Scrap Busting Solutions #3 – Choosing a pattern

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Once you’ve sorted your scrap stash, it’s time to choose what pattern you’ll stitch it into.

There are a few things to look out for when deciding on what you want to sew, the first and most important is what size are your scraps?

Because the whole point of doing this is to not need to go out and buy more fabric. That won’t help the situation that we’re trying to fix here.

So the aim is look for patterns that use pieces that are the same size or smaller than what is in your stash – remember how we spoke about sorting into size as an option for how to divvy up the scraps – then you can work out what scarps to use and what to save for the next quilt (because there will be one).

I like to peruse Pinterest for ideas for scrap quilts because there are so many options. Pinterest is a great way to utilise the resources of the internet BUT be very careful about infringing on someone else’s intellectual property, copyright and trademarking. When you start looking for ideas make sure you follow it all the way back to the original source/designer/quilter and if you really love what they do there are a few options –

1. Buy the pattern from them (if there is one).

2. Contact them and ask for permission to use their design, explain what you are doing and what the end use will be; personal quilt, quilt for sale, charity donation etc. Then make sure that what you are doing is okay with them. I always like to get this in writing.

I will speak in more detail about copyright, trademarking and intellectual property at a later date, but basically when in doubt about a pattern or design ask and if you can’t find the original designer don’t use it.

Often with scrap quilts you will see that the scraps are used with a solid fabric in a neutral colour (white, cream, grey, black etc). This is a great way to showcase your scraps and downplay the busy-ness that comes with lots of fabrics that may not necessarily match or come from the same sorts of fabric ranges.

Here are some quilts that I like, that I found via Pinterest, that you could make using scraps (this doesn’t mean that they were designed this way) –

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/246994360786475452/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/256564509996618993/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/172192385724753266/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/34691859602370021/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/30751209925435163/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/128915608058993940/

If you prefer hand-sewing you can use your scraps to do some English Paper Piecing – hexagons, apple cores, clam shells etc.

Just back to the copyright for a moment –

If you choose to use one of my designs:

1. All of the quilt designs belong to me. I am happy for you to use them (the designs, not the photos) if you ask permission or purchase the pattern from me. Please send me an email: frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com. You need to ask in writing so we are both covered for any potential issues. If you will be selling items made from my patterns I ask that you give credit to me in the form of FB link, email address, shop name etc – whether it’s noted down on the quilts label or the sign used to sell the quilt and on any info supplied to the person/s who purchase the quilt.

2. The patterns that you purchase from me (in hardcopy or PDF format) are for personal use. I ask that you do not use them as teaching aids (unless all students in the class purchase the patterns – happy to do group discount), I ask that you do not photocopy/email and share my work.

If you have any questions about scrap quilts or anything in this blog post please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

Marni x

 

 

Scrap Solutions #2 – Sorting

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During the month of October I will be talking a lot about scrap quilts and UFOs.

I’m a person who likes to get things done BUT because my brain likes to bounce around from idea to idea I do have a box of UFOs that are in various stages of completion and there is more than a few tubs of scraps that I have trouble dealing with.

My aim is to help us all solve some of the scrap fabric problem and to motivate some UFO sewing along the way.

So if you saw my post from a few days ago (read it here) you’ll know where I’m at for one of my stash busting options… That post talks about future scraps…

This post and this coming will be mainly about past scraps – all those scraps currently hiding in tubs and cupboards all around your craft room.

So to get you started here are a few of my suggestions to get you started. I’ll be doing the same so we’ll all be playing along together.

1. Pull out ALL the scraps:

This will help you see everything that you have and give you an idea about just exactly you need to do. Call a friend if you need help, put the kettle on and get sorting. This whole process can be overwhelming so you need to pick your time to sort (or have a friend who won’t take no for an answer) otherwise you will end up with a job half done and getting nowhere fast.

Take your time and plan it. If you think that sorting the whole pile in one hit is too much, try attacking smaller piles to begin with but jump ahead to steps 2 and 3 to make sure as you sort that everything stays sorted.

