Friday, December 31, 2010

Finally finished my Christmas Fabric Postcards!!

Yes!  I finally finished my Christmas fabric postcards!  I got the idea to do Crazy Patch Christmas cards since I have been teaching Crazy Shortcut Quilts this year.  I did the stitch and flip method to piece these using the Timtex as a foundation.  (Please feel free to post in the comments if you would like a tutorial on this)  I used a lot of scraps from my Christmas Crazy Shortcut Quilt which was great!  I only did a few with the decorative stitches on them since I was seriously running out of time and the clock was ticking to get these in the mail.  Well, needless to say these were more labour intensive than I planned LOL!  So the decorative stitches across the blocks had to be sacrificed or I would still be doing these.  Next year I am promising to start my Christmas fabric postcards in September!  I know - I say this every year :-)

The two top right hand cards are enclosed in a clear plastic self-sealing envelope that I send my cards in through the mail.  I take them into the post-office open and have the teller manually stamp the card - then I seal the envelopes and then hand them to the teller to go through the mail.  This way the stamp and card are ink stamped and not the clear envelope.  I think this really adds to the card.

I ran into a problem with these cards that was purely of my own making.  I usually use Wonder Under to fuse the backing onto the cars.  This year I decided to try Heat and Bond Ultra instead to make the cards really stiff.  What a mistake!!  With all the layers and the timtex I just couldn't get the edge stitches to work!  No matter what I tried it was skipping stitches :-(  Unfortunately I had fused all of my cards before I realistic this.  Note to self; test a new product on one card first!  I ended up just doing a straight stitch on some of the cards to finish the edges off.

I thought that I would share a picture of the two Accuquilt Go dies I got for Christmas.  My Mom gave me the feathers die and the Fall Melody die.  I can't wait to have some fun with these guys.  I am thinking about wool applique with the fall melody!!   I'll do the blanket stitch by machine though and just make it really large to look as close to hand as I can.  I absolutely love a lot of the things I've seen done with the feather die as well.  I think it would be amazing on boarders for an amazing effect.

I hope that you all had an amazing holiday season and are happy and healthy!  And please take a second and click follow on the right under my picture and follow Sunshower Quilts on Facebook as well!

Happy New Years all!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day Sewing!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!  I hope that you are all having an amazing day today ~ and ~ I wish you all health, happiness and peace this holiday season.

My one son got a few more Zhu Zhu Pets for Christmas today.  Have you seen these little guys?  They are robotic hamsters that run around on a track and hamster wheels etc.  They are so cute and cuddly!  Well my son wanted beds for his hamsters and I find them quite expensive to buy the official ones in the stores.  I looked online and and found a quick and easy tutorial on the Sew, What's New blog.  I had everything I needed at home, here in my stash; so, I let my son pick out his fabrics and whipped up beds for all his hamsters in just a few minutes.  The left-over squares of fleece make great blankets for the little guys as well!  Now all the little hamsters can sleep in their own beds LOL!

I really like that my son appreciates the hand-made beds instead of really wanting the official Zhu Zhu Pets beds.  It's great when they appreciate a hand-made item. 

I also found these neat machine embroidery designs at Sew Weird.  Sooo cute!  I don't think that my son is interested in a lot of the clothing items but I do think that they are so sweet!  There is also a little tutorial for making clothing here, here and on the Girls in White Dresses blog

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Machine Quilting

I've been working, for the past few days, on machine quilting this quilt for a friend.  It's a beautiful Christmas quilt that is all fusible applique.  I am going around the outside of the images with invisible thread just to make it pop out a bit.  This is very time consuming work and the wool batting is making the quilt a bit harder to manipulate because of the bulk but I am slowly getting through the 12 applique blocks ~ 6 are finished now!!  I'm going to stop for the day since my hands and shoulders are a bit sore LOL!

I'll do holly leaves in the sashing and boarders and I think that will go a lot faster than this fussy work.

Has anyone else made this quilt?  I'd love to see some pictures of how you quilted it!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

To Pre-Wash or Not to Pre-Wash

To pre-wash your fabrics or not to pre-wash your fabrics?  Isn't that a major question for quilters??!!  If you want to get a room of quilters divided in less than 5 minutes bring up the subject of pre-washing your fabrics sometime.  When I first started quilting everyone pre-washed their fabrics.  It was what you did.   Then several years ago books/people/magazines etc started to say that pre-washing wasn't necessary if you used only good quality quilt shop fabric.  And when the dye magnets hit the shelves many of us figured that throwing those into the wash would be good enough.  There are a couple brands of these on the market but they are still relatively hard to find.  Basically you put them into the wash and they catch any excess dye that might bleed out so that it bleeds onto the little sheet instead of your quilt.  So guess what?  I stopped pre-washing.

Well quilters ~ I have a confession to make ~ I have gone back to pre-washing my fabrics 100%.  I've had a few instances of colour bleeds outside of the washing machine.

First I was machine quilting a quilt and rubbed out a chalk line with a damp towel.  Walked away for a few minutes and guess what?  The red had bled into the cream fabric.  I got it out but it still made me start to think about my choice to stop pre-washing.

The next instant was with a little Christmas table-topper I made using unwashed fabrics.  We had it on the table and some water got spilled on it.  The red ran soooo badly and the green ran a bit too.  I scrubbed and scrubbed but that red dye remained no matter what I did ~ and so that quilt sat like that for over a year.

The last thing that happened to me, that really cemented my position, was when I had my scrap Christmas Quiltor close-up here, on the bed for the Christmas season.  I always sleep with a glass of water beside the bed and when I woke up to take a drink of water I spilled a little bit!  Ooppps!  Guess what?  In the morning the binding fabrics and boarder fabrics had bled into the white boarders.  I scrubbed and scrubbed to get it out but no luck.  That was the last straw for me.  Dye magnets would not have helped in this situation at all.

All fabrics now go through the washer before they get to join my stash.  I want what ever is going to happen to those fabrics to happen before it goes into a quilt.  I will even set my fabrics with Synthropol to make sure that they are really set.  And then I love Mary Ellen's Best Press to starch them to a nice finish.  Since I have started doing this again I haven't had any surprises and I am much more confident with how my quilts will hold up.

