Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Year's Wish for friends near & far

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.

May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline.

May laughter assault your lips!

May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires.

May happiness slap you across the face and your tears be that of joy.

May the problems you had forget your home address!

May your health be that of an Olympic athlete.

May your friends multiply like snowflakes in a blizzard.

In simple words………..May 2009 be the BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Quilt as you go...so many options

I would LOVE a long arm machine. But until that dream comes true, I will be quilting by hand or with my regular sewing machine. It is more than difficult for me to quilt a large lap quilt (or bigger) with my sewing machine, so I have been seeking out quilt-as-you-go methods for the past year.

Of course, there is rag quilting. this is a great solution that will give a great usable quilt that begs for repeated washings. Here is a great tutorial from the old Simply Quilts show. It is a great jumping off point for your creativity.

Next, I have become intrigued with Divide & Conquer by Nancy Smith & Lynda Milligan. Here again is a link from the Simply Quilts show. I have the book & it is much easier to follow. I have used 1 of the methods in the book already & the second method is also on my radar.

I have also used an add a strip method like in this project that was a great way to practice free motion quilting. Nothing like developing 2 skills at once! This is a great method for making a reversible quilt with different interest on each side...like one side spring & the other fall tones!

Do you have a favorite to share?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sewing Saturday & Sunday


I am hopefull to finish my floating stars quilt this weekend and I don't know about you, but as I am getting to the binding of the current project, my mind is already wandering to "what's next".
So, I have out a stack of books that is half as tall as I am (almost) trying to decide. I think I have it narrowed down to a few options. I still have a layer cake throw quilt to finish quilting, so I am in no hurry to make up my mind (good thing!). It will be odd to have only 1 UFO!

I am also putting together an online photo album of options for a customer for a king sized bed quilt. This will most likely be my next project, in actuality. I am hoping for a log cabin of some sort...I just love log cabins!

I have decided to attach the square yoyos by hand instead of machine, so that takes care of my current handwork project. I have to have something to do with my hands while I watch TV at night...or they find their way to Oreo's (double stuff...yum).

Stay tuned for pics of the projects that are oh so close to completion.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Early Thursday Tips~Merry Christmas to All

I wish all of you the best holiday possible tomorrow and hope you take a moment tomorrow to count your blessings, large and small. In the past week, I have been very reflective about and thankful for all my life has become.

In that vein, it is my Christmas tip for us all; Never let a blessing go unrecognized, unthanked, or underappreciated.



MySpace Graphics

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Morning Surfing

I have found a whole new world of surfing lately. Since joining twitter (find me @ www.twitter.com/fabricsnquilts) I find myself surfing around looking at who my new followers follow & checking out blogs...and blogs they follow...then etsy stores...and who they have faved...

Time seems to melt away like a dream sequence in the movies....

So here are some of my new fave quilting blogs I have found in the past week. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

A Quilter's Journey Back in Time
http://www.onlinequilting.worldpress.com
http://kalamaquilts.blogspot.com/ Her most recent post adds nicely to the last Fiber Friday post
http://patchworkandstitcherygarden.blogspot.com/ Now I don't read German, but I love the collection of thimbles, and there is always freetranslation.com for help with content :)
http://quilt-it.blogspot.com/
http://carole-quiltingadventures.blogspot.com/ LOVE her banner! Check out this post for sure!I am so jealous! http://carole-quiltingadventures.blogspot.com/2008/11/stephen-in-spot-light.html

Just imagine where all these new sites will take you! I could go all day just surfing off from them!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday & Sunday Sewing

I have a wonderful weekend of sewing planned. First I am creating the largest diaper bag ever known to mankind (*wink*) for the cutest local lady who is expecting her 2nd son in the next couple of weeks. To be able to carry all she needs for both her new arrival & her 2 year old, we have designed a 2' by 1' by 6" deep bag. I can't wait to see it myself!

I also picked up some new John Deere Pink cotton last night, a print I had not seen yet. So I may make a purse & wallet set from that for last minute in-store shoppers next week. We all know men wait until the last minute.

The majority of my Sunday sewing will be devoted to finishing up the floating stars quilt. I marked the border last night & am ready to roll now. BUT, my yo-yo (McAllistar McPuff from Georgia Bonsteel's Easy Does It) is also almost done; just 16 more to cinch up & I can start connecting. Both of the quilt projects have been a blast & I am so glad to see them so close to completion. I may be singing Merry Christmas to ME on Monday!

Have a super stitchin' weekend!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fiber Friday~Scraps to Heirlooms

My usual blog readers know that my scrap boxES have been overflowing and that I vowed around Halloween to not cut fabric off the bolt or use new fabric for any projects the rest of the calendar year. So far, I have done very well, only pulling new fabric for quilt backing. The rest of the fabric has come from my stash & scrap bins. I am wrapping up project #3 now and hope to have it to show in the coming week.
In this vein, this Fiber Friday we are going to look at scraps.

I don't know if I could add anything of consequence that is not mentioned in this wonderful website, but I will try.



First, I know the scrappy look is not for everyone. I like it because it is nostalic to me. Looking back at quilting as a way to warm the family, nothing went to waste and scrap quilts were born of that necessity to stay warm. This quilt is courtesy of the article linked above.