2. Decide how you want to sort the scraps:

I tend to sort by colour, but I also sort into collections of things (especially if I have an idea when I’m sorting), sort by what suits you. Other options could be theme (novelty, floral etc) or try styles, like country, christmas, pastels, brights etc. Or if you are feeling a tad more adventurous and want to sort them down to the underlying tones in the fabrics try sorting by tonal value or by colour family. You could also sort by size – squares bigger than 4in, smaller than, strips, fat quarters etc.

3. Make sure you have ziplock bags or tubs to pop your newly assorted selections into.

4. Label if you want to – I don’t but I know others who do (check out Dawn’s Colour Labels here) – and stack your tubs or bags in their new home.

Now that you have them sorted you need to find the scrap quilt that you are going to make!

Next we’ll talk about how to select patterns for scraps and UFOs.

Marni x

Scrap busting solutions!

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If you are anything like me you have scraps tucked into every storage box, bag and tub in your craft room (or tucked away from hubby in secret cupboards) and you dread the thought of dealing with the sheer quantity of it all BUT you cannot bear the thought of throwing it away either.

Short of just bagging the whole lot up without looking at it and dropping it off to your nearest charity (Salvos, Vinnies or if you would like to help Angel Gowns) there’s not much you can do unless you want to spend forever ironing, cutting and piecing scrap quilts, which as much as I love scrap quilts I would prefer to be making things I purposely designed.

I was lying in bed the other night at about 1am, still working online, looking for inspiration, researching and tweaking website when I had an idea. It’s probably not the first time this idea has been had but it will work for my plans and so I’m sharing it with you so that you can find out if it works for you.

I have decided that every time I piece a project from now on I will cut up what’s left into these 2in Drunkard’s Path shapes. I have always loved DP blocks from the moment I first saw one.

image

 

So by the end of 2015 I should have a terrific assortment of tiny blocks ready for my next scrap quilt. I will piece as I go so that the task is not overwhelming and so that I can keep track of how many blocks I have.

If you would like to join in with me on the mini DP block progress you can order your 2in templates from me here.

Of course if you aren’t a fan of the DP blocks you could do something else such as hexagons or clamshells if you love hand sewing. You could even cut small squares!

Stay tuned for more stash busting solutions!!

October!

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October is by far my favourite month of the year.

It not only has my favourite holiday Halloween but is also the birthday of the shop and this year for the shop’s third birthday I’ll be doing all sorts of wonderful things to celebrate.

Firstly there will be the ongoing competition.

To enter all you need to do is place a mail order (or orders) during the month of October. For every $5 you spend you will receive a numbered ticket. At the end of the month everyone’s numbers will go in my lucky witches hat and I will draw out a winner.

The prize: a $50 gift voucher to spend on fabrics (or it could go towards quilting costs if you prefer), a blue size 16 singlet top that has a screen printed black bat on it that I made in my screen printing class in September and some of my quilt patterns.

I will also be doing an overhaul on the store section of the website – this is more from an inventory standpoint so that all future sales are easier to track. There will be a heap of quilts listed on my hand-made store, all ready to be posted and perfect for Christmas gifts.

We’ve also passed 1000 likes of FB and 100 followers on IG so I’l be doing a little something to celebrate those.

Also if you would like to join in my fabric swap please drop me an email – frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com. The cut off date for sign ups was today but life go out of hand so I’m extending it for October.

swapinfo

 

There will be more details on the competition as well as a picture or two of the singlet top and the patterns etc so stay tuned!

 

Marni x

A bit of info…

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Hey all!

I’ve been busy the past few months catching up on life and things in order to make sure that as we hurtle towards the end of the year and Christmas everything runs nice and smoothly. :D

So…

Custom quilt orders will be cut off as of midnight the 5th of October. There are 2 spaces available between now and Christmas.

Custom orders for other items (cushions, runners, placemats, hair accessories, aprons etc) will be cut off mid-November to ensure Christmas delivery.

Machine quilting will be cut off on the 8th of December with the last day for quilt returns being the 19th of December. There are spaces available just contact me to find out more.

I am in the process of looking for a suitable venue with dates and times for some basics classes (understanding your machine, patchwork basics, patchwork patterns and binding). If you would like to be popped on a mailing list for class information please email me: frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com

As always – any questions just ask. :)

 

 

Quilts for sale!

