Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What is Bunting?

My niece was married a few months ago, when I asked what I could do to help her with the wedding she said I could make the bunting.  "What is bunting?" I asked her, a little embarrassed that I didn't know.  When she explained I let out a big, "Ohhhh, the fabric triangle banner things".  I didn't know they had a fancy name.  They looked festive hanging on the trees at the cabin where the reception was held.

They were made using the 'Party Bunting Tutorial' from website, go to their blog and click on the bunting tutorial.  

Nicole did such a beautiful job planning the whole wedding day.  All that she planned went so well together, it almost felt like we stepped back in time for the day. She has a fun creative style that you can see more of on her blog at where she features a 90 minute maxi skirt tutorial.  

When she was 15 her and her 16 year old sister Amanda helped me sew some of the quilts in my "Young at Heart" book published by Martingale in 2008.  These quilts are still two of my favorite quilts because of the memories of sewing with them.

This quilt is named "Brickwork".  I gave Nicole and Amanda a pile of fabrics I liked together and let them choose where they wanted to place them.  They did a great job sewing the blocks together and making sure there was a variety of fabrics.  They made it so well that I asked them to help me with another quilt.

For this quilt "Starlight" we took a different approach.  After working on all the quilts for the book I was running out of color inspiration, so I took the two girls to the quilt shop with me to get some fresh ideas.  They found a polka dot they liked for some of the background areas. From that fabric they choose the yellow and pink stars and then pulled most of the bright colors from my fabric stash.  I admit I wasn't sure how all of it was going to look, I hadn't thought of any of those colors for this quilt.  

So I thought I would be a fun aunt; I told them we could stay up all night watching  movies while we work on the quilt.  I was asleep on the couch by 10:30, I woke up at 5:00am and they were still sewing!  They had made all of the bright colored square blocks!  I love this quilt, it is bright, and full of happy memories.

The "Young at Heart" book is no longer in print but you can purchase an ebook or the individual epatterns of these quilts and more from

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pattern spotlights #1

Summer is going fast!  
Full of camping, family reunions, yard work, 
and more fun with the family.  
It's hard to find time to blog, so for this blog I thought I would 
introduce some of my newest quilt patterns.

These pillows come from the pattern, "Flowers on Display".  The pattern also includes a poppy and narcissus flower.  I designed these pillows during the winter a few years ago to get me out of the winter blues.  I needed to see some bright colors and flowers.  I pull them out every year now about mid February -- they cheer me up every year!  The applique is done with fusible web and machine stitched to hold in place.  I made all four flower pillows as a set, each flower is different in color, but I made the borders the same to unify them. 

 I also made a wall hanging with this pattern, using the tulip design 
multiple times and reversing the direction of the flower in a few places.  The applique technique is different for the wall hanging.  I didn't want any rough edges showing and I wanted the project to have an artistic feel, so I used a double-applique method.  I also used cotton corduroy for the background of the tulips and cotton velvet for the border.  Then my quilter Paula Murray quilted all the cool details and a wood grain in the border so it would look like a frame.  

Next up is a very new pattern called "Mosaics".

"Mosaics" is a design I had in my group of ideas for several years but I just hadn't found the right fabrics for it until I found Kaffe Fassett"s 'Millefivre' fabric (the red used throughout).  It was perfect because I had imagined the quilt having the look of a Moroccan rug.  In fact all of the fabrics used are Kaffe's except for the plain black.  It was very fun to blend the prints and colors.  I worked to find the best colors and color balance, I cut and tried and then retried many fabrics until I found the combination that worked.  That's why the quilt ended up so long, I realized I needed to balance the red so I added another row.  The finished size shown is 76" x 110", but the block is simple to make.  More blocks can easily be added to the sides to change the width or taken from the length to make the quilt smaller, or make only two rows for a table runner.  I know I waited until I had the Moroccan style fabrics, that's just what I do, have to have a mental idea to focus on while making the quilt.  Once it is complete I can see so many possibilities!

Find these quilt patterns on my website at, or talk to your local quilt shop about carrying them.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My first post ever!

Welcome to the Julie Popa Design blog!  It is about my quilt pattern company, showing new designs and patterns, tips, interesting info, fun ideas, etc.  If you are a quilter you may know me under my former quilt business name "Sunflower Hill Designs".  I changed my business name to Julie Popa Design to encompass my future design ideas with fabric, home decor, and art.  Here are some photos of some of the quilt, DYI home decor, simple art things I do.  I am still learning and growing in all areas of design so I hope to share my ideas and inspiration with you as I strive to make designing and creating balance with the rest of life.

Part of "Evolution of a Square"  a new pattern I will feature on the blog.

Both the Tumbler table runner and the pillow are included with other fun ideas in my pattern
"Fun With Shapes".

A close up shot of "Pure Octane" a pattern created for someone like me who can't decide what fabric to use because I like them all.  These patterns and more can be seen in more detail and ordered from my website at

Here are some other home decor items I've made for my home, 
because it's fun!

This is a wood frame I made for my kitchen.  I constructed the frame from MDF boards using my miter saw and router.  Then I carved the design using a dremil tool with several shaped bits.  Then I painted it with acrylic paints.  The inside glass was purchased at Ikea.  We use it to write messages, job lists, and count downs to birthdays.

This is a wood tree I made to go in my daughters bedroom with her jungle decor, it is inspired by a childrens book called "Giraffes Can't Dance" by Giles Andrede and Guy Parker-Rees.

This is my motto hanging in my kitchen, a quote from Alice in Wonderland.  I like it because I get up in the morning make my to do list for the day and by the end of the day I might have one or two things accomplished the rest were impossible to get done with all the extras that come with a busy family of five.

My most recent exploration in art is art journaling and mixed media.  I have been reading several books about it and these are a few of my journal entries.  The first one being a message to me to stop doubting myself and just have fun learning the process.  The second is a page about the birth of my newest child born in March.