After Thanksgiving, I was all set to work on the School House quilt for my mother. As you see one of the blocks is on my design wall. I have to admit, I am not enjoying sewing this one so it will be a slow process. When you aren't in love with your project it just seems to go very slow. So with that said, I stopped working on that quilt to start sewing on some quilts for next years clubs and classes. Will be back to the school house quilt soon because I want to give it to Mom for Christmas.
My challenge to myself for 2011 is to try and use at least one or two fabrics from my stash for each project. Below are pictures of my stash. The Singer machine on the top of the cabinet is one of the machines I used to sew on with my Mom when I was growing up. Flamingos you ask, my small sewing bee is "The Friday Night Flamingos". We wanted a fun, catchy name because quilters are fun people.
So my challenge begins. You will see inside cabinets, I keep a lot of what I call "stash" or "staple" fabric. When I go on a road trip to quilt shops (which I love to do), I usually stock up on fabric that can be blended into my projects. I don't keep a lot of focus fabric in my stash. The reason, focus fabrics can come and go in style, but staple fabric can be used and saved for along time. I love to get new focus fabric when it comes out and pick fabrics from my stash to blend into the project.
What will I do with the butterflies and egg fabric below??? I have just the project in mind. I will be leading a "Mystery Sew In" at Patchwork Cottage starting in February. I see this being used in one of my projects. It is a mystery so I have to keep this one a secret for a while. Check back for the outcome.
My new club at Dragonfly Quilt Shop will see the next two groups of fabric in their samples next year.
I will be starting the new club in February called "The Sassy Quilters".
Check back for the quilts made from these beautiful fabrics.
I like "Happy Fabrics" as I call them.
Batiks.... Don't you love the colors...
Cream fabric will be added to this project to make a beautiful quilt...
After a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, what comes next but a great day of sewing. I used to get up at 4 or 5 am and hit the sales on the day after Thanksgiving, but I no longer want to fight the crowds so the next best thing is a day of sewing. My Mother is getting ready to start Kidney dialysis and she has always wanted a school house quilt so I wanted to make her the quilt to keep warm during her dialysis. Like me she loves red. So I have chosen to make the quilt in red and white swirls... Don't you love Moda swirls. It think I have the swirls in all colors.
Alot of strips......
Isn't chain piecing great....
Love those strip units.....
And now the sub cutting... Shape Cut works great for cutting strips...
Alot more sewing this weekend.... More pictures to follow.....
Working on the January project for "The Sassy Stitchers Club" at Patchwork Cottage. Pieced and on the design board, just have to sew it together.. What a bright quilt to start off the new year...Have to get ahead with the holidays fast approaching.
Decided to take Friday off work to quilt. Had all intentions of quilting all day. I needed 9 more inches of a red batik so I thought I'd take a quick road trip to Sew Memorable in Dawsonville with my friend Pam thinking that is where the fabric came from, no such luck. I was close to Dahlonega so I thought lets check out "The Common Thread". No luck again. Came home and my friend Lisa needed fabric so we went in the opposite direction to Dragonfly in Watkinsville. Needless to say, I got no quilting done, but I had two great road trips with two friends. Moral of the story - don't buy just a 1/2 yard if you are buying stash fabric. If you really like a fabric that you are putting in your stash such as neutrals, whites, etc. buy 1 or 2 yards.
We had a fun day at Dragonfly Quilt Shop making pine cone ornaments and round Christmas balls. I was glad to meet some new people and see some familiar faces.
These ornaments make a quick gift or look great hanging on your tree. They are easy to make and a good project to work on while you are watching TV (no sewing required). Great project to work on with your kids or grand kids to make lasting memories.
Aurifil Thread - Love their thread. I quilt a lot. I use their large spool of thread for piecing. I just seems like it lasts forever and I have very little problems with the thread breaking. They have a large variety of thread colors and weights for all your quilting and sewing projects.
Clover - I use all the following products.
Chaco Liners and refills - I like the way the powder rolls out from the tiny rotary wheel and allows you to draw a thin line.
Seam ripper - I like the tip on their seam ripper. It is thinner then a lot of others. The thinner tip allows you to rip out stitches easier and not put a hole in your fabric.
Patchwork pins - I like the sharp points. They go into your fabric smoothly without leaving a hole. They work great when you are nesting seams.
Protect and grip thimble - Stays on your finger and doesn't fly off your finger when you move your hand. I like the flat metal tip on the thimble. I allows you to push the pin through the fabric without poking your finger.
Olfa Rotary Cutters, Cutting Mats and Rulers- Olfa's rotary cutters cut through fabric very smoothly. Very easy to close as you make each cut. They also have an ergonomic rotary cuttery that closes automatically. I like to use this one when I teach my kids classes. It is safer because they don't have to remember to close the blade when they finish cutting.
They also have really nice cutting mats and variety of different rulers.
SCHMETZ Needles - I use their needles in my machine. They have a large variety of needles for all your quilting and sewing needs.
I always get a lot of questions from my students on how to read a pattern. Sometimes one page patterns are just as hard to follow then multi page patterns.
Suggestions: Always read the entire pattern before cutting any fabric. All the cutting instructions may not be right up front.
I use my highlighter alot to highlight key facts such as your block should finish off at "---"or press seams in a certain direction or you should have 10 "X" blocks and 12 "Y" blocks. Sometimes we get busy sewing and so excited about what all the fabric looks like together that we skip over some tiny details in the pattern.
The other suggestion is if you making a block for the first, get out your scrap fabric and make a sample block. This way you won't waste your fabric esp if you have just enough to do the project.
Then when you are finished put that scrap block into a box. Once you have a build up of test blocks, make a scrappy quilt. What a great way to have a charity quilt ready to donate when someone calls on you to make a quilt.
Pattern designing isn't as easy as alot may think. The pattern designers put alot of time into their patterns. Some put alot of information to be helpful and sometimes they cannot put everything into a pattern because the pattern would go on for days. We just have to read them thoroughly before starting a project. I don't know where we would be without all the great designers we have out there. Remember quilting is for fun.