News from The Fabric Room

This is periodic news from The Fabric Room.  
Things that I am working on, things that I am experimenting with.. general stuff from my 'Studio'.

I have a new Blog!

posted Mar 8, 2014, 10:49 AM by BlueVinylStickers   [ updated Mar 8, 2014, 10:50 AM ]

I needed more versatility, so I created a new blog.  
Please follow my blog called "Just one more yard" at the new location

Spring Break! 3/8/14

posted Mar 8, 2014, 7:01 AM by BlueVinylStickers

Why is it that on Saturdays, the day when I can sleep in, my fur-babies are on the bed at 4am?!  It's Spring break! 9 days with nothing scheduled except spend quality time with my sewing machine, NOTHING! Its me and my machines.

The 3rd lesson in Karen Walkers "Farmers Wife Quilt Revival" is now available. Chucked full of wonderful information.  You can get it from her via e-mail, snail mail, Etsy and Craftsy.  Click on the link above or the icon below.
laughyourselfintostitches


You know how hard it is to open a Jelly Roll?  Well try a whole box of fat quarters (see pictures in previous posts)  I finally went searched the web and found the complete collection so I could add the .jpgs to EQ7.  I also printed the images so I could match them up with the stock name.  Ok, your saying.."why?"  Ok, here is why.  Because all I have is one yard of each of the prints, I want to make sure that I like the placement of the fabrics in the block before I cut.  EQ will allow me to design in the actual/virtual fabrics that I will be using, pretty kool!

So all that done, and all the background stuff done in EQ, I am now adding the fabric numbers, following Karen's instructions, and then will be making the blocks.  

1st step, write the fabric numbers on the instruction sheets from Karen, so I know what fabric I chose to go where. . .DONE

2nd step, pull all of the fabrics from the box.  I pulled one of each print from the box, pined a small picture with the name on it to each. . . DONE

3rd step, Press!  OMG!!  You would think that FQ's from the manufacturer would be perfect.. HA!  far from it.  I would say that over half of them are off grain by at least 1/2 to 1 inch or more.  Such a disappointment.  I am hoping that the loss of fabric from these cuts will not effect the amount of yardage I need to complete these blocks.  . .  Working on this..



So, off to the ironing board to see how many more are off grain, guess its not to bad, I doubt that I will be using a whole yard of anything except the background and I have 3 yards of that one.  Onward and upward!


Till next time,


March already?

posted Mar 2, 2014, 11:02 AM by BlueVinylStickers   [ updated Mar 2, 2014, 1:30 PM ]

March 2, 2014

Can you believe it, its March 2nd already!  I guess it is time to get my sewing room cleaned up and get ready for the next project.... well at least ready for the next project.

I have decided that I want to go back to the basics and update my skills with 'modern' techniques.  Believe it or not, there are a lot of blocks out there that I have not created yet because I just didn't know how or want to take the time to learn how.  Some scared me off because of the matching centers or the strange angles, but I am going to forge ahead and try to learn something new!

I have chosen The Farmers Wife Sampler by Laurie AAron Hird  
   

I went and had mine spiral bound by a suggestion of a teacher and she was right, I will be using the book a lot and it needed to be bound.  

So I set of to the task of drafting each of the blocks in Electric Quilt 7.  If you have never heard of EQ7, you should check it out, it is a very powerful quilting software package.  

It took me about 3 days to draft all 111 blocks. Not bad, but now I need to go back and make some notes in the book as to the grids and the snaps that I used to make the block, why, because I can :)

One of the items that I won from the Iron Quilter Contest, was the whole collection of Thimbleberries Shades Apart.  The box they sent was the box that would be sent to quilt shops and contains 4 of each of these shades and 8 of the background color!


I was able to download each of the colors into the EQ software and design each block with the actual fabrics that I will be using, pretty kool huh!

So as I was looking for individual images of the collection above, I ran across this site TROY CORPORATION.  I found what I was looking for an so much more!  Zillions, well, maybe not zillions, but a whole lot of collections and you can right mouse click and save everyone of them.  Great for designing with the fabric you want to use!

So I posted a Tut on M* on how you go about using these images in EQ7, it turned out a little longer than I had expected, but it is there if you are interested and it is also available below.  I made it into a .pdf for all who are interested.

I will be following along with Karen Walker from the Laugh yourself into Stitch Blog.  She has a 12 month 'block of the month' class if you will, "The Farmers Wife Quilt Revival Class" using updated techniques to construct these 6 inch blocks. It is $8.50 a month, but from lessons that I have downloaded, I think they are well worth that and more.  She also gives you some wonderful tutorials on techniques on her blog as well.  It is well worth the click over and check out her blog.

