Quiltspiration

I think it’s wonderful to find quilting inspiration in unexpected places. On Saturday, my husband and I visited an art exhibit at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Arvada, Colorado, and I found some ideas. I’ll have to mull some of them over for a while to see how they can become something in my quilts. Three of the displays in the main gallery particularly caught my eye.

Do you remember the string art of the 1970s and 1980s? Back then I had great fun using colored thread and found lumber to create string art. Sylvia Dixon Dillo used that premise on a much grander scale to create her work. She used miles and miles of monofilament thread to make her installation. I couldn’t get a photo of it but she has photos on her website.  I wondered how in the world they constructed it and how long it took. This is a room-sized display! What would happen if I tried quilting with a metallic thread on a whole-cloth quilt to come up with something to remind me of her wonderful structure?

The second artist, Rian Kerrane, used the plastic tape from unwound audio cassette tapes to suspend all sorts of items from the ceiling. There were hand mixers that actually ran, knitting needles, flatware, just about everything you can imagine. Some of the tapes were knit together into scarves. It was incredible to me that the tape could support some of the objects. Again, I don’t have a photo but here is a photo from her website showing some of the knitting. (See photo labeled Knitting Cassette Tape.)

Laleh Mehran’s Entropic Order was the third exhibit. It was fascinating.

Arvada Center Quiltspiration

Entropic Order

The display contains 3,000 pounds of black sand. The sand has been leveled somehow so it is very, very smooth and it measures 12 feet by 16 feet. There are more photos on her website. This is an interactive installation. The brass pendulum responds to people. In the photo, you see the simple design it was carving when no one was there but when my husband and I came into the room, it did the zigzag lines at the bottom of the star. I think it’s a cool quilting design but not for a whole-cloth quilt like the first one. I think it would be super for a quilt with traditional blocks. And every time I saw the quilt, I could remember our fun morning.

I have to tell you one other fun story from the weekend. I borrowed this quilt from my son and daughter-in-law. It has one of my favorite pieced backs. My son got the quilt out of the closet with the stipulation that I bring it back before it gets cold. And the look on my daughter-in-law’s face when she saw I had the quilt was priceless. It was like she thought I was taking it back forever or something. You can see the whole story of this quilt here. I gave it to my son and daughter-in-law for their wedding present.

The Red Quilts Quiltspiration

The Red Quilts

red quilt back Quiltspiration

The Back of The Red Quilts

The Red Quilts will be part of one of our stage presentations at Quilting LIVE. We are preparing boxes to ship this week. The closer we get to the actual date, the more excited I am. I think part of it is that we are getting more and more of the preparation done so I feel more organized. Each item we can check off the to-do list is a good thing. If you want more information about Quilting LIVE, you can find it here.  I think it’s going to be a really good time.

I hope you have a great week. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news and other quilty fun.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Scrappy Bits Applique Blog Tour

PLEASE NOTE THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS COLLEEN!

Welcome to another stop on the blog tour for Shannon Brinkley’s new book, Scrappy Bits Applique (Stash Books, 2014)! I am happy to do my part to promote the book and Shannon’s cool technique. As part of my duties here at Quilters Newsletter, I look at a lot of quilting books, and this one is pretty special! It’s nice because it teaches a skill, in addition to including some really great patterns. There are multiple chances to win a copy of the book for yourself during the tour, so check it out everyday. I’ve included a list of the rest of the tour stops at the bottom of this post so you’ll know where to go next.

610SKYvGyML. SX258 BO1204203200  Scrappy Bits Applique Blog Tour

Scrappy Bits Applique by Shannon Brinkley

The first part of the book teaches you how to use scraps to make a sort of collage that you then use as a single piece of fabric to make applique patches. Then there are 8 projects that you can make using Shannon’s provided applique motifs, and they are lovely. How about a little sneak peek?

Water for Elephants Quilt Scrappy Bits Applique by Shannon Brinkley Scrappy Bits Applique Blog Tour

Water for Elephants by Shannon Brinkley

around the world quilt scrappy bits applique by shannon brinkley Scrappy Bits Applique Blog Tour

Around the World by Shannon Brinkley

Aren’t they nice? I may have to make the world map one, it is just so beautiful. The neatest thing about this technique is once you master the basic idea, the design possibilities are infinite! You can try it with applique patterns you already have, or design your own motifs in whatever shape or style you like.

