Monday, August 31, 2015

Start of the Fabri-Quilt New Quilt Block Blog Hop


Today is the start of the Fabri-Quilt New Quilt Block Blog Hop!  This hop is an extension of the New Quilt Bloggers Hop and is being generously sponsored by Fabri-Quilt.  Over the next 4 days, 60+ bloggers will be presenting tutorials for new 12.5" unfinished (12" finished) blocks.  You will be able to find all of the bloggers' blocks on the four hosts pages:

Monday, August 31st
Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl


Tuesday, September 1st
Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs (me)


Wednesday, September 2nd
Host – Stephane @Late Night Quilter

Thursday, September 3rd
Host – Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination

Each of the bloggers' blocks are made from Fabri-Quilt 6 fat eighth yards in the: 


Watermelon Summer Colorway
Chartreuse, Turquoise, Coral, Aqua, Lapis Blue, White

In addition to tons of quilt inspiration there will be chances to win fabric!  Fabri-Quilt is generously giving away 8 prizes total!  Each prize will contain 3 yards of fabric (1/2 yard cuts of each of the 6 colors the bloggers used).  The giveaways will be as follows:  Each host will have a giveaway on their blog on their hop day and Fabri-Quilt will host a giveaway on there blog each day of the hop (on their blog (inspiredbyfabric.blogspot.com).

Once the hop is over, the hosts will be collecting all of the blogger's blocks and will be making them into charity quilts :)

The host for today's part of the hop is Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl so please head over there for the first fourth of the blocks :)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Stash - August

I have decided to try to Sunday Stash reports on the last Sunday of each month to catalog my new fabric purchases and to keep me honest about how much fabric is really coming into my house each month.

In August, I had way to much fabric make its way to my house.  Some of it was due to new projects I am starting and some was due to some great sales (and I could not pass those up, right?).  

I picked up some color cards (Moda Bella and Michael Miller Cotton Couture) that will help me with picking colors for the Moda Bake Shop and some of the Modern Quilt Guild challenge quilts.



I received my 1/2 yard bundle pre-order of Hello Darling by Bonnie and Camille for Moda from Cotton Bliss.  I love all of Bonnie and Camille's collections, but this has to be one of my favorites.


Craftsy was having an awesome sale when I spied the fat quarter bundle of the 2013 New Summer colors I had to order it.  I had a charm pack of the colors which I used about a year and a half ago and have been searching for a bundle of the fabrics ever since.  It is such a great collection of colors.


Coats & Clark (which owns FreeSpirit, Rowan, and Westminster) is located just a few minutes from my house and they have a wonderful yearly sale.  This is the first time I went, but I will definitely be back next year.  I got a ton of Denyse Schmidt, Tula Pink, shot cottons, Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, Parson Gray, Jennifer Paganelli, and Tanya Whelan.


I am hoping to have a much smaller report in September :)

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Quick and Easy Charm Square Baby Quilt



I'm back today with a quick finish and a tutorial.  I needed to make a baby quilt for a co-worker at work, but after many hours of paper piecing this past week, I just wanted a quick and easy pattern.  I had a bunch of charm squares (5" square) leftover from a fat quarter bundle of Maritime Modern by Riley Blake that I had already made 2 baby quilts from (you can see the first and the second here) and I thought that a disappearing 9-patch fit the bill perfectly.  

Here is a quick tutorial so that you can just grab your supplies and start piecing to have a baby quilt finished in no time:

Finished size: 39" x 39"
This size is wonderful for a quick baby quilt because you can use a single width 
fabric for the backing, no piecing of the back :)

Materials needed:
  • 81 charm squares (5" square). You can use scraps or 2 Moda charm packs
  • 1 ¼ yards backing
  • ⅜ yards binding
  • 42" x 42" batting (I pieced together some batting scraps for mine)

Piecing Instructions:

Step 1:  Sew your charm squares into 27 sets of 3 charm squares each.


Step 2: Sew 3 charm square sets together forming a 9 patch.  Repeat to form 9 total 9-patches.


Here are all of the 9-patches laid out together.  You could sew the 9-patches together for a great simple patchwork quilt top (like is shown here at the bottom of the post).


Step 3: Cut each 9-patch in half once horizontally and vertically.  The cut should be 7" from the side and 2 ¼" from the inner seam.



Step 4:  Mix the cut blocks up in any new 6 block x 6 block arrangement.  Here are two options I tried.  I decided on the more randomly mixed up version.



Step 5:  Sew the blocks into rows and then sew rows together.  I prefer to press my seams open so that the quilt top lays flatter.


