Thursday, January 27, 2011

My stash

When people see my stash -
they're surprised.
Maybe even a little shocked.


I do not have a storage room full of fabric from floor to ceiling.
I do not throw down hundreds of dollars every time I go to a quilt store.

I.  Am.  [relatively] Frugal.

So how does a quilt designer, an avid quilter and a girl who works at a fabric store no less, have such a small stash?!?

Here are some of my thoughts on that:
First, I am definitely a girl who has made lots of quilts,
so my fabric accumulates at a rather slow pace. 

Second, I am a girl on a budget.  I have to be frugal. 
We're not into "charging up the credit card" around here and we're not "rich folk" either.  All of my fabric and long-arm machine quilting costs come from the money I earn at Just Sew and selling patterns, etc.  Not one dime comes from our "family funds".  I couldn't do that to my husband.  He would probably go into cardiac arrest if he knew how much money went to this little hobby of mine:)  So, as long as it's coming out of my money, he doesn't have to ask.

Third, I'm just a little OCD about scraps.  I LOOOOVE to use them up.  I'm always thinking of the next project to make with my left-overs.
 
Fourth, I learned during my old scrapbooking days, that scrapbook paper can go out of style and get old real fast.  So I stopped stocking up on paper.  I'd only buy when I was ready to use it and if I knew exactly what I was going to do with it.  I guess that's carried over into how I buy fabric.  It's much more fun to use new fabric, so instead of buying something that is cute and letting it sit around for who knows how long, I buy it when I need it.

I'm not perfect and I do buy little bits here and there if I really like them or I think they're basic enough to use with lots of things.  Which, by the way, Allison at Cluck, Cluck, Sew just did a post on what/how much she buys for her stash.  It's worth checking out. 

Anyways, when it's all said and done, if someone wanted to deliver a truck full of fabric at my door, I wouldn't complain:) I think I could get over having "too much" fabric, but I would definitely get busy trying to use it up! 

Anyone?  Anyone?  A truck?  Fabric?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Tricks

Now don't get too excited because I don't have that many tricks up my sleeve (so this probably won't be happening every Tuesday), but here's a little one I picked up somewhere along the way.  Thought I'd share...

For Half Square Triangle Units (or any block that tells you to draw a diagonal line on one side of the fabric and then sew along that line), here's a handy little trick you can do to help you skip that step of drawing the lines on a bazillion little blocks...

First, put some tape on your sewing machine
so that the edge of the tape lines up with where your needle comes down.


Second, layer the two blocks on top of each other with right sides together and the corners matched up.  Then insert the first corner under the needle.


Begin sewing towards the opposite corner, making sure to keep that second corner lined up with the edge of the tape the whole way.


As you keep that second corner lined up with the edge of the tape as you're feeding it through,
it will give you the straight line you need!


Trim.


Press open.


And voila! 
You have just skipped the time consuming step of drawing lines on a million little squares. 
Easy right!?!

You could use this trick when you're making a block such as this:


or this:


or on these stars points:


Hope you liked this Tuesday Trick.
Enjoy!
~ Amber

Friday, January 21, 2011

Clearing My Plate

You may remember the wee version of this that I made a while back [???]

At that time I decided to make the little one for my sweet new nephew, Van,  and a throw size one for our family [instead of making one really big one.]  Well yesterday I finished piecing together the last of these zig zags.


I debated about the brown.  But, I needed one more row.  So this is what I came up with.  I told my husband this will probably be a very controversial quilt [among all of you color experts out there...]

What do you think?  Do I dare ask?  :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gigi's Thimble Class & Trunk Show

Alpine Quilt Retreats is now offering DAY classes!!

At this beautiful home in Alpine, Utah.  You can come set up at 8 a.m. and stay and sew until 10 p.m. that night.  This is a great way to get a day away [with no interruptions] and sew!

I'll be teaching Friday, May 6th and Friday, June 10th from 9:30 - 1:30
[with a trunk show at 7:30 both nights].  The classes will be on my pattern, Square Root, where we'll have fun experimenting with design layout and learning basic piecing and applique methods.


Cost = $125.00 and includes lunch, dinner, drinks, class & trunk show.
[Sign up by January 31st and receive a 20% discount, making the total $100.]

Click here to find out more info and register.

I'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Progress Made

Thanks for all of your advice.  I buckled down this weekend and focused on one project.  I needed a little bit of time to do a "just for fun" project.  Lots of hand applique gave me time to think and get organized.


I just need to put the sashing and borders on, which I should be able to finish up today.


I plan on finishing up my zig zag quilt today as well.  Sometimes you just have to clear a few projects off your plate to make room for more.  Hopefully some fun things are in store...

Friday, January 14, 2011

This Is Where I'm At Right Now...

Literally.

Life is a bit crazy right now.  My mind is feeling a bit cluttered [and so is my desk].  I'm trying to make some big decisions.  Get some things lined up.  Get some projects done.  There's a lot going on.

And in the mean time, I am dreaming of this:


and this:


and cutting into these:


Aren't these mini charm packs adorable?  I won them from a giveaway at the Make Life Sweet Blog a week or so ago.  The line is called Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda ~ but I'm sure you knew that already.  It should be in stores any day now...  Anyways, the ladies at Sweetwater are always doing fun giveaways on their blog.  In fact, I think they're doing one right now.  So hurry, go check it out!!! 

