Shunning In quilting groups – WHY?

I have been a part of the quilting world for sometime, although recently in the virtual world in groups on Facebook, it is new to me; although not new to social media I am sure.

I joined a group and thought this is going to be fun, and learning a lot from others was what I was looking forward to the most, making new contacts and maybe friends too.  It was all good until that day – oh that day sticks in my mind and most likely will for a very long time.  I was shunned, degraded, insulted, and emotionally stunted for a few days!  Yes, from a quilting group!

We would think this is a lot of nice little granny types out there giving us advice and encouraging us to do well, and scolding when we do do something really wrong, like my grandmothers did to me growing up.  Boy was I wrong!  I had not realized there were so many self delegated quilt police out there for sure.  Truth be told I had no idea what the quilt police were, where they came from, or how to send them back to hell which is where I assumed they originated!  I read somewhere the term was coined as a funny anecdote, but literally came to life one day unlike Frosty the Snowman, they were not full of joy, fun, or jest; but hateful awful mean words that cut like a new pair of fabric shears with shiny edges and razor sharp words.

My story is not new, nor will I rehash it here again, I will tell you though, I was stunned by the words of complete strangers to me, over my using fleece as batting.  I live in the North, I make quilts for my family and friends, I want them to be warm, and it is very affordable with coupons at that special place where time warps and we lose all meaning of budgets! You know where I mean…

It was this incident we will call it; that prompted me to start Quilting Perfectly Imperfect – my Facebook group which I love dearly every day, every minute actually. You can join us and be a part of our wonderful world that spans the globe, we quilt, we create, we support, give advice, and lift one another up in bad times, and even when we have lost the mojo! https://www.facebook.com/groups/quiltingimperfectly/  this is the link!  If you are not part of our family please give us a try.  You may like it.

Sew, it was today not unlike any other day I realized there are still those self delegated quilt police whom have a real meaningless life, when they decide they are the ones who make the rules, and can tell others they SUCK!  Seriously Get the Hell out of my space!  We live in a world today, where it just seems many NOT ALL feel they have a right – well yes you have many rights, but meanness, conjecture, derisive rude comments is NOT one of them.  I was raised to respect others and they will respect me, and if they do not they are a waste of the time of day I once gave them.  Cut them off at the knees with a silver tongue and they won’t realize it until tomorrow!  My Aunt Sue taught me that little trick oh so well, and My Mother and Pseudo Mother Aunt Peggy taught me it is a waste of breath to say anything back.   My grandmothers on the other hand, made me pick my own switch of the peach tree!  Get my meaning.  Sew I have experience and knowledge on these types of people so much sew I have a degree in Forensic Psychology on the hows, why’s and whatfores of these people.

The whatfores are this:  They enjoy making others feel less than, and themselves more than, but they are neither they are miserable awful hateful people.  They are likely lonely, desperate for attention, and have issues beyond non professionals scope of understanding.  And truth be told, I feel sorry for them, but not so much so I will allow it to happen to any member of my group or friends or family.  Mess with them, be prepared for Tedwanda!  I will take you out – of my group that is.  But I will be sure you are known for who you are beforehand.

So if any of you “Quilt police” follow my blog or are thinking of joining my group.  DON’T it is SIMPLE – you will be shunned for your actions.  I hope you find peace within yourself soon, but until then please go away and sulk somewhere else.

NOW for those of you who have been victim of said EEEEEVILL peoples.  Know this, no one can steal your thunder, take your peace away, love your work less or make you feel less than unless you let them.  DON’T!  It is not worth it.  They are the ones who are wrong and they are the ones who must answer for their own actions at some point.  Know this too – You are appreciated, you are loved, and you are welcome to join us any day and relish the works of others, ask questions – since NO question is a dumb question, we all learn from one another.  And if someone tries to make you feel bad for what you have accomplished, ask them to show their work and how perfect it is, I bet it looks like a JC Penny knock off!

Remember a quit unfinished is waiting to love.

Create from your heart, love with your soul, and be one of the Imperfect ones with your head held high, your convictions in place, and the love of the passion of quilting in your blood.  We are a family of many with a goal of one – to create warmth, love and happiness for another no matter the condition of your points, the type of batting you use, or level of your experience.  You are creating from you.

Until next time!  Peace

 

Basics – Beginning quilters what you need.

Sew, you wanna make a quilt?  Where do you start?  How hard is it going to be, and do I have the time?  Here are some tips for those of you who have never made a quilt, or are getting back into the passion we share.  Quilting!

Many of you know, I learned how to quilt through both my grandmothers, I’m not sure my mother ever made a quilt, she did however make clothing.  I have made quilts.  Clothing mmmmm not so much.  Why?  Clothing is exact science to me; even though I am a retired nurse and science was a part of my every day life, it was NOT my passion.  Now, taking care of others much like quilting that is why I became a nurse. I have the ability to connect with people. Quilting is much the same, you need to connect with the project, have the right tools, and a passion for seeing it to completion.

