organizing sewing space, quilting, Uncategorized

Fabric Storage Tip / #4

While I definitely enjoy the quilting process, I sometimes have difficulty motivating myself to cut fabric. It’s not that I dislike that step but it can seem like such a chore. On the other hand, once I do get started I usually go the extra mile and cut leftover fabric into commonly used sizes so they’re ready for other projects later on. This step could be considered as making your own precuts. 🙂

For example, when I made my Petite Hearts Quilt I used only scraps and fat quarters I had on hand. After cutting what I needed for the quilt, I had several odd-sized pieces left over. Since the fabric was certainly worth saving, I cut the leftovers into three different sizes, depending on what I could get out of them. I chose 1 ½” squares, 2 ½” squares or 3″ squares.

Not only does cutting ahead save time on future projects, it helps keep me organized and it helps me to know what I have. It’s a pretty efficient way to go. But how do I keep everything organized? It’s simple and straight-forward—I use clear plastic stackable containers and labels.

Since the fabric squares are on the smaller side, I’ve found that shoe box storage bins work best and they’re affordable (about $1 apiece). I’ve been in the habit of doing this for a few years now and I still haven’t filled one of those containers! However, you may need larger containers depending on how much and what sizes you cut.

Here’s a look at how I have my cut squares organized.

I keep my mini charm packs in the container for the 2 ½” squares so I always know where to find them.

1 ½” squares – great for mini quilts

In the past I had consistently cut and stored only 1 ½”, 2 ½” and 3″ squares, but I recently started a box for 2″ squares.

I love how these containers stack nicely, saving on space. And because they’re clear plastic you can easily see what’s inside.

If you’re new to quilting or if you’re looking for tips on how to organize your fabric, this is a great way to get started. Simply choose your size of cuts, make a few labels, get your boxes and you’re ready to go!

diy, quilting, Uncategorized

Make Your Own Precuts from Scraps

I am certainly not one to waste fabric. As a person who loves fabric and knows all too well how expensive it is, I like to save what I can, even really small pieces. If you’re not one for waste either, here’s an easy tip on how you can get the most out of your fabric and money.

Le Pavot by Sandy Gervais for Moda Fabric

We know that most quilting projects will leave us with left over scraps, maybe from trimming away corners or just from the initial cutting. If you don’t want to throw away perfectly good fabric, why not cut it for future use by making your own precuts?

Here’s an example of my latest ‘made myself precuts.’ The quilt pattern I’m currently making requires several flying geese units that leave a lot of cut-away corners. Because the units are pretty large, the cut-away corner triangles (approximately 2″ x 4″) are big enough to allow me to cut out one 1 ½” square from each piece.

After cutting out the 1 ½” squares, there’s barely any fabric left leaving minimal waste. Easy and economical, right?

For me, the biggest challenge with doing this is deciding when to cut the fabric. Because I’m usually excited to keep on sewing the project at hand (it’s hard to take extra time to cut scraps) but I usually do it as I go along so I don’t forget what they’re for, and I know it’ll save time later. It’s personal preference whether you cut as you go, or later on.

Keep in mind that you can make a variety of sizes of your own precuts based on the size of scraps you have left over from your quilting projects. Anything goes…

Since I have been doing this for quite a while, I have saved myself a lot of time and fabric – it’s definitely a win-win situation!

modern quilts, quilting, quilts

Published in Pre-Cut Patchwork Premier Issue Diamond Jubilee Quilt

Hurray! It’s finally here, the January/February 2019 issue of Pre-Cut Patchwork magazine. This is the premier issue and I’m happy to be part of it. Pre-Cut Patchwork was previously known as Quilting Quickly but it still offers plenty of great patterns for using those precuts we know and love.

I’d like to share a bit of my publishing process…it took a long time but it was really fun. While I had been published in the September/October 2017 issue of Modern Patchwork, it was for small mug rugs that were accepted as finished projects. Pretty easy. But this time, because I had written the quilt pattern and tested it long before submitting, by the time it was accepted the fabric was no longer available so I had to remake it. Deadlines and all. Yikes!

After sending in some necessary paperwork, I was assigned an editor who helped me with my fabric options yet I ultimately got to choose. I went with Bright Blooms by Lunn Studios and let me tell you, it was so fun to get fabric before it was released to the public, but it was also nerve-racking!

Because I had time restraints, I didn’t take any other photos of the process. The name of my quilt is Diamond Jubilee, it’s a throw size that finishes at 56″ x 72″. Fabric requirements include one roll up and background yardage (I used Kona Cotton White). I chose a medium blue batik from the collection for the binding and a light pink for the backing. My longarmer quilted it with a rounded squares motif. 

Here it is on my quilt ladder but I think this pattern is best showcased if the quilt is opened all the way.

And a couple of close up images…

As seen in Pre-Cut Patchwork 

This is the second quilt I’ve made with batiks and I absolutely love working  with them. 

Here are a few shots of the first Diamond Jubilee quilt I made with the Transformation collection by Benartex. Such rich, bright colors.

Now I have two of the same quilt…the first one I use around the house, the second one I’ll probably keep for displaying on my quilt ladder.

So that was my first quilt publication experience. If you have an idea and are considering getting it published, send it in, it’s definitely worth trying.

I hope to see other versions of this quilt, it’s a great choice for the quilter who enjoys making flying geese. There are several lovely projects in this issue so if you don’t have a copy grab one and use those precuts! Should you decide to make a Diamond Jubilee quilt, please post it and mention me on Instagram as I’d love to see your take on it. 🙂

quilting, Uncategorized

Quilting 101: Precuts

Fact: Quilters love precuts. 🙂

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If you’re new to quilting you might be asking, “What are precuts?” It’s pretty straightforward, precuts are fabrics cut to specific sizes and quantities and usually feature fabric from the same collection. Precuts came into existence as a way for fabric manufacturers to promote their new lines. Luckily for us quilters, these gems are available from a variety fabric manufacturers such as Moda, Robert Kaufman, Riley Blake, RJR Fabrics and Windham Fabrics—just to name a few.

Here’s a list of information on available precuts along with some examples of projects I’ve made with them.

Note: Manufacturers have named precuts differently as noted below.

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Mini Charm Pack
2 ½” x 2 ½” squares; 42 per pack

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Scrappy Nine Patch Quilt made with 2 1/2″ squares

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Summer Star Mini Quilt made with a mini charm pack

Charm Pack, Stacker
5″ x 5″ squares; 42 per pack

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Checkered Baby Quilt made with a charm pack (A Monday Morning Design tutorial)

Layer Cake, Patty Cake
10″ x 10″ squares; 42 per pack

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Boxed Candy Toss Quilt is layer cake friendly (A Monday Morning Design tutorial)

Jelly Roll, Roll Up, Rolie Polie
2 ½” x 44″ strips; 40-42 per roll

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Honey Bun
1 ½” x 44″ strips; 40-42 per roll

Fat Quarter
18″ x 22″; bundle sizes vary

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Fireworks Quilt made with fat quarters

Fat Eighth
9″ x 22″; bundle sizes vary

Turnover
6″ triangles

There’s a whole world of quilting fun out there using precuts. If you haven’t given them a try, put it on your ‘to do’ list. You’ll find that they’re a great choice by saving you a lot of cutting time making your quilting projects easier and faster!