Saturday, October 29, 2011

First Day Market Report

Holy aching feet, Batman! I've done a lot of walking in the last few days at Quilt Market and my camera has really gotten a workout.

There are lots of new fabric lines that I'm excited about buying. There are a handful of new smaller pattern designers that are exhibiting at Market for the first time. I'm hoping to buy a few of those to bring back.

Hopefully I'll get a chance tomorrow to sneak in & see the Quilt Festival. They always have that set up early so Quilt Market attendees can walk through.

So much stuff to see, so much stuff to buy. I'll be back at it again tomorrow!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

To Market!! To Market!!

The Fabricologist is heading to Quilt Market in Houston. I hope to come back with lots of orders for great new fabrics and patterns. All orders placed from now through Monday will be shipped on Tuesday.

To thank you for your patience, I am offering 15% off of all orders over $25.00 placed through Monday night. Enter Market 15 in the coupon field to receive the discount. In addition, all orders over $25.00 placed through Monday will receive free shipping. To receive free shipping, you must put the "Free Shipping" item located on the Gift Certificates page into your cart.

Be sure to check my blog while I'm gone. Hopefully I won't be completely exhausted from all the shopping and will have some time to post a few updates.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Camera Strap Tutorial

I've been without a camera strap for quite a while. While attending Quilt Market last spring & fall, I had to keep my camera in my rolling case. So every time I saw something I wanted to take a picture of (which was often), I had to find a place to stop that was out of the line of traffic, unzip the case, find the camera, take a picture, put the camera back, and zip up the case. WAY more trouble than it's worth. I decided that this year, I definitely need a neck strap for my camera.

Lots of quilters have cool looking straps, so I didn't want to buy a boring black one, and I set off to make one instead. There are tons of tutorials online on sprucing up your camera strap.  But they are ALL assuming that you already have a strap & didn't somehow lose yours many moons ago. Most tutorials are for how to make a cool cover for your existing strap. Since I really didn't feel like going to buy a strap just to cover it, I had to figure out a way to make my own.

Most camera straps use 1/2 inch nylon webbing looped through metal loops on the camera, held together with adjustable slides. I didn't have 1/2 inch nylon webbing in the house, or those little plastic slides, so I did some improvising. The downside is that my strap is not adjustable, but I can live with that.

To make my strap I used:
16 pieces of fabric 4 1/2 by 2 1/4 inches
1 piece of fabric 3 by 2 1/4 inches
2 pieces of batting or fleece 32 by 2 1/4 inches
2 keyrings
grosgrain ribbon

Start out by sewing your pieces together into two long strips. Press seams open to eliminate bulk.

Sew the 3 inch piece onto one of the strips, then trim the piece on the other end so that the strip is 32 1/2 inches. This will offset the strips so that your seam allowances don't fall in the same places in the front and back. That way you can be lazy & not worry about matching seams up. Plus you want as little bulk as possible around your neck.

I used a scrap of a bee fabric from Tina Givens that I love love love. It is the very last piece of this fabric that I have, so I wanted it to be in a prominent spot.

Place your strips right sides together along with batting or fleece. I wanted my strap to be squishy, so I used two pieces of fleece inside mine.

After sewing all layers together, turn right sides out, press, and topstitch the long sides.

Cut two pieces of grosgrain ribbon 8 inches long. Fold the ribbons in half, and insert one loop into each end of the strap. Stitch across the bottom several times to secure it. I went over mine 5 or 6 times, plus I stitched an X over the end of the ribbon. This is the biggest stress point on the strap, so you want to make sure that it's secure and your stitches won't have a chance to get loose. Put one keyring through each loop.


Cut two more pieces of grosgrain ribbon, 8 inches long. Burn the ends to keep them from raveling. These are the pieces that you'll use to attach the strap to your camera. Then fold the ends over to form a smaller loop. Stitch to secure, going over it 5 or 6 times. Insert the larger loop portion of the ribbon through the small metal loop on your camera.


Then insert the small loop portion through the large loop and pull tight to secure. Finally, put the small looped ends through the keyrings & your strap is attached to the camera, ready for some at-a-moment's-notice picturetaking action.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunglasses Case Tutorial

I've been sewing lots of little travel-type things to take with me on my trip to Houston this Friday. I sewed a cute case for my sunglasses today. I always just toss my sunglasses in my purse and they end up getting scratched. So I decided I needed a case to take with me. It was super easy and literally took 15 minutes to make.

I have lots of tiny tiny scrap "strings". I don't like to throw them out because I think they just look cool, even though I have no idea what to use them for. I decided that this small project would be great for using the scrap strings.

I started by ironing them & laying them out in a pleasing arrangement. In order to keep them together, iron a piece of freezer paper on top of them. That will allow you to pick the whole piece up.

