January 29, 2014

How to Virtually Audition Fabrics for a Quilt Project

I was putting together a virtual fabric palette today for a quilt for a friend's son and I thought I would share how I normally present a commissioned fabric palette to a client.

I'm sure there are lots of ways to do this, but I have created my own little "Pinterest" board within Word.  I know some stores do this for you, but I like being able to add text, fabric requirements and other information.

Here's what I do. 

(1) Open a blank Word document. Title it and save it now, so you don't lose it later.
(2) Open your web browser to the fabric store of your choice, here I was using Fat Quarter Shop.
(3) Find the fabric you want to add to your palette
(4) Hover over the picture, right click and select "Copy Image"
(5) Toggle over into your Word document, right click "Paste"
(6) Repeat until you have all of your fabrics.

I think this gives you a great sense of how the fabrics will play together - I believe the swatches these days are pretty true to color and haven't been disappointed with this method.

 Usually, I keep a running title of fabric lines/designers on a separate page so if I add an obscure fabric to my list I know I can find it later.  I also keep a second page in the Word document for fabrics that didn't make the cut, just in case I decide to add them back later.

Fat Quarter Shop does have a great feature called the Wishlist that I can place all of our agreed to fabrics in and then let my friend purchase the fabrics for the quilts. 

How do you virtually audition fabrics for a quilt project?

January 27, 2014

Please Be Mine!

I am such a sucker for Valentine's colors - something about Red, Pink and White just call to me, and being on a fabric diet isn't helping at all.  Seriously, look at these adorable bundles from Sew Lux Fabric - one of my favorite online stores!!
Sew Lux Fabric and Gifts Blog

This is one of their curated collections called Surrounded by Love:

Curated Collection - Surrounded by Love

And this one is called Be Mine:
Curated Collection - Be Mine 2014

And then just to top it off, they've got this great tone on tone white bundle as well. 

Stash Worthy Special - Muslin Mates White Half Yard Bundle

I am drooling over these three bundles - oh please, can they be mine?

January 25, 2014

So many projects, so little time!

I'm feeling the need to organize and prioritize my projects for 2014 because they are already stacking up.  Yes, I should have done this at the beginning of the month, but January has literally flown by and I'm just now putting pen to paper.  I've committed to sew from my stash as much as possible at least for the first 1/2 of the year {thanks to the Fabriholics Anonymous pledge}.

Even with the aspirational goal, I've still got a LOT on my plate.

Thanks to a project tracker from Mama Love Quilts which you can link to here, I'm trying to map out the next six months.

Here's some pics of the progress I've made thus far on some of these projects - I clearly need to get myself to the long armer, stat!

These are my economy blocks done for a baby quilt - I'm waiting on a few more prints to add to it so that the finished size is a generous throw size for a baby. 

And these are two precious wallhangings made for a friend who wants to frame them in her soon-to-be-born boy and girl twins room. Her colors are grey, aqua, and pink. Of course I had to add some orange which I think plays well with those colors. 

As far as the year goes, my only hard deadline would be to finish the top of my Double Wedding Ring by the end of March so I can get it quilted in plenty of time for the QuiltFest in September. I've made some progress since this picture so, I'm feeling ok about where I am with this one.

I'm also trying to decide what my bucket list quilts are (including the DWR above) so that I can begin longer term projects that may span multiple years.  I'm trying to organize a place for us to all share our "quilty bucket lists" - and thinking of maybe a blog hop in March to showcase some of your bucket lists, is that an idea you would want to participate in?

I would love to hear what you've got on your list and what you're working on today!

January 14, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Double Wedding Ring Progress

It's hard to believe I went from this...

to this..

and this ...

in just a few short months. I'm sorry for the dark pics, lately I've been sewing in the dead of night and never get good bright sunlight for my "in progress" pics.

This quilt has a bazillion (a technical term) pieces, but I made an investment in my own sanity and had the pieces laser cut by Kate Flynn Nichols. I highly recommend you consider this if you are doing a DWR - and here's why. 

Let me tell you something folks, my pieces would NOT have come out this perfectly if I had cut these bad boys myself.  And do you see those little notches in the white melon pieces above and in the white centers below? That's your mid-point... this makes pinning your curves a breeze!  It makes the entire piecing process enjoyable - and you get a very good result. Every time.

I cannot wait to see how this quilt comes out - I am just more in love with it every day. I am trying very hard to be as precise as I can since this will be my first quilt to enter into a show.  I'm very glad I gave myself a whole year to complete this quilt! I'm targeting the end of March to finish the top - and then make some decisions on quilting!! 

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for my first 2014 WIP post. Check out all the inspiration over on her site today!! 

January 7, 2014

#economyblockalong - Setting Options

If you are wondering what an Economy Block is, let me get you up to speed.  A fun Instagram Quilt-a-Long has popped up over the last few weeks.  Check out this fun Instagram feed (#economyblockalong)

Pattern: Economy Block by Rita @ Red Pepper Quilts.

 I have been known to jump into a project like this with no plan for finishing it, so I have already been pondering how I am going to turn these adorable blocks into something useful, in my case a baby quilt for a friend.

 I chose to do the 5" block, but of course, this would work for any size, if you just put pen to paper and figure out how it would impact the finished size of your project.  For illustration purposes, I colored the block simply, but my blocks are scrappy and this, of course, will change the look of the quilt.

Also, you can see from my blocks, I have chosen to set the blocks on point for a different visual finish.  I'm showing you several ways, both horizontal layout, and on point.  I hope this gets your creative juices flowing.  If you have any specific questions or want to brainstorm about your ideas, I'd love to hear them.  I've been wanting to play more with my EQ7 on projects like this, so here it goes :)

On Point Layout
Alternating with solid background, no border

On Point Layout 
With Border

On Point Layout 
Without Border

On Point Layout
with Sashing between Blocks and Border

Horizontal Layout
No Sashing

Horizontal Layout 
With Sashing

On Point Layout 
Alternating With Neutral Squares 
Detailed border with cornerstones

On Point Layout 
Alternating With Neutral Squares 
Detailed border 

January 1, 2014


One of the things I love most about quilting and being connected with social media is that I can pick up a fun project on a whim with others and share in the experience through Instagram or other means.  So, yesterday, I ran across this new little Instagram Quilt-A-Long using a tutorial/pattern from Rita at Red Pepper Quilts. She has a free pattern link on her Craftsy page for paper piecing.  This is a great way to stash bust and use your scraps in an adorable way!

I'm hooked and made 14 blocks last night, so, no I'm not obsessed or anything...

Here are the latest Instagram posts if you'd like to follow along, or even better, join us.... Now I know what I will be doing today while the kids play!!

Not sure if anyone is linking up a WIP Wednesday today, but here's mine!! Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR with your family.

Happy New Year & Giveaway Winners

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a safe and happy evening celebrating with friends and family.  To make your New Year just a little sweeter, here are the winners of the giveaway. 

$45 Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop goes to Go Stars! - who also loves Botanics as much as I do.  I hope you get some :)

$25 Gift Certificate to Ella's Cottage goes to Anna.  Congrats Anna!

I am going to email your info to your respective shops and hopefully you will hear from them very soon.  Congratulations to you guys - and thank you for being a part of this blog.

I've got big 2014 plans for quilting, blogging, and designing. Stay tuned folks for lots of fun in store.