We are so thrilled to be one of the stops on Angela Pingel’s Curious Dream Blog Hop! It’s been so fun to see all of the posts so far. From pillows to mini quilts to zippy pouches… there are already so many fabulous projects! Make sure to check out all of the stops along the way. Each day offers a brand new chance to win a FQ bundle! We’ve got lots of great stuff for you today — info about Angela’s new thread collections, an interview with Angela to uncover some of the inspiration behind Curious Dream, and a tutorial! That’s right… a super sweet, super simple, Toddler Tote Tutorial. So settle in and have fun!
Jump down the rabbit hole with Angela Pingel‘s debut collection, Curious Dream. Inspired by the whimsy of Alice’s adventures through Wonderland and the Looking Glass, this collection calls to the dreamer in all of us. The subtle theme is perfect for any true lover of the fantastical world, but is also perfect for staples to your stash. You will find yourself smiling over the soft rainbow of colors and the details of the design. Angela’s accompanying Aurifil Thread Collection is a sweet lineup of large spools in both 50wt and 12wt — perfect for all your project needs!
[click here or on the image above to check out the lookbook!]
12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
2024 – 2615 – 2610 – 2805 – 5005 – 2783 – 2420 – 6729 – 2105 (50wt)
2105 – 2024 – 2860 (12wt)
To view this info on our website, click on any of the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of sewing and quilting?
I was born and raised in South Bend, IN (Go Irish!) and I’m a midwest girl who loves to create. I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember and I started with garment sewing. My mom did a bit of sewing for me and knew enough to teach me how to read a basic pattern. I took that information and ran with it. I’m completely self taught…so in some ways I feel like I have sooo much to learn. But I’ve dabbled in pretty much everything.
I was introduced to quilting in particular in high school and made my very first project (a twin size quilt) from an Eleanor Burns book. It was for my college dorm bed. And I still have that quilt today. I’ve been quilting away ever since! I have degrees in mathematics and interior design, so it seems that fabric and quilt design were always in my future even though I didn’t know it.
Did you always know that you’d be in a creative field, or did you take other career stops along the way?
LOL! No! I knew that I would always be creative but I assumed that it would be a hobby like it is for most people. It’s a lovely hobby to be creative and create with pressure actually. I thought long and hard about turning it into a career because it can be easy to lose the joy you once had under the demands of the field. But my path seems to have been leading me here in spite of myself. I actually always thought that I would be in academics. I LOVE school and learning as well. In fact I was going to pursue a masters in library science but ended up getting a second degree in Interior Design instead. But first I taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Precalculus and Chemistry.
Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
Oh Yes! Remember, I’m totally self taught, so I needed a book that taught me how to use a rotary cutter! I’m dating myself, but there were certainly no online tutorials or you tube videos for me to watch. It was all about reading and paying attention to details. I still remember that I miscut or mis–sewed a bunch of the pieces and had to unpick them and redo them. I was working a desk job over the summer and was able to use my down time to become friends with my seam ripper. I had to buy new sashing for the quilt too because I had miscut that as well. Oh good times. lol But I loved that quilt and was SO proud of myself for making the entire quilt from start to finish. I did stitch in the ditch quilting and am proud to say that the quilt is still in amazing condition.
What is your favorite thing to make? Do you prefer quilting over creating smaller projects like home accessories or handbags, or vice versa?
I’ve learned the hard way that making bags is not my favorite thing to do. I certainly CAN make them and can even design them quite well. But I finally gave myself permission to say that they are just not my favorite thing to make. As for quilts vs small projects, I am convinced that for me personally I need to have a healthy balance of the two. In an ideal world, I would have just two projects going at a time and one would be a larger quilt and the other would always be a smaller project. I love the joy of accomplishing something monumental like a quilt, but it can be necessary for my moral to have smaller projects finished more frequently. Plus that way you can dabble with more fabrics! Always a plus!
How did you first connect with Windham Fabrics and what do you love most about working with them?
