fabric for her first dress and signed up for a beginning quilting class. That was the last dress I ever made and have been obsessed with quilting ever since.
Do you remember the first project that you made and how you felt after it was complete
Audrey: That project was a skirt which I made in my eighth grade Home Ec. Class. We had many restrictions on the kind of fabric we were permitted to buy and the pattern to be used, so I have to say it was not my favorite project – after all, I had an expert sewing for me, so I wasn’t really motivated at that time!
When did you first start work together and what do you love most about the collaboration
Audrey: In 2003, Cheri organized our quilt club and I was among those she recruited. I had moved to Arizona from Pittsburgh, PA, was just retired from teaching there. After 36 of teaching visual arts and technical theater (including costuming), I was looking forward to pursuing all of those things that I had put on the “back burner” while working. Quilting was something I had done, but now, I was with women who were quilting all of the time! Cheri asked one day if anyone knew how to write a pattern for a quilt she had design and I said I could. Soon, I did another and it really snowballed from there. Working in a team of four while teaching performing arts, I found that bouncing ideas off one another lead to creativity and that a team is best when each person brings their unique skills to the table.
Cheri: Audrey and I met when we founded a local small quilt group. On one All Day Sew Day the group had, I brought a small quilt I was designing and someone suggested I make a pattern for it. I said “I don’t know how to do that on the computer!” and Audrey said, “But I do!”. That was the start of our partnership in Cheri Good Quilt Design.
What would you say are your individual strengths with the business – have you settled into particular roles?
Audrey: We are both actively involve in design and in making our sample quilts. Cheri is the better salesperson and is happiest when talking to people about our work. I am more of an introvert and have always love technology. As such, Cheri does a lot with sales and business, while I design and write patterns and maintain our website. When necessary, both of us chip in to do what needs to be done. We have been partners, and above all, friends, from the beginning.
Cheri: Most people say that we have the best of all worlds. Audrey is so very talented in all she does. She not only designs patterns but writes them out with such amazing detail and makes them understandable to beginners as well as more advanced quilters. I have more fun selling our patterns at quilt shows, events, and quilt groups. We also get along famously, so it’s been a joy for me from the very beginning!!
How did you first get involved with Island Batik?
Audrey: About seven years ago, we were at Market and stop to talk with the owner of Island Batik about our business and that we were interested in designing for their fabrics. Since then, the ownership has changed and the company has grown and we have grown right along with them.
Cheri: We introduced ourselves at Quilt Market and they loved our projects from the beginning. They are wonderful to work with and we have so enjoyed growing our business along with theirs. They have given us new opportunities each year and we are so fortunate to be able to work with Caleb, Katie, Elizabeth and Kathy.
What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
Audrey: When we first started, precuts were just emerging and several of our local shops were anxious to have patterns for precuts, so we created designs using precuts. Well, fabric lines move off the market pretty fast and we found that to be a problem when someone wanted a fabric line we used in our pattern and for a sample quilt on the cover, so we found ourselves moving to batiks. Using batiks other than those featured in a pattern increased the life of the pattern! Now, we love, love, love, batiks! Just the vibrant colors and exciting textures and prints give me inspiration!
Cheri: Batik fabric, especially Island Batiks’ fabrics, are first quality, imaginative, and give no limits to what creative process we might come up with. Quilters can look at our patterns shown in batik fabrics and imagine them in different colorways. Batik fabric lovers are a breed of their own!!
Do you have a favorite project that you’ve made using the fabrics and threads of Glowing Embers?
Audrey: I felt an immediate connection to Glowing Embers fabrics when we selected them. We had just worked with our “Tinsel” line which were all blues and grays in holiday prints and Glowing Embers was the total opposite. Rich reds, purples, copper tones predominant the line and when it came time to coordinate Aurifil’s wonderful thread, we came up with a palette of threads that were a perfect match.
I guess that “Breaking Away” is a favorite, with Mad for Plaid a close second. I love the simplicity of modern design and it was also a great opportunity to represent the fabric line.
Mad for Plaid has a classic look and depending on fabric choices, could be masculine or feminine in appearance. I love how vibrant it is.
Cheri: My personal favorite is Breaking Away. A close second is Mad for Plaid.
How did you first discover Aurifil threads?
Audrey: I have always love thread. Aurifil was one of the threads that my fellow quilt club members talked about on our shop hop outings. In Phoenix, we are fortunate to have many quilt shops that carry Aurifil, so I have used it for awhile. I love the sheen, the silky feel, the rich palette of colors that is available and the fact that it doesn’t clog my machine. Now, it is the only thread that I used and I am so proud to have work with them in creating our collections. Following the Aurifil presentation at Fall Market this year, I am in awe of the manufacturing process to create this outstanding thread.
Cheri: Aurifil threads have been a personal favorite for a long, long time. The quality is above all others. We quilters know that it has much less lint that others and the colors are so vibrant. It was wonderful to see the process in detail Aurifil showed at Quilt Market this year. I wish everyone could see what care they take in making the best product possible. Won’t use anything else!!!
Do you have a favorite color or weight?
Audrey: I am a little fickle as far as color. . . I love the color that matches the fabric I’m working with! I have a neutral color thread collection that I rely on quite a bit, but there isn’t a color I don’t like.
I use 50 weight most often, but I am excited that an 80 weight is available to use for appliqué. For our spring line, we have two appliqué designs and I will definitely recommend it for those projects.
Cheri: Can’t wait to try the new 80 weight thread that’s new this year.
What advice would you have to offer to designers just getting started in this industry?
Audrey: I have always been an advocate of following your passion. I think that comes across in your work. Collaborate with others to facilitate growth and learning and be open to new ideas.
Cheri: Network at Quilt Markets and have samples of your work available for the manufacturers to see. Make appointments so that you’re not interrupting them when they are with someone else. Be positive and on time with your design proposals. They are working hard with time constraints and it’s important to be mindful of their workload.
To enter-to-win 1 Large Glowing Embers Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Glowing Embers fabrics from Island Batik, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Monday January 16! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Tuesday, January 17. Good luck!
Cheri and her husband moved to Arizona in 1996. It was there that she discovered her passion for quilting which has added joy, friendships, and fun to her life. As soon as she found Charm Packs and Jelly Rolls by Moda, her imagination went wild and her sewing machine hasn’t stopped yet. From experience as a quilting instructor, she found that beginners want patterns that will make easy and successful quilts using the latest fun fabrics. Charm Packs and Jelly Rolls are the perfect answer giving them a coordinated group of fabrics that are already cut.
Lifelong Pennsylvanians, Audrey and her husband moved to Arizona in 2000, to be closer to their son. Prior to that, Audrey worked for 36 years as a public school teacher of visual arts and performing arts in the Pittsburgh area. For a number of years before retirement, she also managed a community cultural program that presented and produced cultural venues. Sewing has always been a part of her personal and professional life. For more than 15 years, in her school performing arts program as well as in local professional theater, she designed and built costumes for a variety of productions. Quilting was introduced as a child by Audrey’s mother who sewed everything, including quilts. Later, her love of quilting was rekindled when she produced the musical “Quilters”. This regional theater production, not only involved costume design, but a community charity quilt project to make the more than sixteen quilts needed for the show. Now retired, Audrey pursues her passions, which include pottery and painting, as well as quilting, full time.
ABOUT ISLAND BATIK
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Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer, and distributor of cotton batik, rayon batik and hand-printed cotton from Indonesia. Originally established in 1997, Island Batik’s mission is to share the ancient cultural art of batik and hand-dyed fabric with our many valued customers around the world.