Lazy Daisy Baskets

Darlene Zimmerman is at it again with her delightful Lazy Daisy Baskets. The third in the series, the collection is full of all the sweet prints and blenders that make her fabrics a favorite. 

Lazy Daisy Baskets includes two panels with floral and basket designs just waiting for you to add some embroidery stitches to bring out the motifs. Using the redwork panel and seven prints from the collection, Darlene designed this great lap quilt (finished size 53" x 53"):

Fabrics are shipping to stores this month, but you can download the free pattern now.  it works perfectly with the redwork fat quarter bundle that is available, too!

Because Darlene seems to believe that bigger is better, she also designed (and made!) this beautiful Pinwheel Posies quilt (finished size 68" x 82") using the 30s colorstory fat quarter bundle.

Look for Darlene's Lazy Daisy Baskets at independent fabric retailers this month. You can find more about Darlene's patterns, books and tools at her site:


Quilt Market Recap

 Quilt Market Recap

Each May, Quilt Market finds us in a different city than the year before and this time it was Pittsburgh that played host with the quilting industry descending on the city for a week. We brought a crew excited to show off our newest releases to shop owners, pattern designers and other industry professionals.  Do you want a peek, too? Join us for a virtual tour of our booth, with new releases and patterns along the way. 

Ann Kelle has added to her Remix collection with new houndstooth, plus-sign and polka dot designs. Full of bright colors and happy messages, her booth was perfect for market meetings. Plus it gave us a chance to talk about her fabulous new mustache print, along with houndstooth and anchors, that are now available on our Laguna Print Jersey.

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Classic Minis from Darlene Zimmerman

Darlene Zimmerman

Darlene Zimmerman

Known for her variety of reproduction fabrics, Darlene Zimmerman is back with another collection, this time pulling prints from the late 1800s and early 1900s. We wanted to find out more about the colors and designs she chose for Classic Minis, so we asked her to fill us in. And that she did! Full of information, we thought maybe you'd like to hear about Darlene's inspiration, too.

"These are designs from the turn of the century (late 1800s, early 1900s). The colors and designs are typical of that period of time.

"Indigo blue prints were very popular all through the 1800s as they were a fairly colorfast dye. Indigo is a native US plant, and one of our first exports! Indigo is still used today to dye our blue jeans. And just like our blue jeans eventually fade, they still stay a nice true blue. Quilters knew they could rely upon the indigo blues to keep their color. Usually the blueprints have a reverse printed white design; only occasionally were other colors used with indigo.
"The black and gray prints from the late 1800s were also popular for quilt-making. They weren't as colorfast as the indigo dyes, but could be relied upon. At this period of time, Queen Victoria had lost her beloved husband and went into mourning; wearing black and gray. It seems the whole world went into mourning with her, as wearing black or gray became very fashionable. Black is usually combined with white to make the gray "mourning prints" which were so popular during this time.
"There are two different reds in this collection. The bright red is referred to as "Turkey Red", as this particular dye process (which was very involved and time-consuming) originated in the country of Turkey. It was also prized by quilters as Turkey red could be relied upon to be both color-fast and would not bleed. It often cost double the price, but the cost was worth it.

"Classic Colors" quilt (51" x 60")  Download the FREE pattern , designed by Darlene Zimmerman, from our Patterns section at

"Classic Colors" quilt (51" x 60") Download the FREE pattern, designed by Darlene Zimmerman, from our Patterns section at

"The second red is a burgundy red, and that color wasn't seen until the last quarter of the 1800s. It became quite fashionable then, and it's not uncommon to see both colors of reds being used in the same quilt.
"The light prints are called "shirtings" and were popular backgrounds for quilt blocks at this period of time-- used much more frequently than muslin or plain white fabric. Shirtings are white prints with a sprinkle of color. They would have been used for making "waists" for women (we call them blouses now), and shirts for men, or clothing for children.

"Broad Stripes, Bright Star" quilt (76" x 76")  Download the FREE pattern , designed by Darlene Zimmerman, from our Patterns section at

"Broad Stripes, Bright Star" quilt (76" x 76") Download the FREE pattern, designed by Darlene Zimmerman, from our Patterns section at

"The indigo blue, the red and burgundy prints and the black and gray prints would have also been used for clothing. Men, women and children mostly wore dark clothing for everyday use as it was the most practical. Back then, they didn't have automatic washing machines, so laundry was done on a monthly basis, and the same outfit would have been worn for a week! This was also during a time when one only took a bath on Sat. night (in the wash tub) whether one needed it or not. So, as you can see, dark clothing was very practical.
"The indigo blue and white quilts or quilts made with Turkey red and white are classics, and never go out of style. They will coordinate nicely into any decor from country to modern to shabby chic. Combine the red, white and blue prints and you have a patriotic look, or another type of classic quilt. These prints can also work into other collections nicely as they are truly 'Classic' prints."

