The Sewing Room

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One + One = Three

Three you say?

That’s right, one + one does not always equal two. When I’ve presented with that question in the past I’ve always responded, “one what?”. That same philosophy, “One what” applies here too. Read on and I’ll explain!

If I’ve only learned one thing during my short tenure as a quilter, putting together squares, rectangles, triangles and circles has the potential to create an infinite number of designs. In this world of fabric and thread, of rotary cutters, rulers and cutting mats, 1 yard of fabric + 1 cone of thread can equal just about anything your mind can imagine.


New Math

What I am about to describe is probably very old news to those of you with years more quilting experience than I however, I’ve never come across this information anywhere, in any format. So, at the risk of reinventing the wheel for the ten millionth time, this discovery is a brand new wheel to me and one I feel worth sharing!


There’s A Song In My Head

While de-cluttering and organizing my sewing room and closet – my “beginning of a new year tradition / ritual / necessity” – one fabric jelly roll from Basicgrey’s Nova collection taunted me. It wouldn’t fit in a bin or basket with other similar jelly rolls. There was no where to stack it and no drawer to place it. Every attempt to put this round peg into a square hole ended in failure.

Well then. Fine. I suppose it had a message…something like, “unroll me”; or “watch me roll” – something clever I’m sure but I wasn’t in the frame of mind to listen – I already had a song, “Let’s Get Organized” playing in my mind.

Eventually, I had no choice but to give in. Laying out the strips and dividing by color and then by design motif and volume, I began to slowly evolve from mildly irritated (after all, this fabric roll was interrupting my de-clutter and organizing plan) to inspired!

From there, I found myself going through my pattern files – both paper and digital but of all those patterns, the one that provided the most inspiration was a hand drawn pattern given to me by my quilt group. In fact, my primary reason for cleaning and organizing was to create an uncluttered space so I can focus on piecing the quilt tops that needed to be returned to my Comfort Care quilt group.

My ‘Nova’ jelly roll by Basicgrey for Moda Fabrics, on the other hand, had other plans.

Not allowing myself to completely abandon the clearing out / organizing campaign, while reorganizing a stack of drawers dedicated to storing charm packs I found this sparkling, untouched little gem: Cookie Dough Essential 5 Karat Mini Gems charm pack

Removing the band from these little gems and placing them next to the strips brought a rush of excitement that only the fabric obsessed can appreciate.

As the first pattern emerged I began to get a vision of a second pattern and once the second pattern was up on my design board the third pattern practically jumped at me! Standing back to survey my new creations was the exact moment I discovered the magic contained within ONE jelly roll combined with ONE charm pack and the potential to create THREE, separately distinct patterns.


Number Crunching

Nova Fabric Jelly Roll and Cookie Dough Mini Gem Charm Pack

One + One = Pattern #1

Quilt Top Pieced Using Nova Jelly Roll and Cookie Dough 5' Charm Pack

Geometric fabric strips paired with solid squares and bound with solid strips.

= Pattern #2:

Quilt Top #2 using Nova Jelly Roll and Cookie Dough 5' Charm Pack

Print and floral strips and squares paired with solid squares.

= Pattern #3:

Quilt Top Using Nova Jelly Roll and Cookie Dough 5' Charm Pack

Left over red and blue strips cut into squares and paired with left over solid squares to create checkerboard pattern – a 9-patch block creating a 9-patch design. I would rather have a blue and white 9-patch block in the very center but there simply wasn’t enough. However, had I actually planned to create this design from the beginning, I would have been more careful when cutting the strips – it is possible, there would be enough blue for the fifth blue block.


Making this discovery has opened my eyes to the possibilities when using a fabric jelly roll – especially one like this containing a variety of florals, geometrics and solids. Now, when I see a fabric line in any precut format I won’t feel “locked” into using all the fabrics in just one pattern. Being able to visualize the potential of creating more than one design from one fabric roll also makes the price tag easier to live with!

*NOTE* Patterns #2 and #3 above are obviously unstitched fabric pieces basically thrown onto my design wall (an accessory I can no longer live without!) . Once I have all the pieces stitched together, I will re-post those images. I feel the finished quilt tops will more effectively highlight the degree of differentiation between each pattern as well as convey the illusion that each pieced quilt top came from an entirely different fabric line.


Same But Different

Below is another example showing how one pattern and the same two fabrics, when used in opposite placement can create what appears to be two entirely different quilt tops.

Comparison between two different fabric jelly roll patterns

Stay tuned…as quilt tops #2 and #3 are completed I will be posting as well as any other discoveries I make along the way.

Has anyone else made this 1+1 = 3 (or more) discovery? If so, I’d love to hear all about it!

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Christmas Wishes & Fabric Dreams!

I love Christmas as much as anyone but I have to admit I’m glad it’s here and tomorrow will be the beginning of things returning to “normal”.

However, before  things return to normal I felt this to be a good time to share and very short but sweet snippet of what’s been happening in the sewing room these past few weeks.

Christmas Wishes

Of all the Christmas projects I had hoped and wished would be finished by Christmas and the one I’m most proud of is my Christmas Tree quilt.

Christmas Tree Quilt

This image with the terrible lighting does not do the colors or the overall appearance of this quilt any justice but have no fear…a much better image is in the works!

I had a lot of fun stitching the strips and learned a LOT about free motion quilting.  My original intent was to have it professionally quilted on a long arm but I needed to get it in to the shop by early September.  This wasn’t ready to be quilted until December 23rd!

