I’ve spent many hours over the last couple of weeks organizing my fabric stash.
I’ve put my one yard plus pieces on mini bolts (really just pieces of acid free cardboard). They look better and it’s definitely easier to see what I have (before pics here). But the mini bolts are flimsy and I find it hard to make the fabric stay straight and neat without using pins. It also takes up A LOT more space. All in all, I’m not sure I would recommend organizing your fabric like this. It definitely doesn’t work well for pieces that are under 3/4 of a yard. If I hadn’t invested so much time into all of this folding and color coding, I might just put it back the way it was.
There is an upside to all of this reorganizing, though. I’ve finally started to see that I’m mere yards away from true hoarder** status. My husband was right!
I gave up fabric buying for Lent, but I think I could easily give it up for the next couple of years. And probably should. The pressure of all of that unused fabric is kind of cramping my creative mojo.
**I know some of you are rolling your eyes about the hoarders reference. True, there are no mountains of garbage here, but it’s not all hospital corners.
Even though I’m not thrilled with the results, I am glad to be finished with that time-consuming project so I can get back to actual sewing. I predict lots of pre-cut friendly quilts in my near future.
Last Friday I went to the Dallas Quilt Show with several good girlfriends. We met for a delicious diner breakfast and made it to the show just after it opened. I had a short wish list of goodies that I wanted to buy: a market tote basket and a curve master presser foot. I’m really trying to take a break from fabric buying but five booths into the show, I bought a fat quarter bundle of Amy Butler solids. Those pretty colors weakened my resolve. I was pretty proud of resisting the vintage quilty stuff at the next booth. Several of my girlfriends took home some really amazing stuff (Melanie’s quilt scraps, Monica’s vintage quilts) but I tried not to even look at the booth, knowing that I have four unfinished vintage quilt tops awaiting some TLC at my house already.
I did find my market basket, which was very exciting. These handmade baskets are from Ghana and a portion of the profits goes back to the community of weavers that makes them. They’re called bolga baskets and you can find them easily online (most of them are dyed bright colors). They’re ideal for your sewing room – I bought my first bolga basket at another quilt show in the fall and I use it to store pre-cuts and fabric stacks for future quilts. It holds a lot of stuff and looks pretty.
And it’s a good thing I bought that big old basket because there were even more fat quarter bundles that I could not resist.
Denyse Schmidt’s Katie Jump Rope and American Jane’s Peas and Carrots! Both of these bundles were priced at normal retail, not Etsy-OMG-are-you-for-real prices. If you’re searching for some hard to find fabrics, you must check out your local quilt shows. A lot of small shops don’t turn over inventory very fast and if they don’t have an online shop, the odds are very good that you’ll find some out of print goodies. (This quilt shop does have an online store with some Katie Jump Rope in stock.)
I was feeling so pleased with myself that I even did some sewing this weekend (I’ve lost my mojo recently so like Ron Burgundy it was kind of a big deal.). It’s a Union Jack block for Erica in the Ringo Pie bee.
Can you tell that the blue fabric is 1930s bunnies? And the white fabric has tiny strawberries on it? I just wanted to point that out.
I’ve sewn a lot this week, but I don’t have much to show for it (literally – no photos!). I finished the Popsicles Posies quilt that I thought I’d never finish because of the hand quilting. This quilt is so sweet and I can’t wait to show it you guys. I’ll definitely get some photos this week.
Here’s a sneak peek:
(really, it’s just a gratuitous dog photo)
I taught a modern quilting class the other night at my friend Julie’s shop – Make. We were talking about fabric obsessions and lo and behold, she has been hoarding some yardage of one of my most favorite prints EVER.
That’s right! The elusive Paint by Number Birds from Erin Michael’s Uptown collection. I don’t know how Julie can bear to part with it, but she is selling most of her yardage on Etsy. She kindly gave me a generous piece to have for my very own! I’m thrilled to have some of this fabric. It deserves to star in a super special quilt, and I can’t wait to come up with something creative to show it off. What a score. I did tell Julie that I’d break into her store and steal it if she didn’t give me some. Maybe that’s why she was so generous.
I’ve been doing so well on my New Year’s fabric diet resolution. In less than one hour at the Quilt Asylum, I totally blew it. The Quilt Asylum is one of my LQSs (local quilt shops). Of course, only in Texas would a place that is 30 miles from my house be considered a local quilt shop…but let me tell you, it is worth the drive. We’re really spoiled for quilt shops here in north Texas – there are two amazing ones just in the small town of McKinney (Happiness is Quilting is the other one). I recently posted a map of area quilt shops on the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild blog if you’re in the area and you have some fabric money burning a hole in your pocket.
