Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks’ Block Party Blog Tour – Their Favorite Fabrics

(Disclosure: Stash Books is also my publisher, and Kristen helped cover Spring Quilt Market for this blog.)

Today I’m excited to be hostessing a stop of the blog tour for Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee, written by Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks. In case you haven’t heard of the book yet, the project started out as a blog/virtual quilting bee amongst a like-minded group of 12 women from across the country, and about a year later became a book project with Stash Books. It is in many ways a regular quilting pattern book, covering a variety of techniques ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate, but it’s also a guide to running your own old-fashioned in-person or new-fangled online quilting bee. All the quilts are based on improvisational blocks, with many of them wonky and all of them modern in appeal. You can get a glimpse of all 12 quilts from the book’s great trailer:

Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee book promo from Alissa Haight Carlton on Vimeo.

Just like with Susan’s book tour, I thought it’d be fun to have Alissa and Kristen complete the same lists about their favorite fabrics — five lists of five fabrics each! (Clearly these list assemblages need a clever name, but my brain’s not offering one up today. Any suggestions?)

Alissa’s Lists

Five Favorite Fabrics in Your Stash Now

  1. Wa-Modern by Hokkoh: Such beautiful design. I love the colors and the organic nature of the dash-y stripes.
  2. Kei Honeycomb Yellow Background White Dots: I have had a longstanding love of all of the colors of these dots and have used them so much. I tend to tire of a fabric and stop using it after awhile but this dot sticks with me.
  3. Caterpillar Woven Stripe, Blue by Kaffe Fassett: There are so many of the Kaffe Fassett stripes to pick from and this is one of my favorites. A woven strip has such great texture and depth.
  4. Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton, Galvanized: This fabric is magic! The warp and weft are aqua and orange but together the fabric reads gray. Amazing what color can do sometimes. Funny, two Kaffe Fassett fabrics in a row and I don’t think I’ve ever bought a yard of any of his prints. I love his woven basics though.
  5. Raise the Roof, Bright from Habitat by Jay McCarroll: I love this whole fabric line and hope that the fabric industry starts to give us more variety like this line. It looks completely different from most of the floral and/or cute fabric lines that are released and I think it’s a breath of fresh air.


Five Fabrics on Your Wish List

  1. Yoshiko Jinzenji’s fabric: Saw this at Market and was lucky enough to have my local shop owner buy some. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
  2. Monsterz by Michele Brummer-Everett for Cloud 9 Fabrics: Also saw a bit of this at Market. I have more cute prints in my stash than I’ll ever use and stopped buying them full tilt a couple of years ago, but this one will be an exception for me. The cuteness is extreme!
  3. A lot more independently printed fabrics. I’ll admit that the prices are sometimes off putting to me because I don’t always have a lot of money to spend on fabric, but there’s so much out there that’s truly innovative and inspiring.
  4. More vintage fabrics. It’s so easy to build a quilting stash by just buying quilting cottons from fabric shops, and that’s what I’ve done. I want to take my stash to the next level and get better about digging around at flea markets and second hand places to add vintage and different weights of fabrics.
  5. Lastly, I would love it if color cards for the woven solids (like Moda Crossweave, Robert Kaufman Carolina Chambrays and the Fassett Shot Cottons) existed. It’s particularly hard to know what they look like from photos online.


Five Fabrics You Could (or Do) Consume by the Bolt

  1. Stripe in Pond from Red Letter Day by Lizzie House: I have bound a ton of quilts in this print. I love a stripy binding so much! Something about these colors and the imperfection of the strip makes it a favorite of mine.
  2. Basketweave in Orange from Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt: I could use this basic in the aqua colorway just as much as as the orange. Luckily I realized early in the life of both of these prints that I would use them a ton so I have yardage of both.
  3. Kona Cottons Bone, Ash and Coal: These three don’t really need any explanation and are the ones that I really do consume by the bolt. I use all three as my neutrals and/or the negative space in my quilts over and over and over again.


Five Most Recent Acquisitions

  1. Pinstripe from Shades of Gray by Jan DiCintio – And another imperfect stripe! I didn’t realize I’d included so many until I typed this up. I guess I like ‘em, huh?
  2. Moda Crossweave Gold Green – Another amazing line of solids that have wonderful texture.
  3. Dogwood Diamond Chevron from Greenfield Hill by Denyse Schmidt – this print is a voile which has a lovely soft drape. It lends itself to garment sewing (which I’m scared of). It’s my favorite of all of the prints of this line though so I wish they’d also printed it on quilting cotton.
  4. Kona Cotton, Peacock: I’d be lying if I didn’t include some Kona in my recent acquisitions. I buy no single type of fabric more than Kona cottons.
  5. Picket in Dusk from Outside Oslo by Jessica Jones: Love the colors and graphic nature of this print. I use almost all of my fabrics for quilting but I’m thinking I’ll make a tote with this one which is a home dec weight.


