Sewing Room Fun and a Giveaway!!

So my Three Little Cowgirls all share a room (its not cramped its lovely actually) and that meant I could FINALLY have my own sewing space. I started off in the dining room but eventually moved into the livingroom. It was getting cramped because I of course like other quilters started to develop a stash. My husband decided the girls had to share a room YAY Me! I’ve been in there a few months and have finally started to decorate a bit and make it seem more homey and sewing room like. I wanted to show some of the decorating ive been doing, also disregard the toys on the floor…try as I might my children will not stay out of my sewing room LOL

First up I was in desperate need of a bulletin board, I was using Washi tape to hold up some ideas i was having. Its pretty but eventually it just got too messy for my taste. FYI the washi tape I linked you too is for Amazon but I actually bought mine at The Family Dollar in my town for $2! So if your interested in a craft with Washi Tape I suggest checking out your local Dollar store ;).

Ok, Ok enough of that here’s the picture
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I recently bought like 2 yards of purple fabric from the Missouri Star Quilt Company (love,love,love them! They have great videos and the fabric is great!) I forgot WHY i had bought it so I decided to use it on my bulletin board!! I don’t exactly have a link for you to use on HOW I did it because I went on Pinterest and found several tutorials I liked and pretty much incorporated all of them into one. I basically just wrapped my fabric around and mitered the corners and hot glued and nail gunned it all down. I wanted to be even craftier and decided to hot glue buttons onto the thumbtacks I bought. I guess I was trying to really make you believe it was a sewing room lol

I bought these on Etsy from someone who was closing down shop. She was selling bags full of just random buttons for like $3 so I bought a few bags.
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Next up my design wall! I actually have a really big empty wall but my husband has yet to help me build what I want built so I improvised until he has time. My youngest was born in July so I bought these cheap table clothes for her birthday party. I didn’t need them anymore but I saved them because I heard you could use the back to put your quilt blocks on. I decided to hang one up and it works PERFECT! The flannel or whatever is on the back of it holds up those blocks and Ive never had one fall down πŸ™‚

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I like to make practice blocks to make sure I can do them so when im done I just throw them up there AND it adds to my sewing decor! See boom two in one uses!

Next up is my little shelf, it was left over from our other house and it had no home. I decided to hang it up and put glass jars underneath it. ingenious right?! Wish I could take credit for that but alas I found it on the ever so helpful Pinterest!

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I had a pretty decanter that my husbands grandmother gave me (thanks Amaw!) just lying around so I put it up there along with my lovely Aurifil thread and Connecting threads πŸ™‚ I felt like it was lacking something so I bought those paper mache letters from Hobby Lobby and my first ever bottle of Modge Podge and the fabric, well I had that lying around and thought hey the colors would look great on my wall! πŸ™‚ It came out lovely I just love it.

Now this some of y’all will not understand but if you LOVE The Lord of The Rings Trilogy then I know you can appreciate this! My sister painted this for me for our Birthday(yes our birthday we are twins, and no we don’t look anything alike) I wanted to put it up in the living room but I just thought it would look cooler in here and show a bit of my geeky side. Oh and that little canvas I drew the harry Potter Deathly Hallows sign onto it…if you haven’t guessed yet that I am very geeky πŸ™‚ (brownie points if you noticed my weeping angels in my bulletin board picture….)

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It’s still a work in progress and im sure the more I add to it, it will feel even more like a sewingroom.:) I do want to know what y’all think of this idea I had…I want to do patchwork curtains for the room, how awesome would that be? Maybe a little something like this http://beachvintage.blogspot.com/2012/02/project-day-studio-curtain.html yay or nay?

Oh I want to show a picture of my oldest cowgirl Ava πŸ™‚ She just completed her first quilt! We went small and made one for her rainbow dash doll she has.
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She picked out all the fabric scraps and sewed/quilted it all herself! She’s getting a sewing machine for her birthday, boy will she be excited!!

Ok lets get to the Giveaway πŸ™‚ I made this table topper as a test one and as I don’t like to sell my test quilts because lets face it, it has mistakes. I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway!

This is the top, I made it from one Charm pack and some left over fabric I had from another project.
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Here’s the back, now im not normally a fan of white backs but just look how cool the quilting looks! I just love it and im jealous one of you guys gets to have it!!