To learn more about the book or its author, visit Shannon’s website. There’s even a trailer for the book! Here’s a list of where the blog tour will be heading next, so visit each one for more chances to win!

8/16 – Sew Mama Sew
8/17 – Casey York
8/18 – Generation Q
8/20 – Going Home to Roost
8/21 – Bottle Tree

Today, to win a copy of the book for yourself, leave a comment on this post before Sunday, August 17, 11:59 p.m. (Mountain Time). We’ll randomly select a winner on Monday and Stash Books will mail you a copy of the book. If the winner lives outside the U.S., they’ll receive an e-book.

Keep up with all the happenings by following us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and our website. Have a fabric-tastic weekend!

Posted in Book Reviews, Gigi, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 81 Comments

Six of One Giveaway

AS14Cover 200 Six of One Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS, JANE!

While I’m fairly certain the saying goes, “Six of one, half a dozen of the other,” this week’s giveaway is actually comprised of 6 fat quarters from one collection and 9 fat quarters from another. One lucky winner will receive a total of 15 fat quarters from fabric collections featured in the Staff Picks section of the August/September 2014 issue of Quilters Newsletter. If you don’t already have your copy of the issue, be sure to pick it up today, because it’s filled with wonderful information to help you make decisions about the possible purchase of a longarm machine, how to price your quilt to sell once you’ve completed it, what the differences between several of the fabric-cutting die cutting machines currently on the market are, and so much more including several beautiful quilt patterns. But back to the giveaway:

Six fat quarters from the Lulu Magnolia collection by the Quilted Fish for Riley Blake DesignsAug Sept 3 550 Six of One Giveaway

And nine fat quarters from the Charley Harper collection by Birch FabricsAug Sept 2 550 Six of One Giveaway

Aren’t both collections splendid? To enter for your chance to win these 15 fat quarters, leave a comment on this post below telling us how many quilts you might be able to make from your stash if you never bought fabric again. (Some of us here in the QN office would only be able to make a few while others might be able to make a number too high to count or mention.) Comments must be entered by 11:59 PM Mountain Time, Sunday August 17, 2014. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

We post lots of interesting and fun quilts and quilt news on all our social media including: FacebookTwitterGoogle+InstagramPinterestYouTube and our website!

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Still Worth the Wait

In June of 2013, I finished this quilt. Now I am finishing it for a second time.

6 10 2013 001 2 Still Worth the Wait

Worth the Wait

Check out my previous blog post about it to see the whole story of one of my PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks). This one happened to be 13 years old by the time I finished it. I call it Worth the Wait.

I really love this quilt. The front is beautiful with appliqued, machine-embroidered flowers. I embroidered the flowers and the leaves on two layers of fabric with the wrong sides together so they’d be reversible. When I stitched them onto the quilt, I stitched just along the sides of the petals. I thought the extra dimension would be a great look.

6 10 2013 004 2 Still Worth the Wait

The pieced back

The pieced back is one of my favorites so Worth the Wait is going to Quilting LIVE in Georgia next month where I’ll be doing a presentation of pieced backs. Quilting LIVE is going to be lots of fun. There are classes, stage presentations, lots of quilts to see and a whole gang of us from Quilters Newsletter and our sister publications are going to be there to talk to the attendees. There is more information about  Quilting LIVE here. Come join us if you can.

On Thursday night, when I went into my sewing room, there was water dripping off the blinds. GULP! The air conditioner in the apartment above us was incorrectly installed, flooding their floor and the water was running down our wall. Remember I told you how I layered 15 or more of my quilts on the bed in my sewing room a couple of weeks ago. The window behind that bed is where the water was dripping. I took the quilts off of the bed. Five were wet. Two were water stained and one of those had mildewed. The one with the mildew was The Cracker Quilt.

Sunbonnet Sue Mine Still Worth the Wait

The Cracker Quilt

I soaked it and soaked it, washed it twice and spread it out on the lawn in the sun but the mildew is still there. It is only on the back so I am okay – still disappointed but not nearly as sad as I was Thursday night when I found it. The water stains are gone so it is definitely still useable.

I took a vacation day Friday and did not intend to spend the whole day washing quilts but that is exactly what I did.

One of the other wet quilts was Worth the Wait. When I washed it, those pretty little appliqued flowers wadded up and got pretty strange looking.

002 Still Worth the Wait

After Washing

Some of them were downright ugly.

004 Still Worth the Wait

What Is It?

