Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My favorite fabric designers

Sewing involves a lot of fabric. 

When I started reading quilting blogs a few years ago, I started noticing something: everybody seems to have their favorite kinds of fabrics. Favorite fabric brands. Favorite fabric weights. Favorite fabric designers. 

Since I'm a regular mom who makes regular quilts, I've never thought much about fabric designers.
I buy fabric I like. I buy fabric that fits my budget. And I sew. And I love it.

So, the fabric-designer name-dropping is all kind of Greek to me. Moda? Kona? Kaffe?
To my knowledge, I've only ever bought one yard of any of the latest, greatest brand name fabrics. It was because I needed a very specific color, and Kona was the only all-cotton fabric at that store that came in 15 different shades of dark blue ... 

I live in a little town, that's next to another little town, that's next to another little town ... Around here, thrift stores outnumber fabric stores by a ratio of about a dozen to one.

And so ... thrift-store fabric (or shirts and shirt fabric, as the case may be!) is a lot more accessible, and a lot more practical, than quilt-shop fabric.

Well-chosen and carefully inspected, this kind of fabric suits me very satisfactorily.
That fabric in the second picture of yesterday's post was cut from several thrift-store shirts.

Cutting up shirts is more trouble than just cutting into a neat yard of fabric. But, as usual, I love the "leftovers": 
Buttons ...

More buttons:

And, a stack of small fabric pieces for my next "made-fabric" project or English Paper Piecing project:

So ~ I'm just a regular quilter who doesn't know much about famous fabric designers. Naturally, I do buy most of my fabric by the yard at the store, but my fabric stores mostly sell small-name brands. And that's fine with me.

But I've gotta say: today's favorite fabric designers do strike me favorably:
Tommy Hilfiger ...

Jos.A.Bank, Banana Republic, et. al.:

With honorable mentions for a few more:

So ... all that to say ... I'm well on my way to getting a really fun quilt top made ... Hoping to post more progress pictures of this one soon. 

For now,  here's my stack of over 30 blocks, 15"-square each, ready to be cut up and reassembled. Like I said ... more pictures soon!

Update: The quilt top pieces in this post became a quilt top - See progress posts here and here, and the post about the finished quilt top here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bits and Pieces ...

So ... the blog has been quiet, but hands have been busy ...

Pictures now; full posts later ...

Here's some of what I've been up to ...

Handsewing, of course. Teeny hexagons. Medium-sized diamonds (not pictured). Always fun and relaxing.

Cutting thrifted shirts into usable pieces for an awesome quilt top.

Helping my three girls with their latest quilt-y projects.

Crocheting more T-shirts.

Sewing some adorable blue quilt-y things for my two newest nephews who are coming to visit me this week. (Pictures after I give them their gifts!)

Experimenting with some new quilting styles on some pot-holder gifts.

Pulling weeds out of my flowerbeds so I can see the cute flowers hiding there.

Like I said, more pics and more posts later!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Remember the EPP stars?

I haven't forgotten the vintage-inspired English Paper Piecing stars I've been working on this year ...

Lately, I've made a couple more stars, which means I'm almost done with the "stars" part ...

I'm still loving the mostly-vintage look, and still having fun adding in some not-so-vintage fabrics that I just like.

Overall progress is still looking about like this ... so, when I add these two stars in, that just leaves another whole star, and two half-stars, and then a ton of border diamonds ...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fun with Vowels ...

I've been playing with quilty letters ...

I mentioned in another post that I was working on some letters; I've got a project in mind, so I've been auditioning sizes of letters, which of course means making a few, to see how they do.

For size reference, here these are on my cutting board which has inch-marks. I trimmed these squares to 2 ½", so they should finish around 2". That's probably the size I'll be going with.

Whatever design I make will have to have some vowels, so I figure this is a good start!

Every time I see this many vowels listed in order, I can't help remembering that cartoon-caterpillar who sings vowels in order, and backwards, over and over in the OLD animated Disney version of Alice In Wonderland ... is it just me?

Anyway, I've got this great stack of black dotty fabric, a bright white cotton sheet, and a project drawn in my graph-paper-notebook that needs dozens of letters. So, it looks like I've got my work cut out for me! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Little Flannel Rag Quilt

A few times, I've mentioned rag quilts ... Here's another one ...

It's a fun combo of pink and dots ...

Cute, smallish, cozy, flannel ...

It's 30" x 36", and is for sale on eBay, along with another, similar, one ...

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Next to our backyard storage shed, I've got a narrow little flowerbed ... 

The flowerbed is just the size for a row of tall flowers ...

I've got some miniature sunflowers blooming, a few zinnias, and a few cosmos ...

It's a treat to look out the back window and see little splashes of color ...

I'll try to catch more pictures, as more colorfulness develops.

From the rising
of the sun
to its setting,
the name of the Lord
is to be praised!
Psalm 113:3

Friday, August 3, 2012

Homespun Plaids & Reds

The other day, I mentioned thrifted shirt fabrics ... I cut the shirts into squares, and ... voila! 
Some of the red, and some plaid, along with a few thrifted plaid remnants, became this quilt top!

The quilt top measures 62" x 62", so each of the squares is about 6" finished.

It has a nice, homespun, cozy look and feel.

I especially love the red squares - they're shirt fabrics that are 100% cotton and super-soft.

This quilt top is for sale on eBay ... seems like it would be a fun quilt with denim or fleece on the back. Or flannel. Or more plaid!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Since I like to sew, I also like to collect fabric ...

And, a lot of the time, I find it fun to find fabric in unlikely places. 

So, this time, I brought home a stack of 50¢ shirts from the thrift store. 100% cotton, and the feel and weight of fabric I knew I'd love to sew! Fifty cents each, for what amounts to at least a yard of usable fabric in each shirt!

A run through the washer & dryer, and a bit of ironing, and I was able to get busy cutting! Lots of big squares for a project in tomorrow's blog post, and lots of little squares for something else ... not sure what.

And, the other fun thing about cutting up shirts is ... you get buttons! My two youngest kids had fun "sewing" the matching buttons onto strings so the sets of buttons stay together in the button box.

Oh, and, the funny thing about picking out 50¢ shirts at the thrift store ... I actually bought 6 shirts. They were all 100% cotton, in great condition, looked nice for sewing ... But when I got home, I realized that one of the shirts (actually, accidentally) fits me, and I love it! So, it's my new favorite shirt. For 50¢
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