Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm moving!

I'm moving!

In a little while, I will be deleting this blog and all of its posts. But the content has already been moved over to our new home, Harper Academy. If you are a follower here, you are welcome to become a follower of the new blog. Please join us over there!

At the new site, you can find quilting posts by clicking on Categories on the right-hand navigation bar, then clicking on Quilting in the Crafting category. Or click on Categories in the menu bar up near the top.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Want to be a quilter?

Hello, friends and followers!
I would like to welcome you
to a Wantobe Quilters Campaign over at Stash Manicure!
 They are having quilting supplies to giveaway 5 x a week for 12 weeks!

Supplies that will have you quilting
before you know it...From sewing machines to irons, to die cutters,
to mats, to rotary cutters, sewing baskets, scissors, batting, needles,
rolled sewing machine bags, patterns, books, magazines...everything
you could imagine to assist you in being a NEW Quilter.

Even if you are already part of this community you can win
quilting stuff too...Tuesdays and Thursdays are days for us.
All you have to do is give me your name and phone number 
and email sew I can submit this to the organizer, because if you win
anything I can win something too. 
All you have to do is be my follower and a follower
That is all! There are over 49 Sponsors involved.
I am pretty excited to be part of this, sew should you.
I love being a QUILTER! 

P.S. You will not be eligible to win anything if you do not register
with me (or with any blogger where you see this message)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Music quilt

I apologize for being away so long. I've been very busy; I'm teaching 3 undergraduate courses instead of the usual 2; the homeschooling year is wrapping up..and I've been working on this quilt!

Our family has been at this piano studio for nine years now;; our younger daughter is now "graduating" from the studio (our older daughter graduated a couple of years ago). When the girls reached a certain skill level, the teacher at this studio passed the girls on to the next studio. So, as a goodbye present, I made her this music quilt.

You might recognize the general pattern; it is the High Light pattern (I made one in black/white/yellow).

The quilt actually looks better in person. The pictures could certainly be better than this, but, hey, I was finishing this quilt right up to the minute. I even sewed on the label and clipped threads in the car on the way to the event!

I may be busy, but I somehow must find a way to begin to piece more intricate quilts. I resort to the big block quilts because I don't ever really have a lot of time to quilt. But I'd like to slowly start piecing quilts with blocks that finish smaller than 12". Right now, I have a few that I have done and need to finish up. After that, I think I'll be doing more piecing...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival May 2011

(It's ABOUT TIME that Blogger let me create this post! Geez.)

Amy's Creative Side

Here is my entry for the spring Blogger's Quilt Fest 2011. (NOTE: Don't miss the I Spy rhyme, below, that goes with this!)

I talked about this quilt before, but I'll quickly discuss it again. It is a string quilt, a charm quilt (no two fabrics are alike), and an I Spy quilt! Here's the I Spy rhyme my younger daughter and I wrote:

I spy bunny ears, a butterfly, a tree,
Dogs, a pepper, and some broccoli.

I spy a giraffe, a horse, some French fries,
An eggplant, an orange, and owls so wise.

I spy a fortune cookie, a stack of dishes,
A peacock, a black motorcycle, a cat, and fishes.

I spy a pumpkin, a duck, a snake,
A guitar, yellow sunflowers, and a slice of cake.

Can you find all of the things in the rhyme in the quilt? I have close-up photos of the quilt in the initial post of this quilt (and  in my flickr photostream) to enable you to see the fabrics more closely.

This was my first string quilt, my first charm quilt, and my first I Spy quilt. I don't know what on earth possessed me to try to do all three in one quilt. It was not easy, and I will never do that again! I've since done a couple of string quilts that were not nearly this tough, because I didn't worry about repeating fabrics, or the I Spy aspect, either. I may do an I Spy quilt again, or a charm quilt again (maybe), but not all three in one!

I absolutely love this quilt; I think the colors and the fabrics are so bright and fun!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Purple charm square exchange

Wow; has it really been a month since I last blogged here? I've traveled, finished up teaching a couple of undergraduate classes, etc. etc...