Since we are now getting to the Christmas season again I decided to try to get the dies out of the quilts again.  So I took a bit of a desperate step.  I used a Tide Bleach stick and rubbed it over the white fabrics where the dyes had bled into them.  I gently rubbed it in until the dyes went away then immediately submersed it into water.  And rinsed and rinsed and rinsed.  I did this with both quilts then immediately got them into the washing machine.  As soon as the wash was over they went into the dryer so that they didn't have a chance to sit.  And guess what?  The horrible bleeding colour was gone and I didn't end up bleaching the colours surrounding it!!  Yey!  Two Christmas quilt salvaged and I am one happy but very resolved quilter ;)

So tell me?  Do you pre-wash or not pre-wash?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sew SImple Starry Table-Runners are Finished!

I am sew pleased to report that I have finally completely finished my Sew Simple Starry Table-Runners!  They are completely finished and even bound ~ so that is one more thing I can tick off my Christmas to do list!  After looking at all the corners to turn in the stars I decided not to do a zig-zag stitch around each of them but rather just free-motion quilt and applique, 1/16" inside the applique, at the same time and travel and use a meaner with loops to travel around and between the stars.  I LOVED this effect a lot and it made the applique sooo much easier than doing a zig-zag.  Since there is fusible behind the stars I'm not worried about them fraying or anything like that.

Since I bought 6" strips of the gold and silver fabrics I had a 2" strip left over from each of them so I decided to cut them into 20" segments and use them for a scrappy binding.  Then I put on a gold rayon thread ~ my fav ~ and used the herringbone stick to machine finish the binding.  It really adds a bit more bling to the project.  I just loved the effect and I loved not having the little strips left in my stash ;)

This was such an easy project to do by using the star die on my Go! cutter.  I can honestly say that I really don't think I would have finished this project had I traced and cut these out manually.  I can see me getting to the tenth star and giving up!  I actually have a hand-full of stars left-over from this project!  Maybe I'll make one of these for myself ;)  OR if you've been debating whether or not to buy one of these machines and would like to see the quality of the cuts feel free to leave me a message here and I'll send you a message to get your contact info and send you a few stars.

How are your holiday projects coming along?  More to do or are you all finished?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Working on a Couple Christmas Table-Runners

Every year I run a promotion in my fitness classes to keep people coming for the month of December.  Too many people stop taking care of them selves over the busy holiday season and it takes a tole on their health.  Basically for every class they go to their name gets entered into a draw.

This year I decided to use my Accuquilt Go! star die to make a couple of quick and easy table runners!  I pulled most of these fabrics from my stash but I did buy a couple 6 inch strips of some gold and a silver fabric.  4 inches would have been just enough to do this.  I fused Steam a Seam 2  Lite on to the back of the fabrics using all of the prints.

Then I ran two layers of the fused fabric at a time through my Go! cutter to get all three of the different star sizes in all of the fabrics I used.

 I cut a strip of fabric about 18" wide by the width of fabric for my back ground.  I used a white fabric with metallic silver flecks all over it.  I just love metallic fabrics for the holidays!!  If you click on the picture you can see the fabric I used.  I then set myself up at my ironing board to peel the backing off the fabric and get ready to place the stars.  I didn't fused anything down at this point.
Do I have enough stars yet??  Naw - more is more so I better add several more ;-)  I love how the different shades of gold and the silver is interacting together.  This table runner could work for the whole holiday season - hmmm - maybe I should make one for myself??  It's very simple but very elegant - I think that the quilting is really going to bring these to life.
One table-runner top has more stars added and is now fused and guess what I ran out of fusible webbing!!!  I have to wait until tomorrow to go to the quilt shop to get more fusible.  I need to make more stars and I really don't want to do that without the fusible as I don't want the edges to fray.

Don't you just hate that when you run out of something and just can't proceed until you buy more?? 

Part 2 or this will hopefully come tomorrow!

Any questions or comments feel free to leave them here - and - I hope that you will take a second to follow my blog if you like what you see.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter!

OMG we just got home from the new Harry Potter movie and wow oh wow I thought that it was great!  I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I have been waiting forever for this to come out.  I think I may have to go and re-read (or re-listen to) the 7th book again.  I love to listen to books on CD while I sew and I have all the Harry Potter books on CD.  I swear I am going to wear the grooves off those CD's LOL!

In honour of the new Harry Potter movie I thought that I would re-post the Harry Potter quilts I made for my son's back in 2006!  The quilts are still in use today and doing fine despite the bazillion washings ;-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So Tired!

I'm so tired tonight guys!  I taught two fitness classes and worked out on my own today ~ I'm not sure if my legs are still there or not except for a vague sore feeling there. LOL!

Sorry I did nothing at all textile related today so I don't really have a blog post!

Happy Creating all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bunny Quilt is Finished!

And here we are the Silver Thimbles proudly displaying the finished Baltimore Bunny Quilt after it has been bound.  What a beautiful quilt and it was fun to work on since every block was different and wonderful to look at.  Tuesday evenings are always fun sitting around the quilt frame chatting away and quilting.  I've been a part of Silver Thimbles for about 8 years now and we always have fun.  Some people say that no one hand quilts anymore; but, I can tell you that it is alive and well and going strong.

If you ever have the chance to join a quilting bee I encourage you to join.  The fun you will have and the friends you will make are truly amazing and worth every stabbed and calloused finger you will undoubtedly develop!

Happy Quilting all!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cutting Bias Binding (or Stems)

I'm posting a little tutorial on how I cut bias binding for a friend.  Many people in this area use the tube method to do bias binding and she knew that I cut mine differently ;)

When I was first learning to quilt the only method of cutting bias binding that I could find was the tube method.  That seemed like an amazing amount of work for something as simple as cutting on the bias of fabric!  True bias is a 45 degree angle between the lengthwise grain and the crosswise grain of fabric.  So I figured why couldn't I just use the angel lines on my ruler instead??

First find the 45 degree line on your ruler and place it parallel to the selvage.  I placed mine just above so that you could see the line; but, regularly I put it right on the line.  You can enlarge this photo if you want to see it closer.  Cut on the diagonal with your 45 degree line on the selvage.  You will be cutting off a triangle of fabric.  This you can use for other projects or cut up into 2" squares for your leaders and enders.




