Thursday, November 29, 2007

8 random things

I was tagged by Libby to do the 8 random things meme. I love reading memes, so I am happy to play along. I get a lot of questions about quilting, fabric, etc. so I thought I would combine the two.

1. Where do you buy your fabric?

I buy about a quarter of it on-line. Otherwise, I buy some from JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, Mill End Textiles (love!), and various quilt shops. I have done some fabric scrap swapping, which I love, because it rounds out my stash nicely. I used to be of the mindset that quilt shop/designer fabric was way too expensive, but now I am seeing how much better it is in quality and design. A little designer fabric goes a long way, especially when you combine it with a lot of solids, which I like to do.

2. I want to start quilting....where do I start?

I learned from a friend of mine (thank you, Nancy) and that is the best way to go, especially if you are pattern challenged like me. Having someone show me in person was the best route. If you don't know anyone personally who quilts, take a class. The teachers are usually passionate about quilting and will be happy to share their enthusiasm and knowledge. Then, after you have a good foundation, read, read, read. I love to READ quilt books. It makes me feel like such a nerd, but it is fun to learn tips, tricks and insight from other quilters. I gleaned a lot from this book, especially when it comes to design and color choices.

3. What type of batting do you use?

Warm and Natural. I buy it at JoAnn's and either use a coupon or wait until it goes on sale, otherwise it gets quite spendy. Once in a while I will use a higher loft polyester batting when I want a slightly thicker and bulkier quilt. Sometimes I use the needlepunch cotton batting from Wal-Mart. It comes in king size, so it works for large quilts.

4. Do you have any machine quilting tips?

Practice, practice, practice.
Then practice some more.

Don't expect perfection the first (or second or third or forth) time.

5. How do you baste your quilts?

I did a tutorial here.
Good basting is a large factor in quilting success, as well.

6. How do you get so much accomplished?

I am a work-aholic.

I stay home a lot.

I can't sit still.

I am always working on something.

I am a firm believer that you will find time to do what you want to do.

And also, I feel like I am pretty good at time management.

7. I am just starting to build a stash, how much yardage of each fabric should I buy?

This is purely personal preference. I like to buy a quarter yard cut of a large variety of fabrics rather than buying more yardage of fewer fabrics. Of course there are exceptions to this. I will buy more if I know that I really love it, that it is very versitile and that it will be unavaliable to me very soon. But you also have to consider that I love scrappy quilts-the more fabrics in a single quilt, the better. Usually. If I find a great deal on fabric that will work great as a backing fabric, I have been known to buy the end of the bolt. I think the largest chunk of fabric that I have bought is 7 yards and 11". Oh, that was a good day. :)

8. One quirky thing about me and fabric...when I buy new fabric, I have a hard time adding it in to my stash right away. I leave it in the pile that I bought it, separate from the stash for some time, thus preserving it's newish-ness. I guess once it is blended into the stash, I feel like it isn't quite so special anymore. Strange, eh? The fabrics in the photos are from various shopping trips in the last few months. One of my local quilt shops in Michigan still had lots of Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy fabric left, so I had to stock up before it was gone forever. (so sad.) I *heart* fabric.

I am not going to tag anyone, but please join in on the 8 random things meme if you would like-I would love to read your list.


Mama Urchin said...

It's fun to read about how you buy fabric and to see what you've bought recently. I'm with you about the designer stuff, the quality is so much nicer a lot of the time.

Elin said...

Hello again! Tonight I've made the 3 first blocks. How do I put them on your flicker?
I enjoyed making the blocks, and I spend some of my lovely civil war fabric for this purpose. Visit my blog and see! Thank you!

Laurie said...

My hint for machine quilting would be to use busier prints for the back to hide more of those mistakes and then wash it so the same mistakes are hidden when the batting shrinks a little!

Roxanne said...

#8, #8 I do that too!!! :) I thought it was just me! They have a separate pile - I believe their length of stay in that pile must depend on how much they cost, its totally subconscious but I really think there must be a method to my madness.

Unknown said...

And I thought I was the only one, nope I am in good company with you and Roxanne when it comes to creating a separate pile/place for the newbie fabric stash!

Sarah and Jack said...

I wish I had learned in the beginning to buy more of the fabrics that are versatile. I find myself going back to certain fabrics over and over again, and they do run out quickly. (Particularly dots, man am I crazy about white dotted fabric right now.)

lera said...

I will join you in separating my new fabric from my stash. I'm glad I'm in good company. :-)

Heidijayhawk said...

thanks for sharing! i love random memes! and i also love how designer fabric really can go a long way when you use it wisely!

dutchcomfort said...

Lovely to read Amanda-Jean! I’m a Denyse Schmidt fabric lover too and sadly enough there is no quiltshop in Holland that has discovered this great designer yet. So I order the fabrics online. The book looks great!

Anina said...

I LOVE fabric! And I have a pile of new fabric sitting on my desk right now which I'm loathe to add to the stash because then I may have to cut into it, which I just don't want to do right now.

Three Birds Inspired said...

Oh my gosh! When I read "8" I couldn't believe it. I honestly thought I was the only freak about new fabric. I also keep it separate and then periodically take it out, look at it, feel it and then put it back into it's bag. Nothing feels better than good quality, brand new fabric with the possible exception of a baby's soft, sweet cheek!

Frogdancer said...

I've just started my quilt making career... bought my first fabric yesterday and borrowed a friend's machine. My first class is on Thursday night after work. I was glad you mentioned that a class is a good idea. Mum quilts, but she's on a holiday in Queensland (Australia) and I don't want to wait to get started.

I'm excited, scared and looking forward to it. (Did I mention I was scared?? I can sew a button, and I've been known to fix a hem, but that's it.) I've been a knitter for years, but now I'm branching out. My 4th son has already claimed the quilt as his. So I have to do it now.
I'll pop back onto your site to browse a little more. I just discovered you today. Great blog!

Anonymous said...

Oh you are a wealth of information Amandajean! Seriously, you could write a book :)
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Oh you are a wealth of information Amandajean! Seriously, you could write a book :)
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

i don't like adding new stuff to the stash either. for the exact same reason. :)

Nichole said...

Good list! You do so much quilting and so well- I love hearing how you do it! Thanks for sharing. :)

Kelly said...

I guess your #8 isn't as quirky as you thought. You can count me in, too!

I think I just like to "look" at the new ones before they get "lost" in the stash!

Chara Michele said...

So much fun to read your 8 random things:) I like to at least set my new fabrics on top of my older fabrics so they seem a bit more special longer. Although that sometimes leads to my older fabrics sitting around a bit longer:)

Pieces said...

I am exactly the same way about new fabric. It has to stay out in a special place to be gazed upon frequently until it can be placed with the rest of the fabric.

Ginger Patches said...

Me too! The thing with the new fabric---too funny! Love your blog.

sulu-design said...

Funny... I don't like to do the lists, but I love to read 'em.
And I like your focus on quilting questions - a class might just be in my future.

Anonymous said...

Your killing me with the flea market fancy! Those colors that you have are like trying to find a needle in a haystack now! :( I dream of being a stay at home mom and sewing all day!