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Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 16 Blog Tour

A big Texas “Howdy!” to all y’all stopping by for the blog tour fun!  I’m so glad you’re here!

If you’re a new visitor to The Caffeinated Quilter, let me introduce myself.  I’m Emily Breclaw, a pattern designer, C&T author, coffee fanatic, quilter, and board gamer. Most of the time, I’m a hand piecer, because, well, five kids means not a lot of dedicated time at the sewing machine, but lots of moments waiting in cars, sitting at sports events, and at the kitchen table helping with homework. Quilting means that no matter how busy the day gets, I can still carve out a little time to make something every day.

Today I’m excited to be sharing with you a super fun and fast little English paper pieced block, Diamond Wreath. I made this block entirely by hand during a road trip last year visiting family for Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the portability of EPP, and this design is just plain fun to stitch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The four little yo-yo’s can be holly berries if you do them in red like the sample block.  Or if you celebrate Advent, you can easily turn this into an Advent wreath by making 3 purple yo-yo’s and one pink.  That’s on my to-do list for this year.

 

Diamond wreath table topper

I also super-sized this block, using 3” diamonds, to make a fun table decoration.  This version is all hand pieced, and uses black diamonds to finish off the background, instead of the background square of fabric as explained in the magazine block. If you want to make your own, you can follow along with these images. . . I cut 24 black diamonds for the background. Please note that this is NOT the same piecing sequence as the magazine block.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, I haven’t quilted and bound this yet, but I hope to in time for Christmas.  If you want to see quilting and finished pictures, follow me on IG.

Do you love EPP and hand piecing? Or are you more of a machine stitcher?  Either way, if you want to learn more about sewing hexagons, please check out my book, Adventures in Hexagons.  I cover all the basics of sewing hexies using English paper piecing, hand-sewing, or machine sewing.

Thank you so much for stopping by on your virtual road trip! Before you go, please leave a comment below and tell me your favorite place to visit in the whole wide world.  I’ll randomly pick one winner to receive a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks volume 16. My favorite place, and where I would go if I could choose to live anywhere, would be Yokosuka, Japan.  I spent two weeks there in high school, and was so inspired by the culture.  Plus, it’s close to Tokyo, where Yoko Saito’s Quilt Party store is located.  Are you a fan of Yoko Saito too?  Be sure to subscribe to the blog and newsletter, I attended several events with her this past month at Quilt Market, and I’m preparing a bunch of blog posts about it (just need to organize the 177 photos I took!)

 

EDIT:  If you don’t see the comment form below, please click on the title of this post, and then scroll to the end of the post. I apologize for the inconvenience, not sure why WordPress is acting this way all of a sudden.  A huge thank you to the folks who brought this to my attention by e-mailing me!

Happy Stitching!!

 

Loverly Quilt-a-Long Week 5- Wrap-up!

Welcome back to the Loverly Quilt-a-Long! If you’re new to the series, please check out the previous posts (cuttingpiecingpiecing rows,  pressing). You can find the pattern for the quilt in my book, Adventures in Hexagons.

Today we’re wrapping up the series.  I’m not quite finished with mine yet, as you can see by the binding clips.  But I really wanted to hand-sew these bindings, so it’s taking me a little longer to finish. Here’s both of my Loverly versions I’ve been working on, plus the original.  Isn’t it fun to see how color changes the look of a quilt?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the fall color version, I stitched an allover leaf pattern.  It was so fun to stitch out, and an open enough design that I could avoid seam intersections easily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my patriotic version, I quilted free-form feathers.  This was my first real attempt at quilting feathers, so I’m glad I used a subtle colored thread. But overall, I’m tickled with how it turned out. It definitely kept the theme of the fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How is your Loverly turning out? Please post pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #loverlytablerunner, and tag me @thecaffeinatedquilter. You can also join the Adventures in Hexagons facebook group and post pictures there.  I love seeing your creations!!  Thanks for sewing along with me!

