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Sharing the Love

So, I thought I’d talk a little about something that’s been on my mind.  Quilt shops are closing left and right.  In the last year, my local shopping area lost Fabric Depot which was a huge destination fabric store and several smaller quilt shops have closed their doors.  I’m seeing this theme repeated in my online groups, too.  Some blame the internet, some the size of our stashes.  Some blame that Tidying Up lady…but every piece of fabric I touch brings me joy so that’s not an issue to me! I am cruising through my year on the USS Frankenbatt (UFO’s, Stash and Scraps) so I admit even I’m not buying like I used to.  So, how do we get our shops to stick around?  Well, I don’t know about you, but I think the answer is….wait for it…more quilters!!!

No, I’m serious.  How many people have you introduced to quilting?  (I like to joke that I should have “contagious” tattooed on my forehead!)  Currently, I’m mentoring two friends through some of their first few quilt projects and I’m setting up an informal class after Spring Break to teach 3 friends and co-workers some basic skills.  I’ve taught my daughters, my daycare kids, my exchange students and lots of friends how to quilt over the years.  Now, not all of them will develop a love of the craft but some will.  Now, the benefits to “growing your own” quilty friends?

  1.  It’s fun!  And you can never have too many quilty friends!
  2. They finally understand why you want to go to the quilt shop.
  3. You don’t have to take classes alone.
  4. You can plan weekends away with sewing machines.
  5. There’s nothing quite like seeing someone “click” with quilting.
  6. They win…you win.  Every quilt they finish is like a vicarious UFO!
  7. More quilters means more fun but it also helps sustain the entire quilting ecosystem.

 

 

All of the quilts above were ones that I was blessed to be able to coach on.  It’s just super fun to know you helped someone achieve something they may not have known they could do. Is there someone in your life who has been admiring your quilts but thinks they “can’t do that?”  Consider finding a couple of prospective quilters among your friends and acquaintences and see if you can help mentor them along.  You win, they win and, who knows, maybe your favorite quilt shop will be able to stay around longer because of it!

Just a thought because sometimes you just need to throw your thoughts out there to the universe and hope they click with someone else.

Happy quilting!

Beth

The B Word

This week’s challenge for Project Quilting 10.5 was abcededarious.  I have to admit, I had a hard time getting into this one.  Now, just for clarity…I don’t participate to win, just to challenge myself to step a little out of my zone and set aside some time that is just for me.  As I’ve said before, my cruise theme for this year is the USS Frankenbatt with USS standing for UFO’s, Scraps and Stash.  I had a small pile of pink left over from the tub I rescued the flying geese from and there was a biggish 1.5″ in strip in a nice bright pink.  So, I scaled down the letter B pattern from an alphabet hop that Moda did a few years ago to accommodate the strip size and then did a little improve piecing around it.  Then, I quilted it with B-words.  B-words like brave, brash, bold, beauty, busy, bossy, belle, blissful, beloved and, finally, with my name,  Beth.    This little piece (just about 15×13) will hang in my sewing room.

There’s just a few pieces left in the bin the flying geese were in..

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and I think they are ready to transfer to the scrap vortex parts department.  Which means I will have successfully completed a UFO, used some scraps (including the binding piece which was in the binding bits bin and emptied a tub!  This cruise is off to an exciting start! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next few months!  Also, I’ll be skipping the next Project Quilting Challenge as I’ll be in Australia!  The USS Frankenbatt will have to suspend it’s policy on fabric buying for a couple of weeks…but I will try for moderation (after all, my suitcase is pretty small!)

Happy quilting!

Linking up to Project Quilting!

 

Port of Call – San Diego

Last weekend, the USS Frankenbatt cruised into San Diego Diego celebrate my mom’s 87th birthday.

We had a great time and, like all vacations, diets sometimes fall by the wayside… there was some of this…

A trip to the Whaley House in Old Town where it was rather disappointing that these were only for display…

A fun quilt shop find in Solana Beach…

With a small smackeral of fabric that came home with me (souvenirs, right?)

I also got the very exciting news that I won this wonderful Maywood bundle in the Project Quilting Challenge drawing!

