• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 3,859 other followers

  • Flickr Photos

  • itunes

  • Most popular clicks on my blog!

    • None
  • Advertisements

It’s the $19.99 sale time at Craftsy!

I wait all year for the amazing $19.99 sale at Craftsy!

Every class is $19.99 or less and that only happens once a year. 

Craftsy runs flash sales, sales, pre-sales, peek-a-boo sales, coupons, you called your gramma sales, and more all the time. 

Fine, maybe they don’t have ‘you called your gramma sales’ but you get the picture. 

But THIS sale – THIS SALE is the grand-poo-ba of them all. 

Yes, I have something to gain from this because 

A) I will be buying classes on sale

B) if you click over from my site and indulge yourself in this awesome of awesomest Craftsy sales, I will get affiliate money. So thanks!

 

Advertisements

#citysamplerfun My City Sampler Process

So I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to participate in Sara’s (from Sew Sweetness) City Sampler Quilt Along featuring Tula Pink’s latest book City Sampler

First of all – I really like the book. I like that Tula decided not to name the blocks, but to number them instead and leave the naming to us. I also like the layout – a lot – on the left is the block as made by Tula and on the right is the block drawing that shows where seams are made and the cutting dimensions and uses the same fabrics as it has on the left page –  – but sketched to let the overall value come through rather than color.

This made choosing different fabrics than the ones she chose a lot easier because as long as you follow value, the quilt is going to work, and at 100 blocks, I sure as heck hope it looks good all together when its done!

#ctiysampler choosing fabriI say that it made choosing fabrics easier – but I lied! I may know the value I am looking for – but that certainly doesn’t mean I picked a fabric without agonizing over it!

Another thing I love about this book is that its vibe MADE ME FEEL like it’s OK to write in it, glue fabric to the pages, and anything else that makes this particular copy of the the book MINE!

#ctiysampler choosing fabri#ctiysampler choosing fabri

#ctiysampler choosing fabric

#ctiysampler choosing fabric

#ctiysampler choosing fabric

#ctiysampler choosing fabric

#ctiysampler choosing fabric

#ctiysampler choosing fabricI hope you enjoyed seeing my process of choosing fabrics! I have made more blocks since these photos were taken, and I do intend to update the blog as I go along.

But Allison – what are those papers you have paperclipped to the pages?

Those are freezer paper paper piecing pattens that I drafted using the measurements in the book. I love accuracy, and FPPP is my new favorite way to achieve it!

There is an amazing tutorial at the twiddletails shop that I always go back to if it’s been a while since I used the method.

It does take longer to piece each block, and I do have to figure out the best way to sew them so that it works with FPPP (or any paper-piecing method) but I enjoy the process so I’m cool with it.

It’s a card. And it’s actually Green.

Yes!

It really is green, hence the name ‘Green Card’ I suppose.

Green Card without picture. Property of US Gov...

Green Card without picture. Property of US Government (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I got one! Hoot. Holler and carry on I tell ya’!

PODCASTING???

Can I just tell you that I so enjoy listening to all of the quilting podcasts and that I would really like to start up again. If only there weren’t so many hurdles in the way! I wish they were a ‘push this button and poof you are self hosted and all your old stuff is all there and can upload your shows directly to your own site’ instead of going through middle men that are hit and miss at best.

And while I may be ‘all that and a piece of cake’ social media maven for C&T Publishing (tongue deep in cheek – I pinch myself everyday that they haven’t caught on to me yet…) I did not have to do anything ‘techy’ to get it set up, I just roll with it – you know?

So here is a proposition of sorts… Does anyone want to be that button? I pay handsomely in praise, goodwill, and I have quite a lovely stash of fabrics, notions, and books that I would barter for the button in a heartbeat….

I have so much to tell you guys!! And let’s face it, I never was much of a ‘blogger for withinaqaurterinch’ (don’t tell my boss! ha!) I was a podcaster, and I want to be one again.