Stay tuned to the blog over the next couple of weeks, I’ve got some special Market updates to share with you (warning: it’s almost all about Yoko Saito.  My goal is to make the blog posts feel as if you were actually at her schoolhouse sessions and the evening event with her.) And next week will be my stop on the Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks blog tour, so lots of giveaway fun there.

 

Happy Stitching!!!

 

Loverly Quilt-a-Long Week 4- Preparing to Quilt

Welcome back to the Loverly Quilt-a-Long! If you’re new to the series, please check out the previous posts (cutting, piecing, piecing rows,  pressing). You can find the pattern for the quilt in my book, Adventures in Hexagons. This week we’re talking about quilting your table runner, and next week we’ll wrap up the series with some photo finishes! And after that, I can start telling you all about Quilt Market. It will be the return of the Japanese Quilting Study Group series. I met Yoko Saito, and boy, do I have a lot of wonderful information and images to share with you!

But for today, let’s focus on Loverly.  We will meet our goal of finishing before Christmas! Last week I said I was curious whether hand or machine piecing really was faster. I sewed the rows of the orange version together by machine, and it took me 40 minutes to sew two entire rows. Hand-piecing on the blue one took me 40 minutes for one row. So, for me at least, machine piecing is twice as fast. However, I have to note that it took three days before I had a 40 minute block of time to sit at my sewing machine, by which time I had finished several of the rows in “found moments” by hand. Food for thought!

 

I’ve been thinking long and hard about quilting designs.  I quilted the original Loverly in curliques, and I love the flexibility of that pattern (i.e.- you can avoid big seam intersections pretty easily, as I did in this close-up shot. If you can avoid quilting through those star points, do!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lately I’ve been having fun with big pebble quilting, so that’s a contender, but doesn’t really seem to fit the piece. . .. .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These blues look so romantic, I’m tempted to go all swirly on this one. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaves would be a challenge for me, but they would help tie the fall-themed fabrics together. . ..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many fun choices! What are your favorite quilting designs? Be sure to check out my Instagram feed for progress pictures as I start quilting these this week. (not on Instagram? No worries- the bottom of my shop page always shows the most recent posts, so you can see them there too!) And next week, we’ll have a finishing party. Wahoo!

Happy Stitching!!

 

Reflections on Hurricane Harvey

This has certainly been an intense week!  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been glued to facebook, searching for news and updates on friends and family.  Most of my family lives on the gulf coast, either in Corpus Christi or Houston.  Having lived both places myself, it has been all the more unsettling to see familiar places underwater.  Thankfully, everyone we know is okay.  Not all of their homes are, but the people are.  For that, I am very, very grateful.

Seems like just last year I was posting about flooding in Louisiana that impacted my husband’s family.  I don’t think I ever posted pictures of the six quilts we made for kiddos in our family who lost their homes, but here is how they turned out:

Just one month ago, we went with my husband’s family for a quick vacation on the beach in Port Aransas. That city is completely gone.  I’m heartsick for all the people who called that city home, and can’t imagine what they must be going through, as they literally seek to rebuild their lives from the ground up.

 

I know as quilters, we often turn to fabric in crazy times like these, creating with our time and our hands a special keepsake to show loved ones, and even complete strangers, how much we love them and are thinking of them.  Seeing all the posts on instagram of quilt drives for those affected by the storms heartens me. That’s the magic of quilts.  You can channel all of your well-wishing, heart sickness and empathy into a gift that the recipient immediately recognizes as having incredible value.  It’s not just money, or essentials, it’s a warm, snuggly treasure they can wrap themselves up in and feel loved. Times like these, I’m proud to be a quilter. Glad to have something to contribute.

Speaking of contributing, I wanted to do something more this time around to help out.  So for now, through the entire month of September, you can buy my Going Places Tote Bag through my online store for $2.  All of that $2 will go to a reputable charity in the South Texas area working to help people rebuild.

