Monday, June 24, 2013

I feel bad that it's been so long since we've talked.
You know how summer goes.  It's been busy, busy around here and it doesn't help that a lot of the projects I'm working on lately are ones that I have to keep on the down low.

I am still having a blast on Instagram though.  
If you're an IG-er, you might get more up-to-the-minute posts from me on there.  My username is gigis_thimble if you care to follow.

But today I thought I'd do a stashy kind of post.

I've been told that I don't have much of a stash.  I guess I usually just buy smaller pieces of fabric.  And I try to use what I have.  But my little stash seems to growing lately.  And I kinda like it.

Here's my rule of thumb when trying to decide how much fabric to buy:
When I like a fabric but I don't know what I'm going to make with it, I buy a fat quarter.  If I think a fabric will be a great background then I usually buy 2-4 yards depending on what size quilt it might go in.  If I think it will be a cute binding then I buy up to a yard depending on the size of quilt it might bind and whether it will be on the bias or not.  Otherwise, I try to only buy the exact yardage I need or that a pattern calls for.

Here are some of my grays that I'm collecting 
for a gray and white "someday" quilt. 

I like to keep my fat quarters organized by color (mostly).  You probably do too, right?  However, you can see that my newly acquired Happy Go Lucky pile (on the top right) is still together as a line since it's so new and I have almost the entire line.  I'd like to keep it together in case I make a quilt out of it someday.

Keeping things arranged in color order helps me to know my inventory.  I can easily see what areas I'm lacking in (so I can beef up those stacks when I feel like buying) and for what areas I'm good in.  A lot of my stacks are getting "two deep" now :)

As you can see I don't use a lot of purple.  And, I've got a small little collection of 30's reproductions (which I don't use very much either but I sure do think they're cute).  A few small pieces of my 30's prints are from my grandmother (Gigi) so I'm kind of hoarding those :).

 I don't have a lot of Charm Packs or Jelly Rolls for that matter (but who doesn't love a good jelly roll?!?  They're so dang cute! :)
I do have LOTS of Layer Cakes though!

Above, you can see some of my collection of background fabrics.
And below are some more of my larger, more colorful cuts of fabric.

And here's one more stack of fabric I'm hoarding.  
Some of Tasha Noel's last couple of lines (The Simple Life and Little Red Riding Hood).  And for some reason, I bought third yard cuts of those beauties?!?  Don't ask me why :)  Oh yeah.  It was cause I liked them.

Oh, so here's one of my other rules of thumb:
I only buy the fabrics that I love from a line.  If there are a few I'm not in love with then I don't buy them.  And I'm not afraid to mix and match from different lines too.  I think that's what makes a quilt fun and interesting.  And one of a kind.  And who doesn't like that? 

So that's pretty much my stash.  And my rules of thumb.
I just thought I'd share.  I like to see what people are buying.  Thought you might too.  So.  What are you buying/hoarding?  And what are your rules of thumb?  I'd love to hear...

Happy quilting.
~ Amber

Summer House Hexagon Quilt - Finished

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We're into our second full week of summer around here and I am loving it!  And to be quite honest, I'm actually surprised to hear myself saying that!  Usually after a few days of the kids being home all day, I'm sick of listening to fighting and my house looking like a tornado.  But, my kids are growing up (they're 8 and 10 now) and they're finally starting to pull their own weight around here :)

I think this Summer House hexagon quilt is fitting in perfectly with our summer so far - bright and happy!

I decided to make this quilt a few weeks ago so it could be a display in the quilt shop I work at.  We have a Shop Hop going on this week and I thought it would be fun to showcase a project using the Hex N More ruler by Jaybird Quilts. I also thought it would be nice to make a quilt using a black background.  I've done it before (HERE) and the quilt ended up being one of my favorites.  Plus, a lot of the quilts we feature in our store use white and I always think it's nice to mix things up a bit.

So.  Here are my two cents on the Hex N More ruler: 
It's a little pricey but I think it is worth the $24 dollars.  I plan on doing another project with it again soon and it made cutting out the hexagons and triangles - a breeze!  And for a little cost comparison - the cute hexagon pre-cuts that Moda has put out recently are around $17 US dollars so I think the cost of the ruler is definitely worth it.  You can cut several size hexagons, half hexagons, jewel shapes and triangles with it AND you can use your own fabric so the possibilities are endless!  (These are just my own thoughts - not getting paid for this little promo :)

Anyways, it was a fun, easy to use ruler and the project went together really quickly! 

 I chose for my quilter to do my favorite little swirl all over it (in a happy yellow thread).  My backing is black minky - so soft and cuddly.

So, it's confession time. 
I tried to do a machine binding on this.  It was my first time ever.  Seriously - I've never even attempted a machine binding before!  So I Googled, "Machine Binding Tutorial" and Cluck, Cluck, Sew's tutorial was the first one to come up.  Since I love Allison's blog, I read through her tutorial a couple of times.  It seemed easy enough so I decided to give it a go.  Yeah.  I suck at machine bindings.  It's definitely something that takes time to perfect.  I ended up ripping it all out and sewing the whole thing on by hand.  

Yuck.  Props to you people that can do it. I need your tips.

Fabrics used: Summer House collection by Henry Glass, Lime Bunting from Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille for Moda, Ta Dot (color: Lips) from Michael Miller, plus a few other ones thrown in just for fun.  The black dot background is an Essential Dot from Moda.

Kits are available.  Just call 801-492-7929.

Happy quilting!
~ Amber