Flea Market Fancy

So, remember this conversation about Supply and Demand from last month?

Well, I have a confession… I did give in and bought some. I hand-picked the pieces in the collection I really liked (and never had any of from the original release) and ordered yardage from the lovely Corrie, of Quilt Taffy. Fair price, and she accommodated my request with lightening speed!

It did surprise me, I have to say, how quickly this reprinted Legacy collection sold out on many sites. But, then we quilters all know about the frenzy Flea Market Fancy brought about the first time around. Still curious to watch the market and see what happens with other designer fabric releases and reprints.

Did you buy any? Some of each, or just a few pieces…?


Simple Home–Book Review

Sweetwater’s Simple Home is one of the two books I picked up last weekend at Quilts and Other Notions in Creston, Iowa.  Released in September 2011, it features 35 simple and practical sewing and quilting projects by Sweetwater Design; a mother daughter team, fabric and pattern designers for Moda, and all around creative powerhouse.

The layout and images are lovely, but my favorite feature of this book is that projects are grouped by different living areas of the home.  Also included in the book are simple techniques and tips for decorating with appliqué, stenciling, stamping, and embroidery.  I’m excited to try many of the ideas in this book, besides just gawking at it because it’s so pretty to look at. 

As a matter of fact, I already made one of the projects, a clothespin bag for my sister-in-law:

I pulled some fabric from the stash, a scrap of matching ric-rac, a wooden hanger from our coat closet and got to work…

The pattern calls for two fabrics, I added a third contrasting fabric for the inside of the bag.  I used a piece from the Farmer’s Market collection by Sandi Henderson (the apple fabric), Sweet Pea by Jackie Shapiro (the green floral) and Farmyard by Sentimental Studios (the gardening print).  Three different designers, three different manufacturers, and they coordinate perfectly.  That is “stash sewing” at it’s best, readers!

The photo above shows the components of the bag “inside-out”, how they are sewn together  to complete the bag.  The instructions in the book are clear and well written, I would prefer a few more diagrams/illustrations myself, but that’s because I’m lazy about reading instructions and would prefer to “read” pictures instead.  I think the entire project took about an hour and a half, start to finish.  Here is the finished product, front and back:

Makes me wish I had a clothesline myself.

Creative Clips-Leap Week

Last weekend I attended a quilt retreat, approximately 80 miles from home.  I went Friday and stayed until noon on Saturday, and I only accomplished one thing: cutting out the rest of the pieces for my Candied Hexagons quilt:

and those pieces look like such a small pile, but it isn’t small at all.  There are at least 18 half blocks, and 30 full hexagon blocks represented in that photo.  Lots of tedious cutting, using Mari Michell Templates (set H) and a Clover 28mm Rotary Cutter.  I spent much of my Grubers retreat weekend last July cutting pieces for this quilt, too.  It’s probably best I didn’t keep track of the hours (cutting or hand-piecing), it is by far my most time consuming quilt to date.

I brought this home, along with a borrowed Go! Cutter, to make another, far less time consuming hexagon quilt!

I bought a few end-of-the-bolt goodies at the shop that hosted the retreat, and she had a buy one-get one free book sale, so….  

You can probably tell by my photos here that I have yet to read that top book (HA!), and I’ve already made a project from the bottom book (blog post coming tomorrow!!).  Both of these had been on my Amazon wishlist for a while, so I couldn’t resist the BOGO special.

What else have I been doing this week?  Getting to know my new acquaintance…

I think we’re going to be great friends.

Supply vs. Demand

I remember trying to explain to my husband (then boyfriend) in 2010 why I had purchased the end of three bolts of fabric I happened to stumble across, just to turn around and sell it.  I told him, if I wanted to, I could probably get $40/yard for it.  I was paying $6/yard, it was found on the sale shelves at the back of the store.  It was Flea Market Fancy (FMF), the original.  He was astounded–“you mean, there is collectible fabric?!?”  Well, yeah, kind of.

I never bought any of the original FMF, when it was new and full price.  I never laid eyes on it until it was essentially sold out and “in demand” as an out-of-print, hard-to-find fabric.  I did have an original FQ bundle of Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries, but it got used up on a project(s) I wasn’t quite thrilled with and basically went to waste.  (Forgive me…)  I’ve seen fabric from both of these lines go for over $50/yard.  I did sell my bargain FMF fabric at a profit, but not that kind of profit. 

