2010 Reflections + 2011 Predictions ~ Valori Wells

on January 5 | in Interviews + Profiles, Sewing Inspiration | by | with 12 Comments

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Valori Wells or have seen her speak at a Quilt Market, you know that she is nice, funny, authentic and super talented! We love that all of her fabric collections are a bit of a surprise–they are each unique and versatile, but still reveal Valori’s signature artistic style. We’ve just received her latest group, Jenaveve, and we have to say that this is our favorite so far (which says a lot, considering how much we loved Del Hi.) The cotton/linen blend is amazingly soft, yet sturdy enough for home dec and apparel, the colors are incredibly rich and the designs are gorgeous. Valori does it again!

Jenaveve Linen

In addition to being a fabric designer, Valori is a quilter, pattern designer and co-owner of the infamous Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon (home of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show). She is immersed in the sewing industry! We knew we had to ask her to share her 2010 reflections and 2011 predictions, which we bring to you today. Valori also shared a few sneak peeks at her upcoming Wrenly collection, due in shops this spring. She recently received strike-offs for the collection so look for those in today’s post… Beautiful!

Don’t miss our interviews with Katie Pedersen, Kathy Mack, Shelly Figueroa and Susanne Woods, with many more to come. We want to hear from you too! Answer any or all of our questions and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win one of five $15 Sew,Mama,Sew! gift certificates on January 15th.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Looking back on the sewing scene of 2010, what trends stand out in your mind?
Valori: A trend that stands out in my mind is the new love for a variety of textiles and for sewing. Having a shop in a tourist/small town is very different than in the city so I think what we see here is not always the same as in the “real world.” But for us we are seeing a lot more use of solids. I do think part of that is because of my mom and her teaching here at the shop.

I love that we are seeing more and more people making their lives out of fabric, like sewing clothes for themselves and their family. They are making gifts, rather than shopping at the big box stores for a fraction of the price but none of the love.

I am trying to become more in tune with other bloggers and such out there… So I don’t know much about what is new to the blogging world except that I have found some wonderful people and blogs from being on Twitter, thanks to Bari Ackerman and Rose Houghes. They convinced me to join Twitter after they were here for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.

A Wish Bird from Valori

SMS: What was the best thing you made in 2010?
Valori: The best thing I made in 2010 was my Wish Birds. They are stuffed birds with embroidery, beads and on the top there is a pocket to put your wishes in. Each bird was made for someone special in my life. The idea came from a gift that my girlfriends gave me after a studio day; it was a ceramic cup that said “wish, wish, wish” along the side. Over the past few years I have been taking little pieces of paper and putting wishes in my cup. This year for the holidays I wanted to make something for my friends and family (last year I made owls out of old sweaters and drew on rocks)… Something that they could have for their wishes, so the bird came to mind (as it usually is for me-– I LOVE birds). They are beautiful and unique and I would say the favorite thing I made this year.

Another sweet Wish Bird

SMS: What was your very favorite fabric collection or print?
Valori: Can I say that Jenaveve is my favorite fabric collection or would that seem a bit egotistical?! Seriously some of the fabric that I love: Amy Butler’s Soul Blossoms for sure (might be biased because she is a good friend) and Anna Maria’s Innocent Crush. She had some velveteen… Love it. I always love Enchino.

SMS: What is one of the best things you saw that was made by someone else?
Valori: I saw so many great quilts and projects this year I am not sure I can pick a favorite.

SMS: What do you think 2011 has in store?
Valori: I think that 2011 will bring more sewing and new textiles– Yeah! I am using clear colors and designs with white backgrounds. I can see them being used with solids and more contemporary quilts being created. Hopefully there will still be lots of new clothing and sewing patterns out there as I see quilt shops becoming more of fabric shops with a variety of textiles and patterns to reach more of the crafting public, and hopefully getting more people into the Local Quilt Shops rather than the chains.

Valori’s Wrenly fabric, coming this spring!

SMS: Anything you’re ready for the world to get over?
Valori: I am glad you didn’t say you were tired of birds because I have more birds in my spring collection but in the fall I see elephants…

Another sneak peek at the Wrenly collection.

SMS: Any thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate? Predictions or wishes?
Valori: I love social media and I see that is where the quilting/sewing/crafting world is going. I love the friends I have met and the connection you find with people of all ages and abilities. It connected me in a way that I didn’t imagine and hope to have more time to do. The only thing I hate is that I don’t have more time and knowledge to spend on all of it… I feel behind, always!