History of quilting you can google that!  History of you well, you write that everyday of your life.  So leaving a piece of you behind after your passing that is  quilting; made from you to someone you hope to remember you.  A quilt keeps us warm, reminds of us things such as a vacation, a family member, or a time in our lives which made us who we are.  This is where we start.  Each quilt is history in the making, and history it will be for as long as you allow it to be shared.

Now, lets start!  Where? In the beginning of course.  First tools.  Yep tools, like what you are going to need to make this piece of history last.  How?  Using the proper tools, materials, and techniques.  Two types of quilts – hand pieced and machine pieced.  Today, it’s going to be machine since sew many of us want instant gratification, but no so fast there doggies; it wont happen in an hour unless your a wizard!

Machine quilting helps it to last since the stitching is precise, close together and held by not one thread but two!  So lets talk machines for a second.  Buy the one you can afford!  That’s it really.  You do NOT need a expensive machine to make a quilt. I do have four, yes four.  All four were under $300.00!  I have two brothers, a Singer (embroidery) and Janome all purchased new on sale.   You need a machine that make a straight stitch, with your guidance of course.  Get one with a nice light too, that does help.  Now on to the next tools…

Sew whats next? Cutting tools.  A must is a good self healing cutting mat, and rotary cutter usually bought as a set on sale with a coupon you know where! Get the one that fits in your space, you don’t need the biggest bestest most expensive ones, they work much the same at any price.  And if you hate quilting you have not blown your savings on things you won’t use. If you can afford a spinning mat, get it!  LOVE LOVE LOVE it, so versatile.  th (16)Square is best over round, since you will be cutting a lot more squares than you will circles.  Then there is the rotary cutter, get one that fits your hand!  Try them out; feel them.  Its best if they are sitting in the palm of your hand naturally.  You don’t want hand cramps from  it being overwhelming after a few swooshes across that new mat! Yes, swoosh wait til you hear that new blade cut through the fabric, its addicting!

Okay, we are almost there!  Next measurements and straight lines.  Get yourself a versatile ruler one that is marked clearly and easy to read for your eyes.  Eyes being strained lead to cuts, BAD CUTS that burn like well like being burnt! It’s not pleasant! Templates are fun and cute, but not necessary for a basic quilt.  Being able to cut a straight line in 99.9% of time is.

Scissors, well yes a good pair with comfort grip handles, mid size mainly for cutting threads, and some fabric.  OH never cut paper with them. If you’ve got the scissors; you need the thread, ask the counter lady what is best for the fabric you will use.  Now on to the good stuff – Fabric…

Fabric, fabric FABRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIC.  I love fabric must be why I sell it.  How do you pick it? With your eyes of course!  Well okay sensory is best.  Does it look good, does it go with the pattern you picked, how does it feel.  If it feels funky in the store it will feel funkier in your quilt! So get what you can afford first off.  Look around, find the best deals, use coupons ( we have them at http://www.sewnsewhome.com) and buy what you need NOT what you want.  Remember we are beginning here.  Stash time comes after we have made our fist quilt, and realize just how much we love this art!  So, for fabric look around, touch, and think on it (its on bolts it won’t disappear before your eyes if you need and day or two).

Now you have the basics of quilting needs.  Next time we will talk about patterns and how to choose for your first quilt or 100th!  Thanks for coming by.  Never know I am an insomniac so I may be writing the next installment in two hours.  Read it when you can or skip it.  But keep coming back!

Keep the passion growing, learn from mistakes and if you think its too much walk away for a bit, and look again later.

 

Quilting is for old ladies?

Quilting has NO age limit!  Quilting has no NO age limit~!  Quilting has NO age limit!

Say and believe it!

It is true!

Quilting has no age limit what so ever!

Today we are so used to being instantly gratified, that we forget the true meaning of quality over quantity!  There is no app for quilting to make it happen faster, there are a few to help you figure out questions, answers and where to shop on a trip, but NOT one that  makes quilting easier, faster, or better!

I am not going into history of quilting here for many reasons, It can be a bit boring, and NOT one book will agree on any aspect of quilting in a manner that makes sense to you or me!  But, in the days of yesteryear quilting was not an art it was a necessity.  Crewel, cross stitch, and other needle arts were the arts of the years gone by.  Quilts on the other hand were not an art form, they were utilitarian for the most part; however there are some quilts from the years gone by that will absolutely BLOW YOUR MIND!

What is a quilter?  Who is a quilter?  Where did quilters come from?  WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?

All those questions up there; yeah I get em regularly…

What/Who is a quilter – well lets answer this one for all of y’all to know for sure.  Quilters are men, women, children, grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, brothers, fathers uncles and whatever other identity you want to place up on yourselves.  One thing is sure we are artist, we are are every age, color, gender, and religion.  We are people who make things that make us and other’s very happy and very warm and loved all rolled up into one!

Where did quilters come from?  damned if I know the real answer but quilts date back to a time I know not much about!  It’s history not my thing, but I am glad they came about because I love to do it!  They were a way to keep warm in cold winter months, they were a way to give comfort to those who were ailing, and they were a way to express creativity in many ways.

