Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Not sure if this domain name redirect works but here goes

Bear with me while I change some stuff around.

I just dumped my big, clunky, expensive website so I can concentrate my online sales on Etsy and a few Facebook fabric sale sites (didn't know Facebook fabric sales was a thing)

I'm trying to follow the directions for my domain name host, and I think I did things correctly?  I also know it takes a day or two before stuff transfers.

In the meantime, I'm mostly just going to use my Facebook Quilt Lodge page to share info while I figure out how to work this blogspot site.  Bonnie Hunter uses this method, and while she is definitely a good  blogger, I can learn?  I hope?

I'm also heading out for my annual huckleberry picking adventure, so my friend and major support person Betty will be holding down the fort on Fridays 10am till 3pm and Saturday's 11am till 2pm.  Be sure and stop by and give her a hard time, ask her a really hard question (then run).

This picture above is of the Old Roosevelt School Building that's right on Broadway.  Our building has sold to a non-profit that hopes to renovate and create a space for the Arts and Culture.  The boiler guy was in the old boiler room getting things ready for a very important test.  If all goes well (saying prayers here), the boiler will be started and I will be moving to a lovely classroom, maybe this fall.

Stay tuned

The Calamity Quilter

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

My favorite sew and flip method for corners

This method has really improved my outcomes for adding a corner to a square or rectangle.  The method I used the most previously was to draw a pencil line from opposite corners, sew on the line, trim and then flip and press.  My outcomes were hit and miss, maybe I could even say disappointing, and apparently I'm not the only one who suffers from this quilt piecing dilemma.

I used this trim first and sew second method for the first time on a Cozy Quilt Design pattern and I really thought I was doing more steps instead of less, WRONG!  To make these corners, the old way, or the new way, I'm still doing the same number of steps, just rearranging the order.

Use this picture demo to help you with your next project that involves flip and turn corners.

Step 1
Put a square on top of your rectangle or larger square, right sides together

Step 2

Take a ruler and line up the opposite corners with the 1/4 measurement so you can trim off the excess fabric from the corner you want to flip towards (thank goodness for pictures)

I'm using the Creative Grids Quick Trim and Curve Ruler which also has a lovely 45 degree angle I can use to line up the blue rectangle, this turns out to be very helpful

Step 3

Sorry this picture is a little blurry, I didn't notice that until I finished my little demo.
Trim off the extra fabric from your corner, just like this.

Step 4

Sew from corner to corner, use the fabric cut edge as your seam allowance guide.
Notice I'm not using a line?  Just do it, don't think too hard about it.
An accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance is really helpful, for everything.

Step 5

Flip this corner and press seams towards the new color of corner.
Whoo hoo!
I'm not a point princess, but I do like to improve my odds for accuracy.
I hope this helps you with your quilt piecing accuracy (and happiness) as well!

I did lots and lots of these little flip corners in this quilt.
Each strip is 1 inch wide, finished.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

New Cutting mat and new rotary cutter blade, ahhhh

Why do I wait so long to change my blades, and why didn't I remember how cutting on a new mat is like slicing through butter?

Piecing a quilt just got better
with a new blade in my Gingher Rotary Cutter

I'm always surfing Facebook and there's often good information about things to make your quilting experience better.  I stumbled upon an article about how using a crappy blade on a well used cutting mat can effect your cutting accuracy.  Hmm, I know my cutting mat is well used, especially the quarter yard lines that I used cutting fat quarters and fat eighths at the quilt studio.  I take these well loved mats home and use them, maybe I shouldn't!

I have brand new cutting mats and blades, so I did what I should have done and brought a brand new blade and a brand new mat home with me.

Ahhhh, feels so good!  Cuts so cleanly!  And when I trim my quilt block pieces, it's much easier to just brush away the little scraps when you have a lovely smooth surface.

Think about it, are you ready for an update?  Treat yourself to a new blade and mat.  I've spoiled myself and started using the Gingher Rotary Cuter, I love the way they feel in my hand.  I use these cutters for my personal piecing and use a Olfa for cutting fabric for customers in my Quilt Studio.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Why do I leave things till the last minute, so here's a free pattern

I just watched a TED talk by Tim Urban "Inside The Mind"  and I'm comforted to know that Procrastination is a quality all of us have in common, at least to some degree.

A big question for a quilter concerns deadlines, do we really have deadlines?  We sure do.  How about when we're trying to get a baby quilt done. I consider it great if the quilt makes it to the baby before the baby is 2 (not 2 months, 2 years).