Finished is Better Than Perfect

Many mistakes were made…many lessons learned but it all will serve to improve my skills as a crafter and quilter and give me a better sense of how to manage my time with future projects. The downside to making the attempt to finish before Christmas left me at times too stressed to enjoy the journey.  Next time, the journey comes first!

On the subject of “finished is better than perfect”, I managed to applique and quilt another mug rug – (The perfect size for my husband’s favorite Christmas mug and what’s left of my last two batches of candy)

Christmas mug rug with Christmas mug and candy

And stitch a few felt ornaments:

Snowman and Chrismas felt ornaments

There are my Christmas wishes – projects I was determined to finish before December 25th!

Fabric Dreams

Now, on to the fabric dreams! It seems I’ve been really good this year as I received something (actually 2 things) I never expected:

Book Covers: Why We Quilt and Complete Guide to Quilting

Not one but TWO books on my favorite subject!

A quilter like myself would not be surprised to receive either of these books as a gift from a fellow quilter but finding these under the tree were even more special because they were given to me by my husband.

I have no doubt he supports me in my hobby but taking the time to choose such a thoughtful gift shows he not only supports me but wants me to have every available tool at my disposal to maintain my enthusiasm and facilitate my success as a quilter.  That has to be the best gift of all!

As I read through the pages of each book I will no doubt be inspired to create and to share those inspired creations here!

Stay tuned and watch this space – My Quilting Space.

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Need a Little Inspiration?

It’s 17 days before Christmas and if you’re like me you are a bit stressed, tired and almost to the point of just “wanting the holidays to be over with” so your life can return to normal – whatever that is!

To keep up that momentum until it is “all over with” you need inspiration – something to make you feel energized and to ignite a spark of creativity to carry you through the remainder of the holiday season.

If this speaks to you then you have arrived at the right place – My Quilting Space!

For me, this time of year not only finds me with so much do but so much I WANT to do…and, as always, so little time.

This week I’ve found inspiration in SO many places. From Christmas decor and frugal deals to delightful techniques and beautiful patterns.

If you aren’t yet feeling inspired or in the Christmas spirit yet, keep scrolling – I’m certain you will find something to spark your creativity and get those lights and tinsel shining bright!

The Sewing Room

Learning Lori Holt’s applique technique has opened wide a door to the world of applique that I don’t see closing anytime soon.

In my previous post you can scroll down to the section “I Have a Notion”, and take a look at the fabric pieces arranged in prep for applique with the intent to use this block as a pillow front.

Those pieces are still on my design board however, after rummaging through my fabric stash I was once again inspired and decided to create another of Lori’s patterns into a pillow front and quickly finished the whole thing last night.

PIllow using Lori Holt's Autumn Love Pattern and Templates.  French General fabric for the background.

This image was taken in a hurry and in poor lighting (and the pillow does not have a proper pillow form). My next images will be in better lighting – I promise!

Looking a Lot Like Christmas

Sherri at A Quilting Life shares her Saturday Seven Inspiration for Quilters each week. I’ve recently found myself looking forward to each post! This week did not disappoint – the top image alone provided enough inspiration to get a few projects finished! It evoked such a sense of nostalgia for me – a reminder of the days when I used to display Dept 56 village pieces. A lovely mix of old and new!

Something Old and Something New

Perusing the blogosphere I discovered a new interpretation of an old technique.

What is so old about it? It uses a technique as old as time itself – weaving. I’ve been in love with weaving since my college days when I was first introduced to a floor loom. Although at the time I never really thought I’ve ever retire, I would from time to time imagine my retirement days spent in a cabin by a lake with a big basket of fibers or thread weaving my time away. (Now that vision includes sewing and quilting those hand woven fabrics!)

The new ( at least to me) is Fabric Weaving! The Jolly Jabber at the Fat Quarter Shop has posted Mister Domestic’s video tutorials which instruct three different fabric weaving projects

I haven’t had the chance to try it yet but rest assured, I will be posting about it as soon as I do!

The prospect of starting a project like this makes me feel like I’ve already opened a Christmas present!

What’s Cookin’

Diagram of Jessica Dayton's quilt block - Reindeer Tracks. Courtesy: Moda Bake Shop

I don’t have a food recipe to share but Jessica Dayton at the Moda Bakeshop has baked a fun and colorful fabric recipe entitled, Reindeer Tracks. If you like triangles, this block is for you! It has it all – flying geese, HST’s, QST’s, corner triangles as well as a block on point within another block squared.

This would be stunning as a block incorporated into a larger quilt but I can envision the design holding it’s own as a wall hanging or pillow.

I’ll be trying and posting about this in the future as well!

What a Deal!

I’m probably playing favorites here but for those of us always on the lookout for a good deal, giving a look at these two sites are certainly worth your time. I do my best to visit these two sites each day.

Daily Deal – Missouri Star Quilt Company

24 hour Flash Sale – Fat Quarter Shop

But wait…that’s not all!  Going to the respective “deal” or “sale” page introduces you to other great finds…fabric, patterns, notions, BOM clubs, etc. If what you have read here wasn’t enough to inspire you, visit the “What’s New” pages at the Fat Quarter Shop and Missouri Star Quilt Co.

If I had a dime for every time I visited these sites only to find the very item or inspiration I needed to get a project started!

What will inspire you today?

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The Most Inspiring Ideas You’ll Find on the Internet Today

It’s been over a month since I last posted what I had hoped to be a weekly curation of all things creative to inspire you to make the most of your upcoming weekend.

All was going SO well and then…life happened. All I did was turn the calendar page from September to October and somehow, each day flew by like it was only one hour instead of 24.

