New Quilting Stash – Aloha Girl

It’s always fun to come home and find a package from a fabric shop. I recently received a box from Fabric Shack with a fat quarter bundle of Aloha Girl by Fig Tree & Co.

I really love these bright, festive prints. I bought them with my cousin Hannah in mind. She’s now about to finish first grade, and I’d like to make her a single-size bed quilt that she can use through high school and beyond. Like her brother, she still sleeps with the baby quilt I made her long ago, on top of all her covers. How much quilt love is that? More than I can describe.

Her family lives in Chicago, so these bright tropical, Hawaiian fabric patterns will keep her warm during those cold months. I love this whole collection, but these two are my favorite fat quarters. 



I haven’t chosen a pattern yet, and am looking through all my books and sketches for inspirations.

If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them, so please add your suggestions in the comment box below.
I am linking up with  Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash.


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Quilting Photos with New Nikon D3200

This is a short post, but it shows some better photos of my finished quilt top. I used my new Nikon D3200. I promised I’d show better photos of the Moda floral fabric that is really pretty. Here goes….

I just received some beautiful new fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop. More photos of fabrics and quilts, as I learn these new techniques with a new camera, and finish with my class this month.

I am not straying from the mission of this blog, which is also to provide quilt news, WIP’s, interviews, and book reviews.

Work in Progress – I Found Gold in My Stash

Besides blogging, I have been doing a lot of sewing. I have three WIP’s. Two of them are King size quilts, and one is a single size quilt. 

I am going to share just one today, because it ties in with a new challenge I just began, which is “going on a fabric diet.” 

And here’s the story; I began this quilt, called Pick and Mix, designed by Angela Davies. I am using 1930’s reproduction fabrics, and purchased a jelly roll. The pattern is for a 58″ x 85″ quilt. That comes out to 39 blocks, that are 8″ squares. It also has a 5″ border. That said, I need to make 72-80 blocks for it to be the size I want. I am also planning to incorporate a few of those blocks in the back. These are the some of the 30 I finished.



I was feeling a little repetitious with the same fabrics, and was considering purchasing one more jelly roll from a different manufacturer to provide me with more options. 

That’s when I looked at a lot of photos of quilts made with 1930’s reproduction fabrics. I put my credit card back into my wallet and scoured through my stash. 

What happened? I found at least 10 more fabrics that are perfect and stay in the style with the jelly roll and finished squares. 

Then what happened? 

There are fabrics I absolutely love and have been hanging onto for more than 10 years waiting for that “just right” project. That “just right” project is staring at me right now. 

So, here I go, and I’m really excited and happy about this outcome. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately, and cannot remember which blogger said she was going on a fabric diet. If I remember or come across it again, I will share and give her credit. At least for me, it is a fabulous idea, and well needed. 

Before this enlightening experience, I did order a custom bundle from Sew Me a Song, that Becca customed designed for me with lots of greys, and text prints. It will soon come to the door. (This reminds me of having that last piece of cake before you go on a real diet). Of course I will share when it arrives. 

So my official first day of the great fabric diet is 5/5/14. Let’s see how long I can last. Hopefully at least until fall market in Houston!!

Work in Progress – A Thities Scrap Quilt

I have four WIP’s,including this one. I have been planning this quilt for about six months, and I am really excited about it. I decided it was time to get going and sewing.

Lots of jelly rolls above, bought at Calico Annie’s, a brick & mortar store in Nebraska, that are very “thirties.” Some solids are below.

This past summer, one of the members of a quilt group I’m in, called the Serendipity Quilters, showed us some real vintage fabric she found, which  inspired me to make a quilt using thirties fabric. 

I found a pattern in Jelly Roll Inspirations, by Pam and Nicky Lintott, called Pick and Mix. Normally, when I use a pattern, I use different fabrics, or make a twist on it to give it my own spin. But not today, and in another quilt I have planned, but I did completely change the background. 

These are my first two squares, only 88 more to go for a very large quilt, but it goes fast and it makes me think that spring is around the cornor. lol.

I will show more WIP’s in the next several posts.

How to Build Your Stash Without Breaking Your Budget – Part 5 & 6

Almost Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am combining Part 5 and Part 6 of How to Build Your Stash Without Breaking Your Budget. Why am I doing that? Because I cannot believe how many Black Friday and Cyber Monday fabric sales I am finding right in my inbox. I would rather share this information with you today, so you can take advantage of these great deals. I will be!!


