Sunday

What's on the design wall?

Missouri Star Pattern
I cut out the fabrics for a bordered nine patch quilt during the summer. I used a jelly roll from the Saturday Morning by Basic Grey fabric line. I shopped for some of the colors of Grunge that were in the jelly roll to use for the background but since the fabric collection is a few years old, it was impossible to find.

After a few months of looking, I found something that worked great for the background. I packed up my little quilt kit and took it to the senior center where it took me a few weeks to chain-piece the fabrics. When I went to sew the rows together, they didn't quite fit. I discovered that my quarter-inch foot on my traveling machine was off. I just had to re-stitch the pieces to get the proper and accurate quarter-inch seams. Now they started to fit!

I sewed the blocks and added them to my design wall. I counted the blocks and recounted the blocks. I was one short. After looking everywhere I could think of for the missing block I decided to concede the loss and just make another block. As luck would have it, I can't find the leftover fabrics. It was summer when I started cutting the blocks and now I have no idea where to start looking.

This project has been quite the disaster from the beginning but I am not giving up. I do know where the yardage is to make the borders so I can always cut another block from that fabric. But I think for now I will just let this project sit for a while to see if I run across the leftovers somewhere I haven't looked.

Saturday

Mini Charm Bench Pillow

I had some leftover charms from one of last year's Christmas projects and I thought this mini charm bench pillow cover would be a great project to use them up. I cut the charms into 2 and a half-inch squares and found some white linen to use for the sashing/background.

The tutorial I used for this project can be found here. Luckily I have 2 long bench pillow forms available to cover. It was so quick and easy I think I might make another one with everyday fabrics for after the Christmas season.

Thursday

Gnome Pillow

This is a cute pattern I got at my local quilt shop. I used some Sweetwater Christmas fabrics I had on hand. I love Sweetwater fabrics so much, whenever they come out with a new collection, I have to get it. I'm happy to get to use some of this collection on such a cute project.

Tuesday

Midge's Winnie the Pooh Baby Quilt

Today my friend Midge came over and I quilted her Winnie the Pooh baby quilt for her. She stayed and chatted with my while I quilted it. I loved having the company and she said she really needed to get out of the house; her husband was driving her crazy. It's not even winter yet and I understand how close quarters can drive you crazy when you're stuck in the house. Ha!

The quilt Midge made was simple squares with a nice border made with a twister tool. Midge is a garment sewer so making a quilt is not in her wheelhouse. She did a great job and the quilt colors are so nice and soothing. I'm sure our friend Mark and his wife will love it.

Midge chose a variegated pastel thread and a butterfly pantograph for the quilt. There are butterflies in the Pooh scenes on the fabric and the baby is a girl so it's a perfect selection. I got Midge involved in the project by showing her how to attach the zippers to the top and bottom of the quilt in order to put it on the frame. The only struggle we had with the quilt is that the outer border was cut on the bias so it was a little stretchy when loading it.

Midge and I had a nice afternoon of chatting while getting her little beauty done. Those were a nice few hours of quality time with her.

Thursday

Mary's Fish Quilt

My friend Mary brought this baby quilt over to be longarmed. Since the theme is fish, I used a pantograph called ripples to quilt this one. It has a really nice look of moving water over the quilt. I used a nice complimentary blue variegated thread which adds a nice look to the ripples. I love having the opportunity to help her complete her quilt projects.

Sunday

Fall Church Craft Fair - Success!

Yesterday I did a craft fair at my church. The church has held this craft fair for more than 30 years in a row. It is very popular.

In the past, I've had some success at this fair. But I never thought it was that great.  I never took the time to figure out how to do better until after I retired from my full time job.  Now that I have more time to concentrate on my hobbies, I started researching how to do better.

One of the things I noticed in most articles I've read is not to have too many items. People get overwhelmed if there's too much to look at. Keeping it simple seems to be the way to go. I am working toward that goal by limiting my inventory to less things. I also sorted my inventory and display it differently so more like things are together.

I used some bins to display all my baby items. They are all in one place now.  I used my display rack to hold all my bags and pouches. Everything is viewable in one spot.

For a change, I brought along some quilts. I never expect to sell any since the price point is high. It seems most people attending our fair are looking for small, reasonably priced items.

An amazing thing happened this year....I sold more than double than I have ever sold before. My marketing strategy worked. The advice worked. How wonderful!

I also sold a quilt. What a happy unexpected surprise. For the first time in a long time, I am excited to enter the craft fair vending world. I will definitely look for more marketing tips before the next fair.

Some of the items I sold include:
  • Baby Blankets
  • Burp Cloths
  • Boo-Boo Rice Bags
  • Quilted Gift Bags
  • Zipper Pouches
  • Bowl Cozies (sold out)
  • Hot Pads (sold out)
  • Table Runners



  

Friday

What's on the design board?

Starting this month off with a design board full of new projects is just not going to happen. I have a craft fair coming up in 2 days and all my spare time has been spent on prepping for that day.

I decided to experiment with some new ideas and whipped up some hot pads. Another new item is the bowl cozies I made earlier this year. If they sell I will me making many more.  

My hot pad experiment includes a copy of my favorite recipes printed on pieces of fabric. I cut fabric to 8 1/2" by 11", just like standard printer paper and ironed it onto a piece of freezer paper cut the same size. It just amazes me how the fabric sticks so well. In fact, sometimes I have trouble peeling the fabric off the paper after it has been run through the printer. 
Once I print the recipe on the fabric, I set the print with a hot iron. That should keep the print nice and crisp on the fabric. I did some patchwork sewing around the recipe until I got a piece that measured around 9" square. I backed it with Insul-Bright and a piece of cotton batting and added coordinating backing and stitched all around. I also added a loop to hang the hot pad. 

I hope they are popular at the show because they sure are fun to make.

Thursday

Halloween Week

Our city held trick or treat on Sunday. It turned out to be a beautiful evening and there were many trick or treaters at our door. My husband wore his Curious George "guy in the yellow suit" costume that the grandkids enjoyed. He sat on the porch enjoying his evening of chatting with all the kids and handing out candy.

This year we made some fun decorations for our yard. We made Halloween tombstones. We already had made ghosts and the grim reaper yard art years ago and felt we could use something new.

We started the project at the end of September and with all the rainy/windy/frosty/downright crappy weather, it took a very long time to find a day to spray paint the fake tombstones. It was probably a week after we started before we could finish painting all the sayings we wanted to put on the stones.

Our granddaughters were excited about the project so they each painted one of the ten tombstones we made. After they did one the novelty wore off and they were done. The rest were up to us.

After some thought we finished them with a few weeks to go until Halloween. It was a fun project that should last for a few years at the least.