I connected with Windham fabrics at Quilt Market and intiroduced myself to them via the standard channels of approaching a company. I actually did this with a bunch of companies and did what I like to call speed dating at that market. I had meetings with the creative directors for the companies and showed them my portfolio. I had a long list of interview questions that I had for each company because not only did I want to design fabric, but I wanted to do it with the company that would be the best fit for me. I immediately felt a connection with Windham because of their small yet big presence. They have a plethora of talent among their designers but treat us all like we are equally important. I loved their openness to my concepts and designs and really appreciate the freedom I have to design what I am interested in. Communication has been great which is an essential part of working with a company for me. Actually there is really nothing I can say that I dislike about them! So I think we are a great fit.
Curious Dream is your debut collection with Windham. Can you tell us a bit more about the line and what inspired its creation?
It’s been a dream of mine to design fabric for a long time, but I was anxious about breaking into this new aspect of the quilting world. I knew that I needed a design based off of something that I adored to give me the confidence to push through. So Alice in Wonderland came to me. At the time I thought that it was completely original to do this concept, but the stars aligned so that many people thought this was a good idea as well. lol So now you can find a number of glorious lines about Alice. But what I love about true design is that even with the same inspiration, we all ended up with vastly different lines from each other. My personal goal in design is to marry whimsy with practicality. In fact it’s almost my personal motto for life. I really wanted to explore the character of Alice in such a way that the line felt whimsical but not novelty. It’s a tough balance. Using a children’s story with existing illustrations can be difficult to break free from and create another unique version. For me, it was important to go back to the text and read the book with a highlighter; taking note of anything that caught my design eye. I was interested in the FEEL of the book rather than recreating any exact moment.
The lookbook for Curious Dream is absolutely fabulous. What was it like to pull all of the props together for that photoshoot? Did you actually make that amazing moss chair?
Oh thank you so much! I really appreciate that. The look book was a labor of love. I knew that I was tackling more props than I probably needed to, but creating wonderland is not something you get to do every day. I wanted the back drop to support the idea of the story but in no way overshadow the fabric and its story. Thankfully I had a wonderful photographer and I wasn’t the one trying to both run the shoot and be in charge of all the props and outfits and be a model AND then also take the photographs.
And that moss chair!! Yes!! I did make it. I actually have a tutorial for how to make one yourself on my website. Because sometimes you just need a moss chair 😉
Your daughter plays the role of Alice in the lookbook — was it fun to create projects with her in mind for this collection?
Isn’t she just the cutest?! It was so very fun to design the projects with her in mind. I even took her with me to find the chair I used for the moss chair because I wanted to make sure that she looked a bit dwarfed in it. And then designing the Alice look for her was one of the most fun fabric combos I got to do. Because once again, how often do you get to design an Alice costume…and with your own fabrics no less?! Oh and she insisted on having some real liquid in that tea party scene. She’s a very method model. lol
When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
I’ve been using Aurifil for years now!! They generously supplied the thread for my book, A Quilter’s Mixology, and numerous other projects I’ve been a part of. I think what I love most about them is that they are available in so many different weights. There is literally a thread for all of your needs. I probably use the 40 or 50 weight the most often but the 12 weight is awesome for thick quilting lines. And I am anxious to try the new 80 weight! I think that would be amazing for EPP. And who wouldn’t love the floss on wooden spools? Those get me every time!
How did you go about selecting threads for your latest Aurifil collection?
Again, I wanted practicality and whimsy. So I matched threads to my collection colors of course, but I wanted more than just that. I made sure that I included the kind of colors that are truly USEFUL. So there are plenty of neutrals, blues and corals…all colors that pretty hot right now in general. So whether you are using them for my collection or with other fabrics you own, they are universally on point. Also, I wanted to make sure that there were some different weight threads in the box. If you will be buying an entire box of thread, I want you to get the most bang for your buck. (There’s my practical side kicking in). So I included another weight other than a piecing weight. I included the 3 spools of 12 weight thread in colors that will pop for the opportunity to do some special heavy weight machine quilting. I actually have a blog post about quilting with that as well!
TODDLER TOTE TUTORIAL
1. Cut: two 9” x 11” rectangles each of outer fabric, lining fabric and fusible fleece, two 20” x 3” strips of strap fabric, two 19” x 1-1/5” strips of fusible fleece, one 4” x 5” rectangle each of white fabric and EZ-STeam II and one 3″ x 3” square each of appliqué fabric and EZ-Steam II.
