Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday Stash: Fabric Shop Tour 6

I haven't been shopping for fabric in a while. I'm not sure that I can top the fabric adventures from my summer vacation. I was strategic on the last stop of this tour, taking an alternative route between Michigan and Florida to check out Crimson Tate in Indianapolis, IN. I have been following this store ever since I joined the Men Who Quilt group on Facebook, and the WERQ Bee. One of our bee members happened to be a manager at the store and was always sharing such enticing photos of beautiful fabrics, and info about specials. 

I LOVE this store! It has gorgeous modern fabrics displayed a midst quirky antiques. I'm not really sure about all of the ins and outs of Indianapolis, but this store seems to be in an older part of the city with a lot of character. Across the street is a fantastic historical bit of art deco. Just Google "Coca Cola Building, Indianapolis" to see what I'm talking about!

Much to my surprise, I was not going to find just great fabric, but I was going to meet some great sewists/makers, (celebrities in my book!) In the photo above, from left to right is Karen LePage of, Leila Breton of, me, Heather Givans of, Sarah Elizabeth of, and Rachel McElwain of rachellake. I don't know if I could have timed my visit more perfectly to meet so many amazing people. The positive and magnetic of personality of Heather just draws everyone in, I guess! 

Here's what you Sunday Stashers really came to see though, the fabrics that I could not resist!

I picked up some more fabrics to go with my Christmas pin-up boys that I bought earlier. There is Sugar Rush-Christmas Candy in blue by Josephine Kimberling, Treelicious-Rudolph in red by Maude Asbury, Florence-Multi Plaid in carnelian by Denyse Schmidt, Merry Stitches-Fleeting in grey by Cori Dantini, Homebody-Philately in grey by Kimberly Kight, and Hatbox-Tiger Stripes in pink by Alexia Abegg.

Heather also included a sweet little badge and the instructions for her row by row experience block with her signature business card. 

I am not affiliated with Crimson Tate, or any of the other shops that I've been writing about. Please feel free to visit them and shop, the benefits will be all yours! Once again, linking up with Molli Sparkles and his Sunday Stash. This was the last stop on my tour. Now I have to put all these goodies to use and you can bet there will be pictures! Stop back among the groves to see what I make. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Stash: Fabric Shop Tour 5

I have never shopped with as little restraint for fabric as I did when I was on vacation this summer. You can read about other stops on my Fabric Shop Tour here:
1. Heirloom Quilts, Richmond, KY
3. Country Stitches, Lansing, MI
4. Everlasting Stitches, Holt, MI

I didn't think I would have room left in my tiny car for any more fabric, but when I discovered Pink Castle Fabric was in Ann Arbor I knew I would have to make at least one more stop in Michigan before my vacation was over. I have to say, this store isn't the easiest to find, but I was so glad I did! It is located in a small warehouse commercial park where there are several buildings that all look the same until you come to the one with the big pink castle in the door. Pink Castle is unlike any other fabric store I have shopped. The majority of their retail occurs online, so the shop is organized by manufactures and lines. This makes it easier for the staff to pick and cut the orders that have been placed online. 

My first thought was to find fabrics that I might be able to use in red and white blocks that were requested by the WERQ Bee leader for the month of August. I got some Summer Plaid in Red, Pam Kitty Recipes in Red, Novelty News in White, Rush Hour Text in Black and White, and Word Search in White. Check out my last Sunday Stash to see other red and white fabrics and how they all came together to make red and white purse string blocks.

I picked up some Spirodraft in Ocre, Triangularity in Mustard, Dottie in Goldilocks, XOXO in Shag Carpet, Vintage Scales in Green, and Simple Plaid in Lime. 

I just couldn't stop and added a few more bolts to the growing stack. I included some Heather Ross Far Far Away Snails in Pink, Far Far Away Frog Prince in Pink, Little Town in Glee, Netorious in Roadster, Threaded Shreds in Mamey, and Simple Plaid in Red. (I'm starting to wonder where the color names come from. . .Mamey, Glee, Roadster???)

Finally there was this awesome little fabric bundle that was all alone on a shelf. The colors made me think of the orange groves. The bundle is aptly named Orange Tree and was curated by Brenda from Just a Bit Frayed.  It includes Spice Plain Gingham in Gray, Savvy Dots in Orange, Beatrice Weave in Emerald, Woodgrain in Bark, Full Mood Polka Dot in Tangerine, Briar Rose Strawberry in Orange, Vintage Leaf in Orange, and Tiny Gingham in Kiwi. 