Next line your ruler up with your new cut edge and cut your desired width of binding and as many strips as you will need.  You are now cutting true bias strips since you are cutting at a 45 degree angle to both the lengthwise and crosswise grain of fabric.  Easy huh??

Your fabric will eventually get too long to cut with your 24" ruler so simply fold the fabric with the raw, bias edge together and continue cutting your bias until you have as much as you will need.

Now bias is the stretchy edge so don't go flinging this around your head or anything ~ just handle it with a little bit of care; but, it is truly nothing to be scared of.

I prefer to cut certain fabrics on the bias for effect.  Stripes and plaids are a couple of these.  When you cut stripes on the bias for a binding you get a candy cane effect for your binding and it looks amazing! Also, any time that I bind a garment or anything with lots of points or rounded edges I use a bias binding.

Need a binding tutorial now that you've got your bias strips cut??  You can find mine here Binding Part 1 and Binding Part 2 and also Squaring up a Quilt here and Attaching a Hanging Sleeve here

I hope that you have found this useful!  If you need more information or if something wasn't clear please leave a comment here and I will do my best to answer it!  I always love to hear from you.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yippie! My Pink Rag Quilt is Finished!

 Here it is all laid out and ready to go to the sewing machine!

Notice the rags already clipped??  I can't say that enough times LOL!  The ragging is already done and that is the part that I like the least.  The Accuquilt Go! cutter did an amazing job on this after I figured out the secret ~ cut your blocks a loose 8 3/4" first then run two or three layers through the die as a block not as a strip.  The blocks went through so much easier!

Of course my layout changed by the time I got it all together as I flipped a few blocks and had to compensate for that ;)
And here is the finished very pink rag quilt all washed and fresh out of the drier.  The ragging is absolutely lovely and much nicer than I have ever managed to do by hand.  My husband noticed this right away when he saw that quilt.

This quilt does not have batting in it as the pattern recommends.  I don't actually like batting in my rag quilts since I find that the batting eventually bows in towards the center ~ even with the X in the middle ~ unless you catch it in the seams ~ and I don't like the look of batting in the seams.  So, for this quilt, I added a layer of flannelet in the middle and I love the weight of the quilt.  Perfect for snuggling this winter.
Here's a closer shot of the rag quilt, sitting on my rocking chair, so that you can see the rag closer.  It is truly a cuddly quilt and I love it!  You can just see my rug hooking things on the left of this photo.  This is where I sit to hook and watch TV.  It's a nice little spot in my sewing room.
Is that cotton candy???  No!!   That's the lint I pulled out of my dryer half way through the drying cycle while my pink rag quilt was in there!  Can you believe that??!!  This is just to show how important it is to empty your lint catcher half-way through and not wait until the end.

I think that Cotton Candy might be a pretty good name for this quilt.  It certainly flows off the tongue easier than very pink rag quilt.  Thoughts?

I made this quilt just for me, not for a gift, and this is the very first quilt that I have made just for me.  I thought that as the Mother of two boys that they would say - ewww pink when they saw it and leave it just to me.  Actually I was hoping they would :-/  But immediately they both wanted to cuddle up in the rag quilt LOL!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crazy Shortcut Quilt Photos

 I am so sorry for the horrible photo quality in these photos!!  I will share a few of my most recent participants in my class with you.  Thanks ladies!

I thought that I would share a few photos from my most recent Crazy Shortcut Quilt class that we just finished today.

This first quilt is a 30 block all in shades of green and brown - lovely!  She used mostly the same stitch across the entire quilt and it looked amazing.  Two participants actually did this combination.
 This particiapant did the "Asian Inspirations" pattern but used Christmas fabrics and I think that the results are absolutely specatacular!  I love her fabrics and I love the pattern now that I see them in these amazing fabrics.  This participant used many different stitches in one colour of rayon thread.

You all know how much I love my Christmas fabrics so of course this one really appealed to me ;-)
This one is a "Warm Chocolate Wrap" done in Christmas fabrics and is again a spectacular piece!  I love this pattern and I love Christmas fabrics so the two together ~ to me ~ are an amazing combination.  This participant used one stitch across the whole quilt for a spectacular result.

How amazing it is to teach the same class to so many people and have them all come out with so many different quilts!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Still Working on the Rag Quilt!

Just a little blog post today ~ Today I cut a few more squares for my pink rag quilt.  I thought that I would try something to make using the rag die for my Accuquilt Go! easier.  I pre-cut my squares to a rough 8 1/2" instead of leaving them as 8 1/2" strips.  What a huge difference!  It was so much easier to cut!  It only took a few more seconds for me since I have the 8 1/2" x 24" Omnigrid ruler and i just rough cut it anyways.  It was well worth this small extra step and I wouldn't hesitate to do this again.  Next time you're cutting your rag quilt give this a try ~ it made a huge difference for me ;)

Any thoughts?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ok I Like the Place-Mats More Now!

 I finished machine quilting the tree place-mats the other day and I like them so much more now!  I'm not sure if you can really see the quilting in the photo but it really adds some texture to them and makes them seem so much less flat and boring.  I used some pretty flat fabrics so maybe that's part of it as well.

In any case I think that my son's teacher will like them ~ she's making a big difference in his life and I wanted to show my appreciation for that.
You can really see the quilting a lot more from the back since the back is the cream colour that I used for the background.  I think that back is actually pretty fun and interesting!

Sorry I missed blogging yesterday!  I was just so tired that I went to bed early and I completely forgot to blog!  I guess that disqualifies me from NaBloPoMo technically but I am going to keep blogging everyday since I'm enjoying it and I find it really motivating.

I hope that you will take a second to leave me a comment or ask any questions that you might have.  I love to hear from you ~ and if you like my blog please click the Follow button on the right under my picture!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Silver Thimbles Night

Tonight I went to my regular Tuesday night quilting bee where we worked around the frame on the charm quilt again.  What a fun night.  I didn't actually accomplish anything on my own today.  I was too busy teaching fitness classes and then trying to get some of the yard cleaned up since tomorrow is yard waste pick-up day here in town.  Now I am so tired from that and the 6 loads of laundry and cleaning I did that all I can think about is crawling under a quilt and catching some ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ's

Night all!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Christmas Dresden Plates!