My 3 day a week, 9-5 gig has turned into a 7-5 gig that is 4 days a week. Between now and the new year I don’t anticipate any big changes. I guess that’s what 2020 is for! My hope is to turn the calendar on January 1st to find each day to return to it’s “as-God-intended-it-to-be” 24 hours duration!

Now that I’ve explained my short absence, let’s get inspired!


The Sewing Room

1. Last September I talked about National Jelly Roll Saturday – more about that can also be found here.

It’s taken a couple of extra weekends (and a change in fabric) but here is the quilt top about 90% complete:

Chrismas Tree Pieced From a Fabric Jelly Roll

This next image was taken a few days later with the border added. The green around the perimeter is from the backing. Since it took a while to get it partially pinned I just left it on for the picture.

Fabric Jelly Roll Christmas Tree w/ Border

I’m thinking I’d like to use a few (if not all) the left over strips to create a nice design for the back – something to break up that sea of green! Stay tuned…

2. Once the Christmas Tree quilt is ready for quilting I’m going to give free motion quilting a try. It was never my intent to quilt this myself, but even with 24 hours in a day, thee just isn’t enough days between now and Thanksgiving to get this sent off, quilted, returned and bound so…my only option is to quilt it myself on my domestic machine.

Once again… stay tuned!


Road Tripping

A casual conversation with my husband about the Missouri Star Quilt Company (MSQC) turned into a spontaneous road trip to Hamilton, MO.

Missouri Star Quilt Company, Hamilton, MO

It was an unbelievably cold and windy day for the last week in October so we didn’t spend a lot of time outside. This was the only decent image I was able to capture with my phone but no worries – there are more road trips to Hamilton planned for the future!

What you see above is the main retail space and offices and just one of the many (7 or 8?) “stores” that actually make up the MSQC.

My husband – the total, complete non-quilter, was most impressed! He was asking questions about how to use a quilt ruler and even provided impromptu stand up comedy to entertain those of us waiting patiently to be served at the cutting tables!

My trip yielded the “Daily Deal”, yardage for the backing and border for the Christmas Tree quilt shown above and a package of Lori Holt’s Autumn Love Simple Shapes templates.

I’m late for Lori’s Sew Along this year, but I’m now fully prepared to sew this “along” at my own pace in time for next fall!


Hey Susan What’s Cookin’!

Cooking meal on stove top

I’m a huge fan of Sherri at My Quilting Life and had to chuckle when she mentioned this White Chicken Chili recipe she wants to try. I did try the exact same recipe and I have to say it is outstanding!

It warms my heart when someone I admire thinks like I do. It gives me hope.

After having such success with this recipe I decided to explore Rachel’s other recipes and gave her “Mamma’s Meatloaf” recipe a try. My husband thinks pretty much any meatloaf is a good meatloaf – I’m not so easily pleased but I have to say this is, hands down, the best darn meatloaf I’ve ever eaten!

I’m also a pie crust snob and can’t wait to try this recipe


I Have a Notion

 

Sunflower block in progress using Lori Holt's templates and applique techniques

Like kitchen gadgets, I have a weakness for sewing / quilting tools and notions.

This past couple of weeks I’ve been spending a lot of quality time at Lori Holt’s Bee in My Bonnet and have discovered a couple of new techniques – and notions – I can’t live without.

It all started with her Autumn Love Sew Along. Then I spied the Granny’s Garden Sew Along and knew I could not resist her adorable patterns or the beautiful Riley Blake fabrics any longer.

While I wait for shipment of The Granny Chic fabric and pattern (I’ve been put on a wait list) I went ahead and put the Autumn Love templates, the bias tape maker, point 2 point turner this super cute ruler and my version of Lori Holt’s mini 12″ design board to good use. And at the same time I learned that Lori’s technique for applique is the easiest and creates the most beautiful applique I’ve ever tried.

This is my first block – the Sunflower Block from Lori Holt’s Autumn Love quilt and my first time to use this ruler. I’m still in the process of figuring out the best way to use the ruler and design board to get all the pieces lined up perfectly but thing I do know for sure – glue is as important as the fabric!

Sunflower Applique Block in Progress

This next image, without the ruler, gives a little better picture of how the block should look once finished:

Sunflower Block on Mini Design Board

Rummaging through my scraps and fabric stash I located a few fall-like fabric scraps for the applique and a brown remnant of French General fabric for the backing. In the interest of time, rather than make a throw quilt or even a wall hanging, I may be using this block as a pillow front.

Back to the subject of design boards, I discussed the “Top Five Reasons You Need a Design Board” in a much earlier post and yes, a large (or medium) sized board will do however, this smaller version is great – actually a necessity – for this type of applique project. The first minute, or two, of “down” time I am able to gather I plan to make several of these. My plan to have the time to take my time and make these nice, neat and pretty and have them ready to go by the time I’m ready to start making my “Granny’s Garden” quilt.


Have a Great Day and …

I’d love for you to share what inspired you this week!

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Top 5 Things to Do This Weekend #8

Once again Thursday has arrived and has brought you to My Quilting Space – the place for all the creative ideas and inspiration you’ll need to make the most of your weekend ahead!

So let’s get started!

1. My Sewing Room

~~~ For those of you not in the thick of all things quilty, or may have missed an earlier post on this subject, this Saturday, Sept 21st is National Sew a Jelly Roll Day. Sew…you know where to find me – sewing these colorful strips using a pattern from my stash “basket weave” design.

.Jelly Roll Fabric Strips

My fingers are crossed that I can at least finish the top and post it here by Monday night (Sept 23rd).

~~~ I’ve also been busy using up the last of my “Farmer’s Daughter” fabric line and practicing and perfecting the stitch and flip applique technique.