 

I hope that you make the tote bag.  Make it for yourself to show your support of Texas. Make it for someone you know who has gone through the storms, as a reminder of our strong state spirit and beloved wildflowers. Fill it with little essential items and pass it on through one of the donation collection facilities.  For an afternoon’s sewing, you can remind someone that we will get through this, together.

 

If you want to make quilts like I made for the kiddos in Louisiana, I used this pattern from Me and My Sister Designs. It’s quick, easy, and a great scrap buster.

I hope your weekend is filled with time to sew.  Here in North Texas, people are going a little crazy over a non-existent gas shortage.  So instead of waiting at the pumps in insanely long lines, I’m going to stay home and stitch.  That’s a great way to conserve gas, don’t you think?

Happy Stitching, my friends!

 

Adventures in Hexagons- Blog Tour Conclusion and GIVEAWAY!

Hello! What an exciting couple of weeks! I hope you all enjoyed the blog tour and met some new friends. I am overwhelmed by the fantastic response, and wanted to thank each of you who participated in the tour, by writing posts, commenting on the blogs, following on Facebook and Instagram. . . you guys rock!

Design Possibilities with Adventures in Hexagons

In case you missed the Instagram takeover, I wanted to share one image of a class plan I developed for use with Adventures in Hexagons. It’s called Hello, Rosy.  If you’re a shop owner, you can find the directions for this wallhanging on the C&T website.  If you’re a quilter, please ask about it at your favorite local quilt store.

Bright hexagon wallhanging featuring a bouquet of brightly colored flowers and leaves

Also, here’s a fun little quilt I made to show how easy it is to change the scale of the quilts presented in the book.  It’s called mini-Starburst. I made it following the layout diagrams for the Starburst quilt featured on the cover of the book, but using two alternate blocks. This pattern is not included in the book, however, a layout diagram for it is featured in the Design Primer. I won’t say this was a quick finish, but it kept me busy during lots of volleyball practices and piano lessons!

mini-Starburst quilt, featuring blue, orange, white and pink colors, from the book Adventures in Hexagons

 

At the start of the tour, I mentioned a freebie pattern for a block that works with all the others in Adventures in Hexagons.  It’s called Sea Star, and you can download it by signing up for my newsletter, on the right side of this page.

Sea Star mug rug pattern, blue and cream hexagons, free pattern by Emily Breclaw

Stay tuned for more Adventures!

Seeing everyone’s perspectives on Adventures in Hexagons has been so much fun! I just don’t want the party to end with the blog tour. So I’ve created a special facebook page for the book.  Please like and follow to share in even more Adventures! I’m planning a Loverly quilt along, starting in September, so you have plenty of time to get the book before it starts. We will be sharing tips and progress photos during the quilt-a-long on Facebook and Instagram, but you’ll be able to get all the information about the project right here on the blog. Here’s a sneak peek of one of the color options I’m working on for the quilt-a-long:

blue and red hexagons showing an alternate colorway for the Loverly quilt pattern

 

giveaway time!!

We’re giving away a copy of Adventures in Hexagons today too!!  Please comment below for a chance to win: what was your favorite stop on the tour?  I’ll randomly draw a winner on Tuesday, August 8.

Cover image of the Book, Adventures in Hexagons, by Emily Breclaw

 

Happy Stitching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Of course, wordpress would choose today to mess up commenting abilities.  If you don’t see the comment availability below, please click on the title of the post, and then scroll down again, the comments should be available there.  I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience!!

Playing with the Sizzix Big Shot Pro

Well, helllloooo friends! Long time no post, I know.  Spring Market, end-of-school and start of summer have all blended together in my world for one heaping pile of craziness.  I hope you’re following along with me on Instagram and Facebook.  I actually posted a couple of Facebook Live videos during Market (with the hubby’s help!), and I’ve been trying to post a little progress to Instagram daily.  Sometimes those quick and easy networks are more manageable than a full fledged blog post.