I almost never buy fabric with a purpose. Typically I grab fat quarters that catch my eye, always keeping a lookout for yellows and purples because I have so few in my stash. But I’ve noticed that I usually end up with at least one nicely coordinated bundle at the end of my shopping spree.
I’m calling this color palette “Spring Around the Corner.” There is a bit of Sugar Pop, Modern Meadow, Moda’s new Regent Street Lawns, City Weekend, some Civil War repros, and several polka dots. This set of fabrics really captures my aesthetic. It’s a mix of old and new, a bit modern, sort of vintage, with lots of color in a relatively tight palette. I love putting together fabric combinations, but I know many quilters find it to be one of the most difficult parts of the process. I often hear women in quilt shops and at DMQG events talk about their fear of combining fabrics and saying that they rarely stray from using just one fabric collection. Many quilting books and quilting teachers talk about color theory, and I wonder sometimes if it’s really something you can teach. People see color differently so isn’t it all subjective anyway? Whatever the answer is, I am truly fascinated by color.
While writing this post, I’ve been thinking about a Lizzy House blog post I read earlier about choosing one word to define the way you’d like to live this year. I was trying to think of my word because I’m feeling very deep and introspective writing about color theory. The one word that keeps popping into my head? Cupcake. I have 9/10 ingredients in my kitchen for making banana cupcakes with chocolate frosting, but I’m missing the only ingredient that can’t be substituted – flour. So my word of 2011 will have to wait until I can get the banana cupcakes out of my head (and into my belly).
I’m enjoying the cold weather this year. I love wearing sweaters and wool gloves, I have some slippers that keep my toes toasty while I sew, and I can smell again because the cold has killed off all of the allergens that normally torture me. Life is pretty good right now, and I’m excited about all of the new things to come this year. Tomorrow is the first Dallas Modern Quilt Guild meeting of 2011, and I can’t wait to see all of my quilting friends (our guild’s first birthday is next month and that is a huge and exciting milestone!).
This week I’ve sat down to blog at least once a day and then gotten stuck. I am working on so many things, and I’m excited about all these different projects and ideas that I’m feeling completely overwhelmed. Is it possible to have too much creative stimulation? With only so many usable hours in the day, how do you get all of those pesky ideas out of your head? Web MD was not helpful, but I suspect that I have full-on quilting schizophrenia. The fabric speaks to me.
I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. So far I’ve been able to resist the “buy me” voices. But I’m powerless against the “start a new project” with me voices. Those Ruby Star Rising ladies are the worst, frankly. Look at their coy little faces.
Who can resist?!?!?!
I’m super impressed by the finishes some of you ladies were able to complete for the challenge. The most finishes goes to Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy. Her prize is a fat eight bundle from the pink colorway of the just-released and totally awesome Ruby Star Rising line. CJ of a Stitch & a Prayer also had lots of impressive finishes so I’ve decided to give out a second prize – a Sherbet Pips charm pack. Please email me your mailing info (vintagemodernquilts [at] yahoo [dot] com) and I’ll get your prizes in the mail. Thanks for participating!
It’s a Christmas miracle! The fabric I’ve been lusting after for months has started arriving in stores.
[image swiped from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics on Etsy]
You can buy it online from the super nice Randi of Fresh Squeezed Fabrics or if you’re in DFW, buy it from Quilt Asylum when they get their stock in (which should be any day now). I think I’m going to do both! I really want to make a dress or top from one of the floral voiles:
And this print is just perfection:
Though I wish they’d printed it on quilting cotton instead because the voile is pretty pricey. Can you imagine how good that would look as binding? I just got chills.
Two and a half bobbins and many hours later, I’m one fourth of the way done.
This straight line quilting is brutal. I’m going to need a shoulder transplant after all is said and quilted.
While I’m mindlessly quilting straight lines, there are visions of fat quarters dancing in my head. Yes, I’m already thinking about my next quilt. It really is an addiction.
A little French, a little sweet, a lot awesome fabric. Caleb Gray’s new line, Suburbia, was just released and I love, love, love this tea print:
It’s my inspiration for my next quilt (okay, the one after the next one…or second….or third one). It would also make a charming apron, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I tend to be a little impatient (my husband would probably say very). I know what I want and I usually make it happen. But sometimes you have no control over the things you want and you have to learn to put them out of your mind because otherwise they would make you insane. This is what’s happening to me right now. I’m feeling pretty tortured by it.
I thought I’d distract myself with this graphic. I made it a while ago and found it recently. It made me giggle and I thought many of you could relate.
So back to the thing that I’m so impatiently waiting for. Well, you probably guessed. It’s fabric. Specifically:
[ruby star rising]
WHEN CAN I BUY SOME??!?!?!!?!?!
Must do breathing exercises.