Saturday, January 31, 2015

I went and did it!

Lots of quilters have them and swear that they are an indispensable tool but I've been holding out getting one for myself.  They aren't cheap for what they are and I've been doing ok so far without it.

But yesterday, try as I might, I just couldn't match up what I needed with the online images for the swatches.  The project that I need to create doesn't have to have the exact color matches but it will really bug me if they aren't right. So I went and ordered one so my guessing will end and I will be confident in the colors that I choose.

What in the world am I talking about?  A Kona color card.  I finally went and bought one.  Or ordered one is a little more accurate at the moment, since it isn't in my hands yet.
I've been really holding out on getting one of these as best as I could but I finally caved yesterday so that I can stop struggling to find the colors that work for my projects.  

When I searched to see who had them to sell, I was shocked to find that many places are pricing them as much as $30 right now.  Luckily I found it on sale at Hancocks of Padukah for $19.99.  Of course shipping gets added to that too but still, I saved $8 over their normal price.

If I were a betting gal, I would bet that I'll end up buying a color card for Moda's Bella solids too at some point since I do like using those too but I decided to not spend so much at this point in time.

So do you have one of more of the solid fabric color cards and do you find that you use it a lot?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Today starts the We Support You Blog Hop

Today is the first day of the We Support You blog hop dreamed up by my friend Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt fame.  This blog hop was envisioned as a way to support all of those that have been touched by that nasty C word....Cancer.  I'm sure we all are connected to someone that has received that dreaded diagnoses.
To me this blog hop also can be for anyone else in your life that needs the support of her friends and that is who I'm creating my project for, a friend who needs tons of support for all that she has to deal with each and every day.  Here is a sneak peak.
Sorry.  That's all you get for now.  I draped the unquilted piece over the stair railing in my upstairs hall because I loved the way the early morning sun was filtering through the piecing and you can see the shadow of the bra design just a tad.

I'll be posting my finished project on the final day of the blog hop, Feb 11th but in the meantime, please visit all of the other fabulous quilters sharing with you each day.  The complete blog hop schedule is below.

Jan 29th 

Jan 30th 

Feb 2nd 

Feb 3rd 

Feb  4th 

Feb 5th  
Feb 6th  
Feb 9th 

Feb 10th  

Feb 11th  
Sew We Quilt

I look forward to seeing you back here on the 11th.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quilters Public Service Announcement: Massdrop alert and Stunning Stitchin Sunday

 Have you heard of Massdrop yet? I know that many quilters have mentioned them on their blogs in the past and I'm doing it too today to alert you to a great deal they have going on right now that you won't want to miss. 

Massdrop enables buyers to connect almost directly with manufacturers and by working together, get fabulous deals with group buying power.  If enough people are willing to purchase an item at a discount, than Massdrop contacts the company involved and arranges for the item to be available.  If even more people commit to buying, then they are able to unlock the lowest deal possible.  It is a win, win for everyone involved.

So while blog reading this morning (sorry I don't remember on who's blog I saw this) there was a mention of a great deal going on for Quilters Dream Wool Batting.  It is a 2 (or 3, depending on what sizes you choose) bundle for the drop dead price of $48.99 and free shipping!  The MSRP on this is $79.96 so that is 39% off. 
You just can't beat that kind of price anywhere. I haven't tried wool batting yet but I do love the Quilters Dream line so you betcha I bought some.  I got the queen/twin bundle since I tend to make more big quilts than small ones. There are still 4 days left of this sale so you'd better hop on over to get some for yourself.

There!  That's my Quilters Public Service Announcement for the day.  You are welcome.

Now onto today's Stunning Stitchin Sunday showcase.
Grab a cuppa, enjoy the show and then click through to the links to see the rest of the gorgeousness they are sharing.

On the Girl Scout cookie front, Sunshine and I went out yesterday for a few hours and finished visiting the neighbors on our own street and one of the ajoining cul-de-sacs.  We still have one more cul-de-sac to go.  She sold 75 more boxes of cookies and she is now at 92% of the goal that she had set for herself.  And we are only 9 days into the selling season.  There are still 2 1/2 weeks to go and then another 8 weeks of Goal Getter and both sales after that.  She is going to blow her goal right out of the water!

Friday, January 23, 2015

New valance for my studio

After painting my studio a pale shade of Yellow right before I brought Penelope my longarm home I needed to put up some curtains so I used the old white sheers with embroidered edge detail that used to hang in our master bedroom at our old house. They worked because the studio window is double wide and couldn't be used in our current master bedroom since we have 4 windows there now.
 Here you can see the pretty edge detail a little bit better (sort of) along with my flying frog made of Jackfruit wood that is a good luck symbol in Bali and the other bits of fun I have hanging in the window.
But lately seeing them I've been itching for a change up plus the long panel in the center keeps getting in my way when stitching together big pieces. I didn't want to spend a lot of money so I considered what I already had in my stash and came upon the Bonjour Mon Ami by Amanda Murphy FQ bundle that I had purchased from The Intrepid Thread.
The pale Yellow goes well with the wall color and the rest of the pallet works well with the other colors in the room without being too wild.  I hunted on the internet for ideas and finally came across one that was not just a bunch of squares sewn together and that suited my style a better.  Luckily I was able to hunt down the tad bit more that I needed to make my plan work (at $3.99 a yard too) and as soon as it arrived, I set to work.

