As I mentioned the other day, I came across a quilt top from my guild’s Community Service team. Nothing like an impending move to get me going on this top. It took no time at all to get it basted and stippled.
This scrappy quilt is one crazy flurry of color. Most of the prints are from the 1980’s and 1990’s as far as I can tell. Lots and lots of novelty fabrics were used. The person who pieced it alternated rows of seven inch squares with rows of 3 1/2″ squares and rectangles. It is much like an I-Spy quilt and will be fun for someone to look at and enjoy the variety of prints.
So many holidays are represented in this crazy quilt. Christmas and Easter, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day fabrics are all over the place. For as many novelty fabrics as are included, it was interesting to note she didn’t include any Halloween fabrics.
Kokopelli (the flute playing, dancing characters on blue) are symbols of fertility and rain. Interesting placement next to rabbits and hens, both of whom are quite prolific at reproducing. Hahaha. Coincidental placement, I am sure.
I backed the quilt with black and white polka dots and used the same for the binding. In the interest of efficiency, I machine bound it front and back. I need to practice this – my machine binding is less than precise.
Just after Thanksgiving, Julia, my mom and I made some cinnamon applesauce ornaments. These are very easy to make though the dough is very sticky. There are tons of links to make these ornaments. We used the cheapest cinnamon and applesauce we could find.
Once the ornaments were dried, we used puff paints and decorated them. It was a lot of fun to do and the ornaments smell so yummy. Note – these are not edible! They would taste horrible and even when rolling them out, it seemed strange not to taste the dough. If you make these, enjoy the fragrance but make sure not to taste them! Some of ours will go on the tree and others will be given to a few of our neighbors.
Julia and I plan to go to town this afternoon and wander our local shops. We have such a cute downtown area and I am looking forward to this. Also, tomorrow a local nursery is hosting a group of teenage crafters and holding a holiday event. We are both looking forward to browsing their crafts and supporting their entrepreneurial spirit.
Enjoy the weekend everyone!
Linking with my usual parties. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I sewed a pair of shorts? Its been a long time, like a really long time! Maybe sometime in the 1980’s or so? Anyway, during one of my obsessive trips to a thrift store, I picked up a Simplicity easy-to-sew pattern for pants, shorts and a skirt made with woven fabric and a knit fold-over waistband. I have a knit skirt like this and it is really comfortable. I was a bit curious about making this combination of woven and knit fabric and decided to give it a try.
The first (and only) hurdle was deciding what size to cut. I am sure I am not alone when I say I dislike measuring my hips and waist. The number is never what I think it should be, which is to say I think I should be the same size as when I made that last pair of shorts. Ha. Guess what? I am not. When I took measurements and looked at the pattern, it indicated I should make the shorts as a size 14. The vanity running through me said, well that is clearly a mistake because I don’t wear that size. Truth be told, I almost cut the pattern out as a 10 (which is my ready to wear size). Vanity runs strong and deep my friends. At that point, I had to have a very firm talk with myself. It went something like this: What does it matter if you cut a size 14? Well, of course it matters – it means I have gone from a size 10 to a 14. No, no it doesn’t and if you cut these at a size ten, they won’t fit and you will be so irritated. On and on we went, the two of us inside my head. Finally the pragmatist won and the vain side lost. I cut them as a size 14 and here I am telling all the world about it – well, at least the portion of the world who reads my blog.
Shorts that actually fit!!
Guess what? The shorts took maybe an hour to make and THEY FIT GREAT!! Shout that to the world – in handmade shorts, I wear a 14 and I made a pair that fit!!!
Woven shorts with a knit waistband = comfortable!