I don't know what it is but I absolutely love Dresden Plate blocks in Christmas fabrics!  There is just something sooo appealing about them.  I made these blocks today for the Block of the Month program at my local guild.  7 years ago our guild did a Christmas Dreden Plate BOM, but with the rounded edges, and I won the blocks!  You can see the quilt that I made from them here.  I absolutely love it and we have our Christmas quilts on the beds right after Remembrance Day and until about the middle of January.  Well when our BOM chair decided to do a Christmas Dreden plate I couldn't resist making a couple of blocks from scraps to add to the draw.  These are all left over fabrics from my Christmas Crazy Shortcut Quilt that I just finished so it was a perfect excuse to do the blocks LOL!  Imagine if I won again!!

I cut the center circle out using my Accuquilt Go! fabric cutter larger than I needed ~ then I used a technique that I saw on someone's blog but I can't find it again, sorry!, to turn the edges of the circle under.  I cut a piece of non-melt Mylar plastic the size of the circle that I needed for the center.  I did a basting stitch around the outside of the fabric circle and placed the Mylar on the wrong side of the fabric.  I pulled the thread ends of the basting stitch to turn the edges under on my circle then pressed it with a hot iron and starched it.  Remove the template and Voila!  a perfect circle with the edges turned under.  I love this technique ~ I just wish I could remember which blog I got this from ~ if you know that tutorial I am speaking about please post it here.

The edges are appliqued down using Sew Art invisible thread and a really small zig-zag stitch.  Very nice technique and it really is invisible ;-)  I love this thread since it has a lot less shine than other invisible threads that I have tried so it really is more invisible.

Have you all started your Christmas projects yet?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Very Pink Rag Quilt in Progress!

I started this very pink rag quilt today!  I bought these pretty pink flannels and brushed cottons a while ago thinking that they would make a very feminine rag quilt ~ just for me!  As a mother of two boys if I want anything to myself it's got to be very feminine or it gets taken over by my boys LOL!  Anyways, like I have said many times I love rag quilts but hate to snip them.  So I bought the Accuquilt Go! 8 1/2" rag die for my Go!  I spent a portion of today cutting the blocks and doing the stitching across the centers.  I'm trying to decide now if I want to cut more blocks to make a larger quilt or if I want to go with the 45" by 45" quilt they have on the instructions ~ I'm thinking I'll go a bit larger.

Instead of batting in the squares I used a layer of flannelet that I cut at the same time I cut the front and backs.  I find that unless you catch the batting into the seams when you piece your blocks that the batting eventually migrates and bows in towards the X you machine quilt.  And I don't like to catch the batting into the seams or you see it in the rag ~ what a conundrum LOL!  This is why I chose a layer of flannelet for the center.   So, through the die, I was running 2 layers of flannel or brushed cotton and one layer of flannelet.  This die was absolutely harder to put through the machine than any of the others I have tried so far BUT ~ I found if I held the Go! down with my left hand put my left hip on the machine that it stayed still and this made it easier to get the fabric through the machine.  It was harder but angling the die also made it a bit easier.

There was also a lot of lint to pick out of the die ~ but I found that if I used a lint roller after every few cuts this wasn't too bad.  You can see the effect of the cutting on the die after 50 blocks cut but it's not too bad at all really.  The blades are much more visible now ;)  The cutting mat took a lot of wear though and I can see that these will need to be replaced much more frequently than the regular mats.  But, the mats are not expensive and I'd rather replace a mat than have sore hands from snipping the rag.

I've read several reviews of the rag die on blogs and I think that I am ending up in the same place as they did.  Yes it was harder to get the die through the machine and the lint left is a bit of a pain BUT the effect is amazing and it is a real time-saver.  I would do more rag quilts with the die!   All in all I think that there are more pros to this die than cons! 

Any thoughts?  I hope that you will leave a comment here and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.  Also, please take a second to become a follower of my blog!  I'd sure love it if you did and I would love to hear from you.

Happy sewing all!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Cutting a Rag Quilt

Today i had the great pleasure of teaching machine quilting to yet another great group of women!  How lucky am I???  they all picked it up so fast and so strong it was amazing.  I am so thrilled to be able to get people quilting their own quilts!  So many people only piece their tops then send them out to be quilted - there is nothing wrong with that - but to be able to do your own work is truly an amazing thing!

So tonight I am experimenting with my Accuquilt Go! rag Quilt die.  So far so good!  Yes it is harder to put the fabric through - but - there are so many little dies in there that it is working hard too!!  So far I am in absolute love!  I am going to try to post a video tomorrow so wish me luck!!!

Happy Quilting!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Machine Quilting

I have to say I just taught one of the nicest groups of women I have ever taugh in Machine Quilting.  My Machine Quilting 2 class filled up so we took several women into an over-flow class today - and what a joy they were!  If you're reading this - then thank you for being so great!  Everyone was happy to be there and ready to learn.  It was wonderful.  *sigh*

Sometimes when I teach classes everyone is ready and willing to learn - and other times people are much less ready and much less ready to learn.  I don't know what it is or why but it seems to go by classes.  The classes that I teach where people are ready and willing seem to go by in a blink!  And the other classes go by in hours.  As a participant you do have the responsibility of reading the supply list and to bring what is needed.  If that is not fulfilled then we may have a problem LOL! 

In my years of teaching I have realised that a classroom is a two way street.  You have to meet the teacher half-way.  Now that is not to say that I don't come prepared.  I always bring extra needles and thread for people - always.  But, hey, a foot pedal does make your machine go!  So make sure that you bring yours ;)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Place-mat Progress


I'm making good progress on the tree place-mats from America Quilts for Christmas magazine.  I thought that these would make a nice gift for one of my son's teachers.  She's making a real difference for him and I wanted to show my appreciation.  But, I have to say, I've lost my motivation on this project.  They are a little lack-luster to me.  Maybe I can jazz them up with my machine quilting but I can't help but say meh when I look at these.  Is it just me?  Am I being too critical?  I think they are very nice though - just not really my style - maybe that's it?

I chose to do the inside out method on these instead of a binding since I think that place-mats lay so much nicer on a table if they are not bound.  A binding gives them an edge that can be tippy on a table and I don't like that.

The thing that I am not thrilled about with this pattern though is the waste!!   I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture but there was sooo much wasted fabric from the ways that the big center trees were put together.  The center trees are solid pieces - but that means that I have a lot of big pieces of the green batik and the background fabric cut into triangles that I'm going to have to do something with.  I think, if I was ever to make these again, that I would change the piecing to be more fabric efficient.  Now what to do with those scraps hmmmm.

