Friday, May 10, 2013

Quilter's favorites

  Geta is hosting this week of Sharing and Learning.  She posted a long list of great questions that we could chose to answer  for our sharing.  I had a terrible time deciding on a question, so in my usual  mixed up style,  I decided to wing it and cover a couple of things that  might be of interest.








 My Favorite Quilting tool:
Ruby Beholder from Martingale and That Patchwork Place
    Beyond the usual quilting notions and  favorite tools of  snips, glue sticks, and seam ripper  there is my Ruby Beholder.   It is a value finder  that is designed to help you sort  and select fabrics by value.  It's a piece of  transparent red plastic  that  removes  the color  and leaves the  gray value.  It is like turning the fabric or block into a black and white photo.    It is invaluable when I am working on a watercolor or color wash quilt and a great help when doing  scrap quilt layouts.   There are several types and brands on the market.


My favorite Technique:
     If you have been here before, you know  that is doing water color quilts.  I have explained my design process in many posts. So gathering them together,  I put  up a tutorial page (see list under the banner at the top)  that will walk you through 2 methods:  using the gridded interfacing technique and a strip-pieced technique for watercolor quilts.
  This technique begins and ends with value and fabric selection.  I use busy multi-colored prints, mainly florals, but also paisleys work great.  You need lots of choices, but only a small amount of each.  So fat quarters fit the bill.   
    It's hard to pick a favorite watercolor quilt, but this one with the thread painted cardinal is quite special to me.  Even though I designed it for the winter season, it hangs somewhere in the house all the time.  
  




Tip for storing fabric:
  My large collection of floral fabrics are usually folded and stored in bins on  shelves in my stash closet.  Mainly those fabric cuts are small and less than a yard.  But what about the larger yardage cuts for borders and backings especially?   
Mini-bolts!

  About 4 years ago, I began using the mini-bolts for storage.  When I first  began this, I was using a thin plastic insert.  Later I switched  to using  foam core board.  The foam core  can be purchased at the Dollar Store in the 2 foot by 3 foot size usually.  I cut the size-- that works best for me-- 11" to 12" high by 8" wide.    It's easy to cut with a craft knife.  I often end up with smaller sections of the boards and they work great for shorter cuts--- those under a yard.
  Today, I am even more frugal.....I use old  yard campaign signs or yard signs of any kind that I find....like house for sale, or other advertising.  They get knocked down or the wires rust out.  I collect them, wash them up, and cut  to the size I like.    I'm saving the land fill (if they would ever make it there) and keeping my dollars for fabric and thread.  







   Fabric is folded just like it comes off the bolt.  Then one more fold---bringing the folded side over to match the selvedge edge.  Roll it up and pin the end.  
     The mini-bolts make it easy to see what I have to work with.  I am  known to be pretty messy and scattered, so this really helps me neater.   And what fun to shop your own fabric store in your stash closet.
 
  Finally.......Got questions.....please ask.   I love to share and  welcome all questions.  Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the other great links.
Happy stitching.

19 comments:

  1. Thank you for linking to my Quilter's Favorites party,Debbie. I love your watercolor quilts, thank you for the tutorial.

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  2. Thank you for sharing - I love your watercolors and that is how I know you as a quilter. I will have to go visit the others on the link-up party.

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  3. I've never seen or heard of the Ruby Beholder.... will have to look for one of those. I love your water color quilts and would like to make one someday.

    Thanks for the tip about the mini bolts... love how the fabrics look on them too! Must be much easier looking for things when stored like this...

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  4. Thank, Debbie, for the tips and ideas. The Ruby Beholder looks like an invaluable quilting tool. Your watercolor quilt is beautiful. I am going to spend some time enjoying your quilting. Thanks for sharing in the Quilter's Favorite's Linky Party ... :) Pat

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  5. Love the cardinal quilt. It's so pretty!!!

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  6. Great tips on fabric storage. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Valuable tips! And the cardinal quilt is beautiful!

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  8. Wonderful tips and blog! I'll take more time to explore, your creations are wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Your post reminded me of your watercolour quilts, so I took another look at your gallery of watercolours. They are truly beautiful!! I marvel every time I see them!!!

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  10. I love your tips & suggestions. The mini bolts are terrific. I don't buy much in the way of large pieces but love the idea of bolting them like in the stores. Your watercolor quilt is beautiful. I love how the branch for the cardinal extends out into the border.

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  11. Wonderful tips. And your watercolor quilt is absolutely beautiful.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  12. I don't know what to say - I just looked thru your gallery of water color quilts and I am speechless!!!! You are awesome! Will be following you now - can't wait to see more.

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  13. I do love your fabric storage. I use the same. It keeps it in view!

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  14. I love my ruby beholder too--saved me SO many times!

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  15. What a great post. I'm enjoying reading all the hints and tips from this "hop"!

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  16. Your favorite quilting tool is great. Thank you for shearing.

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  17. I love the mini-bolt idea. I'm in dire need of a little more organizing. I already loved the ruby beholder.

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  18. Thank you for the tips I really enjoyed them.

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  19. Hola, acabo de descubrir este blog, me gusta tu artículo del salto. Me gustaría que contaras más sobre sobre el Beholder Rubí.

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