Getting back to retirement, my scrappy diamond quilt pattern

After being retired for about 15 months, I took a job. It was just a temporary job, just going to last a month. Three months later, I’m finally retired again, until July for a month. So today I slept in, til 7 a.m. Took the dog for a walk at 8 a.m. and worked on my tan at the same time (I live in AZ so walking early can get you a tan but not a burn). I bought a bunch of graphics from two sites since I’ve gotten into vinyl and sublimation, ran errands, finally sent a baby present to my niece, and got back in time for my granddaughter to take my car so she could go to work.

So this afternoon I got into the groove. Finished and trimmed down 48 blocks for my scrappy diamond quilt. I’m now just about out of 1.5 inch strips, hooray!

Tomorrow, sublimation!

Instructions (for confident quilters and up):

  1. Cut a bunch of 6.5 inch squares. I use white, but have also used black. You want to have contrast between the squares and the strips.
  2. Mark your squares with two diagonal lines, one down the center, and one 2 inches from the center.
  3. Cut a gazillion 1.5 inch strips. You don’t have to make this a genuine “charm” quilt, but having lots of variety is good. Hint: make this with friends and exchange strips for greater variety.
  4. Using the “flip and sew” method, align the first strip along the edge of the center diagonal and stitch using a 1/4 inch seam. If your center diagonal line goes from lower left to upper right, you want to put the strip to the right of the line. For the second shorter diagonal line, you line the strip to the left of the line. Confused? The end result is that when you flip the seams over and press them away from each other, there will be about 2 inches of background fabric between the strips.
  5. Continue sewing strips and flipping them. Each block will have 8 strips; 5 on the larger side and 3 on the smaller side.
  6. Once the blocks are done, you will trim them down to 6.5×6.5 inches.
  7. Remember, this is a totally scrappy quilt and your strips will not totally match. Don’t be concerned, this is normal.
  8. Arrange the blocks so that the larger blocks match. As you put together your rows, you will see that you have alternating  rows of larger diamonds and smaller diamonds. Stitch them together. This is where the magic begins.
  9. Add your sashing if desired.
  10. Borders using a fantastic batik will make the quilt pop.
  11. 36 blocks will be 36×36 inches before sashing and borders. 48 blocks (6×8) will be 36×48 before sashing and borders.
  12. Quilt as desired. (Don’t you just love this phrase?)
  13. Enjoy!

Moving the business forward, one widget at a time

I’d like to thank Cheryl and my husband for tonight’s post. First to Cheryl for her suggestion to use widgets so that I could link my Etsy shop, and then to my husband for setting it up.

Thanks!

Multi-Tasking

Hello everyone,

I picked up my commercial embroidery machine from the shop yesterday. My plan had been to move it into the second bedroom where the long-arm is, but since one can’t enter that room without tripping over fabric, it went back into the first bedroom. After much frustration with the tension on the first needle, I was finally able to set it buzzing. I did a design from anita-goodesign.com, an appliqued frog. Since I feel I also have to multi-task, I also tried two designs on my Bernina. The first one was ruined b/c the needle got loose, and on the second one, I ran out of bobbin thread. Normally that isn’t a big deal, but since I was doing a two-sided design-multi colored on both sides, it didn’t quite work. Using a cute monkey design from bunnycupembroidery.com, I changed from the original light bobbin thread to brown for the monkey body, and its face is white and brown, like it’s been wearing sunscreen 50 on the lower part of his face. Oh well, another one for the trash.

Cheryl had asked if I did any quilt labels, and I had replied that I would try this weekend. However, why only do two things at the same time if you can do three? So while the machines were running, I was one the computer creating quilt labels. I got four completed, in various shapes and sizes. They look good on the computer, hopefully they’ll look even better once they’re stitched out. I’ll post pictures so you can take a look.

Waiting for my husband to finish packing so we can head out to Vegas. Wish me luck!

p.s. In the spirit of multi-tasking, I’m also doing a showcase on Etsy under the quilting category on Sunday.

Talk to you soon,

Janice

Planning your work and working your plan

Today’s suggested topic is “What I’m looking forward to.”

What I’m excited about is that by focusing and doing something to grow my business every day is working.

Last night I posted a bib on Etsy and it sold today to a shopper who lives in Washington.  Another Etsy seller added me to one of her Treasury lists. I’m not quite sure how that works, but it means that they found me among all the 170,000 shops. If they can find me, then other people can too. So I listed another item,  packed my sold item, and will mail it tomorrow. I’ve also purchased a Showcase on Sunday in the Quilt section of Etsy which highlights up to ten quilts that I have.

