My 12 Little Dirty Quilting Secrets – Quilter’s Challenge

I admit that I too, have a few of these. And since so many quilters are blogging about it, which now seems like our version of the Ice Bucket Challenge, I step up to this challenge too. 

Amy over at 13 Spools, The Cute Life was first post I read who wrote about her quilting, dirty little secrets, and has started a trend.

1. I sew over my pins, except when I am at Pins and Needles on Friday mornings at quilt clinic. When I forget, Lisa or Deb always remind me.

2. I love to hand sew my binding to the back of the quilt when I finish. 

3. I want to participate in more linky parties, tried once with Freshly Pieced Quilts, and am still not sure it’s as easy as that. I feel like I am missing a step. Is it just a virtual show and tell? (If anyone wants to answer that, please comment in my comment box below, and thanks). 

4. I am not a big Aurafil fan. I love Presensia. 

5. I used to baste with thread which took hours, but now prefer basting with safety pins.

6. I can stand color bleeding. Except for pre-cuts, I wash all my fabric in the machine, sometimes twice if it’s red, pink, purple, etc. to be sure the colors won’t bleed after the quilt is made. I always put a white rag or old white sock in the second washing to make sure that color doesn’t seep onto the white. If it does, I will wash it again until it doesn’t bleed anymore.

7. Somehow, I can’t get all my seams on the back of the top to iron in the same way so it will all be flat. (I keep trying). 

8. I can’t stand paper piecing, because I am dyslexic, lefty. 

9. I always listen to the radio, play CD’s or have the TV on in the background when I quilt. Food TV network’s, “Chopped,” and HGTV’s “The Property Brothers” are my favorites.

10. I am, oh so not a Hexie fan either. Other quilters do a lovely job with it, but it is not my thing.

11. Before starting a quilt, and especially before machine quilting i wind a lot of bobbins to make sure I don’t run out. I really dislike stopping in the middle to wind more bobbins.

12. I sat on my seam ripper once, and ended up with 4 stitches in my right thigh. 

Please feel free to share yours.  It is a lot of fun.

Quilt Fabrics or Quilt Pattern; What Inspires You More? Part 1 of a 2 part Series

I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. Is it a quilt pattern that we come across, and say, “I’ve gotta make that quilt.” 

Or do we come across fabrics, that we imagine in a future quilt?

For me, it’s both. 

I spend a lot of time looking at fabrics online. Prior to the online fabric boom, I would visit my local fabric store once a month. It went out of business in 2008, and I miss it so much. There aren’t any “nice-sized,”fabric stores with lots of beautiful bolts of fabric near where I live anymore. 

When we travel, I always check to see if there are brick and mortar stores to visit and shop at in a new city. 

Quilting is a very tactile process. Not being able to feel the fabric is an element of the process I really miss. The other missing element is taking the bolts of fabric out and lining them up next to each other, or on top of each other to audition what works together and what doesn’t. Many of the web sites for online shops have a board the user can copy and paste their choices onto for the audition process. It’s okay, and I use them. But for me, it’s still not the same as seeing those bolts of fabric in good light, in person

Let me get back to fabric inspiration. Often I will find fabrics, some traditional, some modern, where it is “love at first sight.” And, I know I will use those fabrics in a project very soon, or down the road. Here are some photos of these.

None of these were purchased together. This was my thinking process when I bought each.

1. Text fabric, and green fabric with yellow buds – They were “love at first sight” choices. The text fabric was something I was looking for as I began to collect modern fabrics. 

The colors in the green fabric with the yellow buds was so colorful, and the scale of the buds were not overwhelming. I knew I could use either of these as a focal fabric or a blender. But in this arrangement of fabrics, I would use them as focal fabrics.

2. Cherry fabric with green leaves and yellow background – Because I am currently working on a 1930’s reproduction quilt, I purchased that fabric because I knew it would work in well with the fat quarters I originally purchased for this project. And I have leftover to go with this group. Also the color and scale of this fabric are just right for this grouping.