Well.  Wish me luck.  Hopefully I can keep my head on straight this weekend.  I have the afternoon free, but don't even know where to begin to start getting things done.  I guess it's time to start making a checklist...

Any ideas on how to keep your head on straight [and the anxiety down] when your brain is swirling on high speed?

~ Amber

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Go, Go, Gadget Girl!

Me and this little guy have been good friends these past couple of days.


Havel's Ultra Pro Seam Ripper.
A friend got it for me for Christmas and those little blue handled seam rippers are now a distant memory.  Seriously, this thing cuts like butta.  I love it!

P.S.  I have a little girl who got 5 [count that: F-I-V-E] vaccination shots today.  And didn't even cry [She got the crying done in the car about 15 minutes before hand.]  Still, I was a proud mamma :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vintage Halloween Quilt

Hello there.  I've been having card reader issues, so I apologize for being a little M.I.A. lately.  [But, I guess a week between posts isn't that unusual for me.] 
It's just that I've had some things to share.  I've been thinking about you, really I have...

One thing I've wanted to share, is this wonderful, amazing, really empty box that I have.  I absolutely love it!  It makes me feel so good inside!   


"Why?" you may ask.  Because...
That means I have one of these!!!


That's right!  A very old, and now completed, WIP [work in progress].  Yay!!!

I started embroidering these vintage Halloween blocks about 4 or 5 years ago.  They've pretty much been done for the last year or two and I finally [on a whim] pulled them out the other day to put them all together.


I got the patterns from a friend of my mom's [who only had 7 of the 8 ?? embroidery patterns].  But by the time I pulled out the pattern again, I had misplaced the instructions for the blocks that went between the embroidered blocks.  So, I whipped up these scrappy, Irish Chain blocks instead.  I love them and have really been feeling the look of Irish Chains lately.


When I saw the black and cream polka dot fabric about a year ago
[American Vintage #30684 from Windham Fabrics],
I knew I just had to incorporate it somehow in this quilt.  So I bought 2 yards.
I love the look of these dots since they have a little bit of "antiquing" on them. I think they go really nicely with the quilt.

I bought the black and tans [that I used on the Irish Chain blocks] for another project I was going to start, but decided to go a different route with that one, so I was happy to know they would be put to good use in this quilt.


And, finally, I couldn't resist some ticking for the back and this cute little label by Riley Blake.  The label is pre-printed and comes with a bunch of different ones on one panel.  So cute, right? 


I think I'll bind it in the ticking as well...Anyways, I can't wait to get this off to the quilter!!!  I can finally check another one off the list [almost.]

Oh, before I go, I have a question for you.  Has anyone out there seen these embroidery patterns before?  I am wondering who designed them and what the pattern is called?  If anyone has any more info. on this, will you let me know?  I will love you forever [Thanks!]

Monday, January 3, 2011

Confessions.

Did you have a good New Years?

I know I did.

But I have a little confession to make ~
Up until about 7 o'clock on New Years Eve, I thought for sure, without a doubt, my husband and I were going to die that night.  Seriously.  I was super stressed about our plans; which included an "adults only" New Years Eve party about 1 hour from our house.  Now, any other time of year, it wouldn't have been a big deal to make that drive, but like many of you out there can relate to, the weather here in Utah has been a little hostile lately.  Not only did we have to make, what I thought would be, a very treacherous drive, but we would also be hanging out with about 20 other people that we did not know.  We would be eating sushi, which I do not eat and we would be doing karaoke which I do NOT do and we would be going hot tubing (I put off getting in a bathing suit at all costs) and doing ping pong (any guesses how I feel about ping pong?)  Well, needless to say I was not excited about going to this party. 


But, it ended up being a great evening!
Mother Nature was extremely nice to us.  The roads were dry and clear.  There were no "crazies" on our path.  I tried sushi and it was absolutely delicious!  There was no karaoke, but instead Wii Dance Off battles (which is waaay more up my alley.  I competed with 3 other players, dancing to Jump, Jump by Kris-Kross.  It was so fun, but I made a complete fool out of myself and was the only one completely out of breath by the end of our song.)  Hot tubbing was not even mentioned and many fun games were played instead.  It was a great night!

As you may be able to tell from reading this, 
I.  Am.  A.  Worrier. 

I think becoming a mother did that to me.  I've realized that I have become quite pessimistic in thinking the worst possible scenarios and outcomes will happen to me.  I think my life is just pretty darn good, so something is bound to happen sooner or later.  Well it's not good to think this way.  Sooo.  This year I am going to focus on having a more positive outlook.  More hope.  More faith.  I think I pretty much went out with a bang in 2010 as far as my negative outlook goes, so here's to a new year!  New outlooks, new attitudes.  New energy.

I'm looking forward to 2011 and hope you have a bright future ahead of you, as well.  Also, I really want to say thank you for all of your support and friendship this past year.  I love reading your comments and have "met" many wonderful friends through blogging.  You keep me laughing, give me great ideas, and nourish my creative soul.  Thanks again!

~Amber