So now I am off to play with fabric and see what I can create,  till next time,

Happy downloading and quilting!

   

What's New?

posted Feb 17, 2014, 9:06 AM by BlueVinylStickers   [ updated Mar 2, 2014, 3:13 PM ]

February 17, 2014, 

Let me see, what have I done for the past few weeks, anything quilting related?  Why yes!  

Went to the Rusty Barn Quilting and Craft Show, had a blast and spent too much money on things that I probably didn't need, but I bought anyway.  I found a gadget, a ruler of sorts, that gives you the ability to make the perfect 45 degree angle cut, so that when you sew the two ends together for your binding, it will lay flat and no one will be able to tell where you started or stop your binding!  Worth 10 bucks if you ask me.  The vendor also knew who I was and was more excited to meet me than I was to buy her ruler!! LOL  

Went to the AQS Show, lots of pretty quilts, didn't buy anything because, well, I bought everything from the same vendors that were at the Rusty Barn the week before... 

The quilts that were being judged were beautiful, but others that didn't make the awards, should have (IMHO) and others, well, good try and keep working at it!

And can anyone tell me why sewing machines cost more than a small car these days?

Went to the 60th Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  PRETTY  SHINNIES  SPARKLY EXPENSIVE!

Stopped by Joann's on the way home, 'cus I had 2 40% off coupons that were just burning a hole in my pocket, and the cashier asked me if I was in the military.  I said no, but my daughter was. She gave me an additional 20% off at the register!  Kool, thanks T!!  Now I very rarely bring my DH into Joann's because I really don't want to have him seeing how much I spend, but this time it was not a choice.  He saw how much I spent and he was not happy, BUT when I told him I had saved over 2/3 of the total cost with coupons and discounts, the frown turned into a smile.  Thank goodness.  

 



Went out the truck and sitting in a shopping cart, with no one around, was a child size dress mannequin!
 Perfect condition with a note pinned to it that said FREE, so it is now mine.  (happy dance)  I measured it and it is just slightly larger than the measurements that I have for my youngest (at the moment) granddaughter.  Nice score.
 
 
So today, is presidents day, I will be finishing up the 75 Crayon rolls that I will be donating to the Cyber Elves Give Back site. 

  


DID YOU KNOW that United Notions puts a free jpg of their fabric lines on their web site.  You can use these jpgs in EQ and design with your favorite line of fabrics.  At the moment, there are close to 700 jpg collections going all the way back to 2000 to download, for FREE, I like free.  The web site is www.unitednotions.com and click on this link because if you try to go to United Notions directly, you won't find this nice list!  I suggest you make a folder for each designer in the United Notions folder you will create, this will help you stay originzed.  Un-zip them, remove the pictures you don't want and then you can copy these jpgs into Electric Quilt to use in your quilt designing.  (see www.ElectricQuilt.com if you don't own a copy of EQ)

Happy Quilting!



What a month!

posted Feb 5, 2014, 5:34 PM by BlueVinylStickers   [ updated Feb 5, 2014, 5:42 PM ]

Its almost a month since my last post (oh my, that sounds like a confession)... well onward and upward!

Went looking for the camera from the last post and got side tracked, I will have to get back to that one in a bit, but for now, I have joined a group called "Cyber Elves Give Back"  This is their description of themselves.

Cyber Elves Give back is a philanthropic organization which specializes in creating hand 
made gifts for children throughout the United States.
Quilters and sewists throughout cyber space have joined CEGB to make pillowcases,
NICU blankets, quilts and other items throughout the year.

If you follow the link above, it is a Facebook group. Now they are also on MSQC, but their main presence is on FB (finally, something good on Facebook other than angry cats) I started making Crayon Rolls because I could use smaller pieces of fabric and didn't need to go and get the yardage that is required for the pillow cases.  I have been working on them and am up to about 100, in various stages of completeness. 

Went to the "Rusty Barn" (that was the original name of the show way back when) It is now called the Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival.  As usual, I spent way to much money on things that I didn't need, but couldn't resist.  Your smiling, you've done that too, I can tell, just look around your sewing room!   Bought a few patterns for things that I just couldn't figure out how to do, a reversible sun dress for my granddaughters, a 12,000 yard cone of Madeira Cotton thread, that should last me a little while, a new rotary cutter 'cus mine was wearing out in the center, several templates that you can use to make quilting patterns (to do the quilting, not make the blocks) and of course, it was a craft show, the booth with the spices.. soups and dips.. OMG, who can resist, nope, not me!  I was good, only bought 3 soups, but my friend.. I lost count.