Oh and here is something that has me quite intrigued…

citysampler by Tula Pink Quilt Along

A quilt along hosted by Sara from SewSweetness  for Tula Pink’s book, 100 Modern Quilt BlocksI just ordered it from Amazon. As Sara says in her post, I missed the whole Farmer’s Wife Quilt Along and this one seems a lot more attainable in any case. (oh and – this is not a C&T book, so no affliliation!)

Why do I hear crickets?

<enter left> Clearing dust off the shelves and poofing up pillows…

Many things have changed since I last poked my head in to look around. First of all – SeamedUP is closed! We gave it a fair (2 years) shake and decided to know when was ‘when’. Building a site of that magnitude was a programming nightmare and every time we thought we had it right–we didn’t!

Brye and I fell out of love. It happens. (but not with each other – I love you Brye!)

But good things come from everything!

SeamedUP put me ‘in the action’ — I learned about all of the social media/marketing aspects of running an online company. Did I become an ‘expert’ – no, I didn’t– but I did get to be pretty darn good at coming up with ideas and (mostly?) seeing them through! I really loved the marketing part of the site, building contacts, talking with people (lots of people), and decided that that was what I wanted to ‘be when I grew up’.

Just around that time; the ‘work card’ from INS showed up–we have been in the process of applying for a green card for about 2.5 years and as part of that process, I could not work as a dependent on my husbands visa until the magical card came in the mail. (side note: TOMORROW morning at 7:30 is our green card interview – anything can happen, sh***ing bricks as the saying goes, wish us luck!)

So it was time to go back to work. The twins were starting Kindergarden (I know!?) and while sitting around eating bon bons all day is a good life (please read the sarcasm in there) another paycheck would definitely help!

But darn it all – I have a total accounting background, from post-graduate degrees to 10+ years of industry experience in pretty fancy schmancy positions. The thought of getting up early — getting the twins off to school – getting myself ‘readied’ – driving to work – juggling a high pressure career with my littles who really know me as ‘momma’ – and still being the one who takes care of everything household related because trust me, magical changes in that department were simply not going to be appear — made me weary.

So I started calling all of those nice folks I met through SeamedUP and put the word out that I was looking for a job! And wouldn’t you know, the lovely Karen Johnson (director of marketing for Martingale) pointed me towards a linked in job posting for C&T Publishing – they were looking for an ‘interactive marketing specialist’ read: if its online – its yours- and I typed up a cover letter as quickly as possible and sent off my accounting resume with SeamedUP right at the top and hoped for the best.

I have been working at C&T for just over 4 months now and I have the best job in the world. I work with creative, smart, kind, talented, and funny people who value what I have to offer. I work from home so I am not running around like a maniac in the morning. I am here after-school (although we did hire an after-school nanny because the thought of after-care sounded like a really long day for 6 year olds and especially for Max!) so I get to see them during the day and hear about who their best friends are today and see the projects they made before they are too tired to care to show them to me. I can put a load of laundry in — but let me dispel the myth right here and now — people who work from home are actually working. So just as you sit at your desk and think ‘as soon as I finish this I will pee’ and then 2 hours later you remember ‘oh yeah, I had to pee’ it happens to me at home! I cannot tell you how many dinners I have BURNT!

But it’s a good life.

Who would have thought that at 41 I would have a complete career change!

From the accounting to the marketing department. It is pretty handy that I have those skills because you gotta know that I am running the numbers a lot – but the numbers just represent different things. Instead of dollars they are site visits!

So that’s what is going on around here.

And no, my husband did not magically turn into a more contributory partner in the household department but we are considering hiring a housekeeper — anything to keep the peace! And the kids are still learning that even though I am home, I am working and the other end of the conference call doesn’t necessarily need to hear them saying ‘I want a snack’!

SO – here’s hoping that everything doesn’t go to shit tomorrow. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be approved but man it is really scary to think that we may have to move back to Canada! Not that Canada is scary but you know what I mean!

I will keep you posted.