What is a quilt?  Well there are a few forms of quilts.  Three layers put together with the middle part being the warm part.  Two layers put together for a less warm or heavy effect (summer) quits were big in the south.  Quilts are pieces of fabric; found, bought, given to, or re purposed into a top and back.  Quilts can be art, wall hangings, lap covers, bed covers, baby warmers, and soothers of the soul.

WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?  Well, duh.  I enjoy the process.  I love the out come, and LOVE LOVE LOVE all the fabrics available to us today!  Truth be told people don’t get why we take perfectly good fabric cut it up into small pieces and then put it back together again.

Well it makes sense to wonder that.

But the outcome of all those pieces form a piece of art that is its own one of a kind creation.

Creating patterns from pieces of fabric is therapy for me.

I don’t care about who made the original pattern, I don’t care about who changed the pattern to make it their own, and sure as hell don’t think it is cool to complain about a person not getting credit for work they did when the blocks are over a hundred years old!  I SAID BLOCKS!  Not the pattern itself.

But seriously, you can not take credit for the 9 patch and call it your own!  It is NOT, now the colors you put together in your particular quilt yes that is yours, but the nine patch is just that.  Guess what it wasn’t really a quilt block to begin with it was a floor tile!  Yep threw in some history there for ya!  Then it was a door panel, then finally a window before it ever was put into a quilt block!  WOW!  yes I did research on that bit of info there!  It was the window that became a quilt block!  A young woman looked out her window while sewing one day, and then thought I could use that in my coverlet, and she began to stitch pieces of colors together and viola! a quilt formed out of it!  TA DA!

Now the age thing!  Really!  Seriously you have to be old to quilt!  Are ya freakin’  kiddin’ me!  HELLLLLLLO!  How old was Davinci when he first painted ?

In 1466, at the age of fourteen, Leonardo was apprenticed to the artist Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio, whose bottega (workshop) was “one of the finest in Florence” He apprenticed as a garzone (studio boy) to Andrea del Verrocchio, the leading Florentine painter and sculptor of his day (and would do so for 7 years).   He did paint the Mona Lisa until he was 57, BUT, he was quite young when he first painted it is actually unknown the age he first painted–THE point being, he was NOT OLD when he did his first. https://www.biography.com/people/leonardo-da-vinci-40396

Now I digress here, but my point is this:  You do not have to be any age to begin the process of quilting, sewing, making and or creating!  You are your own person, and you control you, no one else.  I say this because I have heard it too many times and bit burns my butt, when someone says quilting is an old lady thing!  Art is art is art in any form!

For those who think its for old ladies well you have no idea and I will tell you this from my own experiences, I am much more calm, less stressed, and more pleasant person when I quilt!  It is my form of therapy, it is for me the one thing that makes life’s little[ism]’s more tolerable!  I still use my colorful words when quilting; but hey it’s my studio and it’s just me in there!

So, the next time you are told quilting is for old ladies – just smile and say okay you go on and believe what you believe, I know for me what it is!

Don’t let others dictate your life!

Don’t let others take away from your joy.

And Do NOT ever let anyone tell you your creation is not good!  It is a work of art!  I can tell you this, I would NEVER pay for a painting with a red blotch on white background on it because someone else called it art!  I will however continue to buy fabric shred it, cut it, piece it and manipulate it into things that keep others warm, give immense pleasure to me and those who receive them, and I will always say this!

I am a guy who is almost 50 and I quilt!

Now go cut some fabric up to put back together!  It will be gorgeous!

Peace out peeps, til next time!

T

 

 

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Why I chose Robert Kaufman

Hello, here is a bit of news on my line.  I chose Robert Kaufman to work with for several reasons.  I think you will be surprised a bit with some of this information.

I was!

‘Born in 1899, Robert Kaufman emigrated from Russia and settled in New York. Like most immigrants who came to America at this time, Robert was eager to create a prosperous future for himself and his family. By the time he reached his early twenties, Robert had attained his goal as the proprietor of a very successful menswear company named Meadowpark Clothes. Unfortunately, after the stock market crash of 1929, he experienced the demise of his company. Robert continued to persevere and in 1942, from a showroom on Fifth Avenue in New York City, he set in motion the company that exists today”.

He achieved the American dream for sure.  There is so much more to this story which drove me to work them, you can find it on their website:  http://www.robertkaufman.com/about_robert_kaufman_fabrics/

I chose them for their use of U.S. based cotton – I support our American Cotton Farmers and for sure am excited to know I will help families across the US  with my new line. And am proud to say my line is AMERICAN MADE with American Based Cotton products!

Their ink is another reason I chose them:

WHAT KIND OF INKS ARE USED?

“Our digital print solution uses a patented pigment ink technology that is water based and absolutely free of heavy metals, formaldehyde and Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APE), making them non-hazardous, non-toxic and 100% biodegradable. Our inks adhere to the strictest human health and environmental standards and contain no animal by-products and are completely vegan friendly, meeting both the Oeko-Tex 100 and Global Organic Textile (GOTS) standards”.