3. Yellow-orange fabric with modern green, white and yellow designs in it. I have to admit, this was a “love at first sight” choice too. And I bought it in a few different colors. It’s a great blender with these fabrics.

4. Gray – Green fabric – Another, “love at first sight” fabric. Why? The simplicity of the lines and the two colors together in this fabric create a neutral that works so well as a blender.

5. Yellow fabric with green and red twig designs – Yes, this could be considered a holiday or winter fabric; or not. Because of the simplicity and scale of the small, repetitive designs against the yellow, it is a good blender that adds some extra interest in this fabric combination. The spacing between the twigs in this fabric design, in contrast to the other prints in this group is spacious, and has more negative space in it than the others, providing it with strong contrast.

As I mentioned, I’ve been working on a king size quilt that uses 1930’s reproduction fabrics. What I am going to use for the fabric on the back has been on my mind a lot. Originally, I played around with the idea of using the extra squares I made in a modern design for it. But then, I found this….

And the word PERFECT, came to mind immediately. Modern text design, with mostly food related words,and a timeless font.  Yup, “love at first sight!!”

In Part 2 of this series, I’m going to focus on those “Gotta make it,” patterns that have come my way and have probably come your way too.

In the meantime, please comment on your thoughts about what inspires you more, fabric, pattern or both, and tell me why.  Kind of interesting to think about those choices.

Have a great weekend, and happy quilting!!

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today’s post is not my usual kind of post, because today is not just any day.  I want to dedicate this post to my mom, Dorothy. I lost my mom to renal failure right before Christmas, this past year. I don’t want to get into the hard and sad “stuff.”  My mom would not like that. She would have wanted me to share how I got through it, and what I learned.

To make a long story short, that is how this blog came about. I needed a distraction from worrying that included a new challenge. I wasn’t sure I would bring this blog live until the end of August. Although my mom had no idea what a blog was, before she lost consciousness in the fall, I shared it with her on my phone. She got the biggest kick out of it. 

My mom valued life-long education. It was one of her core values, and she attended adult school until a few years ago. I continue to look for new learning challenges everyday.  It really does keep a person excited about life and helps keep confidence strong.

Dorothy – this is dedicated to you. I love you and miss you everyday.

Creativity and Inspiration; You Never Know Where it Will Come From

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already August. This past month really flew by. As many of you know, I was taking a very intense and compressed photography class, (just during July) at Westchester Community College. 

I began this class knowing nothing more than point and shoot. I finished knowing how to use manual and automatic settings. There were about 1000 other things about composition which I am now thinking about, that overlaps with quilt design, use of negative space, how other elements in the foreground, middle ground and background can support or distract from a focal element. 

And lighting. That came a bit easier to me than I thought it would. Believe me, there are still many mechanical and technical skills I am practicing and have to improve upon.

I have a big, new whoosh of inspiration that has flooded me. I work with fabrics, threads and patterns inside closed environments. I look outside now, and suddenly see so much I hadn’t before. Lots can be translated into color schemes and pattern designs. Others just make me feel happy and energized. What a great gift that is.

This journey was an outstanding learning experience, and I find myself thinking differently, because I am looking at things differently. For part of my final project I photographed two quilts which I have posted before, but photographed differently.

Again, Thank you so much Lynn for letting me use your fence and porch for photographing.

On another note, while surfing the internet, I came across an incredibly inspirational website that covers many areas of design, some of which is great for quilters, those who sew home dec., and those who sew clothes and bags. I am excited to share this with you.

This blog main tabs are What’s Trending, in DIY, Spaces, Places, Products, Before and After, Entertaining, Columns, (interesting viewpoints from industry leaders and influencers), Video’s, and Biz Ladies.

Below these tabs are a short list of articles, some of which I am finding new inspirations. For example, this “What’s Trending” article;
I think a lot of us are always wondering, “What’s around the corner regarding new fabrics and designs?” I loved looking at these new post modern designs.

Out came my sketchbook and I then I launched Threadbias……

Have a great week and Happy Quilting!!