Please check out my For Sale page. I know you want a new design wall.
Fabric Mutt has a project called the Gingham Girls Stationery Kit. I am not sure why it is called ‘stationery’ unless that is part of the name of the fabric line? This is a small sewing kit project, similar to the needle case that I make sometimes.
Tools & Techniques
Applegreen Cottage posted a tutorial about starting off sewing without a knot. This is useful in theory, but genius. It is easy and I was amazed by the effectiveness. Apparently, the blog owner has a lot of tutorials on the site, which I have not yet reviewed.
Gretchen has pointed me to Margaret Soloman Gunn’s work and her blog. The description of herself and her blog made me smile and I love the style of her writing.
Sad news that a majority share of Craftsy is being purchased by NBCUniversal. I am sure we will get more spam, more PITA and less content. I am sure the owners are happy. I got an email with this news and don’t see it on the Craftsy blog.
Jackie has upgraded her workroom. She wrote a blog post about what she did and what she used.
I really like this pattern even though it gave me a few fits before I finished it.
I found this pattern somehow. It is free (for personal use only) from Zen of Making*. I wish I had thought of the name, because there is something zenlike about making and the name is cool.
The travel kit is part of a three part series, which includes a lesson on making the hexie flowers. The final piece is making a pincushion out of smaller hexies to use with the EPP Kit. I had plans to make that as well, but ran out of time.
This travel kit is awesome and the problem I had really had nothing to do with the pattern, but with the supplies I had on hand. I hand on hand, and wanted to use, some sew-in invisible magnet closures. Sara of Sew Sweetness uses these in a lot of her patterns and I find I have better success with them than the models with the ‘legs’ used in this pattern.
The closure is pretty awesome. I love the way the hexie flowers stick together. Very clever.
Once I figured out how to get the sew-in magnetic closures oriented in the right direction, the assembly went pretty smoothly. There is a lot of handwork in this pattern, which I wasn’t expecting.
The open look (right, slightly above) is a little odd. I think it might be because of the scrappiness of the whole piece. I think I should have used a backing for the flap hexie flower that matched the hexie flower (the one with leaves and a turquoise center). I do kind of like the scrappy look. I think I will make one that looks like a Dia de los Muertos celebration for a different friend. I definitely want to try different colors.
Altoids tins fit nicely inside and Haley (blog owner/designer) calls for two of them for this project. I had to scrounge them up. I put a piece of felt in the bottom of each tin to make them less rattly and a little nicer.
I cut and added some 5″ squares, and an EPP book to make the kit look full and fun.
*It appears that the name of the blog has changed to Red Handled Scissors. Not sure why, but the pattern is still there.
The week is nearly upon us. My house looks like a bomb of tissue paper, decorative paper and ribbon went off in it. There are gifts and baskets everywhere. I haven’t even begun to inventory my clothes for the week yet. That will only add to the chaos.
In addition to the physical chaos, we also had some other chaos: our washer broke and is unfixable and one of the Grand Officers died so some of our precious prep time was, understandably, devoted to a rosary and a funeral.
My SILs, a friend and I spent Craft Night on Monday boxing and wrapping favors for the Ladies Luncheon. These soaps were made my my sister, owner of Wooden Heart Soaps (go buy some-they are awesome), the wallpaper from which we made the boxes was from FabMo and one of my SILs dug into her stash of gift bag ribbon for our use.
The soaps are Grapefruit Bellini scent. I wanted something that most people would like and was not too strong. Cross your fingers.
I also had to procure a number of thank you gifts for the people who helped with all of the events.
I decided to use handbags as the holders since they were nice and could be used later. I hope the committee likes them. If they don’t, I know they won’t say anything. 😉
Maureen designed the centerpieces and Carol took them and designed a tableau around Maureen’s work. The plate holder will be clear or white (I can’t remember); the one in the picture is just a sample. Carol designed the waves and put together enough for all the tables. She did a wonderful job, especially using the lace doily to add a bit of finish to work.
