Displaying and Storing your Fabric

This was originally posted at Craft Hackers on April 22, but I thought it important enough to share again with a few changes.

I posted my spring clean for #springcleanyourstudio last Wednesday.  The biggest question I received was “how do you display your fabric like that?”

After Bookcase

There are many ways you can choose to store your fabric:

  • Plastic storage totes or drawers
  • Collapsible Bins on storage shelving
  • Folded neatly on shelves
  • Boarded onto shelves

You need to take a few things into consideration when storing your fabric:

  • Will it be in direct sunlight?
  • Do I need to easily see what I have?
  • Do I organize by color, pattern, project, fabric line, or other method?

My space is in the basement out of direct sunlight and I need to quickly see every fabric I have.  So this led me to boarding it.  There are a few methods to boarding it.  You can do it yourself with comic boards, cardboard, etc.  You can also purchase specially designed boards meant to wrap your fabric like Fabric Organizers or Polar Notions.  I have tried all of these methods for boarding my fabric and like the Polar Notions the best.

The problems I had with all other methods of boarding was the sliding of fabric down from the board or the board itself folding under the weight of the fabric.  Polar Notions has solved both of those problems.  The boards are strong and sturdy, holding the weight of all of my fabric.  They also have metal clips that when you fold the end of the bolt in and clip it, solves the problem of slippage.  It also allows the bolts to be put into and removed from the bookcase with greater ease without all of the loose fabric getting in the way.

How do I organize my fabric on the shelves?  I separate the high quality from the low quality fabric and then color code it.  It is easy for me to find and grab exactly what I need when I need it.  How do you organize your fabrics?  Let me know!

Spring Clean Your Studio

I have been asked to kick off this years Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop.  So let’s start with my before pictures.

Before 2 Before 1

My studio space is the basement of my duplex home.  There are no windows and no problems with moisture.  This makes it ideal for me to put my fabric on bookcases so I can see exactly what I have and it is not exposed to sunlight.  Of course, it has been a few months since I gave it a good clean so projects and fabric have been piling up.  You may also notice the large space on the right hand side of the bottom picture.  I purchased a few cheap bookcases not realizing they would not be able to hold the weight of the fabric.  The one that was in that space completely collapsed.

Before Bookcase

 

The only reason this bookcase was still standing is because I duct taped it to the bookcases on either side.  So the first step to my spring cleaning was getting rid of this and reorganize all of my fabric.

After Bookcase

It didn’t bother me that the bookcase color didn’t match because I am the only one that is going to look at it.  Ikea was having a sale and the white ones were $30 less than every other color.

The next step was to clean and organize the rest of the room.

After 1

After 3 After 2

It is important to me to have a space that I can stand up and comfortably cut my fabric.

After 5

I love the make your own tables from Ikea.  The table top is 47 1/4″ by 23 5/8 inches.  Perfect for both cutting and piecing.  The legs are adjustable between 26 3/8″ and 42 1/8″.  I was able to adjust it to the perfect height for me to cut without any strain on my back or shoulders.

I don’t have a fancy sewing table yet (although I really want one).  I also do not have a long arm machine so it is important to have a large table space that will allow free motion quilting for large quilts without any of the quilt falling off the table.  I assembled the sewing table myself with pieces from Ikea.

After 4

The table top is two more of the same tops as the cutting table with drawers for additional storage space.  Eventually I will get a fancy table that will accommodate my quilting machine and my piecing machine so I don’t have to keep moving them around depending on what I am doing.  I have a comfortable adjusting chair so I have good posture when sewing.  This is also my office/ work space, so my computer is on a collapsible table for freedom of movement.

With this spring clean I tried to plan ahead so moved my rack from beside the bookcase to between the cutting table and TV.  This gives me more space for another book case if I need more room for fabric (which is a strong possibility, I am a fabric hoarder).  I also need to figure out where I will put a few goodies I picked up in Chicago including a portable design wall, an assortment of Superior Thread, DVDs, and patterns, so I still have more work to do!

I can’t wait to see what the other bloggers do with their studios.  I get inspiration from others and might make a few changes depending on what else we see.

April 21st – Sam Hunter – https://huntersdesignstudio.com/
April 22nd – Tracey Mooney – http://www.sewsupportive.com/
April 23rd – Pepper Cory – http://peppercory.blogspot.com/
April 24th – Lisa Chin – http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com/
April 25th – Andrea Davis – http://www.sewtofit.com/
April 26th – Misty Cole – http://www.mistycole.com/blog/
April 27th – Amalia Morusiewicz – http://funfromatoz.com/
April 28th – Jenelle Montilone – http://trashn2tees.blogspot.com/
April 29th – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Make sure you read each blog every day!  Every space is different and has it’s own challenges and benefits.

 

 

Quilt Festival Wrap Up

What a whirlwind of a week!! I caught up with old friends, met new ones, and probably had one of the best weeks ever.  I know Laura may have been getting sick of me saying “I am having so much fun”.  So let’s break it down!

