Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Quilters and Color

Yesterday I had a small group of lady shoppers who were looking for fabric to make pillowcases for pediatric patients at a local hospital--a church project.  Patients range in age from very young to teens.

I made several suggestions, pulling 3 fabrics from the large yardage stacks for sale, and the woman who was clearly in charge turned them all down.  She said repeatedly "I am not a quilter" and "our church ladies wouldn't like that".  Ummm, I thought these were gifts for youngsters, not people somewhat older than me...

This morning I thought about this while doing my 39 minutes on the elliptical trainer.  When done I am a hot, sweaty mess so as I cooled down, I set a timer for 5 minutes and pulled as many sets of 3 fabrics as I could that would make good pillowcases, using only fabric for sale, not opening the closets.  In less than those 5 minutes I had these 8 sets:

Now pillowcases are easy because they only require 3 fabrics, the body, the cuff, and a small accent strip.  I am good at selecting fabric for quilts and I love doing it.  I believe I have gotten good at it because I have taught beginning quiltmakers for almost 30 years--our first class involves helping each student select at least 12 fabrics for the quilt they will make, from the thousands of bolts they see in the shop. My job is to help them find a palette they like, not one I necessarily want to take home.

Over the years I have found the two most difficult things for quiltmakers to learn is:

1. how to pick fabrics that will make a pleasing quilt

2. how to master the dreaded 1/4" seam allowance--I'll discuss that in a later blog post on Perfect Piecing

My nice church lady shopper yesterday was making the two biggest mistakes in selecting fabric:

1. Everything had to MATCH
2. Using the preferences of the maker over that of the recipient

Fabrics that MATCH perfectly in a quilt are, in my opinion, boring.  Fabrics simply have to  "coordinate" or, in layman's terms "go with", the basic "focus" or "theme" fabric, in this case, the body of the pillowcase.   That is why I don't make quilts with only one line of fabric from one designer--new quilters are somehow being taught this is the only "acceptable" way to select fabric.  I am out to change that idea.

Since these pillowcases are intended for children, it is much more important the fabrics appeal to younger people, not those somewhat older than me.  Keep the recipient's desires/preferences in mind when making a fabric gift for someone.  The most difficult commission quilts I've made have been when I didn't like the fabrics.  But it's not about me when I'm making a quilt for someone else, it's about them.

The ladies finally settled on a few pieces, when the one quilter in the group finally had a say in what was selected.  The one in charge was not so sure about those selections.  I, however, am sure they will make great pillowcases...

And these 8 sets?  They will sit out the rest of this week on the "Pillowcase" table and if they don't sell, I'll make pillowcases to donate--win, win!

My advice:  when you see a quilt in a magazine, at a show, online, that you REALLY like, study it to find out what it is that appeals to you most--the colors, the fabric styles, the pattern?  That will help you develop an eye for what YOU like (or the recipient) and you can go forth and make great quilts.

Let's Quilt!


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Peaceful Pond

It's a beautiful Sunday morning, the air is dry, there's a slight breeze and I'm all ready for the Sale!

Taking a few minutes to enjoy the serenity of it all at our pond:

Top Side

Under Side

Butterflies and Dragonflies love the pickerel rush

Top Side

Under Side

 May you have a peaceful Sunday.

Let's Quilt!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ready, Set, SALE!

My friend, Rhonda, came back this morning to help me get the "Pretend I'm Moving Sale" all set up. She was such a great help!  We spent 3.5 hours pricing and arranging everything and I am now officially "READY".

I told my husband we could have more than 100 people here tomorrow and he was shocked.  Several guilds have been invited and past students who I had email addresses for.

If you follow my blog, and are anywhere local, you don't want to miss this and PLEASE bring or invite a crafty friend--Rhonda assures me we priced to sell and there is something for everyone, beginner to experienced. And there are even special Longaberger baskets for sale.  I want to share so y'all come!

Sunday August 28, noon-5, Mon-Sat August 29-Sept 3, 9-5, and Sunday September 4, noon-5.  If you don't have my address I don't know you so just send me an email for the invite/address.

Let's Quilt!


