dramatic fabric!


Quilters tie their money up in supplies for their hobbies.  Sewing machines, rulers, rotary cutters, storage, fabric, books, etc.  accumulate with the wealth of the quilter.  “I need this ruler for this project, and I need that fabric for that project.” many have said.  And then before you know it, there are piles of consumables that are so plentiful you may never live long enough to see their fruition!

too much!

So I have a few notes to keep your fabric stash in line with your budget and in line with the real estate space you have.

  1. Be warry of sales.  Yes, that charm pack is only $1.99 online, and shipping is another $5 to get it to you.  So the savings is only a couple of dollars.
  2. Only make a purchase if you really like it.  If there is anything about it you don’t like, don’t regret your purchase tomorrow.
  3. Do not purchase fabric for future projects especially if you have more than one project going.  The likely hood of you starting and finishing another project can become another UFO (unfinished object).  If you have a good idea invest in a spiral notebook that costs a dollar and jot down notes with your idea.
  4. Finish a project before moving on to the next project!  Maintain, don’t gain hehe!
  5. Only go onto Pinterest and social media when you need to solve a problem with the fabric dilemma you may have.  Staying off the internet will save you oodles of cash.  Spend that time finishing what you have started.  Living vicariously through other peoples accomplishments will only make you spend money on future projects.
  6. Be mindful of your family.  If you are getting on in years and something happens to you, most of your accumulation will become worthless.  You are the one who believes it has worth.  Your family, because it has encroached the closets and drawers common to the household will gladly give it away with a sigh of relief.
  7. Finding a nice piece of cloth at an estate sale or thrift store will only do you good for the project you have going.  Again only if you really REALLY like it buy it.
  8. Don’t purchase a large lot of fabric with items you would never use.  Pass it up.

Don’t let fabric be dramatic!  Control yourself!  That little bit of self control will make an improvement in so many ways in your life.  You will become so good at it, that it will parlez into you being a better person.



TOL Quilt Project

Another baby is coming into the world for one of my co-workers.  I have a bit before the due date of October.  They currently do not know the sex but did say they are doing the room in greens and monkeys.  The greens for the trees.  This couple is relatively religious and thought, yes I will make a tree.  The monkey fabrics out there are not the route I wanted to go in my planning.  Perhaps for the backing, but that will be determined later.  I had a blue fabric for sky and lots of greens for the leaves.  I selected grass and tree bark from the LAQS.  I washed and dried everything.  I was going to use the leaves galore template but I did not have any misty fuse.  So I am making do with what I have.TreeProject

Then to decide what kind of block to make.  Since they were going with greens and monkeys, how about a Tree of Life block.  I will make the block larger as I go but here are a few pictures of critical steps in the beginning.

First I cut strips 3 inches wide.  And then cut those strips into 3 inch squares.  I drew a line from one corner to its opposite corner and sewed 2 triangles 1/4 inch from the center line.  I cut the apart with scissors.referencecuttinglinesscraps

I then went to the iron and set it on cotton and sprayed all those HSTs with starch.  I ironed over them to set the seam, and the ironed them again to open the triangle.  A must for doing HSTs and squaring them up.  Because the original square size was 3 inches.  When sewn into two HSTs they are around 2 5/8 inch and are not perfectly straight/square.  So using a ruler on the diagonal sew line and using the grid lines, I trimmed the blocks to get a true 2 1/2 inch square.  Starching the triangles will help you stiffen them for squaring up.  Try both ways, with and without starch.  See which you like best.  I find even a dull rotary blade likes cutting through the starched fabric.  Also, some starch the yardage before cutting into the strips.  You are your own quality inspector and quilt police.  If you want to skip any steps to save time, it is ultimately your project.

Now for the start of the layout.  I have studied some Tree of Life blocks online and have layed a few out on the cutting mat.  I have several to go, but like the effect of mixing and matching sky fabric with greens and green on green HSTs.


To be continued…..


Vintage Sheet Swap July 2016

Well we only had 5 participants, and all agreed to send two different fat quarter sheets to each participant.  Well, some were very generous.  The 5 of us should have ended up with 10 vintage sheet fat quarters, but instead we ended up with a whopping 20 fat quarters.  And some are so very lovely!  We will be doing this again on the forum at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  We would love for more participants!  Here is a peak with what we ended up with:

Easy Lanyard


I have been using this lanyard for almost a year now and it is holding up great.  I probably need to give it a good washing to get rid of the ring around the collar.  This is a simple tie from a bundle of fat quarters from moda fabrics.  I thought it was pretty enough to reuse it somehow and come up with the lanyard idea.  A simple french seam catching a key ring.  I estimate I have less than $1 in this project.  And I use it everyday.  You could dress this up a bit by adding a nice strip of moda fabric behind the twill tape logo.  It would accentuate it nicely.  Happy Sewing!  I would love to hear what you do with your fat quarter ties from the fabric manufacturers!

Radio Frequency Sine Wave Quilt

I work in the RF group at work and one of my coworkers wives if pregnant.  Anyone in our group that is pregnant I stitch together a quilt for their newly anticipated arrival.  By doing this simple gift for my coworkers I am able to try all kinds of neat tools of the trade or try stuff that I don’t want to try on such a large scale.  I am getting great experience under my belt, and regardless how the quilt turns out, the babies don’t care (especially if there is an oops).

So how to incorporate Radio Frequency into a quilt.  *SIGH*….much planning went into this and I did not follow through with some of my original ideas.  But I ended up using the Sine wave that is common to RF on an oscilloscope.  But how to take a curved line and make it mean something but get real power for the punch.

