Two Steps Forward…

Fabric Pull : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve spent the week in a bit of a holding pattern. I have both gift quilt tops finished and have been waiting for my kids to embroider some labels for them. Only to realize I had no batting. I spent early this week on quilt backs and catching up on some other sewing commitments. Yesterday, I decided to work a bit on a quilt that I planned out just before Sewtopia.

I cut many, many tiny squares. I just love this palette, mainly inspired by Carolyn Friedlander’s fabric lines. The more I work with Carolyn’s fabrics, the more I am convinced she is a quiet design genius. The small scale and color of her prints…they just inspire me lately. There’s some Cotton + Steel basics and a few others from my stash mixed in there as well, coordinating nicely.

Fabric Pull : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So I have this block planned out (which I’ll share later), and I thought I knew how I was going to assemble it. Well, you know the old saying “two steps forward, one step back” right?

While I was mindlessly stitching away, I glanced at my sample and realized there was a better (and easier!) way to accomplish it. Sometimes I just break things down to such a small level that I fail to stand back and look at the bigger picture. I stopped everything, made a new test block, and realized that yes, this was the new and better way to go. It’s a bit discouraging to know that I wasted all my time so far. I called it a day and let myself mope, but today I’m going to go back into the sewing room and start fresh.

Oh – and I now have one kiddie quilt label finished and batting ready, so I will also be basting and maybe wrapping up a quilt today. Wish me luck!

Stitching Quadrants and Monthly Sparks

Poinsettia Quilt Quadrants : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I think I overestimated the amount of work I would be getting done last week. It’s amazing how getting ready for a holiday and having the kids home can really take up all my sewing time. It was nice to relax though! All I managed to accomplish on my Poinsettia quilt was remove the paper from the foundation paper pieced components.

Poinsettia Quilt Quadrants : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things at the sewing machine and iron though. Chain piecing through the smaller components and stitching them together to form the corner block quadrants. If you look at the section of the quilt that was completed a couple of years ago, you’ll notice that although it is scrappy, I did follow certain “rules” with my fabric placement. Each quadrant is composed of two fabrics from the same color family. I’m working my way through color piles and making those corners now.

Poinsettia Quilt Quadrants : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Yellow and blue down, pink-purple-orange-red-and-green to go!

Scraps, Inc : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Just before Thanksgiving, I received a package with my Scraps, Inc contributor book copies. I know I already blogged about it, but it is such a beautiful book. It looks quite pretty with my latest fabric pull too. :)

Monthly Sparks and Fabric Spark : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Today I also wanted to share with you a new fabric subscription club over at one of my sponsors, Fabric Spark. Monthly Sparks is a monthly fabric subscription program beginning in January 2015. Each month you receive 12 fat quarters of fabric, curated by one of the six bloggers you see above (including me!). It’s definitely a fun way to add a unique mix to your fabric stash each month. Also, not a bad gift idea for the holidays – hint hint!

Ok, back to sewing these quadrants together – wish me luck as I keep chugging along!

Instagram Destash

How to: Instagram Fabric Destash ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Over the last few months, I’ve started to feel a bit suffocated by the amount of fabric I’ve accumulated. I love it all, and it’s awesome to have options on hand when I’m working on a projects, but let’s be honest – there is no way I am going to use all the fabric in my sewing room. On Monday I decided to lighten my load a bit and send some fabric to new homes.

In some cases, the decisions were hard. I love so many of these prints.

How to: Instagram Fabric Destash ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I thought I would share a bit about how I ran my destash in case anyone was interested in doing the same. I got a lot of great tips from my friend Katie. (Hi Katie!)

I decided to run my destash on Instagram. Instagram is a App on smartphones where you can take pictures and share them with others. There is a huge quilting community there, it’s a lot of fun!

First, I spent some time going through all my fabric. I store my fabric in tubs (you can see a picture on my FAQ page). I sorted through one color at a time and pulled anything I thought I could destash. My criteria were:

1. Fabric I had already used in several projects (I was ready to move on).
or
2. Fabric that was same shade of color as several other fabrics I planned on keeping.
or
3. Fabric that had been in my stash for 1+ years and I had never used.

Once I had pulled everything, I made bundles. Some were sets of matching designs (Sketch or Mono Pez for example). Others were based on color. And a few were based on type of fabric, like linen. I tried to size the stacks to fit in a USPS Flat Rate Envelope. I ended up with over 40(!!) stacks.

How to: Instagram Fabric Destash ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I went through and weighed all my stacks with a postal scale. I placed a notecard on top of each stack with a unique stack number, the weight, the approximate yardage based on weight (I used 6 ounces per yard), and a price that I thought was fair (and most importantly, would sell).

Then I took a photo of each stack and posted the information on Instagram. I included the hashtag #thegreatfabricdestash on each post. The first person to leave a comment with their email address (or “ME!”) got the stack.

How to: Instagram Fabric Destash ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Katie suggested I make a spreadsheet to track everything and that was the best advice. I opened Excel and had a column for: Stack Number, Price, Description, Winner Email, Winner Instagram Id, Invoice Number, Paid Flag, and Shipped Flag. This made it so much easier to track 40+ sales and packages.

Once the sale was over, I used PayPal’s invoicing tool to send invoices to all my winners. It’s very easy to use, just keep in mind you do have to pay PayPal fees. I also used PayPal to print shipping labels. I shipped everything USPS Priority Mail.

I’m not going to lie. It was tough. (Mentally and physically – this process took me an entire day). But it was also surprisingly therapeutic and freeing. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. And don’t worry, I still have a ton of fabric. But less than I did a week ago.

Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou

Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s been a whirlwind around here over the last several days. I spent the end of last week in Rockford, Illinois, visiting with the lovely Sinnissippi Quilters Guild. What a great group, I’m so happy to have had the chance to talk with them about modern quilting, modern traditionalism and improvisational piecing. I arrived home to a package of this beautiful fabric – Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I met Jennifer last fall at Quilt Market. (This is by far the best part of having the opportunity to travel to market – meeting SO many new people!) Jennifer had some little sample packs of her newest line and asked if I was interested in designing something with it for her blog hop. Working with metallics is something very new to me, so I jumped at the chance. I can’t wait to start cutting and share my design with you all.

Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This afternoon I’m heading to my daughter’s first grade class to talk quilts! I’m pretty excited to share why we make quilts, how we make quilts and then let them create their own quilt block design with fabric scraps, paper and a glue stick. Wish me luck!