Personally, I think most quilters WANT to use their scraps but are somewhat intimidated at the task. If your scrap "bin" is like mine, I understand your plight. Once upon a time, I divided the stash to separate out all the flannel and then to take the remaining cotton & separate by color family. So that was a big pat on the back for me, but it didn't lead to anything except organized boxes.

I really like the idea presented in the article above about trimming your scraps before you bin them. I like the idea, but I don't know if it is practical for me. When I am cutting out a project, I don't really think I will take the extra time to cut the scraps down for a project that may be one day. I need to come to terms with this. Plus there is the issue of the current pile to get trimmed....daunting to say the least!

So, I would love to see your tips and your fave webstites for organization, scrap quilt, scrap buster patterns. For me, when quilt #3 is done, I think I will do one more top before year end from the bins. I am already planning my reward quilt; the one I will do after the first of the year to congratulate myself on a fall of using what I had on hand.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday Tips~Scrappy Floating Stars

I am nearly finished with my Twin sized Scrappy Floating Stars quilt and have a tip to share with you if you decide to try this one.

It took me a while to SEE the stars in this one, so by the time I did, it was too late to make a change to my layout. Here I circled the star (which is now so totally obvious to me). I already had the borders on I was just not going backward at that point.


The stars kinda fall in a diagonal fashion. You will see from this pic from the pattern, that the outside blocks do not form a complete star. If you make this quilt, I would suggest doing half blocks on the perimeter so that your stars are fully formed across the entire quilt.



Another tip for this project!

When you are working step 2, go ahead & sew another seam to join the corners you will cut away. Now instead of 2 triangles to add to your stash, you have a square. From my twin quilt, I ended up with over 200 of these jems and no bias edge sewing necessary. I debated using them in my border, but decided to save for another project (yet to be decided).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ze Imporant French Award



Thanks to BerryBlueCreations for bestowing the coveted
Marie Antoinette Award
on me. Though I don't quite know all the rights & benefits this award bestows upon me, I gleefully accept! (who doesn't love an award?) Check out her Etsy store & blog!

I give you the blogs that I believe also deserve the recognition for your consideration (& checking out!)




RagamuffinQuilts

Ashlawnfarms

QuiltingCafe

SojournQuilts

MountainHomeQuilts

Kimbuktu

KuddleZoo



RULES of de game
1 Please ad the logo on your blog
2 Place a link to the person from whom you received the award.
3 nominate at least 7 or more blogs
4 put the links to those blogs on your blog
5 leave a message on their blogs to tell them they are the chosen ones

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sewing Sunday

Today will finally see a little warm weather here in TN. We hope to hit 50 & see the snow melt today. One day of nice sunny warmth is to be followed by 4 days of rain, so I should be outside today, but I think that today will be a quilting day for me.

I have 2 quilts close to completion & am going to focus on 1 most of the day & see if I can wrap it up. I have a few small projects lined up next to get a little quick gratification.

So, no new listings for me today, but I hope you saw all the notions I added to www.fabricsnquilts.etsy.com over the past couple days. I will concentrate on getting my quilt patterns & books listed next week, as well as the new notions that will be coming in next week.

Hope for sunny warm days for all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fiber Friday~Homage to Handmade

What does that mean, a homage to handmade?
To me it means that the arts and crafts that provided our forefathers (& mothers) with livlihood, comfort, solice continue to do so. Somewhere along the way, Arts & Crafts changed from a classic style rich in heritage, quality and workmanship to an activity involving children, macaroni & paste. I, of course, think of Arts & Crafts in terms of the "movement", and all that mindset entailed. The American Craftsman style, for me is embodied in the works of Frank Lloyd Wright & Gustav Stickley.
Check out this article by PamelaQuilts . It was my inspiration for today. I agree with all her points, and as she said, could think of more, but I really think it applies to all forms of artistic craftwork.

So in this my public show of respect to handmade, I am going to show off some of my favorite etsians, fiber & other media as well.






This hand quilted bed quilt by OriginalsbyLauren shows her proficiency with piecing, color temperature and handquilting. Given the hundreds of hours invested by the artist in this quilt it is an heirloom for its new owner's family for certain!







Not all craft has to be serious either. Art is fun, let's face it! QuiltingCafe knows this and it shows in her work! Look at this postcard. What a wonderful surprise to find this treasure in the mailbox. And think of all the folks that handle the postcard along its journey who get to see her too!




Switching gears a little, where would the world be without metalsmiths? TimothyAdamDesigns has a wonderful series of metalwork depicting vintage cameras..using rivets! This necklace is my favorite in that series. He has the most awesome furniture too!




Who doesn't need a flutterbutt? Come on! These creations get my "cutest creatures on Etsy" designation. Created by Raisinlike, these puppets make me smile EVERY TIME I see them! And just saying "Sunny Flutterbutt" if fun!








Here's another lost art...writing. I mean really writing. Taking pen in hand and putting thoughts on paper in legible handwriting. I admit, I have a problem with the last part. I have been told I have the "handwriting of a serial killer," which doesn't sound very nice, but I know it's a movie quote, so I let it go. So maybe we need some motivation! PaperParaphernalia has several blank journals available in her store, but I love this one best. Think of how many folks in your life you need to give a top 10 List of Love to!