Oh and on the quilting front – SO MUCH TO SHARE WITH YOU!! please come back:)

 

 

A Wee Bit of De-Stash

Hello Friends!

A wee bit of De-Stash for some items that need new homes:)

Prices are on the photos. Prices INCLUDE SHIPPING.

Everything is from a smoke-free, pet-free home and they have been lovingly cared for while under my domain!

If you are interested – please email me mail@withinaquarterinch.com SUBJECT LINE must be the name on the photo (example J1 refers the Jelly Roll with J1 on the photo).

First to email AND send payment (paypal required) will get the item.

THANKS everyone!

Above: Miss Jump’s Scrap Bag Jelly Roll

Above: Shangri-La  Jelly Roll

 Above: Mother Goose and Friends Jelly Roll

 Black and White Jelly Roll

 Whimsy (by Fig Tree Quilts) Layer Cake

ABOVE AND BELOW: Same Fat Eighth Bundle on Tone on Tone shades of green and gold – lovely!

Fabric comes in all shapes and sizes… now, where to put it?

As I begin my own organizational challenge (and I still can’t find that darn camera – seriously, where the heck is it?) I have been pondering a lot of questions. Like, ‘where should I keep the smaller stuff?’ or ‘by color, by designer, or prints vs. solids?’….

Sandi, from Piecemeal quilts has had the same questions pass through her mind, and she is here today to share some of her own answers with us.

It is plain to see that she has taken a lot of time and care to write this piece for us – so please leave her a comment and give her a little lovin’!

***
Hi, I’m Sandi Walton, and I blog at Piecemeal Quilts. I was excited to hear from Allison about doing a guest post on fabric organization because I (fairly) recently completed a major reorganization and can only talk about it so much on my own blog…

I have mixed feelings about the word “organization.” On the one hand, the result is satisfying, even enjoyable. Looking at neat stacks of uniformly folded fabric sorted by color creates an “ahhh…” feeling. On the other hand, the process of getting to that point can be time consuming and frustrating.

After 1

I recently needed to move the bookshelf containing my fabric stash from one wall to another. Sounds simple, but since that bookshelf is almost seven feet tall and four feet wide, it required removing every piece of fabric from the shelves. The fabric was fairly well organized before then, but in the past year or so I started folding it a different way and since I was handling every piece of fabric anyway, I took the opportunity to sort and refold it. With help from my mom and aunt, it took two full days! It also meant fine tuning how I have the fabric organized. You can see a few before and during pictures here.

I am a stash builder, and I often buy one or more yards of fabric at a time. I have a few half yards and fat quarters, plus the scraps that we all accumulate. The smaller pieces disappeared on the shelf because they were so thin, so anything smaller than half a yard came off the shelf. Anything larger than three yards is very bulky when folded, so I pulled those fabrics as well. I went to the local quilt shop and JoAnn Fabrics and asked for their discarded bolts – they were happy to get rid of them. I rolled the larger pieces of fabric onto the bolts and I keep them on an out of the way but still accessible shelf.

Organization

The half yard to three yard pieces make up the bulk of my stash, and a VERY bulky stash it is. If it isn’t well organized, I’d never be able to find anything. Regardless of how you choose to sort it, you need to fold the fabric as uniformly as possible so you can see everything when it’s stacked together. If pieces are folded to different sizes, the longer ones can cover the shorter ones. The folding method I use is very simple and doesn’t require any special tools, so I can do it right at the fabric store. That way when it comes out of the bag it can go right on the shelf. The added benefit is that it takes half the time at the store because the clerk doesn’t have to fold a piece before she can move on to cutting the next one. If you’ve ever been frustrated when you’re stuck behind someone with twenty bolts of fabric to be cut, you’ll certainly appreciate that!

The half yard is the basis for my fold. A half yard of fabric is 18″ wide, so first I fold it in thirds, overlapping the sides to the center, to make a piece that is approximately 6″ wide.

Organization

I then fold it in half, end to end, so the final piece is approximately 6″ wide and 11″ long.