I debated whether to actually take a photo of the waistband but decided I should because I am being all mature and accepting of whatever size I am and the waistband is the cool part of the shorts. (If that isn’t a run-on sentence, I don’t know what is.). I love the fabric I used – it is from Alison Glass’ Handcrafted line of batiks and is called Artifact in Navy. (Click the link if you want to check it out in the shop.). Overall, I love these and will wear them a lot. My only disappointment is I didn’t put pockets on them. I like having a pocket for my phone and car or house key if I go for a walk. I think I can put a patch pocket on the back side still and that will fix things right up! The next pair are going to be in knit fabric for top and bottom. I want to see how that changes things up. I suppose my take away from this project has to be that the numbers are just numbers. My hips are what they are and if you want something to work, just follow the size and measurements as laid out on the pattern. They didn’t put those numbers there to make me mad, rather they put them there so I could be successful with the project.
Community Service Quilt, Pine Tree Quilt Guild
One other quick sewing project I did last week was to bind a quilt that someone in my guild made for Community Service. This project was pieced and quilted, it just needed someone to bind it. I happen to enjoy binding so that was an easy one to help with. When I got it home, I saw the binding was made and was quite narrow. The maker cut a two inch strip where I usually cut 2 1/4 and sometimes 2 1/2″ strips. I decided to machine stitch it to both front and back sides so it would be really durable.
As I came to the end of the binding strip, I realized it wasn’t going to be long enough. I should have checked it before I started but I made the assumption that the maker had done that. Looked like it was going to be a scrappy binding. I found a little print that seemed to work with the polka dot binding provided with the quilt. It all looks fine.
Pieced binding for the win!
I especially like the backing for the quilt. It is a nice denim with a printed pattern. This quilt will last for a long time. It is earmarked for the local foster youth program. When the kids age out of the system at 18 years old, our guild gives them a quilt to add to their belongings. This one will work for a guy or girl.
Delicious boysenberries, or are they?
Last story of the day….. on Saturday, over the weekend, I was picking berries early in the morning. It was gorgeous out and there are a zillion berries right now. I popped one in my mouth and guess what? There was a beetle on the underside of the berry. Ugh! It was horrible. There I was having my zen moment picking berries all alone and all of a sudden, I was spitting beetle out of my mouth. Yuk!!! I will be a little more careful before tossing another berry in my mouth. 🙂
Reminder – I will be back on Wednesday this week with the June Blogger Bundle. It was curated by Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms and I am really excited to see what she has made with the fabrics! See you there!!
Linking to Cooking Up Quilts, Lets Bee Social, and TGIFF. Info is at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
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I started a new project! Over a year ago I received a stack of Kaffe Fassett florals from somebody. It was during the first round of #getyourquiltywishesgranted on Instagram. I wish I could give proper credit but I just can’t remember which kind quilter sent them. She had offered them up if anyone wanted to use them and I was the lucky recipient. Then, as often happens, they sat on the top shelf in the closet for about 18 months!
At the April guild meeting, they announced a class to be held for using up scraps. I have no shortage of possible ways to use scraps but this pattern looked cute and what is better than a day sewing with friends? I signed up. Yesterday was our sew day. A woman, Doris Javier, from a neighboring guild, had designed the pattern and she was there to teach. The pattern itself is extremely simple to construct; basically cut lots of rectangles and sew together in pairs. Then arrange in one of a number of designs and stitch into blocks. When I first started joining the rectangles, I was not consistent about the direction In which I placed the floral fabric and the background. Of course, it needs to be consistent so that the angles run the correct way. Luckily, I was eager to see how the block would come together and tried to lay some out right after I pieced the first couple. So I have a few that are slanting the wrong way and will have to be used in something else. Maybe I will piece the backing and use them for that. Because the rectangles are sewn together on the bias, much like binding strips, I now have a large stack of triangles to use up. They are all stacked in pairs and I will chain stitch them into HST’s to be used at some point down the road. Love those little bonus HST’s!
It has been a long time since I have sewn with a group and I had forgotten how much fun it is. Even with people you aren’t well acquainted with, there is already a common bond with our shared love of stitching. One of the best things about making a particular pattern with a group of people is seeing all of the different fabric combinations created by each of us. Each unique combination gives the quilt a whole new look. When I gathered my fabric together, I based the pull on the Kaffe Fassett scraps but didn’t have quite enough of them to make the whole top. It was very easy to add other brightly colored floral scraps to round things out. For the background, I selected a textured solid made by Red Rooster – it was the last bit I had in my shop and works perfectly with the florals. The look is so summery.