Now, I have a personal tidbit to tell you. I have skinny wrists (risque, I know); I have a bracelet I received in 3rd grade that still fits, sad, but true (if only my backside would have retained its high school shape so well). Well, anyway, I digress. My friend, RagaMuffinQuilts crocheted me the coolest set of wrist warmers, just like these. I have to tell you that I wash them all the time because I wear them everyday. They are so versatile. I can double them over so they are not in my way when typing, loop them over my thumb for trips outside with my pooch, or not loop them over the thumb. I can say they are the coolest gift I got all year.







Now, since I brought up jewelry, I have to say that frillz is a total fave! She describes her pieces as art to wear & I agree. I also love her obvious sense of humor. Check out white trash!





I could go on & on and show off everyone in my favorites list, but that isn't the point. Focus on the quality, the art and the history. I fear that the next generation of i-pod wearing, xbox playing youngsters just won't get it. But of course, we are just the newest generation to feel that way, now aren't we. Imagine how the pioneers thought at the sight of the first auto!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Look who's in a treasury

Thanks to fifthquadrant

for including

the Bistro Jelly Roll

in her treasury
http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=26489

Another way to search Etsy for Supplies

I really am LOVING twitter!

I just picked up a follower that led me to the blog http://etsyminisupplies.blogspot.com/

This is a great new way to search etsy for supplies, both handmade and commercially made, by category.

I just added my fabricsnquilts.etsy.com store to the commercial fabrics & notions list, so you can look for me there soon!

Thanks to those volunteers that maintain this great site!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Twitter Fun!

Thanks to TimothyAdamDesigns for his online twitter help!

I love that I can set up a feed to help streamline the marketing side of twitter with http://twitterfeed.com/

If you haven't visited Timothy's blog...it is a wealth of etsy, handmade, twitter, and MORE info. Etsy should pay him!

Great site for Free Patterns!

My bud, RagAMuffinQuilts, has been featured on http://www.thegoldenthimble.com/ for being such a great free pattern blogger. This is an awesome resourse for patterns. Check it out!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Took the leap to Twitter

Well, it may be a while before I realize how this helps my etsy shop, but I have set up my account with www.twitter.com

http://twitter.com/fabricsnquilts

All I know so far is that I have added some contacts. Any of my blog followers twitter? Add me!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fiber Friday! Permanent Price Reduction on Moda

I have decided that jelly rolls are TOOO fun to use and want everyone to play!

Even though moda has raised prices, I have decided to offer Jelly Rolls on Etsy for $25.00 each from now on. This is a great deal for quilters at almost a 30% discount of suggested retail prices.

I am also permanently dropping prices for charm packs to $7.50 each.

I figure that this way I can keep ordering new ones & keep more of you stitching away instead of cutting!



Stock up, Stuff Stockings,
Give & Have a Quilty Christmas!
Happy Early New Year!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

American Jane Free Pattern Using Recess line


Check out the current issue (Feb 2009) of American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine for a pattern using these great fabrics.


Here's a link to the pic of the project using the American Jane fabrics

I was thinking how great a 2 color quilt would look with this pattern in these fabrics. Especially since each yard of fabric gives you 4 different patterns. How easy to make a variety of stars from 1 panel of fabric!

Of course, you can find several of these prints in my Etsy store!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Red Hot Treasury!

Check out this toasty Quiltsy Team treasury I snagged today!

Last day for free shipping on Etsy!


Today is the last day to snag all your fabric needs for holiday projects OR just snag the gift and let me gift you the shipping!
Don't miss this great deal! There is no limit, except that today is the last day to snatch up the deal!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This bed's not for sleeping!

I set up a bedframe in the antique store yesterday to solve 2 storage problems. I know...how does this help?

Well, let me tell ya! :)

I did not use a mattress, but instead used plastic storage totes to fill in the rectangle hole made by the frame. Then used those totes to truly STASH my stash. Then, I layed out all the antique quilts ontop of my new "bed". Layer after layer after layer of antique quilts. Then put my to-be-sold quilts as the top layer so I could get to them easily when their new owners found them on Etsy.

So I guess I solved 3 storage problems! Both my handmade & the handmade antique quilts lay flat in a way that is not detrimental to their health PLUS a place to store away my stash of denim that is all clean & ready for me to slice & dice anytime I get the urge (or order).
Visit me soon! I have a new order of moda enroute that I will be listing this week!

Been a busy little bee lately!


Well DHFnQ is home from a visit with his brothers & Dad. Great for them all to get together, since it is so hard with them being spread out in 3 different states.


But, I tend to "turbo" while he is gone. I was able to finish & list this wonderful Queen Rag Quilt. We did decide that we would give it just a limited life for sale, so if you love it as much as we do, you better snatch it up quickly! It will be on our bed for good if you don't hit the "gotta have it" buy button.


I also did a little painting in the house while he was away & put a nice clean coat of white paint on the LR ceiling. I also washed all the panelling & pulled out almost all the furniture for a good vac'ing (can you say sore & out of shape? ugh).


Let's see, I did cook Thanksgiving supper for me & my mom. YUM. I think white chili is on the menu for tonight from the leftovers. Double YUM YUM.


I also basted my twin scrappy floating stars quilt top & found the perfect complimentary backing fabric IN MY STASH for it. Look for a post on that beauty to come very soon! I hope to get to quilting it tonight.