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Since moving the shop I’ve found myself rather low on space. It’s always been at a premium but now it’s top priority.

SO

I’m having a massive quilt sale on all the pre-made quilts that I have ready to post.

The quilts are all listed here in a Facebook album and to purchase all you need to do is comment SOLD and message me your email and postal details and choice of payment method (Paypal invoice, credit card over the phone or direct deposit).

There is an assortment of quilts from cot size, to double bed along with a few wallhangings and table runners AND they are all 50% OFF!!

I want these quilts to go to good homes that will use them, throw them on the floor, on the lounge, use them as a picnic rug or even buy one for your favourite furry friend. I put a lot of work into them and I want people to enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them. :)

These quilts (with a few exceptions) are ready to post now – you purchase it and I’ll pop it in the mail. These quilts have been made over the past few years, some as recently as a month or so ago.

A few pictures below of some of what’s available.

As I unpack I will load more quilt pictures of what I have available.

And as always if you see something you like but it’s not in your colours or theme I can make a custom order quilt for you. Just get in touch with your ideas. :D

 

1011097_527255237372263_174541616_n   1555554_526869417410845_1845198488_n   1959471_543767689054351_829315388_n

10330247_606188769478909_7628127217573634179_n   1526349_525708744193579_1028055812_n   10500490_606188722812247_3667609495616680603_n 1484705_525708430860277_98409420_n

EOFY

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Head over to my Facebook page to the Stocktake/EOFY album for some great bargains.

$5 p/m fabrics, $1.50 Fat Quarters and Sewing Notions are 50% off!

20% off fabrics here in the web store and check out the new batch of craft book uploads over on my hand-made store.

I’m clearing the decks, making space and re-working things because of the move. Lend me a hand a I’ll give you a bargain. :)

Yippee!!

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I finally finished my Classic Horror Monster cross-stitch!!

I’m really bad at finishing cross-stitches so this is a personal best for me…all in the one year!

Top Row: The Mummy, Wolfman, Dracula

Bottom Row: Frankenstein’s Monster, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man.

20140619_081636

I’ve also been working on some English Paper Piecing. I’m doing some clamshells at the moment and also working on a video for hexagons.

20140618_120410

This quilt – that this first clamshell block will go into – will take me a while, as I am determined to do it by hand as you are meant to and I’m a very slow hand sewer. If you’d like to follow along just bookmark this post, but I’m warning you now that it will be ages in between updates, I’m that slow a hand sewer.

I’ll be using up all of my halloween scraps as I love the vibrant colours and I hate waste. And a girl can never have too many halloween quilts. :)

As of tomorrow the shop move goes into full swing so there might not be a post for a little while. Excited to have this all over with as I hate packing.

I have several sales happening as well at the moment – you’ll need to check out my Facebook page and Hand-made store for all the goodies.

As always if you have any questions… please ask.

Marni x

 

 

After a market…

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I’m sitting here in bed typing on the very tiny bluetooth keyboard for my iPad thinking about all the things that happened today. It’s just before midnight and even though going to a market today was physically exhausting I am WIDE awake.

So I thought I might share with you what happens after a market –

After I have packed the truck at the venue, Mum and I drive home. We unload, collapse on the lounge with a cup of tea and just relax for a bit. Later on though my mind is filled with all the things that happened during the day – who I spoke to, what it was about, things I can change on the stall, things I can do next time, what I can bring etc.

Each market gives me its own unique feedback – sometimes that feedback comes in words from customers or event organisers, sometimes its as simple as monitoring what sells best/worst/in the middle – which means that for the next market I can try a different set of products, displays, set up and even to how I pack the truck. I try to maintain a balance between the efficiency of packing and unloading the truck  (how many trips back and forth from the truck to the location of my stall) and what the customers would like to buy. Sometimes I get it spot on, sometimes I miss a few things, but that is why markets are so important to small businesses like mine.

I’m an online business selling an item that is tactile – which makes it hard to sell based on quality because as a customer you can’t feel the texture, see the brightness of a print or stack bolts in different sequences to see if your idea will work – but as a business owner I am relying on you to trust me about that quality, which you should because I am one of you. I’ve been there, starting from my first quilt (front was good but oh my the backing!), confused by all the tools and gadgets, even more confused by the maths (what are these inch things?) and not really understanding the accuracy of what I was doing.

