Friday, January 31, 2014

My first month as a "de-stasher"


January 2014
My first month as a "de-stasher"
Fabric Bought: NONE!!!
Fabric Used:  Just what I already had started using

The Joann's 40/50% off coupons came in the mail and I put them on the BOTTOM of my "to do" stack of papers
...just in case....The ones that come online, I didn't open, I just left them on the list..just in case.
I am a "just in case" kind of person. My motto is "better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it". I preached that to my kids in high school, they thought I was nuts (" one carries a jacket!!!") but after a few times of my motto saving their butts over the years...I notice now that they are teaching that to their children!! But I digress... back to the stash.

The coupons have expired and I didn't make one single trip to Joann's! I didn't even have the urge! Granted, this is my first month and I know with all this blog hopping I do and visiting others blogs about their sewing adventures and seeing all the cool stuff.. it will be harder next month. So many ideas!! I did participate in a Fat Quarter Secret Pal Swap. I sent 3 FQ's to someone and some one sent me 3 FQ's. A nice surprise to get something I wouldn't have chosen to get! I am trying to get out of my structured, tailored and specific box and learn to use fabrics and colors in other ways than just "what goes together". I signed up for a lot of drawings/giveaways and I have my own giveaway going through the Grow Your Blog blog hop fest! Only fabric I have used is the fabric for the pillows I was making and getting them stuffed. I will decide what to work on this weekend and come Monday...start fresh for February. I am following along with The Joy of the House to Myself and Making RebeccaLynne. Care to join us?

P.S.  Today's USPS mail was the Joann's sale ad...and to the bottom of the "to do" stack it goes! and I see Michael's has some good online ones. The only thing I do have to get is a print to go with the solids I have for a wedding quilt I am making for my first cousin, once is in April. Hopefully I can stick to the plan!

Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

De Stash and Fabric Fast


I admit it. I am on of "them". A fabriholic.  We buy even tho we don't need, but it is on sale or it is the one we have been wanting or we know we will use it soon, or my personal downfall... "I have a 50% off coupon!"... and the list of reasons goes on! And once home, we diligently search for space for our "stash". And the stash is not only in fabric purchases, it is also in fabric scraps that we have been collecting from our projects. Just bits and pieces of all shapes and sizes, tossed into a container to "save for later" when we use the scraps to make something else.  Yes, it is a very good way to organize things... save money buying on sale, save money buying for the future, and save scraps to make more quilts!  But like everything, we have to ask...when is enough enough?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How To Square Up a Quilt Block

This is a great tutorial on how to square up quilt blocks. Sounds like such a small thing to have to do to have it make such a huge difference both in the looks and the assembly of a quilt.

I use a 12,1/2 x 12,1/2 square template. It has so many lines to use as guides...kind of like the more the lines the more measurement options you can have. And always 1/2" larger than size you want. 12,1/2x12,1/2" when finished will be 12x12 square. This is why my 12,1/2x12,1/2 works so great. It also has alot of lines inside the template to line up on seams for the most accurate square.

The Crafty Gemini tells you how!         How To Square Up Quilt Blocks

She gives some great tips on how to handle squares that are off by just a little bit.
  • Measure across on 2 seams lines, one side to side, one top to bottom.
  • Any block with a design that has points to the edge, you need to keep 1/4" allowance between the point and the edge so when sewn together, you will have a point instead of a flatten point edge on the design.
  •  And something I didn't think of or know...she recommend you square up side to opposite side, instead of just side and go around..which is what I was doing. She says it helps keep things straight and even if you square up opposing sides. Makes sense and every little bit helps when trying to make fabric squares/blocks even. Any quilter knows...being off just a slight tiny bit, can alter the entire looks of a block!
And don't you just love looking at all her blocks!

My personal preference is the 12,1/2 x 12,1/2 inch template ruler by Omnigrid. I use it all the time. It is the most popular size as many blocks are a finished 12x12 once in the quilt so this ruler is perfect for most blocks. And if you want smaller blocks..this ruler has all measurements down to 1x1". I prefer Omnigrid as this bright yellow is the easiest to read on all fabrics. Easy to see the numbers and lines. No more searching! Also being this large, it is a perfect small "table top". If you need to pin something while you are at your machine or to lay out squares in the formation of the block you are making, and have it all right there at hands reach.
I love my templates. "Back in the day" when I first started quilting I used a ruler, pins and a pen/pencil and scissors to cut shapes. Boy, do I love progress!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Few of my Projects from Last Year....

I am going to be setting Wednesday's aside as my blog "Working Wednesday "day. I want to make sure I make my blog a success and share my love of fabric, quilting, sewing and handmade crafts and how memories are made and brought to life in craftings, so I am going to be doing nothing but blog/computer work on Wednesdays. It will also be good to take a break from the sewing machine, clear my mind of all the plans and designs that are always going on in my brain, so that on Thursday, I can jump right back in with a clean slate of energy!

My blog is still alot under construction and things that I will be adding etc, but I got a great start. So for today..  I think I will post some of the things I did last year.

