Meet our Newest Designer // Caitlin Wallace Rowland


We’re super excited to welcome Caitlin Wallace Rowland to the Dear Stella family! Her first collection, Among the Wildflowers, features gorgeous hand-painted blooms that remind us of that first picture-perfect spring day in the park. Continue reading to get to know more about Caitlin and her amazing work!



Watch this video for a behind the scenes peek at Caitlin’s process:


Q: How did you get started as a designer and illustrator?

A: I had a really creative childhood that helped foster my artistic path. I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house, painting at their kitchen table overlooking my grandpa’s huge garden. Even though my grandma wasn’t an artist herself, she saw my love of painting and always kept paints, brushes, and paper stocked up and ready for me to use on a daily basis. My mom is also really creative in the fiber arts — sewing, embroidery, smocking, quilting, cross-stitch, tailoring, upholstery, knitting, crochet, basket weaving (she can do it all!) — so I also grew up watching and learning from her (and surrounded by beautiful fabric!)

All that eventually translated to digital design as I got older, finding my painting roots again in college, working in graphic design for a while, and then going to grad school at the Savannah College of Art and Design for Fibers/Textile Design. At the same time, I was always crafting, quilting, crocheting or doing some other creative/DIY project. What I do now perfectly brings together my love of fibers, painting, and design!


Q: Where are you from, and where are you currently based?

A: I’m originally from a small, rural town in Southern Illinois (fun fact: I was actually born in Paducah, KY (quilting capital of the Midwest!) because it was the closest hospital to where my parents lived that would deliver babies!) and moved to New Orleans, LA for undergrad. Other than a short stint in Savannah, GA for grad school and a summer in Pennsylvania to work at Lilly Pulitzer’s headquarters, I’ve lived in New Orleans since then — almost 10 years!

Q: Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you have a process? What are your sources for inspiration?

A: My process varies a bit depending on what medium I’m working in (painting, block printing, digital illustration/patterning, etc) but my favorite and most consistent working process is something I started in grad school and I refer to as my “field guide” sketchbook process. I love taking walks around my neighborhood (or wherever I am!) and either painting en plein air (which I do less of now that I have a baby!) or taking photos of nature, color combinations, architectural details (whatever inspires me!) and then returning to my studio and referencing those photos to paint in my sketchbook with whatever colors I’m currently feeling. My work always looks the best when there is at least some element of it that is based in real life — from something I’ve seen or experienced. It always feels more true and resonates with me because it has a memory embedded in it.


Q: What is your favorite medium to work with?

A: Forever and always PAINT! I’ve painted since I was really young and ended up getting a Bachelor’s degree in Painting. I use mostly gouache and acrylic.

Q: How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?

A: Years and years of practice, letting go, and listening to what really moves me! When I studied painting in undergrad, most of my work was abstract, but still very colorful. I look back at those paintings and I see them almost as color studies for the work I do now. Even though I grew up in the country, surrounded by nature, for the longest time I think I told myself I couldn’t paint florals because they were already everywhere, they were already being done. I remember one of my professors in grad school made a comment one day that ninety-something percent of all patterns sold were floral, and hearing that was the permission I needed to worry less about what others were doing and focus on what I really loved! When I finally let go and started painting the work I wanted to paint, that’s when I really found my stride.


Q: What colors are you drawn to right now?

A: I always have a soft spot for jewel tones and will always love teal, raspberry, mint, coral, and olive/chartreuse. For years, I stayed away from yellow, but I’m really loving mustard right now. Also loving several blue shades — a rich almost-purple royal, cornflower, navy, and peacock. Maybe it’s the painter in me, but color is such an important and inspiring part of my process. Living in New Orleans, there is never a shortage of interesting color combinations — people are so bold with color choices here and I love that!

Q: When you’re not creating designs, what can you be found doing?

A: Currently, trying to figure out motherhood! My daughter, Laurel, is ten months old and since I work from home and also take care of her, I feel like life is a never ending juggle of trying to figure out how to do literally anything other than hold a baby all day! Other than painting and parenting, I love cooking, DIY home projects, and spending time outside. In my pre-parent life, I also made time for reading, quilting, and wheel-throwing ceramics.

(Flip through Caitlin’s sketchbook in the video below!)


Q: Do you have a morning ritual?

A: My life lately is mostly defined by my daughter’s schedule! I need my sleep, so my mornings start whenever Laurel wakes up. She’s always so bright eyed and happy in the mornings and our current morning ritual is to start the day slowly — getting us both dressed and ready and playing with her before she takes her morning nap (when I can start working!).