First, I was able to get started on my ColorWorld inspired quilt like I planned.  What I didn’t plan for is having plans almost every day and every night, so I didn’t finish.  I have all of my strips finished so need to assemble them and add a border or two.  I plan on getting it finished when I spend 2 1/2 weeks at my parents at the end of the month.

I started out Thursday taking an amazing free motion quilting class which I talked about last Friday on Craft Hackers.  I then spent a few hours shopping, chatting, and meeting people.  I finally got to see Cheryl Sleboda’s fabric manipulation techniques in person!  I had to pick up her DVD and cutting tool to try some on my own.

Friday I spent looking at the gorgeous quilts that were on display.  There were a lot of really cool innovative quilts, traditional quilts, and even a display or traditional quilts with a modern twist.  I was so inspired looking at the quilts, I immediately went shopping!  I picked up so many new things, patterns, and fabrics.

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What isn’t pictured is a cool new portable design wall I also got!  I met the people at Superior Thread so picked up a sampling of the threads to use on my quilts.  I also finally picked up a project from CherryWood Fabrics that I am so excited to make!  The Generation Q magazines gave me so many ideas for quilts and designs I had to pick them up.

Friday night was the Iron Quilters challenge.  You may have seen the selfie I took with Laura and Sew Supportive blogger Tracy Mooney.

 

It was so much fun!  Watching 3 teams battle it out making a quilt in 2 hours was such a learning experience.  Of course we had to enjoy it while drinking some wine.  (Which may explain the wine glass in the photo (upper left) of what I got at the quilt show).  We were cheering for Catherine Redford’s team and they won!

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Saturday morning I took a class on fabric covered buttons.  It was so educational.  I didn’t just learn how to make fabric covered buttons, but also how to paint and distress fabric to make it look different and cool.  The rest of Saturday I spent saying goodbye to all of the amazing people I met and friends I won’t see for awhile.

I was supposed to leave first thing Sunday morning, but you may have seen this selfie.

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I posted it on the Quilter’s Quest Facebook page for a contest they were running.  The selfie (with a Bernina ambassador) that got the most likes won a $250 gift card!  The gift card would really help stock up after the theft in October.  You didn’t disappoint!  My fans and friends really came through and I won!  So instead of leaving Sunday morning I took a trip to Quilter’s Quest in Woodridge, Il.  I couldn’t just spend the $250 gift card.  I HAD to stock up on Tardis Batiks, border fabric for the ColorWorld quilt, and some new projects I have been wanting to do for a long time.  I even picked up a cool kit!

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So I have a LOT to talk about over the next few months.  I plan on talking about some of the cool things I picked up as well as what I plan on doing with all of that fabric.  I am so inspired and motivated I cant wait to quilt when I wake up in the morning.  This convention is exactly what I needed to get me going again.  I can’t wait until I can go to the next one!

 

 

 

International Quilt Festival

I am super excited to be able to stay in Chicago another week so I can attend the Chicago International Quilt Festival.  I am going to take some classes, meet new people, and of course stock up on some fantastic fabrics and patterns.  I am super excited!!

In the mean time I needed something easy and simple to work on while I am here.  I decided to finally start working on a quilt I have been meaning to make for a few years, a simple Bargello quilt inspired by Rachel E Kelly’s ColorWorld books.  It has been over 2 years since I made any quilts that weren’t for a convention or a commission so figured it was time to do something new.  Working from The Quilt in a Day Quick Trip Quilts (which is a super easy method to make a Bargello) and a pack of Batik Fat Quarters I got started.

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I am about half way through the quilt and hope I can get it finished so I can pick out a great border fabric from the quilt show.  Now to head to Rosemont to sign up for classes!

St Louis

I’m by myself this weekend in St Louis!  (I will have Laura and Doug helping me out).

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It is an amazing line up of guests, panels, and fun!  Speaking of panels, I will be hosting a Business for Geeks Panel featuring James Young and Alexa Heart.

Business for Geeks 101: A Q&A
Do you own or want to own a business doing what you love?  Are you a crafter, artist, or entrepreneur and have questions on how to start or grow a business?  Join our panel of small business owners for a Q & A session to answer those questions.  Presented by Craft Hackers.

DAY: Friday, 4/1

TIME: 5:00-5:45p

ROOM: 132

You can find me at booth E26 in the Crafter’s section of Artist Alley:

StLouis

Swing by and say hi!

C2E2 Wrap Up

Oh Con Plague.  I have gotten lucky the last few conventions and avoided being sick.  I guess my luck run out this time because as soon as I got home I started feeling it.  This means it will be a long time before I get it again right?

C2E2 was amazing.  I love Chicago, the fans in the area, and the amazing people in my industry that I see at the show.  I’m really happy with how the new set up turned out.

C2E2-2

I got to see Cheryl Sleboda again (if you haven’t seen her Quilting Ats TV segments, you really need to) and catch up.

C2E2-1

I also took a look at the new Bernina machines that were amazing.  The best part was seeing simplicity at the show!