Thanks to Lori Holt from Bee in My Bonnet and her excellent applique instructions I can finally (after at least 50 attempts) say I enjoy making simple shapes into applique pieces. The edges are clean, smooth and the tools and techniques she uses create such a professional appearance.

Lori Holt Granny's Garden Quilt Along

The link above takes you to the first project in her Sew Simple Shapes Series and image should take you to the first post in this Granny’s Garden Quilt Along. Aside from being completely smitten with everyone of these designs, I am sorry that I am late to this party but I am determined to somehow find the time to play catch-up and create this adorable quilt.

2. What’s Happening in Hamilton

Hamilton, MO

Let’s say you’d love to be a part of National Sew a Jelly Roll Day but…you don’t have a jelly roll to sew or, you have a jelly roll or two but want to save them for another occasion… you are in luck!

Missouri Star Quilt Co is having a fabulous sale on select jelly rolls. Between Wednesday the 18th and Saturday the 21st you can save up to 30%. Head on over and see what inspires you!

3. Sewing / Craft Pattern of the Week

Fabric Cherry Pie

When I came across these pin cushions my first thought was, “This is my kind of pie! No baking, no mess, no calories!” Within minutes the wheels in my brain were really turning and could easily visualize these adorable little “pies” as gifts. They would also look great on a shelf in my sewing room!

If I find myself twiddling my thumbs this weekend, I’ll make a return trip to the National Sewing Circle and try my hand making these Pin Cushion Pies.

4. Re purpose / Re-Use /DIY

Glass cases for use in DIY project

In my daily search for an item I need for whatever project I’m working on I keep coming across an old glasses case or two. And now that I’m doing more applique, the time has come to turn at least one of those glass cases into something useful. The most pressing need is to have a central location for the many long, thin shaped items I use and so easily misplace. Another idea is to create a mini sewing kit with thread, needles and embroidery scissors.

I really hope I find the time for at least one of these this weekend. Like the jelly roll quilt top, should I finish this project in time you find it in a special edition blog post on Monday.

5. Hey Susan! What’s Cookin’?

Jamielyn Nye's 4 Ingredient Toffee Caramel Dip with Apple Slices

A sweet co-worker of mine and her family are moving to Austin and as a farewell we are having a “Dip Day” during lunch at work. As sad as I am to see her go there is a bright side – a reason to make a #10 wash tub full of this super easy and delicious Toffee Caramel Dip! I’m also bringing apple slices and pretzels – it’s always nice to balance sweet with a little salt!.

Thank you for stopping by!

Leave a comment letting us know where you found inspiration this week and as always have a great weekend!!!

TGI Thursday

Top 5 Things to Do This Weekend #7

Hello again and welcome to my weekly post where I share ideas that I hope will inspire you to spend your weekend doing something fun and creative and… maybe learn something new along the way!

Before September completely slips through our hands I’d like to say a word or two about sewing and National Sewing Month.

National Sewing Month

(The above image is from the National Sewing Month website. If you want other graphics to promote NSM or your site or other social media platforms, the site has a link that will direct you additional downloadable files.)

Sewing was my path to quilting. Before I even thought about quilting, I was making many of my own clothes in high school – an accepted practice back then as a majority of the designer clothing and designer labels available for mass production were in the very beginning stages of influence and significance.

Forty+ years later, fashion and design trends continue to be vitally important guiding principles that help us form many of the decisions we make.

Since the Industrial Revolution our culture has gradually evolved from “handmade” and “homemade” to mass-produced and ready-to-wear however, the need for self-expression remains unchanged. The need for self-expression is just as vital to our sense of well-being today as it was in generations past.

Sewing, of course, is not the only path to self-expression but for those of us who love the texture of fabric and find inspiration creating an usable item from a flat piece of cloth, a pair of scissors and a spool of thread, sewing offers endless opportunity for self-expression.

Are you new to sewing? The National Sewing Circle is a great place to start.  Instructional videos are available and cover a wide range of topics.  While browsing their site earlier today prices on most (if not all) instructional videos in this cateory are drastically reduced!

I also found a project pattern set – 10 patterns for $15.99!

All this is just for starters…

So scroll down and let’s get this weekend started!

1. Work + Flow

Sew / Quilt Flow Chart

September, aka National Sewing Month, offers 30 full days to sew, create, design and dream. That’s the potential for a LOT of projects and ideas to be transformed into projects. With that comes the potential for many projects to go unfinished or neglected however, there is a solution: “WorkFlowy“.

I discovered this system of organization about a year ago and love it. It is a clean, uncluttered outline format designed to help you keep track of multiple projects.

WorkFlowy is designed to not only help you get organized, you stay organized.

Do you look at your ‘To-Do’ list and feel so overwhelmed you don’t know where to start?

As you accomplish a task or goal, you are able to mark it off (a line is drawn across the task) and the wording is faded. (You can completely remove as well – your choice) but sometimes a visual that allows you to see what all you have accomplished is just the incentive you need to forge ahead – to put one foot in front of the other and get that next task checked off.

What else is so great about it?

It’s FREE. It’s FUN and it’s EASY to use. Want to take a look around? Here is your very own invitation to organization!


2. Fall in Paducah

Paducah, KY

The American Quilt Society has created another Four days of Fun – September 11 – 14. It is my intention to be in Paducah, KY this time next year. If I start planning now…today…(see item #1 above) that is a goal that should be completely doable. While I’m there, I’ll also be taking a tour of National Quilt Museum.