I brainstormed on this a good two weeks.  After looking around on pinterest, I thought now is a good time to whip out a bargello quilt as I can put the sine wave pattern idea into a nice assortment of fabric.  But, a bargello for a baby quilt is quite advanced for something that may or not be cherrish by parents or baby.  So I had to figure out a way to scale back.  And then genius struck!  I had a obnoxious bolt of moda ombre fabric.  And this fabric would be perfect for this baby quilt.  Instead of cutting many strips of different fabrics, I could get away with cutting many strips of just one fabric.  It worked!!!  It was fast and affordable, great for my pocketbook of time and money.

Radio Frequency Sine Wave Front.


The backing of this quilt is radios and I purposely bought this fabric to incorporate into a quilt for someone at work.

The quilting of this is just a grid much like on an oscilloscope.  That walking foot did a great job.  For this being quilted on my domestic sewing machine (DSM) I think it turned out rather professional looking.  Tomorrow is quilt delivery day, and I can’t wait to see the look on his face.

This has also stirred other ideas in my head using a wedge ruler and cutting on the bias which would create an outward swirl of color in a circular quilt….

Simple binding, neat effect.


Another Accuquilt brought to you by me!


This quilt was made for an expecting co-worker friend of mine.  I had purchased the applecore Accuquilt die and had never attempted to sew this kind of curved strip set.  I must say it went together smoothly as if I had already done many before.

I used the Fruta Y Flor line designed by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit Fabrics.  Gorgeous fabrics!  I always purchase what I like and then find a use for it as in this instance.  Since this had a fruity theme going already, might as well try to applecore block.

When cutting curves with rotary cutters or scissors it can be inaccurate and time consuming to get them just right.  No worries with the accuquilt die cutting system.  Since I bought pre-cuts, I saved my meager scraps and this will become another project for a later time.  This is one layer cake and one charm pack along with good ole fashioned moda yardage.

I decided how many cores long I wanted it and how many cores wide.  I started sewing blocks to one another in a row.  After all rows were completed, I then matched all seams and sewed each row together.  A must for accurate sewing, pins!  Yup, that is right, if you attempt this quilt, pinning is your friend.

Now I had all my rows sewed into a quilt size blanket for a baby.  I looked deep into my stash and found a nice pink and white vintage print that I had purchased for a dollar at the thrift store. (yes!  Only a Buck!)  I made my quilt sandwich and proceeded to quilt it.  In the solids I just used echo lines that somewhat followed the curve of the apple core.  In the prints, I made a nice little flower and leaf FMQ design.

Once quilted, now I pondered what to do for those scalloped edges.  I had never bound a quilt before with scalloped edges.  I had never even made binding on the bias.  I decided since I had all of these strips left over from the layer cakes that I would make a ruffle to keep the scalloped edge and add a little bit of frill.  I sewed my scraps together and thought it would be very close for making a ruffle around the quilt.

Then the dilemma!  I was going to be short about 16 inches of ruffle to make it around the whole quilt.  So I purchased a charm pack online and waited a few days for it to come.

After its arrival, I finished piecing the ruffle.  Now I sewed it to the front side of the quilt matching raw edges.  I pleated the strip of scraps.  And had plenty left after my pleating of the ruffle.  Now,  I turned the ruffle to the outward side and had to deal with exposed raw edges and was not sure how to do that.

So bias binding was the best choice as it would stretch and give in all the right places.  I just simply made single fold bias and stitched it to the raw edge with the sewing machine.

I did not want to sew the encasement of the raw edge with the sewing machine so I whipped stitched it.  The corners were a nightmare and I learned from this.  The next quilt, I will round the corners to prevent bulk in the corner. The ruffle made the quilt. It was rather blah without it.  And to recoup loss of having to purchase and extra charm pack, I used up cheap yardage in my stash to offset the final out of pocket.

The key to sewing curves I have found is not to concentrate and look to the front of the foot.  If you look where your needle is to the edge and take two more stitches with your machine, no matter how off it looks at the front of the foot, it will be fine and come out perfect as the needle is the important 1/4 inch spot.  (In summary curved piecing is very similar to life, worry about the now [needle], the future is not even here yet [the end of your foot] are you are obsessing to control it.  If you worry about the here and now, you have the power to change that!)  I hope this helps if you attempt the apple core.  By the way the name of this quilt is Fruta Y Flor Applecore!

Chintz Cup N Saucer

cups I came up with this design myself.  I had purchased the tumbler die for the Accuquilt fabric cutting system, and wanted a design that was not just simple tumbler blocks.  I conjured up the idea of a cup and handle that was not complicated like paper piecing.  My first thought was ric rac from Grandmas stash.  It was a great concept!  So this quilt is one moda charm pack of the simplicity fabric line by 3 sisters.

My next thought was, how to display each block…..I dreamed up a China cabinet.  Second I needed a wall paper fabric and managed to pull it out of my stash.  Next, how to quilt it.  Most hutches are wooden.  My hutch was yellow, so a painted wood pattern it became.  Perusing Pinterest I learned the wood grain technique.  Then I wanted each cup and saucer to be a hodge pudge unmatched set.  So each cup has its own quilted design.  Ditto for the saucers.  Some of the handles are repeats, but placed in a different shape.  My first true design from start to finish!  And I estimate there is approximately 1700 yards of quilting.  And it Gifted nicely to my Great Aunt.