C2E2-3

I finished off the weekend by dragging my good friend Carol (from LA Mood here in London) to one of the best quilt shops I have seen.

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It was a very busy and fun weekend.  No wonder I got sick!  Now to get ready for St Louis in one week!

C2E2

This weekend is C2E2 in Chicago.  Craftigurumi, and Special Edition Soaps are joining me for our second year together!  Luckily, we are in the exact same spot as last year at booth 1357.

C2E2-2016

Our booth set up will be even better than last year!

Keep an eye on the Quiltoni Facebook page for pictures of this years booth.

We are super excited to see Chicago again after the warm welcome we received last year.  There are so many cool things that happen at C2E2 and we have such an awesome time.  I am super excited that Twill Distilled will be joining us at our booth!  She is only there to help us out and won’t have any music for sale, but she will be more than happy to sign autographs!

So stop by 1357 and say hi!

Indiegogo Progress

I am busy with fulfilling everything from the Indiegogo campaign.  I have spoken to everyone who has commissioned a quilt and most of everyone else.  If you have not seen the email from me and you pledged $20 or more, please check your email and spam.  If you do not have an email from me please let me know!

The first step to fulfilling the dice bags and pillows is to take stock of my current dice bags.  I have an inventory set up for the pillows, but I never got around to the dice bags.  That is now done!  I have not only set up an inventory, but I have them organized and grouped so I can find them a lot easier.

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The next step will be to start pulling the dice bags based on the preference of the person receiving them, package them up and send them out!  Random pillows will be next and then I can start working on the custom (double sided) dice bags and pillows.

The first quilt I am making is going to be amazing.  It will be the family that commissioned it turned into a family of doctors from Dr Who.  They are being chased by Daleks and heading for the Tardis.  The final pattern was approved yesterday and I am ordering fabric for it today.  I can’t wait to get started on it!!  I may start on the second commission quilt this weekend.  It is just a lap sized version of my Tardis so I have all of the fabric already.

I have purposely not scheduled any convention after Wizard World St Louis until Wizard World Philadelphia in June.  This will give me almost 2 months to just focus on the custom dice bags, pillows, and commissioned quilts.  My goal is to have all of the dice bags and pillows finished before June and have a good start on the quilt commissions.

Now back to work!

Commissions: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1V06mNLONt-dX2c2HT71hFS7NhOh7zIg93w27b2n4Tx4/edit?usp=sharing

Great Indiegogo Campaign

Thank you to everyone for helping me raise $6027!!

After paying all of the Indiegogo Fees (13% goes to a combination of different fees) I am taking home $5,243.  It will definitely help with a lot of costs I have incurred because of the theft.  Although, It isn’t enough to keep going at the same level that I have been going for the past two years.  I am not giving up and not folding my business, but I need to make some changes.

I haven’t decided about all of the changes I am making yet.  They will involve which conventions I will be doing in the future, which products I decide to bring to conventions, and what I spend my money on.  There were quite a few conventions I went to and took a chance on because I had a lot of fun and wanted the new experience of the city.  I can’t do that anymore.  But nothing has been decided yet!  When I do make those decisions everyone that reads my blog will be the first ones to know.

On to happier things!  I can’t wait to make some of these quilts.  Nicole is helping me out by doing a lot of the designs.  She is an amazing artist and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.  Here is the spreadsheet with the commissions I took through the campaign.  I will not be taking any new commissions until all of these are finished.  They are my first priority

I have contacted everyone except for the custom dice bags and custom pillow people.  I will make sure that everyone gets contacted by the end of the week and will send an update through Indiegogo when that happens.

Now off to work on contacting everyone and getting the Indiegogo stuff done!

4 days Left!

I am so lucky and blessed to have amazing friends and fans.  This past weekend was Magfest and we had such a great time.

A lot of people came up and asked how the campaign was going, how I was doing, and how upset they were when they heard about the theft.  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I even did an interview with Michael Mackert and Greentpyro Productions.  It was a lot of fun and awesome meeting them.  (For those that weren’t at Magfest, insurance hasn’t paid anything and nothing has been recovered.  I am not holding out hope that anything will found).

There are now 4 days left in the campaign.  So we are down to the wire.  I have figured out how to make my dice bags reversible.  So this means the custom dice bags and custom pillows can now feature 2 fabrics!  You can reverse the dice bag or turn the pillow over when you are in the mood for something different.

One of the lap quilt commissions is also something I am excited about, artwork printed onto the fabric.  I now have the capability to print your own artwork onto fabric and turn it into a quilt.  I can also print artwork created by others (with the artists permission) as well as photos.  This opens up a whole new line of quilts I am able to do!

Don’t forget I have rewards for meeting goals!  We are soooooo close to the first one!

So if the campaign reaches $5,000 everyone who has pledged $60 or more will receive a free random dice bag!  For those that have commissioned quilts, I will make it a custom one for free!

So get those pledges in at http://igg.me/at/quiltoni/x/10399411, there is only 4 days to go!!