Katy Jones from the Fat Quarterly team and Monkey Do had a pretty huge 2011, and 2012 is shaping up to be just as big. Her new book Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters: 60 Blocks + a Dozen Quilts and Projects! is due out this year. She’s planning the Fat Quarterly Community Retreat to London in June, and she’s sure to create dozens of things we simply love in 2012 just like she did in 2011!

Enjoy Katy’s interview, check out the Fat Quarterly e-magazine and join the fun with your own answers to our questions (win some fabric!).

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Looking back at the 2011 sewing scene, what trends stand out in your mind?
Katy: I think 2011 was the pivotal year for the expansion of the online community and it’s members branching out into the “real” world, with books, patterns and fabric lines. There had been a trickle before but that little drip, drip, drip became a huge flood this year which was amazing to watch and be a part of in my own way with Fat Quarterly. Cute critters and woodland themes continued to be heavily represented in fabrics and design in general. Purple seemed to pop up all over, which is great, because although I was sure I didn’t like purple my husband was pretty quick to point out I buy a lot of it for our house and my wardrobe, so why wouldn’t I love it in fabric too? And texture was a great growth area– a rise in voiles, flannels, velveteens and the different substrates that Free Spirit had definitely been the big pusher of. I think more and more people have warmed to the idea of using different fabrics, other than regular quilting cottons, and aren’t as afraid of them anymore. Outside of fabric, cute cross stitch has really gotten good this year. I think Amanda and Ashleigh of The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery are key in bringing that cute style of cross stitch to the forefront for me, at least. I’ve always loved wordy cross stitch like Subversive Cross Stitch but the cute stuff didn’t grab my attention so much until I started seeing Amanda’s stuff.

Example of “simplicity” Katy loves: Habitat Bowtie Quilt from Angela of Fussy Cut.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: What were some of your favorite things?
Katy: Simplicity, such as this quilt and this quilt:

Another example, the Star-y Log Cabin Quilt
from Amanda of hey porkchop! and The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.

Colour, like this quilt (and anything Doe ever does, to be quite honest– She has a knack for using colour in a way I wouldn’t even think of):

Colour! Checkers and Tags from Doe of Silly lil’ Doe!

… And this masterpiece:

More Colour! Quilt featuring Denyse Schmidt Fabric from Andi of Patch Andi

Scraps: I went crazy for scraps and 2.5″ squares this year and made this quilt but have another in the works too.

Katy’s Scrap Quilt

The Single Girl Quilt-Along I co-hosted with a couple of friends was great fun, and it was amazing to see so many of those quilts popping up. Like this beauty.

Single Girl Quilt from Kristen at So Happy to Sew

Sew,Mama,Sew!: What did you make that you’re most proud of?
Katy: My proudest moment this year was picking up this quilt from Angela Walters at Quilt Market after she had turned a pretty okay quilt top that I was already rather happy with into something that I love so much I can hardly believe I played any part in it’s creation. And I mean that in the most unbraggy way possible– It’s nothing fancy; it took me forever to sew those hexagons, and it was really nice before it was quilted, but Angela blew it out the water.

Katy’s favorite quilt, Hexagons featuring Anna Maria Horner fabrics.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: What was your favorite fabric collection or print?
Katy: That’s such a tough question. I guess the fabric collections I used most were probably Anna Maria Horner’s– both Innocent Crush and LouLouthi. I am a sucker for her fabrics. The single most useful fabric this year has been the screen prints from Timeless Treasures. They’re almost solids, but not quite and I love them. To me they’re the modern marbles, or something like that. So useful and so many awesome colours. I used the aqua colourway for this quilt and it gave it just enough depth to not look too flat, which a solid aqua would have done:

Katy’s Zombie Constellation featuring Happy Mochi Yum Yum Fabrics

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Do you have a favorite sewing book or pattern from the past year to recommend?
Katy: A book I think no home should be without is Sarah Fielke’s Quilting from Little Things. It’s one of those books you will go back to again and again and again. Pattern wise, Camille Roskelley’s Swoon Quilt. I just love it.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: What sewn projects have you seen this year that you absolutely love?
Katy: So much good stuff. When I checked back through my Flickr favourites (I still haven’t gotten Pinterest– I’ve been resisting, but it’s hard and I know I’ll cave really soon) it’s definitely heavy on the quilts side.

Orange Lizard Quilt by Dan of Piece and Press; more on the quilt here.

I think possibly my absolute favourite, favourite quilt of the year is this one by Dan Rouse. It’s absolutely genius and so striking, yet the design is really quite simple. Just two colours, but it packs a massive punch.

Swoon Quilt by Jessica of Twin Fibers

There were a heap of Swoon quilts made, or are still in progress, from the pattern by Camille Roskelley. I get a little flutter every time I see a block, I just love that pattern and how huge the individual blocks are. My favourites of those are this one and this one. I’ve got that on my to-do list for early next year.