I made significant progress yesterday. I have a large stack of rectangles made and paired into blocks. It takes four of these to make a full block. I didn’t sew too many complete blocks together because I want to lay them out and check the distribution of color. At this point though, it shouldn’t take too long to complete the quilt top. I would estimate I have half of the rectangles pieced. With one more session in the sewing room, I should be able to chain piece the rest of them.
The group in class yesterday agreed to try and get at least the quilt top finished before the guild meeting in September. I am sure I can complete the top but would be even more pleased to get the quilt itself completed. We shall see how my projects go this summer!
Quick side note: I am thrilled with the number of readers joining in with the sew along that is just beginning. If you haven’t read the post yet, click here. We will be making a simple shirt to wear and I will break it down into a few simple steps. We are just getting started so I t isn’t too late to join in. Read the post, order your pattern and select your fabric. The next post will be up on June 15th! Let me know if you have any questions.
Well I now have one quilt show under my belt. I signed up (for the first time) to be a vendor at our local guild’s quilt show. This show happens the first weekend of May each year. It is a pretty good size show with maybe 250 quilts to look at and about 1100 visitors coming through over the course of the show. I was a bit nervous as I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Overall, I would classify my experience as a huge success!
We set up my 10′ x 10′ booth on Friday afternoon. My sister, Patti, came up for the weekend to help me. It was such a treat to work with her and just be able to hang out with her over the long weekend. She came up Thursday morning and we spent the afternoon doing a bit of a dry run in my garage. We laid out the tables, hung the banner, and selected a few smaller props that I had gathered to see what we could fit. On Thursday night, with the help of my wonderful husband (a packing genius who can fit so very much into small, tight spaces), we got everything packed up in our two cars. Ray has a truck which would have fit everything but I really don’t like driving it so we decided to use our two smaller cars.
Hard at work!
Friday morning found us wrapping up a few details and drinking way too much coffee before heading out to pick up Julia from school. As luck would have it, she had an early dismissal. Having the three of us to unload cars and set up the booth was great. If I had done it myself it would have been a lot more work. Strength in numbers, right?
Thanks for all of the help Patti!!
The show ran from 10 am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. It took a harrowing 45 minutes for the first sale to occur. I was sure we should just pack up and go home (maybe I was being a bit overly anxious?)
Oh no! Where is everybody??
Once that sale happened, it all just started to flow. We had steady customers up through the last hour. Hurray!! By the end of Saturday afternoon we were ready to go home and have a glass of wine. We reviewed the day and thought of a few things to change for Sunday.
One thing I noted was we were selling so much yardage and very few precuts. The precuts were too low, out of the line of vision for our customers. Additionally, the FQ’s and FQ bundles were packed too tightly so it wasn’t enjoyable to look through them.
On Sunday morning we moved a few things around. I took the FQ bundles and stacked them on top of the bolts I had cut them from. This way if a shopper was admiring a bolt of something or other, the bundle was right there. It worked out wonderfully and Sunday we sold both yardage and a lot of FQ bundles. I also moved a few of the collections around to see if I would get better attention to some of the bolts that we had not seen any action on Saturday. This was also successful.
While at the show I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly the vendors were with each other. They encouraged me and answered any questions I had once they knew I was a newbie at this. I shouldn’t have been surprised since we are all part of this quilting community, which we all know to be incredibly kind. I had thought since we were (in some ways) competing with each other, it might not be this way.
Also, three different quilt guilds invited me to have a booth at their shows! It had been my hope that I would make some connections and it certainly happened. I have a show scheduled for September, another for November, and the third is next year. This means I have some time to work out any kinks from this show, making the next experience smoother.