And most of my time on the computer has been spent working with a web designer to set up my very own online store! How cool is that?  I had no idea how much time it would take to format images and get everything all set up just perfectly, but stay tuned!  It should be live in a couple of weeks, and I’m just delighted with how it’s working.

But for today, I wanted to share a little bit about a new tool that’s been invaluable to me lately.  At schoolhouse, I attended a couple of presentations about new Sizzix dies.  I was so thrilled when I won Kid Giddy’s new doll backpack die! Seriously, it’s the cutest little backpack ever.  But the die’s not made for my little Sizzix Big Shot.  So what’s a girl to do? After much deliberation, I decided to “go big or go home” as we say in Texas.  I bought a Sizzix Big Shot Pro. And the two new Kid Giddy doll clothes dies.  And a rag quilting die for good measure.

 

Now I’m making backpacks for all the Our Generation dolls in the house (of which there are 8!)  And, a backpack for kiddo #5.  He wants one in black for his toy lion. My oldest daughter has been making doll clothes with the other two dies.  She’s made a top and a pair of shorts already!

 

Another doll backpack finished! I quilted the fabric for this one before assembing, and I love the extra sturdiness.

A post shared by Emily Breclaw (@thecaffeinatedquilter) on

The next backpack in progress– love that you can run a quilt sandwich through this die to make a quilted backpack.

And that rag quilting die?  I wasn’t sure if it would work well.  When you run fabric through the die cutter, the square comes out ALREADY FRINGED. Then you just layer with batting, sew an “X” through the layers, and sew together like any other rag quilt.  Then you toss it in the wash and YOU’RE DONE!!  No hours spent cutting the fringe along every single seam.  I’m not kidding.  It’s that easy.  I spent two hours on this baby quilt.

This die might actually help me make a dent in all my boxes of fabrics that people have given me to make quilts for others.  And it will certainly help with culling my bins of batting scraps.  From now on, I’m just going to precut batting scraps that are too small for other projects into 6” squares for rag quilts.

Now, of course, I’m wondering what other dies may make my cutting life easier.  I might need to get the one for cutting 2 1/2” squares, those seem to be the most used scrap shape in my studio. Do you have a die cutter?  What are your go-to shapes for it? I’m also looking for recommendations for a permanent table for this machine.  It’s currently sitting on the dining room table, and that’s not the sturdiest set-up.

Happy Stitching!!

Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop

Hello, and welcome to the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop, hosted by the vivacious Cheryl Sleboda! I’m so glad you’re here. Right now, my studio is an explosion of quilt market preparations, a  t-shirt quilt, and an applique quilt UFO from my grandmother. While I thrive in creative mess, this was getting out of hand.  So I’ve been spending a lot of time procrastinating (read: playing online video games) instead of creating. Yea for blog hop motivation!

Here’s a before picture of the studio.  Not much like the lovely clean-up that I posted about in January, is it? (oh, dear. . .actually it looks a LOT like January’s before picture!)

 

Cleaning Tasks

I tend to cover horizontal spaces (like the floor, and my midarm table) when I’m working through projects.  One of my big goals is to keep the midarm table free for basted quilts ONLY. Because when a project is sitting where it belongs, I keep working on it.  When the table is buried in projects, I don’t quilt much.

My second major cleaning task was piecing the t-shirt quilt. Yea for clear floors!

As I was cleaning, I found two of my daughters’ dresses in a pile, needing mending.  So I sat down, mended them, and put them away where they belonged.

Finally, I cleared my cutting table.

So, two days of clean-up (one to piece the t-shirt quilt, and one to wander around, tidying and vacuuming), and now my studio looks like this:

 

Keep it Clean!

Ahh.  Much better. Putting a quilt on the midarm table served two purposes:  a reminder to keep other stuff off the table, and an incentive to quilt that blue quilt, because I need those pins to baste the t-shirt quilt.  Hah!