This Friday, she and I are playing hookie from work and are going to the Phoenix AQS Quilt Week.  I don't know who is more excited, her or me.  Now I have to tell you, she is a novice, she has not even completed her 1st quilt, but she is hooked big time. We are as bad as too school girls, we are planning a whole day outing, taking our lunch (cus that will give us more money to spend on goodies) and we are taking the train into town.  Now I know that may not sound like everyday stuff some of you, but we have never done that before, we live out away from the city by at least 30 miles, we still use cars out here, the train is no where near here.  But we figure that with the downtown traffic, trying to find a parking spot, and the price of that little piece of land is way to expensive.  $2.00 each way, may not save us anything much in parking, but it does save us the frustration of the morning traffic, parking and the train drops us off right at the front door of the convention center!  Should be fun!

Not much other sewing going on here, this is the time of the year to gather, then this summer when it is hotter than the walls of haties outside, we can sit in the air-conditioning and sew to our hearts content.

I am pondering the design that I will be making for the next Iron Quilter, I have several designs in mind, now to decide which one will work the best.. stay tuned on that one.

Be back after the show :) 


  



01/19/14 Evening post

posted Jan 19, 2014, 3:14 PM by BlueVinylStickers   [ updated Jan 19, 2014, 3:24 PM ]

I have been sitting in front of this machine for 10 hours now.  I have decided to redesign my site.  If you have been here before, you will notice changes, I deleted items, redesigned other pages and created this one.

Ok, now I am off to play with the video camera on my computer and see if I really need that stand alone version I saw on Amazon.... Amazon, almost as bad if not worse than e-bay for spending lots of time and money on things you didn't know you needed!

01/19/14 Welcome to my new blog

posted Jan 19, 2014, 12:43 PM by BlueVinylStickers   [ updated Mar 2, 2014, 3:13 PM ]

HI and Welcome!

I have been thinking about doing this for quite sometime now, and I finally sat down and did it. I have lots of ideas that I would like to put here and if I can figure it out, I may even put video 'clues' for my mystery's here as well.

Today I am just working on getting this set up.  Nothing much going on in the office today, lazy Sunday with a holiday tomorrow, so we shall see what trouble I can get into with this blog.

I have in the works the creation of the pattern for the title quilt "Lovely Twisted Dresden" 


 This quilt won 2nd place in the 2013 Iron Quilter contest that is sponsored by the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Believe it or not, this quilt was a last minute creation!  I saw the contest and the fabric, but at the time, I really didn't think I had enough time to come up with something, so I passed.  My husband even said that he did't think I had enough time to do something that would be 'contest' worthy.  So I passed and went on to another project. 

I came back to the page about a week later (after thinking about it for a week) and decided to purchase 4 charm packs, just because the price was right, no intending to enter, just to put them in my stash. 


When they came in the mail, I fell in love!  So I began to think what I could do with these little 5 inch pinked squares.  I separated them by color and value just to see what I had to work with and to my surprise, I had quite a few different designs and a nice selection of lights and darks and I love the color purple, so the wheels started turning.  

I love Dresden plates, and can whip one up in a matter of 15 minutes, but I didn't want to just make a Dresden plate because I figured that was to easy and others may already be doing that (and several entries did just that) but I wanted something spectacular.  I had just created a twisted circle table topper earlier in the year with a large wedge ruler


 and thought..  "Ah Ha! that's it" I would make a smaller version of the table topper, but I have 5 inch squares, not yardage.. oh bother!  Off to the drawing board again.  

Sitting there staring at my fabric stash shelves I see my Accuquilt Cutter.  I get out the calculator (because I am horrid at math) I decided the 5 inch squares by 1 1/2 and came up with 3 (duh!) I have a 1 1/2 strip cutter, Whoo Hoo!!!  So I cut a few 5 inch squares from scrap fabric and ran them through the cutter to see if it was even possible to use my Accuquilt to cut all of the strips and it was! Whoo Hoo again, I sewed them together and found the angle I wanted on my Dresden ruler and again.. OH Bother!  The 6 inch blade that I want is too long, what now?  Well, for the rest of that answer, you will have to buy the pattern ;)  

After I solved that little problem, the rest was a piece of cake, or I thought.  I made the center Dresden plate on a Sunday and had to go back to work the following day, so the project sat on hold till the next weekend.  I then picked it up on Saturday of the next weekend, not thinking to look at the position of the Dresden template and cut the rest of the blades for the outer half Dresden's.  I sewed them together and held them up to the first one and about had a heart attack!  They were BACKWARDS.  The dark was supposed to be the center and then light the outer, but I cut them backwards so the light is now the center and the dark the outside.  I thought I was finished.  I went to the web site and found that the charm packs were sold out and so was my LQS and just about every shop that I found on line.  I could have purchased a layer cake, but I really didn't want to spend any more money on something that I really did't think would win anything.  So after walking away for the rest of the day, I decided to put them together, backwards.  To my surprise, when I put them on the design wall against the center, I got goose bumps!!  I couldn't stop looking at it, OMG, this was beautiful, so I pressed on (no pun intended) 

Because this was a design of my own, I had to measure and calculate and figure and fussy cut and keep my fingers crossed that I purchased enough extra border and background fabric and by the end of the day, I had a finished top.  

