Sunday, 12 April 2015

Button Up Quilt


Button Up Quilt

It feels like forever since I have been able to take a good picture of a quilt. I was very, very happy that the weather was nice today because I just finished up the binding on this one last night. We jumped in the car for a family outing in Thetford Forest and it was an awesome location for quilt pics. I always feel a little weird when taking quilt pics in public places because everyone stares at me like I'm a crazy person. There was a group of picnic-ers behind me gawking when I snapped this shot.

For this quilt I used Cluck Cluck Sew's Button Up pattern, and it's really a fun and easy top to put together. I'm very excited about this quilt because all the fabric was from my current stash. The yellows and greens in the quilt aren't consistent throughout but I was determined not to buy any new fabric for this project. I've been on a fabric fast lately, and am trying to use as much as I can before the big move.

button up quilt

The backing was actually a temporary-turned-permanent set of curtains in house that I made from Glamping gingham fabric. I felt like Scarlett O'Hara as I ripped those suckers down and used them to back the quilt. But I think the backing is perfect for a "country" look. According to my calculations, making this quilt was basically free because I was so resourceful with my current stash--and everyone knows that fabric purchased over 30 days ago doesn't count;)

Hope everyone else is enjoying the weather and is working on some fun projects. : )

Button Up Quilt

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Military-Friendly Quilt Shops

For U.S. military members and their families, shopping online when you live at an APO/FPO address can sometimes be very frustrating.




For those unfamiliar with APO (Army/Air Force Post Office) and FPO (Fleet Post Office or Federal Post Office) addresses, it is an American address that is used for military members living on a base or post overseas. Many U.S. merchants will not ship to APO, or they will only use couriers that do not deliver to APO, like UPS or FedEx. Or they can magically read your IP address and see that you're ordering from a different country, and as a security measure, will decline processing the order.

Of course, members can always order online within the country they live in (if they have what they need); however, it sometimes proves impossible to enter your payment information because the billing address is US and that isn't an option. It seems like there's one roadblock after another.

For the most part, quilt-shops are far ahead of the game when compared to other online merchants. Most quilt shops will now ship APO, whereas when I started quilting a few years back, I could only find a handful that would, and mainly it was only fabric. I had a very difficult time getting notions, or bigger things, like bags of batting. I'm grateful for the shops that would ship to me, and even more grateful that they offered discounts to military members, or would ship those hard-to-obtain items.

And I would like to share those shops with you today and just say "THANK YOU" to them for helping me out. The list is not all-encomposing, and if you know of any others, please let me know!! I will be adding shops to the list as I find them, and there is a button on the sidebar just in case any military members (or their family members) are out there and need quilt supplies!!

Quilt Shops that offer free/discount shipping to APO/FPO addresses:

Quiltbug.com - Free shipping to all APO/FPO address (and will even ship Quilter's Dream Batting--for free!)

Southern Stitches Quilts - Free shipping to all APO/FPO addresses

Quilting Adventures - Free shipping for orders over $35 to all APO/FPO addresses

Crazy Quilt Girl Fabric Shop - Free shipping for orders over $75 to APO/FPO addresses

Fat Quarter Shop - Free shipping for orders over $80 to all APO/FPO addresses

Donna's Lavender Nest - $5 shipping for orders up to 10 yards for all APO/FPO addresses

Quilt shops that will ship bolts of batting:

JOANN - Offers an in-store 10% discount to military members every day. Will also ship batting by the bolt to APO/FPO addresses for about $20 (and you can still use your 40% off coupon). The shipping is SAM (space available) but finding a merchant that will ship such a large item is worth recognition).

Other quilt shops that ship APO/FPO:

Hawthorne Threads

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Fresh Modern Fabric

UK Fabric shops that will ship to US APO addresses in the UK:

SewandQuilt.co.uk

The Homemakery

The Village Haberdashery

Again, I would just like to say "THANK YOU" to all the quilt shops out there that support their military members, and understand that girls who wear combat-boots to work can still be quilters!!





Saturday, 4 April 2015

Binding



For me, there's only one pro to binding a quilt with a sewing machine--it's quick. The cons, however, are endless. For starters, the process is completely stressful. Days before I even start the binding I'm trying to get myself mentally prepared. I practice lots of exercises in deep breathing, a little music therapy, and as the time to begin gets closer, a motivating counseling session with myself in the mirror isn't unheard of. 

After I've machine-sewn the binding to one side, I start to break out in a cold sweat, because I know it's about to get real. While I'm sewing the binding to the opposite side, I try to stare without blinking, because I know with one flinch my stitches will run up over the binding and all hope will be lost. It's very easy to mess up, and with all the time that is spent on a quilt, I don't want the last step to be the one that ruins it all. 

I've tried many, many different methods to make my machine-binding look as good as possible: sewing it to the front and folding-it over and sewing to the back, sewing it on the back and folding it over toward the front, sewing through the front and back at the same time, sewing it to one side and then folding it over and sewing through both sides. Time and again I've tried to make my machine binding look professional, but I'm almost never happy with it. So, I finally decided to do something different.

I started hand-sewing my binding. I avoided trying it for a long time because I thought it would take too much time. Of course, it takes ALOT longer, but I absolutely love it. There's no crazy talk in the mirror, no cold-sweats, no stressful sewing--just me and the quilt watching TV together. The process is completely relaxing, and it looks worlds better when it's all done. I might not hand-sew the binding on every quilt in the future, but if time allows, I think it definitely worth the extra effort.