I am sponsoring two fabric giveaways this week. The first is a giveaway hosted by The Frosted Button. Readers will have the chance to win two “Paper Dolls” charm packs made by Studio e. That’s a total of 40 five-inch charms to the winner. Head on over to The Frosted Button and enter for a chance to win.
On the Grain Fabrics is also the featured sponsor for the weekly quilt contest at the Quilting Gallery. I am giving away 35 fat quarters to be split among the quilters with the top three quilts. Readers also have the chance to win 10 fat quarters from my shop. Check it out for a chance to win! You can also enter the quilt contest if you have a quilt that meets the submission guidelines and fits the theme “Postcards.”
I’ve been working on my hexies again. I lost count several weeks ago, so I don’t know how many I’ve basted. I’m guessing about 500. I finally started sewing them together this week. I had originally planned to place them randomly, but then I decided to make flowers, each one following a different color theme. I will stitch those together randomly, and that will still give me the patchy look I was going for, but also allows me to have some kind of pattern. I find it difficult to do anything without an established pattern. Somehow it just feels wrong.
Over the past few weeks, I have also been doing more fussy cutting with novelty prints. I especially love the nursery rhyme and circus themes below.
This last picture below shows all the hexies I made using 3 inch charms cut from fabrics I have listed in my shop, On the Grain.
I just installed a shiny new links page on the main menu (under all the dots). Who wants to be the first to add their quilting blog link?
I am practically giving away a fat quarter of this green dots fabric in my Etsy shop. It is listed for 20 cents with no shipping costs to any country in the world. Get it while it lasts!
This gorgeous fabric is part of the “Folklorica” collection from In the Beginning Fabrics. It will fit nicely in any stash–traditional, bright, or modern.
Checkout is secure with Paypal. If you don’t have an Etsy account, it’s quick and easy to sign up, giving you access to my shop, On the Grain Fabrics, and hundreds of thousands of other online shops.
If you missed it, check back often for more giveaways.
fat quarter bundle ready for shipping
I plan to add new fabrics to my Etsy shop daily as I work to build my inventory of quilting fabrics. I’ve sold a few fat quarter bundles already, and look forward to selling more. I got so much pleasure out of packaging those first few bundles, wrapping them in tissue paper and topping them with fabric bows. Makes me happy. Fabric is my world.
FYI: For a limited time, first-time customers get a free shipping coupon for their next purchase. Visit my new Etsy Shop, On the Grain Fabrics. My “grand opening” will be in April, but I have several fabrics for sale now.
It’s been a month since I last posted, but not because I’ve been idle. Looking back on January and February, I think I accomplished a lot. During that time I:
- Moved my blog from dotscharm.wordpress.com to dotscharm.com. (I just had to have those widgets!)
- Went on a mission trip with the junior high youth.
- Edited 600 pages of teacher guide manuscript.
- Read 4 textbooks for Christian Education class.
- Preached my first sermon. (Yikes!)
- And started my own business, On the Grain Fabrics.
My little fabric shop is in its infancy stage now. I have my business license, Federal EIN, and business account, and now I’m just waiting for my state tax ID. I’m getting a little impatient because I can’t buy from most wholesalers until I have that number. Right now my shop is pitiful with just 47 items, but I have sold a few bundles of fabrics.
With all that I’ve accomplished, I’m not going to apologize for not keeping up this blog. Instead I am patting myself on the back. Oh, and did I mention that we finally finished laying tile in the kitchen so I was able to get out my sewing machine again. I remembered that it could be used for things besides patchwork quilting, and hemmed a pair of pants. It took me three hours to rip seams, measure, and figure it out, but I saved myself $10. Hmmm. . . not sure if that was a bargain, but I think I can do it faster next time.
I also put some scraps to use and made these potholders. Hubby utilized them immediately and they were stained with barbecue sauce before the night was over. Oh, well. At least it gave me a chance to practice my binding technique. And did I mention that I learned a lot about sewing machine tension? Just what causes those massive balls of tangled thread on the underside? Hmmm?
Jessica over at Quilty Habit is giving away a Moda Origins charm pack. I’m just thinking how pretty those would look turned into hexagons.
Head on over and sign up for the giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment. You can earn extra entries by following the blog or blogging about it, as I’ve done here. The winner will be drawn Friday, January 28.
Paper piecing small hexagons is fun, but a lot of work, especially considering that it may take 2000 hexagons to make a quilt. And those hexagons are all hand stitched–no machine! If you have it in your mind to hand quilt it, too, then you are a brave and determined soul. I don’t know if I have the stick-to-itiveness to execute such a quilt, as I had originally planned.
Today I was browsing the Quilt Index, looking for inspiration from historical quilts and thinking perhaps I could find a hexagon design that takes less work. Then I came across “Honeycomb Star,” a hexagon quilt with an interesting design that was not the standard grandmother’s garden pattern, though some flowers are incorporated. Each of the flowers are surrounded by triangles arranged to create a star pattern. I thought this design had some potential for being transformed into something modern. Then I read the data. It took over one hundred years to piece this quilt, and it was still not finished!
"Honeycomb Star" 83 inches x 84 inches. English paper pieced, 1833-1937, by Dr. Hassell N. Crouch and family.
The notes for the index entry say:
Quilt was begun in SC but brought to Providence, RI where work continued on it., Dr. Crouch designed the quilt pattern and color scheme, his wife stitched it together. Dr. Crouch would work on the quilt while he was pondering a particular difficult case he had to prescribe treatment for. After his death, the quilt was put away, not worked on again until the summers of the years 1930-1937.
So props to any of you who manage to finish your paper-pieced hexagon quilt within your lifetime! And if you actually finish one, please be sure to send me a link so I can congratulate you.
I’ve been busy working–you know, real life job and all–but I did manage to baste a few more hexagons over the past few days. Most of them I did in short sittings, sewing 3 or 6 at a time, which takes 4 or 5 minutes.
I cut into some of the newer fabrics–some were fussy cut, and really liked the results. I also liked the way this batch of hexagons look beside one another. I think they sit well together, and I’m almost tempted to start sewing blocks. But no. I’ll wait. Too much real life work to do.
So . . . now for the count. I basted 82 news hexagons from 12 different fabrics, bringing the grand total to 295.
"Closed Windows" (2004)
Okay, I have a confession to make. I started this blog by posting about “my first quilt” here. The truth is, that wasn’t really my first quilt–though it was the first finished quilt done completely by me.
Several years ago, I made this little wall hanging out of scraps. It measures 20 x 29 inches and was machine pieced and quilted. I didn’t count this as my first finished quilt because I didn’t actually finish it. I took it to the quilt shop to have the binding done. I don’t know why–I think the whole idea of doing any kind of hand stitching scared me back then.
So why haven’t I shared this before? Because I’m a little bit embarrassed by how poorly it was done. I like the patchwork, but the quilting is awful. I used a regular foot and running stitch on my machine and made a complete mess of it. I didn’t have a walking foot back then, couldn’t afford one, and wouldn’t have known how to use it if I did. Lesson learned. Just look at the awful puckering.
the ugly truth
This little number hangs on our bedroom wall. It’s getting dusty, but is so poorly made I doubt it would hold up to a washing.
So now you know. Stop laughing.