Embroidery Blog

Ask an Expert: Discover the Best Batting & Fresh Designs with Joanna

Ask an Expert is back with advice directly from our expert Joanna Figueroa, in response to popular questions asked by our community members within our Facebook Craftsy Club. Do you have questions you’d like to be answered? If so, be sure to submit them here– no matter what you’re interested in, from knitting, quilting and cake decorating to photography, cooking or art– and tune in every week to see if your question has been selected to be answered.

Now, onto this week’s new questions and answers from Craftsy instructor of Simple Fresh Quilts, Joanna Figueroa!

Joanna Figueroa at her Sewing Machine

Craftsy: We’d love to know where you find inspiration for the fabrics you design, like your upcoming Honeysweet collection?

Joanna: Hey everyone! My inspiration comes from the most random places sometimes! Often it is from vintage fabric or a beautiful get away I take with my family, but sometimes it is from everyday things too like giftwrap.

I would like to know what kind of batting you use to achieve that cute puckery-look in your quilts?

Joanna: I use 100% cotton batting, I’m not particular to any one brand. Just has to be 100% cotton, or very close to it. I don’t wash it before, then once the quilt is done I wash it on warm to get the puckery look!

The colors of your fabrics are fabulous. I want to describe them as creamy and rich. How do you select the colors? Do you start with one color?

Joanna: I usually start with a pallet I’ve been inspired by, whether it’s a piece of vintage fabric or a favorite piece of pottery, I work with the colors from a pallet so that I already know how they’re going to interact with one another. My favorite are colors that I like to call “the forgotten colors” because they are a little over-saturated with warm backgrounds – like colors that used to be used in the 1800s – so they do all come up with the creamy and rich colors like you said. Also, we always start with a cream background, which makes the other colors in a collection feel creamier! You can try the same thing with a quilt – if your background is cream instead of white it makes the other colors feel creamier!

Do you have a plan for your quilting before you piece or do you have some other method for deciding on your quilting designs? What inspires you in this area?

Joanna: That’s a great question. I don’t usually know how I will want it quilted when I start but often by the end, I will at least have some ideas. I have a great relationship with my quilter who knows what I like and we always meet and discuss each quilt before she starts. I love traditional quilting motifs like wreaths, feathers, cross hatching, pumpkin seeds, swags, etc. Although I am also enjoying experimenting with straight lines and a few larger, more modern quilting motifs. But for me, if in doubt… add wreaths! Recently my quilter has added oval wreathes into her repertoire and they are stunning!

I like your fig tree cream bella solid fabric. What is your favorite bella solid white. I’ve been using bleached whit PFD. Is there a white that blends better?

Joanna: My favorite is Bella Solids Snow because it is creamy but still light!

For more help from embroidery expert Joanna Figueroa, be sure to sign up for Simple Fresh Quilts, and gain exclusive access to her insights and answers to all your questions!

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One Comment

Janice Scarborough

I have a quilt pattern Bali bed runner I. Would love to make I need a class which one will fit this pattern? It says it is a foundation paper piecing. It is made with Bali pops. it is a wedding ring pattern. Can you help me.


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