Saturday, October 30, 2010

LIfe is short- Pray Hard!

Hello! Stash Manicurists!

I am Hillbilly from Hillbilly Handiworks.
Please, feel free to call me "Hillbilly".
It's who I am!
You can visit my blog RIGHT HERE.

Upon the hill, sit a spell with me!~

When given the opportunity to be a guest blogger, 
I thought, what am I going to show you about my stash?
I am working on re-organizing,
and I bet you've NEVER seen it done this way before!!
But, sadly, it isn't ready for you to see quite yet.
So, I guess I'll have to come back at some later
 date and keep you in suspense until then!

So, I pondered....What to share? What to share?
A tutorial? No..I've some new ones in the works,
but they aren't ready either.
Then, I decided, that I  just had to share my
 most popular quilt story with you. 
Sit back, grab a box of tissues, and read along:

I would like to add, that you just never know
when someone enters your life what a lasting
impression they have on you...

Meet Logan

Logan was born December 27, 1990.
And when Logan came into this world...he had strength and determination from
 day one. The doctors said he wouldn't live more than 72 hours. Ha! He showed them!

Here is a picture of him and some of his buddies. I love this picture because they are all so young and cute!
One thing about Logan...he always was smiling! 
While contemplating this blog over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking of some of my favorite "Logan" memories. 
He LOVED church! I remember walking into the sanctuary once during the week, (when all was quiet around the church), and going to the back and sitting in a pew. The pastor would turn on the sound system and let Logan preach to his hearts content. You see, Logan wanted to be a preacher when he grew up. 
Another favorite memory is when I took the Sunday school class fishing. Only one person caught a fish. That one person was Logan, of course!
Here he is fishing with his grandparents:

Another favorite memory just makes me giggle. Logan was so excited because he was getting new wheels. Motorized wheels! I remember not long after, asking his mom how he liked them. She was so frazzled! Seems he liked those new fast wheels just fine! She, on the other hand, did not enjoy chasing him down the aisles at Wal-Mart. LOL, I can just see him speeding up and giggling, with her following telling him to slow down! 
Logan's parents are wonderful. 

One of Logan's favorite things to do was work with his dad on the farm. Harvest time was his favorite time when he could hang out with his dad on the grain truck. Him and his daddy were buds. For a time, I worked at our local small town convenience store. I just loved it when Logan and his dad would come into town for this or that. I would make people wait in line so I could go out and chat with him a moment and get a
 "Logan Smile Fix." 

When Logan got older, he got involved in high school band. He loved it! By this time, I had moved away from our home town, and I am so sad that I missed out on watching him play! 

Just recently I got the opportunity to make a quilt using all of Logan's favorite t-shirts, as well as a lot of his photos. (please excuse the 'hillbilly'watermark across the first photo.  I put it on there and I guess I no longer have to original to get it back off!)

(At this point I need to point out that yes, it is 'wrinkly'. This was done on a tight budget. When doing a t-shirt quilt, you should iron medium weight fusible interfacing on the back of each shirt. Since we have around 50 shirts here, that would have cost a pretty penny. Secondly, since it is front and back, --besides lacking the interfacing!-- we couldn't machine quilt it. I used a method of tacking it down that is similar to hand tyeing. You just use the machine to run a few short stitches where the ties would be. The quilt owner wasn't after perfection...just memories.)

While cutting and sewing Logan's T-shirts, one stood out to me more than any of the others:

You see, Logan went home to be with his Lord on March 29, 2008. He was 17 yrs old. 
I just have to wonder what Logan is doing right now? Greeting people as they enter heaven's gates, the same as he did every Sunday morning at church? Or, perhaps playing in Heaven's band? 
Whatever Logan's doing right now, you can be sure--he's smiling!!

I close with a reminder straight from Logan's T-shirt:

Life is Short. Pray Hard. Read the Book.

Friday, October 29, 2010

End of Month Giveaway...from Riley Blake Designs.

Yes it is that time of month...
 YOU-KNOW...time for 
A giveaway

AND because I am thrilled to announce
this fat quarter bundle is  from one of our sponsors

#1 I thought I would show you what is in this bundle.
21 fat quarters that just screams
Plenty of greens, browns, blues...well a perfect
collection for some wise wee boy quilt that is on your list..
( always nice to come across great designs for our boys)

And did you know they also have  these collections...?
NO, well let's go through some....
I chose today to highlight a few of them...