3. What’s Happening in the Sewing Room

It seems a quilter I follow – Sherri at A Quilting Life and a blogger I also follow – Christy at Confessions of a Serial DIY’er have been channeling each other’s thoughts.

~~ My own sewing room is getting smaller by the minute however, I am not at a point in my life where that is going to change anytime soon. So, in the meantime I have to continue to make the most of what space I have. Accomplishing this involves organization and re purposing existing furniture.

Antique Sewing Table

The image above is a sewing table I found in a thrift shop about 20 years ago. It needs some TLC – quite a bit of TLC to be honest, but I think after a little cleaning, some fresh stain or paint, leg extensions and new hardware, this would be one (of many) solutions to my sewing room organization dilemma.

~~ Bowl Fillers – I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ideas that are cute, unique and easy to make. I found a few but when I checked out my blog following this morning and found these cute, unique and adorable sweater pumpkins I knew my quest was over.

Christy's Sweater Pumpkins

Now, if I want to get both of these projects done this weekend, I will certainly need to plan ahead and get organized!

The sweater pumpkin post includes a video tutorial – watching this first will surely save time and frustration I would otherwise experience if trying to “wing it” on my own.


4. Going Green

I love the idea of reusable shopping bags but I don’t love the bags I’m currently using. Browsing the web for ideas and inspiration brought me to this shop and then to this colorful pattern!

As much as I love color, I may give this pattern a try in a solid canvas or even waxed canvas to make it super sturdy and water resistant. I think it would be fun to make 3 or 4 of these for each of the four seasons and a perfect excuse for a fabric road trip!

To accomplish this monumental task without adding to my unfinished project pile, devote one weekend at the beginning of each season for purpose of making 3-4 reusable bags.

My ‘WorkFlowy’ is getting a workout!


5. Hey Susan! What ‘Ya Cookin’?

Pam at House of Hawthornes has done it again. This time with a quick, easy and delicious recipe using all my favorite ingredients: apples, walnuts, cinnamon and butter. 15 minutes to prepare + 2.5 hours in a crock pot – the result = a slice of autumn heaven in a bowl…

Crock Pot Baked Apples

I can’t think of a better way to end a weekend full of planning, dreaming, creating, re purposing and organizing than this!


How will you spend your weekend?

Have a favorite recipe? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Be Creative & Have Fun This Weekend!

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Top 5 Things to Do This Weekend # 6

Seems like it was only yesterday…OK, yesterday two weeks ago, that I was sitting here eager to share with you a week’s worth of great finds, projects and inspiration to help you plan ahead and make the most of the weekend ahead.

Since my last post a holiday has passed and we are now full swing into the first week of September – aka National Sewing Month.

There is a lot to cover here so, here we go…

1. Fabric Releases and Reserves

We’ll start with a beautiful fabric collection by Sherri and Chelsi for Moda Fabrics – Summer Sweet. The link takes you to the Fat Quarter Shop which lists the option to reserve the Jolly Bar fabric cut. This, and the honey bun are the only two cuts from this fabric line to be released in January 2020. If you want another cut (yardage, fat quarter, etc.,) you’ll need to wait another month for the February 2020 ship date.

Summer Sweet Quilting Fabric

Also shipping in February 2020 is this fabulous collection, Modern Farmhouse by Simple Simon & Co for Riley Blake. A beautiful variation of the “Farmer’s Daughter” collection I fell in love with a couple of years ago.

Modern Farmhouse Quilting Fabric

Wanting something to be released a bit sooner – like maybe next month (September 2019)? This quilt kit includes the pattern, a Jolly Bar fabric cut (plus binding fabric) to make this Refractions quilt. Both the pattern and fabric line – Harper’s Garden were also created by Sherri & Chelsi.


2. Re purposed & Remarkable

The minute I came across this great find I knew I didn’t need to look any further. Gail from myrepurposedlife.com is so creative and her newest creation – from a cutting board – is now on my list of “things-I-must-do-before-I-die”.

Wooden Cutting Board

After viewing her creation, it becomes easy to see a cutting board as one of those items that also serves as a blank canvas filled with endless possibilities.


3. Good Eats

Nothing has better taste or scent than fajitas. I’ve made them a few times in a skillet (stainless steel fry pan or saute pan) and they were OK but not great. I no longer have my well seasoned iron skillet – although I could purchase a very nice one here – and I’m thinking the iron skillet makes a lot of difference with this type of dish. However, I came across this Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita recipe and I am inspired to give this a try.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

If fajitas are not your thing but a quick, easy and good tasting recipe is, take a look at the multitude of Jamielyn’s other recipes and videos (DIY / holiday projects Too!) She also loves naps and chocolate and I love everything she posts!

UPDATE: Between writing about his recipe and publishing this post I have tried the Sheet Pan Fajitas – used chicken and I have to admit they are the best I’ve ever tasted!!!


4. Return to the Template

Clam Shell Template

My original intent was to revisit another of my UFO’s, the “Fruit Stand” quilt (an image of Trisch Price’s finished quilt can be found in this post). It uses a unique template called the “Clammy” but various web articles and Pinterest images depicting the upcoming fall / winter / Christmas season diverted my attention and the next thing I know I’m thinking of ways to use the same pattern and template but switching out the “fruit in a wooden box” motif for one depicting Christmas ornaments in a cardboard (or wooden?) box. I’m hoping this will inspire me to do something productive – and finally finish a project using this template.


5. National Sew Jelly Roll Day

Jelly Roll Quilt Fabric

This yearly event is still just over 2 weeks away but I want to give you a head’s up now – Saturday, September the 21st will be here before you know it!