I did twin size quilts, doll quilts, doll diaper bags, crayon and coloring book bags, zipper pouches, pillowcases, pillows and did some alterations on my clothes. But, since I dont' like doing that anymore, I won't be talking about the clothes alterations! I'll just post some pictures here and a brief summary (I can be VERY chatty and I tend to write ALOT, so I will work hard to keep  on the straight and narrow so as not to bore everyone!)So here goes.....

First, the best time I have had in a LONG time was teaching my 7 year old grand daughter to sew. I taught her to sew a charm quilt (made from a charm pack) She loved organizing the colors and then took to sewing a straight stitch like she was born with her foot on the machine pedal! I was so surprised she adapted so well,  so quickly! I'd say it was in the gene pool but I am the only person on either side of the family that even knows which end of a needle goes in the fabric first! So I will just brag that "she got it from me!!!"

This is Ashleigh, my sewing buddy. She is holding the pillow case she made..all by herself! It is Cordoroy, the bear with the green overalls. She loves this story and it is the  basis for some story telling I do for her, featuring the bear and his friends. The back of this pillowcase says "Good Night".

Here are 2 of the Coloring Book tote bags I created. I gave ones to my grand kids for Christmas. I have some for sale at my Etsy Shop too. I wish I had had these when my kids were little for all those times of waiting in the doctors office, going to a friend's house that didn't have kids and other times I could have used a nice form of entertainment for them instead of just stuffing the crayons and a book in my over sized purse! I made a ton of these too! All different prints and colors...for boys and girls!

And for Christmas, I made the four grand daughters, 3,5 and 7 a doll quilt for their baby dolls.  All were made from "scraps" I made a diaper bag to go with them...out of the same fabric as the backs..but don't have pictures right now. It was a quick and easy pattern tho!

Hourglass pattern

Flying Geese
I got into mug rugs..and made a ton of them..some in my Etsy Shop, others I gifted to friends and family. Mug Rugs are the perfect "coaster" can hold you cup/mug/glass and still have enough room for a cookie, donut or half a sandwich! Also great because they are large enough to be "seen" and not have to search for that small little circle coaster on a crowded desk, but just large enough to serve their purpose! They are about 8"x10" and reversible! I made a ton of them and regular!

Then I got into Zipper Pouches. I use them all the time so I am glad I learned to make them. Again, in my Etsy Shop and gifts for Christmas to friends and family. They are about 7"x9" in size and lined! These are just a few.. I made a bunch of them...some with Smurfs too!
Metallic fabric!

Showing you the money!

New York New York!
 And the pillow cases...those were first. I made some for the kids as Valentine Gifts...parents have told me NO CANDY so...I will give them sweet dreams this way! The camo one is flannel, the others are all cotton, and standard size!
Military camo

Colorful hawaiian flowers
I also did another doll quilt and I found a doll high chair at a thrift store. I painted the chair white, and made cushion seat and back out of the same fabric as the quilt. (pictures to come) as Christmas gift for grand daughter.

A few WIPS...
1. a pink bargello for my daughter...done, just need the label and then the binding. Her b-day is in May so that is her gift.
2. Civil War style quilt for my son. I didn't understand what "civil war" quilt meant other than just a bunch of blocks...all different stitched into a quilt. But there is more to it than that! But in this case.. I chose several blocks and chose muted, "civil war" era colors. Tops is done...just need to sanwich and finish. His B-day is in June..have a little time!
3. Nearly done..several decorative pillows for my living room.

And a few "Have to Do's"
1. have a wedding quilt to make for my first cousin, once removed. Wedding is in April, held at a winery (they like wine!) and out doors. I chose a wine colored solid, but need to put a print and another contrasting color. While waiting for my car to be serviced on Friday, I sketched out the design...2 rows of zigzag at the top and bottom of the quilt and a block that, if I do it right, can look like a flower. On the back I am going to put their names in appliqued  Scrabble tiles.
2. a quilt for my living room to go with the new deco pillows I am nearly done making. Colors are blue turquoise, browns, silver and a splash of purple and green teal.
3. Some new placemats... I have a few sets, but some aren't that great as I made them first when I had just started quilting again. I want some really nice decorative ones now!

So that is it for this Working Wednesday. I said I wouldn't chatter to much, and I think I did pretty good at cutting it all down to just the basics! I did alot last year...just now realizing it! Makes me just want to  get back in the sewing room and do more! Oh yeah.. next week I'll tell you about my sewing room. Been sewing for 50 years.. and just now got an actual "sewing room" all to myself!!!!

Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!

, the Quilting Nanny

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Few Things from 2014....

I just learned how to do this, so I thought I'd share some of the things I did last year..again!  A few here I have not blogged about like the garment bags (#1) and what I and my grand daughters call "Nanny Bag" (#4) that I take to their house when I go with things I have made for them.. my impersonation of Mary childhood hero! And the pink Monkey Bag (#5) a tote I made for one grand daughter for her birthday and the stack of 30 tote bags I made for the kids at sunday School((#4). I have several WIP's I started and will be finishing this year.  I thought I did better at keeping pictures of everything I made, but apparently not as there are other things I made this year... and I have no picture for! Oh well... put that on my "To Do" List for this year!

Want to read more at Fabric and Memories? CLICK HERE
Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!
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