2. Fuse the 9” x 11” rectangles of Fusible Fleece to the wrong sides of the outer fabric rectangles. Set aside.
3. Remove the plain paper backing of the 4″ x 5″ EZ-Steam II rectangle and press the sticky side to the wrong side of the white fabric. Press with a hot dry iron. Let cool. Cut along all 4 edges with pinking shears. Set aside.
4. Trace child’s initial onto the gridded side of 3″ x 3″ EZ-Steam II square. Make sure the letter is traced in reverse.
5. Remove the plain paper backing from the EZ-Steam II and finger press sticky side to the wrong side of the applique fabric. Press with a hot dry iron. Let cool. Cut letter out.
6. Remove gridded paper backing from the white rectangle, center within the top 2/3 of one outer fabric rectangle and finger press to secure.
7. Remove gridded paper backing from the letter and center within the white fabric rectangle. Fuse.
8. Top stitch around letter and rectangle to secure and embellish as desired.
9. Mark and cut out a 1” notch on the bottom left & right hand corners or outer and lining rectangles.
10. Place outer rectangles right sides together and pin along both sides and bottom. Stitch using a ¼” seam allowance along both sides and bottom.
11. Open up the left corner notch and press together, aligning raw edges and seam. Pin and sew. Repeat with the right corner notch.
12. Repeat steps 10 & 11 with the lining rectangles, making sure to leave a 3” gap along the bottom seam for turning.
13. Turn outer bag right side out.
14. To make the straps, center the Fusible Fleece strips on the wrong sides of the strap fabric strips and fuse. Fold short ends in over the edge of the Fusible Fleece and press. Fold strips in half lengthwise and press. Open and fold long edges in to meet the center crease. Press. Re-fold center crease and topstitch around all four sides.
15. Place outer bag inside lining, with right sides together and match seams. Pin on either side of seams to secure.
16. Tuck one strap in between exterior and lining, with raw edges aligned, so that the outside edges of the straps are 1” in from the side seams of the bag. Repeat with second strap.
17. Pin around the entire opening and sew, reinforcing seams over all 4 strap ends.
18. Turn bag right side out through the gap. Stitch gap closed and push lining into bag.
19. Straighten lining and pin top seam to prevent shifting. Topstitch.
The Curious Dream Giveaway is closed. Congratulations to our winner Dorie Esquivel!
Monday, December 12th — Windham Fabrics
Tuesday , December 13th — Kelly Bowser, Kelby Sews
Wednesday, December 14th — Brooke Sellmann, Silly Mama Quilts
Thursday, December 15th — Wendy Sheppard, Ivory Spring
Friday, December 16th — Rebecca Bryan, Bryan House Quilts
Saturday, December 17th — Chris Dodsley, Made by ChrissieD
Sunday December 18th — Aurifil (YOU ARE HERE!)
Monday, December 19th — Jennie, Clover & Violet
Tuesday, December 20th — Stephanie Kendron, Modern Sewciety
Wednesday, December 21st — Joanne, The Fat Quarter Gypsy
Thursday, December 22nd — Heidi Staples, Fabric Mutt
Friday, December 23rd — Round up post at Windham Fabrics
Angela is a 30’s something wife and mom, winding her way between family life and fabric. She’s been sewing for as long as she can remember, and even did various super cool things such as making her prom dress, a quilt for her college dorm room and her flower girl dresses. Well, those things *might* be cool now, but they definitely weren’t then.
Angela is the author of the book A Quilter’s Mixology, on quilting using variations of the Drunkard’s Path Block. She has filmed a DVD on sewing curves available through Quilting Arts and also has a class on Craftsy using precuts to make disappearing blocks. She has been published in numerous magazines and books including 99 Modern Blocks, Sweet Celebrations, 101 Patchwork Projects, Modern Patchwork, Quilt Scene, Playful Little Paper Pieced Projects, Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks, and more.
[collection images and bio courtesy of Angela Pingel]