Organization

If you want, you can use a 6″ ruler as a guide, but with a full half yard of fabric it really isn’t necessary. The ruler comes in handy when folding pieces that aren’t exactly 18″ wide.

Organization

I always try to enclose any cut edges into the center of the folded piece. They’re less likely to catch on this and crease or distort. When folding a yard of fabric, first I fold it in half to make it 18″ wide, then I continue exactly as I did the half yard. It’s a little bulkier, so I smooth the fabric as I go to keep it flat and uncreased. For two or three yards I fold it to a yard, then to 18″, then thirds, then half. Larger pieces get quite bulky and it’s hard to avoid creases at the final fold.

I used to fold my fabric to the same final dimensions, but I folded it in half first before folding it in thirds. This made sense for cutting, but it wasn’t as easy to see the fabric when it was stored on the shelf. By folding it in half last you can see a greater portion of the fabric at the folded edge, compared to my old way of folding it.

Organization

New way of folding

Organization

Old way of folding

Fat quarters are also folded uniformly. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve been known to iron a fat quarter before refolding it, just to make it lie flat. A fat quarter is approximately 18″ x 22″ – a bit longer with the selvage left on. I lay the fabric wrong side up, then fold it in half, cut edge to selvage.

Organization

I fold it in half again the same way, so the piece is approximately 18″ x 6″.

Organization

I fold each side to the center, then fold it in half.

Organization

Organization

Again, this keeps all cut edges contained in the middle. I store my fat quarters and other smaller pieces in drawers, and I try to keep the final fold up for easiest viewing. I’ll be honest, I don’t get quite so picky about keeping the smaller pieces uniform. I keep the drawers neat, but they are far from perfect.

Organization

What I call a scrap, you might call yardage and someone else might call garbage. I’ve tried to cut back on keeping really small pieces, but I do save pieces as small as 2″ x 4″. That size comes in handy when paper pieces or experimenting with new blocks or techniques. I store my scraps, sometimes strips and rectangles, sometimes odd shaped pieces, in plastic shoe boxes.

Organization

They’re sorted by color to make it a little easier to find things.

Organization

If I have a strip the full width of fabric I’ll sometimes roll it up and tie it with a piece left from squaring up. (Those skinny strips are also handy for tying together fabrics you’re saving for a future project.)

Organization

I do keep very small pieces if they’re squares cut to specific sizes left over from other projects. These pre-cut squares, along with left over half square triangles and other subunits, are stored separately to keep them neat.

Organization

I have squares as small as 1 1/2″ – they’ll make fantastic mini blocks or centers for log cabin blocks.

Organization

I also use a plastic shoebox to keep the assortment of orphan blocks I can’t bring myself to get rid of, including a handful of eight year old test blocks in red, white and blue from my very first quilting class.

Organization

Most of my fabric is organized by color. The yardage is further sorted by value, so if I need a light aqua or a dark red, I can go right to it. I used to have it sorted just by color, but I found that value is actually more important. For a time I considered sorting it all by value, regardless of color, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it. This is my compromise. In the Skill Builder Series that Grey Cat Quilts and I are doing, we talk (at great length!) about fabric selection. I enjoy pulling a variety of fabrics for projects, so this arrangement makes sense for me. I can easily see what I have by color and value. If you prefer to use fabrics from the same line, it would make sense for you to group fabrics by line rather than color.

I have a few “in progress” projects – the Test Your Skills Sampler and my Dear Jane quilt, in particular – that need to be kept out of the main stash. I have a rolling cart with wire baskets that works well for keeping the these projects separate but still visible.

Organization

Organization

Blocks of the month, especially 12″ or smaller blocks, fit nicely in plastic folders meant for scrapbooking.

