Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My little secret...sshhh!

For years I was a single mom.  And even still I can't afford to buy the huge expensive sewing machines that most quilter's love.  I do all my piecing and machine quilting on a brother sewing machine that was bought at Wal-Mart.  I think it was $125 dollars new.  And to be honest I never have problems with it.  Its a good little machine.  Yes, I would love to buy a nicer one but right now its not in the cards.

 I would also love to say I buy I buy all my fabric at my local quilting shop.  But seriously, who can afford $12/yard for fabric.  Not I.  I spend my time shopping online to cut my costs practically in half.  I ventured in to my LQS the other day to kill sometime before I had to pick up the kids from their after school activities.  I loved, loved, loved wandering around the store looking at all the wonderful fabrics and patterns.  I really wish I could I could do more to support their presence in our community.  But as a young adult I can't.  Quilting is a bit of an expensive hobby to get into.  And its generally known as being a hobby enjoyed by a generation that is older.  And honestly I can see why.

So where do you buy your fabrics?  Here are some of the sites I love for great deals.

I love the clearance and sale sections most of all.  I generally try to buy last season's fabrics or lines of fabrics that have been out for awhile.  I am also lucky enough to live 30 mins away from a salvage surplus store that has the most amazing fabric department.  I don't always know the name brand of the fabric I am buying but it has never disappointed me.  I picked up 10 fat quarters the other day for my blue Dear Jane quilt at 75 cents each.  They must have about 500 bolts of fabric there.  I will have to take some pictures next time I go.  

So let's share where we go to get our deals.  How do we pursue our love of quilting on a budget?

My favorite quilt to date so far

I did this quilt about five years ago.  It was the most fun quilt I have done so far.  It is entirely paper pieced.  In fact, this is the quilt I learned paper piecing for.  I got the pattern from the site Quilter's Cache.  It is one of their free blocks named Pinwheel #3.  Here it is: Pinwheel #3.  I wish I had gotten a close up of the machine quilting.  It is quilted with purple metallic thread in a swirly design with stars scattered about.  I machine quilted it myself on my home sewing machine.  I made this as a gift for my son's grandmother.  She has done a lot for me over the years.  I choose purple because it is her favorite color.  One of these days I am going to make another one for me.  :)

My first paid work!

About 6 years ago I made this hall hanging for a friend to hang in her living room.  My only direction was green.  I can't seem to remember where I got the design from but I think it was on my Electric Quilt 6 software.  I remember being so excited.  It sold for about $40 dollars.

I think my next major purchase should be a new camera.  :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A sample of my Dear Jane blocks

I don't have much time for a lengthy post but I wanted to get some pictures up of my Dear Jane work so far.  My quilt is going to be all blues and whites.  I was really torn between doing a pink and chocolate one and this one.  My fiance voted blues, so there you have it.  I am still collecting pinks and browns though and maybe someday I will do that one too...or maybe just a smaller one.  Most of the ones below I paper pieced.  The hunter's moon block was mostly hand applique.  I enjoyed that block a lot.  I learned how to reverse applique which I had never done before.  I get most of my hints and tips from That Quilt.

I almost forgot the good news.  I received an early mother's day gift today.  My wonderful fiance and kiddos bought me the Dear Jane Software!  I think the fiance got sick of me complaining about all the tracing that I was doing with the book. 
My first post.  I am sitting here trying to think of exactly what to say that might start to grab an audience.  And I don't have a clue.  Should I show some pictures of previous quilts I have done?  Show pictures of stuff I am working on?  

I have decided I would tell you a little bit more about myself.  My life is pretty exciting right now.  I am getting married next month!  I have two kids from a previous relationship that just adore my fiance and I couldn't be more excited.  We are having just a small wedding with close family and friends and getting married on the shore of Lake Tahoe.  

That being said, right now my quilting budget is pretty low right now.  I have a couple of throws I am working on as gifts.  I am trying to use fabrics mostly from my stash.  That only semi worked.  One is for my future sister-in-law who was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  She started chemo last Friday and I thought she would love a nice cuddly quilt to curl up with when she wasn't feeling well.  I am also making a similar one for my future mother-in-law as thanks for all her help planning the wedding.  And its a good thing they are quick because I don't have much time left.  But there is a good reason why its taking so long.  A few years ago I made one of these throws for myself.  I love it.  The kids love it.  And so does everyone else.  It lives on my living room couch.  Its made of chenille with four square blocks and a flannel backing.  I found the pattern in the Love of Quilting magazine.  (GREAT Magazine!)  

This is the issue it came from.  I actually had to buy the digital version because I lost my paper copy.  Anyway, when I originally made it I used a chenille that was wavy.  And now apparently, they no longer make the wavy chenille in a beige or natural color.  And I really, really, really wanted it.  I have been hunting for weeks.  I did finally find it a few days ago but at the steep price of 18.99 a yard.  Ouch!  But its now ordered and its on its way.  These throws are super quick to put together once you have all the needed materials.  

I am also working on about a dozen other projects but those will have to wait for another time.  My blue Dear Jane quilt is most definitely deserving of its own post.  But don't worry, I am only about 5 blocks in.  :)

Have a good day and Happy Quilting!