Quilty Blogs, part 1

I feel like a four-year old girl when it comes to this blog: trying on one look after another.  Maybe this one will settle in, and I’ll like it.

It’s been a long slog through this semester, and sewing time has all but evaporated along with blogging time. I do find it therapeutic to sit at night when I’m beyond tired and look through quilting blogs.  I thought I’d list some here.

I think many quilty blogs these days are all about commerce–selling something–whether it be a book, or fabric lines, or something else.  I like these blogs because it keeps me updated on what’s happening in the quilt world.  Others are blogs that started out with quilting for pleasure and then as the quilter matured in their craft, blossomed into a commercial enterprise.  And the last category are those like me: Quilters who Blog.  Nothing to sell.

For today, it’s Quilting Commerce Blogs.

Anna Maria Horner. She just recently had her sixth child, and her blog is a combination of family life, personal memories and experiences and displaying her fabric lines, a mix of the exotic and the sublime. She blogs from Nashville, Tennessee.

Fabricworm. This blog is from a shop in Paso Robles on the Central California Coast.  Cynthia Mann stocks organic fabrics (her own line: Birch Fabrics) plus many other imports, as well as domestics.

i have to say is from Randi, who runs an ETSY shop, Fresh Squeezed Fabrics. I have ordered from her before and it always arrives quickly.  She stocks a lot of the modern lines in her shop, but her blog is a mix of her personal and quilting life. (Photo use pending permission.)

Me and My Sister. I first started following them (yes, they are two sisters) at Road to California, when they launched their first fabric line and handed out quilt patterns on CD-roms (which I still have).  They live in Arizona, have had many more launches since then, and create bright and airy fabric designs.

Material Obsession is a blog from Australia.  Once, when Dave and I were contemplating a trip Down Under, this was one of the reasons I wanted to go.  I know, pathetic, but that’s how it is with quilters. My latest obsession with them is their ongoing Lollypop Quilt kits, and I love seeing how they combine their Aboriginal fabrics with densely patterned Kaffe Fassett prints into fabulous, richly colored quilts.

Pink Chalk Studio. I’ve followed Kathy Mack for a while–strictly a fabric mail-order business, but she has lots of good sewing tips, ideas, and when she goes to Market–lots of giveaways. (Market is being held this week, so check back to her blog to see if she has some giveaways.)

More later, but I’m stopping because it’s Halloween.  Here’s my Halloween, Day of the Dead creation.  It was a guild challenge to use a theme and certain fabrics.  The “before” is with all everything thrown on, much like those curbside memorials with lots of stuff.  The theme was Black and White and . . . .  and I chose “Black and White and Dead All Over,” not because I’m morbid, but because the theme’s deadline was in October.  I wanted a Day of the Dead Altar.

When I got it back from the quilt show (it was shown at the Quilters Unlimited Quilt Show in Virginia) I decided it was too gucked up.  So I stripped it down, found some milagros–those silver charms that people pin to the skirts of the Saints in churches–and tried a different version.  I kept the Catarina, the Walt Whitman quote about death, and the angel flying off the edge.  Kept the chocolate ribbons (from a candy shop in Salt Lake City that’s now defunct), though.  Speaking of chocolate. . . Have a spooky night!

Selvages

I did some recreational shopping last week when my husband was out of town.  It was after grading/prepping for hours and hours and I just sat and enjoyed looking at all the fabrics at Sew, Mama, Sew. (I like them because they’ll still sell you a quarter of a yard.)  That night it was that familiar feeling–too tired to move, but not too tired to click and shop.

The fabrics arrived today, and I’ll take a photo of the stash builder tomorrow, but first, tonight, I wanted to show you two interesting selvages.  In case you’ve been under a rock or something, selvages–that woven strip along the edge of fabric–is the New Hot Thing.  When I slashed off multiple selvages to send to Cindy at Live a Colorful Life, I was working from the very bottom of my stash and found lots of interesting selvages to send to her for her pincushions.  In those days, the printing on selvages was used for identification, and color registration.  The manufacturer would check to make sure the dots on the selvage lined up, so the pattern in the fabric would line up.

But look what they’re doing now!  The top row of registration dots are actually little scissors.  This is the new City Weekend, by Oliver + S.  They have little scissors on all the fabrics–if there are more colors, there are more dots.

And the bottom is a row of little apples, from a Moda alphabet fabric, Wee Woodland. And it’s even on sale!! (Why do you think I bought it?)

 

 

 

Christmas Star Quilt Binding is On

Finished!

Every six months our church has a conference they broadcast over the internet, and I take time to sit and ponder and listen, but I’m better off if I keep my hands busy while I work.  This year, I worked on two quilts.  Getting the binding sewn on the Christmas Star quilt was a priority, for we’re in October now and we all know what that means: December is tomorrow (or feels like it).

I had read Red Pepper’s blog about the way she does her corners–up and around in one continuous piece.  I’d never been really happy with this method as so many quilt corners done like this are slightly rounded, not a pristine sharp-edge tip.  So I decided to try giving the corner a scootch more room.  The instructions, shown in the crazy mom quilts tutorial, fold back the corner.  I decided to fold it back four or five threads more, as shown above by the teensy lip near the pin, then continued my stitching down the edge.

I was really happy with this.  It gave it just enough room to make a nice tight, sharp corner, rather than the usual rounded one that can happen with this method.

This is the back of the corner, and if you look closely, you can see my stitches going up the back of the miter to anchor the corner.  I still hand sew around the binding, but the way the old fingers are creaking with aches and pains from arthritis, maybe I’d either better stop grading so much, or learn to sew it on by machine!

Anyway, I still have to do the label, but I consider this done enough to throw it on the bed come December 1st.  I just hope that at that point, our heat wave will be long gone.