Secrets/Tips – Fabric Selection & Design 2

Continuing on with Fabric Selection and Design tips.  Some things, I’m not sure what category they belong in, so I just slap it in someplace. Just an FYI.

4.  Had a quilt or fabric drag on the floor and get dusty – Yes, no matter how hard you try to keep things pristine, this seems to happen to any quilt larger than a throw while you are ironing, sewing or quilting.  This is one reason why I like my tile floor, sweep before the big projects, and always wash my finished project before giving it to the receiver.

5.  Bought fabric you really didn’t “need” or have a specific purpose for – I know, you’ve all heard of a quilter’s “stash” – where do you think this name comes from?  Sometimes, you just like that little fat quarter and want to own it, even though you have NO ideas for it and NOTHING else it would go with.  I got a lot of fabric from Mom’s stash, so I’m not as guilty of this as some, perhaps.  I also have a general rule to make all efforts to use something in my stash before going out to buy things.  However, I will say, I do own a few fat quarters that I just “liked”.  Multiply that times a few years or decades, I can see how these things can grow!

6.  Don’t think you have enough fabric  in your “stash”.  I know this seems counter-intuitive to the above #5 – but think about, it really isn’t!

7.  Have so many ideas for projects you want to do, you are not sure you can get them all done in your lifetime.  How many quilt book pages do you have tabbed or earmarked?  How many quilt magazines do you subscribe to?  How many ideas of your own do you have that you just can’t seem to get around to or find out they are more complex than you thought?    I’ve come to realize, quilting is really a creative endeavor, so, yes, you are most likely going to have more ideas than you can finish!  I’m sure when you consider other famous artists, famous or not, they did, too.

That’s all for today.  Let me know of your tips/secrets.  Stay tuned for Fabric Selection and Design 3.  Perhaps I’ll make that post longer.


Secrets/Tips – Fabric Selection & Design 1

I have, and perhaps every quilter has, made these mistakes.  Let’s take them one at a time, perhaps in more than one post, and focus on the solutions, rather than the problems.

1.  Made a mistake in calculations for size of borders, sashing, or even finished size.

  •  What is there to say for this error except, measure and calculate two or three times before cutting, and it’s always better to buy a bit more fabric than you think you will need than less.
  • We all have done this at one time or another, so don’t beat yourself up because you miscalculated.  Figure out a way to add to your fabric, substitute another fabric, or reduce the size of your quilt – and move on.  Bottom line, no one will notice, most likely.

2.  Not pre-washed fabric and had a bleedover to a lighter color – do color catchers really work?

  • I pre-washed a fabric 7 times, and it still bled over onto the white backing fabric.  Is this common or usual?  Probably not.  Some recommend not pre-washing and using color catchers.  Do they work?  I don’t know, I have never tried them.    Still, as a general rule, I pre-wash all fabrics until the water, if the fabric is bleeding color, runs mostly or completely clear.  It’s a pain, added work, but, do you really want your quilt, well, not ruined, but definitely not optimum?

3.  Had to use a calculator to figure block size, binding or finished quilt size.

  • I know this seems lame.  We can all add inches and feet, right?  But, seriously, I just don’t trust my brain power sometimes, so, yes, I use a calculator.  And most times, I make my calculations two or three times, to be sure.  It’s okay.  It’s a tool.  That’s what it was meant to be used for.  Don’t feel bad that you need a tool to help you be accurate!

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for Fabric Selection and Design  2  soon.

Quilter’s Dirty Little Secrets

Even though the final product may be beautiful and appear flawless, every quilter knows, mistakes were made in the process of piecing or quilting this wall hanging, table runner, throw, pillow, potholder, or queen-sized quilt.

Many people look at my quilting pictures on Facebook, receive as a gift (or pay), the finished product, and the oohs and ahhs abound as well as “that’s so beautiful” “creative” “awesome”… or just “wow”.

Even though I feel the perfection of a quilted object lies in the finished product, secretly, I know, the process was anything but perfect.

So, I haven’t decided, but a lady at the local sewing/quilting shop suggested posting one “secret” at a time.    I think that might not be sufficient for the task, but wonder if all these things can be broken up into categories.

I have never really thought about these “secrets” (read: tips) before, as such, to this extent – until I started sewing and quilting the Grandmother’s Fan quilt and the Christmas throw recently completed (in December.)

It was kind of funny, as I was piecing, sewing, ironing, quilting these two objects, that I made those “errors” that prompted me to visit the notion of making a blog post listing these blunder items.

A few weeks ago, as I finished the Christmas throw and completed the Grandmother’s Fan quilt, I thought about these things, and jotted them down as they came up in the process of completing these projects.

Then, because I was in the process of cataloging my, um, mistakes – I was even more aware of every little thing I did, not to mention remembering every other little blunder, uh, minor error, I had made in the past 2.5 years or so.

I’ve given this a bit of thought since I wrote this whole piece, except for this paragraph, and I’m going to try to take on one, secret (tip) at a time.

I’ve been gone missing for a couple months, so please cut me some slack in my writing and cohesivness.

Stay tuned for the next post which will start my series of Quilter’s Dirty Little Secrets (tips).  Again, please grant me some leniency in changing this up as necessary to keep it interesting.



Today is not that day

I’ve been watching my grandkids for a couple weeks in December and since January 6 till February 13.

Joanna is 6 months old now, and Andy is 2 1/2 years old.  He has hit the “terrible twos” to some extent.  Mostly, he’s a very loving, wonderful kid, but he’s beginning the stages of on purpose disobedience.

“Andy, don’t do that!” and Andy does exactly what you told him not to do.  Kind of like “The Cat in the Hat” movie  he currently likes (thanks to me for bringing it in December  . . . NOT!).  In the movie, poor Conrad does everything opposite what his mother tells him, and later figures out how to control Thing 1 and Thing 2 because they also do the opposite of what they are told.

I don’t actually think that would work with Andy, but today I decided, you have to pick your battles.  I fairly much wrestled him on the sofa to change his diaper after nap.  I got up and removed him from the entertainment center when he wouldn’t stay away as I was feeding his sister.  I insisted the teething “paw” actually may have been his once, but not now, it was his sister’s and leave it alone.

But, when he took a couple of her toys away, because he thought they were his (and, in fact, at one time they had been when he was 6 months old), I decided to let him have them.  Joanna is easy going.  She’ll be happy as long as she has something to grab and put in her mouth that looks the least bit interesting.  One day, she’ll cry when he takes away her toy(s), but today is not that day.

I repeated that, “Today is not that day!”  Today is not the day to tell Andy not to take Joanna’s toys.  Instead, I tried to teach him of sharing and if he wanted to take what she was playing with, make sure she has something else. That, in fact, perhaps all toys were “their’s” and not “his” or “her’s” – that they could share all their toys.

He was actually most cooperative with this concept, well, at least the first part of making sure she had something else.

It made me realize that “today is not that day” may actually be an extremely good motto for new parents, parents of teenagers, or any various and sundry reasons.

Think about it… Is today that day for you?