As promised, here is the project I made from another quilter's trimmings after washing yards of fabric. The pile looked so pretty I had to put it to use :-) It is a case for my pencil and lead, eraser, glasses, and even my stylus for my iPad since I do some designing on that. I didn't take process photos, now I wish I had... I started by spreading the threads on a piece of batting, it took a little while to separate the blob.... I added some brighter thread colors that I just pulled off of a few spools and put them on the pile. Then, someone else had some netting along, so I put a layer of that on top, which I also pinned some folds into to add more texture. That same person also suggested putting a layer of netting on the bottom so it would slide easily at the machine. Then I just stitched a bazillion straight (but angled) lines all over in both directions to hold it in place and flatten it down. I cut a piece of lining, and a pocket and stitched them all right sides together, leaving a hole for turning. (Oh, I put a little pocket on the big one first...) I added the channels for each narrow pocket at the end, with all the stitching on the outside it wouldn't be too obvious. A piece of ribbony yarn, a button, and some homemade paper beads finished it off. I may add a flap to the top to cover the pockets so things can't fall out... This has been on my 'to do' list for a long time, I'm glad it's done! (click the photos to enlarge)
I'm home resting from a fun quilting retreat today. My body isn't quite up to sewing for three days yet... :-) I got quite a bit done though, amidst several rather large mistakes.... I actually ran out of things to do, but then a pile of cotton stringys from another quilter's fabric washing caught my attention, tune in tomorrow to see what I did with that :-)
Today these boxes came from JoAnn's online, plus a package slip for the first three of my 14 boxes of fabric...tomorrow the insanity begins!
I was very excited about this card when I designed it, but I found out it's got a lot of little pieces :-) Good thing I have a helper these days, sorry April! :-) Also, I made one of my dumber mistakes when I was making this...I had cut out a stack of 8 backgrounds at once, then took one and put it on top of my batting and interfacing to make the card. Then I grabbed the wrong stack, fused the leaves to the top layer, and STITCHED through all of the layers on all three leaves before I noticed...oh boy...
I may try to make a kit for it, or a wall quilt based on it, but I'm afraid the free motion stitching might scare people off. It's not very difficult stitching, mostly scribbling, but I know that still makes some people nervous :-) What do you think?
A few years ago I made several small quilts, and I thought it would be fun to have a line of them called "fun size", like the candy bars. It never materialized then, but yesterday it occurred to me that it would fit my current batch. I mentioned it to my husband, and he said, "That fits, you are 'fun size' too" Ha! :-) (I am only 5'1"...)
See my 'fun size' quilt kits here!
I've been thinking a lot lately about what my ultimate reasons are for doing what I do. While it is nice to make money with a business, there are other factors that are just as important to me. When I was younger and deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up, art quilting didn't make the list, I hadn't even heard of it. I love to teach, so I got a degree in elementary education, and planned to teach until I had kids, then planned to be a full time mom. Due to scheduling difficulties in college, I ended up scrapping my music minor and taking a few sewing classes just for fun. As it turned out, my first job after college was sewing, not teaching. I did eventually teach for three years, which I loved, but the sewing job for 4 years was like another college education, I learned so much. I had no intention of homeschooling my kids either, but that has been a huge blessing, and I still get to teach. I'm also teaching at a quilt shop, and I think I like the teaching aspect of sewing as much as the actual creating. I have a huge desire to see people learning and growing, and doing more than they thought they could do. Writing patterns is really another way of teaching someone, so I think that is why I like doing that.
I have found that the biggest obstacle people have to doing most things is lack of confidence, rather than lack of ability. Sometimes a little encouragement, and a little information is all they need. My goal for my newest batch of patterns/kits, is to make it possible for people to make something they didn't think they could make, which is a great confidence builder.
There are sometimes different camps of opinion when it comes to using recycled vs. new fabrics, inexpensive vs. more expensive fabrics, hand vs. machine quilting, etc. My opinion on all of those is that there is room for everyone, and I am not a purist about any of those things, it all has value. Having said that, however, I choose to use high quality fabrics in my kits, because it increases the odds of success for people... the better the materials, the better the final results. Because of this, and because my designs use lots of different fabrics (the leaf quilt has 18, and Starr Fabrics are $18 a yard), it would be very expensive for people to buy even a quarter yard of each when they only need a little strip. So my kits are a very economical way to use nice fabric, you only pay for exactly what you need. They also use an unconventional construction method that is very beginner friendly, they look much more difficult than they are.
So, my ultimate goal is to help people move beyond where they are now, if they have a desire to do so. If someone is perfectly content doing things they way they always have, that's fine too. But I know there are always people who "wish they could" do what they see other people doing; I want to help those people see they can do more than they think. I'd like to have a couple of options on my patterns also, so quilters can have their choice of a simpler or more complicated version. It's so much fun to see how excited people get when they do something they thought they couldn't!
And maybe when my kids are grown, (and they're getting close!) I can travel around the country and do classes too, that is definitely on my wish list! :-)
Now, where do you fit? Are you one of those fearless people who likes to try everything, one who wants to do more but lacks confidence or knowledge, or are completely content to do what you have always done? (Or something else that I didn't think of.... :-) )
I decided to try again with a fall design...it seemed like a good idea to go back to my usual stripey background, this one is about 9 x 16 inches. Maybe this will be the next kit. I think it has about 18 different fabrics in it, mostly hand dyes from Starr Fabrics, which are $18 a yard, so a kit is definitely the cost effective way to make these stripey designs.
As usual, if you want to know when the kit comes out, the best thing to do is to 'like' my facebook page, button in the sidebar to the right. Not the button at the bottom of the post, that just 'likes' this post.
I have quite a few more ideas for similar quilts, hopefully I will have a whole line soon :-) If you haven't seen the first one, Summer Dragonfly, click here!
Too busy traveling to do much sewing this week, we just got back from a trip to Anchorage. I did spend lots of time sketching new ideas for quilt kits though, it's hard not to be inspired by the scenery on the way down and back! We saw swans, (and my husband even bushwacked through soggy tundra to get me a swan/pond/mountain photo which I have been trying for years to get!), two moose having a little rutting spat, (never seen that in all of my hundreds of moose sightings!) some Dall sheep, a blizzard, and some great fall colors. (The blizzard and fall color photos were taken a few minutes and a few hundred feet of elevation apart! The mountains are hard to see in the snow :-)) I did get to a couple of quilt shops, so I am armed with lots of fabric and ideas.
The dragonfly kits are back in stock, I'm sorry for those who had to wait a few days for them to be shipped! I ordered a bigger batch of fabric this time, hopefully that won't happen again.
I am a homeschooling mom of three fun kids, who are now old enough that I have a little time to pursue my passion for sewing! After several years of making quilted cards and art quilts, I'm now designing kits and patterns. Some of them have even been in Keepsake Quilting! I teach classes at local quilt shops, and would love to do more traveling and teaching eventually. I also have many tutorials, including some on you tube. I am blessed to live in Alaska where I am surrounded by the inspiration provided by the beauty of God's creation!
"Like" my facebook page!