Friday, December 2, 2016

More testing

Hi all!  Did you have a good week?  The weather here was awful and so I spent a little more time in the sewing room, still cleaning things out.  Still feels like a mess in there, but at least I'm making some progress.  I finally packed up some things that are getting donated and emptied almost the last of the boxes.  I never want to move again.

I did make some progress on the medallion quilt, which I said I would have finished by this coming Tuesday but I probably won't.  Oh well.  Here's what I'm playing with for the first border around the medallion:

Just a mock-up!  White borders to be added in construction phase.

Somehow it always looks better in my head than in fabric.  I'm not sure I like this.  I like the unbalanced part, but I'm not sure the geese are going to work out.  They might be pulling attention away from the center block.  Maybe smaller ones would be better? What do you think?  I think I have to let it marinate for a little longer.

This quilt is all made out of hand dyes, and so is the Grandma's quilt.  I cut all the border pieces for that quilt, but I was left with smaller pieces that won't work in either one.  What's a frugal quilter to do but start making some crumb blocks?


I love it!  These are 6-1/2 inch blocks.  Don't know what they'll become, but those little pieces make a pretty block, don't they?

In a few spare moments I also made up these neutral 4-patches:


They're prettier than I thought they would be.  I don't know what they're for, either, because I am definitely not making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, even though I just painted the guest room green and hung a purple and green quilt on the wall in there.  Frankly, I don't think a new one would work out, so it's definitely not on the agenda.

One last thing to show you.  This is how I'm storing my fat quarters now:


Wow, I can't believe how well this works.  I saw this on Pinterest and didn't really know how well it would work, but I found this shoe holder at Target for less than $10, so what was the harm in trying?  The silly thing is great!  The fat quarters fit just great, and frees up some shelf space.  And if I ever use those fat quarters, maybe I could put some shoes in it.  Or maybe some notions, it works either way.

Everybody have a great weekend.  We are going to the movies, which is good, because I'm really tired of working on things for the house.  Plus--movie theater popcorn.  Yum!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or not Friday and soscrappy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Back to the machines

Hi everyone!  Long time no see!  I don't know what happened, but I didn't sew a stitch for about 10 days.  Just didn't feel like it. (Not exactly true--I actually hemmed and mended some clothes. The horror!) That ever happen to you?  Pretty sure everyone has a spell like that once in a while.  How do you get interested again?

Here's what got me going again:


Yep, I started making a bunch of Drunkard's Path blocks from my leftover hand-dyed fabrics.  I started putting together the Grandma's top and I finally found a border that I thought would go really well with it.  Here's a sneak peek of the border:


The border is 3 blocks wide, but until I put this up on the wall I forgot that I needed to cut some full squares.  I guess I'd better do that before I get too far along.  I need 76 of these babies, so it might be a bit before they're finished.  They're fun to make, though, and you can't say the border won't be colorful.

And what is that?


I'm not sure, but I *know* that can't be squares and strips for neutral 4-patches, because I am not making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt. Nope. No.  Besides, I really hate making 4-patches, so you know I'm really not doing it, right?

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  One really fun thing that I got to do over the holiday was meet up with Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts.

Preeti (left) and me at breakfast.

It was so fun!  We had breakfast together and it was as if we had known each other forever.  She brought some show and tell and her quilts were even prettier in person.  And look what she brought me:


A zipper bag of my very own, filled with fun fabric just right for a grandson quilt! Plus some great-smelling sandalwood soap! It was so generous and kind, and I love it.  I'll be keeping my colored pencils in it, and there's some extra room for a little pad of paper too, so I can take it along in the car.  Thank you so much, Preeti!

I also got a chance to meet up with Nancy of PugMom Quilts, and her lovely husband Mike.

Don't we look like fun people?

It was so great of them to take time from their family vacation to stop by and see us, and I hope we get to do it again soon.  This is the best part of blogging--getting to meet people who are as obsessed as I am with fabric and the fun things you can make out of it.  I got to see some of Nancys great quilts, too, along with some works in progress.  We had a great time together!

Finally, thanks to everyone who has participated in the Gratitude Sale so far.  At this point, there's been about $250 donated to the three charities, including some donations I made on behalf of others.  Yay!  I decided to keep it open until the end of the year, so there's still time to head over and take a look.  

Hope you all are having a great week.  Now that I'm getting my mojo back, I'm ready to sew up a storm.  But I am *not* making 4-patches.  Nope.  Really.

Sharing at Let's Bee Social, Oh Scrap! and soscrappy for RSC16!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Gratitude Sale!

Hi everyone, and welcome to the Gratitude Sale!  It's the week of Thanksgiving here in the US, and I am giving thanks for all of the good things that have come to us this year.  It's time to clean out the sewing room and raise a little money for charity at the same time.

UPDATE:  I've decided to keep this sale open until the end of the year.  Congratulations to Tami, our giveaway winner!




I have listed the items for sale on three of the tabs above, right under the picture at the top of the blog. (Patterns are listed with notions.) There you will find all kinds of treasures to bless your sewing room and help you turn fabric and thread into fun quilty things. Those of you who read all the way to the end of this post will find a small Thanksgiving giveaway, too!

Let's get started!