I cut each of the fat quarters into 3" x 21" strips.
Then I put them together in a pleasing layout.  The belly bar of my longarm frame really is great for this.
Then it was just a bit of really quick stitching together of the strips to do.
Pairs of two became sets of eight and before long they were all sewn together.
All told, it took me 1 1/4 hours last Saturday evening to get to this point. It was late and I was tired so I called it a day.
Now when I walk into the room, this is what I see. Sooooo much prettier!
The 2nd additional fabric that I ordered didn't arrive so I had to make due with the 1 yard of the red print that I received.  I added a 3" strip across the top and the bottom, hemmed both sides and the bottom and then sewed a curtain rod pocket at the top.
I'm really happy with the way this turned out though if that other fabric had come home too, I would have had more of the red available and would have made the top border wider.  Oh well, I still like it as is.
It adds just the right amount of color and is sheer enough to still let the brilliant sunshine still come through.
I've been contemplating what curtains I want to put up in our dining room.  After making this one, I just might make some for there too instead of purchasing premade ones.  The hunt for just the right fabric just commenced!

Oh, and I think I'll link up to a few parties today. Check them out.  There is bound to be lots of great quilt eye candy to see.

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Social Club Pillows

Part of my plan for this year in turning our abode's spaces into more eye pleasing rooms is to make some colorful items that will add some much needed pizazz.  That will include some pillows, table runners and a few wall hangings.

As I wanted a quick and easy project, I elected to follow someone else's pattern for my first pillow making endeavour.  I ended up choosing this Mini Charm Pillow tutorial by Sam Hunter on Janome's website.  I really like the small amounts of solid fabric around each square to break up the prints a bit.
 Photo from Janome's site.

Right before the holidays I stitched up my first pair of pillows.  Our playroom/library needed some oomph and I found the Social Club line by Eric and Julie Comstock for Moda the perfect choice and the blue color a great match for the room's curtains and the back of the new bookcases. Here is my result.
I chose not to make the frames mini blocks that Sam did and instead just sashed each mini charm in a layout that I liked.  I used Kona Snow for the sashing as it is what I had on hand and I was able to find some of the Blue/Teal alphabet print for the border.
I didn't copy the layout of the 1st pillow exactly for the 2nd one and that ended up being the right decision.  I like the way they compliment each other instead of being identical.
The envelope back was easy and I used the same alphabet print fabric. Like Sam, I like puffy pillows so these finished at 19" square and I stuffed a 20" pillow form inside.
Here they are on the older couch in the playroom/library.  I'm not going to show you the fabric on the couch underneath the slipcover but let me just say that it really isn't my style anymore.  But this couch was major expensive when we bought it, it still is really comfy and lots of years of use left in it plus it has an honest and truly awesome queen sleeper inside that comes in handy the occasional times we have house guests.
Now that the holiday decor is packed up and put away until next year., this couch turned out to the the best new home for my Castles on the Horizon quilt.  The great colors really liven up this space a ton.
So where did the Social Club pillows end up?  On the new couch in our great room of course.  I've never put any pillow on this couch before and as it turns out, my crew really like them there.  The kidlets both had one snuggled on their laps Saturday night as they were watching a bit of tv.
The funny part of this story is that when hubs first saw them on this couch, he asked me where I bought them.  They really were on the playroom/library couch for a few weeks before they were put away for the holidays and I know he saw them there.  I guess he didn't recognize them as the same pillows since they moved. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stunning Stitchin Sunday

Whew! For the last 2 weeks I've been knee deep in Girl Scout cookie selling season prep (you would not believe all that is involved) and Friday my scouts and parents got their order cards and information so we are now under way.  Boy am I glad that part is over.  I still have 3 months of cookie business to manage and I'm sure it is going to be chaos when all those cases of deliciousness arrive, but seeing the excitement on the girls' faces is just impossible to forget.  

Along with earning money for our troop activities, we have decided to donate some of our earnings to purchase books for the children at our local Ronald McDonald House. In addition, Girl Scouts have a way for customers to donate cookies through their Gifts of Caring campaign.  People can either purchase to send a box of cookies to be sent to US Troops or to be delivered to our Ronald McDonald House (our troops chosen local charity).  As someone that has close friends who have stayed at a RMH in the past, I do understand just how important their services are to the families that need them and since it is a place that helps the children, we thought it would be the perfect organization to support.  The girls can't wait to visit and deliver all the cookies and books we will have for them.