#2 I love this BE Merry collection...
just in time for a few place mats,
coffee rugs and or wall hangings...
#3 Will you look at this one called 
LOVE just has me singing
a melody, I can see this as a comfortable
lap quilt in the spring...

#4 Summer Song, is sew whimsical?
Now this reminds me of my garden
in the summer..full of color...
I can see this as rug..yes a rug...will show
you some a bit later..working on one..
Will have to make a request for some of this..
What do you think?
#5 And can we talk about this 
I just love it, love it..
I want to make what jodi
Hear that Riley Blake? 

Which collection do you prefer???
 Tell me which # is your preference...?
and you will be entered into this GIVEAWAY
Which collection do you like best...?
What would you make?

I have peeps who check...Yep! 

( check to see if your button is added
to the followers..if not, you will not
be registered)

ohhh and see that witch up there
Meet Witchsteria...she is yours too..
I designed her exclusively for you with this collection...
( I used to be a doll designer for those who may
not know that bit of tidbit)

Giveaway will take place on 
November 1st the same day
that our NEW November Blog will be revealed...
Reminder, it changes every month
from those who submitted their quilts..
5 were chosen...WAS IT YOURs?
wait and see, and also the winner for this Month's
will be announced...

And with appreciation and sincerity
Thank you RILEY BLAKE!
You keep us in stitches..

Edited to add:
 You need to be a follower with Google Friend Connect.
If you go into the right side bar, you will see follower. Just click to add yourself as a follower in this section. We obviously love subscribers, but you also need to be a follower.
Also, note that if you are set as anonymous, we don't know who you are.
So, you will miss out on a chance to win.
Make sure there is a way to contact you, especially if you ask a question.
This note was added by M. Samms weekend helper.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Don't Buy New Fabric!!....until I do!

I very recently (and publicly! Sheesh! What was I thinking!!??) announced a fabric buying moratorium at Cheaper than Therapy Quilting...much good it did, but I've been doing my best to do the "Stash Shopping" thing and make do with the mountains of fabric I already own.

My stash closet - or at least what you can see
with one door open, seated across the room!!
As I have 50 bazillion projects in the works (ha! you only think I'm exaggerating!), stash shopping makes good sense, but I have to have a loophole or two in my lay-off-the-shops!  (I've heard it said that one of the first signs of addiction is making "rules" that allow you to partake...  Hmmmm? Wonder what my addiction is!?! Starting things? Fabric? Shopping?....Like Scarlett O'Hara, I'll think about that tomorrow!!)

So here are my exceptions to my "no-buy" policy!! Use to your heart's content -- they are what help me sleep at night! LOL

1.  Invest in good background fabrics.

Topmost shelf in my closet!
Whether you are a scrappy aficionado or love all things coordinated, background fabrics are often the "glue" for a project.  I buy major yardage in background fabric.  I keep it all together in it's own little section of the closet, and I can audition fabrics with it by holding up a handful and seeing which one speaks to me. 
2.  Buy colors that are lacking in your stash (but be project specific)!

Clearly I'm an "earth tones" kinda gal. Greens, reds and golds, galore!!!  My sister asked me to make her the Baltimore Halloween Album quilt which she's gotten through a Block of the Month (You think I'm bad? She's not even a quilter! :-D).  Looking at it, I've decided I'd like one, too (why not!! It's another project to start! LOL)....I have all the fall colors you want, but NO purple. 

I have in my stash some fabulous hand-dyes from Liberty Homestead and Cherrywood that I think I'll use, but guess what colors they are!? NOT purple.  So I gave myself permission to purchase some purple and handdyes to go-along with what's in my stash!

3.  Get out of your color rut!! 

Kaffe fabric I've added for the
Roseville Album quilt

Since I've been doing the same-o, same-o for as long as I can remember (earth tones, and repros and what not!), I have recently felt the need to break the mold (mold is very bad for you!!). 

Following the brave, daring quilters over at Glorious Applique, I'm trying some of that glorious color myself.  Again, I turned to my stash to see what I have -- and I've added to it.