I am also working on completing a yoyo quilt with a twist. I laid out the pieces so far completed, and am less than half way done. This is my "hand-work-while-I-watch-TV" project and will come together as time allows.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free US Shipping in both Etsy Stores until 12/3


I am offering free US Shipping in both my Etsy stores from now until NEXT WEDNESDAY!

Stop in & stock up!

www.fabricsnquilts.etsy.com

www.fabricsandquilts.etsy.com

Own The Hour

Well, I finally got up this morning early enough to get a screen shot of my item!

I was tickled to see my bud, Mountain Home Quilts, right above me. I purchased the spot for 3 straight hours this morning & netted 4 views on this particular quilt. I need to stay up late tonight to try to snag some prime Friday spots.
I hope they are marketing the site and driving in traffic. I would love to see a traffic counter for each day (of course, stat junkie that I am, I would rather see it by the hour).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Whew, it's been too long!

I have been so negelecting of the blog over the last week! BUT I have been busy making all kinds of new goodies!


I have a couple new table runners to get listed and have finished a twin quilt top that I will hopefully start quilting this weekend. I am also getting a denim upcycled rag quilt together.


I have also been busy working on marketing. I have been "owning the hour", just wish I was up around midnight to snag the spots in prime time. But hey, folks shop in the morning too,right?


My newest fabric additions are some new button fabric from Robert Kaufman.
I have also added Make Your Own Fat Quarter Bundle listings to etsy. Of course, I will make a custom listing for any amount & combo of fabrics, but these listings are set up for moda, Kaufman & the batiks for folks who are ready for a mix & match of those lines.
For all those in the US, have a great Thanksgiving. And for all, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Own the Hour

Thanks to adicat for letting me know about this great new promotion site!

http://etsy.ownthehour.com/


I have already picked a listing & bought a spot! What a deal!

Check me out tomorrow @ 6am EST!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Crib Quilt listed on Etsy



My NEW baby girl crib quilt is listed on Etsy for immediate shipping!

This quilt is quilted in swirls and hearts over the white tone on tone and pink kitten cotton fabric top. The batting and backing are a soft & cozy white flannel with pink polka dots.

A side bar but HUGE THANK YOU to Kimbuktu for her tutorial on free motion quilting that has given me the confidence to try free motion quilting and the encouragement to keep practicing!

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Goodies Listed

I posted yesterday that I spent my weekend busily sewing & finishing up the dreaded unfinished projects. I have some great new listings on Etsy and more to come in the next day or so. I have been remiss in listing as I complete things and am now trying to catch up.

Hope you can take a peek & find that perfect Christmas gift!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sewing Sunday

I have been sparked! My post on Friday had you all a-wonder if I just went numb staring at the scraps, but, hooray! I have been a stitchin machine!

I decided yesterday to dig out several small UFO's from the bottom of the pile (of scraps) here at the store. I am pleased to say that I finished 3 of them already. They were so close to completion that it was truly shame on me for letting them sit so long! I will get them listed in the Etsy store this week and post back here so you can see them.

Now I am ready to start quilting the latest rag quilt creation. I did have to pull my flannel off the bolt (in spite of my pledge not to do so), BUT the quilt top is all pieced from the scraps. I hope to have this one ready for clipping tomorrow and another new listing for the Etsy store by the end of the week.

Hope you are sewing your Sunday away too! Back to the "other" machine!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fiber Friday~Train Wrecks

Ever follow a train of thought, regardless of the impending train wreck?

I have been looking around the scrap stash this week and wondering how would I ever get all my scraps used in this short life!? Since the pile has grown exponentially this year, I have vowed to not cut anything from the bolt for the rest of the year for personal use (did you hear a giggle? I swear I heard some faint laughter).

That led me to think of glorious quilts in intricate patterns and some simpler patterns that I could whip up in a jiffy. This led me to think about my neighbor. He is a great quilter; his points always meet! This is a ! because he cuts all his quilt pieces with a pair of old scissors and usually freehand. (I need to go take pics of his great work for a future post.) I have to think that woe-is-me if I HAD to do it that way. A quilter, I would NOT be. Then thoughts turned to a generation or 2 before my 70+ year old neighbor and how those ladies of the old west were joining up scraps of clothes, while at the same time, the elite sewing clubs of the Northeast were sewing those beautiful Victorian Era crazy quilts in velvet and lace.

(see what I mean about a train wreck waiting in the wings?)

but, then, shaking my head free of that train of thought, I looked back to the table, and I was at once intimidated by the volume, much like I was the first time I stepped into Hancock's of Paducah or a 31 flavors when I was a kid. I have already organized the scraps into color families to help me only have to take out one bin at a time. So I decided, or I think I decided, that maybe smaller projects would get me rolling. I have a table runner just about finished and now stare into the pile again. But as I stare into the pile, my eyes glaze over & the train pulls out of the station again...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Batiks Just Listed on Etsy

I have been busily adding my batiks to Etsy today! I still have several to go, but hope you will take a look & check back often! All the strips in my jelly roll are cut from the yardage listed, so it is a piece of cake to get a quilt together!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I have a thing for aprons

I don't know why, because I don't do the cooking in my house & I don't wear one in the store, but I should...how cute would I look ?!



But I was bouncing around Etsy today & found a new fave apron designer, boojiboo. I just wanted to pass along a couple pics of her cool creations. Don't you love how she takes her pic infront of that vintage oven!?