The thing I loved about this project was that it gave me an opportunity to use my Accuquilt Go! triangle in a square die for the smaller trees in the boarder - yey!!!  I really liked using the die - it made cutting all those triangles so much easier and faster and accurate!  I found I had to get used to piecing with the dog ears already cut off - I think we're all accustomed to our own cutting - so using a different cutter style was a bit of a challenge to me.  But I really liked it!  It would have taken a long time for me to cut out all those triangles but I was finished in minutes!

Any advise on this project for me?  How can I add some jazz to them?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Woohooo New Package in the Mail!

I just got this in the mail this morning from Stitch in the Ditch!  It's an online supplier of Accuquilt Go!!  products right here in Canada and I have to say I am really happy with their service ;)  I got in on their mat set sale, their star die sale and their Rose of Sharon die sale.  How great is that??  I also bought the 8.5" rag die and I'll see what I think of that.  I also followed the recommendations and got another mat to dedicate to the rag die alone - since it apparently really tears them up.  The mats are not expensive so I don't mind this - Anything to get out of snipping the fringe!  I love rag quilts but hate (and I mean really hate) all the snip, snip, snipping.  I have heard various reviews about the rag die so I'll be sure to give you my thoughts about it after I cut and sew with it.  I have some pretty pink flannels that have been sitting here for a year or so that have been begging to be ragged but the thought of cutting the fringe by hand makes me cringe.  I also thought that it would be fun to add appliques of the stars and hearts and circles I have to the blocks and let the edges of them rag as well.  It might be a fun effect.  Thoughts?

Do any of you own the rag die?  Any words of advise before I jump in head-first?

I also saw an amazing video on the Accuquilt Go! Rose of Sharon die on YouTube part 1 and part 2.  If you're interested follow the links.  Judy goes over a great way to get the most out of your die.  I have Sharon Pederson's Rose of Sharon DVD; but, I can honestly say I really can't see me following her freezer paper method and using contact cement.  I guess I should knock it until I try it but it looks so incredibly time consuming to turn the edges using that method.  For the larger pieces I think I would "face" them with pellon or something like that.  I do love all the designs that people sent in for her EQ6 Rose of Sharon Block Challenge and I think that the DVD is worth it for all those PDF pictures of the blocks alone.  All that said ~ I thought that the Rose of Sharon die was a great time saver and an amazing idea and I really look forward to playing with it a lot more ;)  I actually wouldn't mind seeing a die set with the larger flowers on it ~ I think a lot of people would invest in it as well.

Ok I should get going and start playing with my new stuff.  I may update this again later if I make some head-way.

Happy Creating all!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Charm Quilt on the Bee Frame!

This beautiful quilt was put on my quilting bees frame several weeks ago but I thought that I would share a picture of it with you all!  You can't see the boarder on the quilt but it is a solid navy blue and it looks wonderful!  Each of the triangles are a different fabric and Joan said that she is pretty sure there is over 800 different fabrics in this quilt.  Some are vintage fabrics which look wonderful in the quilt.  We are quilting hatching in the navy boarder and a 1/4" inside each of the triangles.  This quilt will be on the frame for a while - but - you can never go wrong with lots of hand quilting in my honest opinion.  There's something about charm quilts - where pieces were harvested from your friends' stashes that seem so special and heirloom to me.  Maybe it's the sharing, but, maybe it is the making do with each of the fabrics as well.  I think sometimes I get too hung-up with finding just the perfect fabric and forget that in the end the quilt is to be used and loved.  This quilt is just so striking and lovely to me and it really reminds me to loosen up sometimes!

Happy Quilting all!

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaBloPoMo

I've decided to join the National Blog Posting Month for the month of November.  basically what you need to do is blog everyday for the whole month of November.  I think that this is a great idea and they even give out prizes!  If you're interested click on the link above.  I hope that you will take this journey with me and follow my blog if you're interested!  I have a lot of work to do this month in quilting so I should have a lot to share LOL!

I've been working on those place-mats from the America Quilts for Christmas magazine and I like them ok.  Just ok.  I'm not really thrilled with the piecing of them.  I'll blog on that tomorrow with some pictures to explain what I'm talking about.  They are nice and all but I found them to be a bit frustrating in the amount of waste - and I find them really large.  Anyways, more on that tomorrow ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Twin Baby Quilts!

I finally finished sewing on the labels of these two baby quilts for a twin boy and girl.  I, once again, did my 4-patch 1-patch pattern from Ursula Reikes' book "Quilts for Baby."  I really like the way that the continuous curve machine quilting looks across the piecing.  I love this pattern so much but I need to make a different one once in a while LOL!  I just bought Ursula Reikes' new book "Even More Quilts for Baby"so maybe I'll find some inspiration there ;)  I also mitered the boards on the blue quilt.  I don't usually do that for a baby quilt but I didn't have anything suitable for corner-stones and I figured that it would take me just as long to piece a 4-patch to put in so I mitered the boarders instead.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do ;)

I got the new McCall's ~ America Quilts for Christmas and on page 54 there is a place-mat pattern called Forever Green that has trees on it that I really like!  I noticed that the triangle in a square unit on the boarders is the exact size of my 3" Triangles in a Square die for my Accuquilt Go!!  Using the die would make these place-mats so fast and easy since i wouldn't have to use templates!  I think that this might be a nice teacher gift perhaps.  Or maybe it's just a good excuse to use my die ;)

Happy Sewing all!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tumbler Quilt

Hey all!
I've been teaching a lot and working on hand-outs lately so not a lot to post.


 But, I have been working on a tumbler quilt from a couple of big block kits I had sitting in my stash for several years ;)  I decided to pre-wash these brushed cottons since I wasn't using them for a rag-quilt.  I find that brushed cottons tend to shrink a lot so I usually pre-wash them.  Pressing these fabrics after they came out of the dryer took a loooong time!  Not a job I enjoy very much I can tell you that!  Look at all those threads hanging off the sides!  Yuck!  The plaid in the back is what I will use for my binding.  I'll cut it on the bias since I really prefer plaid bindings cut on the bias instead of a cross-grain cut.  It makes the plaid look really pretty!
I cut the quilt blocks using my Accuquilt Go! tumbler die and I can say Wow!  What an easy way to cut a fussy block!!  The dog-ears have been cut off at exact angles so that the blocks line up perfectly every time.  Some people have trouble with this but I can honestly say that when I took the time to really line up the tumblers they came out perfectly ~ when I didn't take the time ~ they didn't!  And, I tend to sew at a scant 1/4" seam ~ the seam-allowances included in the dies are a full 1/4" not a scant one so I had to watch that I was sewing the blocks together properly.  So the issues that I did encounter were actually user error and not the fault of the Accuquilt Go!

