We’ve updated our Sewing Lab here at American Patchwork & Quilting®–and we’re beyond excited about the new look. Our first refresh came in the form of Koala Cabinets. If you want to see what we picked out, check out this video.
Our latest update has helped us get a handle on our vast Fabric Library—where we store the most current lines of fabric sent to our offices by a variety of companies.
We use these fabrics to create color options, for photography when we’re pulling together a Color Inspiration article, and to stitch samples when we’re doing step-by-step how-to photos.
We have two Ikea Expedit shelf units that have 25 openings each.
Before, they were filled with baskets Ikea sells to fit the openings. Good looking, but not too functional, as fabric can get heavy and the bins weren’t really designed for that.
So, we were thrilled to find a new locker-style basket being introduced as part of the Better Homes and Gardens® collection at WalMart. (Note: Better Homes and Gardens magazine is the flagship title of Meredith Corporation, which also publishes American Patchwork & Quilting magazine).
And our favorite part is the area on each end where you can write with chalk.
In the Sewing Lab, we use this area to identify the fabric company whose contents are inside the basket.
But we see plenty of applications for all of us to use them in our home sewing spaces—and identify bins by project, color of contents, or fabric collections.
Reasonably priced, these affordable baskets come with snap-on canvas liners that are easily removed for laundering.
Best of all, they’re sturdy and we’ve found that one can hold more than 300 uniformly-folded fat quarters—and still be able to slide into the shelf opening. Now that’s a great storage solution for your stash!
So, if you’re looking to update your sewing space with a look that’s fresh, clean and right on trend, check out these canvas-lined wire storage baskets from the Better Homes and Gardens collection at WalMart. You should find them in stores and online at walmart.com by early June, 2013. I think you’ll love them!
Executive Editor, American Patchwork & Quilting
Yippie! I have finished my first star block! My confidence is climbing and I’ve decided to tackle the star blocks two at a time. This way I can chain piece the triangle squares and hopefully get more done in my hour each week.
The pattern I am using has six blocks in different colors so now I have chain pieced triangle squares for the next two colors (green and orange).
I use a scrap of fabric and start in the middle of the scrap piece to start my chain. It keeps first triangle square block from getting distorted. Then I kept my pieces pretty close together and all pinned and lined up the same way. I have the colorful fabric pressed over itself so it won’t show thru on the white.
Crazy, but the challenge is really fun! I am getting addicted to the little triangle pieces and it helps to not be in a big hurry. I can’t wait to work on it every week!
See more about Passion 48 here.
See my January blog here.
It is month four of my Passion 48 project.
This month has been spent putting vertical rows together. This shows the two different rows that I’ll be constructing.
The blocks and setting rectangles are large so I can put 3-4 vertical rows together in an hour. Sometimes I get so excited to see the next row go up on the design wall, that I put the row up and sew together the next row before pressing.
I now have all 14 vertical rows made!
Before I sew the vertical rows together to make the quilt top, I want to make sure I am happy with the placement of all the fabrics. Check back next month to see my progress.
Read about month #1- January
Read about month #2- February
Read about month #3- March
Happy day! I opened an unmarked box in my studio and discovered a trove of 2”-wide polka dot strips. Could the fabric fairy have been visiting? It appeared so. In reality this wonderful stash was made up of the remainders from another dot-and-stripe quilt I made a few years back.
Here’s a detail of that quilt, an adaptation of an antique log cabin quilt.
I immediately incorporated these narrower strips with 21/2”-wide strips I’ve been using for paper-foundation-piecing the colorful wheels of Under the Big Top. The narrower strips work well IF I am paying attention to what I’m doing. If I’m chatting with a co-worker while sewing, and not watching the placement of the fabrics, I need to keep my ripper handy. The short stitch-length I’m using for the foundation piecing will pay off when I’m ready to remove the paper behind each block, but it makes ripping tedious and time consuming. Lesson learned! First hour of sewing with the narrower strips yielded only two completed sections for Under The Big Top quilt…but the sections are colorful and I like them. This is a yearlong project, right? Might as well slow down and savor the process.
Read about Passion 48 here.
See my January blog here.
See my February blog here.
See my March blog here.
As I start my fourth month of Passion 48, I really wanted to take time on the quilt, so I could reflect on what I’ve done and where I’m going. Since I strayed so far from the original pattern (buy it here), and since this is my first quilt, I’m being careful on what my next steps are.
In order to slow down the quilting process, I decided to add some hand quilting around the Dresden plates. I thought the black embroidery thread would help the shapes pop off the strong print background, as well as add a decorative embellishment to what is otherwise a simple design. I decided to do three echo lines around each shape.
I’ve found the quilting extremely relaxing. I find myself stressing a little bit when a sewing machine is involved in the process (I’m getting better as I go, but I still worry about destroying my hard work with a wrong stitch!). It’s a nice hour to spend each week just sewing in silence. Hopefully by the time I have all my quilting done, I’ll know what I’m doing for the border.
If you’ve missed my first blogs, read my January, February, and March blogs. Are you following along with our staff’s projects? See details about Passion 48 here and keep coming back every week to see everyone’s progress.