Then iron a piece of fusible webbing onto the back and peel the freezer paper off of the front.

Trim the two long sides and iron it onto a black square. I cut two 7 inch squares for this project. After fusing the strings to the square, trim the excess off.

Lay it on a piece of batting & quilt the two layers together. I did some stright line quilting on mine to hold the strings in place. At this point, I thought it was looking pretty cool. We are having a potholder swap in my Modern Quilt Guild next month. For half a second, I wanted to keep this as a potholder for the swap. But since I have a whole month to get another potholder done & I need a sunglasses case ASAP, I forged ahead.

Lay the quilted square on top of the other cut square, right sides together, and stitch around all four sides, leaving a small opening at the top for turning. Trim the corners, turn, and press.

Stitch along the entire top side really close to the edge.

Fold the square in half, and stitch along the side and bottom and you're done! Very easy, and easily customizable. Any two 7 inch squares will do. You can use just two pieces of your favorite patterned fabric, two 7 inch squares made of patchwork, solid fabric with applique, or whatever you can think of.

Share pictures with me if you decide to make your own!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sneak Peek

Here's a small peek of the Robert Kaufman Kona Challenge quilt that I made. I'll let you see the whole thing after my Madison Modern Quilt Guild meeting on Monday. Maybe it will even be quilted by then. I wouldn't hold your breath if I were you, though.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

So much gorgeous fabric laying around!

I've been playing with bolts of fabric all day - stacking them, arranging them, taking pictures of them. I'll be loading bundles and pre-cuts onto my website soon.

I'm busy editing all the pictures this evening & am just awestruck by how much beautiful fabric I have.




Sewing Sewing and more Sewing

I've been doing a lot of sewing lately. I've been making some custom items, finishing a quilt for a Madison Modern Quilt Guild challenge, and making various bags and small items in preparation for my trip to Quilt Market next week. Next week already! I've also been busy packing orders from my shop. Thank you all for the support!

That doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging, however. I have been taking lots of pictures along the way of things I'm sewing. I'll share some of those with you this week, I promise!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Little Wallets

I have been getting tons of compliments on my little card wallet that I have been using lately. It's so cute, useful, and super easy to make.

Next time, I will definitely not use a button. Buttonholes are just more work that they're worth. Plus, when I'm standing in line at the register putting my money away, it always takes a few extra seconds to button the button. And I feel guilty during those few seconds making the person behind me wait a little longer. The next ones are definitely getting snaps.

The hardest part about making these is choosing which fabrics to use. The pattern only calls for 2 different fabrics, but you can use up to 5 fabrics. I used 4 in mine. I had a terrible time deciding, so I made three wallets. They are so fast to make, and they would make great gifts.

These little beauties come from the "Little Wallet" pattern by Valori Wells. I've just added this pattern, plus a whole lot more in my store. Check them out at The Fabricologist. I'm still planning to get more in the near future. All of my patterns ship for free through the end of October! What other types of patterns would you like to see me carry? Let me know and I'll do some research.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thrifting Adventures

I've been hitting up some thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets lately, looking for anything sewing/ quilting related. I scored quite a few neat things that I'll probably be using as decorations in my quilt room.

I found these neat alphabet blocks. I had to search FOR-E-VER to find that L. I think it was the only L in the box of 300 blocks.

Some really neat needle books. I was planning to just put them in small frames.

But then the insides are very cool looking, to, so now I'm not sure what to do.

I found a variety of large wooden spools.

And tons of small spools.

A few buttons.

Lots and lots of embroidery hoops.

I certainly didn't want 503 embroidery hoops (I'm ball-parking here), but it was all or nothing. And at $3 for the whole lot, I couldn't pass them up. There are some pretty cool oval ones in there. I'm going to put pretty fabric in them for an easily changed wall art installation.

And finally, my most expensive purchase at a whopping $9!!!!

What is that you ask? Well, I'll tell you. It's a steam press, my friends. I have no idea what I'm going to do with a steam press or why I need one, but I've been wanting one for years. And when I got it for $9, I practically fainted. It does work beautifully.

Do you have any sewing related thrifing finds that you're particularly proud of?

Blogging is Hard!

Blogging is really hard, you guys!

I have so many ideas and things that I think I want to write about. But then I look around in the blogiverse and find 10 other bloggers that have written about the same thing in the past year.

How many different ways are there to write about cute zipper pouches, new fabrics out there, or a log cabin quilt? What's so insightful about my perspective that hasn't already been covered somewhere?

But maybe not everyone has seen those other blogs. Maybe it's perfectly acceptable that I had an idea similar to a few other people. Maybe I really can offer something of new value on a common topic.

I guess I just really need to stop worrying, stop trying to come up with something completely 100% never discussed before original, get over my analysis paralysis, and just go ahead and write.