Photo source: Amazon/Moda

I got two purple charm squares in the mail recently, as part of an exchange. Now, I need to invite four of you to join me in this! Who's game? All you have to do is send two--just two--purple 6" charm squares to one person, and invite four others.

Let me know; this is going to be fun!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday State of the Stash Report 4/10/11

I, um, kinda fell of the wagon.

Now, in my defense, I bought pretty much only what I specifically needed for a couple of specific projects. But, I also used some up, so it's about a wash.

March 27 - April 9
In: 4 yds
Out: 4 yds

In: 6 yds
Out: 116 yds
Net: -110 yds

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brown Bag Quilt - revealed

I completed the quilting and binding of my brown bag quilt late last night (or, early this morning is more accurate).

As part of the Brown Bag Quilt (BBQ) challenge, you were given a swap partner, and the two of you traded 2 yards of fabrics that you either didn't like, or would probably never use. The fabrics shown above are the fabrics I received last fall. Interesting color palette, but I noted that not all of the fabrics were a regular 100% quilting cotton. As I was to find out later, this posed quite an interesting challenge when it came time to cut these up and piece them into a quilt top. And, just to add to the mix, the fabrics on the right were 7" x WOF. Now, that's unusual.

Well, here's the completed quilt:

I'd been wanting to try the Square in a Square quilt pattern anyway, and so I decided to try it with these BBQ fabrics. The squares were 5" more or less, and I cut 2.5" strips out of the other fabrics. With the remaining strips that were about 2" or so, I used them on the back, to sample yet another quilt I'd seen that I wanted to try:

The quilt is roughly 48" x 64". With the exception of the border fabrics, binding fabric, and backing fabric, and maybe one small cut of fabric for the blocks, I used just about all of the fabric I'd received.

This was a fun project. I'd been reducing/eliminating my fabric purchases for some time now, and this challenge fell right in line with that; I had to use the fabric I was given, and while I could add fabric from my stash, I could only add 1 cut of purchased fabric. Sadly, I had enough stash fabrics that coordinated with this, that I didn't even have to go and buy anything.

Oops; don't mind those loose strings that I need to cut off. :)

It will be a gift quilt. This is definitely a little different from what I normally do, but I don't think it came out too bad. What do you think?

Monday, March 28, 2011

BBQ and Design Wall

Remember this BBQ, or Brown Bag Quilt contest?

Remember that the due date is April 1st?

Well, I've completed all the blocks for my BBQ, and they are on my design wall:

The lighting is rather poor in here, which is why the photo is not well lit. Touching it up with Picnik only goes so far. At any rate, I should be done on time with this quilt. See? Even when I don't blog, I am busy.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday State of the Stash Report 3/27/11

More yardage out last week!

March 20 - March 26
In: 0 yds
Out: 24 yds

In: 2 yds
Out: 112 yds
Net: -110 yds

Monday, March 14, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Civil War Reproduction Fabrics?

So, I was gifted four large bags of fabric...

It took a lot of sorting and folding to get to this point. (Who just balls up their quilting fabric and shoves it in a bag? I don't even treat fabric I don't like in that manner!)


Greens, blues, purples

Light backgrounds--sorta

Light backgrounds--love that rooster!

Greens (the one 2nd from the right looks out of place)

Reds and pinks

Civil War reproduction fabrics? Yes or no? Seriously, if you know, please leave me a comment. I have a feeling that some of these are not Civil War reproduction fabrics, and if you see one that isn't, tell me, so I can pull it. I think I will try my hand at a Civil War quilt, and I'd rather use the appropriate fabrics, and leave out the others.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday State of the Stash Report 3/6/11

I got some more fabric purged!

Feb 27 - Mar 5
In: 0 yds
Out: 42 yds

In: 2 yds
Out: 88
Net: -86 yds


Friday, March 4, 2011

Jelly roll swap

I am on a self-imposed "No-Buy" right now. I have so much fabric, I really need to make what I have work. And when I can't find something I think I really need for a quilt, I dig in and look harder and make something that I already have work.