Q: How do you take your coffee?

A: I don’t! I know I must be crazy for not drinking coffee, especially as a new mom, but caffeine gives me headaches! I mostly stick to water, or juice or a green smoothie in the mornings, and hot chocolate with almond milk or occasionally herbal teas for an afternoon treat.


Q: We can’t wait for your fabric collection to debut! What sorts of projects do you hope to see made?

A: EVERYTHING! I have a soft spot for quilts, and now that I have a daughter, I love seeing cute children’s wear. Of course, I also love home goods, pillows, zip pouches —really you can’t go wrong with adding a little color and pattern anywhere! I can’t wait to see what amazing things people create!


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9 Quilts to Make with Spring Theory by August Wren!

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We’re SO excited that Spring Theory, the first collection by our newest designer August Wren, is hitting stores! If you’ve already stashed some yardage of this colorful collection but aren’t quite sure of your plans for it yet, we’ve got you covered. Go ahead and change that rotary cutter blade and sewing needle now… because there are nine different quilts to choose from.

The first two quilts shown are *FREE* downloadable patterns!

Spring-Theory-Memory-Lane_550pxMemory Lane by Denniele Bohannon, 60.5×57.5″. Click here to download FREE PATTERN!

Spring-Theory-Dolly_550pxDolly by Denise Russell, 74.5×86.5″. Click here to download FREE PATTERN!

Spring-Theory-Daisy-Chain_550pxDaisy Chain by Stacey Day, 48×60″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Whirligigs-2_550pxWhirligigs 2 by Tammy Silvers, 51×60″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Pinwheels-with-Attitude_550pxPinwheels with Attitude by Leigh Headington, 78×78″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Pie Crust by Karen Bialik, 66.5×88.5″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Picking-Flowers_550pxPicking Flowers by Stacey Day, 51×51″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Flower-Patch_550pxFlower Patch by Heidi Pridemore, 57×69.75″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Precious-Jars_550pxPrecious Jars by Diane McGregor, 44×66″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Get to know each eye-catching fabric in Spring Theory by checking out the photos below, and click here to view style numbers on our collection page. Did you know they are all digitally printed for maximum color impact? Every tone of the original watercolor paintings is vividly reproduced with this method, which allows us to print an unlimited number of colors. Which fabric is your favorite?

To learn more about Jennifer Orkin Lewis, the talented artist behind August Wren, check out our introduction post here.

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spring theory 3-blogHappy stitching!

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Guest Post // 6 Creative Quilt Label Options for your One-of-a-Kind Heirloom!


Hi! Shelly Pagliai here today from Prairie Moon Quilts with some creative ways to use Dear Stella’s cute new label panel from the Love You To The Moon collection by Rae Ritchie!


Using pieces from the Love You To The Moon collection, along with the 24″ label panel and several other coordinating Dear Stella prints, I’ve created six different labels that you can make using the tutorials below, to add an extra special touch to your quilts!

But before we get started… I wanted to let you know about the *GIVEAWAY* that Dear Stella and I are hosting together!

Scroll down to the end of this post for details and entry instructions.

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Now let’s get started making labels!

Label #1 (finished size: 8” square)


When I saw this circular piece of the label panel, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! Follow the steps below, referring to reference photos for the steps with bracketed numbers.

Cut the circular piece out of the panel with as much of a seam allowance as you can [1].

Now is a good time to write your message on your label. I talk about the markers I use in the instructions for Label #2, so refer to Label #2 if you need help with that part.

From a yellow print, cut a 5 1/2” square. Finger press the square in half both directions [2].

Finger press the label circle in half both directions and line it up with the finger-pressed marks on the square, and pin it in place [3].

Turn the raw edge under as you go, and appliqué the label in place on top of the square [4]. (You can also cut the circle the exact size you want it and raw-edge appliqué it on by machine, if you prefer.)

From a coordinating print, cut two rectangles 2” x 5 1/2” and two rectangles 2” x 8 1/2” [5].

Sew the short rectangles onto the sides of the appliquéd label piece, pressing seams toward the rectangles [6].

Then sew the longer rectangles onto the top and bottom, again pressing the seams toward the rectangles [7].

label 1 collage-WEB

To attach the label to your quilt, first press under 1/4” on all sides of the label:


Then position it where you want it on the back side of your quilt, and pin it in place:


Appliqué the label in place, making sure that your stitches don’t go all the way through to the front side of the quilt. (This is like the same stitch that you would use to whip down your binding — super easy!)

