Mighty Lucky Inspiration

This week turned into an unexpectedly busy week. Nothing bad, just a number of time sucking curve balls. As a result, I still haven’t put bias strips to background for the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club challenge. If I had won the Powerball, then all that busyness could have gone away and I could have immersed myself in sewing. HA!

I can now, at least, make the bias strips since I was able to find the one of the bias tape makers I wanted to play with at Beverly’s. Yes, I did order them from Amazon and I received the 1″, but the 1/4″ tape maker was on back order. I made trips to a couple of quilt stores, knowing I could cancel the online orders, but both Always Quilting and Scruffy Quilts were out of bias tape makers. I guess the MLQC is popular OR making bias tape is popular.

I was out for a walk and stopped in at Beverly’s even though i didn’t have a coupon. They had all the sizes in the Clover brand! Since I had some simple ideas in mind, I bought the 1/4″ tape maker and cancelled the Amazon order.

Aside from the sketches that I made and showed you the other day, I found two pictures that also make me want to make them using bias tape.

Bias tape water bird
Bias tape water bird

I saw the first picture when I was, again, out for a walk (I walk a lot). It is a cool line drawing I saw a on the back of a car. I think I might have mentioned that I love water birds once or twice and this sticker reminded me of an egret. The body is a little fat, but I can adjust that – or not – when I get the bias tape ready.

I could also do an outline of myself, though there is not a lot of detail, because I am bundled up and in shadow. I am not inclined to do that, but the outline is clear enough.


Then, yesterday, I was early for a meeting. I didn’t want to announce myself until closer to the meeting time, so I started to organize the photos on my phone. I have too many and I need to off load them, but organizing always calms my nerves. In the course of that exercise, I found another bird statue that would be a great bias tape drawing.

I remember taking the photo from a magazine wanting to remember the swoops and lines of the beautiful piece of art. Sadly, I don’t remember any details about the artist or the magazine. I did not make this statue!

One bird is one thing, but I am not sure I want to make both. If these challenge pieces are just challenges piece, then I can make as many as I want. If they will be a quilt, which is what I was thinking when I was sketching the confetti lines, then I might need to think about how many I make.

I suppose making ONE is the first step. 😉

Mighty Lucky Quilting Club

Mighty Lucky Quilting Club
Mighty Lucky Quilting Club

I talked about the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club in a post on Tuesday. I actually wrote those words a few days ago…before I saw the first challenge at BAMQG on Saturday. At that time I wrote “I am interested to see what they do, but don’t want to put another ‘should’ or ‘must’ on my list. I am also not much interested in playing with negative space or more on improvisation, which is to say that it may not be for me…”

I like the name they have chosen. There is something about the words Mighty and Lucky and that make me feel powerful and capable. Silly, probably.

Then I saw the results a few people brought for the first challenge. The first challenge has to do with making and using bias. The idea of the ‘club’ isn’t, at least in the first month, just how to make nine patches and sew set in seams. Now I was interested.

MLQC challenge sketches - January
MLQC challenge sketches – January

I signed up as soon as I got home and started imagining designs. I have wanted to learn to use one of those bias tape makers, but never took the time. As I let the challenge settle into my brain, the ideas started to come. While I was waiting to pick up my nephew from swimming, I did some doodles, not in a sketchbook as is suggested, but just in my journal, which is fine for me. My doodles stemmed from my thoughts of confetti streamers. I don’t think any of my sketches look like what is in my mind, but they are interesting regardless.

MLQC challenge sketches - January
MLQC challenge sketches – January

Drawing the ideas out in long rectangles made me think of the top of a quilt. The quilt would have blocks of different sizes put together in an interesting way. I was thinking that I would use turquoise as a background, perhaps different turquoises, and then red on top. I know you have seen it a million times, but I am stuck on that combination for the moment.

I received, immediately, a nicely formatted PDF with the information about the challenge.