4.  Make room in your stash by GIVING!

Over the years, I've accumulated seven tons of fabric (you only think I'm exaggerating! Again! LOL) -- some of which I've used or sold or cut up for scrap bins.  The most satisfying use of fabric that's not been or being used is to give it away.

Gifts for blogging friends!
I open my closet to quilty friends ("What color do you need!?"), to charities, to projects for people in need, to new quilters who are afraid they'll get bitten by the addiction! :-D  I try to bless others who've been a blessing to me.  When I teach, I open my bins and say, "If there's something you can use, take it as my gift to you!"  All that is passed along to others give me license to explore new possibilities!  I have faith that the "perfect" fabric that gets passed along to someone else will come back to me again in an unexpected blessing or a cool shopping expedition.

Scripture tells us "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more." (Luke 12:48b NASB)  Heaven forbid my family gets profiled on some reality show because my stash took over the house!!! :-D  Use it or lose it, I say!

So, yes. A fabric buying moratorium. With exceptions that I can live with!  Maybe you can, too!

Thanks so much(!), Madame Samm, for the wonderful privilege of adding my $0.02 worth here!! It's been such a hoot!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My name is Loris and yes I am a Fabric Addict too!

It is always difficult to be one of the first to admit it. Ok, Madame Samm and Amy did that yesterday among quite a few of you according to the comments. And I am here today to share....

I am Loris and you can find me here!

I kind of feel like I'm here by accident but I will hope to add to this already great discussion of Stash Manicures. Thank you Madame Samm for inviting me!
As most of us find, creative ideas abound in the quilting community and inspiration is everywhere. I think I find most of my inspiration for quilting in fabric. I love it! I have loved fabric so much that it has come home with me and taken up more and more room. This is good...and bad. With so much fabric in my stash, it has become difficult to see what I actually have when I want to use it. For example:

 Too much stuff all mixed together...especially in that brown box on the right...what is that?  Fat quarters completely covered up. Sad.
To the rescue are other quilters who have come before me.  I followed Quiltville's advice and folded fabrics to end up relatively the same configuration and stacked them according to colorways so I could see what I had in color.

It's getting messier on those lower shelves but this is such a huge improvement. I can actually access what I have.  The drawer is a more recent manicure. Fortunately, I don't have before pictures because it was too scary.  So scary that when I pulled out the upper drawer to remove broke and fell.  I was saved by my DH going to the cabinet maker who had another metal sliding rod for the drawer and the whole thing was repaired-can't even tell now :-)  So I learned. Don't overfill!

In this same 'manicure' session, I sorted out another problem. I have a novelty fabric problem. I have been in recovery for some time now which doesn't mean I'm getting rid of what I have...but just that I'm trying not to buy more....except of course for the bees fabric I found at PIQF a couple of weeks ago. 

 So in those wonderful plastic bins you can purchase almost anywhere...I sorted the animal fabric into dogs, cats, farm animals, wild animals, Debbie Mumm fabric with Noah, DM with Noah at Christmas, DM and the pet got a little embarrassing. But I found places for those plastic bins in my clothes closet where else... I lost interest in new clothes ages ago. Fabric collecting has been so much more fun!

Now, labeling these might also be helpful as Teresa recently mentioned but I haven't gotten around to it because I've already been inspired to actually use some of this wonderful stash of mine.  With the recent Fall-o-ween blog hop, there were patterns shown and inspiration to follow.  I liked a little table topper from New Leaf Stitches and was able to pull out fabrics and stitch it right up. Here is my progress on the hand work so far.

I am enjoying my new found improved access to my stash and am making faster progress in being able to use it I can buy more and also to avoid S.T.A.B.L.E. (stash acquired beyond life expectancy)! My goal is to actually use up enough to be able to bring those plastic bins back into my sewing room. Don't know what to put in the clothes closet....Maybe quilts! 

Yes my name is Loris and I am a Fabric Addict!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival and you know you are a Quilt Addict if...