Friday, August 26, 2016

Almost Caught Up

So, I was on vacation last week, Ft. Walton Beach, FL, with our family:  both sons and their women, Stella, grand-girl extraordinaire, my D-I-L's folks, and her brother, his wife and their 5 year old son.  Does it look like we had a great time?

We stayed at The Breakers of Ft. Walton Beach and it was the perfect place.  We also lucked out with wonderful weather all week.

Now I'm back and doing all those post-vacation things: laundry, mail, bills, newspapers, returning phone calls and catching up on The Splendid Sampler blocks.  Here are the five most recent, #51-55.  I still have to do 56 but I'll get to that later:

#51 was a paper-pieced Bumble Bee that I replaced with BB, my grandmother name.  #54 was released last week while I was at the beach and I was thrilled--it's a shell!  Unfortunately, mine doesn't seem very recognizable as a shell, may have to do more heavy outlining.

At the beach, I hand-appliqued the #52, the Purple Coneflower and was able to show it to Stella:

This is her "Excited" face, a new one she just learned and is delighted to perform on demand.  She is expressing her happiness with Stella's Splendid Sampler to Grandpa, my husband.  Lest you think she only gets this excited about her quilt blocks, here she is at the Peach Park, Clanton, AL:

Best of all, she loved the beach and the ocean.  Here is her very first experience there:

I miss my beach view, especially first thing in the morning when the sun is just coming up and no one is on the beach:

Now to get ready for my "Pretend I'm Moving Sale", it starts Sunday and I've got things to do,

Let's Quilt!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What a Lucky Winner!

To celebrate reaching 16,000 members of the  BadAss Quilters Society, Maddie Kertay, owner of SPOOL and founder/leader of BAQS,  held a drawing for 4 lucky winners.  The winners were announced last week on a live feed on Facebook and the winners HAD to check in to claim their prize.  I was on vacation at Ft. Walton Beach with family, not online much.  Thanks to a wonderful friend, Lesa G, I received a message to claim my prize.  I did and today it came:

Who wouldn't love receiving a box from HERE!

Gifts were wrapped up to build excitement!

Villa Rosa Designs, pouch filled with many quilt designs--this would make a fabulous Challenge for a guild/retreat--each person picks one card, sight unseen, and has to make that design--they can trade with each other but NO other picking.  Who is IN???

This great pattern from Indygo Junction and beautiful fabric to make it

Thank you, Fiber on a Whim!

3 DVDs and Batt Scooters and Batt Snips from Paula Reid--love the purple ribbon too!

We all need more light near our sewing machine

Sam Hunter sent 10 patterns and a couple pins

More patterns from Persimon Dreams and Sue O'Very Designs--love the quilt and BOTH bags!
AND, as if that wasn't enough, I am also receiving a brand new FMQ book from C&T publishing, a Generation Q magazine, and a $150 gift certificate from SPOOL--be still, my heart!

So, thanks to Maddie, all  her wonderful sponsors, and LESA!  This is my  lucky day!  You never know if you'll win when you enter a giveaway but here is what I know for sure--if you don't enter, you won't win.  And please know, I will send a personal "thank you" to each sponsor--they were very generous and deserve to be thanked.

Now back to prepping for my awesome, amazing, Pretend I'm Moving Sale--it starts Sunday August 28 at noon and I still have A LOT to do.

Let's quilt!


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Closets 5 and 6--YIPPEE!

When I got to closets # 5 and 6 I was worried.  These hold my reproduction yardage, many project bags of ongoing or not-yet-started projects and fat quarters of all the colors.  Also, bolts of fabric often used for backs, and several bins with my solids from days long gone, when I was making Amish quilts ala Roberta Horton's Amish Adventure book.  There are several boxes of Oriental prints and one of African prints.  How would I ever get this closet cleaned up, purged and straightened up AND get everything back in there??

All of this is in preparation for my "Pretend I'm Moving Sale" August 28-September 4, open to my guild friends and their friends and the Madison guild, and any other crafty people I can think to invite.  I've written about this here, Closets 1 and 2 and here Closets 3 and 4.

