Monday, July 17, 2017

How and Why I'm Reducing My Fabric Stash

I've been reading about Minimalism recently. Have you seen the documentary on Netflix?

Minimalism is defined by The Minimalists as a "tool to rid yourself of life's excess in favor of focusing on what's important - so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom."

It's not about living with nothing, it's about living with the things that bring you joy.

I spent the first half of this year "minimizing" my wardrobe. It created a closet full of clothing items that I'm happy to wear any day. My closet is less crowed and and choosing is super simple.

I started thinking about my fabric stash. It, too, was feeling crowded with pieces of fabric I felt so-so about. Don't get me wrong, I love my fabric and it brings me much creative happiness. But too much was feeling stifling.

That's the "why".

Here's the "how"...

I started by going through every piece of fabric I own and pulling out pieces I really didn't like, styles I seldom used and colors I rarely used. Those were sold on an Instagram Destash Sale or donated to my guild members for charity projects.

Next, I've made some scrap quilts. (This is how I do scrappy :) Coordinating pieces often by the same designer in collections I've stashed over the years. Below is a Quarter Log cabin block that I'm currently working on using Bonnie and Camille collections. It's a great block for destashing because it uses a lot of fabrics, both dark and light...

Here's another quilt in progress. I started with the leaf print by Leah Duncan and added coordinating prints from my stash...

My third current WIP is a collection of Heather Bailey fabrics, most of which have been used in earlier quilts. The quilt pattern is Hexie Framed and will use up just about every bit of my HB fabric.

Another scrappy quilt...
This is a small quilt made of sixty degree triangles that will be donated to my guild's charity project for kids.

And finally, I went through all of my multicolor print fabrics, many of which are left over from other projects and made Drawstring Bags using the pattern by Jenni Baker. I spent a few days and made about a dozen and have given all but these two away. Eventually they'll find good homes!

Don't think for one moment that I'm not buying any more fabric! I am trying to buy more methodically and thoughtfully. Realizing that just because a fabric print is beautiful, I don't have to have it. And it's not easy :) The nice thing is that today I can find almost anything I need and even have it delivered to my doorstep in a couple of days!

How about you? Do you love to have a huge stash or feel a bit overwhelmed by it?

I've been working on this for a few months, and although I haven't kept track yard by yard, I can definitely see a difference in my space. And that makes me happy!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Tangelo Quilt

I'm happy to have my Tangelo quilt finished! The pattern is from Carolyn Friedlander and is completely paper pieced. I had been putting off making this quilt because of all the paper piecing, but it turned out really fun to make and less time consuming than I anticipated.

I started with Flower Shop, a line from Cotton and Steel and added some additional C+S basics. The background is Moda Crossweave in black. I love the look of the Crossweave, but my sewing room and clothes were covered in black threads the entire time I was working on the quit.

For the quilting I used a simple back and forth design in the background and added straight lines with my free motion ruler foot in the triangles.

The backing is a favorite print from C+S and the binding is a solid aqua. I had trouble choosing a binding and am not totally thrilled with this one. It looks a little soft in color for the quilt. I've never taken off a binding and replaced it, but I'm considering it. Although I'm still not sure what might work better.

FYI - I use a paper piecing method that utilizes freezer paper for the foundation and doesn't require sewing your fabric to the paper. It's a great method especially when it comes time to remove the paper. There are tutorials online if you're interested.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

RIN QAL Parade and Winners!

Huge thanks to all of you who participated in the Rin QAL hosted by Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs and I. And thanks to those who just hung out and cheered us on! It's always motivating to work on our projects together.

Here are the entrants for the parade...

1. Camille M. - Camille's Quilting@Camillesquilting

2. Paige A. - Quilted Blooms - @quiltedblooms

3. Carolyn - @caroscolours

4. Danice - Homespun Hannah

5. Kendra W. - @good_starter

6. Krystina - Krystinah@krystinah_mn

7. Patty D. - Elm Street Quilts@elmstreetquilts

8. Stephanie F. - @sewbespokeandco

9. Yvonne F. - Quilting Jet Girl@quiltingjetgirl

10. Maria S. - @sewsewmaria

11. Jessica W. - @wester.jessica

12. Emily L. - The Darling Dogwood

13. Liz B. - @bless.liz

14. Cindy L. (me) - Hyacinth Quilt Designs@clammon

15. Cheryl B. - Meadow Mist Designs@meadowmistdesigns

And the winners that were randomly selected are:

Yvonne F. - Carolyn Friedlander fabric

Camille M. - Aurifil 80 wt. 10 piece spool collection by Carolyn Friedlander

Krystina - My book Simply Modern Christmas

Stephanie F. - 2 pdf patterns from Quilting Jet Girl

Carolyn - 3 pdf patterns from Meadow Mist Designs

Big thanks to all of our prize sponsors! We'll contact the winners directly. Hope it was fun!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

RIN QAL ~ Other Methods of Appliqué

This is the final week of the Rin Quilt Along!