I also found this apron for the country girl (like me!) It's from creationsbymaudie



Friday, October 31, 2008

eBay loses its mind again...

So 15% fees was not enough...

Now they tell us HOW we can get paid...

I am speechless... no, disgusted....

http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200810211100392.html

http://pages.ebay.com/sell/August2008Update/Payments/

seems that if their hand is not in our pocket at every step, they aren't happy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Post #100!!! And its another stalker's treasury!

I have been stressing all week about how I would commemorate my 100th blog post. Just so happens, it all worked out....

ANOTHER TREASURY FOR MY BLOG FOLLOWERS!

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list_west.php?room_id=30842

I saw this & had to share...TOO AMAZING

I stumbled across this talented & OH SO PATIENT etsian today. Her shop is empty, but I just can't imagine how much time it took to save up all the materials used in her creations!

http://vintagericrac.blogspot.com/2008/10/big-selvedge-project.html

Check her out ricracsews.etsy.com

They are just stunning! To think how much we have thrown away!

Honor to be nominated

I was included in another quiltsy team treasury today! I just love this baby set too! Maybe I need to make a quilt & complete the set?!

Click & comment if you have a sec! Thanks!
http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=17825

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breast Cancer Charity Rag Quilt Auction IS LIVE!

The members of my eBay group, Quilter's Corner, have participated in putting together a quilt to benefit Susan G. Komen. The auction is now running!



http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=260306797009&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT&ih=016


If you have an eBay account, will you do us a favor and go to this listing & click "watch this item"? Of course, we would love it if you could bid & support a great cause, but eBay will help promote auctions that have a ton of interest, that's where views & "watchers" helps us.




Thanks for helping us raise money to find a cure!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quilting Green

Here's an unusal post for me....one with controversy! Now let me first say...I try to live as green as I can feasibly afford. I recycle, compost, organically garden, reuse, repurpose (see my Fiber Friday post from 10/17) and conserve. We keep our heat in the winter in our house at 59 & bundle up.....what I am saying is that we are not the frivilous kind.

I think my annoyance is the marketing world's affect on folks.

I have been chatting with the Quiltsy Team about cotton batting and that it is of late being seen as not being "green". This just floors me. It is an annually renewable resource (quicker than bamboo reproduces) and creates tons of jobs in the US. From the farmer, ginner, spinner, weaver and the companies that produce all the equipment that makes those activities possible...not to mention the USDA that certifies the cotton into grades for usage....who knows who else I am forgetting in that revenue/job stream..? BUT my point is how is cotton not a green alternative?

The only answer so far is chemicals used to culitvate the cotton to increase yeild. I suppose my best argument to that is corn. Corn is the GREEN fuel, right? Corn producers are using the comparable pesticides and genetically engineered seed to increase production. So maybe the definition of green is the alternatives....corn is greener than oil, so it is green, no matter what chemicals are used to harvest the maximum yeild...it is still greener than the alternative. HMMM...maybe I can buy that as an answer.... plastic bottle batting is greener than cotton and that makes it green & cotton not green....maybe....(but it makes me wonder about the footprint of each alternative's processing...)

But I digress...cotton batting is not from a man made resource, and it is available in "organic" form for those that so choose.

I do not dislike any of the "greenER" alternatives, but I DO believe they are deceptive. There is a new batting being unveiled this week at market made from recycled plastic bottles. I immediately said YAY! I decided to check it out. I went to their website on the product. http://www.quiltersdreambatting.com/dream-green.htm

it says (note the quotes): "Each pound of Dream Green Batting keeps 10 plastic bottles out of our landfills."

HMMM...here comes the marketing part. KEEPS??? Are the makers of the batting dumpster diving to keep the plastic bottles out of the landfills? Or are they using the bottles already separated by consumers to be recycled into something? Isn't it misleading and possibly irresponsible to say they are keeping bottles out of the landfill if they are using consumer separated bottles....those bottles would have been made into something anyway.

NOW, don't get me wrong...I am ecstatic they have found a way to use bottles and soybeans and bamboo to make usable quality batting. I just am not proud of the way they make cotton out to be....well, polyester. Also, if you read the description of the Dream Green, that's what this batting is...polyester.

I am rambling, I know. But I think that we as consumers really should THINK about what the marketers tell us and process that information through a filter. It's just wonderful to have recycled products to choose from, it would be wonderful if they could be promoted with integrity.

I think this is mental backlash from the political process *wink*. but dont get me started on that....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sewing Sunday!

Yesterday was a busy day in the brick & mortar store...it has actually been a very good week :). I did get some sewing done on my custom order and can see the light at the end of the tunnel with that project. I hope my customer likes it...he wants to be surprised...I just hope he is pleasantly surprised, if you know what I mean.

Today I am sewing up a charity quilt to list on eBay...If I am lucky, I will be able to list tonight. Actually, luck has nothing to do with it. It is a matter of focus. This rag throw quilt will be made from squares sent to me from my eBay quilting group, Quilter's Corner. Each lady sent me what they could. I have several embroidered squares to encorporate into the project as well. I am going to sew it up & get it listed to benefit Susan G. Komen in honor of our group's co-leader's mother who lost her battle a few years ago. I will be back to post a link to that auction so any of you who would like to support a fantastic cause can do so.

