Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fabric, Fabric, Fabric

Wheee, fabric in the mail from The Fabric Square Shop. First off, a 4" charm pack of Judie Rothermel Charleston IV full of double pinks and chocolate browns. I have so been ruined by my friendship with Bonnie and Siobhan, both of whom love antique quilts with such a passion. I pore over quilts with them while they describe the fabrics and it's really made me love these quilts too, even though a few years ago I would have ignored them in favor of any Amish quilts nearby.

Man, I am still struggling with photos and getting them where and how I want them. That pic above should have been cropped. And why can't I get these pictures to drag so I can change their order? Sigh. I know I'll get the hang of all this eventually but in the meantime it's driving me nuts.

Next, a 10" charm pack of 1974 Urban Chiks fabric. I really love the bold patterns in these fabrics, just wish they had a true white background rather than off-white. They are marvelous though. Does that mean I am remembering the styles of the '70s fondly now? I did voluntarily listen to "I Will Survive" on the radio the other day.

My favorite fabrics from Deb Strain's Love is in the Air. I love the colors in this collection - lime green, pink, red, white and chocolate brown. These squares unfold to 10" and I threw them in with some other fabric in the washing machine - I have to wash sizing out or my allergies go nuts. Anyway, I was really pleased with how well they did - a tiny bit of unravelling, but not much. Is that because of the pinked edges or the small size? If it's the pinking I might just have to get myself one of those rotary blades and start using it a whole lot. Not that it would help with jelly roll strips - you know those would knot up together.

I know lots of quilters love using one entire line of fabric all together in one quilt with nothing else, but it just doesn't do it for me. Makes quilts too predictable. I'll often buy the same fabric pattern in several colorways if I love it, but then I mix it with lots of other lines as well. Look at this selection of chocolate and pinks from the Charleston collection and Love is in the Air all mixed up together:

I think they look great together, plus it's much more unusual that way. Now we'll see if I'm brave enough to throw those 4" squares in the wash. I think they'll do well.

I have to organize all the fabric I just bought (more on that next post) so I can actually find things. Right now my dining room/sewing studio is a huge mess. It should at least start out organized before I trash it.... sigh.

I am really excited - if things go according to plan I'm going to have a chance to meet up with Gwen Marston while she's visiting Florida next month. Woohoo!!!!! I'm hoping I'll get a chance to see some of the new quilts she's making for her new Liberated Quilting book. Of course I'll share pics with you.

Thanks to a couple of you who let me know that this blog was mentioned in April issue of McCalls Quilting Magazine. I still haven't seen a copy of the mag yet, but hope to soon. Of course it figures that my blog is completely and totally boring right now. Sorry about that.

When I was at the JaMPatch quilt shop on Friday, one of the shop owners recognized me from the blog. First time that's ever happened. It's my favorite shop in the area - a bit of a drive for me to get to Stuart, about 45 minutes, but it's worth it. I'm living in Palm Beach County, by the way. Anyway, I drove with the window down, singing along to the B-52's. 

Life is good. It's warmed up enough that my husband is spending time at the beach, his favorite activity. He had a seagull actually swoop in and steal a potato chip out of his fingers the other day. Eek, the birds. And I'm completely sated with entertainment. When you've been out of the states for awhile there are so many books and shows you've missed and it's a blast to catch up.

We've been watching lots of tv and I LOVE how fast my Netflix gets delivered here. We finished watching Rescue Me Season 4. I know some thought this season dull but I really liked it. Not all the melodrama of the past and it's great to see Tommy Gavin try to be an adult. The family AA meetings? What a disaster. My favorite parts always have been and will be the quieter moments - the conversations about metrosexuals and favorite movies.

Watched some more Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Just adore that show, makes me laugh and drool all at the same time. His visit to South Beach, Florida made me want to get into the car and drive down to Miami for cuban food. And ooh that shop with the eyes for protection against the evil eye - very cool.

What we haven't watched is our beloved Burn Notice. My husband wants to wait and watch them all on DVD. Sigh. I hate waiting, but it's not like there isn't lots of other stuff on for me.

I'm not missing the weather in Paris at all, but definitely miss my friend Will. Good thing she has started a blog, Not So Zen - Quilts in Paris. She's Dutch, lives in Montmartre, and writes in English. She makes beautiful quilts - my favorite ones are full of fabric she's reclaimed from antique clothing, sheets and other textiles.

Have you seen Nichy's blog QuiltyCat? She's Italian living in Italy but writes in English. She just completed a marvelous baby quilt that included some free-pieced letters.

Brenda posted a mini-tutorial explaining a shortcut she uses to make free-pieced letters. She gets a really nice font that way as well as saves time.

I've seen some fun quilts and quilt tops made with free-pieced letters to celebrate Obama and his inauguration. I'm going to do a blog post about it soon. If you'd like me to include yours, send me an email with info. I've got a list started, but I'd hate to forget anybody.

I have chores I need to do. I've been acting like I'm on vacation, but at some point I do need to settle in since I really am living here now. Woohoo!


Brenda said...

Nice fabrics. I'm coveting some of that LOVE fabric for my words fail me quilt, which, btw, I'm working on today. as for moving pix around, go to the html tab in the compose screen and cut and paste the pix. It works better than doing it in the other screen.

jovaliquilts said...

If your fabric choices are expanding, then maybe there's hope for me! I really appreciate those antique quilts, but I don't love them the way some quilters do. But I think I like them more than I used to -- thanks especially to blog reading, I think.