At this time last year I was not aware such an event existed and it was only by a stroke of luck that I happened upon last year’s announcement – on that day which officially occurs on the third Saturday of every September.

Curious as to what all the fuss is about I did a little research and discovered a few interesting facts about Moda’s “Project Jelly Roll” and National Sew a Jelly Roll Day. The whole idea began with a problem frequently encountered by quilters (so glad to know I’m not alone here!) We purchase a significant number of these tempting fabric precuts and, do so without having a specific project in mind. A few months will pass by and all of a sudden we will take notice of these nice and neat round rolls of fabric strips sitting quietly on a shelf waiting patiently to come out and play!

The good people at Moda reached a threshold and decided to do something about all these stacks of unused jelly rolls and created National Sew a Jelly Roll Day as an incentive to take down a jelly roll, unwrap it and make something – anything!

Those rolls were made for sewing and that’s just we’ll do!


Thank you for stopping by! I hope you found something to inspire and help make the most of your upcoming weekend.

As always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you did this weekend!

Susan

TGI Thursday

What To Do This Weekend #5

I cannot believe how fast this past week has flown by!

Kids are back in school. Retail merchandise and displays are making their seasonal shift replacing outdoor furniture and pool side toys with Halloween, fall themed (and in some cases Christmas) decor.

As much as I love the scent of pumpkin spice, watching the transformation of color to the typical red/orange/yellow hues in everything from nature to fashion, snow flakes and jingle bells I’m not yet ready for any of that. Not yet.

Today, my main interest is the coming weekend and as I have been doing every Thursday for the past month, providing you with a handful of ideas to inspire that spark of creativity you need to make the most of your weekend.

Let’s enjoy these last few days of August and who knows, you might also find something that helps to be a little more prepared for what fall and winter will soon bring!

So with that in mind let’s head…


1) On the Road Again

If the combination of a road trip and quilt festival is on your agenda for the near, mid and/or not-too-distant future, now would be a good time to start making plans for one of American Quilter’s Society (AQS) sponsored Quilt Weeks. Their first is already underway in Grand Rapids, MI, but if you hurry and don’t have to travel too far, there is still time to attend on Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th!

This is too far a drive for me right now and if the hubs and I hadn’t made a trip to Michigan a few months back I would very likely be there now! Reading about this brings back memories of the Kansas city Regional Quilt Festival (KCQRF) I attended back in June. I loved every minute – especially the class learning to use the “Clammy” template and being able to take a test drive on a high an end Janome and Juki sewing machine.

Janome Memory Craft Quilting / Sewing Machine

I will admit, my bucket list does include another trip to Paducah, KY – this time to hopefully attend an AQS Quilt Week (I’m not going to make it there this year) and visit the National Quilt Museum.


2) Getting Things Done

IKEA Storage Fabric Sewing Room

So, let’s assume you’re simply not in the mood for another sewing/quilting project. Typically, when this happens to me it is largely due to feeling overwhelmed and nothing makes me feel more overwhelmed than disorganization.

I cannot live in clutter – everything must have it’s place and when not in use, it must be IN that place!

When I began quilting as a serious hobby, I soon realized (like after about 15 minutes or so) that this new hobby brought with it a new set of organization and de-cluttering challenges. There are a multitude of issues regarding storage alone – fabric, patterns, thread, bobbins, presser feet, rulers, scissors and rotary cutters and cutting mats – and this is just for starters. From this, you need storage for quilt kits and works in progress. And beyond storage, is the need to be able to access what you need, when you need it and be able to do without wasting a lot time searching.

Having a small space to sew is a double-edged sword. While there isn’t a lot real estate to store and display my quilting items, when I do find myself having to search for a particular item the space in which it is potentially located isn’t large, so… it should take too long to locate “that” item, right?

As much as I’d like to answer in the affirmative, most of the time the answer is no. If I had space to devote to the storage unit in the image above (hat tip to myblogika.com) I would be able to report that a majority of my storage issues would be solved!

However, until that day arrives, I have discovered a couple of very useful and efficient strategies that have helped immensely – especially in keeping up with my works in progress.

Kate Colleran of Seams Like A Dream reports she is currently working on “about 14 quilts”. I am finally down to 2 but the prospect of a third and fourth in the planning stages has me a little anxious – I cannot imagine how many anxiety-reducing medications I would need if I had 14 quilts PLUS a multitude of other projects in the works, and ALL with October and November deadlines!!! Wow.

So how do I stay organized and keep up with my handful of projects?

~~~ These handy, dandy storage bins with lids – Snapware 16″x3″ Storage bin w/ Turquoise Lid:

Snapware 16' x 3' Storage bins w/ Turquoise Lids

I have a stack of them – they are the perfect size to hold all your cut quilting pieces, backing fabric, pattern and thread. If you are like me, when you have o stop in the middle of a project – sometimes for a stretch of several days and do not have the space to leave everything out until you return, being able to pack everything into one stackable, covered bin is a lifesaver!

Another go-to storage item is from Sterilite – these are another of my favorites!

Sterilite Divided Storage Bin


~~~ Utilize a Design Wall for Multiple Purposes:

To channel Kate Colleran once again – she speaks of using her Design Wall to help with visually organizing quilt blocks and has taken the idea one step further through the use of a curtain rod for a similar purpose.

You can read more about my thoughts on both of my design walls here.

Wall Mounted Design Wall for Quilting

The more of use them (both the large wall mounted shown above with, if all things, a UFO from Kate Colleran’s Road Trip Quilt Along!) and small portable shown below with an empty surface…

Portable Design Wall

… the more I rely on them not just for quilt top design but to keep me on track. It is my intent that as long as an unfinished quilt is still up on both walls I won’t begin a new project until at least one quilt top is ready to come down.