Confession: behind this camera angle of a neat and tidy studio is an ironing board, piled high with two Quilt Market projects, the t-shirt quilt top with border and backing fabric, and the applique quilt pieces. Fortunately, Cheryl said it was perfectly okay if the entire studio wasn’t cleaned. At least now enough of my workspaces are clear enough for me to get back to work and make some good progress.

Thank you so much for tagging along with my little spring cleaning.  If you’d like tips on how to organize a studio space, be sure to check out the January clean-up post I mentioned earlier.  That included my sources for fabric folding solutions, a great way to hang rulers, and some fun tricks to help motivate you to organize your sewing space. If you’re new to the Caffeinated Quilter, please join in with all my adventures by subscribing to the blog, and/or following me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest. Finally, be sure to check out all the other stops on the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog tour listed below. What’s your favorite tip for keeping a clean studio?

Happy Stitching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 1 – Teri Lucas – www.terificreations.com
May 2 – Tammy Silvers – www.tamarinis.typepad.com
May 3 – Emily Breclaw – www.thecaffeinatedquilter.com (You are here!)
May 4 – Amalia Morusiewicz – www.FUNfromAtoZ.com
May 5 – John Kubiniec – www.bigrigquilting.com/blog/
May 6 – Debby Brown – www.higheredhands.blogspot.com
May 7 – Melissa Marie Collins – www.melissamariecollins.blogspot.com
May 8 – Delve MIY – www.fronddesignstudios.wordpress.com
May 9 – Misty Cole – www.mistycole.com
May 10 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com/blog
May 11 – Dale Ashera-Davis – www.dalead.wordpress.com
May 12 – Sara Mika – www.mockpiestudio.blogspot.com
May 13 – Sarah Trumpp – www.Wonderstrumpet.com
May 14 – Carma Halterman – www.beanstrings.blogspot.com
May 15 – Jessica Darling – www.jessicakdarling.com
May 16 – Lisa Chin – www.lisachinartist.com
May 17 – Sally Johnson – www.sallysquiltingcorner.blogspot.com
May 18 – Mandy Leins – www.mandalei.com/blog
May 19 – Shruti Dandekar – www.13woodhouseroad.com
May 20 – Jane Davila – www.janedavila.com
May 21 – Ebony Love – www.lovebugstudios.com
May 22 – Cheryl Sleboda – blog.muppin.com

Introducing Meteor Shower

Well helllooo there! Another lapse in blogging, although this one’s not entirely my fault.  I upgraded portions of my website, which resulted in me being locked out of my site for days. No fun.  But now, I think, all is well again.  And I know more about websites than I did before.

If you follow me on IG, you know something crazy awesome happened.  The advance copy of my book, Adventures in Hexagons, arrived in my mailbox.  Holding that book in my hot little hands was an amazing experience.  Seeing the little details, like a tiny hexagon on the binding, made me ridiculously happy. It sounds silly.  I know every word and image in that book forwards, backwards, and sideways.  But somehow, seeing it all real and finished and bound, was like seeing it new all over again.

It should be shipping to stores in May, and I hope you love it as much as I do. (By the way, I just looked up the book listing on Amazon so I could link it for you and it’s on sale with a $10 discount at the moment.  You can also look inside it and see more of the book from that page now.  How fun is that?)

 

Today I wanted to introduce you to another quilt from the book, Meteor Shower.  This is a wallhanging size quilt.  It’s one that really shows off how you can play with shapes within hexagons.  See how the yellow and orange diamonds touch point-to-side?  It’s all about placement within larger block boundaries.

I’m especially proud of this quilt because I quilted it myself.  It’s not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but I really transcended my allover-quilting comfort zone and went custom on this one.

 

So what’s new in your world? Are you starting any exciting projects?  Have you seen something on pinterest that captured your imagination and made you want to learn a new technique? Besides prepping for Quilt Market, I’m kind of in a zone of finishing projects right now.  It needs to be done, but I’m also kind of ready to find something new and fun to play around with.  Any suggestions?