More beautiful Wrenly fabric from Valori.

SMS: Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2011? Any big projects, life changes or goals you can reveal?
Valori: Well I will have new fabric in spring and fall, new textiles and lots of new ideas for sewing and quilting. I would like to give more but really can’t at this time but I will give you sneak peaks as they are available…

A recent painting by Valori

Valori also shared a recent painting with us, one of two she completed for her friends who are also sisters. She writes, “They both happened to get each other for Secret Santa in their family. Sondy pulled me aside at a Christmas dinner to see if I had a painting she could get for Trea. A little bit later in the evening Trea pulled me aside to see if she could get a painting for Sondy. So, I painted these for them. They didn’t know that they were getting the same gift. I was so excited to hear how they looked when they opened each others gift… It was very special for me to get to paint for them. And it got me painting again. Yeah!”

Thanks, Valori! We can’t wait to get our hands on Wrenly, and we’re looking forward to more sneak peeks in 2011…

Remember, you can add your thoughts too! Answer any or all of our questions for a chance to win.

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12 Responses to 2010 Reflections + 2011 Predictions ~ Valori Wells

  1. My favorite fabric collection this year are the Elephants and Hippos on canvas from Daiwabo (Japan). They are adorable and always out of stock.

  2. Lynn says:

    Looking back on 2010 I saw lots of new interest in sewing,crafting and quilting from younger generations. I hope to share my love of sewing with more of the non sewers at my church thru classes this year. There seems to be a new value on handmade items. In the past they sometimes got a bad rap and now are being seen as special treasures. I love to sew and would be lost without the pleasure it provides, both in the creating and giving of handmade items.
    Totally in love with the new Wrenly collection! The royal/aqua floral calls out to me bigtime! The wish birds are lovely.
    I’ve only discovered the blog world in the last few months. Please continue to offer more features like the handmade holiday series. I read/enjoyed everyday and made many of the projects as gifts this Christmas.
    As for things to get over … dry clean only fabrics. Who has time for that?

  3. Kelly Sas says:

    Great interview – thank you. I will answer the “what is the best thing you made this past year” question. I made a rag Nemo quilt for my 2 year old grandson who loves Nemo. It was more work than I had planned on, but it turned out so amazing and it was so worth every stitch to see him open it on Christmas morning when he jumped up and down shouting “NEMO”.

  4. Maeve says:

    From my personal perspective, social media, esp. blogs, has been a real inspiration – and eye opener- as to what is happening in the quilting & sewing world in all sorts of places. I really enjoy all the creativity, the blog stories, the stories about quilting for charity (quilters are such generous souls), the interviews about the artists and how they do the marvelous things they do. And sewmamasew is the first blog I turn to daily. So here’s to another fabulous, inspiring year 2011 for all of us!

  5. Christine says:

    I love the idea of wish birds! Everyone I know may get one for Christmas!!!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I was so excited to see Valori Wells featured on the blog. I love her work and I made more than one garment for my daughter using fabrics from the Nest line. Wrenly looks gorgeous. I’m glad to hear her mention that there will be more textiles in her upcoming lines. Since I am primarily an apparel sewist I love when designers have voile, lawn, velveteen, linen/cotton blend and cord in their lines. Keep up the great work Ms. Wells!

  7. Rochelle says:

    OOOH the birds! Love the birds. I think Wrenly will be one of my faves for 2011.

  8. Seanna Lea says:

    I love the wish birds. It is a stellar idea and the execution is very pleasing. It looks like a much less scary version of the beary godmother my mom made for me one year.

  9. Diane says:

    Thanks for featuring Valori Wells – I have to say I LOVE her birds and I’m glad she’s not “finished” with them. Her Nest collection is a favorite of mine. The favorite thing I made this year were lots of fun skirts for my four girls in lots of bright happy colors! For my inspiration…I always come here!

  10. Deb says:

    A lovely interview with fun and interesting answers! I LOVE those little wish birds SO much!!!

  11. patricia says:

    One of my first quilts used the Nest line almost exclusively, so I am a fan. The wish birds are such a wonderful, sweet and beautiful gift. The new line looks fabulous. Thank you for sharing those with us.

  12. Becky m says:

    I have to answer your social media question. As a stay at home mom without a great lqs social media has been the motivation behind my quilting! I had no idea such fresh modern stuff was being done. Both with fabric design and quilting. It’s been the factor that has hooked me!

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