Darlene designed several quilts that use her Classic Minis, all are freedownloads and can be found in the patterns section of

'Bursting In Air' quilt (62.5" x 72")  Download the FREE pattern , designed by Darlene Zimmerman, from our Patterns section at

'Bursting In Air' quilt (62.5" x 72") Download the FREE pattern, designed by Darlene Zimmerman, from our Patterns section at

Get to Know: Darlene Zimmerman & Clothesline Club


1. Tell me a bit about you: name, location, affiliations, personal stuff. 

My name is Darlene Zimmerman, and I'm from a very small rural community in southwest Minnesota. I have a degree in elementary education, but after teaching two years I realized it was not for me. Instead, we started our family, and for many years I was a stay-at-home mom. I love all types of needlecraft-- crochet, knitting, embroidery and sewing. Then I discovered quilting and everything else went by the wayside


2. How did you get started sewing/quilting?

I have always sewed. I grew up in a family of six girls (no brothers). My grandmother sewed, my mother sewed most of our clothing, and we all learned to sew at an early age. I made doll clothes, embroidered and hemmed tea towels and then graduated into making most of my own clothes (including designing and making my own prom dresses). Later, when my children were small I also sewed craft projects and dolls.

3. What do you like best about quilting?  

I like every aspect of quilting, but the best part is playing with fabric, color and design.  Even my spare time is filled with quilting!

Quilting has also put me in touch with women all over the world who have quickly become my friends. This common interest bonds women of all ages and backgrounds together. Think of all the friends you have made through quilting! 

4. What is the hardest thing about quilting?  

That's an easy question-- not enough time!


5. How much time do you sew or quilt during an average week?

It really varies. It seems to be feast or famine. Some weeks I have office work or pattern writing to do and don't have time to sew. Other times, such as when a deadline looms or a new collection of fabric just arrived, I do nothing but sew, sleep and eat for weeks. Ideally I would like to sew everyday, all day. When I relax in the evening I always have either a hand applique or hand quilting project that I pick up.

6. Do you name your projects or label them? 

Yes, I always name my "babies", but also forget what I've called them. Labeling? I always recommend it strongly as I am also a quilt historian, but am not good about following my own advice. 


7. How did you start designing fabric?  

It happened as a lucky accident. I was demoing my tools at Quilt Market, and there was a new fabric company in the booth next door. When I looked at their fabric swatches, I noticed they were old designs, but in modern colors. I commented that their colors were wrong for the time period, and they promptly asked me if I could do better! After Market I sent color swatches and a selection of vintage fabrics that showed how the colors worked together, and that was how my first "Granny" collection was created. I designed 30s fabrics for Chanteclaire Fabrics for eight years, and for Robert Kaufman Fabrics for the past 5 years.

8. What is your favorite step in the fabric design process?  

I like all the steps, but probably creating the different colorways for each design is the most fun.

9. How did Clothesline Club start?

I had so many requests for patterns and ideas for using the 30s prints, and many shops were asking for a 30s club.  


10. What can people look forward to this year in Clothesline Club?  

The three collections; Buttercup, Sweet Pickin's and Sweethearts are some of the best collections I have ever created. The projects range from large to small; and teach a variety of techniques. 

11. You also design tools & rulers for Simplicity... tell us more!

Back in 1991 I was teaching quilting in community education classes. While teaching, I discovered a need for a quarter-square triangle tool (cuts triangles with the long edge on the straight of grain). I had my husband cut the triangle out of plexiglas and discovered how well it worked with an existing tool, Easy Angle. I contacted that company and after only nine months I convinced a man (non-quilter) At EZ Quilting to manufacture and sell my tool, Companion Angle. This was my ticket into the quilt industry. I also started publishing pattern books at that time. I now have twenty tools with EZ Quilting (Simplicity), and have published five books with EZ Quilting and seven books with Krause (F & W Media), with a new book coming out Fall 2011.

12. What inspires you? 

Anything and everything. The colors of nature, the colors and designs of antique quilts, and the world around us. There are pattern, design and color everywhere we look, and we just need to pay attention to it.

13. Anything else you want to tell us?

I would just like to give a big hug and thank you to everyone that has helped me along the way; to friends that have encouraged me and fellow quilters who use my tools, sew my designs and buy my fabric! I have been so blessed to be a part of the quilting world for almost twenty years.


Darlene's Booth at Fall 2010 Quilt Market

-Want to join the Clothesline Club?  Ask about it at your Local Shop.


Where to Buy Section

of the Robert Kaufman site will be updated with the 2011 Participating Shops soon.

-Also you can see more photos from

Darlene's Booth and Quilt Market on Flickr



Photos from

Julie Herman

Interview questions from

Nicole of A Stitch in Design

as seen on the

Philly Modern Quilt Guild Blog


I'll be back on November 19th with A Little Birdie Told Me!

volume 1 post 7

{ julie herman blogs at 

jaybird quilts