After organizing my clothes, I think I will be done. We’ll see whatever other crises fate throws in our way.
Last week I talked about the pressed glass glassware I saw at Yoder’s. There was a lot of it and I decided to do a series of posts about the different colors.
The green and yellow weren’t my favorite, but I could appreciate the colors. The green also reminded me of my Jadite batter bowl.
The yellow is really interesting. There is a combination of milky and clear that I can see in the photo. (I don’t remember from the store)
The Palette Builder is a great and fun tool. Try it out! Let me know if you make anything with any of these palettes.
The default palette is predictably neutral based. There is one yellow and I guess Meringue can be either a neutral or not, depending on whether it is next t a neutral or next to a bright. It is kind of shocking how many neutrals can be found in an image where my eye sees mostly green and yellow.
A very smart reader pointed out that the camera has limitations on what it can see. I know that is true, but it still amazes me.
It was interesting do move the dots around for the first time on this image. I always get a little tingle when I do that. All of the circles were towards the top in the default image, so the green was not even touched in the default palette. I kept my range in the yellows and tried to get as many yellows as I could. I will work my way down.
The third option is a combination of neutrals and greens. It is fine.
I got two marginally different green palettes out of this image. While there are some similarities in the exact shades, which makes sense, there are no duplicates in the palette. This is a good thing about camera images. The camera can pick up the differences in shades and tones found in shadows and in bright light.
Finally, I wanted to play around the Jadeite looking pieces on the bottom. I was concerned there would be too many lights for Kona, but I don’t know how many lights they have so I decided to see what I got. I was surprised to see the tool register so many darks. I did stay towards the back of the case, I’ll admit that, but still. The pieces seem lighter than the pieces one shelf higher.
I could have gone on and done more palettes, but I had to get on. Enjoy!
I have decided that I like that Big Tote pattern from the Make It Take It book.
This will be the carrier for the other gifts, such as the cloth napkins I talked about earlier this week, DH will present to the NDGW Grand President. This is the first one I made with just two fabrics. No mosaic piecing. The bold print works very well, but I think smaller prints would look better using the mosaic piecing method I used for the second one I made.
There are some things I would like to try, e.g. pockets. In my mind pockets are essential. This isn’t a huge tote, so I envision it being used as a handy bag to put a few things in when you weren’t planning on buying anything.
I couldn’t resist adding a little of my own personality to the inside.
You can see some of the other gifts inside the bag.
I decided to use blue instead of purple on step 3 of En Provence. I have been hanging around not doing anything about step three for several weeks. Finally, needing something mindless to do for a few minutes, I cannibalized the blue squares from my stash of Blue Lemonade 2 inch squares. I planned to use them for En Provence and replace the Blue Lemonade blue squares before I started to sew that piece together.
Everything didn’t go as planned.
Blue Lemonade also has green and purple squares, so the entire box wasn’t blue. Also, there were duplicates, so I didn’t take all of the blue squares as I want both to be relatively scrappy. Not even the majority of the box was blue. I think the squares were evenly distributed between the three colors.
I ended up with about 380 squares. If my math is right (never a guarantee), I need 672 squares to make 168 four patches. Bonnie doesn’t exactly say, but I think I need 672 squares to make 168 four patches. My math isn’t so terrible that I can’t multiply. Still, it seems like a lot. I can use strips and make them less scrappy. We’ll see.
Then I started to cut from my scrap bin. I have a lot of blue scraps, so I was able to cut several out of the scraps. My scraps are either too small or too big. Still, I found some I could use. This put me up to 464 squares. Not shabby, but still 200+ short. I don’t relish the thought of cutting 200+ squares, but it has to be done or I have to use strips.
Then I have to replenish the Blue Lemonade squares as well. Sigh.