Yesterday, I got home and went looking for the bias tape makers. I am sure I bought a set and can’t find them anywhere, so, sadly, I bought more. Sadly, because I know I will find them as soon as the new ones arrive. I did not buy a 2″ bias tape maker. For this challenge, I think I will stick to thinner lines.

I hope this is fun and am not adding to the ‘shoulds’ in my life.


Shop Review: Candy’s Quiltworks

I was visiting Grama over the weekend and took a few minutes out of the constant care and cleaning to visit with Susan, have lunch and take a trip to the quilt shop in Northridge. I used to live near Northridge and the place looks so different now. I don’t know if my eyes have different standards for how streets should look or if the streets have really changed or if I never went to this area of Northridge. The area we drove in had lots of concrete, not much green, signs stacked on top of each other right near the sidewalk to announce the businesses in each strip mall. I guess I am not used to seeing the types of strip malls they have here. I don’t know.

Candy's Quiltworks  backdoor
Candy’s Quiltworks backdoor

Regardless, Susan came and got me (what a saint) so Mom and Grama could go to Grama’s lunch bunch. She also did all the research and found a pizza place that served GF pizza and a quilt store right down the street. Perfect!

The pizza place was called Pizza Rev and they had GREAT GF standards for handling the ingredients. The only thing I didn’t like was how loud the place was. However, Susan and I could hear each other and we couldn’t really hear the people around us, which was good. I would go there again in a heartbeat.

We chatted quite a bit at lunch. I am interested in Susan’s remodeling project. Of course, she had questions about Grama, we talked about our kids and, of course, quiltmaking!

Much too soon, we had to go to the quilt store. 😉 We could have talked for a long time.

Quilts on the wall
Quilts on the wall

Candy’s Quiltworks is a big shop. In the picture above, you can see that there is one of those rolling doors like auto garages have. The walls were cinder block, which is odd to a girl from earthquake country. I assume it is reinforced, but in an earthquake, I think I would run outside.

None of the above has anything to do with the shop. Candy’s has over 10,000 bolts of fabric, at least according to one of the clerks. I believe it. Their entire front wall and one side was filled with bolts of batiks. One entire side wall was tone on tone fabrics. The middle was filled with different lines of fabric, mostly together, as well as an aisle of blacks on whites and whites on blacks.

The quilts in the photo above are two of the sample quilts they had hanging. I thought there was a lot more space for samples, but perhaps they were in between hangings? The one with the white background looked like it could be a Jelly Roll quilt. I thought it looked like an updated log cabin version.

Notions wall
Notions wall

This is part of the Notions area. They focused on Creative Grids rulers (saw a Tumbler and a strip maker as well as others), but also had some specialty rulers from Eleanor Burns.

I didn’t see any Fons & Porter rulers, but they have a wide variety of the Marti Michell rotary template sets and rotary rulers such as the 60 degree triangle rulers. I also saw the Clear Angle ruler needed to cut the hexagons in that strip piecing method I used (originally on Little Bluebell’s blog) a few years ago for the Attack of the Hexies quilt.

This is also where they keep their sale fabrics – $5.99/yard. Can you believe how many bolts of sale fabrics they have? I didn’t really do more than glance at them, but it seemed like a lot of novelty prints.

Books and Such
Books and Such

The shop had these racks of books all over the store. I wasn’t in the market for any books today, so I only took a quick look at them. From what I saw, they were a little off the beaten path. It was an interesting mix of books and I think you would find some interesting titles. I think it would have been a little difficult to find a specific book.

There were  a wide variety of panel projects hanging all over the store. In the photo with the books you can see some Halloween panels (the one with the pumpkin looks like it has a Halloween bunting as well), a gingerbread house panel. I saw panels from which you could make aprons and other small accessories.

These things are hard to display. I don’t see them in quilt shops up north, so I don’t know if they sell or not. I got one as part of a pack when I bought the fabric to make the Frosted Stars quilt. I thought it was fairly hideous, but I used it for the back anyway. This was a good way to display them as shoppers couldn’t avoid seeing them. The annoying thing was that we had to hold them out of the way for each other so we could see the fabric.

