I Have Moved

I have moved to a new address, http://modernorganicquilter.com/

If you have enjoyed reading this blog, please check it out and subscribe to the new site.  I am exploring a new facet of my craft, and would love to have you along for the journey.

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Back to Blogging

 I have been so busy sewing lately that I have let my resolve to blog slide a bit.  But no more, I am back.

I received some new fabric from Ink and Spindle and I have been busy making it into bags, as well as participating in the Patchwork Craft Show over the Memorial Day weekend.    So I have been busy.

As part of my plan to reduce use up the fabric I have on hand, instead of constantly adding to it, I have been finishing up some half made quilts as well.  I am actually starting to reach the point where I simply do not have enough fabric to finish off items.  And it feels good.  I no longer feel like I am drowning in fabric, or wastefully hoarding materials instead of turning it into usable goods.  I have also been able to sell some fabric that I no longer needed.  It is a wonderful feeling to send a package of fabric off to a new home, where it will hopefully be turned into something that is loved and needed.

Here are a few quilts I have recently completed.

I am so happy with how this one turned out.  The graduation of color on the spiral looks amazing.  And my husband, who has not yet loved a design enough to have it on our bed feels that this may be ‘the one’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     

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Crafting With Kids

As part of my grand reorganisation of my studio space, I have given a small space to my kids.   On the surface this seemed a bit foolish, after all my space is not large to begin with, and having kids underfoot while I am working is  something I am trying to avoid.

But I am finding it is working out great.  Having their own space within mine means that when they come into the room, instead of running around grabbing at things, and poking at the touch screen on the sewing machine, they go straight to ‘their’ space, sit down and start to draw.  (I do have a strict policy about no food, or wet crafts like painting.)   Instead of being underfoot while I try to work, they are able to be close to me,  but happily involved in their own ‘work’.

This was the hoped for outcome, but I am noticing an additional benefit.  I am inspired by the lack of inhibitions they show.   It is so easy for me to get hung up on the end product, is it going to turn out how I imagine, will it be good enough, am I wasting my time?  Watching them confidently put pencil to paper, without worrying about the finished product is a daily lesson to me.  I have a few of the drawings up on my board as a reminder to just jump in and go for it, like they do. 

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Letting Go of Failures

I have reached the point in my organization where I am sorting through the old UFO box.  These are not the items I have been working on recently, that I mentioned before, these are old.  They have been shoved away, right at the back, sometimes from years ago.

I stopped working on these pieces for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I didn’t like how it was turning out.  The are basically fails.  So loath to waste them I hid them away, to deal with on another day.

Over the weekend I went through them.  I found a couple of things I still like, and will finish.  The rest is going to be given away, scraped for usable fabric or thrown away.  I thought this would be depressing.  Instead I feel freed. 

I never realised how knowing I had all my past failures sitting under my desk was affecting me, until they were gone.  What a wonderful feeling not having them sitting there scowling at me.  I am realising that part of experimenting artistically is accepting that not every idea is a good one,  I cannot always succeed.  Sometimes I will fail.  And when I do, I need to move on, by moving that failure right out of my studio.

Getting rid of the old is making room for the new.

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Quilt With Me, Scrappy Lattice Quilt

As it often happens, I was inspired by several separate sources today.  Heres what happened.

As I am finishing the organization of my studio I am finding that one of the hardest things is deciding how small a scrap of fabric is too small to save.  I do use up small pieces in my applique projects, but I am ending up with a giant bag of fabric scraps that are too small for my new organizer boxes, but feel too big to toss.

I am also finishing a quilt repair today.  This quilt was brought to me by a local man.  He inherited it from his grandmother and it needed a few tears patched.  (Luckily it’s a crazy quilt, so the patches blend right in.)   I admired the way the seemingly disparate fabrics all worked together, this level of scrap quilting is something I have been a bit nervous about trying.

Thirdly,  I was looking at the blog of  Elizabeth Hartman, an amazing modern quilt designer, and my eye was caught by the photo in the banner, not so much the quilt, but the lattice pattern of shadow across the surface.  It reminded me of the lattice I have in my own back yard, and so I went out a photographed it.