Yes, I am starting another project. Mostly I am starting it because Daisy said I should and then the omens were good. I found a layer cake I liked at $15 off and found some American Made Brands background at a $1 off per yard. Perhaps this will be boyish enough for one of the nephews?
I couldn’t have done it without my recent travel. I got the layer cake (left) at Fabric Depot in Portland. That place is huge-HUGE and they were having a pretty good sale. Yes, both new items add to my fabric usage totals, but I am hopeful that I’ll be able to finish something larger than a handbag soon.
The charcoal is from Yoder’s in Shipshewana, Indiana. They had the whole line, which was awesome! I got a bit more than I needed, but you know, mistakes. The fabric is now washed so I can start cutting.
The quilt is called the Layer Cake Explosion. You can find the free pattern on Craftsy. Also, check out Daisy’s blog for more information. I did look at the templates for the alternate block and I am thinking I might do something else. I am not a fan of the way that little triangle looks. We will see.
The pattern calls for the Creative Grids Stripology Ruler. There is a YouTube video which shows you how to use this ruler. As much as I love rulers, I don’t think I will be using it. I think I will use my Accuquilt, though it is possible I don’t have the right die for the strip size. Stay tuned.
I haven’t done any sewing for the past 14 days or so, thus Indiana is being featured again. At Yoder’s they had a section of housewares that had the most interesting stuff: 5 kinds of molds for popsicles, the old versions of Risk, Clue and Sorry as well as bowls, plates, locally made wooden spoons and cutting boards and a zillion other things you didn’t know you needed.
One thing I saw was a whole display of pressed glass serveware. OMG! I never saw such pretty stuff. It wasn’t expensive, but I could have fun with some of the serving pieces. How do you like that square cake plate?
Will I ever learn? The default palette has nothing to do with what I see in the photo. I always expect so much more.
Of course, I liked my first attempt much better. It isn’t great. I could do without the Kona Taupe, but the Morning Glory is wonderful.
I am not a fan of the Midnight but otherwise the third palette is much better. The Sage and Aqua really add to this palette.
The Palette Builder is a great and fun tool. Try it out! Let me know if you make anything with any of these palettes.
Yoder’s Department Store is the place that is the main fabric store for the Shipshewana Quilt Festival. I never thought I would go to this place. It’s in Indiana. Do you know how far it is from my house? 5 hours on a plane, 3 hours on a bus, assuming your plane isn’t late and you don’t miss the bus, and about an hour in a car. We went to this store right after Zinck‘s and only had about an hour to look around. I was slightly jetlagged, so I had enough time, but I could have spent weeks in that store and not seen everything.
The other thing I noticed was that the store was scrupulously clean. Where Zinck’s was a little dark and slightly grubby – not dirty, just very basic – Yoder’s was spotless and bright.
For those of you who have not been to Yoder’s, it is a giant building with a few different and separate areas: fabric and clothing, housewares, hardware and a few others. We went into the fabric and clothing section, which also had shoes, table linens, baby clothes, and a few other things. The fabric section took up about half of that space. There was so much fabric that it was difficult to take it all in.
Finally, I decided to do a circuit around the outside of the department to see what I saw. One of the first things I saw was some Tula Pink fabric.
This made me realize that I was in a different sort of store. The fabrics weren’t closeouts or remnants; they were the latest fabrics and a lot of them. I saw several lines of Thimbleblossoms fabrics, tons of Moda, all the American Made Brands solids, Kona solids, Bella solids.
I think I saw more of everything than I have ever seen anywhere. I think there was more fabric here than in Portland at the Fabric Depot. It would be close. If a person couldn’t take in all of the yardage and wanted to just pick some pre-cuts, the task would not be much easier. There were so many pre-cuts, I really couldn’t look at them all. Also, there were new ones. I saw Lulu Love by Cory Yoder (coincidence???) as well as Sunday Drive, which I had seen in Oregon and Washington.
