Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

My Creative Space

Last weekend I had so many creative ideas that I was just dying to spend a few hours creating.  However, it was one of those weekends when someone was tugging on my leg every 90 seconds, especially since there was no school on Monday.  I hate it when my day and my heart just don’t align well.  I had so much pent up creative energy that I felt like I was going to burst!

On Saturday I stumbled upon these pictures of Heather Bailey’s studio.  Instantly I wanted a room like that!  I especially wanted to go shopping for a bookshelf  that I could neatly stack all my fabric on, in plain sight, to look at for fun and to see everything and therefore use it all more.  Well, that wasn’t happening.  I’ve promised myself no more shopping like that until I have a basement empty of DIYs.  For a few minutes I very seriously considered stealing my cabinet in the dining room to use for my fabric, but it’s perfect where it is so I left it alone.

Instead, I started taking everything out of drawers and made a fabulous mess.  Then, over the next couple of days I got it all put back away, but this time I did it so that I can see all my fabric at a glance instead of having it laying in stacks (which means I forget what’s underneath).

So, while I’m no Heather Bailey, I can at least be inspired by the beauty that’s available to me.  Here goes:

drawer filled with pink and red fabrics`

Each drawer is now filled (I should probably say stuffed full) with my quilting fabrics, turned to stand up so that I can see all of them.  They’re sorted by colors.

drawer filled with blue fabrics

Hopefully I’ll use them all more wisely now that I can see them so easily.

drawer filled with green fabrics

There is another drawer for black and whites, another for browns, and a cupboard for decorator weight fabrics.
I also made a separate spot for Christmas prints, and for fall/Halloween projects.

A box full of flannels for baby blankets:

flannel fabric

I simplified the cabinet that holds my rarely used collection of rubber stamps.  Above it is a bit of vintage hand stitched red and white lace that I just love.  It is incredible to me to look at each little stitch.  I wonder about who made it and if it was art to her.

red and white decor

I cleared the fabric dresser top so it’s now free of clutter.

vintage blue jar with old paper flags

I also went through all the supplies that I keep in blue bins under my desk and was able to trim down on the clutter there as well.  I use a vintage doll cradle to hold the projects that are currently in progress or next up.  I reduced the number of projects in that category.

doll cradle with fabric in it

When I went to store something under the bed, I pulled out a box full of flannel fabric that I’d completely forgotten about!  I remedied this problem by storing things I use a lot next to things I don’t use so much.  I feel like now I won’t forget about any supplies, and will be able to use them all wisely.  This step included using my wire baskets on the bookshelf better.

basket full of craft supplies

Now the basket which was formerly full of vintage supplies I intended to use but forgot about houses those vintage bits along with the jelly rolls, charm packs and fat quarters that I use a lot.

Another basket full of good stuff!

basket full of craft supplies

I keep being tempted to start collecting cute pincushions, because they’re everywhere and they’re really fun.  I have a couple of cute ones, but for now I’m happy using my favorite, this awesome bird sitting in a nest  atop a vintage candy dish.

bird pincushion

There is a lot that I still want to do to this room, but I’m so happy with it even as it is.    Because it doubles as a guest room, I want to try to keep it simple  enough that it can also be a restful bedroom.  I realize that I’m tremendously blessed to have it.  I’m thankful for a husband who works so hard so that we can have a home that allows me a space such as this.

craft and sewing station

To anyone else who walked in the room, there would probably be no noticeable change.

bookshelf

But for me, it feels like a fresh start for a new year of creativity.  I’m pleased.

craft storage

It doesn’t hurt that I dealt with all that pent up energy in a positive way, either.

HH

Fabric Favorites 2009

So, over at True Up, there’s been a giveaway running for those who submit their lists of favorite fabrics in 2009.  For some reason I didn’t feel like I had anything intelligent to add to the discussion until AFTER I started reading everyone’s submissions.  While I totally missed the contest, after reading the lists of others, I just have to chime in for the fun of it.

So here goes….

Favorite collection of 2009:
This is a tough one for me.  I  have two.  The first is Rouenneries, by French General for Moda.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this line of fabric.  For the first time in my life, I wanted a piece of EVERY print in a collection.  I already raved about it here.