I hope you've had fun and learned a bit more about appliqué.

Maybe this is your first time with appliqué? My co-host Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is doing appliqué for the first time with this project!

I've been appliquéing for years and one of the things I love about it is how many great methods there are for achieving fantastic results. It just depends on the project and what you like!

Today, I thought I'd briefly share some of the other appliqué techniques I've tried and been very happy with...

The first appliqué method I ever tried was a needle turn hand appliqué method that uses freezer paper as a guide. Your shape is cut from the freezer paper (no seam allowance), ironed to the back of the fabric, cut adding 1/4" seam allowance, and then needle turned appliquéd using the edge of the paper as a guide. In this method, you have to make a slit in the background fabric and remove the paper. This example is from my first book "Gathered From The Garden".

Machine appliqué has also been one of my favorite methods. The fabric is fused to the background with a paper-backed fusible web product, and the raw edge is machine stitched usually with a buttonhole stitch or a zigzag stitch. These flowers from my book "Flower Pots" are machine appliquéd.

I love the machine appliquéd that block Paige from Quilted Blooms shared with us!

Learn her process today on her blog...

Another method I find useful is where the edges are ironed under prior to starting the hand stitching. Although it takes more prep time, it makes the stitching very simple. It's a great method for simple shapes and I shared a tutorial here.

I use a similar method whenever I appliqué circles. I create the circle by stitching a basting stitch around the edge of the circle and using a heat resistant circle template. Just pull the stitching up around the template, starch and iron. I did exactly that for the circles in my Steam Punk quilt.

Finally, here's a fun method that worked really well in this pattern, "Memories" by Don't Look Now. The pieces are fused to the background and then straight stitched during the free-motion quilting.

These are just a few of the methods I've used. I'll bet you'll find more and tons of tutorials with a bit of searching online!

Hope this Rin Along has sparked your interest in appliqué. We'll be back next week on July 5th with our parade and prizes. You can email photos of your finished block to me at: cindy at hyacinthquiltdesigns dot com.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

RIN QAL ~ Layout Ideas

 Looking for some other ideas for setting your Rin Blocks? Check out Cheryl's post at Meadow Mist Designs.

I'm loving how this block turned out! I was complimented by a few people on how well I fussy cut the circles and aligned the design perfectly. Truth is, I didn't try to do that - it just happened! But you might want to try if you have a similar or directional fabric...

I love when things like that happen!

Only a couple more weeks until the prize drawing. You can email a photo of your finished block to me at any time: cindy at hyacinthquiltdesigns dot com

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

RIN QAL ~ Invisible Hand Appliqué Stitch

Would you like your hand appliqué stitches to disappear like magic?

Well, there's no magic involved, but I'm back today with 3 tips to get the perfect invisible hand appliqué stitch!

1.  Use the correct thread ~ Choose a very fine thread (cotton, silk or poly will work) in a color that matches the appliqué fabric (not the background fabric) as close as possible. I'm loving the 80 weight Aurifil!

2.  Stitch the appliqué piece on the edge of the fold ~ When your needle comes up from the back and catches your applique fabric, just take a small bite (a few threads of fabric) right on the edge of the fold. When you go back into the background your thread will roll the edge of the appliqué piece under.

3.  Go back into the background EXACTLY where you came up ~ Once you've taken a stitch up and into the applique fabric and are ready to go back down into the background, be sure you are right at the same spot where you came up. You don't want to be to the right or the left of your stitch in the appliqué piece.

Bonus Tip ~
Probably the toughest spots are those inside valleys and you may have to be a bit less perfectionist there. I find it helps if you take a little bit bigger bite of the appliqué fabric (maybe 3-4 threads), then go back into your background at the same spot, but a bit underneath the appliqué piece. When you pull your thread, that edge will roll under. Honestly, some always look better than others!

The biggest tip of all ~ Practice!

Be sure to check on Cheryl's progress at Meadow Mist Designs!