So, I have been looking for fun fabric swaps. When I swap, while I get new fabric coming in, I also am getting rid of an equal amount of fabric. It's a wash!

On the left are two jelly rolls that I have received from another quilter; on the right are two jelly rolls that went out earlier this week from my own stash to her. Aren't they yummy!

I joined (yet another) Yahoo group that focuses on stashbuilding (you probably recall prior posts where I mention my stashbusting groups), quite often through swapping and not buying. I found a willing swap partner, and we settled on a 2.5" strip swap. On the top is a 20-strip roll of miscellaneous fabrics, and on the bottom is a 40-strip roll of batiks. This is an absolutely ingenious way to add more variety to your stash without spending any money (except for postage), and without increasing the size of your stash, as well.

Look more closely above at the beautiful fabrics my swap partner sent me! Don't hate me because my stash is beautiful...:)

These 2 rolls above are the 60 strips I sent to her. The kicker is, I had no idea I had at least 40 batiks! Where did they come from?

(A close-up above of the batiks I sent out this week; just so we could see them better...)

That's what happens when you are unorganized and your fabric is in different places; you don't know what you have. I have recently finished some larger purging/sorting tasks, and so now I can really start on the not-so-large projects, such as consolidating, organizing, and purging fabrics. Um, wait; on second thought, this is another major task. :) I was speechless when I put all of my batiks together, to discover that I had so many.

I suggest doing some fabric swapping of your own! Set some ground rules, so you won't be disappointed. For example, are you sending out quilt-shop quality fabrics, and you only want those in return? Make sure that is a stipulation (my partner and I did this). What size fabrics do you want to swap? I actually did a swap of quilt-shop quality scraps a few weeks ago with another swap partner. Are there specific types of fabric, specific colors, etc. that you want? That you don't want? State that, as well. Are you flexible as to when you want to send/receive the fabrics, or will there be deadlines? Make that clear. Also, consider that some swaps are one-on-one, and others are done in a group, with a coordinator. (Yes, I am also doing a group swap; I sent 12 quilt-shop quality batiks, and I am getting 12 new ones back!)

You are welcome to contact me if you want to talk a bit more about this, or if you want the name of the Yahoo group where I've been swapping. Or, you're welcome to contact me if you'd like to swap with me! I seriously suggest that you consider this; with the price of fabric rising, this will become more of a necessity than a luxury.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Featured artist: Joyce Coley

For the month of February, my friend Joyce was the featured artist at a local art gallery.

In the above photo, Joyce is seated.

ALL of the pieces you see in these photos are hers.

If you'd like to contact Joyce about purchasing any of her pieces, or pieces you'd like to commission her to create, you can click here to go to her blog.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday State of the Stash Report 2/27/11

This past week, I went into my sewing area to try to restore some semblance of order. It is almost to the point where I am not extremely embarrassed to provide "before" photos. (I know some of you can relate.)

Well, in the process of consolidating fabrics into common areas, I was aghast at the sheer quantity of fabric I possess. I have known that I have a lot of fabric, but there is nothing like seeing a lot of it in one place to provide a major dose of reality. To say that I am a fabriholic is obviously an understatement. (And don't tell anyone, but I was thinking of going to the quarterly bolt sale this week! But the operative word here is, was.)

So, I began flinging (purging some of my fabric). I liquidated a bit of it in one of my Yahoo groups that is dedicated specifically to quilters being able to get rid of their excess, and to quilters who will buy other quilters' excess. (I still have one sale pending.) So, I can at least add a bit to my "out" yardage this week.

Feb 20 - Feb 26
In: 0 yds
Out: 31 yds

In: 2 yds
Out: 46
Net: -44 yds

So, one way or another, I am 44 yards of fabric "lighter" than I was at the beginning of the year. Purging that fabric was so freeing; I will have to continue to seriously take stock, and do more of that.

Am I alone? Tell me you have your own fabric issues...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday State of the Stash Report 2/20/11

I've actually got something to report.

(Lousy pictures; sorry.)