As you can see the ink used is very safe and environmentally friendly – this does mean a bit higher prices for me in the store.  BUT, my designs will not be mass produced in the beginning.  What does this mean?  It means you will have exclusive one of a kind fabrics directly from Haver Island Design.

Next washability of the digitally printed fabrics and the process in which it is completed.

IS THE FABRIC WASHABLE AND COLOR FAST?

The printed inks are all washable and meet excellent color fast standards. However results may vary depending on the basecloth and how it was finished. We recommend: Machine wash cool or warm, delicate or gentle cycle, Tumble dry low, remove promptly. Best to iron the reverse side.  The use of 100% 60 x 60 thread fabric will achieve the best saturation of color and color fastness.  (I have chosen to use 60 x 60 thread count US cotton).  That means the color and quality are top notch and will achieve the gradation in colors I have chosen for each design element. Nothing will be produced until I have personally inspected each strike off and made all changes necessary for the best look and feel of the fabric.

Conventional screen printing requires the engraving of one screen per color in a design. So a design with 18 colors would require 18 screens. Additionally, 18 separate colors also need to be mixed and matched. With digital printing, there are no screens or colors to mix. Any image you can see on a computer can be reproduced on fabric in the same way as your desktop printer prints images on paper.  This process is from my end, the design portion.  I have begun the process of using scanned images to create each element of the design, and matched the colors to the ink available as well as all custom coloring necessary to achieve the best look and quality.  Basically they will print much the same as you do at home with your printer on paper but on fabric.  Now none of us have this capability at home due to the size of the printers, the dryers needed and the bolting process.

As you can see the conventional screen print (the old technique) is very labor intensive, as lets face it– in today’s market we look for the quickest and most affordable options to supply anything.  While this reduces the number of employees who will handle my fabric line, it ensures a much better quality of print and affordability for my customers.

Now you make think I have hit it big time, and will be rich beyond my dreams.  This is NOT the case.  Most designers make on average of .28 cents per yard WHOLESALE cost not retail!  The cost of the fabric to be produced is astronomical, and therefore those of us who design will make around 4K per collection, that is if it is picked up at Market.

Now I will not be at Market this year obviously, however I have made arrangements to have my fabric created and produced for my company, with Robert Kaufman’s standards and quality.

What this means for you?

AFFORDABILITY!

When one goes to market their are several factors which align to create and promote a line.  With my not choosing to mass produce for the general market I have the ability to control cost and pass those savings on to you.  

Lastly, turn around time.  In conventional printing technique due to the amount time required to create the screens and implement color matching it can take months to produce one part of a line. However, I have chosen digital which allows for a much faster and efficient production.  Once strike offs are approved and the go ahead is given by me and print space is available it will take only days to produce and ship to me to send out to you!  This means less wait time for you all to receive your orders.

First will be panels and a few coordinates –  No previews will be made until time of production and strike off approval.

What will the line be named?

“Mending the soul”.  As I have told you all before my grandmother said: “Quilting just mends the soul”, and that has resonated with me for many years, but especially these last few.  I am hoping my designs will help you and others to mend some part of your life challenges or changes, and too using US based products will help those who grow, process and ship American based cotton products.

I have great thought, energy and effort into this line, and am hoping you will enjoy using it in your creations as much as I have creating it.  While stressful and confusing at times, the learning process has given me great pleasure after the frustration.

Sincerely I hope you enjoy  the new line –  Coming late 2018!  But we never know things could align and it be ready by fall!

Remember a quilt left unfinished cannot be loved.

Until next time!

T

 

Quilting is my therapy

We have all been through it, some form of depression or life changing event that has just sucked the life out of us.  For me that has been one too many times!  Back surgeries, heart and lung surgery, as well family losses.

I was a nurse for a very long time, also a social worker and forensic psychologist, I know the ins and outs of depression for sure.  But did I really have depression or just the blues?  And what triggered it?

Well, no I was not clinically depressed as stated in the DSMV-Tr5.  I was however very “down”.  I did not want to get things done, I was lethargic as we say in the clinical world.  I had no want to get life’s little things completed.  I knew many happenings in my life contributed to this, and was not very likely to go on to find out more of what to do.  UNTIL I had my final heart surgery and found I do have a long term terminal illness which would change my life forever.  During this period I lost some very close friends to cancer and an uncle too.  But being told I had to quit work or not have much longer to live due to stresses of my job well that was a kick in the teeth as they say!  And I was at a complete loss as to where to go what to do or how to do it!

So after recovery period and making some hard decisions, I left my job!  And then I said well now what!  Seriously what the hell am I supposed to do now!!!  I was angry, I was moody, I was plain old pissed off!

Quilting mends the soul…

I remember my grandmother saying that many times, as I sat under her frame while she hand quilted, watching that needle go in and out of the fabric from that perspective was mesmerizing. My sister and I and many cousins too sat at the feet of our grandmothers while they peddled away on the treadle machines they used every day to mend or make.  That too was mesmerizing, but the best part was getting to rock the foot rest that made that machine go. The sound is not the same as it is with our new fangled computerized and electric machines; it was soothing.