Swoon Quilt Top by Angela of Fussy Cut

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Are there any trends you’re over and done with?
Katy: I kind of want to say I’m over owls, but I just looked to my left and on my ironing board is a quilt top made with owl fabrics that I’m finishing right now, so I had better take that back. I would have said I was over with red and aqua, but I just got some of Laurie Wisbrun’s next line Brrr! which is out next June and that’s red and aqua and I am going gaga for it. So I guess not. Ha ha! The only trend I am over with completely is people saying stuff about others people’s work that is impolite and critical without being constructive. That makes me pretty sick to the stomach and I don’t want to be a part of that. People from one camp saying modern quilting is all bad and people from another camp saying traditional quilting is all bad. You know what, we’re all in this together, we all feed off each other, and we all do stuff that makes us happy and that’s all that counts. So, I suck (truly I do) at quilting, but I can’t send all my quilts out to be long-armed, I don’t have a big old pot of cash at the end of my rainbow so I’ll do a few myself. After a wash or two I don’t notice the stitches aren’t all that hot. Point it out to me and I’ll be hurt though, so why would you? Play nice. I’m a nowadays quilter, I’d be nothing without the traditionalists and the modernists– I do this because I love it, I love what it brings me in the form of friendships and the joy a finished quilt can bring.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?
Katy: Oh, social media. You time sucking vampire! I love it. I tweet way too much. I blog. I Flickr. I am trying to resist Pinterest and I don’t get Facebook. If it weren’t for social media I would be sad at home alone. I got into quilting because of it, after meeting a friend on Flickr and her being a quilter and she told me to try it. I did and I’m hooked. Thank you, Beth. I also wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for social media; I met the guys from Fat Quarterly on Flickr and we formed the magazine really out of trying to do something community-based that was more than a quilting bee. The other members of Fat Quarterly are like my family; we are tight, and it wouldn’t have happened had we not been addicted to Flickr. So, I can’t say anything bad about social media. When my internet goes off I am like a junkie going cold turkey. It’s horrible!

Sew,Mama,Sew!: What do you predict for 2012?
Katy: I’m really excited for 2012. I think there’ll be a massive rise in fabrics that have a screen printed look to them– or single colours on neutral backgrounds. A little like Lotta Jansdotter’s Echo. Summersville by Lucie Summers which is out in March is my huge prediction of the year. That look of a clean, pure, sketchy-type of design is where it’s at. I think the Australian fabric designers like Ink and Spindle, Pippi Joe, Umbrella Prints and so on will start to filter through to the mainstream. A kind of “simplicity is key” idea will really start to grab people’s attention and imagination. I also predict a huge rise in the organic market of fabrics with Cloud 9 leading the way.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Are there any bloggers, authors or designers who you think will be rising stars in 2012?
Katy: I’m really excited about Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkinson’s first book, Sunday Morning Quilts. I love Amanda Jean’s blog and her style anyway, so finding out she had co-written a book was really exciting for me. As is the book Quilting Modern by Katie Pederson and Jacquie Gering. Both are so talented and work in a completely different way to me so I’m excited to get that book and learn a little more on how to think outside the box. In the area of design I already mentioned Lucie Summers, but I really do think she’ll explode all over the place in 2012. The same goes for Melody Miller whose third fabric collection, Ruby Star Shining, has just come out. I really want to see her designs on everything. I would buy it all. Homewares, stationary, bed linen– Her work is so awesome and cool, and different enough to be exciting. I think that’s the key with both of those, they’re a little bit different to what we’ve been used to.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2012? Any projects or life-changing goals you can share?
Katy: 2012 is going to be hectic. In a good way. I have a book coming out with the rest of the Fat Quarterly gang, called The Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop. That is due in May and is published by Lark Books. It’s a really lovely book, even if I do say so myself and Lark did a fantastic job with the styling and made it look just as we wanted. It’s beautiful. So there are 60 quilt blocks and 12 projects, a mix of quilts and smaller projects like pillows and so on. It was heaps of fun to write, and now we’re just excited to have the actual book in our hands. It’ll feel real then! Hopefully that will the first Fat Quarterly book of many… We’ll see how it goes, but it’d be nice to do more! Writing a book with your friends is great.

We also have a sewing retreat planned in June in London, England. Tickets are available now (from the Fat Quarterly website) and it’s a weekend event where the focus will be on having fun and hanging out and learning new stuff, making friends, meeting people you might already know from online… Just a fairly relaxed, fun weekend. So it’s a pretty big year! Plus I am really excited about going to Sewing Summit in October, although it seems so far away and tickets aren’t on sale yet but I have it in my diary and I am going!