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Ok now for the ways you can enter πŸ™‚ I would love to hear what new crafty thing you have recently learned to do! It can be anything, sewing, quilting, maybe you built an ark. I don’t care just as long as you leave a comment here or on my Facebook post about this blog post πŸ™‚ You can even tag me in a picture on Instagram for extra points. Use the Hashtag #threelittlecowgirls and make sure you link me on your instagram post which of course is Threelittlecowgirls.The end date for this is Sunday March 16th. Don’t forget to like my facebook page and Instagram profile, I love new followers! FYI if you have a private IG I wont be able to see your picture. Ill let the winner know the day after closing so keep an eye out. I cant wait to hear about your new crafts thanks for reading!

Happy Quilting,
Catherine

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Why Are Quilts So Expensive?

I remember when I started quilting I often wondered why I would see these $300,$500 even $1,000 dollar quilts for sale on ebay or etsy. How could something cost so much? I found out real quick why they were priced high.
Fabric for one thing! All fabric is NOT created equal. Don’t get me wrong ill buy the occasional walmart fabric here and there but I refuse to use it in any quilt that ill be selling.

The first time I went to the Quilt Cottage I was amazed by all the beautiful fabric(if you live or go to Corpus Christi, Texas I suggest this quilt shop, it smells like home and the fabric is awesome and so is the rewards program!). Then I started touching the fabric and well let me tell you it was like heaven. Just the softest fabric ive felt in my life…then i looked at the price..$10.00 A YARD!! Precuts were even more expensive, charm packs arn’t so bad its the layer cakes and fat quarter stacks that really surprised me.

I went ahead and bought my first layer cake and some fat quarters they had on sale. Since then I have never turned back, of course now I check online first as you can get that $10 a yard fabric for $5 a yard online. Of course when I make my monthly trip to CC I make sure to go and support the brick and mortar store because hey those stores are starting to be a dying breed!! (always support your local store!)

Just trust me on this ok? Go to Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, or Walmart and touch their fabric then go to a local quilt shop and feel theirs…you will notice a difference. Its rough and hard but the good stuff is soft and wonderful!

Now lets talk about thread..thread you ask? Well when you make these beautiful quilts you want something that will hold up for years don’t you? So far i’ve found that Aurifil and Connecting Threads has been the winner in my house. Aurifil is pricey but sooooo worth it trust me! Obviously some machines don’t like certain thread but almost everyone i’ve talked to loves Aurifil. When I started quilting I had no idea what all the fuss was about this thread. I thought my walmart cheap thread was ok…boy was I wrong!!

That cheap stuff will cause sooo much lint in your machine its ridiculous! On a whim I bought the grey Aurifil and never EVER looked back. The lint cut down was amazing, I didn’t have to clean my machine as much(I was doing it daily it seemed like!) It’s about $12 for a spool but it’s got about 3500 yards on each spool which lasts me a long time. I decided to try Connecting Thread’s awhile back because they are a bit cheaper and the quilting group I am in a ton of ladies suggested it. I am so happy with that thread as well, my machines love it and the lint isn’t too bad either πŸ™‚

Batting is another expense. What kind do you want? How heavy do you want it? How big of a quilt are you making? Now i’ve yet to try bamboo or wool batting but I have tried a number of polyester blends. Currently I use Mountain Mist because my local store was trying to get rid of a huge box of them(got twins,kings and queens for $2.50 each!) I actually really like it. It quilts up really well and its very light weight. In South Texas you want light weight when you have 100+ temps in the summer. I have also tried Warm and Natural on smaller projects like baby blankets and mug rugs. I really loved it and it quilts up nicely.

Now lets talk about time…so far we have the cost of fabric, thread, batting and now we need to talk about HOW LONG it takes to make such beautiful works of art. Piecing a quilt(meaning you put all the little squares and triangles together to make a pattern) takes some time especially if you want some crazy,awesome, complicated quilt. For me piecing even the simplest of tops takes at least 12 hours…that’s a long time. After it’s been pieced then it has to be basted(meaning top,batting, and backing) Now I pin mine which depending on size(lets go with a twin size quilt) that takes me about 2hrs. Finally comes the quilting so far we have 14 combined hours…quilting takes even longer. Straight line quilting and stitching in the ditch (you stitch basically all the seams or ditches) probably doesn’t take AS LONG but that’s still another 10-20hrs….but what if they want Free Motion Quilting done(basically all the cool shapes you see now a days like stars, meandering squiggle looking lines etc) that could take even longer. I’ve known women who have spent 50+hrs on a quilt just quilting it!!

Would you like an example of what a quilt from me would cost? Here goes..recently I quilted a twin size quilt. It had beautiful batik fabric and gray fabric on it. Batik is expensive because of how they make that certain fabric. I spent about $100 on that fabric and the gray fabric. Now we add in the thread I used a whole spool so $12 bucks for that, the batting was $2.50(remember i got it on sale yay!) it took me 2hrs to pin it and 20hrs to quilt it. All in all its $350 for a twin size quilt and that’s a bit on the cheap side because i am still sooo new to this. I know some ladies who wont even give prices anymore because people are so surprised they would charge so much!! they tell them listen how about you come with me to the quilt shop and I will show you exactly what to buy and you buy the materials…by the end of it those people understand WHY we charge what we charge. If you want done something done right and it look beautiful then its going to cost.