Here's how it works:

1.  You spend some fun time picking out stuff you want from the tabs above.
2. Send me an email (academicquilter@gmail.com) with your list.  **ONLY emails to that address count.  Comments on this post (or any other) will NOT reserve any items for you.**
3. I will check your list and make sure that everything you want is still available, then send you a friendly email with a total and anything else you need to know. 
4. You choose one of the charities below and make a donation in at least that amount.  Consider rounding up! Never fear, the items will be set aside with your name on them as soon as I get your email, so they won't be "sold" before you get a chance to donate.
5. You send me the acknowledgement or receipt from your donation.
6. I tote up your postage and tell you how to pay it.
7. You pay the postage!
8. I send your items!
9. We both do a happy dance!


It seems like a lot of steps, but it's really easy!  Additional information, some ground rules, and disclaimers are below, but for now, here are the charities I've chosen:

I've picked three charities for this sale, all of which are highly rated and use their donations very wisely.  We have donated to them many times and are confident in their integrity, but you can check any of these out for yourself on Charity Navigator or other evaluation sites:

Partners in Health, a global health organization. Right now they are dealing especially with the after effects of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. If you want to know more about their work and to donate, click HERE.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the primary research center for childhood cancer.  No child is turned away because of inability to pay.  To find out more about their work and to donate, click HERE.

Fisher House Foundation, a "home away from home" for families of military personnel or veterans receiving treatment.  There are 71 Fisher Houses in the US. To find out more about Fisher House or to donate, click HERE.

(For this one, you can donate either to the Foundation or to your local Fisher House.  Either way works!)



Additional information:

First come, first served.  I will go entirely by the time stamp on your email.  **ONLY emails to academicquilter@gmail.com will count**  Comments on this post or any other do not reserve any items for you.

Please note that I'm not going to haggle over the prices. I think they're fair and I hate arguments, so please don't ask. 

If you aren't comfortable donating online: Be aware that you probably will get more emails if you donate online.  This is how all charities raise money and is just a fact of life.  These three are pretty good about opt-outs, but if you don't want to, I will take your money and donate it (cross my heart!).  Be aware that you won't get a tax deduction, though.

If you don't want to use Paypal:  Paypal is MUCH easier and very secure, and you can use a credit card. But if you don't want to do that, you can also pay by check, either personal, cashier's, or money order. Send an email so that we can talk about it. I will send you my address, you send a check, we wait until the bank says it's cleared, I send your things. We both do a happy dance!

Shipping options: Well, shipping is a fact of life and I can't afford to send it all without charge, as much as I would like to.  We can talk about shipping options and prices when I tote up your order.  Your choices are basically between flat-rate envelopes and boxes and regular padded envelopes sent by weight.  I have a postal scale and can weigh your items and estimate shipping options when I send your total. (Even if you only order books, I'm not comfortable with media mail.)

Any other questions?  Either send me an email or leave a comment here.  I'll get back to you as quickly as I can!

This sale will end Saturday morning November 26 or when everything sells out (cross your fingers!).  Everything remainig will be donated to various charitable organizations--books to the library sale, for example.

Giveaway!

Did someone say giveaway?  Yes!  What's a Gratitude Sale without something to be especially grateful for?  I am especially grateful for all of you who read this blog, so here's a small token of that gratitude:


Two fat quarters of Gardenvale, plus a blue fat quarter of a beautiful Kona solid!  To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this post with something you are especially grateful for this year.  This is open to anyone, and you won't even have to pay postage! I will choose a winner after dinner on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.  

The giveaway is closed!  Tami was the winner!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Eat and shop safely!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Layout auditions

Hi everyone!  How is your week going?  I've done a hundred things already this week and it hasn't hardly made a dent in my list! 

This week I am auditioning layouts for the Intricate Stitches quilt.  I know that I drew this all out before I even started, but now that the blocks are done I want to try something new and different with them.  Story of my quilty life--get halfway through the pattern and decide that I'd rather do it differently.  (As a side note, it's the story of my professional life, too.  I'll get halfway through writing something and have an even better idea so that I have to start over.) Anyway, here's the basic layout that I drew out a year ago:



Basic is the word for it, isn't it?  It's my intention to add some pieced borders like a traditional medallion quilt, but also to have plenty of space for the blocks themselves to shine.  What would we call that?  Modern traditional? Modernitional?  Heritage modern?

Here's the same blocks but in an on-point setting, what I'm calling the diamond layout:



This would give a lot of  more modern "wiggle room," but I don't really like it.  Too much empty space and not a great way to include any pieced borders. 

I thought I would like this one, which I call the crowded layout:



The string blocks and cut fabric pieces are stand-ins for some new, smaller blocks that I would have to make.  I really thought I would like this, but there is just too much going on.  Lots of white space and plenty of room for pieced borders, but just visually awful.

One more layout to audition:



I call this the modern layout.  I'm really surprised how much I like this one and how harmonious it seems.  Lots of space for the eyes to rest. I considered this for a long time and had it up on the wall for several days.  Ultimately, though, it doesn't fit with the vintage blocks or have the feel that I'm going for.  I do think this would be awesome with all one block in the two different sizes.

So, I guess we're back to basics!  Now to consider some other piecing that will bring these all together. I know that I will have to incorporate a lot of white space because this is already a riot of color, but I think the empty space will seriously enhance the blocks.

So which layout is *your* favorite?  Any good suggestions for pieced borders to consider?  I have a couple in mind, but I'm always open to new ideas.

Hope you're all having a good week!  Can you believe we're halfway through November?  Yikes!

It's almost here!

Sharing at Let's Bee Social and soscrappy for RSC16.