So now I am stitching down the flowers and the leaves. I’m using invisible thread on top and white thread in the bobbin.

006 Still Worth the Wait

Ahh! Better!

It’s much better. I have over half of them done. I hope to finish it for the second time tonight.

007 Still Worth the Wait

Worth the Wait Again

Then I’ll bring it to the office to add to the pile of quilts I’m sending to Quilting LIVE.

Since I was gone on Friday, I have several things that need attention, so until next time, happy quilting. Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website.

 

Posted in Events, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Books to Help and Inspire

In our August/September 2014 issue (available at the Quilt & Sew Shop), there’s an article about how to determine what to charge for a quilt. It’s a complicated topic, and the difficulty is finding the balance between paying yourself adequately for your work and coming up with a price that won’t frighten off potential customers. Everyone I interviewed for the article had a lot to say about the subject, and the hardest part was editing their thoughtful answers into a relatively short article.

Well, I’ve come across a few books that expand upon the ideas that were touched upon in the article, and they discuss everything in much more detail. If you are interested to know more about how to turn your hobby into a business, here are some valuable resources to help you along the way.

pic display Books to Help and Inspire

The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin

First up is the updated second edition of The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell your Crafts Locally, Globally and Online by Kari Chapin (Storey Publishing, 2014). The first edition came out in 2010 and though it wasn’t that long ago, things have changed since then, especially online. The new edition is expanded to cover these new online developments and to discuss the role of social media in crafting. It also addresses more recent trends in craft marketing. It’s also filled with interviews and tips from crafters about widely varying topics like blogging, photography, pricing and much more.

9781250044723 Books to Help and Inspire

How to Show and Sell your Crafts by Torie Jayne

Next we have How to Show & Sell Your Crafts: How to Build Your Craft Business at Home, Online, and in the Marketplace by Torie Jayne (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2014). Jayne interviewed a variety of craftspeople about how they built their brand, how they work and turned their hobby into a successful business. It has a heavy emphasis on branding and merchandising, with practical advice for getting started selling online, at craft fairs and in brick-and-mortar stores. There are also helpful tips for getting the most out of your crafting space.

There are also services, like Websites for Quilters, that take care of the technical aspects of running an online business so quilters can focus on making quilts to show and sell online. Since it’s a niche service geared towards quilters in particular, they can tailor a website to fit your preferred specifications and they have an understanding of what quilters might want and need in a website. They offer personalized customer service, education and marketing services as well. If you have been interested in setting up a website to show and sell your quilts but don’t know where to start, try starting there.

9781551525341 Craftivism Books to Help and Inspire

Craftivism edited by Betsy Greer

Now, maybe you don’t necessarily want to sell your quilts, but you want to use your creative energy for something productive and good. Enter Craftivism: The Art and Craft of Activism edited by Betsy Greer (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2014). In essays, interviews and photographs, artists share their projects and ideas for making the world a better place with art and craft. Read about community embroidery projects, teaching stitching in prisons, awareness activism, and projects that facilitate and reflect personal and cultural growth. The book proves that creativity and altruism are not mutually exclusive, and provides ideas for transforming your corner of the world with art.

9780762449699 Books to Help and Inspire

Wise Craft by Blair Stocker

One more book that provides ideas, inspiration and perhaps opens up a new avenue of creativity is Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love by Blair Stocker (Running Press, 2014). Stocker started the Wise Craft Handmade blog in 2005, sharing her innovative and fun ideas for re-purposing existing items into treasured keepsakes without spending a fortune. There are 60 projects in the book, so you can make anything from housewares and dishes to clothing and quilts, all providing opportunities to express your creativity. There are fun projects to make with the whole family, too.

Whether you’re looking for information or inspiration, or a bit of both, you’ll find it in one or all of these helpful books. I always say an informed quilter is an inspired quilter. Well, this is the first I’ve said it, but I’ll repeat it regularly from now on because it’s true!

If there are any helpful or inspiring books I’ve left off the list, please inform me! An informed quilter is an inspired quilter! And maybe later you can meet up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and our website. Have an informed and inspired weekend!

Posted in Book Reviews, Gigi, Inspiration, Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Out of the Heat Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED! CONGRATULATIONS LYNN AND SUSAN!

Several of us here at Quilters Newsletter are determined to enjoy summer while we can, but we also understand that in some places, and especially towards the latter part of August, temperatures in summer can get over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it a bit less enjoyable outside. The current giveaway is a perfect alternative to the heat and also a bit of a throwback. I’m not sure we’ve done a DVDs giveaway before, but we have a few of them around the office, and we’d love for someone to make good use of them!