I have a longer cruise coming up… my husband and I are traveling to…. wait for it…AUSTRALIA! So I needed a hand project for all those sitting times and I ordered a fabric kit for Violet Craft’s EPP lion pattern. I was really impressed with this kit from Fabric Bubb.

All the fabric was already set up in color order which made the swatch process easy… right up until I tipped the whole thing off my lap. I’ve got all my pieces in bags by color and now need to get them basted as I can’t take my scissors on the plane with me.

So, with 496 things to do, I’m still excited to see what tomorrow’s project quilting challenge will be.

Are you playing along?

Happy quilting,

Beth

Show Your Wings Blog Hop!

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I just love a good blog hop and Miss Carol from Just Let Me Quilt always hosts a lovely one!  As I mentioned last time, I’m sailing through this year on the USS Frankenbatt (USS stands for UFO’s, Stash and Scraps.  I’m even trying to embrace a “fabric diet”.  All of this is to give me a chance at the studio of my dreams…I already have the space, I just need to “sew it clean” a bit.  (Well, a really big bit, like a couple hundred quilts worth is my guess but…ok, just stop snickering…a girl can dream!)

So when Carol mentioned flying geese, I immediately thought of these geese leftover from a project from, um, well, more than a decade ago.

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A I mentioned, I’m very fond of both my stash and my UFO’s and since I suffer from abnormally high levels of optimism, I really believe that someday I can finish all of them! (Don’t bother trying to rain on my parade…as I stated before, I really have very abnormally high levels of optimism.)

So, I decided to give these little guys a permanent home and went searching for some compatible fabrics. I ended up with this one for the star centers…it’s kitschy and vintage-y and it’s not my normal style but I had two fat quarters and that was just enough!

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I had quite the audition session for pinks that would work and one of these is actually the back of the fabric.  Sandy Ray used to say, “You pay for both sides of your fabric so you get to use both sides.”  I decided to cap the number of star blocks at twelve and let the rest of the geese play in the border.

I didn’t get time to quilt this one because I want to play with my new ruler and maybe some feathers in the border but here’s my finished top…successfully moved from the parts department to the tops department!

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I love the soft, springy colors.  I have no idea where this one will go but I think I may keep it for me!

Be sure to check out all my feathered friends today!  Lots of great inspiration around and it’s sure to raise your spirits!

Happy quilting!

Beth

February 21

Just Let Me Quilt

Sew Incredibly Crazy

Sew Fresh Quilts

Quilt Fabrication

Words & Stitches

All Thingz Sewn

Kathy’s Quilts

For The Love Of Geese

Two Maker Chicks

madeNcorrea
That Fabric Feeling

 

And, just because I can’t help myself…here’s a cute picture of Gizmo to brighten your day!

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A Little Romance and PQ 10.4

Imagine my surprise when my husband gave me one of those “pink” shopping bags and wished me a happy Valentine’s Day…. then imagine my joy when I saw that the contents were this

Three yards of pink Kona cotton! After years of avoiding solids, I’m quite in love with Kona. They’re a beautiful weight and the range of colors is great!

But pink is my all- time favorite and, this one sent right into active duty with minimal fabric petting time. What did I make? You’ll see, because Thursday is my day on the Show Your Wings Blog Hop. It’s also the kickoff to my mom’s 87th birthday weekend.

With all that going on, I needed to get my Project Quilting pixels in a row quick! Since my goal this year is to sail through the year in the USS Frankenbatt (focusing on UFO’s, Stash and Scraps), I returned to my scraps for inspiration. I’ll admit that pixels left me with more ideas than time but this 15×17 mini was some seriously good therapy time after a hectic day. It will be a fun addition to the sewing room wall.

Just a little spool of scrappy pixel thread. Not fancy, but finished.

If you’re going to be hopping round the interwebs, check out my fellow flyers on the

and come back Thursday to see what I made from this flock of leftover geese.

I’m pretty excited about it!

February 18

Project Quilting 10.3

Project Quilting is beginning to remind me of am English class I took in college. We read three short stories each week and had a paper to write on our choice of stories.

Even though I would devour the stories, it would take me until lunch time the day the essays were due to crystallize my thoughts. (I aced the class, by the way… to each their own process. )

For the “bigger than a breadbox” challenge, I conceived and rejected a whole lot of ideas and finally settled on something I needed that was actually shaped like a bread box…a new sewing machine cover!

