Fabric Frenzy

Well, the baby quilt I was "finishing" for a friend of mine (photo above) is finally done and dropped off yesterday...I am so happy that she loved it! Now on to the next project, which is a baby quilt for another friend of mine. EQ 5 allowed me to design the quilt, so I spent two hours the other day cutting fabric and I still have fabric left to cut! (EQ 5 is software that helps you to design quilts...the new upgrade is EQ 6, which you can find at www.electricquilt.com) I would upgrade to EQ 6, but am running it on an older computer with Windows 98...and before you make any comments...I know...old technology, but it still works! Anyway, this particular quilt is to be backed in red chenille fabric and I finally got that in yesterday! Whew! So now the piecing can begin!


More New Fabric!!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

I am so excited that I got my fabric that I ordered from the U.K.! Yep, that's it at the top. As I posted in a previous blog, I had seen a picture of the fabric in the magazine Irish Quilting. It took me an email to Nutex and searching a bit to find a supplier, but finally found the fabric at www.britanniafabric.co.uk. I ended up ordering 3 yards of it, as I was sure that would last me a while. The fabric is really gorgeous and my idea is to use a lot of it for applique. The castle especially! I love to make small landscape wall hangings and the castle...and the house too...would go perfect on these.

Speaking of small landscape wall hangings...I learned how to do these after reading an article and following a pattern by Karen Eckmeier. She has several books out and my favorite book is "Accidental Landscapes"...which you can find at www.amazon.com. Ms. Eckmeier has a great technique and I love the way the landscapes turn out. You can make a different one every time. I have made a few of the landscapes and plan to use my new fabric to make more!!

Currently, I have finished one baby quilt and am starting to work on another one. The second one is a commission from an old friend of mine, so I have designed something that I hope she is happy with. She wants red chenille on the back of the quilt and I had the darndest time finding red chenille! I finally had to resort to ording it from www.fabric.com and it should be here early next week.

No quilting for me tonight as we will be attending my in-laws 61st wedding anniversary! That's right...61 years of marriage! The family is having a big family dinner for them, and we will get to see our little grand daughter tonight...I am so excited!!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!


Thoughts on Inspiration

Just pondering where quilters get their inspirations. Some quilters have said they get their inspiration from their family, places where they live, places where they travel, photos and the like. I find that my quilting inspirations can come from almost anywhere or anything. Sometimes the small simple things are what inspire me the most, and sometimes it takes more. This morning hubby and I went to get the oil changed in our car and while I was waiting I could see different patterns as I looked around the waiting room...patterns that could be made into quilts! Maybe I just have quilts on the brain, but next time you are in a new place look around and find the patterns on the walls, in the rugs, wallpaper, the way things are arranged. Get in the habit of carrying around a small blank book or a small book with grid paper to jot down your pattern inspirations.

I am not much of an artist, but with the help of grid paper I can draw squares, rectangles and triangles. I don't believe you have to be an artist to design your own quilts either. Sometimes, when perusing through the latest quilt magazine I become intimidated reading about professional quilters and quilt designers because it seems they all have art degrees or fine art degrees or some other "art" credential...I don't have that. But then I think about where they get their inspiration and realize that anyone....even me...can be inspired by the beauty around us. Nature is a great place to start since our Creator is a great designer and uses cool patterns and colors. I love butterflies and I think it is because they come in so many colors and designs...just like quilts! Think about what inspires you and don't forget to jot it down next time!

Happy Sewing & Quilting!


Ramblings of a Fabriholic, Quilt Binding, etc...

We discussed what a Fabriholic was the other day and lo and behold I came across a website that has a quiz to see if you are a Fabriholic!! Take the quiz here www.quiltbug.com/articles/fabriholic.htm . Hahaha...I thought it was pretty funny and as you can imagine, I tested out to be one!

Right now I am on the hunt for red chenille to back a baby quilt for a friend of mine. Do you realize how expensive this stuff is??!! Trying to find the best price for chenille is exhausting, and of course, I find so many other delightful fabrics along the way!! I have been pretty good lately about buying fabric...seeing as how hubby and I are both unemployed right now. But, I did pick up a few remnants of fabric over at Hobby Lobby the other day...didn't spend too much money!! Fabric is like chocolate...just can't resist it!

Currently, I am finishing up a baby quilt for another friend. She had started it, but didn't have time to finish quilting it...so I finished quilting it and am in the process of binding. When I was making the binding I thought about what type of binding most quilters use on their quilts. What do you do? Do you self-bind? Make French binding? Use pre-made binding? Personally, I prefer to make my own French binding....and always make extra to use later in smaller projects.