I generally have my main focal fabrics, which I know will be determining my colorway. Stephanie Ryan, a designer from Moda, has recently come out with a line of fabrics called Modern Roses, which I love.
This link from Fabric.com shows the entire line; https://www.fabric.com/SearchResults2.aspx?Source=Header&SearchText=Modern+Roses&CategoryID=1d5f47dc-9991-4088-93f3-26a376046a5e. I know those large roses will be those focal fabrics.

If I am going to use a boarder, and sometimes I don’t for a more modern look, I will choose fabrics that contrast with the main fabrics, because they are the star of the show. Boarder fabrics will often be a fabric that has more volume or brightness or less volume and brightness than those main fabrics. Sometimes they will be solids, because the quilting on them will really shine on that solid color.

I choose binding fabrics that are not directional, because it is hard to make the seams line up for the continuous pattern look. I go with small prints that pick up lots of colors to bring the colors in the quilt together. For me, as I look at fabric bolts or fabric samples I can usually tell the colors in the print will bring out lots of colors in the quilt. Sometimes I use the same fabric for binding, as I do for the backing, which creates a nice pulled together look on the back of the quilts.

Backing fabric is often sold in widths of 104″ or 108″. This makes it easier for the quilter, who won’t have to cut and sew large pieces of fabric together to make the back.

So to stretch your fabric purchasing power, keep your eyes out for online and in brick & mortar stores for fabrics that fit those needs.


Building Your Fabric Stash Without Breaking Your Budget – Part 4

Building fabric stash is fun. It seems that most quilters love quilting because of the fabric, or it becomes one of their favorite parts of the quilting process. 

There are large prints, small prints, blenders, tone on tone, text, geometrics, and solids. I have always been attracted to small prints. The example in the photo below is typical of the fabrics I would buy, as is the yellows below that, It’s one of those personal preferences. Now with modern quilting and vintage modern quilting, I am slowly beginning to buy more modern prints, and solids, because my eye is getting used to them. 

I still tend to shy away from geometrics and large prints. I am venturing into  some large rose prints I recently discovered by Stephanie Ryan, a new designer at Moda, and Kate Sprain because I love flowers. I am experimenting with them as well as with some geometrics, and my old style is beginning to evolve into something new.

The other part of the fabric journey, that you’ll notice is that you will tend to purchase more of your favorite colors. In my case that is yellow, and purple as a close second. Those are my go-to colors, and over time I have filled in with the entire wheel of color choices.

In part 5 of this series, I am going to focus on fabric stash building with backing fabrics, and part 6 with border and binding fabrics. I have a  few strategies I’d like to share about how to build those, especially during fabric sales. 

A few posts ago in this series, I wrote about stretching your dollars. For example at http://www.connectingthreads.com/Quilting.cfm there is a great sale on batting right now. Of course I stocked up, and hope I won’t need anymore until this time next year.

Building Stash Without Breaking Your Budget Part 1

I love to buy fabric. Don’t all quilters? It’s hard to say no the this…..

 It’s always hard, isn’t it?  

Stash building is a somewhat serious topic $$, but is also so much fun. I truly believe in Social Responsibility in the business world, and it was a required class when I was in B school. That said, I gonna get the serious part out of the way first.

Suze Orman, who I’m sure most everyone has heard of, taught me how to budget.

I read three books when I was young and followed the rules. I do save, and pay our savings account first. Every year I set up a quilting budget, which includes; 

1. Sewing Machine Maintenance. 

2. Replacement of essential notions; i.e. rotary cutter blades, thread, pins, batting, needles, thimbles, template plastic, books, patterns, rulers, seam rippers, and marking pens. The list is endless. Think of all those little things you need in order to enjoy using your fabric in quilts and other projects, and make a list. Refer to it often. Add to it. some things you won’t have to replace every year, such as a cutting board, which you’ll probably replace every ten year.

3. Embellishment supplies if you use them.

4. Classes, Conferences and Guild dues. 

5. All sewing issues relating to the use of your computer such as the printer, ink cartridges, and paper. And last but not least…. 

6. FABRIC.

If you are new to quilting, this can seem overwhelming. All fabric shops online, or brick and mortar, have sales. For example, the store I used to buy most of my fabric from, which is sadly now out of business due to retirement of the owner, had a huge, blowout sale every February. I spent less during the rest of the year, and saved for that sale, so I could really enjoy it and not walk away with buyer’s remorse, or guilt. 

As you go through your first year of quilting, take note of the stores you like and purchase from, and when they have sales. You can always ask the owner, or send an e-mail to an online store, asking when they have regular sales. Note those dates on next year’s calendar, and set your yearly fabric binging accordingly. I promise, you will look back and feel proud of your fabric purchases, and that you are not in debt. 

