Friday, May 6, 2011

Crawling from the Wreckage

First off, let's congratulate QUILT SUE in the UK who is the winner of the April Follower Giveaway. The Little Bits Think Spring paper piecing pattern and papers will be winging their way to her tomorrow, and we'll give her until next Spring to make the 4 little quilts, at which time we shall expect her to post photos. Congrats Sue!

New month, new giveaway. All you've got to do is post comments during the month and each comment gives you a chance to win in the drawing at the end of the month. I'll pick a prize for May shortly. But for now, here's what's up with me.

I'm in a bit less pain than a week ago, so I'm trying to catch up. My studio is a mess, honestly, it's a train wreck (horrified gasps all around).

 But that hasn't stopped me from adding to the madness.

I started off the week at Michaels. I love my thread chest so when I realized I would need some type of storage for sorting fabric scraps, and figured the little rolling drawer cart in my closet was perfect, I now needed a place for the contents of that cart (zippers, snaps, dressmaking notions, etc.), and since Michaels was having a sale, I grabbed another pair of stacking drawers.

 Bonus...more surface space.

On Sunday, I began a year long monthly workshop with the fabulous Mimi Dietrich. It's all about making a Baltimore Album quilt, which, hopefully, will be completed  (at least the top will), by next May. I'm thinking about doing double blocks each month and making two. (always the over-achiever)

Mimi likes you to use washed fabric. I've never pre-washed, so this was something new for me.

 Oh, did I pink all those fat quarters? You bet I did. (And do I have little threads all over the clothes I threw in the washer with them? You bet I do!!!)

And then I had to iron them all.

After pressing I cut a 2" square from each fat quarter.

Folded over the corner and cut a little hole.

And then I thread them on a binder ring.

And when I'm done, I've got a little swatch ring of all the fabrics I have for applique. I can carry this with me to stores and see at a glance what colors I'm short on, what patterns and color values I'm using.....and it's darn fun to pull out of your purse and play with.

This started out as my inspiration fabric, but I need more, and the shop didn't have enough available. It's a Windham Brick House pattern, so it's a couple years old and likely not going to be found anywhere, so the plan is to make a trip to Jinny Beyer's Saturday to replace it. (Which is a shame because I really, really, like this fabric). And, I've got to order 6 more yards of the Kona Bay Rain white on white.

Unable to resist the lure of a quilt shop, I caved Wednesday afternoon and popped into Capital Quilts on my lunch hour and found a new inspiration fabric.

And this one happens to go pretty well with the taupy Kona Bay Rain Cream fabric I bought by mistake, and will now need to order 6 more yards of. It came from Hawaii, and she's currently out of that color, so hopefully she'll have it in in the next week or two.

Hmmm....two different backings, two different inspiration fabrics, why not two Baltimore Album quilts?

Another root through my stash for compatible fat quarters for applique.

Another hour of ironing (and a half bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press later)

And I've got an enviable stash divided by quilt, laid out in a little suitcase. And the leftovers will be perfect for the Dear Jane I hope to someday make.

And we needed to add those to the swatch ring as well.

There are 65 fabrics on that ring...30 for one quilt, 35 to choose from for the other.  I think I'm soon as I get the 12 yards of background and the 6 yards of inspiration (which is used for sashing and border applique (think swag, fleur de lis...)

I've made a little take to class kit (another find in Michael's scrapbook department...40%+10% off)...lots of little compartments, the inside center will hold a couple dozen spools of silk thread (you'll likely find me at the Superior Thread booth at the Quilters Unlimited Show this June in Dulles, VA...yes, I've got a list of colors in my iPhone)

All that is left is to pick 14 block patterns and size them appropriately. Next class is June 12 .

 I am such a goober for this stuff....I even colored in my handout from the teacher to use on my class binder.

Well, since I'm not supposed to be drinking, I guess my water bottle and I will be spending some quality time cleaning up the studio tomorrow night, and I think I'll be flying solo to Jinny Beyer's on Saturday. I'd drag the hubs, under the guise of humoring me for Mother's Day, but he's already got a tee time. To be honest, Jinny Beyer's shop is one shop I'd rather he not tag along (more like drag along) to....what happens at Jinny Beyer's stays at Jinny Beyer's :)

Have a good one!


  1. That is a great idea to cut a 2" square to go on a ring for shopping. I just hate pre-washing and ironing all of those fabrics. I generally check the reds before to see if they run but not always the others - I feel like I should but so far have been lucky with no colors running. My studio is beyond a major disaster - so I hope to get it picked-up and start a new quilt/embroidery project.
    Hope you're better soon.

  2. Love the swatch(s) on the ring binder idea. It is perfect for fabric matching.

  3. You are getting organized over there.... great idea with the swatches!

  4. Your idea of 2" squares on a ring is brilliant!
    Why didn't I think of it??

  5. Wow! High ambition. Like your idea of the 2" swatch ring - and 2inches is enough to see what you need to match.

  6. I absolutely love the idea of the swatches on the binder ring. Will the holes fray as you use them? Good luck on making 2 Baltimore Album quilts... I have never made even one although I certainly have thought about it...

  7. Love your drawers that you found at Michaels. I'll have to go check those out. Great swatch idea too. Thanks for all the great ideas.


  8. Great post, love that you are so organized with the little ring of fabric, and the drawers!! FABULOUS!! I need to check into those...Almost forgot, congrats to Sue!!!

  9. In case you EVER need it - there is a web site that tries to locate old fabrics - might not work, but it is worth a try.


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