Those word’s “Quilting mends the soul”; they resonated with me not too long after being home from NO MORE WORK, I was at my wits end! I tell you those first few months were daunting, not having that norm to go to everyday.

But, was I getting or feeling better?

Yes and NO.

I was bored out of my mind!  I knew what my limits were, what I could not do anymore, but what the hell was I SUPPOSED to do?

I am not sure if you retire from your jobs and ask yourself this, or if you have a life changing event which causes major changes in your life and you ask this same question; but I did every single day!

It got old real quick.

Then I realized I was not doing ANYTHING!  Nothing, notta, buhbkis!

I was getting lazy, depressed “down” and FAT!  I had not been a big person before all of this and am still not, but when you realize your clothes are getting tighter you get a bit more upset!  And that was NOT what I needed!

I had a sewing machine, and some fabric and some thread.  So I started thinking.  WHAT IF?

Then I would just go onto another book or television show…

One day, I was sitting and thinking of what could I do, what can I do….

And well it hit me.  Make something.  I had always been a creative type of person, and I had the items I needed to get started. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.  I just needed something to occupy my mind and hands.  I was not used to just sitting around.  I was not one who would let things take me over without a fight!

Sew, the machine came out.  I threaded it, I cut pieces of fabric and I started to sew them back together.  Over and over, repeating the process just like any other mundane thing we do in our days.  One thing was different though…

I enjoyed it.  I found myself actually smiling a little more each time I completed a new section or block or whatever it was that I was doing. I was just happy to be doing something!

That was 2 years ago this past December.  My life changed in an instant with that last bit of news following my heart surgery.  I had thought I was done– life had ended.  Then those words “Quilting mends the soul”, crept into the back of my mind.  And those words changed my life.

Am I healed?  NO.

Am I going to heal?

No.

Am I better?

YES!

I am no longer lost in the day to day doldrums of life passing me by.  I am no longer moody or sullen.  I plan things out, I make things, I talk to others and help them find things to do as well.

Is it a form of therapy though really?

You damned well better believe it, and never let anyone else tell you otherwise!

I can tell you this.  Since I started this hobby called quilting, it is now a way of life.  I plan around it!  Seriously I do!  I have made this blog, My store, and my Facebook group pages due to this hobby of mine.  I have found so many new friends, and people who have or are going through what I did.  I never knew it could make my life this fun and better truthfully.  I think my grandmothers lived longer than others due to this as well.

I found something I enjoy, I know I can do it, and I know it does not have to be perfect or need to be accepted by others.

Here is what has changed for me since starting quilting:

I have better numbers at Doctor visits, I have fewer bouts of woe as me’s, and I have fewer days of I don’t want to keep going like this.  Well, I have none of those never really did, but that little bit of thought can sneak in. I am better now I have something to do and look forward too.

Quilting does mend the soul, it helps to ease the pain of days you just don’t feel like it anymore, it helps occupy the mind and hands, and it definitely gives you something to look forward too!  I love the finished product and can’t wait to see it all come together!  It mended my soul and will yours too.

Let it seep in slowly, get some ideas, and some fabric and thread and try it.

A quilt left unfinished can not love- but maybe it can heal some pain or hurt while it is being finished.

Til next time.

T

 

 

Bows messing with your flow

Hello!  Is a bow messin’ with your flow?  As in did you sew some strips together and get a bow?

Whelp there is a fix for this!

To get straight seams on long straight stitch lines with joining seams, you need to do a couple of things.

  1. Alternate your direction of sewing.  This means for each strip flip it and start opposite the one you just sewed.
  2. Alternate your salvage edges in the same manner as your seams!  Yep, that is the trick.  If you have already sewn with alternation of  your direction of stitches, and still get the bow, alternate your salvage edge!

Why do we do this?  There are a few reasons.  One is that you need to have the stitching to have even tension on both sides, and two the selvages can be crossing on grain.  The grain wants to follow its natural line of weave, so if you flip it is going the opposite direction and therefore pulls the lines outward to the edges to keep a straighter line!

Asking how I know?

Well Yeah, I learned the hard way!

I am working on a very large cozy quilt design with the stripology ruler at the moment, and yep noticed I was doing the same things that I am telling you about, getting the bow when flipping direction.  SEW I tried the the selvage thing and it worked.  I read it somewhere a long time ago.

For the beginners out there, the easiest quilt block to make outside of a nine patch is the strip block you can create a great deal of fun designs from it, depending on color way and direction used.

Each one of these blocks were made by attaching strips of fabric together then cutting them and reattaching them in a design you like.  Just google strip quilt blocks or quilts and millions will show up.

But, if the strips are bowed they do NOT cut even!  Nor will they sew together in long strips evenly either if they are bowed, YES you can fudge them into place, but who wants to fight with them, when you can remedy this before you begin making your blocks.