Hi there Stash Manicure readers!  This is not your typical Stash Manicure post, I do not have an amazing stash to reveal, however, I want to help give your quilts more exposure!  I would love for you to participate in the fourth Blogger's Quilt Festival (BQF).  It's the biggest online Quilt Festival, and it doesn't matter your skill level or how many quilts you've made BQF is for everyone.  You can find all the details on my blog, but Madame Samm thought it would be good to share a few here too-- 

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

To Participate : : 
1 – Write a new post (old posts will be deleted).  Share one quilt, and it’s story.  Why you made it, why it is special to you, what you learned about quilting/yourself while making it.  The quilt doesn’t have to be brand new, never seen before on your blog – show what you like!
2 – In your post link back to the festival (posts without a link will also be deleted).  You can do this with a button, just copy and paste the code into your post, if all else fails.
3 – Share a link to your post, in the linky – be sure to post to that specific post please.  
4 – Leave me a comment to be entered into giveaways.  
5 – Visit all the other quilters sharing their quilts and be inspired!

 Did I mention that there are prizes?  I have arranged giveaways with fabulous sponsors, and anyone that participates will be entered to win.  Just come play!
Here's a small group of the amazing quilts shared last spring:

BQF Pool
With nearly 700 participants it's hard to collect just a few, maybe your's will be there this time around!  Look for the festival this Friday, October 29th.   
I hope to see you there~

Editors note here...from Madame's Samm desk.

 When I saw this on Amy's blog, I wanted to include this because I think we at Stash Manicure are certainly deemed  quilt something right? and YES my name is Madame Samm and I am an addict...

I made up this cartoon reflecting perhaps all of our answers...mmmm

If you can answer yes to any one of these, you are an addict!
  1. Your grayest day is suddenly great, when you receive fabric in the mail.
  2. You regularly entertain the thought of getting a wholesale account with one or more fabric manufacturers.
  3. You follow (stalk) designer blogs, and talk with friends about a line that won’t be out for months.
  4. You visit your local quilt shop and can easily name every collection available, and know more than the lady cutting about upcoming lines.
  5. You have vivid dreams about attending Quilt Market.  (I don’t ever remember dreams….this one I did!)
Are you an addict?  How many did you a YES to?
Amy and I both got 5 out of 5..does that make us winners??? lol

Monday, October 25, 2010

Scrappy is my M.O. (means of operation)

Well hello again Stash Manicurists! It's Penny from sewtakeahike. I appreciate Stash Manicure for having me here today. Always nice to share something with all of you.

As you may know, scrappy is my M.O., and today, I would like to share with you how to organize, and then how to pare down that scrap pile with a great improv project.

First, here's a shot for you of my "organized" scraps. I have a separate cubby for each color (except black and purple, which I don't use often). And do you see that green bag hanging there? It contains my very small scraps that I can't bring myself to toss.

And now on to the curved piecing tutorial.

I made this pillow from my first set of 4 improv curved pieced blocks.

But really, the possibilities are endless, you could make so many things with these blocks!

Here's how to make them!

Step 1: choose your fabrics

Step 2: Cut a 90 degree angle on one side and a gentle curve on the other side of your first (and) corner piece of fabric and lay it on top of the second piece. Cut along the curve, with the right side of both fabrics facing up.

Step 3: Flip the first fabric over and align the beginning of the curve of the first piece to the area of the curve of the second piece where they fit together, with right sides facing.

Step 4a: Using a 1/4 inch foot with a guide (do you see that metal plate on the right side of the foot? That's the guide. My Bernina dealer sells the 1/4 inch foot with or without the guide), start sewing a 1/4 inch seam , bringing the edge of the fabrics together as you move down the curve. (think about how a pair of scissors works. As you pull the handles together, the edges of each blade come together, but only at one point. That's how the edges of the curved fabrics will be sewn together.)

Step 4b: This is how the fabrics will look after the seams have been sewn, but before pressing.

4c: Seam after pressing.

Step 5a: Lay your square template on top of the newly pieced fabrics so the square tip is placed over the square tip of the fabric.

Step 5b: Trim your fabric edges so they overlap the square template by about 1/4 inch (I do this to make sure I have a big enough square to trim it precisely in the end) and cut an improv curve along the edge of the second piece.

Repeat the last part of step 2 with your next fabric:

Repeat steps 3-5b over with new scrap pieces until the pieced fabric is big enough to cut the size square you'd like.

Once you have pieced enough scraps together, trim your square to the size you'd like.

And there you have it. Improv curved seams are really simple and forgiving.
You could make several of these and make a quilt, or make a tiny set of 4 for a potholder, so many possibilities!
Happy, happy Monday to you!! Love to hear from you.