I also have a rag purse custom order to make by Tuesday for a local customer. She has picked a great color combo of Moda & mixing in some corduroy. It will be a fall stunner for sure!

That said...I guess it's time to focus focus focus!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fiber Friday~International Quilt Market

Hard to believe it's happening, given the recent hurricane, but the international quilt market trade show starts tomorrow in Houston.

The trade show is not open to the general public and runs from the 25-27th at the George R. Brown Convention Center. BUT this is followed by a quilt festival that is open to the public. The festival runs from 10/30-11/2. So if you find yourself in Houston next week, you are sure to find all kinds of fun & craziness in the realm of fiber art!

The spring trade show will be in Pittsburg May 15-17th. I am seriously considering this instead of Paducah's Quilt Show next year (unfortunately, I DO have to choose).

For more info on all these shows & events, http://www.quilts.com/home/shows/

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature~MoranArtandQuilts

This week's artist is


This week's artist is one of the most creative art quilters I think I have had the pleasure to know. She has a great eye for color as well as shape. Check out this modern/mod style quilt!

Using similar color sheme in the next piece, she achieved a totally different look. This artist can truly create for any taste or decor. Her wallhangings are exquisitely quilted and completed entirely by the artist.


I personally love the deep purple in this quilt and the applique is just flawless!

Click on any of the pics to view the listings & visit the Etsy store!

Now, let's get to know her!

What is the story behind your etsy store name and how does it relate to what you sell?

I chose my name in honor of my father who worked very hard to put me through art school only to pass away one year before I graduated. I had no brothers to carry on the Moran name so I've kept it for my artwork and quilts.

Of the items you create, do you have a favorite?

For example, medium, color, item, customer?I love making the art quilts and just being creative. I recently taught myself how to free motion machine quilt so that's been fun to experiment with. Watercolor painting is also near and dear to me and I've painted house and pet portraits for over 25 years now. Quilting didn't come along until 2004.

How did you learn your craft?

I've always loved painting and drawing and, so, attended an art college. I went on to better my craft with just lots of practice. Then I decided to pursue my interest in quilting and bought a beginning book to teach myself.

Do you belong to etsy teams?

Yes, the Quiltsy Team!

Do you have a favorite etsy seller?

I have so many, it would be hard to choose but here are two artists I really like:ArtbyWendy and MyBusyFingers

Anything else to share?

I've been married for 26 years and have two great kids; a 20 year old son who's an auto tech and a 17 year old daughter who will graduate this year and plans on attending a dog training school next fall. I love being around them; they've turned into wonderful people. I also want to thank you for being so kind and featuring me in your blog!

Other sites:

http://www.moranartwork.etsy.com/

http://moranart.deviantart.com/

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fiber Friday~Upcycling

So, this is an opinion post for Fiber Friday.


I have heard various opinions on recycling fabrics. One school of thought is that it is gross to turn no longer worn clothes into a new usable item. Another is that it is cool (I suppose those are the most blunt words)

Well, I guess am in the non-gross, cool to reuse group.





I have saved countless jeans (and I mean in the hundreds of pairs) from the landfill. Cutting them up & making usable quilt squares and rag quilts. I have made true friends from my denim square customers from eBay. So the value of the act is more than just the newly reclaimed fabric.



I also incorporate fabric from flannel shirts, khaki pants, tablecloths, chenille bedspreads, upholstery and even old T-Shirts into new fiber works of art. To me it is anyway. It can be a way to show rememberance, incorporating a loved ones items into a quilt, like your child's t-shirts into a quilt for college.



see the pocket?

This one is khakis on the back

I have also used old antique quilt tops & quilts to make new items. I used a quilt top that was rows of diamonds, pieced into large triangles. I used each row to make quilted window valances. I have a good friend that uses old cutter quilts to make primitive looking Santas (gorgeous-I have to get a picture for you all).

So I am a firm believer of not throwing things away. and if you saw my eclectic stash, you would believe me. I try to pass on the recycle/upcycle to those that embrace it. I have already exhausted all my denim stash from summer yard sales. BUT I will continue to offer my crazy pieced denim blocks forever (most likely, since I have such a collection of scraps). Here's the back of a rag quilt I made using them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Silly fears

So, have you ever avoided doing something because you just don't know if it will work like you want it to? I have to say, that I have avoided adding zippers to my purses because I was not certain that the extra work involved would be returned with a corresponding increase in price.

That said, here is a great tutorial on incorporating zippers into any project. Thanks to Hoosierquilter for the tip!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stat Geek

Thanks to AndrusGardensQuilts for posting the link in the Quiltsy team chat forum today!

http://www.majaba.org/heartomatic.php

This gives you really cool stats on your etsy shop in a few very easy clicks!

have fun!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature~ ForQuiltsSake

This week it is my pleasure to introduce you to ForQuiltsSake. This artist has the most amazing eye for color & composition! Click the pic to go to the individual listing for that quilt.




She doesn't mention it herself, but I have to show you her own unique version of mixed media!

(click the pic to go to the listing!)






What is the story behind your etsy store name and how does it relate to what you sell?

I wanted a name that was unique and was available as a website name. I kept trying different combinations of words with quilts and not only was http://www.forquiltssake.com/ available, when I Googled the words without quotes, there were only 3 things that came up. I also liked the connotation that since I’m driven to create quilts, I am doing this for the sake of the quilts.



