Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Stash

Ok, it's about time I participated in the stashing of awesomeness! This year I have vowed to keep my stash under control and have done a decent job at cutting back the amount of fabric on hand. Over the year more fabric has been quilted than bought (hello motivation). This week has been an exception, I picked up these FQs at my LQS. Also, more damage was done at Sew Fresh Fabrics going out of business sale ... but those won't arrive for a while. After all, it was on sale. More on that later.

The funny thins is, the older I become the more of a minimalist I have become. Quite frankly, it's getting pretty scarce in my world and I like it! So unlike most quilters, the (small) amount of fabric I do have on hand is actually too much!  Right, I am an anomaly you can start the flogging right after this post. When I go through my stash and dig out boxes I just become overwhelmed, so I have learned it best to leave it all hidden away. 

Now, I need to get quilting on my WIPs so I can cut into these new lovelies. Thanks Molli for hosting this great link up each week ... of course I am linking up to Molli Sparkles :) The button was also added to my sidebar.  Yay, to new blog bling!

-Patch & Chels

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tone it Down! Update ...

First of all... the WINNER of Mondays giveaway goes to ....

Teresa if you could e-mail me your address, I'll get these in the mail!

You all had AMAZINGLY nice things to say, this week has been kinda crazy at school with grades being due ... eek.  Rest assured that I read each and every comment, although I didn't respond (sorry poor manners).  Thank you again for making this blogging journey such an awesome experience!

Now on to regularly recorded blogging ...

It's official the packages have arrived and Michelle (From Bolt to Beauty) and I have sorted them into 28 perfect little bundles of fabric for you all :). Michelle is mailing them today or tomorrow. There wasn't one bad fabric in the bunch and that is saying something. Every time Michelle would reach for a new bag of fabric I kept getting giddy with delight. I have seen most on our Flickr page but seeing them in my hands was just so much better! 

Now I just need to come up with a plan to use them, my mind is racing and it's difficult to settle on just one idea. We are encouraging people to post what they make from their packs in the flickr group so we can see what all these magical squares become! Here are some fabric highlights or fabrics I got exceptionally giddy about ... 

Lately, some of my peeps have been asking about finding low volume fabrics, here is a linked list of some low volumes I am currently loving.

Almost every line of fabric has at least one low volume print, the key is finding them because they don't always draw you in with beautiful prints and colors. Most fabric sites allow you to look by color way, so searching whites and creams brings up most fabric that would be considered low volume. Some sites even let you search low volume! I try to get a selection of both cream and white backgrounds to add to the scrappy look.  Also very pale tan's and gray's add some pizzaz.  

Also look at the goods Michelle gave me for helping organize the swap! I am thinking Christmas gifts from this book. 

****If you missed this round Michelle and I were already talking about doing another swap this winter after the holiday.  We are not sure of the theme yet, but stay tuned!

-Patch & Chels

Monday, October 13, 2014

100th Post Celebration + Giveaway

Hello my blogging friends, today I announce my 100th post on the blog :). (Very Exciting!!!!) I started this blogging adventure back in January and never would have guessed how amazing the whole experience would have been. It blows me away every time I think of the wonderful quilters out there who have become new friends. You all rock! As a little thank you I am hosting my first giveaway today. A little bundle of 6 fat quarters.

In the giveaway pile is a custom FQ bundle, including some of my favorite prints! All you need to do is become apart of Patch and I's blogging world, either by, becoming a member of the site, or following us on Bloglovin'. Then leave a comment below.  The winner will be chosen at random on Thursday of this week. 

-Patch & Chels

Friday, October 10, 2014

Round Trip Quilts

It's time to share Border 2 for Round Trip Quilts! This center came from Sew Mary Quilts. It has an awesome gradient rainbow star to work from! I had to do something with color families to play into what she already started in the middle. Mary sent a small notebook full of ideas for borders, and I feel in love with the idea of an arrow. 

Having never sewn arrows and needing a pattern that would fit perfectly to the 16.25 inch side, I grabbed some graph paper and kept my fingers crossed it would work out. I laid out the parts for four arrows, one for each side. Each arrow has two of the color families from the center block. The proportions worked out well perfectly, each arrow wasn't too long or too short. 

I was stumped on the corner block, so I sent out an Instagram SOS. They gave me the great idea of a four-patch that ties into the already established corner blocks.  

Now I need to write in the notebook sharing my ideas and design for the newest border! Hopefully Mary likes what has been added to her block :) The block is now headed to Christina at Wips & Tuts

-Patch & Chels

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

9(9) problems but a {stitch} ain't one!

PSA: I just have to start by saying this community of bloggers is probably the most compassionate, kind, and thoughtful group of human beings on the planet. You are encouraging and always say the right things to make me feel better, mind and body. Last post, I talked about finding peace with some big decisions in my future. I have worked out my thoughts and come to a decision. It was amazing how quickly the stress melted away, and I feel this choice will make the happiest. You were all so great with your well wishes :) Thank you for being so wonderful, I feel blessed to be apart of such a great network of quilters and friends.

Now on to regularly scheduled blogging ... 