Sew some tips here:

  1. Make sure your strips are straight when you begin, yes they can be cut with an elbow in them before you sew that in yourself, so check them.  It happens even with the most expensive jelly rolls.
  2. Be sure your strips are the same width from top to bottom, I had two yesterday that were off by 1/2 inch, that is due to them not ensuring the fabric is even when placing into the die cutters!  I know this too by doing it myself with my Sizzix pro quilters edition cutter system.  YEP had a lot that were given away to a friend who uses short strips.
  3. Be sure you are alternating the direction you sew each strip no matter how many you put together!
  4. Alternate your selvage edges.  (This means the white portion on the ends).  They are different sizes as well, and if you alternate them you are getting the grains to go to the outsides of the strips rather than all in one direction or the other.  The grain is how the weave is ran when producing the fabric griege (gray base before color is added).
  5. Good tension on your machine that is consistent through out the stitching of all your strips.
  6. Use the SAME machine for all your strips!  Not doing so can change the tension, the bow degree and sew many other things.

Okay, so those are the basics of getting the bow out of your flow.  Let the race begin!  Ah Ha!  yep Jenny Doan Jelly Roll Race is a great way to practice the technique of strip quilting blocks and a quick quilt to put together in a pinch!  Try one!  you will love it.

Til next time Remember – A quilt left unfinished is waiting to love, and finished is better than perfect!  Keep creating perfectly imperfect, as it will be loved no matter what is perceived as an imperfection.  No one knows unless you tell them!

T

 

When to wash your flimsy

When should you wash your flimsy?  AH HA!  What is a flimsy?  A flimsy is the top you made!  When you make a quilt top it is flimsy, so therefor it is called a flimsy actually!

Sew when do wash this little bugger?

AFTER IT IS QUILTED!

I put this in all caps to save you all the headache of the outcome of washing the flimsy.  For several reasons I will list here for you.

  1.  It will shrink!
  2. It will shrink!
  3. Yep it will shrink!

It will shrink and you will have a mess!  The flimsy (top) will become so distorted you will never be able to square back up to quilt it.

Another reason you will have so many popped seams it will most likely fall apart.

I understand wanting to wash it before it is quilted, you have been dropping it, stepping on it, your fur babies have confiscated it and gotten hair on it, or you SNEEZED on it.  Ask me how I know that last one!  But if you do this you may as well throw it to the dogs to live upon, it just won’t work!

Now, once you have it quilted what do you do?

Wash it?

NOPE!

It must be bound before it is washed.  Again it will shrink and warp before you bind it and then OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOD!  Binding is hard enough as it is without more issues to deal with.

Sew here are the steps to quilt your flimsy:

  1. Make the flimsy (top)
  2. Square the top
  3. Sandwich with batting and backing
  4. QUILT QUILT QUILT QUILT
  5. check your square again, it can get wonky ( I said check, not re-square)
  6. If you are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off, try pulling it back into shape, if this does not work you may have to trim it again.
  7. BIND BIND BIND and then Bind some more!
  8. TA DA WASH IT!!!  (gentle cycle with your brand of detergent, fabric softener)
  9. DRY – I use gentle cycle on dryer.  Some like to hang them to dry. Other’s like to partial dry then lay flat to dry the remainder of the way.
  10. Fold and give or keep!
  11. Enjoy your creativity

Now, this is NOT the law, I am not a Quilt Poe leece!  But, this is the best way to do it.  Never ever wash before your flimsy is quilted, save yourself the time and frustration and the boxes of Kleenex needed following should you do this. (At least wait until I get stock in Kleenex before you do this)!

Remember an unfinished quilt is waiting to be loved.  Finished is always better than perfect, and of course Love your creativity from yourself to another.

How I learned to Quilt – My and my members stories

How did we learn to quilt; and our first projects.  I recently asked members of Quilting perfectly imperfect to tell me what was their first quilt project and who they learned  quilting from.  It was an amazing response as it was a contest as well.

Last evening I copied and pasted all the comments and post to this question, printed them out, and began to read.  It was a daunting task at first, however it became a joy to read and learn so much about so many members of our world wide group.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/quiltingimperfectly/ you may join from this link here.

As the printer whirred and waned along, the pages piled up in the catchment of the printer, I sat and waited oh so patiently – Yeah right!  You know me well enough I am not patient when it comes to those things.  BUT, it printed the last page and I scooped them up, stack packed them all straight and nice and neat, took a seat in my comfy easy chair, and kicked back with a cup of coffee and the light on.  I began to read…

So I will start here with my own story:

My story is known it is short and sweet.  No drama, no effects from life at the time, my grandmothers both quilted, one basic necessity quilts, the other not so basic but needed as well.  Both with treadle machine’s one with hand stitch appliques and the other with ties as they were needed to cover a great many children and grandchildren.  I have a quilt from both my grandmothers as does my sister.  I watched and learned, helped moved the treadle like so many others I know. It was fun.  I too sat under the frames lowered from the ceiling, and I too heard all the stories told around those frames.  Both have since passed in many years gone by; but the love put into those quilts are evident in every very unique stitch.  One of the quilts hangs in my studio, oh so proudly upon a wall just for it, and it is next to my “frame” not lowered from the ceiling; minus the many chairs to sit around and hand stitch with friends and family.  No stories are told while it is being stitched out loud, but oh the stories in my head and heart do flow into those HIGH speeds stitches, I believe the quilting is created from the words formed from within, no set patterns, no unique stitches.  Each one carries a few colorful words, a few tears (damn thread breaking nesting or just not matching), and one does actually have my blood in it as well (washed out of course and not on white)  peroxide saved the day on that one.

