The Perfect Fabric and Shopping With Alex

This striped fabric is one I purchased last week to go with these wonderful cactus prints. I have been on the hunt for the perfect stripe to go with this panel fabric for some time. I walked into a local fabric shop last week, and there it was, and on sale! What really amazed me was that I purchased this stripe entirely from memory–I did not have the cactus print with me at the time. I was so excited when I got home and discovered that it matched perfectly!

This weekend, the 2 to 3 minute clips from Alex Anderson’s classroom on The Quilt Show are free. In particular, I have enjoyed listening to Alex’s fabric purchasing tips. Alex never buys yards and yards of the same fabric unless it is a particularly extraordinary piece that you are not likely to see again, or if it is a focus fabric and you will need some for the border. Alex says she wants to be able to go to the quilt shop when she starts a new project to buy some new pieces to incorporate into her support stash. By only buying 1/3 to 1/2 yard pieces of fabric for her stash she is able to constantly add to her existing stash as she starts new projects and she doesn’t end up with yards and yards of stuff that she will likely tire of before she uses it all. Alex also mentioned that she never buys less than 1/3 yard of a particular fabric. She does this because pieces narrower than 1/3 yard seem to turn to shoestrings when you pre-wash them in the washer.

Alex talks about buying “sparkle” fabrics and “bridge” fabrics. Sparkle fabrics have a bit of light sprinkled across them. Alex buys 1/3 of a yard of these fabrics. Bridge fabrics have a bunch of different shades of the same colour sprinkled across them. Alex claims that green bridge fabrics are easy to come by, but bridge fabrics in other colours are harder to find. When you find a great bridge fabric, buy 1/2 to 1 yard of it.

Alex talked about circles, dots, and stripes. These fabrics she purchases in 1/2 yard increments. Alex talked about using the stripes as inner borders.

I enjoyed Alex’s discussion of what makes a monochromatic (one colour family) quilt work. She maintains that you must include white in a monochromatic quilt to keep it from going flat. You also need to make sure that you include a sizable mix of size and scale of print. You need to include a full range of light to dark fabrics. Alex also mentioned that it would take a couple of years to accumulate a serious collection of one colour fabrics that will work in a successful monochromatic quilt. This is because some of those fabrics required to make that collection work successfully in a monochromatic quilt will be harder to come by.

I haven’t been a big purchaser of sparkle, bridge, dot, and stripe fabric in the past. However, after purchasing just the right stripe last week, I think I am a convert to Alex’s fabric methodology. I guess I need to go shopping because my collection definitely needs some enhancing with sparkle, bridging, dots, circles, and stripes! LOL

Summer Holiday: Quilt Shop Purchases

Of course when you visit new quilt shops while on vacation, it is impossible to leave the shops empty handed. There are always some wonderful treasures that follow you home!

This was a free pattern that I got from Quilters Haven. The pattern is for a nine patch quilt. I don’t necessarily need the patternto make the quilt, but I thought what was included on the pattern was cute. “Relax! This simple little baby quilt, unlike a baby, will not take you nine months to complete. But, it is the perfect pattern to make up quickly for the baby quilt you should have started nine months ago when your friend told you she was pregnant.”
I underestimated how long it would take to finish the handwork I took along on my trip. I found myself halfway through my holiday and without handwork. I headed down to the local quilt shop in Weyburn and picked up the supplies and pattern to make this cute wall hanging. This pattern is called, “Quiltmakers” and is from, The Freckles Collection.

These are the fabrics that I couldn’t resist. First, the perfect souvenir of my trip, a collection of Thimbleberris fat quarters from the “Greetings from Canada” line.
The second piece of fabric was a fat quarter depicting jelly beans and licorice allsorts. I also picked up three thirties reproductions fabrics to add to my growing collection.
The fabric at the bottom of the picture was a chicken and wheat print from the “Cockle-Doodle-Doo!” collection by Bonnie Sullivan. I wanted fabric that depicted wheat to commemorate my visit to Saskatchewan, The Wheat Province. When I found fabric that had both wheat and chickens, I knew it had to come home with me.
I picked up this pattern from a Saskatchewan artist that features grain elevators.
This table topper pattern was designed by the folks at the Quilt Patch.
The Folded Snowflake pattern is from another Saskatchewan quilter, D J Richards. I also picked up this book by Billie Lauder. This book was the inspiration for my recent challenge project. Sorry, no pictures yet. The reveal will be at our guild’s quilt show at the end of October and so I am sworn to secrecy until then.

Double Four Patch

This is a picture of the progress that I have made so far on my newest quilt. This photo represents the first three rows.

This quilt is a Double Four Patch which I am making following the directions provided by Mary on her blog page. Like Mary, I am making my quilt from a variety of greens and beiges.

Since it is Sunday, Judy L has us reporting in on how we are doing on our stash busting. As you already know, I made some substantial fabric purchases in the past week. I am comforted in the fact that I have plenty of company in our guild membership who did exactly the same thing that I did. At our guild meeting this past Wednesday, our President had us put up our hands if any of us had not taken advantage of the fabric sale at Liquidation World. I only saw one person put their hand up! In fact many of us have gone back several times! The beiges and many of the greens in the quilt that I am making are purchases from that fabric sale. Does it count towards adding to your stash if you purchase the fabric and within 24 hours have it laundered, ironed, and cut into strips for your quilt?

I am very pleased with how this quilt is turning out. I am sure that the success of this quilt lies in the variety of fabrics that I am using–something that I could not have accomplished with my stash in its condition before the sale purchases. My guilt has been relieved!

Quilt BC – Kamloops – May 5, 2007

On May 5, 2007 our Quilt Guild chartered a bus to take us to Quilt BC in Kamloops. The National Juried Show was disappointing. I enjoyed the quilts in the smaller shows held elsewhere in town and the Trend-Tex Challenge more than the Juried show. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the quilts in the Juried show show I can’t show you those quilts. I purchased the catalogue of quilts that were exhibited so that I would have pictures of the quilts but I have nothing to show you here.

There was a large merchants mall where I managed to find some items to bring home with me. 🙂

The fabric on the left was part of a kit to make place mats. The middle fabrics were bright and cheerful–simply irresistible. The fabrics on the right are fruits and vegetables. I was inspired by a BQ quilt in the Fall/Winter 2006 issue of Quilt Sampler. The quilt was featured in a shop in Tuscon, Arizona called The Quilter’s Market. I have scanned the photo just in case you don’t have access to the magazine. The photo is a little grainy but hopefully you can see the BQ quilt on the table done in vegetable and black and white fabrics.

I also found a cute crate of black and white fabrics and some Laurel Burch cat fabric that I couldn’t leave behind.

I also picked up a show pin and CQA thimble for my collection.