Of the items you create, do you have a favorite? For example, medium, color, item, customer?



I really enjoy making my fabric mosaics and post cards because they’re small and fun and I can try out new techniques and color combinations without being committed to a whole quilt. I’ve recently started painting my own fabric and that’s also fun.



How did you learn your craft?

I never liked sewing but I loved fabric so I took a class on how to piece and quilt by hand. I loved the final result but it took too much time, so I taught myself how to use the sewing machine and I’m pretty much self-taught from books and just trying things.



Do you belong to etsy teams?

The fabulous Quiltsy Team.



Do you have a favorite etsy seller?

This is a hard questions. Of course I love all my Quiltsy sisters! If you looked through my favorites you’d find a lot of stained glass, glass beads, silver jewelry and of course, quilts. If I had to pick one, I’d probably pick NutmegDesigns because she makes fabulous mosaics and stained glass using quilt patterns. I haven’t bought from her yet, but she’s in my favorites so maybe someone will buy me one as a gift!



Do you have a favorite blog?

I love reading the blogs that my Quiltsy sisters write because it helps me feel like I know them. It’s fun to see what they’re up to, and sometimes I even learn a new technique.



Anything else to share?

My website is http://www.forquiltssake.com/

My Flickr site is www.flickr.com/photos/forquiltssake

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fiber Friday

I saw this forum thread in Etsy today and it got me to thinking about how I could incorporate that into a weekly feature on the blog.

SO.... I think I will start by giving info on new & exciting things in the quilting world...well new & exciting to me anyway!

I got this info today from my Robert Kaufman rep:

Please take a moment to view the following blog sites which feature a lot of information regarding our Designers- We have 2 new designers debuting their collections in Houston.- Patty Young and Paula Prass. They will both have booths at Quilt Market. Sandi Henderson will also have a booth as she has some new patterns.

Patty Young- Andalucia Collection www.modkidboutique.blogspot.com
Paula Prass- Flights of Fancy Collection www.paulaprass.blogspot.com
Sandi Henderson www.portabellopixie.typepad.com

Any ideas for upcoming Fiber Friday's...just email or convo me!

Etsy Teams Rock! Ok...Quiltsy Rocks...I don't really know about any other ones!

I was included in a couple treasuries today

Anyone feel like giving a little treasury love AND seeing some beautiful fiber art!?
http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=14114
http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=14298


Also, treasuries made by the Quiltsy team are always posted on the team blog. Just in case you are ever looking for your next treasure!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's great to be loved! It's exciting to be hearted!

I started selling on Etsy less than 9 months ago and honestly wasn't "working it" until late summer. I checked on my hearts just now & tipped the scale at 101! I hovered at 99 for the last couple weeks & am stoked to thank those that pushed me over the milestone, BlissCandles and BeautyBeadsnMore.

Of COURSE...Thanks to all of you that have hearted me along the way. I hope that I can meet a future need for fabrics, notions, patterns or quilted treasures in the future!

Visit me soon for supplies & for quilted goodies!

How about some Treasury Love?

I created these today. All clicks, views & comments are greatly appreciated!

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=13759

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=13669

Monday, October 6, 2008

Today is a Birthday!

Oh no, not me....

Today I gave some life to a new shop on Etsy!

I decided that due to the way the shops on etsy are set up, it was hard to really have a cohesive look selling both fabrics AND quilted items.

Soooo...

I have begun to list my new quilted items to a new store...FabricsAndQuilts

I figure that with the name being similar, keeping the avatar & banner the same, it will be good to cross promote.

Come on over & check out my new purses & aprons!

ALSO, I have been getting more fabric listed. Check out the dozens of new listings at fabricsnquilts!

More Moda Fabric available on Etsy

I have begun adding my moda yardage to my Etsy store. There are dozens of patterns to choose from. For the online shoppers...you can save $1 a yard with my by shopping Etsy & avoiding the high eBay fees!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature ~ Ashlawnfarms

This week's featured artist is another fiber artist. Ashlawnfarms is a very talented artist, a humble woman, and all around great gal!


What is the story behind your etsy store name and how does it relate to what you sell?

Ashlawnfarms (one word) is the dairy farm in central Indiana that I grew up on. We had over 150 head of Jersey cattle and milked an average of 60 cows. One summer we had over 100 cows milking at once and it took forever to milk them. I was very active in 4-H and showing the cows at local, state, and national shows. The herd was dispersed in Dec of 1988 during my freshman year of college. I chose my Etsy store name due to my past. It gives me fond memories of a fun childhood that I miss every once in a while. It also lets visitors of my shop know that I am a country girl and proud of it-although I am a city dweller now. I like the farm feeling it gives too-I am a hard worker and farmers have to be hard working and responsible to make a living. So you can say it is in my blood to be a hard worker....quilter now!


Of the items you create, do you have a favorite? For example, medium, color, item, customer?

I create quilts. Traditional quilts and rag quilts are my specialty. I guess a favorite would be the lone star quilt my grandma and I made 15 years ago.
I really love homespuns too, but am starting to favor Moda lines more and more.


How did you learn your craft?

