11.17.2014

Trying...

Just wanted to pop in and give my yearly prior-to-the-holidays winter weather speech. For my long arm customers, please know that I will try my best to get your quilts back to you as soon as I can, however with winter weather forecasts, I may not always be able to go out and quilt. I go from one home to another and if it's not dire for me to drive in yucky weather, I won't. For instance, this weekend we got about a foot of snow, some melted, but today they're calling for another 3"-6" and tonight into tomorrow we could get another 8"-12" of lake effect snow on top of what's already on the ground. Winter hit here last week and it hit hard, so please be considerate if your quilts are slightly delayed in getting back to you. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me or call. I will do the best I can to get everything done in a timely manner and I hope you understand. 

Also, at this time I am booked for 2014 and will start to book for 2015. I'm planning on posting a calendar with open dates to book in advance, so check back soon for that. I want to try this a little different this year so I can try to find balance a little easier. I already know this upcoming year will be busy with my newest book being released, so this is the beginning step towards balance and organization. If you are interested in reserving a spot, please contact me at rubybluequilts (at) gmail (dot) com. I will chat more about this soon once I get the calendar posted, but keep this in mind for the future. 

That should do it for today, I'm going to attempt to quilt before this front turns into the lake effect stuff later on, and probably hibernate tomorrow. Have a great day and stay warm!!!

11.15.2014

Too much credit...

You all are soooooo sweet! Thank you so much for the nice comments about my organized stash. Now, just to be clear I am a human and I'm not THAT organized. That's just one little area of my sewing room. And to prove it, here:
Here's how it looks right when you walk in...
And this is the other wall waiting to be organized. It's not as much of a hot mess as it's been In the past, but this area needs an update and the smaller dresser will be moving to the other bedroom and I have this awesome table to take its place. Maybe I'll work on that today since it looks like this out at the moment:
It's a mix between monster flakes of snow and this lighter fast falling stuff. So, I'm staying in at the moment and doing laundry and cleaning and then sewing!!! 

Have a great weekend!!!

11.12.2014

Machine Quilting: Scrappy Pinwheels

Amy is this wonderful woman who has me by the heartstrings with every quilt she brings me... She and I are both scrappy quilters and hand quilters by nature, but know when to wave the white flag and surrender to machine quilting for deadlines and time constraints. Well, I was smitten with this latest quilt:
 It's just too stinkin' cute, isn't it?! It has so much color and there were a ton of different background fabrics, many that were white on white prints with the most adorable details. No matter what style I'm doing when quilting something this scrappy, I never get bored because I'm constantly looking over the fabrics thinking "I LOVE that one!" or "I have that" or "Where on Earth did that come from?!"

I'm such a fabric junkie and I'm not afraid to admit it.
Now, Amy and I are hand quilters at heart, so when prepping for one of her quilts, I usually take a different approach to plan the quilting. I know how she probably would hand quilt it, and I put myself in that mindset and go from there. Now there are things that are easier to do in either hand or machine quilting and it's not so easy to replicate it in the other form.

So to keep this simple and more open, I quilted straight lines in the sashing both vertically and horizontally, I quilted feathers into the pinwheels and line danced in the nine patch cornerstones. All of the colored pinwheels were left unquilted since they were small and busy fabrics, it didn't look unfinished or too busy if they were quilted. It's all about balance and to keep the quilting simple, in this case it was best to not quilt some areas. I could stare at this quilt forever, or maybe bust into my stash this winter and make my own version...

We shall see...

Anywho, I have to send out a big thank you to Amy for being an awesome scrappy lovin' quilter! I always enjoy your quilts and this one was soooo much fun!

11.11.2014

Stash Overload

I know I've said it before, but when it comes to my stash I am either super organized, or its a huge disaster. Here's what I did recently:
The bins to the bottom and right of the shelves are separated into color groups or themes like Civil War, batiks, novelty, etc. 

The other bins with the numbers have my precut scraps that are too small to be "scraps" but I didn't want to toss them and I'm finding it is really helpful to have these pieces organized and grouped by size. I can't tell you how many quilts I've started by going into a size bun and grabbing a stack of already cut squares or strips that saves me a ton of time!
Each bin has squares and strips. This is my 2" bin and this one has room for further organizing so the pieces are also sorted into cottons, batiks, and Civil War. 

It took a bit of time to get organized and get everything just so, but I can tell you it's sooooooo worth it! I have been cutting out some new quilts as well, so I have this stack of "leftovers" that have been trimmed to size and just need to be sorted in the bins, but the last time I did it, I took over my wonky coffee table and it looked like this:
So for now, until I have a moment to take over the living room again, I have this amazing little pile:
The other half of my sewing room still looks like a fabric explosion that I need to tackle, but this is a marathon, not a sprint, so I'm working slow and methodical. I know my stash will be an ever evolving process, and I'm good with that because there may always be a new idea or a different fabric I'm into, so it makes me evaluate my stash and use it and that's the main thing! 

What does your stash look like? Is it organized or a disaster?

11.07.2014

Updates

Hey there! I've got a few updates to share before I get going today. Usually I've been starting or ending my days like this:
Ben and I have been working out and I've gotten back into running and that's been my main priority each day. So if I haven't blogged... It's probably because I ran and ran out of energy in the process. 