I randomly started sewing blocks together and started running into some issues of colours linking up etc so now I decided to lay out the blocks and plan it out a bit.  Some of these tumblers are sewn together and some are not.  I thought that I would snap a picture of the tumblers at this stage so you could see what i was talking about ;)  So far so good.  I can't decide if I should leave the edges all uneven like that or square them off.  When it comes time to do the binding I'm pretty sure that the thought of all of those mitres will make me square off the sides ~ but I will decide that after the quilting is finished I think!  I'll keep you updated on this one to let you know what I think about sewing the rows together.  So far I am in love with my Go!  I think that it was a good investment for me right now ;)  I can really see how the dies could become a serious addiction!

At the very least I took a whole bunch of fabric from my stash ~ that had been sitting there for years ~ and am making it into  a nice throw quilt!  I liked these brushed cottons when I bought them but I just really didn't want to do another rag quilt and do all that snipping :-P

Any questions or comments please feel free to leave them here ~ I would love to hear from you and I would love it if you would consider following my blog ~ it's the button on the right hand side.

Happy sewing all!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Fat Quarter Transportation Tip!

I just had to share this tip!

Today, when I was teaching my Crazy Shortcut Quilt class, one of my students walked in with her fat quarters all ready and pressed for class and hanging on a pants/skirt hanger so that she wouldn't have to fold them again for transporting them to the class!  I always ask people to make sure that their fat quarters are pressed flat before class to save a lot of class time; but, they get a little crumpled again by the time they get to class so we have to do a little pressing again.  What a great, easy and extremely effective way to transport pressed fat quarters!  I've brought yardage to class on hangers before but never thought of fat quarters.  Everyone in the class thought that it was an absolutely wonderful idea so I just had to share it with all of you because I never thought of this.

As always the Crazy Shortcut Quilt class was so much fun with lots of excitement over the unique and very non-traditional quilting techniques used that make this a fun and easy method to achieve spectacular results.  I can't wait to see what everyone brings back to the second class when the blocks are pieced!

If you have any questions or comments feel free to share them here ~ and ~ if you are enjoying my blog I hope that you will click the FOLLOW button on the right.

Happy Quilting all!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Look at What I Got!!!

Yey!!!  I finally got one!  I got an Accuquilt Go!! machine and a bunch of dies!!  Woot!

I am so excited about this machine for appliques.  I hate tracing and cutting out shapes so this will definitely make things a lot easier for me.  You can't really see it well in this picture - sorry - but on the very right is the critters die and I just love it!!!  I think they would be sooo cute cut out of batiks.  Or in baby fabrics - maybe this will make me do a different baby quilt instead of my usual 4-patch 1-patch quilt ;)

I think that a great quilt would be the tumbler blocks - in batik - with the critters in the boarder.  Too many possibilities.  I also want to get the rag dies and the Rose of Sharon die.  I think that the rag die is brilliant and takes away the yucky snip - snip - snipping ;-)  I have a couple quilts I need to quilt before I can play too much with this baby but I am really excited by the possibilities.

What dies do you guys have?  Which do you find the most useful or smartest?

Monday, September 27, 2010

In the Paper Again & a Donation Quilt

I was in two of our local newspapers again!  LOL  It is the same photo of me rug hooking in the Almonte paper and our Arnprior paper.  This photo was taken at the Almonte Fiberfest weekend before last.  I was really blushing when this was taken since I actually don't really like having my photo taken very much :-/  We had a great day just sitting and hooking and inspiring other people to hook.  It's fun to watch people try it and see how easy it is!!  People had to point out these pictures to me since I actually don't often flip through the paper!



I was asked, by a lady who takes some fitness classes from me, if I would donate something for their church auction.  Last year I made a Christmas wall hanging from a panel.  When I was asked this year if I could donate I immediately thought of this little baby quilt I made back in 2005 from a flannel panel and never did anything with!  It's has sat, forgotten, for 5 years.  My husband was cleaning up a stack of quilts from on top of the armour yesterday and he unearthed this little quilt.  I remember doing the quilt to put aside for a last minute gift ~ but I just never gave it away and so it has sat for 5 years.  I am thrilled to have the chance to send this on to someone who will wrap a baby in it.  It's flannel top and backing so it will be lovely and soft for a baby.  Hopefully they will make a few dollars on this little quilt.

As an aside I am suffering from that cold that is flying around right now ~ it is working it's way through our schools right now so of course I picked it up :-P  Sore throat, headache, nausea, sinus pain and itchy eyes and I feel soooo tired!  My youngest son stayed home with it from school today but he's already feeling better ~ so he's going back tomorrow!!  I managed to get a bit of piecing done on my current "leaders and enders" project since I wasn't very inspired to work on anything else ~  but ~ I felt like working on something.  I'll post a picture of that when I make a bit more progress.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lettering is Hard!

Man lettering is hard to hook!  I finished the hooking on my little Pumpkin House rug today and I am fairly pleased with it since this is the first time that I have attempted lettering.  It's a lot more challenging than I thought it would be to keep the letters straight and even.  And, even though I tried, the second half of house seems to want to go up LOL!  I did rip it out once already so I might just decide to leave it like that.  Or maybe I'll just rip out the S and the E.  Hmmmm.......

Anyone have any tips for hooking lettering?  I think I would love to take a class on that.