I was lucky in so many ways I learned from two very loving women who learned from others in their lives and were kind enough to pass down the traditions and passion of this amazing art form to me, and oh so many of my other cousins.  I am sure all my Aunts know how to quilt, but am not sure if any still do.  I am trying to get each one of them one of my quilts THIS year a goal of mine, I have my mom and her now 5 sisters with one who passed from cancer.  They range in age so varied, but each one of them have such a unique personality and so will the quilts each receives from me. At the moment I have one on my frame for my great nephew, my great niece, my sister, a niece and nephew have received one already as well as my mother two one for her only “7 sister’s” it is named and some of it is hand embroidered, hand quilted and machine pieced, the other a unique color way disappearing nine patch.  I learned a very long time ago, and life did happen and I never gave much thought to quilting along the way – here and there I did a basic nine patch, it was not until I became ill [not unlike so many of my members stories].  I decided (well okay, was told to reduce my stress) and was like “what does that mean”? How in today’s world does one do that!!

I gave it some thought, and was off bed rest, tried to return to work more than once, but I just ended up right back where I was before and worse for the wear, I retired reluctantly and sat with the depression that comes along from a forced life change, of course I said this is not my life, this is not me, I can do something!  BUT WHAT? Thus, the search for fabric began, and it was an effort until I discovered online fabric sales. I loved going to look and feel fabric, however due to medications to reduce my immunity and reduce the spread of the disease I was forced to stay out of the public!  It was life changing to discover this new thing for me ONLINE FABRIC sales – it can lead to an addiction of fabric and an overload to the senses for sure, I do feed addictions as well at (http://haverislanddesign.com)  but my stress levels were reduced.

My first order?  A jelly roll or two…

(OKAY) it was like 600.00 worth of pre cuts and yardage.

I got the mail opened the package and was overwhelmed!  So on to google search for uses for these new found items, as I had not heard of pre cuts ever!  But what a concept, I had a basic machine, scissors, very heavy hand quilting thread and of course a seam ripper!

First one was a modified fence rail, and I was hooked all over again, I began just sewing all day, took naps, ate and sewed some more until I realized things were getting better stress level wise, I was feeling good again, and the oh so many doctor appointments were not so depressing, and the diagnosis were not so horrendous and the passion was reignited in me.  That my friends was just a short three  years almost now.  And I have made about 25 complete quilts various sizes and colors and patterns.

Well, that wasn’t so short and sweet after all!

So last night I began reading and reading and reading.  Oh so many stories, and one theme stuck out to me well two really:  1.  Elanor Burns taught so many of us.  and 2.  Our grandmothers inspired us.

After reading all of them I narrowed the list from 344 entries now down to 26.  I will re read those, and narrow that down as well.

I have read so many amazing journeys from the entries, some sad, some funny and all inspiring.  I noted many are self taught from books, videos, and just going for it with no direction. I also noted how many realized the passion it became for them, the therapy of peace and calm instilled and the ability to create such beauty from a pile of scraps, or purchased in a bundle for just that one quilt which grew into oh sew many over the years.

I hope to take the stories and photos with permission of each poster and create a book per say for all to read the inspirations which led to such creations, the love of quilting, and the beauty found in lost fabrics, timeless block patterns, and stitches from the hand and heart.

Sew many wished they had taken photographs, and so many wished they still had that first quilt, as many still do or are aware of the whereabouts of the very first one made.

Children inspired a great number of creations and beginning the journey to quilting as well.  Even furry children!

Some noted how they felt after they gifted the quilt, some amazing, some just happy it was done, and others put off by reactions.  Everyone still said it was fun, I loved it, and I fell in love with quilting.  Many noted how they have learned so much over the years, and increased their knowledge and skill. [I love that part!]

Parents were up the top of the list along with significant others as inspiration the start that first project.

In this post I want you all to remember we had to start somewhere.  We were all beginners at some point, and we all did basic stitching, patterns, and found fabrics in so many varied places.  I did not read one post where the poster stated I went to the LQS to find what I wanted, and went from there as far as fabric – but did read some who learned from LQS owners!  The most cherished first quilts were made from as affordable fabrics available.  Some from found items at home, thrift stores, and yard sales.  Many started at at a time of uncertainty of economy, newly married, or freshly divorced with small children at home.  And then there was the baby boom and wanted one for a child or grandchild expected.