At least this one is quilted and bound

I have a couple ideas about those baby quilts:

  • Start the instant you find out there's a baby coming
  • Make that quilt bigger, think "youth" size
  • Whatever you do, don't tell the parent the quilt is coming, just deliver when it's complete
  • Make several quilts ahead of time and keep them for these exact occasions (this makes too much sense for the procrastinator, not sure I can do this)

My biggest problem right now is finishing patterns, I just struggle getting my ideas from the design I just made to a pattern someone else can follow.

I keep trying, but in the meantime I've taken a couple of pictures of an easy charm pack quilt I just finished:

Start with a few 2 1/2" squares
4 Strips 2 1/2"
Sub-cut into 56 2 1/2" squares

From about a yard of grey fabric cut 13 strips 2 1/2"
Sub-cut into (97) 5" rectangles

Stitch a grey rectangle to each of the charm pack squares
Stitch a pink 2 1/2" square to 42 grey rectangles
Stitch this unit to each of the charm square units
Organize your charm units on your design wall
I did 7 blocks by 6 blocks

Make more rectangle/square units for the sides that are in need of the grey/pink border
Sew this all together, quilt and bind

Now, find a few charm packs a little sashing and contrast squares and make a few of these up ahead of time and whip one of these cuties out for a gift, completely stress free!

The Calamity Quilter

Saturday, November 19, 2016

60 Day Club, An Adventure of Finishing UFO's

Unfinished projects are the subject of many jokes in a quilter's world.  Here's a small sample of some of the comments I receive in the quilt shop:

  • Do I have any UFO's?  Are you kidding?  I built a storage shed to hide my stash!
  • I might be able to find 5, 😉😉😉😉😉
  • How many years will we be doing this program, I may need 10 or more
  • I'm saving fabric for retirement, I want to make sure I have enough when I'm on a fixed income
There has been 2 people who let me know that they really don't have any unfinished projects, they pretty much finish things they start.  I didn't have my camera running to show you my jaw hitting the floor when I heard this, I love these people, but we really don't have much in common.

What the heck is the 60 day club?  Find 5 unfinished projects and gather them for a group photo by the first week in January.  Take five post it notes and number them from 1 - 5 and place a number on each of the 5 projects, take a picture (evidence).

Just a sample, my projects have yet to be identified

        • Pick 5 Unfinished projects you want to complete in 2017

When I say unfinished projects, pull out those ones you've been saving, because you can't stand the idea of losing them forever, and you think if you got them done, you'd be happy and proud
How unfinished?  Oh heck, let's not get caught up in minutiae (not sure of the spelling).  Some of my projects have been in my shoeboxes for 10 years and some I just haven't even cut out yet, some are big and some are small.  Bigger is not better, DONE IN 60 DAYS is better
Now for the Evidence.  Arrange your projects into stacks, 5 stacks.  
Number 5 post its 1 - 5 and place them on each of your 5 projects to be completed next year
Take a picture for evidence, this will be shared with your group.
Don't have a group?  Make one, or join ours or just post on the Quilt Lodge Facebook page.
The first week in January we are getting together for a sandwich and beer party, probably at Sam's taproom, and the first number will be drawn, this is the first project everyone will start on and finish in 60 days
Next comes a show and tell pizza and beer party, at the end of the first 60 days, we'll get together and show off our UFO's that are finished (at least the top, unless it's a table runner, you'll get all kinds of crap if you only bring the top of a table runner)
If you don't finish your 60 day project, fine, bring it anyways, show some progress, and don't forget to bring a dessert to share, with everyone!  Some people wanted the unsuccessful to buy dinner, but I was afraid people would come up with an excuse and run for the hills, we don't want that
We'll pick the next number at the show and tell and let the fun begin, again, and in 60 days we'll get together and have a meal, repeat!
Yes, I'm long winded
Let me know if you want to join, I can help you connect with others in your local area for your group parties, but hope you make it to one of our's in Red Lodge
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Some days are just made for having coffee in the afternoon.  Yesterday was one of those days in Red Lodge Montana.  I'm always looking up the rain/moisture doppler radar from Weather Underground to see if we're gonna have some rain.  Yesterday morning the doppler map was completely green up in Yellowstone National Park, and the way the jet stream was moving, I was sure we'd rain all day.

Just a few drops here in town, dang it.  On the bright side; where I saw the big green blob on the doppler radar, it did rain.  Thank goodness, because there was a big fire that started up there last weekend.  It's burning not too far from one of my favorite peaceful spots in the Park, the Nez Perce  Ford picnic area.                                
This morning Beartooth Pass was closed 12 miles south of Red Lodge because there was a bit of a snow event on the Wyoming side of the Pass.  Hoping it's open this weekend, because I know many travelers will enjoy the view.

Making taco soup tonight for dinner, it's a fall favorite.