Here is the AFTER:

Oh, my!  There is still room in there!  And I just need to add a few more labels and it's done.  Here is the BEFORE:

What I did:

I purged fabrics
I purged a few not-yet-started projects, never will be now.
I really purged the fat quarters and was thrilled I eliminated one entire large bin of those
I folded everything really neatly so it fits much better
I made labels for most everything

What I did not do:

The bolts on the top shelf--didn't touch those
Ditto the boxes of solids on the top shelf, still there
The boxes of Oriental Fabrics, did not disturb them either
Ditto the box of African fabric--someday I'll use those again.

Yesterday and today I had help:

Rhonda folded batiks like a champion and bagged and bagged and bagged them up.  Great job!

Sharon came today but I did not get her picture--she worked on the yardage culled from all the closets, folding the large pieces neatly, then she bagged and bagged and bagged up the smaller pieces.  She was a great help!

This will be a sale folks will talk about for a long time so I am counting on my friends to bring their friends and get really incredible deals. I'll share more photos when things get set up. Here is a teaser:

The spare bedroom is FULL of boxes filled to overflowing

For now, I am so happy to have the closets under control and I'm working on the clutter around the room,.  It's coming together and I'll be sewing again soon.

Let's Quilt!


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Closets 3 and 4: Done!

Well, almost. In preparation for my "Pretend I'm Moving Sale",  I've been sorting, culling, folding, petting, planning new quilts, and remembering old quilts I've made.  I first wrote about this here, closets 1 and 2.  Now, the middle closets, 3 and 4,  are almost done.  I just have to get two large shoe boxes to hold the Batik Fat Quarters I'm keeping.  I've got a place for them right in front.


This is the batik stash and the backgrounds and wide goods for backs stash.  And the red/orange/yellow/gold/brown fabrics  I was surprised at how much of all of those I have and I was brutal in the culling for those.  Here is the AFTER:

  And here is what has gone into the "For Sale" pile from these closets:

I've had a few friends warn me "Don't get rid of too much!" or "Are you sure you want to get rid of THAT?"    My response is:  Look at what I'm KEEPING:  I figure I've got enough fabric for the next 100 years so unless you can promise me I'll live longer than that, I'm OK with letting my friends share in all this bounty now.

Just getting the closets in order is such a relief.  I found treasures I didn't know I had.  Next up are closets 5 and 6, where all the repros, fat quarters by color and project bags are stashed.  That promises to take several days.

After the closets?  I'm making several sewing kits from all the scissors and little sewing bags I've found.  And I hope to be ruthless in clearly away the clutter around my working spaces--I'm tired of the clutter.

Wish I had time to sew but that will come later.  Sorting/clearing out is job #1 right now.

Go quilt something!


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Closet Before and After

My studio is the largest room in my home, 22' x 24', with 22' of closet space, 9' tall.  Unfortunately, the closet is packed to the gills and stuff is now hidden in other rooms in the house, don't tell...

The end of this month I'm having a "Pretend I'm Moving Sale" for my guild and their crafty friends. This is a LOT of work to prepare for, sorting, culling, stacking, pricing.  But I'm committed now and have worked very hard so far.  The books and thread and notions are done, the fabric is underway.

Here is the first closet BEFORE:

In the past two days I touched every piece of fabric in that closet and culled all I could stand to part with.  Now it looks like this, the AFTER:

I now know I  have too much batting, more green fabric than any other color and so much more black and white and gray than I imagined.  And if you are looking for a fabric that was popular 10-15 years ago, I probably have it...

Here is what I've culled from just this closet--remember, there are two more closets this same size to the left--they run the entire length of the room:

This is only the yardage--fat quarters and pieces smaller than that have not even been touched yet.  My plan is to stuff gallon size zip bags full with those and price them to move.

Tomorrow I march on to the tan/cream/white stash, the gold/orange/yellow stacks, and the red, there is lots of red!  And then there's the batiks AND the Civil War repros--don't know how strong I'll be when it comes to culling those.

Prepping for the sale is hard but I've uncovered several wonderful fabrics I'd forgotten about and even found several small finished quilts to sell, a few tops to sell, and a few tops to quilt and finish.  And it's nice to see a little open space in the closet--maybe I can sneak some of that hidden stuff back into this room...

Let's Quilt!