Looks like I can start something small 🙂


3) Vintage Quilting with Jo Morton

Jo Morton Hearth & Home

I can’t talk about Jo Morton without revisiting the KCRQF where I was able to view and vote on several beautiful quilts however, the ones that really struck my eye were those in that warm, primitive style that is so Jo Morton.

One of my favorite online fabric and quilting shops: Connecting Threads has available for sale (and on sale!) a book by Jo Morton entitled, “Hearth & Home”. I think this book paired with these fabulous fabrics would be the perfect ticket for some serious weekend sewing!


4- Words to Live By


Warren Buffet Quote


For those of us with an interest and desire to be our own boss – earn a living without corporate 9-5 grind, building an online business – at least today – seems like the most sensible and profitable way to achieve that.

The days of receiving any type of reward for company loyalty are gone and what has evolved is an entirely new mind-set. One that allows each of us to be in charge of our own financial destiny. The new start-up culture is slowly but surely replacing the oppressive corporate ladder that only a few were allowed to climb.

I will admit here today, one of the purposes of my website is to use it as a tool to earn income in my retirement (I actually have a 5-year plan for that), and a large part of that success is by harnessing the power of social media.

If your weekend plans – this one or any other weekend – involves building / tweaking / updating / branding or re-branding your online business image, Melissa at Tailwind has a ton of information to help you take your brand or business to the next level.

Here is an excellent and timeless article (note the date) on how to “Plan the Ultimate Pinterest and Instagram Visual Marketing Strategy”. However, after all is said and done, the key to success be it blogging or social media lies in knowing your audience. And this is the one main aspect I continue to struggle with.  (I do have one solution at the end of this article!)


5) Saving the Best for Last

Kristi's Craft Table corner Brackets

Adding this little jewel to my weekly blog was a complete surprise! Just as I was putting on the finishing touches, adding images, editing, etc., with only an hour or so from hitting the button to publish this blog another email from Kristi at Addicted2Decorating lands in my inbox! I was not expecting this but what a happy surprise this turned out to be!

Her newest project really speaks to me… actually, it’s practically yelling at me! This large Craft-Sewing-Workroom table is exactly what I’m looking for. As much as I love power tools I don’t have the tools (or right now the time, space or motivation) required to build a table like this but it doesn’t stop me from wanting one nor does it stop me from thinking of ways to acquire one (or two) as she plans to do.

Building two of these tables that can be pulled together when a larger surface is needed or separated when a smaller work surface is needed is a brilliant idea.

So where am I right now?  On pins and needles waiting for Part 2 of this project!

___________________________________________________

So here’s my plan for this weekend:

~ Finish a couple of charity quilts

Lap Quilts for Charity

~ Organize my sewing space (gotta make room for Christmas!) and,

~ Continue the quest to define my audience. This article may just what I need to better understand how to define my target audience so I can continue delivering high (maybe even higher) quality content to my loyal followers each week!

Now it’s your turn!    What will you be doing this weekend?

TGI Thursday

What to do This Weekend #4

Cnva - This Way to the Weekend

Once again it’s Thursday and with the weekend barely around the corner, you know what that means! A front row seat to view five of my favorite ideas and inspirations collected throughout the week – and in plenty of time to ensure you have the Best Weekend Ever.

So let’s get started:


1) My Sewing Room:

Making a Machine Stitch Bible. This is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while and discovered it’s usefulness when I was making a baby blanket using machine applique. Knowing exactly how a decorative stitch – especially a blanket stitch – appears when using different stitch widths and lengths. This saves time having to reset these settings each time you turn off your machine or change from a decorative stitch to a straight stitch and back.

Blueprint - Stitch Bible

Of course, another option would be to invest in a machine with a stitch setting memory but until that happens, I plan to create a stitch bible.

I also see this as a great “filler” project for those says when I want to sew something but I don’t have the time or motivation to start a big project.

Need more reasons to sew a stitch bible? Five more can be found here.


2) Flipping Out:

Here is an update on the “stitch-and-flip” applique technique I talked about last week. It took a while to get a few shapes with edges that would easily turn and maintain the appearance of a flower.

Stitch & Flip Applique Flower

The blue background is one solid piece – I went ahead and did a blanket stitch all the way around. The yellow and gold petals are separate units – each sewn using the stitch-and-flip technique as well. Before adhering to the blue base I did a few quick embroidery stitches and finished off the embellishing with a button.

Here is a close up:

Stitch and Flip Applique flower

My plan is to make this into a small pillow – the checkered fabric will be used for the back, a white front with an applique flower and blue piping around the perimeter.

Stay tuned for the finished product!


3) What’s Happening in Hamilton:

Today’s Daily Deal: The “Deal” is for today (8/15/19) only but even without the discount, this is still a very good deal for any day of the week. Perfect for the little ones in your life. When I see such fun projects like this it makes me sad my “little ones” are too old for these cute guys however, I may go ahead and sew up a couple of these for Christmas.

Mickey Moose Plush Toy

Returning to the subject of applique – a topic I can’t seem to get too far away from these days – you must check this out! I’ve renamed it, “applique-all-the-way” and a great way to get through a small basket of scraps!


4) Planning Ahead:

” The Quilting Tool that Makes You Smarter” ~ Stephanie Palmer.

2020 Quilter's Planner - Aqua

Taking a closer look, I certainly agree however…this new (and improved) 2020 Quilting Planner offers so many more benefits! Not that being ‘smarter’ isn’t great…it is! But this “quilting tool” is just as functional, informative and inspirational as it is educational. That’s packing quite a punch between covers of a spiral bound stack of paper!