Anyhoo now it is time to get back to the sewing part of my life and I actually got back into my studio for a little quick stitching last night.  I'm stitching up a quick project and I hope that I'll have it completed to show in the next day or two.
But many others have also been stitching away so there is plenty of prettiness to oooh and ahhh over today.Just click on the names below to be whisked directly to their blog post so that you can see more of their gorgeous work.

Thankfully the past week has also seen my house completely de-Christmas-ified but now the rooms feel naked. So the coming months will bring working to stitch up some items and hunting for the perfect treasures to turn our abode's spaces into ones more interesting and inviting.  

Today the weather isn't going to be as brutal as it was yesterday so we will be off to the big warehouse store to stock up on necessities...you know you can't do without tp and tissues, especially this time of year.  Then we'll be back home and I'll be back in my studio working to finish my quick little project.  Where ever you call home, keep warm and enjoy today's showcase.



Saturday, January 10, 2015

My 2014 stash additions

One of my biggest goals for last year was to limit my new fabric purchases and only buy what I really, really loved.  I started my plan of resisting fabric that I only Like and instead only buy those that I really Love in 2013 and I'm happy that I've been able to continue that plan again this past year. While lots of people do weekly or monthly stash reports, I don't but I wanted to see how I did for the entire year so I pulled out my receipts (Yes I keep them all, I am an accountant after all) and I made a list....of course.

Here is what I purchased during 2014 that was purely new stash additions.  This does not include any fabric that I bought to complete a specific project such as sashing or border yardage, quilt backings or the basic staples such as white solid yardage.  I consider my stash as those fabrics that I have no set plans for yet.

In looking back, I found that I bought absolutely nothing until March so these were the 1st purchases of the new year.  I got a trio of Color Me Happy by V and Co charm packs and a layer cake of High Street by Lily Ashbury.
In April I went to MQX East (which was fabulous btw) and wanted to bring back something for the kidlets.  Well a quilt show isn't a place where you find many things for kids so I got them these half yard cuts. They may end up being perfect for the backings of their Primary Bee quilts.
In May I had a blast meeting up with my friend Liz at the A World of Quilts show in Somers, NY and I was really good and only bought this Fancy Folded Star grouping, tutorial from Moda Bake Shop. I'll be making my set into a small wall hanging instead of a pot holder or hot plate.
So that is it for the 1st half of the year.  Not bad, not bad at all.  The 2nd half of the year brought more new fabrics into the house starting with these beauties.  In July my friend Alana and I finally checked out a new fabric store nearby and these just had to come home with me.  There are 1 yard cuts of Picadilly Lane by Brenda Pinnick for Henry Glass and a quad of half yard cuts of Stonehenge Starry Night by Northcott.
August found me in the Lancaster area for our annual China Travel Group Reunion and I was able to stop into Old Country Store where these Bobbins and Bits fabrics by Pat Sloan just screamed to me and the price was too fantastic to pass up. I'm really looking forward to a repeat visit to that store. While there I also got a duo of 2 yard cuts of White on White fabrics, which aren't the easiest to find around here, but they were impossible to photograph well enough so that you could see the prints
In September I caved and got a little more Ghastlies to add to my collection.  Since I heard that this was the final year this series would be available, I didn't want to miss out on adding a few of the newer prints to my stash but I was really restrained and only got half yard cuts of each. As you would expect, if Alexander Henry surprises us all and comes out with some new additions to the fun line, I'll just have to get some of those too.
I had also come across an awesome sale on this Simply Color so I bought 2 yard cuts in each of these prints. They will be used for a backing for my Color quilt, so technically these aren't "no specific purpose" fabrics.
My sister Tina and I attended the Q.U.I.L.T. Schenectady show in October and again I was very restrained and only brought home the Halloween panel and spider web yardage.  While nearby we also visited the new location of Quilt Bug where I found many Halloween prints on sale that I hadn't seen before so of course I had to get a few half yard cuts for my collection.
Craft Town fabrics was having a great sale too in October so I shamelessly bought the Sewing Box by Gina Martin jelly roll and charms, The Simply Style by V and Co charms (to add to the Simply Color and Color Me Happy charms that I already had) and the Daydreams by Kate Spain fat eighth bundle.
And lastly, though these really aren't stash fabrics to me since I am designing projects to use these in, during July I bought these Solstice by Kate Spain mini charms, the Moonlight Manor mini charms and the Eerie by Basic Grey charm pack, along with a pair of Social Club by Eric and Julie Comstock that I've already used.
So there you have it.  These are all of the stash fabrics that I bought during the previous 12 months.  I wasn't as restrained as I could have been but at the same time, I didn't go as hog wild as I could have either.  For this new year, I'm going to keep on the same path and only buy new fabrics that I simply can't stop thinking about.  I've learned that I don't need a huge pile of big cuts to satisfy my need to have a specific line.  A small amount in the form of a few charms or other cuts that I actually turn into something suits me just fine.

So what are your fabric buying plans for this new year?