You need to trust me to select the fabrics and products, trust that I would only stock good quality or things that I use myself. Which is exactly what I do.

Back to the markets…

I do markets to advertise, mingle and engage with my audience in a way that I can’t as an online business. I do the markets to help make the lack of a physical shop less an inconvenience to my customers – so that quilts tops can be dropped off for quilting, picked up once they are quilted, local mail orders can be picked up and so that I get some human contact. I’m in a studio all day on my own and it can make you a little crazy, all that solitude. I do enjoy it but it can be hard sometimes.

So after today’s fun at the Destash Market (my own stuff not the shop’s) I have some really fun things coming to the next market and I hope that if you do come to a market that I’m at that you do pop in and say hi.

I’m still not tired so I guess it’s more work for me until I feel sleepy, can’t do any sewing this late as mum and dad are already asleep. So is the cat…on my feet…

Night!

Marni x

Mid-Year…

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So nearly at the middle of the year, tax time, 6 months till the end of the year and time to reassess what I’m doing.

At the start of the year I made myself a resolution to finish UFOs. I have done a few, not as many quilts as I would have liked but I have also made inroads to finish other UFOs – runners, bags and other craft stuff that I’ve been working on….

I’m doing a Classic Horror Movie Monster cross-stitch from Cloudsfactory that I bought ages ago but have done barely any on. I’ve done Frankenstein’s monster, the Bride and the creature from the Black Lagoon, next is the Invisible Man, then Dracula, Wolfman and the Mummy. I can’t wait until it’s finished and I can get it framed.

3/7 done

I love cross-stitch but I’m really slow to get things finished – handwork is really not my forté so it takes me three times as long to do.

I’ve also been working on using pre-cuts to make a few items. I collect pre-cuts like most quilters do, you pick one up at a show or on sale and it sits in a box or the bag it came in and gets forgotten because you don’t know what to do with it or you struggle with the limitations of the size that its been cut at. I have a jelly roll sitting waiting for me but the project I’m saving that for is something that some friends and I are working on. The other pre-cuts I love at the moment are the mini charm square packs – 42, 2.5in squares – I’ve made a few things with them, but because they are so small its hard to keep coming up with ideas. This is the zippered pouch I’m doing today.

I’m also working on  new quilt. I spotted a wreath on Pinterest sometime last year and it was lovely and soft grey tones with brighter peach flowers on it. I loved the colour combination so much I decided that I wanted to make a quilt in those colours. I did start this quilt last year but it has sat in a bag since as I got distracted by other projects. Yesterday I sat and pieced almost all of it and it will be on the quilting machine next week. I’m really looking forward to free-motion quilting something gorgeous in those wide spans of grey linen. YUM!

20140610_022009

The move is going well. The new space is nearly cleared out and I’m still packing over at the studio. I’m aiming to be out by the end of the month but it is a little flexible. I really don’t want to muck around with moving as it is such a painful process but it is good in a way because it forces you to declutter and clean things out that you’ve left on shelves and in boxes for far too long.

I’m really looking forward to the new space as it means I can work more to my body’s natural hours. I’m a night owl, its well known that I’m no good in the mornings… :) and because of the new space I am able to teach small classes. Nothing just yet, after mid-July when I’m all sorted, but you can book in now – just email or ring me.

Colour Class – 1.5 hours, $15.
Binding Class – 2 hours, $20, learn several types of binding.
Cutting and Piecing Class – 3 hours, $30, learn about all the tools needed for cutting, how to calculate and cut, then how to piece, press and iron.
Basic Pouch Class – 2 hours, $20, includes inserting a zip.
Basic Table Runner – 3 hours, $30, learn to design and piece a basic runner for your table.

I am located in Gosford so classes are intended for locals or those traveling through the Central Coast. If you are interstate please don’t worry as I can do video classes for you – please PM me if you are interested in those. I’m taking bookings now so if you’d like to secure your place please let me know and I will organise an invoice for a $10 deposit.

Anyways, its another wet and miserable day here on the coast so I’m off to make another cup of tea and get back to my sewing.

Marni x