Just for starters, this planner will help you become more organized which translates into better time management which leads to improved creativity. An elevated level of creativity then leads to higher quality products which in turn not only makes you a happier (and smarter) person but increases the level of happiness your followers and the recipients of your handmade treasures will experience as well!

I cannot think of one reason not to go here and pre-order yours today but, if you do need a reason, maybe this will help!


5) Kristi’s Sewing Room:

Simple DIY Curtains: It’s been a long while since I’ve attempted making my own window treatments. It is a project that requires a lot of space – tabletop / counter top space and LOTS of fabric. Sure, the interior designer in me prefers the quality of designer drapes ( you can read why here and here) but at the same time, the logical left side of my brain finds it hard to resist a great bargain on ready-made off the shelf drapes.

DIY Drapes - Addicted 2 Decorating

Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating has found a solution that is nothing short of pure genius. For her particular space I think it is a very logical solution that checks off many boxes: 1) Softens the hard lines and finishes within the space, 2) absorbs sound, 3) visually provides a line of continuity between the trim height discrepancy between the french doors and the solid doors on either side and 4) creates a design detail that helps to establish the french doors as a focal point.

The image above gives only a sneak peek of the room but does give a good illustration of the drape’s effect.

Going back to give greater attention to that trim detail in the image above (and she has blogged about it as well in a previous post), I’m wondering if there is another way to camouflage that height discrepancy. It would involve some deconstruction and re-construction…something like this maybe?

Door Trim Options

I believe, continuing with the current drapery panels on either side of the doors, the trim height discrepancy would not be noticed at all.


Anyone with a DIY project on their To-Do list this weekend? Feel free to post comments or any images you would like to share in the comments section below.

Happy Thursday and as always….

Have the Best Weekend Ever!

Susan

TGI Thursday

What to do This Weekend #3

Canva - this Way to the Weekend

Here we are again… Thursday has arrived and Friday just called to announce she will be arriving bright and early in the morning!

I’m glad you have arrived – the perfect place to gather all the ideas and inspiration you’ll need to carry you through and have the Best Weekend Ever!


So, let’s get started:

Missouri Star Quilt Co

1. Let’s Have Some Cake.

It’s Layer Cake week at the Missouri Star Quilt Co. Head over and take a look at the great deals on layer cakes and while you’re there, take a look at the multitude of and eye-catching and layer cake friendly quilt patterns! Each one is available as an instant download (my favorite) or for purchase in paper. The layer cake special end tomorrow (8/9/19) and if you’re looking for an excuse – reason to take a road trip to Hamilton, MO, this Friday would be the day!


Artisan Collection - Creative Market

2. Vintage Finds

Looking for a fresh Vintage font, or, even better, a fresh, Vintage font bundle? Rather than release just one product, the Artisan Collection bundle is being released to include 6 different products: 11 fonts, 16 premium logo templates ( for use only with Adobe Illustrator) and 20 vintage shapes. If your brand is calling for some vintage style you can also save a bundle on this bundle but you’ll need to move fast – it is only for a limited time.


Black & White Neighborhood Mini Quilt - Flamingo Toes

3. In the Neighborhood

Nothing does a better job of catching my eye than the contrast of black and white or, as in the image above, black and white with little pops of color and this great find has certainly caught my eye! I’ve been saving (hoarding) fabrics that would be perfect for this project. This is also THE project for when you cannot or do not want to invest in time-consuming tasks such as perfect cutting, perfect piecing or perfect anything and yet you want the finished product to have a perfectly neat and polished appearance. I also feel these particular geometric shapes lend themselves to this applique technique – something I’m – once again – putting on my to-do list for this weekend!


4. Just Beachy

Anyone ready for the beach? Already at the beach? Or anyone, like me, who would love to be at the beach but a beach vacation is simply not on the itinerary for this summer?

I was scrolling through of the images I captured while on vacation 5 years ago: (The “Good Pictures” are on another PC)

Atlantis Lodge and Beach Atlantic Lodge and Beach

These still do the job to convey as sense of nostalgia – I so love the sound of ocean waves and the feel of sand beneath my feet!

Ironically, my next great find is not found anywhere along the east coast or even on a beach for that matter but rather in a Bake Shop, the Moda Bake Shop to be exact. So where is this leading? To another sea shore. This link will take you to the latest block of the At the Seashore Quilt Along – a QAL I didn’t have time to start when it began June 3rd. However, the blocks are available by scrolling through the blog roll and the QAL itself continues through August 26th.

Here are few of the beach – seashore inspired blocks:

Moda At the Seashore Quilt Blocks

Need more inspiration from Moda? Check out their Cutting Table here.


Interior Design Magazine Cover

5. Good Design

This final item for this Thursday’s round-up still has us enjoying the great outdoors. A short trip inside a major retailer will quickly remind you that fall and winter are in the not-too-distant future and now is the time to take full advantage of all the fresh air, warm sunshine, and cool water summer has to offer!

A visit to one of my favorite monthly publications has all the outdoor inspiration you’ll ever need to help you soak up every last bit of summer in the most stylish way possible.

Here is a slideshow that showcases the best in terms of architecture and design. It is a home that was designed and built to take full advantage of lake views and demonstrates one the most efficient uses of land resources I’ve observed in a long time.


Whether it’s a short road trip to Hamilton, MO, a medium-sized road trip to Austin, TX, a long road trip to the Atlantic beaches of North Carolina or no road trip at all – we’ve got you covered and ready to have the Best Weekend Ever!

What inspired you this weekend?