I also met a fellow blogger, who until two years ago, lived in the town next to me. She now lives in Canada, but what a small world!

I also selected my next quilt project, decided which quilt to put on the long-arm, and what backing I’m going to use.

So keep plugging along and don’t get discouraged. Great things are bound to happen.

Talk to you soon,

Janice

One hour to live- Jan 11 daily post topic of the day

This is an interesting thought.. I’ve been using a version of this- “What can I do today to build my  business”- in trying to spend time effectively. Whether it’s finishing a quilt, pinning a quilt to the long-arm, or embroidering just one bib, I want to feel that I’ve done something productive that can be measured each day, not just spend hours going through e-mail or looking at designs or patterns without being able to come to a decision about what to work on.

For example, today I open my e-mail to see if there’s a message from Etsy informing me that I’ve sold something. My eyes pop as I see that I can over 300 unread messages-most related to yesterday’s daily post of “getting a buddy”! If any of you know the best way to manage this, i.e. see only those comments who actually replied to my post, please let me know. I’m sure that there’s a box I checked or left unchecked that resulted in all this e-mail.

So to stay focused, I’m going to…

1. Go to the Etsy site to check for sales rather than my e-mail inbox.

2. Set a goal of a daily post, only that I want to post something daily on Etsy, and if time allows, to also post it on shophandmade.com.

3. Do at least one stitchout a day, even if it’s only a bib, until I get my 6 needle embroidery machine back from the shop.

4. Load and quilt at least one quilt a week.

5. Decide on the next quilt pattern, and assign days to cut and piece.

6. Create a word saying in my Generations embroidery software, or at least write it down. Not that creating the words in the software takes much time, it’s all the time spent in “what if I did this, or that”.

Wow-I have got a lot to do, and only an hour before hitting the sack. Off to Esty…Wish me luck!

Janice

KristaB Designs

Blogging or stitching?

Since I last wrote, I have made some progress, but not intentionally! I had bought some more designs, this time from Digistitches.com, and stitched out a test copy. Here’s where I almost pulled my hair out.

This was a very cute design, the letter “M”, lots of retro dots around the “M”, and then “mike” spelled out in small letters. The plan was to stitch it out on a beer kozie for my honey. However, the tension on the machine was terrible and the red thread kept breaking. Of course, for the last five projects, there had never been a problem with the red thread.

So, I decided on Saturday I would take the commercial embroidery machine to the dealership to get fixed. That led to my having to clear a pathway to get the machine to, and through, the bedroom door. I just pushed stuff out of the way to move the machine, and finally finished cleaning the sewing room by 5pm Sunday. I had forgotten how big the room was!

Of course, a lot of stuff, including 3 huge bags of quilting scraps are in the 2nd sewing room where I have my long arm quilting machine, but hey, progress is progress! AND…I have not bought any fabric for five days! If you’re addicted to fabric, like I am, you know what an accomplishment this is.

I also finished a quilt, took photos of it for kristabdesigns.etsy.com, listed several items, and stitched out a bib. My goals this week are to participate in the Postaweek2011 challenge at WordPress, finish more stuff, and maybe start on the second bedroom. But I won’t hold my breath!

See you soon!

Mama always said…

One of my mother’s favorite sayings is  “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without!”

She goes as far as saying that this has been our family’s motto for generations.

Be that as it may, I’m going to take it to heart for the coming year and try to:

1. Use up my existing fabric stash and stitch out the thousands of embroidery designs I’ve bought over the past few years. (I’m not kidding about “thousands”)

2. Doing that will certainly wear out both of my current machines, a Bernina 630 embroidery machine and a Brother PR620 embroidery singe head six needle machine. (I’ll be reduced to using my Pfaff 7570 and my Singer from 1969.)

3. Doing the stitching on all the blank totes and apparel I’ve bought over the past year will hopefully use up my inventory and give me something that will sell at the metro Phoenix area craft shows.

4. Do without any major new fabric this year. Of course, this does not include backing fabric!

So, join me on my journey through my stash. I’ll be sharing pics of projects, quilt tops, stitched out embroidery designs, providing ideas for making use of your stash, and how to use a variety of embellishments to give your apparel that special flair.

Welcome, and come again!