DVDs1 002 550 Out of the Heat Giveaway

Two lucky winners will each receive three DVDs: Elly Sienkiewicz Teaches You Advanced Baltimore Applique from C&T Publishing, It’s Not a Mystery Anymore: The ABC’s of Quilt and Fabric Dating from Quilt Media and Determinging Value The ABC’s of Quilt Appraisal from Cory Lange.

To enter to win one of the two sets of three DVDs, leave a comment on this post below telling us what your favorite thing to do to stay out of the heat is. Comments must be entered by 11:59 PM Mountain Time, Sunday August 10, 2014. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

If your favorite thing to do to stay out of the heat (besides quilting) is social media, then be sure to check out our pages: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and our website!

Posted in Contests | Tagged , , , , , | 98 Comments

Fabrics for a late summer/not-autumn-yet day

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to leave summer behind and jump into autumn yet.

summer 14 fabric 3 768x1024 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

This and That by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

It seems like my husband just got the new above-ground pool operational, I haven’t taken any vacation yet nor have I finished the easy picnic quilt I’ve been wanting to make, and I’m finding it hard to believe that there are parents who already got their back-to-school shopping done. Besides, I still have cute, summery fabric like this flip-flop print by Ann Kelle in my cubicle. How can I be ready to leave it all behind?

Alas, the school year is just around the corner and the days will soon be too short to enjoy a warm evening outdoors (perhaps with a cool adult beverage in hand). So I want to share some recent fabric samples we’ve received that put me in a summer state of mind. Even if there isn’t enough time to put them into a quilt for this year, I’d be more than happy to find them a place in  projects for next summer. [Click on the photos to enlarge them.]

summer 14 fabric 2 1024x768 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

1canoe2 for Andover Fabrics

summer 14 fabric 768x1024 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

1canoe2 for Andover Fabrics

What with the canning, beekeeping and chickens, this adorable debut fabric collection for Andover from 1canoe2 would be equally at home in an urban farmer’s home as in a country home.

summer 14 fabric 5 1024x768 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Neighborhood by Claudine Hellmuth for Andover Fabrics

Also from Andover comes Neighborhood by Claudine Hellmuth, a collection full of bikes, birds and boroughs.

Anniversary Stars 010 1024x768 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Summer Festival by Color Principle for Henry Glass & Co.

Summer Festival, an Americana collection from Henry Glass & Co., includes folk art-inspired panels and cheater prints, large-scale florals, border stripes, paisleys, and stars and stripes in reds and blues on cream backgrounds for a vintage look. Talk about a great collection for a summer picnic quilt!

summer 14 lenox 1024x768 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Lennox Gardens from Robert Kaufman Fabrics

I keep seeing quilts made of voiles or cotton lawns popping up here and there, and this soft, lightweight cotton lawn collection from Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Lennox Gardens may just force me to try to make one myself. Either that or I need to learn how to sew garments, because this stuff is gorgeous.

summer fabric 14 7 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Bali Handpaints batiks from Hoffman Fabrics

And then there are these new Bali Handpaints from Hoffman Fabrics in gray, coral, turquoise, aqua and celery grouped together in a variety of precuts as the Cockatiel and Lorikeet collections. You don’t see gray batiks very often, and this combination is fresh and eye-catching and, well, just lovely.

summer 14 fabric 6 1024x768 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Tahitian Nights from Robert Kaufman Fabrics

summer 14 fabric 17 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Canopy Cove from Hoffman Fabrics

Continuing in a tropical vein, here are a couple of large-scale floral collections, Tahitian Nights from Robert Kaufman Fabrics, and Canopy Cove from Hoffman Fabrics. Bali Hai may call you…

summer 14 fabric 15 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Pop Rox with Textured Solids by Carol Van Zandt, LLC for Andover Fabrics

This candied colorway of Andover’s Pop Rox on white backgrounds would look great in summer apparel as well as in quilts.

summer 14 fabric 12 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Home Plate from Blank Quilting

summer 14 fabric 9 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Sports Life from Robert Kaufman Fabrics

And of course, summer is sports season: baseball is in full swing (see what I did there?), the World Cup just ended and football newscasters are already making Super Bowl predictions. Blank Quilting’s Home Plate collection has a slightly retro feel, and Robert Kaufman’s Sports Life collections come with playing field panel prints for a variety of sports, including hockey, basketball and golf.

