Friday, April 18, 2014

April Weekend Retreat

Last weekend, I joined 35 sewists from the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild for three days of non-stop quilty stuff. Our retreat destination was none other than the brand new Sewing Center in Hamilton, Missouri.
 The totally re-habed building was beautifully redone with quilting in mind. Even at 1 a.m., the lighting was suburb! 
 Upstairs, attractive bedrooms line the hall...
Comfy mattresses....
 and plush towels offer all the comforts of a lovely hotel.
 The face of Missouri Star Quilt Company, Jenny Doan, stopped by for a chat and ended up staying for an hour, entertaining us with her stories!
 The creative juices were flowing freely...
 Everywhere you looked someone...
 was making something....
 fantastic!
 We were thrilled to be the first shoppers in the newly opened Solids and Basics Store. Since the cash register wasn't up yet, after our fabric was cut, we carried it a few doors down to the Sew Seasonal Shop to pay for it! (We may have purchased a little more fabric there, as well.) The large main quilt shop was a favorite hang out, too. Can you guess how many times we 34 collectively shopped in the stores? Yes, we counted! (I'll tell you at the end!)
It was fun to be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of The Missouri Star Quilt Company.
 Everyone was so friendly and seemed to be genuinely having a great time working there.
 A special warehouse tour by owner, Allen Doan, Jenny's son, was eye popping...
 as we oogled thousands of precuts ready to be mailed out all over the world.
 Jelly rolls anyone?
 Or maybe a layer cake or two?
 I'm sure you could find a few charm packs that you'd love to take home...
 And probably some acrylic templates, as well. Their new, larger, warehouse is slated to open in June.
 We finished up our tour at the Public Library turned, now, into the machine quilting building. I counted 8 quilting machines and understand that the quilters work in two shifts in order to get all of the tops done in a timely manner.
 Back at the Sewing Retreat Center, the sewing machines were still humming as the Modern Guild members worked on their many projects.
 Outside, the sun might have been setting but there were still many hours of creating left in the day...and night!
 This sign, posted on the upstairs wall, sums up life at Missouri Star Quilt Company very well.
I hope that you all get the pleasure of visiting Hamilton, Missouri, someday, if you get the chance. 
Oh, and the answer to the question: 143!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Morning


"The Lord make His face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you."
Numbers 6:25 NKJV

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Favorite Thread Catcher

Today, I am beginning to pack for a weekend quilting retreat to the Missouri Star Quilt Co. Retreat Center with my friends in the KC Modern Quilt Guild.
 Besides my trusty Singer Featherweight, I'll be bringing along this adorable and handy thread catcher/pin cushion made and gifted to me by my Australian friend, Susan Snooks.
She even included this cute ribbon label inside...
To save on postage, Suz mailed the pin cushion stuffingless (is that a word?). I wanted to fill it with crushed walnut shells but finally settled for sawdust from the my husbands workbench. It works pretty well, but I wish the pincushion were a bit heavier. (Any ideas on how to fix that?)
 Being a big fan of Bonnie and Camille fabric designs, this little gem has quickly become a favorite of mine!
Now, I just need to get all of my quilting projects prepared and packed. Hopefully, I'll have some finishes to show you next week!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Morning

"Let us hold unswervingly
to the hope we profess,
for He who promised
is faithful."
Hebrews 10:23

Friday, April 4, 2014

Selvage and Paper

 Ever thought about sewing selvages onto something made of paper?
 It's a quick and easy project. A half dozen selvage decorated cards would make a nice gift for a friend. Start by gluing a selvage to the front of the card with the ends extending past the paper edges.
 I like to use my walking foot and a #12 needle to sew the selvage to the card.
Continue layering the selvage and stitching down, folding under the last one before sewing it down to create a finished edge.
 Trim the selvages even with the card...
 refold and enjoy your one-of-a-kind card! 
 Another quick paper project is to stitch selvage onto a tag-board booklet cover.
 Fold under the raw edges before you stitch. These make great little "somethings" to slip into a birthday or get well card.
Stray cards need not stay neglected.
 With a little trimming, a paper punch...
 and a few cute selvages...
 you will quickly have some very special gift tags! (For the green tag, I just  glued on the selvages rather than sewing them down.)
 This stray Christmas card...
will soon decorate a gift for my little grand daughter's first birthday.
 And speaking of gifts, here's a fun no-sew idea...
Just glue color-coordinated selvages to the front of a plain gift bag. A little press with a hot iron will help seal them down. 
Well, this ends my week long focus on that extra inch of fabric that many quilters just throw away. 
I did the math and based on $11 per yard fabric, that one inch wide strip of selvage costs you 25 cents. Now, that's worth saving, don't you agree!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Get Creative With Selvages

Only have a few selvages? No reason to wait till you have a whole basket full to have some fun. Get started with something small like this little name tag.
This was actually an old name tag that I repurposed with selvages. I just top stiched some selvages in a chevron pattern onto the muslin base and used selvage to bind it. Use any sweet pin you might have in your jewelry box to fasten it on.
 A potholder or rug mug is a great way to get started sewing with your saved selvages.
To make this one, I began with a 4 inch red square centered on top of an 8 inch muslin square. Lay this on top of a piece of Insul-bright or quilt batting. Begin stitching down selvages on either side of the middle square, simply stitching on the bound edge and then laying the next selvage over the raw edge of the one above it. When you get the first two sides finished, rotate and do the same thing on the other two sides, which will take longer selvage strips. Since you are stitching through all of the layers, it will be quilted as you go. 
 If your selvage strips are at least 1.5 inches wide, you can also use them for the binding just as you would bind any quilt. Here's the back of my pot holder. You can see the colorful fabric as the binding. I also did a little extra quilting to hold my backing onto the pieced front before I bound it. (Add as many layers of batting as you want to pad the holder.)
 On the front, you can see that I machine stitched the selvage binding down, folding under the corners.
 Making a pin cushion is another simple selvage project that only takes a few selvages. This one was made for me by my blogging friend, Cindy of Live a Colorful Life. She pieced together selvages to create a one of a kind personal touch just for me. Isn't it wonderful! As you can see, she used piping around the edges much like you would to make a pillow.
 The sky is the limit on quilt block patterns that can be used with selvages. Just create "fabric" with the selvages and then piece your new cloth into a a quilt or smaller project like this pillow top. Here is a tutorial for making this particular X-block pillow, if you are interested.
 Create fabric with your selvages to make any zipper bag or purse. Here's one that I made using a free make-up bag tutorial by Noodlehead.
I made the back of the bag with a solid piece of fabric, but it could be made of selvages also.
Zipper bags are wonderful for storing and carrying just about anything. You can't have too many!
You will have to collect quite a few selvages to make a quilt, of course. But, once your friends start hearing that you are using selvages, they will start gifting them, I'm sure! You can find the tutorial for my selvage quilt here.Yes, I'm still working on it. (Some of you know that my hubby thought that my selvages were trash and threw them all away, so I had to start going through my stash and cutting off more! I finally can laugh about it now!)
 I'd love to make a spiderweb quilt using selvages for the strips. I better finish this one first, I guess...but just imagine the strips as selvage and you get the idea of what it would look like!
 Friday I will finish up my week of selvage posts with a super easy no-sew project along with some other very quick to sew ideas.
Have I tempted you to start collecting yet? Be careful, you might even start buying fabric just because you like it's selvage!

P.S. I'm linking up with Live A Colorful Life for Really Random Thursday. Check it out!