Organization

A group of family and friends get together once a month at our house to sew, and we need to keep the space super-organized or we’d never be able to cram that many people in here. It’s a big space, but when you add 8 or 9 people with sewing machines, then find space for ironing and cutting, it gets crowded. I have a couple of old vanities (dressers with a space to sit like a desk) that make wonderful sewing spaces. They have the added benefit of lots of drawers, each assigned to a different person so they can leave some basic supplies here instead of carting them back and forth.

Organization

The extra drawers are perfect for storing charm packs and jelly rolls.

Organization

Believe me, I know how lucky I am to have this much space for my quilting addiction! But even with all this space, I need to stay organized. If it gets too cluttered or I struggle to find things, the creative juices dry up and I stop sewing. Even though the process can be boring, it’s worth it to go through and organize when things start getting jumbled.

Let the Challenge Begin … with a little inspiration!

In challenge related news… I can’t find my darn camera! If you see it please let me know.  It looks like a camera.

I have been inviting guest bloggers to hop on board and share some of their best organizing tips for FABRIC! Yes, we are starting with the fabric because it is usually the most plentiful thing in the room and so, it takes up a lot of space both physically and mentally.

So while I keep looking for the camera, I am so pleased and excited and proud to present to you Monique from ‘Sew Fun by Monique‘! I first came across this awesome gal through my newest heartthrob, pinterest, when I saw her absolutely drop dead gorgeous storage unit called ‘the selvedge dresser‘.

She also has an Etsy shop under the same name, where she sells ready-made and custom order quilts, blankets, bags, baby items, and entire CRIB SETS! She is extremely talented and I am so happy to let her take over this post!

**

Hi, my name is Monique Reynolds and I’ve had my Etsy shop for about 3 years and have been sewing for about 20. I love doing custom work, but that means I need to have lots of fabric choices to pull from. About a year ago we decided to add a sewing room to our house because I ended up moving out of my 10×10 room and into the dining room. My finished room is 13×19 and I use every inch of it!

As we were planning the construction I dove into every Studios and Where Women Create magazine to get ideas as well as the web. Both offer lots of creative and beautiful solutions.

The local Borders bookstore was closing and a friend told me about their bookshelves that they were selling for $25. They were perfect!! They have a depth of 7.5″ and worked well for my organization. I purchased 4 of them and they cover an entire wall of my sewing room on the wall where the door is.

When people first come in, they like the colorful space I work in, but when they turn around and see the wall of fabric they say “Wow! That’s a lot of fabric!” So, I nicknamed it the Wall of Wow.

 

There are so many ways of organizing fabric, and I think it depends on how much you have. Since I have so many different fabrics I chose to organize by fabric designer, then fabric line, then color (in most instances) I also have a section for just a particular color.

I sew many quilt using 8″ squares, so I purchased by yard sale or new plastic drawers and then I write the designer name and color(s) on the outside of the drawer.

I have toyed with the idea of taping a fabric color to the outside of the bin. I only think it works if you have one color in the drawer. It looked too messy when there were 3 colors.

For my various pieces of rectangles & squares I use ziploc baggies and mark on the outside the sizing. All pink 6×6’s have their own bag, 4×6 pink another, etc. I store those pieces in my selvedge dresser. (Which is grossly overflowing and actually many baggies are stored under my sewing table. I hope to put them in a destash section of my shop someday). I try to cut all my scraps into certain sizes so that if I have a project in mind, I can easily use what I’ve prepared. I have baggies of 1.5, 2.5, 3.5″& selvage strips. (Again, overflowing!) It takes longer when you are working on a project to do this, but your scraps become usable and accessible and less waste is a result. You just need to decide what size you want to keep on hand, and just stick to those sizes. I keep a pile of all the cut pieces and ‘file’ them later. They also make great gifts for your friends that sew!

Finally, I also use clear, plastic bins to store things like novelty fabrics that I don’t use as often and also for smallish scraps by color.

Since I have a fair amount of space to work with, I can spread out the organization. If your space is small, you could just condense things. Hope some of my organization helps you get your fabric in order!

**

Please leave a little love for Monique in the comments here and definitely check out her blog as well.

Thanks again Monique!

**