Label #2 (finished size: 5 1/2” x 9 3/4”)


This label was made with my daughter in mind! I’m making her a very special quilt, and she may indeed find it quite magical (I’m hoping), so I combined several pieces of the panel to create a special label for her special quilt.

Cut out the following pieces from the panel [1]:
• Top piece: 4 1/4” wide x 2 3/4” tall
• Middle piece: 5” wide x 6 3/4” tall
• Bottom piece: 6” wide x 1 7/8” tall

I used the pens shown in the photo to write the desired information on my label. The white marker is a Uni-Ball Signo, great for marking on dark fabrics, and the black one is a Sharpie Pen. You can make the lines thicker or thinner by how much you go over them, and achieve the look you want. I’ve found that these two pens don’t bleed or smear, making your letters crisper and cleaner looking. I use a scrap piece of fabric to practice on before I write on my actual label, too!

You will also need to cut, from a coordinating fabric:
• 2 rectangles 1 5/8” x 2 3/4”
• 2 rectangles 1” x 6 3/4”

Lay them out with the panel pieces, as shown [2].

Sew the rectangles to the sides of each panel piece, pressing seams toward the rectangles. Trim these sections to 6” wide, if necessary. Then sew the three panel pieces together to complete the label. Press seams either direction [3].

label 2 collage-rev-web2

To attach the label to your finished quilt, see the instructions included with Label #1 above.

Label #3 (finished size: 6 1/2” x 8 1/2”)


I fell in love with this print [1] from the collection! It’s just so cute — the animals and all their contraptions — adorable!

So I fussy cut a piece [2] from that print, 7” wide x 3 1/2” tall.

To go with it, I cut a piece [3] from the label panel, 5” square.

The yellow fabric is from Moonscape Basic. I cut:
• 2 rectangles 1 1/2” x 5”
• 1 rectangle 1 1/2” x 7”

Lay all these pieces out together, as shown [4].

Sew the two short rectangles to the sides of the 5” label piece, pressing seams toward the rectangles [5].

Sew the longer rectangle to the bottom, and the fussy cut print piece to the top (making sure you have everything right side up). Press the seams toward the rectangles [6].

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Write your desired information on the label before attaching it to your quilt (see Label #2 for some tips on writing on your label). To attach the label to your finished quilt, see the instructions included with Label #1 above.

Label #4 (finished size: 9” diameter, or 9 1/4” square)


Don’t you love this moth? I HAD to use it for a label! Cut it out 4 3/4” square [1].

From a coordinating print, cut the following [2]:
• 2 rectangles 3” x 4 3/4”
• 2 rectangles 3” x 9 3/4”

Sew the short rectangles to the sides of the panel piece, pressing seams away from center. Sew the longer rectangles to the top and bottom, pressing seams away from center [3].

You can use the label square like it is, or you can do like I did, and cut it into a circle for extra added interest [4].
Just choose something circular you have handy to draw around for the size circle you want. I used the lid of my sewing box!

label 4 collage-WEB

Write your desired information on the label before attaching it to your quilt (see Label #2 for some tips on writing on your label). To attach the label to your finished quilt, see the instructions included with Label #1 above.

Label #5 (finished size: 9” x 10 3/4”):


For this label, I started with the following pieces from the panel [1]:
• Top left piece: 3 1/2” tall x 4” wide
• Top right piece: 4” tall x 3” wide
• Bottom piece: 1 3/4” tall x 4 3/4” wide

To go with these pieces, I fussy cut from one of the coordinating fabrics: Treetop Party [2]! Too adorable!
• Top right piece 3” wide x 3 1/2” tall
• Middle left piece 4” square
• Bottom right piece 1 3/4” tall x 2 1/2” wide

Sew these pieces together into rows. Trim each row to measure 6 1/2” wide, if necessary [3].

Sew the rows together to create the center portion of the label. Trim this center portion to 6 1/2” wide x 8 1/4” tall. From a coordinating print such as Moonscape, cut the following pieces [4].
• Two strips 2” x 8 1/4”
• Two strips 2” x 9 1/2”

Sew the shorter strips to the sides of the center unit, pressing seams toward the strips. Sew the longer strips to the top and bottom, pressing seams toward the strips [5].

label 5 collage-WEB

Write your desired information on the label before attaching it to your quilt (see Label #2 for some tips on writing on your label). To attach the label to your finished quilt, see the instructions included with Label #1 above.

