Friday, September 23, 2011

Two More Fabric Sales

Happy First Day of Fall!

I have to pass on this information to you! I have been blowing through my stash this year and I am seeing quite a few missing colors now. If you have a chance to restock because of a great sale or free shipping (or both!) you do it don't you?

Hancock's of Paducah has free shipping until the 26th with the code SHIPFREE. $30 minimum purchase in the US. Check out their clearance fabrics! There is a ton of selections in the $4.98 section! Fig Tree Fabrics, French General, lots of In the Beginning lines.

Also, Fabric Depot has 30% off all quilting fabrics and 35% off all batiks! Hurry on over!

*This photo is courtesy of my brother in law, a professional photographer.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The price of fabric: this week's deal

If you have watched fabric prices go up and up and wondered if you have to give up your beloved quilting hobby like I have, don't give up hope!

I am going to link to sales when I know about them. I am not getting any benefit from this. No sponsors, no deals for passing on the word. Just the good feeling I get knowing you saved on some stash and can keep quilting!

Here is today's deal: The Quilted Castle 15% off jelly rolls. And their prices are already very reasonable. The sale lasts through September 25th, so hurry over!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ideas Too Many

My head is going to explode with all the fantastic ideas I've seen on other blogs and in magazines. Sometimes I get such an onslaught of ideas, I want to go in a hundred directions at once. Anyone else? It is a frenzy that hits me a few times a year.

Check out this amazing quilt from SewKatieDid's blog. It is her Value Quilt, and she has a tutorial posted on the right side of her blog so we can all make one. I read about it here, and I so wish there was a class here in Pensacola for this. I will have to wing it! I am so awestruck by this quilt that I made it my desktop image at work. The quilting mesmerizes me. The mismatching of the fabrics that all work together somehow. Wow.

What I have noticed about the fabrics she used here is the almost total absence of whites and off-whites. Do I even have many fabrics without those lights in them? I know I am really lacking in the Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler realm of fabric stash. I must work on that.

Other things buzzing around in my little brain: wall hangings and small quilts from the bazillion tiny HSTs I've accumulated. I hate clutter, but I can't throw these corner trimmings away. I know there are beautiful possibilities waiting in them. I just need a sewing fairy to stitch and press all of them, then trim them up for me. This is one example, "Sew Small."  Or the many options from Laundry Basket Quilts like "Deep Blue Sea" "Tree Farm" or "Mountain Top." Edyta is not letting her little scraps go to waste at all!

Also, since I have been pulling out UFOs this year and actually finishing them, what about my box of 1 1/2" strips in Fall colors? Log Cabin? Pineapple blocks? I need to decide and start knocking them out. I would love to have very few boxes of half finished projects and ideas laying around.

On a totally separate note, do you have someone in your life struggling with depression, low self esteem, doubt, or hard times? I think these songs are especially important for girls and young women in today's world, but they can be a message to so many people, I shouldn't limit the targets to girls. I just know these mean a lot to my daughter. And to me. I have rediscovered the world of Christian music and I am loving it. I cannot wait to have a local concert get scheduled. I am buying cds and listening to the one station that plays the music all the time now. I feel good inside. Shouldn't we all? These are NOT preachy songs. They are life-affirming. They speak about valuing yourself because God does. That is something all people need to hear, right?

Listen to this - what a wonderful song. So powerful and moving. So much emotion in her voice.
Then listen to this one. And this.   Then go and have yourself a fabulous day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Design Wall or Two

Do you have a good sized design wall? I didn't for a long time. When I no longer had a spare bed to lay out blocks on, I did some internet research on how to make one, what people thought of them, and which was the least expensive.

 My goal was to have one that was very light, so if I needed to move it to another room, I could without help. I wanted to spend very little, have somthing that will last a long time and be good sized. I also needed to be able to keep it semi clean. After looking at many good ideas, I chose the foam insulation board design wall. Sorry, I don't remember where I spotted the tutorial, but you can easily make one from what I tell you here.

Foam insulation board is sold at home improvement stores. It is a drywall sized sheet of foam, with silver paper on one side. I trimmed a foot off one end so it is shorter than the room. Foam board weighs only a few ounces, so you will never strain yourself moving this baby! I also purchased a spray can of adhesive while at that store. This is the easiest and fastest way to get your fabric cover to stick to the foam board. Additional perks are: you can pin your blocks to it over and over, having a vertical view of your project is great not only for your neck, but for photographing as well, and you could slide it under a bed or behind a door to get it out of sight.

I purchased 4 yards of wide diaper flannel. Some people have used batting, however batting falls apart when you try to clean off the loose threads. With diaper flannel, you can use one of those lint rollers on the surface without worrying about tears or sagging. Just be aware that if you need to piece your fabric to cover the board, you should sew the pieces together first. Don't try lining up the ends on the glue, because they will slide apart leaving a gap.

To make the board, set it up on a table or some saw horses outside on a relatively windless day. You could spray it in your garage if you have the garage door up for ventilation. DO NOT SPRAY THIS INDOORS! Spray the adhesive evenly across one end of the foam board to a width of about 1 foot. Lay down the end of your flannel over the adhesive, leaving several inches of overhang off the end and sides, then smooth - smooth - smooth to get the flannel stuck down good on that adhesive. Spray another one foot section the width of the foam board and smooth. Continue until you have the whole board covered and no lumps or bubbles. You can then fold the extra flannel around to the back and staple it, sew it, tack it, whatever you like to secure it. (Excuse the unsecured flannel peeking out here, I needed the design wall right away and haven't gotten back to that!)

The cost of making it: about $25. That is very affordable, don't you think? Since I am constantly making things, my design walls are in use ALL THE TIME!

I make a lot of large quilts, so I have 2 of these design walls, which allows me to step back and look at most, if not all, the blocks. This is very handy for someone who constantly changes their mind about arrangement and color choices!

Pictured above: Picnic (layout) from Kim Brackett's "Scrap Basket Surprises" book, made this past weekend during Tropical Storm Lee. Also, applique projects in progress.

If you decide to make one of these, I'd love to hear from you!