I just finished steaming the rug and it looked so nice and flat on my ironing board that I thought that I would snap a shot of it to share.  I think this rug might actually make a nice chair seat.  I found the brown plaid in my stash of reclaimed wool ~ it started it's life as a skirt so it was the perfect weight and it even had little orange stripe running through it.  Brown and orange actually seems to be popular again so maybe I shouldn't have ripped it up :-D

I finished transferring two of my patterns to burlap ~ I actually ended up leaving the burlap over night after spraying it with water.  It worked ok.  My favorite method method for getting wrinkles out of backing, though, is to hang the backing on a pants hanger and hang it on the back of my bathroom door and let the steam from the shower slowly relax the burlap.  This method works if you have a good few weeks to let it happen ~ but of course ~ I wanted the wrinkles out right then and didn't want to wait LOL!  Oh well I got it done :-D

I'd love to hear from you so if you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them here ~ and ~ I would love it if you would become a follower here since I just started doing that.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Transferring Patterns

I am working on transferring some patterns to backing today for rug hooking.  I'm hitting a bit of a stumbling block though since my burlap is so creased!  What do you guy do for this?  Do you steam it out?  Let it rest?  Put a damp towel on it??  I really don't know what to do here but I certainly can't trace the pattern onto such a creased backing - grrrrrrrr.  I hate it when I actually feel like transferring and something like this gets in my way.  I don't really like transferring so I have to strike while the iron is hot!  For now I've marked the outer limit of the design and sprayed some water on the worst of the creases and let it sit.

I love these two designs offered as free patterns in Rug Hooking Magazine.  They are Hallowween desgns and I just think that they are toooo cute!
The one on the left is "Mister Iggy" by Star Rug Company and the one on the right is "Jolly Halloween" by Spruce Ridge Studios.  I think that it is so nice of them to offer such amazing patterns as the pattern insert in the magazine.  They are both hooked in a #8 cut so they should hook up fairly quickly and be nice rewarding projects.  Needless to say I have traced these onto red dot tracing fabric and am now waiting on my backing to continue.  I hope that by tomorrow I will still want to continue with the, let's face it, boring parts of the hole rug hooking process.  I really like hooking ~ I just don't like the prep part.  I think this is why I don't applique as much as I would like to.  I really don't like the prep.  Silly I know, but, if someone did all the tracing and transferring I would be one happy hooker/appliquer. 

I also traced out a couple of Halloween stair kick patterns by, the now defunct, The Potted Pear company.  They were in a little booklet I purchased a while a go and I think I might get started on.  Hmmm so many projects so little time before Halloween!! 

So please leave any advice that you have about getting the kinks out of your backing easily and quickly please, or anything else that you would like to comment about,  I would love to hear from you!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rug Hooking at Fiberfest

This weekend was so busy and fun!  We had a teacher meet and great at my local quilt shop Sew Inspired.  I talked a bit about it in my last post.  And I participated in Fiberfest for the third year.  What a great time we had sitting, and rug hooking and talking about rug hooking!  Hopefully we hooked a few new hookers LOL.
You can see our display here.  Unfortunately I took this picture on Sunday after the event was finishing so it it a bit messier than it was on Saturday morning.  I think that considering that our local hooking group "Rugs on the Go" only has a handful of members that we put on a pretty good display!  A lot of the work is by our most prolific member and she hooks wonderful rugs.  We had one rug hooking vendor there, Loretta Moore, so I of course bought some wool ;)  We sent many, many interested people over to her booth since her kits are so wonderful for beginners.  Everything is pre-cut and pre-drawn so all that you need is the hook.

I managed to get quite a bit of hooking done on my little pumpkin house rug.  I just can't decide on the door now ~ should it be the orange colour?  Or the same colour as the chimneys?

I'm thinking about doing the first little boarder in the gray black of the rook and then maybe an orangey type plaid for the outer boarder.  Any thoughts?  I'm a bit lost with this rug ~ I have to confess.  I think I'd like to start another geometric after this one is completed.

As an aside ~ this is the first time that I have hooked on monk's cloth and I really like it!!  It is so soft and the weave is so even.  I can see myself using this backing again.

I'd love it if you became a follower of my blog or left me a comment so that I know that you are out there in blog-land somewhere ;)

Happy Creating all!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Crazy Shortcut Quilt is Hanging in my LQS

Here it is!  I finally finished the binding on my Crazy Short Cut Quilt and it is now hanging in my LQS, over the Christmas fabric, to advertise my class!  We had to fold it over at the top since the quilt was so big.  It would have been hitting people in the head LOL!  I was taking part in a teacher "meet and greet" at the shop yesterday and brought in the finished quilt with me ~ it made a big splash to say the least and a few people signed up for the class after seeing this quilt. 

I was fortunately able to pull this quilt out of my stash ~ I have an extensive collection of Christmas fabrics and I loved using them on this quilt.  The sashing was a fabric that I had started cutting for another quilt and then discovered that I didn't have quite enough of to complete the quilt so I was so happy to use it here.

Here's the back of the quilt hanging proud in the shop.  I just absolutely love how the back showcases all of the wonderful blue batiks and winter prints.  The gold thread looks even better than I had hoped on the back of the quilt.  I even like the way that the folded over area, from the front, looks from the back to really reinforce how reversible this type of quilting is.

After seeing my quilt one woman signed up for the class and promptly picked out Christmas prints for the front and golds for the back!  I thought ~ wow what an amazing idea!  The gold backing is going to look amazing.

I am off to Almonte today for day two of Fiberfest 2010 where a few of us are demonstrating rug hooking!  It's so much fun to show people how easy and beautiful rug hooking is.  I just love talking about hooking and sitting there hooking for the afternoon.  It's always surprising how much you can get accomplished in a short period of time.  I'll post some pictures tomorrow of our booth. 

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Sampler is *Finally* Finished!!

Yes!  I finished hand turning the binding to the back on my sampler quilt today!!!  I have been working on this quilt since the very first year of our local quilt guild in 2001.  Some of the blocks were the "block of the month" patterns that our guild did that year and others were some that I picked.  You can see the quilt back in the first few of my blog posts in 2006!!    The poor thing sat on my hand quilting frame for well over 2 years without any progress being made on it until I finally decided to take it off the frame and bring it to the quilting bee that I belong to to be finished by the group.  I am so thrilled that this quilt is finally finished!!  This quilt has been in the works longer than I have been blogging and hanging over my head for so long it is a relief to finish it!

I finally decided to take down my hand quilting frame in February of this year ~ you can read about my decision to take down the frame here.   It was a hard decision to make ~ since I kind of felt like I was quitting or giving up.  Then I realized that I really I had given up a long time ago.  I don't really know why because I love this quilt,  I loved putting it together and the quilting journey and it deserved to be finished!  But at some point I just lost my drive to complete it.  Luckily the ladies that I quilt with came to my rescue!

