Quilter’s Question: Storing Your Stash

Recently, I convinced the husband that I needed a new desk and filing cabinet from Ikea. I’d seen enough pictures around Pinterest to know that this set-up would work well for my beauty supplies and would relieve my bathroom stink from all the clutter. So I sold it to him on the premise that our bathroom would be cleaner and we’d have more room on the sink.

Low and behold I got my desk and filing cabinet! It took me some time to fill it out and rid the bathroom of all my palettes but we’re now able to see the tile around the sink and all my stuff is better organized. Yay for organization!

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Along with all my makeup things, I realized that this desk would be a great place to set up my sewing machine and there was enough room to start storing my fabric stash here, too. So it doubled as a beauty/sewing center. Score another point for me!

But as I started to dig into my fabric and move it to my new craft center, I realized I had no method at all to my madness. I had a box from work that used to hold reams of paper on a shelf. I opened that sucker up and BAM! I found loads of fat quarters and bundles of fabric I forgot I had.

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A Box O’ Fabric

Then I found another bin with lots of loose material floating around, some finished squares I bought on eBay to be put together to make a quilt (what was I thinking!) and jelly rolls for those quilts I had the best of intentions to make as gifts.

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In short, things were a mess. I started moving some of the stacks to my desk and filled two shelved built into the side of the desk. Then I started to filter through the boxes and bins but got so overwhelmed I had to put them back together and store them in the closet as they were. Then I went to start the binding on my son’s quilt. That’s when I realized I didn’t know where it was!!

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My disorganization was coming full circle and now I couldn’t find the last bit of material I needed to finish his quilt. After some searching, I found it tucked away in some vintage inspired fabrics. It was probably stuck with all of that fabric because the common color schemes are browns and yellows. But it definitely was the last straw.

I need a better way to store my fabric. And preferably a system that won’t require me to spend a lot of money.

My question to all of you fellow quilters is this: What is your preferred method of organizing your stash and storing it? Bucket? Hanging files? Do you wash, press, then fold them into neat stacks? Do you organize by color? Theme? Fabric type?

I’m curious to hear what everyones’ method is and maybe it’ll give me a direction to take when I start to get my mess of a stash organized.

For now I’ll show you the jelly rolls I found in a box tucked into the closet.

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I had completely forgot about these. I think I found them on sale at a Wal-Mart near us that was closing down its fabric section. They have a nice beachy feel so I think I’m going to use these for my next quilt. And instead of using the same four strip squares I’ve been sticking too, I’m going to change it up a bit.

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More to come…

Fresh Poppy Design

Quilter’s Question: Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re My Only Hope!

Happy May The 4th Day!! Or better known as Star Wars Day!

I am a self-proclaimed Star Wars geek and get a kick out of May 4th. Something about it is so entirely geeky and cool that I am proud to show my true colors as a Star Wars Fangirl.

Now I was little when Star Wars originally came out. Hell, I don’t remember it coming out I was so little. But my dad loved it and taught me the ways of a Jedi from a young age.

(Click for photo link)

I was even present at a screening of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in 1983 but again, I was too little to remember. But the story goes that while I was too little to remember it happening, I was old enough to remember and repeat verbatim lines from the movie.

For many years I wanted very badly to be Luke Skywalker until I became old enough to understand that I was a girl and the character was a boy. Then I quickly change my tune from wanting to be him to wanting to be with him.

Princess Leia was pretty cool, too (for a girl).

But that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to ask for some help from my fellow quilters. I’m currently in the market for a new sewing machine.

Kenmore-Sears 6 stitch.

Wow, I just heard the very distinct sound of eyes rolling along with a small whoop of joy. It’s such a mixed bag of nuts this question about quilting by machine versus quilting by hand (and I know it) but I’m really interested in hearing the opinions of free-motion quilters and the machines they use.

So far my research has introduced me to Berninas, Janomes, Singers, Vikings, and loads of other machines. And damn it’s tough to read through. There is just so much to take into consideration. And I’ve been reading for at least a month now, devoting a little time here or there to this machine research.

The moment I think I’ve found one I’m ready to buy, I read another review of another machine and then I’m back to square one. One moment I think I have it then I get this distinct feeling that this isn’t the machine I’m looking for…

So, my fellow Jedi Quilting Masters, if you use a machine with a free motion quilting option, what machine are you using? Do you love it? Hate it? And, if you could without any strings attached get any machine, what would be your dream machine?

May The Force Keep You In Stitches!

(Ok, I'm done, I'm done. No more cheesy, geekiness from me)

Quilter’s Question: Stash Building and Window Shopping

I recently discovered eBay.

I know, I know. I’m a bit behind on this one. Never mind that. Focus on the post…

As I said, I’ve recently discovered eBay and all the glories that lay before a computer bound quilter who is at work all day.When you have no chance of hitting up a fabric store after work or visiting the local quilters shop before closing, you make due with what you have.

So I have eBay. Oh, and Etsy. Two of my favorite online window shopping destinations when I’m in the mood to shop, browse or get inspiration from. Another online favorite of mine is Fabricworm.

Most of the time, I’m just favoriting or saving what I’d like to have some day, like a quilter’s wish list, while I hope I’m being good enough to get what I want someday.

My question to all fellow quilters reading this is where do you go online to purchase, window shop or wish list fabric?

Quilter’s Question: Tools of the Trade

Every quilter will tell you that there are certain tools that everyone who has ever made a quilt uses. These are the tools of the trade.

These tools cut and stitch and put together fabric to make memories and dreams in the comfort of a warm, snuggly blanket.

Whether the quilt goes on the wall for decoration or it’s used by the children to make forts, quilts are made and slowly become apart of the family.

With every stitch, another piece of the quilter’s heart goes into their project. Well…at least that how I feel 🙂

The basic tools are fabric, thread, pins, needles, measuring tape and scissors. Those are the basic must haves to make a quilt. Then things can step up a notch and you can add a sewing machine.

This is where some people will side one way or the other (which is just silly) saying quilting is done by hand while others will say machining is best. Personally, I’m a machiner only because I don’t know how to hand quilt but I’m fascinated by it and want to learn someday. I honestly think one is no better than the others and that it’s up to personal preference.

After that, you can add bits and babbles all over the place from rotary cutters to cutting boards and plastic rulers that are wide and see-through.

Kenmore-Sears 6 stitch.

Now if you are a machine quilting fan, you’ll laugh when you read this: I don’t own a walking foot. Yep…my 20 year old Kenmore is a simple 6 stitch and did not come with a walking foot. Thank goodness Sears puts out quality items along with excellent customer service so that with my serial number I can purchase one that fits my machine.

And, always, you need a simple iron and ironing board. Nothing fancy for the basics. I think I got my iron at Target for $9 and my ironing board at Goodwill for about $2.

Nothing special here.

I don’t know, readers, have I missed any important tools of the trade? I have lots of little gizmos at home that really aren’t necessary but are fun to have ( love a wrist pin-cushion and my huge cardboard floor mat with measurements on it). If you have anything that you couldn’t live without when quilting, I’d love to hear about it.