Label #6
I’ve got one more label option to show you, and this one is super simple!


The panel has these triangular-shaped label pieces on it, so cut out the one you’d like to use, adding as much seam allowance as you can [1].

I’m using the lighter-colored one on my quilt, and now is a good time to write your message on (see Label #2 for some tips on writing on your label). Press under the long edge 1/4” [2].

Now, as you’re attaching the binding to the top of your quilt, choose the corner you want your label in, and simply sew the square edges of the label to the back of the quilt as you’re sewing your binding on! Just pin it in place and catch it in the same seam [3].

Then all you have to do is appliqué down the one long edge of this label [4].

Makes much quicker work of it, right? And can you believe I had a quilt from last year that still needed a label? I can’t, either — for shame! You never wait this long to label your quilts, do you?

When you whip your binding down on the back side of your quilt, just keep on stitching over the label portion, and it makes your label all neat on the back corner [5]!

label 6 collage-WEB

You could also use this method with any of the other quilt labels above, except for the circular one. Just position two sides of the label to be sewn in with the binding, and you’ll have less of the label to appliqué down later!

Here are a few extra tips that might help you with your labels…

            • When a seam will be on the outer edge of a label, backstitch at the ends of those seams, to keep them from pulling out while you’re doing the appliqué part.

            • If you’re using a stripe fabric, and you want the stripes running all the same direction, pay special attention to which direction you’re cutting the rectangles from, and you can get them positioned correctly. (See Labels #3 and #5 above for examples of this.)

            • If you can’t cut as much seam allowance as you’d like for your label patch, consider taking a bit smaller seam allowance than the normal 1/4” so you’re not cutting off the edges of your design. Be careful not to go too small, however, because you don’t want the seams of your label pulling out as the quilt gets used.

            • Experiment on a fabric scrap with various markers and pens to get your letters to look the way you want them, or consider using embroidery and stitching the information on, if time allows. Do this before you sew your label onto your quilt back!

Thanks for visiting the Dear Stella blog today. I hope this inspires you to get your quilts labelled properly, and in style! (Don’t procrastinate about it like I do!)

There are so many cute parts and pieces to this panel that you can do so much more with. I encourage you to experiment with the other little bits to create all sorts of cute little labels for your quilts. And not just labels! I couldn’t resist also using this piece right here:

Version 2

To see what I did with it, and get the *free tutorial* for that as well, go visit my website, Prairie Moon Quilts.

If you’ve made it this far, we’re having a give-away for 2 bundles of Love You to the Moon; one for you, and one for a friend! Because good labeling habits are contagious.

And for an EXTRA chance to win, I’m also having a giveaway on my blog! So when you pop over to get the additional free quilt block tutorial, you can enter there too. Happy Stitching!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Fall 2018 Quilt Market Sneak Peek!

It’s Fall, our favorite season. But it’s not just the brisk air, apple picking, and pumpkin spice everything that’s got us buzzing… it’s also Quilt Market time!

Quilt Market is a biannual event for businesses in the fabric industry, where the newest fabric collections and patterns are showcased. We’re heading to Houston, TX next week, where the show will be taking place Saturday through Monday, November 3-5.

If you’ll be at Quilt Market, be sure to visit us in *BOOTH #1814*. We can’t wait to share all the new and upcoming collections we’ve been working on!

If you won’t be attending Quilt Market, don’t worry! As always, we’ll keep you in the loop via InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. We’ll have beautiful quilts on display featuring Wide Awake, Moonscape Basic, Out of My Shell, I Don’t Give a Ship!, and Spring Theory by August Wren, so stay tuned!

Here’s a sneak peek of the NEW collections we’ll be offering in our booth! Look for them in stores in 2019. We’re also releasing Wide Awake and Moonscape Basic on flannel, so get ready for all the snuggly baby quilts!

Stella-DAW1206-WhiteFoxes (Stella-DAW1206 White) by August Wren, Best in Snow Collection

Stella-1213-MistMigration (Stella-1213 Mist), Born to be Wild Collection

Stella-SRR1190-MultiPansies (Stella-SRR1190 Multi) by Rae Ritchie, Botany Collection

Stella-DAW1209-WhiteBlack Cats (Stella-DAW1209 White) by August Wren, Creep it Real Collection

Stella-1228-OrionLlama Gifts (Stella-1228 Orion), Fa La La Llama Collection


Girls Just Wanna Have Sun (Stella-1220 White), Girls Just Wanna Have Sun Collection


Leaf Collage (Stella-DAW1196 Multi) by August Wren, Spice Things Up Collection

 See you at Market! 👋

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Meet our Newest Designer // August Wren by Jennifer Orkin Lewis


We are so excited to introduce Spring Theory by designer Jennifer Orkin Lewis of August Wren!

