Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tip Tuesday! - Inspiration

"Tip Tuesday!" - Inspiration

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 


What inspires you to create quilts?

Sometimes I quilt because I have to.
 
          **I have to make a class sample.
          **I have to make a gift or custom quilt for someone.
       
Usually, when I have to quilt for the reasons above, I have specific patterns or fabrics that I need to use. Although that's ok, there are other times that I am the one who has to make all the decisions. What pattern? What fabric? How big? That can be a real challenge!

So, I look around for inspiration. I look EVERYWHERE. 

 

I often look for inspiration on the internet.I love to check out the various blogs I follow. These people are some of the most creative, talented, and interesting people and I'm happy that they allow me to stalk follow them. 

Sometimes, life itself is all the inspiration I need. In my various volunteer opportunities (Stein Hospice, Bras for a Cause, 3-Day - 60 mile Walk, Domestic Violence Shelter advocate, etc.), I've met people who face dire situations every day. Every single day! That sure puts thing in perspective for me. 

Many of my donation quilts are made as a result of hearing about someone in need, or simply that someone needs a "fiber hug." It humbles me to think that my simple little quilt might give them some comfort or make them laugh.

 
I love it when an idea hits and I can follow through on it quickly.

  
The pillowcases I started making almost ten years ago fall into this category. I was thrilled when the pillowcase challenge went national! We can touch a lot of lives simply my making one small pillowcase. It's not much time or fabric; but it's satisfying to do it and it makes someone smile. 


Whether you are inspired by something you see in nature...



or something you read in a book...


Just relax and create something. 

Remember, you don't have to be perfect.




You just have to enjoy the process. The rest will follow.


And remember...


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Stash Fabric

Welcome to

"Tip Tuesday!" - Stash Fabric

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 


Does your fabric stash look like this?

http://playasugo.blogspot.com/

Or does it look like this?

Teresa of Fabric Therapy

Or is it somewhere in between these two pictures?

Are you the type of quilter who only buys fabric for particular projects? I know some people who do that. They do NOT have a fabric stash. As a matter of fact, one of my friends will not buy fabric for a new project until the one on which she is working is completely done. That means that even if the fabric is on sale, she doesn't buy it until she's ready to begin working on it. She has NO stash at all. She buys what the pattern calls for and if there is left overs, she'll give it away or sell it if there is a bunch of it.

I'm not sure I would like to go to that extreme, but for the past couple of years I've been pretty darn good at buying mostly for particular projects. At least I buy with a particular project in mind, and even try to put all of the fabrics for that project together, along with the pattern, in tote or other container. 

marianne-storage

I have also been attempting to use at least something from my stash for most of my projects. Because I am often using a bit of my stash, I rarely get bothered if I have to buy coordinating fabrics. I'm still using stash and that's my goal. Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with buying fabric simply because you love it. Most of us have done that and and will do it again in the near future.   

When you are going to buy "for the stash" how much do you buy? I can't tell you how many times I've been asked that question. I still find it challenging to answer with any really good response. Why is it so difficult to answer that question? Because how much I buy depends on a number of things.

For instance, is the fabric one that I would consider using for a border? If so I buy more so I can cut it on length-wise and not have to piece it. Since I tend to make larger quilts, 3 yards (108") will usually take care of a border and if I want to ad some of the fabric in the body of the quilt, I generally get a yard for that. 

Michael Miller Mid-Century Modern Atomic Turquoise
Michael Miller - Mid-Century Modern Atomic

Because I've been trying to be a better "scrappy quilter" lately, I've found that if I really love a particular fabric, I am usually happy with a half yard cut. Now I know many of you will say that you only need a fat quarter or less if you are trying to be scrappy and that may be true for you, but I often find that I like to be a little more controlled with my scrappy. Although it is becoming easier for me, I find it much easier to work with 25 different half yard cuts rather than 50 fat quarters.


If I do decide that I want to shop for fabric just because I can and I don't have any project in mind, I know that I am ALWAYS low on neutrals and light backgrounds. I don't really know why that is the case, but it always is. If I see a good deal on these fabrics, I will often buy a handful just so I don't find myself wanting to start a project only to find that I have to wait because I don't have the fabric I need. Much of what is in my stash right now includes fabrics that I don't love but know will make beautiful projects.

For example, for a number of years I bought Thimbleberries, Kansas Troubles, etc. fabrics because I liked them and I could easily find fabrics to match them. I didn't really have to think. Just about everything worked well together.


Lately, I find myself attracted to a more modern fabric choose. I love working with Kona Solids and just about any kind of batik.

       Kona® Cotton Designer Palette Series, Emily Cier of Carolina Patchworks     Tonga Batik Treats Rainbow 2.5" Strips  

I can never have enough solid white, black or grey because they will coordinate with just about anything. If that is the case, how much do I buy when I am buying for stash? Again, it's hard to say, but I usually buy at least three yards. 


I have learned from experience that I do need to look at my stash pretty regularly. If I don't, I've been known to buy the same fabric that I already have. I know it's just because I love it, but I really don't need or want to have multiple yardage cuts of fabric. If I want a total of ten or more yards, I'll buy a bolt!