A Five Fabric Combo

I thought I’d focus on solids here because that’s pretty much 97% of what I’m buying and using these days. I thought a nice mix would show off the range that they can have. Mixing different solids is such a lovely way to add subtle interest to a quilt.

  1. Robert Kaufman Quilter’s Linen Grey
  2. Kaffe Fasset Shot Cotton Terra Cotta
  3. Moda Crossweave Blue Blue
  4. Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Grass Green
  5. Welcome Road in Olive from Nicey Jane by Heather Baily – I love the idea of all solids with a little pop of patterned fabric pieced in so I included this great print.


Kristen’s Lists

Five Favorite Fabrics in Your Stash Now

  1. Alexander Henry Jonathan Livingston Seagull in Taupe
  2. American Jane “Magic Bean” in Green
  3. Heather Ross Unicorn print from Far Far Away in green
  4. This one is tricky. I know its Kokka Echino, but I bought in Japan and don’t what year it is from.
  5. Brandon Mably Jazz for Rowan


Five Fabrics on Your Wish List

  1. Demaskery in Steel, Toomuchery, by Helen Dardik for P & B Textile – I love the neutral colors combined with a complex pattern.
  2. Yellow Basketweave, Dazzle, by Melisa Averinos for Andover – just watch, this basketweave is going to be everyone’s favorite new basic.
  3. Pearl Bracelet in Green, Lizzy House for Andover- one of my all-time favorite fabrics that is now coming out in new colors.
  4. Summer Totem in Tart, Loulouthi by Anna Maria Horner for Westminster- a very large scale pattern that is stunningly beautiful.
  5. Shards, Cut Out & Keep by Cloud Nine Fabrics – love the triangles.


Five Fabrics You Could (or Do) Consume by the Bolt

  1. Park Slope Leaf Dots, by Erin McMorris for Freespirit in Orange – These leafy dots are so versatile.
  2. Kei Honeycomb Dots in Grey- another very versatile fabric in a lovely warm grey.
  3. Katie Jump Rope basketweave in aqua, by Denyse Schmidt for Westminster- an oldie but goodie.
  4. Kona in White- use this by the bolt and then some. I also use a ton of Kona in Ash.
  5. Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton in Sludge; the crossweaves on these add an enormous amount of dimension to any project.


Five Most Recent Acquisitions

  1. A stack of Kokka Echino fat quarters from sample spree at quilt market
  2. A stack of the new Art Gallery solids, also from sample spree
  3. Alexander Henry Heath in black (I also bought it in red, olive, and taupe)
  4. Scalloped stripe by Jillian Phillips for Hoffman
  5. A bunch of the new DS Quilts prints for Joann


A Favorite Five Fabric Combo

I have been really interested in working with neutrals recently, in particular, the subtle contrast that using a range of neutral can add to a project.

  1. Alexander Henry Heath in Olive
  2. Kona cotton in Ice (a pale aqua)
  3. Paint-by-number dots by Erin Michael
  4. Kona in Cactus (a medium yellow-green)
  5. Bars in Olive Oil by Vicky Payne Home Dec


Thanks so much, ladies! I love getting these glimpses into other people’s stashes and seeing how they put together fabrics, don’t you?

Oh hey, as a reward for making it to the bottom of the post, you should know that Stash Books is offering up one copy of Block Party to a True Up reader today. (Also visit the other stops on the blog tour, listed below, for more chances to win.) Just leave a comment on this post, and I’ll draw a winner randomly next Friday, July 8, 2011, around noon Central U.S. time, unless I’m in labor (that’s my due date)!

Follow the Blog Tour:

  1. Film in the Fridge
  2. A Quilt is Nice
  3. I Heart Linen
  4. Tallgrass Prairie Studio
  5. Oh, Fransson
  6. All Buttoned Up
  7. West Coast Crafty
  8. Connecting Threads Blog
  9. Crafty Girls Workshop
  10. Whip Up
  11. Pink Chalk Studio
  12. [you are here] True Up
  13. 7/5/2011: Block Party Blog
  14. 7/6/2011: Anna Maria Horner
  15. 7/7/2011: Craftzine

And more links:

Block Party blog
Facebook Page


  1. Beth says:

    I’m overwhelmed with fabric love! What amazing quilters. I’d love a copy of this book. I’d also love about 3 months uninterrupted by life to make some quilts!

  2. Ellen Ban says:

    So fun to see what their 5 favorite fabrics are! Looks like a great book to own.

  3. amorette says:

    thanks for doing this form of interview for the tour- its always fun to see what fabrics other (more professional!) quilters like!

  4. Barbara says:

    Really fun to see what the favorites were. I’d love to win the book.

  5. Laura says:

    I just found this blog through Stitch and I’m loving it already. I’d love the book too, of course, but I’m going to spend lots of hours browsing around here. Thank you!

  6. christy says:

    i follow on google reader. great book! Thanks for the chance to win

  7. Amy says:

    Any baby yet? I’m learning as I go so the book would be great inspiration.