In addition to outright summery collections, here are some more that I just thought were cool.

summer 14 fabric 18 1024x768 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Crinkle Stripe by Kathy Hall for Andover

Crinkle Stripe by Kathy Hall for Andover does the dimensional chevron work for you.

summer 14 fabric 13 768x1024 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Scriptorian from Blank Quilting

I may not be into steampunk, but I love this mini collection from Blank Quilting, Scriptorian.

summer 14 fabric 16 768x1024 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House for Andover

Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelets prints find their way into most of her collections but are popular on their own and available in a wide range of colors; some even have metallic accents.

And as far as not being ready yet for autumn, well, maybe I lied a little bit, because I really responded to the soft oranges, golds and tans and small-scale prints of the Cologne & Cotton collection by Renee Nanneman for Andover. It has just a hint of late summer, when the promise of cooler days ahead is a welcome relief.

summer 14 fabric 14 Fabrics for a late summer/not autumn yet day

Cologne & Cotton with coordinating Itsy Bits and Wickerweave by Renee Nanneman for Andover Fabrics

So until the next time we’re sorting through our office fabric stash, when I expect I’ll set aside some autumnal collections to share on the blog, I leave you with one of my favorite summer songs and wish you happy quilting no matter the weather.

Be sure to check out our website,  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, PinterestInstagram and YouTube for the latest updates from QN!

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Show and Tell

As a child, visits to Grandma Brown’s house and Aunt Alta’s and Aunt Ada’s houses always included “show and tell.” All three women were prolific needle artists so there were always new things to see. And I still love going places and seeing what new and fun projects my friends and family have going on.

This weekend, on the way to Mom’s house, we stopped at Platte Valley Sew and Vac in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to drop off one of my machines for repair. It’s the shop where my Mom does most of her shopping for fabric and sewing related things. I met Lori, the owner, a number of years ago at a Pfaff convention. I’d already heard wonderful things about her from Mom and, sure enough, she is a gem. Her sewing machine tech, Morgan, is wonderful. He makes my machines so happy. They just purr!

Lori and I have similar tastes and we both love to experiment with new ideas so a trip to her store is great fun. A few weeks ago, I blogged about a serger quilt. My quilt was a simple quilt; I serged squares together in rows and then serged the rows, batting and backing together. I blogged about it again when I finished it. Lori commented at the time that she was working on a serger quilt and this weekend I got to see her quilt top. It’s much fancier than mine. Isn’t it pretty?

front Show and Tell

Lori and Her Serger Quilt

She also pieced the back. She said she had lots of large pieces of fabric left and she thought since I make pieced backs all the time, she’d try it. It’s a keeper.

back Show and Tell

Lori”s Pieced Back

Lori had lots of pretty samples on the walls. Here are two of my favorites. These quilts both have a fair amount of machine embroidery.

Love Show and Tell

Embroidered Applique

Nebraska quilt Show and Tell

The Nebraska Quilt

After a lovely but short visit, we went on to Mom’s. Mom is working on an awesome quilt with dozens and dozens of leaves. She’s working from a pattern called Third Weekend in October© by Innovations.

Mom and the leaf quilt Show and Tell

Mom and the Leaf Quilt

Mom is nearly done with the piecing. I can’t wait to see it finished.

I’m working on something new, too. It’s going along quite nicely.

Mary Kate and I are going to Quilting LIVE  in Atlanta in September. Check it out, we’d love to have you join us.

One of our stage presentations at Quilting LIVE will be Pieced Quilt Backs. I did a segment on QN TV a while back on pieced backs but I’ve since finished the quilt I was talking about. The video is available for purchase here.

In order to need a pieced back, you have to have a completed quilt top so I’m working on a new one using a pattern in our Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 special issue which will be on sale October 28th. It has lots of super quilts. That’s a long time to wait, I know, but it will be worth remembering to watch for it. The quilt I chose is by Bev Getshel.

Here are all the patches cut and some of the sewing done.

pieces and parts Show and Tell

Some Assembly Required

I changed this quilt from the pattern just a bit. I wanted to use scraps from my stash so I didn’t use fat quarters and I wanted it larger than Bev’s. There are two easy ways to make a quilt larger or smaller: change the number of blocks or change the size of the blocks. I changed the size of the blocks. Here is a sneak peek as I started putting the patches in rows on my design wall.

design wall Show and Tell

It’s a Start

Although my bin of blue fabric is still overflowing, it used lots of my blue scraps and is going to be a really cool quilt. I’ll show it to you again I’m sure.