Some brick and mortar shops have key tags. 

Each denomination indicates how much you purchased. For example, if I spent $43.00, the cashier would punch a $25, $10, and another $10.  (They round up or down closer to where your purchase falls).  When the tag is filled up, it’s generally worth $25 of free purchasing. And if you save those tags for a sale, those savings will really add up.

I really like those stores, and tend patronize them more than any others that don’t offer that cool discount. They tend to appreciate the repeat customer like myself, and I find that to be good business sense. It builds loyalty and that shopkeeper will get to know you, and be more likely to help you find a “must have out-of-print fabric,” or that exact shade of citrine that you need, or your favorite special sized needle.

Big chain stores such as Michaels, AC Moore and Joanne’s are good for stocking up on notions. They have a lot of fabric and many sales. Sometimes the quality of fabric may not be as good, but if at the end of the bolt there is the name a manufacturer printed there that you know and trust, then you shouldn’t worry. 

I tend to always buy fabric that is always 100% cotton, and sometimes some little linen. I like to know if something spills on it, it can go in the washer and dryer without shrinkage or other misdeeds sometimes caused by household cleaning machinery. Seriously, I don’t buy what I can’t afford to pay off in full each month.

Shopaholics and Fabricholics are the same breed. Pay in cash if that helps you stay within your budget. But set a realistic budget, and stick to it. I know how hard it is to say, “no” and walk away from that pretty rose printed fabric printed on a yellow background, but if you don’t, down the road you won’t be a happy and productive quilter or sewist. Okay, I’ve said enough about this, but return to this post if you find yourself wandering off the fabric spending track. 

So with my very first quilt, I spent my money on the necessary tools and equipment to begin. I didn’t own a sewing machine, and wasn’t positive I was going to fall in love with my new hobby. So I bought a used Kenmore sewing machine for $80. It wasn’t until three years later, that I bought my Bernina 130.

I picked out an easy pattern, and had one of the shopkeepers help me pick out only the fabric I needed to make that first quilt, which was for a beginner’s class. Every week I would come a little early and look around at the amazing bolts of colorful fabrics, engaging prints and soothing batiks. I watched other buyers, and observed their purchases. I began to develop my own sense of style. 

I generally like smaller prints, and have a lot of yellow, purple and green. The first two are my favorite colors, but green seems to be my go-to color blender, and I’ve done a lot of floral applique quilts, including Honoring The Seasons. 
(See in Quilts tab).

I am always short on orange, and not because I don’t like i. It just isn’t what I am drawn to. I am branching out to more modern fabrics that are colorful and bold. My Modern Quilt Guild members are challenging me out of my comfort zone, which is a good thing. I am approaching buying modern and contemporary fabrics slowly, and picking and choosing carefully as I add these new treasures to my stash.  The same goes with solids. When i began quilting 20 years ago, solids were not so popular. Today, I am beginning to see and use them in a whole new way. I am collecting them during sales, and mostly as fat quarters. 

One big lesson I’ve learned over the years is that when any shop is having a major sale, I stock up on background fabric, because I will always need lot a of that. 

Part 2 is coming and I will write more about choosing those fabrics that will fill your fabric shelves and bins, that we call stash.

Out of Print Fabrics

I’ve been working on a 2 part blogpost about the importance of saving selvage edges and the relationship to helping find out of print fabrics. However, today I found the most amazing web site that helps locate out of print fabrics, that I decided to post an extra edition post today. The web site is http://www.findmyfabric.com/ I tested it with some of my old out of print Moda, Hoffman, Robert Kaufman, Windham, Kona; yes I could go on and on. They are growing, and are a hot site to keep your eye on for finding those lost treasures. Enjoy, and let me know about your successes or not. I generally don’t promote something like this unless I am super impressed.

Moda 1930’s Playtime by Chloe’s Closet Charm Pack

I love the day when new fabric arrives by mail.  I always can’t wait to open the package.  And today, I was anything but disappointed. I received several charm packs of  30’s Playtime by Chloe’sCloset by Moda from The Fat Quarter Shop.

These beautiful and fun fabrics are going to a project for me and my husband.  I am making a king, yes a king-sized quilt. The pattern is called Blossom Time, and is from the book, Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts, by Pam & Nicky Lintott.  Their shop, The Quilt Room is in London, and I wouldn’t mind a trip there, and to visit their shop. I have always been a big fan of their books; (I own three of them).
I absolutely love this pattern, and can’t wait to dig into these fabrics.