Amy over at 13 Spools has done it again! I admired her courage to air 10 of her quilting confessions now she is sharing 9 #quiltersproblems. The problems in life quilters only seem to understand. Here goes my 9 problems ... although some days it feels more like 99.

1. Running out of bobbin thread in the last 2 inches of your project. 

2. Taking a quilt into the sunlight only to find out all whites are not the same shade.  

3. Being inches short on a backing (really hate being inches away from anything!)

4. Realizing the backing fabric has a bunch of puckers after completing 90% of the quilting.

5. Getting halfway through a project only to realize it's ugly, dreadful, and/or putrid.

6. Tension on the machine is off and spending a whole sewing day futzing with the thing before beating the machine back into submission, not before completely cleaning and oiling every part hoping it helps or any sewing machine troubles, really.

7. The love/hate relationship with the seam ripper.

8. Drowning in WIPs while starting another project frantically cutting with a dull rotary blade.

9. Realizing a piecing mistake in the middle of the quilt only to have to take the whole top apart. 

If you want to share your #quiltersproblems link up to Amy's post so we can all commiserate with one another!

-Patch & Chels

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Be ... Peaceful (with Some Pretty Backdrops Tutorial)

This month is all about finding peace in our lives. The funny thing is that is exactly what I need to find. Lately, I have been presented with some big choices about my future and it has created somewhat of huge headache of stress in my life. Decisions I thought I had more time to make, just like anything in life I do not. There is always the "what if's" about my future as well, what if this was the wrong choice, what if the other option would have propelled myself further. Do I look back in twenty years and have regrets? Ah, what I would do for a crystal ball! 

Enough about that, it's stressing me out just thinking about the ordeal. Ok, serious discussion about backgrounds in photography. May times I get kudos on my pictures, if you want to learn how to better operate your camera I highly recommend Ruth's posts at Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner. Ruth does a whole series about taking better pictures, and it has helped me A LOT. I still don't shot full manual but I am having better luck on the "P" mode, which is half manual mode. 

The problem with creative photos is, I rent, so I have limited options as paint and wall space, but still want interesting photos! Here was my solution. The background above is the one I use the most. You can purchase this board at from Home Depot, they have a variety of textures. That piece is  left over from the prop below, two backdrops for $10, winning!

Rainy day .. the lighting stinks!

My father is handy with the table saw so he helped (actually he did all the work). The design was simple. The boards, with strips of wood nailed to the back so you can clamp the two pieces together, using basic Home Depot clamps ($5 each, and already had a pair I use to clamp quilts to my quilt frame). When the prop isn't in use, it unclamps and stores behind the couch out of sight. If you're not so handy with a table saw, or terrified of them, Home Depot and Lowes will cut boards for you. Just give them the dimensions :). 

Ta da, a simple background that stores flat! You can see the stash of Sugar BOM fabrics is getting slim.  This month I also cut out a second block for each month, twelve wasn't going to be enough so I doubled up :). More on that later. The white background is BRIGT, so I was able to shoot this picture in low light on a rainy day without too much photo magic!  If you want brighter photos start with a brighter background.

The background helps overcome bad light!

Now for color! Pantone's radiant orchid is the color of the year, but really who wants a wall of it?  Eeek, that might be TOO much!  Here was my color solution.  I picked up two 24 inch square boards at Lowes, they were cheap with imperfections at $4 each, and some 4 inch foam rollers ($5 a pack and used 2). In this project I used left over paint and primer or already purchased paint.  If you want a particular color, I recommend the sample size jars, they are small and cost about $3 each.

Then I primed and painted BOTH sides, giving me four background choices. Lately, I have been having fun with the radiant orchid! The good thing about painting the boards they can quickly be changed. To photograph using the boards, just lay the blocks on top and stand over to shoot. It also takes away the step of hanging/taping/pinning the block to a wall. Much faster and easier. The hard part is choosing which color to use!  These also store flat behind a couch when not in use.

All these options cost at total of $35 dollars, if you need paint it's more like $50, for all 6 backgrounds! This is blogging on a budget ($5.85 each!). If you have any questions about the process, shoot me an e-mail I would be glad to help!

-Patch & Chels

Sunday, September 28, 2014

One of "Those" Weeks

The past week has been a no-production kinda week. I have been sick, but as a teacher it's more work to stay home then it is to actually go in and teach. So, I have been going to work, and then going to bed at 6 p.m. This little sick spell has drastically cut into my sewing and blog reading time.  Putting me very behind in everything.

Now, it's Sunday and I have nothing to blog about, so I sewed up my last two charity blocks for our guild. Minimal production, but something. If you are getting comments on your posts from two weeks ago, I am also trying to read through my Bloglovin' feed.  Can I read 300+ posts in one day??? It's going to be a blog marathon. Hopefully, I can get some sewing time in later so I will have projects to blog about later this week.  Being sick is the pits.

Also, how do you like my new background? They are super easy to make, just purchase 2 - 2' square boards (I got these at Lowes) and painted each side for a total of 4 different colors. I was getting tired of with my white backgrounds and this was a cheap fix.  I used up some left over paint.  This color is actually the Pantone color of the year! You can also see my new chalkboard, my old one is traveling. If you would like to host the traveling chalkboard let me know! 

- Patch & Chels