 

Happy Stitching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS- I’ve created a new pinterest board to feature quilts people have made with my patterns.  If you’ve made one, will you comment below, or send me an e-mail with pictures?  I’d love to include your work!!

 

Quilty Goals and Finishes for January

February is here already, and in my little corner of Texas, it feels more like April.  However, I’m certainly not complaining about sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s! Quite a bit has been happening behind the scenes here at the Caffeinated Quilter, and I wanted to catch you up on January’s adventures, and progress made on my quilty goals.

 

Quilt Finishes!

First, the fun!  January is always a bit quieter with the kids’ schedules, and I get a little time to catch up on projects.  I was super excited to finish this Spin! quilt I started last May.  All it needs now is a label and a ride to its new home.

Second, I finished this year’s kindergarten quilt project for the kids’ school.  Every year, the kindergarten classes bring in special squares of fabric from home. Then they make handprints in class. I get to take the fabric and handprints and turn them into baby quilts.  Our church’s Gabriel Project then delivers the quilts to expectant mommies in tough situations.  I know the babies will love the bright colors, and I hope the moms and dads will feel wrapped in the love and support of our community when they use the quilts.

Finally, I made some long-overdue progress on my sister’s double wedding ring quilt.  I am NEARLY halfway to having all of the blocks made.  Hey, it’s all about the degrees of doneness, right?

 

 

Business Goals Accomplished!

By now, I hope you’ve noticed some new changes to the website.  I’m working hard to really develop consistent branding between the website, my patterns, and upcoming book.  I’m certainly still learning, and would welcome your comments and suggestions for ways to improve the website. Next month, I’m planning to refresh the Japanese Quilting Study Group pages and make them easier to navigate. Then I hope to set up a more user-friendly means of accessing all the fun tutorials I’ve created over the years.  There’s a bunch of them, some even I had forgotten about!

I’m also really stoked about our new facebook group for Janome Artistic Quilter SD users.  If you haven’t yet, please sign up!  Even if you own a different sit-down longarm, I think the group will be beneficial as we all share tips and tricks to make using these machines simpler and more fun.

 

What’s on Tap for February?

If you’re following along with the 2017 UFO Challenge from All People Quilt, the number for February is 8.  I admit, I groaned at that one.  My #8 is quite literally the oldest UFO on my list.  I inherited this quilt top from grandmother. She started making it in the early ’80s for my aunt.  It’s all hand applique, and way out of my usual comfort zone.  However, I know both my aunt and I will be tickled pink to see this quilt complete.  This is the year, and I am determined to complete this quilty goal!

Along with my UFO progress in February, I will start sharing some sneak peeks of my book, Adventures in Hexagons, coming out in May.  I will also post about a couple of FANTASTIC products from the Daylight company. Finally, I’ll be releasing a new quilt pattern, and a mini-version of the pattern. Here’s a little sneak peek of the mini version:

 

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the blog, and follow along on social media so you don’t miss out on any of the fun stuff!

What are your quilty goals for February?

Happy Stitching!

Studio Organizing with Purpose

Over New Year’s weekend, I decided to start organizing my studio.  As you can see from the picture below, it was getting a little embarrassing, and the mess was completely killing my creativity.  What started with simply trying to put fabric away turned into a complete studio overhaul. Along the way, I discovered that the more I tried to turn my studio into my “private quilt store”, the better I was able to understand how to put things away in a manner that made sense for me.

before-picture

Organizing Fabric

I started out with seven 56-gallon tubs filled to OVERFLOWING with fabric. I did not sort all of it.  That would have taken me months, and I probably would have gotten discouraged along the way and quit.  To start, I dumped out three bins worth of fabric. One of those bins became my “warm” color bin, the second my “cool” color bin, and the third my “neutrals and prints” bin.  Then, my daughters and I started sorting the piles of dumped out fabric back into the bins.  I gave away some fabric that I knew I would never use.