Now I gauge my designs, how good or bad they are, but the first response or look on my husbands face.  His immediate response was WOW!  I pressed on, cut the backing and the batting, and stared at it for a day or so to figure out what kind of quilting I wanted to do.  I already had the Dresden's appliqued down with a blanket stitch in purple rayon thread, but I really didn't want to take away from the quilt with any type of 'quilt design' so I went with quilting in the ditch and a few simple lines, went back to the border fabric that was left from the fussy cutting and fussy cut the binding so it would act as the final border and the binding and Wholly Molly, The Twisted Dresden was born!

I uploaded the picture 2 days before the deadline and crossed my fingers.  On the day of the first round, I kept refreshing my phone so many times, I had to charge it twice during the day LOL.  Each time I refreshed, the numbers jumped and jumped and jumped... I couldn't wait to get home to my computer. The next 5 days were the longest I thing I have ever had... nope, there is round two..agggg bother!  I am number 2, right where I want to be, because I really didn't need the sewing machine and I wanted the quilters cash.  Round 2 opens and the numbers jump again just like last time, but this time they have opened the voting to Google plus not just Facebook.  At the end of the competition, I am number 2, WONDERFUL, right where I wanted to be and the number 1 quilt, yeah, I voted for it, but she also voted for mine, so ...  She took the quilters cash, I didn't want the sewing machine, so I took the $500 of RJR Fabric and 3rd place took the sewing machine, which turns out the third place winner was desperately in need of new machine, as she was sewing on a machine that was 25 years old, so it all worked for the best!

Now this only gets better.  I was contacted by the rep from RJR Fabrics and she asked me to pick out what I wanted as my prize!  Your kidding, I get to choose?  SUPER WOW!  I went to their web site and choose a few lines that I liked, from lines that have not even been released yet, figuring that they would choose one or two from that list, but no, they sent EVERYTHING that I choose!  OMG, I got a message from FEDEX that they had 3 boxes totaling 69 pounds coming to me.  What could they be sending that is 69 pounds and is worth $500 dollars? 

Again.. OH Bother!! I have now gone to South Carolina for Christmas, so I have to wait till after the New Year to find out, but my DH sends me this picture when the boxes arrive:


OK, I knew that the box in the back was a whole collection of fat quarters, because one of the selections that I made was Thimbleberries - Shades Apart collection, but what were in the other two, I couldn't guess, jelly rolls, fat quarters, layer cakes, yardage, what?  DH said he would not open them and take pictures, so I had to wait... gurrrrr! He just laughed, thought it was funny to taunt me this way LOL

I get home at 10:30 pm on January 2nd, and by 11:00 pm, this is what I had found:


Let me break it down for you...... what I have listed as RJR Fabrics is the Thimbleberries 2014 Collection.

 


For those of you who are keeping track, that is 179 1/4 yards of Fabric!  At 12.95/yard that is $2321.28!!!  At $10.95/yard that is $1962.78!!  Much more than the anticipated $500 prize.  I was speechless, and that is saying a lot for me.  Now the question of 'where do I put everything?"  My stash shelves are full and I know that I need to get the fabrics out of the cardboard shipping boxes for long term storage (you don't think I am actually going to use this do you?) so off to IKEA, the storage masters.  Thank goodness for after Christmas sales.  I picked up storage containers that worked perfectly, rearranged my shelves and stacked everything perfect. 

The jelly rolls and other fat quarters were able to fit in the stash, but I wanted to keep the Thimbleberries and Hand-spray collections separate, TB is in the left 3 bins and Handspray is in the others, I still have one empty container... that will not stay empty, I can guarantee that! LOL


I found that the fat quarters were packaged in such a was as they were split in the middle.  The middle had 4 of the same fabric and then from there, they were 2 of the same on each side of that, so there was a total of 1 yard of each colorway.  Sweet! 

So now that that project is done and the prize is now stashed, I am turning my thoughts to this years Iron Quilter and thinking of a design that will be just a spectacular, but it is hard to recreate beautiful mistakes.  

So follow me this year as I create a mystery quilt or two, and even try to come up with a quilt for the next IQ.

For now, Happy Quilting!










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