Phew! That was the most fabric that I ever purchased at one time, but my adventures are still not done. Be sure to stop back next week for the last stop on my Fabric Shop Tour. As usual I 'm linking up with Molli Sparkles and his Sunday Stash

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Stash: Fabric Shop Tour 4

On my summer vacation to Michigan recently the usual visits with family and friends took an unexpected turn, fabric shopping! In this Sunday Stash: Fabric Shop Tour stop I visited Everlasting Stitches. This is another shop that came with high recommendations from my mom. I can see why the shop was so appealing to her, one the staples of this shop is a selection of Civil War reproduction fabrics. My mom loves the darker and muted colors and the small motifs of the patterns. While those are not the fabrics I tend to gravitate towards, I can appreciate their appeal. During this shopping adventure, I couldn't help but think different locations make different colors and different patterns come to life. The reproduction fabrics make sense in Michigan. 

I chose some of the Wee Wander fabrics by Sara Jane for Michael Miller Fabrics. There is Nature Walk Pink, and Woods Petal. Then I picked up some text based fabric with a news paper print and one with numbers that could be a variety of dates and a little dashed red print. Unfortunately I put the three of those to use before recording any of the makers details. 

I also got this Aspen Frost print called Tin Solider from Moda. It was on clearance so I bought the end of the bolt. I thought this one would go well with the Alexander Henry Christmas fabric I picked up earlier on the trip.

Finished Purse String Blocks in red and white.

The red and white fabrics were combined with others from my stash for these Purse String Blocks for the WERQ Bee bee leader. The pattern was easy to follow with Kelly's tutorial on My Quilt Infatuation. My favorite part is how easily it is to re-purpose some of the trimmed pieces into sweet little pinwheels.
Pretty pinwheels from the left over pieces.
 Once again I'm linking up with Molli Sparkles and his Sunday Stash. What colors would you use for a purse string block?


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Mystery Quilt and Half Square Triangle Hacks

My new blog friend Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a mystery quilt along for her Foothills Mystery Quilt. I had never heard of a mystery quilt before I stumbled across Cheryl's blog. I love mysteries and love quilts so I thought this would be a great combination. So far I have learned that in a mystery quilt game the quilt design is broken down into steps to make various pieces of the final design. The final quilt is a surprise that comes together with the final steps of the game. The First step of the Foothills Mystery Quilt was selecting fabric. You can read about my choices here, and if you would like to join, there is still time, just check out Cheryl's blog. Participants cut all of the required pieces in the Second step. Now we are working on the Third Step: 144 half square triangle (HST) units. 

I created several HSTs for a recent quilt top design of my own and I used Cheryl's prescribed method, where you place two squares right side together and draw a line from point to point diagonally across the square and then sew 1/4" on each side of the drawn line. It's a fine method and worked very well for me, follow the link to see. 

Cardboard and tape make a great HST guide for my machine.
I expanded on an idea I borrowed from My Quilt Infatuation while constructing blocks for my WERQ Bee partner where you use tape to help guide squares so that you would not need to draw a line on each one. You place a piece of tape on your sewing machine so that the edge of the tape is 1/4" away from the needle. Then you just line up the points of the square with the tape and sew without having to draw the line!

This would have worked perfectly for me, except the surface of my machine was too small for the 4" square that we are sewing in the mystery quilt. Using some cardboard from a granola bar box and some masking tape I fashioned an extension to my machine. 

The extension attached to my machine base.
The points are all lined up.
If you line up the bottom and top points with the edge of the tape you can sew 1/4" from the center without having to make a mark. I added some triangle markers for the side corners, not that they were necessary, but because they helped speed up the process of lining up the squares just right. I'm sure this is not new, and there probably is a device available that does this same thing. I felt like MacGyver though, hacking into a better, faster, more efficient way of making all of these HSTs.

Chain stitching was a breeze, and guiding the fabric along the tape edge was a cinch.
Just guide them through.
The resulting pile of sewn HST!
Now that they were all sewn, I knew I would have to cut them and press them. I wasn't particularly looking forward to the cutting of them. I started cutting them though, one at a time as I have done before. Then MacGyver kicked in again. There was no reason to cut them only one at a time. 

Lined up on the 5" mark. 
I lined up the stitching line with one of the lines on my cutting board and overlapped the squares as shown. I was careful to make sure the lines all matched from top to bottom.

Use the blurry 1/4" mark on the ruler to line up with a stitching line and slice with the rotary cutter.

Again, I'm sure this is nothing new, but to me it was revolutionary and made cutting those HSTs in half much faster than I had ever imagined. I have to say I am loving this Mystery Game. I have gotten to try some new ideas, and I love that I am able to play with the blocks and imagine endless possibilities because I don't know what the end result will be. It's quite exhilarating!