As with most quilt stores, there were quilts hanging everywhere with kits available for all of them. I found many of them to be quite appealing. Everywhere I went I saw notions, as well.
There was a whole large area with Creative Grids rulers. They had everyone I have ever seen including my favorite the 4.5″ x 8.5″ and the one on my list, the 20.5″ square. I bought a cut loose project sheet from this area to make a scarf hanger using a coat hanger, fabric and large WonderClips. Stay tuned for more on that project.
Outside Yoder’s was a farm and there was a great view of the barn. I love this view and would, theoretically, love to have my own version. I probably wouldn’t like the work, though and would need a superb farm manager like Patrick in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.
My friend said there were at least 20 fabric stores within an hour drive from her house. I think I’ll have to come back. I am going to try and get a contract at her university so I’ll have a reason. 😉
Yes, the past 2 or so weeks have been an embarrassment of riches in terms of fabric shops. Shockingly, I have just returned from Indiana. Despite being from California, I have lived to tell the tale. Everyone was actually very nice and nobody judged me for being a Californian. Of course, my friend, Natalie, didn’t let me out of her sight.
Zinck’s is housed in a former furniture store, so it is LARGE. They have all kinds of fabric including a large selection of quilting fabric. I saw fleece for $1.99/yard and thought of BAM‘s pet bed project. There were a large number of home dec fabrics for $5/$6 per yard with sale home dec fabrics at $1.99 a yard. Can you say Priced To Sell?
They had a large number of quilting cottons. I wasn’t overly impressed with the quality, so I stuck to fabrics that had a selvedge I could find and recognize. There were lots of different designs, many of which I did not recognize. Lots of calicos and ‘interesting’ novelty prints.
There were a large number of fat quarters at $1.50 each. I was determined to find some. When I went over to look, I found that a lot of them were the flat packs. Flat packs have a piece of cardboard inside and a sticker that says made in China. While there were some cut prints, I didn’t end up buying any. The fabric felt like Joann or Walmart fabric and I didn’t like the feel.
One interesting aspect of the shop was their flat fold quilting fabric. There were pieces laying on tables consisting of 2-6 yards of fabric. They would cut pieces off, so if you wanted only a half yard, you could get that. If you bought the whole piece, however, they would give you a dollar off PER YARD! If you need backs, this is the place to go.
The store had knits, flannels, various polyesters, suiting fabrics and basically anything any sewist would want. If you are on a budget, you should definitely visit.
On our way to the next store, we got a little Amish Country ambiance.
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or pretending to stitch. I try not to put away projects, because that will ensure I never work on them.
Carpenter’s Wheel blocks – The blocks are completed, as you know and I am well into putting the blocks together.
City Sampler – blocks all made. Need to sash the blocks and finish putting the top together. I have the fabric I will use and I have no washed it, so nothing is stopping me from getting going.
English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I am still making stars. I am still using the big stack of fabrics I cut over Thanksgiving to make more stars. This piece is a weird shape otherwise I would just finish it and move on. I still a month of traveling with DH and he has plans for other trips where he has no duties, though there is still some negotiation to made on that.
En Provence – Second clue is finished. I have decided to use blue where the purples are in Bonnie’s version. The blues are cut and I just need to sew.
FOTY 2016 – It is still time to start arranging it. I wanted to do it immediately after finishing the Peacock top, but with my design wall issues, I don’t think I will.
Lobster – have more stitching to do and then I need to quilt it.
Octagon 9 Patch: ready to put together. Not sure what I am waiting for. Another leaders/enders project or do I want to lay out the blocks more carefully?
Under the Sea: class project; like the design and am happier with the colors. I haven’t worked on it since February.
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.
The Tarts Come to Tea: I still haven’t worked on this since April 2011, though, I did bring it to the 2017 CQFA Retreat as a potential project. It is still in a prominent location so I have easy access.
Pies and Points from Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. No further progress. I did wash the background fabric I found when I went to Portland, so I am ready to cut. I need to focus on this and it is not up high enough on the list yet.
Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. My career counselor breathed new life into this project for me. She asked a simple question and the end result was inspiration for this piece, but I kind of lost steam again after printing images on paper to try out different designs. Lately, I have stopped feeling like I need to finish this piece. I am not ready to give up on it yet. I think it really needs major surgery.
Thanksgiving tablemat – I started quilting this piece at the 2017 CQFA Retreat. I made good progress, but it isn’t finished yet.
Theoretically, the Tarts Come to Tea is in the quilting process, though I haven’t worked on it in a while. It did come with me to Retreat and almost made it high enough on the list to get some love.
Hunting and Gathering
30 Something: I am still cutting 1.5 inch squares. I am pretty sure I have the 800 I need, but I am not ready to sew these yet, so whenever I have a chance I cut more. It will give me choice when the time comes. I’ll have to think up a new name, too.
Blue Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch blue rectangles
Blue Lemonade: cutting blue, green, purple 2 inch squares. I am going to use these squares for En Provence, so I will need to cut more, I think.
Pink Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch pink rectangles
Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I am supposed to be cutting a variety of greys for the background. I bought a new template, so I should be able to get going again
Stepping Stones #3 using the Macaron pre-cuts from Hoffman. I have all the fabric in pre-cuts and am just waiting for space (and desire) in my schedule.
Amanda and I didn’t feel like we were quite done with our day of fabric-y goodness, so she suggested that we head to Vancouver. I always think of British Columbia when I hear Vancouver, but, of course, Amanda meant Washington. The shop we visited was called Fiddlesticks.
We actually stopped at another store first, but it was closed, though all signs, including Google, suggested that it should be open. Not closed forever; just closed that day. It didn’t matter, regardless of how much I would have liked to see another store. Fiddlesticks was a great stop. I bought a couple of items, specifically text fabric for the Carpenter’s Wheel backgrounds.
The store was light and airy. Some of the shelves were white, which is very appealing to me. I also liked it that the shop catered to a lot of different types of quilters. Modern Domestic was fantastic, but quiltmakers specializing in reproduction quilts would find nothing of interest there. There was a small area highlighting these types of quilts, catering to these quiltmakers at Fiddlesticks.
There were other areas that catered to specialty interests of quiltmakers.
As I said, the shop was open and airy. This came partially from large windows and white paintwork, but also from the apparently new building. The shop was in a strip mall, but not a nasty, low rent strip mall. It was a nice, clean brick building across from a lovely open green space (probably slated for redevelopment, but nice and green right now).
They had a lot of bright and cheerful fabric. I found lots of batiks and other current fabrics. There was a great catch-all area with charm packs, current tools and notions. Fat quarters, layer cakes and charm packs were everywhere.
I looked at the Lulu Love by Cory Yoder charm pack at several different stores, including this one. I didn’t end up buying it at this shop, but I did eventually buy it in Indiana (more on THAT later). The Lulu Love colors and Moda fabrics were very much in evidence at Fiddlesticks.
The other thing I liked about Fiddlesticks was that it was very clean. They seem to move their merchandise, which I can appreciate.
My favorite room was in the back. It had the Kaffe Fassett fabrics and the text prints. There was one Kaffe Fassett print that I almost bought for another tunic or a dress. I have a few pieces at home waiting to be sewn, so I held off. I was sorely tempted, however. I love those large flower prints!
I saw the Moda text prints that I originally got in mini-charm format for the first time as yardage on bolts. As weird as it sounds, it was interesting to see the various designs that way. Yes, I bought a few pieces for the Carpenter’s Wheel backgrounds.
The amazing thing about this shop was that they have 2, yes TWO longarm machines. It was interesting to see them in situ. One was working while we were there. I didn’t ask any details, but it looked like the machine was doing some kind of pantograph.
I liked this store and I would recommend a visit. It is an easy drive from Portland.