This post is to tell you all, cherish that first quilt you make, remember what it was like, and take photos as you are able today, keep it in your journal, and watch your journey as you stitch through time, see how you progress, pass on what you learn (from mistakes and all), don’t remove your family from your studio’s embrace them and teach them.  Let us all learn with one another around this great big blue marble in the sky, pass on this passion and art form.  Keep in the back of your minds what you felt like teaching yourselves, and remember to keep those close to you closer with a few more stitches of your time – let them learn with and because of you. Hopefully we will keep this passion alive, and use less mass produced items along the way.  Journal each quilt, and the reason’s for its creation.  And always remember “a quilt left unfinished is waiting to love, and some one will love it no matter your perceived imperfections”.

As life got in my way over the past weeks, I have neglected this page, which I will not do again.  I may not post every day, but I will continue to write and post as time and business allows.  You have all inspired me, and given me strength in the day to day grinds we all experience.  I find my quilting is my therapy, it is my time for me, and for those who surround me.  I do not have children of the human sort, so no one to teach at the moment here with me.  I do hope you open your hearts and sewing rooms to others and help them create something beautiful and loved.

Til next time – Peace!

What is? A few questions asked and answered

What is?  I hear it a lot so here we go a few what is answers for the beginner quilter.

WHAT IS –

  1.  A quilt guild–  This is a group of people who get together regular either at church or community center once a week or so to work together, not necessarily on the same quilt as they did back in the day, but on a project.  Often today it is on several charity quilts in the same building to help on another out, Today it is more a social gathering.  The goal is to help one another especially with sandwiching quilts that are larger.  Mostly socializing, and working on projects.
  2. A quilt retreat – A group of like minded people who have become friends over time.  These are usually held at approximately the same time each year for the same with a few added here and there and the usual place chosen to meet.  Once again they work on many projects not just one big one.  Often it is to just get away and have some down time and complete projects with other’s who like to do the same.  Socializing is a must, quilting a must.  FUN required.  However you can search out retreats and sign up to get started, make new friends, and find new inspiration.  Cost varies for these.
  3. Quilt Police These are people who think they know it all, and have a right to tell you what you did wrong, and what you can approve upon without being asked, generally not well liked outside the force.  They are people who have no life, like to make other feel bad, and are not welcome in groups.  I think our mothers and grandmothers termed them “bitties” in their day. 
  4. Fabric snobs Well these are the ones who tell you all the time go to your Local LQS (local quilt shop) to buy your fabric.  Never shop at Joann or Walmart and GOD FORBID if you use something from a thrift store or less than what they feel is the best product at the highest prices you can’t afford.   Hey go for it if you can afford it.  But, as I like to make a lot of quilts, i prefer to eat as well.  So I buy what is most affordable oh yeah I sell it too!  Same stuff they buy just better prices! http://haverislanddesign.com  Let me reiterate: SAME STUFF BETTER PRICES!
  5. Resellers – are ones who buy fabric as I do from a wholesaler and re sell at retail but not in a brick and mortar setting, usually online or craft shows quilt shows, etc.  We are not incorporated usually and are individuals who pass on the savings.
  6. Distributors THE WAREHOUSE people who sell to resellers VERY FEW are distributors.
  7. Manufacturer – Well they make the fabrics.  Many are in other countries, we do a have few left here in US, but cost is higher due to our GNP guidelines, but it is still doable here.
  8. Designer- Designs just like clothing for the Vendor.
  9. Vendor – The name you see like Moda, Henry Glass. etc.  Each “line” have designers who work for them, they create it, and the Vendor manufactures for them, with both names on fabrics.
  10. Coffee – YES!
  11. Vicious Blue hairs – oh stay away very very far away!  They can get mean in quick second, no time for anybody to hold your earrings either!  RUN, when you see one.  They talk about zombies all the time, but damn these little ladies will be front line to stop those for sure!
  12. FART’s – HAHAHAHA  yes we fart  –  Fabric Acquisition Road Trips – these are yearly trips made by friends who hit up quilt shops on a road trip they plan out.  LOTS OF FUN!  Shop hop is a good one to do!
  13. Quilt show – A must for anyone who quilts wants to learn or just like to see amazing and beautiful art.  They are held throughout the year in many places.  Although you will see large ones Like Houston is the most known and the largest in US I am aware of.  You can google to find them locally or abroad.
  14. Quilt expo – LARGE vendor controlled shows where they sell their wares, have a juried show of quilts that go through a lot of hoops to enter, but BIG prize money, not your state fair quilt show for sure.
  15. Material – FABRIC is the slang terms.
  16. Long arm – machine that is more than 12 inch throat space, can go up to 24 inches on home systems.
  17. Mid arm – machine that is 12 inches or less in throat space goes down to about 8.0 inches.
  18. Sewing machine throat space is 6.5 to 8.0 inches.
  19. Sewing machine Throat is that space from needle to tower the part where you have your dials of things.  That space fabric passes through to get out the other side sewn!

Now you know!

Some fun facts!  Enjoy and pass it along to other newbies!