I think that I am going to go and put this quilt on the bed now!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

My Crazy Shortcut Quilt is Together!

Yay!!!  I spent a whole bunch of time yesterday working on my Christmas Crazy Shortcut Quilt and I got the body of it all together!!!  I am in love with the way that it is turning out.  You know when you picture something in your head and it works out just the way that you conceptualized it?  It certainly doesn't always happen but so far so good for this one!  I just have the binding, label and sleeve to do now.

I even love the way that the back looks ~ I made it so that it could be reversible with all the winter/Christmas blue batiks and prints.  I bought all of these years ago and never did anything with them so I was thrilled to think of something that I could use them for and still showcase them.  SO now we have a Christmas quilt on one side and a reversible winter quilt on the other.

You can see my hanging sleeve on the back there ~ I lifted this idea from a friend that took my class at Sew Inspired.  She took her scraps from her backing pieces and simply pieced them together for a really nice sleeve.  I thought that it was an amazing idea so I used it here!  What do you think?

I'll post more pictures once I get the binding on.  I think that I am going to hand turn this binding to the back.  With all f the thread problems I've had I think that hand sewing it to the back would be less of a head-ache than machining it on.

If you have any comments or feedback I would absolutely love to hear from you ~ so don't be shy ~ reply!!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My Welcome Mat


I thought that I would show a picture of my finished Welcome Mat.  It is sitting on my deacon's bench right inside of my sewing room door.  My plan was that if I put that on the bench we would all stop throwing our stuff there ;)  It actually works to an extent but my boys keep throwing their hats on the bench LOL!  The background sky is higgidy piggidy again as I just absolutely love this affect.  It look like heat waves or wind.  I kept the hooking very easy and used a #8 cut.  Nice and fast and very relaxing to do.  That was exactly what I wanted.


This is a little mat that was a kit!  It measures just 8" x 5" and is a #6 cut.  I haven't worked from a kit for a while so this was a nice little project.  I think that the snowman is looking very frightened of the cardinal don't you think LOL!!??  And, that's either the world's largest cardinal or the world's smallest snowman!   This will be given away as a Christmas gift so it is nice to have it all done and ready to go.  I just have to make a bent wire hanger for it.  A friend gave me some wire to do this but I just haven't done it quite yet.

Don't forget to Follow my blog on the right if you're enjoying it and leave me a comment ~ I love to hear feed-back!

Monday, August 30, 2010

What I'm Working on Today

Tada!!!!!  The Crazy Short Cut Quilt blocks are all quilted with the decorative stitches!!  I can't even tell you how happy I am to be finished with the stitching LOL.  What I finally ended up doing was pulling the end off the Aurifil thread spool (you can do this apparently) and turned the thread around so that the thread was coming off the back instead of the front.  It seemed to unravel less ~ well that and I was sewing soooo sloooowwww.  Anyways they are finished so now I just have to arrange them and sash them.  The backings are all blue Christmas and winter batiks so I'll have to pay attention to the back placement as well ~ but I am not going to stess about that.
I have also been hand sewing the binding to the back of the sampler quilt that we recently took off the group hand-quilting frame.  I love the look of a hand turned binding on a hand appliqued (a few of the blocks are applique) and hand quilted quilt.  That process also takes a long time ~ especially in this heat!  Wow!  Anyone else getting this heat wave?

What I can tell you is that a sampler quilt would be easy peasy to make with the Accuquilt GO! cutter!  Since you could cut small amounts of different shapes.

Speaking of the Go!!  There are a few more Go! Giveaways!!
Ryan Walsh:  I'm Just a Guy Who Quilts and
Sew Many Ways
A Quilting Life
are doing Go! Giveaways!  You have to check these sites out!!!

By the way ~ I just put a Followers button on my blog ~ so I hope that you will all decide to follow my blog to let me know who you are ~ and that you are in fact there LOL!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stash Ruminations

Have you seen some of the new fabrics from Lakehouse Fabrics?  I have to say that I absolutely love them!  They have a real 1930's influence but more updated.  Maybe it's the 1930's part that makes me absolutely love them but they feel so fresh to me!  have I done anything with any of these fabrics?  Or have I purchased any of these yummy prints?  No!!  :'(  I've been buying only what I need to buy to do projects out of my stash ~ and I think that this is really starting to wear on me. 

When I first started quilting everyone said "You've got to built up your stash!!"  So build a stash I did ~ and ~ can I just say that with a few exceptions I regret building that stash.  I love my 1930's prints ~ it's a little collection but I really like it.  I love my batiks and I use them a lot.  I also love my red and white collection and I have a quilt planned for them.  I do like that I have some background fabrics (creams and whites etc) set aside that I love to dig into when I start something new.  Pretty much everything else though I regret buying to "build my stash."  I have drawers of fabrics that now feel dated to me.  I sigh and look at the three meter cut of something I bought on sale but I don't really like the tone of anymore; or, it is difficult to match it with the fabrics that are out now.  These fabrics don't inspire me and I feel obligated to "use them up" and do something useful with them since I bought them.  I've been doing this for a couple years now, and, thankfully, my stash is decreasing.  My pile of UFO's has also been decreasing over this time.  I do feel lighter now that my stash is slowly going down ~ but ~ I'm getting tired of dealing with my stash and I am wondering if I need to take bigger steps.  Should I just list everything I don't like on Ebay?  Or give it to Victoria's Quilts?  Will I miss it when it's gone or feel liberated?  I don't know.

I've seen a trend the past couple years of quilters stash busting ~ who, like me, are trying to decrease their stash.  I've been trying to complete my UFO's and bust my stash but I think that I am in need of some inspiration.  Should I take more drastic steps to lighten my load ~ or ~ should I just give myself a break and buy what I like?

What I can say though is that when a new quilter asks me about building a stash I never tell them to build one.  I always say to buy for the project and make it.  Don't buy meters and meters of extra fabric (like I did) just buy what you like and make from that.  I still do recommend that people buy backgrounds, backings and batiks when there is a sale ~ but I never recommend that new quilters build a stash of random fabrics anymore.

Wow I feel lighter just having that off my chest LOL!!