These three sources have inspired me to make a scrappy lattice quilt.  I would love for any other scrap hoarder to join me. 

This is going to be a long-term project.  Heres the plan.  Every time you cut fabric, or find some scraps squirreled away, cut some 2 1/2″ squares.  These are going to be the holes of the lattice.  Don’t worry about the colours too much.  You will notice that you seem favour certain colours and tones anyway, so it should sort itself out. 

I intend to sew blocks as I get enough squares to form one, to make a sort of journal quilt, showing the different moods I pass though as a quilter.  So I need to make sure I have enough fabric for the lattice itself (otherwise known as sashing).  I want a soft marbled tan, to give the look of aged painted lattice.  So I am hand dyeing my own organic cotton.  I figure I will need about 3.5  yards for a queen.  (All the seams will eat up a lot of fabric).  Of course if you plan on making some pillows, or a throw quilt you will need less.  I plan on adding a border,binding and backing in a different fabric. 

If you want a custom hand dye too, I would love to make it for you.  Use the coupon code LATTICEQUILT to get 40% off!  (the color I plan on using is the marbled tan in the first image).  Otherwise buy an appropriate amount of yardage, or use some neutrals you have on hand.

So let’s get cutting!  To make one 23″ block you will  need 49 scrap squares and 14″ of solid / hand dye cut into 2″ strips.  A 14″ block will need 16 scrap squares and 6″ of solid.

I am setting the goal of a block per month, and completing this quilt by the end of the year.  If you want to join me, let me know in the comments.  I am happy to help you calculate yardage.

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Goals For March

March already!  Onward for the next round of goal setting.

My Organised Fabric

My goals for February were mostly reached.  I finished my taxes, and worked with the Organizer to make my space more workable.  I am still finishing up the last of it, I left  filing all the paperwork until last, so that will be happening this week.  I have blogged about the process here, if you are curious.  Once get that paperwork filed and have my final meeting with Claudia I will post a wrap with lots of pictures.

I did not get out and knock on doors for wholesale.  I did get a nice consignment agreement, and just sent off the order.  So wholesaling is still on the agenda.

So for March

  • Maintain an organized studio, and keep my WIP’s to 5 at any one time.
  • Continue with my stash reduction goal from Jan by making up lots of fabric I know I don’t want anymore, to destash (I think I will be posting them in my Etsy shop
  • Push forward with long-term business planning.
  • Get some wholesale accounts (I really am going to do it this month!)
  • Start building inventory for the summer shows, (and hopefully lots of wholesale and consignment sales).

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Organic Quilting For All- The Quilt Top

Perhaps the name should be eco-concious, or sustainable quilting, instead of organic.  Because you don’t need to be using organic fabrics to improve your quilters carbon footprint.  I have been noticing that there is a lot of vauge, unhelpful and plain wrong info available about quilting organically.  So heres to setting the record straight, and helping all quilters get a little greener.

A quilt is basically three layers of material held together with stitching.  Each layer can be approached with an idea of how to make it greener.

The Quilt Top

The good news is that you don’t have to give up designer quilting fabrics.There are some wonderful designers working exclusively with organic fabrics

http://www.harmonyart.com/index.html 

http://www.daisyjanie.com/ 

http://cloud9fabrics.com/

Some larger companies are also adding organic lines

http://www.robertkaufman.com/green/

But adding organic cottons is not the only thing you can do to be more earth friendly.   What about that stash?  Most quilters over purchase fabrics for specific projects, and so a stash is born.  Making every fourth or fifth quilt a stash quilt is a great way to save money and make your quilting a bit greener.

Another thing to consider is trying new fibers.  I am currently loving working with hemp and hemp blends.  Hemp is not generally an organic certified fiber, but is considered sustainable because coventional production is already very low in chemicals.   Hemp Silk is a wonderful luxury fiber to try out.  Make sure you preshrink  if you are mixing fibers in a quilt.

http://www.hemptraders.com/

Did I miss a good resource?  Let me know in a comment and I will add it to the list.

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