As we came across large pieces of fabric (more than one yard), we folded it over magazine boards.  I got this idea from So Sew Easy. My husband was going to the comic book store anyway, and he got this pack of 100 boards for about $13.  I think about 50 folded bolts fit into this 56 gallon tub.

folded-fabric-minibolts

For smaller pieces of fabric, we used the folding video tutorials from In Color Order, and made a little display of fabric in a wire bin from the Container Store. Just like with the larger fabric folded bolts, I picked fabrics for the small bin that I wanted to use sooner than later.

small-folded-fabric

Over the years, I have accumulated a precious stash of Alison Glass fabrics, and I wanted to keep these together for an upcoming project.  So I arranged them all in a pretty basket, along with the EPP papers I’ll be using.  This looks much more inviting than the previous pile on the floor!

alison-glass-basket

Finally, I dealt with a bin of fabric for an ongoing baby quilt project. Each year, my kids’ school makes baby quilts for moms in crisis pregnancies. I make two quilts a year, and the kids bring in special fabrics for the quilts. They usually bring in much more than the recommended 8” square. After doing this for 10 years, I have a huge stash of baby quilt fabric.  I keep meaning to go through it and make additional baby quilts, but the magnitude of fabric overwhelms me.

In the spirit of making my own private quilt store, I pulled out my favorite quick-quilt pattern, Yellow Brick Road.  Then my girls and I chose fabrics from the donation bin and made six “quilt kits.” Each ziploc has enough fabric to make a baby quilt from the Yellow Brick Road pattern.  Now, whenever I need an easy, mindless afternoon of sewing, I can pull out one of these bags and make a quilt without having to worry about choosing and measuring fabrics.

homemade-quilt-kits

 

Now, my fabrics are “organized enough” to motivate me to start sewing.  And all of the bins close without sitting on them!  Once I go through some of the “featured fabrics” shown above, I’ll go back to the bins and fold and sort more to feature. I love how manageable this system feels, and how inspired I am everytime I see the pretty fabrics on my new shelves.

Organizing Projects

Confession: I have enough UFO’s to complete TWO APQ resolution pages. Yes, 24 UFO’s. That has to change, and I am bound and determined to whittle that list down this year. Again, I have to “see” what I’m working on to stay motivated.  So I made a couple of mini-design boards by pinning batting to artist canvases.  I also use leftover lids from broken plastic bins to store projects I’m working on.

project-boards

During the overhaul, my husband got me a set of sturdy wire shelves to store fabric. Now I can just pull out the bin I need (instead of unstacking boxes all the time). Even better, the shelves have just enough room to slide a project board on top of each box, so I can keep my UFO’s in sight, but not too cluttered.

Organizing Notions

Last but not least, I FINALLY found a way to organize my most-used rulers. These are usually out on my sewing counter, or propped up on the floor near my sewing counter.  Which means I’m always losing them, tripping over them, or worse, cutting my toes along the edges of them. (true story). I bought some inexpensive coffee cup hooks at World Market, and hung them from the sides of the new shelves.

hanging-rulers

Now they’re easy to find, and impossible to trip over. I also hung a roll of masking tape on one of the cup hooks, which I guesstimate will save about 20 minutes per quilt.  Everyone in the house uses masking tape, so I can never find it when I’m ready to baste a quilt. Now my roll is hung high enough that the kids will never snag it.

So that’s my studio makeover.  I estimate it cost me about $70 for the shelves, magazine boards, and cup hooks. Here’s how the studio looks now:

after-picture

 

Still far from perfect, but FAR more inviting and accessible than it has been. I love my new private quilt “store”, and spent the entire past weekend in it, sewing with my girls.  Now, to tackle those UFO lists. .  . .

What’s your favorite way to organize your quilting space?

Happy Stitching!

emily