I was able to get the quilt and gift sack to their new owner last week. So, added to the fabric in the bright quilt from a couple of days ago...

Jan 9 - Feb 19
In: 2 yds
Out: 13 yds

In: 2 yds
Out: 15 yds
Net: -13 yds

Were those 2 yds of clearance fabric really worth it? I do think so, honestly.

I should be adding more yardage to the "Out" number this week. (Note: Just because the "Out" number doesn't increase every day or every week, doesn't mean that I am not sewing regularly. Remember, I am not including donated fabric in this count. Also, if it's from my stash and I sew it, even if it's done, I don't count it until it reaches its final destination.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Green string center quilt

I started off with the intention of speed piecing string blocks for a green string block quilt. However, my calculations were off, and I didn't like the finished blocks for a complete quilt. But I DID like the blocks. So I built a quilt around them.

This quilt is now twin sized, and measures at 67" x 74". (Before washing, it measured at 71" x 79"--and no, I don't prewash my fabrics!) I forgot to take a picture of the back, but I quilted in straight diagonal lines in the center medallion, and the rest was a large meandering quilting stitch.

Here's a close-up of the binding. Love it!

As I type this, it is on its way to the Bronx, to be given to the homeless.

 I truly hope and pray some little boy or girl is blessed by this. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Stash Snafu

Well, I had the best of intentions when I set out to report on my stash activity every Sunday. But then I ran into a problem.

About the same time I started these Sunday reports, I received, as I often do, a good amount of donated fabric. Technically, I guess I should add that to my "In" count. But it depresses me to do so. Also, I haven't spent money on it, and the monetary savings is at least as big an issue as the quantity of fabric I own, if not a bigger issue. And if I had to MEASURE the donated fabric I am receiving, I think I'd lose my mind. There are lots of small pieces. (This bag in the photo is actually from a gift of a couple of years ago, but this month's donated fabrics that I have received could probably fill the bag up this full, anyway...)

Sigh. What do you think I should do? How do you think I should handle donated fabric?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rising prices of cotton...and everything else

Photo source: Frugal Cafe Blog Zone
In case you weren't aware, China's flood last year will have a major impact on the various cotton industries in particular, but on practically everything in general. Click here for a great explanation of the issue. In short, China's 2010 flood obviously devastated their crops. One crop, cotton, is a problem for us, because we receive a large percentage of our cotton from China. So, without this crop, we are experiencing a cotton shortage, which means cotton fabric prices increase. Cotton clothing prices increase. Cotton bed, bath, and kitchen linens increase. You understand the trickle-down effect, of course; if less cotton fabric, clothing, etc. is purchased, there will be fewer employees needed (and some smaller shops will close), household incomes will drop, etc. etc. What about hotels? What about hospitals?

But, more importantly, what about the lives lost in China? The food shortages? The homes and livelihoods that have been lost?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I think she won, y'all...

You've heard the saying, "she who dies with the most fabric, wins?"

The woman in this blog post (a portion of her stash is shown above) had more than the woman in the YouTube video, I think...

This definitely gives one pause. What does your stash look like?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do you have a Facebook fan page?

Hey there, fellow quilters!

Do you have a Facebook fan page? If so, why? How has that been beneficial for you? Hubby, who does them for clients, tells me I need one. Please leave me a comment about this. Thanks!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday State of the Stash Report

This year, I am committed to doing some serious stashbusting. So, as a few other quilters do, I will assess my fabric use during the week on the following Sunday. More specifically, I will count the fabric I have used, is in its final state (i.e., finished quilt, not just a quilt top) and at its final destination.

Jan 1 - Jan 8
In: 0
Out: 2 yads

In: 0
Out: 2 yds
Net: -2 yds

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's about time...

I was finally able to give this to the new owner!

I finished this quilt some time ago, but we didn't run into the family we wanted to give this to, until today. It's actually just like another one I gave as a gift last year (but failed to mention here on the blog). Sorry the picture quality is so poor; it's actually a really cute quilt, with lots of textures. I think it's chenille, flannel, and something furry/fuzzy.
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