Do you plan to buy some of the Flea Market Fancy Legacy collection?  I haven’t decided.  The new colors seem very different from the originals, which was the primary quality of the original fabric that drew me, personally, in.  The original (photo courtesy of dsquilts.com):

The new (photo courtesy of Red Pepper Quilts):

The soft aqua blue seems to have more green in it, the grey is certainly a nice additon, but the greens are not the bright, unique greens of the original.  I understand, it’s a re-release, and it’s an updated version.  I get that.  Just not sure I’m as crazy about this one as I was the original.
Do you think the re-releasing of some of these lines of fabric (FMF Legacy Collection, the Mono-Pez prints by Moda, etc.) is going to pop-the-bubble, so to speak, in the high cost of OOT/HTF fabrics that we’ve witnessed over the last two or three years?  Or, because of the internet, blogs, flickr, etc., there will always be certain fabrics in high demand and short supply? 

p.s. for those of you annoyed by Blogger’s word verification for comments (I know, I find it ridiculous as well) I tried going 48 hours without word verification, the spam comments and moderating comments drove me mad–so word verification is back.  I’d love for you to leave comments anyway–painful as it may be.

Stash Management

Last week’s post led to some great conversation in the comments… the consensus seems to be I’m not the only one who thinks a second or third time before making that fabric purchase now that prices have jumped.

So, next topic: after you acquire it…  how do you organize your stash?  I used to organize mine roughly by color, but always kept dots and stripes separate, and novelties were separate.  I also kept certain designers separate (Amy Butler, Heather Ross, etc…not sure why, I just did)  Yardage and pieces of fabric were all over the place… it really wasn’t working for me anymore.

So, I pulled all of my fabric out of every shoebox, cupboard, wire basket, plastic tub, project bag, and every other hiding place I found (I don’t really hide it from anyone, just sometimes stuff it away to get it out of the way!).  And I started refolding it and sorting it by color…

The living room floor looked like this for quite a few days as I folded, sorted and started to put away.  Anything that wasn’t a quilting cotton (I sew clothing, too) or was truly a vintage piece, went into a separate tub in my studio closet.  The batiks I have also fill a tub, so those were tucked away in the closet, too.  Flannels and fleeces are all together in a storage bag under the guest bed (in my studio).  Everything left was a quilting cotton…

Solids kept separate from the prints seemed to be the right choice for now.

They filled a wire basket by themselves:

I always thought the FQs I kept on the shelf unit above my cutting table were the extent of the FQs in my stash.  Good heavens, was I ever wrong.  I found all of these FQs (mixed in with bigger pieces, most were unfolded so not immediately recognizable as a fat quarter):

That’s nearly 150 FQs there (which nearly doubles the number of FQs I thought I had)!!  They ended up organized by color as well (with some still displayed on the shelf over the cutting table):

So, do you want to see my neatly organized baskets of color?  The WHITES and GREYS


the REDS

The ORANGES the YELLOWS and the PINKS (and the very few purples I have)

the GREENS (I do love green!!!)….

lots of BLUES and AQUAS


The baskets/drawers go into this metal storage system (Antonius by Ikea), and even though my photo is terrible, it looks so much better that it did before when the baskets were crammed too full, nothing was folded nicely, and my system of sorting had gone out the window months ago (Sorry, I didn’t think to take a “before” pic!).

Everything in the baskets are 2 yard or smaller cuts.  My bigger pieces of yardage are folded uniformly and neatly stacked on a shelf in the closet.  I think I will like being able to see “at a glance” if I have anything in my stash for a quilt back or larger project:

So, there you have it, my stash of fabric and how it is now stored.  So inquiring minds want to know:

  • Do you organize your stash, or is your’s all piled togerther in a box(es) or tub(s) with little to no organization?  
  • Are you one of those “in color order” people like myself, who finds it far more useful and accessible if it’s uber-organized?  
  • Would you rather organize by designer, by style/genre (florals together, 30s together, stripes together, dots together…) 

I really want to know–I’m genuinely curious!

Unconscious Foresight

I shared this on Twitter and Facebook last night:
“Now that quilting fabric is over $11/yard, I’m grateful I had the foresight to stock up”
I was being cheeky, of course, but there is definitely some truth to it.  Maybe stashing/acquiring/hoarding fabric was not really a conscious endeavor… but in hindsight, I’m thankful to I have a good sized stash of fabric to work with. 
You see, once the retail price of quilting cotton went over $9.99, I became very aware of the reaction my psyche had to seeing the $10+ price tag.  And I have to say, it prevented a lot of purchases that would have otherwise been impulse buys.  And, now that the Fall 2011 fabrics have all been hitting the stores at near, or over, $11/yard I’m only buying what I have an actual immediate project in mind for or need for.  This is incredibly rare for me when it comes to my fabric obsession.  
I’ve been reorganizing my stash, hence the Instagram photo in the first place, and as I was folding and refolding and sorting fabric, thoughts swirled in my head about how my purchasing habits have changed and evolved over the past five or so years.
I’m curious how you see it…
Have the higher prices of quilting cotton in the U.S. slowed your buying any?
Are you buying just as much as you did two years ago?  
Are you buying more because the variety of prints and collections on the market are greater and more varied every season?
Do you close your eyes and ignore the price when you find a print you adore?
Do you buy the fabric anyway because you want to support the fabric dealer (LQS or website dealer)?