In another area, I saw Aurifil thread, mostly in neutrals. I saw a HUGE selection of DMC floss.

Tone-on-tone wall
Tone-on-tone wall

TFQ and I have been lamenting the lack of tone-on-tones now that solids have returned with force and bold modern prints are such the rage. I love solids, but sometimes you need a good tone-on-tone to add interest to your fabric selections.

Candy’s has you covered. This is a picture of HALF the wall of tone-on-tones. It looked like they had every tone, shade and hue of tone-on-tone imaginable there. I was very disappointed that I didn’t need to buy some tone-on-tones to fill in for a project.

Near different groups of fabrics, the staff has posted patterns and pamphlets with different ideas for quilts, bags and small accessories as well as baby projects.

You can see a little peek on the top of the bolt shelves of other stuff. The tops of the shelving were stuffed with different things: Jelly Rolls, patterns, kits for handbags (we saw some by Riley Blake that had everything you needed to go home and start sewing a gift.), fat quarter packs, though not a lot, and a multitude of other stuff that I can’t even remember.

Batik wall (front)
Batik wall (front)

I don’t think I have ever seen this many batiks in one place. It was an amazing number of batiks.

I don’t like those kind of shelves, normally, but in this case I think it worked well for two reasons: 1) the aisle was big enough to so I could get far enough back to see the different shades and tones; and 2) there were a lot of bolts of batik fabric.

I was kind of looking for a background for the Russian Rubix. I was thinking of a white with some grey on it. Shockingly, we didn’t find any of those colors. There didn’t seem to be any white batiks at all.

Rows and rows of fabric
Rows and rows of fabric

I really could have bought a piece of almost every one of these batiks. I am really noticing how they glow in projects near regular quilting cotton.

On top of the shelves, you can see more of the samples and projects.

I have never seen as many novelty fabrics in one place. They had as many junk food fabrics as a person could wish for. I saw some of the RJR food fabrics and was tempted for the other two food quilts I want to make, but refrained.

We saw a ton of baby fabric. Susan noticed the American Jane Punctuation fabric and several other lines from a few years ago. They might be worth calling if you are looking for something out of print.

There was a whole aisle of Asian fabrics.

We really had a short amount of time to visit this store, so I wasn’t able to look in detail at all of the fabric. It will definitely be worth another trip.

Actually I may not have seen this much fabric in one place in California ever. I have seen this much fabric in one place in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

Patterns and Pink
Patterns and Pink

This is a shot from the restroom across the store to the opposite wall. The back door, where we entered would be to your left if you were in the store.

In the area to the left of that rounder of pink were all of their charm packs. there were piles of Jelly Rolls that were just the beginning of the Jelly Roll Extravaganza (not to leave out Anthropologie strips and Bali Pops) available at Candy’s.

They also had patterns galore in that rack and all over the store.

The store was a bit messy. I think it is hard when there is so much inventory. All in all, though, worth the trip. As I said, I would go there again.

Vital Statistics:
Candy’s Quiltworks
8549 Reseda Blvd
Northridge, California
(818) 349-7397
(between Napa and Chase)

There is no sign in front and the windows are tinted black. We went around and parked in back, but found out that there was a front door later.

Why Should You Care: you might have to travel to Northridge someday. This would be a great shop to visit if you need to get away from a conference or a little too much family for a few minutes.

Lark Crafts Books on Sale


This is a gratuitous post to give Lark Craft books a boost since they are supporting the Black Friday Sew-in on Friday (thus the name Black FRIDAY). Lark is having a sale on their Craft books via BN.com. Now is the time to pick up some goodies for your quilting, sewing, and crafty friends.

Lark Crafts Sale Thanksgiving 2012
Lark Crafts Sale Thanksgiving 2012