I learned sewing and quilting from Grandma Walters. I made the tops and she quilted them all. We attended many estate sales acquiring fabric stashes here and there. I still have some of the stash, but have been using it up recently. Grandma suffered from a stroke in 1997 that took her right side. She spent the next 7 years in a nursing home before she passed in Jan 2004. During that time I could not sew anything. I pretty much kept busy with my athletic training education and career. In 2006 I started itching to sew again, but was worried about the quilting part. I stumbled across rag quilting which was an answer to my prayers. I have met many online quilters as well in various groups and learned so much from them as well as made some very good friends. They all really helped me to evolve-though I am still learning all the time! I have made hundreds of rag quilt items as well as designed a rag purse pattern series that I sell online. It was meant to be I believe! I will be trying more quilting this winter. Grandma always only quilted in the winter months because she was too busy in the garden during the summer to quilt-plus it was too hot to quilt she always said!


Do you belong to etsy teams?

I do belong to Etsy teams: Quiltsy and the INCrowd which is all Indiana sellers.


Do you have a favorite etsy seller?

I have not bought anything on Etsy yet-shame on me, but I plan to. I have my eye on seller RaspberryJune though! She sells the lines of fabrics that make my mouth water! (FNQ note...I have bought from RaspberryJune! She's awesome!)


Anything else to share?

I sell my patterns on this website: http://www.epatternshoppes.com/shoppes/epsashlawnfarms/ . I can also custom make any rag quilt creation you need!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Quilted Kitchens

The Quiltsy Team on Etsy is featuring how quilted items are not just for the bed or sofa this October.


search Etsy for quiltsyfood to see how you can quilt up your kitchen!


Here's a treasury featuring 12 of those items

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Since Yesterday was such a kick in the pants...let's laugh!

Upcoming business mergers to watch for so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks.


1.) Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W. R. Grace Co. Will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2.) PolyGram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker.

3.) 3M will merge with Goodyear an d become: MMMGood.

4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa

5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become: Fairwell Honeychild.

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants.

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!

And finally

9. Victoria 'S Secret and Smith &Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBang Bang


CHECKOUT Pass the Laughter for daily giggles!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Have you done the math?

Spurred on by a series of events today, I did a little eBay math....proceed with caution....this is scary!

For the types of items I sell, ebay takes, on average 15%. And that does not include paypal.

for a fixed price listing of any kind, the fee charged when the item is purchased is 12%. Add this to the price to list the item & the monthly store fee....

For an auction, it is not much better. The listing fee is between 5-10%. This, when successful, is accompanied by an 8.75% final fee. So there we are back up over 15% again.

So, just like all things that trickle down, I hope those that buy on eBay realize they are paying up to 20% more for what they want than if they shopped elsewhere, like etsy.

I raise this to 20% because you also have to understand sellers pay eBay's sister company, Paypal, another 4-5% of the TOTAL (including shipping) amount received from every buyer.

So, shop around....I will be spending more time on etsy I think....shopping & promoting.

eBay's only saving grace is that it has built up a membership base through past years of marketing & promotion. eBay's problem is that it doesn't seem to realize....if the sellers leave because 20% is just TOO MUCH to give to anyone...where does that leave them. If there is nothing to buy...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October 3rd is National Denim Day for Breast Cancer Research

In support for breast cancer research, I would like everyone to checkout http://www.denimday.com/

I wear it everyday, but those that don't, maybe you can convince your employer to form a team & make a donation!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature~RagamuffinQuilts

My first feature! Wish me luck!

I have known ragamuffin for over a year now (time flies), so I was thrilled when she volunteered to be my first artist feature.


What is the story behind your etsy store name and how does it relate to what you sell?
My etsy store name derived from the combination of my love for cats and quilting; most recently, rag quilts. Ragamuffin cats are very fluffy cats, sort of like my rag quilts with the fluffy raggie seams. So, Ragamuffin Quilts was born (with the help of my hubby and boys).

Of the items you create, do you have a favorite? For example, medium, color, item, customer?
My favorite item is my own design for a car seat rag quilt.




It has a "hole" for the car seat/stroller straps to help prevent your little one from kicking it off and losing it or getting dirty on the ground. I especially love these in all flannel, they are super soft and warm. I only wish I had thought of this while my boys were little.

How did you learn your craft?
I am pretty much a self-taught crafter. My grandmother introduced me to sewing and I fell in love with it. My mother introduced me to yarn crafting; knitting, crochet, needlepoint, etc. I started dabbling into the yarn crafts again recently as they are very portable for me to carry around with me.

Do you belong to etsy teams?
I belong to the Quiltsy Team. They are great group of quilters! Very supportive and inspirational.

Do you have a favorite etsy seller?
Hmmm, favorite etsy seller. It is so hard to pick just one, there are so many talented crafters on etsy!

Do you have a favorite blog?
Favorite blog - well I do follow two blogs daily; FabricsNQuilts (you're already here) and Fiber Deviant; two very talented crafters.

Anything else to share?
I would just like to thank my husband, children and close friends for their support in my efforts to start crafting again. Despite deadlines and hectic schedules, they never complain, they just jump right in and help me out. I honestly couldn't do it without them.
Check out Ragamuffin's blog too!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Quilt Top finished

I finished this quilt top today from more of the Moda Civil War Crossing layer cake I used in the purses (posted yesterday). A simple pattern, but I will be doing some detailed quilting to make it pop!

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