Step 6:  Layer the quilt top, batting, and backing together.  Quilt as desired.  I decided to go with a random hook/wave looking pattern to mimic some of the wave designs in the fabric.

Step 7:  Form the binding from 5 strips 2 ½ x WOF. (I was actually able to make the binding using only 4 strips with just a couple inches to spare).

For the binding, I tried glue basting with Elmer's glue and using the machine to stitch down the binding (I almost always hand stitch the binding).  It worked great and I got very nice, crisp edges and corners.  I will be employing this method more in the future.



Congrats, you have a super quick, but great looking quilt ready for your special someone!



I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, if you have any questions, please e-mail me or leave a comment below.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Craft Show Learnings


Back in June I  participated in the Village Square Art and Craft Show in Highlands, North Carolina and I promised to give you an update on how the show went and my learnings from the show. 

I really did not know what to expect as this was my first craft fair.  My only in-person (not online) sales experience had been participating in my quilt guild's boutique at our quilt show last year.  I did well there selling a good number of thread catchers, pincushions, and patterns because almost everyone that came through the boutique was a quilter.  I had always been hesitant to enter a craft fair because I always figured that people at craft fairs wanted to buy finished goods, not sewing accessories.  

My friend was having a booth at the show in Highlands NC and asked if I wanted to add some items to her booth so I figured that I would give it a try.  I spent the good chunk of May and June making items for the craft fair.  This had the added benefit of filling my Etsy shop which had been a little low in inventory since the Christmas season.  Here were all of the combined thread catcher / pincushions I made:


For pricing, I went with my Etsy pricing on all of the pincushions and pincushion/thread catcher sets. It was a little tougher deciding on pricing for my quilts, but I settled on what I thought were fair prices.  For price tags I punched a hole in the corner of my business cards and attached the cards to the items with embroidery thread and a safety pin.  I thought this was a good idea because it was good advertising/branding and was cheaper than buying hang tags.  I was not able to actually attend the fair due to family commitments.

Here are my key takeaways from the fair...

1.  Know thy fair audience.  I had good reason to be leery of selling sewing accessories at a craft fair, they did not sell well.  More surprising though was my friend did not sell any of her beautiful purses or bags (I figured these would have a larger market at a craft fair).  My friend said that the crafts that were selling were mostly rustic and outdoors related like stumps cut into sculptures.  Had we done more research on the fair we might have picked a better fair venue to have a booth.

2.  Mind the weather.  The weather during the craft fair was very, very hot (much hotter than typical for the mountains of NC) and very windy.  This made for less crowds than usual. My friend did not bring my quilts to sell due to the threat of rain.  

3.  Beware of customer coffee.  A passerby placed their coffee on the table when perusing our booth and spilled the coffee all over 9 of my pincushions.   I had considered selling little to no merchandise but I had not figured in getting a good chunk of my inventory ruined.  (My friend actually secretly replaced the coffee pincushions with pincushions she had purchased from me the previous year.  She felt awful but it was totally not her fault, it is just one of those risks you take when bringing your items to the public.)

Results by the numbers:

  • Number of items for sale: 59
  • Hours spent driving to drop off items to friend's house and pick them back up: 4 hours
  • Hours spent determining pricing and adding price tags to everything: 2 hours
  • Number of items sold: 4
  • Money earned: $88 
  • Amount of inventory ruined: 9 pincushions (but were replaced)

The numbers all add up to a good learning experience and one I do not think that I will be repeating.  The main issue is that my type of item is for a very specific customer and is better served in an online shop like Etsy where I can find customers looking specifically for pincushions and such or at a venue specific for quilters and sewists like the guild quilt show.

I hope that you got some learnings out of my experience :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop Coming in One Week!


Next Monday is the start of the 4 day long Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop! This wonderful hop has been lead by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl and is a great extension to our New Quilt Bloggers Hop. 

We have over 60 participants in this hop and they will each be presenting a tutorial for a new 12" (finished) block using 6 fat eighths generously provided by Fabri-Quilt.  Be sure to check in at each of the hosts' blog posts each day for the whole list of blog participants.  All of the quilt blocks featured are going to be assembled into charity quilts. 

Monday, August 31st
Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

Tuesday, September 1st
Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs (me)

Wednesday, September 2nd
Host – Stephanie @Late Night Quilter

Thursday, September 3rd
Host – Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination

Another bonus will be the fabric giveaways during the hop!  There will be a total of 8 bundles containing 1/2 yard cuts of the 6 featured fabrics given away on the hosts' blogs and the Fabri-Quilt blog.