Up-cycle Suggestions for Your Studio

10 09 2018

Last week I posted a picture of my rolling Banana Boat cart that now holds tools and projects. I can wheel it next to my design wall or near my sewing machine. I invited blog readers to share their ideas for up-cycled bins, containers, and furniture. Many thanks to those of you who commented!

Several quilters affirmed the handiness of a rolling table. Stacy keeps long term sewing projects on hers and can roll it into a nearby closet when not in use. Malinda has a hospital tray on wheels (well scrubbed, of course!) to extend her sewing table, cutting table, or ironing board.”I love that it’s height is adjustable and it easily rolls to where ever I need it.” Malinda beautifies her cutting table with pretty bowls to hold pins. Janet T. utilizes a computer desk for a cutting and ironing station; the pull out section that once accommodated a keyboard now holds a pressing mat and rulers. Debbie R. places an egg cup at her ironing station to hold bits of threads gathered while pressing. Adding nostalgia to her studio, she uses children’s play dishes to hold clips and other notions on her cutting table.


Marie K. writes, “I have 3 stands of recycling bins I use for holding much of my stash of fabrics. I bought them at Walmart. They were designed to hold recycling items, so they are 12 bins with handles on both sides which stack and can be pulled out like drawers.” Marie organizes the drawer contents by color and by seasons (i.e. Christmas) or style (i.e. Civil War repro, florals, juvenile prints).

Congratulations to Marie who creatively uses Re-cycle bins to Up-cycle advantage in her studio!


New Leader/Ender Project

3 09 2018

My daughter, Trinity, found a scrappy block on Pinterest that she suggested I make. She knows I trim and organize my scraps in boxes by usable sizes:  1 1/2,” 1 3/4,” 2,” 2 1/2,” 3,” etc. And she also knows that I am always on the look-out for Leader/Ender blocks. Click here to read Bonnie K. Hunter’s explanation of Leader/Ender projects.

My all-time favorite Leader/Ender block is “Ups and Downs” shown on the left in the photo below. I’ve used this block with sashing to make numerous kids’ quilts. And when I need to expand a quilt backing, I often insert a row of these blocks. If you look closely, you’ll see that “Ups and Downs” requires 4 each of two different colored squares, yellow and green in this case. However, sometimes my scrap piece yields less than 4 squares, so Trinity’s Pinterest find is perfect for a truly scrappy block.

You could use any size square for this project. In fact, by cutting Jelly Roll strips at 2 1/2″ intervals, you could make a planned scrappy quilt. Hint, hint, National Sew a Jelly Roll day is 15 September. For this Leader/Ender project, I’m using 2″ squares that surround a 3 1/2″ square. (Thanks, Judy B., for the FQ of “Dirt”; it’s perfect for the center 3 1/2″ squares!) I plan to make 16-20 blocks for a drag-around kid-friendly quilt.

How do you think I should set my scrappy blocks? With sashing? On-point? With alternate blocks?

Quick Quilts Magazine Winner

2 09 2018

Karen P. is the winner of the magazine drawing for McCall’s Quick Quilts, Oct./Nov. 2018. Congratulations, Karen! I know you will find several quilts in this issue that you will enjoy making.

Incitentally, the quilt on the cover is made with 2 1/2″ strips – perfect for National Sew a Jelly Roll day which is on 15 September this year.

If your newsstand has sold out of this issue, you can purchase it from The Quilting Company’s website. Click here to link to the magazine section of their store.

Thanks for all of your congratulatory remarks and for all the creative colorways you mentioned for “Heaven’s Light.” Here is a summary of the color combinations you suggested: Jade/Navy/Rich Gold, Purples/Yellow, Pink/Purple/Blue, Gold/Coral/Orange, Red/Gold/Sparkly background, Bright Orange/Hot Pink, Blue/Green/Purple/Bubble Gum Pink, Brown/Gold, Brown/Tan/Red, Red/Yellow/Orange. It is fun to imagine the quilt in each of these color combinations!

Up-cycled Studio Furniture

30 08 2018

What do you think of my rolling project organizer? I “inherited” it from my father-in-law’s workshop; it was a Banana Boat sunscreen display cart which conveniently held his tools, engine parts, rags, etc.

With a bit of Dawn detergent and some elbow grease, I up-cycled it for my quilting studio. Scissors and other dangerous-to-small-grandchildren tools can park on the top shelf along with patchwork blocks ready for the design wall. After serving as a portable table near my design wall, the cart can roll over to my sewing machine desk with a box of 2″ scrap squares at the ready for Leader/Ender piecing. A third shelf holds a Charm Pack of 5″ squares for an up and coming project, as well as leftover Flying Geese blocks.

I am very excited about the potential of this unusual but helpful piece of studio furniture! And I wonder if you also employ an unorthodox organizer, container, bin, or cart. Comment below – I’ll send a prize to the quilter with the most creative up-cycle.

“Heaven’s Light” Published!

27 08 2018

Great news . . . “Heaven’s Light” is published in the October/November 2018 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. I know you will enjoy making this twin sized quilt as much as I did!

The home my sister-in-law and mother-in-law live in was the inspiration behind this “Log Cabin” quilt. They live at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the oldest part of the house is a log cabin built during Revolutionary times. The yellow squares represent the welcoming candles illuminating their windows. You will find more of the story behind this quilt in the magazine.

Wilmington Prints graciously sent me the lovely batiks to make this quilt. The vibrant colors really glow like a stained glass window refracting heaven’s light!

If you would like to win a copy of this magazine issue, leave a comment below stating which color family you would choose for this quilt. The drawing will be September 1.

National Sew a Jelly Roll Day – 9/15/18

22 08 2018

I recently read Lori Baker’s article, “How Do You Slice A Jelly Roll?”, on The Quilting Company’s blog in which she mentioned that Moda fabric company is again sponsoring/promoting a National Sew a Jelly Roll Day. This year’s date is Saturday, September 15. Click here to read about it.

Wouldn’t it be fun to quilt along? Will you put National Sew a Jelly Roll Day on your calendar? If you plan to quilt along, send me a picture of your stockpile of Jelly Rolls . . . or at least the one you’ll play with on 15 September. (aby.quilts@gmail.com)

True confession time:  How many Jelly Rolls or packs of 2 1/2″ strips do you have? I’ve got 4 and several partials, all of which are begging to be transformed into quilts. And I have even chosen a Jelly Roll friendly pattern to try out “one day.” “One day” arrives in 24 days!

New Quilt Project: Flying Geese

20 08 2018

Last February, at a quilting retreat, I exchanged bright print and tone-on-tone 2″ x 4″ Flying Geese blocks with about a dozen friends. The challenge for all of us is to make quilts to display at the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. Until now, my Geese have patiently sat in their zip-loc bags awaiting a freedom flight to my design wall.

Although we’re keeping the final lay-outs of our quilts secret, I’ll give you a sneak peek at the beginnings of my project.

“Well begun is half done” – I am really excited about my design idea inspired by a quilt I saved on Pinterest. I’m motivated to work on it every day until it’s finished. Won’t this be a fun, cheerful quilt?