And now I’m off to the sewing studio to work on a project for the December/January 2015 issue. We work quite a ways ahead and it makes me laugh to be thinking about the warm and cozy quilts we want in January when the temperature is hovering around zero when the actual temperature here today is up near the 100-degree mark.

Until next week, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website. Happy quilting!

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Decisions, Decisions

At a local thrift store over the weekend, where I often go to look for odd lengths of fabric, I came across something else, besides fabric, that I found really interesting. But then I also found some fabric I liked and that’s where the difficult decisions came into play. With a set spending limit and so many choices, what is a quilter to do?

thrift1 Decisions, Decisions

Unique cut-outs of traditional quilt blocks

What I found was this really interesting little framed piece. On the back it says it was manufactured by Designs with Scissors in Atlanta, Georgia, and it has a 1986 copyright. A thin piece of paper had been cut (by hand? X-acto knife? Die-cut? Did they do laser cutting in 1986?) to resemble different traditional quilt blocks. They were asking $8 for it, which is kind of a lot (I think so, anyway) for a thrift store, but it is a pretty special piece.  The frame is very nondescript, so that didn’t thrill me, and the paper inside was a bit discolored here and there, but it is so delicate and detailed that I carried it over with me to look at the fabric.

thrift2 Decisions, Decisions

In case you want to see it up close, slight staining and all.

Well, dang. Now there’s some fabric I want to get. I have $20 to spend. I don’t know if all thrift stores are like this, but I think many of the items they sell are a little over-priced, for a thrift store anyway, and $20 doesn’t go as far as one would hope. There were lots of fabric cuts to choose from, all kinds, including some quilting cottons.

thrift3 Decisions, Decisions

But fabric!

I narrowed it down to a cute floral printed stripe, about 2 1/2 yards for $6, and a kind-of-weird stripe, about 3 1/2 yards (60″ wide though!) for $8. I think the latter must have been produced as a home decor fabric since it’s so wide, but it has the weight and hand of a nice quality quilting cotton. The print stripe is quite dated, and I bet it doesn’t appeal to a lot of people. I don’t have a problem with ‘ugly’ fabric, in fact I like it and think it’s a fun challenge to make it look cool in a quilt.

I can’t afford all of it. After some hemming and hawing, I chose to get both lengths of fabric and leave the little frame behind. I hope I made the right decision! While I could admire the little image at home, I can actually use the fabric to make something. That’s what quilters do, right? But they also love and appreciate quilt history and items that embody it, so I don’t know.

If only I had unlimited funds, I’d have a lot more of everything except for dilemmas like this one. Did I make the right choice? What would you have done? Should I go back this weekend to see if the frame is still there? Until then, I’ll be checking out what’s going down on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and our website. Have a happy weekend!

Posted in Gigi, Inspiration, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Forever by the Seaside Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS NANCY!

I opened an email a couple of days ago which told me exactly how many days until Halloween, US Thanksgiving and Christmas (92, 120 and 147 respectively from today’s date, Wednesday July 30th). The email was a sales ad about being prepared for the upcoming holiday season, and the first thing I thought about that was that I’m not ready for the holiday season yet because I’m still enjoying summer. Never mind how many days of summer are or are not left, how quickly Autumn is approaching and the fact that it has been pouring rain around here since some uncertain time yesterday (and intermittently throughout the last week). I just want to enjoy summer a little while longer! Which is why the current giveaway item perfectly describes how I’m feeling.

FbtSG 550 Forever by the Seaside Giveaway This is a bundle of 12 fat quarters from the Forever by the Seaside collection by Linda Coleman for Red Rooster Fabrics which is very summery and sure to give your next quilting project that vacation feeling no matter the time of year.

We’re trying something a little different with our giveaway entries this time, which means that we would like you to CLICK HERE and write your comment about what project(s) you hope to finish before summer is over (or winter, for those of you in the southern hemisphere) on the entry form on that page. Entries must be received by 11:59 pm Mountain Time Sunday August 4, 2014. Contest is open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 day. If you’re randomly selected as the winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with the subject line “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway.”

To view the projects other people commented they were hoping to finish by the end of summer, CLICK HERE. Some of you have quite large to-finish lists!

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