I'm glad to get to share my little bit on the Stash Manicure blog. I'm honored and grateful for the opportunity so thank you to you ALL and especially to Madame Samm! When I took up quilting in 1980, all other crafts went by the wayside. Do you have any idea how much fabric one can accumulate in 30 years of quilting? In the early years, quilt shops were few & far between. We bought fabric where ever we could find it, and we bought enough to use it for a backing if it was a good print-- a good 10 yards! If not, we bought 2 yards if we just thought it was good, and 3 yards if we really liked it! And actually, I still use kind of the same formula. That makes for a lot of fabric.
I scheduled a sew-in during a June Saturday Sale in the lot behind the Farmer's Market in our town. I was hoping to entice lots of people to try making one. As it turned out, a couple of ladies did come to help, and a teenager from the booth next to ours did sit-n-sew, her first time ever! And that's what we want isn't it, to get the younger generation involved in the FUN of quilting? YES!
So think about it.... 70 yards of fabric. Shouldn't that have made a dent in my stash? It did make some room in a few drawers so that I could put away some of the other fabrics lying around. But you can't tell there's much difference in my studio. You DO know, don't you, that "studio" is just another name for the double car garage that I took over-- it's just a fancy name but it sounds better than "I sew out in the garage!" Originally, my fabrics were stacked on a metal shelf rack. I found that didn't protect the fabric well enough so I purchased plastic I'm a long arm quilter since 1995 and 3 years ago I took the Square in a Square Certification class with Jodi Barrows. That gave me the opportunity to teach a specific quilting technique and at the guild meetings & classes , I had notions, fabrics, patterns, books and kits for sale. Remember that stash that had built up since 1980? Now add in all the stuff I was prepared to sell and the fabrics for making kits! and the backings for people's quilts that I quilted! Can you say chaotic studio? Stuff everywhere! I'd show you a picture- I did actually take a picture several months ago but it was so embarrassing that I immediately deleted it. But what's a girl to do? If I had stopped to take time to organize, I wouldn't have had time to sew!
drawer sets and filed the fabrics by color group.
Enter stage left a fellow quilter for whom organization comes as easily as eating. She's been coming periodically to straighten up the room and now I can even see some flat surfaces! Little by little the studio is taking shape. In return, I get to quilt some of her quilt tops-- what better deal could there be, I ask you! She even straightened up the scrap basket!
Oh, you won't really "git 'er done", will you? Well, yes! I intend to ! It might not be until the new year because just like you, there are LOTS of projects in the works already! Here's an example, though, of a scrap quilt that started with just 5" squares from the scrap pile:
These really are just scraps. They're pieces that I intend to cut up with the GO! and make scrap quilts, and lots of the pieces in the plastic drawers will end up that way as well. I'm really looking forward to getting this cutting done.
I hope you have a GO! or take the opportunity to "get a GO!"
You know they've come out with a BABY GO!
I saw the Baby Go at Market over the weekend. It's quite stable and uses any of the GO! dies that are 6" wide or less. It's more affordable than the bigger GO! It's also portable so that you & a friend could party while using it together! Plus, there are new software packages for embroidery machines so that the applique shapes that you might cut can be stitched-- very fancy, I might add-- without having to manipulate the project all around the sewing machine.
OR--------- you might want to try the easy applique way that I've been using lately. I've
known "how" to do this for many years but
had let it slip way back in my worn-out memory!
were just cut with the dies, NO fusible, then I touched with the Sew-Line glue stick
just enough to hold it still while I did the freehand stitching around the edges. Oh- you've never tried that before? Please visit Kellie Wulfsohn's blog to investigate her lovely patters and method for doing just this! Here's her blog address: http://dontlooknow.typepad.com/ . Lots of
my colorful scraps will be used as flowers & leaves in patterns such as hers. I'm quite sure you'll be seeing more of her great designs very soon!
So-------what really are valuable "tips" to share here? 1st, have a great quilting buddy to HELP YOU!
2nd, consider the GO! products,
and 3rd, consider projects that use mixed fabrics- all colors and patterns. Just be sure to add some zingers like purple and bubble-gum-pink while locating methods that make the whole process easier & faster! Immediate rewards go a long ways toward keeping us sewing!
.........oh yes, 4th --- don't buy quite so much! These little samples and some quilting thread from Superior Threads is ALL I BOUGHT at the Sample Spree at Market last Friday night!