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Birds & Berries

As with most things, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And that has been the fate of my “I’m going to start blogging” declaration that I made a few months back.

We just got our strikeoffs in the mail for our NEXT fabric line, and I still have yet to put up a post about our current line, Birds & Berries. I’ve mentioned it in some of my other posts, but as many of you know… I’m long winded and I like to have at least one post that goes over our inspiration… and the little hidden secrets that reside within the prints. So I’m doing that now.

(I actually have a whole list of posts that have never seen the light of day. Carrie’s wedding being one of them. Her wedding came and went, and as usual, I was not on the ball… and when I was finally ready to put it up… she’d been married 6 months. So I vowed to do it on her 1st wedding anniversary. And then her 2nd anniversary. The 3rd time is typically the charm though, and I’m dead serious when I say, on her 3rd anniversary, her wedding post will go live.)

The Birds & Berries line originally started out as the Birds & the Bees. Then I googled that name and was surprised to find that it is still a somewhat risqué term alluding to grownup activities. Then Tula Pink actually came out with a line called the Birds & the Bees that very same Market. So we were glad that we went with our backup name. (She’s a little edgier than us and pulled the name off nicely. :) So kudos to her for being cool!)

Anyway… we have three (sorta four) colorways. Blue, Berry, Green (with a little Yellow). See below.

As we usually do, we went with a garden/nature theme. This one has some slight ethnic influences though. Which was fun. I’m dating an Indian guy who I’m crazy about… and when we first started dating he brought me back some clothes from his trip to India. The fabrics were incredible. And so some of those served as inspiration for our newest line.

The main print has 10 different species of birds in it! Which is impressive, if I do say so myself. There are also snails, bees, inch worms, and spider webs… plus a variety of berries and flowers. The whole thing took FOREVER to draw… AND it was the very last print to be added to this series. I was working on it right up until the deadline (as usual)… and when I finally got to it, Hurricane Irene hit (last year), and our power went out, and I was forced to work on it in my car with my computer plugged into the cigarette lighter. Not a fun time.

Here’s our Blue Colorway.

And the Berry Colorway.

And the Green (with a little bit of Yellow) Colorway.

And that covers most of the high points. If anyone uses this line to make something super cool, please send me pictures!! We love to blog about that kinda stuff!

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Birds & Berries Quilt

Have you downloaded our Birds & Berries
pattern yet? If not, I highly recommend that you do, for a variety of reasons. First off, it’s free!

Directions can be downloaded on our website, or you can link directly to the download here. But more importantly, this wallhanging pattern is easy and quick to make, and well…it’s pretty darn cute too. I know, I’m slightly biased, but I really do think this one’s a winner and it deserves a spot in your future projects list.

We love pre cuts here at Lauren + Jessi Jung Designs, and this pattern was designed with that in mind, so it’s great for kitting! The whole quilt requires only 2 charm packs, which covers you for all of the birds & berries, and the border pieces too. You just need a little extra for the binding, background, and backing.

There are a couple of things to note about the quilt that we think add a little something extra to the finished product. One of them is the 3D leaves atop each of the berry bunches (not to worry, these are also easy to make). We think they add a nice level of texture to this wall hanging.

And did you notice that the birds and berries almost seem to pop off the background? We really wanted the colors and patterns to take center stage in this wall hanging, so we quilted it with a tight stipple pattern, leaving the birds and berries unquilted. The end result is a sort of faux trapunto effect…just without the extra hassle.

And so, that concludes my sales pitch for our free pattern. We hope you enjoy making it as much as we did!

Oh…and if you’re a quilt store owner whose interested in kitting this pattern, or you’d just like to have a few copies for a giveaway in your store, drop us a line! We’d be happy to send some of the spiffy 11″ x 17″ glossy printouts your way!

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Carrie’s Halloween Pumpkin…What’s Left of It Anyway

I am a huge fan of traditional holiday activities, and Halloween is no exception.

And while I don’t have too many decorations to sprinkle around the house for the season, a carved pumpkin will always make an appearance.

Because of random conferences and other friend outages, our gang decided that the annual gourd gutting needed to take place last week…which is exactly what happened.

Soon after the first cut though, I learned that my Trader Joe’s pumpkin (that I meticulously examined and compared to the available inventory the day before) was decidedly sub par, as it was half rotten. Luckily, I didn’t let this small detail discourage me and ruin the fun that night. So I continued carving, and even managed to end up with a respectable looking jack o’ lantern.