Quilt Pixie said...

Great fabrics. THose pinked edges sure do help with the ravel but are such a pain to do... I bought a rotary blade witht he same intent and found the rotary blade was more a ric rak wave then hard traingle pink edge.... Ah well, that's how it goes.

When I wash long strips of fabric I've foudn if I spend some time in prep its worth it -- simply use basting pins through several layers of strips down their length -- each still washes and dries, but there are many fewer strips in the wash for them to tangle up with! :-)

Trisha said...

Love your fabric! If you are nervous about putting the 4" squares in the wash...use a salad spinner instead. That's what I do if I need to wash small pieces of fabric.

belinda said...

love the fabrics tonya...but must confess, for a minute I thought I was on the wrong blog.....this post was so crazy for me...I haven't wrapped my mind around you being in the states you talking about 'driving' to the quilt, this is great!!!
glad you are here and enjoying it!!

Joyce said...

I like the pinks and browns although I just finished two in those colors for my SIL and am totally ready for more brights now.
Glad you are enjoying your nice Florida weather. We're in the deep freeze here again with near -40 wind chills. At least it's good quilting weather.

KnitOneQuiltTooKristin said...

I'm glad to hear you are settling in so nicely! A great quilt shop and a visit from Gwen, how great could life be! I just found out that I did get into my two classes with Gwen, so you can let her know that I'll bring some liberated and free pieced letter show and tell quilts for her to see.

I just can't get used to seeing those fabrics and colors on this blog! I do like the pink and brown and the red and turquoise combinations!

Patchwork Penguin said...

I have the Charleston IV FQ pack and absolutely love it. I've had it for 2 years and not suer I want to cut it up LOL


Quiltdivajulie said...

I can tell by the length and variety of topics in your post that you are happy in FL . . . your excitement oozes through the computer screen!!

I am totally with you about mixing up the combinations of fabric!! That is what makes it YOURS and not a formula quilt that looks just like 1,000 others.

And eclectic quilters appreciate it all (just love some parts more than others). It's all about listening to your heart.

Take care ~

kathi said...

I can't believe how much you post when you are in the middle, or end I guess of a move. I'm just now getting back into the swing of things and I moved 7 months ago. Best of luck.

woolywoman said...

Put the small squares in a mesh bag, they'll do fine. I have done that with squares that scooched off the table and were dusty/ dog haired, and figured I had to wash them or toss them. Worked fine.

I agree with using fabric lines- it is safe, but too predictable to only use a single line. There aren't too many fabrics that aren't improved by a good red with them!

Jennifer said...

What a great, newsy post!
I benefit so much from learning from you. Thank you!

Jay said...

Hi Tanya,

So happy to find a new post from you today. It is evident from your post that you are both busy and very happy in Florida. That's wonderful!

In regard to the pinked edges on the fabric that you showed, from my experience I can tell you that pinked edges definitely cut down (if not completely cut out) the fraying and the resulting tangled mess. I use on of the pinking rotary cutters to trim the edges of all my fabrics before I wash them. It is especially helpful when I hand-dye fabrics as those are usually washed and rinsed multiple times. I have been using the pinking rotary blade for the past couple of years and I have dyed and washed hundreds of yards of fabric without any tangling problems. Actually there is very minimal fraying, if any.

Well, that's just my two cents.

Take care and happy quilting,


Hey Tonya! Nice post. I love all those brown and pink fabrics! I have one in the works, one of the 14... LOL
I peeked at not so zen, i really love her quilts! They already look loved and worn in! And I love QuiltyCat. I've had one of her quilts on my desktop for a while now... Its so fun to find new blogs. Send me some sun!

sewprimitive karen said...

Wow, what a post! It will be incredible to see some of Gwen's new work. So happy for you to be settling down in Florida.

quilting forum said...

These are really nice fabrics. I simply adore this.

quiltycat said...

Hi Tonya,
Is the good weather that get you to feel on vacation! A you buy usually pre-cut fabric? I often have the feeling I couldn't complete a project with only this little pieces. How do you use them? I have a lot of secrets to learn from you...thanks.

Clare said...

I love the Love is in the Air fabrics and the combination of the two looks very very chocolatey - yum!

I'd put the 4 inch squares in one of those bags you wash trainer shoes in, or tie them up in a pillow case.

Wooo hooo - Tonya is famous!

Anonymous said...

passionate about quilting

McIrish Annie said...

glad you are back in the USA and enjoying the warm FL weather. thanks for the links to your friends abroad, will definitely check them out!

jacquie said...

so glad you had a safe trip. sounds like you are getting in the groove...organizing fabric is always fun. i love combining lines too...definitely makes quilts more interesting.

YankeeQuilter said...

I am too much of a wimp to wash my charm squares in the machine...I just toss them into the sink and hand wash them. Love your new fabrics (as expected!) I've become a bit more adventurous about mixing my repros with other fabrics...

jmbmommy said...

I can almost feel the sunshine! Thanks! I love your fabric favorite is getting new fabric out of the wash and just looking at it...rearranging it with some of its friends. Toot-toot on the Mcall's mention, does this mean you have arrived?? :)
You sound very happy.

Millie said...

Love all your 4" Squares. Pretty colors.

Quilts And Pieces said...

OMG - give me a heart attack! Tonya using repro pink and browns???? Am I on the wrong blog?