When I first started quilting I used self-binding a lot, and then I learned how to make binding and...call me crazy...I just love making binding! This allows you to use the fabric you want and to make as much as you want. I have used the pre-made bindings, and don't get me wrong, if you are in a hurry they are genius. A good website to purchase them at is www.popsbindings.com where they call them "Lollipops".  These are designer bindings and fun to use. JoAnn Fabrics also sells pre-made bindings, but they aren't as fun as Lollipops! So, if you are in a hurry and don't have the luxury of time to make your own binding it is good to know that you can buy them already made. But, if you like making your own binding...as I do...then here are some tips!

Tips for making quilt binding:
  • Always make more than you need. This comes in handy later for smaller projects like wall hangings and mini quilts.
  • Press binding in half -- DON'T iron binding!
  • Sew together smaller pieces of binding to make a fun binding for a child's or baby's quilt.
  • When sewing binding on to quilt, get some good instructions and follow them to ensure nice corners and smooth application. I have a book by Fons & Porter that outlines a good technique.
  • Use nice thread to applique the back of the binding on for durability. I use silk thread...yep...it is way more expensive, but you get a really nice durably applied binding.
Well, that's it for today...time to get back to my sewing machine!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!


Minkey Binkey

Just wanted to share photos of the Minkey Binkey I whipped up yesterday for our little grandbaby Lily. Hubby and I went over to see her today, and naturally I knew she had to have another blanket from Nana!

These Minky blankets are fairly simple to make and I have made several over the past couple of years. I got started making them when a friend of mine wanted me to make a gift to take to a baby shower. She had seen the expensive blankets made of Minky in the baby boutiques, but didn't want to pay the exorbitant prices they were charging (and who could blame her!). Anyway, she took me to a baby boutique to show them to me and asked if I could make something similar. After looking the blankets over carefully, I said that I would come up with something. It didn't take me long to come up with a way to make the blankets and now I have them down to quite a science...takes me about an hour to make one. The trick to working with Minky is pinning...you have to pin about every 1/2" otherwise it it a little slippy to work with. But, if you pin it properly, then it is pretty easy to work with (it didn't take me long to figure this trick out!). You can buy Minky at a lot of places, but www.minkydelight.com has a great assortment of colors and textures of Minky...they also have some on sale (and this stuff doesn't go on sale too often at most places). Try working with Minky and let me know what you think!

These blankets make really great gifts, and I do them in "baby" size, but they could be made much larger for children or adults as well. For the one I made for little Lily I used the plush Minky, which is so very soft! I am sure that I will make her several more, because as you can see in the photos, she really seemed to like it!

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!

Lily's Minkey Binkey

Lily napping in her Minkey Binkey!


Confessions of a Fabriholic!

Yes, that's right -- I said Fabriholic -- that is what I am! There are people that like fabric and there are people who love fabric and can't get enough of it...that, my friend, is a Fabriholic! With that clarification, I now confess to you that I, Quilting Sue, am a Fabriholic! My stash grows by leaps and bounds and I just never seem to have enough fabric in it. But, I am excited about my new fabric purchase that I just made today!! In my new Irish Quilting magazine I saw an ad for fabric called "Emerald Isles" and just fell in love with it. Searching for it on the web didn't bring any results, so I had to resort to emailing the manufacturer -- Nutex. (Now, to some of you this might seem extreme, but to a Fabriholic...well, you get the picture!). Anyway, they responded with a list of retailers they had sold the fabric to, so after looking them all up, I found a source. I have ordered and paid for it (after consulting with hubby about the cost!) and now all I have to do is look forward to getting it in the mail!! Euphoria!

An old friend of mine came to town this week on business and we got together for the first time in probably 20+ years. We had lunch yesterday and she has commissioned me to make a baby quilt. She actually brought BOLTS of fabric to make the quilt from! So, as soon as I finish this other baby quilt for my other friend...then I have another one to make, which I am really looking forward to. It is pretty exciting to be asked to make quilts...and get paid to do it!

Speaking of quilting...gotta run to go quilt! Have a wonderful day and Happy Quilting!


Quilt Magazine Review

Good Afternoon! Yep, I am still up today...since 5 a.m.! (Shock...I know!)

Hubby and I made our monthly trip to Barnes & Noble this morning to look at our fav magazines and I picked up my new copy of Irish Quilting (my new favorite). As I was reading through it, I decided that you all should know about this great magazine too! I find that reading all of the U.S. quilting magazines is fun, but they tend to all run the same quilts, quilt patterns, ads, etc., and that gets really boring to me. Fresh ideas, new quilts to look at...that's what I want. So...I am recommending that you pick up a copy of Irish Quilting and see if you get some fresh ideas and look at different quilts too. You can follow their blog at http://irishquilting.blogspot.com/ or visit their website at http://www.irishquilting.ie/ and get inspired by something new and different. One of the things I like best about this magazine is they include so many fabulous photos of Ireland...such a beautiful place (no, I've never been, but would LOVE to visit!). They also run some contests that are different from the things we typically see here in the U.S. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Sew get going!