My second favorite fabric line of the year was Whimsy by Pillow &  Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics.  I bought a ton of it in the pink colorway for my baby’s blanket, and designed a quilt for my niece in the emerald blue colorway.  This was just so vibrant, I loved it.  And did you know they just released the large whimsy prints in a new colorway at the beginning of January?  In aqua and chocolate brown?  Hello!  But I digress, for this is 2010, and I’m talking about 2009.

whimsy quilt

Favorite new designer:  I’d have to say Kaari Meng/French General.  I’ve been watching her for a couple of years now, and was super excited to see her first fabric line.

Favorite Solid fabrics:  Kona Cottons by Robert Kaufman.  Love the variety.  Just wish I could find a local shop that carried a good selection of them.

Favorite new trend in quilting:  Ok, some might think this is on the edge, and to some it might be old, but to me it’s new.  Selvage quilting.  You can learn about it here.  I’ve always wished I knew what to do with the cute selvages when I cut them off, and now I wish I had them all back!  I’m collecting mine for some fun after I’ve got a good stash.  I want to make a spiderweb quilt like this one.  At least I discovered this in time for the neatest selvages ever, again from French General.  I LOVE the little design on each one.

Rouenneries selvage

Favorite colors:  I’ve been on this one for a few years now, but I’d still have to say aqua, white, and red.  Oh, how I love these colors together!  Most of my house is painted a shade of aqua.  I never get tired of it.  And if you want to see an adorable blog in all these colors, check out Camille Roskelley’s blog.  You’ll be happy if you do.

red, aqua and white fabric

Favorite go-to fabrics:  Polka dots.  I’m loving them as much today as when I first fell in love with them.

polka dot fabrics

Favorite holiday fabric (that I didn’t buy ANY of):  Spooktacular by Sanae for Moda.  What was I thinking?  Oh yeah, I had a newborn baby then.  I guess that’s a good excuse.

Favorite out-of-the-ordinary collection:  Authentic by Sweetwater.   I was really drawn to bolts of fabric with dictionary type pages printed on them.  I liked how unusual it was.

Favorite random print that I just loved:  Flower Power stripe in Heron blue by Lakehouse.  I went on a huge hunt to find some of this fabric.  Can’t wait to use it!

flower power by lakehouse

Favorite new quilt pattern that made me catch my breath:  Cotton Way’s Life’s Journey (which I haven’t bought yet, but really want to).  I saw it first on True Up’s post here.

Ok, I’ll stop there.  I can’t believe how much I found to love of the 2009 fabrics, even with how out of the loop I felt due to adding baby #8 to my life.  I’m sure 2010 will be just as wonderful!

Jennifer

Faith Sings Quilt

Well, I finished my first quilt for 2010.  I am calling it my Faith Sings quilt.

bird applique quilt

I like how it turned out.  It was one of those projects that sort of evolved as I went along.

I couldn’t find a pattern that I wanted to cut the background fabric for, so I decided to just make a quilt with it alone, and added some borders.

Then I decided to use a little free pattern I’d photocopied at a local quilt shop for a branch, two birds and some leaves.

bird applique quilt

Once I got going on that path, I remembered the quote I’d put on my Christmas cards for 2008, and decided to embroider it onto the quilt.  I lengthened the branch so there would be room, and embroidered it in brown.

Faith is the bird that feels the light embroidery

I love, love, love this quote.  “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”
It was sort of my quote for 2009.  Many times the dawn felt dark, but we tried to sing.  I didn’t sing as much as I should have, but we pressed forward.

At the bottom corner, I embroidered this:

"sing on" embroidered on quilt

Okay, so I realize that it should have been finished in 2009.  I tried, I really tried.  It just didn’t happen, so instead it’s the first completed quilt of 2010.  And I still love the quote, so it’s fine with me.

"Faith is the bird" quilt

Originally I thought this quilt would be for my baby, but with once the embroidery was done I decided it’s mine instead.  If I’d planned for it to be mine, it probably wouldn’t be pink and green, but I like it anyway.

I used a soft minky stripe on the back.  YUM!

back of quilt

Hooray!  One project done, countless to go!  (Could you imagine how bleak life would be without lots of projects to look forward to?)

applique birds on branch

Hope that you’re feeling the light and singing, even if the dawn still feels dark!  Have a great day.

Jennifer

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