Until we left it outside the next day…

Seems like a pretty harmless thing to do, right? To leave your jack o’ lantern outside…Well, it turns out the combination of intense desert sun, an unusually hot October, and the slightly rotten consistency of the pumpkin’s flesh, made for something much less impressive when the next night rolled around.

It’s safe to say that I won’t be impressing trick-or-treaters with my pumpkin carving craftsmanship this Halloween…but hey, there’s always next year, right?

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As Seen In…Part I

It’s always a little exciting to see your work in print (especially when you didn’t print it yourself ;) )

Ok, so we’re a little late to the game for the photo above, but we wanted to mention that our “Taking Flight” quilt made it into the Spring edition of Quilts and More this past year. Yay! And we also feel like it’s worth mentioning that this quilt almost didn’t happen!!!

You know the saying “necessity is the mother of invention” well, that was very much the case with Taking Flight. The pattern was born about two years ago because we wanted to bring a quilt to Spring Market to pitch to magazines. There was just one small problem…our Flora line would not be printed on fabric in time for market.

At first, this minor detail seemed like a deal breaker, but not to be discouraged, my mom realized that we did have a few strikeoffs (or 5″ x 4″ sample fabric squares) that we could work with, and that may be just enough fabric to make an awesome quilt…which it totally did. And, as it happened…Quilts & More thought so too.

We were also pretty stoked to see that pattern designer, April Rosenthal, used our entire Flora line to show off her new bedspread pattern called Parcheesi.

April also has a blog post about the pattern (which I think is totally hilarious and definitely worth reading) sharing a little more about her inspiration, why she loves tiny squares, and why this quilt ended up with a name like Parcheesi. Awesome pattern, April! (and we humbly think the Flora line was a great choice for this quilt)

And while paroozing the books in Barnes and Noble the other day we were pleasantly surprised to find author Kathreen Ricketson used our Botany line to show off her Sunny Day Mat pattern. What a cool idea!

(More views of the book…and Lauren getting creative in her choice of poses. I’m sure her neighbors now think she’s slightly crazy)

Pretty cool, huh? We’ll be posting more examples in the near future, so stay tuned!

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The Next Big Giveaway is on Sunday at Jaybird Quilts!

I’m sure a lot of you probably know Julie because (aside from being one of the most friendly people on the planet) she’s also a famous pattern designer.

Julie has volunteered to put up a post about Shelf this Sunday for us. We’ve made a ton of updates to the site since our first release and it would be great to get another round of users trying out the site. So if you all want to participate again, we’ll be giving away more gift certificates! This time, we’ll let you specify if you want a Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate… OR a gift certificate to your favorite clothing store. (Hopefully this will prompt non-quilters to give it a go too… So tell your friends and family!!)

All you need to do is head over to Julie’s blog this Sunday, September 30, and then post a comment (after trying out the site) with any feedback you have. You can let us know what you like, what you dislike, if anything was confusing, etc.

Now, a little more about Julie.

Julie is the brains/creativity behind Jaybird Quilts, where she does a little bit of everything… she’s made a slew of awesome patterns… she’s just come out with a new book… and she posts kick-butt-tutorials with instructions that make quilting a cinch.

BTW, the Fat Quarter Shop and Pink Chalk both carry her entire line of patterns if you want to load up!

I’ve shown a few of my favorites below.

I met Julie at Quilt Market a few years back. My mom and I had just come out with our very first line, Botany… and being total newbies to the scene, we quickly latched onto Julie because of her contagiously friendly personality. And she showed us the ropes.

As it turned out, I lived about 10 minutes away from her. Which was a completely amazing coincidence, because at the time, I was living in the tiny town of Hatboro, PA. (If you google “HATBORO”, you’ll find that its the only Hatboro in the entire United States. Can you believe that? No one else in America felt like that was a good enough name for their town.)

Anyway, I was also new to the North… and so Julie continued showing me the ropes after we got back from Market… but this time, she was showing me around to the hippest quilt shops in the area.

So, with her being such a good friend over the years, she was the first person that I thought of for announcing my new project! Definitely check her out! She’s a wonderful person to keep up with!

And make sure to check out her blog this Sunday to win gift certificates! And tell your friends!

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