Sew Early

Wow! Can't believe we were up at 5:00 a.m. this morning! Hubby and I got up, dressed and ran over to the IHOP to eat an early breakfast...no reason to be up that early, just were. Being currently unemployed, we have gotten used to sleeping in every day, so today was unusual. But, I am hoping to get a lot more done today...we shall see.

I have been going through my fabric stash, mostly trying to get it organized into my new plastic drawer system, but it is a good idea to periodically just sort through your stash just as a reminder of all of the wonderful fabrics you have. I always think I have a "fabric inventory" in my head, but I tend to forget those pieces that I buy at shows or shops or get from friends. It is fun to rediscover your fabric too! I was also going through my scrap bin (which is now just a large laundry basket under my cutting table) and cutting 5" squares out of the larger scraps. These 5" squares are commonly referred to as "charm squares" or just "charms". Knowing that I want to make more baby charm quilts, I was mostly cutting up fabric appropriate for baby quilts, but you can cut charm squares out of any scrap fabric. Then when you are ready to make a quilt in a hurry, you can skip the cutting part all together, because you have already done it! Plus, it is a great way to save your bigger scraps and have them ready to go. I will make a second pass through my scrap bin and look for scraps suitable to cut into 2" strips and also smaller squares. This will make other projects easier as well.

Well, it's 6:30 a.m. and I need to get cracking if I am going to get a lot accomplished today! Have fun going through your fabric stash and Happy Quilting!


Quilt in a Hurry!

Happy Hump Day everyone!

Just found out last night that I have a new deadline on finishing my friend's baby quilt...the week of Thanksgiving!! (gulp!) She gave it to me to finish for her...as she is traveling a lot now...so I said I would. Well, the baby was born last night and the quilt will be taken out to new baby in early December. Part of the quilt is being hand quilted...slower going...and part of it machine quilted. Worked on the hand quilting last night and found that it is going faster than I ever thought it would...but will have to work on it every day from now until it's finished.

Bought some purse handles today and am thinking of making some quilted purses to sell online. A friend of mine told me about http://www.etsy.com/ and it looks like selling on etsy, as well as EBay might bring more success. Worth a try!

Another beautiful day here! Hubby and I ran errands and ate at our favorite seafood place for lunch...$4.95 lunch special...best catfish I have ever had!! YUM!

Well...off to the sewing room! Hoping to see our beautiful granddaughter this week...hard to believe she will be 1 month old tomorrow!! They grow up so fast! :)



Vacation at the Coast

Ahhh...I just love the coast! Hubby and I went down to the Texas Coast for a few days last week and it was so refreshing for several reasons. First of all, just getting out of town and road tripping is great fun! Second, we just love to go down to the coast and breathe in that salt air...third, it was such a nice change of pace for us! It is always good to get home, but going on a road trip is a great adventure. We visited some really cool places too!

Okay...I admit I did find a nice little quilt shop along the way, so naturally that made the trip way more fun for me! I knew there was a quilt shop in Rockport, TX, http://www.quiltscapes.com/  but had never been to it (saw it online) and when we drove right past it, I knew we had to go back and give it a look! Of course I bought some fabric (you knew I just had to!). But, it was nice nautical and tropical fabric and I had not ever seen it before. The ladies in the shop were extremely nice and I definitely plan on going back the next time we head down that way!

Another interesting place we toured was the Fulton Mansion http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/fulton_mansion/hist.phtml. It is an old Victorian mansion that has been restored and it was so much fun to tour. I took lots of photos because a new quilt idea it cooking in my head...can you guess??!!
The Fulton Mansion

The floors in the mansion reminded me of a quilt pattern!

Oh...and we also saw a replica of the Nina down at Corpus Christi, TX. This is a great reference for my pirate quilt (which is still in progress). I took a lot of photos of this beautiful ship! http://www.corpuschristidaily.com/article_detail.cfm?id=2817
Hubby sitting near the water at Corpus Christi.
We also went to the Texas Maritime Museum in Rockport, TX. http://www.texasmaritimemuseum.org/ They are currently part of the La Belle Expedition find (La Salle's ship). Of course, I took lots more photos...I have more quilt ideas cooking!! :)
Well, back to the sewing room where I have to sort out my new fabric!

Happy Quilting!!