I know I didn't really answer the BIG question about stash, but it really is a personal issue. Buy what you love and what you can afford.          

Monday, October 13, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Remember last week when this...



became this?



Well, now it's this.


I added the borders last night and even though I was not thrilled about the gradation not working out perfectly, I'm over that now. I was going to stop after the colored fabric border and bind in black, but on a whim I put up a small black border and really liked it. They are on and I love how it looks.

I'll piece the backing using the left over fabrics and then make some decisions on how I'm going to quilt this. Overall, I'm pretty happy how this is turning out, even if it is a square quilt. :-)

Last week I also showed half of the John Deere log cabin quilt. I have all the blocks put together in rows and just need to add the borders. I did not have a chance to take a picture of that, but will do so after the borders are attached.

There is something else on the wall. 

I'm playing around with making hexagons using the 60 degree triangle ruler by Creative Grids. So far I like this version better than the next one.


I like the pinwheel effect, but maybe not just with these fabrics.


On Tuesday, I'm giving a presentation about using this 60 degree triangle ruler to an area guild. Many of them have purchased the ruler and not used it because they weren't sure how. Others have used it for one project (table runner) and that's it.


One of the members knew that I had offered a series of table runner classes using the ruler as well as a quilt class. She also knew that I've been playing around hoping to come up with at least one more quilt to make using this same ruler. (I try to have multiple projects and classes for specialty rulers so students don't feel like they've wasted money.) My intention is that once I finish at least one of the hexagon quilts above, I will offer that as a class. 

Here are some picture of the table runners. These runners were a real hit this summer. I offered a different runner every two weeks and every single class was full. :-)

The vegetable runner was made using the Easy Striped Table Runner pattern while the other ones were made using various Triangle Frenzy patterns. These were fun and they make great gifts!





Here are two quilts I've made using this ruler.

This first one was made using a fat quarter bundle (Thanks Alice!) and an alternating solid white fabric. Simple but intriguing is what I think about this quilt.


This next quilt is my purple version of Equal Rights by Swirly Girls Designs.


I know I'll have fun at the presentation and sure hope I can encourage some of the members to use those rulers they bought way back when.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Monday, October 6, 2014

Design Wall Monday

There are a couple of projects on my design wall today. They have been there for a couple of days and will remain there, exactly like this for a couple more. Who knows, they may be there all week!

These are half of the Granny Square blocks that I made using the strip piecing method. (The other eight have not been trimmed yet.) I will be adding black sashing between the blocks and adding some borders. I still have to play and decide how I want to do it.


All of these blocks, and the other eight came from this fabric. It is Rain, by Michael Miller. Isn't it beautiful?!? 


I cut strips of each of the colors and combined them with black to create the blocks. I have pieces of fabric left over that shows the gradation from color to color and I want to figure out a way to use them in at least one of the borders. 


Here's another project on the wall.


I was asked to make a queen size John Deere themed quilt and I sketched six options for the recipient. There were a couple of log cabin options, two star versions, a churn dash option and a scrappy version. To be honest, I was glad he chose this log cabin version. 

There are a lot of different John Deere fabrics out there, but many of them we simply not conducive to making this quilt. Since this is for an adult, I didn't want the quilt to scream John Deere by having the focus be the tractors. Instead, I found some fabric and fussy cut centers of the log cabin blocks. Here are the centers before they are all trimmed. Only the second one from the top left is trimmed.   


Since I have placed the centers in specific places, I took this picture so I could use it as a reference during construction. It has come in handy a couple of time already!

There is one more project that is being worked on during the construction of these two quilts but I don't have any pictures of it. it's being constructed from the Rain fabric also. 

And yesterday I worked on this umbrella. I still have to add the snap because I forgot to do it before waterproofing it. UHHHH!!


There's an awful lot on my plate this week so you may see these same things on my wall next week.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's Raining...Umbrellas!

WARNING: 
This post is picture heavy!


This is the umbrellas that started it all. Pat made all of the sisters umbrellas for Christmas. (I can't find my picture taken at that time, darn it!)



And then this happened in June at the annual Sisters' Weekend. 



All of us made an umbrella or two. The picture above includes most of the umbrellas made in one day. I don't have a close up of the Ohio State umbrella Kathie made, but it is adorable!

Ann's floral umbrella is beautiful!


Barb's looks like it's a hand-painted masterpiece!


And Paula's is just plain fun!


The "Cleveland Family" was surprised when they received their umbrellas. That was a fun day and I look forward to doing it again next year.


Of course there was the 

Here's my umbrella using Riley Blake Designs' orange Gingham. I added a touch of black trim and think that made this umbrella a real beauty. 



Of course having Quinn as my model makes me love this umbrella even more.


And then the classes began...

The batiks are beautiful.


But so are the prints.



This is just so darn cute!


I love the polka dots in the alternating panels. 


Gingham and a fun print! What a great combination. 


Love the dots!



And more batiks that are so striking!


These blues are beautiful!


This umbrella was made using home dec fabrics and they worked great.


A solid batik umbrella that is just wonderful!



A mixture of batiks and Kona solid that looks awesome!


And it's even pretty rolled up.



I just sprayed another one, but it's hanging up to dry. Perhaps I'll remember to post a picture tomorrow.