I always know when someone isn’t serious about buying one of my quilts, because after I give them a quote they never return my messages and quit asking me about making them one lol. I appreciate the people out there who understand what it means to get a homemade quilt, how much work and love go into it. It’s hard but I love it, I love making quilts and even if people stop buying them from me I will continue to make them and pass them onto my children(they may end up with hundreds of quilts but that’s ok at least they will be warm huh?)

I hope I kind of helped you understand why they are so expensive and maybe you learned to appreciate a quilt someone gave you just a bit more! πŸ™‚

Happy Quilting!
Catherine

Pushing Myself

Today im going to talk about one of the things I don’t like about quilting. For most people they either don’t like piecing, or maybe even the quilting part of it, and some don’t like putting the binding on. For me I do not like straight quilting, I can’t stand it, it bores me I hate it.

For the past few months I have been working on these beautiful blue batik and gray quilts, just love the colors. Anyway I finished the first one awhile back and I tried my hand at stippling. That was my first time to ever free motion quilt on such a large surface, I have to say it was difficult but loved doing it. Funny thing about me is I rather like difficult situations….maybe that’s my weird fetish? (are you clutching your pearls because i said fetish?!) I made soooo many mistakes on that quilt but guess what?! nobody will ever notice because the awesome thing about stippling is you can make a huge mess and as long as you kind of just go with it, it’ll turn out awesome.

That’s what scares me about straight lines….people can see your mistakes. I hate making mistakes just ask my husband. He often comes home to me crying because the homemade meal I prepared tastes like crap or looks weird.

So the past few weeks i’ve working on his brother quilt( i say brother instead of sister because these were made for boys and it just seemed right) and I told myself i want to make the quilting on this different because they will be matching in every other way so why not?! I thought about it and thought about it and even dreamed about how i would quilt it!
I finally decided on straight line quilting….my worse enemy straight lines. Honestly besides stippling this was the only other way to make the quilt stand out. My sewing has never been straight no matter how much i tried i would end up with some wiggle. I pushed myself though i said to myself “girl quite being a wimp and do it! Make those straight lines!”

I am pleased to announce that after a few weeks of working on it that my lines have gotten straighter and straighter! Maybe this was the push i needed? I needed to get out of my comfort zone and get over my fear of straight line quilting. Heck that’s all they really did back in the day so why couldn’t I do it?! I’m glad I decided to do it, its making the quilt look super cool and is exactly how i imagined it would be!

Not too shabby if I do say so myself?!
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I love quilting because its always pushing me to be better πŸ™‚ What are you scared of? Have you always wanted to try quilting or even just sewing but have been to nervous to try it? I think I should remind myself every now and then that the greatest quilters out there didn’t become great over night! Its ok to make mistakes and if my lines arnt that straight then that’s ok at least my friend will love her quilt, In the end that’s all that matters.

I’m sure you were wondering what the other quilt looked like well here it is! This was my first ever stippling attempt and it made this quilt look awesome, so can you imagine what the straight lines are doing to the other one?!?!
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Happy quilting!
Catherine

Modern MugRugs

I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try my hand at some MugRugs aka quilted coasters. I bought this cool Moda Jellyroll fabric and knew instantly i had to use it for my mugrugs! Ill probably buy bolts and bolts of this fabric I love it some much lol πŸ™‚

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Why yes I did in fact bust out my good china, I was going for an old meets modern look how’d I do? πŸ˜‰
So how did i make these you ask? well my dear internet friends I started out with a simple nine patch, i sewed Three jelly roll stripes together and just cut 2 1/2in strips from that and sewed them together to make a nine patch.
The bigger tea pot one I’m actually not sure how many it is lol I believe its an 18 patch. I layered it with batting,and backing, basted with pins and quilted diagnoal lines with my favorite Aurifil Thread 50WT Cotton thread.

I decided to keep it modern and did diagonal lines plus I just thought it looked cool πŸ˜‰
I hope y’all like them as much as I do, I see lots of tea parties with my three little cowgirls happening in the near future!

Oh and before I go I went ahead and bit the bullet and made my own Facebook Page so come on over and like my page or check out the few quilts ive made.
Once again thanks for reading and I hope y’all have a great day!
Happy Quilting!!

Domestic Superhero