As far as selling fabric, I was pleased to see how receptive my customers were to the lines I am carrying. I had a great deal of positive feedback. There were no other vendors carrying Andover or Art Gallery fabric. I live in a traditional area and normally one sees lots of repro and novelty fabric at this show. There was also a booth featuring brightly colored Timeless Treasure paired up with black and white bolts. The most popular fabric in my booth was the Maker Maker linen/cotton blend line and the Gossamer line by Sharon Holland. I completely sold out of a few bolts which was delightful. Also, the newest line I have, Dreamer, by Carrie Bloomston (Andover fabric) was very popular.
I had fun posting progress pictures on Instagram. All of you were so encouraging to me along the way. Now I have a significant amount of tidying up to do in my shop as this week gets back to normal.
I will be posting an update soon on the Sew Along that will commence at the end of June. I want some feedback on the pattern choice. Also, at the very end of May, I will have the fourth installment of my Meet the Designer series for you (and there might just be a giveaway involved in this one!) Enough for now, I have lots of boring housework to do after ignoring it all of last week. I keep telling myself if I get the chores done today, I can sew tomorrow. That seems fair, doesn’t it?
I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend preparing for a quilt show coming up this weekend. I decided to attend the show as a vendor and several months ago, I bought a booth for the vendor area. I got the smallest size booth they have and will give it a go. My wonderful sister is coming to help me – this way if it is busy I will have help and if it is slow, she will commiserate with me. Win-win for me! She has great ideas and is very talented as a decorator so she has been a huge help as I collect what I need for the booth.
I used some green Ta Dot fabric (Michael Miller) and a piece of Crescent Bloom by Anna Maria Horner to make two work aprons for Patti and I to wear. (Both of these fabrics are still available in my shop, though there is very little left.) The aprons were really a quick project and I just sort of made them up as I went. Check out the measuring tape twill that I used for the waist and the apron strings. So cute! (Have to say the apron looks a whole lot cuter on my model than on me!! 🙂 )
Using the same fabrics, I made a bunting to hang across the front of one of the tables. Love these colors and they coordinate well with my logo.
Because this is my first time, I am trying not to spend tons of money. I did have to get a few things though. I am going for a bright, colorful look which will hopefully invite those shoppers to come and browse. You probably remember the banner I posted a few weeks ago. My husband made me a frame with PVC pipe yesterday to hang it from. People will definitely see that banner!
Pricing, oh my gosh — all the pricing that needed to be done. I have a small assortment of stitchery kits and a few projects for kids to make. Summer is coming and I thought it might be fun for some of the women to work on simpler projects with their grandchildren or children, as the case may be. I made up a sample of this little pincushion kit. Isn’t it sweet? The kit includes everything needed so I think a young person could be quite successful making this. I have also marked a large assortment of fat quarter bundles and had to put pricing on the bolts (something I don’t normally do since it is just me down here in my little shop.)
Fat quarters! I have cut all sorts of fat quarters. This is a gamble because I have no idea how many will sell. I hesitate to cut too many because than my fabric is chopped up. But I have a good size collection. I think I would rather run out than bring home a billion fat quarters. If you are a local reader, I hope you will come by and say hi on Saturday or Sunday at the quilt show. Members of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild will enjoy a 15% discount this weekend. Hurray for being in the guild!
Finally, let’s all congratulate Sally! Her name was pulled as the winner of the giveaway of a copy of No Scrap Left Behind. Sally, I have sent you an email. Please respond in the next day or two. If I don’t hear from you, I will pull another name on Wednesday. Thanks so much for all of the comments and ideas on scrap storage. So many of us do keep scraps but there were a handful of honest quilters out there who don’t choose to keep them. It’s all good! Those that don’t want them seem to give them to their guild members or other quilty friends. Sounds like a good idea to me! There are still more bloggers sharing their projects on the blog hop this week. Keep checking them out and maybe you will still add a copy of the book to your library!
I doubt I will post again this week. I still have quite a bit to do in preparation for the show. Hopefully, I will be back to tell you of a successful experience after the show!
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