Getting to see the trends in our maker's world, watching them evolve, and getting to participate in these trends as a leader in the quilting and making industry is by far one of the most amazing parts about working here at Sizzix. This last week, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with our Quilt Department about the trends they were seeing in quilting this year, from EPP, to Softees, to Mini Blocks, Hexies and so many more. Beyond just looking at trends, we're also going to be giving you a sneak peek at our new quilting dies, and how they directly tie into these hot quilting projects and techniques.
Are you ready for some quilting awesomeness for this year? Let's get to it!
English Paper Piecing is one of the biggest handwork trends this year, continuing to capture the imagination of makers with its simple templates and portability. English Paper Piecing, or EPP, is a technique in which fabric is "wrapped" around paper patterns (that can easily be die-cut using our dies and Big Shot Fabric Series machine) allowing for precise piecing to be achieved, since the paper pattern is cut to the exact size needed for the project being made. Whether you're on the go or at home watching Netflix, EPP is a wonderful technique that can be done anywhere without any machines or a lot of accessories. If you want a fantastic tutorial on EPP, check out this amazing Mug Rug by Kitty Wilkin. This is definitely a technique you'll want to add to your repertoire if you haven't already!
Much like EPP, wool applique is an ever growing trend, in part due to its ability to be taken and worked on anywhere! Rosebud's Cottage has a new collection here at Sizzix and it fits PERFECTLY into this trend, with dies that include a Penny Rug, a Stocking, and a Penny Rug with Circles and Tongues. Summer may seem like it's too hot to make with wool, but we promise, the heat aside, now is the time for exchanging your cotton fabrics for some gorgeous wool for your next applique project!
We're seeing these cute little handmade dolls and animals EVERYWHERE, and with Kid Giddy's Doll, Fox, Bear, Hedgehog and Bird & Egg dies, it's easier than ever to create these adorable softees yourself! This past May, at Quilt Market, Kid Giddy's newest dies were introduced, including her new Doll Clothes die, giving your softees even more personality (and possibly more wardrobe options than you have!) To Kerry Goulder of Kid Giddy, softees are more than just a fun project to make that ties into a current trend; "They become something special, something worth passing down...heirlooms." Getting to learn more about Kid Giddy's love of creating and making softees was truly one of the most wonderful experiences we've had, and we invite you to read about her softee story here, where she also shares some exciting news! Whether you're making a softee for a special child in your life, or as an special make that can be passed down from generation to generation, handmade softees are a trend that will continue to grow.
Miniatures are popping up in so many different places, but the one place that we love seeing it is with the Mini and Tiny Blocks! These fun sewing makes take on a range of looks and uses, from using them to create a larger quilt or sewing make, to using them as framed home decor pieces, or even little table coasters. What makes these blocks truly stand out to us for trends this year is how easily they can be made, even for someone who isn't quite yet an expert in sewing. Our favorite block is the one pictured above made by our Quilt Manager, Linda Nitzen using our Half Square Triangle die to create a Mini Bear Paw Block. What do you think is next for this traditional little quilt block?
Table Runners have long been a staple of quilting makes, but this year we're seeing a change in design for these decorative table toppers. Victoria Findlay Wolfe's new Geese Crossing die, which was introduced at Quilt Market this May, brings a geometric, modern twist to the traditional Geese crossing pattern, and when combined with bright vibrant fabrics, it adds the most gorgeous pop of color against an oak stained table. Whether you make a table runner to jazz up your table, or as a wall hanging piece, you'll never be out of place having one of these sewing makes as apart of your collection.
Quick Projects are not only a growing trend, but becoming almost a growing necessity for makers this year. With full and busy schedules, it can be hard to find time to sit down and sew for hours on end to create a beautiful sewing make. While we know that die-cutting definitely saves time when making, actually finding projects that can be done in minimal time can often be exasperating. But fear not. This year, we have many quick projects headed your way with our new Sizzix dies that were released at Quilt Market, namely, a project using the Half Oval 8" die. Jessee Maloney gave us a sneak peek last month at these awesome Half Oval Pouches she created in just under 3 hours, and we can't wait to see her full tutorial on how to make these cascading pouches for ourselves!
Hexie love. We aren't entirely sure when the love of Hexies began, but we can assure you that these 6 sided shapes aren't going anywhere this year! From little baby hexies, to large sized hexies, you can't go wrong when sewing with this shape, which we've seen used in EPP projects, table runners, award ribbons at Quilt Con, mini blocks and so many more. Our favorite project with hexies, made by Nicole Daksiewicz, is this Hexagon Snuggle Quilt using our Half Hexagon 5" die. Nothing sounds better to us than cozying up with a handmade quilt made with one of our favorite shapes. The hashtag #hexiesrule that we see on social media is definitely one we agree with!
This year at Quilt Market we saw SO much interest in our eclips2 machine, namely because of its new Fabric Cutting Mat, coming in both a 12" x 12" and 12" x 24" mat size. These Cutting Mats provide an extra-strong smooth adhesive surface to hold your fabric in place during cutting and features rulers on the side for easy material placement. But why all of the sudden interest in an electronic cutter? Simply, it can cut virtually any shape you upload into the software, which makes it SUPER awesome when you're wanting to cut out a specific shape for a themed project, like these Flip Flops created by Senior Product Designer, Jorli Perine, for a summer quilt. Quilting creativity is boundless with our eclips2, and with more shapes coming to our eshapes store, we know we're going to be adding a lot more cool designs to our sewing makes this year!
While quick projects are perfect for any maker who's constantly on the go with little time to devote to a full blown sewing make, kid friendly projects are becoming a pretty popular trend this year for parents who have kids old enough to participate in their sewing creations. Amanda Niederhauser and her daughter worked together to create this fantastically fishy iPad Case using Jorli Perine's new Fish #5 die, (and just in time to go along with a new movie coming out featuring a favorite Clown Fish character!) As several of our Design Team members told us in May, involving your kids in your making activities is the best way to teach and promote creativity!
If you take the time to talk to the wonderful ladies in our Quilting Department about baby shoes or baby bibs, really anything related to babies and sewing, all three of them will chuckle and tell you, "Babies are how quilters are born. You find out you're pregnant, or your friend or loved one is pregnant and you get to work learning how to sew a quilt. Next thing you know, you're making baby clothes, baby bonnets, baby bibs and shoes. Babies are being born daily, so making baby gear is never going to be a trend that evaporates from quilting."
We're having such a blast watching and participating in all of these quilting trends this year, and we can't wait for all of the new dies that were introduced at Quilt Market. Check back later- we'll have more inspiration and details on those dies coming to you soon! Be sure to hashtag #sizzix and #sizzixquilting when you share your projects on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so that we can see them and reshare!
What quilting trends are you seeing for 2016?