Jennifer Orkin Lewis is an artist, illustrator and author who divides her time in a very colorful house right outside of New York City and a small studio in the city. Obsessed with painting from an early age, she was always making art and creating something new. She is known online for her daily sketchbook paintings, which she has been doing for over 5 years and sharing on social media. Every day – weekends and vacations included – she paints for up to 30 minutes for personal satisfaction, the things that inspire and surround her.  It has become a visual diary of the moments that pass by, sometimes unnoticed. It may be high flying bird, a field of weeds, a broken teacup, or details in a large crowd of people, to the small moments of life, such as gardening, a bike ride, or a museum.

Her paintings are primarily gouache and watercolor but also include ink, pencil, and the occasional marker. She was a textile designer and stylist before becoming an illustrator. She has worked with clients such as Anthropologie, Abrams Books, Chronicle Books, Flow Magazine, Kate Spade, Eeboo, TeNeues and now Dear Stella, as well as many more.

Learn more about Jennifer and connect with her online!

Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

The debut collection, Spring Theory, is available to order now and begins shipping in January 2019!


Read on to meet Jennifer and learn more about her design process. Check out the full collection at the end of this post, or on our website here!

DS: How did you discover your passion for illustration and design?

JOL: I’ve always loved to create. It was really the only thing I enjoyed and had any success at as a kid. Math and science just weren’t for me. I took classes at different after school programs and I drew and painted in my room all the time because I loved it. It came naturally. When I went to RISD I discovered more about the world of design.

DS: Does what you studied in school apply to your career today?

JOL: I studied textile design at RISD; we did both weaving and print design but by the time I was graduating I was a print designer all the way! Now my work involves designs for all sorts of surfaces including fabric so it turned out to be very relevant.

DS: Can you tell us a bit about your design process? What inspires your work?

JOL: I have 2 ways of working. When working with a client I need to work off a brief so I am researching more and thinking about the end product and how it will work for them. When I do my personal work I just sit down and paint, a bouquet of flowers I just got, a person I recently saw. I am very inspired by the daily scene and mood. If it’s raining and grey I might use colors that reflect the look of the day. I’m often inspired by seasons, birds, a word. I do have a staple of ideas I use when I’m stumped and am not in the mood to paint. I always love painting flowers, faces are an endless fascination, I might use only blues or use an old photo as reference. The supply of inspiration is endless. It just needs to be channeled, which is the hard part!

DS: What’s your favorite medium to work with?

JOL: My #1 favorite is gouache, an opaque watercolor, but while I’m working in another medium like pencil or ink, I will mix mediums. I’ll use watercolor, a little acrylic, lots of ink, pencils.

DS: How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?

JOL: When I look back at my work over the years there is a definite similarity from the beginning until now. I have always had a very loose and intuitive way of working. I’d say when I started my daily sketchbook practice 5 years ago I was able to really hone my skills and master my style. By painting for 30 minutes everyday I gained the time to play and see what could happen when I tried new things. I’m still doing that; I want to continue to find new techniques, colors and ideas that excite me.

DS: What colors are you drawn to right now?

JOL: I like to experiment and change it up all the time. At the moment, I’m feeling shades of greens and turqs, from dark to light with a neutral and spots of purple.

DS: When you’re not designing, what are some of your favorite things to do?

JOL: I love to walk around NYC and watch people, see a show, art or theater, I love to travel and definitely relax on the beach.

DS: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

JOL: The basics, brush my teeth and have a good cup of tea. Get dressed and make my bed. All those are a given. Then I paint all day.

DS: What’s your favorite meal?

JOL: I don’t do this often but a big bowl of ice cream is really my favorite.

DS: We can’t wait for your fabric collection to debut! What sorts of projects do you hope to see made?

JOL: Anything people make, I want to see! If I had time to sew, I would make a simple shift dress. It will be exciting to see how people interpret the patterns into a quilt or clothing. I can’t wait!

Spring Theory full collection:


We are so thrilled to welcome Jennifer to the Dear Stella family! We hope you are as inspired by the fresh and bright colors of her Spring Theory collection as we are.

Remember to tag us in your projects using @dearstellafab and #dearstella.

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