Other than that I'm packing up the car and hope to see you at the Common Threads Quilting Guild Quilt Show this weekend. We will be setting up today but the show will go on both Saturday and Sunday and I will be speaking at 2:30 both days. Here's the info about the show:
I hope to see you there!

Also, I just got notice that my latest block for Quiltmaker's 100 Deisgner Blocks is Number 991!
This issue is Volume 10 which means there are 1,000 different blocks out there from designers. How awesome! This issue should be on newsstands soon, so keep an eye out when you head to the store!

Other than that, quick reminder that I only have a couple spots left for Christmas quilting, you need to reserve your spot today if you want your quilt back in time for Christmas!!! Please email me at rubybluequilts (at) gmail (dot) com to reserve your spot. I may not respond until later today after I'm done setting up at the show, but I can answer any questions you might have too. 

I think that about covers it all for today! I hope to see you at the show this weekend if you're in the area, and if not, I hope you get a ton of sewing done! Have a great weekend!!!

10.30.2014

Since that seemed to go so well...

I'm entering another quilt!!! Please take the time if you can to join the Blogger's Quilt Festival and share what you've made. It doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to be grandiose, it has to be something you enjoy. Really that is all a quilt show should be (even an online show) is sharing what you've done with people. Yes there are prizes to be had, but if you win, it's just icing on the cake, don't you agree?

So for more information on the Blogger's Quilt Festival put on by the amazing Amy Ellis, you can find all of the information needed to enter or to vote (voting begins this weekend!) by clicking here. 

For my second quilt, I am digging out one of my most nostalgic quilts that I've made to enter into the Hand Quilted Category.
 This is an older pattern of mine called From Grammy With Love. I made this quilt very traditionally with 1930's reproduction fabrics and I used solid white as both the border and backing.
 I quilted simple lines withing each of the pieces and then I quilted butterflies into the border. It's simple but sweet. As soon as the binding was done, I washed and dried this quilt and now it really has that crinkly vintage vibe to it.
 Here's how the quilt looks overall, it's been a fun small quilt to make.
I actually have had several people ask where I got this antique quilt from. They cannot believe that I actually made it myself with how it turned out! I think that is one of the biggest compliments for a quilt like this. It makes me think that all of those hours of quilting were worth it. This was my first hand quilted quilt and it was a doosy. I used Warm & White batting (not knowing any better) and it killed my fingers (and a few thimbles) to finish this quilt. It wasn't the batting I should have used, but now I know.

I'm glad they kept the hand quilting category in this years Blogger's Quilt Festival and I love the other entries thus far. Remember you too can enter your own quilt into one of the many categories through tomorrow, Oct. 31st! Voting begins Nov. 1st and I'd love to see your quilts entered! For more information about how to enter or how to vote, visit Amy's blog post here. Otherwise, if you'd just like some inspiration, head on over and take a gander at all of the quilts entered! There's so much to see, there's something for everyone!

Have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween!!!

Trying something new

I am entering the Blogger's Quilt Festival for the first time! I'm super excited and you should join too! For more information about the festival, visit Amy's page here for all of the details you'll need to either enter, get inspired, or vote for your favorites (voting starts this weekend!)
 When I started thinking about entering the Blogger's Quilt Festival this year, I was in the midst of working on this quilt. Little did I know at the time it would soon become one of my favorite quilts ever and so much more than I ever imagined!
 It's hard to believe, but this is how it started. I cut up a bunch of pieces from my stash and added in a few colors here or there to get a nice mix. I liked it but I wasn't in love. When I paused to grab a drink and was glancing at the quilt, I got this crazy idea to shift the colors within the quilt and fade from one to the next. Keeping 98% of the original fabrics and adding in minimal pieces to blend the colors well, I ended up with this:
 As soon as it started to come together, I knew I was on the right track! Granted there are a few places that I wish the transition was a bit smoother, but it still works well for me.

Also, if you're a regular reader of my blog and you're sick of seeing this quilt, I swear after this it will go away, but I'm still in love, so....eh. If you're new to the blog, welcome and it's good to have you! Alrighty, back to the quilt.

So then it was time to quilt it. I only knew when I got started that I wanted to quilt paisley feathers somewhat down the middle-ish and then have it branch off from there to both sides of the quilt. I was just going to echo around it to fill in the remainder of the quilt... But then I got bored. Quick.

So that's when I started adding in pebbles and alternating the direction of the echo.


When that got boring I added in some traditional feathers and swirls, and why not - I added in some woodgrain. There's so much quilting going on but it works. The colors make your eye move around the quilt and the quilting keeps it interesting as you look.
 So then in a weak moment of insomnia I stayed up waaaaayyyyy too late to create a scrappy binding to match the colors of the quilt... It was the most complex binding I've ever created, but my favorite! Oh, and all of the binding pieces came from my binding stash (in the egg basket to the left of the quilt in the above photo).
And then before you knew it, it was done and quilted and bound and washed and crinkly and I love it. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do and if you like it enough that you'd like to make your own, I have created a tutorial for the quilt complete with printable instructions, just click here to go to that post.

So, that's my quilt I'm entering into the ROYGBIV category. Even though it's scrappy, I think it fits here the best. I hope you all like it and I can't wait to see what everyone else has entered. Remember to head over to amyscreativeside.com for all of the information on the Blogger's Quilt Festival!
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