I already had a cover for one machine so it was high time I made another. (Machines can get so jealous. )

Here’s the first cover and I wanted them to match…sort of.

Many thanks to Kim and Trish for another fun challenge. My cover meets the challenge requirements at 10 x 18 inches and 8″ deep.

Linking this up and rushing to squeeze in some quilting time before work. Snow seems to have evaded us so no snow days looming ahead for me this week. I’m also working on my project for

I started with this

A pile of leftover geese and I’m excited to show you what I’ve come up with!

Happy quilting!

Beth

Project Quilting 10.2

Well, this one was tough… which surprised me. It took me until Friday to come up with a plan. I tried pulling all the red, white and blue scraps from the current scrap bag but nothing happened. My brain remained as blank as the look the cats give me when I tell them they’ll have to move off my project!

On the plus side, when I dumped the bag of scraps out, I could see signs of progress. It is exciting to see an end in sight. Maybe 10 more blocks? We’ll see soon! I decide to omit blue from my project except for a tiny bit in one of the prints and remembered buying these in Houston.

It didn’t take much to round up some red 2.5 inch strips to make more squares and I also had a 5″ square pack of Patrick Loose Lipstick prints. I cut several of those into 2.5 inch squares to add to the mix. There was and audition for borders…

And the winner was the one on the right. With only a third of a yard, I used almost every inch of it!

I looked through my batting scraps and found an existing frankenbatt that was just right. (Notice how small the pieces I save are… some are 2″ or so. )

I wrestled with Milo over who was in charge of this project.

I tried quilting concentric hearts on this one since I liked the look of spirals on my last one. I also used a bunch of leftover binding pieces to bind my quilt… everything but the white and the 5″ pieces were scrap. I finished after dark so I’ll try to get a better photo in the morning… here’s my Scrap Happy Heart!

Happy quilting!  Be sure to check out everyone’s creation over at PersimmonPersimmon Dreams Dreams!

Beth

Stringing Myself Along….

One of my goals this year was to sew every day and, I must admit, I’ve done pretty well. My mom came to visit through winter break so I decided to do a little hand applique. I managed to get a face on the second nutcracker in my Christmas Carol row along quilt. (The bells were my row. ) I also started trying to sew my way through a lovely bag of strings and bits. So far, I’ve got 22 9″ blocks so far and the bag looks just as full!!!

I even used a few of those scraps in my project quilting challenge quilt. The next two nights are “two job” nights (that’s when I leave for work by 7 am and get home around 10:30 pm) so I’ll be lucky to sew a couple strips each night. I’m really curious to see how many blocks are hiding in this bag….22 we’re sure of, maybe 3 times that? I can’t wait to see!

Happy quilting,

Beth

Oh, and I almost forgot… here’s the look I get when I suggest Gizmo needs to move so I can trim something.

Project Quilting Challenge 1

I love Project Quilting because it gives me a chance to stretch myself and forces me to prioritize some quilting time.

The theme was Hope Springs Eternal. I’m still focusing on using my scraps…optimistic as ever that I could make a dent. Some of the bits in this quilt came from the bag I’m trying to use up first.

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And some came from my Bonnie Hunter scrap user system.  I tried to use a wash of color to   represent how hope pushes back darkness.

20190110_231825I was thinking of a pillow this time but my star decided (at 11 PM last night) that it really needed a small,  scrappy pieced border.   And then my sewing machine decided that it was going to have a tension issue.   So I plan B’d my way to a finish just before the deadline….because hope springs eternal!  And hers’s my barely finished in time quilt!

Linking this up to Persimmon Dreams!

Happy New Year!

I love New Year’s! A whole year of possibility ahead… no mistakes yet. Did I mention that I haven’t used my seam ripper all year? We made ribs today (which is an all- day process) along with all the sides and hard friends over. My mom is visiting and it’s super nice having her here. I feel quite lucky that my mom is someone I genuinely like spending time with. I have dubbed her, “Grandmother of Cats.” Here she is with Milo.

I’ve been nibbling at my pile of scraps, too, and three more blocks are done.

The bag, however, seems just as full.

I wonder how many blocks are hiding in those scraps?

Happy quilting!

Beth